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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1686
AUTHOR: Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82)
QUOTATION: England’s genius filled all measure
Of heart and soul, of strength and pleasure,
Gave to the mind its emperor,
And life was larger than before:
Nor sequent centuries could hit
Orbit and sum of Shakespeare’s wit.
The men who lived with him became
Poets, for the air was fame.
ATTRIBUTION: RALPH WALDO EMERSON, “Solution,” lines 35–42, Poems, p. 222 (1918).

These lines are inscribed above the fireplace in the old reading room of the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C.
SUBJECTS: Shakespeare, William (1564–1616)