28 AUGUST 1926, Page 16


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] STR,—Not so well known, but more remarkable than the coin- cidence between two lines of Tennyson's In Memoriam xxvii. and two lines of Clough's Peschiera, is the literary parallel related by Tennyson himself in the following extract from a letter he addressed to Mrs. S. E. Dawson, dated November 24th, 1882 :— " A man, a Chinese scholar, some time ago wrote to me saying that in an old ?Antra twisted Chinese poem there are two whole lines of mine almost word for word. ' And why not ? . . . . It is scarcely possible for anyone to say or write anything in this late time of the world to which, in the rest of the literature of the world, a parallel could not

somewhere be found - • Tennyson was thinking, of course, of his inheritance as " heir of all the ages " ; but what are we to infer from the following contemporaneous instance related by W. D. Howells ? While he was Editor of the Atlantic Monthly he was about to publish a short story of his own, when he received from an outside lady contributor an almost exact duplicate. So close was the resemblance that he felt constrained to show her his proof- sheets to convince her of his honesty.—I am, Sir, &c.,.

39 Mortimer Road, Kemal Rise, N.W.10. THOMAS CARR.