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.Might now be lying on this bloody sand,
'' A life of blood indeed, thou dreadful man!
'' Soon be that day, my son, and deep that sea!
The spear, and drew it from his side, and eased
The crimson torrent ran, dim now and soiled,
His limbs grew slack; motionless, white, he lay—
White, with eyes closed; only when heavy gasps, Deep heavy gasps quivering through all his
frame, 850 Convulsed him back to life, he opened them, And fixed them feebly on his father's face; Till now all strength waB ebbed, and from his
Unwillingly the spirit fled away,
So, on the bloody sand, Sohrab lay dead; And the great Bustum drew his horseman's cloak
Down o'er his face, and sate by his dead son. As those black granite pillars, once highreared 860 By Jemshid1 in Persepolis, to bear
l Or .Tnmshld: n mythical king of Persia. Persepolls Is noted tor its ruins of ancient grandeur.
His house, now 'mid their broken flights of steps
Lie prone, enormous, down the mountain side— So in the sand lay Bustum by his son.
And night came down over the solemn waste, And the two gazing hosts, and that sole pair, And darkened all; and a cold fog, with night, Crept from the Oxus. Soon a hum arose As of a great assembly loosed, and fires Began to twinkle through the fog; for now 870 Both armies moved to camp, and took their meal;
The Persians took it on the open sands Southward, the Tartars by the river marge; And Kustum and his son were left alone.
But the majestic river floated on,
Under the solitary moon;—he flowed
To hem his watery march, and dam his streams,
Emerge, and shine upon the Aral Sea.
Hark! ah, the nightingale—
Hark, from that moonlit cedar what a burst!
O wanderer from a Grecian shore,
And can this fragrant lawn 10
2 A village near Khiva.
• See the familiar story of Philomela and Proone la (ireek mythology. The poem is evidently addressed to a friend, "Eugenia."
To thy racked heart and brain
Dost thou to-night behold,
Here, through the moonlight on this English grass,
The unfriendly palace in the Thracian wild!
With hot cheeks and scared eyes 20
shame? Dost thou once more assay Thy flight, and feel come over thee, Poor fugitive, the feathery change Once more, and once more seem to make resound
With love and hate, triumph and agony,
How thick the bursts come crowding through the leaves!
Again—thou hearest? S9
April 6, 1887.
What, Kaiser dead? The heavy news
The ode sublime,
A rival rhyme.
Kai's bracelet tail, Kai's busy feet,
0 for the croon pathetic, sweet,
Of Robin's reed!* 12
Six years ago I brought him down,
A baby dog, from London town;
Round his small throat of black and brown
A ribbon blue,
A dachshound true.
His mother, most majestic dame,
1 In Surrey, where Arnold was then living,
:t Sir Lewis Morris lived at I'en-hryn, in Wales. t Adapted from Iturns's Poor Maine's Elegy, which
Arnold Is imitating, r. A residence of the German emperor.
And so he bore the imperial name.
But ah, his sire! 24
Soon, soon the days conviction bring.
The eye's unrest—
Kai stood confest.
But all those virtues, which commend
What sense, what cheer!
A mate how dear! 36
For Max, thy brother-dog, began
To flag, and feel his narrowing span.
And cold, besides, his blue blood ran,
Since, 'gainst the classes,
Incite the Masses.0
Yes, Max and we grew slow and sad;
In work or play,
Live out the day! 48
Still, still I see the figure smart—
Trophy in mouth, agog to start,
Then, home returned, once more depart;
Or prest together
In winter weather.
1 see the tail, like bracelet twirled,
A conquering sign;
And never pine." 60
Thine eye was bright, thy coat it shone;
A fit! All's over;
And Toss, and Rover.
Poor Max, with downcast, reverent head,
6 A mild thrust at Gladstone nnd his Home Rule Bill.
1 Mourned In a previous elegy. (leist'H Genre.
Full well Max knows the friend is ileail
Whose cordial talk,
Beguiled his walk. 72
And Glory, stretched at Burwood gate,
The ehiel from Skye,
Thy memory die.
Well, fetch his graven collar fine,
Kai, in thy grave.
And this plain stave. 8*
The sea is calm to-night,
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the .Egaian, anil it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea. 20
The Sea of Faith
Was once, too. at the full, ami round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furbd.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.
• Another expression of Arnold's Stole creed. See Hole on his sonnet Tfi it Frlrml, p. li-lt!.
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another; for the world, which seems 30
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
THE LAST WORD
I'rcep into thy narrow bed,
Let the long contention cease!
They out-talked thee, hissed thee, tore theet
Charge once more, then, and be dumb!
CULTURE AND HUMAN PERFECTION*
The disparagers of culture make its motive curiosity; sometimes, indeed, they make its motive mere exclusiveness and vanity. The culture which is supposed to plume itself on a smattering of Greek and Latin is a culture which is begotten by nothing so intellectual as curiosity; it is valued either out of sheer vanity and ignorance, or else as an engine of social and class distinction, separating its holder, like a badge or title, from other people who havo not got it. No serious man would call this culture, or attach any value to it, as culture, at all. To find the real ground for the very different estimate which serious people will set upon culture, we must find some motive for culture in the termg of which may lie a real ambiguity; and such a motive the word curio»itji gives us.
I have before now pointed out that we English do not, like the foreigners, use this word
• From the first chaplor of Ciillurr ami Annichu ilstiT), entitled ".sweetness .mil Msbt."
in a good sense as well as in a bad sense. With us the word is always used in a somewhat disapproving sense. A liberal and intelligent eagerness about the things of the mind may be meant by a foreigner when he speaks of curiosity, but with us the word always conveys a certain notion of frivolous and unedifying activity. In the Quarterly Review, some little time ago, was an estimate of the celebrated French critic, M. Sainte-Beuve, and a very inadequate estimate it in my judgment was. And its inadequacy consisted chiefly in this: that in our English way it left out of sight the double sense really involved in the word curiosity, thinking enough was said to stamp M. SainteBeuve with blame if it was said that he was impelled in his operations as a critic by curiosity, and omitting either to perceive that M. Sainte-Beuve himself, and many other people with him, would consider that this was praiseworthy and not blameworthy, or to point out why it ought really to be accounted worthy of blame and not of praise. For, as there is a curiosity about intellectual matters which is futile and merely a disease, so there is certainly a curiosity,—a desire after the things of the mind simply for their own sakes and for the pleasure of seeing them as they are,—which is, in an intelligent being, natural and laudable. Nay, and the very desire to see things as they aret implies a balance and regulation of mind which is not often attained without fruitful effort, and which is the very opposite of the blind and diseased impulse of mind which is what we mean to blame when we blame curiosity. Montesquieu1 says: "The first motive which ought to impel us to study is the desire to augment the excellence of our nature, and to render an intelligent being yet more intelligent." This is the true ground to assign for the genuine scientific passion, however manifested, and for culture, viewed simply as a fruit of this passion; and it is a worthy ground, even though we let the term curiosity stand to describe it.
But there is of culture another view, in which not solely the scientific passion, the sheer desire to see things as they are, natural and proper in an intelligent being, appears as the ground of it. There is a view in which all the love of our neighbour, the impulses towards action, help,
i A French writer of the 18th century, author of the celebrated philosophical work on The Spirit of the Laws.
i This phrase, derived from Wordsworth, has been Klven wide currency by Arnold. See Wordsworth's Supplementary Essay to his Preface lo the Lyrical JiullaiU.
and beneficence, the desire for removing human error, clearing human confusion, and diminishing human misery, the noble aspiration to leave the world better and happier than we found it, —motives eminently such as are called social,— come in as part of the grounds of culture, and the main and pre-eminent part. Culture is, then, properly described, not as having its origin in curiosity, but as having its origin in the love of perfection; it is a study of perfection. It moves by the force, not merely or primarily of the scientific passion for pure knowledge, but also of the moral and social passion for doing good. As, in the first view of it, we took for its worthy motto Montesquieu's words, "To render an intelligent being yet more intelligent I" so, in the second view of it, there is no better motto which it can have than these words of Bishop Wilson2: "To make reason and the will of God prevail!"
Only, whereas the passion for doing good is apt to be over-hasty in determining what reason and the will of God say, because its turn is for acting rather than thinking, and it wants to be beginning to act; and whereas it is apt to take its own conceptions, which proceed from its own state of development and share in all the imperfections and immaturities of this, for a basis of action; what distinguishes culture is, that it is possessed by the scientific passion, as well as by the passion of doing good; that it demands worthy notions of reason and the will of God, and does not readily suffer its own crude conceptions to substitute themselves for them. And knowing that no action or institution can be salutary and stable which is not based on reason and the will of God, it is not so bent on acting and instituting, even with the great aim of diminishing human error and misery ever before its thoughts, but that it can remember that acting and instituting are of little use, unless we know how and what we ought to act and to institute.
This culture is more interesting and more far-reaching than that other, which is founded solely on the scientific passion for knowing. But it needs times of faith and ardour, times when the intellectual horizon is opening and widening all round us, to flourish in. And is not the close and bounded intellectual horizon within which we have long lived and moved now lifting up, and are not new lights finding free passage to shine in upon us? For a long time there was no passage for them to make their way in upon us, and then it was of no
2 Thomas Wilson, Bishop of the Isle of Man (d. 1TC5).
use to think of adapting the world's action to' thorn. Where was the hope of making reason j anil the will of God prevail among people who had a routine which they had christened reason and the will of God, in which they were inextricably bound, and beyond which they hail no power of looking! But now the iron force of adhesion to the old routine,—social, political religious,—has wonderfully yielded; the iron force of exclusion of all which is new has wonderfully yielded. The danger now is, not that people should obstinately refuse to allow anything but their old routine to pass for reason and the will of God, but either that they should allow some novelty or other to pass for these too easily, or else that they should underrate the importance of them altogether, and think it enough to follow action for its own sake, without troubling themselves to make reason and the will of God prevail therein. Now, then, is the moment for culture to be of service, culture which believeB in making reason and the will of God prevail; believes in perfection; is the study and pursuit of perfection; and is no longer debarred, by a rigid invincible exclusion of whatever is new, from getting acceptance for its ideas, simply because they are new.
The moment this view of culture is seized, the moment it is regarded not solely as the endeavour to see things as they are, to draw towards a knowledge of the universal order which seems to be intended and aimed at in the world, and which it is a man's happiness to go along with or his misery to go counter to,—to learn, in short, the will of God,—the moment, 1 say, culture is considered not merely as the endeavour to see and learn this, but as the endeavour, also, to make it prevail, the moral, social, and beneficent character of culture becomes manifest. The mere endeavour to sec and learn the truth for our own personal satisfaction is indeed a commencement for making it prevail, a preparing the way for this, which always serves this, and is wrongly, therefore, stamped with blame absolutely in itself and not only in its caricature and degeneration. But perhaps it has got stamped with blame and disparaged with the dubious title of curiosity because, in comparison with this wider endeavour of such great and plain utility, it looks selfish, petty, and unprofitable.
And religion, the greatest and most important of the efforts by which the human race has manifested its impulse to perfect itself,— religion, that voice of the deepest human experience,—does not only enjoin and sanction the aim which is the great aim of culture, the
aim of setting ourselves to ascertain what perfection is, and to make it prevail; but also, in determining generally in what human perfection consists, religion comes to a conclusion identical with that which culture,—culture seeking the determination of this question through all the voices of human experience which have been heard upon it, of art, science, poetry, philosophy, history, as well as of religion, in order to give a greater fullness and certainty to its solution,—likewise reaches. Religion says: The kingdom of God is within you; and culture, in like manner, places human perfection in an internal condition, in the growth and predominance of our humanity proper, as distinguished from our animality. It places it in the ever-increasing efficacy and in the general harmonious expansion of those gifts of thought and feeling which make the peculiar dignity, wealth, and happiness of human nature. As 1 have said on a former occasion: "It is in making endless additions to itself, in the endless expansion of its powers, in endless growth in wisdom and beauty, that the spirit of the human race finds its ideal. To reach this ideal, culture is an indispensable aid, and that is the true value of culture." Not a having and a resting, but a growing and a becoming, is the character of perfection as culture conceives it; and here, too, it coincides with religion
But the point of view of culture, keeping the mark of human perfection simply and broadly in view, and not assigning to this perfection, as religion or utilitarianism yssignx to it, a special and limited character, this point of view, I say, of culture is best given by these words of Epictetus1: "It is a sign of a<t>via," says he,—that is, of a nature not finely tempered,—"to give yourselves up to things which relate to the body; to make, for instance, a great fuss about exercise, a great fuss about eating, a great fuss about drinking, a great fuss about walking, a great fuss about riding. All these things ought to be done merely by the way; the formation of the spirit and character must be our real concern.'' This is admirable; and, indeed, the Greek word diftvia. a finely tempered nature, gives exactly the notion of perfection as culture brings us to conceive it: a harmonious perfection, a perfection in which the characters of beauty and intelligence are both present, which unites 'the two noblest of things,"—as Swift, who of one of the two, at any rate, had himself all too little, most happily calls them in his Battle of I Sop note on Arnold's sonnet To a Frtcnd.