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Gebir by Walter Savage Landor
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GEBIR




INTRODUCTION.



Walter Savage Landor was born on the 30th of January, 1775, and died
at the age of eighty-nine in September, 1864. He was the eldest son
of a physician at Warwick, and his second name, Savage, was the
family name of his mother, who owned two estates in Warwickshire--
Ipsley Court and Tachbrook--and had a reversionary interest in
Hughenden Manor, Buckinghamshire. To this property, worth 80,000
pounds, her eldest son was heir. That eldest son was born a poet,
had a generous nature, and an ardent impetuous temper. The temper,
with its obstinate claim of independence, was too much for the head
master of Rugby, who found in Landor the best writer of Latin verse
among his boys, but one ready to fight him over difference of
opinion about a Latin quantity. In 1793 Landor went to Trinity
College, Oxford. He had been got rid of at Rugby as unmanageable.
After two years at Oxford, he was rusticated; thereupon he gave up
his chambers, and refused to return. Landor's father, who had been
much tried by his unmanageable temper, then allowed him 150 pounds a
year to live with as he pleased, away from home. He lived in South
Wales--at Swansea, Tenby, or elsewhere--and he sometimes went home
to Warwick for short visits. In South Wales he gave himself to full
communion with the poets and with Nature, and he fastened with
particular enthusiasm upon Milton. Lord Aylmer, who lived near