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^opl SffcittiT of fitcratiirc, 




|t0pl Strrictn of f itcraiurt of ti)t ^nitcb ^inghnr. 

Pounded in 1825 by H.M. King George the Fourth. 



The Right Hon. thk Eakl of Halsbuey, F.R.S. 

Rev. the Master of St. John's College, Cambridge, D.D. 
Sir Edward Erabrook, C.H., V.-P.SvA. 
J. S. Phen^, Esq., LL.D., F.8.A. 
The Baron de Worms, I-'.S.A. 
James Curtis, Esq., F.S.A. 

The Right Hon. Lord Amherst of Hackney, F.S.A. 
His Grace the Duke of Northumberland, K.G. 
J. Henniker Heaton, Esq., JI.P. 
Rev. H. G. Rosedale, M.A., D.D., F.S.A. 
M. H. Spielmann, Esq., F.S.A. 

Percy W. Ames, Esq., LL.D., F.S.A. 
The Ven. Archdeacon Revan, M.A. 
S. H. Butcher, Esq., M.P., D.Litt. 
The Right Hon. Lord Collins, LL.D., D.C.L. 
Rev. F. St John Coebett, M.A., F.R.Hist.S. 
Prof. W. J. Courthope, C.B., D.Litt. 
Emanuel Green, Esq., F.S.A. 
Rev. a. a. Harland, M.A., F.S.A. 
H. M. Tmbert-Terry, Esq. 
Prof. J. W. Mackail, M.A., LL.D. 
John Murray, Esq., M.A. 
Philip H. Newman, Esq., R.B.A., F.S.A. 
E. H. Pember, Esq., K.C , M.A. 
G. W. Prothero, Esq.. D.Litt. 
Robert W. Ramsey, Esq. 
R. Inigo Tasker, Esq. 


STvcasuvrv. — Sir Edward Brabrook, C.B. 

%)on. jFcrttgn Sf rrrtaip.— Rev. H. G. Rosedale, M.A., D.D., F.S.A. 

rftvftanj anil Irtvanan. — Percy W. Ames, Esq., LL.D., F.S.A. 

F.R.C.O., A.R.A.M. 


~ ... C Ernest KivER, Esq., 

^"^'^'"^^•-1 BARON Percy deWc 

Eaii;i( Satictir of fitcrature. 


Apkil 24th, 1907. 

In the unavoidable absence of the Right Hon. 
THE Earl op Halsbuey, S[k Edward Brabrook, 
C.B., Vice-President, took the Chair. 

The Notice convening the Meeting was read 
by the Secretary. The Minutes of the Anni- 
versary Meeting of 1906 were read and signed. 
The following was presented as the — 


The Council of the Royal Society of Litera- 
ture have the honour to report that since the 
last Anniversary Meeting, held on April 25th, 
1906, there have been the following changes in, 
and additions to, the number of Fellows of the 

They have to announce the loss by death of — 
Peopessor Dr. Dietrich Kerler, of the Univer- 
sity of Wurzburg (elected Foreign Honorary 
Fellow 1905). 
Rev. Canon MacColl, D.D. (Fellow 1867-8-9 ; 

re-elected 1902). 
Rev. Ernest Hill, M.A. (elected 1893). 

And by resignation of — 
Dr. H. B. Baildon. 

On the other hand, they have much pleasure 

in announcing the election as Ordinary Fellows 


Rev. Canon Beeching, D.Litt. 

Reginald Blompield, Esq., A.R.A., F.S.A. 

Cornelius Brown, Esq., F.S.A. 

S. H. Butcher, Esq., M.P., D.Litt. 

Basil Champneys, Esq., B.A. 

A. A. R. Chinappa, Esq., M.C.P. 

The Right Hon. Lord Collins, LL.D., D.C.L. 

Professor W. J. Couethope, C.B., D.Litt. 

W. L. Courtney, Esq., LL.D. 

Austin Dobson, Esq., LL.D. 

John de Grey Downing, Esq., B.A. 

Sir Charles Eliot, C.B., K.C.M.G. 

Principal Fairbairn, D.D. 

W. Warde Fowler, Esq., M.A. 

His Highness the Ruling Prince of Baroda. 

The Right Hon. Lord Burghclere, P.O., D.L. 
Sir Archibald Geikie, F.R.S., F.G.S., D.C.L., 

D.Sc, LL.D. 
Edmund Gosse^ Esq., LL.D. 
W. H. Hadow, Esq., M.A. 
Thomas Hardy, Esq., LL.D., J. P. 
Eev. W. a. Heard, M.A., LL.D. 
Rev. Canon Hensley Henson, B,D. 
Maurice Hewlett, Esq. 
G. Humphreys-Davies, Esq. 
Sidney Lee, Esq., D.Litt. 
Rev. the Hon. Edward Lyttelton, M.A. 
Professor J. W. Mackail, LL.D. 
Professor A. S. Mackenzie, M.A. 
E. R. NoRRis Mathews, Esq., E.R.Hist.S. 
Professor J. E. B. Mayor, D.C.L., LL.D. 
John Murray, Esq., M.A. 

E. H. Pember, Esq., K.C., M.A. 

F. W. Pember, Esq. 

Sir Frederick Pollock, Bt., LL.D., D.C.L. 
Henry Proctor, Esq., M.R.A.S. 

G. W. Prothero, Esq., D.Litt. 
Professor G. G. Ramsay, LL.D., D.Litt. 

The Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Ripon, D.D. 
The Rev. the Warden op New College, Oxford. 
The Very Rev. the Dean of Christ Church, 

The Very Rev. the Dean of Canterbury, D.D. 


The Vice-Chancellok of the Univeksity of 

A. W. Verrall, Esq., D.Litt. 
A. B. Walkley, Esq., B.A. 
Thomas Humphrey Ward, Esq. 
Mrs. Humphrey Ward. 
Theodore Watts-Dunton, Esq. 
The Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Winchester, 

J. C. Wright, Esq. 
The Right Hon. George Wyndham, M.P., D.C.L. 

Since the last Anniversary Meeting the follow- 
ing " Transactions " have been issued to the 
Fellows : Vol. xxvii, parts i, ii, and iii. 

A facsimile of an autograph MS. of Ghristabel, 
by S. T. Coleridge, with an excursus and textual 
and other notes, by Mr. Ernest Hartley Coleridge, 
is now ready, and will be presented to each 
Fellow of the Society. The work is published 
for the Society by Mr. Henry Frowde. 

The Balance-sheet for 1906, showing the 
financial state of the Society, after being 
laid on the table for the information of the 
Fellows, is printed with this Report as follows : 












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The following Papers have been read before 
the Society since the last Anniversary Meeting : 

I. April 25th, 1906. Sir Edward Brabrook, 
C.B., Vice-President, in the chair. A Paper on 
The Poetry of Grahbe, by Professor J. Churton 
Collins, M.A., D.Litt., Hon.F.R.S.L. 

II. May 23rd, 1906. The Pev. Dr. Posedale, 
F.S.A., Vice-President, in the chair. A Paper 
on Wordsivorth, Coleridge, and Bartram, the 
American Traveller, by Ernest Hartley Coleridge, 
Esq., M.A., Hon.F.R.S.L. 

III. June 15th, 1906. The Rev. H. G. Rose- 
dale, M.A., D.D., Vice-President, in the chair. 
A Paper on TJte Citij of Prague, by the Count 
Liitzow, D.Litt., Hon.F.R.S.L. 

IV. June 27th, 1906. The Rev. H. G. Rose- 
dale, M.A., D.D., Vice-President, in the chair. 
A Paper on Pierre Corneille, by Dr. M. A. 
Gerothwohl, F.R.S.L. 

V. JSTovember 28th, 1906. J. Henniker 
Heaton, Esq., M.P., Vice-President, in the 
chair. A Paper on ' Umr Khayam, by A. Rogers, 
Esq., M.R.A.S. 


VI. January 23rcl, 1907. The Rev. H. G. 
Rosedale, D.D., F.S.A., Vice-President, in the 
cliair. A Paper on The Golden Litamj, by 
Wm. E. A. Axon, Esq., LL.D., F.R.S.L. Also 
a Paper on Boolcs from tJte Lihrari/ of Ben 
Jonson, by Robert W. Ramsey, F.R.S.L. 

VII. February 27th, 1907. Sir Edward 
Brabrook, C.B., Vice-President, in the chair. 
A Paper on The Earliest Italian Influence on 
English Literature, by Sidney Lee, Esq., D.Litt. 

VIII. April 10th, 1907. Sir Edward Bra- 
brook, C.B., Vice-President, in the chair. A 
Paper on The GreeJc Method of Notation, by 
Professor J. P. Mahaffy, C.V.O. 

The Secretary, acting also as Librarian 
R.S.L., has drawn up the following report 
of donations to the Library of the Society since 
the last Anniversary. These are classified 
under the several headings of Governments or 
Societies, Home, Colonial, and Foreign ; Public 
Institutions, and Individual Donors. 


Societies and Public Institutions. 


Anthropological Institute. — Journal to date. 

East India Association, — Journal to date. 

Manchester Geographical Society. — Journal to date. 

Royal Colonial Institute. — Proceedings. 

Royal Dublin Society. — Proceedings and Trans- 

Royal Geographical Society. — Geographical Journal 
to date. 

Royal Institution of Great Britain. — Proceedings. 

Royal Irish Academy. — Transactions and Proceedings 
to date. 

Royal Society op Edinburgh. — Transactions and Pro- 
ceedings to date. 

Society op Antiquaries of London. — Proceedings to 
date. Archseologia, Vol. LIX, Part II. 

Society of Biblical Archaeology. — Proceedings to 



New Zealand. — From the Registrar-General. Statis- 
tics of the Colony of New Zealand, 1905. 


Societies and Public Institutions. 


Canada, Dominion of. — Royal Society of Canada. — 
Proceedings and Transactions. 

Geological Survey, Annnal Report, N.S., 

with Maps. 

Australia. — Royal Society of New South Wales. — 
Journal and Proceedings. 

New Zealand. — New Zealand Institute. — Transac- 
tions and Proceedings. From Sir James Hector, 
Director Colonial Museum of New Zealand. 


Belgium. — Societe des Bollandistes. — Analecta Bol- 

Denmark. — Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries, 

Copenhagen. — Memoires, N.S. 
France. — La Bibliotheque de l^Universite d'Aix. — 

Annales des Facidtes de Droit et des Lettres d'Aix, 

Tome I, Nos. 1-4, Tome II, No. 1. 
Italy. — Royal Academy of Sciences, Turin. — Atti, 

continued to date. 


Italy.— Royal Lombard Institute, Milan.— Ee»(?/- 
conti, 8^^. Ser. ii continued to date. 

Russia. — Imperial Academy op Sciences, St. Peters- 
burg. — Bulletins. 

The Society lias received the following from 
individual donors : 

Bailey, Thomas Arthur, F.R.S.L., Author. — The Hour 

of Reverie and other Poems. 
Burns, Thomas, F.R.S.L., Author. — Visions from 

Carson, Thomas G., Autlwr. — Man's Responsibility. 

New York and Lond., 1905. 
From the Publishers. — Tlie Purgatorio and Paradiso 

of the Divina Commedia of Dante. Translated 

into English verse by C. Potter. 
Honyman, Gillespie Trust. — The Argument a priori 

for the Being and Attributes of the Lord God. 

By William Honyman Gillespie. Edinburgh, 

Manen, Johan Van, Editor. — Transactions of the 

First Congress of the Federation of European 

Sections of the Theosophical -Societies. Amster- 
dam, 1906. 


Manen, Johan Van, Editor. — Transactions of the 
Second Annual Congress held in London in July, 
1905. Lond., 1907. 

PiLLAY, C. T., Author. — The Solution of Religions. 

Ray, Sasanka Nath, Author. — The Prasad Translation 
in Bengali blank verse of Milton's " Paradise 
Lost." Book I. 

Sum, Dr. Antonin, Hon. Secretary, Bohemian Section, 
Austrian Exhibition, Earl's Court, 1906. — A 

The thanks of the Society are due to the 
respective Editors and Proprietors of the 
following Journals for presentation copies : 
The Atlienseuiii and the Edinhurgh Review to 

The subscription lias been continued to the 
New English Dictionary. 

The list of names recommended by the out- 
going Council as the Officers and Council foi' 
1907-8 having been submitted to ballot, the 
scrutineers, E. H. Coleridge, Esq., and Dr. M. A. 


Gerothwohl, reported that the House List was 
unanimously adopted by the meeting. The 
list will be found ante, on the leaf facing the 
commencement of the Report. 



By Sib Edward Brabkook, C.B., F.S.A., 


I AM once more honoured by our noble Presi- 
dent, the Earl of Halslnuy, with authority to 
address you in his stead on the occasion of the 
close of another year of the Society. I must 
first pay the due tribute of respect to the 
memory of those whom we have lost — our 
Fellows, the Rev. Malcolm MacColl and the 
Rev. Ernest Hill, and our Honorary Fellow, 
Dr. Kerler. Canon MacColl was born, accord- 
ing to one account in 1834, according to another 
in 1837, and was the son of a sheep farmer in 
Inverness-shire. He was educated in Edinburgh 
and at a theological institution in Glenalmond, 
and w^as ordained in 1858 or 1859. He spent 
a year at the University of Naples, served for 
another year as chaplain to the British Embassy 
at St. Petersburg, and in 1871 was preferred 


to tlie rectory of St. George, Botolpli Lane, 
London. In 1884 lie was made a canon of 
Ripon Cathedral. His contributions to litera- 
ture, though numerous, were chiefly of the 
nature of theological and political controversy, 
and call, therefore, for no observation from me; 
but his works on ' Life Here and Hereafter ' 
and ' Christianity in relation to Science and 
Morals ' stand on a higher plane. He was the 
friend of Dollinger, of Gladstone, and of Liddon, 
and won himself an influential position in politics. 

Mr. Hill was the headmaster of a once famous 
school, the Abbey School, Beckenham. Neither 
he nor Canon MacColl made any contribution 
to the transactions of our Society; but at the 
last meeting of the Council we were favoured 
with a promise of an early communication 
from Canon MacColl, which is lost through his 

It was only as recently as 1905 that the 
Society did itself honour by conferring a 
Diploma of Honorary Fellowship upon Dr. 
Dietrich Kerler, chief Librarian of the Univer- 
sity of Wiirzburg, Knight of the Order of St. 



Michael, member of the Historical Commission 
of the Academy of Sciences in Munich, whom 
nian}^ other societies besides our own had 
delighted to honour. The only communication 
we have since received from him was a letter 
in which he acknowledged, with many ex- 
pressions of gratitude, his receipt of the diploma. 
We now learn, by a communication from Herr 
Oetker, the rector of his university, that our 
distinguished Honorary Fellow died on March 
3rd, 1907, and we have in return expressed our 
feelings of regret. 

We have supplied the place of these three 
deceased Fellows and of one gentleman who 
had resigned his fellowship by the election of 
fifty new Fellows, many of them persons of 
the highest standing in literature and society. 
I doul^t whether, in all the eighty-four years 
since the Society was first constituted, there has 
been a single year in which its ranks have before 
been so largely augmented both in qualit}- and 
quantity. We have, therefore, to congratulate 
ourselves most heartily on the Society's prosperity. 

I am bold to assert that the accession of these 


distinguislied men to our body gives promise 
also of a great increase in the usefulness of tlie 
Societ}'. They come, not as mere sympathisers 
and lookers-on, but as fellow-workers, and as 
men earnestly desirous to promote the object 
of the Society. Seven of them have consented 
to serve upon our Council, and you will have 
the satisfaction by your votes to-day of appoint- 
ing them to that position. There could be no 
stronger evidence of the reality of their desire 
to co-operate with us. 

Let me remind you of the object for which 
we are incorporated by our Royal Charter, the 
integrity of which we successfully vindicated 
not very long ago. It is the advancement of 
literature, which we are empowered to effect 
by the following methods : 

(1) By the publication of inedited remains of 
ancient literature, and of such works as may be 
of great intrinsic value, but not of that popular 
character which usually claims the attention of 

(2) By the promotion of discoveries in litera- 


(3) By endeavouriiig to fix the standard, as 
far as is practicable, and to preserve the purity 
of the English language. 

(4) By the critical improvement of English 

(5) By the reading, at public meetings, of 
interesting papers on history, philosophy, 
poetry, philology, and the arts ; and the publi- 
cation of such of those papers as shall be 
approved of. 

(6) By the assigning of honorary rewards to 
works of great literary merit, and to important 
discoveries in literature. 

(7) By establishing a correspondence with 
learned men in foreign countries, for the pur- 
pose of literary inquiry and information. 

In all these branches of our work we shall 
have, I am persuaded, the cordial sympathy 
and active co-operation of our new Fellows and 
Counsellors, but especially in that part of it 
which is concerned with the encouragement of 
good literature, with the preservation and pro- 
motion of its influence in society at large, and 
with upholding the continuity of our literary 


heritage. I take leave to quote in this con- 
nection the forcible words of one of their 
number, to which they have all assented. " It 
will be generally agreed," he says, " that the 
dangers which threaten to lower the standard 
of judgment in literature and taste are on the 
increase. Many tendencies inherent in the 
constitution of modern society co-operate to 
undermine the authority of the best literary 
tradition. The vast growth in the number of 
writers and readers, the strain and hurry of 
social life, and the calls made upon the press 
to adapt itself to every ephemeral demand, all 
serve to discourage the cultivation of the more 
permanent forms of literature. The result is 
more and more to weaken those influences 
which educate a sense of style ; to confirm an 
impression that the popular taste, however law- 
less, is the sole measure of good and bad in 
writing; and to grant an impunity to license 
and affectation, which cannot fail to corrupt 
the purity of the English language." 

On the part of the Royal Society of Literature 
of the United Kingdom I accept the statements 


of oui* colleague, and adopt liis definition of 
policy, which is that we should not attempt to 
lay down rigid canons of taste, or vaunt our- 
selves as a literary tribunal ; but rather that 
we should make a imited effort to maintain a 
high tradition of letters, which, while based on 
the examples of the classic masters, ancient 
and modern, should ever be renewed and vivified 
by close contact with the life of the community. 
The influence which the Society as a body may 
exert in this direction will necessarily be greater 
than that of its individual members acting singly. 

The exact methods by which we should seek 
to make the influence of the Society felt can 
best be determined by discussion in the Council, 
but the following suggestions, derived from the 
same authority, are worthy of its consideration : 

(1) We might, as opportunities arise, approach 
educational bodies and organisations, and public 
authorities having direct or indirect control 
over study and education, with a view to induc- 
ing them to give due weight, in their courses 
of instruction and subjects of examination, to 
English literature and composition. 


(2) A systematic enquiry might be made by 
Fellows of the Society, or by competent persons 
acting under direction of the Council, into the 
reports and catalogues of books of literary 
institutes, free libraries, polytechnics, and other 
bodies, in order to see whether literature is 
properly represented, and to bring deficiencies 
to the notice of the authorities w^hose selection 
of books affects the public taste, so as, if 
necessary, to induce them to spend more money 
on providing (a) the best editions, (/>) a large 
number of chief copies, of the English classics. 

(o) Societies and associations more or less 
connected with literature might l^e invited, in 
cases where it may seem advisable, to arrange 
for lectures tending to promote the study of 
the best literature ; and such lectures or courses 
of lectures might occasionally be delivered by 
Fellows of the Society. 

(4) The Society might memorialise the autho- 
rities of such places of learning or education, 
especially the universities and public schools, 
as do not make adequate provision for the 
study and teaching of English literature, and 


the practice of writing English, with a view to 
supplying that deficiency. 

(5) The Society might initiate or assist move- 
ments aiming at the creation and endowment 
of professorships and lectureships, the establish- 
ment of prizes, and other means of encourage- 
ment of literary study and composition; and 
might approach Avealthy and public-spirited 
individuals and bodies in order to obtain the 
funds requisite for these purposes. 

I believe that all these useful manifestations 
of energy and others that may occur to the 
Council for more fully effecting our objects are 
well within the provisions of our existing bye- 
laws. That, however, will be a question for 
your Council to inquire into and decide ; and 
if they should resolve to come before you at 
the next anniversary or at some special meeting 
to be called for the purpose with a proposal for 
any amendment of the bye-laws that may appear 
to be necessary, I do not think that you will be 
unwilling to make it. 

The papers that, in pursuance of the fifth 
method prescribed by our Charter, have been 


read at our public meetings during the past 
year, and have been, or will be, published in our 
Transactions, have well fulfilled the requirement 
of the Charter that they should be "interesting," 
and have traversed the wide field of inquiry 
that is there contemplated. If I may attempt 
a rouofh classification of them according^ to the 
scheme of the charter, we have had three papers 
on history, three on poetry, and three on the 
arts. In history. Professor Mahaify's paper on 
the questions (1) With what notation did the 
Attic historians write their numbers ? Can the 
proper answer help us to purify their texts ? 
(2) Application to a disputed question in Greek 
chronology, viz. the date of Plataea's alliance 
with Athens ; Dr. Sidney Lee's paper on " The 
Earliest Italian Influence in English Litera- 
ture " ; and Count Liitzow's on " The City of 
Prague " — that beautiful town which, in the 
count's patriotic words, requires but to be 
known to be loved. In poetry, Mr. A. Rogers 
on " 'Umr Khayam," in which he sought to 
show that the famous version of Edward Fitz- 
Gerald, fascinating as it is, does not do justice 


to the Persian original or to tlie moral attitude 
of tlie author ; Mr. E. Hartley Coleridge on 
Colerido-e and Wordsworth in their relation 
with the American botanist, William Bartram, 
whose journal of his travels furnished the 
material for some fine passages in their poems ; 
and Professor Churton Collins on the " Poetry 
of Crabbe," to which attention was recently 
drawn by the centenary celebration at Alde- 
burgh. In the arts I may classify, though it is 
a late and not very beautiful specimen of the 
art of illumination, the fifteenth century Douce 
manuscript of " The Golden Litany of the Holy 
Magdalen," transcribed and ably commented 
upon by Dr. William E. A. Axon; and, in their 
bearing on dramatic art. Professor Grerothwohl's 
paper on " Pierre Corneille," and Mr. R. W. 
Ramsay's on " Books from the Library of Ben 
Jonson." To all these authors we owe an 
expression of our sincere gratitude for the in- 
struction and the pleasure they have afforded us. 
The Society has not neglected the first method 
prescribed by its Charter, and you will shortly, 
I expect, have delivered to you two excellent 


works which are in preparation by Mr. Coleridge 
and Dr. Lee respectively, for Di'. Richards's 

It appeared at one time that the Society 
might have been called upon to exercise also 
the third method, when an assault was made 
by a person of high authority in the United 
States upon the system of English spelling. 
The movement so soon died out from its own 
inherent weakness that no action on the part 
of the Council became necessary, but I am sure 
you would have supported them had they taken 
any steps to oppose a proposal so objectionable 
from many points of view. 

This review of the existing and prospective 
activities of our Society leads me once more to 
comment upon that association of certain 
specified academies in various countries which 
calls itself by the misleading title of the Inter- 
national Association of Academies — a title which 
does not rightly belong to it so long as it does 
not include this Society, the only academy in 
the United Kingdom qualified by Royal Charter 
to advance literature. In this matter, the 


attitude of the Royal Society of London for im- 
proving Natural Knowledge towards a sister 
society, co-ordinate with it in authority — 
though no one of us would presume to assert 
that it is equal with it in renown — appears to 
me to be wholly incapable of defence. No 
fellow of that Royal Society has, indeed, ever 
ventured to define the principles which have 
actuated it in the matter ; and I hope the time 
is not far distant when that Society will see 
that it is due to its own dignity and sense of 
justice to give this Society the redress to which 
it is entitled. 

On the motion of the Rev. F. St John Corbett, 
seconded by Mr. Philip H. Newman, a vote of 
thanks was accorded unanimously to Sir 
Edward Brabrook for his Address and conduct 
in the chair. 


The sigu f indicates an Honorary Fellow, c = a Compounder. 

Year of 


1894. tHER Royal, Highness the Duchess of Albany. 

1901. Marcus Anslow Alabone, Esq., L.R.C.P.E., 

L.E.C.S.E., L.F.P.S., F.E.M.S., 3, Biddulph 

Mansious, Elgin Avenue, W. 
1899. Robert Vickery Allen, Esq., Guilden Morden, 

Royston, Hertfordshire. 
1878. cPercy Willoughby Ames, Esq., LL.D., F.S.A., 

V.P.E.S., F.C.I.S., Secretary and Librarian, 20, 

Hanover Square, W. ; and Authors' Club. 
1861. cThe Right Hon. Lord Amherst of Hackney, 

F.S.A., Vice-President, 8, Grosvenor Square, 

W. ; Didlington Hall, Brandon, Norfolk ; and 

Athenaeum Club. 
1905. David Anderson-Berry, Esq., M.D., F.R.S.E., 

23, Grrosvenor Crescent, St. Leonards-on-Sea. 

1902. Rev. Hugh John Dukinfield Astley, M.A., 

Litt.D., East Rudham Vicarage, King's Lynn, 
Norfolk. (Hon. Edit. Sec, B.A.A.) 

1903. tTHE Right Hon. Lord Avebury, D.C.L., LL.D., 

F.R.S., 6, St. James's Square, S.W. ; High 
Elms, Down, Kent ; and Athenaeum Club. 


Year of 
1868. William E. A. Axon, Esq., LL.D., 3, Albany 

Road, Soutliport. 
1901. Eev. Albert Bage, Ph.B., 30, Miltou Place, 

1905. Rev. Thomas Arthur Bailey, Barras Garth 

House, Upper Wortley, Leeds. 
1899. Charles E. B.vker, Esq., J.P., Park Hill Lodge, 

Sliortlauds, Kent. 
1904. Frederic William Banks, Esq., Beau Morice 

Chambers, 2, Garden Court, Middle Temple; 

87, Ecclestou Square; Junior Constitutional 

1903. -fR-Ex. S. Baring-Gould, M.A., J.P., Rector of Lew- 

Trenchard, Lew-Trenchard House, N. Devon. 
1907. Rev. Henry Charles Beeching, M.A., D.Litt., 

Canon of Westminster Abbey, 3, Little Cloisters, 


1905. The Yen. Henry E. J. Bevan, M.A., Archdeacon 
of Middlesex, Council, The Rectory, Chelsea, 
S.W. ; Quatford Castle, Bridgenorth, Shropshire. 

1872. Rev. Frederick A. Billing, M.A., D.D., LL.D., 
7, St.Donatt'sRoad, LewishamHigh Road, S.E. 

1907. Reginald Blomfield, Esq., A.R.A., M.A., F.S. A., 

51, Frognal, Hanipstead, N.W. ; Point Hill, 
Playden, Sussex ; and Athenaeum Club. 
1905. Lady E. A. M. Blount, 11, Gloucester Road, 
Kingston Hill. 

Year of 

1898. William Bolton, Esq., 36, Elgin Eoad, Addis- 

couibe, Croydou. 
1902. De. C. W. Botwood, D.Sc, Ph.D., 74, Micklegate, 

1902. William A. Bowen, Esq., LL.B., 50, Hamilton 

Gardens, St. John's Wood, N.W. 
1904. Mrs. Elizabeth Botle (forinerlj Miss Elizabeth 

Whitelev), 9, Orange Street, Bloemfontein, 

O.E.C., South Africa. 

1865. cSiR Edward Brabeook, C.B., V.-P.S.A., V.-P.S.S., 

past President of the Anthroi^ological Institute, 
Vice-President and Treasurer, Athenseum Club, 
Pall Mall, S.W. 
1898. Charles Angell Bradford, Esq., F.S.A., 
4, Park Place, St. James's Street, S.W. 

1902. cJoHN Potter Briscoe, Esq., F.E.Hist.S., 
F.L.A., Citv Librarian of Nottingham, Central 
-Free Public Library, Nottingham ; Elm Villa, 
38, Addison Street, Nottingham. 

1894. fREv. Stopford Augustus Brooke, M.A., LL.D., 
1, Manchester Square ; and Athenseum Club. 

1907. Cornelius Brown, Esq., F.S.A., Holmwood, The 

Park, Newark. 
1907. The Eight Hon. Lord Burghclere, P.C, D.L., 

M.A., 48, Charles Street, W. ; Fitzrov Place, 

Surrey ; and Brooks's Club. 

1904. Thomas Burns, Esq., 25, Diana Street, NeAvcastle- 


Year of 
1907. Samuel Henry Butcher, Esq., M.P., D.Litt. 

Dublin, D.Litt.Oxou., LL.D., Glasgow and 

Edinburgh, Council, 6, Tavistock Square, W.C.; 
and Athenaeum Club. 
1907. The Right Eev. William Boyd Carpenter, 

D.C.L., D.D., Lord Bishop of Ripon, The 

Palace, Ripon ; 2, Morpeth Mansions, S.W. ; 

and Athenaeum Club. 
1862. fJoB Caudwell, Esq., Spencer Park, Wandsworth 

Common, S.W. 
]900. Major W. Boughton Chambers, luspector of 

Factories, Custom House, Bombay, 
1907. Basil Champneys. Esq., B.A., Hall Oalc, Frognal, 

Hamp.'^tead, N.W. ; and Athenaeum Club. 
1906. Abanazar Ananda Eoyer Chinnappa, Esq , 

M.C.P., College of Preceptors, Bloomsbury 

Square, W C. 

1906. George Fernandez Mitchell Clarke, Esq , 

L.S.A., M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., Cranbourne Man- 
sions, Cranbourne Sti*eet, W.C. 
1899. fERNEST Hartley Coleridge, Esq., M.A., 167, 
St. James's Road, Croydon. 

1907. The Right Hon. Lord Collins, M.A., LL.D., 

D.C.L., Lord of Appeal iu Ordinary, Council, 
3, Bramham Gardens, S.W. ; and Athenaeum 
1899. fJoHN Churton Collins, Esq., M.A., Litt.D., 
Professor of English Literature in the Univer- 
sity of Birmingham, 18, De Vere Gardens, 
Kensington, W. ; and Athenaeum Club. 



Year of 

1899. H, Martin Cooke, Esq., St.Vincent's, Eastbourne. 

1906. EicHARD Cooke, Esq., A. and M.C.P., F.E.G.S., 

Archbishop Abbot's School, Guildford. 
1892. Stanley Coopee, Esq., 27, Banbury Eoad, Oxford. 

1900. cEev. W. Hargreaves Cooper, F.E.G.S., Eich 

mond, Penzance. 

1901. cEev. Frederick StJohn Corbett, M.A.,. 

F.E.Hist.S., Council, The Eectory, St. George- 
in-the-East, London. 
1886. cH. C. Corke, Esq., 178, High Street, Southampton. 

1907. Professor William John Cotjrthope, C.B., 

M.A., D.Litt , LL.D., Professor of Latin in the 
University of Oxford, Civil Service Commis- 
sioner, Council, The Lodge, Wadhurst, Sussex ; 
and Athenaeum Club. 
1907. William Leonard Courtney, Esq., M.A., LL.D., 
Editor of the ' Fortnightly Eeview.' 53, Gordon 
Square, W.C. ; and Authors' Club. 

1903. fS. E. Crockett, Esq., M.A., c/o A. P. Watt and 

Son, Hastings House, Norfolk Street, W.C. ; 

and Authors' Club. 
1896. William Thomas Crosweller, Esq., M.S. A., 

F.I.Inst., F.Z.S., Kent Lodge, Sidcup. 
1890. cJames Curtis, Esq., F.S.A., Vice-President, 

179, Marylebone Eoad, N.W. ; Glenburn, 

Worcester Eoad, Sutton, Surrey. 

1904. John Herbert Dawson, Esq., Ill, Lower Seedley 

Eoad, Seedley, Manchester. 
1903. Miss Violet Defries, 71, Leith Mansions, Elgin 
Avenue, Maida Vale, W. 



Year of 
1907. Austin Dobson, LL.D., 75,- Eatou Rise, Ealing, 

W. ; and Athenaeum Club. 
1903. fEDWARD DowDEN, Esq., M.A., LL.D., D.C.L., 

Litt.D., Professor of English Literature in the 

University of Dublin, Highfield House, Rathgar, 

CO. Dublin. 
1907. John de Gteey Downing, Esq., B.A., M.R.A.S., 

4, Fairlie Place, Calcutta, India. 

1899. RoMESH DuTT, Esq., CLE., Barrister-at-Law, 

Finance Minister to H.H. the Maharaja 

Gaekwar, Baroda, India. 
1907. Sir Charles Norton Edgecumbe Eliot, C.B., 

K.C.M.G., Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford. 

Endcliffe Holt, Sheffield. 
1902. T. MuLLETT Ellis, Esq., Creek House, Shepper- 


1900. Mrs. C. Ella Eve, 61, Harley Street, Cavendish 

Square, W. 
1907. Rev. Principal A. M. Fairbairn, D.D., LL.D., 

D.Lit., Mansfield College, Oxford. 
1900. cCharles Frederick Forshaw, Esq., LL.D., 

D.C.L., M.R.DublinS., F.R.Hist.S., 20, Otley 

Road, Bradford, Yorkshire. 
1905. A. E. Manning Foster, Esq., 33, De Vere 

Gardens, W. 
1907. William Warde Fowler, M.A., Fellow and Tutor 

of Lincoln College, Oxford. Lincoln College, 

Oxford ; and Oxford and Cambridge Club. 
1897. Arnold Francke, Esq., 50, Lewisham Park, S.E. 

Year of 

1898. fJ- G^- Frazer, Esq., M.A., LL.D., D.Litt., D.C.L., 

4, Parkside, Cambridge. 
1894. f¥. J. FuRNivALL, Esq., M.A., Ph.D., D.LIt., St. 

George's Square, Primrose Hill, N.W. 

1906. cHis Highness Maharaja Sayajiras GtAekwar, 

Ruling Prince of Bai-oda, Baroda, India. 
1892. cShrimant Sampatrao K. Gaikwad, M.R.L, 

M.R.A.S., F.R.C.I., Baroda, India. 
1902. Arthur Harold Garstang, Esq., 20, Roe Lane, 

1883. William Blackford Gedge, Esq., c/o Messrs. 

Pope & Plante, 42, Old Bond Street, W. 

1907. Sir Archibald Geikie, F.R.S., F.G.S., D.C.L., 

D.Sc, LL.D., Secretary of the Royal Society 
3, Sloane Court, S. W. ; and Athenaeum Club. 

1902. Maurice A. Gerothwohl, Esq., D.Litt., Trinity 
College, Dublin ; 8, Alma Terrace, Kensing- 
ton, W. 

1902. cN. N. Ghose, Esq., Barrister-at-La\v, Principal 
Metropolitan Institution, 43, Bancharam TJn- 
koor's Lane, Bowbazar, Calcutta. 

1904. Rev. J. George Gibson, D.D., The Rectory, 
Ebchester, R.S.O. 

1901. Mrs. Ella Mary Gordon, LL.D., M.S.A., Arnlee, 
Pitfodels, Aberdeenshire ; and Auchintoul, 

1907. Edmund Gosse, Esq., LL.D., Librarian to the 
House of Lords. 17, Hanover Terrace, Regent's 
Park, N.W. ; and Savile Club. 


Year of 


1898. Emanuel Gkeen, Esq., F.S. A., Council, Devonshire 
Club, St. James's Street, S.W. 

1877. Thomas William Greenwell, Esq., Broom- 
shields, Tow Law, CO. Durham. 

1907. William Henry Hadow, Esq., M.A., Mus. Bac, 
Fellow and Tutor of Worcester College, Oxford. 
Worcester College, Oxford ; South Cerney, 
Cirencester ; and Oxford and Cambridge Club. 

1897. Heinrich Maria Hain, Esq., Ph.D., M.C.P., 
Wilhelmj House, 38, Leam Terrace, Leaming- 
ton Spa. 

1880. The Eight Hon. the Earl of Halsbury, F.R.S., 
President, 4, Ennismore Gardens, Princes Gate, 
S.W. ; and Athenaeum Club. 

1906. Key. William Parker Hanks, M.A., The Whins, 

Sion Hill, Bath. 

1907. Thomas Hardy, Esq., LL.D., J.P., Max Gate, 

Dorchester ; and Athenteum Club. 
1865. cRev. Albert Augustus Harland, M.A., F.S. A., 

Council, Harefield Vicarage, Uxbridge. 
1904. William Hatfield, Esq., A.C.P., 2, Crosby 

Street, Stockport. 
1907. Eev. William Augustus Heard, M.A., LL.D., 

Headmaster of Fettes College. The Lodge, 

Fettes College, Edinburgh. 

]883. John Henniker Heaton, Esq., M.P., Vice- 
President, The Carlton Club, Pall Mall, S.W. 

1885. J. Stewart Henderson, Esq., F.R.G.S., 1, Pond 
Street, Hampstead, IST.W. 


Year of 

1907. "Rev. Herbert Hbnsley Henson, B.D., Eector 

of St. Margaret's and Canon of Westminster 

Abbey, 17, Dean's Yard, Westminster. 
1868. cEev. C. a. Heurtley, M.A., Asliington Eectory, 

Pulborougli, Sussex. 
1907. Maurice Hewlett, Esq., 7, Northwick Terrace, 

N.W. ; Old Rectory, Broad Chalk, Salisbury. 
1889. Mrs. Napier Higgins, 24, The Boltons, S.W. 
1904. J.A.HowARD-WATSON,Esq.,F.R.G.S.,F.R.Hist.S., 

29, Sandringham Road, Waterloo, Liverpool. 
1906. George Httmphrets-Davies, Esq., 5, Laurence 

Pountney Lane, Cannon Street, E.C. 
1906. Charles Hyatt-Woolf, Esq., F.R.P.S., 26, 

Clarence Gate Gardens, Dorset Square, W. 
1880. H. M. Imbert-Terry, Esq., Council, Strete Ralegh, 

Exeter ; and Carlton Club. 
1901. Joseph James, Esq., D.Sc, Ph.D., 25, Milner 

Square, Islington, N. 
1865. cGeorge J. Johnson, Esq., J.P., 136, HagleyRoad, 


1901. cRev. Philip Henry Kirkham, M.A., M.S.A., 

St. Luke's Mission, S.P.G., Toungoo, Burma. 

1899. cErnest Kiver, Esq., F.R.C.O., A.R.A.M., A.Ph.S., 
Professor at the Royal Academy of Music, 
Auditor, Kenmure, South Ci'oydon. 

1897. Joseph William Knipe, Esq., Ph.D., L.C.P., 
The Lawn, Fishponds, Bristol. 

1902. J. J. Lane, Esq., Municipal Offices, Brighouse, 
1892. James Lauder, Esq., The Glasgow Athenaeum, 



Year of 
1907. Sidney Lee, Esq., D.Litt., 108a, Lexham Gardens, 

Kensington, W. ; and Atlienaeuiu Club. 

1898. Charles Letts, Esq., 8, Bartlett's Buildings, 

Holborn Circus, E.C. 

1898. John Letts, Esq., 8, Bax-tlett's Buildings, Holborn 

Circus, E.C. 
1889. Major J. A. Liebmann, F.E.G.S., P.O. Box 1113, 

Cape Town, S. Africa. 
1895. William Douw Lighthall, Esq., M.A., Chateau- 

clair, AVestmount, Montreal, Canada. 
1900. Percy George Lodge, Esq., M.D., Lee House, 

Preston Street, Bradford. 

1899. William Lorimer, Esq., J.P., M.S. A., Kirklinton, 

Langside, Glasgow. 

1907. Rev. the Hon. Edward Ltttelton, M.A., Head- 
master of Eton, Hon. Canon of St. Alban's, 
The Cloisters, Eton College, Windsor. 

1907. John William Mackail, Esq., M.A., LL.D., 
Professor of Poetry in the Universit}^ of Oxford, 
Council, 6, Pembroke Gardens, Kensington, W. 
and Athenaeum Club. 

1906. Alexander StClair Mackenzie, Esq., M.A., 
Professor of English at the State College of 
Kentucky, Lexington, Ky., U.S.A. 

1899, Kenneth McKe an, Esq., The Homestead, Monkton 
Combe, near Bath. 

1904. Rev. James Marchant, Lochnagar, Jarvis Bi-ook, 
Sussex ; and Authors' Club. 

1906. E. R. Norris Mathews, Esq., F.R.Hist.S., Central 
Public Libraiy, Bristol. 



Year of 


1901. Miss A. Eglantine Maxwell, Craiglilies, Cove, 

Dumbartonshire, N.B. 
1907. Pkofessor John Eyton Bickersteth Mayor, 

D.C.L., LL.D., D.D., Professor of Latin in the 

University of Cambridge, St. John's College, 

1899. Rev. H. Anderson Meaden, Beech Lawn, North 

1894. jGeorge Meredith, Esq., Box Hill, Dorking. 

1899. Lady Meux, Theobald's Park, Waltham Cross, 

Herts ; and 41, Park Lane, W. 

1900. William Miles, Esq., 114, Melody Road, 

Wandsworth Common, S.W. 
1904. Walter J. Miller, Esq., Cierko, College Road, 

1900. Rev. William C. Minifie, D.D., The Retreat, 

Clvtha Park, Newport, Monmouthshire. 
1859. fGEORGE Washington Moon, Esq., 7, Princes 
Terrace, Sussex Square, Brighton. 

1901. James Muirhead Potter Muirhead, Esq., 

F.S.S.,E.R.C.I., Civil Service Club, Cape Town; 

and 57, St. Greorges Street, Cape Town, S. Africa. 
1907. John Murray, Esq., M.A., F.S.A., J.P., D.L., 

Council, 50, Albemarle Street, London, W. ; 

and Athenaeum Club. 
1901. Albert Myers, Esq., 18, Newington Creen, N. 
1887. cR. A. Naylor, Esq., F.R.Hist.S., F.R.G.S., 

F.R.Met.S., Cuerdon Hall, Thelwall, Cheshire. 


Year of 

1894. Philip H. Newman, Esq., F.S.A., K.B.A., Council, 
39, Brunswick Square, W.C. ; The Manor 
House, Bengal, Greens Norton, Towcester ; 
and Royal Societies Club. 

1899. His Grace the Duke of Northumberland, 
K.G., Vice-President, 2, Grosvenor Place, S.W. ; 
and Alnwick Castle, Northumberland. 

1903. John Smedley Norton, Esq., 3, Remenham Hill, 


1904. Elliott O'Donnell, Esq., 24, Alma Road, Clifton, 


1906. Rev. Edward Hosea Palmer, New Wortley 

Vicarage, Leeds. 

1907. Edward Henry Pember, Esq ., K.C., M.A., Council, 

Vicar's Hill, Lymingtou, Hants; and Athenaeum 

1907. Francis William Pember, Esq., M.A., late 

Fellow of All Souls' College, Oxford, Barrister- 

at-Law, 60, Queen's Gardens, W. ; and 

Athenaeum Club. 
1876. Rev. James Edward Perkins, M.A., 2, Far Cliff 

Road, Toller Lane, Bradford, Yoi-ks. 
1878, cJoHN Samuel Phene, Esq., LL.D., F.S.A. 

F.R.G.S., F.G.S., Vice-F resident, 5, Carlton 

Terrace, Oakley Street, S.W. 
1907. Sir Frederick Pollock, Bt., LL.D., D.C.L., 21, 

Hyde Park Place, W. ; and Athenaeum Club. 
1902. Henry Chapman Poulter, Esq., 3, College 

Green, Dublin ; and Redan Lodge, Rathgar 

Road, Rathgar, co. Dublin. 


Year of 


1906. Henry Proctor, Esq., M.E.A.S., 146, Malliusou 

Road, Clapliam Common, S.W. 

1907. George Walter Prothero, Esq., Litt.D., Editor 

of ' Quarterly Review,' Council, 24, Bedford 

Square, W.C. ; and Athenaeum Club. 
1907. Professor George Gilbert Ramsay, LL.D., 

Lit.D., late Professor of Humanity in the 

University of Glasgow, Drumore, Blairgowrie, 

1903. RoBT. W. Ramsey, Esq., Council, 27, Clarendon 

Road, Holland Park. W. 
1906. Professor Navakrishna Ray, B.A., Maharaja's 

College, Jaipur, Rajputana, India. 
1899. Hy. Lindon Riley, Esq., LL.B., Barrister-at-Law, 

Eccleston Parle, Prescot, Lancashire. 
1870. The Most Hon. the Marquess of Ripon, K.G., 

G.C.S.I., C.I.E., F.R.S., formerly Viceroy of 

India, 9, Chelsea Embankment, S.W. ; and 

Atbenseuni Club. 
1888. cWalter T. Rogers, Esq., The Library, Inner 

Temple, E.C. 
1896. The Rev. Honyel Gough Rosedale, M.A., D.D., 

F.S.A., Vice-President and Honorary Foreign 

Secretary, St. Peter's Vicarage, 13, Ladbroke 

Gardens, W. 
1899. Rev. W. E. Rosedale, M.A., The Vicarage, 

Willenhall, Staffordshire. 
1905. Rev. Robt. Ross, A.K.C., Christchurch Vicarage, 

Bridlington Quay, Yorkshire. 


Vear of 

1905. John IIowlands, Esq., Wauuarlwydd, Swansea. 

1893. fCHARLES EussELL, Esq.. 11, Buckingham Ter- 

race, W. 

1903. Mrs. Annie Eussell-Cotes, East Cliff Hall, 

1907. The Eight Eev. Herbert Edward Eyle, D.D., 

Lord Bishop of Winchester, Farnham Castle, 

Surrey ; and Athenaeum Club. 
1900. Colonel T. Davies Sewell, F.E.A.S., late 6th 

Battn. the Eoyal Fusiliers, 29, Grosveuor 

Eoad, S.W. ; United Service Club. 
1897. KuNWAR KusH.\L Pal Sinh, Esq., M.A., M.E.A.S., 

EaTs Kotla P.O., Kotla, Dt. Agra, (East), India. 

1906. Walter Scott Sisterson, Esq., 20, Boyne Eoad, 

Belmont Hill, Lewisham, S.E. 
1886. George E. Skerry, Esq., F.E.G.S., 119, High 
Holboru. W.C. 

1894. George Eustace Skliros, Esq., M.A., B.Sc, 

289, Eegeiit Street, W. 

1904. Archibald Sparke, Esq., Chesham House, 

1896. Marion H. Spielmann, Esq., F.S.A., Vice-Presi- 
dent, 21, Cadogan Gardens, Belgravia, S.W. 

1907. Eev. William Archibald Spooneb, D.D., 

Warden of New College, Oxford. Warden's 
Lodgings, New College, Oxford; and Athensum 
1906. Eev. James Sprunt, 29, Poets Eoad, Highbury 
New Park, N. 



Year of 


1904. Rev. William Thomas Stonesteeet, D.D., 

LL.D., 18, Corporation Street, Manchester. 
1902. cMes. Mabel Fkances Strafford 83, Woodstock 

Road, Bedford Park, W. 
1907. The Very Rev. Thomas Banks Strong, D.B., 

Dean of Christ Church, Oxford. Christ Church, 

1892. The Hon. James Maclarfn Stuart, Master or 

Gray, 14, The Boltons, South Kensington ; 

Brownswood, Euniscorthy, Co. Wexford. 
1899. John Hamer Sutcliffe, Esq., 199, Piccadilly, W. 
1875. cRaja Sir S. M. Tagore, Master of Music, The 

Rajbati, Pathuriaghata, Calcutta. 
1897. cR. Inigo Tasker, Esq., Cotincil, Nether Park, 

Nether Street, Church End, Einchley. 
1884. Rev. Charles Taylor, D.D., Master of St. John's 

College, Cambridge, Vice-President, St. John's 

Lodge, Cambridge ; and Athenaeum Club. 
1902. William H. Ternent, Esq., B.Litt., Church St. 

Head, Durham. 
1896. Rev. Charles John Terry, M.A., 7, Gildridge 

Road, Eastbourne. 
1891. Rev. George F. Terry, L.Th., r.S.A.,F.R.Hist.S., 

All Souls' Vicarage, 88, Fincbley Road, W. 

1905. Jesse Lambly Thomas, Esq., 75, West Park, 

Eltham, Kent. 
1904. John T. Thorp, Esq., M.S.A., F.R.Hist.S., 57, 
Reeent Road, Leicester. 

Yi'ar of 

1900. David Tollemache, Esq., 7, GniiiJe Parade 
Mansions, Muswell Hill, N. ; and La Belle 
Sauvage, E.G. 

1906. Wm. J. Vandenbekgh, Esq., F.R.S.E., F.E.M.S., 

Adelaide, South Australia. 

1907. Arthur Woollgar Yerrall, Esq., Litt.D., 

Fellow of Trinity College, Canabridge, Barrister- 

at-Law. 6, Selwju Gardens, Cambridge ; and 

Athenaeum Club. 
1907. The Very Eev. Henry Wage, D.D., Dean of 

Canterbiiry, The Deanery, Canterbury ; and 

Athenaeum Club. 
1898. John Hartley Wadsworth, Esq., M.A., North 

Bailey, Durham. 
1907. Arthur Bingham Walkley, Esq., B.A., 36, 

Tavistock Square, W.C. ; Worth Cottage, 

Crawley, Sussex ; and Devonshire Club. 
1907. Thomas Humphry AVard, Esq., M.A., 25, Grosve- 

nor Place, S.W. ; Stocks, Tring ; and Athenaeum 

1907. Mrs. Humphry Ward, 25, Grosvenor Place, S.W. ; 

Stocks, Tring. 
1907. Thomas Herbert Warren, Esq., President of 

St. Mary Magdalen College, Oxford, Vice- 

Chancellor of the University of Oxford. The 

Lodgings, Magdalen College, Oxford ; and Savile 

1902. Edward James Watson, Esq., F.R.Hist.S., St. 

John's Arch, Bristol. 


Year of 

1907. Theodore Watts-Dunton, Esq., The Pines, 
11, Putney Hill. 

1896. Henry Stanley Hoole Waylen, Esq., West- 

bury, Wilts. 
1901. Alex. D. 0. Wedderburn, Esq., K.C., 47, 

Cadogan Place, S.W. 
1905. Eev. F. De Lacy White, B.A., The Eectorj, 

Mavesvu Kiclware, Rugelej, Staffs. 
1895. cA. GooDiNCH Williams, Esq., 8, St. John's 

Green, Abbey Terrace, Colchester, Essex. 
1901. Miss Eose Lilian Williams, 2, Eoyal Yoi'k 

Villas, Clifton, Bristol. 

1901. George Henry Wilson, Esq., Heath House, 

Ossett, Yorks. 
1901. Butler Wood, Esq., Central Free Library, 

1887. cT. C. Woodman, Esq., LL.D., F.E.LS., The Old 

House, Pulborough. 
1898. cBaron Anthony de Worms, 17, Park Crescent, 

Portland Place, W. 
1862. George, Baron de Worms, F.S.A., F.E.G.S., 

G.C.F.J., Vice-President, 17, Park Crescent, 

Portland Place, W. ; and 27, Adelaide Crescent, 

Hove, Sussex. 
1898. cBaron Percy de Worms, Auditor, 21, Lowndes 

Street, S.W. 

1897. cT. Cato Worsfold, Esq., F.E.Hist.S., Addison 

House, Balham Hill, S.W.; 9, Staple Inn, W.C. 


Year of 

1907. J. C. Wright, Esq., Holmedeue, Arundel Road, 

1899. Rev. J. J. Wright, Atherton, nr. Manchester. 
1907. The Right Hon. G-eorge Wyndham, D.C.L., 

M.P., 35, Park Lane, W. ; Saigliton Grange, 

Chester ; and Caflton Club. 



Year of 

1892. H.E. Count Tounielli Brusati. 

1856. M. LE CoMTE Alexandre Foucher de Caeeil. 

1863. M. Chahma. 

1899. H.E. THE Hon. Joseph M. Choate. 
1906. Professor Dr. H. Cordier. 

1873. M. Clermont Ganneau. 

1892. H.E. Jean Gtennadius, ex-Euvoy Extraordiuary 

from tbe King of the Hellenes. 
1879. Cavalier, Dott. Attilio Hortis, Trieste. 
1906. H. E. Jean Jusserand, French Ambassador at 

Washington, U.S.A. 

1896. H.E. Takaaki Kato, Envoy Extraordinary and 

Minister Plenipotentiary fi'oui H.I.M. the 
Emperor of Japan. 
1854. Dr. C. Leemans, Leydeu. 

1897. Abel Lefranc, Secretaire du College de France. 

1900. The Count Lutzow. 

1891. M. F. J. DE Santa Anna Nery. 

1906. M. Paul Sabatier, D.Litt. 

1897. J. M. W. Van DER PooRTEN Schwartz ^^"Maarten 


1875. Albrecht Weber, Ph.D. 

1889. F. Cope Whitehouse, M.A. 

1905. Professor Dr. Wille. 


fiopi ^atirtij of fitcrature, 



\qixl ^m\\} of Jitcraturt of tljr lh\U)i IVmgbom. 

Founded in 1825 by H.M. King George the Fourth. 


The Right Hon. the Eakl of HALSBUiiY, F.R.S. 

Rev. the Master of St. John's College, Cambridge, D.D. 
Sir Edward Brabrook, C.H., V.-1\S.A. 
J. S. Phene, Esq., LL.D., P.S A. 
The Baron de Worms, F.S.A. 
James Curtis, Esq., F.S.A. 

His Grace the Duke of Northumberland, K.G. 
Rev. H. G. Rosedale, M.A., D.D., F.S.A. 
M. H. Spielmann, Esq., F.S.A. 
The Right Hon. Lord Collins, LL.D., D.C.L. 
S. H. Butcher, Esq., M.P., D.Litt. 

Percy W. Ames, Esq., LL.D., F.S.A. 
Rev. Canon Beech ing, M.A., D.Litt. 
The Ven. Archdeacon Bevan, M.A. 
The Right Hon. Lord Burghclere, M.A. 
Rev. F. StJohn Cobbett, M.A., F.R.Hist.S. 
Prof. W. J. Courthope, C.H., D.Litt. 
W. L. CoDRTNEY, Esq., M.A., LL.D. 
Professor M. A. Gerothwohl, D.Litt. 
Emanuel Green, Esq., F.S.A. 
H. M. Imbert-Terry, Esq. 
Prof. J. W. Mackail, M.A., LL.D. 
J^aurie Magnus, Esq., M.A. 
Philip H. Newman, Esq., R.B.A., F.S.A. 
E. H. Pember, Esq., K.C, M.A. 
G. W. Prothkro, Esq., D.Litt. 
R. Inigo Tasker, Esq. 


JTvfasuvfV. — Sir Edward Brabrook, C.B. 

il?on. jFcrngn Sfrvrtary. — Rev. H. G. Rosedale, M.A., D.D., F.S.A. 

Sftvrtavr antj iLibranan. — Percy W. Ames, Esq., LL.D., F.S.A. 

a.ihifnrc — ^'^'OJ^^RT ^^- KaMSEY, EsQ. 

miuiiors. -^p^^jj, Tollemache, Esq. 

laiTiil Sacieti) af 1 itcr;iturc. 


Apeil 29th, 1908. 

In the absence of The Earl of Halsbury, 
President, Baron de Worms, Vice-President, 
took the Chair. 

The Notice convening the Meeting was read 
by the Secretary. The Minntes of the Anni- 
versary Meeting of 1907 were read and signed. 
The following was presented as the — 


The Council of the Royal Society of Litera- 
ture have the honour to report that since the 
last Anniversary Meeting, held on April 24th, 
1907, there have been the followino- chano-es in, 
and additions to, the number of Fellows of the 

They liave to announce tlic loss ])y death of — 
Dr. H. Bellyse Baildon. 
Cornelius Brown. 
Thomas William Greenwell. 
E. A. Naylor. 

And by resignation of — 
T. MuLLETT Ellis, Esq. 
H. Lindon Riley, Esq., LL.B. 

On the other hand, they have niucli pleasure in 
announcing the election as Ordinary Fellows of — 

Sir William Reynell Anson, Bt., D.C.L., 
M.P., Warden of All Souls College, Oxford. 

Arthur Christopher Benson, Esq., C.Y.O., M.A.., 
Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge. 

William Blackwood, Esq., Editor of ' Black- 
wood's Magazine.' 

P. Hume Brown, Esq., M.A., LL.D., Professor of 
Ancient (Scottish) History and Palajography 
in the University of Edinburgh, 

Francis Gtalton, Esq., D.C.L., F.E.S., Hon. Sc.D., 

Henry James, Esq. 

George A. Macmillan, Esq., Hon. D.Litt., Oxon. 

The Right Hon. Dodgson Hamilton Madden, 
P.C.(Ir.), M.A., LL.D., Judge of High Court 
of Justice, Ireland, Vice-Chancellor of Dublin 

Laurie Magnus, Esq., M.A. 

Rev. Joseph B. Mayor, D.Litt., Dublin; Emeritus 

Professor of King's College, London; Hon. 

Fellow of St. Jolm's College, Cambridge. 
Henry John Newbolt, Esq., M.A. 
Rev. Gerald Henry Rendall, M.A., D.Litt., 

Headmaster, Charterhouse School. 
Sir William Blake Richmond, R.A., K.C.B., M.A. 
George E. B. Saintsbury, Esq., M.A., Professor 

of Rhetoric and English Literature in the 

University of Edinburgh. 
J. L. Strachan-Davidson, Esq., Master of Balliol 

College, Oxford. 
William Watson, Esq., Hon. LL.D. 
Paul Ferdinand Willert, Esq., late Fellow and 

Tutor and Hon. Fellow of Exeter College, 


Obituaky Notices. 
Henry Bellyse Baildon, M.A. (Cantab.), Ph.D., 
F.R.S.E., lecturer on English language and 
literature at University College, Dundee, Uni- 
versity of St. Andrews, was born in 1859 at 
Granton, near Edinburgh. He iiad been a 
school-fellow^ with Robert Louis Stevenson, 
with whom he maintained a friendship till the 
novelist's death. He was educated at the 
Universities of Edinburgh, Cambridge, and 
Freiburg. Before being appointed to Dundee 


lie was lecturer on Eiiglisli in the Imperial Uni- 
versity of Vienna. His publications inchuled 
' Robert Louis Stevenson : a Life Study in Criti- 
cism,' 1901, and numerous poems and essays. 

Cornelius Brown was elected a Fellow of the 
Society in 1880, but resigned shortly after- 
wards, and was re-elected in 1907, in which 
year he was also elected a Fellow of the Society 
of Antiquaries. He died on November 4th of 
the same year. He was editor of the ' Newark 
Advertiser,' and Avrote the ' History of Newark ' 
in two vols., 4to, a work completed a few days 
]jefore his death, and A'arious biographical and 
historical works. 

Mr. T. AV. Greenwell was elected Fellow of 
the Society in 1877, and R. A. Naylor in 1887. 


During the past year, in accordance with the 
terms of our Charter, a number of scholars 
have been offered and have accepted the dis- 
tinction of Honorary Foreign Fellows of the 
Society. The following list gives particulars 
of these and of others previously elected : 



Year of 


1907. Theodore Gomperz (Professor), Plosslgasse 4, 
Vienna IV, Emeritus Professor of Classical 
Philology, Member of the Academies of Vienna, 
Berlin, Copenhagen, Munich, St. Petersburgh, 
Member of British Academy, Member of French 
Academy, D.Litt. Cambridge and Dublin, 
Member of the Upper House of Parliament, 
Knight of the Order " Ehreuzeichen f iir Kunst 
und Wissenschaft " (Austria-Hungary). 
Chief ivorJi. — Grriechische Denker, etc. 

1900. LuTzow (Count), Chateau de Zampach, Hnatnice, 
Bohemia, Hon. Ph.D. Prague, Hon. D.Litt. 
Oxon., F.E.G.S., Chamberlain of the Emperor of 
Austria, Member of the Eoyal Society of Sciences, 
Bohemia, Member of the Francis Joseph 
Academy, Bohemia. 

Chief works. — Bohemia, a Historical Sketch ; 
History of Bohemian Literatui-e ; Prague 
(Mediaeval Town Series) ; The Historians of 
Bohemia (The Ilchester-Oxford Lectm-es for 
1904) ; The Labyrinth of the World, translated 
and edited. 

1907. Peter Eosegger, Graz, Hon. Doctor, Heidelberg, 
Knight of the Order Eisernen Krone, Knight of 
' the Preussischen Kronenordens, II Class, etc. 


Year of 

Chief works.— Die Sclirifteu des Waldschul- 

meisters ; Die Alpler ; Waldlieimat ; Jakob der 
Letzte ; Der Schelm aus den Alpen ; Hocli vom 
Dachsteiu ; Als icli juug iioch war ; Erdsegeu ; 
Meiii Himiuelreicli ; Sonneuscheiu ; I.N.R.I. ; 
Die Forsterbubeu. 
1907. Abminius Vambery (Professor), Budapesth Uni- 
versity, Professor of Oriental Languages, C.V.O., 
M.L.L. Japanese, Austrian, Turkish, Persian, 
Italian high decorations. 

CJiief works. —Tmveh in Central Asia; Sketches 
of Central Asia ; Cagataische Sprachstixdien ; 
TJigurische Spraclmionumente ; Die Sche'ibani- 
cide ; History of Bokhara ; Central Asian Ques- 
tion; Arminius Vambery : His Life and Ad ven- 
tures; The Coming Struggle for India; Das 
Tiirkenvolk ; The Story of my Struggles ; 
Western Culture in Eastern Lands ; and many 
linguistic works. 


1907. CtODEfeoid Kubth (Professor), 18, Piazza Eusti- 
cueci, Eome, Directeur de I'lnstitut Historique 
Beige a Eome, Professeur emerite de I'Universitc 
de Lic'ge (histoire). 

Chief tvorlcs. — Les Origines de la Civilisatiou 
Moderne ; Clovis ; Histoire Poetique des Mero- 
vingiens ; La Frontiere Linguistique en Belgique 
et dans le Nord de la France ; Sainte Clotilde ; 
St. Boniface ; Notger de Liege et la Civilisation 

Year of 

ati X'"° Siccle ; L'Eglise aux Touniauts de 


1907. Maurice Maeterlinck, Abbaye de St. Waudrille 
(Seine inf.), France, Chevalier de la Legion 
d'Honneur, Chevalier de TOrdre de Leopold. 

Chief works. — Letn'sorde« Humbles; Sagesse 
et Destinoe ; La vie des Abeilles et ITntelligeuce 
des Fleurs ; Pellt'as et Melisande ; Monna 
Vanua ; etc. 

1907. D. Germain Morin (Doctor), Abbaye deMaredsous, 
Belgium, Associc Correspondant de la Socicto 
des Antiquaires de France, D.Litt. honoris 
causa, Oxford. 

Chief worjcs. — d'Anecdota Maredsolana (5 
vols.) ; Travaux nombreux, depuis prcs de 
vingt-cinq ans, dans la Revue Benedictine, et 
ailleurs ; Edition Critique de la Ecgle Benedic- 
tine. En preparation : Opera S. Caesarii Arela- 
tensis pour le Corpus S.E.L., de TAcade'inie de 
Vienne (6 or 7 vols.). 

1907. Emile Yerhaeren, 5, rue Montretout, St. Cloud 
(S. and 0.) France, Chevalier de la Legion 
d'Honneur, Chevalier de TOrdre de Lt'opold. 

Chief 'Works. — Les Flamandes ; Les Contes de 
Minuit ; Les Moines ; Les Soirs ; Les Debacles ; 
Les Flambeaux noirs ; Les Canipagnes Hallu- 
cinees ; Les Villes Tentaculaires ; Les Aubes 
Le Cloitre ; Philippe II ; Les Villages Illusoires 
Les Visages de la Vie ; Les Forces Tiunultueuses 
La Multiple Spendeur. 



Year of 


1907. GrEORGE Brandes (Professor Doctor), 55, Havne- 
gade 1 Sal, Copenhagen, Doctor of Esthetics, 
Hon. Professor of University, Ofl&cer of the 
French Legion of Honour. 

Chief works. — Hovedstromninger i clet 19de 
Aarhundredes Litteratur (6 vols.) ; Danske Dig- 
tere, Charakterbilleder ; Soreu Kierkegaard, En 
Kritisk Fremstilling i Grundrids ; Benjamin 
Disrachia, Jarl af Beaconsfield, En Litteraer 
Charakteristik ; Ferdinand Lassalle ; Ludvig 
Holberg, Et Festskrift ; Indtrvk fra Rusland ; 
William Shakespeare (I-III) ; Henrik Ibsen ; 
Pem Danske Digtere ; Samlede Skrifter, and 
many other works. 

1907. HoLGER Drachmann (Herr. Comm.), Hornbeek, 
Denmark, Commander of tlie Order of Danne- 
brog (2nd class). 

Chief vwks. — Digte ; Dcempede Melodier, 
Nyere Digte, m III ; Sange ved Havet Venezia ; 
Ungt Blod, Tre Fortoellinger fra v. D. ; Lars 
Kruse — En Skildring fra A^irkelighedens og — 
Saudets Regioner, m. Port ; Poul og Virginie ; 
Eanker og Eoser ; Osten for Sol og Vesten for 
Maaue; Pnppe og Sommerfugl, 2 Opl.; Strandby 
Folk ; Meloclramer ; Brav Karl ; Volund Smed. 
Melodrama ; Gurre, Et Drama ; Daedalus, Fort- 
selling ; Hallfred Vandraadeskjold ; Don Juan, 
by Byron (translated by H. Drachmann) ; 




Year of 

Samlecle Poetiske Skrifter; and many other 
works. (Since deceased.) 
1907. Valdemar Vedel (Professor Doctor), Ncjsom- 
liedsvey 17, Copenhagen, Dr. Philosophy, Pro- 
fessor of Comparative Literature at Copenhagen 

Chief worls. — Heroic Life — an outline study 
of the ancient heroic poetry ; Chivalrous 
Eomanticism of the Middle Ages ; City and 
Citizen in the Middle Ages ; The Bloom of 
Culture in the Cities, especially of Old Florence 
and Old Nuremberg ; Dante ; Swedish Romanti- 
cisms, Studies of Swedish Literature from 1780 
to 1840 ; From Italy (Impressions and Emotions 
from a Journey) ; Studies of the Grolden Age in 
Danish Poetry. 


1907. G-ASTON BoissiEE, Au Palais de I'lnstitut, Quai 
Conti 23, Paris VI, Secretaire perpetuel de 
I'Academie Francaise, Membre de I'Academie 
des Inscriptions et Belles-Letti-es, G-rand Officier 
de la Legion d'Honneur. 

Chief works. — Ciccron et ses amis; L'opposition 
sous les Cesars ; La Religion Romaine ; La Fin 
du Paganisme ; Les Promenades Arch t'alogiques; 
Tacite ; La Conjuration de Catilina ; Mme. de 
Sevigne; Saint Simon. 

1873. Charles Simon Cleemont-Gtanneau, 1, Avenue 
de I'Alma, 8*^ Paris, Member of the French 


Year of 

Academy, LL.D., Membre-Correspondant de 
rAcadcinie des Sciences de St. Petersbouro-, etc. 
Chief i<7orA;s. — Eecueil d' Arclieologie Orieutale ; 
Arcliseological Researcnes iu Palestine, etc. 

1906. Henri Cordier, 54, Rue Nicolo (16'-) Paris, 

D.Litt., Professor at I'Ecole Specials des 
Lang-ues Orientales Vivantes. 

Chief tvorlcs. — Bibliograpliie des OEuvres de 
Beaumarchais ; Stendhal et ses Amis ; Moliere 
jnge par Stendhal ; Percy Bisshe Shelley ; La 
Partie de Chasse du Roi Henry IV ; Charles de 
Lovenjoul ; Bibliotheca Sinica ; Bibliotheca 
Japouica; Documents Inedits pour servir a 
I'Histoire Ecclesiastique de TExtreme Orient; 
Ser Marco Polo. 

1907. Emile Augtjste Faguet, Rue Monge 59, Paris V'', 

Member of the French Academy, Officier de 
rinstruction Publi(|ue, Chevalier de la Legion 

Chief »;o ;•/.•*■.— XVI"'e Siecle, XVII^e Siecle, 
XVIIl"^e Si^.cle, XIX"^e Siecle, e'tudes litteraires 
(4 vols.) ; Les Moralistes Francais du XIX«»e 
Siecle (3 vols.). 
1906. Jean Abkien Antoine Jules Jusserand, Wash- 
ington, U.S.A., French Ambassador to the 
United States, Docteur es Lettres, Vice-Presi- 
dent of the Societe d'Histoire Litteraire de la 
France, Member of the American Philosophical 

Chief works. — Histoire Litteraire du Peuple 


Year of 

Anglais ; La Vie Nomade et les Eoutes d' Angle- 
terre au XIV^*^ Siecle ; Le Eoman au Temps de 
Shakespeare ; Shakespeare en France ; Les Sports 
et Jeux d'Exercise dans I'Ancienne France. 

1897. Abel Lefranc, 26, Rue Monsieur-le-Prince, Paris, 
Professeur de Langue et Litte'rature Francaises 
Modernes au College de France, Directeur-adjoint 
51 I'Ecole Pratique des Hautes-Etudes pour 
I'Histoire Litteraire de la Renaissance, Presi- 
dent de la Societe des Etudes Rabelaisiennes. 

Chief works. — La Jeunesse de Calvin ; His- 
toire du College de France ; Les Dernieres Poesies 
de Marguerite de Navarre ; Les Idees religieuses 
de Marguerite de Navarre; Marguerite de 
Navarre et le Platonisme de la Renaissance; 
Le Platonisme et la Litte'rature en France ; 
CEuvres Inedites d' Andre Chenier ; Defense de 
Pascal, Pascal est-il im Faussaire ? ; La Langue 
et la Litterature Francaises au College de France ; 
Les Navigations de Pautagruel ; de nombreux 
travaux sur Rabelais dans la Revue des Etudes 
Rabelaisiennes ; and many other works. 

1907. Paul Meyee (Professor), 16, Avenue de la Bour- 
donnais, 7*= Paris, Member of the Institute of 
France, Corresponding Fellow of the British 
Academy, Director of the Ecole des Chartes, 
Hon. Professor in the College de France, Hon. 

Chief worJii'. — Editor of twenty or twenty-five 
vols, of earlv French or Provencal poetry, with 


Year of 

iutroductions, glossaries, etc. ; essays on subjects 

connected with romantic philology. 

1906. Paul Sabatier, Chantegrillet, pres Crest (Drome), 

Member of the Eoyal Academy of Eome, D.Litt. 

Chief worTcs. — Greek Text of the Didache ; Life 
of S. Francis of Assisi (translated into most 
languages) ; Speculum Perfectionis ; Tractatus de 
Indtilgentia de Portiunculae ; Elie de Cortone ; 
Actus Beati Francisci et Sociorum Ejus ; Fioretti ; 
Liber Atu-eiTS ; Opuscules de Critique Historique. 

1907. Louis Marie Julien Viaud (Pierre Loti), Eue St. 

Pierre, Rochefort, France, Captain French 
Navy, Member of French Academy. 

Chief worlis. — Le roman d'un Spahi ; Fleurs 
d'ennui ; Mon f rere Yves ; Les trois dames de la 
Kasbah ; Pccheur d'Islande ; Madame Chrysan- 
theme; Propos d'exil; Japonneries d'automne; 
Au Maroc ; Eoman d'lui enfant ; Le livre de la 
pitie et de la mort ; Fantome d'orient ; L'Inde 
sans les Anglais ; La troisicme jeunesse de 
Mme. Prune ; Les disillusionnees, etc. 


1907. Alois Brandl (Professor), Kaiserin- Augusta 
Strasse, 73, Berlin, W^o, Ph.D., LL.D., President 
of the German Shakespeare Society, Member of 
the German Academy, Professor of English 
Philology in the University of Berlin. 

Chief works. — B. H. Brockes ; Thomas of 


Year of 

Erceldouue ; S. T. Coleridge ; Middle English 
Literature ; Shakespeare ; Schlegel-Tieck's 
Shakespeare ; Quellen des Weltlicheu Dramas in 
England vor Shakespeare ; co-editor of Quellen 
und Forschungen, Palaestra, Archiv fiir das 
Studien der Neueren Sprechen, and Shakespeare 

1907. Hermann Diels (Professor Doctor), Berlin, W. 50 
Niirnberger Str. 65^^, Professor of Classical 
Philology, Berlin University, Doctor of Philo- 
sophy, Secretary of the Akademie d. Wissen- 
schaften, Berlin, LLD. Aberdeen. 

Chief worJcs. — Doxographi graeci; Sibyllinische 
Blatter ; Anonymus Londinensis ; Parmenides ; 
Elementuni ; Poetae Philosophi ; Fragmente der 
Vorsokratiker (two editions); Didymos; Organisa- 
tion der Wissenschaft (in Kultur derGegenwart); 
Die Handschriften der Antiken Arzte (Sonder- 
druck aus Abh. der Berl. Ak. d. W.). 

1907. Adolf Michaelis (Professor of Archaeology), 
Schwarzwaldstrasse 37, Strassburg, Dr. Phil. 
Hon. LL.D. (Cambridge and Edinbin-gh), 
Member of the Central Direction of the Imp. 
G-erman Archaeol. Institute, Member of the Imp. 
Eussian Archaeol. Society, Corresp. Member of 
the Academies of Berlin, Copenhagen, Goettingen, 
Munich, Paris, Vienna, Corresponding Member 
of the Austrian Archaeol. Institute, Honorary 
F.S.A., Soc. Hell. Stud., Cambridge Antiquarian 
Society, Honorary Member Archaeol. Institute 


Year of 

of America, Arclr-Bol. Society, Athens, Scientific 

Society (en-iaerj/iOj/tKi) ernipla), Athens. 

Chief ivorks.—T-Aciti Dialogus; Der Parthenon; 
Geschiehte des Deutschen Archilolog. Instituts ; 
Ancient Marbles iu Great Britain ; Die Archilo- 
logischen Entdeckungen des 19 Jahrhunderts ; 
0. Jahn, Griechische Bilderchrouiken (edited 
and completed) ; Sophocles Electra ed. O. Jahn 
(revised) ; Apulei Psyche et Cupido ed. O. Jahn 
(revised) ; Pausanise Descriptio Arcis Athenarum 
ed. O. Jahn (Arx Athenarum a Pausania 
Descripta), entirely revised ; A. Springer's Hand- 
buch der Kunstgeschichte, I Das Altertum 
(entirely re-written) . 

1907. Richard Pischel (Professor Doctor, Geheimer 
Eegierungsrat.), 47, Joachim Friedrichstrasse, 
Halensee, Berlin, Dr. Phil., Member of the 
Academies of Berlin, Giittingen, Paris, and 
St. Petersburgh. 

CJiief tvorks.—Kii\idasa.'ii Cakuntala, The Ben- 
gilli Eecension ; The Assalayanasuttam ; The 
Theri-GAtha; Vedische Studien ; Die Heimatdes 
Puppeuspiels ; Leben und Lehre des Buddha ; 
Gutmann und Gutweib in Indien ; Die Indische 

1907. Ulbich von Wilabiowitz-Moellendorff (Pro- 
fessor), Eichenallee 12, Westend, Berlin, Member 
(ordinary, honorary, foreign, or correspondent) 
of the Academies in Berlin, Paris, of the British 
Academy, Academy in Rome (Lincei), Amster- 


Year of 

dam, Atlieus, Budapest, Copeuliageu, Dublin, 
Groettiugen, Helsingfors, Milan, Munich, Naples, 

Chief worhs. — iM'datlien ; Antigonos von 
Kaiystos ; Homerisclie Untersucliungen ; Isyllos ; 
Einleitungen indieAttischeTragodie; Aristoteles 
nnd At lieu ; Eeden und Vortraege ; G-riecli. 
Tragodien (translations), 3 vols.; Griecli. Lese- 
bucli ; Griecli. Litteraturgescliiclite. 

1905. Jacob Wille, Heidelberg, Buusenstrasse 9, Dr. 
Pliilosopli., Oberbibliotliekar der Universitiits 
Bibliotliek, Heidelberg. 

CJiief ivorks. — Pliilipp der Grossmiitliige von 
Hessen und die Eestitution Ulriclis von Wiirt- 
einburg; Pbalz-grafin Elisabeth Charlotte, Her- 
zogin von Orleans; Bruchsal. Bilder aus eineni 
Geistliclien Staat in Achtzehiiten Jahrhundert ; 
Elisabeth Charlotte, Herzogin von Orleans (Die 
Pfiilzer Liselotte) ; and many other works. 

1907. W. WuNDT, Leipzig, G-oethestrasse 6, Dr. Medicine, 
Philosophy, and Law. 

Chief ivorJcs. — Menschen und Tierseele ; Hand- 
bucli d. Mediz. Pliysik; Lehrbuch d. Physiologie; 
Grundziige der Physiolog. Psychologie ; Logik ; 
Etliik ; System der Philosophie ; Volkerpsycho- 
logie (I, Sprache ; II, Mythus n. Eeligion) ; 
Einleitung in d. Philosophic ; Grundriss der 
Psychologie ; Essavs. 


Year of 

1897. J. M. W. Van der Poorten-Schwartz (Maarten 

Maartens),Zonheuvel Castle, nr. Doom, Holland, 

LL.D.Utrecht, Hon. LL.D.Aberdeen, Hon.Lit.D. 

Univ. of Pennsylvania, Hon. Member Authors' 

Club, London, Hon. Member Authors' Club, New 


Chief icorJcs. — The Sin of Joost Avelingh ; An 

Old Maid's Love ; A Question of Taste ; God's 

Fool ; The Greater Glory ; My Lady Nobody ; 

Her Memory ; Some Women I have Known ; My 

Poor Relations ; Dorothea ; The Jailbird (one act 

play) ; The Woman's Victory; The New Religion 

(a modern novel). 


1907. Antonio Fogozzaeo, Vicence (Italy), Senator of 
the Kingdom of Italy, Member of the Royal 
Venetian Institute of Science, Letters and Arts, 
Knight Commander of the Order of the Crown 
of Italy. 

Chief works. — Miranda; Valsolda ; Malombra; 
Daniele Cortis ; II Mistero del Poeta ; Fedele ; 
Idilli Spezzati ; Ascensioni Umane ; Poesie 
Scelte ; Piccolo Mondo Antico ; Piccolo Mondo 
Moderno ; II Santo. 

1907. Pasqtjale Villari, Florence, Grand Ofl&cer of the 
Order of the Crown of Italy, Knight of the 1st 
Order Pour le Merite of Prussia, Member of the 


Year of 

Institute of France, Senator of the Kingdom of 

Italy, Professor at the Regio Instituto di Studi 

Superiori, Florence. 

Chief works. — Storia di Grirolamo Savanarola ; 

Niccolo Machiavelli, e i suoi tempi (translated 

into English by Mme. Villari) ; I Primi due 

Secoli della Storia di Firenze ; Discorsi Critici e 



1907. JoAQtJiM Theophtlo Braga (Professor Doctor), 
Travessa de Santa G-ertrudes, 70, Lisbon, Doctor 
of the University of Lisbon, Grovernmeut Pro- 
fessor of the Highest School of Literature, Full 
Member of the Portuguese Academy, President 
of the Literature Section of the Academy. 

Chief loorhs. — Christian Legends ; Cameos and 
National Sentiment ; Modern Ideas of Portu- 
guese Literature ; Patria Portugueza ; Vision of 
the Times, an epic in 4 vols. ; History of Portu- 
guese Literature, 15 vols. ; History of the 
University of Coimbra, 4 vols. ; Alma Portu- 
gueza, a patriotic epic poem ; Viriatho ; Os 
Doze de Inglaterra (poem) ; G-omes Freire. 
historical drama in 5 acts. 

1907. Jose Duarte Eamalho Ortigao (Senhor), Calcada 
dos Caetanos 30, Lisbon, Librarian of the Royal 
Library of the Ajuda, Full Member of the 
Portuguese Academy, Honorary Member of the 
Institute of Coimbra, Corresponding Member of 


Year of 

the Royal Academy of Spaiu, of the Royal 
Academy of History of Spaiu, and the Royal 
Academy of San Fernando of Spaiu. 

Chief works. — As Fai'pas, a series of social, 
political, artistic, and literary studies ; Hollauda ; 
John Bull ; O Culto da Arte em Portugal. 


1907. Dr. Don Rafael de Altamika (Senor Professor), 
University of Oviedo, Spaiu, Professor of Uni- 
versity, Oviedo, C de la Real Academia de la 
Historia, etc. 

Chief worJcs. — Historia de Espana y de la 
Civilizacion espaiiola. 

1907. Menendez t Pelayo (Excno. Seuor Don Marcelino), 
The University, Madrid, Doctor of Philosophy 
and Letters, Professor of Literature in the 
University, Madrid, late Dean of the Faculties 
of Philosophy and Letters of the University, 
Madrid, Chief of the Bil.lioteca National, Madrid, 
Life Librarian of the Royal Academy of History, 
Academician of the Royal Spanish Academy, 

Chief tvorJis. — Historia de las Ideas Esteticas 
en Espaiia ; Los Heterodojos Espanoles, etc., etc. 


1899. Joseph Hodges Choate, 60, Wall Street, New 
York, and Stockbridge, Mass., U.S.A., LL.D. of 
eight Universities, D.C.L. of Oxford and two 


other TJuiversities, late American Ambassador 
to Grreat Britain, Hon. Bencher Middle Temple. 
Chief ivories. — Addresses on Abraham Lincoln, 
Admiral Farragut, Eufus Choate, The Supreme 
Court of the United States. 

A cursory glance at such a list will at once 
indicate how high is the standard which the 
Council has set before itself in making all such 
appointments. They have endeavoured to 
secure men in the first rank of Literature, and 
only such. 

The thanks of the Society are due to H.M. 
Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Sir Edward 
Grey, who kindly agreed to forw^ard the 
diplomas to the Hon. Fellows in the various 
countries through official channels. 

It is with very great regret that I have to 
record the death of our new colleague, Herr 
Holger Drachmann, the well-know^n Danish 
poet. His books were not only popular 
amongst his fellow-countrymen but achieved 
almost European distinction. The directions 
which he had given with regard to the dis- 
posal of his earthly remains caused the news- 


papers of the countries of Europe to draw 
attention to him, but he was, as indicated by 
his letters, in addition to all else, a courteous 
and gracious man, whose loss all men of letters 
must regret. 

During the year we have had the pleasure of 
a visit from Professor Alois Brandl, who came 
to England on the invitation of the Council. 
He has expressed himself highly satisfied with 
the reception which the Council arranged for 
him. Such visits, whether ofiicial or otherwise, 
are much to be desired, and are much appreci- 
ated by the English Fellows. I am expressing 
what is but the feeling of a large section of the 
present Fellows when I say that I hope that in 
the near future other foreign Fellows will do 
us the honour of accepting the Council's invita- 
tion to visit this country. 

The thanks of the Council as well as my own 
are due to those who so enthusiastically assisted 
in the arrangements for Dr. Brandl's entertain- 

it is difficult to select from the vast amount 
of literary work which has l)een done on the 


other side of the sea some publications for 
special notice ; I will therefore draw attention 
to those which have come under my notice, as 
especially connected either directly or indirectly 
with our foreign Fellows. 

Dr. Morin is at the present moment engaged 
on his Magnum Ojms ' St. Caesar of Aries.' 

Whilst Professor Mayor on our part has 
been vindicating the credit of Shakespeare 
against the attacks of Tolstoi, one of our 
Fellows in Belgium, Maurice Maeterlinck, has 
been doing the same in the pages of the ' Petit 
Bleu ' of Brussels. The article appeared in 
January of last year, whilst Professor Brandl, 
in the ' Shakespeare Jahrbuch ' for 1907, has 
published another defence from his own pen. 

In this connection, too, it may be interesting 
to note that Dr. Grustav Becker has contri- 
buted an article to the ' Jahrbuch ' in which he 
endeavours to propound the result of his re- 
searches into the sources of ' The Tempest.' 
He seems to have discovered in ' Noches de 
Invierno ' (winter nights), by Antonio de 
Eslava, the key to the problem. 


I feel specially bound to call attention to 
No. 4 of 'Les Manuscrits Francais de Cam- 
bridge,' to wliicli Professor Paul Meyer has 
devoted much time. Vol. IV is a detailed list 
of the MSS. in Gonville and Caius College, Vols. 
I, II, and III having been those respectively of 
St. John's College, the University Library, and 
Trinity College, also by Professor Meyer. 

The most recent publication of our Fellow, 
M. Emile Verhaeren, is a book of poems entitled 
' Les Heros.' It consists of a series of short 
pieces relating to the heroic achievements in 
Flanders. It is patriotic and manly. 

Probably one of the most important literary 
productions of the past year is a work by our 
honoured Fellow, Dr. Brandl, entitled, ' Ges- 
chichte der Altenglischen Literatur,' Part I. It 
is a most exhaustive and scholarly treatment of 
the subject during the first thousand years of 
our era. 

Dr. Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorft", in 
the ' Wochenschrift fiir Wissenschaft ' of last 
November, has drawn attention to an important 
book by Georg Misch,of Berlin, ' Autobiographie 


im Altertum,' of wliicli he speaks in the highest 

Dr. Wille, of Heidelberg, has brought out a 
charmiug little volume on Elizabeth Charlotte, 
Herzogin von Orleans, which, under the 
shortened title of ' Die Pfalzer Liselotte,' has 
gained considerable popularity in Germany, 
• An interesting treatise was read on October 
24th, 1907, by Professor H. Diels, Secretary 
of the Academy, before that body. The work 
is one of great merit, and is extremely erudite. 
It is entitled, " Beitrage zur Zuckungs-literatur 
des Okzidents und Orients." This is the first 
of a series, and relates to the Greek texts on the 
subject. The writer carries us back to the 
time of Ptolemy, and reproduces the MSS. 
relating to convulsions and fits, together with 
much interesting matter. This paper has been 
printed in the transactions of the Berlin 

Signor Menendez Pelayo, Professor of Litera- 
ture at the University of Madrid, has recently 
produced a book which shows the critical 
tendency of literary efforts in Spain entitled, 


' Origenes de la novela Espafiola,' a copy of 
which I hope we may soon own in our library. 

Another Foreign Fellow, Mr. Valdemar 
Vedel, has just published a work on mediaeval 
romances entitled, ' Ridderromantiken i fransk 
og tysk Middelalder.' This is a rather new 
departure in Danish writings, and marks a 
distinctly educational movement in the litera- 
ture of that country. 

There are three other w^orks which will have 
an interest to English readers to which I draw 
attention : 

A book of poems entitled ' Regrets,' by a 
young man of Liege, has been recently pub- 
lished by Lemerre, of Paris. The author, the 
Chevalier Ernest de Laminne, shows very 
remarkable ability, and some of his verses are 
worthy of the classical French poets. It has 
already run into a second edition. 

Riehl's ' History of Criticism,' which has just 
appeared in a revised edition, in which the 
writer principally compares Locke and Hume 
with Kant in a new and vivid manner. 

D. Schafer pubhshed last Christmas his 


' World's History of Eecent Times,' a work in 
two volumes, and which has already rnn through 
three editions. It ouo-ht to be interesting: to 
English readers as indicating the views of a 
learned Grerman with regard to the development 
and progress of the world's history. The writer is 
seeking to raise the political ideals of his nation. 
Such are but a few of the many able literary 
productions which have come to my notice. I 
shall hope a year hence to be able to render 
such a list more complete. I have in conclu- 
sion to thank the Hon. Foreign Fellows them- 
selves for the uniform courtesy they have 
shown me in what must have seemed to them 
a somewhat lengthy and monotonous corres- 
pondence. H. Gr. ROSEDALE. 

Since the last Anniversary Meeting the follow- 
ing " Transactions " have been issued to the 
Fellows : Vol. xxvii, part iv; vol. xxviii, part i. 

The Balance-sheet for 1907, showing the 
financial state of the Society, after being 
laid on the table for the information of the 
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The following Papers have been read before 
the Society since the last Anniversary Meeting : 

I. April 24th, 1907. Sir Echvard Brabrook, 
C.B., Vice-President, in the chair. A Paper on 
The MSS. of Coleridge s Ghrlsfabel, by Ernest 
Hartley Coleridge, Esq., M.A., Hon.F.R.S.L. 

II. May 29th, 1907. The Rev. Dr. Rosedale, 
Vice-President, in the chair. A Paper on 
Boger Bacon and Francis Bacon : a Comparison, 
by Howard Candler, Esq., M.A. 

III. June 26th, 1907. E. H. Pember, Esq., 
K.C., Member of Council, in the chair. A 
Paper on Dante's British Allusions, by Wm. E. A. 
Axon, Esq., LL.D., F.R.S.L. 

IV. November 27th, 1907. Sir Edward 
Brabrook, C.B., Vice-President, in the chair. 
A Paper on i^ome Verdicts of Dante in the 
Inferno, by E. H. Pember, Esq., K.C., F.R.S.L. 

V. January 22nd, 1908. The Right Hon. 
Lord Collins, Member of Council, in the chair. 
A Paper on Tolstoi as l^halcespearean Critic, 
by Rev. Joseph B. Mayor, Litt.D., F.R.S.L. 

VI. February 26th, 1908. Ernest Hartley 


Coleridge, Esq., M.A., Hon.F.R.S.L., in tlie 
chair. A Paper on Anna Jane Vavdill Niven, 
authoress of ' Christohel,' a sequel to Coleridge's 
' Christahel/ by Wm. E. A. Axon, Esq., LL.D., 

VII. March 25th, 1908. The Rev. Dr. 
Charles Taylor, Master of St. John's College, 
Cambridge, Vice-President, in the chair. A 
Paper on Sir Bkhard Fanshaiue, by Professor 
J. W. Mackail, LL.D., F.R.S.L. 

The Secretary, acting also as Librarian 
R.S.L., has drawn np the following report 
of donations to the Library of the Society since 
the last Anniversary. These are classified 
under the several headings of Governments or 
Societies, Home, Colonial, and Foreign ; Public 
Institutions, and Individual Donors. 

Societies and Public Institutions. 


Anthropological Institute. — Journal to date. 
East India Association. — Journal to date. 
Manchester Gteographical Society. — Journal to date. 


Royal Colonial Institute. — Proceedings, 

Royal Dublin Society. — Proceedings and Trans- 

Royal Gteogkaphical Society. — Geographical Journal 
to date. 

Royal Institution or Great Britain. — Proceedings. 

Royal Irish Academy. — Transactions and Proceedings 
to date. 

Royal Society op Edinburgh. — Transactions and Pro- 
ceedings to date. 

Society op Antiquaries of London. — Proceedings to 
date. Arclimologia, Vol. LX^ Part I. 

Society op Biblical ARCHiEOLOGY. — Proceedings to 

University College, London. — Calendar. 

Royal Society. — Archives Classified Papers, 1606- 



New Zealand. — From the Registrar-General. Statis- 
tics of the Colony of Xew Zealand. 

Societies and Public Institutions. 


Canada, Dominion of. — Royal Society op Canada. — 
Proceedino-s and Transactions. 


Canada, Dominion of. — Greological Survey, Annual 
Reports, N.S., with Maps. 

Australia. — Royal Society of New South Wales. — 
Journal and Proceedings. 

New Zealand. — New Zealand Institute. — Transac- 
tions and Proceedings. From Sir James Hector, 
Director Colonial Museum of New Zealand. 


Belgium. — Societk des Bollandistes. — Analecta Bol- 

Denmark. — Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries, 

Copenhagen. — Memoires, N.S. 
France. — La Bibliotheque de l'Universite d'Aix. — 

Annales de la Faculte des Lettres-, Tome 1, Nos. 

Italy. — Royal Academy of Sciences, Turin. — Atti, 

continued to date. 
Royal Lombard Institute, Milan. — Rendi- 

conti, 8'^. Ser. ii continued to date. 
Russia. — Imperial Academy of Sciences, St. Peters- 
burg. — BuUetins. 

The Society has received the following from 
individual donors : 

Chapman, Mrs. Edward J. — A Drama of Two Lives. 
By E. J. Chapman. 



Council of the Chemical Society. — Presidential 
Address on Chemical Research. By Professor 
E. Meldola, F.E.S. 

HoBNE^ John, Author. — A Canny Country Side. 

Lefranc, Professor Abel, Hon. F.R.S.L., Author. — 
Resume of Lectures on Rabelais delivered at the 
College of France. ' 

LiJTZow, The Count, Hon. D.Litt.Oxon., Hon. F.R.S.L., 
Antlior. — History of Bohemian Literature. 

Paesee High Priest of Bombay. — Avesta, Pahlavi 
and Ancient Persian Studies. 

Rogers, Alexander, Editor. — The Shah Namali of 
Fardusi. Translated from the original Persian. 

Rowlands, John, F.R.S.L., Author. — God is Love ; 
a Poem. 

Sparke, Archibald, F.R.S.L., J.?t^/ior. — A Bibliography 
of the Dialect Literature of Cumberland and 
Westmorland and Lancashire North-of-the- 

Town Clerk, Guildhall. — Calendar of Letter-books 
preserved among the Archives of the Corporation 
of the City of London. Letter-book H. 1375- 
1399. Edited by Reginald R. Sharp, D.C.L. 

The thanks of the Society are due to the 
respective Editors and Proprietors of the 
following Journals for presentation copies : 


The Atheaanuih and the Edinburgh Review to 

The subscription has been continued to the 
New English Dictionary. 

The list of names recommended by the out- 
going Council as the Officers and Council for 
1908-9 having been submitted to ballot, the 
scrutineers, Professor P. Hume Brown and the 
Rev. H. Anderson Meaden, reported that the 
House List was unanimously adopted by the 
meeting. The list will be found ante, on the 
leaf facing the commencement of the Report. 

The revised Bye-laws were unanimously 
approved and adopted by the meeting. 


The sign f indicates ;in Honorary Fellow, o = a Compounder. 

Vear of 


1894. fHER Royal Highness the Duchess of Albany. 
1899. Egbert Vickery Allen, Esq., Gruilden Morden, 

Royston, Hertfordshire. 
1878. cPercy Willotjghby Ames, Esq., LL.D., F.S.A., 

Secretary aud Librarian, 71, Lewisham Park, 

S.E. ; aud Authors' Club. 
1861. cThe Right Hon. Lord Amherst of Hackney, 

F.S.A., 8, Grosvenor Square, W. ; Didlington 

Hall, Braudou, Norfolk ; aud Athenseum Club. 
1905. David Anderson-Berry, Esq., M.D., F.R.S.E., 

23, Gri-osveuor Crescent, St. Leouards-on-Sea. 
1907. Sir William Reynell Anson, Bt., D.C.L., M.P., 

Warden of All Souls College, Oxford; and 

Athenseum Club. 

1902. Rev. Hugh John Dukinfield Astley, M.A., 

Litt.D., East Rudham Vicarage, King's Lynn, 

1903. fTHE Right Hon. Lord Avebury, D.C.L., LL.D., 

F.R.S., 6, St. James's Square, S.W. ; High 
Elms, Dowu, Kent ; aud Athenaeum Club. 


Year of 

1868. William E. A. Axon, Esq., LL.D., 3, Albany 

Eoacl, Southport. 
1901. Eev. Albert Bage, Ph.B., 5, Rhodes Street, 

1905. Rev. Thomas Arthur Bailey, Bawu House, 

Earnley, Leeds. 

1904. Frederic William Banks, Esq., Beau Morice 

Cbambers, 2, Garden Court, Middle Temple ; 
S7, Ecclestou Square, S.W. ; Junior Consti- 
tutional Club. 

1903. tRBv. S. Baring-Gould, M.A.,J.P., Rector of Lew- 

Treuchard, Lew-Trencbard House, N. Devon. 

1907. Rev. Henry Charles Beeching, M.A., D.Litt., 

CoiincU, Canon of Westminster Abbey, 3, Little 
Cloisters, Westminster. 

1907. Arthur Christopher Benson, Esq., C.V.O., 
M.A., F.R.Hist.S., Fellow of Magdalene College, 
Magdalene College, Cambridge ; Hinton Hall, 
Haddenbam, Isle of Ely ; Tremans, Horsted 
Keynes, Sussex ; and Athenaeum Ckib. 

1905. The Ven. Henry E. J. Bevan, M.A., Archdeacon 

of Middlesex, Council, The Rectory, Chelsea, 
S.W. ; Quatford Castle, Bridgenorth, Shropshire. 

1872. Rev. Frederick A. Billing, M.A., D.D., LL.D., 

7, St. Douatt's Road, Lewisham High Road, S.E. 

1907. William Blackwood, Esq., Editor of ' Black- 
wood's Magazine,' 45, George Street, Edinburgh. 

Year of 


1907. Eeginald Blomfield, Esq., A.R.A., M.A., F.S.A., 
51, Frognal, Hampstead, N.W. ; Point Hill, 
Playden, Sussex; and Atlienseum Club. 

1898. William Bolton, Esq. 

1902. De. C. W. Botwood, D.Se, Ph.D., 74, Micklegate, 

1902. William A. Bowen, Esq., LL.B., Mombasa, 
East Africa. 

1865. cSiR Edward Brabrook, C.B., V.-P.S.A., Y.-P.S.S., 
past President of the Anthropological Institute, 
Vice-President and Treasurer, Atlienseum Club, 
Pall Mall, S.W. 

1898. Charles Angell Bradford, Esq., F.S.A., 
4, Park Place, St. James's Street, S.W. 

1902. cJoHN Potter Briscoe, Esq., F.R.Hist.S., 
F.L.A., City Librarian of Nottingham, Central 
Free Public Library, Nottingham ; Elm Villa, 
38, Addison Street, Nottingham. 

1894. fEEv. Stopford Augustus Brooke, M.A., LL.D., 
1, Manchester Sc|uare ; and Athenaeum Club. 

1907. P. Hume Brown, Esq., M.A., LL.D., Professor 
of Ancient (Scottish) History and Palaeography 
in the University of Edinburgh, 20, Correnuie 
G-ardens, Edinburgh. 

1907. The Eight Hon. Lord Burghclere, P.C, D.L., 
M.A., CouncU, 48, Charles Street, W. ; Fitzroy 
Place, Surrey; and Brooks" s Club. 

1904. Thomas Burns, Esq., 25, Diana Street, Newcastle- 


Year of 

1907. Samuel Henry Butcher, Esq., M.P., D.Litt. 
Dublin, D.Litt. Oxou., LL.D., Grlasgow and 
Edinburgh, Vice-President, 6, Tavistock Square, 
W.C.; and Atlienseum Club. 

1907. The Right Eev. William Boyd Carpenter, 
D.C.L., D.D., Lord Bishop op Ripon, The 
Palace, Ripou ; 2, Morpeth Mansions, S.W. ; 
and Athenaeum Club. 

1862. fJoB Caudwell, Esq., Spencer Park, Wandsworth 
Common, S.W. 

1900. Major W. Boughton Chambers, Inspector of 
Factories, Custom House, Bombay. 

1907. Basil Champneys, Esq., B.A., Hall Oak, Frognal, 
Hampstead, N.W. ; and Athenaeum Club. 

1899. fERNEST Hartley Coleridge, Esq., M..A., 167, 
St. James's Road, Croydon. 

1907. The Right Hon. Lord Collins, M.A., LL.D., 
D.C.L., Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, Vice- 
President, 3, Bramham Gardens, S.W. ; and 
Athenaeum Club. 

1899. fJoHN Churton Collins, Esq., M.A., Litt.D., 
Professor of English Literature in the Univer- 
sity of Birmingham, 8b, Portman Mansions, 
W. ; and Athenaeum Club. 

1899. H. Martin Cooke, Esq., St.Vmcent's, Eastbourne. 
1906. Richard Cooke, Esq., A. and M.C.P., F.R.C.S., 

Archbishop Abbot's School, Gi^ildford. 
1 892. Stanley Cooper, Esq., 27, Banbury Road, Oxford. 

1900. cRev. W. Hargreaves Cooper, F.R.G.S., Rich- 

mond, Penzance. 


Year of 
1901. cRev. Feederick StJohn Corbett, M.A., 

P.R.Hist.S., Council, The Rectory, St. George- 

in-tlie-East, London. 

1886. cH. C. CoRKE, Esq., 178, High Street, Southampton. 

1907. William John Courthope, Esq., C.B., M.A., 
D.Litt , LL.D., late Professor of Poetry hi the 
University of Oxford, Civil Service Commis- 
sioner (retired), Council, The Lodge, Wad hurst, 
Sussex ; and Athenaeum Club. 

1907. William Leonard Courtney, Esq., M. A., LL.D., 
Editor of the 'Fortnightly Review.' Council, 58, 
Grordon Square, W.C. ; and Authors' Club. 

1903. fS. R. Crockett, Esq., M.A., c/o A. P. Watt and 

Son, Hastings House, Norfolk Street, W.C. ; 

and Authors' Club. 
1896. William Thomas Crosweller, Esq., M.S. A., 

F.I.Inst., F.Z.S., Kent Lodge, Sidcup. 
1890. cJames Curtis, Esq., F.S.A., Vice-President, 

179, Marylebone Road, N.W. ; Clenburn, 

Worcester Road, Sutton, Surrey. 

1904. John Herbert Dawson, Esq., Ill, Lower Seedley 

Road, Seedley, Manchester. 
1903. Miss Violet Defries, 71, Leith Mansions, Elgin 

Avenue, Maida Vale, W. 
1907. Austin Dobson, LL.D., 75, Eaton Rise, Ealing, 

W. ; and Athenaeum Club. 
1903. tEcwARD DowDEN, Esq., M.A., LL.D., D.C.L., 

Litt.D., Professor of English Literature in the 

University of Dublin, Highfield House, Rathgar, 

CO. Dublin. 


Tear of 

1907. J. A. DE G. Downing, Esq., 4, Fairlie Place, 
Calcutta, India ; and Calcutta Club. 

1899. EoMESH DuTT, Esq., C.I.E., Barrister-at-LaAv, 

Finance Minister to H.H. the Maharaja 
Gaelcwar, Baroda, India. 
1907. Sir Charles Norton Edgbcumbe Eliot, C.B., 
K.C.M.G, Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford. 
Endcliffe Holt, Sheffield. 

1900. Mrs. C. Ella Eve, 61, Harley Street, Cavendish 

Square, W. 
1907. Eev. Principal A. M. Fairbairn, D.D., LL.D., 

D.Lit., Mansfield College, Oxford. 
1900. cCharles Frederick Forshaw, Esq., LL.D., 

D.C.L., M.E.DublinS., F.E.Hist.S., Baltimore 

House, Hanover Square, Bradford. 

1905. A. E. Manning Foster, Esq., 33, De Vere 

Gardens, W. 
1907. William Warde Fowler, M.A., Fellow and Tutor 
of Lincoln College, Oxford. Lincoln College, 
Oxford ; and Oxford and Cambridge Club. 

1897, Arnold Francke, Esq., 50, Lewisham Park, S.E. 

1898. fJ. G. Frazer, Esq., M.A., LL.D., D.Litt., D.C.L.. 

4, Parkside, Cambridge. 
1894. fF. J. FuRNivALL, Esq., M.A., Ph.D., D.Lit., St. 
George's Square, Primrose Hill, N.W. 

1906. cHis Highness Maharaja Sayajiras Gaekwar, 

Euling Prince of Baroda, Baroda, India. 
1892. cShrimant Sampatrao K. Gaikwad, M.E.L, 
M.E.A S., F.E.C.I., Baroda, India. 


Year of 
1907. Francis Galton, Esq., D.C.L., F.R.S., Hon- 

Sc.D., Cambridge, 42, Rutland Gate, S.W. ; 

and Athenaeum Club. 
1902. Arthur Harold Garstang, Esq., 20, Roe Lane, 

1883. William Blackford Gedge, Esq., c/o Messrs. 

Pope & Plante, 42, Old Bond Street, W. 
1907. Sir Archibald Geikie, E.R.S., F.G.S., D.C.L., 

D.Sc, LL.D., Secretary of the Royal Society, 

Shepherd's Down, Haslemere, Surrey ; and 

Athenaeum Club. 
1902. Maurice A. Gerothwohl, Esq., D.Litt., Regius 

Professor of Romance Languages, University 

of Dublin, Council, Trinity College, Dublin ; 

8, Alma Terrace, Kensington, W. 
1902. cN. N. Ghose, Esq., Barrister-at-Law, Principal 

Metropolitan Institution, 43, Bancharam Un- 

koor's Lane, Bowbazar, Calcutta, 
1904. Rev. J. George Gibson, D.D., The Rectory, 

Ebchester, R.S.O. 
1901. Mrs. Ella Mary Gordon, LL.D., M.S.A., Arnlee, 

Pitfodels, Aberdeenshire : and Auchintoul, 

1907. Edmund Gosse, Esq., LL.D., Librarian to the 

House of Lords. 17, Hanover Terrace. Regent's 

Park, IST.W. ; and Savile Club. 
1892. The Hon. James Maclaren Stuart Gray, 

Master of Gray, c/o Robert Todd, Esq., The 

Limes, Tradley Green, High Barnet, ]^. ; 

Cwmeron, Llanwrtvd Wells, R.S.O., S. Wales. 


Year of 

1898. Emanuel Green, Esq., F.S. A., Co?< «f«7, Devonshire 
Club, St. James's Street, S.W. 

1907. William Henry Hadow, Esq., M.A., Miis. Bac, 
Fellow and Tutor of Worcester College, Oxford. 
Worcester College, Oxford ; South Cerney, 
Cirencester ; and Oxford and Cambridge Club. 

1897. Heinrich Maria Hain, Esq., Ph.D., M.C.P., 
Wilhelmj House, 38, Learn Terrace, Leaming- 
ton Spa. 

1880. The PaGHT Hon. the Earl of Halsbuey, F.E.S., 
President, 4, Ennismore Gardens, Princes Gate, 
S.W. ; and Athenaeum Club. 

1906. Eev. William Parker Hanks, M.A., The Cedars, 

Siou Hill, Bath. 

1907. Thomas Hardy, Esq., LL.D., J.P., Max Gate, 

Dorchester ; and Athenaeum Club. 
1865. cRev. Albert Augustus Harland, M.A., F.S.A., 

Harefield Vicarage, Uxbriclge. 
1904. William Hatfield, Esq., A.C.P., 2, Crosby 

Street, Stockport. 
1907. Eev\ William Augustus Heard, M.A., LL.D., 

Headmaster of Fettes College. The Lodge, 

Fettes College, Edinburgh. 
1883. John Henniker Heaton, Esq., M.P., The 

Carlton Club, Pall Mall, S.W. 
1885. J. Stewart Henderson, Esq., F.E.G.S., 1, Pond 

Street, Hampstead, IST.W. 
1907. Eev. Herbert Hensley Henson, B.D., Eector 

of St. Margaret's and Canon of Westminster 

Abbey, 17, Dean's Yard, Westminster. 


Year of 

1868. cEev. C. a. Heurtley, M.A., Asliiugtou Rectory, 

PuUioroiigh, Sussex. 
1907. Maurice Hewlett, Esq., 7, Nortliwick Terrace, 

N.W. ; Old Rectory, Broad Chalk, Salisbury. 
1889. Mrs. Napier Higgins, 24, Tlie Boltons, S.W. 
1904. J.A.HowARD-VVATSON,Esq.,F.R.G.S.,F.R.Hist.S., 

10, Alexandra Road, Waterloo, Liverpool. 
1904. Mrs. Elizabeth Hoyle (formerly Miss Elizabeth 

Whiteley), Kinross Villa, Glen Road, Bloem- 

fontein, O.R.C., South Africa. 
1906. George Humphreys-Davies, Esq., 5, Laurence 

Pouutney Lane, Cannon Street, E.C. 

1906. Charles Hyatt- Woolf, Esq., F.R.P.S., 29, 

York Street, Portmau Square, W. 
1880. H. M. Imbert-Terry, Esq.. Council, Strete Ralegh, 
Exeter ; and Carlton Club. 

1907. Henry James, Esq., Lamb House, Rye, Sussex; 

and Atheuseum Club. 
1901. Joseph James, Esq., D.Sc, Ph.D., 25, Milner 

Square, Islington, N. 
1865. cGeorge J. Johnson, Esq., J. P.. 136, Hagley Road, 

1901. cRev. Philip Henry Kirkham, M.A., M.S.A., 

Monklands, Kent's Bank, Grauge-over-Sands, 

via Carufortb. 
1899. cErnest Kiveb, Esq., F.R.C.O., A.R.A M., A.Ph.S., 

Professor at the Royal Academy of Music, 

Kenmure, South Croydon. 
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WiOjml ,^onrt|j; of Hitrraturr 









I. On Some Verdicts of Dante in the ' Inferno.' Bv 

Edward Henry Pember, K.C, F.R.S.L. . . 1 

II. Tolstoi as Shakespearian Critic. By Rev. Joseph 

B. Mayor, Litt.D., F.R.S.L. '. 23 

III. Anna Jane Vardill Niven, the Authoress of " Chris- 

tobell," the Sequel to Coleridge's " Christabel." 
With a Bibliography. By William E. A. 
Axon, LL.D., F.R.S.L. With an Additional 
Note on " Christabel." By Ernest Hartley 
Colerid&e, Hon. F.R.S.L 57 

IV. Sir Richard Fanshawe. By Professor J. W. 

Mackail, LL.D., F.R.S.L 89 

V. Suggestions for Improving the Literary Style of 
Scientific Memoirs. By Francis Galton, 
D.C.L., Hon. Sc.D.Cambridge, F.R.S., F.R.S.L. 113 

VI. Plutarch as an Essayist. By Louis C. Purser, 

Litt.D. ...'...' 131 

VII. The Friends in Shakespeare's Sonnets. By Mrs. 

Charlotte Carmichael Stopes 171 

VIII. Fate and the Tragic Sense. By W. L. Courtney, 

M.A., LL.D 201 

IX. Byron and Carlyle. By Laurie Magnus, M.A., 

F.R.S L ', 235 


[Eead 27th November, 1907.] 

Befoee we venture to review the verdicts of 
Dante we must take careful note of the conditions 
under which they were delivered. First, we must 
remember the date of his Poem. In the year 1300 
Catholicism was not only dominant but rampant, 
and Dante was at once the self-constituted champion 
of its speculative dogmata, and the expositor of the 
hopes and terrors by which its domination over the 
minds of men was maintained. The claims of the 
Church, as to this world and the next, admitted of 
no compromise ; Baptism, orthodoxy of belief, sub- 
missiveness in conduct, w^th repentance and absolu- 
tion, if not intermediate, at least final, were essential 
to Salvation ; outside these all was damnation, and 
there w^as no hope for goodness or piety beyond the 
pale. It is difficult, indeed, to believe that the w^ell- 
known phrase, " the uncovenanted mercies of God," 
had much, if any, meaning for the Author of the 
' Commedia.' 

It would be a mere truism to say that by tempera- 
ment, as well as by conviction, Dante was well fitted 
to be the Epic Poet of Mediseval Catholicism. If 
he had not been so constituted the ' Commedia ' 
would not have been written, at all events by him. 

VOL. xxviii. 1 


He must be pronounced then, in spite of occasional 
outbreaks of judicial tenderness and humane hesita- 
tion, to be the impersonation of that uncompromising 
and therefore pitiless organisation of which he has 
made himself the immortal mouthpiece. If Ave 
wanted a typical instance of this reluctant sterimess, 
this inability to burst the trammels of the spiritual 
logic which bound him, we need not go beyond the 
fact that he has damned Virgil, the leader to whom 
he clings, the master whom he lauds and reveres, 
simply because he happened to die a few years before 
Christ was born, while he promotes the inferior 
Statins to Purgatory, introducing him as he takes 
wing for Paradise, in deference to some bare and 
faint tradition at most — possibly even manufactured 
by himself — that through Baptism he had become 
technically entitled to the Christian's hope. 

My hearers will doubtless remember that at the 
outset of their journey, in a sort of suburb of Hell, 
on the hither side of Acheron, Virgil and Dante 
encountered a multitude of despicable souls, of whom 
the former contemptuously said — 

" Waste we no words on them ; look, and pass on." 

These are very properly placed where they are. It 
was natural to treat first, and with a haughty 
leniency, those who, having committed no positive 
crime, were still, if undeserving Hell, certainly no 
less unworthy of Heaven ; creatures who had passed 
through life in a state of faulty faultlessness, arising 
either from apathy or poorness of spirit, or from 
both. Perhaps for such negative sin, if we may use 
the term, exclusion both from Heaven and Hell, and 


relegation to outer misery is not a bad sentence. 
They are thus made to pass their eternity as for- 
gotten caitiffs whom Satan does not care to claim, 
nor God to hand over to him. Their own sense of 
self-contempt is, perhaps, their worst punishment. 
They are conscious of the aptness of Virgil's descrip- 
tion of them : 

" This miserahle state 
They keep, the wretched souls of those who lived 
Alike uiiAvorthy or of praise or blame. 
And with their caitiff company are mixed 
Those Angels who rebelled not, but who yet 
Stood not for God, but for themselves alone : 
Heaven drave them forth, to keep its beauty pure, 
And the infernal deep received them not. 
Lest haply should the damned take glory of them." 

But among these Dante has elected to place a 
certain Pope, who is generally supposed to be 
Celestine the V^^^ and whose Spirit he recognises, 
and describes as — 

" The shade of him 
Who out of vileness made the Great Renouncement." 

Now if this Prelate be the personage intended, as a 
preponderance of the best commentators agree, 
Dante's verdict is at least so far questionable that 
the Poet himself lived to see him canonised. He 
was, indeed, induced to resign the Papal Tiara, but 
it was by trickery of the most shameless kind. He 
had lived the life of a simple and unambitious hermit 
in the mountains of the Abruzzi, whence, against his 
will, he was dragged, to have thrust upon him a 
greatness for which he was doubtless unfitted. But 
from the first moment of his elevation he was pes- 


tered and persecuted by an unscrupulous faction, of 
which the Cardinal Gaetani, his actual successor, was 
the head, and Avhicli never let him rest till it had 
brought about his resignation. Gower, in his ' Con- 
fessio Amantis,' has given a long account of this 
intriofue, and tells us that it culminated in a device 
by which the distracted Pope was made to hear 
Celestial voices in his bedchamber, crying, " Resign, 
Celestine, for thy soul's good, resign ? " At last 
resign he did, but under pressure, which hardly 
justified the phrase — 

" Che fece per \i\th il Gran Rifiuto.^' 

Celestine was, perhaps, a poor, silly, guileless priest, 
but his credulity did not surely deserve a con- 
temptuous damnation, even if his simplicity may have 
been somewhat over-honoured by canonisation. 

But let us now deal with something far more 
important than any individual case of condemnation, 
namely, the treatment accorded to those great hosts 
of choice spirits who had adorned and illustrated 
the Human Race in pre-Christian times. These 
Dante has elected to place, and apparently for ever, 
along with the undistinguished millions of their 
fellows, in a special region which he has named 
" Limbo " or " Lembo." Though the name means 
" Borderland," it is still within the realms of damna- 
tion, even if the life in it be not damnation itself in 
its most active sense of torture. On entering it 
Dante hears no cries of Anguish ; nothing save a 
vast tremor, as of sighs that made the eternal air to 
tremble. This, he tells us, 


" Came of sadness un tormented, such 
As held those vast and varied companies 
Of children, and of women, and of men," 

These hosts of sufferers he makes Virgil to acquit, 
without reservation, of actual ill conduct. They are 
where they are simply for lack of Baptism, and be- 
cause they died before Christ came. They were 
thus fated b}^ mere force of chronology. Here is 
the great Guide's description of them : 
" I wonld have thee know, 

Ere thou goest farther, that they have not sinned ; 

But that their merit, whatsoe'er it Avere, 

Failed, for the lack of that Baptismal Grace 

Which makes the portal of thy faith and creed. 

And, for they died ere Christ had come and gone, 

Not rightly was to God their worship paid. 

And as they are, I am; for such default 

Alone, and for none other, are we lost; 

But so far only suffer, that we live 

Life without hope, for ever in desire." 

Now Dante was perfectly free to deal with this 
vast and blameless multitude as he pleased. Indeed, 
he has himself shown that on this particular subject 
Catholicism was no fetter either to his imagination 
or his judgment. It needed but a very admissible 
extension of that amplification of St. Peter's declara- 
tion that Christ " went and preached to the spirits 
in prison," which he himself has made to have 
given room for the salvation of all deserving 
Heathendom. For St. Peter confines the definition 
of "spirits in prison" to the antediluvian Patriarchs, 
whereas our Poet carries the evangel of the Redeemer 
far beyond that. If, then, there were to be any 
expansion at all, why should it be limited to some 


thirty or forty Hebrews at most, and to tliem alone ? 
If, in spite of chronology and its logical consequences, 
Christ could, by the merit of his death, release not 
only Adam, Eve, Abel, and Noah, l)ut Moses, Abra- 
ham, Jacob, Eachel, and David, why, in the first 
place, could he not by parity of reasoning be repre- 
sented as havino; borne awav more of the eminent 
personages in Jewish history ? Why is no mention 
made of Isaac ? Why none of Hezekiah, Josiah, and 
of such flaming ministers of spiritual truth as Elijah, 
Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel? And having 
passed by these, was it not a little phantastic to 
include the eleven sons of Jacob, in spite of their 
murderous and fraudulent conspiracy against their 
brother? Why, lastly, having gone as far as he has, 
could he not have made room for some of the august 
company whom we find immured in Limbo ? It is 
not that he did not recognise their deserts ; he calls 

" Great Shades, whom yet I glory to have seen." 

But he is hardly less capricious in the list of those 
Avhom he has introduced to the Castello, than in that 
of those whom he has emancipated. We do not 
quite see why Camilla should be there, or even 
Averrhoes, " who made the Commentary ;" still less, 
from Dante's own point of view, Democritus, " who 
would to chance assign the making of this world." 
His ignorance of Greek Literature excuses his omis- 
sion of the three great Tragedians from that company 
of transcendent Poets to which the unduly honoured 
Lucan was admitted ; and a corresponding lack of 
acquaintance with Greek History accounts for his 


not having named Herodotus who was the father 
of it, or Miltiades, or Leonidas, or Pericles. It is 
only fair, however, to admit that, apart from these 
blemishes, negative and positive, Limbo with its 
Castello remains, not only the most picturesque and 
dignified of all the scenes in the ' Inferno,' but 
altogether worthy of comparison with kindred de- 
scriptions in tlie Iliad and Aeneid. I will even add, 
by way of further extenuation of the charge I have 
brought against its creator for the damnation of its 
occupants, that it seems almost as appetizing, from 
a residential point of view, as that cramped elevation 
in the ' Lista ' of the great Martian Cross, out of 
which Caccia Guida must have felt it almost a relief 
to step down for aAvhile, as he does during some 
three cantos of the Paradiso. 

Perhaps one piece of internal evidence of the 
innate pitifulness of Dante may, without too much 
fancifulness, be deduced from the configuration 
of his Hell. It is, as we know, an inverted cone. 
Each one therefore of its concentric circles is less 
than that which is next above it. Indeed, Dante 
calls the lower ones " cerchietti " and not " cerchi." 
The lower the circle the more intense the suffering, 
but then the fewer presumably are its victims, until 
in the Apex we reach the Father of Sin in solitude, 
save for the presence of those three unhappy beings 
whom Dante regards, next to Lucifer himself, as 
the three Arch-traitors of the Universe, and whose 
excruciating, if supreme, companionship Avitli the 
Fiend consisted in being eternally champed in one 
of his triple jaws. And here once more a modern 
must find himself at issue with our great Master, 


That a Catliolic and a Christian should have so 
placed Judas Iscariot seems to have been obligatory. 
But the association with him in his bad eminence of 
Brutus and Cassius is by no means so obvious. 
Brutus, like his supposed ancestor and namesake 
who rebelled against Tarquin, must still be regarded 
as one of the greatest Apostles of liberty, even 
though he may have confused it with the restoration 
to power of the great families of Rome. And 
though it be true that he had been a close friend of 
Julius Cassar, and had accepted his benefits, his 
revulsion in favour of ideal freedom in an aristo- 
cratic Commonwealth hardly merits a place in the 
lowest pit of Hell. As for Cassius, he was little 
more than a commonplace leader in an abortive 
revolution, with just so much of blood-guiltiness as 
has attached to the character in all places and ages. 
Both he and Brutus were heroes of a lost cause — for 
which they gave their lives, as Cato did, in all honour. 
In their view, Cfesar had to be removed, and there was 
no more thoroughly daring method of effecting, his 
removal than that which they adopted. Besides, 
morality is relative ; and no modern, however much 
he may repudiate assassination, can place Brutus 
and Cassius alongside of Judas Iscariot. It may 
well be that the position assigned to these two was 
partly an artistic concession to the presence of 
Virgil, the Epic Poet of the Roman Empire, and 
partly a gratification of Dante's own Imperial pro- 
clivities. But, anyway, it is not easy to bring one's 
self to admit that Brutus and Cassius were two out 
of three of the most villainous specimens of human 


Dante's classification of crime is tlireefold. First, 
incontinence, or self-indulgence; second, violence; 
and third, fraud. These classes are parcelled out 
into many subdivisions, through Avliich, at this 
moment, we need neither track nor test his inge- 
nuity. He considered incontinence, or self-indul- 
gence, the lightest of all, and fraud the most abomin- 
able. In the main his order is defensible ; for the 
activity of crime, the positiveness of perverse effort, 
and the refinement of villainy do increase convinc- 
ingly as he carries us downwards. In his first 
class there is, or should l)e, little beyond weakness, 
the negation of moral force, self-abandonment to 
passive impression. And, of all forms of this de- 
clination from the standard of right, Dante concedes 
most to misconduct arising from the excessive influ- 
ence of love. Something is to be said for this 
allowance to, and sympathy with, the sweetest of all 
natural impulses; but we must insist that he has 
not been happy in the instance by which he has 
illustrated his indulgent theory. It is too probable 
that he has employed all the tenderness of which 
his genius was capable in throwing a glamour 
over an intrigue, which was only not commonplace, 
l3ecause it involved treason of the deepest dye and 
most complicated features. Francesca was Paolo's 
])rother's wife, of mature age, and the mother of at 
least one child. He himself had been married many 
years, and was the father of a family. He was also 
several years older than his partner in crime. All 
this the Poet ignores, and touches nothing but the 
sentimentality and romance of their passion, fall, 


and murder. He is content with Francesca's very 
simple and somewhat self-comphieent apology : 

" Love 'twas that brought us to our common death ; 
Caina waits for him who murdered us." 

Now Caina, as we know, is that " giro " or ring in 
the Ninth and lowest circle of Hell, which Dante 
reserves for the treacherous murderers of kinsfolk. 
But there was no treachery in Grianciotto's wild jus- 
tice. It was an act of wrath alone, and that not 
without circumstances of great extenuation. Indeed, 
if the extreme version of the incident be true, it was 
justifiable homicide by the law of England. The 
treason was in its victims, not in its perpetrator. It 
seems to me that the former should have found a 
place themselves in Caina, low down among traitors, 
and not comparatively aloft, with such mild sinners 
as the unhappy Dido, who died for the love of the 
insouciant Aeneas, and is only stated to have com- 
mitted the very novel and fanciful crime of breaking 
faith with the ashes of her dead husband : 

" Ruppe fede al cener di Sicheo." 

It is a fanny idea that one can commit treason 
against the contents of a cinerary urn. 

But it has been pleaded that Dante may not have 
known the true story of Paolo and Francesca ; that 
he may only have heard and accepted what was 
undoubtedly a current version of it. How that 
Francesca, betrothed politicall}^ to the uncouth and 
deformed Gianciotto, had been told, in order to gain 
her acquiescence, that the handsome Paolo, who was 
to wed her in form, w^as, in reality, Gianciotto him- 


self, and not the mere proxy for his crippled and 
repulsive elder brother. If that version was true, 
her love at first sight for her mock husband would 
multiply her disgust when she found the real one by 
her side, and would much extenuate her fault. But 
even with this apology, improbable as it seems when 
we consider Dante's intimacy with the Polenta 
family, and the consequent chance of his knowledge 
of the true facts, we still feel that the Poet, by the 
glamour of romance which he has thrown over this 
story, has contracted a great responsibility to subse- 
quent generations. Who can say how much of false 
literature, down to the last French Xovel or London 
Problem Play, may not be traced, through centuries 
of devolution, to the poisonous beauty of this lovely 
episode ? But, all the same, let nobody suppose 
that I don't enjoy it. 

It is not by any means clear why Achilles should 
be placed in this company. His love for Polyxena, 
the daughter of Hecuba and Priam, was perfectly 
legitimate, and his marriage with her would probably 
have saved Troy. It was the doubly dyed traitor 
Paris who, interested in the maintenance of war, for 
the sake of his retention of Helen, slew him at the 
Hymeneal altar. In default of any other reasons 
for his damnation, the Castello would have been the 
proper haven for the greatest of the legendary 
Greeks, along with Hector, Aeneas, Saladin, and the 

Nor have I yet mentioned all the difficult juxta- 
positions in Canto V. Helen and Paris, Tristan and 
Iseult, were all traitors more than they were lovers, 
while Semiramis has the credit of having been the 


Clialdaean analogue of Catlierine the Second, in 
whose proceedings love was no element at all. Some 
othei' place in so carefully graduated a Tartarus 
should have been found for such delincpients. On 
the whole, while we don't quarrel with the leniency 
shown to those who have lond fide erred under the 
overwhelming stress of that which is the most pic- 
turesque as well as the most powerful of the passions, 
and almost as seductive to its judges as to its vic- 
tims, we must demand, as the price of our com- 
passionate concession, that there should be as little 
treason as possible involved in the fault, and as many 
extenuating circumstances as may be, so as to lessen 
the claim of those whose injuries might otherwise 
fairly plead for severer condemnation. 

After leaving the Griuttons, the Prodigals, and the 
Misers, to whose position, and to the instances by 
which it is illustrated, there is no exception to be 
taken, we descend with the two illustrious visitors 
to that slough of despair in which are made to 
wallow the Wrathful and the Sullen. Of these 
again there would be no special note necessary, and 
the " guarda e passa " of an earlier Canto might well 
be our injunction here, were it not for an incident, 
rather than a judgment, which strikes us as hardly 
creditable to Dante himself, careful though he has 
been to give it to us in fullest detail. The two 
Poets, as they took their way past these unfor- 
tunates, over the waters of the Stygian fen, in a 
skiff which Phlegyas had reluctantly provided for 
them, were accosted by the shade of a Florentine 
noble. His name in full was Filippo de Cavicciuli- 
Adinari. There seems no doubt that he had been 


famed on earth for his imperious and violent temper, 
no less than for his arrogance and pride of purse. 
He had acquired the nickname of " Argenti," from 
the vanity wliicli had led him to have his palfrey 
shod with silver. He rose up covered with mud 
and slime, as the two visitants passed him, and 
asked Dante who he was, and why he had come 
thither before his time ? The latter, as he admits, 
affected not to know him, and treated him with an 
inhuman and quite indefensible rudeness, which 
came near to ferocity. I am not conciliated by the 
fact that Dante makes Virgil, whose sanction in the 
circumstances he could command, and Avhicli I ante- 
date by announcing it, throw bis arms round his neck 
in a rapture of approval, crying out, " Disdainful 
soul, blessed is she who bare thee !" 

I am even disposed to resent the use thus made of 
the mild Roman's shade. Why I insist that on this 
occasion Dante besmirched liis white robe is that 
the motive for his ebullition is well known. It is a 
fact that the family of the poor wretch who is so 
roughly made to suffer, besides being of the opposite 
faction to that to which Dante was still nominally 
attached, had fiercely resisted the cancellation of his 
banishment. It is therefore difficult to avoid the 
feeling that a desire to revenge himself upon the 
Cavicciuli-Adinari, provoked the representation of 
one of their house, not only as wallowing in the 
mire, but also as receiving their own victim's insults 
as he lay. 

The incarceration in super-heated tombs of the 
founders of the great philosophical and theological 
heresies with their followers, involves a theory 


wliicli I prefer to toucli very liglitly. I will only 
say that to hold that heresy, thoughtfully conceived, 
and honestly preached, should involve damnation, 
has always seemed to me one of the crowning delin- 
quencies of irresponsible authority ; and the best 
apology for Dante's acquiescence in it, is that he wrote 
when he did. But here once more, though we may 
fully understand and condone his acceptance of the 
principle, we are prone to challenge his application 
of it. He names Farinata degli Uberti as an 
Epicurean heretic, whom he recognises in torture, 
and with whom he has some talk. History says 
nothing of the })hiloso])hic tendencies of Farinata ; 
but it does let us know that he was one of the most 
illustrious leaders of the Ghibillini party, and a 
favourite of the Emperor Frederick the Second. 
We know too that he was banished, and that subse- 
quently, having obtained the assistance of the 
Sienesi, and of j\Ianfred, Frederick's natural son, he 
defeated the Florentine Gruelphs in a great battle on 
the river Arbia in 1260, and returned in triumph to 
his native city, where he and his for many years 
reigned supreme. Farinata is made to say that he 
shares the superheated chamber with an Emperor 
and the Cardinal. The Emperor is avowedly 
Frederick the Second, and in the Cardinal is with 
equal certainty to be recognised Ottaviaro degli 
Ubaldini, a politician very hostile to the Papal 
Court, and a great protector of the faction disliked 
by Dante. The retort of the Poet when Farinata 
boasted to him that he had twice driven his ances- 
tors into exile could only have been made by one 
who was still a Guelph at heart; 


"If they wore driven out/^ I ansAvered him, 
" They came again each time, and from all parts ; 
But your folk have not learned that art aright." 

The Epicureanism of Ottaviaro was probably as 
hypothetical as that of Farinata or The Emperor 
Frederick ; they were all labelled heretics on account 
of their politics, and put in torture accordingly, just 
as Cinna the Poet was torn in pieces by the Koman 
mob, as a conspirator against Csesar, because his 
bad verses had rendered him sufficiently unpopular. 
In the Seventh Circle, where those who have been 
consi3icuous for violence against mankind are im- 
mersed in the boiling blood of Phlegethon under the 
superintendence of three Centaurs, Nessus, Pliolus, 
and Chiron, we encounter one of the most perplexing- 
instances among the judgments of Dante. Here 
are, as Nessus is made to tell the Visitors, 

" Tyrants who gave themselves to blood and plunder; 
Here they bewail their pitilessness ; here 
Are Alexander, and that savage Syracusan 
Who wrought such dolorous years for Sicily." 

If Alexander the Grreat be here undoubtedly desig- 
nated, nothing could well exceed the enormity of 
the injustice. If Caesar and Saladin, to go no 
further, were worthy of seats in the plaisaunces of 
the Castello, what do we know against Alexander 
that should involve him in so dire a punishment. 
The very association of his name with that of 
Dionysius of Syracuse is an affront to history. To 
avoid this conclusion, so disastrous to the repute of 
our Poet, strenuous efforts have been made on the 
part of commentators. Two alternative personages 


have been suggested, neither of whom seems at all 
satisfactory; one is Alexander of Pherae in Thessaly, 
the other Alexander Balas of Jerusalem, a contem- 
porary of the Maccabees. To begin Avith, these two, 
undoubtedly most unamiable, personages, are surely 
too obscure for such typical notice. There is, 
indeed, sufficient warrant for the ascription of con- 
siderable ingenuity to the Thessalian among pro- 
fessors of cruelty, if it be true that one of his pet 
diversions was to clothe his slaves in the skins of 
wild beasts in order to have them torn to pieces by 
his hounds. As to the ruffian of Jerusalem, he, too, 
seems to have an expert in ferocity, but his renown, 
like that of Alexander of Pherae, was too provincial 
for such eminent selection. On the whole, we are 
impelled, with much reluctance, to take sides with 
Benvenuto da Imola, Pietro Dante, the Author of 
the commentary known as the ' Ottimo,' and others, 
and after ' Alessandro ' to read in ' II Grande.' It 
goes for little that Dante has in his ' Convito ' 
expressed great admiration for Alexander of 
Macedon. He has done exactly the same by 
Bertran de Borne, but that has not saved him from 
a place still lower down in Hell. And there is one 
further point to be kept in mind. Dante had no 
taste for marauding political warriors, however emi- 
nent, as his location of Frederick the Second clearly 
shows. His main thought, after all, was given to 
the spiritual supremacy of the Papacy, and he might 
well feel inclined to gibbet even the colossal fame 
of Alexander, who overran Asia, as a warning to 
any Potentate who might cross the Alps, or the Sea, 
unbidden, to the disturbance of Italy, and the pre- 


judice of her sacrosanct theocracy. In a minor 
degree, we may take exception to the condemnation 
of Pyrrhus of B pirns, whose sole knoAvn crime was 
a vain, thongh perfectly natnral, attempt to stem 
the growing flood of Roman supremacy. On the 
contrary, with the boiling of Sextus, on the hypo- 
thesis that he stands for Sextus Tarquinins, the 
destroyer of the beautiful and blameless Lucretia, 
we are perfectly content. 

With a word or two upon the selection of Pietro 
delle Vigne to illustrate the doom of suicides, we 
may quit the group of crimes punished under the 
various heads of violence. The unfortunate Pietro 
was a confidential and devotedly attached servant of 
Frederick the Second. He was calumniated to his 
master, who threw him into prison, and put out his 
eyes. Unable to vindicate himself, or to obtain any 
mitigation of his sufferings, he took an opportunity 
to destroy himself. He assures Dante, with an air 
of complete truth, that he was innocent of the 
charges laid against him; and the Poet gives his 
readers to understand that he believed the state- 
ment. If ever suicide could be considered a venial 
act, it surely might be so regarded in Pietro's case. 

Eleven forms of fraud occupy thirteen cantos of 
the ' Inferno,' from the eighteenth to the thirtieth 
inclusive. In these the ignoble army of panders, 
flatterers, simonists, diviners, corrupt officials, hypo- 
crites, robbers, fraudulent counsellors, disseminators 
of strife, forgers, and coiners get their deserts. The 
last four cantos are reserved, in order of descent, 
for traitors to their kin, to their country, to the 
special ties of friendship and hospitality, and lastly 



to their benefactors, as Brutus and Cassius to Julius, 
and Judas to Christ. Among the hypocrites we find 
all the members of that Sanhedrim who condemned 
the Saviour. Their punishment is special, as their 
act had been ; it is that to which they had contrived 
to bring their victim, namely Crucifixion. By their 
hypocrisy Dante would seem to have intended the 
false motive suggested to them by Caiaphas, and 
accepted of them all, "that it was expedient that 
one man should die for the people, and that the 
whole nation should perish not." It is curious to 
notice that Dante makes no provision for the punish- 
ment of Pontius Pilate. I don't think that he even 
mentions his name throus^hout the ' Inferno.' Pos- 
sibly he regarded him as an Imperial servant bound 
by the terms of his Proconsulship to leave Jesus to 
the Jewish law on a charge of blasphemy ; possibly, 
also, he may have accepted Pilate's declaration after 
washing his hands before the multitude, " I am 
innocent of the blood of this just person, see ye to 
it"; further, he may have thought it fair to give 
effect to the priestly rejoinder, " His blood be upon 
us and upon our children." 

Ulysses and Diomede are obviously placed among 
the fraudulent counsellors because their stratagems 
wrought ruin to Troy and involved the wanderings 
of Aeneas, the mythical progenitor of the Alban 
kings. In fact Dante seems to have regarded them 
as the Annas and Caiaphas of Roman legend. 

To my mind very hard measure has been dealt 
out to Guido da Montefeltro. He is condemned to 
the ambient flames of the Fraudulent Counsellors 
for having given counsel of deceit to Pope Boniface 


the Vllltli. Griiido's character had been that of a 
great warrior and an astute politician, of a modern 
Ulysses in fact. After a long and successful career, 
he entered the Order of the Franciscans. He is 
made to say of himself : 

" A warrior once, I wore the Friar's cord, 
Trusting, thus girt, to make ray peace with Heaven." 

Nothing that we know of him up to the moment of 
that chano-e in his life would warrant his location so 
far down in Hell. Moreover, his desire for repent- 
ance, /aire soil ame, as the French have it, seems to 
have been sincere. But upon his retirement is said 
to have broken in Boniface the Vlllth, whom Dante 
hated as he knew how to hate, and who, sore per- 
plexed in his great quarrel with the Cardinals of 
the House of Colonna, came to the old statesman in 
quest of counsel. In vain Gruido pleaded his abso- 
lute renouncement of the world and its affairs. The 
Pope, his spiritual superior in a double sense of the 
word now that he had become a Monk, insisted ; 
promising antecedently plenary absolution for any 
fault which his acquiescence might involve. Gruido 
thus unduly pressed, and spiritually assured, gave 
his advice, Avhich did in fact cover both craft and 
fraud. These are the words of the confession which 
Dante puts into his mouth : 

" ' Father,' said I, ' since thou dost wash my soul 
From that offence whereinto I must fall. 
Take this my hint of counsel ; promises 
Fairer in making than of keeping long 
Shall seat thee steady in thy lofty chair.' " 

Nobody knew better or endorsed more strongly than 
Dante the claim by Popes of absolute obedience 


from all Catholics, especially from Ecclesiastics, and 
the equally absolute powers of absolution with which 
they were supposed to be endowed. He further 
admits that he was aware of that great reluctance of 
Guido to transgress, which itself almost amounted to 
anterior repentance, just as a promise to absolve 
was anticipatory absolution. Hard cases, no doubt, 
make bad law, but if ever there w^as a hard case, 
looked at from all points of view^, it was this of Gruido 
da Montefeltro. 

Low down in the Eighth Circle we are shown 
Mahomet, the great Prophet of Arabia. We cannot 
wonder that Dante was unable to appreciate either 
his mission or his character. He could only see in 
him the greatest Disseminator of Religious Strife 
who had ever led a section of mankind astray. He 
esteemed him at once something greater and worse 
than a mere dogmatic heretic. He took him to have 
based his temporal and spiritual power alike and 
alone upon blasphemy and fraud. Such was doubt- 
less the mediaeval conception of Mahomet. But to 
us who look back from a more distant, and so from 
a clearer standpoint, to us, for whom History has 
largely disrobed herself of her mists, he stands forth 
as the great regenerator of the Arab race. He gave 
to its Nomad tribes a faith, a code, a conception 
of polity, and even of morals, which, though far 
below, both in motive and sanction, ideal Christianity 
or pure Judaism, were still much above anything 
which its recipients had theretofore enjoyed. With 
all the negative shortcomings and positive blots 
which deface and debase his system, and with all 
our hope for its ultimate replacement by some- 


thing higher and more elastic, Mahomet must be 
classed among the benefactors of the human race ; 
he remains a figure which cannot be refused a 
niche in the great temple ; and the author of the 
Koran could only have been placed in the lowest 
Circle but one of the kinp'dom of Hell throu"'li a 

o o 

lack of materials for true historic appreciation 
against which even the genius of Dante struggled in 

When once we have entered upon the last and 
most terrible Circle, Avhich embodies Dante's con- 
ception of supreme condemnation, we hear nothing- 
more of winds, hail, rain, heat, flames, filth, wounds, 
flagellation, outcry, as instruments or concomicants 
of torture. The symbols of its sublimity are still- 
ness, solitude, blackness, ice ; such as, save for the 
ice, we moderns may imagine for the limitless 
regions of interstellar cold. Dante divides this 
into four " Giri " or " Rings." Firsts " Caina," 
which holds traitors to their kin; Second, " Ante- 
nora," which holds traitors to their country; Third, 
" Tolomea," wherein are herded the betrayers of 
guests and friends; Fourth, " Giudecca," which 
contains traitors to benefactors. As we pass through 
the first three of these quarters, we need not even 
pause ujDon the splendid episode of the Conte 
Ugolino, unsurpassed as a piece of art by anything 
in the whole Commedia; and of their other named 
occupants there is nothing to be said. They are 
but the shades of ephemerally infamous Italians, 
well known, no doubt, to Dante and his contem- 
poraries, but lacking that element of universality 
as types, which alone would have made them inter- 


estino- to us. Of the Three who are named as 
sharing " Gmdecca " with Lucifer, I have abeady 
said all that I think necessary. Perhaps, however, 
I might advantageously admit that tlic triumvirate 
of arch-criminals is not unnaturally chosen from 
Dante's standpoint. He beheved Christianity, as 
eml)odied in Catholicism, to be the one and only 
source and form of spiritual light, truth, and power ; 
and in the magnificence and sanctity of the Roman 
Empire as the supreme civil executant of Christen- 
dom. In his view therefore, Judas, Brutus, and 
Cassius, were of kindred guilt, as traitors to the two 
Founders of the twin Institutions to which his 
Spirit paid almost equal reverence. 

Here, then, we leave our by no means exhaustive 
sketch of one aspect of the ' Inferno.' In its classi- 
fication of crime we see little to amend. It is only 
when we turn to the concrete verdicts by which 
Dante illustrates it that we feel obliged sometimes to 
point out indications of political partiality, and even, 
of personal spleen ; and at others to take note of 
imperfect appreciation of the facts of history, 
natural no doubt to his epoch, but which, as inheri- 
tors of the grand result of time, we should be false 
to ourselves if we did not recognise. 


[Keacl January 22nd, 1908.] 

A OENTUKY and a half ago the undisputed arl^iter 
of hterature in Europe was Voltaire. Of all his 
innumerable activities, perhaps the most persistent 
was that which had for its object the determination 
of Shakespeare's true position in the world of letters. 
Voltaire always claimed to have been himself the 
discoverer of Shakespeare. On his visit to England 
in 172G he found that the semi-barbarous islanders 
boasted of a dramatic genius, whose merits they no 
donbt greatly exaggerated, but who combined extra- 
ordinary power with no less extraordinary want of 
taste and refinement. Voltaire himself conde- 
scended to translate portions of Shakespeare's 
tragedies for the benefit of his own countrymen, and 
borrowed largely from him in " Zaire," " La Mort 
de Cesar," and other plays. But this patronising 
tone was exchanged for a severely critical tone, when 
the ungrateful English not only charged him with 
plagiarising, but even had the effrontery to prefer 
Shakespeare's plays to his own. What was especially 
provoking was that Lord Kames' ' Elements of 
Criticism' (17G2), in which Shakespeare was lauded 
as the finest genius for the stage the world had ever 
known, while the French dramatists were depreciated 

* Tolstoi's Shakesj^eare, ' tradviit du Eusso/ jiar J. W. Bienstock, ed. 2. 


as artificial and declamatory — this very ])ook not only 
passed tlirougli many editions in England, but was 
translated into German, and had a wide circulation 
on the Continent. It was even more galling to find 
that the French themselves were becoming infected 
w^ith what we may call the " ultramarine heresy," and 
that Shakespeare's plays were being translated and 
acted in France in spite of all that the Academy conld 
do to uphold the pre-eminence of the old French 
stage. It was under provocation of this sort that 
Voltaire was betrayed into the use of the phrase 
"drunken savage" as descriptive of Shakespeare; 
but his deliberate criticisms may be summed up 
under the heads, neglect of the dramatic unities, 
mixture of comedy and tragedy, admission of low 
life upon the stage, the use of coarse, violent, and even 
horrible ingredients to suit the taste of the vulgar. 

For better or for worse we have now no arbiter 
elegantiantm to lay down the law for Europe. If 
the various civilised nations were required to agree 
upon one, I suppose few would have a better chance 
of election than the author of ' Peace and AYar,' and 
of ' Anna Karenina.' It was, therefore, with mucli 
interest that I saw the announcement of a French 
translation of a book of Tolstoi's, bearing the title 
' Shakespeare.' One hundred and fifty years ago 
comparatively nothing was known of Shakespeare ; 
the text teemed with inaccuracies, and the acted 
plays bore only a slight resemblance to the early 
editions. What do we find to be the effect of the 
fresh light thrown upon this subject by the prolonged 
study of later years, upon a mind, which, if far 
inferior to Voltaire's in wit and cleverness and ver- 


satility, is certainly superior to his in imaginative 
power, besides being unencumbered by his prejudices 
in favour of obsolete rules and theories ? As we 
might expect, Tolstoi abandons the dramatic unities, 
and entirely disagrees with Voltaire's idea that the 
stage should be limited to the upper classes ; but this, 
I am afraid, is all the advance he has made upon 
Voltaire. He is as inaccurate, as hasty, as prejudiced, 
though not quite in the same way, and, what one would 
hardly have expected, he has really far less sense of 
the genius of Shakespeare than had Voltaire himself. 
But I turn now to the examination of his book. 

Tolstoi begins by telhng us that, after vainly 
endeavouring for many years to find out what it 
was that the world admired in Shakespeare, he 
determined in his sixty-fifth year to read through 
his works again in English, German, and Russian, 
but his last careful perusal has only confirmed the 
weariness and disgust produced in him by his 
earlier studies, and he is able now to assert with 
confidence that, so far from being a great writer, 
Shakespeare falls below the level of mediocrity. 
King Lear, being regarded as Shakespeare's master- 
piece by Johnson, Shelley, Swinburne, Victor Hugo, 
Brandos, and others, Tolstoi makes this his test and 
gives a business-like precis of each scene, followed 
by criticisms and quotations. In the latter he adopts 
Voltaire's method, picking out such passages as are 
omitted in the Clarendon edition and on the stage, 
in order to exaggerate the coarseness of the play. 
The later part of the book contains his general 
charges against Shakespeare's dramatic art. I pro- 
pose to deal with these first, and afterwards to make 


siicli reference as may be needed to his comments on 
the particular play which he has taken as his test. 

In p. 108 Tolstoi signalises three elements of 
excellence in poetry, which he finds to be wanting- in 
Shakespeare, viz. (1) the greatness of the subject 
selected, i. e. its importance for the life of man ; (2) 
beauty of form, consisting in the correspondence of 
the language to the character, in natural and touch- 
ing exposition, in the logical succession of the scenes 
so as to exhibit the development of character, and, 
added to this, in a sense of proportion ; (3) sincerity, 
by which he means that the author must feel what 
he represents, or his work will not be a work of art. 
Now, Shakespeare measures greatness merely by 
an external standard. Rank and power command 
his admiration : for the inferior classes he has only 
contempt. So strongly does Tolstoi feel this, that 
he devotes by far the largest section of his book to 
Shakespeare's view of the working classes. A glance 
at the dramatis ^^ersonae is, he says, enough to prove 
that the presence of royal or ducal personages was 
deemed by him to be essential to the dignity of 
tragedy. What degrading names are given to the 
plebeian actors in " Midsummer Night's Dream " ! 
What insulting terms are everywhere used liy the rich 
of the poor; by Coriolanus, for instance, of the Roman 
commons, l)y Petruchio to Grumio and the tailor, by 
Pistol to the soldier, by Rosalind to Phoebe, by Jaques 
to Touchstone and Audry ! How rarely is any good 
quality allowed to servants or inferiors ! Almost the 
only virtue of which they are capable is fidelity to a 
master, such as we see in Adam towards Orlando, in 
the fool towards Lear, in Gloster's tenants towards 


Gloster. Tolstoi cannot acconnt for a servant of 
Cornwall's venturing to protest against his cruelty to 
Gloster. " On ne sait pourquoi " is Tolstoi's remark, 
l)at the reason is plainly given in the words, "Hold 
your hand, my lord ; I have served you ever since I 
was a child, but better service never have I done you 
than now to bid you hold," and his fellow-servants 
are represented as sharing his feelings. Tolstoi 
allows that a soldier is sometimes praised for 
courage, as in Macbeth and Henry V before Agin- 
court ; " Mais, revenons a Tommy Atkins, il n'est 
plus Mr. Atkins " after the battle, when the French 
herald comes to ask for the bodies of the slain 
princes, many of Avliom, " woe the while," 

" Lie drowned and soaked in mercenary blood." 

It will be noted that Tolstoi writes here (p. 169) 
as if it were the English king still speaking of his 

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers," 

and not the French herald, speaking of his own 
dead, that comes 

"To sort our nobles from our common men." 

One would think Tolstoi might have remembered 
that, at the time when Shakespeare wrote, the 
fierce independence of the English lower classes 
was as proverbial throughout Europe as the beauty 
of their women or the drunkenness of their 
■ men ; that he might at least have bethought him 
that the strength of England always lay in her 
" astonishing infantry," while France put her trust 


only in her nobles and cavaliers. Shakespeare 
himself has taken special pains to mark the contrast 
by the picture he has given of the two camps on the 
night before the battle. In the French camp there 
is nothing but the vanity of fine gentlemen, boasting 
of their fine horses and armour, and of their certain 
victory ; while in the English camp there is praise, 
it is true, of " that good old commander and most 
kind gentleman, Sir Thomas Erpingham," but it is 
praise uttered in his absence by the common soldiers, 
who fill the scene and are represented as in familiar 
talk Avith their disofuised kinaf. There is not a 
word of boasting, but a settled resolve to fight to 
the end in spite of the odds against them. 

Tolstoi finds the same snobbishness, the same 
want of sympathy with the poor, the same hatred 
of democracy in Shakespeare's omission to speak of 
Magna Charta, of Wycliff, and reforms in general, 
in his account of Cade's insurrection, in his choice 
of subjects from Plutarch — why did he not take 
the Gracchi ? — in his contemptuous reference to 
the Utopias of his time, perhaps worst of all, in 
his slavish attitude towards authority. For the last 
Tolstoi (p. 177) quotes Claudio's words in "Measure 
for Measure " : 

" Whence comes this restraint ? 
From too much liberty, my Lucio." 

And again, I, 3, 5 (Tolstoi's paraphrase) : 

" Thus can the demigod, Authority, 
Make us pay down for our offence by weight. 
So heaven wills. It strikes or spares at pleasure ; 
But it is always just." 



Tolstoi forgets tliat tlie whole purpose of this play 
is to exhibit external authority rebuked by the higher 
authority of conscience, and he actually takes the 
sarcastic irony of the offending Claudio, just as he 
takes the Nemesis-provoking pride of Coriolanus, 
as expressive of the real mind of Shakespeare. His 
other proof of Shakespeare's worship of authority is 
the speech of Ulysses in " Troilus and Cressida," 
where the failure of the Greeks to take Troy is 
ascribed to their want of union and discipline. One 
would have thouo-ht that even an anarchist miofht 
have allowed that anarchy was out of place in an 
army on active service. But we need go no further 
than this pla}^ to show how groundless is the allega- 
tion that Shakespeare is a slave to authority. In 
IV, 6, Lear himself says : " Thou hast seen a 
farmer's dog bark at a beggar and the creature run 
from the cur. There thou mightest behold the 
exact image of authority : a dog's obeyed in office." 
And where shall we find truer sympathy for the 
poor than in Lear's speech (III, 4 ), beginning 
" Poor naked wretches," and in Gloster's (IV, 1), 
" Let the superfluous and lust-dieted man,' etc. 

Tolstoi (p. 95) is indignant with Gervinus for 
venturing to compare Shakespeare with Homer, 
the semblance, as he calls it, with the realitij of 
poetry. But Homer has the same aristocratic tone 
which Tolstoi condemns in Shakespeare, only in a 
far higher degree. Thersites represents Homer's 
idea of the demos, and the action of the story 
is carried on almost exclusively by gods and 

As to Shakespeare's choice of subjects, we may 


allow that lie was guided in part, like Ilonier and 
Pindar, by what would please his patrons and his 
audience, and partly by his own strong feeling of 
patriotism, which would lead him, in that critical 
period, to dwell upon what would unite and not 
divide his countrymen. AVliat England wanted then, 
and knew she wanted, was strong government to 
save her alike from enemies abroad and conspirators 
at home. 

I proceed now briefly to discuss the truth of 
Tolstoi's general principles. " A great poem de- 
mands a great subject, and a great subject means 
something very different from external greatness." 
With this we should probably all agree; but yet 
external greatness may tend, if not to develop inward 
greatness, at any rate to set it in a more striking light. 
The fate of a Napoleon involves much more than 
that of some village Hampden. The history of 
temptation appeals far more powerfully to the heart 
and conscience, when we see Macbeth acted on the 
stage, than when we are present at any ordinary 
trial for murder. The story of Mary, Queen of 
Scots, or of Marie Antoinette, if not in itself more 
pathetic than that of the Bride of Lammermoor, 
has at any rate a wider scope, and affords a more 
impressive Tr^pnTtTHu. But never in Shakespeare do we 
find the interest of the play turning on mere outward 
position. What so deeply affects us in his tragedies 
is beauty of character, as in Desdemona or Cordelia, 
strength of intellect and will, as in lago or Edmund, 
the over-powering might of noble passion, as in 
Othello or King Lear, and behind all, in the back- 
ground, the over-ruling Providence which shapes our 



ends, rebuking selfislmess and pride, turning loss 
into gain, and bitter experience into the patience 
and sympathy of wisdom. 

Tolstoi's second requisite is beauty of form, as 
shown especially in the suitability of the language 
to the speakers. In p. 65 he says that this beauty 
is not to be found in Shakespeare, all whose charac- 
ters speak the same bombastic, artificial language, 
a language never spoken by any living being. As 
examples, he refers to Lear's words to Regan 
(II, 4, 12U), in answer to her professed joy at seeing 

" Regan, I tliiuk you arc ; I know what reason 
I have to think so; if tliou slioukVst not be glad, 
I would divorce nic from tliy mother's tomb, 
Sepulcliring an adulteress." 

and secondly, to Lear's appeal to heaven in II, 4, 185, 

" Heavens, 
If you do love old men ; if your sweet sway 
Allow obedience ; if yourselves are old, 
Make it your cause ; send down and take my part." 

As to the latter, I think every unprejudiced 
reader must feel it to be a splendid example, 
expressed in language as simple as it is beautiful, 
of what Ruskin has called the pathetic fallacy, by 
which man imputes his own feelings to Nature. The 
majestic movements of the heavens have been re- 
garded in all ages, by Jewish psalmists no less than 
by Greek philosophers, as a natural symbol of 
authority. It is dwelt upon by Ulysses in "Troilus 
and Cressida," I, 3, and is nobly exj^ressed in Words- 
worth's ' Ode to Duty ' : 


" Thou dost preserve the stars from wrong, 
And the most ancient heavens through Thee arc fresh 
and strong." 

As to tlie former passage the expression objected 
to, " sepulcliring an adulteress," is an adaptation of 
one which was unhappily too common in the loose 
society of the Tudors and Stuarts, as we see in 
Gloster's reference to Edgar (II, 1, 80), "I never got 
him," and Lear's to Goneril, " degenerate bastard." 
It is even put into the innocent lips of Miranda : " I 
should sin to think but nobly of my grandmother." 
As Tolstoi takes no exception to the general use of 
the expression, I suppose what he dislikes is its 
seemingly far-fetched application, "Divorce me from 
thy mother's tomb." But the tomb is that which is 
really most closely bound up with his love. It was 
at her tomb that Lear recalled his wife most 
vividly to mind. 

Two more passages may be quoted to illustrate 
what Tolstoi means by his use of the Avord "artificial" 
in regard to Shakespeare's language. In " Lear," 
iv, 1, where the blind Grloster tells the old tenant 
who had been leading him to look to his own safety, 
the latter replies, " Alack, sir, you cannot see your 
way." To which Gloster makes the simple, touch- 
ing, and truthful answer : 

" I have no way, and therefore want no eyes ; 
I stumbled when I saw." 

And this Tolstoi calls a specimen of the artificial 
language, in which ideas are suggested by a play upon 
words. A little below, when Gloster tells the old 
man to leave him in charge of Edgar, the answer is 


"Alack, sir, he's mad," on which Gloster makes the 
natural reflection : 

" Tis the time's plague when madmoii lead the blind/' 

The remark appended by Tolstoi, " Gloster profite 
de I'occasion pour dire un bon mot," can oulj be 
characterised as brutal. 

I cannot help thinking that all this insistence 
on the adaptation of the language to the speaker 
betrays a certain shallowness of mind in the critic. 
A great poet makes us conscious of unity of cha- 
racter through the feelings, thoughts, and actions 
of the person, and also through the way in 
which others behave to him or' address him. For 
instance, the careless reader thinks " monsters of 
cruelty " a full description of Goneril and Kegan, 
but a more thoughtful reader becomes conscious of 
a subtle distinction betiveen them, as he notices the 
difference in Lear's way of addressing them in Scene 
I, " Goneril, our eldest born, speak first," and after- 
wards, "Our second daughter, our dearest Regan." 
Then in II, 4, 128 and 167; 

" Beloved Regan, thy sister's nought. 
•X- -x- -X- 

No, Regan, thou shalt never have my curses : 
Thy tender-hefted nature shall not give 
Thee o'er to harshness : her eyes are fierce, but thine 
Do comfort and not burn." 

Compare, too, the answers made by the two 
daughters to Lear's question : 

" Which of you shall we say doth love us most ? " 

While Goneril dwells on the greatness of her love : 
" Beyond all manner of so much I love you " ; 


Regan insists on her deliglit in being loved : 

" I am alone felicitate 
In your clear highness' love." 

Notice also the contrast in II, 4, after Lear has 
gone out into the storm. Both are agreed in leaving 
him there, but Regan attempts to justify herself by 
the circumstances : 

"The house is little, the old man and his people 
Cannot be well bestowed " ; 

while Goneril makes it a matter of principle : 

" 'Tis his own blame, . . . must taste his own folly," 

which Regan echoes shortly afterwards in the 

words : 

" To wilful men, 
The injuries that they themselves procure. 
Must be their schoolmasters." 

Goneril's is a strong, masculine, self-sufficing 
nature : she sets the tune, which is taken up by 
the feminine, caressing, falser, but equally cruel 
Reo-an. Observe how the latter professes terror 
when she hears her father's curses on Goneril : 

" the blest gods ; so will you wish on me. 
When the rash mood is on." 

But Goneril is always entirely unmoved, as may- 
be seen in her " At your choice, sir," after one of 
Lear's most passionate outbreaks. Both are beau- 
ful, both clever — much cleverer than Cordelia — 
cold, clear-sighted and practical in their outlook. 


I gather tins from their fete a tfde at the end of the 
first scene, from Goneril's way of treating Albany, 
and from the alteration in Albany's tone from the 
words in I, 4, o04 : 

" I cannot be so partial, Cloneril, 
To the great love I bear you," 

to those in IV, 2, G2, which I think shonld be read : 

"Thou changed and iioii- discovered* thing, for shame, 
Bemonster not thy nature/' 

Language in itself is a very secondary thing, deter- 
mined in a great degree by outward circumstances, 
like the use of "Alack!" here in the mouth of the 
peasant, or like Pistol's fag-ends of old plays. What 
is really essential is that a man's own feelings and 
thoughts, however expressed, should combine Avith 
his actions and with the relations in which he stands 
to others, to produce the total impression which we 
know as his character. 

When Tolstoi says that no one ever talked in 
Shakespearian language, he utters what is in one 
sense a truism. In common life we do not speak in 
blank verse, the use of which implies a highly 
imaginative and poetical treatment, with a view 
to the production of an aesthetic pleasure out of 
incidents which would otherwise be productive of 
horror or pain. If he means that Shakespeare's 
words contain more of thought, and, where it is 
required, a far greater depth of passion than our 

* Compare I, 1,280: 

" Who cover faults at last shame them derides." 


common language, lie is quite right ; and this some- 
times makes him difficult to understand. So far we 
can go together. But if he means that Shakespeare 
intentionally avoids simplicity, I entirely deny it. 
AVhere does Shakespeare soar highest in this 
astounding play of Lear ? Not in the raging 
storm of Nature and of man, but in the still 
small voice, in those two simple phrases which 
might be uttered by a child of five years old, 
" And so I am, I am," " No cause, no cause." Yet 
Shakespeare gives such intensity to these simple, 
childlike words, that in them the very soul of 
Cordelia lies open before us. I might use the 
same words to disprove Tolstoi's allegation that 
Shakespeare's characters all speak the same lan- 
guage. Try them on Goneril and Regan, on 
Cleopatra, on Portia, or on any other of Shakes- 
peare's heroines. You will try them in vain. It is 
impossible to fit them. The result is the same if we 
try to transpose a speech of Hotspur and Glendower, 
of Brutus and Anton}-, not because they use a 
different vocabular}-, but because they are different 
persons, expressing different thoughts and feelings. 
So far as mere language goes, Cordelia and G-oneril 
have the same stately dignity at command when 
occasion calls for it, as in Cordelia's delightful 
dismissal of her half-hearted suitor : 

" Peace be with Burgundy ! 
Since that respects of fortune are his love, 
I shall not be his wife." 

and in Groneril's Avell-reasoned, but far from delight- 
ful remonstrance with her father : 


" Not only^ sir^ tins your all-liceiisod fool, 
Bat others of youv insolent retinue 
Do hourly carp and quarrel; breaking forth 
In rank and not to be endured riots. Sir, 
I had thought, by making this well known to yon, 
To have found a safe redress ; but now grow fearful, 
By what yourself too late have spoke and done, 
That you protect this course, and put it on 
By your allowance,^' etc. 

There is, however, one sjoeecli in King Lear, to 
which Tolstoi seems to rae to have justly taken 
exception, and that is in II, 2, where Kent belabours 
the steward with Falstaffian abuse, such as "A 
base, proud, shallow, beggardly, three-suited, hun- 
dred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave, a lily- 
livered, action-taking knave," and so on. Kent, as 
lie tells us himself, has " more man than wit about 
him," and was not at all the person to use what wit 
he had in providing amusement for the gallery. 
Perhaps, too, the fine description of Dover cliffs 
may fairly come under Tolstoi's censure, as being 
wrongly placed in the mouth of the counterfeit 
madman, Edgar. Even Gloster, though absorbed in 
his own sad reflections, notices that he speaks in 
better phrase and matter than he was wont. 

In p. 11 3 Tolstoi shows his confidence in his own 
estimate of Shakespeare, by challenging the admirers 
of the latter (among whom he mentions Tourguenieff) 
to adduce, out of his whole works, a single passage 
of ten consecutive lines, " comprehensible, natural, 
suited to the speaker, and productive of an artistic 
impression." I think one desiderates here some of 
that sense of proportion which Tolstoi finds so lack- 


ing in Shakespeare generally. In answer to his 
challenge, I would simply ask him to read through 
Henry V's speech at Agincourt, and say in what 
respect it fails to come up to his requirements. I 
mention this, not because I think it better than 
hundreds of other speeches, but because Tolstoi 
himself happens to have just now re-called it to my 

In p. 91, foil., Tolstoi says the fame of Shake- 
speare is supposed to rest on the double foundation 
of his fine thoughts and his power of characterisa- 
tion. As to the former, they are appropriate in 
prose collections of aphorisms, but in a drama they 
destroy the required illusion, unless they are suited 
to the persons who utter them. Now Shakespeare's 
fine things (if such there are) are foisted in without 
resfard to the situation or the characters. The 
action drags owing to the interpolation of unneces- 
sary and incongruous matter. From pp. 28, 29 we 
should gather that Tolstoi means this description to 
apply to Lear's speeches in Act III. He says they 
are " as senseless as the fool's " ; and certainly, as 
rendered in Tolstoi's bald prose, the speech begin- 
nine " Blow winds and crack your cheeks " mio-ht 
well be charged with bombast and exaggeration. 
The language of passion and the language of 
imagination are naturally unmeaning or disgusting 
to that unsympathetic common sense, to which alone 
Tolstoi here appeals. Judging from this book I 
should say that he was utterly incapable of appreciat- 
ing the great English style, the style of the Eliza- 
bethans and of Milton. "Pompous exaggeration" 
would, I expect, be all that Tolstoi could find in the 


' Areopagitica,' or even in the authorised version of 

Simihirly of the speech beginning, " Let the great 
gods find out their enemies now," Tolstoi writes, 
"Lear says to Kent, ^oii ne sait 2X)iirqiioi, que pendant 
cette tempc'fe on trouvera tons les criniinels.^ " The 
speech naturally rises out of the preceding w^ords 
of Kent, "Man's nature cannot carry the affliction nor 
the fear." Tolstoi seems never to have observed the 
fact that great convulsions of Nature naturally force 
upon man the conviction of his own weakness in 
presence of the stupendous powers which might 
crush him to death in an instant. In his terror he 
bethinks him of the sins he has committed, and cries 
for mercy to the power he believes himself to have 
offended. But Lear, while rising to a higher con- 
ception of the intention of the gods, as revealed in 
the storm, than he had reached in his former 
speech, where he regarded them simply as " servile 
ministers to two pernicious daughters," still main- 
tains his own integrity as "a man more sinned 
against than sinning." Tolstoi entirely misses the 
lesson naOvfiuTa /naBi'iinaTa, wliicli makes itself more 
distinctly felt in each successive speech both of Lear 
and of Gloster. 

To show Shakespeare's weakness in characterisa- 
tion, Tolstoi examines the speeches and actions of 
Othello, Hamlet, and others. Of Hamlet he says, 
critics have exhausted their skill in endeavouring to 
prove the depth and subtlety of his character, the 
fact being that he has no character at all, but is 
simply a mouthpiece for any ideas which came into 
Shakespeare's head. AVherever we find any traces 



of character in his pLays, these may be always 
traced to the old plays or chronicles from which his 
subjects are Ijorrowed, and in his adaptation of 
which the characters are, as a rule, either weakened 
or destroyed. He illustrates this from the old play 
of " Leir," which he compares with Shakespeare's 
" Lear," greatly to the disadvantage of the latter. 
I will first notice the faults he finds in this, 
and then give his abstract of the old i)lay (pp. 

(1) Lear has no occasion or motive which should 
cause him to abdicate. His action is inconsistent 
with his knowledge of the characters of his 
daughters, just as Gloster's behaviour is inconsistent 
with his knowledge of his sons. (2) The personages 
of all Shakespeare's plays are inconsistent with the 
time and place in which they are supposed to live. 
Lear belongs to the eighth century B.C., and yet the 
action of the play is only suitable to the Middle 
Ages, in which kings, dukes, armies, bastards, 
gentlemen, doctors, soldiers, etc., play their part. 
We will take leave to test these objections by a com- 
parison with the old play. In the old play Leir 
abdicates after the funeral of his Avife, " in order to 
think upon the welfare of his soul." In Shakespeare 
Lear says: 

" 'Tis our fast intent 
To shake all cares and business from our age, 
Conferring them on younger strengths, while we 
Unburthened crawl towards death.^' 

Surely there is motive enough in the latter, and a 
motive better suited to the time, than that given in 



the old play. " To think upon the welfare of his 
soul" was a very appropriate reason for the abdi- 
cation of Charles V. but not for that of a heathen 
chieftain in the eighth century n.c. 

The next objection is that Lear's proposal to 
divide his kingdom equally between his daughters, 
and his fury against Cordelia for refusing to follow 
her sisters in their high-flown expressions of affec- 
tion, are unnatural and inconsistent with the know- 
ledge which a father must have had of his daughters' 
characters. But are there no fathers now who make 
mistakes about their daughters' characters ? And 
not only was Lear's time too much occupied with 
his duties as king to see much of his daughters, but 
it seems natural to suppose that, since their mother's 
death, the daughters had been brought up under 
other guardianship. This, perhaps, may have been 
the reason why Shakespeare omits the reference to 
her recent funeral, which we find in the old play. 
In any case Lear is there deceived about his children, 
just as much as he is in the new play. 

We are told a little more about" Cordelia" in the 
old play, but it does not help us much. It seems 
she had refused all offers of marriage. Lear wanted 
her to marry a British prince. Lie meant, when she 
told him, as he fully expected she would, that she 
loved him more than her sisters, to urge her to prove 
her love by yielding to his one request: 

" Accept a liiisband wliom myself shall woo." . 

Cordelia answers, perhaps more gently than in 
Shakespeare : 


" I cannot paint my duty forth in words, 
I hope my deeds shall make report of me. 
But look, what love the child doth owe the father. 
The same to you I bear, my gracious lord." 

At which Goneril and " Ragan " (such is the 
form in the old play) both exclaim, and Lear 
answers much as in Shakespeare. Tolstoi thinks 
Cordelia's words here more likely to excite Lear's 
wrath than the answer : 

" I love your majesty according to my bond. 
Nor more, nor less." 

herein contradicting what he had said in p. 13, 
that she who was intended to personify all the 
virtues, speaks as if it were her special object to 
exasperate her father. 

As to Tolstoi's charge of anachronism, it is true 
Shakespeare is careless as to the scaffolding of his 
jDlays. Bohemia is on the sea coast. Edgar here is 
Lear's godson. What does it matter ? We do not 
read Shakespeare in order to learn the history 
and antiquities of Britain in the year 800 B.C., but 
to learn the workings of the human heart in all cen- 
turies. As to the anachronisms which Tolstoi 
discovers in our play, one can hardly believe him 
serious. Plunge as deep as we will into barbarism, 
go back as far as we may in the history of the 
world, I am afraid we shall never be quit of kings, 
bastards, soldiers, and the other inconveniences of 
the middle ao-es. 

But all this talk of anachronism is just on a jDar 
with the charge we have already considered, of the 


iinsuitability of the language to the person. As 
Shakespeare creates a character, so he creates an 
atmosphere, creates it as no man ever did either 
before or after him. He gives us two pictures of 
the dark mysterious north in Macbeth and Hamlet. 
In the former we are haunted throughout by the 
presence of the three weird sisters, in the latter by 
the ghost of the King of Denmark, in conflict with 
the civilising influences from the south embodied in 
Hamlet. So Juliet is the embodiment of the briorht 
sunshine of the southern spring with its beauty, its 
fragrance, and its passing storms. In Julius Caesar 
and Mark Antony we have the mighty spirit of 
Eome depicted in its transition from the re- 
publican to the imperial form, and falling a 
victim, in the latter play, to the charms of the 
hellenised east. Here in King Lear is a repre- 
sentation of primaeval savagery with passing flashes 
of light presaging the ordered government which is 
to take its place. Legend made Britain the scene, 
but it is more like Russia under Ivan the Terrible. 
Atmosphere and environment are the Shakespearian 
equivalents of time and place. 

To return, however, to the old play. In Tolstoi's 
view, Shakespeare's " characterless Cordelia " is far 
surpassed by " the tender, loving, resolute, and cap- 
tivating Cordelia," who, after being disinherited by 
her father, sets to work to earn her livinof as a 
sempstress. To her comes the King of France, 
disguised as a palmer, to solicit her hand for his 
supposed royal master. She says she will only 
marry where she loves, and that she loves, not the 
king, but his messenger, the palmer. This is, no 


doubt, a pretty episode in the old play, but liaiMly 
consistent with the grim tragedy of Shakespeare. 
The behaviour of the French king towards " the 
unprized, precious maid " of Shakespeare seems as 
startling to Tolstoi as to Lear. " On ne sait imur- 
quoi " is his remark, when he finds that " from 
coldest neglect love kindles to inflamed respect," 
and that to the French king " she is most rich, 
being poor." 

The treatment of Leir by Goneril is nmch the 
same as in Shakespeare, but his own behaviour is 
very different. He is represented as a mirror of 
mild patience, putting up with all wrong and never 
making reply. Perillus (the Kent of our play) 
persuades Leir to leave Goneril for Ragan, who is, 
however, already inflamed against him by a letter 
from her sister, and plots his murder. Tolstoi, who 
is much perturbed by the successful disguises of 
Kent and Edgar in Shakespeare, notes with 
satisfaction that Perillus wears no disguise; but 
apparently he might just as well have been disguised, 
so far as Leir is concerned, for the latter accosts 
him with the words : 

" What man art thou that takest any pity 
Upon the worthless state of old Leir ? 

Of course to an actor, accustomed to play many 
different parts, disguise in itself presents no diffi- 
culty, and Kent particularly mentions the pains he 
has taken to change not only his appearance but 
also his accent. I think, how^ever, Shakespeare puts 
the power of disguise to too severe a test in some of 
the later scenes, where it would seem that over- 


powering emotion must have l)ronglit to liglit the 
real man. 

Tolstoi is especially pleased that in the old play 
there is no horrible tempest, no tearing of white 
locks, but simply the helpless, broken-hearted king, 
pursued by the assassin sent by Eegan. There is, how- 
ever, a thunderstorm, which has the Shakespearian 
effect of deterring the assassin from his crime. 

I think we may pause here and ask whether 
Tolstoi's pur[)ose in giving this abstract of the old 
play has, so far, been accomplished. He proposed, 
Ave remember, to show that what character there 
was in any of Shakespeare's plays was a relic of the 
old play from which it was borrowed, and that this 
character was, in any case, weakened or destroyed in 
the remodelling. Do we find, then, greater strength 
of intellect and passion in the tame Leir of the old 
play, or in the terrible Lear of Shakespeare's 
tragedy r The cpiestion answers itself ; Ave might 
as Avell impute Aveakness to the " Oedipus " of 
Sophocles as to Shakespeare's Lear. 

To return to the old play, Leir and Perillus make 
their Avay to France through man}^ dangers and in 
great misery. Before they arriA^e there Ave haA'e a 
beautiful soliloquy of Cordelia's, in which she returns 
thanks to heaA'Cn for her own happiness, gricA^es that 
she has offended her father, prays for his happiness 
and for the repentance of her sisters, ending Avitli 
an anachronism not noticed by Tolstoi : " I Avill to 
church and pray unto my Saviour." In a later 
scene we haA'e a still more flaorrant anachronism, 
AAdiere Goneril calls her sister " Puritan." 

Shortly afterAvards Leir and Perillus are brought 


before Cordelia, who, on her hiishaiid's advice, 
refrains from revealing herself to her father. On 
hearing his stor}', however, she betrays herself by 
her tears. Lear kneels to ask her forgiveness, and 
she kneels both for forgiveness and blessing. As 
Tolstoi contrasts the " simple and prof onndly touch- 
ing characters of Leir and Cordelia " in the old play, 
with Shakespeare's " unnatural characters," and 
speaks of this particular scene as "unparalleled in all 
the writings of Shakespeare," it becomes necessary to 
put the two side by side. To begin Avith the old 
play (Leir speaks) : 

If from the first I should relate the cause, 

' Twould make a heart of adamaut to weep ; 

And thou, poor soul, kind-hearted as thou art, 

Dost weep already, ere I do begin. 

Cord. : For God's love tell it, and when you have done, 

I'll tell the reason why I weep so soon. 

Leir tells his story and concludes by saying, 

And now I am constrained to seek relief, 

Of her to whom I have been so iinkind; 

Whose censure, if it do award me death, 

I must confess she pays me but my due ; 

But if she shows a loving daughter's part, 

It comes of God, and her, not my, desert. 

Cord. : No doubt she will, I dare be sworn she will. 

Leir : How know you that, not knowing what she is ? 

Cord. : Myself a father have a great way hence, 

Used me as ill as ever you did her ; 

Yet, that his reverend age I once might see, 

I'd creep along to meet him on my knee. 

Leir : 0, no men's children are unkind but mine. 

Cord. : Condemn not all, because of others' crime ; 

But look, dear father, look, behold nnd see, 


Thy loving- daughter speaketh unto thee. {Kneels.) 

Leir : stand thou up, it is my part to kneel, 

And ask forgiveness tor my former faults. [Kneels.) 

None can deny that these are beautiful lines, so 
beautiful that I am inclined to think Shakespeare 
himself must have had a hand in them ; but, in any 
case, they do not penetrate so deep as the later 
version. To begin with, the situation itself is less 
piteous, less terrible. The later Lear is just Avaking 
out of the madness into which he has been thrown 
by his daughters' cruelty; and Cordelia, on the 
doctor's advice, is the first to address him " How 
fares your Majesty." But Lear is still distraught : 
he imagines himself in another world, Avhere he is 
punished for the wrong done to Cordelia ; 

" You do me wrong to take me out o' the o-rave. 
Thou art a soul in bliss; but I am bound 
Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears 
Do rfcald, like molten lead." 

When Cordelia asks, " Sir, do you know me ? " his 
answer is — 

" You are a spirit, I know ; when did you die ? " 

and then, while Cordelia and the doctor are watch- 
ing him, he breaks out — 

Where have I been ? where am I ? . . . 

I know not what to say, 

I Avill not swear these are my hands; let's see ; 
I feel this pin prick. Would I were assured 
Of my condition. 

Cord. : 0, look upon me, sir, 

i\nd hold your hands in benediction o'er me. 


No^ sir, you must not kneel. 

Leai- : Pray do not mock nie. 

I am a very foolish, fond old man, 

Fourscore and upward. 

And, to deal plainly, 

I fear, I am not in my perfect mind. 

Metliinks I should know you and know this man ; 

Yet I am doubtful : for I am mainly ignorant 

What place this is 

Do not laugh at me ; 
For as I am a man, I think this lady 
To be my child Cordelia. 
Cord. : And so I am, I am. 

Lear: Be your tears wet? yes, faith. I pray you, weep 
If you have poison for me, I will drink it. [not. 

I know you do not love me, for your sisters 
Have, as I do remember, done me wrong ; 
You have some cause, they have not. 
Cord. : No cause, no cause. 

I do not know whether Tolstoi Lad any remnant 
of donbt in his own mind, bnt in p. 75 he gives 
another set of reasons for preferring the old play. 
The attention, he says, is not diverted from the 
main subject by the interposition of needless 
characters, such as Gloster and his tM^o sons. The 
play is free from " scenes entierement fansses " such 
as the mad Lear on the heath, the talk of the fool, 
the impossible disguises and misconceptions, the 
horrible blinding of Gloster (pp. 93, o-A), the needless 
deaths; and it closes in accordance with the demands 
of poetical justice. 

I am very much afraid of tiring out my hearers, 
but these points are not without interest, and in 
any case Tolstoi's name carries too much weight 
to allow one to leave any part of his criti- 


cism untested. Was Shakespeare, then, justified 
in borrowing* a secondary plot from Sidney's 
' Arcadia ' by way of reiterating tlie moral of 
tlie first plot ? The impression produced by the 
want of natural affection on the part of the 
sisters and daughters, and by the fatal credulity 
of the father in the main plot, is much enhanced 
l)y the same Avant of affection on the part of 
Edmund towards his father and brother, and the 
same credulity on the part of Gloster in the sub- 
ordinate plot. What might have seemed an isolated 
piece of cruelty and hard-heartedness, if we had 
only the one plot, becomes characteristic of the time 
by the addition of the second plot, in which we are 
told of portents in the heavens foreboding unnatural- 
ness between the child and parent, dissolution of 
ancient amities, banishment of friends, nuptial 
breaches and so on ; and the close union of the two 
plots is especially marked by the fact that the 
villain of the under-plot is made the unconscious 
interpreter of the motives of the actors in the main 
plot, so putting in clearer light their defiance of all 
rules of morality and religion. We find this in 
such phrases as, " Thou, Nature, art my goddess " ; 
" Wherefore should I stand in the plague of cus- 
tom ? " ; "I begin to find an idle and fond bondage 
in the o})pression of aged tyranny " ; " The younger 
rises when the old doth fall." The speaker, Edmund, 
is closely bound up Avith the action of the larger 
plot. It is he who is responsible for the blinding of 
Gloster by Cornwall and Regan, for the jealousy and 
ultimate ruin of the pernicious sisters, and for the 
death of Lear and Cordelia. 


Tolstoi's com2)]aint of tlio want of poetical justice 
in these deaths is widely shared l)y many English 
readers ; it was acted upon by Nahnm Tate in his 
stage version, and was strongly expressed by 
Johnson. But surely Kent is in the right when 
he says : 

'' Vex not his ghost, let liiiii pass ! He liates him 
That would upon the rack of this rough world 
Stretch him out longer." 

It would be scarcely more reasonable to blame 
Sophocles for not restoring Oedipus to the throne 
of Thebes than it would be to ask that Lear should 
survive. Oedipus was received into the grove of 
Colonus as a consecrated being. His memor}^ was 
cherished there along with that of the Eumenides, 
and the place where his body lay was regarded as 
the Palladium of Athens. So we may suppose 
Shakespeare to have dreamt of some Elysium for 
Lear, where he and Cordelia and the poor fool and 
knave, whom he seems at the end (V, 3, 306) to 
have confused with his daughter, should find rest at 
last from the storms of life. 

Many before Tolstoi have objected to the blinding 
of Gloster, an incident borrowed from the 'Arcadia' 
but which becomes more horrible by being enacted 
on the stage. In it the savagery of the time 
reaches its high-water mark. Even Coleridge 
seems to think that Shakespeare has here over- 
stepped the limits of art. Still, it must be remem- 
bered that it was not an uncommon practice in what, 
I suppose, must be called the civilised court of 
Constantinople, and that it was inflicted on her own 


son by order of the Empress Irene, whose name 
appears as a saint in the calendar of the Greek 
Church. It is also worthy of note that we are 
familiarised with the idea of blinding in the play 
itself, in which it is mentioned four times before it 
is actually carried out. Twice in Lear's speech to 
Goneril (I, 4, 292) : 

" Old fond eyes, 
Beweep this cause again, 1^11 pluck ye out, 
And cast you with the waters that you lose. 
To temper clay." 

And just below of Regan : 

" When she shall hear this of thee, with lier nails 
She'll flay thy wolfish visage." 

Then in III, 7, hearing of the French landing, 
Eegan says of Gloster : " Hang him instantly," but 
Goneril exclaims, " Pluck out his eyes; " and when 
Gloster is brought in and examined as to his reason 
for sending the King to Dover, his answer is : 

'' Because I would not see thy cruel nails 
Pluck out his poor old eyes, nor thy fierce sister 
In his anointed flesh stick bearish fangs." 

Tolstoi has no patience with the fool, whose 
tedious jests only produce on the mind "cette penible 
gene qu 'on ressent a entendre des plaisanteries sans 
sel." He does not see the value of the fool's lovino- 
sympathy to the suffering king, flouted by his un- 
natural daughters, with no intimate friend to keep 
him company (for Kent is only known to him as his 
new servant Gains). While others think only of their 
own interests, the weakest, gentlest, and tenderest 
of his followers stands by his master's side with 


dog-like fidelity, in spite of the threats of Goneril 
and the rao'ino- of the storm, and is thus the 
means of saving him from ntter despair. The 
fool's attempt to divert him reminds him of his 
old courtly life, while his love for Cordelia forms 
a link between Lear and the daughter whose ill- 
treatment by himself he now so deeply deplores. 
There is something most touching in his frequent 
inquiries after his " pretty knave," in his striking 
Groneril's gentleman for chiding his fool, in the re- 
mark of one of his knights, "Since my young lady's 
going into France the fool hath much pined away," 
and in Lear's answer, " No more of that : I have 
noted it well " ; most of all, after his wits have begun 
to turn in the storm : " Come on my boy ; art cold ? 
I am cold myself " ; " Poor fool and knave, I have 
one part in my heart that's sorry yet for thee "; 
and in his insisting that he should take refuge in 
the hovel: " Li boy, go first," "Nay, get thee in." 
The last words of the fool : " And I'll go to bed at 
noon" have been, I think, rightly interpreted as 
implying that the physical and moral strain has 
been too much for him, that his day of life is over 
before it has reached its noon. Much of the fooling 
of which Tolstoi complains is exactly appropriate to 
the situation, and the nonsense which is mixed with 
it is perhaps needed to disguise it under the mask 
of folly. 

The scene Avhich supplies Tolstoi with more 
quotations than any other is III, 4, where the fool 
and the true and counterfeit madmen are met on the 
heath, because he thinks this exhiljits more clearly 
than any other, the ineptitude of the playwright. 


And no doubt it raises many difficult questions. 
How is it that Edgar is so well u}) with the patter 
of poor Tom, and so familiar with the names and 
properties of the foul fiends Flibertigibbet and the 
rest ? Most of it is to be found in Decker's ' Bellman ' 
and Harsnet's book, both of which may have been 
known to Shakespeare, but what is there to make it 
probable that the Edgar of the pla}^ should have 
had such knowledge ? Edmund addresses him in 
the earlier scenes as interested in astrology, and in 
II, 1 he tells Grloster that Edgar was " mumbling of 
wicked charms, conjuring the moon." This acquaint- 
ance with demonology is, therefore, not inappropriate 
in Edgar, who is driven to some sort of disguise in 
order to save his life. Besides, it contributes to the 
action of the play, because it not only helps to create 
the human bedlam, which matches the elemental 
hubbub without, but it has the further effect of 
stimulating the madness of Lear, who is greatly 
taken with the learned philosopher and is tempted 
to imitate him in throwing off all the sophistications 
of civilised life. 

Tolstoi's criticism of the opening scene calls for 
a word or two. He condemns the vulgar ribaldry 
of Gloster's allusion to Edmund's birth, considering 
that the only purpose of it is to inform the audience, 
in a way suited to their depraved taste, of the fact 
that Gloster had two sons, one legitimate, the other 
illegitimate. Coleridge, on the contrary, rightly 
asserts that its object is to set before us in the 
fewest words the premises and data for our own 
after-insight into the minds of those whose character, 
passions and sufferings are the main subject-matter 


of the play. Lear's rash resolve, Gloster's weak and 
shallow nature, the insulting levity with Avhich he 
refers to the position of his proud and ambitious 
son — these form the foundation on which the play 
is built up, while they also suggest the low tone of 
morality natural to a barbarous age, and prepare the 
way for the atrocities which follow. 

The last and worst charge which Tolstoi brings 
against Shakespeare is that he is without religion or 
morality, in fact that he has no convictions of any 
kind (pp. 107, 130, 131), and that this is the secret 
of his popularity with the upper classes, because he 
shares their immoral and irreligious spirit. 

I have no time to go fully into this question. 
Incidentally I have touched upon it already. I allow 
that the charge may be brought with some justice 
against other dramatists of the Elizabethan age, 
against the dramatists of the restoration, and against 
some of the present day, who make light of moral 
distinctions, debase our ideals, leave no room for the 
exercise of imagination. But wdio could say this 
of Shakespeare ? AVhere has he given incentives to 
vice ? Where has he represented vice as triumphant ? 
Where has he failed to make us sympathise with 
virtue, even when seen in such a poor feeble 
character as Gloster's? And it is no luke-warm 
sympathy he instils into our minds, but a burning 
enthusiasm for the good, the true, and the beautiful, 
and a burning hatred of their opposites. I cannot 
but think that Tolstoi's violent prejudice against 
Shakespeare is partly due to the latter's power of 
entering into the characters he represents. Shake- 
speare is a man to whom " nihil humani alienum." 


He interests himself in all and does justice to all. 
While he never confuses between good and evil, it is 
very rarely that he makes a character all black or 
all white. Even in the blackest there is usually some 
relic of humanity, or at least something to show 
how humanity was lost, as in the case of Edmund. 
Now Tolstoi seems to me to be mainly guided 
by political considerations in his aesthetic judg- 
ment. His experience of Russian tyranny has so 
perverted his natural sense of justice that law and 
authority have become utterly abhorrent to him, and 
every rebel wears a halo of glory. An aristocrat being 
to him an arch-fiend, he cannot endure that Shake- 
speare should allow any good qualities to Coriolanus, 
or, again, that he should venture to impute fickleness 
to a mob. In some respects a one-sided man of 
genius, who is carried away by his own ideas, is less 
capable of being duly impressed with another man's 
writings, than a critic like Ste. Beuve, who is not self- 
engrossed, but can passively surrender his mind to 
receive new influences, before he proceeds to weigh 
their exact value in his critical scales. In the case 
of Voltaire we saw that personal jealousy had a good 
deal to do with his depreciation of Shakespeare. I 
do not think the personal motive weighs so much with 
Tolstoi. But he is weary of Shakespeare's supremacy, 
as the Athenians were of the pre-eminence of 
Aristides, all the more because Shakespeare embodies 
English hatred of extremes and English constitu- 
tionalism, broadening slowly down from precedent to 
precedent, which is as hateful to Tolstoi as it was to 
another famous Slav, his exact opposite in politics, the 
late Procurator of the Holy Synod, Pobiedonostseff. 





[Read February 26th, 1908.] 

The publication, under tlie auspices of the Royal 
Society of Literature, of a facsimile of tlie MS of 
Coleridge's " Christabel," with critical apparatus by 
j\Ir. Ernest Hartley Coleridge, gives a new interest 
to a literary problem which, if not of first-rate 
importance, has certainl}^ excited some curiosity for 
many years — that is the authorship of " Christobell," 
that sequel to " Christabel " which appeared in print 
in the year before Coleridge's poem was published. 

In 1815 there appeared in the 'European 
Magazine ' for April a poem entitled " Christobell, 
a Grothic Tale," which the author states was " written 
as a sequel to a beautiful legend of a fair lady and 
her father, deceived by a witch in the guise of a 
noble knight's daughter." 

This is an accurate description of Coleridge's 



" Christabel," wliicli was not pul)lisbed until 181') 
altliough written at the close of the eighteenth 
century. Strange to say the spelling adopted in 
the title of the sequel is one that Coleridge occasion- 
ally employed. Although not printed there were 
manuscript copies of " Christabel " in circulation 
among a limited circle, and one of these must have 
been seen by the contributor to the ' European 
Magazine,' who uses " V." as a signature. 

On examining this new edition of " Christabel," 
for which Mr. E. H. Coleridge and the Royal Society 
of Literature deserve the high praise due to an 
excellent idea worthily executed, it occurred to me 
that it would be worth while to make an effort to 
identify the writer of " Christobell" in the ' European 
Magazine.' The thought came all the more readily 
that in former 3xars I had been somewhat familiar 
with that periodical, and had carefully examined 
many of the volumes for quite other purposes of 
research. The results of my inquiry were given 
briefly in the ' Bookman,' August, 1907, and are 
now more full}" stated. 

I found that V. was a constant writer of verse and 
prose for the ' European Magazine.' The first con- 
tributor under that signature appeared in May, 1814 
(p. 432) ; the last in April, 1822 (p. 325). The dis- 
continuance of V.'s aid may, perhaps, be connected 
with the fact that under the new proprietors there 
had been a somewhat ungenerous reference to the 
Asperne family, to whom the magazine had previously 
belonged. (See the article " The Editor's Converza- 
tione," behind the title of the number for April, 1822, 
and also p. 374.) That Y. was a woman may be 


concluded from the verses which appear in April, 
1821 (p. .5oo), "The Editor's CompHments of the 
Season to his Well-beloved Public, Readers, Con- 
tributors, and Correspondents," in which he says : 
" Yes,— we'll uncloak them all !— V., R., and D., 
Delta, and T., and S. W. X. Izzard. 
For when tlieii' goodly articles ye see, 
And hang delighted o'er them, it is hard 
The writers should, like money lenders, he 
Concealed behind so sti-ange and thick a vizard. 
That e'en to guess them you are quite unable — 
'Tis sitting at the play without a play-bill." 

After some reference to himself the editor pro- 
ceeds : 

" What, Variella, can we wish to thee ? 
For thou possessest all that's dear unto man ; 
Wit, talents, erudition, though they be 
Not always so delightful in a woman ; 
Yet those who read thy tales and poems, see 
A soaring mind, and genius most uncommon. 
Still, still soar on ! In prose and verse still 

charm us. 
For whilst thou leadst the van, there's nought 

can harm us." 

The signature " Variella " does not appear in the 
' European Magazine,' but the description given of 
her work applies to the articles signed V., though a 
modern reader might, perhaps, be less enthusiastic 
in his praise. 

Amongst the contributions to which Y.'s signature 
is attached is one that appears in December, 181 7, 
which is headed " Anacreontic, by the late Rev. 
Dr. Vardill" (p. 550). This suggests a relationship 
between V. and the author of the " Anacreontic." 


The Rev. Joliii Vaixlill, D.D., was a o-i-aduate of 
Kino-'s Colle"-e, New York, now Coliiinl)ia Uiii- 
versity, and was a tutor in that institution. In 
1774 he embarked for EngUmd for the purpose of 
taking Holy Orders ; was created M.A. of Oxford 
June 28th of that year, in which he was also elected 
assistant rector of Trinity ChTu-ch, New York. He 
declined the office and did not return to America. 
He was a Loyalist, and for a time was employed by 
the British Government. In 1 785 he was in Ireland. 
He was the author of some poetical satires on the 
Whigs, and Trumbull, in his ' McFingul,' says : 

" In Vardill that poetic zealot, 
I view a lawn beJizen'd prelate : 
While initres fall, as is their duty, 
On heads of Chandler and Anclnnnty." 

He died in England in 1811, at the age of fifty- 
nine, Rector of Skirbeck and Fishtoft, Lincolnshire.* 

Another poem of his, " The Spirit of Toussaint ; 
a Fragment," appeared in the ' European Magazine,' 
for July, 1814 (p. 46). An inscription for a memorial 
tablet appears in February, 1811 (p. 134), from the 
pen of his daughter, and the editor, in eulogising 
her beauty and literary attainments, mentions that 
" several instances " of her talents have appeared in 
the magazine. 

Anna Jane Vardill was the authoress of two volumes 
of verse, one anonymous and the other l^earing her 
name on the title-page. The first in point of time 

* ' Biograpliical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution,' 
by Lorenzo Sabine (Boston, 1864), vol. ii, p. 381 ; Foster's ' Ahunnae 
Oxoniensis,' iv, 1464. 

~~ ''^ and ' " 

( /7V///V' (/'//yT .^yrr/.j ////-/ r/// /•■'/.), 
— n^BT .C LAD w'^ ^ ^ 

y , ///ra />' y /// /jf u/i/.ui w //, /r . /(( 7 .yi{'//(i(-m/i/i//<./^ 


^ pilffritn iii f/ie throiiff, 

Sfie .amijht the simple fhurrs ofTcesv 

Acvept the wro,tl, .' \ ^.^^^^^, 

Third IMilion. 

l'iil)llslic(l brLouo'iiiaii. Hurst, Kces.JL" Omic, raternostcrllinr. 
SoU In- J.Jsf'enic. CoriMU. X- T.BecJcct. /'all Jlall. 

J.i;.n<iniurd._n-inu-i: Sh'ji.ier Slri-rt.lSoff. 


was : ' Poems and Translations from the Minor 
Greek Poets and Others : Written chiefly between 
the ages of ten and sixteen, by a Lady. Dedi- 
cated by Permission of Her Royal Highness, the 
Princess Charlotte of Wales.' (London : Asperne, 
1809.) This is reviewed in the 'European' for 
Febrnary (p. 142). Another enlogium appeared in 
the 'Poetical Register' for 1808-9 (p. 612) which 
was edited by R. A. Davenport. The copper-plate 
of the engraved title-page designed by the authoress 
is still in existence, and has been lent for the illus- 
tration of this paper by Mr. J. Arthur Slingsby. 

The authoress states that, "a most indulgent father, 
in the retirement permitted by his station in the 
church, found amusement in familiarising his only 
child with the poets of antiquity." She passed the 
early part of her life in the village of Gatehouse 
of Fleet, Galloway, Scotland, " noted for the ex- 
tensive cotton works of a near relation." The 
poets from whom she translates are Anacreon, who 
occupies the greater part of her attention, Sappho, 
Alcaeus, Theocritus, and Horace. An "Address 
to the Patrons of the Refuge for the Destitute," 
written by her for the Anniversary Dinner, January 
26th, 1809, is given in the January 'Magazine' 
(p. 78; '/. p. 141). An enlarged edition of the 
' Poems ' appeared in the same year, and is noticed 
in the August number (p. 126). A third edition 
appeared in 1816. The little volume includes an 
" Address to the Ancient and Honourable Society of 
Freemasons, at the Anniversary Meeting for the 
Benefit of their Charity School, April 14th, 1809 " ; 
and three hymns, namely, " Occasional Hymn for 


a Benevolent Society" (" Almighty Love eallM into 
birth"), p. 178; second occasional hymn, simg 
by the Freemasons' orphans (" When faint and 
comfortless we strayed"), p. 170; third occa- 
sional hymn (" Snblimer than the choral song"), 
p. 18. 

As a fair specimen of these earlier verses we may 
quote : 

An Hungapjan Gn'sv's Song. 


" From Preshurg-'s plain, from Buda's tow'rs, 

From old Carpathia's mountains drear, 
To bounteous halls and fruitful bow'rs 

We chartered libertines repair.* 
Here by the Danube's silent wave, 
Or 'mid the shades of Szelitz cave, 

Our ample feast we share : 
And round the bowl with fearless glee. 

Rejoice in love and liberty. 


" And oft the Vaivod's fur-clad dame 

Soft-smiling thro' her azure veil, 
In whispers tells some cherished name, 

And fondly hears our mystic tale : 
While where the honied chesnut dwells. 
Or wdiere the melting melon swells 

In Temeswara's dale, 
We fill the bowl with fearless glee. 

And sing of love and liberty. 

* Gipsies, so nvimeroiis in Europe for alDont 400 years, ai'e now 
scarcely seen except in Hungary. From Saxony and the Alpine 
regions they have been expelled by special edicts. (" Grellman"s 
Dissertation on the Gipsies.') 



" And when o\'r Torna's '" salt'ron fields 

Our chiefs the tlying elks pursue, 
The prize a richer banquet yields 

Than Ban or Pandour t ever knew ; 
Then where the herb ot" wisdom J glows. 
Or where to Kazan nectar Hows, 

We bid our cares adieu ; 
While round the bowl with fearless fflee 

We sing of love and liberty, 


" Xow though in Alpine wood no more 

Our lawless revelry we hide ; 
Tho' chas'd from Elba^s envied shore 

By Saxon wealth and Saxon pride, 
Still o'er this gem-fraught mountain's head, 
Or to yon river's golden bed § 

Our weary feet we guide ; 
Then round the bowl with fearless glee. 

We sing of love and liberty ! " 

Her second work was : " The Pleasures of Human 
Life " (London, 1812). At p. 8(3 is a reference to 
her father, and in a note (p. 99) she says : " These 
and the subsequent lines are a feeble tribute to the 
memory of a most revered and lamented father, 
whose death is still recent. His keen wit and fluent 

* A fertile district in Upper or Nortliern Hungary at the feet 
of the Carpatliiau hills, and not far from tlie celebrated cave of 
Szelitz, and the vineyards of Tokay. 

t Titles of German nobility. 

X Tobacco which abounds there. 

§ Gold mines and precious stones are frequent among the 
Carpathian mountains. 


eloquence were enriched l)y tlie niildest nrl)anity, 
and liis profound scholastic knowledge by the most 
endearmg social virtues. His presence was the light 
of his domestic circle, and gave joy to every society 
he entered. Ever devoting his rare talents to the 
purest philanthropy, he beautified religion l)y his 
example." Miss Vardill does not refer to her 
father's interest in the drama, l)ut a phiy entitled 
" The Unknown " was performed at the Surrey 
Theatre in 1819, and was written by Dr. Vardill.* 

There is a long and eulogistic notice of the 
" Pleasures of Human Life " in the ' European ' for 
April, 1812, and in the course of it her author- 
ship of ' Poems and Translations ' is revealed (p. 

The ' European Magazine ' for November, 1813, 
contains an " Epitaph designed for William Frank- 
lin, Esq., late Governer of New Jersey, Ob. Nov. 
16, aged 82." This is signed A. J. V. So are the 
" Elegiac Verses on the Death of Miss Charlotte 
Demys " who died at the age of 15, in the number 
for October, 1815 (p. 357). The third edition of 
' Poems and Translations,' does not include any of 
V.'s contributions, but neither does it include the 
pieces signed A. J. V. The proliable reason is the 
desire to preserve the character of the first volume 
as a collection of juvenilia. The identity of V. and 
Anna Jane Vardill is pretty clearly indicated in a 
poem in the 'European' for September, 1819 (vol. 
Ixxiv, p. 261). 

* R. Inglis, in ' Xotes and Queries,' second series, ii, 437. 


To Hki; ^vlr() 1)i:sei;vks it. 

Addressed and ■uiscrihcd to Mif'S Y^**'^^-^- 

" Xo cnvv niino-les with my praise. 
Tliougli could my lieai't repine 
At fuiy Poet's happier hays, 
It woidd^ — it must at thine ! " 


'•■ Round the cloud-kissing- margin of Helicon's spring, 
To the lute of Apollo the Graces were dancing ; 
But the Muses had quarrell'd, and now to their King, 
To beg his decision, their steps were advancing, 
Yet deem not, that their's was that contest of hate. 
Which sours with its passions all mortal debate ; — 
Xo ! — Harmony e'en from their discord arose. 
And when friends thus dispute, they can never be foes ; 
— But now for the cause — To a daughter of earth, 
Whom Science, and I'oetry, blest at her birth. 
The sisters had given so much of their art. 
And so much with their protegee's skill were delighted; 
That, while each wish'd to rule unrestrain'd in her heart. 
They all were averse to sway o'er it united. 

" Cried Thalia, — ' She's mine ! — every trace of her pen 
Ifas shewn it already, — will prove it again — 
Lampidosa's Avild Legends, all genius, are glowing 
With wit, like our Helicon's rill, ever flowing; 
Not dismal, and sad, like a Melo-drama, darkling- 1 
But lively and bright, with my gaiety sparkling — 
While Humanity's pleasures proclaim in each line. 
That their Authoress must be a pupil of mine ! ' 

" AVith an air somewhat proud, — like a Goddess when 
vext — 
Stern Melpomene spoke, and her claim advanced next. 
To her sister she said, — ' Flirting triHer ! away, — 
Shall the mind which I've formed for all hearts to aduiire, 


Yield its powers to tlio I'lnicies of tliy fickle sway, 
And be ruled by the whims of the lang-hiiig Thalia 't 
Forbid it, those feelings inspired by her lay, 
When the Rosebud of Britain had faded away ; 
When the Bride's Dirge of Death round the(lr(>en Island 

And its voice o'er the Silver Sea woe had denoted ! — 
Like my Byron she thrills every nerve of the soul, 
Teri*or, pity, and love, own her magic control. 
And spell-bound by me, with dark Tragedy's zone. 
The strains of fair Anua, are strains of nn^ own !' 

"'Twould be useless to tell, all the con's and the pro's 
And the pleadings — which long before Phoebus arose, 
How Clio, Euterpe, Calliope, join'd 
To establish their claims to the realms of her mind, 
Till at length, said Apollo, ' Let jarriug no more 
Be heard from those lips, which all music should be ; 
But soften your glances, and peace to restore. 
Attend my decision, and mark my decree. 
To none but to nie can your Anna belong — 
Who dare claim without rival, this votary of song ? 

" ' When e'en by yourselves it is own'd that Earth's daughter 
Excels all alike, in the arts ye have taught her; 
No more then betwixt ye, her talents shall lay. 
She must be your equal — the Muse of her day ; 
And, trust me, her genius her own Avill advance. 
For all gifts shall unite, in — The Muse of Romance ! ' " 

J. T.. 

Thursday, Septemher, 24fh, 1818. 

In this, whilst several of V.'s contributions are 
identified, her Christian name, Anna, is also revealed. 

Apart from " Christobell," there is one of Miss 


Vardill's contribntioiis to the ' European Magazine ' 
that demands special notice. An anonymous poem, 
sometimes called " Lines to a Skeleton," sometimes 
'' Lines to a Sknll," has liad a wide popularity and 
has been included in various anthologies. Finding 
it in " Weeds and AYild Flowers, gathered by 
William Wrightson " (York : J. Hodgson, 1868), I 
attributed the verses to him in an article which 
appeared in ' ]N[otes and Queries ' (seventh series, 
xii, 481). 

I find it, however, with the signature of V. in the 
' European ' for November, 1816. It will be worth 
Avhile to give this impressive poem as it came from 
the author's pen, for the text is sometimes found 
modified, and not always for the better. 

A Feagjient found in a Skeleton Case. 

'' Behold tliis ruin ! 'twas a skull, 
Once of etherial spirit full : 
This narrow cell was Life's retreat ; 
This space was Thought's mysterious seat. 
What beauteous pictures fill'd that spot ! 
What dreams of pleasure long forgot ! 
Nor Love, nor Joy, nor Hope, nor Fear, 
Has left one trace, one record here ! 

" Beneath this mould'ring canopy 
Once shone the bright and busy eye ; 
But start not at the dismal void ! — 
If Social Love that eye employed ; 
If with no lawless fire it gleam'd, 
But through the dew of kindness beam'd ; — 
That eye shall be for ever bright, 
When stars and suns have lost their light. 


" Here in this silent cavern liuiig 
The ready, swiit, and tuneful tongue: 
If Falsehood's honey it disdain'd, 
And when it could not praise was chain'd : — 
If bold in A'irtne's cause it spoke, 
Yet gentle Concord never broke ; 
That tuneful tongue shall plead for Tliee 
When Death unveils Eternity. 

" Say, did these fingers delve the mine '' 
Or with its envied rubies shine ? 
To hew the rock, or wear the gem, 
Can nothing now avail to them ; 
And if the page of truth they sought, 
And comfort to the mourner brought, 
These hands a richer meed shall claim 
Than all that waits on wealth or fame. 

" Avails it whether bare or shod. 
These feet the path of duty trod 
If from the bower of joy they fled 
To soothe Affliction's humble bed ; 
If G-randeur's guilty bribe they spurn'd. 
And home to Virtue's lap return'd; — 
These feet with angel's wings shall vie. 
And tread the palace of the sky ! " 

Mr. E. H. Coleridge Lad been inclined to attribute 
" Christobell " to James Hogg, but on these notes 
being submitted to him he has adopted the theory 
they are intended to support and at once supplied 
an important piece of additional evidence. How 
came V. to be familiar with Coleridge's work ? The 
answer is to be found in the 'Diary' of Henry 
Crabb Eobinson, who records : 

'' December 19th, 1814. Took tea with the Flaxman's 
and read to them and Miss Yardel [so he spells the name 


here, tliougli elsewhere more correctly^ Varclill] Cole- 
ridge's ^ Christobell ' with which they were all delighted, 
Flaxman more than I expected." {' Diary ' i, 465.) 

I have been obliged to give these facts in some 
detail in order to show the process of identification. 
To me they appeared conclusive, and it was a great 
gratification to find that they convinced Mr, E. H. 
Coleridge, to whom one naturally looks for light and 
leading in Coleridgean problems. 

Some biographical details have incidentally been 
given in this statement of the data which convinced 
me that Miss Vardill was the writer of " Christobell." 
It is more than half a century since she died, but I 
have been able to communicate with representatives 
and friends of the family and in this way to add some 
additional facts.* That she wrote "Christobell" 
was known to her relations. 

The authoress of " Christobell " Avas born Novem- 
ber 19th, 1781, at 81, Norton Street, Portland 
Road, London. She began to write at a very 
early age. Her first volume contained poems 
written between ten and sixteen. Two letters 
from Lord Moira have been preserved which relate 
to the negotiations about the dedication of the book 
to that hapless princess whose untimely death was 
so greatly mourned. 

* I have to express my warm thanks to Mr. John P. Allan, writer, 
Ghisgow, Mr. Charles Birtwliistle, J.P., Strond, Mr. Adam Brown, 
writer, Kirkcudbright, Mrs. Anna Jane Niven Candlish, Leicester, 
Mr. Arthur H. Kaberry, Scarborough, and Mr. J. Arthur Slingsby, 
J.P., Skipton, to whom I am specially indebted for important and 
precise data. 


December 10th, 1808. 
My Deak SiR; — I am liapiM^ to tell you that Princess 
Charlotte accepts Avith g-reat pleasure the dedication of 
Miss VardilFs Poems, and there is no necessity for Miss 
Vardill's name appearing on the title-page or subjoined to 
the dedication if her delicacy would wish it otherwise. 
Your very obedient servant, 
W. Fusteen, Esq. Moika. 

St. James' Place, 

February 11th, 1809. 

Madam, — My own acknowledgments for the book with 
which you honoured me appeared a poor return for your 
flattering compliments, and they seemed still more inade- 
quate when measured with the gratification which I had in 
the perusal of your Poems. I therefore wished to render 
them less inacceptable by transmitting at tlie same time 
those thanks which I knew the Prince of Wales would 
commission me to offer as soon as he should have been able 
to read the work. It is with peculiar satisfaction that I 
now obey his commands in expressing to you, madam, the 
Prince's sense of your polite attention as well as his 
assurance of the pleasure he found in what he has been 
studying. Insignificant as my professions of obligation 
must be after those of His Royal Highness, allow me still 
to add them, and believe, madam, that I have the honour 
to remain 

Your very obedient and humble servant, 

Miss Vardill. Moira. 

She was a most constant contributor to the ' Euro- 
pean Magazine ' whilst it was the propert}^ of the 
Asperne family. Tlie editor appreciated her work : 
"The Contributions of V.," he says, "are always 
acceptable " (vol. Ixvii, 377) ; and again : " We can 
assure our correspondent Heiiricns — N.O.P. — M.A.L. 


T.P.A.— L. of Bath and several other inquirers that 
the beautiful poetical tales signed V. are original 
and not extracted from the works of either Scott, 
Southey or Lord Byron " (vol. xvii, 473). She 
ceased to write for it soon after it changed hands. 
It must be observed, however, that the Aspernes 
relinquished the proprietorship at a period when 
another and absorbing interest was entering into 
her life. After her marriage to Mr. James K^iven, 
of G-lenarm, on May 17th, 1822, at the New Church, 
Marylebone, she ceased, if not to A^a^te, at all events 
to publish. We catch glimpses of her before and 
after marriage in Crabb Robinson's ' Diary.' AYe 
read : 

"March 1st, 1820. Took tea at Flaxman's. I had not 
seen liim since his loss. There Avas an unusual tenderness 
in his manner. He insisted on making me a present of 
several books, Dante's ' Penitential Psalms ' and [a blank 
in the Diary], both in Italian, and 'Erasmus's Dialogues/ 
as if he thought lie might be suddenly taken away and 
wished me to have some memorial of him. 

"The visit, on the Avhole, was a comfortable one. I then 
sat an hour with Miss A^ardill, who related an interesting 
anecdote of Madame de Stael. A country girl, the 
daughter of a clergyman, had accidentally met with an 
English translation of 'Delphine' and ' Corinne,' which 
so powerfully aifected her in her secluded life as quite to 
turn her brain. And hearing that Madame de Stael was 
in London she wrote to hex-, offering to become her 
attendant or amanuensis. Madame de Stael's secretary, in 
a formal answer, declined the proposal. Bat her admirer 
was so intent on being in her service in some way that she 
came up to London and stayed a few days Avith a friend, 
who took her to the great novelist, and speaking in Frencli, 
gave a hint of the young girl's mind. Madame de Stael, 


with great promptitude and kindness, administered tlie 
only remedy that was likely to be effectual. The girl 
almost threw herself at her feet, and earnestly begged to 
be received by her. The Baroness very kindly, but 
decidedly, remonstrated with her on the folly of her desire. 
' You may think,' she said, ' it is an enviable lot to travel 
over Europe and see all that is most beautiful and distin- 
guished in the world, but the joys of home are more solid, 
domestic life affords more permanent happiness than any 
that fame can give. You have a father — 1 have none ; you 
have a home — I was led to travel because I was driven from 
mine. Be content with your lot : if you knew mine you 
would not desire it.' AVith such admonitions she dismissed 
the petitioner. The cure was complete. The young woman 
returned to her father, became more steadily industrious, 
and without even speaking of her adventure with Madame 
de Stael, silently pi'ofited by it. She is now living a life of 
great respectability, and her friends consider that her cure 
Avas wrought by the only hand l)y which it could have been 

In 1S2G he writes : 

" During this year I was made executor to a Mrs. 
Yardill, a character. She was the widow of a clergy- 
man, an American loyalist, a friend of old General 
Franklyn. The will had this singular devise in it, that 
Mrs. Yardill left the residue of her estate, real and personal, 
to accumulate till her daughter, Mrs. Niven, was fifty-two 
years of age. I mention this will, however, to refer to one 
of the most remarkable and interesting law cases which our 
courts of law have Avitnessed since the union of England 
and Scotland. The litigation arose not out of the will, but 
out of a pending suit, to take from her property in her 
possession. The question was whether a child legitimated 
in Scotland by the marriage (after his birth) of his father 
and mother can inherit lands in England. But, happily for 
my friend, the English lawj'ers were almost unanimously of 


the opposite opinion. Connoeted with this decision is an 
act ol: Lord Broiig-hani's, so curious that it deserves a place 
in the future bioo'i-aphy of his lordship. 1 will therefore 
relate it here. The trial, at York, took place wliile Mrs. 
Vardill lived. The special verdict was argued in B. R., 
and judgment given unanimously in favour of the 
defendant.^ 'J'liere was then an appeal to the House of 
Lords, and it was argued before Lord Chancellor Lynd- 
hurst.t The judges attended, and a certificate was put in 
giving an opinion also in our favour, but Lord Chancellor 
Lyndhurst went out ot* office without giving judgment. 
Brougham came in office. Nothing was done. As we 
were in possession Avith a judgment in our favour, it was 
not our business to stir. And so matters remained till we 
were startled, not to say alarmed, by Lord Brougham's 
rising in the Housej and making a speech to this effect : 
' I have to move that a case which luis long been waiting 
for your lordships' judgment — Birtwistle v. A^ardill — should 
be argued again by a single counsel, that judgment may be 
given.' He then stated the point, and jn-oceeded : ^I 
argued this case for the English heir, and my argument 
was successful, for the learned judges gave in a certificate 
in favour of my client, but my argument was a very hn(\. 
one, and the learned judges were all wrong. In fact, my 
lords, the learned counsel who argued the case for the 
Scotch heir never understood the case, and the right argu- 
ment was not used. I knew what it was, and I knew that 
I had no answer to it. I therefore move that it be heard 
again.' -^ On this Lord Lyndhurst rose and said, that the 

* See 5 Barnwall iind Creswell's ' Reports.' p. 438. 

t In 1830. 

X Sej)teml)er 2n(l. 1835. 

§ This is a paraphrase only of Lord Broutjham's speech, which will 
l>e found fully reported in 2 Clark and Finelly"s ' Reports of Cases 
in the House of Lords," p. 582. But the official report shows that 
his Lordship stated himself to have argued the case in support of the 
English heir's claim, and to have succeeded on grounds which he had 
maintained professionally at the Bar, hut which were unsatisfactory 

VOL. xxvin. 7 


case had been argued by the iiobli> niid learned lord on one 
side, and by very eminent and distinguished ])ersons on 
the other; and he agreed that it ought to be argued again. 
The argument was, of course, ovdei-ed. Now, what makes 
this so curious is that the argument which was delivered, 
as Lord Brougham said, by one who did not nndei'stand 
the case, was the ai'gument of Lord Brougham liimself. 
This blunder is easily accounted for. 

'^On the trial at York, Mrs. Vardill's counsel were Scarlett, 
Brougham, and Courteuay. After tlie verdict, when I had 
become interested as devisee in trust, I spoke with 
Brougham on the subject, and he said, ' Don't flatter 
yourself that we shall succeed, for the law is against us. 
We have not a leg to stand on.^ Knowing this I objected 
to Brouo'ham's beino- chosen to aro-ue the case before the 
Lords (before B. R. Courtenay as the junior argued it, and 
he had a brief to take notes). It being found that we had 
left Brougham out before the Lords (we had Scarlett and 
Courtenay), the plaintiff put in Brougham and Tindal. 
Brougham felt very strongly in this case. His whole heai't 
and soul were in it. AVhen it was argued for the last time 
by Attorney-Greneral Campbell for the plaintiff in error, 
and by Dampier for the defendant, Brougham was very 
busy running from one judge to another. Our attorney, 
Mr. Law, heard him say to Campbell after leaving some of 
the judges, ' Damn 'em, I can't shake theni.' '' 

On October ist of that year Crabb Robinson 
visited the Nive"'is at tlieir house at Kirkcudbright 
and made this entry in his ' Diary.' 

"Mr. Niven, no slanderer of his countrymen, related to me 
in a few words a tale, which in every incident makes one 
think how W^alter Scott would have worked it up. Sir — 
Cxordon wilfully shot his neighbour. The man might have 

to himself sitting in the House as a judge whereas it woiilcl appear 
he had really held a brief and argued for the^Scotch heir. 


been cured, but he preferred d^-iug-, that his murderer 
might be haiig'ed. The Gor(h)u tied, and lived many _years 
in exile, till ho was visited by a friend, Sir — Maxwell, 
who persuaded him that the affair was forgotten, and that 
he might return. The friends travelled together in 
Edinburgh, and there they attended together the public 
worship of God in the Kirk. In the middle of the service 
the Maxwell cried aloud, ' Shut all the doors, here is a 
murderer ! ' The Gordon was seized, tried, and hanged, 
and the Maxwell obtained from the Crown a grant of a 
Castle, and the noble demesnes belonging to it. The 
account was given to me while I was visiting the picturesque 
ruins of the castle. ^^ 

Mr. Niven died February 11th, 1830, at the age of 
sixty-one. There was one child of the marriage, 
Agnes Vardill Niven, who was born January 24th, 
1825. After her husband's death Mrs. Niven re- 
turned to England and lived mainly at Woolwich 
Common and Skipton in Craven, where slie died June 
4tli, 1852. Some letters written by her to her cousin 
Mrs. Kissock are in the possession of that lady's 
daughter, Mrs. Candlisli, but they are almost 
exclusively of domestic interest. The onh^ child 
of Anna Vardill and James Niven died unmarried 
at Skipton October 7tli, 1872, as I learn from her 
godson Mr. Arthur Helder Ivaberry. Mrs. Mven 
left behind her in MS a diary extending from 
November, 1837, to September, 1848. It consists 
almost exclusively of accounts and of memoranda 
as to her property. The entries show, however, 
that during her widowhood she made some tours at 
home and abroad. Hastings, the Lake District, 
Buxton, Bristol, Oxford, Stratford-on-Avon, Bath are 
mentioned, and in 1843 she visited France and Italy. 


Milan, Parma, Modena, Florence, Rome, Xaples, 
and Turin are amongst the places mentioned in this 
jonrne}^, whicli extended over ten months. She was 
again in France in 1845 and in 1847, when she also 
visited Scotland. The diary also records letters 
sent to Miss Mitford, and has many references to 
H. Crabb Robinson and the legal matters in which 
he represented her interests. Mr. Slingsby also 
possesses a MS written in 1830 for her daughter. 
It has prefixed to it a letter of great interest, which 
reads : 

December ol, 1830. 
]\Iy Dear Little Daughter, — The trifles you will find in 
my portfolio were chiefly written for a young friend not 
more than twice your age. She had a very infirm mother, 
for whose amusement -she placed a little box of Athenian 
cedar, the gift of Professor Flaxman, in the coi-ner of her 
drawing-room ; and all who were acquainted with the 
aperture in its side slid in such pieces of prose or verse as 
they tliought acceptable. On the first and second AVodnes- 
days of the winter months the Attic Chest was unlocked 
by its owner after tea, and the contents read to the small 
party of her select friends. On the last of these evenings 
each acknowledged his or her share, and a dance conchided 
the social pastime. My dear friend's marriage with Sir 
John Franklin, whose adventures at the North Pole you 
have already heard, and her early death closed the Attic 
Chest ; and its principal contributors, Dr. Benjamin 
Franklin's only son. Dr. Hutton [or Hatton] and his 
grandson, Flaxman and his gifted wife and sisters, William 
Hayley and two or thi-ee friends of Walter Scott and Lord 
Byron Coleridge and Wordswoi'th, are gone from us. 
Many of the tales composed in prose or verse have appeared 
in annuals or other miscellanies, some you will find in 
manuscript, and three were added lately, to preserve in 


remembrance fadf; which seemed to prove that many 
evils in a woman's life might, be prevented by au earl}' 
knowledge of the laws which regulate her place and 
property. This year deprived you of the Father who 
would have guarded both, therefore I can offer you no 
better gift for the next."^ 

The "Imitations of Minor Grreek Poets" and the 
" Pleasures of Human Life " were intended only for the 
perusal of a fond pai-ent and jiartial friend — your Grand- 
father and Lindley Murray. The fragments of the Attic 
Chest are moi'e calculated for your amusement, having 
been collected from the conversation of the antiquai'ies, 
travellers and civilians who attended its owner's happy 
evenings. The pleasures of remembering such conversa- 
tions is one of the many advantages gained by a habit of 
attention to every source of knowledge. If these relics 
enliven or improve yours, the Attic Chest will be still 
delightful to 3'our fond mother, A. J. N. 

Probably the portfolio named in the letter con- 
tained printed copies of siicli contributions to the 
Attic Chest as bad been published. The list 
includes many that appeared in the ' European 

The first wife of Sir John Franklin was Eleanor 
Jane Porden, a lady of literary tastes, some of whose 
poems were printed and had a certain amount of 
success in the social circles in which she moved. 
She died in 1825. 

The unsolved problem of " Christabel " is the 
character of Geraldine. Who and what is she ? 
On the answer to this question depends the nature 

* This refers to three articles which Mrs. Niven has dated 183(», 
and described in the table of contents as : " A Little Girl's Law- 
Book," Part I ; " A Young Lady's Law-Book," Part II ; " An Old 
Lawyer's Legends,'" Part III. 


of any possible so(|uel to ('oleridgc's iiiii^'iiiticcDt 
fragment. The poet, whilst dechiring that he had 
the stoiT all complete in his mind, appears to have 
kept the secret locked in his own breast. There is 
no hint extant as to his intentions. Anna Vardill's 
continnation of the legend is as wild as Coleridge's 
poem, and althongh it is not so 1)eantifnl, it is not 
without a weird charm. For her (leraldine is the 
Witch of the lake, who has for a time escaped from 
Merlin's spell. The Magician raises the spirit of 
Sir Leoline's dead wife and from lier learns that 
Greraldine's power will pass away at the moment of 
the espousal of Christobell and her own true knight. 
And with the discomfiture of Geraldine the story 
ends. How well the Coleridgean manner is echoed 
may be shown by two quotations : 

" Lord Leoline sat in cliair of ]iri(k', 

The white-armed stranger Ijy his side — 
bright was the glance she gave to view, 
When back her amaranth locks she threw ! 
It was like tlie moon's on the fountain l)rini 
When the amber clouds around her skim ; 
The rubies that on her bosom flamed 
Seemed of her richer lips ashamed : 
There never was lovely lady seen 
Like the stranger-guest, fair Geraldine.'"' 

A messenger brings a goblet of crysolite with a 
message from Sir Roland. The goblet is filled by 
Sir Leoline, who places it in the lady's hand : 

" But the crysolite changed as she touched its brim 
And the gem on its sapphire edge grew dim — 
The lamps are quenched in their sockets of gold. 
The hour is past and the bell has toll'd." 


Then conies the transforniatioii scene, for as the 
spells of Greraldine are exhausted she falls again 
under the more potent influence of Merlin : 

"There sits a daiuo of royal mien, 
But her lips are pearly, her locks are green ; 
The eider-down hides her speckled breast, 
The fangs of the sea-wolf clasp her vest; 
And those orbs, once bluer western skies, 
Are shrunk to the rings of the serpent's eyes. 

" ' A\ itch of the lake ! I know thee iiow^ 
Thrice three hundred years are gone 
Since beneath my cave 
In the western wave 
I doomed thee to rue and weep alone. 
And writ thy shame on thy breast and brow. 

" '}3iit those and thy envious fiends in vain 
Have risen to mock my power again. 
The spell which in thy bosom waketli 

No holy virgin's lips can stain ; 
The spell that in thy false eye lurketh 

But for an liour can truth enchain. 

" ' Not ev'n thy serpent eye could keep 
Its ire near guiltless Beatty's sleep ; 
The spirit of evil could not dare 
To look on heav'n — for heav'n is there. 

Thy hour is past — thy spells I sever; 

Witch of the w^ave, descend for ever !'" 

So ends " Christobell." 

It is not claimed that Anna Vardill can be placed 
in any cons})icuous position among the women writers 
of Britain. But liigli culture, artistic taste and a 
poetical temperament were certainly liers. She 
shared in the enthusiasm of the age that, breaking 


conveiitioiuvl traiiiiiiels, felt the iiingic of tlie Icgeiuls 
and tlie folklore to be found on tlie Scottish 
bills and in tbe Yorksbire dales. Her talent, tbouob 
not strikingly original, was sympathetic to the same 
influences that moved Scott and Byron. Jn tbe 
one effort by wliic-b she will now be remembered 
Anna Vardill caught the echo of Coleridge's wild 
and spiritual nuisic. In her " Christobell " we 
have something of the glamour of the great poet 
^vho had fed on honey-dew, 

'•'Aiul cb-iink tlie milk of J^aradise." 


Poeins and Translations from the Minor Greek I'oets 
and Others : Written chiefly between the ages of ten and 
sixteen, by a Lady. Dedicated by pernn'ssion to Her Royal 
Highness the Princess Charlotte of Wales. London : 
Asperne, 1809, pp. 165. 

The original verses are as follows : 

"The Battle of Trafalgar (an irregular ode) ; The Eights 
of Woman (a burlesque essay) ; Inscription designM for 
the Statue of William Pitt ; Address to the Pati'ons of the 
Refuge for the J^estitute ; On the Statue of Sir John Moore 
at Glasgow ; Address to the Hon. Society of Freemasons, 
written for their Anniversary Meeting. 

Six Sonnets Descriptive of Scenes in the "West of Scot- 
laud: (1) On a View of Castrammon ; (2) On the River Dee, 
near Kirkcudbright ; (3) On the Fleet, near Gatehouse ; 
(4) On Raeberie Hill; (5) On Ross-Jsle, near Bahnae ; (6) 
On Balmae House. 

Six Sonnets to the Memory of a Young Friend. 

Occasional Trifles : To the Hon. Miss C. on Her First 
Introduction at Court ; To Two ISisters ; The Favourites, a 
Tale; On a Silver Tea Chest, Presented to the Right Hon. 
Lady C; The Power of Fanc}' ; To a Young Lady on her 


returu to Copenliagen ; 'J'lie Birtli-tlay ; On tlie JVirtruit 
of an Infant Gocl-daugliter ; Enigma I'Viund in a Lady's 
Instrument; On Lindley Murray's Works ; On an Ice I'lant. 

Imitations of Various Styles of Poeti-y : A Persian Dirge ; 
An Hungarian Gipsy's Song; A Wandering Savoyard's 
Tale; A Spanish Serenade and lie])ly ; A Portuguese 
Pondeau from Camoens; A Sonnet from Petrarch; An 
Italian Madrigal ; A Portrait from the French ; A French 
Madrigal; A Scotch Ballad; An Ancient Minstrel's Lay. 

Songs : A Canzonet for Three Friends^ written at thirteen 
years of age ; AVar Song sent to the Craven Legion ; 
A Song for the IDth Century; x\- W'elsli Student's Wish; 
Burlesque Translation into Macaroni Averse; The Married 
Traveller's Heturn ; A Parody on the Preceding ; The 
Philosopher's Return; Coeleb's Apology, AVritten for an 
Harmonic Societj' ; On Eaid Moira's Marriage to the 
Countess of Loudoun ; Three Hymns for Benevolent 
Societies; Lord P . . . 's Epistle to tlie Hon. Coh>nel 
C . . . n ; Addenda. 

There was a second edition in 1812. The third edition 
has also " An Essay on Music." To this is the following 
foot-note : " This essay was begun at ten years of age. The 
writer's accidental loss of sight detained it from the press 
till the third edition had been published." The copy 
of the third edition in the British Museum is dated 1809. 
The explanation is that an engraved as well as a printed 
title-page was issued in 1809, and this was inserted in each 
subsequent edition with the number of the edition ptiuted 
on it, but retaining the printers' imprint of 1809. 

The British Mnseum copy of the third edition has lost the 
j)rinted title-page and retains onl}^ the engraved one of 1 809. 
No doubt it was issued after 1816. Another bibliographical 
curiosity about the third edition is that the page on wliich 
the "Essay on Music" begins is nundjered 199, the 
leaf immediately preceding it, and which formed the last 
leaf of the second edition, being ignored altogether, 
although it contains two small poems, the pagination 


t'ollowino- oil from the leaf iirecediny that wliic-li was 
nninbered 198. 

The Pleasures of Human Life^ a Poem; by Anna Jane 
Vardill. London : Printed for Longmans, Hurst, Rees, 
Orme and J^rown, l)y James Ballantyne & Co., Edinburgh, 
1812, 4to, pp. [.-3] 100. 

Contributions to thf: ' Europkan Maoazink.' 

[In this list the pieces are in verse and signed "V." 
unless otherwise noted.] 

A"ol. lix, p. 136, Liscription for Tablet to Memory of the 
Rev. Dr. John Vardill, by his Daughter. 

Ixiv, 4o0, E])itaph Designed for ^\'illialn Franklin. 

Ixvi, 435, 'J'lie Outcast: an Indian 'I'ale. 

Ixvii, 55, Jjomond's Isle; 241, Count Bertram; 543, 
Christobell : a Gothic Tale ; 442, The Warden of Carlisle ; 
539, The Bridal Eve : a Hermit's Legend. 

Ixviii, 53, St. Hubert's Vigil ; 157, Don Sebastian'; 253, 
Eric and Amabel ; 355, Hohenhelm ; 357, Elegiac A'^erses 
on the Death of Miss Caroline Deinys (A. J, V.) ; 441, De 
Courcy ; 534, Love's Visit (this is not signed but is the 
last of the "Legends of the Hermitage" which form the 
six preceding). 

Ixix, 58, The Invisible Cap : a Tradition of Tabby Hall ; 
151, The Rivals (second tradition); 247, The Wreath (third 
tradition) ; 341, Ridicule versus Pocket (fourth tradition) ; 
446, Sir Jerome's Heiress (fifth tradition) ; 544, Roderic's 
Dream (sixth ti'adition). 

Ixx, 8, 116, 204, 296, 397; 496, Memoirs of a Recluse (in 
prose) ; Q>i, Fifty Years Ago (seventh tradition) ; 166, Bibo 
de Montefiesco (eighth tradition) ; 261, Cupid at School 
(the last tradition of Tabby Hall) ; 362, Happiness : a 
Fragment; 457, Brown Bread Found in an Attic Poet's 
Cupboard : A Fragment Found in a Skeleton Case ; 543, 
The Festival of JN^auruz. 

ANNA JANE \Ai;i»iLL >;ivi;x.- 83 

Ixxi, 20, 97, 191, Memoirs of a Eecluse (continued) ; 65, 
The Legend of Dunbar ; 152, A Yorkshire Legend ; 289, 
385, 481, Legends of Lampidosa : Collected by a Eecluse 
(in prose) ; 442, The Lost Dove. 

Ixxii, 6, 102, 201, 297, 411, Legends of Lampidosa (con- 
tinued) : 69, A Relic from Waterloo ; 70, Another Kelic ; 
158, The New Coinage : written for a Literary Society 
opened by a Ball July 14th ; 263, The Hall of Flowers : an 
Irish Legend; 358, The Pearl Island: a Fragment; 449, 
The Bride's Dirge [on the Death of Princess Charlotte] ; 
493, Extracts from a Lawyer's Portfolio (in prose) ; 550, 
x-Vnacreontic, by the late Rev. Dr. Vardill; 551, English 
versus French. 

Ixxiii, 9, 97, 19o, 289, 385, 473, Extracts from a Lawyer's 
Portfolio (continued) (in prose) ; 63, Time to Beauty ; 153, 
The Chapel of the Isle: a Fragment; 257, The Elfin 
Arrow : Found on the Coast of Malta; 343, The Progress 
of Music; 435, A Highland Husband's Gift: From a MS 
in the McCxregor Family ; 526, On a Lady's Kaleidoscope. 

Ixxiv, 9, 97, Extracts from a Lawyer's Portfolio (con- 
tinued) (in prose) ; 61, The Arctic Navigator's Prayer ; 62, 
The Canal and the Brook ; 162, Prologue to a Play Acted 
in a Nobleman's Barn ; 162, Epilogue ; 193, Extracts from 
an Arctic Navigator's Journal (in prose) ; 259, Winter in the 
Country to Winter in the Town ; 289, An Arctic Islander in 
London (in prose); 356, The Arctic Moon; 385, Origin 
of an Arctic Colony (in prose); 439, Sir Locrine; 481, 
Relics of Popular Superstitions [Observed near Park Gate, 
West of Scotland] (in prose) ; 536, The Banquet Song of 
the Tonga Islanders : verified from a literal translation. 

Ixxv, 9, 105, [St. Mark's Eve in Yorkshire] 208, 297, 
393, 487, Relics of Popular Superstitions (continued) (in 
prose) ; 54, The Queen's Bower ; 148, The Lykewake 
Dirge; 262, The Carnival of Corfu ; 355, A Bridal Serenade: 
By a modern Welsh Harper ; 454, The Glow-worm to the 
Moon ; 544, The Minute Bell ; 9, Tales of To-day (in 
prose), (first not signed), 105 (signed V.), 201, 297, 393, 489. 


Ixxvi, 00, Allot luT Ivlitioii of Ivlwiii and Angelina : 
from a Collector's Portfolio ; 105, On a Xew Made Grave 
near Bolton Priory ; 20."), AVinter in Town to Winter in 
the Country; 3.50, The Blind Traveller; 4.'),5, The ^Sfarine 
Society's Appeal to tlie Ladies of Great iiritain ; foO, 'J'lie 
Prodigal to His Wife ; 54o, he Pas Trois : an epigram 
from M. de Lewis. 

Ixxvii, 9, Tales of To-day (continued) ; .■)•), The Pilfering 
Poet's Apology to his Judges ; 1.33, Annals of Public 
Justice: The High Court of Justiciary and a (iipsy Chief 
(in prose) ; 100, The Eldest King of Britain : Llewellyn's 
Dream [on the Deatlis of George III and the Duke of 
Kent] ; 201, Annals, etc. : an Austrian Assassin (in prose) ; 
200, A Walk to llkley ; 297, Annals, etc. : The Western 
Assize Court in 1089 (in prose); 3.57, On Seeing the 
Flower called Honesty in a Lady's Cap ; 393, Annals, etc. : 
The Bronze Statue (in prose) ; 430, The White Horse of 
AVharfdale ; 489, Annals, etc.: The Brothers of Dijon (in 
prose) ; 530, St. Valentine's E\^e, or the Fireside Fairies. 

Ixxxviii, 13, Annals, etc. : The Czar and the Czarawitz 
(in prose) ; 105, Annals, etc. : The Traveller's Dream (in 
prose) ; 153, A Freemason's Epitaph near Bagdad ; 201, 
Annals, etc. : II due Gobbi (in prose) ; 203, An English- 
man's Farewell to a Converzazione ; 297, Annals, etc. : The 
Black Gondola (in prose); 352, An Exile's Dream; 389, 
Annals, etc. : Count Orloff's Divorce (in prose) ; 4-54, The 
Yew in Skipton Castle ; 489, Annals, etc. : Queen Mary's 
Cross (in prose) ; 548, 'J'he Farewell Cup to the Dead at a 
Highland Funeral. 

Ixxix, 9, 10.5, 202, 303, 400, The Secrets of Cabalism 
(in prose); 73, A Christmas Carol; 107, The Pelican and 
the Swan ; 229, An Unexpected Heir's Legacy ; 259, The 
Stroll of the Last Sylph ; 300, A Fragment from a 
LaAvyer's Portfolio ; 457, The Keep of Windsor Castle : a 
fragment from tradition ; 492, The Last Secret of Cabalism 
(in prose) ; 553, La Morte d' Arthur; or the Legend of Sir 
Launcelot. Collected from the MS in the Harleian Library. 


Ixxx, The Coronation Eve [on tlie Coronation of Geoi'ge 
IV], 127, 217; 6, Denon'.s Hmidred Days in England (in 
prose); 144-, Wit and Reason; 261, A Whispei' at a Con- 
versazione ; 310, 412, 511, The Last Leaf of tlio Parish 
Register (in prose) ; 820, A Traveller's Story ; 508, The 
Hermit of Loch Lomond. 

Ixxxi, 9, 120, 218, 310, 411, 500, My Godmother's 
Legacy; or the Art of Consoling (in prose); 26, The 
Prisoners of Mount St. Michael; 112, The Boat of the 
Stars; 214, Malham Tarn ; 325, The Fairies' Nursery: an 
April Dream. 

Mr. Ernest Hartley CoLERiDahi, who was in the 
Chair, then spoke as follows : 

I think that we shall all agree that Dr. Axon has 
brought to a very triumphant finis a difficult piece 
of literary investigation, and that lie has solved once 
for all a minor literary prol)lem which has teased, 
and vexed, and baflfied many patient Ijut Jess 
successful inquirers. His success is the reward both 
of exhaustive and thoughtful research, and of the 
literary acumen which can alone make good use of 
the materials so acquired. His connection, or rather 
identification of V., first with feminine authorship, 
then with the editor's tribute to Variella (six years, 
remember, after the " Gothic Tale " appeared), then 
with the Reverend John Vardill's " Anacreontic," 
and finally with Anna Jane Vardill, had proved his 
point before it occurred to me that the name 
" Vardill " might be mentioned in Henry Crabb 
Robinson's ' Diary,' and I chanced to light upon a 
singular confirmation of Dr. Axon's independent 
surmise. I had, as Dr. Axon points out, hazarded 
a kind — perhaps I ought rather to say a shadow — 


of a guess, that James Hogg might have had :i liniid 
in the composition of " Christobell." For I liad dili- 
gently read V.'s numerous other contributions to 
the ' European Magazine,' and I could not persuade 
myself that the gleams and flashes of something like 
poetry, nay, some dozen or more lines wliich Cole- 
ridge mio'ht have written himself, could have pro- 
ceeded from the pen of the author of the colourless 
diluted effusions which appeared in each number 
before and after 1815 under the same signature. 
And, moreover, I was familiar with that finest and 
tenderest and most beautiful of all parodies, Hogg's 
" Cherub," modelled upon and all but reaching up to 
Colerido-e's " Kubla Khan," which was published in 
1817, in the anonymous collection of parodies, 
entitled the ' Poetic Mirror.' 

So rare and so delicate is the melody that Roljert 
Browning, who had unearthed it from some forgotten 
magazine, sent it as a genuine Coleridgean lyric to 
James Dykes Campl)ell, who sent it on to me. Alas ! 
I was obliged to tell Mr. Campbell that the " Cherub " 
Avas a manufactured freak, a kind of Barnum's 
Lums Naturae, and thenceforth I heard no more 
of the subject either from Mr. Campl)ell or from 
Browning. But I do not Avonder that its dulcet 
tones had deceived these elect persons, or that 
"Christobell, a Grothic Tale" suggested to me the 
poetical mimicries of the Ettrick Shepherd. For, as 
Dr. Axon finely puts it : " Here and there Anna 
Vardill caught something of Coleridge's wild and 
spiritual music." And, indeed, an element of 
mystery remains, of mystery which in no way affects 
Dr. Axon's identification of V. with Anna Vardill, 


AXXA jaxp: VAi;i)ir,L xNIvex. "87 

but which prompts other incpiiries {iiid other guesses. 
For it is uot conceivable that Crabb Robmson's one 
reading of the MS of " Christabel" would enable 
anyone to write a continuation in the same style and 
metre and with so much of the (inxto of the original. 
One reading or recitation might inspire another 
poet with the lilt and something of the romantic 
glamour of the original, as Dr. Stoddart's one read- 
ingof the MS of " Christabel " at Lasswade, in 1802, 
inspired AYalter Scott Avith the air and metre of the 
" Lay of the Last Minstrel," but one reading could 
not have residted in " Christobell, a Gothic Tale." 
No ! the good Crabb must have left the MS in Miss 
Vardill's hands, and as he was a good friend to 
Coleridge, and a man of honour, and as she appears 
to have been a high-minded and honourable woman, I 
cannot but think that the appearance of the " Cothic 
Tale" in the Maynimiberof the 'European Magazine' 
was not altogether a surprise to the real Simon 
Pure — i. e. to S. T. C. himself. If it had been a 
base trick — a cruel anticipation of his nnpul)lished 
poem — I think that he must have known about it 
and would have complained of so unwarrantable a 
transaction to some of his friends. We know that 
long years after when he was cpiestioned on the 
subject he said : " It is a singular affair," and that he 
would explain the whole story, but proceeded in- 
stead to explain or to begin to explain some other 
story altogether. There is, of course, no jDroof, but 
it is a pardonable guess that Miss Vardill must have 
submitted proof or copy to Hobinson, and tliat ho 
must have obtained some kind of assent or permission 
from Colerido-e himself. 


Be that as it ma}^ one sliort year Avent by, and 
tlianks to Lord Byron's intervention tlie Lovely 
Lady lierself and not another, was at length pre- 
sented to the public, and the anticipation or con- 
tinuation only remained as a problem and a puzzle 
to the curious. 


[Read March 25th, 1908.] 

Jttst one hundred years ago, Scott, writing to 
Miss Seward, slipped into a characteristic passage 
of his large, careless, human criticism. " Dry den's 
fame," he wrote, " has nodded, and that of Pope 
begins to be drowsy ; Chaucer is as sound as a toji, 
and Spenser is snoring in the midst of his com- 
mentators. Milton indeed is quite awake, but 
observe, he was at his very outset refreshed with a 
nap of half a centurj' ; and in the midst of all this, we 
sons of degeneracy talk of immortality." 

In a world where such lapses into oblivion come 
over even the greatest names, the minor immortality 
attained by the second rank among men of letters is 
even fainter and more precarious. The name of Sir 
Richard Fanshawe is now little known except among 
professed students of the history and literature of 
the seventeenth century. But it is one which had 
an important place both in public life and in the 
development of English poetry ; and if it is necessary 
to introduce him to a modern audience by giving a 
brief sketch of his life, it is no waste of time to do 
so : for it was a life full of action and incident, and 

VOL. xxvur. 8 


lias been recorded for us by a loving hand in one of 
the most fascinating of biographies. 

To the eighteenth century Fanshawe was super- 
ficially known, both as a statesman through the 
pages of Clarendon, and as a man of letters who was 
of some account in that period of transition which 
connects the age of the later Elizabethans with the 
age of Dryden. To Dryden himself and to Dryden's 
contemporaries, the generation which immediately 
succeeded his own, he had been a considerable 
figure. In the age which followed, the age of 
Pope and fully developed classicism, he shared the 
general neglect which overtook the English poets of 
the transition. His translation of the ' Lusiads ' of 
Camoens retained some position as a work which, 
though it had become obsolete, was still a sort of 
classic. Voltaire read it when he was in England 
between 1726 and 1729, and based upon it his slight 
and ill-informed criticism on Camoens, whom he had 
not read in the original, in his ' Essay on the Epic 
Poetry of the European Nations.' Fifty years 
later, Johnson, in his life of Dryden, mentions him, 
along with Denham, Waller, and Cowley, as one of 
the pioneers in the art of translation, who " broke 
the shackles of verbal interpretation and showed the 
way towards elegance and liberty." Johnson's read- 
ing in older English literature was extensive though 
desultory. But probably he owed his acquaintance 
-with Fanshawe to Mickle, whose own version of the 
' Lusiads ' had been published a few years before. In 
a prefatory dissertation to that work, Mickle had 
criticised his predecessor's version severely, calling it 
bald, harsh, unfaithful, and unpoetical, and quoting 


largely from it in support of this unfavourable 
judgment. After this, little attention was paid to 
Fanshawe for half a century. 

All this while, the memoirs of Lady Fanshawe 
had remained in the obscurity of their original MS, 
which had fortunately remained intact, except for 
the loss of a few pages at the end, in the possession 
of the family. They gradually became known 
among antiquarians. The earliest alhision to them 
which has been traced is in the ' Gentleman's 
Magazine ' in 1787. About the same time Horace 
Walpole had been shown them, and found them " not 
unentertaining." Extracts from them, which after 
this were given from time to time in literary collec- 
tions of anecdota or in county histories, began to 
rouse a keener interest in them ; and in 1829 
they were published, with a preface and notes 
by Sir Harris Nicolas. That volume went into a 
second edition in the following year, but it seems 
probable that neither edition was large, and the 
memoirs remained but little known. They were 
not reprinted again until 1905. For mauy years 
l)efore that, copies of the earlier editions could 
easily be picked up at a moderate price, as they still 
can be, by anyone who cared to look for them. 

Meanwhile, however, the love of letters for Avhich 
Sir Richard Fanshawe was so conspicuous had re- 
appeared in the family. Sir Richard's own family, 
so far, at least, as male issue is concerned, became 
extinct in the next generation. But Mr. H. C. 
Fanshawe, the ninth in direct descent from Sir 
Richard's grandfather, has recently re-edited the 
memoirs from the oriofinal MS — the earlier editions 


were all from a rather incorrect transcript made in 
1706. He has also supplied them, in the exercise 
of a piety and industry which are as rare as they are 
commendable, with a complete body of illustrative 
collateral information. This definitive edition of 
the ' Memoirs of Ann Lady Fan sh awe ' is a book 
which is delightful to possess, and for which much 
o*ratitude is due to its editor. 

It is in the picture they give of Lady Fanshawe 
herself that the intimate charm of these memoirs 
lies. They were written in her widowhood, in order 
to preserve a memory for her only surviving son 
of the husband whom she had idolised. Love 
supplied for her all defects of skill. There is no 
fine writing in the memoirs, and no self-conscious- 
ness. The spirit in which she wrote may best be 
indicated by a few of her own words : " We never 
had but one mind throughout our lives. Our souls 
were wrapped up in each other, our aims and designs 
one, our loves one and our resentments one. AVliat- 
ever was real happiness, God gave it me in him." 
The temptation to linger over her is great. But it is 
of Sir Richard himself, and of Sir Richard as a poet 
and man of letters, that I have undertaken to give 
some account. It will not be amiss to begin by 
giving the briefest possible outline of his life. 

Richard Fanshawe was born in 1608, and was the 
fifth son of Sir Henry Fanshawe, of Ware Park, in 
Hertfordshire, Remembrancer of the Exchequer. 
This office was for a century and a half almost an 
appanage of the family ; no less than nine Fan- 
shawes successively held it between the reign of 
Elizabeth and that of George I. Like many high 


officials of his time, Sir Henry was a scliolar and a 
musician. The house and garden at AYare Park 
were both famous in an age of splendid domestic 
architecture and of sumptuous gardens such as are 
described in Bacon's essay. Here Richard Fanshawe 
lived until he was sent to Farnaby's famous school in 
Cripplegate, the Eton of the period. From it he pro- 
ceeded to Jesus College, Cambridge, at the age of 
fifteen, and after finishino- his course at the University, 
returned to London, and was entered as a student of 
the Inner Temple. Both at school and at college his 
orbit nearly intersected that of the most illustrious 
of his contemporaries. Milton, l)orn a few months 
after Fanshawe, was at school at St. Paul's within 
half a mile of him, and entered Christ's the year 
after Fanshawe went to Jesus. The two, one 
fancies, must have met at Cambridge. Thence- 
forward their paths lay far apart. Milton remained 
at Cambridge for eight years, and was then buried 
for five or six years more in the seclusion of Horton ; 
he started on his grand tour to Italy just about the 
time when Fanshawe returned from prolonged con- 
tinental travel ; and after this Fanshawe was engaged 
in public affairs as an ardent Royalist, and could 
have little intercourse with men of letters belonging 
to the opposite party. It is, however, one of the 
curious freaks of history that at the Restoration 
Fanshawe succeeded Milton as Latin Secretary, and 
the conjecture has been hazarded that his influence 
may have helped towards the remarkable leniency 
with which the republican extremist and official 
defender of regicide was treated by the Restoration 


Between l()o2 and IG08 Fansliawe was mueli 
abroad, in Fi-ance, Italy and Spain. He Avas foi' 
a time Secretary to the English Embassy at Madrid, 
and on his retnrn was made Secretary to the Irish 
Council of War under Strafford. In November, 
1640, the Long Parliament met, and within a week 
liad ordered Strafford's arrest. The Civil War broke 
out in 1642, and in the folloTving spring Fanshawe 
joined the King at Oxford. From this time forward 
he was engaged incessantly in the Royal service. 

Among the Royalists who were then crowding 
into Oxford from all quarters were the Harrisons, a 
Hertfordshire family, connected by marriage as well 
as by neighbourhood with the Fanshawes. The 
mothei' was dead, and the younger children w^ere in 
the charge of the eldest daughter, Anne, a handsome 
and high-spirited girl of eighteen. It seems to have 
))een a case of love at first sight on both sides ; but 
as to this. Lady Fanshawe, who, though as frank 
and free-spoken as one of Shakespeare's w^omen, 
knows when to be reticent, says nothing. It was 
no easy time for marrying or giving in marriage. 
First, Anne's brother, William Harrison, hurt in a 
skirmish near Oxford, died of his wounds ; then 
Fanshawe's appointment as Envoy to the Court of 
Denmark was actually made out, but afterwards 
cancelled. The estates of both families had been 
sequestrated by the Parliament, and they were all 
but penniless : " The stock we set up our trading 
with," Lady Fanshawe says, " did not amount to 
twenty pounds betwixt us " ; and Charles paid his 
servants with promises, not in cash. But in May, 
1644, they were married in the little church of 


Wolvercot, close to Oxford, and tlie long joint 
romance of their life began. 

For its details I must refer you to the ' Memoirs ' 
themselves : it is a fascinating story, which during 
the next seven years ranges through England, 
Scotland, Ireland, France, Holland, and Spain ; a 
life of war and wandering, of shipwrecks, im- 
prisonments, and hairbreadth escapes, borne in cheer- 
ful poverty and unconquerable loyalty. During the 
remainder of the Civil War Fanshawe held, succes- 
sively, the offices of Secretary at A¥ar to Prince 
Charles, Treasurer of the Navy, Envoy Extra- 
ordinary to Spain, and Clerk of the Council and 
Secretary of State. In 1650 he was made a 
Baronet ; in the following year he was taken 
prisoner a few days after the battle of Worcester, 
and kept under close arrest in London for two 
months. It is of this imprisonment that Lady 
Fanshawe gives the vivid little picture which is 
perhaps the best known single passage in the 
' Memoirs ' : — 

" Order came to carry him to Whitehall, where in 
a little room, yet standing in the bowling green, he 
was kept prisoner without the speech of any one, so 
far as they knew, ten weeks, and in expectation of 
death. They often examined him, and at last he grew 
so ill in health by the cold and hard marches he had 
undergone, and being pent up in a room close and 
small, that the scurvy brought him almost to death's 
door. During this time of his imprisonment I failed 
not constantly to go, when the clock struck four in 
the morning, with a dark lantern in my hand, all 
alone and on foot, from my lodging in Chancery 


Lane, at my cousin Young's, to AVliiteliall, at the 
entry that went out of King's Street into the ])owl- 
ing ground. There I would go under his window 
and softly call him. He that after the first time 
expected me, never failed to put out his head at 
first call. Thus we talked together ; and sometimes 
I was so wet with rain that it went in at my neck 
and out at my heels." 

Cromwell had not only a respect, but a genuine 
liking for Fanshawe ; and after some unavailing 
attempts to induce him to enter the service of the 
Commonwealth, he arranged terms for him which 
were eas}^, and even, as things went, generous. His 
property remained in sequestration, hut for the next 
seven vears he was allowed tolivein Enoland wherever 
he chose free from any surveillance or molestation. It 
was in these seven years that most of his work in 
letters was done. Though thrust early into public 
affairs by inherited position, he was by nature a 
scholar and student rather than a man of action : he 
was liaj^py so long as he had his wife and his books. 
" Pens, ink and paper was your father's trade," Lady 
Fanshawe tells her son. Herself high-spirited, active, 
and a fearless horsewoman, she seems now and then 
to have been inclined to complain of her husband's 
devotion to study, except that nothing that he did 
could be wrong. " He never used exercise but walk- 
ing," she tells us, "and that generally with some book 
in his hand, which oftentimes was poetry." 

At this point, therefore, it will he convenient to 
give some account of his published writings, among 
whicli it is not necessary for this purpose to include 
his letters and dispatches. He published but little 


original poetry, and does not seem to liave written 
much. The bulk of his poetr}^ and that by which 
he obtained his reputation and his place in English 
literature, consists of translations from Latin, 
Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. In all these 
languages he was an accomplished scholar. His 
earliest volume, a translation of the ' Pastor Fido,' to 
which were annexed a few graceful original pieces, 
appeared in 1G47, in the interval lietween the first 
and second Civil AVars, while Charles I was a 
prisoner at Holmby House, and terms of accommoda- 
tion between him and the Parliament were under 
discussion. Guarini's famous pastoral play had 
appeared more than fifty years before, Init it still 
remained at the height of its immense reputation 
throughout Europe. The English version h\ Dymock 
had been pubHshed as early as 1602, and had supplied 
the model and much of the inspiration for Fletcher's 
'Faithful Shepherdess' (? 1609). Fanshawe's own 
translation, which Avas dedicated to Prince Charles, 
was reprinted in the following year, and passed 
throuo-h five editions l^efore the demand for it was 
exliausted. In the edition of 1664 there was added 
to the volume a translation of the fourth book of the 
' Aeneid ' in Spenserian verse. 

The first fruits of Fanshawe's forced retirement 
was a little volume of translations from Horace's odes, 
pubhshed in 1651. For some considerable time 
afterwards he was engaged on his largest work in 
poetry, the translation of Camoens' ' Lusiads,' in the 
offriva rim.a of the original. This appeared in 1(.)55, 
and took its place as a standard work alongside of 
Fairfax's ' Tasso.' Three years later was pubhshed 


tlie most curious of all his works and one very 
characteristic of the period, a translation into Latin 
verse of Fletcher's ' Faithful Shepherdess.' At the 
end of this volume mention is made of another work 
as yet unpublished (it was not, in fact, printed until 
after Fanshawe's death). This Avas a translation of 
a Spanish comedy, or rather mascjue, entitled ' To 
Love only for Love Sake ' (' Querer por Solo 
Querer '), by Antonio de Mendoza ; the date of the 
original in this case is 162o, and a dedication of the 
translation to Queen Christina of Sweden, presum- 
ably written soon after the translation was made 
and when Fanshawe meant to print it, is dated July, 
1654. This item may conclude our list; there are 
some other occasional poems and translations to be 
recorded in a full bibliography of Fanshawe's works, 
but they need not detain us here. AVith the volume 
of 1658, accordingly, Fanshawe's work in poetry ends. 
The remainder of his life was a period of resumed 
and engrossing public employment. The ' Fida Pas- 
tora' was entered for publication in March, 1658. 
On September ord of that year Cromwell died, and 
three weeks later a pass was granted by the new 
government to Fanshawe to go abroad. He rejoined 
Charles II at Paris, and was with him there and in 
the Low Countries and Holland until the Restoration. 
In January, 1660, he was appointed Latin Secretary 
and Master of Requests ; he crossed from Scheveling 
in the King's ship in May, and entered London with 
him ; soon after he was made Chancellor of the 
Order of the Garter, and was chosen member for the 
Universit}^ of Cambridge in the Cavalier Parliament. 
In the autumn of 1661 he went as Envoy Extra- 


ordinary to Lisbon to complete the ai^rangements 
for the Portngnese match ; did the translator of 
Camoens, one must needs wonder, have any augury 
in his mind of how the insio-nificant island off the 
Indian coast, which Catharine of Braganza brought 
as part of her dowry, was to be the germ of an 
empire that should far eclipse that founded by Vasco 
de Gama and Alfonso Albuquerque ? He returned to 
Lisbon as English Ambassador after the royal 
marriage, and after an interval at home, during 
which he was sworn of the Privy Council, sailed 
from Portsmouth at the beginning of IGG-i as 
Ambassador to Spain. His special business there 
was the negotiation of a treaty. Things went amiss ; 
he was not supported properly by his own govern- 
ment, and Lady Fanshawe hints at jealousies on 
the part of Clarendon. At all events he was 
recalled in May, 1666, and died of fever at Madrid 
in June as he was preparing to return to England. 
His illness was, no doubt, aggravated by vexation. 
The profligacy of the court and the want of principle 
in the Grovernment wei-e alike distasteful to him. 
On her way home with her husband's body, Lady 
Fanshawe received at Bilbao the news of the Inirning 
of London. It must have seemed to many of his 
friends that he had been taken away timely from the 
evil to come. 

It was the end of an age and the beginning of 
another in literature as well as in public affairs. 
Fanshawe belonged to the period and school in 
poetry of the transition, of the later Jacobeans and 
earlier Carolines. He just missed seeing its extinc- 
tion. In the year after his death Dryden's ' Annus 


Mirabilis ' and Milton's ' Paradi^sc Lost' were 
|)ublished ; and a new age began. 

Milton was l)orn in the same year as Fansliawe. 
Both received, at school in London and at the Uni- 
versity of Cambridge, the elaborate classical ednca- 
tion of that period ; both supplemented it by further 
prolonged study, l)y large reading among the English 
and Italian ]:)oets, and by residence abroad in the 
company of foreign men of letters and scholars. 
They held successively the post of Latin Secretary, 
and it is a curious little fact that Fanshawe's Latin 
dedication to the Queen of Sweden, which T have 
already mentioned, coincides rather closely in sub- 
stance, and even in language, with portions of 
Milton's semi-official eulogy of Christina in the 
' Defensio Secunda pro Populo Anglicano,' published 
two months earlier. But in poetry, almost from 
the first, the two give the impression not only of a 
different school and manner but almost of a different 
period. The difference is like that between Jacobean 
and Palladian architecture, which also overlap in 
this age ; the one continuing the Elizabethan tradi- 
tion, richly ornamented, profuse, highly coloured, 
the other mao-nificent and austere. Fanshawe was 
by nature, and in spite of his fine scholarship and 
classical training, a romanticist ; Milton, even in the 
earlier poems in which the romantic influence is still 
strong, is the first and the greatest of the classicists. 

There happens to be a single instance in which 
the two methods, and the whole difference in the 
technical quality of poetry that they involve, can be 
set side by side. Both Milton and Fansliawe trans- 
lated the fifth ode of the first book of Horace. The 


precise date of the translation is not known in either 
case, but it is not A^ery material. Milton's well-known 
version was first published among the additions made 
to the volume of his Poems w^ien it was reprinted in 
1(373. These additions comprise pieces written both 
before and after the date of the original volume ; this 
piece comes between the ' Vacation Exercise 'of 1627 
or 1628 and the Tetrachordon sonnet of 1645 or 
1646, but it may be conjecturally dated between 
1640 and 1650.* Fanshawe's Horace was published, 
as we have seen, in 1651. Let me quote the two 
renderings ; they will enforce the point which I 
wish to bring out by themselves better than can be 
done by any comment. Milton's, of course, takes 
place of the other : 

"What slender Youth bedew'd with Hqnid odom-s 
Courts thee on Roses in souie pleasant Cave, 

Pijrrha for whom bind'st thou 

In wreaths thy golden Hair, 
Plain in thy neatness ; how oft shall he 
On Faith and changed Gods complain : and Seas 

Rough Avith black winds and storms 

Unwonted shall admire : 
Who now enjoyes thee credulous, all Gold, 
Who alwayes vacant, alwayes amiable, 

Hopes thee ; of flattering gales 

Unmindful!. Hapless they 

* A brief j)refatory note to it contains the first hint of the thesis 
afterwards expanded by him in the i^reface to the ' Paradise Lost." 
that rhyme, " the jingling sound of like endings," was not merely "no 
necessary adjunct or true ornament of good verse," but " a thing of 
itself, trivial, and of no true musical delight," and that the neglect 
of rhyme was, therefore, " so little to l:»e taken for a defect, though it 
may seem so perhaps to vulgar readers, that it is rather to he 
esteemed an example set of ancient liberty recovered from trouble- 
some and modern bondage." 


'\\) wlioui tlioii untry'tl .scem'st f'iiir. Mo in uiy vow'd 
Picture the siicrecl wall declares t' have hung 

My dank and dropping weeds 

To the stern God of Sea." 

This is essential Milton, at once classic and 
classicist. The scriipulons, weighed and ordered, 
almost abstract language, the severe rhythms, the 
clarity of outline and faintness of colour are more 
Horatian, one might say, than Horace himself. Now 
turn to Fanshawe : 

"What Stripling now thee discomposes 
In Woodbine Koonis, on Beds of Roses, 

For whom thy Auburn Haire 

Is spread, Unpainted Faire ? 
How will he one day curse thy Oaths 
And Heav'n that witnessed your Betroaths ! 

How will the poor Cuckold, 

That deems thee perfect Gold, 
Bearing no stamp but his, be mas'd 
To see a suddain Tempest rais'd ! 

He dreams not of the Windes 

And thinks all Gold that shines. 
For me my A^otive Table showes 
That I have hung up my wet Clothes 

Upon the Temple Wall 

Of Sea's o-reat Admirall.'"' 

I will not dwell either on the minor felicities of 
this rendering, nor on its minor defects. These last 
come under two heads — slovenlinesses and quaint- 
nesses. Now the task to which English poetry was 
setting- itself in the latter half of the seventeenth 


century was just this : to get rid of slovenliness, and 
to get rid of quaintness. Both were in its blood, 
and the task was heavy, the labour long. The 
object was attained at last, but it was Avon at a" 
heavy price. Milton stood apart from the move- 
ment, in superb and haughty isolation. His poetry, 
to put it succinctly, has nothing to do with that of 
his contemporaries. Apart from him, the whole 
English poetry of liis age, a mass of perplexing 
cross-currents among a vast number of ininor poets, 
almost defies any attempt at classification. Organic 
growth or movement in it is difficult to trace. But 
later criticism instinctively and rightly fastened on 
Waller, a poet otherwise of but small account either 
for the quantity or the quality of his writing, as the 
clue to the labyrinth, the thread marking the central 
current. It is difficult now to understand how 
Waller got his great and long-continued reputation 
if we do not keep this in mind. He was smooth, 
Pope tells us, and we ask in some bewilderment 
what there is so very remarkable in being smooth. 
But this smoothness was just then tlie quality on 
which the whole efforts of literature in England 
were concentrating. In the critical essay at the end 
of Johnson's life of Waller, there is one casual 
phrase which is the key to the situation : " He 
seems," says Johnson, " always to do his best." To 
the new generation, the poetry of the Elizabethan 
and Jacobean age, with its exuberance, its daring 
unrestraint, had begun to seem an unweeded garden. 
"It cannot be denied," Johnson ends, after weighing 
AYaller piece by piece and finding him light 
currency, " that he added something to our elegance 


of diction, and somctliiiig to our propriety of 
thought." How important this end seemed may 
be judged from the amount of the sacrifice that 
Avas cheerfully made to reach it. By the time 
it was fully attained the jettison of poetry had 
been so great that in the eyes of a new reaction 
a century later it seemed there was nothing left 
worth saving : " Is Pope," people began to ask, 
"a poet at all?" But what had been won was 
this, that English literature had been brought 
back into the main stream of Euro})ean art and 
thought, and was prepared to take its place in the 
innnense intellectual movement of the eighteenth 
century, the movement out of Avhich rose the 
modern world. 

The part which Fanshawe luid in that large, 
strenuous task set before itself by the seventeenth 
century, the task of civilising letters and conquer- 
ing the actual world for literature, was by no means 
inconsiderable. The work was done by him, as by 
many others, both before and after him, mainly 
througli assiduous translation. It was the century 
of translation in a different sense from either the 
preceding or the following one. In an earlier age, 
tlie classics, whether those of ancient Greece and 
Rome, or those of a more modern foreign civilisation, 
had been translated primarily for the sake of their 
contents, in order to give access to an otherwise 
unknown outer world. In them were the secrets of 
wisdom ; to have access to them was to possess the 
key of all knowledge. At a later period, the 
beginning of wliich cannot be definitely fixed, but 
wliicli had definitely set in early in the eighteentj] 


century, tliej came to be translated for the sake of 
translation, as an exercise in style and in tlie 
practice of that secondary, but far from useless or 
ignoble art which fills galleries with skilful copies of 
works by the great painters. This practice has 
lasted into our own day. Grradually, as happened 
in the sister art after the discovery of photography, 
these copies have been processed and multiplied; 
they have reached an extraordinary level of technical 
fidelity, and give innocent pleasure to a thousand 
translators and perhaps to several thousand readers. 
But in the intermediate period which we are now 
considering, the object and scope of translation were 
larger and its place in our literature much more 
important. That period may roughly be said to 
begin with Harrington's ' Ariosto' in 1591, and to end 
with Dryden's ' Virgil ' in 1697. It culminated 
early, in Fairfax's ' Tasso ' (1600) and Chapman's 
'Homer' (1610-1615), but it went on until the 
Restoration in unabated volume. Its object was to 
make the English language into a complete vehicle 
of poetical expression ; to make England into an 
organic member of the Republic of letters, and to 
fuse the life and progress of English poetry with 
those of the great world-movement outside of which 
it had hitherto stood. 

In carrying out this great object, Fanshawe's 
work had, as we have seen, an important place. 
When the object was attained, his work, like that of 
his fellow-labourers in the same field, had served its 
purpose and gradually fell into oblivion. Only 
students of English literature can be expected to go 
back to it now, though both for its own sake and 



for its historical importance it deserves and re})ays 
study. Looked at from this point of yiqw it all 
assumes coherence and correlation. His translations 
of Virgil and Horace, of Guarini, of Camoens, even 
of an author so wholly forgotten now as Antonio 
de Mendoza, were all attempts from different direc- 
tions at extending the potentialities of English 
poetry up to the point that had been reached, at one 
time or another, by the poets of the two southern 
peninsulas. Even his Latin version of the ' Faith- 
ful Shepherdess ' represents another variation of the 
same impulse ; it was, in effect, the testing of 
Fletcher's pastoral play by a classical standard, and 
the vindication for it of a certain classical quality. 
Fanshawe states this object clearly in his own 
preface : " I do not see," he says, — I give a para- 
phrase of his Latin — "that France or Spain or either 
ancient or modern Italy has any I'eason to slight the 
English Muses; the harbours of England are open to 
foreign merchandise, and foreign harbours, at all 
events the free port of Latin, the w^orld-language, 
need not be closed against English wares." In a 
beautiful little lyric, written in IGoO, the year after 
Milton's '•' Ode on the Nativity," Fanshawe had spoken 
of Eno^land as " a world without the world." I think 
you will be grateful to me if I quote the verses : 

" Only the island which we sow 
(A world without the world) so far 
From present wounds, it cannot show 
An ancient scar. 

" White Peace, the beautif ulFst of things. 
Seems here her everlasting rest 


To fix, and spreads her downy wings 
Over the nest. 

" As when great Jove's usurping reign 
From the plagu'd world did her exile, 
And tied her with a golden chain 
To one blest isle : 

" Which in a sea of plenty swam, 
And turtles sang on every bough : 
A safe retreat to all that came, 
As ours is now." 

What was being sown in England in these years 
was the dragon's teeth that came to harvest in the 
Civil Wars. But the commerce of literature, all 
through the disastrous times that followed, was 
making England, in a fuller sense than before, a 
world within the world of the mind. 

No one can give more title in an estate than he 
himself possesses ; and the life of a translation, even 
otherwise transitory and precarious, is contingent 
on the life of its original. The reputation of both 
Guarini and Camoens is long ago faded ; it is diffi- 
cult for us now to realise that the ' Pastor Eido ' had 
for a full century an almost unparalleled fame 
throughout Europe, and that the ' Lusiads ' were 
reckoned in the first rank of European epics, along- 
side of the ' Gierusalemme Liberata,' and almost along- 
side of the ' Iliad ' and the ' Aeneid.' I cannot honestly 
recommend the reading of Fanshawe's ' Lusiads' as a 
very enthralling occupation, though it is interesting 
enough as a study of the development of English 
versification and the development of a vocabulary 
in English poetiy. Of his ' Pastor Fido ' it is 


possible to speak in mucli higher terms. Guarini's 
famous pastoral play was meant to out-do the 
' Aminta.' It succeeded for the time in producing* 
the desired effect. Tasso was said to have ex- 
claimed after seeing it : "If he had not read my 
' Aminta,' he had not excelled it," just as he was said, 
according to an equally authentic tradition, to have 
confessed that he dreaded Camoens as a rival. But 
this sort of success can only be attained by forcing 
the note, and it cannot be permanent. Beside the 
limpid, soft beauty, the tender, if somewhat effemi- 
nate grace of the ' Aminta,' Guarini's work now 
seems a little coarse, a little common, more than a 
little mechanical. Yet it is impossible to deny its 
great ingenuity, melodiousness, and finish. Fan- 
shawe's version reproduces these qualities very 
adequately except the last ; for English was not 
then on the whole, if it ever has been, so exquisitely 
finished a vehicle of poetry as Italian. The translation is 
full of lovely phrases and graceful passages. Time does 
not serve here to quote; I may just note in passing one 
half -line about the rose "cloistered up in leaves." 
It is as certain as need be that Keats had never seen 
the volume ; but these, as you will remember, are 
the exact words used by him in one of the two 
cardinal passages of ' Endymion.' 

The vitality of a translation, so far as it is a trans- 
lation, is necessarily limited by the primary vitality 
of its original. But the converse proposition is not 
true ; for it is just those jDoems which possess, as 
nearly as anything human can, immortal life, that 
perpetually demand re-translation. Virgil and 
Horace are among the immortals, the classics not 


of one age or country, but of all time and all the 
world. Each age rediscovers and reinterprets 
them, and no translation can interpret more than 
one phase of their complex quality, their multiform 
significance. The attitude of any period towards 
poetry, the meaning that poetry has for any period, 
may be partly gauged by observing what it found 
in the classics, and what, therefore, it expressed in its 
translations. Thus Fanshawe's translations of the 
fourth book of the ' Aeneid,' and of between forty 
and fifty of Horace's Odes, are a sort of index, not 
only to his own scholarship, but to the kind of poetic 
appreciation which was then in the air, which was 
an actual directing force in the world of letters. I 
have already quoted his rendering of one of the Odes. 
Further instances, for which there is not time now, 
would only emphasise the quality we found there, 
the vivid sense of colour and phrasing in the use of 
language, the swift insight into the thought of the 
original, and the subtle skill with which that thought 
is re-translated into new language; and, alongside of 
all this, a certain pedestrian quality, an ease that 
verges on slovenliness, a certain failure in the noble 
simplicity, the reserve and precision, which are of 
the essence of classic work. But I cannot deny 
myself the pleasure, or Fanshawe himself the 
justice, of quoting a short specimen of his transla- 
tion of Virgil. It is needless to point in what 
respects, or how much, it falls short of the magnifi- 
cent original. But it shows a gentleman's scholar- 
ship to perfection ; for combined dignity and 
sweetness it is, I think, unsurpassed by what any 
other rendering of Virgil into English has 


acliieved. The passage is from Dido's spcccli to 
her sister when sending her on a last despairing 
effort to turn Aeneas from his purpose. 

"Yet try for me this once : for only thee 
That perjur'd soul adores, to thee will show 
His secret thoughts; thou, when his seasons he. 
And where the man's accessible, dost know. 
Go, sister, meekly speak to the proud foe : 
I was not with the Greeks at Aulis sworn 
To raze the Trojan name, nor did I go 
Gainst Ilium with my fleet, neither have torn 
Anchises' ashes up from his profaned urn. 

" Why is he deaf to my entreaties ? whither 
So fast ? it is a lover's last desire 
That he would but forsake me in fair weather 
And a safe time. I do not now aspire 
To his broke wedlock-vow, neither require 
He should fair Latium and a sceptre leave. 
Poor time I beg, my passions to retire. 
Truce to my woe ; nor pardon, but reprieve. 
Till griefs, familiar grown, have taught me how 
to grieve." 

There are traces still left here of the Elizabethan 
rhetoric, and of the post-Elizabethan mannerism ; 
but both are becoming subdued and civilised, while 
still possessing the glowing colour and melodious 
phrasing of that great school of poetry. Just a 
little more, and Fanshawe would have attained 
what he and all his contemporaries were feeling 
after, the secret of a style which will never be 

Fanshawe's works have never been collected. So 


far as I am aware, none of them, except in brief 
extracts, have ever been reprinted since a garbled 
version of his ' Pastor Fido,' which was pnbHshed, 
together with the Itahan, in 172G. One conkl wish 
that this neglect were repaired. I have, I hope, 
shown reason for rescnins- them, both on their own 
account, and because of their value as documents 
illustrating the development of English poetry and 
poetical style. To promote an object like this would 
certainly fall within the scope of the objects for the 
promotion of which the Royal Society of Literature 
exists. We are honoured to-day by the presence in the 
Chair of the Master of St. John's. May I be per- 
mitted to urge before him that the University of 
Cambridge owes some pious duty to the memory of 
one of her distinguished sons, and one of her repre- 
sentatives in Parliament? "He had the fortune," 
say the ' Memoirs,' " to be the first chosen and the 
first returned Member of the Commons House of 
Parliament in England, after the King came home : 
and this cost him no more than a letter of thanks, 
and two braces of bucks, and twenty broad pieces of 
gold to buy them wine." The wine is long drunk, 
and Fanshawe long forgotten in Cambridge. But tlm 
University of Milton and Dryden, of Gray and Words- 
worth, of Byron and Tennyson , owes a very special debt 
to poetry, and Fanshawe was not only a scholar and 
statesman but a poet. On his monument in Ware 
Church, which is extant and in good preservation, 
among a long catalogue of the public offices which 
he filled, we read that he was literarum lace 
praestantissimus. The praise does not go beyond 
the exaggeration permissible in an epitaph, and the 


wordino- is liappy ; for whether m the arduous task 
of public service or in the quiet happiness of home, 
literature, and in literature, poetry, was from first to 
last the light of his life. 




[Read April 29th, 1908.] 

The memoirs published by scientific societies are 
blamed witli justice for being more difficult of com- 
preliension than need be, owing to a want of sim- 
plicity in their language, of clearness of expression, 
and of logical arrangement. Forcible remarks in 
this sense were publicly made, by more than one 
person, at and about the time of the last Anniversary 
Meeting of the Royal Society. This opinion had 
also been held by myself for many past years, during 
which I have chafed at the impediment caused by 
rugged and careless writing to my honest endeavour 
to keep abreast with the advances of modern science. 
Success in this, under the most favouraljle conditions, 
and in only one branch of science, would occupy the 
spare energies of most men. It is a cruel addition 
to their labours that the information they need 
should be contained in crabbedly written memoirs. 

It has been my lot to serve on the councils of 
many scientific societies, and to have had more 
MSS " referred '* to me than I could now enume- 
rate. My experience is that an undue proportion 
of them had to be read more than once, and to be 

VOL. XXVIil. 1^> 


puzzled over in parts, before it was possible to 
justly comprehend what their authors had in their 
minds to say. 

It must not be imagined for a moment that I pose 
as a literary critic. I am far too sensible of my 
own grave deficiencies to assume that position. But 
a man need not be a cobbler in order to know when 
his shoe pinches. ]\Iy standpoint is merely that I 
find many scientific memoirs difficult to understand, 
owing- to the bad style in which they are written, 
and that I am conscious of a rare relief when one of 
an opposite quality comes to my hand. 

Having become a Fellow of the Royal Society of 
Literature through the invitation of the Council, I 
seize the opportunity of asking its powerful help in 
considering methods by which this grave defect 
may be lessened. To this end, I will proffer some 
suggestions of my own, which I hope will be well 
discussed, and may induce others to assist in this 
crusade. If useful conclusions should be reached, 
it would be open to Fellows of scientific societies to 
press for reforms, under the consciousness that the 
proposed methods for obtaining them had been 
carefully considered, and were not simply the crude 
offspring of their individual brains. I ask for no- 
thing that lies outside of the purview of the Royal 
Society of Literature. It is not proposed by me that 
the Society in its corporate capacity should thrust 
advice upon the scientific societies, who might resent 
interference, but merely that it should discuss cer- 
tain general principles, leaving action upon them to 
other hands, in the way just described. 

I now proceed to speak of some of the literary 


defects, otlier than bad gTammar and fanlt}^ syntax, 
that make scientific memoirs difficult to understand. 
One of the most prominent is a superfluous use 
of technical expressions that have not yet become 
naturalised among scientific men. It is impossible 
to avoid the use of technical Avords, but their number 
should be minimised. It is especially needful to do 
so in the opening paragraphs of a memoir, whose 
function is to explain the object of the writer in the 
plainest possible language. If it be necessar}^ to 
use unfamiliar technical words, their meaning ought 
to be defined in a foot-note. The opening para- 
graphs of a memoir should be intelligible to any 
man who is conversant not only with the branch of 
science to which it belongs, but to allied branches 
also. A similar remark applies to the concluding 
paragraphs, in which the author summarises his 
results. The intending reader will then be able to 
judge for himself whether or no the memoir falls 
within his own province and merits his further study. 
Owing to a want of care in writing the opening 
paragraphs, it has not infrequently occurred to my- 
self, and doubtless to others, to have been perplexed 
about the exact purpose of a paper until it has been 
half read throue'h. 

Some veto is desirable before a Society gives its 
" imprimatur " to newly coined words, for many of 
them fail to express their meaning, and very many 
are unnecessarily cumbrous. The way in which the 
veto might be applied will be explained later on, I 
now am merely calling attention to its need. To take 
one example of bad nomenclature, the contrasted 
terminations of the two Mendeliau words " domi- 


nant " and " recessive " imply a distinction wliicli 
does not exist. Hecedent wonld have been nnob- 
jectionable on that ground. 

The nomenclature of modern chemistry seems 
preposterous to outsiders, even after making liberal 
allowance for inherent difficulties. I copy one of 
these chemical words from a paper now lying on my 
table, it is " Dimethylbutanetricarboxylate," and is 
not the longest that might have been adduced. But 
it suffices for an example. It is of course under- 
stood that these are wdiat have been termed " port- 
manteau " words, in which a great deal of meaning 
is packed, but they are overlarge even for port- 
manteaux; they might more justly be likened to 
Saratoga trunks, or to furniture vans. It is Avith 
the greatest diffidence that I suggest that a single 
letter might sometimes suffice to show what is now 
delegated to one or two syllables ; if so, the word 
would be shortened in proportion. In certain bar- 
barian languages this is a familiar process. 

Long English words and circuitous expressions 
are a nuisance to readers, and convey the idea that 
the writer had not that firm grasp of his subject 
which every one ought to have before he takes up 
his pen. Clear views are naturally expressed in 
brief and incisive language. The powder of the 
Eno-lisli tono'ue when limited to the use of words of 
one or two syllables is remarkably great. Excel- 
lent instances of this are to be found in the writings 
of Tennyson. I will quote some marvellously 
graphic descriptions from his Palace of Art, which 
refer to certain w^ell -known pictures, and are written 
under the above limitations. 


"One showed an iron coast and angry waves, 

You seemed to hear them rise and fall, 
And roar rock-thwarted in their bellowing caves — 

Beneath the windy wall. 
And one, a full-fed river winding slow, 

By herds upon an endless plain, 
The ragged rims of thunder brooding low. 

And shadow streaks of rain." 

There are about twenty gems like this in the 
Palace of Art. 

The to-and-fro arguments in the Tvo Voicrs are 
equally concentrated and forcible. 

" The memory of the withered leaf 
In endless time is scarce more brief 
Than of the garnered autumn sheaf. 
Go vexed spirit, sleep in trust ; 
The right ear that is filled with dust 
Hears little of the false or just." 

Or again — 

" Yea, said the voice, thy dream was good, 
While thou abodest in the bud, 
It was the stirring of the blood. 
If Nature put not forth her power, 
About the opening of the flower. 
Who is it that could live an hour ? 
Then comes the check, the change, the fall. 
Pain rises up, old pleasures pall. 
There is one remedy for all." 

Tlie comparative rarity among the English of a 
keen sense of the difference between good and bad 
literary style is a great obstacle to the reform I 
desire. It is especially noticeable among the 
younger scientific men, whose education has been 


over-specialised and little concerned with the 
" Humanities." The literary sense is far more 
developed in France, where a slovenly paper ranks 
with a disorderly dress, as a sign of low breeding. 

I have had occasion to read many memoirs in 
manuscript, on subjects where I was fairly at home, 
in which there Avas nothing especiall}^ recondite, 
but the expressions used in them were so obscure, 
the grammar so bad, and the arrangement so faulty, 
that they were scarcely intelligible on a first read- 
ing ; nevertheless the writers could hardly be made 
to perceive their shortcomings. I have heard 
equally bad reports relating to essays sent by can- 
didates for Fellowships at Colleges in one at least 
of our Universities. The writers of them may have 
been, and probably were, successful investigators, 
but their poAvers of literary exposition were of a 
sadly low order ; so low that they could hardly be 
made to realise their deficiencies. The preliminary 
culture of students in science, seems usually to have 
been very imperfect. 

Sufficient has now been said as to the need of 
reform and of the difficulties to be overcome in 
affecting it. It becomes our next duty to consider 
the steps that should be taken towards that end. 
The power of reform lies largely in the hands of 
the councils of the scientific societies, who can with- 
hold the publication of memoirs presented to them, 
or accept the memoirs under such limitations as 
they please. A Society gives much, consequently 
the Council who represents it has a right to exact 
much in return. The Society supplies a stage from 
which a writer can disseminate his views, and have 


tliem subjected to the criticism of experts. It defrays 
the cost of publication of the memoirs, and, under 
occasional circumstances, that of preparing expen- 
sive plates. Therefore the Society, or its Council 
on its behalf, may fairly demand that the memoirs 
should be written in a style that is creditable to their 
journals ; that they should be lucid, logical, and as 
easy for its members (who pay for the publication) 
to understand as the nature of the subject permits. 
I suggest that Councils should require a report on 
the literary sufficiency of every proffered memoir, 
before discussing wdiether it should be accepted for 
publication. It is hardly necessary to bring to 
remembrance that it is the universal practice of 
Councils of Scientific Societies to "refer" every 
memoir that is submitted to them. One, two, or 
more referees are selected among those of their 
Fellows who are able to give a trustworthy opinion 
on the merits of the paper. The referees are each 
supplied with a schedule on which numerous search- 
ing questions are printed, which the}" are requested 
to answer confidentially. Tlieir reports are read 
to the Council, Avhich then proceeds to discuss the 
question whether or no the memoir should be pub- 
lished as it stands, or subject to some restriction, 
or be rejected altogether. What I now suggest is 
that the printed reference paper should include 
questions as to the literary suitability of the memoir. 
They might l^e such as — " Do you consider the 
memoir to be (1) clearly expressed, (2) free from 
superfluous technical words, (3) orderly in arrange- 
ment, (4) of appropriate length. (5) State whether 
any new terms are used in the memoir, mention 


what tliey are and whether you consider tliem 
appropriate. (6) Add such general remarks on its 
literary style as you think would be useful to the 
Council when considering its publication." 

I do not presume to anticipate what action a 
Council might take if the answers to these questions 
were more or less unfavourable, as much would 
depend on other considerations. AVhat I want is 
that the members of the Council should not be left 
in the dark, as they usually now are, on one im- 
portant element of goodness or badness in the 
memoir, before they consider the question of its 
publication. Also that tlie}^ should appreciate the 
widely felt desire for literary reform. 

There is yet another way in which scientific 
societies might be made to realise the occurrence of 
literary faults in the memoirs that they publish, 
namely, by occasional articles containing a selec- 
tion of passages that are conspicuous for short- 

I now crave your opinions on tliese suggestions, 
and hope that you will be able to offer other re- 
commendations that may help in accom])lishing the 
very important object in view ; namely, that of 
improving the literary style of future Memoirs 
pu1)lished by Scientific Societies. 



Sir Edward 1>i;abrook. — I have pleasure in supporting 
the proposal of Mr. Francis Galton. I have had some 
experience, far less of course tlian his, as a referee o£ 
scientific MSS, and it fully accords with his. I associate 
myself, therefore, with liis observations as to the role the 
Royal Society of Literature should take up in this matter. 
It is within the rightful functions of the Society to take 
note of words that are not yet dictionary words, and see to 
their proper applications, but to do so would be a difficult 
matter. As Mr. Galton says, the chemists are greatly 
addicted to coining long words. The report of the Leicester 
meeting of the British Association just issued gives us a 
portmanteau word of thirty-five letters — " chloroketodi- 
methylteti-ahydrobenzene '" — and I have seen some worse 
than that. That, however, is not the main point. The 
use of difficult technical language cannot be avoided. 
What is wanted is to urge the authors of papers to write 
good English ; many of them sadly fail in this respect. 
Mr. Galton's suggestion as to the addition of a question to 
the referee paper is excellent. I think it would be quite 
the right thing for the Council to send a copy of his pjiper 
to the various scientific societies, and recommend that 
suggestion to them for adoption. I agree with the view 
expressed by a committee of the British Association, which 
might indeed itself have been put into better English, 
" that the opportunity furnished by the necessity for 
writing an account of what a student has done and seen 
in his laboratory work ought to be utilised in relation to 
the teaching of English composition." 

Sir Archibald Geikip:. — The complaints so forcibly and 
temperately urged by Mr. Galton in the paper to which we 
have listened will awaken much sympathy, not only in the 
general public, but among a large number of men of 
science. I do not appear here with a brief in defence of 
the scientific societies, though I think that some strong pleas 
might be pressed in their favour. Looking at the question, 
however, as a nuitter affecting the English language and 
literature, 1 am bound to confess that the strictures con- 
tained in the pa])er are by no means without foundation. 

VOL. XXVIIl. 11 


It seems to me tliut no candid reader can compare llie 
scientific memoirs published at the present day with those 
which appeared a hundred years ago, without coming to 
the conclusion that, in average literai*y quality, the modern 
writings stand decidedly on a lower level than their pre- 
decessors, and that the deterioration in this respect is on 
the increase, The earlier papers were for the most part 
conceived in a broader spirit, arranged more logically, and 
expi-essed in a better style than those of to-day. They 
show their authors to have been generally men of culture, 
who would have shrunk with horror from the slipshod 
language which is now so prevalent. 

If it be asked what reason can be assigned for this 
change, various causes may be suggested. In former days, 
when life was less strenuous than it has now become, 
the number of men of science was comparatively small, 
and they belonged in no small measure to the leisured 
classes of the community. They were not constantly 
haunted by the fear of losing their claims to priority of 
discovery, if they did not at once publish what they had 
discovered. They were content to wait, sometimes for 
years, before committing their papers to the press. And 
no doubt the printing of their papers was likewise a 
leisurely process, during which ample o})portunity was 
afforded for correction and improvement. 

But this quiet, old-fashioned procedure has been hustled 
out of existence by the more impatient habits and require- 
ments of the present day. The struggle for priority is 
almost as keen as the struggle for existence. As soon as 
a new observation is believed to have been made, the 
happy author of it too often dashes off a paper, in more or 
less legible manuscript, and forwards it without delay to 
some scientific society or journal for publication. In such 
hurried contributions attention to literary considerations 
finds little or no place. 

Besides this too common haste in production, another 
and more serious cause for the defects of which Mr. Galton 
complains is to be found in the continually augmenting 
specialisation of science. Advance in every department of 
inquiry leads into more and more detailed studies. It 
becomes increasingly difficult, even for men whose lives 
are devoted to the pursuit of science, to keep in touch with 
the progress of more than one province of investigation, 
or even one section of a province. Details thus come to 
acquire, in the eyes of many earnest and euthusiastic 


Avorkei's, an interest and importance at least as g-reat as 
can belong" to the broad deductions or principles up to 
Avliich they lead. These authors in their paternal fond- 
ness for the details which they have patiently and toil- 
somely elaborated, often crowd them into their papers, 
which consequently look sometimes more like leaves torn 
out of field note-books or laboratory journals than reasoned 
presentations of the results of research. It would probably 
he found that, as a rule, such excessive exposition of the 
details of the several stops in an inquiry is as unnecessary 
from the scientific point of view, as it is repellent from the 
literary side. 

Closely connected with this specialisation and augmenta- 
tion of detail is the increase in the number of new technical 
terms with which the papers in every department of science 
noAV bristle. The multiplication of such terms is ad- 
mittedly a necessary accompaniment of the development 
of scientific research. It is obvious that each new fact 
brought to light in the investigation of nature should be 
precisely defined by some word or phrase having a definite, 
unambiguous signification, and preferably capable of being- 
adopted with but slight modification into any modern lan- 
guage. The plea that the vernacular tongue should, where 
possible, be employed for this purpose is met with the 
objection that the language of science ought, as far as 
possible, to be cosmopolitan, and that those terms are most 
suitable which can be most easily adapted into the vocabu- 
lai'ies of other countries. Hence the preference for coining- 
new compounds from Greek and Latin. Lovers of the 
purity of the English language and the dignity of English 
literature may not unnaturally be grieved to see such a 
flood of novel and often, it must be confessed, uncouth 
words coming into use at a rate with which the most 
industrious lexicographers cannot keep pace. But the 
fiood is inevitable, and must increase in volume, nor is its 
gathering strength to be stemmed by any protest. All 
that, perhaps, may be reasonably insisted upon is that each 
new term shall be absolutely necessary, shall not be unduly 
cacophonous, and shall not be compounded from more 
than one language nor framed in defiance of the grammar 
of the tongue, whether living or dead, from which it is 

Many men of science share Mr. Galton's regret that it 
is becoming more and more difficult or even impossible to 
follow witii full intelligence and sympathy the advances 

124 SUGGESTIONS FOR 1:\I1M;0VIN(; the l.lTKl^MtY 

made in departments of investigation with which one is 
not personally in touch. The difficulty is probably 
inseparable from the rapidity of the increase of knowledge 
in all domains of nature. 15 ut there can be little doubt 
that it is in no small degree aggravated by the nuil- 
tiplication of technical terms which do not always 
explain themselves, and for which no explanation is 
afforded in the papers where they are so rampant. It is 
becoming every year a more accepted practice that in 
Avriting a scientific paper an author has only to consider 
the fraternity of his own branch of science. If his col- 
leao-ues understand him, it does not matter whether or 
not he is comprehended outside their circle. He forgets 
the interests not only of the general public but also of his 
fellow-labourers in other fields of research, many of whom 
would gladly keep themselves informed of the progress of 
inquiry" in departments lying beyond their own special 
purview, but who are, in too many instances, deterred by 
the formidable terminological barriers that must first be 
surmounted. The growing isolation of scientific workers 
within their own fields of investigation is an evil which 
may, perhaps, be inevitable, but which, undoubtedly, is 
much to be deplored. Anything which can be done to 
lessen it is worthy of the most serious consideration. Since 
the language of the biologists is becoming increasingly 
unintelligible to the physicists, and that of the physicists 
not less so to the biologists, Mr. Galton's suggestion might 
be usefully adopted, that where necessary or desirable a 
scientific paper should include a brief summary of its 
general purport expressed in simple untechnical language. 
Such a concession to the ignorance of the general reader 
would probably be welcomed by a large body of scientific 

It must not be supposed that scientific societies are 
wholly blind to the evils which have been pointed out in 
the interesting paper that has been read this afternoon. 
They are by no means negligent as to the form and style 
of the papers submitted to them. On the contrary, they 
have an elaborate system of committees and referees acting 
under the jurisdiction of the Councils, and no paper is 
sanctioned for publication without having been subjected 
to this process of examination. Moieover, the secretaries 
or assistant secretaries are usually vested with editorial 
powers, which are exercised as an additional control over 
the pi'oduction of the papers. If the original condition of 


some contributions were compared with their ultimate 
published form, it would be seen how much care has been 
bestowed upon their improvement. In more tlian one learned 
society attention has recently been called from the Presi- 
dential chair to the defective form in which papers are too 
frequently presented. We must hope that from these and 
other eiforts towards amelioration some good will follow. 
While in the publications of a scientific society literarj^ 
excellence will always be subordinated to scientific merit, 
there is surely no reason why the two qualities should not 
be more generally combined than they at present are. 
Such a combination will, perhaps, be most likely to be 
effected when the writers of scientific papers come to 
realise that it will be in their own interest, as well as in 
that of their scientific brethren at large, and still more of 
the outside public, to present such a summary of their 
work as may be intelligible, and even interesting, to any 
ordinary cultivated reader. 

Mr. Ceackanthorpe, K.C. (who was invited to speak by 
the chairman), said the most interesting remark he had to 
make was in regard to the health of the author of the 
paper just read by Mr. Pember. He had seen Mr. Galton 
that day, and had found him quite cheerful, but confined 
to his room. There was reason to believe that he would 
very soon be completely his old self, and able to resume 
the beneficent work to which he had devoted most of the 
years of his life. (Applause.) 

The first point made in Mr. Galton's paper was that a 
scientific memoir should be "simple in its language, clear 
in its expression, and logical in its arrangement." These 
were virtues which every prose composition should possess, 
whether written or spoken. They should be aimed at alike 
by the man of science and the layman ; by the learned and 
the unlearned ; by the leader-writer in the daily press ; 
and the orator on the platform. Schopenhauer had pointed 
out that the first requisite for the art of writing was to 
have something to say; and the second, to have clearly 
thought out the subject in hand. Then, what was called 
" literary style " would come of itself. There was an old 
French saying — "the style was the man." At all events, 
it was, or ought to be, an expression of the natural mood 
of the man at the moment of his writing:. 

Mr. Galton's next point was that a scientific memoir 
should not use unfamiliar technical words without ex]jlain- 


iiio- them in a foot-note, nor more of such words than was 
absolutely necessary. He (Mr. Crackantliorpe) ao-reed, 
although he thought the first of these cautions was rather 
vague. It might be asked, Unfamiliar to whom '' 'J'here 
were, for instance, many technical words which were un- 
familiar to him (the speaker), but no doubt quite familiar to 
Mr. Galton. Where was the line to be drawn ? One would 
hardly expect to lind in a scientific work a glossary of 
teimis such as an Englishman looked for in a collection of 
Burns' Poems. Every scientific writer was surely entitled 
to assume that his reader had some technical knowledge — 
otherwise his explanations would be endless. At the same 
time, if an explanation were given, care should be taken 
to make it adequate. He would illustrate what he meant 
by an example. Anyone taking up one of the numerous 
books on Heredity, now appearing in the British and 
German markets, would come across the word "chromo- 
some." He met the other day with this word in a very 
valuable treatise just published, "with stainable body" 
added by way of explanation. Was this ade([uate ? The 
white tablecloth, now in that room, Avas a "stainable body" 
(in the mechanical sense); and so were a hundred other 
everyday things. If any explanation was wanted, should 
not the reader have been told, either in a foot-note or an 
appendix, how colouring matter served to detect the pre- 
sence of minute particles of matter otherwise invisible even 
to the microscope-aided eye ? Then, the explanation would 
have been alive. 

He might mention by the way, that this same word 
"chromosome" violated one of the canons laid down in the 
paper. It was, like the " recessive " of the Mendelians, an 
instance of " bad nomenclature," because it was wrongly 
formed. The word should, in strictness, not have been 
"chromosome," but " chromatosome," since the Greek for 
"colour" was not cltromos but chroma. 

As to the second of Mr. Galton's cautions, viz. against 
the use of more technical words than necessai\y, he would 
illustrate the point by reference to the "idants" and 
" ids " of Weismann. It appeared that the nucleated 
masses into which a dividing cell broke up consisted of 
several parts. To these Weismann gave the names of 
" idants " ; and since " idants " were theoretically decom- 
posable into particles more minute, he gave to these last 
the name of "ids." One wondered why he stopped there. 
He should have gone on to subdivide his "ids" into 


" i's," and these again into mere dots, giving to each a 
technical name, thus recalling the old lines : 

" Big fleas have little fleas ixpon theii' backs to bite 'em. 
And these again have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum." 


In this connection he desired entirely to associate 
himself with what he understood to fall from Sir Archibald 
Geikie, and to protest against the employment of incom- 
prehensible terms to indicate things the existence of which 
was incapable of scientific proof. 

i\rr. Galton had, at the end of his papei-, suggested that 
the shortcomings of the writers of scientific memoirs might 
now and then be published as a warning to others. He 
(Mr. Crackanthorpe) could not help thinking that this 
would be rather hard measure^ even though no names were 
mentioned. He was quite sure that Mr. Galton himself, 
who was one of the most kind-hearted of men, would never 
lend himself to any such action. Would not his object be 
attained if the faulty memoir were returned to its author 
for revision, and this were, if necessary, repeated again 
and again until a flawless edition was reached ? Then, 
when the memoir came to be published by the learned 
society to which it was presented, there would be nothing 
to offend the most fastidious ear. 

Mr. E. H. Pember, K.C. — He sympathised fully with tlie 
motives which had prompted Mr. Galton's very suggestive 
paper. But he doubted Avhcther any drastic steps could 
be taken to bring about an improvement which everybody 
must desire. Indeed, what was asked for amounted to 
little less than a wide distribution of something approach- 
ing to literary genius among the writers of scientific papers. 
This might he encouraged, but it could not be compelled. 
It would be impossible to establish a direct literary censor- 
ship over productions which might be exti-emely valuable 
though extremely ill-written. The writers would resent it, 
and the discouragement, still more the rejection, of im- 
portant communications, would be too high a price to pay 
even for the luxury of a fine style. Indirect encourage- 
ment of good composition would be preferable to penalties 
upon bad. It was the desire, he hoped he might say that 
it was the intention, of the Royal Society of Literature, by 
])utting itself into communication with educational centres 
throughout the kingdom, and possibly by other methods. 


to do souietliiiig substantial in that direction. It was too 
true that the present standard of prose style was somewhat 
decadent. When one compared the twentieth with the 
eighteenth century, the condition of our own epoch left 
much to be desired. To mention only a very few names, 
Hume in History, Blackwood in Law, Bishop Jierkcley and 
Sir Thomas Browne in Philosophy, were all living proofs 
of the truth that profundity in thought and exactness in 
exposition were not only consistent with, but enhanced by, 
a clear and elegant style. In the nineteenth century 
Huxley, Darwin, Mill, and Mncaulay were all examples of 
the same healthy combination. He expressed an opinion 
that the banishment of the classical languages from general 
education was one source of the evil, and he trusted that 
something might bo done not only to retain, but to extend, 
the study of them. Meanwhile, towards the end desired, 
suasion, and not an aggressive censorsliip, must be 
acknowledged to be the working means. 

Mr. Pkrcy W. Ames, Secretary. — Mr. (jialtun has added 
one more to his many public services by calling attention to 
the need of improved literary form in the papers in which 
scientitic discoveries are presented to the Avorld. The prac- 
tical suggestions he has made would, if adopted, make a 
general and considerable step in this direction, and imme- 
diately secure one desii-able object. It is important that the 
Councils of the vai-ious societies should be informed whether 
the papers submitted for publication are clearly expressed, 
and so have the opportunity of rejecting or referring back 
those that are deficient in this respect, but unless a com- 
petent committee undertakes the laborious task of literary 
correction, iu some cases practically re-writing the memoir, 
such rejection may result occasionally in the loss of valu- 
able contributions. Sir Archibald Geikie has told us that 
in the Royal Society this report and correction are pro- 
vided for. Mr. Galton has invited discussion on ways and 
means for securing a better literary style for such memoirs 
in the future, and has referred to the necessity for moi-e 
adequate preliminary training, and on this point I venture 
to make aii observation. It would not be practicable to 
require students of science to follow the best plan for 
acquiring a good style of composition, namely, to obtain a 
first-hand acquaintance with the classics of English litera- 
ture, though such labour would bring its own reward. 
Time is short, the practical interrogation of Nature is 


absorbing ; we must not expect investigatoi's of physical 
phenomena to turn aside into the " quiet and still air/' as 
Milton called it, of literaiy study, however delightful, and 
it is not necessary. The object is not to seek the elegance 
of an Addison or a Euskin, still less the art of the poet, 
though something might be said in favour of imitating the 
attractive ease and simplicity of Chai-les Lamb, De Quincey, 
and Thackeray. The remedy I suggest as effective is not 
so foreign to the main purpose of the life-work of a niiui 
of science as the study of general English literature would 
be. It is simply to give more time and attention to the 
specific study of scientific method. Too often it is the 
case that the author of a badly written memoir is the 
" calculator of distances, or analyser of compounds, or 
labeller of species," and nothing more. Herbert Spencer 
claimed for the study of science that it exercises the 
memory with understanding, cultivates the judgment, con- 
tinually appeals to individual reason, develops independence 
of character, requires perseverance and self-renunciation, 
contributes sincerity, and gives moral, intellectual, and 
religious culture. 

All this is more than is wanted for the purpose in hand ; 
but that exactness of statement and that simplicity of ex- 
pression, which are desired, arise from clearness of thought 
and an orderly habit of mind, qualities which are developed 
by fidelity to the principles of scientific method. That 
these should be thoroughly understood by everyone en- 
gaged in scientific research will not be disputed, and they 
are best mastered by coming into close touch with the 
most eminent teachers through the works in which they 
have applied them. It should, I think, be made compulsory 
for every scientific student, irrespective of his specialty, 
to master one or more of the works of Darwin, Huxley, 
Tyndall, and Herbert Spencer. The discipline so aft'orded 
would soon reveal itself in more systematic thinking and 
in greater precision of expression. 

Mr. Emanuel Green, who presided in the unavoidable 
absence of the Earl of Halsbury, expressed the thanks of 
the meeting to Mr. Galton for his paper, and to Mr. 
Pember for reading it. 





[Read May 27tli, 1908.] 

The ordinary man associates the name of Plutarch 
wholly with his ' Lives.' Now Plutarch was a suffi- 
ciently sensible man to know that his ' Lives ' were 
very admirable works; but he would undoubtedly 
have considered his ' Moral Essays ' (which in bulk 
are almost as great as his 'Lives' — and that is saying 
a good deal) very much more worthy of attention. 
Morals were for him the end of everything. Poetry 
that does not tend to morality and conduct he held 
to be pernicious; and, similarly, history was to him 
Ijut a school of morals. The lives of the great men 
are so depicted as to afford a lesson. 

" It was for the sake of otliers (he says in his ' Life of 
Timoleou') that I first undertook to write biographies; hut 
I soon began to dwell upon and delight in them for myself, 
endeavouring, to the best of my ability, to regulate my 
own life, and to make it like those who were reflected in 
their history as it were in a mirror before me. . . . Thus, 
by our familiarity with history and the habit of Avriting it, 
we so train ourselves by constantly receiving into our 
minds the memorials of the great and good that, should 
anything base or vicious be placed in our way by the 
society into which we arc necessarily thrown, we reject it 



from our thoughts by fixing- them calmly and serenely on 
some of these great exemplars." 

The end of all Plutarch's writings then is morality, 
conduct. He is as naturally a moral mind as ever 
existed. But he has such charming simplicity, pic- 
turesqueness, and earnestness aliout his moralising 
and sermonising that he wins mysterious way 
through the sealed ear to which a more pretentious 
voice would be all but silence. As Joubert has said, 
with admirable felicity, " Plutarch in his Moral 
Essays is the Herodotus of philosophy." But before 
we come to his Essays, it will be necessary in the 
briefest possible manner to say something about the 
bare facts of his life — all the knowledge of which is 
derived from his own writings; for (as has been 
often said) the author of so many lives never found 
one to write his own. 

Plutarch was born about 50 a.d. in Chaeronea, a 
little town in the plain of Boeotia, about seventy 
miles from Athens. It is difficult to be sure of the 
size of the town, but I hardly think it could 
have numbered more than a few thousand inhabi- 
tants. He evidently belonged to the upper middle 
class (if I may so say), and appears to have been 
always possessed of independent means. He was 
educated at the University of Athens, and studied 
there under the celebrated teacher Ammonius. We 
gather from incidental remarks that he was once in 
Asia Minor, and that he visited Alexandria, but pro- 
bably he did not penetrate far into Egypt. He 
certainly visited Rome twice, perhaps oftener, and 
speaks of the city with enthusiasm as "the beautiful 


Rome." But most of liis life was spent in his little 
native town. There he married, reared his family, 
filled magistracies, was ever ready with advice and 
assistance to his fellow-citizens; and in the latter 
years of his life he became a high-priest of the 
Temple of Apollo at Delphi (about twenty miles 
from Chaeronea), and he died at an advanced age in 
the performance of the high functions belonging to 
that office. 

There is an interesting passage in the beginning 
of his ' Life of Demosthenes ' which has a very 
modern tone about it, and is perhaps worth (]Uoting. 

" It is commonly supposed (lie says) that the first thing 
necessary for a perfectly happy man is that he should be 
born a citizen of some famous city. But for my own part 
I believe that for the enjoyment of true happiness, which 
depends chiefly upon a man's own character and dispo- 
sition, it makes no diiference whether he be born in an 
obscure state or not. . . . However, when one is engaged 
in cumpihug a history froui materials wliich are not ready 
to his hand, but for the most part are to be found scattered 
througli foreign towns, it becomes really of the first im- 
portance that lie should live in some famous, cultivated, 
and populous city, where he can have unlimited access to 
books of all kinds. . . . Now I, who belong to a small 
city, and love to live in it lest it should become even 
smaller — when I was in Rome and during my travels in 
Italy, found my time so taken up with political business 
and the care of my pupils in philosophy that I had no 
leisure to learn the Roman language, and have only applied 
myself to Latin literature late in life. In this reading of 
Latin books, strange as it may seem, I did not find that 
the words assisted me to discover the meaning-, but rather 
that the knowledge of the historv enabled me to find out 
the meaning" of the words.'' 


And then he goes on to say that to know Latin 
would be both useful and mterestmg, but that he 
was too old to learn. So the result is that he rarely 
mentions any of the great Latin writers, never 
Virgil or Ovid, once Horace, hardly ever Cicero's 
philosophical works, and only once or twice Seneca. 
As to what his political lousiness in Rome was we 
cannot feel sure — prol^ably some embassy to the 
Emperor for some privilege for his city. While at 
Rome he delivered lectures on philosophy (of course, 
in Greek ; most cultivated Romans knew Greek), and 
in his treatise on ' Curiosity ' he gives us a glimpse 
of one of these lectures, which introduces the name 
of a man wdio played an ardent and impulsive part 
in the impressive scene with which the ' Annals ' of 
Tacitus (such as we have them) conclude. Telling 
us not to rush to the postman, seize the letters, and 
violently open them, breaking the string with our 
teeth, Plutarch continues (c. 15) : 

" When 1 was, on one occasion, lecturing in Rome among 
my audience was the well-known Arulenus Rnsticus, 
whom the Emperor Doniitian afterwards liad put to death 
through envy of his glory, and an imperiid orderly came 
in during the discourse and brought him a letter from the 
Emperor. I made some pause that he might have time to 
read his letter, but he would not do so, and he did not 
open it until I had finished my lecture and the audience 
had dispersed, so that all admired the gravity of the 

These lectures which Plutarch delivered at Rome, 
Chaeronea, and doubtless elsewhere, he worked up 
into his ' Moral Essays,' which we now have, and from 


which we can discern Plutarch's ideas on life o'ene- 
rally. Snch discourses were virtually the sermons of 
the ancient world. Their aim was the same as our 
sermons — improvement and guidance in conduct — 
though, perhaps, they appealed to a wider range of 
interests than the sermons of to-day, just as the 
word " philosophy," which Plutarch so often uses, 
meant, in his time, not merely speculation but a rule 
of life. I shall then attempt to set forth some of 
Plutarch's views as to the various kinds of duties 
which are incumbent on us to perform, our duties 
to our family, to our fellow-citizens, and to the 
Author of the great City of the Woi-ld of which we 
are members, and of the various ways in which we 
may best obtain power to perform them. 


iSFever was there anyone who was more of a family 
man than Plutarch. The ordinary Greek of the 
classical period regarded his wife as a sort of house- 
keeper, and his home as a kind of lodging, and in 
Plato's ' Republic ' the family is only a sort of 
adjunct of the State, a nursery supplying members 
to it. But to Plutarch the family should be the 
centre of a man's life, and it will l)c of some value, 
perhaps, to endeavour to see how Plutarch regarded 
the various members of the household in order that 
we may appreciate what an ordinary, middle-class, 
non-Christian family was in the first century of our 
era. In reading the historians of the early Empire 
and also the satirists we are lead to suppose that 


the stature to wlncli vice and Avickedness liad grown 
was colossal. But satirists are never too particular 
to express the actual truth of things without 
exao-fferation, and the historians are, for the most 
part, advocates wdio wish to represent the Empire 
in a bad light, so their evidence is to be discounted. 
But from wdiat we can gather about Plutarcli's 
family we may safely say that there are few house- 
holds even of the present day wdiich can lay claim 
to a larger measure of gracefulness, virtue, and 
mutual affection. 

Plutarch married a good woman, and had several 
children — after many sons at length one little girl. 
But she died when only two years old. Plutarch 
was absent on State business when this occurred, 
and wrote on the occasion a letter to his wife, wdiich, 
even allowing that it may have been afterwards 
prepared for publication, is one of the most tender 
and touching relics of ancient literature : 

" Let us be patient, my dear wife (he says, c. 2), at this 
calamity. I know how deep your trouble is, for my heart 
is not of flint, as you well know who have shared with me 
in the bringing up of so many children, who have been 
educated at home by ourselves. I know you loved this 
little one dearly, for you longed for a daughter, and so I 
gave her your own name. And as you are so fond of 
children your grief must be peculiarly bitter when you call 
to mind her pure and simple gaiety, which was wholly free 
from peevishness or passion. For she had a wonderful 
contentedness and quietness, and her affectionate and 
winning ways not only pleased us but showed us the kind- 
liness of her heart. For she used to bid the nurse give 
her breast not only to other children but to her playthings, 
and so invited them, as it were, to her table and gave them 


a sliai'e in her good things, and provided tlio best enter- 
tainment for those that pleased her." 

Plutarch then goes on to deprecate any excess of 
grief, any turbulent storms of sorrow, though he 
feels confident that there will be none such ; for he 
says (c. 5) — 

" Yon have already on similar occasions exhibited great 
fortitude, as when you lost your eldest son, and again 
when our handsome boy Chaeron died." 

And taking a loftier tone he reminds her how they 
have been initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries, 
and there learned how that our souls are immortal ; 
and (as we may infer) from the lessons there taught 
they learned too that the soul at birth was im- 
prisoned in the body, and accordingly that it is no 
small fortune to die young (c. 10). 

"For just as if anyone put out a light he can kindle it 
again readily and make it burn up brightly if he applies 
the spark soon, so the soul that has sojourned only a short 
time in this dark and mortal life quickly recovers the light 
and blaze of its former bright life; whereas for those who 
have not had the good fortune " very speedily to pass the 
gates of Hades " nothing is developed save a great passion 
for this life, and the soul is softened by its contact with 
the body, and melts away as by poison." 

We are of course familiar with this idea of the 
pre-existence of the soul, its imprisonment in the 
body, and the gradual disappearance of the vision 
and the faculty divine, from Wordsworth's great 


" Heaven lies about ns in our infancy : 
Shades of the prison house begin to close 

Upon the growing hcnj, 
But he beholds the light and whence it flows, 

He sees it in his joy. 
The youth, who daily farther from the East 

Must travel, still is Nature's priest, 

And by the vision splendid 

Is on his way attended : 
At length the man perceives it die away 
And fade into the light of common day." 

No one could write such a letter without loving 
liis wife dearly ; and Plutarch in liis very eloquent 
' Essay on Love ' sets beyond yea or nay how deeply 
and fervently he felt the ennobling emotion (c. 21, 


" In that marriage which Love has inspired there is no 
mine or thine, for the proverb 'The property of Friends 
is common' is especially true of married persons who 
though separate in body draw together and melt into one 
in soul, neither wishing nor thinking themselves to be two. 
And in Love there is such continence and orderliness and 
truthfuhiess that if the god of Love once enter the soul of 
a licentious man it makes him turn away from all his 
errant fancies, driving away his pride and breaking down 
his haughtiness and stubbornness, and implanting in him 
modesty and silence and quietness and orderly demeanour, 
and makes him constant to one." 

Presently follows the stately image — 

" For as at Rome when a Dictator is appointed all 
other magistrates lay down their offices, so those in whom 
Love dwelleth as their lord are freed from all other 
masters and rulers, and they live as dedicated to the God 
and subject to his service, . . . It is absurd to say 
that women possess no virtue. Well known is their self- 


restraint and intelligence, their faithfulness and sense of 
justice, the many occasions on which they have signally 
shown their bravery, courage, and magnanimity. . . 
And I maintain that the love of beautiful and chaste 
wives does not fade when grey hairs and wrinkles come, 
but lasts right on even to the gates of the tomb." 

Words not unworthy to stand beside those of our 
own poet. 

" Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks 
Within his bending sickle's compass come : 
Lover alters not with his brief hours and weeks, 
But bears it out even to the edge of doom." 

Such then is the firm foundation on wliich family 
life rests according to Plutarch — the soul as it were 
of the organism. I use the illustration advisedly ; 
for he was deeply convinced of the solidarity, the 
organic connection of the members of the family 
and of the State. The language of the Epistle to 
the Romans that we are severally members of one 
great body Avould not have appeared strange to 
Plutarch. Accordingly we should treat the mem- 
bers of the family and of the State as part of our- 
selves, yielding to one another, in all things endea- 
vouring to soften differences, not to aggravate them. 
Such is especially the gist of the treatise ' On 
Brotherly Love ' ; for Plutarch well knew the causes 
which led to dissensions in a family, and strenuously 
inculcated the spirit of compromise in that as in all 
other departments of life. He is insistent on the 
desirability of composing family quarrels within the 
family, just as we shall see he insists on the desira- 
bility of settling municipal differences within the 


municipality and not appealing to external authority. 
If one brother should say of another with whom he 
had quarrelled that it made little difference, because 
he could get a friend outside who would be as good, 
that remark would he as absurd (says Plutarch [c. 3] 
with a touch of humour) as if he should say that it was 
no harm to cut off his leg, because he could get a 
wooden one. There are many other just remarks in 
that treatise ' On Brotherly Love,' a trifle homely, 
perhaps, but suggestive. Let me mention one. 
AYhen you and your brother are having a quarrel 
which is ])ecoming aggravated, go and talk the 
matter over with the ladies of the family, especially 
your brother's wife. Plutarch, like a physician of 
the soul, recommends this as a valuable specific — 
though we confess to having some doubts as to 
whether it would be always very efficacious. 

We pass to the servants of the family — and I say 
"servants" of set purpose; for, though in the eyes 
of the law they were still "slaves," " live chattels " 
(to use Aristotle's harsh phrase), and the law could 
still tolerate and even perpetrate some of the horrors 
we read in Tacitus and Juvenal, still the lot of slaves 
generally had been so ameliorated and the better 
public opinion had so fully recognised their human 
nature that they were, as a general rule, looked on 
w4th the same kindly feelings as servants are 
regarded to-day. The Stoics were loud in proclaim- 
ing the common brotherhood of slaves and masters ; 
and Seneca thinks that the more excellent of them 
should be treated in all respects as your equal and 
dine at your table. But there is something over- 
strained in this, as there is in so much of Stoicism. 


It was not exactly suited to everyday life that you 
should ask your servant to dine with you. You 
might like it well enough, but he would hate it. 
Plutarch recognised the social distinction, but recog- 
nised also the claims of faithful service, and the 
affectionate regard that such faithfulness demands. 
To act as did old Cato, that terrible man of business, 
who, like some men of business, took a positive 
pleasure in flaunting his meannesses, and turn out 
an old and trusted slave when past his labour as you 
might throw away an old pair of shoes (the image 
is Plutarch's) was to him the mark of an excessively 
harsh disposition which disregarded the claims of 
our common human nature : for 

" Kindness" (as Plutarch says finely in his 'Life of Cato, 
c. 5) " is of wider application than justice, for we naturally 
treat men alone according to justice and the laws, while 
kindness and gratitude, as though from a plenteous spring, 
often extend to the lower animals. It is right for a good 
man to feed his horses which have been worn out in his 
service, and not merely to train dogs when they are young 

but to take care of them when they are old We 

ought not to treat living things as we do our clothes and 
shoes and throw them away after we have worn them out : 
but we ought to accustom ourselves to show kindness in 
these cases if only in order to teach ourselves our duty 
towards one another. For my own part I would not even 
sell an ox that had laboured for me because he was old, 
much less would I turn an old man out of his accustomed 
haunts and mode of life (which is as great an affliction to 
him as sending him into a foreign land) merely that I might 
o-ain a few miserable coins by selling one who nnist he as 
useless to his buyer as ho was to the seller." 


This passage lias shown Plutarch's kind heart not 
only to slaves, but to the lowest members of the 
household, the domestic animals. A charming essay 
might be written on Plutarch as a lover of animals. 
He is the La Fontaine of antiquity in this respect, 
as M. Greard says. He delights to adduce examples 
of intelligence and affection shown by animals, and 
he has devoted some treatises to developing the view 
that animals are in intelligence and affection but 
rudimentary men. One has an amusing setting. It 
represents Ulj'sses, having failed to persuade Circe 
to turn the Greeks at least back into men, condoling 
with one Gryllus or Grunter, who had been turned 
into a pig. Grunter does not want to be turned 
back into a man ; he has experienced both sides of 
the matter. Ulysses waxes wroth, like the Friend 
of Humanity against the Needy Knife Grinder. " 
King of the Cephallenians," says Grunter with 
lordly politeness, " If you are prepared to engage in 
conversation with me and not in abuse," I shall prove 
to you that pigs lead a more simple, a more happy, 
and perhaps as useful a life as that of many men :* 
and so he does with considerable learnino- and wit, 
and with a somewhat liofhter touch that Swift mio-ht 
have used. 

Two other Essays, they seem to me like school 
exercises, ' Concerning Eating Meat,' are, on the 
whole, w^ortli reading, especially the second, which 
is not devoid of eloquence. I should recommend it 
to veo-etarians. Not that Plutarch was a veg-etarian : 
for a man who exercised his mind as much as 
Plutarch did on giving successful dinner-parties was 

* This is somewhat expainled. 


not likely to be a vegetarian : but lie appears to 
have felt that we should be most simple in the meat 
we eat, and any such luxury as costly fish or putes 
de foie gras is censured with severity. So, too, 
killing for mere sport. But let me read you Plutarch's 
own words in the quaint but touching language 
of old Holland (' De Sollertia Animalium,' c. 8). 

"Neither do they any wrong who make use of dogs to 
keep their flocks of goats and sheep : nor they who milk 
goats and sheep and shear their fleeces for tlie wool, espe- 
cially if they give them pasturage : for it cannot be said 
that men cannot live or that their life is utterly undone if 
they have not their platters of fish or their livers of geese, 
or if they cut not beevs and goats into pieces for to serve 
up at their feasts : or if for their idle disport in theatres or 
to take their pleasure in chase they put not some to the 
combat and force them to fight whether they will or no : 
and kill others which have no defence of their own, nor 
any means to make resistance : for he who needs Avill have 
his delights and pastimes ought in all reason (as I think) 
to make himself merry and share his heart with those that 
can play and disport together with him : and not to do (as 
Bion said) like tQ little children, Avho joy at throwing 
stones at frogs, and make a game of it; meanwhile the 
poor frogs have no pleasure in this their game, for they 
are sure to die for it in good earnest: even so we are not 
either to hunt or fish for any delight that we have in the 
pain, and much less in the death of other creatures : no 
more to take a pleasure in driving or taking them away 
from their whelps and young ones, a pittiful sight to 
behold: for they be not they that commit injustice, Avho 
use beasts, but such as misuse them unmercifull}' and 
cruelly, without any respect and commiseration." 

Such, then, were Plutarch's kindly and considerate 
views towards his whole household : and we must 


needs believe that there were in Greece many other 
families where similar views prevailed, where there 
was the same respectability, the same good-hearted- 
ness, the same simplicity, tenderness, aye, and the 
same mutual affection. So that Ave nmst not take 
too literally, at least as far as ordinary morality was 
concerned, the sweeping assertions occasionally made 
that the whole Pagan world was in the power of the 
Evil One. 

Before we leave Plutarch as a family man I 
must say a word about the social side of his life, 
and especially on his entertainments. He has a 
most interminable amount of treatises on what he 
calls ' Symposiaca,' matters relating to dinner- 
parties. It was the (juestion of educing intelligent 
and instructive conversation which especially in- 
terested him, and he took it very seriously indeed. 
With a mild apology he compares the work of a 
host arranging his dinner-table to that of the Divine 
Architect arranging things out of chaos : but he 
makes no apology at all for quoting a remark attri- 
buted to Aemilius Paulus, the concpieror of Mace- 
donia, that it was the part of the same man to 
arrange a most terrible line of battle and a most 
delightful feast. In fact, giving a dinner-party is a 
branch of strategy. Let me (juote a passage which 
sounds curiously, but yet is not without a certain 
amount of good sense : for there is little doubt that 
less attention is generally paid than it deserves to 
this matter of arrangement (' Symposiaca,' 1, 2, 6) : 

"I advise an entertainer (says Plutarch) not to set 
the rich beside the rich, or the young beside the 
young, or the magistrate beside his colleague, or two 


intimates together : for if so the conversation will have 
no general activity, nor will it tend to the creating and 
development of good feeling : but rather set the eager 
learner beside the distinguished scholar, the benign beside 
the peevish, the youth who likes listening beside the vain 
old talker, the reserved beside the boaster, the silent beside 
the impulsive. . . . But don't put a sophist beside a sophist, 
or a poet beside a poet : separate too the captious and the 
litigious, inserting some sort of a buffer {/LutXayim) between 
them. Whereas I should put an athlete beside an athlete, 
and bring sportsmen and farmers together : . . . and I 
should put a lover beside a lover, provided, by Zeus, that 
the object of their love is not the same."'^ 

The topics of conversation are also dealt with 
at abnormal length, and whole discussions given. 
Many of them are subjects well suited for cultivated 
conversation, e.g. Is wrestling the oldest form of 
contest ? (a natural subject when we consider how 
devoted the Grreeks were to athletics). Why do the 
Jews abstain from the flesh of swine ? What is the 
nature of the God of the Jews ? (in which Plutarch 
shows a most strange ignorance). Why do we 
like to see emotions exhibited in acting rather than 
in reality? But some are certainly sufficiently 
strange, c. g. Why is A the first letter of the alpha- 
bet? (I am unable to find that Plutarch discussed 
the question why a horse has four legs). Should 
philosophers wear garlands at a feast? Why 
meat has a tendency to putrefy sooner in moon- 
light than in sunlight? Why are we more 
voracious at the end of autumn ? (a truly wonderful 
enquiry: I wonder arc Ave?). And that most 
ancient and venerable problem : AVhich comes first, 

* This passage is quoted by Dr. Mahaffy in his ' Greek World under 
Koman Sway/ p. 337, and his translation is mainly adopted. 


the hon or the egg ? But, reall}^ 1 must not weary 
you with these matters ; but as the ' Symposiaca ' 
comprise about one seventh of the ' Moralia,' I did 
not think that they should be wdiolly omitted. 

Before leaving Plutarch's family finally, perhaps 
a digression may be pardoned, suggested by the 
preface to M. Greard's book. In a treatise, of wliich 
I shall have to speak of later, ' On those who are 
punished by the Deity late,' Plutarch, in empha- 
sisino- the oro-anic connection of families and nations, 
and in attempting to justify the Avays of God to 
man in visiting the sins of the fathers upon the 
children unto the third and fourth generation, is 
careful to point out the other side of the picture, 
that God rewards the virtues of the fathers on the 
children unto the third and fourth generation also : 
and it was so with Plutarch, and in a somewhat 
interesting way. 

In the year 161, about forty years after Plutarch's 
death, the dream of Plato, " when philosophers shall 
1)6 kings and kings philosophers," was realised, and 
an undoubted philosopher, Marcus Aurelius, obtained 
the governance of the Empire which stretched from 
Scotland to the Sahara, and from the Atlantic to 
the Euphrates. No doubt most of you are acquainted 
with the little book of Meditations which that over- 
Ijurdened and lonely man addressed to his own soul. 
You know that the book opens with a few^ para- 
graphs of thanks to those to whom the Emperor 
felt he Avas specially indebted. In that acknowledg- 
ment there is no word of gratitude (as Mr. Myers 
has remarked) for the Emperor Hadrian, who virtu- 
allv frave him all the kingdoms of the world and the 


glory of them ; but among the few to whom, in liis 
simple way, he returns thanks is a comparatively 
obscure personage, one Sextus of Chaeronea. Now, 
this Sextus of Chaeronea was Plutarch's grandson 
(or nephew : the Latin word nepos leaves it doul)t- 
ful). Let us see what it was that the Emperor 
considered that he owed to him (I adopt Mr. Long's 

" From Sextus I learned a benevolent disposition and 
the example of a family governed in a fatherly way, and the 
idea of living conformably to nature, and gravity without 
affectation, and to look carefully after the interests of 
friends, and to tolerate ignorant persons and those who 
form opinions without consideration. He had the power 
of readily accommodating himself to all, so that intercourse 
with him was more agreeable than any flattery, and at the 
same time he was most highly venerated by those who 
associated with him, and he had the faculty both of dis- 
covering and ordering, in an intelligent and methodical 
way, the principles necessary for life, and he never showed 
anger or any other passion, but was entirely free from 
passion and also most affectionate ; and he could express 
approbation without noisy display and he possessed much 
knowledge without ostentation." 

Here is almost a re-appearance of Plutarch, the 
portrait is well-nigh complete. And it does not 
take any great effort of imagination on our part to 
picture the simple and useful family life continuing 
in the little town from father to son, until was 
fulfilled for Plutarch's grandson what Plutarch 
himself would have regarded as the highest reward 
for which anyone might hope. He wrote a treatise 
himself on ' How a Philosopher should Consort Avith 
Princes,' and rightly considered that the utmost 



efforts should be made by opportunity and tact to 
bring about such intercourse. So that, even in the 
Elysian Fields, Plutarch must have felt a thrill of 
pleasure that his grandson was able, not, indeed, to 
shape the whisper of a throne, but (what is far 
greater) to inform the mind, and earn the gratitude 
of one of the best of princes, and one of the noblest 
of men. 


I have mentioned before the simple and good 
remark of Plutarch's that he was unwilling to leave 
his little native town lest he should make it smaller 
by a single man. This spirit urged him to take his 
full share in the public life of the town. He held 
small offices, and finally obtained the best that the 
little place had to give, and became its archon or 
mayor. This public spirit he is constantly incul- 
cating in others. The Epicureans and their doctrine 
of " Live hidden," he indignantly rebuked. " If you 
really wanted to live hidden," he would say, with a 
fair attempt at humour, " why didn't you do so, and 
not come before the world admonishing it ? " But he 
speaks a higher language. Life (he holds) is a 
struggle, and he who carries through that struggle 
faithfully to the end shall not miss his reward, and 
I make no excuse for quoting to you (again in the 
stately diffusiveness of old Holland) in this connec- 
tion the grand passage from the treatise entitled, 
' No Pleasant Life according to Epicurus,' one of 
the finest in the whole range of Plutarch's writings. 


" In summe these men do limit, set out and circum- 
scribe the greatnesse of humane pleasure within the com- 
passe o£ the belly, as it were within center and circum- 
ference : but surely impossible it is that they should ever 
have their part of any groat, royal or maguifical joy, such 
as indeed causeth magnanimity and hautinesse of courage, 
bringeth glorious honour abroad, or tranquillity of spirit 
at home, who have made choice of a close and private life 
within doors, never shewing themselves in the world, nor 
medling with the publick affairs of Common-Aveale : a life 
(I say) sequestred from all offices of humanity, far removed 
from any instinct of honour, or desire to gratifie others, 
thereby to deserve thanks or win favour. For the soul (I 
may tell you) is no base and small thing, it is not vile and 
illiberal, extending her desires onely to that which is good 
to be eaten, as do these poulps or pourcuttle fishes which 
stretch their cleies as far as to their meat and no farther : 
for such appetites as these are most quickl}' cut off with 
satiety and filled in a moment : but when the motions and 
desires of the mind tending to virtue and honesty, to 
honour also and contentment of conscience, upon vertuous 
deeds and well doing, are once grown to their vigour and 
perfection, they have not for their limit the length and 
tearm only of mans life : but surely the desire of honour, 
and the affection to profit the society of men, compre- 
hending all eternity, striveth still to go forward in such 
actions and beneficial deeds as yeeld infinite pleasures 
that cannot be expressed : which joies great personages 
and men of worth cannot shake off and avoid though they 
would : for flie they from them what they can, yet they 
environ them about on every side, they are ready to meet 
them whersoever they go, when as by their beneficence 
and good deeds they have once refreshed and cheered 
many other : for of such persons may well this verse be 
verified — 

To town when that he comes or there doth walk 
Men him behold as God, and so do talk. 


Surely no better defence of public spirit, within 
the limits of Pagan motives, could possibly be given 
than this that the man gains the love and respect of 
his fellows, even though he seeks it not. 

But Plutarch w^as under no illusions as to the 
limits of the sphere of political activit3\ The 
Roman Peace, with its marvellous organisation, had 
its advantages, advantages far outweighing the dis- 
advantages of unlimited freedom in Greece. We 
know that Nero gave what was called "freedom" 
to the Greeks during his visit to the country at the 
end of his reign. It was on\j, of course, at most a 
lessening of the strictness of supervision by the 
Roman governors : l)ut it led to some outbreaks and 
disorders and the so-called " freedom " was taken 
away by the sober and unimaginative, but practical 
Vespasian. The Greeks, he said, with a lofty 
Roman note of contempt, have ceased to understand 
the meaning of freedom. The constant sujoervision 
of the governors was ever intensified by the way the 
politicians in the various towns repeatedly applied 
to them on the most trivial matters. Plutarch knew 
full well that there was no escaping from the Roman 
yoke, that it was necessary and wise, too, to keep on 
good terms with the Roman government, to make 
important and honourable friends among the Roman 
magnates ; but, at the same time, that it was in the 
highest degree right to use to the full every vestige 
of municipal liberty that had been granted them, 
and that on every ground; "yet there be many," 
says Plutarch with true patriotism, " who lay open 
the secret dissensions of their own city at the gates 
of advocates and put their cases into the hands of 


lawyers (at Rome) with no less shame and ignominy 
than loss and damage " (' Praecepta reip. gerendae,' 
c. 19). 

Within the limits of his own city the politician 
mnst take a high view of his duties. The work is 
to be regarded as a public obligation ; and it is 
almost superfluous to say that Plutarch rejects with 
scorn the idea that anything like pecuniary advan- 
tage should be derived from the exercise of pu])lic 
functions. Making money out of the community by 
a politician is a species of sacrilege (ib., c. 26). 

" Certain temples there be (again I quote Plutarch, 
speaking tlirough the mouth of Holland) into which 
whosoever did enter must leave without doors all the gold 
that they had about them. . . . Considering therefore that 
the tribunal and judicial seat of justice is the Temple of 
Jupiter surnamed the Counsellor and Patron of Cities, of 
Themis also and Dice, that is to say equity and justice : 
before ever thou set foot to mount up into it, presently rid 
and clear thy soul of all avarice and covetousnesse of 
money, as if it were iron, aud a very malady full of rust, 
and throw it far from thee into the merchants' hall, into 
the shops of tradesmen, occupiers, banquers, and usurers, 

As for thy seife 
Flie from such pelfe, 

shun it I say, as far off as you can, and make this reckon- 
ing-, that whosoever enricheth himselfe by the managing of 
the coramon-weale is a church-robber, committing sacri- 
ledge in the highest degree, robbing temples, stealing out 
of the sepulchres of the dead, picking the coffers of his 
friends, making himself rich by ti-eachery, treason, and 
false-witnesse : think him to be an untrusty and faithlcsse 
counsellor, a perjured judge, a corrupt magistrate, and 
full of bribery : in one word polluted and defiled with all 
wickednesse, and not clear of any sin whatsoever that may 


be committed ; and therefore I shall not need to speak 
more of this point." 

No, indeed : I doubt if he could add to that. But 
Plutarch may be asked, " Is a statesman to have no 
reward ?" and he will answer, " Yes, but an honour- 
able one." But no image or statue even : yet, per- 
haps, as in the sacred games wherein the prize is 
not mone}' but a simple crown, he may receive some 
simple token of his countr^^'s love, some branch say 
of laurel or olive, " Like as Epimenides who received 
one branch of the sacred laurel growing in the 
Castle of Athens because he had cleansed and puri- 
fied the city : and Anaxagoras, refusing all other 
honours which the people would have ordained for 
him, demanded only that upon the day of his death 
the children might have leave to phiy and not go to 
school all that day long " (c. 27). 


But Plutarch w^as something else in his town 
besides a municipal magistrate : he was also (if we 
may so say) the parochial clergyman, the director 
of the citizen's conscience, and the guide and 
physician of then^ souls. We must remember to 
draw a distinction between two kinds of lecturers 
in the first century — on the one hand the Sophists, 
whose aim was to interest a little perhaps, but more 
especially to please, to astonish, to dazzle. Different 
were the Philosophers. Their aim was to teach and 
to improve morally — their discourses were directed 
to the same end as our sermons. Of course. Philo- 
sophers often became famous beyond their own 
town, and occasionally lived permanently in no 


town at all, but were itinerant preachers. Some 
who lived generally in one town discoursed occa- 
sionally in large centres and even in Rome, just as 
at times a country clergyman is asked to preach in 
Westminster Abbey. Such was Plutarch. I have 
alluded to his discourses at Rome : but the best 
efforts of his life in this respect were devoted to his 
little country. He appears to have been ever ready 
to hear difficulties, to comfort the afflicted, to advise 
the erring, and to lend a sympathetic ear to any 
trouble that might be brought before him. We 
have several of the discourses which he delivered at 
Chaeronea and elsewhere on Talkativeness, Curiosity, 
Shyness, Anger, Contentedness, Friendship, and 
such like ; and they are distinctly interesting and 
suggestive. For Plutarch was heir to all the ages 
of Grreek thought and history, and, with his mar- 
vellous memory, he was always able to produce 
happy illustrations and apposite stories to enforce 
his precepts. The precepts, indeed, are not very 
original ; but wliy should they be ? how could they 
be ? The ordinary faults of mankind have been 
from the beginning, and the methods of cure have 
been from the beginning also — we know them all, 
if we could only follow them. But Plutarch escapes 
from commonplace and platitude in large measure 
by the personal character of his remarks, by the 
wealth of his illustrations, which always interest, 
and the direct application to the circumstances of 
the case. His discourses are replete with felicitous 
images and very tolerable stories. Let me give a 
specimen or two : 


In the treatise on ' Talkativeness ' lie declares 
that this is one of the hardest of all fanlts to cnre. 
Why ? Because the Talker ^\\\l never listen to you. 
Again: — "No spoken word (he says) has done so 
much good as many unspoken ones. For at some 
future day we can give utterance if we like to what 
has not been said : but a word once spoken cannot 
1)e recalled, but flics about and runs all round the 
w^orld. And this is the reason, 1 take it, why men 
teach us to speak, but the yocLs teach us to be silent, 
silence being enjoined on us in the mysteries and in 
all religious rites" (c. 8). 

Again : — " Barbers, you know (says Plutarch), are 
a talkative race. (We think of Nello in ' Romola.') 
It was a witty answer, then, of King Archelaus, 
when a talkative barber put the towel round his 
neck and asked him ' How shall I shave you. King ? ' 
' Silently,' said the monarch " (c. 13). 

Again, this story, though it is very familiar : — 
The Roman Senate had been holding private meet- 
ino's for some time, and one of the Senator's wives, 


an excellent woman, but very curious, entreated her 
husband to tell her what they w^ere deliberating 
about. After much importuning he told her that a 
prodigy had occurred which portended disaster, a 
lark had been seen flying armed with a spear and 
a helmet : but mind, you must tell no one. Having 
some business to do in town before attending the 
Senate he went away : and to the first maid that 
came in the lady told the story, but enjoined the 
maid to say nothing about it. The maid, of course, 
went out and at once told the cook — (who, as 
Plutarch says with a touch of detail, was doing 


little or nothing at the time — in fact, was receiving 
a visit from an admirer — presumably the local 
policeman). The long and the short of it was that 
before the Senator got to the House some of his 
friends came np and told him with much concern 
about this portent. He calmed their anxiety : and 
after the meeting of the Senate was over went home 
and told his wife that, in consequence of her 
divulging the secret, they would have to leave the 
country. She attempted to deny having done so, 
and said, " But were there not three hundred other 
Senators who heard it." " Stuff and nonsense with 
your three hundred, my dear ; I invented the story " 

(o. 11). 

j^s to ' Curiosity ' Plutarch notices that the disease 
defeats itself — for all people fight shy of the curious 
man. When serious business is being discussed, if 
a curious man drops in, every one is silent at once, 
just as one puts away fish when the cat's about 
(c. 9). 

On ' Shyness or False Modesty ' — what old Holland 
calls 'Naughty Bashfulness' — the first thing is to con- 
vince oneself that it is a serious fault. We are so 
apt to persuade ourselves that it is real modest}^ 
On the subject he tells the familiar story of a man 
who, when asked for the loan of money by a parti- 
cular friend, had the fact duly attested by a bond 
made before a banker ; and on the friend's expostula- 
ting and saying, " Why all these legal forms," the 
lender, Avitli no false modesty, replied, " I want to 
have the money repaid in a friendly way, and not 
to lose both money and friend " (c. 10), 

In one place in his discourse on ' Anger ' he says 


little matters always seem greater than they really 
are to one in a rage, as bodies seem greater in a 
mist — a fine simile (c. 11). 

The method of cure is always the same. Begin 
with small things, and persevere steadily (herein 
differing from the Stoics who required instant and 
complete reformation) ; no relaxation must be 
tolerated. For example, as to Gjiriosity, just try 
tliis (he says). The next time 3'Ou hear high words 
arising in the street and see a crowd collecting, pass 
by. For False Modestij, the next time you are asked 
to have a glass of wine with a man at dinner, and 
you feel you have had enough, put the glass down 
without drinking. For TaUcativeness, the next time 
there is an opening for you to dilate on the subject 
in which you delight as magnifying your own 
importance, just try to be silent, and don't be like 
courtiers or lawyers (Plutarch likes to have a shot 
at the lawyers), who are constantly relating how 
they made this point on such an occasion, or how 
they conducted this prosecution and got that 
defendant off, and how the judge complimented 
them, and so forth (c. 22). 

The besettino- sin of Plutarch was Ano-er. Let 
us hear him at length how he endeavoured to cope 
with that vice (c. 16). 

'^ Above all things I thought that saying of Euipedocles 
a great and divine one that Ave should ' Fast from evil ' 
[Ml-. Shilleto, whose excellent translation I adopt, refers 
to Herrick, ' To starve thy sin not bin — that is, to keep 
thy Lent ^], and I approved (continues Phitarch) of such 
vows as to abstain for a year from wine and love, honour- 
ing the Deity by continence, or for a stated time to give 


up ever speaking falsely, whether in play or earnest. ■ With 
these I compared my own vow as no less pleasing to the 
gods and holy, first to abstain from anger for a few days. 
Then I tried for a month or two, and so in time made some 
progress in forbearance by earnest resolve, and by keeping 
myself courteous and using fair language, purifying 
myself from evil words and absurd actions, and from 
passion, which, for a little unlovely pleasure, pays us with 
great mental disturbance and the bitterest repentance. 
In consequence of this, experience, with the help of 
Heaven, has led me to form the view that courtesy and 
gentleness, and kindliness are not so agreeable and pleasant 
and delightful to any of those we live with as they are to 

This preaching by example and practising what 
he preached, added to the simplicity and earnestness 
of his natnre, rendered his influence great and 
benio-n. And we can see how in the little town to 
which he wilhngly devoted his life, like the parson 
in the ' Deserted Village,' 

"He tried each art, reproved each dull delay. 
Allured to brighter worlds, and led the wa}^ ; " 

and all that with the utmost cheerfulness and hope- 
fulness. For there are hardly any people, short of 
deliberate sinners, for whom Plutarch has a severer 
rebuke than those who are always " making the 
worst of it" (as the saying is), and passing all their 
time in querulousness or moroseness. 

The finely written essay on ' Tranquillity of Mind ' 
inculcates with all the attractive graces of Plutarch's 
most alluring style this contentedness and serenity 
of spirit. The conclusion, though well known, may 
without apology be quoted. 


"1 am very much attracted (sa3^s Plutarch) by the 
remark of Diogenes when he saw a stranger at Lacedaemon 
preparing himself with much ostentation for a feast. 
' Does not a good man consider every day a feast ' ? Aye, 
and a very great feast, too, if Ave are only Avise. For the 
world is a most holy and divine temple into Avhich man is 
introduced through his birth, not to be a spectator of 
motionless images made by man's hand, but of those things 
which the Divine Mind has exhibited as the visible repre- 
sentations of what the mind alone can gi-asp, having 
innate in them the principle of life and motion, as the sun, 
moon, and stars, and rivers ever floAving Avith fresh water, 
and the earth sending u]i her sustenance to plants and 
animals. Seeing then that life is a complete initiation into 
all these things, it ought to be full of ease and joyfulness. 
But men do disgrace to the festivals Avhich God has supplied 
us Avith and initiated us into, passing most of their time in 
lamentation and gloominess of spirit, and distressing- 
cares . . . How is this ? They will not even listen to 
the admonitions of others Avhereby they Avould be led to 
acquiesce in the present Avithout repining, to remember the 
past Avith thankfulness, and to act for the future Avith 
gracious and cheerful hopes, Avithout fear or suspicion." 


The world then is the most holy and divine temple 
of God, and to Plntarcli's vieAvs of the relation of 
God to the Avorld Ave must now turn. That God 
exists, he holds not oiiij Nature cries aloud in 
all her Avorks, but it is proved by the universal con- 
sent of mankind : " Never was there and never shall 
there be found any one city without temple, church, 
or chapel." He is One, incomposite, unchangeable, 
outside the world, and knows not succession or 


In the Essay styled ' On tlic Inscription E at 
Delphi ' (c. 20) he says : 

"But God is we must declare, and is with reference to 
no time, but with reference to that age which is immovable, 
timeless, and indeclinable ; that which there is nothing- 
before or after, nor future, nor past, nor older, nor younger, 
but He being One witli the one Now lias filled up the Ever" 

(('tXA.' els wy €fi Tio yvi^ ru c'tfi 7re7rX»'ypwKe) — 

an expression in which there appears to me to be 
a marked note of genins. And He is good ; He 
watches over the work that He has ordered, "other- 
wise," says Plntarch, " God wonld be worse than 
children who build sand-castles and then knock 
them down. He wonld be playing the same game 
with the world, first building it up and then throw- 
ing it down " (c. 21). 

We should learn then to work together with God, 
and ever to feel towards Him cheerfully and hope- 
fully, and to remember that He cares for us. As 
to the Epicureans (whom Plutarch detested) — those 
philosophers Avho held that the gods live forsooth 
the great life that all their greatest fain would 
follow, centred in eternal calm and careless of man- 
kind — to such Plutarch replies with bitterness : 

" It is as if in a storm at sea one were to encourage his 
fellow-voyagers by saying that there was no pilot at the 
helm or guiding lights in heaven. But what great matter ? 
Anon they would be upon the bi-eakers and engulfed in the 
waves " (^Non posse suaviter vivi sec. Epic.,' c. 23). 

But it is very necessary to have just ideas of God, 
as such are the purest source of happiness. There 


is an Essay ' On Superstition,' which reads like an 
advocate's arraignment of that miserable state of 
mind, but, at least, it shows how grievous and almost 
impious Superstition may become. It is, Plutarch 
holds, an excess (to use Aristotle's language) of 
Natural Piety, of which Atheism is the defect ; and 
of the two extremes, the two vices which flank the 
virtue, he holds (I cannot help thinking, for this 
occasion only) that Superstition is the worse. The 
Atheist, at least, has an unrufiled mind ; the super- 
stitious man is always in grovelling and craven 
misery — you can imagine the rhetoric. And Super- 
stition is almost more impious. The superstitious 
man has false notions about God, and believes that 
He is malevolent. 

"But I, for my part," says Plutarcli in his pleasant 
way, " would much rather liave men say tliat there never 
was a man Phitarch at all nor is now, than to say that 
Plutarch is a man inconstant, feeble, easily moved to 
anger, revengeful for trifling provocations, vexed at small 
things" (c. 10). 

However, I think Plutarch, if cross-examined, would 
allow that the superstitious man was more likely to 
become pious than the Atheist; and would assent 
to a simile he uses himself in another Essay with 
reference to men whose youth was full of foolish 
noise,* but who wore their manhood hale and green 
— a simile, too, which appeals strongly to such of us 
as have had much experience as College Tutors. 

"For great natures," he says, "produce nothing trivial, 
nor can their vehement impulse to action lie idle, but they 
sway to and fro, as on the sea, until they come into a stable 
* Cf . Bacon's Essay ' On Yonth and Age.' 


and confirmed character. As the one who is unacquainted 
with farming, seeing a spot full of thick jungle and rank 
growth, would have no liking for it, while to one wlio has 
learned to discrimiuate between different kinds of land these 
are the very things which show the strengtli and fertility 
of the soil : so great natures break out at first into mauy 
extraordinary extravagances, and we are not able to tolerate 
them at first, so violent and irritating are their assaults ; 
we think that we shoukl cut them off and hew them down, 
when a better judge, seeing the good and the noble even 
in these pranks, waits for age, which co-operates with 
reason and virtue, and the season in which nature brings 
her proper fruit to perfection " (' De Sera Num. Vindicta,' 
c. 6). 

Plutarch in fact would see that the mind of the 
superstitious man was a wild thicket like that, but 
it had the good soil of religion at its base ; and this, 
when the rank ideas are cut away and it is propeidy 
cultivated, will bring forth the fruit of true piety 
in abundance. But the Atheist's mind is stony 
and cannot bring forth anything. To use Richter's 
illustration (quoted by Archbishop Trench) the 
superstitious man is like one living in a foul and 
noisome atmosphere ; but the Atheist is like one 
living in the receiver of an air-pump. In the 
former you can at least breathe, in the latter you 

The passage which I have just quoted is from 
the most famous of all Plutarch's treatises, and, if I 
may venture to express an opinion, that which 
seems to me the best. It is called ' On those who 
are punished by the Deity late,' better known by 
the Latin title ' De Sera Numinis Vindicta.' Why 
do the righteous suffer? Why do the wicked 


prosper ? For as far as human ken would seem to 
pierce, the righteous do suffer and the wicked Ja 
prosper. To justify such ways of God to man 
demands a discussion towards whicli anyone is 
bound to give the very best of his powers : and 
Pkitarch does so. The treatise is somethino: more 
tlian a mere formal dialogue ; it is in its way a work 
of art : and there are two or three points of view 
taken with regard to the whole subject which may 
well call for our attention. 

Granted that the Deity does punish, but punishes 
long after the crime has been committed — that the 
mills of the gods grind slowly and late — how can 
that be reconciled with reason ? It is not con- 
sistent with the analogy of Nature. For as in the 
case of a horse you apply the lash at the moment of 
a stumble, so it would be far more efficacious if a 
sinner was struck down at the moment of his sin. 
Timon, one of the interlocutors, finds no difficulty 
in answerino- this. Is the administration of the 
world such an easy or small thing that we can 
suppose that anyone of us offhand can judge of the 
full effects of this or that act of governance ? Such 
judgment is as if we were to criticise the details of 
treatment by a physician or any other expert. 
AYhy even some laius, as opposed to acts of admini- 
stration, are not obviously calculated to bring about 
the end at which they aim — take (says Plutarch) 
Solon's law aiming at the suppression of civil strife, 
that the citizen who did not take a side should be 
disfranchised. And are we to judge God by human 
standards ? Of course men wish to retaliate at 
once when hurt : men punish for retaliation only 


and go barking after the criminal like a dog (to vise 
Plutarch's forcible simile) : but perhaps the Deity 
may wish something higher : He may wish to re- 
form the sinner ; He may know that the soil is good, 
but for lack of proper cultivation has run to weeds. 
Again, perhaps the Deity may regard the wrong- 
doer — in such cases the Glreeks always instanced 
the Tyrant — as a scourge for mankind, or a noisome 
potion which might bring health to the body politic 
— such a potion as was Phalaris to the Agrigentines 
and Mar ins to the Romans [and some centuries 
later we know that Attila was regarded as the 
"Scourge of God"]. And may not at times the 
punishment be delayed until by a signal and instruc- 
tive act of what is called poetic justice, the bolt 
falls ; and in this connection Plutarch tells a story, 
short and sharp, with little of his usual detail. 
Bessus had slain his father, and the crime was long 
undetected. Asked long after to an entertainment 
he amazed the company by striking at a nest of 
young swallows and killing them. " Do you not 
see (said he) that they were bearing false witness 
against me that I slew my father." And the matter 
was investigated before the King and Bessus 

And are we to suppose that Bessus was not 
punished until he came before the executioner ? 
Not so by any means. Hear this eloquent passage 
of Plutarch : 

" As every criminal about to pay the penalty of his 
crime bears his cross, so vice fabricates for itself each 
of its own tortures, being the terrible architect of its 
own misery in life, wherein, in addition to shame, it has 



frequent fears and grievous passions and unceasing remorse 
and anxieties. . . . It is not that they are punished 
in ohi age, but they grow old in perpetual punishment. 
I speak of long time as a human being : for to the gods 
all the period of man's life is as nothing, and so to them 
now and not thirty years ago is no more than with us 
executing a criminal in the evening instead of the morn- 
ing: especially as man during life is in the prison-house of 
the body from which there is no escape; and though he 
may seem to have much feasting and jollity, it is no more 
than the dice and games which criminals play in prison 
while the rope is all the time hanging over their heads'' 
(c. 9). 

And then Plutarch goes on to describe with no 
little force the mental career of the criminal ; and 
we are reminded perpetually of Macbeth. The 
recklessness and audacity of crime are rampant 
until the crime is committed : then comes the re- 
action and passion subsides, like a falling wind — a 
fine illustration. He becomes timid and dejected, 
and a prey to fears and superstitions and all kinds 
of dread of divine vengeance. At first vague in- 
ward disquietudes and alarms in which the fears 
are predominant, anon they take shapes and he 
pictures almost worse than the worst. " Present 
fears are less than horrible imaginings." Then the 
visions of the darkness and " sleep in the affliction 
of those terrible dreams that shake him nightly " ; 
and worst of all the hallucinations of the daytime and 
the accusing voices. " For visions in dreams (to 
translate Plutarch literally) and apprehensions 
during the day, and pracles and lightning and what- 
ever is thought to come from the Deity bring storms 
of apprehension on the conscience-stricken. . . , 


So that, if it is lawful to say so, I do not think that 
evil-doers require any god or man to punish them, 
but that their life itself, all ruined and distracted 
as it is by vice, is a completely sufficient punish- 
ment" (c. 10). 

Plutarch sees in the punishments of the Deity 
efforts to cure vice ; which imply, as one of the 
interlocutors reminds him, the assumption of the 
permanence of the soul. " Yes, I do believe in it 
(he replies) ; we do not fade like a leaf, as Homer 
says. I shall never abandon this belief unless some 
second Herakles shall come and take away the 
tripod of the Pythian priestess and abolish and 
destroy the oracle. ... It is one and the same 
argument that confirms the providence of the Deity 
and the permanence of the soul ; so that you cannot 
leave one if you take away the other. And if the 
soul survives after death, it makes the probability 
stronger that rewards and punishments will be 
awarded it. Durino; life the soul struo-o-les like an 
athlete, and, when the struggle is over, then it gets 
its deserts" (c. 17, 18). 

So the feeling that justice nmst be fulfilled, and 
that it is not fulfilled in this life, leads us, under the 
Moral Law, to a belief in a Future Life. This con- 
sideration, along with others, such as the instinctive 
craving for the Infinite and for Perfection, the desire 
to meet those we love, the longing for rest and 
felicity — somewhat frail supports in comparison with 
that founded on Justice — are urged elsewhere in 
favour of the same doctrine. In his special treatise 
on the 'Immortality of the Soul' (of which unfortu- 
nately only a few fragments remain) the dramatis 


personae are the same as in the ' De Sera Numinis 
Vinclicta,' so that we may fairly consider that it was 
a pendant to the latter treatise, and urged at greater 
length the position that the need of retribution 
(whether of reward or punishment) was the best 
argument that can be adduced for the permanence 
of the soul. But as to the details of the other 
world — what are its Elysian Fields, what are its 
abodes of expiation — of this (as he says) he has no 
absolute knowledge. So, like his master Plato, 
where Reason can go no further, there he has re- 
course to wliat the Greeks called a viytli. " Allow 
me first to o-ive to my aro'ument all that seems 
probable ; and afterwards I shall set my myth in 
motion — if it u a myth." Thus the fine treatise on 
' Delays in Divine Justice ' ends up with a picture 
of the lower world, modelled on the myth which 
closes the ' Republic ' of Plato, possessing certain 
merits of its own, but in a large measure lacking 
the cosmic splendour of its great original. There 
then, in another world, the crooked is made straight 
and the rough places plain ; the souls are purged of 
their iniquities by dire expiations ; justice is meted 
out to all ; and we learn that if the wicked can be 
purified only by fierce torments, there are also the 
full measure of rewards for the righteous, and 

"He who flagged not in this earthly strife, 
From strength to strength advancing — only lie, 
His soul well-knit and all his battles won, 
Mounts, and that hardly, to eternal life." 

One word more, perhaps, not wholly unimportant, 
and I shall conclude. It may fairly be asked how 


does Plutarch's ideal of duty stand to the Christian's. 
His treatises have been described as manuals of 
common places, as a breviary of little virtues. Well, 
the whole of the lives of most of us are composed 
of little events where we, as often as we may, prac- 
tise our little virtues, and are fairly well contented 
if they are virtues. No reproach can be made to 
Plutarch on this score ; and the imaginative and 
charming sympathy which he shows with man's 
every- day efforts, successes, and failures, and the 
evident way in which he endeavoured to act up to 
his teaching, raise him above the level of a moralising 
quietist like Montaigne, considerable as is the simi- 
larity of the two writers, and frank as is the acknow- 
ledgment of obligation which the French Essayist 
makes to his Greek master. Think, too, of the sim- 
plicity, culture, and refinement of Plutarch's life, so 
eminently characteristic of ancient Greece, the 
mother and model to all ages of culture and modera- 
tion. " In this native of Ghaeronea (says Mommsen 
in his illuminating manner) tlie contrast between 
the Hellenes and the Hellenised finds expression ; 
such a type of Greek life was not possible in 
Smyrna or in Antioch ; it belonged to the soil 
of Greece itself, like the honey to Hymettus. 
There were men enough of more powerful talents, 
and of deeper natures, but hardly any second 
author has known how to reconcile himself so 
serenely to necessity, and how to impress upon his 
writings the stamp of his tranquillity of spirit and 
his blessedness of life : " and is anyone, whether he 
has a superficial or a deep knowledge of Plutarch, 


prepared to say otherwise? But his ideal — what 
of that r 

Over the vestibule of the Temple of Apollo at 
Delphi, of which Plutarch, in his declining years, 
was high Priest, was engraven the maxim, which 
was held to be a revelation from Heaven, " Know 
Thyself " — a wise maxim, a very wise maxim — the 
wisdom of which appears to each of us greater and 
greater every year we live— ^ I mean, the worldly 
wisdom. To know one's capacities and one's limita- 
tions, to know how to cure one's faults, and to be 
willing to cure them, to develop one's gifts to the 
full, so that you may become, as the Greek poet said, 
" Truly good, built four-square in hands, and feet, 
and mind, a work without flaw " — in a word the 
development of oneself as an individual — there is 
the ideal, tJtere is the aim of Plutarch, the genuine 
Hellenic ideal. 

But while Plutarch was living and working the 
old order was changing, yielding place to new, and 
God was fulfilling himself in one of the many ways 
in which He has fulfilled himself in history. The 
Founder of the new order had completed His mission, 
the greatest of the Apostles had run their course. 
Of this change Plutarch (as was quite natural) was 
wholly ignorant ; no mention is made of the 
Christians in the whole of his writings. And with 
all his virtues and beauty of character his funda- 
mental point of view was altogether opposed to that 
of Christianity. He looked to himself ; know thy- 
self, develop thyself — such was his rule of life. 
But the new dispensation required a radical change 
of view — it is fitly called conversion. No longer 


look to thyself, but forget thyself, and seek the 
kingdom of God and His righteousness. "If any 
man come to me and hate not his father and mother, 
and wife and children, and brethren and sisters, 
yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my 


By Mrs. Charlotte Caemiciiael Stopes. 

[Read June 24th, 1908.] 

I TAKE it, until proof yields a better date, tliat 
Shakespeare came to London in 1587. We know 
nothing* definitely about him, until 1592, when 
Greene's address to his fellow-actors makes it clear 
that, some time before that date he must have turned 
to the stage as a profession, and must have achieved 
some degree of success, for Greene bitterly describes 
him as "an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers, 
that with his tiger s heart wrapt in a Player^ s hide, 
supposes he is as well able to bum bast out a blanke 
verse as the best of you, and being an absolute 
Johannes factotum, is in his own conceit, the only 
Shakescene in a countrie." * 

When Shakespeare had come to London he had 
found theatres built, players performing, and drama- 
tists writing for them, Lyly, Peele, Lodge, Greene, 
and Marlowe, who, had Shakespeare never come, 
would have been the greatest of all. But Shakespeare 
did come, and developed the perfect flower and fruit 
of the English Romantic Drama. 

This remark would have been irrelevant to the 
subject in liand, but that I hold that the poet bore 

* Greene's ' Groatswovth of Wit," 1592. 
VOL. XXVI 1 1, IG 


the same relation to the sonnet that he did to tlie 
Drama. The Sonnet was not, as the Drama was, of 
native growth; it had been imported from Italy 
early in the century by the Earl of Surrey and his 
friend, Sir Thomas Wyat. They did not closely 
adhere to their Italian models, but varied them 
somewhat to suit the English language and taste. 
They had a group of courtly imitators, and various 
miscellanies appeared of verses, often but loosely 
called " sonnets," poems written to be said or sung, 
which we now would rather call lyrics. 

There were * ' The Court of Venus,' much repro- 
bated by serious writers, no copy of which has come 
down to us,* ' The Newe Court of Venus,' which 
seems to have been an attempt to improve the old 
songs in tone, while adhering to their form, some of 
the verses having been written by Sir Thomas Wyat 
himself; 'The Book of Songs and Sonnets,' 1557, 
or "Tottell's Miscellany," a collection chiefly of poems 
written by Wyat and Surrey, but also including 
some of the works of their imitators. We know 
that Shakespeare had read this volume, because he 
gave a copy to Slender ('Merry Wives,' i, 1). 

It is interesting to know that Van der Noodt 
published a series, avowedly translated from the 
sonnets of Petrarch and Du Bellay, a translation of 
which, into English, in blank verse, was produced 
by Spenser in 1569, which were included in his 
works in 1591. Spenser's ' Shepherd's Kalendar' 
came out in 1572. 

* See my articles in the ' Athensevim,' " The Metrical Psalms of the 
CoiTrt of Venus," June 24th, 1899, and "The Authorship of the New 
Court of Venus," July 1st, 1899. 


The most important later miscellany was ' The 
Paradise of Dainty Devises,' 1570, which we also 
may be nearly sure that Shakespeare had read. 

The harbinger of the new harvest of Elizabethan 
Sonnet Literature was Thomas Watson, who, in 
1582, published his 'Hecatompathia or the Passionate 
Century of Love.' Two points may be noted con- 
cerning this : (1) That he named each sonnet a 
" Passion," which explains Shakespeare's use of the 
word in the phrase, " The Master-mistress of my 
passion * ; (2) that W. C, in his ' Polimanteia,' 
1595, in a marginal reference, said, "All praise- 
worthy Lucrecia, sweet Shakespeare, wanton Adonis, 
Watson's heir." 

Puttenham's ' Art of English Poetry ' was printed 
by Field, 1589. The first three books of Spenser's 
' Faerie Queene ' appeared in 1590, and Sir Philip 
Sidney's ' Arcadia ' in the same year, which, quite 
as much as any sonnets, affected the thought of 
Shakespeare's early works. 

In 1591 was published Sidney's 'Astrophel and 
Stella,' with some of Daniel's Sonnets, and in 1592 
Daniel published a collection of ' Sonnets to Delia,' 
after French models, dedicated to Sidney's sister, 
the Countess of Pembroke. At the same time Henry 
Constable brought out ' Diana : the Praises of his 
Mistress in certain Sonnets,' and ' Four Letters and 
certain Sonnets ' were published by Gabriel Harvey, 
the friend of Spenser. 

Here I must pause, having reached the time of 
Shakespeare's proved association with the Stage, in 

* Sonnet xx, 2. 


order to trace his career up to that date in his private 
life, and make clear my reasons for my main pro- 
position concerning the necessarily early date of the 
Sonnets. Starting with Shakespeare's arrival in 
London we must remember that the traditions con- 
cerning his being driven from Stratford by Thomas 
Lucy or by anybody else, can be disproved by fact 
and leo'itimate inference. 

The only two facts we are sure of are, that he 
had married a wife and had a family before he was 
able to support them ; and that neither his father 
nor he was in financial prosperity. His mother's 
inheritance of Asbies, which, it is clear, his father 
meant as the sphere of his son's career, had been 
lost through a mortgage and some juggling on the 
part of Edward Lambert. Li 1587 the Shakespeares, 
in despair of regaining it, had offered to sell it out- 
right to the Lamberts for another £20, and to this 
the poet, then of age and the heir apparent, had 
agreed, but that the money had never been paid is 
clear from later litigation. 

We cannot pi'ove to the sceptical anything con- 
cerning the poet for the next five years. But as 
Tennyson's Lover says of Maud, 

" I know the way she went 

Home with her maiden posy, 
For her feet have touched the meadows 
And have left the daisies rosy : " 

a student may, with the fine sense acquired by 
patient loving study, read signs into known facts as 
clearly as that of Tennyson, that the morning 
daisies and buds when trodden on lay their crimson 


under petals to the side, and the path is really made 
rosy. Our poet's path may be traced in printer's ink. 

I believe that Shakespeare went to London in 
1587 hoping to earn his fortune there, but that his 
plans were somewhat gviided l)y business concern- 
ing this desired arrangement with the Lamberts. 
There is little doubt he would first go to take 
counsel with Richard Field, the apprentice, who 
was about to become the son-in-law and successor 
of Thomas Vautrollier the great French printer. 
But the following morning, when he started on his 
mission, I venture to put forward a suggestion that 
his footsteps took a very different direction from 
what has usually been accepted ; indeed, that 
Shakespeare began by seeking his fortune not at 
the play-house, but at the Court ! 

I have found that a John Lambert, probably the 
poet's cousin, was a Yeoman of the Chamber at the 
time, and young Shakespeare might have hoped to 
persuade him to agree to the payment of that exti'a 
£20, or make up for it in Court influence. AVliy 
not ? John Arden of Park Hall had been Esquire of 
the Body to Henry VII, his younger brother 
Robert, Yeoman of the Chamber to Henry VIII, 
his still younger brother or nepliew William held 
the same office to Queen Elizabeth down to 1584, 
and his son Robert was associated with him; John 
Scarlet, so friendly with the Ardens of Wilmcote, 
had been also Yeoman of the Chamber; Roger 
Shakespeare had held the same office in the reign of 
Mary, and Thomas Shakespeare was the Royal 
Messenger, at least down to 1575, possibly later. 
William Shakespeare was a man of good appear- 


ance and of manly courage, the two essentials for 
the post ; he may have had many introductions, and 
evidently had high hopes. But he failed. We 
may realise his feelings during his first months 
in London by his works. It was not Hamlet, 
Prince of Denmark, who had learned l)y personal 
experience — 

" Who would bear the whips and seoi'iis of time, 
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, 
* * * tlie law's delay, 
The insolence of office, and the spurns, 
That patient merit of the unworthy takes." 

The country was then stirred to its heart by 
the threatened Spanish invasion ; gentlemen all 
over the country served in the ranks ; it is possible 
that Shakespeare either served on board a ship 
or in the army at Tilbury, which the Queen herself 
went to address. If he did, he would be among the 
disbanded men in 1588, still seeking a post. There 
were men of lower rank he was almost sure to know ; 
Sadler and Quiney, the grocers in Bucklersbury ; 
John Shakespeare, the bit-maker of St. Martin in 
the Fields, (not the later John of St. Clement's 
Danes) ; Matliew Shakespeare, the goldsmith, who 
had married the sister of George Peele, the drama- 
tist. With none of these did he seem to associate 
himself. But we have testimony that he did associate 
himself very freely with Hichard Field. We see 
the suggestions of the books printed by him on 
many a page of Shakespeare's works, and reading 
through the signs of his familiarity with the printer's 
art we may well believe that he tried to give some 


return for hospitality by helping Field as much as 
he dared do. There was a limit, for the Stationers' 
Company was very jealous of unapprenticed work- 
men, and fined Richard Field for keeping one. But 
there was nothing to prevent Shakespeare from 
helping in readiug and correcting proof, and in 
1589 Field broudit out Puttenhani's ' Art of 
English Poetry,' a liberal education to a would-be 
writer. Other special works were on Field's 
shelves. A new edition of ' Ovid,' Sir Thomas 
North's translation of ' Plutarch's Lives,' ' Salust 
du Bartas,' books on Music, Medicine, History-, and 
Philosophy, which we can also see reflected in 
Shakespeare's works. I could never satisfy myself 
with a natural reason for the interweaving of 
Giordano Bruno's thought into the sonnets mitil I 
found that Vautrollier had printed his works and 
had to fly the country on account of it, flying, how- 
ever, no further than Scotland, where the King 
welcomed him, and let him print his own book 
' The essayes of a prentis, in the divine Art of 

From the beginning of Shakespeare's career he 
must have earned the epithet applied to him later 
by a fellow-dramatist — Webster, who spoke of " The 
right happy and copious industry of Master Shake- 

He was preparing for a patron by the time he 
found one, but he had been forced, through the 
stress of circumstances, to take advantage of the 
only opportunities which were opened to him, that 
is, on the stage, where his handsome figure would 
recommend him, and he probably had some influ- 


ence tlirougli AVarwicksliire acquaintances. But it 
would take three years at least for any one to 
acquire the position outlined by Grreene, so we may 
suppose that he entered the theatre in or about 15B9. 
His work must have, at first, been hard, and from 
the sonnets evidently distasteful. 

The consideration of all the various opinions on, 
and interpretations of, the Sonnets would necessitate 
more space than can at present be given. Writers 
have differed widely concerning their autobiogra- 
phical value, and those who do believe them to be 
autobiographical, disagree concerning the identity 
of the persons addressed, of the rival poets, and of 
Mr. W. H. 

I believe that the Sonnets are a source of some 
authority, both biographical and autobiographical, 
but that they cannot be interpreted in crude realism. 
Shakespeare was not a prose diarist of the twentieth 
century, but a poet on the rising high tide of the 
most creative period of English literature in the 
first fervours of poetic inspiration and romantic 
personal affection. After a period of trial, during 
which he had been agonising in order to live and to 
support the lives of those that were dear to him, he 
had met some one who had the supreme inspiration 
to encourage and to help him. 

Many of the allusions to conversations, common 
experiences, and common studies, are lost to the 
readers of later days, but some of the links of 
association may be restored by careful comparison. 
Sometimes the poet was only treating a common 
theme in hackneyed phrases, sometimes he was only 
transmuting current philosophy into verse. But 


sometimes lie was trying to express feelings that lay- 
too deep for words ; his love and gratitude occasion- 
ally led him to impulsive exaggerations, his suscep- 
tibility to hasty misunderstandings. He knew how 
"to tear a passion to tatters, to very rags," when 
his thoughts hurtled against each other from their 
very abundance and exuberance. But the twined 
threads of biography and autobiography are there, 
on which to string the pearls of Shakespeare's 
thought. These threads can only be wound round 
the neck of Henry, the third Earl of Southampton. 

No wrong has ever been done to Shakespeare's 
memory so great as tlie publication of what has 
been called " the Herbert-Fitton theory." The only 
cure for this, as for any other heresy, is more study, 
patient, unprejudiced, wide-reaching, long-enduring 
study, not only in the direct biography of two men, 
but in contemporary life, thought, and literature. 
The theory was only possible to a real worker like 
Mr. Tylor, because he neglected the Baconian scien- 
tific advice, " to search after negatives." He only 
attended to facts that seemed to support his hypo- 
thesis, and turned from those that opposed it, even 
when laid before him. Yet he has found followers 
numerous enough and important enough to be com- 

The Herbert-Fitton theory assumes that the 
Sonnets must have been written after the arrival of 
Lord Herbert at Court. This was in the spring of 
1598, he being then eighteen years old. We are 
asked to imagine therefore that Shakespeare began 
to write quatorzains, or disingenuously pretended 
to do so, for the first time at this late date in the 


sonnet-liarvest, ascribing to the newly-arrived Lord 
Herbert, not only inspiration, but education out of 
rude ignorance, and tlie guidance of liis i)vj)il-'pen, 
after lie had written, not only his poems, but his 
' Midsummer's Night's Dream,' ' Komeo and Juliet,' 
' The Merchant of Venice,' and some of the Sonnets 
themselves in other plays. 

It presumes that he must have warmed up, for 
this inexperienced young lord, not only the same 
feelings that he had formerly expressed for another, 
Ijut the same phrases that he had already puhlishcd. 
The whole beauty of ^^ the passion^' dies out before 
the supposition. We cannot read the Sonnets as 
hackneyed imitations of past fashions. They have 
all the verve of a fresh impulse, all the ideal trans- 
port of newly discovered power, all the original 
treatment of newly acquired music. Little in the 
data fits the supposition. Lord Herbert was vot 
the sole hope of his great house, having both a 
father and a brother ; he was not a fair youth, but 
exceptionally dark ; he wore no long locks, curling 
" like buds of marjoram ;" his breath could hardly 
have exhaled the odours of flowers (S. 99), seeing 
that a diarist states that his chief comfort was in 
the use of tobacco. 

The lady with whom he was associated has been 
proved, on the other hand, to have been, not dark 
but fair, not married and old in the world's ways, 
but a bright young foolish girl of twenty-two, a 
favourite of the Queen and the Court, over-impulsive 
and credulous certainly, and probably vain and 
ambitious. But it was one thing, in the lax 
customs of the times, to become entangled with the 


handsomest and richest young bachelor of the 
Court, under the evident expectation of matrimony, 
and another to have risked her good name in going 
forth to tempt, with experienced wiles, in her even 
earlier years, the somewhat well-balanced heart of 
a middle-aged play-actor and moralist. "What the 
propounders of this theory make of Shakespeare's 
manliness or morality it is hard to say. An un- 
warrantable stain has been thrown on the girl's 
character because Will Kemp, one of Shakespeare's 
company in 1(300, dedicated to her his ' Nine Days 
Dance to Norwich.' But his lack of the supposed 
intimacy is shown on the title-page by the error 
even in her Christian name. The dedication was 
quite a natural one from the best dancer on the 
stage to the l)est dancer at Court. In the famous 
' Masque of the Nine Muses,' performed at Court at 
the marriai^e of " th(3 other Lord ITcrhcrt,'' "Mistress 
Fitton led, and went to the Queen, and wooed her 
to daunce. Her Majestic asked her what she was? 
'Affection!' she said. 'Affection!' said the 
Queen, ' Affection is false.' Yet her Majestic 
rose and dawnced " (' Sydney Papers,' 23rd June, 
1600). Now I beheve she should have said " Terpsi- 
chore," which would account both for the Queen's 
remark and Kemp's dedication. 

We are asked to believe that all this happened, 
and that Meres had time to complete his notices of 
Shakespeare, get his book passed by the censor and 
reo'istered, luithin six months! 

Finally, this theory pre-supposes that Thomas 
Thorpe, in 1G09, would, upon the sole ground of 
two common initials have taken the unwarrantable 


liberty of addressing in such familiar teiins as 
" Mr. W. H.," the chief nobleman of the land, who, 
being the eldest son of an earl, had, from birth and 
baptism been designated Lord Herbert. Thorpe 
would not have been so short-sighted. That he 
Avas not so can be proved from his dedications of 
Healey's books * to the same nobleman in IGlO and 
1616. The latter I found among Mr. W. C. 
Hazlitt's " Prologues," and first published it in 
extenso in relation to this controversy in the 
' Shakespeare Jahrbuch,' Berlin, 1890, to show 
how Thorpe really dedicated, " out of what frenzy 
one of my meannesse hath presumed to commit this 

Xo, Pembroke was impossible! 

In Shakespeare's poems, dedications, and sonnets 
the songs and praises were — 

" To one, of one, still sucli and even so." — S. 105. 

and that one was the Earl of Soutliam})ton.t His 
life and character alone provide all the essential 
desiderata; his dates alone fit into the chronology 
of the sonnet sequences and give Shakesi^eare his 
natural place in the history of literary development ; 
his life alone gives a natural and unstrained account 
of " Mr. W. H." 

We do not know the exact circumstances under 
wdiicli Shakespeare met the Earl of Southampton. 

Probably the young noble, in an outburst of sym- 
pathetic admiration and gratuitous criticism, greeted 
him with easy patronage on the stage, said to him, 

* See my article, ' Atheuseum ' March, 1898, " The Date of the 

t The Wriothesley motto was " Ung par tout, tout par ung." 


" You ought to learn to write poetry for yoiirself, 
come, and I will show you how," took him home, gave 
him some more or less good advice on accent, manner, 
dress, law, literature, versification, and courtly tastes, 
for which posterity is grateful to him. Kind offices, 
on the one hand, were responded to by gratitude 
and adulation on the other. Hardly had Shakespeare 
been introduced to the Earl than he was made 
acquainted w4tli the skeleton in the closet. To 
understand this we must turn to the fortunes of 
Southampton, or rather, in the first place, to those 
of his mother. For he was essentially " his mother's 
boy," though no critics have followed out her career 
in relation to Shakespeare's environment. She w^as 
the daughter of Anthony Browne, Viscount 
Montague, and Jane, daughter of the Earl of 
Sussex. Her grandfather. Sir Anthony Browne, 
was considered the handsomest man in the country 
in Henry VIII's time, and all the family were noted 
for personal beauty. She inherited a goodly share, 
as may be seen by her portrait, taken in 1565, at 
the age of thirteen, when she married Henry, second 
Earl of Southampton. This is now in the possession 
of the Duke of Portland at Welbeck.* It probably 
hung on the wall of Southampton's home in Holborn 
when Shakespeare sung : 

" Thou art thy mother's glass, and she in thee 
Calls back the lovely April of her prime." — S. 3. 

Her elder son had died before his father, her 
second, Henry, became sole heir to his great house 
when he was eight years old. He seems to have 

* See my "Date of Shakesijeare's Sonnets," 'Athenaeum,' 19th and 
2(;th March, 1898. 



inherited, not only her Ijeauty and her natnral tints, 
as may be seen by his fine portrait also preserved at 
Welbeck ;* but to have resembled her in her char- | 
acteristics. Cultured in taste, with a strong appre- 
ciation of humour, refined in sentiment, religious in 
spirit, she was generally able to control the self-will 
of her temper l)y a strong sense of duty, though 
sometimes her hasty impulsiveness verged almost on 
imprudence ; faithful and self -forgetting in her 
affections, yet, through her very sensitiveness, easily 
offended; Mary, Countess of Southampton, does 
not seem to have been very happy in her marriage. 
Her somewhat severe husband had conceived some 
unjust cause of jealousy against her after his temper 
had been soured by his imprisonment in the Tower, 
for the matter of the Duke of Norfolk and Mary 
Stewart. She wrote to her father on 21st March, 
1580, " My Lord sent me word it was not his inten- 
tion to keep me prisoner, only he barred me of his 
board and presence .... neither could I take that 
but in the highest degree of imprisonment, howso- 
ever it pleased him otherwise to esteem it .... I 
sent what I wrote hy my little hoye, but his heart 
was too great to bestow reading on it, coming from 
me." Possibly his misunderstanding was the pre- 
cursor of illness, for he died the following year 
(1581). He left her as bare as he could, and she 
wrote to the Earl of Leicester, entreating his kind 
offices on behalf of herself and her children, Henry 
and Mary. (These letters are among the MSS of 
Cottrel Dormer, Esq., but are misdated in the 2nd 

* See my " Date of Shakespeare's Sonnets," ' Athenseum/ 19th and 
26th March, 1898. 


Appendix to ' Rep. of Roy. Hist. Com.') Her son 
became, of com^se, a royal ward, and lie and his great 
possessions were put under the supervision of Lord 
Burghley. Camden later praises Southampton, and 
says " he spent his young years in the study of 
learning and good letters, and afterwards confirmed 
that study with travel and foreign observation." 

On December, 1585, he was admitted to St. 
John's College, Cambridge, where he became M.A., 
June 6tli, 1589, and was incorporated of Oxford. 
Before leaving College he enrolled himself a member 
of Gray's Inn, 1587, where he seems to have studied 
as creditably as he had done at Cambridge. 

But domestic troubles were rising. Burghley 
was impressed with the engaging personality, as 
well as the extensive possessions of young Henry 
Wriothesley, and, backed by a guardian's privilege, 
wanted to secure him for his granddaughter. Lady 
Elizabeth Vere, the daughter of the Earl of Oxford. 
The young Earl seems to have become, under the 
persuasions of his mother and grandfather, to some 
extent, engaged. It was a suitable marriage in 
every way, had but the young people loved each 

The poor Countess had been handicapped in the 
battle of life, because her husband's family and her 
own, as well as she herself, had persisted in the 
expensive indulgence of exercising the rites of the 
Catholic religion. 

She well knew the enormous advantage it would 
be to the family to be known to be " connected with 
my Lord Burghley," the " searchings " and " fines " 


it would help her to evade, the public offices it 
would secure to her son. 

She urged him to complete the arrangements, his 
grandfather urged him, too. Perhaps, because of 
the very urging, the burden of matrimonial responsi- 
bilities became more and more distasteful. Dreams 
of military glory under his admired Earl of Essex 
disturbed his studies in old Grray's Inn. Burghley 
beo-an to make enquiries. He could not understand 
how any young man in his senses could refuse such 
a splendid offer, or even hesitate in accepting it. 
He suspected interlopers. He fancied that Sir 
Thomas Stanhope might be trying to win him for 
his daughter ; but that gentleman wrote a long and 
very full explanatory letter to Burghley on 10th 
July, 1590, clearing himself of any such treacherous 

The Countess had, it is true, gone with her son 
to see Mr. Harvey, who lived next door, and he had 
asked them to sup with him, that was all. Lady 
Southampton had told him " She knew what a stay 
you would be to him and to her ... in good fayth 
she would do her best in the cause . . . She did 
not find a disposition in her son to be tied as yet ; 
what will be hereafter time shall try, and no want 
shall be found on her behalf." Burghley seems 
next to have consulted Viscount Montague, who 
repHed on 19th September, 1590, from Cowdray 
that he had " tried as orderly as he could, first to 
acquaint his mother, and then himself with your 
lordship's letter, his lordship being with me at 
Cowdray ..." His daughter had told him that 
she did not know of her son's fancy having changed 


to any other maiden, and tlie youth had replied that 
" Your lordship was this last winter Avell pleased to 
yield unto him a further respite of one year to 
ensure resolution in respect of his young years." I 
told him that the year was almost up, and said 
" that it was natural your lordsliip should wish to 
have the matter about his granddaughter settled." 
The most he could get out of his grandson was a 
promise that he would carry his answer to Lord 
Burghley himself, and Montague arranged that he 
and his daughter should take him to London at the 
beo-innino' of the term. 

On the 6th of October, Southampton completed 
his seventeenth year. He took, if he did not receive, 
another "year's respite," and on the 2nd March 
following, 1590-1, he wrote from Dieppe to the 
Earl of Essex offering him the service of his sword. 
The Earl of Essex had lately married the widow of 
Sir Philip Sydney, much to the Queen's wrath, and 
he was in some trouble himself. He did not risk 
accepting the offer of the Royal ward. 

Southampton was recalled to London, and then, 
in the April of 1591, he probably first met, at least 
as a friend, that inland-bred actor, who so strangely 
fascinated him, and kept him from his regret at 
being forbidden to follow Lord Essex. Someone 
suggested to the Countess, or to the new poet 
himself on her behalf, that he, a married man, 
should try to make the young lord " Suivez raison " 
(the family motto of the Brownes). The most likely 
person to do so was the stalwart and prudent Mr. 
William Harvey, who had won golden opinions from 
all sorts of people at the time of the Spanish 

VOL. XXVIll. 17 


Armada in 1 588, and who was a devoted friend of 
the family. If Ave allow ourselves to realise the 
likelihood of this, we find one key to the mystery of 
the dedication to the sonnets, lying ready to hand 
in a place where no one before has looked for it. 
(See my article " Who is Mr. W. H. ? " ' Athenaeum,' 
August 4th, 1900.) 

It was a part of the higher culture, then, to be 
able to write verses and to sing them to the lute, 
and, as such, doubtless Southampton had essayed to 
do after the model of Thomas AVatson at least, and we 
have noted what had been published by that date. 

Manuscript copies of the verses of the Earl of 
Essex, poured forth when he wanted " to evaporate 
his feelings in a sonnet," would probably also be 
found in that Holborn home, when in that " mutual 
imjjrovement society for two," the principles of 
literature were discussed. The young Earl, with 
his beautiful expressive eyes lit up by intellectual 
fire, with his fair face, rich attire, gracious manners, 
ingenuous outlook into life and philosophy, and 
enthusiastic inclination to help, made a real con- 
quest of the hungering home-sick heart of the poor 
player, and such a love was kindled as had not 
been sung since the days of Jonathan and David. 
It was because Shakespeare could feel as well as 
write that he found the sonnet silver and left it 
golden. Mr. Wyndham, in his splendid introduc- 
tion to the ' Poems of Shakespeare,' leaves nothing 
unsaid concerning their sesthetic charm. Except- 
ing: the first few I do not think the order of the 
sonnets at all correct. Some critics accept the 
107th as necessarily the last, and we know that 


those to the lady should have been sandwiched in 
between those to the youth if the date of production 
had been the principle of arrangement. Within the 
two series also the order has evidently been dis- 
turbed somehow. 

We know that they are not all on the same level 
of merit; neither do I think them all constructed 
with the same " intention." The last two evidently 
should come first, two forms of expressing the same 
idea from foreign sources which had probably been 
read to the poet by the patron. 

Those to the youth were evidently intended to l^e 
sent, and were sent : the earliest ones probably 
through his mother. Those to the lady were 
written, as Goethe puts it, " to work off a feeling," 
or to shape the expression of " a passion." The 
poet might have sung them to the lady, l)ut he 
would not risk the chances of sciuliiuj them in hhick 
and white. When the feeling had " evaporated " 
they would be sent in block to the friend, and thus 
be kept together, though possibly multiplied in 
copies among friends, one of whom must have 
proved unfaithful, or Jaggard would not have 
secured two by 1599. 

It was doubtless with some sense of self-reproach 
that Shakespeare, yielding to the family arguments, 
turned the engines of his new power upon his 
patron, urging him to marry. Training and strain- 
ing are both too visible in the admonitory sonnets, 
which smell of Sidney's ' Arcadia.' The first seven 
sonnets, to which I would add the eleventh and 
twelfth, make a sequence by themselves. The 
second sequence shows deepening affection, freer 


hand, more original conceptions. He bids the yonth 
wed to complete a harmony, to make war with 
Time, and to do so '\for love of me'' S. 10. Started 
as a literary experiment they developed more and 
more into the expression of personal feeling, and 
the advice to matrimony became snbordinate. In 
the loth Sonnet the poet first addressed the youth 
as " love " ; in the 20tli and 21st he took him as the 
inspiration and his muse. 

"A woman's face with nature's own hand painted 
Hast tliou; the luaster-niistress of my passion " (vS. 20). 

" So is it not with me as with that muse 
Stirred by a painted beauty to his verse " (S. 21). 

It was something for a poet living lonely in 
London to have such a wholesome and safe source 
of inspiration. The young noble was vain, and 
there was a subtle charm in being thus sung to by 
one whose genius he thought he had evoked. He 
listened more patiently to his poet than he had 
done to his mother and friends, but of course the 
sonnets had no effect in mending his misogynic 
mood. Their writer never expected they would do 
so, probably did not even wish it. The first double 
set of twenty-five was marked out by a separation 
which is recorded in history. 

The Queen was to be at Cowdray, Viscount 
Montague's country house, from the 15th until the 
22nd of August, 1591, and the youth would be 
summoned to his grandfather's assistance. The 
Queen and Court afterwards went on to his own 
house at Tichfield. Special opportunities would be 


certain to be made for him on this occasion. Essex 
was not at Court, and Sir Fulke Greville and others 
were trying to replace him by this friendly rival. 
Every young nobleman of the day was trained to 
act in courtly devices, and much depended on com- 
pliment with Elizabeth. Shakespeare would likely 
give his " sweet boy " return lessons in dramatic 

During this first period of separation, as Shake- 
speare wrote, there had been dawning on him the 
conception of a poem, by which he might at once 
take his position in the world of letters, honour his 
friend's teaching, and in a somewhat allegorical 
fashion, after the Spenserian " second intention," 
show how the entreaties of Venus fall unheeded 
upon ears intent on other music, and upon hearts 
filled with other interests. I do not wish now to go 
into any criticism of ' Venus and Adonis,' but com- 
parison makes it clear that the Sonnets were written 
about the same time, and addressed to the same 

" Describe Adonis/^ and the counterfeit 
Is poorly imitated after you \" (S. 51) 

The work on the poem checked the supply of 
Sonnets. Through the plague-year it developed, a 
joy apart from the strains of the miserable time. 
It was a year quite black enough to wake all poor 
grumbling Greene's dying spite against the "Johan- 
nes Factotum," Avho could both act and redact plays ; 

* It is cm-ious that the allegorical " second intention " in the poem 
should liave been applied by Thomas Edwavdes, so early as loOo, to the 
poet himself. 


a year gloomy enough to tone the picture of the 
reverse poem which came insistently into Shake- 
speare's brain to complete his " Venus " conception. 
For he began to take two sides to paint his pictures 
even then, as he always afterwards did. Another 
separation came. In the autumn of 1592 South- 
ampton was in the Queen's train at Oxford, acknow- 
ledged by all to be the brightest ornament of her 
court. Probably by the end of 1592 Shakespeare 
sent him the completed manuscript of his poem; 
with the private dedication of the 26th Sonnet, 
before he began to arrange aliout the publication of 
his " written ambassage," bidding him keep it 

" Till whatsoever star that guides my moving 
Points on me graciously with fair aspect, 
And puts apparel on my tattered loving 
To show me worthy of thy sweet respect :" (S. 20) 

that is, by having it printed and bound. By the 
18th April, 1593, the Archbishop of Canterbury had 
licensed it, and Richard Field had entered it as his 
copy in the Stationers' Registers. A more timid 
prose dedication faced the critical world. The poet 
would not shame his friend, nor commit him to any- 
thing, until he knew how the public would receive 
him. Then came a surprise doubtless to both of 
them, and certainly to others. Adonis leaped at 
once into popularity ! I noted that before he had 
completed his first ' Essay of a Prentice in the 
Divine Art of Poesy,' Shakespeare had sketched 
the outline of the " graver labour," alluded to in 
the Preface to his ' Venus and Adonis.' Some of 
the later Sonnets seem to be studies for Tarquin, as 


some of the earlier liacl been studies for Adonic. 
It is worth considering Sonnet 129 in this hght. 
The Sonnets had been affected by the appearance of 
' Astrophel and Stella' in 1591, and the author was 
probably incited by the appearance of Daniel's 
'Delia' and Constable's 'Diana' in 1592 to new 

After Southampton's return to London he seems 
to have become interested in other poets, and to have 
spent some of the hours hitherto devoted to 
Shakespeare, with other literary acquaintances. 
Thence sprang the allusions to the " alien pens " 
(S. 87), the " better spirit " (S. 80) " the proud full 
sail of his great verse." Doubtless the chief rival 
was Chapman, who even then Avas doing worthy 
work. But he has left no notice of the Earl of 
Southampton until much later years. Evidently the 
young Earl, moved by his poet's suffering, liad 
granted that he " ivas married to his muse," and had 
refused to become the special patron of other poets. 
Indeed, he had shown a fit of answering jealousy, 
alluded to in Sonnet 109. But all frictions were 
smoothed away, and the happy friend and triumphant 
poet was able to redeem his promise and to pul^lish 
his "graver labour" in May, 159-1, expressing his 
love to his patron in nearly the same terms as he 
had used in Sonnet 2(3. His ' Lucrece ' assured 
his position in the literary world, and cleared his 
character in the eyes of sober men. 

I have said that I do not think the order of the 
sonnets correct, that the love-sonnets should have 
been interleaved with the others, tliat they had not 
been sent, and that they did not mean so much as 


tliey seemed to impart. Nevertheless, it seems 
evident that in the plague year, with all its depressing 
influences, in the absence of his friend, Shakespeare 
himself had been tempted by a dark-eyed witch, a 
married woman, experienced in coquettish wiles. 
We do not hiow who the lady was. I do not think 
she was a ladij at all in the court sense of the word. 
Many suggestions support my opinion that she was 
one of the rich citizen's wives, some of whom had 
been educated by wealthy fathers to the level of the 
culture of the time in art and music ; a citizen's wife 
who had been married just long enough to feel a 
sense of ennui creep into her leisurely life, and a 
desire for new conquests re-awake in her vain heart. 
Such a one he might have met in the very house he 
must most have frequented. I do not hioiv anything 
about the moral principles of Mrs. Jacquinetta Field, 
and do not wish to bring my views, as a personal 
charge against her. But she fulfilled all the necessary 
external conditions, and she was a Frenchwoman, 
therefore likely to have dark eyes, a sallow com- 
plexion, and that indefinable charm so much alluded 
to. Such a woman might very well have ignored 
young Shakespeare when he came, poor and 
unknown, about her husband's house at first. But 
when she found him pojoular and making his way 
among the aristocracy she might suddenly have 
become interested in him, and lay her toils. Other 
men's sonnets had taught her how to act. She tuned 
her sweetest music to his tastes, and played remorse- 
lessly upon her poet's heart. After the publication 
of ' Venus and Adonis,' by Richard Field, she might 
achieve her desire of meeting Shakespeare's Earl. 


She entangled him for a short time in a game of 
bagatelle, in order to torture her victim, though it 
really seems to have cured him. And tlien, it was 
all over, there Avas no treachery, no cruelty, it 
was all a mistake, a comedy of errors. The echo of 
the explanations ring through Shakespeare's plays, 
as well as through his sonnets. A strange outside 
reflection of this little domestic drama seems clearly 
intended in 'Willobie's Avisa,' registered on 3rd 
September, 1594, in which Shakespeare's ' Lucrece ' 
is definitely mentioned, and H. AV. and W. S. alluded 
to, under conditions that strongly suggest the story 
of the Sonnets. It shows the picture of a wonder- 
fully admired woman of incorruptible chastity, beset 
by many wooers, t'hese two among them. " W. S. 
determined to see whether it would sort to a happier 
end for this new actor, H. W., then it did for the 
old player." Many strange parallels between the 
book and the sonnets might be noted, and I have a 
shrewd suspicion that the dark lady herself was a 
moving spirit in its publication. Personalities were 
evidently intended and resented, and the book was 
" called in." But the pain of the pubhcation rankled 
in Shakespeare's heart : 

"'Tis better to he vile, than vile esteemed" (S. 121). 

In the same month as Shakespeare brought out 
his 'Lucrece,' the Countess of Southampton married 
Sir Thomas Heneage, a trusted friend of the Queen's, 
and Vice-Chamberlain of the Royal Household. 
Henceforth Court patronage was opened to Shake- 
speare, and during the following Christmas holidays, 


for the first time, his name was entered in the 
accounts of the Privy Cliamber, as having played 
before the Queen at Greenwich. Curiously enough, 
at the same time, his company is recorded to 
have appeared suddenly amid the confusion of the 
Grray's Inn Revels, and to have performed " The 
Comedy of Errors " on the stage designed for 
graver concerts. This led to great trouble in Gray's 
Inn, and mysterious investigations, in which an 
enchanter was blamed. Nobody asked ivlto paid the 
plai/ers ? I have always fancied that Southampton 
did, and that lie introduced them, for how, without 
the permission of some fellow of Gray's Inn, could 
they have had access to the stage.* Bacon was 
employed to write a device to " restore the honour 
of Gray's Inn," lost on The Night of Errors. 

In two ways, both painful to the poet, during the 
following year, while Sir Thomas Heneage's illness 
absorbed the attention of the Countess of Southamp- 
ton, his young friend's name had become bandied 
about, among the gossiping cliques of Paul's Walk. 
His friends, Sir Charles and Henry Danvers, insti- 
gated by personal revenge, for some cause unknown, 
had, in January, 1594-5, taken their servants and 
gone out deliberately to murder two men, the Longs, 
which they succeeded in doing. They stalled their 
horses in Southampton's stables at Tichfield, that 
night, and when they went to London, next day, he 
rode with them and helped them to escape to 
France. It is very dijSicult to understand the 
meaning of this episode in his life, for the Danvers 

* See my article, " The First Official Record of Shakespeare's Name," 
' Shakespeare Jahr Buch,' 1895, Berlin. 


remained his friends. The other was more natnrah 
Southampton, " having passed by the ambush of 
young days," at last fell incurably in love with the 
fair Mistress Elizabeth Vernon, the daughter of Sir 
John Vernon, cousin of the Earl of Essex, and Maid 
of Honour to the Queen. lie needed no sonnets 
now to urge him to marry, but the Queen forbade 
the banns. He hovered round the Court. The 
Sydney papers state that he was, in the absence of 
Essex, " a careful waiter here, and sede vacnnto 
doth receive favours at her Majesty's hands, all 
this without breach of amity between them." But 
it was the othei' Elkaheth who drew him thither. 
Hasty and impulsive as he was, " My Lord 
Southampton doth with too much familiarity court 
the fair Mistress Vernon, while his friends, ob- 
serving the Queen's humour towards my Lord of 
Essex, do what they can to bring her to favour him, 
but it is yet in vain," wrote Rowland Whyte, 
September 22nd, 1595. 

This gossip sunk into Shakespeare's heart. He 
knew that he might be blamed by some, as the 
Earl's adviser, and he called him to task in Sonnets 
95 and 96. After the commencement of this 
absorbing passion the sonnets gradually ceased. 
Probably Shakespeare realised his reign was over. 
None seem to suggest Southampton's voyages, 
knighthood, marriage, or subsequent imprisonment. 
For the allusions in Sonnet 107 must not be con- 
fused with this. 

Having interwoven many of the phrases, ideas, 
and even situations of the sonnets into his plays, 
having thrown in even some of the verses entire, 


Shakespeare's fame became fixed in 1598 })y the 
liberal praise of Francis Meres, Professor of Rhe- 
toric at Oxford, who noted not onl}- tlic plays and 
the poems, but " the sugred sonnets among his 
private friends." 

By some means pirate Jaggard got possession of 
two of these private sonnets, culled those already 
printed in the plays, stole many verses from other 
writers, among them the ' Paris to Helen ' and 
' Helen to Paris ' of Thomas Hey wood, and pub- 
lished them in 1599 as " ' The Passionate Pilgrim,' 
by William Shakespeare," eager to exploit the value 
of his name. 

To reclaim his own Heywood published them, as 
he had intended, in his ' Troia Britannica,' regis- 
tered before 1()09. Apparently Jaggard published 
a second edition, probably in 1G09. In the post- 
script of his 'Apology for Actors,' 1612, Heywood 
complained of Jaggard's " manifest injury," and 
stated that the author was much offended with the 
publisher for " having altogether unknown to him, 
presumed to make so bold with his name." 

This is interesting to us, because it is the only 
recorded notice of Shakespeare's opinion of his pub- 
lishers. Indeed it is just possible that Shakespeare 
permitted, if he did not suggest, the publication of 
his Sonnets in order, by showing all that he laid 
claim to, at once to punish Jaggard, and protect 
Heywood, and other injured poets. In spite of 
Heywood's and Shakespeare's protest, Jaggard 
brought out a third edition of the ' Passionate Pil- 
grim ' in 1612, stating that they were "newly cor- 
rected and augmented by W. Shakespeare. Where- 


unto is newly added two Epistles, the first from 
Paris to Helen, and Helen's answer back again to 
Paris." But pressure was evidently brought to bear 
upon Jaggard, for though this stands in the title- 
page, the epistles do not apj^ear in the text. 

To whatever cause we owe it, the Sonnets were 
published in 1 609, long after the vogue of son- 
neteering had passed, by T. T., i. c. Thomas Thorpe, 
with an address to Mr. W. H. The chief battlefield 
in the history of the sonnets has been over the 
meaning of those initials. I believe, as I have said 
above that they mean Mr. William Harvey. 

Sir Thomas Heneage had died in 1595, leaving 
the Countess of Southampton the second time a 
widow, in trouble over his bills, and not over well 
treated by friends. Shortly after her son's stolen 
marriage to Elizabeth Vernon in 1598 she had 
promised to marry her faithful friend, now her 
knight. Sir William Harvey. Her action roused 
the indignation of her son at first, and caused dis- 
comfort among her friends. Harvey's family and 
position were not equal to hers, and matrimony in a 
mother is sometimes inconvenient to a son. The 
Earl of Essex himself took the trouble to counsel 
her gravely. But like her son she held her own 
way through thick and thin, and married Sir Wil- 
liam Harvey in 1598. She died in 1607, and it was 
reported by Chamberlain that " she had left the 
best part of her stuff to her son, and the most part 
to her husband." It is very likely that a manu- 
script copy of ' Shakespeare's Sonnets ' would be 
left among " tlie most part," and it is quite possible 
that after consultation with Southampton and 

200 THE ruiENDS in shakespeare s sonnets. 

Sliakespeare, Harvey, always a patron of letters, 
prepared them to be published in order to relieve 
Hey wood, and punish the pirate Jaggard, by limiting 
the list of sonnets to which Shakespeare laid claim. 

Thomas Thorpe was too glad of the chance of 
becomino- a merchant adventurer on the sea of 
publication. If, as I have shown to have been 
possible, Sir William had, in the first instance, sug- 
gested the writing of the early sonnets, the meaning 
of Thorpe's address is clear. It was quite usual to 
address a gentleman as Mr. after his knighthood. 
Lady Southampton always spoke of her second 
husband as Mr. Heneage. Further, since the death 
of his first wife, in 1607, Sir William had consoled 
himself with a bright young bride. Mistress Cordelia 
Ansley, of Lee. It would therefore be perfectly 
consonant with Thorpe's gratitude and his character 
to wish " Mr. W. H. all happinesse, and that eternitie 
promised by the everlasting poet." 

The " eternity " intended might have been that 
of a long line of descendants to keep up his noble 
name,* (for it was Thorpe who wrote the address). 

It may be urged that I cannot p'ove this. I 
acknowledge it. But surely an explanation so 
simple and one that fits so naturally into the whole 
known series of facts, may be justly considered and 
duly treated as a good working hypothesis, until 
something better may be discovered. And the 
surest way to learn more of Shakespeare is to learn 
more about his friends. 

* He was afterwards enuobled as Lord Harvey of Kidbrooke"' and 
Baron de Eosse in Ireland. 


[Eead October 2Sth, 190S.] 

I MUST plead guilty to the imputation that the 
title I have chosen for this paper, " Fate and the 
Tragic Sense," is somewhat ambiguous. I am told 
that it is like the headings of certain of the chapters 
in Meredith's novels, or that it might actually serve 
as a title for a romance by that somewhat cryptic 
author, Mr. Henry James. It is obviously, there- 
fore, a primary duty to explain. What do I mean 
by " tragic sense " ? I m.ean the appreciation of 
those conditions which make for tragedy in human 
life. What do we mean by Fate ? That is our 
name for the Unknown, something not ourselves, 
which overpowers us, against which we struggle, 
and in the conflict with which we fail. All tragedy 
involves this notion of Fate. And I lay stress on 
the point, because one of the best of dramatic 
critics, Aristotle, did not realise its importance 
when he was attempting to define Tragedy. To 
him tragedy was sufficiently explained when it 
was held to conform to three conditions. In the 
first place it was a form of drama exciting the 
emotions of pity and fear ; in the next place its 
action must be simple and complete, dealing with 
sudden changes and reversals of fortune ; and thirdly, 



it must be written in poetry, embellished with 
every kind of artistic expression. You will observe 
that only in one point does a definition of this kind 
touch the notion of Fate. Tragedy, Aristotle thought, 
must deal with reversals of fortune ; it must narrate 
the ruin of persons renowned and distinguished. 
What the moderns have added, or (to speak much 
more succinctly and definitely) what Shakespeare 
has added, to this conception is the notion that all 
tragedy involves a conflict — a conflict of wills, or of 
will with circumstance, or of will with itself — and 
that, therefore, it is imperatively necessary that it 
should be based on the characters of the persons 
involved. Aristotle practically told us that the 
story of the plot was more important than the per- 
sonages engaged. Modern tragedy insists that 
because the course of the drama reveals a conflict 
in w^iich great personalities are engaged, the tem- 
perament, nature, and character of the hero or 
heroine are of supreme importance. And, probably 
owing to the permanence of theatrical conditions, 
this type of tragedy has lasted through at least 
three or four centuries. If it had been left to 
Literature alone, we can see — as suggested by some 
of the dramas of Browning, for instance, or 
Swinburne — that the type of tragedy might have 
been altered. But theatrical conditions are always 
conservative, and if we say that a typical tragedy is 
concerned with a great personality engaged in a 
struggle that ends disastrously, we have obtained a 
formula which applies to almost every specimen of 
this species of creative work. 

Tragedy, then, involves the conflict of a human 


will with something else. What is tliis something- 
else ? It may be the steady antagonism of other 
Avills. It may be a great impersonal Fate. It 
may be the enormous tyranny of character and 
heredity. Or, lastly, in a great deal of the modern 
social drama, full of tragic elements, Fate may 
be recognised as social convention, a mass of 
prejudices, pre-conceptions, arrangements, ordin- 
ances, which make up civilisation and constitute 
the social state. The modern hero or heroine, 
as we shall discover, whether in Dumas, Augier, 
Ibsen, or Pinero, erects his or her standard 
of revolt against the recognised conventions of 
society, and destroys himself or herself in the effort. 
I do not know a better illustration of this modern 
social drama than is to be found in Ibsen's well- 
known piece, " An Enemy of the People." Dr. 
Stockmann is at war with all the prevailing thoughts 
and tendencies of his time. He is defeated in the 
conflict, and has to solace himself Avith the asser- 
tion that a man is never so strong as when he is 
alone. Yoii will observe that our modern notion of 
Fate is by no means so august as the earlier ones. 
An obscure, irresistible Destiny, an ingrained or 
inherited character, are now, in their turn, succeeded 
by a more familiar and less reputable figure, the 
force of which is always checking us, and making 
us all conventional, — the formidable figure of Mrs. 
Grrundy. Our subject, then, becomes tolerably 
well defined. We have, in the first place, to regard 
the matter from the subjective side, to consider 
how human beings, carrying on their respective 
lives, indulging their hopes, fears, loves, hates, 


interests and passions, dash themselves against 
laws stronger than themselves, and meet with that 
deserved, or, in some cases, undeserved, ruin which 
all tragedy involves; while in the second place, from 
the objective standpoint, we have to obtain a more 
accurate definition of what is meant by fatality 
and destiny. 


In how many ways can a man dash himself 
against laws and ordinances, larger, more august 
than his own personality ? In many ways, doubt- 
less. Let us take a few instances from Shakespeare. 
There is one passion, ruinous when in excess, the 
passion of love. Of this Shakespeare gives us two 
examples — the youthful, wild, unthinking passion of 
Romeo and the middle-aged dotage of Antony, " the 
doting mallard," who flies after Cleopatra to his 
death. So, again, there is the strong, over-master- 
ing emotion which we call ambition, of which we 
also have two examples. Ambition is manifested in 
intense will-power, a demonic energy of volition as 
shown us in Richard III ; while ambition as a 
morbid, superstitious belief in himself and in his 
own star, the attitude of the imaginative mystic, is 
shown us in ' Macbeth.' Love and ambition are two 
of the destroying influences in human nature, but 
there are many more besides. There is selfishness 
raised to the highest conceivable degree, a devouring 
egotism, of which once more we have two examples. 
Egotism may signify the pride of caste, a patrician 
feeling, an absurdly high estimate of personal 


value and personal strength, — and then we have 
Coriolanus. Or else egotism may be shown in a 
different fashion, that peculiarly destructive form in 
which it renders old age so terrible a thing, — the 
selfishness of a King Lear, a senile desire or weak- 
ness to annex and engross every form of considera- 
tion and love. Nor yet have we exhausted the 
catalogue of ruinous vices. There is the vice of 
jealousy, combined with the belief that a man can 
claim vengeance as his own, as though he were a 
god-appointed instrument to execute punishment on 
feminine frailt}^, as you find it in Othello. There 
is the vice of frantic jjessimism, the despair in all 
human virtue and excellence, because the man has 
discovered in his own case the fickleness of fortune 
and his friends, as you see it in ' Timon of Athens.' 
And, last in the melancholy list comes a more subtle 
disease, on which Shakespeare bestows especial 
pains, a disease that comes to the student, to the 
moralist, to the philosopher, a malady of intro- 
spection, the enormous fallacy of trying to impose 
your own ideals upon the world, as you find it both 
in Brutus and in Hamlet. There is reason to 
think that the two plays of ' Julius Caesar ' and 
' Hamlet ' were worked at by Shakespeare about 
the same time, for ' Hamlet,' at all events, contains 
more than one reference to the tragedy enacted on 
the Capitol, and Horatio proclaims himself to be 
" more an antique Roman than a Dane." 

In all this portrait gallery of the sins and frailty 
of humanity which lead us straight to the sphere of 
tragedy, it is difficult to make one selection rather 
than another as illustrating the dramatist's con- 


ception of his problem. One cliaracteristic above 
all belongs, by indubitable birthmark, to every 
Shakespearian character. It has a certain infinity 
about it, — a vague Avorcl for a necessarily vague 
quality. I mean that it opens large vistas, and is 
not exhausted by the enumeration of a few simple 
attributes. There are so many sides to Othello and 
Macbeth, to King Lear and to Hamlet, that we are 
forced to realise that they are not so much inven- 
tions as small pieces of complex humanity itself. 
Nevertheless, if we suppose, as we reasonably ma}^ 
that at a particular period in the development of 
Shakespeare's art, he was wrestling in his own 
person with the deeper problems of existence, 
finding for his own nature a deliverance from his 
own besetting sins, we shall hardly be wrong in 
fixing upon two tragedies, ' Romeo ' and ' Hamlet,' 
as the most significant and illustrative. 

Doubtless to Shakespeare, as to many men in that 
riotous Elizabethan period, there came the tempta- 
tion to think that the whole world was well lost for 
love. In characteristic fashion Shakespeare paints 
for us two ways in which the passion of love can 
influence men. It can redeem a man, as it did 
Romeo; it can destroy a man, as it did Mark 
Antony. Notice how skilfully we are shown that 
at the opening of the play Romeo was a man who 
loved rather imaginatively than in reality. He had 
a "tendresse" for Rosaline; he uses the conventional 
terminology of lovers; he talks about Cupid and 
Dian's shaft, and the rest of the sickly conventional 
literature of the enamoured. But Juliet converts 
him from the mere romance of love into a heart- 


whole passion invading the entire personaUty, 
Before he was in love with love : now he is in love 
with a woman, and his nature becomes infinitely 
stronger and purer. Listen to him when he is 
told the news of Juliet's death. There is no 
fantastic literary rubbish which he thinks appro- 
priate to such an event. Before he was more or 
less of a puppet pulled by alien wires, a plaything 
in the hands of fate ; now he is a man. " I defy 
you, stars." Destiny has no longer hold of him. 
He is prepared " to shake the yoke of inauspicious 
stars from his world-wearied flesh," and, without 
one word of poetical imagery, it is plain Juliet 
with him now. " AYell, Juliet, I will lie with thee 
to-night." There is the simplicity of a defi.nite 
resolve, in which the whole nature is enlisted. 
From the external standpoint there is disaster, ruin, 
catastrophe, because " violent delights have violent 
ends"; but from the inner spiritual side of the 
man's nature, which concerns us in tragedy, there 
is a triumph even in defeat, a victory over weak- 
ness, an entire satisfaction for our moral conscience. 
Romeo has achieved the end of his life ; he has died 
upon a kiss. 

It is different with Mark Antony, because both the 
acre and the character of the hero are so different. 
The absolute self-surrender of a middle-ao-ed man 
who ought to be conquering the world, and is 
conquered by a splendid courtesan, the serpent of 
old Nile, is not a noble thing at all ; it is a despic- 
able thing. But Shakespeare is too much of an 
artist not to surround this theme of passion, so 
destructive to masculine energies, with all the 


splendid light and colour of Eastern magnificence. 
We cannot afford to despise either Antony or Cleo- 
patra, because Shakespeare Avill not for a moment 
allow us to regard them otherwise than as august, 
grandiose, tragic personalities. Think how Milton 
treated much the same theme in his ' Samson Ago- 
nistes,' and you will see the difference between a 
Puritan moralist and a sympathetic human drama- 
tist. Milton cannot conceal his scorn for the de- 
generate Samson ; he cannot refrain from righteous 
railing against his Delilah. But Antony is a Her- 
cules, a demi-god, "the demi- Atlas of this earth, 
the arm and burgonet of men." He is a ruin, but 
a ruin not wanting in grandeur, as it were the 
shell of an imperial castle. 

Both these two lovers, Romeo and Antony, have 
as the partner of their fates the women they deserve. 
As a rule Shakespeare made his women somewhat 
wanting in complex features. He lived in an age 
before the rise of what we call Feminism, and his 
heroines, consisting as they do of one or two well- 
marked characteristics, are never analysed as fully 
or as carefully as his men. But because Shake- 
speare's women have fewer elements, they are, what 
they are intended to be, strong, extremely direct, 
practical, with the clearest knowledge of what they 
want, and of the proper means to the desired end. 
Juliet, despite her tender age (of fourteen years), is 
one of the most direct and practical young women 
that could be. She knows precisely what she wants, 
an union with Romeo, and every action is clearly 
designed to bring about the result. It is she who 
suggests a marriage before the friar; it is she who, 


wlien father, mother and nurse all forsake her, has 
the courage and the hardihood to carry out her 
objects in her own way. That is how she saves 
Romeo, lifting him up to the higher level of pas- 
sionate love at which she herself lives. But the 
middle-aged lover, Antony, finds his destiny in a 
woman with a past, a woman to whom Antony's 
love was not so much a revelation of Avhat human 
nature is capable of, as the latest and most supreme 
of her sensations. The portrait of Cleopatra is 
eminently fascinating, because she is neither true 
nor false, neither sincere nor insincere, but a com- 
pound of opposites, intensely feminine, eminently 
alluring, a triumphant wanton. How clearly Shake- 
speare understood this character you can see from 
her wonderful death scene. The mode in which she 
chooses to die— poisoning herself with an asp — is 
silly and ridiculous enough, but true to life, because 
such a woman would have an instinctive horror of 
feeling pain. She is coquettish to the very end, a 
little theatrical, very emotional, entirely captivating. 
She died as she had lived, a Helen, a Mary, Queen 
of Scots, formed to be " a wonder and a wild desire," 
a siren of the Mediterranean, luring men to destruc- 
tion on the rocks. 

Apart from this theme of love which, let us re- 
member in passing, was not considered a proper 
subject for dramatic art in the Athenian drama 
before Euripides, we come to a very modern burden, 
the burden of intellectuality. Clearly this, too, was 
a form of temptation to which Shakespeare himself 
might well be prone. There was always the danger 
for him that, leading as he did an inner life, he 


mio-ht make the mistake of thinkino- that it exhausted 
all possibilities of existence. Do ideas govern the 
world? Yes and no. Their ultimate victory is 
certain, but to the man who dreams, who refuses to 
live the life of his day, they are often a subtle cause 
of ruin and failure. Think of Brutus, the most 
high-souled Roman, the man of the loftiest integrity, 
the husband who was worthy to have such a wife as 
Portia, the hero to whom, in the play in which he 
bears so conspicuous a part, we extend all our sym- 
pathy. Yet, confronted with the practical problem 
he failed, and gave the victory into the hands of a 
much inferior man, for no other reason than that he 
applied ideal principles to an actual insistent politi- 
cal crisis. Brutus persuades himself that he killed 
Caesar because he was a tyrant. In reality he killed 
him because, born of a revolutionary line, he had 
nursed his youth on revolutionary ideals, and sup- 
posed that, when Rome was crying out for an auto- 
cratic ruler, she could still be managed, as in an 
age of republican simplicity, by a senate and consuls. 
The malady of Hamlet is not very remote from 
this. At all events, it starts from much the same 
mistake. The tragedy of Hamlet is that of a 
man of a peculiar introspective temperament, called 
upon to settle a practical crisis. Hamlet knew this 
very well himself, and that makes the tragedy deeper. 
Brutus never doubted, when once his decision was 
taken, that he was the right man to cure the evils of 
Rome ; Hamlet doubted from the very beginning. 
The times are out of joint, cursed spite 
That ever I was born to set them right ! 
He was too fine, too distinguished, too intellectual a 


cliaracter to be the rough instrument which Fate 
demanded. He has the fatal malady of analysing 
his own motives, which is generally destructive of 
action. If you once begin asking yourself what will 
be the results and consequences of a definite act, 
you will find that at the moment of action your 
will is paralysed by excess of scrupulosity, as 
Hamlet's was, when with his drawn sword he saw 
his uncle joraying. It was a disease of will from 
which Hamlet was suffering. In any other times it 
would not have been so fatal. In this particular 
time, when he was called upon to do a specific act, 
to avenge his father and kill the usurper, it is not 
he, but a man rather of the Fortinbras build, who 
will be the saviour of society. Observe, too, that 
like many intellectual men, he cannot be sure of his 
own moods. He sees the ghost of his murdered 
father ; but is it an honest ghost, is it really his 
father's spirit ? Hamlet believes in it on the battle- 
ments of Elsinore ; but he entirely disbelieves in it 
in another mood, when, despite the evidence of his 
senses, he talks of " the bourne from which no 
traveller returns." The traveller who Jiad returned 
is dismissed apparently as a fantasy of his brain. 
And these supernatural visitings in such an analytic 
and introspective mind do not, as a matter of fact, 
supply him with the motive for his subsequent 
action. The ghost can make him put on an antic 
disposition, play with such creatures as Rosencrantz 
and Gruilderstern, deride the senile humours of 
Polonius, and lessen the torrent of his words against 
his mother. But what the ghost cannot do is to 
make him kill his uncle. He nuirders him at the 


last, more or less accidentally, because his mother 
was poisoned and Laertes had played foul in the 
fencing bout. So curiously destructive of strong 
practical volition is an intellectual malady when it 
has grown morbid — the tendency towards introspec- 
tion, self-analysis, metaph3"sical speculation. 

It will be interesting, perhaps, to illustrate some 
later conceptions of the tragic sense out of the 
dramas of Mr. Pinero — for one reason especially, 
because we can now cite the case of heroines in- 
stead of heroes. No one doubts that Mr. Pinero is 
a very diligent student of femininity. The only 
doubt can be whether, on the whole, he is just to 
them or unjust. In a matter like this, in all proba- 
bility the masculine critic may assert that he is far 
too kind and sympathetic to his women, while the 
feminine critic, on the contrary, will maintain that 
in virtue of his sympathy he sees things about them 
which no one else can see, and makes excuses for 
them which no one else would make. The point is 
an interesting one, and it can be very easily illus- 
trated. There is a series of feminine characters, 
more or less formed in the same mould, who run 
through Mr. Pinero's serious plays. We begin 
with a character like that of Theophila Fraser, in 
' The Benefit of the Doubt.' Then we proceed to 
Paula Tanqueray. On her follows ' The Notorious 
Mrs. Ebbsmith,' and we end with Iris, in the play 
bearing^ her name. Now in the case of all these 
heroines we have a contest, a revolt, a failure, a 
defeat. Sometimes the Avoman struggles against 
those laws of convention and prejudice which we 
sum up under the name of Mrs. Grundy : sometimes 


we have an insurrection against the marriage laws ; 
sometimes we have a struggle against abiding laws 
of psychology. Or, once more, we have a deeper 
sin, perhaps the deepest sin which woman can 
commit — a sin against love itself. Moreover, it 
wonkl he true to say of all the heroines to which 
I have alluded that they are, from any serious 
masculine standpoint, either worthless or contempt- 
ible. And yet such is Mr. Pinero's art that we are 
only too ready to forgive them all. We make 
excuses for them ; we say that circumstances were 
too strong, that their positions were unendurable, 
and that, therefore, their sins should be forgiven. 
Here is Theo. Fraser, in ' The Benefit of the Doubt.' 
She is married to a hard, dour Scotsman, Fraser of 
Locheen, who will wear kilts at the dinner-table, 
and insists on having his excruciating bagpipes 
played on every occasion. Well, it is not fair to a 
sensitive woman, on whose nerves these things act 
with terrible force, especially if she is a born rebel, 
and sets up her standard of revolt against existing 
social conventions and prejudices. Theo. flies for 
refuge to Jack Allingham, and there is a scandal, 
an action for divorce, and the judge gives her " the 
benefit of the doubt." Now mark what ensues. 
Fraser, the husband, not being an absolute ass, but 
on the contrary possessed of some rude, straight- 
forward common-sense, says that they must go 
abroad, in order to get over the malevolence of 
spiteful tongues. Theo. resolutely refuses to do 
anything of the kind. She is obstinately a rebel. 
She insists that the situation must lie faced, aud 
they must remain in town. She is quite wrong, as 


the sequel proves. Upset by her husband's supe- 
rior common-sense, she goes once again to Jack 
Allingham, in a half -fainting condition. She drinks 
champagne on an empty stomach, and, not to put 
too fine a point on it, she gets intoxicated. In this 
condition she implores Jack Allingham to run away 
with her. Not a nice woman, this ; and yet, upon 
my soul, the dramatist makes us forgive lier ! Appa- 
rently he forgives her himself, for he lets her fall 
into the hands of the wife of a worthy bishop, who 
is going to spread her immaculate reputation over 
Theo.'s peccadilloes, and gradually restore her fair 
fame in the public credit. I always wonder why 
this fine play, ' The Benefit of the Doubt,' has 
never been revived. I suppose we must wait until 
the National Theatre is established before we can 
hope to see it again. The first and second acts are 

Perhaps I need not dwell long on the character of 
Paula Tanqueray, for the moral of her case is very 
obvious, and hardly needs much elucidation. Did 
she ever love Aubrey Tanqueray ? I think not. 
Perhaps a woman with her life has worn out the 
possibility of love. I think she only cared for com- 
fort, rest, the satisfaction of living in a properly 
conducted home, of being respected as a legitimate 
wife. She betrays her husband at every point. 
Capriciousness is the least of her vices. She asks 
her disreputable friends to stay with her. Even if 
she had won the love of her stepdaughter, EUean, 
it is doubtful if she would have known what to do 
with it. And yet — and yet — we are more than a little 
inclined to forgive Paula Tanqueray, although she 


had absolutely ruined a good man, and brought posi- 
tive agony to his daughter. What, in her turn, shall we 
say of Agnes Ebbsmith ? There is a strange tragedy 
about this woman. She ran full tilt against the 
ordinances of society, especially those which are 
embodied in our ordinary marriage laws, because 
she really wanted to be the companion, friend, and 
fellow-worker of the man with whom she had elected 
to live, Lucas Cleeve. Perhaps Lucas Cleeve also 
thought that life was possible, both for him and for 
Agnes, on the high, passionless levels of frank com- 
panionship. But, because Lucas Cleeve is merely 
the ordinary, undistinguished, individual man, 
Vliommc moyen sensuel, — perhaps because women 
can do exceptional things and men can not, in fact, 
for a multiplicity of reasons, in which the whole 
idea of platonic love is involved, the experiment is a 
dire failure. Agnes has to appeal to Lucas Cleeve's 
senses in order to keep him constant. 

To me, I confess. Iris Bellamy, in the play called 
' Iris,' is the deeper criminal, because she sins 
against the light, because she sins against love 
itself, makes a game of it, j)Ostpones it to her 
chance moods of selfishness. But Iris Bellamy, 
according to her own account, is more sinned 
ao'ainst than sinnino-. She is left a widow at a 
very early age, with a certain fortune, which she is 
to resign if she marries again. Round her are 
three men, Oroker Harrington (who, perhaps, does 
not count, for he is only a faithful, dog-like crea- 
ture), Laurence Trenwith, an impecunious young 
man, with whom Iris is, with apparent sincerity, in 
love, and the Mephistopheles of the piece, Frederick 


Maldonado, a hard, wealthy, masterful financier. 
Now Iris cannot be straight with any of these. 
She cannot make up her mind to live in poverty 
abroad with Laurence Trenwith ; poor Croker 
hardly enters into her calculations, for he is content 
with dumb service. Suddenly she is herself con- 
fronted with poverty, owing to the ill-doings of a 
rascally attorne}'-. And this is Maldonado's chance. 
He leaves a cheque-book with her, and she makes 
use of it. He prepares a beautifully furnished flat 
for her, leaving the key with her; and eventual^ 
she drifts into accepting it. Then Trenwith returns 
from abroad, and she tells him the whole story, 
expecting him to forgive her. Immensely hurt at 
his refusal, both hurt and surprised, she is aban- 
doned to Maldonado's mercy. And, because he has 
discovered the intrigue between Iris and Trenwith, 
she is finally driven into the streets. You will say 
that she is punished, and terribly punished. It is 
quite true, for she had sinned against the very idea 
of love. Xevertheless, if I am not mistaken, many 
of us are genuinely sorry for her. And yet, could 
there be a more worthless woman? Was she 
wicked, or merely weak? We really cannot say. 
The case stands as it does with Sophy Fullgarney 
in ' The Gay Lord Quex,' whom the hero very justly 
describes as a cat, scratching the hand that pets it. 
Yet Sophy Fullgarney becomes in the sequel a quite 
estimable character, although she is a mean, des- 
picable spy. And Iris, too, lives in our memory, 
although she is quite non-moral — perhaps even 
basely immoral. " There is a soul of goodness in 
thino-s evil": that is the dramatist's lesson. Or 



perhaps we have another illustration of the famous 
text, " To know all is to pardon all." Mr. Pinero 
has made us understand his women, and, although 
masculine judgment rebels, we are sympathetically 
interested in them. We observe them dashing them- 
selves in vain against laws too big and too imperious. 
They are victims, we say, of Fate, and we are in- 
clined to grant them almost plenary absolution. 


The second division of our subject is the meaning 
of fatality or destiny. In how many ways can this 
conception be understood ? 

Destiny can be conceived as a great impersonal, 
primitive force, existing from all eternity, abso- 
lutely independent of human wills, superior even to 
any god whom humanity may have invented as an 
object of its own worship. So the earliest of Greeks 
imagined their original archetypal fate or destiny 
bigger than the gods, and regulating even the 
changes and revolutions in the divine hierarchy. 
The conception of a great primitive jealousy, 
bearing no rivals near its throne, is one form in 
which the ancient mind has interpreted its notion 
of destiny. Take an example. Polycrates, tyrant 
of Samos, is an exceedingly successful man ; so un- 
broken is the career of his luck that his firmest ally 
throws him over — he is so afraid of him and his 
fortune. Polycrates himself becomes frightened, 
knowing that jealousy rules the universe, and he 
voluntarily throws into the sea his richest crown 



jewel in an attempt to propitiate destiny. A 
fisherman presents him with a noble fish, and in it 
is found the jewel returned to his hands. Then 
Polycrates knows that he is a doomed man. Observe 
that the force which rules the universe is quite 
unmoral. Innocent prosperity is quite as much of 
an offence to it as guilty prosperity. And there is 
another and a darker view. Goodness itself, when 
carried to excess, provokes the hostility of Heaven. 
Heroes like Lycurg'us and Pentheus perished for 
excess of temperance, and the ancient dramas, as 
interpreted, at all events, by Euripides, startle a 
modern audience with a figure like Hippolytus, 
whose passionate purity brought destruction upon 
himself. It is as though a Sir Galahad were to be 
condemned just because he were better than other 
knights. The shrinking, uncertain, terror-stricken 
beings who looked out upon a world which seemed 
a stranger to their best instincts, envisaged for 
themselves certain dark, mysterious forces, which 
make for anything but righteousness and justice, 
powers which go on in their l^lind course, absolutely 
regardless of human equity and feeling. 

Such a view of destiny could not endure. Sooner 
or later the effort is made to moralise this idea, to 
explain and interpret it as not negativing righteous- 
ness, but in some inscrutable way fulfilling it. This 
is the second stage, in which destiny gets a new 
name. Nemesis or Apportionment. Nemesis is really 
a poetic way of regarding justice. It rebukes all 
excess, it apportions suffering more or less ade- 
quately to guilt. Insolence in a man will bring 
him to grief ; such insolence, for instance, as made 


Agamemnon so reckless a general, and so proud a 
conqueror. Because he had slaughtered Iphigenia 
m order to secure prosperous winds for his expe- 
dition, because he had ruthlessly sacked Troy, 
because ho had l)rought Imck Cassandra to his 
home, and necessitated the strewing of purple 
carpets before his palace doors on his return from 
Mycenae, he comes to condign ruin, and is killed 
like an ox by his wife, Clytaemnestra. That is the 
notion of v[5fjig or insolence. Fate strikes down the 
insolent swaggerer; still more will it strike down 
the villain, your lago or your Richard III, artists 
invilhiiny, who say to evil, "Be thou my good," who 
glory in wrong-doing, and execute evil for its own 
sake. But in Grreek times this notion of moralising 
the idea of destiny was never completely carried 
out. Nemesis was one phase of destiny, often as 
capricious as fortune, keen to uproot and dethrone 
whatever happiness was high enough to attract its 
attention. In the modern world Nemesis and 
justice are strictly associated. The ancient view 
is that Nemesis somehow strikes the mean between 
excess and defect; the modern view is that Nemesis 
apportions suffering to crime. You will see at once 
that there is a considerable interval between Nemesis 
as a mean between superfluity and deficiency, a half- 
way house between the too much and the too little ; 
and Nemesis as a link which connects sin with its 
necessary retribution, asseverating that the soul which 
sinneth, it shall die. Inasmuch as that is the pre- 
cise interval which separates the Grreek view of 
destiny from Shakespeare's, we can illustrate it by a 
contrast between the plots of Oedipus and Macbeth. 


What is the story of Oedipus? There was a 
certain King of Thel)es, called Laius, who married 
Jocasta. Like most of these heroes of ancient time 
he belonged to a house which, in one way or another, 
had incurred the wrath of Heaven, and to him came 
the dreadful oracle that if he should have a son by 
his wife Jocasta, this son would kill his father and 
marry his mother. The warning was precise and 
clear, so that when a son was born Laius resolved 
to make himself safe. Three days after the infant 
was born Laius drove iron nails through his feet, so 
that the child was called Oedipus (swell-foot), and 
gave him over to one of the shepherds to put to 
death. This man, touched with pity, entrusted the 
child to another shepherd, who took him to Corinth. 
I'here, in process of time, the King of Corinth 
adopted him as his own son, and the boy grew up 
to manhood firmly believing that he had inherited 
royal privileges. His was a strenuous and passionate 
nature — just the sort of character which, in the 
opinion of the Greeks, because of its confident and 
reckless boldness, was bound to inherit disaster. 
Some suspicion was cast at his birth, and young 
Oedipus, who could brook no insult, went to consult 
the oracle of Delphi as to who his real parents were. 
From the god he received no satisfactory reply, but 
was informed that he should be the murderer of his 
own father. So, in his turn, in order to avoid the 
threatened misfortune, he left Corinth, which he 
considered to be his home, and his supposed father, 
the King of Corinth, and journeyed to Boeotia. On 
the road he met Laius, driving in his chariot, and, 
because he had been ordered to stand aside, the 


yoimg man, with liis fiery temperament, laid hands 
upon both the charioteer and his attendants, and 
thus killed his father. Then he came to the place 
of his birth, Thebes, solved the riddle proposed by 
the Sphinx, thereby freeing his native land from the 
monster, became King of Thebes, and married 
Jocasta, just precisely as the oracle had foretold. 
Many years afterwards a pestilence fell upon the land, 
and the oracle, once more consulted, said that the 
cause of it was the fact that the murderer of Laius 
was livino- at Thebes, and that he must be banished 
and put to death. Oedipus takes the utmost pains 
to discover who this criminal can be, and by a variety 
of concurring circumstances at length arrives at the 
appalling truth that he is himself the murderer of 
his father. So, driven by desperation, he deprives 
himself of ej^esight, while his wife hangs herself. 

Now here you have a typical example of the way in 
which fate or JSTemesis, in the Grreek conception, 
finds out the individual. Some slight suggestion 
there is, it is true, that the character of Oedipus 
was one which provoked the hostihty of Heaven. 
But, as a matter of fact, we see that his doom was 
pronounced long before he was born, and that he is 
quite helpless in the hands of external destiny. 
Oedipus is throughout the doomed man. The 
Nemesis which comes upon him, the fate which 
overwhelms him, is both external and arbitrary — a 
bolt, as it were, from the blue, coming from that 
dark background of dim and mysterious forces 
which regulate the path of events without any care 
or regard for the individual. And there is another 
point which makes this a typical case of Greek 


tragedy. It is the irony which seems to preside 
over the whole transaction. Laius, in the first phice, 
thinking to get rid of his son, takes the very means 
by which his son wonld be preserved alive. The 
son, in his turn, in order to avoid killing his father, 
leaves Corinth, and takes the fatal road back to the 
real scene of his birth. Then — supreme stroke of 
the irony of fate ! — it is Oedipus himself who is most 
anxious to discover who the unknown murderer may 
be who is bringing the pestilence on Thebes. Each 
step that he takes brings home more inevitably the 
sentence recorded against him. There is tragedy, as 
the Greeks understood the word. Tlie individual 
hero, on the one side ; the great, superincumbent 
destiny on the other. Every deed of the hero only 
makes the destiny more certain, and, as though the 
fate which rules the universe had a wanton pleasure 
in mocking at the sufferings of humanity, the whole 
of the oracular action involved in the play is suffused 
with a most caustic and cynical humour. 

Macbeth may be usefully compared with this, 
because here, too, destiny works with irony, only with 
an irony which is rather justice in a mocking 
humour, than a mockery at justice itself. Macbeth 
and Banquo came back from successful war, Mac- 
beth probably with some dim schemes alread}^ 
working in his brain. And then we study the rise 
and fall of Macbeth, as a most conspicuous and 
brilliant example of Fate apportioning punishment 
to crime. Macbeth' s series of successes is unbroken 
till the murder of Banquo ; his series of failures is 
unbroken from the escape of Fleance. Success 
occupies the first half : failure the second half ; and 


the turning point, the expedition against Banquo 
and Fleance, occupies the exact middle of the middle 
act. The two halves have each their respective 
characters, and the position which Banquo holds in 
the first half is held by Macduff in the last half— a 
point which Macbeth himself seems to realise, for 
directly after the appearance of the Ghost at the 
banquet we find the hero making the remark, " How 
sayest thou, that Macduff denies his person at our 
great bidding ?" I need not, perhaps, dilate on the 
obvious irony with which the oracular action is con- 
ducted. All that the Witches say is ironical : every- 
thing that Macbeth does when he begins to fail, in 
obedience to the witches, is one more nail in his 
coffin. Reassured by the prophecy that only one 
not born of woman shall be his real enemy, he 
strikes far and wide, and amongst others injures the 
very one to whom the description " not born of 
woman " applies. So, too, because he has been told 
that only when Birnam Wood shall come to Dunsi- 
nane shall he fail, he confidently shuts himself 
up in Dunsinane Castle. But for this fact the 
English Army would never have approached by 
Birnam Wood, and the incident of the boughs would 
never have taken place. Macbeth's fate depends 
upon a series of apparent impossibilities. By his 
action he makes them one after another possible.* A 
mocking fate, an ironical oracle, comes to be thereby 
fulfilled. But wdierein lies the difference between 
the modern poet's conception of destiny and the 
ancient ? Each hero, Oedipus and Macbeth, is appa- 
rently the victim of a doom pronounced long ago. 

* Mr. Moultoii's Essays on ' Shakespeare and Dramatic Criticism.' 


And yet this is not quite true of Shakespeare's hero, 
for two reasons. First, because we can view all 
Macbeth's actions from a purely human side, and 
say exactly where he made his mistake. If he had 
contented himself, for instance, with being elevated 
to the throne, all might have been well. He had 
allayed suspicion, and seemed to be firmly estab- 
lished. But no, the oracle had said something 
about Banquo's successors, that Banquo was to beget 
kings, though he was not to be king himself. There- 
fore Macbeth takes just the one more step which 
begins his ruin. He kills Banquo, Fleance escapes, 
and the crime is committed in vain. So, too, when 
he begins to suspect Macduff, he proceeds to take 
vengeance on Macduff's house, killing all his babes 
and little ones. But Macduff is not killed, and 
lives to be the avenger of his kith and kin. And 
there is a second and much greater reason why 
Shakespeare in his treatment of destiny comes closer 
to our consciences than the ancient dramatist. You 
have probably noticed that when Macbeth and 
Banquo, at the very beginning of the play, meet 
with the Witches, they refuse to answer Banquo. 
" How far is't called to Forres ?" asks Banquo. No 
answer. Then he directly addresses himself to the 
watches : 

What are these, 
So Avithered, and so wild in their attire ; 
That look not like inhabitants o' the earth, 
And yet are on't ? 

Still no answer. 

Live you, or are you aught 
That man may question ? 


Tliey signify in dumb show that they may not 
answer. Each lays her " choppy finger upon her 
skinny lips." But now, mark when Macbeth 
speaks : 

Speak, if you can; — what arc you ? 

Instantly they reply, 

All hail, Macbeth ! 

It is the tamperer with temptation who has spoken, 
and he gets his answer. There is no question that 
Macbeth's secret thoughts, which he betrays in his 
guilty start, have already meditated treason when 
he meets the witches on the heath. 

Or have you ever noticed another interesting 
indication ? The witches repeat the very words 
with which Macbeth opens the scene. 

So fair and foul a day I have not seen, 

are Macbeth's first words as he comes on the 
blasted heath. And now listen to the echo in the 
earliest chant of the witches : 

Fair is foul, and foul is fair. 

Hover through the fog* and filthy air. 

Could there be a more significant suggestion* that 
what Macbeth is meeting is but his own wicked 
thoughts, his own half-understood purposes of 
grasping ambition and cruel murder ? But if so, 
what is the high light that we thus get on Shake- 
speare's conception of destiny ? What destiny was 
to the earlier dramatist, Sophocles or Aeschylus, 
we know — an external, arbitrary force, against 

* The remark is made by Professor Dowdeii. 


wliicli the individual struggles in vain. But what 
was it to Shakespeare? Destiny is not external, 
but internal, carried within a man or woman's soul 
or conscience. The witches but voiced the thoughts 
of Macbeth himself. Destiny is character. 

Naturally, therefore, if destiny is character, each 
man and each woman will regard the dominion of 
fate in accordance with his or her strength or weak- 
ness. Listen to the strong, direct, practical intel- 
lio'ence of Helena in ' ^Ul's well that End's well ' : 


Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie 
VVliicli we ascribe to heaven ; the fated sky 
Gives us free scope, only dotli backward pull 
Our slow designs when we ourselves are dull. 

Listen to Romeo when he had become indeed a 
man : 

Then I defy you stars ! 

Listen to Cassius, who more than anyone else 
understood the proper means to the desired end : 

Men are at some time masters of their fates ; 
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars 
But in ourselves that we are underlings. 

The fact is that few students of philosophy or 
scientific thinkers can persuade themselves that 
man's will is free ; but every practical man at every 
moment of the day, or whenever he is initiating 
action, can never believe that his will is otherwise 
than free. Hamlet, the metaphysician, is a gentle 

" There's a divinity whicli shapes our ends, 
Rouffh hew them Low we will." 


" If it be now, it is not to come ; if it be not to come, it 
will bo now. If it be not now, yet it will come ; the 
readiness is all." 

So, too, in ' King Lear ' we have a series of deliver- 
ances on tliis (|uestion, the deliverance in each case 
being trne to the different characters. The good, 
stupid, honest Kent says bluntly, 

" It is the stars, the stars above us, 
That govern our conditions," 

and Gloucester, in the first agony of his suffering, 
seems to chide heaven, as though it were malicious. 

'' As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods. 
They kill us for their sport. ^' 

He knew better later on, and attains the higher 
level, which believes that the world is governed by 
justice, and that if we suffer we have earned our 

The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices 
Make instruments to plague us." 

There is no such thing as a blind, um-eason- 
ing destiny which comes upon us from the outside 
and overbears our wills. We carry our own doom 
or happiness within ourselves. We must not, 
as King Lear wanted to do, take upon us the 
mystery of things as if we were " God's spies," but 
within the range of human activity which is open to 
us, we know that as adventures are to the adven- 
turous, so are success and failure already implicit in 
our deserts. What is it that Maeterlinck says in his 
noble book, ' Wisdom and Destiny ' ? His words 
are almost an echo of Marcus Aurelius' meditations. 


" Let us always remember that notliing befalls us that 
is not of the nature of ourselves .... Whether you 
climb u}) the mountain, or go down the hill to the valley, 
whether you journey to the end of the world, or merely 
walk round your house, none but yourself shall you meet 
on the highway of fate. If Judas go forth to-night, it is 
towards Judas his steps will tend,'' 

But what, you will naturally ask, about ' King 
Lear ' ? Surely it is a little difficult to fit this 
stupendous drama into a philosophical theory that 
the only real fate is man's character. I acknowledge 
that ' King Lear ' brings certain difficulties with it, 
althouorli its total outcome is so little discordant with 


the views that I have put before you that it ulti- 
mately confirms them. We sometimes forget that 
in dealing with Shakespeare we are dealing not with 
a philosopher, but with an artist. For instance, a 
philosophical theory of the universe will have to 
take into account a number of things which do not 
properly come within the scheme of an artist's 
work. Shakespeare the artist generally tells you on 
which side you are to turn your sympathies. He will 
make you sympathise with Hamlet, although nothing 
is clearer than the fact that a king of this sensitive 
character, a ruler who is so introspective, so little 
inclined to the direct and prompt activity wliich 
administration involves, might conceivably do a 
great deal of harm in the State over which he rules. 
But in the play we sympathise with Hamlet. We 
are sorry when he dies. We are glad that before 
he dies he at least puts the malevolent Claudius out 


of tlie way. The real saviour of society is, of course, 
Fortinbras, who comes in with his banners flying, 
the ]3re-destined king for Denmark, because he is 
not going to encumber liimself with too much think- 
ing, but heal the wounds of society by direct and 
practical methods. Or again, take the case of 
Macbeth. Macbeth is such an imaginative poet, so 
interesting to us, that we are in real danger of for- 
getting that he was a blood-stained tyrant. It 
becomes necessary to load his memory with stupid 
and pointless murders of Macduff's famity, for fear 
that our interest should carry us too far with the 
man who, imaginative poet though he might be, was 
still a villain. Besides considerations of this sort, 
there are many other elements — bad people who 
prosper, good people who suffer, comedies which 
include deaths, tragedies which involve the mockery 
of wholesale disaster, which might properly come 
into a philosophical view of the universe, but which 
an artist, desiring to fix our attention on the main 
points of a story, would either soften or omit. 

' King Lear ' is not altogether a stage play, and 
for once Shakespeare is not so much an impersonal 
artist as an acutely suffering individual. Few 
people, I imagine, who have ever seen ' King Lear ' 
on the stage can honestly say that they feel other- 
wise than crushed and over-burdened with the 
dreary tragedy of events, when the final curtain 
falls. Nor do I suppose there is any doubt that 
when Shakespeare wrote this play he was at the lowest 
depths of a personal revolt against the hard, adaman- 
tine laws of destiny. Things may have gone wrong 
with him, for aught we know. Schemes of hope and 


of ambition may have been frustrated ; his own 
heart may have been lacerated with a thousand 
wounds. We do not know, and it is an exceedingly 
rash speculation to argue from what a man writes 
to what he personally is. But at least we have this 
play of ' King Lear ' before us, in which, more 
strongly than in any other work, all the riddle of 
this painful earth comes visibly before our eyes. If 
I might venture to summarise the general effect, I 
would describe it as an immense panorama of stupid 
wastefulness in human products. A doting monarch, 
by no means always on the side of the angels, but 
still a man in whom the elements of good were 
stronger than the elements of evil, betrays a dense 
obstinacy, a foolish pride, a senile desire to get as 
much flattery round his declining years as he can. 
And simply through these weaknesses, which are 
pardonable, one would think, from any human stand- 
point, he involves everyone round him in inextricable 
ruin. Not only so. The evil men and women 
flourish exceedingly, although they do not do so per- 
manently, and the good people, merely from the fact 
that they are related to, or that accident has brought 
them into conjunction with, the maleficent figures, 
at once o-o down in a sort of universal smash. The 
mere fact that a man or a woman is good seems suffi- 
cient reason in this extraordinary play for his endur- 
ance of countless ills. The final blow of all is that 
the pure character of Cordelia is offered as a sacri- 
fice to the jealous gods. It was just an accident 
that her life was not spared, an accidental delay in 
the sfivine of a messag^e. What more bitter insult 
could any dramatist offer to our human sense of 


justice, to our human indignation at tlie hopeless 
waste of a good life ? Of course, as you are aware, 
several ingenious dramatists of the age which 
succeeded that of Shakespeare altered this terrible 
conclusion, and made Cordelia live. So strong is the 
feeling that besets our minds that here at least our 
poet is unjust to his own theories, is too bitter, too 
hopeless as to the just governance of this world. 

All these things are true, and if we were to 
attempt to construct a theory based on ' King Lear ' 
alone, we should have, I think, to recognise that the 
world was governed, if not by chance, at least by 
some arbitrary despotic power, which did not care, 
I will not say, for the worth of human lives, for that is 
a small matter, but for the worth of human goodness. 
And yet can you explain to me how it comes to pass 
that when the five acts have been read, and the last 
page turned, depression is not the result, but a 
certain sense of elevation, as though a human spirit 
had once more incontestably proved its right to 
exist and to thrive ? I may, perhaps, exaggerate 
this feeling; I may, perhaps, wrongly assume that 
this is an effect which the majority of readers are 
aware of. But at least every one of us can see one 
point. Say what you like about the hopeless ruin, 
and yet there is one thing which is not ruined, but 
confirmed. May I put it in this fashion : that the 
total lesson of 'King Lear' is that it does not matter 
the toss of a farthing Avhat happens to us in this 
life, but that it matters immensely what we are ? 
Even Cordelia, dead in her father's arms, proclaims 
the nobility of an innocent soul. Observe how keenly 
the contrast is put before our eyes between external 


conditions and internal worth. The people who 
are rich and prosperous are not only evil, but miser- 
able in their evilness. The good people, blind and 
helpless and maimed though they may be, are not 
only good, but in some marvellous way obtain a 
sombre kind of real happiness in their goodness. 
Which would you rather be ? — for this is a test. 
Would you be Goneril, or Eegan, or Cordelia ? 
Would you be Edmund or Edgar ? Why, the warm, 
comfortable rooms where the guilty live are, when 
we look at them, an absolute hell. The wind-swept 
heath, although the lightnings are playing round it, 
and the rain is descending in torrents, and inside 
the small shelter there is nothing but indigence and 
rags — why surely this is Heaven. And so, by a 
circuitous path, but yet none the less certainly, we 
come back to the principle which underlies the whole 
of Shakespeare's tragic theory. Destiny is character, 
which now we learn in a new shape. The essence 
of life is character; something internal, never 
somethins: external. The value of the human soul 
emerges once more, whatever the conditions of this 
universe in which it is forced to live. Evil triumphs, 
bad men succeed, good suffers, the virtuous die. 
Let us even suppose that the world is ruled by blind 
Chance, or some arbitrary demonic power, which 
can blast and waste the fortunes and the lives of 
men. But it does not touch their souls. " I am 
the captain of my soul," as Henley wrote, emerges 
at once as the philosophical and the artistic principle 
of the universe. Even if we have to reform our 
theory, it comes to very much the same thing. We 
may not be able to assert in a hard, definite fashion 


that destiny is character, but we can say that destiny 
is powerless against character, and that the victory 
rests, not with an external fate, but with an internal 
soul. It does not matter where or how I live, or 
what fortunes or misfortunes I suffer. It matters 
supremely, immensely, immeasurably what I am. 




[Eeacl January 27th, ]909.] 

I PROPOSE, with your consent, to consider in m}- 
lecture this afternoon certain points of likeness 
between two writers who seem at the outset to be 
almost utterly diverse, Lord Byron and Tliomas 
Carlyle. I think, in this centenary year, and en- 
tering as we are upon a period \erv rich in literary 
centenaries, we, Avho by our membership of this 
Societ}^ are assumed to ]:ie fairly familiar with the 
works wliich adorn our literature, may appropriately 
devote ourselves to the task of synthetic, rather 
than of analytic, criticism. 

The more remote the period of literature which 
we happen to l^e criticizing, the more commonly it 
will be found to present, in exterior appearance, a 
harmony and a singleness of aspect under which it 
can be regarded. Thus we speak — and we mean 
something when we speak — of the Hebrew or of the 
Greek note in literature ; and, even in dealing with 
special periods of the literature of one country, we 
can speak — and we mean something Avhen we speak 
— of the Elizabethan age in England, of the Re- 
naissance, the Puritan reaction, the Age of Reason, 
and the Romantic revival. There, commonly, plia- 
bility stops. The nearer we get to our own times, 



the more we tend to confuse criticism l)v rehearsing 
differences Avhich disappear in the ])erspective of 
time, instead of likenesses whicli unite. 

The literature of the nineteenth century presents 
to criticism a confused picture of this kind. It is 
only just now that we are beginnino- to appreciate the 
somewhat subtle threads which connect Keats and 
Tennvson and Rossetti under the common aspect of 
a search for beauty, and which unite William 
Morris, John Pi\iskin,and Algernon Chas. Swinburne 
on the one hand, Coventry Patmore and Walter 
Pater on the other, as men who came under 
Rossetti's influence, and who continued his search 
for beauty with individual variations of their own. 
Still less generally accepted is the view of the whole 
of that middle period of Victorian letters under the 
single aspect of the search for beauty — Rossetti 
seeking it absolutely, in company wnth the early 
Millais, with Mr. Holman Hunt, and Sir Edwai'd 
Burne- Jones ; Ruskin and Morris seeking it second- 
arily, as a condition of utility and practice, Ruskin 
translating it into economics, and Morris into crafts ; 
Matthew Arnold seeking it as a sanction of morality 
with reference to the conduct of democracy ; Mr. 
Swinburne breaking away from the Pre-Raphaelites 
into a passionate cry for spiritual freedom ; Pater, 
Patmore, and Louis Stevenson cultivating beauty in 
style, and a certain sensuous enjoyment of the 
fleeting moments of joleasure ; the novelists — 
Dickens especially, w^ith Lytton before him and Sir 
AYalter Besant after him— seeking to extend the 
privilege to the homes and lives of the poor ; with 
the transcendental writers, Meredith and Browning, 


and, less courageously, Lord Teini)-soii, ailn[)t iug- — 
Meredith most tliorougblj, Robert Browniiig most 
dramatically, and Tennyson most popularly —the 
new philosophy of life, incorporating the Darwinian 
speculation, to the old forms of poetic interpretation. 

All this is a matter for history. The historian of 
English literature in the nineteenth century may be 
trusted, when he comes, to render under one as])cct 
its manj'-raying facets of brilliancy. 

To-day I propose to deal with two writers only, 
l)otli of whom were born within a few years of the 
beginning of the centur}^ and one of whom survived 
till within twenty years of its close. The external 
differences are obvious. Fate herself conspired to 
accentuate them. Byron was born in 1788, and 
died in 1824; Carlyle, who was seven years his 
junior, lived till 1881. Thus, though they were 
born in the same epoch, the one died when George 
IV was on the throne, and the other survived till 
within six ^'ears of Queen Victoria's first Jubilee. 
Two generations lie between them. The Reform 
Acts and the Factory Acts and the Education Acts lie 
between them. ' The Origin of Species ' lies between 
them, with all the revolution that it wrought in the 
construction of scientific principles and in the re- 
construction of principles of faith. The consolida- 
tion of India lies between them, and the whole of 
the fairly recent movement which is now described 
as Imperialism. Or take this decree of fate from 
another point of view in order to realize it more 
clearly. If Byron had lived till 1881— the year of 
Carlyle's death — he would not have been more than 
ninety- three years of age, the age at which Samuel 


Rogers died. Tf lie liad lived till 18()() — the year 
Avlien Mrs, Carlyle died, and when her hushaiid's 
zest of living departed — he would have been only 
seventy-eight, three years yonnger than Tennyson 
when he wrote 'Grossing the Bnr,' and five years 
yonnger than Gladstone when he l)ecame Priiiu^ 
Minister for the fonrth time. 

The accidents of fate are final, ])ut synthetic 
criticism may appeal from the accident of 1S21-, 
when the minute-gnns at Missolonghi ]")roclaimed 
the death of a Greek hero who was also an English 
jooet. We may appeal from fate's harsh decree to 
the possibilities which it estopped. We may appeal, 
in Bj^ron's own words, used in a different context, 
"from tyranny to God." Thus, too much stress 
must not be laid on the fact that many of us 
remember Carlyle and that none of us can remember 
Byron ; and negligible too, in the perspective of 
time, is the difference in the rank of the two writers. 
It is neoflio-ible not because it mattered less a 
hundred years ago, but because it mattered so much 
as to produce the same result at both extremes. 
Byron was the grandson of a peer, and inherited 
the title as a schoolboy ; Carlyle was the son of a 
peasant, and he remained a peasant all his life. But 
this class distinction which divided them was itself, 
more carefully considered, a source of equal strength. 
Byron was so much above, and Carlyle was so much 
below, the comfortable plane of compromise and 
convention, that each could afford to neglect the 
social proprieties of respectable thought. The moral 
and intellectual gain in each instance is immense, 
and it is not whollv to be measured bv the freshness 


and fearlessness wliioli air oljvioiis. Carlyle, the 
stonemason's son — like Burns, his fellow-country- 
man — pierced the hypocrisies and follies of society 
and politics with the peasant's shrewd independence; 
Byron, by virtue of his rank and of his fiery ])ride 
in it, indulged a contempt for the shibboleths to 
which he would not subscribe. 

Let me illustrate what I am saying by an example 
drawn from either author. We all remember the 
opening of the first lecture on ' Heroes,' which 
deals with the Hero as Divinity. " Universal 
history,"' Carlyle tells us, '*' the history of what man 
has accomplished in this world, is at bottom the 
history of the great men who have worked here." 
He reminds us that we cannot look, howeviT im- 
perfectly, upon a great man without gaining some- 
thing by him, and he cjdls the great man the " living 
liight-Fountaiu " Avhicli it is good and pleasant to 
be near. And then he goes on to his famous detini- 
tion of religion ; that a man's religion — or a nation's 
relio-ion — is the chief fact with regard to the man or 
the nation. He does not mean by religion the 
Church-creed which he professes or the articles of 
faith to which he Avill subscribe; "his true religion 
— or it may be his mere scepticism and no-religion 
— is the thing a man does practically believe, and the 
manner in which he feels himself to be spiritually 
related to the Unseen AVorld." 

Let us turn at this point to the Fourth Canto of 
' Childe Harold's Pilgrimage' : 

" 1 speak not of nieu'.s creeds — they rest between 
Man and his Maker— but of things allowed, 
Avfrr'd and known, and daily, liourly, seen." 

240 liVlv'dX \XI» CARIALK. 

And from tliat point to the end of the poem Byron 
displays the belief, first in the power of the great 
man to dictate or to moderate history, and secondly 
in the permanence of essential faith as a factor in 
human affairs, stronger than the creeds Avhich men 
profess. By what a man believes Byron judges him, 
for his acts justify his faith. 

I think the more deeply we read the works of 
Byron and Carlyle the more clearly we shall see 
that they were joined hy a common ethical purpose, 
which their contrasting temperaments disguised. 
Carlyle was a Byron moi^alized and not bred to 
the fleshpots of Egypt, or Byron was a sensuous 
(^arlyle. ' Sartor Resartus ' and the ' Heroes ' were 
Carlyle's ' Cliilde Harold ' ; his dramas were ' Crom- 
well ' and tlie ' French Revolution.' These two 
contemporary writers of unequal birth and fate, 
and unecjual length of years, display a true likeness 
beneath their differences. They 1)oth hated shams 
and pretence ; they both Ijelievetl in the strong man 
and in the sovereignty of thought : 

" Tis a base 

Abandonment of reason to resign 
Our right of thought, our last and only place 

Of refuo'e. This at least shall still be mine. 

Though, from our birth the faculty divine 
Is chain'd and tortur'd, cabin' d, cribb'cl, confiu'd, 

And bred in darkness lest the truth f-hould shine 
Too brightly on the unprepared mind, 
The beam pours in; for time and skill will couch the 

And Carlyle's similar utterances as to the thauma- 
turgic virtue of thought are too familiar to recpiire 


quotation. Both these writers read history in 
l)iogTaphy ; both inveighed against custom and 
opinion ; both are unconventional moralists and 
masters of the art of rhetoric. 

Parallel passages are never so satisfactory as 
parallelisms of circumstance and temperament, but 
I may be permitted, perhaps, one more brace of 
(juotations. AYe remember — it is unforgetable — 
that fine passage in ' Sartor Resartus ' where Carlyle 
admits us to glim[)ses of the struggle l)et\veen his 
soul, capacious of religion, and his mind rejecting 
its formula?. 

" The liuug-ry young looked up to their spivitual nurses 
and for food were bidden eat the east wind. In the silent 
night watches, still darker in his heart than over sky and 
earth, he has cast himself before the All-Seeing, and with 
audible prayers cried vehemently for Light— for deliver- 
ance from Death and the grave. Not till after long years 
and unspeakable agonies did the believing heart surrender 
— sink into spellbound sleep under the nightmare Unbelief 
— and in this hag-ridden dream mistake God's fair living- 
world for a pallid vacant Hades and extinct Pandemonium. 
But through such pur^-atory pain it is appointed us to pass. 
First must the dead letter of religion own itself dead and 
drop piece-meal into dust if tlie living spirit of religion, 
freed from this its charnel-house, is to arise on us, newborn 
of Heaven, and with new healing under its wings." 

Compare, with this passionate utterance, a not dis- 
similar passage from Byron : 

" Oh, Love, no habitant of earth thou art — 
An unseen seraph we believe in thee, — 
A faith whose martyrs are the broken heart — 

But never yet hath seen, nor ever yet shall see 
The naked eye, thy form, as it should be. 

21-2 j:;ykox and cAriLvi-j;. 

The mind liatli made tliee as it peopled Heaven, 
Even with its own desiring phantasy, 

And to a thought such shape and image given 
As haunts the unquenclied soul — parch'd — weari'd — 
wrung — and riven. 

'• Of its own beauty is the mind diseas'd 

Aud fevers into false creation : — where, 

Where are the forms the sculptor's soul hath seized ? 
In him alone. Can Nature show so fair ? 

Where are the charms and virtues which we dare 
Conceive in boyhood and pursue as men, • 

The unreach'd Paradise of our despair. 

Which o'er-informs the pencil and the pen, 
And overpowers the page where it would bloom 
again ? '" 

Surely in these extracts, allowing for the differ- 
ences of temperament and upbringing-, and for the 
fact that Byron was educated at Harrow and Cam- 
bridge, and that Carlyle trudged from his native 
villao'e to the meao-re fare of Edinburo^h University, 
we perceive a similar passionate desire for the 
realities of truth and beauty, though Carlyle sought 
them on the moral, and Byron on the aesthetic side. 
It was more than the artist's yearning to shake off 
the shackles of the finite. It was more than an 
escape from experience to metaphysics. Byron and 
Carlyle were both oppressed by the same sense of 
impotence in action. Remember, a year or two 
later, how comfortable Macaulay found himself in 
the world into which he was born. His first article 
in ' The Edinburgh Review ' appeared in 1825, the 
year after Byron's death, when Carlyle was seeking 
among the Germans for a satisfactory language for 


liis needs. Macaulay's party view oF life was for- 
bidden to Byron and Carlyle, for both — from the 
conditions of their birth — were ontside of the class 
which accepted it. Botli songlit a deeper reconcilia- 
tion, a higher mode of independence, a moi-e com- 
plete and nniversal self-expression. The right of 
freedom in thought, of freedom limited, if at all, 
only by the conscience of enlightened leaders of the 
connnimity, was, at bottom, the object of their 
search, in the transition of the age from aristocracy 
to democracy, Avith the accompanying changes in 
industrial conditions, and in scientific speculation 
reacting on the dogmas of theology. 

Byron, I have said, sought an aesthetic and Carlyle 
a moral way out. But even so we should not be too 
definite in our conclusions. Byron, too, in a sense 
— a very cliarital)le sense it may l)e, and haply to 
the detriment of right ruction — was likewise pre- 
occupied Avith righteousness. Lord Morley, Avriting 
in 1870, when Cai'lyle was still alive, declared that 
Carlyle's doctrine had effectually routed Byronism, 
and so far the judgment coincides with the conclu- 
sion in ' Sartor Resartus ' : 

" Close thy Byron ; open tliy (lOotlie." 

But the fact is, Bja-onism was routed, uot so nuich 
by Carlyle or another, as l)y the death of Lord 
Byron himself. Add to Bja^onism the fulfilled 
renown which Carlyle lived to inherit, and Lord 
Morley's notes of contrast are touched to a deeper 
and more vital sj^mpathy. " (^arlylism," he tells us, 
"is the male of Byronism," and for a true uiidei-- 
standing of either it is, T think, necessary to syiu- 


patliize witli botli. Lord Morley notes that there is in 
these Avriters " the same coniphiint against the time, 
its men and its spirit : something even of tlie same 
contenij)tiu)Us des|)air, the same sense of the pnniness 
of man in the eentre of a ernel and frowning- 
Universe. " But he adds that there is in Cai'lyle 
" a deliverance from it all," and that his despair 
is " a despair without misery." This is true, and 
it is fully justified, l)ut it is not, I think, a com- 
plete statement of the case, which sliould include 
the fact that the deliverance by liyrunism was 
interrupted while Byron himself was still seeking it. 
No review of tlie nineteenth century can, I venture 
to think, be complete without suffering the imagina- 
tion to dwell on the course which that literature 
might have taken if Byron had been restored from 
Greece. The attitude of Carlyle towards the men of 
1830 is clearly defined and easy to understand. It 
resembles, as far as any analogy may Ije suggested, 
the attitude of Milton two hundred years before 
towards the Cavalier poets. They, too, when the 
challenge to duty came, and the engine stood ready 
at the door, were discovered in a shallow dream, at 
ease in the Zion which they loved. The choir of 
irresponsible divines, w'ith Robert Herrick at their 
head, did not listen to the trumpet. Milton had 
been summoned, in liis ' Lycidas ' of l(i-]7, to a 
purgation of the Church, as Carlyle was summoned 
in his 'Sartor' of I808, to the cause of social 
reform. But the noise of battle went by them ; 
they were sporting with Amaryllis in the shade. 

A like indolence and self-indulo-ence marked the 
work of Carlyle's contemporaries. They possessed 


rare faculties and gifts — Herrick, too, had the charm 
of his kind — but their direction was remote from the 
higlnvaj^ They strayed into hy-paths and l)]ind 
alleys. They made shift witli a semblance of tlie 
might, of which Carlyle — and the liyron who would 
have been — clutched at the substance. They took 
shelter in corners of the field. They tended their 
delicate plants, and the great winds of power passed 
over them. Their " Ne^ra " wore different shapes. 
For one, the tangles of her hair were the threads of 
a superfine style with which he played till they 
broke. For another, her murky shade was a lure 
for fanciful ghosts which drove the light from his 
mind. For a third, the echo of her laughter was 
louder than the music which it mocked. The 
radiance of Shelley and Keats was refracted in 
prismatic hues. The streaming confidence of 
AVordsworth Avas turned back to the enu)tions from 
Avhicli it sprang. Day was bi-eaking unacclaimed, 
save by the prophecies of Carljde. Xone other 
waited for the morning, to bring glad tidings from 
the East. The poets who should have gone to meet 
it lay dead in Italy and Greece, and the lesser voices 
of the twilight proved unequal to the call. The 
sessions of thought were invaded by the trivial, the 
vernacular, and the bizarre. Weeping was better 
than sorrow, laughter better than joy ; it was better 
to die than to live. 

From all this Carlyle delivered them, as Lord 
Morley affirms, and as the eagle flight of Milton had 
delivered his own generation two centuries before. 
But in all this surely we miss Byron even more than 
Shelley or Keats. The Pre-ilapliaelite sympathies 


of Keats — it is from a plirasc in one of liis letters 
tliat tlie name of the famous brotlierliood was taken 
— were ])icked up by Tennyson in liis early poems, 
and a few years later by Rossetti and liis circle. 
The work of Keats, therefore, was so far complete 
that it found its proper continuation. And Shelley's 
inheritance is contained in the splendid wealth of 
lyrical poetry l)e(pieatlied to us since he died. We 
can hardly o'rudge him, at this date, his peace in a 
o-reen island in the sea. Hut the broken column of 
Byron still appeals to our sense of what might have 
been. The old vicAv of him as a voluptuary, and a 
dandy, and a sensualist and a Fop — a man of mys- 
terious wickedness and unfathomal)le conceit — is 
o-raduallv beino- dis])laced b\' the more correct view 
of him as a man who was first spoiled by Fortune, 
and was then impatient of the spoliation, and who 
did not live long enough to rebuihl, on the basis of 
his own free self-expression, the successive struc- 
tures which he reared and demolished on the bases 
of his friends' flattery and of his own mistakes. 

If Byron had lived during the transit of English 
society and thoui'-ht through the crucial vear of 
18o2 (the year when Scott died and when the 
Reform Act was born) it is probable that he would 
have effected in poetry what Carlyle efFected in 
prose — the deliverance of the soul of man from 
Avorn-out conventions and formulae He had many 
gifts which Carlyle lacked. One of these was a 
persuasive, even an invasive style. I am not among 
those who speak of Carlyle's style as something- 
fantastic and apart, and what is called unintelligible. 
This is one of the errors of the analytic method. 


Over-mannered liis style certainly is, l)iit even so 
deductions must be made. No small part of the 
mannerisms is contributed b}^ printers' devices of 
capital letters and italicized types. Further, lie 
did valuable work in following the lead of S. T. 
Coleridge and De Quincey to German methods and 
models; thus giving English style a solid ])ack- 
ground which has been useful in moderating the 
not less valuable attack of French models in more 
recent years. Then, too, Carlyle made free use of 
certain figures of speech which, when we meet them 
in G-reek poets, we greet as ornaments of style — 
epanalepsis, elHpsiii, aposiojje^iH, soraismvs, and so 
forth. The presence of these figures is unfamiliar, 
or is, at least, disguised in the prose of most English 
writers. But they do not make him unintelligible 
save only to the unintelligent. He " wants " reading 
in the current phase. He wrote for the mind rather 
than the eye. But once the surprise is overcome 
of finding in English prose a poet-theologian of 
uncompromising honesty, grand simplicity and un- 
affected tenderness, to whom truth and its anomalies 
presented themselves dramatically — who, like the 
prophets of old, sought strange images to expel his 
readers' torpor, and who laboured in a pregnant 
obscurity such as lay upon the Universe before the 
light — we shall find Carlyle sweet and pure enough, 
and shall say of him — as Robert Browning said of 
Aeschylus — that his eagle bark has somehow spoiled 
our taste for twitterinsrs. 

But this strength, and purpose, and originality 
are likewise characteristic of Byron. He, too, sought 
to shock the Philistines, and to arouse them fi-oni 

248 RYKON ANi' ('ai;lv[,I';. 

their idle sleep. lie, too, though always on the 
aesthetic side, sought to administer tonics to the 
senses of the smug British middle-class. He might 
choose a bull-fight at Cadiz, held, of all days, on a 
Sunday, to mock the rigid self-righteousness of dull 
Sabbatarians in Jjondon. He was not necessarily' 
right in preferring the desecration to the observance, 
but, T think, he was certainly right, as he Avas 
obviously in agreemcMit with Carlyle, in wishing to 
enlarore the horizon of his stav-at-home fellow- 
countrymen, and to show them that, not many 
miles away, right is wrong, and wrong is right, so 
that dogma is a matter of relativity, and morality is 
a matter of will. Carlyle travelled in the realms of 
thought, and applied to his discoveries an indepen- 
dent habit of mind. Byron travelled in the physical 
universe, applying similar powers. Both expressed 
themselves vigorously to much the same result. 
Moreover, both invented a mise-en-scene appropriate 
to the ideas to l)e conveyed. Byron peopled a 
mysterious South and East, deluding his untra veiled 
readers with impossible heroes in unconventional 
surroundings. The whole atmosphere of ' Sartor 
Resartus ' is similarly abstracted from common ex- 
perience. But, on the whole, Byron went South 
and Carlyle went North for his properties. Still, 
I think that if Byron had lived into the same middle 
period of the nineteenth century, as his age entitled 
him to do, he would have been found at one with 
Carlyle in this protest against the twitterings — 
against the twilight timidity — of the writers who 
are interposed between the first and second periods 
of the " renascence of wonder." 

in'ROX AXD f'AET.YLE. 249 

The fifteen years — the half generation — l:)etwecn 
1825 and 1840 mnst always strike the stndent of 
English letters as one of the most remarkable epochs 
in its history. The yonng men were just beginning 
to speak. 'Poems by Two Brothers' had appeared; 
' Panline ' had appeared ; Darley was dipping into 
the Elizabethans, and Beddoes was playing at philo- 
sophy. Lytton, in the prefaces to his novels, was 
proving that social reform was the key to literary 
snccess, and the greater voices had not yet been 
raised. Meredith, Rossetti, Swinbnrne, the true 
Browning, the true Tennyson, William Morris, 
Ruskin, Arnold, these are all Victorian writers 
subsequent to that period of timid speech. The 
only great writer who accompanied the transition 
with a constructive philosophy of life, and without 
parleyings with Whig politicians, was Carlyle, the 
stonemason's son. Wordsworth was an old man in 
those days, and had almost ceased to see visions. 
Scott was dead. Coleridgfe was dvino- and the rest 
were functi ofjicin. 

It is, perhaps, in this aspect finally that the like- 
ness becomes clear between Byron and Carlyle. It 
may be an unsatisfactory conclusion to assert that 
the likeness must be souo-ht in the work which 


Byron would have achieved between 1825 and 1840 
— in the fifteen years after his death, — but I think 
that no reviewer of those years whose ear is sym- 
pathetically attuned to the interpretation of the age 
by its prophets and its poets, can fail to read in the 
poems which Bj^ron wrote the far gi'eater poems 
which he should have lived to write. If Carlylisin, 
to go back to Lord Morley, is " the male of 


Byronism," Byron's admivcrs, faitlifiil to liis 
memorv, may at least cherish the belief that the 
male Byron was germinant in the species which 
bears his name. 

Mr. E. H. Coleridge said — Wo have liad the pleasure 
and the privilege of Hstening to a brilliant and instructive 
lecture. To do justice to the questions which the lecturer 
raises would demand another lecture by way of comment ;ind 
reply. We have been the guests at a feast of good things 

well refined. 1 will only attempt to analyse a few of 

the crumbs. 

Byron and Cai'lyh' were typical exponents of the Time- 
spirit, raised np or inspired to awaken the age and to turn 
men from shams and dreams and vain shows to the realities 
of life and truth. Their fan was in their hand, and they 
would throughly purge the confused heaps of chaff and 
husks, the superfluous layers of conventionalities and in- 
anities and hypocrisies. In their own day and for long- 
afterwards they appeared to be foes or rivals, but, now 
that the dust has begun to clear, we can see that they 
were fellow winnowers, and that w^e possess or inherit the 
o-rain. I may have marred, but I do not think that I have 
exaggerated or misstated the lecturer's contention. I think 
thaflie makes his point, but I would put in a caveat 
against the practice of marshalling great thinkers and 
w'l-iters into groups and periods, and labelling the group 
or period by some generic term. The time-spirit does, 
indeed, transmit the mantle of some older Elijah to the 
shoulders of some younger Elisha, but his powers are 
limited. There can" be no doubt that Carlyle had been 
p-reatly moved and stirred by the influence of Byron before 
he took to slaying chimaeras on his own account. He was 
too considerable "a man to be overtaken by Byron, but he 
had listened to him, and it is pleasant to note how anxious 
he is to do him justice — that he perceived that there was a 
real and genuine Byron underneath the " theati'ical and 
easily criticised personage " who shocked the suburbs, but 
played to a crowded European audience. 

In contrasting Carlyle's origin and early surroundings 
with Byron's, the lecturer observes that both men were 
equally" removed from the mediocrity of the middle classes. 
Thev were the '-'better able to do "battle Avith the social 


proprieties of respectable tliouglit." I think that in 
Byron's case this needs qualification. He spent his ciiild- 
hood in narrow if not squalid surroundings, and he formed 
his iirst impressions of men and manners from the stand- 
point of small provincial gentility. Both men missed the 
advantages of Macaulay's birth and breeding (see p. 242), 
and both in their estimate of character and in their social 
attitude and behaviour were betrayed into littleness and 
commonness. Can this be said of Shelley or Browning, 
or Coventry Patmore, or of Wordsworth, even after, in the 
lecturer's pregnant phrase, " his streaming confidence was 
turned back to the emotions from which it sprung ? " I 
do not say that the peasant birth of one, and the noble 
birth of the other, were not potent factors in their life and 
careers, hut there was loss as well as gain — even in their 
capacity for shattering idols. 

Tiie lecturer comments finely on the tragedy of Byron's 
early death, and the injustice of reckoning his premature 
manhood by the measure of maturity, which has had its 
chance of reconsideration and amendment. If Byron had 
been spared as people say, he would no doubt have ranged 
himself, come to heel, lived down his mysteries and scandals, 
and died in the odour of eminence, if not of sanctity. But 
whether, if he had accomplished the liberation of Greece, 
he Avould have joined in the liberation of England, or, 
— what say you ? — of Ireland, is highly problematical. 

It was all to his honour that he stood for freedom 
against oppression, and that in a day of trembling and 
dismay he spoke loud enough to be heard. His political 
energies sprang from a generous instinct, a lofty contempt 
for littleness in high places, a proud determination to see 
fair play. But his revolt Avas rather against persons than 
principles. He was on the side of the people against 
kings, but he cared no more for the people for their own 
sake than Wellington, or Metternich, or Castlereagh — 
infinitely less than the so-called renegades, Wordsworth 
and Southey. For better or worse, he was neither demo- 
crat nor radical nor humanitarian. There are some lines 
which the author of 'Paradise Regained' puts into the 
lips of his Divine Protagonist : 

And what the people but a herd confused, 

A miscellaneous rabble who extol 

Things vulgar and well-weighed, scarce worth the praise ? 

I do not think that either Byron or Carlyle would have 
taken these lines amiss, or wished that they had been 


written by another pen than that of John Milton — whose 
"commendation is glory," to (]uote a great saying of Sir 
James Mackintosh — not, I think, retrieved in this in- 
ofathering of Miltonic tributes. 

Of Carlyle, apart from his theories of government with 
which some would agree, and apart from his querulous and 
ill-bred and even unintelligent comments on public and 
private persons (lam not thinking or speaking of anything 
contained in the books published by himself) which no 
one would defend, we can but say — " Honour ! Honour ! 
Eternal Honour to his name !" He stands in the forefront 
as prose-poet, as historian, as critic, and the greatest 
moral teacher of his century. 

Of Byron as a man it may be said, Summum jus, minima 
injuria. On the whole he suffers from apolog}^ and we 
must take him as we find him, and as he meant himself to 
be taken. But in spite of his European reputation which 
remains, here in England he has never fully entered into 
his inheritance, either as man of letters or thinker, or 
great constructive artist, or even as a poet of the first 
rank. If the Philistines can be induced to think that he 
fought in the same ranks with Thomas Carlyle they will 
be the better inclined to pay him his honour due. 


Royal Society of literature 
22 of the United Kingdom, London 

^6 Essays by divers hands