Tennyson, Alfred Lord (1809-1892) Autograph Letter Signed, 9 August . Laid bifolium inscribed over three pages. To Charles de la Pryme, regarding the correspondent's protege, the poet Richard Realf (1834-1878), acknowledging Realf's talent, but expressing uneasiness at de la Pryme's efforts to support and promote the young poet. Old folds, light toning, traces of an old mount, affecting one line of text, 7 x 4 1/2 in.
"My silence has in great measure proceeded from a painful sense of the injury that might be inflicted by words rashly spoken in such a case. I know that to yours or any other generous mind there can scarce be a purer pleasure than to foster lowly genius & to lift it up into the light of the world, & it cannot be denied that in these poems written under such peculiar circumstances, there is proof of remarkable talent & thought. Still, I hold it an unsafe thing to pronounce on the future from such early productions & if my own strong feeling of want of regular necessary occupation may be allowed any weight I would say let every poet seek some such, if it be only mechanical it will be time enough to relinquish it when he has found some great theme that taxes all his time & all his powers."
Realf emigrated to the United States two years after Tennyson's letter. He was a journalist in Kansas, collaborated closely with John Brown, served in the Civil war, and ended his own life in 1878.
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