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TALENT (Lat. talentum, adaptation of ...

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Originally appearing in Volume V26, Page 371 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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TALENT (Lat. talentum, adaptation of Gr. TaXavrov, balance, ! Recollections of a First Visit to the Alps (1841); Vacation Rambles weight, from root raX-, to lift, as in rXi vac, to bear, 1-aXas, and Thoughts, comprising recollections of three Continental tours in endurin cf. Lat. tollere to lift Skt. tuld balance) the name the vacations of 1841, 1842, and 1843 (2 vols., 1844); and Final of an ancient Greek unit of weight, the heaviest in use both for Memorials of Charles Lamb (1849 50)• Mr. Justice Coltman as judge of the court of common pleas, he attained these distinctions more perhaps for his laborious care in the conduct of cases than on account of any forensic brilliance. At the general election in 1835 he was returned for Reading. This seat he retained for close upon six years, and he was again returned in 1847. In the House of Commons he introduced an International Copyright Bill; his speech on this subject was considered the most telling made in the House during that session. The bill met with strong opposition, but Talfourd had the satisfaction of seeing it pass into law in 1842, albeit in a greatly modified form. Dickens dedicated the Pickwick Papers to him. In his early years in London Talfourd was dependent—in great measure, at least—upon his literary exertions. He was at this period on the staff of the London Magazine, and was an occasional contributor to the Edinburgh and Quarterly reviews, the New Monthly Magazine, and other periodicals; while, on joining the Oxford circuit, he acted as law reporter to The Times. His legal writings on matters germane to literature are excellent expositions, animated by a lucid and telling, if not highly polished, style. Among the best of these are his article " On the Principle of Advocacy in the Practice of the Bar " (in the Law Magazine, January 1846); his Proposed New Law of Copyright of the Highest Importance to Authors (1838); Three Speeches delivered in the House of Commons in Favour of an Extension of Copyright (184o) ; and his famous Speech for the Defendant in the Prosecution, the Queen v. Moxon, for the Publication of Shelley's Poetical Works (1841). But Talfourd cannot be said to have gained any position among men of letters until the production of his tragedy Ion, which was privately printed in 1835, and produced in the following year at Covent Garden theatre. The tragedy was also well received in America, and was reproduced at Sadler's Wells in December 1861. This dramatic poem, its author's masterpiece, turns upon the voluntary sacrifice of Ion, king of Argos, in response to the Delphic oracle, which had declared that only with the extinction of the reigning family could the prevailing pestilence incurred by the deeds of that family be removed. Two years later, at the Haymarket theatre, The Athenian Captive was acted with moderate success. In 1839 Glencoe, or the Fate of the Macdonalds, was privately printed, and in 184o it was produced at the Haymarket; but this home drama is inferior to his two classic plays. The Castilian (1853) did not excite a tenth part of the interest called forth by Ion. Before this he had produced various other prose writings, among them his " History of Greek Literature," in the Encyclopaedia Metro- monetary purposes and for commodities (see WEIGHTS AND MEASURES). The weight itself was originally Babylonian, and derivatives were in use in Palestine, Syria and Egypt. In medieval Latin and also in many Romanic languages the word was used figuratively, of will, inclination or desire, derived from the sense of balance, but the general figurative use for natural endowments or gifts, faculty, capacity or ability, is due to the parable of the talents in Matt. xxv.
End of Article: TALENT (Lat. talentum, adaptation of Gr. TaXavrov, balance, ! Recollections of a First Visit to the Alps (1841); Vacation Rambles weight, from root raX-, to lift, as in rXi vac, to bear, 1-aXas, and Thoughts, comprising recollections of three Continental
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TALE (O.Eng. talu, number, account, story; the word...
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SIR THOMAS NOON TALFOURD (1795-1854)

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