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Hereditary Genius
I have examined into the relationships of the following 56 poets. Of some of them—
as of those of Ferdusi, Terence, and Sappho—there seems to exist no record at all, and
my information is very scanty about many of the others. Nevertheless I find that the
20 poets whose names are printed in italics, have had eminent kinsfolk, and that some
of the remainder afford minor proofs of hereditary ability: thus the father of Bums and
the mother of Schiller were far from mediocrity; Southey's aunt. Miss Tyler, was
passionately fond of the theatre. We may fairly conclude that at least 40 per cent. of
the Poets have had eminently gifted relations.
Aeschylus; Alfieri; Anacreon; Ariosto; Aristophanes; Beranger; Bums; Byron;
Calderon; Campbell; Camoens; Chaucer; Chenier; Coleridge;
Corneille; Cowper;
Dante; Dildin; Dryden; Euripides; Ferdusi; La Fontaine; Goethe; Goldoni; Gray; Heine;
Hook;. Horace; Ben Jonson; Juvenal; Keats; Lucretius; Metastasio; Milman; Milton;
Moliere; Moore; Oehlenschlager; Ovid; Petrarch; Plautus; Pope; Praed (but see
Appendix); Racine; Sappho; Schiller; Shakespeare; Shelley; Sophocles; Southey;
Spenser; Tasso; Terence; Vega; Virgil; Wieland; Wordsworth.
Aeschylus, great Greek tragedian; also highly renowned as a warrior, and all his
family were distinguished for bravery. He began early to write, but was aet. 41
before he gained his first prize for a drama. He afterwards gained sixteen; d. aet.
B. Cynaegeirus distinguished himself so highly at Marathon, together with
Aeschylus, that their feats were commemorated by a descriptive painting.
B. Ameinas was noted as having commenced the attack on the Persian ships at
[n.] Philocles was victorious over the “King of Oedipus” by Sophocles, but
probably with a posthumous tragedy of Aeschylus.
[2 S.] Euphorion and Bion were said to have gained four victories with
posthumous pieces of Aeschylus. What may have been their share and that of
Philocles in the completion of these plays is unknown; but at all events, from
and by means of these persons arose what was Previous page Top Next page