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Hellenics (1847), are the works on which Landor's DE QUINCEY (1785-1859)
fame rests most securely; though his later years Thomas De Quincey was born at Manchester
were unusually productive, he never wrote more in 1785. He was a precocious boy, and when in
nobly than in these two collections. From 1835 to 1803 he went up to Oxford University he took
1858 he lived in England, somewhat embittered by with him not only the ability to converse with
domestic disturbances; in 1858 he returned to Italy,
where he lived until his death in 1864. ease in Greek and Latin, but a considerable experience with modern life as well, experience Imaginary Conversations, Landor appears re
To one who reads chiefly the Hellenics and gained during a runaway sojourn in Wales and a year's existence in the slums of London. He
strained and austere, and very unlike the enthusileft Oxford in 1808 to begin the study of law;
astic Romanticists who were his contemporaries. in 1809, however, he leased Wordsworth's old
But it is largely because of his lofty dignity and home at Grasmere, and began his career as a man
restraint that Landor is significant. These qualof letters. Here he remained till 1820, when he
ities he found in the classical literature from went up to London to write for the London Maga
which came his inspiration; no English poet save zine, to which during 1821 he contributed the
Milton has done more to bring over into English
literature the temper and ideals of the genuine Confessions of an English Opium Eater. In 1828 he moved again, this time to Edinburgh, where
Classicism that had been so misrepresented by he wrote for Blackwood's and the Edinburgh Lit
the poets of the eighteenth century. That Lanerary Gazette. He died in Edinburgh towards the
dor, writing from 1798 to 1840, should have been close of 1859, after half a century of arduous and
able to do this, indicates at once how far removed
he was from the majority of his contemporaries, persistent journalistic work. De Quincey's fame would be greater had he
and how great were his own powers. done less discursive and trivial work; the Con
Landor's Complete Works have been edited by fessions, however, have placed him among the
C. G. Crump (Dent and Co.); selections from the masters of English prose. This, his most char
Conversations are in the Camelot Series; from the acteristic production, is in part a record of his
poetry, in the Canterbury Poets (Parker P. Simexperiences with opium, and in part a chronicle
mons). The best Life is by Sir Sidney Colvin, of his early years. He first tasted opium during
in the E. M. L. his residence at Oxford; by 1819 he was in complete bondage to the drug. The Suspiria de Profundis, in which the eloquent prose of the Confes
TENNYSON (1809-1892) sions becomes even richer and more exotic in its The year 1809 was good to England, for it gave splendor, is also associated with opium, for it is her Gladstone, Darwin, Edward Fitzgerald, and here that De Quincey pictures with poetic mag- Alfred Tennyson. The last was born in the little nificence the phantasmagoric creations of his village of Somersby, in Lincolnshire, where his dreams. It is in large part this stylistic richness father was rector. The family was a large one, that makes De Quincey's work memorable; his is consisting of eight brothers (of whom Alfred was thoroughly romantic prose; prose that could have the fourth) and four sisters, and poetry ran in it, been written only during the early years of the for they nearly all wrote verse, and Charles and nineteenth century, or, with some differences of Frederick gained some reputation as poets. The language, in the seventeenth. To the writers of Tennysons used to spend their summers at MableElizabethan England De Quincey undoubtedly thorpe, where the league-long rollers" of the owed much; the rarest qualities of his style, how- North Sea thunder in upon flat beaches; Tennyever, he imitated from nobody.
son's many and varied descriptions of waves are De Quincey's chief works are accessible in many to be traced back to this early acquaintance with editions; an excellent collected edition is that by the ocean, just as his landscapes frequently reDavid Masson (A. and C. Black). Lord Morley's call the rolling wolds of the Lincolnshire country. Life (E. M. L.) is a good biography.
Charles and Alfred went together to Louth
home by their father.
In 1827 a Louth bookseller printed a little
volume entitled Poems by Two Brothers, the Walter Savage Landor was born at Warwick, authors being Charles and Alfred Tennyson. in January, 1775. After studying at Rugby he These juvenilia make a somewhat amusing parade entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1793, of schoolboy learning, and are pervaded by an only to leave one year later under discipline be- assumed melancholy, in which the great contemcause of the exuberance of his republican princi- porary influence of Byron is evident. Alfred was ples. His early verses were published in 1795; in an ardent admirer of Byron. He has told us how 1798 came Gebir, his first work of great importance. he was affected by the news of Byron's death in His enthusiasm for liberty prompted him in 1808 1824: “I thought the whole world was at an end; to raise and equip a regiment in the Spanish army I thought everything was over and finished for that was fighting Napoleon; his military career, everyone that nothing else mattered. I rememhowever, was short. In 1811 he published, anony- ber I walked out alone and carved ‘Byron is dead' mously, his drama Count Julian. In 1821 he re- into the sandstone." In 1828 the two brothers moved to Italy; three years later appeared the first went up to Trinity College, Cambridge, where series of Imaginary Conversations. These, with the they formed friendships with several men later
well known; in particular, the intimacy of Alfred with Arthur Hallam, son of the historian, was to bear the noblest poetic fruit. He continued writing verse, and in 1829 gained the Chancellor's medal with his poem Timbuctoo, in which now and then we catch the first faint echoes of the sonorous roll and melody of the Tennysonian blank verse. He left Cambridge in February, 1831, without taking a degree, recalled to Somersby by the illness of his father, who died in March. While yet at Cambridge he had published the first volume bearing his own name, Poems, Chiefly Lyrical, containing among much that was merely pretty and too sugary some really good things like Mariana and The Poet. Late in 1832 appeared another volume of Poems, wherein the presence of such things as The Lady of Shalott, Oenone, The Palace of Art, and A Dream of Fair Women foreshadowed the coming greatness.
In 1833 Arthur Hallam died in Vienna. The blow fell heavily on Tennyson, and for ten years he published no more poetry. The years were far from wasted, however, for he was busy constantly revising old verse and writing new. The result of this steady labor of self-criticism was seen in the two volumes of Poems of 1842. The more varied interest, the broader human sympathy, and the perfect artistry of this work made Tennyson's fame secure. Many of the poems of 1832 were reprinted in their present form, and Tennyson never wrote finer poetry than in Ulysses and Morte d'Arthur. One result of the public recognition accorded to these volumes was the granting to the poet in 1845 of an annual pension of two hundred pounds. The Princess appeared in 1847, though the lyrics which constitute one of its chief beauties were not added till a third edition. The year 1850 was, as Hallam Tennyson says, the "golden year” of Tennyson's life. He published In Memoriam, upon which he had been working for sixteen years; he married Emily Sellwood, with whom he had been in love for years, but whom he had been unable to marry because of comparative poverty; and on the death of Wordsworth he was made Laureate. Three years later the Tennysons moved to the house in Farringford, in the Isle of Wight, which was their home for the rest of their lives. Maud came out in 1855, and four years later the first four of the Idylls of the King; four more were added in 1869, one in 1871, one in 1872, and the series was completed in 1885. In 1864 were printed Enoch Arden and many of the English idylls. Late in life Tennyson turned to the writing of poetic drama, writing a trilogy on English history, Queen Mary (1875), Harold (1877), and Becket (1884), of which the last was acted with great popular favor by Henry Irving. Two or three other plays also made acting successes. The last years of Tennyson's life were full of travel, of work, and of honor. He was raised to the peerage in 1884, an honor which he accepted as a tribute to literature rather than to himself. He died in 1892, and was buried in Westminster Abbey beside his friend Browning.
Tennyson has been called the representative poet, and In Memoriam the representative poem
of the Victorian era, because it expresses the compromise between religion and science which the era worked out. Tennyson accepts the nebular hypothesis, the theory of evolution, and other teachings of modern science, but succeeds in reconciling them with his faith in a benevolent and loving Power which makes all things work together for good. Along other lines, too, Tennyson best represents the thought of England during his period. He is thoroughly and typically English in his political ideas, standing conservatively for sobriety in freedom against what he considered the tendency to rash excess across the channel. As poet laureate he wrote a good deal of patriotic verse glorifying England and her great men. Although the English idylls contain many pictures and figures from common life, Tennyson was by temper aristocratic, never, for instance, speaking for humanity as do Burns and Wordsworth.
Tennyson is a good, if not a great, story teller, but the idyll is the form he manages most successfully, a form in which he can use ornament freely, and upon which he can bestow his remarkable power of detailed description. The Idylls of the King and The Princess are full of superb descriptive passages, and no poet has been more successful in providing a suitable setting and creating a proper atmosphere for his narrative. In sheer artistry Tennyson is perhaps the first of English poets. In majesty and harmony his blank verse rivals that of Milton, and has a flexibility and variety surpassing Milton's. In lyric verse, too, Tennyson is one of the supreme artists, exhibiting a felicity of phrase and a command of poetic device which at times, as in The Bugle Song, rise to pure magic.
The new Works of Tennyson (Macmillan 1913), with a memoir by the poet's son and Tennyson's own notes, is the best single-volume edition. The authoritative life is the two-volume Memoir by Hallam, the present Lord Tennyson (Macmillan). Tennyson, His Art and Relation to Mod. ern Life, by Stopford Brooke (G. P. Putnam's Sons) is a good commentary.
BROWNING (1812-1889) Robert Browning was born in Camberwell, on the outskirts of London, three years after Tennyson. Of formal schooling the boy had not much. A few years in a private school near home, some private tutoring, a few months in the University of London-this sums it up. His real education was gained in the family circle. Robert Browning, Senior, a clerk in the Bank of England, was scholarly and artistic by temperament, a good linguist, and the possessor of a large and curiously varied library. Young Browning was an omnivorous reader, and in his father's library he made the acquaintance of many of the odd, obscure people who figure so largely in his poetry. His mother, moreover, was something of an artist, and a good musician, and the boy inherited her love of art and music. An understanding of Browning's family life, of the manner of his training, and of the nature of his reading, makes
which he practically invented and perfected. It gives him abundant opportunity for the display of his marvellous power of dramatic characterization, and for the use of the grotesque in material and method which distinguishes him from all other poets. At the same time he has won by a large number of fine lyrics a place as one of the great lyric poets of his country. All Browning's work bears the impress of a tremendously virile personality. His very difficulties are stimulating to a thoughtful reader. His robust optimism, based on a profound faith in the power of love, human and divine, and a profound belief in God and immortality, and summed up in the lines
“God's in his heaven,
All's right with the world,” must always be a tonic force upon his readers.
The Life by G. K. Chesterton (E. M. L.) is entertaining and suggestive. Longer and more detailed biographies are those by Mrs. Sutherland Orr (new ed., Houghton Mifflin), and W. H. Griffin and H. C. Minchin (Macmillan). Useful aids to study are Mrs. Orr's Handbook to the Works of Robert Browning (Bell) and Berdoe's Browning Cyclopedia (Macmillan). Complete single volume editions are the Globe (new ed. 1915, with some material not readily accessible elsewhere, Macmillan) and the Cambridge (Houghton Mifflin).
more intelligible the curious character of his knowledge and his subject matter. A fact of first rate importance in Browning's life was his chance introduction to Shelley's poetry. Shelley's influence, to which Memorabilia bears strong witness, is seen in Browning's first published poem, Pauline (1833); this first effort evinces that interest in soul-development and personality which the poet exhibited all through his life. Pauline was followed in 1835 by Paracelsus, a study of the mediæval pbilosopher; though not widely read, it made for Browning friends in literary circles. It was through the encouragement of one of these friends, Macready the actor-manager, that Browning wrote his first play, Strafford, produced without much success in 1837. A visit to Italy in the next year opened to Browning's eyes the fascination of that country, which from that time on he loved almost as devotedly as he did England. The journey bore fruit in Sordello (1840), a long study of an obscure Italian poet, so difficult in style that it put a blight upon Browning's reputation which took years to remove. From 1841 to 1846 appeared, in cheap pamphlet form, a series of plays and poems called Bells and Pomegranates; in two of the numbers, Dramatic Lyrics (1843) and Dramatic Romances (1845), are some of Browning's finest short poems. Of the plays only A Blot in the 'Scutcheon was performed at the time, and that failed, partly on account of a quarrel between Browning and Macready.
În 1845_Browning became acquainted with Elizabeth Barrett, who had already proved herself to be the most gifted of all English woman poets. In spite of the fact that she had been for years an almost hopeless invalid, and without the consent of her savagely selfish father, Browning persuaded her to marry him in 1846, and the two went at once to Italy, which was their home for the fifteen years of their married life. History has recorded no marriage more ideal, and the perfect union of heart and mind and soul is revealed in several fine poems of Browning's, and with superlative beauty in Mrs. Browning's sequence of Sonnets from the Portuguese. After Mrs. Browning's death in 1861 her husband returned to England. His life thenceforth was uneventful, marked only by annual visits abroad, and the publication of a very large number of volumes. He died in Italy, but his body was brought back to England and laid in Westminster Abbey.
Browning's work falls naturally into three periods, the first ending in 1840 and containing the poems already mentioned. The publication of Pippa Passes in 1841 as the first number of Bells and Pomegranates marks the beginning of his finest work, which includes the two series of dramatic monologues entitled Men and Women (1855) and Dramatis Persona (1864), and his masterpiece, The Ring and the Book (1868–69). The work of the last period from 1870 on, large in extent, and showing no diminution in vigor, is mainly philosophical and analytical, is inferior in beauty, and exhibits the poet's eccentricities in their worst form.
Browning's most characteristic contribution to literature is the dramatic monologue, a form
FITZGERALD (1809-1883) Fitzgerald was beyond cavil a genius, and there must have been attraction of personality in a man who could win and keep such friends as Tennyson, Thackeray, and Carlyle. But he drifted through life like a derelict, aimless, irresolute, and obscure. After graduating from Cambridge in 1830 he lived the life of a secluded country gentleman, publishing from time to time books which attracted little attention. The best of his work is translation: Six Dramas of Calderon, the Spanish playwright, and translations from Æschylus and Sophocles. The translation, or rather, paraphrase of Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyát was first printed in 1859; so few of the first edition of two hundred copies were sold that the remainder were marked down to a penny and placed in a second-hand book stall. Here the book was discovered by Rossetti and Swinburne, who spread the knowledge of its beauty through their set. The circle of readers gradually widened, and Fitzgerald made changes through three subsequent editions; it is the fourth edition, of 1879, which is now generally read. There have been other translations of the Rubaiyât more faithful to the letter, but no other has so perfectly rendered the spirit, or has, like this, made a profound impression on English literature. In Fitzgerald old Omar found an ideal interpreter; for his philosophy, epicurean, agnostic, and fatalistic, yet tinged with a wistful longing that will not down, was perfectly attested to the key of the modern poet's temperament.
The definitive edition of Fitzgerald's works is edited by F. Bentham and E. Gosse (7 vols., Mac
millan). His interesting letters are edited by better known works are numerous; MacMechan's W. A. Wright (Macmillan). The best life is that editions of Sartor and Heroes, in the Atheneum by A. C. Benson (E. M. L.)
Press series (Ginn), are inexpensive and complete
in every desirable feature. CARLYLE (1795-1881) Thomas Carlyle was born in the Scottish village
RUSKIN (1819-1900) of Ecclefechan in 1795. After graduating from John Ruskin, the son of a wealthy London winethe University of Edinburgh, where he spent four merchant, was born in February, 1819. His rather unsatisfactory years, he had some difficulty formal education did not begin till he was fifteen; in getting started in life. The ministry, law, and by that time, however, he had gained for himself teaching he rejected one after another; finally he a knowledge of literature and art so great as to settled down to be a man of letters, and began make the teaching of an English school seem writing for reviews and encyclopædias. From elementary. His university, course at Christ's 1828 to 1834 he lived with his bride, Jane Welsh Church, Oxford, was distinguished by his winning Carlyle, at Craigenputtoch, where, in a "solitude the Newdigate Prize for poetry; it was also during almost Druidical” Carlyle wrote various critical his undergraduate days that his boyish love for essays, and his most original work, Sartor Resartus. Turner's landscapes developed into the enthuAt Craigenputtoch Carlyle and Emerson first met, siasm which prompted Modern Painters (1843and began their life-long and intimate friendship. 60). This, the first of Ruskin's great books Sartor appeared in Fraser's Magazine, London, on art, is ostensibly a defence of Turner against during 1833 and 1834. After 1834 Carlyle was a the charge of painting unnaturally; in fact, resident of London. In 1837 he published The however, it is a survey of many schools and types French Revolution, and in 1841 Heroes and Hero- for the purpose of determining the bases of artisWorship, a series of essays that had been delivered tic effects. In 1849 appeared the Seven Lamps of as lectures before London audiences. In 1843 Architecture; in 1851-53 The Stones of Venice. came Past and Present, and in 1845 the Letters and In these three, his most important books on art, Speeches of Oliver Cromwell, all of them books that Ruskin propounded and defended his thesis that won many readers in England, and, thanks to a nation's art, particularly its architecture, is a Emerson's services, found even larger audiences sure index of its moral and social condition, and across the Atlantic. By 1845, however, Carlyle's that great art is impossible unless it rests back health was badly shaken, and his next great work, upon national greatness. Interested in the imthe History of Friederich II, did not begin to ap- provement of art, and considering it the result of pear till 1858. Carlyle had suffered from dyspepsia social conditions, it was natural for Ruskin to during his college course; he was a sick man much turn his attention away from the result to the of his life. When in 1866 his wife died, the shock, cause; after 1860 he was no longer primarily an added to his chronic suffering from disease, “broke art critic, but a social reformer. He heralded his his life in two.” Never again did he do anything appearance in this new field by publishing in 1860 which added to his fame; some of his later writ- Unto This Last, a collection of papers on political ings, harsh protests against the times in which he
economy; Fors Clavigera (1871), written in the lived, might better have been left unpublished. form of letters to working men, indicates how In 1881 he died.
radical were the changes proposed by Ruskin, It was Carlyle's fortune to be out of sympathy and how impractical many of his views. Ruskin with his age. He wasted much energy railing believed himself to have failed in his attempts to against science and democracy, the two most char- better the condition of the English working classes, acteristic developments of the nineteenth century. certainly his influence in this field was much To him science appeared only as the destroyer of slighter than it had been in the domain of criticism. wonder and worship; democracy, “government He died in 1900, leaving as his last work a delightby the worst," was the doom of hero and king. ful volume of reminiscences, Præterita, written But despite this hostility to the contemporary at the suggestion of his American friend, Charles world, Carlyle accomplished much. His History Eliot Norton. of the French Revolution, though criticized for its To the student of to-day Ruskin is significant lack of understanding of the French temper, is a chiefly on account of his style. That he did much brilliant picture of a nation-wide upheaval; the to establish the criticism of art on a substantial Friederich II is epic in its scope, and of astonish- philosophical basis is indisputable, as is the fact ing accuracy. In the Cromwell he painted a full- that in his sociological writings he was moved by length portrait of the Protector, and did much to the noblest aspirations and ideals. But it is after convince England of his sincerity. And in Heroes, all for his magic power over words that Ruskin Past and Present, and Sarlor, he urged the claims is remembered, for his brilliant descriptions, bis of the spirit and preached the gospels of labor and full, rich, and almost lyrical rhythms, and for a self-sacrifice with superb eloquence. If in some power of organization that is not always a conof his work Carlyle's voice was too strident and comitant of the romantic temperament. his recriminations too general, in these, his noblest The great edition of Ruskin is that of Cook and utterances, he spoke with all the fervor and solemn Wedderburn (George Allen & Co.); less expensive passion of a Hebrew prophet.
editions of such of his works as are out of copy The best brief biography of Carlyle is by Gar- right are
The best biography is nett, in the Great Writers series. Éditions of his W. G. Collingwood's (2 vols., Houghton Miffin);
Harrison's, in the E. M. L., is briefer, and trust- at Cambridge, where he made the acquaintance worthy.
of the Cambridge literary circle, and attempted
to gain a living by tutoring and writing. He reMACAULAY (1800-1859)
turned to England in 1853 to take a position in
the Education Office, and passed the rest of his Thomas Babington Macaulay, Baron Macaulay, life in filling its duties. He died in Florence while was born in October, 1800. His precocity as a travelling in search of health. His memory is youth has be the subject of many an anecdote; preserved in Matthew Arnold's fine elegy Thyrsis. his memory was of the sort which enabled him to
Clough's life, interesting to Americans because learn by heart, and without undue exertion, all of his friendships with Emerson, Lowell, and of Pilgrim's Progress and Paradise Lost. In 1818
Charles Eliot Norton, was not a happy or a suche entered Trinity College, Cambridge, of which cessful one because of his spiritual unrest. His he was later elected Fellow. When he was twenty- poetry reflects his sceptical, questioning attitude, five years old he began his career as journalistic and is typical of an age when many men did not critic by publishing in the Edinburgh Review his succeed, as Tennyson did, in keeping a spiritual essay on Milton. Immature in judgment, it was equilibrium amid the disturbance caused by nevertheless, startlingly readable, and made its scientific progress and theory. author known and popular at once.
Clough's works are published in two volumes, later Macaulay found himself virtually destitute,
one of poems, one of prose, the latter with a his family fortune exhausted, and his fellowship memoir by Mrs. Clough (Macmillan.) There are expiring. At this juncture he was sent to the good essays by Bagehot in Literary Studies and House of Commons by Lord Lansdowne, who Stopford Brooke in Four Victorian Poets. under the old system controlled the seat for Calne. Macaulay found the House perplexed by the problems of Parliamentary reform, and although
ARNOLD (1822–1888) the passage of the Reform Bill might have deprived him of his seat, he gave himself enthu
Matthew Arnold was the son of Thomas Arnold, siastically to the support of the measure, and won
the famous headmaster of Rugby, and the father's a marked success by his speeches. From 1834 to
intense moral earnestness makes readily intelligible 1838 he was in India as a member of the Supreme
the son's lifelong interest in problems of conduct Council. On his return to England he once more
and culture. From Rugby he went to Oxford, entered Parliament, and in 1839 was appointed
and in 1845 won the distinguished honor of a Secretary for War. His tenure of office ended in fellowship in Oriel. After a few months of teach1841 with the fall of the ministry; the next year
ing at Rugby, and a short term of service as he published the Lays of Ancient Rome, and in
secretary to the Liberal leader, Lord Lansdowne, 1843 the collected Essays. From this time to the
he was in 1851 made an Inspector of Schools, end of his life_Macaulay's interests were chiefly
and for thirty-five years faithfully performed the in literature. In 1848 he published the first two
duties of his office to the great profit of popular volumes of his History of England; nine years
education. later his elevation to the peerage as Baron Macau
Most of Arnold's poetry was written in the lay of Rothley was symbolic of the esteem his
years between 1849 and 1867. It is small in literary accomplishment had won him from the amount and narrow in scope, largely meditative, nation at large. He died in December, 1859, and
tinged by the spiritual unrest of the time with a was buried in Westminster Abbey.
decided pessimism. This should not, however, The great source of information about Macaulay
be taken to imply any lack of lyrical fervor. is Trevelyan's Life and Letters (Harper's); Mori- Indeed, in the utterance of his melancholy reson's Life in the E. M. L. is briefer. Numerous flections he is genuinely impassioned, as in Dover editions of his works are accessible; the Albany
Beach, that beautiful and sad confession of loss (Longmans, Green, and Co.), is complete in twelve
of faith. The bent of Arnold's genius was well volumes.
suited to the elegy, and he has given to English
poetry some of the finest expressions of the eleCLOUGH (1819-1861)
giac mood, The Scholar Gipsy and Thyrsis being
outstanding examples. In the field of narrative The son of a cotton merchant who lived for a verse Sohrab and Rustum is too well known to time in Charleston, S. C., Clough spent part of need comment; Balder Dead, likewise an epic his boyhood in this country. He was sent to fragment, and Tristram and I scult, a picturschool at Rugby, where he fell strongly under the esque but perhaps over-moralized version of influence of Thomas Arnold, Rugby's great head- Malory's story, are less successful, though ex- , master. On going from Rugby to Oxford he cellent. All Arnold's poetry is marked by its passed from an atmosphere of strong religious undertone of sadness, a melancholy ground-swell, faith to one of great uncertainty, for in 1836, when as well as by a fine restraint which makes imClough entered Balliol, the Tractarian movement possible anything like sentimentality. The prewas shaking Oxford to its foundations. From vailing influences upon it are classical, and in its the unsettling of his religious views Clough never stoic philosophy, its restraint and lucidity, it is recovered. He made a good scholarship record the best modern expression of the classical spirit. at Oxford, and held a fellowship at Oriel from In 1857 Arnold became Professor of Poetry at 1842 to 1848. After some desultory tutoring and Oxford, and ceased to write poetry to talk about travelling he came to the United States, settled it. During the years of his professorship he issued