1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry Kirke White

Melesina Chenevix Trench to her son, August 1824; Remains of Mrs. Richard Trench (1862) 502-03.



To-day the Remains of Kirke White fell in my way, and have pleased me immensely. His gentleness, elevation of mind, and complete discretion, are deeply interesting. I shall add the volume to your library when I meet a better edition. It appears he fell a victim to over-scrupulous delicacy. After having had a fit, evidently brought on by too much study, instead of going for a short time to his home, or suffering his mother to know he was ill, he remained even in the vacation at Cambridge, because the College were paying for him a mathematical tutor. Oh! how much does the struggle of genius and excellence against poverty remind us that we are but stewards of our worldly wealth, and warn us to turn a portion of it from our own superfluities to the necessities of others. I never felt this more strongly than in reading Kirke White's Remains, and seeing one so highly gifted suffering intense anxiety from the want of a very small portion of the waste of his companions and fellow-students.