« ZurückWeiter »
BY JOHN DRINKWATER, M.A., F.R.S.L.
The present volume of papers read to the Royal Society of Literature is as usual, and as it should be, extremely varied in character. It is interesting to remember that the Society, which was founded just a hundred years ago, relied at the beginning for its Addresses chiefly upon the ten professors, or Royal Associates, who were appointed by the bounty of King George the Fourth, each of them to deliver at least one paper a year and to receive an honorarium of one hundred pounds. The diversity of talent assembled under this provision was remarkable. There were a Welsh antiquary, a Scotch philologist, a great Italian scholar, a distinguished Orientalist, and a historian of much eminence in his day, while among the names we find those of William Roscoe, who started life as a market gardener, and proceeded to many honours as critic, historian and editor, the Rev. Thomas Robert Malthus, of the “Essay on Population, and, in splendid conclusion, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
The ways of the Society have changed since those days, and we now rely for our papers upon the goodwill of our Fellows. The present volume is evidence that we do not so rely in vain. We show here that our interests are as widely spread as ever