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Excerpt from The Laureate of Pessimism: A Sketch of the Life, and Character of James Thomson Bv Author of the City of Dreadful Night
Night, while Thomson, brought up as Arnold was, might conceivably have been the author of Litera ture and Dogma -was unable to make a sufficient income by his pen to supply his wants, it is no wonder that suffering under the dis advantages of poverty and unpopular opinions, was scarcely able to gain a bare subsistence by his writings, and remained almost to the end of his career unknown and unappreciated. He dared to transgress that most stringent of all the command ments of the British Philistine, Thou shalt, before all else, be respectable, and he paid the due penalty for his contumacy.
James Thomson was born at Port Glasgow on November 23, 1834. He was thus a scion of the Victorian period, and though he was during his whole life at war with most of its tendencies, it was not the less impossible for him to escape from being in uenced by the spirit of the time. Even the revolter against convention, however he may strive against its influence, cannot altogether eliminate its virus from his veins. Had Thomson been born a generation later he would, I think. Have had a happier life, and would have found a much more sympathetic and appreciative audience.
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