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IN

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM

BY

JOHN
(PROFESSOR
OF

CHURTON
ENGLISH OF
LITERATURE

COLLINS
IN THE UNIVERSITY

BIRMINGHAM)

a'xvf Si TraAcyKoroig

fyfdpog
PINDAR

LONDON

GEORGE

BELL

AND

SONS

1905

CHISWICK TOOKS

PRESS: COURT,

CHARLES
CHANCERY

WHITTINGHAM
LANE,

AND

co.

LONDON.

TO

SIR

OLIVER

LODGE,

WHOSE

SYMPATHIES

EXTEND

EVEN

TO

TRIFLES

LIKE

THESE,

THIS

VOLUME

IS

INSCRIBED.

PREFACE

THOUGH
one

the essays

here

collected
in current

have,

with

exception,

appeared

and

they are not reviews, merely have been have two one or them much enlarged, been almost been carefully re-written all have and Though the revised. subjectsof which they treat

periodicals Most reprints. of

are

I venture to hope that a certain unity various, in them, from be discerned an enmay arising deavour both to criticism regard and poetry more is at present The first the fashion. than seriously
seems

itself almost into universally impressions, loose record of personal a the second be regarded little more to as a than medium of degradation into aesthetic trifling. In the wretched
to

be

resolving

which
all
sense

belles lettres have of the


critics
were

fallen

we

seem

to

be losing
to

importance

once

attached

them,

scholars poets and something In the essay on Longinus more an than aesthetes. has, therefore, been made to recall criticism attempt to its old sources and traditions, and thus to illustrate

when

how,
rest

if it is to
on

be what

far

more

it is of power solid foundations


"

to

be, it must

than

and

on uninstructed susceptibility, that is to say, laid by its classical

undisciplined ations, the foundmasters.

vii

viii
So,
too,

PREFACE
in the essay
on

the True

Functions

I have
once
were

ventured
truisms,

to

re-state

and will

bring
now

of Poetry home what


"

but

what

appear

and

to

too

How

many"paradox and extravagance. far my estimates of the poets whom review I know not, in will recommend but this I should
not
were

I have
to

passed

themselves

others hope emphasis

will
even

be

mistaken
they than

like to say : I for dogma.


of
a

Such

estimates,
to

those
I
can

critic
to
no

entitled
possess,

far

more

authority

must

be

approximation

experimental, But to finality.

can and it is right

pretend have

be attempted. they should well-weighed can be the literary product age of each thus only the balance at last proved,

that when Thus only

sifted and

adjusted.
of the North the articles
to

My

thanks

are

due

to

the

proprietors
use

American
on

Review Poets

the

and

for permission to Poetry of America;


to
use

Mr.
on

John
Long-

Murray inus

for permission

which appeared Review, Byron on and


Review

the articles in the originally


; to

Quarterly

the

editor

of the

Contemporar

for permission to reproduce that Massey; on to the editor the poetry of Mr. Gerald for allowing Review and proprietor of the National Myths. The original me the use of that on Miltonic Watson's Mr. William on sketch of the essay poetry appeared has been much
The Poetry has
not

in the

Westminster

Gazette,
almost

but

it

enlarged

and,

indeed,

rewritten

on the True paper been printed before.

Functions

of

CONTENTS
PAGE

THE THE THE

POETRY

AND

POETS

OF

AMERICA

...

COLLECTED COLLECTED

WORKS
POEMS

OF

LORD MR.

BYRON

78

OF

WILLIAM
124

WATSON THE POETRY


OF

MR.
AND

GERALD
THEIR

MASSEY AUTHORS
....

142

MILTONIC LONGINUS THE TRUE

MYTHS
AND

167 204
263 293

GREEK

CRITICISM
OF

FUNCTIONS

POETRY

....

APPENDIX
INDEX

297

IX

ERRATA

Page

205,
214,

for for

Gerald
Walton Kames'

read read
read Hall

Gerard.
Wotton. Kames's.

Page Page Page

2ig,for
297,

for

William

read

John

Hall.

ESSAYS
i

THE

POETRY

AND

POETS

OF

AMERICA
r

I AHERE

J_

goes rightly, from

I had it, if I remember story Nichol that the late Professor


" "

the editor of the Golden Treasury by an American lady was asked supplement American

of English
he

Poetry

by a work Poetry. "American


that supercilious

why Golden

did

not

Treasury he who

of
exclaimed
are

Poetry!"
' '

with your
"we was
a

surprise.

Why,

"Well, poets?" have Chaucer,


retort
as

among others," Shakespeare and wise ; no truth.

she replied, It Milton."

fair as it was
not

it

seems

one;

wit, but poetry


"

though paradox, And although

review only
too

of American
the
"

is necessarily
to, we

with

others
on

referred

concerned insist cannot

relation of those others to the on the essential patriarchs of Anglo-Saxon song finds expression in the all of what unity of almost in poetry of England and in the poetry of America,
strongly
the
"

the genius which The both. mad which


each work. the

inspires

both,

in the art which


our
as

forms inown

great
as

schism purely and Moor


c

war,

of 1776 was internecine

that in

Roundheads
at

Cavaliers
and
at

other

Marston

confronted Naseby, was

POETRY
on

AND

CRITICISM
in another sphere. hemiof both drawn, was till not sheathed independent. and America

forced

the descendants The


once sword, humiliated

England What
Atlantic
elements

was

followed,

followed
with

inevitably.
and

With

the

intervening,

the Puritan

republican

in overwhelming

potentialities
much the

that Mother
a

was

ascendency, with colossal development, of expansion with and irreconcilable to subordination with itself, reunion rapidly defining flag, even had it been desired, became But,

Country

under

common

impossible.

if the years,

effect of
to

the

great

alienate, and to if it sowed the seeds of all that has since canker; mutual mistrust and jealousy, from resulted from conflicting interests, from rival aims and competitive

schism

was,

during

many

it has ambition, the bond of bonds of


common

never
"

to what extended constitutes blood, the inheritance of common


as

common

creeds language,
O
Englishmen
and
are

political of
a

well

common

religious, literature.

as

of

! in hope tongue
our

and

In blood
We And Are
"

creed, brothers !
;

too

heirs of Runnymede fame Shakespeare's and alone


our

Cromwell's

deed

not

mother's.
water,"

Thicker Through

than

in

one

rill

Our We

centuries of story Saxon blood has flowed, and still share with you its good and ill, The and the glory. shadow and length is

Joint heirs
Nor Your The

kinsfolk,
of years

leagues
can

of
us

wave
:

part and

right
common

ours

to shrine

grave,

freehold gift of saints

of the brave, and martyrs.

The

POETRY

AND

POETS
gave

OF

AMERICA

In these words,
which

Whittier

perhaps

appealed generally

to ments expression sentidirectly to his more

fifty years than ago they do to-day ; but to-day and for all time will they find response, in will they be very creed, wherever,
countrymen
our

fellow

mutual In

relations, the humanities achievement to bear necessary


it as
a

estimating poetry, it is very


It is not
own,

the

prevail. of America

in

all this in mind.

by

regarding

and

in some which instituting, either directly parallels with its English

rival counterpart of our respects it is, and by continually


or

tacitly, comparisons

it necessarily which do it justice. For by such possibly focus of criticism is deranged. whole
more

archetypes logues, and anadoes invite, that we can


a

the method We expect

it is reasonable disto expect, appointe are and for which find much our ; we criteria are insufficient, and And are the English perplexed.
than

people have of America. it pretty

done justice to the poetry not assuredly Our leading critics have always regarded as the Greek the critics regarded much
; for what
was

poetry of the Romans taste, it they had no

indigenous them

in

from

what

reminded

their

own

about

artists they turned with contemptuous The silence of Dionysius and Longinus erature litare the glory of Roman the poems which

of indiffere

is not

of Arnold,

are which from it sprang

to the silence only exactly analogous Pater, and their schools about the poems literature, but the pride of Transatlantic

the

same

causes.

Where

originality
not

existed,
them

it

was

originality

which

did

appeal

to

; where

with

which

comparison with the genius and art familiar, and from which they were their

4
own

POETRY
touchstones
or

AND

CRITICISM

and

challenged it was

could instituted, and inferiority stood from Horace A Greek expected who what in Sappho and Pindar, and an Englishman from Bryant

derived, was were standards be instituted, sensibly insensibly or revealed. he found


expects who he finds in

and

Longfellow

Wordsworth
being Horace,
poets. Two

and Tennyson, But, disappointed.

what be forgiven might for all that, Horace

for
is
true

and

Bryant

and
have

Longfellow

are

to the estimation contributed underAmerican in England, of poetry and for I fear, one the Americans are, themselves of them I mean has unthe prominence responsible. which happily

other

causes

been

given

to

and

inferior, sometimes

what by
by

is essentially mediocre indiscreet and absurd

eulogy,

and

sometimes

Critiques with and find, for instance, in Mr. Tyler's


Literary lamentable History
want

it in Anthologies associating We is excellent. what

of

the

otherwise admirable American Revolution

of balance

wherever

Ballads and political songs, question. for the bellman, described "worthy are as
taeus
"

poetry is in bad enough

of Tyr-

; lyrics and

other
any

poems

at their best, have


are

other
which

even never, which than historical interest,

praised
to

in terms

would

applied could

the

poetry

Stedman the name mention without knowledge respect for his immense and his catholic but I venture to think that the scale on taste; which has been his justly is planned celebrated Anthology
signally
"

of great of Mr.

if be exaggerated No masters. critic

unfortunate to bring namely,

for the promotion of his object home to the English-speaking

POETRY
race

AND

POETS

OF

AMERICA
Most

merits of American will, I fear, lay it down with


the

poetry. something

people pression of the imthankfully


so

with
the tomes

which

the weary

does
degree
of

of the Poetae is commonplace what


predominate Mr. Had

scholar closes Latini Minores,

mensely im-

and
over

merit and his plan, I cannot

mediocrity distinction.

of every has what


confined inclusion

Stedman

of the best, and difficulty in finding As

to the adding, have the best only, he would

forbear

had

no

material for a charming volume. it is, his collection is only likely to confirm the which
cause

impression Another poetry given,

it

was

his idea

to

correct.

affecting the reputation

in England,
not to

to the what appeals The Raven multitude. and The Bells are anything but typical of the peculiar but The genius of Poe; Raven The Bells have overshadowed everyand thing he has written in verse. Neither else which
to

what to its finer qualities, but

is the prominence it at its best represents

of American which has been


or

in relation

Bryant
most

nor

Whittier

has

fared

commonplace Lowell's fame rests humorous

in them
almost in the

is any better; what has been most popular. is most entirely on what

broadly

Biglow

Papers.

Holmes

is associated

Shay,
Heathen
the
one

as

trifles like The One Horse with comical Bret Harte is with Truthful James and The

Chinee.

Longfellow of the Middle implies.

has

been

described
and

as

"Laureate knows what

Classes,"
Nor

that

is this

every all. In

many, and perhaps the impression made

of Whitman and the florid extravagance

in many more than we suspect, by the aggressive eccentricities his school, on the one hand, and

of

the

school

of

Joaquin

POETRY
on

AND has the

CRITICISM
so

Miller,

impression

the other, by made


as

predominated
masters

over

the

true

of American of what is best is in

that work song, best in American


our

little representative poetry as it is of what


come so

own

poetry has And typical.

be regarded as essentially it is, and from these causes


to
a

as chiefly, that England, to American poetry.

nation,

has

not

done

tice jus-

of that poetry, a brief sketch of its prelude ; for origin and early history is a necessary its characteristics to be traced to conditions are and its articulate expreslong preceding circumstances sion.
a

To

survey

Schiller, in
austerities amid and
severe

famous

lyric, has
muse

described
was

the

which

the German

cradled

and nurtured, discipline; the infancy

attributed its lofty spirit to their but austerities sterner temstill pered
of the American
muse.

In the zenith of our own Shakespeare letters, when Lear Magna,

Golden
had

Age

just

of poetry and finished King


Instauratio civilization in a hearty

and
the
at

Bacon

the meditating first pioneers of American


was

landed

Jamestown.

Michael

Drayton

spirited and blended with World of


a

would hundred
was

Godspeed, bade had them ode and his blessing a that the New prophecy its bards. But upwards not be without
and
even

sixty years
partially

prophecy those

pass before that to be fulfilled. During


were

to

years,

it would
more
more

be scarcely

possible
to

to

conceive

conditions
poetry,
or

unpropitious
propitious
to

the

the

production development

of of

those

heroic

and of that is the noblest

which "character,"
virtues substratum

as

poetry loves to celebrate, Emerson calls it, which

of poetry

itself. The

frag-

POETRY
ment

AND

POETS

OF

AMERICA
of Captain

of Percy, and

Smith
and
which
came

and the narratives Strachey, of William

John
storm

record

the

stress

of the early part of this period, the period Then the settlement of Virginia. witnessed of the Pilgrim Fathers,

the landing

and, amid

hardships
foundation

the preceding and ensuing, unspeakable, With Plymouth. the foundation of New

followed, began the history of Massachusetts which in the establishment of all that is implied and involved
and South,
constitution also, there had

of New been the had

England.
same

In

the The

activity.

colonization foundation

of Virginia of Maryland
Delaware,

been

Round
Bays, All

the

and New York,


been

by the succeeded Carolinas. the two and

Chesapeake

the Middle
been

States had
a

this had

work

formed. gradually labour, abof Herculean sorbing


taxing
to

every
man's

energy,

and

the

uttermost

powers

of effort and
to

to

cleared ; marshes to be kept aborigines


in their
their

be

endurance. be drained

Forests
; the

had

savage
lives

at to

bay.

Carrying

their

hands,

inured forms,

severest

privation and distress in these hardy and dauntless venturer ad-

lived daily

face

to

face with

the grimmest

realities of life. The toil of the pioneer accomplished, less arduous other toils not and incessant awaited in the duties incumbent fant on the citizens of inthem

States, the duties of the builder, the agriculturist, came the legislator. Then the wars with the Indians. Incessantly harassed by the raids of these murderous
enemies,
on the watch always in 1637 they brought

for mischief and assassination, the first of these wars

to a
women

climax, and

by the annihilation

of the Pequots,
of almost

men,

children,

scene

unparalleled

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM
was

horror.1

Still

more

terrible

the

second

war

in

1674, which
was

lasted two
overrun

towns

of military age either of the men killed outright, or dragged of agony off to a death by torture.2 Nothing in history is more thrilling than
some us

raided, some in every hundred

years, and in which by the savages, some twelve totally destroyed,

Massachusetts

eighty and
ten

of the
in the

contemporary

midst of these Fathers of Virginia and In this iron school was of those
must
we

narratives which frightful experiences of New

place of the

England.
the character of American to create these the
men

tempered
were

the forefathers literature.


were.

who

Nor

forget who
mixed
was

originally

However
in the

population

of

the

States

South

the founders what


were

that

of New implies name

and England
"

of the
were

middle

group,

entirely almost Englishmen: but they

Englishmen

first emiThe grants of a peculiar type. faction had quitted Europe because of their dissatislished with the regulations and ritual of the EstabThe between Church. successive emigrants
1640

1630

and

consisted

the causeof religious had left the Mother


realize what founding. of their own
to

despairing of of those who, and civil liberty under Charles I, in impatient Country tion, indignathey

desired

in

community

of opinion, in England,

these had
a

men,
common

In spite of many differences like their brother Puritans character. In

convictions
the Bible
1

and

enthusiasts and the Bible only as their guide

their religious fanatics, with

and

rule,
Poets

See

and
2

Street's spirited poem, The America, Poetry pp. 399-410.

Settler, Griswold's

of

See

Dwight's

poem.

Ibid., pp. 14-17.

POETRY
they

AND

POETS

OF

AMERICA

in its precepts and in its examples all sought that they desired to learn and all that they aspired did, almost become. Almost to they everything its its ply and they took everything meditated, from But the this enthusiasm. colour gracious Testament to philanthropy appealed of the New them Here far less than they which, the sterner

teachings
the

found

for justification

of the Old. ance fierce intoler-

with they

in their uncompromising the cardinal virtues, for the rancour

creed, ranked
with which for the many forced upon
so

the enemies regarded of God, and deeds doubt, no were, ruthless which but which to have them, them cost appear

little

compunction.
on

And

here, too,
were

they found

which

their lives

fashioned,
since
a

the patterns individually as

Never well as collectively. Patriarchs did men live, in


"as
ever

the
so

sense

of the literally true,


eye," or find fulfilled, and

days

in their great Task-master's in the sense such sustainment of duty in simple faith. To
enter

their homes Each

Chosen opened

People. and

is recalling the world busy day, each frugal

of the

Next prayer. with his parents, next child's eyes, stood and irreverence his elders. Frivolity, parents, closed unknown,
expression,
a

meal, in a to God,
to
were

his
most altheir

and

anything
or

approaching
act,
was

to

either

in word

set

down

with

to the offence. out of proportion severity strangely To be abstemious the truth at chaste, to speak and

any

cost

and

under

any

stress,

to

regard

gauds

with and the world's honours to repatient in tribulation and sober in prosperity, cognize in conscience the veritable voice of the Al-

the world's to be contempt,

io

POETRY
and
the

AND

CRITICISM
that
voice
essence

mighty
man's

paramount

to obey obligation duty all this was


"

as

of the
cast.

of their ethics. very government it the God of


servants,

Public
was

life had
a

the

same

Their head of His

theocracy.

At

the

Christian

its citizens initiated through Baptism Lord's

faith, its magistrates had those who only

been

Supper.
centre

the reception and of the In Virginia, indeed, the other distributin

did

an

Church
those

asylum of England
who

race, of the English for Cavaliers, broken men,

becoming
aristocrats, the temper

as

it

and of

society

and

it presented cona trast composed remarkable But, mighty to all this. as the part has been Virginia has played in politics, in war, which and in commerce, factor in the spiritual no she has been
intellectual life of America, and her austerer its bent from sons
was which in the North.

to

take

Thus

was

from inherited was produced, partly what from their forefathers, and partly from what the result of the long probation and discipline
was

of those this

iron

times,
never

race seen.

of

men

world

has
which

the like of which pression is the imIndelible

they

contributed, and on in politics either


America.
statesman

or

have on all who made has been contributed, all which in literature, to the glory of

have

in every great has sucin every great soldier who ceeded and in the Western World, from them whether
trace
or

We

their lineaments

the

South

from their

the

North.

Their

purity,
ardour

their of

earnestness,

their

love

of
sense

the noble simplicity, liberty, their God-fearing of


man's

spirit and moral

profound

permeate,

or

religious and if they do not

responsib

permeate,

POETRY
at

AND

POETS
every
prose,

OF

AMERICA

least colour, almost both in verse or their where the light had

characteristic contribution, literature. to American


had ceased Puritan
temper
to

Even

theology faded
out

appeal,

and Puritan

the ethics and Franklin, Emerson,

of Puritan

orthodoxy,
still prevailed.
were

and

Hawthorne
as

as

essentially the offspring of these men Hooker Thomas Bradford were and When poetry awoke,

William

their it
was

and

representatives. long

it awoke, it was it. their soul which suffused Their soul has suffused it ever since. To the influence of these silent forefathers, American

before

poetry in
common
"

owes

its distinguishing
with the

notes

"

it has them

No

many characteristic poetry of Gerits simplicity, its purity, its wholesomeness. American dared, or perhaps even poet has ever
to

desired, France, mourned

do

what,

to

the

shame
so

their by
O

poets Dryden:

have

of England and is often done what


"

God ! how gracious heavenly Thy Profan'd


prostitute
to each

oft have

we

gift of Poesy, profligate and the


muse use.

Made Debas'd

and

obscene

impious

should search records of American of


note
or

We

in vain

through for
a

song
one

the voluminous by any poem poet

merit,

with

exception

who

is

an

exception or over

in
blasphemy, impurity But

everything,
or

glorifying
to

animalism
a

attempting vice.
to
so

throw

glamour

and the
to
men owe

whom
much

American contributed, to its treasures.


one

poetry
as

was

directl inhave
came

been
over

expected, with them

nothing
more

might There

than

distinguished

scholar,

12

POETRY
many who

AND
were,

CRITICISM
or men, were

and

either
eminence;

to

become,

theologians

of

too,

full

of

enthusiasm

for education, her America to whom owes first schools, her first libraries, her first university; but no one, with the solitary exception of George

Sandys, Nor
was

who

carried

in him

the seeds

of poetry.
the establishment

the period

which

succeeded

to more of the new communities propitious literary activity. friction with England, Constant constant chiefly in connection with the royal governors, disputes among boundaries, the States about

and these

with
were

the

aborigines

about

their

with their Indian

occupations. Great Britain against


"

commercial Then came the

affairs
the

"

coalition

French

and

allies

momentous

crisis, culminating and preservation of Seven to France. years Revolution


a

conquest of from the Colonies

in the

Canada

the

subjection
the

afterwards
which

followed

transformed

epoch-making Anglo-America from

congeries

into a mighty of scattered communities nation, and for a time except which effectually hushed everything the voice of the orator, the tumult of debate,

the

roar

of

cannon,

and That

the

myriad

clamour

popular

press. story
no

it is
to

story Englishman To
were

need
will it was

not
ever

be

of the told here ;


to

love

tell

or

remember. Salamis and the loss

America,

temporarily

all that Marathon Hellas; to all that

was, of her Continental possessions Regarded in relation to England.

permanently, to its

effects, immediate to its examples greatest

and
and
event not

single

in relation and its lessons, it is perhaps the in the history of mankind. subsequent,

That

it should

have

awakened

the

American

POETRY
muse

AND
at

POETS

OF

AMERICA

13

seems

every

spring

first sight surprising, for it opened It appealed, of poetic inspiration. and


to sentiment, fire than more

to thrillingly, to passion, appealed imagination. In no lyric ever burned

in the speeches glowed Otis, of Richard Henry No epic has

Henry, of Patrick of James Lee, of Alexander Hamilton.


scenes

celebrated

which

surpass

in im-

the scenes pressiveness and picturesqueness which America between ized witnessed 1775 and 1782, or idealheroes of nobler and grander than moral temper
most

of those

who

shaped

the destinies

ern of the West-

crisis. Still lyric, still epic, still poetry in every form of its genuine But, if we expression, slept. reflect, has admirWordsworth this need not surprise us. ably defined poetry as emotion quillity. recollected in tran-

World

at that

tremendous

history seldom make who write it, itself in action, it has so, poetry is expressing when The itself in words. little need to express ments achieveAmerica of those who welded and character
men

As

into

nation

were

of

piece with

all that had

ally origin-

the several preserved Both to were works communities every and in which every citizen contributed, which interest. As a rule, the absorbing citizen took

fashioned,

and moulded federated. now

Puritan
for it.

despised
Hymns

indeed, paraphrases, he tolerated, patronized, and, if he had the ability, it went beyond these it became ; but when produced
vanity, need when what and his
to

poetry, even Biblical and

when

he had

leisure

sympathy
inspire,

with

it ceased.

What

of poetry

the voice of Duty, when Of Himself, was the voice of God calling? " live battle odes, the tribute of song to worth

14 whose
mere

POETRY
lines
were

AND

CRITICISM
fire";
to

steel and
appreciation
so

the
so

homage

of

aesthetic

virtues

practical,
another

to

achievements

real?

But

there
one,

was

the chief perhaps and The triumph of the of song. have statesman could seemed
reason,

for the and

silence of the
to

warrior
no

triumph

the

all that Athens, all that in ancient had been to his brethren times, est reverence, the objectof his profoundest of his fondhome of the lords of affection, the consecrated poet. Rome,
To

him

England

was

his dear.

art,

fraught inexpressibly memories and with thing, NoBefore, an now an exile, he was alien. be more than that this rethen, can natural volutio have failed to awaken poetry. should poetry the Revolution which likely to be inspired
could
not

The

spire in-

was

not

by

which America the


most

immediately
between

succeeded.

The is the
annals.

period history of
history

the

1782

distracted
was

1820 and in her time

of
was

All

fever, all
away, the the

tumult.

The had

new

world

was old world passing defined itself. While not

fierce

conflicts

between

Federalists

and

mocrats De-

her central perplexed councils, Republic into hostile camps, dividing the whole feuds and disputes kept the to themselves peculiar The States in constant turmoil. separate alliance
tore

and

instead of conducing England, to permanent against harmony, the effect of aggraseemed only to have vating To distractions their differences. all these
were

added

the distractions
with that

involved

by

America's

association the torch the

of which with

mighty had been Napoleon,

European lighted by

revolution, by her own ; second


war

by

relations

the

POETRY
with 1814

AND Britain.
epoch

POETS
The

OF

AMERICA
of that history,
war

15
in it

Great

termination

no marks in the ushered

in American

but

her

the period which witnessed for she in the historical Poetry, not but in the true sense much produced
" "

birth of had already

of the

term.

Nothing have
from
come

more

deplorable
to us

than

the

verses

which

down

from

the ante-Revolutionary

the earliest colonists and age could be conceived.

They

of the Psalms, consist chiefly of paraphrases in such doggerel as the Bay such as find expression Psalm-Book, poems and of miscellaneous of descriptive trifles of
a

serious

cast,

and

were

the work, schoolmasters, be may

generally

speaking, and

of

Puritan

divines,

They governors. for to settle the reladismissed ceremony; tive without between Benjamin of worthlessness proportion " Michael WigglesByles, Thomson, punning"
scribbling
"

worth,

of the

who, lungs,

when

unable

to

preach

by

an

affection

In costly verse and most Did dish up truths right

laborious worthy
our

rhymes
regard,"

Nathaniel
"mirror
was, we

Evans

and

Mrs.
as,
a

Anne

Bradstreet,

the

of her age," be indeed would


a

unhappily, futile task.

in poetry she A little later

find

ways, would
a

in their several of versifiers who, Such rise to the dignity of mediocrity. almost his career be John Trumbull, began who with group

bearing the ominous title of the Progress poem of McFingal is but Dulness, a very respectable whose imitation of Hudibras, original touches containing
not

unworthy

of its model.

Timothy

Dwight,

who,

16 under Pope,

POETRY
the guise
sometimes in another

AND

CRITICISM

echoes of independence, sometimes but Beattie, sometimes Cowper, strain produced long endeared in one of his
a

who Columbia,

spirited
name

lyric
to

which

his

his

countrymen, and Canaan,

quest The Conpoems, an epic in eleven books, stumbled of lines which a few on pleased Cowper.1 No such exploit enlivens the intolerable epic and intolerable heroic, the Columthe still more mock
biad and Hasty Pudding, first of which
he certainly

of Joel Barlow, disputes the palm

in of

the

som-

Blackmore. Nor can own niferousness with our thing anybe said for the smooth of platitudes of Alsop, Honeywood, and of Clifton. One poet only in this his as period had a touch of genius; and he was,
J

Cowper

it was

the poem reviewed reprinted by T.Johnson


The

in the Analytical

Review

when

vol. vii. 314-319.

in 1788. See Southey's lines which he pronounced to be

Co-wper,
"

highly

poetical,"
Now With

are:

Night

in vestments

sable grandeur ImpelPd the sun obsequious

robed of cloudy dye, the orient sky, clothed


to

her

Down
With
And At

the far mountains

to the

reign, Western main


even,

magic drew day's

hand

becalmed curtain

the solemn

once

At

once

heaven. the spangled her throne : the planets sail'd around in splendour ten thousand shone ; worlds from
car a

Behind
Rose

her from

the

morn's

: and her train sublimely Far up roll, lucid And dance the pole. and triumph round Faint shine the fields beneath the shadowy ray, Slow fades the glimmering ; away of the west

cloud, immense th'

eye expanded looked the sky around

To

sleep

the tribes retire the air


or

and
murmurs

not

sound
on

Flows

through

the ground.

POETRY
name

AND

POETS

OF

AMERICA
In the too
there
true,
are a

17
voluminous few

implies,

extraction. of French poetry of Philip Freneau


wan

flowers, his Wild is


a

somewhat

and

frail it is

but, like

note

Heights,

There the gathering. worth To Neversink of distinction in the verses Bury ingTo the Dying Indian, The Indian

Honeysucklet

ground,
points
"

"

line

from

which,

as

Professor

Nichol

out,

Campbell
the
verses

and
The

in
sure

to appropriate, condescended The Hurricane, to but he is

never

and

generally

trivial. songs
the

numerous

patriotic

inspired

by

the

struggles Adams
the

with

England

and

as nationality, such Liberty, Hopkinson's and

realization Robert Treat Hail

rican of AmePaine's

Columbia, and
Key's
lilt,

anonymous

Yankee
are

Man-of-War
not

Star-spangled Banner,
but
owe

without

ring and

To their charm chiefly to their sentiment. higher The one this is due. of them praise than Flag of Joseph Rodman American Drake is effective rhetoric,
true
a

little strained,

perhaps,

but

instinct with

enthusiasm. And now, with became

chirps
1

surprising rapidity, these full quire. As we advance


is :
moons
o'er

matin in the

Freneau's
By

stanza

midnight In vestments hunter

moistening

dews

The

for the chase arrayed, stillthe deer pursues,


and

The In O'Connors Now

hunter Child,
on

the deer

shade.
:

Campbell

writes

His Now
The

the grass-green turf he sits, tasselPd horn beside him laid,


the hills in chase hunter and the deer
C

o'er

he flits,
a

shade.

i8

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM

our ears are almost quarter of the century, second deafened by the chorus of songsters greet us which from from some on the Southern, all sides, some

the

Middle,
no

some

from
to

the

Northern

States.
to

This progress
was

activity is,

doubt,

be traced

more

of education leisure, and universities.

the

culture, had flourishing which The result of this was

and

mainly for which

the

there
centres

at

that

the and imitation.

poetry

of England

was

studied
natural

with

sympathy
was

and enthusiasm, Young


composing
so
as

the
men

consequence

acquired
verses,
was

the
almost

same

facility in

English far
as

able, indistinguish-

form

concerned,
at

clever

Virgilian elegiacs and As these imitations hexameters. were occasionally by men not merely of talent and of such produced, industry can as acmemory and quire, accomplishments but by men of sensibility, with some of the qualities of genius,
some

undergraduates Ovidian composed

their als, originOxford bridge and Cam-

from

itself, a spark of genius and even of this poetry, if only just rising above ocrity, mediIt is most ing interestis far from contemptible.
it is touched
moral

when

with what

is essentially

native,

with with

ancestral

the

impressions

enthusiasm, with by American made


words,

character,

tradition,
it differentiates

scenery

with

imitation, models. is perhaps conmost superinduced, spicuous nothing Hillhouse's in concocstilted and wretched tion
in travesty

and life ; in other English itself from

where Mere

from

Milton,

Young

and

Pollock;

in Sprague's

bombastic of Pope's

Pindarics

and

of the

heroics
not

need

be

specified.

school ; and In Allston, in

parrot echoes in others, who

Pierpont,

in

POETRY Brainard,

AND
in
most

POETS
Percival,
we

OF
have

AMERICA
the
most

19
conspicuous

and
and

of comprehensive representatives the last two are the poetry of the best culture, though careless and diffuse in style, while unconscionably
the best poem is too much Wilcox, imitation
notice

of the first, The Sylphs of the Seasons, Carlos Vision. an echo of Burns's
his blank

though

of Thomson's, for his minute and recalling,


as

which is intolerable,

verse,

is

bad

deserves
naof ture,

accurate

description

own

closely Richard

Street did afterwards, our In Paulding, Jefferies's prose studies.


and

Halleck,

Drake

John

Howard

Payne,

of the world-famous

lyric, "Home,

the author Home," Sweet

over external ; and they native elements predominate all, in their several ways, assisted the development of the Home school.

Paulding but
his

is better Backwoodsman,

known

his prose writings; in smooth and written by

descriptions heroics, contains very pleasing musical Carousal his Old Man's scenery, of American and
has

long

spirited Byron, his


in his
no

favourite. Halleck's a justly, and Bozzaris, Marco historical ballad, recalls


been,

Alnwick way;

Castle
while in

Scott,
Burns,

but

servile

his

worthily and his Redjacket,

Drake, his written conjunctionwith de societe and his Fanny vers at least prove vigorous his versatility; but we hardly feel with Whittier can New York," "consecrated that he has that and

ballads

square for him." The the memory


too

"shady

and dusty American

of Drake,

evidently

showing and

classic ground Flag preserve will long though and his Culprit Fay, influence the blended of
to

street

are

Scott,

Coleridge

Moore

be

entitled

to

the

20

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM

at the time praise of originality, was of considered its appearance Dana's a remarkable production.

wild Monk

poem

the

Buccaneer

struck there
was

new

note

of the

Lewis somewhat
a

order, and tawdry


so

of

kind,

originality, though Brooks's in Maria


pronounced by

Zophiel)
Southey

poetess to be "the

unaccountably impassioned most

and

the most

imaginative

Of
Landon

the

of all poetesses." disciples of Mrs. many


at

Hemans

flourishing

this time,

Lydia

and Miss Sigourney

stands
Hemans
to
a

Mrs. fashionable It is not to praise alone. in these days ; but I will have the courage that higher praise

say

could

scarcely

be given

to

poetess of the be said with may beside


was

stands touching and


too

order than to say, what Sigourney, truth of Lydia that she Mrs. Hemans. Nothing more simply secondary
written
on

ever

than

her

Widow's and

Charge, model
is

if her

threnody

her

mistress

it is both noble and pathetic. ambitious, Nor was Coate Pinkney the South silent. Edward has no he was too to genius, close pretension and in imitation poets; of Byron yet and other English
he

had A

as

very Healthy
on one

lyrical gift, and such pleasing A A Picture Serenade, and

lyrics

Song

tremble has

left

Henry Richard Wilde excellence, while lyric, "My Life is Like the Summer

Rose,"
poet

which,

if falsetto, has

one

line which

true

might
On

envy:
that
lone

shore

loud

moans

the

sea.

And

yet, in spite De Tocqueville


not

ment, of all this activity and achievecould say in 1835 that America
a

had

produced

single

poet

of

high

order.

POETRY
Certainly,

AND
he could

POETS
not

OF
been

AMERICA
refuted
by

21

have

I have any of the poets of whom have now to a poet who come could to falsify the statement. produced len

spoken be triumphantly In William

citing ; but we

Cul-

Bryant,

her first poet of distinction produced has some to orithe first who pretension ginality Griswold Thanatopsis, tells us that when

America

Bryant's Dana, Dana


were

first characteristic
then

editor
one or

of the
two

to was poem, submitted North Review, American

and

satisfied that a could not have been doubt, was, no wonder


that it was
an

he consulted critics whom finished and so noble so poem Their written by an American.

increased by
an

not

only

written

they when American,

learned

but by

American It is
no

scarcely out figure of speech

of his teens.
to

muse

found
a

called
out

her first voice disciple of Wordsworth


measures

say that the American in Bryant. He has been


; it has

been

that his favourite


ours;

haveall Night
been power

been

pointed borrowed and


in

from Dyer's which


ness

that

in Young's

Thoughts sounded
and

Ruins he

of

Rome
with

had
more

the note
impressive-

struck

in the

that and blank verse

poems his blank

in the
we

sense

peculiarly characteristic of him, is but a variation verse of the This is true only masters. of English in which it is true that, but for Ennius have had Virgil,

should

never

and

that, but

for

his

may by more accurately calling him, in virtue tion, native genius, and not by virtue of imitaof his own Wordsworth"; his relation to the "American
be

in ancient Greece classical predecessors Rome Italy, we never and in modern should Bryant's had Milton. relation to Wordsworth

and have

indicated

22

POETRY
and Dyer, by

AND

CRITICISM
between

what is accidental and what is essential ; and of his blank it may be said, with literal truth, that in strucverse ture it is his own. Nature, and rhythm and Nature
only,
was

Young

distinguishing

and
prophet.

his inspirer and teacher ; and pure and ple simherself was her disciple and as wholesome From his Puritan he had inherited ancestors,
cast

his moral temper and his simplicity, his earnestness,


reverent

his purity, of mind, his love of liberty, his

this

some

seriousness; and with all piety, his profound perament, the aesthetic temgood genius had blended him the gifts of the poet. on and bestowed he went
out

And

so

among "the
The

the wonders

and

beauties

of the

New

World,

rolling

prairies,"

The For

unshorn

gardens of the Desert, fields, boundless beautiful, and

which

the speech

of England

has

no

name,

under
The
Of
And green, and stirring

thick

roofs

branches

all alive and sport

musical

with

birds

that sing

In wantonness

of spirit, while, with rais'd paws

below, and form


erect,

The

squirrel,

Chirps

merrily;

through

the great

solitudes

with

their

Myriads
They

And
....

as the flowers of insects, gaudy flutter over, gentle quadrupeds, have learn 'd the fear of birds that scarce

man,

and Startlingly
or

sliding reptiles of the ground beautiful ;

heard

from
Dim Speak

woods

the aged

past

solemnly;

POETRY
or

AND
on

POETS

OF

AMERICA

23

stood

and

gazed

The
Rock-ribbed Stretching The In and

hills
:

ancient

as

the

sun

the vales

in pensive
woods,

quietness

between:
move

venerable

rivers that

majesty,and
make Ocean's
gray

the complaining
green

brooks
; and,

That Old
or

the meadows and


to
"

poured
;

round

all,

melancholy

waste

lay and
A

listened

Earth's
sent

voice:
from from
streams

tones voice of many That through wander

up

the gloom,

woods

unseen

Swayed From And


And

by

the

rocky hollows sands

of the tides of air, darkness dwells chasms where all day, of the great invisible hills, sweeping

that edge

the Ocean,

stretching

far

Into

the night.

In

his nature

note, magical Fowl'. Water

there is at poems, in the first two as

times
stanzas

an

almost of The

Whither,
While Far, Thy Vainly Might As, darkly

'midst glow

falling dew,

the heavens their rosy

through

with depths,

the last steps of day, dost thou pursue

solitary way? the fowler's mark


thy eye distant

flight to do

thee

wrong,

Thy

on the crimson painted figure floats along.

sky,

And
one:

how

fine

are

the lines in the

next

stanza

but

There

is

Power,

whose

care

Teaches The
desert

that pathless thy way along illimitable air, and


but not lost.

coast,

Lone

-wandering,

And ecstasy

The which

Gladness

of

Nature
"

it describes.

the pulses with Fairest of the Rural

24 Maids"

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM

worth, a littletoo us closely of Wordsmay remind but this exquisite lyric, as well as The Evening Wind, have been by one only could written Nature had

whom the
most

initiated.

Mr.

Stedman

"elemental

quality"
as

of Bryant's

speaks of poetry: it is a

happy

expression,

The

as poems such Wind, Evening

The The

anyone will feel after reading Prairies, A Winterpiece, Hunter


to
a

of
Wood,

the The

Prairies,
Painted A
Hymn

Inscription for the Entrance to the Sea, A Cup, A Hymn


to

Forest the

Hymn, A

the

North

Sea,

Among

Trees,

River

by

Night.
susceptibility to the power and charm of nature, and to this inspired faculty for them, he brought other qualities. catching and rendering Wordsworth, He was like our own a pronot, found But
to

this exquisite

philosopher,
the mystery, with the

but he

was

deeply

impressed

with

solemnity,

momentous

resting has been

and sadness of life, and also importance reof the moral sponsib on the gift of it all on whom
element

conferred. from his nature


them.

This

is sometimes

tinct disblends

itself with
poems
as

studies, and sometimes It is seen in its distinctness


to Death,

the Hymn

The

Past,

in such Life,The

foumey of Life, The Life,Blessed are They


poem,

Crowded

Street, The

Future

that Mourn,

The

Return

of

Youth;
that

and that noble but it is when blended


impressive.
contrast

with his nature In what eternity

studies

it is most

majestic threnody
and again
the

does

he

the in

of nature

transitoriness
Fountain,

of

man

Thanatopsis, and
with

in The

tenderer

eloquence

in The Rivulet. pathos, in the does he enlist Nature

and With

again,
what

service

of

POETRY
man's

AND

POETS

OF

AMERICA

25

in the instruction, as moral and Forest Hymn, ing The Old Man's Gospel, and an EvenRevelry her bring balm for the wounds ; or make in such as of life and poems comfort, solace and

spiritual

the

Walk

at

Sunset,
to
a

Green
A

River,

Inscription foi
on

the Entrance
the

Wood,
on

Scene

the Banks

of
A he

Hudson,

Lines In her

Revisiting

the

Country,
Hymn

Slimmer leads and


in

Wind. from

the

beautiful
to

City

her

solitudes

irradiate

the sordid

crowded

life of the street


The

June

and
the

while and of the mart, her have Burial-place he would of death in Bryant without
ancestors

wreathe
The

dishonours

with

her

ness. loveli-

dominant
but

note

it is threnody his Puritan

is, certainly, threnody; He had inherited gloom. mines the faith that illu-

from

lifeand
him. To

looks through

death, and

it never

fails

his Puritanism

is probably

owing
a

also his pantheistic His

absolute

freedom
tendency

from
in

any traces his treatment

of

mystic or of Nature.

diction, his style, his versification, if the result of the his own, in the main, are, study of English models, to be the spontaneous utterance of what and seem Never he is at his best were conthey convey. ception when in more harmony. and expression absolute It has been observed is a limited that his vocabulary he writes were in which one, and that the measures in few and simple ; the reason is, because the sphere
which his genius

moved

is limited, and
as were

because
most

he

only
to

such employed for his few and


art

measures

associate
art

themes. simple his poetry as with

It is as

appropriate difficult be
to

associate

with

the vibrations

it would of an Aeolian

lyre.

26

POETRY
such
a

AND
stanza
as

CRITICISM
and the file:
"

Perhaps
it is
"

this

how

haunting

owed

something
and

to

the eternal flow Of those smooth billows to the shore, While lines of light below quivering

I sat

watched

Ran

with

them

on

the

Ocean

floor ;

but,

if it did, it is art

indistinguishable of Bryant,
now

from
and the He

nature.

simplicity is the note sincerity, yet how magical,


pathos, what
now

Perfect

absolute
note

with

of

with the note of the sublime. he wrote in The Poet:


.
. .

realized

Let

no

empty

passion find an utterance A blast that whirls the dust dies away; Along the howling street, and But feelings of calm power and mighty sweep, Like currents journeying through the windless Of

gust in thy lay,

deep.

Seekest
To

thou,

in living lays

limn

the beauty

of the Earth

and

sky?

thine inner gaze in clear vision Let all that beauty love, and it with exceeding Look on Before The
words

lie ; write delight.

inspired

by wonder

and

He

moved,
and

it must

be

conceded,
few
; of

in

sphere,

had

that sphere how


true
a

comparatively how admirable

very limited notes ; but, within


a

those

few

notes,

master!

II
In Bryant

America

produced

her

classical merit. work approaches he stood alone, mediocrity surrounding

first poet But for many


as

whose
years

mediocrity

POETRY
had

AND him.

POETS
His

OF
was

AMERICA

27

the great on later works have of some of the poets who already been disciples among mentioned, and he had many but they were imitators. men, the younger all mere preceded
Among
a

influence

the

poets,

if they
between

can

be

dignified

with

such

by the the period marked first volume appearance of Bryant's appearand the ance land Engof the characteristic work of the great New in the latter part of the century, a few may group be noticed as, in different ways, typical. Street, the
author of Nature of and for, though is interesting; the

title, intervening

Gray

Forest

Eagle,

his work has very little are poetic quality, his descriptions of Nature remarkably minute and accurate, and he is certainly the best
representative

of the

Nature

school.
"

How and

faithful his poetry

are pictures vivid, for example, in them like these: abounds

and

"

The And

hemlock

stands, an the link'd branches


on

ivory pyramid, like silvery webs, gleam,


azure

Trac'd

the glittering

of the sky ;

and
The last butterfly, in the meek, his velvet feet

Like

wing'd Pink-colour'd

violet, floating

sunshine,

sinks

Within And

the pillar'd mullein's delicate down, shuts and opens his unruffled fans.1

Charles Fenno man, HoffIn versatile and voluminous have Byron we and Dibdin and Miss and Moore diluted, without a Landon, variously and vigorously is typical of a line of any distinction ; and Hoffman
then
as

flourishing

his Lyre
1

school. and Sword

has vigour and mettle, testify. In Pike's "Hymns

Lunt

See,

for Street, Griswold,

pp. 395-401.

28
to

POETRY
the

AND
have
no
an

CRITICISM

Gods,"

we

themes,
on

suggested,
they
are

into classical excursion doubt, by Keats's Endymion,

which

echo as Mountains
at
an

they plainly modelled, and which faithfully as his Lines "written on the Rocky echo

Shelley's Southey's

Stanzas

Naples.
in
to

-written in intolerable epics the paid Wyoming.

tion Dejecfound
same

imitator

Sands,

tribute

Campbell's
to

also who Gertrude

of

But perhaps,

it is unnecessary
we

may

particularize further; as take N. P. Willis most

and,

comprehensively

representative

of

this period.

Traveller,
man

journalist, playwright,
world
"

a were

readier and
probably

talents

novelist, essayist, defter pen and more by never possessed

of the

versatile And man.

are all these qualities and accomplishments reflected depth It has it has in his poetry. no no concentra; tion distinction ; but it is always ; it has no readable,

His genius it is generally pleasing. resembled those light, friable soils where every seed that falls takes root, shoots up, bursts readily into leaf and flower, and ends in producing is indeed a fruit, which

and

fruit, but

which Willis had


struck

is hardly
no

worth

had

been

pretension. before with far

To originpicking. ality Every he struck note


more

and
In
a

equal with vigour if we the except word,

land, vigour in Engin America. to his own poetry descriptive

of

native
verse

scenery,

and

that

of this period
and

Bryant, the on modelled is merely the English poetry of


was

the eighteenth

variations, tired," wrote


imitations

century, early nineteenth over again in feeble echo.

ferior with in" I am

Judge
of
the

Story
forms

to

his

son,

"

of the endless

and

figures

British

poetry."

And

what

Judge

topics of and Story complained

POETRY
of in prose, the
How Wilt

AND Paulding
muse

POETS bewailed

OF
in

AMERICA
verse.

29

Apostrophizing

of his country,
in servile imitative thy stifled energies the path that leads

he asks:
rhyme impart,
to every

long thou

And

miss

heart?

But

and difficult
order

this prodigious multiplication this tardy development of true


to

of mediocrities,
poetry
are

not

must

All national poetry of a high explain. have its root in life,in the propitious soil
as are

of such

political conditions social and to its inspiration and nutriment.

conducive

It must

have have
a

past

rich in tradition

behind

it ; it must

to imagination, what appeals be concento passion to sentiment, must ; its energy trated, flame that spark catch from spark, and may have touchstones from flame : it must and standards,

present

throbbing

with

derived

primarily

from

what

was

best

in preceding

mutually applied achievement, for fame: by rival competitors

and mutually have it must

exacted ened enlight-

patronage: from those conditions


to

and sympathy response None it appeals. to whom of these it would be more true existed in America;

it must

have

say

to these obthe very opposite that conditions tained Where was concentrated, energy everywhere.

it was and which

entirely on commercial almost concentrated facility The industrial pursuits. extraordinary the
was

country
soon

wealth,

afforded discovered
came

for the and

accumulation utilized. With

of
material

prosperity, in its train. The

all that such

passion for more. America, speaking

attainment Each year generally,

prosperity carries inflamed the of much, increased the fever ; and rapidly assumed
the

30

POETRY features
of her.
so

AND familiar
to

CRITICISM
us

gross

in Emerson's
was none.

National

life there

portrait Between

the several

and

States, which had each its own istics characterits own interests, there was little as almost between
the Italian

unity as there was Ages. the Middle


Nor
were

republics

of

other

development depress bond

conditions As of poetry.

more

favourable
was

to

the
to
no

there

everything there
was
no

it in social and
common

political life,so
centre;

of union, no from mutual

poets mutual

had

ulus stim-

enthusiasm
patrons,

and

emulation. public pathy, sym-

Without

enlightened without

without
to

each

poet

went

responsibility his own way. He

any There in

critical tribunal,
was a

nothing

to

him to excel. encourage had no literary tradition


was

was

country

which

in its infancy.

of its own, And this was

and
not

he was relating to the humanities, He his native as tongue the English spoke he was literature. language, on the English nourished
The the schism Mother had severed all other bonds which with Country only drew this intellectual bond England indeed, to America was, all and than

criticwhere ism all. In thing everyman. Englishan

the closer. much


more

Rome; to ancient ancient Greece was in her servitude. America and, like Rome, gloried have seen, The had, aswe succeeded genius of Bryant in breaking
to

these shackles, but only Beyond the treatment of Nature. had


And
not
so

so

far

as

extended
it

this, the movement point and


to
was
ar-

progressed
remained,

; at

that

rested.

unexplored
were

unworked,

all those

rich

ore precious Lowell and to the other

mines which Whittier to

and

to

yield so much Longfellow, to

poets

of the Revival.

POETRY
American

AND

POETS

OF

AMERICA

31

anomaly poetry presents the extraordinary Like the portentous infancy. no child of having in Hesiod, hairs. it was Decrepit born with gray

from

its birth, it had

in itself

no

life. By
it. The
was

now

only re-creation had been commenced process America to be completed.

principle of vigorous that life inspire could by


was

Bryant,
to

it
a

have

poetry of her own. On the 3ist of August, Address an at Cambridge


note.

1837, Emerson
which

delivered
a

sounded
strain
long
to
:

trumpet

Thus
day

rang

the thrilling
our

"Our the

of dependence,

apprenticeship
a

to

learning that

of other
us

lands,
are

draws

close.

The

millions

around

be

fed

on

the

sere

into life cannot rushing harvests. of foreign remains

always Events,

be sung, that will sing themselves. actions arise that must Who doubt can that Poetry will revive and lead in a new age,
as

the

star

in the

flames thousand courtly

in

our

zenith,
. . .

constellation day be shall one


have

Harp,

which

now

We years? Muses of Europe.


to

the pole-star for a listened too long to the

suspected avarice mind

be

timid,
the

is spirit of the American imitative, tame. Public and private


The
we

make

air

breathe

thick

and

fat.

The

to aim taught at low eats of this country, objects, itself. Young begin men of the fairest promise who upon inflated by the mountain life upon our shores, winds,

shined
not

upon

by all the

stars
.
.

of God,
.

find the earth

below
own

in union
:

with

these.

We
own

feet
our
a

we

will work

own
name

minds. for pity, for

our with The study

will walk hands :

on we

our

will speak
longer be

of letters shall

no

doubt

and

for

sensual

indulgence.
because

will, for the nation of men inspired believes himself each


A

first time,
by the

exist,

Divine

Soul

which

also inspires

all

men."

32

POETRY
Noble

AND

CRITICISM

Holmes as words; like them had been heard


since

justlysays,
in the
halls

"

Nothing

of Harvard

the affirmative supported of ' Whether it be lawful to resist the the question, Chief Magistrate, if the commonwealth cannot

Samuel

Adams

otherwise American The

It preserved.'" intellectual Declaration

be

was,

response

enthusiastic

this appeal have that it must

to

was

says, the of Independence. immediate so and


on

he

fallen

sympathies that,
to set

prepared indeed,
in
:

to
was

meet

it
case.

more

than A

the

half way. And had begun reaction

stir was already in the air, Channing's similar fourteen delivered but less eloquent appeal, years into many Everett's tions Orabefore, had sunk minds.
a

had struck, and very powerfully, writings in prose, as Bryant a note native and, in a minor had done in poetry. degree, Whittier If we glance and
at

those

who

were

to

create

the

generation,
compare

and,

where

they

had

poetry of the next been already active,

1837 with what idea we they produced afterwards, shall have some defining itself in that year, the movement, of what Whittier Longfellow in their were meant. and
what the

they

produced

before

thirty-first year;
any

first had

produced

nothing

of

Megone ; the second, value except Mogg nothing few trifles contributed to a at all but magazines. Holmes, had given two to the some years younger, world fame.
a

thin

long

volume, ago had


an

Poe,
some

have been gotten forwhich would it not been for his subsequent in everything, had anomaly produced

Lowell,
verse,
was

fine poems, but he was almost unknown. in his nineteenth year, as yet guiltless Whitman, an at Harvard. undergraduate

of

a wandering age, and equally silent, was Bayard Taylor a child of thirteen, was schoolmaster. The history not born. and Miller and Bret Harte were

of the

same

of American these
names.

poetry, tillquite recently, centres round Emerson With is associated the transcendental the purely native school ; with Whittier,
Holmes,

school.
centre

Longfellow, of what
may Poe

and the
so,

Lowell

are

the

be

called
alone;

eclectic group; Whitman. Taylor school: Lanier,


was

stands

academic happily,

and does

represents poetry

the

Miller,
the

the

poetry

of the and

of the South, and

cosmopolitan Pacific slope: Bret

Harte
Mr.

the

founder

representative

of what

Stedman

calls the transcontinental school. In some is among the greatest respects, Emerson by virtue of his of American poets; but it is not poetry, but by virtue of his prose and by virtue of what
verse.

in

his

verse

is independent

If
as

we

take

Wordsworth's
namely, that

of of the form definition of a


he is
"an

poet

exhaustive,
"

inspired

philosopher by poetry

;
a

or

if

criterion that it is to be
it induces," Emerson's

the quality estimate of himfurnished self, by Emerson us


we

judged
then

by

"the
can

frame be
no

of mind
question

which about

there
place

eminent
not
even

these
other
must

criteria

are

qualities, be "simple,
never

sufficient. indicated those

poets. among Poetry must

But have

by

Milton; Simple, Where

it

sensuous,

impassioned." in
a

Emerson
poetry
moves

is, except
move

touches.

his it
it

does in
a

not

in

world

world

so

encumbers fancies and

of riddles; and with the laces and

of symbolism, it discerns what

jewels of

recondite
on

phrases,

that
D

we

dwell

rather

the

34
ornaments

POETRY
than
on

AND

CRITICISM
they adorn. Some He
seems

what

to

think

and

feel in aphorisms. necklaces

of crystals, and cold glitter of crystals. They abound is typical: the following which resemble
The
Must

of his poems have all the hard, in passages of

kingly

bard

the chords rudely and As with a hammer or with mace; That they may render back smite Artful

hard,

thunder,

which

conveys

Secrets

of the solar

track,
blaze.

Sparks

of the super-solar

He

seems

to

have

of our that of Donne,


poets His may

modelled Metaphysical of whom

that of the style on School, on particularly

his

he has many

predominating
use

the

characteristics as intellectualized expression,


enthusiasm. But
verse,
as a

reminiscences. ifwe a poet are, fancy


no

and

transcendental of the
born
are

he

had
even

attribute the

singer.

His

where

themes
Threnody

and natural, simple in May Day, has and

in the touching

is worse, and, what the impression that it has only been labour an that such effect has been
movement,

constrained leaves

awkward
us

with

by the greatest We produced. in composing use of his left in composing ous, felicit-

feel that what


prose,

Milton that

hand,

namely, Emerson
verse.

said of himself he had only the


said he

have might Occasionally,

of himself be most can

as

in
Thou
canst not
wave

Or
But

dip thy it
carves

paddle the bow

staff in air, in the lake, thy

of beauty the

there
oar

And

the ripples

in rhyme

forsake;

POETRY
or

AND

POETS

OF

AMERICA

35

in
Though There
'Tis
man's

love
came

repine
a

and

reason

chafe,

voice

When
or

perdition for the truth

reply; without to be safe

he ought

to die;

in the

famous justly
So nigh is grandeur So near is God to
Duty youth whispers replies, /
so

to
man,

our

dust,

When
The

low,
can.

Thou

must,

But
us,
as

such felicities are Matthew Arnold

rare

that they

come

upon

just as
was

the

remarks, Hymn Concord

not

stands born a
excellent

almost

alone The singer.


as

with a sort of surprise, in point of composition his poems. He among


moment

Dirge,

the

first part

Wordsworth's
Death

of
and

parallel Extemporary the Ettrick Shepherd, or the Fourth

of Stanzas

place his it is, beside


we
on

the

ofJuly
lyrics

Ode
in
a

the Boston

Hymn

beside

Whittier's

see the difference at once similar strain, we in Juvenal's between Emerson those who, and have His ''bitten the laurel." ear, over, morephrase,

is simplest them,

so

defective
measures,

that, the
or

moment

he

leaves

the

his

verses

on attempts any variations dissonant. become intolerably

Nothing
verse.

could

be

more

unmusical

than

his blank

But

seek and

his poetry in it what we

precious.

is absolutely original ; and, if we find in his prose, it is interesting in it, illumining There is enough thought
An
to set thought, suggestive intense lover of Nature, in element very prominent

up

and dozen

inspiringly

natural

poets. description

is

36

POETRY

AND his pictures


accurate,

CRITICISM
and touches he has
are

his poetry. And fresh, vivid, and

always

though

nothing

of of

of Bryant. clairvoyance and magic of his poems: sea-shells, he says in one the
I fetched
But
my

Speaking

sea-born

treasures

home, things

Had With

the poor, unsightly, left their beauty on

noisome the shore, and


:

the

sun

and

the sand

the wild
as
a

uproar.

It

was

so

could

read in her and

always Nature,

with

him
was

philosopher
to
not

he

and he to describe

poet

her,

enough but he was


catch

light depoet

to enough He wooed,

and steal her beauty him. but she jilted


the
most

her

magic.

by poems produced remarkable the disciples of Emerson notably and he had many, Alcott, Thoreau Ellery Channing, Cranch, and are the sonnets though not of which, of Jones Very,
"

Among

"

to be better known than order, deserve has written two one or they are ; and Cranch ing strikin the same metaphysical strain. These, poems Browne for example, deserve, Sir Thomas as would have Donne: pleased say, an asterisk, and would

the

highest

We

are

Man

spirits clad in veils; by man never seen. was


deep communing the shadowy
was never

All

our

fails
screen.

To

remove

Heart
Mind We
are

to heart

known
never

with

mind

did

meet:

columns temple
stars
once

left alone complete. gem the sky


near;

Of Like
Far In
our

the

that

apart

though
we

seeming

light

scatter'd starlight

lie,
here.

All is then

but

POETRY
In

AND

POETS

OF

AMERICA

37

to Whittier, we pass to a poet of a passing Of Quaker descent and of the very different order. those of Quaker persuasion, his early surroundings,
a

New

England

farmstead,

his later, the storm

of the abolitionist struggle, with the the Pilgrim's Progress, the poems of Burns, and the current political journalism of his time as the chief
stress

and Bible,

he rapidly rose to of his literary education, insisted to pre-eminence, some eminence, among His long life falls into two the poets of his country.
sources
eras,

up

the first closing with his sixtieth year in 1865, to which was sometime, he says, his poetry thing

from the real something apart his life; the second with his death, objectand aim of But in both these in his eighty-fifth year, in 1892. episodical, his genius moved by the same bounded
eras

in the

same

sphere,

horizons.

He

and improved and,


as

was

in

technique;
cause
was

his

to
won,

which he passed

mellower; grew his life had been so


out

note

the

nobly

devoted of He

of the

fierce turbulence

a serener polemics atmosphere. aggressive " I set at the height of his fame, said himself, when to the Antias a higher value on my name appended

into

Slavery

Declaration
"

of 1833, than
the remark

on

the title-pages
us as

of my books his character.


cost

; and

gives

the key
a

to

His
him

noble dear as

enthusiasm
a

poet.

philanthropist It left him no

leisure, from

life, to give have


to

do

till past the prime manhood It forced him to his powers. justice

early

of
to

journalism and
to

controversy
to

what

he might

given importance
to

fame,

and

consider
was

of secondary

everything which The the moment. result was

subservient that the habits and

not

38

POETRY
to

AND
those

CRITICISM
who

defects
the

peculiar

devote

themselves

to

production in him.

literature became conof ephemeral firmed What was sarily characteristic, and neceshe produced characteristic of the work which
pressure and labour, and

under

he work which Whittier for both.

he had no time for tation when mediis equally characteristic of the he had ample time produced when
has

left abundant
to

Nature place

had

qualified

him

take

that proof higher much

poets than the place he holds; and among for his failing to attain it may reason obviously I have described, his monotonous traced to what insistence the
cause
on

the
be

the themes
which
as an

inspired

to

he

devoted

by and suggested his life, his too easy standards of broad and his
became

acquiescence,

artist, in

of aim generous deft and


a

attainment, His facility of expression culture. poems skill in spinning wonderful

and

commonplace and his want

snare

to

him.

Sensitive describes

repose.
A

Lowell
fervour

and him
knows and

restless,
as

he

knew

no

having
separation

of mind

that

no

'Twixt

simple

excitement

pure

inspiration.

And,
much "pure

unfortunately of his poetry


inspiration." his lyrics have

for his fame,


to

we

owe

almost
as

as

"simple

excitement" under swing


this

to

But
a

when

tion, inspira-

verve,

and

fire which

are

fill us with responsive irresistible, and which enthusiasm his Anti-Slavery The to cause which has long been dedicated lyrics were won, the and

incidents
are

of the traditions
as

great
now.

dim

struggle But who

to
can

which

they

refer

such

lyrics

The

Paean,

Stanzas

read, unmoved, for the Times, To

POETRY
Englishmen, Massachusetts

AND The

POETS

OF

AMERICA
The Year;

39

Song

of

the Free, The

Farewell,
or

to Virginia,

New

listen,

Deo? joy-bells unthrilled, to the crashing of Laus There is great power in The Slave-Ships, and true in The Farewell, Frietchie is pathos while Barbara
a

little masterpiece.
as an

In his narrative

infirmities
Megone

and
as

artist are The- Bridal

of

his great Mogg most conspicuous. Pennacook, teresti inthough poems in dealing

Indian
The Tent

anticipating legends, are crude,


on

Longfellow

with

has works, also The Pennsylvania

diffuse, cumbrous; and is among his maturest the Beach, which Heavily drags to unity. no pretension Pilgrim.
But

and
some

of his ballads ballad-lyrics the very least that can be said for is, that they are the best of of them among kind. Maud
Midler

their

is

justly famous,

and

Skipper Ireson's
classics

Ride

will

song. fairly entitle him to be called are those which poems England. His pictures of its rural the Burns of New find in Miriam, ton Hampscenery and life, such as we Beach, the Lakeside, in The

of humorous

be among the always But his most pleasing

Tent

on

the Beach,

in Summer

by above

in The

Old Burying-ground

and

is his masterpiece a poet, as all in Snowbound, which lose their charm. indeed delightful, and can never are Mr. Stedman Greeley tells us that Horace nounced pro-

Whittier
It would the The
a
man

to

be the best of American


correct to

poets.

surely

be

more

say
be
so

eminent profound
;

poets

of

America,
which
must

he

that, among lowest. stands

respect

felt for him


much

as

the

poetry
tone;

was

noble objectto which its high directed; moral its purity

of his religious its other

and and

its wholesomeness,

40
most

POETRY unquestionable

AND

CRITICISM

mismeasurement. into which work average work

into us not seduce merits must is not Whittier's very best work His any high poetic quality enters.
is essentially commonplace,

and

scarcely rises to mediocrity. His studies from Nature, truthful, fresh, and most diffuse, and too are are, as they generally pleasing

produce

even

their effect, not as the touch of genius duces profaithit,but by the commonplace process of a ful His of superficial details. style, accumulation in little distinction, abounding at its best, has

such
not

feeble pleonasms of rain," and


they
are

as

"The

tear

such

grotesque
"

her cheek was lapses into prose,


on
"

and

not

unfrequent,
brain-currents,
as

as

this:
and
far,

In him

near

Converged,

in

Leyden

jar.
at
on

and musical, and versification is correct has real charm ; but it has few notes, and He owed itharps too monotonously. notes His
to

times these

nothing
culture. for

had study and books, in temper In tone,

no

touch
and

of classical

in sympathies,

and for detriment, good intellectually, he was a


whom Apollo

spiritually, morally, and England New Quaker on


not

had

smiled,

ungenially,
reserve

something

of the constraint
by the homage

and
so

with likely to be
a

but

evoked
But
a

of

unwonted

votary.
had
on

be poorer, the annals of poetry would Whittier's been inscribed as name not

such their

pages.

Noble

example

was and the tradition poem, inheritance more than a poem an precious And therefore poetry itself, the written.

is nobler than of a life which

the
a

noblest
poem,

which

is of

poetry

POETRY
the
on

AND
has
room

POETS

OF

AMERICA

41

world,

for Whittier's,

for, impressed

what

he

wrought, his uncompromising his cheerful

is the character who of the man his purity, his simplicity, his philanthropy,
wrote

loyalty to conscience in piety, all that speaks


letter fails, the systems
every
wanes symbol Spirit, overbrooding

and

duty,

The

fall,

And
The

all,

Eternal

love remains

;
verses

"

all that

speaks
to

in the

beautiful

which
than

he

addressed

those who in the faith which

less confidence him : sustained

had

self him-

I walk with bare, hush'd feet the ground Ye tread with boldness shod :

I dare
The

not

fix with power

mete

and

bound
. . .

love and
so,

of God.

And

beside

the Silent Sea,


oar can :

I wait the muffled from Him No harm

come

to

me

On

ocean

or

on

shore.

I know Their

His islands lift where fronded in air, palms


not

I only know Beyond His

I cannot love and

drift
care.

brothers,

If hopes
Pray The

faith is vain, like these betray,


me

if my

for
sure

that my

feet may

gain

and O

safer way.

And
Thy

Thou,

Lord
as

creatures,
me,

! by whom they be,


close

are

seen

Forgive My
human
not

if too heart

I lean !

on

Thee

Whittier

was

the

only

poet

inspired

by

the

42

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM

Abolitionist

struggle and the events preceding and from numerab Of the inthe great war resulting of 1861. lyrics, anonymous inspired and appropriated, became famous. by them, The some catch song, it but

John
the

Brown's

Body,

has
to
as

little to

recommend
was

sonorous

well as the anonymous Blue Flag, have mettle and fire; but higher merit belongs Ward Howe's Hymn Battle to Julia the

Randall's

My

music Maryland,

which

it

set,

and

of

Republic, which

has

the

power

more than rhetoric. something have distinction ; not vigour, belongs Mrs. Lynn to

and enthusiasm of BrownelPs lyrics war


but distinction
certainly

pathetic lyric, All Forceythe Willson's

Quiet along
most

vivid and the Potomac, to and and dramatic

Beer's

touching

picture of the death of The Old Sergeant. But to return If Whittier to the main is stream. the most purely native of American poets, Poe is the
most

purely

alien.

In

no

touch

that recalls the temper or of the South ; in no

and genius feature can

anything either of the North the features of his

has

he

fellow

countrymen

pertaining he has patriotism


in the world

Of morality, or of thing anyhe has nothing; to morality, of est interor of any concern nothing;
be traced. him,

around

nothing.

the poetry absolutely unique, in any country have been produced and at any might As he was American scendan an the detime. citizen, and his mother of American citizens, though has a right to claim Englishwoman, America an was him.
to

anomaly characteristic of him

An

And,
proud those

need

it be

be

of him, which
make

added, but for


her

America
reasons

has

from

proud

very of her other

right different
poets.

POETRY Poe
is to her
sense

AND

POETS

OF
Keats,
is to

AMERICA
in
"

43

literature what and


measure,

an an

infinitely

higher
art's

ours

sake, whose

to

whom

little appealed

artist for but the Beautiful,

and

exclusive poet to disassociate


the world of men, imagination and An artist more

at its best, is the expression of poetry, homage to it. He was the first American

poetry

from

nature

and to transport fantasy.


consummate
never

and it into

life,from
a

world

of

existed;

and,

the fascination and witchery of much of although from its origin his poetry had sources mystic of be resolved inspiration, into cannot and genuine
triumphs, know
mere

into miracles art, yet, as we of conscious in the display he revelled from himself, of This he did in The craftsmanship. mechanical and
The in

Bells

Raven

Ulalume

and, almost obviously, in this consists ; and sheer


no

obviously, sinceri the in-

as

" the two-fifths of his poetry, Of sarcasm. well-known of Lowell's be said with more truth that he was

fudge may

"

poet the

it of

slave

music
the

; hence

some

of his

poems,

like

Israfel, and

never
as

Ulalume, selves themjust mentioned, resolve poem but it is a music into mere had music; which before been heard on earth. It is in such poems
The Haunted Palace, The

Conqueror

Worm,

The

City in the Sea, Lenore,


vein,
power
as
an

Dreamland,
best,

tastic that, in his fanhis

he

is at

his

because

is employed artist and musician forth the genuine to body conceptions of degrees imagination, touched and in various weird
with
which

magical mately legiti-

insanity
come

as

that imagination
home
to
us
are

most

the poems the love lyrics and

is. But

threnodies,

whether

represented

by

such

classic

44

POETRY

AND
"

CRITICISM
by A nnabel Lee, with haunting harmony, and The Sleeper, or the and
or

' ' Helen thy Beauty as gem in quintessence its pathos or the magic of Eulalie,

utterly unanalyzable A nnie.

fascination

of the

verses

For

The life and


he

contrast

between

Poe's

the purity
as

and

moved

poet,

serenity is not more by

turbid and of the world in which

lawless

striking
his

than

another

contrast

presented the aesthetic

constitution

temper.

sensibility, of a poet he united a precise, cold, and enthusiasm he delighted. logical intellect, in the exerciseof which
His

With

and imagination

analysis
and
to

known

of the is most

rationale

of The Of significant. there

Raven
what

is well be may in his

traced poetry.
pure
nor
:

this characteristic Its enthusiasm, we

is too

often

much feel, is not

wholly

its passion

has not

always

the note

is it always on the wing of inspired To this istic to his weird that he soars characterrealms. be traced, also, his precise and clear-cut may style, so lucid, so coldly chaste, so deliberately, so

of sincerity, imagination

exquisitely him taught

finished.
to

His
most

blend

tact marvellous harmoniously

as

an

artist ively effect-

and

the opposite

extremes

of studied

simplicity

and

studied preciosity. It owed The new a was creation. poetry of Poe to Shelley, to Coleridge, and something something like it as but nothing a to Tennyson, something
whole Bells had
are

If The Raven before. and appeared little better than tours de force they
original:
no

The
are

absolutely tuneful
yet
been

if Ulalume

and

Israfel are
had
struck
as

nonsense,

heard.

such tuneful nonsense he Every note which

he

POETRY
struck

AND

POETS

OF

AMERICA

45

he note and every which rica struck has since vibrated in the lyric poetry of AmeIt would be idle to institute any and England.

for the

first time,

between comparison of the English-speaking will share, generation


never come

other lyric poets he immortality race whose Every for he stands absolutely alone. in his poetry, but it will will delight home like the poetry to men of his

him

and

the

brethren.

They

will

be

fascinated

with

the

weird

beauty witchery of its music, and with the mystic of its strange, wild fancies. They will wander with its wonderful Dreamland, through mingled emotions
now the light of heaven, radiant with lurid with a light which is the light in delirium's They eyes. ple, with its pathos, so simwill be touched They at its miracles yet so intense. will marvel now

of technical from

triumph.

But

they

will

draw

no

ration inspi-

it.

It has

virtue of vital heart's wounds,

poetry:
no

nothing of the influential for the it carries no balm for life's cares.
It
never

solace

a or thought. noble emotion from a dream, To rise from its perusal is like waking but a dream a dream that finally fades, that haunts, a

kindled

generous

leaving
Not

no

traces,

from

memory.

holy his the song that in its metre Chimes of the eternal stars with the music Humbling the tyrant, lifting up the lowly, And sending
we
sun

through
to

the soul's

prison

bars.

And in whose

now

come

that eminent

and

the transatlantic poetry work important be said, in many respects, to century may It would be difficult for any critic, unless culminate.

gifted trio of the last

he

wishes

to

be

paradoxical,

to

say

anything

new

46

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM

discussed long as so so poets about widely and Longfellow, Holmes, Each has his place and Lowell. doubt, rightly assigned, to him, assigned, and, no country and in Great Britain ; and it is a proof of the intimacy in all of the relationship America between to the humanities that pertains formed by that the estimate of them and ourselves, differ so little from the estheir countrymen timate should
both in his native

nor

speaking of the academic has ignored them, of criticism which school has afpreciosity school of the modern which fected, but of the them, and still affects, to despise
am

formed

here.

not

audience
which

and
they

tribunal

would

which desire to

to

they be

appeal
"

and

by

judged
and

general

readers

of culture

and

intelligence,
tastes

critics with
correctness

catholic

is due

to

of the estimate the instinctive good


more
no

and formed
sense

competent The sympathies.

of

their

work

expected
thus

from

them

than
or

allowed with

discontent

has not which they had to give, and terfere to inquerulousness

generous

appreciation

of what
in they

they

did

give. These

three

All professors

poets in the

have
same men

very

much

common. were

university,

essential

scholars

and

profoundly versed intimately acquainted with and


as

of manifold ments, accomplishliterature and in English chief languages where all had resided, not They were as students.
all the culture

literatures
casual
men

of Europe, but travellers,

thus

of cosmopolitan

tastes

and

were

cosmopoliand of tan in society, All delighted and sympathies. distinguished by their social as almost by
their

qualities

as

literary

accomplishments.

For

POETRY

AND

POETS

OF

AMERICA
mere

47

all, the composition in the subordinate,


a

of poetry was case of Holmes,

recreation, to the duties of

fellow, ; in the case physician of Longpractising to the duties of a Professor of Belles-lettres ; in the case more of Lowell, to vocations various than fallen to the lot of one had ever before, perhaps, busy
man.

Their
were

lives

were

of them
as amuse
a

humorists,

easy and prosperous; delighting in such

two

trifles

not

good-natured humorist, had the


less like bards

flaneurs,and
tastes
or

the

third, if dilettant.
possibly

of

refined

Nothing
be

prophets

could

imagined

than
men.

these

genial,

polished,

and

most

accomplished No great and great


we

poetry ever from men


we

appeared
so

under and
We

such

conditions,

poetry

cannot not
a

constituted hope to find.

tempered find what

might

ary poetry rooted in contemporits inspiration and nulife and drawing national triment intensity, from that life: not not passion, expect, enthusiasm,

not

nothing

of that

homogeneousness
has

and
the
common

originality
note

characteristic of a poetry which is the unforced of the Zeitgeist, and

and

of propitious social and political product but a poetry conditions; eclectic, occasional, academic, having its models in many literatures, deriving its material inspiration from what happened and
to appeal accidentally either in his private Thus, it took studies. when to
or
an

the

poet

as

an

individual

social

life, or

in his

objective

form,

it

ransacked of America world, the

legendary annals and historical, not in the only, but of almost every country however, them, transferring without, after
the of

manner

inspired

poetry,

into

symbols

and

48

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM

it took it. When of the life pulsing round form, it resolved itself into a series of a subjective in expression in matter, fragments, as as various

analogues

sometimes
never on

serious,

sometimes It is profound.

trifling, seldom
a

original, plays

poetry

which

its lights and shadows; the surface of life,catching its ordinary dealing experiences, giving with and musical
as

utterance

to

such

reflections
are

and
to
men

ments senti-

those

from
women.

normally But,

experiences healthily and being

wont

evoke

constituted
composite,

essentially

and it has

tones many field. Now

a wide notes, and many and ranges over its themes it is academic, and, seeking in dear to the scholar and student, affects subjects here, as a rule, classicism style, and and the grand

it is not

successful; Ode, itkindles

now,

as

in Lowell's

oration Commemnow

it is the perfection pure


nature's

noble moral fervour; idyll, pure nature of simple

with

with

note: freshness
as

certain
sweetness

of the fields, bread, of home-made

and

here

it has

often

inexpressible
us,
as

and
not

it surprises in other humorous


only by and

in

the

charm. Btglow

sionally, Occa-

Papers
pieces, in power tion presenta-

and

semi-humorous

comedy

its raciness, and vividness satire, but by its inimitable

A character. of the idiosyncrasies of national fairly be predicted for Parson life may long very Hosea Biglow Wilbur, Sawin. and Bird o' Fredom
But its excursions
not

exception,
sphere

into such realms as Its favourite the rule.


has been

these
sphere the

are

the

is the of

which

indicated,

sphere

POETRY

AND Hermann

POETS
and

OF

AMERICA

49

of Schiller's and Heine's lyrics and legends, "ballads of Wordsworth's " home idylls poems, and nature of Tennyson's Praed's de vers of Prior's and and In Memoriam,
societe.

Goethe's

Dorothea,

And

this realm

it, too,

made

its

own,

enriching

and permanently enriching English-speaking world. I have

the poetry

of the

Holmes associated with Longfellow and Lowell. Had he been living, that most of modest have men probably asked would with surprise how any could
one

who have so

presumed

to

mismeasured

talk critically of poetry him. It would have been

to explain that he stood beside them rather necessary for the convenience tion than for any intenof tabulation But his equality. he even then of assuming

would
most

have

shaken

his head.

And,

indeed,

Holmes's

striking characteristics are those of the improhis extraordinary msatore, versatility and his not less facility in composition. He has fire extraordinary and Old
Battle his Bunker-hill mettle, witness fancy can Ironsides : his and Lexington with Nautilus
a

and be

his

exquisite,

touch

of magic,

as

the

Chambered
magicHe can
"

touched
be
a

testifies ; and equally exquisite and his pathos, as in Under the Violets.
to sternness
"

impressive

as

in The

Two

Streams

Temple: he can really fine lyric and The Living forefathers, catch the deep religious fervour of his Puritan
as as

in his Hymns. in The

His

humour

can

be

lightful de-

One-Horse
tact

Shay
grace

and and

in Parson his felicity


as
a

Turell's Legacy. of charming and social functions, occasions


as

His

and

appropriate

expression

poet of

of anniversaries, and of all such are call for the wreath of the moment,
E

50
quite
poet
as

POETRY
unsurpassed.

AND

CRITICISM
we

But

love

him

best

as

the

of the

the

life, and and chances changes of man's laureate tender of the memory-consecrated the poet

past ;
"

as

cheerful

optimist,
as

when The

as

for poem which to be bound all time deserves up with its sister poem De in prose, Cicero's The IronSenectute, I mean
The

poems of such S/tadotvs, All Here, and

the

night is nigh Last Survivor,

of that

gate. genial

We

love

him,

as

we

love

Horace, such

for
as

his

humanity,

expression, like this:


Man We How

his mellow for instance, in an

wisdom,

find

unforgetable

quatrain

judges
read oft His truths

all : God the rule, He


laughing

knoweth knows

each: the law;


teach
saw.

children
never

The

His

prophets

And

this is typical
from

In passing

of much Holmes

more.

to

Lowell,

power. Lowell sidedness,


not

charm

to

In originality, is the first of American


at times
most
a

pass from in virility, in manywe

poets.

He

only

possessed,

of the qualities as rivalling Bryant many

in nearly equal measure, notable in his fellow poets,

painter touch

in

pathos,

having
and but

of Nature, and Holmes too transcendenta of Emerson's

moral

fervour,
The

to Whittier's rising occasionally he brought beside. to all this much

first part richness

of the Legend

of

Brittany

in its
at

sensuous

best: nearly, model.

The

Sirens

us reminds Irene and

Hunt of Leigh recall Tennyson


no

his
too

but they are perhaps, In one vein he produced

discredit
such
a

to

their

nature pathos of mingled painting and letter of the second in the tenth Biglow

masterpiece find as we

series:

in

POETRY

AND

POETS
as

OF
The

AMERICA
Fountain',

51

a another, such The First

lyric gem

Snow-fall and

After

in another, in the Burial:

Commemoration another, again, the noble Harvard Ode. And was the creator the author of these poems Wilbur, Hosea Biglow, of Parson and Bird o' Fredom Sawin, as of A Fable for well as the author
Critics.
This is

between
has been

range; wide the degrees of

but
success

we

must

guish distinwhich before


it

with

No a attempted. produced work himself, his natural level, has found poet has found form any factor in an estimate can a as of his work in an poets. At whole, estimate of his place among least two-thirds however earlier poems, of Lowell's

have pleasing something and eloquent, of the note are of falsetto. Many eclectic experiment simply of them The more Prometheus, poems, ambitious J?/wecusand little more Columbus, are than academic
exercises,

and

not

of

high

order
except

even

compositions.
nature

Sir

Launfal,

such among for the beautiful

pictures, scarcely Ingoldsby Legend.

rises above

the

level of

an

The
temper

truth
a

is, that

Lowell and

was

in constitution

and

humorist

sensibility,

with

with

something

touched with aesthetic moralist nation, the fancy not with the imagiof the fervour, not with the
which, he owed
as
a

Much enthusiasm, of the poet. he should have owed to Nature, and


to

poet,

to

culture

the sympathetic masters, study of preceding Keats A cultivated taste is notably and Tennyson. is as fallible a poor substitute for instinct ; for the one as are never we the other is infallible. Hence, deserts into Keats
in A Legend

He of Lowell. Brittany to collapse


sure

of
in

melodrama

expressed

52
the

POETRY language

AND

CRITICISM

just as the Indian of melodrama, Summer Reverie, nature with its exquisite pictures, Except in his earlier trails off into flat bald prose. his poetry in his pictures from nature, poems and has little sensuous He had plainly a most charm.
defective
cept Exharmony. and verbal he confines himself to simple we metres, when lines which in do not rarely find five consecutive
ear

for rhythm

some

way have

jar on

us.

His he,

blank

verse

and
so

gular the irreoften


employs,

metres

and are music, often quite Of the distressing effect of clogged intolerable. consonants, cacophonies sibilants and of all kinds, he
appears

which little

unfortunately,

or

no

of these perhaps

Browning. Some as unconscious defects, or, at least, their exaggeration, are to be attributed, like his jumbled metaphors
to

be

as

and other impatience


owes so

faults

of expression,

of the work of little to the file.

carelessness and No correction. poetry

to

But,

after all the

deductions
make,

which

the

most

exacting
as
a

criticism can serious poet, Lowell Nature, he has, when in his


own

it still remains As a high. stands

that, painter

of

at
none.

his best, few


Whatever he has

country, technical

superiors, and, be their aesthetic written many fail

and
poems

deficiencies,

can never of sentiment and pathos which home to come to all to whom such poetry appeals. His hortatory and didactic poetry, as it expresses self itin the Harvard Ode, is worthy, Commemoration

of the music and felicity of Milton and that tone at least of their tone, when he is inimitable. His exalted. As a humorist if not

worth, Wordsis most humour

is rooted

in

finer

sense

of the becoming

and

in

POETRY
profounder

AND insight

POETS

OF

AMERICA

53

into the character men of his countryThe than that of any other American writer. Biglow Papers will live as long as Hudibras; and,
as

long

as

Butler's truth,

and

ethic

crystallizations of shrewd wisdom the similar will live and appeal

aphorisms

with

which

Lowell's

poems

are

studded.

Ill

Sydney

Smith, Lord
habit

having

subject with
great
man's

to discuss occasion Melbourne, knowing and

some

that
a

of indulging
proposed that the that said

very they

liberally in
save

certain expletive, time by assuming

should expletive had

been

applied
propose

to
to

I to business. proceed and everything, deal similarly hostile with Longfellow's

that he had little, at once critics. Let it be conceded have been nowhere if any, originality; that he would his the lyric poetry of Germany, of which without is often merely an the literatures echo, without he almost everything generally, to which of Europe be traced ; that he had no depth has written can of
own

thought; that*he

that he had

neither

failed egregiously that he ambitious; modest; the that


he

nor sublimity passion ; he attempted when anything

succeeded
never

most

when

he

was

most

beyond

comprehension of intelligent boys and girls, and very much intimately to dedicated was appealed and And have yet, it remains formed been
that, to thousands,

line a composed of the bourgeoisie, nay,

which
them.
tastes

whose study who


are

by

the

sympathetic

of the
compelled

aristocrats
to

of classical
acknowledge

poetry, the

and

justiceof

these

allega-

54
tions,
we

POETRY they
were
on

AND like those

CRITICISM

come,

wish

truths which grating falsehoods. It is like listening to reproache love ; distressed and irritated, those we
on

we

long

to

retort

those

who

utter

them.

And,

is something almost sacred in the fame for to how to how thousands, of Longfellow; many is his poetry hundreds conseof thousands, many crated there

indeed,

by
says
"

its associations.

As

Froude

beautifully

of our of the silvery cadences in the like church-bells chime


and haunt his memory has passed,

liturgy, that they


ear

of the

English

child,"

with

so, after childhood for our have chimed as another children music silvery the music of Longfellow. and as haunting death-darkened household, To how a to how many
"

long their music like church-bells

under has his the burdens poetry brought which Such poetry balm and sunshine and encouragement. is no is characteristic intended for more as of him intended for theologians, critics than the Bible was
or

many

life, clouded

with the few escape,

cares

or

bending

the

spring

that

gushes
to

forth

and

toil-worn
chemistry.

traveller,

supply

material

the refreshes for analytical

And
that,
even

yet
on

is there
the

much

satisfaction

in showing

critical standards, dictum that the question admire

application if we even for

of strict and exacting accept Sainte-Beuve's


us

is not

whether

we

but whether to we work any given ought from this point of view, Longfellow's it,even admire He is almost always have to fear. nothing admirers in style. Even in quality and sound where sound
he is thinnest and sentimentally Angels, The Rainy The Footsteps
most

trite,
The

as

in

of

Day,

Bridge,

POETRY
The

AND

POETS

OF

AMERICA
we are

55
touched

Reaper and
rightly

the Flowers,
; for

Children,

and

touched

the pathos,

though

is genuine, its expression and The Psalm Life, I

exquisite
am

simple, in its propriety. of it

of

not

speaking

as

of art, is a noble poem, and all the mouthings of it in Infant Schools in Young Men's and Christian Associations, and all the strummings of " " it other than class pianos will never middle make
a

work

noble. dear so

Though
to

his themes

Eliza

Cook

often enabled He was commonplace.

and

tact

and him

often the themes her circle, his refinement to maintain a level above
are so

never

trivial ; his

style seldom

lacks

distinction.
as

His would which Armour

range and power be best seen by


have

lyric poet and balladist beside the poems placing


a

just been
Victor
rare

referred

to,

The

Skeleton
a

in

and

Galbraith,

and

verve

quatrains

with him; in the Arsenal

have which the impressive and


at

fire

noble

the Springfield',

exquisitel

entitled Weariness, pathetic verses and the liltand swing. Lynn, Bells with its finely-cadenced of bear The Building the Ship cannot comparison

of

Lied von with Schiller's Das its model, but the concluding
to

der

Glocke,

which

was

lines, the

apostrophe

all the fervour and strength of best, and lyric when Whittier's at its very must go Of his longer American. true to the heart of every the Union,

have

poems, add how


to

The

Tales

of

Wayside

Inn

will scarcely

his reputation ; but the Saga of Olaf shows faithfully he could catch and render the notes Legend, The Golden exception whatever of the Eddas. be taken to its infirmities of structure may justly

and

want

of unity

and

concentration,

contains,

frag-

56

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM

impressive some of his very best and most mentarily, ' ' The Elsie's chant, in the fifth part, beginning work: is one exof the most quisite night is calm and cloudless," lyrics to be found in American poetry:
The And And
To They

night
still as

is calm still can


come

and

cloudless, be,

the stars

forth to listen
sea.

the music
gather, they

of the and

gather,

and

gather,

Until And
To

the sky, crowd listen in breathless silence

litany. the solemn in rocky It begins caverns,


a

As To

voice

that chants

alone

the pedals

of the organ undertone


;

In monotonous And And


anon

from

shallow

beaches, shelving sands beyond,

In snow-white robes uprising The ghostly choirs respond. And sadly and unceasing The

mournful

voice

sings choirs
eleison

on,

And

the snow-white Christe

still answer,
!

His view, works

most

powerful

work,

from

dramatic

is the

Courtship of Miles
on

Standish,

point of but the

of course it would be that it is the

in this group Evangeline

his fame will rest are which Of Evangeline, and Hiawatha. impertinent to say anything more than
crown

belonging, poem Village, to the poetry which a nation its heart of hearts. As a work of art bear comparison fora moment course, masterpiece
on

and flower of American like our Goldsmith's own

Idyll,
Deserted

enshrines it will not, with

in

of man the Ger-

which

it is obviously

modelled,

POETRY
but
to

AND

POETS

OF

AMERICA
more

57
home

in its simple

fellow's for Longcase a out make denied is almost to what claim universally do well to take his stand him, originality, he would have his form and Hiawatha. He borrowed on may
to metre

the affections If anyone wished

it comes pathos than Hermann

and

nearly Dorothea.

from

the Kalevala, have and

his library, and concentration

in his material from books does fail, in failed, as he always yet he


a

unity;

at

least broke

new

ground, singular
art.

and

produced
and he

work

which
no

is often prototype

charm,

which

had

of in

I am is all but unrivalled. not fidelity of his version of of the hideous speaking Dante, but of such masterpieces as his version of the As
a

translator,

of Mulof Salis' Silent Land, ler's Beware, Castle by the Sea, and the of Uhland's Perhaps from the Swedish the and Danish. versions

Coplas of Manrique,

only

poems

of

Longfellow's
not

to

speaking, but
finest Dante,
ever

justicehas
some

been

which, done are


are

generally his Sonnets;


the

of these Sonnets written in any language; the first and second

among would

such

be

on the of those Divina Commedia ; excellent, also, if in a less degree, Giotto's Nature, as are the three others, well as

and

Tower, Many
to
no

and

Chaucer
no

"

but

would

doubt
America's

nearly all have distinction. dispute Longfellow's title

be considered
one

would

dispute

greatest

poetic artist. and by of his attainment alike by the range from the most It is a long way its quality. exquisite lyrics
as

probably greatest poet; her his title to be considered His there is confirmed supremacy

of his lyrics to such

the Saga

of KingOlaf

58 and
and

POETRY Victor
Birds

AND from
to

CRITICISM
the the
to

Galbraith,

Voices

of

the

Night Miles The

of
from

Passage

Courtship
Hiawatha,

of
from

Standish) Golden
these

the Sonnets
to

Legend
experiments

Evangeline] his
success

It is no small acknowledged. been able to sound the note again of the Sagas and the Kalevala, the note the note of Manrique, of Dante, Schiller, Uhland the notes of of Goethe, of

in every one and of has been universally to have achievement

and

of Heine,

not

as

mere

imitator,
; to

but

as

man kins-

and
a

copartner

in

inspiration

have

created

the alike in lexis and in rhythm, with a perfection of purity, lucidity, and propriety, harmonious but never equably all its own, music in gracious mony because monotonous, and exquisite harstyle admirable conception

with every inspired it.

and him

every

emotion

that

And from

so,

having

conducted
we

to

where

he is safe

hostile
leave

criticism, him, without

will reverently and gratefully to the impertinences adding


to

of that criticism

by any

attempt

settle his relative

poets. modern place among England From the great New men most versatile of American

trio

we

come

to

the

Taylor.

Sensitive,

finely tempered, and

of fluent expression few, even which of his own men, countryproduction, life of crowded have a rivalled, he dedicated and of almost
limitless industry
to

receptive, with a faculty

of letters, Bayard finely touched and

experience In work.

literary

was there poetry, scarcely serious any he did not from Studies the note strike. which in Oriental life, studies in Italian Greek, studies in California!!, in in Pennsylvanian, life, studies

POETRY Norse
measure,

AND

POETS

OF

AMERICA

59

life: lyrics in every key and in almost every Pindaric, Hafizian, Shelleyan; threnody love-song

state-song and war-song, and ballad : narratives and idylls of equal range and drama, if it be ideal, realistic, lyrical. And variety:

and

dithyramb,

said,

as

it may

conspicuously metaphysical,
to

with justicebe said, that he failed in nothing he became except when


we

must

not

grudge

him

the tribute
entitled,

which

such

gifts and

of a high, or even at all has of any permanent, value had its root in what in Taylor. He ever we admire is, like Willis, little more an impromsatore. than
His poems,

the tribute

are achievements But no poetry of admiration.

such

having

no

unity
are

and
mere

or either moral He has neither nor

spiritual, depth nor


in
reserve.

enthusiasm, studies in song.

no

distinction,
At
rare

power but,

tlety neither subhis best, he is above

mediocrity,

How excellence. is the Bedouin

with very incomparably

below exceptions, inferior, for example,


so
an

Song,

Stedman,
it
so

to

Shelley's

praised Lines on

highly Air

by

Mr.

Indian

it. poem,

nearly recalls, and The rich and noble The

apparently which but somewhat extravagant the Pme, Metempsychosis and the very

which inspired

of

verses exquisite friend's child, in his poetry:

from
seem

Euplwrion
me

on

the

death

of
alone

to

to

stand

absolutely

For,

through
love and

His The

the crystal of your fairer shine beauty of advancing and leave him
years

tears, ;

shadows Draw back,

all divine.
cannot

And The

Death,
smallest

that took
vesture

him,

claim

of his birth,"

60

POETRY
The

AND

CRITICISM
flame
"

little life, a dancing


hover'd
o'er

That

the hills of earth,


ours

The
A

finer soul, that unto

seemed subtle perfume Like incense blown from

to

be,

April

flowers
tree,
"

Beside

the scarred

and

stormy

The

saw eyes, that ever wondering Some fleeting mystery in the air, And felt the stars of evening draw

His

heart

to silence

"

childhood's
never

prayer
came

And
poet's

more

pen.
the

verses exquisite There is pathos

from

too

Under
Mystery,

Stars,

in

Sunken
a

also in power and Treasures, and in The line


never

which
may

last has
not

memorable
Death has

Death

keep

what
more

made.

An

achievement
"

far

original With whom have


Bailey

poems except, is his admirable Taylor are associated is

than any of his valuable ments, indeed, fortouches and fragFaust. version of Goethe's

four
while

poets,
the other
"

one

of

justlydistinguished,
least

three

at

individualized Richard

themselves Stoddard,

Thomas

Aldrich,
Boker

Henry

George
As
a

and Thomas de societe, writer of vers descriptive poet, Aldrich and


such poems
as

Henry

Buchanan
as
a

Read.

balladist,

lyrist, and
most

pleasing his Palabras


amply pretty

is among the of American

accomplis

Carinosas,
testify.

as poets, Bell, Babie

and

Lynn of
verse,

Terrace
some

Stoddard
some

is the

author blank

lyrics,

of

and of a threnody invites comparison unfortunately Tennyson; Boker dramas of some

on

respectable Lincoln which


Marvell have

with

and
gone

which

POETRY

AND

POETS Wills's,
Read

OF and

AMERICA of
some

61

H. the way of W. lyrics and ballads.


poem,

The

New
a

produced Pastoral, at
war

good least one

pleasing tive descrippretty dan's Sheri-

lyric,

Drifting,and
Ride. With

song

of real merit,

Dr.

Thomas

this group of poets may be classed William Parsons, a scholarly complish and aclines On a Bust Dante, poet, whose

of

if perhaps have overpraised, James Piatt, a representative West, who holds


no

real

merit, of

poet

and John the Middle both


in

idyll and In singular


New

undistinguished in reflective lyric.


contrast

place

and sterility of the South.


poets

England

poetic activity of the Pennsylvanian was the schools


It had
are

to

the

only

produced

three

Henry worth recording. Timrod, the author of The Cotton Boll, had a touch of genius; of merit also is the work and of Paul Hamilton Hayne, like our Southey, own was who,

whose

names

good While

very poet

and not a bad poet: his lyrics, A Little I Fain Linger In Harbour are would and But by far the most distinguished pleasing.
man was

of this group disciple a plainly


closely genius,

Sidney
whose
a

Lanier. music of rich had him.


no

Lanier he

is

of Poe, recalls, but he was


over

man

often fine and and very

which inner

seems

however, he which, intoxicated to have


essence

control "The

spirit and

songs, sex-songs, he wrote of himself


the
vast

passionof all wind-songs, " so soul-songs, and body-songs


" "

"hath
and

blown

breaths

of passions,

dreams,
a

and

each whereof So it is with melody." Marshes

sailed me is at wave
him

upon into
once

me a
a

like
sea

of

vision
as

in such

poems

the really superb

of Glynn,

Sunrise,

Corn,

62

POETRY

AND Nirvana,

CRITICISM
in such
verses

Psalm

of the
has

West,

lyrics
to

as

The

Sun

Kissed

the Violet Sea, the but


most

Neilson,

and in the less intense But the Chattahoochee.


to

Lanier by

Song charming of failed to do justice


fettering

his

genius

as

poet,

deliberately

himself

music poetry what

He theory. with a most voured endeamistaken is peculiar to to blend and reconcile what is peculiar to with what poetry, so that his itself to the expression to confine tends of
more

by the sister appropriately expressed into mere sensuous art, too often resolving melody dreamy but his poetry and vague suggestiveness; is full of beauty it is original. ; and and charm Very
Pacific time

is

different
slope.

were

the
a

strains

coming
who

from
at
as

the
one

There
to

poet

appeared
the
most

promised

be among

eminent,

he

is certainly the most among remarkable, whom America has produced. Of the genius of Joaquin Miller there can be no question. His Songs the

of

Sierras

struck

new

and

powerful

note.

Full

of

fire and passion colour, with all the race and and flavour of the wild, rich world of their nativity, they Vaquero, swept along, like his own
On
His
About

stormy about any

steed, and blown

gaudy

trappings
as

tossed lithe
as

the limbs

reed,

and

the woods,
Birds
Or

where
and swing, green rob'd lines dreamily,
from
tree

hang

and

red,

droop

in curved

Rainbows

reversed,
run

to tree,

and

monkeys
Like

through
hurried
a

the leaves
through
weaver

shuttles

and
weaves.

through

The

threads

hasty

POETRY
And, There With
That

AND
the long
comes

POETS
days
through,
song

OF
from

AMERICA
blossom'd
bees,
trees

63

the sweet
tone

of sweet
the bough,

chorus

of cockatoo
along

slides his beak walks and

And In

talks and
and
coat

hangs

and

swings

crown

of gold

of blue,

and

the land
The And And

of the tornado,
tops

when

"

tasselled

the redwoods the world


seems

as of the pines are weeds, like lake-side to reeds, rock

darkened

and

drowned

forever,
"

" like wine tawny-red of sun-maids with hearts of gold" "rivers all this had of hair and found But Miller its poet. never the got beyond
"

the land

"

Songs
themes he

of the

Sierras',
to

to

the

themes

of which,

or

to

kindred anything
a

them,

he

always
to

had

distinctive

say.

returned, when What seemed,

therefore, fulfilment buds, broad-blown and Of


no

included the of splendid promise Shallow-rooted withof that promise. and out his poetry flaunted into full life a gaudy,
work

flower.

But

it

was

of native

growth

exotic. growth,
also, and
no

native

exotic

was

the prodigious

we product of transatlantic genius which have now One to inspect. of the most accomplished critics, the late John Adscholarly of English and dington in Symonds, to see were that we told us

Walt

Whitman

"A

Behemoth,
at

jungles,bathing
rivers, under
a

wallowing fountain heads and


the

in primeval of mighty

the crushing him, bellowing


elk
or

bamboos

cane-brakes

gigantic

and buffalo

exulting trampling
his
a

in the torrid air; the with

the

tracking wilderness, tree, energy ; an immense

mate

grasses of irresistible

kind ofYgdrasil,

stretch-

64

POETRY deep down

AND

CRITICISM
of the world,
all the air, in

ing its roots


and
spaces which palm

into the bowels

unfolding

of the float shadowy groves;

its magic boughs through heavens ; the circumambient shapes,

the globe
snows,

towers rise mirage and lands, forests, itself,all seas,

climates,

storms,

earth;
arts,

all nations,

rains of unisunshines, versal cities, languages, religions, the beginning

creeds,

thoughts,

emotions;
not

and

the

grit of these dregs."1


The
on

things,

their endings,

lees and

most

distinguished hand,
sees

of living

English
which

poets,
awaken
"

the other

in the touches

these

astonishing clumsy

elemental paws

dirty and
is
a

of
whose

muck-rake,"
"a

and

the only melodies harper plectrum whose Muse be resolved may

into

drunken
and

apple-woman

indecently

sprawling the

in the slush
rotten

garbage

of the gutter, amid

refuse of the overturned have These the accent not may,

apple stall.2 criticism. of impartial


a

It

estimate,

to perhaps, assist us if we assume the truth

more

balanced

namely,
striking masculine chooses
streets,

that

if

man

tions; of three proposi" six feet high, of

beauty

to

stand

and of venerable ance," appearhis head in the public on


improprieties he
will
at

and

proceed
take

to other

the

police

cognizance,

of which least attract

some that notice, and create excitement; secondly, in literature, as in everything the law of reaction itself, that, when has long else, will assert poetry in form has been perfection and attained running

smoothly
1 2

in conventional
A
Study

grooves,
Whitman,
pp.

there
155-6.

is certain

of

Walt

Swinburne's

Whitmania,

POETRY
to be revolt

AND both
on

POETS

OF

AMERICA
themselves
extreme

65
and will be

the part of poets

in the public

taste,

and

the opposite

; and, thirdly, that if a writer affected and welcomed impudence has the courage to set taste or sense, as a at defiance, and, posing sometimes and decency to express a mountebank, as mystic and sometimes himself in the jargon of both, and yet has the genius to irradiate his absurdities with flashes of wisdom,

beauty
to

and

inspired Those he

insight, who
is the

three

things
with

are

certain reaction

result.

sympathize

the

representative will dwell is the salt of the very little which ecstasy on with to his work, will either ignore the rest, or, coming for by their admiration it with judgement

of which

prejudiced

what

is vital and excellent, invest it with factitious Those tastes of conservative will dwell only merits. have disgusts no on and and offends them, what

eyes

for anything neither party, but find


on

else;
are

and

those

who
to

belong

to

they

its

own

willing merits, will be

quite

judge

what

perplexed,

probably by

misled,

by

the conflicting with

vociferated,
the others. is precisely what This There can of Whitman. the style which

so opinions ship, all the heat of partisan-

and portunat im-

has

happened

in the
that he

case
employed

be littledoubt

he

affected,

as

shameless Adam,

obscenities
to

of

attract

pieces as It was attention.

of such

well as the The Children


a

cheap
as a

and

easy Nor

means was

of attaining
his mode

unique

for securing had presented

of expression Since singularity. himself edifying absolutely


spectacle
F

position his only

poet.

expedient
no
man

Rousseau, nude
was

to
now

the public

gaze.

That

repeated,

66

POETRY
were

AND

CRITICISM
exhibitions could at their leisure; and, certainly, showed
to

and all who inspect and


the

interested
them

in such

contrast

stalwart

great advantage Having Frenchman. been


not expected, in drawing all eyes

and beside

virile American
the

puny

and
as

succeeded, in gaining indeed


upon him, he

thus

emasculated have might


respect,
to

but pile
on up-

proceeded

eccentricity

upon

extravagance. being on
"

eccentricity and extravagance A celebrated once statesman informed


"

observed,

that

the

English

people

would

not

stand

to carry, preparing him that the limits of what they would discovered. But never what yet been

certain measure which had that his experience


"

he

was

shown " had stand

they

"stand

"

in art
were

"

the American
never

people,

it must
"

would be remembere man Whit-

hoodwinked
He

by him page

resolved

to

try.

gave
so

them

of

mere

jabber,of
by the form

twaddle

absolutely

after page drivelling

that it fascinated it assumed


as

its sheer audacity. Sometimes of inanities and platitudes, such intelligence


would,
even

any familiar

man

of average

in

conversation,

it strung from maps


a

be ashamed to express long lists of names together

some; times

transcribed

and

"What

do

from

Natural

see, you Histories,

introduced gazetteers, with Walt Whitman?", extracts

from even and itself in transcendental it presented had which


not

travels, scientific treatises, more newspapers; often it vented


Altogether, ravings. a phenomenon the like of which been seen before, but the like of
or

political

only

never

would

have

seemed
a

to any

sane

man

ble impossi-

outside
was

the cells of
no

lunatic

lunatic,

and

But Whitman asylum. he was well knew what

POETRY
All after. " Drum-Taps
collect
was a

AND this
"
"

POETS
merely,

OF
in

AMERICA
his
own

67
words,
to

was

the arts for


a

crowd

of the astute in show which,


to

showman,
some

respects,

well worth But when we

seeing.
come even

Whitman's

genuine
for what but
"
"

have large deductions work, it would harsh be unduly to certainly which for that is the
comes

serious and to be made call tanry, charlait. His near


"

chants been called


"

term

very he affected

have

in them This others. is, in truth,

poetry in solution, is not poetry of his


"

most
more

original indebted to

is in solubut what tion but the poetry of own " writers of American his predecessors and American writer.

than contemporaries any other diffuse He simply resolved into his own

jargon,and

revoked
expressed in simple

in his

yawp," what had been legitimately, in the true form of poetry, or worth, by Burns Blake, by Wordsprose, and
own

"barbaric

by

Goethe,
Emerson,

by

Shelley,
by
Thoreau

by

Tennyson, and
were

by many

Carlyle,
others.

by

by

Whether
or

his appropriations whether they


were

conscious the
result

and
what

deliberate,
was

of

in the air, so to speak, scarcely affects the He by a trick was not, point of importance. what he affected to be, original in anything of expression

that One

and propaganda. philosophy worth illustration will suffice, for it is typical. Wordswrote, The

was

sane

in his

and
stars

wrote

as

poet

of midnight she
a

To

her

and In many

shall be dear shall lean her ear


place,

secret

Where
And

their wayward round, rivulets dance born of neighbouring beauty sound Shall pass into her face.

68

POETRY
Whitman
writes,
a

AND
more
suo:

CRITICISM

There
And And A

forth every child went he looked the first upon, object became that part of him
was

day that

object
or

he became,
or

object
part

for the day,


years,

certain

of the day,

or

for many
.

Stretching
The

cycles of years. horizon's edge, the flying


.

sea-crow

the fragrance

of salt

: marsh and shore-mud became These forth went part of that child who Everyday, now goes and will always go forth everyday. and who
"

Plainly,"
are some

as

Mr.

Stedman

naively

"

there

treatment
a

comparative advantages It is pitiable of this idea."

observes, in Wordsworth's
to
see

Symonds critic like Addington exalting Whitman into a bard and prophet, fondly on the and dwelling inspired power and beauty of chants, or portions of he must have known, were chants, which, simply
centos,

from from

dilutions with Whitmanian from Wordsworth, Goethe, or


It
was

or

extravagances, fromThoreau, which

or

Emerson.
Whitman

this sort

of homage

confirmed

and
own

in his megalomania, in that monstrous led him to preach, egotism and ludicrous which finally no doubt his to believe, that, to employ

jargon, he

quite

he. To speak all, and that all was began in some by being replainly, Whitman spect a charlatan, and paid the penalty by becoming
was

at

last something also


to

very

like

madman.
to

He

had

to

pay
and,

another do him

penalty

mortifying
a

to justice,

aspired to democracy
it
was

be

the

poet have

of

the

nobler democracy,
to

his vanity, instinct. He but the

would

nothing
always to it.

right, as it almost directly appeals of what Blake, to our own

do with him ; and is, in its judgment


has
some

He in

been

compared

whom

respects

he

POETRY
nearly

AND

POETS
but,
was
a

OF
Professor

AMERICA
Nichol genius
a

69

resembles; put it, Blake insane

as

ably admirmarred
writer of

almost insane almost

by

prodigious Whitman violence, occasionally

violence

redeemed

by

touches
How,

of genius.1
then,
are we

explain the fascination which his work has undoubtedly had, and still has, for so Making for what has been many? all due deductions be no question explained of course already, there can
to

Whitman's about he might have for,


has has
a
on

genius. high stood


occasions

Had
among when

he

been

true

to

it,

the

rare

he

genuine is true

poets; to it, he

lyric notes passion,

he has pathos, he of thrilling power, he has often and in his nature-pictures At times,
true

magical and

touch.

inspired A
poem

him,

its accent.
from the

and like Pioneers,


like
a

enthusiasm possessed there is no mistaking

firm-blown The

and poem

heart, Last,
are

rings and

clarion.
piece

When My

Lilacs

the shorter

O Captain,

Captain,

endlessly pathos,

Out noble threnodies. is at times beautiful Rocking


and rhythm. the Fields came
In

ofthe
alike A

Cradle
for its

again, heart and


more

nature-painting, like the Vigil on

poem, from the is

goes

to

the

heart.

Sea

Drift there

which

generally forces are


strange

him best, for he is at his very reveals the sea at his best when and elementary Nor can his themes. it be denied that the

he mode of expression uncouth which had at times curious propriety. adopted is his impressive Another secret of his fascination and
imperious

personality gospel.

sympathies

and
1

and If, in

his
the
p. 214.

cosmopolitan first, there

is

American

Literature,

70
much
more

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM
and disgusting,
there is

which which
a

is grotesque

justly commands
big-brained,

inch

man,

Every admiration. fearless, rebig-hearted, solute

robust, he is not only the incarnation of but he is the soul of independence and strength, Art look the humanities and may philanthropy. him, as he on Nature, on them ; but mother askance

and

to

whom

alone

he did homage,
one

had

every

reason

to

regard

with of her

pride

follies, and impressed


"

children. infirmities,
on

and of the loyaljst And, indelibly as


"

most

wart stal-

his

vices,

is all this and it is very attractiv his writings. Though there

is nothing in or original, either in his propaganda his prophecies, yet, however ragged and dissonant he is among the heralds of the note of his trumpet,
the
"

future mighty of the Republic


"

"

before

America,

before

of Republics,

of world

mankind federation,

of universal

brotherhood,

of the

one

God,

one

of the religion of humanity, " law, one son's element of Tennysuch poems read unmoved Thou Mother shore, -with thy

as

No one vision. By blue Ontario's


Brood,

can

Equal Mystic

Song

of

the

Broad

Axe,

Trumpeter.
ragged
:

I have
notes;

trumpet's
clear
Marches
Hymns

spoken of let us listen to

The and his heraldone

of his

notes

man of victory to the Universal


"

disenthral'd God
"

"

the conqueror
man
"

at

last.

from

universal

all

joy !
joy !

re-born

race

Women War,

and
sorrow,

a all joy ! perfect world, appears innocence in wisdom, men and health

"

all
"

suffering but joy left ;


ocean

gone

"

the rank

earth

purg'd

nothing

fill'dwith joy" the atmosphere all joyin love! the ecstasy joy Joy, joy in freedom, worship, Joy ! joy ! all over joy !

The

of life !

7'
This is at least worth translating Whitman's virtues will be of no
has

into poetry.
more

But all

avail, and

he

weeds
a man

left will inevitably faces." and outworn

fall The

"

into the
never

portion

of

does not respect who indiscriminately be out should what be said (6faraxai appyra not should

world himself,

and

respects to bawl what nym synothis

said and
a

was jSowv)

but guilty, not accidentally on principle, not morally only, but intellectually and doubt, what he was fond of He was, no aesthetically. calling himself, a child of Nature, and his admirers
have

with the Greeks was offence, Whitman

for

blackguard.

Of

called him
to
now

be true

nature

but the poet of nature: is not true to art. who


a

no

poet

can

We
Miller
contrast

and
to

to pass Whitman,

poet but

essentially native in remarkable standing


is the most

as

as

both. the
most

If Miller

Whitman native

school,

Bret

extravagant and Harte is the most

diffuse, and lawless of the


and has

as a restrained. reputation a serious as eclipsed his reputation poet, and he will doubt live mainly by his prose no stories; but his has scarcely had justice done to it. serious poetry

His

concise humorist

Much,

indeed
produced does not

the greater
as mere

part, of his

verse

was,

no
certainly

doubt,

journeyman
course

work,

and
a

craftsman
turn out.
a

rise above could, in the

the level of what

skilful

of that work,
not

easily

With
narrow

this

we

need that

It is in

sphere

ourselves. his distinction lies; it

trouble

lies in the clairvoyant and thrilling power vividness he realizes and presents a pathetic scene with which incident, in his faculty of piercing to the heart of or
some

dramatic

situation

or

circumstance,

and

repro

72
ducing

POETRY
it with

AND

CRITICISM
nearness

truth, and Nothing and in the nerve and grip of his narrative. tion-mast the power could well exceed and pathos of The StaLone Prairie, or the charm and pathos

corresponding

of

Even in Camp. of Dickens In the Tunnel smite, the tears its pathos Signal may owe
"

such into

waifs
our

a.sjim

eyes.

and Guild's

and

what

is in it!
"

to

the fact, but

how

presented; his best.


Hearts-ease place Nest, have he
are

in Grandmother The

admirably Tenterden he

there pathos is that fact

beside

little poem exquisite is in another vein, but Daisy. Burns' In Ramon, Flat, in The and life which no Blanche

is again at The Mountain it deserves The Hawk's


a

Dow's
leaves

Old
one

Camp-fire, we
has
as painted For the King

from

has

done. by

Miss
too

Says
fidelity
de

and
to
a

spoilt Browning,
rare

great

bad by

and

Concepdon

Arguello

model, fault a

very
terse,

Harte, diffuseness. His style, with Bret lucid and its sabre-cuts "with sinewy, of speech," is all his
a new own,

Saxon

he strikes the notes other which In poets have struck, it is often with added charm. for such a poem there is room spite of Longfellow The Angelus, in spite of Praed Owen as and and Meredith,
verse room

realistic poetry to When versatility.

tune.

and has set American Bret Harte has great

for Her

Letter.

As

humorist

in

lower he stands on a much level, and whether, Nichol Professor he as must opined, often have " Chinee, and to give to hang that Heathen wished

the neck of the and wring in the heads of the whole Emeu, Society cave and I cannot, on the Stanislaus," of course, say, but it the
'
'

lie to Truthful

James,

is very

certain

that

they

have

intervened

between

POETRY
the lower
the higher Nor
can

AND

POETS
they which

OF

AMERICA
given him

73
and

reputation
reputation it be denied

which
to

have he is
are,
one

justlyentitled.
or

that they

quantum
two

perfectly original, and have, Twain's kindred strains, a But


a

like
most

valeat, of Mark

provoking
he

tion. fascina-

Bret

Harte,

even

where

was

powerful rival in the author of the oijim " Prairie Bell All lovers of and of Little Breeches. both in England remust poetry, gret and in America, Hay's life did not leave that Colonel crowded
"

strongest, Bludso

had

him

more

leisure
is
as rare

to

its range,
to given hear we sonnet
as

cultivate and fine poets poems Room,

as

within genius which, it is virile. It is not

many minor in the two The

to

strike

such

notes

as a

Haunted

Remorse.

How
Sad
Of
To

exquisite

referred to, in such and in such a lyric is the following:

as

is the vague and tender dream kisses dead love's lingering


crush'd hearts, hallow'd by the gleam

Of

unreturning Deep mourns


For But

blisses ;

the soul, in anguished the pitiless death that won them


the

pride,
;

saddest

With

the virgin
we

wail dew upon to

is for lips that died them.

And

now

descend
to

the

levels

impossible

distinguish.

it becomes where During the last

few

been at least a hundred years, there have and fifty poets and poetesses, of very many even of whom has not the indulgent Catholicism of Mr. Stedman And in the case taken cognizance. of the of these,

majority

uniform similar in quality

so

is the standard the work,

sential of merit, so esthat distinction

74
depends,
purely
on

POETRY
not
on

AND

CRITICISM
of critical tests, but Nor has taste. of personal marks its whole range, any landit comprehensively, regard have individually who
in striking

any

application

the

accidents

this poetry,
or

throughout

we eminences; whether in relation to those or

to it, nothing contributed stands out In the minor singularity. poetry of almost

all periods

and with

of almost which

all nations, there are particular poems is familiar, and in the writings everyone

minor poets there are particular poems with instantly associate them. But this cannot we which be said of any of these poets. Even the best of them Dr. Johnson said of the I fear, of what us, remind

of most

Giant's hardly
to come

Causeway
worth going in our way,

"

it
to

was
see.

but it was seeing, worth If their volumes happen


are

the chances

that
are

we

turn

over sure

their pages with to find a pure and

real

pleasure.
tone,

We

pretty

wholesome marks

refinement,

often charm, in many cases European and ago

all the
on
a

of careful

grace, culture based


with

sympathetic

acquaintance

belles-lettres, and a power of expression fifty years a skill in technique, generally, which have found in the work been only of would
But it is, we

masters.

artists, who they

do
can.

not

feel, the poetry of accomplished but cause bethey must, sing because

Eclectic

and

cosmopolitan,

or

it is essentially the work of art, and but art, with in life, too no root often of nothing a weary sameness; national or individual ; in its themes, in its tone spirit, a certain insincerity, or and trivially native,
at

all events

enthusiasm poems

and

of genuine enthusiasm where Here is affected. there, particular and be found poets may particular whose

lack

POETRY
work

AND in

POETS

OF
some

AMERICA

75

would,

justice, require
Edmund

this criticism. The most American critics, Mr.


has, like
our own

deservedly

modification of eminent of living

Clarence Arnold,
on

Stedman,
his
own

Matthew

title to

speak

contributions poetry native Btglow

with authority to it. The too Whitcomb in


no

confirmed poetry by his

of

James

facile and Riley, an

voluminous

essentially

to the way comparable life, and Papers, is full of humour, vivid likely to but it is hardly nature graphic painting, And, the country travel further than of its birth.

product,

though

certainly,
more

an

honourable poetess; inspiration


are

than times when

one

for be claimed place must Mrs. Thaxter's lyrics have and


the great
sea,

at

true

charm,

her themes
sonnets

and

particularly bird life. The Hunt

lyrics and

of Mrs.

Helen

Jackson

play dis-

have technical great often much skill, and Emily beauty. is, in her jerky transcendDickinson entalism
Emerson, and strained style, too but much of her work faithful

refined Moulton
more

and
can

thoughtful
never

sonnets

disciple of has real merit. The Chandler of Mrs.


a

than be

one

long

gems

appreciation, and lyrics will tender of her simple and But higher in every a anthology.

lack

grateful

to any of these poetesses than belongs place, perhaps, be assigned Helen Hay, whose to Miss must sonnets and lyrics have both subtlety and power, and whose

last work,
ness,

The

Rose

of Dawn,

in its rich picturesque-

intensity, and sustained seems power, in spite of its occasional in style, to me, collapses has brilliant contributions one of the most which to American recently been poetry. made

dramatic

76
But

POETRY
it is time
to

AND conclude. dark as that

CRITICISM
The

future

can of Ameri-

on

is as own, poetry cism and critiof our is not immeThe diate concerned with prophecy. is, it must be owned, not prospect encouraging In the sphere tellect either side of the Atlantic. of in-

Science,

is seriously energetic but activity, nothing or vitally influential but the scientific spirit ;
"

the spirit of that spirit has engendered and, what investigation, is ubiquitous. analysis and criticism Under ginative this deadly solvent of the spiritual and imafaculties of man, their two creations, poetry
"

and

theology,

seem
an

to

be

melting

away,

the

one

resolving

itself into
the

other

into

wealth-accumulating
that accompanies have must and

to the senses, appeal Materialism code of ethics. and labour luxury, all and with

aesthetic

Wordsworth,
them. has

and all that follows in their train, inevitably have the effects which Emerson Ruskin to attributed and generally into little and
will
more

Literature

degenerate,
than
to
are
a

as

it

degenerated,

means

of
whose
;

recreation affording serious interests and

amusement

those

occupations
or

elsewhere
as

and

poetry
shares, nobler
never

will

appeal, in this degradation.

cease

to

will share, But Man's

it now

finer and they


can

vitality. in Unerring and inevitable as the law of gravitation is the law of reaction in the spiritual, the physical, Materialism the word and let us understand world.
"

can only energies be extinguished or

be
even

depressed,
lose their

in its most
course

comprehensive
run,

sense
we

"

has
quite

still
sure.

long
But

to

of that

may

be

all that

poetry

represents

fail at last to assert

can never vindicates and different, however, itself. Very

POETRY
from
the

AND

POETS

OF

AMERICA

77

be the poetry poetry of the past must of from the mythIt will not imp its wing the future. ology tion or and Hippocrene, of Olympus seek inspirafrom
Siloa's brook Fast
by the Oracle

that flowed

of God.

Of

that there

can

be

no

doubt.

It must
more

have

other

inspiration,
to

find

the

It is other themes. first in the immense,

likely perhaps
un-

emancipated, potentialities itself in the

develope and New

life, with possibilities, which World, than in the

its infinite is unfolding


more

tradition-trammelled contracted, Its themes, life of the Old. be sure, we may in the treatment man Whitwill be the themes of which its religion and ethics fumbled and stammered, Emerson was the religion and ethics of which it is likely to be a poetry the In a word, prophet. have been features of which more clearly, if still in the genius dimly, adumbrated typical of America,
the

than

in the

genius

typical

of any

of the

European

nations. degraded
centres

the restless, hollow, against reaction life at present characteristic of the great fashion is inevitable, and of business and

with of
a

poetry reaction fuller day, the and


"

that

realization, nobler
sense

not
as

the poetry may awake, famous find its prophecy politically only, but in another and
"

well
the

Westward The
A four

course

of Empire

takes

its way;

past, already fifth shall close the drama with the day; Time's noblest offspring is the last.

first acts

THE

COLLECTED

WORKS BYRON.1

OF

LORD

THE
and his

be regarded a as may completion of what final edition of Byron's writings both in poetry in literary history. is surely a notable event prose
Nothing either

indeed
the

is likely which

to

estimate since
the

terially very mamodify has been formed Moore's have


we

of

character
or

work, long
now

the

verdict
on

since passed in a position

which him

appearance of his countrymen


as a

poet. much

But

are
man

himself,
was

and

more

understand in his work


to

to

in the

as

not

possible
we
are

understand

before;

absolutely
and that be

new

to review enabled light, at least in the


so

it artist, which fully and clearly both, if not in any


an

light

mony of testi-

illustration

probably

added
a

to

nothing it. These


to

nay, so exhaustive, of any importance will ever form, in thirteen volumes


ample,

truth,

contribution it would be

biography
to

which
1

difficult

criticism and find a parallel

to

in

i.

The

Works E.

of Lord
Prothero.

Byron

by

Rowland

Letters and Journals. Edited London: Murray, Six vols. 1898:

1901.
2.

The

Works

of

Lord

Byron:

the Poetical vols.

Works.

Edited

by

Ernest
1904.

Hartley

Coleridge.

Seven

London:

Murray,

1898-

WORKS
modern Byron's from
times.

OF
There

LORD
is
no

BYRON
corner, no recess,

79
in

crowded
to

life, from
the

boyhood
into
we

to

manhood,
are

manhood
;
we

end,
as

admitted know we
To

know

him

we which know Pepys

not
as

and

Johnson.
nothing his in which of a correspondence his impressions, his idiosyncrasies
are

say

experiences and and his temper, intended


most

for

no

reflected as in eyes but his own

mirror,
reveal

records his to us

secret

thoughts.

He

moods

phase of darkness

in all his extremes. in its rapid and which, and and

in all his is exhibited We can every watch capricious


alternations

and mobile follies, the


Browning

light, his extraordinarily complex The infirmities, the character assumed.


vices which and degraded revolted him at Wordsworth times
to

the

and level
mere

Brummell, of fribbles like Nash and and of like libertines Queensberry and Hertford ; the transitions by
which,

in the

nobler instincts and sympathies, into the actual moat such ments embodiment of what he expressed in poetry; the virtues on which loved him delighted those those who admired and who
to

resilience he became glorified

sudden of his

dwell,

and

which
most

momentarily the
most

into the

him transform could heroic, the most generous,


men

attaching

of

; the

for which the perpetual his higher and baser nature, and between
and his
passions,
was

anostrange malies conflict between

his his

reason

responsible;

mingled

charlatanry levity and


which

and

sincerity, refinement
; the

and

enthusiasm

the

almost

magnanimity in him ; be discerned could occasionally incredible meanness and of paltriness

grossness, nity digand

8o

POETRY
at

AND
he
was

CRITICISM
; his sanity,
men

which
sense,

times
keen

his

capable into insight

and

his good life, his admirable

literary contrasted the extravagance the influence of

judgements, so
with

singularly

and

ingly glar-

the childishness, he displayed which passion


"

the obliquity,
when

under

or prejudice

his autobiography, memoranda,

in other and

words,

all this makes his correspondence,

journals, a
interest.

psychological

study of the profoundest Nor is this all. His


expression

poetry

is

so
was

form
more

of his character, and by his personal experiences, the best of all commentaries
important portion letters point

the essentially directly inspired so

that these
on

records
a

it. From
or

still

of view,
are

they,

at

least the

greater Byron's
poems.
us.

of

them,

will Voluminous sketches

probably
as

equally live as
are,

remarkable. his long as


never

they

they

Social

dashed

anecdote
raconteur
on

and
can

off with incident related relate


or

weary piness; hapinimitable


as

only

consummate comments

them

; piquant

the

latest scandal

the latest book

; the

gossip

and

tittle-tattle of

the

green-room

and

the

boudoir,

of the clubs and the salons, so transformed by the humour and wit of their cynical retailer that they almost rival the dialogue of Congreve and

Sheridan; life,
on

and shrewd human nature,


so

penetrating
on

on observations literature, politics, on on

dropped
that
we

carelessly their

that

see

wisdom,

it is only keep us

reflection

perpetually

amused and entertained. Of the conscientiousness


Mr. Prothero has
to

and
a

performed
too

skill with which difficult task it most In the first place,

is impossible

speak

highly.

WORKS
no spared With complete.

OF
pains
what

LORD
to

BYRON the correspondence


a

81

he has

make

success,

number

of letters which

have

comparison of the in preceding appeared printed


extent,

collections
once

show.

with the number If he has, to some

by

him
as

will at those

fared

glean who after the full harvest fare, he has not only preserved but he has worth preservation, substantially in preceding
to

must

necessarily which
was

what

was

of most

able to add interest and value

much been

collections.1 Mr. Prothero has not an us only given tive exhausedition of the letters, journals, and memoranda, henceforth be their standard must and settled what
text,
more

but

he

has

done the

much

more.

fully into
or

time,

took

keener

social and interest in the incidents

entered literary life of his


of the is that

No

man

hour, than Byron. The passing consequence the letters and journalsteem with allusions
to
as

and
as

reference

individuals
literature

and

to

current

topics,

to

the
a

nearly

continual
us,

the of the day, which has made century unintelligible without has given This Mr. Prothero elucidations. given
us

well lapse of

and

in

measure

pressed and

down

and

overflowing.
the persons,

We

have

whom
1

the
For

many letters

memoirs long of them

notices of all since forgotten, to


or

are

addressed,
at the

of whom
of Byron's

they

the ample which


the

material

disposal both

without

the poems would to the diligence and enthusiasm of the second Murray, during no who eighty years spared in collecting it. If they and owe their house

present edition have been impossible,

editors, letters and of of the indebted is the world and


time

third
or

John

expense
to Byron
a manner

they have which

certainly endeavoured would


most G

to repay

much debt in their

their creditor

have

appreciated.

82

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM
indeed
it is to

make

mention

; and

rare

requiring explanation His in are notes


reading,

which

find anything is left in obscurity. delightful


to

themselves

and

we

are

with their occasional But important as all that throws important more

all inclined diffuseness.


not

at

quarrel

this edition Byron light on from the

is
as

as
a

concentrating it is still man,


it throws
on

light which

his work.

If,in editing

and miscellaneous imposed a difficult task


task
was

the correspondence, journals, had Mr. Prothero prose writings,


on

him,

still

more

cult diffi-

imposed and

on

his

the coadjutor,
we

the

poems

dramas.

When
not

say

editor of that Mr.


complete

Coleridge's
poem fragment

edition contains, written and drama


the
smallest

only Byron,

every

by

but

gleaned formed been


copies
are

of from

interest
sources;

authentic
by

which that his early

every be can has

text

collation

with

the

printed they

and

extant,

with the original in most as cases

manuscripts they
are,

where every every

variant
poem allusions Byron

and erasure is furnished


and
was, or

being with

carefully elucidatory

noted
notes

; that

explaining
to

citing parallel have been, may

passages

which
to

indebted;

that

each

of

is prefixed the chief poems collection of poems and less elaborate bibliographical, a more or critical, illustrative introduction some and mate estigenerally labour be formed exmay of the immense pended
"

on

his work.

A than
reasons

to a conscientious troublesome poet more editor Byron be found, and this for three could hardly
"

the

multiplicity which

of the

the

large

space

topics

of his text, interest of ephemeral


sources

WORKS
fillin his poetry,
even

OF

LORD

BYRON

83

and

or the difficulty of identifying the innumerable reminiscences of explaining desultory but his loose and references which

and

immense very

reading

supplied

in

superficial
any

acquaintance
one

A such profusion. with Byron's writings

will enable

to

understand
as

annotation of such poems The Vision Judgment,

what the Hints

the adequate from Horace,


Drive, The

of

The

Demi's

Blues,

to

say

nothing

Reviewers,

and,
must

Don

Juan,
by

above imply.

Bards of English all, The Age

of

Scotch and Bronze and


labour
was

No
as

doubt

the

somewhat

lightened,

Mr.

Coleridge

much

that great work, editorial labour, the but

has which Dictionary

acknowledges, lightened so

of

National

all that the Dictionary could afford for fraction was represents only a of what necessary has Mr. Coleridge the elucidation of these poems. his task knowledge brought to an of extensive

Biography;

general

literature, and of the literature

still more immediately

extensive

knowledge and

preceding

contemporary
"ana,"

with

Byron.

Memoirs,

ence, correspond-

novels,

have him been

and all such been in Byron's


; and

newsperiodicals, papers, known to as are publications have been explored by hands,

travels,

with

the happiest
not

result.

For

he has

thus

enabled,

only

to

references allusions and lapse of time has, for the


obscure
or even

the innumerable explain in the poems the which


present

generation, unintelligible, but, in

ered rend-

tion conjunc-

us on the text, to furnish with with the notes Byron's on the best of commentaries and methods lies in The technique. chief infirmity of the notes

the

parallel

passages.

Mr.

Coleridge,

very

rightly,

84

POETRY importance

AND
to

CRITICISM
as

attaches

them
"

illustrating

ing strik-

characteristic with
an

the union of originality of Byron indebtedness his predecessors to temporarie and conlittle surto be not a so as prising, considerable particularly in
a

poet

of his

temper.

But

many
are

of the
not

most

found
mere

noticed for many

remarkable of these reminiscences by Mr. Coleridge, a though place

is

which To

might

coincidences.
presently.

easily be this, however,

resolved
we

into
return

shall

To

pass

to

the

contents

of these
all that

seven

volumes,
or

which
ever

represent

has

substantial been given,

in verse given, to the world first question every which reader will naturally ask is: do they add anything have, to what we of importance already any poem probably from Byron's will be The pen. which
a

deserves
note?

permanence,

any

poem

which

strikes

new

little reserve poems

be answered, may in the negative. perhaps,

This

some with Of the thirty

here for the first time, the insertion published by the thirds could of at least two only be justified desirable to make that it was the colconsideration lection
complete. The

eleven

early
are

poems

from
level

the Newstead

manuscripts

of the verses comprised "I the lines beginning

much in the Hours


cannot

printed below the

of

ness', Idle-

talk
to
a

to

thQQ,"

Julian,
iii and
in volume

The

Duel,
no

the

Ode

of love Lady, in

volumes

iv, have vii

distinction;
so

printed

are,

far

as

few of those intrinsic merit


with
note,

Every one will turn preserving. goes, worth interest to the seven the prose stanzas, with containing the savage
attack
on

Brougham,

which

WORKS
were

OF
stanza to

LORD
clxxxix fourteen

BYRON
in the
stanzas
,

85 first canto of

to

follow

Don

Juan,
at

and

the

seventeenth
room

of Don Juan But Missolonghi. no


canto

the opening found in Byron's


can

one as
a

without

feeling
gains
in their

how

little, even

read them satirist, his reputatio


painfully,

first series, and how flaccid diffuseness, the second

by

the

illustrates the
to

his part

decadence.

Nor

is the

series fragment of

of The Deformed Transformed likely but curiosity. The most able remarkgratify anything on of a poem of these pieces is the fragment
third

Aristomenes,
1823,

dated

Cephalonia,

September
new

loth,

he certainly struck a in which is not a little surprising, a note what Keats. The
The Since Of

note,

and, ing recall-

closely

fragment
Gods
of old

is short
are

and
on

it may
their shore

be transcribed:

silent

the great Pan the Ionian waters which

expired, broke

and through dread

the

roar

Voice

How
Was

much beautiful
more

Pan is dead." "the Mighty proclaimed died with him ! false or true the dream
"

With The

every peopled which than finny tenants, and

stream

adorned

with coy nymphs and waters woods in Deities, or Pursuing the embrace forth the high heroic Of Gods brought
names are on

that

scorn

'd

race

Whose

the hills and

o'er

the

seas.

On

of the letters, Moore displayed judgement which the admirable with he published he both in what and in what Mr. We ridge's Colecan quite understand suppressed.
as

review general to be struck, not

of these
in the

poems
case

it is impossible

desire to make as possible, but

this edition of Byron is glad to learn one

as

complete

that he

86
has

POETRY
not

AND

CRITICISM
the
manence per-

extended

limits

of what
to
some

his editorial discretion beyond is here printed, for, in giving

of such

discretion
are

limits of these pieces the extreme have been lees even The reached.
as exhilarating, and that lees still remain, successor
we

of Byron from Mr.

not

Coleridge
no

gather it is to be

hoped

that

less discreet

of Mr.

ridge Coleto

will be

permitted

to

allow

vulgar

curiosity

more than copious material affording has hitherto been collected for a critical estimate of Byron's a as poet that this edition is perhaps work interest and importance. We enare now of most abled,
as

regale But

on

them.

it is

thanks what
to

to

Mr.
owed

Coleridge,
to nature

to

distinguish
what he

tween be-

Byron

and

predecessors and contemporaries, and, him into his workshop, his methods to study and into all the secrets be admitted of his technique.
will certainly come how the most often poets,
in
as
a

owed following
to

It

surprise

what inspiration,

vehement to be appears
is, at the

to learn many impetuous and of passione the full tide of imto


same

time,

the most

patient
essence,

with so much of artists; how, his poetry is, in expression and sentiment,
as

originality

in

imagery

memory assimilative Byron's Among

morbid

and of this he was always " Like Edie Ochiltree," he said, "I never boasting. in my life." That dowed turn to bide a hard o' wark
labour; rule, with great rapidity seems pains in preparing certain, but that he took immense

anxiety him no cost

many to have

and often in indebted to as much almost Tennyson. or that of Gray his almost affectations was
it supposed that tion composi-

he

composed,

as

WORKS
himself

OF

LORD
and

BYRON in revising

87
what he

for composition, is abundantly composed,


the
was

elaborate his aim,

accuracy but from

from not only apparent, of his realism, when realism the testimony afforded by the

variants and deletions Of the first, we have in Don

in his manuscripts
two

very

striking

and proofs. illustrations

dents the shipwreck namely, and the inciit in the second canto, the and succeeding in the seventh Of the siege of Ismail and eighth. " he himself a single not shipwreck, said there was from fact; not indeed taken circumstance of it not

Juan,

from

any single shipwreck, The of different wrecks."


part

of the poem
out

was

all from fidelity with in other compiled,

but

actual

facts
this

which

Shipwrecks

of passages Disasters and

dovetailed
at

words, constructed from Dalzell's

Sea,

Hartford's

Remarkable

Shipwrecks, Bligh's

Narrative

of the

tiny Murative, Nar-

of the

Bounty,
to

and

his

own

shows

what

sometimes submit. by him have been


notes,

patient Most of the

grandfather's drudgery Byron

duly

but appears

one

of the to have escaped


"

recorded interesting most

passages in Mr. Coleridge's

could borrowed

able and remarkhis notice. The nificent mag-

stanza

And

first one

Louder Of

universal shriek loud ocean, than the

there like

rush'd,
a

then all was thunder ; and echoing Save the wild wind and the remorseless Of billows; but at intervals there gush'd, Accompanied
A solitary
some

crash hush'd,

dash

with

shriek,
strong

convulsive splash, the bubbling cry

Of

swimmer
on

in his agony.

"

was

plainly

based

the following

passage

in the

88

POETRY

AND
"

CRITICISM

wreck

" Pandora of the vol. iii, p. 129):

(Ship-wrecks and

Disasters,

Within

very

few
an

minutes
universal

of the time

when

Mr.

Rogers

the rock gained in their ears,


In the
a

few

minutes

long vibrated shriek, which dreadful a announced catastrophe. hushed the roaring of all was except
.
. . .

and the dashing of the waves. winds in the dreadful drowning were of men away

The but

cries died

extreme,

by degrees

as

they

became

faint.
to

It would scrupulous
most

indeed

be quite

impossible

exceed
to

the the

particularity

on trifling minutiae, these literally nothing In to invention. owing narratives, his account he of the siege and capture of Ismail in the same has drawn to the same way, and almost

with Byron

even which, has drawn

extent,
sur

on

the Marquis

Gabriel

de Castelnau's

Essai

VHistoire

Russie. remarkable

And

et ancienne this drudging

de la Nouvelle moderne industry was more not

than

the

labour

expended

on

successive

of some editions Bards and Scotch

English of his poems, notably Reviewers, the Hints from Horace,

and The What will be

Giaour.
trouble plain
to

composition

sometimes

cost

him

of the variants Harold, and in cxxxiv

any one in stanza

who will turn to the record ix of the first canto of Childe How reof the fourth canto. vision transform his

could at times by the passage


The

poetry
one o'er

is illustrated knows in

Giaour,

"

He

who
now

every which hath bent him


run
:

the dead."

The

lines which
The
The

first dark

day

last of danger

of nothingness, and distress,

WORKS

OF

LORD

BYRON

89

(Before Decay's
Have
And The The The
swept

effacing fingers beauty the lines where

lingers,)

mark'd
rapture

the mild

angelic

air,

of repose that's there; fix'd yet tender traits that streak languor of the placid cheek;
ran
:

originally
The
The

first dark

day

last of doom Before Corruption's Hath tinged

of nothingness, and of distress, cankering where fingers


beauty

the hue

lingers,

And

marked That dwells


"

the soft and settled air with all but spirit there.

The
occurs

line

Where

cold obstruction's originally

apathy,"
"

as appeared illustrates what is often touch thrills with mortality," in Byron's A reminiscence perceptible variants. of " Shakespeare's "cold to him obstruction occurring

later, and

which Whose

as

he corrected
apostrophe

the proofs,
to

the

the

ocean

it; just as, in suggested in Childe Harold, the

memory Baltic

of

couplet

in

Campbell's

Battle

of

the

enabled
These Their

him
oaken

to

transform
which

citadels

made

and

make

clay

creator

the vain

title take,

into
The
oak

leviathans,

whose

huge

ribs make,

etc.

Again,

the lines in The


Yes,
A With To love indeed spark

Giaour,
is light from heaven,

fire of that immortal angels shared, by Allah given, earth


our

liftfrom

low

desire.

were

evolved

thus:

90

POETRY

AND
doth

CRITICISM
sPr'mS

Yes

}
V

If

jLovemdee"M
I
c

descend be born

from

heaven,

immortal
eternal celestial

spark

of that

\ I

I fire. J
'Abydos,
the clouds
ray.
away

The

couplet
The
And

in The
beam

Bride
that

of

evening

smiles

tints to-morrow

with

prophetic

took

final form
And

from
with
hope

tints to-morrow
"l
S

(a fan";ied
I
an

I
J
ray.

airy

And And

"!

"

the

of morning

with

its ray. ray.

gilds to-morrow's
a

hope

with

heavenly

There

is
in

variant the

in the description
canto

third

poor

as

it is, is certainly

thunderof the storm of Childe Harold which, to the ludicrous preferable

line for which

it is substituted:
The
glee

Of
As

the

loud did

hills shakes
o'er rejoice a

with
young

its mountain-mirth,

if they

earthquake's

birth ;

namely,
As they

had

found

an

heir and

feasted

o'er

his birth.

There
which

is

one

characteristic

of

Byron's

is very and

significant:
were

they

rarely

variants improve the

rhythm,
that

purpose.

So

apparently incurably from


as

seldom bad was

designed
his
ear

for
that

they are, occasionally for the worse,

this point of view, ations alterhere (Childe Harold, iii,

lix):
Wild
Is to the but
not

rude, earth

awful
as

yet not

awstere,

mellow

autumn

to the

year.

WORKS
In the MS. this
Rustic,
was

OF

LORD
by

BYRON
reading
yet not

91

softened
rude,

"

not

sublime,
,

austere.

So

in the Siege
line,
The

of'Corinth
beneath

the dissonant

and

lumbering

vaults

the mosaic

stone,

ran

in the MS.,
The vaults
"

beneath

the
"

chequered ( I
inlaid

j. stone"
J

where, would the


same

had
have

been chosen, chequered faultless. In another been after three experiments is best indeed, but which rhythm
:

the

rhythm
of

passage
he in chooses
no

poem which the


And And And

the turn

way

improves

The left their food


left their food

wild

dogs

fled
dead

the unburied the untasted

dead dead

howling

left the untasted

but

finally
And howling left the unburied dead.

To
canto

in the eighteenth stanza variant interesting an of Childe Harold Byron


wrote

of the history
a

third

is attached. album

the

stanza

in
one

lady's

justafter
ran:

he had

composed

it, and

of the couplets
flew,

Here
Then

his last flight the haughty


tore

eagle

with
to

bloody

beak

the fatal plain.

This
a

being

shown of

oneReinagle,
chained eagle

pencil

sketch

artist, he drew ever, howwas, which


an

as represented The talons. vignette

the grasping forwarded was is


a

wrote

in reply:

"

Reinagle than
I am;

his earth with to Byron, who better poet and a

better ornithologist

eagles

and

all birds

92

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM
not

of prey attack with their talons and beaks, and I have altered the line:
Then
tore

with

their

with

bloody

talon

the rent

plain.

Carlyle's
for taking
know But

definition

of genius

as

pains of Byron.
the

is certainly

not

infinite capacity we refuted by what


an

combination with
a

of

capacity temper

for drudging

industry scarcely

genius

and

which

seem

the practice of so humble compatible with in Byron's a convirtue, is not the only anomaly stitution he bears a remarkable In three respects he would, to a class of poets with whom resemblance
at

first sight, appear in common. to have nothing Horace in ancient Neither Virgil nor times, neither Milton Tennyson in modern Gray or even or times, has been indebted to preceding more contemporary and
literature. An

extraordinary

a remarkable memory reading, its ready its acquisitions, over mastery and a and less remarkable not power and of reof assimilating produci in other forms was thus acquired, what

range of wide alike for its tenacity

are

quite whom
to

as we

to

say
than

characteristic of Byron have It may referred. more that Byron owed


he

as

of the

poets

sound
to

cal paradoxi-

reading

and

books
nature

owed

to

independent

and life ; that what by his own inspired experiences


a

of observation directly in his poetry was and


impressions

bears
to

him

very small by others;


so

to what was proportion suggested that, in all that relates to form,

his

poetry,

far from

having

originality, certainly

is essentially We have the case.

to any pretension imitative. And yet this is

already

remarked

that

WORKS
the

OF

LORD

BYRON

93

least satisfactory part of Mr. Coleridge's commentary is its illustration of these very remarkable characteristics of Byron, and we shall therefore make
no

apology Nothing

method It is generally

length. at some with them could illustrate more strikingly Byron's tales. than Childe Harold and the Eastern supposed himself, that in the

for dealing

Childe

Byron

touches and and so in some painted simply in certain details he undoubtedly did ; but the acter charde by Madame to him was plainly suggested

Stael's Lord
of Byron's fourth canto
the

in whom every trait In the hero described. is defined and is followed Corinne very closely, as in Nelvil
in Corinne,

descriptions

of

the
on

Coliseum

and

Nearly the ruins the whole (clxxix, of two of the finest stanzas clxxx) is taken from in the apostrophe to the ocean the
in the reflections
novel
. . .

St. and of Rome.

Peter's,

(i, iv):
Cette
superbe
sa

mer,

sur

laquelle
terre

1'homme

jamais
par

ne

peut
. . .

imprimer

trace.

La

est

travaill^e

lui

les un moment sillonnent mais si les vaisseaux la vague ondes, vient effacer aussitot cette l^gere marque de servitude, et la mer telle qu'elle fut au premier reparait jour de la creation.

The

famous

stanza

in

letter, Julia's "Man's


a

in the first canto is of Man's

c"iDon
etc.,

Juan,
v:

st.

cxciv,

love

life,"

is little

more

than

translation

of

Corinne,

xviii,

Que
poser
et

les hommes
leur vie, de

sont
se

heureux
a

livrer il n'y

la guerre, d'exde 1'honneur 1'enthousiasme d'aller


a

du

danger!

Mais
leur
un

les

femmes;
est

existence,

dehors rien au immobile en

soulage du presence

qui

malheur,

long

supplice.

94
The

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM
Corsair,
was

character

apparently from that

in the The of Conrad, Alaric Watts as concocted,

Junior, in of Malefort Mrs. Anne Radcliffe's Combat, and


The

pointed Massinger's

out,

natural Un-

typical

heroes.

Giaour

is

Schedoni
analyzes

in The his
own

Italian.

simply In Lara

Mrs. Byron

Radcliffe's
no

doubt the

poem whole and Mysteries

character; from is concocted

but, for the Mrs. from

rest,

Radcliffe's Italian

ofUdolpho, and
Mrs.
one

Scott's Marmion.

How

closely
to any

Radcliffe
who

is followed

Lara
Morano

and

Otho, and

of the volume second for instance, Mysteries with of Udolpho. Compare, Mrs. iv of the in section Radcliffe, the passage
second
canto

and Montoni

compares that between

parent will be apbetween the combat

Mrs.

Radcliffe's

in the

of Lara,

beginning
.
. .

"Demand

thy life !"


brow

For

Lara's

Almost

the moment upon in its demon to blackness

grew hue.

The
sword

Count
over

then him

fell back

while

Montoni
.

held
. .

his

yielded
almost

He bade him his life. and ask but his countenance at the interruption, changed to blackness he looked. as
we

Indeed, Radcliffe's
from for two

trace continually Byron's on novels

the influence he

her

hints,

as

poetry; Alaric Watts

of Mrs. has borrowed


out,

pointed

of his most

striking

passages,

of modern and ancient the dead and the living:


Beyond

Greece

the son comparito the features of

Milan
; and

the

country

wore

the

aspect

of
now

ruder

devastation

though

everything of death spread

seemed
over

repose

was

like that

quiet, the features which

WORKS
retain ii,
the

OF

LORD

BYRON

95

impression with

29). Compare
the
canto

of the last convulsions 68-98; this, The Giaour,

(Udolpho,

and

description

the fourth
Nothing view
out

at of Venice of Childe Harold:

the

beginning

of

could of Venice,
the
sea

exceed

Emily's

admiration

on

her

first rising-

with
...

of

its islets, palaces, and its terraces, crowned


.

towers

majesticfabrics,
up from
the
I As
saw

appeared of

as
an

if they

airy yet with had been called

ocean

by the wand
out

enchanter

ii, (Id., 59).


rise,

from

the

wave

her structures

from

the stroke

of the enchanter's

wand.

She

looks

sea

Cybele

fresh from

ocean,

towers with her tiara of proud At airy distance motion. with majestic

Rising

There

can

be

little doubt

poem entitled Darkness, Herr Kolbing as and


out,

that, in the remarkable Byron was greatly indebted, Coleridge long


have

Mr.

pointed
novel

to

once

popular

but

forgotten
Man, Herr
or

published
garus
nor

in 1806,

and Syderia; Mr. Coleridge has

entitled The Last but what neither

Ome-

Kolbing
almost

equally

indebted had

to

noticed is that he was Burnet's Telluris Theoria

Sacra,1
he has
not

he which borrowed

found

certainly read, and from which details of singular picturesqueness in the novel, for example, the lines:
Ocean still, their silent depths
on

all stood

And

nothing

Ships
They

stirr'd within sailorless lay rotting


on

the
a

sea,

slept
waves

The

were

the abyss dead


a

without

surge

"which

are
1

"

simply
See

paraphrase
lib. iii, cap.

of,
xii.

Et

quoad

particularly

96
mare,

POETRY
hoc sine

AND deseruerunt
l

CRITICISM

dudum
motu."

nautae,

stagnum
"

puti-

dum

The

even plan, and he himself as acknowledged, Tale in the Canterbury Tales

plot of Werner, the language,"

the characters, taken,

were

from by the

the Misses

German's
Lee;
as

the

plot of The mainly, also by novel,

Deformed Transformed^?^,
his confession, from The Three Brothers,
a

borrowed forgotten

long by
one

entitled Pickersgill. The

Joshua
Goethe's

indebtedness
the greater

of Byron

in

Manfred

to

Faust,

Lewis translated part of which for him, and to the Prometheus is of of Aeschylus, course notorious, and is duly noted by Mr. Coleridge. But Mr. fluence does not Coleridge what notice is the inon exercised by Southey's Curse

it by the

romance

ofKehama,

oiAhasuerus, by Schiller's Robbers


were

and

Death
to

of
to

Wallenstein,

Byron

of which in translations,2 and by

both

accessible

Maturin's passages

Bertram, suggested noticed

say nothing of innumerable Lost. by Paradise Nor has Mr.


how

Coleridge

debted inwas Juan Byron much of Don beyond to Casti's Novelle, all doubt, which, He had been introduced to him. the poem suggested in 1816; to the Novelle by Major Gordon at Brussels, and
letter written from long afterGeneva, not wards, " he says, I cannot tell you what a treat your I have almost got him gift of Casti has been to me. He Don by heart."3 began Juan about two years
a
1
2

for

in

Lib. See

iii,cap. xii. translation the English well-known

of the first, published of the

in 1795,

Coleridge's and in 1800.


3

version

second,

published

Letters

and

Journals, iv, 217,

note.

WORKS afterwards.
Novelle. Byron's Don The poem

OF

LORD

BYRON

97

Juan

is full of reminiscences

of the

(Novella iv).
We

to brings us nearest novel which is the one Diavolessa entitled La This suggested his hero. to him
take
our

I'll therefore all have


seen

him,

ancient friend Don in the pantomime,


ere

Juan

"

Sent

to the devil somewhat

his time.

So

Casti
Ma

voi piu volte, O Donne mie, vedeste Sovra le scene e private pubbliche Di don Giovan le scandalose geste.

(St.xv.)
In

Casti's
Don

story

one

Don

Ignazio
over

(who

is his

hero) and
licentious

Juan

wander
to meet

adventures,

Byron

regions, intended

like Don

Juan,

as we whither, finally to conduct his hero. born in Seville, and was

in quest of inin the fernal afterwards from himself, know

Spain

Ignazio,

Traced Through the most La

his

source

Gothic

gentlemen

of Spain.

famiglia nobil sua Drittamente fin dai scendea

re

Goti.

(St.ix.)
Both
the
are

same

extraordinarily precocious and frailties, Julia, Don the wife of


same

addicted
Ermene-

to

Jose,standing
as

in the

Ignazio, the one, gilda, the wife however, nazio, Igthe other involuntarily. voluntarily, like Don Juan, is shipwrecked; and each hero is the sole survivor. It is quite clear that Byron
his style, not on modelled Casti. To Casti, then, on honour Berni,
as

relation to Don of his friend, to

Juan

he implied,

but

of having

belongs the undoubtedly Byron suggested and furnished


H

98

POETRY
a

AND

CRITICISM
of distinction
and
power,

with

and
there

for Don Juan. In point model merit, in brilliance, picturesqueness

is, of course, between no the two parallel for the perTo accuse Byron poets. fectly of plagiarism legitimate or use suggestion of material hasten by others would, to say, be as we afforded absurd
as

to

bring
use

for the

similar he which

a.

speare Shakecharge against has made of Plutarch

Milton for the use which or and Holinshed, against he has made As Swift well observes, of the ancients. " from If I light my that candle another,

does
and than

not

affect my
and

of wick the

in the wick and tallow"; property had infinitely more tallow Byron his creditors
put
was

majority of
reading,
curious;

together.

Byron's

if desultory, and
his

and
Tennyson,
To

extensive unusually like that of memory,

extraordinarily he scholarship
fact that, in his

assimilative had of course last years


at

and
no

tenacious.

sion. preten-

The

find
phon
vsoiy

him

on scribbling and Greek plays

margins the English


is
no

the

school, we of his Xenofor equivalents

"7"a(MXTa,

and

xfvff"$)

doubt

indicative
not

of

his acquaintance with that at a later time he

appear made any effort to extend his knowledge But with most of that language.1 of the Greek Latin, probably, as classics in translations
"

Greek,

for it does

well

as

English

"

he

was

certainly

familiar,
or

as

the

ready

propriety of

with

passages
"Detached
of his

which from
Thoughts"

applications them

spring

reminiscences his pen to

In

his

(Letters and Journals, v,


as

436) he
usual
were

speaks proportion

classical

of

a more

attainments In boy." sixth-form


advanced in Latin

being

"

in the
boys

those
than

days

usually

much

in Greek.

WORKS

OF

LORD

BYRON
as

99

Of the Prometheus, sufficiently shows. fond himself, he " was us passionately at least, he knew well in the original,
plays which of the Greek Harrow," that "that adding,
"we

he

tells this,
one

";
as

and it was
a

read
and Seven

thrice

year
were

at

the Medea

the

only
ever

ones,

except

the

which

much

pleased

me.-"

Thebes, against Many of the most poetry he has

from Greek striking of these reminiscences but have been duly noted by Mr. Coleridge,
not

observed

that stanza

in the second canto done," a translation etc., is almost Leander and of the Pseudo-Musaeus,

episode cciv in the Haidee 'twas in Don Juan, "And now from
the

Hero the

279-283;

resemblance
Their

between
priest
was

Solitude,

and

they

were

wed,

and

being,
close That
was

with
to

the

other

of any admit Byron read Latin well,

too general resemblances, likelihood of coincidence.

fluently and
acquainted We doubt.

habitually,
with
cannot

if irregularly,
can

the
enter

and Latin into

poets,

there

be

no

here, but will only add that for every the question dozen illustration by Mr. Coleridge a could given had happened to pay be adduced by any one who particular Lucretius, he
seems

attention

to

this

subject.

In

Catullus,
to

Horace,

have

known

Virgil, and well, he had read Tibullus, Valerius Flaccus,


he known has

to addition Ovid, whom

Lucan,

Juvenal,Persius,

Seneca,

from and Claudian, Wherever, indeed,


or

all of whom in the less

borrowed.
poets,

Latin

in modern

Latin

literature, anything

particularly

ioo

POETRY
occurs,

AND
the

CRITICISM
are

felicitous

acquainted
Thus

with

chances it and has

that

Byron

was

turned
a

it to

account.

the pretty description of by Nonius tius Varro, preserved


Sigilla in mento Vestigio impressa
Amoris

dimple

by

Teren-

Marcellus:
digitulo

demonstrant

mollitudinem

"

"

he probably found in Gray's Letters^ (where which it is wrongly to Aulus Gellius) attributed by West he adapts, has he himself as noted, in Childe

Harold'.
The 'd finger hath impress dimpling seal Love's Denotes how bears his touch. soft that chin which

He

quotes

Shenstone's
est
cum

exquisite

inscription,

"

Heu
tui Fons

quanto

minus

meminisse," lacrymarum,"
mortua

Gray's
etc.,
"

quam reliquis versari " exquisite Alcaic stanza,

Cowley's
the

"

Nam
mm

vita

gaudet
aucioris, Lumine

floribus

in

Epitaphium

and the felicitous epigram of Amaltheus, Aeon dextro,captaestLeonillasinistro,"etc. the


prose
to

"

Among
pear ap-

Tacitus Sallust, Livy, and writers, have his favourites; been scores and from them may be

reminiscences
poems. To pass
to
so

found

in

of his

from his

ancients He was

appropriations from the appropriations

Byron's

from

the

moderns.
with
tells

being sensitive about charged Mrs. Shelley that he gave away, of the

giarism plaus,

Aikin's

edition

British

English

traveller

report at home Gazette the Literary


1

find should his possession

and in of it; and when, tor February 1821, and March,


Ed.

for fear poets it in his house

some

Gray's

Works.

Mitford.

Vol.

II, p. 137.

WORKS
Mr.
what him,
time,"

OF
Watts
a

LORD

BYRON
amply illustrated
be brought

101

Alaric

A.

very

with

justice such
he
was

charge

could
"

greatly
to

he wrote

annoyed. Moore,

"I think have


been

now

against in my

accused

of

he owned But, in another that, mood, everything." " " he was idea he had got a good not very when how he came into possession of it." And scrupulous It is undoubtedly true. this was part of the duty of
"

"variorum"

and succeeded
we
one

editor to point this Mr. Coleridge


in doing; but
so

out

these
to

tions; appropriaextent

has

some

imperfectly,

however,

that

cannot

who

would

regret that he did not consult some ficienc have assisted him to supply this dein the and of the term, strict sense deliberate, but what may
to

Plagiarism,
be

must

conscious
an

justly
be

render

author

liable
or as

the

charge

of it may

either coincidence is not, Coincidence with

appropriation. unconscious be the case a rule, likely to


was

Byron,
as

for his memory his genius, and from


"

almost
"

as

able remarkwas an

his boyhood he said,

he

incessant

reader.

I read,"

in bed, and no read when little more he was than

eating, read When one else reads." at Dr. child he found

Glennie's Chaucer
nie, them

complete to Churchill; tempted than


once

set

"almost
more

of the British poets from " said Dr. Glenand I am," had to say that he perused beginning
end." he what
are

from

to

His had
no

poetry
thus

throughout

acquired.

is saturated with Many of his reminiscences

doubt

Such, unconscious. his echo of Campbell's,


The
power

for instance,

would

be

of thought

"

the magic

of

name,

102

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM

in
The
power of grace,

the magic

of

name

of Burns's,
I
saw

thy

pulse's maddening

play,

in
The exulting
sense,

the

pulse's

maddening

play ;

of Scott's,
0
for
an

hour

of Wallace
of blind

wight,

in
O
for
one

hour

old Dandolo;

of Tickell's,
1 hear
a

voice

you

cannot

hear,

in
I hear
a

voice

I would

not

hear

of Young's,
Our heads,
our

hearts,

our

passions,

and

our

powers

in
My

joys,my

griefs, my

passions,

and

my

powers

of Coleridge's
Curse
me

with

forgiveness,

in
My
curse

shall be forgiveness.

of Pope's,
Glory
of the priesthood

and

the shame,

in
Tasso is
now

their glory

and

their shame.

The minor Young's

echoes, poems

we as

may well
as

add,
the

from Faery

Spenser

"

the
"

Queen

of

tragedies,

Macpherson's
lines

particularly the Revenge, innumerable. To Ossian, are Ill, ii,

and

of ser's Spen-

(F.Q.

5):

WORKS
And
ever

OF
anon

LORD

BYRON

103

and

Flash'd

through

the rosy red her face, as it had bright heaven

been

flake

Of lightning
seems

through

fulmine'd

"he in stanza

owed a singularly beautiful image Ixi of the first canto of Don Juan:
to of youth,

have

cheek all purple with the beam Mounting, at times, to a transparent As if her veins
ran

Her

glow,

lightning.

In

the

last line

of The

Corsair

a thousand virtue, and crimes his many reminiscences of a book which Anatomy great favourite with him, Burton's
"

(" Link'd with ") we have one


was

one

of
a

of

lancholy, Meso

Hannibal,
vices
;

as

he had
unam

mighty

virtues,

virtutem mille vitia Grave, a noble expresIn ChurchilVs sion comitantur." (Inferno, of Dante's xxxiii, 26-27)is laid under contribution
:

he

had

many

Do The

we

rip

veil of immortality. II mal


sonno

Che

del futuro

mi

squarcib

il velame.

We

will

illustrate which,
account.

of Byron's apgive a few examples propriat from sources, as more they recondite for anything he had keen how an eye
now

being

unusually Sir William

felicitous, he

Jones,
Nations,1

in

his

could Essay

turn
on

to

the

Poetry

of
are

the Eastern

observes

that their

striking, and gives as an very just and " The bathed blue eyes of a fine woman in tears to violets dropping with dew." compared This in Byron's "I saw thee stanzas, appears
similes instance,

weep"

:
1

Works,

vol.

x,

335.

104

POETRY

AND
The
big

CRITICISM
bright
tear

Came
And A then

o'er

that eye

methought violet dropping to

of blue ; it did appear


dew.

In

his

dedication

the

Rival

Ladies
says:

Dryden,

speaking
When
over

of the progress
only
a

of the work,
mass

it was
one

confused the dark the


to

of thoughts, the fancy

tumbling
was

another

in

; when

yet

in its first work,


towards either

moving

the chosen

light, there
or

images sleeping be distinguished the

of

things then

and

rejected
in Marino
As

by

judgement.
I, ii, as
a

This

reappears

Faliero,
yet 'tis but

Of darkly
In her

brooding

thoughts
more

chaos fancy my
to

is

first work,
the

nearly

the light

Holding
For

sleeping

images

of things,

the selection

of the pausing

judgment
is
a

In

the Bride of

of

Abydos
tact

there

remarkable whether

stance inthe

Byron's

in assimilation,
or

be conscious reminiscence line 179 in the first canto


The mind, the music

unconscious.

On

the

of the poem,
breathing
note:

from

her

face,

Byron
This
to

has

the following
has hath
reader the
woman

expression
who the of

met
not to

with music

I objections.

"him

will not refer in his soul," but merely for


ten

request features beautiful, feebly both.

recollect, whom he

seconds,
to

the
most

believes

be

and

if he

does

not

comprehend

fully what
for

is
us

expressed For
an

in the
eloquent of

above

line, I shall be sorry in the latest work passage


any

of the
on

first female analogy

author the

(and

this, perhaps of immediate comparison painting


and

age,

the

analogy)
10,

between

music,

see

excited by that Vol. Ill, cap.

D.

1'Allemayne.

WORKS
But Byron
has been

OF does

LORD
not
as
:

BYRON

105

what

expression
out,

taken,

is, that the mention Alaric Watts pointed

directly
Oh And

from
you

Lovelace

could
music

of

view the melody her face


.^

of every

grace

We Harold,
.

have

illustration curious another iii, st. xxii-xxiii: Canto


.

in Childe

The

heart broken

will break,
mirror

yet brokenly

live

on.

E'en

as

which

the glass

In every fragment A thousand images The


same

multiplies,
of
one

and
was,

makes

that the

and

still the

same

more

it breaks. to

This
a a

simile,

Byron

quatrain

which

said, was had Curran


as

suggested
once

him
to

by

quatrain which, does not bear the

he

must

repeated have well

him,

known,

smallest

It has

been

traced and by

to the pasresemblance sage. Darmesteter by M. to a

passage
in almost

in Burton,

Mr. but
who
occurs

Coleridge
the
true

to
source

sage paswas

Carew's

Spark,
Donne,

certainly The application. Broken


.

passage
runs:

suggested in his

also

the The

poem

Heart,
.
.

and

Love,

At

one

alas first blow

did shiver

it as

glasse.

And A My But

now

as

broken

glasses
soe

showe

thousand
ragges after
one

lesser faces,

of heart such

like, wish and adore love can love no more.


can

In from

the
one
1

same

way of Lady

he

has

Mary

a appropriated Wortley Montagu's

passage letters

Orpheus

to Beasts,

Works,

Ed.

Hazlitt, p. 38.

io6

POETRY

AND
III, st.

CRITICISM

in Don

frian (Canto
to the

xviii).She
Newcastle
mine
who of

coalition
of
a

between
friend

writes, referring and Pitt:


had
a

It puts

me

family
convey

of
them

in mind favourite
to
a

large

animals,

his country
Dutch

he

ordered and

mastiff,
to

knowing how to not and house in separate equipages, her kittens, a a cat and

monkey

parrot, all

be

packed

up

together

in

one

hamper.1
a Dutch a mackaw, monkey, mastiff, Two parrots with a Persian cat and kittens He chose from several animals he saw

terrier too cag'd in

He

one

huge

hamper

altogether.
st.

The

remark

in Don
And

Juan,
I may

IV,

iv:
thing,

if I laugh

at any
not

mortal

'Tis that
"

weep

looks

very

like

reminiscence

of

Richardson's

Pamela
It is to

: (Letter Ixxxiv)

this deep

concern

that

my

levity is owing

...

am

forced

to try to make

myself

laugh

that

I may

not

cry.
sources,

But
as

he

sometimes

in Childe
Shall Pay
we,

to more goes Harold, III, st. xix:

recondite

struck who homage the Wolf

the Lion ?

down,

shall

we

which

to appears in the famous

have

been

attributed
Shall
tamely
we,

pamphlet, Titus: to Colonel

by a sentence suggested No Murder, Killing

who

stand

to not suffer the Lion would ?2 by the Wolf to be devoured

invade

us,

It is not
1

necessary
Bute,

and
20,

it would
Works,

be
Ed.

tedious
1803, Vol.

to
v,

To

Lady

Jan.

1758,

36-37* Harleian

Miscellany,

iv, 290

(ed. 1744).

WORKS
multiply

OF

LORD
It
"

BYRON
sufficient
that

107
this
it

illustrations.

is

characteristic of Byron is a very important one

"

and, critically speaking, has been illustrated.

II

Few
solve

critical problems determine to than poets.


no
man

be would Byron's

more

difficult to
position

relative

among Of
he
as

is of those

can of genius Chapman whom

it be

truly said that described admirably


so

having
Strange Infused gifts from quite Nature,
to

but

no

soul of
a

through

make

them

piece.

his essential a power, sincerity as he felt poet, lay partly in the intensity with which the passions and and expressed realized all that in inspired
circumstance

His

partly

and situation appealed in what Matthew has Arnold his Titanism. The moment he becomes and
the
a

to
so

them, happily

and signate dethese

he quits
a

spheres
so

eloquent that

but rhetorician, brilliant so moving,

rhetorician sive, and impres-

note

discernible.

We

as such passages Alp's journey along the beach ; the death of Selim ; Waterloo; on the falls of Velino; the stanzas the to Rome; the apostrophe the dying thunderstorm;

at first sight of falsetto is not his power, in quintessence, in see the journey and death of Hassan ;

stanzas the last two gladiator; innumerable other passages But are struck. similar notes

of the shipwreck, in which these


his serious
even

and
and

poetry

has

not

only

no

unity, Ecstasy

it has

not

permeating in collapse,

enthusiasm

exhausted

and

mere

io8

POETRY
succeeds
effort
or

AND
to

CRITICISM
the interstices between

talent
each
more

genius,

filled up being energy falsetto. less successfully disguised of inspired other sphere, his masterpiece
"

by

In

the

the
"

comedy, sustained Don Juan


true,

sphere here and

of satire and is his power


;

is The
we man

Vision
what
we

of Judgment
have nowhere

while

in

have,

else, the

in absolute naked simplicity, a and illustration versacomprehensive of his amazing tility for comedy and and dexterity, of his genius satire
"
"

full

perhaps
as

his

most

remarkable

characteristic

of all those qualities of sincerity which inform and vitalize his serious poetry. Byron's insincerity his rhetoric in other words,
as

well

"

and his and

falsetto poetry
which

"

is most
are

discernible

in

those
most

which
are

in

execution

of brilliant,
parts

for special out generally singled First would by his admirers. come commendation his descriptions ing of nature and his affectation of beNature's devoted It may fairly be worshipper. questioned by moved
in any whether Nature, Byron
or

was

ever

whether

he

ever

profoundly her regarded

light than a theme for rhetorical other In his earlier poems all his descriptions commonplace

play. disare

perfectly
stone's,

and

of

the

order the

who
to

seems,

judging
a

from

of ShenHours

of

Idleness,

have

been

favourite

first two
mere

cantos

rhetoric.

of Childe Harold The Morean sunset


is little
more

with his descriptions

him.

In the
are

in the third canto


a

of The

Corsair
At

than

brilliant

mation. decla-

the note his


own

of Childe Harold, because, to employ ; but it changes changes Shelley dosed him "had expression, with

last, in the third canto

WORKS
Wordsworth."
a

OF
From

LORD
this
moment

BYRON
Nature

109

became

favourite, could

for
be

he

saw

from
out

Wordsworth
a

what and "his

capital

"description"

made being,

as

of such he himself

theme;

boasted,

forte," delineations
very wide space beauty there can
as

fill thenceforward a of Nature in his poetry. Of their power and be be no but there can question, of the
purely

rhetorical quality of Not, however, much of this part of his work. of all into inspired at once of it, for affectation passes he deals with sincerity the moment such phases of Nature
her," wrath
as

little question

respond
tells her
us,

to

his

own

moods. wrath"; forms

He

"loved in
her

he
and

"best

in

and

awe-compelling she

and him

grandeur
her

prophet. appears

of sublimity took possession of him and made is no There note of falsetto, or,
be such
a

if there

to

note,

it is only themes
are

in the
or
or

his clumsiness of expression, when falls of Velino, or the thunderstorm the

in the Alps,
or

elemental

wastes

of mountain

of

ocean,

the ravages of death and time. His falsetto becomes at once

from wholesale plagiarisms Wordsworth's metaphysical


is quite did not

apparent Wordsworth,

in when, he adopts

evident
even

that,

so

it ; because philosophy far from in it, he believing it. He


saw

comprehend

how

happily

it lent itself to effective rhetoric, but he did not see how incongruous was the essential of materialism his own connature conception ceptions of life and with he When as transcendental. essentially writes
"

I live not Portion

in myself,
of that around

but
me

I become
-

...

i io

POETRY
And

AND
I

CRITICISM
and this is life;

thus

am

absorbed,

Are

not
me

the mountains, and


beam,
a

waves, as

and

skies

part

Of

of my

soul,

I of them?

Not But

nor

air,

nor

leaf is lost
a sense

hath

part

Of

that which

of being, and is of all Creator

and

defence

"

we

instinctively

feel that it is what

the Greeks

so

called parenthyrsos. It is in these parts of his poetry that his adaptations from other poets are most and appropriations frequent from the Pseudopalpable, notably and Ossian,
and

happily

from

Beattie's
But

Minstrel,

from goes
one

Wordsworth further
favourite
;

Coleridge.

he

often

afield. books

It is well known that Burton's Anatomy was


be

much of his

there

can

little doubt

it to good more account instance, in Canto (for pleasures


To

and in that he turned passages in Childe Harold than once

of

Melancholy

II, st.

xxv)

in describing

the

and
among"

solaces

of Nature.
gardens,
bowers,
mounts

walk

orchards,

and arches,

arbours,

groves, places
by
run a
.

artificial wildernesses, green lawns, rivulets, fountains, and


. .

thickets,

betwixt
...

wood
to

and disport
a

water,

such like pleasant in a fair meadow,


pleasant
must

river
up
a

side

in

some

steep

hill, or

sit in

shady

seat,

plain, be needs

delectable

recreation.

(Anatomy,
course,
can

part

ii, " ii, m.

4.)

Such

parallels

coincidences;
on

of may, but there

be merely be no doubt
"

"

accidental and it is

this only that describing Nature nothing


to

was

in I wish insist to that Byron, in her calmer there aspects, where in expressing arouse passion, and

WORKS

OF

LORD

BYRON

in

drew with her in such aspects, invariably sympathy both his descriptions and his sentiments from books. It is precisely the same tions with his brilliant descripin the plastic arts the Venus of masterpieces Now de Medici, the Laocoon, Belvidere. the Apollo
"

we was,

have

it

on

the

authority

In

like Scott, without any his letter to Murray, dated does,

that Byron of Rogers feeling for the fine arts.

April with

26th,
some

1817,

he

indeed,

about but he observes

it is

"more

in the galleries of ence, Florde Medici that of the Venus for admiration We turn to than love." and find the mood and
tone

express he saw what

himself

enthusiasm

his description,
which what

with

it is assayed the very reverse and executed of he says his real feelings were. In truth, his scripti deis little more than eloquent at the beginning
an

of the famous passage book of Lucretius, the passion-inspiring being especially, and of the work dwelt of
a

paraphrase of the first ness voluptuous-

indeed

solely,

upon

; while

he dovetails

passage

in Young's

into it a reminiscence Revenge (v,ii) a tragedy


"

to him, well known evidently it more : than once elsewhere

as

he

borrows

from

Where

hadst
now

thou

this, Enchantress?

E'en Who On
But,

thou

swimm'st

before
expanse
can

me.

spread

which drunk

that pure the dazzled with

sight beauty, wanders

of white find no
up

above,
rest,

and

down

Not

the Apollo
was

Belvidere

itself, but

Milman's

plainly the model and description the magnificent of that statue, Byron drawn, Milman as also have may

Newdigate

noble inspiration of
though certainly
statue

did,

on

the very

remarkable

description

of the

ii2

POETRY Disraeli's

AND

CRITICISM
a

in Isaac

Flim-flams (vol.iii, ch. 44)


"

to Byron. work well known described Keats, insight, once with characteristic "a Byron in the worldly, fine thing theatrical, as " this description, with ; and and pantomimical way
some

to him modification, almost always applies in for example, he attempts he attempts, when what Manfred. That work may indeed be taken as a comprehensive

illustration what drama redeems


as a

both

that is has

falsetto
mere

of of his falsetto and The from contempt.


a

whole

fustian,

chaotic other

concoction

by suggested with a substratum of the impressions him by the scenery on of Switzerland, what

from

been

poets,

really

made in recorded

his

journal to
was

Mrs. doubt

Leigh.
to have

He

no
was

Manfred

anxious from drawn


remorse

it supposed

that

himself, had
was

and

that

Manfred's

crimes his But


own

and

; and
a

this Goethe

in their counterparts induced to believe.1

in certain superresemblance ficial generic has no more to qualities, Manfred resemblance He Byron being. than he has to any other human beyond
copy

is partly a poor of Aeschylus's partly


partly

Faust, with of Goethe's Milton's Prometheus and

touches

Satan,
Alastor,

of

Beattie's

Edwin

to which of Schiller's Moor in Byron had access or version either in a French 2 translation the English of 1795, partly of Southey's
1
2

Shelley's and in Die R'duber,

See

his letter to Knebel,

October,
Leigh

1817.
of Schiller."
are

In the

journal

to

Mrs.
"

(Letters and Journals, iii,356)


translation in The
; and

he speaks

a of reading of William reminiscences

French Tell
may

Manfred

obvious

this, and

not

The

Robbers,

be what

he refers to.

WORKS
Ladurlad

OF

LORD

BYRON

113

the curse, partly of Mrs. when under Radcliffe's Schedoni, and partly of Ahasuerus. is the protagonist And a thing as of shreds and into drama. Resolved is the whole such patches
" "

mascene, the chinery opening the scenes with of Spirits, the incantation, Hunter, the soliloquies and their surthe Chamois roundings

its constituent

parts,

the

the intervention relations


cannot which fictions. The

of the Abbot,
there
to

and

fred's Manof it
or

with him be traced

"

is

no

portion
poems

pre-existing

drama

motive.

Indeed,
motive

neither unity, soul, nor it is part of the falsetto that for intelligi is substituted juggling mystification,
In truth

has

just as
or

we

find in Lara.
service

the

motive,
to
"

what

does
on
a

for

it, appears

to be

send

curiosity
nameless

quest

after

the

secret

remorse

with

the solution of which Manfred's that Astarte was sister, and that for an incestuous union with her, coupled is inexpiable, that the sin was the conviction

hour,"

of is, so

all it is insinuate

the

But, as is usual with the chief cause of his torture. in the falsetto, the vigour Byron's of the rhetoric descriptions and soliloquies half disguises it. Every
one

must

be arrested by the eloquenceof


scene the second appeal to Astarte,

opens which impassioned


picture is true
was
one, so no

the soliloquy of the first act, by the and by the impressive is true

of the of the

Coliseum.
other

What

philosopher, and in all these works truly said of him, that


he
was a

metaphysical he delighted though

of dramas.

Manfred
Byron

to

he illustrates what he began so soon as

pose as Goethe
to
reflect

child. compare the dramas


I

It is when

we

with The

Vision

ri4

POETRY and
Don

AND

CRITICISM
and
as

ofJudgment
and

Juan,

the
Byron pure

in poems such passages in what moved sincerely Byron distance between the
accent

poems with such found inspiratheir tion that


we measure

him, the

rhetorician

and the

poet,

between
A

degrees large

of talent

and

two-thirds,
work

of genius. of Byron's

poetry

perhaps proportion, itself into the resolves


a

with gifted craftsman, extraordinarily rhetorical talent as brilliant and plastic as Dryden's, furnished by an unusually on the material working observation, of life, by sleepless experience wide

of

an

and

by

memory, English No

assimilative marvellously incessantlyif desultorilyadding poet,


not

and

retentive

toits stores.

Ben

Jonson,
more

not

Milton, reading

not

Gray,
Byron,

not
or

Tennyson, had
a

owed
more

to

than

mind

stored

with

acquired

knowledge.
But let
us

result from

mistake. discrimination

not

Whatever between
between

deduction

may

and

what

is derivative,

is unsound or excellent and what in Byron's the truth remains work, a place must occupy, and for ever

is original what is sound and what of inferior quality

that he occupies,

distinction his

in

our

literature.

of extraordinary Shakespeare excepted,

versatility There poets.

is without is scarcely
art

to
or

the
any

poetic

which

was

English parallel among form or open phase any by him, not attempted

theme

did not

capable There handle.

he which of poetic treatment is not a note characteristic of


or century, he does not

the poetry
nineteenth
was

of the eighteenth

the

century, which disciple of Dryden

of the early He strike.


; he
was

disciple of Shenstone

and

and Gray,

Pope

the

of Beattie

and

the

WORKS
Pseudo-Ossian Wordsworth
shows, Aeschylus
Testament.
a

OF
;

LORD
the

BYRON
disciple
even, as

115
of Scott and Aristomenes largely
on on

he

was

at

last he

had

touch and He

He drew of Keats. Milton ; he drew largely

the Old and, literature

identified himself
has

with

Dante,
our

catching with
a

his inspiration, worthily

enriched

poem

moving and most has identified himself


all that Alphonso,

of what is most recalling much He Comedy. noble in the Divine


with
melts Lucretia

Tasso,
us

and
in

thrills

and

re-expressed to the Canzoni

equal genius lies at

to and facility and

and

Leonora.

With
plastic

success

his

marvellously

assimilated
the

mock-heroic will, in point

also that species of poetry which extreme opposite of Italian art; and the of the Pulci, of Ariosto, and of Casti

of humour
no

and

pathos,

of wit that

and

bear eloquence, English imitator.

comparison In the dramas

with

in the historical influence particularly of Alfieri is plainly perceptible. But if Byron's versatility is illustrated by the heterogeneity it is illustrated of the sources of his works,
still
more

generally, dramas, the

of their but more

Since
no

strikingly Shakespeare,
shown

by
as

those

works

selves. them-

Scott

justly observes,
great
a

English

poet has

himself

so

master

in the essentials of comedy In his comedy, tragedy.

gross

made

geniality, ; in his tragedy for insincerity

no

in the essentials of and it is true, there is no refinemen that is brutal and and much have large deductions to be

and

falsetto.

But

all

that

at least in its less refined, all that tragedy, comedy, can at least in its less exalted, aspects excite, will be

for

ever

at

the

command

of

master

whose

name

ii6

POETRY
calls up

AND

CRITICISM
The

instantly
the

Beppo,

Vision

of Judgment,

first, thirteenth,

of Don
and

Juan,
Eastern

fifteenth, and sixteenth cantos in the earlier narratives many passages Prisoner Chillon, the tales, The

of

episodes of the shipwreck, and of Haidee. His range in composition is indeed extraordinary. He was in a brilliant disciple of the school of Pope English Bards in the Scotch Reviewers, and and
Hints of

the death

from

Horace

; the superior

of Scott in

species

peculiarly characteristic of the modern Scott romantic school, in which, till his appearance, the originator, in The Corsair, Lara, alone; reigned and the Oriental tales, of a new species of epic ; the

poetry

and Earth, of a new fred and most striking species of drama, and in Manhad, with the exception of a species which of a Faustus, to him, Marlowe's no type protowork unknown literature. in our or counterpart Sardanapalus, originator, and Faliero and The Two Fosnothing of Marino but it is a be below a drama, as cari, may contempt As satire splendid exhibition of dramatic rhetoric. in mock-heroic, The Vision Judgment has neither
to

in Cain

in Heaven

say

of

nor equal in quality

second his lyric as and and any

in European poetry
to

literature.

Inferior

is to

that

of many
more

his

predecessors,

that

contemporaries
to
name

successors,

of many it would

be
out

of his of ble impossi-

poet
so

in

our

language and

of whose

an work anthology be compiled.

splendid

multiform Harold
are

could

To

pass

to

his

masterpieces

; Childe

and

Don
the the

Juan,
two

regarded comprehensively, brilliant achievements most and they


are

perhaps

world,

in the poetry of have achievements which

WORKS
in
common.

OF

LORD
Each
moves

BYRON
in
a

117
sphere of its not in degree is
a

nothing
own,

as

each

merely, triumph

but

differing exhibits powers Childe Harold in kind.

superb

touched
are

partly of pure rhetoric and with inspired enthusiasm.

partly of rhetoric In Don Juan we

in another world and under the spell of another has passed into the cynic, The sentimentalist genius. We longer in into the mocker. are no the moralist the temples places and not Nature
not

and
meaner

palaces of poetry, but in its profane habitations. The is now theme in its squalor; the devil rules

in her glory, but humanity it, but as God as the world made

for the rapthe series of splendid pageants, tures has been of its predecessor, and sublimities free fresco, the tragic farce in broad, substituted,
it. For

into

and

man's which follies, have

lusts

and

lawlessness,
was

mock-heroic

life. It perverted disengaging that Byron,

madness into this from

himself

induced him to affect, and from all that vanity had and command all that his cleverness of rhetoric had him to assume, his powers in out poured enabled the Titanism sincerity sheer and absolute which
"

was

of the very the

essence

of his genius,

the

scorn

mockery,
sense

of tears
more

wit, the in human

persiflage, things,"

the

irony,

and "the

the

refined affections some susceptible. of his moods, Don Juan is admirable alike
range, blends de
in expression. To

the brutal appetites, he was of which still, in

in conception,
a

in

give unity to
entertains
us

all that amuses Gil Bias, Tormes,

and the

work which in Lazarillo and impresses which

Novelle much

Amorose,

Horace and

Walpole's
us

Letters,

charms

in the Odyssey

of what and the Aeneid,

ii8

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM

has all the cynicism of La Rochefoucauld and Swift, levity of the worst all the callous school of our comedy, has now and
the
"

yet
note

us subdues with a pathos which the note of Ecclesiastes and now

a this indeed of Catullus required master-hand. The is the unity impressed it on unity of the poem by truth, by truth to nature truth to life, for and

Byron himself
"

in writing it did but hold experiences. and his own


an

up

the

mirror

to

What

after reading
roughness,

(he himself wrote antithetical mind!" " tenderness, certain letters of Burns)
"

delicacy,

coarseness,

compound of inspired clay." in fact, was Byron himself, and such is this But the glory and the shame poem, poetry. of our is to be forgiven loves greatly, if much to one who to one something may be forgiven who hates rightly. mixed Such,
The

and soaring up in that one

grovelling,

sensuality, sentiment, dirt and deity, all

justification of Don
of the most people:

Juan

is its ruthless

exposure

of some English ubiquity and


the

of cant;
as

characteristics of the the the ubiquity of hypocrisy, immorality as masking morality, religion, for the
vilest purposes,

despicable

ceremony
one

capital out of the frailties and lapses a are the other as at least sincere, of those who for dignifying means almost every form which moral
to make
assume. cowardice and moral vanity can In its execution Don Juan deserves all the praise Byron's have most extravagant which admirers

heaped

on

it.

Never

was

our

language Whatever

so

completely

clay in the moulder's


to

hands.

he has

express

seems

to

embody of
verse

the complicated

form

itself spontaneously in he has chosen. which

WORKS
With
a

OF
ease

LORD

BYRON

119

in our literature at which, least, are every extreme unrivalled, he has blended in nature life, in style and tone, ducing prowithout and or even the effect either of incongruity of

skill and

impropriety.

Don

Juan
and

has

littleenough
some

in

common

with the Odyssey, it. In both poems

yet in

respects

it recalls

the similitude
so
sea.

which

at once

gests sug-

itself is the element the the action of both


"

closely associated with freshness, A a breezibrine-laden


air of beach

ness, or

pungency

as

of the

it. Over to pervade exthe spacious cliff seems panse of its narrative, teeming with life and in everin storm in calm, play, now and now changing roll in endless wave after wave succession, and break,

the incomparable
are

stanzas

on

whose

liltand

rush

we

swept along. importance The


to

not not

be

by

estimated its quality

in English is of Byron poetry by ordinary critical tests; it is is to be judged. that his work

The

of perfectly legitimate criteria to his in questioning he us justify poetry would whether " Dii even the could be held to stand high among " minores of his art; it would certainly result in assigning application below Wordsworth very much below Keats. Of many, and Shelley, and even nay, of the qualities essential in a poet of a high of most
a

him

place

in anything he has left order, there is no indication Of spiritual insight he has nothing us. ; of morality in their coarser except and the becoming, aspects, he has
no

sense.

If the
him

beautiful

appealed

to

him,

it appealed
and

to

as sentimentally poet could it be said with

in its material only expression it affected the passions. Of no


so

much

truth

"

and

how

120

POETRY does
that

AND truth

CRITICISM
imply!
"

much

that
we

he

had

not

"music

in his

soul."

Turn
no

there is no work, balance, without

repose,
measure,

where harmony and,

will in his ; all is without Don if we accept without Pindar;


unity. at his

Tuan
At best

The Vision and his worst he sinks

ofJudgement,
below Peter

his accent ingrained

is

never

certain

A that of the great masters. feelboth in taste and ing, coarseness,


more

his powers as emphasized him insensible not matured, only of much made from the to the poet as distinguished appeals which but is accountable for the jarring notes, rhetorician, which

became

the
so

grossness, and often surprise and distress As an artist, his defects are
he
as

lapses

into

the banalities
us

which

in his poetry.
conspicuous. Tennyson. as

equally

In

narratives, all his minor into a series of pageants simply resolve themselves little Some, or are the Giaour, episodes. notably No eminent more than congeries of brilliant scraps.

architectonic Childe Harold,

is

as

deficient

well

as

English
so

poet,
an

bad

ear.

his blank-verse prose; and

had of Browning, with the exception His cacophanies are often horrible; from is generally indistinguishable

delicacy,
grammar,

his rhythm in rhymed is without verse full of discords. in Every and solecism every
violation

of expression, might and style. Nor is this all. His claim to originality in its can only be conceded modification with much important more aspects, and with very much modification in the less important.
These
are

of syntax be illustrated

and of propriety his diction from

large Byron

deductions
next to

to

make;

and

yet

Goethe

placed

Shakespeare

among

WORKS
the

OF and

LORD
in fame

BYRON
and

121

English

poets;

the consentient
next to

testimony

Shakespeare

of every Shakespeare's among

by popularity, nation in Europe, men, country-

he stillstands. easy
to

Such

than understand flaws and Byron's

more verdict it is much To his countryto justify. men


a

limitations

will always

be

than they will be to and important the people of the Continent ; while, in all that appeals to humanity more at large, his work will come nearly
more

perceptible

home any

on

the

other

other English
so.

side of the except

Channel

than

that of

necessarily
so

poet Byron's
to

Shakespeare;
was originally to Europe. as

and
not

much

an

appeal

poetry England
his

His

themes,

his characters,

inspiration,

his morals, were from the East.


incarnation
at

from the all derived England little more was

his politics, Continent or than the

of everything
contempt and of the
principles

firstwith

he reacted, against which then in fury. The trumpetRevolution volt and of the reHoly it Alliance,
most to

voice

of the world
against
the

was

on

the

Continent indeed
he

of the that he found


never

response.

And
The

there

can

cease

laureate

of its scenery,

the

be popular. of its rhapsodist

traditions, the student phase of its many-sided


which
burn

and painter of almost every life, the poet of the passions than
has

with

fiercer fire in the South of the North, he neither

in the
nor

colder regions likely to have,

is

The

speare, with the single exception of ShakeEnglish an the Channel. rival across lies in the immense body greatness of Byron

he has informed mass of the work which and and infused with life, in his almost versaunparalleled tility, in the power range and of his influential

122

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM

Youth achievement. and mature age alike feel his he is the Orpheus, spell, for of the passions of reflectio is not an emoThere the Mephistopheles. tion,
there is scarcely

not appeal, and to which given Of almost every side of life, of almost of human activity, he has left us studies

mood, he has

to

which

he

does

not

expression. every
more

phase less or

brilliant and
measure,

impressive.

nearly
man

which
rapt

can

in extraordinary every gift, intellectually speaking, from to mere possess, cleverness

He

had,

genius;

and which

there
he

was

hardly
more

composition

did

not

species any less successor fully


moments

of

In attempt. Longinus sublimely with the


"

his

inspired

what may

observes be

of Demosthenes applied face with


than
to

strictest

propriety
sooner

his

quence, elo-

eyes

the
as

could descending
his bursts
are

One

unflinching

thunderbolt

stand

un-

dazzled flash
As
so on

flash,

in swift-succeeding of passion, fulmined forth."


were

Goethe
was

and

Wordsworth

the Olympians,

chaotic age of the stormy and he lived; and his most in which authentic poetry is typical of his temper and attitude. He has impressed literature the stamp fascinating and on our of a most
on the literature of personality, and he has exercised an influence every nation in Europe to which no other British writer except Shakespeare Among his disciples and has even approximated.

he

the Titan

commanding

imitators Miiller, Karl

in Germany Heine, Von

are

to

be

Platen,

numbered Adalbert

Wilhelm Chamisso,

Grabbe. and Christian How deeply he has impressed himself on the genius is sufficiently testified by the poetry of France of

Lebrecht,

Immermann

WORKS
Lamartine,

OF
Hugo, The

LORD Casimir
most

BYRON
de la Vigne,

123 and

Victor

Alfred
poets

de Musset.

echo. in Willem Lennep, Russia

Espronceda, of Spain, In the Netherlands


Isaac Bilderdijk,

brilliant of the modern his is little more than

he

has

found

imitators Van
of

de Costa,

Jakobus
the poetry

exercised wide and deep influence, as we need go no further than Poucshkin and LermonSuch is the intrinsic power toff to see.1 and attraction of a great favourite
be a part of his poetry that he will always if not in the first rank of their favourites
; and,
no purely although him on a level with at be poets, yet it must

and he has

Nicolaes

Beets.

On

"

his countrymen "with critical estimate would least five, if not more,

place

admitted
be
1

that, next
most

of our to Shakespeare,

he would

ably prob-

missed.
Weddigen's

See

Otto

Ein/ltiss auf

Lord Byrorfs excellent monograph, der Neuzeit. die Europaischen Litteraturen

THE

COLLECTED
WILLIAM

POEMS

OF

MR.

WATSON.1
of an William

THE

appearance poems of Mr. with important

edition of the collected Watson, vised, carefully re-

and additions, and new pieces, will be hailed joyfully comprising many Mr. Watson's ance reluctwherever poetryisappreciated. to sanction edition of his works any complete
alterations has

long

been

have
the

hitherto
numerous

regretted by his many admirers, had to content themselves partly booklets, the often
most

who with

difficult to procure,

in which partly with the in 1899. These


two

poems originally appeared, and collection published very imperfect


are now

superseded
not

by

the

present

volumes,

of everybody,

former
Watson

contain all that a in the editor thinks best representative Mr. Watson's miscellanies of Mr. work,

are which but which

only

within

the

reach criminati dismost


.

himself

assisting by

final revision

of each

poem selected. It would be too much to say that Mr. not perhaps has hitherto been, like that of Watson's reputation

Matthew
1

Arnold
Poems

in

his

earlier

days,

somewhat

The

of William
Head.

Watson.

In two

volumes.

(John

Lane,

The

Bodley

London

and

New

York.)

POEMS

OF

MR.
there been
can

WILLIAM

WATSON
that the
to

125
reason

esoteric, and for this has happily

be little doubt

he has at

refusal to last been induced


volumes,
to

his

consent
to

sanction.

what The

publication
public known
not to

of these
access

by

giving

easy
to

them

writings fragmentarily,
out

which

the general could only be they


were

and

which

likely to go Mr. enlarge

fame; be
more

fail to seek, cannot of their way Watson's of influence sphere and for no influence could and I heartily trust fame be to no more worthy salutary,
" "

universal

that

this

will

be

the

case.

To

many
at

thousands
present,

of which stand his fame will in the same relation to those on which Italian tirades stand Mrs. Browning's to as rest Aurora
is time

of his contemporaries best known by poems

he
most

is probably,

Leigh
that, to

and
some

the

Portuguese

sonnets.

But

it he

at least of these

thousands,

To be known as these volumes reveal him. should himself such considerationsare Mr. Watson probably Like Arbuscula indifference. a matter of profound
say satis est equitem mihiplaudere, " he will always be sure assure, and of the "equites in his grave hence I venture to think, a century as
"

in Horace,

he

can

he

is

sure

of them

to-day.

No

one

could

go through

these
amount

two

volumes

out with-

being
permanence,
can

struck

with

the

of work

of the
there
a

be

no

of the classical quality To begin with, question.


of

of which
they
are

very
and

treasury subtle,

jewelled

aphorisms

as

profound they Take


are

often, in wisdom and truth as felicitous in expression.


:

consummately

for instance

126
Song

POETRY
is not
Truth,

AND
not

CRITICISM
Wisdom, but the
rose

Upon
"

Truth's

lips,the light in Wisdom's Or


take

eyes
an

that is immortal.
as

again

such

exquisite

triplet

this:
wonder wonder
shame

The
The

of the sweetness

Shall

of the wild foolish wisdom man's

of a rose, heart of a song,


to

the

close.

And

how

unforgettable
And Not
set
on

in their several
the goal,

ways

are

the

following:
his heart upon

the prize;
the deepest
to

or

And
Are
or

evermore

words

of God
;

yet the easiest

understand forgetting

Not
Nor

in vague in vast
sonnet

dreams
morrows

of man losing

men,

the to-day.

Nor

can

except is
a

with

the

gem

without

as the following perish superb in which it is written ; it language a flaw:


so

MELANCHOLIA.
In the cold starlight, on Where to the stones the I heard the
the

the barren
rent

beach,
clave,

sea-tresses

long
steep

Down

hiss of the backward wave speech and the hollow shingle,

Of
Of

murmurous

ancient Thoughts that


But

other breach cavern-lips, nor None save was silence. with me,
were

neither

glad

nor

sweet

nor

brave,

And

restless comrades, I beheld the waters


as
a

each the foe of each. in their might


some

Writhe

dragon
one

by

great

spell curbed
over

And The
The

foiled ; and

lone

sail ; and

me

taciturnity ; everlasting inhospitable, inhu august, magnificently

nan

night,

Glittering

unperturbed.

Among

the many

memorable

reflections with

which

POEMS

OF

MR.

WILLIAM

WATSON

127

the contemplation
perhaps than

nothing
this:
So As

life has inspired poets of human has found sion impressive more expres-

all confusedly lights that hurry, shapes passes,


some

that flee
see,

About

brink

we

dimly

The

trivial, great, fate.

Squalid,

tragedy majestic

Of human

When The
Dream
can

can

The

Unknown
to appal

God
with

cease

to appeal,

or

When
the

Forest
Nor

its tragic wisdom? The Father that gem of workmanship of its lose its charm, or the Ode in May

of

Man

pathos? Burns,

is it too

Wordsworth's

to say that The much Grave, In Laleham

Tomb

of

yard, Churchlinked

Shelley's indissolubly
so

Centenary,
the

will

come

to

be they

with

memory

of those

clairvoyant

is the sympathetic

celebrate, insight into

in temper, the very essence of what each poet was in genius, in expression. Mr. Watson's It is remarkable that when poetry directly invites comparison ceding with the poetry of premasters

to be regarded ally generpretension dwarfed as a rival of Wordsworth ; but how and is Wordsworth's At the Grave undistinguished
no

superiority has, of course,

his equality often, becomes

always, his incomparable He instantly apparent.

of

JJurnswhsn
is nothing

placed again in Wordsworth's comparison

beside

The

TombofBumsl
Ode
the couplet

There

to the Skylark

which First

will bear

with

in The

Skylark
O

of Spring:
above the home Eternal Joy, sing on high

of tears,
!

128 No and
one

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM
evolution, is not Ode

dispute that in conception, would finish of style Gray's Installation

altogether of the poet of The Bard and unworthy The Progress Poesie; immeasurably and yet how of Ode on the Day tion to it is the the Coronasuperior

of

of

King

Edward comparison,
the Ode

VII
not

\ It
as

was an

bold

thing
but
as

to
a

challenge rival, with


a

imitator
to

to Autumn,

and

have

produced

to Keats's mastercomparable piece, loth to lose. The as the world will be almost delicious littlelyric Night has enriched language our

poem

which,

if not

exact with an imitation, of

counterpart,
one

as

distinguished

from

an

lyrics, Reue,

England And

My

of the most exquisite of Platen's justas in the second and third staves of Mother have we the note of Goethe.
me

this leads

to

remark

on

one

of Mr.

Watson's

moststrikingandmostdistinguishingcharacteristics. The disciple of Wordsworth Arnold, and Matthew


confessedly and even into his poetry much imitator. an never
with the air of that
a

ostentatiously of the Modest


essence

so,

and

drawing

and

kinsman

proudly
to

of theirs, he is it is yet reverent, pendence conscious of indein their presence this is his

he

seems

stand

and

hold

communion

attitude

towards
an

And them. with all his great predecessors.


and

eminently Pre-

artist in expression of Milton, of with all the curios a felicitas he attains distinction, Gray, as not of Tennyson, his diction mosaic they attained it, by making work,

elaborate

unwearied

rich in felicities culled

from

the classics

ent of the anci-

combinations and modern world, but by new Mr. Watson subtleties of his own. nice and happy of will indeed have little to fear from the revelations

and

POEMS
"

OF

MR.

WILLIAM
the

WATSON
whom

129

Variorum with

editors,"
too

detectives
"a

son, Tennything

much

so wrathfully. surprised," regarded It has often been said that one of the tests of a is to what classic is the amount of his contribution his power thought and of crystallizing quotable, be It may in finally felicitous expression. sentiment

of the air of and denounced

guilty

doubted

the diction of any modern whether cannot will yield so large a percentage of what Such as: to pass into this currency.
The
eyes

poet

fail

that looked
mystery
we

through

life and

gazed
a name.

on

God.

The

make nothing
on

darker
never

with

And The

doing God

do amiss.
ever

whom I
never

The
Now Toils

God

once

gaze, behold.

touching

goal,

now

backwards

hurled,

the indomitable

world.

In nothing,

striking remember Shelley,


setti, minor have,

as

is Mr. perhaps, in his treatment

Watson's

what what

Wordsworth,
Keats, what

originality so When we of Nature. Coleridge, what what


Roswhat innumerable

Tennyson,

what

Matthew

Arnold,

what

poets, here and here only during the last century,

rising to distinction,

branch

hearing
a

moment

to this contributed despaired of poetry, we might well have of for But without a new and distinctive note. here and there in a stray recalling, save

accent,

any
two

of these poets,
a

there will be found

within

these

wealth of charm and power and beauty absolutely independent of all that had anticipated it in preceding Coleridge artists. What said of Wordsworth
is very

volumes

exactly applicable
K

to

Words-

130

POETRY
most

AND

CRITICISM
He

worth's images
nature

original "the poetry

disciple.

noted

in Wordsworth's in his
from with Mr.

and
and

perfect truth of nature descriptions, as taken immediately


a

proving spirit which

long
gives

and

genial

intimacy

the

very

the

to

Watson.

magically

all works of nature." Nature is always with felicitous imagery as


Sidney,
O'er

physiognomic It is so with
him

expressio

whether

in

Hesper-light pensive Chivalry's departed sun, that

or

in simple
a

cameo-picture

of

some

quite

commonplace

scene:

Where,
The Are
so,

on

the tattered flowers

fringes

of the land,

uncourted pale

against

of the penurious the pale lips of the sea

sand
;

again,
Gorgeously Freak'd
tower the woodlands with wild light at golden

around, intervals,
asm

or or

where heinterpretsher to the Sea the Hymn

speech
"

to

man,

Autumn
he catches

poem

in which

her

harmonies. elemental No discriminating critic could


more

doubt

that

there

are

poems

poets will

in Mr. Watson's elements of permanence than in those of any of his present contemporaries. The most prodigally endowed of living long life, nay probably immortality, to whom
secure

be

by

drama

which and

is the

of
which
some were

enthusiasm

music,

carnati radiant inby lyrics in

Shelley
poems

notes of the noblest heard again, and


are

of Coleridge and innumerable by

which

among

the

miracles

musical

expression,

will have

of plastic and infinitely more to fear

POEMS
from

OF

MR.

WILLIAM

WATSON
without wisdom,

131
and like

sifting time.

Enthusiasm

ethics and aestheticism without Ariel Prospero. And without genius has Puck been been
"

spirituality, are Mr. Swinburne's


"

very
most

Ariel

an

Ariel,

indeed,

turned
have

and

the

occasionally has been flowery

abysses beguiled him


into

malodorous into which


; and
even

noisome and has his Puck


the guidance when into haunts
" "

less

unlovely

of what Art's sake


Nemesis Mr. editor.
taste

pleasaunces avail have


"

and been
a

of heather " Art for the excursions?


wildernesses

is always

sometimes Watson has


In
an

perilous creed, and a strange awaits its votaries. fortunate in his certainly been

introduction

which the

is a model

of good

and

discrimination

on the poems principle which The intention has been to make them ively comprehensFor this representative work. of Mr. Watson's
reason

the editor explains have been selected.

been

their author, with characteristic which long refused to reprint have scrupulousness, The Prince's have included. Thus we Quest, early poems
as
a

interesting,
us

back

to

the editor beginning

"

remarks,

because

it takes

of Mr. unprophetic Unprophetic

is rather curiously which ment." developWatson's subsequent is, for it is a purely it indeed

ris. and Moraesthetic study after the manner of Keats It stands in something relation to of the same Tale Lovers1 The Mr. Watson's as maturer work stands
beauty
to

Tennyson's.

But

it is

and

permanent

interest, and of singular Watson's place in Mr.


also

of great well deserves a A few works.


poem
are

other With

examples

of his

early

work

what

admirable

judgement

the editor

given. has ex-

132

POETRY
his discretion who
will

AND

CRITICISM

ercised
anyone the

in selection will be apparent to in the original booklets re-read

poems

marked

in the
those
own

index
are

of these

volumes

with asterisks and included. For my have been the

which

unasterisked

rejection

part, the only surprises Love Eternities, of Three


in The
see

and felt

Outloved,
and other

and Poems.

God-seeking

Prince's

Quest,

to the Dream

of
a

It is easy to Man should

tion the Dedicawhy have been excluded,

but

in itself it is

charming that The JubileeNight


been

not

have

But and Victoria. Hellas, hail! all the exclusion against poem, of one lovers of poetry it is one protest; will protest, must Watson's How are of Mr. very best lyrics. noble

contrasting

reprinted, the Queens Elizabeth

It is a pity, perpoem. haps, in Westmorland should because of the fine lines

the following
Thou,

stanzas: in this thy hour,


above. and power,

starry

Sittest throned
Thou Thou
art
more

all thrones

than

pomp

love. art liberty and Doubts and fears in dust be trod On, thou mandatory of God !

Nor,

since Laughed
a

first thy

wine-dark

wave

in multitudinous
more

Hath

deed

pure

and

mirth, brave

Flushed There

the

wintry
no

cheek

of Earth.

is heard
thy

melody
on

Like

footsteps

the

sea.

Fiercely Mighty Passionate Of


a

sweet

as

stormy
are

Springs wide
:

hopes

blowing

prefigurings re-vivified.

world

POEMS

OF
Dawning

MR.

WILLIAM
that,
e'er

WATSON
they
set,

133

thoughts

Shall

possess

the ages

yet.
room

From
been

the

volume

For

England

might
the

have
concluding

found

for Lamentation,

and

I wish

have pleaded could Of the twenty-four Metamorphosis.

lines

successfully

for

Leavetaking, in book-form, appearing Heaven In City Pent, and The Guests

first now poems The Venusberg,


are

of

perhaps

the

most

striking.
Pass, Wild
thou

The
wild
on

first is exquisite:
light, that
so

light
to

peaks

Grieve
The

let go

day. thy tarrying,


thou lovely
too

Lovely Pass, Wild Hast To

is night.

wild

heart,

heart

of youth
a

that still

half

will
; let

stay. I grow too old a comrade Pass thou away.

us

part

But

to

nothing and

in these

volumes with

admirers

critics turn
perhaps

will Mr. Watson's interest and more

curiosity, not
than
to

unmingled

the

artist as it might
is familiar

revision of the Petrarch and Milton,

with apprehension, As fastidious text.


as

an

Gray

and

son, Tenny-

have
to
us

been

expected

in the

all know what havoc De of his best poetry and how best prose, and even

We

old Wordsworth

that much of what texts disappear. would made of


some

Quincey
Tennyson

of

some

of his
latter

in his

days Mr. the by

more

than

Watson

for the worse. But corrected is happily in the prime of life, and of
once

alterations and very numerous him there is scarcely one which

additions those who

made have

134

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM
regret.
poems

his old texts by heart could busy but the everywhere, altered World,
are

The
most

filehas been
extensively the Hope

The

Dream

of
Vadis?

Man,

The

of

Domine,

Quo

Lakeland

Once
Of

More,

and the first part of The Prince's improvements in his best-known


be may the flat and
Bright
are

Quest.
poems

great ing the followFor

the most striking. noted as among Musarum feeble line in Lacrymae


Keats
:

to

touch

his raiment

both

beseech

substituted
Keats,
Doth
on

his lips the eternal rose in the name that of Beauty


love

of youth, is Truth

kinsman's
same

beseech

and

in the
And

poem,

the lines
the rhyme

is Nature's order but what in holiest unanimity Whereto with


and all things
move

All things Infolded


are

unfalteringly, their prime?

communal

from

substituted
Whereto And

for
keep
with

the worlds
move

time.
all things from

all things

their prime.

In

The
"

Father

of the

Forest
error
"

the

only

blemish Edward

is

removed I dying supposing

the historical hostile

representing

in the

land

the

poet
was

that Burgh-upon-Sands

presumingly in Scotland,

Solway "And a so at last by strand," eased and in the better line, takes the place of " And perished II and Becket, So, again, of Henry hostile land."
"

Him

whose

lightly

leaping

words,"

supersedes
improve

half careless words." felicitous corrections Many most Once More. the rhythm of Lakeland "That with

the

In The

Dream

POEMS

OF
"And

MR.

WILLIAM

WATSON

135

of
"

pily hapmost rolled into aeons" ' takes the place of ' And the aeons went rolling" ; " " boon ing"; the rapture of striving the tamer of long"I have clear" and read interpreted yields
aeons

Man

deciphered place to "my soul hath clear"; while four powerful lines are in the body added of the To The Hope the World a prose sucpoem. note cinctly

of

summing

Churchyard
last two

is added. In Laleham the argument there is a most judiciousomission of the

stanzas

of the

earlier

Ode

to Traill

the somewhat

editions, and flat introductory add Vadis?


"

in The
stanza

is excised,

and power The examples


to

while many of Domme, which them


"

excisions

to

the terseness

Quo
I have
are

extend

it is not necescited sary from illustrating very far indeed


care

completely
this
most

the

scrupulous

with

work. due to
he

conscientious1 of artists has And he will have his reward


"

which his revised the

one

sought better and


communion in the true
men

has maintained a great who his models he learnt his creed so


schools

reward As tradition.

than

the

schools
those

in other His of to-day.


men

has
sense

been

with

great

who

are

in whom
was

capable

the aristocrats of art, of the term loyalty to the best of which they were have the law of being who would
"

regarded

disloyalty
with

to

such

an

of that horror

which

the

ideal with something early Christians contemplated


never

the sin which is this which, in an age

shall when

be forgiven. species
are

It

every

barism, of bar-

vulgarity,
morals,
taste,

and
art,

and

charlatanism in an age when

corrupting
men

of real

genius, nothing

in the applause glorying in dedicating derogatory

of the
to

the

see mob, hour what

136 with
we

POETRY
the hour

AND

CRITICISM
to
a

have

us will perish, enables Classic, if only true still one us.

boast minor

that
one,

lingering
The in which
one
"

among limitations
his genius
not

of Mr.
moves

Watson

"

and

the

sphere
narrow

is a comparatively

to those only analogous of Gray and Like Matthew Arnold, but have the same origin. in an theirs his lot has been cast age of decadence
are

nutriment poets, derivingneither and transition, when have perfrom their surroundings, nor force enthusiasm for the to fall back on on themselves art and

impulse
happier

inspiration their brethren of and which From day found in the world without them.
up
not to

Gray

went

the
one,

cry

For

in this benighted inspiration

age,

Is that

diviner

That The

burns
pomp

in Shakespeare's

given, in Milton's or of heaven.

page,

and

prodigality
:

From

Matthew

Arnold

The Of And And immortal


your

winged gone, shed

fleetness

feet
scents

are

have
are

their sweetness,

your your

flowers

overblown,

And

jewell'd gauds

Half

Freely Freely

their glories did they flash their splendour, gave it, but it dies away.

surrender to the day,

Pluck
Leave Pluck, Dusk,

no

red roses, maidens, the lilies in their dew ;

more

O pale maidens, pluck cypress, O dusk the hall with yew.

And

in both,

comparatively

unpropitious surroundings, stunting, finally blightedand

after first
withered

POEMS

OF

MR.

WILLIAM
them.

WATSON
Matthew

137
Arnold,

upallthepoeticpowerwithin

commenting

accounted fell upon who spiritual East

the scantiness of Gray's for it by saying that he "was


on
an

production, a born poet


"a

age
was

wind

of prose," blowing."

when His

sort
was

of
a

own

similar lot and a similar fate. But the poet of Thyrsis of and The Scholar Gipsy had at least the advantage born in the summer being tumn and of living in the auIt is the lot of the poet of era. of a glorious Musarum Wordsworth's Grave of Lacrymae and As he himself puts been born in its winter. to have
it:
Fated
We among
an

Time's

fallen leaves

to stray

breathe with

Heavy Waiting

of the air that savours dissolution and decay,


new

tomb,

till some

world-emotion

rise.

Nor
to

was

it mere
:

modesty

which

induced

Mr.

Watson

write
Not
The A

hand, that strews mine the rich and showery facile largeness of a stintless Muse.
seldom touches
to lament
ever

fitful presence,
she
me

tarrying
me

long,

Capriciously
Then
leaves

to

her
come

song, flight in vain again.

And

wonder
owes
"

will she
to

All that he limitations which

his age

the tumult,

find such turbid levity, so miserably the dissonant sonnets, finds expression everywhere, which

is all that constitutes his indignation, and depression in his political expression
conspicuous in what is

The Eloping Angels, his worst poem, perhaps and itself in The the ignoble vents pessimism which To the want Hope of the World. of inspiration from Watson doubt due that Mr. it is no has, without

138

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM
work; in
life
aims, hearts, to

like

Gray,

misfortune

no produced ambitious that his lot has been cast

the

This With
its sick hurry, Its heads o'ertaxed,

modern its divided

its palsied

its

"

light

fatigues
resolves
nor

in casual its "sick creeds," doubts," the fact that his poetry and languid itself into mere lyric, having neither gospel

half beliefs

us.

ethics, having neither unity nor creed, with nothing in it to inspire us, with little in it to console To lack of genial inspiration from the same is also
no

without

doubt

to

be

attributed

that

over-

in style which, if it often solicitude for distinction I have referred, has results in the felicities to which the fatal effect either of falsetto or of occasionally

sophistry, in other in expression


This,
rarer

however,
than in

the substitution of originality in conception. originality is comparatively in him, rare much

words for

Tennyson,

but,

though

rare,

cant. signifi-

passages, because poems of his ambitious Lacrymae Musarum, to me seems


a

In spite of noble

the least successful the most being strained,


sometimes

combination of symbolic unhappy parenthyrin one sus at least, and flat prose, which, passage, I mean borders on the grotesque, the picture of
most

Tennyson's
Proudly
a

reception
gaunt right

by

his brother
doth
Dante

poets:
stretch

hand

Coleridge,

his locks aspersed spirits hail him Florence, Weimar,

with

faery foam

And

God-like

Of Athens,

guest, in speech Stratford, Rome.

Still it is almost

redeemed

by

the superb

addition

POEMS

OF
Keats, Doth
A
on

MR.

WILLIAM

WATSON

139

his lips the eternal rose of youth, in the name Beauty is Truth, that of
love

kinsman's

beseech.
we come

So

strained indeed the lines: upon


Dead
And With is Augustus, thou,

is the style that when

Maro

the Mantuan

is alive, in this age

and

soil,

Virgil

shall survive,

the

sudden

collapse

into

commonplace

positively

startles

Mr.

us. and shocks Watson, like all

men

from
measure,

men

of

mere

guished distinas genius talent, has taken his own of

he is of being hampered and how conscious by the Zeit-geist, he has himself pathetically and He is addressing the skyexpressed. lark: exquisitely

Two The And

worlds

hast

thou

to dwell

in, Sweet,

"

virginal this vext but


one

untroubled
region have

Alas, To

sky feet. at my I !

"

there clings the shade, songs all my dulling shade of mundane The care.
mists are mortal amid in immortal Thine, air.

They

made,

"

My
My

heart
song

is dashed
comes

with griefs and fears ; fluttering and is gone.

this home above of tears, Eternal joy,sing on ! high

But

am

And

fettered to the sod, but forget my bonds an

hour.

In

beautiful
as

passage
about
to

in the Odyssey
rebuke the

Calypso

is

represented

minstrel

for the

140
persistent

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM

of his strains, but Telemachus sadness for his to her that a poet is not explains responsible for joy or for sorrow he must inspiration ; whether sing as be with
a
man

the spirit prompts. A poet a true poet.

And

so

it must
an

of talent

is quite

is who independent

always imitator and and


to

of his age
or

of his show faith

surroundings. He he has wit.


out

He
can

is wretched make equal It matters

joyous

or

in what

of agnosticism. direction the streams

capital out of little to him

are
can

write

running. beautifully

encies tendof contemporary As Vanessa said of Swift, he But the broom-stick. a about

poetry

of imitation
away,
or

will pass

generation

which have It is been peculiar to all great poetry. always rooted in life, in the life of the individual, and in the life of the age:
most

brilliant, and of talent, however at least lose its vogue, the with it. Five characteristics produced

it is harmonious

comprehensive
the
senses

through and
more

in the strictest and sense ; it appeals of the term to the spiritual and the imagination
it suggests

moral than

nature

poetry can of inspiration rarely only be the result of inspiration, it would bestowed, so possible only, appear, and in the history of nations. conditions under propitious
The
to whom last of the dynasty owe we inheritance was of mankind, precious be of classical quality But poetry may

: and of man it directly expresses.

itely infin-

Such

this, the most

Wordsworth. without and and The Pope being Pope


is will

great
not

Sappho poetry; but Wordsworth,


long
as

is not both

Pindar,

Sappho

live

as

Pindar
extent

and
to

Wordsworth.

of

poetry,

the

permanence

the elements which into it depend far enter

quality fluenti of inmore

POEMS
on

OF

MR.

WILLIAM

WATSON

141

the age than on the individual, on the conditions have inspired, and moulded the which nourished, Had men poet, than on the poet himself. gifted and

tempered
not

like Collins

in the deep

and Gray valley between


on

naissant

England

the
era

one on

of the

Revolutionary

and worked, the heights of Reside, and the heights the other, but on either

lived

their of these elevations, been infinitely greater.


To Mr.

achievement

would

have

Watson's

poetry

with

its comparatively its joyless threnody, agnosticism, range,


uncertain

its limited and unambitious few notes, its sistent perits thin and

ethic, the critics of the future will probably point

point,

and

of

most

rare

mournfully, and fine genius conditions. and


tone

as

striking

example

and

depressing

struggling with As he himself

malign
writes,

contrasting

his note

with

Chaucer's:
"

Blandly

A want
Some Some For

arraigning of joy doth

ghost ! 'tis all too true, in these strings reside;

not thy clearer day, shade, that troubled knew loss, nor thou nor thy Boccaccio ;

thou

art

of the morning

and

the

May

I of the Autumn

and

the eventide.

THE

POETRY

OF

MR.

GERALD

MASSEY

MORE
so a

than

half

volume

entranced London newspaper,


poet whom
to
"a

of poems, him that he wrote

has passed since century falling into Landor'shands,


a

letter to

leading

proclaiming

the

now

he rapturously compared Hafiz," now to the Shakespeare chastened

of appearance to Keats, now

of the sonnets Singling out

when
a

the
on

sonnets

are
"

at

their best. rich and of

poem
"was

Hood,

How

radiant," he said, Hood's wit":


. .
.

the following

exhibition

His

Rich
That

a kind wit? smile foam-wreaths on the

just to
waves

hearten of lavish

us,

life,

flasht there
starry

o'er

But The

was

pearls and golden precious sands. ! that beneath surpassing show

soul,

that
can

shines

when
grow

all is dark strong,

!
"

Endurance Walk

that

suffer and with

through
comments

the world
on

bleeding

feet and

smile

And
same

he

the

rich

exordium"

of the

poem:
'Tis the old story ! ever the blind world its Angels Knows not of Deliverance
"

Till they

stand
to

glorified

'twixt earth

and

heaven.

Then

turning
Ah

the
a

lyrics and
tale of olden long ago ;

quoting:

! 'tis like

Time

long,

POETRY

OF
When

MR.

GERALD

MASSEY

143

in its golden the world was lord below Prime, and love was vein of Earth the Spring's
was

Every With

dancing
wine ! of flowers
!

new

'Twas

time the pleasant When I met you, love of mine


!
some

Ah

was straying spirit sure Out of heaven that day, ! a-Maying, I met When you, Sweet May. In that merry, merry

Little heart ! it shyly open'd Its red leaves' love-lore Like


To
a rose

that

must

be

ripen'd
core

the dainty, its beauties it blooms


a

dainty

But

daily brighten,
so

And

dear

Tho'

many

Winters

whiten,

I go

Maying

all the year.

"I

am

thought,"

he
to

says,

"to

be
. .

more
.

addicted

to

the ancients time I

than
am

the moderns

trying

Greek,

more

he continues, together,
vase

graceful "the flowers


overhang
"

but at the sent preOde, Latin or to recollect any than this." In many pieces,
are

crowded

and

pressed

and
"

containing

them,

the overthrow and almost ' ( al Orientthe and he instances

Love. Wedded as of such a poem richness he found Of the poet in whose to so much work he discerned in which splendid such admire, and " his staknew Landor more no than that tion promise, in life was

Had

and he known
rank

obscure, that his

his fortune
name

far from

was

Gerald
have

prosperous," Massey.

all he would

indeed

Whatever
to

Mr.

Gerald

among Massey,

poets may and


we

marvelled. finally be assigned be quite


sure

may
some

that he will stand

higher

than

of those

who

at

144
present

POETRY
appear question
to

AND
have

CRITICISM
superseded
things
"

him,

there

can

be

no

singularly due to him

about interesting

three

personal

his genius, his history, and the gratitude

for his manifold

services

to the cause

If he has of liberty and to the cause of philanthropy. not fulfilled the extraordinary promise of his youth, he has produced instinct with noble enthusiasm, poems welling
His
on

from

the purest pathetic,


one

sources

tion, of lyric inspira-

exquisitely
career

sown

thick

with

beauties.

affords

of the most of genius

record

of the power
as

striking examples itself under to assert


malign it. But
as

conditions
to

and unfavourable depress thwart and


as a

ever even

contributed

apart

from

story of and the inspiring his struggle fortune, he has other and with adverse is He honour. higher to consideration claims and the last survivor probably of that band of enthusiasts poet,

his work

to

whose

efforts

we

mainly

owe

it that the

England

in most of the opponents reasonable of all that was Chartism, the England of the grievances ations and abominland Chartism to remedy, the Engwhich sought

of the Report

on

which

Ashley's

Collieries

Bill

his Address National on on and of the Report which Education based, the England were of the opponents ice, Grant, of the persecutors of the Maynooth of Maurwas

transformed

into

the

England

lyrics have done revolutionary is, that they are among least that can be said for them by those best inspired the very when wild times O'Connor, Cooper, Feargus Thomas James O'Brien

His

of to-day. The their work.

and

Ernest

Jones

were

in

their

glory.

Of

their

effect in awakening their intemperance

and, and

for all allowance in educating extravagance, making

POETRY
our

OF

MR.

GERALD
and
those

MASSEY
who How
were

145
to

infant democracy
can

mould
as

it there listen to
to
us:

question. strain like this, do those

be

no

vividly, days come

we

back

the red Banner! the Patriots perish, But where their bones whiten the seed striketh root Their blood hath run red the great harvest to cherish
out

Fling

: :

Now

Victory

gather ye, Reapers, ! Victory ! Tyrants Titan of toil from

and
are

garner

the fruit.

The
The

! quaking the bloody thrall starts,

slaves are awaking, The foot-fall of Freedom

the dawn-light beats

is breaking,
at
our

quick
a

hearts !

If lines like the following days which

had for

message
we can

for those
still feel

they
:

have

not

us,

their charm

'Tis weary wave watching And yet the tide heaves

by

wave,
:

onward

We

by grave climb, like Corals, grave That have a path-way sunward.

The

world is rolling Freedom's And ripening with her sorrow.

way,

Take

heart ! who bear the Cross to-day Shall wear to-morrow. the Crown

And
poems

the

truth

many
Our
Who The By

their author wrote of what dispute years later few would


have
not
come

of these
:

visions
saw

to naught

by lightning
we

deeds those

dreamed work

in the night : being wrought are light.

who

in clearer

So

heartily
into

memorable

self himthrow and fully did Mr. Massey the life of his time that all that is most history during in our the most national of the latter half of the last century
L

stirring years

is

146

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM
There

in his poetry. mirrored he has not from which


to

is scarcely any side it, from politics approached


cause

spiritualism. all that Whittier


on

To
was

the
to

the

he was of Chartism ists cause of the Abolitionthe sian Rus-

the

War

other he was
now

Of side of the Atlantic. Tyrtaeus. the veritable


to

It is impossible
as

even

read

such

poem
as

New

Year's

Eve War,

in Exile,

Goes carfs

to

and After Alma,

such

ballads

England

Before Inkermann,
Night
in

CathEngland,

Hill,

War

Winter's
those

emotions without iron time, when


Out With of the grimly
moves

recalling
:

that thrilled in that

North

the brute
pace,

Colossus
proud

solemn
not

strode in the might

That
on

but

to crush,

fields
battle-shocks of the shuddering but the freed soul fled, none

Where

in homes
Where
all sate
stern

in the shadow

of death.

In Mutiny

HavelocKs found
a

March laureate

the
as

heroes

of

the

Indian
as

Tennyson,

whose

Defence of

spirited and Litcknow,

eloquent

which

peared ap-

on

was many certainly yearsafterwards, Mr. Massey's Ever in the van poem.

modelled of every in fiery of all

movement

making
cause

for liberty,

lyrics the
the

tributes he

of Italy against of honour and sympathy


none

pleaded Austria; and,

he

Garibaldi

received,

dedicated
He

received by to him
the

than the poems worthier his young English worshipper.


to the sympathy Welcome to Kossuth,

extended

same

Garibaldi
when
he

of Hungary,

and

his

POETRY

OF

MR.

GERALD
1851,

MASSEY
no

147
credit

visited England to its author as enthusiasm

in
a

if it does

great

ous poet, is at least proof of the generinspired it. But the passionate which

for the friends of he expressed sympathy which ation by the vehemence liberty was of the detestequalled for its enemies. And he expressed eminent prewhich among "hero"
the regarded of the coup d'etat and the founder We must go back to the broadsides those enemies satire equalling in the poems

he

of the
Empire.
to

Second
of Swift

find any
scorn

in intensity he

and

concentrated to his vent indignation by

England

for Louis contempt at the friendly reception accorded in 1853. Take two stanzas of

which Napoleon,

gave his and


to
one

him

of

them:
There
once, a daughter poor old Woman of our nation, Before the Devil's portrait stood in ignorant adoration. " down You're bowing to Satan, Ma'am," spectator, said some
was

"

Ah,

civil : Sir, it's best to be

for polite,
bow,
so

we

may

go

to the Devil."

Bow, We So
may

bow,

go

to the

Devil,

it 's

justas

well

to bow.

of Society, and will tarry at her Christ is he who His feet, nor see sold Him, curs'd Iscariot, By grace of God, or sleight of hand, he wears the royal vesture ; Divine Success! kneel with reverent And we at thy throne, England gesture,

hails the Saviour

And
We
may go
to the Devil,

bow,
so

bow,

bow,
well
to bow.

it 's

justas
The

Or

take
One
He The

three
shook
sprang

stanzas the world


exultant

from
with
"

Two
"

Napoleons-.

like a fiend earthquake all hell following after ! and whiff with laughter.

other, in burst Shook the world

of bubble
too
"

of wind

148
The

POETRY
First at least Second
were a

AND

CRITICISM

The

Kingdoms The
other

meteor shone ! splendid fizzed and fell, an aimless rocket ; by one, for France pocketed

picked

her pocket.

That Cold This


And

showed

the Sphinx

in front, with
sleek face

lion-paws,
"

lust of death

in the

of her,

the turned,

hindermost

tail and currish cowering disgrace of her.

claws,

Worthy
He Then

of Swift,
stole
tore
on

too

France, her tongue

deflowered
out

her in the night, told the tale.

lest she

And
Our
hath not fled of Greatness At crowing of the Gallic Cock ! ghost

But

if in his have

who

he poetry furthered the

in the field and loyal to those who have as When the bigots capacities.

ally of those ity cause of liberty and humanin politics, he has been an ally furthered
it in

has

been

the

hunted

down

other Maurice,

brave words he addressed to him ; Bradof comfort Burial is in praise laughs of a martyr of more doubtful but it strikes the same character perhaps,
note.
a

In the ringing tribute to heroism


on

lyric of Stanley's Way, we in another form. The

have fine

poems have

Burns, from

Hood,
one

come

who
so

could only and Thackeray had the sympathy sight and incould
work the
two

of kinship,
essence can

and and
through

pierce

at once

to
one

the indeed

of each, go
poems

the

of each.
volumes

No

of

Mr.
what

Massey's
struck she

George

without Eliot when,

being
as

struck

with

she

drew

the portrait of their author

no made in Felix

secret,

Holt

"

POETRY
the innate

OF

MR.

GERALD

MASSEY

149

them.

impressed on nobility of the character Whatever be their defects as composimay tions, be conceded that they are at once and it may few
nor

neither light,

small,

they
as a

have plant

never

the

note

of the

triviality. Instinctively
the poet

makes

towards

towards poems makes all is most to what that appeals and all that belongs in man. In pure, and most virtuous, most generous

of these

for the wrongs sympathy and by giving to of the poor miseries pathetic voice them ; in others he pleads for the victims of injustice in his own and oppression and in foreign lands. Here
some

he

kindles

he
to
more

calls

on

be

true

patriot, there to trust and duty.


the
or

on

the

No
more
a

philanthropist poet has painted fervour


on

vividly which
on

dwelt

with

the
we

virtues
are

at sea,

us, as made land, in the home.

have

people, Who can

what

such

ballads

as

The

Norseman,

read unmoved Sir Richard

Grenville's Last

such

to have which appears gested sugRevenge, Tennyson's and The Stoker's Story, lyric as Love's Fairy Ring Love, and Wedded
so

Fight,

the poem
went

by Landor? As his heart admired to the heroes out and of the revolumartyrs tions of the middle of the last century, and his sympathetic
much him to discern and interpret insight enabled blind to were of his contemporaries many
"

what
the

so

the foibles of underlying nobility and greatness Burns, the buffooneries of Hood, and the cynicism " so the beautiful or wherever aught of Thackeray
"

that

dignifies
on

humanity

"

has

found

expression,

whether has ever


est

the

heights

of life or

in its valleys,

he

to greet it with readiest and sprung All this gives an attractiveness homage.

sincerto

his

150 poetry

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM
mere
a

just as
a

quite irrespective of its merits as in human features there is often

poetry,

beauty

and

charm

which

is simply

the

reflection

of

moral

character. There was


to

little in Mr.

Massey's

early

ings surround-

poetry
secret,

either such traits as these, or such The as they informed. story of his life is no striking illustration both of the and a more promise of genius,
when
nor

independence
he

thrown sympathy

on
"

itself
"

for

neither education for irresistible energy


"

had

and

of its

thwart

His

and depress father was


on

to combined it cannot easily be found. boatman canal of the ordinary

everything

"

type, supporting hovel, a numerous


at a

ten

shillingsa week, in a wretched family. A little elementary structi in-

his mother sent school, to which he ever At eight him, was received. all the education in a silk mill, from five years of age he was working in the morning for a to half-past six in the evening, penny

beginning at gd. and rising to is. $d. weekly wage Barrett Here he experienced so all that Elizabeth in a poem denounced pathetically powerfully and which the
From nine

eyes

years later brought The of half England,

indignant

tears

into

Cry

of the Children.

this cruel servitude the poor child was released by the mill being burnt down, touching and in some days he tells how he reminiscences of those dismal

and and

other

children mud, them

stood

for many

hours

in the wind

sleet and

one
more

which form

set

watching free. But

the joyfully
he had only
as

tion conflagra-

of toil for another


This work
was

quite

exchanged ill-paid and The

unwholesome. to plaiters, having

straw-plaiting.
a

in

marshy

district with

POETRY

OF

MR.

GERALD

MASSEY
and
Young
want

151

by confinement constitutions enfeebled food, fell easy victims to ague. proper sey
was

of Mas-

no

exception,

and
quite

for three

racked,

his father was out when of It the sufferings terrible. work of the family were drudgery, was so was only by unremitting miserable

and sometimes At these times

years he was disprostrated, by this ease.

and

the wage

each

could

earn,

which sheltered them life could be secured. literally


on

and They

that the wretched cabin the barest necessities of


were
more
one

than

once

crisis they
to

At the verge of starvation. were all down with the ague,

dreadful
no one

with

assist them, and Mr. Massey might

since
want,

Well assist each other. " I had no childhood. Ever say, I have had the aching I can fear of remember in heart and brow." It was throbbing these unable
to

inspired the touching experiences which poem, Little Willie The Smitten, Famine the and and " Laura. Butthelad, in Lady "Factory-bell thanks to had been mother, scanty leisure committed
his
to

taught

to

read,

and

in his

memory,

and

eagerly

chapters many devoured such

of the Bible he books as Progress


us,

could and
true

get at, Robinson stories. passed

among Crusoe,

them which

the

Pilgrim's

he took, he tells

for

the first fifteen years of his life. In or he was where up to London, about 1843 he came And boy. now an an as eager errand employed him, and he devoured desire for knowledge possessed

So

all that

came

in his way

"

travels,

poetry,

going

everything, food without

philosophy, but enough, strangely books, and withto buy out

history,

political

sleep to read them.

Sometimes

in and

sometimes

152
out

POETRY

AND
a

CRITICISM
a and stray, his passion

of employment, solace in this dismal Then His


over
own

waif
was

time

only for information.

his

social questions

began

to

interesthim.
to

bitter experiences

naturally

led him

brood
the

the wrongs and grievances against Chartists were they protesting, and which
to

which
were

remedy.
not

He

attended

only

by what
seen

their meetings he heard there but

seeking flamed and, in-

he had

himself

and

suffered,

as

sympathetic study French republicans,


and

of the writings immediately threw

well of English himself

by what by the as and heart

soul into the cause. he tells us, inspired,

in him, At last poetry awoke by politics but by love. not Poems and

His

first volume,

Original

Chansons,

was

in 1847 byaprovincial bookseller atTring, his native This was three years place. succeeded later by Voices Freedom Love, a very and Lyrics

published

of

of

on the advance Meanwhile, collection.

great

crude

work
as

of the

preceding

amid

could brightened.
the pen.

surroundings well be, his


He
was

poor as ever and dismal as as they and sordid in some degree had prospects beginning to feel his way with

though

the editorof, a cheap started, and became half of which men, was journal for working written But by himself half by them. the other this and
coming
to

He

depended
likely
to

he on of the employers whom for his daily bread, were not and who favour the propaganda regard with much the
ears

of which turned
as

it

was

the

adrift by being

medium, dismissed

he from

was

continually

to scramble could manage he fought his way found to his proper place, and for a livelihood, could rely on his pen at all events

he

such situations into. At last he

POETRY
if only
a

OF
bare
one.

MR.
He

GERALD
became
a

MASSEY regular
and

153
valued

to the principal such socialist journals, contributor Thomas Cooper's as the Leader, Journal and the

Christian
with

Socialist. This
his earliest

brought

him

friend

Thomas

into connection Cooper, and had who Maurice.

subsequently written Alton


was ever

Kingsley, with Charles Locke, and with F. D.


Dr.
to

just
Nor

this all.

Samuel

Smiles,

ever

helpful

and

had been greatly merit, some of the lyrics in these publications the young of 1850, and, hearing and in the volume history, an wrote eloquently appreciative poet's long since defunct but review of both in a magazine
quick struck by recognize in those

days
a

very

popular.
true

He
"who

of

new

and

poet

welcomed had won and nobly


a

the

vent ad-

his perience ex-

in the school his title to speak


to

of the poor, them


as
a man

and

earned brother,

' the hate of hate, the scorn of scorn, with ' " dwelling on the fact that the love of love ; and, full of power so was the maker and beauty of poems iffortune years of age, prophesied, only twenty-three future for him. kind, a splendid was

dowered

Fortune kind,
but

was

not

in

Mr.

and was Massey's next


most rest
"

kind

never

going

to

be

volume,
on

in 1854, appeared fame must mainly

of the poems The Ballad


From
volume became that

published his which

ofBabe
passed the may

Christahis

bel -with other Lyrical

Poems. The

this moment

reputation

was

made. edition unmeasured


poet's

through

edition
eulogies

after
so
a

and
head.
In
a

subject of
well have did not turn
preface

they
But

turned

young

they

the head

of this poet.
to

modest

prefixed

the

third

edition

and manly he deprecated

the

154 homage

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM

had been, he said, prematurely which paid ' ' ' ' him. Some Poet a : of the critics have called me but that word is much lightly spoken. I know too
what I may
a

kindles something within which like at the breath of Love, or mounts into song in the is a jarring lyre. : but, alas ! mine presence of Beauty
I have
"

poet have

is too

well

to

fancy

that I

am

one

yet ; flame-

only
race

the

poems them
sow
a

entered the lists and inscribed my name has yet to be run." Referring to the cal politihe was, he said, half-disinclined to give
averse
was

so place in the volume, dissension between class and

he

"to

class and

brands fling fire"

among he
"

the combustibles

strange added, land, bitter feelings


spoken."
was

wrongs felt, and are


on

of society." daily done are wild


say

But," in the

Then
to

he went
the

to

will be words that his aspiration

become elevate

brighten

and

and sufferings, himself shared. beings. beauty

whose " I yearn to raise them kindle in their hearts I would

to poet of the masses, toils the lives of those whose he had miseries and darkness

into lovable
a

and lineaments them

of the Universe, grandeur of Divinity in their poor, worn of the


grace

of the call forth the faces, give


sense

glory of Love and of Life, and elevate significance of the marvellous for all." And to these aims the standard of Humanity glimpses and
he
was

nobly

true,

as

innumerable
not

poems

were

to

testify, poems

which

if they have

always

cally intrinsi-

the quality

endures,

went

of poetry of a high home influentially when


to

order and which to hundreds of


were

thousands

in times
service

such

appeals

calcula of in-

society.
was

When

this volume

passing

through

the press

POETRY
the

OF
War

MR. had

GERALD
broken
out,

MASSEY
and, during

155 its

Crimean

his themes the young progress, poet found it inspired. The spirited ballads, in which
the

in what he told

to her truth to herself and story of England's heroic past in that conflict, and in which just before he had deplored and denounced from both her apostasy in her recognition Napoleon, of Louis and welcome

in 1855, under the title collected and published Mutiny Then came the Indian of War-waits. and the heroism another of his series of ballads in which
were

countrymen

and the achievements


and
purest
were

of the

noblest

and virtues sons of England's


also the

of

one

were

commemorated: in published
March. Nine

these
1860

under

recollected and title of Havelock's

years

of his poetry with A Tale With


I had
allow
am

of

and Eternity

afterwards his serious


and

the regular sequence life as a poet ceased

other Poems.
career

Mr.

Massey's

subsequent

and
as

tions occupa-

not

never
a

here concerned. been collected, he

In 1890,
was

his poems
on

prevailed

to

most worthy of such as he thought in to be made, they appeared of preservation and Lyrical two the title of My Life. In volumes under

selection

himself to a preface he re-introduces has forgotten him, and he assumes generation which "as For MS." his poems to which as good will be himself, he says, they " may but contain the flower,
a

very

modest

the

fruitof
who

my
are

life is to be looked

for elsewhere

by

those
enormous

The in sympathy with my purpose." " Mr. Massey labours, " the fruit to which

his Natural refers, his Book of the Beginnings, be Genesis the like the value of these must and it. It is with by those competent to estimate estimated
"

156
the
"

POETRY
flower"

AND

CRITICISM

the flower-time of Mr. Massey's and life that I am here concerned to interest seek and Ruskin to whom others, with the poet and enthusiast
wrote
:

I
you

rejoice
for many

in acknowledging
an

my

own

debt noble

of gratitude thought
your and

to

encouraging
and
a

and

expression

of thought,

in the

mass

have

been

that conviction helpful and precious


my

poems

working-classes

(I use
that

the term that


you few

in its widest

gift to the and highest


can

sense)of
greater

the country, which

than

national services have rendered.

be

can never and career of Mr. Massey from his work be separated a as gether poet, and taken todeserves to they form a record which surely live. Of the services to which Ruskin refers I have

The

history

already
In

spoken. his work as a poet I do not pose proit critically, to balance its merits into any discussion and to enter

considering to deal with

and

shortcomings, about his relative place I wish to dwell only on beauties, poetry and has charm
as

the poets of his time. among its beauties, on its very real to invite the attention of all for whom
to

the two

little volumes is

"

which

are

good The Ballad


most

as

MS."

ofBabe

Christabel
in
;
as our

one

of the richest
sown

and with

pathetic poems beauties exquisite


In this dim We

language,
:

thick

here

See
The

cares, world of clouding till wildered rarely know, eyes lessening up the skies, white wings

Angels

with

us

unawares.

Through

Childhood's

morning
us

land,

serene

She

walked

betwixt

twain,

like Love

POETRY

OF
While, Her

MR.
in
a

GERALD
robe

MASSEY

157

of light above, watched broke bleak


unseen.

guardian

Angel

Till life's highway Then,

and

lest her starry garments In mire, heart bleed, and courage Angel's
arms

wild ; trail fail,

The Her
To

caught

up

the child. roll'd


shore
store

wave

of life hath
ocean

backward
;
on

the great

whose
to

We

wander
treasure

up

and

down

Some

of the times

of old.

And

this:
We
sat

Our

by and watched blown love-lamp


hearts
as

Life's dark
about
as

stream

With And

that

lived

the night, lived its light,

died

died its precious

gleam.

And
With
her

this:
white and lips shrouds
go,

hands
are

clasped

she

sleepeth

; heart

is hushed

Death

up

cold her heaven

of beauty,

and

weary

way

we

Like

the sheep without With the face of day its widowed fled this world
nest

shepherd
out

shut my

the wintry Norland by blinding snow.


on

wold,

O'er

heart

sits moaning

for its youngling

From

of wail

and

weeping,

gone

to

join her
dear
one

starry

And

peers ; 's o'ershadowed my light of life dead; I'm crying in the dark with

where

the

lieth

And

many like
a

fears.
lost beloved

All last night Beating And I called

me, near she seemed than at the lattice louder across

bird,

the sobbing tender


name

wind

the night

with

and rain ; and fondling

And

word; I yearned

out

through

the darkness,

all in vain.

158
Heart

POETRY
will plead,
tears

AND
cannot

CRITICISM
see

"Eyes

her:

they

are

blind

with

And

of pain," it climbeth up and straineth for dear life to look, and hark While I call her once no again : but there cometh refrain, And it droppeth down dieth in dark. the and

As Fate

long holds

as

shaft, as cruelly in its quiver, flies

barbed
to

as

any will

that The

its aim,
:

Mother's
Ere Her Then, The

Idol Broken
the soul loosed

find response
from
its last ledge

of life,

littleface peered
seeing
mystery
on

eyes, round with anxious faces, dropped content. all the old dilated in her look,

Which Some

the darkening

deathground, shining
near.

faintly caught

likeness

of the Angel

Full Love'.
We That
But

of wisdom

and

beauty

is the

poem

Wedded

have
run

had

sorrows,

the rose-hue grief hath jewels as she revealeth what

love ! and wept from the cheeks

the tears of Life ;

night
we ne'er o'er

hath

And With

her stars, had known, blinded


eyes.

Joy's wreath
kindred

tumbled

our

The

poems,

The

Young

Poet

to His

Wife,

Wooed full of rich Won are and and pressive imIn Memoriam, its eloquent beauty. and with is a poem over most exordium, of which have been initiated in "the those who myssolemn teries How of grief" will gratefully linger. sunny
Long

Expected

are

of his lyrics, how many following:


We
cannot

full of grace

! Take

the

From Back, The


But

lift the wintry pall buried life : nor bring Love's passionate of the Spring. thinking,
all

with
glory

the old green soft along feel her breath of gold We

way
:

POETRY
Glad She

OF

MR.

GERALD
her presence and all is told.

MASSEY
play
;

159

ripples round
comes!
"

She
My

comes

! like dawn doth

in Spring
melt
are

her fame

winter-world thorns

The

with
!
"

flowers
and

She

smiles

all a-flame. felt. is all

If

more

charmingly
in
our

touching

lyric than where

Cousin
be

Winnie

exists

language,

is it to

found?
It is impossible these volumes go through meet with the felicities which
now of thought, How happily,

to

out withus now are

being
every
turn,

struck
now

at

of expression. Hood's witticisms


Rich

of sentiment, for example,

described
on

as:
waves

foam-wreaths
as

the

of lavish life,

and
To

men

in affliction
Night brings

those
the larger thoughts
like stars.

whom

How
is this:

beautifully

true

and

how

originally

expressed

The And

plough

of Time down tramples

Yet

through

Eden-land, up our its flowery virgin prime. the dust of ages living shoots seed
start

breaks

O' the old immortal

in the furrows.

How

happy
The And

this:
best fruit loads the broken bough
:

Love

in the wounds our sufferings its immortal own sows seed.

plough

Or:
Hope
Her builds up

rainbow

over

Memory's

tears.

How

simple

and

true

is the pathos

here

160
The We Of

POETRY
silence
never

AND
broken

CRITICISM
by
for
: a

sound

still keep

listening

the spirit's loss


makes
our

its old clinging place, that dead leafdrifting desolately


we

life

free.

And

this too
Who The The
To

pause

over:

work

for freedom

win

not

in

an

hour.
shall spring

seed of that great truth forest of the future, and those

from give

which

shade

With

And

be watched that reap the harvest, must faith that fails not, fed with rain of tears, and fell. walled around with life that fought

And

this:
its phantom dreams is from To make seems that which out that which in the light of day shall blush to find And had the power What to blind of darkness wraiths The

world

is waking

from

Its vision, what As if of granite,

thin walls of misty its stopped outward

gray,
way.

This,

too,

was

worth

saying

and

is well

said

Prepare We And As

to die?

Prepare

to live,
:

know
let
us

God

is living what for the world's good is ever-giving.


not

give,

In Massey

The

Haunted struck
a

Hurst,
new

A and

Tale
has
to

of

Eternity

Mr.

note,

powerful
parallel

original and It in poetry.

poem
was

a most produced I know no which

occasioned experiences

and
which

inspired
he
once

by

certain

extraordinary
certain house

had

in

where

many

years

ago

he

had the effect of converting him resided, and which With it to Spiritualism. the esoteric interest which
no

doubt

has

for Spiritualists and


poetic

I have
is
as

no

concern,

but
an

its dramatic
account

interest

so

great

that
to

of it will probably

be

acceptable

POETRY
those who

OF have
no

MR.

GERALD

MASSEY

161

sympathy support

it is designed who
was

to

have.

The

physical of
a

with the creeds which and illustrate as to those fact on which it is founded

the discovery

of the house occupied fact the apparition of the self-destroyed

in the garden child's skeleton by the poet, the metaphysical materialized who spirit of the

murderer,

crime and of the punishment him. The poem on opens weirdly and vividly with a description of the phenomena commonly associated houses, but here symbolic of with so-called haunted

tells the story of the inflicted posthumously

the tragedy

afterwards
a

divulged:
as

At times Had

noise,

though

dungeon

door
:

the floor grated, with set teeth, against A ring of iron on the stones : a sound As if of granite into powder ground.
A As And As mattock of
a wave a

and

spade

at work

that sobs

and

! sad sighs faints and dies.


: a

then

though

shudder of the house a knife scored letters

on

scrawl the wall.

The With

wind
a

would
scream

rise and

wail most

humanly,

Over

of stifled agony birth life the of about to be.

low

At

last

dead,"
A
To

the Dead the veil was rent that shows one: and live figures define themselves;
the life had burned
away

"

not

face in which

cinders of the soul and ashes gray : frown The forehead furrowed with a sombre in shadow, That the image, seemed of Death's

Crown.

The

faintest gleam of corpse-light, lurid, wan, ! Showed me the lying likeness of a man dress. The old soiled lining of some mortal
M

162
the other:
A dream

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM

of glory

in my

night

of grief.

She The

wore

Breath

purple vesture upon of Dawn

thin

as

mist,

the plum

dew-kissed.

The Was

purple shine in her eyes.

of violets wet

with

dew

tells its horrible the first apparition story, the life, the lust that led to murtragedy der of its earthly

And

and
She

from
was a

murder
buxom

to

self-destruction.
!

beauty

No

demon
a

ever

toyed

with

worthier

folds,

About

souls ; comelier throat, to strangle A face that dazzled you with life's white heat, Devouring, it drew as you off your feet,

With

eyes

that set the Beast in heart and lips, cruel

Leaping
Lithe,

brain,

amorous

astir, for her; alive in curve and hue,


my

o'

the blood

Which,
With

greedy

as

the grave,

kisses

drew

Long

hers, that to my like live things mouth fiercely stung. after, and in memory

clung

wild and having driven


rushes child:
Harsh
as

One

stormy night, the her from her home

shame

into

her

lover's

house

and with her

of her sin friends, she

new-born

the whet-stone
me

on

She

rasped

all

on

edge
!"

scythe flew, ; the hell-sparks that


I dared
not

the

mower's

Till there
"

seemed

nothing

do.

Kill it, you

coward

And

the

wretch

murders

the

child, to perish and


remorse,

own

in the agonies hand:

of frenzy

afterwards, by his

POETRY
I fancied

OF

MR.

GERALD
the headlong
an

MASSEY
leap, sleep
:

163

That And
Shut

I took when death would be winding

everlasting

the white
out

Cold
And
Lay

the world, from my water crimson

sheet and green sod might and I have done with sight. hand had sluic'd the warm safe the little form

carnage;

Of

underground life hid from


was

; the tiny trembling

waif
safe.

the light to to

my

secret

But

this

not
was

be.

The

panic

horror

moment awful He had made

become

"

child's of he had lost the key, and so exposed his crime which for the grave was So : to instant discovery. open
"

the

stereotyped in a chamber grave

of one for ever.

The

lost soul whirls grave-place

and

The He

where

eddies round the lost key must

be found.

it, but he cannot touch often sees It : like a live thing it eludes his clutch Gone, like that glitter from the eyes of Death,
"

In the black The To Bridges,

river at night tempting

that slides beneath souls of Suicides it always

find the promised


as

rest

hides.

All this,

well

as

the Angel-form

who

acts

as

preter, interpoet,

reveals

explaining
Metallic,

itself in clairvoyance to the heard in the house: the sounds


liquid gurgle and the ring with the heavy plop and ping,
grinding sound door ; the digging underground
moans

The

The

O' the grating The shudders The The ring

; ;

of the house ; the sighs and the stones ; of iron dropt upon presence
as

cloudy

prowling

near.

Sometimes,

here,

with

tragic

power,

and

sometimes

infinite pathos, the poem explains with and illustrates that what we call death is but life's continuance behind it is in the power a of veil which

164
some

POETRY
are

AND still in the

CRITICISM
flesh
to

uplift ; that the from the soul receives earthly which it retains long after the body is dust; that experience Heaven are people them, and Hell, with those who who impressions around
them
us

and
us so

in

our

from

thin

the barrier dividing midst, it scarcely exists. that for some gives
us

Of
most

all this

the

poem

many
as

weird

and

impressive
man

illustrations

; such

the story

the

child
London

a a woman, seeing who, with in her arms, in begging standing

of beautiful crowded

thoroughfare, for he
was

placed

in

her

outstretched
"

hand
a

"

touched

golden

coin, only at his feet, and

with pity for the child to find it ringing on the pavement


no woman
or

child any

longer

visible:
He At times
The
was
one

of those

who

see

side-glimpses of eternity. Beggar a Spirit, doomed was


hurrying who wayfarers, her by, indifferent hear

to plead
no

With
But Till

took
as

heed,

passed
one

the dead,

should

Doomed
To

to stand

her voice and turn the head. there and beg for bread, in tears, had been
dead for years.

feed her
was

child that

This

the very spot where she had spent Its life for drink, and this the punishment.

In sentiment, in imagery, there and in expression is much in this original over poem powerful and have Never fail to pause. no the which reader can genesis
more

and

progress

than
to
can

subtly and in the Fifth

of evil in the human terribly described and


are

soul

been

analyzed prepared

accept every at least understand


as

and if we article in the creed the wisdom

Part,

not

we of this poem and force of such

lines

these:

POETRY
If those Through blind

OF

MR.

GERALD
did but

MASSEY
know

165

Unbelievers

they go what a perilous Unknown By light of day ; what furtive eyes do mark Them fiercely from their ambush of the dark in every beam What ; motes of spirit dance What What

"

grim

realities mix

serpents

As

earth-worms

; with their dream fallen souls, try to pull down drag the dead leaves through

their holes. will work

How, The

toad-like,

at the

ear

squatted

Satan,

wickedly

at work.

Till from
A

some

little rift in nature of madness, and

black

abyss

yawns Hell dawns.

And
as:

how

beautifully

is the Divine

guidance

described

The

magnet

in the soul

that points
to

on

through

All tempests,

and

still trembles

be true,

and

as

of light, of spirit laid in beams Mysteriously a gulf of night. across

bridge

Nor

are

the comments
even now

on

the perversions

tianity of Chrisvery

far indeed

from
Forgive
I dare

superfluous, and altogether profanity is the aspiration:


me,

Lord, think

if wrongly

I divine,

not

Thy

pity less than

mine.

It is characteristic
that
a a

of Mr.

Massey's
so

cheerful

ism optim-

poem

theosophy and
That

begins which involves so which

grimly,

much with

and that is both which


an

sombre

awful

should

conclude

assurance

lines at length will meet, To make the clasping round of Love complete; The and Spirit will be healed rift 'twixt Sense
all divergent Before

is crowned and sealed ; creation's work Evil shall die, like dung about the root

Of

Good,

or

climb

converted

into fruit.

166

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM

All blots of error bleached in Heaven's sight ; All life's perplexing lost in light. colours

I have find
room

indulged

but I must very freely in quotation, for the following connoble lines which clude part:
to the

the sixth
Lean
nearer

through night ; Its curtain of the dark your veil of light. Peace Halcyon-like faith is given, to founded
And

Heart

that beats

it can
as

float

on

Surely Isled
on

Knowledge its "Atom


"

reflected Heaven that doth rest at last

Life-Ocean, From
out

heaving whose dark

in the unfathomed vast through the infinite, the shows


waves'
o'er

of being

flit,
;

In flashes

of the climbing
a

white

crest

Some

few

moment

luminous

the rest !

I have

among

to atthat I shall not presume tempt relative position any estimate of Mr. Massey's era the poets of the Victorian ; if he has no

already

said

pretension

to

rank

among

of song there are many have been fulfilled if I recall

its classics, in the house My purpose will mansions.


to
a

generation

judgingfrom popular

memoirs, appears of interest and full of charm.

anthologiesandcurrent to have forgotten them,

which, literary

poems

full

MILTONIC

MYTHS

AND

THEIR

AUTHORS
I

THE
critic,

posthumous
chapter

fortunes in with the

curious
was

of Milton literary history.


name,

form

First,

prophecy delivering
one

busy

his

and
a

prophecy,

itself in

William
was

person Winstanley,

of

contemporary pronounced: parts

thus natural

"John
of our Poems Paradise Fame memory

Milton give English

one
a

whose

might

deservedly

a and Regain'd,

the principal place amongst Heroic two poets, having written Paradise Lost, Tragedy, namely,

him

is gone

out

and Samson like a Candle

Agonistes.
in
a

But

his his

Snuffe,

and

l For stink." doubt mainly was no prejudice in 1750 Dr. Johnson was induced

will always

this verdict
responsible.
to

political But
preface

write

and a postscript to a volume, it attained legitimately the would


have
not

had the effect of which, it aimed, end at which

been,

if not

1747 a Scotchman Lauder, irritated at the failure of an attempt named to introduce an Johnston's Latin edition of Arthur in consequence into schools, version of the Psalms instituted originally of a contemptuous comparison
strange
or

very far from In prophecy.

the fulfilment, something the fulfilment of Winstanley's exactly

about

Lives

of the Most

Famous

English

Poets,

p. 195.

168 by
Pope

POETRY
between

AND

CRITICISM

if possible,
to

and Milton, determined, fame.1 This he sought to blast Milton's

Johnston

him and convicting of wholesale accusing The fellow was a scholar, plagiarism. and in had explored the writings the course of his reading effect by

of the
the
whom

Scotch,

Dutch,

and

English

Latin

poets
most

of

sixteenth
were

and

to even very As much on the learned. sacred of this poetry was Lost, drawn largely and had, like Paradise subjects, commonon the Old Testament and on theological

seventeenth little known

centuries, in England

of

letter which to have the appears escaped remarkable notice of the historians of this affair, written to Dr. Birch, preserved Birch's papers in the British Museum, among and printed in Anecdotes Persons, Eminent i, Lauder attributes vol. pp. 122-128,
a

In

of

his

infamous

" were writes to Birch, than any man alive. I

to another conduct cause the innocent


mean

motive: of my
to

"You," offence, Milton's


more

he

your

Appendix

Life,

where Milton

stole

by scene of villainy as acted unparalleled I, who, in order to blast the reCharles putation EikonBasilike, the that of prince, undoubted author of Philip Sidney's Arcadia Sir prayer out of and obliged the

you

relate an King against

book, severe printer of the King's penalties and threatunder nings, to subjoinit to his Majesty's and then made performance,
a

hideous

outcry
was

against observed

his

own

as jealousy,

just now,
in that

to create a action, merely that if his Majesty was not

the

author
of

is believed by itself, which thing by if that action when to this day : Now, thousands committed is without it be deemed Milton so malignity should why in me. If this be the case, as criminal you very well know

author

of the prayers the Treatise

Treatise

he

was

far less the

it is, do have

you think I deserved been for acting by Milton

so

as

to be reproached much he acted by the King?

as
"

For

this abominable charge there was, needless to say, no evidence Birch himself admits he relates the scandal. as whatever, when See Birch, Milton, p. xxxiii. vol. i, Introduction,

MILTONIC
both places, doctrine and in

MYTHS
to

169
as

relation

incident
were

well

as

to

sentiment,

analogies and parallels Lauder industriously epic. These


were

necessarily many in it to Milton's to be found collected, and they

there

pointed out in a series of papers Magazine between to the Gentleman's The


they papers
were

communicated

1747 and
and

1749.

naturally

attracted

attention,

in 1750

published of Oxford
Milton's
Paradise

additions, and collected, with considerable dedicated to the Universities in a volume,

Cambridge, and Imitation Use and


Lost.

entitled

An Moderns

Essay

on

of

the

in his

The

papers

in the Gentleman's

Magazine

had

turbed disbut this the

Milton's many and surprised admirers, to what were the discoveries there made nothing In a few weeks the essay was volume revealed.
talk

fame to whom the name of every one and of known, Milton by it were the sensation and made have For been. as was well it might extraordinary, it was here demonstrated
poem literature,

that

pride glory and Englishman an


was

of
a a

our

was the which had and given

place

beside

Homer
an

of

nothing fragments

but

compilation,

Virgil, and ingenious cento

writings
scheme

selected of poets known

and
only

dovetailed
to

the

of the The curious.


out

and

machinery the from


written the

of the poem, architecture and details of the first two in Pandemonium,


an

well as the books, ing includas

debate

had

been

Sarcotis,

1650 by about in the college at Cologne. professor from Masenius had plunderings plunderings
on
a

in five poem a Jacobus Masenius,

epic

stolen books,

Jesuit

With been the

wholesale blended Adamus

similar

scale

from

170
Exsul

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM

of Grotius and from the Locustae of Phineas Fletcher. The description of the creation of the world, in Eden, the scenes of the Fall had and the account
concocted
out

Poetica of the Creationis Rerum Ramsay, Descriptio of Andrew the Virgilius EvanRoss, gelizans and Silvester's English of Alexander Bartas. The dialogue translation at the end of Du been
between had Gabriel and Satan of the fourth book been translated from one of the tragedies of Johannes Angelicum Franciscus Quintianus. The Bellum of

Frederic

Taubmann,

professor

in the

University
ist plagiar-

of Wittemburg,

had

supplied

with a great part of the famous on marriage panegyric Pads the Triumphus of Caspar
other illustrations their supposed
are

the shameless sixth book; had been

while the filched from

Staphorstius.

Many

given

of these
are'

appropriations,
to
a

plumes Latin rabble of obscure in summary, says Lauder

and

restored

numerous now,"

" And versifiers. " Milton is reduced

to

his and

appears standard, in ability littlesuperior

true

mortal
to the

and

uninspired,

poets

but

in honest

and

open
not

dealing,

above mentioned; the best quality of


to

the human

mind, plagiary
alacrity

inferior, perhaps,
that
ever

the

most

unlicensed With an

wrote."

Johnson,
known,

whose heartily having

little credit, Dr. Milton is well prejudice against Lauder in his coveries," "dissupported

which

did

him

indeed

furnished
But

him the

with

preface

and postscript to impostor this infamous


a

his work.
was

triumph

of

year

John

after the appearance Bishop Douglas, of Salisbury, afterwards Milton from vindicated with a pamphlet,

In less than short-lived. the Rev. of his work

lowed folthe

MILTONIC
Charge
Lauder,

MYTHS
brought against convicted him

171
by Mr.
several

of Plagiarism
and Lander

himself

of
the

forgeries and
Douglas
system

and in the writings of these poets general resemblances to the work into precise and particular, of Milton by suppressing the context, sometimes sometimes by dovetailing disconnected by passages, sometimes
less extensive, and sometimes by or alterations more interpolations The was comof his own. exposure plete,

impositions on gross how Lauder had, by showed of fraud and forgery, converted

Public.

an

elaborate vague

and
wrote,

the

wretched

at

Johnson's

covered with shame, dictation, a public letter to

man,

Douglas, he had

fully acknowledging the fraud of which been convicted, and apologizing in the most

abjectterms
The

for his villainy. impostures of Lauder

have
"

thrown

into the

the less criminal shade Francis Peck, the Rev. may

Miltonic
and yet

discoveries"

in impudence with known the


as

of he

fairly challenge comparison Peck, who is honourably of


some

man. Scotchan

antiquary

quarto,

distinction, published Memoirs entitled New

in 1740 a substantial the Life and

of

Poetical
contained
works,
was

Works
many

of
"

Mr.

John

Milton.

The

important

all of them indebted to the industry Among them


was

additions" for which discoveries

volume to Milton's

editor.

rapturously placed beside is history of this discovery


must to

world Rev. of thje and acumen Mr. Peck a drama which Agonistes. The Samson
so

the

interesting tell it.

that

we

leave

Mr.

Peck
a

himself

to

Happening

be going through between 1640

collection

and

1660

published of pamphlets his attention was

172
directed
anatomized:

POETRY
to
one
or
a

AND

CRITICISM
Tyrannical

entitled Discourse

Government

being Presented

the

Life and
King's

lors, concerning evil CounselDeath ofJohn the Baptist.


Excellent

to the

Most

Majesty

by

It was the author. form of a dialogue

in prose, and was in long paragraphs. discoverer

printed in the it Suddenly


that prose be Milton's, the

flashed

on

the

inspired

might be verse, and that the verse might and in a very short time he was satisfied that Milton's it was. The Milton's, "the spelling was spirit of "was liberty breathing it Milton's, and " who through
so

likely

as

Milton

to

carried

more than a literal nothing Baptistes. This was, prose version of Buchanan's Mr. Peck as to him, but he bore owns, a great shock

it, in rapture, it,found it was

present it to the King?" friend, who, to a learned

He
on

inspectin

up

so

wonderfully

that

the

untoward

revelation

scarcely

his original opinion. Slicing up modified into blank insisting that the verse the prose and Milton, he had the effrontery to print translator was
it among Milton's

Mr. Mr.

John
Peck

sixth of Milton's And nine poems." celebrated its ascription to Milton thus: justified

poems,

entitling

it

"

the

I took I shall begin that at first indeed with owning to be an this poem original, but since find that it is only from Buchanan. the Latin a translation of Mr. George bold to call it Milton's And Yet I shall still make own.

I think Dryden's,

not

improperly.
Pope's Homer
more

For Mr.

are

not

Dryden's

Virgil Mr. this poem,


those did

Pope's?

Besides,
than

I conceive,

is

Mr.
. .

Milton's

pieces
no more

are

theirs.
than

Milton
so

either of in translating Buchanan


of his
own

render
as

many

thoughts

into the

English

which,

it happened,

Buchanan

had

with

MILTONIC
same

MYTHS
the
a same

173
turn

wrote

elegance of style and down in Latin about

hundred

years

of thinking before.

The blank

following
verse

is

favourable with
a

specimen

of

the
by

evolved
out

little manipulation and pronounced


to

Mr.

Peck

"conclusively

of the prose, Miltonic":


But if you should

be

read

Or
The
Then

teach track

the prophets
or

oracles,
own

Then And Which You

your like dumb

of your is stricken authority


dogs

steps

and show holy life,


mute
not
:

that bark

here you

fret

fume

are

; but the wolves about your sheep-coates The sayd I? wolves, of you drive away? that flay your flock the wolves yourselves

Clothed Their

with your wool ; their milk flesh your hunger.

don't slack

your

thirst,

Of

by
that

Mr.

to these coveries pseudo-disorder discovery was the real and important made It had long known Lemon in 1823. been

very

different

Milton

had

completed and of

of theology, possession Beyond Skinner. in


the

containing had that the manuscript


work
his

system been

friend

and
more

pupil
was

Cyriac
known

this

nothing

But to have perished. supposed about it, and it was Lemon, Deputy in the latter part of 1823, Mr. then in one Keeper of the State Papers, discovered of the presses parcel

Office in Whitehall, of the State Paper directed in an inclosed to "Mr. envelope


Mercht." It contained,

ments, other docuwith letters to a corrected copy of all the Latin foreign states princes when and written by Milton Secretary, Latin together of 735 with a manuscript

Skinner,

closely Miltoni

written Angli

small

De

quarto Doctrina

pages,

entitled
ex

Joannis
sacris

Christiana^

174
duntaxat

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM
libri duo

libris petita, Disquisitionum This


was

post-

humi. found
be

the

long-lost

into so strange its way a for precarious matter conjecture. be no question. however, there can

it treatise, and how depository can only Of its authenticity,


here. In

But the

Miltonic

discoveries

did

not

cease

of the Times, of 1868 the columns and became the arena of a of other leading newspapers, late Professor The Henry very lively controversy.
summer

found a new that he had poem announced fifty-four lines, and by Milton entitled containing An It was inscribed blank a on Epitaph. page of belonging to the first edition of the minor poems
Morley the

British

Museum, "and

was

"J.M.,Ober1647,
in the handwriting bore
some

was,

signed, so it was alleged, the Professor contended,


himself.
the As

of Milton
to

the poem
on

resemblance Countess of Winchelsea, Milton as which might,


written,

Epitaph

the

and

as,

moreover,

couplets and contained boy, have conceivably was the handwriting normally abthe exigencies of space, Milton to was at least

cramped
the

owing

to

ascription of the verses discussion. But the worth


on appeared, "J. M."but"P.

bubble

soon

burst.
were

It
not

due

scrutiny, that the initials M."; that the handwriting,

every

allowance
was

type, normal The pronoun times

for its necessary variation the handwriting not of though

making from the Milton.


three

"its,"

occurring
voluminous

only

in the whole

three occurred There were, moreover,

of Milton's times in these

writings, fifty-four lines alone.

inaccuracies
impossible and

and
to

cacophonies scholar of Milton's fine


a

have been would which Milton's accomplishments,

with

MILTONIC
ear.

MYTHS
I think
Mr.

175 Gerald
Massey

And
out,

lastly,

as

pointed

plagiarisms fifteen Some


"

was the poem from Crashaw.

full of very

un-Miltonic Morley

years

before

Professor

Milton poem convicted which of Mr. Brook Aspbeing a plagiarist from Crashaw, a inscription land discovered in a volume in the an him Bodleian not convicted of being which merely

discovered"

an

Arian

but Mr. fora

downright
was,

and
it

thorough-going
seems,

Socinian.
material
by

Aspland

whose
an

Life of Paul Best, Discovered, tract, Mysteries of the

collecting fessor, Conthe Unitarian


was

burnt
To of

order

Long
he

Parliament

in
blank

1647.
space

his unspeakable the tract a Latin

joy
note,

found

in

a "a

Italian hand,"

written in clear and gant ele" headed De Redemptoris nostri

Jesu
could land hand
"

Christi
be
a
"

Persona"
"

To
argued
"a

whom

but

to

Milton AspItalian shook

ascribed Latin note

so

rapturous and

Mr.

in

clear

of the seventeenth century? their heads, but Mr. Aspland remained

elegant Experts

unshaken, of

and Socinianism, Keble, annexed


But
was

greatly Milton.

to

the satisfaction
"

John

the

most
some

made impudence

Miltonic remarkable four or five years ago,

discovery"

leading

and London
to

credulity
newspaper
so
ran

never

went

and perhaps further. In


a

appeared

be

"

the words

poem porting purof the discoverer


"

the last effort of the genius who gave to the world It was the greatest epic in the English tongue.
...

"

found
was

among
actually

Milton's

included

papers in an

after his death, and incomplete Oxford


but
a

edition

of his works,

of which

limited

number

i;6
were

POETRY
issued."

AND

CRITICISM

stanza,

It will be sufficient to give the first it would, indeed, be sufficient to give the first

line:
I Men
am

old and
point
at
me

blind.
as

smitten

by

God's

frown,

Afflicted and deserted of my Yet am I not cast down.

mind,

"My
him

lord,"
why
"

said

counsel

to

judge
an

his client my

had

not

produced

who asked important for not is dead, producing


the

witness,

client has

second

that witness; " is "That "you To

several reasons the first is that he will

do,"
us

interrupted
with

the other the say,

judge,
reasons."

trouble not need discuss anything


as

the follows

which
I need yet the

first line of this poem would, be equally And superfluous.

scarcely

was of this poem emphatically distinguished than one scholar,

genuineness by more maintained

and

gravely have

debated
It is not,

in

the

columns unlikely

of several
that

newspapers.

indeed,

the
some

gem
new

would edition

formed

the chief attraction of had it not been poems

of Milton's
to

found
been

in the

Treasury

out pointed American

that it was

be

of

Song,
Elizabeth

written about of Philadelphia. And come now we

1848

by

Mrs.

and had Howell

to

of these
published

Miltonic
some

last and most able remarkMr. John Murdiscoveries. ray

the

"Nova volumes, Regained. in the time and

years ago in two handsome The Ideal City: or JeruSolyma, salem


three

An

Anonymous /,
now

Romance,

written

of

Charles

With

attributed to the Introduction, Translation,

firstdrawn from obscurity illustrious John Milton.


Literary Essays and

MILTONIC
a

MYTHS Walter Begley."

177
The
It

Bibliography,

by the Rev.

history

of the work

here translated

is briefly this.

appeared, under
was

by printed at London SOLYMAE the title of NOVAE


to

John

in 1648, Libri Sex. There

Legat

nothing

indicate

the

authorship.

On

the

contrary, a Latin facing the page


inquiry
as

of the blank couplet on the middle the reader that all title informed be vain. to the authorship would
tantum studio cur frueris feceris esse

Cujus opus, Qui legis et


In the following
was

quaeris
tuum.

inani?

year

the

unsold with
a

remainder
new

of the

impression

published

title-page,

adding

to

Christian^

Sive Institutio old title the words (i)DePueritd; (2)De Creatione Mundi;
the

DePeccato; (3)DeJuventute;(4) (6) De Redemptione Hominis;


was

(^)De

ViriliAetate;
that

sold

by

Thomas

stating and in Wood Underhill,

it

Street.

begins this, all that is known the book about No indication that it reference to it, no and ends. has been so much by any person as seen except the in the British brief manuscript notes writers of two
Museum

With

copy,

has

as

yet been

discovered

contemporary records or subsequently, for to that Its discoverer, gave it to the world. honour Mr. Begley is fully entitled, has certainly literature laid all students of the seventeenth-century and
the

either in ley till Mr. Beg-

theology Romance

intrinsically
interest and

About very great obligations. under itself there cannot be two opinions; as well as historically it is of singular of
an

merit, the work brilliant scholar, who, if not


was

accomplished
a man

and

exactly
as

of genius,
men

yet

gifted

and

tempered
N

very

few

who

178
are

POETRY
not

AND
are

CRITICISM

geniuses

and

rapid for

On a first gifted and tempered. be exindeed,, any cused perusal, critic might Mr. Begley's being away carried with
theory,
"

fascinating

for imagining
would
an

that do
no

in

which, with some he had to Milton,


master's

deductions,
in his hands

work, discredit

experiment

of the of fiction

The

early manhood. Nova Solyma belongs

to

species

century, peculiarly characteristic of the seventeenth In such form. composite and it presents it in its most Bacon's New City Atlantis, Campanella's as works

of

the

Sun,
as

have,

and, in More's

later,

Harrington's

Oceana,
of the

we

Utopia, examples
in Hall's

didactic and
in

romance;

Mundus
to the

purely alter et idem, phantastic

Godwin's

Journey

Moon,

extravaganzas Other classes models Ass of


in the

type. of the Lucianic and Rabelaisian their original of these fictions found

Satyricon
and, Sidney,

Apuleius,

of Petronius, later, in the

the

Golden
of
and

Arcadias
prose

Sannazzaro

and

poetry, dealt with pastoral love, the delineation of character and however nature-painting, preserving

and, blending life, romantic

adventures,
picturesque the didactic

by moral a or element political disquisitions and large infusion be the ArSuch of allegory. would Satyricon Euphormionis genis and of Barclay and
Into the composiPuteanus. of Erycius tion Solyma of the Nova almost all these elements As a didactic romance it closely enter. recalls the New Atlantis; a romance as of adventure ment and senti-

the

Comus

and of mingled in its idyllicism and


structure,

prose

and

verse,

the Argenis\

colouring, and

the

Comus.
works

And
were

in

phraseology

style

these

MILTONIC

MYTHS

179

But a stillcloser resemblance, its models. obviously far at least as didactic purpose is concerned, so may be traced in it to a species of romance appears which
to

have

works

during the sevenpopular teenth finds illustrations in such century, and which as Reipublicae Johann Valentin Andreae's
been particularly in
1619,

Christianopolitanae Descriptio, published


though here

incident is entirely subordinate romantic in such to didactic or as the purpose, works Eudemia Erythraeus, of Janus Nicius 1637, which

interweaving

romantic

and the inspiration from the world of derived Solyma are of the Nova Since theaccession the Puritan revolution. of Charles I speculations disquisitions on ethical and and
the theories, scientific
on subjects,

with prose closely But the themes,

stories and recalls the Nova

blending Solyma.

poetry

politics,

education,
gradually

and,

above

most istic charactersuperseding Philosophers ians of the Renaissance. and politicin in formulating were engaged systems and Pious fanatics ideal commonwealths. constructing
were

all, on the literature

government, had theology,

on

on

been

indulging

in

dreams

of

Millennian of united gathered


into

time,

when

Jerusalem should

be the centre tribes, His

tendom, Chrisinto

the scattered and Christ's fold, repossess, as inheritance. The Jews were ben and Menasseh labours in indefatigable

their subjects,

old

coming Israel was


the
cause

prominence, his beginning

of
was

his

people.

Just a
he had
at

year

before

the Nova

Solyma

attributed
treatment

the Civil War


the

published to the anger of God long experienced appeared


in 1650

the

Jews

had

so

at

the hands

of the Christians,

and

i8o

POETRY

AND
The

CRITICISM
theories
were of Comenius interested in were
or

his Spes Israelis.1

engaging

the attention

of all who

education, and, whether accepted home to intelligent citizens the

not,

had

brought of its

importance
are

efficient regulation. Solyma. the Nova


enthusiast limitations; a man
a

And
The

these author

the
was

themes

of
a

of it

Puritan

scholar and a literature of the ancient


as

the ordinary without like Milton, was who, eminently familiar with the polite humanist, as
as

plainly Puritan

theology; profoundly versed like Milton, into the intensely a man who, entered intellectual and spiritual life of his time, but who,
well unlike

of the modern in divinity and

world,

as

Milton,

had

little interest,

so

at

least

we

should It may
was
a

judge, in
be

politics and with

in political controversy.
some

assumed

confidence

that

he

man, man of ardent passions and a young young but of ascetic ideals. No can one read the Romance being struck with what is equally without in Spenser, both in Milton the union striking and

of

sensuousness

which
on

borders,

and

often

more

than

borders,

the

voluptuous

with

austere

purity
in

of sentiment The work The

and principle. is partly in prose

has prose The most much. consists the destruction


1

partly and little distinction, but the

verse.

verse

has

in hexameters remarkable experiment from a supposed epic on of extracts cited to illustrate a of the Armada,

at

for the whole question and of the Wolfs Menasseh Ben this time, Lucien

See,

Jewish
Israel,

movement

Mission

to

Oliver
The

Cromwell

and

his

first is published and


the other is

Crypto-Jews under the Commonwealth. for the Jewish Historical Society of England the Jewish Chronicle. reprinted from

MILTONIC
lecture
on

MYTHS

181

In addition to original poems poetry. in the ordinary the narrative metres, and translations in is interspersed with lyrics, often of great beauty,

almost assumed

every both

form

which

these and

compositions

have
poets,

in classical

in post-classical

marriage-song. concluding with a multi-metrical The is as follows. The plot in succinct summary Millennian a at last been Jews having converted,

Jerusalem,
an

Nova

Solyma,

has

been

established;

ideal

and

site, alike in surroundings, city, glorious its government an public, aristocratic rearchitecture, its achievements the realization of all that

can

be accomplished
as

by

God-fearing,

God-directed

community, interests.

Cambridge

to its spiritual as alive to its temporal Its fame having to the ears come of two merthe sons students, chant, of a London

named they
set out

Eugenius and respectively to visit it. Meeting at Palermo


son

Politian,
with
one
a

Joseph,
young
a

the

of

Patriarch

of the

new

city,

man

servant,
some

by

his travels with a tutor and was on who had been reduced but who to great straits him of all he had, brigands having robbed
his servant, him
to to

in addition to murdering difficulty in persuading


to

they

have

little

dismiss

his tutor At spring

and this day

return

as

their

escort

Nova
a

Solyma.
beautiful

point

the
enter

romance

they

On opens. the city. It chanced

to be

the anniversary

a the pageant, and gorgeous is a young central figure of which girl of surpassing loveliness, is passing On her the streets. through

of the

Restoration,

to them, the impersonation she is, as is explained the eyes of both are the youths of Zion riveted. Joseph, without, at the time, informing them that the
" "

82

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM
them
to

fair maiden introduces


at

is his sister, leads to his father them

his home
is

and
over-

Jacob. Jacob

joyed

seeing

his

Joseph'srequest
be the guests

son again, and heartily accedes to that Eugenius and Politian should

of the family.
with they
on

The

old

man

enters

into
remarks

conversation which

them,

and

pleased about
an

with
act

some

had

made

of graceful

unselfishness

the part of two of his younger ren, childinto his confidence the takes them and explains Solyma are the children principle on which of Nova

educated.
rest;
not,

Politian
however,

Eugenius and before discussing

now

retire

to

the

daughter they day

that
next

with of Zion, which have both been deeply

the charms of it is quite clear The

impressed.

they

daughter
narrative

learn, to their surprise, that she is the of their host and the sister of Joseph. The is then by a long interrupted allegorical of
a

episode,
matron

in the form

dream, of the

related
two

by
sons

an

elderly

for the edification


over,

of

Jacob.
by the

This sudden
tutor.

the

main

arrival of one The graceless

narrative Alcimus,

is resumed the
son

of

Joseph's
for what

youth,
to

full of

remorse

he had

done,

confesses,
taken
to a

the amazement

that having

brigand

of Joseph, life, he had been one

him, murdered his servant, robbed of the band who being his him the tutor of his tutor, and deprived
own

father.

To

save

his
own,

father's life he
the
one

had,

ever, how-

imperilled
in

his

the

infamy

of his

conduct.

Jacob treat

the culprit with very This incident, as well as

point redeeming Both Joseph and ence. indulgun-Miltonic the


subsequent

ventures ad-

of Alcimus,
with

are,

great

particularity

it may be added, related of vivid detail, and, if written

MILTONIC
by
Milton,
else

MYTHS
of
a

183

display

powers
even

which

he So

has

nowhere

revealed

glimpse.

ends

the

first book. The with


prolix
a

greater

part of the second

book,

which

begins with and

philosophical disquisitions

garden-party,
on

is occupied

but scientific subjects, of the fabric of the Romance.


love

religious, introduces

metaphysical,
an

This

essential part is the tragical

daughter of Philippina, for Joseph, whom Palermo,

of Sebastian, Duke of met, she had under


his travels. In her

circumstances, romantic infatuation she had come, the assumed


name

on when in male

disguise
to

of Philander,

and under Nova Solyma

in quest
not

of the

unskilfully Eugenius are entering

unsuspicious As introduced.

Joseph. The story is Joseph, Politian, and

the public hall in the place, marketboy observing ing they notice a young and followThe them at a distance. objectof his attention

is plainly Joseph. he is and from who

Joseph accosts
country
was an

youth been

explains forced into love,

what that he
a

and asks him he has come. The

him,

betrothal away love. He


run

Italian, and having he with a lady whom

did not
lady and

he

had
did

from
was,

home he

to

find

whom

he

added,

alone

without protect him.

friends,

and
very
to

he

Joseph

to Joseph to appeals kindly arranges with a

Antonia named is taken into her house.

widow

board Among

the

youth, and he her boarders is a


who

young from

man

named

Theophrastus,

of a most religious melancholia is not unlike that of kind. He tells his story, which in Bunyan's Pilgrim's in the Iron Cage the Man Progress,

is suffering distressing

recalling

also

many

of the

cases

cited in

84

POETRY
More's
a

AND

CRITICISM

Henry
have

Enthusiasmus

Triumphatus,
witchcraft and

and

we

long

digression
The

on

demoniac

possession.
account

broken

The

concludes with old Jacob's is to Christianity, which of his conversion to the Council off by his summons of State. is occupied rethird book view with an elaborate of Nova

book

of the colleges
methods

Solyma,

and

with
are

the

pursued of education described. Then particularly


on

there, which
comes
a

long

very quisition disby

Rhetoric from
an

and
epic

Poetry,
poem
on

illustrated the

three

extracts

Spanish

Armada,
This

composed by is followed of
note,

by
some

Joseph, entitled Philippica.


remarks
"

on

the pernicious
most
un-

influence
Miltonic

prose
"

romances,

another

and

the

attempt

of the

Nova

Solyma

to

elevate

it as a employing After a visit to the Gymnasium Politian, Eugenius return and

and utilize such vehicle for religious instruction. the


to two

author of fiction by

friends,

Jacob's house,
concern

Politian friend
is

discovering
as

to

his infinite
in love
as

that his

desperately

himself

with

the

Daughter

two

So ends the third book, of Zion. well for the fourth. But we have to wade lectures, one De ortu et occasu dreary
a

promising

through Rerum,

into the service of thesis pressed on the work, and the other a long harangue the origin And reof evil, before the action is resumed. when sumed it takes a turn which is not a little surprising.

evidently

college

The

author,

betraying

unsavoury with the most Petronius and of Apuleius, goes Antonia, the widow mistaking she appeared
to

familiarity suspicious parts of the Romances of


a

on

to

describe

how

Philander

be,

young

man,

for what falls desperately

MILTONIC
in love

MYTHS

185

with

informed
that

portunit imher, and urges her suit with such had been now that had not Joseph, who from the Duke by messengers of Palermo
was
a no

Philander

other

than
even

Philippina
more

in disguise,

intervened,
what actually is, Philippina

tragedy

terrible than

occurred

destroys
poison.
the

Antonia
narrative is now who

takes
resumes worse

have As it resulted. might herself with a dagger, and This dismal over, scene the

story
ever,

than

Theophrastus, of poor and indeed on the point

The of death. Eugenius with for


a

imperturbable

Joseph, while
in
an

waiting

and
to

Politian

adjoining room

to the last consolations administer Theophrastus, improves by first breaking the occasion into iambic trimeter acatalectics on the Curse of
summons

Cain, and then settling into a long prose disquisition At last the summons on comes, the Fall of Man.
the

is administered, consolation his last. breathes The

and

Theophrastus

first part of the fifth book is retrospective, and in the mouth is a narrative of the unhappy placed it was Philippina's telling how that maidservant,
her mistress Philippina's
to

her her

marry

passion

and fell in love with Joseph; how father, the Duke of Palermo, wishing discovering the Duke of Parma, and for Joseph, caused napped Joseph to be kidmet,

and

imprisoned
the

; how

Joseph
servant

escaped

personat by im-

Ethiopian

who,
; how,

to

guard
to

him,

had

fortunately

been

appointed seized with a fit


at the

and

all appearance

fallen dead licentious

gation insti-

of Philippina's
at
was

Joseph's rejection of her


accused of the murder

stepmother, angry immoral he overtures, but

acquitted,

in

con-

i86
sequence

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM

corpse reviving; and how of the supposed following his escape, Philippina finally he had made All this certainly in disguise. him constitutes
most

ingenious

partly by incidents in Sidney's

and Montemayor's

interesting Diana, Arcadia


:

suggested and partly by certain but there is no touch

story,

in any portion hand discernible of it. of Milton's in disAfter courses this the narrative stagnates again duelling, love, on on the higher and lower with

hints
these

for

the

attainment

mind,

themes

being

duel intended of an had both Politian, of whom for the Daughter their passion concludes
prose
on
no

well-regulated covery by the dissuggested between Eugenius and become distracted by


The book of Zion. irrelevant discourse in

of

with the

grotesquely
use an

thesis Deity
the

right doubt, and


verse.

college of money, another to the equally irrelevant Ode and


last book

in

The

sixth

opens
tutor,

with

return

of Apollos,

Joseph's long-lost
a

relates
account

his

them among adventures, from pirates. This of an escape

very is succeeded

who lively

by

on the part of old Jacob continuation ponderous his summons to the Council which of the discourse by interrupted, had an supplemented edifying a

homily The

from
main

Joseph.

is resumed by an account narrative of forgiven, is full though the death of Alcimus, who, for the frailties of his youth. However, of remorse Theophrastus, he makes like his fellow a sinner end, thanks Joseph. Apollos, good winded holding
as

to

the

pious

who

proves

administrations of himself quite as longthe

old forth

Jacob, again
on

interrupts
on

story

by

the

Sabbath,

public

worship,

MILTONIC
on

MYTHS
fanatics,
to be
set
on

187
the

prayer,

on

sacraments.

religious ritual, on And now things have young they have


men

for those
tian, who

estimable though
on
"

Eugenius

straight Poliand

of their feuds the fair Anna,

the grace to be ashamed the subject of the Daughter of Zion, still find the flame of desire burning

in their breasts." Anna


one
was was

However,

it luckily happened

that

had

twin-sister

Joanna, so
argues

like her

that the

scarcely
so

distinguishable
naively

therefore,

It the other. the author, of little is assigned The young

from

moment to

Anna to which, so went which Politian Joanna to Eugenius. and


not

in this arrangement, consulted betrothed lovers, to comely but finding themselves ' ' began to feel love's ardent soon passion, and burned

ladies had

been

fires." The only cloud on the approaching mutual festivity is the sudden and inexplicable collapse despair, which Apollos unof Joseph in unutterable comforta with
' '

as

God's

and doing
soon

somewhat

and

explains unsatisfactorily in our eyes. " However, marvellous

by an equally able inexplicsucceeded happy the day state ecstasy of joy, in which finds him. for the double It is marriage appointed
this is
a

day

the the
on

and glory, for it is the day of civic pomp festival in honour of the restoration annual

of

being the anniversary city, besides Politian's eyes first rested which
a

on

of the his bride.


were

of day

"At

later in

hour

the

wedding and
a

festivals

continued

Jacob'shouse,
copies

there

Joseph distributed
he had song,
the

to

the guests

of

recently

which Romance

composed." finds expression concludes.

song sacred wedding And with this wedding


in nine

different

metres,

i88

POETRY
the second calls
an
"

AND
impression

CRITICISM
was

To author many

Autocriticon," of the work,

imperfections promising,
to

the what for the apologizing inviting criticism,

appended

and

if the public
continue
runs,

revise and
so

verdict should he had what


Begley's

able, be favourbegun.
version,
the

"The

Author,"

in Mr.
"had
a

concluding his work


the he
was

paragraph, such that


a

novel
others

special desire, seeing that institute, to hear daring and passed


on

judgements
bestowed

his attempts

before

for he is by himself; pains on them how means the spirit or fate of no adverse unconscious life, or this age is to any strict repression of the carnal into favour to bring to any endeavour the higher spiritual further

faculties,

as

is here assayed.
to

If it should

turn

out

thoroughly

distasteful
a

the

superfluous

public, he will not proceed If it should book. meet with


to

further

with

approbation, due attention

he will be encouraged
to

go

on,

and,

paying

what

proceed picture."

say critics may to bring this imperfect

the

of the sketch

present work, will into a more finished

II

Such
us was

is the work
was

which

Mr.

Begley

would

have

suppose

he partly while written by Milton, his residand partly during still at Cambridge ence in other words between at Horton, 1628 about
1639,

and him

his friend Hartlib which persuaded It may in 1648. be fully conceded to publish 's is a superficial that, on theory view, Mr. Begley

and

most

plausible
a

one. romance,

If Milton Nova of romance him. We and

ever,

as

wrote

prose

Solyma

young is, in some


we

man,

respects,

just the
have expected

sort

from

which have his purity,


in

should in its note


its treat-

mingled

voluptuousness

MILTONIC
ment

MYTHS of love, and

189

of the
the

passion

in its conception

to relation of that passion physical and He has himself lighted told us that he despiritual life. in romantic fictions,1 and we know that he

of

was

conversant to

with

many plot

of the works

which

have

contributed

the

and

generally of this romance. I say this with much he was, verses, of course,
But the moment serious

the narrative coloured To its composition, but

reserve as
a

in reference

to

the

of Milton
at
soon once

having

scholar, quite equal. ability scrutiny begins, the improbhad any hand in it becomes improbability arguments in

apparent, into passes

and, as we proceed, impossibility. The

of the Miltonic simply resolve authorship into what I have themselves just stated, into that The more. exrest of the evidence, ternal and nothing and is
so

favour

internal,

against

the Miltonic

and conclusive half of it is adduced. case In the first place there is absolutely either nothing, in contemporary or tradition, to connect subsequent overwhelming closes before Milton has himself this work with Milton. the fullest particulars about his studies and his being but has said nothing about in this
or

authorship feel the that we

given us his writings,

engaged
nephew, of his

in

any given

similar
an

fiction.

His

account elaborate list of his writings, but occupations and a complete it; Hartlib, is silent about to whom the Tractate he mentions Education on was though addressed,

Phillips,

has

Sadler's
political
1

Olbia
romance,

and

was

himself

the

author
about

is equally

silent
Prose

of a it. No
Bohn,

An

Apology for Smectymnuus,

Works,

ed.

p. 81.

190
rumour

POETRY
of Milton's

AND

CRITICISM

a work association with such ever insatiable curiosity of the restless and reached Aubrey. There is nothing in Milton's collections

bearing
or
can

on

it; there is

no

passage

in his correspondence

in any

be tortured elaborately

which of his voluminous writings have seen into a reference to it. We

how

it treats

education written
written

of children in 1644, he distinctly


on

of education, ; but in his Tractate


says that what

and

of the to Hartlib,

he

had

not

the

before, subject
out
"

remarkable,

goes

he of education done, at the cradle, which many yet be worth might And to Mr. Begley, considerations."1 yet, according he had later.

is still more to say that in treating of his way have had not begun, some as and,

this work Of such


he

it four years publish disingenuousness Milton was solutely abincapable. Nor he a man to suppress was

in his desk

to

what have
as

had

given the In

Is it credible in 1643 such to the world Quintum Novembris and

written.

that

he

would
verses

inferior
others

of his
as

Juvenilia, when
abound
year

he

had

in
or

in Nova

Solyma,

poems such that, in the very

MS.

last

deliberately have put in the of his life, he would a collection printer's hands of his college exercises, Oratoriae, and concealed the Prolusiones the authorship
of compositions he must have well
a

as as

which known,

done have him, would honour infinitely more

Take scholar? Solyma. to Nova

the Atitocriticon appended again in 1648, Is it credible that Milton


work

in all the stress

engaged,
of such
1

could
a

of the have

in which the
we

he

was

then

romance?
Prose

meditated Nay, need


ed. Bohn,

continuation go any further


102.

Tractate,

Works,

pp. 88 and

MILTONIC
than
at

MYTHS

191

Milton, Imagine the appeal to public opinion? his in his life, deferentially any time assuring that their verdict would he went or whether

readers

decide
on

abandoned in hand! But


to

with

whether what he

he
had

pass from of Milton's

to probabilities known opinions

facts.

comparison
on

important Romance

subjects with
would
theory.
alone

those

views in expressed

and

the

be

conclusive

against

Mr.

Begley's

The in

theory

prescribed essential Tractate. training The

Nova

and Solyma

particulars The one

from

what is largely

practice of tion educadiffer in many in the is inculcated

concerned

it. the other children, line, discipintellectual to moral one subordinates to intellectual. the other subordinates moral

of young

with ignores

the

the importance recognizes of equipping young citizens for mercantile purand mechanical suits, from the other turns such aims with aristocratic The one contempt. attaches the greatest importance
one

The

both in prose and verse, the other composition discourages In Nova Solyma no exercises. such is laid on the importance stress of mathematics in the and natural science as factors in education;
to

Tractate

they

are

especially
clear

prescribed

and

emphasized.

Solyma
theories

was

It is quite familiar

of Comenius. tells Hartlib that he had


them. "To

that the author of Nova in sympathy the and with Milton distinctly and rudely
not

troubled

himself

to explore

Didactics
my

more

inclination
1

Januas and search what many I shall read, have than ever projected "are Again leads me his not, ; words.1
Works, Bohn,
p. 98.

Tractate,

192

POETRY
Begley
that

AND

CRITICISM
is indeed
sufficiently obvious, Solyma held Arian may

Mr.

admits,
the

what

author

Whatever views. in later life he later life, and is more Arian, certain nothing not up to 1660 he was writings
but spoke of Arianism in

of Nova Milton opinions


was

have

had

in

an undoubtedly than that in all his

only

perfectly

his

Of Reformation
no

with England,

abhorrence.
he

orthodox In

describes

the

Arians"as

of Prelatical

friends of Christ";1 Episcopacy ', he describes


true
"
'

in his treatise
them in
as
"

unfaithful

expounders of Scripture the Remonstrant's on of the necessity the of restraining by their people

his

adversions Anim-

Defence, he

the Arians
hymns

speaks " infrom fecting

3 In all his writings indeed, prayer." the Morning on of Christ's Nativity to his treatise

forms of and from the Hymn


on

Free

Commonwealth
finds would
most

published

Arianism

emphatic
be

his antiThis expression.


in 1660,

argument identity

alone

conclusive

of the authorship of the Nova to 1660. previous of Milton's writings Take of divorce and again the question The is emphatic Solyma author of Nova dissolubility

against Solyma

the and

polygamy.
on

the

in-

tie. If, he says, you of the marriage in wedlock a must make mistake you abide by it, he is so adverse that he does not and to polygamy it.4 Compare as so the this with much recognize in Milton's divorce treatises contentions and with what he says in the Treatise on the Christian " Doctrine: It appears to me sufficiently established theories

and

Works,

Bohn,

p. 9.
3

Id., p. 26. Nov. Soly.

Id., p. 60. Begley's version.

Bk.

vi, ch. viii of Mr.

MILTONIC

MYTHS

193

is allowed by the law of God," l and that polygamy let us ask ourselves it is within the bounds whether

of credibility published

that

the views which, bent on disseminating.

in 1648, have ately deliberwould, diametrically to so views opposed is notorious, he was fanatically as There
are

he

discrepancies

points which importance. One capital example is well known, as suffice. Milton, himself in the elaborately argued

on

many other serious Milton to were of

will

and Treatise

probably he has as
on

the both

Christian body

Doctrine,

believed

that

after death

in a state of suspended ity vitaland soul remained " " he says The grave, tillthe Day of Judgement.2
"

in

one

place,

is the

common

guardian

Day

of

Judgement";3

or of good Judgement."4 In Nova

recompense

in another, bad previous

of all tillthe is no "There


to

the is
no

Day

of

Solyma

there

such
at

theory,
once, on

the

soul leaving
now

as represented the body, into Heaven.

being

passing

We Begley
or
"

pass

to

the

justlyobserves,
on

evidence his case he

on

which,

as

Mr.

must

fall, and

which

the evidence afforded all be so grateful to Mr. this most

naturally by the Latinity.

chiefly stand lays most stress We


must

Begley

for the discovery

of

interesting
am

work

that it is with
on

unfeigned

regret that I and

obliged

to comment

arguments

with unpleasant and of ignorance critic has


1

with which frankness. audacious


to

he
A

the evidence his theory supports

more

amazing

tissue

sophistry

ever

had

unravel
Bk.

than
i, ch.

no probably find in what we

On

the Christian p. 241.

Doctrine,
2

x,

Sumner's xii.

lation, Trans-

Id., Bk.

i, chap.

Id., p. 290.

Id., p. 293. O

194
Mr.

POETRY
Begley's

AND

CRITICISM
and
notes.

dissertations
the

Mr.

Begley's
Latin

is to ignore method literature preceding


to

rich and

voluminous

and

contemporary
common

seize Milton's

on

peculiarities

with Milton, to the Latinity of

acknowledged

writings

Solyma,

could for example,

and then proceed from only have come


a

and to that of Nova to the deduction that they


the
same

author.
on

He

has,

special

dissertation

poems and his for the purpose Solyma, in Nova as of drawing corollary that those Latin poems and the NovaSolyma have from the same hand. As if it was come must
not

of the "i" in "Britones" twice that it occurs out

and

the shortening its inflexions, pointing Latin

in Milton's

habitual

in the

Latin It in

poetry
occurs

seventeenth

centuries!
twice

of the sixteenth and six times in Tolmer's Plantarum


occurs

Naumachiae,
twice

Cowley's
it

Libri,

in Newton's

Encomia', in Phineas
to

in Ascham's Locustae,

to Elizabeth, poem in May's supplement other Latin poems.


"

Fletcher's

Lucan,
we are

and

in innumerable

Next

treated to another

"e" in the shortening proof" of the vowels and "a" before usp," "sc," "sm,"and "st,"whileonein-

stance

from
same are

Buchanan

is paraded

to the

licences
to

extraordinary habitual, as Mr.

affordinga Why, anomaly. Begley


must
or

as

lel paralsuch

ought
times;

in every British instances at least twenty


are

know,

Latin
occur

poet of those in Buchanan;

there
like

twelve

Fletcher's

comparatively Locustae] are there few Latin


poems

in

short

poem

teems
scores
arum

them; with in the poems

they and included

comsix in the paratively Cowley of Marvell; be found by to are

in the Deliciae

Poet-

Scotorum,

and

in

the

Anthology

edited

by

MILTONIC
Lauder. well-known Syllabis, v. Latin

MYTHS commenting Maurus Terentianus


his been
canon,
aware on

195
the

Indeed,

till Dawes, in

passage

(De
of the

lo^Ssegg.),
not
seem

formulated
to

modern

poets do inadmissibility
Mr.

have

Begley's be

of this collocation in serious poetry. the qualifications for discussing


from
what he

subject
on

may
283

judged

says

in his note
asserts

p.

He actually volume. of his second "seven in metre is found this solecism Virgil,"
"

that
in

times

in Ovid. In Virgil times" nineteen instance, Aen. it there is exactly one xi, 309, where if indeed is explained by the caesural the pause, and of the line is not spurious. in the Culex and the Cirts, the
rest

The

other

two

are

Ciris most

certainly

not

being being
be
to

written
a

by Virgil, the Culex, early

if written
cases,

by
it

him, may
knows,

very in

added,
occur

the

and work; is unsound. text


the
text,
as

in both

Where
every

it appears
scholar instances

Ovid

is corrupt, there being only two " be fairly cited against the canon, can olentia which " hebetare smarstrigis," Ep. Pont., II, x, 25, and
agdis,"

Am.,

II, vi,

21,

and
as
occurs,

there
one

be "maragdis," might instance where the word leaves Ovid has, which Then
on

the right reading in the other MS. II, 24, actually instance. one dissertation
one own

Met., exactly Belgium,"

with
to
an
"

we

are
"

treated Belgia"

elaborate

the form
"

for

of Mr. phrase.
that the the by

Begley's Can
form Mr.
"

trump
Begley
was

cards,"

to employ

his

Belgia"

possibly the form

be

ignorant

ordinarily

used

Elizabethan

found
notes,

being writers, post-Elizabethan he in Shakespeare as not merely and Marston, in Peele, in Lyly, in Greene, but in Marlowe, and

196 in Ben

POETRY

AND
Donne,

CRITICISM
in Chapman,

Jonson, in

in Drayton,

It is noticeable that, though and in dozens of others? Spenser in personifying Faerie Belgium in the Queene calls it " Beige," in his prose treatise he " Belgia." 1 Indeed, it is the exception uses the form
else. Another astonishing Mr. Begley piece of evidence which presses into his " he calls "the Miltonicunicuique (!), service is what
to
occurrence citing the supposed in Milton's and epigram

find it called anything

on

Solyma of it in Nova " Leonora, Angelus


It is scarcely it it is, what
a

sic credite gentes." to say cases that in both necessary is in classical Latin poetry, always

unicuique

suus,

" i" dactyl, the shortening of the other AnMr. Begley as must surely know. " " is the repeated trump of Mr. Begley's cards " " in Nova occurrence of the adverb undequaque

a not spondee, possibil being a literal im-

Solyma, English exultingly

in the Cambridge and its inclusion Mr. Dictionary, as 1693, which, observes,
a

LatinBegley

"absorbed

Milton's

MS.

collection,"

is not classical, and which which " in the great Latin dictionaries of is not recognized Because it is included in a Dictionary day." the present

word

"which
Mr. have

absorbed

Milton's

MS.
that

Begley
been

circuitously
acquainted

argues

collection," Milton must

frequent
been
more

occurrence

with the word. in Nova Solyma

As

it is of such it would have

to

the
use

of its Latin
those
1

writings. comfortable

inpoint had Mr. Begley cited an stance in Milton's somewhat voluminous Mr. Begley is evidently one of
scholars who

rely

on

that which
i

View

of the

State

of Ireland,

Todd's

Spenser,

vol. ed.,

P- 5*7-

MILTONIC
Turns

MYTHS
no

197

But

holds

student pale, the eel of science by the tail.

If, instead

the

he were dictionaries, on conversant of relying and with the Latin ity of the Renaissance have known that it age he would succeeding Linacre it
a

is of frequent occurrence. data Structurd gives

in his De

Emen-

in

of "unde." Argenis Barclay's word


with the De

the complace among pounds It is found at least four times

favourite

Praefatioto
twice,

probably it occurs Hobbes


But
"

twice in the occurring Augmentis alone, and at least in oftener, in the body of the work;
over

and Bacon,

Euphormion^

it is

and

over

to

continue;

words Solyma

enumerated find exactly we

of the by Mr. Begley


two

again. fifteen

"

uncommon

from

the Nova acknowledged


"

in
two,

Milton's
"

and
of

and these writings, "stellula," of common


the

occurrence

quaestiuncula in the Latin

second occurring twice, and probably oftener, in Cowley alone, and the first simply as often as it is appropriate. Mr. Begley's excursus on the evidence and notes seventeenth
to

century,

the

be

Nova

adduced Solyma

from and

identities in the Latinity

of the

in that of Milton's

writings are betray and

characteristics of Latinity which century sixteenth and seventeenth is nothing for exFinding, short of astounding. ample, in the Armada fragment the repetition
Non
arma

too almost ridiculous ignorance an of the

acknowledged to be examined,

Philippi

Artna

minasque,
"

etc.,

he tells
two

us

that this is
one

instances,

from

very Miltonic," and Elegy p, iii,47, 48:

quotes

ig8

POETRY
Serpit

AND

CRITICISM
Favoni rosis,

odoriferas per opes levis aura Aura humida nata sub innumeris

and

one

from

Nova

Solyma:
oscula
et amplexus tuos

Frustra Oscula

recorder
quae

volucres
are

diripuere

notae.

But

such

repetitions

not

only

commonplaces

in

the ancient classical poets, as every scholar knows, but in the Latin teem poets of the Renaissance

Buchanan's We open and post-Renaissance ages. Elegies almost : at random and find (Elegy

vii)

et

Aureaque

hoc

merito

plectra judicedicta Venus,

aurea

and

again,

Elegy

iii:
et verbis

oscula

jungit:
On

Oscula

dum
are

jungit,etc.
superfluous.
a

But

illustrations

par

this is the Nova the

following.
at

"Qum,
beginning
occurs

too,

is often
a

with used in

Solyma
same

the

of
or

sentence,

practice youthful open

three

four

and in times

Milton's constantly where

poems."
sentences

" does not quin in the best Latin Classics

As

if

"

in the most even the style is colloquial ! Why, it is habitually ginning serious compositions used at the beby nearly all the writers of sentences of Nothing the sixteenth centuries. and seventeenth is
once
more occur common.

to us:

it opens sentences Augmentis De of Bacon's


this context

at examples give two which in the first book Utopia of More's six times, and in the first book

To

being

as

in eight, its occurrence in dozens relatively frequent suffice to show from analogies

of other

writers ! This will probably the value of Mr. Begley's argument

MILTONIC
of diction.

MYTHS

199

futile, it may be added, is the fondness from the alleged of adduced argument frequent Milton for diminutives, the unusually and
use

Equally

of them

in the Nova

Solyma.

Diminutives

were

equally

and

affected by dozens prose, from Ausonius


for
Mr.

of writers, to Cowley;
in the

both
and
own

in

verse

Milton, Latin
instances

unfortunately
poetry being,

Begley,
them,
"

his only
"

studiously if I am not

avoids

"novellus" vi), v), vi), (InSalm.}, "gemellus" (Apol.de Rust.},"capsula" (De Idea Plat, and Ad Joannem Rousium), "fis(Ad Joannem (Epitap. Dam.), "libellus" cella"

tenellus mistaken, "catillus" (El. (El.

(EL

iv and "areola"

Rousium),

diminutives,
to

it may
so

different order Nova Solyma.


A

those

added, of found commonly

be

very in the

Latin poems of Milton's comparison with the is conclusive Solyma in the Nova poems against To go no further than poems identity of authorship. in some The are respects parallel. which author of the hexameters
on

the Fifth of November


not

could the author of the hexameters in the Hymn to the Higher

Epitaphium

Damonis

possibly The

and in the have been

in the

Philippica and
norm

of the is Ovidian, best hexameters in Milton's of rhythm Solyma, Virgilian or rather Claudianic. those in Nova

Love.

Again, Solyma
exception
remotest

in

Milton's
are

Alcaics

there

essential

in those and differences ; nor,

of Nova
with
the

of the

employed Mr. Begley

analogy in the Romance.


attempts
"

is there the metres, conventional Milton's metres between and those it is not a creditable and his theory, to throw dust

stratagem

"

in supporting

200

POETRY
eyes
as

AND

CRITICISM
readers
by

in the
Milton

of unlearned

representing
poets

pre-eminent century,
to

among and
the
a

the Latin therefore

of the
alone

seventeenth competent The truth the


no

as

being

produce
as

poems poet

in Nova Milton

Solyma.
in

is that

Latin

is hardly

front rank of the Latin poets of his age.1 To go In fluency, flexibility, further than Great Britain.
to

and skill, he is far inferior in hexameters Ross, to Andrew Anderson, to Alexander


to

Henry

Ramsay,
to and Arthur

Alexander
in

Boyd,

to to
to

Phineas David Robert

Fletcher,

May;

Elegiacs in Lyrics and of


even

Hume Boyd, And

and
to

Johnston;
to
are

Crichton,
poets inferior
habitual is
a

Barclay, typical
1

to

Cowley.2
only

these

scores

of others
most

slightly
The

His

Latin

verses

have

serious
"st,"

defects. and

"sc," before of vowels shortening he shares in common which with " " " " in a paruere shortening of "sentis" (Sylv. vii, of "is "in

"sp,"

fault

his contemporaries

; but

the

(Sylv.ii, 165),the
of
"es"

3), and

shortening in "alipes"

(El. ii,
does
of it

14); the
exist
"

not

(El. vii, 90),a word of "surdeat" which in Classical Latinity, the use stead in"ocellus" of
use an where Novembris,

oculus,"

image

of terror

is associated

with

(In Quintum of a dative after 145), the use "licenf'in "licet" sense the "supereminere"(J"/.vii,6i)and of less the (El. vi. 53); times in fortythan eighteen violation, no

iambus an nine lines, of the rule which requires in choliambics in the fifth foot, are great flaws. See Bishop Wordsworth on Milton's Latin poetry, Classical Review, vol. i, p. 136, and Lan-

dor, Southey
1

and

Landor, and
no

Works,
one

Dr.

Johnson,

1868, vol. ii,pp. 171-173. in this matter, for it is not a


competent in Latin verse

Ed.

be a more question of niceties, could Cowley to be superior and May " If the Latin performances of Cowley

judge,

considers

to Milton.

and

Milton

be compared
seems

(forMay
lie
on

I hold

to be superior
"

to

both),the

the side of Cowley."

Life

advantage Works, of Cowley,

to

Murphy,

vol. iii,p. 156.

MILTONIC
to

MYTHS said and


But
not.

201

them.

It may

be
were

safely
many

that very

between
many

1621

1648 and in Great


verses

there

scholars the from


employed

Britain

in Nova he has

quite Solyma.
us,

competent

to

produce

Milton,

judging
metres

what
Milton

left

was

Of

the

in the Romance he
has,

it may

are which be added,

also employed

by

left

no

examples

distinguished
at

by

analogous

least fourteen

of them

he
to

characteristics, while has left no examples the


verse

of
at

all. And

have written it at, or admission the Prolusiones shortly after, the time he composed Oratoriae. Whoever will take the trouble to compare
own

prose. Mr. Begley's

what applies If Milton wrote

Nova

to applies he must Solyma

the by

the Latin ity and prose style of these exercises with the Latinity even and prose style of the Romance, the similar exercises in it invite comparison, where will at once recognize but the impossibility
have
come are

not

merely

the improbability, that they could

of supposing
same

from the

the

pen.

in the Nova Mr. Solyma, as poems in any Begley way original or Miltonic contends, The Philippica is plainly modelled compositions. love Fletcher's Locustae ; the Hymn to the higher on

Nor

as

well as vol. ii are

the

Canticum

Sacrum

quoted

found
Indeed, De

echoes of the many simply hymn to Hercules, of Virgil's Sabian in Vidaand other Christian Latin many

p. 296 of tations imiexpanded


to

on

be

they

Rebus

plainly modelled Divinis. The numerous

are

on

Vida's
are

poets. Hymni

lyrics
on

Buchanan's partly and partly on Fabricius, Sacra of Georgius who mistaken,

modelled the Poemata


if I
am

has,

not metre

anticipated

almost

every

variety

of

202

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM
and
with the influence
of

employed
whose Mr.

in the Romance,

lyrics its lyrics Begley's


case,

simply saturated. indeed, breaks down on peculiarities


which he

are

every

cites as careful study of Virgil find, far more without exception, striking illustration in numerab the hexameters of Vida and Sannazarius and of inother Latin poets of the sixteenth and
seventeenth In the parallels and analogies centuries. his volumes loaded, he confounds are which in the writings are mere commonplaces of

The point. metrical instances of Milton's

with

what Milton's

Milton
simply How,
an

contemporaries himself, and as


amount to

with

what

was

peculiar

to

corroborative While

testimony

they
is not

nothing. the case? there

then,

stands

iota of external evidence to warrant the ascription is to Milton, the internal evidence of the Romance it is possible for such to as as evidence conclusive
be against any such assumption. he was, man a young was The author, Puritan ever who-

of the

suasion, per-

who with in his time,

versant excellent classical scholar, conromances the Latin and English current
was
an

well

read

in divinity

and

philosophy,

with the originality, and saturated with not much Latin poetry and prose of the sixteenth and seventeenth doubt, nay, have we And can we centuries.
not
to

testimony,
be found

men that many such young both in Scotland and in England

were

to

at

the

time

this Romance

both for Begley I repeat, we are interest as well the discovery of singular of a work it in a most for having as attractive shape. presented

written? indebted to Mr.

was

His

translation,

whatever

exception

may

sometimes

MILTONIC
be

MYTHS

203

taken

and
notes,

its renderings of the His prolegomena, pleasing.


to
are

original, is lively dissertations and

full of curious ation. informand entertaining is that so What is to be regretted much for defects, have be to made allowance should for a sophistical fence dedue to the necessity probably of
a

preconceived

theory

absolutely

untenable.

LONGINUS

AND

GREEK
I

CRITICISM

IN

all the history


so

of literature,
as

there

extraordinary silence

the

is surely fortunes of
a

nothing

this
so

treatise. brilliant,

The
so

of antiquity

about

work

who

thing original, and so essentially unlike anyin extant Greek a criticism, and about writer he himself as tells us, other treatises, produced, of been
a

presumably have

similar
a man

kind,

and

who

must,

therefore,

his contemof note poraries; among in ascribing it to the difficulty involved in ascribing it to anyone him ; the difficulty involved for upwards paid so unsuspiciously else ; the homage it centuries and a half to the critic to whom of two had
been
so

thronem dehis sudden confidently assigned; at the beginning of the present century,

and
has

the relegation
; its

strange

the of the treatise to anonymity; its reputation through vicissitudes which


enormous

passed

popularity

between

about

1674 and it seems


1

oblivion into which 11790; the comparative fallen during have to the revolutionary
on

(i)Longinus

the Sublime.

The

Greek

the Paris
and the

Manuscript,

By appendices. Press. University


on

with introduction, W. Rhys Roberts,

edited after translation, facsimiles, M.A.,

Text,

Cambridge:

at

(2)Longinus
L.
Havell,

the Sublime. With


an

Translated introduction

into English
by

by H.

B.A.

Andrew

Lang.

London,

Macmillan

and

Co.

LONGINUS
period

AND

GREEK
favour
now;

CRITICISM
with the which

205

; the increasing
to

it is beginning critical merely

regarded literature which has in the form


but

be

gathered

voluminous it, not round

and commentary, of editorial exegesis in the form of independent disquisitions, monographs, influence ; the extraordinary and translations it has,

which

in different
on men

degrees

and

at
on

different

periods, exercised belles lettres; the

of letters and

not

it has though with which, been, and still is, treated by the Universities and by liberal education in England those who regulate the Sublime on a all this gives the Treatise unique
"

less extraordinary the delight of scholars,

popular indifference

place in literary history and interest. its importance And

invests

it with curious is equal to its interest. the


on

With

the

probably directly and The high by


every indicated

exception of single had influence more indirectly, than appreciation

Poetics

it has

any

both criticism, in the world. work

in which it has been held in Europe is sufficiently civilized country by the number of editions and translations

through

which

it has

passed.

in 1554; in at Basle editio princeps appeared Manutius issued a second the following year Paulus Latin a third with a then came edition at Venice; version
place. whose
at

The

Geneva,
English

and

in 1612

fourth
some

at

the

same

An
name

scholar

of

distinction,

Gerald

is well-known to students of our followed Langbaine, with an edition twice

drama,

in 1636 at Oxford, and Then between came, Venice,


at Bonn,

reprinted

printed before 1651.

at 1643 and 1694, editions at Saumur, at Utrecht, them among

206
memorable
a

POETRY
one

AND
of Tollius.

CRITICISM
In

1710

John

Hudson,
as

respectable who scholar, Bodley's librarian, issued an

Hyde succeeded edition, based on

that

four times reprinted, and in was which Pearce an there were edition of which i724Zachary issues between less than seven no 1724 and 1773. Wetstein edited in 1733 an edition at Amsterdam, of Tollius, in 1751 and 1763 reproduced at Glasgow, to say nothing of editions and in 1756 at Frankfort; Lefevre, by Le Clerc, by Heinecken, by Tannegui
which
was

by

Gori,

by

Morus,

by

Robinson,

by

Schlosser,

by

Bodoni,
work Nor in
"

in 1778 in the epoch-making culminating few years. a twice reprinted within of Toup, been less fruitful has the nineteenth century tributes
aureus,"

its scholarly Libellus vere

to
as

elucidation of the Casaubon ally enthusiastic-

the

it. For between the appearance called of Weiske's Rhys edition in 1809 and that of Professor Roberts Scarcely less been at least ten. there have
numerous

have say

been

the translations.

To
was

in Latin, it of the nine versions nothing into Italian by Pinelli in the seventranslated teenth by Gori in the eighteenth, Gori's century,

version

having

in presses Canna and

by reprinted Italy, and by Fiocchi, in the last century. naturalized


no as

been

most

of the chief Accio, Tipaldo,

Boileau

said

to

have

it in France, book

and
But

be may between
was

1674 and 1780 probably frequently so reprinted


is not had
a

in belles lettres

the only
successor

French

his version. In translator.

Boileau
Boileau has

1775

in Lancelot,

and
in
so

Lancelot
Professor

had

successors

in M. has

Pujol
never

The

Treatise

and been

Vaucher.

popular

in Germany

LONGINUS
as

AND

GREEK
and
at

CRITICISM
and

207

in Italy, France, in German

England,
least four

yet it has appeared in times, 1737, in

1774, in 1781, and


three has times

in 1895. Into Dutch it has been It translated, into Spanish three times. in

also appeared Polish, in Russian, But

Portuguese,
in Modern have

in Swedish,

in

and

Greek.
been
so

in

no
as

numerous

country in our

translations
The

own. was

first to

work in an of Hobbes
Hall's

English

dress

William

the present Hall, a friend

and

distinguished

Cambridge

is dedicated version, which in 1652. Though somewhat published

scholar. to Whitelock, was


too

free, and

frequently the whole


The

inaccurate, superior all


"

it is racy and version


to
"

to any

vigorous, and on pared and I have com-

them
next

anterior

version, of Boileau.

by

one

twenty-eight French

years Then

present century. J. Pulteney, which peared apfrom the afterwards, was in 1698 at Oxford, and
came
an

the

ous anonym-

translation
to

be from
concern

published the Greek, with


as

which

purporting however it has as predecessor. Leonard Wel-

little
The

its less

pretentious

successor, of this person's sted, will be familiar to the readers


name

of the Dunciad.

Flow, Though So

Welsted,

flow, like thine inspirer, beer,


ripe, though and
so

stale, not

thin, yet

never

clear,

sweetly
not

mawkish
strong; to

smoothly

dull,
not

Heady,

o'erflowing,

through

full.1 ; it is

Welsted

professes

translate

from

the Greek

perfectly plain that if he has travelled further than it has only been to the Latin ; his version, the French is both in point of style and in point of scholarship, in truth below contempt.
1

It is mortifying
iii,11. 170-4.

to

know

Book

203

POETRY
would

AND
probably
to

CRITICIS
have been

M
the
most

that what

portant im-

contribution
the eighteenth

century notice

in the literature of Longinus has been lost. We learn from

Oldisworth's

of Edmund

Smith,
scholar,

inserted

in

Johnson's Life of
had

that unhappy

that Smith and


a a
was

completed

translation

of the Sublime,

proceeding he which depraved

commentary, with an elaborate had finished.1 Smith, though

part of
man

of

an excellent and dissipated character, was Italian, classic, besides being well versed in English, French, Spanish, we are told, his and it was, and

intention

to

illustrate

his

author's

and vices of style by literatures. in all those In writers the most popular of all the English virtues

remarks drawn examples

on

the

from

1739

appeared

translations

Longinus. afterwards
man,

This Dean

was

the work

of William

of Smith,

who
than

more

also loose a

a of Chester, very accomplished It is little Thucydides. translated

paraphrase

Latin
no

version,

just then
to exact

of Zachary greatly in vogue,

Pearce's

and

has

But, addressed scholarship. it gave English to ''the mere that reader reader," it may be said of it, he wanted. Indeed exactly what as was that it has every merit said of Pope's Homer, ever, howmust, except that of fidelity to the original. We
pretension

do
rule,

Smith
no

the

to justice to

thanks
sense

doubt

general

and

drift even

that as a acknowledge Pearce, he renders the difficult passof the most ages

Wherever to correctness. approach with some became belles lettres were version studied Smith's be too much book, and it would not perhaps standard
to
1

say
See

that

he

made

Longinus

an

English
Ed.

classic.
vol. iii,

Life of Smith, Johnson's Works,

Murphy,

498-499.

LONGINUS
The
seven

AND

GREEK

CRITICISM

209

between

his work editions through passed which the date of its appearance and the end of the

But its popularity. the sufficiently attest did not deter another success scholar from of Smith in 1751 a Fellow to rival him, and of Saint aspiring Weales, issued John's College, Oxford, one Thomas

century

proposals

for

new

translation the

with

notes

commentary,1 collapsed.
successors.

though But Weales

projectseems
many other
more

a and have to

had

ate fortuntranslator in
1830,

Longinus
in 1821

found
another

at

Dublin

and

another at Oxford

both

anonymous.

Six years afterwards appeared the first translation has any pretension to exact that, which scholarship, Spurdens, Tylney Spurdens. by William namely,
of whom gathered
to

I know from do

more nothing his book, tells us

what that it was

than

can

be

for the Treatise Poetics.


either He
as

for Aristotle's Twining's but he

what Twining far from is very


a

his ambition had done being


a

equal,

scholar

or

as

critic,

a produced Longinus had reason

work
to

for which

is
not

on

the whole

be grateful. if his excellent, and

of all students His translation


is scholarship him far astray, have

and
nerve

it seldom leads unimpeachable he often catches, as few translators

done, the

His dissertations, spirit of his original. full of instruction and are commentaries, and notes and
interest, and far more deserve from to have appear received

than attention his successors.


into
was

they
It is

difficult to
useful book by
1

account

for the fallen.


R.

has

neglect Spurdens

this which in followed

1867

Mr.

T.
MSS.

R.

Stebbing,

and

Stebbing
Library.

in

Rawl.

J, fol. 5,

in the Bodleian
P

2io

POETRY
Mr. H. paid A. the did

AND

CRITICISM
But

1870 by
those

Giles.

the long

dynasty

of

who

sincerest
not

master ancient H. L. Havell

published

of all tributes to an here. In 1890 Mr. close fairly a version may which

said to supersede it is based, because


a

be

not simply all its predecessors, no as other had been based, on

sound

text,

but

because

it is in attractive.

itself at Lastly

once comes

scholarly Professor
to

popularly and Rhys Roberts,

of whose

work

I propose

of fiction is of a work by its popularity, but to be not measured always didactic treatise is a fair the popularity of a purely No one but a serious reader criterion of its power.
a

speak presently. The influence of

poem

or

would original that

be likely
or

to

take

up
be

Longinus,

in

translation,

very

few
being

without

would in some

and it may likely to lay and


they

either in the be safely said him down

degree,
what

perhaps read. that they

unconsciou

Swift
the
same

by affected of books observed


tone to
our

What give

generally,

as company good gives mind is particularly to to our applicable air and manners, this treatise. It is essentially noble ; it is inspiring,

it is elevating, it is illumining ; it taught it breathed into it a new language, a new

criticism In soul. it has exercised

estimating,
on

therefore,

the influence

which

literature we modern greatly undershould rate the importance of that influence if we submitted it to definite tests. We take into consideration must

the immense
proves
must

which vogue it to have had, and

its bibliographical the silent

record it effect which

inevitably

have
was

had. first brought into


prominence

The

Treatise

LONGINUS
by

AND

GREEK

CRITICISM

211

Boileau

and

the French

the seventeenth travelled beyond

century. the libraries of scholars.

the end of critics towards Before that time it had not Its very till Robortello
to

existence printed

to the world unknown it in 1554, for the supposed reference


was
a

it by who

John

of Sicily,

commentator

on

Hermogenes,

lived about is too vague


conclusion

the beginning and


to

of the thirteenth
to warrant

century,

ambiguous

the

contrary.
it
seems

Even
to

printed

and

reprinted

any certain after it had been have attracted no


or

notice popularly, No allusions are writers. It


to
wras

either in England to it in to be found

in France. Elizabethan
Ascham,
to

our

Sidney,
even

plainly unknown Meeres, to Webbe, to

to

Puttenham,

and

to

Ben

Jonson.

Nor

during

next

in

did it make century any his Tractate Education, on among those

the first half of the Milton, indeed, way.

gives
and

Longinus

place

philosophers

be studied as models who should it may be doubted he was whether He


can or
never, we

rhetoricians But of expression. familiar with him.

if

we

are

not

find any certain in his prose-writings Milton


so

him, nor quotes mistaken, indication either in his poems of the Treatise. of knowledge

That work

possible the hint of

have been not should attracted by a noble is certainly surprising, and it is just have been indebted to it for that he may
two

of his sublimest
sun

of Satan to the have been a reminiscence Homer of the Odyssey grandeur


sublime

The passages. of his beams shorn


"a

comparison

may of the

of the comparison
to

remains without in the line image


1

sun whose sinking its intensity,"1 and the

De

Sublim.,

ix, 13.

212

POETRY
Dark
with

AND
excessive

CRITICISM
light thy skirts appear,

may

be

reminiscence
Tw

of

a
o

passage
prnup

in the

seventeenth

section,

yap ivrauQ'

TO aTrsxpv-j/s

means what clearly by the very

By

has
excess

the

concealed of light.1

orator

the

figure?

Though rhetoric,
makes has, in
no
more

Hobbes and
even

had

paid
a

special

mention than

published of Longinus;
one

to attention it,2 he treatise on

and

though

Butler

poem,

cant

about

Aristotle

and

able ridiculed the fashionGreek criticism, he does

not

make

Sublime.

the faintest reference to the Treatise on the But the moment Boileau's version appeared
at once

in 1674 attention was in less critic, and,

turned three

to

this neglected
the
name

than

years,

of
on

Longinus
both

was

on

sides of the
was

the lips of every man Boileau's Channel.

of letters preface
to

his

translation

admirable,

and

appealed

the general reader and to the scholar. in effect, is a critic even greater than Aristotle, here feet every man a at whose master of taste should be

equally to Here, it said

the charm sit. All that constitutes and indeed, have been not, power could of the Treatise interpreted with more eloquence and discrimination. proud
to

No

doubt

the association

of Longinus

with

controversy

faction,

a great tributed which noise at that time conmade Perrault Charles to his celebrity. and his in the contest between the Ancients who,

and had
1

Moderns, lately
De

led the

attack

been
xvii,
as

speaking
2. a

the Ancients, against disrespectfully of very

Sublim.,
appeared

This

supplement

to his abstract

of Aristotle's

Rhetoric,

LONGINUS
Homer and
"
"

AND
Pindar,

GREEK
and

CRITICISM
Boileau, in
some

213

flections Re-

du
their

to a sixth lation appended edition of his transReflexions PassCritiques ages sur quelques " Rheteur Longin Longinus brought to
"

of their brethren. Thus his place with Aristotle at last took Fenelon, indeed, even at the head of criticism. had so long reigned preferred him to the master who
rescue,

and Longinus

to

the

rescue

a rival. without The Fenelon draws parallel which Rhetoric and the Treatise on the Sublime

between

the

exactly besides had


on

formed the estimate indicating the nature French


the
most

so expresses in France, of the work it of the effect which

literature, that it may be well to transcribe important portion of it. It is to be


sur

found

in the first of his Dialogues


ne

V Eloquence:
a

Je
mon

crains pas de gre" la Rh^torique


tres

dire

qu'il [Longinus] surpasse Cette Rh^torique, d'Aristotle.


de

quoique curieux
de

belle,

beaucoup

qu'utiles dans la pratique beaucoup Longin jointaux pr^ceptes


. .

pre"ceptes Mais
.

sees

et plus

le Sublime

d'exemples

les rendent

sensibles.
. .
.

Cet

auteur

traite le sublime 1'imagination,

qui d'une

sublime; maniere 1'esprit du lecteur,

il e"chauffe

il 61eve
a

le gout, et lui apprend lebien et le maldans les orateurs distinguerjudicieusement


ce"lebres de I'antiquite".

il lui forme

is Rollin, who insists that less enthusiastic be made Longinus a text-book should wherever of the Treatise as that rhetoric is taught, and speaks

Not

"admirable
le gout
1

traite," which

is "seul
'

capable

de former
of the
Lettres,
the

des

jeunes gens."
d'Enseigner
draws

Between
et d^Etudier
on

the end
les Belles

De

la Maniere He

vol. ii,p. 69. work.

largely

Longinus

throughout

214
seventeenth allusions

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM

Sublime

and the middle century of the eighteenth Longinus to from the and quotations in French literature; the inabound and fluence

which
frequency
sentiments,

he exercised which
well
as
we

with
as

be judged from the may find his characteristic references in


sermons

direct

to

him,

appearing Eloges.
In

and

reappearing he became

and

in

England
in his

on Reflections

says

that,
was

with

influential. ton, Walequally Ancient ing" Learnand Modern Demosthenes, Tully, and by all who would
write him to

he Quintilian,

finely in prose.1

who pronounced be ''undoubtedly, after Aristotle, the greatest critic himself to be his disciple. the Greeks," confessed among

studied Dryden,

"Aristotle," Heroic

Poetry,

and Longinus, And lights."


by

in his Apology for says, Horace, his interpreters, "and and I owe to whom are the authors my
author is
more

he

no

frequently

quoted

him.

Whoever
owed

Dryden
the
to

would to Longinus Troilus


and

how much understand do well to turn to would

preface to the State

Cressida,
and
to

to

the

preface

of

Innocence,
To
care

the
was

Apology
"that

for

Heroic
critic ";

Poetry.
and
the

Addison
with

he

is abundantly he quotes and


more

clear from

he had which the frequency

great studied him with which deed and in-

appeals
the
ever

to

him.

The

germ,
most

than

germ,
wrote,
was

of the those
on

eloquent

papers of the

Addison

the

pleasures twenty-

imagination,

derived

from

the

fifth section
1

of the Sublime*
edition
of

Indeed,
23.

all Addison's

See See

second

Reflections, p.
paper,

particularly

the second

Spectator, No.

412.

LONGINUS

AND

GREEK

CRITICISM

215

criticism, and particularly his aesthetic, is coloured Pope's lines are well known by the Treatise. :
Thee, bold bless ardent

Longinus

! all the
a

Nine

inspire,

And
An

their critic with

judge

who,

poet's fire ; zealous in his trust,

With Whose And

warmth
own

gives

sentence,

example is himself that great

just; yet is always strengthens all his laws,


Sublime
he draws.1

There

is nothing, it is true, he may Criticism not which Longinus, sources than other necessary
to

in

Pope's

Essay

on

have and

borrowed

from

it is scarcely

sentence
at

were

could not construe say that he probably English translations of the Greek, but two fairly his service; we therefore and may

he expressed himself he did as that when presume he expressed himself in the lines just quoted, sincerely. It is perhaps of the Essay rather in the tone
than

in particular that the influence reminiscences In the treatise on is discernible.2 the of Longinus in Poetry, in Sinking Bathos, the Art or the joint

production
of another

Swift, of Pope and kind to the popularity


a

we

have of
our

testimony
author,

and

certainly
a

curious

word
1

seriously
on

on the commentary retained in the text may

use

to

which

be applied.3

Essay
The

Criticism,

iii,675-680.

the Treatise the Essay appear and parallels between to be: part i, 67-73, 84-91, 94-99, 134-135. 13%" 15"-ISB" Part in The Temple the ii,233-236, 243-246, 299-300, 318-321. couplet Homer: describing Fame,
2

of

strong expression here and there And by


a

he seem'd to affect, disclosed a brave neglect,


most

was
3

plainly suggested See the commentators in section ii.

similar
on

remark words

in section
ii lft"

xxxiii.
Ti

the

H^wc

216 But

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM
passed in his into
a

had now the cult of Longinus find Swift writing of cant, and we Poetry : on
A

sort

Rhapsody

forward

critic often

dupes

us

With And
Will

peri hupsous, sham quotations if we have not read Longinus


magisterially outshine
us.

But

worthier

homage

than that afterwards, The noblest

paid him, both then and offered by fribbles and criticasters. it would or passage, perhaps
was

be

more

correct

to

say

the

one

noble

Akenside's
than
a

Pleasures

of Imagination,
of the

in passage, is little more

paraphrase while

Sublime,1
book

another

thirty-fifth section of the fine passage in the third


in
we

of a remark expansion Akenside's poem section.2 Throughout indeed the note catch of Longinus.
had

is the

the

second frequently Young

That

from is clear his him Conjectures on read he quotes him,3 Original Composition, where and that what therefore be little doubt there can appear
to

reminiscences Thoughts are not


other
sources.

be

of the
simply Take
tutors

Treatise

in the

Night

from Night

or accidental, the following

derived
lines in

IX.
That That That The That,

Pagan

taught,
immortal
a

he says:
aims
:

immortal mind boundless mind


vast

loves

affects the

boundless

space

surveys

and

sublime

of things

soul

her great : assimilate, and make her glories, as a fund therefore, heaven thus

Of inspiration,
1

spreads
was

out
man,"

to

man.

From

scene,"
2

1. 151, Say, i. in book

"

what

to 1.

221,

"close

the

Cf. Longinus,

ii, 2, compared

with

Akenside,

book

iii,535

et seqq.
3

Works,

ed. 1774, vol. iv, p. 321.

LONGINUS
This is little more

AND
than

GREEK
a

CRITICISM
of section
as

217
thirty-

summary

five of the Treatise the forty-third, we

; and
are

of that section,

Relapse (Night V) and

constantly The Infidel Reclaimed

well as of in The reminded

(Night
he has in

VII).

In his Resignation

(Part II,
of which is the scorn
more
"

st.

46),

the couplet:
Nothing
More

is great
glorious

great,

little more
of
Ka6a7TEf" KO.V
"

than section
ru xoivu

translated
two

of know

of the opening Longinus: EJ"V"J %f""


part
(Jtsytz,ov
TO
Ka

sentence

@ttaovdev VTrap^i
must

""m

psya

"

you

that,

justas
great

in

common

life, nothing be considered can held great to despise."


That

which

it is

is plain student of Longinus He him among from his Essays. "the most ranks frequently him;1 classics," quotes and approved luxury in the on and corruption and if the remarks

Goldsmithwas

be not need they of the Sublime, attributed to any reminiscences in the last secrecall very closely similar remarks tion and the of it. When Johnson Lives

Traveller

Deserted

Village

was as

Poets, he set himself,

engaged he has

on

the

of the

himself
so

he never, and though read Longinus, discover, directly quotes him, I can as recalls him. very unmistakably, In his Academic Discourses,
once
or

recorded, to far at least

he often, and Reynolds,

Sir

Joshua

if I recollect but, whether


of them
1

rightly, only

consciously he does in which


the

Longinus; mentions one not, there is scarcely


recall and recall closely

not
on

See

particularly

Essays

the Cultivation

of Taste

and

on

Metaphors,

218 the

POETRY
De

AND
There

CRITICISM
is the
same

Sublimitate.

noble

conception

functions of the character and of art, of its relation to the divine, of its relation to nature, of the its study be approached spirit in which should and is the same There union of the critic and pursued. He speaks Angelo enthusiast. of Michael precisely Longinus His definition as speaks of Homer. his criteria for testing it, are and of the sublime, identical with those of the Greek critic. If Reynolds
the

had
with that
on

not

studied

Longinus

with

the greatest
we can

care
assume

and

the

greatest

sympathy,

only

experience,

similar

genius, reflection, and had conducted temperaments,


to

operating both these

critics independently
them
to express

the

same

themselves

truths, and inspired in the same language. here:


are

Longinus,
These
to
arts

for example,

is speaking
province
the
we

in their highest
senses,

not

addressed mind,
to

the

gross

but

to

desires
have

of the

that

spark

of divinity

which
and

within,
the

impatient
which

of being" circumscribed

pent
as our

up Art

by

world

is about much
and

us.

Just
of
our

so

much

has

of this,

justso

of dignity,
those

I had

almost

said of divinity, possessed acquired

it exhibits:

artists who

in the highest glorious appellation

degree
of Divine.1

disthis mark of tinction from thence the

While sublime
the blow,

he makes in the remarks the about which " Discourse, it impresses in the Fourth that
at

mind
the

with a great idea: indeed, be Elegant, may


once

it is

single

produced

by

repetition,

by

an

circumstances,"
1

we

of many accumulation minute have Longinus precisely what


XIII

Discourse

(conclusion).

LONGINUS

AND
so

GREEK
more much of his work:

CRITICISM
force and

219
eloquence

has expressed with in the first section


Similarly,

skill in invention
we see

and

the due

order

and
not

position disout

of material
of
one or even a

emerging things,
but

by degrees
out

out

of two

of the

whole
out

weft
at

of

composition,

whereas
scatters

Sublimity,

flashing

the

right moment, it, and before of the speaker.


to

like in

thunder-bolt

everything

displays

an

instant

the

whole

power

But

pass

from

Reynolds

to

one

of the
:

most

accomplished
"

who

critics of the eighteenth century incidentally that Longinus remarks


most

Hurd
one

was

of the others him

three being

popular critics of that time, the Bouhours Addison had studied and
"

frequently him. and quotes Grandeur in his on and Sublimity, is little more Elements than a paraphrase of Criticism, Fielding, to turn to popular of Longinus. men one of his most enthusiastic of letters, was mirers; adhave he been to as a appears and good
great with Kame's chapter
care,

he practised what is to be admitted he said " No author when preached into the order of critics until he hath read over and in their Aristotle, Horace, and Longinus understood frequent In his novels he makes original language.1 classical scholar
no

he had

doubt

references

to

him.

Readers

of Sterne

will remember

the characteristic

tribute which

that facetious

writer

pays to the great critic. By none classics of our than by Gibbon, who
an

was

he studied more carefully has, in his Journal,given

elaborate the Sublime


1

account

both
on

made
Garden

which of the impressions him, and of the difficulty he


3;

Covent

Journal, No.

Works,

x,

p. 7.

220

POETRY
in mastering

AND
it in the that
"a

CRITICISM
original.
work
"

had
his

He

astonishment freest days and

of Athens

worthy have should

expresses of the best been the


as

product

of

an

that in which
"Till
two
now,"

so age Longinus

corrupt

and

degenerate

lived.
"I
a was

he

says,

acquainted
passage,

only the
one

with
to

ways by
an

of criticising
exact

beautiful
of it the
; the other

show

anatomy

distinct
an

beauties

of

it, and
or
a

whence

they

sprung

idle exclamation

encomium, general has shown Longinus his


own

which
me

leaves there

that

it. behind nothing He tells is a third.


tells them
I almost

me

feelings

upon

reading

it, and
them.

with
doubt

such

which Longinus'

that he communicates energy Homer's is most sublime,

battle upon

of the it."
to

gods

or

apostrophe

to Terentianus

The

ninth

section

Gibbon

pronounces

be

"one

of thenoblest

produced He Eton.

TheTreatise antiquity." Fox boy a at when similar effect on idle that he so that he was told Colton monumentsof

in Greek, have no progress made probably should Sublimitate. to take up the De had he not happened in it that he never He found such charms rested till
' ' him to he could read it with a fluency which enabled from Homer derive more on the remarks pleasure himself."1 than from Homer

illustration vol. ii, p. 88. An interesting in which Longinus has influenced public men, and of the way is famous Character by Grattan's 0, oratory coloured afforded Speaking he said " it was Chatham. not like of his eloquence Colton's
Lacon,
the
torrent

Tully, point

but

of Demosthenes he rather lightned felt, but

or

the
the

splendid

conflagration

of
the

on

and subject,
"

by the flashings be
"

of his mind,
not

could

partly

could Subl. of xii, "Demosthenes

be

which, followed

reached like those of his eye


; plainly
a

cence reminis-

may

be

compared

LONGINUS
work in the history

AND
which

GREEK
has

CRITICISM
so

221

That

filled

important

of

our

literature,
so

which
many
a

has

place been so

influential, and testimonies

has had which to its great value


not

as

authoritative in critictext-book ism, in the curricula

should
of
our

only

have

no

place

but be practically unknown to universities, is surely for surprise. It is, I fear, them, matter illustrations of what one of the many melancholy has been to so their indifference often deplored,

literary
Let
us

as

distinguished
that

from

hope

Professor

philological Roberts's Rhys

studies.

edition

the attention the effect of directing of the their attention, universities to what is so well worth long ago to have taken its place with and what ought will have the

Poetics

at

the

head

of every

course

in Literae

Humaniores.

II Till the

beginning

of the

present

century
this

no

one

had
or

the questioned doubted to that


"

of authenticity Gibbon's quote had, in the Court

Treatise,
"

words

"the

Sublime

Longinus

Queen,

the spirit of ancient preserved dicate to inin 1808 a discovery was made appeared which Longinus that that if the Sublime preserved as the author of the De Sublimitate. not spirit it was
to to
a a

of a Syrian But Athens."

thunder-bolt

or

flash of lightning. which

Cicero
over

may

be likened

widespread it," and around

conflagration

rolls

said flash lightning when flash."

partly of sect, " of Demosthenes,

xxxiv, where it would be easier

and feeds on all it is so magnificently


to meet

the

with his impassioned

unflinching
eloquence

to gaze unmoved eye than flash is fulminating out

on

222

POETRY
Weiske
was

AND

CRITICISM

through the press an passing he had been long on edition of the Treatise which he was by Jerome Amati, informed the engaged, librarian of the Vatican, he had employed to whom
collate the Longinian title of
one

While

MSS.

in that library, that the

threw doubt on the authorship of them of Instead it to Dionysius the work. of attributing Longinus, did, it attributed it to as the other MSS. " Dionysius Longinus," Aiovwlov or the title running
ri

Aory"W

nepi

u-^ovg.

This

naturally

led to

careful

scrutiny

of the existing

corroboration

which appears at least four centuries and had indeed Dionysius them, page

codices, and the result was kind. The Paris codex, of a surprising to be the archetype of the rest, and is
a

half anterior to any of Longinus on the title-

of the Treatise, but in the index, inserted after Problems fill the the Physical of Aristotle, which it is also to greater part of the MS., ascribed Dionysius
it was
or

Longinus. that the numbered


was

On
same

further

investigation

discovered

in another Nationale. the

MS.,
Nor

alternative was given 985 of the Bibliotheque


third

Laurentine

this all. In a Library at Florence,

codex,

in

though

the old

Longinus to Dionysius was title ascribing the work bore the on the first page, the cover still discernible on the Sublime a title Anonymous fyoui), ('AVUVL//J.OU

Ktfi

deduction
or

no

doubt,

on

the the

that the ascription apparent to the historical Longinus of the work received no the firsteditor, corroboration either from Robortello, from Manutius, Robortello or the second; simply

from of the owner, Parisian codices. It soon, became too,

part either of the copyist implied in the uncertainty

LONGINUS

AND

GREEK
MSS.

CRITICISM
had done,
to

223

ascribed the work, as most sius Longinus, without


him, and Manutius,
on

Diony-

at identifying any attempt following Robortello, had been

equally silent however,

the in
a

of subject

Greek
was

identification, ing, observto his epistle prefixed


a

edition, that the


the
not

writer
were

Greek,
high

and

"one

ancients

who
come

of very

till we

to

the third editor,

repute." Portus, that

of It is
we

find the author of the work positively identified with Longinus Portus indeed not of Palmyra, stating
this, but his edition Suidas' to silently prefixing notice of the Palmyrene, and a short account of him by Eunapius. From it had been taken this moment

for granted by every one that Longinus of Palmyra to whom the Longinus the manuscripts, and with the hesitating the exceptions referred to, ascribed
Treatise,
were

the

same

man.

On

investigation

themselves. present Treatise, one of his names had name of Dionysius that of

difficulties of all kinds began to Whoever was the author of the


was

Dionysius.
been

But

the

never

Longinus

of

Palmyra.

associated with he is not Where

spoken full name

his Longinus, as of simply and whenever has been it has been given by given, as Photius, he is called Suidas and either Cassius Longinus has called Longinus Cassius; or one no Dionysius. have
a

him
we
a

Of

somewhat

the writings full account.

of the Palmyrene Suidas has given

list of them, probably of the greater part of them. Porphyry, Libanius, John of Sicily, and later scholiasts have of his, but no referred to other writings

one

has

might

this Treatise mentioned be taken for it.

or

any

work

which

224

POETRY
know written
a

AND
the Sublime
on

CRITICISM
itself that the author Xenophon, two treatises on
or none

We had

from

treatise

composition,

and
on

had
the

either

write

treatise

written but passions,

intended

to

those attributed works appear among Of the works of the Palmyrene several including large portion a remain, of a

of these to Longinus. fragments


Manual between the

of

Rhetoric,

comparison may the style, the diction, the vocabulary,

so

that

be made

and

acteristics charI

and shall

generally of the historical


return,

of the of the author Longinus. To this

Sublime

subject

that a at present remarking has, in the opinion comparative of them of study some conclusively critics, furnished proof that the was the author not of the author of the fragments
merely Treatise,

of no critic, confirmed for the affirmative. or even the case strengthened in favour of is much Again, more the presumption to the end the Treatise belonging of the last century and,
A.D.
was

in the opinion

than

to

the

suggested

age by a

of Claudius book written

It and Aurelian. in the Augustan

age:
one

or authors of the many quoted lived later than the first century

which

Longinus
may
account

notoriously

referred to not The A.D. contempt had for his contemporari


not

mentioning
that, when

of them any dealing with

satisfactorily for his in the way of praise, the vices of style and
TO

but

tone,

with

(affectation), with iI/y%poTHf

*"" fomutsv

TO

xaxo'"n*ov

(trumpery bedizenment), with TO avfapov (the florid they (false of which with TrapsvQvfxros sentiment), style),
would than have

furnished

far

more

any

he cites, he

about

them,

should have is, to say the least, strange.

examples striking been equally silent

We

might

LONGINUS
reasonably
not to

AND
have
work

GREEK
to

CRITICISM
find
some

225

expected

of Quintilian and to Oratory, at least to the writings of Dionysius on o f Halicarnassus, of Demetrius of Alexandria, and above all to those of his immediate predecessor,
the

reference, if the Dialogue

Hermogenes,
them.

but

not

syllable

is said about

any

of

There the account of the

is surely

not

given

difficulty in reconciling much in the last chapter of the Treatise

state

would,

if

we

of the world and of society, with what for rhetorical a little allowance make
to the world apply historical Longinus.1
more

exaggeration,

of the doubt, be much

whole satisfac disus not chapter reminds only of the passionate find expression and recalcitrance which in the eighty-eighth chapter of the Satyricon, and in

and

his

applicable immediate successors.

and the surroundings But it would, no gustus to the age of AuThe

the

elder Seneca's Controversiae, but


Tacitus

preface
more

to

the

first book

of the

which
1

makes

particularly of the remarks at the beginning of the Hisstress

The

point

on

which

most

has

contend which
they could

against speaks

the late authorship of the

laid by those who of the Treatise is the clause

been

world's
not

peace
to

(^ rr?
times

oixoujUivn?

which slpwt), and


answers

contend
only

would

apply

apply to the Augustan


wrote

the

of Longinus,

maybe written

given. early

If Longinus in his
career,

To this two period. the Treatise, it was

probably could
not

and

though

the

remark

the accession of Maximin, possibly apply to the time succeeding it might preceding allow for rhetoric, to the immediately apply, if we But probably there is no necessity for pressing period. the

word Rome,

"

it is

mere

euphemism
tyranny,

for the

despotic Tacitean

power
sense

of of

world-wide

"pax"

in the

the term.

226
fortes, when

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM
the disappearance

he associates

geniuses with the peace which of Actium and the subsequent Still closer is the parallel with in which eloquence
a

succeeded

of great the battle

extinction of liberty. tory, Oraon the Dialogue


over

similar

lament

the decline

attributes that decline to the moral in involved in contented servitude and Indeed the whole chapter social corruption. glows it is with a moral political enthusiasm which and
more much of Lucan

of gradatio de-

Plotinus

natural to associate with a contemporary than with a contemporary of and Tacitus It is certainly not the note and Porphyry.
nor,
as

of the third century,


any

Vaucher

analogy

to this

dissatisfaction
in any

will remarks, with the literature

of their time age who have

be

found

discussed
nor

neither in Lucian Aristides in nor evidence Longinus


on

and in Maximus

of the writers of that criticised that literature,


Tyrius,

Philostratus.

Such,

neither in is the then,

to the ascription of the work which culties rests, of Palmyra and such are the diffiin ascribing it to him. involved

Assuming
insuperable,
not

for

moment

that these

difficulties

are

and

that

Longinus
"

written the Treatise, for wearying by reviewing no ourselves necessity have the innumerable theories accumulated which hypothesis Weiske's baseless this round

have

could of Palmyra did? There is who

subject.
to

that

it belongs by

Dionysius

of Pergamus,

"

mentioned

be consigned to the same may limbo baseless hypothesis as the equally of Schoel to Dionysius that it belongs of Miletus, a disciple of
Isaeus.

Strabo,"

It might be assigned Dionysius The of Phaselis.

with theory

equal

reason

to

which

ascribes

LONGINUS
it to Dionysius
baseless, favour
that
at

AND

GREEK

CRITICISM
is, if not
The

227

of Halicarnassus least as improbable.

equally in evidence

of it literally begins and ends with the fact, the writer of the Treatise tells us that he had
two

composed Dionysius

treatises

on

composition,
on

and

that and

has

left one

treatise

composition oratorical

to write promised another. Burke does differ more not

The

essentially

style of from the

than the style of the characteristic style of Addison De differs from Sublimitate that of the treatises of the
men

Halicarnassian. have
nothing is a pure in

In

genius

common.

temper and Dionysius

the two

critic of the secondary It is with combetter indeed than a grammarian. position, only, that he concerns and with composition That sublimity in a writer is " the echo of a himself.
" to quote the De Sublimitate that "as great soul in the blaze of the all dim lights are extinguished is present rhetorical artifices sun, so when sublimity is full of faults invisible," that work become which
" "

Haliof carnassus order, little

may

be

superior

of which incapable. A great


a

which work Dionysius was, history,


an a

to

is flawless
we

"

are

remarks

feel, absolutely

the results of the of mechanical rules. A critic application mechanical had cide knew to deone was those rules and who who No he followed. one, they had been whether
mere

noble to him

or

pathetic

poem,

oration, magnificent inspired apologue, were

exercises

in rhetoric,

for he has observes, will get to the end of Polybius, l Of Pericles's a faulty arrangement and a bad style. book in the second funeral of speech magnificent on to Thucydides say in his critique all he has
1

De

Comp., iv, Ed.

Reiske,

vol.

v,

p. 30.

228

POETRY
and

AND

CRITICISM
it
"

Thucydides

he gives a chapter to saying is, that it is out of place in that book and might been delivered with more one propriety by some
"

have

in the Pylos.1

fourth

book,

over

those

Ode superb however, we preservation of which, him, elicits only a few frigid remarks and
vowel

Sappho's

were who to Aphrodite,


are

else killed at

for the
to

indebted

about

its skilful

graceful
sounds
are

texture

and

the tact

His managed.2 beauty of the Phaedrus, and to all that constitutes is not less conspicuous.3 its interest and its charm,

the with which insensibility to the

We

would

ask

any

one

whether

on that the critic who commented Dionysius has done, Aphrodite as

it is conceivable Ode to Sappho's and


the critic who

commented
the be author

the other ode by the same poetess as has done, Sublimitate could of the De
on

the

same

man;

whether

the cool

and

arbiter and Thucydides,


to

anatomist who measured Plato, and Demosthenes,

composed and dissected in the Dissertation

Tubero,

in the Epistle to Pompey,

De
the

Admirandi

Vi, could
to

possibly

and in the be identified with

enthusiast

whose and dithyrambic But


even

they were very demi-gods, whom itself with homage almost expressed fervour.
these

supposing

difficulties could

be explained

a that the De Sublimitate was assuming his intention work of his fervid youth, and that it was in his other treatises to confine his criticism strictly

by

De

Thucyd. speech,

Hist.Jud., xviii,
Ars Rhet.,
ix, and

same
2

cf. his and cf. Longinus

on the remarks Thucydides. on

De

Comp., xxiii.
criticism of it in the Epistle to Gnaeus

See his extraordinary Pompeius.

LONGINUS
to

AND

GREEK

CRITICISM

229

discrepancy one and expression, alone would the claims against of Dionysurely be conclusive is more dwelt on in the sius. Nothing emphatically
Treatise
on

form

the

Sublime

than

the

hopelessly

degraded

state

of literature

and

the

the

of really great writers. beginning of his treatise on with


equal

extotal tinction almost But Dionysius, at

the

Attic

orators,
revival

dwells

emphasis discerns

on

the

of ancient and
even

eloquence

which the

remarkable his times had


of
a

witnessed,

promise

second

golden The
Vaucher,

age.1

strangest

theory

of all is that of Professor


to

which ascribes the Treatise For Professor Vaucher every student have the profoundest must respect. le Traite Du Sublime,' Critiques sur

Plutarch.

of Longinus His Etudes

published

in

has contribution which been to the study ever made of Longinus and to the by this treatise, not so problem presented much It is, therefore, greatly to be directly as collaterally.

1854,

is the

most

valuable

deplored

that he should
a

have

wasted
so

so

much

tion erudi-

in supporting

theory

comparison De Audiendis
Demosthenes

extravagant. of Aristophanes Poetis,

so obviously, Plutarch, witness

preposterous the

and

Menander,

the

writing
was

and the Treatise

and the Cicero, was


on

comparison
no

between capable Eckermann Boswell

more

of

the Sublime

than
or

capable

Apology for
1

of writing the Laocoon, His criticisms, Poetry.


De Sublim.

the
are

where
with

they

Compare

iiiof the De
2

xliv of the Oral. Antiq.


sect,

chaps,

ii and

Etudes

Critiques
Geneva,

sur

le Traite

du

Sublime

et

sur

It-sEcrits

de Longin,

1854.

230
not

POETRY
compiled,
are

AND
the

CRITICISM
of his personal records he has none: criteria and
a

mere

Principles predilections. he has none. In standards uncritical oratory.


aware

word,

more

essentially

critic

never

Professor

gossiped poetry about and Vaucher is, it is evident, uneasily


to

any his ability the

care not of all this, and, taking as extant of his protege's writings as
a

appeal

to

testimony

of

titles of

falls back on critic, very judiciously disquisitions or critical disquisitions,

presumably Professor his

have critical, which perished. Vaucher's on a par are arguments with He hypothesis. notices a general resemblance the style of Plutarch that is to say, that both blend
the

between Treatise;

and both

the
are

style highly

of the ative figur-

; that

rhetorical

with

the

conversation

taken a tinge apparently from Demosthenes, the study of Thucydides, and in quotations Philo-Judaeus; that both abound ; that both are fond of certain particles, adverbs, and turns

; that both

have

of

speech

that

in

both

are

to

be

found

several

synonyms
seven

for elevation
not
common,

of style

(^05), and
in
some

seventyrare,

words

and

cases

in other writers. agree in praising little of Timaeus; of Aeschylus,


are

He

also observes Thucydides, and have


a

that both

authors very

in thinking

that both

Sophocles,
admirers
neither
a

and

very high opinion Euripides; that both

enthusiastic that
as

him,

and Leontium

of Plato, and often quote holds of them up Gorgias of

model

of style.
on
so

With
Vaucher
praise finds

their

judgements
not
to

the

orators

Professor
The

does given
no

proceed Hyperides
in

smoothly. in the De

high

Sublimitate
regard
to

response

Plutarch,

and

with

LONGINUS
Demosthenes Vaucher's
thene
own

AND
it may

GREEK

CRITICISM

231

be sufficient to quote Professor " de DemosCe grand nom words:


morales

dans les oeuvres reparait souvent Plutarque, foule de ses une qui rapporte de ses triomphes ses traits d'eloquence,
tantot
tantot

de

de pensees, de tribune,

les

memes
"

differents.
is regarded

1'auteur que signale ' When we remember in the Sublime can we


"

du
how

Trspi vfyw

Demosthenes

quite

stand under"

have
not

the pang that which Vaucher. Professor cost


been

tantot

differents
enough.

must

But

Had

it

due to the industry respect and learning I should have Vaucher not of Professor for one to discuss, a so moment, paused absurd
the

for

theory.

Ill

And
way

now

let

us

of
so

who

ascribing long had

the difficulties in the whether to the this Treatise great critic insuperable, or the credit of it are
see

whether, incline, The


are

after all, the balance


or

at

exact

all events date and

of probability does not slightly incline, in his favour.

place
can

not

known,
A.D.

but there 213.


was more

of the birth of Longinus be no doubt that he was


mother, Phrontis, that he
was
was a

born

about

His
a

Syrian,
at

and

there It is

tradition likely who that


was

born
born
at

Emesa.

he
a

was

Athens,
stratus

where

and
the He
Etudes

his uncle, Apsines of


nor us

rival of Philo-

Neither known.
1

name

tells

rhetoric. the nationality of his father is he a youth, himself that, when


le Traite du Sublime,
p.
in.

Gadara,

taught

Critiques

sur

232

POETRY
about and

AND

CRITICISM
and, visiting many become personally

travelled
countries

with
many

his parents, cities, had

acquainted the day.1


Ammonius

illustrious men of the most with some of At Alexandria he attended the lectures of Saccas the Platonist, and and of Origen

Plotinus the friends he made there were among and Amelius. At what other places he stayed and studied is not recorded, but it is not unlikely that he visited Rome. He

to Athens probably returned about A.D. his Whether his uncle Phronto died before 235. is unhis travels or afterwards on set out nephew certain, but in any case he made him his heir. The

distinguished relative and heirof oneof the most in Athens likely to want was not pupils, professors
near

and
time

we

are

not
soon

surprised
so

therefore with The

to

learn

that that

his
he

was
no

occupied

teaching

had

leisure
were

for writing.

subjectswhich
He

he

taught
rose

rhetoric and in both, to eminence with Neo-Platonism, he

philosophy. but
as

rapidly

he
so
a

had

then
as

little pathy symin the greatly

ascendant,
to

devoted
Not

himself that
he

teacher

the

first.

ever

principally his abandoned

a writer, as studies, for he continued, largely to such to contribute and they fill subjects, The a wide space in the list of his published works. distinguished Porphyry, most of his pupils was and

philosophical

to Porphyry's account

biographer,
the

Eunapius,

we

owe

vivid
at

of

position

occupied

by

Longinus

Athens.
"

Longinus

was

kind

of living

library

and

walking

museum

TIQ fit* (/3t/3\io0//KJj Kal t/Li\^v^oc

irepnrarovt'

/jtovfrtlov
on

and

had

been

appointed
1

to

give
v.

critical instruction

Fragment

LONGINUS
classical

AND
With

GREEK
him

CRITICISM
Porphyry

233

the received the of training", attaining", like his master, very perfection in philology For, in and rhetoric. of excellence summit by far the most distinguished was such studies, Longinus
of all the
on
men

literature.

of those

times.

No

before when

classical writer was his opinion, had given Longinus


any
was

unfavourable to hold allowed


but

ment judgegood

his opinion

given

without
means

appeal."1

We

have

no

for what reason But to the East.

of knowing Longinus quitted

what Athens

at

date and
and
went

Odenathus

and

extended which including of Bithynia,


to

he settled at Palmyra, then under Zenobia, the capital of an empire from the Euphrates to the frontiers

Egypt,
even

become

formidable

and which to the Romans.


own

threatened
Zenobia,

like Christina

Mary

Queen

our of Sweden, of Scots, delighted

the society of scholars, and what Longinus to them Buchanan were and
the

and in literature and in Salmasius, Ascham,


became
to

Elizabeth,

The death premature of of Palmyra. Zenobia deprived Odenathus of a wise counsellor, her for herself, her friends, and unhappily and, in the wildest dreams to indulge kingdom, she began

Queen

of feminine in Palmyra,

have Rome a should rival ambition. in herself. She increased and Caesar

her armies ; she sought alliances herself the on States, conferred


the East,

neighbouring title of Empress

with

of

and

prepared

to

defy

the

Romans.
she

In the

director of the studies


more something became

of her leisure hours


a

found

and

Longinus philologist. her adviser, enher confidant and courage conflict with assisted her in her mad

than

critic and

Porphyrii

Vita,

234 the Romans, she paid


The she

POETRY dictated,
Aurelian,

AND
or

CRITICISM

defied
the

inspired, the letter in which the fall of Palmyra, and, on

by
woman

for his devotion to his royal penalty tress misher treachery Aurelian's and vengeance.1 heroine, had triumphed over the and
save

by attributing what she now to be crime sels acknowledged and folly to the evil counHis immediately was execution of Longinus. tried to

herself

ordered.
Zenobia

He

met

death

with

cheerfulness

and

constancy,

encouraging and consoling had similarly betrayed.

others

whom

be recovered It will be seen can now that all which is too scanty to give of Longinus of the biography or us of any very definite picture either of the man

his the

career.

But

five things

universal he successors

consent
was one

of

stand out clearly. his contemporaries

By

and

of the greatest

We
of him. of critics
kv (TOV

have

Porphyry

what already seen in him, one calls

critics of antiquity. Eunapius says

in another (xpcnxaTaroj),

place, the critic the first of critics the


time present His greatness
"

Trpurov xpio-ei
so

and OVT"),
^t^^evov

up
a^f1
a

to

considered
as as

(KM

v^v)"

a critic had Longinus

passed

into

proverb,

and

to

judge

would
a

do

synonym writing

for
this

correct
as
a

was a (xaraAoyyivov Kpivsiv) are judgement, just as "you

"

not
raura

Longinus
a

would

do

"

(ov% u$

xpiTixos Aoyyivos,

was ypdpsis),

opposite. writers
ancient

Secondly,
of his
time

he and

thought
was

for the synonym little of the very

classics.
men

Porphyry
addicted
to

the always upholding describes him being as contradiction opposed


to

of all
,

most
as

(e^yxTniaevery-

and

systematically
1

almost

Gibbon,

vol. ii, pp.

19 seqq.

LONGINUS
thing
Trexvra

AND

GREEK

CRITICISM
thought gives
"

235

that his contemporaries


ruv

ruv (-ret "r^ov

KO."
a
' '

cwrov

heteyi-ac,), and he
'

nameof he had

loverof theancients
taste

the nickThirdly, (p"xaf%arof).

him

no

extravagances himself to Plato,


tinus

for the mysticism and of the Neo-Platonists,


whom he

metaphysical but confined


as
a

and

Porphyry provoked
a

not expounded, him, but in expounded

Plomanner

which
was

Plotinus

not
o

philosopher

ftsv

Aoyyivog

q""oero$otos
tradition,

added

that

that he of him but a man of letters (piXoWyoj To be this it may oudxfjwi). fragments, his own the and
to

say

titles of his lost treatises unite in showing devoted Fourthly, was a student of Plato.
seems
a

that

he

thing everynot

to

point
a

to

the fact that he

was

only

scholar, with

and

scholar

professors

of attainments of rhetoric, but

very

uncommon
was a

that he

He never could of the world. of affairs and he did fillat the court have filled the place which of Zenobia Fifthly, what had this not been the case.
man

we

know

from

Zosimus under

and

Vopiscus

the which was the letter itself, and above all written, about scene the closing of his life, places it beyond about in a degenerate doubt that he possessed, age, a soul Lastly and Demosthenes. and of Socrates worthy circumstances
"

the about letter to Aurelian

this

surely
"

ought that he
are

to be emnoted and phasized especially in his veins. had Oriental blood

That
1

all these
See
Ruhnken's

characteristics

which

we

should

in Porphyry's correction of the reading by been he had Life of Plotinus ; p. 116, in which anticipated isthe rightone, see Vaucher, Fabricius ; possibly the old reading
Etudes

Critiques^

for Longinus,

the word 283, and pp. 27 and but the title of a treatise.

is not

an

epithet

236

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM

expect to find in the author of the De Sublimitate for unmistakably on are they impressed and deeply it, no deny: one can are they and characteristics hardly be said to distinguish, can which and which
"

most

assuredly
now

are

not
us see

united
what

in, any
can

And
answer

let

other claimant. in be advanced


to

to

the

chief

objectionsraised
Amati and
others
was

the

Lonthat

ginian
there

authorship. is no proof which

contend
ever

that
is true

Longinus
"

called

Dionysius,

but

deny
as

the

possibility

of such a combination sius Longinus, which than of Roman family names


them, while than

of names is absurd. who

Dionysius
was

Casmoner com-

Nothing obtained

for Greeks

had
to

the

lege privi-

further and
was

the gentile and adopt it for had obtained who of the patron Thus, to go no their own. retaining find Aulus Licinius Archias Cicero, we citizenship Lutatius Diodorus;
name

Quintus
commoner

and
to

although stand
as

it the

for the Greek

agnomen, the
case

its position was sometimes reversed, as in In the third Dio Cassius.1 of the historian particularly
common.

this was century be assumed, that the


name
"

It may,

fore, there-

obtaining Roman young


the

with a high degree of probability, Dionysius, was of Longinus and that, through the influence possibly of the
to

whom

the Sublime

is addressed

"

by means privilege of citizenship Cassian family, he adopted the names But, it may be urged, the Treatise
1

of

one

of the

of his patron. is, before the


see

ample De negieterus, Ratione, and

For

information
Mutata

on

this point,
Nominum

Henricus

Can-

Romanorum

Dio

Cassius,

the exhaustive note vol. ii, pp. 1534-5.

of Reimarus

sub Principibus in his edition of

LONGINUS
tenth

AND

GREEK

CRITICISM

237

To this century, nowhere attributed to him. it may be replied that the only catalogue of his writings has come down to us, the notice which namely, in

Suidas,
"

is confessedly

incomplete,
"

ending

with

the words

and

many

others the
we

atea (*"i

which TroMa), the other


lost

only Nor treatises.

may

not

cover

Sublime

but

must

archetype, have had ginus, must far more to us seems


the unmistakable passage

Paris

forget that the scribe of the in assigning to Lonthe Treatise


authority for doing
so,

and

it

Sublime,
from

about he was
a

to suppose that in reasonable in John of Sicily to the reference Moses, in the ninth section of the

following,

not

tradition

conjectureof
tradition.1

the

Paris
moreover,

originating copyist, but an


quite sible pos-

independent
to

It is,

importance to the native attach far too much alterin the Paris title found manuscript, and its That retitle, we must confirmations. member, supposed is found is not in only in the index, and
the handwriting The of the copyist of the Treatise. in the Bibliotheque Nationale, manuscript,

second

agrees exactly is probably a


can

with be

the Codex

Vaticanus

285, which

transcript

reasonably
1

of it, and neither of them testimony; cited as independent


on

of Sicily observes 'EXXWW had agreed that Longinus and Demetrius, oi api"rr"", with let in Moses "God there their admiration the Christians said of light," a plain though be light and there was misquoted ence referfor he to the (for substitutes roJs ninth section of the

In his Commentary

Hermogenes,

John
"

Sublime.
century,

But, and
says

as

the

date

that

of the

of Paris

$*"";) John of

Sicily

was

the tenth,

twelfth
no

manuscript party,
can

the

portance, im-

the anti-Longinus

passage somewhere

besides,

they

add,

Longinus

be attached to the have it quoted may

else.

238

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM
'

the title at Florence while in the manuscript is given the cover, the title at the top of only on for traces distinctly visible the first page of it are being the old one.
"

"

All, then, the writer


some reason,

to is, that this evidence amounts for in the Paris manuscript, of the index doubted the authorship of the Treatise,

that

attributing it to one to him, critics known


nassus

of the
namely, that

two

most

distinguished
of Halicarcopyist

Dionysius the
next

and

Longinus;

the alternative title, and by a third, and that this led, not unnaturally, being to the Florentine tampered manuscript with.

Treatise

reproduced

of the lowed folwas

In

word,
can

this be

evidence

simply

far

as

ascertained,

highest
a

degree

single fact that The written

probable, individual of whom the

and into a doubt


nothing
was

resolves far as so

itself,

so

is in the by

expressed is known. by

Treatise

suggested
and

work

in the Augustan

age,

to that age, surely writers subsequent difficulty. Caecilius, the author of that
one

refers to no little presents work,


was

therefore, of the classics of criticism, and nothing, could be more natural than that Longinus and Posthumius at the distance of more should, even
two

than

centuries him. In

and
not

half, be studying cussing and dishe to later writers referring


a

was

only

following

the

custom

of authors

of rhetorical

their treatises, who confined very properly illustrations to writers references of classical and If I am there is not a single not repute. mistaken,

reference mogenes Aphthonius.

to
or

post-Augustan writer either in Herin in Apsines, or either in Demetrius

LONGINUS
This

AND
us

GREEK

CRITICISM
The

239

brings which
no

to
are

the last point.

Longinus is alleged,

undoubtedly in any resemblance


to

remains of have, it genuine

of style
among them
a are

those

fragments

characof their teristics of the Sublime, and yet literary critibearing on cism Treatise
on

and Rhetoric.

considerable We begin may


on

section of a by remarking

that arguments

based

analogies

lead

to

very

erroneous

could there have been dialogues of Aristotle


"

of style will sometimes What conclusions. analogy in this respect between those
which

Cicero

praises

for the

golden Aristotle reasonable


author

of their diction,"1 and the works of have What down to come which us? doubt can there be that Tacitus was the Dialogue
be
more

flow

of the
possibly

could cola
or

of the Histories

what unlike the style of the AgriIf our and of the Annals'?
volution Reof Carlyle's French derived Pamphlets were
on

on

Oratory,

and

yet

criterion

of the genuineness Latter-Day and

from

any

from his Essay drawn analogy Schiller, we should and his Life

matics Mathe-

of

certainly

arrive at a very absurd result. And now, the Treatise putting aside for a moment Rhetoric, let us see of what ginus on the remains of LonWe have a the Palmyrene consist. portion Marcellus an account of a letter to one giving of contemporary philosophies; Porphyry a letter to asking
books
a

short
to

extract

from
some

him

send

him

and from

come
some

tract short exand visit him ; another letter or treatise protesting against
was

the opinion
1
"

that the soul


orationis
aureum

corporeal

and

perish"

Flumen

fundens
i, 5.

Aristoteles."

Acad.

Prior,

xxxviii, and

cf. De

Fin.

24o able; and

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM
about
metre

lastly, three
on

extracts

from

commentary first of which Longinus


metre

Hephaestion,

is simply is known to

the authorship of the from the fact that assumed been


an

have

authority
two

on

from

the authorship prosody, the fact that they are ascribed

and

of the to him

last

notes

on

the

by may

modern

hand
to

manuscripts, written ! Of the Treatise Rhetoric on

in marginal in Latin it

formed part say that it originally from which it was disengaged of the text of Apsines, by the sagacity But where it begins of Ruhnken. it ends, sines to Apand where still belong what may suffice and
what
can

to

Longinus, be

has

only

been
mere

mined, detercon-

and

only

determined,

by

jecture

The

circumstances In 1765 Ruhnken


he
was

of its discovery
was

are

reading
us,

the
a

ing. singularly interestRhetoric of Apsines change in the

struck, he tells began to remind style, which Sublimitate. De Continuing when

with

sudden

him

strongly

reading he have to seen passage remembered which Planudes not to the and John of Sicily, and cited as belonging, In but to the TE^W TE^V" puTopjjtw of Apsines, pVropouiof Longinus. great
was

his

of the style of the he came a upon cited by Maximus

delight

at

having

to have supposed intention to edit it. of the kind, nothing

by Longinus a work recovered which it his lost, he announced been was that he did But to the surprise of every one nor get him to say where any one could portion
an

he believed

the

Longinus

to

begin

and

end.

On

that

subject
silence, Ruhnken from

he
to

maintained the end of


to

his

and obstinate, Wyttenbach life.


the

perhaps

discreet Bast that

told

portion extending whole Spengel, Apsines. in Aldine the edition of p. 720 p. 709 from Walz, more p. 707 to p. 726 give him much and Egger him to even Finckh in the Aldine. narrower reduce would done. Meanwhile, is reported to have Ruhnken dimensions than attributed
to
"

Longinus

"

all the

confirmation

of these

rests conjectures

on

an

LONGINUS
It is, therefore, find Professor in these

AND

GREEK

CRITICISM

241

to surprising, amusing, nay more, Vaucher the words gravely tabulating

fragments,

for the

purpose

which of them appear and which the De Sublimitate ; instituting elaborate between

of ascertaining in do not appear


sons comparicharacteristics questionable

the

style,

the

diction,

the

generally relics with

of these
those

scanty

proclaiming

that the

of the Longinus

and most Treatise, of the


one

and

then

possibly have been is no conclusion,

the Longinus however arrive

could not of the other. There which Vaucher's the materials it. These irrelevant
at

criticism
method
to

could
were

not

preposterous, if Professor

which fragments are,


when
to

applied to such materials as Professor Vaucher applies


in truth,
too

too

meagre,

too

genuine,
any

unauthenticated with wish


to

when the

make

use. smallest but I cannot but

comparison I have no think

analogous, Sublime of the

appear paradoxical, that, such dim and fitful light


at

Abstract

of the

Rhetoric
a

about 1782, and on Florence, containing

discovered of Longinus, in the Laurentian manuscript


notes
on

Moscow
at

Library

twenty-four

the title of the manuscript The chief value Ruhnken's confirm

indicates,

from

rhetoric, derived, as ginus. the Rhetoric of Lonis that, if it does


not
or

of the

Abstract

that conjecture

the treatise of Longinus,

rather a Apsines,

portion of it, had got mixed up with the treatise by it makes because the theory highly probable, much of it corresponds in a remarkable way with the portion of Apsines
restored,

through
at

Ruhnken's

to conjecture,

Longinus.

But

the

manuscript
scanty
as

Florence

is anything

but

Apsines
how

it is, it contains in the Abstract or little confidence

much which at Moscow.


can

Short and conclusive. is not found either in It will be seen, fore, therein arguments drawn character

be
or

placed
even

from

the phraseology,

the style, and

the relic.

general

of this most

rickety

unsatisfactory
R

242
as

POETRY
they

AND
on

CRITICISM
flickers in favour

do

cast

the

subject,
to

of
the

claims Treatise. The Weiske, has,

the

of

Longinus

the

authorship

of

fragment, vindicating

for

example, numbered vii in the immateriality of the soul,

quite the note of particularly at the conclusion, Professor Vaucher has himself Sublimitate. the De

drawn

to a attention in the Rhetoric.

very In

remarkable

parallel

passage

the Treatise words


vou
TO,

the (sect, ii)

author

finely calls
"

"

beautiful
ovri

the very

thought

(?"""$ ycif"
we

TO)

i'dtov roS

tia^a. oyo/uara)

light of : in

find "pu$ yap uo-Trep TMV if. Kai svvowfMiTuv 6 TOIOJ/TOJ*o'yo$. The citations from Proclus, "7nxtti{iv\iAa.'Tuv Eusebius, John of Sicily, and others, included by the Rhetoric
how the fragments, show among large a space literary criticism of a parallel kind to in the Sublime filled in the writings that found of

Professor

Vaucher

Longinus.
author

We
a
M

learn,

for instance,

that he

was

the
as

of

series

of literary

discourses
must

known have

or ol pixo'xoyoj

ptxoAoyoi o/^ix/ai, which


as

been

very

others have suggested formed have Sublimitate courses. disa part of these may is This by conjecture certainly supported John of Sicily, who, in an unmistakable reference to in the third section of the Sublime treatthe passage ing " But about : these things observes of bombast, Longinus with more precision in the twentyspeaks first book of his Qfootoyoi." It is, also, at least significant works Longinus had

voluminous, cited. Walz and

the

twenty-first

book

of it is that the De

that

written

dealing
most
on

who
1

are

cited

particularly with those authors frequently in the Sublime, four


See Vaucher, Etudes,
p. 306.

Commentary

Hermogenes.

LONGINUS
on

AND
two
on

GREEK
Plato,

CRITICISM
as

243
the

Homer,

citations
more on on

given by Proclus his style than on Meidias

commenting, and Olympiodorus his philosophy,


an

show,

and

one

the

a which limitate.

of Demosthenes, is quoted striking passage

oration in the De

from

Sub-

then, it may review of the evidence, be contended that, if the arguments urged against the to the authorship claims of Longinus of the Treatise
a

On

general

be conclusively refuted, they can, impartially, be seriously shaken, and far from having still very reached such
can

not

if examined
that
a

we

are

degree

probability
name

as

would

justifyus

from

the title-page

In

bringing
to
a

this long,

in withdrawing of the Treatise. I fear wearisome, and

of his

discussion

forbear adding, that the close I cannot for its necessity lies with Professor responsibility Roberts. His book will, I hope, become a text-book
at

the

Universities,

but

nothing

can

be

more

inadequat

than that portion of the unsatisfactory deals with the important which question discussed here. The are claims of Longinus to be so baseless and that they assumed untenable and Prolegomena
are

not

even

debated; the work

and yet, with singular is attributed to him on

inconsist the

title-page.

IV
The
or

contributions
at

of the Greeks such


be owned,

to

all events
us, are,

contributions

literary ism, critichave come as

down

to

it must

exceedingly

dis-

244 appointing. by people


such

POETRY
It might whom the

AND
have

CRITICISM
been that a expected been carried to inquiry powers in literary

fine arts
in whom

had

and

perfection, dialectics

and had

philosophical
such
rare

developed
have

of analysis,

would

criticism worthy in creative art. very beginning, inferior hands. second with
we

left masterpieces beside their masterpieces to stand But this is not the case. From the
into the

fallen to have criticism seems Its earliest representatives were


men

Rhapsodists,
interpretation

who

blended Of

recitation these
men

and

commentary.
contemptuous

have

Ion

and

lively and in Xenophon's


a

Symposmm.
"

"

in the picture Do you know asks one of the " ven, No, by Heathey
mostly
not
ever

greater

fools than

the Rhapsodists?

characters I do

in Xenophon's
not!" is the

dialogue.
reply.1

Whether
were

committed with
but, that be

their

criticisms, which Homer, to writing,


we

concerned

does

appear,
to

if they
their
the

did,
exact

know

enough analogies late Mr.

of them

know

modern of
at

critiques

the

probably would Gilfillan, and of


Nor
were

Christopher

North

his worst. criticism


was

matters
as

improved much it next by was, chiefly confined Homer,

when the

philosophers. itself to allegorizing


to

represented, In their hands

it

and

discovering

rationand alizing in him symbolic moral,

anticipations and the physical, prophet.

of particular

truths, theological, the the interpreter


was

of which Such was

himself

goras, Stesimbrotus, Euhemerus.


1

employment of AnaxaMetrodorus of Lampsacus, and

Ola~6a. TI

ol JjXiSiiTtjov oJv "0vo{,""f"n. pa-^tutent]


"

jua

TOV

A".

"

LONGINUS
In the

AND
Periclean in
our

GREEK
age
the

CRITICISM
criticism which no press found,
What has

245 its

counterpart

popular

doubt, and
the

voluminous weekly

expression.
us, were
was

Punch

of the irresponsible

reviews are to Old Comedy


tribunal

Aristophanes
to

Athens.

and the poets Before this

dragged How

candidate
partly
on

for literary fame.

every prominent he fared depended

the personal partly of his censor, prejudices he belonged, on the clique or faction to which and partly to what could be got out of him in the way of We have excellent and no doubt typical amusement. specimens Acharnians,

of

this
in the

criticism

in

the

Frogs,

in

the

Thesmophoriazusae,
and
Epicrates.

fragments

of Antiphanes
treatises
on

criticism
one

produced

in the and Of the tematic sysduring the

Periclean
the remarks

age

not

remains, them,

quoted

from

and, judging from the loss is not to be

regretted. No greater
fact that Plato he

calamity gave
to

has

befallen

letters than

the

metaphysics

have might to the fine arts.


are

passages

to criticism given Scattered his writings up and down in which be found the germs may of the
on

and politics what in its application

philosophical which criticism was the first to discern and maintain that that what the fine arts are modes they of imitation is not the particular and accidental, but the represent and essential, and that the breath of their universal

profoundest He rests.

truths

"

life is divine

inspiration,

like our own avail. But, wilful elaborate contributions and fanatical, and his most to literary criticism express so contradictory opinions he has to are so elsewhere maintained what and

they are without which Ruskin, Plato was

of

no

246 singularly
almost

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM
that they might

and perverse unintelligent for irony. be mistaken criticism

Whether
of know
and

Socrates
that
on

we

advanced have

under
no means

the other

ciples dis-

of

judging.
on on

We

Crito
the

poetry
the

Simon wrote and Simmias beautiful,


a

treatises
a

treatise

Glauco epic, and Plato's own disciples


"

dialogue
most

on

Euripides.

Of
after
"

the

distinguished,
course,

Aristotle
was

we

are

Heraclides

speaking, of Pontus,

of

of criticism
of
on

the
a

author

several poetry

treatises, the loss of one of which, reasons and the poets, is for many The

treatise greatly

to

be

regretted

Hellas criticism of pre-Alexandrian in Aristotle and in his most distinguished culminated disciple Theophrastus, once of whose voluminous few ments, a are all that remain short fragcritical writings

and Aristotle

one

entire

work.

concerned

himself

with

criticism,

not

cause be-

taste special aptitude and of any departmentof studies, but simply because, as a

for

such human

in his survey. He comprehended he brought to everything to it what brought else, a nation, most and logical intellect, subtle discrimipowerful for methodimmense erudition, and a mania izing;

knowledge,

it was

and
qualities

by
deficient

else. In all the finer plied and instincts of the critic, in all that is immore signally aesthetic sensibility, he was he brought nothing
than
our
own

Johnson.
exact

He

reduced
in

criticism the

to an

science

narrowed ; but such

and
ciples prin-

as are of rhetoric poetry and direct application he of precise definition and capable Thus fixed for ever. deduced the Poetic and and in some Rhetoric the most are respects precious

theory

LONGINUS

AND

GREEK

CRITICISM

247

have been to criticever contributions which ism made appointi to modern ; in others, and especially readers, disHow far Aristotle to exasperation. even
was

original, and

how

far indebted is
a

to

contemporaries, The now. answered

and
he

question

his predecessors be cannot which in

germ
to

of

certainly owed been by preceded

Plato,

much his and


treatises

his

Poetic

Rhetoric

had
from

numerous

issuing

the schools of Rhodes.

of Athens, We know,

of Sicily, of Pergamus, and for example, finitio that in his debeen

and

in his neither in his analysis, and that by far the greater nor method part of his practical precepts had long been commonplaces. Aristotle either directly, or through his disciples,
was

of rhetoric Tisias; that

he had
he

anticipated

by

Corax

original

left his mark


In his recension

on

of

every department the Iliad and


on

of criticism. Odyssey, the and


other

in the commentaries in the classics, and

Homer, Didascaliae

Hesiod,

compiled

under
were

his

directions,
the

he

initiated

occupy

chief

attention

which of critics during

studies

to

several

generations. With the Alexandrian

be age Greek criticism may It passed out its third stage. said to have entered on into of the hands of dilettants and of philosophers
those

of pedants

and

grammarians,

and

confined

itself

the

almost entirely to philology Alexandrian our scholiasts


one,

To and antiquities. debt is certainly a

considerable
to
our

and,

had

they

confined

themselves

the

sphere

gratitude

in which they were qualified to excel, But have been without reserve. would

They they did not. confounded unfortunately They be distinguished. the mistook should

what
means

248 of exegesis

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM
and they taught
others
to

for the ends;

the same make be associated

Criticism ceased to capital mistake. functions, either being with its higher
to

directed
mere

entirely

such

points

as

are

and grammarians philologists, " into a number itself, as Bacon puts it, I may call them, and, as

of interest to dissolving or

of idle, unwholesom vermiculate

In the long list of critical treatises comquestions." posed during the Alexandrian age it is remarkable dicates that there is, I believe, not one certainly inwhich that than the treatment
was of the subject other historical. So completely,

either philological or indeed, was the distinction higher scholars Pergamus and aspects

between
sense

and

in the

criticism in which

in its these of

it lost, that, though understood denied was that a grammarian

Crates
a

critic,

that maintained criticism, he confined

grammar
the
term

was

to

to subordinate illustrative commentary.

critical literature They became impress.

On

these the

men

left

an

indelible
a

founders

of

dynasty

which

has

and which have been


to

day, to the present remained unbroken has its representatives letters wherever When Swift facetiously traced studied. the Pope pedigree described of those
as

Aristarchus

critics whom every


sense,

his friend

possessing

accomplish

whom

he humour
to

has

except himself

spirit, taste, and delineated with so

and
truth been

and

in the Tale

of a

Tub,

unjust that particular scholar, not unjustto most of that scholar's


was ousness,

he may but he was

much have

certainly disciples. There mind


to

always
to

tendency

in the Greek
importance

to

frivolto

attach

undue

trifles,

LONGINUS
peddle
the
mere

AND

GREEK

CRITICISM

249

with

itself on nice distinctions, and to waste While Greece was exercise of ingenuity.
all this

in her

glory

had

been

great

community

makes

of their national involved was which


themselves, and
was

great life, and

for a in check, tinctio citizens, but the ex-

kept

the loss of everything in it, threw the Greeks on


this their innate
now

developed
a

infirmity.
a

What

before

tendency
a

became

habit,

grew and soon In nothing

into is

distinguishing
more

characteristic.

this

criticism. Of its degeneracy ; its degeneracy age we have justspoken succeeding is the what
A.D.

in than conspicuous during the Alexandrian

is equally
more

apparent. when
we

And

in the ages acy this degenerit with 60 and

striking

compare
B.C.

Rome
1 20
"

produced the brilliant


two

between treatises

about

Poetica

and

of Cicero, the Ars on the Dialogue epistles of Horace,

Oratory,
in
some

the great
cases

as severely portions as technical the treatises of Demetrius and Hermobut impressed of a large and with the stamp genes, liberal intelligence, with energy and pregnant and

masterpiece in some and

of

Quintilian, works

discernible in what is nothing In the treatises left us. the Greeks of that age have in early life of the contemporary of Dionysius, in the class-room Cicero, we are of a professor of life. Of
this

there

rhetoric,

mechanically

imparting
we are

what
in

has

been

mechanically
room

acquired;
philological a history
"

the

dissectinglies the
or

of

composition occasionally

anatomist. it may be, Every


out

There
or
an

oration,

poem.

every artery is traced is demonstrated but

and

nerve, every laid bare, everything

bone,

what

constitutes

its charm,

250

POETRY

AND but
no

CRITICISM
the
secret

discovered everything There to be appears


cannot

of

its

life.

sense

of anything

which which from

cannot

be submitted be defined application

to
as

precise analysis, and legitimate deductions


canons.

the

of

conventional

Of

the

of the philosophy of taste, of the philosophy of the beautiful, of the relation of Nature to Art and of Art to Nature, of the influence temperament exercised by individual and social and
principles of criticism,

historical
artist,

Homer,
are

activity of a literary is said. The a not masterpieces word of of Plato, of Demosthenes, of Thucydides, conditions
on

the

as merely contemplated models of composition. But within this contracted the analytical sphere is indeed displayed It is extraordinary. subtlety

seen

in its perfection

in the two

sius on Composition De Inventions and


mogenes, and,

and on the De Formis


"

of Dionyin the the Attic Orators,


treatises

Oratoriis

of Her-

of

terseness

cepted,

of Demetrius.1

for the work is a model all above lucidity, and, a little peddling exand in the De Elocution* sense good of
"

However

much

we

may

regret

the

purely

would kind they


1

scholastic have been


are

character
poorer

of these works, criticism for their loss, for of their

classics.
this admirable treatise should not it is best the editor ; perhaps practical
that
ever

It is extraordinary found have a modern


manual
on

composition be most of it would

written

even

popular

tion transla-

applicable

is to those
been

for it is as entertaining, useful and in English forms of composition it as to the various has in Greek. the Treatise [Sincethis was written

translated
and

and

edited of

as

translation

the

companion Treatise on

to his edivolume tion by Dr. the Sublime

Rhys

Roberts.]

LONGINUS
But,
metres,

AND
we

GREEK

CRITICISM

251

if

value,
we

which the De

on the treatise of Hephaestion except has, however, but a technical nothing

Sublimitate,

and

an

shall

presently other

refer, this cannot

to which essay be said for the

numerous

survived It would centuries. name the loose and


which Strabo. Lucian up
are

have

to contributions criticism from the first, second, and

which

third this

absurd desultory
on
a

be

to

dignify

with

observations par

tarch, of Pluthose

exactly
some

with

of

has

excellent

remarks

and

down

phanes,
History
satirists Dyscolos,

his works, in The Teacher

of

in particularly Orators, and in but his place

scattered the Lexithe

HOTO

Should
rather

be Written,
than

and Aelius Apsines, like


simply

critics. among Herodianus were


the

is among Apollonius grammarians. before and


one

mere

Anonymi
straw.

after him,
at

thrashes

the

But

writer,

the end

of the first and

the beginning

deserves particular century A.D., drawn example attention to the remarkable is to be found in criticism which orations Pheidias

of the second Egger has notice. of philosophical


one

of the

of

Dion

Chrysostom

*
"

the

Olympicus.

how he as explaining represented formed pian the Olymthe conception of his great statue, Religion Zeus. Tracing Art and to the same
is there
source
"

Divine
between

Truth them, in

"

Dion
as

dwells

on

the

close

alliance

ideas, ideas
to
as

innate

man's

embodiments of divine He then goes on soul.

compare well
on as

the plastic arts with poetry, and contrasts imlaments posed the limitations necessarily

the sculptor with the freer scope of the poet it will be seen, It contains, the germ of Lessing's
1

Oral.,

xii. Works,

Ed.

Arnim,

vol. i, 155 seqq.

252
thesis

POETRY
in the Laocoon, enthusiasm have which this, and

AND

CRITICISM
it is written eloquence. down to has
at

and and
come

critiques

us

extrawith ordinary Of all the from antiquity,


or something now

this alone, of the work

the

note,
we

of the note, arrived. The De


not

which

have

Sublimitate,
us

reached lines, or more


as

like the Poetic of Aristotle, has in its entirety. About nine hundred
a

than
are

third of it, have and


words,

been
occur,

lost, but

the lacunae

exception
the work,
no

occasional, of a few apparently they


are

with

the of and

in the body

comparatively

The either its method it to a young Roman, apparently addresses author had been studying his pupil, who with him a treatise in

way

obscure

unimportant, or its scope.

on

the

sublime

Both had
nor

It unsatisfactory. how the sublime could be attained neither shown defined is, to say had it even the sublime what

of them

written had found

by

Caecilius

of

Calacte.

it most

nothing

of other

the pupil for a desire his views


"

serious had, the master


of knowledge, the

defects.
out

At

the

request

of

of kindness and been persuaded he exhorts


him both

respect
to

on

and subject,

give his fellow"

for so he courteously regards student investigation in an which should, with have truth, and truth only, for its
"
"

to

join

object.

of them, " For he


"

Pythagoras the reference well answered 4 in what 'who, qualities we asked resemble when declared that we do so in benevolence the Gods, and
truth."1 opens. We With this

is to

charming

prelude

the

treatise

may

begin

by
1

remarking
Chap,
i, 3.

that

''sublimity,"

LONGINUS
in the Greek here, is by
no

AND

GREEK
of the
term,

CRITICISM
and
as

253

sense means

it is employed
"

synonymous

with

in the English

affinity with for a technical in


a

of the term, it. It is here used,


sense

though
partly
as

sublimity" it has some


a

synonym

term

in rhetoric,
to

sense or

peculiar

the writer.

partly perhaps and Among the various

the ancient styles of composition, which critics have distinguished which and defined, is one different names but with a common appears under
species character
"

this is the

"grand"

or

"magnificent" defined by and befitting a great


the the
title of

It is described by Aristotle style. " " Demetrius or as magnificent,"


"

man
"

Cicero (ntya^oTrpt'nys) ; by
;

under
under

grandiloqua" style blending

by

Dionysius

title of

of the "harsh" characteristics (yiatpupov) the "polished ("y"7T"pov) elegant" and and by Hermogenes indicative as of "greatness" and
the

Caecilius (/u"7E0o$).
apply though
had
In

the

term

the

adjective
been

been to have the first to appears " " height" to it, or elevation," t/^oj, i.e.,i4"x"V" to i^oj, corresponding

already

used

by

Dionysius

to

describe

it.1

this treatise the word gives it its title signifies which in the qualities indicated included all that was these be technical
terms,

by may

and,

to

judge

from

what

from the extant analyses of them, gathered Its elasticity, indeed, perplexed besides. more much If we Gibbon take and was ridiculed by Macaulay.
two on remarks, stand deduced directly from them,
our

and
we
"

to

the meaning sublimity of it isacertain "loftiness and excellence


1

"

be may what the key shall have here interpreted as ;


on

in expression"
"

J" ic^nXfl
10.

uttl jusyaXaTTpSTP:? oix

If TIM

Ava-iov Xe"ij. De

xiii,

254

POETRY
Koyuv

AND
l"rn

CRITICISM
ra

"%oxn rig
"

it is ty*),1

"

the

great includes

soul

(i^oj, fAtya^otppoauws earnxjdfM).'


expresses grand
can

echo of It thus in

all that

conceptions with
the

magnificent

language,
exalt

all that

of words
affections,
passionate

and

thrill the

mind,

excite

power in the

and

especially and,

in the

sympathy,
ornate,

nobler affections, be the apparel, whatever

exquisite or homely, all that invests distinction, dignity is with grandeur and whatever is the sublime. This embodied and represented. simple
or

The

first question be reduced can

not
some

innate

and a interesting

sublime to rule, or whether rather it is This leads to pure gift of nature. on the relation of Art to remarks
to
are

discussed

is, whether

the

and of expression relations, it is maintained, according


to

Nature

inspiration.

Their

Demosthenes,

precisely those which, tune forexist between good fortune


is undoubtedly the

the

and good counsel. first of blessings,


; yet,

Good
and

good

if the second be without be the second quite useless, the first without may At this point occurs too. the first lacuna, useless second and
we

counsel only the first may

of
what

the

find ourselves false sublime

in the

middle

of

discussion

(in

other

is called

The (tvxpoTVf).

parenthyrsus first is an affectation

bombast), (vretpevSvpirQs), and frigidity


words, of
an

enthusiasm

which thing

is not

felt, the language tumidity;


no

of passion

itself, mere where where

of passion in excess

passion
to

the second is required, be subdued.

the without is the display


or

it ought

of passion The third

is puerility perpetual
1

(TO(jieipootiukf), conceited
after preciosity
i, 3.
Sublim.y

straining
De

the affectation, and fine writing,


2

Id., ix,

2.

LONGINUS
of
4

AND

GREEK
the
"most
"

CRITICISM
ignoble"
"

255
and
the

all literary

vices

'direct antithesis of Anatole bien,


c'est

of the sublime exactly " France, Gardons-nous

the ment sentid'ecrire

trop

la pire maniere

qu'il y ait d'ecrire."


are

And,
to

he adds

in words
our own

which
current

much

of

only too applicable literature, "All impropriet from


one common

in literature
cause,

spring
in

the

ideas, which

rage for is simply

novelty
a

the
most

expression

of

craze

with

of the writers

of the present day." fear that Mr. We


and
his disciples

R.

L. Stevenson
would

generally,

occasionally, have had short

shrift from this critic. From to the false he passes the true sublime. After observing it is as that it is with the sublime with the common be held really
to

objectsof
great
as

which

life, that nothing should it is a mark of greatness distinctions,

despise,

such

riches,

honours,
which

and

"any pomp
so,

of those and

things of

have

the

superfine

trappings

the

stage

he continues,
"

it should be

be with

them"; about literary tions, composi-

we

should

to

to

those admire despise. And


us

careful not to allow ourselves it would be creditable to us which he then, in a very noble passage,
the real test of the sublime
it
were
:

furnishes
If and
we we

with
our

feel
as

souls

pride,

though

lifted up, filled as had we ourselves

with

joy

to

read ; if it inspires us with it expresses, us more than


and

what originated lofty thoughts, suggests itself on brands our memories,


by the

gains
then
we

rather may

than be

loses
sure

repeated

and

study,

Sublime

perusals has expressed

itself.1
1

De

Sub.,

vii.

256
It
was

POETRY
on

AND

CRITICISM

Conde
Voila
on

that the great passage " in rapture, Voila le sublime! exclaimed " l ! The son caractere veritable goes author

hearing

this

to

say

"

perhaps

no

better

definition

of

what

must

constitute
"

the supreme

be given all and


For ages,
same

that true

standard of taste could is that which sublimity pleases

pleases

always:
of different hold

men when languages,

pursuits, lives, aspirations, identical views on one the and


results, elements,
our so

subject, then
from
a

that

speak,
us

concert

verdict, which of heterogeneous in the

to

gives

unshaken

confidence

objectof

admiration.2

From
to

these

general the
sources

remarks

the Treatise

enumerate

five.

The by

first and
art,

most

of the sublime. important cannot


the second,

proceeds They are


be
acquired

and

is, like

the

gift of

nature,

the

power
voweif

of

forming

grand
comes

conceptions

(TO Tctpi rag


and Then

inspired the three

; next vehement a3jsE0roj3oxov) (TOatpotyov passion xai Mowruwruibv Trafioj)

formation

are which of figures, both

the those

result

of art,

the due

of expression comprising

(noia
the

TUV

"rx,n(juzTuv

and those diction, ; noble 7r;\a"r"f)


use

of thought

choice

and

elaboration and lastly, dignified and

the of words, of language

of metaphors

elevated

(yenaia "ppa"ri"; ev ("" composition

Dugald
De Sub.,

Stewart,

Works,

vol.

v,

p. 381.

I cannot

vii, 4. but think, that

in opposition here means, fl-uvflsmj


but

to not

the

mentators, editors and comit generally what

the combination of all the composition, composition of the work, qualities justspecified in the general be paraphrased tout "general so as that it may ensemble,
means,

simply

LONGINUS

AND

GREEK

CRITICISM

257
that
that be

It is in dealing

the great grandeur simulated


the

note

with the first of these sources of the Treatise is struck, namely,

in composition
nor

induced.
expression
must

and style It must be of the


we man

can

neither

in the

artist, the
we

soul of himself. To
we

write nobly live nobly. that


men

think, possible,

must

feel,

must

It is not
mean

says

with

and

prevailing

throughout

servile their lives

this great ideas and

critic,
aims

should
a

produce
which

anything which might have been

is admirable. In written by Ruskin

passage

he thus

accounts

for the degradation


The
us us

of art and

literature:
all of
make body

love

now

a disease we are of money, with which insatiably infected, and the love of pleasure,
"

or their slaves rather, say, plunge : the one and soul, into the abyss of degradation

I should

us,
a

malady

that

dwarfs Nor,
us,

men, on

the

other

malady

that

ignoble.
for

if

we

reflection, honour

can
so

I discover

them makes it is sible how pos-

highly,

or,

to

speak

more

God, to guard boundless a our wealth correctly, make able inseparare the entrance of those evils which souls from is immoderate it. For wherever from and wealth
in close extravagance, unrestrained, it, so to speak, as step by step ; and opens the gates of cities and houses And in and dwells there. enters

conjunction,
soon as

follows

the former

the

latter straightway
a

after

while

these

two

build

nests

in the lives of
very and
soon

expressed

it, and and

philosophers breeding propagate,


no

men,

as

have

latanry charof

vanity

luxury,

bastard

progeny

Should these their parents, but quite legitimate. to maturity, be allowed to come they of wealth in the soul, insolence, inexorable beget tyrants
" totum." effect." It is precisely Horace's " totum Infelix operis summa quia ponere

children
speedily lawless-

Cf. Ars

Poet., 34, 35,

Nesciet."

258
ness,

POETRY
and
men

AND
And

CRITICISM
so

shamelessness.

lift up longer will no for fame, but the complete regard be wrought, the nobler gradually
that

be, necessarily, their eyes, or have any

it will

away, and pining and fading What the geniuses wastes and consumes of the present in which, with few exceptions, we pass age is the apathy lives, merely our and working striving to get applause is useful and what to do what would and pleasure, never
. .

ruin of such lives will faculties of the soul becoming despicable.


"

secure

the

praise

which

is worth

having

and

worth

our

effort.1

the vitality, the power, all that constitute the glory of literature are enervated and corrupted No one is in earnest, is one no at their very source.
serious.

Thus,

What

is wanted and

of cleverness pretty
that poems,

slaves likely to demand are


is this, he asks

charming fribbles and


in

be obtained, the perfection trifling, brilliant speeches, disquisitions all, in fact,


can
"

of parts and
scorn,

and

ments accomplishto

competent what
come

supply.
what

And

oratory, salvation happier dides, them


to
our

have criticism what lies in getting back times


"

poetry, The to? demi-gods


to

only

to to

the
Homer,

of

ol iaofeoi
to

SHEIVOI,

Thucymaking
our

Plato,

Demosthenes,
our

and and For,

in

companions, and
:

guides

teachers,
as

standards, says
The

our

touchstones.

he

fully beauti-

the tripod, she approaches of Apollo, when from is inspired by the divine vapour the rift exhaling it, so from the great beneath natures of the men of old in about borne the souls of those who there are emulate

Priestess

them,

as

from

sacred
1

caves,

what
xliv.

we

may

describe

as

De

Sub.,

LONGINUS
effluences,
are so

AND
that

GREEK
who
seem

CRITICISM

259

they

thereby

inspired,
'

and

little likely to be sessed posbecome the great with

greatness

of others.

We

should

live

as

in their

ask ourselves, Thucydides,

when writing, Plato, Demosthenes or or and


what

presence. how would

We

should Homer, or have

expressed

themselves, if we

would

be their verdict,

to them. we were writing submitted what Such was the author the spirit in which of this Treatise the study of the Old Masters, approached

it as minute from this study ; and sympathetic These his criteria of literary excellence.
a

study

as

profound

and

was

were

passionately derived

not

infallible.
"

If the
is, by

Treatise

has

not

criteria are interbeen polated

which

the

way,
or

"

they

sometimes

produced,

extremely at least were

likely,2
compatible

But they results. with, most unsatisfactory him to reveal to others to him revealed and enabled the real secret of literary immortality, of genuine excellence, greatness, of genuine and they furnished
him
1

with
See De

very

Ithuriel's

spear
is
no

for the detection

of

was

Sub., xiii, 5. There with Longinus, acquainted in his Discoveries, "Such


best
as

indication that Ben


there

Jonson
to

but

is

this passage
endigenere\ with

Section

De

close Stylo et

parallel

Optimo scrib-

accustom

themselves

the

them
when

which
2

anon and shall ever in themselves, even of their minds, and in the expression like theirs they feel it not, and be able to utter something Ed. CunWorks, ningham, hath an their own." authority above

authors

familiar and are find somewhat of

"

vol. iii,411-412. It is difficult to suppose could in sect, Odyssey


xv,

that the author


some

of the rest remarks

of the
about

Treatise

have

written
x,

of the stupid criticism

the

and

the
x.

of the noble

simile

in

Iliad,

624-628,

in sect.

2"5o
their has
no

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM
false note escapes

counterfeits.

No

him;
who
never

he

mismeasurements. from trips, is separated

Apollonius,
Homer,

which

and badly tripping, by the divides talent from genius. Hyperides be proved may

is often tripping, who barrier impassable The all-accomplished

innumerable unite has no pretension


equal observes, eminently Sophocles
or "are

to categorically Demosthenes virtues to which but Demosthenes remains out with-

"Bacchylides second: faultless and in the beautiful,

and

Ion,"

he

elegant and often become

school polished Pindar and while

and aAo'yaj)
in his
senses
as

fail most
regard

unaccountably But deplorably.

dull would of Ion drama

(tr"enwrau
anyone
put
together

an
"

all the works for the single equivalent


*

of the

Oedipusl
The whether without
or

four

sections

the palm flaws and

in which the author should be given to works defects, but deficient


by marked in estimating prefer

discusses
which
are

to

of

are works which faults, and whether,


we

in grandeur, but full grandeur comparative

excellence,

should

are quality to quantity, is certainly nothing more in which, the superiority passage while maintaining he deduces to faultless mediocrity, of the faulty sublime for such preference from the innate the reasons

to quality, or quantity interest. There of singular in criticism than the noble

nobility him to

of the

man,

from

the

instinct the

which
reaches

attracts

"thoughts and

beyond

of his

frame,"
streamlet, tiny,
1

to immensity

grandeur.

Of
our

the pellucid

he

clear,

says, which quenches burning flame which


*

our

thirst, of the hands have


"

Sect, xxxiii, 2025.

Sect, xxxiii

xxxvi.

LONGINUS
kindled,
we

AND

GREEK
avail

CRITICISM
ourselves, is reserved

261
are

gratefully

for they
not

But our admiration of use. is serviceable, but for what expands for the stupendous phenomena souls,
"

for what
thrills
our

and

of nature,

for

the

overwhelming
of
ocean,
so

and

rivers magnificence of mighty for the great luminaries of heaven,

though

often

overshadowed,

for the

awe-compelling

splendours
Etna.1 And
so

of the

rock-belching

desolating

he

goes

on

to

say,

that what

constitutes

the superiority

possesses sublimity of a writer who has every gift and accomplishment to a writer who in other words, measures what without sublimity, Homer between Apollonius, tween bethe distance and
"

Demosthenes

and
no

Hyperides,

between

Plato

and

Lysias of

"

is in
errors

presence

way affected and blemishes.


mere

by the absence or When sublimity the


sun.

is present,

they

are

spots

on

When

sublimity of the
sun

is absent, concern of what is the absence of the he

in the absence All other spots?

qualities, their them


errors

continues be to possessors
near

in
men,

his

enthusiasm,

prove raises from alone

but

the

majesty
from

of

God.
but

sublimity Immunity sublimity

relieves

censure,

excites admiration.3 is much There more

suggestive and Treatise over we truly say inspiring which may have been gladly linger. It would every critic would
a

in this most

pleasure
canons

to

dwell

on

critical

its on and which illustrations of them; on the judgements equally admirable in it on so the great classics, at once passed
1

other many it has laid down,

the

admirable

Sect.

xxxv.

Sect, xxxiii.

262

POETRY
so

AND

CRITICISM

discriminating

and Demosthenes

tween on the parallels beeloquent; thenes DemosHyperides, and and criticism

the magnificent and Cicero; on the Iliad) and the sublime comparison the
sun

of
to

of Homer

and

to

the

sea

; and

above

characteristics of one who may ideal critic alike in aim, almost in temper. But it would
comment
on

all, on the general be described an as in method, in culture, be to superfluous


to

of this noble That

must what Treatise.

be obvious

every

student

which its great only

to testimonies authoritative in criticism should not value as a text-book have sities, Univerno place in the curricula of our but be practically in their schools, unknown
so

work has had

which
many

has

been

so

influential, and

is surely hope be edition,

matter

for very
that

indulged
which, with

surprise. great Professor Rhys

Let

the

Roberts's
at

all its deficiencies,

has

least the it

the merit
effect is.

of being

sound this

and

helpful,
for

will have
a

of removing

reproach:

reproach

THE

TRUE

FUNCTIONS
POETRY

OF

f^ESSERNsollen
1
J
es

uns

ist klaglich,
noch

wenn

der Poesie: alle Gattungen dieses erst beweisen man


es
"

muss;

kldglicher

ist

wenn

es

Dichter

giebt

die selbst daran ought to improve

zweilfeln.
us

"Every

; it is deplorable

of poetry if this has to be if there


are

kind

demonstrated,
poets who Matthew

it is still more doubt themselves also


was

deplorable it.
never
"

'

So wrote
weary

Lessing.
us

Arnold

of telling

to conceive of poetry worthily, to conought ceive of higher uses of it,that is to say, as capable and in general called to higher destinies than those which

that

we

men

have, it; and

at

least in modern

times, hitherto
we

assigned

to

that to

this end

must

poetry
a

to a ourselves strict judgement. Let us not between poets of the first order

accustom

in conceiving of high standard and forget that the distinction

the
a

order is not a secondary As distinction in essence. the hierarchy

and poets of distinction in degree but Browning


it,2 expresses it is the presence

"In

of the highest of its kind, not

in virtue degree; no pretension of a lower the completeness nature, whatever of development or the precedency of the variety of effect, impeding
1

of creative minds faculty that gives first rank,

Hamburgische
Essay
on

Dramaturgic,

"

Shelley,

printed

26, 1768. in Furnivall's Bibliography

Jan.

of

Robert

Browning,

p. 18.

264
rarer

POETRY
endowment in conceiving by
those dispute, Pindar,

AND though

CRITICISM
only Let us in the germ." conceive of it as represented
no one

then

of poetry
whose the

title to pre-eminence

would Isaiah,

Psalms, authors, say, of the Virgil, Dante, Aeschylus, Sophocles,

Spenser,
Let
by
to
us

Shakespeare,
ourselves

Milton,
what

Goethe,
poetry, what

Wordsworth.
as

ask

ends

them,
us,

is designed truths
us.

to serve,

represented gospel it delivers


lessons what have the good

what

it teaches

And

it opens to out in this inquiry

us, we

fortune

be assisted by excellent guides. If the poet is the interpreter of God to mankind, the critic is the interpreter of the poet to individual For what men. Bacon observes of studies is, in a great measure,
to true

also

of poetry,
at
to

"it

teacheth

not

its

own

use,"

and especially be of most use

that
us.

time
To
as

in
how

our

life when
of
us

many

it may did the

study of such works two and Wordsworth's Howinadequately message lighted


to

Sidney's

Defence of Poesie
as

prefaces come and imperfectly was

revelation.

Shakespeare's

terpret inan till it found understood in Coleridge, have since and in those who in the from his! How dim their torches mankind
or

eclipsing radiance Christianity, as we

that gospel, it, too, in the Odyssey,

of shadow mighty it, had grown to express choose finds its embodidivine, which ment

under

the

in
own

Pindar,
time

in Aeschylus,

in

Sophocles,

till in

our

Matthew

Arnold

and of
us

others, re-interpreting, re-illumined forget the hour when Carlyle's can made
and the

it. Who burning


articulate

words
to
us,

Divine
to
us

Comedy
what

become

revealed

might

solace, sustainment, and be found in its stern gospel?

inspirati

THE

TRUE

FUNCTIONS
are

OF

POETRY

265

the poets, these the critics who will teach us best the true functions of poetry, teach to understand us that the chief office of poetry is not
surely, merely
to

These,

give

amusement,

not

merely

to

be

the

expression

of the feelings, good or bad, of mankind, knowledge to increase our or nature of human and life, but that, if it includes this mission, of human it includes also a mission far higher, the revelation,
namely,

which

of ideal truth, the revelation is but the shadow this world of the
eternal, the the

of that world of drossy or copy,


unchanging and and of

the the

revelation typical

which

underlies

unsubstantial earth's empire

ever-dissolving
matter

and
was

phenomena It was time.

of
this

function
Arnold

of
when,

poetry with

which
so

indicated

by Matthew

" the applicasubtle truth, he defined it as tion of ideas to life," and it was with this conception its future to be immense, of it that he pronounced

much

on, that, as time went prophesied mankind find an ever surer and surer stay in it. would Here then let us, for a while, take our stand ; let " the application us of ideas say of poetry that it is

and

to

life." But,

as

in thus

describing
I must
a

it, we
ask

are

using
with
mean

technical
me

language,
I explain

while by

little

more

you fully what


meant

really to bear
we

"ideas,"

and

"that
drossy

world copy." and

of which
It
was

also was is the this world

what

by
or

shadow

the

habit

of the

clothe

convey

truths

pre-eminent

stands media fables, of Socrates,


two

among Plato.

in symbolic have those who Plato, speaking all know,

to ancients fictions, and

chosen such in the person


that there
are

as

we

worlds,

the material

world,

the world

of

matter,

266

POETRY
is perceptible phenomenal, decaying,

AND by

CRITICISM
the
senses,
no

which
purely

but

which

is perpetually

having perishing,

real existence,

wax

whose ever-melting impressing itself to be eternally

on

changing, form matter

the

mere

is eternally The obliterated.

other

is

of form,
of what

by the senses, not perworld perceptible ceptible by intelligence, the world only voVij, pure this is the world of ideas, of essence, and
phenomenally
are

ideas, self-existent and What the only real entities. uncreate, exists in the in the world by the world of matter, perceptible has only a sort of quasi-existence, senses exists only

of what

really not is. Eternal

exists, the

world

those

in

so

far

as

it reflects
a

or

participates

in those
a

real

essences,

is

mere
a

copy,

but copy of the divine,


The

wretchedly
eternal

not and merely imperfect copy

or

perishable image there.

and

perfect

archetypes

One

Heaven's

the many change and pass ; remains, Earth's light for ever shadows shines,
are

fly.

Here

on

earth

fleeting

Beauty, brokenly and itself, Truth itself,Justice Beauty


Plato puts

objectsreflecting Truth, but there Justice,


itself, "clear,"

dimly
is
as

it,

"

as

the

light, pure
colouring other pass

and
nor

undefined, polluted

not

daubed
human Now, have have

human with fleshliness and

with

kinds

how
any

comes

it to

trash." of mortal in this world that we


senses

perception
:

of what

the

could

never

revealed to us the True, the Good,


them, which Divine

how

and

it that, when see we we the Beautiful, recognize


comes

in the faint and dim them recognize is all we have here, in this poor world,
not merely originals, and instinctively attracted to

copies of their them,

recognize them.~~'Why,

but

are

be-

THE
cause

TRUE
we

FUNCTIONS
have
seen

OF
originals,

POETRY
have
been

267
in

the

communion Beautiful; imprisoned with


matter,

the Good with and the True because our souls, before they in these
were

the and became

walls

of

flesh and

denizens

of the world

corrupted of Reality,

of the world of the world


Our
The

of which
of
essences

is but this world and forms:


a

the shadow,

birth is but

sleep and

forgetting

soul that rises with us, our Hath had elsewhere its setting And from afar. cometh Not in entire forgetfulness,
not

life's star,

And
But

in utter

nakedness,
of glory
our

trailing

From

God
too,

clouds is who
come

do

we

come

home.

And

hence,

Those
Those

first affections,
shadowy be they recollections,

Which, Are Are

they may, what yet the fountain-light of all our


our

day,

yet a master-light of all Uphold us, cherish us;

seeing,

come

Those

echoes Recognized

from

beyond

the grave,

intelligence.
we
can

In that

world

what by

see

now

only in
our

brokenly
highest

and

by

we weather," of calm saw saw not steadily, habitually, and in perfection, in drossy in essential integrity. but semblance There, monies too, man's soul, in harmony with the har-

moments,

glimpses, in "our

glimpses
seasons

only

of Heaven,
unison
as

not

only

heard

but

vibrated

in

that music which, with them, understanding intellectually Browne Sir Thomas puts it, sounds

268

POETRY
ears

AND the

CRITICISM

in the
music

of God
the

"

of

meaning
There But

ordered of Shakespeare's
's

the music of the spheres, Universe. And this is the

famous

lines:
beholdst

the smallest thou orb which in his motion like an angel sings,
not
to

Still quiring harmony Such But

the young-eyed is in immortal

cherubins souls; of decay hear

whilst

Doth

this muddy vesture it in, we cannot grossly close

it.

But

we

hear

it sometimes, heard
how
one

as

Browning's then

Abt

Vogwe

ler, in his ecstasy,


come

it; and

with

him

to

understand
never

There

shall

be

lost good

; what

was

shall be

as

fore, be-

The
What

is silence implying evil is null, is naught, was good shall be good, with for evil
more.

sound.
so

much

good

On

the earth
to

the broken
to

arcs

in the heaven
one
man

perfect

round.
l

But

return

Plato.
estate

In

celebrated
on

passage
to

he compares in dwellers upward,


necks,

the
an

of

earth

that

of

from den, who, hood childunderground have had chains on their legs and their
are

and

who
to

light, unable

move

sitting with by reason


save

their

backs

to

the

of their shackles, of things In another

and

can

see

nothing
them
on

the wall

passing
2

before

shadows in front.

the earth as being far larger and beautiful is generally "the more than supposed, I give a the visible heavens," above surface being "while we think paraphrase of the passage who
place
"
"

he describes

we

occupy

the

upper
pretty
init.

parts
much

cavity,
1

being

really dwell in a in the position of


2

mere
men

Republic, vii, ad

Phaedo

Steph., p. 109.

THE
living
a

TRUE

FUNCTIONS
of the
we
sea,

OF
or

POETRY
like frogs
a

269

at

the bottom

marsh.

Surrounded
through
to
move:

are we us

by

dull

and

round heavy

atmosphere,

which

ignorantly
are

suppose sands
come

the and

stars

round

sloughs of mud." to the surface, as fish come to


what
a

endless

clefts and But, could we

the surface
meet
our

of

water,
"

wondrous

world

would
are

eyes being

world

whose and

mountains

of precious and

stones,

our

emeralds, chips from

sardonyxes,
"

jaspers
never

but

them

sun

ever-shining,
imagined
pellucid

dimmed.

All that is most In happier An

beauteous
more

there,

beauty,

streams,

ampler ether, a diviner air, fields invested with purpureal And

Climes
Earth

which knows

the who sheds is all unworthy to survey


sun

gleams, the brightest

ray

in fine, of the unfallen soul where, as " it, are Temples expresses and sacred places in which the Gods really dwell, and the denizens of "the Plato

world,

this radiant

world

hear

the voices

of the Gods, of
see,

and
them
continues

are their answers, receive and hold converse them"; with and

conscious and
they

Plato, really
are,

"the

sun,

moon,

and

their other

as they stars, and is of a piece blessedness

with this." We must

I need scarcely say, press these We too them not must closely. understand myths it was designed literally, but we as must accept them
not,
as

we

should they

accept

them,

as

as we symbolize, we truths, so intelligibly and clearly, that when say, fancifully, that the keys of this world of Ideas are in

And

allegories, as parables. must all feel, immortal

the hands

of the poet, and

that it is his chief mission

270
to unlock

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM

two

are using and reveal this world of Ideas, we But language everyone which will understand. from from Shakespeare one quotations, and one

Wordsworth,
from
the

may

form

an

appropriate
we

transition

wandering in which show from


us

in which rarified region with Plato, to that more


criticism
at

have

been

familiar And
is the

region

is

more

at

home.

they

the

same

time

how

figurative

to

literal

short truth in

will distance
matters.

these

Wordsworth
the poet's

describes highest

the poet's highest

mood,
as

and

capacity

and

mission,
The

gift mood

Of

aspect

more

sublime burden

that blessed

In which In which Of

the

of the mystery, and


the weary

the heavy

weight

all this unintelligible Is lightened : that serene

world and blessed mood

In which the affections gently lead us on, Until the breath of this corporeal frame, And human blood e'en the motions of our Almost
In body

suspended, and become


an

we
a

laid asleep living soul:


are

While Of We
11

with harmony
see

eye,

and

quiet by the power made the deep power of joy,

into the

life of thing's.
":

that is it, almost the exact of Plato, while expression you will observe in that "eye made quiet with the power of harmony" Now let us turn brought to him. are we still nearer

We

see

into the life of things

to

Shakespeare's
The poet's

famous

lines

eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, heaven from Doth to earth, from glance And imagination bodies forth as The

earth

to heaven

forms them

of things

unknown,

the poet's pen

Turns

to shapes.

THE He

TRUE
seems

FUNCTIONS
to

OF
even

POETRY
to

271

be translating,

of technical and
we

phraseology,

Shakespeare neither be almost sure may

the very Wordsworth nor


"

points minute language of Plato


"

had

Plato's

myth

of that in their

they were themselves. thus expressing when be with essential truth, whether so it will always it speak indirectly in symbols in plain or outright mind And
it be draped whether in baldest aphorism embodied disguise it. can

speech,

in gorgeous
:

fictions of vesture

or

no

variety

It is curious and interesting to note how the notion are we thus tracing of the functions of poetry which has repeated up and defining in relation to Platonism,

itself age after age, often without to reference any the doctrine of Ideas, without any conscious reference famous to Platonism take first Bacon's at all. Let us definition
Poesy laws
hath

of poetry:
a

is

part

of learning
at
sever

which

being

not

tied to the
Nature

of matter
severed,

may

pleasure
that

join that

and

which
use

which Nature hath

joined.
history

It is feigned hath

history,
give
some

and

the

of this feigned
to

the mind in those points wherein the nature of man of thing's doth inferior to the soul, deny it, the world being- in proportion by reason to the spirit of man there is agreeable whereof shadow
of satisfaction
a

been

to

more

ample

greatness,

more

exact
. . .

goodness

than

can

be found
was

in the nature
to

of things.
some

And

therefore

poetry

thought

have

participation
erect

of divineness, by submitting
whereas
nature

because

it doth

raise

and
to

the

mind

the
reason

shows doth

of things

the desires bow the

of the
unto

mind,
the

buckle

and

mind

of

thing's.1
1

Advancement

of Learning,

bk.

ii.

272
We writes

POETRY
have
it there.

AND
"Truth
Davenant
to

CRITICISM
past," narrative and in his deeply interesting
"

Sir William

Prefatory Letter

Hobbes,

is the idol of historians

a dead thing, and truth, operwho worship ative and by effects continually alive, is the mistress hath her existence in matter, but not of poets who in mind."1 have it there. It was We this, this association

exactly

of poetry with indeed in the

the ideal and the typical, not in which have been sense we
the typical, Aristotle but in
a

speaking cognate
was more

of the ideal and to it, which made


philosophical

sense

more

and

say important,

that poetry
as

being

universal and essential than history.2 in the Biographia Coleridge, in a striking passage Literaria^ has finely applied to the poetic faculty in his Nosce Sir John Davies Te-ipsum has what

said of the soul


Bodies
As
to

She spirit by sublimation fire converts to fire the things


we our

turns

strange, it burns,

As
From

food

into

our

nature

change.

And Which
To

their gross matter she abstracts the forms draws from things, a kind of quintessence to her proper nature she transforms bear doth doth
then,
access

them

light

on

her

celestial wings.
states

Thus She Which

she,

when

from

individual

abstract

the universal in divers re-clothed

kinds,
names

and
our

fates,

Steal

through

our

senses

to

minds.

And

here
so

I cannot

but

eloquently
:

what in his Essay

quote

Browning
on

expresses

Shelley.

The

poet, he
1

says
Fol.

Works,

Ed.,

p. 5.

Poetic,

ch. ix.

Chap.

xiv.

THE

TRUE
to

FUNCTIONS
embody
to

OF
the

POETRY
he

273
so one

Is impelled
much
above

thing
many

with him,

reference the

the

not perceives, below, to the as

supreme

Intelligence
truth,
an

which

apprehends

all thing's in their absolute to if but aspired partially Not what man sees, soul. of Plato, seeds of creation it is toward Hand these
"

ever ultimate view by the poet's own obtained, but what God sees the Ideas lying burningly in the Divine
"

with in the combination of humanity action but with the primal he has to do. He is rather a elements of humanity he produces seer than a fashioner, and what will be less
.
. .

that

he

struggles.

Not

work

than

an

effluence.1
are

And

there

two

other

characteristics

which

essentially associate themselves with The of the highest office of poetry. doctrine of the Greeks, so frequently

this conception is the old one

insisted

on

by

is poetical faculty, when genuine, innate, the immediate tion inspiragift of Heaven, simple holy madness, having impulsive an as (pavia),

Plato,

that

the

power
nor

no

connection

at

be

other way And so attained.

in any

all with art, not to be learnt, to than by divine transmission

Plato
reason

ex"ppuvxai

bereft Evfleoj,
seer,

of
a

speaks of the poet as but filled with divinity ;

he

is

he

is

light of inspiration of, Divinity.


he

Apology

poets questioning to the meaning as of their poetry, and finding that bystander could give a better explanation of any

is charged is represented Socrates

he discerns in the prophet; for, he is the interpreter ; he speaks Of the full meaning of the message ignorant. In the with he maybe
as

what "Then

the

poets I knew,"
1

meant

than

the

he
Essay

says,
on

"that
p.

themselves. poets do by wisdom not


20.

Shelley,
I

274
poets

POETRY
write
;

AND
but by
a

CRITICISM
sort
or

poetry,

of genius

and

spirati inwho

they

are

like diviners

soothsayers,
not

also the

say

many

fine things, of them."


1

but

do
same

understand
effect speaks

meaning Shelley:
Poets
are :

To

the

the the

hierophants
of
the

of

an

unapprehended shadows which

inspirati which
express

mirrors upon the

gigantic the words trumpets

futurity casts
what battle they
and

present:
not:

understand feel not


not,

the

what
moves.2

they

which sing to inspire, the influence which

is moved

but

is a remark first found direct other which in Strabo,3 1 believe, but which expression embodied held by the ancients, a sentiment pretty generally poet who good first a good man, himself," Milton was as comnot menting true "himself on a this remark observes, a poem, composition pattern of the honourand Of the truth of this there can be no ablest things."
"
' '

The

namely,

that

man

could

not

be

question. been men


consummate

The

"

greatest
most

poets,

says

Shelley,

' '

have

of the

we prudence, the interior of their lives, the most himself is not, for many Shelley reasons, obvious in the first rank of the world's poets, but suffused his poetry is with moral spiritual enthusiasm, and
1

spotless if and

virtue,

of the most look into would " fortunate of men.

as

Apology,

xxii,

Jowett's

version.

See
; and

too

on

this

subject
war^of

Phaedrus,
passage
mo-Tux^,
2

245, 265 ; the Ion passim in the Timaeus beginning


marg. p. 71-72.

the very

remarkable
T?J
-n\"

H*EJUV"/UEVOI yip

A
"

Defence
Ji
TTOIDTOU

of Poetry,

concluding

paragraph.
oJjf "?w
T"

"j"T"i

Tnvfj at/vs^suxTai
"

xai avflpiTro;;,

aya.0:v

Troiirm

/"." Trparepov"ysmdtrra,ayaSoy.

Strabo,

I,

2,

$.

THE
in
one

TRUE

FUNCTIONS
important

OF

POETRY

275

most
were

whatever

goodness Shelley," says Browning, already quoted,


"a

respect it has their note, and his infirmities and errors, of his essential " I call be no can there question.

simple-hearted, acted
a

moral brave, and


to

in the essay because man

which he was

I have
true,

corresponded

religious cast up by This

mind him against mood

what because every

because and he knew; so

what

he

I call him

the

negative audacious interpeneDivine trated was and freely


to

a with is indeed

of the fact.

reverence

adoration." in

I have

been

indulging,
crave

too

perhaps,
two
more,

but I must quotations, let Ben Jonson and

leave

give

Milton for us sum up and believed to be among were the chief what anciently " If," says prerogatives and functions of the poet. Ben the Jonson, the passage is in his Dedication

of

Fox
If the

to Oxford
men

and

Cambridge:
and
not

will impartially

asquint
they

look

towards

offices and
to

functions
the

themselves
poet

of a poet, impossibility
a

conwill easily clude man's

of any good
man. men

being
For

good

is said disciplines, inflame


poet

first being without to be able to inform grown


and
men

the

young
to

all great
state,

all good virtues, keep


as

to

old

men

in their

best

supreme them and


to

or,

they

decline
to

to
come

recover childhood, forth the interpreter

their first strength,


of nature,
a a

arbiter human,

teacher

of things that
can

divine alone,

not
or

less than

master

in

manners
manof kind.

with

few, effect the business

And
but the

in

thus

expressing
the
common

himself
opinion

Ben

Jonson

is
on

expressing
nature

of the poet's

office,

on

of antiquity the high duties

to

276

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM

is called, is but the poet what which expressing Aristophanes,1 Ovid,3 Cicero,2 what what what Horace4 have, in celebrated expressed passages, loftier in the same In a vein even terms. almost

than second

this

has

Milton

in that

of The Reason of Prelacy, interpreted urged against functions of the poet:


Poetical

book

in the noble passage Church Government

for

us

the

true

inspired

they abilities, wheresoever gift of God, rarely bestowed,

be

found,
yet
are

are

the
some

but

to

(though most
beside
great allay people the

abused)
a

in every

the office of
the

pulpit

nation ; and to imbreed and and

of power cherish in

seeds

of virtue
of
the

public
and
set

civility, to the
and affections lofty

perturbations
tune, to

mind, in

in right hymns
and the

celebrate equipage what he

glorious

throne he works

and
and

of God's suffers
and

what

almightiness, to be wrought;

to sing

victorious
of

agonies

of martyrs

and

triumphs

just and
of kingdoms

pious
and

saints, the deeds to deplore the nations,


states

general

relapses
true

from

justice and
is holy and

God's

hath or whatsoever grave, amiable in all the changes and passion admiration of that which is called fortune from or the wily subtleties and without, from thoughts refluxes of men's all these things within sublime,
"

worship. in virtue

Whatsoever

in Religion

with

solid

and

treatable

smoothness

to

point

out

and

describe/

In

its highest

didactic,
the
term.

but

is essentially aspects, then, poetry didactic in the most sense exalted of


does that
not,

poet

indeed,

teach

teaches,
1

is, directly
2

and
Pro

philosopher He formally.
viii, 18, 19.

as

Frogs, Fasti,

1009-1014,

1029-1036.
4

Archia,

vi, 5 seqq. 5 Works

Epist. II, i, 126 seqq.

(Bohn), vol.

ii, p. 475.

THE
has

TRUE
first to

FUNCTIONS
remember that he must that

OF

POETRY
he is

277
an

in expression

artist, and
art,

satisfy the

requirements

of

he
must

and that if he fails to satisfy those requirements, fails in what He be his primary should aim.
to appeal he must

of man, in which no he preaches,


poet. This

and emotional be successful in innumerable The didactic purpose can enter.


or

the

sensuous

nature

ways
moment to

poses

as

moralist,

he

ceases

be

worth. mistake and defect of Wordsin a great work So subordinate, of art, is its spiritual and moral significance to its aesthetic, that
is the great while the second first is probably,
on

is the

result of conscious

effort, the

and

very

part of the artist. implicit in the subject or


the

often purely, unconscious The must either be moral from deduced necessarily Eckermann, "there be
a

it.

"If,"

said

Goethe

to

moral

in the
to

subject

it will appear,

and

the poet has

but the effective and artistic consider treatment of his subject. If a poet has a high soul, let him do what be moral, his treatment will always nothing he will."1 Poetry teaches
poet is necessarily

as
a

life and teacher

nature

teach;

great

purity, His
6eia

and
are,

by virtue of the profundity, of his insight. comprehensiveness


in Plato's
"

creations
KM mat
ruv

noble

phrase,

tpavravftaTa

ovruu

divine

phantoms
with
as
a

and

shadows
than the the

of realities ; and so Goethe, beauty, speaks of poetry fragrance and the morning hand of truth :
Aus Der
1

no

less truth
woven

veil

sun's

lightness

of from

Morgenduft Dichtung

gewebt

und
aus

Schleier

sonnenklarheit der Wahrheit. der hand

Conversations

with Eckermann,

Oxenford

Ed., Bohn,

p. 226.

278
Without
Lock Tales and

POETRY
disputing
Essay
on
or

AND
the

CRITICISM
title of Pope's Rape Crabbe's Borough or Task, Elegy, such
as or
or

of the
and

Man,

of the
in

Hall,

Cowper's

Goldsmith's
innumerable

Deserted works

Village,
rhythm in, to a

or
or

Gray's
metre

abound
must

distinguished that
there
are

place
some
we

all literatures in poetry, we


or

yet

feel

qualities

regarded in such feeling with

as of poetry regarded, by Jonson and Milton,

properties have just seen

it

poems.

We

must,

are not which have too, the

sent presame

enjoy a
Don
some

very Canterbury

deservedly works which regard to many high reputation as poetry, to Chaucer's Tales, Childe Byron's Harold to and for example, to Keats' Earthly
"

Juan,
reasons,

on

the

one

Eve

of

William and

Morris'

Paradise
we

and for Saint Agnes and on the other hand

hand

for other from separated

reasons

must

feel that

they

are

by differences poetry of the first order but of kind. not of degree simply And this is indeed the case, and it is well for us to We have so that this is the case. abused understand it the name prostituted and degraded of poetry, so by light and
uses

frivolous
and

and

even

by

scandalous

immoral

has A

almost

loose

and and
to

that, as a name, associations, any serious significance. ceased to have that its chief end is to notion careless loose its

and it

please,
ourselves

and

careless

habits charms

of abandoning and
to

mere

aesthetic

of its sensuous

and

to the same all contributed it is of power to be to us what to

superficial result. But

the attractio graces, have

if poetry is it ought to be, what


are

be, and what be, we it must

if faith and hope to must go back

to

be

kept

alive

the old conception

THE

TRUE
men

FUNCTIONS
believed that

OF

POETRY
poets

279
were

of it, when
the

inspired

We must prophets messengers and of God. in it, when men seek in it what sought, and found " Aristophanes Children have the schoolcould say, master but to teach men them, when grow up the
poets
orator
are

their

teachers
"

"

when

Aristides

the

could

and teachers Homer a sounder than

the common they were say that " Horace ; when of all Hellas
clearer
or
"

tutors

found

in

either Milton in Spenser,


be

and Chrysippus that


to
or

moral

philosopher and
our own

Crantor,
and
a

sage

I dared truth

known

than

Scotus

say was Aquinas."

serious poet who better teacher of

We
as

must

not

accustom

ourselves less to
tell
us

to

think

understand
we are

by

of poetry it what Pater

illusion, still and his school


"all

to

understand

by

it, namely,

literary

attains the power of givproduction which ing distinct from its matter," by its^form as pleasure have quite it. by

but

to

other And

notions of what I cannot here

is to be

understood

but

protest

an against Aristotle's

perversion unwarrantable of for which Professor theory of tragedy, in our is unfortunately in what a text-book Butcher We to be mainly Universities responsible. appears altogether told that

are

Aristotle

"

attempted

to

separate
"

the

function made

of aesthetics

the end " that he says The

he that that of morals," emotion," of art reside in a pleasurable aim in tragedy." of any moral nothing

from

fifth,the thirteenth,

and

the twenty-fifth

chapters

and of the Poetic amply On hypothesis. nothing


stress

an refute such absolutely Aristotle lay more does

than

on

the moral
'

function
1055-56.

of tragedy,

as

his

Frogs,

280

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM

definition He very of tragedy shows. maintains, indeed, that the end of poetry is pleasure, but he is be the proper careful to add that it must pleasure, is moral satisand, implicit in the proper faction.1 pleasure,
Very
"the

felicitously of and
the

does best

Shelley
and

record the happiest


a

say that poetry happiest moments interpenetration

is of

best

minds,
our

the
own,

redeeming In its the visitations of the divinity in man." excellence and majesty it is the incarnation of ideal " breath truth, the and finer spirit," as Wordsworth
decay
puts

diviner

nature

through

of from

it,

"

of all

knowledge."

It is, therefore,

its

august
place

for us the indeed to supply not prerogative, it supplied in ancient Greece, the place of
but
to

theology,
as

Sapience
"

in the same relation stand to theology in Spenser's fiction stands sublime

to

the Divinity
The

darling, the consentient sovereign in royal robes most Clad like a queene For so great power and peerless
all with

voice, fit

And

gems

Adorned, And
make

that

and brighter native

majesty. jewels gorgeously


than the stars
seem

appeare,
more

her
as

brightness

cleare.2

all feel, that man's would indeed be forlorn, if his only lantern were lantern of traditional dogma, if his horizon or
we

True

it is,

must

state

the
were

bounded
reveal "lords
nor
"

by what or the senses reason can what forlorn, indeed, would he be without these Breath is not life, of the visionary eye."
seems
1

by

is what

what

is.

Slaves

as

we

are

of the

See Hymn

particularly chap. xxvi. to Heavenly Beauty, 184-189.

THE
senses,
are

TRUE
we

FUNCTIONS
call the the
an

OF

POETRY
illusions,

281
but

visions

they

not

only

of poetry realities? "You


to

picture,"
as

said

old Dominican

that admire Rogers at Padua, Last

a picture of the contemplating stood in the refectory of the Convent. Supper "I before it," said the old man, sat at my meals

they

have "for

seven-and-forty that have taken


come

years,
place

and
among
"

such
us"

are so

the

changes have many


I look
upon

and
company

gone

in that time there,


as

that when

the

upon
are,

those
I
am

who

are

that table, silent


to

they

sometimes
are

sitting at inclined shadows." far deeper


the

think
the

that old

we
man

and
was

not

they

the
in

a right, right he meant knew, to or than meaning piercing truth embodied very core of the relation in which let us hope, to the truth of what, poetry stands

And

in
we as

falsely according fact."1


In the
senses

call

reality. to his son

Well he did:

did
u

Tennyson

say,

Poetry

is truer

than

Convito*

Dante poetry

tells

us

that

there

are

four

in which

is to be taken,

the literal, the

or mystical, allegorical, the moral, and the anagogic is concerned with its highest and it is the last which In poetry these of the secondary order mission. perfectl imenter elements exist in singularity, or, at most,

into

their

in great its composition, fullest proportions, they

poetry,
are

assuming

blended

Life,vol.
"

ii, 129. si possono

Le

scritture

intendere
L'uno
per

debbonsi

massimamente il
senso

per quattro secondo


morale.
senso."
. .

sensi.
che
.

si chiama
e

sponere litterale
.

allegorico

li poeti
senso

usato.

II terzo
ana-

senso

si chiama

Lo

quarto

si chiama

gogico

cio6

sovra

"

Convito,

Trattato

Secondo,

cap.

i.

282

POETRY
It is
so

AND

CRITICISM
and

and fused. iheAenetd,


of Spenser

with

the Iliad

Odyssey,

with

with and and

theDmine
Milton
;

Comedy,
it is
so

and with the epics with the great Attic


; it is

tragedies

of Shakespeare with the dramas so the with the lyrics of Pindar with and most characteristic of Wordsworth. Poetry,
in its transcendental

poems

of the infinite and in its ethical activity the sublimation seen, human duties obligations; of his and

tion activity, is the revelainvisible in the finite and

of

man's

conscience

and

impulses

at

once

the

legislator

and

ation, inspir-

the solace and tranquillity of his passions and cares ; in its aesthetic all things to activity it turns loveliness and music. Delivering "authentic tidings of
"

invisible subsisting

things,"
at the

it is the

voice

of that
"

heart

of endless

agitation

peace ; it is

the eye
Beholds
the Universe which itself and knows itself divine.

With

And,

therefore,
that

it is in its transcendental

aspects and
so

precious poetry is most and forget the lines in felt. Who can the Greeks

and ethical furthering,

Hesiod?
Ei

yap

Tif

xai

Styxa) "/Xa)VvEoiwJfci' TTtvOof


aoiSSc

avtaf xpa"'w axa^jMEVo?, a""!Tai


fj.ova-a.uiv

0"paw"wv n^tia
TE

vporepiuv av"fcaircm
"OXiijUWov
TI

v(jtmo-")' jtxaxapaf
oy" aiVj/'

6et"v$ct

ep^otwi,

lwiXii0"Tai, buo-tyovioiw oLSi

xq"wv

(For
with
muses,

if anyone

having

grief in his newly-stricken


the
men

soul, pines of the time, and he

sorrow

in his heart,

chants

and a minstrel, deeds of the the glorious

henchman

of old

the blessed

Gods

whose
1

home

is in Heaven, 98-102.

straightway

Theogony,

THE
forgets beguiled

TRUE
his
are sorrows

FUNCTIONS
and
by remembers

OF
not

POETRY
his griefs, of
so

283
quickly

they

the gifts of the goddesses

song.)
the worst
to
constrain

Of all the evils which


are

can

befall poetry, and obscenity,

to

link

it with its heavenly

sensuality

consecrate

to to express or voice attempt the grosser instinctsand appetites of man's

To to link it with nature, mortal pessimism. and link it with pessimism is to repeat the horrid crime to bind the living to the dead ; to link of Mezentius,
it with
most
assume.

sensuality repulsive

is blasphemy and obscenity form blasphemy man's which


illustrate and
than

in the
can

Perhaps

nothing
between

can

more

strikingly

the

difference

ancient

modern the

conceptions

of the functions

of poetry towards

attitude
as

temporary of con-

the poetry hand on that of Wordsworth the one of Keats and deny Of the first no one can on the other. that the criticism such

poetry

eulogies

of

Matthew

Arnold,

now

need not be repeated, literal and than measured Tennyson said that there which
innermost
soul

express truth,
"was

commonplaces further nothing

and

that

when

something

had

written,"

critic of poetry

everything of poetry in almost discriminating he said what every But is the corollary concede. would

of the Keats

of this the superiority poetry of Wordsworth,

of the lords of his art? characteristic work Desdemona describes


most

to the of the poetry of Keats into the ranks his admission Are we to say of a poet whose

may

be described

as

Othello

Thou That

art

so sense

lovely

fair and
at

smell'st
"

so

sweet

the

aches

thee

284
are we

POETRY
to

AND

CRITICISM

the say of the poet of the Ode to Autumn, Odes To a Nightingale On a Grecian Urn, of and " Agnes, Bright the Eve and of the sonnet of Saint Star," etc., that he has enriched butions poetry with contritions more than the Ode on the Intimaprecious

of
Tintern sonnets?
What
The

Immortality,

the

Ode

to Duty,

Laodamia, lyrics and

Abbey,

the best

of Wordsworth's
note

Compare
care,

the

of:

though

Indus

with

striding Alexander past his Macedonian numbers?

Julia leaning
Amid
her Tenderly

window-flowers, her fancy from


avail than
tears,

"

sighing,

"

weaning

his maiden

snow,

Doth
Of

more

Hero's

the

these ; the silver flow swoon of Imogen,

Fair Pastorella
Are

in the bandit's
on

den ardency
"

things

to brood

Than

the death-day
:

with more of Empires

with

this note
Live, Powers
There That Thy And

and

take

comfort.

Thou

hast

left behind

for thee : air, earth, and that will work 's a breathing not of the common wind will forget thee : thou hast great allies :
are

skies,

friends

exultations,
man's

agonies,

love, and

unconquerable

mind

"

or

the note
"

of:
is truth,
on

Beauty know

truth

beauty"

"

that

Ye

earth

and

all ye need

is all to know
"

with

the
Stern
The

note

of:
! yet thou dost benignant most
wear

Lawgiver

Godhead's
know
we

grace

Nor As

anything upon

so

fair
:

is the smile

thy face

THE
Flowers
And Thou

TRUE
laugh

FUNCTIONS
before
on

OF

POETRY

285

thee in their beds


footing

fragrance

thy

treads ;

dost preserve the


most
"

And

the stars from wrong, heavens through ancient

thee

are

fresh

and

strong
or

the note

of:
her tender-taken
or

Still, still to hear


And
so

breath
to

live

ever

"

else

swoon

death

"

with

the note
E

of:
venni dal martirio
a

questa

pace.

with his magical his unerring expression,


power

Keats,

faculty of presentation and artistic tact and bewitching


soul

of piercing
beauty,
to

into the innermost it in


a

represent

thousand

radiance, has been the very more than any of the poetry, and has done modern he undoubtedly bedivine longed brotherhood to which ferior in the judgement at least of into vindicate, disciples and critics, the disastrous separation

loveliness

and

ous of sensuforms of Lorelei of

from metaphysic. of aesthetic ethic and difficult to understand Ruskin meant what dare or not said that "he read Keats,"
Newman's work:
Cease,
The
Hush stranger,
cease,

It is not when
to

he

lines

to

what

is most

entrancing

apply in his

those choirs;

piercing

notes,

craft of Siren

the seductive voice that floats Across the languid wires.

Music's Not
But

ethereal fire to dissolve our Promethean

was

given from

draw

clay, beams away.

Heaven

And

purge

the dross

It cannot,

therefore,

be

urged

too

insistently

that

286
we

POETRY
must

AND

CRITICISM

for what poetry, not poetry of this kind can poetry of a high give us, not for what much order of artistic and aesthetic merit does not contain to have no concern we must go and appears with;
go
to
"

to

it in its higher

and
When constitute owing systems,
to

ation manifestations, go to it for illuminfurtherance spiritually and morally.


rise to
a

we

conception

of

what

should
partly

the education the


narrow

of

our

citizens, which

esotericism in consequence

of

our

scholastic
necessarily

and

partly

of the

preponderating claims of scientific and technical instruction, have we then not will poetry yet done, to fill the same come of civil place in our systems for Then, culture as it filled in that of the Ancients.
the barren
splitting
to

and which

repulsive
too

word-mongeringand
represents what

phraseis supposed of dealing

often

constitute

educationally
of what
:

only serious method it, we the part counterwith shall have Plato has described for us in the Protagoras

the

When
to

the

boy

has

learned

his letters and


as

is beginning understood the works


are

understand what
was

what

is written,
they he put

before

he

only

spoken,

into his hands


at

of great contained

poets, many

which

reads

school

in these

tales and praises and many admonitions, famous he is required men and which of ancient encomia imitate or emulate in order that he may to learn by heart, Then, like them. them, the and desire to become again,

teachers disciple
they him

similar of the lyre take is temperate and gets into


taught

care no

that

their
and

young
when

have
to

him

the

use

mischief; of the lyre, they


poets and who

introduce
are

the

poems
; and

of other these
are

excellent
set to

the

lyric poets

music

make

their

THE

TRUE
and

FUNCTIONS
rhythms

OF

POETRY

287

quite familiar to the children's learn to be more gentle and souls, in order that they may fitted for harmonious speech and rhythmical, and so more
and

harmonies

action.1

the best poetry, as an poetry, shall employ instrument of moral and political discipline, making its study as delightful as profitable. And then we
shall when that

We

perhaps he made
I should

understand Nikeratus
become
a

what
"

Xenophon

meant

say,

My

all the poems he said, wants house,


or
an
"

of Homer
to
orator,
2

man, good by heart;


a

father, anxious learn me made

for if any

of

us,

become
or

prudent

Homer
that

well

;
must

poetry the Roman


was

what initiate

public servant, Plutarch meant


us

ruler of his let him know when he said

of

more

anecdotist benefit to

in philosophy;3 what hesaid that poetry meant, when than all the lectures the young
even

of the Greek philosophical schools, and to its influence the virtues of Camillus
4

ricius ; what to his nephew


1

Lord
at

Chatham

meant

when

and he wrote

attributed Fab-

Cambridge.5 Jowett's version.


of poetry And

Protagoras,

saysabout

p. 326, importance the

with

what

Plato

asaninstrumentof of

education

should Orat.,
*

be compared I, viii. See

the

Symposium,
Valerius
Letters
to

also cap. Hi, 5.


"

excellent remark Anacharsis, Lucian,

Inst. Quintilian,
22.

21,

Iv ittnnfjuuri wpo"j"Xoyo^"!T"w.

De

Aud.

Poet.,

cap.

i.

Maximus,
Thomas

ii. i-io.
Pitt, pp.

6-7 ; cf. with


the
we an
:

this Shelley,
perfection
those

A
of

Defence of Poetry.
his age

"Homer character
:

embodied
nor can

ideal

in human
verses

doubt

that

who

read

his
to

were

like

Achilles,

to awakened Hector Ulysses and

imitation
the

truth

of becoming beauty of and

friendship,
were

patriotism,
to the

unveiJM

and depths

devotion to an persevering object in these immortal creations."

288
I hope
read

POETRY
you them
taste
too

AND
and

CRITICISM
and

love Homer

Virgil

"

you

cannot

contain
courage,
temper, word, you
can

; they are not only poets, but they much learn, lessons of honour, the finest lessons we can

disinterestedness,

love

of

truth,

command and,
as

of in
one as

humanity, gentleness of behaviour, virtue in its true signification : drink


of these

deep

divine

springs.

The
to

Greek
memory

custom
as

of training
much
as

the young of the

to

commit

possible much

writings

of classical
nor
can

than to substitute mistake the writings of minor and inferior poets, on the supposition intelligible that they will be more and full meaning, The it is true, of what is attractive.

poets cannot there be a greater

be too

commended,

learned
more

will

not

be

understood,
charm

than

the what

sensuous

perhaps nay of harmonious

little
numbers,

and appeal

is most

obvious

the application forms life's so of secret characters of some writing, experience will decipher wisdom and progressive beauty all that attracted power almost and where before rhythm.
a

; but, as

in significance will of heat brings out the

were

the

graces

On

this

subject
beautiful

of style I cannot passage

and

singularly
us

music of refrain from quoting from Newman :


and old such
are

the

Let affected Homer

how consider by the words


or

differently
of
some

young

are
as

classic

Horace.

Passages

rhetorical a hundred

commonplaces,

which neither better

author to a boy
nor worse

but than

which he thinks, as
at

supply, any clever writer might others, which he gets by heart and thinks very fine, and imitates,
successfully, home
to

in his him when

own

flowing long

length

come

and

he has

had

experience

of life, and

versification, years have passed pierce him as if he

THE
had

TRUE
never

FUNCTIONS
heard them

OF

POETRY

289
and it is

Then vivid exactness. that lines, the birth of some Ionian festival or among at an

their sad earnestness with how he comes to understand


chance

or evening morning have lasted Sabine hills, the

generation
a

after generation
over

for thousands
a

of years,
the

with

power literature

the
own

mind

and

charm

which

current

of his unable

day,

with

all its obvious

advantages,

is utterly

to

rival.1

of the best poetry that of Ancient of the best nations and pre-eminently England Greece and studies as bear with all such tillwe study directly
ture, religious, on moral, and on political culfulfilling the educational be adequately shall we which
now on

Not

link the serious

responsibility which But,


we are

the

changed

conditions

under

view,
our once

us. entailed upon from the question this point of regarding No one doubt distinguish. can we that must

living, have

confused

and

inadequate

definitions

of poetry,

at

from, and leading to confused and springing have inadequate notions of its nature and its aims its higher not distinguishingbetween arisen from our and
lower

manifestations,
of the world's
as

between

its functions them have

as

the greatest its functions

poets

conceived order

and
conceived

them. place the

poets of As long
same

secondary
we

as

accustom

ourselves
to

to

loosely
common

in the
name

category
"poetry"

and
the the

of

label with Prometheus of Pindar

Bound

and Ode

and the Rape of the Lock, the Odes of Prior, the Attis
on

Odes

the Intimations constitutes,


or

of Catullus and the our conception ofImmortality,


"

of what from an

should

constitute,

educational
1

point

of view,

is

not

poetry," likely to be

Grammar

of Assent,
U

p. 78.

290

POETRY
and furthering.

AND
I am

CRITICISM
here

that poetry, pleading a medium as of civil culture and discipline should, have far both in elementary education, and advanced is attached importance to it to it than more attached

sound

at

present,
to

that in this respect

it should
can

be to
never

us

what that

it was place

It Greeks. the ancient distinguish between until we aesthetically power and

hold

and

charm
and

and

its interest, value in relation to art, and its and

value
to
me,
a

theology

spiritually The ethics.

in modern times, of an is John Wesley's place in education

in relation morally known to only instance it such to assign attempt

the Faerie

Queene

with

the Old

and up

association of New Testament him

in the

course

of study

drawn

by

for theological

students.
It is
no

paradox

study

of the best for the guidance, mainly,


we

say, that to the properly directed look, at least now must poetry we
to

illumination
elsewhere.

which

shall

nocollateral codeswhich security in rational " the inspired insight of ethics and in what sage and has revealed, are daily losing their serious poets"

and

seek have

in vain

and The

solace

creeds

efficacy and their very

are

indeed

hard

there constitution for, in that constitution, to destruction, them not fiction and distinction between is no drawn only between the symbol truth, in other words and what is It is here that poetry comes the second. for in poetry the distinction is clear; to the rescue, is everything is symbolized the kernel, what what is symbol is separable the husk. and nothing in the In every therefore, of education, stage,
to
" "

In dissolution. upon is a fatal flaw predestining

symbolized, first than

but

more

importance

is attached

to

the

THE

TRUE
in
the

FUNCTIONS
schoolroom,
at

OF
the

POETRY
Universities,

291 it

nursery,
would serious applied. be

wise

of

us

to

apply
to

uses

than

those

to far more poetry it is commonly which

fill,I repeat, the same place in it filled in that of the our as system of education Greeks, and become not the chief medium ancient
It should

merely of discipline.

aesthetic

but

of

religious

and

moral

APPENDIX.
See

page

210.

T)ROFESSOR JL gratulated

ROBERTS
on

is, on
as an

the whole, editor


and

to

be

con-

his work

translator,

for, if in the first capacity, he cannot claim distinction, he in a high degree, if, as a possesses, competence, and he is at times translator, perhaps unnecessarily phrastic, perihe and it is

is often vigorous.

happy

and

almost

always

trustworthy

Of
extra

his scholarship, vitia quam


cum

it may

be

said

that

"

magis

cautious, if it does
crises,

sober, and
not

sure-footed, but never down at what actually break always


the

virtutibus," brilliant. Thus,


may be

called
a

it almost
occurs,

disappoints.

Wherever

real

difficulty
be

chance
or

adroitly is the Such

avoided

be

is always, that left in perplexing

it will either ambiguity.

is left, and
the
as

absurd well
as

livdtv lAwy in section xxxv (4) plight in which lavaviLv in section xliv (n). The retention of ftaQovg at the beginning of the second section,
the

rambling

indecision

of the

note

is

an

tration illus-

is disinfirmity. Similar weakness played of the same in the choice of readings, as the rejection of such Bentley's brilliant emendation certain and cnraffrpcnrrti in
to the untenable of xii and the adherence tVt'or/oairra or the Paris manuscript; of the Paris again, the rejection ijQSivand the adoption of Tollius' e"3wi',though

section

conjecture,

no

one

could

put

the

case

has

done.

Nor

is Dr.

for "/0"L"' better than Dr. Roberts1 sound scholarship,


In section shows,

Roberts though

it generally

be, impeccable.
as

i, u6p6av

it"s$fi*a.Tt"
the power

is not,

the context

"displays

294

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM
but "all
at
once,"

(of an
"at
"most not
a

orator)
stroke." fertile"

in

all In

its plenitude" section

viii, y"m/iwrcmu
"most

is rather

or

possibly
the words
KOLVOV

"principal,

"and

which
vivre

genuine," certainly follow TrjOoiVom/xEi'Tjc


raz/raie
"

tiffirtp

eddtyovgrtvoe
being

rate

Xlysii' SwafjtetiuG would

be

better
to

turned

iv r" ri)c natural faculty


IclaiQ

of expression
as
.

assumed these

."

than

"beneath

underlie these five varities five varieties there lies


.
.

the

gift of discourse," To translate


to

which

is not

only

bald,
as

but

adequate in-

rbVoe in xvi and

in xvii

"place,"

is entirely

miss
mean

the

meaning.

Again,

?)0oe

in section and
the

xxix
note

cannot
on

"delineation

of character," word

this
In

difficult and

important

is most

adequate in-

difficult word rather section xxiii, the in the Zol-flKovovvTa is very loosely rendered "impress" as translation,
can

and

explained

quite wrongly xliii possibly


mean

in the note, "in


or

nor

dXoff^fpwe
but

in section

massive
"for

images,"
instance."

"generally"

summatim,
in section

a/^tXtt

In the locus vexatissimus


?/ TOV
e,

xvii,
KOI

rat

TTWC

vavovpytiv
"

ri-^rt) rote
most

KaXXeai

etc.

a
"

passage

inadequately

dealt

with

by

Dr.

Roberts

it is

to

say

the least very


can

doubtful
"

whether

rote (co\\""rt Trapa\T)"f"d"i(ra

with
"when

beauty,"

nor

assopossibly mean when ciated does his alternative proposal,

introduced

by"

much

mend

matters.

Toup's
to

and conjectureTrapaXei^deltra and TrapaKaXu^Etffct


to

Ruhnken's
^a'XX*
"rt

proposal

read

take

rote

which
and
more

Dr.

Roberts

should

omits, certainly have with the

might been

both of with ct'Swve, have been considered, Nor


which is he closes of
a

mentioned.

successful
x,

difficult passages
the

section

where

and /xfye'Qjj totally

by misinterpreting inserting "e on his own

plain meaning he

authority,
meaning

gives whole

wrong

impression

of

the

of the

passage.

APPENDIX
But the

295

capital
does
on

interpreter
commentator exact

as an of Dr. Roberts editor and lie here. Surely the first duty of a not Greek be to explain a the critic should

defect

meaning
to
or

go

no

of Greek critical terms; what, further than this treatise, were significations of d"poc and
and

for the

example,

modified

cise preSSIVOTIIC, of of yXa^upo'c, of


and of ""j/\0c, acp"7r/;/3o\oc,

of i//v^pon/c, a(f"f\fia,
r)\o", of
cialpeiv

the

terms

derived
like. This

from
can

it, of

and
done

of jjfloc, and avffypoc, careful deduction

the

by

and

illustrations

only be from the

Greek

afforded critics with the collateral interpretation by the Latin. All that represents in Dr. Roberts' this is a very meagre far as a rule, so correct work glossary,

as

it goes,
use

but

too

indeterminate students.
reserve,

and
one

jejune to
Dr.

be

of

much

to

serious

In

respect,
that

Roberts rigid

may

be

praised

without

and
to

is in his his text


as

conservatism unnecessary absurd

and

in his

refusal

corrupt
such

emendations, conjectural
avrov

with Tucker's
and

6 M"D/uoe

for o/^wc

alro

his

almost

xxxiv.
most

He odious

ridiculous equally has thus uttered


and

Ei'SvXXuwc
a

in section for

xxxii,
"/cw

Xtrwg

in the

silent protest
pest
now

against

mischievous

epidemic

inferior classical
pronounced English,
to

His translation may editors. has yet appeared be the best which
as
a

among fairly be
in

for it is

rule

both

spirited

and

accurate.

INDEX
Accio, Adams,
T., 206. Samuel, Aristophanes, Aristotle, 209, of
222,

229, 245, 276, 279.


212,

Addison, Longinus

32. Joseph, influence


on,

213, 214,219,

239, 246, 247, 252, 253,

214-5, 2I9" 227Herodianus, 251. Aeschylus, 112, 96, 115, 230,


Aelius
264, 289. Aikin, Dr.,
100.

Arnold,
124,

272, 279. Matthew,

3, 35, 75, 107,

128, 129, 136,

137, 263,
211,

264, 265, 283. Ascham, Roger,

194,

233.

Akenside, Longinus

Mark,
on,

influence

of

Aspland,

Brook,

175.
190.
100.

216. Alcott, A. B., 36. Bailey, 60. Aldrich, Thomas Alfieri, Vittorio, 115. Allston, Washington, Alsop,

Aubrey, Aulus,

John,
Gellius,

Aurelian, Ausonius,

234, 235. 199.


6, 178, 197,

18.

Richard,
100.

16.

Bacon,
248,

Lord, 264;

Amaltheus, Amati, Amelius,


Anaxagoras,

his

198, definition of

Jerome,
232.

222,

236.

244.

poetry, 271. Barclay, John, 178, 197, Barlow, Joel, 16. Beattie, 129.

200.

Anderson,
Andreae,
Angelo,

Henry,

200.

James,
Thomas

16,
a,

no,

112,

114.

JohanivValentin,
Michael,
245.
238. 261.

Becket,
Beer,
Beets,

134.
42.

218.

Mrs.

Lynn,

Antiphanes, Aphthonius, Apollonius, Apsinesof

Nicolaes,

Begley, Rev.

123. Walter, his translation

Gadara,23i,

238,240,

241 note, 251. Apuleius, 178, 184. Aquinas, Ariosto, Thos.,


279.

of the N(n"a Solytna, 176; credit due to him for an interesting discovery, 177; his for ascribing arguments Milton examined, 188; untenable
it to

their

L., 115. Aristarchus, 248. Aristides, 226, 279.

190; character, tween bediscrepancies proofs, 190; Milton's known opin-

298
ions

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM

in Nova Browne, Sir Thomas, those and 36, 267. Brownell, Solyma, 191; opinions on eduHenry Howard, cation, 42. Arian doctrines, Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, 191 ; and polygamy, ton's Milbetween 192; comparison Latinity and that of the 192; Romance,
errors,

divorce

I25. 15"Browning, Robert,


120,

52, 72, 79, 263, 268, 272; on Shelley,


George, William
American

192-3; Mr. Begley's 194-9; Milton's Latin its errors and

275Brummell,

79.
4, 5; Wordsworth,
22-4;

poetry, 199;
200

fects, Bryant, dethe


21

Cullen,

son and note; compariof Milton's Latin poetry ries with that of his contemporacollapse of Mr. Begley's
"

; his characteristics,
note

dominant

case,

Berni,

202-3. Francisco,

of his poetry, fluence 25; his simplicity, 26; his in27, 28; his genius, 30,

97.

175. Willem, Bilderdijk,


Birch,
Dr.,

Best, Paul,

31, 32, 36, 50. Buchanan, George, 198, Bunyan, Burke,


Burnet,
201,

172,

194,

123.

233. 183.

Blackmore, Blake, Bligh, Blue

168 note. Sir Richard,

John,
Edmund,
Bp.

William,

16. 67, 68, 69. 87.

Lieut. Wm.,
42.
141.

Burns,

227. G., 95. Robert, 19, 37, 39, 67,

Flag,

Boccaccio,

Bodoni, Boileau,

206. Nicolas

118, 148, 149. Robert, 103, no. Butcher, S. H., 279. Burton,

72,

102,

B.

D.,

206,

Bute, Butler, Byles,


Byron,

Lady,

207, 21 1 ; effect of his version on the Sublime, of Longinus


212-3. Boker, George Henry,
60.

106. Samuel, 53,

212.

Mather, Hon.

15.

John,

87.

Byron,

Lord,

Boswell, Bouhours,
219.

James, 229.
Dominique Abb", and

19, 20, 27; contribution to his biography

Boyd,
Boyd,

Alexander,
Robert,
200.

200.

criticism, 78; character, his letters, 80; his keen 79; interest in daily events, 81;

completeness
n.

Bradford,

William,

Bradstreet, Anne,
Brainard, Brooke,

15.

ridge's Coleof Mr. formed edition, 82-4; The DeTransformed, 85 ; his


memory, in Don

John,
Maria, Lord,

G. C., 19.
20.

assimilative
shipwreck

86; the

Juan,

87;
re-

Brougham,

84.

the

siege, 88; his careful

INDEX

299

vision

as

instanced 88-92; his

I Chapman, by the vaGeorge, riants, 107, 196. ness indebtedCharles 1,8, 168 note, 179.

to

contemporary7 and preceding I Chatham, literature: ChiJde I Chaucer,

Lord,

287.
101,

G.,

i,

141, 278.

Harold,
93, 96;

Juan, 93, 95; Lara, 94; Darkness,

Don

j
|

Chrysippus,

i Churchill,

279. Charles,
220

101.

indebted95; Manfred, 96; his ness Diavolcssa, to La 97-8; his extensive reading, knowledge of. Latin, 99-100; from his appropriations the moderns, 98; his

Cicero, 50, 214,

note,

229,

236, 239, 249, 253, 262, 276. Claudian, 99. Clifton, William,
16.

j Coleridge,

Mr.

Ernest

Hartley,
101,

100-107; his relative

78 note, 83-7, 93, 95-6, 99,

poets, 105. among 107; position Samuel Taylor, Coleridge, his insincerity, 108-11; Manfred, j 19, Byron's no, 102, 1 1 2-3 ; 129, 130, 138, 44, where old HarChilde lay, on 264; poetry, 272. 114-6; power i Collins, William, his Don Juan, \ 16-9 ; 141. and

deficiencies, 119-20; his popularity


on

j Colton,
Conde1,

C. C.,

220.

the Continent,

121;

Comenius,

180, 191.
W.,

his
and

personality remarkable influence, 122-3, 27%-

Jean, 255.
80.

Congreve,

Cook,

Caecilius, 238, 252, 253. Camillus, 287. Campanella, Campbell,


101.

Eliza, 54. Cooper, Thomas,


Corax, 249. Abraham,
200.

144, 153.

T., 178. Thomas, 17, 28, 89,

Cowley,
199, Cowper,

100,

194, 197,

William,

16, 278.

G., 206. Henricus, Cannegieterus Canna,


note.

Crabbe, 236
Cranch, Crantor,

George,

278. Christopher P., 36. 279. Richard,

Carew,
Carlyle,
264.

Thomas,
Thomas,

105. 67, 92,

I Crashaw,

175.
200.

239,

!
'

Crates of Pergamus, 248. Crichton, the Admirable, Oliver,


2.

Casaubon,

I., 206.

j Cromwell,
\ Curran,

Casti, Giovanni

Battista, 96-7,

J. P., 105.

uSCatullus, 99, 118, 289. Adalbert, 122. Chamisso

! Dalzell, Sir George,


! Dana,

87.
20,
21.

Channing,

Ellery, 32, 36.

Richard

Henry,

POETRY
Dante,

AND

CRITICISM
Drayton,

A., 57, 58, 103, 115, 138, M.,

Michael,

6, 196.
u,

264, 281.

Dryden,

John,

104,

114,

Darmesteter,
Davenant, Davies, Dawes, Sir

105. Sir William,

172, 214.

272.

Du

Bartas,

G. Saluste,

170.
15.

John, 272.

Dwight,
Dyer,

Timothy,
21,
22.

8 note,

E. A. S., 195. de Castelnau, Gabriel, Marquis, 88.


de Costa,

John,

Dyscolos,

Apollonius,

251.

Isaac,

Demetrius

123. Alexandria, of

Eckermann,

J. P.,

229, 277.

225,

Edward
Egger,

237 note, 283, 249, 250, 253. Demosthenes, 122, 214, 22onote,
228, 229, 230, 231, 235, 243,

I, 134, A. Emile,

240 note, 251.

Eliot, George,
Emerson, Ralph

148. Waldo,

6,

n,

250, 254, 258, 259, 260, 261,


262. de Musset,

30; his Address at Cambridge, 3J" 335 his position among

Alfred, 123. de Quincey, Thomas, 133.


93. A.,
20.

American

acteristics poets, 33 ; his charhis 34 ; originality,

de Stael, Madame,

35;
Ennius,

his disciples, 36, 50, 67,


"

de Tocqueville, Dibdin,

68, 75

76" 7721.

27. Emily, 75. Dickinson, Dio Cassius, 236.


Dion

Charles,

Chrysostom,
his
poetry,

251.
silence about
3, 249,

Epicrates, 245. Erythraeus, Janus Nicius, 179. Don Jose", Espronceda, 123.
Euhemerus, Eunapius,
244.

Dionysius,
Roman

250,
See

223, 232, 234.


230, 246.

253Dionysius
Longinus. Dionysius

Euripides,
Longinus,
222.

I Eusebius, Evans,

242. Nathaniel, Edward,

15. 32.

of

Halicarnassus,

Everett,

225, 227, 238. Dionysius of Miletus,


Dionysius Dionysius of Pergamus, of Phaselis,
112.

226.

Fabricius,

Georgius,

201,

235,
on

226.
226.

287.
Fe"nelon,

F.

on

Longinus

the

Disraeli, Isaac, Donne,


196. Douglas,

Sublime,
34, 36, 105, Fielding,

Dr.

John,

213. Henry,

219.

I Fiocchi,
Rev.

John (Bp. bury), of Salis17, 19.

Fr., 206. Fletcher, Phineas,


201.

169, 194,

200,

170, 171.1
Drake,

Joseph Rodman,

| Fox,

Charles

James,

effect of

INDEX
Longinus
220.

301
Harrington,

on

the Sublime

on,

J., 178.

Harte,
Anatole,

France,

255.

Franklin,
Freneau, Froude,

Benjamin, n.
Philip, 17. J. A., 54. Dr.
F.

Bret, 5, 33; his where lies, 71 ; his style, 72; power as a humorist, 72-3.

Hartford, Hartlib,
note.

87.
Samuel, 188, 189, 190,

Furnivall,

J., 263

191. Havell,

H.

L.,
on

Garibaldi,
Gibbon,
on

Longinus
on

146. Edward,

his version of the Sublime, 210.


n.

Longinus
221,

Hawthorne,
Hay,

Nathaniel,

the Sublime,

219-20,

Colonel, 73.
Helen, Paul

Hay,

234 note, 253. Giles, H. A., 210. Gilfillan, Rev. George,


244.

Hayne,

75. Hamilton,

61.

Hazlitt, W.
Heine,

C., 105
Henry,

note.
122.

Glauco,

Heinrich,

246. Glennie, Dr.,

49, 58, 206.

Heinecken,
101.

Godwin,
Goethe,
96,

Francis,

Hemans,

Mrs.,
II, 134. Patrick,

20.

178.
49, 58, 67, 68,
I2O, 122,

J.
112,

W.,

Henry Henry,

113,

128,

13.

Hephaestion,
264, 277.

Goldsmith, Gordon,

Oliver, 56, 217, 278.

Heraclides Hermogenes,

240, 251. of Pontus, 246.


211,

Major, 96.
122.

225, 237 note,

Gori, A. F., 206. Grabbe, Christian, Grattan,


H.,
220

238, 242 note, 249, 250, 253. Hertford, Lord, 79.

Hesiod,
note.

Gray,
128,

Thomas,

86, 92,

100,

114, 141,

133, 136, 137, 138,


Horace,

31, 247, 282-3. Hillhouse, James, A., 18. Hobbes, Thomas, 197, 207,

212,

278. Greeley, Greene, Griswold,

272. Hoffman,
39.

Charles

Fenno,

27.

Robert, R.

Holinshed, Holmes,
note,
21,

195.
W., 8

R., 98. Oliver Wendell,


Address,

5;

on

Emerson's

27 note. Grotius, Hugo,

32, 33;

170.

character, 46; Longfellow with 46-9;

comparison and Lowell,

Hall,
Hall,

Bp., 178.

work,

characteristics of his human49; his genial ity,

Jno., 207.
Fitzgreene,

5"19.
13. Homer,
note,

Halleck, Hamilton,

169, 208,
218,
220,

211,

213, 215 247,

Alexander,

243, 244,

302

POETRY

AND
261, 262,

CRITICISM
Keats,
28, 43, 51, 85; his description of Byron, 112, 115, 119,

250, 258, 259, 260, 279, 287, 288. St. Honeywood,


Hood, Thomas,

John,

John,
142,

16.

128, 129,

131, 134, 139,

148, 149,

159Hooker,
Hopkinson,

142, 278, 283, 285. Keble, John, 175. Key, Francis

Thomas,

n.

Joseph, 17.
219,

Kingsley,
Kolbing,

Scott, 17. Charles, 153.

Horace,

4, 50, 92, 99, 214,

Prof.

Eugen,

95.

Howe,

249, 257, 276, 279, 288. Julia Ward, 42.

Kossuth,

L., 146.
A. de, 123. Miss, 20, 27.

Howell, Hudson, Hugo,

Elizabeth,

176.

Lamartine,

John,
Victor, David, Helen Leigh,

206.

Landon,
Landor,

123.
200.

W.

S.,

on

Gerald

Mas-

Hume,
Hunt,
Hunt,

Jackson, 75.

Hurd, Hyde,

50. Bp., 219. Dr. Thomas,


261, 262.

sey, 142-3, 149, 200 note. Lane, John, 124. Langbaine, Gerard, 205. Lanier, Sidney, 33, 61, 62. La Rochefoucauld, F. de M.,

206.

H)rperides,

118. Lauder,
i/i.

William,

167, 169, 170,

Immermann, Isaeus,
226.

122.

!95Lebrecht, Karl,
Le

122.

Richard, 19. Jefferies, John Brown's Body, 42. John of Sicily, 211, 223,
240 note, 242.

Clerc, Peter, 206. Lee, the Misses, 96.


Lee, 237,

Richard

Henry,

13. 206.

Le

Fevre,

Tanneguy,

Legat,

John, 177.
Mrs.,
112.

Johnson, Samuel,
170, 171,
note,
200

74, 79, 167,


note,

Leigh, Lemon,

208

and

217, 246.

173. Lermontoff, M. Lessing, Lewis,

I., 123.

Johnston, Arthur, 167, 168, 200. Jones, Ernest, 144. Jones, Sir William, 103. Jonson, Ben, 114, 196, 211,
259;
on

G. E., 251, 262. C. T., 96.


223. Dr. Thos.,

Libanius, Linacre,
a

197.
4, 5, 30, 32, of his work,

the

functions

of

Livy,

loo.

poet, 275, 278.

Longfellow,

H. W.,

Juvenal, 35,
Kames,

99.

33, 39 ; character

Lord,

219.

and comparison with Holmes Lowell, 46-8; defects, 53; the

INDEX
beauty
as a

of his poetry, 54-5 ; matic lyric poet, 55 ; his dralator, 56 ; as a transpoems, greatest 57 ; America's

Socrates,

235;

his

Oriental

blood, 235 ; raised objections by the anti-Longinians discussed, 236-9 ; the remains of Longinus of Palmyra, 239-40 ; Professor Vaucher's
241-2;

poetic artist, 57-8, 72. Longinus, his silence

Roman

poetry, 3
122;

; on

about Demosthenes,

methods,

of antiquity

strange silence Treatise, his on

what leads

the
us

to,

general dence evihistory 243 ;


meaning

ofitscomposition,252;

204 ; the several editions, 205 ;

translations, translations, translation,

206-7;

English

of

of the title,253-5; sources Sublime, the the 256;


the
reviewed,

Smith's 208 ; 208 ; Spurden's

by note great struck Treatise, 257; the work

translation, 209 ; Havell's version, influence 210; of the its neglected Treatise, 210; existence, Boileau's F"nelon
on

Lowell,

211-2;

effect

of

258-62. R., 5, 30, 32, 33; Whittier, 38 ; on Poe, 43 ; on comcharacter of his work, parison

Jas.

version,

212-3;

influence influence
on

the work, 213; in England, 214-6; Akenside, on 216;

Holmes and with Longfellow, his power 46-9;


as a 50; and originality, humorist, his defects, 51-52;

Goldsmith,

Johnson,

and

Sir Joshua Gibbon, on

Reynolds,
2

217-8;

52 ; as Biglow Lucan, Lucian,

serious poet, 52 ; the

Papers, 53.
99, 194, 226.

ity 19-20; authentic-

first questioned, 221-2; identidifficultiesin the way of fying


inus the author with Long223-6 ; other of Palmyra, Professor theories, 226-9 ; Vaucher's 229-31 ; L., life birth and early 231of Palmyra, 233; 2; settles at adviser
233;
to

226, 251, 287 note. Lucretius, 99, in.

Lyly,

John, 195.
261.

Lysias,

theory,

Macaulay, Macpherson,

Lord,

253.

Manrique, 57. 58Manutius,


Marcellus, Marlowe,
Marston, Marvel),

James, 102. Jorge, his Coplas,


Paulus, 205,222,223.

becomes

Queen
234;

Zenobia,

death,
a

as his greatness his high opinion

critic, 234 ; the


ancient

of including ; classics, 234 Plato, 235; his high attainments,

239. Christopher,

16, 195.

John, 195.
Andrew,
60,

194.

235 ;

soul worthy

of

Masenius,

Jacobus, 169.

304
Massey,

POETRY
Gerald,
Lander's

AND
ion opin-

CRITICISM
on

poetical

abilities, 275-6,
100

his services to the cause of liberty, 144; his lyrics, 145; his revolutionary
of, 142-3;

278, 279, 282.


Mitford,

John,
Lady

note.

Montagu, 105. Montemayor,


Moore,
101.

Mary

Wortley,

ballads,
poems,

146 ;

his

satirical

sympathetic in his character shown poetry, 148-9 ; his history,

147-8 ;

his

Jorge de,

186.

Thomas,

19, 27, 78, 85,

150-2; his first volume,


The Ballad

of

Babe

152; Christabel,

More,
More,

Henry,

184. Sir Thomas,


Henry,

178, 198.

153 ; his aspiration, 154; Warivaits, 155; HavelocK's March,

Morley,
Morris, Morus,

174, 175.
131, 278. F. R. Nathan,

William,

155; A Tale Lyrical My history and

of Eternity, 155; Life, 155 ; his


his

Sam.

Babe

work The Ballad 156; Christabel, 156-7; some gems, Hurst,

206. Moses, separable, in-

237.
Mrs.

of

Moulton,

Chandler,

75.

Muller, Murphy, Murray,

Wilhelm,
Arthur,

57,
200,

122.

of Haunted

his

158-60;
160-6,

The

208.
in,

175.

John,

81 note,

176.

Massinger,
Maturin, Maurice, Maximus, May,

Philip, 94. Rev. Chas. R., 96. F. D., 144, 148, 153.
Tyrius,
226.
200. 211.

Napoleon, Napoleon,

14. Louis,

147, 155.

Nash, Newman,

Thomas,

Thos.,

Meeres,

194, Francis,

79. Cardinal,

285 ;

on

Melbourne,
Menander, Meredith, Metrodorus Mezentius, Miller, Milman,

Lord,
229.

53.

classical poetry, 288-9. Newton, Isaac, 194.

Nichol,

Prof.,

i,

17, 69, 72.


100.

Owen,

72.
244.

Nonius,
North, Nova

Marcellus,

of Lampsacus, 283. Rev.

Christopher,
Solyma, Mr.

244. Begley's

covery dis-

Joaquin,

6, 33, 62-3, 71. Francis H., in.


21,

of, 176-7; comparison with


account

other

romances,

178-9]

Milton,

John,

18,

33, 34, 52,

92, 96, 98, J33 ! myths

112,

114, 115, 128, M., concerning Nova Solyma,

against

of, 180-8 ; arguments the Miltonic authorship,

188-203.
O'Brien,

167-76;

the

his probable ance ignorTreatise on of Longinus' 211, the Sublime, 264, 274;

176-203;

James,

O'Connor,
Odenathus,

144. Feargus, 144.

233.

INDEX
Oldisworth,

305
Plato, 228,
246,
on

William,
243.

208.

230,

235, 243, 245,

Olympiodorus, Origen,
Otis,
232.
12.

247, 250, 258, 259, 261 ;


"

the

two

worlds,"

265-71 ;

James,

Ovid,

99, 195, 276.

poets, 273-4, 277, 286-7. Plotinus, 226, 232, 235. Plutarch, 98, 229, 230, 251, 287.

on

Paine,

Robert

Treat,

Parsons,
61.

Dr. Thomas

17. William,

Poe,

5, 32, 33; his alien genius, 42; acter charhis of poetry, 43-44; its

Edgar

Allan,

Pater, Walter,
Paulding, American Payne, Pearce, Peck,

3 ; on poetry, 279. on Jas. K., 19;


poetry, 29. Howard, 19.
206, 208.

originality, 44 ; excellences and defects, 44-5, 61. Poetae Latini Minores, 5. Poetry,
true

John
Rev.,

functions
of the

Zachary,

importance
element

of, 263; didactic

Francis,

his Mil-

tonic "discover}'," Peele, George, 195.


Pepys,

171-3.
ration

transcendentalism of, 266-73; inspirathe breath of its life,


moral

in, 264;

79. Percival, James G., 19. Perrault, Charles, 212.


Persius, 99. 133.

Samuel,

273-4

function

of,

275-7; abuse of poetry, 278; its relation to theology, 280; difference between ancient and 283,
modern

Petrarch,
Petronius,

conceptions
place

of,

178, 184.

Pheidias,

251. Phillips, Edward,

proper 286; in education, poetry

of

286-90.

189.
230.

Pollock, Edward, Polybius,


Pope,
114,

18.

Philo,

Judaeus,
223.

Philostratus, Photius, Phrontis, Phronto, Piatt,

226, 231.

227. Alexander,
116, 140,

16, 18,

102,

168, 172, 208,

231. 232.

215, 248, 278, 289. Porphyry, 223, 226,


234. 235, 239. Portus, Fr., 223. Posthumius, 238.

232,

233,

John James, 61. Pickersgill, Joshua, 96. Pierpont, John, 18.


Pike, Albert, 27. Pindar, 140, 213, 4, 120, 282, 289. Pinelli, 206.
Pinkney, Planudes, Edward Maximus, 264,

Poucshkin, Praed, W.

A. S., 123. MM 49, 72.


49, 289.

Prior, Matthew,
Proclus,

242, 243.

Coate,

20.

Prothero,
note,

Mr.
1 -2.

Rowland

C., 78

240 note.

80, 8

306

POETRY
99.
no,

AND

CRITICISM
Rogers, Samuel,
in,

Pseudo-Musaeus, Pseudo-Ossian,

281.

115. 207.
178.
211.

Rollin, Charles,
Ross, Alexander,

213.

Pujol, 206.
Pulteney, Punch, William,

Rossetti, Rousseau,

Dante

170, 200. Gabriel, 129.

245.
Erycius,

Jean Jacques, 65.


David,

Puteanus, Puttenham, Pythagoras,

Ruhnken,

235, note, 240

George,

252.

and note, 241, note. Ruskin, John, 76, 156, 245, 257,

285.

Queensberry, Lord.
Johannes Quintianus,
cus,

Francis-

170.
249,

Quintilian, 214, 225,


note.

287

Sadler, John, 189. Sainte-Beuve, C. A., 54. Sallust, 100.


Salmasius, Sands, 233. Charles, Robert George,
12. 202.

28.

Radcliffe, Byron's
Ramsay, Randall, Read,
61.

Anne,
poems, Andrew,

influence
94, 113.

on

Sandys,

Sannazzaro,
Sappho,

178,

170,
42.

200.

Jas. R.,
Thomas

Buchanan,

60,

4, 140, 228. Schiller, 6, 49, 55, 58, 96, Schlosser, J. G., 206.

112.

Schoel,
236 note. R. R., 91.

Fredk.,

226. 19,
102,
in,

Reimarus,

Scott, Sir Walter, 115, 116. Scotus, John, 279. Seneca, 99, 225."
Shakespeare,

Reinagle, Reiske,

Reynolds,

227 note. Sir Joshua, ity similarhis sentiments of with


on

William,
120,

i,

2,

6,

Longinus

the

Sublime,

89, 98, 114, 115, 123, 142,

121,

122,

217-9. Richardson,
Riley,

195, 264,
100.

268, 270,

Samuel, Whitcomb, Rhys,

106.

271, 282.
Shelley, Mrs., Percy
112,

James
W.

Roberts,
on 210,

75. his Longinus


206,

Shelley,

Bysshe,

28, 44,
on

the Sublime,
221,

204 note,

67, 108,

119, 129, 130;

243, 250 note, 262; defects of his edition, 293-5 ! lation, errors, 294; merit of his trans-

poets, 274, 275, 280, 287, note. William, Shenstone, 100, 108,
114.

295;
an

conservatism

as

Sheridan, Sidney,

Richard Sir

B., 80. 168, note,

editor, 295. R., 206. Robinson, Robortello

Philip,

178, 186,
222,

211,

Fr.

211,

223.

Sigourney,

264. Lydia, 20

INDEX
Silvester, Simmias, Simon, Skinner, Smiles,

307
Sumner, Swift, Dr. C. R., 193 note.

Joshua, 170.
246.

Jonathan,
210,

98,

118,

140,

246.

Cyriac,
Dr.

173.
on

147, 148, Swinburne, Gerald

Samuel,

Massey,

Smith,
Smith,

153. Edmund,

215, 216, 248. C., 131. Symonds, John Addington on Walt Whitman, 63-4, 67.
Algernon

208.

Captain
Sydney,

John,

7.

Tacitus,
Tasso,

Smith,
Smith,

William,
on

Longinus 208-9. Socrates, Sophocles,

53. his version of the Sublime,

100, 225, 226, 239. Torqunto, 115. Taubman, Frederic, 170.

Taylor,

235, 246, 265, 273.


230, 264. Robert, 16 note,
200

33; his versatility, 58; his defects, 59; his best work, 60. Lord,

Bayard,

Tennyson,
20,

Southey,

4, 44, 49, 50, 60, 67, 86, 51, 70, 92, 98, 114,
120,

28, 61, 96, 112, Spengel, Leonard,

note.

128, 129, 131, 133, 138,

240,
102,

note.

Spenser,
196

Edmund,
note,

180,

and

264,

279, 280,

146, 149, 281, 283. Terentius, Maurus, 195, Terentius, Varro, 100.

220.

282, 290. Sprague, Charles,

Thackeray,

William 148, 149. Mrs., 75.


246.

peace, Make-

Spurdens,

William

18. Tylney,

his

Thaxter,

translation

Staphorstius,
Stebbing,

of Longinus, 209. Caspar, 170. R., 209.

Theophrastus, Thomson,
Thomson,

Benjamin, 15.
James,
H.
19.

T. R. Edmund
4-5,

Stedman,

Thoreau, AnC., his thology,


24,

D., 36, 67, 68.


227, 228, 230, 250,

33,

39,

67,

Thucydides, 258, 259. Tibullus, 99. Tickell, Thos.

73" 75Sterne, Laurence,


Stesimbrotus,
Stevenson,
244.

219.

102.

Robert

Louis,

255.

Timaeus,
Timrod, Tipaldo, Tisias,

Stewart,
Stoddard, Story,

Dugald, Richard
on

256 note. Henry, 60.

230. Henry,

61.
206.

Em.,

Judge,

American

poetry, 28. Strabo, 226, 251, 274. Strachey, William, 7. Street, Alfred B., 8 note, 19, 27. Suidas, 223, 237.

247. Titus, Colonel, Todd, Rev.

106.

J., 196. Jaques, 206. Tolmer, John, 194. Toup, Jonathan, 206.
Tollius,

H.

308
Trumbull, Twain, Twining, Tyler,

POETRY

AND

CRITICISM
his
limitations, 136-9;

John, 15.
Mark,

the

73.
209.

Thomas,

characteristics of great poetry, depressing 140; conditions under poetry which developing, 141. Watts, Alaric, 94, 101,

Prof. M.

C,

4.

is

now

Tyrtaeus,

4, 146.

105.

Uhland,

L., 57, 58. Underbill, Thomas,

Weales,

Thomas,

209.
211.

177.

Webbe,
Weddigen,

William, Otto,

123 note.
206,
222,

Valerius, Valerius, Van

Flaccus, Maximus,

99.

Weiske,

Benjamin,
Leonard,

287 note.
226 ; his

226, 242.

Lennep,

Jacobus, 123.
206,

Welsted, Wesley,
West,

207.

Vaucher,
theory

Lewis,
on

John,
Richard,
H.,

290.
100.

the

the authorship of Treatise on the Sublime,

Wetstein, Whitelock,

229-31, Very, Jones, 36. Vida,


201, 202.

235 note,

241, 242.

206. Bulstrade, Walt,

207.
32,

| Whitman,
de la, 123.

Vigne, Virgil,
2OI,

Cashnir
21,

33; 63-4 ; criticism of, 64; Swinburne's of, opinion

5,

Symond's

92, 99, 139, 169, 195,

Von

264, 288. Platen, Count,

122,

128.

of, 65; conflicting opinions his eccentricity, 66-7 ; his originalit 67 ; extravagant

Vopiscus,

235.

homage

pole, Horace, Watton, William, Wai


Walz,

117.
214.

success, of he fails, 71. where

paid his

to him,

68;

secret

69-70;

j Whittier, John

G., 3, 5, 19, 30,

Chr., 240 note, 242. Watson, William, the Poems


published
by Mr.

32" 33. 35 ! early life and.characteristics, 37, 38; his place American poets, 39; among his excellences and his defects, 40; character of his poetry,
41, 42, 50, 55, 146. Wigglesworth, Michael,

John

Lane,

aphorisms 124-5; the jewelled in his poetry, 126; comparison

with
treatment

the
masters,

poetry

of preceding 127-8; his


129-30; of his

15.

of Nature,

I Wilcox, Wilde,

Carlos,
Richard

the

good

judgment
Mr.

19. Henry,

20. %-ersa-

editor,

131-2;

Watson's

careful revision, 133-4, an"^ felicitous his corrections, Classic, true a 134-5; 135-6;

| Willis, Nathaniel tility,28.


Wills, W.

P., his

H., 61.
Forceythe,
42.

Will

son,

INDEX
Winstariley,
Wolf,

309
Wyttenbach,
Xenophon, Yankee Young,
102, nus

William,
180. William,

167.
his

Daniel,

240 note.

Lucien,

Wordsworth,

4;

98, 224, 244, 287.

definition of poetry, 13, 21, 24, 33. 35. 49" 52. 67, 68, 76, 79,
109,
no,

Man-qf-War, 17.
Edward,
ii i
on,

115, 119,

122,

127,

22, 18, 21, ; influence of Longi-

128, 129, 130, 133, 140, 264, 270, 271 ; his defect as a poet,

216-7.
233, 234, 235. 235.

277, 280, 283, 284, 289. Wordsworth, Bishop, 200 note.

Zenobia,
Zosimus,

CHISWICK
TOOKS

PRESS COURT,

CHARLES CHANCERY

WHITTINGHAM LANE,

AND

CO.

LONDON.