Infomotions, Inc.Student's handbook of English literature : with selections from the writings of the most distinguished authors. / Jenkins, O. L. (Oliver Louis), 1813-1869




Author: Jenkins, O. L. (Oliver Louis), 1813-1869
Title: Student's handbook of English literature : with selections from the writings of the most distinguished authors.
Publisher: Baltimore, Md. : J. Murphy,, 1912.
Tag(s): english literature history and criticism; american literature history and criticism; british literature; poem; literature; nineteenth century; novel; british; poems
Contributor(s): Eric Lease Morgan (Infomotions, Inc.)
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CARDINAL NEWMAN 



STUDENT'S HANDBOOK 

OF 

ENGLISH LITERATURE 



WJTH SELECTIONS FROM THE WRITINGS OF 
THE MOST DISTINGUISHED AUTHORS 



BY REV, O. L. JENKINS, A.M., S, S 

LATE PRESIDENT OF ST. CHARLES' COLLEGE MD 




THIRTY-EIGHTH REVISED EDITION 



Metropolitan Press 

JOHN MURPHY COMPANY 

PUBLISHERS 
BALTIMORE MARYLAND 



Copyright 1912, by 
JOHN MURPHY COMPANY 



Press of JOHN MURPHY COMPANY, Baltimore 



CARDINALS RESIDENCE 

408 N. CHARLES ST. 

BALTIMORE, MD. 




Rev. F. X. McKenny, S.S., 

St. Charles' College, Catonsville, Md. 

My Dear Father: 

I take pleasure in introducing this latest revision of Jenkins 9 
"Handbook of Literature." It is a manual which has stood the 
long test of modern experimenting in the teaching of our Hnglish 
classics; and its extended use witnesses to its saneness of 
method and soundness of principle. 

While it justly gives praise for what is artistic in the best of 
our literature, it as fearlessly points out what is blameworthy 
from the viewpoint of Catholic morality. 

Such an aim tends to give better balance of mind and round- 
ness of finish to the young student of letters than does the god- 
less teaching of art for art's sake, now rampant in a world 
that seeks no higher standard than the culture of respectability. 

I would like to see this book in still wider use, for the inspira- 
tion of youth who must carry on the traditions of our Hnglish 
literature and the standards of our Catholic ethics. 



May 6, 1912. 



THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA 
WASHINGTON, D. C. 



April Eighteenth, Nineteen Twelve. 

My Dear Father McKenny: 

I am much pleased to hear that you are about to publish a 
new edition of Jenkins' "Hand-book of Literature." It is an 
excellent manual and well deserves the popularity that it has 
long enjoyed in our Catholic colleges, academies and high schools. 

With best wi^fus. 1 remain, 

Very sincerely yours in Xt, 




Rector. 



Very Reverend F. X. McKenny, S.S., President, 
St. Charles' College, Catonsville, Md. 



PREFACE 

The purpose of this text-book is to give a general 
outline of the main trend of English Literature, keep- 
ing in mind Cardinal Newman's definition of Litera- 
ture as summarized by Professor Winchester, that 
Literature consists of those books that have permanent 
interest, appeal to the intellect through the imagination, 
which are founded on truth and are fittingly expressed. 

The Poets and the Prose writers have been grouped 
separately, that their mutual influence, relative impor- 
tance, and development from period to period may 
be seen more readily and grasped by the student 
more easily. 

Such questions as the development of the Arthurian 
tales, the drama, the novel, and kindred topics are 
merely suggested; and the amount of such work that 
may be done depends on the ability of different classes, 
the time devoted to English in various schools, and the 
inclination of individual teachers. 

Our hope is that the changes incorporated into this 
revised edition of a book that has had such a host of 
friends in the past, may serve to increase its popular- 
ity, and continue to serve as an introduction and incen- 
tive to a most interesting subject to many of our 
American youth. 

C. C. BERKELEY, 
J. J. JEPSON. 



ST. CHARLES' COLLEGE, CATONSVILLE, MARYLAND, 
May 27, 1912. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

PREFACE yii 

TABLE OF CONTENTS . . ix 



PART L 

BRITISH LITERATURE. 

CHAPTER I. 
ANGLO-SAXON PERIOD. 

. Most Ancient Inhabitants of Britain, St. Augustine and their 

Conversion to Christianity 1 

Venerable Bede 1 

The Literature 2 

Caedmon 2 

Cynewulf, King Alfred 2 

Origin of the various Chronicles 3 

CHAPTER II. 

SECOND PERIOD. 

NORMAN PERIOD 

The Normans, at time of the Battle of Hastings 3 

Semi-Saxon writings, Roman influence, influence of the 

French, the Universities 3 

Monasteries, the Ancient Libraries 4 

Curriculum of a liberal education. 5 

Universities 6 

The Scholastic Method 7 

Rhyming Chronicles, Layamon, Metrical Romances 8 

ix 



x CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER III. 

THIRD PERIOD. 

EARLY ENGLISH PERIOD. 

PAGE 

French still the language of court 9 

Act passed ordering all lawsuits to be carried on in English 

henceforth 9 

William Langland 10 

Geoffrey Chaucer 10 

John Gower 23 

John Lydgate 24 

Sir John Mandeville 26 

John Wycliff 29 

CHAPTER IV. 

FOURTH PERIOD. 

REVIVAL OF LITERATURE. 

Weary stretch of desert for a century and a half after 

Chaucer 31 

Social unrest, discovery of America, had great creative in- 
fluence, together with the advent of the printing-press.. 32 

William Dunbar 32 

Sir Thomas Wyatt 33 

Henry Howard 34 

William Caxton . . . 36 

Malory 37 

Blessed Thomas More 38 

Roger Ascham 42 

CHAPTER V. 

FIFTH PERIOD. 

ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 

Treaty of peace with France and its results for literature. . 45 
Positive injury done by the Reformation to Literature.... 46 
Development of the Drama, first attempts at theatrical ex- 
hibitions in England, Miracle Plays 47 

Earliest comedy, Ralph Roister Bolster, and the earliest 

tragedy, Gorboduc 49 



CONTENTS. xi 

PAGE 

Edmund Spenser 49 

Sir Philip Sydney 56 

Christopher Marlowe 56 

Robert Southwell 60 

Thomas Sackville 65 

William Shakespeare 63 

Beaumont and Fletcher 83 

Ben Jonson 84 

The Last of the Dramatists, Massinger, Webster, Heywood, 
Randolph, Middleton, and Shirley, and the closing of 

the London theatres by order of Parliament 89 

Sir Walter Raleigh 91 

Francis Bacon 93 

CHAPTER VI. 

SIXTH PERIOD. 

CIVIL WAR PERIOD. 

Period of unrest not in the main favorable to literature, 
baleful influence of Euphuism, making of the whole a 

transition period 98 

Richard Crashaw 99 

Abraham Cowley 101 

Sir William Davenant 105 

John Milton 106 

Samuel Butler 119 

Edmund Waller 124 

John Dryden 124 

Edward Hyde 133 

Sir Thomas Browne, M. D.. 135 

Izaak Walton 137 

John Bunyan 138 

Samuel Pepys 140 

John Evelyn 142 

CHAPTER VII. 
SEVENTH PERIOD. 

THE PERIOD OF THE CLASSICISTS. 

Derives its name less on account of the refinement and polish 
of its writers than from their professed imitation of the 
classic models . 144 



xii CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

Alexander Pope 145 

James Thomson 153 

William Collins 159 

Edward Young 165 

Thomas Gray 168 

Oliver Goldsmith 174 

Robert Burns 180 

William Cowper 184 

J ohn Gay 189 

Thomas Chatterton 189 

James Beattie 189 

James MacPherson 189 

Thomas Percy 190 

J oseph Addison 190 

Sir Richard Steele 196 

Jonathan Swift 201 

Letters of Junius 207 

David Hume 209 

Samuel Johnson 213 

William Robertson 221 

Edward Gibbon 224 

Edmund Burke 228 

Novels and Novel-reading, history of the Novel 233 

Daniel Defoe 236 

Henry Fiedling, Samuel Richardson 241 

Laurence Sterne, Tobias George Smollett 242 



CHAPTER VIII. 

EIGHTH PERIOD. 

THE NINETEENTH CENTURY AND AFTER. 

Begins with a seething of revolt and movement for emanci- 
pation 242 

In America, peace and independence prepares foundation for 
birth of a lasting literature; Catholics again take part 

in the literature of nations 243 

The Age of Romanticism 243 

Foundation of many notable magazines and reviews 246 

The Victorian Period 345 

John Keais . : .249 



CONTENTS. xiii 

PAGfi 

Percy Bysshe Shelley 253 

George Gordon Byron 257 

William Blake 264 

George Crabbe 266 

S. Taylor Coleridge 269 

Rx:hard Brindsley Sheridan 274 

Jane Austen 275 

William Hazlitt 277 

Sir Walter Scott 280 

Charles Lamb 289 

Robert Southey 293 

Thomas Campbell 296 

James Clarence Mangan 298 

William Wordsworth 302 

Thomas Moore 305 

Elizabeth Barrett Browning 308 

Arthur Hugh dough 310 

John Keble 312 

Dante Gabriel Rossetti , 312 

Robert Browning 314 

John Lingard 320 

John Wilson 326 

Charlotte Bronte 327 

Thomas de Quincey 329 

Thomas Babington Macauley 334 

Frederick William Faber 337 

William Makepeace Thackeray 341 

Walter Savage Landor 346 

Nicholas Patrick Wiseman 350 

Charles Dickens 356 

Bulwer-Lytton 360 

George Eliot 361 

Thomas Carlyle 365 

John Richard Green 368 

Anthony Trollope 370 

Matthew Arnold 372 

Alfred Lord Tennyson 378 

Christina Georgina Rossetti 384 

William Morris 386 

Coventry Patmore 389 

Aubrey de Vere 391 

Francis Thompson 395 

Charles Algernon Swinburne 399 



CONTENTS. 



John Henry Newman .......... ............................ 402 

Henry Edward Manning .................................. 412 

Robert Louis Stevenson .................................. 415 

John Ruskin ............................................... 420 

George Meredith ......................................... 424 

Thomas Hardy ............................................ 426 

Patrick Augustine Sheehan ................................ 427 

James Matthew Barrie ............... ............ ......... 430 

Rudyard Kipling .......................................... 432 

G. K. Chesterton ........ . 433 



CONTENTS. xv 

PART II. 

AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

CHAPTER IX. 
I. BEFORE THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 

PAGE 

Ephemeral character of the literature prior to the last 
hundred years; first settlers retained Elizabethan char- 
acteristics more than their contemporaries in England.. 437 

James Otis, Francis Hopkinson, John Dickinson 440 

Samuel Seabury, Jonathan Odell . 441 

Charles Brockden Brown 442 

Timothy Dwight, John Trumbull 443 

Joel Barlow 444 

Benjamin Franklin 444 

Philip Freneau 450 

II. THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 

Edgar Allan Poe 451 

William Cullen Bryant 459 

Sidney Lanier 462 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 464 

Abram J. Ryan 468 

John Greenleaf Whittier 470 

Edmund Clarence Stedman 474 

John Banister Tabb 475 

James Fenimore Cooper 478 

American Orators 482 

Patrick Henry, John Adams, James Otis 482 

John C. Calhoun, Senator Hayne 483 

William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Charles Sumner, 

Henry Clay 484 

Edward Everett , 485 

Rufus Choate, Abraham Lincoln, Channing, Parker, Clarke, 

Bushnell, Beecher, Brooks 486 

John England, Martin John Spalding, John Hughes, P. J. 

Ryan, John Ireland 487 

Daniel Webster 487 

Washington Irving 491 



xvl CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

William H. Prescott 495 

Nathaniel Hawthorne 499 

Orestes A. Brownson 502 

Ralph Waldo Emerson 509 

George Bancroft 512 

James Russell Lowell 515 

Brother Azarias 519 

Francis Parkman 521 

Oliver Wendell Holmes 523 

Richard Malcolm Johnston 528 

Bret Harte 529 

Francis Richard Stockton 530 

Joel Chandler Harris 532 

Francis Marion Crawford 534 

Charles Warren Stoddard 535 

Samuel Langhorne Clemens 537 

Henry James 539 

William Dean Howells 540 

The Short Story, reaches its zenith in the Nineteenth Cen- 
tury ; its history, and principal exponents 543 

CHAPTER X. 
MINOR WRITERS. 

Novelists 545 

Writers of Short Stories 546 

Poets 547 

Historians ( Modern) 547 

F,ssayists (Modern) 54S 



CHAPTER I. 

ANGLO-SAXON PERIOD, 449-1066. 

The Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, tribes of the 
Germanic race, were a fierce horde of piratical adven- 
turers, living on the borders of the North Sea. As a 
people they were remarkable for their love of freedom, 
strong religious convictions, and reverence for woman. 
After many incursions along the coast of Britain, they 
finally established a settlement in the fifth century, and 
so laid the foundations of the English nation. Their 
songs and stories mark the beginning of Anglo-Saxon 
literature, the earliest remaining forms of which date 
from the conversion of the Saxons to Christianity by 
St. Augustine in 596. From this period the Saxon 
mind was ever active, though its labors were often 
interrupted by the inroads of the Danes and by 
internal wars. 

Venerable Bede (673-735) is the crowning glory of 
this period, and his Historia Bcclesiastica Gentis 
Anglorum, written in the eighth century, is to this day 
an authoritative work, not only for the annals of the 
Church but also for public events of the early Anglo- 
Saxon period. All his writings are in Latin. 

Of the Anglo-Saxon poetry, Beowulf, an epic, a 
great literary, historical and mythological curiosity, 
of pagan origin was cast into its present form by a 
Christian whose name we know not.* It tells of the 
fight of the hero, Beowulf, with the monster Grendel ; 

* In the eighth or ninth century. 



2 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

of his fight with the monster's mother and finally of 
his fight with a huge dragon. 

Caedmon's paraphrase of Genesis and Exodus is one 
among many other fragmentary poems of the period 
still extant. Bede tells us that Caedmon, a lay-brother 
of Whitby, can be compared to no other religious poet, 
"for he did not learn the art of poetry from men, but 
from God." He is sometimes called the Saxon Milton, 
because he took as his theme Lucifer and Paradise 
Lost, and many passages are marked with true epic 
spirit. 

Andreas and Elene is a poem, or rather two distinct 
poems, by another remarkable genius of these early 
times, Cynewulf. The first of some 1700 lines, tells 
of the adventures of the apostle St. Andrew. The 
second, of 1300 lines, gives the story of St. Helena 
and the true Cross. 

Others works of Cynewulf worth noting are The 
Christ, Juliana, the Fates of the Apostles. Through 
these Christian narrative poems there is a quaint com- 
mingling of the old Norse fable and the writer's newly 
acquired knowledge of Christianity; for instance, the 
bird Phoenix is made symbolic of the resurrection and 
eternal life. There is every where evident Teutonic 
strength and action along with an abiding faith and 
sterling patriotism. 

The prose that remains of the period is valuable for 
the aid it gives the historian but not for its literary 
merit. Instances of this statement are the translations 
of King Alfred which include Orosius } Universal His- 
tory and Geography, Bede's History, and Boethius' 
Consolations of Philosophy. 

The Saxon Chronicle is a work, however, that 
deserves special mention. This old manuscript dates 



NORMAN PERIOD. 3 

from about the year 891 and gives a connected account 
of events from the beginning of the Christian era to 
1154. It was compiled under the direction of Arch- 
bishop Plegmund, and was continued under his suc- 
cessors, the Archbishops of Canterbury, to the days of 
the Norman conquest. The monks of various mon- 
asteries made copies of this manuscript to which they 
added and inserted their local histories. This is the 
origin of the various Chronicles, three of which are 
now in the British Museum, one is at Oxford and one 
at Cambridge. 



CHAPTER II. 
NORMAN PERIOD, 1066-1350. 

The Normans at the time of the battle of Hastings 
(1066) ranked among the most polished and also the 
most warlike nations of Europe. Though their con- 
quest of England was effected with many hardships to 
the Saxons, it produced notable good results; for it 
unified or nationalized the ever-warring Saxon tribes 
and brought with it the fruits of Roman civilization. 
A mighty effort was made to substitute the French for 
the Anglo-Saxon tongue, but this was not accom- 
plished. Our language remains to-day a happy admix- 
ture of Norman elegance and Anglo-Saxon strength. 

The dearth of Semi-Saxon writings proves however 
no lack of mental activity in the nation. Never, per- 
haps, was that activity better displayed in Europe than 
at the period of which we speak. * This was the age 
that beheld the foundation of the great Universities, 

The student is referred to Dr. J. J. Walsh's recently published 
studies of this period "The Thirteenth, the Greatest of CenturUe." 



4 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

when the study of philosophy and theology excited 
universal enthusiasm. England did not remain behind 
in that intellectual movement. We are told that in 
1231 the number of students at Oxford, together with 
their attendants, amounted to thirty thousand. The 
English monasteries, too, were so many centres of 
study and learning. But in both the universities and 
the monasteries, Latin was still the chief medium of 
imparting and transmitting knowledge. 

In the half-developed state of most European lan- 
guages during the Middle Ages, a common idiom was 
indispensable; and Latin was that link which united 
the several countries of Europe. 

It is worthy of note, in the history of letters, that we 
owe to the monks whatever we know of their times. 
The remains of their patient and arduous labors form 
the only true materia historica of modern writers. 
This is especially true of English monks and 
monasteries. Scarcely any other country in Europe 
possesses such an historical treasure as the Saxon 
Chronicle, so authentic and so characteristic. It is a 
faithful picture of the manners, the thoughts, the 
joys, the sorrows of the most interesting and important 
period in the history of England, as if the life itself 
of the nation, with its characteristic incidents, were 
made to pass before our eyes in a rapid panorama. 

LIBRARIES. 

The art of printing not yet being known, each 
monastery had its scriptorium for those who were 
employed in transcribing books, an occupation in 
which the majority of the monks were engaged during 
the hours allotted to manual labor. Each monastery 
had its library. From the writings of Alcuin, we learn 



NORMAN PERIOD. 5 

that there was a renowned library at York ; and, as it 
is the earliest recorded collection of books, and fur- 
nishes the first catalogue of an English library extant, 
we subjoin a list of the chief works it contained. Alcuin 
says that in this library were the works of Jerome, 
Hilarius, Ambrose, Augustine, Athanasius, Gregory, 
Pope Leo, Basil, Chrysostom, and others. Bede and 
Aldhelm, the native authors, were also here. In history 
and philosophy, were Orosius, Boethius, Pompeius, 
Pliny, Aristotle, and Cicero. In poetry, Sedulius, 
Juvencus, Prosper, Arator, Paulinus, Eortunatus, Lac- 
tantius ; and, of the classics, Virgil, Statius, and Lucan. 
Of grammarians, there was a great number, such as 
Probus, Phocas, Donatus, Priscian, Servius, Eutychius, 
and Comminianus. Ingulf tells us that the library of 
Croyland contained above three hundred volumes, till 
the unfortunate fire that destroyed the abbey in 1091. 
The academical library of Oxford in 1300 consisted, 
according to Hallam, of a few tracts kept in chests 
under St. Mary's Church. The difficulty of procuring 
books in those times may be shown from the fact that 
in 1067 the Countess of Anjou paid for a collection of 
homilies two hundred sheep, a measure of wheat, 
another of rye, a third of millet, and a certain quantity 
of skins of the marten. 

CURRICULUM OF A LIBERAL EDUCATION. 

John of Salisbury gives us, in his writings, the most 
complete account that has reached us, not only of the 
mode of study at Paris, but of the entire learning of 
the age. Those branches of literary and scientific 
knowledge, which formed the usual course of educa- 
tion, were considered as divided into two great classes, 



g BRITISH LITERATURE. 

the first, or more elementary, comprehending Gram- 
mar, Logic, and Rhetoric, was called the Trivium; 
the second, comprehending Music, Arithmetic, Geom- 
etry, and Astronomy, the Quadrivium. 

UNIVERSITIES. 

The seven arts, comprised in the Trivium and Quad- 
rivium, were, so to say, the foundation of the Univer- 
sity system. The superstructure embraced the sciences 
of Theology, Law, Medicine, and, subordinated to 
these, Metaphysics, Natural History, and the lan- 
guages. A University was, therefore, a "Studium 
generate, a school of universal learning, consisting of 
teachers and learners from every quarter." The four 
Faculties which conferred degrees were those of Arts, 
Theology, Law, and Medicine. In the Faculty of 
Arts there were no other degrees than those of Bache- 
lor and Master ; but in the other Faculties the success- 
ful candidates, after severe examination, could become 
Bachelors, Licentiates, and Doctors or Masters. The 
titles of Doctor and Master, at first used indiscrimi- 
nately, came to be restricted in their application; that 
of Master to the highest degree in the Faculty of Arts, 
and that of Doctor to the highest degree in the other 
three Faculties. Theology, Medicine, Civil and Canon 
Law, had particular schools. Salerno was the nursery 
of all the Medical Faculties of Europe; Bologna was 
the chief School of Law ; Paris, as a place of general 
instruction, stood at the head of all others, and was 
styled the City of Letters. In the University of Paris, 
none was admitted to the course of theology who had 
not obtained the degree of Master of Arts. After 
three years' attendance at the course of theology, and 



NORMAN PERIOD. 7 

a twofold examination, the student passed through the 
ordeal of a public thesis during five hours ; and if suc- 
cessful he was made Bachelor of Theology. To become 
Licentiate he studied two or three years more, and had 
examinations yet more trying. Still further exami- 
nations and public defense of thesis were required 
before he could wear the Doctor's cap. 

The universities, as corporate bodies, became pos- 
sessed of a great number of privileges. They were so 
many little republics governed by their charter of 
statutes, their tribunals, and their independent juris- 
diction. They were special objects of favor on the 
part of kings and popes. Their influence was most 
powerful in the decision of all religious and even 
political questions. 

THE SCHOLASTIC METHOD. 

The system adopted in the schools and universities 
of the twelfth and subsequent centuries for the teach- 
ing of philosophy and theology, is known as the Scho- 
lastic Method. To define words of an obscure or 
ambiguous meaning; to analyze and point out the 
various aspects of a question, and determine such as 
are brought under immediate discussion ; to prove one's 
position by arguments drawn in syllogistic form ; and, 
finally, to solve the objections that may be raised by 
adversaries : these are the main features of the scho- 
lastic method. Not a few writers have inconsiderately 
attempted to throw discredit upon this system. That 
some of the schoolmen, wandering in a maze of meta- 
physical subtleties, undertook to treat useless, frivolous, 
and sometimes absurd questions, cannot cast a censure 
upon a method perfectly sound in itself, and illustrated 



8 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

by a number of great men, such as Roger Bacon, St. 
Anselm and St. Thomas Aquinas. 

As already noted, Latin was the language of the 
schools, and most of the writings are necessarily in 
that tongue. Any detailed account of them is there- 
fore out of place in a manual of English literature. 

There is however a number of marked literary 
types during this Norman period that deserve mention. 
Prominent are the Rhyming Chronicles, and Metrical 
Romances Geoffrey of Monmouth, a Welsh monk 
w T rote Historia Regum Brittanite, a medley of Christian 
and pagan legends, the Arthurian tales, from which 
many later workers have obtained their literary 
material ; for instance, Shakespeare for his King Lear, 
and Tennyson for his Idylls of the King. 

Layamon (1205), a secular priest, was one of these 
rhyming chroniclers, and the first to write English for 
the entertainment of the people. His Brut, a poem of 
about 16000 lines, starts with the Fall of Troy, gives 
an account of Aeneas' flight to Italy, and tells how his 
great-grand-son, Brutus, founded the kingdom of 
Britain. This is the first of the Arthurian legends in 
our own tongue, and is almost pure Anglo-Saxon. 

T'he metrical romances treat in romantic spirit of 
love, chivalry, and religion ; they are in fact an epitome 
of Middle Age spirit, and overshadow all other liter- 
ary forms. At times all the songs or tales of one hero 
are collected, and then we have such productions as the 
Chanson de Roland, or the Geste of Robin Hood. 
There are Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, 
Sir Gawain and the Green Knights, the most interesting 
of all perhaps and the finest of the early romances. 
Some tell of Charlemagne, others of the Crusaders, 
and in particular of Richard the Lion-Hearted. 



EARLY ENGLISH PERIOD. 9 

CHAPTER III. 

EARLY ENGLISH PERIOD, 1350-1450. 

The literary interest of this period lies chiefly in the 
prevalence which the vernacular idiom obtained over 
the French, and the general impetus given to studies : it 
prepared rather than accomplished great literary 
achievements. The court was yet essentially French; 
in the schools Latin was studied through the French, 
and the greater part of writers still composed in Latin. 
Edward III., it is said, knew, or at any rate used no 
more of English than a few phrases, such as : "Ha ! 
St. George! Ha! St. Edward!" However, an act 
passed under his reign (1362) ordered that the plead- 
ings in all lawsuits should thenceforth be carried on in 
English; and, under his successor, the same rule was 
applied to parliamentary proceedings. English was 
now taught, instead of French, in the "grammere 
scoles of Engelond." The great success of the English 
version of Mandeville's Travels, affords another proof 
of the growing importance of the native language. 
King Henry IV., by writing his will in English, set 
a good example, which his nobles made sure to follow. 

On the Continent, the names of Dante, Petrarch, and 
Boccaccio loom large and bright on the literary hori- 
zon. At home there is Chaucer alone portraying his 
day as did Shakespeare his own time, business man 
and courtier, his writings reflect the stirring times in 
which he lived. Langland in lower key sings of the 
social unrest and preaches the equality of men. Wyclif 
represents the religious upheaval that is beginning. 
Gower and Lydgate though scholars and literary men, 
are now little read. 



10 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

WlUvIAM LANGLAND, ? - 1360. 

William Langland, about 1360, is thought to be 
the author of the Vision of Piers (Peter) Plowman. 
He was a cleric in minor orders only, and later he mar- 
ried. The work comprises 14,000 lines of two feet (or 
7000 of four feet), which have no rhyme, but an alliter- 
ation as regular as that of the old Saxon poems. 
Under the form of a vision or dream the poet indulges 
a taste for satire. All orders of men, but particularly 
the religious, serve as a target for his shafts. As has 
been justly remarked, the credit due to a satirist 
depends much upon his known character and motives; 
and of these, in the present instance, we have no cer- 
tain knowledge. According to Wright, there is in the 
Vision no heretical doctrine ; but the same cannot be 
said of Piers Plowman's Crede, a shorter poem, writ- 
ten soon after by a follower of Wyclif. This author, 
says Wright, "is the simple representative of the peas- 
ant rising to judge and act for himself the English 
sans-culotte of the fourteenth century, if we may be 
allowed the comparison." 

Piers Plowman has little or no unity of plan, nor 
has the author any creative power worthy of notice, 
neither does he give us any descriptions either of char- 
acter or nature worthy of literary study. But his 
invective against the London city life in all its super- 
ficial aspects is strong. 

GEotftfRiCY CHAUCSR, 1340 (?)-1400.* 
Geoffrey Chaucer, 

That renownmed Poet 
Dan Chaucer, Well of English undefyled, 
On Fame's eternall beadroll worthie to be fyled, 

* In regard to Chaucer's life, the list of his authentic works, and our 
Extract*, we have followed Rev. -Walter W. Skeat. the eminent editor 
of Cnaucer's Worhg, 1 vols., 8vo, 1894, Oxford, Clarendoa Press. 




GEOFFREY CHAUCER 



EARLY ENGLISH PERIOD. 11 

was born, probably in London, between 1330 and 1340. 
His father and grandfather were vintners. We have 
no certain information of the place and manner of his 
education. As early as 1357, he lived in the service of 
Lionel, Earl of Ulster and Duke of Clarence, and 
second son of Edward III. Chaucer accompanied his 
master in the great expedition of Edward III. to 
France, in 1359, and was taken prisoner, but was soon 
ransomed by Lionel. He was sent several times to 
France and to Italy on diplomatic missions. We find 
him in 1366 married to one Philippa, a lady in the 
attendance of Philippa, Queen of England ; and, in the 
year following, he is mentioned as "a valet of the 
king's household." 

A yearly pension of twenty marks (about thirty- 
four dollars) was paid by the court to Chaucer on his 
wife's account, from 1368 to 1387 ; and another pen- 
sion, of twenty pounds per annum, was granted him 
by John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, from 1374 to 
1387. Besides, the appointment of Comptroller of 
Custom at London, from 1374 to 1386 helped to keep 
the poet in easy circumstances. He lost this office and 
his pensions about the same time, and for twelve years 
was generally distressed by poverty. At the accession 
of Henry IV., the son of his best patron, he was 
relieved from his pecuniary embarrassments, but he 
had already grown infirm. He died October 25, 1400, 
and was buried in Westminster Abbey. 

If now we turn to the literary productions of 
Chaucer, we find them more numerous than would be 
expected from a man so much engaged in other pur- 
suits. Most of them are poetical narratives. His 
early pieces seem to have been affected by the artificial 
conceit of the time, but his style, as represented by the 



12 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, became tfie stan- 
dard of English literary excellence for the two cen- 
turies following. 

One of the earliest productions of Chaucer is the 
Romaunt of the Rose, a free metrical translation of a 
French poem. The original, which was considered a 
masterpiece, begun by Guillaume de Lorris and com- 
pleted by Jean de Meung in the thirteenth century, con- 
sists of over 22,000 lines, 1705 verses only, according 
to Skeat, are from Chaucer, the remainder of the poem 
being lost. The whole composition, which is in rhym- 
ing couplets, deals with love under the allegory of a 
rose. The Book of the Duchess is a funeral poem of 
1334 octo-syllabic lines, composed (in 1369) in honor 
of the Duchess of Lancaster, first wife of his patron, 
John of Gaunt. The Life of St. Cecilia (Lif of Seynt 
Cecyle) is an early poem of 553 verses in the seven- 
line stanza, which Chaucer inserted later on in the 
Canterbury Tales as the Seconde Nonnes Tale. 

About 1377-81 Chaucer gave a prose English trans- 
lation of the five books of De Consolatione Philosophic 
by Boethius. 

Troilus and Criseyde (1379-1383) is a poem of 8239 
verses in the seven-line stanza. The subject was a 
favorite legend of the Trojan war. and had been ver- 
sified by Boccaccio in his Filostrato (1341). The Eng- 
lish poet follows the Italian more or less closely, but 
he is more moral. The same subject has been drama- 
tized by Shakespeare. It is declared by Saintsbury to 
be the most accomplished long poem yet written in 
English. 

The House of Fame, composed about 1383, is in the 
form of a dream or vision. The poet gives a vivid pic- 
ture of the Temple of Fame, to which he is himself 



EARLY ENGLISH PERIOD. 13 

carried by an eagle. It is marked by considerable 
humor. 

He tells us 

Of this hille, that northewarde lay, 

How hit was writen ful of names, 

Of folkes that hadden grete fames 

Of olde tymes, and yet they were 

As fressh as men hadde writen hem here 

The selfe day, ryght or that oure 

That I upon hem gan to poure. 

Of the hall he says that every wall of it, and floor, 
and roof, was plated half a foot thick with gold, 

Of whiche to litel al in my poche is.* 

The Legende of Goode Women is a poetical story, in 
rhyming couplets, of nine remarakble women of classic 
antiquity. Among his heroines we have Cleopatra, 
Dido, Medea, Lucretia, and Hypermnestra. Alcestis, 
the queen of love, typified by the daisy, is the special 
object of his attention in the Prologue. Amid a strange 
blending of fact, mythology and sound principles, 
womanly purity, innocence, and truthfulness seem to 
be the never- wearying object of the poet's admira- 
tion. This work was also suggesttJ by one of Boc- 
caccio.f 

The Astrolabie is an unfinished treatise on astronmy, 
written in 1391 for the use of 'lytel Lowys his sonne/ 

Among Chaucer's minor poems, we may mention : 
Compleint to his Lady, An Amorous Compleint, Com- 
pleint unto Pite, Anelida and Arcite, Compleint of 
Mars, The Former Age (from Boethius), Fortune, 

* It was The House of Fame that inspired Pope to write The Temple 
of Fame. 

t See Tennyson's Dream of Fair Women. 

3 



!4 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Parlement of Foules (fools), Compleint to his Empty 
Purse, but the most interesting is Chaucer's A. B. C., 
or Prayer to Our Lady, in twenty-three stanzas of 
eight lines, which expresses the author's tender and 
unaffected devotion to the mother of God. It is a free 
translation from a French poem still extant, and was 
composed between 1359 and 1369. Several other 
poems have been attributed to Chaucer, as The Flower 
and the Leaf, The Cuckoo and the Nightingale, but 
they are rejected by the latest critics. 

When advanced in age, Chaucer composed the great 
work on which his fame chiefly rests, his Canterbury. 
Tales, the most durable monument of his genius. 
These Tales are a series of independent stories, linked 
together by an ingenious device which was evidently 
suggested by the Decameron* of Boccaccio. A crowd 
of pilgrims, Veil nine and twenty in a companye/ on 
their way to the shrine of St. Thomas a Becket, at 
Canterbury, pass the night at the Tabard Inn, South- 
wark, where they make the acquaintance of our poet. 
Whilst at supper they agree to travel together to Can- 
terbury; and, in order to relieve the tedium of the 
journey, each person, at the suggestion of the host of 
the Tabard, is to tell two stories in going, and two oth- 
ers in returning. But we are allowed to accompany the 
travellers only on a part of the journey, and to hear but 
twenty-four of their stories. The Prologue to the 
Tales, which contains eight hundred and sixty verses, 
describes the characters of the pilgrims with unsur- 
passed simplicity and grace, but at the same time with 

* This work of Boccaccio consists of a hundred tales divided into 
decades, each decade occupying one day in the relation. They are 
narrated by a company of young persons of rank, who fled to a retreat 
on the banks of the Arno, in order to escape the infection of th 
terrible plague then i aging in Florence. 



EARLY ENGLISH PERIOD. 15 

all the prejudices of a Wycliffite, especially against the 
monks and the ecclesiastical hierarchy. All ranks of 
society, excepting the very highest and the very lowest, 
come in for a share of the poet's satirical humor or 
gentle praise. We have a Knight, who had fought 
against the 'Heathenesse' in Palestine; his son the 
young squire, attended by the Yeoman ; and a 'Franke- 
lein,' or country gentleman, in whose house 'it snowed 
of mete and drink/ The peasantry are represented by 
the Ploughman, the Miller, the Reve or bailiff. Then 
come a group of ecclesiastical personages, at whose 
expense, with the exception of the Parish Priest, the 
poet indulges without stint his ridicule and censure. 
The learning of that age has three representatives : the 
'Clerke from Oxford;' the 'Sergeant of the Lawe,' 
very busy, but still proud 'to seem busier than he is;' 
and 'the Doctor of Physike/ who happened to be a 
great astronomer, that 'studied everything but his 
Bible/ and deemed 'Gold in phisike a great cordiale.' 
The group from lower life is made up of the Haber- 
dasher, Carpenter, Weaver, Dyer, Tapestry-maker, and 
Cook. These, with a few others, including the host 
and the poet, are the far-famed pilgrims of Canterbury. 
Henry Morley considers the spirit of Chaucer as 
essentially dramatic. "Had the mind of Chaucer 
stirred among us in the days of Queen Elizabeth, his 
works would have been plays, and Shakespeare might 
have found his match. . . . He had that highest 
form of genius which can touch every part of human 
life, and, at the contact, be stirred to a simple sympa- 
thetic utterance. Out of a sympathy so large, good 
humor flows unforced, and the pathos shines upon us 
with a rare tranquillity. The meanness or the gran- 
deur, fleshly grossness or ideal beauty, of each form 



Jfi BRITISH LITERATURE. 

of life is reflected back from the unrippled mirror of 
Chaucer's Canterbury Tales as from no other work of 
man except the plays of Shakespeare."* All nature is 
with Chaucer alive with a fresh and active life-blood. 
His grass is the gladdest green; his birds pour forth 
notes the most thrilling, the most soothing that ever 
touched mortal ear. 

There was many and many a lovely note, 
Some singing loud, as if they had complained; 
Some with their notes another manner feigned; 
And some did sing all out with the full throat. 

Like many others who have given their thoughts to 
the world without an ever-present proper sense of 
moral responsibility, Chaucer, in his last hours, bitterly 
bewailed some too-well remembered lines, which dying- 
he vainly wished to blot. 'Wo is me! wo is me!' 
he exclaimed in that solemn hour, 'that I cannot recall 
those things which I have written; but alas! they are 
now continued from man to man, and I cannot do 
what I desire.' " t 

He died on the 25th of October. 1400, and was 
buried in Westminster Abbey. 

PROLOGUE. $ 

WHAN than Aprille with his schowres swoote 
The drought of Marche hath perced to the roote, 
And bathed every veyne in swich licour, 
Of which vertue engendred is the flour; 
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breethe 
Enspired hath in every holte and heethe 
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne 
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours i-ronne, 

* English Writers, vol. v. pp. 27G, 277. 

t Allibone's Diet. 

j The extracts from the Prologue are taken from the sixth edition of 
the Chaucer of Rev. Richard Morris, LL.D. (1879), collated from the 
best MSS. 



EARLY ENGLISH PERIOD. 

And small fowles maken melodic, 

That slepen al the night with open eye, 

So pricketh hem nature in her corages : 

Thanne longen folk to gon on pilgrimages, 

And palmers for to seeken straunge strondes, 

To feme halwes, kouthe in sondry londes ; 

And specially, from every schires ende 

Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende, 

The holy blisful martir for to seeke, 

That hem hath holpen whan that they were secke. 

Byfel that, in that sesoun on a day, 

In Southwerk at the Tabard as I lay, 

Redy to wenden on my pilgrimage 

To Caunterbury with ful devout corage, 

At night was come into that hostelrie 

Wei nyne and twenty in a compainye, 

Of sondry folk, by aventure i-falle 

In felaweschipe, and pilgryms, were thei alle, 

That toward Caunterbury wolden ryde; 

The chambres and the stables weren wyde, 

And wel we weren esed atte beste. 

And schortly, whan the sonne was to reste, 

So hadde I spoken with hem everychon, 

That I was of here felaweschipe anon, 

And made forward erly for to ryse, 

To take our wey ther as I yow devyse. 

But natheless, whil I have tyme and space 

Or that I forther in this tale pace, 

Me thinketh it accordaunt to resoun, 

To telle you al the condicioun 

Of eche of hem, so as it semede me, 

And whiche they weren, and of what degre; 

And eek in what array that they were inne : 

And at a knight than wol I first bygynne. 

A KNIGHT ther was, and that a worthy man, 
That from the tyme that he first began 
To ryden out, he lovede chyvalrye, 
Trouthe and honour, fredom and curteisie. 
Ful worthi was he in his lordes werre, 
And therto hadde he riden, noman ferre, 
As wel in Cristendom as in hethenesse, 
And evere honoured for his worthinesse. 
At Alisaundre he was whan it was wonne, 
Ful ofte tyme he hadde the bord bygonne 
Aboven alle nacions in Pruce. 



BRITISH LITERATURE. 

In Lettowe hadde he reysed and in Ruce, 
No cristen man so ofte of his degre. 
In Gernade atte siege hadde he be, 
Of algesir, riden in Belmarie. 
At Lieys was he, and at Satalie, 
When they were wonne; and in the Greete see 
At many a noble arive hadde he be, 
And mortal batailles hadde he ben fiftene, 
And foughten for oure feith at Tramassene 
In lystes thries, and ay slayn his foo. 
This ilke worthi knight hadde ben also 
Somtyme with the lord of Palatye, 
Ageyn another hethen in Turkye 
And everemore he hadde a sovereyn prys. 
And though that he was worthy, he was wys, 
And of his port as meke as is a mayde. 
He nevere yit no vileinye ne sayde 
In all his lyf, unto no manner wight. 
He was a verray perfight gentil knight. 
But for to tellen you of his array, 
His hors was good, but he ne was nought gay. 
Of fustian he werede a gepoun 
Al bysmotered with his habergeoun. 
For he was late ycome from his viage, 
And wente for to doon his pilgrimage. 
A CLERK ther was of Oxenford also, 
That unto logik hadde longe i-go. 
As leen was his hors as is a rake, 
And he was not right fat, I undertake; 
But lokede holwe, and thereto soberly. 
Ful thredbare was his overeste courtepy, 
For he hadde geten him yit no benefice, 
Nee was so worldly for to have office. 
For him was levere have at his beddes heede 
Twenty bookes, clad in blak or reede, 
Of Aristotle and his philosophic, 
Than robes riche, or fithele, or gay sawtrie. 
But al be that he was a philosophre, 
Yet hadde he but litel gold in cofre; 
But al that he mighte of his frendes hente, 
On bookes and on lernyng he it spente, 
And busily gan for the soules preye 
Of hem that yaf him wherewith to scoleye, 
Of studie took he most care and most hede. 
Not oo word spak he more than was neede. 



EARLY ENGLISH PERIOD. 19 

And that was said in forme and reverence. 
And schort and quyk, and ful of high sentence. 
Sownynge in moral vertu was his speche, 
And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche. 

A SERGEANT OF LA WE, war and wys 
That often hadde ben atte parvys, 
Ther was also, ful riche of excellence. 
Discret he was, and of gret reverence: 
He semede such, his words were so wise, 
Justice he was ful often in assise, 
By patente, and by pleyn commissioun; 
For his science, and for heih renoun 
Of fees and robes hadde he many oon. 
So gret a purchasour was nowher noon. 
All was fee symple to him in effecte, 
His purchasyng mighte nought ben enfecte. 
Nowher so besy a man as he there nas, 
And yit he seemede besier than he was. 
In termes hadde caas and domes alle, 
That fro the tyme of Kyng William were falle. 
Therto he couthe endite, and make a thing, 
Ther couthe no wight pynche at his writyng; 
And every statute couthe he pleyn by roote 
He rood but hoomly in a medle coote, 
Gird with a seynt of silk, with barres smale; 
Of his array telle I no lenger tale. 

A FRANKELEYN was in his compainye; 
Whit was his berde, as is the dayesye. 
Of his complexioun he was sangwyn. 
Wei lovede he by the morwe a sop in wyn. 
To lyven in delite was al his wone, 

For he was Epicurus owne sone, 
That heeld opynyoun that pleyn delyt 

Was verraily felicite perfyt. 

An houshaldere, and that a great, was he; 

Seynt Julian he was in his countre. 

His breed, his ale, was alway after oon; 

A bettre envyned man was nowhere noon. 

Withoute bake mete was nevere his hous, 

Of flessch and fissch, and that so plentevous, 

Hit snewede in his hous of mete and drinke, 

Of alle deyntees that men cowde thinke. 

After the sondry sesouns of the yeer, 

So chaungede he his mete and his soper. 

Ful many a fat patrich hadde he in mewe, 



20 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

And many a brem and many a luce in stewe. 
Woo was his cook, but-if his sauce were 
Polynaunt and scharp, and redy al his gere. 
His table dormant in his halle alway 
Stood redy covered al the longe day. 
At sessiouns ther was he lord and sire. 
Ful ofte tyme he was knight of the schire. 
An anlas and a gipser al of silk 
Heng at his girdel, whit as morne mylk. 
A schirreve had he ben, and a countour; 
Was nowher such a worthi vavasour. 



With us ther was a DOCTOUR of Phisik, 
In al this world ne was ther non him lyk 
To speke of phisik and of surgerye; 
For he was grounded in astronomye. 
He kept his pacient wonderly wel 
In houres by his magik naturel. 
Wel cowde he fortunen the ascendent 
Of his ymages for his pacient. 
He knew the cause of every maladye, 
Were it of hoot or cold, or moyste, or drye, 
And where engendred, and of what humour; 
He was a verrey parfight practisour. 
The cause i-knowe, and of his harm the roote, 
Anon he yaf the syke man his boote. 
Ful redy hadde he his apotecaries, 
To sende him dragges, and his letuaries. 
For ech of hem made other for to wynne ; 
Here frendschipe nas not newe to begynne. 
Wel knew he the olde Esculapius, 
And Deiscorides, and eek Rufus; 
Old Ypocras, Haly, and Galien; 
Serapyon, Razis, and Avycen; 
Averrois, Damascien, and Constantyn; 
Bernard, and Gatesden, and Gilbertyn. 
Of his diete mesurable was he, 
For it was of no superfluite, 
But of gret norisching and digestible. 
His studie was but litel on the Bible. 
In sangwin and in pers he clad was al, 
Lined with taffata and with sendal. 
And yit he was but esy of dispence; 
He kepte that he wan in pestilence. 



EARLY ENGLISH PERIOD. 21 



For gold in phisik is a cordial, 
Therefor he lovede gold in special. 



A good man was ther of religioun, 
And was a poure PERSOUN of a toun; 
But riche he was of holy thought and werk. 
He was also a lerned man, a clerk 
That Cristes gospel trewely wolde preche; 
His parischens devoutly wolde he teche. 
Benigne he was, and wonder diligent, 
And in adversite ful pacient; 
And such he was i-proved ofte sithes. 
Ful loth were him to curse for his tythes, 
But rather wolde he yeven out of dowte, 
Unto his poure parisschens aboute, 
Of his offrynge, and eek of his substaunce. 
He could in litel thing han suffisaunce. 
Wyd was his parische, and houses for asonder, 
But he ne lafte not for reyne ne thonder, 
In sickness nor in meschief to visite 
The ferreste in his parissche, moche and lite 
Uppon his feet, and in his hond a staf. 
This noble ensample to his scheep he yaf, 
That first he wroughte, and afterward he taughte. 
Out of the gospel he tho wordes caughte, 
And this figure he addede eek thereto, 
That if gold ruste, what schal yren doo? 
For if a prest be foul, on whom we truste, 
No wonder if a lewde man to ruste; 
And schame it is, if that a prest take kepe, 
A [foul] schepherde [to se] and clene schepe; 
Wei oughte a prest ensample for to yive, 
By his clennesse, how that his scheep schulde lyve, 
He sette not his benefice to hyre, 
And leet his scheep encombred in the myre, 
And ran to Londone, unto seynte Poules 
To seeken him a chaunterie for soules, 
Or with a bretherhede to ben withholde; 
But dwelte at hoom, and kepte wel his folde, 
So that the wolf ne made it not myscarye; 
He was a schepherde and no mercenarie. 
And though he holy were, and vertuous, 
He was to sinful man nought despitous, 
Nc of his speche daungerous ne digne, 



22 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

But in his teching discret and benigne. 

To drawe folk to heven by fairnesse 

By good ensample, this was his busynesse: 

But it were eny persone obstinat, 

What so he were, of high or lowe estat, 

Him wolde he synbbe scharply for the nones. 

A bettre preest, I trowe, ther nowhere non is. 

He waytede after no pompe and reverence, 

Nee makede him a spiced conscience. 

But Cristes lore, and his apostles twelve, 

He taughte, but first he folwede it himselve. 

FROM CHAUCER'S A. B. c., GAINED I,A PRIERE DE NOSTRE DAME 

C. 

Comfort ys noon, but in yow, Lady dere! 

For loo my synne and my confusioun, 

Which oughte not in thy presence for to appere, 

Han take on me a grevouse accioun, 

Of verray ryght and disperacioun! 

And as by ryght they myghten wel sustene, 

That I were worthy my damnacioun, 

Nere mercye of yow, blysful hevenes queene! 

E. 

Evere hath myn hope of refute in the be; 
For here before ful often in many a wyse, 
Unto mercy hastow receyved me. 
But mercy, Lady! at the grete assise, 
Whan we shal come before the hye justise! 
So litel good shal then in me be founde, 
That, but thou er that day correcte me, 
Of verray ryght my werke wol me confounde. 

G. 

Gloriouse mayde and tnoder! whiche that never 
Were bitter nor in erthe nor in see, 
But ful of swetnesse and of mercye ever, 
Help, that my fader be not wroth! 
Speke thow, for I ne dar nat him yse; 
So have I doom in erthe, alias the while! 
That certes, but that thow my socour be, 
To synke eterne he wol my goost exile. 



EARLY ENGLISH PERIOD. 33 

Q. 

Queene of Comfort, yet whan I me bethynke, 
That I agilite have bothe hym and thee, 
And that my soule ys worthy for to synke, 
Alias! I, katyf, whider may I fle! 
Who shal unto thy Sone my mene be? 
Who, but thy selfe, that art of pitee welle? 
Thou hast more routhe on cure adversiie 
Than in this world myght any tonge telle. 

JOHN GOWER, 1325 (?)-1408. 

The personal history of John Gower, the contem- 
porary and friend of Chaucer, is involved in great 
obscurity. He was liberally educated, having studied 
at Merton College, Oxford, and was a member of the 
Society of the Inner Temple. He appears to have been 
in affluent circumstances, as he contributed largely to 
the building of the conventual church of St. Mary 
Overy's, in Southwark. Peacham, in his Compleat 
Gentleman, says of him : "His verses, to say the truth, 
were poor and plaine, yet full of good and grave moral- 
itie; but, while he affected altogether the French 
phrase and words, made himself too obscure to his 
reader; besides, his invention cometh far short of the 
promise of his titles." He is on all occasions serious 
and didactic, and so uniformly grave and sententious, 
even upon topics which might inspire vivacity, that he 
is charcterized by Chaucer as the 'Morall Gower/ 
Though possessing little poetic genius, he had great 
literary ability and exerted considerable influence on 
the development of English Poetry. He supplied 
materials which Chaucer and Shakespeare used to 
much better advantage. 

His principal works are : 

1. Speculum Meditantis, a moral tract in French 
rhymes. 



24 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

2. Vox Clamantis, a metrical chronicle of the in- 
surrection of the Commons under Richard II. It 
consists of seven books in Latin elegiacs. 

3. Confessio Amantis, an English poem in octo- 
syllabic Romance metre, said to contain 30,000 verses ; 
it treats of the morals and metaphysics of love. The 
language is tolerably perspicuous, and the versification 
often harmonious; 'but the amount of edification or 
entertainment to be got out of the Confessio Amantis 
is not very considerable/ 

Gower died at an advanced age in 1408, and was 
buried in St. Mary Overy's, now St. Saviour's Church, 
to which he was a benefactor, and in which his tomb 
is still to be seen. 

The following lines, taken from the fifth book of his 
Confessio Amantis, are given as a specimen to the 
spelling and archaisms of his time: 

In a cronique thus I rede: 
Aboute a king, as must nede, 
Ther was of knyghtes and squiers 
Gret route, and eke of officers: 
Some of long time him hadden served, 
And thoughten that they have deserved 
Advancement, and gon withoute: 
And some also ben of the route, 
That comen but a while agon, 
And they avanced were anon. 

JOHN LYDGATS, 1370 (?)-1443. 

Of the immediate followers of Chaucer and Gower, 
John Lydgate is the most distinguished versifier. He 
was a monk of the Benedictine Abbey of Bury St. 
Edmund's in Suffolk, and flourished in the reigns of 
Henry V. and Henry VI. He was regarded as a 
prodigy of learning at the period in which he lived. 



EARLY ENGLISH PERIOD. 25 

He had travelled in France and Italy, and mastered 
the language and literature of both countries. On his 
return to England, he opened a school at his monastery 
and gave instruction in poetry and rhetoric, and even in 
mathematics and theology. His poems range over a 
great variety of subjects. The principal among them 
are The Fall of Princes, taken from Boccaccio, The 
Story of Thebes,, and The History of Troy, containing 
about 28,000 verses. Besides these, a list has been 
given of his other pieces to the number of 251, existing 
in manuscripts in different libraries. 

Lydgate wrote in verse a life of St. Edmund, which 
he dedicated to Henry VI. 

We give, with some changes in the spelling, the fol- 
lowing beautiful lament, taken from his Testament: 

CHRIST DESCRIBES HIS SUFFERINGS. 

Behold, O man! lift up thine eye, and see 
What mortal pain I suffered for thy trespace ! 

With piteous voice I cry, and say to thee, 
Behold my wounds, behold my bloody face! 
Behold the rebukes, that do me so menace, 
Behold mine enymes that do me so despise 
And how that I, to reform thee to grace, 

Was, like a lamb, offered in sacrifice! 

Behold the mynstrys,* which had me in keeping, 

Behold the pillar and the ropis strong, 
Where I was bound, my sides down bleeding, 

Most felly beat with their scoorges long ! 

Behold the battle which I did underfong,t 
The brunt abiding of their mortal! emprise! 

Through their accusing and their slanders wrong, 
Was [I], like a lamb, offered in sacrifice. 

Behold and see the hateful wretchedness, 

Put again me to my confusion, 
Mine eyen hid and blinded with darkness, 

* Ministers, officers. t Undertake. JDeadly Work. 



26 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Beat and eke bobbid * by false illusion 

Salwedll in scorn by their false kneeling downJ 

Behold all this, and see the mortal guise, 
How I, alone, for man's salvacion, 

Was, like a lamb, offered in sacrifice. 

See my disciples, how they hat me forsake. 

And fro me fled, almost every one, 
See how they slept and list not with me wake! 

Of mortaLdread they left me all alone, 

Except my Mother and my cousin John, 
My death complaining in most doleful wise: 

See fro my cross they wolde never gone, 
For man's offense when I did sacrifice. 

Behold the knights,$ which, by their froward chauncc, 

Sat for my clothes at the' dice to play! 
Behold my Mother, swouning for grevaunce, 

Upon the cross when she sawhe me die ! 

Behold the sepulchre in which my bonys lie, 
Kept with strong watche till I did arise ! 

Of hell gates see how I brak the key, 
And gave for man my blood in sacrifice! 

Turn home again, thy sinne do forsake; 

Behold and see if aught be left behind, 
How I to mercy am ready thee to take; 

Give me thine heart and be no more unkind! 

Thy love and mine togidre do them bind, 
And never let them parte in no wise: 

When thou wer lost, thy soul again to find, 
My blood I offer'd for thee in sacrifice. 

SIR JOHN MANDVIU,, 1300-1372. 

Sir John Mandeville, the reputed author of a curious 
volume of travels, was born at St. Albaris about the 
year 1300, and received a liberal education for the pro- 
fession of medicine. Stimulated by a strong desire to 
visit foreign countries, he claims to have left England 

* Deceived. f Have. Saw. 

J| galuted. % Soldiers. 



EARLY ENGLISH PERIOD. 27 

in 1322, and to have been abroad thirty-four years. 
During this long period he visited Palestine, Egypt, 
Persia, and parts of India and China, remaining three 
years at Pekin. After his return to his native land, in 
the year 1356, he drew up an account of his observa- 
tions in Latin, then "put this boke out of Latyn into 
Frensche, and translated it agen out of Frensche into 
Englysche, that every man of my Nacioun may undir- 
stonde it." Time has disproved these statements and 
the work is probably a collection of tales, made by the 
author. To Sir John however we are indebted for the 
most entertaining of narratives. His stories were at 
the time very popular, and rendered him celebrated 
throughout Europe. "Of no book," says Halliwell, 
"with the exception of the Scriptures, can more manu- 
scripts be found of the end of the fourteenth and the 
beginning of the fifteenth century." There are no 
fewer than nineteen copies in the British Museum 
alone. 

To his credulity or imagination we must attribute 
the stories he tells us of people who have no heads, 
but their eyes are in their shoulders; of people who 
have neither noses nor mouths; of people who have 
mouths so big, that, when they sleep in the sun, they 
cover the whole face with the upper lip; of people 
whose ears hang down to their knees; of people who 
have horses' feet; and feathered men who leap from 
tree to tree. The work is interesting and valuable, 
chiefly as giving the earliest example, on a large scale, 
of English prose. His style is straightforward and 
unadorned, yet the proportion of Latin and French 
words is larger than that found in Chaucer or Gower. 

Sir John Mandeville died in 1372 at Liege, in Bel- 
gium, where a monument is erected to his memory. 



28 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

The following extract from his writings is given in 
its antique text, with an interlinear modernized ver- 
sion, in order to convey a better idea of the progress 
which the language has since made. 

(From the Prologue.) 

For als moche as the Lond bezonde the See, that is to seye, the 
For as much as the Land beyond the sea, that is to say, the 
Hofy Lond, that men callen the Lond of Promyssioun, or of 
Holy Land, that men call the Land of Promise, or of 
Behste, passynge alle othere Londes, is the most worthi Lond, 
reward, passing all other lands, is the most worthy Land, 
most excellent, and Lady as Sovereyn of alle othere Londes, 
most excellent, and Lady as Sovereign of all other Lands, 
and is blessed and halewed of the precyous Body and Blood of 
and is blessed and hallowed of the precious Body and Blood of 
oure Lord Jesu Crist; in the whiche Lond is lykede him to 
our Lord Jesus Christ; in the which Land it pleased him to 
take Flesche and Blood of the Virgyne Marie, and become 
take Flesh and Blood of the Virgin Mary, and become 
Man, and worche many Myracles, and preche and teche the 
Man, and work many miracles, and preach and teach the 
Feythe and the Lawe of Cristene Men unto his children; and 
Faith and the Law of Christian men unto his children ; and 
there it lykede him to suffre many Reprevinges and Scornes 
there it pleased him to suffer many Reproaches and Scorns 
for us; and he that was Kyng of Hevene, of Eyr, of Erthe, of 
for us; and he that was King of Heaven, of air, of earth, of 

See A dere God, what Love had he to us his Subjettes, 

sea A dear God, what Love had he to us his subjects, 

whan he that never trespaced, wolde for Trepassours suffre 
when he that never trespassed would for trespassers suffer 
Dethe! Righte well oughte us for to love and worschipe, to 
Death! Right well ought we to love and worship, to 
drede and serven suche a Lord; and to worschipe and prayse 
dread and serve such a Lord; and to worship and praise 
such an holy Lond, that broughte forthe suche Fruyt, thorghc 
such a holy Land, that brought forth such Fruit, through 
the whiche every Man is saved, but it be his own 
the which every Man is saved, except through his own 
defaute. 
fault. 



EARLY ENGLISH PERIOD. 29 

II. And I John Maundevylle knyghte aboreseyd, (alle 
And I John Mandeville, knight abovesaid, (al- 
thoughe I be unworthi) that departed from our countrees and 
though I be unworthy) that departed from our countries and 
passed the see, the ycer of grace, 1322, that have passed manye 
passed the sea, the year of grace, 1322, that have passed many 
londes and manye yles and contrees, and cerched manye fulle 
lands and many isles and countries, and searched many full- 
straunge places, and have ben in manye a fulle gode honourable 
strange places, and hive been in many a full-good honorable 
company e, and at manye a faire dede of arms, (alle be it that 
company, and at many a fair deed of arms, (albeit that 

I ded none myself, for myn unable insufficance) now I am 
I did none myself, for mine unable insufficiency) now I am 

comen horn (mawgree my self) to reste Wherefore I 

come home (maugre myself) to rest Wherefore I 

preye to alle the rederes ann hereres of this boke, zif it please 
pray to all the readers and hearers of this book, if it please 
hem, that thei wolde preyen to God for me : and I shalle preye 
them, that they would pray to God for me : and I shall pray 
for hem. And alle tho that seyn for me a Pater noster, with 
for them. And aft those that say for me a Pater Noster, with 
an Ave Maria, that God forzeve me my synnes, I make hem 
an Ave Maria, that God forgive me my sins, I make them 
partners and graunte hem part of all the gode pilgrymages and 
partners and grant them part of all the good pilgrimages and 
of alle the gode dedes, that I have done, zif ony be to his ples- 
of all the good deeds, that I have done, if any be to his pleas- 
ance: and noghte only of tho, but of alle that evere I schalle 
sure: and not only of those, but of all that ever I shall 
do unto my lyfes ende. 
do unto my life's end. 

JOHN WYCUF, 1324-1384. 

John Wyclif wrote in Latin many works of 
theology or controversy, in which he attacked indis- 
criminately all those who belonged to the regular 
or secular clergy, together with the pope, bishops, and 
other dignitaries, as being no better than liars and 
fiends, hypocrites and traitors, heretics and anti- 
christs.* His itinerant priests alone were the true 

* See Lingard's Ilist. of England, vol. iv., p. 158. 
4 



30 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

evangelical preachers. Wyclif deserves the title of 
first English reformer. The term, when applied to the 
Church founded by Christ, is self-condemning, for it 
argues a want of faith in His power to keep for ever 
in the truth that Church for which He gave His life, 
and which His apostle Paul styles "the Church of the 
living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." Among 
Wyclif's English writings, a translation of the Bible 
is ascribed to him. There is little doubt that he had 
the principal share in the new translation which was 
then made. Sir Thomas More testifies that long before 
Wyclif there was an English version of the Scriptures, 
'by good and godly people with devotion and soberness 
well and reverently red.'* English or Anglo-Saxon 
translations of the Gospels, of the Psalms, and of some 
other parts of the Bible were certainly in existence. 
Wyclif is also the author of many original writings 
in defence of his reforming views in theology and 
church government. "His style," says Prof. Craikf 
"is everywhere coarse and slovenly, though sometimes 
animated by a popular force of boldness of expression." 

The compilation of Henry Knyghton, a canon regu- 
lar of Leicester is strongly antagonistic to the views 
of Wyclif, and at the same time highly interesting. 

Thomas of Walden, a Carmelite, undertook a syste- 
matic defence of the church on those points in par- 
ticular which were attacked by the Lollards. His work 
deserves more attention than is generally accorded it; 
for 4ie ">ty\e has great merit and the presentation of 
his views shows the monk to have been a theologian of 
vastly more power and mental acumen than Wyclif 
can lay claim to. 

* See Kenrick's Bible, Introduction to the Gospels, p. iv., edit. 1862. 
fEng. Lit, p. 165. 



EARLY ENGLISH PERIOD. 31 

The language spoken in the Lowland districts during 
the fourteenth century, was nearly the same as that of 
England. It was in this language that B ARBOUR, Arch- 
deacon of Aberdeen, wrote his heroic and patriotic 
poem, The Bruce, which has ever been a favorite with 
his countrymen. It celebrates the exploits of Robert 
Bruce, who, by the victory of Bannockburn, asserted 
the independence of Scotland, and obtained the crown 
for himself. It contains seven thousand rhyming 
couplets, and has the rare merit of combining spirited 
and harmonious poetry with truthful history. Barbour 
composed another work, The Brute, which is lost. His 
death occurred in 1395. 

JAMES I. OF SCOTLAND (1394-1436) is the author of 
the Kings Quhair (quire or book), remarkable for its 
simplicity, feeling, and poetical spirit. 

Froissart's famous Chronicles may be considered as 
part of the literature of this period, for not only did 
he reside long in England, but much of the subject 
matter of the chronicles bears on the feats of English 
arms. 



CHAPTER IV. 
FOURTH PERIOD. 

REVIVAL OF LITERATURE, 1450-1558. 

For a century and a half following the death of 
Chaucer, there is scarcely a writer of prominence, and 
very few works have made an imprint on the history 
of literature or left more than a vague memory behind 
them. The Praise of Folly by Erasmus and More's 
Utopia are really the only literary oases in all that 
weary stretch of desert. This is but what might be 



32 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

expected, for the Hundred Years' War with France, 
and the civil War of the Roses that followed at home, 
together with the still greater upheaval of the so- 
called Reformation, left little time or inclination for 
the development and cultivation of the fine arts. 

Yet this social unrest, with the constant march of 
armies, and the accompanying pageantry of war, must 
have been dramatised in the minds of the people, whilst 
the discovery of America kindled their imaginations 
and fired both mind and heart with higher and more 
vivid aspirations than had ever yet animated the Eng- 
lish breast. 

The Renaissance also had no other immediate effect 
than to set scholars to the study and imitation of 
the classics. The creative influence like the other 
motive forces just mentioned, found its fruition in the 
glorious Elizabethan period which followed. The 
printing-press too had to come, the better to dissemi- 
nate and preserve those treasures of the Golden Age of 
Englioh letters. 

WILUAM DUNBAR, 1465-1530. 

William Dunbar, a Franciscan friar, is styled by 
Craik "the Chaucer of Scotland/' and by Walter 
Scott "a poet unrivalled by any that Scotland ' has 
produced." His poems belong to three classes, the 
allegorical, the moral, and the comic. The Thistle and 
the Rose, The Dance of the Seven Deadly Sins, and 
The Golden Terge, are his principal allegories. Of his 
moral poems, the best is The Merle and the Night- 
ingale. The birds are made to discuss the comparative 
merits of earthly and heavenly love, the last verse 
being an acknowledgment that 

"All love is lost but upon God alone." 



REVIVAL OF LITERATURE. 33 

In the opinion of Craik, Burns is certainly the only 
name among the Scottish poets that can be placed in 
the same line with that of Dunbar ; and even the in- 
spired ploughman, though equal to Dunbar in comic 
power md superior in depth of passion, is not to be 
compared with the elder poet in strength or in general 
fertility of imagination. 

ROBERT HENRYSON, or HENDERSON, also a Scottish 
poet much renowned in his time, is supposed to have 
been a Benedictine and to have died before 1508. He 
wrote the beautiful pastoral of Robin and Makyne, 
printed among Percy's Reliques, also a translation of 
/Esop's Fables, which is his best work, and some other 
small poems. The fable of The Town Mouse and the 
Country Mouse is rendered with much humor and 
characteristic description. 

Wyatt and Surrey are the most prominent poets of 
this period, the most prominent in fact since Chaucer, 
and they sing a worthy prelude to the Elizabethan era. 

SIR THOMAS WYATT, 1503-1542. 

Sir Thomas Wyatt was born in 1503 at Allington 
in Kent. In 1520 he took his degree of Master at 
Cambridge and married Elizabeth Brooke daughter of 
Lord Cobham. At court he was esquire to the King, 
and for a while was High Marshal at Calais. He 
assisted the King at his marriage with Anne Boleyn. 
His sister waited on that unfortunate queen when three 
years later she was led to execution, and he himself 
was imprisoned in the Tower for a short while for 
manifesting sympathy towards Anne. At a later 
period he was again imprisoned for some real or fan- 
cied misbehavior whilst executing a commision for the 



34 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

King in Spain. Once more he was speedily acquitted 
and continued in the service of Henry till his death 
in 1542. 

HENRY HOWARD, EARL OF SURREY, 1516-1547. 

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, born in 1516, was 
the son of Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk. He 
was educated by a private tutor, and was knighted at 
the age of twenty. In 1536 he saw his first service at 
the head of a command sent against some Linconshire 
rebels. Like Wyatt, Surrey spent some little time in 
prison on two occasions, once for a breach of court 
discipline, and at another time for joining a party that 
amused itself by annoying some citizens of London. 
He was with the army at the capture of Boulogne, and 
took part in several other military operations. But the 
strife between the Howards and Seymours, at a time 
when the King was thought to be dying, sent him to 
the Tower once more, this time on the more serious 
charge of treason. The accusation seems to have been 
groundless, but by the order of Henry VIII. he was 
beheaded in 1547. 

In those days many of the courtiers wrote verses and 
passed them round for the pleasure and admiration 
of their friends. In 1557 a collection of such verses, 
amorous and satirical, was published and most of the 
poems are from the pens of Wyatt and Surrey. To 
Wyatt is due the honor of having introduced the son- 
net to English writers, and the felicitous music of his 
lyrics gives him a further claim to permanency in 
our literature. 

Surrey is much more smooth and finished in his son- 
nets than is Wyatt, though in lyric power he is inferior. 



REVIVAL OF LITERATURE. 35 

In his translation of the second and fourth books of 
Virgil's Aeneid, blank verse appears for the first 
time in English poetry; and this invention, the most 
flexible, most powerful, and most characteristic form 
of English verse, is in itself enough to make Surrey's 
name forever famous. 

Forget not yet the tried intent 
Of such a truth as I have meant; 
My great travail so gladly spent, 
Forget not yet! 

Forget not yet when first began 
The weary life ye know, since whan 
The suit, the service none can tell; 
Forget not yet! 

Forget not yet the great assays, 
The cruel wrong, the scornful ways, * 

The painful patience in delays, 
Forget not yet! 

Forget not, oh forget not this, 
How long ago, hath been, and is 
The mind that never meant amiss. 
Forget not yet! 

Forget not then thine own approv'd, 
The which so long hath thee so lov'd, 
Whose steadfast faith yet never mov'd: 
Forget not this! 

From Wyatt's Lyrics. 

The following sonnet was written by Surrey in 
honor of his squire Clere, who lost his life in defending 
that of his master. 

Norfolk sprung thee, Lambeth holds thee dead, 
Clere of the county of De Cleremont high; 

Within the womb of Ormond's race thou'rt bred, 
And sawst thy cousin crowned in the sight. 

Shelton for love, Surrey for lord thou chase; 



I 
36 BRITISH LITERATQRE. 

( Vy me', while life did last that league was tender) 
Tracing whose steps thou sawest Kelsal blaze, 
Landrecy burnt and battered Boulogne render. 
At Montreuil gates, hopeless of all recure, 

Thine Earl, half dead, gave in thy hand his will; 
Which cause did thee this pining death procure, 
Ere summers four times seven thou couldst fulfill. 
Ah! Clere! if love had booted care or cost, 
Heaven had not won, nor earth so timely lost. 

Before giving our brief sketch of the prose writers 
of this period, a few words on the life of William 
Caxton would be opportune, for though not an author, 
he has done so much for the advancement and preser- 
vation of English letters that any commentary how- 
ever brief would be incomplete without a word con- 
cerning this notable figure. 

WILUAM CAXTON, 1412 (?)-1492. 
William Caxton, memorable as the first English 
printer, and as a voluminous translator, was born in 
Kent about 1-412 or 1422. He spent twenty-three 
years in Holland and Flanders; and whilst there made 
himself master of the art of printing, then recently 
introduced on the Continent. Having translated a 
French book styled Recuyell des Histoires de Troyes. 
he printed it at Ghent in 1471. This was the first book- 
in the English language ever issued from the press. 
His second was The Game and Playe of Chess (1475). 
He afterwards established a printing office at West- 
minster, and published (1477) The Dictes and Sayings 
of the Philosophers, which was the first book printed 
in England. In the Caxton celebration, held in 1877, 
to commemorate this event, no fewer than one hun- 
dred and ninety copies of books printed by Caxton 
were exhibited, representing one hundred and four 
distinct works. A much larger number might have 



REVIVAL OF LITERATURE. 3f 

been collected, had not the English Parliament of 1550 
ordered the destruction of all Catholic books. In 1485 
he printed Malory's "Morte Arthure," then for the 
first time published. Caxton was one of the most indus- 
trious and indefatigable men. He united with industry 
great modesty and simplicity of character, and styled 
himself 'Simple William Caxton/ He calls Chaucer, 
whose Canterbury Tales he took great pains to have 
correctly printed, 'the worshipful father and first foun- 
der and embellisher of ornate eloquence in our English/ 
It is said that he completed, on the day of his death, 
the translation of the Vita Patrum, or "The Righte 
Devoute and Solitairye Lyfe of the Ancient or Olde 
Holy Faders, Hermytes Dwelling in the Deserts." 

MALORY. 

Little is known of the author of the famous 
Morte d' Arthur, save that he was a knight who prob- 
ably served in the wars under Philip Beauchamp 
and that he died in 1471. His book, "ended in the 
9th yeer of the reygne of King Edward the Fourth" 
(1470), was first published by Caxton in 1485. "Morte 
d' Arthur" has attracted attention for several centuries 
for the loftiness of ideal maintained in conflict with 
adverse fate. It is among the earliest of the real tokens 
of what English prose was to become as a vehicle of 
thought and emotion. The genius of Malory is mani- 
fest in his work of transforming fragmentary legends 
and local deeds into a real epic that has made a pro- 
found impression upon subsequent artistic expression 
in the poetry of Tennyson, Matthew Arnold, Swin- 
bourne, and Morris, the painting of Rossetti, Watts 
and Burne-Jones, and the music of Wagner. 



3p BRITISH LITERATI T RE. 

How Syr Boors mette Syr Lyonel taken and beten wyth thorne, 
and also a mayde which shold have been devoured: 

Upon the morne, as soon as the day appiered, Bors departed 
from thens, and soo rode in-to a foreste vnto the houre of 
mydday, and there bifelle hym a merveyllous adventure. So 
he mette at the departyng of the two wayes two knyghtes, that 
ledde Lyonel his broder al naked, bounden upon a straunge 
hakney, & his handes bounden to- fore his brest : And everyche 
of hern helde in his handes thornes, where-with they wente 
tetynge hym so sore that the blood trayled doune more than 
in an hondred places of his body, soo that he was al blood tofore 
and behynde, but he said never a word, as he whiche was grete 
of herte; he suffered alle that ever they dyd to hym as though 
he had felt none anguysshe. Anone syre Bors dressid hym to 
rescowe hym that was his broder : and soo looked upon the 
other syde of hym, and saw a knyghte whiche brought a fair 
gently wooman, and wold have set her in the thyckest place of 
the forest, for to have been the more surer oute of the way from 
hem that sought hym. And she, whiche was no thynge assured, 
cryed with an hyghe voys, 'Saynte Mary, socoure your mayde.' 

And anone she aspyed where syre Bors came rydynge. And 
whanne she came nygh hym, she demed hym a knyghte of the 
Round Table, whereof she hoped to have some comforte; and 
thenne she conjured him, by the fey the that he ought 'unto hym 
in whose servyse thow arte entryd in, and for the feythe ye owe 
unto the hyghe ordre of knyghtode, & for the noble kynge 
Artuhrs sake, that I suppose made the knyght, that thow help 
me, and suffre rne not to be shamed of this knyghte/ 

Whanne Bors herd her say thus, he had soo moche sorowe 
there he nyst not what to doo. 'For yf I lete my broder be in 
adventure he must be slayne, and that wolde I not for alle the 
erthe. And yf I helpe not the mayde, she is shamed for ever, 
and also she shall lese her vyrgynyte, the which she shal never 
gete ageyne.' Thenne lyfte he up his eyen, and sayd wepynge. 
'Fair swete lord Jhesu Cryste, whoos lyege man am I, kepe 
Lyonel my broder that these knyghtes slee hym not; and for 
pyte of yow, and for Mary sake, I shall socoure this mayde.' 

BLESSED THOMAS MORE, 1480-1535. 

Sir Thomas More, the most distinguished character 

in the reign of Henry VIII., was born in London in 

the year 1480. He was the son of a judge of the 

King's Bench, and was educated at Oxford. Science 



REVIVAL OF LITERATURE. 39 

and virtue had great attractions for him, and he culti- 
vated both with eminent success. He was a man of 
true genius and possessed a mind enriched with all the 
learning of his time. He ranks with Bishop Fisher 
and Cardinal Pole among the leading Roman Catholic 
writers of the reign of Henry VIII. His sagacity 
and talents, displayed in various honorable and impor- 
tant public functions, especially in the conference for 
the peace of Cambrai in 1529, caused him to be raised 
to the dignity of Lord High Chancellor. 

Sir Thomas More was unjustly imprisoned and con- 
demned to death by Henry VIII., for refusing to take 
the oath in which the king was declared to be the 
supreme head of the Church. In prison, some of his 
friends endeavored to gain him over by representing 
to him that he ought not to entertain any other opinion 
than that of the Parliament of England. "I should 
mistrust myself," he said, "to stand alone against the 
whole Parliament; but I have on my side the whole 
Catholic Church, the great parliament of Christians." 
When his wife conjured him to obey the king, and pre- 
serve his life for the consolation and support of his 
children, "How many years," says he, "do you think 
I have still to live?" She replied: "More than 
twenty." "Ah, my wife," he continued, "do you wish 
that I should exchange eternity for twenty years?" 
Indeed a character of greater disinterestedness and 
integrity cannot be found in ancient or modern history. 
The poet Thomson pays him this beautiful and well- 
deserved tribute of praise: 

'Like Cato firm, like Anstides just/ 

Faithfully and firmly attached to the principles of 
the Catholic faith, he lived amid the splendors of the 



BRITISH LITERATURE. 

court without pride, and perished on the scaffold with- 
out weakness. His death was that of the Christian 
martyr. By a decree of Pope Leo XIII., December 
29th, 1886, he was declared Blessed, together with 
Cardinal Fisher and fifty-two others who died for the 
faith from 1535 to 1583. 

His Utopia, written in Latin, and first published in 
1518, was translated into English as early as 1551 by 
Robinson, and later by Bishop Burnet. It is a curious 
philosophical work, full of profound observations and 
shrewd insight into human nature, and describes an 
imaginary model country and people, an imitation of 
Plato's Commonwealth. The word 'utopia' has, since 
his time, become an English word, applied to any 
scheme of ideal perfection that cannot be carried out. 
"If false and impracticable theories," says Hallam, "are 
found in the Utopia (and perhaps More knew them 
to be such), this is in a much greater degree true of 
the Platonic Republic; and they are more than com- 
pensated by the sense of justice and humanity that per- 
vades it, and his bold censures on the vices of power." 

His History of Edward V ., of his Brother, and of 
Richard IIL, is, in Hallam's judgment, the earliest* 
specimen of dignified idiomatic prose, without vul- 
garism or pedantry. It is certainly the first English 
history that can be said to aspire to be more than a 
chronicle, and is characterized by an easy narrative that 
rivals the sweetness of Herodotus. "No historian 
either of ancient or modern times," says Hume, "can 
possibly have more weight. He may justly be esteemed 
a contemporary with regard to the murder of the two 

* Compare this statement with the comment on Malory and read the 
extracts from both writers. 



REVIVAL OP LITERATURE. 41 

princes ; and it is plain from his narrative that he had 
the particulars from the eye-witnesses themselves." 

More also wrote a great number of devotional treat- 
ises and controversial tracts. Among these may be 
mentioned an answer to the work of Luther against the 
king of England, divided into two books; and an 
explanation of the Passion of our Lord, with a beau- 
tiful prayer taken from the Psalms. 

LETTER TO LADY MORE. 

Maistres Alyce, in my most harty wise I recommend me to 
you; and whereas I am enfourmed by my son Heron of the 
losse of our barnes and our neighbours also, with all the corn 
that was therein, albeit (saving God's pleasure) it is gret pitie 
of so much good corne lost, yet sith it hath liked hym to sende 
us such a chaunce we must and are bounden, not only to be con- 
tent, but also to be glad of his visitacion. 

He sente us all that we have loste; and sith he hath by such 
a chaunce taken it away againe, his pleasure be fulfilled. Let 
us never grudge ther at, but take it in good worth, and hartely 
thank him as well for adversite as for prosperite. And per- 
adventure we have more cause to thank him for our losse then 
for our winning; for his wisdome better seeth what is good for 
us then we do our selves. 

Therefore I pray you be of good chere, and take all the 
howsold with you to church, and there thanke God, both for that 
he hath given us and for that he hath taken from us, and 
for that he hath left us, which, if it please hym, he can encrease 
when he will. And if it please him to leave us yet lesse, at his 
pleasure be it. 

I pray you to make some good ensearche what my pobre 
neghbours have loste, and bid them take no thought therefore: 
for and* I shold not leave myself a spone, there shal no pore 
neighbour of mine bere no losse by any chaunce happened in 
my house. I pray you be with my children and your household 
merry in God. And devise some what with your frendes, 
what waye wer best to take, for provision to be made for corne 
for our householde, and for sede thys yere comming, if ye thinkc 
it good that we kepe the ground stil in our handes. And whether 
ye think it good that we so shal do or not, yet I think it were 

* And means if. 



42 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

not best sodenlye thus to leave it all up, and to put away our folk 
of our farme till we have somewhat advised us thereon. 

How beit if we have more nowe than ye shal nede, and which 
can get them other maisters, ye may then discharge us of them. 
But I would not that any man were sodenly sent away he wote 
nere wether. 

At my comming hither I perceived none other but that I should 
tary still with the Kinges Grace. 

But now I shall (I think) because of this chance, get leave 
this next weke to come home and se you: and then shall we 
further devyse together uppon all thinges, what order shall be 
best to take. 

And thus as hartely fare you well with all our children as ye 
can wishe. At Woodestoke the third day of Septembre by the 
hand of 

your loving husbande, 

THOMAS MORE KNIGHT. 

CHARACTER OB 1 RICHARD III. 

Richard, the third son, of whom we now entreat, was in wit 
and courage equal with either of them; in body and prowess, 
far under them both; but little of stature, ill-featured of limbs, 
crook-backed, his left shoulder much higher than his right, hard- 
favored of visage. He was malicious, wrathful, envious, and 
from afore his birth ever froward. 

None evil captain was he in the war, as to which his disposition 
was more meetly than for peace. Sundry victories had he, and 
sometime overthrows, but never in default for his own person, 
either of hardiness or politic order. Free was he called of dis- 
pense, and somewhat above his power liberal. With large gifts 
he get him unsteadfast friendship, for which he was fain to pil 
and spoil in other places, and get him steadfast hatred. He was 
close and secret; a deep dissimuler, lowly of countenance, arro- 
gant of heart ; outwardly coumpinable where he inwardly hated ; 
dispitious and cruel, not for evil will alway, but oftener for 
ambition, and either for the surety and increase of his estate. 
Friend and foe was indifferent where his advantage grew; he 
spared no man's death whose life withstood his purpose. He 
slew with his own hands King Henry VI. being prisoner in 
the Tower. 

ROGER ASCHAM, 1515-1568. 

Roger Ascham, at one time preceptor, and ultimately 
Latin Secretary to Queen Elizabeth, is the first writer 



REVIVAL OF LITERATURE. 43 

on education in our language. He took his degree in 
the University of Cambridge at the age of nineteen. 
His two principal works are Toxophilus and The 
Schoolmaster. 

Toxophilus, published in 1544, is a dialogue on the 
art of archery, designed to promote an elegant and 
useful mode of recreation among those who, like him- 
self, gave most of their time to study, and also to 
exemplify a style of composition more purely English 
than what was in vogue at that time. 

The Schoolmaster, printed after his death, contains 
good general views of education, and what Johnson 
acknowledges to be "perhaps the best advice tha. was 
ever given for the study of languages." 

His writings are in pure, idiomatic, vigorous Eng- 
lish. They exhibit great variety of knowledge, remark- 
able sagacity, and sound common-sense. In his 
dedication of Toxophilus to the gentlemen and yeomen 
of England, he recommends to all who write in any 
tongue, the counsel of Aristotle : "To speak as the 
common people do, to think as wise men do." From 
this we may perceive that he had a proper regard for 
what was due to the great fountain-head and oracle of 
the national language the vocabulary of the common 
people. 

^He was never robust; and his death, which h?,p- 
pened in 1568, was occasioned by too close application 
to the composition of a Latin poem, which he intended 
to present to Queen Elizabeth on the anniversary of her 
accession to the throne. 

The following extracts from the opening of the 
Toxophilus, show that what was good sense and sound 
philosophy in Ascham's time is so still, and that the 



44 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

lesson is not less required at the present time than it 
was then. 

STUDY SHOULD BE RELIEVED BY AMUSEMENT. 

Philoloyus. How much in this matter is to be given to the 
authority of Aristotle or Tully, I cannot tell, seeing sad men 
may well enough speak merrily for a mere matter ; this I am 
sure, which thing this fair wheat (God save it) maketh me 
remember, that those husbandmen which rise earliest, and come 
latest home, and are content to have their dinner and other 
drinkings brought into the field to them, for fear of losing time, 
have fatter barns in the harvest, than they which will either 
sleep at noontime of the day, or else make merry with their 
neighbors at the ale. And so a scholar, that purposeth to be a 
good husband, and desireth to reap and enjoy much fruit of 
learning, must till and sow thereafter. Our best seed-time, 
which be scholars, as it is very timely, and when we be young ; 
so it endureth not over long, and therefore it may not be let 
slip one hour; our ground is very hard and full of weeds; our 
horse wherewith we be drawn very wild, as Plato saith. And 
infinite other mo lets,* which will make a thrifty scholar take 
heed how he spendeth his time in sport and play. 

OCCUPATIONS SHOULD BE CHOSEN SUITABLE TO THE NATURAL 
FACULTIES. 

If men would go about matters which they should do and be 
fit for, and not such things which wilfully they desire and yet 
be unfit for, verily greater matters in the commonwealth than 
shooting should be in better case than they be. This ignorance 
in men which know not for what time and to what thing they 
be fit, causeth some wish to be rich, for whom it were better 
a great deal to be poor; other to be meddling in every man's 
matter, for whom it were more honesty to be quiet and still; 
some to desire to be in the court, which be born and be 
fitter rather for the cart; some to be masters and rule others, 
which never yet began to rule themselves; some always to 
jangle and talk, which rather should hear and keep silence; 
some to teach, which rather should learn ; some to be priests, 
which were fitter to be clerks. And this perverse judgment of 
the world, when men measure themselves amiss, bringeth 
much disorder and great unseemliness to the whole body of the 

* Mo lets means more obstacles. 






REVIVAL OF LITERATURE. 45 

Commonwealth, as if a man shoulcl wear his hose upon his 
head, or a woman go with a sword and a buckler, every man 
would take it as a great uncomeliness, although it be but a trifle 
in respect of the other. 

This perverse judgment of men hindereth n^thiner so 
much as learning, because, commonly those that be unfittest 
for learning, be chiefly set to learning. As if a man nowadays 
have two sons, the one impotent, weak, sickly, lisping, stutter- 
ing and stammering, or having any mis-shape in his body; 
what doth the father of such one commonly say? This boy is 
fit for nothing else, but to set to learning and make a priest of f 
as who would say, the outcasts of the world, having neither 
countenance, tongue, nor wit (for of a perverse body cometh 
commonly a perverse mind), be good enough to make those 
men of, which shall be appointed to preach God's holy word, 
and minister his blessed sacraments, besides other most 
weighty matters in the commonwealth; put oft times, and 
worthily, to learned men's discretion and charge ; when rather 
such an office so high in dignity, so goodly in administration 
should be committed to no man, which should not have a 
countenance full of comeliness to allure good men, a body full 
of manly authority to fear ill men, a wit apt for all learning, 
with tongue and voice able to persuade all men. And although 
few such men as these can be found in a commonwealth, 
yet surely a goodly disposed man will both in his mind think 
fit, and with all his study labor to get such men as I speak 
of, or rather better, if better can be gotten, for such an high 
administration, which is most properly appointed to God's own 
m?tters and businesses. 



CHAPTER V. 
ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE, 1558-1625. 

As has been pointed out already, from the time of 
Chaucer until the reign of Elizabeth was half over, no 
genius appeared to vivify the languishing literature of 
England. Her poets were prosy, and her prose writ- 
ers mostly stiff, or else clumsy imitators. But when 
the wisdom of Elizabeth concluded that inglorious 
treaty of peace with France the nation obtained what 
was most needed, and tangible results followed quickly. 



46 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Wealth increased rapidly through the quickened pulse 
of trade, internal industries multiplied, discovery 
added new outlets to the activity of the people. The 
persecutions that raged in Ireland at this time, the 
martyrdom of her priests, and the plundering of her 
people, in a word the disruption of the country is a 
sad reverse to this picture. But the mass of the Eng- 
lish people if they thought of the matter at all, found 
a balm for their conscience in the antagonism that 
such violence manifested for Rome and Spain, sym- 
pathy for either meaning disloyalty to England. 

"The official reformers, if one may so call them, 
Henry VIII. and his agents, and the council of Edward 
VI., did positive injury to education and literature 
for the time," the historian Hallam affirms, "by the 
rapacity which led them to destroy the monasteries for 
the sake of their lands. Many good monastic schools 
thus ceased to exist, and education throughout the 
country seems to have been at the lowest possible ebb 
about the middle of the century. The sincere re- 
formers, who afterwards developed in the great Puri- 
tan party, were disposed to look upon human learning 
as something useless, if not dangerous; upon art, as 
a profane waste of time ; and generally upon all mental 
exertion which was not directed to the great business 
of securing one's salvation, as so much labor thrown 
away." * In his History of English Literature, the 
same writer lays the charge in question upon the 
reformers generally, and Luther in particular, as being 
the originator of the fanatic movement against human 
learning.! "By the regulations of the Star Chamber, 
in 1585, no press was allowed to be used out of Lon- 

* Hallam's Lit. of Europe, Vol. I, pp. 52 and 53. 
t P. 106. 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 47 

don, except one at Oxford and another at Cambridge. 
Thus every check was imposed on literature, and it 
seems unreasonable to dispute that they had some effi- 
cacy in restraining its progress." * 

The prosperity of the country in Elizabeth's time 
brought more leisure; and inclination and time for 
pleasure found its satisfaction in the revival of the 
old drama which was gradually developed till it found 
its perfect utterance in Marlow, Shakespeare, Fletcher 
and Jonson. More might have been accomplished and 
with greater celerity considering the influences at work 
had not the English mind been smitten by the baneful 
influences of the Reformation. Inasmuch as the drama 
of Shakespeare is the crowning glory of English letters 
we may pause here to trace briefly the origin of this 
form of English literature. 

The first attempts at theatrical exhibitions in Eng- 
land were made by the clergy, who, realizing that 
things seen have a more telling effect on a rude people 
than things merely talked of, selected dramatic events 
from the life of Christ or the Saints, or striking events 
in Church history, and fitted these to the stage. In 
such productions w r e have the Miracle Plays. The 
earliest of these were written in Latin by an English 
monk in the early part of the twelfth century. Chaucer 
makes allusion to miracle plays in the prologue to the 
Wife of Bath's tale. 

These shows were generally given from large trav- 
eling vans, going from town to town. They carried 
their properties with them and in the records of more 
than one old town we read such items as : "two pence 

* Hallam's Lit. p. 413-414. 



48 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

for a pair of gloves for god; 8 pence for dressyng 
devells hede ; 2 shillings for mendyng Herod's hede." 

When Henry VI. came to London after his cor- 
onation at Paris the citizens gave him a splendid 
reception, and the pageants were the most brilliant 
feature of the programme. Among others was one 
wherein seven ladies richly dressed gave the king the 
seven gifts of the Holy Ghost, etc. 

But inasmuch as the scholastic philosophy delighted 
in abstract terms and fine discriminations and closely 
defined distinctions, the drama instead of developing 
from the miracle plays into a dramatic exhibition of 
persons and scenes from real life, was reduced to the 
representation of moral abstractions, with such char- 
acters as Liberty, Friendship, Poverty and the like, 
whence arose the Morality Plays. These continued on 
till the end of the sixteenth century, or until the 
revival of learning brought the old Greek and Latin 
authors into Merry England. The morality plays how- 
ever were not religious as the miracle plays had been; 
in fact religious subjects were excluded on occasion 
when politically treated, or when the old religion was 
attacked. 

In the days of Henry VIII. , the Interludes grew 
out of the morality plays, and were intended to fill in 
the spare time during a banquet or festive celebration. 
The chief difference between the two is that in the 
morality plays, as we have said, the characters are per- 
sonified qualities, in the interludes these characters 
whilst not individuals are representatives of classes 
such as the Pedlar, the Curate, the Weaver, and other 
such. 

The earliest known English Comedy, Ralph Roister 
Doister, was written sometime about 1550, by Nich- 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 49 

olas Udall, master of Eton College. This one together 
with Gammer Gurtoris Needle and Misogonus, (the 
latter translated from the Italian by Thomas Rychardes, 
1560), are the only comedies of note till we come 
to the immediate predecessors and contemporaries of 
Shakespeare. The earliest tragedy, Gorboduc, by 
Sackville, was presented in 1562, and is in blank 
verse. Its theme is the legendary history of Britain, 
like Shakespeare's Lear. 

Perhaps the key-note of Elizabeth's success is to 
be found in the love she had for England's greatness, 
which love she imparted to her people, for it can 
be traced in no uncertain manner in all the various 
literary forms of her time, e. g., Spenser's Fame 
Queene, Shakespeare's dramas, Bacon's essays, Ra- 
leigh's history, and Sidney's Arcadia. 

EDMUND SPNSR, 1553-1599. 

Edmund Spenser, author of The Fairie Queene, was 
born in London, in the year 1553. Of his parentage 
little is known. In 1569, he entered as a sizar at Pem- 
broke College, Cambridge. On leaving the University, 
he retired to the North of England, where in 1579 he 
composed part of his Shepherd's Calendar. The fol- 
lowing year he went to Ireland as secretary to Lord 
Wilton; four years later he obtained from Queen 
Elizabeth the estate of Kilcolman, where he resided 
till Tyrone's Rebellion (1598). In this uprising his 
castle was attacked and burned; with difficulty he 
escaped and made his way to London where, impov- 
erished and broken-hearted, he died 1599. He was 
buried, as he requested, near the tomb of Chaucer 
in Westminster Abbey. 



50 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

The Shepherd's Calendar is a piece of polemical and 
party divinity in twelve eclogues, according to the 
twelve months of the year, and dedicated to Sir Philip 
Sidney. It was admired in his time; but it soon lost 
its popularity on account of the obsolete, uncouth 
phrases with which it abounds, and which Dryden 
termed the Chaucerisms of Spenser. His Mother Hub- 
bard's Tale, a political satire, represents the middle 
age of Spenser's genius, if not of his life; that stage 
of his mental and poetical progress, in which the higher 
sense of the beautiful had not yet been fully developed. 
In this poem, we still find both his puritanism and 
his imitation of Chaucer, two things which disappear 
altogether in his later poetry. The following well- 
known complaint of a court expectant, taken from 
this piece, probably describes too well the vicissitudes 
of his own life : 

Full little knowest thou that hast not tried, 
What hell it is in suing long to bide, 
To speed to-day, to be put back to-morrow, 
To feed on hope, to pine with fear and sorrow, 
To have thy prince's grace, yet want his peers' ; 
To have thy asking, yet wait many years ; 
To fret thy soul with crosses and with cares, 
To eat thy heart through comfortless despairs ; 
To fawn, to crouch, to wait, to ride, to run, 
To spend, to give, to wait, to be undone. 

Other works of Spenser were : Muiopotmos; or, The 
Fate of the Butterfly (1590) ; The Ruins of Time 
(1591) ; Colin Clout's Come Home Again (1595) ; 
Amoreiti; or, Sonnets (1595), eighty-three in number; 
Epithalamion. This last poem, the most celebrated 
bridal ode in the English language, was composed on 
the occasion of Spenser's own marriage, in 1594, and 
published the year after. 




EDMUND SPENSER 






ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 51 

Spenser's only extant prose work, A View of the 
State of Ireland, is the result of his long stay in that 
country. 

His greatest poem, The Fairie Queene, was given to 
the world in detached portions, and at long intervals of 
time, the last three books appearing in 1596. It is an 
extended allegory, with images drawn from the popu- 
lar notions concerning fairies. The poet represents 
the Fairie Queen as holding her solemn annual feast 
during twelve days, on each of which a perilous advent- 
ure is undertaken by some particular knight, each of 
twelve knights typifying some moral virtue. The first 
is the Knight of the Red Cross, representing Holiness : 
the second is Sir Guyon, or Temperance; the third, 
Britomartis, representing Chastity; the fourth, Cam- 
bel and Triamond, or Friendship; the fifth, Artegal, 
or Justice ; the sixth, Sir Calidore, or Courtesy. What 
the other six books would have been, we have no means 
of knowing; for the poet did not live to complete his 
original design. The Queen Gloriana is symbolical of 
Queen Elizabeth, and the adventures of the Red Cross 
Knights shadow forth the history of the Church of 
England. 

Spenser is considered the most luxuriant and melo- 
dious versifier in the English language. His creation 
of scenes and objects is wonderful; and in free and 
sonorous versification he has not yet been surpassed. 
The Spenserian stanza is the adoption of one of Chauc- 
er's stanzas,* with the addition of an Alexandrine line. 
His lofty rhyme has a swell and cadence and continu- 
ous sweetness that we can find nowhere else. "Many 
of his words," says Campbell, "deserve reviving; and, 

* This stanza of Chaucer is found in L Pridre de Nostre Dame. 
See p. 22 of this book. 



52 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

though the forms are sometimes obsolete, the language 
is, as a whole, beautiful in its antiquity; and, like the 
moss and ivy in some majestic building, covers the 
fabric of the poem with romantic and venerable associ- 
ations." 

His faults arose out of the fulness of his riches. 
His inexhaustible powers of circumstantial description 
betrayed him into a tedious minuteness ; and, in the 
painting of natural objects, led him to group together 
trees and plants, and assemble sounds of instruments, 
which were never seen or heard in unison out of Fairie 
Land. The great length of the poem, its allegorical 
form, added to the real and affected obsoleteness of the 
language, may indeed deter readers in general from a 
complete perusal ; but it will always be resorted to by 
the genuine lovers of poetry, as a rich storehouse of 
invention. 

THE CAVE OF MAMMON. 
(From The Fairie Queene, B. II., C. vii.) 

At length they came into a larger space 
That stretched itself into an ample plain, 
Through which a beaten broad highway did trace 
That straight did lead to Pluto's grisly reign. 
By that way's side there sat infernal pain. 
And fast beside him sat tumultous strife. 
The one in hand an iron whip did strain, 
The other brandished a bloody knife, 
And both did gnash their teeth and both did threaten Life. 

Before the door sat self-consuming Care, 
Day and night keeping wary watch and ward. 
For fear lest Force or Fraud should unaware 
Break in, and spoil the treasure there in guard; 
Nor would he suffer Sleep once thitherward 
Approach, although his drowsy den were next, 
For next to death is sleep to be compared; 
Therefore his house is unto his annexed; 
Here Sleep, there Riches, and hell-gate them both betwixt 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 53 

That house's form within was rude and strong, 
Like a huge cave hewn out of rocky clift, 
From whose rough vault the ragged branches hung 
Embost with massy gold of glorious gift, 
And with rich metal loaded every rift, 
That heavy ruin they did seem to threat; 
And over them Arachne high did lift 
Her cunning web, and spread her subtle net, 
Enwrapped in foul smoke, and clouds more black than jet. 

Both roof and floor, and walls were all of gold, 
But overgrown with dust and old decay, 
And hid in darkness, that none could behold 
The hue thereof; for view of cheerful day 
Did never in that house itself display, 
But a faint shadow of uncertain light; 
Such as a lamp, whose life does fade away; 
Or as the moon, clothed with cloudy night, 
Does show to him that walks in fear and sad affright. 

In all that room was nothing to be seen, 
But huge great iron chests and coffers strong, 
All barred with double bands, that none could ween 
Them to enforce by violence or wrong; 
On every side they placed were along ; 
But all the ground with skulls was scattered, 
And dead men's bones, which round about were flung, 
Whose lives (it seemed) whilome there were shed, 
And their vile carcasses now left unburied. 

They forward pass, nor Guyon yet spake word, 
Till that they came unto an iron door, 
Which to them open'd of its own accord, 
And showed of riches such exceeding store, 
As eye of man did never see before, 
Nor ever could within one place be found, 
Though all the wealth which is, or was of yore, 
Could gathered be through all the world around, 
And that above were added to that under ground. 



54 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

THE CARE OF ANGELS OVER US. 
(Vrom'The Fairie Queene, B. II., C. viii.) 

And is there care in Heaven? And is there love 
In heavenly spirits to these creatures base, 
That may compassion of their evils move? 
There is else much more wretched were the case 
Of men than beasts : but O ! the exceeding grace 
Of highest God, that loves his creatures so, 
And all his works with mercy doth embrace, 
That blessed angels he sends to and fro, 
To serve to wicked man, to serve his wicked foej 

How oft do they their silver bowers leave 

To come to succor us that succor want! 

How oft do they with golden pinions cleave 

The flitting skies, like flying pursuivant, 

Against foul fiends to aid us militant ! 

They for us fight, they watch and duly ward, 

And their bright squadrons ^ound about us plant; 

And all for love and nothing ior reward: 

O, why should heavenly God to men have such regard? 

SWEET TEMPERED WITH SOUR. 
Sonnet XXVI. 

Sweet is the rose, but grows upon a brere ;* 
Sweet is the juniper, but sharp his bough; 
Sweet is the eglantine, but pricketh near; 
Sweet is the firbloom, but his branches rough; 
Sweet is the Cyprus, but his rind is tough ; 
Sweet is the nut, but bitter is his pill ; 
Sweet is the broom flower, but yet sour enough ; 
And sweet is moly,f but his root is ill ; 
So, every sweet with sour is tempered still ; 
That maketh it be coveted the more : 
For easy things that may be got at will 
Most sorts of men do set but little store. 
Why then should I account of little pain 
That endless pleasure shall unto me gain? 

* Brier. t A sort of wild garlic. 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 55 

TRUE BEAUTY. 
Sonnet LXXIX. 

Men call you fair, and you do credit it, 
For that yourself you daily such do see; 
But the true fair, that is the gentle wit 
And virtuous mind, is much more praised of me. 
For all the rest, however fair it be, 

Shall turn to naught, and lose that glorious hue; 
But only that is permanent, and free 
From all frail corruption, that doth flesh ensue. 

That is true beauty, that doth argue you 
To be divine, and born of heavenly seed; 
Derived from that fair spirit from whom all true 
And perfect beauty did at first proceed. 

He only fair, and what he fair hath made; 
All other fair, like flowers untimely fade. 

DESCRIPTION OF A BUTTERFLY. 
(From The Fate of a Butterfly.) 

He the gay garden round about doth fly, 
From bed to bed, from one to other border, 
And takes survey, with curious, busy eye, 
Of every flower and herb there set in order; 
Now this, now that, he tasteth tenderly, 
Yet none of them he rudely doth disorder, 
Nor with his feet their silken leaves deface, 
But feeds upon the pleasures of each place, 
And evermore, with most variety 

And change of sweetness (for all change is sweet), 
He seeks his dainty sense to gratify; 
Now sucking of the juice of herbs most meet, 
Or of the dew which yet on them doth lie, 
Now in the same bathing his tender feet ; 
- And then he percheth on some bank thereby 
To sun himself, and his moist wings to dry. 



56 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

SIR PHILIP SIDNEY, 1554-1586. 

Sir Philip Sidney, the patron and friend of Spen- 
ser, the accomplished man of the world, was 
also a distinguished writer. He is an author of 
Arcadia, the Defence of Poesy, and miscellaneous 
poems. His Sonnets, which constitute the chief part 
of his poetry, are replete with "artificial conceits 
and elaborate nothings." The Arcadia is a philoso- 
phical romance in prose, which narrates the fictitious 
story of a knight and courtier.* Popular during the 
seventeenth century, neglected during the eighteenth, 
it has found readers again in our own time. The De- 
fence of Poesy, written also in prose, has kept up the 
reputation of an English classic, and deservedly. It 
contains substantially all that has ever been said in 
defence of the poetic art. Sidney, when only thirty- 
two years of age, was mortally wounded in a skirmish 
near Zutphen in Holland. 

DESCRIPTION OF ARCADIA. 

There were hills which garnished their proud heights with 
stately trees; humble valleys whose base estate seemed comforted 
with the refreshing of silvery rivers; meadows enamel'd with all 
sorts of eye-pleasing flowers; thickets which, being lined with 
most pleasant shades, were witnessed so too by the cheerful 
disposition of many well-tuned birds ; each pasture stored with 
sheep, feeding with sober security, while the pretty lambs with 
bleating oratory craved the dams' comfort; here a shepherd's 
boy piping, as though he should never be old ; there a young shep- 
herdess knitting, and withal singing, and it seemed that her 
voice comforted her hands to work, and her hands kept time 
to her voice-music. 

CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE, 1564-1593. 

Christopher Marlowe was born in Canterbury a few 
months before Shakespeare. His father was a poor 

* Besides many fine passages on the proper form of government. 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 57 

shoemaker, but the boy received a high-school educa- 
tion through the kindness of a patron. When about 
twenty years of age he came to London, and became a 
dramatic writer, and contributed to the stage. Prof. 
Dowden says of him: "When Shakespeare began to 
write tragedy, the department of tragedy was domi- 
nated by a writer of superb genius, Christopher Mar- 
lowe, and Shakespeare may well have hesitated to 
dispute with him in this special province. But he 
(Shakespeare) could not imitate the vices of Mar- 
lowe's style he saw them too clearly. He saw that 
he must write tragedy of a kind altogether different 
from that created by Marlowe's method the method 
of idealizing passion on a gigantic scale. He must 
eliminate the bombast and the rhapsody of blood." 

He and John Lyly were the most brilliant prede- 
cessors of Shakespeare, but Marlowe's extravagant life, 
the violence of which is reflected in his dramas, was 
cut short by the hand of a murderer, in a tavern brawl. 

Tamburlaine, the story of Timur the Tartar, which 
brought Marlowe before the public, was written when 
the author was but twenty-three years of age. It was 
followed in quick succession by Doctor Faustus, The 
Jew of Malta, and Edward III., besides minor works. 

There was a legend of Doctor Faustus current long 
before the English poet took it up and immortalized 
it by his genius. The plays of Calderon and Goethe 
on the same subject are imitations of Marlowe's, with 
more or less successful changes. The Jew of Malta, 
like the other productions of this dramatist, is full of 
horrors. He is the poet of unbridled passion and des- 
pair. His "mighty line," though often disfigured by 
rant and bombast and irregularity of metre, flows with 
a great variety of melody. 



58 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Faust. And what are you that live with Lucifer? 

Meph. Unhappy spirits that fell with Lucifer, 
Conspired against our God with Lucifer, 
And are forever damned with Lucier. 

Faust. Where are you damned ? 

Meph. In hell. 

Faust. How comes it then that thou are out of hell? 

Meph. Why this is heil, nor am I out of it; 
Think'st thou that I who saw the face of God, 
And tasted the eternal joys of Heaven, 
Am not tormented with ten thousand hells, 
In being deprived of everlasting bliss? Faust, Scene 3. 

Edward. Who's there? what light is that? wherefore com'st 
thou? 

Lightborn. To comfort you, and bring you joyful news. 

Edw. Small comfort finds poor Edward in thy looks ! 
Villain, I know thou com'st to murder me. 

Light. To murder you, my most gracious Lord! 
Far is it from my heart to do you harm. 
The queen sent me to see how you were used, 
For she relents at this your misery: 
And what eyes can refrain from shedding tears, 
To see a king in this most piteous state! 

Edw. Weep'st thou already? List it a while to me 
And then thy heart, were it as Gurney's* is, 
Or as Matrevis',* hewn from Caucasu, 
Yet will it melt, ere I have done my tale. 
This dungeon where they keep me is a sink 
Wherein the filth of all the castle falls. 

Light. O villians! 

Edw. And there in mire and puddle, have I stood 
This ten days' space; and lest that I should sleep, 
One plays continually upon a drum. 
They give me bread and water, being a king; 
So that, for want of sleep and sustenance, 
My mind's distempered, and my body's numbed, 
And whether I have limbs or no, I know not, 
O would my blood drop out from every vein, 
As doth this water from my tattered robes! 
Tell Isabel, the queen, I looked not thus, 
When for her sake I ran at tilt in France, 
And there unhorsed the Duke of Cleremont. 

* Edward's keepers. 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 59 

Light. O speak no more, my lord! this breaks my heart. 
Lie on this bed, and rest yourself awhile. 

Hdw. These looks of thine can harbor naught but death! 
I see my tragedy written in thy brows. 
Yet stay awhile, forbear thy bloody hand, 
And let me see the stroke before it comes, 
That even then, when I shall lose my life, 
My mind may be more steadfast on my God. 

Light. What means your highness to mistrust me thus? 

Edw. What mean'st thou to dissemble with me thus? 

Light. These hands were never stained with innocent blood, 
Nor shall they now be tainted with a king's. 

Edw. Forgive my thought, for having such a thought. 
One jewel have I left, receive thou this. 
Still fear I, and I know not what's the cause, 
But every joint shakes as I give it thee. 
Oh, if thou harbour'st murder in thy heart, 
Let the gift change thy mind, and save thy soul. 
Know that I am a king: Oh, at that name 
I feel a hell of grief. Where is my crown? 
Gone, gone; and do I still remain alive? 

Light. You're overwatched, my lord; lie down and rest. 

Edw. But that grief keeps me waken, I should sleep; 
For not these ten days have these eyelids closed. 
Now as I speak they fall, and yet with fear 
Open again. O wherefore sitt'st thou here? 

Light. If thou mistrust me, I'll be gone my lord. 

Edw. No, no; for if thou mean'st to murder me, 
Thou wilt return again; and therefore stay. 

Light. He sleeps. 

Edw. O let me not die ; yet stay, O stay a while. 

Light. How now, my lord? 

Edw. Something still buzzeth in my ears, 
And tells me if I sleep, I never wake; 
This fear is that which makes me tremble thus. 
And therefore tell me wherefore art thou come? 

Light. To rid thee of thy life. Matrevis, come. 

Edw. I am too weak and feeble to resist: 
Assist me, sweet God, and receive rny soul. 



60 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

ROBERT SOUTHWELL, 1560-1595. 

This charming Christian poet, who was a victim of 
religious persecution, was born at St. Faith's, Norfolk, 
in 1560, of an ancient and respectable Catholic family. 
His early years are represented as giving promise of 
future excellence. Obedience to his parents, docility 
to his instructors, and gentleness to all, won him every 
heart. He was sent at an early age to the English 
college at Douay,* and thence to Rome, where he was 
enrolled among the children of St. Ignatius. In 1584, 
he was ordained priest. In 1586, he was, at his earnest 
request, sent as a missionary to his native country, and 
was made chaplain to the Countess of Arundel. Whilst 
in the faithful discharge of his sacred duties he was 
apprehended by an agent of Queen Elizabeth, kept for 
three years in a loathsome prison, and, after being 
repeatedly and barbarously tortured, was executed at 
Tyburn in 1595. "This whole proceeding," says the 
Protestant C. D. Cleveland, "should cover the authors 
of it with everlasting infamy. There was not a par- 
ticle of evidence at his trial, that this pious and accom- 
plished poet meditated any evil designs against the 
government.''! Conscious of suffering in the best of 
causes, he met death with the heroism of a martyr. 
His writings, although composed in prison, exhibit no 
trace of angry feeling against any human being or any 
human institution. The constant themes of both his 
prose and verse are life's uncertainty and the world's 
vanity, the crimes and follies of humanity, the consola- 
tions and glories of religion. We have from his classic 
pen fifty-five beautiful poems. They were very popular 

* The English college at Douay was founded in 1568 by Cardinal 
William Allen, for the twofold purpose of recruiting English mis- 
sioners, and giving a Catholic education to young Catholic Englishmen. 

t Compendium of Eng. Lit, p. 89. 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 61 

in his time, as many as eleven editions having been 
published between 1593 and 1600. 

Ben Jonson has expressed his admiration of South- 
well, and praised the Burning Babe as a poem of great 
beauty. "Southwell," says Angus, "shows in his poe- 
try great simplicity and elegance of thought, and still 
greater purity of language. He has been compared in 
some of his pieces to Goldsmith, and the comparison 
seems not unjust. There is in both the same natural- 
ness of sentiment, the same propriety of expression, 
and the same ease and harmony of versification ; while 
there is in him a force and compactness of thought, 
with occasional quaintness, not often found in the more 
modern poet."* The prose of Southwell is not less 
charming than his poetry. The Triumph over Death, 
written on the character of Lady Sackville, and Mary 
Magdalen's Funeral Tears, are among his best prose 
pieces. His beautiful lines on the death of Mary Queen 
of Scots, may not inaptly be applied to himself : 

Some things more perfect are in their decay, 

Like spark that going out gives clearest light ; 
Such was my hap, whose doleful dying day 

Began my joy, and termed Fortune's spite. 
Rue not my death, rejoice at my repose; 

It was no death to me, but to my woe : 
The bud was opened to let out the rose; 

The chains unloosed to let the captive go. 

DANGERS OF DELAY. 

Shun delays, they breed remorse; 

Use thy time while time is lent thee ; 
Creeping snails make little course, 

Fly their fault, lest thou repent thee. 
Good is best when soonest wrought, 
Lingering labors come to naught. 

* Handbook of Eng. Lit. 



62 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Hoist up sail while gale doth last. 

Tide and wind stay no man's pleasure; 

Seek not time when time is past; 
Sober speed is wisdom's leisure. 

After-wit is dearly bought, 

Let thy fore-wit guide thy thought. 

Time wears all his locks before, 
Take thy hold or else beware, 

When he flies he turns no more, 
And behind his scalp is bare. 

Works adjourned have many stays, 

Long demurs breed new delays. 

Seek the salve while sore is green, 
Festered wounds ask deeper lancing; 

After-cures are seldom seen, 
Often sought, but rarely chancing. 

Time and place give best advice, 

Out of season, out of price. 

Drops will pierce the stubborn flint, 
Not by force, but often falling; 

Custom kills by feeble dint, 

More by use than strength enthralling. 

Single sands have little weight, 

Many make a drowning freight. 



TIMES GO BY TURNS. 

The lopped tree in time may grow again, 

Most naked plants renew both fruit and flower; 

The sorriest wight may find release of pain, 

The driest soil suck in some moistening shower: 

Time goes by turns, and chances change of course, 

From foul to fair, from better hap to worse. 

The sea of Fortune doth not ever flow; 

She draws her favors to the lowest ebb : 
Her tides have equal times to come and go ; 

Her loom doth weave the fine and coarsest web: 
No joy so great but runneth to an end. 
No hap so hard but may in fine amend. 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 63 

Not always fall of leaf, nor ever spring; 

Not endless night, yet not eternal day: 
The saddest birds a season find to sing; 

The roughest storm a calm may soon allay. 
Thus, with succeeding turns God tempereth all, 
That man may hope to rise, yet fear to fall. 

A chance may win that by mischance was lost, 
That net that holds no great takes little fish; 

In some things all, in all things none are crossed; 
Few all they need, but none have all they wish. 

Unmingled joys here to no man befall; 

Who least, hath some; who most, hath never all. 



SCORN NOT THE LEAST. 

Where words are weak, and foes encountering strong, 
Where mightier do assault than do defend, 

The feebler part puts up enforced wrong, 
And silent sees that speech could not amend; 

Yet higher powers most think, though they repine, 

When sun is set, the little stars will shine. 

While pike doth range, the silly tench doth fly, 
And crouch in privy creeks with smaller fish; 

Yet pikes are caught when little fish go by, 
These fleet afloat, while those do fill the dish; 

There is a time even for the worms to creep, 

And suck the dew while all their foes do sleep. 

The merlin cannot ever soar on high, 

Nor greedy greyhound still pursue the chase; 

The tender lark will find a time to fly, 
And fearful hare to run a quiet race. 

He that high growth on cedars did bestow, 

Gave also lowly mushrooms leave to grow. 

In Haman's pomp poor Mardocheus wept, 
Yet God did turn his fate upon his foe ; 

The Lazar pined, while Dives' feast was kept, 
Yet he to heaven to hell did Dives go. 

We trample grass, and prize the flowers of May; 

Yet grass is green when flowers do fade away. 



64 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

THE BURNING BABE. 

As I in hoary winter's night 

Stood shivering in the snow, 
Surprised I was with sudden heat, 

Which made my heart to glow; 

And lifting up a fearful eye 

To view what fire was near, 
A pretty Babe, all burning bright, 

Did in the air appear; 

Who, scorched with excessive heat, 

Such floods of tears did shed, 
As though his floods should quench his flames, 

Which with his tears were bred 

"Alas !" quoth he, "but newly born, 

In fiery hearts I fry, 
Yet none approach to warm their hearts 

Or feel my fire, but I; 

My faultess breast the furnace is, 

The fuel, wounding thorns ; 
Love is the fi^e, and sighs the smoke, 

The ashes, shames and scorns ; 

The fuel justice layeth on, 

And mercy blows the coals, 
The metal in this furnace wrought 

Are men's defiled souls : 

For which, as now on fire I am, 

To work them to their good, 
So will I melt into a bath, 

To wash them in my blood." 

With this he vanished out of sight, 

And swiftly shrunk away, 
And straight I called unto my mind 

That it was Christmas Day. 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. $5 

OPENING ADDRESS TO THE HOLY INNOCENTS. 

Joy, infant saints, cropped in the tender flower! 
Long is their life that die in blissful hour; 
Too long they live, that live till they be naught: 
Life saved by sin is purchase dearly bought. 
Your fate the pen of Angels should rehearse: 

Whom spotless, death in cradle rocked asleep; 
Sweet roses mixed with lilies strewed your hearse, 

Death virgin-white in martyr-red did steep. 

THOMAS SACKVILLE, 1536-1608. 

Thomas Sackville, better known as Lord Buckhurst 
and Earl of Dorset, an eminent statesman and poet, 
was born in Sussex, in 1536. He studied first at the 
University of Oxford, and afterwards removed to 
Cambridge. At both universities, he was distinguished 
for his performances in Latin and English poetry. In 
the history of the language, his poetical genius entitles 
him to be considered as forming a connecting link be- 
tween Chaucer and Spenser, between The Canterbury 
Tales and The Fairie Queene. 

His tragedy of G orb o due is a sanguinary story 
drawn from early British history, composed with con- 
siderable force of poetical conception and moral senti- 
ment. It is full of illustrations of the present from the 
past. It discusses the blessings of peace and settled 
government, the folly of popular risings, and the evils 
of a doubtful succession. As a poet, Sackville handled 
the heroic verse with great sucess, and gave the first 
example of regular tragedy in blank verse. 

Of a poem entitled the Mirror for Magistrates, 
intended to give a view of the illustrious but unfortu- 
nate characters in English history, he finished only a 
poetical preface, or Induction, and one legend, the Life 
of the Duke of Buckingham. "His Induction consists 



66 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

of a few hundred lines; and even in these, there is a 
monotony of gloom and sorrow which prevents us 
from wishing it to be longer. It is truly styled by 
Campbell a landscape on which the sun never shines."* 

There hung on Sackville's genius not only the gloom 
of despondency, but a ghastly complexion caught up 
from the lurid flames of religious persecution. He was 
one of the judicial tribunal that pronounced the doom 
of Mary Stuart ; and the Parliament, after having con- 
firmed the sentence, commissioned him to bear the sad 
news to the unfortunate Queen. 

Sackville died suddenly at the council table, in April, 
1608. 

ALLEGORICAL PERSONAGES IN H$LL. 
(From the Mirror for Magistrates.) 

And first within the porch and jaws of hell 
Sat deep Remorse of Conscience, all besprent t 
With tears; and to herself oft would she tell 
Her wretchedness, and cursing never stent $ 
To sob and sigh; but ever thus lament 
With thoughtful care, as she that all in vain 
Would wear and waste continually in pain. 

Her eye unsteadfast, rolling here and there, 

Whirled on each place, as place that vengeance brought; 

So was her mind continually in fear, 

Tossed and tormented by the tedious thought 

Of those detested crimes which she had wrought: 

With dreadful cheer and looks thrown to the sky 

Wishing for death; and yet she could not die. 



And next within the entry of this lake 
Sat fell Revenge, gnashing her teeth for ire, 
Devising means how she may vengeance take, 
Never in rest till she have her desire; 

* Hallam's Lit. of Europe, vol. 1., p. 346. 
t Besprinkled, 
t Stopped. 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. fl 

But frets within so far forth with the fire 
Of wreaking flames, that now determines she 
To die by death, or venged by death to be. 

When fell Revenge, with bloody foul pretence, 

Had shown herself as next in order set, 

With trembling limbs we softly parted thence, 

Till in our eyes another sight we met; 

When from my heart a sight forthwith I fet,* 

Ruing, alas ! upon the woful plight 

Of Misery, that next appeared in sight. 

Lastly, stood War, in glittering arms yclad,t 

With visage grim, a stern look, and blackly hued: 

In his right hand a naked sword he had, 

That to the hilts was all with blood imbrued ; 

And in his left (that kings and kingdoms rued) 

Famine and fire he held, and therewithal 

He razed towns and threw down towers and all; 

Cities he sacked, and realms (that whilom flowered 
In honor, glory, and rule, above the rest) 
He overwhelmed, and all their fame devoured, 
Consumed, destroyed, wasted, and never ceased, 
Till he their wealth, their name, and all oppressed: 
His face forehewed with wounds; and by his side 
There hung his targe, with gashes deep and wide. 

MIDNIGHT. 

Midnight was come, and every vital thing 
With sweet sound sleep their weary limbs did rest; 
The beasts were still, the little birds that sing, 
Now sweetly slept, beside their mother's breast, 
The old and all well shrouded in their nest; 
The waters calm, the cruel seas did cease, 
The woods, and fields, and all things held their peace. 

The golden stars were whirled amid their race, 
And on the earth did laugh with twinkling light, 
When each thing nestled in his resting-place, 
Forgot day's pain with pleasure of the night: 
The hare had not the greedy hounds in sight, 
The fearful deer of death stood not in doubt, 
The partridge dreamed not of the falcon's foot. 

Fetched. t Clothed. 



68 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

The ugly bear now minded not the stake, 
Nor how the cruel mastiffs do him tear; 
The stag lay still unroused from the brake; 
The foamy boar feared not the hunter's spear: 
All things were still in desert, bush, and brere. 
"The quiet heart, now from their travails rest," 
Soundly they slept, in most of all their rest. 



WIUJAM SHAKESPEARE, 1564-1616. 

William Shakespeare, the greatest of modern poets, 
nature's oracle and interpreter, was born in 1564, at 
Stratford-on-Avon, a market-town in Warwickshire. 
Of his early life and education, almost as little is 
known as of Homer himself. He came to London in 
his twenty-second year, and connected himself with 
the stage, first as an actor, then as an author. Though 
not a classical scholar, he had probably read numerous 
translations of ancient works ; the romances, tales, and 
legends of the time ; also the histories and biographies 
then extant. He took his words from the common peo- 
ple, from all classes in the busy scenes of life, and from 
the popular books of his day. "The polite," says Dr. 
Johnson, "are always catching modish innovations, 
and the learned depart from established forms of speech 
in hope of finding or making better; those who wish 
for distinction, forsake the vulgar, when the vulgar is 
right; but there is a conversation above grossness and 
below refinement, where propriety resides, and where 
this poet seems to have gathered his comic dialogue. 
He is, therefore, more agreeable to t'.ie cars of the pres- 
ent age than any other author equally remote ; and, 
among his other excellencies, deserves to be studied as 
one of the original masters of our language." 

His first play, Pericles, Prince of Tyre, written 
about 1590, met with success. He continued to 




WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 69 

write until two years before his death, which occurred 
in his native place, in 1616. Of the forty-three dram- 
atic pieces ascribed to him, seven are considered as 
spurious by English commentators ; but German critics 
regard them as genuine. The remaining thirty-six 
may be divided into three classes : comedies, tragedies, 
and chronicle plays. 

Of the fourteen comedies, the plots of five : The 
Taming of the Shrew (in part), The Merchant of 
Venice, All's Well that Ends Well, Much Ado About 
Nothing, Measure for Measure, are Italian; two are 
classical The Comedy of Errors and the Twelfth 
Night taken from Plautus. Of the remaining seven, 
the plots of two Midsummer Night's Dream, and As 
You Like It are from mediaeval sources ; that of The 
Two Gentlemen of Verona is Spanish ; that of The 
Merry Wives of Windsor is English, and that of 
Love's Labor's Lost is apparently French ; while those 
of The Winter's Tale and The Tempest are of un- 
known origin. 

Of the plots of Shakespeare's twelve tragedies, five 
Timon of Athens, Pericles, Julius Ctfsar, Antony 
and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus are classical; two 
Hamlet and Troilus and Cressida are mediaeval; 
two Romeo and Juliet, and Othello are Italian; and 
three Cymbeline, Lear, and Macbeth are from the 
legendary history of Britain. For the material of his 
classical tragedies, Shakespeare is supposed to have 
depended chiefly on North's translation of Plutarch's 
Lives. 

His chronicle .plays are ten in number : King John, 
King Richard the Second, two of King Henry the 
Fourth, King Henry the Fifth, three of King Henry 
the Sixth, Richard the Third, and Henry the Eighth. 



70 ' BRITISH LITERATURE. 

These historical plays commence, in the chronological 
order with King John, and end with Henry VIII., 
omitting, however, the reigns of Henry III., the four 
Edwards, and Henry VII. They are generally based 
on the facts of history, and exhibit so truthfully and 
clearly the principal features of the events, their causes, 
even their secret springs, that Coleridge falls into 
the extravagance of deeming them a better help to 
the knowledge of history for the periods over which 
they extend than any other writings. The living 
pictures make an impression on the imagination which 
can never be effaced. It is generally admitted that 
the Chronicles of Holinshed and Hall both influenced 
the style of Shakespeare, and furnished him with bio- 
graphical and historical facts, as well as with the 
groundwork of his tragedy of Macbeth. 

The latest productions of Shakespeare's genius are 
the finest. In Lear, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, and 
The Tempest, all his wonderful faculties and acquire- 
ments are found combined. "Macbeth," in the opin- 
ion of Hallam, "is the greatest effort of his genius, the 
most sublime and impressive drama the world has ever 
beheld." The essence of his genius, according to Car- 
dinal Wiseman, consists in what constitutes the very 
soul of the dramatic idea, the power to throw himself 
into the situations, the circumstances, the nature, the 
acquired habits, the feelings true or fictitious of every 
character which he introduces, and the power to give 
outward life to the inward conception. "For a time 
he lives in the astute villian as in the innocent child; 
he works his entire power of thought into intricacies 
of the traitor's brain; he makes his heart beat in con- 
cord with the usurer's sanguinary spite, and then, 
like some beautiful creature in the animal world, draws 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 71 

himself out of the hateful evil, and is himself again; 
and able even often to hold his own noble and gentle 
qualities as a mirror, or exhibit the loftiest, the mosl 
generous, and amiable examples of our nature. . . . 
This ubiquity, if we may so call it, of Shakespeare's 
sympathies constitutes the unlimited extent and might 
of his dramatic genius." "All the images of nature," 
says Dryden, "were present to him, and he drew them 
not laboriously but luckily: when he describes any- 
thing, you more than see it you feel it too. Those 
who accuse him of having wanted learning, give him 
the greater commendation he was naturally learned, 
he needed not the spectacles of books to read nature; 
he looked inwards and found her there." 

Of the heavenly and the supernatural the spiritual 
in the highest sense he says little. Perhaps the man 
felt more than the poet reveals. Perhaps he deemed 
the place not fit for such utterances. The religion of 
Shakespeare is not known. "That he was a Chris- 
tian," says De Vere, "no one who appreciates his 
poetry can doubt ; and it is as certain that his religious 
tone has no sympathy with the sect or the conventicle. 
It has been frequently remarked that in the whole 
series of his historical plays, in which he so often 
delineates ecclesiastical persons, and treads on tender 
ground, he never is betrayed into a sneer, or drops a 
hint in sanction of that polemical tradition which grew 
in the courts of Elizabeth and James the First, and 
which nearly to our own time, has indirectly transmit- 
ted itself through English literature." "There is," 
says Reed, "an impressive contrast between the spirit 
with which Milton and Shakespeare have treated the 
most sacred subjects. A reverential temper, less looked 
for in the dramatic bard, marks every passage in which 



72 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

allusion is made to such subjects a feeling of pro- 
found reverential reserve; and as this may not have 
been generally observed, let me group some brief and 
characteristic passages together. There is a beau- 
tiful allusion to Christmas in Hamlet : 

Some say, that ever 'gainst that season comes 
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated, 
This bird of dawning singeth all night long : 
And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad; 
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike, 
No fairy takes, no witch hath power to charm, 
So hallowed and so gracious is the time! 

The mention, in Henry the Fourth, of the Holy 

Land: 

Those holy fields 

Over whose acres walked those blessed feet, 
Which, fourteen hundred years ago, were nailed 
For our advantage on the bitter cross. 

The allusion to the scheme of Redemption and to 
the Lord's Prayer in Portia's plea for mercy: 

Though justice be thy plea, consider this 
That in the course of justice none of us 
Should see salvation; we do pray for mercy; 
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render 
The deeds of mercy." 

Shakespeare wrote also a series of one hundred and 
fifty-four Sonnets, and a few narrative Poems which 
are condemned for their sensualism. "Notwithstand- 
ing the frequent beauties of these Sonnets" says Hal- 
lam, "it is impossible not to wish that Shakespeare 
had not written them." The Plays, as edited for schools 
are judiciously purged of objectionable passages. 

Shakespeare died at Stratford on the anniversary of 
his birthday, April 23, 1616; and was interred on the 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 73 

second day after his death, in the chancel of Strat- 
ford church, where a monument still remains to his 
memory. 

CLARENCE'S DREAM. 
(From Richard III., Act I., Scene IV.) 

Brakenbury. Why looks your grace so heavily to-day? 

Clarence. O, I have passed a miserable night, 
So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams, 
That, as I am a Christian faithful man, 
I would not spend another such a night 
Though 'twere to buy a world of happy days; 
So full of dismal terror was the time. 

Brak. What was your dream, my lord? I pray you tell me. 

Clar. Methought that I had broken from the Tower, 
And was embarked to cross to Burgundy, 
And in my company my brother Gloster, 
Who from my cabin tempted me to walk 
Upon the hatches. Thence we looked toward England, 
And cited up a thousand heavy times, 
During the wars of York and Lancaster, 
That had befallen us. As we paced along 
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches, 
Methought that Gloster stumbled; and in falling 
Struck me, that sought to stay him, overboard 
Into the tumbling billows of the main. 
O Lord, methought what pain it was to drown ! 
What dreadful noise of waters in my ears! 
What sights of ugly death within mine eyes! 
Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks; 
A thousand men that fishes gnawed 'ipon, 
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl, 
Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels, 
All scattered in the bottom of the sea. 
Some lay in dead men's skulls; and in those holey, 
Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept, 
As 'twere in scorn of eyes, reflecting gems, 
That wooed the slimy bottom of the deep, 
And mocked the dead bones that lay scattered by. 

Brak. Had you such leisure in the time of death 
To gaze upon the secrets of the deep? 

Clar. Methought I had; and often did I strive 
To yield the ghost; but still the envious flood 

7 



74 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Kept in my soul, and would not let it forth 
To find the empty, vast, and wandering air, 
But smothered it within my panting bulk, 
Which almost burst to belch it in the sea. 

Brak. Awaked you not with this sore agony? 

Clar. O, no, my dream was lengthened after life 

0, then began the tempest of my soul. 

I passed, methought, the melancholy flood, 
With that grim ferryman which poets write of, 
Unto the kingdom of perpetual night. 
The first that there did greet my stranger soul 
Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick, 
Who cried aloud "What scourge for perjury 
Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence?" 
And so he vanished. Then came wandering by 
A shadow* like an angel, with bright hair 
Dabbled in blood, and he shrieked out aloud 
"Clarence is come; false, fleeting, perjured Clarence, 
That stabbed me in the field by Tewkesbury ; 
Seize on him, furies, take him to your torments !" 
With that, methought, a legion of foul fiends 
Knvironed me, and howled in mine ears 
Such hideous cries, that with the very noise 

1, trembling, waked; ana for a season after 
Could not believe but that I was in hell: 
Such terrible impression made my dream. 

Brak. No marvel, lord, that it affrighted you; 
I am afraid, methinks, to hear you tell it. 

Clar. Ah! Brakenbury, I have done those things 
That now give evidence against my soul, 
For Edward's sake; and see how he requites me! 

God! if my deep prayers cannot appease thee, 
But thou wilt be avenged on my misdeeds, 

Yet execute thy wrath on me alone: 

O, spare my guiltless wife and my poor children ! 

1 prithee, Brakenbury, stay by me ; 

My soul is heavy, and I fain would sleep. 

* Prince Edward, son of Henry VI. 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 75 

PRINCE ARTHUR AND HUBERT. 

(From King John, Act IV., Scene I.) 
Enter HUBERT and Two ATTENDANTS. 

Hub. Heat me these irons hot; and, look thou stand 
Within the arras; when I strike my foot 
Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth; 
And bind the boy, which you shall find with me, 
Fast to the chair: be heedful: hence, and watch. 

I Attend. I hope, your warrant will bear out the deed. 

Hub. Uncleanly scruples ! Fear not you ; look to 't. 

[Exeunt Attendants. 
Young lad, come forth; I have to say with you. 

Enter ARTHUR. 

Arth. Good morrow, Hubert. 

Hub. Good morrow, little Prince. 

Arth. As little prince (having so great a title 
To be more prince), as may be. You are sad. 

Hub. Indeed, I have been merrier. 

Arth. Mercy on me' 

Methinks, nobody should be sad but I. ... 
So I were out of prison, and kept sheep, 
I should be as merry as the day is long ; 
And so I would be here, but that I doubt 
My uncle practices more harm to me; 
He is afraid of me, and I of him: 
Is it my fault that I was Geffrey's son ! 
No indeed, is't not; and I would to heaven, 
I were your son, so you would love me, Hubert. 

Hub. (Aside.) If I talk to him, with his innocent prate 
He will awake my mercy, which lies dead: 
Therefore I will be sudden, and dispatch. 

Arth. Are you sick, Hubert? you look pale to-day: 
In sooth, I would you were a little sick: 
That I might sit all night, and watch with you. 
I warrant, I love you more than you do me. 

Hub. His words do take possession of my bosom 
Read here, young Arthur. (Showing a paper.) How now, fool- 
ish rheum! (Aside.) 
Turning dispiteous torture out of door! 
I must be brief; lest resolution drop 
Out at my eyes, in tender womanish tears. 
Can you not read it? is it not fair 'writ? 



76 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Arth. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect: 
Must you with hot irons burn out both mine eyes? 

Hub. Young boy, I must. 

Arth And will you? 

Hub. And I will. 

Arth. Have you the heart? When your head did but ache, 
I knit my handkerchief about your brows, 
(The best I had, a princess wrought it me,) 
And I did never ask it you again: 
And with my hand at midnight held your head ; 
And, like the watchful minutes to the hour, 
Still and anon cheered up the heavy time; 
Saying, What lack you? and, Where lies your grief? 
Or, What good love may I perform for you? 
Many a poor man's son would have lain still, 
And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you; 
But you at your sick service had a prince. 
Nay, you may think, my love was crafty love, 
And call it, cunning; do an if you will: 
If heaven be pleased that you must use me ill, 
Why, then you must Will you put out mine eyes? 
These eyes, that never did, nor never shall, 
So much as frown on you? 

Hub. I have sworn to do it; 

And with hot irons must I burn them out. 

Arth. Ah, none, but in this iron age, would do it! 
The iron of itself, though heat red-hot, 
Approaching near these eyes, would drink my tears, 
And quench his fiery indignation, 
Even in the matter of mine innocence. 
Nay, after that, consume away in rust, 
But for containing fire to harm mine eye. 
Are you more stubborn-hard than hammered iron? 
And if an angel should have come to me, 
And told me, Hubert should put out mine eyes, 
I would not have believed no tongue, but Hubert's. 

Hub. Come forth. (Stamps.) 

Re-enter ATTENDANTS, with cords, irons, etc. 

Do as I bid you do. 

Arth. O, save me, Hubert, save me! my eyes are out, 
Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men. 

Hub. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here. 

Arth. Alas, what need you be so boisterous-rough? 
I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still. 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 77 

For heaven's sake, Hubert, let me not be bound; 

Nay, hear me, Hubert, drive these men away, 

And I will sit as quiet as a lamb; 

I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word, 

Nor look upon the iron angerly; 

Thrust but these men away, and I'll forgive you 

Whatever torment you do put me to. 

Hub. Go, stand within; let me alone with him. 

1 Attend. I am best pleased to be from such a deed. 

[Exeunt Attendants. 

Arth. Alas ! I then had chid away my friend : 
He hath a stern look, but a gentle heart: 
Let him come back, that his compassion may 
Give life to yours. 

Hub. Come, boy, prepare yourself. 

Arth. Is there no remedy? 

Hub. None, but to lose your eyes. 

Arth. O heaven ! that there were but a mote 
A grain of dust, a gnat, a wandering hair, 
Any annoyance in that precious sense! 
Then, feeling what small things are boisterous there, 
Your vile intent must needs seem horrible. 

Hub. Is this your promise? go to, hold your tongue. 

Arth.. Hubert, the utterance of a brace of tongues 
Must needs want pleading for a pair of eyes : 
Let me not hold my tongue; let me not, Hubert! 
Or, Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue, 
So I may keep mine eyes; O, spare mine eyes; 
Though to no use, but still to look on you ! 
Lo, by my troth, the instrument is cold, 
And would not harm me. 

Hub. I can heat it, boy. 

Arth. No, in good sooth; the fire is dead with grief, 
Being create for comfort, to be used 
In undeserved extremes ; see else yourself ; 
There is no malice in this burning coal; 
The breath of heaven hath blown his spirit out, 
And strewed repentant ashes on his head, 
Hub. But with my breath I can revive it, boy. 
Arth. And if you do, you will but make it blush, 
And glow with shame of your proceedings, Hubert: 
Nay, it, perchance, will sparkle in your eyes ; 
And, like a dog that is compelled to fight, 



^g BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Snatch at his master that doth tarre him on. 
All things, that you should use to do me wrong, 
Deny your office: only do you lack 
That mercy, which fierce fire, and iron, extend, 
Creatures of note, for mercy-lacking uses. 

Hub. Well, see to live; I will not touch thine eyes 
For all the treasure that thine uncle owes : 
Yet am I sworn, and I did purpose, boy, 
With this same very iron to burn them out. 

Arth. O, now you look like Hubert! all this while 
You were disguised. 

Hub. Peace: no more. Adieu; 

Your uncle must not know but you are dead: 
I'll fill these dogged spies with false reports. 
And, pretty child, sleep doubtless and secure 
That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world, 
Will not offend thee. 

Arth. O heaven! I thank you, Hubert. 

Hub. Silence; no more: Go closely in with me; 
Much danger do I undergo for thee. 

[Exeunt. 

MERCY. 
(From The Merchant of Venice, Act IV., Scene I.) 

The quality of mercy is not strained; 
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven 
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed; 
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes. 
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest ; it becomes 
The throned monarch better than his crown: 
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power, 
The attribute to awe and majesty, 
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings. 
But mercy is above the sceptred sway ; 
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings; 
It is an attribute to God himself; 
And earthly power doth then show likest God's 
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew, 
Though justice be thy plea, consider this 
That, in the course of justice, none of us 
Should see salvation : we do pray for mercy ; 
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render 
The deeds of mercy. 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 



COMMONWEALTH OF BEES. 
(From Henry V., Act I., Scene II.) 

They have a king, and officers of sorts : 
Where some, like magistrates, correct at home, 
Others, like merchants, venture trade abroad ; 
Others, like soldiers, armed in their stings, 
Make boot upon the summer's velvet buds; 
Which pillage they with merry march bring home 
To the tent-royal of their emperor, 
Who, busied in his majesty surveys 
The singing masons building roofs of gold; 
The civil citizens kneading up the honey; 
The poor mechanic porters crowding in 
Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate ; 
The sad-eyed justice, with his surly hum 
Delivering o'er to executioners pale 
The lazy yawning drone. 

FALL OF CARDINAL WOLSEY. 
(From Henry VIII. , Act III., Scene II.) 

Cardinal Wolsey, after his fall from the favor of Henry VIII., 
thus soliloquizes, and afterwards confers with his servant Crom- 
well: 

Wolsey. Farewell, a long farewell, to all my greatness! 
This is the state of man; to-day he puts forth 
The tender leaves of hope; to-morrow blossoms, 
And bears his blushing honors thick upon him : 
The third day, comes a frost, a killing frost ; 
And, when he thinks, good easy man, full surely 
His greatness is aripening, nips his root, 
And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured, 
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders, 
This many summers in a sea of glory ; . 
But far beyond my depth: my high-blown pride 
At length broke under me; and now has left me, 
Weary, and old with service, to the mercy 
Of a rude stream, that must forever hide me. 
Vain pomp, and glory of this world, I hate ye; 
I feel my heart new-opened: O, how wretched 
Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favors! 
There is, betwixt that smile he would aspire to, 
That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin, 



60 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

More pangs and fears than wars or women have; 
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer, 
Never to hope again. 

Enter CROMWELL amazedly. 

Why, how now, Cromwell? 

Crom. I have no power to speak, sir. 

Wol. What! amazed 

At my misfortunes? can thy spirit wonder 
A great man should decline? Nay, and you weep, 
I am fallen indeed. 

Crom. How does your grace? 

Wol. Why, well; 

Never so truly happy, my good Cromwell. 
I know myself now; and I feel within me 
A peace above all earthly dignities, 
A still and quiet conscience. The king has cured me, 
I humbly thank his grace; and from these shoulders, 
These ruined pillars, out of pity, taken 
A load would sink a navy, too much honor: 
O 'tis a burden, Cromwell, 'tis a burden, 
Too heavy for a man that hopes for heaven. 

Crom. I am glad, your grace has made that right use of it 

Wol. I hope I have; I am able now, methinks, 
(Out of a fortitude of soul I feel,) 
To endure more miseries, and greater far, 
Than my weak-hearted enemies dare offer. 
What news abroad? 

Crom. The heaviest, and the worst, 

Is your displeasure with the king. 

Wol. God bless him! 

Crom. The next is, that Sir Thomas More is chosen 
Lord Chancellor in your place. 

Wol. That's somewhat sudden: 

But he's a learned man. May he continue 
Long in his highness's favor, and do justice 
For truth's sake, and his conscience; that his bones, 
When he has run his course, and sleeps in blessings, 
May have a tomb of orphans' tears wept on 'em !* 
What more? 

Crom. That Cranmer is returned with welcome, 

Installed Lord Archbishop of Canterbury. 

Wol. That's news indeed. 



The chancellor is the general guardian of orphans. 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 

Go, get thee from me, Cromwell; 
I am a poor fallen man, unworthy now 
To be thy lord and master. Seek the king; 
That sun I pray may never set! I have told him 
What, and how true thou art; he will advance thee; 
Some little memory of me will stir him, 
(I know his noble nature,) not to let 
Thy hopeful service perish too. Good Cromwell, 
Neglect him not, make use now, and provide 
For thine own future safety. 

Crom, my lord, 

Must I then leave you? Must I needs forego 
So good, so noble, and so true a master? 
Bear witness, all that have not hearts of iron, 
With what a sorrow Cromwell leaves his lord. 
The king shall have my service; but my prayers 
Forever, and forever, shall be yours. 

Wol. Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear 
In all my miseries; but thou hast forced me 
Out of thy honest truth to play the woman. 
Let's dry our eyes; and thus far hear me, Cromwell; 
And, when I am forgotten, as I shall be, 
And sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention 
Of me more must be heard of, say, I taught thee; 
Say, Wolsey, that once trod the ways of glory, 
And sounded all the depths and shoals of honor, 
Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in; 
A sure and safe one, though thy master missed it. 
Mark but my fall, and that that ruined me. 
Cromwell, I charge thee ; fling away ambition ; 
By that sin fell the angels ; how can man, then, 
The image of his Maker, hope to win by't? 
Love thyself last : cherish those hearts that hate thee ; 
Corruption wins not more than honesty. 
Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace, 
To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not: 
Let all the ends thou aimest at be thy country's, 
Thy God's, and truth's; then if thou fall'st, O Cromwell 
Thou fall'st a blessed martyr. Serve thy king! 

And, Pr'ythee, lead me in: 

There take an inventory of all I have, 

To the last penny; 'tis the king's; my robe, 

And my integrity to heaven, is all 

I dare now call mine own. O Cromwell, Cromwell, 

Had I but served my God with half the zeal 



82 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

I served my king, he would not now in mine age 
Have left me naked to mine enemies. 

Crom. Good sir, have patience. 

Wol. So I have. Farewell, 

The hopes of court! my hopes in heaven do dwell. 

WOLSEY'S VICES AND VIRTUES. 
(From Henry VIII., Act IV., Scene II.) 

Queen Katharine. So may he rest; his faults lie gently on 

him ! 

Yet thus far, Griffith, give me leave to speak him, 
And yet with charity. He was a man 
Of an unbounded stomach,* ever ranking 
Himself with princes; one that, by suggestion, 
Tithed all the kingdom : simony was fair play ; 
His own opinion was his law: i' the presence t 
He would say untruths ; and be ever double, 
Both in his words and meaning. He was never, 
But where he meant to ruin, pitiful ; 
His promises were, as he was then, mighty; 
But his performance, as he is now, nothing. 
Of his own body he was ill, and gave 
The clergy ill example. 

Griffith. Noble madam, 

Men's evil manners live in brass; their virtues 
We write in water. May it please your highness 
To hear me speak his good now? 

Katharine. Yes, good Griffith; 

I were malicious else. 

Griffith. This cardinal, 

Though from an humble stock, undoubtedly 
Was fashioned to much honor from his cradle. 
He was a scholar, and a ripe and good one; 
Exceeding wise, fair spoken, and persuading; 
Lofty and sour to them that loved him not; 
But to those men that sought him sweet as summer, 
And though he were unsatisfied in getting, 
(Which was sin) yet in bestowing, madam, 
He was most princely : ever witness for him 
Those twins of learning, that he raised in you, 
Ipswich and Oxford! one of them fell with him.t 
Unwilling to outlive the good that did it ; 

* Pride. t Of the king. $ Ipswich. 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 33 

The other, though unfinished, yet so famous, 
So excellent in art, and still so rising, 
That Christendom shall ever speak his virtue. 
His overthrow heaped happiness upon him; 
For then and not till then he felt himself, 
And found the blessedness of being little: 
And to add greater honor to his age 
Than man could give him, he died, fearing God. 

BEAUMONT AND Fl^TCHER. 

Francis Beaumont (1584-1616) was the son of a 
judge at Gracedieu, Leicestershire; whilst Fletcher 
(1579-1625) was the son of the Dean of Peterbor- 
ough, afterwards Bishop of L/ondon, whose name is 
recalled in connection with the execution of Mary, 
Queen of Scots. Theirs is the most famous of liter- 
ary partnerships ; and their combined efforts produced 
thirty-eight plays. Whilst immeasurably below Shake- 
speare, their style and language is purer and finer than 
Jonson's and especially do they excel in dramatic 
technique. But even their best works, The Maid's 
Tragedy, Philaster, The Faithful Shepherdess, The 
Knight of the Burning Pestle, are unfit for reading, 
much more for the stage, so pronounced is their licen- 
tiousness and so patent their indecency. 

Roses, their sharp spines being gone, 
Not royal in their smells alone, 

But in their hue ; 
Maiden pinks, of odour faint, 
Daises smell-less, yet most quaint, 

And sweet thyme true; 

Primrose, first-born child of Ver, 
Merry spring-time's harbinger, 

With her bells dim; 
Oxlips in their cradles growing, 
Marigold on death-beds blowing, 
Lark-heels trim; 



S4 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

All, dear Nature's children sweet, 

Lie 'fore bride and bride-groom's feet, 

Blessing their senses ! 
Not an angel of the air, 
Bird melodies or bird fair, 

Be absent hence ! 

The crow, the slanderous cuckoo, nor 
The boding raven, nor chough hoar, 

Nor chatt'ring pie 

May on our bride house perch or sing, 
Or with them any discord bring, 

But from it fly! 

Two Noble Kinsmen. 

Care-charming Sleep, the easer of all woes, 

Brother to Death, sweetly thyself dispose 

On this afflicted prince fall like a cloud 

In gentle showers; give nothing that is loud 

Or painful to his slumbers ; easy, light, 

And as a purling stream, thou son of Night, 

Pass by his troubled senses, sing his pain 

Like hollow murmuring wind, or silver rain ; 

Into this prince gently, oh gently slide, 

And kiss him into slumbers like a bride. 

Valentinian. 

BEN JONSON, 1574-1637. 

Ben Jonson, the contemporary and friend of Shake- 
speare, was born in 1574, at Westminster. After serv- 
ing in Flanders as a common soldier, with great credit 
for bravery, we find him, at the age of twenty, settled 
as an actor in London. In this calling he did not suc- 
ceed; and, in 1596, he produced his first comedy, 
Every Man in His Humor, which is still considered a 
standard piece. From this period he seems to have pro- 
duced a play annually for several years, besides writ- 
ing occasionally masques and interludes for the enter- 
tainment of the Court. He holds the second place 
among the dramatic authors of this period, although 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 85 

Beaumont and Fletcher as regards imagery and wit, 
and Massinger as regards grace and dignity of senti- 
ment, rank before him. In many of the qualities of a 
dramatist, Jonson excels; but he is often hard, un- 
genial, pedantic, wearing too frequently what Milton 
calls 'his learned sock.' His comedies and tragedies are 
sixteen in number; and his masques and other Court 
entertainments, thirty-five. Besides these, he wrote a 
book entitled Timber; or, Discoveries made upon Men 
and Matter. It is chiefly a collection of moral remarks 
and criticisms, unconnected, judicious, witty, and often 
severe. The English Grammar which is extant under 
his name, is but part of a work which he wrote on that 
subject. It shows an accurate acquaintance with the 
principles of our speech. It is one of the earliest of 
our grammars, as the Timber is one of the earliest 
specimens of literary criticism. 

His best dramas are his Alchymist, Epicene, and 
Volpone; or, the Pox, which, besides being considered 
admirable as to plot and development, exhibit traits 
of pungent humor, strong conception, and powerful 
discrimination. 

His tragedies of Sejanus and Catiline are too learned 
and declamatory either for the closet or the stage ; and 
a great portion of his comedy is low, forced, unnatural, 
and repulsive. His characters, when compared with 
those of Shakespeare, are what sculpture is to actual 
life. 

He died in poverty, and was called to the 'dread 
account' in 1637, regretting the occasional irreverences 
of his pen, and deploring the frequent abuse of powers 
which were given for nobler ends. He was buried in 
Westminster Abbey, and on his tombstone were in- 
scribed these words only, 'O rare Ben Jonson!' 



86 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

ADVICE TO A FECKLESS YOUTH. 

Learn to be wise, and practice how to thrive, 

That would I have you do : and not to spend 

Your coin on every bauble that you fancy, 

Or every foolish brain that humors you. 

I would not have you to invade each place, 

Nor thrust yourself on all societies, 

Till men's affections, or your own desert, 

Should worthily invite you to your rank. 

He that is so respectless in his courses, 

Oft sells his reputation at cheap market. 

Nor would I you should melt away yourself 

In flashing bravery, lest, while you affect 

To make a blaze of gentry to the world, 

A little puff of scorn extinguish it, 

And you be left like an unsavory snuff, 

Whose property is only to offend. 

I'd have you sober, and contain yourself; 

Nor that your sail be bigger than your boat; 

But moderate your expenses now (at first) 

As you may keep, the same proportion still, 

Nor stand so much on your gentility, 

Which is an airy, and mere borrowed thing, 

From dead men's dust and bones ; and none of yours, 

Except you make, or hold it. 



TO THE MEMORY OF MY BELOVED MASTER, WILLIAM SHAKESPEAR*. 

Soul of the age, 

The applause, delight, the wonder of our stage! 
My Shakespeare, rise ! I will not lodge thee by 
Chaucer or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lie 



A little further off, to make thee room'. 
Thou art a monument without a tomb, 
And art alive still, while thy book doth live, 
And we have wits to read and praise to give. . 

And though thou had small Latin and less Greek, 
From thence to honor thee I will not seek 
For names : but call forth thundering ^Eschylus. 
Euripides, and Sophoclts. to us 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 

Triumph, my Britain, thou hast one to show, 
To whom all scenes of Europe homage owe. 
He was not of an age, but for all time! 
And all the muses still were in their prime 
When, like Apollo, he came forth to warm 
Our ears, or like a Mercury, to charm. . . . 

Sweet Swan of Avon, what a sight it were 
To see thee in our water yet* appear, 
And make those flights upon the banks of Thames, 
That did so take Eliza and our James. 

THE GOOD LIFE, LONG LIFE. 

It is not growing like a tree 

In bulk doth make man better be; 

Or standing long an oak three hundred year, 

To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere. 

A lily of a day 

Is fairer far in May, 

Although it fall and die that night ; 

It was the plant and flower of light. 
In small proportion we just beauties see, 
And in short measures life may perfect be, 

HYMN TO GOD THE FATHER. 

Hear me, O God! 

A broken heart 

Is my best part: 
Use still thy rod, 

That I may prove 

Therein Thy love. 

If thou hadst not 

Been stern to me, 

But left me free, 
I had forgot 

Myself and Thee. 

For sin's so sweet, 

As minds ill bent 

Rarely repent, 
Until they meet 

Their punishment. 



88 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

HYMN TO THE MOON. 

Queen and huntress, chaste and fair, 

Now the sun is laid to sleep, 
Seated in thy silver chair, 

State in wonted manner keep : 
Hesperus entreats thy light, 
Goddess, excellently bright. 
Earth, let not thy envious shade, 

Dare itself to interpose; 
Cynthia's shining orb was made 

Heaven to clear, when day did close: 
Bless us then with wished sight, 
Goddess, excellently bright. 

Lay thy bow of pearl apart, 

And thy crystal shining quiver; 
Give unto the flying heart 

Space to breathe, how short soever: 
Thou that mak'st a day of night, 
Goddess, excellently bright. 

DIRECTIONS FOR WRITING WELL.* 
(From The Timber.) 

For a man to write well, there are required three necessa- 
ries ; to read the best authors ; observe the best speakers ; and 
much exercise of his own style. In style, to consider what 
ought to be written, and after what manner; he must first 
think, and excogitate his matter; then choose his words, and 
examine the weight of either. Then take care in placing and 
ranking both matter and words, that the composition be comely ; 
and to do this with diligence and often. No matter how slow 
the style be at first, so it be labored and accurate; seek the 
best, and be not glad of the forward conceits, or first words 
that offer themselves to us, but judge of what we invent, and 
order what we approve. Repeat often what we have formerly 
written; which, besides that it helps the consequence, and makes 
the juncture better, quickens the heat of imagination, that 
often cools in the time of sitting down, and gives it new 
strength, as if it grew lustier by the going back. As we see 
in the contention of leaping, they jump farthest that fetch 



"Ben Jonson's directions for writing well should be indelibly im- 
pressed upon the mind of every student." Drake's Essays. 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 89 

their race largest; or, as in throwing a dart or javelin, we force 
back our arms, to make our loose the stronger. Yet, if we 
have a fair gale of wind, I forbid not the steering out of our 
sail, so the favor of the gale deceive us not. For all that 
we invent doth please us in the conception or birth; else we 
would never set it down. But the safest is to return to our 
judgment, and handle over again those things, the easiness of 
which might make them justly suspected. So did the best 
writers in their beginnings. They imposed upon themselves 
care and industry. They did nothing rashly. They obtained 
first to write well, and then custom made it easy and a habit. 
By little and little, their matter showed itself to them more 
plentifully"; their words answered, their composition followed; 
and all, as in a well-ordered family, presented itself in the 
place. So that the sum of all is, ready writing makes not good 
writing but good writing brings on ready writing. 

THE LAST OF THE DRAMATISTS. 

Massinger, Webster, Heywood, Randolph, Middle- 
ton, and Shirley bring us to the end of the Elizabethan 
drama, for it was in 1642 that Parliament ordered the 
London theatres to be closed. Most of the Elizabethan 
dramatists lived irregular and unbridled lives, given 
up almost unreservedly to improvidence and passion. 
But the age in which they lived offers some extenua- 
tion. The old Church had been swept away, and what 
the nation had substituted for it neither garbed the 
pride nor calmed the passion of these youthful and 
gifted men. The solid bulwark of moral traditions of 
the Catholic Church stood firm in the serious minded 
ranks of the people, but so much could not be expected 
for the plastic artistic temperament of the wits and 
literati of the court and city. 

Massinger's A New Way to Pay Old Debts still 
holds the stage for the splendidly drawn character of 
Sir Giles Overreach. 

Webster: The White Devil and The Duchess of t 
Malfi. 



90 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Heywood: A Woman Killed With Kindness. 

Randolph : The Muses' Looking Glass. A defence of 
the stage against the Puritans. 

Shirley (a convert) : The Maid's Revenge, The 
Traitor, The Ball, The Bird in a Cage, etc. 

(Lines from Massinger) 

'Death hath a thousand doors to let out life'. 
'Gold can do much, but beauty more'. 
Virtue not in action is a vice'. 
'When we go not forward, we go backward'. 

With your leave I must not kneel, sir, 

While I reply to this : but thus rise up 

In my defence, and tell you, as a man, 

(Since, when you are unjust, the deity 

Which you may challenge as a king, parts from you,) 

'Twas never read in holy writ or moral, 

That subjects on their loyalty were obliged 

To love their sovereign's vices. 

The Maid of Honor. 

(A lyric from Shirley's The Contention of Ajax and Ulysses.) 

The glories of our blood and state 

Are shadows, not substantial things ; 
Thfre is no armour against fate; 
Death lays his icy hand on kings; 
Sceptre and crown 
Must tumble down, 
And in the dust be equal made 
With the poor crooked scythe and spade. 

Some men with swords may reap the field, 
And plant fresh laurels where they kill; 
But their strong nerves at last must yield; 
They tame but one another still : 
Early or late 
They stoop to fate, 

And must give up their murmuring breath. 
When they, pale captives, creep to death. 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 91 

The garlands wither on your brow ; 

Then boast no more your mighty deeds ! 
Upon Death's purple altar now, 
See, where the victor-victim bleeds : 
Your heads must come 
To the cold tomb : - 
Only the actions of the just 
Smell sweet and blossom in their dust. 



SIR WAI/TER RAI^IGH, 1552-1618. 

Sir Walter Raleigh was born at Hayes Manor m 
Devon, of an old family, and from youth was remark- 
able both for his acuteness of intellect and roving 
disposition; he was a dashing courtier, a reckless ad- 
venturer, and a brilliant writer. One of the favors 
received by him at the hand of Elizabeth, was a liberal 
grant of 12,000 acres of confiscated Irish land. In 
his course of adventures beyond the sea, he discovered 
Virginia, which he thus called in honor of the Queen. 
Under James I. he was cast into the Tower for a 
charge of treason from which he could not entirely 
prove himself innocent. During the thirteen years of 
his confinement, he wrote the History of the World. 
This great work does not reach beyond the year 168 
B. C. In it much fiction is mixed with history, but 
the style is clear, forcible, and eloquent. Raleigh has 
also written several lyric poems of merit. 

Released from his confinement on promise that he 
would open a gold mine in the New World, he started 
in search of new adventures, but failed in his attempt 
to discover the gold. After his return, he was accused 
by the Spaniards of having attacked them unjustly, and 
executed on the old charge of treason for which he 
had suffered his long imprisonment. 



92 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

AMBITION AND DEATH. 
(From the History.) 

By this which we have already set down is seen the beginning 
and the end of the three first Monarchies of the World, whereof 
the Founders and the Erecters thought that they could never 
have ended. That of Rome, which made the fourth, was also 
at this time almost at the highest. We have left it flourishing 
in the middle of the Field, having rooted up or cut down all 
that kept it from the eyes and admiration of the World. But 
after some continuance, it shall begin to lose the beauty it had; 
the storms of ambition shall beat her great boughs and branches 
one against another, her Leaves shall fall off, her Limbs wither, 
and a rabble of barbarous Nations enter the field, and cut her 
down 

For the rest, if we seek a reason of the succession and con- 
tinuance of this boundless ambition in mortal men, we may add 
to that which hath already been said, that the Kings and 
Princes of the world have always laid before them the actions, 
but not the ends, of those great Ones which preceded them. 
They are always transported with the glory of the one but 
they never mind the misery of the other, till they find the 
experience in themselves. They neglect the advice of God, while 
they enjoy life, or hope it; but they follow the counsel of 
Death upon his first approach. It is he that puts into man all 
the wisdom of the world, without speaking a word, which God, 
with all the words of his law, promises, or threats, doth not 
infuse. Death, which hateth and destroyeth man, is believed ; 
God, which hath made him and loves him, is always deferred: 
'[ have considered,' saith Solomon, 'all the works that are under 
the sun, and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit;' but 
who believes it till Death tells it us? It was Death which open- 
ing the conscience of Charles the Fifth made him enjoin his 
son Philip to restore Navarre ; and King Francis the First of 
France, to command that justice should be done upon the 
murderers of the Protestants in Merindol and Cabrieres, which 
till then he neglected. It is therefore Death alone that can 
suddenly make man to know himself. He tells the proud and 
insolent that they are but abjects, and humbles them at the instant, 
makes them cry, complain, and repent, yea even to hate their 
forepast happiness. He takes the account of the rich, and 
proves him a beggar, a naked beggar, which hath interest in 
nothing but in the gravel that fills his mouth. He holds a 
glass before the eyes of the most beautiful, and makes them 
see therein their deformity and rottenness, and they acknowl- 
edge it. 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 93 

O eloquent, just, and mighty Death! whom none couid advise, 
thou hast persuaded; what none have dared, thou hast done; 
and whom all the world hath flattered, thou only hast cast out 
of the world and despised ; thou hast drawn together all the far- 
stretched greatness, all the pride, cruelty, and ambition of 
man, and covered it all over with these two narrow words, 
Hie jacet! 

SONNET ON SPENSER'S FAIRIE QUEEN. 

Methought I saw the grave where Laura lay, 

Within that temple where the vestal flame 
Was wont to burn; and passing by that way, 

To see that buried dust of living fame, 
Whose tomb fair Love and fairer Virtue kept, 

All suddenly I saw the Fairy Queen, 
At whose approach the soul of Petrarch wept; 

And from thenceforth those graces were not seen, 
For they this queen attended: in whose stead 

Oblivion laid him down on Laura's hearse : 
Hereat the hardest stones were seen to bleed, 

And groans of buried ghosts the heavens did pierce, 
Where Homer's sprite did tremble all for grief, 
And cursed the access of that celestial thief. 

ON PASSION. 

Passions are likened best to floods and streams ; 

The shallow murmur, but the deep are dumb; 
So when affections yield discourse, it seems 

The bottom is but shallow whence they come. 
They that are rich in words, in words discover 
That they are poor in that which makes a lover. 

FRANCIS BACON, 1561-1626. 

Francis Bacon, Lord High Chancellor of England, 
termed by many the parent of experimental philosophy, 
was born in London, in 1561. From his early boy- 
hood he showed great vivacity of mind, and gave indi- 
cations of his future eminence. When only nineteen 
years old, he wrote a work entitled Of the State of 
Europe, in which he displayed astonishing maturity of 



94 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

judgment. To an active, comprehensive, and pene- 
trating genius, he added application to study and the 
frequentation of the learned men of his age. His char- 
acter unfortunately was not in keeping with his literary 
merit. Having been accused by Parliament of venality 
and corruption, he fully confessed to the committee 
of investigation the crimes laid to his charge, and be- 
sought them not 'to press upon a broken reed.' He 
was fined 40,000, imprisoned in the Tower, and de- 
clared incapable of holding any office or employment 
in the state. However, he was soon released by King 
James, and obtained the entire revocation of his sen- 
tence. 

The following are the most important works of this 
remarkable man: 

I. Essays, or Counsels Civil and Moral, the best 
known and most popular of his productions. The 
Essays are fifty-eight in number, besides a fragment. 
Burke preferred them to Bacon's other writings. "The 

'small volume of Essays may be read from beginning to 
end in a few hours; and yet after the twentieth peru- 
sal, one seldom fails to remark in it something over- 
looked before."* The style is elaborate, sententious, 
often metaphorical, and possesses a degree of concise- 
ness rarely found in the compositions of the Eliza- 
bethan age. 

II. History of the Reign of Henry VII. This is a 
reliable and well-executed work, which alone would 
have illustrated the name of Bacon, had not his other 
writings reached a higher degree of splendor. 

III. The treatise De Sapientid Veterum, in which he 
shows his knowledge of antiquity, and explains the 
ancient fables by ingenious allegories. 

* Dugald Stewart. 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 95 

IV. Elements of the Laws of England, in two parts. 
1. A collection of the principal rules and maxims of 
the common law with their latitude and extent. 2. 
The use of the law for the preservation of our persons, 
goods, and good names. 

V". De Augment is Scientiarum. This work, in which 
his English treatise on the Advancement of Learning is 
embodied, gives a general summary of human knowl- 
edge, taking special notice of gaps and imperfections 
in science. 

VI. Novum Organum, or New Instrument or Meth- 
od of studying the sciences. This work explains the 
inductive method of reasoning, and dwells on the nec- 
essity of experiments in the study of natural sciences. 
From these the appelation of Baconian method came 
to be used for the method of induction. 

The De Augmentis and the Novum Organum form 
the first two parts of a vast philosophical system, in 
six divisions, entitled Instauratio Magna (The Great 
Reform of sciences) ; of the four other parts we have 
only some detached fragments. 

The most opposite appreciations have been given of 
Lord Bacon and his philosophical works. Whilst 
many writers, like Hallam, Dugald Stewart, Diderot, 
D'Alembert, and in general the impugners of the 
scholastic philosophy, have professed unbounded ad- 
miration for his genius ; others, among whom we may 
quote De Maistre, Rohrbacher, and Cantu, have stren- 
uously maintained that his works swarm with errors; 
that the method of induction, falsely called Baconian, 
far from being new, was pointed out by Aristotle him- 
self, and applied extensively by Roger Bacon, Coperni- 
cus, Galileo, and many other modern philosophers, 
before Francis Bacon ; and, finally, that his real merit 



96 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

lies principally in the poetical beauties with which he 
has illustrated the driest subjects. We think that 
Bacon has been too much praised and too much blamed. 
He had the actual merit of urging the practice of the 
inductive method in physical sciences. True it is that 
the method was well known before Bacon; but, in 
point of fact, it was too often neglected. The great 
fault with Bacon, is to imply everywhere as a principle, 
that man knows nothing except through experience and 
observation. This principle was afterwards followed 
up to its last consequences, and eventually led its 
defenders to materialism and atheism. As to Bacon 
himself, fond as he was of experiments, he made 
and multiplied them to little profit, and left no im- 
portant contribution to any single branch of physical 
science. 

He died, in 1626, of a fever contracted while making 
an experiment. He was buried at St. Albans. A great 
poet has styled him : 

'The wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind/ Pope. 

OF TRUTH. 

Essay I. 

. . . . It will be acknowledged, even by those that prac- 
tise it not, that clear and round dealing is the honor of man's 
nature, and that mixture of falsehood is like alloy in coin of 
gold and silver, which make the metal work the better, but it 
embaseth it. For these winding and crooked courses are the 
goings of the serpent, which goeth basely upon the belly and 
not upon the feet. There is no vice that doth so cover a man 
with shame, as to be found false and perfidious; and therefore 
Montaigne saith prettily, when he inquired the reason why the 
word of the lie should be such a disgrace, and such an odious 
charge: saith he, "If it be well weighted, to say that a man 
licth, is as much as to say that he is brave towards God and a 
coward towards men. For a lie faces God, and shrinks from 
man." 



ELIZABETHAN LITERATURE. 97 

Off ADVERSITY. 

Essay V. 

The vertue of Prosperity is Temperance, the Vertue of Ad- 
versity is Fortitude, which in Morals is the more Heroical ver- 
tue. Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; Adversity 
is the Blessing of the New; which carrieth the greater Bene- 
diction, and the Clearer Revelation of God's Favor. Yet even 
in the Old Testament, if you listen to David's harpe, you shall 
heare as many Herse-like ayres as Carols ; and the Pencil of the 
Holy Ghost hath laboured more in describing the Afflictions of 
Job than the Felicities of Solomon. Prosperity is not without 
many Feares and Distastes; and Adversity is not without Com- 
forts and Hopes. We see in Needle-workes and Imbroideries, 
it is more pleasing to have a Lively Worke upon a Sad and 
Solemn Ground, than to have a Darke and Melancholy Worke 
upon a Lightsome Ground: judge, therefore, of the Pleasure 
of the Heart by the Pleasure of the Eye. Certainly vertue is 
like pretious Odours, most fragrant when they are incensed or 
crushed: For Prosperity doth best discover Vice, but Ad- 
versity doth best discover Vertue 

OF STUDIES. 
Essay L. 

Studies serve for Delight, for Ornament, and for Ability. 
Their Chief Use for Delight is in Privateness and Retiring; for 
Ornament, is in Discourse; and for Ability, is in the Judgment 
and Disposition of Business. For Expert Men can Execute, 
and perhaps Judge of Particulars, one by one; but the general 
counsels, and the plots and marshalling of affaires, come best 
from those that are Learned. To spend too much time in 
Studies is Sloth ; to use them too much for ornament is Affecta- 
tion; to make Judgment wholly by their rules is the humour of 
a scholler. They perfect nature, and are perfected by experi- 
ence; for naturall abilities are like naturall plants that need 
proyning by study ; and studies themselves doe give forth direc- 
tions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experi- 
ence. Crafty men contemne studies ; simple men admire them ; 
and wise men use them; for they teache not their owne use, 
but that is a wisdome without them and above them, won by 
observation. Reade not to contradict and confute; nor to be- 
leeve and take for granted; nor to find talke and discourse; but 
to weigh and consider. Some bookes are to be tasted, others 



98 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; 
that is, some bookes are to be read onely in parts; others to be 
read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and 
with diligence and attention. Some bookes also may be read 
by deputy, and extracts made of them by others; but that 
would be onely in the lesse important arguments, and the 
meaner sort of bookes; else distilled bookes are like common 
distilled waters, flashing things. Reading maketh a full man; 
Conference a ready man; and Writing an exact man. And 
therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great 
memory; if he conferre little, he had need have a present wit; 
and if he read little, he had need have much cunning to seeme 
to know that he doth not. Histories make men wise; poets 
witty; the mathematicks subtle; natural philosophy deep; moral 
grave; logick and rhetorick able to control. Abeunt studio in 
mores. . . . 

CHAPTER VI. 
Civil, WAR PERIOD, 1625-1700. 

The interval which begins with the Civil War and 
terminates with the seventeenth century, was not in 
the main favorable to literature. During the broils 
that agitated the nation, men could not be expected 
to cultivate letters with ardor or success. Under the 
Commonwealth and the Protectorate, triumphant Puri- 
tanism was looked upon as a declared enemy of poets, 
wits, and artists. With the Restoration came in a 
looseness of manners and a servile imitation of French 
ideas and taste, which were more dangerous to litera- 
ture than even the overstrained rigidity of the Puri- 
tans. The stage was particularly infected. The com- 
edy, far from being faithful to its mission of corrector 
of morals, openly sneered at virtue and winked at prof- 
ligacy. Throughout the century, * Euphuism con- 
tinued to exert a baleful influence on the literary taste. 
The whole epoch was one of change and transition. 

* Affected writing, from Euphues the principal character in two 
famous works of John Lyly (1554-1603), who deserves to be called 
the father of Euphuism. 



CIVIL WAR PERIOD. 99 

Milton, its greatest name, belongs by the character 
of his poetical writings to the Shakespearian times, 
whereas Dryden, who comes next in point of ex- 
cellence, was the acknowledged master of the classicist 
age. 

RICHARD CRASHAW, 1616 (?)-1650. 

Richard Crashaw, an eminent religious poet, was the 
son of a London preacher. After preliminary studies 
at the Charterhouse, he went to Cambridge, where he 
was elected to a fellowship in 1637. When the Earl of 
Manchester, under the authority of the Revolted Par- 
liament 'reformed' the University by expelling such 
members as refused to subscribe the Covenant, Cra- 
shaw was one of the fifty-five Fellows ejected. He 
then possessed a high reputation as preacher. But he 
gave up all prospects of ambition and wealth, and made 
his submission to the Catholic Church. After some 
time spent in a state of great poverty, he went (1646) 
to Italy, where he was appointed one of the canons of 
Loretto. He held this preferment till his death, which 
happened about the year 1650. 

The principal works of Crashaw are: Steps to the 
Temple, The Delights of the Muses, Sacred Poems, 
Poemata Latina, Bpigrammata Sacra. His transla- 
tions from the Latin and the Italian poets are master- 
pieces of the kind. His original works, although fre- 
quently marred by quaintness and conceits, peculiar to 
his time, are characterized by energy of thought, in- 
tense feeling of faith and piety, exquisite beauty, and 
wealth of diction. Crashaw was an intimate friend of 
Selden and Cowley, the latter of whom dedicated to 
his memory one of the most touching elegies in the 



100 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

language. In his Epigrammata Sacra is found the 
well-known verse relating to the miracle of Cana: 

Lympha pudica Deum vidit et erubuit. 

The modest water saw its God and blushed. 

ON SENDING A PRAYER-BOOK TO A LADY. 



It is an armory of light. 

Let constant use but keep it bright, 

You'll find it yields 
To holy hands and humble hearts 

More words and shields 
Than sin hath snares, or hell hath darts. 

LAZARUS'S TEARS. 

Rich Lazarus ! richer in those gems, thy tears, 

Than Dives in the robes he wears : 
He scorns them now, but Oh ! they'll suit full well 

With the purple he must wear in hell. 



GIVE TO CJESAR WHAT IS CESAR'S. 

All we have is God's, and yet 
Caesar challenges a debt; 
Nor hath God a thinner share, 
Whatever Caesar's payments are. 
All is God's; and yet, 'tis true, 
All we have is Caesar's too. 
All is Caesar's; and what odds? 
So long as Caesar's self is God's. 



CHRIST S VICTORY ON THE CROSS. 

Christ, when he died. 

Deceived the cross, 
And on death's side 
Threw all the loss: 
The captive world awaked, and found 
The prisoner loose, the jailor bound. 

O dear and sweet dispute 
Twixt death's and love's far different fruit! 



CIVIL WAR PERIOD. 101 

Different as far 
As antidotes and poisons are. 
By that first fatal tree 
Both life and liberty 
Were sold and slain ; 

By this they both look up and live again. 
O strange mysterious strife 
Of open death and hidden life! 
When on the cross my King did bleed, 
Life seemed to die, death died incked. 

(From his Epitaph on Mr. Ashton.) 

Sermons he heard, yet not so many 
As left no time to practice any: 
He heard them reverently, and then 
His practice preached them o'er again. 

ABRAHAM COWLEY, 1618-1667. 

Abraham Cowley, a distingushed poet and one of 
the most popular and influential writers of his day, was 
born in London in 1618. He was admitted as King's 
scholar in Westminster School, and so early imbibed a 
taste for poetry that in his sixteenth or seventeenth 
year, while yet at school, he published a collection of 
verses which he entitled Poetical Blossoms. These and 
other juvenile productions attracted "considerable atten- 
tion towards the author, and procured him great liter- 
ary distinction. His poetical works are divided into 
four classes : the miscellaneous, the amatory verses, 
the Pindaric Odes, and the Damdeis. The last is an 
epic of considerable length on the sufferings and glories 
of David. Although incomplete and conveying no 
strong proof of epic talent, it contains some pleasing 
passages. It is now, however, entirely neglected. 

Cowley's multifarious learning and well-digested 
reflections, give to his writings that peculiar attraction 
which grows upon the reader, as he becomes older and 



102 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

more contemplative. He was well versed both in 
Greek and Latin literature; and his imitations, para- 
phrases, and translations, show perfect knowledge of 
the originals, and a great mastery over the resources of 
the English language. What has contributed much 
to diminish Cowley's reputation, is that abuse of intel- 
lectual ingenuity, that passion for learned, far-fetched, 
and recondite illustrations which was to a certain 
extent the vice of his age. Pope says of him: 

"Who now reads Cowley? If he pleases yet, 
His moral pleases, not his pointed wit: 
Forgot his Epic, nay Pindaric art, 
But still I love the language of his heart." 

As an essayist in prose, Cowley's style has a smooth 
and placid evenness, abounding with thought, without 
any of the affectation or straining which disfigures his 
poetry. His Essay on Cromwell especially is easy and 
graceful throughout, with the exception of the close. 
In general, it may be said of him, that few authors 
afford so many new thoughts, and those so entirely 
their own. A severe cold and fever, caught from wan- 
dering among the damp fields, terminated his life in 
1667, in the forty-ninth year of his age. 



AND FAME. 
(From the Pindaric Odes.) 

O Life! thou Nothing's younger brother! 

So like, that one might take one for the other 

What's somebody or nobody? 
In all the cobwebs of the schoolmen's trade 
We no such nice distinction woven see, 

As 'tis 'to be' or 'not to be/ 
Dream of a shadow ! a reflection made 
From the false glories of the gay reflected bow 

Is a more solid thing than thou. 
Vain, weak-built isthmus, which dost proudly rise 



CIVIL WAR PERIOD. 

Up betwixt two eternities! 

Yet canst nor wind nor wave sustain, 

But broken and overwhelmed, the endless oceans meet again. 
And with what rare invention do we strive 

Ourselves then to survive ! 
Wise subtle arts and such as well befit 

That Nothing, man's no wit 
Some with vast costly tombs would purchase it, 
And by the proofs of death pretend to live. 

"Here lies the great" false Marble! where? 
Nothing but small and sordid dust lies there. 
Some build enormous mountain-palaces ; 

The fools and architects to please; 
A lasting life in well-hewn stone they rear: 

So he, who on the Egyptian shore * 
Was slain so many hundred years before, 
Lives still (O life! most happy and most dear! 
O life! that epicures envy to hear!) 
Lives in the dropping ruins of his amphitheatre. 

His father-in-law a higher place does claim t 
In the seraphic entity of Fame; 

He, since that toy his death, 

Does fill all mouths, and breathes in all men's breath. 
'Tis true the two immortal syllables remain; 

But oh, ye learned men! explain 

What essence, what existence this, 
What substance, what subsistence, what hypostasis 

In six poor letters is! 
In those alone does the great Ceesar live, 

'Tis all the conquered world could give. 

We poets madder yet than all, 
With a refined fantastic vanity, 
Think we not only have but give eternity. 

Fain would I see that prodigal 

Who his to-morrow would bestow 
For all old Homer's life, e'er since he died, till now! 

TO THE GRASSHOPPER, 

Happy insect! what can be 
In happiness compared to thee? 
Fed with nourishment divine, 
The dewy morning's gentle wine! 

* Pompey the Great. 

f Csesar whose daughter was married to Pompey. 



104 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Nature waits upon thee still, 

And thy verdant cup does fill. 

Thou dost drink, and dance, and sing, 

Happier than the happiest king! 

All the fields which thou dost see, 

All the plants belong to thee. 

All that summer hours produce, 

Fertile made with early juice. 

Man for thee does sow and plough; 

Farmer he, and landlord thou! 

Thou dost innocently enjoy, 

Nor does thy luxury destroy. 

Thee country hinds with gladness hear, 

Prophet of the ripened year ! 

To thee, of all things upon earth, 

Life's no longer than thy mirth. 

Happy insect! happy thou, 

Dost neither age nor winter know. 

But when thou'st drunk, and danced, and sung 

Thy fill, the flowery leaves among, 

Sated with thy summer feast, 

Thou retir'st to endless rest. 



THE SHORTNESS OF LIFE AND UNCERTAINTY OF RICHES. 

Why dost thou heap up wealth, which thou must quit, 

Or what is worse, be left by it? 

Why dost thou load thyself when thou'rt to fly, 

O man! ordained to die? 

Why dost thou build up stately room on high, 
Thou who art under ground to lie? 
Thou sow'st and plant'st, but no fruit must see, 
For death, alas ! is reaping thee. 

Suppose thou fortune couldst to tameness bring, 

And clip or pinion her wing; 

Suppose thou couldst on fate so far prevail, 

As not to cut off thy entail; 

Yet death at all that subtlety will laugh; 
Death will that foolish gardener mock, 
Who does a slight and annual plant ingraff 
Upon a lasting stock. 



CIVIL WAR PERIOD. 1Q5 

Thou dost thyself wise and industrious deem ; 
A mighty husband thou wouldst seem ; 
Fond man ! like a bought slave, thou all the while 
Dost but for others sweat and toil. , 

Officious fool ! that needs must meddling be 

In business that concerns not thee ; 

For when to future years thou extend'st thy cares, 

Thou deal'st in other men's affairs. 

Even aged men, as if they truly were 
Children again, for age prepare; 
Provisions for long travel they design, 
In the last point of their short line. 

Wisely the ant against poor winter hoards 
The stock which summer's wealth affords ; 
In grasshoppers, which must at autumn die, 
How vain were such an industry ! 

The wise example of the heavenly lark, 
Thy fellow-poet, Cowley, mark ; 
Above the clouds let thy proud music sound! 
Thy humble nest built on the ground. 



SIR WIUJAM DAVENANT, 1605-1668. 

William Davenant was the son of a vintner at Ox- 
ford. He studied at Lincoln College but took no 
degree. His great admiration for Shakespeare led him 
to write for the stage. He is called by Southey a poet 
of rare and indubitable genius, who had more fame 
in his time than he has preserved. He wrote as many 
as twenty-five plays and many other poetical works. 
Gondibert, the best known of his productions, is an 
unfinished heroic poem of 6000 lines, of which Scott 
has said that 'few poems afford more instances of vig- 
orous conception, and even of felicity of expression/ 
But the chief merit of Davenant, in our estimation, is 
the effort which he made to 'rescue poetry from becom- 



106 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

ing the mere handmaid of pleasure, and to restore her 
to her natural rank in society, as an auxiliary of relig- 
ion and virtue/ In 1638, he succeeded Ben Jonson 
as poet-laureate and, a few years later, became a 
Roman Catholic. During the Commonwealth when 
imprisoned and in . danger of his life, he owed his 
release to Milton's interference; a service which he 
repaid after the Restoration by successfully exerting 
his influence in behalf of his benefactor and brother 
poet. It was for his troupe of actors playing at a 
theatre in Portugal Row that Davenant obtained per- 
mission from Charles II. for actresses to play the 
female parts; such parts having been till then filled 
by boys. 

JOHN MII/TON, 1608-1674. 

John Milton, England's greatest epic poet, may be 
regarded as being, in many respects, the standard 
of dignified poetic expression ; although Shakespeare 
alone exhibits the varied elements of copiousness, pow- 
er, and brilliancy inherent in our language. "It is 
easy," says Pope, "to mark out the general course of 
our poetry : Chaucer, Spenser, Milton, and Dry den, 
are the landmaiks for it." Milton was born in Lon- 
don, in 1608. His first preceptor was a Puritan min- 
ister, named Young. At the age of sixteen he was sent 
to Christ's College, Cambridge, where he continued for 
seven years. Whilst still a member of the University, 
he wrote his Ode on the Nativity, almost any verse of 
which is sufficient to indicate a new era in poetry. The 
five years immediately succeeding his University career, 
he spent in the reading of classical works and the com- 
position of a few poems. Lycidas is a monody on the 
death of a friend, in which is poured forth the treas- 



JOHN MILTON 



CIVIL WAR PERIOD. 107 

ures of thought and imagination of the poet's mind. 
Comus, a masque is the most graceful and fanciful of 
his poems. In melody of versification, sweetness of 
imagery, and the Doric delicacy of its songs and odes, 
it has never been surpassed. His U Allegro, an ode to 
mirth, and // Penseroso, an ode to melancholy, are 
two exquisite poems, in which the thought and mode 
of treatment are no less Italian than their titles. In 
1638, he went abroad, and spent fifteen months travel- 
ling in Italy and France. In 1644, appeared his Trac- 
tate on Education, in which he rejects the modern 
method of the school and university, and proposes in 
its place a system chiefly imitated from the gymnasia 
of Sparta and Athens, but totally impracticable and 
Utopian. About the same time was published his Areo- 
pagitica, or Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Print- 
ing, the most eloquent prose composition of his pen. 
In the triumph of the Republicans, he was appointed 
Latin Secretary of Cromwell. In 1651 was published 
his Defensio pro Populo Anglicano, a reply to Sal- 
masius, the most learned man in Europe, after Gro- 
tius, who had defended the claims and conduct of 
King Charles I. For nearly ten years the eyesight of 
the poet had been failing, and, in 1652, he became 
hopelessly blind. 

Dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon, 

Irrecoverably dark, total eclipse 

Without all hope of day! Samson Agonistes. 

Milton's political and religious sentiments were of 
the extremest and even most violent character. There 
appears continually in his works, we will not say, a 
contest, but a contrast, between his conviction and his 
sympathies between his logic and his *ancy. Thus, 



108 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

while Milton the polemic was advocating the over- 
throw of the monarchic institutions of England, and 
the destruction of the hierarchic edifice of its Church, 
Milton the poet had his soul deeply penetrated with 
the enthusiasm inspired by his country's history, and 
his ear ever thrilling to the majestic services of its 
half-Roman worship. The man who desired the aboli- 
tion of all external dignities on earth, has given us 
the grandest picture of such a graduated hierarchy of 
orders in heaven 

Thrones, Princedoms, Virtues, Dominations, Powers; 

he who would have reduced the externals of Christian- 
ity to a simplicity and meanness compared with which 
the subterranean worship of the persecuted Christians 
of the primitive ages was splendor, has exhibited a 
deeper and more prevailing admiration than any other 
poet ever showed, for the grandeur of Gothic archi- 
tecture, and the charms of the solemn masses of the 
ancient cathedrals: 

But let my due feet never fail 

To walk the studious cloisters' pale 

And love the high-embowered roof, 

With antique pillars massy proof, 

And storied windows richly dight, 

Casting a dim religious light: 

There let the pealing organs blow 

To the full-voiced choir below, 

In service high and anthems clear, 

As may with sweetness through mine ear, 

Dissolve me into ecstasies, 

And bring all heaven before mine eyes. 

// Penseroso. 

His immortal Paradise Lost was finished in 1665, 
and first printed in 1667. It long struggled with bad 



CIVIL WAR PERIOD. 109 

taste and political prejudices, before it took a secure 
place among the few productions of the human mind 
that continually rise in estimation, and are unlimited 
by time or place. It is divided into twelve books or 
cantos; it begins with the council of Satan and the 
fallen angels, the description of the erection of Pande- 
monium, and ends with the expulsion of our first par- 
ents from Paradise. "Lake other great works, and in 
a higher degree than most, the poem is oftenest studied 
and estimated by piecemeal only. Though it be so 
taken, and though its unbroken and weighty solemnity 
should at length have caused weariness, it cannot but 
have left a vivid impression on all minds not quite 
unsusceptible of fine influences. The stately march of 
its diction; the organ-peal with which its versification 
rolls on; the continual overflowing, especially in the 
earlier books, of beautiful illustrations from nature and 
art ; the clearly and brightly colored pictures of human 
happiness and innocence these are features, some or 
all of which must be delightful to most of us, and give 
to the mind images and feelings not easily or soon 
effaced." The first book is as unsurpassed for magnifi- 
cence of imagination, as the fourth is for grace and 
luxuriance. A tide of gorgeous eloquence rolls on 
from beginning to end, like a river of molten gold, 
outblazing, we may surely say, everything of its kind 
in any other poetry. 

In Paradise Lost, we rarely meet with feeble lines. 
There are few in which the tone is not in some way 
distinguishd from prose. The very artificial style of 
Milton, sparing in English idiom, and his study of a 
rhythm not always the most grateful to our ears, but 
preserving his blank verse from a trivial flow, are the 
causes of this elevation. 



HO BRITISH LITERATURE. 

"It is strange," says Schlegel, "that Milton failed to 
discover the incompleteness of Paradise Lost as a 
unique whole, of which the Creation, the Fall, and Re- 
demption, are so many successive acts closely linked 
together. He eventually perceived the defect, it is true, 
and appended Paradise^ Regained; but the propor- 
tions of this latter to the first performance, were not 
in keeping, and much too slight to admit of its con- 
stituting an efficient keystone." Paradise Regained 
tells the story, in four cantos, of Christ's triple tempta- 
tion and complete triumph over Satan. 

In studying Milton's epic as a sacred poem, we are 
impressed by a want of awe and reserve in the handl- 
ing of religious mysteries, when, for instance, he repre- 
sents the Supreme Being 'as a school-divine;' and we 
loathe the grim puritanical pleasantry which he puts 
in the mouth of the rebel angels, while making the first 
experiment of their new-discovered artillery. The Mil- 
tonic Satan is undoubtedly one of the most stupendous 
creations of poetry; but there is a heroic grandeur in 
it which wins, do what you will, a human sympathy. 
This is wrong: the representation of the devil should 
be purely and entirely evil, without a tinge of good, 
as that of God should be purely and entirely good, 
without a tinge of evil. Milton never speaks of the 
Trinity, and hardly disguises his Arianism. Yet we 
would be inclined to apply to Paradise Lost, in its 
religious aspect, what Macaulay says of his Essay on 
the Doctrines of Christianity: "The book, were it far 
more orthodox or far more heretical than it is, would 
not much edify or corrupt the present generation." 

About four years before his death, Milton published 
his tragedy of Samson Agonistes. It abounds in moral 
and descriptive beauties; but exhibits little purely dra- 



CIVIL WAR PERIOD. 

matic talent, either in the development of the plot or 
in the delineation of character. As the Comus was a 
beautiful reflection of his happy youth, the Samson 
Agomstes shadows forth the gloomy grandeur of the 
poet's old age. We seem to hear the voice of Milton's 
own spirit in the words of his hero : 

I 
I feel my genial spirit droop, 



My race of glory run, and race of shame; 
And I shall shortly be with them that rest. 

Milton's prose writings are frequently scathing in 
denunciation, but at other times poetically beautiful. 

DEBATE IN PANDEMONIUM. 

High on a throne of royal state, which far 
Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind, 
Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand 
Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold, 
Satan exalted sat, by merit . raised 
To that bad eminence: and from despair 
Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires 
Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue 
Vain war with heaven; and, by success untaught, 
His proud imagination thus displayed: 

"Power and dominions, deities of heaven; 
For since no dee^ within her gulf can hold 
Immortal vigor, though oppressed and fallen, 
I give not heaven for lost. From this descent 
Celestial virtues rising, will appear 
More glorious and more dread than from no fall, 
And trust themselves to fear no second fate. 
Me though just right, and the fixed laws of heaven, 
Did first create your leader: next, free choice, 
With what besides, in council or in fight, 
Hath been achieved of merit; yet this loss, 
Thus far at least recovered, hath much more 
Established in a safe unenvied throne, 
Yielded with full consent. The happier state 
In heaven, which follows dignity, might draw 



BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Envy from each inferior; but who here 
Will envy whom the highest place exposes 
Foremost to stand against the Thunderer's aim, 
Your bulwark, and condemns to greater share 
Of endless pain? Where there is then no good 
For which to strive, no strife can grow up there 
From faction ; for none sure will claim in hell 
Precedence, none whose portion is so small 
Of present pain, that with ambitious mind 
Will covet more. With this advantage then 
To union, and firm faith, and firm accord, 
More than can be in heaven, we now return 
To claim our just inheritance of old, 
Surer to prosper than prosperity 
Could have assured us ; and by what best way, 
Whether of open war, or covert guile, 
We now debate; who can advise, may speak." 

. . Up rose 

Belial, in act more graceful and humane: 

A fairer person lost not heaven ; he seemed 

For dignity composed, and high exploit: 

But all was false and hollow; though his tongue 

Dropped manna, and could make the worse appear 

The better reason, to perplex and dash 

Maturest counsels: for his thoughts were low: 

To vice industrious, but to nobler deeds 

Timorous and slothful; yet he pleased the ear, 

And with persuasive accent thus began: 

"I should be much for open war, O peers, 

As not behind in hate; if what was urged 

Main reason to persuade immediate war, 

Did not dissuade me most, and seem to cast 

Ominous conjecture on the whole success; 

When he, who most excels in fact of arms, 

In what he counsels, and in what excels, 

Mistrustful grounds his courage on despair 

And utter dissolution, as the scope 

Of all his aim, after some dire revenge. 

First, what revenge? The towers of heaven are filled 

With armed watch, that render all access 

Impregnable; oft on the bordering deep 

Encamp their legions; or, with obscure wing, 

Scout far and wide into the realm of night, 

Scorning surprise. Or could we break our way 

By force, and at our heels all hell should rise 



CIVIL WAR PERIOD. 

With blackest insurrection, to confound 

Heaven's purest light; yet our great enemy 

All incorruptible, would on his throne 

Sit unpolluted; and the ethereal mould, 

Incapable of stain, would soon expel 

Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire, 

Victorious. Thus repulsed, our final hope 

Is flat despair: we must exasperate 

The almighty Victor to spend all his rage, 

And that must end us; that must be our cure, 

To be no more. Sad cure ! for who would lose 

Though full of pain, this intellectual being, 

Those thoughts that wander through eternity, 

To perish rather, swallowed up and lost 

In the wide womb of uncreated night, 

Devoid of sense and motion? And who knows, 

Let this be good, whether our angry foe 

Can give it, or will ever? how he can, 

Is doubtful; that he never will, is sure. 

Will he, so wise, let loose at once his ire, 

Belike through impotence, or unaware, 

To give his enemies their wish, and end 

Them in his anger, whom his anger saves 

To punish endless? Wherefore cease we then? 

Say they who counsel war, We are decreed, 

Reserved, and destined, to eternal woe; 

Whatever doing, what can we suffer more, 

What can we suffer worse? Is this then worst, 

Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in arms? 

What, when we fled amain, pursued, and struck 

With heaven's afflicting thunder, and besought 

The deep to shelter us ? this hell then seemed 

A refuge from those wounds : or when lay 

Chained on the burning lake? that sure was worse. 

What if the breath that kindled those grim fires, 

Awaked, should blow them into sevenfold rage, 

And plunge us in the flames? or, from above, 

Should intermitted vengeance arm again 

His red right hand to plague us? What if all 

Her stores were opened, and this firmament 

Of hell should spout her cataracts of fire, 

Independent horrors, threatening hideous fall 

One day upon our heads; while we perhaps, 

Designing or extorting glorious war, 

Caught in a fiery tempest shall be hurled 



114 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Each on his rock transfixed, the sport and prey 
Of wracking whirlwinds; or forever sunk 
Under yon boiling ocean, wrapt in chains; 
There to converse with everlasting groans, 
Unrespited, unpitied, unreprieved, 
Ages of hopeless end? This would be worse. 
War, therefore, open or concealed, alike 
My voice dissuades." 

The Third Book opens by an easy transition, with 
an address to Light. The whole passage has been 
greatly admired : 

ADDRESS TO LIGHT. 

Hail, holy light! offspring of heaven first-born, 
Or of the Eternal coeternal beam 
May I express thee unblamed ! since God is light, 
And never but in unapproached light 
Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee, 
Bright effluence of bright essence increate 
Or hearest thou rather, pure ethereal stream, 
Whose fountain who shall tell? Before the sun, 
Before the heavens thou wert, and at the voice 
Of God, as with a mantle, didst invest 
The rising world of waters dark and deep, 
Won from the void and formless infinite. 
Thee I revisit now with bolder wing, 
Escaped the Stygian pool, though long detained 
In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight 
Through utter and through middle darkness borne, 
With other notes than to the Orphean lyre, 
I sung of Chaos and eternal Night; 
Taught by the heavenly muse to venture down 
The dark descent, and up to reascend, 
Though hard and rare: thee I revisit safe, 
And feel thy sovereign vital lamp; but thou 
Revisitest not these eyes, that roll in vain 
To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn 
So thick a drop serene hath quenched their orbs, 
Or dim suffusion veiled. Yet not the more 
Cease I to wander where the muses haunt 
Clear spring, or shady grove, or stmny hill, 
Smit with the love of sacred song; but chief 



CIVIL WAR PERIOD. 

Thee, Sion, and the flowery brooks beneath, 

That wash thy hallowed feet and warbling flow, 

Nightly I visit: nor sometimes forget 

Those other two equalled with them in renown, 

Blind Thamyris, and blind Mseonides, 

And Tiresias, and Phineas, prophets old: 

Then feed on thoughts, that voluntary move 

Harmonious numbers; as the wakeful bird 

Sings darkling, and in shadiest covert hid 

Tunes her nocturnal note. Thus with the year 

Seasons return ; but not to me returns 

Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn, 

Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose, 

Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine; 

But cloud instead, and everduring dark 

Surrounds me, from the cheerful ways of men 

Cut off, and for the book of knowledge fair, 

Presented with a universal blank 

Of nature's works to me expunged and rased, 

And wisdom at one entrance quite shut out. 

So much the rather thou, celestial light, 

Shine inward, and the mind through all her power 

Irradiate; there plant eyes, all mist from thence 

Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell 

Of things invisible to mortal sight. 

SATAN'S SOLILOQUY ON VIEWING PARADISE AT A DISTANCE. 

Sometimes towards Eden, which now in his view 
Lay pleasant, his grieved look he fixed sad; 
Sometimes towards heaven, and the full blazing sun, 
Which now sat high in his meridian tower: 
Then, much revolving, thus in sighs began: 

"O thou, that, with surpassing glory crowned, 
Lookest from thy sole dominion like the god 
Of this new world: at whose sight all the stars 
Hide their diminished heads; to thee I call, 
But with no friendly voice, and add thy name, 

sun! to tell thee how I hate thy beams, 
That bring to my remembrance from what state 

1 fell, how glorious once above thy sphere; 
Till pride and worse ambition threw me down 
Warring in heaven against heaven's matchless King. 
Ah, wherefore? he deserved no such return 

From me whom he created what I was 



BRITISH LITERATURE. 

In that bright eminence, and with his good 

Upbraided none, nor was his service hard. 

What could be less than to afford him praise, 

The easiest recompense, and pay him thanks, 

How due ! yet all his good proved ill in me, 

And wrought but malice; lifted up so high 

I disdained subjection, and thought one step higher 

Would set me highest, and in a moment quit 

The debt immense of endless gratitude, 

So burdensome still paying, still to owe; 

Forgetful what from him I still received, 

And understood not that a grateful mind 

By owing owes not, but still pays, at once 

Indebted and discharged; what burden then? 

O had his powerful destiny ordained 

Me some inferior angel, I had stood 

Then happy; no unbounded hope had raised 

Ambition. Yet why not? some other power 

As great might have aspired, and me, though mean, 

Drawn to his part; but other powers as great 

Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within 

Or from without, to all temptations armed. 

Hadst thou the same free will and power to stand? 

Thou hadst; whom hast thou then or what to accuse, 

But heaven's free love dealt equally to all? 

Be then his love accursed, since love or hate, 

To me alike, it deals eternal woe. 

Nay, cursed be thou; since against his thy will 

Chose freely what it now so justly rues. 

Me miserable ! which way shall I fly 

Infinite wrath, and infinite despair? 

Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell; 

And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep 

Still threatening to devour me opens wide, 

To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven. 

O, then, at last relent: is there no place 

Left for repentance, none for pardon left? 

None left but by submission ; and that word 

Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame 

Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduced 

With other promises and other vaunts 

Than to submit, boasting I could subdue 

The Omnipotent. Ay me! they little know 

How dearly I abide that boast so vain, 

Under what torments inwardly I groan, 



CIVIL WAR PERIOD. 

While they adore me on the throne of hell, 

With diadem and sceptre high advanced, 

The lower still I fall, only supreme 

In misery: such joy ambition finds. 

But say I could repent and could obtain, 

By act of grace, my former state; how soon 

Would height recall high thoughts, how soon unsay 

Which feigned submission swore! Ease would recant 

Vows made in pain, as violent and void. 

For never can true reconcilement grow, 

Where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep; 

Which would but lead me to a worse relapse 

And heavier fall : so should I purchase dear 

Short intermission bought with double smart. 

This knows my Punisher; therefore as far 

From granting he, as I from begging peace: 

All hope excluded thus, behold, instead 

Of us outcast, exiled, his new delight 

Mankind created, and for him this world. 

So farewell hope, and with hope farewell fear, 

Farewell remorse : all good to me is lost ; 

Evil, be thou my good : by thee at least 

Divided empire with heaven's King I hold, 

By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign ;* 

As man ere long, and this new world shall know." 

ON THE MORNING CHRIST'S NATIVITY. 

It was the winter wild, 
While the heaven-born child 

All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies ; 
Nature, in awe to Him, 
Had doffed her gaudy trim, 

With her great Master so to sympathize: 
It was no season then for her 
To wanton with the sun, her lusty paramour. 
****** 

No war, or battle sound, 
Was heard the world around : 

The idle spear and shield were high up hung; 
The hooked chariot stood 
Unstained with hostile blood; 

The trumpet spake not to the armed throng; 
And kings sat still with awful eye, 
As if they surely knew their sovereign Lord was by. 



118 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

But peaceful was the night, 
Wherein the Prince of Light 

His reign of peace upon the earth began: 
The winds, with wonder whist, 
Smoothly the waters kissed, 

Whispering new joys to the mild ocean, 
Who now hath quite forgot to rave, 
While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmed wave 

The stars with deep amaze, 
Stand fixed in steadfast gaze, 

Bending one way their precious influence; 
And will not take their flight, 
For all the morning light, 

Or Lucifer that often warned them thence, 
But in their glimmering orbs did glow, 
Until the Lord himself bespake and bid them go. 
****** 

The shepherds on the lawn, 
Or ere the point of dawn, 

Sat simply chatting in a rustic row: 
Full little thought they then, 
That the mighty Pan 

Was kindly come to live with them below; 
Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep, 
Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy keep. 

When such music sweet 
Their hearts and ears did greet, 

As never was by mortal finger strook; 
Divinely-warbled voice 
Answering the stringed noise : 

As all their souls in blissful rapture took: 
The air, such pleasure loath to lose, 
With thousand echoes still prolongs each heavenly close. 
****** 

The oracles are dumb, 
No voice or hideous hum 

Runs through the arched roof in words deceiving. 
Apollo from his shrine 
Can no more divine, 

With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving. 
No nightly trance, or breathed spell, 
Inspires the pale-eyed priest from the prophetic cell. 



CIVIL WAR PERIOD. H9 

The lonely mountains o'er, 
And the resounding shore, 

A voice of weeping heard and loud lament; 
From haunted spring and dale, 
Edged with poplar pale, 

The parting genius is with sighing sent; 
With flower-inwoven tresses torn, 
The nymphs in twilight shades of tangled thickets mourn. 

In consecrated earth, 
And on the holy hearth, 

The Lars and Lemures moan with midnight plaint; 
In urns, and altars round, 
A drear and dying sound 

Affrights the Flamens at their service quaint; 
And the chill marble seems to sweat, 
While each peculiar power foregoes his wonted seat. 
****** 

So, when the sun in bed, 
Curtained with cloudy red, 

Pillows his chin upon an orient wave, 
The flocking shadows pale 
Troop to the infernal jail, 

Each fettered ghost slips to his several grave; 
And the yellow-skirted fays 
Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their moon-loved maze. 

But see, the Virgin blest 
Hath laid her Babe to rest; 

Time is, our tedious song should here have ending. 
Heaven's youngest-teemed star 
Hath fixed her polished car, 

Her sleeping Lord, with handmaid lamp, attending: 
And all about the courtly stable 
Bright harnessed angels sit in order serviceable. 



SAMUKL BUTLER, 1612-1680. 

Samuel Butler, a minor poet, the author of the fam- 
ous Hudibras, was born in Worcestershire, in 1612. 
It is generally thought that he was educated at Cam- 
bridge, although some have denied that he enjoyed the 

advantages of a university education. He resided for 
10 



120 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

some time with Sir Samuel Luke, a commander under 
Cromwell. In this situation, he acquired the materials 
for his Hudibras, by a study of those around him, and 
particularly of Sir Samuel himself, a caricature of 
whom is exhibited in the celebrated Knight Hudibras, 
the hero of the poem. 

The name of Hudibras is taken from the old ro- 
mances of chivalry, Sir Hugh de Bras being one of 
the Knights of King Arthur's Round Table.* The 
poem itself is a burlesque on the extravagant ideas and 
rigid manners of the English Puritans of the Civil 
War and Commonwealth. The versification is the 
rhymed iambic tetrameter, a measure well adapted 
for continuous and easy narrative, and peculiarly fitted 
for the burlesque. The learning, the inexhaustible wit, 
the ingenious and felicitous illustrations, do not how- 
ever prevent us from perceiving that the intrigue is 
so limited and defective as scarcely to deserve the 
name of plot; and that the action is inconsistent and 
left unfinished at the conclusion, if indeed the abrupt 
termination of a poem in which nothing is concluded, 
can be called a conclusion. 

Incomplete as it is, it obtained at once an immense 
popularity. Yet the plethora of wit, the condensation 
of thought and style, which so highly characterize this 
production, the vulgarity of the language, soon be- 
come tiresome and oppressive; and after perusing 
some thirty or forty pages, the reader would fain relin- 
quish the task and pass to something more dignified, 
less sparkling or whimsical. As a work intended to 

* The Knights of the Round Table, a military order supposed to 
have been instituted by Arthur, a renowned British chieftain, in the 
year 516. They are said to have been twenty-four in number, all 
selected from among the bravest of the nation. The Round Table, 
which gave them their title, was an invention of that prince to avoid 
disputes about the upper and lower end, and to take away all emula- 
tion as to places. 



CIVIL WAR PERIOD. 131 

ridicule the Puritans, the attraction of Hudibras was 
great, but temporary. As applicable to classes of 
characters which exist forever, the pungency will 
always be relished. Fanaticism, hypocrisy, and time- 
serving venality are of all ages. The idiomatic spirit 
of this celebrated satirist, his proverb-like oddity and 
humor of expression, have caused many of his lines 
and similes to be completely identified with the lan- 
guage. 

Celebrated as Hudibras rendered its author, it did 
nothing towards extricating him from indigence. The 
unfortunate and ill-requited laureate of the Royalists 
died in 1680, not possessing sufficient property to pay 
his funeral expenses. A monument was indeed erected 
to his memory in Westminster Abbey, forty years after 
his death ; and this tardy recognition of his merit, gave 
occasion to one of the keenest epigrams in the English 
language : 

"Whilst Butler, needy wretch, was yet alive, 
No generous patron would a dinner give: 
See him when starved to death and turned to dust, 
Presented with a monumental bust; 
The poet's fate is here in emblem shown: 
He asked for bread, and he received a stone." 

SIR HUDIBRAS AND HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS. 

When civil dudgeon first grew high, 
And men fell out, they knew not why; 
When hard words, jealousies, and fears, 
Set folks together by the ears ; . . . 
When gospel-trumpeter, surrounded 
By long-eared rout, to battle sounded, 
And pulpit, drum ecclesiastic, 
Was beat with fist instead of a stick; 
Then did Sir Knight abandon dwelling, 
And out he rode a-colonelling. 

A wight he was, whose very sight would 
Entitle him mirror of knighthood, 



122 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

That never bowed his stubborn knee 

To anything but chivalry, 

Nor put up blow but that which laid 

Right worshipful on shoulder blade. . , 

We grant, altho' he had much wit, 

He was very shy of using it ; 

As being loath to wear it out, 

And therefore bore it not about 

Unless on holidays or so, 

As men their best apparel do. 

Besides, 'tis known he could speak Greek, 

As naturally as pigs squeak. 

That Latin was no more difficile 

Than to a blackbird 'tis to whistle: 

Being rich in both, he never scanted 

His bounty unto such as wanted ; 

But much of either would afford 

To many that had -not one word. . . c 

He was in logic a great critic, 
Profoundly skilled in analytic. 
He could distinguish and divide 
A hair 'twixt south and southwest side: 
On either which he would dispute, 
Confute, change hands, and still confute. 
He'd undertake to prove, by force 
Of argument, a man's no horse; 
He'd prove a buzzard is no fowl, 
And that a lord may be an owl ; 
A calf an alderman; a goose a justice; 
And rooks committee-men and trustees. 
He'd run in debt by disputation, 
And pay with ratiocination. 
All this by syllogism, true 
In mood and figure, he would do. 

For rhetoric he could not ope 
His mouth but out there flew a trope; 
And when he happened to break off 
In the middle of his speech, or cough, 
He had hard words ready to show why, 
And tell what rule he did it by; 
Else, when with greatest art he spoke, 
You'd think he talked like other folk; 
For all a rhetorician's rules 
Teach nothing but to name his tools. 
But, when he pleased to show't, his speech 



CIVIL WAR PERIOD. 

In loftiness of sound was rich; 

A Babylonish dialect, 

Which learned pedants much affect. 

It was a parti-colored dress 

Of patched and piebald languages: 

'Twas English cut on Greek and Latin, 

As fustian heretofore on satin: 

It had an odd promiscuous tone, 

As if he had talked three parts in one : 

Which made some think, when he did gabble, 

They had heard three laborers of Babel, 

Or Cerberus himself pronounce 

A leash of languages at once. 

HIS RELIGION. 

For his religion, it was fit 
To match his learning and his wit: 
'Twas Presbyterian true blue. 
For he was of that stubborn crew 
Of errant saints, whom all men grant 
To be the true church militant; 
Such as do build their faith upon 
The holy text of pike and gun; 
Decide all controversies by 
Infallible artillery; 
And prove their doctrine orthodox 
By apostolic blows and knocks ; 
Call fire, and sword, and desolation 
A godly thorough reformation, 
Which always must be carried on, 
And still be doing, never done; 
As if religion were intended 
For nothing else but to be mended; 
A sect whose chief devotion lies 
In odd perverse antipathies; 
In falling out with that or this, 
And finding, somewhat still amiss; 
More peevish, cross, and splenetic, 
Than dog distraught or monkey sick; 
That with more care keep holiday 
The wrong, than others the right way; 
Compound for sins they are inclined to, 
By damning those they have no mind to. 
Still so perverse and opposite, 
As if they worshipped God for spite. 



324 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

EDMUND WAU^R, 1605-1687. 

Edmund Waller was born at Coleshill, near Amer- 
sham. His uncle's wife was aunt to Oliver Cromwell, 
but his own family were staunch loyalists. In his 
infancy he inherited a small fortune. After an educa- 
tion received at Cambridge, he enured Parliament 
at the age of sixteen. His life was a checkered one, 
as he passed alternately from the republican to the 
royalist, and from the royalist to the republican party 
as occasion or policy demanded. As a poet he enjoyed 
the widest popularity, which continued after his death 
for a hundred years. His poems, written for special 
occasions to men and women of the world, are grace- 
ful and full of airy compliments. His lyrics are of the 
best, particularly when, forgetting his usual frivolity, 
he strikes a pensive strain. When past eighty years he 
wrote these beautiful lines: 

The seas are quiet when the winds give o'er; 

So calm are we when passions are no more : 

For then we know how vain it was to boast 

Of fleeting things, so certain to be lost. 

Clouds of affection from our younger eyes 

Conceal that emptiness which age descries. 

The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decayed, 

Lets in new light through chinks that time hath made; 

Stronger by weakness, wiser men become, 

As they draw nearer to their eternal home. 

Leaving the old, both worlds at once they view, 

Who stand upon the threshold of the new. 

\ 

JOHN DRYDEN, 1631-1700. 

John Dryden, one of the greatest masters of English 
verse, whose masculine satire has never been excelled, 
was born in Northamptonshire, in 1631. He was edu- 
cated partly at Westminster, and partly at Trinity 



CIVIL WAR PERIOD. 15 

College, Cambridge. His first acknowledged publica- 
tion was a poem on the death of Lord Hastings; but 
his most important and promising early production 
was a set of heroic stanzas on the death of Cromwell. 

In 1662, he became a candidate for theatrical laurels ; 
and, within the space of thirty years, produced twenty- 
seven plays, the most popular of which are The Indian 
Emperor and The Conquest of Granada. His dramatic 
efforts, however, were in great part failures; and he 
had but too much cause for the repentance which he 
expresses in regard to the licentiousness with which 
they are defiled. Deeply is it to be regretted, that his 
great talents were so instrumental in extending and 
prolonging the depravation of national taste. His com- 
edy is, with scarcely an exception, false to nature, ill- 
arranged, and offensive equally to taste and morality. 

In 1667, appeared Annus Mirabilis, a poem on the 
memorable events of 1666,* which may be esteemed 
his most elaborate work. In 1681, Dryden published 
the political satire of Absalom and Achitophel, written 
in the style of a scriptural narrative, in which the inci- 
dents of the rebellion of Absalom against David are 
admirably applied to Charles II., the Duke of Mon- 
mouth, and the intriguing Earl of Shaftesbury. It is 
considered the most vigorous, elastic, and finely versi- 
fied satire in the English language. The attacks of a 
rival poet, Shadwell, drew from his pen, in 1682, 
another vigorous satire entitled Mac-Flecknoe. 

In the same year was published his Religio Laid, a 
poem written to defend the Church of England against 
the dissenters; yet evincing a sceptical spirit with 
regard to revealed religion. His doubts, however, 

* "An expensive though necessary war, a consuming pestilence, and 
a more consuming fire." 



126 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

about religion were dispelled when he embraced the 
Roman Catholic faith. Satisfied with the prospect of 
an infallible guide, he exclaimed : 

Good life, be now my task my doubts are done. 

The first public fruit of his conversion was a contro- 
versial poem of great force and beauty of versification, 
The Hind and The Panther, (1687). The milk-white 
Hind is the Church of Rome; the spotted Panther 
is the Church of England; while the Independents, 
Quakers, Calvinists, and other sects, are represented 
by bears, hares, wolves, and other animals. This 
allegorical description of the sects fills the first section 
of the poem, the second deals with the struggle between 
the Hind and the Panther; the third develops personal 
and doctrinal satire. The following opening lines, 
which Johnson styles lofty, elegant, and musical, rank 
among the most beautiful in our language: 

A milk-white Hind, immortal and unchanged, 

Fed on the lawns, and in the forest ranged: 

Without unspotted, innocent within, 

She feared no danger, for she knew no sin. 

Yet had she oft been chased with horns and hounds, 

And Scythian shafts, and many-winged wounds, 

Aimed at her heart; was often forced to fly, 

And doomed to death, though fated not to die. 

"The wit in the Hind and Panther" says Hallam, 
"is sharp, ready, and pleasant ; the reasoning in some- 
times admirably close and strong; it is the energy of 
Bossuet in verse." As an example of his success in 
the difficult undertaking of rendering argument in 
verse interesting, read lines 449-555 of the second part 
of the poem, or the defense of his course of action in 
becoming a Catholic. Part III lines 235-50. "A more 



CIVIL WAR PERIOD. 127 

just and complete estimate of his natural and acquired 
powers, of the merits of his style and of its blemishes, 
may be formed from the Hind and Panther, than from 
any of his other writings/' * Dryden also gave to 
the world versions of Juvenal and Persius, and a still 
weightier task, his celebrated translation of Virgil, 
published in 1697, which Pope hesitates not to charac- 
terize as the most noble and spirited translation he 
knew of in any language. The Ode to St. Cecilia, 
commonly called Alexander's Feast, was Dry den's next 
effort. It is the loftiest and most imaginative of all 
his compositions, and one of the noblest lyrics in the 
English language. 

The Fables, published in his sixty-eighth year, are 
imitations of Boccaccio and Chaucer, and afford the 
finest specimens of Dryden's happy versification : 

'The varying verse, the full resounding line, 

The long majestic march, and energy divine/ Pope. 

At this advanced age, his fancy was even brighter 
and more prolific than ever. Like a calm and brilliant 
sunset, it shed a lustre on the last days of the poet. 

His principal prose compositions are his Essay on 
Dramatic Poetry, and his admirable Prefaces and Dedi- 
cations. If there is a doubt whether he can rank with 
the first class of poets, there can be no question of his 
pre-eminence as a writer of prose. "The matchless 
prose of Dryden," says Lord Brougham, "is rich, 
various, natural, animated, pointed, lending itself to 
the logical as well as the narrative and picturesque; 
never balking, never cloying, never wearying. The 
vigor, freedom, variety, copiousness, that speaks an ex- 
haustless fountain from its source : nothing can surpass 

* Macaulay. 



128 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Dryden." "The prose of Dryden/' says Sir Walter 
Scott, "may rank with the best in the English language. 
It is no less of his own formation than his versification ; 
it is equally spirited, and equally harmonious." He is 
the father of the modern paragraph; as in verse he 
had compassed his thought in the riming couplet, 
in prose he aimed to give unity and clearness to his 
expression by embodying the idea in the short space 
of a paragraph. 

In disposition and moral character, Dryden is repre- 
sented as most amiable. He declares, however, that 
he was not one of those whose sprightly sayings di- 
verted company. One of his censurers makes him 
remark of himself, 

"To writing bred, I knew not what to say." 

By Congreve, who spoke from observation, he is de- 
scribed as Very modest and very easily to be discoun- 
tenanced, in his approaches to his equals or superiors/ 
4< If," remarks Sir Walter Scott, "we are to judge 
of Dryden's sincerity in his new faith by the deter- 
mined firmness with which he retained it, we must 
allow him to have been a martyr, or at least a con- 
fessor in the Catholic cause." He died May, 1700, 
in the profession of the Catholic faith, with submis- 
sion and resignation to the divine will. His body was 
interred in Westminster Abbey, next to the tomb of 
Chaucer. 

REASON BUT AN AID TO FAITH. 

(From Religio La4ci.) 

Dim as the borrowed beams of moon and stari 
To lonely, weary, wandering travellers, 
Is Reason to the soul : and, as on high, 
Those rolling fires discover but the sky, 



CIVIL WAR PERIOD. 

Not light us here ; so Reason's glimmering ray 

Was lent, not to assure our doubtful way, 

But guide us upward to a better day. 

And "as those nightly tapers disappear, 

Wlier- day's bright lord ascends our hemisphere; 

So pale grows Reason at Religion's sight; 

So dies, and so dissolves in supernatural light. 

Some few whose lamps shone brighter, have been led 

From cause to cause, to nature's secret head; 

And found that one first principle must be : 

But what, or who, that universal He; 

Whether some soul encompassing this ball, 

Unmade, unmoved; yet making, moving all; 

Or various atoms' interfering dance 

Leaped into form, the noble work of chance; 

Or this great all was from eternity; 

Not e'en the Stagirite himself could see ; 

And Epicurus guessed as well as he: 

And blindly groped they for a future state; 

As rashly judged of providence and fate: 

But least of all could their endeavors find 

What most concerned the good of human kind: 

For happiness was never to be found ; 

But vanished from them like enchanted ground. 

One thought Content the good to be enjoyed: 

This every little accident destroyed : 

The wiser madmen did for Virtue toil : 

A thorny, or at best a barren soil : 

In pleasure some their glutton souls would steep, 

But found their line too short, the well too deep; 

And leaky vessels which no bliss could keep. 

Thus anxious thoughts in endless circles roll, 

Without a centre where to fix the soul: 

In this wild maze their vain endeavors end: 

How can the less the greater comprehend? 

Or finite reason reach Infinity? 

For what could fathom God were more than He, 

ALEXANDER'S FEAST. 
An Ode in honor of St. Cecilia's Day. 

'Twas at the royal feast for Persia won 

By Philip's warlike son; 
Aloft in awful state 



180 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

The godlike hero sate 

On his imperial throne; 
His valiant peers were placed around : 
Their brows with roses and with myrtles bound,- 
So should desert in arms be crowned: 

The lovely Thais, by his side, 
Sate, like a blooming Eastern bride, 
In flower of youth and beauty's pride. 

Happy, happy, happy pair! 

None but the brave, 

None but the brave, 

None but the brave deserves the fair. 



Timotheus, placed on high 

Amid the tuneful quire, 

With flying fingers touched the lyre : 
The trembling notes ascend the sky, 

And heavenly joys inspire 

Soothed with the sound, the king grew vain; 

Fought all his battles o'er again; 

And thrice he routed all his foes, and thrice he slew the 
slain. 

The master saw the madness rise; 
His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes ; 
And, while he Heaven and Earth defied, 
Changed his hand, and checked his pride. 
He chose a mournful Muse, 
Soft pity to infuse: 
He sung Darius great and good, 

By too severe a fate 
Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen, 
Fallen from his high estate, 

And weltering in his blood; 
Deserted at his utmost need 
By those his former bounty ted, 
On the bare earth expostd he lies, 
With not a friend to close his eyes. 
W ; th downcast look the joyless victor sate, 
Revolving in his altered soul 

The various turns of Chance below; 
And now and then a sigh he stole, 
And tears began to flow. 



CIVIL WAR PERIOD. 

The mighty master smiled, to see 
That love was in the next degree: 
'Twas but a kindred sound to move, 
For pity melts the mind to love. 

Softly sweet in Lydian measures 
Soon he soothed his soul to pleasures. 
War, he sung, is toil and trouble : 
Honor but an empty bubble; 

Never ending, still beginning, 
Fighting still, and still destroying; 
If the world be worth thy winning 
Think, O think it worth enjoying: 

Lovely Thais sits beside thee, 
Take the goods the gods provide thee! 
The many rend the skies with loud applause; 
So love was crowned, but Music won the cause. 
The prince, unable to conceal his pain, 
Gazed on the fair 
Who caused his care, 

And sighed and looked, sighed and looked; 
Sighed and looked, and sighed again : 
At length, with love and wine at once oppressed, 
The vanquished victor sunk upon her breast. 

Now strike the golden lyre again: 
A louder yet and yet a louder strain. 
Break his bands of sleep asunder, 
And rouse him, like a rattling peal of thunder. 
Hark, hark, the horrid sound 
Has raised up his head, 
As, awaked from the dead, 
And amazed, he stares around. 
Revenge! revenge! Timotheus cries, 
See the Furies arise: 
See the snakes that they rear, 
How they hiss in their hair, 
And the sparkles that flash from their eyes! 

Behold a ghastly band, 
Each a torch in his hand! 

Those are Grecian ghosts, that in battle were slain 
And unburied remain 
Inglorious on the plain: 
Give the vengeance due 
To the valiant crew ! 
Behold how they toss their torches on high. 



132 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

How they point to the Persian abodes, 
And glittering temples of their hostile gods ! 
The princes applaud with a furious joy; 
And the king seized a flambeau with zeal to destroy; 
Thais led the way, 
To light him to his prey, 
And, like another Helen, fired another Troy. 

Thus long ago, 
Ere heaving bellows learned to blow, 

While organs yet were mute, 
Timotneus to his breathing flute 

And sounding lyre 

Could swell the soul to rage, or kindle soft desire. 
At last divine Cecilia came, 
Inventress of the vocal frame; 
The sweet enthusiast from her sacred store 
Enlarged the former narrow bounds, 
And added length to solemn sounds, 
With Nature's mother-wit, and arts unknown before. 
Let old Timotheus yield the prize, 
Or both divide the crown ; 
He raised a mortal to the skies, 
She drew an angel down. 



CHRISTIAN RESIGNATION UNDER HUMAN REPROACH. 
(From The Hind and Panther.) 

Be vengeance wholly left to powers divine! . . . 

If joys hereafter must be purchased here, 

With the loss of all that mortals hold most dear, 

Then, welcome, infamy and public shame, 

And last, a long farewell to worldly fame! 

'Tis said with ease, but, oh, how hardly tried 

By haughty souls to human honor tied ! 

Oh, sharp convulsive pangs of agonizing pride ! 

Down, then, thou rebel, never more to rise ! 

And what thou didst, and dost, so dearly prize, 

That fame, that darling fame, make that thy sacrifice ; 

'Tis nothing thou hast given; then add thy tears 

For a long race of unrepenting years ; 

'Tis nothing yet, yet all thou hast to give; 

Then add those may-be years thou hast to live ; 

Yet nothing still; then poor and naked come; 

Thy Father will receive his unthrift home, 

And thy blessed Saviour's blood discharge the mighty sum. 



CIVIL WAR PERIOD. 133 

HISTORY. 

It may now be expected that, having written the life of a 
historian [Plutarch], I should take occasion to write somewhat 
concerning history itself. But I think to commend it is un- 
necessary, for the profit and pleasure of that story are so very 
obvious, that a quick reader will be beforehand with me, and 
imagine faster than I can write. Besides that the post is taken 
up already; and but few authors have travelled this way, but 
who have strewed it with rhetoric as they passed. For my 
own part, who must confess it to my shame that I never read 
anything but for pleasure, it has always been the most delight- 
ful entertainment of my life; but they who have employed 
the study of it, as they ought, for their instruction, for the 
regulation of their private manners, and the management of 
public affairs, must agree with me that it is the most pleasant 
school of wisdom. It is a familiarity with past ages, and an 
acquaintance with all the heroes of them; it is, if you will 
pardon the similitude, a prospective glass, carrying your soul 
to a vast distance, and taking in the farthest objects of antiq- 
uity. It informs the understanding by the memory ; it helps 
us to judge of what will happen by showing us the like revolu- 
tion of former times. For, mankind being the same in all ages, 
agitated by the same passions, and moved to action by the same 
interests, nothing can come to pass but some precedent of the 
like nature has already been produced ; so that having the causes 
before our eyes, we cannot easily be deceived in the effects, 
if we have judgment enough but to draw the parallel. God, 
it is true, with his divine providence overrules and guides all 
actions to the secret end he has ordained them ; but, in the way 
of human causes, a wise man may easily discern that there is 
a natural connection betwixt them; and, though he cannot 
foresee accidents, or all things that possibly can come, he may 
apply examples, and by them foretell that from the like coun- 
sels will probably succeed the like events; and thereby in all 
concernments, and all offices of life, be instructed in the two 
main points on which depend our happiness that is, what to 
avoid, and what to choose. 

EDWARD HYDS, 1608-1674. 

Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, was alike emi- 
nent as a statesman of great ability, and a writer of 
uncommon merit. Educated at Oxford, and subse- 



134 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

quently a lawyer of distinction, he began in 1640 his 
political career as a member of Parliament. The 
cause of Charles I. had never a more zealous and faith- 
ful adherent than Clarendon. He shared the wander- 
ings, hardships, and poverty of the royal exile, Charles 
II. The Restoration paid him back with the highesv 
honors in the gift of the king. But the envy of his 
enemies, well seconded by the haughtiness of his own 
disposition, forced him to a second exile, which grad- 
ually bent him to the grave. 

Clarendon's writings are numerous and of great 
value. The most important is the History of the 
Rebellion, that is, of the Civil War connected with 
the expulsion and restoration of the Stuarts (1640- 
1660). His characters are drawn with a masterly 
hand. His style is simple, clear, and idiomatic. But 
he is an out-and-out partisan, and therefore cannot be 
trusted entirely. His sentences are too lengthy and de- 
fiant of the rules of grammar. Clarendon wrote also 
an Account of his own Life, which is full of interest. 
There he tells us of the guiding rule which he adopted, 
of seeking the company of persons better than himself ; 
and hence "he never was so proud, or thought himself 
so good a man, as when he was the worst man in the 
company." The State Papers during the reigns of 
Charles I. and Charles II. are also from his pen, and 
rank among his best efforts. His other works are: 
Brief Views of Hobbes's Leviathan, History of the 
Rebellion and Civil Wars in Ireland. 

CHARACTER OF CROMWELL. 

He was one of those men Quos vituperare ne inimici quidem 
possunt nisi ut simul laudent; for he could never have done 
half that mischief without great parts of courage and industry 
and judgment. And he must have had a wonderful understand- 



CIVIL WAR PERIOD. 135 

ing in the natures and humours of men and as great a dexterity 
in the applying them, who from a private and obscure birth 
(though of a good family), without interest or estate, alliance 
or friendship, could raise himself to such a height, and com- 
pound and knead such opposite and contradictory tempers, 
humours, and interests into a consistence that contributed to 
his designs and to their own destruction; whilst himself grew 
insensibly powerful enough to cut off those by whom he had 
climbed, in the instant they projected to demolish their own 
building. ***** 

To reduce three nations which perfectly hated him to ai\ 
entire obedience to all his dictates ; to awe and govern those 
nations by an army that was devoted to him and wished his 
ruin, was an instance of -a very prodigious address. But 
his greatness at home was but a shadow of the glory he had 
abroad. It was hard to discover which feared him most, France, 
Spain, or the Low Countries, where his friendship was current 
at the value he put upon it. And as they did all sacrifice their 
honour and their interest to his pleasure, so there is nothing 
he could have demanded that either of them would have denied 
him 

He was not a man of blood, and totally declined Machiavell's 
method, which prescribes upon any alteration of a government, 
as a thing absolutely necessary, to cut off all the heads of those, 
and extirpate their families, who are friends to the old one. 
A.nd it was confidently reported that in the council of officers 
it was more than once proposed that there might be a general 
massacre of all the royal party, as the only expedient to secure 
the government, but Cromwell would never consent to it; it 
may be out of too great a contempt of his enemies. 

SIR THOMAS BROWNS, M. D., 1605-1682. 

Sir Thomas Browne, M. D.,has kept the reputation of 
a deep thinker. His great work is Religio Medici, which 
at once obtained distinction for its author, at home and 
abroad. It is a philosophical treatise, in English, on 
Christian faith and charity.* Prejudices blinded him 
to the last conclusion which Christian philosophy must 
draw in behalf of the Roman Catholic Church, as the 

* Mystic and idealist that he was, his works show what was rare 
In his day a Christian love and forbearance for the opinions of others. 



136 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

sole judge of faith deputed by Christ. He indeed 
acknowledged a leaning towards her practices and de- 
votions: "I am, I confess, naturally inclined to that 
which misguided zeal terms superstition." "I could 
never hear the Hail Mary bell without an elevation," 
but he went no farther. Sir Thomas is an exuberant 
writer, whose imagination seems to be inexhaustible. 
His extravagant use of Latin derivatives render hiitv 
obscure, even unintelligible to readers unacquainted 
with Latin. It is nothing strange for him to use such 
words as evolution, ingression, gustation, adumbration, 
advenient, lapidincal, conglaciate, indigitate. 

OBLIVION. 

To be content that times to come should only know there was 
such a man, not caring whether they knew more of him, was a 
frigid ambition in Cardan; disparaging his horoscopal inclina- 
tion and judgment of himself who cares to subsist, like Hippo- 
crates' patients, or Achilles' horses in Homer, under naked 
nominations, without deserts and noble acts, which are the 
balsam of our memories, the entelecia and soul of our subsis- 
tences. To be nameless in worthy deeds exceeds an infamous 
history. The Canaanitish woman lives more happily without a 
name than Herodias with one. And who had not rather have 
been the good thief than Pilate. 

Hydriotaphia. 

CHARITY. 

I had not so narrow a conceit of this virtue as to conceive 
that to give alms is only to be charitable, or think a piece of 
liberality can comprehend the total of charity. Divinity hath 
wisely divided the acts thereof into many branches, and hath 
taught us in this narrow way many paths unto goodness ; as 
many ways as we may be good, so many ways may we be chari- 
table; there are infirmities not only of body, but of soul and for- 
tunes, which do require the merciful hand of our abilities. 1 
cannot contemn a man for ignorance, but behold him with as 
much pity as I do Lazarus. It is no greater charity to cloath 
his body, than apparel the nakedness of his soul. It is an hon- 
ourable object to see the reasons of other men wear our liveries, 



CIVIL WAR PERIOD. 137 

and their borrowed understandings do homage to the bounty 
of ours : it is the cheapest way of beneficence, and, like the nat- 
ural charity of the sun, illuminates another without obscuring 
itself. 

Religio Medici. 

IZAAK WALTON, 1593-1683. 

Izaak Walton was born at Stafford, in 1593, but 
spent most of life in London, a successful tradesman. 
Like Browne, he remained singularly uninfluenced by 
the turmoils of the times. When we read his famous 
book, The Compleat Angler, there is unfolded before 
us a character of marked simplicity and sweetness, a 
lover of country scenes and pastimes. The book is 
replete with thought and pleasing fancies and beautiful 
rural pictures. 

He wrote with the same felicity of style, the Lives 
of Donne, Wotton, Hooker, Herbert, and Bishop San- 
derson. 

Let me tell you, scholar, that Diogenes walked on a day with 
his friend to see a country fair, where he saw ribbons, and 
looking-glasses, and nut-crackers, and fiddles, and hobby-horses, 
and many other gim-cracks; and having observed them, and 
all the other finnimbruns that make a compleat country fair, 
he said to his friend : 'Lord, how many things there are in this 
world of which Diogenes hath no need !' And truly it is so, or 
might be so, with very many who vex and toyl themselves to 
get what they have no need of. Can any man charge God that 
he hath not given him enough to make his life happy? No, 
doubtless; for nature is content with a little; and yet you shall 
hardly meet with a man that complains not of some want, 
though he indeed wants nothing but his will; it may be, nothing 
but his will of his poor neighbor, for not worshipping or not 
flattering him: and thus, when we might be happy and quiet, 

we create trouble to ourselves. 

* ******* * 

Look, under that broad beech tree I sate down when I was 
last this way a fishing, and the birds in the adjoining grove 
seemed to have a friendly contention with an echo, whose dead 



138 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

voice seemed to live in a hollow cave, near to the brow of that 
primrose hill; there I sate, viewing the silver streams glide 
silently towards their center, the tempestuous sea, yet sometimes 
opposed by rugged roots, and pibble stones, which broke their 
waves, and turned them into foam : and sometimes viewing the 
harmless lambs, some leaping securely in the cool shade, whilst 
others sported themselves in the cheerful sun; and others were 
craving comfort from the swollen udders of their bleating dams. 
As I thus sate, these and other sights had so fully possest my 
soul, that I thought as the poet hath happily expressed it: 

'I was for that time lifted above earth; 
And possest joyes not promis'd in my birth.' 

JOHN BUNYAN, 1628-1688. 

John Bun y an, the author of Pilgrim's Progress, was 
of obscure origin, and was brought up a tinker. He 
had no other education than what he could get at the 
elementary school of his native place, in Bedfordshire. 
According to his own account, his early life was wild 
and vicious; that is to say, he sometimes played ball 
on the village green on Sunday, and had the habit of 
swearing; but he soon changed for the better: for he 
tells us, that, when nineteen years of age, he thought 
no man in England could please God better than him- 
self. He joined the Baptist congregation in Bedford, 
and, upon the preacher's death, was appointed to suc- 
ceed him. In the discharge of this office, he displayed 
such enthusiasm and imagination, that the civil author- 
ities indicted him as a promoter of seditious gatherings, 
and subsequently cast him into Bedford jail. It was 
during the twelve years of his confinement that he 
wrote Pilgrim's Progress, an allegory in prose, meant 
to illustrate the Christian's way to heaven. The al- 
legory is well sustained. The style, which is enlivened 
by dialogue, is idiomatic, simple, and strong. The pur- 
ity of the diction is remarkable : 93 per cent, is Anglo 



CIVIL WAR PERIOD. 139 

Saxon. He has a clear insight into many forms of 
Christian character, and a thorough understanding 
of a variety of temptations, both of the flesh and of 
the spirit. 

Bunyan wrote other works, the principal of which 
are, Holy War, Grace Abounding, Justification by 
Jesus Christ, and The Holy City; but they are com- 
paratively neglected. Though a visionary, he touches 
the heart ; for though poor in ideas, he is rich in imagi- 
nation, even at times impassioned in his utterances. 

PILGRIM'S PROGRESS. 

But now in this Valley of Humiliation, poor Christian was 
hard put to it ; for he had gone but a little way, before he espied 
a foul fiend coming over the field to meet him; his name is 
Apollyon. Then did Christian begin to be afraid, and to cast 
in his mind whether to go back or to stand his ground. But 
he considered again that he had no armor for his back; and 
therefore thought that to turn the back to him might give 
him the greater advantage with ease to pierce him with his 
darts. Therefore he resolved to venture and stand his ground ; 
for, thought he, had I no more in mine eye than the saving 
of my life, it would be the best way to stand. 

So he went on, and Apollyon met him. Now the monster 
was hideous to behold; he was clothed with scales, like a fish 
(and they are his pride) ; he had wings like a dragon, feet like a 
bear, and out of his belly came fire and smoke, and his mouth 
was as the mouth of a lion. When he was come up to Christian, 
he beheld him with disdainful countenance, and thus began to 
question him. 

Apol. Whence came you? and whither are you bound? 

Chr. I am come from the City of Destruction, which is the 
place of all evil, and am going to the City of Zion. 

Apol. By this I perceive thou art one of my subjects, for aH 
that country is mine, and I am the prince and god of it. How 
is it, then, that thou hast run away from thy king? Were it not 
that I hope that thou mayest do me more service, I would strike 
thee now, at one blow to the ground. 

Chr. I was born, indeed, in your dominions, but your service 
was hard, and your wages such as a man could not live on, "'for 
the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6.23) ; therefore, when I was 



140 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

come to years, I did as other considerate persons do, look out, 
if, perhaps, I might mend myself. 

* ******* * 

ApoL Then Apollyon broke out in a grievous rage, saying, 
I am an enemy to this Prince; I hate his person, his laws, and 
people; I am come out on purpose to withstand thee. 

Chr. Apollyon, beware what you do; for I am in the King's 
highway, the way of holiness ; therefore take heed to yourself. 

ApoL Then Apollyon straddled quite over the whole breadth 
of the way, and said, I am void of fear in this matter: prepare 
thyself to die; for I swear by the infernal den, that thou shalt 
go no further; here will I spill thy soul. 

And with that he threw a flaming dart at his breast ; but Chris- 
tian had a shield in his hand, with which he caught it, and so 
prevented the danger of that. 

Then Christian did draw, for he saw 'twas time to bestir him; 
and Apollyon as fast made at him, throwing darts as thick as 
hail; by the which, notwithstanding all that Christian could 
do to avoid it, Apollyon wounded him in his head, his hand, 
and foot. 

* ******* * 

In this combat no one can imagine, unless he had seen and 
heard as I did, what yelling and hideous roaring Apollyon 
made all the time of the fight he spake like a dragon; and, on 
the other side, what sighs and groans burst from Christian's 
heart. I never saw him all the while give so much as one 
pleasant look, till he had wounded Apollyon with his two-edged 
sword; then, indeed, he did smile, and look upward; but it was 
the dreadfulest sight that ever I saw. 

* ******* * 

So when the battle was over, Christian said, "I will here give 
thanks to him that delivered me out of the mouth of the lion, 
to him that did help me against Apollyon." 

SAMUIX PSPYS, 1633-1703. 

Samuel Pepys was the son of a London tailor. 
He spent a short time at Magdalene College. When 
twenty-two years of age he married Elizabeth St. Mi- 
chael, the fifteen-year-old daughter of refugee Hugue- 
not parents. The Earl of Montagu, a relative of 
Samuel's mother, gave the young couple a start in 



CIVIL WAR PERIOD. 141 

life. From an obscure government clerk he rose by 
industry and ability to be Secretary of the Admiralty 
Thrown in with all classes of men, from the rich and 
gay courtiers to the poor and coarse sailors in the 
Navy, and being of a very inquisitive turn of mind, he 
searched out all the rumors and gossip that came his 
way. All this he set down in his famous diary; for 
while Pepys wrote Memoirs relating to the state of 
the Royal Navy and other papers, it is his diary which 
holds an unique place in all literature. It extends from 
1660 to 1669 and not only gives a minute account of 
himself and his household affairs, but also mirrors the 
men of all ranks of his time. Since he had no thought 
of publishing these six volumes, he wrote them in 
cipher, the style is altogether unstudied, the only 
literary merit being naturalness. 

'HUDIBRAS.' 

December 26th, 1662 To the Wardrobe. Hither comes Mr. 
Battersby; and we falling into discourse of a new book of 
drollery, in use, called Hudibras, I would needs go find it out, 
and met with it at the Temple: it cost me 2s. 6d. But when I 
come to read it, it is so silly an abuse of the Presbyter Knight 
going to the wars, that I am ashamed of it ; and by and by 
meeting at Mr. Townsend's at dinner, I sold it to him for 18d. 

February 6th, 1663 To Lincoln's Inn Fields ; and it being too 
soon to go to dinner, I walked up and down, and looked upon 
the outside of the new theatre now a-building in Covent 
Garden, which will be very fine. And so to a book-seller's in the 
strand, and there bought Hudibras again, it being certainly some 
ill-humor to be so against that which all the world cries up to be 
the example of wit ; for which I am resolved once more to read 
him, and see whether I can find it or no 

November 28th, 1663 To Paul's Church-yard, and there 
looked up the second part of Hudibras, which I buy not, but 
borrow to read, to see if it be as good as the first, which the 
world cry so mightily up, though it hath not a good liking in 
me, though I had tried but twice or three times reading to 
bring myself to think it witty. 



142 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

April 4th, 1663 At the Parke was the King, and in another 
coach my Lady Castlemaine, they greeting one another at every 
turn. This being my feast, in lieu of what I should have had 
a few days ago, for the cutting of the stone, very merry at, 
before, and after dinner, and the more for that my dinner was 
great, and most neatly dressed by our own only mayde. We 
had a fricasee of rabbits, and chickens, a leg of mutton boiled, 
three carps in a dish, a great dish of a side of lamb, a dish of 
roasted pigeons, a dish of four lobsters, three tarts, a lamprey 
pie, a most rare pie, a dish of anchoves, good wine of several 
sorts and all things mighty noble, and to my great content. 



JOHN EVELYN, 1620-1706. 

John Evelyn was born at Wotton near Dorking. 
He studied at Balliol College and later took up law 
at the Inner Temple, where he did but little. For 
religious motives he went to France, and whilst in 
Paris married the daughter of the English ambassador. 
Being a man of ample fortune he gave much attention 
to his country seat at Sayes Court near Deptford. It 
was whilst there and interested in beautifying his 
charming retreat that he wrote Sylva, the first English 
book we have on forestry. He is the first gentleman 
farmer to give us in book form a scientific insight into 
farming. He was moreover a dilettante in painting, 
architecture, engraving, and all the refined means by 
which a country gentleman can spend his time interest- 
ingly and profitably. 

Evelyn lives to posterity in his diary wherein, in 
idle moments, he jotted down his impressions of cur- 
rent events, leaving a work of inestimable value for 
the light his observations throw on the social life of 
his time. The Diary extends over a period of seventy 
years, and- Scott says he "had never seen a mine so 
rich/' 



CIVIL WAR PERIOD. 143 

February 27th, 1644 Accompanied with some English gentle- 
men, we took horse to see St. Germains-en-Laye, a stately coun- 
try-house of the King, some five leagues from Paris. By the 
way, we alighted at St. Cloud, where, on an eminence near the 
river, the Archbishop of Paris has a garden, for the house is 
not very considerable, rarely watered and furnished with foun- 
tains, statues, and groves; the walks are very fair; the foun- 
tain of Laocoon is in a large square pool, throwing the water 
near forty feet high, and having about it a multitude of statues 
and basins, and is a surprising object. But nothing is more 
esteemed than the cascade falling from the great steps into the 
lowest and longest walk from the mount Parnassus, which con- 
sists of a grotto, or shell-house, on the summit of the hill, 
wherein are divers waterworks and contrivances to wet the 
spectators; this is covered with a fair cupola, the walls painted 
with the Muses, and statues placed thick about it, whereof some 
are antique and good. 

November 19th, 1644 I visited St. Peter's, that most stupend- 
ous and incomparable Basilica, far surpassing any now extant 
in the world, and perhaps, Solomon's Temple excepted, any that 
was ever built. The largeness of the piazza before the portico 
is worth observing, because it affords a noble prospect of the 
church, not crowded up, as for the most part is the case in other 
places where great churches are erected. In this is a fountain, 
out of which gushes a river rather than a stream which, ascend- 
ing a good height, breaks upon a round emboss of marble into 
millions of pearls that fall into the subjacent basins with great 
noise; I esteem this one of the goodliest fountains I ever saw. 

July 13th, 1654 We all dined at that most obliging and uni- 
versally curious Dr. Wilkin's, at Wadham College. He was the 
first who showed me the transparent apiaries, which he had 
built like castles and palaces and so ordered them one upon an- 
other, as to take the honey without destroying the bees. These 
were adorned with a variety of dials, little statues, vanes, etc., 
and, he was so abundantly civil, finding me pleased with them, 
to present me with one of the hives which he had empty, and 
which I afterwards had in my garden at Sayes Court, where it 
continued many years, and which his Majesty came on purpose 
to see and contemplate with much satisfaction. 



144 BRITISH LITERATURE. 



CHAPTER VII. 

PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 

1700-1800. 

The eighteenth century has been called the Age of 
the Classicists, less on account of the refinement and 
polish of its writers than of their professed imitation 
of classic models. The best talents of the age busied 
themselves with the translation of the Greek and Latin 
authors. Criticism laid down rules for perfection in 
every branch of literature, while satire sought out 
and exposed every foible, every eccentricity, whether 
of public society or private individuals. Not origin- 
ality, but artificial correctness and brilliancy of dic- 
tion, characterize this epoch, just as stability and 
repose at home mark the political history of England 
at this time. The reign of Queen Anne (1702-1714) 
was particularly distinguished, and, for a long time, 
was looked upon as superior to any other era of Eng- 
lish literature ; but this opinion has not been confirmed. 
"Speaking generally of that generation of authors, 
it may be said that, as poets, they had no force or 
greatness of fancy, no pathos, and no enthusiasm ; 
and, as philosophers, no comprehensiveness, depth, or 
originality. They are sagacious, no doubt, neat, clear, 
and reasonable; but, for the most part, cold, timid, 
and superficial." * t 

Under the first two Georges (1714-1760), we meet 
with some minor poems of great excellence, as the 
hardly surpassed lyrics of Collins and Gray, and some 
original productions, as Thomson's Seasons, heralding 

* Lord Jeffrey. 

t The period is best known for its great essayists and for the. real 
of our modern English prose. 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 145 

a movement of wide significance, a revival of romantic 
poetry; yet, a spirit of servile imitation of Pope and 
Addison generally prevails. 

During the reign of George III. (1760-1820), John- 
son for twenty years holds dictatorial sway, while 
at his side, with more modest pretensions, Goldsmith 
writes simpler, but inimitable prose and exquisite poe- 
try. Hume, Robertson and Gibbon introduce History 
in a more brilliant garb than she had yet assumed be- 
fore the English public. At the same time, the Amer- 
ican War, by exciting the eloquence of Chatham and 
Burke, awakened the nation to a sense of justice which 
the government seemed not to comprehend. Before 
the end of the century, Cowper's graphic descriptions 
of English life and scenery began a reaction towards 
naturalness, which has developed in the nineteenth 
century. 

ALEXANDER POPE, 1688-1744. 

The chief representative name in the literature of 
Queen Anne's time, is that of Alexander Pope, and 
whilst he is best known as a poet, he belongs to the 
essayists, for his most noted works are poetical essays. 
He was born in London of Roman Catholic parents, in 
1688. His early education, on account of his feeble 
frame and delicate constitution, was chiefly domestic; 
and he was placed, at the age of eight years, under the 
care of a Catholic priest, from whom he learned the 
rudiments of Latin and Greek. At a very early period, 
he manifested the greatest fondness for poetry. Whilst 
at the school at Hyde Park Corner, he formed a play 
taken from Ogilby's Homer, intermixed with verses of 
his own ; a.nd had it acted by his schoolfellows. About 
his twelfth year, he was taken home and privately in- 



146 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

structed by another priest who lived in the neighbor- 
hood. To this period is assigned his Ode on Solitude. 
He himself says : 

As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame, 

I lisped in numbers, for the numbers came. 

Subsequently he appears to have been the director of 
his own studies, and to have continued them persever- 
ingly with little assistance from others. At the age of 
sixteen, he wrote his Pastorals, remarkable for their 
correct and musical versification, and more remarkable 
still for the Discourse on Pastoral Poetry which intro- 
duces them. In 1711, appeared his Essay on Criticism, 
in which we find to an eminent degree combined sound 
principles of taste, terseness of expression, beauty of 
illustration, and poetical harmony. Two years later, he 
published The Rape of the Lock, the most imaginative 
of his works, the best specimen extant of mock-heroic 
or miniature epic poetry. The object of the poem was 
to reconcile two families estranged by the theft of a 
lady's lock. At the same period, when he was twenty- 
five years of age, he issued proposals for the Transla- 
tion of the Iliad, a work which was accomplished in five 
years, and whose great and signal merits justly elicited 
the warmest eulogiums from the literary world. "But 
in the most general applause," says Dr. Johnson, "dis- 
cordant voices will always be heard. It has been ob- 
jected trlat Pope's version of Homer is not Homerical. 
In estimating this translation, consideration must be 
had of the nature of our language, the form of our 
metre, and, above all, of the change which two thou- 
sand years have made in the modes of life and the 
habits of thought. It will be found, in the progress of 
learning, that in all nations the first writers are simple, 
and that every age improves its elegance. One refine- 




ALEXANDER POPE 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 147 

ment always makes way for another; and what was 
expedient to Virgil, was necessary to Pope. Pope 
wrote for his own age and his own nation." In spite 
of adverse criticism, the fact remains that, of all Eng- 
lish translations of Homer, the most extensively read 
and quoted is that of Alexander Pope. 

Among the poet's later works were his Satires and 
Epistles in imitation of Horace. In the Dunciad, or 
epic of dunces, the tribe of more or less obscure writers 
that had assailed the sensitive poet are put one by one 
in the pillory of public scorn, and doomed there to un- 
enviable immortality. In the opinion of Ruskin, "the 
Dunciad is the most absolutely chiselled and monu- 
mental work exacted in our country." The Essay on 
Man (1733), the most lofty of his poems, pretends to 
vindicate the ways of Providence in the government of 
this world, but it makes God the author of moral evil, 
and takes away human responsibility; yet it contains 
many striking passages, which, for their mingled felic- 
ity of diction and energetic brevity, will always have 
a place in the memory of every English scholar. In the 
Essay, and some others of Pope's writings, many think 
that they perceive the overshadowing and malignant 
influence of the friendship of Lord Bolingbroke, one of 
the leading deistical writers of the eighteenth century. 
The most noted of his poems not already mentioned 
are Messiah, Windsor Forest, Moral Essays, and Mis- 
cellanies. The Epistle of Eloisa to Abelard, and the 
the tale of January and May, adapted from Chaucer, 
are directly offensive to morals. Pope's Letters, and 
Preface to his edition of Shakespeare, are models of 
English prose. 

The rank of Pope as a poet has been a subject of 
much dispute. In sublimity, imagination, and pathos, 



148 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

he cannot enter into comparison with Spenser, Shakes- 
peare, Milton; and, when compared with Dryden, the 
mind hesitates in the allotment of superiority. With- 
out contest, he is the most brilliant and accomplished 
of what are called artificial poets. Shakespeare alone 
excepted, no other English poet has supplied us with 
so many lines for apt and happy quotation. Pope was 
an ethical and satiric poet; but ethical and satirical 
poetry was what his age needed, and in that order of 
poetry he is a classic. His place in English poetry is 
in fact assured. Taking up the work that Dryden had 
begun, he saved poetry from the swamps in which it 
was sinking from a too conservative attachment to an 
obsolete idea of nature and to effete modes of compo- 
sition.* 

His private character was not without faults; but 
they have been generally exposed with too much sever- 
ity. The most unfavorable of his critics must admit 
that 'he was a most dutiful and affectionate son, a kind 
master, a sincere friend, and generally speaking a ben- 
evolent man.t Dr. Johnson says of the first-mentioned 
beautiful- trait in his character. "The filial piety of 
Pope was in the highest degree amiable and exemplary. 
His parents had the happiness of living till he was at 
the summit of poetical reputation, at ease in his for- 
tune, and without a rival in his fame and found no 
diminution of his respect or tenderness." What is 
more touching than the following testimony of his 
devoted care? 

Me, let the tender office long engage, 

To rock the cradle of reposing age; 

With lenient arts extend a mother's breath, 

* W. J. Courthope, in Dubl. Rev., Jan., 1894. 
t Rev. William Lisle Bowie. 



THE PERIOD OP CLASSICISTS. 149 

Make langour smile, and soothe the bed of death ; 
Explore the thought, explain the asking eye, 
And keep at least one parent from the sky. 

Pope's life was 'one long disease.' During his last 
five years, he was afflicted with asthma and other disor- 
ders, which his physicians were unable to relieve. A 
short time before his death, he complained of his ina- 
bility to think, yet said, "I am so certain of the soul 
being immortal, that I seem to feel it within me, as it 
were by intuition." If he had been but too neglectful 
of the duties of his religion in his life-time, such was 
his fervor in the last hour, that he exerted all his 
strength to throw himself out of bed, in order to re- 
ceive the last sacraments kneeling on the floor. He 
calmly expired in. May, 1744. 

ODE ON SOLITUDE. 

Happy the man whose wish and care 

A few paternal acres bound, 
Content to breathe his native air 

In his own ground: 

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread, 
Whose flocks supply him with attire 

Whose trees in summer yield him shade, 
In winter, fire. 

Blessed who can unconcernedly find 

Hours, days, and years glide soft away, 

In health of body, peace of mind; 
Quiet by day - 

Sound sleep by night; study and ease 

Together mixed; sweet recreation; 
And innocence which most doth please 

With meditation. 

Thus let me live unseen, unknown 

Thus unlamented let me die; 
Steal from the world, and not a stone 

Tell where I lie. 

12 



150 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

PRIDE. 
(From Essay on Criticism^ Part II.) 

Of .all the causes which conspire to blind 

Man's erring judgment, and misguide the mind, 

What the weak head with strongest bias rules, 

Is pride, the never- failing vice of fools. 

Whatever Nature has in worth denied, 

She gives in large recruits of needful Pride! 

For as in bodies, thus in souls we find 

What wants in blood and spirits, swelled with wind: 

Pride, where Wit fails, steps in to our defence, 

And fills up all the mighty void of sense. 

If once right reason drives that cloud away, 

Truth breaks upon us with resistless day. 

Trust not yourself; but, your defects to know, 

Make use of every friend and every foe. 

A little learning is a dangerous thing! 

Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: 

There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, 

And drinking largely sobers us again. 

Fired at first sight with what the Muse imparts, 

In fearless youth we tempt the heights of Arts, 

While, from the bounded level of our mind, 

Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind; 

But more advanced, behold with strange surprise 

New distant scenes of endless science rise: 

So pleased, at first, the towering Alps we try, 

Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky; 

The eternal snows appear already past, 

And the first clouds and mountains seem the last: 

But, those attained, we tremble to survey 

The growing labors of the lengthen'd way; 

The increasing prospect tries our wandering eyes, 

Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise. 

(From Essay on Criticism* Part III.) 

Learn then what moral critics ought to show, 
For 'tis but half a judge's task to know. 
'Tis not enough taste, judgment, learning join, 
In all you speak, let truth and candor shine; 
That not alone what to your sense is due 
All may allow, but seek your friendship too. 
Be always silent when you doubt your sense, 
And speak, though sure, with seeming diffidence, 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 

Some positive persisting fools we know, 

Who, if once wrong, will needs be always so; 

But you with pleasure your own errors past, 

And make each day a critic on the last. 

'Tis not enough, your counsel still be true, 

Blunt truths more mischief than nice falsehoods do. 

Men must be taught as if you taught them not, 

And things unknown proposed as things forgot. 

Without good breeding, truth is disapproved; 

That only makes superior sense beloved. 

Be niggards of advice on no pretence, 

For the worst avarice is that of sense. 

With mean complacence ne'er betray your trust, 

Nor be so civil as to prove unjust. 

Fear not the anger of the wise to raise: . 

Those best can bear reproof who merit praise. 

THE DUTY OF MAN TO BE CONTENT WITH THE RANK WHICH HE 
HOLDS IN CREATION. 

(From Essay on Man, Ep. I.) 

On superior powers 

Were we to press, inferior might on ours; 
Or in the full creation leave a void, 
Where, one step broken, the great scale's destroyed : 
From Nature's chain whatever link you strike, 
Tenth, or ten-thousandth, breaks the chain alike. 

What if the foot, ordained the dust to tread, 
Or hand to toil, aspired to be the head? 
What if the head, the eye, or ear repined 
To serve mere engines to the ruling mind? 
Just as absurd for any part to claim 
To be another in this general frame: 
Just as absurd to mourn the tasks, or pains, 
The great directing Mind of all ordains. 

All are but parts of one stupendous whole, 
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul ; 
That, changed through all, and yet in all the same, 
Great in the earth as in the ethereal frame, 
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze, 
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees ; 
Lives through all life, extends through all extent, 
Spreads undivided, operates unspent; 
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part, 
As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart; 



152 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns, 
As the rapt seraph that adores and burns: 
To him no high, no low, no great, no small; 
He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all ! 
Cease then, nor order imperfection name ; 
Our proper bliss depends on what we blame. 
Know thy own point: this kind, this due degree 
Of blindness, weakness, Heaven bestows on thee. 
Submit in this or any other sphere, 
Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear ; 
Safe in the hand of one disposing Power, 
Or in the natal or the mortal hour. 
All nature is but art unknown to thee; 
All chance direction, which thou canst not see ; 
All discord, harmony not understood; 
All partial evil, universal good: 
And spite of pride, in erring reason's spite, 
One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right. 

SATIRIC SKETCH OF ADDISON. 
(From the Prologue to the Satires.) 

Peace to all such ! * but were there one whose fires 
True genius kindles, and fair fame inspires ; 
Blessed with each talent, and each art to please, 
And born to write, converse, and live with ease ; 
Should such a man, too fond to rule alone, 
Bear, like the Turk, no brother near the throne, 
View him with scornful yet with jealous eyes, 
And hate for arts that caused himself to rise ; 
Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, 
And without sneering, teach the rest to sneer; 
Willing- to wound, and yet afraid to strike. 
Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike ; 
Alike reserved to blame or to commend, 
A timorous foe, and a suspicious friend ; 
Dreading e'en fools, by flatterers besieged, 
And so obliging that he ne'er obliged ; 
Like Cato, give his little senate laws, 
Arid sit attentive to his own applause; 
While wits and templars every sentence raise, 
And wonder with a foolish face of praise 
Who but must laugh, if such a man there be? 
Who would not weep, if Atticus t were he? 

* /. e. to inferior writers. f Addison. 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 153 

DETACHED PASSAGES. 

'Tis with our judgments as our watches ; none 
Go just alike, yet each believes his own. 

Essay on Criticism, line 10. 

True wit is nature to advantage dressed, 

What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed. Ib. 297. 

Words are like leaves ; and where they most abound, 
Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found. Ib. 310. 

Envy will Merit, as its shade, pursue ; 

But, like a shadow, prove the substance true. Ib. 437. 

Good nature and good sense must ever join; 

To err is human, to forgive, Divine. Ib. 524. 

O death, all eloquent ! You only prove 

What dust we doat on, when 'tis man we love. 

Eloisa to Abelard. 

For virtue only makes our bliss below; 
And all our knowledge is, ourselves to know. 

Essay on Man, iv. 397. 

'Tis education forms the common mind, 
And as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined. 

Moral Essays, ep. i. 153. 

Who builds a church to God, and not to fame, 

Will never mark the marble with his name. Ib. iii. 283 



JAMES THOMSON, 1700-1748. 

James Thomson, author of The Seasons, was born 
in Scotland in 1700. After completing his academic 
course at the University of Edinburgh, he went to Lon- 
don, taking with him his unfinished manuscript poem 
of Winter. It was published in 1726, and in the two 
succeeding years was followed by its beautiful compan- 
ions, Summer and Spring, Autumn not appearing until 



154 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

1730. The four works, which together compose a 
complete cycle of the various appearances of an Eng- 
lish year, have kept a hold of the public mind, and de- 
serve their popularity. In his imitation of nature and 
in originality of expression, Thomson is considered 
superior to all the descriptive poets, except Cowper; 
and, although he is occasionally deficient in simplicity 
and chasteness, he has exhibited in a thousand in- 
stances a peculiar felicity in the use of appropriate 
words, which paint almost to the eye 

'What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed/ 

Dr. Johnson has sketched with a masterly hand his 
poetical characteristics : "He is entitled," says this 
eminent critic, "to praise of the highest kind his 
mode of thinking and of expressing his thoughts is 
original. His numbers, his powers, his diction, are of 
his own growth, without transcription, without imita- 
tion. He thinks in a peculiar train, and he thinks 
always as a man of genius. He looks round on nature 
and on life with the eye which nature bestows only on 
a poet the eye that distinguishes in everything pre- 
sented to its view whatever there is on which imagina- 
tion can delight to be detained and with a mind that 
at once comprehends the vast and attends to the mi- 
nute." "It has been customary," says Angus, "to 
compare Thomson and Cowper, and the comparison is 
not without interest. They agree in their admira- 
tion of nature, and largely in their tenderness of feel- 
ing, in humaneness of taste and emotion. Cowper has 
less enthusiasm. Few passages of his are equal in 
power to some of Thomson's, the Hymn of the Seasons, 
for example, and the description of the Earthquake of 
Carthagena, but, in the harmony of his later verse, in 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 155 

ease, variety, and grace of style, Cowper is immeasura- 
bly superior." 

After the publication of The Seasons, Thomson em- 
ployed himself in the composition of various tragedies 
and a poem on Liberty. But they are not equal to his 
other performances, and they are now but little read. 
One of these tragedies, Sophonisba, was killed by the 
echo of a faulty line : 

O Sophonisba! Sophonisba, O! 
to which a London wag replied : 

O Jemmy Thomson ! Jemmy Thomson, O ! 

In 1748, was published the most brilliant work of his 
genius, his Castle of Indolence, an allegorical poem in 
the style and manner of Spenser. There is a peculiar 
charm in its descriptions, in the inexhaustible yet gen- 
tle flow of lulling images of calmness .and repose. The 
poem is divided into two cantos, one of 78, the other 
of 79 stanzas. The poet did not long survive its pub- 
lication. A violent cold carried him off in August, 
1748, at the age of forty-eight. 

Thomson's private character had its lights and shad- 
ows. He possessed great kindness of heart and urban- 
ity of manners, and was a stranger to those enmities 
and jealousies which too often disturb the happiness of 
literary men. He is said, however, to have been indo- 
lent in his habits. Personal exertion was the last thing 
he would make use of, either to promote his own 
interest or to serve others. 

The noblest and most affecting tribute to his mem- 
ory, is from the pen of Collins, the celebrated poet, 
whose beautiful elegy commences as follows: 



156 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

"In yonder * grave a Druid lies, 

Where slowly winds the stealing wave; 
The year's best sweets shall duteous rise, 

To deck its poet's sylvan grave. 
Remembrance oft shall haunt the shore, 

When Thames in summer wreaths is drest; 
And oft suspend the dripping oar, 

To bid his gentle spirit rest!" 

WINTER. 

Through the hushed air the whitening shower descends, 

At first thin-wavering, till at last the flakes 

Fall broad and wide and fast, dimming the day 

With a continual flow. The cherished fields 

Put on their winter robe of purest white: 

'Tis brightness all, save where the new snow melts 

Along the mazy current- Low the woods 

Bow their hoar head; and ere the languid sun, 

Faint from the west, emits his evening ray, 

Earth's universal face, deep hid and chill, 

Is one wide dazzling waste that buries wide 

The works of man. Drooping, the laborer-ox 

Stands covered o'er with snow, and then demands 

The fruit of all his toil. The fowls of heaven, 

Tamed by the cruel season, crowd around 

The winnowing store, and claim the little boon 

Which Providence assigns them. One alone, 

The redbreast, sacred to the household gods, 

Wisely regardful of the embroiling sky, 

In joyless fields and thorny thickets leaves 

His shivering mates, and pays to trusted man 

His annual visit. Half-afraid, he first 

Against the window beats; then brisk alights 

On the warm hearth ; then, hopping o'er the floor, 

Eyes all the smiling family askance, 

And pecks, and starts, and wonders where he is: 

Till more familiar grown, the table-crumbs 

Attract his slender feet. The foodless wilds 

Pour forth their brown inhabitants. The hare, 

Though timorous of heart, and hard beset 

By death in various forms, dark snares, and dogs, 

* The scene is supposed to lie on the Thames, near Richmond, where 
Thomson was buried. 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 157 

And more unpitying men, the garden seeks, 
Urged on by fearless want. The bleating kine 
Eye the bleak heaven, and next the glistening earth, 
With looks of dumb despair ; then, sad dispersed, 
Dig for the withered herb through heaps of snow. 

THE CASTLE OF INDOLENCE. 

In lowly dale, fast by a river's side, 
With woody hill o'er hill encompassed round, 
A most enchanting wizard did abide, 
Than whom a fiend more fell is nowhere found. 
It was, I ween, a lovely spot of ground 
And there a season atween June and May, 
Half-pranked with spring, with summer half-imbrowned, 
A listless climate made, where, sooth to say, 
No living wight could work, ne cared even for play. 

Was naught around but images of rest; 
Sleep-soothing groves, and quiet lawns between; 
And flowery beds that slumberous influence kest, 
From poppies breathed ; and beds of pleasant green 
Where never yet was creeping creature seen. 
Meantime unnumbered glittering streamlets played, 
And hurled everywhere their waters sheen ; 
That as they bickered through the sunny glade, 
Though restless still themselves, a lulling murmur made. 

Joined to the prattle of the purling rills 
Were heard the lowing herds along the vale, 
And flocks loud bleating from the distant hills, 
And vacant shepherds piping in the dale 
And now and then sweet Philomel would wail, 
Or stock-doves' plain amid the forest deep, 
That drowsy rustled to the sighing gale, 
And still a coil the grasshopper did keep ; 
Yet all these sounds yblent * inclined all to sleep. 

Full in the passage of the vale above, 

A sable, silent, solemn forest stood, 

Where naught but shadowy forms was seen to move, 

As Idlesse fancied in her dreaming mood: 

And up the hills, on either side, a wood 

* United. 



158 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Of blackening pines, ay waving to and fro, 
Sent forth a sleepy horror through the blood; 
And where this valley winded out below, 
The murmuring main was heard, and scarcely heard, to flow. 

A pleasant land of drowsy-head it was, 
Of dreams that wave before the half-shut eye; 
And of gay castles in the clouds that pass, 
Forever flushing round a summer sky: 
There eke the soft delights, that witchingly 
Instil a wanton sweetness through the breast, 
And the calm pleasures, always hovered nigh; 
But whate'er smacked of noyance or unrest 
Was far, far off expelled from this delicious nest. 

RULE BRITANNIA! 

When Britain first, at Heaven's command, 

Arose from out the azure main, 
This was the charter of the land, 

And guardian angels sung this strain, 
"Rule, Britannia, rule the waves; 
Britons never will be slaves." 

The nations, not so blest as thee, 

Must, in their turns, to tyrants fall; 
While thou shalt flourish great and free 

The dread and envy of them all. 

Still more majestic shalt thou rise, 

More dreadful from each foreign stroke; 

As the loud blast that tears the skies, 
Serves but to root thy native oak. 

Thee haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame; 

All their attempts to bend thee down 
Will but arouse thy generous flame, 

But work their woe, and thy renown. 

To thee belongs the rural reign; 

Thy cities shall with commerce shine; 
All thine shall be the subject main; 

And every shore it circles, thine. 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 159 

The Muses still with freedom found, 

Shall to thy happy coast repair: 
Blest isle ! with matchless beauty crowned, 

And manly hearts to guard the fair : 
"Rule, Britannia, rule the waves, 
Britons never will be slaves." 

THE CARE Of THE YOUNG. 
(From Spring.) 

Then infant reason grows apace, and calls 
For the kind hand of an assiduous care. 
Delightful task! to rear the tender thought, 
To teach the young idea how to shoot, 
To pour the fresh instruction o'er the mind, 
To breathe the enlivening spirit, and to fix 
The generous purpose in the glowing breast. 

WIWJAM COUJNS, 1720-1756. 

William Collins holds a foremost rank among the 
lyrical poets of England, although, on account of the 
small number and brevity of his poems, he is classed 
among the minor poets. His history is short and mel- 
ancholy. He was born at Chichester, in 1720. His 
father, who was by trade a hatter, had sufficient means 
to send his son to Winchester School, and afterwards 
to Queen's College, Oxford. 

Whilst at the University, he commenced his career 
of author by publishing, in 1742, his Oriental Eclogues, 
and his poetical Epistle to Sir Thomas Hanmer. On 
leaving the University, where he was noted for 'ability 
and indolence/ he proceeded to London, a literary ad- 
venturer, 'with many projects in his head/ if we are 
to believe Dr. Johnson, 'and little money in his pocket.' 
Whilst in London, he contributed to the Gentleman's 
Magazine; published proposals for a history of the 
revival of literature which was never written. He 



160 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

composed and brought out his Odes, Descriptive and 
Allegorical, in order to procure the means of present 
subsistence ; but their sale did not pay for the expense 
of printing them. Even the best, as The Passions, 
Fear, Liberty, Dirge in Cymbeline, were not duly ap- 
preciated until their author was beyond the reach of 
praise or censure. Disappointment and poverty broke 
his sensitive spirit and overclouded the last five or six 
years of his life. "With the usual weakness of men so 
diseased, he eagerly snatched that temporary relief 
with which the table and the bottle flatter and seduce. 
But his health continually declined, and he grew more 
and more burdensome to himself." * After a tempor- 
ary confinement in a lunatic asylum, he retired to Chi- 
chester, where he remained till his death under the care 
of one of his sisters. 

The odes of Collins are among the best in the lan- 
guage. The Ode to Evening consists of but thirteen 
short quatrains without rhyme; but in its fifty-two 
lines we have the whole spirit and essence of the sub- 
ject. The Ode on the Passions is exquisitely felicitous 
in conception, whilst the striking personifications with 
which it abounds, are worked out in the true lyrical 
spirit. 

OD ON TH PASSIONS. 



When Music, heavenly maid ! was young, 
While yet in early Greece she sung, 
The Passions oft, to hear her shell, 
Thronged around her magic cell 
Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting, 
Possessed beyond the muse's painting; 
By turns they felt the glowing mind 
Disturbed, delighted, raised, refined; 
Till once 'tis said, when all were fired, 
Filled with fury, rapt, inspired, 



* Dr. Johnson. 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 1G1 

From the supporting myrtles round 
They snatched her instruments of sound; 
And, as they oft had heard apart 
Sweet lessons of her forceful art, 
Each, for Madness ruled the hour, 
Would prove his own expressive power. 

First Fear his hand its skill to try 
Amid the chords bewildered laid, 
And back recoiled he knew not why, 
Even at the sound himself had made. 

Next Anger rushed, his eyes on fire, 
In lightnings owned his secret stings ; 
In one rude clash he struck the lyre, 
And swept with hurried hands the strings. 

With woful measures wan Despair, 
Low sullen sounds his grief beguiled; 
A solemn, strange, and mingled air ; 
'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild. 

But thou, O Hope ! with eyes so fair, 
What was thy delighted measure? 
Still it whispered promised pleasure, 
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail. 
Still would her touch the strain prolong ; 
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale, 
She called on Echo still through all the song ; 

And, where her sweetest theme she chose, 
A soft responsive voice was heard at every close; 
And Hope enchanted smiled, and waved her golden hair: 

And longer had she sung, but with a frown 

Revenge impatient rose ; 
He threw his blood-stained sword in thunder down, 

And, with a withering look, 

The war-denouncing trumpet took, 

And blew a blast so loud and dread, 
Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of woe; 

And ever and anon he beat 

The doubling drum with furious heat; 
And though sometimes, each dreary pause between, 

Dejected Pity at his side 

Her soul-subduing voice applied, 
Yet still he kept his wild-unaltered mien, 
While each strained ball of sight seemed bursting from his head. 



162 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Thy numbers, Jealousy, to naught were fixed; 

Sad proof of thy distressful state! 
Of differing themes the veering song was mixed, 
And now it courted Love, now raving called on Hate. 

With eyes upraised, as one inspired, 

Pale Melancholy sat retired; 

And from her wild-sequestered seat, 

In notes by distance made more sweet, 
Poured through the mellow horn her pensive soul; 

And dashing soft from rocks around, 

Bubbling runnels joined the sound: 
Through glades and glooms one mingled measure stole : 

Or, o'er some haunted stream with fond delay, 

Round a holy calm diffusing, 

Love of peace and lonely musing, 

In hollow murmurs died away. 



But oh ! how altered was its sprightly tone, 

When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest hue, 
Her bow across her shoulder flung, 
Her buskins gemmed with morning dew, 
Blew an inspiring air, that dale and thicket rung, 

The hunter's call, to Faun and Dryad known; 

The oak-crowned Sisters and their chaste-eyed Queen, 
Satyr and sylvan boys, were seen 
Peeping from forth their alleys green ; 
Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear, 

And Sport leaped up and seized his beechen spear. 

Last came Joy's ecstatic trial: 

He, with viny crown advancing, 
First to the lively pipe his hand addressed; 
But soon he saw the brisk, awakening viol, 
Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved the best. 

They would have thought, who heard the strain, 
They saw in Tempe's vale her native maids, 

Amidst the festal sounding shades, 

To some unwearied minstrel dancing : 
While, as his flying fingers kissed the strings, 
Love framed with Mirth a gay fantastic round, 
Loose were her tresses seen, her zone unbound: 

And he, amidst his frolic play, 
As if he would the charming air repay, 
Shook thousand odors from his dewy wings. 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 163 

Music ! sphere-descended maid, 
Friend of Pleasure, Wisdom's aid, 
Why, goddess, why to us denied, 
Layest thou thy ancient lyre aside? 
As in that loved Athenian bower, 
You learned an all-commanding power, 
Thy mimic soul, O nymph endeared, 
Can well recall what then it heard. 
Where is thy native simple heart, 
Devote to Virtue, Fancy, Art? 
Arise, as in that elder time, 
Warm, energetic, chaste, sublime ! 
Thy wonders in that godlike age 
Fill thy recording Sister's page; 
'Tis said, and I believe the tale, 
Thy humblest reed could more prevail, 
Had more of strength, diviner rage, 
Than all which charms this laggard age, 
Even all at once together found 
Cecilia's mingled world of sound. 
Oh ! bid our vain endeavors cease, 
Revive the just designs of Greece; 
Return in all thy simple state; 
Confirm the tales her sons relate ! 

ODE TO EVENING. 

If aught of oaten stop, or pastoral song. 

May hope, chaste Eve, to soothe thy modest ear, 

Like thy own solemn springs, 

Thy springs, and dying gales; 

O nymph reserved, while now the bright-haired sun 
Sits in yon western tent, whose cloudy skirts, 

With brede ethereal wove, 

O'erhang his wavy bed: 

Now air is hushed, save where the weak-eyed bat, 
With short shrill shriek, flits on leathern wing, 

Or where the beetle winds 

His small but sullen horn 

And oft he rises, midst the twilight path, 
Against the pilgrim, borne in heedless hum: 

Now teach me, maid composed, 

To breathe some softened strain, 



164 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Whose numbers, stealing through thy darkening vale, 
May not unseemly with its stillness suit, 

As, musing slow, I hail 

Thy genial loved return! 

For when thy folding-star arising shows 
His paly circlet, at his warning lamp 

The fragrant hours, and elves 

Who slept in buds the day, 

And many a nymph who wreathes her brows with sedgc ; 
And sheds the freshening dew, and lovelier still, 

The pensive pleasures sweet, 

Prepare thy shadowy car : 

Then let me rove some wild and heathy scene; 
Or find some ruin midst its dreary dells 

Whose walls more awful nod 

By thy religious gleams. 

Or if chill blustering winds, or driving rain, 
Prevent my willing feet, be mine the hut 

That from the mountain's side 

Views wilds, and swelling floods, 

And hamlets brown, and dim-discovered spires, 
And hears their simple bell, and marks o'er all 

Thy dewy fingers draw 

The gradual dusky veil. 

While Spring shall pour his showers, as oft he wont, 
And bathe thy breathing tresses, meekest Eve; 

While Summer loves to sport 

Beneath thy lingering light; 

While sallow Autumn fills thy lap with leaves, 
Or Winter, yelling through the troublous air, 

Affrights thy shrinking train, 

And rudely rends thy robes; 

So long, regardful of thy quiet rule, 

Shall Fancy, Friendship, Science, smiling Peace, 

Thy gentlest influence own, 

And love thy favorite name ! 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 165 

EDWARD YOUNG, 1681-1765. 

Edward Young, author of Night Thoughts, was 
born in 1681, at Upham, in Hampshire, where his 
father was rector. He was educated at Winchester 
School, and afterwards obtained a fellowship at Ox- 
ford. In the course of his studies, he showed great 
subtlety of mind in abstruse questions. Tindal, his' 
examiner, used to say of him : "The other boys I can 
always answer, because I know whence they have their 
arguments, which I have read a hundred times; but 
that fellow Young is always pestering me with some- 
thing of his own." His first attempt at verse was an 
Epistle to Lord Lansdowne. After writing several 
minor pieces, he produced, in 1721, his tragedy The 
Revenge. It still keeps the stage, and its hero, Zanga, 
stands pre-eminent for theatrical interest among the 
personages of modern tragedy. He was the author of 
two other plays, Busiris and The Brothers. As a dra- 
matic writer, with much poetic conception and strong 
feeling, he is exaggerated and bombastic. He pub- 
lished between the years 1725 and 1728, seven epistles, 
or satires, entitled the Love of Fame. As they touch 
only on the surface of life, and abound more in flashes 
of wit and in caricature than in grave exposure of vice 
and follv, their power is exhausted by a single perusal. 

When upwards of fifty, he entered the church, w 'ote 
a pane.p"vnV on the king, and was made one of his 
majesty's chaplains. Swift, in his Rhapsody on Poe- 
try, speaks of the Court 

Whence Gay was banished in disgrace, 
Where Pope will never show his face, 

Where Young must torture his invention 
To flatter knaves, or lose his pension. 

13 



BRITISH LITERATURE. 

To the sorrows and disappointments which embit- 
tered his domestic life, is to be attributed the poem on 
which rests his fame. This work, the Night Thoughts, 
is a series of solemn reflections on life, death, and im- 
mortality, divided into nine Books or Nights, each of 
which is independent of the rest, and pursues some 
train of thought in harmony with the poet's supposed 
feelings at the time of composition. Sublime images 
and striking passages are not wanting to the poem, but 
the bulk of it is declamatory, the style artificial, highly- 
wrought, and not pure. Few writers of acknowledged 
merit are so wanting in taste. "Many fine things in 
Night Thoughts," says Johnson, "though you cannot 
find twenty lines together without some extravagance." 
Perhaps the best compliment ever paid to that poem is 
the fact that Edmund Burke committed many portions 
of it to memory. 

"Young has been eulogized as a Christian philoso- 
pher, but his character had in it no trace of self-denial 
or nobleness/' * In his youth, he was not free from 
the vice of dissipation ; and, in the maturity of his life, 
he stooped from the dignity of his sacred profession by 
his servile adulation of the court, and his anxious 
seeking of preferment and applause. 

NIGHT. 

Night, sable goddess ! from her ebon throne, 
In rayless majesty, now stretches forth 
Her leaden sceptre o'er a slumbering world 
Silence, how dead! and darkness, how profound! 
Nor eye, nor listening ear, an object finds; 
Creation sleeps. 'Tis as the general pulse 
Of life stood still, and nature made a pause 
An av/ful pause! prophetic of her end. 

* Thomas Arnold, Man. Eng. Lit. 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 

THE REVOLUTION OF THE SEASONS. 

Look nature through, 'tis revolution all; 
All change, no death ; day follows night, and night 
The dying day ; stars rise and set, and set and rise : 
Earth takes the example. See, the Summer gay, 
With her green chaplet and ambrosial flowers, 
Droops into pallid Autumn: Winter gray, 
Horrid with frost and turbulent with storms, 
Blows Autumn and his golden fruits away, 
Then melts into the Spring: soft Spring, with breath 
Favonian, from warm chambers of the south, 
Recalls the first. All, to reflourish, fades: 
As in a wheel, all sinks to reascend : 
Emblems of man, who passes, not expires. 

MAN. 

How poor, how rich, how abject, how august, 
How complicate, how wonderful is man! 
How passing wonder He who made him such ! 
Who centered in our name such strange extremes, 
From different natures marvellously mixed, 
Connection exquisite of distant worlds ! 
Distinguished link in being's endless chain ! 
Midway from nothing to the Deity ! 
A beam ethereal, sullied and absorpt ! 
Though sullied and dishonored, still divine! 
Dim miniature of greatness absolute! 
An heir of glory! a frail child of dust: 
Helpless immortal! insect infinite. 
A worm ! a god ! I tremble at myself, 
And in myself am lost. At home, a stranger, 
Thought wanders up and down, surprised, aghast, 
And wondering at her own. How reason reels! 
Oh what a miracle to man is man ! 
Triumphantly distressed! what joy! what dread! 
Alternately transported and alarmed! 
What can preserve my life ! or what destroy ! 
An angel's arm can't snatch me from the grave; 
Legions of angels can't confine me there. 

THOUGHTS ON TIME. 

The bell strikes one. We take no note of time 
But from its loss: to give it then a tongue 



168 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Is wise in man. As if an angel spoke, 

I feel the solemn sound. I heard aright, 

It is the knell of my departed hours. 

Where are they? With the years beyond the flood. 

It is the signal that demands despatch: 

How much is to be done? My hopes and fears 

Start up alarmed, and o'er life's narrow verge 

Look down on what? A fathomless abyss. 

A dread eternity ! how surely mine ! 

And can eternity belong to me, 

Poor pensioner on the bounties of an hour? 

Youth is not rich in time; it may be poor; 
Part with it as with money, sparing ; pay 
No moment, but in purchase of its worth; 

And what it's worth, ask death-beds ; they can tell : 
Part with it as with life, reluctant; big 
With holy hope of nobler time to come; 
Time higher-aimed, still nearer the great mark 
Of men and angels, virtue more divine. 

THOMAS GRAY, 1716-1771. 

Thomas Gray, author of the Elegy written in a 
Country Churchyard, was born at Cornhill, London, in 
1716. It was to the exertions of his mother that he 
was indebted for the opportunities of a liberal educa- 
tion, first at Eton School, and afterwards at Cambridge. 
Having accepted an invitation from a fellow-student, 
Horace Walpole, son of the prime minister, to accom- 
pany him on a tour through France and Italy, he de- 
scribed the incidents of his journey in a series of letters 
which, for their elegance and classic style, are consid- 
ered as models of epistolary composition. Johnson, in 
his life of Gray, gives them the following commenda- 
tion: "He that reads his epistolary narration, wishes 
that to travel and to tell his travels had been more of 
his employment; but it is by studying at home, that 
we must obtain the ability of travelling with intelli- 
gence and improvement." 






THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 169 

His first public appearance as a poet was made in 
1747, when he published his Ode on a distant prospect 
of Eton College. "It is more mechanical and common- 
place than his Elegy; but it touches on certain strings 
about the heart, that vibrate in unison with it, to our 
latest breath. No one ever passes by Windsor's 'stately 
heights,' or sees the distant spires of Eton College, 
without thinking of Gray." * 

Four years afterwards, his Elegy in a Country 
Churchyard was written, and immediately became pop- 
ular. The natural and touching strain of thought, ex- 
pressed with consummate taste, and in a charming 
metre, has imparted to this poem such a union of 
impressiveness and grace as to render it a masterpiece 
of elegiac composition. "Had Gray written often 
thus," says Dr. Johnson, "it had been vain to blame, 
and useless to praise him." What, for instance, can 
exceed the exquisite beauty and finish of these well- 
known lines : 

Full many a gem of purest ray serene 
The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear : 

Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, 
And waste its sweetness on the desert air. 

His other works consist principally of his lyrical odes. 
The most admired are On Spring, To Adversity, The 
Progress of Poetry, and The Bard. The last two ap- 
peared together in 1757. Although arrayed in real 
elegance of taste, they are censured by some on ac- 
count of the artificial and unnatural character and 
over-elaboration of their style. Lord Byron has said 
that the corner-stone of his glory is his unrivalled 
Blegyj and that, without it, his odes would not be 
sufficient for his fame. 

* Hazlitt's Lectures on the English Poets. 



170 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Gray was a ripe scholar; his Latin poems are among 
the finest specimens of that kind of composition in our 
literature. Since Milton, he is our most learned 
poet. In 1756 he declined the laureateship. Meta- 
physics, morals, and politics, made a principal part 
of his study; voyages and travels of all sorts, were 
his favorite amusements. There is no character, 
however, without some imperfection; and the great- 
est defect in him was an affectation in delicacy, or 
rather effeminacy. "He loved to assume the char- 
acter of the fine -gentleman a mean and odious ambi- 
tion in any one, but scarcely to be forgiven in a man of 
genius. He would shrug his shoulders and distort his 
voice into fastidious tones, and take upon himself the 
airs of what folly is pleased to call high company." * 

In 1768, he obtained the professorship of Modern 
History in the University of Cambridge. It was in 
1771, whilst at dinner in the College, that he was 
seized with the illness of which he died in a few days. 
According to his desire, he was buried by the side of 
his mother at Stoke. 

ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD. 

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, 
The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea, 

The ploughman homeward plods his weary way, 
And leaves the world to darkness and to me. 

Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, 
And all the air a solemn stillness holds, 

Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight, 
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds : 

Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower, 
The moping owl does to the moon complain 

Of such as, wandering near her secret bower, 
Molest her ancient solitary reign. 

* Sir E. Bridges, Traits in the literary character of Gray the poet 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade, 
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap, 

Each in his narrow cell forever laid, 
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep. 

The breezy call of incense- breathing morn, 

The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed, 

The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn, 
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed. 

For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn, 
Or busy housewife ply her evening care: 

No children run to lisp their sire's return, 
Or climb his knee the envied kiss to share. 

Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield, 
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke; 

How jocund did they drive their team a-field ! 
How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stroke ! 

Let not Ambition mock their useful toil, 
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; 

Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile 
The short and simple annals of the poor. 

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, 
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, 

Await alike the inevitable hour: 
The paths of glory lead but to the grave. 

Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault, 
If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise, 

Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault 
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise. 

Can storied urn or animated bust 
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? 

Can Honor's voice provoke the silent dust, 
Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death 

Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid 
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire; 

Hands that the rod of empire might have swayed, 
Or waked to ectasy the living lyre. 



172 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page 
Rich with the spoils of time did ne'er unroll; 

Chill Penury repressed their noble rage, 
And froze the genial current of the soul. 

Full many a gem of purest ray serene 
The dark un fathomed caves of ocean bear: 

Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, 
And waste its sweetness on the desert air. 

Some village Hampden, that with dauntless breast 
The little tyrant of his fields withstood; 

Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest, 
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood. 

The applause of -listening senates to command, 
The threats of pain and ruin to despise, 

To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land, 
And read their history in a nation's eyes, 

Their lot forbade: nor circumscribed alone 

Their glowing virtues, but their crimes confined ; 

Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne, 
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind. 

The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide, 
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame, 

Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride 
With incense kindled at the Muse's flame. 

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife 
Their sober wishes never learned to stray; 

Along the cool sequestered vale of life 

They kept the noiseless tenor of their way. 

Yet even these bones from insult to protect 
Some frail memorial still erected nigh, 

With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture decked, 
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh. 

Their name, their years, spelt by the unlettered muse, 

The place of fame and elegy supply 
And many a holy text around she strews, 

That teach the rustic moralist to die. 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 173 

For who, to dumb Forgetfulness a prey, 
This pleasing anxious being e'er resigned, 

Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day, 
Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind? 

On some fond breast the parting soul relies, 
Some pious drops the closing eye requires ; 

Even from the tomb the voice of nature cries, 
Even in our ashes live their wonted fires. 

For thee, who, mindful of the unhonored dead, 
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate; 

If, chance, by lonely Contemplation led, 
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate 

Haply some hoary-headed swain may say, 
"Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn 

Brushing with hasty steps the dews away, 
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn. 

There at the foot of yonder nodding beech 
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high, 

His listless length at noontide would he stretch, 
And pore upon the brook that babbles by. 

Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, 
Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove; 

Now drooping, woful, wan, like one forlorn, 
Or crazed with care, or crossed in hopeless love. 

One morn I missed him on the 'customed hill, 
Along the heath and near his favorite tree; 

Another came; nor yet beside the rill, 
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he; 

The next, with dirges due, in sad array 

Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne! 
Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay 
Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn." 

Epitaph. 

Here rests his head upon the lap of earth 
A youth, to fortune and to fame unknown: 

Fair science frowned not on his humble birth, 
And melancholy marked him for her own. 



174 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere, 
Heaven did a recompense as largely send : 

He gave to misery (all he had) a tear, 
He gained from heaven ('twas all he wished) a friend. 

No farther seek his merits to disclose, 
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode 

(There they alike in trembling hope repose.) 
The bosom of his father and his God. 



GOLDSMITH, 1728-1774. 



Oliver Goldsmith, the gifted poet and prose writer, 
was born in the County of Longford, Ireland. His 
father was the Rev. Charles Goldsmith, supposed to be 
described in the characters of the Man in Black in the 
Citizen of the World, the preacher in The Deserted 
Village, and Dr. Primrose in The Vicar of IVakefield. 
At the age of eighteen, Oliver was entered at Trinity 
College, Dublin, as a sizar. Instead of applying dili- 
gently to his studies, he spent a part of his time in 
writing street-ballads and stealing out at night to hear 
them sung. After four years, he left the University 
with a very low B. A. He now made successive at- 
tempts to become a clergyman, a tutor, and a lawyer, 
but his levity and waywardness doomed him in each 
case to disappointment. His next experiment was to 
study medicine. For that purpose he removed to 
Edinburgh, and subsequently to Leyden University, 
but he made no effort to obtain a degree. From the 
latter place, he started on a continental pedestrian tour, 
being provided, it is said, 'with a guinea in his pocket, 
one shirt to his back, and a flute in his hand;' and 
he actually travelled on foot through Flanders, part 
of France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. After 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 175 

one year of wandering, lonely and in poverty, yet 
buoyed up by dreams of hope and fame, he reached 
London, early in 1756. Many a hard struggle for 
a livelihood had he to encounter, until his versatile 
talents and ready pen attracted the notice of the Lon- 
don booksellers. He wrote articles for the Monthly 
Review, the British Magazine, the Critical Review, the 
Lady's Magazine, and the Bee. In 1762, appeared his 
well-known work. The Citizen of the World, originally 
contributed to the Public Ledger in the form of let- 
ters supposed to be written by a Chinese philosopher 
resident in England. It is in reality a pungent expo- 
sition of the peculiarities of English manners and 
customs. The first of his two memorable poems, The 
Traveller, was published in 1764. It is a meditative 
and descriptive work, embodying the impressions of 
human life and society which he had felt in his travels 
and in his early struggles. It contains little that is 
very new or striking in the ideas or the imagery; but 
it is exquisitely versified, and in beauty of expression 
has never been surpassed. The Deserted Village 
(1770) greatly enhanced his poetic fame. "His chaste 
pathos," to use the words of T. Campbell, "makes him 
an insinuating moralist, and throws a charm of Claude- 
like * softness over his descriptions of homely objects 
that would seem only fit to be the subjects of Dutch 
painting. But his quiet enthusiasm leads the affec- 
tions to humble things without a vulgar association; 
and he inspires us with a fondness to trace the 
simplest recollections of Auburn, till we count the 
furniture of its ale-house and listen to the Varnished 
clock that clicked behind the door/ ' Goldsmith is 

* Claude (1600-1682) was a Dutch painter of landscape, distin- 
guished for the richness and beauty of his coloring. 



176 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

also the author of two most amusing comedies, The 
Good-natured Man, and She Stoops to Conquer, and of 
a much-admired domestic novel, The Vicar of Wake- 
Held. In 1763, he published a History of England, 
in letters from a nobleman to his son. Its popularity 
induced the author to compile a more extended history 
of England, and to prepare abridgments of Grecian 
and Roman history. These works have absolutely no 
authority as history; they were written merely as book- 
seller's task-work, and yet from the purity of the style 
and the grace of composition they have hafd a most 
extensive sale. His History of Animated Nature is 
for the most part a condensation of Buffon's Histoire 
Naturelle. 

The general characteristics of this distinguished and 
favorite author are thus described by Dr. Johnson : 
"A man of such variety of powers and such felicity 
of performance, that he always seemed to do best that 
which he was doing; a man who had the art of being 
minute without tediousness, and general without con- 
fusion; whose language was copious without exuber- 
ance, exact without constraint, and easy without weak- 
ness." No writer of his time possessed more genuine 
humor, or was capable of more poignancy in marking 
the foibles of individuals. "Though his mind," says 
Macaulay, "was scantily stored with materials, he 
used what materials he had in such a way as to pro- 
duce a wonderful effect. There have been many 
greater writers; but perhaps no writer was ever more 
uniformly agreeable. His style was always pure and 
easy, and on proper occasions pointed and energetic. 
His narratives were always amusing; his descriptions 
always picturesque; his humor rich and joyous, yet 
not without an occasional tinge of amiable sadness." 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 177 

The faults of Goldsmith, though they must not 
escape censure, will always cause regret. He was vain, 
sensual, and frivolous. His manners were eccentric, 
even to absurdity. His improvidence, his fondness for 
games of chance, and his want of high moral and 
religious tone, are deeply to be deplored; but that 
genuine and ever-flowing benevolence of heart, which 
few have surpassed, calls for our admiration and 
esteem. He was subject to depression of spirits; and, 
in 1774, continual vexation of mind, arising perhaps 
from his involved circumstances, brought on a nervous 
fever of which he died in the forty-sixth year of his 
age. His remains were interred in the Temple bury- 
ing-ground; but the spot was not marked by any 
inscription, and is now forgotten. A subscription was 
afterwards collected for the purpose of erecting a 
monument to his memory in Westminster Abbey. On 
the poet's tomb, a suitable Latin inscription, written 
by Dr. Johnson, contains this truthful and eloquent 
eulogium : 

Qui nullum fere dicendi genus 

Non tetigit, 
Nullum quod tetigit non ornavit. 

VILLAGE: PREACHER. 

Near yonder copse, where once the garden smiled, 
And still where many a garden flower grows wild, 
There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose, 
The village preacher's modest mansion rose. 
A man he was to all the country dear, 
And passing rich with forty pounds a year ; 
Remote from towns, he ran his godly race, 
Nor e'er had changed, nor wished to change, his place; 
Unskilful he to fawn or seek for power, 
By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour ; 
Far other aims his heart had learned to prize, 



178 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

More bent to raise the wretched than to rise. 

His house was known to all the vagrant train; 

He chid their wanderings, but relieved their pain. 

The long-remembered beggar was his guest, 

Whose beard descending swept his aged breast; 

The ruined spendthrift, now no longer proud, 

Claimed kindred there, and had his claims allowed ; 

The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay, 

Sat by the fire and talked the night away ; 

Wept o'er his wounds, or, tales of sorrow done, 

Shouldered his crutch, and showed how fields were won 

Pleased with his guests, the good man learned to glow, 

And quite forgot their vices in their woe; 

Careless their merits or their faults to scan, 

His pity gave ere charity began. 

Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride, 
And even his failings leaned to virtue's side; 
But, in his duty prompt at every call, 
He watched and wept, he prayed and felt for all ; 
And, as a bird each fond endearment tries 
To tempt her new-fledged offspring to the skies, 
He tried each art, reproved each dull delay, 
Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way. 

Beside the bed where parting life was laid, 
And sorrow, guilt, and pain, by turns dismayed, 
The reverend champion stood. At his control 
Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul 
Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise, 
And his last faltering accents whispered praise. 

At church, with meek and unaffected grace, 
His looks adorned the venerable place; 
Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway; 
And fools, who came to scoff, remained to pray. 
The service past, around the pious man, 
With ready zeal, each honest rustic ran; 
Even children followed with endearing wile,' 
And plucked his gown, to share the good man's smile; 
His ready smile a parent's warmth expressed, 
Their welfare pleased him, and their cares distressed; 
To them his heart, his love, his griefs were given, 
But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven. 
As s/Dme tall cliff that lifts its awful form, 
Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm; 
Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread 
Eternal sunshine settles on its head, 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 179 

VILLAGE SCHOOLMASTER. 

Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way, 
With blossomed furze unprofitably gay, 
There in his noisy mansion skilled to rule, 
The village master taught his little school; 
A man severe he was, and stern to view; 
I knew him well, and every truant knew. 
Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace 
The day's disasters in his morning's face; 
Full well they laughed with counterfeited glee 
At all his jokes, for many a joke had he; 
Full well the busy whisper circling round, 
Conveyed the dismal tidings when he frowned : 
Yet he was kind; or, if severe in aught, 
The love he bore to learning was in fault; 
The village all declared how much he knew; 
Twas certain he could write and cipher too; 
Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage; 
And even the story ran that he could gauge; 
In arguing, too, the parson owned his skill, 
For even though vanquished, he could argue still; 
While words of learned length, and thundering sound, 
Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around; 
And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew, 
That one small head could carry all he knew. 
But past is all his fame ; the very spot 
Where many a time he triumphed, is forgot. 

THE VANITY OF POPULAR FAME. 
(From The Bee, No. VI.) 

A Chinese, who had long studied the work of Confucius, who 
knew the characters of fourteen thousand words, and could 
read a great part of every book that came in his way, once 
took it into his head to travel into Europe, and observe the 
customs of a people whom he thought not very much inferior 
even to his own countrymen, in the art of refining upon every 
pleasure. Upon his arrival at Amsterdam, his passion for let- 
ters naturally led him to a bookseller's shop, and, as he could 
speak a little Dutch, he civilly asked the bookseller for the 
works of the immortal Xixofou. The bookseller assured him 
he had never heard of the book mentioned before. "What ! 
have you never heard of that immortal poet?" returned the 
other much surprised; "that light of the eyes, that favorite 



180 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

of kings, that rose of perfection ! I suppose you know nothing 
of the immortal Fipsihihi, second cousin to the moon?" "Noth- 
ing at all, indeed, sir," returned the other. "Alas!" cries our 
traveller, "to what purpose, then, has one of these fasted to 
death, and the other offered himself up as a sacrifice to the 
Tartar enemy, to gain a renown which has never travelled be- 
yond the precincts of China?" 

There is scarce a village in Europe, and not one university, 
that is not thus furnished with its little great men. 



ROBERT BURNS, 1759-1796. 

Robert Burns, the most pathetic writer of any that 
Scotland has produced, was the son of a Presbyterian 
farmer. He received the best education the parish 
school could afford, and further improved his mind by 
giving to the Spectator, Pope, and Alla*n Ramsay, all 
the moments he could spare from the plough. To 
escape the ills of poverty and melancholy, the unfortu- 
nate poet had resolved on trying his fortune in Jam- 
aica, when the popularity which clung at once around 
his name at the publication of his poems in 1786, 
altered his purpose. For two years, he was lionized by 
the most brilliant wits of the Scotch capital, who could 
not wonder enough at the readiness and freshness of 
his conversation. He spent the rest of his life in his 
native Ayr and at Dumfries, supported by the scanty 
revenue of seventy pounds which he derived from the 
office of exciseman in his own district. This office 
threw in his way a temptation to intemperance which 
he was not able to resist. He became literally a slave 
to drunkenness, until disease, poverty, disappointment, 
and self-reproach, brought him to an untimely grave. 

The poetical powers of Burns were of the highest 
order; but, for want of culture, leisure, and a high 
standard of morality, they failed to attain the culminat- 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 181 



ing point of which they seemed to be capable. The 
profane love which inspires many of his songs, renders 
them unfit for perusa-1. He is at his best when he sings 
of his dear Scotia, 'loved at home, revered abroad/ and 
her 'hardy sons of toil.' Most of his poems are in the 
Lowland dialect; but, when occasion demands, he 
knows how to dress beautiful thoughts in the purest 
English garb. About one hundred and fifty letters of 
Burns have been published with his poems. 

EPISTLE TO A YOUNG 2RIEND. 

May, 1786. 

I. 

I lang hae thought, my youthfu' Friend, 

A something to have sent you, 
Tho' it should serve nae. other end 

Than just a kind memento; 
But how the subject theme may gang, 

Let time and chance determine; 
Perhaps it may turn out a sang, 

Perhaps turn out a sermon. 

ii. 

Ye'll try the world fu' soon, my lad, 

And, Andrew dear, believe me, 
Ye'll find mankind an unco squad, 

And muckle they may grieve ye : 
For care and trouble set your thought, 

E'en when your end's attained ; 
And a' your views may come to nought, 

Where ev'ry nerve is strained. 

in. 

I'll no say men are villains a' 

The real, hardened, wicked; 
Wha hae nae check but human law 

Are to a few restricked: 
But och ! mankind are unco weak, 

An' little to be trusted : 
If self the wavering balance shake, 

It's rarely right adjusted. 



182 BRITISH LITERATURE. 



IV. 

Yet they wha fa' in fortune's strife, 

Their fate we should na censure. 
For still th' important end of life 

They equally may answer ; 
A man may hae an honest heart, 

Tho' poortith hourly stare him; 
A man may tak a neebor's part, 

Yet hae nae cash to spare him. 

v. 

Aye free, aff han', your story tell, 

When wi' a bosom crony ; 
But still keep something to yoursel' 

Yet scarcely tell to ony. 
Conceal yoursel' as weel's ye can 

Frae critical dissection; 
But keek thro' ev'ry other man, 

Wi' sharpen'd sly inspection. 

VI. 

The sacred lowe o' weel placed love, 

Luxuriantly indulge it; 
But never tempt th' illicit rove, 

Tho' naething should divulge it: 
I waive the quantum o' the sin, 

The hazard of concealing; 
But, och! it hardens a' within, 

And petrifies the feeling ! 

VII. 

To catch dame Fortune's golden smile. 

Assiduous wait upon her: 
And gather gear by ev'ry wile 

That's justified by honor; 
Not for to hide it in a hedge, 

Nor for a train-attendant ; 
But for the glorious privilege 

Of being independent. 

VIII. 

* 
The fear o' hell's a hangman's whip, 

To haud the wretch in order; 
But where ye feel your honor grip, 

Let that aye be your border; 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 183 

Its slightest touches, instant pause 

Debar a' side pretences; 
And resolutely keep its laws, 

Uncaring consequences. 

IX. 

The great Creator to revere, 

Must sure become the creature : 
But still the preaching cant forbear, 

And e'en the rigid feature: 
Yet ne'er with wits profane to range, 

Be complaisance extended ; 
An atheist's laugh's a poor exchange 

For Deity offended. 

x. 

When ranting round in pleasure's ring, 

Religion may be blinded; 
Or, if she gie a random sting, 

It may be little minded ; 
But when on life we're tempest driven, 

A conscience but a canker 
A correspondence fix'd wi' Heav'n, 

Is sure a noble anchor! 

XI. 

Adieu, dear, amiable youth! 

Your heart can ne'er be wanting: 
May prudence, fortitude, and truth, 

Erect your brow undaunting ! 
In ploughman phrase, "God send you speed," 

Still daily to grow wiser ; 
And may you better reck the rede, 

Than ever did th' adviser ! 

JOHN ANDERSON, MY JO. 

John Anderson, my jo, John, 

When we were first acquent- 
Your locks were like the raven, 

Your bonnie brow was brent : 
But now your brow is beld, John, 

Your locks are like the snaw; 
But blessings on your frosty pow. 

John Anderson, my jo. 



184 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

John Anderson, my jo, John, 

We clamb the hill thegither; 
And mony a canty day, John, 

We've had wi' ane another. 
Now me maun totter down, John, 

But hand in hand we'll go : 
And sleep thegither at the foot, 

John Anderson, my jo. 



WILLIAM COWPER, 1731-1800. 

William Cowper, the poet of ordinary life and domes- 
tic emotions, was born in Hertfordshire, England, of 
an aristocratic family. He was one of the first among 
the English poets that ventured to describe those famil- 
iar thoughts and feelings, which are imagined by the 
word home, a word for which so many cultivated lan- 
guages have no equivalent. After his mother's death, 
when he was hardly over six years of age, he was sent 
to a certain Dr. Titman's school. There the timid, sen- 
sitive child was, for two years, subjected to many acts 
of cruelty at the hand of a senior scholar. He was 
afterwards removed to Westminster School, where, for 
seven years he enjoyed a comparatively pleasant time. 
His subsequent life was singularly unhappy, the greater 
part of it being clouded with insanity, brought on per- 
haps by a morbid timidity, and fostered by religious 
melancholy. Having imbibed the Calvinistic doctrine 
of election and reprobation in its most appalling rigor, 
he was led to a dismal state of apprehension; and it 
is said that the temporary derangement of his faculties 
was caused by his dread of the eternal judgment. His 
poetical genius was not exhibited until an unsually 
advanced age. He was fifty before he obtained any 
reputation as a writer. In 1781, he was induced to 
prepare a volume of Poems for the press. The prin- 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 185 

cipal topics are the Progress of Error, Truth, Expos- 
tulation, Hope, Charity, Retirement, and Conversation, 
all of which are treated with originality and vigor of 
style. But the volume did not attract any great degree 
of popular attention. It is to the influence and sugges- 
tion of Lady Austen that we are indebted for the ex- 
quisitely humorous ballad of John Gilpin, and the 
author's master-piece, The Task, published in 1785. 
This poem starts from a mock-heroic introduction 
giving a ludicrous account of the rise and origin of the 
sofa, and easily glides into exquisite descriptions of 
rural scenery and inimitable pictures of home-born 
and domestic happiness. In the same year, was pub- 
lished his Tirocinium, a poem on the subject of educa- 
tion, intended to censure the want of discipline and 
the inattention to morals which prevailed in public 
schools. Whatever may be thought of the discussions 
against public education, the poem abounds with strik- 
ing observations. His Translation of Homer appeared 
in 1791. This work possesses much exactness as to 
the sense, and is certainly more literal than that of 
Pope; but Pope's translation has remained up to this 
day the most popular of all similar attempts in English. 
Prof. Craik tries to account for Cowper's failure by 
saying that he strained 'to imitate a style not only un- 
like his own, but unfortunately quite as unlike that 
of his original : for these versions of the most natural 
of all poetry, the Homeric, are strangely enough at- 
tempted in the manner of the most artificial of all 
poets, Milton." Disappointed at the reception of this 
laborious work, he meditated a revision of it, and also 
a new didactic poem entitled The Four Ages. But 
although he occasionally wrote a few verses, and re- 
vised his Odyssey amidst his glimmerings of reason, 



186 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

those and all other undertakings finally gave way to a 
relapse of his malady. His disorder continued with 
little intermission to the close of life, which, sad to 
relate, ended in a state of absolute despair, towards 
the beginning of the year 1800. His prose works are 
confined almost exclusively to his letters, which now 
occupy the very first rank in epistolary literature. 

Angus thus sums up the characteristics of his poe- 
try: "The qualities which gave Cowper a high place 
in our poesy, it is not difficult to define. For humor 
and quiet satire, for appreciation of natural beauty 
and domestic life, for strong good sense and devout 
piety, for public spirit and occasional sublimity, for 
gentle and noble sentiment, for fine descriptive powers 
employed with skill on outward scenes and on char- 
acter, for ease and colloquial freedom of style, and for 
the strength and harmony of his later versification 
especially, he has rarely been equalled, and for these 
qualities combined he has never been surpassed. . . . 
He is practically the founder of the modern school of 
poets an honor he owes chiefly to his reality and nat- 
uralness. It is this excellence which gives attractive- 
ness to all he has written. Pope's poems are at least 
as finished as the best of Cowpers, and more finished 
than most of his earlier pieces. Young is often as ap- 
parently religious, sometimes as merry, and certainly 
as witty. Thomson's pictures of nature have greater 
variety, and more ideal beauty than Cowper's. But 
Pope's poetry is art, Cowper's nature. Young's relig- 
ion and mirth seem to belong to two different men. 
From every line Cowper has written, the very man 
beams forth, always natural, consistent, and unaf- 
fected; . . . the poet lives and moves in every 
scene." 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS, 

BOADICSA. 
An Ode. 

When the British warrior queen, 
Bleeding from the Roman rods, 

Sought with an indignant mien 
Counsels of her country's gods, 

Sage beneath the spreading oak 
Sat the Druid, hoary chief, 

Every burning word he spoke 
Full of rage and full of grief: 

"Princess, if our aged eyes 

Weep upon thy matchless wrongs, 
'Tis because resentment ties 
All the terrors of our tongues. 

Rome shall perish write that word 
In the blood that she has spilt 

Perish, hopeless and abhorred, 
Deep in ruin as in guilt. 

Rome, for empire far renowned, 
Tramples on a thousand states; 

Soon her pride shall kiss the ground 
Hark! the Gaul is at her gates! 

Other Romans shall arise, 

Heedless of a soldier's name; 

Sounds, not arms, shall win the prize; 
Harmony, the path to fame. 

Then the progeny that springs 
From the forests of our land, 

Armed with thunder, clad with wings, 
Shall a wider world command. 

Regions Caesar never knew 
Thy posterity shall sway; 

Where his eagles never flew, 
None invincible as they." 



188 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Such the bard's prophetic words, 
Pregnant with celestial fire, 

Bending as he swept the cords 
Of his sweet but awful lyre. 

She, with all a monarch's pride, 
Felt them in her bosom glow; 

Rushed to battle, fought and died ; 
Dying, hurled them at the foe. 

Ruffians, pitiless as proud, 
Heaven awards the venegance due; 

Empire is on us bestowed, 
Shame and ruin wait for you. 



ON THE RECEIPT OF MY MOTHER'S PICTURE. 



My mother, when I learnt that thou wast dead, 
Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed? 
Hovered thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son, 
Wretch even then, life's journey just begun? 
Perhaps thou gavest me, though unfelt, a kiss, 
Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss 
Ah ! that maternal smile ! it answers Yes. 
I heard the bell tolled on thy burial day, 
And, turning from my nursery window, drew 
A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu. 
But was it such ? It was. Where thou art gone, 
Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown. 
May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore, 
The parting words shall pass my lips no more. 
Thy maidens, grieved themselves at my concern, 
Oft gave me promise of thy quick return. 
What ardently I wished, I long believed, 
And disappointed still, was still deceived. 
By expectation every day beguiled, 
Dupe of to-morrow even of a child. 
Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went, 
Till, all my stock of infant sorrow spent, 
I learned at last submission to my lot; 
But, though I less deplored thee, ne'er ^ 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 189 

A few other poets of lesser note are mentioned: 

JOHN GAY (1688-1732) holds a distinguished rank 
in literature for his interesting Fables. Another work 
of Gay, The Beggar's Opera, the leading personages 
of which are thieves and robbers, has justly been con- 
demned for its licentiousness. 

THOMAS CHATTERTON (1752-1770) was that won- 
derful boy of Bristol who passed off on the public his 
own poems, sermons, and other writings, for manu- 
scripts of the fifteenth century. At seventeen, he tried 
his fortune in London, but there became a prey to all 
evil, infidelity, intemperance, poverty, disappoint- 
ment, to which he sadly put the climax by commit- 
ting suicide, at the age of nineteen. 

JAMES BEATTIE (1735-1803), a Professor of Moral 
Philosophy and Logic in Aberdeen, Scotland, is chiefly 
known as the author of The Minstrel. This is a didac- 
tic poem, in the style and stanza of Spenser, designed 
'to trace the progress of a poetical genius born in a 
rude age, from the first dawn of fancy and reason, till 
that period at which he may be supposed capable of 
appearing in the world as a minstrel.' The character 
of Edwin, the minstrel, is well drawn; and the work 
is remarkable throughout for harmony of style, the 
richness of the images, and the elevation of the moral 
tone. His Hssay on Truth, which he wrote to counter- 
act the infidel works of Hume, obtained great success 
during his lifetime, but is now almost forgotten. 
Beattie found friends and admirers, not only among 
his Scotch contemporaries, but also among the great 
wits of the time in England, as Burke, Dr. Johnson, 
Goldsmith, and Reynolds. 

JAMES MACPHERSON (1772-1808), a Scotch polit- 



190 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

ical writer, acquired great notoriety by publishing what 
he declared to be the translation of Ossian's poems, 
Fingal and Temora-, from Gaelic materials gathered 
up in the Highlands. It is now generally believed that 
Macpherson was the principal author of these composi- 
tions. They are written in a florid prose, bordering 
on bombast, and describe stirring events of Celtic life. 
THOMAS PERCY (1729-1811), Bishop of the Irish 
Church, in Dromore, has given us the first collection 
of folk songs and ballads in three volumes, under the 
title of Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. His work 
of collecting did good service to the Romantic move- 
ment. 

JOSEPH ADDISON, 1672-1719. 

Joseph Addison, whom Macaulay styles the greatest 
of English essayists, was born at Milston in Wiltshire, 
in 1672. At the age of fifteen, he entered the Univer- 
sity of Oxford, and applied himself with such diligence 
to classical learning, that he acquired an elegant Latin 
style before he arrived at that age in which lads usually 
begin to write good English. In his twenty-second 
year, he addressed some verses to Dryden, which were 
highly praised by eminent judges. In 1699, he left 
England on a visit to the classic soil of Italy ; and, soon 
after his return, published his Travels in Italy, a work 
which, Dr. Johnson says, might have been written at 
home. Many parts of this work exhibit Addison as a 
vulgar bigot. His next composition was The Cam- 
paign, a poem in praise of the battle of Blenheim, writ- 
ten at the request of Treasurer Godolphin. It is still 
remembered for the passage in which he compares the 
victorious Marlborough to an angel guiding the whirl- 
wind. The ministry, as a token of its satisfaction, ap- 
pointed him Commissioner of Appeals. From this 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 191 

office he was afterwards called to others more impor- 
tant, and ultimately (1717) became one of His Maj- 
esty's principal Secretaries of State. A new field of 
literature was meantime offered to Addison, in which 
he won a reputation that has never been surpassed. 
His friend, Richard Steele, had started, in 1709, the 
publication of The Tatler, which was soon after suc- 
ceeded by The Spectator and The Guardian. Addison 
contributed 42 essays to The Tatler, 274 to The Spec- 
tator, and 53 to The Guardian. His essays in The 
Spectator are marked with one of the letters C. L. 
I. O. ; those in The Guardian, by a hand. They may 
be ranged under the comic, the serious, and the critical. 
His humor is peculiar; his satire easy and delicate; 
and he is greatly to be commended for his endeavor, 
as he himself says in No. 10 of The Spectator, 'to en- 
liven morality with wit and to temper wit with moral- 
ity.' But the two are so frequently in antagonism 
that it is difficult always to preserve the one without 
some sacrifice of the other, and few great wits even 
among divines have completely mastered this difficulty. 
His serious papers are distinguished by beauty, pro- 
priety, and elegance of style. 

His tragedy of Cato, strictly classical in form, but 
stiff and cold, was represented in 1713 ; and, owing to 
party feelings, met, at the time, with extraordinary 
success. But it is now comparatively neglected, al- 
though abounding with noble sentiments. As a poet, 
Addison does not take the highest rank. One of his 
best pieces is his poetical Letter to Lord Halifax from 
Italy, in 1701. "Its versification," says Dr. Drake, 
"is remarkably sweet and polished ; its vein of descrip- 
tion usually rich and clear, and its sentiments often 
pathetic, and sometimes even sublime." 



192 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

The Evidences of Christianity, a prose work, was 
useful at the time, as recommending the subject by 
elegance and perspicuity to popular notice, but since 
superseded by more complete treatises. 

"Perhaps no English writer," says Allibon, "has 
been so fortunate as Addison in uniting so many dis- 
cordant tastes in a unanimous verdict of approbation. 
Browne has been thought pedantic, Johnson inflated, 
Taylor conceited, and Burke exuberant ; but the grace- 
ful simplicity of Addison delights alike the rude taste 
of the uneducated, and the classic judgment of the 
learned." Dr. Johnson has pronounced the well- 
known verdict in his favor : "Whoever wishes to attain 
an English style, familiar but not coarse, and elegant, 
but not ostentatious, must give his days and nights to 
the volumes of Addison." 

In politics, earnest but not violent, he was respected 
by individuals of both parties. Serious and reserved 
in his manners, modest and even timid in society, he 
spoke little before strangers; but he was easy, fluent, 
and familiar, in the company of his friends : in his own 
words, "he could draw bills for a thousand pounds, 
though he had not a guinea in his pocket." 

He had long been subject to asthma, and this, to- 
gether with a dropsical affection, soon made it evident 
that his hour of dissolution could not be far distant. 
The event, which he calmly awaited, took place in Hol- 
land House, in 1719. 

THE VISION Of MIRZA. 
(From Spectator^ No. CLIX.) 

When I was at Grand Cairo, I picked up several Oriental 
manuscripts, which I have still by me. Among others, I met 
with one entitled, The Vision of Mirza, which I have read over 
with pleasure. I intend to give it to the public when I have 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 193 

no other entertainment for them, and shall begin with the first 
vision, which I have translated word for word as follows: 

On the fifth day of the moon, which, according to the custom 
of my forefathers, I always keep holy, after having washed 
myself, and offered up my morning devotions, I ascended the 
high hills of Bagdad, in order to pass the rest of the day in 
meditation and prayer. As I was here airing myself on the 
tops of the mountains, I fell into a profound contemplation on 
the vanity of human life; and, passing from one thought to 
another, surely, said I, man is but a shadow, and life a dream. 
Whilst I was thus musing, I cast my eyes towards the summit 
of a rock that was not far from me, where I discovered one in 
the habit of a shepherd, with a little musical instrument in his 
hands. As I looked upon him, he applied it to his lips, and 
began to play upon it. The sound of it was exceedingly sweet, 
and wrought into a variety of tunes that were inexpressibly 
melodious, and altogether different from anything I had ever 
heard. They put me in mind of those heavenly airs that are 
played to the departed souls of good men, upon their first ar- 
rival in paradise, to wear out the impressions of the last ago- 
nies, and qualify them for the pleasures of that happy place. 
My heart melted away in secret raptures. I had been often 
told that the rock before me was the haunt of a genius, and 
that several had been entertained with music who had passed 
by it, but never heard that the musician had before made him- 
self visible. When he had raised my thoughts, by those trans- 
porting airs which he played, to taste the pleasures of his con- 
versation, as I looked upon him like one astonished, he beck- 
oned to me, and, by the waving of his hand, directed me to ap- 
proach the place where he sat. I drew near with that rever- 
ence which is due to a superior nature; and, as my heart was 
entirely subdued by the captivating strains I had heard, I fell 
down at his feet and wept. 

The genius smiled upon me with a look of compassion and 
affability that familiarized him to my imagination, and at once 
dispelled all the fears and apprehensions with which I ap- 
proached him. He lifted me from the ground, and, taking me 
by the hand, "Mirza," said he. "I have heard thee in thy 
soliloquies; follow me." 

He then led me to the highest pinnacle of the rock, and plac- 
ing me on the top of it, "Cast thine eyes eastward," said he 
"and tell me what thou seest." "I see," said I, "a huge val- 
ley, and a prodigious tide of water rolling through it." "The 
valley that thou seest," said he, "is the vale of misery, and the 
tide of water that thou seest, is part of the great tide of eter- 



194 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

nity." "What is the reason," said I, "that the tide I see rises 
out of a thick mist at one end, and again loses itself in a thick 
mist at the other?" "What thou seest," said he, "is that portion 
of eternity which is called Time, measured out by the sun, 
and reaching from the beginning of the world to its consum- 
mation. Examine now," said he, "this sea that is bounded 
with darkness at both ends, and tell me what thou discoverest 
in it." "I see a bridge," said I, "standing in the midst of 
the tide." "The bridge thou seest," said he, "is Human Life; 
consider it attentively." Upon a more leisurely survey of it, 
I found that it consisted of threescore and ten entire arches, 
with several broken arches, which, added to those that were 
entire, made up the number to about a hundred. As I was 
counting the arches, the genius told me that this bridge con- 
sisted at first of a thousand arches, but that a great flood 
swept away the rest, and left the bridge in the ruinous condi- 
tion I now beheld it. "But, tell me further," said he, "what 
thou discoverest on it." "I see multitudes of people passing 
over it," said I, "and a black cloud hanging on each end of 
it." As I looked more attentively, I saw several of the pas- 
sengers dropping through the bridge into the great tide that 
flowed underneath it; and, upon further examination, perceived 
there were innumerable trap-doors that lay concealed in the 
bridge, which the passengers no sooner trod upon, but they 
fell through them into the tide, and immediately disappeared. 
These hidden pitfalls were set very thick at the entrance of 
the bridge, so that throngs of people no sooner broke through 
the cloud, but many of them fell into them. They grew thinner 
towards the middle, but multiplied and lay closer together to- 
wards the end of the arches that were entire. 

There were indeed some persons, but their number was very 
small, that continued a kind of hobbling march on the broken 
arches, but fell through one after another, being quite tired 
and spent with so long a walk. 

I passed some time in the contemplation of this wonderful 
structure, and the great variety of objects which it presented. 
My heart was filled with a deep melancholy to see several 
dropping unexpectedly in the midst of mirth and jollity, and 
catching at everything that stood by them, to save themselves. 
Some were looking up towards the heavens in a thoughtful 
posture, and, in the midst of a speculation, stumbled, and fell 
out of sight. Multitudes were very busy in the pursuit of bub- 
bles that glittered in their eyes and danced before them; but 
often, when they thought themselves within the reach of them, 
their footing failed, and down they sank. In this confusion of 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 195 

objects, I observed some with scimitars in their hands, and 
others who ran to and fro upon the bridge, thrusting several 
persons on trap-doors which did not seem to lie in their way, 
and which they might have escaped, had they not been thus 
forced upon them. 

The genius, seeing me indulge myself on this melancholy 
prospect, told me I had dwelt long enough upon it. "Take 
thine eyes off the bridge," said he, "and tell me if thou yet 
seest anything thou dost not comprehend." Upon looking up, 
"What mean," said I, "those great flights of birds -that are 
perpetually hovering about the bridge, and settling upon it 
from time to time? I see vultures, harpies, ravens, cormorants, 
and, among many other feathered creatures, several little winged 
boys, that perch in great numbers upon the middle arches." 
"These," said the genius, "are Envy, Avarice, Superstition, 
Despair, Love, with the like cares and passions that infest 
Human Life." 

I here fetched a deep sigh. "Alas," said I, "man was made 
in vain ! how is he given away to misery and mortality ! tort- 
ured in life, and swallowed up in death!" The genius, being 
moved with compassion towards me, bade me quit so uncom- 
fortable a prospect. "Look no more," said he, "on man in 
the first stage of his existence, in his setting out for eternity, 
but cast thine eye on that thick mist into which the tide bears 
the several generations of mortals that fall into it." I directed 
my sight as I was ordered, and whether or no the good genius 
strengthened it with any supernatural force, or dissipated part 
of the mist that was before too thick for the eye to pentrate 
I saw the valley opening at the further end, and spreading 
forth into an immense ocean, that had a huge rock of adamant 
running through the midst of it, and dividing it into two' 
equal parts. The clouds still rested on one-half of it, insomuch* 
that I could discover nothing in it; but the other appeared to 
me a vast ocean planted with innumerable islands that were 
covered with fruits and flowers, and interwoven with a thou- 
sand little shining seas that ran among them. I could see per- 
sons dressed in glorious habits, with garlands upon their heads 
passing among the trees, lying down by the sides of fountains, 
or resting on beds of flowers, and could hear a confused har- 
mony of singing birds, falling waters, human voices, and mu- 
sical instruments. Gladness grew in me upon the discovery of 
so delightful a scene. I wished for the wings of an eagle, that 
I might fly away to those happy seats, but the genius told me 
there was no passage to them, except through the Gates of 
Death, that I saw opening every moment upon the bridge. 



196 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

"The islands," said he, "that lie so fresh and green before 
thee, and with which the whole face of the ocean appears spot- 
ted as far as thou canst see, are more in number than the sands 
on the sea-shore; there are myriads of islands behind those 
which thou here disco verest, reaching farther than thine eye, 
or even thine imagination, can extend itself. These are the 
mansions of good men after death, who according to the degree 
and kinds of virtues in which they excelled, are distributed 
among these several islands, which abound with pleasures of 
different kinds and degrees, suitable to the relishes and perfec- 
tions of those who are settled in them. Every island is a par- 
adise, accommodated to its respective inhabitants. Are not 
these, O Mirza! habitations worth contending for? Does life 
appear miserable, that gives thee opportunities of earning such 
a reward? Is death to be feared, that will convey thee to so 
happy an existence? Think not man was made in vain, who 
has such an eternity for him." I gazed with inexpressible 
pleasure on these happy islands. At length, said I : "Show me 
now, I beseech thee, the secrets that lie hid under those dark 
clouds which cover the ocean on the other side of the rock of 
adamant?" The genius making me no answer, I turned about 
to address myself to him a second time, but I found that he 
had left me. I then turned again to the vision which I had 
been so long contemplating, but instead of the rolling tide, the 
arched bridge, and the happy islands, I saw nothing but the 
long hollow valley of Bagdad, with oxen, sheep, and camels 
grazing upon the sides of it. 



SIR RICHARD Sfi^XK, 1671-1729. 

Sir Richard Steele, whose name is inseparably linked 
with that of Addison, was born in Dublin of English 
parents. Placed at the Charter-house, London, by the 
patronage of the Duke of Ormond, he there made his 
first acquaintance with Addison, whose talent, diligence, 
and success he began to admire. Far, however, from 
imitating the virtues of his friend, Steele contracted 
those habits of carelessness and improvidence which 
accompanied him through life. At Oxford, he did not 
exert himself for a degree. On leaving the University, 
he enlisted as private in the Horse Guards. This rash 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 197 

step cost him a fortune ; for a wealthy relative in Wex- 
ford, on this account, struck him out of his will. Soon 
the gay trooper obtained promotion, and ultimately be- 
came a captain in Lucas's Fusiliers. The wild and dis- 
sipated life to which he then abandoned himself, was 
not without remorse. It was to satisfy his conscience 
that he wrote and published a devotional book, The 
Christian Hero, which he intended both as an expres- 
sion of his reform, and a means of effecting it; but, his 
change of conduct having become the sport of his 
brother officers, he soon again returned to his old hab- 
its. We next find him a dramatist. In 1702 and the 
two following years, he produced three comedies, 
The Puneral, The Tender Husband, and The Lying 
Lover, which had but little success. In 1709, during 
the war of the Spanish succession, his employment as 
Gazetteer suggested to him the idea of The Taller, a 
tri-weekly paper, containing the last items of the news, 
and generally followed by an essay. Addison now 
associated himself with his old friend. The success of 
The Taller, prepared the way for the greater success 
of The Spectator and The Guardian. Steele contri- 
buted 188 papers to The Taller, 240 to The Spectator, 
and 82 to The Guardian. The short essay was truly 
the element for the genius of both writers. Raciness 
of humor, vivacity of tone, and purity of language, 
characterize these papers, which treat chiefly of litera- 
ture and public manners. Steele loses somewhat from 
comparison with his partner. His essays, though teem- 
ing with originality and freshness, lack the finish and 
admirable grace which mark those of Addison. Nature 
had done more for Steele: Addison's steady applica- 
tion to his art more than compensated for his lesser 
gifts of genius. The most interesting account of Steele 



198 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

as well as of Addison and Swift is to be found in 
Thackeray's English Humorists of the eighteenth cen- 
tury. 

Steele mingled considerably in the politics of the 
times, became a member of Parliament, and wrote 
many pamphlets or articles in behalf of the Whig party. 
For one of these pamphlets, he was expelled from the 
House ; but George I. rewarded his zeal by the knight- 
hood and several lucrative appointments. His extrava- 
gance and dissipation, however, kept his purse empty. 
On one occasion, Addison, who had lent him 1000, 
sold his friend's country-house at Hampton, and, after 
reimbursing himself, handed over the balance to Steele, 
who was glad to have some ready money to soothe the 
importunities of his creditors. The last literary work 
of Steele was The Conscious Lovers, a comedy, which 
was acted with great success in 1722. The remainder 
of his life was spent in Wales on a small estate, left him 
by indulgent creditors. Here he died of paralysis in 
1729. 

Steele was married twice. Some four hundred let- 
ters, written to his second wife, are still extant. They 
are full of wit and amiability, and do not hide the 
weaknesses of their gifted author. "Steele," says 
Allibone, "was one of the most amiable and improvi- 
dent of men. . . . Often sinning, often repenting, 
always good-natured, and generally in debt, he mul- 
tiplied troubles as few men will, and bore them better 
than most men can." 

STORY-TELLING. 

I have often thought that a story-teller is born, as well as a 
poet. It is, I think, certain that some men have such a pecu- 
liar cast of mind, that they see things in another light than 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 199 

men of grave dispositions. Men of a lively imagination and a 
mirthful temper will represent things to their hearers in the 
same manner as they themselves were affected with them ; and 
whereas serious spirits might perhaps have been disgusted at 
the sight of some odd occurrences in life, yet the very same oc- 
currences shall please them in a well-told story, where the disa- 
greeable parts of the images are concealed, and those only 
which are pleasing exhibited to the fancy. Story-telling is there- 
fore not an art, but what we call a 'knack'; it does not so 
much subsist upon wit as upon humor ; and I will add that 
it is not perfect without proper gesticulations of the body, 
which naturally attend such merry emotions of the mind. I 
know very well that a certain gravity of countenance sets some 
stories off to advantage, where the hearer is to be surprised in 
the end. But this is by no means a general rule; for it is fre- 
quently convenient to aid and assist by cheerful looks and 
whimsical agitations. I will go yet further, and affirm that 
the success of a story very often depends upon the make of the 
body and the formation of the features of him who relates it. 
I have been of this opinion ever since I criticised upon the 
chin of Dick Dewlap. I very often had the weakness to repine 
at the prosperity of his conceits, which made him pass for a 
wit with the widow at the coffee-house, and the ordinary me- 
chanics that frequent it; nor could I myself forbear laughing 
at them most heartily, though, upon examination,. I thought 
most of them very flat and insipid. I found, after some time, 
that the merit of his wit was founded upon the shaking of a 
fat paunch, and the tossing-up of a pair of rosy jowls. Poor 
Dick had a fit of sickness, which robbed him of his fat and 
his fame at once; and it was full three months before he 
regained his reputation, which rose in proportion to his flo- 
ridity. He is now very jolly and ingenious, and hath a good 
constitution for wit. 

Those who are thus adorned with the gifts of nature are 
apt to show their parts with too much ostentation. I would 
therefore advise all the professors of this art never to tell sto- 
ries but as they seem to grow out of the subject-matter of the 
conversation, or as they serve to illustrate or enliven it. Sto- 
ries that are very common are generally irksome, but may be 
aptly introduced, provided they be only hinted at and men- 
tioned by way of allusion. Those that are altogether new 
should never be ushered in without a short and pertinent char- 
acter of the chief persons concerned, because, by that means, 
you may make the company acqainted with them ; and it is a 
certain rule, that slight and trivial accounts of those who are 



200 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

familiar to us administer more mirth than the brightest 
points of wit in unknown characters. A little circumstance 
in the complexion or dress of the man you are talking of, sets 
his image before the hearer, if it be chosen aptly for the story. 
Thus, I remember Tom Lizard, after having made his sisters 
merry with an account of a formal old man's way of compli- 
menting, owned very frankly that his story would not have 
been worth one farthing, if he had made the hat of him whom 
he represented one inch narrower. Besides the marking dis- 
tinct characters and selecting pertinent circumstances, it is 
likewise necessary to leave off in time, and end smartly; so 
that there is a kind of drama in the forming of a story; and 
the manner of conducting and pointing it is the same as in an 
epigram. It is a miserable thing, after one hath raised the ex- 
pectation of the company by humorous characters and a pretty 
conceit, to pursue the matter too far. There is no retreating; 
and how poor it is for a story-teller to end his relation by say- 
ing, "That's all" ! 

As the choosing of pertinent circumstances is the life of a 
story, and that wherein humor principally consists, so the col- 
lectors of impertinent particulars are the very bane and opiates 
of conversation. Old men are great transgressors this way 
Poor Ned Poppy he's gone was a very honest man, but was 
so excessively tedious over his pipe, that he was not to be en- 
dured. He knew so exactly what they had for dinner, when 
such a thing happened, in what ditch his bay horse had his 
sprain at that time, and how his man John no, it was William 
started a hare in the common field, that he never got to the 
end of his tale. 

But of all evils in story-telling, the humor of telling tales 
one after another in great numbers, is the least supportable. 
Sir Harry Pandolf and his son gave my Lady Lizard great of- 
fence in this particular. Sir Harry hath what they call a string 
of stories, which he tells over every Christmas. When our fam- 
ily visits there, we are constantly, after supper, entertained 
with the Glastonbury Thorn. When we have wondered at that 
a little, "Ay, but father," saith the son, "let us have the Spirit 
in the Wood." After that hath been laughed at, "Ay, but 
father," cries the booby again, "tell us how you served the 
robber." "Alack-a-day," saith Sir Harry, with a smile, arid 
rubbing his forehead, "I have almost forgot that, but it is a 
pleasant conceit to be sure." Accordingly he tells that and 
twenty more in the same independent order, and without the 
least variation, at this day, as he hath done to my knowledge 
ever since the Revolution. . 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 

I likewise have a poor opinion of those who have got a trick 
of keeping a steady countenance, that cock their hats and look 
glum when a pleasant thing is said, and ask, "Well, and what 
then?" Men of wit and parts should treat one another with 
benevolence; and I will lay it down as a maxim, that if you 
seem to have a good opinion of another man's wit, he will 
allow you to have judgment. 

LETTER Of STEELE TO HIS WIFE. 

HAMPTON COURT, March 16, 1717. 

DEAR PRUE: If you have written anything to me which I 
should have received last night, I beg your pardon that I can- 
not answer it till the next post. The House of Commons will 
be very busy the next week; and I had many things, public 
and private, for which I wanted four-and-twenty hours' re- 
tirement, and therefore came to visit your son. I came out of 
town yesterday, being Friday, and shall return to-morrow. 
Your son, at the present writing, is mighty well employed, 
tumbling on the floor of the room, and sweeping the sand with 
a feather. He grows a most delightful child, and very full of 
play and spirit. He is also a very great scholar : he can read his 
primer, and I have brought down my Virgil. He makes most 
shrewd remarks upon the pictures. We are very intimate 
friends and playfellows. He begins to be very ragged, and I 
hope I shall be pardoned, if I equip him with new clothes and 
frock, or what Mrs. Evans and I shall think for his service. 
I am, dear Prue, ever yours, 

RICHARD STEELE. 



JONATHAN SWIFT, 1667-1745. 

Jonathan Swift, more commonly known as Dean 
Swift, whom Voltaire styles the English Rabelais, was 
born in Dublin, in 1667. In his academical studies, he 
was either not diligent, or not happy. At Trinity Col- 
lege, it was only through special favor that he received 
the degree of Bachelor of Arts. To repair the humilia- 
tion, he resolved to study eight hours a day, and he 
continued his industry for seven years. 



202 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

In 1704 was published anonymously his celebrated 
Tale of a Tub, the wildest and coarsest of polemical 
works. It was designed, as a burlesque and satire, to 
throw ridicule upon the Catholics, Lutherans, and 
Presbyterians, and to gain influence for the High 
Church party ; but it plainly shows 'that Swift, though 
a clergyman, was a cynic and materialist, and utterly 
scouted all religion in his secret heart.' * The Battle 
of the Books, appended to the Tale of a Tub, is a bur- 
lesque comparison between ancient and modern au- 
thors, in which he exercises his satire against Dryden 
and Bentley. 

In 1713, he was rewarded with the Deanery of St. 
Patrick's in Dublin, for his political services to the 
Queen's ministry. Swift was at first disliked in Ire- 
land; but his celebrated Letters under the name of 
M. B. Drapier, in which he ably exposed the job of 
Wood's patent for supplying Ireland with a copper 
coinage, and other writings, gave him unbounded pop- 
ularity. It was about this time that he composed his 
famous Gulliver's Travels, the most original of his 
productions. It appeared in 1726, exhibiting a sing- 
ular union of mis-anthropy, satire, irony, ingenuity, 
and humor, not unfrequently deviating into unpardon- 
able grossness and revolting obscenity. It is really a 
political pamphlet, and contains many satirical allu- 
sions to the great contending parties of the state ; 
though most of the readers feel only the fascination 
of the story. 

In the latter part of his life, he published another 
burlesque on the frivolities cf fashionable life, entitled 
Polite Conversation. His most important political 

* Thomas Arnold, Manual of Eng. Lit. 



THE PERIOD OP CLASSICISTS. 203 

tracts were The Conduct of the Allies, The Public 
Spirit of the Whigs, and the History of the Four Last 
Years of Queen Anne. As a writer, his style offers a 
good example of the easy familiarity that the language 
affords; but, admirable as it is for its pureness, clear- 
ness, and simplicity, it exhibits none of the glow of 
genius. 

"His poetical works," says Dr. Johnson, "are often 
humorous, almost always light; and have the qualities 
which recommend such compositions : easiness and 
gayety. The diction is correct, the numbers smooth, 
and the rhymes exact. There seldom occurs a hard- 
labored expression, or a redundant epithet; all his 
verses exemplify his own definition of a good style, 
'proper words in proper places/ ' "Half of the bad 
writing of the age," says Angus, "is owing to the fact 
that men have not possessed themselves of what they 
wish to say; and the other half, to their desire to say 
it finely and eloquently. Both these evils Swift 
avoids." 

In 1736, he had an attack of deafness and giddiness. 
The fate, which owing to his constitutional infirmities 
he had always feared, at length reached him. Indeed, 
madness or predisposition to madness seemed to be a 
part and parcel of the man, and possibly an element of 
his genius. The faculties of his mind decayed before 
his body, and the gradual decay settled into absolute 
idiocy, early in 1742. When he determined to be- 
queath his fortune to build a hospital for lunatics and 
idiots, he must have been sad at heart, although he 
gayly wrote that he did so merely 

To show by one satiric touch, 
No nation wanted it so much. 



OQ4 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

VURSES ON HIS OWN D&A.TH. 

The time is not remote when I 
Must by the course of nature die: 
When, I foresee, my special friends 
Will try to find their private ends : 
And, though 'tis hardly understood 
Which way my death can do them good, 
Yet thus, methinks, I hear them speak: 
See, how the dean begins to break! 
Poor gentleman ! he droops apace ! 
You plainly find it in his face. 
That old vertigo in his head 
Will never leave him, till he's dead. 
Besides, his memory decays : 
He recollects not what he says; 
He cannot call his friends to mind; 
Forgets the place where last he dined, 
Plies you with stories o'er and o'er; 
He told them fifty times before. 
How does he fancy we can sit 
To hear his out-of- fashion wit? 



Behold the fatal day arrive! 
How is the dean? he's just alive. 
Now the departing prayer is read; 
He hardly breathes. The dean is dead. 
Before the passing-bell begun, 
The news through half the town has run. 
Oh ! may we all for death prepare ! 
What has he left? and who's his heir? 
I know no more than what the news is, 
'Tis all bequeathed to public uses. 
To public uses 1 there's a whim ! 
What had the public done for him'* 
Mere envy, avarice, and pride: 
He gave it all but first he died. 
And had the dean in all the nation 
No worthy friend, no poor relation? 
So ready to do strangers good, 
Forgetting his own flesh and blood! 
Here shift the scene, to represent 
How those I love my death lament. 
Poor Pope will grieve a month, and Gay 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 2Q5 

A week, and Arbuthnot a day. 
St. John himself will scarce forbear 
To bite his pen, and drop a tear. 
The rest will give a shrug, and cry, 
"I'm sorry but we all must die!" 

Indifference clad in wisdom's guise, 
^11 fortitude of mind supplies ; 
For how can stony bowels melt 
In those who never pity felt? 
When we are lashed, they kiss the rod, 
Resigning to the will of God. 

Suppose me dead ; and then suppose 
A club assembled at the Rose, 
Where, from discourse of this or that 
I grow the subject of their chat. 

"Alas, poor dean! his only scope 

Was to be held a misanthrope. 

This into general odium drew him, 

Which, if he liked, much good may't do him. 

His zeal was not to lash cur crimes, 

But discontent against the times : 

For, had we made him timely offers, 

To raise his post, or fill his coffers, 

Perhaps he might have truckled down, 

Like other brethren of his gown. 

For party he would scarce have bled: 

I say no more because he's dead. 



He gave the little wealth he had 

To build a house for fools and mad; 

To show, by one satiric touch, 

No nation wanted it so much. 

That kingdom he has left his debtor; 

I wish it soon may have a better, 

And, since you dread no further lashes, 

Methinks you may forgive his ashes. 7 

GULLIVER IS CARRIED UP THE COUNTRY OF LILLIPUT. 

These people (the Lilliputians) are most excellent mathema- 
ticians, and arrived to a great perfection in mechanics, by the 
countenance and encouragement of the emperor, who is a re- 
nowned patron of learning. This prince has several machines 



206 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

fixed on wheels, for the carriage of trees^ and other great 
weights. He often builds his largest men-of-war, whereof 
some are nine feet long, in the woods where the timber grows. 
and has them carried on these engines three or four hundred 
yards to the sea. Five hundred carpenters and engineers were 
immediately set at work to prepare the greatest engine they 
had. It was a frame of wood raised three inches from the 
ground, about seven feet long, and four wide, moving upon 
twenty-two wheels. The shout I heard was upon the arrival 
of this engine, which, it seems, set out in four hours after my 
landing. It was brought parallel to me as I lay. But the prin- 
cipal difficulty was to raise and place me in this vehicle. Eighty 
poles, each one foot high, were erected for this purpose, and 
very strong cords, of the bigness of pack-thread, were fastened 
by hooks to many bandages, which the workmen had girt 
round my neck, my hands, my body, and my legs. Nine 
hundred of the strongest men were employed to draw up 
these cords, by many pulleys fastened on the poles ; and thus, 
in less than three hours, I was raised and slung into the en- 
gine, and there tied fast. All this I was told; for, while the 
whole operation was performing, I lay in a profound sleep, by 
the force of that soporiferous medicine infused into my liquor. 
Fifteen hundred of the emperor's largest horses, each about 
four inches and a half high, were employed to draw me towards 
the metropolis, which, as I said, was half a mile distant. 

About four hours after we began our journey, I awaked by 
a very ridiculous accident ; for the carriage being stopped 
awhile, to adjust something that was out of order, two or 
three of the young natives had the curiosity to see how I looked 
when I was asleep ; they climbed up into the engine, and, ad- 
vancing very softly to my face, one of them, an officer in the 
guards, put the sharp end of his half-pike a good way up into 
my left nostril, which tickled my nose like a straw, and made 
me sneeze violently; whereupon they stole off unperceived, and 
it was three weeks before I knew the cause of my waking 
so suddenly. We made a long march the remaining part of 
the day, and rested at night with five hundred guards on each 
side of me, half with torches and half with bows and arrows, 
ready to shoot me if I should offer to stir. The next morning 
at sunrise we continued our march, and arrived within two 
hundred yards of the city-gates about noon. The emperor, 
and all his court, came out to meet us ; but his great officers 
would by no means suffer his majesty to endanger his person by 
mounting on my body. 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 207 

LETTERS OF JUNIUS, 1769-1772. 

The Letters of Junius are a series of satirical letters 
which originally appeared in .the London Advertiser, 
from January, 1769, to January, 1772. They were 
directed against the Tory ministry of the time. The 
writer's classical style, the sharpness of his criticisms, 
.the force and clearness of his arguments, the extent of 
his information, his firm attachment to the purest prin- 
ciples of the British constitution, and the impenetrable 
secrecy which under the pseudonym of Junius shrouded 
his authorship, obtained for these letters an unparal- 
leled popularity, which still clings to them. The pater- 
nity of these letters has been ascribed to several writers, 
amongst others, to Edmund Burke, Lord Sherburn, 
Lord George Sackville, the Marquess of Lansdowne, 
and Sir Philip Francis, but no absolute proof has ever 
been given to the public in favor of any. Persistent 
efforts have been made in behalf of Sir Philip Francis, 
and the circumstantial evidence was such that Ma- 
caulay thought it sufficient "to support a verdict in a 
civil, nay, in a criminal proceeding." But the mystery 
is as hidden to-day as it ever was.* Sir Philip Francis 
(b. in Dublin in 1740, d. in 1818) took an active 
part in the politics of his time, and was one of the 
leading prosecutors of Warren Hastings. 

(Prom the Dedication to the English Nation.) 

I dedicate to you a collection of letters, written by one of 
yourselves, for the common benefit of us all. They would 
never have grown to this size, without your continued encour- 
agement and applause. To me they originally owe nothing, 
but a healthy, sanguine constitution. Under your care they 
have thriven. To you they are indebted for whatever strength 

* See an article on this subject in The Athenaeum, March 17, 1894. 



208 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

or beauty they possess. When kings and ministers are for- 
gotten, when the force and direction of personal satire is no 
longer understood, and when measures are only felt in their 
remotest consequences, this book will, I believe, be found to 
contain principles worthy to be transmitted to posterity. When 
you leave the unimpaired, hereditary freehold to your chil- 
dren, you do but half your duty. Both liberty and property 
are precarious, unless the possessors have sense and spirit 
enough to defend them. This is not the language of vanity 
If I am a vain man, my gratification lies within a narrow circle 
I am the sole depositary of my own secret, and it shall perish 
with me. 

(From his Letter to the King.) 

Sir: It is the misfortune of your life, and originally the 
cause of every reproach and distress which has attended your 
government, that you should never have been acquainted with 
the language of truth, until you heard it in the complaints 
of your people. It is not, however, too late to correct the 
error of your education. We are still inclined to make an 
indulgent allowance for the pernicious lessons you received in 
your youth, and to form the most sanguine hopes from the 
natural benevolence of your disposition. We are far from 
thinking you capable of a direct, deliberate purpose to invade 
those original rights of your subjects, on which all their civil 
and political liberties depend. Had it been possible for us to 
entertain a suspicion so dishonorable to your character, we 
should long since have adopted a style of remonstrance very 
distant from the humility of complaint. The doctrine incul- 
cated by our laws, 'that the king can do no wrong/ is admitted 
without reluctance. We separate the amiable, good-natured 
prince, from the folly and treachery of his servants, and the 
private virtues of the man, from the vices of his government. 
Were it not for this just distinction, I know not whether 
your majesty's condition, or that of the English nation, would 
deserve most to be lamented. I would prepare your mind 
for a favorable reception of truth, by removing every painful 
offensive idea of personal reproach. Your subjects, sir, wish 
for nothing but that, as they are reasonable and affectionate 
enough to separate your person from your government, so you 
in your turn, should distinguish between the conduct which 
becomes the permanent dignity of a king, and that which serves 
only to^ promote the temporary interest and miserable ambition 
of a minister. 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 209 

DAVID HUMS, 1711-1776. 

David Hume, the distinguished Scotch historian, 
was born in Edinburgh, in 1711. He was destined by 
his family for the law; but his passion for literature 
was so strong, that he could not confine himself to pro- 
fessional studies; and, as he observes in his memoirs, 
while his family fancied him to be poring over Voet 
and Vinnius, he was devouring Cicero and Virgil. 
Many years which he spent on the Continent, and 
chiefly in France, gave him special opportunities for 
observation, but unfortunately developed in him a 
tendency to scepticism and infidelity. 

His first work, A Treatise on Human Nature, was 
unsuccessful; but, not discouraged at this, he pub- 
lished, five years later, in 1741, his Essays, Moral and 
Political, and, in 1748, Philosophical Essays concern- 
ing the Human Understanding. In these philosophical 
works, Hume is one of the most dangerous of infidel 
writers. His subtle metaphysics tend to undermine 
religion. He boldly aims to spread the cloud of scepti- 
cism over the existence of God, free-will, and the 
immortality of the soul; and tries to justify suicide. 
According to him, virtue consists only in the general 
approbation; and, emboldened by his discovery, he 
gives the name of virtue to eloquence, taste, and even 
force. *''In fact, the works of Hume and Gibbon," 
says Count de Maistre, "are neither more nor less 
than, in general, a conspiracy against Christianity and 
Christian piety." * 

In 1752 appeared his Political Discourses. They are 
ranked amongst the best models we have of the reason- 
ing that belongs to subjects of this nature. 

* Lettres d'uv Qentilhomme Russe sur I'Inquisition Espagnolc, Let- 
tre V. 



210 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

The first volume of his History of Great Britain, 
containing the reigns of James I. and Charles L, was 
published in 1754, with so little success that forty-five 
copies only were sold in a twelvemonth; but, in pro- 
portion as the succeeding volumes appeared, the public 
admiration increased, and the History soon attained a 
high rank as a literary performance. This success en- 
couraged him to complete his work from the earliest 
period, a task which he accomplished in two additional 
volumes, in 1761. The History, as a whole, is of no 
high authority. From first to last, it is evidently the 
work of an essayist and 'philosopher/ who regarded 
truth as subordinate to effect, and looked to his own 
ends, personal and philosophical. To apologize for the 
misconduct of the Stuarts, to write down the British 
Constitution, as well as the Christian religion, or at 
least so much of both as were not then admired by the 
higher order of the state, were among the objects he 
sought to attain. "His misrepresentations are now so 
glaring/' says the North American Review, "that the 
very party he intended to aid, has been obliged to turn 
against him in self-defence." * "If we were obliged," 
says Allibone, 'to compress into the limits of a single 
sentence, the characteristics of Hume's History of 
England, we suppose that the following could be con- 
sidered an impartial statement: Beauty of style, care- 
lessness of facts, and intolerance of spirit. Hume was 
too fastidious to be inelegant, too indolent to be ac- 
curate, too bigoted to be impartial." But Hume will 
always be read in spite of his carelessness, and in spite 
of his errors. Nine readers seek amusement where one 
seeks instruction. 

Vol. 29. 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 211 

The literary distinction which Hume had acquired, 
procured for him honors and public appointments. In 
1769, he retired from public life, and, after living seven 
years in lettered ease, he died in 1776, in Edinburgh, 
his native city. His death has been represented by his 
friends as tranquil and calm, and he himself, describing 
his illness only four months before, says : "Notwith- 
standing the great decline of my person, I have never 
suffered a moment's abatement of my spirits." But, if 
the testimony of Franklin, who was present during his 
last moments, is to be admitted, nothing could give 
stronger evidence of the existence of a God, of the eter- 
nity of torments, of the worm of conscience, and of the 
blackest despair, than the very countenance of this un- 
happy man. Franklin endeavored to speak to him of 
God. Hume requested him to say no more, he had 
grown old in, and so long propagated, his wretched 
principles that it was now too late. Franklin said 
something relative to the mercy of God and His readi- 
ness to receive the returning criminal but in vain; 
even the mention of mercy startled the unhappy man, 
and made him appear to feel unutterable woe.* 

UNJUST PERSECUTION OF THE JESUITS IN ENGLAND UNDER 
CHARLES IT. 

(From The History of England, Vol. IV., Chap. LXVIII.) 

The King was willing to try every means which gave a pros- 
pect of more compliance in his subjects; and in case of fail- 
ure, the blame, he hoped, would lie on those whose obstinacy 
forced him to extremities. 

But even during the recess of Parliament, there was no 
interruption in the prosecution of the Catholics accused of 
the plot; the King found himself obliged to give way to 
this popular fury. Whitebread, provincial of the Jesuits, Fen- 
wic, Gavan, Turner, and Harcourt, all of them of the same 

* Gandolphy's Defence of the Ancient Faith. 



212 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

order, were first brought to their trial. Besides Gates and 
Bedloe, Dugdall, a new witness, appeared against the prison- 
ers. This man had been steward to Lord Aston, and, though 
poor, possessed a character somewhat more reputable than the 
other two ; but this account of the intended massacres and assas- 
sinations was equally monstrous and incredible. He even 
asserted that two hundred thousand papists in England were 
ready to take arms. The prisoners proved by sixteen witnesses, 
from St. Omer's students, and most of them young men of 
family, that Gates was in that seminary at the time when he 
swore that he was in London; but, as they were Catholics 
and disciples of the Jesuits, their testimony with the judges 
and jury were totally disregarded. Even the reception which 
they met with in court was full of outrage and mockery. One 
of them saying that Gates always continued at St. Omer's, if 
he could believe his senses: "You papists," said the Chief Jus- 
tice, "are taught not to believe your senses." It must be con- 
fessed that Gates, in opposition to the students of St. Omer's, 
found means to bring evidence of his having been at that time 
in London ; but this evidence, though it had, at that time, the 
appearance of some solidity, was afterwards discovered, when 
Gates himself was tried for perjury, to be altogether deceit- 
ful. In order further to discredit that witness, the Jesuits 
proved by undoubted testimony that he had perjured himself 
in Father Ireland's trial, whom they showed to have been in 
Staffordshire at the very time when Gates swore that he was 
committing treason in London. But all these pleas availed them 
nothing, against the general prejudices. They received sentence 
of death; some were executed; persisting to their last breath 
in the most solemn, earnest, and deliberate, though disregarded, 
protestation of their innocence. 

CHARACTER OF ALFRED THE GREAT. 

The merit of this prince, both in private and public life, 
may, with advantage, be set in opposition to that of any mon- 
arch or citizen, which the annals of any age or any nation can 
present to us. He seems, indeed, to be the complete model of 
that perfect character, which, under the denomination of a 
sage or wise man, the philosophers have been fond of delineat- 
ing, rather as a fiction of their imagination, than in hopes 
of ever seeing it reduced to practice; so happily were all his 
virtues tempered 'together ; so justly were they blended; and 
so powerfully did each prevent the other from exceeding its 
proper bounds. 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 213 

He knew how to conciliate the most enterprising spirit with 
the coolest moderation; the most obstinate perseverance, with 
the easiest flexibility; the most severe justice, with the great- 
est lenity; the greatest rigor in command, with the greatest 
affability of deportment; the highest capacity and inclination 
for science, with the most shining talents for action. 

Nature also, as if desirous that so bright a production of her 
skill should be set in the fairest light, had bestowed on him 
Dll bodily accomplishments; vigor of limbs, dignity of shape 
and air, and a pleasant, engaging, and open countenance. By 
living in that barbarous age, he was deprived of historians 
worthy to transmit his fame to posterity ; and we wish to see 
him delineated in more lively colors, and with more particular 
strokes, that we might at least perceive some of those small 
specks and blemishes, from which, as a man, it was impossible 
he should be entirely exempted. 



SAMUIX JOHNSON, 1709-1784. 

One of the most remarkable among the distinguished 
English writers of the eighteenth century, was Dr. 
Samuel Johnson. He was a man of multifarious 
knowledge, sagacity, and moral intrepidity. With 
great virtues, he possessed strong prejudices; and, 
though some of the higher qualities of genius eluded 
his grasp and observation, the withering scorn and in- 
vective with which he assailed all affected sentimental- 
ism, immorality, and licentiousness, obtained for him 
great ascendency, and introduced a more healthful 
atmosphere into the crowded walks of English litera- 
ture. Johnson was born at Lichfield, in 1709. Com- 
pelled by poverty to leave his education at Oxford 
incomplete, he consented to act as usher in a grammar 
school ; and, after unsuccessfully attempting to conduct 
a school of his own, travelled to London, in 1737, 
in company with his friend and former pupil, David 
Garrick. He now entered upon a new career of author 
by profession, contributing essays, reviews, and other 

16 



214 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

articles, to the Gentleman's Magazine. Toilsome and 
slow was his ascent to comfort and to fame. The 
twenty years of his literary dictatorship were preceded 
by twenty-seven of drudgery work. In 1738 appeared 
his admirable satire entitled London, a revival of the 
third satire of Juvenal, in which the topics of the Ro- 
man poet are applied with surprising freedom, anima- 
tion, and felicity of language to English manners, and 
the corruptions of modern London society. The satire 
was followed by his Life of Savage; and, in 1749, an- 
other admired imitation of Juvenal's tenth satire was 
published, entitled The Vanity of Human Wishes. In 
the same year, his tragedy of Irene, written before he 
canie to London, was produced at the Drury Lane 
Theatre. As it was destitute of simplicity and pathos, 
it was performed with but moderate applause, and has 
never since been revived. His Prologue on the Open- 
ing of the Drury Lane Theatre is one of the finest in 
our language. Between the years of 1750 and 1752, 
Johnson was engaged in the compilation of a journal 
or series of periodical essays entitled The Rambler, 
written after the manner of The Spectator, but not so 
popular, on account of its too uniformly didactic and 
declamatory style. The same remarks will apply to 
The Idler, a publication on a similar plan, issued a few 
years later. The edition of Shakespeare, which he 
published in 1768, contains little that is valuable in the 
way of annotation; but has a powerful and masterly 
Preface. The work for which Johnson is principally 
celebrated, and on which he had labored assiduously 
during seven years, is his Dictionary of the English 
Language, published in 1755. It ranks among our 
standard works, and is a noble monument of individual 
learning, energy, and perseverance. The classical quo- 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 215 

tations which illustrate and exemplify the different sig- 
nifications of words, not only are complete and inter- 
esting in themselves, but moreover contain striking 
passages of poetry, pithy remarks, or historical facts. 
However, the want of philological research, and other 
defects rendered apparent by more recent investiga- 
tions, have somewhat lessened its original reputation. 
In 1759, appeared the Oriental tale entitled Rasselas, 
which he wrote in the nights of one week, to defray the 
expenses of his mother's funeral. As a representation 
of Eastern manners, it has no claim to our admiration ; 
but as a series of moral essays on a variety of subjects, 
it merits more than a single perusal. Johnson is re- 
ported to have said, that if he had seen the Candide of 
Voltaire, he should not have written Rasselas, as the 
two works go over the same ground. They both pict- 
ure a world full of misery and sin. But Voltaire 
uses the fact to excite a sneer at religion and Provi- 
dence; Johnson, on the contrary, as an argument for 
our faith in a coming immortality. 

His Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland was 
published in 1775. It makes no pretensions to scien- 
tific discovery; but it is an entertaining and finely 
written work. Scotland owes to his complaints of the 
absence of trees some of her finest forests. 

Johnson's last literary undertaking, and his best 
prose work, is his Lives of the Poets. It did not appear 
until 1781, but it shows all the vigor of thought that 
distinguishes his earlier writings, with much more 
freedom of style and richness of illustration than any 
of them. With an occasional exhibition of political 
bias and strong prejudices, these Lives form a valua- 
ble addition to English biography and criticism. The 
work itself, however, was a bookseller's speculation, and 



216 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

the choice of lives was determined by the likelihood of 
popularity. Mere rhymesters have found a place in 
his gallery, and some of the greatest names in our 
literature have been omitted. 

The great influence which Johnson exercised, was 
due partly to his character, and partly to his mental 
power and his style. His manly appearance, his stern 
integrity, his love of argument and of society, his rep- 
artee and browbeating, all helped to make him a man 
of mark in his time. But his mind is scarcely to be 
seen in its full light, if we do not add to the produc- 
tions of his pen the record of his colloquial wit and 
eloquence, and the complete portraiture, both inward 
and outward, preserved in the pages of his biographer 
Boswell. 

In the capacity of author, it cannot be said that the 
world is indebted to him for many new truths ; but he 
has given novel, and often forcible and elegant expres- 
sion to some old ones. No writer delivers moral max- 
ims and dictatorial sentences with greater force, or lays 
down definitions with more grave precision. His crit- 
ical acumen, setting aside personal and political preju- 
dices, was likewise very great ; but he is utterly averse 
to the easy and familiar, both in style and sentiment. 
His style formed an era in English composition. Its 
balanced pomp and antithetical clauses had with many 
an irresistible charm. The admiration for its exuber- 
ance of words of Latin etymology, and its sonorous 
rotundity of phrase, after having betrayed some writers 
into an injurious imitation, has at length subsided; 
whilst the limited influence which the old doctrine still 
exerts is not undeserved. The following just compar- 
ison has been drawn between him and the author of 
The Spectator: "Addison lends grace and ornament 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 17 

to truth ; Johnson gives it force and energy. Addi- 
son makes virtue amiable; Johnson represents it as 
an awful duty. Addison insinuates himself with an 
air of modesty; Johnson commands like a dictator, but 
a dictator in his splendid robes, not laboring at the 
plough. Johnson is always profound, and of course 
gives the fatigue of thinking. Addison charms while 
he instructs; and writing, as he always does, a pure, 
elegant and idiomatic style, he may be pronounced the 
safer model for imitation." 

As a man, Johnson possessed some admirable traits 
of character. His purse and his house were ever open 
to the indigent. His heart was tender to those who 
wanted relief, and his soul susceptible of gratitude and 
every kind impression. His veracity, in the most triv- 
ial as in the most solemn occasions, was strict even to 
severity. He scorned to embellish a story with ficti- 
tious circumstances; for "what is not a representation 
of reality," he used to say, "is not worthy of our atten- 
tion." He had a roughness in his manner which sub- 
dued the bold and terrified the meek but it was only 
in his manner; for no man was loved more than 
Johnson by those that knew him. 

From the period when The Lives of the Poets were 
published, in 1781, his constitution began to decline, 
and a paralytic stroke, which affected his speech, was 
followed by an attack of dropsy. He had for many 
years been haunted by a morbid fear of death; but 
when at length the dreaded moment approached, the 
dark cloud passed away from his mind. "His temper/' 
to use the language of Macaulay, "became unusually 
patient and gentle; he ceased to think with terror of 
death and of that which lies beyond death, and he 
spoke much of the mercy of God and of the propitia- 



218 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

tion of Christ." In this serene frame of mind he died 
on the 13th of December, 1784. 

He was laid a week later in Westminster Abbey, 
among the eminent men of whom he had been the his- 
torian, Cowley and Denham, Dry den and Congreve,* 
Gay, Prior,t and Addison. 

THE EXCELLENCE OF SHAKESPEARE. 

. . . . Shakespeare is above writers, at least above all mod- 
ern writers, the poet of nature that holds up to his readers a 
faithful mirror of manners and of life. His characters are not 
modified by the customs of particular places, unpractised by 
the rest of the world ; by the peculiarities of studies or pro- 
fessions, which can operate upon but small numbers; or by 
the accidents of transient fashions or temporary opinions ; 
they are the genuine progeny of common humanity, such as 
the world will always supply and observation will always find. 
His persons act and speak by the influence of those general 
passions and principles by which all minds are agitated, and 
the whole system of life is continued in motion. In the writ- 
ings of other poets, a character is too often an individual ; in 
those of Shakespeare, it is commonly a species. 

It is from this wide extension of design that so much in- 
struction is derived. It is this which fills the plays of Shakes- 
peare with practical axioms and domestic wisdom. It was said 
of Euripides that every verse was a precept; and it may be 
said of Shakespeare, that from his works may be collected a 
system of civil and economical prudence; yet his real power 
is not shown in the splendor of particular passages, but by the 
progress of his fable and the tenor of his dialogue; and he 
that tries to recommend him by select quotations, will succeed, 
like the pedant in Hierocles, who when he offered his house 
for sale, carried a brick in his pocket as a specimen. . . . 

PARALLEL BETWEEN POPE AND DRYDEN. 

Pope professed to have learned his poetry from Dryden, 
whom, whenever an opportunity was presented, he praised 

* William Congreve, a distinguished dramatist (1670-1729), has left 
five plays, of which one, The Mourning Bride, is a tragedy. Their 
licentiousness has banished them from the stage. Congreve was the 
intimate friend of Dryden. and was appointed hi<? literary executor. 

t Prior, Matthew (1664-1721), obtained some celebrity by his poet- 
ical works, especially his short, fugitive pieces. 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 19 

through his whole life with unvaried liberality; and perhaps 
his character may receive some illustration, if he be compared 
with his master 

In acquired knowledge, the superiority must be allowed to 
Dryden whose education was more scholastic, and who, before 
he became an author, had been allowed more time for study, 
with better means of information. His mind has a larger 
range, and he collects his images and illustrations from a more 
extensive circumference of science. Dryden knew more of 
man in his general nature, and Pope in his local manners. 
The notions of Dryden were formed by comprehensive specu- 
lation; those of Pope by minute attention. There is more- 
dignity in the knowledge of Dryden, and more certainty in 
that of Pope. 

Poetry was not the sole praise of either, for both excelled 
likewise in prose ; but Pope did not borrow his prose from his 
predecessor. The style of Dryden is capricious and varied; 
that of Pope is cautious and uniform. Dryden obeys the mo- 
tions of his own mind ; Pope constrains his mind to his own 
rules of composition. Dryden is sometimes vehement and 
rapid; Pope is always smooth, uniform, and gentle. Dryden's 
page is a natural field, rising into inequalities, and diversified 
by the varied exuberance of abundant vegetation; Pope's is a 
velvet lawn, shaven by the scythe and levelled by the roller. 

Of genius that power which constitutes a poet; that quality 
without which judgment is cold, and knowledge is inert; that 
energy which collects, combines, amplifies, and animates the 
superiority must, with some hesitation, be allowed to Dryden. 
It is not to be inferred that of this poetical vigor Pope had 
only a little, because Dryden had more ; for every other writer 
since Milton must give place to Pope; and even of Dryden it 
must be said, that if he has brighter paragraphs he has not 
better poems. Dryden's performances were always hasty, either 
excited by some external occasion, or extorted by domestic 
necessity; he composed without consideration, and published 
without correction. What his mind could supply at call, or 
gather in one excursion, was all that he sought and all that 
he gave. The dilatory caution of Pope enabled him to condense 
his sentiments, to multiply his images, and to accumulate all 
that study might produce or chance might supply. If the 
flights of Dryden therefore are higher, Pope continues longer 
on the wing. If of Dryden's fire the blaze is brighter, of Pope's 
the heat is more regular and constant. Dryden often surpasses 
expectation, and Pope never falls below it. Dryden is read 
with frequent astonishment, and Pope with perpetual delight, 



220 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

LETTER TO THE EARL OF CHESTERFIELD. 

To the Right Hon., the Hart of Chesterfield: My Lord: I 
have been lately informed by the proprietors of the World, 
that two papers in which my Dictionary is recommended to 
the public were written by your Lordship. To be so distin- 
guished is an honor which, being very little accustomed to 
favors from the great, I know not well how to receive, or in 
what" terms to acknowledge. 

When, upon some slight encouragement, I first visited your 
Lordship, I was overpowered, like the rest of mankind, by the 
enchantment of your address, and could not forbear to wish, 
that I might boast myself le vainqueur du vainqueur de la terre: 
that I might obtain that regard for which I saw the world 
contending. But I found my attendance so little encouraged, 
that neither pride nor modesty would suffer me to continue it. 
When I had once addressed your Lordship in public, I had 
exhausted all the art of pleasing which a retired and un- 
courtly scholar can possess. I had done all that I could; and 
no man is well pleased to have his all neglected, be it ever so 
little. 

Seven years, my Lord, have now passed since I waited in 
your outward room, or was repulsed from your door; during 
which time, I have been pushing on my work through difficul- 
ties of which it is useless to complain, and have brought it at 
last to the verge of publication, without one act of assistance, 
one word of encouragement, or one smile of favor. Such 
treatment I did not expect, for I never had a patron before. 

The Shepherd in Virgil grew acquainted with Love, and found 
him a native of the rocks. 

Is not a patron, my Lord, one who looks with unconcern on 
a man struggling for life in the water, and, when he has 
reached ground, encumbers him with help? The notice which 
you have been pleased to take of my labors, had it been early, 
had been kind: but it has been delayed till I am indifferent, 
and cannot enjoy it; till I am solitary, and cannot impart it: 
till I am known, and do not want it. I hope it is no very 
cynical asperity not to confess obligations where no benefit 
has been received; or to be unwilling that the public should 
consider me as owing that to a patron, which Providence has 
enabled me to do for myself. 

Having carried on my work thus far with so little obligation 
to any favor of learning, I shall not be disappointed, though 
I should conclude it, if less be possible, with less; for I have 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 221 

been long wakened from that dream of hope, in which I once 
boasted myself with so much exultation, 

My Lord, your Lordship's most humble, 
And most obedient servant, 

SAMUEL JOHNSON. 

PROLOGUE ON THE OPENING OF DRURY LANE THEATRE. 

When Learning's triumph o'er her barbarous foes, 

First reared the stage, immortal Shakespeare rose; 

Each change of many-colored life he drew, 

Exhausted worlds and then imagined new. . . . 

Then Jonson came, instructed from the school 

To please on method and invent by rule ; . . . 

Cold approbation gave the lingering bays ; 

For those who durst not censure, scarce could praise: . . . 

The wits of Charles found easier ways to fame, 

Nor wished for Jonson's art, or Shakespeare's flame : 

Themselves they studied ; as they felt they writ : 

Intrigue was plot, obscenity was wit. . . . 

The drama's laws the drama's patrons give, 

For we that live to please must please to live. 

WILLIAM ROBERTSON, 1721-1793. 

William Robertson, the contemporary and friend 
of Hume, was born at Borthwick, Scotland. Distin- 
guished for his eloquence as a Presbyterian preacher, 
he rose to be principal of the University of Edin- 
burgh. However, he cannot be said to have acquired 
great fame until the appearance, in 1759, of his His- 
tory of Scotland during the Reigns of Mary and James 
VI. The success of this work, which reached its four- 
teenth edition during the author's life, encouraged 
him to publish, in 1769, his History of the Reign of 
Charles V ., and, eight years afterwards, The History 
of America. His latest work appeared in 1791, under 
the title of a Historical Disquisition concerning the 
Knowledge which the Ancients had of India. Robert- 
son is admired for his distinctness of narrative, for 



222 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

skilful and luminous arrangement, and an elevated 
tone of feeling; but his statements cannot be relied 
on, either because he failed to obtain the best authori- 
ties, 'or because his false principles in religion distorted 
his sight. The motives which he assigns to many his- 
torical characters are often wide of the mark. The 
glaring errors of doctrine and of fact which abound in 
the Reign of Charles the Fifth caused the French trans- 
lation of 1771 to be condemned by the Congregation 
of the Index. "Robertson's style," says F. Schlegel, 
"is most attractive; his language select, and, though 
ornate, yet lucid and unaffected. His weak side is 
that which has regard to research and import, cer- 
tainly the most important of all historical qualities. 
It is now universally admitted, even in England, that 
he is unreliable, superficial, and often full of errors." 

CHARACTER OF CARDINAL XIMENES. 
(Prom the Reign of Charles V.) 

The singular character of this man, and the extraordinary 
qualities which marked him out for that office at such a junc- 
ture, merit a particular description. He was descended of an 
honorable, not of a wealthy family; and the circumstances of 
his parents, as well as his own inclinations, having determined 
him to enter the Church, he early obtained benefices of great 
value, and which placed him in the way of the highest pre- 
ferment. All these, however, he renounced at once; and, after 
undergoing a very severe novitiate, assumed the habit of St. 
Francis in a monastery of Observantine friars, one of the most 
rigid orders in the Romish* church There he soon became 
eminent for his uncommon austerity of manners, and for 
those excesses of superstitious devotion which are the proper 
characteristics of the monastic life. But, notwithstanding these 
extravagances, to which weak and enthusiastic minds alone are 
usually prone, his understanding, naturally penetrating and de- 

* The italics are from the editor. 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 223 

cisive, retained its full vigor, and acquired him such great 
authority in his own order, as raised him to be their provincial. 
His reputation for sanctity soon procured him the office of 
Father-Confessor to Queen Isabella, which he accepted with 
the utmost reluctance. He preserved in a court the same auster- 
ity of manners which had distinguished him in the cloister. 
He continued to make all his journeys on foot; he subsisted 
only upon alms ; his acts of mortification were as severe as 
ever, and his penances as rigorous. Isabella, pleased with 
her choice, conferred on him, not long after, the archbishopric 
of Toledo, which, next to the papacy, is the richest dignity 
in the Church of Rome. This honor he declined with the 
firmness which nothing but the authoritative injunction of the 
pope was able to overcome. Nor did this height of promotion 
change his manners. Though obliged to display in public that 
magnificence which became his station, he himself retained 
his monastic severity. Under his pontifical robes, he con- 
stantly wore the coarse frock of St. Francis, the rents of which 
he used to patch with his own hands. He at no time used 
linen; but was commonly clad in hair-cloth. He slept always 
in his habit, most frequently on the ground, or on boards; 
rarely in a bed. He did not taste any of the delicacies which 
appeared at his table, but satisfied himself with that simple diet 
which the rule of his order prescribed. Notwithstanding these 
peculiarities, so opposite to the manners of the world, he pos- 
sessed a thorough knowledge of its affairs; and no sooner was 
he called by his station, and by the high opinion which Ferdinand 
and Isabella entertained of him, to take a principal share in the 
administration, than he displayed talents for business which 
rendered the fame of his wisdom equal to that of his sanc- 
tity. His political conduct, remarkable for the boldness and 
originality of all his plans, flowed from his real character, and 
partook both of its virtues and its defects. His extensive 
genius suggested to him schemes vast and magnificent. Con- 
scious of the integrity of his intentions, he pursued these with 
unremitting and undaunted firmness. Accustomed from his early 
youth to mortify his own passions, he showed little indulgence 
to those of other men. Taught by his system of religion -to 
check even his most innocent desires, he was the enemy of 
everything to which he could affix the name of elegance or 
pleasure. Though free from any suspicion of cruelty, he dis- 
covered in all his commerce with the world a severe inflexibility 
of mind, and austerity of character, peculiar to the monastic 
profession, and which can hardly be conceived in a country 
where that is unknown. 



224: BRITISH LITERATURE. 

EDWARD GIBBON, 1737-1794. 

Edward Gibbon, the learned author of the History 
of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was 
born at Putney, near London, in 1737. Admitted at 
Westminster School, in 1749, he was three years later 
matriculated as a gentleman-commoner * of Magdalen 
College, Oxford. At the early age of sixteen, he was 
led by the perusal of the works of Bossuet and Par- 
sons to abjure Protestantism, and embrace the Roman 
Catholic faith. His father, anxious to counteract the 
religious convictions of his son, sent him to reside with 
a Calvinistic minister in Switzerland, named Pavillard, 
who ultimately prevailed upon his pupil to return to 
Protestantism. In this second change, he became a 
'philosopher/ as the term was then used to designate 
an infidel. "All religions," he tells us, "were considered 
by the Roman people equally true, by the magistrate 
equally useful, by the philosophers equally false," and 
this seems to have been his own creed: his infidelity 
takes the form of philosophical contempt. After an 
absence of nearly five years, he returned to England; 
and in 1761 appeared his Essai sur r etude de la litter- 
ature, commended by foreign critics, but scarcely no- 
ticed at home. He sat in Parliament for eight years 
(1774-1782), a silent supporter of Lord North's ad- 
ministration. For his obsequiousness, he was made a 
member of the Board of Trade, with a yearly allow- 
ance of $3500. 



* Most of the colleges In Oxford and Cambridge have, besides their 
dependent members, that is, those who are supported from the college 
funds, independent members, who live at their own expense, but are 
subject to most of the college laws : they are called, according to their 
rank and the sum they pay for board, noblemen, fellow-commoners, 
and commoners. 



THE PEHIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 225 

from the year 1768, Gibbon had devoted himself 
with zealous industry to the preparation of his great 
work : 'the labor of six quartos and twenty years ;' and, 
in 1776, he gave the first volume to the world. But, 
though the historian was warmly commended, the as- 
sailant of Christianity did not escape strong and mer- 
ited rebuke. Gibbon's original purpose was to review 
the state and revolutions of the Roman city, from the 
twelfth to the sixteenth century. But the plan was 
greatly extended, and now his history commences with 
the reign of Trajan, (A. D. 98,) and ends with the fall 
of the Eastern Empire in 1453 : three supplemental 
chapters being devoted to his original theme. 

What first in this work strikes the intelligent reader, 
is the learning displayed, and the skill that employs it. 
The author paints scenery and manners with all the 
animation of an eye-witness. With religion alone he 
is never identified. He does not distinctly avow his 
disbelief, but he attacks the Christian faith in the way 
which Byron has so justly described : 

'Sapping a solemn creed with solemn sneer.' 

Possessing neither depth nor nobleness of feeling, 
the writer elicits no generous emotion, while faults and 
omissions cast doubt on hfs honesty. When he rails at 
religion, the attempt to be witty is elaborate and awk- 
ward. Julian the Apostate is his idol. Let a Christian 
bishop or a religious king appear, and immediately he 
hints at enthusiasm, superstition, or roguery. His 
sneers and cavils leave their trail upon the purest 
virtue and the most exalted heroism. He endeavors to 
show that the Christian religion was established and 
spread without divine agency. In a word, these vol- 



226 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

times of Gibbon are very dangerous to the faith, and 
very offensive to the tastes, of a Christian soul. 

The style of Gibbon, though greatly admired, is 
always elaborate and pompous, often monotonous, and 
not free from a mixture of Gallic idioms. 

His death, which occurred in 1794, was occasioned 
by a sickness which he had endured for twenty-three 
years. Only a few hours before his death, he said that 
he thought himself good for ten, twelve, or perhaps 
twenty years. His miscellaneous works, with Memoirs 
of his life and writings composed by himself, were 
published in 1799, by his friend Lord Sheffield. 

ZINGIS. 

From the spacious highlands between China, Siberia, and 
the Caspian Sea, the tide of emigration and war has repeatedly 
been poured. These ancient seats of the Huns and Turks 
were occupied in the twelfth century by many pastoral tribes, 
of the same descent and similar manners, which were united 
and led to conquest by the formidable Zingis. In his ascent to 
greatness, that barbarian (whose private appelation was Te- 
mugin) had trampled on the necks of his equals. His father 
had reigned over thirteen hordes, which comprised about thirty 
or forty thousand families : above two-thirds refused to pay 
tithes or obedience to his infant son; and, at the age of thir- 
teen Temugin fought a battle against his rebellious subjects. 
The future conqueror of Asia was reduced to fly and to obey; 
but he rose superior to his fortune, and, in his fortieth year, 
he had established his fame and dominion over the circum- 
jacent tribes. In a. state of society, in which policy is rude and 
valor universal, the ascendant of one man must be founded 
on his power and resolution to punish his enemies and recom- 
pense his friends. His first military league was ratified by the 
simple rites of sacrificing a horse, and tasting of a running 
stream: Temugin pledged himself to divide with his followers 
the sweets and the bitters of life; and when he had shared 
among them his horses and apparel, he was rich in their grat- 
itude and his own hopes. After his first victory, he placed 
seventy caldrons on the fire, and seventy of the most guilty 
rebels were cast headlong into the boiling water. The sphere 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 227 

of his attraction was continually enlarged by the ruin of the 
proud and the submission of the prudent, and the boldest chief- 
tains might tremble, when they beheld, enchased in silver the 
skull of the khan of the Keraites. 



TIMOUR. 

The fame of Timour has pervaded the East and West: his 
posterity is still invested with the Imperial title; and the ad- 
miration of his subjects, who revered him almost as a deity, 
may be justified in some degree by the praise or confession of 
his bitterest enemies. Although he was lame of a hand and 
foot, his form and stature were not unworthy of his rank; and 
his vigorous health, so essential to himself and to the world, 
was corroborated by temperance and exercise. In his familiar 
discourse he was grave and modest, and if he was ignorant of 
the Arabic language, he spoke with fluency and elegance the 
Persian and Turkish idioms. It was his delight to converse 
with the learned on topics of history and science; and the 
amusement of his leisure hours was the game of chess, which 
he improved or corrupted with new refinements. In his relig- 
ion, he was a zealous, though not perhaps an orthdox, Mus- 
sulman ; but his sound understanding may tempt us to believe, 
that a superstitious reverence for omens and prophecies, for 
saints and astrologers, was only affected as an instrument of 
policy. In the government of a vast empire, he stood alone and 
absolute, without a rebel to oppose his power, a favorite to 
seduce his affections, or a minister to mislead his judgment. 
It was his firmest maxim, that whatever might be the conse- 
quence, the word of the prince should never be disputed or re- 
called ; but his foes have maliciously observed, that the com- 
m >&ds of anger and destruction were more strictly executed 
than iliose " beneficence and favor. His sons and grandsons, 
of whom Timjur left six-and-thirty at his decease, were his 
first and most submissive subjects; and whenever they devi- 
ated from their duty, they were corrected, according to the 
laws of Zingis, with the bastinado, and afterwards restored to 
honor and command. To maintain the harmony of authority 
and obedience, to chastise the proud, to protect the weak, to 
reward the deserving, to banish vice and idleness from his do- 
minions, to secure the traveller and merchant, to restrain the 
depredations of the soldier, to cherish the labors of the hus- 
bandman, to encourage industry and learning, and, by an equal 
and moderate assessment, to increase the revenue without in- 
creasing the taxes, are indeed the duties of a prince; but in 



228 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

the discharge of these duties, he finds an ample and immediate 
recompense. Timour might boast, that, at his accession to the 
throne, Asia was the prey of anarchy and rapine, whilst under 
his prosperous monarchy a child, fearless and unhurt, might 
carry a purse of gold from the East to the West. Such 
was his confidence of merit, that from this reformation he 
derived an excuse for his victories, and a title to universal 
dominion. 

EDMUND BURKS, 1730-1797. 

Edmund Burke, one of the greatest philosophic 
statesmen and orators of modern times, was born in 
Dublin, in 1730. His father, Richard Burke, origi- 
nally a Catholic, became an apostate in order to retain 
the office of notary. The young Burke began his edu- 
cation with a Quaker. He studied afterwards at Trin- 
ity College, Dublin, and was also for some time at the 
English Catholic College of St. Omer. As a boy, he 
was distinguished for that devoted application to the 
acquisition of knowledge, and remarkable powers of 
comprehension and retention, which accompanied him 
through life. "When we were at play," remarked his 
brother Richard, "he was always at work." 

His first publication was anonymous, entitled A Vin- 
dication of Natural Society, by a late Noble writer. 
It was at the same time a wonderful imitation of Lord 
Bolingbroke's style and arguments, and an indirect 
refutation of that infidel lord's attack against revealed 
religion. The writer concluded from the abuses per- 
vading the state of society that man should rather 
return to the wild state of nature. The reader was 
expected to find this conclusion absurd; and, applying 
the same logic to religion, he would find it absurd 
also to reject Christianity, on account of the abuses 
that have crept among Christians. The imitation of the 
arguments and of the style of the infidel Bolingbroke 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 229 

was so perfect that the public was absolutely deceived, 
not doubting that the Vindication was a posthumous 
work of the late writer which he had not dared make 
known in his lifetime. In 1757, Burke published his 
Essay on the Sublime and Beautiful, which, by the 
elegance of its language and the spirit of philosophical 
investigation displayed in it, placed him at once in the 
very first class of writers on taste and criticism. His 
object is to show that terror is the principal source 
of the sublime, and that the domain of beauty is 
grace, delicacy, and affection. There are in this essay 
many paradoxical ideas, but in no other work of the 
kind can we find distinctions so nice, observations more 
just, or a style more elegant. 

It would carry us beyond the limits of our compila- 
tion, to give an outline of Burke's parliamentary and 
political career. His life is the history of the times. 
In the prolonged contest between England and our 
own country, he devoted himself to the defence of the 
colonies. His advocacy of the freedom of the press, 
of Catholic emancipation, of economical reform, and of 
the abolition of the slave trade; and his great efforts 
on the impeachment of Warren Hastings, will forever 
identify his name with whatever is great, elevated, and 
just in statesmanship and legislation. 

His speeches and pamphlets on the French Revolu- 
tion, and especially his incomparable work, entitled 
Reflections on the Revolution in France, are perhaps as 
wonderful for their sagacity, their penetration, their 
intensity of predictive power, 

The vision and the faculty divine/ 

as they are admirable for the splendid eloquence of 
their expression. The distinguished F. Schlegel is 

17 



230 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

enthusiastic in his praise: "This man," says he, "has 
been to his own country, and to all Europe in a par- 
ticular manner to Germany a new light of political 
wisdom and moral experience. He corrected his age, 
when it was at the height of its revolutionary frenzy; 
and, without maintaining any system of philosophy, he 
seems to have seen farther into the true nature of so- 
ciety, and to have more clearly comprehended the effect 
of religion in connecting individual security with na- 
tional welfare, than any philosopher or any system of 
philosophy of any succeeding age." 

In 1785, he conceived the plan of the Annual Regis- 
ter, or Review of the civil, political, and literary trans- 
actions of the times, a periodical which has continued 
with success to the present day. 

His last production, the Letters on a Regicide Peace, 
published a few months before his death, is distin- 
guished by the same fervent eloquence, profound wis- 
dom, and far-seeing sagacity that characterized his 
earlier productions on the French Revolution. His 
writings are, indeed, the only political writings of a 
past age that continue to be read with interest in the 
present; and they are now perhaps more studied, and 
better appreciated, both for oratorical and philoso- 
phical worth, than when first produced. His eloquence 
extended to all the details of every subject. His 
diction was as rich and varied as the matter ; but the 
length of his speeches, their copiousness, abundance 
of ornament, and wide field of speculation, produced 
impatience in men of business absorbed in the par- 
ticular subject of debate. 

Burke was ever the bold, uncompromising champion 
of justice, mercy, and truth. Impartial in his judg- 
ment, unswayed by every political doctrine, he as zeal- 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 231 

ously denounced that arbitrary power which oppressed 
the American colonies, as he rebuked that hurricane of 
fierce democracy which swept the throne and the altar 
from France, and involved the court and commonalty 
in general ruin. 

His domestic comfort was irretrievably impaired, 
and his life probably shortened by the death of his son, 
in 1794. He thus adverts to his loss in his celebrated 
Letter to a noble Lord: "I live in an inverted order. 
They who ought to, have succeeded me, have gone be- 
fore me. They who should have been to me as pos- 
terity, are in the place of ancestors. The storm has 
gone over me; and I lie like one of those old oaks 
which the late hurricane hath scattered about me. I 
am stripped of all my honors: I am torn up by the 
roots, and lie prostrate on the earth ! There, and pros- 
trate there, I must unfeignedly recognize the divine 
justice, and in some degree submit to it." The three 
years during which he survived this bereavement, were 
principally employed in schemes and acts of benevo- 
lence and charity. He founded a school for the chil- 
dren of French Emigrants. Its permanent support 
formed one of his latest cares. He calmly expired at 
his country seat of Beaconsfield in July, 1797, retain- 
ing the perfect possession of his faculties to the last. 

QUALIFICATIONS FOR GOVERNMENT. 
(From Reflections on the Revolution in France.) 

There is no qualification for government but virtue and wis- 
dom, actual or presumptive. 

Wherever they are actually found, they have, in whatever 
state, condition, profession, or trade, the passport of Heaven 
to human place and honor. 

Woe to the country which would madly and impiously reject 
the service of the talents and virtues, civil, military, or relig- 



232 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

ious, that are given to grace and to serve it; and would con- 
demn to obscurity everything formed to diffuse lustre and 
glory around a state ! Woe to that country, too, that, passing 
into the opposite extreme, considers a low education, a mean, 
contracted view of things, a sordid, mercenary occupation, as 
a preferable title to command! Everything ought to be open, 
but not indifferently, to every man. No rotation; no appoint- 
ment by lot; no mode of election operating in the spirit of 
sortition or rotation, can be generally good in a government 
conversant in extensive objects, because they have no tendency, 
direct or indirect, to select the man with a view to the duty, or 
to accommodate the one to the other. I do not hesitate to say 
that the road to eminence and power, from obscure condition 
ought not to be made too easy, nor a thing too much of course. 
If rare merit be the rarest of all rare things, it ought to pass 
through some sort of probation. 

The temple of honor ought to be seated on an eminence. If 
it be opened through virtue, let it be remembered, too, that 
virtue is never tried but by some difficulty and some struggle. 

MARIE ANTOINETTE. 

It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the Queen of 
France, then the Dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely never 
lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more 
delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorat- 
ing and cheering the elevated sphere she just began to move 
in, glittering like the morning star, full of life, and splendor, 
and joy. O! what a revolution! and what a heart must I have, 
to contemplate without emotion that elevation and that fall ! 
Little did I dream, when she added titles of veneration to 
those of enthusiastic, distant, respectful love, that she should 
ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace 
concealed in that bosom; little did I dream that I should have 
lived to see such disasters fallen upon her, in a nation of gal- 
lant men, in a nation of men of honor, and of cavaliers ! i 
thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their 
scabbards, to avenge even a look that threatened her with 
assault. 

But the age of chivalry is gone; that of sophisters, econo- 
mists, and calculators, has succeeded: and the glory of Europe 
is extinguished forever. Never, never more, shall we behold 
that generous loyalty to rank and sex, that proud submission, 
that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, which 
kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalteH 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. .33 

freedom! The unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of 
nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise, 
is gone! It is gone, that sensibility of principle, that chastity 
of honor, which felt a stain like a wound, which inspired cour- 
age whilst it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled whatever it 
touched, and under which vice itself lost half its evil by losing 
all its grossness. 



ON NOVELS AND NOVEL-READING. 

Before taking up the biographical study of the 
novelists of this period it might be well to say a word 
about novels and novel-reading, because from here on 
the novel plays an ever more important part in Eng- 
lish literature. 

The Novel is a fictitious history of surprising and 
entertaining events in common life. It differs from 
the romance, the interest of which turns upon marvel- 
ous and uncommon incidents. The chief merit of the 
novel consists in drawing characters at the same time 
distinct in themselves, and representative of whole 
classes of people, and narrating with interest well- 
chosen incidents. In this new field of literature Defoe 
led the way. His Robinson Crusoe, his first prose 
fiction, met with extraordinary success. The excel- 
lence of Defoe's novels is a wonderful naturalness in 
the invention and relation of incidents. Richardson, 
the originator of the novel of high life, is noted for 
pathos and passion. Fielding is unrivalled for hu- 
mor, satire, freshness and skill, in the exhibition of 
genuine human nature without romance. The charm 
of Smollett's writings consists in their broad humor 
and comic incidents. Sterne has shown incomparable 
humor in his Tristram Shandy and his Sentimental 
Journey, though he borrowed much from Rabelais. 



234 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

But the moral tendency of most of these novels is 
bad, and they contain passages without number of 
needless offensive coarseness. Johnson's Rassefas is a 
noble example of natural morality, and Goldsmith's 
Vicar of IVakeileld one of the most charming narra- 
tives in the language. It was reserved to Walter Scott 
to give to the novel an unbounded popularity. Whilst 
but one new novel was published every fortnight in 
1825, one or more now appear every day. The novel, 
with Scott, was not intended to set forth the peculiar 
opinions of its author, as the case has since been 
with most of his followers. Besides, the false philos- 
ophy of the day, scouting the idea of a revelation, 
or exchanging religion for humanity, has gradually 
become the marked feature of some most successful 
novels. That Church alone which teaches the super- 
natural end of life and the means to attain it, can 
secure the novel-writer against the most fatal errors. 
The efforts made by Cardinals Wiseman and Newman, 
and by Fathers Barry, Sheehan, Benson, and by oth- 
ers, to counteract bad novels by tales animated by 
Catholic principles is worthy of imitation. "It may 
be granted that we have no clear right to any religious 
element in a novel; but we have a right to demand 
that life be not distorted, morals left without explan- 
ation or incentive, and the great issues of our existence 
made dependent upon a blind fate." * 

For the effect produced by novel-reading on the 
character, mental faculties, and literary taste, we quote 
the following sound appreciation of Rees' Cyclopaedia : 

"From a view of some of the best authors in the 
highest class of novel writers, it will be abundantly 
evident that the perusal of these works, is more calcu- 

* Catholic World, March, 1879, p. 847. 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 335 

lated and apt to be prejudicial than advantageous, 
unless the mind is previously fortified with sound prin- 
ciples, and the passions and feelings are completely 
under the mastery of the judgment. Even then their 
claim must rest rather on the interest which they 
excite, than on the instruction which they afforti. 
Whoever draws his opinions of the world, of the man- 
ners, characters, and pursuits of mankind from novels, 
will enter on real life to great disadvantage; the per- 
sonages of novels, especially of those which teem from 
the modern press, either bear no resemblance to man- 
kind, or that resemblance consists in such a nar- 
row peculiarity of feature, as renders it rather an 
individual than a general picture. But the strong- 
est and most undoubted objection to novels arises 
from the effects which the perusal of them pro- 
duces on the mental faculties and the literary taste : 
during it, the mind is nearly passive ; a lounging, des- 
ultory habit of reading is acquired, so that when works 
are to be perused which require close and regular atten- 
tion and a judgment constantly on the alert to follow 
and comprehend the author's observations and argu- 
ments, the mind is unequal to the task. The literary 
taste will suffer equally if the reading is not confined 
to a very few select novels. Unless, therefore, the 
habits of close, active, and vigorous attention are of a 
very powerful and predominating nature, and the taste 
has been modelled to correctness and purity by long 
and regular discipline, novels ought to be avoided." * 
To these remarks we may add the opinion of Mr. 
William D. Howells, himself a distinguished novelist: 
"It may be safely assumed that most of the novel-read- 
ing, which people fancy is an intellectual pastime, is 

* Recs's Cycl. Article Novels. 



36 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

the emptiest dissipation, hardly more related to thought 
or the wholesome exercise of the mental faculties than 
opium-eating; in either case the brain is drugged, and 
left weaker and crazier by the debauch. If this may 
be called the negative result of the fiction-habit, the 
positive injury that most novels work is by no means 
so easily to be measured in the case of young men 
whose character they help so much to form or deform, 
and the women of all ages whom they keep so much in 
ignorance of the world they misrepresent." 



DANIIX DStfOE, 1661-1731. 

Daniel Defoe, a writer of great ingenuity and fertil- 
ity of invention, considered by some as the founder of 
the English novel, was born in London in 1661. His 
father's name was simply Foe. He was educated for 
the ministry in a dissenting sect ; but embraced a mer- 
cantile career. We find him successively hosier, tile- 
maker, woollen merchant, and political pamphleteer. 
In 1702, the publication of The Shortest Way with the 
Dissenters, a piece of irony, which the government un- 
derstood in its literal -meaning, occasioned his impris- 
onment in Newgate for two years. Whilst in jail, he 
published a periodical called The Review, which is sup- 
posed to have given Steele the hint for his Tatler. 
When fifty-five years of age, he published his first prose 
fiction, Robinson Crusoe, which met with extraordinary 
success. This was soon followed by a number of other 
lives and adventures, among which may be mentioned : 
The Dumb Philosopher, Memoirs of a Cavalier, Cap- 
tain Singleton, Duncan Campbell, Colonel Jack, and the 
Journal of the Plague in 1665. He wrote, in all two 
hundred and ten books and pamphlets. 

* Harper's Monthly, 1887. 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 37 

His Robinson Crusoe is not only the first, in the order 
of time, of that class of works in our language; but 
to this day remains unrivalled in many important par- 
ticulars. Johnson has said of it, "Nobody ever laid it 
down without wishing it were longer." Defoe had a 
perfect mastery of the art of invention, an almost un- 
bounded power in creating incidents and situations. 
His minute and circumstantial details, combined with 
their entire naturalness, cheat the reader into a belief 
of the reality and truth of what he reads. In this 
power of feigning reality, or, as Sir Walter Scott terms 
it, of "forging the handwriting of nature," he has 
never been surpassed. Nor is the author's idiomatic 
style the smallest of his merits. 

Defoe is not what we could call a very moral writer. 
He seems to delight in describing vicious characters 
and lawless adventurers. Macaulay, who had, it is true, 
a peculiar dislike of him, says that "some of his tracts 
are worse than immoral; quite beastly." As in most 
Protestant writers, so in Defoe, the hatred and utter 
ignorance of Catholic doctrine and practices, are sure 
to find their way on every occasion and without occa- 
sion. 

After repeated struggles with want and disease, this 
voluminous writer closed a long and agitated existence 
in 1731. "I have, some time ago," says he of himself, 
"summed up the scenes of my life in this distich : 

No man has tasted differing fortunes more 
And thirteen times I have been rich and poor." 

THE PLAGUE AT BLACKWALL. 
(From the Journal of the Plague.) 

Much about the same time, I walked out into the fields to- 
wards Bow, for I had a great mind to see how things were man- 



238 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

aged in the river, and among the -ships; and, as I had some 
concern in shipping, I had a notion that it had been one of the 
best ways of securing one's self from the infection, to have re- 
tired into a ship; and, musing how to satisfy my curiosity in 
that point, I turned away over the fields, from Bow to Bromley, 
and down to Blackwall, to the stairs that are there for landing, 
or taking water. 

Here I saw a poor man walking on the bank or sea-wall, as 
they call it, by himself. I walked awhile also about, seeing 
flie houses all shut up; at last I fell into some talk, at a dis- 
tance, witn this poor man. First, I asked him how people 
did thereabouts ? Alas ! sir, says he, almost desolate ; all dead 
or sick: here are very few families in this part, or in that vil- 
lage, pointing at Poplar, where half of them are now dead al- 
ready, and the rest sick. Then pointing to one house, there 
they are all dead, said he, and the house stands open; nobody 
dares go into that. A poor thief, says he, ventured in to steal 
something, but he paid dear for his theft, for he was carried 
to the church-yard too, last night. Then he pointed to several 
other houses. There, says he, they are all dead, the man, and 
his wife, and five children. There, says he, they are shut up; 
you see a watchman at the door, and so of other houses. Why, 
said I, what do you do here all alone? Why, says he, I am a 
poor desolate man; it hath pleased God I am not yet visited, 
though my family is, and one of my children dead. How do 
you mean then, said I, that you are not visited? Why, says he, 
that is my house, pointing to a very little, low, boarded house, 
and there my wife and two poor children live, said he, if they 
may be said to live; for my wife and one of my children are 
visited, but I do not come at them. And with that word I 
saw the tears run very plentifully down his face; and so they 
did down mine too, I assure you. 

But, said I, why do you not come at them? How can you 
abandon your own flesh and blood? Oh, sir, says he, the Lord 
forbid; I do not abandon them; I work for them as much as 
I am able; and, blessed be the Lord, I keep them from want. 
And with that I observed he lifted up his eyes to heaven, with 
a countenance that presently told me I had happened on a man 
that was no hypocrite, but a serious, religious, good man; and 
his ejaculation was an expression of thankfulness, that, in such 
a condition as he was in, he should be able to say his family 
did not want. Well, said I, honest man, that is a great mercy, 
as things go now with the poor. But how do you live then, 
and how are you kept from the dreadful calamity that is now 
upon us all? Why, sir, says he, I am a waterman, and there is 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 239 

my boat, says he, and the boat serves me for a house; I work 
in it in the day, and I sleep in it in the night, and what I get 
I lay it down upon that stone, says he, showing me a broad 
stone on the other side of the street, a good way from his 
house ; and then, says he, I halloo and call to them till* I make 
them hear, and they come and fetch it. 

Well, friend, said I, but how can you get money as a water- 
man? Does anybody go by water these times? Yes, sir, says 
he, in the way I am employed, there does. Do you see there, 
says he, five ships lie at anchor? pointing down the river a 
good way below the town; and do you see, says he, eight or 
ten ships lie at the chain there, and at anchor yonder? point- 
ing above the town. All those ships have families on board, 
of their merchants and owners, and such like, who have locked 
themselves up, and live on board, close shut in, for fear of the 
infection! and I tend on them to fetch things for them, carry 
letters, and do what is absolutely necessary, that they may not 
be obliged to come on shore; and every night I fasten my boat 
on board one of the ship's boats, and there I sleep by myself; 

and blessed be God I am preserved hitherto Here he 

stopt, and wept very much. 

Well, honest friend, said I, thou hast a sure comforter, if 
thou hast brought thyself to be resigned to the will of God; 
he is dealing with us all in judgment. 

Oh, sir, says he, it is infinite mercy if any of us are spared; 
and who am I, to repine? 

ROBINSON CRUSOE DISCOVERS THE FOOTPRINT. 

It happened one day about noon, going towards my boat, 1 
was exceedingly surprised with the print of a man's naked foot 
on the shore, which was very plain to be seen in the sand: I 
stood like one thunderstruck, or as if I had seen an appari- 
tion; I listened, I looked around me, I could hear nothing, nor 
see anything; I went up to a rising ground to look farther; I 
went up the shore and down the shore, but it was all one, I 
could see no other impression but that one : I went to it again 
to see if there were any more, and to observe if it might not 
be my fancy ; but there was no room for that, for there was ex- 
actly the very print of a foot, toes, heel, and every part of a 
foot. How it came thither I knew not, nor could in the least 
imagine. But after innumerable fluttering thoughts, like a 
man perfectly confused, and out of myself, I came home to my 
fortification, not feeling, as we say, the ground I went on, but 
terrified to the last degree, looking behind me at every two or 



240 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

three steps, mistaking every bush and tree, and fancying every 
stump at a distance to be a man; nor is it possible to describe 
how many various shapes an affrighted imagination represented 
things to me in; how many wild ideas were formed every mo- 
ment in my fancy, and what strange, unaccountable whimsies 
came into my thoughts by the way. 

When I came to my castle, for so I think I called it ever after 
this, I fled into it like one pursued; whether I went over by 
the ladder, at first contrived, or went in at the hole in the rock, 
which I called a door, I cannot remember; for never frighted 
hare fled to cover or fox to earth, with more terror of mind 
than I to this retreat. 

How strange a checker-work of Providence is the life of 
man! And by what secret differing springs are the affections 
hurried about, as differing circumstances permit ! To-day we 
love what to-morrow we hate; to-day we seek what to-morrow 
we shun; to-day we desire what to-morrow we fear; nay, even 
tremble at the apprehensions of. This was exemplified in me 
at this time in the most lively manner imaginable; for I, whose 
only affliction was, that I seemed banished from human soci- 
ety, that I was alone, circumscribed by the boundless ocean, 
cut off from mankind, and condemned to what I call a silent 
life; that I was one whom Heaven thought not worthy to be 
numbered among the living, or to appear among the rest of 
his creatures ; that to have seen one of my own species would 
have seemed to me a raising me from death to life, and the 
greatest blessing that Heaven itself, next to the supreme bless- 
ing of salvation, could bestow; I say, that I should now trem- 
ble at the very apprehensions of seeing a man, and was ready 
to sink into the ground, at but the shadow or silent appear- 
ance of a man's having set his foot on the island ! . . . 

However, -as I went down thus two or three days, and hav- 
ing seen nothing, I began to be a little bolder, and to think 
there was really nothing in it but my own imagination. But I 
could not persuade myself fully of this, till I should go down 
to the shore again, and see this print of a foot, and measure it 
by my own, and see if there was any similitude or fitness, that 
I might be assured it was my own foot. But when I came to 
the place first, it appeared evidently to me, that when I laid 
up my boat, I could not possibly be on shore anywhere there- 
abouts. Secondly, when I came to measure the mark with my 
own foot, I found my foot not so large by a great deal. Both 
these things filled my head with new imaginations, and gave 
me the vapors again to the highest degree; so that I shook 
with cold, like one in an ague; and I went home again, filled 



THE PERIOD OF CLASSICISTS. 241 

with the belief, that some man or men had been on shore 
there, or, in short, that the island was inhabited, and I might 
be surprised before I was aware; and what course to take for 
my security, I knew not. Oh! what ridiculous resolutions men 
take, when possessed with fear! It deprives them of the use 
of those means which reason offers for their relief. 



HENRY FIELDING (1707-1754), an English lawyer 
of family, but reckless, dissipated, and extravagant, 
shares with Richardson the highest ra*nk among the 
novel-writers of the 18th century. He first wrote for 
the stage as a means of support, and produced a large 
number of plays which had no success at the time, and 
are now forgotten. When Richardson's Pamela ap- 
peared, Fielding wrote his Joseph Andrews to mock 
at the lessons of virtue which the former had meant 
to impress upon the public. The great success of 
Joseph Andrews paved the way for Tom Jones, which 
is considered his masterpiece. He wrote other novels, 
as Jonathan Wild, and Amelia, and many political 
pamphlets in defence of the Hanoverian dynasty. The 
pages of Fielding are so marred by the coarseness of 
the pictures and the indelicacy of the language, that 
they are not fit reading for virtuous people. 

SAMUEL RICHARDSON (1689-1767) is one of the 
great novelists of the eighteenth century. His first 
novel, Pamela, or, Virtue Rewarded, was published in 
1740, and at once enjoyed an immense popularity; 
but its successors, Clarissa Harlowe, or, The History 
of a Young Lady, and Sir Charles Grandison, are in 
reality his masterpieces. Although Richardson is 
credited to have aimed at promoting good morals, and 
Pope, in his infatuation, declared that Pamela would 
do more good than twenty sermons, it cannot be denied 
that his novels are licentious. Besides, he is too senti- 



242 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

mental, his descriptions are too lengthy, his style too 
common. 

LAURENCE STERNE (1713-1768) was born at Clon- 
mel, in Ireland, but was educated in England. He still 
lives in literature by his two novels, Tristram Shandy, 
and his Sentimental Journey, in which the want of plot 
is supplied by the humor of the characters. Slanderous 
representations of the Catholic Church and indecent 
hints betray the wolf in sheep's clothing, and 'the prof- 
ligate hidden in the parson's gown/ 

TOBIAS GEORGE SMOLLETT (1721-1771) was a 
sour-tempered Scotchman, who, after unsuccessful at- 
tempts in the dramatic,- surgical, and medical art, at 
last became an author by profession. Great was the 
success of his first novel, Roderick Random, and 
greater still was that of the next two, Peregrine Pickle 
and Humphrey Clinker. Unfortunately, they are dis- 
figured by gross licentiousness. His pen continued to 
be busy with a translation of Don Quixote, the editing 
of the Critical Review, and a Complete History of 
England brought down to the year 1768, but of in- 
ferior merit. 

CHAPTER VIII. 
THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 

After the great upheaval of the French Revolution, 
the nineteenth century begins with a seething of re- 
volt. In all the leading spirits of the day there is an 
aspiration to reform social conditions. The American 
Revolution had proved successful and a recognized gov- 
ernment had been active for some years; wars abroad 
had diverted the mind of the nation, but at their close 
there came a movement for emancipation. The in- 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 243 

herent rights of man were speciously set forth ; clamor 
was raised against restraint that appeared incompatible 
with man's social and political dignity. Reform meas- 
ures were demanded for legitimate representation of 
the people in the legislative body, with the ulterior 
view of righting social wrongs. 

England's commercial standing made her the mart 
of the world. New inventions in machinery were 
crushing the skilled handlaborer, and driving him to 
less remunerative toil. One reform in social conditions 
led to another : child-labor was prohibited, the press 
made free, the penal code mitigated, slave trade abol- 
ished, restrictions against Catholics lifted, free schools 
inaugurated. 

In America, peace from Revolutionary struggles, 
recognized independence, the beginnings of stability 
in political and social conditions, growing commerce, 
and the untold possibilities of a developing country 
and nation prepared for the quiet, comfort, leisure, 
refinement, that give birth to lasting literature. 

In both countries, political freedom has led naturally 
to religious toleration. For the first time since the 
Reformation we find Catholics taking part in the pub- 
lic life and thought of countries predominantly non- 
Catholic, and leaving an impress upon literature which 
is passed to the present generation as a most precious 
heritage. 
/ 

THE AGE OF ROMANTICISM. 

The first half of the nineteenth century witnessed 
the triumph of the Romanticists. Their spirit stands 
in decided contrast to the Classicism of the eighteenth 
century. It is the keynote of the age liberalism : un- 



244 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

trammeled freedom of thought and utterance and ac- 
tion. This is the fundamental idea to be kept in sight 
in reviewing or studying the writings of the time. 
Liberty was the ideal held before men's minds. Ro- 
manticism reflects the natural, spontaneous outbursts 
of man. This was partially seen in the study of the 
literature marking the close of the preceding century. 
Its triumph comes in the nineteenth, marked by the 
publication in 1798 of the Lyrical Ballads. This 
was the joint work of Wordsworth and Coleridge, 
effecting pronounced changes in the matter and in the 
form of poetry. These writers brought the language 
of every-day life into verse structure, neglecting the 
stilted conventional vocabulary of the Classicists ; they 
brought also mankind into their work, not merely the 
artificial society of London. It is Wordsworth's glory 
that he reveals the significance of the common things 
of life, glorifies the humblest duties, and exalts the 
soul of common man. Coleridge, breaking away from 
the unimaginative standards before him, brings home 
the realities of the invisible in his Ancient Mariner and 
Kubla Khan. By his prose he influences the politics, 
religion, and philosophy of his day, and sets in motion 
the tendencies for social betterment, championed half a 
century later by Carlyle. Scott, from 1805 to 1810, 
rouses England and Scotland by his verse of border 
minstrelsy, and then for fourteen succeeding years he 
continues the high-souled theme in his prose which at 
once attained unprecedented popularity. He achieved 
triumphant mastery of the historical novel, and by 
his tales of chivalry, he changed the attitude of the 
English mind towards feudalism, turned men's minds 
to the Catholic ages, and prepared the way for the 
Oxford Movement, the religious renaissance of the 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 45 

nineteenth century.* Byron in his Childe Harold 
(1809) voices the spirit of the young generation at 
variance with existing institutions, and becomes in- 
stantly popular through the force and fire with which 
he proclaims that spirit. With aspirations and sym- 
pathies altogether different, Keats seeks in his poetry 
to give verbal expression to the beautiful. His influ- 
ence was for the perfection of verse form, for 
music and sweetness, and for justness of expression. 
Shelley's poetry, protesting against the fettering of 
the individual, has a loftiness of imaginative flight 
and a rare music in its numbers. Campbell, roused 
by the political excitement that stirred men's souls, 
sings of patriotism and national spirit ; Southey, allied 
by association to the Lake Poets, gives expression in 
youthful but transient enthusiasm to extreme radical 
principles, and schemes with Coleridge a Pantisocracy 
on the banks of the Susquehanna ; Moore, at first writ- 
ing popular snappy satires and poems, later charms 
his audience by his Irish Melodies. 

The prose of this Romanticist age, aside from 
Scott's already referred to, is graced by Miss Austen's 
novels which were an influence to simplify and refine 
the novel, and make it a true picture of English com- 
mon life and by a new type of critical essay, brought 
out and perfected by Coleridge, Lamb, DeQuincey, 
Landor, Hunt and Hazlitt. Lamb in delicate, old- 
fashioned, cheery papers reveals present life of Lon- 
don, and revives enthusiasm for the almost forgotten 
Elizabethan literature. De Quincey and Landor give 
us ornate and highly colored prose, rolling like organ 
peals in deep majestic movement. Hazlitt, with crit- 

* See Cardinal Newman's Essays, Critical and Historical, Vol. J, 
p. 268. 

16 



246 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

ical faculty, surer and wider than Lander's, vies with 
Hunt in grace and flexibility. The profound human 
sympathy running through the work of all these writers 
stands witness to the romantic spirit of the age, and 
offsets the dogmatism of the unsparing reviewers of 
the early magazines. 

The Edinburgh Review (founded in 1802), the 
Quarterly Review (1808), Blackwood's Magazine 
(1817), The Westminster Review (1824), firmly 
established literary criticism, and exercised immense 
influence on all subsequent, literature. At first, their 
pronouncements were slashing and destructive; then 
constructive and encouraging. Besides developing the 
art of criticism, these Reviews discovered the mission 
of the modern magazine, which is to give every writer 
of ability a chance to make his work known to the 
world. 

THS VICTORIAN PERIOD. 

At the accession of Queen Victoria to the throne 
of England three prominent poets had already ap- 
peared in print, but their worth was unrecognized, 
and Wordsworth was singing a lament for the great 
ones of the century's early years. There was a lull 
in the world of letters. The nation itself was in a 
period of change. The policies of government were 
passing into the control of the people and the House 
of Commons stood thenceforth as popular dictator. 
Diffusion of general education followed in the wake of 
political enfranchisement : the kinship of mankind be- 
came manifest in sympathy for the sufferer of unequal 
burdens, and a common striving to ameliorate econ- 
omic and religious conditions. The nation was at 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 

peace, commerce was thriving. During the entire 
reign of Victoria such conditions lent impetus to won- 
derful strides in the arts, sciences and mechanics. As 
we look back we see that literature kept pace with the 
movement and the period forms a great epoch. 

Macaulay's essay on Milton in 1825 had started the 
pendulum of public opinion back from its revolution- 
ary swing. He proclaimed a reaction, indulging in 
the self-satisfying reflection of the greatness of Britain 
and a cheerful, optimistic view of life as it was. 
Carlyle roused England from this complacent view, 
made it turn from the nation's external glory to study 
the position of the poor who toiled for her greatness ; 
he insisted on a study of social questions, bringing 
home the crying needs of the many and urging the 
reforms necessitated. 

Mrs. Browning in noble and ardent appeal threw her 
whole soul into the cause of the oppressed and forth- 
with stands conspicuous as a great poet, who linked 
letters with the life and progress of her people. 

As these social throes convulsed the nation, scientists 
added to the agony by giving out their discoveries in 
nature, with an interpretation which shook men's faith 
they would see all things evolved from a chaotic state 
by the inherent energy of matter : there was no God 
directing creation, and by inference no hereafter as 
reward for present toil. Tennyson appeared, to sing 
in perfect verse the agitated mind. His audience was 
greater than any poet theretofore. In In Memoriam, 
he presented courageous face to the new theories and 
discoveries, and proclaimed a universal law founded 
on love sprung from God that ultimately will show 
perfect order where now is conflict. Hope in the 
spiritual world is his theme. Browning, less perfect 



248 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

in form, more robust of nature and thought, centered 
his interests in strong single souls, and showed what 
they may make of their lives by courage and truth. 

Dickens and Thackeray and Eliot were likewise ab- 
sorbed in the social problem and gave rise to the 
school of realists, depicting life ungarnished as they 
saw it. Dickens set forth the lower stratum, and 
Thackeray the upper. Both cry for reform by cari- 
caturing abuse and inveighing against sham. Eliot 
exposed the uneasy temperament of her generation re- 
garding the great problems of the soul an uneasiness 
witnessed also in the poetry of Arnold and Clough. 
Arnold, the supreme critic of the Victorian Age, boldly 
preached in his prose the gospel of culture as the 
panacea of modern evils. 

Against this view appeared the charming prose of 
Ruskin and Newman, which insisted on the reality of 
the unseen, the spiritual world; and each spoke from 
the field in which he stands dictator, art and religion. 

Meredith, with great insight into the springs of 
human action, concerned himself with man, his work 
in the world, his development of self. His characters 
are types embodying the inevitable working out of 
some moral quality, the consequence of some predomi- 
nant passion. 

Swinburne broke equally from the influence of the 
colorless materialism which modern sciences preach 
and from the moral seriousness of contemporary poe- 
try. A master of technique, unsurpassed in creating 
marvelous effects of rhythm and melody, he yet alien- 
ates our sympathies by his morbid excesses and his 
decadent paganism. His later verse, inspired by 
higher motive, sings of' love, freedom, the sea, and 
the innocent beauty of childhood. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 049 

Stevenson, as if weary of the endless discussion of 
problem and reform, entered into a light-hearted, 
child-like way of snatching men from their sordid, 
groveling life and with delicate artistic finish and 
grace told many a wild story as only Scott did before 
him. 

These are the great Victorians who stand Titan- 
like among the crowd of writers that in this age of 
wide-spread education and unprecedented reading wit- 
ness against the charge of materialism and absorption 
of interests in the practical, to the neglect of the loftier 
demands of mind and heart. 



JOHN KEATS, 1795-1821. 

John Keats was a premature genius who, though 
prevented by death from reaching the fulness of his 
powers, yet has impressed his influence on English 
poetry. His circumstances did not allow him the ad- 
vantages of a University; and the knowledge of the 
classics which he obtained at school was very meagre, 
little Latin and no Greek. On leaving school, he was 
apprenticed to a surgeon; but the delights he took in 
Chaucer and Spenser, revealed to him his more con- 
genial vocation for poetry. A first volume of poems 
was hardly noticed by the public. In 1817, he wrote 
Endymion, a Poetical Romance, the largest of his 
works, an "airy nothing," but replete with lines of 
exquisite word-music. The extreme violence with 
which it was attacked by Gifford in the London 
Quarterly Review, deeply wounded the keen sensi- 
bility of the poet. His other poems are Lamia, a 
strange tale of Grecian mythology; Isabella, founded 
on a tale from Boccaccio; The Eve of St. Agnes, a 



250 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

romantic story, as improbable in the incidents as it is 
beautiful in diction; Hyperion, which, though a mere 
fragment, is considered the most polished of his writ- 
ings; and his Miscellaneous Poems. Among these 
last are his odes, which are among the very finest in 
all literature and admired by all lovers of pure poetry, 
particularly the Ode to a Nightingale and the Ode on 
a Grecian Urn. 

"The chief characteristic of Keats's poetry is the 
intensity with which it expresses the sense of beauty. 
There is about his later works a classical re- 
pose and a handling at once light and strong." * His 
verse, untrammelled by the rules of the couplet, moves 
along in a variety of harmonious and majestic ca- 
dences. 

It is a wonder that Keats, with his little knowledge 
of Greek mythology, showed a preference for Greek 
themes, and entered so thoroughly into the spirit of the 
Greek masters. But he was, by instinct and sympathy, 
a Greek. Nature, for him, was not, as it is for a 
Christian, an image, faint and partly effaced, of its 
Almighty Creator; but it was an idol before which, 
like the Greeks of old, he knelt and adored. 

Keats had entered his twenty-sixth year, when liter- 
ary disappointment, and grief for unrequited love, com- 
bined with hereditary consumption to bring him to an 
untimely grave. On his death bed, feeling how small 
had been his achievement in view of the genius of 
which he was conscious, he said his epitaph should be : 
"Here lies one whose name was writ in water." But 
his name will certainly stand high forever among the 
poets of England. 

* Aubrey de Vere. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 251 

ON FIRST LOOKING INTO CHAPMAN'S TRANSLATION OF HOMER 

Much have I travelled in the realms of gold, 

And many goodly states and kingdoms seen; 

Round many western islands have I been 
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold. 
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told 

Th_!; deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne; 

Yet did I never breathe its pure serene 
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold: 
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies 

When a new planet swims into his ken; 
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes 

He stared at the Pacific and all his men f 

Looked at each other with a wild surmise 

Silent, upon a peak in Darien. 

ODE ON A GRECIAN URN. 

Thou still unravished bride of quietness, 

Thou foster child of silence and slow time, 
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express 

A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme; 
What leaf- fringed legend haunts about thy shape 

Of deities or mortals, or of both, 

In Tempe or in dales of Arcady? 
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth? 

What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? 
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy? 

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard 

Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on; 
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endeared, 

Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone: 
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave 

Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare ; 
Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss, 
Though winning near the goal yet, do not grieve; 

She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss, 
Forever wilt thou love, and she be fair! 

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede 
Of marble men and maidens overwrought, 

With forest branches and the trodden weed; 
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought 

As doth eternity; , , . . 



252 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

TO AUTUMN. 

Season of mists and mellow f ruitfulness ! 

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; 
Conspiring with him how to load and bless 

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run ; 
To bend with apples the mossed cottage trees, 

And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; 

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells 
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, 
And still more, later flowers for the bees, 
Until they think warm days will never cease, 

For summer has o'er-brimmed their clammy cells. 

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store? 

Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find 
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor, 

Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; 
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep, 

Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook 

Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers ; * 
And sometime like a gleaner thou dost keep 

Steady thy laden head across a brook; 

Or by a cider-press, with patient look, 

Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours. 

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they? 

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, 
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, 

And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue; 
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn 

Among the river sallows, borne aloft 

Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies ; 
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourne; 

Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft 

The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft, 

And gathering swallows twitter in the skies. 

How beautiful, if Sorrow had not made 

Sorrow more beautiful than Beauty's self. Hyperion. 

Those green-robed senators of mighty woods. Hyperion. 
A thing of beauty is a joy forever. Bndymion. 

The sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home, 

She stood in tears amid the alien corn. Nightingale. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 353 

PERCY BYSSHE SHEI^EY, 1792-1822. 

Percy Bysshe Shelley; the oldest son of a baronet, 
was a poet of rare genius, but of a genius shooting 
wild and utterly missing the great aims of human life. 
While yet a schoolboy, he wrote two romances, and, at 
eighteen, was expelled from Oxford for his Defence of 
Atheism. A few months afterwards, he published 
Queen Mob, in which he scouts at the popular idea of 
God, and makes Necessity, or the Spirit of Nature, his 
own god. Alastor, or, the Spirit of Solitude, reveals 
a soul restlessly pursuing a happiness which is ever be- 
yond its grasp. His Revolt of Islam is a considerable 
poem, in the Spenserian stanza, picturing the struggle 
of an agitated people against the institutions which it 
previously held sacred. Prometheus Unbound, a ly- 
rical drama in four acts, well expresses the spirit of 
its author, defiant of all authority. The tragedy of 
The Cenci rehearses crimes so repulsive and sickening 
that it has never been represented on the stage. All 
the larger works of Shelley exhibit him as a wild 
declaimer against the inequality of conditions among 
men, and a Utopian advocate of equal distribution of 
labor and reward : happily they have never found 
many readers. Adonais is a lament in fifty-five Spen- 
serian stanzas over the untimely death of Keats. 
Among his shorter poems, The Sensitive Plant, The 
Skylark, The Cloud, Ode to the Wesc Wind, and 
Ode to Night, are lyrics unequalled for imaginative 
beauty of thought and language. "Shelley's versifi- 
cation is exquisitely free, varied, and musical, and his 
diction natural, yet richly poetical, and only obscured 
by the intensity and the subtlety of his imagination."* 

* Eng. Lit., by R. M. Johnston, and W. Q. Browne. 



254 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

He is the most ethereal of our poets, but beyond nature 
he saw nothing, not even the God of nature, much 
less the God of revelation; yet he betrays a constant 
longing, often expressed in Christian terms, for im- 
mortality, for the spiritual and the divine, which his 
own poor creed could not satisfy. Shelley spent the last 
four years of his life in Italy. He had not quite 
reached his thirty-first birthday, when, in 1822, he was 
drowned by the capsizing of his boat in the Gulf of 
Spezzia. 

For further appreciation of Shelley's work, the stu- 
dent is referred to M. Arnold's Essays in Criticism, 
and to the critique by the late Francis Thompson, 
which has been pronounced "the most remarkable 
contribution to English pure-letters in the last quarter 
century." 

THE CLOUD. 

i bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers, 

From the seas and the streams; 
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid 

In their noonday dreams. 
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken 

The sweet buds every one, 
When rocked to rest on their mother's breast, 

As she dances about the sun. 
I wield the flail of the lashing 1 hail, 

And whiten the green plains under, 
And then again I dissolve in rain, 

And laugh as I pass in thunder. 
I sift the snow on the mountains below, 

And their great pines groan aghast; 
And all the night 'tis my pillow white, 

While I sleep in the arms of the blast. 

I am the daughter of earth and water, 

And the nursling of the sky ; 
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores; 

I change, but I cannot die. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 255 

For after the rain, when, with never a stain, 

The pavilion of heaven is bare, 
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams, 

Build up the blue dome of air, 
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph, 

And out of the caverns of rain, 
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb, 

I arise and unbuild it again. 



My soul is an enchanted boat, 
Which, like a sleeping swan, doth float 

Upon the silver waves of thy sweet singing; 
And thine doth like an angel sit 
Beside a helm conducting it, 

Whilst all the winds with melody are ringing. 
It seems to float ever, forever, 
Upon that many-winding river, 
Between mountains, woods, abysses, 
A paradise of wildernesses ! 
Till, like one in slumber bound, 
Borne to the ocean, I float down, around, 
Into a sea profound, of ever-spreading sound. 

Asia in Prometh. Unbound 

The path thro' which that lovely twain 
Have passed, by cedar, pine, and yew, 
And each dark tree that ever grew,/ 
Is curtained out from Heaven's wide blue 
Nor sun, nor moon, nor wind, nor rain, 

Can pierce its interwoven bowers, 
Nor aught, save where some cloud of dew, 
Drifted along the earth-creeping breeze, 
Between the trunks of the hoar trees, 

Hangs each a pearl in the pale flowers 
Of the green laurel, blown anew; 
And bends, and then fades silently, 
One frail and fair anemone: 
Or when some star of many a one 

That climbs and wanders thro' steep night, 
Has found the cleft thro' which alone 
Beams fall from high those depths upon 
Ere it is borne away, away, 
By the swift Heavens that cannot stay, 



256 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

It scatters drops of golden light, 

Like lines of rain that ne'er unite: 
And the gloom divine is all around; 
And underneath is the mossy ground. 

Semichorus I. of Spirits 



First Faun: 

Canst thou imagine where those spirits live 
Which make such delicate music in the woods? 
We haunt within the least frequented caves 
And closest coverts, and we know these wilds, 
Yet never meet them, tho' we hear them oft: 
Where may they hide themselves? 

Second Faun: 

'Tis hard to tell : 

I have heard those more skilled in spirits say, 
The bubbles, which the enchantment of the sun 
Sucks from the pale faint water-flowers that pave 
The oozy bottom of clear lakes and pools, 
Are the pavilions where such dwell and float 
Under the green and golden atmosphere 
Which noontide kindles thro' the woven leaves ; 
And when these burst, and the thin fiery air, 
The which they breathed within those lucent domes, 
Ascend to flow like meteors thro' the night, 
They ride on them, and rein their headlong speed, 
And bow their burning crests, and glide in fire 
Under the waters of the earth again. 

First Faun: 

If such live thus, have others other lives, 
Under pink blossoms or within the bells 
Of meadow flowers, or folded violets deep, 
Or on their dying odors, when they die, 
Or in the sunlight of the sphered dew? 

Second Faun: 

Aye, many more which we may well divine 

Prometh. Unbound. 



We look before and after, 

And pine for what is not: 
Our sincerest laughter 

With some pain is fraught; 
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought 

Skylark. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 257 

OZYMANDIAS. 

I met a traveller from an antique land, 
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone 
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, 
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown 
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, 
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read 
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, 
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed ; 
And on the pedestal these words appear : 
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings : 
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair !" 
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay 
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare 
The lone and level sands stretch far away. 

GKORGS GORDON BYRON, 1788-1824. 

George Gordon Byron, a poet of elevated genius, 
was born in London in 1788. At the age of seventeen, 
he was entered at Trinity College, Cambridge, where 
his impatience under restraint and faults against dis- 
cipline drew upon him much unavoidable rebuke; and 
where he wasted the hours which, if properly em- 
ployed, would have secured him a solid foundation of 
learning, instead of habits of reckless profligacy. He 
quitted college after two years, and took up his resi- 
dence at the family seat of Newstead Abbey.* Whilst 
at his homestead, he prepared for publication his ear- 
liest production under the title of Hours of Idleness, 
a collection of fugitive poems, original and translated, 
in no way remarkable; and chiefly remembered on 
account of the castigation it received from the Edin- 
burgh Review, and his own pungent retort entitled 

* Newstead Abbey, originally an Augustinian monastery, founded by 
Henry II., and granted by Henry VIII. to John Byron, at the time of 
the spoliation *f the monasteries. Of the abbey church, only one end 
xe mains. 



058 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

English Bards and Scotch Reviezvers. The first two 
cantos of Childe Harold were published in the spring 
of 1812. This poem, in whose numbers the Spenserian 
stanza is felicitously revived, was received at once with 
the utmost enthusiasm. "I awoke," says the author, 
"one morning, and found myself famous." In May of 
the next year, appeared his Giaour; in November, The 
Bride of Abydos; and three months afterwards, The 
Corsair. These narrative poems, with the exception 
of The Corsair, are written in the irregular-rhymed 
metres which Scott brought into fashion. They 
have rarely any pretensions to ingenuity of plot, or 
connected development of incident. They have no 
variety of character, and are rather delineations of 
moments of intense passion in Oriental life. During 
his residence in the neighborhood of Geneva, he pro- 
duced the third canto of Childe Harold, and the Pris- 
oner of Chilian, a painful story told with inimitable 
tenderness. The short satirical poem of Beppo ap- 
peared in 1818. His dramas, most of which are de- 
clamatory and undramatic, some of them, as Cain and 
Manfred, exhibiting a mocking sceptical spirit, were 
written whilst he resided at Ravenna. Byron's genius 
was singularly deficient in scenic power, principally 
from his want of variety in all his attempts at creating 
character. 

At length appeared the concluding canto of Childe 
Harold. His first design had been to imitate in this 
poem, not only the stanza, but also the quaint and 
antiquated air of The Fairie Queen. The very title, 
Childe, which, in old legendary language, signifies 
knight, is a proof of this. However, he soon aban- 
doned this forced masquerade of diction. Harold, the 
hero of the poem, is an exhausted, disappointed liber- 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 59 

tine, wlio recklessly wanders over the earth; but who 
is sometimes capable of being roused for a moment, by 
contempt or admiration, by the base or the beautiful, 
by patriotism or by despair. The pictures of nature, 
of man, of society, which crowd the four cantos, are 
not surpassed in English or any other literature. The 
poem begins and ends with the ocean, to whose ma- 
jestic undulations and changing aspects of gloom and 
sunshine, of calm and tempest, of melancholy grand- 
eur and immeasurable depth, it bears no faint simili- 
tude. 

The poem that closed his literary career, Don Juan, 
is the most complete embodiment of all the discord- 
ant elements of this poet's wayward life. The primary 
characteristic of Don Juan is a rapid and incessant 
alternation of the severest satire and comic impres- 
sions, with images the most solemn and pathetic. But 
Byron was losing his power, and this poem contains 
vast stretches of prose unrelieved by imagination or 
humor, only occasionally lit up by wit, and as grossly 
offensive to good literary taste as it is purposely of- 
fensive to the moral sense of decent people. 

The genius of Lord Byron is one of the most .re- 
markable in our literature for originality, versatility, 
and energy. This last is his most striking quality; 
"thoughts that breathe and words that burn" are the 
common staple of his poetry. His poems abound in 
sentiments of great dignity and tenderness, as well 
as in passages of rare sublimity and beauty. But what 
renders his writings in the highest degree pernicious, 
is, in the judgment of Lord Jeffrey, their tendency to 
destroy all belief in the reality of virtue, and to make 
all enthusiasm and consistency of affection ridiculous. 
The following opinion of the character of Byron's 



260 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

try is from the pen of Lord Macaulay: "Never had 
any writer so vast a command of the whole eloquence 
of scorn, misanthropy, and despair. His principal 
heroes are men who have arrived by different roads 
at the same goal of despair; who are sick of life; 
who are at war with society; who are supported in 
their anguish only by an unquenchable pride, resemb- 
ling that of Prometheus on the rock, or of Satan in the 
burning marl; who can master their agonies by the 
force of their will, and who, at the last, defy the whole 
power of earth and heaven. He always described 
himself as a man of the same kind with his favorite 
creations; as a man whose heart had been withered, 
whose capacity for happiness was gone and could not 
be restored; but whose invincible spirit dared the 
worst that could befall him here or hereafter." Hap- 
pily his vogue has'passed away. It is recognized now 
that along with the sublime and truly poetic, Byron 
contains very much cheap and tawdry rhetoric, and a 
great deal of commonplace sentimentality expressed 
in common language, which a host of imitators have 
made nauseous to tastes accustomed to the exquisite 
language and art of Keats, of Coleridge, and of Tenny- 
son. 

In 1823, Byron hired an English vessel, and sailed 
for Cephalonia, in order to aid in the deliverance of 
Greece from the Mahometan thraldom. But being 
foiled in his plans, he became the victim of disappoint- 
ment and chagrin. His constitution gave way, he was 
attacked by fits of epilepsy, and, in April, 1824, he 
breathed his last. His body was brought to England, 
and interred near his own seat of Newstead Abbey, 
where a plain marble slab merely records his name, 
title, date of death, and age. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 

APOSTROPHE; TO THE OCEAN. 

Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean roll! 
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain ; 
Man marks the earth with ruin his control 
Stops with the shore; upon the watery plain 
The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain 
A shadow of man's ravage, save his own, 
When, for a moment, like a drop of rain, 
He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan 
Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown. 

His steps are not upon thy paths thy fields 
Are not a spoil for him thou dost arise 
And shake him from thee ; the vile strength he wields 
For earth's destruction thou dost all despise, 
Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies, 
And send'st him, shivering in thy playful spray, 
And howling, to his gods, where haply lies 
His petty hope in some near port or bay, 
And dashest him again to earth: there let him lay. 

The armaments which thunderstrike the' walls 
Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake 
And monarchs tremble in their capitals ; 
The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make 
Their clay creator the vain title take 
Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war : 
These are thy toys, and, as the snowy flake, 
They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar 
Alike the Armada's pride, or spoils of Trafalgar. 

Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee 
Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they? 
Thy waters wasted them while they were free, 
And many a tyrant since; their shores obey 
The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay 
Has dried up realms to deserts: not so thou; 
Unchangeable save to thy wild waves' play. 
Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow; 
Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now. 

Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form 

Glasses itself in tempests ; in all time, 

Calm or convulsed in breeze, or gale, or storm, 

19 



262 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime 
Dark-heaving ; boundless, endless, and sublime 
The image of Eternity the throne 
Of the Invisible: even from out thy slime 
The monsters of the deep are made; each zone 
Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone. 

And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy 
Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be 
Borne, like thy bubbles, onward : from a boy 
I wantoned with thy breakers they to me 
Were a delight; and if the freshening sea 
Made them a terror 'twas a pleasing fear; 
For I was as it were a child of thee, 
And trusted to thy billows far and near, 
And laid my hand upon thy mane as I do here. 



ST. PETER'S CHURCH AT ROME. 

But lo ! the dome ! the vast and wondrous dome, 
To which Diana's marvel was a cell 
Christ's mighty shrine, above his martyr's tomb ! 
I have beheld the Ephesian miracle 
Its columns strew the wilderness, and dwell 
The hyena and the jackal in their shade; 
I have beheld Sophia's bright roofs swell 
Their glittering mass i' the sun, and have surveyed 
Its sanctuary, the while th' usurping Moslem prayed. 

But thou of temples old, or altars new, 
Standest alone, with nothing like to thee: 
Worthiest of God, the holy and the true, 
Since Sion's desolation, when that He 
Forsook his former city, what could be 
Of earthly structures, in his honor piled, 
Of a sublimer aspect? Majesty, 
Power, Glory, Strength, and Beauty, are all aisled 
In this eternal ark of worship undented 

Enter: its grandeur overwhelms thee not; 
And why? it is not lessened: but thy mind, 
Expanded by the genius of the spot, 
Has grown colossal, and can only find 
A fit abode, wherein appear enshrined 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 263 

Thy hopes of immortality; and thou 
Shalt one day, if found worthy, so defined, 
See thy God face to face, as thou dost now 
His Holy of Holies, nor be blasted by his brow. 

Thou movest, but increasing with the advance, 
Like climbing some great Alp, which still doth rise, 
Deceived by its gigantic elegance: 
Vastness which grows but grows to harmonize 
All musical in its immensities ; 

Rich marbles richer paintings shrines where flame 
The lamps of gold and haughty dome, which vies 
In air with earth's chief structure, though their fame 
Sits on the firm-set ground, and this the clouds must claim. 

Thou seest not all; but piecemeal thou must break, 
To separate contemplation, the great whole; 
And as the ocean many bays will make, 
That ask the eye so here condense thy soul 
To more immediate objects, and control 
Thy thoughts, until thy mind hath got by heart 
Its eloquent proportions, and unroll 
Its mighty graduations, part by part, 
The glory which at once upon thee did not dart. 

Not by his fault but thine : our outward sense 
Is but of gradual grasp and, as it is, 
That what we have of feeling most intense 
Outstrips our faint expression ; even so this 
Outshining and o'erwhelming edifice 
Fools our fond gaze, and, greatest of the great, 
Defies, at first, our nature's littleness ; 
Till, growing with its growth, we thus dilate 
Our spirits to the size of that they contemplate. 

Then pause and be enlightened, there is more 
In such a survey than the sating gaze 
Of wonder pleased, or awe, which would adore 
The worship of the place, or the mere praise 
Of art, and its great masters, who could raise 
What former time, nor skill nor thought could plan ; 
The fountain of sublimity displays 
Its depth, and thence may draw the mind of man 
Its golden sands, and learn what great conceptions can. 



2G4 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

WIUJAM BLAKE, 1757-1827. 

William Blake was born in London, November 28, 
1757, of poor parents who could afford him but scanty 
education. He early evinced a strong love of paintings 
and spent his time in the art shops. Without system- 
atic study, he developed a talent for engraving and 
work in water-colors. In 1780 he exhibited his first 
picture in the Royal Academy, and thence to 1808 
contributed to the yearly displays. When about 
twenty years of age his intercourse with artists led to 
acquaintance with literateurs, before whom he recited 
and sometimes sang poems of his own composition. 
Encouragement from this company prompted him to 
publish (1783) a volume of verse, Poetical Sketches, 
which displayed his double talent in association, as 
again in 1787 when appeared Songs of Innocence, 
artistically illustrated by his own designs. Some of 
these songs are lyric gems of striking originality, and 
his illumination by symbolism marks him as an original 
decorative artist of high merit. After some other 
pieces of similarly interwoven poetry and design, he 
published his Songs of Experience, wherein again he 
shows the perfect balance of his verse and decoration ; 
but from this on, the genius of the artist predomi- 
nates : his verse appears like the inadequate expression 
of thought too elusive for word enunciation, a mysti- 
cism, a dream of a prophet wherefore men have said 
Blake was insane while his illustration grows in 
depth of symbolic meaning, the intricacy of design 
bodying forth complexity of thought which the poet 
could not express. As his poetic powers waned his 
artistic abilities increased, and they reached culmin- 
ation of expression in a series of paintings, The Book 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 265 

of Job, reflecting the grandeur of the theme in the 
artist's simple and sublime imagery. 

Blake died in London, August 12, 1827. 



SONGS OJf INNOCENCE. 
Introduction. 

Piping down the valleys wild, 
Piping songs of pleasant glee, 

On a cloud I saw a child, 
And he laughing said to me: 

"Pipe a song about a lamb!" 
So I piped with merry cheer. 

"Piper, pipe that song again;" 
So I piped : he wept to hear. 

"Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe; 

Sing thy songs of happy cheer !" 
So I sang the same again, 

While he wept with joy to hear. 

"Piper, sit thee down and write 
In a book that all may read." 
So he vanished from my sight; 
And I plucked a hollow reed, 

And I made a rural pen, 

And I stained the water clear, 

And I wrote my happy songs 
Every child may joy to hear. 

THE LAMB. 

Little lamb, who made thee? 

Dost thou know who made thee, 
Gave thee life, and bade thee feed 
By the stream and o'er the mead; 
Gave thee clothing of delight, 
Softest clothing, woolly, bright; 
Gave thee such a tender voice, 
Making all the vales rejoice? 

Little lamb, who made thee? 

Dost thou know who made thee ? 



266 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Little lamb, I'll tell thee; 
Little lamb, I'll tell thee: 
He is called by thy name, 
For He calls himself a lamb. 
He is meek, and He is mild, 
He became a little child. 
I a child, and thou a lamb, 
We are called by His name. 

Little lamb, God bless thee ! 

Little lamb, God bless thee ! 

A DREAM. 

Once a dream did weave a shade 
O'er my angel-guarded bed, 
That an emmet lost its way 
Where on grass methought I lay. 

Troubled, wildered, and forlorn, 
Dark, benighted, travel-worn, 
Over many a tangled spray, 
All heart-broke, I heard her say: 

"Oh, my children! do they cry, 
Do they hear their father sigh? 
Now they look abroad to see, 
Now return and weep for me." 

Pitying, I dropped a tear: 
But I saw a glow-worm near, 
Who replied, "What ailing wight 
Calls the watchman of the night? 

"I am set to light the ground, 
While the beetle goes his round: 
Follow now the beetle's hum; 
Little wanderer, hie thee home!'* 

GEORGE CRABBE, 1754-1832. 

George Crabbe, whom Byron styles 'nature's stern- 
est painter, yet the best/ was born in 1754, at Aid- 
borough, a coast town in Suffolk, and 'cradled among 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 267 

the sons of the ocean/ a daily witness of the rude 
manners and unbridled passions of fishermen, poachers, 
and smugglers. 

"By such examples taught, I paint the cot, 
As Truth will paint it and as bards will not." . . . 

After receiving an education superior to what could 
have been expected in his circumstances, he went to 
London, a literary adventurer, and was fortunate 
enough to attract the notice of the celebrated Edmund 
Burke. Through his influence Crabbe became an 
Anglican clergyman and obtained comfortable livings. 
Likewise it was with the sympathy and encouragement 
of Burke that Crabbe brought out his first successful 
poem, 'The Library, and, three years later, 1783, The 
Village, a work revised and praised by both Burke 
and Johnson, and which at once stamped him as one 
of the most energetic and inventive poets of his age. 
In 1807, appeared his most successful work, The Par- 
ish Register; in 1810, The Borough; in 1812, Tales 
in Verse; lastly, in 1819, The Tales of the Hall If 
in his poems he has been accused, not without a show 
of justice, of dwelling too exclusively on what is odious 
and repulsive, and giving too gloomy and discouraging 
a view of human society, this fault is more than re- 
deemed by the admirable instinct with which he has 
penetrated into the heart of man, and shown that its 
strength and weakness, its wisdom and folly, its maj- 
esty and degradation, are alike in all ranks and classes. 
Crabbe's powers of minute descriptive painting, and 
skill in setting vividly before us a scene or a char- 
acter which, at first sight, we would consider hope- 
lessly unattractive, were never equalled in literature. 
In the depicting of the fen, the marsh, the workhouse, 



268 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

and the jail, as well as in his description of moral 
sufferings, he is no less striking than peculiar. We 
have there not only poetry, but the reality of history. 
Sir Walter Scott and Cardinal Newman, like many 
others, regarded Crabbe as one of the first poets of 
the age. 

THE ENGLISH PARISH WORKHOUSE. 

There is yon house that holds the parish poor, 
Whose walls of mud scarce bear the broken door ; 
There, where the putrid vapors flagging play, 
And the dull wheel hums doleful through the day; 
There children dwell who know no parent's care: 
Parents who know no children's love dwell there : 
Heart-broken matrons on their joyless bed, 
Forsaken wives and mothers never wed, 
Dejected widows with unheeded tears, 
And crippled age with more than childhood-fears; 
The lame, the blind, and, far the happiest they ! 
The moping idiot and the madman gay. 
Here too the sick their final doom receive, 
Here brought amid the scenes of grief to grieve, 
Where the loud groans from some sad chamber flow. 
Mixed with the clamors of the crowd below ; 
Here sorrowing, they each kindred sorrow scan, 
And the cold charities of man to man : 
Whose laws indeed for ruined age, provide, 
And strong compulsion plucks the scrap from pride; 
But still that scrap is bought with many a sigh, 
And pride embitters what it can't deny. . . . 

Such is that room which one rude beam divides, 
And naked rafters form the sloping sides; 
Where the vile bands that bind the thatch are seen, 
And lath and mud are all that lie between ; 
Save one dull pane, that, coarsely patched, gives way 
To the rude tempest, yet excludes the day: 
Here on a matted flock, with dust o'erspread, 
The drooping wretch reclines his languid head ; 
For him no hand the cordial cup applies, 
Or wipes the tear that stagnates in his eyes; 
No friends with soft discourse his pain beguile 
Or promise hope till sickness wears a smile. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 69 

S. TAYLOR COLERIDGE, 1772-1834. 

S. Taylor Coleridge, a profound thinker and a poet 
of rich imagination, was born in the South of England, 
and received the principal part of his education at 
Christ's Hospital, where he became head scholar. He 
describes himself as being, from eigh to fourten, a 
playless day-dreamer, a helluo librorum; and in this 
instance the child was father of the man : for such 
was Coleridge to the end of his life. He had no ambi- 
tion; and, had not his master, Bowyer, interfered, he 
would have apprenticed himself to a shoemaker who 
lived near the school. He wanted concentration and 
steadiness of purpose to avail himself sufficiently of his 
intellectual riches. In magnificent alternations of hope 
and despair, and in discoursing on poetry and philos- 
ophy, sometimes committing a golden thought to the 
blank leaf of a book, or to a private letter, but gener- 
ally content with oral communication, the poet's time 
glided past. He began life as a Unitarian and Repub- 
lican; but, ultimately, became an adherent to the doc- 
trines of the Anglican Church, and an enthusiastic 
defender of monarchical institutions. Of the poems by 
which Coleridge is best known, the most generally 
read is The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, a wild, mys- 
tical narrative, possessing a melody strange and un- 
earthly, and an air of antiquity in admirable harmony 
with the spectral character of the events. He trans- 
lated the second and third parts of Schiller's Wallen- 
stein with the exactness of a scholar, and the kindred 
inspiration of a poet. Christabel is a wild mysterious 
story which he published, in 1816, in its unfinished 
condition. Like his odes, like everything that Cole- 
ridge ever wrote, it is exquisitely versified. In his 



270 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Lectures on Shakespeare, he did more to give an idea 
of the breadth and gfasp of the genius of that poet 
than any other Englishman of his time. His other 
prose writings are large contributions to the Morning 
Post; The Friend, a literary periodical, which ex- 
tended only to twenty-seven numbers; the Biographia 
Liter aria; and Aids to Reflection. He planned several 
great works which were never committed to paper. 
Indeed an excessive use of opium, added to a native 
want of energy, produced an indolent habit arid lack of 
application, which were fatal to the prosecution of any 
extensive project. He lived for some time at Kes- 
wick, in Cumberland, near the Lakes, in which region 
Wordsworth and Southey resided, and hence the ap- 
pellation of Lake Poets given to the three distinguished 
friends. As a conversationist, Coleridge enjoyed a 
remarkable reputation. He loved to keep the field 
entirely to himself; and, hour after hour, if the audi- 
tors could spare time, would he pour forth 'things 
new and old/ illustrated by a boundless range of scien- 
tific knowledge, brilliancy, and exquisite nicety of 
illustration, deep and ready reasoning, immensity of 
bookish lore, dramatic story, joke and pun. 

Of Coleridge's poetry in its most matured form 
and in its best specimens, the most distinguishing char- 
acteristics are vividness of imagination and subtlety 
of thought, combined with beauty and expressiveness 
of diction, and exquisite melody of verse. Some of 
his minor poems, for the richness of their coloring 
combined with the most perfect finish, can be com- 
pared only to the flowers which spring up into loveli- 
ness at the touch of nature. The words, the rhyme, 
the whole flow of the music, seem to be not so much 
the mere expression or sign of the thought as its bios- 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 271 

soming or irradiation. Deserving special mention are : 
Ode to Mount Blanc, Day Dreams, The Devil's 
Thoughts, The Wanderings of Cain, Ode to France, 
Youth and Age, Dejection, Fears in Solitude, Work 
without Hope, The Virgin's Cradle Hymn. 



A CALM. 

(From The Ancient Mariner.) 

The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, 

The furrow followed free; 
We were the first that ever burst 

Into that silent sea. 

Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down 

'Twas sad as sad could be; 
And we did speak only to break 

The silence of the sea! 

All in a hot and copper sky, 

The bloody sun, at noon, 
Right up above the mast did stand, 

No bigger than the moon. 

Day after day, day after day, 
We stuck, nor breath nor motion ; 

As idle as a painted ship 
Upon a painted ocean. 

Water, water everywhere, 

And all the boards did shrink; 
Water, water everywhere, 

Nor any drop to drink. 

About, about, in reel and rout 

The death-fires danced at night: 
The water, like a witch's oils, 

Burnt green, and blue, and white. 



BRITISH LITERATURE. 

KUBLA KHAN. 
(A Fragment.) 

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan 

A stately pleasure-dome decree ; 
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran 
Through caverns measureless to man, 

Down to a sunless sea. 
So twice five miles of fertile ground 
With walls and towers were girdled round, 
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills 

Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree ; 
And here were forests ancient as the hills, 

Infolding sunny spots of greenery. 
But oh ! that deep romantic chasm which slanted 
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover ! 
A savage place ! as holy and enchanted 
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted 

By woman wailing for her demon-lover! 
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething, 
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing, 
A mighty fountain momently was forced ; 
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst 
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail, 
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail : 
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever 
It flung up momently the sacred river. 

Five miles meandering with a mazy motion 
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran, 
Then reached the caverns measureless to man, 
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean. . . . 



BROKEN FRIENDSHIP. 
(From Christabel.) 

Alas! they had been friends in youth; 
But whispering tongues can poison truth ; 
And constancy lives in realms above; 

And life is thorny; and youth is vain; 
And to be wroth with one we love, 

Doth work like madness in the brain. 
And thus it chanced, as I divine, 
With Roland and Sir L,eoline. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 

Each spake words of high disdain 
And insult to his heart's best brother: 

They parted ne'er to meet again! 
But never either found another 
To free the hollow heart from paining 
They stood aloof, the scars remaining, 

Like cliffs which had been rent asunder ; 
A dreary sea now flows between, 

But neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder, 
Shall wholly do away, I ween, 
The marks of that which once hath been. 

Among the permanent causes [of false criticism], I may notice 
First, the great pleasure we feel in being told of the knowledge 
we possess rather than of the ignorance we suffer. Let it be 
our first duty to teach thinking, and then what to think about. 
You cannot expect a person to be able to go through the arduous 
process of thinking, who has never exercised his faculties. In 
the Alps we see the chamois hunter ascend the most perilous 
precipices without danger, and leap from crag to crag over vast 
chasms without dread or difficulty, and who but a fool, if un- 
practiced, would attempt to follow him? It is not intrepidity 
alone that is necessary, but he who would imitate the hunter 
must have gone through the same process for the acquisition 
of strength, skill, and knowledge; he must exert, and be capable 
of exerting, the same muscular energies, and display the same 
perseverance and courage, or all his efforts will be worse than 
fruitless : they will lead not only to disappointment but to 
destruction. Systems have been invented with the avowed object 
of teaching people how to think; but in my opinion the proper 
title for such a work ought to be "The art of teaching how to 
think about thinking." Nobody endeavors to instruct a man how 
to leap, until he has first given him vigor and elasticity. 

Nothing is more essential nothing can be more important 
than in every possible way to cultivate and improve the thinking 
powers : the mind as much requires exercise as the body, and no 
man can fully and adequately discharge the duties of whatever 
station he is placed in without the power of thought. I do not, 
of course, say that a man may not get through life without much 
thinking, or much power of thought; but if he be a carpenter, 
without thought a carpenter he must remain ; if he be a weaver, 
without thought a weaver he must remain. On man God has not 
only bestowed gifts, but the power of giving : he is not a creature 
born but to live and die: he has had faculties communicated to 
him, which, if he do his duty, he is bound to communicate and 



BRITISH LITERATURE. 

make beneficial to others. Man, in a secondary sense, may be 
looked upon, in part, as his own creator, for by the improvement 
of the faculties bestowed upon him by God. he not only enlarges 
them, but may be said to bring new ones into existence. The 
Almighty has thus condescended to communicate to man, in a 
high state of moral cultivation, a portion of His own great 
attributes. 

Lecture: Shakespeare and Milton. 

RICHARD BRINS^Y B. SHERIDAN, 1751-1816. 

Richard Brinsley B. Sheridan, the son of Thomas 
Sheridan, the actor and biographer, is justly celebrated 
as a writer of comedies and a parliamentary orator. 
He was born in Dublin, and educated at Harrow, in 
England. In his youth, he was for a long time 
thought to be an impenetrable dunce. In 1785, he 
published the earliest of his comedies, The Rivals, 
which was soon followed by The Duenna, a comic 
opera, The School for Scandal, a comedy, and The 
Critic, a Tragedy Rehearsed, a farce. These plays ob- 
tained immediate success, and have placed their author 
in the first rank among writers of comedy. They 
are witty and polished to the highest degree; in fact, 
their chief fault is that they are too witty, too spark- 
ling. When he was at the height of his fame as a 
writer of dramas, Sheridan entered Parliament as a 
supporter of the Whig party. His reputation as an 
orator rests on his two speeches against Warren Hast- 
ings. Of the first of these, Burke declared it to be 
'the most astonishing effort of eloquence, argument, 
and wit, united, of which there was any record or 
tradition/ Unfortunately, the report of it was im- 
perfect and incorrect. Byron thus expressed his opin- 
ion of Sheridan : "He has written the best comedy 
(School for Scandal), the best opera ( The Duenna), 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 275 

the best farce ( The Critic), the best monody (Verses 
on Garrick), and, to crown all, he has delivered the 
very best oration ever conceived or heard in this coun- 
try." Owing to his previous extravagance and reck- 
lessness, the latter years of his life were embittered 
by continual struggles against poverty and disappoint- 
ment. 

JANS AUSTEN, 1775-1817. 

Like Wordsworth, Jane Austen possessed the power 
to show forth the beauty and charm of commonplace 
things. Seventh child of the Rev. George Austen, of 
Steventon, Jane was educated at home, and passed her 
life at home in the small round of household duties. 
At an early age she took to writing, working in the 
midst of the family group and hiding from all others 
her literary productions. 

Pride and Prejudice was completed in 1797, but 
~found no publisher for sixteen years; Northanger 
Abbey was neglected for fifteen years, till Sense and 
Sensibility, 1811, made a moderate success. Emma, 
1815, first brought Miss Austen into fame. Mansfield 
Park and Persuasion complete her writings. 

Always averse to popularity and publicity, this 
bright, attractive little woman whose sunny qualities 
are reflected in her books, died quietly as she had lived, 
at Winchester, in 1817, and was buried in the Cathe- 
dral. Sir Walter Scott, who introduced Jane Austen 
to the public by a generous unnamed appreciation in 
the Quarterly Review, spoke of her later that she 
"had a talent for describing the involvements and feel- 
ings and characters of ordinary life which is to me 
the most wonderful I ever met with. The big bow- 
wow strain I can do myself, like any now going; 



276 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

the exquisite touch which renders ordinary common- 
place things and characters interesting from the truth 
of the description and the sentiment, is denied to me. 
What a pity such a gifted creature died so early!" 

Her field of work was very narrow the household 
and the interests of a country parish yet in that field 
she stands unrivalled: simple, charming, real. 

Miss Austen's six short novels counteracted the in- 
fluence of the grotesque extravagances prevalent in 
the romances of her day; and they prepared an audi- 
ence to receive the powerful and enduring work of 
George Eliot. 

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. 

When the ladies returned to the drawing room, there was little 
to be done but to hear Lady Catherine talk, which she did with- 
out any intermission till coffee came in, delivering her opinion 
on every subject in so decisive a manner, as proved she was not 
used to have her judgment controverted. She inquired into Char- 
lotte's domestic concerns familiarly and minutely, and gave her 
a great deal of advice as to the management of them all; told 
her how everything ought to be regulated in so small a family 
as hers, and instructed her as to the care of her cows and her 
poultry. Elizabeth found that nothing was beneath this great 
lady's attention, which could furnish her with an occasion of 
dictating to others. In the intervals of her discourse with Mrs. 
Collins [Charlotte], she addressed a variety of questions to 
Maria and Elizabeth, but especially to the latter, of whose con- 
nections she knew the least, and who she observed to Mrs. Col- 
lins was a very genteel, pretty kind of girl. She asked her at 
different times, how many sisters she had, whether they were 
older or younger than herself whether any of them were likely 
to be married, whether they were handsome, where they had been 
educated, what carriage her father kept, and what had been her 
mother's maiden name. Elizabeth felt all the impertinence of 
her questions, but answered them very composedly. Lady Cath- 
erine then observed, 

"Your father's estate is entailed on Mr. Collins, I think. For 
your sake," turning to Charlotte, "I am glad of it ; but otherwise 
I see no occasion for entailing estates from the female line. It 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 277 

was not thought necessary in Sir Lewis de Bourgh's family. Do 
you play and sing, Miss Bennett?" [Elizabeth] 

"A little." 

"Oh ! then sometime or other we shall be happy to hear you. 
Our instrument is a capital one, probably superior to You shall 
try it some day. Do your sisters play and sing?" 

"One of them does." 

"Why do you not all learn? You ought all to have learned. 
The Miss Webbs all play, and their father has not so good an 
income as yours. Do you draw?" 

"No, not at all." 

"What, none of you?" 

"Not one." 

"That is very strange. But I suppostfyou had not opportunity. 
Your mother should have taken you to town every spring for the 
benefit of masters." 

"My mother would have had no objection, but my father hates 
London." 

"Has your governess left you?" 

"We never had any governess." 

"No governess ! How was that possible ? Five daughters 
brought up at home without a governess ! I never heard of 
such a thing! . . . ' 

WILLIAM HAZLITT, 1778-1830. 

William Hazlitt was born April 10, 1778, at Maid- 
stone, Kent, the son of a Unitarian clergyman who 
was a sympathizer with the American revolutionists 
and at the close of the war migrated with his family 
to the United States. In three years time, however, 
he returned to England and settled at Wem in Shrop- 
shire. There William went to school till 1793, when 
he was sent to the Hackney Theological College. 
Abandoning the idea of the ministry, he came back 
to a desultory life at Wem. In 1798, he heard Cole- 
ridge preach, made his acquaintance, was encouraged 
by him to pursue his metaphysics, visited Coleridge 
(1799) and met Wordsworth. In London, through 

his brother, a miniature painter, he formed a strong 
20 



278 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

friendship with Charles Lamb. From 1802 to 1805, 
he was himself painting portraits. This latter year 
he published Principles of Human Action, and to 1810 
other works which attracted little notice. Hazlitt mar- 
ried (1808) a woman of temperament so different to 
his own that domestic life was unhappy and ended in 
divorce, 1822. In 1812 he delivered lectures on The 
Rise and Progress of Modern Philosophy, but giving 
over this work, he devoted himself to journalism; 'be- 
came parliamentary reporter and dramatic critic to 
the Morning Chronicle ; associated himself with Leigh 
Hunt writing The Round Table, a collection of essays 
on literature, men, and manners. In 1817, his Char- 
acters of Shakespeare's Plays a powerful exposition 
of the great dramatist's art established his reputation 
and paved the way for the hearty reception of View 
of the English Stage (1818), Lectures on the English 
Poets (1818), English Comic Writers (1819), Dra- 
matic Literature of the Age of Elizabeth (1821), and 
his Table Talk: Essays on Men and Manners (1821- 
22). 

Through the Quarterly Review and Blackwood's 
Magazine, he was bitterly attacked for his apprecia- 
tions of contemporaries and his reputation for the time 
suffered ; political views estranged him from most of 
his celebrated friends; and domestic relations were 
most unpleasant. Essays embodying his impressions 
of these stormy times he collected into The Plain 
Speaker: Opinions on Books, Men and Things (1826) 
and The Spirit of the Age; or, Contemporary Por- 
traits (1825), in point of style the most splendid and 
copious of his compositions. His Life of Napoleon 
(4 volumes, 1828-30) terminated his literary labors; 
he died September 18, 1830, 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 279 

Hazlitt was a critic who exhibits rather than reveals 
the beauties of an author. His talent for dissection 
blended with passion, and expressed itself in vehement 
eloquence and glowing imagery. His style reminds 
one of Lamb's and Hunt's, full of personality, perfectly 
natural, effective. 

ON READING OLD BOOKS. 

. . . I do not think altogether the worse of a book for 
having survived the author a generation or two. I have more 
confidence in the dead than the living. Contemporary writers 
may generally be divided into two classes one's friends and 
one's foes. Of the first we are compelled to think too well, and 
of the last we are disposed to think too ill, to receive much 
genuine pleasure from the perusal, or to judge fairly of the 
merits of either. One candidate for literary fame, who hap- 
pens to be of our acquaintance, writes finely, and like a man of 
genius; but unfortunately has a foolish face, which spoils a 
delicate .passage; another inspires us with highest respect for 
his personal talents and character, but does not quite come up 
to our expectations in print. All these contradictions and petty 
details interrupt the calm current of our reflections. If you 
want to know what any of the authors were who lived before 
our time, and are still objects of anxious inquiry, you have only 
to look into their works. But the dust and smoke and noise of 
modern literature have nothing in common with the pure, silent 
air of immortality. 

When I take up a work I have read before (the oftener the 
better) I know what I have to expect. The satisfaction is not 
lessened by being anticipated. When the entertainment is al- 
together new, I sit down to it as I should to a strange dish 
turn and pick out a bit here and there, and am in doubt what to 
think of the composition. There is a want of confidence and 
security to second appetite. New-fangled books are also like 
made-dishes in this respect, that they are generally little else 
than hashes and rifaccimenti of what has been served up entire 
and in a more natural state at other times. Besides, in thus 
turning to a well-known author, there is not only an assurance 
that my time will not be thrown away, or my palate nauseated 
with the most insipid or vilest trash, but I shake hands with, and 
look an old, tried, and valued friend in the face, compare notes, 
and chat the hours away. It is true, we form dear friendships 



80 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

with such ideal guests dearer, alas ! and more lasting, than those 
with our most intimate acquaintance. In reading a book which is 
an old favorite with me (say the first novel I ever read) I not 
only have the pleasure of imagination and of a critical relish of 
the work, but the pleasures of memory added to it. It recalls the 
same feelings and associations which I had in first reading it, 
and which I can never have again in any other way. Standard 
productions of this kind are links in the chain of our conscious 
being. They bind together the different scattered divisions of 
our personal identity. They are landmarks and guides in our 
journey through life. They are pegs and loops upon which we 
can hang up, and from which we can take down, at pleasure, the 
wardrobe of a moral imagination, the relics of our best affec- 
tions, the tokens and records of our happiest hours. They are 
"for thoughts and for remembrance !" They are like Fortunatus' 
Wishing Cup they give us the best riches those of Fancy ; and 
transport us, not over half the globe, but (which is better) over 
half our lives, at a word's notice! 

ON MILTON. 

Milton has borrowed more than any other writer, ^and ex- 
hausted every source of imitation, sacred and profane; yet he 
is perfectly distinct from every other writer. He is a writer of 
centos, and yet in originality scarcely inferior to Homer. The 
power of his mind is stamped on every line. The fervor of his 
imagination melts down and renders malleable, as in a furnace, 
the most contradictory materials. In reading his works, we feel 
ourselves under the influence of a mighty intellect, that the 
nearer it approaches to others, becomes more distinct from them. 
The quantity of art in him shews the strength of his genius : the 
weight of his intellectual obligations would have oppressed any 
other writer. Milton's learning has the effect of intuition. He 
describes objects, of which he could only have read in books, with 
the vividness of actual observation. His imagination has the 
force of nature. He makes words tell us pictures. 

SIR WALTER SCOTT, 1771-1832. 

Sir Walter Scott, born in Edinburgh in 1771, is 
universally considered as the greatest writer of imagin- 
ation of his century. His poetry is characterized by 
F. Schlegel as the poetry of Reminiscence, as Byron's 
is styled the poetry of Despair. It is hard to say 




SIR WALTER SCOTT 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 281 

whether his genius was most conspicuous in describing 
the varieties of nature, or delineating the passions of 
the heart : he was at once pictorial and dramatic. To 
this he owes his great success, his world-wide reputa- 
tion. At the High School of Edinburgh and in the 
University, he gained no great reputation for scholar- 
ship, being averse to Greek, addicted to athletic sports, 
and fond of miscellaneous reading. According to his 
own account, he had a distinguished character as a 
tale-teller. ''The chief employment of my holidays," 
he says in the general introduction to his novels, "was 
to escape with a chosen friend who had the same taste 
with myself, and alternately to recite to each other 
such wild adventures as we were able to devise." At 
the age of fifteen, the breaking of a blood-vessel 
brought on an illness, which he beguiled by a con- 
stant reading of old romances, a circumstance which 
developed the chivalrous tendency of his character, 
and awakened his sympathies for the Middle Ages, 
Though he had entered his father's office to study law, 
he developed no interest in his profession, not even 
when he passed his examinations and was admitted to 
the Bar, 1792. His legal work was desultory, but 
brought a fair income. He lived during this period 
at Ashestiel on the Tweed, where all his best poetry 
was written. 

In 1802 appeared his first publication of any note, 
The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, which dis- 
played much curious and abstruse learning, and gained 
the author no mean reputation as an historical and 
traditionary poet. His first original work of con- 
siderable extent was The Lay of the Last Minstrel 
a tale of sorcery and chivalric adventure, supposed to 
be related by a wandering minstrel, the last of a pro 



2S2 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

fession once so honored. It is the first of Scott's 
works which were to exercise such influence on our 
later literature. In 1808, appeared his Marmion, a 
poem somewhat similar in its scenery and treatment 
with the Lay, and concluding with the fatal field of 
Flodden. Both these works caught the popular tastes 
at once, and like all of Scott's poems enjoyed an un- 
precedented vogue: everybody read them. The Lady 
of the Lake, 1810 the Vision of Don Roderic, 1811, 
Rokeby, 1812, with some other works of less merit, 
ended his brilliant poetical career. In 1811 the for- 
tune raised by his publications enabled Sir Walter 
to carry out the long-cherished object of his desires, 
to possess a baronial estate. The farm of Clarty-Hole 
on the Tweed became the famous Abbotsford, where 
Scott did the honors for all Scotland to numberless 
visitors of distinction. 

In 1814, he turned his thoughts more particularly 
to prose, and gave to the world, under the title of 
W overly, the first of that wonderful series of novels, 
which created a new era in the history of prose fiction. 
The subsequent novels came out in the following 
order: in 1815, Guy Mannering; in 1816, The Anti- 
quary, and Tales of my Landlord, consisting of The 
Black Dwarf and Old Mortality; in 1818, Rob Roy, 
and a second series of Tales of my Landlord, consist- 
ing of The Heart of Mid-Lothian; in 1819, the third 
series of Tales of my Landlord, consisting of The 
Bride of Lammermoor and The Legend of Montr ose; 
in 1820, Ivanhoe, The Monastery, and The Abbot; in 
1821, Kenilworth; in 1822, The Pirate, and The Fort- 
unes of Nigel; in 1823, Quentin Durward, and Peveril 
of the Peak; in 1824, St. Ronan's Well, and Red- 
gauntlet; in 1825 Tales of the Crusaders; in 1826, 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 283 

Woodstock; in 1827, Chronicles of the Canongate, 
First Series; in 1828, Chronicles of the Canongate, 
Second Series; in 1829, Anne of Geierstein; and in 
1831, a fourth series of Tales of my Landlord. These 
works, rapidly as they were produced, not only were 
the fruits of his unaided genius, but the original manu- 
scripts were entirely written with his own hand, ex- 
cepting those of 1818 and 1819, when illness obliged 
him to use an amanuensis. The characteristics which 
placed Scott in the front rank of writers of fiction, are 
beauty and richness of conception, vigor of execution, 
a nice discrimination of character, a bold coloring of 
historic scenes, and a boundless acquired knowledge. 
The immense variety of characters to be found in these 
novels, and the masterful life-like delineation of .them 
have caused them to be compared with the dramas of 
Shakespeare. 

Of the influence of Scott in turning men's minds to 
the past, Cardinal Newman writes : "He contributed 
by his works, in prose and verse, to prepare men for 
some closer and more practical approximation to Cath- 
olic truth. . . . Doubtless there are things in the 
poems and romances, of which a correct judgment is 
forced to disapprove ; and which ever must be a matter 
of regret; but contrasted with the popular writers of 
the last century, with its novelists and some of its 
most admired poets, as Pope, they stand almost as 
oracles of Truth confronting the ministers of error 
and sin." * 

In 1820, George IV. conferred the title of baronet 
upon the gifted author. Six years later his publishing 
house became bankrupt. As he had been a secret 
partner of the firm but had spent all his profits to 

* Critical and Historical Essays, Vol. I., p. 238. 



284 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

gratify his tastes for lavish hospitality, he set him tp 
raise by mere literary work the sum of 117,000. He 
succeeded, indeed, but at the expense of his life. 

In 1831, a second stroke of paralysis rendered it nec- 
essary for his family to divert him from the incessant 
literary labor which his mind, though shattered by 
disease, still continued to perform. The British gov- 
ernment placed a naval vessel at his disposal. Scott 
visited Malta, Naples, and Rome ; but his longings for 
Scotland led him to return thither after a few months 
of travel. Patient, helpless and at last unconscious, he 
lingered on some little time, at Abbotsford; and, at 
length, breathed his last in the presence of all his chil- 
dren, in September, 1832. 

Both in poetry and prose Sir Walter Scott has been 
a tremendous power. The tales he wrote in fast-flying 
verse, teeming with life and activity, caught the ear 
of his generation, moulded their tastes unto poetry 
and prepared for the reception of the higher phases 
of the romanticism he set forth. When the star of 
Byron appeared eclipsing his own brilliancy he turned 
to prose, and his historical novels captured the heart 
of the nation; the masses read; they were swept from 
the scenes of passing life to the chivalrous region of 
the past, charmed by the spirit and fired by the deeds 
of heroes long forgotten. 

This achievement Scott gained by avoiding the ex- 
travagances of the romancers whose outlandishness 
made them palpably unreal and ridiculous; by setting 
his stories in actual localities still holding by fact and 
legend a glamour of the mysterious past of feudal 
days; by weaving his ingenious plots round persons 
of historic note whom he made to act in human spirit 
and from normal impulses. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 285 

In another way Scott has been an influence. Upon 
the character of his readers he has stamped a noble 
impress. His poetry and his prose he fired with his 
own courage and animation and inspiration, his high 
sense of honor, his abounding good cheer, his admira- 
tion for the chivalry when knighthood was in flower 
and these attributes have reacted upon the practical, 
money-making, materialistic spirit of the age and his 
ideals are an inspiration to his race. 

He couched him in a thicket hoar, 

And thought his toils and perils o'er : 

"Of all my rash adventures past, 

This frantic feat must prove the last! ... 

I'll couch me here till evening gray, 

Then darkling try my dangerous way." 

The shades of eve come slowly down, 

The woods are wrapt in deeper brown, 

The owl awakens from her dell, 

The fox is heard upon the fell; 

Enough remains of glimmering light. 

To guide the wanderer's steps aright, 

Yet not enough from far to show 

His figure to the watchful foe. 

With cautious step, with ear awake, 

He climbs the crag, and threads the brake ; 

And not the summer solstice there 

Tempered the midnight mountain air; 

But every breeze that swept the wold 

Benumbed his drenched limbs with cold. 

In dread, in danger, and alone, 

Famish'd and chilled, through ways unknown, 

Tangled and steep, he journeyed on; 

Till, as the rock's huge point he turned, 

A watch-fire close before him burned. 

Beside its embers red and clear 
Basked, in his plaid, a mountaineer ; 
And up he sprang with sword in hand. 
"Thy name and purpose ! Saxon stand !" 
"A stranger." "What dost thou require?" 



286 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

"Rest, and a guide, and food, and fire. 

My life's beset, my path is lost, 

The gale has chilled my limbs with frost." 

"Art thou a friend to Roderick?" "No." 

"Thou dar'st not call thyself a foe?" 

"I dare ! to him and all his band 

He brings to aid his murderous hand." 

"Bold words! . . . yet sure they lie 

Who say thou cam'st a secret spy." 

"They do, by heaven Come Roderick Dhu, 

And of his clan the boldest two, 

And let me but till morning rest, 

I write the falsehood on their crest." 

Lady of the Lake. 

HYMN TO THE VIRGIN. 

Ave Maria! maiden mild! 

Listen to a maiden's prayer ! 
Thou canst hear though from the wild, 

Thou canst save amid despair. 
Safe may we sleep beneath thy care, 

Though banished, outcast, and reviled 
Maiden! hear a maiden's prayer! 

Mother, hear a suppliant child ! 

Ave Maria! 
Ave Maria! undefiled! 

The flinty couch we now must share, 
Shall seem with down of eider piled, 

If thy protection hover there. 
The murky cavern's heavy air 

Shall breathe of balm, if thou hast smiled; 
Then, Maiden ! hear a maiden's prayer ; 

Mother, list a suppliant child ! 

Ave Maria! 
Ave Maria! Stainless styled! 

Foul demons of the earth and air, 
From this their wonted haunt exiled, 

Shall flee before thy presence fair. 
We bow us to our lot of care, 

Beneath thy guidance reconciled ; 
Hear for a maid a maiden's prayer, 

And for a father hear a child! 

Ave Maria! 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 287 

KNIGHTHOOD IN THE LISTS. 
(From Ivanhoe.) 

At length, as the music of the challengers concluded one of 
those long and high flourishes with which they had broken 
the silence of the lists, it was answered by a solitary trumpet, 
which breathed a note of defiance from the northern extrem- 
ity. All eyes were turned to see the new champion .which 
these sounds announced, and no sooner were the barriers 
down than he paced into the lists. As far as could be judged 
of a man sheathed in armor, the new adventurer did not 
greatly exceed the middle size, and seemed to be rather slender 
than strongly made. His suit of armor was formed of steel, 
richly inlaid with gold; and the device on his shield was a 
young oak-tree pulled up by the roots, with the single word 
"Disinherited." He was mounted on a gallant black horse, 
and, as he passed through the lists, he gracefully saluted the 
prince and the ladies, by lowering his lance. The dexterity 
with which he managed his steed, and something of youthful 
grace which he displayed in his manner, won the favor of the 
multitude, which some of the lower classes expressed by call- 
ing out, "Touch Ralph de Vipont's shield, touch the Hospit- 
aller's shield; he has the least sure seat; he is your cheapest 
bargain." * 

The champion moving onward amid the well-meant hints, 
ascended the platform by the sloping alley which led to it 
from the lists, and, to the astonishment of all present, t riding 
straight up to the central pavilion, struck with the sharp end 
of his spear the shield of Brian de Bois-Guilbert, until it rang 
again. All stood astonished at his presumption, but none more 
so than the redoubted knight whom he had thus defied to mortal 
combat, and who, little expecting so rude a challenge, was 
standing carelessly at the door of his pavilion. 

"Have you confessed yourself, brother," said the Templar, 
Guilbert, "and have you heard mass this morning, that you 
peril your life so frankly?" "I am fitter to meet death than 
thou art," answered the Disinherited Knight; for by this name 
the stranger had recorded himself in the book of the tourney. 
"Then take your place in the lists," said De Bois-Guilbert, 

* The challenge to combat was given by touching the shield of the 
knight whom the challenger wished to encounter. The challenge to a 
contest with headless or blunt lances was given by touching the shield 
gently with the reversed spear, while a Uow with the point denoted a 
challenge to mortal combat. 



28$ BRITISH LITERATURE. 

"and look your last upon the sun; for this night thou shalt 
sleep in Paradise." "Gramercy* for thy courtesy," replied the 
Disinherited Knight, "and to requite it, I advise thee to take 
a fresh horse, and a new lance, for, by my honor, you will need 
both." 

Having expressed himself thus confidently, he reined his 
horse backward down the slope which he had ascended, and 
compelled him in the same manner to move backward through 
the lists, till he reached the northern extremity, where he re- 
mained stationary, in the expectation of his antagonist. This 
feat of horsemanship again attracted the applause of the mul- 
titude. 

However incensed at his adversary for the precaution which 
he recommended, the Templar did not neglect his advice; for 
his honor was too nearly concerned to permit his neglecting 
any means which might insure victory over his presumptuous 
opponent. He changed his horse for a proved and fresh one 
of great strength and spirit. He chose a new and tough spear, 
lest the wood of the former might have been strained in the 
previous encounters he had sustained. Lastly, he laid aside 
his shield, which had received some little damage, and received 
another from his squires. 

When the two champions stood opposed to each other at the 
two extremities of the lists, the public expectation was strained 
to the highest pitch. Few augured the possibility that the en- 
counter could terminate well for the Disinherited Knight, yet 
his courage and gallantry secured the general good wishes of 
the spectators. 

The trumpets had no sooner given the signal than the cham- 
pions vanished from their posts with the speed of lightning, 
and closed in the centre of the lists with the shock of a thun- 
derbolt. The lances burst into shivers up to the very grasp, 
and it seemed at the moment, that both knights had fallen, for 
the shock had made each horse recoil backward upon its 
haunches. The address of the riders recovered their steeds by 
the use of the bridle and spur; and having glared on each 
other for an instant, with eyes that seemed to flash fire through 
the bars of their visors, each retired to the extremity of the 
lists and received a fresh lance from the attendants. 

A loud shout from the spectators, waving of scarfs and 
handkerchiefs, and general acclamations, attested the interest 
taken in the encounter. But no sooner had the knights resumed 
their station, than the clamor of applause was hushed into a 

Many thanks. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 289 

silence so deep and so dead, that it seemed the multitude were 
afraid to breathe. 

A few minutes' pause having been allowed, that the combat- 
ants and their horses might recover breath, the trumpets again 
sounded the onset. The champions a second time sprung from 
their stations, and met in the centre of the lists, with the same 
speed, the same dexterity, the same violence, but not the same 
equal fortune as before. 

In this second encounter, the Templar aimed at the centre 
of his antagonist's shield, and struck it so fairly and forcibly, 
that his spear went to shivers, and the Disinherited Knight 
reeled in his saddle. On the other hand, the champion had, 
in the beginning of his career, directed the point of his lance 
towards Bois-Guilbert's shield; but changing his aim almost 
in the moment of encounter, he addressed to the helmet, a 
mark more difficult to hit, but which, if attained, rendered the 
shock more irresistible. Fair and true- he hit the Templar on 
the visor, where his lance's point kept hold of the bars. Yet 
even at this disadvantage, Bois-Guilbert sustained his high repu- 
tation ; and had not the girths of his saddle burst he might 
not have been unhorsed. As it chanced however, saddle, horse, 
and man, rolled on the ground under a cloud of dust. 

To extricate himself from the stirrups and fallen steed, was 
to the Templar scarce the work of a moment; and stung with 
madness, both at his disgrace and the acclamations by which 
it was hailed by the spectators, he drew his sword, and waved 
it in defiance of his conqueror. The Disinherited Knight 
sprung from his steed, and also unsheathed his sword. The 
marshals of the field, however, spurred their horses between 
them, and reminded them that the laws of " the tournament 
did not, on the present occasion, permit this species of encoun-. 
ter, but that to the Disinherited Knight the meed of victory 
was fairly and honorably awarded. 

CHARGES LAMB, 1775-1834. 

Charles Lamb was the son of a lawyer's servant, 
pupil at the charity school of Christ's Hospital, an ac- 
countant clerk for 35 years. 1796, his sister Mary 
went violently insane and killed her mother; his elder 
brother John in selfish aloofness saw the struggle of 
Charles to keep his aged father and afflicted sister. 
Mary lived with Charles from 1797, and talented 



290 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

and remarkable as he, shared with him his literary 
labors. When tokens of her malady would return, 
brother and sister walked hand in hand silent to the 
asylum, their cheeks wet with tears. Tenderness and 
devotion, heroism of struggle in humble dwelling and 
drudgery work of office, simplicity and goodness, 
love of humankind shine forth in the delightful essays 
with which Charles Lamb has enriched our language. 

His works fall clearly into three divisions: (1) his 
early poems, romances and dramas, and newspaper 
work; (2) his literary criticisms, Tales from Shakes- 
peare (1807), and Specimens of English Dramatic 
Poets Contemporary with Shakespeare (1808) ; (3) 
his Essays of Elia (1823), and Last Essays of Elia 
(1833). 

The Tales from Shakespeare the handling of the 
comedies is Mary's work written primarily for chil- 
dren, delight young and old, and are the best of their 
kind in English. 

The Specimens of Dramatic Poets, selected with 
rare judgment and annotated with sympathetic appre- 
ciation, supplemented Coleridge's critiques and influ- 
enced in telling manner the poetry of Keats. 

The Essays are interpretations of broad, deep human 
life as a kindly, humorous, quaint observer saw it. 
We may mention in particular: Old China, Praise of 
Chimney Szveepers, Dissertation on Roast Pig, Im- 
perfect Sympathies, A Chapter on Ears, Mack cry End, 
Grace before Meat, Dream Children, All Fool's Day, 
The Child Angel. 

CHRIST'S HOSPITAL FIVE: AND THIRTY YEARS AGO. 

I was a poor friendless boy. My parents and those who 
should care for me were far away. Those few acquaintances 
of theirs which they could reckon upon as being kind to me in 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 291 

the great city, after a little forced notice which they had the 
grace to take of me on my first arrival in town, soon grew tired 
of my holiday visits. They seemed to them to recur too often, 
though I thought them few enough; and one after another they 
all failed me, and I felt myself alone among six hundred play- 
mates. 

O the cruelty of separating a poor lad from his early home- 
stead ! The yearnings which I used to have toward it in those 
unfledged years! How, in my dreams, would my native town 
(far in the west) come back, with its church, and trees, and 
faces! How I would wake weeping, and in the anguish of my 
heart exclaim upon sweet Calne in Wiltshire! 

To this late hour of my life, I trace impressions left by the 
recollection of those friendless holidays. The long warm days 
of summer never return but they bring with them a gloom from 
the haunting memory of those whole-day leaves, when, by some 
strange arrangement, we were turned out for the live-long day, 
upon our own hands, whether we had friends to go to or none. 
I remember those bathing excursions to the New River which 
L,. recalls with such relish, better, I think, than he candor 
he was a home-seeking lad and did not much care for such 
water-pastimes : How merrily we would sally forth into the 
fields ; and strip under the first warmth of the sun ; and wanton 
like young dace in the stream; getting us appetites for noon, 
which those of us that were penniless (our scanty morning crust 
long since exhausted) had not the means of allaying while the 
cattle, and the birds, and the fishes were at feed about us and 
we had nothing to satisfy our cravings the very beauty of the 
day, and the exercise of the pastime, and the sense of liberty, 
setting a keener edge upon them! How faint and languid, 
finally, we would return, towards nightfall, to our desired 
morsel, half-rejoicing, half-reluctant that the hours of our un- 
easy liberty had expired ! 



SUPERANNUATED MAN. 

A week passed in this manner, the most anxious one, I verily 
believe, in my whole life, when on the evening of the 12th of 
April, just as I was about quitting my desk to go home (it 
might be about eight o'clock) I received an awful summons to 
attend the presence of the whole assembled firm in the formida- 
ble back parlor. I thought now my time is surely come, I have 
done for myself, I am going to be told that they have no longer 



92 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

occasion for me. 1<, I could see, smiled at the terror I was in, 
which was a little relief to me, when to my utter astonishment 
B , the eldest partner, began a formal harangue to me on the 
length of my services, my very meritorious conduct during the 
whole of the time (the deuce, thought I, how did he find out 
that? I protest I never had the confidence to think as much.) 
He went on to descant on the expediency of retiring at a certain 
time of life (how my heart panted!) and asking me a few ques- 
tions' as to the amount of my own property, of which I have 
a little, ended with a proposal to which his three partners nodded 
a grave assent, that I should acepi from the house, which I had 
served so well, a pension for life to the amount of two-thirds 
of my accustomed salary a magnificent offer! I do not know 
what I answered between surprise and gratitude, but it was 
understood that I accepted their proposal, and I was told that 1 
was free from that hour to leave their service. I stammered 
out a bow, and at just ten minutes after eight, I went home 
forever. This noble benefit gratitude forbids me to conceal 
their names I owe to the kindness of the most munificent firm 
in the world the house of Boldero, Merryweather, Bosanquet, 
an<? Lacy. Esto perpetua ! 

The first day or two I felt stunned, overwhelmed. I could 
only apprehend my felicity. I was too confused to taste it 
sincerely. I wandered about, thinking I was happy, and knowing 
that I was not. I was in the condition of a prisoner in the old 
Bastile, suddenly let loose after a forty years' confinement. I 
could scarce trust myself with myself. It was like passing out of 
Time to Eternity for it is a sort of Eternity for a man to 
have his Time all to himself. It seemed to me that I had more 
time on my hands than I could manage. From a poor man, 
poor in Time, I was suddenly lifted up into a vast revenue: 
I could see no end of my possessions; I wanted some steward, 
or judicious bailiff, to manage my estates in Time for me. 



ON THE TRAGEDIES OF SHAKESPEARE. 

So to see Lear 'acted to see an old man tottering about the 
stage with a walking-stick, turned out of doors by his daughters 
in a rainy night, has nothing in it but what is painful and dis- 
gusting. We want to take him into shelter and relieve him. 
That is all the feeling which the acting of Lear ever produced 
in me. But the Lear of Shakespeare cannot be acted. The con- 
temptible machinery by which they mimic the storm which he 
goes out in, is not more inadequate to represent the horrors 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 293 

of the real elements, than any actor can be to represent Lear ; 
they might more easily propose to personate the Satan of Milton 
upon a stage, or one of Michael Angelo's terrible figures. 

The greatness of Lear is not in corporal dimension, but in 
intellectual: the explosions of his passion are terrible as a vol- 
cano; they are storms turning up and disclosing to the bottom 
that sea, his mind, with all its vast riches. It is his mind which 
is laid bare. This case of flesh and blood seems too insignificant 
to be thought on; even as he himself neglects it. On the stage 
we see nothing but corporal infirmities and weakness, the im- 
potence of rage; while we read it, we see not Lear, but we are 
Lear, we are in his mind, we are sustained by a grandeur which 
baffles the malice of daughters and storms; in the aberrations 
of his reason, we discover a mighty, irregular power of reason- 
ing, immethodised from the ordinary purposes of life, but exert- 
ing its power, as the wind blows where it listeth, at will upon the 
corruptions and abuses of mankind. What have looks, or tones 
to do with that sublime identification of his age with that of the 
heavens themselves, when, in his reproaches to them for conniv- 
ing at the injustice of his children, he reminds them that "they 
themselves are old" ? What gesture shall we appropriate to this ? 
What has the voice or the eye to do with such things? But the 
play is beyond all art, as the tamperings with it show; it is too 
hard and stony: it must have love-scenes, and a happy ending. 
It is not enough that Cordelia is a daughter, she must shine as 
a lover too. Tate has put his hook in the nostrils of this 
Leviathan, for Garrick and his followers, the show-men of the 
scene, to draw the mighty beast about more easily. A happy 
ending ! as if the living martyrdom that Lear had gone through, 
the flaying of his feelings alive, did not make a fair dismissal 
from the stage of life the only decorous thing for him. If he is 
to live and be happy after, if he could sustain this life's burden 
after, why all this pudder and preparation why torment us 
with all this unnecessary sympathy? As if the childish pleasure 
of getting his gilt robes and sceptre again could tempt him to act 
over again his misused station as if, at his years and with his 
experience, anything was left but to die. 



ROBERT SOUTHEY, 1774-1843. 

Robert Southey was associated with Coleridge and 
Wordsworth, and lives as the third Lake Poet, but 
the judgment of today makes the association less lit- 



294 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

erary than social. His larger poems are given over 
as uninspired of the Muses, his histories as devoid of 
critical judgment. 

He was born in Bristol and educated at Westmin- 
ster School and at Oxford. The principles of the 
French Revolution won him for a time and gave occa- 
sion for his Wat Tyler and Joan of Arc; they led him, 
too, to form with Coleridge and Lovell a scheme for 
planting a settlement in America, a Pantisocracy on 
the banks of the Susquehanna River, a plan that failed 
for lack of means to carry it out. Later Southey 
became a conservative and ardently maintained mon- 
archical doctrine. 

Literature was his life-work: he wrote -assiduously 
for upwards of fifty years, epics, ballads, miscellaneous 
verse, reviews, biographies, pamphlets, on almost every 
subject. His library was one of the most noted col- 
lections of the age. Of the 109 volumes he wrote, 
he is remembered in the history of literature for 
Thalaba, the Destroyer, 1801, a tale of Arabian en- 
chantment (wild and extravagant) ; Madoc, 1805, the 
story of a Welsh prince of the twelfth century who 
makes a discovery of the Western World (languid 
and impressive) ; The Curse of Kehama, 1810, in 
theme like Thalaba, but written in rhyme; Roderick: 
Last of the Goths, 1814, in blank verse. 

In prose : his celebrated Life of Nelson, which Ma- 
caulay declared "the most perfect and most delightful 
of his works," is the book, if any, that will make his 
name permanent. Southey's prose is clear and vigor- 
ous. It is devoid of singularities and, for purity of 
English, is as good as was ever written. 

His best short poems are : The Scholar, Auld Cloots, 
The Well of St. Keyne, The Inchcape Rock, Lodore. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 395 

THE INCHCAPE ROCK. 

No stir in the air, no stir in the sea, 
The ship was still as she could be ; 
Her sails from heaven received no motion; 
Her keel was steady in the ocean. 

Without either sign or sound of their shock, 
The waves flowed over the Inchcape Rock; 
So little they rose, so little they fell, 
They did not move the Inchcape Bell. 

The Abbot of Aberbrothok 
Had placed that Bell on the Inchcape Rock; 
On a buoy in the storm it floated and swung, 
And over the waves its warning rung. 

When the Rock was hid by the surge's swell, 
The mariners heard the warning Bell; 
And then they knew the perilous Rock, 
And blest the Abbot of Aberbrothok. 

The sun in heaven was shining gay ; 

All things were joyful on that day; 

The sea-birds screamed as they wheeled round. 

And there was joyance in their sound. 

The buoy of the Inchcape Bell was seen 
A darker speck on the ocean green ; 
Sir Ralph the Rover walked his deck, 
And he fixed his eye on the darker speck. 

He felt the cheering power of Spring; 
It made him whistle, it made him sing; 
His heart was mirthful to excess, 
But the Rover's mirth was wickedness. 

His eye was on the Inchcape float ; 
Quoth he, "My men, put out the boat, 
And row me to the Inchcape Rock, 
And I'll plague the Abbot of Aberbrothok." 

The boat is lowered, the boatmen row, 

And to the Inchcape Rock they go 

Sir Ralph bent over from the boat, 

And he cut the Bell from the Inchcape float. 



296 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Down sunk the Bell with a gurgling sound ; 

The bubbles rose and burst around; 

Quoth Sir Ralph, "The next who comes to the Rock 

Won't bless the Abbot of Aberbrothok." 

Sir Ralph the Rover sailed away; 
He scoured the seas for many a day ; 
And now, grown rich with plundered store, 
He steers his course for Scotland's shore. 

So thick a haze o'erspreads the sky, 
They cannot see the sun on high ; 
The wind hath blown a gale all day; 
At evening it hath died away. 

On the deck the Rover takes his* stand : 
So dark it is they see no land. 
Quoth Sir Ralph, "It will be lighter soon, 
For there is the dawn of the rising Moon." 

"Canst hear," said one, "the breakers roar? 
For methinks we should be near the shore." 
"Now where we are I cannot tell, 
But I wish I could hear the Inchcape Bell." 

They hear no sound; the swell is strong; 
Though the wind hath fallen, they drift along, 
Till i:he vessel strikes with a shivering shock, 
"Oh Christ! it is the Inchcape Rock!" 

Sir Ralph the Rover tore his hair ; 
He cursed himself in his despair; 
The waves rushed in on every side ; 
The ship is sinking beneath the tide. 

But, even in his dying fear, 
One dreadful sound could the Rover hear 
A sound as if, with the Inchcape Bell, 
The devil below was ringing his knell. 

THOMAS CAMPBELL, 1777-1844. 
Thomas Campbell, styled the bard of Hope, was 
born in the city of Glasgow, in 1777. Educated 
at the University of that city, he distinguished him- 
self for his proficiency in classical studies. In 1799 
he published the Pleasures of Hope, of which four 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 297 

editions were called for within a year. In this 
production of his youth, harmony of versification, a 
polished and graceful diction, and an accurate finish, 
are united with an ardent poetical sensibility. The 
passage concerning the partition of Poland is full -of 
the lyric power which afterwards shone forth so bril- 
liantly in Ye Manners of England, Hohenlinden, The 
Battle of the Baltic, The Exile of Erin, and Lochiel's 
Warning. In 1809, appeared Gertrude of Wyoming, 
a Pennsylvania tale, and other poems which confirmed 
his poetical reputation. 

His lyrics are his finest pieces. There are found in 
them an ideal loveliness, a refinement of imagery, a 
concentrated power of expression, a depth of feeling, 
and sensitiveness of nature, which are always charm- 
ing- 
Campbell's prose is delightful reading, but in the 
treatment of his topics, biographical and critical, he 
is wanting in accuracy and occasional good taste. 

FALL OF POLAND. 

(From Hope.) 

He said, and on the rampart-heights arrayed 
His trusty warriors few, but undismayed ; 
, Firm-paced and slow, a horrid front they form, 
Still as the breeze, but dreadful as the storm; 
Low murmuring sounds along their banners fly, 
Revenge, or death, the watchword and reply : 
Then pealed the notes, omnipotent to charm, 
And the loud tocsin tolled their last alarm. 
In vain, alas ! in vain, ye gallant few ! 
From rank to rank your volleyed thunder flew ; 
Oh, bloodiest picture in the book of time, 
Sarmatia fell, unwept, without a crime; 
Found not a generous friend, a pitying foe, 
Strength in her arms, nor mercy in her woe! 
Dropped from her nerveless grasp the shattered spear, 
Closed her bright eye, and curbed her high career ; 
Hope, for a season, bade the world farewell, 
And Freedom shrieked as Kosciusko fell! 



298 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

JAMES CLARENCE MANGAN, 1803-1849. 

Very little is known of the life of Mangan; indeed, 
to the general reading public his verse< if not his very 
name, is unknown. James Clarence Mangan was 
born in Dublin, May 1, 1803. His father was a grocer 
who failed to eke a livelihood from his trade. The 
son received his only schooling in a slum district of 
the capital. He was early forced to work for the 
family support. For seven years he toiled as a copyist, 
and three or four he spent as attorney's clerk. These 
years, passed with fellow clerks whose grossness sore 
pressed upon the shy and sensitive Mangan, were filled 
with wide but desultory reading whose peculiar trend 
was to find the poetic treasures of foreign literatures. 
These gems of thought, ballad, folk-lore, he rendered 
into English verse, which he began to publish about 
1830 in an illustrated weekly of Dublin. Their ap- 
pearance caught the attention of some influential liter- 
ary men of the city, who obtained him employment in 
the University Library on the preparation of a new 
catalogue of its books. In this work he added to his 
store of varied knowledge and widened the range of 
his poetic renditions, giving to the Dublin University 
Magazine most and the best of his pieces purporting 
to be translations from the Irish, German, Spanish, 
Persian, Coptic; though it is known that for the Irish 
Anthology he received the bald translation from his 
friends and for them turned it into metrical form. His 
power to versify never forsook him, though for years 
he was addicted to the use of strong drink and opium, 
and led a life of poverty and degradation suggestive of 
Poe and Savage. A short time before his death his 
constitution was greatly weakened by an attack of 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 399 

cholera. Friends had him removed to Meath Hospital 
where he lingered for seven days and died June 20, 
1849. 

His poetry naturally shows little originality of con- 
ception, though with splendid instinct he has often 
embellished the foreign tale or modified the ballad by 
a touch of his own pen. The music of his verse flows 
trippingly to the sentiment; his themes range from 
simple story of history or romance to the tragic lamen- 
tation of the patriot for his desolate Ireland, making 
a collection of some eight or nine hundred poems. 

AUTUMN SONG. 

A little bird flew through the dell, 
And where the fainting sunbeams fell, 
He warbled thus his wondrous lay: 
"Adieu! Adieu! I go away: 

Far, far, 
Must I voyage ere the twilight star!" 

It pierced me through, the song he sang, 
With many a sweet and little pang: 
For wounding joy, delicious pain, 
My bosom swelled and sank again: 

"Heart! heart! 
Is it drunk with bliss or woe thou art ?" 

Then, when I saw the drifted leaves, 
I said : "Already Autumn grieves ! 
To summer skies the swallow hies : 
So Love departs, and Longing flies 

Far, far, 
Where the Radiant and the Beauteous are." 

But soon the Sun shone out anew, 

And back the little flutterer flew : 

He saw my grief, he saw my tears, 

And sang : "Love knows no Winter years ! 

No ! No ! 
While it live*, its breath is Summer's glow !" 

(From Tick.) 



300 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

LAMENT OVER THE RUINS OF THE ABBEY OF TEACH MOLAGA. 

I wandered forth at night alone, 
Along the dreary, shingly, billow-beaten shore; 
Sadness that night was in my bosom's core. 

My soul and strength lay prone. 

The thin wan moon, half overveiled 
By clouds, shed her funeral beams upon the scene ; 
While in low tones, with many a pause between, 

The mournful night-wind wailed. 

Musing of Life, and Death, and Fate, 
I slowly paced along, heedless of aught around, 
Till on the hill, now alas ! ruin-crowned, 

Lo ! the old Abbey gate ! 

Dim in the pallid moonlight stood, 
Crumbling to slow decay, the remnants of that pile 
Within which dwelt so many saints erewhile 

In loving brotherhood ! 

The memory of the men who slept 
Under those desolate walls the solitude the hour 
Mine own lorn mood of mind all joined to o'erpower 

My spirit and I wept 



THE NAMELESS ONE. 

Roll forth, my song, like the rushing river, 

That sweeps along to the mighty sea; 
God will inspire me while I deliver 
My soul tojthee! 

Tell thou the world, when my bones lie whitening 

Amid the last homes of youth and eld, 
That there once was one whose veins ran lightning 
No eye beheld. 

Tell how his boyhood was one drear night-hour; 

How shone for him, through his griefs and gloom, 
No star of all heaven sends to light our 
Path to the tomb. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 30 3 

Roll on, my song, and to after-ages 

Tell how, disdaining all earth can give, 
He would have taught men from wisdom's pages 
The way to live. 

And tell how trampled, derided, hated, 

And worn by weakness, disease, and wrong, 
He fled for shelter to God, who mated 
His soul with song 

With song which always, sublime or vapid, 

Flowed like a rill in the morning beam, 
Perchance not deep, but intense and rapid 
A mountain stream. 

Tell how the Nameless, condemned for years long 

To herd with demons from hell beneath, 
Saw things that made him, with groans and tears, long 
For even death. 

Go on tell how, with genius wasted, 

Betrayed in friendship, befooled in love, 
With spirit shipwrecked, and young hopes blasted, 
He still, still strove. 



Till, spent with toil, dreeing death for others, 

And some whose hands should have wrought for him 
(If children live not for sires and mothers), 
His mind grew dim. 

And he fell far through that pit abysmal, 

The gulf and grave of Maginn and Burns, 
And pawned his soul for the Devil's dismal 
Stock of returns. 

But yet redeemed it in days of darkness, 
And shapes and signs of the final wrath, 
When death, in hideous and ghastly starkness, 
Stood in his path. 

And tell how now, amid wreck and sorrow, 

And want, and sickness, and houseless nights, 
He hides in calmness the silent morrow 
That no ray lights. 



302 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

And lives he still then ? Yes ! Old and hoary 

At thirty-nine, from despair and woe, 
He lives, enduring what future story 
Will never know. 

Him grant a grave to, ye pitying noble, 

Deep in your bosoms ! There let him dwell ! 
He, too, had tears for all souls in trouble, 
Here and in hell. 

WnjviAM WORDSWORTH, 1770-1850. 

William Wordsworth, a meditative and descriptive 
poet, the founder of what is called the Lake school 
of poetry, was born in 1770 in the County of Cum- 
berland. His first attempt in verse was made at the 
age of thirteen. In 1787, he was matriculated as a 
student of St. John's College, Cambridge. In one of 
the long vacations, he undertook a pedestrian excur- 
sion on the Continent. The result of his observations 
he gave to the public, in 1793, with the title of De- 
scriptive Sketches in Verse. In the same year, he pub- 
lished an epistle in verse, entitled, An Evening Walk. 
Both of these poems contain many specimens of beau- 
tiful picturesque description. His Lyrical Ballads, 
intended as an experiment on a new system of poetry, 
were published in 1798. The underlying principle was 
that the humblest subjects might be themes for poetry, 
and the diction might be taken from the common 
vocabulary. In this attempt Wordsworth was greatly 
aided by the inspiration of his sister Dorothy and his 
friend Coleridge. At the time of publication the book 
made little stir in literary circles, but it proved to be 
a most significant volume, leading on to the final 
triumph of the Romanticist Movement. 

In 1805, he finished The Prelude, though this was 
published only after his death. It was introductory 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 3Q3 

to an intended epic, The Recluse. This work, how- 
ever, was carried no further than The Excursion, 
1814. The Prelude records Wordsworth's impressions 
of life and reveals himself till full manhood, a nature- 
loving, solitary child feeling the presence of the living 
spirit of the woods and fields, a very ordinary scholar 
more eager for vacation than for lessons or examina- 
tions. 

The Excursion consists of nine books ; but, from the 
nature of the plan, there is no reason why it should not 
contain as many more. The themes discussed are 
among the noblest, God, nature, life, man, our duties, 
our hopes ; and there are found in it passages of great 
beauty, whilst others are marred by a spirit of puri- 
tanical bigotry, which would have us admire 

The true descendants of those godly men 
Who swept from Scotland, in a flame of zeal, 
Shrine, altar, image, and the mossy piles 
That harbored them. . . . 

Wordsworth was the author of many tales, odes, and 
sonnets, ranging in merit from the highest poetry to 
sheer bathos. The finer productions of his muse are 
characterized by the union of deep feeling with pro- 
found thought, a power of observation which makes 
him familiar with all the loveliness and wonders of 
the world within and around us, and an imagination 
capable of inspiring all objects with poetic life. His 
diction is lofty, sustained, and impassioned, when he 
is not led astray by his attempts to extend the language 
of ordinary life to the subjects of poetry. 

In his exquisite shorter poems are noble lines that 
live forever: Tintern Abbey, The Rainboiv, Ode to 
Duty, Intimations of Immortality, sound the note of 
true joy in natural pleasures of childhood; Michael, 



304 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

The Solitary Reaper, To a Highland Girl, Stepping 
Westward, stamp the romantic interest of common life ; 
To a Skylark, Yarrow Revisited, show the enthusiasm 
of youth still running in old age in the blood of our 
greatest poet of nature. He is one of the purest and 
most healthy-minded poets that ever sang, and is al- 
most invariably on the side of whatever is true, simple, 
and noble. 

In 1843, Wordsworth was appointed to the Lau- 
reateship left vacant by the death of Southey. After 
this appointment, he lived a quiet and dignified life 
at Rydal, evincing little apparent sympathy with the 
arduous duties and activities of every-day life. 

THE VIRGIN. 

Mother ! whose virgin bosom was uncrost 
With the least shade of thought to sin allied; 
Woman ! above all women glorified, 
Our tainted nature's solitary boast; 
Purer than foam on central ocean tost, 
Brighter than eastern skies at daybreak strewn 
With fancied roses, than the unblemished moon 
Before her wane begins on heaven's blue coast, 
Thy image falls to earth. Yet some, I ween, 
Not unforgiven the suppliant knee might bend 
As to a visible form in which did blend 
All that was mixed and reconciled in thee 
Of mother's love with maiden purity, 
Of high with low, celestial with terrene. 

UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE. 

Earth has not anything to show more fair. 
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by 
A sight so touching in its majesty: 
This City now doth like a garment wear 
The beauty of the morning : silent, bare, 
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie 
Open unto the fields, and to the sky 
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 

Never did sun more beautifully steep 
In his first splendor valley, rock, or hill; 
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep! 
The river glideth at his own sweet will : 
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep; 
And all this mighty heart is lying still! 

THE DAFFODILS. 

I wandered lonely as a cloud 

That floats on high o'er vales and hills, 

When all at once I saw a crowd, 

A host of golden daffodils, 

Beside the lake, beneath the trees, 

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. 

Continuous as the stars that shine 
And twinkle on the milky way, 
They stretched in never ending line 
Along the margin of a bay; 
Ten thousand saw I at a glance 
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. 

The waves beside them danced, but they 

Outdid the sparkling waves in glee: 

A Poet could not but be gay 

In such a jocund company! 

I gazed and gazed but little thought 

What wealth to me the show had brought; 

For oft, when on my couch I lie 
In vacant, or in pensive mood, 
They flash upon that inward eye 
Which is the bliss of solitude; 
And then my heart with pleasure fills 
And dances with the daffodils. 

THOMAS MOORE, 1779-1852. 

Thomas Moore, the 'sweet son of song/ was born in 
Dublin, in the year 1779. After the usual course of 
study, he entered Trinity College in his native city, 
and soon gave proof that he had made more than 
ordinary progress in the department of classical schol- 



306 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

arship. His first work was a translation into English 
verse of the Odes of Anacreon, in which he exhibits 
great extent of reading, and no mean proficiency in 
Greek philology. Soon after, this, he published his 
miscellaneous poems, under the pseudonym of Thomas 
Little. Though this volume established his poetical 
reputation, it was severly censured for the sensual and 
immoral tone of too many of the pieces. In 1806, he 
visited the United States ; and, soon after his return to 
England, published his remarks on American society 
and manners in a volume entitled, Epistles, Odes, and 
other Poems, which, like the poems ascribed to Little, 
is objectionable from a moral point of view. In 1812, 
he commenced a series of political and personal satires, 
full of the most happy turns of ingenuity and playful 
fancy; extremely popular for the time, but destined, 
on account of the merely temporary interest of their 
topics, speedily to pass away and be forgotten. But 
the work upon which rests Moore's widest and most 
enduring reputation is his volume of Irish Melodies 
a collection of over a hundred lyrics, adapted to Irish 
national airs of great beauty. In whatever corner of 
the world there vibrates a Celtic tongue, or palpitates 
a Celtic heart, there the Melodies find an echo, there 
they are read and sung with enthusiasm. 

Moore composed also a series of Sacred Songs, and 
seventy other songs adapted to tunes peculiar to various 
countries. In 1817, appeared the celebrated Oriental 
Romance, Lalla Rookh, consisting of several stories 
strung together and written in rhymed couplets. The 
slender plot of these stories is related in that ingenious 
and sparkling prose of which Moore was a consum- 
mate master. There is in Lalla Rookh a profusion of 
ornament so thickly sown, that the effect is like that 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 307 

of some Oriental robe, in which the whole texture is 
hidden beneath an unbroken surface of ruby and dia- 
mond. 

Moore's excellencies consist in the gracefulness of 
his thoughts and sentiments, the wit and fancy of his 
allusions and imagery, and the music and refinement 
of his versification. His great fault is the irrever- 
ence and indelicacy of many of his pieces. The last 
three years of his life were burdened with a lingering 
disease, which, gradually enervating the mind, finally 
reduced him to a state of childish imbecility. 

THE HARP THAT ONCE THROUGH TARA's HALLS. 

The harp that once through Tara's halls 

The soul of music shed, 
Now hangs as mute on Tara's walls 

As if that soul were fled. 
So sleeps the pride of former days, 

So glory's thrill is o'er, 
And hearts that once beat high for praise, 

Now feel that pulse no more ! 

No more to chiefs and ladies bright, 

The harp of Tara swells ; 
The chord alone that breaks at night, 

Its tale of ruiri tells. 
Thus Freedom now so seldom wakes, 

The only throb she gives 
Is when some heart indignant breaks, 

To show that still she lives. 

DEAR HARP OF MY COUNTRY. 

Dear Harp of my country! in darkness I found thee, 

The cold chain of silence had hung o'er thee long, 
When proudly, my own Island Harp! I unbound thee, 

And gave all thy chords to light, freedom, and song ! 
The warm lay of love and the light note of gladness 

Have wakened thy fondest, thy liveliest thrill; 
But so oft hast thou echoed the deep sigh of sadness, 

That e'en in thy mirth it will steal from thee still. 
22 



308 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Dear Harp of my country! farewell to thy numbers, 

This sweet wreath of song is the last we shall twine; 
Go, sleep with the sunshine of fame on thy slumbers, 

Till touched by some hand less unworthy than mine. 
If the pulse of the patriot, soldier, or lover, 

Has throbbed at our lay, 'tis thy glory alone; 
I was but as the wind passing heedlessly over, 

And all the wild sweetness I waked was thy own. 



BEFORE THE; BATTLE. 

By the hope within us springing, 

Herald of to-morrow's strife; 
By that sun whose light is bringing 

Chains or freedom, death or life 
Oh! remember, life can be 
No charm for him that lives not free! 

Like the day-star in the wave, 

Sinks a hero to his grave, 
Midst the dew-fall of a nation's tears! 

Blessed is he o'er whose decline 

The smiles of home may soothing shine, 
And light him down the steep of years : 

But, oh, how grand they sink to rest 

Who close their eyes on victory's breast ! 
O'er his watch-fire's fading embers 

Now the foeman's cheek turns white, 
While his heart that field remembers 

Where we dimmed his glory's light ! 



ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, 1806-1861. 

Elizabeth Barrett passed her childhood among the 
Malvern Hills, made famous by Piers Plowman. At 
the age of fifteen, she injured her spine, and was for 
many years an invalid. In 1835, the Barretts moved 
to London, and three years later Elizabeth published 
Seraphim and Other Poems, which gained for her 
literary reputation, and called attention to an earlier 
work, a version of Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound, and 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 3Q9 

other poems, some of which are truly little master- 
pieces. She was a witness, in 1840, of the accidental 
drowning of her brother. The shock to her nerves 
shattered her frail health and compelled her to go 
abroad, to Italy, where she remained several years. 
Her Poems, of 1844, greatly increased her fame. In 
1846, she married Robert Browning and moved with 
him to Florence, where she lived a happy wedded life 
till her death in 1861. Ten years before her death she 
published a poem, Casa Guidi Windows, the outcome 
of her enthusiasm in the political struggles of Italy 
and Austria. The work is too emotional, and it be- 
trays a prejudice and bigotry not looked for in one so 
knowing and so cultured. Another long poem, Aurora 
Leigh, appeared in 1858. It is a novel in blank verse. 
The heroine so much suggests the author that the 
story is considered as largely autobiographical, setting 
forth the moral and social ideas akin to Eliot's and 
Dickens's that stirred her soul. Mrs. Browning's 
last Poems were published the year before her death. 

Her poetry is stamped by a high feminine emotion; 
but, remarks Mr. Chesterton, "nothing is more remark- 
able about her work than the absence of that trite and 
namby-pamby elegance which the last two centuries 
demanded from lady writers.'' 

She best expressed her genius in lyrics like Cowper's 
Grave, The Dead Pan, The Lay of the Brown Rosary, 
The Rhyme of the Duchess May; or in poems like 
The Cry of the Children, a protest against child-labor ; 
or in the Sonnets Prom the Portuguese, possibly her 
most lasting contribution to English letters. 

I thought once how Theocritus had sung 

Of the sweet years, the dear and wished-for years, 

Who each one in a gracious hand appears 



310 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

To bear a gift for mortals, old and young: 

And, as I mused it in his antique tongue, 

I saw, in gradual vision through my tears, 

The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years, 

Those of my own life, who by turns had flung 

A shadow across me. Straightway I was 'ware, 

So weeping, how a mystic Shape did move 

Behind me, and drew me backward by the hair; 

And a voice said in mastery; while I strove 

"Guess now who holds thee?" "Death !" I said. But, there, 

The silver answer rang, "Not Death, but Love." 



ARTHUR HUGH CHOUGH, 1819-1861. 

A poet who witnesses to the trend of religious 
thought in the middle of the century was Arthur Hugh 
Clough. He was born at Liverpool, January 1, 1819, 
came strongly under the influence of Thos. Arnold 
at Rugby, carried off the Balliol scholarship when in 
residence at Oxford, and was elected to a Fellowship at 
Oriel College, 1842, where he remained till 1848. 
Travelling then into Italy, he was in Rome during the 
siege of that city. He has left his impressions in 
Amours de Voyage. Soon after he had returned to 
England, he visited America, 1852, to try his fortunes 
there; but an appointment to the Educational Depart- 
ment of the Privy Council recalled him, and later, 1856, 
official business sent him to Paris and Vienna. His 
health breaking down, he journeyed to Greece and 
Constantinople. Unimproved, he returned to England, 
then went to Italy where he was stricken with a last 
fever and died at Florence, November 13, 1861, in 
which city he is buried. 

Dipsychus, an unfinished life drama ; The Bothie of 
Tober-na-Vuolich, a "vacation pastoral" or farewell 
to Oxford ; Amours de Voyage, a story in the form of 
rhymed epistles, are his more noted long works. They 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 3H 

deal particularly with the religious and social problems 
that agitated the minds of his day. The shorter pieces 
like Sic Itur, Qua Cursum Ventus, Qui Laborat Orat, 
Say not the Struggle Naught Availeth, and lie Domum 
Saturae, Venit Hesperus, show Clough to better ad- 
vantage. 

QUA CURSUM VENTUS. 

As ships, becalmed at eve, that lay 

With canvas drooping, side by side, 
Two towers of sail at dawn of day 

Are scarce long leagues apart descried; 

When fell the night, upsprung the breeze, 
And all the darkling hours they plied 

Nor dreamt but each the self-same seas 
By each was cleaving, side by side : 

E'en so but why the tale reveal 

Of those, whom year by year unchanged, 

Brief absence joined anew to feel, 
Astounded, soul from soul estranged. 

At dead of night their sails were filled, 
And onward each rejoicing steered 

Ah, neither blame, for neither wiHed, 
Or wist, what first with dawn appeared! 

To veer, how vain ! On, onward strain, 
Brave barks ! In light, in darkness too, 

Through winds and tides one compass guides - 
To that, and to your own selves, be true. 

But O blithe breeze ! and O great seas, 
Though ne'er, that earliest parting past, 

On your wide plain they join again, 
Together lead them home at last. 

One port, methought, alike they sought, 
One purpose hold where'er they fare 

O bounding breeze, O rushing seas ! 
At last, at last, unite them there. 



312 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

JOHN KEBLE, 1792-1866. 

John Keble, a man of superior talents and winning 
disposition, had a large share in the Tractarian move- 
ment with Newman and Pusey. He is principally 
known as the author of The Christian Year. This is a 
collection of religious poems, adapted to the liturgical 
services of the year. Cardinal Newman wrote that 
"It kindled hearts towards his Church ; it gave a some- 
thing for the gentle and forlorn to cling to ; and it 
raised up advocates for it among those, who otherwise, 
if God and their good angel had suffered it, might 
have w r andered away into some sort of philosophy, 
and acknowledged no Church at all. Such was the 
influence of his Christian Year. ... It was the 
most soothing, tranquillizing, subduing work of the 
day; if poems can be found to enliven in dejection, and 
to comfort in anxiety; to cool the over-sanguine, to 
refresh the weary, and to awe the worldly; to instil 
resignation into the impatient, and calmness into the 
fearful and agitated they are these." 

DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI, 1828-1882. 

Born in London, May 12, 1828, of cultured and 
artistic parents, Rosetti early displayed the talent within 
him, writing verse at the age of six. Painting attracted 
him equally as poetry, and he spent five years at Kings 
College School, and Gary's Art Academy, and the 
Royal Academy, becoming at twenty, pupil to Ford 
Madox Brown whose influence is felt in all his work. 
His brush, as his pen, has immortalized his wife, Eliza- 
beth Siddal, whom he married in 1860. She died 
two years later and Rossetti buried with her all his 
manuscript verse and only after seven years' urging 



TUB NINETEENTH CENTURY. 313 

consented to have the volume exhumed. The poems 
were published in 1870 and bitterly attacked for their 
immorality, while praised for their artistic finish. In 
1881 appeared Ballads and Sonnets, containing the re- 
markable Sister Helen, a mediaeval tale; The King's 
Tragedy, where Rossetti's dramatic power shows best ; 
and House of Love, a sequence of 101 sonnets inspired 
by the love and loss of his wife, a collection taking 
rank with Mrs. Browning's From the Portuguese, or 
even Shakespeare's Sonnets. 

Rossetti's poetry is notable for its appeal of visual 
beauty, its simplicity, concreteness, elaborate imagery, 
and melodious diction. His Hand and Soul, 1850, an 
imaginative prose study, and The Blessed Damozel, 
are characteristic of the ideals of his school. 

THE SEA-LIMITS. 

Consider the sea's listless chime: 

Time's self it is, made audible, 

The murmur of the earth's own shell. 
Secret continuance sublime 

Is the sea's end: our sight may pass 

No furlong further. Since time was, 
This sound hath told the lapse of time. 

No quiet, which is death's, it hath 

The mournfulness of ancient life, 

Enduring always at dull strife. 
As the world's heart of rest and wrath, 

Its painful pulse is in the sands. 

Lost utterly, the whole sky stands 
Gray, and not known, along its path. 

Listen alone beside the sea, 

Listen alone among the woods; 

Those voices of twin solitudes 
Shall have one sound alike to thee: 

Hark where the murmurs of thronged men 

Surge and sink back and surge again, 
Still the one voice of wave and tree, 



314 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Gather a shell from the storm beach 

And listen at its lips: they sigh 

The same desire and mystery, 
The echo of the whole sea's speech. 

And all mankind is thus at heart 

Not anything but what thou art: 
And Earth, Sea, Man, are all in each. 

From Poems. Macmillan & Co., New York 

THE; HEART OF THE; NIGHT. 

From child to youth; from youth to arduous man; 
From lethargy to fever of the heart; 
From faithful life to dream-dowered days apart; 
From trust to doubt; from doubt to brink of ban; 
Thus much of change in one swift cycle ran 
Till now. Alas, the soul! how soon must she 
Accept her primal immortality, 
The flesh resume its dust whence it began? 
O Lord of work and peace ! O Lord of life ! 
O Lord, the awful Lord of will ! though late, 
Even yet renew this soul with duteous breath: 
That when the peace is garnered in from strife, 
The work retrieved, the will regenerate, 
This soul may see Thy face, O Lord of death! 

From The House of Life. Macmillan & Co. 

ROBERT BROWNING, 1812-1889. 

Divided opinion metes out to Robert Browning the 
extremes of praise and condemnation. His early crit- 
ics and those who 1 ook primarily for art and beauty 
in poetry ridicule the verse of Browning, and con- 
demn him for his unmusical lines and dense obscurity 
of meaning. More recent readers and men who judge 
rather the matter than the manner, place Browning 
peer to Tennyson, and predict future judgment rank- 
ing him next to Shakespeare. 

Without doubt, his longer works must be studied 
to be appreciated; the close, continuous application of 
a vigorous mind, not a mere leisurely idling or dipping 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 315 

into his page, is necessary. He has, however, a large 
body of lyric poetry and dramatic idylls that are per- 
fectly clear and easy to understand; and it is a mere 
prejudice to regard them as unintelligible or obscure. 
Browning has a strong message to convey to his 
fellow men, a virile encouragement to mount superior 
to the doubts that beset an age of agnostic tendencies. 
He would sing of the achievements of the human soul 
striving for perfection, and he would assure mankind 
that 

God's in his heaven 
All's right with the world! 

From all sides and from many types of character 
does he draw inspiration to emphasize the one mes- 
sage : and his thoughts rush pell-mell striving for utter- 
ance. Intent on his mission, he neglected his art. 

Robert Browning was born May 7, 1812, of well- 
educated, middle-class parents living in the suburbs of 
London. His father, a clerk in the Bank of England, 
deeply read in classic and modern literature, was a 
prime factor in the development of his boy's mind. He 
watched his first studies, then placed him under tutors 
allowing him in the main to follow his own bent of 
mind and feeling. Browning was attracted to art 
and at whatever made for culture. Always wide- 
awake, energetic, sociable, he readily picked up Latin, 
French, Italian ; gave himself to riding, dancing, fenc- 
ing; was eager at drawing, music, religion. Poetry 
early attracted him and before he was twelve he had 
written a book of verse which his parents were inclined 
to have printed, but as no publisher would stand spon- 
sor for them they were soon after destroyed. This 
juvenile outpouring had been made under the inspira- 



316 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

tion caught up from the vogue of Byron. By accident, 
Browning learned of Shelley : he read him and at once 
became a devotee. His youthful spirit was swept 
away by the appeal of revolt so stirring in Shelley's 
poetry, and his metaphysical temper rejoiced to find 
one whose mind soared into the empyrean of the lofti- 
est human aspiration. Under this influence he wrote 
Pauline (1833) wherein he first displays what was to 
become his own life-song the aspiration of personal- 
ity. In 1835, after travelling in Italy and Russia, he 
published a blank verse dialogue Paracelsus, concerned 
with the human craving for knowledge. This work 
brought him into some notice and led to his Stratford, 
which was staged in 1836. Sordello, 1840, made 
Browning's fame from the caustic remarks critics let 
fly at its profound obscurity. Bells and Pomegranates, 
1841-1846, a symbolic name for "poetry and thought," 
is a series containing, first, Pippa Passes, 1841, an odd 
drama wherein a little Italian silk weaver out to enjoy 
her one holiday in the year sings a ditty of hope and 
confidence and by her verse and spirit acts all un- 
wittingly upon four unseen groups of people brought 
each to a crisis in life and she sways them to take 
the soul's better part; secondly, Dramatic Lyrics, 1842 ; 
thirdly, A Blot in the 'Scutcheon, 1843, the most read- 
able of his dramas; fourthly, Colombe's Birthday, 
1844. 

The year which saw the publication of these pieces, 
1846, was more marked in Browning's career by his 
elopement and marriage with the noted poetess, Eliza- 
beth Barrett. Till her death in 1861, they lived in 
Italy, mostly at Pisa and Florence, centers of the 
social life around them. It is a remarkable fact that 
Browning's best work was achieved when under the 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 

influence of his wife, who was an inspiration and a 
censor. Christmas Eve and Easter Day appeared in 
1850; Men and Women, 1855; Dramatis Personae, 
1864. 

Leaving Italy after the death of his wife, Browning 
went to England with his son; for the remainder of 
his life he alternated between the two countries, writ- 
ing and publishing to the very last. In 1868 he gave 
forth a poem of twenty thousand lines, The Ring and 
the Book, which finally made him recognized as one 
of our great poets ; in 1878, La Saisaiz, containing hjs 
arguments for the immortality of the soul; in 1889, 
Asolando, published in London the very day he died 
in Venice, December 12. 

A strong dramatic element runs through Browning's 
poetry. In tracing what he calls the history of the soul, 
he seizes upon some dramatic moment in life, some 
crisis, and then vividly depicts the psychic struggle. 
It is this inner revelation that appeals to the student 
of Browning. His range is far-sweeping, gathering in 
for analysis all types and characters; and shining in 
all, under one phase or another, is Browning's message 
to mankind : the triumph of the individual over all 
obstacles invincible will and optimism by some re- 
garded as the strongest word of faith to an age of 
doubt. 

The beginner in Browning must see the poet first 
in his less subtle displays, in his narratives and lyrics. 
The Pied Piper of Hamelin, How they Brought the 
Good Neivs, The Lost Leader, Herve Kiel, Saul, The 
Glove, Home Thoughts from Abroad, De Gustibus, 
Cavalier Tunes, Andrea del Sarto, Karshish the Arab 
Physician, depicting the state of mind of the resur- 
rected Lazarus; My Lost Duchess, Abt Vogler, one of 



318 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Browning's finest ; Muleykeh, and the oft-quoted Rabbi 
Ben Ezra, are soul-studies, which are here suggested 
as a means to know the poet and prepare for his longer, 
more intricate problem pieces, culminating in the 
masterpiece The Ring and the Book. 



^ RABBI BEN EZRA. 

.' 

Now, who shall arbitrate? 

Ten men love what I hate, 
Shun what I follow, slight what I receive; 

Ten, who in ears and eyes 

Watch me; we all surmise, 
They this thing, and I that: whom shall my soul believe? 

Not on the vulgar mass 

Called "work," must sentence pass, 
Things done, that took the eye and had the price; 

O'er, which, from level stand, 

The low world laid its hand, 
Found straightway to its mind, could value in a trice: 

But all the world's coarse thumb 

And finger failed to plumb, 
So passed in making up the main account; 

All instincts immature, 

All purposes unsure, 
That weighed not as his work, yet swelled the man's amount : 

Thoughts hardly to be packed 

Into a narrow act, 
Fancies that broke through language, and escaped; 

All I never could be, 

All men ignored in me, 
This I was worth to God, whose wheel the pitcher shaped. 

Ay, note that Potter's wheel, 

That metaphor! and feel 
Why time spins fast, why passive lies our clay, 

Thou, to whom fools propound, 

When the wine makes its round, 
"Since life fleets, all is change; the Past gone, seize today!" 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 

Fool ! All that is, at all, 

Lasts ever, past recall ; 
Earth changes, but thy soul and God stand sure: 

What entered into thee, 

That was, is, and shall be : 
Time's wheel runs back, or stops : Potter and clay endure. 



All service ranks the same with God: 

If now, as formerly He trod 

Paradise, His presence fills 

Our earth, each only as God wills 

Can work God's puppets, best and worst, 

Are we ; there is no last nor first. 

Say not "a small event?" Why ''small"? 
Costs it more pain than this, ye call 
A "great event," should come to pass, 
Than that? Untwine me from the mass 
Of deeds which make up life, one deed 
Power shall fall short in, or exceed! 

Song in Pippa Passes, 



LAZARUS. 

. . . Heaven opened to a soul while yet on earth, 
Earth forced on a soul's use while seeing Heaven. 
The man is witless of the size, the sum, 
The value in proportion of all things, 
Or whether it be little or be much. 

Discourse to him of prodigious armaments 
Assembled to besiege his city now, 
And of the passing of a mule with gourds 
'Tis one! Then take it on the other side, 
Speak of some trifling fact he will gaze rapt 
With stupor at its very littleness 

(Far as I see) as if in that, indeed, 

He caught prodigious import, whole results; 
And so will turn to us the bystanders 
In ever the same stupor (note this point) 
That we too see not with his opened eyes ! 

Karshish, the Arab Physician. 



:<3() BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Not a minute more to wait, 

"Steer us in, then, small and great! 
Take the helm, lead the line, save the squadron!" cried its chief. 

Captains, give the sailor place! 
He is Admiral, in brief. 

Still the north wind, by God's grace! 

See the noble fellow's face 

As the big ship, with a bound, 

Clears the entry like a hound, 

Keeps the passage, as its inch of way were the wide seas pro- 
found ! 

See, safe thro' shoal and rock, 

How they follow in a flock, 

Not a ship that misbehaves, not a keel that grates the ground, 
Not a spar that comes to grief ! 

The peril, see, is past. 

All are harbour'd to the last, 
And just as Herve Riel hollas "Anchor !" sure as fate, 

Up the English come, too late! 

Herve Riel. 

JOHN LINGARD, 1771-1851. 

John Lingard, the celebrated historian, was born of 
Catholic parents at Winchester, in 1771. At the age of 
eleven, he was sent to the English College at Douay, 
where he was distinguished no less for the brilliancy of 
his talents than for a rare modesty of disposition. 
Driven back to England by the horrors of the French 
Revolution, he completed his course of theology in his 
native country, and' was raised to the priesthood in 
April, 1795. For some months previous to his ordina- 
tion, he had acted as vice-president of Crook Hall, 
where a small party of the Douay students had lately 
resumed their collegiate exercises : he now became 
prefect of studies in this institution, and, for many 
years, filled with eminent success the chair both of 
natural and moral philosophy. In 1808 he accom- 
panied the community of Crook Hall to the new col- 
lege of Ushaw, Durham, but in 1811, after declining 




JOHN LINGARD 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 321 

the presidency of the college at Maynooth, he withdrew 
to the secluded mission of Hornby in Lancashire, where 
for the rest of his life he devoted himself to literary- 
pursuits. 

From an early period, the mind of Lingard had been 
accustomed to dwell on the antiquities of his country, 
and his spare moments at Crook Hall were devoted to 
the same object. The result of his studies appeared in 
a work entitled, The Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon 
Church, which evinces depth of research and uncom- 
mon penetration of mind. It was published in 1806, 
in two volumes, and was twice revised and greatly 
enlarged by the author. Availing himself of the leis- 
ure afforded him at Hornby, Lingard gave to the 
world several minor publications, all exhibiting much 
ability and learning. But it was not till after repeated 
solicitations from his friends, after many years of 
silent and almost unconscious preparation, that he ap- 
plied his energies to the great work on which his repu- 
tation is founded : the History of England from the 
Invasion of the Romans to the Accession of William 
and Mary (B. c. 55 to A. D. 1689). The eight vol- 
umes of the first edition were published in succession 
between the years 1819 and 1830. Soon after its 
appearance it was translated into French, German, and 
Italian. A fifth edition extensively revised by the 
author came out in ten volumes in 1849 ; a sixth edi- 
tion with a life of Lingard was issued in 1854-55; the 
most recent edition was brought out in 1903. 

To talents of a high order, both as regards acuteness 
of analysis and powers of description and narrative, 
Dr. Lingard added unconquerable industry. Sources 
of information new and important were also opened to 
him. He drew his material from original documents, 

23 



322 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

which he himself had examined with diligence : and, on 
many points, gave new and correct views of manners, 
events, and characters. The truthfulness of his His- 
tory is now admitted on all hands. "His work," says 
Chambers, "was subjected to a rigid scrutiny by Dr. 
Allen in two elaborate articles in the Edinburgh Re- 
view, and by Rev. W. Todd in his defence of the char- 
acter of Cranmer. To these antagonists Dr. Lingard 
replied, in 1826, by A Vindication of his fidelity as a 
historian, which affords an excellent specimen of con- 
troversial writing. His work has now taken its place 
among the most valuable of our national histories." 
"His style," according to the Edinburgh Review, "is 
nervous and concise, and never enfeebled by useless 
epithets, or encumbered with redundant, unmeaning 
phrases. If it be deficient in that happy negligence 
and apparent ease of expression if it want 'those 
careless inimitable beauties' which, in Hume, excited 
the despair and admiration of Gibbon there is no 
other modern history with which it may not challenge 
a comparison. The narrative of Lingard has the per- 
spicuity of Robertson, with more freedom and fancy. 
His diction has the ornament of Gibbon, without his 
affectation and obscurity. . . . His narrative has 
a freshness of character, a stamp of originality not to 
be found in any general history of England in common 
use. To borrow his own metaphor, he has not drawn 
from the troubled stream, but drunk from the foun- 
tain-head." * 

In his desire to conciliate the minds of his Protest- 
ant countrymen, Dr. Lingard adopted the views of the 
Gallican school in regard to the exercise of the papal 
authority. His concessions on this head are not a lit- 

* Edinburgh Review, 1825-1826. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 323 

tie shocking to genuine Catholics. Yet, whilst they 
regret not to see their Church presented in a truer and 
more amiable light, they should make great allowance 
for the peculiar circumstances which surrounded the 
historian. It was with this view that Pope Leo XII. 
said of those who assailed the moderation of the wri- 
ter : "Why, these gentlemen seem not to reflect either 
upon the times or the place in which the history was 
written." Pius VII. had also acknowledged the merits 
of Lingard by conferring on him, 1821, the triple 
academic laurel, creating him doctor of divinity, of 
canon law, and of civil law; and Leo XII. intended 
to add the cardinal's hat, 1825, but was deterred by 
the historian's anxiety to avert the threatened dignity. 
Lingard was made associate member of the Royal 
Society of Literature; also corresponding member of 
the French Academy; and in 1839 he received from 
the English government a pension of 300. Of the 
high estimation in which Lingard's History is held 
by English Catholics, we may form an idea from the 
following tribute paid to his memory by Cardinal 
Wiseman: "It is a Providence that, in history, we 
have had given to the nation a writer like Lingard, 
whose gigantic merit will be better appreciated in each 
successive generation, as it sees his work standing calm 
and erect amidst the shoals of petty pretenders to usurp 
his station. When Hume shall have fairly taken his 
place among the classical writers of our tongue, and 
Macaulay shall have been transferred to the shelves of 
romancers and poets, and each shall thus have re- 
ceived his due meed of praise, then Lingard will be 
still more conspicuous as the only impartial historian 
of our country. This is a mercy indeed, and rightful 
honor to him, who, at such a period of time, worked 



324 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

his way, not into a high rank, but to the very loftiest 
point of literary position." 

In 1903, the learned Benedictine, Don Gasquet, 
wrote : 

"To the possible objection that Dr. Lingard' s pre- 
sentment of the facts of English History can hardly be 
up to date at the present time ... it may be use- 
ful to mention that quite recently a professor in the 
history schools at Oxford declared that he knew no 
better full history to which to recommend students 
than that of this great Catholic historian. . . . 
That the main lines of the history stand the test of 
criticism at the present day is the best praise that can 
be given to a work of this kind composed as it was 
amid the many difficulties of research to which all and 
in particular all Catholics were exposed in the first 
half of last century." * 

Among the minor works published by Dr. Lingard, 
we may notice his Translation of the Pour Gospels; 
his Catechetical Instruction; and many articles of a 
polemical or historical character, contributed to various 
periodicals. 

The venerable historian tranquilly breathed his last, 
July 17, 1851, in the eighty-first year of his age. 

DEATH OP MARY STUART. 

The procession now set forward. It was headed by the 
sheriff and his officers; next followed Pawlet and Drury, and 
the earls of Shrewsbury and Kent; and, lastly, came the Scot- 
tish queen, with Melville bearing her train. She wore the 
richest of her dresses, that which was appropriate to the rank 
of a queen dowager. Her step was firm, and her countenance 
cheerful. She bore without shrinking the gaze of the specta- 
tors, and the sight of the scaffold, the block, and the execu- 
tiomer; and advanced into the hall with that grace and majesty 



. * Preface to Butt's Abridgment of Lingard' s History of England. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 325 

which she had so often displayed in her happier days, and in 
the pa4ace of her fathers. To aid her, as she mounted the 
scaffold, Pawlet offered his arm. "I thank you, sir," said 
Mary; "it is the last trouble I shall give you, and the most ac- 
ceptable service you have ever rendered me." 

The queen seated herself on a stool which was prepared for 
her. On her right stood the two earls; on the left, the sheriff, 
and Beal, the clerk of the council; in front, the executioner 
from the Tower, in a suit of black velvet, with his assistant 
also clad in black. The warrant was read, and Mary in an 
audible voice addressed the assembly. She would have them 
recollect, she said, that she was a sovereign princess, not sub- 
ject to the Parliament of England, but brought there to suffer 
by injustice and violence. She, however, thanked her God 
that he had given her this opportunity of publicly professing 
her religion, and of declaring, as she had often before de- 
clared, that she had never imagined, nor compassed, nor con- 
sented to the death of the English queen, nor ever sought the 
least harm to her person. After her death, many things, which 
were then buried in darkness, would come to light. But she 
pardoned from her heart all her enemies, nor should her 
tongue utter that which might turn to their prejudice. Here 
she was interrupted by Dr. Fletcher, Dean of Peterborough, 
who, having caught her eye, began to preach, and under the 
cover, perhaps through motives of zeal, contrived to insult the 
feelings of the unfortunate sufferer. He told her that his mis- 
tress, though compelled to execute justice on her body, was 
careful of the welfare of her soul; that she had sent him to 
bring her to the true fold of Christ, out of the communion of 
that Church, in which, if she remained, she must be damned ; 
that she might yet find mercy before God if she would repent 
of her wicknedness, acknowledge the justice of her punish- 
ment, and profess her gratitude for the favors which she had 
received from Elizabeth. Mary repeatedly desired him not to 
trouble himself and her. He persisted: she turned aside. He 
made the circuit of the scaffold, and again addressed her in 
front. An end was put to this extraordinary scene by the 
Earl of Shrewsbury, who ordered him to pray. His prayer 
was the echo of his sermon; but Mary heard him not. She 
was employed at the time in her devotions, repeating with a 
loud voice, and in the Latin language, long passages from the 
Book of Psalms. When he had done, she prayed in English 
for Christ's afflicted Church, for her son James, and for 
Queen Elizabeth. At the conclusion, holding up the crucifix, 
she exclaimed: "As Thy arms, O God, were stretched out upon 



326 BRITISH LITERATURE 

the cross, so receive me into the arms of Thy Mercy, and for- 
give me my sins." "Madam," said the Earl of Kent,* "you 
had better leave such popish trumperies, and bear Him in your 
heart." She replied: "I cannot hold in my hand the represen- 
tation of His sufferings, but I must at the same time bear Him in 
my heart." 

When her maids, bathed in tears, began to disrobe their mis- 
tress, the executioners, fearing to lose their usual perquisites, 
hastily interfered. The queen remonstrated, but instantly sub- 
mitted *o their rudeness, observing to the earls with a smile, 
that she was not accustomed to employ such grooms, or to 
undress in the presence of so numerous a company. Her 
servants, at the sight of their sovereign in this lamentable 
state, could not suppress their feelings; but Mary, putting her 
finger to her lips, commanded silence, gave them her blessing, 
and solicited their prayers. She then seated herself again. 
Kennedy, taking a handkerchief edged with gold, pinned it 
over her eyes; the executioners, holding her by the arms, led 
her to the block; and the queen, kneeling down, said repeat- 
edly, with a firm voice, "Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend 
my spirit." But the sobs and groans of the spectators discon- 
certed the headsman. He trembled, missed his aim, and in- 
flicted a deep wound in the lower part of the skull. The queen 
remained motionless, and, at the third stroke, her head was 
severed from the body. When the executioner held it up, the 
muscles of the face were so strongly convulsed, that the feat- 
ures could not be recognized. He cried as usual, "God save 
Queen Elizabeth." 

"So perish all her enemies!" subjoined the Dean of Peter- 
borough. 

"So perish all the enemies of the Gospel !" exclaimed, in a 
still louder tone, the fanatical Earl of Kent. 

Not a voice was heard to cry Amen. Party feeling was ab- 
sorbed in admiration and pity. 

JOHN WILSON, 1785-1854. 

John Wilson, generally known by his pseudonym 
of Christopher North, was a leading power in the liter- 
ary world. He studied at Glasgow, and afterwards at 
Oxford, where he gained the reputation of a scholar 
and athlete. Thrown by the loss of his moderate for- 
tune upon the resources of his pen, he accepted the 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 

editorship of the lately-founded Blackwood's Maga- 
zine, and for thirty-five years, with but short interrup- 
tions, remained its soul and life. A warm imagina- 
tion, vivacity, richness of expression, and a singular 
freedom from mere conventionality, are the character- 
istics of his writings. The more important pieces have 
been collected under the titles of The Critical and 
Miscellaneous Articles of Christopher North, The Re- 
creations of Christopher North, and Noctes Anibros- 
iana. The Noctes are fictitious conversations, forming 
an extraordinary combination of verse and prose, de- 
scription and criticism, seriousness and wild fun. From 
1820 to 1850, John Wilson occupied also the chair of 
Moral Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh. 

CHARLOTTE BRONTE, 1816-1855. 

Charlotte Bronte has pictured her sad life in her 
remarkable Jane Eyre. She was the third of six chil- 
dren. Her father was a poor clergyman of Irish 
birth, not over-sympathetic with his children. Her 
mother died in 1820 when the youngest child was but 
three months old. Life at school was miserable. Two 
of Charlotte's sisters died, as she believed, from the 
treatment they there received. At home, the only 
brother by his dissipated life soon brought gloom upon 
the household. Charlotte and Emily went to Brussels 
to study for a time, preparatory to becoming gover- 
nesses. The illness and death of an aunt who had 
watched over the children since the mother's death, 
recalled them in 1842. Charlotte went back to Brus- 
sels ; but two years later returned and planned to open 
a school at her father's rectory. This was a scheme 
that met with no encouragement. 



328 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

As the sisters, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, had al- 
ways found pastime in writing poems and stories, 
they now set to work to gain a livelihood from liter- 
ary pursuits. In 1846, they published a volume of 
poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. The venture 
was a failure; Emily's work alone showed any trace 
of poetical genius. Charlotte forthwith sought to find 
a publisher for a novel entitled The Professor. None 
would accept it. In face of discouragement, and do- 
mestic drudgery and sorrow, she then wrote out of 
her heart and life Jane Eyre. It appeared in October, 
1847, and on every hand was loudly acclaimed. In 
December appeared Emily's Withering Heights and 
Anne's Agnes Grey. Within eighteen months both 
these sisters were stricken by death, Emily within three 
months of her brother, and Anne following her. May 
24, 1849. Charlotte was left alone with her father 
now fast becoming blind. She had worked upon a new 
novel, Shirley, in the scanty ' intervals of free time 
which were hers while she devotedly attended her dy- 
ing sister, and she completed and published it in Oc- 
tober, 1849. By 1853 she had ready a third story, 
Villette. In 1854 she married her father's curate, 
Arthur Bell Nicholls; but she died in less than a year 
after, May 31, 1855. 

The interest attaching to Charlotte Bronte's novels 
and the pathos of her own life have led several to write 
her history. The most noted biography is that by her 
friend, Mrs. Gaskell, 1857, many times reprinted, 
modified and enlarged. Mr. Swinburne has a forcible 
essay on Charlotte and Emily Bronte under the title 
Notes on Charlotte Bronte, 1877. Mr. Augustine Bir- 
rell, in 1887, wrote a Life of Charlotte Bronte. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 329 

Anne Bronte's novel survives principally through 
the vitality of the Bronte tradition. 

Emily is great alike as novelist and as poet. C. K. 
Storer in The Brontes: Life and Letters, says: "Her 
Old Stoic and Last Lines are probably the finest 
achievement of poetry that any woman has given to 
English letters. Her novel Wutheririg Heights is a 
work apart, passionate, unforgetable, haunting in its 
grimness, its grey melancholy." 

The novels Jane Hyre and Villetie will always com- 
mand attention whatever be the future of English 
fiction by virtue of their intensity, their depth, their 
rough individuality. 

G. K. Chesterton says : "Jane Eyre is perhaps the 
truest book that was ever written." 

THOMAS DE QUINCY, 1786-1859. 

Thomas De Quincy was born in Manchester in 1786 
of well-to-do parents. Erom early boyhood he showed 
precocious talents and a strong tendency to erratic 
ways. He learned Latin and Greek, reading and 
speaking both languages with astonishing fluency. His 
sensitive nature kept him aloof from companions and 
in his retirement he stored his mind with vast accumu- 
lations of history, classics, poetry, and philosophy, 
which he has poured into his writings on every page. 
From the local grammar school he ran away, 1800, 
because the teaching was below his abilities and his 
family would not permit him to go to the university. 
He wandered about the counties, traversing part o'f 
Wales, turning up in London where for eighteen 
months he tramped penniless and half starved. When 
friends located his whereabouts, he was sent home and 
then allowed to pursue his studies at Oxford. Here 



330 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

he distinguished himself by his intellectual attainments 
and by his erratic scholarship. At the examinations 
of 1807, having passed in brilliant fashion the written 
tests, he became alarmed at the prospect of oral exami- 
nation, and ran away. It was at this period of his life, 
1804, that he began using opium to allay the pains of 
neuralgia, and the habit then contracted lasted upwards 
of thirty years. Being a friend to the Lake Poets, 
he settled in their neighborhood at Grasmere and lived 
there more than twenty years. In 1821 he began writ- 
ing for the magazines. In the guise of essays appeared 
The Confessions of an English Opium Eater, which 
made him at once famous. Then for forty years he 
labored industriously, contributing a motley array of 
papers which collected make fourteen volumes. In 
1830 he moved to Edinburgh and here after a most 
eccentric life of thirty years he died in 1859. 

Always excessively shy, De Quincy boasts he gave 
more time in retirement to literature than any one he 
knew of ; yet paradoxical as its seems, he was fond of 
society, where his wide knowledge and wonderful 
imagination made his conversations as prized as Cole- 
ridge's. 

His works fall into three classes autobiographical, 
critical, and narrative, whether historical or fictional. 
His facts are often called into question, and his dreami- 
ness does not inspire confidence; but his genius for 
analyzing makes his criticisms masterly. His richest 
field is in the world of imagination, lofty, vast, and 
dreamy. He possesses a vocabulary of extraordinary 
range and picturesqueness, and exceptional tone-quality 
and rhythm; his style is a blending of music and 
eloquence, a revelation of the beauty of the English 
language, a supreme example of prose poetry, and 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 331 

comparable only to Newman in the fitting of word to 
sentiment. The gorgeous, melodious music rolls along 
with irresistible charm, dreamy and unreal, but in 
brilliancy undeniably immortal. 

From the host of works we mention Literary Rent- 
iniscences, Letters to a Young Man, Rhetoric, Milton, 
Joan of Arc, The Revolt of the Tartars, The English 
Mail-Coach, Pope, Shakespeare, Wordsworth's Poe- 
try, On the Knocking at the Gate in 'Macbeth' in- 
stances of critical acumen : Confessions, Suspiria de 
Profundis, Autobiographic Sketches (30 articles) in- 
sights into his life and dreams. 

CONFESSIONS OF AN OPIUM-EATR THE PAINS OF OPIUM. 

The dream commenced with a music which now I often 
heard in dreams a music of preparation and of awakening 
suspence ; a music like the opening of the Coronation Anthem, 
and which, like that, gave the feeling of a vast march, of in- 
finite cavalcades filing off, and the tread of innumerable armies. 
The morning was come of a mighty day a day of crisis and 
of final hope for human nature, then suffering some mysterious 
eclipse, and laboring in some dread extremity. Somewhere, 
I knew not where somehow, I knew not how by some beings, 
I knew not whom a battle, a strife, an agony, was conducting, 
was evolving like a great drama, or piece of music; with which 
my sympathy was the more insupportable from my confusion 
as to its place, its cause, its nature, and its possible issue. I, as 
is usual in dreams (where, of necessity, we make ourselves 
central to every movement), had the power, and yet had not 
the power, to decide it. I had the power, if I could raise myself, 
to will it, and yet again had not the power, for the weight 
of twenty Atlantics was upon me, or the oppression of inexpia- 
ble guilt. ' "Deeper than ever plummet sounded," I lay inactive. 
Then, like a chorus, the passion deepened. Some greater interest 
was at stake ; some mightier cause than ever yet the world 
had pleaded, or trumpet had proclaimed. Then came sudden 
alarms; hurryings to and fro; trepidations of innumerable fugi- 
tives. I knew not whether from the good cause or the bad; 
darkness and lights; tempest and human faces; and at last, with 
the sense that all was lost, female forms, and the features that 
were worth all the world to me, and but a moment allowed, 
and clasped hands, and heart-breaking partings, and then 



332 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

everlasting farewells ! and, with a sigh, such as the caves of 
hell sighed when the incestuous mother uttered the abhorred 
name of death, the sound was reverberated everlasting fare- 
wells! and again, and yet again reverberated everlasting fare- 
wells ! 



DREAM FUGUE. 

Thus, as we ran like torrents thus, as we swept with bridal 
rapture over the Campo Santo of the cathedral graves sud- 
denly we became aware of a vast necropolis rising upon the far- 
off horizon a city of sepulchres, built within the saintly cathe- 
dral for the warrior dead that rested from their feuds on earth. 
Of purple granite was the necropolis; yet, in the first minute, 
it lay like a purple stain upon the horizon, so mighty was the 
distance. In the second minute it trembled through many 
changes, growing into terraces and towers of wondrous altitude, 
so mighty was the pace. In the third minute already, with our 
dreadful gallop, we were entering its suburbs. Vast sarcophagi 
rose on every side, having towers and turrets that, upon the 
limits of the central aisle, strode forward with haughty intrusion, 
that ran back with mighty shadows into answering recesses. Every 
sarcophagus showed many bas-reliefs bas-reliefs of battles and 
battle fields; battles from forgotten ages battles from yesterday 
battle-fields that, long since, nature had healed and reconciled 
to herself with the sweet oblivion of flowers battle-fields that 
were yet angry and crimson with carnage. Where the terrace 
ran, there did we run; where the towers curved, there did we 
curve. With the flight of swallows our horses swept round 
every angle. Like rivers in flood, wheeling round headlands 
like hurricanes that ride into the secrets of forests faster than 
ever light unwove the mazes of darkness, our flying equipage 
carried earthly passions, kindled warrior instincts, amongst the 
dust that lay around us dust oftentimes of our noble fathers 
that had slept in God from Creci to Trafalgar. And now had 
we reached the last sarcophagus, now were we abreast of the 
last bas-relief, already had we recovered the arrow-like flight 
of the illimitable central aisle, when, coming up this aisle to 
meet us, we beheld afar off a female child, that rode in a car- 
riage as frail as flowers. The mists which went before her, hid 
the fawns that drew her, but could not hide the shells and tropic 
flowers with which she played but could not hide the lovely 
smiles by which she uttered her trust in the mighty cathedral, 
and in the cherubim that looked down upon heir from the 
mighty shafts of its pillars. Face to face she was meeting us; 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 333 

face to face she rode, as if danger there were none. "Oh, 
baby!" I exclaimed, "shalt thou be the ransom for Waterloo? 
Must we that carry tidings of great joy to every people be mes- 
sengers of ruin to thee !" In horror I rose at the thought; but 
then also, in horror at the thought, rose one that was sculp- 
tured on a bas-relief a Dying Trumpeter. Solemnly from the 
field of battle he rose to his feet; and, unslinging his stony 
trumpet, carried it, in his dying anguish, to his stony lips 
sounding once and yet once again proclamation that, in thy 
ears, oh, baby! spoke from the battlements of death. Im- 
mediately deep shadows fell between us, and aboriginal silence. 
The choir had ceased to sing. The hoofs of our horses, the 
dreadful rattle of our harness, the groaning of our wheels, 
alarmed the graves no more. By horror the bas-relief had been 
unlocked into life. By horror, we that were so full of life, 
we men and our horses, with their fiery fore-legs rising in mid- 
air to their everlasting gallop, were frozen to a bas-relief. Then 
a third time the trumpet sounded: the seals were broken off all 
pulses; life, and the frenzy of life, tore into their channels 
again ; again the choir burst forth in sunny grandeur, as from the 
muffling of storms and darkness; again the thunderings of our 
horses carried temptation into the graves. One cry burst from 
our lips, as the clouds, drawing off from the aisle, showed it 
empty before us "Whither has the infant fled? is the young 
child caught up to God?" Lo ! afar off, in a vast recess, rose 
three mighty windows to the clouds ; and on a level with their 
summits, at height insuperable to man, rose an altar of purest 
alabaster. On its eastern face was trembling a crimson glory. 
A glory was it from the reddening dawn that now streamed 
through the windows? Was it from the crimson robes of the 
martyrs painted on the windows? Was it from the blood> 
bas-reliefs of earth? There, suddenly within that crimson radi- 
ance, rose the apparition of a woman's head, and then of a 
woman's figure. The child it was grown up to woman's height. 
Clinging to the horns of the altar, voiceless she stood, sinking, 
rising, raving, despairing ; and behind the volume of incense that, 
night and day, streamed upwards from the altar, dimly was seen 
the fiery font, and the shadow of that dreadful being who 
should have baptized her with the baptism of death. But by 
her side was kneeling her better angel, that hid his face with 
wings ; that wept and- pleaded for her; that prayed when she 
could not; that fought with Heaven by tears for her deliverance; 
which also, as he raised his immortal countenance from his 
wings, I saw, by the glory in his eye, that from Heaven he 
had won at last. 



334 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

THOMAS BABINGTON MACAULAY, 1800-1859. 
T. B. Macaulay, one of the most attractive, if not 
the most learned, of British essayists and critics, was 
born in 1800 at Rothly Temple. In 1818, he was 
entered at Trinity College, Cambridge; and in 1821, 
he was elected to a Craven scholarship, the highest 
distinction in classics which the University confers. 
In 1825, appeared his celebrated article on Milton, 
in the Edinburgh Review. It bears marks of a youth- 
ful taste, but no less certainly of that genius which 
has made its author the most brilliant contributor 
to our critical literature. In 1826, he was called to 
the bar; and, in 1830, he entered Parliament. An 
appointment as legal adviser of the Supreme Court 
of Calcutta took him to India, where he remained for 
four years at the head of the commission for the re- 
form of Indian law. The study of Indian history to 
which that appointment led, produced the essays on 
Lord Clive, 1840; and on Warren Hastings, 1841. 
His Lays of Ancient Rome appeared in 1842. He 
chants in them the martial stories of Horatius Codes, 
the battle of the Lake Regillus, the death of Virginia, 
and the prophecy of Capys, with a simplicity and fire 
that win our hearts. These ancient ballads had been 
preceded by others on modern topics, as The Ballad 
of Ivry, The Cavalier's March to London, The Span- 
ish Armada, and A Song of the Huguenots. These 
stirring battle songs are fine pieces of rhetoric, but dis- 
play little of the true poetic temperament. In 1843, 
Lord Macaulay published a collection of Critical and 
Historical Essays, contributed to the Edinburgh Re- 
view, which are still unrivalled among the produc- 
tions of this class. His review of Hallam's Constitu- 
tional History of England, and his sketches of Sir Rob- 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 335 

ert Walpole, Chatham, Sir William Temple, Clive, and 
Warren Hastings, form a series of brilliant and com- 
plete historical retrospects and summaries, unequalled 
in our literature, while his contributions to the bio- 
graphical portion of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, in 
the lives of Atterbury, Bunyan, Goldsmith, Johnson, 
and the second William Pitt, exhibit his powers ill 
other and various departments. It is, however, but 
just to observe that the brilliancy and erudition of the 
essayist are no guarantee against false views, false in- 
terpretations, and false conclusions. The writings of 
Macaulay are exceedingly attractive; but, certainly, 
they are no safe guide in the appreciation of men and 
events. He is positive and dogmatic, intensely strong 
in his prejudices, narrow in his sympathies, prone to 
worship success and material prosperity and but lit- 
tle susceptible to the higher and finer things of the 
spirit. He is, in a word, a brilliant mind warped by 
narrow national, political and religious views. There 
is in him too much of the lawyer and the rhetorician, 
too little of the poet, the philosopher and the man of 
religious temperament. 

In 1848, appeared the first two volumes of his great 
historical work, The History of England from the 
Accession of James II. The five volumes, the last of 
which is posthumous, give the history of little more 
than fifteen years, leaving nearly the whole of the 
eighteenth century untouched. The work is therefore, 
in one sense, only a fragment. Its success, however, 
was most extraordinary. Its fascinating style, its 
portraits of historical personages, all brought before 
us in life and action, and the genius with which the 
facts and events are grouped and described, render the 
charm irresistible. But, in producing his distinct and 



336 BRITISH LITERATURE, 

striking impressions, the historian is charged with 
exaggerating his portraits. He does not make allow- 
ances for the character and habits of the times; and 
he seizes upon doubtful and obscure incidents, or 
statements by unscrupulous adversaries, as pregnant 
and infallible proofs of guilt. The following is the 
criticism passed by the Blackwood Magazine : "Every- 
body reads everybody admires but nobody believes 
in Mr. Macaulay. This, which is perhaps the most 
brilliant of all histories, seems about the least reliable 
of any." And yet it is a marvellous work, although 
the youthful reader -may wish not seldom for some- 
thing less rhetorical and more judicial. 

Macaulay is reckoned amongst the great Parliamen- 
tary orators. Whenever he spoke, he was sure to 
have a full House listening with breathless attention. 
But it was the matter and the language, rather than 
the manner, that took the audience captive : for his 
delivery, though rapid and vehement, was ungainly 
and somewhat monotonous. 

In 1857, he obtained the honors of the peerage with 
the title of Baron Macaulay. He died two years later, 
and was buried in Westminster Abbey. 

(From The History of England.) 

I purpose to write the History of England from the accession 
of King James the Second down to a time which is within the 
memory of men still living. I shall recount the errors which, 
in a few months alienated a loyal gentry and priesthood from 
the House of Stuart. I shall trace the course of that revolu- 
tion which terminated the long struggle between our sover- 
eigns and their parliaments, and bound up together the rights 
of the people and the title of the reigning dynasty. 

I shall relate how the new settlement was, during many 
troubled years, successfully defended against foreign and do- 
mestic enemies; how, under that settlement, the authority of 
law and the security of property were found to be compatible 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 337 

with a liberty of discussion and of individual action never be- 
fore known; how, from the auspicious union of order and free- 
dom, sprang a prosperity of which the annals of human affairs 
had furnished no example; how our country, from a state of 
ignominious vassalage, rapidly rose to the place of umpire 
among European powers ; how her opulence and her martial 
s;lory grew together; how, by wise and resolute good faith, 
was gradually established a public credit fruitful of marvels, 
which to the statesman of any former age would have seemed 
incredible ; how a gigantic commerce gave birth to a maritime 
power, compared with which every other maritime power, an- 
cient or modern, sinks into insignificance; how Scotland, after 
ages of enmity, was at length united to England, not merely 
by legal bonds, but by indissoluble ties of interest and affec- 
tion; how, in America, the Britiish colonies rapidly became far 
mightier and wealthier than the realms which Cortez and Piz- 
arro had added to the dominion of Charles the Fifth; how, in 
Asia, British adventurers founded an empire not less splendid 
and more durable than that of Alexander. 

Nor will it be less my duty faithfully to record disasters 
mingled with triumphs, and great national crimes and follies 
far more humiliating than any disaster. It will be seen that 
even what we justly account our chief blessings, were not 
without alloy. It will be seen that the system which effectu- 
ally secured our liberties against the encroachments of kingly 
power, gave birth to a new class of abuses from which absolute 
monarchies are exempt. It will be seen that, in consequence, 
partly of unwise interference, and partly of unwise neglect, 
the increase of wealth and the extension of trade produced, 
together with immense good, some evils from which poor and 
rude societies are free. It will be seen how, in two important 
dependencies of the crown, wrong was followed by a just retri- 
bution; how imprudence and obstinacy broke the ties which 
bound the North American colonies to the parent State; how 
Ireland, cursed by the domination of race over race, and of re- 
ligion over religion, remained indeed a member of the empire, 
but a withered and disordered member, adding no strength to 
the body politic, and reproachfully pointed at by all who feared 
or envied the greatness of England. 



WIUJAM FABER, 1814-1863. 

Of the distinguished scholars who left Oxford and 
the Establishment to return to the old faith of Eng- 
land, few are more celebrated than Father Faber. 

24 



338 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

The sweetness of his disposition, the generosity of his 
character, the excellence of his poetical genius, and 
especially the skill with which he has dressed in popu- 
lar style the most abstruse doctrines of Christianity, 
have justly endeared his name to the Catholics of 
Europe and America. At Oxford, his prepossessing 
appearance, his remarkable talent, and gifts of conver- 
sation, made him a general favorite. In spite of severe 
and frequent headaches, in spite too of a decided par- 
tiality for poetry, he there formed those habits of close 
application to study which were the foundation of his 
future learning. In 1835, he won the Newdigate 
poetry prize, the subject being The Knights of St. 
John. A few years later, he published two volumes of 
minor poems, called from the heading piece in each, 
Cherwell Water-lily and the Styrian Lake. Of a 
higher order than these was Sir Lancelot, a romantic 
poem of great beauty, drawn from mediaeval sources. 
Father Faber was born a poet. Wordsworth, with 
whom he lived for a time on terms of intimacy, de- 
clared that he had even a better eye for nature than 
himself; and, on another occasion, when Faber was 
rector of Elton, he added that, were it not for Fred- 
erick Faber's devoting himself so much to his sacred 
calling, he would be the poet of his age. But Faber's 
ambition aimed at something higher than earthly fame. 
From a Calvinist he had become first a zealous advo- 
cate, then a minister, of advanced Anglicanism, and, 
after years of prayer and study in the pursuit of truth, 
he made, in 1845, his submission to the Catholic Church, 
following the example of his guide, Dr. Newman. 
Having been raised to the priesthood, Father Faber 
joined the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, lately intro- 
duced into England by Dr. Newman: and when the 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 339 

London House was founded, in 1849, he wa^ appointed 
to the office of superior, which he kept till his death. 
This is not the place to recount the apostolic labors of 
Father Faber during the last fourteen years of his 
life. Whilst he devoted body and soul to the welfare 
of his religious family at home, he burned with un- 
quenchable zeal for the conversion of souls abroad. 
It was between the fatigues of the ministry and his 
frequent spells of sickness, that he wrote those pious 
works in which the mysteries, doctrines, and devotional 
practices of Christianity, are presented in a style imag- 
inative, eloquent, and full of unction. 

All for Jesus, Growth in Holiness, The Blessed Sacra- 
ment, The Creator and the Creature, At the Foot of 
the Cross, Spiritual Conferences, The Precious Blood, 
Bethlehem, appeared in close succession. Many edi- 
tions in England and America, and many translations, 
attest the popularity of these works of Father Faber. 
He published also a Book of Hymns, many of which 
have found their way into almost every collection, 
Catholic and Protestant, of sacred lyrics that has been 
printed since. They are 150 in number, and cover 
the whole range of Catholic piety. His verses, less 
labored and polished than Keble's, quite make up in 
supernatural warmth what they lack in artistic finish ; 
and we find in them always that ease of expression 
which we miss in the highly wrought poems of Keble. 

The last two years of Father Faber's life were years 
of continual disease and suffering, but he retained to 
the last that serenity of soul and that fascination of 
manners, which in him were characteristic traits. 



A VIEW OF LONDON. 



Let us sit down upon the top of this fair hill. The clear 
sunshine and the bright air flow into us in streams of life and 



340 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

gladness, while our thoughts are lifted up to God, and our 
hearts quietly expand to love. Beneath us is that beautiful 
rolling plain, with its dark masses of summer foliage sleep- 
ing in the sun for miles and miles away, in the varying 
shades of blue and green, according to the distance or the 
clouds. There at our feet ' is the gigantic city, gleaming with 
an ivory whiteness beneath its uplifted but perpetual canopy 
of smoke. The villa-spotted hills beyond it, its almost count- 
less spires, its one huge many-steepled palace, and its solemn 
presiding dome, its old bleached tower, and its squares of 
crowded shipping it all lies below us in the peculiar sun- 
shine of its own misty magnificence. There, in every variety 
of joy and misery, of elevation and depression, three million 
souls are working out their complicated destinies. Close 
around us, the air is filled with the songs of rejoicing birds, 
or the pleased hum of the insects that are drinking the sun- 
beams, and blowing their tiny trumpets as they weave and un- 
weave their mazy dance. The flowers breathe sweetly, and 
the leaves of the glossy shrubs are spotted with bright crea- 
tures in painted surcoat or gilded panoply, while the blue 
dome above seems both taller and bluer than common, and is 
ringing with the loud peals of the unseen larks, as the steeples 
of the city ring for the nation's victory. Far off from the 
river-flat comes the booming of the cannon, and here, all un- 
startled, round and round the pond, a fleet of young perch are 
sailing in the sun, slowly and undisturbedly as if they had a 
very grave enjoyment of their little lives. What a mingled 
scene it is of God and man ! and all so bright, so beautiful so 
diversified, so calm, opening out such fountains of deep re- 
flection, and of simple-hearted gratitude to our Heavenly Father. 
From The Creator and the Creature. 



THE; CRUCIFIXION. 

The Three-and-Thirty Years are ending. A new epoch in the 
world's history is to open. The most magnificent of all its 
epochs is closing. What will death be like to Him? Ah! we 
may ask also, what will life be like to her when He is dead? 
What will Mary herself be like without Jesus? She was not 
looking up, but she knew His eye was now resting on her. 
What strange power is there in the eyes of the dying, that they 
often turn round the averted faces that are there, and attract 
them to themselves, that love may see the last of its love? His 
eye was resting on the same object on which it rested the 
moment He was born, when He lay suddenly on a fold of her 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY, 341 

robe upon the ground while she knelt in prayer, and when He 
smiled, and lifted up His little hands to be taken up into her 
arms, and folded to her bosom. His arms were otherwise lifted 
up now, inviting us to climb into them, like fond children, and 
see what the embrace of a Savior's love is like. She felt His 
eye, and she looked up into His face. Never did two such 
faces look into each other, and speak such unutterable love as 
this. The Father held Mary up in His arms, lest she should 
perish under the load of love; and the loud cry went out from 
the hill-top, hushing Mary's soul into an agony of silence, and 
the Head drooped toward her, and the eye closed, and the Soul 
passed her, like a flash, and sank into the earth, and a wind 
arose, and stirred the mantle of darkness, and the sun cleared 
itself of the moon's shadow, and the roofs of the city glim- 
mered white, and the birds began to sing, but only as if they 
were half reassured, and Mary stood beneath the Cross a child- 
less Mother. 

At the Foot of the Cross. 

WIUJAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY, 1811-1863. 

Thackeray stands' in marked contrast to Dickens. 
The one possessed a free and optimistic view of life 
and by his caricature of the lower strata of society, 
provoked his audience to uproarious laughter. The 
other saw life in the upper middle-class and presented 
its noble and its ignoble phases in deft satiric touches 
that mark the master. Thackeray was born in Calcutta 
in the year 1811. His father, of an old Yorkshire fam- 
ily, was employed in the civil service of the East India 
Company. The young Thackeray was sent to England 
when seven years old, and was placed at the Charter- 
house School, whence he passed to Cambridge. He 
did not complete his course, but was afterwards dili- 
gent to make up his loss. From the University he re- 
paired to Rome and other Continental cities, where he 
devoted himself to art-studies during four or five years. 
His proficiency was considerable, and a future of dis- 
tinction as a painter seemed to -await him. But in con- 



342 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

sequence of the loss of his fortune, partly through the 
fault of others, and partly through his own, he was 
obliged to turn his attention to other pursuits. He first 
studied law at the Middle Temple, though he was not 
called to the bar until 1848, when his success in letters 
seemed already assured. In 1852 he toured England 
and America delivering as lectures his best essays. In 
1860 he became editor of Cornhill Magazine which he 
was making successful when he died suddenly at 
Christmas of 1863. A monument has been erected to 
his memory in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey. 

He was past the age of thirty when he settled down 
to the walks of literature, and began contributing to 
the magazines. With equal facility he wrote in verse 
and prose, attracted attention and won popularity. 

His Vanity Fair, illustrated by himself, or, to employ 
his own metaphor, 'illuminated with the author's own 
candles,' was the first of his more elaborate produc- 
tions that was published under Thackeray's own name 
(1847-48). It placed him in the highest rank of the 
masters of English fiction, and is a masterpiece of 
satire and realism. Becky Sharp, the heroine, is a 
character that will abide and stand out in English liter- 
ature as a masterly drawing of a repulsive, selfish, 
scheming woman, whose cleverness yet exerts a certain 
fascination. 

Pendennis, 1850, is a partial revelation of Thack- 
eray's own life, "a profound moral study, and the most 
powerful arraignment of well-meaning selfishness in 
our literature not even excepting George Eliot's Rom- 
ola, which it suggests." The Newcomes, 1855, sequel 
to Pendennis, a story of human frajlty, winning by the 
charm of the noble, lovable Colonel Newcome ; wherein 
is manifest Thackeray's innate gentleness and kind- 




WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 343 

ness toward this world against which he appears to 
declaim so fiercely. 

Henry Esmond, 1852, is by very many considered 
Thackeray's best. Critics have even called it a perfect 
novel, the most realistic of historical novels. Its set- 
ting is the time of Queen Anne and the events are re- 
corded, with a bewitching admixture of first and third 
person, by the hero, Colonel Esmond, in the style and 
manner of a gentleman of the time. The story of 
Esmond's infatuation of Beatrix and his eventual mar- 
riage with the mother, Lady Castlewood, is almost 
hidden, interwoven as it is with the indoor life of the 
literary circles moving about Steele and Addison, and 
with the stirring scenes called forth by the fear of a 
Stuart invasion and the treachery of the unprincipled 
Marlborough. 

The Virginians, 1859, sequel to Henry Esmond, 
completes the list of his very great novels. 

As an essayist Thackeray has a subtle tone all his 
own. Quick, keen, penetrating, he pierces the surface 
and exposes sham, emphasizes the true and noble by un- 
relenting criticism of the counterfeit. The foibles and 
failings he sees he sets forth in a strain of satire, deli- 
cate, refined, but forceful. His English Humorists of 
the Eighteenth Century and the Four Georges are his 
best. These men and their associates seem in Thack- 
eray's pages to be his fellows and intimates. 

The Rev. P. J. Gannon, S. J., in the Dublin Review, 
January, 1912, says: "Thackeray had towards relig- 
ion that reverence which may be said to characterize 
all great minds whether they believe or not. His was 
no mocking spirit to deride man's highest ideals and 



344 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

most cherished hopes. ... In general, Thackeray 
advocates a high standard of kindliness, manliness, 
and cleanness. . . . He saw much evil in the world ; 
... he recorded his observations very plainly, but 
he did not perpetrate the crime of spreading the evil he 
denounced. . . . He was assuredly very Christian 
in temperament, and we may certainly claim that his 
great human kindness has its roots deep down in the 
doctrine of Christ. But his many invaluable les- 
sons on the conduct of life . . . are far from con- 
stituting a code of strictly Christian ethics. . . . 
They have little power to move us in the hour of temp- 
tation. . . . They will not justify us in claiming 
Thackeray as a great moral force, though they will 
win for him the love of his admirers. . . . 

"Let it be clearly understood, however, that there 
are many cheap and vulgar gibes in connection with 
the Catholic Church which whether we consider them 
from the standpoint of humor or good taste, are quite 
unworthy of him." 

THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO. 

All that day, from morning until past sunset, the cannon 
ceased not to roar. It was dark when the cannonading stopped 
all of a sudden. 

All of us have read of what occurred during that interval. 
The tale is in every Englishman's mouth; and you and I, who 
were children when the great battle was won and lost, are 
never tired of hearing and recounting the history of that fa- 
mous action. Its remembrance rankles still in the bosoms of 
millions of the countrymen of those brave men who lost the 
day. They pant for an opportunity of revenging that humilia- 
tion; and if a contest, ending in a victory on their part, should 
ensue, elating them in their turn, and leaving its cursed legacy 
of hatred and rage behind to us, there is no end to the so- 
called glory and shame, and to the alternations of successful 
and unsuccessful murder, in which two high-spirited nations 
might engage. Centuries hence, we Frenchmen and English- 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 345 

men might be boasting and killing each other still, carrying 
out bravely the Devil's code of honor. 

All our friends took their share, and fought like men in the 
great field. All day long, whilst the women were praying ten 
miles away, the lines of the dauntless English infantry were 
receiving and repelling the furious charges of the French horse- 
men. Guns which were heard at Brussels were ploughing up 
their ranks, and comrades falling, and the resolute survivor 
closing in. Towards evening, the attack of the French, re- 
peated and resisted so bravely, slackened in its fury. They 
had other foes besides the British to engage, or were prepar- 
ing for a final onset. It came at last; the columns of the Im- 
perial Guard marched up the hill of Saint Jean, at length and 
at once to sweep the English from the height which they had 
maintained all day and in spite of all ; unscared by the thunder 
of the artillery, which hurled death from the English line, 
the dark rolling column pressed on and up the hill. It seemed 
almost to crest the eminence, when it began to waver and 
falter. Then it stopped, still facing the shot. Then, at last, 
the English troops rushed from the post from which no enemy 
had been able to dislodge them, and the Guard turned and fled. 

No more firing was heard at Brussels, the pursuit rolled 
miles away. Darkness came ^down on the field and city; and 
Amelia was praying for George, who was lying on his face, 
dead, with a bullet through his heart. 



. . . Dick set about almost all the undertakings of his life 
with inadequate means, and, as he took and furnished a house 
with the most generous intentions toward his friend, the most 
tender gallantry toward his wife, and with this only drawback, 
that he had not wherewithal to pay the rent when quarter-day 
came so in his life he proposed to himself the most magnificent 
schemes of virtue, forbearance, public and private good, and the 
advancement of his own and the national religion ; but when he 
had to pay for these articles so difficult to purchase and so costlj 
to maintain poor Dick's money was not forthcoming : and 
when Virtue called with her little bill, Dick made a shuffling 
excuse that he could not see her that morning, having a head- 
ache from being tipsy overnight; or when stern Duty rapped 
at the door with his account, Dick was absent and not ready 
to pay. He was shirking at the tavern; or had some particular 
business (of somebody else's) at the ordinary; or he was in 
hiding, or worse than in hiding, in the lock-up house. What a 
situation for a man for a philanthropist for a lover of right 



346 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

and truth for a magnificent designer and schemer! Not to 
dare to look in the face the religion which he adored and which 
he had offended ; to have to shirk down back lanes and alleys, 
so as to avoid the friend whom he loved and who had trusted 
him; to have the house which he had intended for his wife, 
whom he loved passionately, and for her ladyship's company 
which he loved to entertain splendidly, in the possession of a 
bailiff's man, with a crowd of little creditors grocers, butchers, 
and small-coal men lingering round the door with their bills 
and jeering at him. Alas for poor Dick Steele ! For nobody 
else, of course ! There is no man or woman in our time who 
makes fine projects and gives them up from idleness or want 
of means. When Duty calls upon us, we no doubt are always 
at home and ready to pay that grim tax-gatherer. When we 
are stricken with remorse and promise reform, we keep our 
promise, and are never angry or idle or extravagant any more. 
There are no chambers in our hearts, destined for family friends 
and affections, and now occupied by some Sin's emissary and 
bailiff in possession. There are no little sins, shabby peccadilloes, 
importunate remembrances, or disappointed holders of our prom- 
ises to reform, hovering at our steps or knocking at our door! 
Of course not. We are living in the nineteenth century; and 
poor Dick Steel ' stumbled and got up again, and got into Jail 
and out again, and sinned and repeated, and loved and suffered, 
and lived and died, scores of years ago. Peace be with him! 
Let us think gently of one who was so gentle; let us speak 
kindly of one whose own breast exuberated with human kind- 

From The English Humorists. 

WAI/TSR SAVAGE LANDOR, 1775-1864 

Born January 30, 1775, Walter Landor came of two 
families long settled in Warwick, the county of Shakes- 
peare and George Eliot. He was educated at Rugby 
and Oxford, annoying companions and masters by his 
revolutionary tendencies and impetuosity of character. 
In 1793 he was disciplined for his audacity and he 
left never to return. When Spain engaged in the wars 
against Napoleon, Landor fitted out a body of men, 
at his own expense, marched at their head as regularly 
commissioned colonel, and won the public praise of 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 347 

the provisional government. At the restoration of 
Ferdinand to the throne, Landor in disgust resigned 
his commission and repudiated the thanks tendered 
him. In 1811, he entered into a hasty marriage, 
which, of course, became a very unhappy one and 
finally (1835) ended in divorce. Once in possession 
of his father's estates, though he boasted they had 
been in the family upwards of 700 years, he sold 
them off to purchase and equip in magnificent fashion 
Llanthony Abbey: there he was in constant quarrels, 
and lawsuits with neighbors, tenants, and laborers; 
and in anger at the failure of an investment, he dis- 
posed of his properties and left (1815) to reside in 
Italy. Wherever he went he seemed to be on terms 
of chronic misunderstanding with everybody. After 
his separation from his wife, he returned to England, 
but was forced to leave (1858) to avoid lawsuit for 
libel. He was neglected by his children, and in old 
age, upwards of ninety, was kept from penury by the 
poet Browning. He died at Florence. 

In 1795, Landor published Poems, in 1798 Gebir, 
originally done in Latin; in 1820 Idylla Heroica with 
a prefatory dissertation in Latin he being one of the 
most accomplished Latinists of the age. From first 
to last, over a space of fifty years, Landor shows un- 
diminished poetic feeling, and his classic spirit passed 
to the heritage of Matthew Arnold and Swinburne. 
Notwithstanding, his poetry never was successful. 

Landor's fame rests on his Imaginary Conversa- 
tions, 1824-29; Pericles and Aspasia, 1836; Penta- 
meron, 1837. The Imaginary Conversations bring 
together characters famous in history, and report their 
supposed comment on contemporary topics. Hannibal 
and Marcellus, Virgil and Horace, Washington and 



348 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Franklin; Peter the Great charges his son, Prince 
Alexis, with treason; Henry VIII. meets Anne Bo- 
leyn in prison; Addison rebukes Steele for running 
into debt; Landor himself and Southey discuss the 
poetry of Milton. The range of subjects introduced 
into these dialogues, and the easy familiarity which 
deals with public and private history of all ages, make 
these Conversations a wonderful and interesting work. 

In some instances the portraiture of character is 
perfect : here or there, however, a touch of bigotry 
displays itself, or we are shocked by a singular view 
or a spirit of contradiction or of paradox when, for 
example, we find the author justifying such men as 
Nero and Tiberius, and, through the mouths of Fra 
Filippo and Pope Eugenius, slandering the monks. 

Landor's style is noted for delicate purity of lan- 
guage and vigor of expression. He can be, when 
occasion demands, majestic and musical in the move- 
ment of his sentences. 

MARCELLUS AND HANNIBAL. 

[Marcellus, the commander of the Roman Army, lies before 
Hannibal mortally wounded.] 

Hannibal. Could a Numidian horseman ride no faster? 
Marcellus, oh, Marcellus ! He moves not he is dead. Did he 
not stir his fingers? Stand wide, soldiers wide, forty paces 
give him air bring water halt ! Gather those broad leaves, 
and all the rest, growing under the bushwood unbrace his 
armor. Loose the helmet first his breast rises. I fancied his 
eyes were fixed on me they have rolled back again. Who 
presumed to touch my shoulder? This horse? It was surely 
the horse of Marcellus ! Let no man mount him. Ha ! ha ! the 
Romans, too, sink into luxury: here is gold about the charger. 

Gaulish Chieftain. Execrable thief ! The golden chain of our 
king under a beast's grinders ! The vengeance of the gods hath 
overtaken the impure 

Hannibal. We will talk about vengeance when we have en- 
tered Rome, and about purity among the priests, if they will 
hear us. Sound for the surgeon. That arrow may be extracted 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 349 

from the side, deep as it is. The conqueror of Syracuse lies 
before me. Send a^vessel off to Carthage. Say Hannibal is at 
the gates of Rome. Marcellus, who stood alone between us, 
fallen. Brave man! I would rejoice and cannot. How awfully 
serene a countenance! Such as we hear are in the islands 
of the Blessed. And how glorious a form and stature ! Such 
too was theirs! They also once lay thus upon the earth wet 
with their blood few others enter there. And what plain 
armor! . . . The life of Marcellus! the triumph of Hanni- 
bal! what else has the world in it? Only Rome and Carthage: 
these follow. 

Marcellus. I must die then ? The gods be praised ! The com- 
mander of a Roman army is no captive. 

Hannibal (to the Surgeon). Could he not bear a sea- voyage? 
Extract the arrow. 

Surgeon. He expires that moment. 

Marcellus. It pains me : extract it. 

Hannibal. Marcellus, I see no expression of pain on your 
countenance, and never will I consent to hasten the death of an 
enemy in my power. Since your recovery is hopeless, you say 
truly you are no captive. (To the Surgeon) Is there nothing, 
man, that can assuage the mortal pain? for, suppress the signs 
of it as he may, he must feel it. Is there nothing to alleviate 
and allay it? 

Marcellus. Hannibal, give me thy hand thou has found it 
and brought it to me, compassion. (To Surgeon) Go, friend; 
others want thy aid ; several fell around me. 

Hannibal. Recommend to your country, O Marcellus, while 
time permits it, reconciliation and peace with me, informing the 
Senate of my superiority in force, and the impossibility of resis- 
tance. The tablet is ready: let me take off this ring try to 
write, to sign it, at least. Oh, what satisfaction I feel at seeing 
you able to rest upon the elbow, and even to smile! 

Marcellus. Within an hour or less, with how severe a brow 
would Minos say to me: "Marcellus, is this thy writing?" Rome 
loses one man : she hath lost many such, and she still hath many 
left. 

Hannibal. Afraid as you are of falsehood, say you this? 
I confess in shame the ferocity of my countrymen. Unfortu- 
nately, too, the nearer posts are occupied by Gauls, infinitely 
more cruel. The Numidians are so in revenge : the Gauls 
both in revenge and in sport. My presence is required at a 
distance and I apprehend the barbarity of the one or the 
other, learning, as they must do, your refusal to execute my 
wishes for the common good, and feeling that by this refusal 
you deprive them of their country, after so long an absence. 



350 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Marcellus. Hannibal, thou art not dying. 

Hannibal. What then? What mean you? 

Marcellus. That thou mayest, and very justly, have many 
things yet to apprehend: I can have none. The barbarity of 
thy soldiers is nothing to me : mine would not dare be c^uel. 
Hannibal is forced to be absent; and his authority goes away 
with his horse. On this turf lies defaced the semblance of a 
general ; but Marcellus is yet the regulator of his army. Dost 
thou abdicate a power conferred on thee by thy nation? Or 
wouldst thou acknowledge it to have become, by thy own sole 
fault, less plenary than thy adversary's? . . . My strength 
is failing. I seem to hear rather what is within than, what is 
without. My sight and my other senses are in confusion. I 
would have said This body, when a few bubbles of air shall 
have left it, is no more worthy of thy notice t'han of mine; but 
thy glory will not let thee refuse it to the piety of my family. 

Hannibal. You would ask something else. I perceive an 
inquietude not visible till now. 

Marcellus. Duty and Death make us think of home sometimes. 

Hannibal. Thitherward the thoughts of the conqueror and of 
the conquered fly together. 

Marcellus. Hast thou any prisoners from my escort? 

Hannibal. A few dying lie about and let them lie they 
are Tuscans. The remainder I saw at a distance, flying, and 
but one brave man among them he appeared a Roman a 
youth who turned back, though wounded. They surrounded 
and dragged him away, spurring his horse with their swords. 
These Etrurians measure their courage carefully, and tack it 
well together before they put it on, but throw it off again with 
lordly ease. 

Marcellus, why think about them? or does ought else disquiet 
your thoughts? 

Marcellus. T have suppressed it long enough. My son my 
beloved son! 

Hannibal. Where is he? Can it be? Was he with you? 

Marcellus. He would have shared my fate and has not. 
Gods of my country! beneficient through life to me, in death sur- 
passingly beneficient : I render you, for the last time, thanks. 

NICHOLAS PATRICK WISEMAN, 1802-1865. 

Nicholas Patrick Wiseman, Cardinal Archbishop of 
Westminster, was born in Seville, Spain, in 1802. His 
father's family were of English, and his mother's, of 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 351 

Irish, origin. He was educated at St. Cuthbert's Col- 
lege, Ushaw; where, for nearly eight years, he ap- 
plied himself closely to his studies, and laid the founda- 
tion of that profound and varied erudition, which gave 
him such distinction in after-life. In 1818, he went 
to Rome as a student of the English College, then but 
recently established. Hei'e, he soon attracted attention 
by the publication of his first book, Hora Syriaca, a 
treatise on Oriental languages a study in which he 
was intensely interested. On account of his extraordi- 
nary abilities, he was not allowed to return to England 
at once ; but, after being ordained priest in his twenty- 
third year, he was created professor of the Roman Uni- 
versity. He filled in succession the offices of Vice- Rec- 
tor and Rector of the English College. In 1835, he de- 
livered his famous Lectures on the Connection between 
Science and Revealed Religion; and, the following 
year, his Lectures on the Principal Doctrines and Prac- 
tices of the Catholic Church, which because of the 
author's remarkable insight into the mental needs of 
his readers and the accuracy, ease, and fulness of his 
exposition of Catholicism, remain to this day a classic 
and a model of their kind. Dr. Wiseman had been fol- 
lowing the movement going on in the English Church, 
and foreseeing the advantages to accrue to the Cath- 
olic interests, he left Rome and returned to England. 
In September, 1840, he was made president of Oscott 
College and Vicar-Apostolic of the Midland District, 
with the title of Bishop of Mellipotamus. In 1847, he 
was nominated pro-Vicar-Apostolic of the London 
District, and he succeeded to the office on the death of 
Dr. Walsh, February 19, 1849. The papal Bull of 1850 
having re-established the Roman Catholic hierarchy in 
England, Dr. Wiseman was appointed Archbishop of 



352 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Westminster and created Cardinal. In England, a wild 
burst of excitement followed these acts ; but the cardi- 
nal lost no time in pouring oil on the troubled waters by 
publishing his Appeal to the Reason and Good Feeling 
of the English People on the subject of the Catholic 
Hierarchy. To argument he replied with argument; 
for taunts he gave back words of conciliation. The 
Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, provoked by the occasion, 
passed both Houses, and though it received the Royal 
assent, it remained a dead letter till it was annuled by 
Parliament. And England long aga became ashamed 
of the foolish and childish bigotry she displayed during 
this exciting time. 

His long residence in Rome had familiarized Cardi- 
nal Wiseman with the most exquisite productions of 
painters, sculptors, and architects; and, in 1852, he 
lectured at Leeds to an immense audience, and proved 
that never had science flourished more, or originated 
more sublime or useful discoveries, than when it had 
been pursued under the influence of the Roman Cath- 
olic Religion. His lectures, delivered in Manchester 
and Liverpool, in 1853, On the Connection betzveen the 
Arts of Design and the Arts of Production, and On 
the Highways of Peaceful Commerce as being the 
Highways of Art, show great learning and a wonder- 
ful versatility of mind. 

In another department of literature, he wrote Fab- 
iola, or the Church of the Catacombs, a masterpiece 
cf narrative for interest, information, and edification. 
"It is a most charming book, a truly popular book, 
and alike pleasing to the scholar and the general 
reader. It is the first work of the kind that we have 
read in any language, in which truly pious and devout 
sentiment, and the loftiest and richest imagination, are 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 353 

so blended, so fused together, that the one never jars 
on the other." * And yet this admirable tale was com- 
posed 'bit by bit, at all sorts of times and in all sorts 
of places ' 

Three volumes of his contributions to the Dublin Re- 
view, of which he was co-founder with Daniel O'Con- 
nell, were published under the title of Essays on Va- 
rious Subjects. "They constitute one of the richest 
contributions that have recently been made to our Eng- 
lish Catholic literature. They bear to us the marks of 
a varied and extensive erudition, which we seldom look 
for out of Italy or Germany; are written in a style of 
singular freshness, vivacity and force, ease and dignity, 
which may well be studied as a model/' 

Cardinal Wiseman wrote many other works, among 
which we may mention his Recollections of the Last 
Four Popes and of Rome in their Times (1858), a 
picturesque and popular book; his Sermons, Lectures, 
and Speeches, delivered during a tour in Ireland 
(1859) ; Rome and the Catholic Episcopate. He also 
found time to write for St. Cuthbert's College, The 
Hidden Gem, a drama in two acts. He was preparing 
a lecture for the tercentenary of Shakespeare to be 
delivered before the Royal Society, when he was 
seized with his last illness in 1865. 

Cardinal Wiseman wrote in a clear and polished 
style, sometimes too much in the florid Italian manner ; 
but, often too, with a calm eloquence peculiarly suited 
to the English temperament. He was a profound lin- 
guist, having a perfect acquaintance with all the 
European and most of the Oriental languages. He 
was a man of great achievements and still greater aims. 
To his levees in York Place men of all creeds and 

* Dr. Brownson. 



354 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

nationalities came, and for all he had a kindly greet- 
ing and cordial conversation. He was ever most 
earnest in devotion to his religion, and always pre- 
pared to make any sacrifice in its behalf. His name 
will remain indissolubly connected with the re-estab- 
lishment of Catholicity in England, and the re-awaken- 
ing of the Catholic mind. His biography has been 
ably written by Wilfrid Ward. 

'' 

THE MARTYRDOM OF ST. PANCRATIUS. 

Such was the attitude and such was the privilege of our 
heroic youth. The mob was frantic, as they saw one wild beast 
after another careering madly round him, roaring, and lashing 
its sides with its tail, while he seemed placed in a charmed 
circle, which they could not approach. A furious bull, let 
loose upon him, dashed madly forward, with his neck bent 
down, then stopped suddenly, as though he had struck his 
head against a wall, pawed the ground, and scattered the dust 
around him, bellowing fiercely. 

"Provoke him, thou coward!" roared out, still louder, the 
enraged emperor. 

Pancratius awoke as from a trance, and waving his arms, 
ran towards his enemy; but the savage brute, as if a lion had 
been rushing on him, turned round, and ran away towards the 
entrance, where meeting his keeper, he tossed him high into 
the air. All were disconcerted, except the brave youth, who 
had resumed his attitude of prayer, when one of the crowd 
shouted out: "He has a charm round his neck; he is a sor- 
cerer!" The whole multitude re-echoed the cry, till the em- 
peror, having commanded silence, called out to him, "Take 
that amulet from thy neck, and cast it from thee, or it shall be 
done more roughly for thee." 

"Sire," replied the youth, with a musical voice, that rang 
sweetly through the hushed amphitheatre, "it is no charm 
that I wear, but a memorial of my father, who, in this very 
place, made gloriously the same confession which I now humbly 
make; I am a Christian; and for love of Jesus Christ, God 
and man, I gladly give my life. Do not take from me this 
only legacy, which I have bequeathed, richer than I received 
it, to another. Try once more; it was a panther that gave him 
his crown; perhaps it will bestow the same on me." 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 355 

.For an instant there was a dead silence; the multitude 
seemed softened, won. The graceful form of the gallant 
youth, his now inspired countenance, the thrilling music of his 
voice, the intrepidity of his speech, and his generous self- 
devotion to his cause, had wrought upon that cowardly herd. 
Pancratius felt it, and his heart quailed before their mercy, 
more than before their rage; he had promised himself heaven 
tlr^t day ; was he to be disappointed? Tears started into his 
eyes, as, stretching forth his arms once more in the form of a 
cross, he called aloud, in a tone that again vibrated through 
every heart: "To-day; oh, yes, to-day, most blessed Lord, is 
the appointed day of Thy coming. Tarry not longer; enough 
has Thy power been shown in me to them that believe not in 
Thee ; show now Thy mercy to me who in Thee believe !" 

"The panther!" shouted out a voice. "The panther!" re- 
sponded twenty. "The panther!" thundered forth a hun- 
dred thousand, in a chorus like the roaring of an avalanche. 
A cage started up, as if by magic, from the midst of the sand, 
and as it rose, its side fell down, and freed the captive of the 
desert. With one graceful bound, the elegant savage gained its 
liberty; and, though enraged by darkness, confinement, and 
hunger, it seemed almost playful, as it leaped and turned 
about, frisked and gambolled noiselessly on the sand. 

At last it caught sight of its prey. All its feline cunning 
and cruelty seemed to return, and to conspire together in ani- 
mating the cautious and treacherous movements of its velvet- 
clothed frame. The whole amphitheatre was as silent as if it 
had been a hermit's dell, while every eye was intent, watching 
the stealthy approaches of the sleek brute to its victim. Pan- 
cratius was still standing in the same place, facing the empe- 
ror, apparently so absorbed in higher thoughts as not to heed 
the movements of his enemy. The panther had stolen round 
him, as if disdaining to attack him except in front. Crouch- 
ing upon its breast, slowly advancing one paw before another, 
it had gained its measured distance, and there it lay for some 
moments of breathless suspense. A deep snarling growl, an 
elastic spring through the air, and it was seen gathered up 
like a leech, with its hind feet on the chest, and its fangs and 
fore claws on the throat of the martyr. 

He stood erect for a moment, brought his right hand to his 
mouth, and looking up at Sebastian with a smile, directed to 
him, by a graceful wave of his arm, the last salutation of his 
lips and fell. The arteries of the neck had been severed, and 
the slumber of martyrdom at once settled on his eyelids. 



356 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

CHARLES DICKENS, 1812-1870. 

Charles Dickens, the most popular novelist of the 
century, and one of the greatest humorists that Eng- 
land has produced, was born at Landport, Portsmouth, 
in 1812. 

The early life of Dickens was one of extreme pov- 
erty. His father, for a time, was confined in the 
Debtors' Prison, and he himself was obliged to become 
a poor little drudge, and eke out a scanty living in a 
blacking warehouse by covering and labelling the pots 
of paste-blacking, at six shilling a week. After going 
to school for two or three years, he became a Parlia- 
mentary reporter for some of the leading journals in 
the great capital. It was during these years of news- 
paper life, that the half-educated young Dickens laid 
the foundations of his after-career as an author. As a 
reporter, he disciplined his habits of industry, enlarged 
the circle of his knowledge, and attained very early to 
his mental maturity. "To the wholesome training of 
severe newspaper work when I was a very young man," 
he said in his speech to the New York editors in 1868, 
"I constantly refer my first successes." 

His first attempt at authorship was made over the 
signature Boz in the Old Monthly Magazine for 1834, 
He continued his Sketches in another paper, The Even- 
ing Chronicle, during 1835. In the following year, 
the Sketches, illustrated by Cruikshank, were brought 
out in two volumes, and their author at once became 
famous. Though inferior to some of his later produc- 
tions, this book presents intensely vhid pictures of 
London middle and low life. The realistic tendency 
is kept up in all his stories. The Sketches are sprightly 
with fun and discernment of character, and the gen- 




CHARLES DICKENS 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 357 

eral handling is easy and skilful. Pickwick Papers 
followed. They were published serially in 1836-1837, 
and before half of them had appeared, Oliver Twist 
was begun, the numbers of each coming out sim- 
ultaneously. The success of Pickwick was unexampled 
in English literature. After the first two or three 
numbers had appeared, it was in the hands of every- 
body in London, from the peer to the cabman. Of 
the first number four hundred were printed; of the 
fifteenth, more than forty thousand. Oliver Twist 
maintained the prestige of Pickwick. Nicholas Nickle- 
by was also published in serial form, the first paper 
selling, on the first day of its appearance, to the aston- 
ishing number of nearly 50,000 copies. Barnaby 
Rudge and The Old Curiosity Shop came next, delight- 
ing everybody. 

Dickens visited the United States in 1842, and re- 
ceived a cordial welcome. He had set his heart to have 
passed an international copyright law; for all Ameri- 
cans read him, and he held it was but right that those 
who reaped the fruits of his labor and triumphs, should 
be compelled to give him at least a small portion of 
their easily earned gains. But Congress refused to pass 
such a law, and the friendly disposition with which 
Dickens came was thus embittered against the Ameri- 
cans, and found vent in his next two works, American 
Notes and Martin Chuzzlewit. He visited Italy in 
1844, spending a year there. On his return to London 
he founded the Daily News, and published in it his so- 
called Pictures of Italy. Both the style and the mat- 
ter were below Dicken's standard. His other prin- 
cipal works are Dombey and Son, David Copperfield, 
his finest production, Bleak House, The Child's His- 
tory of England, Christmas Tales, Little Dorr it, Hard 



358 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Times, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, and 
Our Mutual Friend. He had begun a new story, The 
Mystery of Edwin Drood, when he died quite unex- 
pectedly. The merits of Dicken's novels are well 
known and appreciated. But we may ask ourselves : Is 
their influence on society of such a character as to de- 
serve unlimited praise? On this important question 
we shall quote the opinions of two celebrated Reviews. 
"Mr. Dickens/' said the North British Review, "makes 
his low characters almost always vulgar. ... In 
the next place, the good characters of his novels do 
not seem to have a wholesome moral tendency. The 
reason is, that many of them all the author's fav- 
orites exhibit an excellence flowing from constitution 
and temperament, and not from the influence of moral 
or religious motive. They act from impulse, not from 
principle." 

Starting from the fact that Dickens appeared before 
the public as a preacher whose 'mission' it was to cor- 
rect the vices of society, and inculcate sound principles, 
the Dublin Review was led to the following remarks: 
"He was certainly a moral writer, and he did laud the 
household virtues ; but there is a higher aspect of mor- 
ality, one in which Catholic readers are bound to regard 
every book which professes to deal with the condition 
of man; and, so regarded, Mr. Dickens's works are as 
false as any of those of the undisguisedly materialistic 
writers of the day. He cried, Teace, peace, where 
there is no peace;' he vaunted the quack nostrums of 
good fellowship and sentimental tenderness, of human 
institutions, and the natural virtues, as remedies for 
sin, sorrow, and the weariness of life. . . . Can 
any writer, however amiable, moral, wise, or witty, be 
quite harmless, who departs so utterly from the truth 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 359 

who leads the mind of his readers so far from the 
'fountain opened for sin and uncleanliness,' and from 
every source of supernatural enlightenment?" 

THE CHARACTER OF A YORKSHIRE SCHOOLMASTER. 
(From Nicholas Nickleby.) 

Mr. Squeer's appearance was not prepossessing. He had 
but one eye, and the popular prejudice runs in favor of two. 
The eye he had was unquestionably useful, but decidedly not 
ornamental: being of a greenish-gray, and in shape resemb- 
ling the fan-light of a street door. The blank side of his 
face was much wrinkled and puckered up, which gave him a 
very sinister appearance, especially when he smiled, at which 
time his expression bordered closely on the villainous. His 
hair was very flat and shiny, save at the ends, where it was 
brushed stiffly up from the forehead, which assorted well with 
his .harsh voice and coarse manner. He was about two or 
three and fifty, and a trifle below the middle size; he wore a 
white neckerchief with long ends, and a suit of scholastic 
black; but his coat sleeves being a great deal too long, and his 
trousers a great deal too short, he appeared ill at ease in his 
clothes, and as if he were in a perpetual state of astonishment 
at finding himself so respectable. 

Mr. Squeers was standing in a box by one of the coffee-room 
fire-places, fitted with one such table as is usually seen in 
coffee-rooms, and two of extraordinary shapes and dimensions 
made to suit the angles of the partition. In a corner of the 
seat was a very small deal trunk, tied round with a scanty 
piece of cord; and on the trunk was perched his lace-up 
half-boots and corduroy trousers dangling in the air a dimin- 
utive boy, with shoulders drawn up to his ears, and his hands 
planted on his knees, who glanced timidly at the schoolmaster, 
from time to time, with evident dread and apprehension'. 

"Half-past three," muttered Mr. Squeers, turning from the 
window, and looking sulkily at the coffee-room clock. "There 
will be nobody here to-day." 

Much vexed by this reflection, Mr. Squeers looked at the lit- 
tle boy to see whether he was doing anything he could beat 
him for. As he happened not to be doing anything at all, he 
merely boxed his ears, and told him not to do it again. 

"At Midsummer," muttered Mr. Squeers, resuming his com- 
plaint, "I took down ten boys; ten twenties is two hundred 
pound. I go back at eight o'clock to-morrow morning, and 



360 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

have got only three three oughts is an ought three twos is 
six sixty pound. What's come of all the boys? what's par- 
ents got in their heads? what does it all mean?" 

Here the little boy on the top of the trunk gave a violent 
sneeze. 

"Halloa, sir!" growled the schoolmaster, turning round. 
"What's that, sir?" 

"Nothing, please sir," said the little boy. 

"Nothing, sir!" exclaimed Mr. Squeers. 

"Please sir, I sneezed," rejoined the boy, trembling till the 
little trunk shook under him. 

"Oh! sneezed, did you?" retorted Mr. Squeers. "Then what 
did you say 'nothing' for, sir?" 

In default of a better answer to this question, the little boy 
screwed a couple of knuckles into each of his eyes and began 
to cry, wherefore Mr. Squeers knocked him off the trunk with 
a blow on one side of his face, and knocked him on again with 
a blow on the other. 

"Wait till I get you down into Yorkshire, my young gentle- 
man," said Mr. Squeers, "and then I'll give you the rest." 

DR. CHILLIP. 

Dr. Chillip was the meekest of his sex, the mildest of little 
men. He sidled in and out of a room, to take up the less 
space. He walked as softly as the ghost in Hamlet, and more 
slowly. He carried his head on one side, partly in modest 
depreciation of himself, partly in modest propitiation of every- 
body else. It is nothing to say that he hadn't a word to throw 
at a dog. He couldn't have thrown a word at a mad dog. He 
might have offered him one gently, or half a one, or a frag- 
ment of one: for he spoke as slowly as he walked; but he 
wouldn't have been rude to him, and he couldn't have been 
quick with him, for any earthly consideration. 

BULWER-LYTTON, 1805-1873. 

Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton was one of the most 
prolific and popular writers of the last century. His 
versatile talent shows itself in the novel, the drama, 
the essay, the pamphlet, and the verse; but his fame, 
if it survives at all, will chiefly rest upon five or six 
novels, and two of his dramas. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 351 

Of his novels, the earliest have been deservedly cen- 
sured as immoral or deficient in genuine art. But the 
Last Days of Pompeii, Rienzi, Harold, and The Last 
of the Barons, are historical novels, displaying no mean 
erudition and power of invention, though in Pompeii 
the novelist did not absolutely overcome the peculiar 
difficulties inherent to a subject of antiquity. The 
Caxtons, My Novel, What will he do with it, portray 
the domestic life of the upper class in England. His 
stories are entertaining, but unreal and rather flashy 
and tawdry; and to all of them we have the strong 
moral objection that they are a deification of worldly 
success, as if that were the paramount object of life. 

As a dramatist, Bulwer was very successful in The 
Lady of Lyons and Cardinal Richelieu. Both are well 
adapted to stage effect, but the former is far from pos- 
sessing the depth and richness of thought which the 
latter displays. 

In 1856, Bulwer was elected Lord Rector of the Uni- 
versity of Glasgow, and took occasion of his inaugural 
address to vindicate the study of the classics. He sat 
for many years in Parliament, where he acquired a 
fair reputation by his brilliant and efficient speeches. 
He was raised to the peerage in 1866, as Baron Lytton. 

GEORGE) EUOT, 1820-1880. 

"George Eliot," is the pseudonym under which ap- 
peared the writings of Miss Marian Evans, the daugh- 
ter of Robert Evans, a land-agent in Warwickshire. A 
good literary training in various schools, especially at 
Coventry, stimulated the passion for knowledge which 
she evinced at an early age. She would read any book 
that came to hand, reserving ample time for an earnest 
study of French, German, Italian, and music. Later 



362 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

on, she became deeply acquainted with Greek, Latin, 
and Hebrew. Unfortunately, her woman teachers at 
Coventry were already destroying in her soul the prin- 
ciples of Christianity, and sowing instead the germs 
of infidelity, which grew steadily. The first work 
that came from her pen was a translation of Strauss's 
Life of Christ (1846). She contributed articles to 
various magazines, and for three years (1851-54) was 
the editor of the Westminster Review. This last yeaf, 
she began to live with George Henry Lewes, one of 
the doctors of positivism, and with him she remained, 
although they never married, till his death in 1878. 
Like him, she was an adept in the theory and practice 
of that humanitarian philosophy and religion. In 
1857 she published in Blackwood's Magazine, under 
the title of Scenes of Clerical Life, a series of short 
tales. Two years later, her first and best novel, Adam 
Bede, took the English-reading world by storm. She 
at once rose to the first rank among philosophical 
novelists by the originality, the power, and the high 
finish of her work. Her supreme excellence in t^ais 
as in her subsequent novels is her minute analysis of 
character, her account of the motives that influenced 
or impelled the actors of her stories. Adam Bede 
was followed by the The Mill on the Floss (1859), 
Silas Marner (1861) a real gem in English fiction, 
Romola (1863), Felix Holt, the Radical (1866), Mid- 
dlemarch, a Study of Provincial Life (1871), and 
Daniel Deronda (1873). All these novels confirmed 
the reputation of George Eliot as a great writer. They 
all paint English manner, except Romola, which is an 
Italian story belonging to the last years of the fifteenth 
century. In a moral point of view some distinctions 
are to be made: her first works are the best. Adam 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 363 

Bede is imbued with a deep sense of the moral value of 
Christianity, though the author did not share its faith. 
The Mill on the Floss and Silas Marner tread not yet 
on forbidden ground, preaching up the natural virtues ; 
but Roniola, Middlemarch, and Daniel Deronda are 
dangerous, because they reflect the principles of posi- 
tivism. A vein of sadness, too, underlies most of her 
writings, not on account of any personal sorrow, but 
from the perception of the ills that affect mankind. 
She could endure her own lot 'with embittered resig- 
nation,' but the generality of mankind could not! Her 
code of morality, from which God is excluded, and 
with Him the hope of another life, is a feeble help 
indeed to the weakness of mankind. "Humanity," 
says Bishop Ullathorne, "is the divinity of positivism." 
The Impressions of Theophrastus Such (1879), a 
series of essays on characters, manners, and disposi- 
tions, was a failure. Her poems, The Spanish Gypsy, 
a drama, The Legend of Jubal, and others, never at- 
tained the merit or the success of her novels. After 
the death of Mr. Lewes, in 1878, Miss Evans married 
John Walter Cross, a friend of many years; but she 
died in December, 1880, a few months after her mar- 
riage. In 1885 appeared George Eliot's Life as Related 
in her Letters and Journals, arranged and edited by 
her husband, J. W. Cross. "The hand of affection has 
pruned and cut away from the published letters every 
line for which the George Eliot as we know her now 
would have been likely to blush." * 

A TILT BETWEEN THE OLD SCHOOLMASTER AND MRS. POYSER. 
(From Adam Bede, Chap. LIU.) 

"What!" said Bartle Massey, with an air of disgust. "Was 
there a woman concerned? Then I give you up, Adam." 

* London Tablet, Feb. 14, 1885. 



364 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

"But it's a woman you'n spoke well on, Bartle," said Mr. 
Poyser. "Come, now, you canna draw back; you said once as 
woman wouldna ha' been a bad invention if they'd all been like 
Dinah." 

"I meant her voice, man I meant her voice, that was all," 
said Bartle. "I can bear to hear her speak without wanting to 
put wool in my ears. As for other things, I dare say she's 
like the rest o' the women thinks two and two'll come to 
make five, if she cries and bothers enough about it." 

"Ay, ay!" said Mrs. Poyser, "one 'ud think, an' hear some 
folks talk, as the men war 'cute enough to count the corns in a 
bag o' wheat wi' only smelling at it. They can see through a 
barn door, they can. Perhaps that's the reason they can see so 
little o' this side on't" 

Martin Poyser shook with delighted laughter, and winked 
at Adam, as much as to say the schoolmaster was in for it now. 

"Ah !" said Bartle, sneeringly, "the women are quick enough 
they are quick enough. They know the rights of a story before 
they hear it, and can tell a man what his thoughts are before he 
knows 'em himself." 

"Like enough," said Mrs. Poyser; "for the men are mostly so 
slow, their thoughts overrun 'em, an' they can only catch 'em by 
the tail. I can count a stocking-top while a man's getting 's 
tongue ready, an' when he out wi' his speech at last, there's little 
broth to be made on't. It's your dead chicks take the longest 
hatchin'. However, I'm not denyin' the women are foolish : God 
Almighty made 'em to match the men." 

"Match," said Bartle, "ay, as vinegar matches one's teeth. 
If a man says a word, his.wife'll match it with a contradiction; 
if he's a mind for hot meat, his wife'll match it with cold 
bacon; if he laughs, she'll match him with whimpering. She's 
such a match as th' horse-fly is to the horse: she's got the 
right venom to sting him with the right venom to sting him 
with." 

"Yes," said Mrs. Poyser, "I know what the men like a 
poor soft, as 'ud simper at 'em like the pictur o' the sun, 
whether they did right or wrong, an' say 'Thank you' fo'r a 
kick, an' pretend she didna know which end she stood upper- 
most, till her husband told her. That's what a man wants in 
a wife, mostly; he wants to make sure o' one fool as'll tell 
him he's wise. But there's some men can do wi'out that they 
think so much o' themselves a'ready; an' that's how it is there's 
old bachelors. 

"Come. Craig," said Mr. Poyser, jocosely, "you mun get 
married pretty quick, else you'll be set down for an old 
bachelor; an' you see what the women '11 think on you." 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 365 

"Well," said Mr. Craig, willing to conciliate Mrs. Poyser, and 
setting a high value on his own compliments, "/ like a cleverish 
women a women o' sperrit a managing woman." 

"You're out there, Craig," said Bartle, dryly; "you're out 
there. You judge o' your garden-stuff on a better plan than 
that: you pick the things for what they can excel in for what 
they can excel in. You don't value your peas for their roots, 
or your carrots for their flowers. Now, that's the way you 
should choose women ; their cleverness '11 never come to much 
never come to much; but they make excellent simpletons, ripe, 
and strong-flavored." 

"What dost say to that?" said Mr. Poyser, throwing himself 
back and looking merrily at his wife. 

"Say!" answered Mrs. Poyser, with dangerous fire kindling 
in her eye; "why, I say as some folks' tongues are like the 
clocks as run on strikin', not to tell you the time of the day, 
but because there's summat wrong i' their own inside." Mrs. 
Poyser would probably have brought her rejoinder to a farther 
climax, if every one's attention had not at this moment been 
called to the other end of the table. 



THOMAS CARLYI.S, 1795-1881. 

Thomas Carlyle, 'the Censor of his age,' and gen- 
erally considered one of the most profound and inde- 
pendent thinkers of his time, was born in Dumf rieshire, 
Scotland. His parents, who were deeply religious 
Presbyterians, lived in humble circumstances. After 
preliminary instruction at Annan, he was sent, in 
1809, to the University of Edinburgh, where he re- 
mained for eight years, distinguishing himself by de- 
votion to mathematical studies. For about two years 
he taught mathematics at a school ; and, on relinquish- 
ing this post, he "devoted himself to literature as a 
profession. 

He contributed to the Edinburgh Cyclopedia the 
articles Montesquieu, Montaigne, Nelson, and the two 
Pitts; translated Goethe's Wilhelm Meister, a work 
which betrayed a direction of reading destined to in- 

26 



366 BRITISH LITERATURE 

fluence materially his future career; wrote the Life 
of Schiller, and his Essays, critical and miscellaneous. 
All these compositions exhibit a style picturesque, 
pure, and graceful; the Essays, in particular, possess 
the highest literary merit. In 1834, he published Sar- 
tor Resartus (The Patcher Repatched), the scope of 
which is that all creeds and institutions are but the 
garments worn by mankind, and now sadly threadbare. 
Carlyle is a pessimist of the darkest dye, contend- 
ing that there is little good left in the modern world. 
In his thoughts and expressions, he is sometimes simply 
grotesque, sometimes incisive, vehement, eloquent. In 
1837, appeared The French Revolution, his ablest work, 
and one which produced a profound impression on the 
public mind. In his Life of John Sterling we find the 
same purity of style which marks the Life of Schiller. 
The History of Frederick II., called Frederick the 
Great, is minute, elaborate, and fully displays the 
author's peculiarities, strong prejudices in every de- 
partment of thought, provoking arrogance, strange- 
ness of 'diction, with pictures full of humor, pathos, 
and eloquence. His other productions are : Char- 
tism; Heroes and Hero-Worship; Past and Present, 
which exalts the Middle Ages at the expense of the 
Nineteenth Century; Letters and Speeches of Oliver 
Cromwell, with Elucidations; Latter-Day Pamphlets; 
and Shooting Niagara. Among the favorite heroes 
of Carlyle are Mahomet, Luther, and Cromwell. 
Mahomet was with him, not 'the truest of prophets, 
but a true one;' whose creed was a better kind of 
Christianity than that of the Fathers of Nicsea, 'with 
heads full of worthless noise, and hearts empty and 
dead.' He would have us believe that Luther was 
'humble, peaceable, and tolerant!' Cromwell, in his 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 367 

opinion, was a sincere and pious man. Two elements 
are essential to constitute the character of Carlyle's 
heroes, revolt against authority and success in rebel- 
lion. He spoke eloquently of the mediaeval Church, 
which reached nearest his ideal church, but the Church 
since that time, he thinks, has been a failure. He 
had no sympathy for atheism or pantheism, but, on the 
other hand, he rejected all divine revelation, and conse- 
quently denied the supernatural character of the Chris- 
tion religion, and laughed at the idea of miracles. He 
professed a hatred of all cant, and despised modern 
society which he described as 'without lungs, fast 
wheezing itself to death in horrid convulsions, and 
deserving to die/ His doctrine is thus summed up by 
the Dublin Review : 'There is, properly speaking, no 
such thing as permanent and indestructible truth/ 
Carlyle was a sour and dour dyspeptic Scotchman, who 
was inclined to think everyone wrong but himself. 

The following is a good specimen not only of Car- 
lyle's skill to draw a good portrait, but also of his 
defiance of critical and grammatical rules. 

PORTRAIT OF FREDERICK THE GREAT. 

He is a king every inch of him, though without the trap- 
pings of a king. Presents himself in a Spartan simplicity of 
vesture : no crown, but an old military cocked hat generally 
old, or trampled and kneaded into an absolute softness if new; 
no sceptre but one like Agamemnon's a walking-stick cut from 
the woods, which serves also as a riding-stick (with which he 
hits the horse 'between the ears/ say authors) ; and for royal 
robes a mere soldier's blue coat with red facings, coat likely 
to be old, and sure to have a good deal of Spanish snuff on the 
breast of it; rest of the apparel dim, unobtrusive in color or 
cut, ending in high overknee military boots, which may be 
brushed (and, I hope, kept soft with an underhand suspicion 
of oil), but are not permitted to be blackened or varnished, 



368 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Day and Martin with their soot-pots forbidden to approach. 
The man is not of godlike physiognomy, any more than of im- 
posing stature or custom: close-shut mouth with thin lips, 
prominent jaws and nose, receding brow, by no means of 
Olympian height; head, however, is of long form, and has 
superlative gray eyes in it. Not what is called a beautiful 
man; nor yet, by all appearance, what is called a happy. On 
the contrary, the face bears evidence of many sorrows, as they 
are termed, of much hard labor done in this world and seems 
to anticipate nothing but more still coming. Quiet stoicism 
capable enough of what joys there were, but not expecting any 
worth mention ; great unconscious and some conscious pride, 
well tempered with a cheery mockery of humor, are written on 
that old face, which carries its chin well forward, in spite of 
the slight stoop about the neck; snuffy nose, rather flung into 
the air, under its old cocked hat, like an old snuffy lion on the 
watch; and such a pair of eyes as no man, or lion, or lynx of 
that century bore elsewhere, according to all the testimony we 
have. 'Those eyes,' says Mirabeau, 'which, at the bidding of 
his great soul, fascinated you with seduction or with terror.' 
Most excellent, potent, brilliant eyes, swift-darting as the 
stars, steadfast as the sun; gray, we said, of the azure-gray 
color; large enough, not of glaring size; the habitual expres- 
sion of them vigilance and penetrating sense, rapidity resting 
on depth, which is an excellent combination, and gives us the 
motion of a lambent outer radiance, springing from some 
great inner sea of light and fire in the man. The voice, if he 
speak to you, is of familiar physiognomy : clear, melodious, 
and sonorous; all tones are in it from that of ingenious in- 
quiry, graceful sociality, light flowing banter (rather prickly 
for most part), up to definite word of command, up to desolat- 
ing word of rebuke and reprobation. 



JOHN RICHARD GREEN, 1837-1883. 

Among the English historians of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, a prominent rank is ascribed to John Richard 
Green. Born at Oxford, he was educated in his native 
city. His health, which was delicate through life, led 
him to prefer reading to sport. At eighteen, he gained 
a scholarship in Jesus College, but history rather than 
the classics was the attraction of his mind. He was 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 369 

still an undergraduate when he published a series of 
papers on Oxford in the Eighteenth Century, which 
gave good promise for the future. After taking his 
degree in 1860, he became an Anglican minister, and 
fulfilled the duties of vicar for eight years. Because 
of his taste for study, his impaired strength, and relig- 
ious scruples, he then gladly accepted the office of 
librarian at Lambeth, which left him ample leisure 
for his researches. His Short History of the English 
People appeared in 1874, with such a success that 
six editions of it (over 30,000 copies) were sold 
within a year. Enlarging his plan, and fighting mean- 
while against the inroads of consumption, he finally 
completed, between 1877 and 1880, his History of the 
English People from 449 to the battle of Waterloo 
(1815). This was the work of his life and the ground 
of his fame. Although he could not free himself en- 
tirely from his Protestant bias, he endeavored always 
to be just. Sometimes he cannot rise to the high 
motives of the characters which he portrays. 

The works of Green, not already mentioned, are 
Readings from English History (1879), The Making 
of England (1881), The Conquest of England (1883), 
left unfinished. He also edited Classical Writers 
(seven volumes) and Essays of Joseph Addison. "He 
was no mere recluse student, but took an eager interest 
in all the great social, political and literary questions 
of the day." 

Green's style is clear, direct, rapid, and full of life. 
The History of the English People was the most popu- 
lar history of England in the nineteenth century, next 
to Macaulay's; but Macaulay's was confined to fifteen 
years, Green's extended to nearly fourteen centuries. 



370 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

THE GREAT CHARTER. 

The king encamped on one bank of the river side, the barons 
covered the flat of Runny mede on the other. Their delegates 
met on the 15th of July (1215) on the island between them, 
but the negotiations were a mere cloak to cover John's purpose 
of unconditioned submission. The Great Charter was discussed 
and agreed to in a single day. Copies of it were made and 
sent to the cathedrals and churches, and one copy may stili 
be seen in the Britiish Museum, injured by age and fire, but 
with the royal seal still hanging from the brown, shriveled 
parchment. It is impossible to gaze without reverence on the 
earliest monument of English freedom which we can see with 
our own eyes and touch with our own hands, the Great Charter 
to which, from age to age, men have looked back as the ground- 
work of English liberty. But in itself the charter was no 
novelty, nor did it claim to establish any new constitutional 
principles. The charter of Henry the First formed the basis 
of the whole, and the additions to it are, for the most part, 
formal recognitions of the judicial and administrative changes 
introduced by Henry the Second. What was new in it was its 
origin. In form, like the charter on which it was based, it was 
nothing but a royal grant. In actual fact it was a treaty be- 
tween the whole English people and its king. 



ANTHONY TROI^OPE, 1815-1885. 

Anthony Trollope was born in London, - ,1815. 
His father was a barrister whose financial specu- 
lations arid violent temper were alike ruinous to the 
comfort and peace of home. His mother was the 
Frances Trollope whose multitudinous writings made 
her a talked-of woman in the second quarter of the 
nineteenth century. At Harrow School and Winches- 
ter College, Anthony's life was very miserable. When 
pecuniary misfortunes drove the family to Belgium, in 
1834, Anthony prepared to enlist in the Austrian army, 
but an appointment in the British post office soon 
brought him back to England. He was totally in- 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 371 

competent for his work, though he was continued in it 
for seven years. His life was irregular and marred 
by the dismal impressions and mean associations of 
his earlier life. A change of work in 1841 trans- 
formed his existence. He became energetic and suc- 
cessful, gained the confidence of his superiors, mar- 
ried happily in 1844 and three years later realised a 
long contemplated project of writing a novel. The story, 
however, was an utter failure; as were also two others. 
In 1855 he attracted notice by the publication of The 
Warden, the first of his popular "Barsetshire" novels. 
Barchester Towers (1857) next appeared. This was 
never equalled in his subsequent fifty publications, and 
it added a new character to English fiction in the for- 
midable Mrs. Proudie. Doctor Thome (1858), Pram- 
ley Parsonage (1861), The Small House at Arlington 
(1864), and The Last Chronicle of Barset (1867) 
contain the best of his works. These are the "Barset- 
shire" series, concerned with a cathedral town and 
county of England, stories remarkable for the minute 
portrayal of bishops and clergymen with their fam- 
ilies and dependents, told off with surprising touches 
of gentle humor. They come from an author who be- 
lieved the novel was for the entertainment of an idle 
hour. Despite their many artistic faults, their lack of 
good taste and intellectual elevation, the better works 
of Trollope are healthy and readable. Trollope had 
a shrewd eye for observation, a gift of character draw- 
ing, and the knack of telling a story. His Dr. Thorne 
is as lovable a character as Thackeray's Colonel 
Newcome. The Stanhope Family, Madaline Demo- 
lines, and Mrs, Proudie are characters almost among 
the immortals. 



372 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Trollope's interests and experiences were fairly wide 
and he possessed the power of turning all he saw into' 
excellent novel material. The Three Clerks (1858) 
and Orley Farm (1862) are founded on the memories 
of his youth. The West Indies (1859), North Amer- 
ica (1862), Australia and New Zealand (1877), and 
South Africa (1878) are hastily written accounts of 
his busy journeys and pleasure tours. Trollope was 
one of the founders of the Fortnightly Review and 
first editor of St. Paul's magazine (1867). He con- 
tinued his literary activities till his death, leaving The 
Land Leaguers, his last novel, unfinished. 

MATTHEW ARNOLD, 1822-1888. 

Matthew Arnold, the eldest son of the famous head- 
master of Rugby, was born at Laleham, in 1822. After 
fitting himself for the university at Winchester and 
Rugby, Arnold entered Balliol College, Oxford, where 
he was distinguished by his poetry and general excel- 
lence in the classics. In 1845 he was elected Fellow 
of Oriel College. After leaving the university, Arnold 
taught at Rugby, till his appointment (in 1847) to 
the office of secretary to Lord Landsdowne, by whom 
he was made inspector of Her Majesty's schools 
(1851). In this position he worked energetically for 
the next thirty-five years, and left a strong impress 
for good on the educational system and ideals of the 
country. During two terms of five years (1857-1867) 
he was professor of poetry at Oxford. He was sent 
several times to study educational methods at work on 
the Continent, and twice he visited America : in 1883- 
1884 and in 1886. Two years later he died suddenly, 
April 15, 1888, and was buried at Laleham, 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 373 

Arnold's literary work divides itself into three peri- 
ods : the poetical, the critical, the practical. His poetry 
is mainly the work of his earlier years. The Strayed 
Reveller and Other Poems was published anonymously 
in 1849, and Empedocles on Etna in 1852. They were 
unnoticed, and soon withdrawn from circulation. In 
1853 he brought out his Poems, which attracted atten- 
tion, as among then were Sohrab and Rustum and 
The Scholar-Gypsy. The first is a fragmentary epic 
based on a Persian story. Despite the frequent halt- 
ing of the verse and its severe simplicity of adornment, 
Sohrab and Rustum is a great poem, and possibly 
Arnold's greatest. The Scholar-Gypsy is a highly 
poetical composition, full of idyllic grace, and equally 
subtile in the beauty of its topic and thought. By 
many it is preferred to Sohrab and Rustum. In 1855 
appeared another collection of Poems containing Balder 
Dead, a theme of Norse mythology, done in heroic 
verse. The last volume of Arnold's poetry came out 
in 1867. The most important piece was Thyrsis, a 
monody to commemorate the author's friend, Arthur 
Hugh Clough. It ranks with Milton's Lycidas, 
Shelley's Adonais, and Swinburne's Ave atque Vale, 
and "it probably exhibits," says C. E. Stedman, "the 
highest reach of melody, vigor, and imagination, 
which it was within the power of Arnold to show." 
Other poems of charm and grace are Dover Beach, 
Shakespeare, The Forsaken Merman, A Southern 
Night, Requiescat, Rugby Chapel, The Future, Philo- 
mela, A Summer Night, and Memorial Verses. 

The chief of Arnold's critical pieces are his lectures 
On Translating Homer (1861), and two volumes of 
Essays in Criticism (1865-1885), which made Arnold 
one of the best known literary men in England. The 



374 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

function of criticism, he held, is neither to be con- 
cerned mainly with fault-finding nor to display the 
critic's own learning or influence; criticism should be 
constructive; it should seek "to know the best which 
has been thought and said in the world," and by using 
this knowledge to create a current of fresh and free 
thought. The essays which are most commendable 
are : The Study of Poetry, Wordsworth, Byron, Keats, 
Emerson. The last-named essay, found in the Dis- 
courses in America, possesses a singular charm of man - 
ner and an atmosphere of intellectual culture which 
make it perhaps the most characteristic of Arnold's 
prose writings. 

Among the works of the practical period of Arnold's 
writings, Culture and Anarchy (1869) is the most 
typical. The author took upon himself the special 
task of emphasizing the need of greater moral and 
intellectual perfection. His plea is a satire against 
the aristocratic classes, the "Barbarians," and the self- 
satisfied middle-classes, the "Philistines," with a view 
to opening their minds to new ideas, to introduce more 
"sweetness and light" into the humdrum existence of 
the English people. Friendship's Garland (1871) is 
directed to the same end in a like suavely satirical 
strain. 

These were followed by four books on religious 
topics, St. Paul and Protestantism (1870), Literature 
and Dogma (1873), God and the Bible (1875), and 
Last Essays on Church and Religion (1877). The 
Discourses in America completes the list of Arnold's 
important works. 

His predilection for whatever made for culture gave 
to his writings, at times, something of the urbanity of 
Newman, whose disciple in letters he professed to be, 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 375 

though his banter not unfrequently passes the bounds 
of good taste, and his conceit grows very irritating. 
He is undoubtedly an excellent model of clear, direct 
and effective writing. 

NEWMAN. 

Forty years ago, when I was an undergraduate at Oxford, 
voices were in the air which haunt my memory still. Happy 
the man who in that susceptible season of youth hears such 
voices ! they are a possession to him forever. No such voices 
as those which we heard in our youth at Oxford are sounding 
there now. Oxford has more criticism now, more knowledge, 
more light; but such voices as those of our youth it has no 
longer. The name of Cardinal Newman is a great name to the 
imagination still; his genius and his style are still things of 
power. But he is over eighty years old; he is in the Oratory 
at Birmingham ; he has adopted, for the doubts and difficulties 
which beset men's minds to-day, a solution which, to speak 
frankly, is impossible. Forty years ago he was in the very 
prime of life; he was close at hand to us at Oxford; he was 
preaching in St. Mary's pulpit every Sunday; he seemed about 
to transform and to renew what was for us the most national 
and natural institution in the world, the Church of England. 
Who could resist the charm of that spiritual apparition, gliding 
in the dim afternoon light through the aisles of St. Mary's, 
rising into the pulpit, and then, in the most entrancing of 
voices, breaking the silence with words and thoughts which 
were a religious music, subtle, sweet, mournful? I seem to 
hear him still, saying : "After the fever of life, after wearinesses 
and sicknesses, fightings and despondings, langour and fretful- 
ness, struggling and succeeding; after all the changes and 
chances of this troubled, unhealthy state, at length comes death, 
at length the white throne of God, at length the beatific vision." 
Or, if we followed him back to his seclusion at Littlemore, that 
dreary village by the London road, and to the house of retreat 
and the church which he built there, a mean house such as 
Paul might have lived in when he was tent-making at Ephesus, 
a church plain and thinly sown with worshippers, who could 
resist him there either, welcoming back to the severe joys of 
church-fellowship, and of daily worship and prayer, the first- 
lings of a generation which had well-nigh forgotten them? 
Again I seem to hear him: "The season is chill and dark, and 
the breath of the morning is damp, and worshippers are few; 



376 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

but all tfi*s *cF.fs those who are by their profession penitents 
and mourners, watchers and pilgrims. More dear to them 
that loneliness, more cheerful that severity, and more bright 
that gloom, man all those aids and appliances of luxury by which 
men nowadays attempt to make prayer less disagreeable to them. 
True faith does not covet comforts; they who realize that 
awful day, when they shall see Him face to face, whose eyes are 
as a flame of nre, will as little bargain to pray pleasantly now 
as they will think of doing so then." 

Discourses in America: Emerson. 



DOVER BEACH. 

The sea is cairn to-night. 

The tide is full, the moon lies fair 

Upon the straits; on the French coast, the light 

Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand, 

Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay. 

Come to the window, sweet is the night-air! 

Only, from the long line of spray 

Where the sea meets the moon-blanched sand, 

Listen ! you hear the grating roar 

Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling, 

At their return, up the high strand, 

Begin and cease, and then again begin, 

With tremulous cadence slow, and bring 

The eternal note of sadness in. 

Sophocles long ago 

Heard it on the Aegean, and it brought 

Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow 

Of human misery: we 

Find also in the sound a thought, 

Hearing it by this distant northern sea. 

The sea of faith 

Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore 

Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled. 

But now I only hear 

Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, 

Retreating, to the breath 

Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear 

And naked shingles of the world. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 

Ah, love, let us be true 

To one another! for the world, which seems 

To lie before us like a land of dreams, 

So various, so beautiful, so new, 

Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, 

Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain ; 

And we are here as on a darkling plain 

Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight 

Where ignorant armies clash by night. 



SOHRAB AND RUSTUM. 

And night came down over the solemn waste, 
And the two gazing hosts, and that sole pair, 
And darkened all; and a cold fog, with night, 
Crept from the Oxus. Soon a hum arose, 
As of a great assembly loosed, and fires 
Began to twinkle through the fog: for now 
Both armies moved to camp, and took their meal: 
The Persians took it on the open sands 
Southward; the Tartars by the river marge: 
And Rustum and his son were left alone. 

But the majestic River floated on, 
Out of the mist and hum of that low land, 
Into the frosty starlight, and there moved, 
Rejoicing, through the hush'd Chorasmia* waste, 
Under the solitary moon : he flow'd 
Right for the Polar Star, past Orgunje, 
Brimming, and bright, and large : then sands begin 
To hem his watery march, and dam his streams, 
And split his currents ; that for many a league 
The shorn and parched Oxus strains along 
Through beds of sand and matted rushy isl v s 
Oxus forgetting the bright speed he had 
In his high mountain cradle in Pamere, 
A foil'd circuitous wanderer : till at last 
The long'd-for dash of waves is heard, and wide 
His luminous home of waters opens, blight 
And tranquil, from whose floor the new-bathed star* 
Emerge, and shine upon the Aral Sea. 



378 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

ALFRED LORD TENNYSON, 1809-1892. 

Alfred Tennyson was the most eminent poet of his 
generation. He was born at Somersby, Lincolnshire. 
His father, an Anglican clergyman, was accomplished 
in literature and art. Alfred with his brothers, Fred- 
erick and Charles, studied at Trinity College, Cam- 
bridge, where all three applied with success to poetry. 
The future laureate gained the chancellor's medal 
through his poem Timbuctoo. He left the university 
before graduating, but only to devote himself more 
closely to his studies. A man of a few chosen friends, 
he was averse to the public gaze. Tennyson lived suc- 
cessively in London, at Twickenham, at Petersfielcl, 
Hampshire, and for many years he alternated between 
Farringford, in the island of Wight, and Aldworth, 
Surrey, where he died. Under the administration of 
Sir Robert Peel he began to receive a pension of 
$1,000 a year. In 1850 he succeeded Wordsworth as 
poet laureate, received the degree of D. C. L. from 
Oxford in 1855, and was raised to the peerage in 1883. 

The poetical productions of Tennyson kept pace with 
his promotions. His first publication, Poems by Two 
Brothers, was made in 1827, in conjunction with his 
brother Charles. Both Coleridge and Wordsworth 
thought more favorably of Charles than of Alfred. In 
1830, the latter published Poems Chiefly Lyrical, and 
another volume in 1832, which included The Lady of 
Shalott, with its flowing measure and peculiar system 
of rhyme; The Miller's Daughter, with its beautiful 
songs; Lady Clara Vere de Vcre; The May Queen; 
The Lotos-Eaters, with its charming melody; The 
Choric Song; and The Death of the Old Year. 
Strange as it may appear, Coleridge said that "the 




ALFRED LORD TENNYSON 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 379 

author had begun to write verses without very well 
understanding what metre was." Tennyson remained 
silent for ten years. He read and thought, inquired 
and observed. Mediaeval romances, especially the 
legends of King Arthur, he studied with dejight. On 
his second appearance as a poet he at once took the 
highest place. "He is decidedly the first of our liv- 
ing poets," wrote Wordsworth to Henry Reed in 
1845, adding, in his characteristic way, "You will be 
pleased to hear that he expressed, in the strongest 
terms, his gratitude to my writings." What gave this 
pre-eminence to Tennyson was the two volumes which 
he issued in 1842, especially the Morte d' Arthur, after- 
ward incorporated in the Idylls of the King. 

The volume which contained the first publication of 
Morte d } Arthur possessed other notable treasures, like 
St. Simon Stylites; Ulysses, a monologue ; and 
Locksley Hall. St. Simon is an earnest, graphic, and 
pathetic picture of a wonderful saint. The Princess, 
a Medley, published in 1847 and improved afterward, 
gently questions the propriety of the modern ideas of 
woman's right. The poem is interspersed with admir- 
able songs : As through the land; Sweet and lozv; The 
splendor falls; Tears, idle tears; O swallow, swallow; 
Thy voice is heard; Home they brought her warrior 
dead; and Ask me no more. In 1850, Tennyson pub- 
lished anonymously that longest elegy of English liter- 
ature, or, better, a series of short elegies, In Memoriam, 
the crystallized expression of seventeen years' pro- 
longed sorrow for the premature death of Arthur Hal- 
lam, his college friend and the betrothed of his sister. 
Many verses 6f this poem are favorite quotations, none 
more popular than the lines which are the keynote of 
it all : 

27 



380 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

'Tis better to have loved and lost, 
Than never to have loved at all. 

In this threnody the poet sings a broader theme 
than mere personal sorrow. He sings of doubt 
and men's perplexity at the reactions of science in 
trend to supplant belief in God and the supernatural ; 
of hope, that from the chaos the eternal law will set 
conflicting views aright; of immortality and undying 
love finding fruition in the immensity of God's pater- 
nal love. 

The demise of the Iron Duke in 1852 gave occasion 
to the superb Ode on the Death of the Duke of Well- 
ington. Maud and Other Poems appeared three years 
after. Among these is found The Brook, an Idyll, 
one of Tennyson's daintiest creations. 

The Idylls, 1859, which form the surest ground 
of his fame, cost him the labor of twenty-five years. 
Sir Walter Scott had already done much to shame 
the ignorance that sneered at the Dark Ages, and now 
Tennyson, drawing from the self-same source, pro- 
duced one of the noblest creations of his genius. The 
deep spiritual significance of the poems has overflowed 
into the hearts of the thousands who have been enrap- 
tured by the sweet flow of this epic strain. 

The last scene of the Arthurian epic possesses a 
peculiar mystic charm. ' 'Deeply smitten through the 
helm," Arthur has fallen; his knights are slain; Sir 
Bedivere, the last of them, bears the king gently to a 
chapel near the bloody field, where there is 

A broken chancel with a broken cross. 

Twice the king orders the knight to take his brand 
Excalibur, 

And fling him far into the middle mere, 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 381 

and twice Bedivere is loath to obey; but when he saw 
the king's wrath, he speedily rose and threw away the 
sword. Whereupon 

The great brand 

Made lightnings in the splendor of the moon, 
And flashing round and round, and whirled in an arch, 
Shot like a streamer of the northern morn, 
Seen where the moving isles of winter shock 
By night with noises of the northern sea. 
So flashed and fell the brand Excalibur: 
But ere he d:pt the surface, rose an arm 
Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful, 
And caught him by the hilt, and brandished him 
Three times, and drew him under in the mere. 

Then Arthur is borne on Sir Bedivere's shoulders to 
the shores of the lake. The "dusky barge" nears them, 

Dark as a funeral scarf from stem to stern, 

and in it the king is placed. Before it glides away, 
Arthur bids farewell to his afflicted knight Sir Bedi- 
vere, standing on the shore, in a great and truly Chris- 
tian strain : 

The old order changeth, yielding place to new, 

And God fulfils himself in many ways, 

Lest one good custom should corrupt the world. 

If thou shouldst never see my fa^e again, 

Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer 

Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice 

Rise like a fountain for me night and day. 

For what are men better than sheep or goats 

That nourish a blind life within the brain, 

If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer 

Both for themselves and those that call them friend? 

For so the whole round earth is every way 

Bound by gold chains about the feet of God. 

But now farewell. I am going a long way 

With these thou seest, if indeed I go 



382 BRITISH LITERATURE 

(For all my mind is clouded with a doubt), 
To the island-valley of Avilion; 
Where falls not hail, or rain or any snow, 
Nor ever wind blows loudly : but it lies 
Deep-meadowed, happy, fair with orchard-lawns 
And bowery hollows crowned with summer sea, 
Where I will heal me of my grievous wound. 

The most noted poems published after this were: 
in 1864, Enoch Arden; Northern Farmer; Sea Dreamy 
for which he is said to have been paid fifty dollars a 
line; Ballads and Other Poems; in 1870, The Window, 
or Songs of the Wrens; in 1880, Ballads and Other 
Poems; in 1885, Tiresias and Other Poems; in 1889, 
Locksley Hall Sixty Years After, Demeter and Other 
Poems; in 1892, Akbar's Dream and Other Poems. 

Tennyson was above all a lyrie poet, full of gentle 
and beautiful sentiments; but he lacked power to ex- 
hibit the stronger passions of the soul, to create char- 
acters, or to develop with effect a series of important 
events. This limitation, which may be discovered in 
his Idylls of the King and other poems, is made more 
evident by the comparative failure of his dramas, 
Queen Mary (1875), Harold, Becket, The Cup, The 
Falcon, Promise of May, and The Foresters. In his 
historical plays he is not true to historical characters 
nor to the spirit of the times. To give two examples : 
he makes Harold speak in the eleventh century as a 
bigoted Protestant or downright infidel of the present 
day, while Mary Tudor, the stately queen, dwindles 
in his drama to the proportions of a weak, silly woman, 
who by and by becomes a tigress in human shape. It 
seems a pity Tennyson in these dramas mars the fair 
pictures of Catholic influence he had hitherto drawn. 

Crossing the Bar, written about a year before his 
death, is still in the laureate's best style. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 

CROSSING THE; BAR. 

Sunset and evening star, 

And one clear call for me ! 
And may there be no moaning of the bar 
When I put out to sea. 

But such a tide as moving seems asleep, 

Too full for sound and foam, 

When that which drew from out the boundless deep 
Turns again home. 

Twilight and evening bell, 

And after that the dark! 
And may there be no sadness of farewell 
When I embark; 

For though from out our bourne of time and place 

The flood may bear me far, 
I hope to see my Pilot face to face 
When I have crossed the bar. 

THE BUGLE SONG. 

The splendor falls on castle walls 

And snowy summits old in story : 
The long light shakes across the lakes, 
And the wild cataract leaps in glory. 
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying, 
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying. 

O hark, O hear! how thin and clear, 

And thinner, clearer, farther going! 
O sweet and far from cliff and scar 

The horns of Elfland faintly blowing ! 
Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying : 
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying. 

O love, they die in yon rich sky, 

They faint on hill or field or river: 
Our echoes roll from soul to soul, 
And grow forever and forever. 
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying, 
And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying. 



384 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

BREAK, BREAK, BREAK. 



Break, break, break, 

On thy cold gray stones, O Sea! 
And I would that my tongue could utter 

The thoughts that arise in me. 

ii. 

O, well for the fishermen's boy, 
That he shouts with his sister at play ! 

O, well for the sailor lad, 

That he sings in his boat on the bay ! 

in. 

And the stately ships go on 
To their haven under the hill; 

But, O, for the touch of a vanished hand, 
And the sound of a voice that is still! 

IV. 

Break, break, break, 

At the foot of thy crags, O Sea! 
But the tender grace of a day that is dead 

Will never come back to me. 



CHRISTINA GEORGINA ROSSETTI, 1830-1894. 

Christina Rossetti, the youngest sister of Dante 
Gabriel, was born in London, December 5, 1830, and 
was educated under the direction of her cultured mo- 
ther. While still a young girl she composed some 
of her finest lyrics, which were contributed (1850) to 
the journal, The Germ, in the conduct of which her 
brother was associated. In 1861 she travelled abroad. 
Soon after her return to England she published Goblin 
Market, a collection of verse which at once gave her 
rank among the poets of the day. The Prince's Pro- 
gress followed in 1866; and Commonplace, a prose 
work, appeared in 1870. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 385 

In April, 1871, she was afflicted with "Graves's 
disease" and for two years she was in constant danger 
of death. This affliction left her an invalid for the 
remainder of her life. Before her illness, she had 
composed a book of children's poetry which came 
out in 1872. In 1874 she published some minor 
prose and in 1881 a third collection of poems, A Pag- 
eant. From this time on she gave herself to religious 
disquisitions. In 1885 appeared her Time Plies, which 
is a sort of symbolic diary, or brief, personal homilies. 
In 1892 she published a bulky commentary on the 
Apocalypse entitled The Face of the Deep. That same 
year her health finally broke, and she died December 
29, 1894. 

"Christina Rossetti takes high rank as a poet despite 
her limitations of sympathy and experience. In the 
purity and solidity of her finest lyrics, the glow and 
music in which she robes her moods of melancholy 
reverie, her extraordinary mixture of austerity with 
sweetness and of sanctity of tone with sensuousness of 
color, she may challenge comparison with the most 
admirable of our poets. The union of fixed religious 
faith with a hold upon physical beauty and the richer 
parts of nature has been pointed to as the most original 
feature of her poetry." Edmund Gosse. 

NEXT OF KIN. 

The shadows gather round me, while you are in the sun : 

My day is almost ended, but yours is just begun: 

The winds are singing to us both and the streams are singing still, 

And they fill your heart with music, but mine they cannot fill. 

Your home is built in sunlight, mine in another day: 

Your home is close at hand, sweet friend, but mine is far away: 

Your bark is in the haven where you fain would be: 

I must launch out into the deep, across the unknown sea. 



386 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

You, white as dove or lily or spirit of the light: 
I, stained and cold and glad to hide in the cold dark night: 
You, joy to many a loving heart and light to many eyes : 
I, lonely in the knowledge earth is full of vanities. 

Yet when your day is over, as mine is nearly done, 

And when your race is finish'd, as mine is almost run, 

You, like me, shall cross your hands and bow your graceful head 

Yea, we twain shall sleep together in an equal bed. 



SUMMER is ENDED. 

Wreathe no more lilies in my hair, 
For I am dying, Sister sweet; 
Or, if you will for the last time 
Indeed, why make me fair 
Once for my winding-sheet. 

Pluck no more roses for my breast, 
For I, like them fade in my prime : 
Or, if you will, why pluck them still, 
That they may share my rest 
Once more for the last time. 

Weep not for me when I am gone 
Dear tender one, but hope and smile: 
Or, if you cannot choose but weep, 

A little while weep on, 

Only a little while. 



WIU.IAM MORRIS, 1834-1896. 

William Morris is one of the most noted English 
poets that lived in the second half of the nineteenth 
century, to whom was offered the laureateship on the 
death of Tennyson. Vigor of thought and style, rap- 
idity of action, harmony and sweep of numbers, a 
facility of rhyme which seems to be unconscious, and 
the instinct of poetry which seems not to desert him, 
are the principal traits which strike the reader in most 
of the poems of William Morris. He is, by the bent 



THE NINETEENTH CENTUHY. 387 

of his genius, a narrative poet, and his vividness of 
action reminds one of the great wizard of the North: 
He was educated at Oxford, where he took his degree 
in 1856. His first volume, The Defence of Guenevere 
and Other Poems, published in 1858, at once gave a 
reputation to the author, which was increased by The 
Life and Death of Jason (1867), inspired by the 
classic legend, and rendered into rhymed pentameter. 
This long poem was followed one year after by The 
Earthly Paradise, a series of legends and romances, 
Greek, Roman, and German stories, comprising in the 
aggregate 40,000 pentameters, rhyming two by two. 
They are classified without any apparent reason under 
each of the twelve months of the year. The Earthly 
Paradise may be the best known of Morris's works, 
but it has not the breadth and might and beauty of The 
Story of Sigurd the Volsung (1876). There is a 
grandeur in this six-foot rhyming verse, with its ir- 
regular accents which seems not ever to have been 
surpassed. The same effect is produced in the trans- 
lation of the Odyssey in the same metre. In both 
works the spirit of Homer inspires the English 
poet. The same cannot be said of the ^neid of Virgil 
(1886) done into the seven-foot rhyming line. There 
seems to be too much swinging apart in the verse ; and 
besides, the Anglo-Saxon is too rugged for the sweet 
melodies of the Mantuan bard. The other produc- 
tions of William Morris are : The Fall of the Niblungs 
(1870), The Tale of the House of Wolfings (1889), 
The Story of the Volsungs (1870) in verse and prose, 
The Roots of the Mountains (1889), Signs of Change 
(1888), Hopes and Fears of Art, a prose work. Wil- 
liam Morris gave much of his time to the study of the 
decorative arts, of which he made a successful business 



388 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

in London. During the last years of his life he was 
one of the leaders of the Socialist League. He died 
October 3, 1896. 



SIGURD THE VOLSUNG. 

There was a dwelling of kins ere the world was waxen old; 
Dukes were the door- wards there, and the roofs were thatched 

with gold; 
Earls were the wrights that wrought it, and silver nailed its 

doors ; 
Earls' wives were the weaving women, queens' daughters strewed 

its floors ; 
And the masters of its song-craft were the mightiest men that 

cast 

The sails of the storm of battle adown the bickering blast. 
There dwelt men merry-hearted, and in hope exceeding great 
Met the good days and the evil as they went the way of fate: 
There the gods were unforgotten, yea whilst they walked with 

men, 
Though e'en in that world's beginning rose a murmur now and 

again 

Of a midward time and the fading and the last of the latter days, 
And the entering in of the terror, and the death of the People's 

Praise. 
This was the dwelling of Volsung, the King of the Mid-world's 

Mark, 

As a rose in the winter season, a candle in the dark; 
And as in all other matters 'twas all earthly houses' crown, 
And the least of its wall-hung shields was a battle-world's 

renown, 

So therein withal was a marvel and a glorious thing to see, 
For amid of its midmost hall-floor sprang up a mighty tree, 
That reared its blessings roofward, and wreathed the roof-tree 

dear 

With the glory of the summer and the garland of the year. 
I know not how they called it ere Volsung changed his life, 
But his dawning of fair promise, and his noontide of the strife, 
His eve of battle- reaping and the garnering of his fame 
Have bred us many a story and named us many a name; 
And when men tell of Volsung, they call that war-duke's tree, 
That crowned stem, the Branstock; and so was it told unto me. 
So there was the throne of Volsung beneath its blossoming 

bower, 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 339 

But high o'er the roof-crest red it rose 'twixt tower and tower, 
And therein were the wild hawks dwelling, abiding the dole of 

their lord: 
And they wailed high over the wine, and laughed to the waking 

sword. 

Opening Lines of Sigurd. 

COVENTRY PATMORE, 1823-1896. 

Coventry Patmore was a poet of considerable merit 
and a distinguished writer of critical essays. He was 
born at Woodford, Essex, July 23, 1823. His father 
was a man of letters enjoying the intimacy of Hunt, 
Hazlitt and other literati, and naturally his talented 
son grew up in a literary atmosphere. When financial 
troubles came upon the family, Lord Houghton ob- 
tained for Coventry Patmore the position of assistant 
librarian at the British Museum. This office he held 
from 1846 to 1866. In 1862 while in Rome he became 
a Catholic. In the latter part of his life he lived 
on a large estate he had purchased in Sussex, but sub- 
sequently he removed to Hastings, where he built a 
large Catholic Church. He died at Lymington, No- 
vember 26, 1896. 

After the publication of some early verse, he brought 
out in 1853 Tamer ton Church Tower and Other 
Poems, and in 1854, The Angel in the House, which 
at once became popular. Ruskin says : "It is a most 
finished piece of writing, and the sweetest analysis we 
possess of quiet, modern, domestic feeling." In 1860 
appeared The Espousals, Faithful for Ever; in 1863, 
The Victories of Love; in 1868, Odes; and in 1877, 
The Unknown Eros. This last-mentioned, which has 
been praised for its extraordinary subtlety of thought 
and emotion, rendered with faultless simplicity of an 
elaborate and conscious art, is only in our day receiv- 



390 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

ing the close and appreciative attention it deserves. 
Coventry Patmore has published two volumes of es- 
says, Principles in Art (1889), and Religio Poeta 
(1893). They are written in the prose of a poet, and 
have a marked individuality of thought and tone, such, 
however, as is not always to our liking. 

TH TOYS. 

My little Son, who look'd from thoughtful yes 

And moved and spoke in quiet grown-up wise, 

Having my law the seventh time disobey'd, 

I struck him, and dismiss'd 

With hard words, and unkiss'd, 

His Mother, who was patient, being dead. 

Then, fearing lest his grief should hinder sleep, 

I visited his bed, 

But found him slumbering deep, 

With darkened eyelids, and their lashes yet 

From his late sobbing wet. 

And I, with moan, 

Kissing away his tears, left others of my own; 

For, on a table drawn beside his head, 

He had put within his reach, 

A box of counters, and a red-vein'd stone, 

A piece of glass abraded by the beach 

And six or seven shells, 

A bottle with bluebells 

And two French copper coins ranged there with careful 

art, 

To comfort his sad heart. 
So when that night I pray'd 
To God, I wept and said: 
Ah, when at last we lie with tranced breath, 
Not vexing Thee in death, 
And Thou rememberest of what toys 
We made our joys. 
How weakly understood 
Thy great commanded good, 
Then, fatherly not less 

Than I whom Thou hast moulded from the clay, 
Thou'lt leave Thy wrath and say, 
'I will be sorry for their childishness.' 

From Poems. E. P. Button Co., New York. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 391 

AUBREY DE VERE, 1814-1902. 

Aubrey de Vere was the third son of the late Sir 
Aubrey de Vere, Bart, distinguished for his dramatic 
poem of Mary Tudor. He was born at Curragh Chase, 
county of Limerick, and educated at Trinity College, 
Dublin. From his early years he showed a predilec- 
tion for Anglo-Irish history. Later on, when a storm of 
newspaper invective was raging against Ireland, he 
made a retort in his volume entitled .English Misrule 
and Irish Misdeeds. The many articles on the Irish 
Poor Law, Colonization, Education, the Irish Church, 
which he contributed to the leading Reviews of the 
kingdom, have exerted no small influence on public 
opinion. 

About the year 1850, he published his Picturesque 
Sketches of Greece and Turkey, the prose form of 
which hardly conceals the author's poetic vein. The 
great event of his life, as he called it, was his con- 
version to the Catholic Church, in 1851, a divine mercy 
for which he never ceased to be grateful. His faith, 
and that which is inseparable from it, his patriotism, 
were the chief sources of his poetical inspiration, as 
may be seen by the very titles of most of his poems. 
May Carols form a rich bouquet for the altar of the 
Madonna. The Legends of St. Patrick paint in radi- 
ant colors the glorious sunrise of Ireland's faith, while 
Inisfail takes up the account of the same faith at the 
Norman invasion, pas-ses through the woes of that 
painful elegy the Wars of Religion and the Penal 
Laws and celebrates the final victory through the en- 
durance of the sons of St. Patrick. The Legends of 
Saxon Saints, published as late as 1879, relate some 
of the heroic deeds achieved by Christianity in England 



392 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

during the first century of its existence. There is 
nothing more elevating, nothing more touching than 
those scenes of a truly Christian age ; but the narrative 
is too strictly historical to have the continuous charm 
of poetry. 

Without apparent effort, and certainly with grat- 
ifying success, de Vere passed from lyrical and narra- 
tive to a higher kind of poetry, the dramatic. His two 
productions in this line, Alexander the Great and 5V/ 
Thomas of Canterbury show no ordinary power of del- 
ineating characters and developing incidents. The 
person of Alexander stands out prominently as a type 
of pagan pride, ambition, self-glorification, while St. 
Thomas is a model of Christian heroism, sublimely 
firm and humble. None but a Catholic poet could have 
done justice to the character of Becket. 

Besides the works already mentioned, de Vere wrote 
Antar and Zara, an Eastern romance; The Fall of 
Rora, a fragment of lyrical drama, written in his 
youth ; The Search after Proserpine, a masque ; several 
hundred Sonnets, which rank him among the foremost 
sonneteers of our language ; many Odes and Miscel- 
laneous Poems. The Lines Written near Shelley's 
House and the Miserere in the Sistine Chapel deserve 
a special attention. 

De Vere was a disciple and warm admirer of Words- 
worth. In his early poetry he falls into the character- 
istic defect of his master : a bald simplicity of thought 
and diction; but, in the maturity of his powers, he 
found out for himself an untrodden path, lit up with 
supernatural light. His verse has not the musical 
smoothness of Tennyson's numbers, nor the perfect 
modulation of Swinburne's, but it has a purpose far 
loftier than theirs. His high merits as a poet have not 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 393 

yet been duly acknowledged. A layman of rank, he 
shrank not from confessing his faith in saints and 
miracles, in the presence of a world of proud scoffers, 
and when he died in London, 1902, there was universal 
recognition of the beauty and holiness of his life. No 
English poet had a purer and loftier spiritual nature 
than Aubrey de Vere. 



BUCKET. 
(From St. Thomas of Canterbury.) 

Bishops of England! 

For many truths by you this day enforced, 
Hear ye in turn but one. The Church is God's: 
Lords, were it ours, then might we traffic with it ; 
At will make large its functions, or contract; 
Serve it or sell; worship or crucify. 
I say the Church is God's ; for He beheld it, 
His thought, ere time began; counted its bones, 
Which in His book were writ. I say that He 
From His own side in water and in blood 
Gave birth to it on Calvary, and caught it, 
Despite the nails, His Bride, in His own arms : 
I say that He, a spirit of clear heat, 
Lives in its frame, arid cleanses with pure pain 
His sacrificial precinct, but consumes 
The chaff with other ardors. Lords, I know you; 
What done ye have, and what intend ere yet 
Yon sun that rises weeping sets this night; 
And therefore bind I with this charge your souls: 
If any secular court shall pass its verdict 
On me, your lord, or ere that sin be sinned, 
I bid you flee that court; if secular arm 
Attempt me, lay thereon the Churdi's ban, 
Or else against you I appeal to Rome, 
To-day the heathen rage I fear them not: 
If fall I must, this hand, ere yet I fall, 
Stretched from the bosom of a peaceful gown 
Above a troubled king and darkening realm, 
Shall send God's sentence forth. My lords, farewell! 



394 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

EVENING MELODY. 

O that the pines which crown yon steep 
Their fires might ne'er surrender ! 

O that yon fervid knoll might keep, 
While lasts the world, its splendor! 

Pale poplars on the breeze that lean, 

And in the sunset shiver, 
O that your golden stems might screen 

For aye yon glossy river ! 

That yon white bird on homeward wing 

Soft-sliding without motion, 
And now in blue air vanishing 

Like snow-flake lost in ocean, 

Beyond our sight might never flee, 

Yet forward still be flying; 
And all the dying day might be 

Immortal in its dying! 

Pellucid thus in saintly trance, 

Thus mute in expectation, 
What waits the earth? Deliverance? 

Ah no ! Transfiguration ! 

She dreams of that "New Earth" divine, 

Conceived of seed immortal ; 
She sings "Not mine the holier shrine, 

Yet mine the steps and portal !" 

From Poems. Macmillan Co., New York 

SORROW. 

Count each affliction, whether light or grave, 
God's messenger sent down to thee; do thou 
With courtesy receive him; rise and bow; 
And, ere his shadow pass thy threshold, crave 
Permission first his heavenly feet to lave; 
Then lay before him all thou hast; allow 
No cloud of passion to usurp thy brow, 
Or mar thy hospitality; no wave 
Of mortal tumult to obliterate 
The soul's marmoreal calmness : Grief should be 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 395 

Like joy, majestic, equable, sedate; 
Confirming, cleansing, raising, making free ; 
Strong to consume small troubles ; to commend 
Great thoughts, grave thoughts, thoughts lasting to the end. 
From Poems. Macmillan Co., New York. 



FRANCIS THOMPSON, 1859-1907. 

A poet who sprang into sudden fame only a few 
years before his death was Francis Thompson. He 
was born in Preston, Lancashire. His father, a con- 
vert to Catholicism, was a physician, who intended 
that his son, after his education at Ushaw College, 
should follow the same profession. Francis, however, 
had leanings for another field of endeavor, so, after 
a brief and repellent trial of medicine, he drifted to 
London to make literature his life-work. Unsuccess- 
ful in establishing himself, he often wandered penniless 
and starving till, befriended by Wilfrid Meynell, he 
published (1893) a volume of Poems which immedi- 
ately ran through several editions, and received glow- 
ing praise from Browning and the reviewers. In 1895 
appeared Sister Songs, and in 1897, New Poems. 

In matter of technique, Thompson is the most orig- 
inal and daring of the younger poets. He has a strong 
and swift imagination, like Shelley's, and deep feeling, 
and often a spirituality bordering on mysticism. His 
strong Catholic faith and deep sense of gratitude to 
the Meynells are the inspiration of his best verse : The 
Hound of Heaven God pursuing the Sinner a noble 
ode, one of the best in English, upon which his fame 
will chiefly rest; The Poppy, Ex Ore Infantium, To 
Monica Thought Dying, and much of his charming 
poems on child-themes; Love in Dian's Lap, seven 
remarkable pieces which elicited high encomiums. 



BRITISH LITERATURE. 

In prose, he has, in his great essay on Shelley, 
"made the most notable contribution to English pure- 
letters in the past quarter century." He has written 
other exquisite essays; and his Life of St. Ignatius 
Loyola is redolent of the saint's spirit and is charming 
alike in manner and in matter. 

Persistent ill health and the unfortunate opium habit 
prevented Thompson from writing much poetry. A 
victim of consumption, he lived a frail existence, cared 
for now by the Meynells, now at the Capuchin mon- 
astery of Pantasaph, and again at the monastery in 
Storrington. He died in London, November 30, 1907. 

As a poet, he has originality and force; and as a 
critic and essayist, he has a fine discrimination and bal- 
ance, notwithstanding his enthusiasm. He was a pure 
and gentle spirit, despite his weakness of character, 
and was of mature judgment in the ideal world ; but in 
the real world, he was almost as a child, and said of 
himself that in the next world he should be sought for 
in the nurseries of heaven. 



EX ORE INFANTIUM. 

Little Jesus, wast Thou shy 

Once, and just so small as I? 
And what did it feel like to be 

Out of Heaven, and just like me? 
Didst Thou sometimes think of there, 

And ask where all the angels were? 
I should think that I would cry 

For my house all made of sky ; 
I would look about the air, 

And wonder where my angels were; 
And at waking 'twould distress me 

Not an angel there to dress me.' 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 30? 

Hadst Thou ever any toys, 

Like us little girls and boys? 
And didst Thou play in Heaven with all 

The angels, that were not too tall, 
With stars for marbles? Did the things 

Play "Can you see me?" through their wings? 

Didst Thou kneel at night to pray, 

And didst Thou join Thy hands, this way? 
And did they tire sometimes, being young, 

And make the prayer seem very long? 
And dost Thou like it best, that we 

Should join our hands to pray to Thee? 
I used to think, before I knew, 

The prayer not said unless we do. 
And did Thy Mother at the night 

Kiss Thee, and fold the clothes in right? 
And didst Thou feel quite good in bed, 

Kissed, and sweet, and Thy prayers said? 

Thou canst not have forgotten all 

That it feels like to be small: 
And Thou know'st I cannot pray 

To Thee in my father's way 
When Thou wast so little, say 

Couldst Thou talk Thy Father's way? 
So, a little Child, come down 

And hear a child's tongue like Thy own; 
Take me by the hand and walk, 

And listen to my baby-talk. 
To Thy Father show my prayer 
(He will look, Thou art so fair), 
And say: "O Father, I, Thy Son, 

Bring the prayer of a little one." 

And He will smile, that children's tongue 
Has not changed since Thou wast young ! 



DAISY. 

Where the thistle lifts a purple crown 

Six feet out of turf, 
And the harebell shakes on the windy hill 

O the breath of the distant surf ! 



398 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

The hills look over on the South, 
And southward dreams the sea; 

And with the sea-breeze hand in hand 
Came innocence and she. 

Where 'mid the gorse the raspberry 
Red for the gatherer springs, 

Two children did we stray and talk 
Wise, idle, childish things. 

She listened with big-lipped surprise, 
Breast-deep 'mid flower and spine: 

Her skin was like a grape, whose veins 
Run snow instead of wine. 

She knew not those sweet words she spake, 
Nor knew her own sweet way ; 

But there's never a bird, so sweet a song 
Thronged in whose throat that day ! 

Oh, there were flowers in Storrington 
On the turf and on the spray; 

But the sweetest flower on Sussex hills 
Was the Daisy-flower that day ! 

Her beauty smoothed earth's furrowed face ! 

She gave me tokens three : 
A look, a word of her winsome mouth, 

And a wild raspberry. 

A berry red, a guileless look, 
A still word, strings of sand ! 

And yet they made my wild, wild heart 
Fly down to her little hand. 

For, standing artless as the air, 

And candid as the skies, 
She took the berries with her hand, 

And the love with her sweet eyes. 

The fairest things have fleetest end : 
Their scent survives their close, 

But the rose's scent is bitterness 
To him that loved the rose ! 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. $99 

She looked a little wistfully, 

Then went her sunshine way: 
The sea's eye had a mist on it, 

And the leaves fell from the day. 

She went her unremembering way, 

She went, and left in me 
The pang of all the partings gone, 

And partings yet to be. 

She left me marvelling why my soul 

Was sad that she was glad; 
At all the sadness in the sweet, 

The sweetness in the sad. 

Still, still I seemed to see her, still 
' Look up with soft replies, 
And take the berries with her hand, 
And the love with her lovely eyes. 

Nothing begins, and nothing ends, 

That is not paid with moan; 
For we are born in other's pain 

And perish in our own. 

CHARLES ALGERNON SWINBURNE, 1837-1909. 

Charles Algernon Swinburne was the son of Ad- 
miral Charles Henry Swinburne and Lady Henrietta 
Jane, daughter of the third Earl of Ashburnham. He 
was born in London, April 5, 1837, and was educated 
at Eton and Oxford, without, however, remaining to 
take degrees. In 1860, he travelled on the Continent; 
returning he became associated with Morris and Ros- 
setti and published The Queen Mother, Rosamond 
(1860), Atalanta in Calydon (1865), Poems and 
Ballads (1866-1878-1889). From 1861-1870, he 
wrote Odes, which revealing their highest eloquence in 
Song of Italy and Song before Sunrise, voice the con- 
flict between darkness and dawn ; that is, tyranny and 
freedom in revolutionary Europe. Ave atque Vale 



400 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

(1868), Bothwell (1874), Songs of the Spring-Tides 
(1882), Tristam of Lyonesse (1882), confirmed the 
early impressions formed of Swinburne, that he was 
an original singer, passionate and vehement, defiant of 
environment, sensuous, unchristian, but marshalling 
words as no one before him, inventing new rhyme 
forms and breathing unwonted beauty into the old. The 
music of his words has oftentimes carried him into 
sounding phrases void of meaning. There is, in fact, a 
marked poverty of thought in the poetry of Swin- 
burne. 

Pagan themes and sensibilities are not the only 
staple of his verse; he sang charmingly of the inno- 
cence of childhood, and of the majestic grandeur of 
the seas. On the Cliffs, A Child's Laughter, Off Shore, 
By the North Sea, A Vision of Spring in Winter. 
In prose, Essays and Studies (1875), A Study of 
Shakespeare (1880), show the critic's poetic tempera- 
ment in their resonance and rhythm and his personal 
deficiencies in occasional exaggerations and faulty 
judgments. 

Mine ears are amazed with the terror of trumpets, with dark- 
ness mine eyes, 
At the sound of the sea's host charging that deafens the roar 

of the sky's. 
White frontlet is dashed upon frontlet, and horse against horse 

reels hurled, 
And the gorge of the gulfs of the battle is wide for the spoil of 

the world. 
And the meadows are cumbered with shipwreck of chariots that 

founder on land 
And the horsemen are broken with breach as of breakers, and 

scattered as sand. 
Through the roar and recoil of the chargers that mingle their 

cries and confound, 
Like fire are the notes of the trumpets that flash through the 

darkness of sound. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 49 1 

As the swing of the sea churned yellow that sways with the 

wind as it swells 
Is the lift and relapse of the wave of the chargers that clash 

with their bells; 
And the clang of the sharp shrill brass through the burst of 

the wave as it shocks, 
Rings clean as the clear wind's cry through the roar of the 

surge on the rocks ; 
And the heads of the steeds in their headgear of war, and their 

corsleted breasts, 
Gleam broad as the brows of the billows that brighten the storm 

with their crests, 
Gleam dread as their bosoms that heave to the shipwrecking 

wind as they rise, 
Filled full of the terror and thunder of water, that slays as it 

dies. 

Erectheus. 

"When the hounds of spring are on winter's traces, 

The mother of months in meadow or plain 
Fills the shadows and windy places 

With lisp of leaves and ripple of rain; 
And the brown bright nightingale amorous 

Is half assuaged for Itylus, 
For the Thracian ships and the foreign faces, 

The tongueless vigil, and all the pain." . . . 

Chorus in Atalanta, 

A CHILD'S LAUGHTER. 

All the bells of heaven may ring, 
All the birds of heaven may sing, 
All the wells on earth may spring, 
All the winds on earth may bring 

All sweet sounds together ; 
Sweeter far than all things heard, 
Hand of harper, tone of bird, 
Sound of woods at sundown stirred, 
Welling waters, winsome word, 

Wind in warm, wan weather. 

One thing yet there is, that none 
Hearing ere its chime be done 
Knows not well the sweetest one 
Heard of man beneath the sun, 
Hoped in heaven hereafter; 



402 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Soft and strong and loud and light, 
Very sound of very light. 
Hea/d from morning's rosiest height, 
When the soul of all delight 

Fills a child's clear laughter. 

Golden bells of welcome rolled 
Never forth such notes, nor told 
Hours so blithe in tones so bold, 
As the radiant mouth of gold 

Here that rings forth heaven. 
If the golden-crested wren 
Were a nightingale why, then, 
Something seen and heard of men 
Might be half as sweet as when 

Laughs a child of seven. 



JOHN HSNRY NDWMAN, 1801-1890. 

Cardinal Newman, one of the most eminent writers 
of English prose, "whose style is as near perfection 
as we have ever reached," was the son of a London 
banker. He was first placed at school under Rev. Dr. 
Nicholas at Baling, and afterward was entered at Trin- 
ity College, Oxford, where he gained a scholarship in 
1818. He was elected a Fellow of Oriel College in 
1822. In 1824, he received ordination in the English 
Church; the following year became Vice-Principal 
of Alban Hall, and, in 1826, Tutor in Oriel College. 
He was also, about this time, Vicar of St. Mary's, 
Oxford, and one of the Select University Preachers. 
In the year 1845 he renounced Protestantism, and was 
received into the Catholic Church. After a short stay 
at Oscott with Dr. Wiseman, he was called to Rome, 
whence two years later, in 1848, he was sent by Pope 
Pius IX. to found the English branch of the Oratory of 
St. Philip Neri, at Birmingham. He was Rector of 
the Catholic University of Dublin from 1852 to 1860. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 4Q3 

In the latter year, having resigned the rectorship, he 
returned to Birmingham, where, as Superior of the 
Oratory, he continued to reside till his death. He was 
in this retreat when, in the spring of 1879, the voice 
of Leo XIII. sought him out, and, with the applause of 
the whole world, called him to sit among the Princes of 
the Church. 

Cardinal Newman was, both in his writings and 
his personal character, an object of peculiar interest 
to all classes of men. As a boy, he inspired almost 
love in the cold bosom of Dr., afterward Archbishop, 
Whately, who influenced Newman's first views. When 
he became acquainted with Pusey, Hurrell Froude. 
and Keble, at Oxford, Whatley's influence was thrown 
off, and the more genial association of these new 
f\ tends was warmly cultivated. 

"The influence he had gained without apparently 
setting himself to seek it, was something altogether 
unlike anything else in our time. A mysterious vener- 
ation had by degrees gathered round him, till now it 
was almost as if some Ambrose or Augustine of oiden 
ages had reappeared. ... In Oriel Lane, light- 
hearted undergraduates would drop their voices and 
whisper: "There's Newman!' when, head thrust for- 
ward, and gaze fixed as though on some vision seen 
only by himself, with swift, noiseless step, he glided 
by awe fell on them for a moment, almost as if it 
had been an inspiration that had passed. For his inner 
circle of friends, many of them younger men, he was 
said to have a quite romantic affection which they 
returned with the most ardent devotion and the in- 
tensest faith in him. But to the outer world he was a 
mystery.' * 

* Prof. Shairp, Studies on Poetry and Philosophy. 



404 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

The young tutor in Oriel was the leader, being abler 
than his contemporaries (great men though they 
were), and quite sufficient of himself to bend the bow 
of Ulysses. The Tractarian movement, which New- 
man dated from the sermon on National Apostasy, by 
Keble, in 1833, was inspired and chiefly directed by 
Newman, for whom it was only a stage, not a rest- 
ing-place. Disraeli has somewhere said that the revo- 
lution in religious thought which Cardinal Newman 
effected is the most momentous one in the religious 
history of England for the past three hundred years. 

Cardinal Newman's works are marked by a dis- 
cursive range of thought, a depth of learning, a felicity 
of expression, a massive strength, and a beauty of 
style, equally displayed in the branches of philosophy, 
theology, patristic commentary, history, university 
education, romance, and poetry. In his sketch of Cic- 
ero he unconsciously described himself, where he said : 
"Terence and Lucretius had cultivated simplicity; 
Cotta, Brutus, and Calvus, had attempted strength; 
but Cicero rather made a language than a style, yet not 
so much by the invention as by the combination of 
words. . . . His great art lies in the application 
of existing materials, in converting the very disadvan- 
tages of the language into beauties, in enriching it with 
circumlocution and metaphors, in pruning it of harsh 
and uncouth expressions, in systematizing the structure 
of a sentence. That is that copia dicendi which gained 
Cicero the high testimony of Caesar to his inventive 
powers, and which, we may add, constitutes him the 
greatest master of composition that the world has 



seen." 



"His literary power," writes one of Newman's 
biographers, R, H. Hutton, "has been so great and has 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 4Q5 

shown itself in a style of such singular grace and 
charm, as well as in irony of such delicacy and vivac- 
ity, that the highest literary eminence was easily within 
his reach, had he cared to win it, long before his name 
was actually known to the world at large; and he 
would have been a great power in literature had he 
cared to devote himself to literature in the wider sense, 
before the Oxford Movement had begun to cause anxi- 
ety in the Established Church. ... It was not 
indeed till after he became a Roman Catholic that Dr. 
Newman's literary genius showed itself adequately in 
his prose writings, and not till twenty years after he 
became a Roman Catholic that his unique poem was 
written." 

Of the thirty-four volumes published by Cardinal 
Newman, twelve comprise his sermons. His Parochial 
and Plain Sermons embrace eight volumes. They were 
preached in his church of St. Mary's, Oxford, while 
he was still an Anglican. His most finished sermons 
were Discourses to Mixed Congregations; his master- 
piece, The Second Spring, is found in the volume 
Sermons on Various Occasions. 

Ten volumes of Newman's works are devoted to 
theological and polemical treatises. His other works 
include Essays, Critical and Historical (2 vols.) ; His- 
torical Sketches (3 vols.) in which are found essays on 
The Turks, Cicero, St. Chrysostom, St. Benedict and 
the Benedictine Schools; The Idea of a University,, 
which has been styled a perfect handling of a theory; 
Callista, a Sketch of the Third Century; Loss and 
Gain, the story of a convert from Anglicanism ; Devel- 
opment of Christian Doctrine, a theory to account for 
the alleged growth of beliefs from primitive revelation ; 
A Grammar of Assent, the most philosophical of his 



406 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

books ; Apologia, a History of My Religious Opinions, 
his best known work; Verses on Various Occasions, 
which contains his most remarkable poem, The Dream 
of Gerontius. 

The great popularity of Cardinal Newman began 
principally in the year 1865, when the reckless imputa- 
tion of Canon Charles Kingsley gave him an opportu- 
nity of vindicating before the English-speaking world 
his character and line of conduct. Ten years later, 
the unaccountable Expostulation and Vaticanism of 
Mr. Gladstone were refuted with a decided triumph by 
a Letter and Postscript of the illustrious Oratorian. 
Long before he took his final rest, August 11, 1890, 
he had won the minds and hearts of an admiring world. 
Newman is the completest and best balanced spirit that 
has appeared in English literature in many a day; as 
Matthew Arnold says, "There needs a miracle of 
genius like Shakespeare's to produce balance of mind, 
and a miracle of intellectual delicacy like Dr. New- 
man's to produce urbanity of style." 



ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM AS AN ORATOR. 

St. Chrysostom had his own rostra, his own curia; it was the 
Holy Temple, where his eloquence gained for him victories 
not less real, and more momentous, than the detection and 
overthrow of Catiline. Great as was his gift of oratory, it was 
not by the fertility of his imagination, or the splendor of his dic- 
tion, that he gained the surname of "Mouth of Gold." We 
shall be very wrong if we suppose that fine expression, or 
rounded periods, or figures of speech, were the credentials by 
which he claimed to be the first doctor of the East. His ora- 
torical power was but the instrument, by which he readily, 
gracefully, adequately expressed, expressed without effort and 
with felicity, the keen feelings, the living ideas, the earnest 
practical lessons which he had to communicate to his hearers. 
He spoke, because his heart, his head, were brimful of things 
to speak about. His elocution corresponded to that strength 
and flexibility of limb, that quickness of eye, hand, and foot, 



THE NiriCTtiENTH CENTURY. 407 

by which a man excels in manly games or in mechanical skill. 
It would be a great mistake, in speaking of it, to ask whether 
,t was Attic or Asiatic, terse or flowing, when its distinctive 
praise was that it was natural. His unrivalled charm, as that 
of every really eloquent man, lies in his singleness of pur- 
pose, his fixed grasp of nis aim, his noble earnestness. A 
bright, cheerful, gentle soul; a sensitive heart, a temperament 
open to emotion and impulse; and all this elevated, refined, 
transformed by the touch of heaven, such was St. John Chry- 
sostom ; winning followers, riveting affections, by his sweet- 
ness, frankness, and neglect of self. In his labors, in his 
preaching, he thought of others only. 

Historical Sketches, Vol. IL. 

THE CONVERSION Ok? THE ANGLO-SAXON PEOPLE. 

It is an old story and a familiar, and I need not go through 
it. I need not tell you, how suddenly the word of truth came 
to our ancestors in this island and subdued them to its gentle 
rule; how the grace of God fell on them, and, without com- 
pulsion, as the historian tells us, the multitude became Chris- 
tion ; how, when all was tempestuous, and hopeless, and dark t 
Christ like a vision of glory came walking to them on the 
waves of the sea. Then suddenly there was a great calm ; a 
change came over the pagan people in that quarter of the 
country where the Gospel was first preached to them; and 
from thence the blessed influence went forth ; it was poured 
out over the whole land, till, one and all, the Anglo-Saxon 
people were converted by it. In a hundred years the work was 
done; the idols, the sacrifices, the mummeries of paganism flit- 
ted away and were not, and the pure doctrine and heavenly 
worship of the Cross were found in their stead. The fair form 
of Christianity rose up, and grew, and expanded, like a beauti- 
ful pageant from north to south; it was majestic, it was sol- 
emn, it was bright, it was beautiful and pleasant, it was sooth- 
ing to the griefs, it was indulgent to the hopes of man; it was 
at once a teaching and a worship; it had a dogma, a mystery, 
a ritual of its own ; it had an hierarchical form. A brotherhood 
of holy pastors, with mitre and crosier and uplifted hand, 
walked forth and blessed and ruled a joyful people. The cru- 
cifix headed the procession, and simple monks were there with 
hearts in prayer, and sweet chants resounded, and the holy 
Latin tongue was heard, and boys came forth in white, swing- 
ing censers, and the fragrant cloud arose, and Mass was sung, 
and the saints were invoked; and, day after day, and in the 
still night, and over the woody hills and in the quiet plains, as 



408 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

constantly as the sun and moon and stars go forth in heaven, so 
regulai and solemn was the stately march or blessed services 
on earth, high festival, and gorgeous procession, and soothing 
dirge, and passing bell, and the familiar evening call to prayer: 
till he who recollected the old pagan time, would think it all 
unreal that he beheld and heard, and would conclude he did 
but see a vision, so marvellously was heaven let down upon 
earth, so triumphantly were chased away the fiends of dark- 
ness to their prison below. 

Sermons on Various Occasions: Christ Upon the Waters. 

MASS. 

To me nothing is so consoling, so piercing, so thrilling, so 
overcoming, as the Mass, said as it is among us. I could at- 
tend Masses forever, and not be tired. It is not a mere form 
of words it is a great action, the greatest action that can be 
on earth. It is not the invocation merely, but, if I dare use 
the word, the evocation of the Eternal. He becomes present 
on the altar in flesh and blood, before whom angels bow and 
devils tremble. This is that awful event which is the scope, 
and the interpretation, of every part of the solemnity. Words 
are necessary, but as means, not as ends; they are not mere 
addresses to the throne of grace, they are instruments of what 
is far higher, of consecration, of sacrifice. They hurry on, as 
if impatient to fulfil their mission. Quickly they go, the 
whole is quick, for they are all parts of one integral action. 
Quickly they go, for they are awful words of sacrifice, they 
are a work too great to delay upon, as when it was said in the 
beginning, "What thou doest, do quickly." Quickly they pass, 
for the Lord Jesus goes with them, as He passed along the 
lake in the days of His flesh, quickly calling first one and 
then another; quickly they pass, because as the lightning which 
shineth from one part of the heaven unto the other, so is the 
coming of the Son of Man. Quickly they pass, for they are 
as the words of Moses, when the Lord came down in the 
cloud, calling on the Name of the Lord as he passed by: The 
Lord, the Lord God, merciful and generous, long-suffering, 
and abundant in goodness and truth.' And as Moses on the 
mountain, so we too 'make haste and bow our heads to the 
earth and adore.' So we, all around, each in his place, look' 
out for the great Advent, 'waiting for the moving of the wa- 
ter/ each in his place, with his own heart, with his own wants, 
with his own thoughts, with his own intentions, with his own 
prayers, separate but concordant, watching what is going on, 
watching its progress, uniting in its consummation; not pain- 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 409 

fully and hopelessly, following a hard form of prayer from 
beginning to end, but, like a concert of musical instruments, 
each different, but concurring in a sweet harmony, we take 
our post with God's priest, supporting him, yet guided by 
him. There are little children there, and old men, and simple 
laborers, and students in seminaries, priests preparing for Mass, 
priests making their thanksgiving, there are innocent maidens, 
and there are penitent sinners; but out of these many minds 
rises one Eucharistic hymn, and the great action is the measure 
and the scope of it. Loss and Gain. 

THE SEPARATION OF FRIENDS. 

Do not their souls who 'neath the Altar wait 

Until their second birth, 
The gift of patience need, as separate 

From their first friends of earth? 
Not that earth's blessings are not all outshone 

By Eden's angel flame, 
But that earth knows not yet the dead has won 

That crown which was his aim. 
For when he left it, 'twas a twilight scene 

About his silent bier, 
A breathless struggle, faith and sight between, 

And Hope and sacred Fear. 
Fear startled at his pains and dreary end, 

Hope raised her chalice high, 
And the twin-sisters still his shade attend, 

Viewed in the mourner's eye. 
So day by day for him from earth ascends, 

As dew in summer even, 
The speechless intercession of his friends 

Towards the azure heaven. 
Ah! dearest, with a word he could dispel 

All questioning, and raise 
Our hearts to rapture, whispering all was well, 

And turning prayer to praise. 
And other secrets, too, he could declare, 

By patterns all divine, 
His earthly creed retouching here and there, 

And deepening every line. 
Dearest! he longs to speak, as I to know, 

And yet we both refrain: 
It were not good; a little doubt below, 

And all will soon be plain. 

From Lyra Apostolica. 



410 BRITISH LITERATURE, 

THE; ELEMENTS 

Man is permitted much 

To scan and learn 

In Nature's frame 
Till he well-nigh can tame 
Brute mischiefs and can touch 
Invisible things, and turn 
All warring ills to purposes of good. 

Thus as a god below, 

He can control 

And harmonize, what seems amiss to flow 
As severed from the whole 
And dimly understood. 

But o'er the elements 
One Hand alone, 
One Hand has sway. 
What influence day by day 
In straiter belt prevents 
The impious Ocean, thrown 
Alternate o'er the ever-sounding shore? 
Or who has eye to trace 
How the Plague came? 

Forerun the doublings of the Tempest's rac? 
Or the Air's weight and flame 
On a set scale explore? 

Thus God has will'd 
That man, when fully skill'd, 
Still gropes in twilight dim; 
Encompass'd all his hours 

By fearfullest powers 

Inflexible to him. 
That so he may discern 

His feebleness 
And e'en for earth's success 

To Him in wisdom turn, 
Who holds for us the keys of either home 
Earth and the world to come. 

GERONTIUS. 

I had a dream. Yes, some one softly said 
"He's gone," and then a sigh went round the room; 
And then I surely heard a priestly voice 
Cry "Subvenite;" and they knelt in prayer. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 

I seem to hear him still, but thin and low, 

And fainter and more faint the accents come, 

As at an ever-widening interval. 

Ah! whence is this? What is this severance? 

This silence pours a solitariness 

Into the very essence of my soul; 

And the deep rest, so soothing and so sweet, 

Hath something too of sternness and of pain 

For it drives back my thoughts upon their spring. 

By a strange introversion, and perforce 

I now begin to feed upon myself, 

Because I have nought else to feed upon 

Am I alive or dead? I am not dead, 

But in the body still, for I possess 

A sort of confidence which clings to me, 

That each particular organ holds its place 

As heretofore, combining with the rest 

Into one symmetry, that wraps me round 

And makes one man ; and surely I could move 

Did I but will it, every part of me. 

And yet I cannot to my sense bring home 

By very trial, that I have the power. 

'Tis strange ; I cannot stir a hand or foot, 

I cannot make my fingers or my lips 

By mutual pressure witness each to each, 

Nor by the eyelid's instantaneous stroke 

Assure myself I have a body still. 

Nor do I know my very attitude, 

Nor if I stand, or lie, or sit, or kneel. 

So much I know, not knowing how I know, 

That the vast universe where I have dwelt 

Is quitting me, or I am quitting it; 

Or I, or it, is rushing oh the wings 

Of light or lightning on an onward course, 

And we e'en now are million miles apart. 

Yet ... is this peremptory severance 

Wrought out in lengthening measurements of space. 

Which grow and multiply by speed and time? 

Or am I traversing infinity 

By endless sub-division, hurrying back 

From finite toward infinitesimal, 

Thus dying out of the expansive ivorld? 



412 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

HENRY EDWARD MANNING, 1808-1892. 

Henry Edward, Cardinal Manning, Archbishop of 
Westminster, exerted no less influence by his speeches 
and writings than by his position at the head of the 
Catholic hierarchy in England. The son of a London 
merchant and member of Parliament, he enjoyed all 
the advantages of the best education. At Harrow and 
Oxford, the talents and steady application of the young 
student won distinguished honors. Graduated in 1830, 
he was chosen Fellow of Merton College, and subse- 
quently one of the select preachers of the University. 
He could not escape the wonderful influence of New- 
man; he even became one of his most earnest ad- 
mirers, but, a conservative by the nature of his mind 
and the bent of his early education, he belonged to the 
moderate, not the foremost, party of the Tractarians. 
When Newman joined the Catholic Church, Manning, 
with an influence second to none but chat of Pusey, 
remained the cherished support and a bright ornament 
of the establishment. At the age of twenty-six, he 
had been appointed to the charming rectory of Laving- 
ton in Sussex, where he undertook in earnes* the prob- 
lem of adapting to his church the doctrines, practices, 
and ceremonies of the Catholic religion. His promo- 
tion to the archdeaconship of Chichester, in 1840, 
which opened the way to the highest preferments, did 
not abate his religious zeal. For ten years he had 
fulfilled with flattering success the duties of his charge, 
when his good faith was ultimately put to the test. 
Two important events, the Hampden controversy and 
the Gorham case, by placing the state above the episco- 
pacy in spiritual matters of doctrine and discipline, 
convinced Archdeacon Manning that Anglicanism 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 413 

could not be but a human institution. All earthly 
considerations, all present honors, all prospects of 
future dignity, gave way before this conviction, and in 
1851, he embraced the Catholic faith. As the death of 
his wife had left him free, he immediately sought the 
ranks of the Roman clergy. It was a characteristic of 
his conversion that it did not entail the enmity of his 
co-religionists. When, in 1857, he began as a Catholic 
priest to exercise his ministry among the poor of Lon- 
don, many in the higher classes of society, who, at Ox- 
ford and Chichester, had listened with admiration to his 
discourses, flocked again to him with the same eager- 
ness, veneration, and love. His indefatigable zeal for 
the salvation of souls, his administrative talents, and 
his success in the pulpit, soon brought him new honors. 
He received from Pope Pius IX. the title of Doctor 
of Divinity, with the office of Provost of the Chap- 
ter of Westminster, and the dignity of Prothonotary 
Apostolic. In 1865, he was appointed to succeed, 
as Archbishop of Westminster, the great Cardinal 
Wiseman, whose friend he had been. In this im- 
mense field his activity was devoted to good works 
of every kind, especially to such as regarded temp- 
erance, education, and the welfare of the laboring 
classes. In founding and promoting the Kensing- 
ton College for higher education he had the chief 
share; and, when he bought a site for his cathedral, 
he declared that not one stone of the edifice would 
be laid till he had provided a free Catholic school 
for every child of his flock. In 1870, he took a 
conspicuous part in the deliberations of the Vatican 
Council, a short history of which he afterward gave 
to the public. Five years later, all England, not to 



414 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

say the whole world, applauded the act of Pius IX. 
calling Archbishop Manning to the Sacred College of 
Cardinals. 

The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster was 
throughout his life a prodigious worker. Amidst the 
incessant toil of his ministry he found time to write 
many books. They are mainly of a religious and con- 
troversial kind, in the form of lectures, sermons, pas- 
toral letters, reviews. They are remarkable for a 
simple and direct eloquence, broadness of views, close- 
ness of reasoning, clearness and energy of style. Be- 
fore his conversion, he had already published several 
works of a religious character, but they were eclipsed 
by his later productions. In the first rank among these 
we reckon the Lectures on the Four Great Evils of the 
Day, which are completed by his Lectures on the Four- 
fold Sovereignty of God. The four great evils of the 
days he considered to be: (1) The revolt of the intel- 
lect against God; (2) the revolt of the will against 
God; (3) the revolt of Society from God;. (4) the 
course of the world. His Miscellanies comprise twenty- 
four essays, a few of which were composed for the 
Dublin Review, and the rest for special occasions. The 
most striking of them, in our estimation, are the Lec- 
tures on Progress] addressed to a society of young 
men ; The Dignity and Rights of Labor, a lecture de- 
livered before the Institute of Leeds ; the Letter on 
Ireland to Earl Grey; Ctesarism and Ultramontanism, 
read before the Academia; and The Independence of 
the Holy See, an able defence of the Pope's temporal 
power. His other works are : The Temporal Mission 
of the Holy Ghost, The Internal Mission of the Holy 
Ghost, Petri Privilegium, The Love of Jesu^ to Pen- 
iients, Confidence in God, The Blessed Sacrament, The 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 415 

Eternal Priesthood, Sermons, Vatican Decrees and 
Civil Allegiance. In this last he confuted the bold 
assertions of his former college companion and lifelong 
friend, Mr. Gladstone. 

The lofty character of Cardinal Manning, his gen- 
erous sympathies, his enthusiastic devotion to the 
welfare of all classes of society, together with his 
eloquent writings, made him for many years one of 
the most popular personages in England, and power- 
fully contributed to break down some of the barriers 
raised by prejudice against the Catholic Church. He 
was a man of affairs and wrote under the stimulus of 
external circumstances or the pressure of his own 
ideas. His pure, terse and nervous style, had he been 
ambitious of literary fame, could have attained for him 
a high rank in English literature. 

ROBERT Louis STEVENSON, 1850-1894. 

Robert Louis Stevenson is one of the most distin- 
guished names among the novelists who wrote in the 
last quarter of the nineteenth century. He belonged 
to a family of celebrated engineers, who built light- 
houses on the rugged coast of Scotland. Robert Louis 
was educated at a private school and in the university 
of his native city of Edinburgh, and he too was 
intended to be an engineer. "I was already engaged 
in this occupation, when, on being tightly cross-ques- 
tioned during a dreadful evening walk, I owned I cared 
for nothing but literature. My father said that was no 
profession, but I might be called to the bar, if I chose ; 
so, at the age of twenty-one, I began to study law," 
But even after he had become a member of the Scotch 
legal body, he clung to "his determination to be an 
author." Weak health condemned him to leave Scot- 



416 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

land and England for the South of France, and, later 
on to travel to the Adirondacks, and finally settle in 
Samoa, one of the South Sea Islands. His first vol- 
ume of fiction, An Inland Voyage, appeared in 1878. 
Then came, in succession, Travels with a Donkey in 
the Cevennes; Virginibus Puerisque; Familiar Studies 
of Men and Books; New Arabian Nights; The Treas- 
ure Island; The Silverado Squatters; A Child's Gar- 
den of Verse; Prince Otto; The Strange Case of Dr. 
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Kidnapped; Catriona; The 
Merry Men and Other Tales and Fables; Undenvoods 
(verse) ; Memories and Portraits; The Master of Bal- 
lantrae. In 1890, he published an open letter to Rev, 
Mr. Hyde, of Honolulu, called out by the disparaging 
reference of Mr. Hyde to Father Damien, the Catholic 
volunteer missionary to the leper colony at Molokai. 
The letter is characteristic of the generous, noble, and 
brave disposition of its author. 

His most esteemed works are : Dr. Jekyll and Mr. 
Hyde, Kidnapped, Treasure Island, the best boys' 
story since Robinson Crusoe ; and The Master of Bal- 
lantral. The Memories and Portraits are to a great 
extent autobiographical, and are written in a charming 
vein of humor. The Athenaeum wrote of him once: 
u At his best he is comparable with only one novelist, 
and that one the greatest of all Walter Scott." 
Saintsbury calls him "the most brilliant and interesting 
by far of those English writers, whose life was com- 
prised in the last half of the century." Though Stev- 
enson was, like Scott, a born story-teller, it is generally 
conceded that his style is above his stories. This style 
was not natural, but acquired after incessant study 
and practice in a struggle against bad health, poverty, 
and the world's neglect. Of his characters, Dr. Jekyll 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 417 

and Mr. Hyde "have passed into the common stock 
of proverbial allusion." Stevenson died suddenly of 
apoplexy at Vailima, Samoa, in 1894. His letters, 
edited by Sidney Colvin, were published in 1899. 

AN OPEN LETTER TO REV. DR. HYDE, Of HONOLULU. 

SYDNEY, February 25, 1890. 

Sir It may probably occur to you that we have met, and 
visited, and conversed ; on my side, with interest. You may 
remember that you have done me several courtesies for which 
I was prepared to be grateful. But there are duties which come 
before gratitude, and offences which justJv divide friends, far 
more acquaintances. Your letter to Rev. H. B. Gage is a docu- 
ment which, in my sight, if you had filled me with bread when 
I was starving, if you had sat up to nurse my father when he 
lay a-dying, would yet absolve from the bonds of gratitude. 
You know enough, doubtless, of the process of canonization to 
be aware that, a hundred years after the death of Damien, there 
will appear a man charged with the painful office of the devil's 
advocate. After that noble brother of mine, and of all frail 
clay, shall have lain a century at rest, one shall accuse, one de- 
fend him. The circumstance is unusual that the devil's advocate 
should be a volunteer, should be a member of a sect immediately 
rival, and should make haste to take upon himself his ugly of- 
fice ere the bones are cold; unusual, and of a taste which I shall 
leave my readers to qualify; unusual, and to me, inspiring. If 
I have at all learned the trade of using words to convey truth 
and to arouse emotion, you have at last furnished me with a sub- 
ject. For it is in the interest of all mankind and the cause of 
public decency in every quarter of the world, not only that 
Damien should be righted, but that you and your letter should 
be displayed at length in their true colors to the public eye. To 
do this properly, I must begin by quoting you at large. I shall 
then proceed to criticise your utterance from several points of 
view, divine and human, in the course of which I shall attempt 
to draw again and with more specification the character of the 
dead saint whom it has pleased you to vilify : so much being 
done, I shall say farewell to you forever. 

THE ATTACK. 

Nothing followed for a time ; but the remark had set us all 
on the alert, straining ears and eyes the musketeers with their 
nieces balanced in their hands, the captain out in the middle of 



418 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

the blockhouse, with his mouth very tight, and a frown on his 
face. 

So some seconds passed, till suddenly Joyce whipped up his 
musket and fired. The report had scarcely died away ere it 
. was repeated and repeated from without in a scattering volley, 
shot behind shot, like a string of geese, from every side of the 
enclosure. Several bullets struck the log-house, but not one 
entered ; and, as the smoke cleared away and vanished, the 
stockade and the woods around it looked as quiet and empty 
as before. Not a bough waved, not the gleam of a musket- 
barrel betrayed the presence of our foes. 

"Did you hit your man?" asked the captain. 

"No, sir," replied Joyce. "I believe not, sir." 

"Next best thing to tell the truth," muttered Captain Smollett. 
"Load his gun, Hawkins. How many should you say there were 
on your side, doctor?" 

"I know precisely," said Dr. Livesey. "Three shots were fired 
on this side. I saw the three flashes two close together one 
farther to the west." 

"Three !" repeated thf captain. "And how many on yours, 
Mr. Trelawney?" 

But this was not so easily answered. There had come many 
from the north seven, by the squire's computation ; eight or 
nine, according to Gray. From the east and west only a single 
shot had been fired. It was plain, therefore, that the attack 
would be developed from the north, and that on the other 
three sides we were only to be annoyed by a show of hostilities 
But Capain Smollett made no change in his arrangements. If 
the mutineers succeeded in crossing the stockade, he argued, 
they would take possession of any unprotected loophole, and 
shoot us down like rats in our own stronghold. Nor had we 
much time left to us for thought. Suddenly, with a loud 
huzza, a little cloud of pirates leaped from the woods on the 
north side, and ran straight on the stockade. At the same 
moment, the fire was once more opened from the woods, and 
a rifle ball sang through the doorway and knocked the doctor's 
musket into bits. 

The boarders swarmed over the fence like monkeys. Squire 
and Gray fired again and yet again ; three men fell, one forwards 
into the enclosure, two back on the outside. But of these, one 
was evidently more frightened than hurt, for he was on his feet 
again in a crack, and instantly disappeared among the trees. 

Two had bit the dust, one had fled, four had made good 
their footing inside our defences; while from the shelter of 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY., 419 

the woods seven or eight men, each evidently supplied with 
several muskets, kept up a hot though useless fire on the log- 
house. 

The four who had boarded made straight before them for 
the building, shouting as they ran, and the men among the 
trees shouted back to encourage them. Several shots were fired, 
but, such was the hurry of the marksmen, that not one appears 
to have taken effect. In a moment, the four pirates had 
swarmed up the mound, and were upon us. 

The head of Job Anderson, the boatswain, appeared at the 
middle loop-hole. 

"At 'em, all hands all hands!" he roared, in a voice of 
thunder. 

At the same moment, another pirate grasped Hunter's musket 
by the muzzle, wrenched it from his hands, plucked it through 
the loop-hole, and, with one stunning blow, laid the poor fellow 
senseless on the floor. Meanwhile, a third, running unharmed 
all around the house, appeared suddenly in the doorway, and 
fell with his cutlass on the doctor. 

Our position was utterly reversed. A moment since we were 
firing, under cover, at an exposed enemy ; now it was we who 
lay uncovered, and could not return a blow. 

The log-house was full of smoke, to which we owed our 
comparative safety. Cries and confusion, the flashes and reports 
of pistol shots, and one loud groan, rang in my ears. 

"Out, lads, out, and fight 'em in the open ! Cutlasses !" cried 
the captain. 

I snatched a cutlass from the pile, and some one, at the same 
time snatching another, gave me a cut across the knuckles 
which I hardly felt. I dashed out of the door into the clear 
sunlight. Some one was close behind, I knew not whom. Right 
in front, the doctor was pursuing his assailant down the hill, and 
just as my eyes fell upon him, beat down his guard, and sent 
him sprawling on his back, with a great slash across the face. 

"Round the house, lads; round the house!" cried the captain; 
and even in the hurly-burly I perceived a change in his voice. 

Mechanically, I obeyed, turning eastwards, and with my 
cutlass raised, ran round the corner of the house. Next moment 
I was face to face with Anderson. He roared aloud, and his 
hanger went up above his head, flashing in the sunlight. I had 
not time to be afraid, but, as the blow still hung impending, 
leaped in a trice upon one side, and missing my foot in the soft 
sand, rolled headlong down the slope. 

Treasure Island. 



420 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

JOHN RUSKIN, 1819-1900. 

John Ruskin enlisted the interest and admiration 
of all readers by the eminent qualities of his writings 
on nature and art, and on the social and economic 
problems of his age. From his tenderest years, he was 
trained by his mother in the severe discipline of relig- 
ious and literary culture, and was taught by his father 
to seek the most beautiful in nature and art. He 
expressed, when not yet four years of age, his love 
for 'the blue hills/ He gained the Newdigate Prize at 
Oxford for English poetry. He first studied painting 
as a profession, but, after a few years, exchanged the 
pencil for the pen. At twenty-four, he published his 
first volume of Modern Painters, not 'for fame, or for 
money, or for conscience' sake, but of necessity,' to 
bring about in favor of Nature a reaction against the 
past four hundred years. The book was treated as 
contemptible and mischievous, even its merits of style 
were overlooked. The four volumes which followed 
from 1846 to 1863 gradually won the 'favor of the 
public. He had, meanwhile, turned to architecture 
and evinced his predilection for the old gothic style 
in two great works, The Seven Lamps of Architecture, 
and The Stones of Venice. . "It is a tenet of Ruskin's 
art philosophy that the principles fundamental to art 
are fundamental to all true life, and therefore ap- 
plicable to every department of social progress." It 
has been his care to inculcate that 'whatever is great 
in human art is the expression of man's delight in 
God's work, and to insist upon a pure heart and earnest 
mind as essential to success. 

Among his other earliest works are The King of the 
Golden River (1851), A Joy For Ever, The Two 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 421 

Paths (1854), and Unto this Last (1862), which con- 
tains four essays on political economy, outlining the 
basic principles of his social reform. "There is no 
wealth but life life including all its powers of love, 
of joy, and of admiration. That country is richest 
which nourishes the greatest number of noble and 
happy human beings." Originally these papers ap- 
peared in Cornhill Magazine under the direction of 
Thackeray, and they occasioned a wild storm of pro- 
test; as did Munera Puiveris (1862) discussing capital 
and labor and the evils of the competitive system. 

Mornings in Florence (1862) studies in Christian 
art, detailing the picture galleries of the city; Sesame 
and Lilies (1865) the most widely known of Rusk- 
in's works, treating of books and reading, of woman's 
life and education, of his own failure in life to realize 
his ideals; Croiun of Wild Olives (1866) lectures on 
Work, Traffic, War, appealing to thoughtful men fac- 
ing the problems of work and duty; Time and Tide 
(1868); Fors Clavigera (1871) letters to working 
men; The Eagle's Nest; Aratra Pentelici (1872) 
lectures on sculpture; Arrows of the Chase (1840- 
1880); Prceterita (1885) describing events of his 
youth. 

Truthfulness, wealth of fancy and imagination, har- 
mony of style, and a wonderful suggestiveness, char- 
acterize his writings. Indeed, men were often won to 
read and study Ruskin through the mere charm and 
melody of his style. Unquestionably he is a master of 
prose, delivering himself with the fervor and sonorous- 
ness of De Quincey and the clarity of Newman. 
Ruskin was a forceful, original, and high-minded 
thinker, inspired by the worthiest human motives ; but 
he was too dogmatic, and consequently at times very 



422 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

narrow, not well-balanced, changeful and vacillating, 
and even occasionally approaching the eccentric. He 
outgrew the narrow and bitter Protestantism of his 
youth, but never attained to settled religious views: 
with this exception, Ruskin is one of the most whole- 
some and always one of the most stimulating influences 
of our nineteenth century literature. 

MODERN PAINTERS. 

Wait a little longer, and you shall see those scattered mists 
rallying in the ravines, and floating up towards you, along the 
winding valleys, till they couch in quiet masses, irridescent with 
the morning light, upon the broad breasts of the high hills, 
whose leagues of mossy undulation will melt back and back into 
the robe of material light, until they fade away, lost in its lustre, 
to appear again above, in the serene heaven, like a wild, bright, 
impossible dream, foundationless and inaccessible, their very 
bases vanishing in the substantial and mocking blue of the lake 
below. Has Claude given this? 

Wait yet a little longer, and you shall see those mists gather 
themselves into white towers, and stand like fortresses along 
the promontories, massy and motionless, only piled with every 
instant higher and higher into the sky, and casting longer 
shadows athwart the rocks; and out of the pale blue of the 
horizon you will see forming and advancing a troop of narrow, 
dark, pointed vapors, which will cover the sky, inch by inch, 
with their grey network, and take the light off the landscape 
with an eclipse which stop the singing of the birds and . the 
motion of the leaves together ; and then you will see horizontal 
bars of black shadow forming under them, and lurid wreaths 
create themselves, you know not how, along the shoulders of the 
hills ; you never see them form, but when you look back to a 
place which was clear an instant ago, there is a cloud on it, hang- 
ing by the precipices, as a hawk pauses over his prey. Has 
Claude given this? And then you will hear the sudden rush 
of the awakened wind, and you will see those watch-towers of 
vapor swept away from their foundations, and waving curtains 
of opaque rain let down to the valleys, swinging from the 
burdened clouds in black, bending fringes, or pacing in pale 
columns along the lake level, grazing its surface into foam as 
they go. And then, as the sun sinks, you shall see the storm 
drift for an instant from off the hills, leaving their broad sides 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 423 

smoking, and loaded yet with snow-white, torn, steam-like rags 
of capricious vapor, now gone, now gathered again; while the 
smouldering sun, seeming not far away, but burning like a red- 
hot ball beside you, and as if you could reach it, plunges through 
the rushing wind and rolling cloud with headlong fall, as 
if it meant to rise no more, dyeing all the air about it. Has 
Claude given this ? And then you shall hear the fainting tempest 
die in the hollow of the night, and you shall see a green halo 
kindling on the summit of the eastern hills, brighter brighter 
yet, till the large white circle of the slow moon is lifted up 
among the barred clouds, step by step, line by line ; star after 
star she quenches with her kindling light, setting in their stead 
an army of pale, penetrable, fleecy wreaths in the heaven, to 
give light upon earth, which move together, hand in hand, com- 
pany by company, troop by troop, so measured in their unity 
of motion, that the whole heaven seems to roll with them, and 
the earth to reel under them. Ask Claude, or his brethren, for 
that. And then wait yet for one hour, until the east again 
becomes purple, and the heaving mountains, rolling against it in 
darkness, like waves of a wild sea, are drowned one by one in 
the glory of its burning; watch the white glaciers blaze in 
their winding paths about the mountains, like mighty serpents 
with scales of fire; watch the columnar peaks of solitary snow, 
kindling downwards, chasm by chasm, each in itself a new morn- 
ing; their long avalanches cast down in keen streams brighter 
than the lightning, sending each his tribute of driven snow, like 
altar-smoke, up to the heaven ; the rose-light of their silent 
domes flushing that heaven about them and above them, pierc- 
ing with purer light through its purple lines of drifted cloud, 
casting a new glory on every wreath as it passes by, until the 
whole heaven, one scarlet canopy, is interwoven with a roof 
of waving flame, and tossing, vault beyond vault, as with the 
drifted wings of many companies of angels; and then, when 
you can look no more for gladness, and when you are bowed 
down with fear and love of the Maker and Doer of this, tell 
me who has best delivered this message unto men! 

Vol. I., Of Truth of Clouds, Sect. III. 



THE STONES OF VENICE. 

And well may they fall back, for beyond those troops of 
ordered arches there rises a vision out of the earth, and all the 
great square seems to have opened from it in a kind of awe, that 
we may see it far away; a multitude of pillars and white 
domes, clustered in a long, low pyramid of colored light; a 



424: BRITISH LITERATURE. 

treasure-heap, it seems, partly of gold, and partly of opal and 
mother-of-pearl, hollowed beneath into five great vaulted 
porches, ceiled with fair mosaic, and beset with sculpture of 
alabaster, clear as amber and delicate as ivory, sculpture fan- 
tastic and involved, of palm leaves and lilies, and grapes and 
pomegranates, and birds clinging and fluttering among the 
branches, all twined together into an endless network of buds 
and plumes; and, in the midst of it, the solemn forms of angels, 
sceptred, and robed to the feet, and leaning to each other across 
the gates, their figures indistinct among the gleaming of the 
golden ground through the leaves beside them, interrupted and 
dim, like the morning light as it faded back among the branches 
of Eden, when first its gates were angel-guarded long ago. And 
round the walls of the porches there are set pillars of variegated 
stones, jasper and porphyry, and deep-green serpentine spotted 
with flakes of snow, and marbles, that half refuse and half 
yield to the sunshine, Cleopatra-like, "their bluest veins to kiss" 
the shadow, as it steals back from them, revealing line after 
line of azure undulation, as a receding tide leaves the waved 
sand; their capitals rich with interwoven tracery, rooted knots 
of herbage, and drifting leaves of acanthus and vine, and mys- 
tical signs, all beginning and ending in the Cross; and above 
them, in the broad archi volts, a continuous chain of language 
and of life angels, and the signs of heaven, and the labors of 
men, each in its appointed season upon earth; and above these, 
another range of glittering pinnacles, mixed with white arches 
edged with scarlet flowers, a confusion of delight, amidst which 
the breasts of the Greek horses are seen blazing in the breadth 
of golden strength, and the St. Mark's Lion, lifted on a blue field 
covered with stars, until at last, as if in ecstasy, the crests of the 
arches break into a marble foam, toss themselves far into the 
blue sky in flashes and wreaths of sculptured spray, as if the 
breakers on the Lido shore had been frost-bound before they 
fell, and the sea-nymphs had inlaid them with coral and 
amethyst. _ chap ^ 



. 1828-1909. 

George Meredith, a British novelist and poet, was 
born February 12, 1828, in Portsmouth. He was 
educated, till sixteen, in Germany; then for a time was 
placed in a lawyer's office in London; the profession, 
however, did not suit him, so he engaged in newspaper 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 425 

work. During the Austro-Italian struggle of 1866, 
he was war correspondent for the Morning Post. The 
following year he edited the Fortnightly Review, and 
became a "publisher's reader," showing excellent judg- 
ment and giving wholesome advice and encouragement 
to struggling novices of letters. Till 1885 Meredith 
remained almost unknown, but since his reputation has 
become firmly established. He died May 18, 1909. 

A small volume of Poems (1851) elicited the praise 
of Tennyson and Kingsley. Shaving of Shagpat 
(1856) a humorous romantic prose piece, modelled 
on the Arabian Nights, remains in its line unique ; The 
Ordeal of Richard Feverel (1859) almost a treatise 
on education was the first of Meredith's philosophical 
and psychological studies. It depicts the attempt of a 
theory-bound father to bring up his son to perfect 
manhood through a system that represses the manly 
natural impulses of youth. Evan Harrington appeared 
in 1861; in 1862, Modern Love and Poems of the 
English Roadside, with Poems and Ballads, his best 
verse. In 1864 came out Emilia in England; Rhoda 
Fleming (1865) a powerful story; Victoria (1867), 
sequel to Emilia; Adventures of Harry Richmond 
(1871) ; Beauchamp's Career (1875) sequel to the 
above and Meredith's favorite ; these four are generally 
regarded as "masterpieces rich in incident, character, 
and workmanship." 

The Egoist (1879) is hard to read but brilliant in 
analysis; Diana of the Crossways (1885) was the first 
novel of Meredith to take the popular fancy : it is full 
of. his richest character drawing. Poems and Lyrics 
of the Joy of Earth (1883) brings out anew the 
realism of his verse; Ballads and Poems of Tragic Life 
(1887), A Reading of Earth (1888), A Reading of 



426 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

Life (1901) reveal his depth of thought and vigor of 
expression retained even to these late years of the 
poet's life. His poetry must be approached as Brown- 
ing's with alert mind eager for his message. His 
prose, too, is at first repellent, owing to Meredith's 
unusual handling of his narratives. He brings types 
rather than individuals to his stage. He transfers the 
reader from the role of onlooker to actor; he makes 
him see through the emotion-stirred eyes of the dra- 
matis personae. 

Meredith never wrote for the "reading public." 
His select circle praise him extravagantly; but he is 
too contemporary to warrant one in giving him a 
definite ranking among the immortals. 

THOMAS HARDY, 1840-1928. 

Sprung from families old in England, Thomas 
Hardy was born June 2, 1840. He received 
an education befitting his rank, privately and at 
schools, and gave himself first to architecture win- 
ning medals for an essay and a design (1863) then 
turning to literature. In 1867 after minor attempts at 
story and verse, he submitted a novel to publishers, 
but on advice from Meredith recalled it. He con- 
structed another work which (1870) attracted no 
notice, but, the year following, his Under the Green- 
wood Tree, made his reputation for the delicate per- 
fection of his art, and popular success came with Par 
from the Madding Crowd (1874) published anon- 
ymously in serial form in Cornhill Magazine and at- 
tributed to George Eliot "because none other in Eng- 
land is capable of such masterly drawing." His other 
works include : The Return of the Native (1878), The 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 427 

Trumpet Major (1880), Wessex Tales (1888), Tess of 
the D'Ubervilles (1891) his most famous novel; Jude 
the Obscure (1895). 

Mr. Hardy was a fatalist and he studied the workings 
of determinative forces chiefly in women. "In his 
earlier books he was somewhat more careful of his 
heroines' reputation; but gradually he allows them 
more liberty, with a franker treatment of instinct and 
its consequences." 

PATRICK AUGUSTINE SHEEHAN, 1852-1913. 

The Rev. P. A. Sheehan, P. P., rose suddenly into 
fame by the publication of his work of fiction, My 
Neu' Curate (1899). Born in the small town of Mal- 
low, County Cork, Ireland, he obtained great distinc- 
tion in the classical college of St. Colman's, Fermoy, 
but passed unnoticed in Maynooth, where he studied 
philosophy and theology. Ordained for the diocese 
of Cloyne, in 1875, he performed with success the 
active duties of a curate in England and in Ireland, 
and yet contrived to give a considerable amount of 
time to study and reading. His appointment, in 1895, 
as parish priest of Doneraile, with the service of two 
curates, has given him more ample time for the com- 
position of his literary works. Fr. Sheehan had pub- 
lished many excellent articles in the Irish Ecclesi- 
astical Record, and composed two novels Geoffrey 
Austin, Student (1889) and The Triumph of Fail- 
ure when his My New Curate appeared by instal- 
ments in the American Ecclesiastical Review. Issued 
then in book form, this new Catholic novel has achieved 
a success unheard of since the publication of Cardinal 
Wiseman's Pabiola, not only in the ecclesiastical world, 
but among laymen, Catholics and Protestants. This 

30 



428 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

success was deserved. The Catholic priest had been 
travestied in many works of fiction, but in My New 
Curate we have genuine types of the priest in the ordi- 
nary routine of hi? ministry. The old pastor of Kil- 
ronan, Daddy Dan, as he is familiarly known, and his 
new curate, Fr. Letheby, are drawn from life, they are 
not described, but they are made to live and act before 
the interested reader. There is, of course, no intrigue 
of love, nor any other kind of intrigue, but the inci- 
dents of one year's ministry, exhibiting the honest zeal 
of the curate and the pastor's slower wisdom, the whole 
interspersed with sallies of native wit and humor. 
Luke Delmege, which appeared later on (1901), is 
also a remarkable book. It vindicates the old faith of 
Ireland, even with consequent persecutions and miseries, 
against the religious theories broached elsewhere in 
our time. The Blindness of Dr. Gray (1909) has sus- 
tained Canon Sheehan's reputation as a charming 
novelist. The stern pastor who guides his life by in- 
flexible law learns in the physical blindness of his old 
age that all along he has been blind to a higher ruling 
force the law of love. Despite the repellent char- 
acter of the central figure there are winning traits at 
the bottom of his moral make-up which elicit admira- 
tion. His niece, an American of fourteen when first 
introduced, a trifle overdrawn in her precociousness, 
serves as the means to reveal to the priest the power 
of this love ; a young curate represents the radical new 
school of rationalistic trend which when brought face 
to face with the conservative element of revelation is 
subdued by it ; this curate's sister and an old peasant 
woman show in daily life the immense superiority of 
the supernatural motive over the worldly dominating 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 439 

Under the Cedars end the Stars (1903) and Par- 
erga, its companion; The Intellectuals (1911) are 
reveries and sketches dealing with modern problems 
of Irish life. 

Canon Sheehan's other works are: Glenanaar, a 
novel of Irish life; Llsheen, or the test of the spirits; 
Lost Angel of a Ruined Paradise, a drama of modern 
life; and The Queen's Fillet (1912). 

FATHER LETHEBY TELLS HIS EXCURSION WITH CAPTAIN CAMPION. 
(From My Hew Curate.) 

" 'We were near Davy Jones's locker there?' said Campion 
coolly. 

" 'We wouldn't remain long together/ I (Fr. Letheby) replied. 

"'How?' 

" 'Well, you know, you'd go a little deeper, and I should hope I 
would get a little higher.' 

" 'You mean I'd have gone to hell ?' 

'"Certainly/ I replied. 

" 'I'm not a bad man/ he said, taken aback. 

" 'You are/ I replied, 'you persecute the poor and drag their 
faces through the dust. You're an irreligious man, because you 
never kneel to God you're a dishonest man, because you profess 
to belong to a faith whose doctrines you do not accept, and 
whose commands you disobey.' 

" 'Hallo, there !' said he, Tm not used to this kind of language.' 

" 'Perhaps not/ I said ; for with the thorough drenching and 
the fright I was now thoroughly angry. 'But you'll have to 
listen to it. You cannot put your fingers in your ears and steer 
the Halcyone. It will take us an hour to reach land, and you 
must hear what you never heard before.' 

" 'I have a strong inclination/ he said, 'to pitch you overboard/ 

" Tm quite sure you're perfectly capable of murder/ I said. 
'But again, you cannot let go the ropes in this gale. Besides, there 
are two sides to that question/ " 

Then and there I pitched into him, told him how he was break- 
ing his child's heart, '^ow he was hated all along the coast, etc., 
etc.; but I insisted especially on his dishonesty in professing a 
creed which he denied in daily practice. I was thoroughly angry, 
and gave my passion full swing. He listened without a word as 
we went sho r eward. At last he said: 



430 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

" 'By Jove ! I never thought that a priest could speak to a 
gentleman so boldly.' "... 

At last we pulled into the creek; I jumped ashore from the 
dingey, as well as my dripping clothes would let me, and lifting 
my hat, without a word, I walked towards home. He called 
after me: 

" 'One word, Father Letheby ! you must come up to the house 
and dry yourself. You'll catch your death of cold.' 

" 'Oh ! 'twill be nothing/ I said. He had come up with me, and 
looked humble and crestfallen. 

" 'You must pardon all my rudeness/ he said, in a shamefaced 
manner. 'But to be very candid with you, I was never met so 
boldly before, and I like it. We men of the world hate nothing 
so much as a coward. If some of your brethren had the courage 
of their convictions and challenged us poor devils boldly, things 
might be different. We like men to show that they believe in 
hell by trying to keep us out of it/" 

JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE, 1860- 

J. M. Barbie was born at Kirriemuir, a small village 
of Forfarshire, Scotland, on May 9, 1860. He was 
educated at Dumfries Academy and at the Edinburgh 
University. As writing had early become a passion, 
with him, he made journalism his work on leaving 
school, and in 1883 he began to contribute articles to 
the Edinburgh and London papers. The reception 
accorded his sketch of An Auld Licht Community eft 
couraged him to the further portrayal of the life and 
humor of his native village. In collected form these 
appeared in 1888 under the title of Auld Licht Idylls. 
Together with A Window in Thrums (1889) they 
give a charming picture of genuinely human, simple 
folk. Mingled humor and pathos beam through the 
quaint vernacular. The sympathetic handling of the 
themes, and the total lack of self-consciousness in the 
writer make these tales of Scotch village life a treasure 
among books. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 431 

In 1891 appeared My Lady Nicotine, a collection of 
Barrie's lighter papers; and The Little Minister, his 
first long novel. 

In 1894 he published Margaret Ogilvy, which is 
based on the life of his mother and his own relations 
with her, most tenderly conceived and most beautifully 
written, though pronounced too intimate for the tastes 
of many. Sentimental Tommy, which is a story trac- 
ing the development of an artistic temperament in a 
Scotch lad of the people, came out in 1895, and five 
years later, its sequel, Tommy and Grizel. 

The Little White Bird (1892) is a fairy fantasy, 
displaying Barrie's whimsical instincts, and his tender 
feeling for child life. This book contains the episode 
of Peter Pan, which afterward suggested the play of 
that name. 

Barrie had, while preparing these pieces, been devel- 
oping his talent as a dramatist. Several plays from his 
pen had been successfully performed, and the popular- 
ity of his dramatized version of The Little Minister 
confirmed him in his predilection for the drama. 
Quality Street, The Admirable Crichton, and Little 
Mary were still delighting audiences when Peter Pan 
appeared (1903), a kind of poetical pantomine in 
which Barrie proved himself a Hans Anderson on 
the stage. 

Barrie's genius found its most perfect and character- 
istic expression in the humanity of Thrums, and the 
bizarre and tender fantasy of Peter Pan. The chief 
features of his style are a quaintness of expression, a 
simple directness of narrative, an unfailing sense of 
humor, an unstrained pathos, a gift for character por- 
trayal, and a charming lack of self-consciousness. 



432 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

RUDYARD KlPIvING, 1865- 

An energetic writer, a vigorous, unconventional 
poet, a master of the short-story, is Rudyard Kipling, 
occupying the most conspicuous place in the literary 
world today. He was born of English parents in 
Bombay, India, December 30, 1865. His education 
till his seventeenth year was made in England. In 
J882 he returned to India and became sub-editor of 
the ^jhore Civil and Military Gazette, to which he 
contributed occasional verses and sketches. These re- 
appeared in book Form (1886) Departmental Ditties, 
and (1887) Plain Tales from the Hills. During the 
next two years appeared other tales, prominent among 
which are Soldiers Three, The Phantom Rickshaw, 
Wee Willie Winkle. These stories were at once rec- 
ognized in India as the work of a master. Kipling's 
reputation preceded him to England, whither he went 
in 1889 after a journey through India, China, Japan, 
and America. Sketches of his travels appeared in his 
own Gazette and the Pioneer, and were later (1899) 
collected into two volumes entitled From Sea to Sea. 
Life's Handicap, containing some of his best Indian 
tales,. and The Light that Failed a comparatively un- 
successful long story appeared in 1891. The follow- 
ing year came out in collected form his Barrack Room 
Ballads, vigorous verses in soldier slang, poems of the 
ocean and the engine room, poems of imperialism, 
which "won their author a second fame wider than his 
reputation as a story-teller." 

In 1892, after living for several years in the United 
States, Kipling married Miss Balestier, of New York 
City, and later settled permanently in England. In 
1893, he edited another collection of stories, Many 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 433 

Inventions, the best of which are My Lord the Ele- 
phant, The Finest Story in the World, In the Rukh. 
These prepared the way for Kipling's third triumph, 
his flawless Jungle Book (1894) and The Second 
Jungle Book (1895), vital and fascinating in depicting 
and interpreting the beast-life of the jungle. The chief 
subsequent publications comprise: The Seven Seas 
(poems) 1896; Captains Courageous (a tale of the 
deep-sea fisheries) 1897; The Day's Work (short 
stones) 1898; Kim (the most successful of Kipling's 
longer narratives) 1901; Just So Stories (for chil- 
dren) 1902; The Five Nations (poems, including the 
widely-known Recessional) 1903; Traffics and Dis- 
coveries, 1904; Puck of Pook's Hill, 1906; Actions 
and Reactions, 1909, all short stories. 

Mr. Kipling's works are of unequal merit in sub- 
stance and treatment; his style is at times jerky and 
forced, but his power as a story-teller abides. Rich 
in imagination, fertile in resources, he exhibits a 
variety of character, a vigor of narration, a magic of 
atmosphere that solidly establish his better work as 
undying classics. 



G. K. CHESTERTON, 1874- 

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born in London, May 
29, 1874. He was educated at St. Paul's School, leav- 
ing it in 1891 to pursue studies in art. His more natural 
bent, however, led him to literature, to reviewing, to 
journalism, which he definitely chose as a life work in 
1900. After defending the Catholic Faith vigorously 
for several years Mr. Chesterton finally entered the 
Church in 1921. Today he is in the foremost rank 
of England's literary men whose utterances are waited 
on and caught up as if from an oracle. An anonymous 



434 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

publication, G. K. Chesterton a Criticism (1908) 
witnesses to the interest excited by his work and views. 
His striking personality is impressed in the manner 
of his theme-handling original, individual, careless 
of counter opinion, an indomitable combatant. His 
criticisms are searching and dogmatic, his style racy 
and vigorous. His inclination to write in paradoxes, 
however, betrays him into a mannerism that makes 
one guarded in reading him, but even when the reader 
will not agree with him, Chesterton maintains hi? 
position by the aroused interest in his clever findings 
and fascinating presentation. 

His studies of Dickens and Browning reveal him at 
his best. 

Twelve Types, Heretics, Orthodoxy, collections of 
his essays and reviews ; The Napleon of Notting Hill, 
a novel ; The Innocence of Fr. Brown, a group of vivid 
detective stories centering in a clerical Sherlock 
Holmes ; The Wild Knight, a volume of clever poems, 
are his best known publications. 



ON RUDYARD KIPLING. 

Now, Mr. Kipling is certainly wrong in his worship of 
militarism, but his opponents are, generally speaking, quite as 
wrong as he. The evil of militarism is not that it shows cer- 
tain men to be fierce and haughty and excessively warlike. The 
evil of militarism is that it shows most men to be tame and 
timid and excessively peaceable. The professional soldier gains 
more and more power as the general courage of a community 
declines. Thus the Pretorian Guard became more and more 
important in Rome as Rome became more and more luxurious 
and feeble. The military man gains the civil power in pro- 
portion as the civilian loses the military virtues. And as it was 
in ancient Rome, so it is in contemporary Europe. There never 
was a time when nations were more militarist. There never was 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 435 

a time when men were less brave. All ages and all epics have 
sung of arms and the man ; but we have effected simultaneously 
the deterioration of the man and the fantastic perfection of 
the arms. Militarism demonstrated the decadence of Rome, 
and it demonstrates the decadence of Prussia. 

And unconsciously Mr Kipling has proved this, and proved it 
admirably. For in so far as his work is earnestly understood 
the military trade does not by any means emerge as the most 
important or attractive. He has not written so well about 
soldiers as he has about railway men or bridge builders, or even 
journalists. The fact is that what attracts Mr. Kipling to 
militarism is not the idea of courage, but the idea of discipline. 
There was far more courage to the square mile in the Middlp 
Ages when no king had a standing army, but every man had a 
bow or sword. But the fascination of the standing army upon 
Mr. Kipling is not courage, which scarcely interests him, but 
discipline, which is, when all is said and done, his primary 
theme. The modern army is not a miracle of courage; it has 
not enough opportunities, owing to the cowardice of everybody 
else. But it is really a miracle of organization, and that is 
the truly Kiplingite ideal. Kipling's subject is not that valor 
which properly belongs to war, but that interdependence and 
efficiency which belongs quite as much to engineers, or sailors, 
or mules, or railway engines. And thus it is that when he writes 
of engineers, or sailors, or mules, or steam-engines, he writes 
at his best. The real poetry, the "true romance" which Mr. 
Kipling has taught, is the romance of the division of labor and 
the discipline of all the trades. He sings the arts of peace much 
more accurately than the arts of war. And his main contention 
is vital and valuable. Everything is military in the sense that 
everything depends on obedience. There is no perfectly epi- 
curean corner ; there is no perfectly irresponsible place. Every- 
where men have made the way for us with sweat and submission, 
We may fling ourselves into a hammock in a fit of divine care- 
lessness. But we are glad the net-maker did not make the 
hammock in a fit of divine carelessness. We may jump upon 
a child's rocking horse for a joke. But we are glad the car- 
penter did not leave the legs of it unglued for a joke. So far 
from having merely preached that a soldier cleaning his side- 
arm is to be adored because he is military, Kipling at his best 
and clearest has preached that the baker making loaves and the 
tailor cutting coats is as military as anybody. 

From Heretics, by Gilbert Chesterton. 

[Copyright, 1905, by the John Lane Company.] 



436 BRITISH LITERATURE. 

FRANCIS THOMPSON. 

Great poets are obscure for two opposite reasons; now, be- 
cause they are talking about something too large for anyone to 
understand, and now, again, because they are talking about some- 
thing too small for anyone to see. Francis Thompson possessed 
both these infirmities. . . . He was describing the evening 
earth with its mists and fume and fragrance, and represented 
the whole as rolling upwards like a smoke; then suddenly ht 
called the whole ball of the earth a thurible, and said that 
some gigantic spirit swung it slowly before God. This is the 
case of the image too large for comprehension; another in- 
stance sticks in my mind of the image which is too small. In 
one of his poems he says that the abyss between the known and 
the unknown is bridged by "Pontifical death." There are about 
ten historical and theological puns in that one word. That a 
priest means a pontiff, that a pontiff means a bridge-maker, that 
death is certainly a bridge, that death may turn out after all 
to be a reconciling priest, that at least priest and bridges both 
attest to the fact that one thing can get separated from another 
thing these ideas, and twenty more, are all tacitly concentrated 
in the word "Pontifical." In Francis Thompson's poetry, as in 
the poetry of the universe, you can work infinitely out and out, 
but yet infinitely in and in. These two infirmities are the mark 
of greatness ; and he was a great poet. 

From Chesterton, in the Illustrated London News. 



AMERICAN WRITERS. 

CHAPTER IX. 

LITERATURE IN AMERICA 

BEFORE THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 

American literature is scarcely a hundred years old. 
This statement should not, however, imply that the 
previous two centuries of colonial existence were de- 
void of writings or neglectful of intellectual attain- 
ments. The literary labors of the time were ephemeral 
occupied chiefly with maintaining and propagating the 
religious principles in defence of which the colonists 
had left their native land. 

In 1600 there was no English-speaking colony in 
America. In 1700 a chain of colonies extended from 
Massachusetts to Carolina, owning England as the 
mother country. In 1800 these colonies were a con- 
federation of sovereign and independent States, having 
successfully revolted from the rule of the home gov- 
ernment. In 1900 those States had grandly realized 
the vague anticipations of the earliest charters and 
had developed a nation stretching from ocean to ocean, 
and had moulded a new type from races most cosmo- 
politan. 

The first settlers of New England and Virginia were 
born under the reign of Elizabeth, and their descend- 
ants of 1700 and 1800 retained more Elizabethan char- 
acteristics than did their contemporaries in England. 

437 



438 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

The literature of the period bears some resemblance 
to the work of minor Elizabethans. The changes 
which were passing over thickly-populated England 
were but little reflected among the scattered colonies. 
The growth of a national literature was proportion- 
ately retarded. Bald imitation of home writers marked 
whatever there was of literary activity till in the new 
life of the nation the genius of the people expanded 
on original native lines. 

During the seventeenth century there were publica- 
tions in America both from New England and from 
Virginia, mostly of controversial theology and of his-- 
tory in the form of annals, records and relations. 
Captain John Smith of Virginia, Governor Wm. 
Bradford of Plymouth, and Governor John Winthrop 
of Massachusetts, have left histories of their founda- 
tions. Samuel Sewall's diary has gained for its maker 
the title of A Puritan Pepys. The Bay Psalm Book 
is an attempt in the realm of pure letters, but it reveals 
a crude- imitation of an antiquated form prevalent 
^ under Henry VIII. The Rev. Nathaniel Ward pub- 
lished (1647) The Simple Cobbler of Aggazvam, 
which is a stricture on latitude in creed, on frivolity 
in dress and manners, and on the civil wars of Eng- 
land. These evils he would patch up, honest cobbler 
that he is, by his plan of reform. The Day of Doom, 
a Poetical Description of the Great and Last Judg- 
ment (1662), by the Rev. Michael Wigglesworth, had 
an influence for nearly a century. Mrs. Anne Brad- 
street's poetry bears resemblance to the typical verse 
of a hundred years earlier. Cotton Mather (1663- 
1728) is the great name of the age. Born in Boston 
and educated at Harvard College, he spent his life 
in Boston. He and his father, Increase Mather, were 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 439 

the staunch supporters of ministerial influence in the 
colony, and for many years they dominated the control 
of Harvard. Cotton was a man of prodigious activity : 
a minister, a politician, a scientist, a scholar, an or- 
ganizer, a writer. He published about four hundred 
works besides leaving unpublished many sermons, let- 
ters, and diaries, a treatise on medicine, and a huge 
commentary on the Bible. His most celebrated book 
Magnolia Christi Americana; or, The Ecclesiastical 
History of New England, typifies what he did as a 
man of letters. The Magnalia, though professedly a 
history, is rather a passionate controversial tract, clear, 
dignified, and fervid, with quaint fantastic phrasing 
and artless pedantry. Its characteristic literary traits 
mark it akin rather to the literature of Elizabeth than 
to its own 1697. 

In the eighteenth century, publications increase, but 
their character changes. The predominance of relig- 
ious and historical topics dwindles, the range of themes 
grows wider, politics and local interests come to the 
front. The tone of treatment varies from the stern 
dignity of controversy to light satire, burlesque, 
and mock epic, and the middle and southern colonies 
vie with New England for literary supremacy. Robert 
Beverley of Virginia, published a History of the Pres- 
ent State of Virginia in 1705. John Woolman (1720- 
1772) of New Jersey sweetly and memorably phrased 
Quaker belief in salvation through obedience to the 
still small voice of conscience. His work is still 
esteemed and read at the present day. Governor 
Thomas Hutchinson (1711-1780) wrote a History of 
the Colony of Massachusetts Bay. A book on the 
birds of the Carolinas, a spelling book, and a Hebrew 
grammar are numbered among the works brought 



440 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

out between 1731 and 1735; besides, from Philadel- 
phia, George Webb's Bachelor Hall, Franklin's Essay 
on Human Vanity and his Poor Richard's Almanac, 
and James Logan's Cato. Jonathan Edwards (1703- 
1758) the most distinguished theologian, and Ben- 
jamin Franklin, probably the man of largest mind 
America has produced, are typical of the epoch. Ed- 
wards has left us a Treatise on the Freedom of the 
Will (1754), and Franklin his Autobiography. 

The increase in the number of newspapers and al- 
manacs from 1704 indicates a growth of intellectual 
activity and curiosity. This activity gives rise in the 
immediately pre-Revolution days to numerous political 
Considerations on Behalf of the Colonies. It was the 
different temper of mind already alluded to between 
Englishmen and contemporary Americans that led to 
the misunderstanding which occasioned the Revolu- 
tionary War. Among the many expressions of feeling 
called forth by this crisis, one cannot neglect the writ- 
ings of Otis, Dickinson and Hopkinson on one side 
and Seabury and Odell on the other. 

JAMES OTIS (1725-1783) of Massachusetts, is re- 
membered for his famous speech in 1761 against 
"writs of assistance" and for his political pamphlets : 
The Rights of the Colonies Asserted and Proved and 
Considerations on Behalf of the Colonies. 

FRANCIS HOPKINSON (1739-1791) of Philadelphia, 
is still remembered for his Battle of the Kegs (1778) 
which ridicules the British troops stationed in Phila- 
delphia. 

JOHN DICKINSON (1732-1808) of Philadelphia, is 
best known by his Letter from a Farmer in Pennsyl- 
vania to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies (1767) 
which went through thirty editions in six months. 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 44} 

SAMUEX SEABURY (1729-1796) of Connecticut, 
under the pen-name of a "Westchester Farmer," wrote 
a series of brilliant pamphlets against the Revolution- 
ary principles, and Jonathan Odell (1737-1818) of 
New Jersey, satirized in verse the colonists and their 
contentions. 

"The literary production of this country between 
the outbreak of the American Revolution and the close 
of the eighteenth century may fairly be typified by the 
writings of those orators and public men who reached 
their highest expression in 'The Federalist,' by the 
conscious and imitative efforts of the Hartford Wits, 
and by the sporadic poetry of Philip Freneau. Our 
public men, Hamilton, Samuel Adams, Jefferson, 
Gouverneur Morris, John Adams, Madison, Jay, and 
others, wrote admirably. They were earnest and 
thoughtful; they had strong common sense; they were 
far-sighted and temperate; and they expressed them- 
selves with that dignified urbanity which in their time 
marked the English of educated people. 

"While the adoption of the Constitution was still 
in debate and strongly opposed by the 'states' rights' 
theorists, Hamilton, Madison and Jay ably supported 
it in a series of eighty-five papers published anony- 
mously in a New York journal and issued collectively 
in 1788 under the title of the 'Federalist.' The 'Fed- 
eralist' deals in an argumentative spirit as earnest as 
that of any Puritan divine with great political prin- 
ciples ; and it is so wisely thoughtful that one may 
almost declare it the permanent basis of sound thinking 
concerning American constitutional law. Like all ed- 
ucated writings of the eighteenth century, too, it is 
phrased with a rhythmic balance and urbane polish 
which gives it claim to literary distinction. However, 



442 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

'The Federalist' cannot really claim to belong to the 
province of pure letters/' (Barrett Wendell). 

The beginnings of a vigorous national literature 
were attempted in Philadelphia by Brockden Brown, 
and in Hartford by a little group of clever and enthu- 
siastic men, the chief of whom were Dwight, Trum- 
bull and Barlow. The most original of these, by far, 
is Brockden Brown. 



BROCKDEN BROWN, 1771-1810. 

Charles Brockden Brown, descended from a highly 
respectable Quaker family, whose ancestors emigrated 
with William Penn, was born in Philadelphia, in 1771. 
It is somewhat remarkable that the first of our novel- 
ists, as well as the first of our painters, Benjamin 
West, should have sprung from a sect, which, in prin- 
ciple and practice, eschews imagination. Brown was 
not only the first person in America that ventured to 
pursue literature as a profession, but almost the first 
to make an attempt in the field of purely imaginative 
writing. We find him in 1798 contributing a series of 
papers, entitled The Man at Home, to the Weekly 
Magazine, a miscellany of some merit, published in 
Philadelphia. In the same year appeared Wieland. The 
success of this novel was immediate, and so stimulating 
to its author that, by the December after its publica- 
tion, he had written Ormond, or The Secret Witness. 
Then came in close succession the first part of Mervyn; 
Edgar Huntly, or Adventures of a Sleep-Walker; the 
second part of Mervyn; Clara Howard, and Jane Tal- 
bot. All these novels are of the intensely terrific school, 
and such as do not leave the most pleasant impressions 
on the mind. Extravagant and consummate depravity 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 443 

actuates too many of the characters. The scenes may 
rivet attention, and the plots excite the keenest curios- 
ity; yet, they pain the heart beyond the privilege of 
fiction, ind leave in the imagination only a crowd of 
terrific phantasms. None of Brown's novels can be 
said to possess unity in the details, or to be finished in 
general design and execution. 

TIMOTHY DWIGHT (1752-1817) was a grandson of 
Jonathan Edwards. He took his degree at Yale in 1769, 
and remained there a tutor till 1777 when he became a 
chaplain of the Continental Army. In 1795 he was 
made President of Yale. While at the University he 
co-operated with his colleague, John Trumbull, in the 
production of some conventional essays modelled on 
the Spectator. He wrote Travels in New England 
and New York; The Triumph of Infidelity, a poem 
which expresses vigorous theological conservatism; 
also Greenfield Hills, a long formal poem which, what- 
ever be its defects, shows its author appreciative of the 
beauties of nature in his native country. 

Around Dwight were associated others, mainly 
graduates of Yale, who at one time or another lived 
in the capital city of Connecticut; hence the popular 
designation "Hartford Wits." Deserving mention are 
Trumbull and Barlow. 

JOHN TRUMBUU, (1750-1831) was the son of a 
Congregational minister in the district of Watertown, 
Conn. Sent to Yale, he was graduated with great 
honors (1767) and then remained three years longer 
at the institution, devoting himself principally to the 
study of polite letters. In 1771, he became tutor at 
the College, and in the following year he published his 
Progress of Dulness, a satirical poem which exposes 
to ridicule the methods of clerical education then prev- 

31 



444 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

alent. At the termination of the war, in 1782, he com- 
pleted M } Pinged, the first part of which he had pub- 
lished as early as 1778. This poem is modelled on 
Hudibras in the construction of its verse and many of 
its turns of humor; but it is American in its ideas arid 
subject-matter. It satirizes the follies of the day, and 
In particular the attitude of the British sympathizers. 
M' Pinged had great popularity and passed through 
more than thirty editions. For many years Trumbull 
was a member of the State Legislature of Connecti- 
cut, and in 1801 was appointed a judge of the Superior 
Court. In 1825, he removed to Detroit, where he died 
in 1831. 

JoKiy BARLOW (1754-1812), like Dwight and Trum- 
bull, was a Yale man of poetic proclivities. In 1786, 
he became a lawyer at Hartford, where later he edited 
a newspaper. In 1787, he published an epic poem, 
The Vision of Columbus, which by 1807 had been 
elaborated into the Columbiad. This was the most 
ambitious attempt at serious literature which had been 
made in America : but though esteemed in its day in 
America; it was a wearisome and wretched failure. 

Barlow's mock-heroic Hasty Pudding (1793) was 
a lament written from abroad because he missed from 
European tables the much-relished homely dish. The 
poem in its day was about as popular as the pudding. 

BENJAMIN FRANKUN, 1706-1790. 

Benjamin Franklin, a name equally illustrious in 
statesmanship and philosophy, was born in Boston on 
the seventeenth of January, 1706. He could boast 
of no ancestral dignities, and claim no other nobility 
than 'in nature's heraldry of honest labor.' His father, 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 445 

a tallow-chandler, was too poor to give him the ad- 
vantages of a collegiate education. It was whilst 
attending to his trade, first with his father, and after- 
wards as printer with his brother, that he managed to 
employ his leisure moments in reading the best -books 
he could find, in order to improve his English style, 
direct and mature his early studies. 

Among his first literary efforts were some specimens 
of ballad poetry. "They were wretched stuff," says he 
in his Memoirs, "in street-ballad style. . . . Their 
success flattered my vanity ; but my father discouraged 
me by criticising my performances, and telling me 
verse-makers were generally beggars. Thus I escaped 
being a poet, and probably a very bad one." 

Franklin left Boston for Philadelphia in 1723 ; went 
to London the following year, and worked there at his 
trade of printer for about two years. During his stay 
in that capital, he wrote a treatise of infidel metaphys- 
ics, entitled A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, 
Pleasure and Pain, "it is not to be doubted," says 
Allibone, "that intimacies with English freethinkers at 
this period, and with French deists and atheists at a 
later stage of his life, did much to engender those lati- 
tudinarian sentiments upon religious subjects which 
Franklin is known to have entertained." 

In 1729, we find him established as a printer in Phil- 
adelphia, and publisher of the Pennsylvania Gazette, 
then recently started. In 1732, he first published his 
celebrated Almanac, commonly known as Poor Rich- 
ard's Almanac, under the assumed name of 'Richard 
Saunders.' Besides the usual tables and calendar, it 
contained a fund of useful information and proverbial 
sentences, chiefly such as inculcated industry and fru- 
gality. He was the founder of the American Philo- 



446 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

sophical Society, in 1743 ; and he established, in 1749, 
the Academy which in the course of time has grown to 
be the University of Pennsylvania. In 1752, he de- 
monstrated his theory of the identity of lightning with 
electricity, by his famous kite experiment in a field 
near Philadelphia. Having passed five years in Great 
Britain (1757-1762) as agent for Pennsylvania, he 
returned to America; and, in 1764, again visited Eng- 
land with a petition for a change in the charter of the 
Province. Whilst abroad he was not forgetful of the 
interests of the Colonies at large; and it was, doubt- 
less, owing in a great measure to the effect produced by 
his celebrated examination before the Parliament in 
1766, that the obnoxious Stamp Act was repealed. 
When the difficulties between the mother country and 
her Colonies had been aggravated to a state of open 
hostility, Franklin was elected a member of the Amer- 
ican Congress. After signing the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, he was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary 
to France, where he arrived in December, 1776. His 
success in enlisting the sympathies and substantial 
assistance of the French people in behalf of the Amer- 
ican Colonies is well known. 

After signing the definitive treaty of peace with 
Great Britain (1782), he landed at Philadelphia where 
sixty-three years before, he had come a poor and 
friendless youth, and was greeted with the ringing 
of bells, the discharge of artillery, and the acclama- 
tions of a grateful and admiring people. 

For three years, he filled the dignified office of Presi- 
dent of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and, in 
1787, sat with Washington and Hamilton in the Fed- 
eral Convention which framed the Constitution of the 
United States. 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 447 

The finest study of Franklin is in his Autobiography. 
Simple in style, it is tinged by the peculiar habit of 
the author's mind, and shows his humor of character 
to perfection. His voluminous correspondence would 
alone have given him high literary reputation as a let- 
ter-writer. His philanthropy, good humor, wit, and 
ready resources, are everywhere apparent in his lettei s. 
But it is to the perspicuity, method, and ease of Frank- 
lin's philosophical writings, that his solid reputation 
will remain greatly indebted. "The style and manner 
of his publication on Electricity," says Sir Humphrey 
Davy, "are almost as worthy of admiration as the doc- 
trines which they contain." His moral writings are 
distinguished for what is called common sense. Edu- 
cated as a Presbyterian, he soon abandoned Christian- 
ity altogether, because he could not understand its dog- 
mas. He never doubted the existence of God, His 
providence, and the immortality of the soul ; but, -deny- 
ing the divinity of Christ, he arranged for himself a 
system of natural religion, in which he tried earnestly 
to reach moral perfection. His warning hand, raised 
to Paine on the eve of the latter's infamous publication 
entitled Age of Reason, deserves to be remembered. 

"I would advise you not to attempt unchaining the 
tiger, but to burn this piece before it is seen by any 
other person. If men are so wicked with religion, 
what would they be without it? Perhaps you are in- 
debted to her originally, that is, to your religious edu- 
cation, for the habits of virtue upon which you now 
justly value yourself. You might easily display your 
excellent talents of reasoning upon a less hazardous 
subject ; and thereby obtain a rank with our most dis- 
tinguished authors ; for, amongst us, it is not necessary, 
as among the Hottentots, that a youth, to be raised 



448 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

to the company of men, should prove his manhood by 
beating his mother/' 

The last year of his presidency ended in October, 
1788 ; and, after that time, though he was often con- 
sulted on public affairs, he held no office, under the 
government. He resided in Philadelphia with his 
daughter and grandchildren, and died there on the 
seventeenth of April, 1790, in the eighty-fourth year 
of his age, retaining his full powers of mind to the 
last. 

The materials of Franklin's writings have been class- 
ified under the following heads : 

1. Autobiography. 

2. Essays on Religious and Moral Subjects and the Economy 
of Life. 

3. Essays on General Politics, Commerce, and Political Econ- 
omy. 

4. Essays and Tracts, Historical and Political, before the 
American Revolution. 

5. Political Papers during and after the American Revolution. 

6. Letters and Papers on Electricity. 

7. Letters and Papers on Philosophical Subjects. 

8. Correspondence. 

A PETITION TO THOSE WHO HAVE THE CARE OF YOUTH. 

I address myself to all the friends of youth, and conjure 
them to direct their passionate regards to my unhappy fate, 
in order to remove the prejudices of which I am the victim. 
There are twin sisters of us ; and the eyes of men do not more 
closely resemble, nor are capable of being upon better terms 
with each other, than my sister and myself, were it not for the 
partiality of my parents, who make the most injurious distinc- 
tions between us. 

From my infancy, I have been led to consider my sister as a 
being of a more elevated rank. I was suffered to grow up 
without the least instruction, while nothing was spared in her 
education. She had masters to teach her writing, drawing, 
music, and other accomplishments ; but if I, by chance, touched 
a pencil, a pen, or a needle, I was bitterly rebuked; and, more 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 449 

than once, I have been beaten for being awkward, and wanting 
a graceful manner. It is true, my sister associated me with 
her, upon some occasions ; but she always made a point of tak- 
ing the lead, calling upon me only from necessity, or to figure 
by her side. 

But conceive not, sirs, that my complaints are instigated 
merely by vanity. No ; my uneasiness is occasioned by an ob- 
ject much more serious. It is the practice in our family, that 
the whole business of providing for its subsistence falls upon 
my sister and myself. If any indisposition should attack my 
sister (and I mention it in confidence upon this occasion, that 
she is subject to the gout, the rheumatism, and cramp, with- 
out making mention of other accidents), what would be the 
fate of our poor family! Must not the regret of our parents 
be excessive, at having placed so great a difference between 
sisters who are perfectly equal? Alas! we must perish from 
distress ; for it would not be in my power even to scrawl a sup- 
pliant petition, having been obliged to employ the hand of 
another in transcribing the request which I have now the 
honor to prefer you. 

Condescend, sirs, to make my parents sensible of the injus- 
tice of an exclusive tenderness, and of the necessity of distrib- 
uting their care and affection among all their children, equally. 
I am, with profound respect, 

Sirs, your obedient servant, 
THE; LEFT HAND. 

APOTHEGMS. 

God helps them that help themselves. 

Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears; while the 
used key is always bright. 

Dost thou love life, then do not squander time, for that is 
the stuff life is made of. 

The sleeping fox catches no poultry. 

There will be sleeping enough in the grave. 

If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must 
be the greatest prodigality. 

Lost time is never found again ; and what we call time enough 
always proves little enough. 

Sloth makes all things difficult; but industry, all easy. 

He that riseth late must trot all day, and shall scarcely over- 
take his business at night. 

Laziness travels so slowly that Poverty soon overtakes him. 

Drive thy business, let not that drive thee. 



450 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

PHIUP FRENSAU, 1752-1832. 

Philip Freneau, a popular political versifier in the 
period of the American Revolution, was born in New 
York city of a Huguenot family. In 1771, we find him 
a graduate of Princeton College, in the same class with 
James Madison, with whom he continued afterwards to 
be in close intimacy. During the Revolutionary War, 
he published those pieces of political burlesque and 
invective, which made his name familiar and popular 
throughout the country. He parodied in an amusing 
manner the speeches of the king and his ministers; 
and every event on sea or land he celebrated in verses 
easily understood, and none the less admired, perhaps, 
for a dash of coarseness, by which most of them are 
characterized. 

In the editorials of the National Gazette, in 1792 
and 1793, the first examples were given by Freneau of 
that partisan abuse which has ever since been the 
shame of American politics. For many years he was 
engaged in seafaring. The second war with Great 
Britain, in 1812, gave him a new occasion to write 
songs and ballads. 

Freneau was a man of considerable genius; his ap- 
preciation of nature was tender and sympathetic; his 
classical knowledge extensive, his pen versatile and 
ever ready; but his execution was oftentimes careless. 
He wrote many small poems, some of them of uncom- 
mon freshness and originality, but he left no great 
work, standing as a monument to his memory. His 
best pieces are The Pictures of Columbus, Eutaw 
Springs, The Indian Student, The Indian Burying- 
ground, The Wild Honeysuckle, The Man of Ninety, 
and May to April. Philip Freneau died near Free- 
hold, New Jersey, December, 1832. 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 451 

THE WILD HONEYSUCKLE. 

Fair flower, that dost so comely grow, 

Hid in this silent dull retreat, 
Untouched thy honeyed blossoms blow, 

Unseen thy little branches greet: 

No roving foot shall crush thee here, 

No busy hand provoke a tear. 

By Nature's self in white arrayed, 

She bade thee shun the vulgar eye, 
And planted here the guardian shade, 

And sent soft waters murmuring by; 

Thus quietly thy summer goes, 

Thy days declining to repose. 

Smit with these charms that must decay, 

I grieve to see your future doom, 
They died, nor were those flowers more gay, 

The flowers that did in Eden bloom; 

Unpitying frosts and Autumn's power 

Shall leave no vestige of this flower. 

From morning suns and evening dews 

At first thy little being came : 
If nothing once, you nothing lose, 

For when you die you are the same; 

The space between is but an hour, 

The frail duration of a flower. 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 
EDGAR AI^AN PoE, 1809-1849. 

Edgar Allan Poe, a genius of strange and melan- 
choly interest, was born in Boston. His father, a well- 
born native of Maryland, had married, at the early 
age of eighteen, a young English actress. At their 
death, Edgar, then two years old, was adopted by a 
wealthy merchant of Richmond, and the name of his 
kind benefactor, Allan, was thereafter given him. 



452 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

His adopted parents, having no children, petted the 
beautiful boy, and indulged him in every wish. In 
1816, he was taken to England and placed at a school, 
where he stayed for some years. Returning to Amer- 
ica, he continued his studies at the University of Vir- 
ginia. It was here that he developed a passion for 
gambling, whence arose the first rupture between the 
young student and his liberal patron. The difficulty 
reconciled, Poe was permitted to go to West Point, 
where, soon disgusted with military restraints, he de- 
liberately effected his own expulsion. After this, came 
a final breach with Mr. Allan, and all hopes of inher- 
itance were blasted forever. 

Sensitive, proud, wayward and melancholy, pam- 
pered in all the luxuries of wealth to the utter neg- 
lect of his moral education, Poe was thus suddenly 
thrown on the world. One of the saddest defects in 
his nature was a piteous susceptibility to the influence 
of liquor, in which the slightest indulgence was sure 
to result in excess. 

Under such shadows, the genius of Poe was ex- 
torted, rather than called into play. His literary 
record is one of long suffering, want, and discourage- 
ment; yet no American author perhaps has left so 
enduring a name to posterity. "A man/' says Lowell, 
"whose remarkable genius it were folly to deny," his 
works have attracted much notice abroad, where the 
kindred spirit of Gustave Dore has thrown a new lustre 
upon them. 

Poe's writings bear always the stamp of originality. 
His Poems and Tales are alike characterized by a keen 
sense of beauty, and subtle power of analysis, and a 
masterly skill of forcible expression. A morbid delight 
in the sombre grotesque, a "revel in the region of 




EDGAR ALLAN FOE 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 453 

sighs," as he terms it, depresses and thrills with the 
strange power of dreams, and leaves us in almost un- 
mitigated gloom. His Hymn to the Mother of God, if 
it truly expresses the author's religious convictions, is 
the one star that "flickers up to heaven through the 
night" of his clouded existence. 

The Raven, The Bells, Ulalume, Annabel Lee, The 
Haunted Palace, The City in the Sea, The Conqueror 
Worm are his best known poems. One cannot read 
his poetry without yielding to its haunting spell. Poe 
has a unique claim to greatness in the field of Amer- 
ican letters, but the narrowness of his range and the 
slender amount of his poetry make one hesitate to pro- 
nounce him our greatest poet He was strictly a 
melodist who achieved wonders in a single strain. His 
greatest originality is displayed in his Tales. The Gold 
Bug, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Mystery 
of Marie Roget, The Purloined Letter are the best 
of his analytic stories whose influence, undiminished 
in our own day, is witnessed to most strikingly in 
many French writers and in Conan Doyle's Adven- 
tures of Sherlock Holmes. The Black Cat a horror 
story of accusing conscience; The T ell-Tale Heart t 
The Man of the Crowd, William Wilson foreshadow- 
ing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of Stevenson; The 
Masque of the Red Death, are his best allegorical tales. 
The Pit and the Pendulum is a tale of sheer horror; 
and best in the domain of the supernatural wherein Poe 
has never been successfully imitated, are Berenice, 
Ligeia, and The Fall of the House of Usher. 

As a critic, Poe is sometimes a cold and cruel dis- 
sector. He was not a profound reasoner, but a keen 
analyist; he was fearless in his judgments, and he 
pointed out the genius of Hawthorne and Tennyson 



454 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

when all unknown to fame and attacked by others ; yet 
his general criticisms are felt to be 'his least pleasing 
and substantial work. In his short essay on The Poetic 
Principle he justly points to supernal Loveliness as fie 
ideal which the poet's soul must struggle to apprehend. 
"Thus, when by poetry, or when by music, .the most 
entrancing of the poetic moods, we find ourselves 
melted into tears, we weep then, not through excess of 
pleasure, but through a certain petulant, impatient sor- 
row at our inability to grasp now, wholly, here on 
earth, at once and for ever, those divine and rapturous 
joys of which, through the poem or through the music, 
we attain to but brief and indeterminate glimpses. All 
that the world has ever been enabled to understand 
and to feel as poetic is the result of a wild effort to 
reach the Beauty above." Poetry he defines as the 
rhythmical creation of beauty. 



THE HAUNTED PALACE. 

In the greenest of our valleys, 

By good angels tenanted, 
Once a fair and stately palace 

Radiant palace reared its head. 
In the monarch Thought's dominion 

It stood there! 
Never seraph spread a pinion 

Over fabric half so fair ! 

Banners yellow, glorious, golden, 

On its roof did float and flow, 
(This all this was in the olden 

Time long ago.) 
And every gentle air that dallied, 

In that sweet day, 
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid, 

A winged odor went away. 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

Wanderers in that happy valley, 

Through two luminous windows, saw 
Spirits moving musically, 

To a lute's well-tuned law, 
Round about a throne where, sitting" 

(Porphyrogene!) 
In state his glory well-befitting, 

The ruler of the realm was seen. 

And all with pearl and ruby glowing 

Was the fair palace door, 
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing, 

And sparkling evermore, 
A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty 

Was but to sing, 
In voices of surpassing beauty, 

The wit and wisdom of their king. 

But evil things, in robes of sorrow, 

Assailed the monarch's high estate, 
(Ah, let us mourn ! for never morrow 

Shall dawn upon him desolate!) 
And round about his home the glory 

That blushed and bloomed, 
Is but a dim-remembered story 

Of the old time entombed. 

And travellers, now, within that valley, 

Through the red-litten windows see 
Vast forms, that move fantastically 

To a discordant melody, 
While, like a ghastly, rapid river, 

Through the pale door, 
A hideous throng rush out forever 

And laugh, but smile no more. 



RAVEN. 

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, 
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, 
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping. 
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. 
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber 
Only this, and nothing more." 



456 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December ; 
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. 
Eagerly I wished the morrow ; vainly had I sought to borrow 
From my books surcease of sorrow sorrow for the lost Le- 

nore 

For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore- 
Nameless here for evermore. 

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain 
Thrilled me filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before 
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating 
" 'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door 
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door ; 
This it is, and nothing more." 

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, 
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; 
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, 
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber dooi 
That I scarce was sure I heard you" here I opened wide tin 
door ; 

Darkness there, and nothing more. 

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, 

fearing, 
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream 

before; 

But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, 
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word 

"Lenore!" 
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the won 

"Lenore!" 

Merely this, and nothing more. 

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burnhfe, 
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. 
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice; 
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore 
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; 
'Tis the wind, and nothing more !" 

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and 

flutter, 

In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore. 
Not the least obeisance made he ; not a minute stopped or stayed 

ae- 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 457 

But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door 
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door 
Perched, and sat, and nothing more. 

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, 
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, 
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure 

no craven, 
Ghostly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly 

shore 

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore !" 
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." 

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, 
Though its answer little meaning little relevancy bore; 
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being 
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door 
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, 
With such name as "Nevermore." 

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only 
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour. 
Nothing farther then he uttered not a feather then he fluttered 
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "Other friends have flown 

before 

On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown be- 
fore." 

Then the bird said, "Nevermore." 

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken, 
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store 
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster 
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden 

bore 

Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore 
Of 'Never nevermore'." 

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling, 
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust, 

and door; 

Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking 
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore 
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of 

yore 

Meant in croaking "Nevermore." 

32 



458 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing 
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core; 
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining 
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er, 
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er, 
She shall press, ah, nevermore! 

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen 

censer 

Swung by Seraphim whose foot- falls tinkled on the tufted floor. 
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee by these angels he 

hath sent thee 

Respite respite and nepenthe from the memories of Lenore; 
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!" 
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." 

"Prophet," said I, "thing of evil ! prophet still, if bird or devil ! 
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here 

ashore, 

Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted 
On this home by Horror haunted tell me truly, I implore 
Is there is there balm in Gilead? tell me tell me, I implore!" 
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." 

"Prophet," said I, "thing of evil ! prophet still, if bird or devil ! 
By that Heaven that bends above us, by that God we both 

adore 

Tell this soul with sorrow laden, if, within the distant Aidenn, 

It shall clasp a saintly maiden whom the angels name Lenore 

Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore." 

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." 

"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, 

upstarting 
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian 

shore ! 

! >eave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken ! 
Leave my loneliness unbroken ! quit the bust above my door ! 
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off 

my door!" 

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." 

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting 
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; 
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, 
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the 

floor; 

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor 
Shall be lifted nevermore! 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 459 

WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT, 1794-1878. 

William Cullen Bryant, a poet of national reputa- 
tion, was born at Cummington, Massachusetts, in 1794. 
He began to write verses at nine; and, at the age of 
fourteen, published The Embargo, a poetical satire 
levelled at the Jeffersonian politics. Its success was 
such as to call for a second edition within a few 
months. At home, the genius of the young poet re- 
ceived a wise direction from the good taste of his 
father, and, at Williams College, he laid up a rich 
store of classical learning. He now turned his atten- 
tion to the study of the law, was admitted to the bar, 
and practised for ten years with more than ordinary 
success. 

Bryant did not, however, during the period of his 
professional studies, neglect the cultivation of his 
poetic talent. He was not yet nineteen, when he wrote 
Thanatopsis, a short poem of only eighty blank verses, 
but one that bids fair for the literary immortality of 
its author. Nor did this production stand alone : the 
Inscription for an Entrance into a Wood followed in 
1813, and the Waterfowl, in 1816. In 1821, he wrote 
his longest poem, The Ages, which was delivered be- 
fore the Phi Beta Kappa Society of Harvard College. 
It is a didactic poem : it reviews the progress of past 
ages, and closes with a fair picture of American scen- 
ery, and the present occupation of this country by a 
new race. In 1825, Bryant abandoned the law for lit- 
erature, and became editor of a monthly periodical in 
New York; but, in the following year, he took the 
management of The Evening Post, a daily paper, 
which he kept till his death. 

Besides the poetical gems already mentioned, Bryant 
produced many others, such as The Conqueror's Grave, 



460 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

June, The Land of Dreams, The Voice of Autumn, An 
Indian at the Grave of his Fathers, The Death of the 
Flowers, The Prairies, The Hymn of the City, The Bat- 
tle-Held, The Disinterred Warrior. It has been justly 
observed that his poems are strictly American. In the 
words of his son-in-law, Parke Godwin, "They are 
American in their subjects, imagery, and spirit. . . . 
What the author has seen, or what has been wrought 
in his own mind, he has written, and no more. His 
skies are not brought from Italy, nor his singing birds 
from the tropics, nor his forest from Germany or re- 
gions beyond the pole." "Bryant's writings," says Ir- 
ving, "transport us into the depths of the solemn pri- 
meval forest, to the shores of the lonely lake, the banks 
of the wild, nameless stream, or the brow of the rocky 
upland, rising like a promontory from amidst a wide 
ocean of foliage ; while they shed around us the glories 
of a climate fierce in its extremes, but splendid in all 
its vicissitudes." We add that, in a religious point of 
view, Bryant, like so many other moralists of our time, 
does not rise above the teachings of natural religion. 

By his translation of the Iliad, he proved that his 
scholarship was equal to his poetical genius. Indeed 
it is confidently asserted that "he has made the best 
translation of Homer in our language, and, with one 
exception, the very best extant." 

THANATOPSIS. 

To him, who, in the love of Nature, holds 

Communion with her visible forms, she speaks 

A various language; for his gayer hours 

She has a voice of gladness, and a smile, 

And eloquence of beauty, and she glides 

Into his dark musings, with a mild 

And gentle sympathy, that steals away 

Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 461 

Of the last bitter hour come like a blight 

Over thy spirit, and sad images 

Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall, 

And breathless darkness, and the narrow house, 

Make thee to shudder and grow sick at heart; 

Go forth into the open sky, and list 

To Nature's teaching, while from all around 

Earth and her waters, and the depths of air, 

Comes a still voice Yet a few days, and thee 

The all-beholding sun shall see no more 

In all his course; nor yet, in the cold ground, 

Where thy pale form was laid with many tears, 

Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist 

Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim 

Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again ; 

And, lost each human trace, surrendering up 

Thine individual being, shalt thou go 

To mix forever with the elements, 

To be a brother to the insensible rock, 

And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain 

Turns with his share and treads upon. The oak 

Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould, 

Yet not to thy eternal resting-place 

Shalt thou retire alone, nor could'st thou wish 

Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down 

With patriarchs of the infant world with kings, 

The powerful oi the earth the wise, the goo^ 

Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past, 

All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills, 

Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun; the vales, 

Stretching in pensive quietness between ; 

The venerable woods ; rivers that move 

In majesty, and the complaining brooks 

That make the meadows green ; and, poured round all 

Old ocean's gray and melancholy waste 

Are but the solemn decorations all 

Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun, 

The planets, all the infinite host of heaven, 

Are shining on the sad abodes of death, 

Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread 

The globe are but a handful to the tribes 

That slumber in its bosom. Take the wings 

Of morning, and the Barcan desert pierce, 

Or lose thyself in the continuous woods 



462 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound 
Save its own dashing yet the dead are there; 
And millions in those solitudes, since first 
The flight of years began, have laid them down 
In their last sleep; the dead reign there alone. 
So shalt thou rest; and what if thou withdraw 
In silence from the living, and no friend 
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe 
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh 
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care 
Plod on, and each one as before will chase 
His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave 
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come 
And make their bed with thee. As the long train 
Of ages glides away, the sons of men, 
The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes 
In the full strength of years, matron, and maid, 
And the sweet babe, and the gray-headed man, 
Shall, one by one, be gathered to thy side, 
By those, who, in their turn, shall follow them. 
So live, that when thy summons comes to join 
The innumerable caravan that moves 
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take 
His chamber in the silent halls of death, 
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night, 
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed 
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave, 
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch 
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams. 

SIDNEY LANIER, 1842-1881. 

No poet of the South, since Edgar Poe, has attracted 
more attention than Sidney Lanier. He was born in 
Macon, Ga., and studied at Oglethorpe College. At 
the beginning of the Civil War he entered the Con- 
federate service, was captured, and contracted at Point 
Lookout that pulmonary affection which made him a 
confirmed invalid, and brought on his untimely death. 
From 1873 he lived in Baltimore, devoting his time to 
literature and music. During his last two years he 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 463 

was lecturer on English literature at the Johns Hop- 
kins University. 

Lanier was born a poet and musician, and, in his 
brief day, accomplished work "that will be," says a 
critic, "in the highest rank in the poetry of the cen- 
tury." The most noted of his poems are Corn, Sym- 
phony, and The Marshes of Glynn. The Boy's King 
Arthur, The Boy's Mabinogion, and The Boy's Percy 
are charming prose works, through which Lanier 
wished to stimulate noble thoughts and chivalrous sen- 
timents in our young men. His Science of English 
Verse, in the eyes of the few who can penetrate its 
depths, is the only treatise in English worthy of the 
title. The other works of Lanier are Tiger Lilies, a 
novel ; Florida, its Sceneries, Climate, and History; 
The English Novel and the Principles of its Develop- 
ment. 

The life of Sidney Lanier, says one, is the noblest 
poem a psalm against his grim foes, want and dis- 
ease, full of subtle harmonies, moral and intellectual, 
impossible to be expressed in any words save his own. 
Of death, as of all other troubles, he said : 

"Death lieth still in the way of life, 
Like as a stone in the way of a brook. 
I will sing against thee, Death, as the brook does, 
I will make thee into music which does not die." 

BALLAD OF TREES AND THE MASTER. 

"Into the woods my Master went, 
Clean forspent, forspent. 
Into the woods my Master came, 
Forspent with love and shame. 
But the olives they were not blind to Him, 
The little gray leaves were kind to Him; 
The thorn-tree had a mind to Him 
When into the woods He came. 



464 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

"Out of the woods my Master went, 
And He was well content. 
Out of the woods my Master came, 
Content with Death and Shame. 
When Death and Shame would woo Him last, 
From under the trees they drew Him last; 
'Twas on a tree they slew Him last 
When out of the woods He came." 



HKNRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW, 1807-1882. 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the son of Hon. 
Stephen Longfellow, was born in Portland, Maine, in 
1807. At the age of fourteen, he was entered at Bow- 
doin College, and, along with Hawthorne, was gradu- 
ated in the famous class of 1825 the semi-centennial 
celebration of which event he lived to observe and to 
sing in his thoughtful poem Morituri Salutamus. After 
quitting college, Longfellow began the study of law 
in his father's office, in Boston; but, being called to 
the chair of modern languages in his Alma Mater, he 
went abroad in 1826, in order to qualify himself for 
the duties of professor. In England, France, Spain, 
Italy, Germany, and Holland, he spent three years and 
a half in the prosecution of his special object. In 1829, 
he entered on his office at Bowdoin. In 1835, on 
the retirement of George Ticknor from Harvard Col- 
lege, Longfellow was elected Professor of Belles-Let- 
tres in that institution. A second trip to Europe with 
purposes similar to the first, was made. He held his 
professorship at Harvard until 1854, when he resigned 
in order to devote himself exclusively to literature. 

Longfellow is in some respects the most remarkable 
man of letters that America has yet produced. His 
genius is characterized by breadth, strength, beauty, 
and unerring taste. An excellent linguist, a learned 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 465 

and cultured scholar, a versatile and popular poet, he 
has enriched the language with a profusion of poems 
interspersed with prose works and translations. Per- 
haps no one else in the last century wrote so many 
poems which have become the companions of scholars 
and unlettered people alike. We give his writings in 
the order in which they appeared before the public: 
Coplas de Manrique, translated from the Spanish ; 
Outre-Mer, a Pilgrimage beyond .the Sea, in poetical 
prose; Hyperion, a Romance; Voices of the Night; 
Ballads and other Poems; Poems on Slavery; The 
Spanish Student, a Play; The Belfry of Bruges and 
other Poems; Evangeline, a Tale of Acadie, the 
brightest gem of the whole casket; Kavanagh, a tale; 
The Seaside and the Fireside; The Golden Legend; 
The Poets and the Poetry of Europe; The Song of 
Hiawatha; The Courtship of Miles Standish; Tales of 
a Wayside Inn; New England Tragedies; The Divine 
Tragedy; Translation of Dante's Divina Commedia; 
Sonnets. 

Longfellow was not only the most popular poet of 
America, but perhaps, in a more marked degree, the 
most popular poet in Great Britain. We may take on 
this subject the following testimony from Cardinal 
Wiseman : "There is no greater lack in English litera- 
ture than that of a poet of the people of one who shall 
be to the laboring classes of England what Goethe is to 
the peasant of Germany. He was a true philosopher 
who said, 'Let me make the songs of a nation, and I 
care not who makes its laws/ There is one writer who 
approaches nearer than any other to this standard ; and 
he has already gained such a hold on our hearts that 
it is almost unnecessary for me to mention his name. 
Our hemisphere cannot claim the honor of having 



466 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

brought him forth; but still he belongs to us, for his 
works have become as household words wherever the 
English language is spoken. And whether we are 
charmed by his imagery, or soothed by his melodious 
versification, or elevated by the high moral teachings 
of his pure Muse, or follow with sympathizing hearts 
the wanderings of Evangeline, I am sure that all who 
hear my voice will join with me in the tribute I desire 
to pay to the genius of Longfellow." * 

A PSALM OF LIFE. 

Tell me not in mournful numbers, 

Life is but an empty dream ! 
For the soul is dead that slumbers, 

And things are not what they seem. 

Life is real! Life is earnest! 

And the grave is not its goal ; 
Dust thou art, to dust returnest, 

Was not spoken of the soul. 

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow, 

Is our destined end or way; 
But to act that each to-morrow 

Finds us farther than to-day. 

Art is long, and time is fleeting, 
And our hearts, though stout and brave, 

Still, like muffled drums, are beating 
Funeral marches to the grave 

In the world's broad field of battle, 

In the bivouac of life, 
Be not like dumb, driven cattle ! 

Be a hero in the strife. 

Trust no future, howe'er pleasant! 

Let the dead past bury its dead ! 
Act, act in the living present ! 

Heart within, and God oVhead ! 

* Lecture on Home Education of the Poor. 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 46? 

Lives of great men all remind us 

We can make our lives sublime, 
And departing, leave behind us 

Footprints on the sands of time; 

Footprints, that perhaps another, 

Sailing o'er life's solemn main, 
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother, 

Seeing, shall take heart again. > 

Let us, then, be up and doing, 

With a heart for any fate ; 
Still achieving, still pursuing, 

Learn to labor and to wait. 



CONCLUSION OF EVANGELINU. 

Still stands the forest primeval but far away from its shadow, 
Side by side, in their nameless graves, the lovers are sleeping. 
Under the humble walls of the little Catholic churchyard, 
In the heart of the city they lie, unknown and unnoticed. 
Daily the tides of life go ebbing and flowing beside them, 
Thousands of throbbing hearts, where theirs are at rest and 

forever, 

Thousands of aching brains, where theirs no longer are busy, 
Thousands of toiling hands, where theirs have ceased from 

their labors, 
Thousands of weary feet, where theirs have completed the 

journey ! 

Still stands the forest primeval; but under the shade of its 

branches 

Dwells another race, with other customs and language. 
Only along the shore of the mournful and misty Atlantic 
Linger a few Acadian peasants, whose fathers from exile 
Wandered back to their native land to die in its bosom. 
In the fisherman's cot the wheel and the loom are still busy; 
Maidens still wear their Norman caps and their kirtles of 

homespun, 

And by the evening fire repeat Evangeline's story, 
While from its rocky caverns the deep-voiced, neighboring ocean 
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the 

forest. 



468 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

. . . In the vale of Tawasentha, 

In the green and silent valley. 

There he sang of Hiawatha, 

Sang the Song of Hiawatha, 

Sang his wondrous birth and being, 

How he prayed and how he fasted, 

How he lived, and toiled, and suffered, 

That the tribes of men might prosper, 

That he might advance his people ! . . . 

ABRAM J. RYAN, 1839-1886. 

Abram J. Ryan, the 'Poet-Priest of the South/ 
was a son of the Old Dominion. He was born in 
Norfolk, Virginia. After studying with the Chris- 
tian Brothers in Louisville, Ky., he entered the sem- 
inary of Our Lady of the Angels, Niagara. Having 
been ordained priest, he served as chaplain in the Con- 
federate Army till the close* of the war. In 1865, he 
exercised the holy ministry in New Orleans, and edited 
The Star, a weekly newspaper. Later, he removed to 
Tennessee, where he founded a weekly magazine, The 
Banner of. the South. Fr. Ryan was afterwards, for 
many years, pastor of St. Mary's Church, Mobile, Ala. 
His Poems, written 'off and on, always in a hurry/ 
are, in fact, of unequal merit. The author gave a fair 
estimate of them when he said in his Preface that 'they 
are incomplete in finish/ but, as he thinks, 'true in 
tone/ Patriotic or religious, they actually mirror the 
fervid feelings of the Southerner and the pious aspir- 
ations of the priest. They cannot but exert a happy 
influence on the reader. The most popular are The 
Conquered Banner, Erin's Flag, and The Sivord of 
Robert Lee, but the Rhyme and The Song of the 
Mystic and the March of the Deathless Dead seem to 
be the most polished and best-sustained of the collected 
poems. 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

SONG OF THE MYSTIC. 

I walk down the Valley of Silence 
Down the dim, voiceless valley alone! 

And I hear not the fall of a footstep 
Around me, save God's and my own; 

And the hush of my heart is as holy 
As hovers where angels have flown! 

Long ago was I weary of voices 

Whose music my heart could not win; 

Long ago was I weary of noises 

That fretted my soul with their din; 

Long ago was I weary of places 

Where I met but the human and sin. 

I walked in the world with the worldly; 

I craved what the world never gave ; 
And I said : "In the world each Ideal, 

That shines like a star on life's wave, 
Is wrecked on the shore of the Real, 

And sleeps like a dream in a grave." 

And still did I pine for the Perfect, 

And still found the False with the True ; 

I sought 'mid the Human for Heaven, 
But caught a mere glimpse of its Blue ; 

And I wept when the clouds of the Mortal 
Veiled even that glimpse from my view. 

And I toiled on, heart-tired of the Human, 
And I moaned 'mid the mazes of men, 

Till I knelt, long ago, at an altar 
And I heard a voice call me. Since then 

I walk down the Valley of Silence 
That lies far beyond mortal ken. 

Do you ask what I found in the Valley? 

'Tis my Trysting Place with the Divine. 
And I fell at the feet of the Holy, 

And above me a voice said: "Be mine." 
And there arose from the depths of my spirit 

An echo "My heart shall be thine." 



J 
470 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

Do you ask how I live in the Valley? 

I weep and I dream and I pray. 
But my tears are as sweet as the dew-drops 

That fall on the roses in May; 
And my prayer, like a perfume from Censers, 

Ascendeth to God night and day. 

In the hush of the Valley of Silence 

I dream all the songs that I sing; 
And the music floats down the dim Valley, 

Till each finds a word for a wing, 
That to hearts, like the Dove of the Deluge, 

A message of peace they may bring. 

But far on the deep there are billows 

That never shall break on the beach; 
And I have heard songs in the Silence 

That never shall float into speech; 
And I have had dreams in the Valley 

Too lofty for language to reach. 

And I have seen Thoughts in the Valley 

Ah ! me, how my spirit was stirred ! 
And they wear holy veils on their faces, 

Their footsteps can scarcely be heard; 
They pass through the Valley like Virgins, 

Too pure for the touch of a word ! 

Do you ask me the place of the Valley, 

Ye hearts that are harrowed by Care? 
It lieth afar between mountains, 

And God and His angels are there; 
And one is the dark mount of Sorrow, 
And one the bright mountain of Prayer. 

From Fr. Ryan's Poems. 
[Copyrighted, P. J. Kenedy & Sons, New York.] 

JOHN GRENLAF WHITTISR, 1807-1892. 

John Greenleaf Whittier was born near Haverhill, 
Massachusetts, December 17, 1807, of Quaker parents. 
They lived on a farm, where the boy worked till he 
was nineteen. He enjoyed till that time no other edu- 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 471 

cational advantages than those afforded by the district 
school; but he had a natural love for literature. A 
schoolmaster once lent him a book of Burns' poems, 
and the reading of it woke the gift of song in him- 
self. He contributed some youthful verse to the New- 
bury Free Press, whose editor, William Lloyd Gar- 
rison, soon prevailed on the parents to allow their son 
to leave the farm and improve his talent by further 
education. Whittier found means to clothe and edu- 
cate himself at Haverhill Academy first by making 
and retailing slippers, and then by teaching a district 
school. After two terms at the Haverhill Academy, 
he became editor of a paper in Boston; but in a short 
time he was needed on the farm, and so he returned 
home. He continued to write, and in 1830 he went 
to Hartford as editor of the New England Weekly 
Review. A year and a half later he was again on 
the farm to regain his health and to support his now 
widowed mother and the family. His ambitions 
were political and philanthropic. In 1833, he pub- 
lished an anti-slavery pamphlet and contributed arti- 
cles to the papers on the same subject. This was at 
a time when an abolitionist was an object of odium, 
and Whittier had much to suffer. His printing-office, 
when he was editor (1838) of the Pennsylvania Free- 
man, was burned by an infuriated mob. In 1839, the 
Whittiers moved to Amesbury; and there the poet 
lived unmarried for the remainder of his life. He was 
editor of the National Era for twelve years, and co- 
operated in the establishment of the Atlantic Monthly. 
His later life was uneventful. After reaching a ripe 
old age he died September 7, 1892. 

Whittier's first volume of poems appeared in 1831, 
bearing the title New England Legends. His anti- 



472 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

slavery verses were collected in 1849 and were pub- 
lished as Voices of Freedom. A collection of poems 
appeared in 1857. His best piece, Snowbound, pub- 
lished in 1866, at once found a favor it has never lost. 
In this poem Whittier, when most of his immediate 
family were dead, tenderly recalled the memory of 
his childhood. It is an exquisite poem of domestic 
joys and sorrows; it is an old man's recollections of 
his boyhood home. T* he poem is characterized by a 
vivid simplicity of description and phrase. The Tent 
on the Beach appeared in 1867; Among the Hills in 
1868 ; and Hazel Blossoms in 1875. 

Among Whittier's minor poems, these following 
have always been popular: Skipper Ires on' s Ride, 
The Barefoot Boy, Maud Muller, Barbara Frietchie, 
In School Days, Ichabod, The Lost Occasion, My 
Psalm, Last Walk in Autumn. 

The literary value of his partisan verse is for the 
most part comparatively small. In his other verse he 
is simple, sincere and fervent within the narrow sphere 
of his themes. He reaches the heart of the people as 
poets of higher culture often fail to do. 

"Whenever he dealt with the country he knew so 
well," says Barrett Wendell, "he had an instinctive 
perception of those obvious facts which are really most 
characteristic, and within which are surely included its 
unobtrusive beauty and its slowly winning charm." 

SNOW-BOUND. 

Shut in from all the world without, 
We sat the clean-winged hearth about, 
Content to let the north-wind roar 
In baffled rage at pane and door, 
While the red logs before us beat. 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

The frost-line back with tropic heat; 
And ever, when a louder blast 
Shook beam and rafter as it passed, 
The merrier up its roaring draught 
The great throat of the chimney laughed, 
The house-dog on his paws outspread 
Laid to the fire his drowsy head, 
The cat's dark silhouette on the wall 
A couchant tiger's seemed to fall; 
And, for the winter fireside meet, 
Between the andirons' straddled feet, 
The mug of cider simmered slow, 
The apples sputtered in a row, 
And, close at hand, the basket stood 
With nuts from brown October's wood. 



IN SCHOOL DAYS. 

Still sits the school-house by the road, 
A ragged beggar sunning ; 

Around it still the sumachs grow, 
And blackberry-vines are running. 

Within, the master's desk is seen, 

Deep scarred by raps official; 
The warping floor, the battered seats, 
. The jack-knife's carved initial; 

The charcoal frescos on its walls; 

Its door's worn sill, betraying 
The feet that, creeping slow to school, 

Went storming out to playing ! 

long years ago a winter sun 

Shone over it at setting ; 
Lit up its western window-panes, 

And V>w eaves' icy fretting. 

It touched the tangled golden curls, 
And brown eyes full of grieving, 

Of one who still her steps delayed 
When all the school were leaving. 

33 



474 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

For near her stood the little boy 

Her childish favor singled: 
His cap pulled low upon a face 

Where pride and shame were mingled. 

Pushing with restless feet the snow 

To right and left, he lingered ; 
As restlessly her tiny hands 

The blue-checked apron fingered. 

He saw her lift her eyes ; he felt 

The soft hand's light caressing, 
And heard the tremble of her voice, 

As if a fault confessing. 

"I'm sorry that I spelled the word : 

I hate to go above you, 
Because," the brown eyes lower fell, 

"Because, you see, I love you !" 

Still memory to a gray-haired man 

That sweet child face is showing. 
Dear girl ! the grasses on her grave 

Have forty years been growing ! 

He lives to learn, in life's hard school, 

How few who pass above him 
Lament their triumph and his loss, 

Like her, because they love him. 

EDMUND CLARENCE STEDMAN, 1833-1908. 

One of the strong critics, essayists, poets of the 
American chorus in English letters, Edmund Clarence 
Stedman was born in Hartford, Conn., studied for a 
time at Yale, and early entered the field of journalism. 
From 1859-61 he was on the staff of the New 
York Tribune; in 1863, he was war correspondent 
for the World. Leaving this work, he became private 
secretary to Attorney General Bates in Washington; 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 475 

in 1864 he was interested in constructing and financing 
the first Pacific railroad; the year following he ap- 
peared in Wall Street, a broker and banker with seat 
in the Stock Exchange which he kept till 1900. He 
died in New York. 

Poems, Lyric and Idyllic (1860), Alice of Mon- 
mouth (1864) stirring war ballads, The Blameless 
Prince (1869), Hawthorne and Other Poems (1877), 
Lyrics and Idylls (1879) Poems Noiv First Collected 
(1897) are his efforts in poetry. These poems show 
Stedman an artistic though never a passionate singer, 
who draws his themes from the ordinary interests 
of life. There is racy American sentiment and keen- 
ness and humor in his work 

In prose he has done marked service by his method 
of criticism. His kindly temper, sympathy and keen 
judgment have helped to sift the work of contempor- 
ary writers and grade their relative importance. His 
publications in this field are: Victorian Poets (1875), 
Poets of America (1885), Nature and Elements of 
Poetry (1892), and accompanying Anthologies (Vic- 
torian, 1895; American, 1900). 

JOHN BANISTER TABB, 1845-1909. 

A lyric poet of supreme quality, standing apart 
from fellow-bards by the unvarying briefness of his 
song. 

He was born in Virginia in 1845, and was educated 
in the public schools of his State. He enlisted in the 
war of secession, and in prison he made the acquaint- 
ance of Sidney Lanier. Later, when a teacher, influ- 
enced by the work of Cardinal Newman and the 
example of his life-long friend, Alfred A. Curtis 



476 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

(Bishop of Wilmington), he joined the Catholic 
Church, and was ordained priest. The years of his 
priestly life he spent at St. Charles College, Ellicott 
City, Md., teaching Greek and English. He died there 
November 19, 1909. 

The poems of Fr. Tabb appeared in The Century, 
Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Youth's 
Companion, and were collected in Poems (1883), 
Octave to Mary (1893), Lyrics (1897), Later Lyrics 
(1900), Poems, Grave and Gay (1899). 

His lyric power none disputes. In technique he is 
perfect. Nature, literature, religion, passing occur- 
ences, serve as motive to inspire his song. Sympathy 
with his subject, delicate, refined sentiment, and pre- 
cision of statement mark his work. By the variety of 
his themes, the subtlety of his analogies, and the 
exquisite music of his verse, Father Tabb deserves 
rank with that select group of charming poets like 
George Herbert, Crashaw, Vaughan, and others, who 
have left us brilliant and terse lyrics every line close 
packed with thought. Father Tabb made no pretence 
at sustained effort. His verse is a beautiful meteoric 
flash which astonishes and then charms by its glowing 
depth of meaning, its noble burst of feeling, and its 
light and perfect imagery. 

THE WATER-LILY. 

Whence, O fragrant form of light, 
Hast thou drifted through the night, 
Swanlike, to a leafy nest, 
On the restless waves, at rest? 

Art thou from the snowy zone 
Of a mountain-summit blown, 
Or the blossom of a dream, 
Fashioned in the foamy stream? 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 477 

Nay; methinks the maiden moon, 
When the daylight came too soon, 
Fleeting from her bath to hide, 
Left her garments in the tide. 

From Poems. 



FAME. 

Their noonday never knows 
What names immortal are : 
'Tis night alone that shows 
How star surpasseth star. 

From Lyrics. 

WOMAN. 

Shall she come down, and on our level stand ? 

Nay, God forbid it! May a mother's eyes 
Love's earliest home, the heaven of Babyland 

Forever bend above us as we rise. 

From Lyrics. 



THE ASSUMPTION. 

Nor Bethlehem nor Nazareth 

Apart from Mary's care; 
Nor heaven itself a home for Him 

Were not His mother there. 

From Later Lyrics. 

THE MIST. 

Eurydice eludes the dark 
To follow Orpheus, the lark, 
Who leads her to the dawn 
With rhapsodies of star-delight; 
Till looking backwards in his flight 
He finds that she is gone. 

From Poems, 

[By permission of Small. Maynard & Co., Boston, Publishers.] 



478 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

JAMES FENIMORE COOPER, 1789-1851. 

James Fenimore Cooper, the most national of our 
novelists, was born at Burlington, New Jersey, in 1789. 
His boyhood was passed in the neighborhood of Otsego 
Lake, New York, at a frontier homestead surrounded 
by noble scenery, and a population composed of advent- 
urous settlers, and the remnant of the Indian tribes 
that were once sole lords of the domain. At thirteen, he 
entered Yale College, where he remained three years. 
Having obtained a midshipman's commission, he spent 
the following six years in the service of the navy, and 
was thus early familiarized with the two great fields of 
his future literary career. His first production, entitled 
Precaution, made but little impression comparatively. 
In 1821, he published what still remains a most popu- 
lar book, The Spy, a tale of the neutral ground, a 
region familiar to him by his residence within its 
borders. It was followed, two years later, by The 
Pioneers, or the Sources of the Susquehanna. In this 
also the author drew on the early recollections of his 
life, and introduces Natty Bumppo, a singular charac- 
ter of the backwoods who appears in all the Leather- 
stocking Tales, scout, hunter, trapper, philosopher. 
The Pilot, the first of his sea-novels, next appeared. 
Lionel Lincoln was a second attempt in the Revolu- 
tionary field of The Spy, but not so successful. Then 
came, in succession, The Last of the Mohicans, The 
Prairie, The Pathfinder, The Deer Slayer, all pictur- 
ing with spirit and originality scenes of the forest 
and prairie, and incidents of Indian warfare and 
border life. The Red Rover, The Water Witch, The 
Two Admirals, Wing and Wing, together with The 
Pilot, have placed him at the head of nautical novel- 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 479 

ists, where he still stands perhaps without a rival. He 
represents the American mind in its adventurous char- 
acter. He paints the movements of a ship at sea, as if 
she were indeed a thing of life. He follows an Indian 
trail with the sagacity of a forest-king. His scenes and 
characters are indelibly engraven on the memory. His 
best creations are instinct with nature and truth. He 
has done for our country what Scott did for his in 
romance he has pictured the progress of the pioneer 
days and saved to literature the fast vanishing savage 
of America. He has told a tale of thrilling interest 
not to Americans only but to all who read. His 
idealization of the Indian is limited to few characters 
in general, he pictures them as the early settlers 
knew them from dire experience. 

Cooper displays many defects in the handling of 
his stories, lacking finish in style and power to de- 
lineate character; his genius atones for these in the 
"absorbing interest of his thrilling situations, by the 
commanding presence of his able-bodied and large- 
hearted heroes, and by the poetic glamour he has 
thrown over nearly every scene." He holds his place 
in English letters with Scott and Stevenson. 

He died at his country estate at Cooperstown on 
the eve of his sixty-second birthday. 

INDIAN TRAITS. 

The silence continued unbroken by human sounds for many 
anxious minutes. Then the waving multitude opened and shut 
again, and Uncas stood in the living circle. All those eyes, 
which had been curiously studying the lineaments of the sage 
as a source of their own intelligence, turned on the instant, and 
were now bent in secret admiration on the erect, agile and fault- 
less person of the captive. But neither the presence in which 
he found himself, nor the exclusive attention that he attracted, 



480 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

in any manner disturbed the self-possession of the young Mohi- 
can. He cast a deliberate and observing look on every side of 
him, meeting the settled expression of hostility that lowered in 
the visages of the chiefs, with the same calmness as the curious 
gaze of the attentive children. But when, last in his haughty 
scrutiny, the person of Tamenund came under his glance, his 
eye became fixed, as though all other objects were already for- 
gotten. Then advancing with a slow and noiseless step up the 
area, he placed himself immediately before the footstool of the 
sage. Here he stood unnoted, though keenly observant himself, 
until one of the chiefs apprised the latter of his presence. 

"With what tongue does the prisoner speak to the Manitto?" 
demanded the patriarch, without unclosing his eyes. 

"Like his fathers," Uncas replied; "with the tongue of a 
Delaware." 

At this sudden and unexpected annunciation, a low, fierce yell 
ran through the multitude, that might not inaptly be compared 
to the growl of the lion, as his choler is first awakened a fierce 
omep of the weight of his future anger. The effect was equally 
strong on th* sage, though differently exhibited. He passed a 
hand before his eyes, as if to exclude the least evidence of so 
shameful a spectacle, while b* repeated, in his low, guttural tones, 
the words he had just heard. 

"A Delaware! I have lived to see the tribe of the Lenape 
driven from their council fires, and scattered, like broken herds 
of deer, among the hills of the Iroquois! I have seen the 
hatchets of a strange people sweep woods from the valleys, that 
the winds of Heaven had spared! The beasts that run on the 
mountains, and the birds that fly above the trees, have I seen 
living in the wigwams of men; but never before have I found 
a Delaware so base as to creep, like a poisonous serpent, into the 
camps of his nation." 

"The singing-birds have opened their bills," returned Uncas, 
in the softest notes of his own musical voice; "and Tamenund 
has heard their song." 

The sage started, and bent his head aside, as if to catch the 
fleeting sounds of some passing melody. 

"Does Tamenund dream!" he exclaimed. "What voice is at 
his ear ! Have the winters gone backward ! Will summer come 
again to the children of the Lenape!" 

A solemn and respectful silence succeeded this incoherent 
burst from the lips of the Delaware prophet. His people readily 
construed his unintelligible language into one of those mysterious 



AMERICA^ LITERATURE. 481 

conferences he was believed to hold so frequently with a supe- 
rior intelligence, and they awaited the issue of the revelation 
in awe. After a patient pause, however, one of the old men, 
perceiving that the sage had lost the recollection of the subject 
before them, ventured to remind him again of the presence of 
the prisoner. 

"The false Delaware trembles lest he should hear the words 
of Tamenund," he said. "'Tis a hound that howls when the 
Yengeese show him a trail." 

"And ye," returned Uncas, looking sternly around him, "are 
dogs that whine, when the Frenchman casts ye the offals of the 
deer." 

Twenty knives gleamed in the air, and as many warriors 
sprang to their feet at this biting, and perhaps merited, retort; 
but a motion from one of the chiefs suppressed the outbreaking 
of their tempers, and restored the appearance of quiet. The task 
might probably have been more difficult had not a movement 
made by Tamenund indicated that he was again about to speak 

"Delaware!" resumed the sage, "little art thou worthy of the 
name. My people have not seen a bright sun for many winters ; 
and the warrior who deserts his tribe when hid in clouds is 
doubly a traitor. The law of the Manitto is just. It is so; 
while the rivers run and the mountains stand, while the blossoms 
come and go on the trees, it must be so. He is thine, my chil- 
dren ; deal justly by him." 

Not a limb was moved, nor was a breath drawn louder and 
longer than common, until the closing syllable of this final decree 
had passed the lips of Tamenund. Then a cry of vengeance 
burst at once, as it might be from the united lips of a nation; 
a frightful augury of their ruthless intentions. In the midst 
of these prolonged and savage yells, a chief proclaimed, in a high 
voice, that the captive was condemned to endure the dreadful 
trial of torture by fire. The circle broke its order, and screams 
of delight mingled with the bustle and tumult of preparation. 
Heyward struggled madly with his captors; the anxious eyes of 
Hawk-eye began to look around him with an expression of pecu- 
liar earnestness ; and Cora again threw herself at the feet of the 
patriarch, once more a suppliant for mercy. Throughout the 
whole of these trying moments, Uncas had alone preserved his 
serenity. He looked on the preparations with a steady eye, and 
when the tormentors came to seize him, he met them with a 
firm and upright attitude. One among them, if possibly more 
fierce and savage than his fellows, seized the hunting shirt of 
the young warrior, and at a single effort tore it from his body. 



482 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

Then, with a yell of frantic pleasure, he leaped toward his unre- 
sisting victim and prepared to lead him to the stake. But at 
that moment, when he appeared most a stranger to the feelings 
of- humanity, the purpose of the savage was arrested as sud- 
denly as if a supernatural agency had interposed in the behalf 
of Uncas. The eyeballs of the Delaware seemed to start from 
their sockets; his mouth opened, and his whole form became 
frozen in an attitude of amazement. Raising his hand with a 
slow and regulated motion, he pointed with a finger to the bosom 
of the captive. His companions crowded about him in wonder, 
and every eye was, like his own, fastened intently on the figure 
of a small tortoise, beautifully tattooed on the breast of the 
prisoner, in a bright blue tint. 

For a single instant Uncas enjoyed his triumph, smiling calmly 
on the scene. Then motioning the crowd away with a high and 
haughty sweep of his arm, he advanced in front of the nation 
with the air of a king, and spoke in a voice louder than the 
murmurs of admiration that ran through the multitude. 

"Men of the Lenni Lenape!" he said, "my race upholds the 
earth! Your feeble tribe stands on my shell! What fire that 
a Delaware can light would burn the child of my fathers," he 
added, pointing proudly to the simple blazonry on his skin ; "the 
blood that came from such a stock would smother your flames ! 
My race is the grandfather of nations !" 

"Who art thou?" demanded Tamenund, rising at the startling 
tones he heard, more than at any meaning conveyed by the lan- 
guage of the prisoner. 

"Uncas, the son of Chingachook," answered the captive mod- 
estly, turning from the nation and bending his head in reverence 
to the other's character and years; "a son of the great Unamis." 

The Last of the Mohicans. 

AMERICAN ORATORS. 

A striking manifestation of the intellectual and artis- 
tic energy that attended the development and fixing of 
our national character was the oratory of the political 
leaders of the country. 

In the Revolutionary period, Patrick Henry, John 
Adams, and James Otis stand out as conspicuous or- 
ators from the host of able agitators and wise directors 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

of our national policy. Their utterances, though, live 
mainly in hearsay, and their power can be judged only 
by the effects they produced. 

Neither the war of 1812 nor the Mexican War stir- 
red up exceptional speakers. Between 1830 and 1860, 
however, American oratory, stimulated by the vexing 
issues of slavery, reached its highest development in 
the deliberative and forensic eloquence of Daniel 
Webster. 

The institution of slavery involved in the process of 
its development a profound discussion of the rights 
and powers of the States in their relation to the Fed- 
eral Government. The Union was not a homogeneous 
organism, the States-Right party declared; but an 
assemblage of friendly powers willing to act together 
when expediency dictated but otherwise free to follow 
their own counsels. 

John C. Calhoun (1T82-1850) was the most dis- 
tinguished advocate of this doctrine. Through a long 
life in high station he impressed his views so potently 
that when the Southern States seceded, ten years after 
his death, they avowed Calhoun's principles in explan- 
ation and justification of the act. "Calhoun's elo- 
quence," said Webster, "was part of his intellectual 
character. It was plain, strong, terse, condensed, con- 
cise; sometimes impassioned, still always severe. Re- 
jecting ornament, not often seeking far for illustration, 
his power consisted in the plainness of his proposition, 
in the closeness of his logic, and in the earnestness and 
energy of his manner." 

Senator Hayne of South Carolina, who occasioned 
(1830) Webster's greatest political speech, The Reply 
to Hayne, was himself a brilliant orator, and an able 
supporter of Calhoun's doctrine. 



484 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

A radical party in the North, stirred by the moral 
aspect of the question, called for the immediate aboli- 
tion of slavery at all costs without regard to law or 
Constitution. Such an attitude threatened the integ- 
rity of the Union quite as much as did the principles 
of States-Rights. William Lloyd' Garrison (1805- 
1879) was the most absolute and uncompromising de- 
fender of the cause. Wendell Phillips (1811-1884) 
and Charles Sumner (1811-1874), both of Boston, 
allied themselves to this party, and on the lecture plat- 
form and in the Senate chamber ardently championed 
Abolition. Phillips, a man of high culture, was a 
speaker, of consummate eloquence. He delighted in 
pleading before a hostile audience, for he possessed 
the subtle art of winning sympathy and then deftly 
turning opinion and leading men whithersoever he 
would. "He could state and argue a proposition with 
extraordinary clearness and force, and he commanded 
every rhetorical art for the expression of scorn, sar- 
casm, denunciation, and humanitarianism." His best 
known addresses are those on Toussaint L'Ouverture 
and The Lost Arts. Charles Sumner's work was done 
chiefly in Congress, where for years he was the rec- 
ognized leader of the Abolitionists. His speeches are 
marked by soundness of reason and stateliness of style. 
His devotion to principle is unquestioned; but his 
violent denunciation of those who gainsaid his posi- 
tions roused hostility to his cause and have left a 
grave blemish on his speeches. The Crime against 
Kansas and The True Greatness of Nations are his 
most famous and best remembered orations. 

Between the two extremes of States-Rights and 
Abolition stood the Conservatives marshalled by Henry 
Clay (1777-1852) and Daniel Webster (1782-1852). 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 485 

Their controlling aim was to preserve the Union. To 
effect this object concessions by both parties were in- 
dispensible. Clay and Webster skillfully met occasion 
after occasion with a compromise popularly service- 
able, and so averted the arbitrament of war. 

Henry Clay, a Virginian by birth, by adoption a 
Kentuckian, represented his State and led the Whigs, 
being the foremost man in the Senate after Webster. 
Three .times he was nominated for the Presidency. 
His work earned for him the title of "The Great 
Pacificator." As an orator he held and swayed audi- 
ences as effectively as ever Webster did, though more 
exclusively by his personality and his rhetorical magic. 
His speeches were earnest and just, but they lacked the 
depth and learning displayed by Webster, and now 
they are little read. Webster remains. Other con- 
temporaries flourished with almost equal distinction, 
but lacking one qualification or another required for 
the perfect orator they never gained the enduring 
splendor of Webster's genius. Among these Edward 
Everett (1Y94-1865) holds a distinguished rank. He 
had the best education that America and Europe could 
provide. He was at different times a professor at 
Harvard, and president of that institution; a clergy- 
man; a poet; a grammarian; a United States min- 
ister ; a member of both houses of Congress ; a Secre- 
tary of State; a Governor of Massachusetts; and a 
candidate in 1860 for the Vice-Presidency of the 
country. His oratory was of the finished and scholarly 
type. His whole brilliant and useful career was based 
on consummate mastery of rhetoric. His famous 
eulogy on Washington he delivered one hundred and 
fifty times. His last important oration, delivered at 
the dedication of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, 



486 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

in 1863, is a very polished and elaborate piece of or- 
atory; but it is now forgotten. 

Rufus Choate (1779-1859), like Webster a grad- 
uate of Dartmouth, and like Everett a life-long reader 
of the classics, was for years eminent in public life and 
acknowledged to be the most powerful advocate at 
the New England bar. In scholarship and refinement 
he surpassed Webster. His fervid imagination and 
inexhaustible flow of words gave him the orator's 
magic spell. There is poetic quality in his orations, 
which best reveals itself in his eulogy on Webster pro- 
nounced in 1853. 

Almost the antithesis of these academic orators is 
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). He became famous 
for his mastery of debate displayed in the campaign 
discussions with Stephen A. Douglass of Illinois. His 
State papers, inaugural addresses and Gettysburg 
speech are stamped with unquestionable sincerity, re- 
vealing a noble soul in travail for the welfare of his 
country. They are couched in pure idiomatic English, 
clear, terse, direct and perfectly balanced, and they are 
held up for imitation to those who wish to give ex- 
pression to strong thought in simple, unadorned lan- 
guage. 

We conclude this survey of American oratory by 
calling attention to the pulpit speakers who have left 
in American literature the remembrance of their 
sermons and addresses. William Ellery Channing 
(1780-1842), Theodore Parker (1810-1860), James 
Freeman Clarke (1810-1888), Horace Bushnell (1802- 
1876), Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), and Phil- 
lips Brooks (1835-1893) were the most eloquent 
among non-Catholic divines. Within the Catholic 
Church are such memorable names as that of John 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 487 

England (1786-1842), Martin John Spalding (1810- 
1872), John Hughes (1797-1864), P. J. Ryan (1831- 
1911), and John Ireland (1838-1918). 



DANIEL WEBSTER, 1782-1852. 

Daniel Webster, one of the most distinguished 
American statesmen and our greatest orator, was born 
in the town of Salisbury, New Hampshire, in 1782. 
The future orator received his first education from his 
mother, and, after a short academical training, entered 
Dartmouth College, in 1797. Here he overcame by 
his diligence the disadvantages of his hasty prepara- 
tion, and took his degree with good reputation as a 
scholar, in 1801. Upon leaving college, he immedi- 
ately commenced his legal studies, and was adrritted 
to the Suffolk bar, in 1805. In 1807, he removed to 
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where he resided nine 
years. He was elected to Congress in 1813, and at once 
took his place with the solid and eloquent men of the 
House. In December, 1820, he delivered his Plymouth 
oration on the first settlement of New England. The 
first Bunker Hill Speech was delivered June 17th, 
1825, when the corner-stone of the monument was 
laid ; the second, exactly eighteen years afterwards, on 
its completion. His discourse in commemoration of 
Jefferson and Adams, was pronounced at Faneuil Hall, 
in 1826. In 1827, he was elected to the Senate of the 
United States, in which he continued for twelve years, 
during the administration of Jackson and Van Buren. 
and to which he was returned again in 1845. His 
celebrated oratorical passage with Hayne, of South 
Carolina, occurred in 1830 in reply to an attack upon 
New England, and in assertion of the nullification 



488 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

doctrine. The contest embodied the antagonism for 
the time between the North and the South. Hayne, 
rich in elocution and energetic in bearing, was met by 
the cool argument and clear statment of Webster ris- 
ing to his grand peroration, which still furnishes a 
national watchword of union. Under the administra- 
tion of Harrison, in 1841, Webster was appointed Sec- 
retary of State, and again under Fillmore in 1850. He 
was a candidate for the Whig nomination to the pres- 
idency, but the choice fell on General Scott. 

In May, 1852, he made his last great speech in 
Faneuil Hall to the men of Boston. His death, which 
occurred in October of the same year, excited pro- 
found sorrow throughout the country. A numerous 
procession, including delegates from various public 
bodies of several States, followed his remains to the 
tomb built for his family and himself. A marble block, 
since placed in front of the tomb, bears the inscription : 
'Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief/ 

Webster's career, as a Senator and Secretary of 
State, was no less illustrious than his professional 
triumphs; but, as far as literature is concerned, he 
will be remembered for his State-papers and speeches. 
We extract from Brownson's Review the following ap- 
preciation written in 1852 : "We see in every page, 
every sentence of his [Webster's] writings, vast intel- 
lectual power, quick sensibility, deep and tender affec- 
tion, and a rich and fervid imagination; but we see 
also the hard student, the traces of long and painful 
discipline, under the tutelage of the most eminent 
ancient and modern masters. ... He appears 
always greater than his subject, always to have the full 
mastery over it, and never to be mastered or carried 
away by it. , . . His elocution and diction har- 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 489 

monize admirably with his person and voice, and both 
strike you at once as fitted to each other. His majestic 
person, his strong, athletic frame, and his deep, rich, 
sonorous voice, set off with double effect his massive 
thoughts, his weighty sentences, his chaste, dignified, 
and harmonious periods." 

The country is indebted to Mr. George Ticknor Cur- 
tis for an excellent biography of Daniel Webster, in 
which the statesman, the orator, and the private man, 
are faithfully portrayed. 

TO THE SURVIVORS OF THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL. 
(From The First Bunker Hill Speech.) 

Venerable men ! you have come down to us from a former 
generation. Heaven has bounteously lengthened out your lives 
that you might behold this joyous day. You are now where 
you stood fifty years ago, this very hour, with your brothers 
and your neighbors shoulder to shoulder in the strife of your 
country! Behold how altered! The same heavens are indeed 
over your heads ; the same ocean rolls at your feet ; but all else, 
how changed! You hear now no roar of hostile cannon, you 
see no mixed volumes of smoke and flame rising from burning 
Charlestown. The ground strewed with the dead and the dying; 
the impetuous charge; the steady and successful repulse; the 
loud call to repeated assault ; the summoning of all that is manly 
to repeated resistance; a thousand bosoms, freely and fearlessly 
bared in an instant to whatever of terror there may be in war 
and death; all these you have witnessed, but you witness them 
no more. All is peace. The heights of yonder metropolis, its 
towers and roofs, which you then saw filled with wives, and 
children, and countrymen, in distress and terror, and looking 
with unutterable emotions for the issue of the combat, have 
presented you to-day with the sight of its whole happy popula- 
tion, come out to welcome and greet you with a universal jubi- 
lee. Yonder proud ships, by a felicity of position appropriately 
lying at the foot of this mount, and seeming fondly to cling 
around it, are not means of annoyance to you, but your coun- 
try's own means of distinction and defence. All is peace; and 
God has granted you this sight of your country's happiness, ere 
34 



490 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

you slumber in the grave forever. He has allowed you to behold 
and to partake the reward of your patriotic toils; and he has 
allowed us, your sons and countrymen, to meet you here, and 
in the name of the present generation, in the name of your coun- 
try, in the name of liberty, to thank you! 

But, alas! you are not all here! Time and the sword have 
thinned your ranks. Prescott, Putnam, Stark, Brooks, Read, 
Pomeroy, Bridge! our eyes seek for you in vain amidst this 
broken band. You are gathered to your fathers, and live only 
to your country in her grateful remembrance and your own 
bright example. But let us not too much grieve that you have 
met the common fate of men. You lived at least long enough 
to know that your work had been nobly and successfully accom- 
plished. You lived to see your country's independence estab- 
lished, and to sheathe your swords from war. On the light of 
liberty, you saw arise the light of peace, like 

'another morn, 
Risen on mid-noon;' 

and the sky on which you closed your eyes was cloudless. 

But ah! him! the first great martyr in this great cause! 
him! the premature victim of his own self-devoting heart! him! 
the head of our civic councils, and the destined leader of our 
military bands: whom nothing brought hither but the unquench- 
able fire of his own spirit ; him ! cut off by Providence in the 
hour of overwhelming anxiety and thick gloom; falling, ere he 
saw the star of his country rise; pouring out his generous blood 
like water, before he knew whether it would fertilize a land of 
freedom or of bondage! how shall I struggle with the emotions 
that stifle the utterance of thy name! Our poor work may 
perish: but thine shall endure! This monument may moulder 
away; the solid ground it rests upon may sink down to a level 
with the sea ; but thy memory shall not fail ! Wheresoever 
among men a heart shall be found that beats to the transports 
of patriotism and liberty, its aspirations shall be to claim kin- 
dred with thy spirit! 

********** 

Veterans! you are the remnant of many a well- fought field. 
You bring with you marks of honor from Trenton and Mon- 
mouth, from Yorktown, Camden, Bennington, and Saratoga. 
Veterans of half a century! when in your youthful days you 
put everything at hazard in your country's cause, good as that 
cause was, and sanguine as youth is, still your fondest hopes 



AMERICAN LITERATURE, 491 

did not stretch onward to an hour like this! At a period to 
which you could not reasonably have expected to arrive; at a 
moment of national prosperity, such as you could never have 
foreseen, you are now met here to enjoy the fellowship of old 
soldiers, and to receive the overflowings of a universal gratitude. 
But your agitated countenances and your heaving breasts 
inform me that even this is not an unmixed joy. I perceive 
that a tumult of feelings rushes upon you. The images of the 
dead, as well as the persons of the living, throng to your em- 
braces. The scene overwhelms you, and I turn from it. May 
the Father of all mercies smile upon your declining years and 
bless them ! And when you shall here have exchanged your 
embraces; when you shall once more have pressed the hands 
which have been so often extended to give succor in adversity, 
or grasped in the exultation of victory; then, look abroad into 
this lovely land, which your young valor defended, and mark 
the happiness with which it is filled ; yea, look abroad into the 
whole earth, and see what a name you have contributed to give 
to your country, and what a praise you have added to freedom ; 
and, then, rejoice in the sympathy and gratitude which beam 
upon your last days from the improved condition of mankind. 



WASHINGTON IRVING, 1783-1859. 

Washington Irving, the Goldsmith of America, was 
born in the city of New York, in 1783. He enjoyed 
but an ordinary school education, and, at the age of 
sixteen, commenced the study of law. In 1804, led by 
some symptoms of ill health, he visited the South of 
Europe. Whilst at Rome, he became acquainted with 
Washington Allston, and even meditated for a time 
the profession of painter, for which he had naturally a 
taste. After an absence of two years he returned home, 
and, in conjunction with his brother, William Irving, 
and J. K. Paulding, published a semi-monthly maga- 
zine, the since famous Salmagundi. In 1809, was pub- 
lished his humorous History of New York by Diedrich 
Knickerbocker, the first part of which he had sketched 
in company with another brother of his, Dr. Peter Ir- 



492 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

ving. Though one of the first fruits of Washington 
Irving's inventive talent, The History of New York 
was not surpassed by any later efforts successful as 
they were of its accomplished author. In 1820, ap- 
peared The Sketch Book, a series of short tales and 
essays, sentimental and humorous, which was received 
with great favor both in England and in this country. 
Bracebridge Hall, or . the Humorists, another series, 
containing sketches of English rural life and holiday 
customs, was brought out in 1822. Two years after, 
followed the Tales of a Traveller; but this work was 
greatly inferior to its predecessors. 

Having gone to Spain in connection with the United 
States embassy, he studied the history and antiquities 
of that romantic country, and published, in 1828, The 
Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus, to which 
he afterwards added the Voyages of the Companions 
of Columbus. He owed most of his materials to Na- 
varrete's researches, but he had the undivided merit of 
that 'lucid and attractive form which engages the 
interest of every reader/ We would remark that 
in one thing the biographer of Columbus singularly 
failed, viz., in bringing home to the reader the spirit 
of fai^h which animated the breast of the great discov- 
erer, which inspired him with the zeal to begin and 
the patience to prosecute his mighty design. 

During a tour to the South of Spain, in 1829 and 
1830, Irving procured the materials for his Conquest 
of Granada, and The Alhambra. The Conquest is 
vested with a richness of style and brilliancy of color- 
ing not expected in history, and yet not unsuited to 
the romantic character of the scenes described. There 
is, running through the work^ a vein of irony against 
priests and monks, that cannot be explained otherwise 




WASHINGTON IRVING 



j 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 493 

than by a spirit of bigotry, which the author of The 
Conquest so heartily deplores in others. The Alham- 
bra is well appreciated in one word of Prescott, when 
he styles it 'the beautiful Spanish Sketch Book.' 
After an absence of seventeen years, Irving returned 
to America, where he was welcomed by his admiring 
countrymen as one who had conferred imperishable 
honor upon the American name. His pen did not re- 
main idle. The following are the principal works 
that he wrote in the latter part of his life : Tour on 
the Prairies; Abbotsford and Newstead Abbey; Leg- 
ends of the Conquest of Spain; Astoria; The Adven- 
tures of Captain Bonnewlle; Life of Goldsmith; Ma- 
homet and his Successors, an intermixture of fact and 
legend ; Wolf erf s Roost; and lastly, the Life of Wash- 
ington, completed after the Psalmist's limit of three- 
score and ten, and when growing infirmities were gath- 
ering upon the writer. Having survived the summer 
after his last publication, he was suddenly called away, 
in November, 1859. He died at his cottage of Sunny- 
side, on the banks of the Hudson. 

As a man Washington Irving possessed a most gen- 
ial disposition, which was sure to produce attachment 
and esteem. As an author, his merits have been duly 
appreciated by British readers, and warmly acknowl- 
edged by British critics, while at home he is by unan- 
imous consent the most popular of our prose writers. 
If, however, we were to limit ourselves to the merits of 
Irving as a historian or biographer, and compare him 
with the historian of Ferdinand and Isabella, the latter 
must bear away the palm of superiority for extent and 
depth of research, for method and arrangement of 
materials, nay, even for propriety and beauty of his- 
torical style. We conclude by the following just re- 



494 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

marks of Chambers : "Modern authors have too much 
neglected the mere matter of style, but the success of 
Mr. Irving should convince the careless that the graces 
of composition, when employed even on paintings of 
domestic life and the quiet scenes of nature, can still 
charm as in the days of Addison, Goldsimth, and 
Mackenzie." 



PORTRAIT Of WOUTER VAN TWILLER. 
(From Knickerbocker.) 

The renowned Wouter (or Walter) Van Twiller was de- 
scended from a long line of Dutch burgomasters, who had suc- 
cessively dozed away their lives and grown fat upon the bench 
of magistracy in Rotterdam, and who had comported themselves 
with such singular wisdom and propriety, that they were never 
either heard or talked of, which, next to being universally 
applauded, should be the object of ambition of all magistrates 
and rulers. There are two opposite ways by which some men 
make a figure in the world ; one, by talking faster than they think, 
and the other, by holding their tongues and not thinking at all. 
By the first, many a smatterer acquires the reputation of a man 
of quick parts, by the other, many a dunderpate, like the owl, 
the stupidest of birds, comes to be considered the very type of 
wisdom. This, by the way, is a casual remark, which I would 
not for the universe have it thought I apply to Governor Van 
Twiller. It is true, he was a man shut up within himself, like 
an oyster, and rarely spoke except in monosyllables; but, then, 
it was allowed he seldom said a foolish thing. So invincible was 
his gravity, that he was never known to laugh, or even to smile, 
through the whole course of a long and prosperous life. Nay, 
if a joke was uttered in his presence that set light-minded 
hearers in a roar, it was observed to throw him into a state of 
perplexity. Sometimes, he would deign to inquire into the mat- 
ter; and when, after much explanation, the joke was made as 
plain as a pikestaff, he would continue to smoke his pipe in 
silence, and at length, knocking out the ashes, would exclaim, 
"Well ! I see nothing in all that to laugh about !" 

The person of this illustrious old gentleman was formed and 
proportioned as though it had been moulded by the hands of 
some cunning Dutch statuary, as a model of majesty and lordly 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 495 

grandeur. He was exactly five feet six inches in height, and 
six feet five inches in circumference. His head was a perfect 
sphere, and of such stupendous dimensions that Dame Nature, 
with all her sex's ingenuity, would have been puzzled to con- 
struct a neck capable of supporting it ; wherefore, she wisely 
declined the attempt, and settled it firmly on the top of his 
backbone, just between the shoulders. His body was oblong, 
and particularly capacious at the bottom, which was wisely 
ordered by Providence, seeing that he was a man of sedentary 
habits, and very averse to the idle labor of walking. His legs 
were short, but sturdy in proportion to the weight they had to 
sustain, so that, when erect, he had not a little the appearance 
of a beer-barrel on skids. His face that infallible index of the 
mind presented a vast expanse, unfurrowed by any of those 
lines and angles which disfigure the human countenance with 
what is termed expression. Two small gray eyes twinkled feebly 
in the midst, like two stars of lesser magnitude in a hazy firma- 
ment; and his full-fed cheeks, which seemed to have taken toll 
of everything that went into his mouth, were curiously mottled 
and streaked with dusky red, like a Spitzenberg apple. 

His habits were as regular as his person. He daily took his 
four stated meals, appropriating exactly an hour to each; he 
smoked and doubted eight hours, and he slept the remaining 
twelve of the four-and-twenty. Such was the renowned Wouter 
Van Twiller, a true philosopher; for his mind was either ele- 
vated above, or tranquilly settled below, the cares and perplexi- 
ties of this world. He had lived in it for years without feeling 
the least curiosity to know whether the sun revolved round it, 
or it round the sun; and he had watched, for at least half a 
century, the smoke curling from his pipe to the ceiling, without 
once troubling his head with any of those numerous theories, 
by which a philosopher would have perplexed his brain, in ac- 
counting for its rising above the surrounding atmosphere. 



H. PRSSCOTT, 1796-1859. 

William H. Prescott, the most eminent of our histo- 
rians, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1796. He 
received his literary training chiefly in Boston and in 
Cambridge, where he was graduated in 1814. His 
original intention was to devote himself to the pro- 



496 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

fession of the law,, in the practice of which his father 
had risen to distinction ; but an accident at college, 
caused by a crust of bread thrown at random, deprived 
him of the use of one eye, and greatly enfeebled the 
other. In order to procure some alleviation for his 
misfortune, he spent two years in travelling in Eng- 
land and on the Continent, consulting the best oculists; 
but obtained no relief. Finding that he could not enter 
upon a professional life, he applied his mind for ten 
years to a course of literary studies, with a view to 
fit himself for the office of historian. He chose for 
the subject of his first work, The Reign of Ferdinand 
and Isabella. It was a noble subject, embracing the 
final overthrow of Moslem power in Western Europe, 
and the discovery of America, and was interesting 
alike to both hemispheres. It appeared in 1838, and 
has been translated into German, Italian, Erench, and 
Spanish. 

He next gave to the world his Conquest of Mexico, 
published in 1843 ; and, in 1847, his Conquest of Peru. 
Both of these works were composed largely from man- 
uscript materials obtained in Spain. Both are written 
in Prescott's most attractive and brilliant style. 

"The scenic descriptions and portraits of the Span- 
ish leaders, and of Montezuma and Gautimozin, in the 
former work, give it all the charm of an effective 



romance." 



His last work, the History of the Reign of Philip 
the Second, he did not live to complete. The three 
published volumes comprise about fifteen years of 
Philip's reign, including in the narrative the battle of 
Lepanto. 

As the reign of Charles V. is the intermediate link 
between those of Eerdinand and Isabella, and of Philip 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 497 

II., Prescott had also given, in 1856, an edition of 
Robertson's Charles V., with a supplement The Life 
of Charles V. after his Abdication. A portion of Pres- 
cott's minor writings, chiefly contributions to the North 
American Review, were collected by him in one vol- 
ume, under the title of Biographical and Critical Mis- 
cellanies. 

Prescott's great merits as a historian have been rec- 
ognized and extolled abroad as at home. We quote the 
testimony given by Alison in 1859 : "Mr. Prescott was 
by far the first historian of America, and he may justly 
be assigned a place beside the very greatest of modern 
Europe. To the indispensable requisites of such an 
author industry, candor, and impartiality he united 
ornamental qualities of the highest grade; a mind 
stored with various and elegant learning, a poetical 
temperament, and great, it may almost be said, unri- 
valled, pictorial powers/' We cannot admit in full the 
praise of impartiality here bestowed on the great his- 
torian. Indeed, religious prejudice not unfrequently 
mars the beauty of his Histories, and leads him (unwit- 
tingly, we like to think,) into manifest injustice to 
persons and things Catholic.* 

The character of Prescott was of singular worth. 
With a profound modesty he united a remarkable self- 
denial, and lofty perseverance in duty. Possessed of 
means which placed him above the necessity of labor, 
he devoted his life to one of the most onerous depart- 
ments of literary research. 

He was at his home in Boston when he died suddenly 
of paralysis. 

* See, in Archbishop Spalding's Miscellanea^ Nos. XI.. XII.. and XIII. 



498 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

DESCRIPTION OB* THE VALLEY OF MEXICO. 

The Spaniards had not advanced far, when, turning an angle 
of the Sierra, they suddenly came on a view which more than 
compensated the toils of the preceding day. It was that of the 
Valley of Mexico, or Tenochtitlan, as more commonly called by 
the natives; which, with its picturesque assemblage of water, 
woodland, and cultivated plains, its shining cities, and shadowy 
hills, was spread out like some gay and gorgeous panorama 
before them. In the highly rarefied atmosphere of these upper 
regions, even remote objects have a brilliancy of coloring and 
a distinctness of outline which seems to annihilate distance. 
Stretching far away at their feet, were seen noble forests of oak, 
sycamore, and cedar, and beyond, yellow fields of maize, and 
the towering maguey, intermingled with orchards and blooming 
gardens; for flowers, in such demand for their religious festi- 
vals, were even more abundant in this populous valley than in 
other parts of Anahuac. In the centre of the great basin were 
beheld the lakes, occupying then a much larger portion of its 
surface than at present ; their borders, thickly studded with towns 
and hamlets, and, in the midst, like some Indian princess with 
her coral of pearls, the fair city of Mexico, with her white 
towers and pyramidal temples, reposing, as it were, on the bosom 
of the waters, the far-famed 'Venice of the Aztecs/ High over 
all, rose the royal hill of Chapultepec, the residence of the Mexi- 
can monarchs, crowned with the same grove of gigantic cypresses, 
which at this day fling their broad shadows over the land. In 
the distance, beyond the blue waters of the lake, and nearly 
screened by intervening foliage, was seen a shining speck, the 
rival capital of Tezcuco, and, still further on, the dark belt of 
porphyry, girdling the valley around, like a rich setting which 
Nature had devised for the fairest of her jewels. 

Such was the beautiful vision which broke on the eyes of the 
Conquerors. And even now, when so sad a change has come 
over the scene, when the stately forests have been laid low, and 
the soil, unsheltered from the fierce radiance of a tropical sun, 
is, in many places, abandoned to sterility; when the waters have 
retired, leaving a broad and ghastly margin white with the incrus- 
tation of salts, while the cities and hamlets on their borders have 
mouldered into ruins ; even now that desolation broods over the 
landscape, so indestructible are the lines of beauty which Nature 
has traced on its features, that no traveller, however cold, can 
gaze on them with any other emotions than those of astonish- 
ment and rapture. 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 499 

What, then, must have been the emotions of the Spaniards, 
when, after working their toilsome way into the upper air, the 
cloudy tabernacle parted before their eyes, and they beheld these 
fair scenes in all their pristine magnificence and beauty! 

It was like the spectacle which greeted the eyes of Moses 
from the summit of Pisgah, and, in the warm glow of their 
feelings, they cried out, "It is the promised land!" 



NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, 1804-1864. 

Nathaniel Hawthorne stands at the head of Amer- 
ican novelists. He was born in Salem, Massachusetts, 
from parents whose ancestors took pride in persecu- 
ting Quakers and witches. He was graduated at Bow- 
doin in 1825, in the same class with Longfellow. 
After quitting college, he resided many years in Salem, 
living like a recluse and writing wild tales, most 
of which he burned. The Minister's Black Veil; A 
Wedding Knell; David Swan; Fancy's Show Box, are 
among Hawthorn's most subtle, significant analyses 
of the soul. The first volume that he published, was 
his Twice-told Tales, so called from having already 
appeared in periodicals. It was followed, in 1846, by 
Mosses from an Old Manse, another collection of tales 
and sketches composed during his residence at the 
'Old Manse' of Concord. Among the short story mas- 
ter-pieces of literature are to be enumerated from this 
collection : The Birth Mark; Young Goodman Brown; 
Rappaccini's Daughter; The Artist of the Beautiful; 
The Procession of Life; Roger Malvin's Burial; and 
as a piece of fine irony, The Celestial Railway. Hav- 
ing been appointed surveyor of the port of Salem, he 
drew a graphic picture of the old custom-house and its 
inmates, which served as an introduction to his Scarlet 
Letter. This is a romance of rare power, in which he 



500 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

describes the manners of early New England times. 
The Blithe dale Romance, which appeared in 1851, de- 
lineates the half-communistic scheme attempted ten 
years before at Brook Farm, in West Roxbury, Mass. 
The personages of the romance are fictitious, but illus- 
trate 'the general tone, sentiment, hopes, fears, and 
character of the establishment/ Though himself one 
of the originators and actors in the enterprise, he in- 
dulges, throughout, in a gentle satire at the Utopian 
projects of these v/ould-be regenerators of society. 
The House ^of the Seven Gables, another homely nar- 
rative, increased still more his reputation. 

In 1853, Hawthorne was appointed consul at Liver- 
pool, a post which he filled for four years. After his 
return to America, he published, as 'the result of his 
observations, The Marble Faun, a romance of Italy, 
aiid Our Old Home, or sketches of English life. The 
Marble Faun, The House of the Seven Gables, and 
The Scarlet Letter, constitute the triple corner-stone 
of his fame. His style is that of a master, highly fin- 
ished, pure, delicate, and forcible. Unfortunately, 
there runs through his writings a deep vein of melan- 
choly, amounting to hopelessness, but the blame for 
this must rest with the Puritanism which he inherited 
and protested against, for it has stripped Christianity 
of nearly all that affords consolation to the soul. 

Hawthorne is also the author of Snow Image; sev- 
eral volumes for young people, as Grandfather's Chair, 
True Stories, Tanglewood Tales; and Note Books, 
American, English, French, and Italian, edited after 
his decease. He was travelling through New Hamp- 
shire with Ex-President Pierce, his intimate friend, 
when, one morning, he was found dead in his bed. He 
has been thus described by one who knew Ixm well : 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 5Q1 

"He was tall and strongly built, with broad shoulders, 
deep chest, a massive head, black hair, and large, dark 
eyes. Wherever he went, he attracted attention by his 
imposing presence. He was the shyest of men. The 
claims and courtesies of social life were terrible to 
him." 

THE INSPECTOR OF THE CUSTOM-HOUSE AT SALEM. 
(From The Scarlet Letter.) 

The father of the custom-house the patriarch, not only of 
this little squad of officials, but, I am bold to say, of the respect- 
able body of^tide-waiters all over the United States was a cer- 
tain permanent inspector. He might truly be termed a legitimate 
son of the revenue system, dyed in the wool, or, rather, born 
in the purple, since his sire, a revolutionary colonel, and for- 
merly collector of the port, had created an office for him, and 
appointed him to fill it, at a period of the early ages which few 
living men can now remember. 

This inspector, when I first knew him, was a man of four- 
score years or thereabouts, and certainly one of the most won- 
derful specimens of wintergreen that you would be likely to dis- 
cover in a lifetime's search. With his florid cheek, his compact 
figure, smartly arrayed in a bright-buttoned blue coat, his brisk 
and vigorous step, and his hale and hearty aspect, altogether he 
seemed not young, indeed but a kind of new contrivance of 
Mother Nature in the shape of man, whom age and infirmity 
had no business to touch. His voice and laugh, which perpetu- 
ally re-echoed through the custom-house, had nothing of the 
tremulous quaver and cackle of an old man's utterance ; they 
came strutting out of his lungs, like the crow of a cock, or the 
blast of a clarion. Looking at him merely as an animal, and 
there was very little else to look at, he was a most satisfactory 
object, from the thorough health fulness and wholesomeness of 
his system, and his capacity, at that extreme age, to enjoy all, 
or nearly all, the delights which he had ever aimed at or con- 
ceived of. The careless security of his life in the custom-house, 
on a regular income, and with but slight and infrequent appre- 
hensions of removal, had no doubt contributed to make time pass 
lightly over him. The original and more potent causes, how- 
ever, lay in the rare perfection of his animal nature, the mod- 



$02 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

crate proportion of intellect, and the very trifling admixture of 
moral and spiritual ingredients; these latter qualities, indeed, 
being in barely enough measure to keep the old gentleman from 
walking on all-fours. He possessed no power of thought, no 
depth of feeling, no troublesome sensibilities; nothing in short, 
but a few commonplace instincts, which, aided by the cheerful 
temper that grew inevitably out of his physical well-being, did 
duty very respectably and to general acceptance in lieu of a 
heart. He had been the husband of three wives, all long since 
dead ; the father of twenty children, most of whom, at every age 
of childhood or maturity, had likewise returned to dust. Here, 
one would suppose, might have been sorrow enough to imbue 
the sunniest disposition through and through with a sable tinge. 
Not so with our old inspector ! One brief sigh sufficed to carry 
off the entire burden of these dismal reminiscence^. The next 
moment he was as ready for sport as any unbreeched infant; 
far readier than the collector's junior clerk, who, at nineteen 
years, was much the elder and graver man of the two. 

I used to watch and study this patriarchal personage with, I 
think, livelier curiosity than any other form of humanity there 
presented to my notice. He was, in truth, a rare phenomenon; 
so perfect, in one point of view; so shallow, so delusive, so im- 
palpable, such an absolute nonentity, in every other. My con- 
clusion was that he had no soul, no heart, no mind; nothing, as 
I have already said, but instincts; and yet, withal, so cunningly 
had the few materials of his character been put together, that 
there was no painful perception of deficiency, but on my part, 
an entire contentment with what I found in him. It might be 
difficult and it was so to conceive how he should exist here- 
after, so earthly and sensuous did he seem ; but surely his exist- 
ence here, admitting that it was to terminate with his last breath, 
had been not unkindly given; with no higher moral responsi- 
bilities than the beasts of the field, but with a larger scope of 
enjoyment than theirs, and with all their blessed immunity from 
the dreariness and dustiness of age. 

ORSSTSS A. BROWNSON, 1803-1876. 

The name of Dr. Brownson recalls to our memory 
one of the most powerful intellects that America has 
produced. Either in search after truth or in its de- 
fence he wielded the pen with ceaseless activity for 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 5Q3 

fifty years. In the maturity of his mind, he was forced 
to acknowledge the authority of the Catholic Church, 
and, from that moment till his death, he obeyed her 
precepts with the simplicity of a child. To sacrifice 
for her a wide popularity, the prospects of fortune, 
and the ties of old friendship, was as nothing to him. 
His highest ambition was to consecrate in her service 
his time, his strength, and the resources of his mind. 

Dr. Brownson was born at Stockbridge, Vermont, 
but brought up at Royalton. The aged couple who 
adopted him, on account of his father's death and 
mother's poverty, trained him according to their own 
strict rule of old-fashioned Puritanism. He has rec- 
orded of himself that "debarred from all the sports, 
plays, and amusements of children, he had the man- 
ners, the tone, and tastes of an old man, before he was 
a boy." At an early age he had learned to read, but 
from his fourteenth year not only did he support him- 
self by his own exertions, but even procured the means 
of studying for a time at an academy in Ballston, N. Y. 
It was principally by his own private efforts, his con- 
stant application to reading, Deflecting, and writing, 
that he brought out the latent genius that was in him. 

We will not follow him through the various phases 
of his religious wanderings, which he has admirably 
described in The Convert. A Congregationalist, a 
Presbyterian, a Universalist, a Rationalist, and a So- 
cialist, he was everything in turn and satisfied with 
nothing, until he found in the Catholic Church the 
solution of all his doubts, and the solace of all his 
troubles. During the twenty years previous to his 
conversion, he was an assiduous contributor to many 
periodicals, and gradually rose to eminence and popu- 
larity both as a writer and a preacher. 

35 



504 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

In politics also, he took an active and prominent 
part, but was too independent to be held by the chains 
of partisanship. He was then "in the full enthusiasm 
of youth, with a magnificent physique, a powerful 
voice of unconquerable energy, fiery, fearless, and terri- 
bly in earnest." * He successively edited the Gospel 
Advocate and the Philanthropist; and founded, in 
1838, a Review of his own, the Boston Quarterly, 
which after five years he merged into the Democratic 
Review. What is known as Brownson's Quarterly 
Review was started in the beginning of 1844, nearly 
one year before his conversion. 

A writer in the Catholic World has said with truth 
that "it was only as a Catholic publicist that he be- 
came a truly great man, and achieved a great work, 
for which he deserves to be held in lasting remem- 
brance." t Henceforward all the efforts of his pen 
were devoted to the defence of Catholic principles. 
He accomplished the enormous task of supporting his 
Review almost single-handed during twenty years ; and 
after an interruption of nine years (1864-1873), dur- 
ing which he contributed many articles to the Catholic 
World and the New York Tablet, he revived its pub- 
lication for three years more. 

The power of Dr. Brownson as a writer lies chiefly 
in the exposition of the fundamental principles of 
faith or reason. When he developed these principles 
and their consequences, he appeared as if armed with 
the club and might of Hercules, with which he crushed 
the Hydra of error with the several heads of heresy, 

* From a sketch of Dr. Brownson by his daughter, the late Mrs. 
Sarah Tenney. 

t 1876, p. 369. The estimate there given of Dr. Brownson's char- 
acter, with his merits and demerits, is a fair rendering of Catholic 
opinion. We owe credit to the writer for several of our remarks. 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 505 

infidelity, and atheism. "His style was as clear and 
forcible as the train of thought and reasoning- of 
which it was the expression." A certain childlike 
simplicity and candor, an apparent love of truth 
which sought for no disguise, and a boldness of 
spirit which took no account of earthly considerations, 
gave to his writings a singular charm and influence. 

There is, however, a shade in the picture of this 
great man. The want of a regular course of studies in 
his youth, the lack of a thorough Catholic training, and 
the necessity of hurrying his articles through the press, 
made him liable to "hasty and crude statements, to 
inaccuracies and errors, to changes and modifications 
in his views and opinions." At one period of his life, 
he so far leaned towards Liberalism, that Catholics 
nearly lost confidence in him, and the suspension of 
his Review became a necessity. His faith, however, 
never faltered for a moment, and his conduct in regard 
to the sacraments and practices of the Church, was 
always that of a fervent Christian. "I have," he said 
in 1875, "and I desire to have, no home out of the 
Catholic Church, with which I am more than satisfied, 
and which I love as the dearest, tenderest, and most 
affectionate mother." 

Among the valuable essays published in the Re- 
view, we cannot appreciate too highly those that con- 
cern the nature and foundation .of society, its relation 
to the Church of Jesus Christ, the duties of all govern- 
ments towards the Church, and her visible head on 
earth. It was one of Brownson's favorite ideas, which 
should be well weighed by students of history, that no 
history can be true, i. e., can give a true account of 
facts in their real order and significance, which is not 
written from the Catholic point of view. Before his 



506 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

conversion, he wrote Charles Elwood; or, The Infidel 
Converted, a philosophical treatise in the form of a 
novel, the object of which was to elicit thought on 
radical changes in society. In 1854, when the world 
was so much stirred by spiritism, he issued The Spirit 
Rapper, in which some of the chief phenomena pro- 
duced by spirits, are narrated, analyzed, and traced to 
their real author, the arch-fiend, the father of lies, and 
enemy of the human race. In 1857, he published The 
Convert, which is a detailed account of his religious 
wanderings, and subsequent rest within the pale of the 
Catholic Church. The American Republic is to many 
Dr. Brownson's most remarkable production, the fruit 
of a life-time of intellectual labors. After an exten- 
sive introduction on the nature and origin of poli- 
tical authority, whatever its form, he examines the 
Constitution, tendencies, and destiny of the United 
States, according to the principles furnished by Chris- 
tian philosophy. It is undoubtedly one of the deep- 
est and soundest works on American politics. It ought 
to be read and studied by every American who takes 
an interest in the history and destiny of his country. 
The work, dedicated to the historian Bancroft, was 
mainly written for the Catholic youth in our colleges, 
and to them the second edition (1873) was rededi- 
cated. Liberalism and the Church is a small volume 
of conversations, in which he refutes the false modern 
ideas of progress and civilization, and the errors pecu- 
liar to Liberal Catholics, so called. It showed that his 
former tendency to Liberalism was an accident of his 
life, in direct opposition to the deepest convictions of 
his soul. 

His most interesting and most generally read writ- 
ings are his essays or articles contributed to his maga- 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 507 

zine. There is scarcely an important topic of modern 
times which he has not treated ; yet, wide as his range 
is, he is not superficial. We feel always the grasp of 
a vigorous, honest and original intellect which wants 
to see the truth and get at the root of a question. His 
essays or reviews abound in great and fruitful ideas, 
and have been and still are, as Archbishop Hughes 
predicted, a storehouse for Catholic preachers, lec- 
turers, publicists, and journalists. Years ago (it is 
not so much the case now) most generous-minded 
Catholic American young men of an enquiring spirit 
went through a Brownson period : he became their 
philosopher, furnishing them with general views in 
many departments of thought. He is such a stimu- 
lating influence that we must regret he is not a more 
consistent thinker. His style is vigorous and clear ; but 
it is rarely lit up by grace, wit or imagination. He 
is always nobly serious, and he has a strong undercur- 
rent of deep feeling which occasionally he permits him- 
self to manifest. 

At the end of 1875, the infirmities of old age com- 
pelled him to close the Review. He died, a few months 
later, fortified by the last sacraments of the Church. 

His works have since been collected and edited by 
one of his sons, Major H. F. Brownson. A great 
thinker, a great writer, and a great Christian, brave 
and manly, high-minded and disinterested, Orestes A. 
Brownson is justly looked upon as one of America's 
most illustrious sons. 

THE POSITIVE OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT. 

(From The Republic.) 

Government exists in heaven as well as on earth, and in 
heaven in its perfection. Its office is not purely repressive, to 
restrain violence, to redress wrongs, and to punish the trans- 



508 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

gressor. It has something more to do than to restrict our nat- 
ural liberty, curb our passions, and maintain justice between 
man and man. Its office is positive as well as negative. It is 
needed to render effective the solidarity of the individuals of a 
nation, and to render the nation an organism, not a mere organi- 
zation to combine men in one living body, and to strengthen, 
all with the strength of each, and each with the strength of 
all to develop, strengthen, and sustain individual liberty, and 
to utilize and direct it to the promotion of the common weal 
to be a social providence, imitating in its order and degree the 
action of the Divine Providence itself and, while it provides for 
the common good of all, to protect each, the lowest and meanest, 
with the whole force and majesty of society. It is the minister 
of wrath to wrong-doers, indeed ; but its nature is beneficent, 
and its action defines and protects the right of property, creates 
and maintains a medium in which religion can exert her super- 
natural energy, promotes learning, fosters science and arts, ad- 
vances civilization, and contributes as a powerful means to the 
fulfilment by man of the Divine purpose in his existence. Next 
after religion, it is man's greatest good; and even religion with- 
out it can do only a small portion of her work. They wrong it 
who call it a necessary evil; it is a great good, and instead of 
being distrusted, hated, or resisted, except in its abuses, it should 
be loved, respected, obeyed, and, if nqpd be defended at the cost 
of earthly goods and even of life itself. 



LOYALTY TO GOVERNMENT. 

Government being not only that which governs, but that which 
has the right to govern, obedience to it becomes a moral duty, 
not a mere physical necessity. The right to govern and the duty 
to obey are correlatives, and the one cannot exist or be con- 
ceived without the other. Hence loyalty is not simply an ami- 
able sentiment, but a duty, a moral virtue. Treason is not merely 
a difference in political opinion with the governing authority, 
but a crime against the sovereign, and a moral wrong; there- 
fore, a sin against God, the Founder of the moral law. Trea- 
son, if committed in other countries, unhappily has been more 
frequently termed by our countrymen patriotism, and loaded 
with honor, than branded as a crime, the greatest of crimes, 
as it is, that human governments have authority to punish. The 
American people have been chary of the word loyalty, perhaps 
because they regard it as the correlative of royalty; but loyalty 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. Q9 

is rather the correlative of law, and is in its essence love and 
devotion to the sovereign authority, however constituted or 
wherever lodged. It is as necessary, as much a duty, as much 
a virtue in republics as in monarchies; and nobler examples of 
the most devoted loyalty are not found in the history of the 
world than were exhibited in the ancient Greek and Roman 
republics, or than have been exhibited by both men and women 
in the young republic of the United States. Loyalty is the high- 
est, noblest, and most generous of human virtues, and is the 
human element of that sublime love or charity which, the in- 
spired Apostle tells us, is the fulfillment of the law. It has in 
it the principle of devotion, of self-sacrifice, and is, of all human 
virtues, that which renders man most Godlike. There is noth- 
ing great, generous, good, or heroic, of which a truly loyal 
people are not capable, and nothing mean, base, cruel, brutal, 
criminal, detestable, not to be expected of a really disloyal peo- 
ple. Such a people no generous sentiment can move, no love 
can bind. It mocks at duty, scorns virtue, tramples on all rights, 
and holds no person, nothing, human or divine, sacred or in- 
violable. 

RALPH WALDO EMERSON, 1803-1882. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson was no less distinguished for 
the rare beauty of his language than the obscurity and 
unsoundness of his philosophy. A native of Boston, 
the son of a Unitarian clergyman, he belonged to an 
old Puritan family. He was educated at Harvard, and 
appointed in 1829, minister to a Unitarian church in 
Boston. When, three years later, he could no longer 
hold the same belief as his congregation, he had the 
courage of sacrificing his position to his convictions. 
In 1835, he settled in Concord ; there, with the excep- 
tion of some lecturing tours through England and the 
United States, he spent the remainder of his life. Em- 
erson was, on his own admission, a transcendentalist, 
or extreme idealist, and pantheist. The soul of man, 
in as much as it is freed from personal limitations, he 
identified with God, and he assumed that whatever is 



510 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

distinguishable from God is unreal, phenomenal. Not 
being able to find universal truth in the shreds of 
revelation offered by Protestantism, he looked for it 
in nature alone ; but he failed even to solve the problem 
of man's origin and destiny. 

The sage of Concord "was not a profound student 
in anything. He had no peculiar gifts as a religious 
thinker or philosopher; neither was he learned in the- 
ology or philosophy." * Yet he was dogmatic and or- 
acular, never stopping to prove a statement or denial ; 
indeed he was incapable of any reasoning. Writing to 
Henry Ware, his former colleague in the ministry, he 
said : "I could not possibly give you one of the argu- 
ments on which any doctrine of mine stands ; for I do 
not know what arguments mean in reference to any ex- 
pression of a thought. I delight in telling what I 
think ; but if you ask me how I dare say so, or why it 
is so, I am the most helpless of mortals," The follow- 
ing are the productions of his pen : Essays, Represen- 
tative Men, English Traits, Lectures and Addresses, 
Poems. His representative men are Plato, the Philoso- 
pher; Swedenborg, the Mystic; Montaigne, the Scep- 
tic; Shakespeare, the Poet; Napoleon, the Man of the 
World ; and Goethe, the Writer. Despite his bad phi- 
losophy and want of revealed religion, we discover in 
his verse and prose an exquisite sense of beauty, which 
renders his works most enticing and most dangerous 
to certain sensitive, aspiring, and unstable minds. He 
preferred the ethics of stoic philosophy to the gospel, 
which would lead men to self-worship rather than to 
Christian humility. He rejected the Christian idea of 
sin as an offense against our Creator, and was such 
an ingrained optimist and born dreamer as to see little 

* Rev. I. T. Hecker. 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 5H 

of the evil in the world. By his native endowment of 
a pure and lofty genius, which he kept unsullied, he 
has exercised an exceptional moral influence. His 
style is of a crystal transparency; and if at times his 
meaning is vague as a riddle, the fault must be laid to 
his cloudy ideas, not to obscurity in their expression. 

ENGLISH MANNERS. 

I find the Englishman to be him of all men who stands firm- 
est in his shoes. They have in themselves what they value in 
their horses, mettle and bottom. On the day of my arrival at 
Liverpool, a gentleman, in describing to me the Lord Lieutenant 
of Ireland, happened to say, "Lord Clarendon has pluck like a 
cock, and will fight till he dies :" and, what I heard first I heard 
last, and the one thing the Englishman values, is pluck. The 
word is not beautiful, but on the quality they signify by it the 
nation is unanimous. The cabmen have it; the merchants have 
it; the bishops have it; the women have it; the journals have it; 
the Times newspaper, they say, is the pluckiest thing in Eng- 
land, and Sidney Smith had made it a proverb, that little Lord 
John Russell, the minister, would take the command of the 
Channel fleet to-morrow. 

They require you to dare to be of your own opinion, and 
they hate the practical cowards who cannot in affairs answer 
yes or no. They dare to displease, nay, they will let you break 
all the commandments, if you do it natively, and with spirit. 
You must be somebody; then you may do this or that, as you 
will. . . . The mechanical might and organization require in 
the people constitution and answering spirits; and he who goes 
among them must have some weight of metal. At last, you 
take your hint from the fury of life you find, and say, one 
thing is plain, this is no country for faint-hearted people; don't 
creep about diffidently ; make up your mind ; take your own 
course, and you shall find respect and furtherance. . . . 

This vigor appears in the incuriosity, and stony neglect, each 
of every other. Each man walks, eats, drinks, shaves, dresses, 
gesticulates, and, in every manner, acts and suffers without 
reference to the bystanders, in his own fashion, only careful 
not to interfere with them, or annoy them; not that he is 
trained to neglect the eyes of his neighbors, he is really occu- 
pied with his own affair, and does not think of them. Every 



512 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

man in this polished country consults only his convenience, as 
much as a solitary pioneer in Wisconsin. I know not where 
any personal eccentricity is so freely allowed, and no man gives 
himself any concern with it. An Englishman walks in a pour- 
ing rain, swinging his closed umbrella like a walking-stick; 
wears a wig, or a shawl, or a saddle, or stands on his head, 
and no remark is made. And as he has been doing this for 
several generations, it is now in the blood. 

In short, every one of these islanders is an island himself, 
safe, tranquil, incommunicable. In a company of strangers, you 
would think him deaf; his eyes never wander from his table 
and newspaper. He is never betrayed into any curiosity or 
unbecoming emotion. They have all been trained in one severe 
school of manners, and never put off the harness. He does 
not give his hand. He does not let you meet his eye. It is 
almost an affront to look a man in the face, without being intro- 
duced. In mixed or in select companies they do not introduce 
persons; so that a presentation is a circumstance as valid as a 
contract. Introductions are sacraments. He withholds his name. 
At the hotel, he is hardly willing to whisper it to the clerk at 
the book-office. If he give you his private address on a card, it 
is like an avowal of friendship; and his bearing on being intro- 
duced is cold, even though he is seeking your acquaintance, and 
is studying how he shall serve you. 



BANCROFT, 1800-1891. 

George Bancroft, our national historian, was born at 
Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1800. His father, a Con- 
gregationalist minister, spared nothing to give him a 
thorough education. 1817, before he had completed 
his seventeenth year, young Bancroft received his 
degree of Bachelor of Arts at Harvard. The next 
year, having gone to Europe, he prosecuted his studies 
under eminent scholars at Gottingen and Berlin, and 
took the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 1820. 
After his return to America, he published in the North 
American Review some translations in verse of Schil- 
ler, Goethe, and other German authors. He also trans- 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 513 

lated and edited several of Heeren's historical works. 
But Bancroft's fame as a writer rests upon his History 
of the United States. It comprises ten volumes, three 
of which are occupied with the history of the Colonies, 
three with the disputes between the Colonies and 
the Mother Country, and four with the War for In- 
dependence.* Bancroft's History, which is certainly 
a great work, is open, however, to very serious charges. 
It seems to be written, not simply for the sake of 
history, but with a view to set forth and confirm by 
history the author's theories on God, man, and soci- 
ety, theories, moreover, that are unsound and in 
the last degree dangerous, "Mr. Bancroft's style," 
says Griswold, "is elaborate, scholarly, and forcible, 
though sometimes not without a visible effort at elo- 
quence; and there is occasionally a dignity of phrase 
that is not in keeping with the subject-matter. It 
lacks the delightful ease and uniform proportion which 
mark the diction of Prescott." At the age of eighty- 
two, the venerable historian published a new work in 
two volumes, the History of tne Formation of the 
Constitution of the United States of America. This 
is, in many respects, a valuable contribution to Amer- 
ican history; but it gives an imperfect and sometimes 
erroneous view of the subject which it purports to 
treat. 

As a politician and diplomatist, Bancroft acted a 
considerable part in the affairs of his country. He 
was Collector of the Port of Boston in 1835, Secre- 

* The author's last revision gives us the History in six volumes, 
without tbe references to authorities which are found in the first edi- 
tion. The changes, omissions, and alterations, made in the last 
revision, are, in many respects, offensive and unjust to Catholics. See 
three articles on this subject in the Catholic World for Sept., Oct. 
and Nov., 1883. 



514 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

tary of the Navy in 1845, Minister Plenipotentiary to 
Great Britain in 1846, and for many years American 
Ambassador at the court of Berlin. The great accom- 
plishments of Bancroft render only keener the regret 
that his great work his history should have failed 
to be a monument every way worthy of the national 
grandeur to which it was raised. 


PEACE: BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND GREAT BRITAIN, 1782. 

(From Conclusion to the tenth volume of the History of the United 

States.) 

The articles of peace, though entitled provisional, were made 
definitive by a declaration in the preamble. Friends of Frank- 
lin gathered around him, and as the Duke of Rochefoucould 
kissed him for joy, "My friend," said Franklin, "could I have 
hoped at such an age to have enjoyed so great happiness?" 
The treaty was not a compromise, nor a compact imposed by 
force, but a free and perfect solution, and perpetual settlement 
of all that had been called in question. By doing an act of 
justice to her former colonies, England rescued her own liber- 
ties at home from imminent danger, and opened the way for 
their slow but certain development. The narrowly selfish colo- 
nial policy which had led to the cruel and unnatural war was 
cast aside and foiever by Great Britain, which was hencefor- 
ward as the great colonizing power to sow all the oceans with 
the seed of republics. For the United States, the war, which 
began by an encounter with a few husbandmen embattled on 
Lexington Green, ended with their independence, and possession 
of all the country from the St. Croix to the Southwestern Mis- 
sissippi, from the Lake of the Woods to the St. Mary. In time 
past republics had been confined to cities and their dependen- 
cies, or to small cantons ; and the United States avowed them- 
selves able to fill a continental territory with commonwealths. 
They possessed beyond any other portion of the world the great 
ideas of their age, and enjoyed the practice of them by indi- 
vidual man in uncontrolled faith and industry, thought and 
action. For other communities, institutions had been built up 
by capitulations and acts of authoritative power ; the United 
States of America could shape their coming relations wisely 
only through the widest and most energetic exercise of the right 
inherent in humanity to deliberation, choice, and assent. While 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 515 

the constitutions of their separate members, resting on the prin- 
ciple of self-direction, were, in most respects, the best in the 
world, they had no general government; and as they went forth 
upon untried paths, kings expected to see the confederacy fly 
into fragments, or lapse into helpless anarchy. But, for all the 
want of a government, their solemn pledge to one another of 
mutual citizenship and perpetual union made them one people; 
and that people was superior to its institutions, possessing the 
vital force which goes before organization, and gives to it 
strength and form. Yet, for success, the liberty of the individ- 
ual must know how to set to itself bounds ; and the states, dis- 
playing the highest quality of greatness, must learn to temper 
their rule of themselves by their own moderation. 



JAMKS RUSSEU, LowEu,, 1819-1891. 

James Russell Lowell was born at Cambridge, Mass- 
achusetts, February 22, 1819. The Lowells dated back 
their residence in New England to 1639. His mother's 
family was descended from the Traills of Scotland. 
The boy was brought up in a neighborhood that bord- 
ered on the open country. He early acquired a taste 
for the reading of poetry and romance. During his 
college course he continued to be a wide reader and an 
indifferent scholar; and he was graduated from Har- 
vard without special honors. 

He was undecided what vocation in life to choose; 
but he finally settled on law and was admitted to 
the bar in 1840. He cared very little, however, for 
the practice, preferring, as he had long since done, 
to contribute poems and prose articles to the magazines. 
His first collected publication, A Year's Life (1841), 
was a volume of love poems. In 1843, he and an 
associate undertook to edit a literary periodical, The 
Pioneer. Only three , numbers appeared. The ven 
ture, however, confirmed Lowell in his predilection 
for literature. He interested himself also in the tf- 



516 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

forts of reform which were agitating the popular mind. 
This led him shortly after his marriage in 1844 to be- 
come a regular contributor to the Pennsylvania Free- 
man, devoted to the anti-slavery cause. 

Despite domestic sorrows, Lowell was a busy writer, 
and an interested observer of events, as is shown by 
his second collection of Poems, containing An Indian- 
Summer Reverie, Columbus, To the Dandelion, and 
The Changeling; by his Fable for Critics, in which 
he characterizes in witty verse and with good-natured 
satire contemporary American writers ; by The Vision 
of Sir Launfal, his most popular poem, a romantic 
story suggested by the Arthurian legend of the Holy 
Grail ; and finally by his Biglow Papers. These papers 
were occasional catchy verses of stinging satire and 
sly humor set forth in the vernacular of New Eng- 
land and levelled at local political .and social move- 
ments, but mainly directed against the efforts of re- 
cruiting for the Mexican War. The prevailing New 
England sentiment spoke out in such lines as: 

Ef you take a sword an' dror it, 

An' go stick a feller thru, 
Guv'ment ain't to answer for it, 

God'll send the bill to you. 

The wide success of his Biglow Papers gave Lowell 
the reputation of being an American humorist. Yankee 
traits and dialect are faithfully and humorously de- 
picted, but the grotesqueness and utter lack of beauty 
in them make one half regret their notoriety; for a 
great deal of what is best and most charming in Lowell 
has no representation in these papers. 

In 1851, Lowell with his family visited Italy, and 
after his return (1852) he published in magazines 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 517 

sketches and impressions of his travels. These were 
collected (1858) into book-form under the title Fire- 
side Travels. In October, 1853, his wife died. In 
1855 he delivered a course of lectures on the British 
Poets for the Lowell Institute in Boston. The suc- 
cess of these lectures led to his election to the pro- 
fessorship of Modern Languages at Harvard, then 
vacant by the retirement of Longfellow. Lowell spent 
a year abroad increasing his acquaintance with the 
German, Spanish, and Italian tongues; then he en- 
tered upon his college duties retaining his position for 
twenty years. As a teacher he proved to be a quick- 
ener of thought among the scholars rather than a 
specialist in his own department. His talent lay in 
the interpretation of literature. This is evidenced also 
in his written criticisms. 

In 1856, Lowell married for a second time. In 
1857, when The Atlantic Monthly was established, 
Lowell became its first editor and he gave high liter- 
ary worth to the magazine. He relinquished the 
editorship in 1861, but continued to be a contributor 
for the remainder of his life. From 1862 to 1872 
he was associated in the management of the North 
American Review. In it he published frequent essays 
on the times during the eventful years of the Civil 
War. During this same period the Atlantic published 
a second series of Biglow Papers. To both magazines 
he contributed essays in criticism which later were 
collected into Among My Books and My Study Win- 
dow. These essays were studies of great authors, 
wide in range, and appreciative in treatment. They 
leave on the reader not the remembrance of many 
facts and . details, but a definite impression of the 
writers discussed, and, what is the best kind of crit- 



518 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

icism, they impel the reader to seek further acquaint- 
ance with those authors. 

In 1868 he delivered at Harvard his loftiest and 
most beautiful poem, The Commemoration Ode; and 
issued the same year a volume of poetry, Under tht 
Willows. 

In 1877 Lowell was appointed United States Min- 
ister to the court of Spain. In 1880, he was trans- 
ferred to London as Minister, and he remained there 
till 1885, the year his (second) wife died. After 
his return to America he published in Democracy and 
Other Ideals many of the lectures he had been called 
on in England to deliver. His public life had made 
him a figure in the world. He was decorated with the 
highest honors Harvard could officially render, and 
with degrees from Oxford, Cambridge, St. Andrews, 
Edinburgh and Bologna. In 1888 he issued a final 
collection of poems, Heartsease and Rue, and revised 
his works which were published in ten volumes in 1890. 
He died in Cambridge, August 12, 1891. 

Through his writings and personality and actions he 
impressed himself upon his generation in America, 
especially upon the thoughtful and scholarly. He was 
democratic in spirit, and outspoken in his political 
beliefs. "His mind was of masculine fibre, clear in 
perception, and strong in grasp. His nature has a 
vein of coarseness which appears occasionally in his 
writings but which ordinarily serves only to give char- 
acter and flavor to his culture. Both his poetry and 
his prose betray unevenness of work and the literary 
refinement of his essays is not conspicuous in his verse. 
The strong, courageous, explicit temperament of the 
man shows through all he has written. ... . His 
sense of beauty in nature and in art is keen and in- 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 519 

grained, and has been developed by study." * ... 
His humor which sprang from a genial temperament 
is by turns playful and sentimental, and always in sym- 
pathy with nature and humanity. His critical writings 
are at once subtle and masculine and independent and 
acute. He writes from a profound knowledge of the 
best literary productions and from a ripe and sane 
scholarly temperament. 



BROTHER AZARIAS, 1847-1893. 

Patrick Francis Mullaney was born in Ireland, 
June 29, 1847, where his early years were spent. 
When his parents emigrated to this country, he was 
sent to the Academy conducted by the Brothers of 
the Christian Schools, in Utica, N. Y. Without the 
advantages of a college training and almost without a 
master, he acquired a knowledge of the classical lan- 
guages and several modern tongues. Wishing to de- 
vote his life to teaching in a religious community, he 
joined the Congregation of his preceptors, February 
29, 1862. He taught mathematics and English liter- 
ature with much success in Albany, New York, and 
Philadelphia, and was then transferred (1866) to 
Rock Hill College, Maryland. Here he enjoyed a 
wider range of influence and attracted outside notice 
as an educator and a literary man. From 1879 to 1886 
he was president of Rock Hill. Then he went abroad 
and searched the European libraries in pursuit of his 
favorite study education. On his return he became 
professor of literature at La Salle Institute, New York 
City, where he remained till his death. 

36 * Julian Hawthorne. 



520 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

In 1885, he was invited to deliver the principal ad- 
dress before the Concord School of Philosphy, and on 
that occasion read his essay on Aristotle and the Chris- 
tian Church. 

He was identified, as one of the founders, with the 
Catholic Summer School, Plattsburg, N. Y., and 
there was prematurely carried off by pneumonia, Au- 
gust 20, 1893, after giving a course of five lectures on 
The Schools of Medieval Times. 

The first work published by Brother Azarias was 
An Essay Contributing to a Philosophy of Literature, 
which attracted considerable attention and was highly 
praised by Dr. Brownson as "well written, full of just 
thought, sound philosophy, and faith in Christ." Its 
keynote is that literature derives its life and excel- 
lence from religion. The book is of value to give 
the student correct principles for the study of litera- 
ture. 

Another important work was The Development of 
English Thought. This is a first volume to a pro- 
jected English Literature; and it deals with the Anglo- 
Saxon period. One finds here a study of the pagan 
traditions upon which the Christian faith was en- 
grafted, and reads with pleasure the sketches of Hilda, 
Caedmon, Benedict Biscop, and Venerable Bede. 

In Books and Reading, which has gone through 
Seven editions (1904), the author makes it his point 
that literature in general and Catholic literature in par- 
ticular has living force for those who have not received 
the benefit of a higher education. 

Phases of Thought and Criticism (1892) is among 
the most admired of this Christian Brother's writings 
for thought, style, and method. It is a study of the 
culture of the spiritual sense. 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 521 

Brother Azarias was a frequent contributor to Cath- 
olic and Educational Reviews ; he was a scholarly and 
cultured lecturer. The secret of his success lay in his 
deep reverence for the apostolate of teaching. 

FRANCIS PARKMAN,* 1823-1893. 

Francis Parkman will take rank among the first 
historians of America. Like Bancroft, he confined 
himself to an American subject; but, unlike Bancroft, 
he did not make facts subserve his own theories. Park- 
man was born in Boston, his father being a leading 
Unitarian minister. From his boyhood, \vhen a mere 
student at Harvard, he conceived the idea of writing 
the history of the rise and fall of the French power 
in North America. This idea gave unity to his life 
and shaped the course of his occupations and studies. 
Before he left college he had made himself master of 
the French language, and had spent one year in Europe 
enlarging his knowledge of French institutions. Grad- 
uated in 1844, his matriculation as a law-student in 
no way prevented his favorite studies. In 1846, in 
company with a friend, he spent the whole summer 
with the Dakotahs, the better to understand the char- 
acter and habits of the North American Indian. The 
hardships and privations which attended this experi- 
ment impaired his health for life and left him partly 
blind. He now began the writing of his various mon- 
ographs, which, by themselves independent, together 
form one complete history. They were published 
under the following titles and dates : The California 

* In this sketch we have availed ourselves extensively of an article 
in The Forum, Dec., 1893, under the signature of Julius H. Ward. 
A very favorable appreciation of Parkman may be seen also in The 
Athenaeum, Nov 18, 1893. 



522 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

and Oregon Trail (1849) ; The Conspiracy of Pontiac 
(1851) ; The Pioneers of Prance in the New World 
(1865) ; The Jesuits in North America (1867) ; La 
Salle and the Discovery of the Great West (1869); 
The Old Regime in Canada (1874) ; Prontenac and 
New Prance under Louis XIV. (1877) ; Montcahn 
and Wolf (1884); The Oregon Trail (1890); and, 
finally (1892), his last work in two volumes, A Half- 
Century of Conflict, completing the series, which, in 
the correct phrase of the historian himself, "now forms 
a continuous history of the efforts of France to oc- 
cupy and control the North American Continent/* 
Thus, in spite of his chronic ill-health, did he carry 
out the earliest dreams of his youth. As to the wri- 
ter's style, "it is picturesque, full of graphic descrip- 
tions of nature, giving exact pictures of the forests, the 
localities, the battle-fields, the persons, and the thrill- 
ing moments of the narrative/ 7 It is, however, the 
serious fault of Parkman that, even when he glorifies 
the heroes and missionaries of the Catholic Church, he 
misrepresents that Church. 

FORT DUQUESN3. 

(From Montcalm and Wolf.) 

Fort Duquesne stood on the point of land where the Allegheny 
and Monongahela join to form the Ohio, and where now stands 
Pittsburg, with its swarming population, its restless industries, the 
clang of its forges, and its chimneys vomiting foul smoke into 
the face of heaven. At that early day (1755) a white flag flut- 
tering over a cluster of palisades and embankments betokened 
the first intrusion of civilized men uoon a scene which, a few 
months -before, breathed the repose of a virgin wilderness, voice- 
less but for the lapping of waves upon the pebbles or the note 
of some lonely bird. But now the sleep of ages was broken, 
and bugle and drum told the astonished forest that its doom 
was pronounced and its days numbered. The fort was a com- 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 523 

pact little work, solidly built and strong, compared with others 
on the continent. It was a square of four bastions, with the 
water close on two sides, and the other two protected by rave- 
lins, ditch, glacis, and covered way. The ramparts on these 
sides were of square logs filled in with earth, and ten feet or 
more thick. The two water sides were enclosed by a massive 
stockade of upright logs, twelve feet high, mortised together and 
loopholed. The armament consisted of a number of small can- 
non mounted on the bastions. A gate and drawbridge on the 
east side gave access to the area within, which was surrounded 
by barracks for the soldiers, officers' quarters, the lodgings of 
the commandant, a guard-house, and a store-house, all built 
partly of logs and partly of boards. There were no casemates, 
and the place was commanded by a high woody hill beyond the 
Monongahela. The forest had been cleared away to the dis- 
tance of more than a musket-shot from the ramparts and the 
stumps were hacked level with the ground. Here, just outside 
the ditch, bark cabins had been built for such of the troops and 
Canadians as could not find room within; and the rest of the 
open space was covered with Indian corn and other crops. The 
garrison consisted of a few companies of the regular troops sta- 
tioned permanently in the colony, and to these were added a 
considerable number of Canadians. . . . Besides the troops 
and Canadians eight hundred warriors, mustered from far and 
near, had built their wigwams and camp-sheds on the open 
ground or under the edge of the neighboring woods very little 
to the advantage of the young corn. . . . The law of the 
survival of the fittest had wrought on this heterogeneous crew 
through generations ; and with the primitive Indian the fittest 
was the hardiest, fiercest, most adroit, and most wily. 

OivivER WENDEW, HOLMES, 1809-1894. 

Oliver Wendell Holmes was born at Cambridge, 
Massachusetts, August 29, 1809. His father was a 
clergyman and historian, descended from an English 
barrister. His mother was of a Dutch family long set- 
tled in New England. From boyhood, Holmes evinced 
an opposition to the stern beliefs and manners of his 
Calvinist training, and all his life he was animated 
by a genial boy-spirit and a staunch Unitarian creed. 



524 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

At the age of fifteen he was sent to Phillips Academy, 
Andover; and thence, in 1825, to Harvard. After 
his graduation, four years later, he studied law, though 
he shortly gave over the task to take up medicine. In 
1833, he sailed for Europe to continue his medical 
studies at Paris. During his vacations he visited Eng- 
land and Italy. He received his degrees in 1836 and, 
returning to Boston, began his professional practice. 
This work, however, never absorbed his attention : he 
was perhaps more interested in literature and in the 
writing of occasional verse. His known talents led to 
his appointment as professor of anatomy at Dartmouth 
College, where he remained till he married (1840) 
and went to live again in Boston. The remainder of 
his long life was passed without any lengthy interrup- 
tion, in this city. From 1847 to 1882 he was profes- 
sor of anatomy and physiology at Harvard. His lec- 
tures were always popular because of his manner of 
presentation, but, owing to his indifference to keep 
pace with the progress of the science, they eventually 
lost their substantial value. 

In the social and public life of Boston, Dr. Holmes 
early became a familiar and welcome figure, and he 
easily maintained the reputation he enjoyed as a talker, 
by his broad good-nature, his sparkling wit, and his 
turn of conversation which frequently verged on the 
monologue. 

In 1857 a new literary magazine was founded at 
Boston and named at the suggestion of Holmes The 
Atlantic Monthly. For this publication Dr. Holmes 
continued a series of papers he had begun twenty-five 
years before in a short-lived magazine. The nature 
and tone of these are apparent from the title: The 
Autocrat of the Breakfast Table. They are a sort of 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 525 

autobiography of his mind and heart, or his spoken 
Jife committed to print. In genial, good-natured tone 
they comment on every-day occurrences, on the traits 
of the people whom the Autocrat meets, and on the 
variety of subjects which a man of Holmes' wide and 
eager intellectual curiosity would have at his com- 
mand. Though he had hitherto been known as a 
writer of witty or patriotic verse for occasions, Holmes 
gained by this series of papers a solid reputation as a 
humorist, a man of ideas, and a charming writer. 

The Professor at the Breakfast Table followed the 
Autocrat, and appeared in book-form in 1860. Twelve 
years later came The Poet at the Breakfast Table. 

In the meantime Holmes had written the novel, 
Elsie Venner, in 1861, and The Guardian Angel in 
1867. These are stories to embody some theories Dr. 
Holmes maintained concerning the hereditary or pre- 
iiata/ influences on character and will. The man of 
medicine rather than the novelist dominates in them. 

Dr. Holmes also wrote a life of Motley (1878) and 
of Emerson (188-1) which are model records of fact 
and character, but not interpretative or intuitive. In 
1885, he published A Mortal Antipathy (a novel) and 
in 1890, Over the Teacups, his last collection of 
Autocrat papers. He-died October 7, 1894. 

Holmes' representative poems are The Constitution, 
The One-Horse Shay, and The Chambered. Nautilus. 
A large part of his verse was written to be read at 
celebrations, anniversaries, and banquets; no poet has 
expressed comradeship and good-fellowship better or 
with greater variety than Holmes; he was one of the 
most genial of men and writers. He was the favorite 
of Boston, and whoever in our day or in future times 
desires to get a good idea of the Boston of the middle 



526 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

nineteenth century, can acquire it best from the prose 
and verse of Oliver Wendell Holmes. We must regret 
that the writings of this pleasant and likable man 
should have in them so little of the spiritual and so 
marked a taint of scepticism. We are grateful to him, 
however, for the Chambered Nautilus. And Catholics 
may remember with kindness that New England pre- 
judice did not keep him from seeing and saying that 
th Catholic religion is at least "the best to die by." 

THE AUTOCRAT AT THE) BREAKFAST-TABLE. 
(My Last Walk with the Schoolmistress.) 

I don't know anything sweeter than this leaking in of Nature 
through all the cracks in the walls and floors of cities. You 
heap up a million tons of hewn rocks on a square mile or two 
of earth which was green once. The trees look down from the 
hill-sides and ask each other, as they stand on tiptoe, "What 
are these people about?" And the small herbs at their feet 
look up and whisper back, "We will go and see." So the small 
herbs pack themselves up in the least possible bundles, and wait 
until the wind steal to them at night and whispers, "Come 
with me." Then they go softly with it into the great city, one 
to a cleft in the pavement, one to a spout on the roof, one to a 
seam in the marbles over a rich gentleman's bones, and one to 
the grave without a stone where nothing but a man is buried, 
and there they grow, looking down on the generations of men 
from mouldy roofs, looking up from between the less trodden 
pavements, looking out through iron, cemetery-railings. Listen 
to them, when there is only a light breath stirring, and you will 
hear them saying to each other, "Wait awhile!" The words 
run along the telegraph of those narrow green lines that border 
the roads leading from the city, until they reach th~ slope of 
the hills, and the trees repeat in low murmurs to each other, 
"Wait awnile!" By-and-by the flow of life in the streets ebbs, 
and the old leafy inhabitants the smaller tribes always in front 
saunter in, one by one, very careless seemingly, .kit very tena- 
cious, until they swarm so that the great stones gape from each 
other with the crowding of their roots, and the feldspar begins 
to be picked out of the granite to find them food. At last the 
trees take up their solemn line of march, and never rest until 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 527 

they have encamped in the market-place. Wait long enough and 
you will find an old doting oak hugging a huge worn block \a. 
its yellow underground arms; that was the corner stone of the 
State-House. Oh, so patient she is, this imperturbable Nature! 

THE) CHAMBERED NAUTILUS. 

This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign, 

Sails the unshadowed main, 

The venturous bark that flings 
On the sweet summer wind its purple wings 
In gulfs enchanted, where the Siren sings, 

And coral reefs lie bare, 
Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their streaming hair. 

Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl; 

Wrecked is the ship of pearl ! 

And every chambered cell, 

Where its dim dreaming life was wont to dwell, 
As the frail tenant shaped his growing shell, 

Before thee lies revealed, 
Its irised ceiling rent, its sunless crypt unsealed! 

Year after year beheld the silent toil 

That spread his lustrous coil ; 

Still, as the spire grew, 
He left the past year's dwelling for the new, 
Stole with soft step its shining archway through, 

Built up its idle door, 
Stretched in his last- found home, and knew the old no more. 

Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee, 

Child of the wandering sea, 

Cast from her lap, forlorn ! 
From thy dead lips a clearer note is born 
Than ever Triton blew from wreathed horn ! 

While on mine ear it rings, 
Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings: 

Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul, 

As the swift seasons roll! 

Leave thy low- vaulted past ! 
Let each new temple, nobler than the last, 
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, 

Till thou at length art free, 
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea. 



528 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

RICHARD MALCOLM JOHNSTON, 1822-1898. 

Richard Malcolm Johnston, or Colonel Johnston, 9a 
he used to be called, was a good type of the gentleman 
of the South before the war. The urbanity oi his 
manners, the kindness of his disposition, the culture of 
his mind, and the depth of his religious convictions, 
made him an object of respect and love. Born at 
Powelton, Hancock County, Georgia, he was educated 
at Mercer University. Admitted to the bar in 18-12, 
his tastes ran in another direction: he was to be 
a teacher and author. He taught literature at the 
Georgia University, and in a boarding-school of his 
own which he called Rochby. He conducted his school 
on the highest principles of honor, relying greatly on 
the honesty and self-respect of the students. In 1867, 
he removed to Baltimore, where he still kept up his 
school for a few years, with young men from Georgia 
as students. It was then that he began to write for 
the public. His works consist (1) of three novels, 
Old Mark Langston, Widow Guthrie, and Pearce Am- 
erson's Will; (2) of about 100 short stories, descrip- 
tive of Georgia life and manners, partly contained in 
Dukesborough Tales; (3) many Lectures, and in col- 
laboration with Dr. William Hand Browne, a History 
of English Literature and a Biography of Alexander 
H. Stephens; (4) of his Autobiography, published in 
1901, which tells the story of himself till the last year 
of his life. Stedman gave a pregnant eulogy of 
Colonel Johnston when he called him "the founder of 
a school of fiction and the dean of Southern men of 
letters." Indeed, what Colonel Johnston did tor 
the Georgia dialect, was done by George Washington 
Cable (1844- ) for the Louisiana Creole, by Joel 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 529 

Chandler Harris (1848-1908) for Georgia again, by 
Mary Noailles Murfree, under the pseudonym of 
Charles Egbert Craddock (1850- ) for Tennessee. 



BRET HARTE, 1839-1902. 

Francis Bret Harte was born in Albany, N. Y., 
August 25, 1839. After a common school education 
he went (1854) with his mother to California his 
father, a professor of Greek in Albany College having 
died and there he worked as teacher, miner, printer, 
express messenger, secretary of the mint, editor, gath- 
ering in his varied experience that fund of knowledge 
which he put to such unrivalled use. In the weekly 
Californian he published a number of travesties of well- 
known writers which in 1867 he collected into Con- 
densed Novels. His sketches in the Overland Monthly 
attracted world-wide attention. Luck of Roaring 
Camp (1868) ; The Outcasts of Poker Plats (1869) ; 
The Iliad of Sandy Bar; How Santa Claus came to 
Simpson's Bar; Tcnnesee's Partner; Brown of Cola- 
varas, are the choice of his many stories, which be- 
tween 1867-1898 filled forty-four volumes. Naturally 
these stories, dealing with the time of the rush to 
California's gold fields, are replete with tales of the 
wild element of miners, gamblers, thieves, Asiatics, 
adventurers, desperadoes who made life in those pio- 
neer days ; and Harte is their best delineator, leaving 
indelible impression upon the reader, telling events 
in their baldness, moralizing never but truthfully por- 
traying the characters, setting their courage, sympathy, 
sincerity side by side with their vileness, squalor, dis- 
soluteness. They are valuable for revealing that 



530 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

"there is so much good in the worst" of men and 
women; but their radical defect is the absence of any 
idealism or spirituality, an absence which is not wholly 
accounted for by the sort of characters he portrays. A 
few of his poems have a romantic beauty and rich 
melody which are in harmony with the clime and 
romantic story of California; others are good speci- 
mens of American humor. Every one knows The 
Heathen Chinee'. The striking scenes, the romantic 
setting, the dramatic handling, reveal the master of the 
short story. 

After a year as professor in California University, 
Harte returned to New York State, 1871-78; was 
consul at Crefeld, Germany, 1878-1880; at Glascow, 
1880-1885; and after 1885 resided in London, engaged 
in literary work. He died at Camberley, England, 
May 5, 1902. Even English critics, like Chesterton 
and R. H. Hutton, have done justice to the merits of 
Bret Harte. 



FRANCIS RICHARD STOCKTON, 1834-1902. 

Frank R. Stockton was born at Philadelphia, April 
5, 1834, a descendant of the Richard Stockton who 
signed the Declaration of Independence. His first 
education was received at a private school in West 
Philadelphia, and later on he attended the public 
school and the Central High School, from which he 
was graduated an A. B. at the age of eighteen. 

Despite his proclivity for literary pursuits, he took 
up wood engraving and designing as a profession, and 
contributed pictures to periodicals. He was busied 
also with literary and journalistic work. After some 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 531 

experience gained with the Philadelphia Morning Post, 
he gave up designing (1872) and joined the New 
York Hearth and Home. Soon he was attached to the 
staff of the Century (then Scribner's Monthly), and 
in 1873 he was made assistant editor of the newly- 
founded magazine for children, the St. Nicholas. Here 
he remained about eight years. From 1880 he engaged 
solely in writing fiction. 

Stockton was a prolific writer of humorous tales. 
The situations he creates are whimsical. The stories 
are amusing rather than boisterously funny and are 
told with an apparent sincerity that leaves no room 
for harping on the absurdities, which are the basis 
and the finale of the story. 

Stockton had a vein of humor all his own. He 
exercised the restraint of a true artist, never insisting 
upon the ludicrous but leaving much to the reader's 
imagination. No commanding genius, he is one of our 
most pleasing and enduring light writers. 

Stockton has many books for children. The more 
popular include What Might Have Been Expected 
(1874) ; Tales Out of School (1875), and a Jolly Fel- 
low (1880). His best known larger work is Rudder 
Grange (1879). But his name is inseparably linked 
with" the short story, The Lady or the Tiger? (1880) 
and his reputation rests upon tales of this type. Such 
are: A Tale of Negative Gravity, The Adscititious 
Experiences of Mr. Amos Kilbright, My Deceased 
Wife's Sister, The Remarkable Wreck of the 'Thomas 
Hyke,' The Transferred Ghost, A Borrowed Month, 
The Bee-Man of Oru. The Great War Syndicate, 
The Late Mrs. Null, The Casting Away of Mrs. Leeks 
and. Mrs. Aleshine, The Hundredth Man, are Stock- 
ton's best novels and novelettes. 



532 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

CHANDI^R HARRIS, 1848-1908. 



Born December 8, 1848, in Putnam County, Geor- 
gia, Joel Chandler Harris was early apprenticed to a 
local printer; he studded law and practised for a 
short time, but soon took permanently to journalism. 
He was on the staff of the Savannah Daily News, 
1871-76; in 1876 he was with the Atlanta Constitu- 
tion, of which he became editor, 1890-1906. He died 
in Atlanta, July 3, 1908. 

Besides his contributions to the papers furthering 
the cause of the New South, Harris, following Colonel 
Malcolm Johnston in his dialect pieces typical of the 
Georgian negro life, left distinctive impress on Amer- 
ican letters, and lives in his vivid creation of Uncle 
Remus. A quaint humor, poetic feeling, and homely 
philosophy run through his stories. In part, his gath- 
ered works appeared under these titles : Uncle Remus, 
his Song and Sayings (1880) ; Nights with Uncle 
Remus (1883) ; Mingo and Other Sketches in Black 
and White (1884); Free Joe (1887); Balaam and 
his Master (1891) ; Uncle Remus and his Friends 
(1892); On the Plantation (1892); and some juv- 
eniles: Mr. Rabbit at Home (1895) ; Told by Uncle 
Remus (1905) ; Uncle Rew\us and Br'er Rabbit 
(1907). Harris became a Catholic not long before 
his death. He was of a kindly, gentle nature and 
tried to add by his writings to kindliness and good 
humor among men. 

BRER RABBIT'S RETORT. 

One evening when the little boy, whose nights with Uncle Remus 
were as entertaining as those Arabian ones of blessed memory, 
had finished supper and had hurried out to sit with his venerable 
patron, he found the old man in great glee. Indeed, Uncle Re- 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 533 

mus was talking and laughing to himself at such a rate that the 
little boy was afraid he had company. The truth is, Uncle Re- 
mus had heard the child coming, and, when the rosy-cheeked 
chap put his head in at the door, was engaged in a monologue, 
the burden of which seemed to be 

"Ole Molly Har', 
Wat you doin' dar, 
Settin' in de cornder 
Smokin' yo' seegyar?" 



As a matter of course this vague allusion reminded the little 
boy of the fact that the wicked Fox was still in pursuit of the 
Rabbit, and he immediately put his curiosity in the shape of a 
question. 

''Uncle Remus, did the Rabbit have to go clean away when he 
got loose from the Tar-Baby?" 

"Bless gracious, honey, dat he didn't. Who? Him? You 
dunno nuthin' 'tall 'bout Brer Rabbit ef dat's de way you puttin' 
him down. Wat he gwine 'way fer? He moughter stayed sorter 
close twel de pitch rub off'n his ha'r, but twern't menny days 'fo* 
he wuz lopin' up en down de neighborhood same ez ever, en I 
dunno ef he weren't mo' sassier dan befo'. 

"Seem like dat de tale 'bout how he got mixed up wid de Tar- 
Baby got 'roun' 'mongst de nabers. Leas'ways, Miss Meadows 
en de gals got win' un' it, en de nex' time Brer Rabbit paid um, 
a visit Miss Meadows tackled 'im 'bout it, en de gals sot up a 
monstus gigglement. Brer Rabbit, he sot up des ez cool ez a 
cowcumber, he did, en let 'em run on." 

"Who was Miss Meadows, Uncle Remus?" inquired the little 
boy. 

"Don't ax me, honey. She wuz in de tale, Miss Meadows and 
de gals wuz, en de tale I give you like hi't wer' gun ter me. 
Brer Rabbit, he sot dar, he did, sorter lam' like, en den bimeby 
he cross his legs, he did, and wink his eye slow, en up and say, 
sezee : 

" 'Ladies, Brer Fox wuz my daddy's ridin'-hoss fer thirty 
year; maybe mo', but thirty year dat I knows un,' sezee; en den 
he paid um his 'specks, en tip his beaver, en march off, he did, 
des ez stiff en ez stuck up ez a fire-stick. . . ." 

From Uncle Remus, His Songs and His Sayings. 
Copyrighted, 1908. D. Appleton & Co., New York. 



534 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

FRANCIS MARION CRAWFORD, 1854-1909. 

Francis Marion Crawford was born in Tuscany, 
Italy. His father, Thomas Crawford, was a distin- 
guished American sculptor, who lived at Rome from 
1837 to 1857, when he died prematurely. The son 
spent a good part of his youth in Rome, studied in 
various colleges and universities of America, England, 
and Germany, and terminated his studies in the Roman 
University. He afterwards passed four years and a 
half in the East Indies and in the United States as 
journalist, critic, and novelist. It was during his 
stay in Allahabad, India (1879-80) that he became 
a convert to the Catholic faith. After marrying, he 
took up his residence at Sant' Agnello di Sorrento, 
Province of Naples. He declared himself a profound 
admirer of historical, artistical, and literary Italy, and 
of her Latin temperament, a consistent Catholic, but 
no friend of the Italian government.* 

Although Crawford lived abroad most of his time, 
he holds a prominent rank among American writers. 
He has published nearly fifty novels, perhaps too 
many, certainly of unequal merit. Among the best 
and most popular we may Beckon the following: Mr. 
Isaacs, a Tale of Modern India (1882) ; Saracinesca, 
Sanf Ilario, Don Orsino, Marzio's Crucifix, Pietro 
Ghisleri, all Italian subjects ; Paul Patoff, a Russian 
story, the scene of which is in Constantinople ; Kath- 
arine Lauderdale, a tale of New York; Cecilia (1902), 
a story of modern Rome. In 1898, he published Ave 
Roma Immortalis; or, Studies from the Chronicles of 

* These details are taken from a letter addressed to an Italian 
paper and reproduced in English by the N. Y. Freeman's Journal, 
Dec., 1898. 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 535 

Rome. This is a graphic sketch in two volumes of 
the principal characters and incidents that are met with 
in Roman history from the Making of the City to the 
Pontificate of Leo XIIL The author is liable at times 
to exaggeration. His opinion, for instance, of the 
influence of Julius Caesar upon che ages of civilization 
which have followed since the rule of that great man, 
appears extravagant. But Marion Crawford has a good 
store of information, and is a good story-teller. His 
appreciation of the Popes is not exaggerated, but 
founded on recorded fact. Two other worthy his- 
torical characters deserve place in the list of Marion 
Crawford's works : Salve Venetia, Gleanings from 
Venetian History; and Rulers of the South; Sicily, 
Calabria, and Malta (1900). His style is clear, direct, 
and entertaining, and on occasion highly colored and 
imaginative. In his historical works, the novelist ap- 
pears in his fondness for the picturesque and dramatic. 
"Less important than Ho wells or James, he is far 
more readable. And in spite of qualities which some- 
times seem meretricious, he has a robust vigor of feel- 
ing arid of manner which makes his work throughout 
inspiriting." 



CHARLES WARREN STODDARD, 1843-1909. 

Charles Warren Stoddard was born in Rochester, 
N. Y., and received his education partly in New York, 
partly in California, whither his father removed in 
H855. At an early age, he went to the South Sea 
Islands, and, later on, travelled extensivley through 
the old continents as a newspaper correspondent. For 
one year (1885-86) he taught English Literature in 
Notre Dame College, Indiana. At the opening of the 

37 



536 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

Catholic University, Washington, in 1889, he was ap- 
pointed lecturer in English Literature, a position which 
he resigned in June, 1902. Stoddard, always a fastidi- 
ous writer, did not publish many books. The South Sea 
Idyls, a prose book of fact and fiction, is considered 
his best work. It appeared first in 1873, and was re- 
published in 1893, with an Introductory Letter by 
W. D. Howells, who calls it a classic, and speaks of 
"his own delight in those things, the lightest, sweetest, 
wildest, freshest things that ever were written about 
the life of that summer ocean." It is, in fact, a delight- 
ful book, brimful of wit, humor, and pathos. The 
other works of Stoddard are: Poems (1867) ; Sum- 
mer Cruising in the South Sea (1874) ; Mashallah, a 
Flight into Egypt (1880) ; A Trip to Hawaii (1885) ; 
The Lepers of Molokai (1885) : Hawaiian Life; or, 
Lay Letters from Low Latitudes; In the Footprints of 
the Padres (1902). Under the title of A Troubled 
Heart, he published, in 1868, a striking account of his 
conversion to the Catholic Church. He died at Mon- 
terey, California, August 24, 1909. 



A SURF-SWIMMER. 

There was a break in the reef before us ; the sea knew it, and 
seemed to take special delight in rushing upon the shore as 
though it were about to devour sand, savages, and everything. 
Kahele and I watched the surf-swimmers for some time, charmed 
with the spectacle. Such buoyancy of material matter I had 
never dreamed of. Kahele, though much in the flesh, could not 
long resist the temptation to exhibit his prowess, and having 
been offered a surf-board that would have made a good lid to 
his coffin, and was itself as light as cork and as smooth as 
glass, suddenly threw off his last claim to respectability, seized 
his sea-sled, and dived with it under the first roller which was 
then about to break above his head, not three feet from him. 
Beyond it, a second roller reared its awful front, but he swam 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 537 

under that with ease; at the sound of his "open sesame," its 
emerald gates parted and closed after him. He seemed some 
triton. playing with the elements, and dreadfully "at home" in 
that very wet place. The third and mightiest of the waves was 
gathering its strength for a charge upon the shore. Having 
reached its outer ripple, again Kahele dived and reappeared on 
the other side of the watery hill, balanced for a moment in the 
glassy hollow, turned addenly, and, mounting the towering mon- 
ster, he lay at full length on his fragile raft, using his arms as 
a bird its pinions, in fact, soaring for a moment with the wave 
under him. As he rose, he climbed to the top of it, and there, 
in the midst of seething like champagne, on the crest of a rush- 
ing sea-avalanche about to crumple and dissolve beneath him, 
his surf-board hidden in spume, on the very top bubble of all, 
Kahele danced like a shadow. He leaped to his feet and swam 
in the air, another Mercury, tiptoeing a heaven-kissing hill, 
buoyant as vapor, and with a suggestion of invisible wings about 
him, Kahele transformed for a moment, and for a moment, 
only; the next second my daring sea-skater leaped ashore, with 
a howling breaker swashing at his heels. It was something glori- 
ous and almost incredible ; but I saw it with my own eyes, and 
I wanted to double his salary on the spot. 

South-Sea Idyls. 



SAMUEIV LANGHORN CI^MENS, 1835-1910. 

Under the pen name of "Mark Twain," Clemens 
has been a prominent figure in the world of letters as 
a thoroughly American humorist. He was born No- 
vember 30, 1835, at Florida, Missouri. His father, a 
country merchant from Tennessee, removed shortly 
after the birth of his son, to Hannibal, Mo., a little 
town on the Mississippi, where he died in 1847. Sam- 
uel had opportunities for very little schooling; but he 
learned how to set type, and as a journeyman printer 
wandered from place to place, going as far east as 
New York. In 1852 he went back to Missouri and 
became pilot on a river boat till the war broke out. 



538 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

Moving westward, he went to the silver mines, doing 
local newspaper work, then to San Francisco. In 1867, 
Mr. Clemens published The Jumping Frog of Cala- 
veras County and by it won a reputation as a humorist. 
The managers of the Alta-Californian sent him with 
a party to the Mediterranean. The sketches which 
Clemens wrote descriptive of the tour were gathered 
into book-form under the title Innocents Abroad which 
at once won a wide popularity, though in later years 
the author regretted the crude and pragmatical judg- 
ments which at times mar this narrative: In 1870, he 
settled in Hartford, Conn., where he continued to 
write. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer appeared in 
1875; this was followed (1880) by A Tramp Abroad, 
a humorous record of a second trip to Europe, and 
in 1882, by The Prince and the Pauper, a romance 
depicting the ridiculous situations attending the inter- 
change of position and clothes between the young King 
Edward VI. and his double, a pauper of London. A 
year later came Life on the Mississippi, and in 1884 
Huckleberry Finn (sequel to Tom Sawyer) both 
forming with Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894) Mark 
Twain's permanent contribution to literature; for in 
this trio is depicted a vanished life, typical figures of 
the early '40's along the great waterway, exact to a 
nicety, teeming with humor, varying from baldest dev- 
iltry to something approaching the tragic, and never 
a note of affectation in the handling. And with all 
the roguish character and fun-making, a careful reader 
discerns a writer fundamentally serious, with large 
outlook on life, and terribly in earnest against shams 
and pretence. 

In 1896, Mr. Clemens published his Personal Recol- 
lections of Joan of Arc, a theme he handled with re- 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 539 

markable sympathy and reverence. He had grown in 
culture and breadth and was no longer the callow 
youth and rather narrow American who wrote the 
Innocents Abroad. This work was published anony- 
mously and when its authorship became known, every- 
one was surprised that the irreverent Mark could write 
so beautiful a book. The secret of it is his deep 
reverence for pure womanhood; a trait in him which 
redeems much of his coarseness and irreverence. 
After completing this work, he made a successful lec- 
ture tour of the world, undertaken to clear the debt 
devolved on him by the failure of his publishing house. 
A collection of his essays and critical papers, How to 
Tell a Story, was made (1897). From time to time 
other scattered sketches were put into book-form. 
Tom Sawyer Abroad, The Stolen White Elephant, 
The 1,000,000 Bank Note are among his most read 
minor pieces.. A complete collection of his works 
(1899-1900) comprised twenty-two volumes. In 
1907 he was given an ovation in England when he 
went there to receive from Oxford the degree of Doc- 
tor of Literature. He died at Redding, Conn., April 
21, 1910. 

HENRY JAMES, 1843-1916 

Henry James, younger brother to William James, 
the psychologist, was born in New York, April 13, 
1843. His education, supervised by private tutors, was 
received in New York, Switzerland, England, and 
France. In 1862 he entered Harvard Law School, 
but soon gave himself unreservedly to literature and 
published some short stories. He settled in England 



540 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

where the greater part of his voluminous writings has 
been done. Between 1871-1903 Henry James pub- 
lished more than forty books, to which in a late edi- 
tion he has given a last revision. 

His novels include: The American (1877); The 
Europeans (1878); Daisy Miller, A Study (1878); 
The Portrait of a Lady (1881) ; The Bostonians 
(1886) ; The Princess Casamassima (1886) titles 
which indicate his chief line of work women and in- 
ternationals. Objection is raised against him on the 
score that he does not portray Americans as they 
really feel themselves to be, and that his analysis of 
character is too subtle "It took Henry James to say 
what Henry James meant," was a comment of an ad- 
verse critic referring to the revision above spoken of; 
but others, for his grave, delicate perception of com- 
plex moods, for his steady movement of plot, for his 
mastery of pleasing style have invested Henry Jam *s 
with the halo of a literary genius. 

WILLIAM DEAN HOWELLS, 1837-1920. 

William Dean Howells, born at Martins Ferry, 
Ohio, March 1, 1837, was educated in his father's 
printing shop. This was in no one town, but whither 
the changes and chances of an economic and energetic 
business career carried the father and his large fam- 
ily. In his Impressions and Experiences, A Boy's 
Tozvn and A Year in the Log-Hut, Howells gives us 
sketches of his early life. He was a printer, a news- 
paper reporter and correspondent, an assistant editor, 
a campaign biographer, as occasion served. He in- 
dulged his literary instincts by writing poetry and by 
picking up what he could of Latin, Greek, Italian, 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 541 

French, and German. At the age of twenty-two he 
made his first literary venture in the publication of 
some collected verse. The volume was unnoticed. His 
Life of Lincoln (1860) was more successful, for it 
brought him the means to travel to Boston, and later 
it gained for him the appointment as United States 
Consul to Venice (1861-1865). In Boston, Howells 
became acquainted, as he narrates in his Literary 
Friends and Acquaintance (1900) with Lowell, Emer- 
son, Holmes, Hawthorne, and the publishers of the 
Atlantic Monthly. In Venice, he enjoyed "four years 
of almost uninterruped study and literary work." 
Venetian Life and Italian Journeys, written at this 
time, made him known as a careful and interesting 
prose writer. 

On his return to America, Howells contributed to 
several New York papers. In 1867, he was associated 
with the Atlantic Monthly as assistant editor; and for 
nine years (1872-1881) he was chief editor of the 
same magazine. During this period he published his 
first fiction. Suburban Sketches (1871) passes in re- 
view the quiet features of his life in Cambridge, Mass., 
"with a lightness and felicity of handling, and a firm- 
ness and beauty of style that are scarcely susceptible 
of improvement." Their Wedding Journey (1872) 
is "simply a book of American travel/' the author him- 
self says, "sugar-coated by romance to make it attrac- 
tive;" it is the description of a trip to Niagara. A 
Chance Acquaintance, A Foregone Conclusion and 
The Lady of the Aroostook also appeared about this 
time. 

In 1881, Howells resigned from the Atlantic to 
engage in other literary work. Six years later he re- 
moved to New York, when he accepted the charge of 



542 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

the "Editor's Chair" in Harper's. Afterwards, for a 
time he was editor of the Cosmopolitan. Late in 1900 
he resumed his editorial connection with Harper's 
Magazine, where, from the Easy Chair he every month 
discourses with wisdom and keen observation. 

Howell has written about seventy books. Among 
this number A Modern Instance (1882) and The Rise 
of Silas Lapham (1885) are careful studies of Amer- 
ican life. Ho wells regards A Hazard of Neiv For- 
tunes (1889), a picture of New York life, as his best. 
Criticism and Fiction (1891) ; My Literary Passions 
(1895) ; and A Pair of Patient Lovers (1901) are 
frequently mentioned. 

Professor Barrett Wendell says of Howells: "He 
has written so much, so faithfully, and in a spirit at 
once so earnestly American and so kindly that it is 
hard to say why he has not achieved more certainly 
powerful results. . . . He is surely the most note- 
worthy American novelist of the years through which 
he is still happily living." Howells is a faithful de- 
lineator of the ordinary phases of social life which he 
sees average men and women in commonplace cir- 
cumstances. In his late years he has come strongly 
under the influence of foreign realistic schools of writ- 
ing; and for his imitation in this respect he has by 
many been severely censured. 

Grace of fancy, playfulness of humor, charm of style, 
and chasteness of incident characterize Howells works. 
He has been the unswerving advocate and exemplary 
exponent of a clean literature. 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 543 

THE SHORT STORY. 

In reviewing our literature we have seen the spirit 
of the times animate the form of the composition. 
Shakespeare's age we saw was the age of the drama; 
and we accounted for it to a great extent by the activ- 
ity roused by the Renaissance and the discoveries in 
the western world and the excitement of adventures 
on the new-found seas. In Addison's time, we saw 
the quiet of the nation reflected in the smooth essays 
.and the philosophic poetry. In our day the busy rest- 
less age finds reflection in the prominence and tone 
of the short story. Not that the short story takes its 
rise only in the nineteenth century. Far from it. 
Rather it then reaches its zenith. The short story 
is ancient. In English it appeared before Chaucer and 
it lived after him, though so imperfect was its form 
and tone that from his age till ours no genius appeared 
to stamp that form with high respectability. The old 
ballads and the essay-tale carried on the idea; roman- 
ticism influenced it with sentimental and extravagant 
qualities. Poe enunciated the motive and the raison 
d'etre of the short story. Men are too busied with 
material preoccupations to sit for a long time at any 
reading. The spirit of the age is to be up and doing. 
The long-drawn novel palls. Something is wanted to 
engage the mind in the few lulls of the more strenu- 
ous activities of vocation and daily life-task. Some- 
thing one can begin and finish at a single sitting is 
wanted. The modern magazines, whose rise is men- 
tioned elsewhere in this book, supplied the demand 
and called to its columns just such productions. The 
popularity of the magazine intensified the rivalry to 
publish the best, and sensibly the tone of the literary 
work therein produced grew to its present perfection. 
Poe, Irving, Hawthorne, Harte, Stevenson, Kipling 



544 AMERICAN LITERATURE. 

were the masterworkers. Many an apprentice has 
arisen to fame for individual execution or for some 
few works of exceptional value. Fitz- James O'Brien's 
The Diamond Lens and E. E. Hale's The Man With- 
out a Country are such. Some have left a collection 
which bodies forth the life of a locality or the spirit 
of an epoch. Barrie's Thrums, Auld Licht Idylls and 
Maclaren's Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush depict the 
Scot's homely existence; Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman 
sketches in admirable short stories the life of New 
England in the humble homestead; Bret Harte, the 
early days of California; Mark Twain, the vanished 
life along the Mississippi ; Joel Harris, the negro folk- 
lore of the South; Octave Thanet, the spirit of the 
Middle West; O. Henry, the undercurrent life of New 
York City. 

Surmise has been offered accounting for the lack 
of a distinctively American novel by the fact that the 
country is too broad and too new to be represented 
by any one type or section. The true picture of Amer- 
ica is rather to be found piece-meal in the classic group 
stories such as those just mentioned. 

Possibly the spirited development of the short story 
to its present artistic form is what America brings as 
her contribution to English letters. 



MINOR WRITERS. 545 

CHAPTER X. 
MINOR WRITERS. 

NOVELISTS. 

Maria Edgeworth (1767-1849) Castle Rackrent. 

Jane Porter (1776-1850) Scottish Chiefs; Thaddeus of Warsaw. 

Elizabeth C. Gaskill (1810-1865) Cranford; Life of Charlotte 

Bronte. 

Samuel Lover (1797-1868) Handy Andy; Rory O' Mo ore. 
William Carlton (1798-1869) Willy Reilly ; Valentine McClutchy. 
Charles Lever (1806-1870) Charles O'Mally; Jack Hinston. 
Rev. Charles Kingsley (1819-1875) Hypatia; Westward Ho; 

Water Babies. 
Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) Vivien Gray; Coningsby; Loth' 

air. 

Helen Hunt Jackson (1831-1885) Ramona.. 
Lady Georgiana Fullerton (1814-1885) Constance Sherwood. 
Miss Mulock (1826-1887) John Halifax. 
Wilkie Collins (1824-1889) The Woman in White. 
Mi's. Anna Hanson Dorsey (1816-1896) Catholic Stories 
Harriett B. Stowe (1812-1896) Uncle Tom's Cabin. 
George Du Maurier (1874-1896) Trilby. 
"Margaret Oliphant" (1828-1897) A Beleagured City; Stories of 

the Seen and Unseen. 

Richard Blackmore (1825-1900) Lorna Doone. 
Sir Walter Besant (1836-1901) Dorothy Forster; All Sorts and 

Conditions of Men. 

Mrs. Sadlier (1820-1903) Stories of Irish Life. 
Lew Wallace (1827-1905) Ben Hur; Prince of Jndia. 
"John Oliver Hobbes" (1867-1906) The Sinner's Comedy, 

School for Saints. 

Lady Herbert of Lea (1822-1911) Catholic Stories and Lives. 
"Lewis Carroll" (1833-1898) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. 
S. Weir Mitchell (1830-1914) Hugh Wynn. 
"Christian Reid" (1846-1920) Catholic Stories. 
James Lane Allen (1848-1925) The Choir Invisible; Kentucky 

Cardinal. 
Frances H. Burnett (1849-1924) Little Lord Fauntleroy. 



546 MINOR WRITERS. 

Rev. William Barry (1849-) The New Antigone; The Two 

Standards. 

Mrs. Humphrey Ward (1851-1920) Testing of Diana Mallory. 
Hall Cain (1853-) The Bondsman; The Christian; The Manx- 
man. 
Thomas Nelson Page (1853-) In Ole Virginia; Red Rock; John 

Marvel. 

Rev. John E. Copus, S. J. (1854-) St. Cuthbert's; Tom Losely. 
A. Conan Doyle (1859-) A Study in Scarlet; Hound of the 

Baskervilles; Sherlock Holmes. 
Rev. F. J. Finn, S. J. (1859-) Tom Play fair, and other boys' 

stories. 
Mrs. A. C. (Hegan) Rice (1859-) Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage 

Patch. 

Henry Harland (1860) The Cardinal's Snuff Box, 
Mrs. Wilfred Ward (1861-) Out of Due Time; The Light 

Behind. 

Gilbert Parker (1862-) Seats of the Mighty. 
H. G. Wells (1866.-) The War of the Worlds; The Invisible Man. 
Arnold Bennett (1867-) Clayhanger. 
Rosa Mulholland (1869-) Catholic Stories. 
Rev. R. H. Benson (1871-1914) By What Authority; The King's 

Achievement. 

Winston Churchill (\87l-) Richard Carvel; The Crisis. 
Katharine Tynan Hynkson (1861-) The Dear Irish Girl. 
Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) "Lord Jim/' 
Isabel Clarke, "Fine Clay." 

WRITERS OP SHORT STORIES. 

Fitzjames O'Brien (1828-1852) The Diamond Lens; The Won- 

dersmith. 

H. C. Bunner (1853-1896) Short Sixes. 
"Ian Maclaren" (1850-1903) Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush. 
Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) Chita; Youma. 
Thomas B. Aldrich (1836-1907) Marjorie Daw; Two Bites of a 

Cherry; Poems: 

Edw. E. Hale (1816-1909) The Man Without a Country. 
Sarah O. Jewett (1849-1909) Deephaven; A White Heron. 
"O. Henry" (1867-1910) The Four Million; The Gentle Grafter. 
George W. Cable (1844-1925) Ole Creole Days. 
"Octave Thanet" (1850-) The Knitters in the Sun. 
"Chas. Egbert Craddock" (1850-) In the Tennessee Mountains. 
Maurice F. Egan (1852-1924) The Valet of the Pastor. 
Seton Thompson (I860-) Wild Animals I Have Known. 
M. E. Wilkins-Freeman (1862-1924) A New England Nun. 
Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916) The "Van Bibber" Stories; 

Gallagher. 



MINOR WRITERS. 54? 

POETS. 

George Henry Miles (1824-1871) "Said the Rose"; "The Bird's 

Song." 
Arthur O'Shaughnessy (1844-1881) The Epic of Women; Music 

and Moonlight. 

John G. Saxe (1816-1887) Humorous Poems. 
John Boyle O'Reilly (1844-1890) Songs of the Southern Seas. 
Walt Whitman (1819-1892) Leaves of Grass. 
Eugene Field (1850-1895) A Little Book of Western Verse; 

Child Verse. 

Lionel Johnson (1867-1902) Ireland and Other Poems. 
L. P. Dunbar (1872-1906) Oak and Ivy. 
Edwin Arnold (1832-1907) The Light of the World. 
Richard W. Gilder (1844-1909) The New Day; The Celestial 

Passion. 

Alfred Austin (1835-1913) English Lyrics. 
Joaquin Miller (1841-1913) Song of the Sierras. 
Edw. Markham (1852-) The Man with the Hoe and Other 

Poems. 
James Whitcomb Riley (1853-1916) "The Ole Swimmin' Hole"; 

"Old Fashioned Roses." 

Alice Meynell (1855-1922) "Flowers of the Mind." 
William Watson (1858-) Selected Poems. 
Bliss Carmen (1861-) Low Tide on Grand Pre ; Songs from 

Vagabondia. 

T. A. Daly (1871-) Canzoni; Carmina. 
W. Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918) Trees. 
W. B. Yeats (1865-) The Wind Among the Reeds. 

HISTORIANS. 

Henry Hallam (1778-1859) Constitutional History of England. 

John L. Motley (1814-1877) Rise of Dutch Republic; Nether- 
lands. 

James A. Froude (1818-1894) Life of Caesar; Literary and His- 
torical Studies. 

John Fiske (1842-1901) Old Virginia and Her Neighbors. 

S. R. Gardiner (1829-1902) History of England, 10 vols. 

Justin McCarthy (1860-1912) History of Our Own Times. 

James Bryce (1838-1922) The American Commonwealth. 

John Morley (1838-1923) Life of Gladstone. 

Thomas R. Lounsbury (1838-1915) History of Literature. 

Barrett Wendell (1855-1921) History of American Literature. 

Wilfred Ward (1856-1916) Lives of G. W. Ward; Cardinal Wise- 
man; Cardinal Newman. 

John Bach McMaster (1852-) History of the People of the 
United States. 

Dr. J. J. Walsh (1865-) The Thirteenth the Greatest of Cen- 
turies. 



548 MINOR WRITERS. 

ESSAYISTS. 

H. D. Thoreau (1817-1862). 

T. W. Marshall (1815-1877). 

R. G. White (1821-1881). 

Walter Pater (1839-1894). 

Henry Drummond (1851-1897). 

Charles Dudley Warner (1829-1903). 

T. W. Higginson (1823-1911). 

Stop ford Brooke (1832-191(5). 

William Winter (1836-1917). 

John Burroughs (1837-1921). 

William S. Lilly (1840-1921). 

Andrew Lang .(1844-1912) 

Gasquet, Francis Aidan, Cardinal (1846-), 

William Barry (1849-). 

Augustine Birrell (1850-). 

F. P. Dunne (1867-). 

Agnes Repplier (1851-). 

Henry Van Dyke (1852-). 

Brander Matthews (1852-). 

Alice Meynell (1855-1922). 

Geo. B. Shaw (1856-). 

Walter Bagehot (I860-). 

Louise Guigney (1861-1920). 



INDEX. 



A. 

Abbot (The), a novel, by Scott, 
282. 

Abbots ford and Newstead Ab- 
bey, by Irving, 493. 

Absalom and Achitopel, a poli- 
tical satire, by Dryden, 125. 

Abt Vogler, a poem, by Brown- 
ing, 317. 

Account of his own life, by 
Earl Clarendon, 134. 

Actions and Reactions, by Kip- 
ling, 433. 

Adam Bede, a novel, by George 
Eliot, 362; ext. 363. 

Adams (John, 1735-1826), 441; 
as an orator, 482. 

Adams (Samuel), 441. 

Addison (Joseph), 190; spec. 
192. 

Admirable Crichton (The), by 
Barrie, 431. 

Adonais, by Shelley, 253. 

Adscititious Experience of Mr. 
Amos Kilbright, by Stockton, 
531. 

Advancement of Learning, by 
Francis Bacon, 95. 

Adventures of Captain Bonne- 
ville (The), by Irving, 493. 

Adventures of Harry Rich- 
mond, by Meredith, 425. 

Adversity (On), an ext. from 
Francis Bacon, 97. 

Advertiser (London), 207. 

Advice to a Reckless Youth, an 

' ext. from Ben Jonson, 86. 

Aeneids of Virgil, trans, by 
Wm. Morris, 387; by Sur- 
rey, 35. 

Age of Reason, Franklin's 
warning about its publica- 
tion, 447. 

Ages (The), by Bryant, 459. 



Agnes Grey, by Anne Bronte, 
328. 

Aids to Reflection, by Cole- 
ridge, 270. 

Alas tor, a poem, by Shelley, 
253. 

Alchymist, a comedy, by Ben 
Jonson, 85. 

Aldrich (Thomas B.), 546. 

Alembert, D', 95. 

Alexander the Great, a drama, 
by Aubrey de Vere, 392. 

Alexander's Feast, an ode, by 
Dryden, 127. 

Alfred (King), 2. 

Alhambra (The), by Irving, 
492. 

Alice's Adventures in Wonder- 
land, by Lewis Carroll, 545. 

Alice of Monmouth, a ballad, 
by Stedman, 475. 

All Fool's Day, an essay, by 
Lamb, 290. 

All for Jesus, by Father Faber, 
339. 

Allen (James Lane), 545. 

Allibone (S. A., 1816-1889) on 
Addison, 192; on Steele, 
198; on Hume's History, 
210; on Franklin's latitudina- 
rianism, 445. 

All's Well that Ends Well, a 
comedy, by Shakespeare, 69. 

Almanac (Poor Richard's) by 
Franklin, 445. 

Ambition and Death, an ext. 
from Raleigh's History, 92. 

Amelia, a novel, by Fielding, 
241. 

American (The), a novel, by 
H. James, 540. 

A m e r i c an Commonwealth 
(The), by James Bryce, 547. 

American Ecclesiastical Re- 
view, 427 



550 



INDEX, 



American Notes, by Dickens, 
357. 

American Orators, 482. 

American Republic (The), by 
Dr. Brownson, 506; ext. 507. 

Among My Books, criticisms, 
by J R. I<owell, 517. 

Among the Hills, a poem, by 
Whittier, 472. 

Amoretti, sonnets, by Spenser, 
50. 

Amours de Voyage, a rhym- 
ing tale, by Clough, 310. 

Anacreon (Odes of) by Moore, 
306. 

Ancient Mariner, a poem, by 
Coleridge, 271. 

Andrea del Sarto, a poem, by 
Robert Browning, 317. 

Andreas and Hlene, a poem, 
by Cynewulf, 2. 

Angel in the House (The), by 
C. Patmore, 389. 

Angles, foundation of the Eng- 
lish Nation, 1. 

Anglo-Saxon, poetry 1 ; first 
poem of Arthurian legends, 
8. 

Angus (Joseph), his compari- 
son of Southwell with Gold- 
smith, 61 ; Thomson as com- 
pared with Cowper, 154; on 
Cowper, 186; on Swift, 203. 

Anjou, Countess of, 5. 

Annabel Lee, a poem, by Poe, 
453. 

Anne of Geierstein, a novel, by 
Scott, 283. 

Annual Register, founded by 
Burke, 230. 

Annus Mirabilis, a historical 
poem, by Dryden, 125. 

Anselm (St.), 8. 

Antar and Zara, a romance, 
by A. de Vere, 392. 

Anthologies, English and 
American, by Stedman, 475. 

Antiquary (The), a novel, by 
Scott, 282. 



Antiquities of the Anglo-Sax- 
on Church (The), by J. L,in- 
gard, 321. 

Antony and Cleopatra, a trag- 
edy, by Shakespeare, 69. 

Apologia, by Cardinal New- 
man, 406. 

Apostrophe to the Ocean, an 
ext. from Byron, 261. 

Apothegms, by Franklin, 449. 

Appeal, by Cardinal Wiseman, 
352. 

Aquinas (St. Thomas), 8. 

Aratra Pentelici, by Ruskin, 
421. 

Arcadia, by Sir Philip Sidney, 
56. 

Architecture (The Seven 
Lamps of), by Ruskin, 420. 

Areopagitica, by Milton, 107. 

Aristotle and the Christian 
Church, an essay, by Brother 
Azarias, 520. 

Arnold (Edwin), 547. 

Arnold (Matthew), 248, 254, 
372; spec. 375; on Card. 
Newman, 406. 

Arnold (Thomas), on Young. 
166; on Swift's Tale of a 
Tub, 202. 

Arrows of the Chase, by Rus- 
kin, .421. 

Arthur and the Knights of 
the Round Table, 8. 

Arthurian Tales, 8. 

Articles of Christopher North 
(Critical and Miscellaneous), 
by John Wilson, 327. 

Artist of the Beautiful (The), 
a tale, by Hawthorne, 499. 

As Through the Land, a poem, 
by Tennyson, 379. 

As You Like It, a comedy, by 
Shakespeare, 69. 

Ascham (Roger), 42; spec. 
44 

Ask Me No More, a poem, by 
Tennyson, 379. 

Asolando, a poem, by Robert 
Browning, 317. 



T NDEX. 



551 



Assent (Grammar of), by 

Card. Newman, 405. 
Assumption (The), a poem, by 

Father Tabb, 477. 
Astoria, by Irving, 493. 
Astrolabie, by Chaucer, 13. 
Atalanta in Calcydon, by Swin- 

burne, 399 ; ext. 400. 
Athenaeum (The), periodical, 

207; on Stevenson, 416. 
-Atlantic -Monthly, 471, 476, 

517, 524. 
Attack (The), extract from 

Stevenson, 417. 
Augmentis Scientiarum (De), 

by Francis Bacon, 95. 
Augustine (St.) converts the 

Saxons, 1. 
Auld Cloots, a poem, by 

Southey, 294. 
Auld Licht Idylls, by Barrie, 

430, 544. 
Aurora Leigh, a poem, by 

Elizabeth Browning, 309. 
Austen (Miss Jane), 245, 275; 

spec. 276. 

Austin (Alfred), 547. 
Australia and New Zealand, 

by A. Trollope, 372. 
Autobiography of Franklin, 

447 ; of Johnston, 528. 
Autocrat of the Breakfast 

Table, by O. W. Holmes, 

524; ext. 526. 
Autumn, by Thomson, 153; 

(To), by Keats, 252. 
Autumn Song, a ballad, by 

Mangan, 299. 
Ave Atque Vale, a poem, by 

Swinburne, 399. 
Ave Maria, by Scott, ext., 286. 
Ave Roma Immortalis, by 

Crawford, 534. 
Azarias (Brother), 519. 



Bachelor Hall, by George 

Webb. 440. 

Bacon (Francis), 93; spec., 96. 
Bacon (Roger), 8, 95. 
Bagehot (Walter), 548. 



Balaam and his Master, by J. 
C. Harris, 532. 

Balder Dead, a poem, by M. 
Arnold, 373. 

Ball (The), a drama, by Shir- 
ley, 90. 

Ballad of Ivry (The), by 
Macaulay, 334. 

Ballads (Barrack Room), b> 
Kipling, 432. 

Ballads and Poems of Tragic 
Life, by Meredith, 425. 

Ballads, by Wordsworth, 302; 
by D. G. Rossetti, 313; by 
Tennyson, 382; by Swin- 
burne, 399, by Longfellow, 
465. 

Bancroft (George), 512; spec., 
514 ; compared with Prescott, 
513. 

Bank Note (The 1,000,000), 
by Mark Twain, 539. 

Banner of the South (The), 
magazine, founded by Fa- 
ther Ryan, 468. 

Barbara Frietchie, a poem by 
Whittier, 472. 

Barbour, a Scotch poet, 31. 

Barchester Towers, by A. 
Trollope, 371. 

Bard (The), a poem by Gray, 
169. 

Barefoot Boy, a poem by Whit- 
tier, 472. 

Barlow (Joel), 444. 

Barnaby Rudge, a novel by 
Dickens, 357. 

Barrack Room Ballads, by 
Kipling, 432. 

Barrie (James Matthew), 430, 
544. 

Barry (Rev. William), 546, 
548. 

Battle of the Baltic (The), 
by Campbell, 297. 

Battle of the Books, (The), a 
burlesque, by Swift. 202. 

Battle of the Kegs, (The), by 
Hopkinson, 440. 

Battlefield, a poem by Bryant, 
460. 



552 



INDEX. 



Beattie (James), 189. 

B&auchamp's Career, by Mere- 
dith, 425. 

Beaumont (Francis), 83; 
spec., 83. 

Becket, a drama, by Tennyson, 
382; an ext, from A. de 
Yere, 393. 

Bede (Venerable), 1, 2. 

Bee, a periodical, ext., 179. 

Bee-Man of Oru, by Stockton, 
531. 

Beecher, (Henry Ward), pul- 
pit orator, 486. 

Before the Battle, by Moore, 
303. 

Beggar's Opera (The), by Gay, 
189. 

Beleagured City (A), by M. 
Oliphant, 545. 

Belfry of Bruges (The), by 
Longfellow, 465. 

Bells (The), a poem, by Poe, 
453. 

Bells and Pomegranates, by 
Robert Browning, 316. 

Ben Hur, a novel, by Lew Wal- 
lace, 545. 

Bennett (Arnold), 546. 

Benson (Father), efforts to 
counteract effects oi. bad 
novels, 234, 546. 

Beowulf, an Anglo - Saxon 
poem, 1. 

Beppo, a satirical poem, by 
Byron, 258. 

Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush, 
by Maclaren, 546. 

Berenice, a tale, by Poe, 453. 

Besant (Sir Walter), 545. 

Beverley (Robert), 439. 

F'\Ggrabhia Literaria, by Cole- 
rrdge, J70. 

Bioaraphicai <*n Critical Mis- 
cellanies, by Prescott, 497. 

Biglow Papers, by Lowell, 
516. 

Bird's Song- (The), by Miles, 
54T, 



Bird in a Cage (The), a 

drama, by Shirley, 90. 
Birrell (Augustine), 548. 
Birth Mark (The), a tale, by 

Hawthorne, 499. 
Black Cat, a tale, by Poe, 453. 
Black Dwarf (The), a novel, 

by Scott, 282. 

Blackmore (Richard), 545. 
Blackwood Magazine, 246; on 

Macaulay, 336. 
Blake (William) 264; spec., 

265. 
Blameless Prince (The), a 

poem, by Stedman, 475. 
Bleak House, a novel, by Dick- 
ens, 357. 
Blessed Sacrament (The), by 

Father Faber, 839; by Card. 

Manning, 414. 
Blindness of Dr. Gray, by 

Canon Sheehan, 428. 
Blithedale Romance (The), 9 

novel, by Hawthorne, 500. 
Blot in the 'Scutcheon (A), a 

drama, by Robert Browning, 

316. 
Boadicea, an ode, by Cowper, 

ext, 187. 

Boethius (470-525), 2. 
Bolingbroke, an infidel philoso- 
pher, 147, 228. 
Bologna, chief school of law, 

6. 
Bondsman (The), by Hall 

Cain, 546. 
Bonnie Brier Bush (Beside 

the), by Maclaren, 544. 
Bonneville" (Adventures of 

Captain), by Irving, 493. 
Book of the Duchess, a poem, 

by Chaucer, 12. 
Book of Hymns, Father Faber, 

339. 

Book of Job, Wm. Blake, 265. 
Book (Jungle), by Kipling, 

433. 
Books, their scarcity in the 

eleventh century, 5. 
Books and Reading, by Bjroth- 

er Azarias, 520, 



INDEX. 



:53 



Borough (The), a poem by 
Crabbe, 267. 

Borrowed Month, by Stockton, 
531. 

Bossuet, his influence on Gib- 
bon, 224. 

Boston Quarterly Review, edit, 
by Dr. Brownson, 504. 

Bostonians (The), a novel, by 
H. James, 540. 

Bothie of Tober-na-Vuolich, 
(The), a pastoral, by Clougri, 
310. 

BothweU, by Swinburne, 400. 

Boy's Town (A), by W. Dean 
Howells, 540. 

Boyce (Rev. John), 545. 

Bos (Sketches by), Dickens, 
356. 

Bracebridge Hall, by Irving, 
492. 

Bradford (Governor William), 
438. 

Bradstreet (Mrs. Anne), 433. 

Break, Break, Break, an ext, 
from Tennyson, 384. 

Br'er Rabbit, by J. C. Harris, 
532. 

Bride of Abydos (The), a ro- 
mantic poem, by Byron, 258. 

Bride of Lammermoor, a novel 
by Seott, 282 

Bridges (Sir E.), on Gray, 
170. 

Brief Views of Hobb's Levia- 
than, by Earl of Clarendon, 
134. 

Bronte (Charlotte), 327. 

Brook (The), a poem, by Ten- 
nyson, 380. 

Brooke (Stopford), 548. 

Brooks (Phillips), a pulpit or- 
ator, 486. 

Brothers (The), a play, by 
Young, 165. 

Brougham (Lord), on Dry- 
den's prose, 127. 

Brown (C. B.), 442. 

Brown of Calavaras, by Bret 
Harte, 529. 



Browne (Sir Thomas>, 135; 
spec., 136. 

Browne (Dr. Wm. Hand), 
528. 

Browning (Mrs.), 247, 308; 
spec., 309. 

Browning (Robert), 314; spec., 
318. 

Brownson (Orestes A.), 502; 
spec., 507 ; on Wiseman's 
Fabiola, 352; on Webster, 
488. 

Brownson's. Quarterly Review, 
504, 505, 507. 

Bruce (The), by Barbour, 31. 

Brut, a poem, by Layamon, 8. 

Brute (The), by Barbour, 31. 

Bryant (W. Cullen), 459: 
spec., 460. 

Bryce (James), 547. 

Bugle Song (The), by Tenny- 
son, ext, 383. 

Bulwer-Lytton, 360. 

Bunner (H. C.), 546. 

Bunyan (John), 138; spec., 
139, 

Bunker Hill Speech (First and 
Second), by Webster, 487; 
ext., 489. 

Burke (Edmund), 145, 228; 
spec., 231 ; on Sheridan, 274. 

Burnett (Frances H.), 545. 

Burning Babe, a poem, by 
Southwell, 61, 64. 

Burns (Robert), 180; spec., 
181. 

Burroughs (John), 548. 

Bushnell (Horace), a pulpit 
orator, 486. 

Busiris, a play, by Young, 165. 

Butler (Samuel), 119; spec., 
121. 

By What Authority, by Ben- 
son, 546. 

Byron, an essay, by M. Arnold, 
374. 

Byron (Lord), 245, 257; spec., 
261; on Gray, 169; on Gib- 
bon, 225; on Crabbe, 266; 
on Sheridan, 274. 



554 



INDEX. 



C. 

Cable (George Washington), 

528, 546. 
Caedmon, 2. 

Caesarism and Ultramontan- 
ism, by Cardinal Manning, 
414. 

Cain, a drama, by Byron, 258. 
Caine (Hall), 546. 
Calderon de la Barca (1600- 
1681), the Spanish Shakes- 
peare, 57. 

Calhoun (John), 483. 

California and Oregon Trail 
(The), by Parkman, 522. 

Callista, a religious tale, by 
Card. Newman, 405. 

Campaign (The), a poem by 
Addison, 190. 

Campbell (Thomas), 245, 296: 
spec., 297; on Spenser, 51; 
on Goldsmith, 175. 

Canterbury Tales, by Chaucer, 
14. 

Cantu (Cesare, 1804-1895), the 
the celebrated author of a 
Universal History, 95. 

Canzoni, by T. A. Daly, 547. 

Captains Courageous, by Kip- 
ling, 433. 

Captain Sing el ton, by Defoe, 
236. 

Cardinal Newman, by Ward, 
547. 

Cardinal's Snuff Box (The), 
by Harland, 546. 

Cardinal Wiseman, by Ward, 
547. 

Carlton (William), 545. 

Carmen (Bliss), 547. 

Carmina, by T. A. Daly, 547. 

Carlyle (Thomas), 247, 244, 
365; spec., 367. 

Carroll (Lewis), 545. 

Casa Guidi Windows, a poem, 
by Mrs. Browning, 309. 

Castle Rackrent, by Edge- 
worth, 545. 

Casting Away of Mrs, Leeks 
and Mrs. Ale shine, by Stock- 
ton, 531. 



Castle of Indolence, a poem, 

by Thomson, 155; ext., 157. 

Catechetical Instruction, by 

Lingard, 324. 

Catholic Stories, by Mrs. Dor- 
sey; by Lady Herbert of 
Lea, 545. 

Catholic World (The), on 
novels, 234; on Brownson, 
504, 513. 
Catiline, a tragedy, by Ben 

Jonson, 85. 
Cato, a tragedy, by Addison, 

191; by James Logan, 440. 
Catriona, by Stevenson, 416. 
Cavalier's March, a ballad, by 

Macaulay, 334. 
Cavalier Tunes, a poem, by 

Robert Browning, 317. 
Cave .of Mammon, by Spen- 
ser, ext, 52. 
Caxton (William), 36; on 

Chaucer, 37. 
Caxtons (The), a novel, by 

Bulwer-Lytton, 361. 
Cecilia, a novel, by Crawford, 

534. 
Celestial Passion (The), by 

Gilder, 547. 
Celestial Railway (The), a tale 

by Hawthorne, 499. 
Cenci (The), a tragedy, by 

Shelley, 253. 

Century (The), periodical, 476. 
Chambers (Robert, 1802-1871), 
author of Cyclopedia of Eng- 
lish Literature, on Lingard's 
History, 322; on Irving, 494. 
Chance Acquaintance (A), by 

W. Dean Howells, 541. 
Channing (W. E.), a pulpit 

orator. 486. 
Changeling (The), verse by 

Lowell, 516. 
Chanson de Roland, 8. 
Chapter on Ears (A), an essay, 

by Lamb, 290. 
Character of Alfred the Great, 

by Hume, 212. 

Character of Cromwell, by 
Earl of Clarendon, ext., 134. 



INDEX. 



555 



Character of Macaulay's Writ- 
ings, 335. 

Characters of Shakespeare's 
Plays, by Hazlitt, 278. 

Character of Timour, extract 
from Gibbon, 227. 

Character of a Yorkshire 
School-master, by Dickens, 
359. 

Character of Ximenes, extract 
from Robertson, 222. 

Character of Zingis, extract 
from Gibbon, 226. 

Charlemagne, in early Ro- 
mances, 8. 

Charles Hlwood, a novel, by 
Dr. Brownson, 506. 

Charles O'Mally, by Lever, 545. 

Chartism, by Carlyle, 366. 

Chatham, William, first Earl 
of (1708-1778), 145, 335. 

Chatterton (Thomas), 189. 

Chaucer, 9, 10; spec.. 14. 

Cherwell Water-Lily, a poem, 
by Father Faber, 338. 

Chesterton (G. K.), 433, 530; 
spec., 434; on Mrs. Brown- 
ing, 309; on Jane Eyre, 329. 

Child Angel (The), an essay, 
by Lamb, 290. 

Child's Garden of Verse, by 
Stevenson, 416. 

Child Verse, by Eugene Field, 
547. 

Childe Harold, a descriptive 
poem, by Byron. 258. 

Chita, by Hearn, 546. 

Choate (Rufus), an orator, 
486. 

Choir Invisible (The), by J. L. 
Allen, 545. 

Choric Song (The), a poem, 
by Tennyson, 378. 

Christ (The), a poem, by Cyne- 
wulf, 2. 

Christabel, a poem, by Cole- 
ridge, 269; ext, 272. 

'Christian (The), by Caine, 546. 

Christian Hero, by Steele, 197. 

Christian Year, by Keble, 312. 



Christmas Eve, a poem, by 
Robert Browning, 317. 

Christmas Tales, by Dickens, 
357. 

Chronicles, by Frpissart, 31. 

Chronicles (Rhyming) of Nor- 
man Period, 8. 

Chronicles of the Canongate, 
by Scott, 283. 

Churchill (Winston), 546. 

Citizen of the World (The), 
by Goldsmith, 174. 175. 

City in the Sea (The) , a poem, 
by Poe, 453. 

Clara Howard, a novel, by 
Brown, 442. 

Clarence's Dream, by Shakes- 
peare, ext., 73. 

Clarendon, Ear) of, 133. 

Clarissa Harlowe, a novel, by- 
Richardson, 241. 

Clarke (Freeman), a pulpit 
orator, 486. 

Classical Writers, edit, by 
Green, 369. 

Clay (Henry), 484; Clay and 
Webster compared, 485. 

Clayhanger, by A. Bennett, 
546. 

Clemens (SamueJ Langhcvne). 
537. 

Cleveland (C. D., 1802-1869), 
on Southwell, 60. 

Cliffs (On the), by Swinburne, 
400. 

Clive, 335. 

Cloud (The), a poem, by Shel- 
ley, 253; ext, 254. 

Clough (Arthur Hugh), 248. 
310; spec., 311. 

Cobbler of Aggawam (The 
Simple), by Rev. N. Ward, 
438. 

Coleridge (S. T.), 244, 245, 
269; spec., 271; on Tenny- 
son, 378. 

Colin Clout Come Home 
Again, by Spenser, 50. 

Collins (Wilkie), 545. 

Collins (Wm.), 144, 159; spec., 
160; on Thomson, 155-6. 



556 



INDEX. 



Colombe's Birthday, a poem, 

uy urowning, 316. 
Colonel Jack, by Defoe, 236. 
Columbiad, by Barlow, 444. 
Columbus, by Lowell, 516. 
Columbus (Life and Voyages 

of), by Irving, 492. 
Columbus (Pictures of), by 

Freneau, 450. 

Colvin (Sidney), edit. Steven- 
son's Letters, 417. 
Comedy of Errors, by Shakes- 
peare, 69. 
Commemoration Ode (The), 

by Lowell, 518. 
Commonplace, by Christina 

Rossetti, 384. 
Commonwealth of Bees, by 

Shakespeare, ext., 79. 
Companion (The Youth's), 476. 
Compleat Angler (The), by 

Izaak Walton, 137. 
Complete History of England, 

by Smollett, 242. 
Comus, a masque, by Milton, 

107. 
Condensed Novels, by Bret 

Harte, 529 
Conduct of the Allies, by 

Swift, 203. 

Conferences (Spiritual), by Fa- 
ther Faber, 339. 
Confessio Amantis, by Gower, 

24. 
Confessions, by de Quincy, 

331. 
Confidence in God, by Card. 

Manning, 41 4. 
Congreve (William), 218, 

note; on Dryden, 128. 
Conquered Banner (The), a 

poem, by Father Ryan, 468. 
Conqueror's Grave (The), a 

poem by Bryant, 459. 
Conqueror Worm, a poem, by 

Poe, 453. 
Conquest of England, by 

Green, 369. 
Conquest of Granada, a play, 

by Dryden, 125. 



Conquest of Granada, by Irv- 
ing, 492. 

Conquest of Mexico, by Pres- 
cott, 496 ; ext. 498 -,of Peru, 
ibid. 

Conscious Lovers (