[Alfred Deakin, Prime Minister of Australia] Substantial Autograph Letter Signed Alfred Deakin to Mr. Meredith [George Meredith, English novelist and poet] praising an Ode of his and subjecting his work to literary criticism and praise.

Alfred Deakin, Prime Minister of Australia (the second, and three time).
Publication details: 
[Headed] Insignia; Commonwealth of Australia | Prime Minister, 3 August 1908.
SKU: 25216

Four pages, 12mo, closely written, bifolium, very good condition. In part a difficult hand. Very honoured am I to receive a letter in your own hand - but [with visitings?] of compunction that this should have meant such a trespass on your pen. And the Ode! a true call to arms in a manly mood that is urgent for many here & with you - I hope to have its aid when speaking to the Australian Natives (i.e. natives sof the soil) Association next week. It should stir them like a trumpet, as your Italian ode must have pulsed through the veterans who heard it a few months ago. A few years back I took the liberty of writing you to say how much your writings had helped young men - of the spirited intellectual types - and that whether or not they realised the entire coherence of your work ['whether' elided] in verse or prose or even if merely inspired & impelled by the general tenor of your imaginative appeals - fiction teaching by example - Yet if I read you aright no teacher has been at more pains to put his message before even those who run while they read. It is 'poetic' in the highest sense - (I have just been reading Maurice Browne's first article in the Ox & Cam Rev - your poetry 'interprets life' '[reattaches?] things to Nature & the whole' - (M Arnold & Emerson quoted p.141). I found it compressed with 'Earth & Man & 'A faith on trial' [?] expressly but it is summarised often as 'Sense & Spirit' 'Earth's Secret' 'The Garden of Epicurus', & [?]. It breathes through the magic Westermain [viz. The Woods of Westermain poem by Meredith] [references other works]. It is the inner measure of the whole gamut of your prose dramas - If I am wrong from your standpoint - I am still bold to explain that I have found & cherished that gospel through all your pages to which it has served in my case as a clue & a synthesis. To frankly confess so much seemed due to you after your great kindness in seeing my wife & myself & in writing me & sending the lofty heroic ode. Because it was [at?] the mere impulse of the sightseer that took me to your retirement in 1900 &1907 but the pilgrimage of one most deeply your debtor for your life & life's work now more endebted still for your personal courtesies. With my wife's & my own fondest regards [...] Note: This letter derives from an Album created by Meredith's daughter which contained a number of letters to Meredith from distinguished writers such as Henry James, Thomas Hardy, George Eliot.