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Ktetatute of ti^e iSmeteentl^ Century 







Copyright 1913 


Editors, Writers, and Contributors 


Author "Ancient Empires and Modern Europe," with special 

relation to the History of Civilization," History of 

England and the British Empire," "Hero 

Patriots," " Historic Parallels," etc. 


Collaborator with A. R. Spofford, Late Librarian of Congress, 

on " Historic Characters and Famous Events," 

" Literature of all Nations," etc. 


Author " Historical Tales," " Half-Hours with tba 

Best American Authors," " Studeots' 

Universal History," etc. 

Author " Famous American Statesmen." 


Collaborator on " Library of American Literature," etc. 

Formerly Managing Editor New York Sunday Herald. 





Introduction by 

professor of History, Washington University, 




















Sir Walter Scott ------ i 

Thomas Moore -»,.--. 32 

Sam Weller's Valentine . . - - - 72 
Charles Dickens -------74 

RoMOLA and Her Father ----- 94 

Alfred Tennyson -------97 

Thomas Carlyle ------ 120 

Charles Robert Darwin- - - - - . 128 

Group of Authors, Carlyle, Ruskin, Stevenson, Edwin Ar- 
nold, Matthew Arnold, Kipling, Meredith, Froude 160 
Victor Hugo ------- 219 

Group of Authors, Dumas, Balzac, Daudet, Zola, Hugo 226 

Alexandre Dumas, P:&re ------ 232 

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe - - - - 280 

Group of Authors, Richter, Schiller, Goethe, Heine, 

Lessing -------- 284 

Friedrich Von Schiller ----- 288 

Lorelei -------- 316 

Group of Authors, Swedenborg, Andersen, Bjornson, 

Ibsen --_-.-. 348 
Group of Authors, Tolstoi, Turgenieff, Gogol, Dos- 

toievski, Pushkin, Sienkiewicz . - - - 359 
Group of Authors, Dante, Petrarch, Tasso, Ariosto, Boc- 
caccio ------- 373 

Group of Authors, Emerson, Hawthorne, Poe, Irving, 

Clemens, Harte, Cooper ----- 393 

Washington Irving ------ 400 

William Cullen Bryant ------ 408 

Edgar Allan Poe ------ 416 

Nathaniel Hawthorne ------ 424 

Group of Authors, Longfellow, Holmes, Lowell, Whit- 
tier -------- 429 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow . - - 432 

William Hickling Prescott ----- 440 

John Lothrop Motley . - , . . 445 



Centuries furnish convenient divisions for grouping 
great historical events and national movements, and thus 
marking the course of the v^rorld's progress in civilization. 
In modern history, the Fifteenth Century shows the cap- 
ture of Constantinople by the Turks, but this loss to 
Christendom in the East was soon offset by the marvelous 
discovery of a New World in the West. The leading 
event of the Sixteenth Century was the Reformation, be- 
gun by an obscure German monk, and ending in the prac- 
tical severance of the nations of northern Europe from 
their former obedience to the Pope. The Seventeenth 
Century was marked by the devastation of Germany in 
the Thirty Years' War and the struggle for civil and 
religious liberty in England, in which one King lost his 
life and another his throne, and the Revolution of 1688 
made William of Orange King by the voice of Parlia- 
ment. As a consequence of the same struggle the Eng- 
lish settlement of the Atlantic Coast of North America 
was begun. In the meantime, through the consummate 
statecraft of Richelieu, France, though agitated by civil 
and religious wars, rose to a dazzling eminence, which 
she maintained in the splendid reign of Louis XIV. The 
Eighteenth Century was marked by the introduction of 
Western civilization into Russia by the half-savage Peter 
the Great, by the warlike career of Frederick the Great, 
which made Prussia one of the Great Powers, by the 


partition of turbulent Poland, and by two great revo- 
lutions. The American Revolution not only severed the 
English colonies from the mother country, but it pro- 
claimed as a fundamental principle that all governments 
derive their just rights from the consent of the governed. 
The French Revolution, asserting the rights of man 
against the long-established oppression of the privileged 
classes, made its v^^atchword "Liberty, Equality, Fra- 
ternity," and threatened to engulf the monarchies of 
Europe, It called to its aid the military genius of 
Napoleon Bonaparte, who soon directed its forces to 
new aims. 

The Nineteenth Century opened with Napoleon as sole 
Consul of France, soon to be crowned Emperor by the 
Pope. With no military rival to endanger his supremacy, 
he sought to be the dictator of Europe. But his seizure 
of Spain was a blunder, his invasion of Russia proved to 
be a fatal mistake, and his astonishing career ended in 
irretrievable defeat at Waterloo. The allied sovereigns 
of Europe, still dreading revolution, used their efforts to 
baffle the desires of the people for constitutional freedom. 
The restored Bourbons had learned nothing and had for- 
gotten nothing. But the revolutionary spirit, though 
harshly repressed, was not extinguished. In 1830 an 
Orleanist King was placed on the throne of France with 
the expectation of relief, and when this was disappointed 
another revolutionary crisis in 1848 brought in a republic. 
The wave of revolution again passed over Europe, threat- 
ening the stability of thrones and frightening monarchs 
from their propriety. But in a few years the French 
Republic was transformed into an empire under Napoleon 
III. In his brilliant reign of nineteen years Paris was 
again the most splendid capital of the civilized world. 
While France had thus been wasting its substance in vain 


show, Prussia, by severe discipline and rigid economy, 
had been renewing its moral and material strength. Its 
steady growth furnished to Bismarck and Moltke the 
means for its triumph over Austria in 1866 and over 
France in 1870, and made the Prussian King emperor of 
a remodeled Germany. France, crushed to earth, be- 
came again a republic, and so remains in spite of many 
reactionary attempts. Italy, long "merely a geographical 
expression," had, by the statesmanship of Cavour, the 
aid of France, and the enthusiasm of Garibaldi, been 
united under Victor Emmanuel, who made Rome his capi- 
tal. England had borne the chief expense of the wars 
with the first Napoleon, and its people groaned under in- 
tolerable burdens. But from 1830 there was a series of 
constitutional and legislative reforms which gave needed 
relief in many directions and produced a wider diffusion of 
political power. 

The United States, little concerned in the wars of 
Europe, rapidly developed the immense material ad- 
vantages of its own vast territory. Though conflicts, 
chiefly due to the existence of negro slavery, brought on 
a bloody and costly civil war, it terminated in the restora- 
tion of the seceded States to the Union, and the constitu- 
tional prohibition of slavery. The political revolutions 
in Europe in the early part of the century gave Mexico and 
the South American dependencies of Spain and Portugal 
the opportunity to throw off their yoke, but their new 
governments have not been stable or prosperous. At the 
close of the century Spain has been compelled by the 
United States, after a remarkably brief war, chiefly naval, 
to relinquish the last of her possessions in the Western 

So far we have looked chiefly at the political history of 
the world. The manifest tendency has been to a larger 


admission of the people to a share in the government. 
Parliamentary institutions are found even in the mon- 
archies inclined to despotism. In those countries where 
they have always flourished, the power of the lower house 
or popular branch has steadily increased, while that of 
the upper house or peers has been restricted to an occa- 
sional obstruction of legislation on which the Nation was 
not fully agreed. As a necessary support for the wide 
extension of suffrage popular education has been liberally 
promoted. This has not been confined to elementary 
branches, but has included all the courses of university 
teaching and various departments of industrial and 
mechanical training. This wider extension of education 
is undoubtedly due to the larger view of man's intellectual 
powers and to the better understanding of his relation to 
the world around him. 

The Nineteenth Century has far surpassed its prede- 
cessors in mechanical inventions and scientific discov- 
eries. This movement began with Watt's application of 
steam to stationary engines in the Eighteenth Century, but 
has increased in manifold proportion since its later appli- 
cation to land locomotion and ocean navigation. Other 
conspicuous triumphs are seen in the use of the mysterious 
power of electricity in the telegraph, the trolley car, and 
as an illuminant; in the invention of the sewing machine, 
the harvester, the telephone, the typewriter, the photo- 
graph, and the bicycle. The progress of science is attested 
by the wonders of the spectrum analysis, the ascertaining 
of the influence of microscopic organisms, the discovery 
of the Roentgen ray and other forms of radiant energy, 
the detection of new chemical elements in the atmosphere. 
But the grandest results have been the two profound gen- 
eralizations, which have effected not only the investiga- 
tions of all scientists, but the thought of all studious men 


— the conservation of energy, and the doctrine of evolu- 
tion — the former showing that no force in the universe 
is ever lost, the latter proving the gradual adaptation of 
living creatures to their environment. The recent dis- 
covery of these fundamental principles of natural law and 
the simultaneous invention of numerous aids to human 
comfort seem to indicate the dawn of a new era of civiliza- 

Admitting then the superiority of the present age in 
material and scientific results, it is natural to ask, Has its 
intellectual and literary development been proportional to 
its mechanical progress ? As we have taken a rapid view 
of the general movement of the modern centuries, we may 
add a similar survey of their relation to literature. The 
Fifteenth Century was distinguished by the invention of 
printing with movable metal types, which furnished an 
easy means of multiplying copies of all works. At first 
used for Latin Bibles, church-service books, and religious 
treatises, it was soon employed for works of all kinds. In- 
vented in Germany, it was transferred speedily to France, 
Italy, England, wherever books were in demand. The 
Reformation of the Sixteenth Century called for transla- 
tions of the Scriptures into the national languages, and 
thus gave a standard of prose style and orthography, 
which assisted in elevating the common speech. National 
enthusiasm stimulated the writers no longer cramped by 
efforts to express themselves in a dead language. The 
lusty vigor of youth is displayed in the lyrical and narra- 
tive poetry which found favor in royal court and baronial 
hall. Before the close of this century the drama became 
the popular form of entertainment. In England, where 
it was freed from the encumbering rules of classic tragedy, 
its success was greatest. There Shakespeare rose to a 
pre-eminent height as the unrivalled master of both 


tragedy and comedy. In France at the opening of the 
Seventeenth Century critics determined the rules of classi- 
cism which still to some extent regulate its poetry. In 
spite of these fetters Corneille and Racine achieved mas- 
terpieces, while Moliere, by his comedies, won still more 
decided triumphs in overcoming the ecclesiastical preju- 
dice against the stage. In England for a time the Puri- 
tans closed the theaters, but after the Restoration a more 
licentious form of comedy, imitated from the French, be- 
came popular. Yet at this time :Milton, in poverty and 
blindness, set himself to compose the greatest English 
epic. Dryden, a poet of robust genius, yielded to the 
popular currents, and wrote licentious plays and poems of 
various degrees of merit. 

At the opening of the Eighteenth Century everything, 
both in prose and verse, had been reduced to rule and 
measure. The French critics had become the acknowl- 
edged authorities in every form of literature. In Ger- 
many the native speech was neglected for literary pur- 
poses. Frederick the Great, much as he did for Prussia, 
wrote all his works in French. According to the prin- 
ciples then laid down, the chief aim of poetry was to be 
correct both in matter and form ; to be natural was to be 
vulgar. Pope is the English examplar of this style, which 
long prevailed. In English prose, Addison held a similar 
place, and perhaps upon juster grounds. Later Dr. Sam- 
uel Johnson, a man of greater intellectual force, introduced 
a more artificial inflated style. His power lay in the sin- 
cerity and vigor with which he expressed his opinions, 
however prejudiced they might occasionally be. 

But early in the same century there appeared two 
counter currents which were to increase in force and grad- 
ually overwhelm and sweep away the love of feeble cor- 
rectness. The first was a new delight in the aspects of 


wild nature and a desire to depict natural beauty as a 
mental gratification apart from any human interest. 
Thomson's ''Winter" (published in 1727) is one of the 
earliest evidences of this tendency in English poetry, and 
it is notable that in it he employed blank verse rather than 
the rhymed couplets then common. Combined v^ith this 
love of nature was a growing distaste for the prevailing 
artificial civilization, and a desire to return to simpler 
tastes and a more primitive mode of life. This tendency 
was assisted by the publication of Bishop Percy's 
''Reliques of Ancient English Poetry," the first important 
collection of native ballads. These rude snatches of popu- 
lar song infused new life and spirit into the poetic imagi- 

A singular result of the uncritical revival of interest 
in old forms of literature was a crop of literary forgeries. 
A man named Ireland attempted to palm off a tragedy 
called "Prince Vortigern" as a work of Shakespeare's. 
The most pathetic case was the boy Chatterton's endeavor, 
by the use of obsolete words and disguised spelling, to 
pass some not unworthy composition of his own as poems 
of a pretended monk, Thomas Rowle}'- of Bristol. The 
precocious genius was but eighteen when, to avoid starva- 
tion, he committed suicide. But the most noted of these 
forgeries was James Macpherson's edition of the "Poems 
of Ossian." They were founded on some fragments of 
Gaelic traditional poetry, ascribed to Ossian or Oisin, a 
bard of the Third Century, but modified in form and tone, 
and filled with vague, sentimental gloom, which gave 
them vogue throughout Europe, and affected French and 
German writers of the beginning of the Nineteenth Cen- 
tury. The sturdy common sense of Dr. Samuel Johnson 
was proof against the delusions of Macpherson. 

Two new forms of literature sprang up in this century 


— the periodical essay and the novel. The former, an 
adaptation of a French style of writing, was an outgrowth 
or department of the newspaper, which had begun in Eng- 
land about the middle of the Seventeenth Century. It 
flourished luxuriantly and became the favorite mode of 
prose-writing with professional authors. Although De 
Foe had written "The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe" 
and other fictitious biographies, not without merit, the 
origin of the novel is usually ascribed to the honest printer 
Richardson, who, in preparing a model letter-writer, tried 
to make it attractive by incorporating an entertaining 
story. The bulky book was called ''The Story of Pamela; 
or, Virtue Rewarded." The witty and satirical Henry 
Fielding undertook to ridicule this moral story by relating 
"The Story of Joseph Andrews," in which Pamela's 
brother is made to pass through corresponding tempta- 
tions to equivalent rewards. Both sober Richardson and 
gay Fielding persevered in their respective courses, pro- 
ducing new stories, superior to the first, but few other 
writers were induced to imitate them. The rollicking 
Smollett and the charming Goldsmith were the most suc- 
cessful in portraying ordinary life and character. The 
whimsical Laurence Sterne achieved unique but temporary 
success by his "Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, 
Gent.," in which he defied the conventions of society, and 
even of decency. His "Sentimental Journey" was written 
after a visit to France, in which he became acquainted 
with Rousseau's writings. The dilettante Horace Wal- 
pole published, in 1765, "The Castle of Otranto." and a 
few imitations of this romance were indications of reviv- 
ing interest in mediaeval history. But when we consider 
the overwhelming flood of novels which was to come on 
subjects of all kinds, domestic and historical, adventurous 
and analytical, it is astonishing that so few efforts were 


made in this direction in the Eighteenth Century, after the 
example was set. A more potent leader was required to 
smite the flinty rock and cause the streams of prose fiction 
to gush forth. 

Modern France has been noted for its ready acceptance 
of formal rules in all matters of social observance. In 
the struggle which arose against the wanton tyranny of 
authority in church and state in the Eighteenth Century, 
there was no disregard of literary criticism. The witty, 
spiteful, mirth-provoking Voltaire, after having estab- 
lished his reputation as a versatile artist, as poet, satirist, 
critic, dramatist and philosophical writer, was ever ready 
to come forward as the champion of the oppressed. The 
peculiarity of his genius was shown in his boldness in 
attacking existing abuses and his success in escaping pun- 
ishment from the powerful persons interested in them. 
The Swiss republican Rousseau, who was twenty years 
younger, was of entirely different temperament and tastes. 
While Voltaire was the favorite polished author of a cul- 
tured society, who appreciated the keenness of his wit and 
the vigor of his onset, the serious, moody Rousseau was 
simple in habit, a lover of nature, one who despised the 
supposed advantages of refinement, and wished to benefit 
mankind by proposing a return to barbarism. He re- 
jected any positive rule of duty, and, insisting on the 
natural goodness of the heart, made sensibility the regu- 
lator of conduct. His own life was a wretched caricature 
of the ideal he proposed in his writings. Asserting that 
virtue was not compatible with wealth or dependence, he 
gave up an official position, discarded the customary dress 
of gentlemen, lived in concubinage with an illiterate 
woman, and bestowed his five children on foundling hos- 
pitdls, because he was too poor to maintain them. And 
yet this selfish wretch who neglected the plainest dictates 


of humanity, was able, by his plausible, deceptive elo- 
quence, to fill the hearts of his readers with pity for 
imaginary sorrows, with pardon for the basest seduction. 
The germs of his works can be traced to English litera- 
ture or to his observations during his brief residence in 
England. Even ''The New Heloise" owes much to 
Richardson's ''Clarissa Harlowe." His "Emile" advo- 
cated persuasively education in conformity with natural 
inclination, rather than by compulsion. Its best prin- 
ciples have been adopted in later systems of education. 
His "Social Contract" supplied a new theoretical basis of 
government, and though entirely without historical proof, 
has been a most effective argument in extending modem 
democracy. No other writer of the Eighteenth Century 
had vaster or more permanent influence on the social, 
political, and literary movements of Europe. He dissolved 
the bonds which had united the people in the existing gov- 
ernments, and resolved them into a loose aggregation of 
atoms. And yet, by his sentiment and love of simple 
nature, he seemed to satisfy the demands of the soul. 
Rousseau created the intellectual atmosphere which was 
essential to the terrific explosion of the French Revolution. 
In other parts of Europe, in the beginning of that cen- 
tury, in spite of the almost universal acceptance of the 
social fashions and literary decrees of the French court, 
there were evidences of a struggle against this intellectual 
bondage. The aspiration after the truth of life and nat- 
ural feeling was not confined to France or England. 
Strange to say, a most efficient instrument in this new 
movement was "Robinson Crusoe," which was speedily 
translated into German, and gave rise to numerous imi- 
tations. That familiar story led to further acquaintance 
with English literature, and especially with Shakespeare 
and Milton. Rival schools of critics were formed; the 


pedantic Gottsched in Leipzig maintained the traditional 
classicism, and made Milton a special object of attack; 
while the more judicious Bodmer, who had been com- 
pelled to seek refuge in Switzerland, defended free na- 
tionality. The latter became a pioneer in the rescue of 
the old German poems, especially of the "Nibelungenlied," 
since regarded as one of the chief glories of the Teutonic 
race. In his defense of Milton, whom he translated 
partly, he was aided by Klopstock, whose "Messias" is 
the most successful imitation of the spirit of "Paradise 
Lost," though more resembling an oratorio than an epic 
or dramatic poem. The romantic Wieland and all the 
literary youth supported the same cause, and the despotic 
Gottsched was deposed from his literary dictatorship. 
The liberal and learned Wieland passed through many 
stages in his literary career. At first he was pietistic, like 
the more earnest Klopstock, and imitated the English Dr. 
Young, author of the "Night Thoughts." But later ra- 
tionalism led him to lighter French models, and finally 
his epicureanism was shown in romantic interpretations of 
ancient Greek life. "Agathon" reveals many views of 
Greek character in the Fourth Century before Christ. 
In "The Abderites," on the other hand, there is, under a 
veil of ancient names and manners, a burlesque of the 
provincialism of petty German courts. But Wieland's 
chief work is the brilliant romantic poem of "Oberon" 
(1780) in which he exhibits changing pictures of rural 
simplicity and Oriental splendor, city tumult and dismal 
deserts, gay feasts and wretched shipwreck, and through 
them all heroism and trusty friendship. 

Greater than the cultured Wieland was the lofty ideal- 
ist Lessing, who emancipated the German mind from 
slavish imitation of foreign models. He not only led an 
attack on the classic French drama but gave the 


German stage beautiful models which still hold their 
place even beside Goethe and Schiller's master- 
pieces. His greatest work is "Nathan the Wise," in which 
he taught the duty of religious toleration. In 
his masterly treatise, "Laokoon," he investigated and 
3emonstrated the ultimate principles of art, and its neces- 
sary limitations in its several departments of sculpture, 
painting and poetry. In his "Education of the Human 
Race" Lessing maintained that in all positive religions 
there is something of divine truth ; that Providence is the 
teacher, mankind the pupil, and the successive religions or 
revelations the text books, but humanity, when fully de- 
veloped, will need no such external aids. 

The intellectual agitation already produced in Ger- 
man by these and other native writers was intensified when 
the writings of the republican Rousseau began to appear. 
His urgent call to men to return to the state of primitive 
simplicity and to reject the pretended advantages of super- 
ficial civilization met with warm responses. All limita- 
tions to individual feeling, instinct and passion were to be 
removed. Sensibility was to be the universal rule of con- 
duct. This period is known as that of "Storm and Stress," 
from the title of a drama by Klinger in 1776, in which 
the hero's insatiable craving for activity leads him to run 
away to take part in the American Revolution. Many 
plays of this period indicate a rebellious state of society and 
threaten a speedy and inevitable revolution. Yet while 
there existed much distress and sufifering, a corrupt aris- 
tocracy and disregard of humanity, there were also to be 
found domestic joys, pleasant lives in both city and coun- 
try. From the pictures of evil presented by the dramatists, 
or more probably from direct observation of their subjects, 
many of the rulers took warning and sought to avert the 
misery by initiating reforms, social and political. Both 


Frederick II of Prussia and Joseph II of Austria were true 
benefactors of society, and rulers of smaller territories 
were not less devoted to the welfare of their people. 

Goethe is considered by some to have initiated the 
"Storm and Stress" movement by his powerful national 
drama "Gotz von Berlichingen," written when he was only 
nineteen years of age. Born in 1749, he owed much to his 
early acquaintance with English literature, especially with 
Goldsmith and Shakespeare. The long and steady growth 
of his powers, his determination to make every opportunity 
contribute to self-culture, his unsurpassed ability in com- 
bining the pure ancient Hellenic with the varied modern 
Teutonic spirit, gave his genius a universal sweep, making 
him truly cosmopolitan and rendering him eventually the 
foremost literary exponent of the Eighteenth Century. 
Schiller, ten years younger than Goethe, died at the early 
age of forty-five, having worn himself out with tireless 
industry. More true than Goethe to the limitations of the 
German spirit, Schiller is the beloved and typical poet of 
his race. His first drama, "The Robbers," is full of revo- 
lutionary fervor and boyish extravagance. It expressed 
the new spirit of the time, and was hailed with enthusiasm. 
Though punished for it by the Duke of Wiirtemberg, he 
obtained protection from others, and went on composing 
dramas of liberty and lyrics of philosophic idealism. He 
was made professor of history at Jena, and there became 
intimate with Goethe. This loving friendship had excel- 
lent effect upon both, stirring them to new displays of 
power. It was after consultation" with the elder poet that 
Schiller decided to divide his play on the fate of Wallen- 
stein into three parts, "Wallenstein's Camp," "The Pic- 
colomini," and "The Death of Wallenstein." This tri- 
logy is his masterpiece, and the hero's character is the 
most complex of his dramatic conceptions. His later 


plays are of high excellence, "William Tell" being the most 
admired as a highly romantic picture of a popular struggle 
for liberty. Schiller suffered from frequent illness, but 
never permitted his weak health to lower the joyful and 
inspiring tone of his poetry. His moral influence stimu- 
lated and encouraged the hearts of the German people in 
the period of their severe national trial. 

The immediate effect of the outbreak of the French 
Revolution was to arouse youthful and enthusiastic minds 
with hopes and aspirations of a new ideal of humanity and 
fill them with dreams of a new golden age. Even the 
triumph of the baser elements and the bloody scenes of the 
Reign of Terror did not in all cases produce the revulsion 
which they did upon the philosophic statesman Burke and 
upon the poets Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Southey, 
turning them from ardent Revolutionists into staunch 
Conservatives. Byron and Shelley continued to war upon 
social order and their works propagated the spirit of revo- 
lution. Sir Walter Scott, whose feelings were strongly 
wedded to the past and to the established institutions of 
his country, had probably shown less sympathy with the 
destructive spirit of the age and yielded less to its illusions 
than any other man of genius in Europe. Goethe, who 
in his earliest writings had shown moderate revolutionary 
inclinations, had become justly conservative when the 
storm burst upon the Continent. These two great writers 
preserved the connection with the literature of the 
Eighteenth Century, and gave the impulse to much of thajt 
of the Nineteenth. 

The broad characteristic of European literature at the 
opening of the Nineteenth Century is the reign of Roman- 
ticism. The settled result of the general agitation and 
many contradictory movements was an abandonment of 


the artificial and conventional stiffness produced by close 
adherence to rhetoricians' rules and pedants' notions. 
The spirit of life which breathed in the ancient classics 
was lost in the modern classicism. The new romantic 
spirit turned with fond regard to the faith and mysticism 
of early Christianity, to the pomp and ceremonies and 
sensuous religious worships of the days of chivalry, to the 
solemn cathedrals and ruined castles of the Middle Ages. 
It sought to recover the feelings of the knights and barons, 
priests and people of those ages of faith. It even went 
further abroad, seeking religious sentiment beyond dogma, 
and poetic beauty beyond myths. It found pleasure in the 
flowery poetry of the East, in the legends and traditions 
of Pagan mythology. The strange stories of the gods 
and goddesses of the Scandinavian North were studied and 
rehearsed with new zeal and eagerness. Though political 
events exercised disturbing influences in every country, 
yet the renovation of the human mind was made manifest 
in every department of literature. The poet's muse found 
fresh themes in the new revelation of the human heart and 
the beauties of nature. The satirist poured scorn on the 
shams of society and pedantry of the schools. Essayists, 
no longer confining themselves to tea-table miscellany, dis- 
cussed philosophy and the science of government, and 
promulgated the doctrine of the equality of all men before 
God and the law. Soon great novelists undertook to paint 
the manners and characters of remote and foreign nations 
as well as those of their own time. Instead of the former 
rigid rules of expression, there was henceforth large 
variety both in matter and manner, and style became as 
capricious as human nature itself. The imagination was 
let loose to find in nature or history whatever could best 
illustrate the passions of the heart. This absolute liberty 


granted to writers is controlled by the approval accorded 
only to those who have expressed adequately the truth of 
nature and character. 

In the following pages we shall endeavor to trace the 
development of each national literature in its principal 




In the opening of the Nineteenth Century the virtuous 
but obstinate George III was King of England. His 
government, strongly backed by the people, was strenu- 
ous in resisting the ambition of Napoleon and the 
equally dangerous spread of French revolutionary ideas. 
William Pitt, who had been inclined to liberal reforms, 
had, under the stress of war, become severe and arbitrary 
in his home policy. But while the ruling classes were 
reactionary and were aiding the cause of despotism on 
the Continent, the great humanitarian movement which 
had given rise to the French Revolution was still in prog- 
ress and manifested itself in manifold ways. The free- 
dom of the press was invoked and maintained In its 
behalf. Poets and philosophers gave varied utterance 
to its spirit and delivered its message to the hearts of 
men. Not alone the oppressed and discontented listened 
and echoed its cries. The thoughtful, religious, and 
tender-hearted of all classes were moved and incited to 
action. The timid sought escape from evils of the 
present in dreams of a golden age, in stories of mediaeval 
faith and feudal chivalry. But the bold were more eager 
and ardent in their passion for reforming the world. In 
the political field the revolutionary movement was re- 
pressed by William Pitt and the Tory party, but in the 
literary field it was soon overwhelmingly triumphant. 



London has been the literary center of England from 
the golden age of Queen Elizabeth — not merely the em- 
porium of books and publishers, but the residence or 
frequent resort of all who have felt impelled to instruct 
or delight their fellow-men with the pen. There, in the 
reign of Queen Anne, Addison at Will's coffee-house 
gave his little Senate laws. There Pope and Swift and 
kindred spirits met and concocted the sayings and doings 
of the Scribler's Club. Not far off was the odious, noisy 
Grub Street, in which needy poets vainly strove to eke 
out a miserable existence. In his early years Dr. Samuel 
Johnson in his satire, "London," imitated Juvenal's famous 
description of Rome, but after drudgery had brought 
him fame, he ruled with imperious sway in the Club, which 
contained Sir Joshua Reynolds, Garrick, Goldsmith, and 
Burke. Great as was the gathering of intellect and 
genius in the English metropolis, its life was largely 
political and commercial, and it is justly called the modern 
Babylon. The fresh impulse that was to recreate 
parched English literature with the new century came 
from the North — from the hills and lakes of Scotland, and 
from the spirited debates of its picturesque capital. 

The literary rivalship of Edinburgh is a prominent 
feature at the opening of the Nineteenth Century. The 
union of Scotland with England in 1707 had partly di- 
minished the city's importance, yet it continued to be the 
residence of many of the Scotch nobility. It was the seat 
of a flourishing university, and the place of publication 
of many historical and philosophical works. The Scotch 
have always shown skill in compiling text-books, and 
encyclopedias and other works of reference have been 
wont to appear in Edinburgh. In spite of its nickname, 
"Auld Reekie," the town had an intellectual atmosphere, 
and its citizens were justified in giving it the surname of 


"the modern Athens." Notwithstanding poHtical divi- 
sions, its general tendency has been Liberal. When the 
British government under Pitt was lavishing its wealth 
and bending its utmost energies for the overthrow of 
Napoleon, the citizens of the Northern capital were still 
discussing the principles and tendencies of the French 
Revolution. From this intellectual ferment came the 
new impulse which was to transform English literature. 
About 1797 the witty English clergyman, Sydney 
Smith, started to go to Germany with a pupil, but was 
driven by the outbreak of war to take refuge in Edin- 
burgh, and there officiated in a chapel. Forming the 
acquaintance of a number of talented young Whigs, who 
chafed under the repression of Liberal views, he per- 
suaded them to start the "Edinburgh Review" in 1802. 
For its motto he proposed a line from Vergil, which he 
translated, "We cultivate literature on a little oatmeal," 
but as this statement was too close to the truth, a more 
severe sentence from an almost unknown classic was sub- 
stituted. The first contributors were Francis Jeffrey, 
Henry Brougham, Francis Llorner, J. A. Murray, and 
Smith, who edited a single number. Jeffrey, as the re- 
sponsible editor from 1803 to 1829, exercised an im- 
mense influence on periodical literature and criticism. 
Soon the power of the "Edinburgh Review" was widely 
felt and acknowledged. It was due to the fact that its 
contributors were men of decided convictions. They were 
liberally paid for the candid expression of their opinions 
on new publications. Its judgment was looked for by 
authors with fear and trembling. In it Jeffrey castigated 
Byron's first volume, "Hours of Idleness," but called 
forth a fierce retort in his "English Bards and Scotch Re- 
viewers." He was bold enough to condemn Scott's 
"Marmion" as childish. Jeffrey also persistently con- 


demned and ridiculed ^^'ords^vo^th's poetry, opening his 
critique on "The Excursion" in 1815, with the memorable 
words, "This will never do." In matters of taste Jeffrey 
still adhered to the established ideas of the Eighteenth 
Century. He was succeeded by Macvey Napier. 

The "Edinburgh Review" was an independent ex- 
positor of the principles of the Whig party. It advo- 
cated reforms in church and state, Catholic emancipation 
and removal of disabilities from Dissenters, Parliamen- 
tary reform and extension of the suffrage. It reopened 
questions of history as well as politics, and rendered new 
verdicts according to new light. Many of its articles 
were not merely reviews, but monographs on interesting 
questions. Thus it furnished ]\Iacaulay the proper field 
for the brilliant miscellanies which gave him much of his 
fame, and prepared the way for his history. Sir Walter 
Scott, though a Tory, contributed to the "Edinburgh 
Review" until the vehemence of its Whiggism required 
him to withdraw. 

In opposition to the brave and vigorous "Edin- 
burgh," the English Tories felt compelled to establish an 
organ of their own. It was called "The Quarterly Re- 
view," and was first published in London in 1809, edited 
by William Gifford, a satirist and translator of Juvenal. 
It attained its best repute when under the control of John 
G. Lockhart, son-in-law and biographer of Sir Walter 
Scott. Among its early contributors were Canning, 
Southey, Wordsworth, Scott, and John W. Croker. Be- 
sides its steady defence of the old principles and anom- 
alies of the British Constitution, it was noted for its 
ponderous learning. 

But the Tories of the North, smarting under the 
attacks of the "Edinburgh Review," were not fully satis- 
fied with their new ally. It was too remote ; its g^ns too 


heavy and slow. Therefore Wilham Blackwood, the 
Tory publisher of Edinburgh, began in 1817 to issue a 
monthly in their behalf. As regards politics it was 
fiercely conservative, defending monarchy, aristocracy 
and the Established Church ; and briskly attacking all in- 
novations ; on its literary side it presented from the start 
brilliant stories and poems, and it overflowed with fun 
and animal spirits. An early number contained a pre- 
tended "Chaldee Manuscript," which gave in the style of 
the English Bible, a bitter satire on the Edinburgh no- 
torieties of the time. This was soon followed by the 
"Noctes Ambrosianse," a series of mirthful dialogues, 
interspersed with songs and poems, professed to be held 
by its chief contributors at Ambrose's tavern. These 
were mostly written by the brilliant Professor John Wil- 
son, who, in his editorial capacity, bore the pseudonym 
of "Christopher North." He was a noted athlete and 
sportsman, a lover of the beautiful, a writer of pathetic 
tales and charming poetry, and was also professor of moral 
philosophy in the University of Edinburgh. His love of 
fun and display of it in "Maga" caused his more serious 
powers to be somewhat disparaged and neglected. 

Beyond the Whigs of the "Edinburgh Review" there 
was a class of thinkers, urging Utilitarianism in phi- 
losophy and Radicalism in politics. These opposed the 
existing systems in church and state, and were severely 
criticized in the "Edinburgh" as well as in the "Quar- 
terly." Jeremy Bentham was one of their leaders, and 
to defend and propagate their views, he founded in 1824 
the "Westminster Review." Among its contributors 
were James Mill, and his greater son, John Stuart Mill, 
Sir John Bowring, and the philosophic historian. Buckle. 
As it led the way in removing the restrictions and legal 
disabilities of women, it is not surprising to find two 


eminent women writing for its pages — Harriet Mar- 
tineau, and Marian Evans, who was to win fame as 
"George Eliot." It was long an object of curious dread 
in Conserv'ative and Orthodox circles. 

The literary success of ''Blackwood's Magazine" led 
to the founding of other monthlies, some of which had no 
decided political bias. The "Xew Monthly Magazine" 
was edited by the poet Campbell, and numbered among 
its contributors Bulwer and Hood. Captain Marryat 
published in it some of his famous sea-stories. "Eraser's 
Magazine," started in 1830, was of high order, and gave 
cordial welcome to articles not readily accepted else- 
where. Thus Carlyle, who had done much writing, 
especially on German subjects, for the "Edinburgh Re- 
view," turned to "Eraser" when he wished to bring be- 
fore the world his new fantastic clothes-philosophy in 
"Sartor Resartus." The "Dublin University Magazine," 
begun in 1832, was an outlet for the wit and learning 
which were cherished among the Irish Protestants of 
Trinity College, Dublin, It is remarkable that while 
scholars and graduates of the English Universities as- 
sisted in various reviews and magazines, no periodical 
was regularly issued in connection with either Oxford or 
Cambridge. The life of the English scholar was dis- 
tinctly apart from the activity even of the literary world. 
But the reform movement began by the brisk, alert Syd- 
ney Smith in Edinburgh, eventually reached and agitated 
the quiet academic retreats on the Cam and the Isis. Then 
it took a new and strange form, and an Oxford move- 
ment, chiefly eccleciastical, passed around the English- 
speaking world. For a time it bore the name of Dr. 
Pusey, but the true leader was the preacher and theo- 
logian who became Cardinal X'ewman. 



English literature in the Eighteenth Century had 
sunk into general monotony. The prevailing form of 
prose-writing was smooth didactic or reflective essays, 
except so far as some daring but incompetent novelists 
tried spasmodic, melodramatic tales. The established 
manner in poetry was the heroic couplet of Pope, whose 
aim was to be "correct" in matter and style. Thomson 
and Cowper had introduced a more varied and natural 
mode, but were more praised than imitated. Suddenly, 
with the opening of a new century, came a burst of free- 
dom. Sir Walter Scott, Byron, Moore, Shelley, Keats, 
Southey, and Crabbe, displayed new varieties of metre, 
new wealth of subjects, new brilliance of description. 
Most of them published tales in verse or minor epics, 
some of them ballads and lyrical pieces. Wordsworth 
and Coleridge issued "Lyrical Ballads," and the former 
proclaimed the discovery of a new law of poetic diction, 
which he himself forsook in his better work. Foremost 
in popularity were the lilting lays of Scott, which revealed 
to the English the scenery, characters and traditions of 
North Britain. 

Walter Scott, born in Edinburgh, August 15, 1771, 
had spent his childhood in the romantic Scottish Border, 
and been imbued with its traditions of warfare and super- 
stition. After passing through the University of Edin- 
burgh he had learned German, then a rare accomplish- 
ment. Filled with enthusiasm for its romanticism, he 



translated ballads from Burger and Goethe, and made a 
spirited version of the latter's youthful tragedy, "Gotz 
von Berlichingen." Though slightly lame, Scott was 
active on foot and horseback, and when in 1799 he was 
made sheriff of Selkirkshire, he galloped around the 
country in search of ballads and legends. Thus were ob- 
tained three volumes of the "Minstrelsy of the Scottish 
Border," published in 1802. Its phenomenal success led 
the Countess of Dalkeith to request Scott to turn into 
verse the story of the goblin page connected with her family 
traditions. The result appeared in "The Lay of the Last 
Minstrel" (1805), which was received with universal ac- 
clamation and sank deeply into the popular heart. No 
English poem had ever sold so widely before, and Scott 
decided to give up practice at the bar for authorship. 
His official income, indeed, gave him ample means, and 
his generosity induced him to advance capital to James 
Ballantyne, the printer of his books. Ballantyne proved 
incompetent in business affairs, and eventually ruined 
himself and his trusting friend. 

Scott in his "Lay" used octosyllabic verse, which, 
though founded on the metre of the Norman trouveres, 
had not previously been employed in English for serious 
poems. Its easy gallop and freedom from strict rules 
caused it to submit readily to the author's caprice. He 
varied it in passages expressing strong feeling or violent 
movement with an occasional short verse, while the 
longer lines rhyme sometimes in threes or fours. Scott 
wrote with great rapidity and did not pause to polish or 
correct, yet his flowing versification echoes well the senti- 
ment of the moment. An admirable feature of his "Lay" 
is the framing of the story of sorcery and chivalric ad- 
venture — the description of the aged minstrel, his diffi- 
dence in the presence of the great lady, his gradual recall 


of youthful inspiration, and the outbursts of poetic ex- 
altation when his feelings are fully aroused. The most 
striking scene is the opening of the tomb of Michael 
Scott, and the taking of the book of gramarye from the 
lifeless hand of the mighty wizard. 

Scott followed up the unprecedented success of the 
"Lay" by producing "Marmion," a somewhat similar tale, 
in 1808. It related the visit of a valiant but unscrupulous 
English knight to Scotland, and concluded with the fatal 
field of Flodden (15 13). A memorable tragic scene 
describes the immuring of Constance before a grim tri- 
bunal in the vaults of Lindisfarn Abbey. The battle is 
alsp grandly produced with true Homeric directness, and 
the death of conscience-haunted Marmion is an appro- 
priate conclusion. Two years later appeared "The Lady 
of the Lake," generally regarded as Scott's masterpiece. 
It sets forth the conflict between the civilized Lowlanders 
and the wild Highland clan, under the leadership of Rod- 
erick Dhu. Few scenes are more impressive than the 
carrying of the Fiery Cross to summon the clansmen to 
war, the battle of Beal' an Duine, and the death of Rod- 

Scott issued more metrical tales, but he seems to have 
felt that he had exhausted the best of his poetic vein. 
Later, with his notable generosity to the merits of other 
writers, he acknowledged that the more dazzling and 
forcible genius of Byron had surpassed his own, and he 
quietly retired from the field of contest. But not to be 
idle ; on the contrary, to work more strenuously than ever 
in the new realm of prose fiction. In 1814 appeared 
anonymously, "Waverley; or, 'Tis Sixty Years Since," 
an attempt to recall the stirring events of 1745, when the 
defeat of Culloden gave the death-blow to the hopes of 
the Stuart Pretenders. The story was eagerly welcomed 


by the people, many among whom could vouch for the 
truth of the picture. Scott, though full of enthusiasm 
for his native land and its people, had yet sufficient sym- 
pathy with English ideas to be able to treat his country- 
men with the necessary aloofness for true perspective- 
He avoided the grossness and indecency w^hich had pre- 
vailed in previous novel-writing and by his dignified self- 
respect commended his work to a wider circle of readers. 
Without disclosing his authorship, he soon issued "Guy 
Mannering," in which a young Englishman ventures into 
Scotland and becomes involved in the fate of some of its 
people. Among the striking characters presented were 
Meg Merrilies, the Gipsy seeress, and Dominie Sampson, 
the schoolmaster, overflowing with learning and kind- 
ness. A still more vigorous sketch of Scotch life and 
manners is found in "The Antiquary," in which he 
made friendly sport of the foibles of his friend, George 
Constable, and indeed of his own. Meantime, to keep up 
the mystification about 'The Great Unknown," Scott 
prepared under his own name treatises on chivalr}^, ro- 
mance, and the drama, edited the works of Dryden and 
Swift, issued new poems, and wrote much for an "Annual 
Register." He had bought land at Abbotsford in 1812, 
and entered upon vast schemes for building a mediceval 
castle. When the foolishness of his printer friend and 
partner threatened bankruptcy, the liberality of other pub- 
lishers helped to tide over the crisis. 

In "The Black Dwarf and "Old Mortality" (1816) 
Scott entered on a new field of Scotch life, the struggles of 
the Covenanters, and when he was accused of treating 
them unfairly, he boldly reviewed his own novels in the 
"Quarterly," stated the principles and ideal of historical 
romance, and claimed high merit in truth of character for 
the works of the mysterious author. "Rob Roy," a 


spirited presentation of Highland life and manners, ap- 
peared in 1817, and then 'The Heart of Midlothian," 
the pathetic tale of Jeanie and Effie Deans, perhaps the 
best of his novels in delineation of passion. It was fol- 
lowed by "The Bride of Lammermoor," a domestic trag- 
edy of similar excellence; and "The Legend of Montrose," 
noted for the character of Major Dtigald Dalgetty, 
pedantic soldier of fortune. 

In 18 19 the prolific author for the first time turned to 
England for the main scene of his story, and in "Ivanhoe" 
described that country in the time of lingering Norman 
and Saxon strife in the reign of Richard Coeur de Lion. 
The portrait of the Jewess Rebecca, one of his finest 
female characters, was suggested by Washington Irving's 
description of a lady of Philadelphia. "Ivanhoe," being 
free from the embarrassment of the Scotch dialect, and 
rich in pictures of feudal chivalry, has received wider 
popular approval than any other of Scott's works. "Ken- 
ilworth" is also a favorite, describing Queen Elizabeth's 
visit to the Earl of Leicester's castle in Warwickshire, 
and her interview with the beautiful and unfortunate 
Amy Robsart. "The Fortunes of Nigel" relate to Lon- 
don life, when the Scotch King had come to the English 
throne as James I. In "Quentin Durward" Scott at last 
ventured to cross to the Continent, and portrayed the 
strife between the crafty, superstitious Louis XI of 
France and Charles the Bold of Burgundy. In other 
stories of less merit Scott had returned to his native heath 
and presented both historic and domestic scenes. In 
1825 he published the "Tales of the Crusaders," with 
Richard Coeur de Lion as a prominent personage. 

Scott had for some years believed himself entirely 
freed from pecuniary embarrassments by the arrange- 
ments made by his partners in 181 8. But the financial 


crash of 1825 carried down the London and Edinburgh 
houses with which the Ballantynes were involved, and 
the silent partner was astounded to find himself legally 
liable for not less than £130,000. Scott was now fifty- 
four years old and might easily have taken advantage of 
the bankrupt law, but his pride or high sense of honor 
would not permit. Refusing all assistance, he deter- 
mined to pay his debts or die in the effort. His wife soon 
died, and he suffered other painful bereavements. Leav- 
ing the grandeur of Abbotsford, he took modest lodg- 
ings in Edinburgh. The first novel written in the new 
quarters was "Woodstock," a tale of Charles H's wander- 
ings and restoration to the throne. It was written in 
three months and brought £8,000. Within two years, as 
the proceeds of some novels, including "The Fair Maid 
of Perth," an elaborate but strongly prejudiced "Life of 
Napoleon Buonaparte," and "Tales of a Grandfather," 
relating to Scottish history, Scott had accumulated 
£40,000 for his creditors. But the steady drain on the 
vital powers was too much for his endurance. Illness 
began in 1829, and in the following February he had a 
stroke of paralysis. Yet he worked on, and in spite of 
friends and physicians would not take rest. His last 
novels, "Count Robert of Paris" and "Castle Dangerous," 
show signs of failing powers. He became possessed of 
the idea that his debts were paid, and then consented to 
take a sea-voyage, recommended by his physicians. On 
a government vessel he sailed for Naples and cruised 
about the Mediterranean for some months. When he 
felt that his end was near, he insisted on being taken back 
to Abbotsford. There he died September 21, 1832. 

Monuments have been erected to his memory in Edin- 
burgh and other cities, but his true monument is Scotland 
itself, nearly every province and town of which has been 


made familiar by his magic pen. He was "The Wizard 
of the North" who conjured up the men and manners of 
the past, "who bestowed upon Scotland an imperishable 
name." His works abound in wonderful variety of char- 
acter and incident; while he excelled in delineating the 
Scotch of both high and low degree, he was able from his 
historical and antiquarian researches to present portraits 
of other nationalities sufficiently individualized. By his 
skillful handling of subjects, he taught later historians 
how to write, to give vivid effect to what would otherwise 
be chronological details or philosophical abstractions. 
Scott was an omnivorous reader, and no critic was more 
generous in acknowledging the merits of his contem- 
poraries. Thoughtful critics confess his poetic excel- 
lence and admit his matchless power in turning back the 
thoughts of men to the storied past, in giving a grand 
impetus to the study of mediaeval history and art. 


The genius and force of Lord Byron had powerful 
effect not only on the youth of his own time in England, 
but in France, Germany, Italy, and throughout Europe. 
He was a stimulating propagator of Romanticism. In 
all his verse-stories he was his own passionate hero, and 
that hero was recognized as the ideal of the youth of the 
age. Though regarded even in England as more original 
and forcible than Sir Walter Scott, yet careful examina- 
tion proves that Byron owed the general suggestion and 
much of the success of his poetry to Scott. Critics are 
astonished at his voluminous output, for he was cut off 
at the early age of thirty-six, 

George Gordon Byron was born in London, January 


22, 1788, but his early training was received at Aberdeen, 
where his mother, who had been deserted by her dissi- 
pated husband, went to hve on a slender income. By an 
accident at birth one of his feet was deformed and caused 
a slight limp through life. When Byron was eleven 
years old, he succeeded to the title and estates of his 
grand-uncle, and removed to Newstead Abbey. He was 
sent later to Harrow School and Trinity College, Cam- 
bridge, but found delight in rude sports rather than study. 
Yet he scribbled verses and his first publication, "Hours 
of Idleness" (1807), was severely criticized in the "Edin- 
burgh Review." The young poet retorted with furious 
vehemence on the whole literary craft in his "English 
Bards and Scotch Reviewers." But the attack was so 
absurd and unjust, that he afterwards endeavored to sup- 
press it. When of age, he took his seat in the House of 
Lords, but had few acquaintances, and soon set out on a 
tour through Southern Europe. After two years' ab- 
sence he brought back "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" 
(181 1 ), a poetical version of his travels, in Spenserian 
metre. The French wars had in great measure shut out 
the English people from the Continent; now a graphic 
poet presented them with brilliant pictures of scenery 
and countries almost unknown. But more than that, the 
traveler possessed a mysterious interest of his own; he 
was an outcast from his native land; he w^as consumed 
with melancholy, he sought distraction from himself. 
The immediate impression of the work is shown in By- 
ron's exclamation: "I awoke one morning and found 
myself famous." At once the doors of the rich and noble 
were opened to the author. His pale melancholy fea- 
tures captivated women; his sweet voice and graceful 
form attracted every eye. He was flattered and idolized, 
but he did not yield to utter idleness. He added to his 


fame by poetical tales of the East, which had been drafted 
amid its scenery. These tales, whose metre was bor- 
rowed from Scott, were "The Giaour" (1811), "The 
Bride of Abydos" (1813), "The Corsair" (1814), "Lara" 
(1814), and "The Siege of Corinth" (1816). However 
different the story, there was but one hero in them all : 

" The man of loneliness and mystery, 
Scarce seen to smile, and seldom heard to sigh." 

In these tales there are also constant references to a 
woman purely beloved, and there is reason to believe that 
an actual person is meant, who died in 181 1. Her death 
is lamented at the end of Canto II of "Childe Harold," 
but her name is not given. 

In January, 1815, Lord Byron married Miss Anne 
Isabella Milbanke, a lady of wealth and position, but a 
year later, after the birth of a daughter, she separated from 
him.. The true reasons have never been published, but 
their tempers seem to have been incompatible; she 
was of severe morals and unsympathetic; he was licen- 
tious and of violent temper ; she thought him actually in- 
sane. Public opinion in England condemned the hus- 
band, and he went abroad full of bitterness. At Geneva 
he wrote another canto of "Childe Harold," and "The 
Prisoner of Chillon." In 18 17 he formed a liaison with 
the Countess Guiccioli, which was maintained through 
the rest of his life at Venice and other cities of Italy. His 
literary work was continued without intermission and 
included "Don Juan," "Mazeppa," the dramas "Marino 
Faliero" and "The Two Foscari," and the fierce satire, 
"The Vision of Judgment," in reply to Southey's absurd 
laudation of George III. In 1823 Byron was induced to 
take an active part in the Greek struggle for independ- 
ence. He sailed from Genoa with arms, but the insur- 
gents were insubordinate and not prepared for action. 


He was seized with a fever at Missolonghi, and died April 
19, 1824. 

Immense as was the effect of Byron's personality and 
works on literature during his life, his reputation fell in 
later years, though it now shows signs of reviving. 
Shelley and Keats are ranked above him in artistic quali- 
ties and metrical effect. He was an admirer of Pope, 
and accepted Pope's rules of diction, but he practiced 
in various metres offered by contemporary poets, who are 
now forgotten. His mind was full of the stormy thoughts 
of his time, and thus he became the poet of revolu- 
tion, able to stir mankind. His misanthropy and pro- 
fessed scorn for the world's opinion gave him power over 
that opinion. His descriptions are great and varied, and 
he was able to concentrate scenes in a line. The later 
cantos of "Childe Harold" are of greater value than those 
which gave him his first fame. "Don Juan" is perhaps 
the fullest exhibit of his character and poetical power; 
a splendid epic with an inglorious hero. It is full of 
sublime and exquisite descriptions, but does not hesitate 
to link these with vile and ignoble associations. 

The meter and method of treatment are borrowed 
from the Italian burlesque poets, but in matter the poem is 
highly original; it is a succession of pictures of human 
life and society as he viewed them, with occasional satire 
or jesting comment. In spite of its lack of well defined 
plan, there is an artistic balance in its mixture of comedy 
and pathos. 


Thomas Moore, at one time eulogized as the most 
brilliant poet in England, is remembered chiefly by his 
popular "Irish Melodies," songs which have not lost all 
their charm. Besides his Celtic faculty of writing verses 




for singing, he was a lively conversationalist, and thus 
became a favorite with the Whig aristocracy at the be- 
ginning of the century. 

Born in Dublin in 1779, he early showed his literary 
talent, and graduated at Trinity College in 1800. Going 
to London with a free translation of Anacreon, he ob- 
tained permission to dedicate it to the Prince Regent, 
afterwards George IV. A year later an original collec- 
tion of licentious verse was published as "The Poetical 
Works of the Late Thomas Little," for the indecency of 
which he afterwards professed repentance. In 1803 an 
official post in the Bermudas was assigned to Moore, 
but he left it in charge of a deputy, and traveled in the 
United States. On his return to London he was wel- 
comed by the world of fashion and satirized the Ameri- 
cans. His "Irish Melodies," adapted to ancient tunes, 
arranged by Sir John Stevenson, began to appear in 
1807, and many additions were made in later years. 
These fascinating amatory and patriotic effusions rescued 
from vulgar associations the music of his native land, 
and are the best expression of his powers. His sparkling 
rhymes and varied measures so delighted the public that 
the Longmans offered him 3,000 guineas for an Oriental 
poem to be written in a year. Though he had never 
visited the East, he endeavored to steep his mind in Per- 
sian lore and imagery, and the result was the gorgeous 
"Lalla Rookh." It relates, in a frame-work of prose, the 
love-pilgrimage of the beautiful daughter of the Indian 
Emperor Aurungzebe, who, being betrothed to the 
Prince of Bucharia, set out from her royal home to meet 
him. The tedium of the caravan-march is beguiled by 
the charming recitations of a poet, with whom, ere she 
has reached her destination, she discovers she has fallen 
in love. But happily when she is presented at the Per-" 


sian court, she beholds on the throne the poet who had 

won her heart. The poem is overloaded with tropical 
riches and tawdry ornament, but is redeemed also with 
many passages of pathos and quiet beauty. Moore's 
reputation was maintained for years, but after the advent 
of Tennyson it faded away, and recent critics have denied 
him real merit except that of improvisation. 

His deputy in the Bermudas proved unfaithful, and 
Moore, being called on to make good his embezzlement, 
was plunged in pecuniar}- difficulties. He sought refuge 
on the Continent, and in ''The Fudge Family of Paris" 
he satirized the boorishness of English travelers. In 
1830 he published ''The Life, Letters, and Journals of 
Lord Byron," whose friendship he had enjoyed. Some 
interesting documents which had fallen into his hands 
as editor, he destroyed, in order to spare the feelings of 
persons and families involved. In spite of some trivi- 
ality of character, he was loyal to his native land, to his 
religion and his political party. Towards the close of his 
life his mental powers failed. He had suffered the loss 
of his five children, but his faithful wife survived him. 
He died in 1852. 


Even more than the passionate, erratic Byron the 
mild, philanthropic Shelley was the poet of revolt against 
the laws and forms of his age, yet he had much less influ- 
ence in this direction. So refined and ethereal was his 
spirit, that his voice was lost on the multitude. But his 
poetry, apart from his philosophy, has been more and 
more admired by the best judges as time has passed on, 
and the later poets have resorted to him for instruction in 
their art. His lyrical faculty is almost without parallel 
in English poetry. Far beyond the light drawing-room 


songs of Moore, Shelley's lyrics, "The Skylark," "Ode to 
the West Wind," are buoyant and free and carry the 
spirit above the solid earth of every-day fact into the 
pure ether. He was a master of language as well as 
of melody. Beautiful and inspiring as is his poetry at its 
best, his life was a sad tragedy, full of grievous errors and 
useless rebellion. 

Percy Bysshe Shelley was born in 1792, the eldest 
son of a wealthy baronet. He was educated at Eton and 
Oxford, but carried away by the infidelity of the French 
philosophers, he published a tract on "The Necessity of 
Atheism," and was therefore expelled from the Uni- 
versity in 181 1. The wild and fantastic poem, "Queen 
Mab," privately printed in 18 13, expressed more boldly 
the same opinions. At the age of nineteen the impulsive 
Shelley, partly out of pity, married Harriet Westbrook, 
a girl of sixteen, daughter of an inn-keeper, and was de- 
nounced by his family, though his father granted him a 
moderate allowance. The youthful couple wandered on 
the Continent, but the marriage proved unhappy, and 
they were separated after the birth of two children. Be- 
fore his first wife died in 1816, Shelley found more con- 
genial companionship with Mary Godwin, who, as the 
daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, 
had been trained in opposition to the ways of the world. 

In 1818 he published "The Revolt of Islam," a poem 
which, under another title, had been prohibited by the 
authorities. It is a declamatory narrative, showing the 
triumph of his philanthropic theories over the tyranny 
and hypocrisy of established religious systems. The 
courts deprived Shelley of the custody of his children, 
and he went to Italy, where, during his few remaining 
years, he produced his best poetry. In "Prometheus 
Unbound" he attempted to solve the great problem of 


human free will, as suggested by the 'Trometheus" of 
^schylus. Shelley was a profound Greek scholar, and 
an ardent Platonist. His Prometheus is the personifi- 
cation of resistance to universal tyranny and priestcraft, 
which he always regarded as imposed on men by ex- 
traneous force, and not arising from internal causes. 
His strongest drama is "The Cenci," founded on one of 
the horrible stories of revolting crime in the Italian 
Middle Ages. In the elegy, "Adonais" (1821), he 
lamented in noble Spenserian verse the untimely death 
of the poet Keats. In his last poem, "Hellas," he ex- 
pressed his hope of a grander and better golden age than 
that of ancient Greece. His death was singular and mel- 
ancholy. While he was returning in a small yacht from 
Leghorn to Spezia, the vessel was caught in a squall, and 
Shelley, with two companions, perished. The poet's 
body was afterward cast on the shore, and was buried. 
But two weeks later Byron and a few friends burned it on 
a funeral pyre in the ancient manner. 

Shelley, as a man, was mild, benevolent, temperate, 
his person was extremely delicate and refined ; his poetry 
was full of tender, spiritual harmony ; his diction choice 
and transparent ; his power of imagination inexhaustible, 
carrying the mind far beyond the original idea, and intro- 
ducing a perpetual interchange between the type and the 
things typified. In contrast with the serene philosophy 
of his real temperament he was too apt in writing to ex- 
aggerate the horrible and repulsive, and to use a fierce 
declamatory tone, which marred his early work. Pos- 
terity has learned to reject these extravagant outbursts 
and to dwell upon his sweet, graceful and ethereal lyrics 
as the true expression of his genius. 



John Keats was another remarkable manifestation of 
the poetic spirit of this period, though he had nothing of 
the revolutionary outburst. Born in humble circum- 
stances in London in 1795, he was at fifteen apprenticed 
to an apothecary. His sympathy with the great English 
poets and with the Greek mythology, though he knew 
nothing of that language, led to his composing a narra- 
tive poem, "Endymion." It was published in 1818, in- 
scribed to the memory of Chatterton, whom the new poet 
somewhat resembled. The ambitious epic was assailed 
severely by the "Edinburgh Review," and indeed all the 
critics, who lumped it with other poems as products of 
*'the Cockney school." The poor consumptive Keats 
was wounded in spirit, yet, conscious of poetic power, he 
persevered in his chosen line. In 1820 appeared 
"Lamia," the pathetic "Isabella," the beautiful "Eve of 
St. Agnes," and the classical fragment, "Hyperion." The 
improvement in style and treatment won for them a more 
favorable reception than his first attempts. Keats, in 
expression and native melody, was of kin to Shelley, but 
he was free from the soaring philanthropy and passionate 
fierceness of the young aristocrat. He was content to 
live in the enjoyment of his poetic dreams without at- 
tempting to make an evil world better by savage denun- 
ciation. Gifted with fine fancy and a genuine predilec- 
tion for Greek ideas, the slight errors due to his lack of 
careful culture are easily pardoned. Attacked with 
hemorrhage, he went to Italy, where he died in February, 
182 1, leaving as his epitaph, "Here lies one whose name 
was writ in water." 



Leigh Hunt is notable as an associate of most of the 
prominent Enghsh writers of the first half of the century. 
His father had been a Tory lawyer in Philadelphia, but 
left after the Revolution and took orders in England. 
Leigh was born in 1784 and educated at Christ Hospital, 
of which he has left a pleasing sketch. He began early to 
write verses, and was employed on newspapers. An in- 
cident in his editorship of "The Examiner" had a perman- 
ent effect on his career. It aimed to be independent in 
political and literary criticism, and published a sharp, but 
practically true, attack on the Prince Regent. For this 
Hunt was convicted of libel and sentenced to two years' 
imprisonment. This rendered him a martyr and brought 
him visits from Byron, Moore and other Radicals. But 
his cell was made a charming bower and abode of gayety, 
and his newspaper went on as before. Hunt's peculiar 
poetic talent was shown in "A Story of Rimini," a 
sprightly version of Dante's celebrated incident of Paolo 
and Francesca, He revived the natural style of Chau- 
cer's tales, though he occasionally sunk into familiarity 
and flippancy. The new style was taken up by Shelley, 
Keats, and others. "Blackwood's Magazine" called them 
the "Cockney School of Poetry," but it was only Hunt 
that deserved the implied censure. 

Hunt, careless and generous in money matters, 
through most of his career, suffered from pecuniary dis- 
tress, and Shelley was a liberal benefactor. Hunt de- 
fended the poet when public opinion was against him, 
and a few years after Shelley went to Italy was induced 
to join him. A new periodical was projected, "The 
Liberal," to which Byron, Shelley, and Hunt were to con- 
tribute. But Shelley's sudden death and Byron's depar- 



ture for Greece, destroyed the plan, though a few num- 
bers appeared with poems from those authors. 

The general demand for information about Byron led 
Hunt in 1827 to publish ''Lord Byron and His Contem- 
poraries." In this he took undue advantage of the op- 
portunities he had enjoyed while living under Byron's 
roof, and sank in public esteem. He was condemned not 
merely as a man too ready to accept money obligations 
from those around him, but as willing to sell knowledge 
obtained in confidence. In spite of his diligent writing 
and many publishing schemes. Hunt was unable to re- 
trieve his losses. At last Mrs. Shelley and her son settled 
an annuity on him and the government in 1847 gave him 
a pension. 

The pitiable moral weakness of Hunt's character was 
generally known, and when Dickens caricatured him as 
Harold Skimpole in "Bleak House," the likeness was 
recognized, though the novelist afterwards endeavored 
to deny it. In many ways Hunt was a pleasant com- 
panion; his books abound in naive egotism and petty 
affectations, but also in correct criticism and genial fancy. 
His "Autobiography," published in 1850, is a truthful 
picture of himself, but reveals less about his distinguished 
friends than might have been expected. Though he 
wrote many pleasant pieces of verse, none has attained 
wider fame than the delightful "Abou Ben Adhem." He 
died in 1859. 




Two chief branches of the Romantic school of poetry 
which characterized the opening of this century, have 
been treated in brief outUne — the first, comprising 
Scott, Byron, and ]Moore ; the second, containing Shelley, 
Keats, and Leigh Hunt. It may be noted that the last of 
each group has gradually fallen in public estimation from 
the high rank once accorded to him, and might even be 
omitted without serious loss to literature, though the 
truth of history justifies his retention. The same is the 
case with the third class which remains to be mentioned — 
comprising Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Southey — 
often classed as the Lake School of Poetry, from their 
residence among the English lakes, and from some agree- 
ment in treating the aspects of nature. These writers 
really began to publish at an earlier date than some of 
those who have already been described, but they were 
slower in obtaining adequate recognition, and as regards 
fame they followed the others, though eventually they 
overtook and distanced them, 

William Wordsworth was the chief leader in the 
movement which changed the direction of English poetry. 
In the Eighteenth Century a new love of nature had 
sprung up, which is exemplified in the works of Thomson 
and Cowper, but it hardly dared assert antagonism to the 
artificial poetry, inculcated by the precept and example 
of Pope. Then suddenly the peasant Burns stirred the 
hearts of the Scottish people with songs of love and 



patriotism and human equality. These lyrics, though 
in a rude, difficult dialect, reached the English stirred by 
the revolutionary spirit. Poets, who had been imitating 
old ballads, now began to discard rigid rules as worth- 
less and stiff diction as cumbersome. Wordsworth de- 
liberately attacked the artificial correctness of Pope, and 
demanded the expression of primal truth in natural man- 
ner. In his early utterances he was carried too far by 
his theory, but he finally brought his poetic phrase into 
harmony with his elevated sentiment. 

William Wordsworth was born in 1770 in the County 
of Cumberland, where his ancestors had held land for 
centuries; to this perhaps was due his strong suscepti- 
bility for the beauty of nature. He was educated at 
Cambridge and traveled in France in 1791, when young 
men were filled with hope that the world was being made 
anew. Of this time he wrote long afterward : 

"Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, 
But to be young was very heaven." 

But lack of money compelled him to return, and for 
three years his prospects were uncertain. Then a legacy 
from a friend enabled him to pursue his natural bent. 
With his sister Dorothy he took a simple cottage and 
resolved to dedicate himself to poetry. He had already 
published two ventures, when he came in contact with the 
persuasive and stimulating Coleridge. The two poets 
published "The Lyrical Ballads" in 1798, to exemplify 
their theory of poetry. In the preface to the second edi- 
tion (1800) Wordsworth declared that true poetry is 
"the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings." Its 
language is therefore the simple, direct utterance of the 
heart. Its proper subjects are not strong passions, re- 
venge, ambition, unbridled love, but the tranquil virtues, 
the development of the affections, and the effort of th<^ 


soul to unite itself with God. In his "Lyrical Ballads," 
Wordsworth gave weight and dignity to themes, which 
the "Edinburgh Review" condemned as trivial and vul- 
gar. But the self-centred poet was not to be swerved 
by the judgments of critics; he moved calmly on, com- 
posing his meditative and reflective poems on simple in- 
cidents of life, yet rising at times to lofty and impassioned 
utterances on the Divinity which he beheld in nature. 
He regarded external nature as a conscious expression 
of the Divine nature. His tendency was to a mysterious, 
sublime pantheism, but it was held in check by his pro- 
found belief in the Christian revelation. 

Wordsworth lived from 1813 at Rydal Mount, sus- 
tained in steadfast devotion to his lofty purpose by 
the cheerful companionship of his sister Dorothy and his 
wife. His poems were received with ridicule and pro- 
test by nearly all the critics, yet gradually the tide turned; 
Oxford bestowed on him the degree of D.C.L. in 
1839, and Sir Robert Peel made him poet laureate in 
1843. He died In 1850 at the age of fourscore. Eng- 
lish public opinion had come to recognize him as a poet 
of the second rank, above Pope and Dryden, Thomson 
and Cowper, and almost on a level with Milton. The 
drawback to his fame is that much of what he wrote is 
dull and unworthy, and that his theory of poetic diction 
spoiled his utterance, owing to his lack of humor. In 
his later work he discarded the extreme simplicity and 
puerility which offended the early critics. 

His great merit lies in his power of delineating na- 
ture, and the poetic force which his tendency to pantheism 
adds to this gift. He is also successful in noble lines, 
which record his feeling at special times and places. In 
his "Tintern Abbey" and "Ode on Intimations of Im- 
tnortality from the Recollections of Childhood," he rose 


to sublime heights, even above the Hmit reached in other 
valuable work. His longest poem, "The Excursion," is 
but a fragment of a projected epic, in which a Scotch 
pedlar, a clergyman, and a disappointed visionary dis- 
cuss fundamental questions concerning God and man, 
the problems of human life and duties. "The Prelude," 
which was intended as an introduction to this, was pub- 
lished after the author's death. Wordsworth took up 
the sonnet, which had been long neglected by English 
poets, and gave it new vogue. Some of his examples, as 
"Westminster Bridge" and "The World Is Too Much 
with Us," rank among the best specimens in English 


Coleridge, who was most intimately associated with 
Wordsworth in his youth and stimulated his early poeti- 
cal work, was yet of entirely different character. Though 
a writer of abundant prose and verse of many kinds, he 
was influential on the public rather as an astonishing and 
suggestive talker. He was one of the first to introduce 
German philosophy into English thought. In theology 
he assisted in the change which produced the Oxford 
movement, and he was also the suggester of what has 
become known as the Broad Church School. Yet with 
all his ability his intellectual work was fragmentary and 
his career a melancholy wreck. 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was the son of a clergyman, 
and was born in Devonshire in 1772. He was educated 
at the famous Charterhouse or Christ Hospital in Lon- 
don, where he formed a lasting friendship with Charles 
Lamb. Afterwards he went to Jesus College, Cam- 
bridge. Though a diligent scholar at first, he got into 
difficulties and enlisted as a dragoon, but by the assistance 


of friends obtained a discharge a few months later. He 
returned to college, but fell in with Southey, and the two 
became engaged to sisters at Bristol in 1794. Both were 
filled with Revolutionary ideas and formed vague 
schemes of renovating humanity by founding on the 
banks of the Susquehanna a community to be called Pan- 
tisocracy (equal government of all). Coleridge left the 
university and was married to Sara Fricker in 1795. 
He became a Unitarian preacher, published some poems, 
and started a weekly paper, called "The Watchman." At 
Stowey he was associated with Wordsworth, and con- 
tributed to the "Lyrical Ballads," "The Rime of the 
Ancient Mariner," but withheld other poems already 

The kindness of friends enabled Coleridge to go to 
Germany, where he studied literature and philosophy for 
fourteen months. Returning in 1800 he settled with 
Southey and Wordsworth in the Lake district. The 
three Radicals now became Conservatives, and Coleridge 
gave up his Unitarian views. As poets they had mutual 
effect on each other's work. Coleridge translated freely 
Schiller's "Wallenstein," enriching the drama. For a 
time he was secretary to the Governor of Malta, and after 
his return he was busy in newspaper work, lecturing, and 
the publication of two dramas and some poems. In 18 16 
he published "Christabel," which, though incomplete, is 
one of his finest poems. His friends were ever ready to 
help him, but though he was fertile in schemes literary 
and philosophical, he was incompetent to execute them 
in a reasonable degree. "The Friend" was a periodical 
issued for two years; "Biographia Literaria" is full of 
judicious criticism. The explanation of his imperfect 
performance is that he was a victim of the opium habit. 
He was unable to keep house with his own family, but 


was sheltered by those who had regard for his abihties. 
Dr. Gilman is especially remembered for this service, and 
at his house in Highgate, Coleridge discoursed elo- 
quently to vistors. There, with the exception of occa- 
sional excursions, he resided till his death in 1834. 

So far as his own literary productions are concerned, 
Coleridge is remembered by a few exquisite poems — 
"The Ancient Mariner," "Love, or Genevieve," and the 
fragments, "Christabel" and "Kubla Khan." They all 
exhibit wonderful command of metre, language, and the 
power of exciting emotion. His other poems vary in 
excellence, sometimes sinking to worthlessness. His 
prose-writings were written piece-meal, and have been dili- 
gently collected by several editors, but though there are 
occasional gems scattered among them, their general 
value is diminished by their lack of connection or comple- 
tion. Yet, while the bulk of his writing is out of propor- 
tion to its utility, probably no man of the century, except 
Sir Walter Scott, had wider-reaching effect on the higher 
thought, philosophy, and literature of England. 


Southey in his youth seemed likely to be as radical 
in opposition to English ways as Byron, yet he soon 
settled down to steady work as a Quarterly Reviewer, 
an unflinching supporter of Church and State. In 181 3 
he was made poet laureate, and held the position for 
thirty years. His Oriental poems, as elaborate but not 
as gorgeous as Moore's "Lalla Rookh," have fallen into 
a more profound oblivion. As a poet he is remembered 
by a few short pieces; as a prose-writer, by his biographies 
of Nelson and Wesley, and by the whimsical rambling 
work, "The Doctor," which was an improvement in 


decency, though not in Hvely interest, on its model, 
Sterne's "Tristram Shandy." 

Robert Soiithey was born at Bristol in 1774, and went 
to Balliol College, Oxford, but left without taking a 
degree. Infatuated with the wildest revolutionary doc- 
trines, he published, in 1794, the drama of "Wat Tyler," 
and, with the aid of Coleridge, another on "The Fall of 
Robespierre." The Jacobinical poets became engaged 
to sisters, named Fricker, and also formed a Utopian 
scheme, learnedly called Pantisocracy. It was their 
dream to found a model community on the banks of the 
Susquehanna, a river of which they knew little except its 
romantic name. Here the golden age should be renewed 
in a Platonic republic from which vice and selfishness 
would forever be excluded. But alas! for want of the 
necessar}^ money the beautiful vision was never realized. 

Southey married Edith Fricker in 1795, yet went 
immediately alone to Lisbon, where his uncle was a Brit- 
ish chaplain. This visit led to his thorough study of 
Spanish and Portuguese history and literature, which 
proved of service in later years. His epic "Joan of Arc" 
(1796) showed that change of scene had not yet altered 
his republicanism, but the need of steady employment 
sobered his fancies. He had nothing to do with Words- 
worth's "Lyrical Ballads," but cherished poetic fancies 
of his own. In 1804 he settled at Greta Hall, near Kes- 
wick, in the Lake country, and thenceforward led a 
laborious literary life, assisted by the generosity of 
his friends, yet grinding away on topics of the time for 
daily bread. When Coleridge deserted his family, 
Southey took up the additional burden. He had now 
come to hate and detest Napoleon as a tyrant, and sus- 
tained the Tory government of England in its repressive 
policy. His most ambitious undertaking was to illustrate 


the mythologies of the world in a series of poems. 
"■''Thalaba the Destroyer," "the wild and wondrous 
song," is founded on Arabian traditions, and celebrates 
the victory of faith over the powers of evil. It was 
written in irregular verse without rhyme, and, in spite 
of some beautiful passages, was received with little fa- 
vor. "The Curse of Kehama" was founded on the Hin- 
doo mythology, whose extravagant fables and horrors 
overtaxed the powers of the poet and his readers. In 
it he admitted rhyme, but he had less expectation of suc- 
cess as the theme was beyond the range of human 

In his next epic, "Madoc," Southey made use of 
Welsh traditions in regard to an early discovery of 
America. It was the least successful of his long poems, 
while the most popular was "Roderick," the tragic story 
of the last Gothic King of Spain. For the Christian 
King's sin his people were defeated by the Moors, but 
Roderick, escaping, though supposed to be killed, 
became a hermit Called by a vision to redeem his peo- 
ple, he wandered through the country in the garb of a 
priest, and rallied his friends to a new conflict with the 
Moors. In the battle he was recognized by his war-cry, 
but after the victory he disappeared. Centuries later a 
humble tomb with his name was discovered in a hermitage. 

All of these poems required an immense amount of 
reading in order to gather the material and proper sur- 
roundings. In fact, Southey's writing, both in prose 
and verse, was based on the most painstaking investiga- 
tion, and his wildest fancies wear a matter-of-fact shape. 
His library contained 14,000 volumes, gathered for use 
and systematically read, as his "Commonplace Book" and 
"Omniana" testify. Yet as a poet, though he won high 
praise, he never was popular; he received far less for his 


toilsome works than Moore and men of less note for airy 
fancies. Finding that his poetry became less salable, he 
confined himself to prose, though even in this he did not 
find time to accomplish the great works which he had 
planned. His domestic life had its tragedies; his only 
son and prettiest daughter died, and his wife was insane 
for two years before her death in 1837. Two years later 
the bereaved poet married Caroline Bowles, herself a 
poet, but after a short period of comfort, his brain gave 
way, owing to his excessive work. He sank into imbecil- 
ity and died in March, 1843. 

Southey had resolutely clung to hope of fame as a 
poet, but he was doomed to disappointment. Though 
early classed with Wordsworth as forming the Lake 
school of poetry, he justly protested against this mistake 
of the "Edinburgh Review." Whatever lawlessness was 
manifested in Southey's poems, it was not due to Words- 
worth's theor}' of poetic diction. In spite of his quiet, 
retired life, Southey retained his vehement partisan spirit 
after he had changed his party. His ode written dur- 
ing the negotiations with Napoleon in January, 1814, is 
one of the strongest denunciations of the Emperor. His 
lively burlesque of "The March to Moscow" bears wit- 
ness to the same feeling. His most deplorable piece is 
the "Vision of Judgment," in which, as poet laureate, he 
depicted the entrance of George III into Heaven. In the 
preface he attacked what he called "The Satanic School," 
and Byron, who had already become a personal enemy 
of the laureate, took revenge in a severe satire on this 
absurd deification of the unfortunate English sovereign. 
But Southey must always be remembered with respect for 
his unflagging industr}% his varied learning, his excellent 
prose style, his genuine humor, and a few cherished 


Besides the men of genius who have already been 
described as giving new character to the first third of the 
Nineteenth Century, there were several contemporaries 
of fair repute and respectable performance. The eldest 
of these, who lived to the age of ninety-two, was Samuel 
Rogers ( 1 763-1 85 5 ) ) , a Whig banker. His best remem- 
bered works are "the Pleasures of Memory" (1792) and 
''Italy" (1822). The former is in rhymed couplets, the 
latter in blank verse, but both belong in spirit to the 
Eighteenth Century. They are the efforts of a dilettante 
rather than the composition of a true poet. Rogers, 
by his wealth, was able to be a patron of literature and 
a connoisseur in art. His life was devoted to the pleas- 
ures of society; his hospitality was enjoyed by all the 
celebrities of the time; his conversation was highly 
esteemed; though his wit was sharp, his actions were 

"The Pleasures of Hope," which gave early fame to 
Thomas Campbell (1777-1844), was suggested by 
Rogers' poem, but was more directly an imitation of 
Goldsmith's "Traveller." In it Campbell, then but 
twenty-one, made a poetical survey of Europe. His 
spirited ballads on events of the time, "Hohenlinden" 
(1799), "Ye Mariners of England" (1800), and "The 
Battle of the Baltic" (1809), have retained popularity, 
when his longer poems have lost it. Campbell, having 
settled in London, was constantly and remuneratively 
employed as miscellaneous writer, editor of biographical 
and critical works, and collections of poetry. His "Ger- 
trude of Wyoming" ( 1809) is a tragic story in the Spen- 
serian stanza, but the scene is laid in Pennsylvania, with 
which the author had no direct acquaintance. It is a con- 
ventional English tale with foreign locality, and melo- 


dramatic accessories. Campbell added to his fame by 
-Lochiel's Warning" and "The Exile of Erin," but not by 
his longer narrative poems. In 1830 he was made editor 
of Colburn's "New Monthly Magazine." He died m 



The judicious Scotch lawyer and the witty English 
clergyman who gave the chief impulse to the "Edinburgh 
Review" in its first quarter of a century, deserve a little 
further notice. Francis Jeff rey (1773-1850) was a strug- 
gling barrister when he, with some hesitation, accepted 
the editorship. It was his sterling honesty and resolute 
independence which made the Review respected. 
Though his politics were Liberal, his literary prmciples 
were of the old school, and his censure even of his 
friends' departure from the established ways, were 
emphatic. Hence his impartial condemnation of Byron 
and Wordsworth, Scott and Southey, Leigh Hunt and 
Keats. His judgment of poetry has been reversed^ by 
time, but in all other respects his control of the Review 
was admirable. In 1829, when he had become the 
acknowledged leader of the Scottish bar, he resigned his 
editorship and was made Lord Advocate. After a brief 
experience in Parliament, he was made a judge, and 
thenceforward, according to Scotch practice, was known 
as Lord Jeffrey. 

Sydney Smith (1771-1845) who, by accident, was 
stranded in Edinburgh for five years, though he con- 
stantly quizzed the national foibles of his Liberal friends, 
did them the great favor of uniting their abilities in the 



Review. He soon left the Scotch capital for a church in 
London, where he achieved success as a preacher and 
lecturer. In 1806, when his political friends got into 
power, he was presented with a living in Yorkshire. 
Though it was a practical banishment from congenial 
society, he showed his wonted cheerfulness in his new 
circumstances and won the hearts of his rustic parishion- 
ers. He continued to write for the "Edinburgh" for a 
quarter of a century. His range of subjects was wide, 
including educational and geographical topics, as well as 
political and ecclesiastical, enlivening all of them with 
unexpected fun without departing from instructive and 
orderly exposition. Though he attacked grave social 
questions with lively wit and humorous exaggeration, 
he never indulged in mere buffoonery. When he made 
his reader laugh it was at something observed in the argu- 
ments or position he was attacking. In "Peter Plymley's 
Letters" he ridiculed the opposition of the country clergy 
to Catholic emancipation. His reputation as a wit unfor- 
tunately prevented his being made a bishop, but he was 
made a canon of Bristol Cathedral in 1828, and a prebend 
of St. Paul's in 1832. In his "Letters to Archdeacon 
Singleton" (1837) he defended, in his usual witty man- 
ner, the arrangements of cathedrals, which it had been 
proposed to alter. In private life he was a mirthful 
companion, as specimens of his table-talk, which have 
been preserved, abundantly testify. 

Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864) has been pro- 
nounced by many poets, from Coleridge and Shelley to 
Swinburne and Lowell, to have been a great poet, and by 
excellent critics to have been an exquisite prose writer. 
He set himself to be an artist in language, but he is too 
coldly intellectual ever to win the hearts of the people. 


His epic poem, ''Gebir," is an Oriental story of no great 
interest, but it has many passages of magnificent beauty. 
It has been declared to have ''Tennyson's finish, Arnold's 
objectivity and the romance of Keats and Morris." Lan- 
dor was a most eccentric, ungovernable person, married 
in haste, quarreled with his wife, and went to Italy. Aris- 
tocratic in tastes, he was a republican in principle, and 
gave vent to explosions of wrath against Kings, critics and 
cooks, who were all in the wrong. His most valuable work 
is "Imaginary Conversations," in the several volumes of 
which he reports discussions of important subjects by 
noted historic personages. He had returned to England 
some years before 1858, where he published caustic epi- 
grams and satires, under the title "Dry Sticks Fagoted." 
This overwhelmed him with libel suits, from which he 
fled again to Italy, there to die in exile at the age of 

As "Christopher North," the versatile editor of 
"Blackwood's Alagazine," John Wilson (1785-1854 )has 
already been mentioned, but his career deserves more 
notice. He was born at Paisley, Scotland, and gradu- 
ated at Glasgow University in 1803 and at Oxford in 
1807. He had become proficient in pugilism and 
pedestrianism, and was prominent in the "town and 
gown" fights, without neglecting the classics. His 
wealth allowed him to devote himself to athletics on his 
estate of Elleray on Lake Windemere. His love of lit- 
erature was shown in "The Isle of Palms," a volume of 
poems bearing evidence of Wordsworth's influence. In 
181 1 Wilson married Jane Penny, and spent four more 
happy years at Elleray. Then, most of his fortune being 
lost in his uncle's speculations, he removed to Edinburgh 
and became a lawyer. Jeffrey, observing his ability, had 
solicited his contributions for the "Edinburgh Review," 



but men of such opposite temperament could not long 
agree. In 1817, when "Blackwood's Magazine" was 
started, Wilson was called to assist, and soon became its 
controlling spirit. Its red-hot Toryism and general 
vehemence put vigor in its partisans. In 1820 the chair 
of moral philosophy in the University of Edinburgh 
became vacant and Sir Walter Scott and other Tories 
urged the town-council to appoint Wilson. They were 
successful, and Wilson honored their choice by his mas- 
terly conduct of his classes for thirty years. Having 
sufficient leisure for literary work, he devoted himself 
with ardor to the interests of "Maga." His pathetic 
powers were shown in "Lights and Shadows of Scottish 
Life," published under a pseudonym in 1822, and in 
later tales. He treated subjects of all kinds from 
athletic sports to classical criticism in a lively, exuberant 
style, varying from intense enthusiasm to wild burlesque, 
and making abundant use of italics, capitals, dashes and 
exclamation points. Several volumes of these articles 
have been collected, but his most famous work is "Noctes 
Ambrosianse," unrivaled as convivial table-talk, full of 
life, humor and dramatic force. In 1835 Wilson suffered 
a severe blow in the loss of his wife, but did not give up 
his writing until stricken with paralysis in 1851. He 
died at Edinburgh in 1854. 

Closely associated with "Christopher North" in "Black- 
wood's Magazine" was the Ettrick Shepherd, James 
Hogg (1770-1835). His ancestors had been sheep- 
farmers in Selkirkshire for generations, and he was thus 
employed when Sir Walter Scott was collecting ballads 
for the "Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border." Hogg, who 
had learned to read after reaching manhood, astonished 
Scott by his poetic talent and his wealth of ballad lore. 
The Ettrick Shepherd was introduced to the literary cir- 


cles of Edinburgh, where his racy speech, rustic humor 
and poetic inspiration soon made him a favorite. He 
was one of the projectors of ''Blackwood's Magazine" 
and suggested "The Chaldee Manuscript," its earHest 
explosive. "Christopher North" made Hogg a prominent 
interlocutor in the "Noctes Ambrosianse," heightening 
his foibles and peculiarities, yet doing justice to his gen- 
ius. Though Hogg in prose and verse received advice 
and help from his better educated associates, he preserved 
a unique originality. His best songs, such as "Donald 
Macdonald," "The Village of Balmawhapple," rank close 
with those of Burns; in his "Jacobite Relics" he inter- 
spersed some clever forgeries. His long poems, "The 
Queen's Wake," "The Pilgrims of the Sun," "The Moun- 
tain Bard," are plainly imitations of Scott, yet not 
unworthy of comparison with the master's work; the 
fairy poem of "Kilmeny" is perhaps his best. In his 
novels, also, he followed the author of "Waverley," but 
with unequal steps. Though perfectly acquainted wnth 
Scotch life, he was deficient in construction of stories. 
"The Brownie of Bodsbeck," "The Three Perils of 
Man," "The Three Perils of Woman" are his most suc- 
cessful attempts. 

A stranger genius, who gave to "Blackwood's" part 
of its striking character, was William Maginn (1793- 
1842), an Irish wit, noted for his extensive scholarship, 
and still more for his reckless bohemianism. He com- 
posed Anacreontics in Greek and Latin, and wrote gay 
ballads in thieves' slang. He appears in the "Noctes 
Ambrosianae" as "Morgan O'Doherty." He afterwards 
went to London and, after service on various Tory 
journals, he was one of the projectors of "Eraser's Maga- 
zine." In it appeared his "Homeric Ballads" and 
"Shakespeare Papers." His irregular habits caused his 


connection with it to be broken off, and reduced him to 
extreme poverty. 

The "London Magazine," founded soon after "Black- 
wood's," was marked by certain EngHsh pecuHarities; it 
was more incHned to LiberaHsm, though it had some Tory 
contributors. Charles Lamb, Thomas DeQuincey, and 
William Hazlitt were among its noted writers. The per- 
sonal history of Charles Lamb (1775-1834) is an affect- 
ing tragedy, brightened by his genial character. He was 
educated at the famous Blue-coat School, and at an early 
age became a clerk in the East India House, where he re- 
mained for thirty years. The cloud on his life was the 
fact that his elder sister, Mary, was liable to fits of in- 
sanity, and that in one of these she stabbed her mother to 
the heart. For a time she was confined in an asylum, and 
when her sanity returned Charles was permitted to take 
her home. Mary was never made aware of her desperate 
deed, but afterwards when she felt the trouble recurring, 
she cheerfully accompanied Charles to the asylum. While 
she was in mental health, they lived happily "in double 
singleness," and had weekly gatherings of literary friends. 
The gentle Charles, precluded from marriage, was a dili- 
gent student of early English writers, while Mary amused 
herself with the current literature. Charles wrote a 
tragedy, "John Woodvil," in the antique style, but it was 
severely scored in the "Edinburgh Review." His farce, 
"Mr. H — ," failed at Drury Lane. Then he issued "Speci- 
mens of the Old English Dramatists," with excellent brief 
introductions, and with the aid of his sister, prepared for 
children, "Tales from Shakespeare." But the "London 
Magazine" opened for the literary clerk the proper field for 
his peculiar powers. Taking the pseudonym "Elia," he 
poured forth his fanciful observations and crotchets with- 
out restraint. He was essentially a Londoner, and told 


of curious characters and incidents he had remarked on 
its streets. He was also a lover of curious half-forgotten 
lore, and he delighted to recall it for entertainment of a 
new generation. His quiet merriment and genuine pathos 
are set off by his quaint, old-fashioned style. His con- 
versation abounded in puns, the effect of which was height- 
ened by his stuttering. His ''Letters," which have been 
carefully edited, are written in the same vein as the more 
finished essays, and prove that habit of thought to have 
been natural. At times he soars in the realms of the im- 
agination, but generally he keeps close to the familiar 
earth. His "Dissertation on Roast Pig" is a classical 
piece of fun; "The Praise of Chimney-Sweepers" is full 
of humorous kindness; his "Dream-Children" and "The 
Child-Angel" reveal the tender heart of the writer. He 
describes his sister fondly under the name of "Bridget 
Elia," and tells of his bachelor's life and mental oddities 
with playful frankness. The essays, written simply to 
entertain his friends, were a recreation after his daily 
drudgery at office work. One stroke more must be added 
to the tragedy of his life. Ten years younger than his 
unfortunate sister, he died thirteen years before her. His 
friend Talfourd wrote his biography without mentioning 
the central tragedy in order to spare her feelings, but after 
her death revised the narrative. 

Another writer in the "London Magazine" who had 
considerable influence in this direction was William Haz- 
litt (1778-1830). He has been pronounced by competent 
judges the greatest of English critics. He was the son 
of a U'nitarian preacher, and in early manhood, coming in 
contact with Coleridge, was powerfully affected by him. 
His inclination was to art, and for a time he practiced 
painting, but he was drawn into newspaper work in Lon- 
don. He became a critic of art and the drama, lectured on 


literature, and wrote essays. His variable temper made 
him difficult to get along with. His severity was shown 
not only to his political opponents, but to those who tried 
to be his friends. He quarreled with his first wife, who 
had brought him some property, and was discreditably 
divorced from her. Then came a violent passion for the 
daughter of a lodging-house keeper, and when she jilted 
him he told the whole story without reserve in his "Liber 
Amoris." He married a second wife, but she left him in 
a few years. Hazlitt was a man of wider experience of life, 
more robust and more fluent as a writer than gentle Charles 
Lamb. His miscellaneous essays are not so uniformly ex- 
cellent, but they comprise many admirable sketches, as 
"Merry England," "Going a Journey," "The Indian Jug- 
glers." But his most valuable work is seen in his literary 
criticism, in "The Characters of Shakespeare," "The 
Elizabethan Dramatists," "The English Poets," and "The 
English Comic Writers." His strong personality caused 
him to have intense prejudices, so that his opinions need 
to be watched, but whenever he is really judicial, he ex- 
hibits the highest excellence of criticism — proper and ade- 
quate estimate of the authors considered. 

Among the papers which gave hi^h literary value to the 
"London Magazine," none were more remarkable than 
"The Confessions of an English Opium-Eater," which ap- 
peared in 1 82 1. The author, Thomas DeQuincey (1785- 
1859) was born at Manchester and educated at Oxford, 
but being under no restraint, he wandered at times to Dub- 
lin, London, and elsewhere. He also acquired the opium 
habit, and after he settled in 1809 at Grasmere, in the Lake 
district, in a house formerly occupied by Wordsworth, 
the use of opium, or rather laudanum, grew upon him. He 
was at this time wealthy, and was admitted at once to in- 
timacy with the families of the poets already domiciled 


there. He had previously bestowed, through a friend, 
£3CX) on Coleridge, as an acknowledgment of some slight 
favor shown him. Gradually his fortune was wasted, and 
the strange genius had to resort to his pen for a living. 
In his "Confessions," and still more in his portrayal of 
scenes from his dreams, DeQuincey used an elaborate 
semi-poetical style. It was partly founded on his study of 
music, and is seen in "Our Ladies of Sorrow" and "The 
English Mail-Coach." Although he did not begin to write 
for publication till he was thirty-six, once started he kept 
it up vigorously to the end of his life. It comprised criti- 
cal, narrative, biographical and autobiographic sketches, 
in some of which he has been charged with falsifying facts, 
and excused on the plea that to him dreams and realities 
were often interchangeable. For these and other reasons, 
there remains much mystery about the curious little man. 
He removed to Edinburgh in 1830, and made that his chief 
place of residence for the rest of his life. But his habits 
were uncertain; he was fond of night rambles, and ap- 
peared and disappeared without notice. As a writer, when 
at his best, he has seldom been excelled in strength or 
brilliancy. At times he indulged in a peculiar, grotesque 
humor, and often he marred the effect of his writing by 
excessive argiunentation, wearisome trifling, or endless 
digressions. Apart from the collection of his Essays, 
made to various magazines, his few books have little 
value. When the enterprise of an American publisher had 
first put his essays in book form, the grateful author issued 
a revised edition, which forms an enduring monument to 
his memory. 



A marked feature of the Nineteenth Century has been 
the number and excellence of its women writers. The first 
of merit still acknowledged is Maria Edgeworth (1767- 
1849). Her "Castle Rackrent" (1801) is a lively picture 
of the recklessness and misconduct of Irish landlords. Her 
"Belinda" (1803) exhibits the female dissipation of the 
time. In "Ormond," a youth of impetuous character, 
whose education has been neglected, rises to true nobility. 
In "Helen," a story of thrilling interest, it is shown that 
deceit brings misery in its train. "The Absentee" reveals 
the wretchedness inflicted on the tenantry by unscrupulous 
agents while the gentry pursue their pleasures in London. 
When Miss Edgeworth visited Sir Walter Scott in 1823, 
he said that her stories had made him wish to do for Scot- 
land what she had done for Ireland. But this may have 
been only the baronet's gallantry to a lady author. She 
treated only of Protestant society, and dealt but sparingly 
with the peasantry and middle classes, and hence was not 
thoroughly national. Her chief excellence is in sprightly 
dialogue and amusing scenes. Her short tales are better 
than her long novels, and her moral stories for children 
have not yet entirely lost their vogue. She did not fully 
attain the art of creating individual characters, but rather 
depicted a variety of types and set them off with humor. 

Another woman, less popular in her day, but now re- 
garded as having a higher genius, was the English Jane 
Austen (1775-18 17). Her first publication, "Sense and 
Sensibility," was in 1810, but she is said to have written 
novels many years before. In spite of her secluded life, 
and slender knowledge of society, she succeeded in creat- 
ing many real characters. Her skill lay in building them 
up with an infinity of detail. Her delicate irony is rare 


among women, and gives her a modern tone. Two of 
her six novels were published after her death. 

The three novels of Susan Ferrier (1782- 1854) were 
published anonymously, — "]\Iarriage," in 1818; ''The 
Inheritance,*' in 1824, and ''Destiny, " in 1831. Sir Wal- 
ter Scott praised their clever portraiture of contemporary 
Scotch life and manners, and called her, with reference 
to their common anonymousness, his "sister shadow." 

Even more popular than these novelists was the poet 
Felicia Dorothea Hemans (1794- 1835), whose verses 
won praises from the leading poets and critics of the day. 
Being a woman of wide culture, she ranged over 
Europe, seeking subjects for pathetic dramas, romantic 
tales, and songs of the affections. She wrote too flu- 
ently and did not stop to correct. The religious tone 
of her poetry, which descanted on the transitoriness of 
this world and the assured hope of a better world, com- 
mended it to the favor of many readers. She had been 
unhappy in her marriage with Captain Hemans and was 
compelled to write for the support of her children. 

Two other women who were for a time unduly 
esteemed and afterward entirely neglected were Joanna 
Baillie ( 1762-185 1) w'ho wrote "Plays on the Passions," 
containing both tragedies and comedies on hatred, fear, 
love, revenge; and Miss Landon (1802- 1838), known as 
"L. E. L.," who dashed off sentimental and impassioned 
lyrics, and several prose romances. 


In the first third of the Nineteenth Century, England 
underwent one of its periodic revolutions in thought, poli- 
tics, and literature. The system of reaction and repression 
which prevailed during the wars w^ith Napoleon and for 


some time after his downfall gave way under the influence 
of free discussion to a liberal tendency which was first 
strikingly manifested in the political sphere in the Par- 
liamentary Reform of 1832, abolishing many rotten bor- 
oughs and admitting new cities to representation. Cor- 
responding with this movement, and helping to produce 
it, was the literary revolution, whose conspicuous features 
have already been indicated and are here rehearsed. 

1. Independent literary criticism, inaugurated by the 
"Edinburgh Review," gave a new impulse to literature, 
which was increased by the larger opportunity granted 
to writers by the establishment of ''Blackwood's" and 
other monthly magazines. 

2. The rise of romantic poetry, for which the repub- 
lication of old ballads had prepared the way, was first ex- 
emplified in Sir Walter Scott's picturesque metrical tales, 
whose success swept away the artificial barriers of classi- 
cal poetry. These tales were objective presentations of 
historical or semi-historical scenes, leading captive the im- 
agination before the critical faculties were roused to per- 
form their supposed duty. 

3. Byron adopted this narritive style, but charged it 
with his own powerful personality and passion. He thus 
added the subjective element, which brought the poetry 
home to the hearts of his readers. 

4. Wordsworth scornfully rejected Pope's limitation 
of the nature and diction of poetry. His defense of sim- 
ple language and common incidents as proper for poetry, 
though his practice carried this to an undue extreme, was 
necessary to overcome the formalism which had stifled the 

5. Wordsworth elevated the idea of poetry by mak- 
ing its highest aim to be the recognition of the Divinity 
in nature and the soul of man. His dedication of his life 


to this purpose was an inspiring example to his own and 
future generations. 

6. The revival of genuine lyrical poetry is the strong- 
est proof of the profound change in English nature. As 
in the Elizabethan age this lyrical outburst was manifested 
in a great variety of metres. 

7. Prose style underwent a similar enlargement, re- 
sulting in quaint and elaborate effects, as in Lamb, De 
Quincey, Wilson, and others. 

8. This period is grandly characterized by the rise of 
the historical romance, in which Sir Walter Scott was the 
unrivaled leader. To him is due in large measure the 
wide revival of interest in the Middle Ages, and the con- 
sequent restoration of mediaevalism in art and religion. 
As high artistic blendings of historic fact with a gorgeous 
imagination, the works of "the Wizard of the North" 
stand alone, in spite of all attempts to rival their charm. 
It is noteworthy that Scott's long concealment of his 
authorship of "Waverley" was partly owing to the belief 
that such work was unworthy of his professional dignity, 
and that it required his phenomenal success to raise the 
novel to fair recognition as a legitimate branch of litera- 

9. It is of interest to observe that in the early years 
of this century, when cultured women were restrained by 
rigid notions of their proper sphere from venturing into 
print, a few women poets were encouraged by words of 
praise from the greatest writers, and that the women 
novelists were admitted to have improved upon the ex- 
travagant romancings of the end of the Eighteenth Cen- 
tury. These beginners were the harbingers of the great 
crowd of women who have conferred honor on the reign 
of Victoria by their achievements in literature. 


I 837- I 870 

Students of English history note that the fourth 
decade of the century (1831-40), in which Victoria came 
to the throne, marks broadly a definite stage of progress. 
Let us glance first at the social and political changes 
during her reign. Parliamentary reform, which had 
been held back during the Napoleonic wars and the 
ensuing period of repression, had won its first victory in 
1832. The reactionary poHcy of the Government came 
to an end, and the people rejoiced in their newly 
obtained privileges. 

Conspicuous in bringing about these changes was 
Henry (afterward Lord) Brougham. He assisted in 
founding the University of London, entirely free from 
sectarian distinctions, and the Society for the Diffusion 
of Useful Knowledge, which published instructive works 
at low prices. At his suggestion Mechanics' Institutes 
were formed in all leading towns. A thirst for knowl- 
edge seemed suddenly to have seized the Nation, Agi- 
tation for the repeal of the corn laws followed, and 
proved successful in the next decade, when in 1845 Eng- 
land definitely adopted the policy of Free Trade. Social 
reforms were urged by the Radicals, but did not enlist 
popular support until 1848, when a tide of revolutionary 
sentiment again swept over Europe. The Chartists had 
come forward with demands for manhood suffrage and 
annual elections to Parliament, but they were suppressed 
by force. Still, this agitation in behalf of the working 
classes led to various schemes for the improvement of their 
condition. The most prominent, under the name of Chris- 
tian Socialism, was supported by some distinguished 



clerg)'men and showed its influence on literature. The 
cooperative societies for trade and industry which they 
favored, were generally failures. 

The middle of the Century seemed to create a change 
in the national outlook. The World's Fair in the Crystal 
Palace, London, in 1851, the first of the international ex- 
hibitions, was hailed with enthusiasm, as inaugurating an 
era of universal peace. This feeling also manifested itself 
in contemporar}' literature. Yet within a few years came 
the futile Crimean ^^"ar, which Englishmen now find it 
difficult to justify. It had, however, important reflex ac- 
tion by bringing about an alliance between England and 
France and promoting their friendly intercourse. In the 
next decade the secession of the Southern States and 
formation of the Confederacy found unexpected favor in 
England, but the Government refrained from active in- 
terference, though it did not fully enforce its neutrality 
laws. Further Parliamentary reform, the disestablish- 
ment of the Irish Church and effective promotion of pub- 
lic education brought the se^•enth decade to a close. The 
same year (1870) witnessed the downfall of Napoleon 
III, speedily followed by the establishment of the new 
German Empire and the French Republic. 

Let us turn now to consider the literary movement 
during the same period. The great impulse which had 
quickened every department of literature at the opening 
of the century spent its creative force in three decades. 
Sir ^^^alter Scott died in 1832, in the same year as Goethe, 
the revered Jupiter of the German 01}nTipus. Other cre- 
ative masters had already passed away, or practically 
rested from their labors, their honors being won, and their 
fame established. In the fourth decade new stars were 
beginning to appear above the horizon — ]\Iacaulay, Car- 
lyle, Hallam, Bulwer and Dickens, soon to be followed by 


Thackeray. Some of the great poets who had opened new 
fields still lingered and were yet adding to their work. 
Tennyson had begun to sing, but the Brownings still re- 
mained obscure. In every department of literature there 
was vast activity, and in some there was unquestioned pre- 
eminence. Poetry did not so deeply stir the minds of men, 
who had fallen into contemplative mood. But there was 
new interest and vigor in history, and men of genius were 
studying with zeal the records of the past and preparing 
new works which should soon be accepted as standard. 
The result of their labors has been in many cases a pulling 
down of long established views of men and institutions. 
The prejudiced decisions which had been widely diffused 
by partisan writers unable or unwilling to examine the 
original documents relating to controverted points have 
been rudely shattered by earnest iconoclasts. Credit must 
be given for some of these alterations to the change which 
has come over the spirit of governments, even in the most 
despotic courts. The archives, long jealously guarded, 
have been opened to students, seeking only to ascertain the 
exact facts. Floods of light have thus been shed on mys- 
terious events and disputed characters. The genius of 
new historians and biographers has been employed in 
formulating new judgments on the leaders of the world 
and in presenting them for public discussion. 

Another change in intellectual activity is seen in the 
enlarged study of nature, its laws and resources. The 
great practical applications of physical science which had 
followed Watt's invention of the steam engine had neces- 
sitated a closer examination of the natural world and its 
elements. New discoveries were made and new theories 
advanced in chemistry, physics, geology, and other 
branches of science. Some of these scientists were able 

to present their labors and conclusions in works attract- 
Voi<. 9—5 


ing general readers by their picturesque and finished style. 
On the borders of literature proper there were writers 
who treated philosophical subjects in a popular way. 
John Stuart Mill was for some years editor of the "Lon- 
don and Westminster Review," and the chief advocate of 
Utilitarianism and Radicalism. But the philosophic Rad- 
icals did not then so deeply affect the popular mind as did 
the theological controversy, known as the Oxford move- 
ment. It dates from 1833, when Newman, Keble and 
Pusey began to issue "Tracts for the Times." Intended to 
rouse the Church of England from its lethargic latitudi- 
narianism, it yet boldly attacked the Evangelicalism which 
had been taught by the most active and pious of the clergy. 
It called for a return to the primitive doctrine of the 
Church, and this was declared to be pure Catholicism. 
Newman and other leaders eventually went over to the 
Church of Rome, but the movement continued and was 
largely literar}- as well as religious. 

Another ecclesiastical controversy, which affected 
Scotland only, resulted in the withdrawal of more than 
four hundred ministers from the Established Church to 
form the Free Church of Scotland. In the subsidence of 
these controversies the teachings of Coleridge and his fol- 
lowers gave rise to the Broad Church movement, which 
had closer relations with literature than the Oxford move- 
ment. It was the result of the teachings of Coleridge, but 
was largely developed by ^Maurice, Kingsley and Dean 
Stanley. Being ethical and historical rather than dog- 
matic, it soon pervaded the literature of the time. 

After i860 the whole world of thought began to be 
revolutionized with the doctrine of evolution. Though 
put forth early in the century as a scientific theor}% it was 
not generally accepted and had little practical influence 
until after the publication of Darwin's "Origin of Spe- 


cies," and the philosophy of Herbert Spencer. Gradually 
the new doctrine spread, and later its results, direct and 
indirect, were seen in the growth of scepticism and materi- 
alism, agnosticism and pessimism. 

But the most striking feature of Victorian literature 
is the rich and overwhelming abundance of prose fiction. 
The novel has become a necessity of modern society. Its 
all-pervading power compels genius to yield to its sway, 
and writers of all kinds seek thus to present their thoughts 
to the public. The novel no longer deals merely with 
heroic persons and perilous adventures. It is no longer 
intended for mere amusement. It finds nourishment and 
support in the common scenes and daily walks of life. It 
is concerned with the development of character, the exhi- 
bition of the struggles and varieties of ordinary existence. 
It may also be employed in the inculcation of new theories 
of education, of religion, or society. It is the most ef- 
fective means for the teacher of whatever views to reach 
the public mind. 

But back of all these forms of literary activity and 
affording them substantial support is the immense struc- 
ture of periodical literature, ever varying in its details, 
yet permanent in its general effect. The Parliamentary 
Reform of 1832 led directly to the extension of educa- 
tion by mechanics' institutes and societies for the diffusion 
of knowledge. Charles Knight in England and the 
Chambers in Scotland deserve grateful remembrance for 
their cheap publication of useful knowledge and general 
literature. Every advance in popular education has 
brought forth new periodicals and enlisted new writers 
of ability. While the world must still wait patiently for 
the divine gift of convincing genius, the general average 
of expression in poetry and prose has undeniably been 
improved, rather than lowered, by the magazines. 



The novel is the leading element in the literature of 
Victoria's reign. It had been prominent from the begin- 
ning of the century, but now, by its ever-increasing quan- 
tity and its higher artistic excellence, it commanded 
attention and admiration from reluctant critics. A 
writer who attained eminence in this field as early as the 
third decade maintained his place by successive efforts 
for half a century. He is commonly known as Bulwer, 
his full name being Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer, 
changed afterward, on succeeding to his mothers estate, 
to Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, and finally, on his admis- 
sion to the peerage in 1866, to Baron Lytton. He was 
born in 1805, his father being General Bulwer, and was 
educated at Cambridge, where he won the Chancellor's 
prize for a poem. Even earlier he had published some 
juvenile poems. His first romance, "Falkland" (1827), 
was in the fantastic German style, but his fame began 
with 'Telham" (1828), in which he brought his gentle- 
man-hero in contact with all the varieties of English life, 
from the man of fashion to the retiring scholar, and from 
the reckless rogue to the bustling statesman. The ston,', 
written in his twenty-third year, displayed not only 
vivacity of intellect, but maturity of judgment. Other 
novels speedily followed — 'The Disowned" (1828), 
"Devereux" (1829), "Paul Clifford" (1830), a melo- 



dramatic chronicle of a highwayman, and "Eugene Aram" 
(1832), a revelation of the steps by which a fine moral 
nature may sink to brutal crime. Then the brilliant 
author turned to historical romance, and in "The Last 
Days of Pompeii" (1834) gave a vivid picture of life 
under the Roman Empire, and the struggle of Christian- 
ity with Paganism. In "Rienzi" (1835) he described 
the attempt to restore the ancient republic in mediaeval 
Rome. His Spanish romances, "Leila" and "Calderon," 
were less popular. When the author returned to Eng- 
lish ground in "Ernest Maltravers" and its sequel "Alice," 
he was censured for the low moral tone of his treatment 
of social problems. From the first critics had satirized 
his melodramatic scenes and ridiculed his highly rhetori- 
cal style, but these very faults probably contributed to his 
marked success with the public. 

Literature by no means absorbed Bulwer's energy. 
He was active in politics, favoring social and parliamen- 
tary reforms, and in the House of Commons, from 1831 
to 1 84 1, supported the Whig policy. He was on friendly 
terms with the leading Radicals, and accepted some of 
their ideas, but his professed aim was to elevate the masses 
to better education, courteous manners and an aristocratic 
sense of honor. 

In 1838 he turned his attention from novels to the 
drama, and with the aid of the tragedian Macready, 
produced three plays which still hold the stage — "The 
Lady of Lyons," "Richelieu" and "Money." His later 
dramatic attempts were unsuccessful. New novels fol- 
lowed, among them being the mystical "Night and Morn- 
ing" (1841), and "The Last of the Barons" (1843), aJi 
effective historical romance of Warwick, the King- 
maker. Then the indefatigable writer turned to poetry and 
executed fine translations from Schiller; a satire, "The 

76 Literature xix century 

New Timon," which provoked a reply from Tennyson, 
and a romantic epic, "King Arthur." The last-named, 
on which he staked his reputation as a poet, fell flat. 
It was written in stanzas of six lines; the story, char- 
acters and incidents seemed feeble and ineffective. In 
1848 the dauntless author published anonymously in 
"Blackwood's Magazine" a new form of story, ''The 
Caxtons." It was really an admirable adaptation of 
Sterne's style to new circumstances, and captivated the 
public before the authorship was avowed. Of the same 
kind were "My Novel" (1853) and "What Will He Do 
With It?" (1858). In these he treated again the varie- 
ties of English life, but showed perhaps a less hopeful 

When Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton returned to Parlia- 
ment, in 1852, he took sides with the Conservatives, hav- 
ing been opposed to the repeal of the corn-laws. For 
some years he was busy with official duties. In "A 
Strange Story" (1862) advantage was taken of popular 
interest in Spiritualism to present a melodramatic 
romance. His later stories were published anonymously 
and won success by their merits. "The Coming Race" was 
a predictive display of the new condition of mankind 
when women should be the rulers and electricity should 
give increased control over nature. In "The Parisians" 
and "Kenelm Chillingly" the effects of modern ideas on 
French and English society respectively were strikingly 
contrasted. The veteran author died in 1873, leaving 
unfinished another historical romance, "Pausanias the 

From the outset of his career Bulwer was a studious 
critic, as w^ell as a prolific writer. He formed theories 
of his art and laid down general rules which he endeav- 
ored to observe, but in minor matters he was careless, 



and he made the great error of describing the thoughts 
and feelings of his characters instead of making them 
reveal themselves in speech. The lasting wonder is that 
his works put forth in extreme old age showed no diminu- 
tion of inventiveness or disposition to repeat his earlier 
ideas. Besides his novels, poems and dramas, he wrote 
many essays and disquisitions, full of well-digested learn- 
ing and sage philosophy. 

The chief misfortune of his life was his disagree- 
ment with his wife, a high-spirited Irish woman, who 
carried the quarrel into public in every possible way, 
while he manfully bore all in silence. 


Nearly ten years after the first success of the versatile 
aristocratic Bulwer, another novelist of humble origin 
and widely different genius sent the English world into 
fits of laughter. Charles Dickens was born in 1812 at 
Portsmouth, where his father was a government clerk. 
But soon the family removed to London, where for years 
they struggled with poverty. Young Dickens received 
little education, and was early compelled to earn his own 
living, while his father was lodged in a debtors' prison. 
Charles became a reporter of Parliamentary debates and, 
after reaching manhood, contributed to a daily paper 
sketches of humorous incidents. They attracted atten- 
tion, and were published in two volumes as "Sketches by 
Boz." This nickname was due to his brothers and sisters 
comparing Charles to Moses, the simple-minded youth 
in the "Vicar of Wakefield," who traded the family horse 
for a gross of green spectacles. Moses was corrupted 
by the children to "Boz," and the young author gave this 
cognomen celebrity. In 1837 he was engaged to write 


papers to accompany comic sketches of Cockney sports- 
men by Seymour. But the artist died, and Dickens 
changed the character of the publication. It became 
"The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club," in 
which the kind-hearted Pickwick passes through strange 
trials without losing a jot of his faith in human nature. 
Other characters intervened — the poetic Snodgrass, the 
susceptible Tupman, the amateur sportsman. Winkle, 
the loquacious swindling Jingle, and, above all, the irre- 
sistible Sam Weller, whose wit and wisdom shine tri- 
umphantly at every turn. The novel humor of the "Pick- 
wick Papers," with their caricature of the absurdities of 
elections, courts and common life, set the world of Eng- 
land wild with merriment. Henceforth Dickens wrote 
monthly or weekly serials on such themes as he pleased. 
With all his love of fun, he wished to be a social reformer, 
and in novel after novel, rapidly composed, he attacked 
with potent ridicule some glaring evil of that land. 
Thus "Oliver Twist" reveals the woes of orphans in the 
parish work-house and throws a flood of light on the 
haunts of crime in London. In "Nicholas Nickleby" the 
dreadful mismanagement of private boarding-schools 
was exposed in Do-the-boys Hall, conducted by Wack- 
ford Squeers. "Old Curiosity Shop" blends pathetic 
pictures of Little Nell and her grandfather with the 
gayety of the Marchioness and the boisterousness of 
Dick Swiveller, while the hideous Quilp supplies the 
malevolence. "Barnaby Rudge" is in part a historical 
romance, depicting in sombre colors the Lord George 
Gordon riots of 1780 and their sudden collapse. 

In 1 84 1 Dickens, tired of incessant weekly labor, 
visited America, and was received with enthusiasm. 
Accustomed to the snug inns of England, he was shocked 
with the rawness of the new country and the rude accom- 


modatlons and rough company on his travels. His 
"American Notes for General Circulation," by their caus- 
tic comment and depreciatory tone, provoked severe 
retorts from those who had shown him hospitality. But 
his next novel, "Martin Chuzzlewit," repeated the offense 
in aggravated form. Yet Americans have since admitted 
that much of the satire and ridicule was deserved, 
though a cheerful philosopher might have been 
expected to find better things deserving of notice. 
Dickens did labor to promote cheerful views of life, 
and one of his ways was in his Christmas stories, of which 
the "Carol" was issued in 1843. "The Chimes," "The 
Cricket on the Hearth," and "Marley's Ghost" followed 
in successive years, overflowing with good cheer and 
charity. After a year's residence in Italy, which furn- 
ished the descriptive papers called "Pictures from 
Italy," Dickens issued "Dombey and Son" in monthly 
numbers. It satirized the pompous pride of the British 
merchant and contrasted his disappointment in founding 
a family with the hearty good nature of half-witted crea- 
tures. "David Copperfield" has always been regarded 
as largely autobiographic, and the inimitable Micawber 
is, in part, drawn from the author's father. With it is 
interwoven the pathetic tragedy of the homely Peggotys 
and the alluring villain Steerforth. 

In 1850 Dickens became editor of "Household 
Words," a weekly, which soon attained an enormous 
circulation. For it he wrote "Hard Times," a story pro- 
testing against the cramming system of education. He 
also continued his monthly serials and did much mis- 
cellaneous writing. In "Bleak House" the tedious chan- 
cery system and its waste of life is severely arraigned. 
"Little Dorrit" exposes the evils of imprisonment for 


debt. In 1836 Dickens had married Catherine Hogarth, 
who survived him, but in 1859 he separated from her. 

In 1859, in consequence of a quarrel v^ith his publish- 
ers, Dickens left "Household Words" and established 
"All the Year Round," a similar weekly. For it he wrote 
"A Tale of Two Cities," in which he exhibited a striking 
episode of the French Revolution. "Great Expecta- 
tions" is a novel of contrasts, in which a transported con- 
vict tries to leave a fortune to a boy who did him a slight 
kindness. In "Our Mutual Friend" the satire is directed 
against the rage for rising in the social scale. Besides 
the large income Dickens drew from the sale of his pub- 
lications, he drew more from public readings of his 
works. For this purpose he again visited America in 
1867, and his tour proved a social and financial success. 
After his return "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" began 
to appear, but was not completed. He died June 8, 1870, 
and was interred in Westminster Abbey. 

The general quality of Dickens' works remained the 
same from first to last, though animal spirits predominate 
in the earlier. His enormous humor and exaggerated 
sentiment gave immense popularity to his pictures of low 
and middle class life, especially in London. His sym- 
pathies were with the honest poor; he made all the 
world share in their joys and sorrows and privations. 
He ridiculed class pretensions, but he never really under- 
stood the upper classes. He was fond of the theater from 
childhood, and took part in private theatricals, but he 
wrote no dramas, probably because he was always kept 
too close at other writing. Yet in actual life he was 
a constant actor, eager for the world's applause. He was 
handsome, with waving brown hair, and dressed in gaudy 
style. He was hard-working, painstaking, fertile in 
schemes, and fond of novelty and excitement. The con- 


tinued strain made him restless and irritable, and too 
exacting of those around him. The wonder is that none 
of this irritability escapes into his works. There he 
exhibits not precisely what he observed, but with artistic 
and humorous exaggeration the effect of that as trans- 
formed by his peculiar genius. In youth his exuberance 
of fun partly concealed his intolerance of wrong, but as 
he grew older, though his humorous characters are as 
abundant as ever, his serious moralizing becomes plainer 
and stronger. "David Copperfield" represents his pow- 
ers at the best ; the works before it still excel in popular- 
ity those that followed that masterpiece. For pure 
amusement we still go back to the "Pickwick Papers." 


Though Thackeray was born a year before Dickens, 
he was more than a decade later in reaching popularity, 
and even then it was by no means equal to his great com- 
petitor's. He belonged to a wealthy Yorkshire family, 
but first saw the light in i8i i in Calcutta, where his father 
was in the civil service. When seven years old he was 
sent to England for his education, and after some years 
at the famous Charter-House, he went to Cambridge. 
But he did not graduate ; having a comfortable fortune, 
he studied painting and traveled on the Continent. 
When the fortune was lost by imprudent investments or 
folly, the half-taught artist sought employment as an 
illustrator. Among those to whom he applied was Dick- 
ens, then starting the "Pickwick Papers," but Hablot K. 
Browne, known as "Phiz," was chosen. Thackeray there- 
fore began to write squibs for "Eraser's Magazine," just 
started, and later for "Punch," which first appeared in 
184 1. To the latter he contributed the "Snob Papers'* 


and "Memoirs of Mr. Jeames Yellowplush," in which 
the Cockney footman's views of life are set off by bad 
spelling. Other pen-names of this period are "Michael 
Angelo Titmarsh" and "George Fitz Boodle," but the 
industrious humorist was still little esteemed. Yet he pub- 
lished some pretty Christmas books and "A Journey from 
Cornhill to Cairo." 

At last, in 1846, Thackeray began, like Dickens, to 
issue a novel in serial numbers. It is called "Vanity 
Fair, Novel Without a Hero." It was written in a 
sociable, conversational tone, but was a scathing expos- 
ure of the shams and follies of the upper classes. The 
interest centers in the adventures of the shrewd and clever 
Becky Sharpe, who has set her heart on making a grand 
match. Unfortunately, the man whom' she marries misses 
the coveted estate; then she becomes entangled with 
an aged debauchee, and is crushed by her husband's unex- 
pected return from a sponging house. After the surpris- 
ing success of "Vanity Fair" Thackeray never returned 
to the trifling writing which had chiefly occupied his 

In 1849 ^-G began "Pendennis," the hero of which 
represents himself, though the adventures through which 
he passes are not similar. Arthur has his faults and 
foibles, but his regret and repentance evoke the sympa- 
thies of the reader. His sweetheart Laura is a model of 
patient endurance with waywardness. In 185 1 Thackeray 
visited America, lecturing on "The English Humorists of 
the Eighteenth Century." That age was always his 
familiar hunting-ground, and he discussed Addison, 
Steele and Swift with sincere sympathy. Still further 
use was made of this knowledge in his next book, "The 
History of Henry Esmond," which professed to be 
autobiographic and was exact in its imitation of the style 


of "The Spectator." Among the historical characters 
presented were Queen Anne, the Pretender, the Duke of 
Marlborough, and Addison, but the interest centers in 
the gentlemaiTify Esmond and his hopeless suit for his 
beautiful but proud cousin Beatrix. Fully assured of his 
position, Thackeray next issued "The Newcomes," a 
charming novel of social satire and philosophy. The 
real hero is the retired Colonel Thomas Newcome, a per- 
fect gentleman in his dealings with all the world, who 
yet is fated to lose his fortune and die a pensioner in the 
Charter-House in which he had been a pupil. 

Thackeray visited the United States again in 1856, 
and lectured on "The Four Georges," unveiling their 
foolish and vicious characters, with due exception and 
regard for George HI, the only honest, virtuous man 
among them, yet doomed to sad attacks of insanity. The 
income from these lectures provided a fund for Thack- 
eray's daughters, to whom he was specially affectionate. 
His wife had become insane in 1841, but she outlived 
him without recovering her reason. Partly as a result 
of his visit to America. Thackeray wrote his "Virgin- 
ians," a continuation of "Henry Esmond." Among the 
characters introduced is Washington as a young man. 
The American regard for the Father of his Country 
caused an outcry against this picture, but more recent 
criticism is disposed to accept it as probable. Objection 
has also been made to some of the English portraits, but 
the interest of the story does not depend on these inci- 
dental figures. 

In i860 Thackeray again followed Dickens' example 
and became editor of the "Cornhill Magazine," a monthly 
which soon attained the unprecedented circulation of 
100,000. In it he published "Loved the Widower" and 
"The Adventures of Philip," which recalled "The New- 


comes." Philip has a wicked father and a stupid wife, 
but is greatly helped by the kindness of the Little Sister. 
A new novel, "Denis Duval," had just been commenced in 
the magazine, when the author was interrupted by death 
on the day before Christmas, 1863. 

Thackeray was tall and strongly built, with abundant 
waving hair, which early became white. He had, unfor- 
tunately, a broken nose, owing to some accident, and was 
sensitive about its being noticed. His ordinary style 
was in clear, idiomatic English, but, under various 
pseudonyms, he used an appropriate variety of speech. 
In verse he sometimes adopted a half-serious, half-comic 
tone, which suited his philosophic resignation to the 
changes of time. Being thoroughly acquainted with 
English society, he was able to satirize effectively its 
wickedness and follies. He was a genuine humorist, and 
skilled in dealing with human foibles. A notable feature 
of his novels is his discoursing aside with his readers, 
letting the story pause while he moralizes shrewdly on 
the vagaries of human nature. His scenes and characters 
are real, true to life, idealized only so far as to adapt them 
to literary purpose. The critical appreciation of his 
work has steadily risen since his death, and he is even 
pronounced by some the first novelist of the century. 


Perhaps the most unique figure in English literature 
is Benjamin Disraeli, who, after a remarkable political 
career, full of stormy fights and glorious victories, 
became Earl of Beaconsfield. He was of Spanish- Jewish 
descent, but his father, Isaac Disraeli, the quiet plodding 
author of the "Curiosities of Literature," withdrew from 
the synagogue. Benjamin, born in 1804, early displayed 


a widely different character from his father, and in 1826 
astonished the world with his dashing political novel 
"Vivian Grey." It satirized briskly the leaders of the 
time, discussed political problems seriously, and even 
prefigured his own career. It quite eclipsed Bulwer's 
"Falkland" which appeared in the same year. After a 
tour in the East, the successful young author published 
"Contarini Fleming" ( 1832), which treats of the develop- 
ment of a poetic character and gives brilliant sketches of 
Italy and Syria. Then came the "Wondrous Tale of 
Alroy" (1833), a dithyrambic Oriental romance of a 
mediaeval Messiah, and "The Revolutionary Epick" 
(1834), in which he eulogized tyrannicide in blank verse. 
Meantime, Disraeli had been trying to get into Parliament 
as a Radical, but being twice defeated, he turned round 
and gave splendid help to the disheartened Tory party 
by his "Runnymede Letters" (1836), defending the Brit- 
ish Constitution. Yet he always retained much of his early 
Radicalism and even compelled the reluctant Tories to 
accept some of it in order "to dish the Whigs." Other 
books were issued before he reached Parliament — "Hen- 
rietta Temple," a very sentimental love-story, and "Ven- 
etia," in which he rehearsed the story of Byron's life. 

At the age of thirty-two, the persevering Disraeli 
entered Parliament, but his maiden speech was a deplor- 
able failure. When hooted down, he replied, "I have 
begun several times many things, and I have often suc- 
ceeded at last. I shall sit down now ; but the time will 
come when you will hear me." In 1839 he married the 
wealthy widow of his friend, Wyndham Lewis, whom he 
afterward praised as a perfect wife. He assisted in 
forming a political literary group known as "Young Eng- 
land," and expounded its principles in "Coningsby; or, 
the New Generation" (1844). In this, as in all his 


political novels, which should be read by those wishing 
to know the inside of English history, he drew the prin- 
cipal characters directly from prominent persons of the 
day, and the public were delighted at tracing the resem- 
blance. In "Sybil" (1845) ^''^ treated of the Chartist agi- 
tation. "Tancred; or, the New Crusade" (1847) was a< 
further exposition of the political views he was urging 
on the Conservative party. Disraeli had now become a 
prominent speaker in the British legislature, and fiercely 
assailed Sir Robert Peel for his adoption of Free Trade. 
When the Tories returned to power in 1852, Disraeli 
was made the leader in the House of Commons. His 
increased political duties prevented his giving much time 
to literature. He first became Prime Minister in 1868. 
Two years later, while out of ofiice, he published 
"Lothair," a brilliant presentation of the religious as well 
as the political tendencies of the time. It was aimed par- 
ticularly at Cardinal Manning and the Jesuits. In 1872 
he w^as called to mourn the loss of his wife, who had 
gloried in his triumphs and lightened his reverses. In 
1874 he was again Prime Minister, and two years later he 
accepted the peerage which had been offered to him long 
before. Still greater glory awaited him when he took 
part in the Berlin Congress, which readjusted the results 
of the Russo-Turkish War, and when he induced Parlia- 
ment to confer on Queen Victoria the title of Empress of 
India. The veteran statesman died in April, 1881. In 
the same year was published his last novel, "Endymion," 
in which were presented, after his usual fashion, Lord 
Palmerston, Louis Napoleon (as a young man), and 
other celebrities. 

The career of Lord Beaconsfield is more romantic 
than his novels, brilliant as they are with epigram and 
paradox. His style was highly rhetorical and sometimes 


tawdry. Plagiarism was occasionally proved against 
him, in speech and writing, and yet his overwhelming 
originality could not be denied. His frequent presenta- 
tion of living characters under thin disguises piqued curi- 
osity, yet the real value of his work lay elsewhere — in the 
discussion of the social and political problems of Eng- 
land. He treated them ironically, yet he stated a certain 
amount of permanent truth. 


In the early numbers of "Blackwood's Magazine" ap- 
peared two series of sea-sketches — "The Cruise of the 
Midge" and "Tom Cringle's Log." They were com- 
posed by Michael Scott (1789-1825), and contain some 
fine descriptions of sea-fights, tropical scenery, the flirta- 
tions, duels and dangers of West Indian life. This was 
seventy years after Smollett, who was a ship's surgeon, 
had already used his knowledge of sailors' lives in his 
fictions. But the writer who has won highest distinction 
by his tales of nautical adventure is Captain Frederick 
Marryat (1792-1848). As a boy, though the son of a 
wealthy Londoner, he had frequently run away to sea, 
and at the age of fourteen he was allowed to enter the 
navy. Serving under the daring Cochrane (afterwards 
Lord Dundonald) he witnessed fifty engagements in 
thirty months. He was highly commended for valor in 
war and humanity in peace, and was distinguished as 
post-captain in the Burmese war of 1824-5. After more 
than twenty years' experience of sea-life, Marryat began 
to describe it in 1829. His first novel, "Frank Mildmay," 
was but a thinly disguised rehearsal of the adventures of 
Cochrane and his crew, and had material for half-a-dozen 
stories. The second, "The King's Own," is more artis- 
Voi.. Q— 6 


tic, and contains, besides some playful writing, a powerful, 
dramatic scene, in which the captain sacrifices the frigate 
Aspasia in order to wreck a French line-of-battle-ship 
on a lee shore. 

Marryat, having discovered his literary gift, retired 
from the naval service in 1830 and produced in rapid 
succession "Newton Forster," "Peter Simple," "Jacob 
Faithful," "Japhet in Search of a Father," "Midshipman 
Easy," and "Snarley-yow, or the Dog Fiend." Of these 
"Peter Simple" is the most popular, on account of the 
lively succession of humorous incidents, though the wild 
hilarity of "Dignity Ball" may be too "briny" for serious 
people. But "Snarley-yow" has been ranked higher for 
humorous portraiture and richness of incident. From 
1832 to 1836 Marryat was editor of the "Metropolitan 
Magazine," and he produced a dozen more stories, some 
relating to the land and some intended for juvenile 
readers. He died at the age of fifty-six. His biog- 
raphy has been written by his daughter, a novelist of 
ability. Marryat's books have the faults of other sea- 
stories, a certain ferocity and fondness for practical jokes, 
yet they are full of vivacity and vigor, and show the ter- 
rible hardships and heroic actions, as well as the light- 
hearted fun of the sailor's life. Marryat's sea-stories 
were directly imitated by Chamier and Captain Howard, 
but their books did not obtain the same success. 


The military novels of Charles Lever have a strong 
resemblance to the nautical novels of Captain Marryat. 
Both authors endow their characters with an exuberant 
flow of animal spirits and furnish a rapid succession of 
amusing and exciting incidents. But Lever changed his 


style of writing more than once in his career. He was 
the son of an EngHsh architect, but was born in Dublin 
in 1806; educated in Trinity College of that city, and 
afterward at Gottingen, he became a physician. He 
displayed courage and skill in several parts of Ireland 
during the cholera outbreak of 1832. Then marrying 
Miss Baker, he went to Brussels and practiced among the 
British residents. From his own experience and the 
entertaining stories of retired officers who had served in 
Spain, he gathered the material of "The Confessions of 
Harry Lorrequer," "The Adventures of Charles O'Mal- 
ley," and "Jack Hinton." These novels are careless in 
plot, but full of boisterous good humor, and describe fight- 
ing and battle-scenes with vigor. All classes of military 
men figure in them, from the Duke of Wellington to the 
reckless Micky Free. Lever became editor of "The Dub- 
lin University Magazine" from 1842 to 1845, and pub- 
lished in it several Irish novels, as "Tom Burke," "The 
O'Donoghue," "The Knight of Gwynne." They exhibit 
the volatile side of Irish life, and a racy national humor. 
In later life Lever resided on the Continent, at Carls- 
ruhe, In the Tyrol, at Spezzia, and finally at Trieste, where 
he died in 1872. In the novels of this period he described 
English travelers or residents on the Continent. Among 
them are "The Daltons," "The Dodd Family Abroad," 
"Davenport Dunn." He wrote also for "Blackwood's 
Magazine" miscellaneous papers under the name of "Cor- 
nelius O'Dowd." His latest novels were the best con- 
structed, but the vigor of his invention and humor had 
been already spent, so that they never reached the pop- 
ularity of his early ones. 



There are other novelists who more truly or fully 
represent the Irish character. John Banim ( 1800- 1842) 
in "Tales of the O'Hara Family" and "The Denounced" 
shows the passionate and tragic side of peasant life. 
Gerald Griffin (1803-1840) dealt with the middle classes, 
and showed both the pathetic and humorous features of 
their lives in his famous "Collegians," which has been 
adapted for the stage under the title "Colleen Bawn." 
He had just achieved success after a hard struggle, when 
he withdrew to a monastery two years before he died. 
No one has depicted more faithfully all the aspects of the 
Irish peasant than William Carleton (1794-1869). His 
"Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry" appeared in 
1830, and from that time to his death his literary activity 
was incessant. The most powerful of his works is 
"Fardarougha the Miser," in which the beautiful char- 
acter of the miser's wife is sketched from his own mother. 
"The Black Prophet" graphically describes the sufferings 
of the famine of 1846. Thomas Crofton Croker (1798- 
1854), who was an antiquarian rather than a novel- 
ist, is best known by his collection of "Fairy Legends of 
the South of Ireland." The most amusing pictures of 
the Irish peasant have been furnished by Samuel Lover 
(1797-1868), who was chiefly an artist and song-writer. 
Both the song and the story of "Rory O'More" came 
from his pen. But his most famous book Is "Handy 
Andy" (1842), which relates the comical blunders of a 
droll, muddle-headed peasant of the lowest class, who 
yet becomes an Irish peer, with the title Lord Scatter- 



One of the earliest imitators of Sir Walter Scott was 
George Payne Rainsford James (i 801- 1860), who pub- 
lished his first and perhaps best novel, "Richelieu," in 
1825. He flung off rapidly some two hundred stories, 
which bore a strong family likeness, but were cheerfully 
received by the uncritical public, who sought only diver- 
sion. James was for many years a British Consul in Italy 
and the United States, and wrote some respectable his- 
torical works. 

WilHam Harrison Ainsworth (1805-1882) was also 
a prolific novelist, who confined his attention to English 
historical subjects, but handled them in a melodramatic 
way. His most popular books are "Jack Sheppard" and 
"The Tower of London," but neither is well constructed. 


Charles Kingsley was the apostle of muscular Chris- 
tianity, but his life was singularly uneventful. He was 
born in June, 18 19, at Dartmoor, Devon, where his father 
was an old-fashioned fox-hunting rector. He went to 
Cambridge, took honors, and was ordained in the Church 
of England. In 1841 he became curate at Eversley, 
Hampshire, and was afterwards rector there till his death 
in 1875. He had been appointed professor of history in 
Cambridge in 1861, canon at Chester, and at Westminster 
in 1873. He made some trips on the Continent and 
visited America. 

Kingsley's first book was "The Saint's Tragedy" 
(1848), a drama on the story of St. Elizabeth of Hun- 


gary. Being roused by the Chartist movement and the 
writings of Carlyle to the necessity of righting the wrongs 
of the oppressed, he joined with F. D. Maurice in an 
effort to put Christian Hfe into the masses. His sym- 
pathy with the working-classes was shown in "Alton 
Locke" ( 1850) , the pathetic story of a London tailor who 
took part in the Chartist insurrection, and in "Yeast" 
(185 1 ), which made the stir of the time appear as a 
struggle towards a better life. His contributions to 
"Eraser's Magazine" treated of a variety of subjects from 
literature to fishing. "Hypatia," his first historical novel, 
is a vivid panorama of Alexandria in the Fourth Century 
and the struggle of Christianity with Pagan philosophy 
and other foes. These foes are virtually the same in all 
ages, notwithstanding the diversity of appearances. Hy- 
patia, slain by a fanatical Christian mob, was the martyr 
maid of philosophy. Kingsley's next novel, "Westward 
Ho!" (1855) generally considered his masterpiece, re- 
called the Elizabethan adventurers, Raleigh and Drake. 
"Two Years Ago" (1857) dealt with the Crimean War. 
"Hereward the Wake" (1866) went back to the Saxon 
times. Throughout these historical novels the land- 
scapes and sea-scenes are lovingly depicted, and the more 
remote they are, the more care is taken to render them 
pictorial. "Andromeda" (1858) has been pronounced 
the most successful attempt at the use of hexameter verse 
in English. It treats of the Greek myth of Perseus. 
"The Water Babies" (1863) is a charming fairy tale for 
children, yet contains satire for adults. His short poems, 
such as "The Three Fishers," are full of freshness and 
grace. An incidental remark of Kingsley's in 1864, 
which seemed to charge Newman with excusing disre- 
gard of truth, drew from the latter his famous "Apologia 


pro Vita Sua." This controversy was one of many which 
gave color to Kingsley's Hfe. 

His younger brother, Henry Kingsley (1830-1876), 
was also a vigorous novelist, though he never reached 
the same general recognition. Having lived in Australia 
five years, he made that land the scene of his best stories, 
"Geoffrey Hamlyn" and "Ravenshoe." 


Among the severe British criticisms of America none 
was more deeply resented than Mrs. Frances Trollope's 
"Domestic Manners of the Americans." It was written 
after three years' residence, during which she was in busi- 
ness in Cincinnati. Being left a widow at thirty-five, she 
was obliged to support her family and became an indus- 
trious writer of lively books of travels and novels of some 
merit. Her eldest son, Thomas Adolphus Trollope 
(1810-1892), lived more than half his life in Italy, and 
wrote historical sketches and novels, chiefly relating to 
that country. But the younger son, Anthony Trollope 
(1815-1882), was perhaps the most prolific and popular 
novelist of his time, yet he was late in beginning to write. 
His first book, "The Warden" (1855), in which the chief 
character is a simple-minded, conscientious clergyman, 
was the beginning of a series comprising "Barchester 
Towers," "Doctor Thorne," "Framley Parsonage," "The 
Small House at Allington," and "The Last Chronicle of 
Barset." In these certain characters and whole families 
appear again and again, so that the reader keeps watching 
for old acquaintances or their relatives. They all belong 
to England of his day and range from the lower middle 
to the upper class, including especially clergymen and 
their wives. The stories contain the ordinary incidents 


of life, and the conversation is sprightly. In 'Thineas 
Finn" and some other books Trollope entered the region 
of politics, giving sketches of Gladstone and Disraeli 
under other names. He wrote a few books of a different 
class, but not successfully. He had an official connection 
with the Post-Office, which, however, did not occupy 
much of his time. The public were surprised to learn 
from his "Autobiography" that he did his writing almost 
mechanically, so many words an hour, and were disposed 
to underrate the value of what they had previously prized. 


Perhaps one of the most eccentric English authors 
was Charles Reade (i8 14- 1884). He was born at Ips- 
den, near Oxford, graduated at that University, and was 
elected a Fellow of Magdalen College, This gave him 
independence, so that he was slow in beginning to write. 
After some unsuccessful attempts at drama, he published 
in 1852, "Peg Woffington," a brilliant short story. His 
"Griffith Gaunt" is a powerful but disagreeable picture of 
life in the Eighteenth Century. "It Is Never Too Late to 
Mend" (1856) is a tale of his own times, exposing the ill 
treatment of prisoners and describing mining life in Aus- 
traha. "The Cloister and the Hearth" (1861) is his 
longest and greatest work, professing to relate the story 
of the father of Erasmus in the Fifteenth Century. 
Though he borrowed much from Erasmus himself, he 
added romance, passion and pathos. He used to accumu- 
late newspaper clippings of strange facts and incidents, 
which he arranged and indexed in huge scrap-books, and 
then drew from these sources such details as he required 
for his powerful stories of modern life. Yet it was 
rather his own genius than this patchwork that enabled 


him to reveal the gloom of prisons, the horrors of mad- 
houses, the outrages of trade-unions, the perils of the 
sea. His stories show him a man of strong likes and 
dislikes. He assisted in dramatizing some of his stories, 
and had lawsuits and newspaper controversies about the 

Wilkie Collins ( 1824- 1889) was a prominent member 
of Dickens' staff in the ''Household Words," and was 
noted for his skill in constructing intricate plots. The 
reader of the serial was kept in anxious suspense from 
week to week until the elaborate tangle should be un- 
raveled. This sensation was especially produced by the 
"Woman in White" (i860), in which was presented his 
most life-like character, the plausible, fat Italian, Fosco, 
adventurer and villain. 

Judged by his books, George Borrow (i8o3-i88iy 
was a man of roving and adventurous temper, fond of 
the Gipsies and their wild life, yet he was also a thorough 
Englishman, devoted to his country and its institutions. 
For a few years he wandered over many lands and 
mingled with strange folk, yet he spent the last half of 
his life quietly in his native place. He was born at Nor- 
folk, the son of a soldier, and went to London, where he 
was employed in obscure literary work until, in 1833, he 
was selected by the British and Foreign Bible Society as 
a traveling agent in Russia and the East, and afterwards 
in Spain. Returning to England in 1840 he married a 
lady of some wealth and published the books by which he 
is known. The first was "The Gipsies in Spain" ( 1841 ) , 
soon followed by "The Bible in Spain" (1842) a wildly 
romantic book of travels, whose fanciful coloring makes 


them seem like the phantasms of a dream. His powerful 
novel, "Lavengro" (1851) partly autobiographic, tells 
the story of a man who joins the Gipsies and is full of fas- 
cination for a select class of readers. Its sequel, "Rom- 
any Rye" ( 1857), is of less interest. Besides these, Bor- 
row issued some dictionaries and translations from 
strange tongues, and "Wild Wales," a book of travels in 
his former style. 

The most successful attempt at portraying school-boy 
life is "Tom Brown's School Days" (1856), by Thomas 
Hughes (1823- 1 896), who afterward became a member 
of Parliament. The title page of his book correctly 
described him as "An Old Boy." Throughout his life, 
devoted to earnest endeavors to benefit workingmen and 
others, he retained much boyishness of spirit and interest 
in boys' affairs. He was really Tom Brown himself, 
while his friend, little Arthur, was afterwards Dean Stan- 
ley. The book was a tribute to Dr. Arnold and his sys- 
tem of education at Rugby. It was followed by "Tom 
Brown at Oxford" (1861), written with studious accur- 
acy, but not the native force of the Rugby book. His 
other books were popular discourses on practical re- 




Women have held a conspicuous place among the 
writers of Victoria's reign. Prominent among the nov- 
elists was Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855), the eldest of 
three sisters, daughters of an eccentric Irishman, who had 
become parson of a moorland parish in Yorkshire. 
Brought up amid poverty in this dreary wilderness, they 
had intense longings for advantages beyond their reach. 
They were intended to be governesses, and for this pur- 
pose Charlotte and Emily spent a year at Brussels. After 
their return the three sisters published a volume of 
poems, under the assumed names, Currer, Ellis, and Ac- 
ton Bell, each retaining her own initials. The literary in- 
stinct was strong, and they resolved to write each a story. 
Charlotte's attempt, "The Professor," could not secure 
a publisher. Then she set to work on "Jane Eyre," 
which, after being refused by several publishers, was at 
last accepted and issued in 1847. ^^ ^s the story of a 
plain orphan girl, educated by charity, who enters the 
household of Edward Rochester, an ugly, domineering 
master, whose insane wife is kept in concealment. This 
man, who had been sated with the excitements of the 
world, finds himself, to his own surprise, becoming in- 
terested in the little, plain, but intelligent woman, who 
evidently tries to avoid his attentions. The book re- 
vealed with circumstantial detail much of the author's 
experience, and also the deepest feelings of her heart. 
Its truthfulness captured the reading world, and Char- 



lotte was summoned to London to meet the literary mag- 
nates, but the shy Httle woman soon returned to her 
moorland home. Her second book, "Shirley" (1848), 
was more labored than the first, and shocked some readers 
by making her heroine seek too eagerly for the man of her 
choice. In "Villette" (1852) she made use of her ex- 
periences in Brussels, and won a new success in the love 
of the vivacious French professor, Paul Emmanuel, for 
the modest little English girl, Lucy Snowe. In 1854 
Charlotte was married to her father's curate, Mr. Nich- 
olls, but she died within a year. Her sister, Emily 
(1818-1848), had written a fiercely tragic novel, "Wuth- 
ering Heights," and some short poems of strong feeling. 

The strange biography of the Bronte family was writ- 
ten by Mrs. Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865), herself a 
novelist of merit. Her first story, "Mary Barton" 
(1848), was a pathetic delineation of some scenes of 
Manchester life. "Ruth" (1850) was a story of the re- 
demption of a too trusting girl who had been seduced by 
a villain. But the most noted of Mrs. Gaskell's works is 
"Cranford," a pleasing chronicle of the simple events of 
a quiet little village. 

One of the most highly esteemed women-novelists 
was Dinah Maria Muloch, afterwards Mrs. Craik (1826- 
1887). Her most noted work is "John Halifax, Gentle- 
man" (1857), 3- quiet story of a pure love. She had 
written some novels before this, and many more after it, 
but none quite equal to this delicate master-piece. 


In the sixth decade of the Century a new name ap- 
peared in imaginative literature, to which at once high 
rank was awarded. This was George Eliot, the pseu- 


donym of Mary Ann (or Marian) Evans, who was then 
living with George Henry Lewes as his wife, though they 
had not been legally married. Marian Evans was born 
at Nuneaton in Warwickshire in 1819. Her parents 
were respectable, religious, narrow-minded people, but 
after her mother's death she came in contact with persons 
of somewhat wider culture, who held extreme Unitarian 
views. Influenced by the culture, she quickly adopted 
their views, and at their request translated Strauss's "Life 
of Jesus." After a year of study in Geneva, she settled 
in London, contributing to the "Westminster Review" 
and making more translations. Thus she was introduced 
to George Henry Lewes (181 7- 1878), a versatile but not 
very successful writer, though an able critic. Mr. Lewes 
had separated from his wife, and he induced Miss Evans, 
who had little regard for the conventions of society, to 
take the vacant place. At first they were utterly con- 
demned by the London world, but after her genius was 
manifested, they were practically forgiven. The low- 
ness of their fortunes led Mr. Lewes to suggest that his 
consort should use her ability for social description in 
fiction. The first result appeared in "Blackwood's Ma- 
gazine" as "Scenes of Clerical Life," of which "The Sad 
Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton" attracted the 
most attention. Her first novel, "Adam Bede" (1859) 
is the finest literary report of the spirit of Methodism. 
The Quaker preacher, Dinah Morris, was drawn from 
the author's aunt. The book was the first adequate study 
of English country life apart from the gentry, "The 
Mill on the Floss" is a more tragic story, in which Mag- 
gie Tulliver is the victim of her own trustfulness. In 
"Silas Marner" (1861) Methodism again played an im- 
portant part. These books were the natural, unaffected 
outpouring of the author's genius. Mr. Lewes, who had 


discovered and fostered her abilities, drew around her 
a remarkable circle of worshipers. The constant ap- 
plause, seldom tempered by criticism, and her own love 
of philosophical study, led her to yet more arduous 
efforts. In "Romola" (1863) she treats of Florence in 
the time of Savonarola, but while the preaching monk is 
carefully portrayed, the interest lies in the other charac- 
ters — Romola, the idealized school-girl, and the attrac- 
tive, yet remorseless, villain Tito. 

Then the great author, now recognized as a supreme 
analyst of character, returned to English ground. Yet 
"Felix Holt, the Radical" (1866) was her least success- 
ful work. " Middlemarch " (18 17), however, retrieved 
her fame and presented a memorable picture of literary 
failure in the scholar Casaubon, said to be drawn from 
Mark Pattison, and of woman's devotion to a fading 
ideal in the lovely Dorothea. In "Daniel Deronda" 
(1876) she embodied a noble conception of the modern 
Jew, and commended his aspirations on behalf of his 
race. But stubborn English opinion declined to be 
moved. Still less did it care for "The Impressions of 
Theophrastus Such" (1878), a volume of essays. Mr. 
Lewes died in 1878, and in May, 1880, Miss Evans was 
formally married to John Walter Cross, but died in the 
following December. Mr. Cross published her biog- 
raphy, but it gives an inadequate idea of this woman of 
genius. Her earliest books were faithful delineations of 
characters that had been familiar to her youth, and 
abounded in genuine humor. Her later books were 
more ambitious studies of the complex characters of a 
larger society, highly philosophical, but not finally satis- 
fying. Her poems never enjoyed public favor. 


E. Blair Leigmton, Pinx 



After the great and sudden outburst of song in the 
early years of the Century there came a season of com- 
parative lull. No thrilling voice was added to the con- 
cert, but some of the older songsters were still heard. It 
was hardly until Tennyson was made poet laureate on the 
death of Wordsworth (1850) that his popularity began. 
He had shown himself a disciple of Keats, worshiping 
beauty, and had been charged by the critics with effemi- 
nacy. But "Locksley Hall" (1842), 'The Princess" 
(1847), and the grand elegy, "In Memoriam" (1850), 
testified to his original power. Henceforth his utter- 
ances became the acknowledged poetic expression of 
English feeling. Browning, three years younger, was 
still slower in obtaining popular recognition. Though 
he early won a few earnest devotees, his name and works 
did not become familiar to the public until 1869, when 
"The Ring and the Book," perhaps partly by its size, 
forced attention. Thenceforth he wrote constantly, was 
read with new interest and loving care, and the very 
obscurity of his verse gave occasion for a cult, which still 
prevails. But for twenty years before he had reached his 
fame, his wife had been well known and was regarded as 
the greatest female genius of her country. Her fluent 
verses, picturesque romanticism, religious sentiment, hu- 
manitarian feeling, strong pathos, and perhaps her own 
sad story, brightened by love, had given her an assured 
place in the affections of the people. 

In this period there was a notable movement, known 
as Pre-Raphaelitism. It belonged chiefly to art, but ex- 



tended into literature, beginning about 1840 or earlier. 
It was a return to the spirit of the Middle Ages, and had 
grown out of the Romanticism of the beginning of the 
Century, fostered by the ecclesiastical Oxford movement. 
It affected many poets, but its chief representative is 
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828- 1882), the son of an Italian 
exile who had settled in London. Rossetti was both a 
painter and a poet, and endeavored in his poems to ex- 
press pictorial ideas. "The Blessed Damozel," his first 
published poem, is a typical example of his school. His 
gifted sister, Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1895), 
also belonged to this school, and her work was deeply 
colored by her religious feelings. 

A poet who, though he published but little, had great 
effect upon subsequent poets, was Edward FitzGerald 
(1809- 1 883). This effect was produced by his remark- 
able translation or paraphrase of the Persian astronomer- 
poet, Omar Khayyam, which first appeared in 1859. By 
its ridicule of asceticism and self-denial, and its mystical 
materialism, it has done much to render an epicurean pes- 
simism popular. 

Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) is more famous as a 
critic than as a poet, yet he showed considerable power 
in his poems, in which he endeavors to restrain the tend- 
ency to ornament and to return to the simplicity of 
Wordsworth, or rather of Greek. 

About 1850 there was a stir of poetic feeling which 
was chiefly manifested in what was ultimately condemned 
by its name, the Spasmodic School. The leaders were 
the English Sydney Dobell (1824-1874) and the Scotch 
Alexander Smith (1829- 1867). Dobell, who was 
afflicted with ill health, wrote two dramas, one of which, 
"Balder" (1853), has been compared to Ibsen's later 
work. Smith published "A Life Drama" (1853), which 


had a phenomenal, but only temporary success. The 
two poets, excited by the Crimean War, published to- 
gether, "Sonnets on the War" (1855), and Dobell con- 
tinued in the same strain in "England in the Time of 
War" (1856). Smith published "City Poems" (1857), 
and afterwards confined himself chiefly to prose descrip- 
tion. During their vogue the young poets were extrava- 
gantly praised, but judicious critics pointed out their 
heaping up of imagery and sentiment and excess of pas- 
sion. They were in fact heirs of the spirit of Byron, 
but transferred their heroes' struggles from the world of 
action to the world of thought. Their dramatic efforts 
were effectively burlesqued by W. E. Aytoun in his "Fir- 
milian, a Spasmodic Tragedy," which silenced them. 

An older poet, belonging to the same school, was 
Philip James Bailey, born in 181 6, whose "Festus" 
(1839) ^^^ a while took the world by storm. It was a 
long poetical and philosophical colloquy between God, 
Lucifer, angels and men. Some admirers regarded it as 
a Christian reply to Goethe's "Faust." But in spite of 
some fine passages, it was soon neglected, and the author's 
later poems did not revive his reputation. 


Alfred Tennyson distinctly devoted his life to poetry, 
and though, without fortune, waited patiently for recog- 
nition by the world. He was forty-two when he was 
made poet-laureate and thereby helped to wealth, which 
he lived long to enjoy. He was the son of a clergyman 
and was born at Somerby in Lincolnshire in 1809. He 
was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and pub- 
lished "Poems, Chiefly Lyrical" in 1830. These poems 
were fresh and sweet and musical, but were severely at- 


tacked by the critics. The poet afterwards rejected some 
and amended others. In 1833 came a second volume, 
containing "The May Queen," 'The Lotos-Eaters," and 
"A Dream of Fair Women." The first became a uni- 
versal favorite, the others showed a singular power of 
dreamy fancy, which was often exercised afterwards. In 
1842 another volume was published, which some early 
admirers thought he never excelled. It contained "Lady 
Clara Vere de Vere," 'The Talking Oak," and the weird 
soHloquy of "Locksley Hall." "Morte D'Arthur" was 
the germ from which was to be developed the long series 
of the "Idylls of the King." In 1847 came 'The Prin- 
cess," a narrative poem in blank verse, treating pleasantly 
of woman's rights. It told how a Princess, eager to as- 
sert woman's equality, had gathered a court, from which 
men were carefully excluded, and how her plans were 
thwarted and she herself became a victim to love. A few 
of the poet's finest lyrics were interwoven — "The Splen- 
dor Falls," "Tears, Idle Tears," and "The Bugle-Song." 

In contrast with this was "In Memoriam" ( 1850), the 
wonderful elegy in which the poet laments the loss of his 
friend, Arthur H. Hallam, who had been betrothed to his 
sister. It consists of 130 poems, each of several stanzas, 
representing all the varying moods of his thought on his 
affliction, recollections of the past, and hopes of the 
future. Though all the stanzas are of the same peculiaf 
form, the poet's mastery of music and diction has pre- 
vented unpleasant monotony. Again, in contrast with 
this song of grief came in 1855 "Maud," a poem of love 
and marriage, with many happy lyrics. But its too cloy- 
ing- sweetness was not so well relished. The author 
afterwards amended it. 

In mature life Tennyson took up again the favorite 
story of King Arthur and sought to make it an English 


epic. The four poems of the original "Idylls of the 
King" (1859) ^^^ named from four women, prominent 
in the story — Enid, Vivien, Elaine, and Guinevere. The 
contrast of style and subject in these idylls was carefully 
wrought out. But the epic was steadily enlarged by the 
poet until it comprised fifteen separate poems. Founded 
originally on Sir Thomas Malory's prose romance, it was 
largely reconstructed with aid from the Welsh and French 
chronicles, and even modernized in tone. How far the 
later additions are improvements is disputed by critics. 

Meantime Tennyson had written many other poems, 
some of which were on events of the time, as the noble ode 
on the funeral of the Duke of Wellington; "The Charge of 
the Light Brigade," a battle lyric of Balaklava in the 
Crimean War; and "The Defence of Lucknow," one of 
the Sepoy Mutiny. "Enoch Arden" is a touching idyll 
of common English life; "Rizpah," a tragic idyll from 
Scripture narrative. "The Voyage of Maeldune" was a 
rarely successful reproduction of the spirit of old Celtic 
poetry. In 1875 the poet began a series of dramas with 
"Queen Mary," and continued it with "Harold," "The 
Falcon," "Becket," and "The Foresters," some of which 
were put on the stage. In 1880 he issued a volume of 
"Ballads," worthy of his fame. "Locksley Hall, Sixty 
Years After" is a fitting companion to the thoughtful 
poem of his youth. In the last volume appearing in his 
life-time was "Crossing the Bar," which was taken as his 
dying song. He died at Aid worth in October, 1892, and 
was buried in Westminster Abbey. 

Tennyson from the beginning of his career was noted 
for the exquisite music of his verse, the exactness of his 
rhymes, the attention to sound as well as sense. This 
faculty he undoubtedly learned from Keats, though he 
improved it and made it thoroughly his own. He 


profited by the criticism of his earhest work, but without 
•submitting unduly to the arbitrary decisions of others. 
To the end of his Hfe he continued to correct and improve 
his work, making it more clear and harmonious. He has 
been censured for lack of profundity, but he does not 
avoid expressing thought on the great problems of exist- 
ence, though he refuses to rave and gesticulate about 
them. His strength lay in his thorough understanding of 
the simple elements of life, and his ability to express their 
full meaning. His versification is the most perfect in the 
English language, and has been the model to his suc- 
cessors, as it was indeed to his contemporaries. 


Browning was in almost everything in direct contrast 
with his great contemporary, Tennyson. From his first 
utterance the latter was recognized as a sweet singer, long 
before he was found to be an interpreter of the human 
heart. The former, if listened to at all, was regarded as 
a speaker of dark sayings, an unintelligible discourser. 
But after he had unexpectedly burst into snatches of 
melody, attention was given to his enigmatic torrents of 
words, and he was discovered to be a profound analyst of 
souls and motives. Then the wide-spread interest of this 
age in the study of character caused him to be esteemed a 
prophet, and led to the formation of societies to observe 
his wonderful experiments. In the end, as Tennyson 
was quoted with affection, Browning was worshiped 
with awe. Yet he never lost his self-poise, but cheerfully 
kept his place in society and watched with continual in- 
terest the doings of his fellow-men. 

Robert Browning was born in London in May, 1812. 
He belonged to the middle class, was the son of a Dis- 


senter, and was educated privately. His first boolc, 
"Pauline" (1833), was an immature attempt to describe 
a philosophic life ; it had, like some later poems, dramatic 
qualities without dramatic form. After a year's travel 
on the Continent he published "Paracelsus" (1835), in 
which the hero seeks infinite wisdom, but comes to see 
that knowledge without love is vain. The tragedy of 
"Strafford" (1837) was written for the stage, and had 
some success in spite of the complicated involved style 
which characterized all his early work. In "Sordello" 
(1840) he filled up the meager outline of a story sug- 
gested by Dante, and made the Italian troubadour over- 
come the temptation of lending himself to a faction that 
he might accomplish great good for mankind. In all 
of these works there was a certain egotism, the heroes 
being indeed but shadowy projections of the author's 
soul. But people refused to take the trouble to under- 
stand them. The series of "Bells and Pomegranates" 
( 1846) opened with the beautiful lyrical drama of "Pippa 
Passes," and contained lyrics which won general praise. 
A friendly allusion to them by Miss Elizabeth Barrett in 
one of her poems led to the acquaintance of the two poets, 
which ripened into love and marriage. They went to 
Italy and resided chiefly in the Casa Guidi Palace in Flor- 
ence fifteen happy years, until his wife's death in 1861. 
In that time Browning published "Christmas Eve and 
Easter Day" (1850) and "Men and Women" (1855), 
dedicated to his wife as "the Moon of Poets." In 1869 he 
boldly challenged the world with his long, complicated 
mediaeval Italian story of "The Ring and the Book" in 
four volumes, containing 20,000 lines. The kernel is 
that a middle-aged husband, jealous of his child wife, so 
tormented her with ill treatment that she fled under care 
of a young priest, who afterwards is brought to trial 


before the Pope. The case is told over and over again 
by the various participants, good and bad, from their 
several points of view, their own souls and motives being 
revealed in the telling. Strange as is the form of this 
poem, its power must be acknowledged. 

Later Browning found pleasure in skillful translations 
from the Greek tragedians — "Alcestis," "Agamemnon," 
and afterwards from the great comic poet in "Aris- 
tophanes' Apology." But he was not merely a scholar ; 
he was a favorite in London society. There he found 
subjects of his own time in "Mr. Sludge the Medium," 
"Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau," and "Bishop Bloug- 
ram's Apology." These are apologetic poems, tending 
to prove that a man's character is determined not by what 
he thinks but by what he does. Other works continued 
to flow from his pen, mostly in his peculiar blank verse, 
sometimes narrative, sometimes dramatic monologue. 
His last work, "Asolando" (1889), named from Asolo, 
a favorite village near Venice, is thought to be one of his 
best, as it contains some fine lyrics. Just after it was pub- 
lished he died, on December 12, 1889, at his only son's 
residence in Venice. 

Browning deliberately set at naught the rules and 
usages of English speech; he used strange words, odd 
phrases, bad rhymes ; he seemed to be in so great a hurry 
to deliver his message that he could not pause to select 
the proper terms. Many personages in his poems used 
the same broken style. In his early works he expressed 
through characters partly drawn from history, rather 
the tumult of his own soul, but as years brought the phi- 
losophic mind he became a realist and studied the char- 
acters of others as seen in life or gleaned from reading 
records. All readers are constrained to admit his power 
of turning souls inside out, and to feel the humor and 


pathos of these revelations. While he took most delight 
in delineating character, he described external nature 
with freedom and force, painting it in grand outlines, 
with felicity of color. Considerable part of his work 
was dramatic, and besides the one already mentioned, 
"The Blot on the 'Scutcheon" and "Colombe's Birthday," 
Ivere presented on the stage. He was indeed a master of 
dramatic character, though perhaps not of construction. 
But for the general public his power lies in his shorter 
pieces, in the spirited and beautiful lyrics; even into these 
he sometimes thrust his queer expressions and fantastic 
phrases. Perhaps "The Last Ride Together" is the most 
perfect, but others are more widely known. 


By universal consent Mrs. Browning is the first of 
England's women poets. She had reached fame before 
her husband seemed ever likely to do so. Born Eliza- 
beth Barrett at Carlton Hall, in Durham, in 1806, she 
was taught Greek early and wrote poetry. But the 
breaking of a blood-vessel weakened her frame and when 
sent to the sea-shore she was shocked by the drowning of 
her brother. Unable to be removed, she lay there a year, 
and when at last taken to her father's house in London, 
she was a confirmed invalid, doomed to a darkened room. 
Yet she studied in many languages and composed poems, 
full of feeling. "The Seraphim and Other Poems" 
( 1838) and "The Romaunt of the Page" ( 1839) showed 
her classic taste and bore some resemblance to Shelley. 
The two volumes of "Poems" (1844) were more orig- 
inal. In "A Vision of Poets," seeking to set forth the 
relation of suffering to genius, she gave brief description 
of "the dead kings of melody" from Homer to Byron. 


The public, who loudly welcomed the woman singer, gave 
preference to the romantic "Rhyme of the Duchess May," 
the pathetic "Bertha in the Lane," and the grand sacred 
lament of "Cowper's Grave." A report of the condition 
of children in the factories stirred the weak invalid to 
rouse the slumbering humanity of England with "The 
Cry of the Children." The long narrative of "Lady 
Geraldine's Courtship," in which she alluded flatteringly 
to Browning's "Pomegranates," had a romantic sequel in 
fact. The robust young poet called to express his 
thanks, was permitted to see the invalid on her sofa, be- 
came a frequent visitor, and persuaded tlie prisoner to 
marry him even against her family's wishes. Restored 
by love to unexpected strength, she went with him to 
Florence. Full expression of her passionate love to her 
husband was given in her pretended translations, called 
"Sonnets from the Portuguese :" 

A mystic shape did move 
Behind me and drew me backward by the hair, 
And a voice said in mastery, while I strove : 
'Guess now who holds thee?' — 'Death!' I said. But there 
The silver answer rang : 'Not Death, but Love !' 

The revolutionary movements in Italy excited the 
poet's interest, and her feeling at what she witnessed is 
expressed in "Casa Guidi Windows." Other political 
poems followed, but more labor was devoted to the long 
novel in blank verse, "Aurora Leigh" (1856) . The chief 
characters are an Italian girl, highly endowed by nature, 
but trained in the English method, and an English gentle- 
man compelled to forfeit her love because of his guilt 
toward a young countrywoman. In spite of its fervid 
energy, the poem could not long maintain its hold on 
popular sympathy. The gifted author died in June, 


While Mrs, Browning by her pathetic sentiment early 
won general favor, critics who admired her poetic genius 
could not overlook her faults. She possessed an original 
metrical faculty and must have been a careful observer of 
nature before she was confined to her sick-room. But 
she allowed her fluency to carry her poems to excessive 
length, and used strange and superfluous words. She 
was careless about rhyme, not only using mere vowel 
rhyme, but compelling vulgar or ridiculous pronuncia- 
tion. Her greatest failure was her attempt to put a 
whole novel into verse. Yet Swinburne has lately in his 
energetic fashion, declared again his high admiration for 
"Aurora Leigh." But this and many of her shorter pieces 
are forgotten by the public, while memory lingers on her 
lyrical and narrative poems. 


Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton (1808- 1877), often 
called the Hon. Mrs. Norton, was a granddaughter of the 
famous Richard Brinsley Sheridan. At the age of nine- 
teen she was married to the Hon. George C. Norton, but 
in 1840 the union was dissolved after she had been sub- 
jected to shameful persecution for alleged infidelity. 
From her childhood she had written verses, and in 183 1 
she published "The Undying One," a poem on the Wan- 
dering Jew. After her separation from her husband she 
published many tales and poems and contributed fre- 
quently to periodicals. She was pronounced by the 
"Quarterly Review" "the Byron of our modern poet- 
esses." This indicates the intense personal passion and 
forceful expression of her work. She is best known by 
the favorite piece for recitation, "Bingen on the Rhine." 

Another woman who later touched the popular heart 


with her poems was Jean Ingelow (1830-1897). She 
had published some tales before her reputation was 
gained by her "Poems" (1863). The most noted of 
them are "High Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire" and 
"Songs of Seven," exhibiting seven stages in woman's life. 
Other poems and stories did not increase the popularity 
she had obtained as an exponent of woman's feelings. 


The contrast between the hard life struggle and the 
mirth-provoking works of Thomas Hood (1798-1845) 
is truly pathetic. He was the jester and punster of his 
generation, and an exquisite song writer, yet he is best 
remembered by two sorrowful poems, "The Song of the 
Shirt" and "The Bridge of Sighs," the pitiful wail of the 
poor seamstress and the heart-breaking lament for the 
drowned outcast of society. These verses awoke the 
popular heart to a deep sympathy with suffering and a 
remorseful horror for complicity in crime. Hood was 
the son of a poor bookseller and had learned a little of 
engraving before he began to write for the press. The 
"London Magazine," "Punch," and other periodicals 
published his wares, but the remuneration was scanty. 
For his serious poems, excellent as are "The Plea of the 
Midsummer Fairies" and "The Haunted House," he got 
so little that he was compelled, as he expressed it, to be 
"a lively Hood for a livelihood." Various misfortunes 
deprived the poor consumptive of enjoyment of his small 
earnings, and he had to flee to the Continent to escape the 
debtors' prison. When enabled to return, he edited 
more than one periodical with unflagging diligence and 
gayety in spite of the inroads of the dread disease of 
which he died. Shortly before the end. Sir Robert Peel 
awarded him a pension. 


Much more cheerful, yet even shorter, was the Hfe of 
a similar genius, Winthrop Mackworth Praed (1802- 
1839), who also died of consumption. He was educated 
at Eton and Cambridge, and at both displayed his talent 
for verse writing. He was called to the bar, served in 
Parliament, and held a government office. But he is re- 
membered by his bright poems, which mingle spice, 
humor, and tender sentiment, or touch off gracefully 
social trifles. The best of his exquisite pictures is "The 
Vicar;" his "Speaker Asleep" is a keen thrust at Parlia- 
mentary practice. 

Less popular than Hood, yet even more full of fun, was 
Richard Harris Barham (1788-1845) who, strange to 
say, was a clergyman, strictly attentive to his parochial 
duties. In spite of a crippled right arm, he was a diligent 
writer. His early charges were in smuggling districts, 
which furnished materials for his later "Ingoldsby 
Legends." He removed to London in 1821 and there 
became active in journalism, while not neglecting the 
church. In 1834, under the pseudonym "Thomas 
Ingoldsby," he began to contribute to the newly established 
"Bentley's Miscellany," the humorous stories in prose and 
verse, which made him famous. They were founded on 
old legends of mediaeval saints and miracles or other dis- 
coveries of his antiquarian studies. The poetical stories 
were a loose, rambling metre, with unexpected doggerel 
rhymes, which helped the fun of the narrative. Morals, 
equally unexpected, were often attached. Barham was a 
matter-of-fact Englishman and rampant Protestant of the 
old High Church style. Regarding the old stories as 
superstitions, he found in them excellent material for his 
w\t and fancy, and still fancied he was doing good service. 


Ebenezer Elliott (1781-1849), a Yorkshire man, who 
won fame as "the Corn-law rhymer," was a dull boy at 
school, and was early put to work in an iron foundry with 
which his father was connected. His poetic genius was 
awakened by his brother's reading to him Thompson's 
"Seasons," and was confirmed by the bequest to his father 
of a curate's library, containing other poetry of a high 
order. His first poem, "The Vernal Walk," and many 
others, testified his strong love for country scenes. But 
his deepest feeling was stirred by the sufferings of poor 
mechanics and their families, and in his "Corn-Law 
Rhymes" (1831) he gave voice to their hatred of the tax 
on bread. Yet Elliott himself knew these sufferings 
rather by observation than experience. After carrying on 
the business of an iron-founder at Sheffield for twenty 
years he retired with a competent fortune. 

"The Angel in the House," an idyl of domestic love, is 
the chief performance of Coventry Patmore (1823-1897). 
It was issued in four parts, "The Betrothal" (1854), "The 
Espousal" (1856), "Faithful for Ever" (i860), and 
"The Victories of Love" ( 1862). Never was the perfect 
blessedness of married life more sweetly or chastely sung 
than in this quietly beautiful and somewhat mystical poem. 
Patmore was a native of Essex, and for over twenty years 
was an assistant librarian at the British Museum. In 
1877 he published anonymously "The Unknown Eros and 
Other Poems," indicating unabated vigor, but not adding 
to his fame. 

Arthur Hugh Clough (181 9-1 861) appeared to his 
friends capable of accomplishing better things than his 
actual work. He had distinguished himself at Rugby 
and Oxford, but the Tractarian controversy first attracted 
and then repelled him. His "Bothie of Tober-na-^ 


Vuolich" relates in hexameters the aspirations and 
adventures of some EngHsh students with their tutor in 
the Highlands. Losing his religious faith, Clough 
resigned his Oxford fellowship, but engaged in educa- 
tional work through most of his life. "Amours de 
Voyage" gave his impressions of Rome, as seen in a vaca- 
tion. "Dipsychus" (double-minded) is a serious poem, 
with fine descriptive passages. "Mari magno" (on the 
great sea) contains homely tales of love and marriage. 
Clough's scepticism mars his work both in spirit and in 
execution, but when he forgot it, he showed genius. 
Matthew Arnold lamented him in "Thyrsis." 

Frederick Locker-Lampson ( 182 1 -1895) was one of 
the modern troubadours, touching in elegant verse the 
whims and fancies of society. His "London Lyrics" 
(1857) stand at the head of this class. As a companion 
volume he collected from other poets "Lyra Elegantia- 
rum (1867) and to these added a miscellany of prose 
and verse, partly original, called "Patchwork." 


Owen Meredith is the name in literature of Robert, 
first Earl of Lytton (1831-1892) only son of the novelist 
Bulwer. He was an indefatigable writer of verse, begin- 
ning with "Clytemnestra" (1855). He belonged to the 
diplomatic service, and, by the favor of Lord Beacons- ' 
field, reached the high posts of Viceroy of India in 1876, 
and Ambassador to Paris in 1887. His most popular 
works are "Lucile" (i860), an animated narrative of 
modern high life, and "Tannhauser" (1861), the story of 
a German mediaeval minstrel, who fell into the snares of 
Lady Venus, but repented and was saved. While resid- 


ing in Constantinople, Lord Lytton translated many 
songs from the Servian. He had, indeed, a fine lyrical 
faculty, which was shown in most of his works. He had 
also a peculiar power of suggestive narration and of 
symbolism. The latter appears in his "Fables in Song" 
(1874), the former in "Chronicles and Characters" 
(1869). His "Glenaveril" (1885) is a long narrative in 
rhyme, more serious than "Lucile." One of his last 
works was a fantastic romance, "King Poppy." He died 
while writing the last words of a poem. Though 
endowed with original powers, he sometimes experi- 
mented in the style of other writers, thus bringing on 
himself the charge of plagiarism. 


The literature of the Nineteenth Century has been 
distinguished by large and valuable additions to history. 
The tremendous upheaval of the French Revolution com- 
pelled men to consider from new points of view the 
foundations of government, and led them not only to 
examine more closely the process of the construction of 
the existing state of society, but to compare with it the 
remains of former civilizations. From consideration of 
dynasties and family compacts of sovereigns they turned 
to the condition and welfare of the people. "History is 
philosophy teaching by examples," said Bolingbroke 
early in the Eighteenth Century. Historians were stimu- 
lated by the later events of the same century to draw from 
the records of the past the proper lessons for the conduct 
of the present. The people were coming to assert their 
power and needed to be instructed in what direction to 
do so. After a time enlightened governments began to 
admit the people to their confidence; they opened the 
treasuries of their archives, and arranged state papers 
for consultation by students. 

The reviews and other periodical literature fur- 
nished new opportunities for historical writers to gratify 
the desire of the public for information on the past as 
well as the present. Historians could thus make essay 
of their powers and trial of the public taste. Many 
authors who were chiefly devoted to other departments 
of literature not only made such occasional contributions 
to history, but wrote one or more volumes. Sir Walter 


Scott, besides his "Life of Napoleon," retold and vivi- 
fied the annals of his country in his delightful "Tales of a 
Grandfather." Southey prepared an elaborate "History 
of Brazil." His "History of the Peninsular War," 
though well written, was eclipsed by the more brilliant 
work on the same subject by the enthusiastic warrior, Sir 
William Napier (1786- 1860), which has been pro- 
nounced "the finest military history in the English lan- 
guage." Dickens, in the midst of his labors as editor 
and novelist, found time to write a "Child's History of 
England." G. P. R. James compiled histories of Charle- 
magne and Louis XIV, which are now esteemed more 
highly than his novels. But attention is here given only to 
the great writers who have in this age reconstructed the 
history of the past and erected enduring monuments. 

It is singular that the histor}- of ancient Greece, told 
admirably in its own language by Herodotus, Thucydides 
and Xenophon, should in recent times have become a 
favorite field of exercise for historians. William Mitford 
(1744-1827) was the first to give zest to the study of 
antiquity by infusing into it his hatred of democracy. 
His "History of Greece" ( 1784-1818) is vigorously writ- 
ten, but is often inaccurate. It is remarkable that there 
should have been two restatements of that history from 
the Liberal side, one by Bishop Connop Thirlwall (1797- 
1875), which began to appear in 1835, and the other, 
still more radical, by George Grote (1794-1871) who 
was a banker and member of Parliament. Though he had 
not attended a university, Grote displayed accurate 
scholarship and gave new life to the old texts of the 
Greek authors. He is an ardent pleader for the Athenian 
democracy, and even for the sophists and demagogues. 
Thirlwall's "History" is more dignified and judicial in 
tone, but never attained the same degree of popularity. 


The early history of Rome also attracted the attention 
of investigators as needing reconstruction on account of 
its fabulous character. The German scholar Niebuhr 
had shown the improbability of the traditions which had 
long been accepted, and had endeavored to extract what- 
ever truth was concealed in them. Dr. Thomas Arnold 
(1795-1842), the great schoolmaster of Rugby, followed 
in his footsteps and retold the "History of Rome" from 
its foundation to the time of Hannibal. Still further 
valuable labor was confidently expected from him when 
he was made professor of modern history at Oxford, 
but after delivering one course of lectures, he died sud- 
denly. Charles Merivale (1808-1894), dean of Ely, 
afterward undertook in his "History of the Romans 
Under the Empire" to bridge the gap between the end of 
Arnold's and the beginning of Gibbon's great history. 
He also prepared for the "Students' Series" a smaller 
"General History of Rome." 


A most remarkable historical monument Is the incom- 
plete "History of Civilization" by Henry Thomas Buckle 
(1823-1862). He had been privately educated, was 
wealthy and learned, but he had imbibed strong preju- 
dices against religion and the church. With a view of 
expounding ultimately English civilization, he undertook 
first to discuss European civilization, and to show that 
the differences in it depended on geographical conditions 
and on the forms of government, civil and ecclesiastical. 
As examples he treated at great length Spain and Scot- 
land; his facts are capriciously selected to suit his 
theory, and his arguments are one-sided. Nevertheless 
the clearness of his style and the aggressive force with 
[which he pleaded his position gave his work a brief popu- 


larity, which, however, it did not retain. As it followed 
the French method of excessive generalization and 
propagated Voltaire's views, the sober English mind 
rejected the curious work. 


Three great historical works form the monument of 
Henry Hallam. They are distinguished by their judicial 
impartiality, and are referred to as authorities by men 
of all parties. Hallam was born in 1777, the son of a 
dean of Bristol, and was educated at Eton and Christ 
Church, Oxford. He was called to the bar, but early 
obtained an official position which allowed him plenty of 
leisure for authorship. After contributing some articles 
to the "Edinburgh Review," he published "A View of 
the State of Europe During the Middle Ages" (1818), 
to which he added a supplemental volume thirty years 
later. Meantime he had issued in 1827 his "Constitu- 
tional History of England," and in 1837 his "Introduction 
to the Literature of Europe in the Fifteenth, Sixteenth, 
and Seventeenth Centuries." The two later works are 
really continuations of the first, though in different direc- 
tions. The "Middle Ages" is a comprehensive survey of 
European history from the Fifth to the Fifteenth Cen- 
tury. The author carefully avoids generalization on 
the movements of society. The "Constitutional History" 
brought the English part down to the reign of George 
II. It was confined to changes in the organization of 
the state, and omitted personal history as much as pos- 
sible. Hallam considered that the modern Whig con- 
stitutionalism was the ideal standard to which all ques- 
tions should be referred, and may therefore have been too 
severe on Charles I and some statesmen of his century. 
His "Literature of Europe" is rigidly an account of the 


books of the period, arranged according to the dates of 
pubHcation and the nature of their subjects. Bio- 
graphical notices of the authors were excluded, thus 
diminishing the general reader's interest. But the critic's 
conscientiousness and accuracy are as conspicuous as his 
patient industry and wide range of reading. No mere 
display of erudition is made, but results are given as 
compactly as possible. His style is clear and uniform, 
and in the "Literature" there are passages of special 
beauty. Hallam died in 1859, having outlived his wife 
and two sons. One of the latter, Arthur Henry Hallam 
(1811-1833), was of most brilliant promise, and has 
been lamented by his friend Tennyson in the most 
exquisite elegy in the English language. 


Sir Archibald Alison (1792- 1867) was the son of a 
clergyman of the same name, whose "Essay on the Prin- 
ciples of Taste" was long admired. The son was edu- 
cated at the University of Edinburgh, was called to the 
bar, and was appointed sheriff of Lanarkshire. He was 
a strong Tory and contributed to "Blackwood's Maga- 
zine" on a variety of subjects. After thirty years of 
preparation he pubHshed, from 1839 to 1859, ^ "History 
of Europe" from the commencement of the French Revo- 
lution to the accession of Napoleon HL It occupied alto- 
gether eighteen volumes, yet it proved popular. But the 
critics condemned it for its turgid and diffuse style, for the 
clumsy arrangement of the material, and the poor por- 
traiture of characters. The author's partisan prejudices 
often prevented him from stating cases fairly, yet the 
work is not so inaccurate as it has sometimes been repre- 
sented. The real trouble is that it is difficult to read, 
as both friends and foes of his principles have admitted. 



Henry Hart Milman (1791-1868) was distinguished 
as a poet and even dramatist before he became a church 
historian. He was educated at Eton and at Brasenose Col- 
lege, Oxford, and wrote several plays, of which the best, 
"Fazio," was acted in 1815. Then, taking orders, he 
became vicar at Reading, where he still wrote poetry, 
including some fine hymns. In 1821 he was made pro- 
fessor of poetry at Oxford, but the tragedy of "Anne 
Boleyn" (1826) closed his career as a poet. After 
contributing several articles to the "Quarterly Review," 
Milman published a "History of the Jews" (1829) which 
called forth censure by its tendency toward the later criti- 
cal views of the Old Testament. He went on with a "His- 
tory of Christianity to the Abolition of Paganism" 
(1840) and finally issued his ablest work, "History of 
Latin Christianity" (1854). This grand subject was 
handled with adequate erudition. The author edited 
Gibbon's great "History of Rome," correcting errors and 
adding new information. In 1849 Milman had been 
advanced to the deanery of St. Paul's, which is considered 
the highest literary preferment in the Church of England. 


Turning now to the history of England itself, the 
earliest name encountered is that of John Lingard {1771- 
1851). His "History of England" has been praised by 
critics of all classes for its accuracy and fairness, in spite 
of his professional predilections and prejudices. He 
was a Roman Catholic priest, having been educated at the 
English college at Douay and at Crook Hall near Dur- 
ham. He was professor of philosophy at Ushaw, but in 
181 1 withdrew to Hornby, where he composed his his- 


tory. In 18 17 he visited Rome to make researches in the 
Vatican Library, and in 1821 Pope Pius VII made him 
doctor of divinity. His historical work began with "The 
Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church" (1806) which 
was afterward considerably enlarged. His "History of 
^England" appeared in eight volumes, from 1819 to 1830. 


In popular esteem the foremost historian of the cen- 
tury is still the brilliant partisan Macaulay. He gives to 
events of the past, not too remote for general interest, a 
perennial freshness. He tells an entertaining or thrilling 
story in full detail, without delivering a philosophical lec- 
ture. His style is pointed, vigorous, and full of allusions, 
which add to its weight. 

Thomas Babington Macaulay was born at Rothley, 
in Leicestershire, in 1800. He was the son of a Liver- 
pool merchant and remarkably precocious. Sent to Trin- 
ity College, Cambridge, he distinguished himself as a 
debater and won prizes for poems. He had just been 
called to the bar in 1825 when his well-known radical 
article on Milton appeared in the "Edinburgh Review." 
This opened his literary career, and he soon obtained 
political rewards for his services to the Whig cause. 
When elected to Parliament in 1830, his first speech on 
Reform established his fame as an orator. In 1834 he 
was sent to India as a member of the Supreme Council, 
and prepared a code of laws for that country, which, how- 
ever, was not adopted. He was returned to Parliament 
in 1839 as a member for Edinburgh, but in 1847 he was 
defeated, his support of a grant to Maynooth College 
having shocked the Protestantism of his constituents. 
During these years he had steadily contributed to the 
Review brilliant essays on historical, critical and miscel- 
laneous subjects. He had also published his spirited 


"Lays of Ancient Rome" ( 1842) . He had long cherished 
the intention of writing the history of England from the 
accession of James II. To this work his time was now 
devoted, and in 1848 two volumes were issued. They 
won instant popularity and increased his fame. The elec- 
tors of Edinburgh, in 1852, returned him again to Parlia- 
ment without exertion on his part. In 1857 he was raised 
to the peerage as Baron Macaulay of Rothley. He died 
of heart disease in December, 1857. ^^^ personal repu- 
tation was much enhanced by the excellent biography 
published by his nephew. Sir George Trevelyan, which 
revealed his admirable private character. 

Macaulay had a brilliant classical prose style which 
won the admiration and even the envy of his contempora- 
ries for its effectiveness. His "Essays," dealing chiefly 
with the great men of English history and literature, yet 
including Frederick the Great and Machiavelli, have 
become familiar to all readers. The particular book 
which furnished the subject of discussion was usually 
briefly dismissed, while the essayist gave his own views 
at length. These views were stated in the most positive 
terms, so that his heroes became angels, and his villains 
almost devils who should be driven from the world. In 
his "History" his wide range of reading and firm grasp 
of results were yet more remarkably displayed. His 
view of the state of England at the death of Charles II 
is a marvelous compilation from a thousand sources, yet 
presenting a consistent, perfectly intelligible picture. 
Macaulay has been accused of suppressing or distorting 
the evidence in regard to some characters, but it has 
hardly been proved, except in the case of William Penn. 
In general, he took the utmost pains to be accurate, not 
only reading all the records of important events, but 
visiting the actual places. The example thus set has been 
followed by later historians to the great gain of truth. 



Like a rugged peak towering grandly above the un- 
dulations of a mountain range, stands Thomas Carlyle 
among the great writers of the century. He wrote his- 
tories with the inspiration of a poet, biographies with the 
choice precision of an artist, essays and pamphlets which 
combine the solemnity of a seer with the scurrility of a 
buffoon. Nearly forty years were requisite to raise him 
from the obscurity of his native corner to his predestined 
place among the leaders of his age, and then for forty years 
he swayed the minds of men or growled contemptuously 
at their neglect. His manifest sincerity and intense earn- 
estness compelled respect for his repellant individuality. 
Beneath his savage moroseness dwelt a tender human 
heart, with an unshaken belief in the eternal verities. 

Thomas Carlyle was born on the 4th of December, 
1795, at Ecclefechan, in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. His 
father was a stonemason and a stern Covenanter. Thomas 
was sent at fifteen to the University of Edinburgh to study 
for the ministry, but his conscience forbade him the pulpit. 
He taught school for a time, and in 1822 became tutor in 
the Buller family. He wrote also for Brewster's "Ency- 
clopaedia" and contributed to the magazines. His special 
acquaintance with German was shown in his excellent 
translation of Goethe's "Wilhelm Meister" and his ad- 
mirable "Life of Schiller." In 1826 he married Jane 
Welsh, a woman of brilliant intellect, who is said to have 
hesitated in choice between him and the gifted preacher,! 
Edward Irving. They lived for some months in Edin- 
burgh, but the unpolished rustic was not admitted to its 
literary circles. Then he resolved to retire to a small 
moorland farm which his wife owned at Craigenputtoch 
in Dumfriesshire. In this wilderness Carlyle fought his 


great spiritual battle and emerged triumphant. For earth- 
ly living he wrote for the "Edinburgh Review" many 
articles on German literature, Burns, Dr. Johnson, etc. 
It was a bright gleam of sunshine when Emerson made 
his pilgrimage to this remote spot to honor one whose 
greatness he was among the first to discern. He had been 
attracted by the fantastic essays on Clothes-Philosophy, 
which were appearing in "Eraser's IMagazine" under the 
title, "Sartor Resartus" (The Tailor Done Over). Their 
importance was disguised by representing them as an- 
notations on a book by a German professor, Diogenes 
Teufelsdrokh (God-born Devilsdung). It was really 
Carlyle's autobiography, summary of philosophy and con- 
fession of faith. By Emerson's favor the papers were 
gathered into a book and published at Boston two years 
before an English edition was printed. Carlyle received 
his share of the American profits. 

After six years' residence at Craigenputtoch, Carlyle 
removed to London and took the little house at Chelsea, 
which has now been made a memorial and place of pil- 
grimage. Here he completed his work on the French 
Revolution, already commenced in the Scotch farm-house. 
John Stuart Mill borrowed the first volume in manuscript 
and lent it to his friend, Airs. Taylor, whose housemaid 
used it to kindle a fire. Mill insisted, against Carlyle's 
proud refusal, on paying for the loss, but the terrible task 
of rewriting the manuscript had to be performed. This 
work, which first gave Carlyle fame, is memorable for its 
creation of a prose epic style, as well as for its new mode 
of viewing and interpreting history by vivid pictures. The 
"French Revolution" came out in 1837, and in spite of 
furious outcries against its style and temper, gave its 
author rank among the great historians of the world. 
Carlyle now lectured on "German Literature," on "His- 


Photo from life 


tory" and on "Heroes and Hero-Worship," the last being 
printed in 184 1 and becoming one of his best-known books. 
He discussed the political problems of the time in 
"Chartism" (1839), and in "Past and Present" (1843), 
which greatly stirred the thoughtful public. In 1845 he 
published his "Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell," 
in which he did much to explain the character and deeds 
of that extraordinary leader. 

The revolutions of 1848 filled Carlyle with indignant 
scorn for the weakness and stupidity of governments that 
did anything but govern, and henceforth he insisted on the 
submission of the common herd to the Strong Silent Man. 
In "Latter-Day Pamphlets" (1850) he discussed the 
"nigger" question and other political problems. In con- 
trast with this came his "Life of Sterling" ( 1851), which 
was written as a reply to Archdeacon Julius Hare's sketch 
of their friend, and exhibited distinctly Carlyle's attitude 
towards the Church. The "History of Frederick the 
Great" was next undertaken, and fourteen years were spent 
as Mrs. Carlyle expressed it, "in the valley of the shadow 
of Frederick," The historian was drawn to the Prussian 
King by his admiration for strong individual will. Yet 
he became conscious of the demerits of his hero, and ex- 
plained that he was called Great only "because he man- 
aged not to be a liar and a charlatan as his century was." 
Carlyle did not appreciate the making of a strong Prussia 
as preliminary to the formation of a new German Empire. 
So also he had no sympathy for the North during the 
American Civil War, yet, long after it was over, on read- 
ing the "Harvard Memorial Biographies," which a friend 
had sent him, he exclaimed in thoroughly Scotch style, 
"I doubt I have been wrong." He was chosen Lord Rector 
of Edinburgh University in 1866, and his address to the 
students had great success. The only drawback was 


that his wife was unable to attend; she died before his 
return to London. Carlyle poured forth the bitterness of 
his anguish in his "Reminiscences," which he marked to 
be revised before pubHcation. Unfortunately, his exec- 
utor, the historian Froude, published them without reser- 
vation, and thus brought deep reproach upon the philoso- 
pher. Carlyle survived his wife fifteen years, but did no 
important work in that time. "The Early Kings of Nor- 
way" was his last history. He died in 1881, aged eighty- 

Carlyle's works are chiefly historical or biographical, 
though like a Hebrew prophet, he delivered many mes- 
sages to his countr3^men on the soci:.l and political sins 
or duties of the time. He denounced Disraeli's Reform 
bill of 1867 as "Shooting Niagara," and predicted deplora- 
ble consequences. It was well said of him, "Carlyle com- 
prehends only the individual; the true sense of the unity 
of the human race escapes him." Hence he turned his- 
tory as far as possible into biography of heroes. Hence, 
too, he insisted that the duty of each age and country is 
to discover its hero, and, having discovered the fated lead- 
er, to commit control of everything to him. Beyond this, 
the duty of every man is to work, to employ usefully for 
himself and others whatever talents he possesses. With 
loud vociferation Carlyle denounced speech, and clam- 
ored for silence, yet appeared unconscious of the self-con- 
tradiction. His peculiar style was partly due to his study 
of German, especially Richter, but it is more largely due to 
his giving vent to his native Scotch fervor, and express- 
ing in print the twists and turns of his own thought and 
speech. There is great variety in his style, which changes 
readily from sober statements to fierce denunciation or 
quaint humor, to glowing enthusiasm or pathetic lamenta- 
tion. His aim is always to lead men to live and act as in 
the presence of an eternal righteous ruler. 


Few writers of theological works can be treated in a 
history of general literature. Yet some have had such 
wide effect on the public mind and have given occasion 
for so much discussion that they claim special mention. 
Perhaps no one has a stronger claim than John Henry 
Newman (1801-1890) who, after leading the movement 
which gave new life to the Church of England, abandoned 
it for the Church of Rome, in which he was made a Car- 
dinal. He was born in London and educated at Oxford. 
He held various positions in his University, and in 1827 
became vicar of St. Mary's Church, which gave him oppor- 
tunity by his sermons to direct the minds of the students. 
He had originally been an Evangelical, but his studies of 
the early Church led him to adopt views generally con- 
sidered Roman Catholic. These were justified by his 
theory of development. In 1833 he began to publish 
"Tracts for the Times," in which he was assisted by Keble 
and Dr. Pusey. When Tract No. XC was condemned 
by the bishops the series stopped. In 1843 Newman re- 
signed St. Mary's, and two years later he was admitted to 
the Church of Rome. In its communion he worked 
quietly. He assisted in the attempt of 1854 to establish 
a Catholic University in Dublin, but spent most of his time 
in educational work at Edgbaston, near Birmingham. In 
1864, taking advantage of a charge made against him by 
Kingsley, he issued his famous "Apologia pro Vita Sua" 
as his defense. By its masterly style and careful argument 
it turned the public mind in his favor. In 1872 he entered 
into controversy with Gladstone on Vaticanism. In 1879 



Pope Leo XIII advanced the Cardinalate, for which 
he visited Rome. When he died, in August, 1890, men of 
various positions spoke in praise of his character. 

Newman's works comprise nearly 40 volumes, and from 
these he had edited a selection in his later years. Grood 
judges reckon him among the best English prose writers. 
His "Sermons" are in this respect much superior to his 
"Development of Christian Doctrine" and "History of the 
Arians in the Fourth Century." Their characteristics are 
simple but impressive language, moderate sentences, spar- 
ing use of illustrations and metaphors, perfect clearness, 
and through them a deep seriousness and solemnity. New- 
man's few poems are also excellent, the best being the fa- 
miliar hymn, "Lead, Kindly Light," written in 1833. 
"The Dream of Gerontius," a vision of death and judg- 
ment, was a product of his old age. Soon after his ad- 
mission to the Roman Church, he published two religious 
novels : "Callista," a story of the persecution of Chris- 
tians in North Africa in the Third Century; and "Loss and 
Gain," a story of his own time. 

Newman's early associate in the Tractarian controver- 
sy, Edward Bouverie Pusey (1800- 1882) remained in the 
Anglican Church, and lived to see his party become 
dominant in it. He edited the "Oxford Library of the 
Fathers," translations of early Christian writers. His 
"Sermons," not so attractive in style as Newman's, were 
well adapted to University students. The most notable 
work of his old age is the "Eirenicon," a plea for the re- 
union of the great Christian Churches. 

In sacred verse John Keble (1792-1866) was the suc- 
cessor of the saintly George Herbert of the Seventeenth 
Century. His "Christian Year" ( 1 828) , a series of hymns 
on the church festivals, elevated the religious feelings of 
the country and assisted the Oxford movement, which 


a sermon of his in 1833 started. He had a brilliant course 
at Oxford, taking many prizes, and in 1831 was made 
professor of poetry there. He wrote several of the cele- 
brated "Tracts for the Times," but his life was chiefly 
spent in his country church at Hursley. Besides the 
''Christian Year" he published "Lyra Innocentium," 
hymns for children, and "Miscellaneous Poems." All are 
characterized by perfect taste as well as high spirituality, 
careful diction and melody. 

One of the effective promoters of the Broad Church 
movement, which grew out of resistance to the extreme 
views of the Tractarians, was Frederick Denison 
Maurice (1805- 1872). He had been educated at Cam- 
bridge, but being then a Unitarian, could not obtain a de- 
gree. Under the influence of Coleridge, his views were 
changed, and he went to Oxford, got his degree, and was 
ordained in 1834. His rejection of the doctrine of eternal 
punishment caused him to lose a professorship in King's 
College, Cambridge. Others who were charged with 
heresy found in him an able defender, but he refused to 
form a party. He was a promoter of Christian Socialism, 
and of plans for the benefit of workingmen. His long- 
est work is "History of Moral Philosophy," of which 
branch he was made professor at Cambridge in 1866. His 
writings were numerous and had great influence on other 
clergymen rather than on the public directly. 

More widely known and more prominent in literature 
was Arthur Penrhyn Stanley (1815-1881) commonly 
called Dean Stanley, from his position in Westminster 
Abbey. He was the son of a bishop and became the son- 
in-law and biographer of his teacher, Dr. Arnold, of Rug- 
by. After a distinguished course at Oxford, he held 
various preferments in the Church and was from 1856 to 
1863 professor of ecclesiastical history at Oxford. Church 


history was the chief field of his studies and writings. 
Among his works are "Sinai and Palestine" (1854), the 
result of a tour in the Holy Land; ''Lectures on the Greek 
Church" (1S61), derived from a visit to Russia; "History 
of the Jewish Church" (1843), ^ volume on "The Church 
of Scotland/' and "Christian Institutions"' (1881). Re- 
garding the Church as an historical society, necessarily 
subject to variations in different ages, he delighted to trace 
its growth and development. But he sought also to pro- 
mote in his own day a more comprehensive spirit of Chris- 
tianity, and took every opportunity to show his recogni- 
tion of it in other men. Hence he frequently entered into 
controversy to protect those whom he considered unjustly 
attacked. The term Broad Church was originated by 
him to indicate the proper attitude of the English Church 
towards clashing opinions and doctrines, ^^'hen canon 
of Canterbury he prepared the interesting "Memorials of 
Canterbur}-" (1S55), and later he prepared the still more 
valuable "Alemorials of Westminster Abbey" ( 1867) . In 
1878 he visited the United States and afterwards published 
"Addresses and Sermons" delivered there. The leading 
characteristic of his speaking and writing was the uni- 
versality of his religious s>Tnpathies, finding good in all 


Science has occupied a prominent and steadily increas- 
ing place in the publications of the Nineteenth Century. 
Most of these are not considered to belong to literature, 
yet some, from being addressed to the general public 
rather than scientific experts, and from the excellence of 
the style in which they are presented, are allowed at least 
honorable mention. Among the earlier writers were the 
chemist Sir Humphry Davy, the Scotch encyclopaedist. Sir 
David Brewster, the astronomer, Sir John Herschel, the 
geologist, Sir Charles Lyell. But none of their writings 
attracted so much attention as one which appeared anon- 
ymously in 1844, "The Vestiges of Creation," but which 
was eventually known to be the work of Robert Chambers, 
distinguished both as publisher and editor. It was, as he 
said, "the first attempt to connect the natural sciences into 
a history of creation." It treated of the formation of the 
solar system, then of the earth in its geological periods 
and the kinds of life found in each, the origin of animals 
and of man. Although the author tried to show that the 
order of creation indicated by scientific research agreed 
with the Biblical account, the book was strongly con- 
demned by the theologians. But fifteen years later, a 
bolder speculator, more thoroughly equipped with scien- 
tific knowledge, by publishing "The Origin of Species,'" 
revolutionized the whole world of thought. 




Charles Robert Darwin, the greatest man of science of 
his time, was born at Shrewsbury in 1809. He was the 
son of Dr. Robert W. Darwin, a physician, and grandson 
of Dr. Erasmus Darwin, who wrote a didactic poem called 
"The Botanic Garden," Charles went to Glasgow to study 
medicine, and afterwards to Cambridge, where, under the 
influence of Prof. Henslow, he acquired a liking for 
zoology and botany. On taking his degree in 1831, he 
received an appointment without pay on the Beagle, a 
vessel about to sail for South America on a scientific cruise. 
Five years were spent in the Pacific Ocean, during which 
Darwin laid the foundation of his theory. When he re- 
turned the Government granted him £1,000 to prepare 
a full account of his observations and discoveries. The 
first result was a very entertaining "Narrative of the Sur- 
veying Voyages," which was followed by the "Zoology" 
and some geological treatises, including one on "The 
Structure of Coral Reefs" (1842). Darwin's health was 
much impaired by his voyage. In 1839 he married his 
cousin, and having a moderate fortune, he selected a house 
at Down, in Kent, where he was able to carry on his 
ingenious experiments in regard to pigeons and domesti- 
cated animals. In 1844 he wrote a sketch of his conclu- 
sions on the formation of species by natural selection. 
Later he communicated a paper on his views to a few sci- 
entists, but in 1858 he was surprised at receiving a letter 
from Alfred R. Wallace, then in the East Indies, con- 
taining the same theory. By the advice of friends, Mr. 
Wallace's letter and Darwin's paper were read to the Lin- 
niean Society in 1858. In the next year Darwin's "Origin 
of Species" was published, and at once scored a success. 
The sensation and discussion extended far bevond scien- 


tific circles. The argument was so clear and so well sup- 
ported by experiments that most readers were convinced 
that in the struggle for existence and survival of the fittest 
there was adequate explanation of the facts of the animal 

The author went steadily on with his experiments and 
gathered material for an enlargement of his theory. In 
"The Variation of Plants under Domestication" (1868), 
new arguments were added, and finally, in "The Descent 
of Man" (1871), the conclusion which had been antici- 
pated was formally reached. The doctrine of evolution 
was completely formulated. The non-scientific world had 
loudly protested against the first work, but able controver- 
sialists had defended its conclusions, so that the later met 
with much less opposition. Darwin himself was always 
cautious in his experiments and careful not to draw un- 
warranted inferences from them. His clear and pleasing 
style went far in winning attention to his arguments. His 
sincerity in declaring his views and his generosity in 
acknowledging the help of others made all scientists his 
friends. To the end of his life he continued adding to his 
scientific discoveries. His "Expression of the Emotions 
in Man and Other Animals" emphasized the connection 
extending through animated nature. One of his latest 
treatises was "The Formation of Vegetable Mould 
Through the Action of Worms" ( 1881 ) . He died April 
19, 1882. 


Thomas Henry Huxley (1825- 1895) was not only a 
scientist, but a ready writer on many topics. He was born 
at Ealing, studied medicine, and became a doctor in the 
navy. While off the coast of Australia natural history 
occupied much of his time, and his discoveries procured 


for him admission to the Royal Society on his return in 
1 85 1. He then began to lecture at the Royal School of 
Mines, and soon became one of the directors of the official 
side of scientific life in London. Already noted as a com- 
parative anatomist, palaeontologist and microscopist, he 
became an ardent defender of Darwinism. He wrote for 
the London Times its review of the "Origin of Species." 
His own work on this question is "Man's Place in Nature" 
(1863). Visiting the United States in 1876, he lectured 
on evolution, and on his return published his "American 
Addresses." One of his noted works was "The Crayfish" 
(1877), commended as a model scientific treatise. In 
1880 Huxley was appointed inspector of fisheries, but five 
years later he retired on account of ill health. In 1883 he 
had been made president of the Royal Society, and in 1892 
a member of the Privy Council. Throughout his career 
he took an interest in philosophical discussion, as was 
shown in his treatises on Descartes and Hume. At its 
close he stated his main object to have been "to promote 
the application of scientific methods of investigation to all 
the problems of life." Believing that knowledge of God 
is beyond the reach of man, he opposed theological spec- 
ulation, and, objecting to the name "skeptic" (doubter), 
he invented the term "agnostic" (one who does not know) 
to indicate his position. His "Essays" were collected in 
nine volumes in 1894. After his death in June, 1895, his 
scientific publications were collected in four volumes. 


Another scientist who claims attention by felicity of 
style is John Tyndall (1820- 1893). He was born near 
Carlow, Ireland, and became an assistant in the Ordnance 
Survey in 1839. Afterwards he was a railway engineer 


at Manchester and taught physics in Queenwood College. 
He pursued special studies in magnetism in Germany, and 
in 1857 obtained the degree of Doctor at Marburg. He had 
already been professor of natural philosophy at the Royal 
Institution in London, and in 1867 he was made its super- 
intendent. His noted works are "Heat Considered as a 
Mode of Motion" (1863), "On Radiation" (1865), "Dust 
and Disease." He spent many vacations in Switzerland 
studying the glaciers, and published some books on moun- 
tain-climbing. In 1872 he lectured in the United States, 
and gave the proceeds for the promotion of scientific study 
in this country. In 1874, at the meeting of the British 
Association at Belfast, he delivered an address defending 
the cause of science, claiming for it complete freedom in 
its own domain, and excluding religion from the field of 
knoAvledge, but allowing it exercise in the region of emo- 
tion. In his explanation of evolution, he said : "I discern 
in . . . matter . . . the promise and potency of all ter- 
restrial life," yet he also said: "The whole process of 
evolution is the manifestation of a Power absolutely in- 
scrutable to the intellect of man," and declared himself 
not a rank materialist. He did much to popularize science 
by his lucid expositions. His "Fragments of Science" 
are full of entertaining reading. 


Dickens, who was much more than a novelist, gave a 
new impulse to periodical literature by starting ''House- 
hold Words" on lines of his own devising. Charles 
Knight and others had in the thirties issued weekly jour- 
nals which made popular instruction their chief aim. 
Dickens sought to meet the public who had shown their 
approval of his novels, to give them rational entertainment 
by lively and picturesque descriptions of places, travels 
and whatever was of general interest. While he wrote 
much himself, and obtained novels from Bulwer and Lever, 
he gathered around him a staff of younger men whom he 
specially trained for this work. The plan proved success- 
ful, not only in the first form, but in "All the Year Round." 

In 1859 "Macmillan's Magazine" was started with the 
design of giving for a shilling (instead of 2 1-2 shillings, 
the price of older monthlies), a supply of literature by the 
Kingsleys and writers of equal excellence. Almost im- 
mediately the rival "Cornhill Magazine" appeared with 
Thackeray as editor, and with illustrations from some of 
the best artists. It maintained a high literary tone, Mat- 
thew Arnold and Ruskin being among its contributors. 
Its success was seen in its unprecedented sale of 100,000 
copies. The desire to reach the widest possible audience 
prevented these magazines from taking distinct sides in 

Weekly newspapers had for a long time been published 
whose chief object was to comment on public affairs. "The 
Examiner," founded in 1808 by Leigh Hunt and his 
brother, had a brilliant career of nearly seventy years, un- 



der various editors, as an advocate of the Liberal cause. 
"The Spectator" was founded in 1828 to represent the 
attitude of more orthodox Liberals towards the questions 
of the day. It attained a high reputation for its unswerv- 
ing honesty. In recent years it has represented the Broad 
Church attitude in regard to public affairs. It departed 
from Gladstone's policy when he began to advocate Home 
Rule for Ireland. The "Saturday Review," founded about 
1840, as an independent Tory paper, has always been im- 
bued with classical culture. Avoiding the scandalous per- 
sonalities of earlier satirical papers, it commented freely 
and sharply on the public utterances and records of prom- 
inent men, and waged relentless war on folly and igno- 
rance. It was written "by gentlemen for gentlemen," and 
became the highest critical authority in politics, literature 
and social matters. It still pursues its well-marked course, 
brilliant in execution, but critical rather of evil, than in- 
spiring to good. 

Sir Arthur Helps (1813-1875) was respectable as a 
historian and essayist, and was honored by being chosen 
by Queen Victoria to edit the speeches of her husband and 
her own "Journals of Life in the Highlands." He was 
educated at Eton and Cambridge, where he was a friend 
of Tennyson. Afterwards he was secretary to several 
ministers, and of the Privy Council, and used his leisure 
in essays and historical writing. His most popular work 
is "Friends in Council" (1847), which reports the discus- 
sion of ethical and aesthetic questions by a group of well 
educated persons. Occasionally a slight story is introduced 
to illustrate the attitude of a disputant. Helps had already 
published biographies of Columbus and the Spanish Con- 
querors of the New World, and he combined these studies 
in his "History of the Spanish Conquest in America" 
(1855-61). The latter, though accurate and carefully 


written, has not superseded Prescott. Helps, having won 
a wide circle of readers, published more dialogues and 
essays and one mildly philosophic romance, "Realmah." 
For his editorial services to the Queen he was knighted in 


Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) was distinguished as 
both poet and critic, but especially in the latter capacity. 
He was the eldest son of Dr. Thomas Arnold, of Rugby, 
and was educated at Oxford. For most of his life he was 
a government inspector of schools. His first book of 
poems, "The Strayed Revellers" (1849) was published 
anonymously; his second, "Empedocles on Etna" (1853) 
was recalled after a few copies were sold. Then he issued 
a collection from these with a preface discussing poetry. 
He maintained that true poetry depends on the subject 
and its appropriate treatment, not on occasional bursts 
of beautiful thought. Arnold was professor of poetry at 
Oxford from 1857 to 1867. Though strongly influenced 
by Wordsworth, his high culture disposed him to go back 
to Greek literature for form and models. He was the 
poet of thought rather than of life. Hence he was the 
poet of the Universities, but did not reach the people. 
Among his longer poems the most notable are "Sohrab 
and Rustum," a tragic narrative from Persia; "The Sick 
King in Bokhara;" "The Scholar-Gipsy," which describes 
finely the country around Oxford; and "Thyrsis," a noble 
elegy on his friend Clough. Many of his short poems are 
full of romantic grace, expressed in a classical style. 

A new era was opened in his career when he began 
to publish "Essays in Criticism," which were collected in 
1865. They noted and satirized English lack of culture, 
and pointed out what the French Academy had done for 


common writing. The ordinary Briton, absorbed in prac- 
tical and material things, indifferent to art and intellectual 
pleasure, was held up to scorn as a Philistine — an enemy 
of light — a term borrowed from the German universities. 
Criticism was declared to be "a disinterested endeavor to 
learn and propagate the best that is known and thought 
in the world." The essays had considerable effect on the 
professional critics, as well as on the public. Henceforth 
the long reviews were more animated, the short ones less 

Arnold being encouraged to go on, entered the theo- 
logical field, for which he was less qualified by knowledge 
and training. Yet his "Literature and Dogma," "God 
and the Bible," "St. Paul and Protestantism" were none 
the less popular. With keen wit and a lordly air he 
attacked the crude notions and palpable inconsistencies of 
common beliefs. He insisted that the language of the 
Bible is not fixed and scientific, but fluid and literary. To 
interpret its phraseology as precise leads to absurdities. 
But the new definitions he proposed deserve little favor. 
He dwelt on the name God, and defined it as "the Eternal 
not-ourselves which makes for righteousness;" salvation 
is "a harmonious perfection only to be won by cultivating 
many sides in us." His earnest desire was for "sweet- 
ness and light," He taught that the way to gain a higher 
life is by self-renunciation. 

After some years Arnold returned to pure literary 
work, varying it with political discussion. He never 
meddled with art. For books of selections from Byron, 
Shelley and Wordsworth he wrote introductions of vary- 
ing value, that on Wordsworth being his best. He made 
two visits to the United States, lecturing in the principal 
cities, but oft'ended the Bostonians by his verdict on Emer- 
son, pronouncing him neither a poet nor a philosopher, 


but acknowledging him as a seer. His "Discourses in 
America" contained several utterances as little likely to 
be acceptable to his hearers. Yet he won credit by hav- 
ing the courage of his convictions. Hardly had he 
returned to England, when he died suddenly in April, 


The greatest master of English prose is John Ruskin, 
who after setting out to be an artist, became an art-critic, 
and thence proceeded to be a critic of everything pertain- 
ing to human life. He was born in London in 18 19, the 
only son of a wealthy wine merchant. After a strict relig- 
ious training at home, he was educated at Oxford, and 
journeyed on the Continent. After some years' study of 
art he published, in 1843, the first volume of his "Modem 
Painters. By an Oxford Graduate." It was a revela- 
tion of a new world to art-neglecting, dim-eyed England, 
immersed in business and politics. In that country 
aesthetics had not been cultivated; few paintings were pub- 
licly exhibited, private collections were small and limited. 
The new critic, or rather prophet of art, deeply imbued 
with the Romantic revival, and devoted to Sir Walter 
Scott, found in the splendid nature-painting of J. W. 
M. Turner a noble realization of his own ideas, and became 
the herald of his genius. But he had to teach an ignorant, 
hostile crowd, and he assailed names hallowed by tradi- 
tion. He issued a second volume in 1846, and the fifth in 
i860, having remodeled the plan on which he started. 
Meantime his "Seven Lamps of Architecture" (1849) 
applied to another department the principles on which he 
insisted, that true art involves the highest morality. The 
seven lamps are sacrifice, truth, power, beauty, life, mem- 
ory, obedience. The "Stones of Venice" (1853) treated 


of sculpture in the same grand way, working ethics into 
essential relation with aesthetics. In his enthusiasm for art 
he insisted that beauty is utility, and in the "Political Econ- 
omy of Art" ( 1858) he sought to combine what had been 
considered opposing elements. 

Ruskin's views on art, presented with splendid rhetori- 
cal force, made constant headway. Though for a while 
derided, his influence as an art-teacher rose. He was the 
inspirer of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, which flour- 
ished about 1850, but afterwards dissolved. Ruskin was 
made Slade professor of fine arts at Oxford in 1870, and 
gave £5,000 to endow a master of drawing. Meantime 
he had issued a great number of small works with fantastic 
titles, often in Latin. Among these were "Unto this 
Last" (1862), opposing common views of political econ- 
omy; "Sesame and LiHes" ( 1865), treating of female edu- 
cation; "The Crown of Wild Olive" (1866); "Queen of 
the Air" ( 1869) . He came to advocate socialistic views, 
and advanced impracticable projects for the benefit of 
working men. Though his theories were almost universal- 
ly rejected, particular applications were adopted. Art and 
art-literature became popular. But among the new gen- 
eration of artists there was opposition to his teaching. 
They insisted on art for art's sake only, Ruskin's royal 
dogmatism on all subjects provoked revolt, yet his works 
were eagerly read. For many years ( 1 871- 1884) he pub- 
lished at irregular intervals rambling papers called "Fors 
Clavigera." When it was pointed out that he sometimes 
contradicted himself, his answer was easy : "I never met 
with a question yet, which did not need, for the right solu- 
tion of it, at least one positive and one negative answer, 
like an equation of the second degree. Mostly, matters of 
any consequence are three-sided, or four-sided, or polyg- 


onal; and the trotting round a polygon is severe work for 
people any way stiff in their opinions." 

In 1885 Ruskin began to issue his charming, frank, 
complacent autobiography, "Praeterita," full of his usual 
digressions into all manner of subjects. Many of his 
essays were collected in "Arrows of the Chace." His later 
writings are often colloquial in style, though sometimes 
rising into passages of grand eloquence. From the first 
he had been master of a grand ornate style, surpassing in 
evenness of power "Christopher North" and DeQuincey. 
It was sometimes unduly florid, tending to become blank 
verse in prose. Yet this tendency was held somewhat 
in check by regard for the beauties of nature and art which 
he aimed to describe. He excelled Kingsley in his gor- 
geous descriptions of scenery. As regards matter, his 
works abounded in childish crotchets and feminine dis- 
likes. In ideas he was an unsafe guide, full of visionary 
notions. His ample fortune has been largely diminished 
by his liberal gifts to various schemes for promoting art 
and benefiting workingmen. His most remarkable self- 
sacrifice was his relinquishing his wife to the painter Mil- 
lais when he found that they had fallen in love with each 

1 870- 1 899 

The period from i860 to 1870 was the heyday of 
Liberalism and Reform. A willing ear was lent to all who 
had proposals for the welfare of mankind. So complete 
was the tendency in popular sentiment that the astute 
Disraeli, always awake to the stirring of the social breezes, 
persuaded the reluctant Tories to adopt Parliamentary 
reform extending popular suffrage, and thus take the "leap 
in the dark" — "shooting Niagara," as Carlyle vigorously 
phrased it. Liberalism won new political victories, 
including the disestablishment of the Irish Church and 
the Educational Reform of 1870. It looked steadily 
ahead for new triumphs. 

Literature reflected this spirit of hopeful confidence. 
Perodical literature put forth new ventures as at the be- 
ginning of the Century. Writers abounded, and newcom- 
ers were eagerly welcomed. The public listened readily 
to new claimants for its regard, whether their subject was 
society or philosophy, science or religion, the times before 
the flood or the topics of to-day. In this era of free dis- 
cussion a new tendency sprang up alongside of the 
prevalent, progressive, hopeful spirit. The doctrine of 
Evolution, put forth scientifically by Darwin, and extended 
philosophically by Herbert Spencer, was at first stoutly 
opposed, after a time cautiously admitted as a possible 
or probable theory, and still later almost universally 
affirmed. So far reaching was this theory that as soon 
as it was fairly considered it had its effect not only on 
natural science but on history, the record of human 
development. It had its effect on religion, on ethics, on 



poetry, on essays, on fiction, on social life, on politics. 
New publications and new writers rose to advocate and 
apply it in every direction. For many it removed the firm 
basis of past beliefs and led to doubt and pessimism. Some 
it turned to study of remote races and times. It gave 
importance to hitherto neglected customs and supersti- 
tions and roused curiosity respecting savage tribes. 

That period inaugurated a new era of travel and ex- 
ploration. The Suez Canal opened a new route between 
east and west. Darkest Africa was brought to light. 
Japan was opened to Western civilization. Every great 
nation had its expedition to make a dash for the North 
Pole. In every part of the world there was running to 
and fro and knowledge was increased. All this activity 
was reflected in the pages of literature. It gave new 
theories to the journalist, to the light essayist, to the sober 
statistician, to the thoughtful philosopher, and to the soar- 
ing poet. It was the germ of imperial expansion, which 
was soon to prevail in Great Britain, and has, to the aston- 
ishment of all, taken firm hold on the American mind 

During this period writers have come more than ever 
to look to the people for remuneration of their services of 
instruction, entertainment, moral and intellectual uplift- 
ing. The immense circulation of newspapers and periodi- 
cals has caused a demand for the labors of talented writers 
which has proved more remunerative than the gifts of 
sovereigns and noble patrons in former centuries. Nor 
has this reward been carelessly, or unwisely distributed. 
Compare the list of the poets laureate of England from 
Ben Jonson to Alfred Austin with the leading names on 
the catalogues of publishers of to-day. The pensions 
bestowed by the British government to-day are regulated 
by the Prime Minister, who is guided by the enlightened 


criticism of the press. The hterary pension list of the 
past sixty years is a roll of honor, every one borne on it 
has done something to elevate, instruct or entertain his 

It is not because Queen Victoria had any special 
interest in literature or gave marked encouragement to 
authors that this period became known by her name. She 
published some books of personal interest, and she en- 
listed the services of a graceful writer in behalf of her 
husband's memory. But her name is stamped on this 
literature as her effigy is stamped on the coins of the 
realm, because she was, in her station, the accepted em- 
bodiment of the unity of the empire. During the early 
part of this period she maintained a seclusion, perhaps 
too strict, out of respect for her consort's memory. Later 
she occasionally discharged the public functions belong- 
ing to her exalted place. At all times she bore well the 
"fierce white light which beats upon a throne." But it 
belonged to a mightier power than hers to direct the 
varying course of English literature. 

The reviews, which did much to stimulate and elevate 
literature at the opening of the Century, had fallen into 
the background toward its close. The "Edinburgh," 
"Quarterly," and "Westminster" are still issued regularly 
and contain able articles, but they no longer exert the 
power and command the obedience which once they did. 
Of the monthlies, "Blackwood's" still holds its own, main- 
tains the same political views, and furnishes reading of 
the same quality as of yore. "Eraser's," which for a time 
was edited by Froude, and had brilliant success, declined 
from its prestige under his successor. It was bought by 
Longman, who, finding it difficult to restore its fortunes, 
changed it in 1882 to "Longman's Magazine," lowered its 
price, and sought to please less critical readers. "Mac- 


millan's Magazine" continues to be marked by the fine 
style and correct taste which characterized it at the start. 

A new impulse was given to periodical literature by 
the establishment of the "Fortnightly Review" in 1865. 
The popular monthlies, seeking to reach all classes of read- 
ers, had tabooed politics and accepted only comparatively 
light literature. But there was a large number of thought- 
ful persons who wished for careful statement and sober 
discussion of the questions of religion and politics con- 
stantly brought forward. The "Fortnightly," intended 
for this class, seemed to take the "Revue des Deux 
Mondes" for its model. It was edited at first by George 
H. Lewes, and afterwards by John Morley, but in 1882 
passed into the charge of T. H. S. Escott, and again in 
1887 to that of Frank Harris. At first, as its name indi- 
cated, it was published every second week, but afterward 
became a monthly without change of name. It was Liberal 
in politics, but on other questions it solicited contributions 
from leading thinkers without regard to their special 
views. Yet as a fact, it favored agnosticism by giving 
prominence to its advocates. 

This agnostic bias of the "Fortnightly" led to the 
establishment of the "Contemporary Review" in 1866. 
It had the same general features, was Liberal in politics, 
but Christian in tone. It was edited at first by Dean 
Alford, but in 1870 passed to James Knowles. In 1877 
the latter being denied by the publishers the freedom which 
he deemed essential to the welfare of the Review, left it 
and founded the "Nineteenth Century," which also proved 
successful. These three Reviews still flourish, and fur- 
nish to their readers discussion of all important questions 
by able writers. The names of the contributions are in 
nearly every case given. In 1883 the "National Review" 
was established to support the Conservative cause. It is 


edited by W. J. Courthope, editor of a "History of Eng- 
lish Poetry," and Alfred Austin, whom Lord SaUsbury 
appointed poet laureate in 1895. 

The large number of periodicals has enabled writers 
to reach the public more easily than in former times. Not 
only the famous, who are solicited by editors, but the 
beginners find their means of communication. Many 
works of value, apart from fiction, have been first pub- 
lished, in whole or in part, in periodicals. Most authors 
of acknowledged merit have been frequent contributors 
and some, as Morley and Froude, to say nothing of Dick- 
ens and Thackeray, have been editors. 

In the last quarter of the Century English fiction 
underwent still another change. Analysis of character 
was still regarded as the highest aim of literary art, and 
writers, great and small, worked to this end. But when 
the magazines were lowered in price and appeal was rnade 
to a wider circle, it was found necessary by the editors 
and other caterers to public taste to furnish more amusing 
and exciting material. In French the short story had been 
cultivated and brought to an exquisite perfection. Cer- 
tain English writers adopted this form, and it proved 
acceptable. But for the longer novel, which was still indis- 
pensable both in book form and as a serial in magazines, 
something else was necessary. This was found in a return 
to the romantic style, and even to the historical romance 
of Scott, which had become obsolete. R. D. Blackmore was 
one of the leaders in the experiment with his "Lorna 
Doone." Others followed with strange tales of foreign 



In the opening sentence of an article in the "Edin- 
burgh Review" in 1839, on Gladstone's first appearance 
as an author, Macaulay described him as "a young man of 
unblemished character and of distinguished parliamentary 
abilities, the rising hope of the stern and unbending Tories. 

. . His abilities and demeanor have obtained for 
him the respect and goodwill of all parties." This descrip- 
tion has become memorable from the fact that Gladstone 
in becoming the greatest of Parliamentary leaders reversed 
the partisan expectations then formed. 

Great as is the prominence of William Ewart Glad- 
stone in political history, this sketch must be limited to the 
briefest outlines. Born of Scotch parentage at Liverpool 
in 1809, he was educated at Eton and Oxford, winning 
the highest honors. In 1832, aided by the Duke of New- 
castle, he was elected to Parliament ,and there was a 
devoted follower of Sir Robert Peel. When the struggle 
for free trade came, Gladstone went with Peel in his con- 
version, and even resigned his seat. But he was still a 
High Churchman, and the University of Oxford chose 
him as its representative in 1847. The prolonged rivalry 
of Disraeli and Gladstone began in 1852 when the latter 
defended Peel against the former's fierce invectives. Lord 
Palmerston made Gladstone Chancellor of the Exchequer 
in 1853, ^^^ then the first of his famous budget speeches 
was delivered. By force of genius he became leader of the 
House of Commons in 1865, and in the next year he 



attempted new Parliamentary reform. But the crafty 
Disraeli outwitted him, persuading even the Tory party 
to adopt more radical measures and take "a leap in the 
dark." But the Liberals were soon restored to power, and 
Gladstone first became Prime Minister in 1868. In contra- 
diction of the arguments of his own early book, he soon 
brought about the disestablishment of the Irish Church. 
The Education Bill of 1870 did much to popularize instruc- 
tion. The advocates of every advance movement appealed 
to Gladstone to take up their cause, but the body of Par- 
liamentary supporters fell off. Being defeated at the polls 
in 1874, he soon announced his retirement from political 
strife. No competent successor was found in the Liberal 
party. The Bulgarian atrocities of 1877 rekindled the zeal 
of the Grand Old Man, and in 1880 by a memorable cam- 
paign he not only carried the district of Mid-Lothian but 
returned to Parliament with a splendid majority at his 
back. Desiring to settle the troublesome Irish question, 
Gladstone granted, in 1881, a new land law for that island. 
Great as this relief was, more was demanded. Coercion 
failed to restore quiet. The Home-Rulers steadily 
obstructed Parliamentary business. Finally, in 1886, 
Gladstone, in a supreme oratorical effort, introduced a 
measure granting Ireland autonomy, but the bill divided 
the Liberal party, a large section becoming Liberal-Union- 
ists. Yet in 1892 Gladstone's followers won at the polls, 
and he again became Prime Minister, pledged to the same 
policy. The Home Rule bill passed the House of Com- 
mons, but was rejected by the Lords in September, 1893. 
In the following March the veteran statesman finally 
retired from political life. He died May 19, 1898, having 
suffered much from cancer in the face. 

Gladstone was a great Parliamentary leader, a master 
of finance, and after he had fairly entered on his career, a 
Vol. 9— 10 


steady advocate of reform in English government and of 
liberty and progress in other nations. The hostility which 
he encountered in the later years of his activity was due not 
merely to his advocacy of Home Rule for Ireland, but to 
his resistance to the growing desire for the expansion of 
the British Empire. He had special gifts as an orator — 
a grand presence, a clear, ringing voice, a brilliant eye, a 
thorough sincerity, and an overpowering enthusiasm. 
But he had faults of speech which appeared still more in 
his writing and were pointed out by Macaulay even in the 
review already quoted : "His rhetoric, though often good 
of its kind, darkens and perplexes the logic which it should 
illustrate. Half his acuteness and diligence, with a bar- 
ren imagination and a scanty vocabulary, would have 
saved him from almost all his mistakes. He has one gift 
most dangerous to a [philosophical] speculator — a vast 
command of a kind of language, grave and majestic, but 
of vague and uncertain import." 

It was his work on "The State in Relation to the 
Church" (1839), which gave Macaulay the opportunity 
for this criticism. Gladstone had early acquired fondness 
for Greek literature, and in the intervals of his political 
career he published "Studies on the Homer and the 
Homeric Age" ( 1858) , and other similar books, including 
a "Homeric Primer," in which he maintained very con- 
servative views about that poet. Still insisting that the 
truest relaxation is to be found in change of employment, 
the statesman frequently contributed to leading reviews on 
literary and miscellaneous topics. Many of these articles 
were collected in his "Gleanings of Past Years" (8 vols., 
1879) , but many more were written subsequently. Perhaps 
his most interesting essays are those of a biographical char- 
acter — as on Bishop Patteson, Leopardi, Daniel O'Con- 
nell. Americans are attracted by his "Kin Beyond Sea.^" 


After he had retired from political life, he amused himself 
by .translating Horace, and toward the close of his life, as 
a pious tribute to the great philosophical defender of relig- 
ion, he edited "The Works of Bishop Butler." 


John Morley is well known as a Liberal statesmen, 
and has been frequently mentioned as a possible leader of 
his party in the House of Commons, yet he is really and 
essentially a literary man, and has done more for literature 
than for politics. He was born at Blackburn, Lancashire, 
in 1838, graduated at Oxford and was called to the bar. 
He became editor of the "Literary Gazette," and in 1867 
of the "Fortnightly Review," which owed its success to his 
efforts. To this he joined charge of the "Pall Mall 
Gazette" in 1880. But in February, 1883, he was elected 
to Parliament from Newcastle-upon-Tyne as an advanced 
Liberal. He now withdrew from editorial duties except 
those of "Macmillan's Magazine," whch he held until 
1886. In Parliament he soon rose to be an effective de- 
bater, and on the platform he became one of the chief 
speakers. Gladstone, in 1886, and again in 1892, made 
him Chief Secretary for Ireland. Morley has since shared 
the fortunes of the Liberal party, while remaining stead- 
fast to the policy of Home Rule for Ireland. 

To literature Morley has contributed a number of 
biographical studies of the highest value — "Edmund 
Burke" (1867), "Voltaire" (1872), "Rousseau" (1876), 
"Richard Cobden" (1881), and "Diderot and the 
Encyclopaedists" (1878). His essays on historical, liter- 
ary and social topics were collected in "Critical Miscellan- 
ies" (1871 and 1877). Morley was drawn to the French 
biographies by his interest in the rise of the democratic, 


socialistic and sceptical views which in modified forms 
have come to prevail in his own time. He is a sympathetic 
interpreter of the views and suggestions of those reform- 
ers for the amelioration of society, however vague and 
impracticable their schemes might be. In spite of the 
audacity of his utterances on religious questions, Morley, 
by his clearness of style and skill in presentation of opin- 
ions and arguments, won the regard of his readers. In 
his later works he is more restrained and yet equally 
effective. Besides the writings already mentioned be pub- 
lished two excellent treatises "On Compromise" (1874) 
and "Aphorisms" (1887). 

The Conservative leader of the House of Commons, 
Arthur James Balfour, nephew of Lord Salisbury, is an 
able writer on philosophical subjects. His most import- 
ant treatises are "The Foundations of Belief" and "An 
Apology for Philosophic Doubt." 


More than 130 years ago the historian Robertson 
wrote: "The universal progress of science during the 
two last Centuries, the art of printing, and other obvious 
causes, have filled Europe with such a multiplicity of his- 
tories and with such a vast collection of historical mate- 
rials that the term of human life is too short for the 
study or even the perusal of them." If this was true in 
his day, how much more true is it at the present time. In 
spite of all the labor-saving inventions, the historical stu- 
dent is more than ever overwhelmed with the countless 
issues of the press, the publications of governments, 
societies, antiquarians and fellow laborers. The result is 
that for his main work he is compelled to renounce vast 
ambitions, and to restrict himself to single epochs. In 
slight essays he may take a rapid survey of great regions 
or important events apart from his chosen field. The 
reviews and magazines give ready admission to such 
sketches and they help to give him necessary practice in 
writing and supply the needy student with means for his 
more important work. Hence we have Freeman's "His- 
torical Essays" and Froude's "Short Studies," which are 
more attractive to the general reader than their more solid 
work. But the vast learning and minute research which 
went to form the latter were equally requisite in the for- 
mer. Still that genius may find a way to accomplish what 
common sense pronounces impossible, is perhaps proved 
by the labor of John Richard Green. 




Although blessed with an ample fortune, Edward 
Augustus Freeman (1823- 1892) wrote diligently as for 
daily bread, not merely the great histories which bring 
him solid fame, but monographs and articles for reviews, 
magazines and newspapers, on almost all manner of sub- 
jects. Yet through them all one spirit is easily traced. 
"History," said he, "is past politics ; politics is present his- 
tory." These two subjects, which he pronounced one and 
the same, dominate nearly all his writings. He was born 
at Harbourne, in Staffordshire, in 1823, and was educated 
at Trinity College, Oxford. His earliest writing was on 
architecture, treating of church restoration and the cathed- 
rals of England. The general interest in the Crimean 
War first drew him into his larger field, leading him to 
prepare a "History of the Saracens." When the American 
Civil War was raging he began a "History of Federal 
Government from the Achaean League to the Disruption 
of the American Republic." But the work was suspended 
when only one volume was completed. The title of this 
work shows his too great confidence in his own judgment 
as to results, yet he was passionately fond of truth, and 
spent much time not only in ascertaining facts for his own 
works, but in controverting the incorrect statements of 
others. The architectural studies which led to the detec- 
tion of some of these errors, probably gave him a bent 
in this direction, and his writing for the "Saturday 
Review" helped it. His greatest work is the "History of 
the Norman Conquest" (6 vols., 1867-76), written in a 
graphic style and abounding in evidence of careful 
research. In fact, the research and consequent discussion 
are too fully displayed, often occupying in notes and 
appendixes more than the rest of each volume. In this 


work the attention is confined to public men and leading 
events, to William and Harold, and the battles between 
them ; the actual condition of the people, Saxon and Nor- 
man, is not regarded. But the characters are carefully 
portrayed and the story is told with animation. As part 
of his passion for accuracy he insisted on spelling Anglo- 
Saxon names in the old style, while he Anglicized the 
French names in a queer fashion. A "Short History of the 
Norman Conquest" (1880) was afterward prepared, and 
the larger one was extended in the ''Reign of William 
Rufus" ( 1882). Meantime, from the numerous contribu- 
tions to reviews, were collected "Historical Essays" (3 
series, 1875-80). Several of his works treated of the 
Turks and their government, to which he was bitterly op- 
posed. Others related to the growth of the British consti- 
tution, and to various forms of government. In 1881 
Freeman visited America, lecturing in the principal cities ; 
these lectures on the development of the English race were 
published, as were also his "Impressions of the United 
States" ( 1883). His latest great work was a "History of 
Sicily" (3 vols., 1888-92), which was left incomplete. 
Freeman died at Alicante, in Spain, in March, 1892. 


The greatest historian of recent times, most brilliant 
if not absolutely accurate in details, was James Anthony 
Froude. His character and career afford many contrasts 
with those of Freeman, who frequently took occasion to 
point out Froude' s mistakes, yet without much diminish- 
ing the regard felt for his history. Froude was born in 
181 8, the son of a clergyman, and was educated at West- 
minster and Oxford. Coming under the influence of 
Newman, he took part in the Tractarian movement, and 


assisted in writing "Lives of the English Saints." But 
when Newman entered the Roman Church, Froude 
recoiled and, falling into scepticism, wrote "The Nemesis 
of Faith" (1849), which was severely censured. Carlyle 
now became his adviser. From conscientious motives 
Froude gave up his college fellowship, and sought to 
make a living by literary work, writing for "Eraser's Mag- 
azine" and the "Westminster Review," the essays that 
were afterward collected in "Short Studies." But his 
chief work is the "History of England from the Fall of 
iWolsey to the Defeat of the Spanish Armada" (12 vols., 
1856-70) . It was founded on original research, on a care- 
ful examination of the documents of the period, especially 
the acts of Parliament. These, he insisted, must be cor- 
rect in fact, while narratives would partake the prejudices 
of the writer, especially if an ecclesiastic. Froude endeav- 
ored to restore life to the past, to render the personages 
introduced more than mere lay-figures. And he suc- 
ceeded in presenting Henry VIII, Queen Catharine, Mary 
Queen of Scots, Mary of England, and Elizabeth as actual 
human persons, though whether they preserved exact 
resemblance to the originals was keenly disputed. Froude 
was possessed not only with artistic sense, but with intense 
patriotic feeling, which made him believe and assert that 
in the main England had acted right in the momentous 
crisis of the Reformation. He regarded ecclesiasticism 
as injurious to genuine morality. These were undoubt- 
edly the motives of his selection of this epoch as his theme. 
Another subject fruitful in controversy was next handled 
in "The EngHsh in Ireland" (3 vols., 1871-74). This 
strongly partisan work, which supported the general 
course of the alien rulers, offended the Irish Nationalists 
without satisfying English readers. Froude was then sent 
by the British Government to visit and report on the 


colonies. The result is seen in his "Oceana," a general 
sketch, and "The English in the West Indies." The 
author's reports and recommendation to the Government 
called forth angry replies from the colonists, and were 
never acted upon. Froude was appointed by Carlyle his 
literary executor, and as such gave to the world the 
reproachful "Reminiscences," which the writer had 
marked not to be published without revision. The result 
was to expose the bickerings of the Carlyle household, and 
exhibit the philosopher as a chronic faultfinder, snarl- 
ing at everybody. His admirers were intensely dis- 
pleased and threw the blame on Froude for not suppressing 
or discreetly editing the papers put in his charge. But 
the bold writer went steadily on his course. Eventually 
when Freeman, his severest critic, died, Froude was 
appointed to succeed him as professor of history at Oxford. 
He delivered three courses of lectures, which were pub- 
lished in "The Life and Letters of Erasmus," "English 
Seamen of the Sixteenth Century," and "Lectures on the 
Council of Trent." They give further example of the 
qualities seen in his previous historical works — lively 
picturesque style, skill in rendering characters and inci- 
dents as real. Froude died in October, 1894. 


Still another great writer in the historical field was 
Sir Henry Sumner Maine (1822- 1888), whose special 
department was the development of law and the organiza- 
tion of society. Educated at Christ's Hospital and Cam- 
bridge, he graduated in 1844, and became Professor of 
Civil Law. In 1862 he was called to India to take part in 
legislative reform. On his return, in 1870, he was 
knighted and was appointed Professor of Jurisprudence at 


Oxford, and was made member of the Council for India. 
In 1877 he was chosen Master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, 
and Professor of International Law. ]\Iaine early under- 
took to correct the theory of organized society maintained 
by Blackstone. He showed in his "Ancient Law" ( 1861 ) 
that social institutions were developed by custom, and that 
society moves from status to contract, that is, from 
regarding everything as fixed by class usage to allowing 
special arrangements to be made by individuals. His views 
were supported by what he observed in India, as reported in 
his "Village Communities in the East and West" (1871), 
and were further developed in his "Early History of Insti- 
tutions" (1875). His lucid style and fine literary power 
promoted the general acceptance of the new theory. His 
"Popular Government" ( 1890) is a severe arraignment of 
democratic institutions and tendencies. 


Prominent among the philosophic historians who dis- 
cuss social movements rather than events, ideas rather 
individuals, is William Edward Hartpole Lecky. He was 
born at Dublin, Ireland, in 1838, and graduated from 
Trinity College in 1859. His first work, published 
anonymously in 1861, was "Leaders of Public Opinion 
in Ireland," treating of Dean Swift, Flood, Grattan and 
O'Connell. Its flowing style and wide sympathy won for 
it general favor. After extensive travel on the Continent, 
Lecky settled in London, and published his "History of 
the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in 
Europe" (2 vols., 1865). Rationalism was defined to be 
that cast of thought which leads men to subordinate dog- 
matic theology to the dictates of reason. Its influence 
makes men regard the successive systems of theology as 


varying expressions of the universal religious sentiment ; 
in ethics, it makes them regard duty as depending on con- 
science only; in history, it causes them to attribute 
phenomena to natural causes rather than supernatural. 
The progress of this mode of thought was held not to 
depend directly on the teaching of great thinkers, but to 
be slow and indirect, gradually rising from the mass of 
the laity to the clergy. The peculiar nature of this phil- 
osophic work, treating of magic, witchcraft, miracles, per- 
secution, and the separation of politics from the church, 
drew to it special attention. The "History of European 
Morals from Augustus to Charlemagne" (2 vols., 1869) 
is a parallel work. Eecky rejects utilitarian ideas, and con- 
siders morality as intuitive. He contrasts the Stoic and 
Epicurean systems with Christian morality, and finds the 
cause of the conversion of the Roman Empire in the ade- 
quacy of the latter to the wants of the age. The causes 
alleged by Gibbon are pronounced helpful, but not suffici- 
ent. The rise of asceticism and monasticism is traced to 
evils for which they were temporary remedies. 

Lecky had now established his reputation as an original 
thinker on historical and moral problems. In his next 
work he came closer to the questions of his own time. 
His "History of England in the Eighteenth Century" 
(7 vols., 1878-88) is not a history in the ordinary sense, 
but a collection of essays on the prominent facts and feat- 
ures of the nation's life. It discusses separately the nature 
of monarchy and aristocracy, the growth of democracy, 
the increasing power of Parliament and the press, relig- 
ious liberty, the rise of Methodism and the causes of the 
French Revolution. Besides these, considerable space is 
given to Irish affairs, and later this part was printed sepa- 
rately as a "History of Ireland." It relates chiefly to the 
rebellion of 1798, and is markedly impartial. The part 


relating to the American Revolution has also been issued 
separately in this country. Lecky had been elected to Par- 
liament as a Liberal, but in 1886 he refused to follow Glad- 
stone in the movement for Home Rule, and was afterwards 
defeated for re-election. 


Of the English philosophic historians none has been 
better known in the United States than James Bryce. His 
"American Commonwealth" (1888) was a revelation to 
Americans themselves of the true significance and value of 
their institutions. James Bryce is of Scotch-Irish descent, 
and was born in Belfast, Ireland, in 1838. He was edu- 
cated at Glasgow University and at Oxford, graduating 
in 1862 with high honor. His prize essay on ''The Holy 
Roman Empire" (1864) raised him at once to high rank 
among historians. This valuable treatise first fully 
explained the importance of the imperial idea in the Mid- 
dle Ages, and its lasting effect upon Italy and Germany. 
Bryce was made professor of civil law at Oxford in 1870. 
He spent his vacations in foreign travel, which gave him 
abundant material for contributions to magazines. In 1880 
he was elected to Parliament as a Liberal, and in 1886 he 
was made Under-Secretary of Foreign Affairs in Glad- 
stone's cabinet. His valuable work on the United States 
was the result of careful observation during three visits to 
this country. Compared with DeTocqueville's "Democ- 
racy in America," published fifty years earlier, it exhibits 
not only the astonishing growth of the nation, but its 
power of readjusting its institutions and laws to meet 
emergencies. Excellent as was the Frenchman's report, 
Bryce's work surpasses it in broad views and wealth of 
information. While he does not hesitate to point out 


defects, his general tone is that of admiration and 
sympathy. A curious result followed its publication. 
Having allowed Seth Low to write the chapter on Tam- 
many rule in New York City, he was afterward prosecuted 
for libel by A. Oakey Hall, who had been mayor of New, 
York, but was then resident in London. Bryce was con- 
victed, and obliged to pay damages and cancel the offen- 
sive chapter. 


Another noted historian, who gave attention, however, 
to art, literature and criticism instead of politics, was John 
Addington Symonds ( 1 840-1 893 ) . He was born at Bris- 
tol, educated at Harrow and Oxford, and was a Fellow of 
Magdalen College. Though wealthy, he had inherited 
consumption, and was obliged to reside at Davos-Platz, in 
Switzerland, for benefit of the climate. His culture was of 
the highest order, and to promote it among men was his 
chief aim. Culture he defined as "the raising of intellectual 
faculties to their highest potency by means of conscious 
training." His greatest work, "History of the Renais- 
sance in Italy,'' in five volumes (1875-86), treats 
fully of the revival of learning in the Fourteenth and 
Fifteenth Centuries, the flourishing of the fine arts and 
literature, and the Catholic reaction which followed. The 
great characters, Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Michael 
Angelo, Raphael, are described sympathetically. During 
his loving labor in this monumental work, many essays, 
critical and speculative, were prepared. His "Studies of 
the Greek Poets" are not only valuable contributions to 
classical scholarship, but are full of freshness and vigor, 
which commend them to the reader unacquainted with the 
originals. His interest in the rise of modem literature led 
to studies of Shakespeare's predecessors, and biographies 


of Sir Philip Sidney and Ben Jonson. He was also fully 
awake to the literature of his own time, as is seen in his 
criticisms of Walt Whitman and Zola, both of whom he 
regarded as having helped man to understand himself. 
His essays treat of a variety of other subjects connected 
with art and literature. His original poems are light, ele- 
gant and romantic; his translations are chiefly from his 
favorite Italians. 


Among the few historians that have the faculty of 
making history entertaining, Green holds a foremost place. 
His "Short History of the English People" won more 
readers than any other work of its class, while its original- 
ity obtained credit from the ablest critics. Yet the author 
had not set out to be an historian, but rather was drawn 
by circumstances to his task. John Richard Green was 
born at Oxford in 1837, and educated there without 
obtaining distinction. On graduating he entered the 
Church, and in 1865 became Vicar of Stepney in East Lon- 
don. Holding High Church views, he was active in 
parochial duty and in charity organization. To eke out 
his slender income he wrote for the "Saturday Review" 
articles on historical and social topics, which were after- 
ward collected as "Stray Studies in England and Italy." 
Part of them were derived from his winter visits to Italy 
on account of his delicate lungs. When his health was 
broken down by parish work, and his former rigid church 
views abandoned, he retired from active clerical work. 
Archbishop Tait made him librarian at Lambeth, where 
Green began his "Short History of the English People." 
Published in 1874, it was at once received with enthusi- 
asm. His aim was to entertain as well as instruct, to 
exhibit the life of the people in successive stages rather 


than recount the doing of Kings and Courts. His vivid, 
picturesque style brought distant times and places close to 
view. Some errors in minor particulars evoked criticism, 
but these were soon corrected. The gratified author then 
enlarged his work to four volumes (1878-80), still retain- 
ing the methods and style which had given the original 
popularity. Then he sought to go more deeply into the 
origin of England's greatness, and in "The Making of 
England" (1882) treated the early Anglo-Saxion period. 
This was to be followed by "The Conquest of England," 
but the work was interrupted by his death at Mentone, 
Italy, in March, 1883. His wife had faithfully watched 
over his precarious health, and helped him as amanuensis. 
Since his death she has superintended special editions of his 
works. The distinguishing merits of Green's work are 
his wide human sympathy and his power to make the past 
real to the imagination. He steadily refrained from 
injecting into the past the party spirit, political and ecclesi- 
astical, of the present. 


The prodigious scale on which modern history is often 
constructed is exemplified in Kinglake's "History of the 
Crimean War," which occupies seven volumes, though the 
war lasted but two years. Alexander William Kinglake 
(181 1-1890) was educated at Eton and Cambridge. His 
travels in the Levant furnished material for "Eothen" 
(1844), a gem of literary art. His rollicking adventures 
were related in a lively, humorous style, smart and some- 
times flippant. Kinglake was elected to Parliament, but 
was never prominent as a member. From love of adven- 
ture he visited the Crimea during the war and received 
kindness from Lord Raglan, which he abundantly repaid. 


At the request of Raglan's family he undertook the history 
and then made most careful study of all the details of the 
war. Accounts of these he arranged in the most orderly 
fashion, so that an affair of ten minutes may be spread over 
seventy pages. A volume is given to the battle of Inker- 
mann. His partiality toward Lord Raglan and other 
British generals is offset by his prejudice against Napoleon 
III and the French commanders, yet he is full of admira- 
tion for the Russian defender of Sebastopol, Todleben. 
His style is too brilliant for history, and the entire work 
was condemned by Matthew Arnold as an example of 
British bad taste. 

Samuel Rawson Gardiner, bom in 1829, was professor 
of modern history in King's College, London. He 
devoted himself especially to the history of the Seven- 
teenth Century, and has published the "History of Eng- 
land from the Accession of James I to the Restoration" 
( 12 vols). Apart from this he has published an excellent 
"Student's History of England" and several books 
describing epochs and characters of the period of his chief 

Justin McCarthy, born at Cork, Ireland, in 1830, has 
been an active politician and journalist, and has written 
some novels of merit. His chief historical work is "A 
History of Our Own Time" (1879-97), notable for its 
fairness in treating political questions still in dispute. The 
success of this work led him to write a "History of the 
Four Georges" ( 1889) and a "History of Ireland," which 
show the same excellent qualities. 


Down to the last decade of the Century the two great 
poets who are the Hterary glory of the Victorian era sur- 
vived in revered old age, and still sent forth poems worthy 
of their fame. But their lives and works have already 
been discussed and others claim attention. A general 
characteristic of these later poets, as indeed of nearly all 
poets of the Century, is the tendency to recur to the past 
for themes of their important works. This is partly an 
imaginative escape from the recognized ills or prosaic 
monotony of the present, just as poets of former days sung 
of the Golden Age, But it is partly due to the increased 
knowledge of history, which, in these days of books and 
universal education, is forced upon everybody. Hence 
latter-day poets revert to King Arthur and the knights of 
the Round Table, to the quest of the Holy Grail, to 
mediaeval legends, to classical mythology and Icelandic 

Another characteristic is the frequency of imitation, 
the distinct following of an earlier poet, or of Words- 
worth, Tennyson, or even Browning, as a master. This 
is due to the spread of criticism and the careful study of 
• the thought and art of those who have been awarded 
admission to high station in the temple of the Muses. The 
beauty of their work being acknowledged, it is regarded as 
the duty of others to learn wherein it consists, then follows 
imitation, conscious and unconscious. Even Matthew 
Arnold, a poet of ability, was overborne by his critical 
spirit and study of his predecessors. Such poets remem- 
ber too much of what others have sung, and waste their 
Vol.. 9—1 ^ ,g, 


own talents in striving to reproduce the effect of the songs 
hallowed by associations. 

The greatest poets of this time, except the first two, 
are Swinburne and William Morris, both highly educated, 
and both decidedly musical. Swinburne, indeed, is the 
greatest musician in English verse, the most complete mas- 
ter of both words and meter. His work is chiefly lyrical, 
but he has also composed excellent dramas. Morris was 
an epic poet, but chose to present his narrative poems in 
rhyme, with occasional lyrics interspersed. Besides these 
there have been several poets who have introduced new 
forms and measures from old French verse. Some of 
them have gone on to more serious work in poetry, others 
have turned to writing light essays. The period has been 
full of experiments, and taken altogether, poetry has 
declined. This was proved, perhaps, when Tennyson 
died, for three years passed before one was found worthy 
to take his place. The two mentioned above were, ol 
course, excluded for their pronounced political opinions, 
Swinburne being a Republican, and William Morris a 
Socialist. So the highest official honor which can be given 
to an English poet passed after a long pause to Alfred 
Austin, who then, at the age of sixty, first became known 
to the world. 

A curious but exquisitely pleasing mixture of old fash- 
ions and modern style is found in the work of Austin 
Dobson. His poems have been chiefly vers de societe and 
imitations of old French meter. In prose he has written 
''biographies of English literary men, and studies of four 
French women, all belonging to the same period as his 
"Eighteenth Century Vignettes." Austin Dobson was 
born at Plymouth in 1840, studied civil engineering, and 
has held office in the Board of Trade. He began writing 
in 1868, but published no volume till 1873, when liis 


"Vignettes in Rhyme" were collected. Another collection 
is called "At the Sign of the Lyre" (1885). 

His friend, Edmund Gosse, born in 1849, was in youth 
an assistant librarian at the British Museum, and wrote 
poems and essays for the periodicals. He afterward be- 
came translator to the Board of Trade. Poems collected 
in several volumes "On Viol and Flute" (1873), "Fir- 
dausi in Exile" (1885), show his skill as a lyrist. In 
many of them Old French metrical forms are used. His 
"Studies in the Literature of Northern Europe" (1879) 
are the result of travels in Sweden and Norway. Other 
books treat of English literature in the Seventeenth and 
Eighteenth Centuries, in which he is an acknowledged 
authority. Thorough knowledge of his subject and deli- 
cate skill in handling mark all his work. 


Although at first a product of the Pre-Raphaelite 
movement, William Morris developed a true originality of 
poetic idea and expression. Well trained in the Greek 
classics, and ever retaining warm affection for them, he 
yet gave the wealth of his genius to the wild sagas of the 
Norsemen, until he himself became an inventor of sagas 
undistinguishable from the originals. But Morris's 
energy was not confined to the poetic field. Entering into 
business as a designer of household decoration, he forced 
that department of art on the public attention until he 
revolutionized the interiors of all buildings of any pre- 
tentions. Similarly, he revived the quaint art of the early 
printers of books. But more than this, though a wealthy 
man, he was active in propagating Socialism as the panacea 
for human woes. 

William Morris (1834-1896) was born near London, 


and was educated at Exeter College, Oxford. He studied 
painting before he turned to literature and house decora- 
tion. His first poem was "The Defence of Guinevere" 
( 1858), showing that he had been attracted by the Arthuf'- 
ian Legend, as was Tennyson, whose "Idylls of the King'* 
began to appear in the same year. His next was the "Life 
and Death of Jason" ( 1867) in which the Greek myth was 
told at great length in romantic style. Then came his 
distinctive work, "The Earthly Paradise" (1868), which 
is a cycle of twenty-four narrative poems of different 
lengths, all in rhyme, but in various meters. Mariners 
of Norway seeking Paradise but baffled in their quest, 
happen upon a land occupied by descendants of the ancient 
Greeks, and a year is spent in alternate tales from Greek 
and Norse mythology. Here are recited by one party the 
steries of Atalanta, Cupid and Psyche, Pygmalion and 
Galatea; while the others tell of Ogier the Dane, Gudrun, 
and Tannhauser. They are picturesque and full of a subtle 
musical charm, the classical spirit still predominating. 
Morris went on to "The Story of Sigurd the Volsung and 
the Fall of the Niblungs" (1876), in which he tells in his 
own inimitable way the famous German epic of the 
"Nibelungenlied." This work he regarded as his best, but 
readers generally prefer the earlier poems. Translations 
of three great epics, Virgil's "^neid" (1876), Homer's 
"Odyssey" (1887) and the Saxon "Beowulf" (1895), 
testified his devotion to former poets. Yet the translator 
used his opportunity freely, seeking to render these mas- 
terpieces into poems of his own style. From the Icelandic 
several prose translations were made. Professor Magnus- 
son assisting in the "Saga Library," of which five volumes 
were issued, including the "Heimskringla." But besides 
these translations Morris published other things of his 
own, as "Hopes and Fears for Art" (1881) and "Aims of 


Art" (1887) and Socialist treatises and hymns. Finally 
came his own romances in the form of old sagas, "The 
House of the Wolfings" ( 1889) , "The Story of the Glitter- 
ing Plain" (1891), "The Wood Beyond the World" 
(1894), and "The Well at the World's End" (1896). 
These prose poems go back to the primitive age of the 
Teutonic race, telling of noble warriors and their heroic 
deeds, of lovely women and splendid feasts. This ever- 
increasing devotion to dreams of a world which has long 
passed away, if it ever actually existed, prevents Morris 
from obtaining the wide recognition which is necessary to 
true fame. Subjects totally out of our knowledge cannot 
satisfy the desire of the mind for intellectual gratification. 

There is another Morris, a poet somewhat popular, but 
by no means of the fame of William. This is Lewis Mor- 
ris, who was born at Carmarthen, in Wales, in 1834. He 
was educated at Oxford and was called to the bar in Lon- 
don, In 1880 he was made Justice of the Peace for his 
native county, and went to reside there. His "Songs of 
Two Worlds" appeared in three series (1871-75) ; "The 
Epic of Hades" (1877) is poetical drama, describing the 
punishment and purgation of spirits. Though censured 
by the critics, it enjoys favor with the masses. Among 
his latter works are "Songs Unsung" (1883) and "Songs 
of Britain" (1887). 


Swinburne has been recognized from his first appear- 
ance as a poet unmatched in the mastery of rhythm and 
melody, and in the serious beauty of his descriptions. In 
spite of his continuous writing, he has not attained a higher 
place than he reached by his first effort. But that place 


was high, so that he was even regarded by some as superior 
to Tennyson and Browning. He still remains next to 
these among the poets of the later Victorian era. 

Little is known of the life of Algernon Charles Swin- 
burne. His father was a British Admiral, his mother a 
daughter of the Earl of Ashburnham. He was born in 
1837 near Henley on the Thames. He was educated 
partly in France, partly in Eton, and then went to Balliol 
College, Oxford, but left in i860, and went to Italy. He 
afterward lived in London with Rossetti, and later at 
Wimbledon. He entered literature as a dramatic poet, 
publishing "Rosamond" and ''The Queen Mother" in 
i860, "Atlanta in Calydon" in 1864, and "Cliastelard" 
in 1865. Of these "Atalanta" attracted most attention, as 
being a noble imitation of Greek tragedy. But in 1866 the 
public were amazed and shocked by his "Poems and 
Ballads," which displayed his wonderful poetical powers, 
but in some instances dwelt on forbidden subjects. The 
objectionable pieces are said to have been written in pro- 
test against conventional morality. The American edi- 
tion bore the title "Laus Veneris." After a time Swin- 
burne issued more "Poems and Ballads," full of sweetness 
and beauty, and tree from the sins of his youth; then 
"Songs Before Sunrise," dedicated to Mazzini, and hailing 
the revolution in Italy; "Songs of Two Nations," in which 
the "Song of Italy" is conspicuous; "Songs of the Spring- 
tides," and other volumes. As the titles of these indicate, 
Swinburne is above all a musician, who elicits, even from 
the harsh and crabbed Saxon tongue a wonderfully sweet 
and unprecedented harmony. "Tristram of Lyonesse," 
though a narrative in rhyme, is strongly dramatic; "The 
Tale of Balen" (1896) is derived from Sir Thomas 
Malory's "Morte d'Arthur." To his former dramas several 
others have been added. "Erechtheus" is another Greek 


tragedy; "Bothwell" and "Mary Stuart" treat the story 
of the beautiful Queen of Scots, but with bitter prejudice 
against her. "Marino FaHero" is from Venetian history. 
Besides his poetical work, Swinburne has done much 
in prose, critical, controversial and miscellaneous. The 
work of the Elizabethan dramatists has been examined and 
expounded with exhaustive skill in monographs and 
essays. Swinburne's eulogies are often extravagant, his 
controversial writings are sometimes rabid. His prose style 
is vehement and often obscure from his recondite allusions 
and strange use of words. Though an aristocrat by birth 
and training, he is a Republican by conviction, and has 
given unqualified utterance to his views. Even his poetry 
is marred by the fierceness of his hatred to Napoleon HI, 
whom he regarded as the betrayer of liberty. 


By a sympathetic revelation of the principles of Bud- 
dhism in "The Light of Asia," Edwin Arnold won wide 
fame for himself and favor for the religious system which 
moulds the lives of one-fourth of the human race. He 
was born in Sussex, England, in 1832, and after graduat- 
ing at Oxford, engaged in teaching at Birmingham. As 
principal of a Sanskrit college at Poonah, India, from 1857 
to 1861, he acquired that special familiarity with the relig- 
ions of Asia which is displayed in his later work. Return- 
ing to England for a vacation, chance led him to an 
important editorial position on the London "Telegraph." 
After some translations from Greek and Sanskrit, he 
issued, in 1879, his poetical paraphrase of the life 
and teachings of Buddha. By its brilliant local color and 
gorgeous imagery, as well as the interwoven resemblance 
to the Christian Gospels, this epic captivated the world. 
Then in 1881 came "Indian Idylls," taken from the Hindu 


epic, Mahabharata, and in 1883, "Pearls of the Faith; or 
Islam's Rosary," which was intended to do for Moham- 
medanism what his former poem had done for Buddhism. 
Next the author turned to Persia, and translating from 
Sadi's poems, published, in 1888, "Sadi in the Garden; or 
the Book of Love." Taking up the story of Jesus, he 
wrote 'The Light of the World" ( 1892), but none of his 
later works attained the success of that on Buddha. His 
visit to Japan in 1892 furnished material for his prose 
work "J^ponica," and led to his marriage with a Japanese 
lady. His former wife was an American. Arnold has 
been a diligent and versatile journalist as well as poet. 
His friendly exposition of non-Christian religions has 
brought high honors from the King of Siam, the Sultan of 
Turkey, the Shah of Persia, and the Emperor of Japan. 
Queen Victoria also, in 1888, created him Knight Com- 
mander of the Indian Empire. These honors are undoubt- 
edly deserved, as Arnold's works have done much to make 
the adherents of various religions better acquainted with 
each other's views. But his merits as a poet are not so 
highly esteemed as formerly. The poetry is picturesque, 
the meter graceful, but the embellishment too lavish to 
suit the Western mind, and the introduction of foreign 
terms, hardly to be understood, fatigues the reader. 


When Lord Tennyson died in 1892, the question of the 
succession in the laureateship was widely discussed, and 
many critics urged the claims of William Watson. 
Unfortunately a mental trouble about that time required 
his removal to an asylum. He afterwards entirely recov- 
ered. Watson was born at Wharfdale, in Yorkshire, in 
1850. His father was a Liverpool merchant. On 
account of delicate health, the boy was educated privately. 


He became passionately fond of Shelley, Keats and 
Wordsworth. He had published two volumes before his 
"Wordsworth's Grave" (1892) brought him into general 
recognition. His tribute to Tennyson's memory "Lach- 
rymse Musarum" (1892) secured for him, through Glad- 
stone, a government pension of £200. "The Purple East," 
which was afterward enlarged into "The Year of Shame," 
was a series of sonnets, upbraiding the English for their 
neglect of the Armenians in 1896. These ringing sonnets 
recall Milton's vehement denunciation of the persecution 
of the Vaudois. Watson's later volumes are "The Tomb 
of Burns" and "The Father of the Forest." 


When it was announced in 1895 that the poet laureate- 
ship left vacant since the death of Lord Tennyson had 
been bestowed by Lord Salisbury on Alfred Austin, most 
Americans were astonished; they did not know the man, 
had never heard of his poetry. Yet Austin was then sixty 
years old, and had been active in literature for many years. 
He was born near Leeds in 1835, of Roman Catholic 
parents. He was educated at Stonyhurst College and St. 
Mary's, Oscott. His early poems were satires, among 
which "The Golden Age" had the most success. After- 
ward came dramatic, lyric, and narrative poems, fairly 
good but not striking, the best being "The Human 
Tragedy," "Rome or Death" (1873), and "Savonarola" 
( 1881 ) . The laureate's later poems have had no striking 
merit. He is simply a respectable minor poet, with 
strong patriotic feeling, which is well shown in "England's 
Darling," a eulogy of Alfred the Great. His fondness for 
quiet country scenes appears in many poems, as "The 
Garden I Love." 



The philosophical writer who has had the widest and 
most penetrating influence upon the intellect of the Cen- 
tury is Herbert Spencer, the apostle of evolution, even be- 
yond Darwin. He was born in 1820 at Derby, where his 
father was a schoolmaster of especial note for his skill in 
teaching geometry. Herbert, at the age of seventeen, be- 
came a railway engineer and soon contributed papers on 
technical subjects to engineering journals. In 1842 he 
published a pamphlet on "The Proper Sphere of Govern- 
ment," and in 1848 was made sub-editor of the "Econo- 
mist," which position he held five years. He had in the 
meantime published "Social Statics; or the Conditions 
Essential to Human Happiness Specified, and the First of 
Them Developed," which was in 1892 abridged and re- 
vised in connection with his later "Man and the State." 
In 1852 Spencer contributed to the "Westminster Review" 
an article on "Manners and Fashion," showing that politi- 
cal, religious and ceremonial forms are protective envel- 
opes within which a higher humanity is gradually devel- 
oped, but are cast aside when they become hindrances. In 
1855 he published his "Principles of Psychology," which 
was afterward incorporated in his "Synthetic Philosophy." 
In i860 his prospectus of this system was issued, announc- 
ing that it would be complete in ten volumes. The next 
twenty-five years were spent in carrying out this elaborate 
programme with immense labor and phenomenal ability. 
The doctrine of evolution, toward which he had been mov- 



ing even before Darwin had published his "Origin of 
Species," was now made the basis and guide in all human 
affairs as in the world of nature. Evolution he defines to 
be "an integration of matter and concomitant dissipation 
of motion, during which the matter passes from an in- 
definite, incoherent homogeneity to a definite, coherent 
heterogeneity." After the introductory treatise on "First 
Principles" (1862), came "Principles of Biology," of 
"Psychology," of "Sociology," "Ceremonial Institutions," 
"Political Institutions," "Ecclesiastical Institutions." The 
"Data of Ethics" was issued among these, out of its proper 
order on account of its importance. The sciences relating 
to the inorganic world he omitted as sufficiently treated in 
other ways. The aim of his philosophy is to encourage 
the scientific study of life and society as the practical means 
of attaining the highest good The absolute and infinite 
is regarded as unknowable, though the exercise of trying 
to find it out may not be altogether unprofitable. 

Before this grand work was fairly commenced, Spen- 
cer issued his valuable treatise on "Education — Intellec- 
tual, Moral and Physical," from which a few principles are 
here briefly stated. Science is compared to Cinderella, 
the household drudge, who has been despised by her 
haughty sisters, but is now to be advanced to the highest 
station. Knowledge must be made attractive to the pupil 
if he is to be benefited. The aim of moral education is to 
make self-governing beings. The preservation of health 
is a primary duty for the discharge of which the laws gov- 
erning the body must be known. All of these principles 
have been approved and put in practice by the leading 
teachers of to-day. 

The next in popularity of Spencer's work is "The 
Study of Sociology" ( 1874) which sets forth the means of 
ascertaining the principles by which human society should 


be regulated. His political views are presented in "The 
Man versus the State" (1884), in which he opposes the 
later tendency of Liberalism to compulsory laws, making 
it indeed a new form of Toryism; he also objects to the 
belief in the divine right of Parliament as the great poli- 
tical superstition of the present time, as the belief in the 
divine right of Kings was of the past. The only proper 
function of government, as he has always held, is to pro- 
tect life, property and order, leaving the settlement of the 
general relations of society to individual action. Spencer 
has thus been a determined foe of Socialism and an advo- 
cate of individualism. He has not hesitated to enter into 
controversy on behalf of his views. Herbert Spencer 
was also the editor of a series of volumes called "Descrip- 
tive Sociology," in which it was intended to bring together 
a repertory of fact's concerning the physique, habits and 
customs of several sections of the human race. Eight 
volumes had been issued when the work was suspended on 
account of the enormous expense involved. In spite of ill 
health, which threatened to prevent the conclusion of his 
proposed great "Synthetic System of Philosophy," 
Spencer worked steadily and systematically till it w^as com- 
pleted in 1897. He persistently refused to join scientific 
societies or accept university honors or do anything which 
might distract him from his self-appointed work. 

Spencer's idea of evolution was gradually worked out 
through diligent study of scientific facts, and was eventu- 
ally extended till it embraced the whole universe. Then 
in explication of his system he reversed the process, apply- 
ing his theory to the basic conditions of the world, and 
showing its agreement with recorded facts. This requires 
that immense amount of illustration from every depart- 
ment of science, with which his work seems to some to be 
overloaded. His philosophical system, the only strictly 


inductive one in the world, has quickly been accepted by 
students of science, and has gradually won its way among 
philosophers. Its far-reaching effects are felt in every 
department of thought. 


In the borderland of literature between science and 
religion no writer has obtained more readers than Henry 
Drummond. He was born at Stirling, Scotland, in 
1 85 1, and was educated at the University of Edinburgh 
and at the Free Church Divinity Hall. During his course 
at the latter he was an active assistant to Messrs. Moody 
and Sankey in their evangelistic tour in Great Britain and 
Ireland. On being ordained he was appointed to a mis- 
sion chapel in Malta, but in 1877 was made professor of 
natural science in the Free Church College at Glasgow, 
where he also took charge of a mission church. During 
one of his vacations he made a geological expedition to the 
Rocky Mountains with Professor Geikie. His lectures 
and other addresses furnished his "Natural Law In the 
Spiritual World" (1883), but before it was published he 
had gone on a journey to the heart of Africa. The bril- 
liant presentation of new views of the old spiritual 
truths gave the work immediate success. Drummond 
returned to take up religious work among college students, 
and later in its behalf visited Australia. In 1893 he trav- 
eled through the United States, addressing college stu- 
dents and lecturing in the large cities. Several of these- 
addresses, as "The Greatest Thing in the World," "Pax 
Vobiscum," were widely circulated. "The Ascent of 
Man" (1893) is an able reply to extreme Darwinian 
views, showing that nature includes struggle for others 
as well as for self. Another publication was "Tropical 


Africa," which gives the clearest view of the condition of 
that region yet pubHshed. Africa, however, had im- 
planted the seeds of disease in his system and the brave, 
hard-working Christian professor after two years of strug- 
gle with ill health, died in March, 1897. 



A singular fate has overtaken William Hurrell Mal- 
lock. It is his misfortune to be almost entirely excluded 
from serious consideration, not by the future, but by the 
very success of his first book. The jest of his satire was so 
piquant that he can hardly afterward be regarded as in 
earnest. He is a nephew of the historian Froude and was 
born in Devonshire in 1849. He was educated at Ox- 
ford and won the Newdigate prize by his poem. "The Isth- 
mus of Suez." His satrical ability was shown in "The New 
Republic" (1876), a modern dialogue in imitation of 
Plato's "Republic." The speakers represent, under thin 
disguises, the leaders of modern thought — Matthew Ar- 
nold, Huxley, Tyndall, Ruskin, and others. They sev- 
erally propose to dismiss from their New Republic imagi- 
nation, poetry, superstition, religious belief, serious convic- 
tions, the middle classes, but are driven out in confusion 
when Mr. Herbert (Ruskin) banishes the upper classes as 
well. The parody on the style of thought and writing of 
the speakers is perfect, and the success of the skit was 
complete. The author followed it up by "The New Paul 
and Virginia; or. Positivism on an Island" (1878), but 
this had little effect. Mallock then turned to serious writ- 
ing, and discussed "Is Life Worth Living," in which the 
emptiness of this life, if there be no future, is forcibly 
presented. His numerous essays on social topics have 
been collected in several volumes, among them being 
"Property, Progress, and Poverty" (1884), and "Classes 



and Masses; or, Wealth and Wages" (1896). He is a 
strong reactionary, seeking to go back to medisevalism in 
social organization and religious belief. But into all his 
writing a bitter mixture of doubt and mockery is infused. 
Mallock has also published some sentimental romances 
which receive but little attention. 

Among the writers noted for elegance and even dainti- 
ness of style, Walter Pater (1839- 1894) holds the chief 
place, though he wrote but little. He was educated at 
Oxford and became a Fellow of Brasenose College. To 
him the chief object of life was to extract the utmost of 
pleasure from living in a refined way, especially from 
education and art. The study of Greek pervaded Pater's 
life and writings. Nor was his first book, "Studies in the 
History of the Renaissance" (1873), untrue to thisj)rin- 
ciple, since it had reference to the revival of Greek culture 
in modem society. This next, "Marius the Epicurean" 
( 1885), is a story of ancient Rome in the time of Marcus 
Aurelius, when the Stoic philosophy dominated the higher 
classes, and Paganism and Christianity touched and 
blended. An important character is the celebrated 
Apuleius, to whom Pater shows favor. In ''Imaginary 
Portraits" (1887) and "Appreciations" (1890) the style 
)s not so perfect as in his fornier works. At his best his 
style is less exuberant than Ruskin's, more finished and 
exquisite, never overloaded with ornament. It aims at 
well modulated harmony, and excels in the construction of 
paragraphs to this end. 

In modern times there have been a few writers who 
won fame by giving such accurate descriptions of nature as 
attested their loving feeling for it, and drew others to 
share, at least while reading, this love. Such was Gilbert 


White, of Selborne, in the last Century, and such is John 
Burroughs in our own time and country. The only recent 
English representative of this class, which may be called 
nature-essayists, was Richard Jefferies, whose life was 
cut off before he knew his fame. The son of a farmer, he 
was born near Swindon, in Wiltshire, in 1848. Self- 
educated, he began writing for local newspapers at 
eighteen, and in 1877 went to London to engage in jour- 
nalism. His first book was "The Gamekeeper at Home" 
(1878). This was followed by "The Amateur Poacher" 
( 1879) , "Hodge and His Master" ( 1880) , "Round About 
a Great Estate" ( 1880), and "Life of the Fields" ( 1884). 
These were highly praised by observant critics for both 
matter and style. They are breezy books, which make 
men and boys fond of out-of-door rural life. The author 
wrote also some novels, which were of little value. For 
several years he was an invalid and, brooding on his 
troubles, he became a mystical pessimist. His "Story of 
My Heart" (1883) was a remarkable autobiographic 
sketch, which was hardly heard by the public till after his 
death, in August, 1887. A strange fame then set in and 
gave value to his writings, which had before but slight 
appreciation by the public. 


A most pleasant writer of light verse and graceful 
essays, an able translator of Homer and French lyrics, a 
judicious exponent of anthropology, and many other im- 
portant matters is found in the gifted Scotchman, Andrew 
Lang. He was born at Selkirk in 1844, and was educated 
at St. Andrews University and Balloil College, Oxford. 
He soon began to write for periodicals, and in 1872 pub- 
lished "Ballades and Lyrics of Old France." With some 
Vol.. 9—" 


friends he began to imitate the forms of old French verse, 
introducing ballads, rondeaus, and villanelles. His "Bal- 
lades in Blue China," "Ballades and Verses Vain," 
"Rhymes Old and New," indicate by their titles their gen- 
eral light, air}* quality, yet sometimes he attempts some- 
thing of a higher kind, and performs it well. "Helen of 
Troy" ( 1882) is his most ambitious poem and should have 
led to something still grander. In the field of anthro- 
pology and comparative mythology he has been an earnest 
worker, as is shown by his volumes, "Custom and ]Myth" 
(1884) and "Myth, Ritual, and Religion" (1887). He 
proves that many myths, long held to be of Aryan origin, 
are practically found among savage tribes in various parts 
of the earth. Lang is a fine classical scholar, as he has 
shown not only in his excellent prose translations of Theo- 
critus and Homer, but also in numerous lively essays by 
quotation and allusion. Yet he is by no means so wedded 
to the ancients as not to have regard for the modern clas- 
sics. From foreign lands he has brought into English 
some fine collections of fairy tales, as in the "Blue Fairy 
Book" and the "Red Fain^ Book." His essays on French 
literature are valuable contributions to that department. 
"The Mark of Cain" (1886) is a caricature of the sensa- 
tional stor}% which was then largely in vogue. But he has 
also seriously attempted historical romance in "The 
Maid of Fife" ( 1895), which has Joan of Arc as the cen- 
tral figure. He has written some excellent biographies, 
as the lives of Lord Iddesleigh (better known as Sir Straf- 
ford Xorthcote) and of Lockhart. He has alsQ edited 
many selections of standard literature, writing excellent 



The earliest of the novelists of Scottish life, with 
marked religious purpose, was George Macdonald. He 
was born at Huntly, in the North of Scotland, in 1824. 
After graduating at Aberdeen University, he studied 
theology in the Independent College, Highbury, London. 
For some years he was a preacher to Scotch Congrega- 
tionalists in London, then resigned his ministry and joined 
the Church of England. He became principal of a sem- 
inary, but has been chiefly engaged in literary work, and 
has resided much in Italy. His first publications were 
poems, which were followed by "Phantastes, a Faerie Ro- 
mance" (1858). His first novel, "David Elginbrod,'* 
appeared in 1862, and was the harbinger of a large num- 
ber of the same class. His motive is to present to his 
fellow-men "the common good, uncommonly developed," 
as being more true to humanity than pictures of evil or 
failure. This strong moral purpose, faithfully carried 
out, does not prevent him from showing power in his 
carefully wrought plots, life-like characters, and dramatic 
incidents. Among his best novels are ''Alec Forbes of 
Howglen," "Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood," "Wilfrid 
Cumbermede," "The Marquis of Lossie," and especially 
"Sir Gibbie." Peculiarly attractive are his stories for 
children, "At the Back of the North Wind" and "The 
Princess and Curdie." He has also published some ser- 
mons and religious treatises. His poems are pure and 




Although Richard Doddridge Blackmore has written 
many novels, he is known as the author of one — "Lorna 
Doone," a semi-historical romance, which has given fame 
to a Devonshire valley. He was born in Berkshire in 
1825, graduated at Oxford, studied law, practiced as a 
conveyancer, and when his health failed, became a market- 
gardener near London. His first literary ventures were 
poems. He did not attempt novel-writing till he was 
nearly forty, nor did he secure much attention for some 
time after his best work was published in 1869. Slowly 
its merits were recognized and at last the melodramatic 
romance attained popularity. ''Lorna Doone" is a story 
of the time of King Charles II. The Doones. were a 
family of outcast nobles, living as robbers in Bagworthy 
forest, the wild road to their home being strictly guarded 
against intruders. But young John Ridd, the stout and 
valiant son of a simple yeoman, who keeps sheep on the 
Downs, chances to meet Lorna Doone, the fair queen of 
the wild band, falls in love with her, undertakes wild and 
desperate adventures for her sake, and rescues her and 
himself out of perils by his native shrewdness. Among 
Blackmore's other stories are "The Maid of Sker," 
*'Cripps the Carrier," "Erema; or. My Father's Sin," "Sir 
Thomas Upton." He depicts with much skill the peasants 
and fisher-folk of the West of England, hardy, slow of 
speech, yet keen-witted. His stories are told in a quaint, 
meditative way, are full of adventure and dramatic situa- 
tions. His heroes are gallant, and his heroines sweet, but 
the other characters, parsons and rustics, or even highway- 
men, usually excite more interest. 

Perhaps the most prolific writer of books in the present 
day is the Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould. He was born at 


Exeter in 1834, graduated at Cambridge twenty years 
later, and entered the Church. He became rector at Lew 
Trenchard, Devonshire, in 188 1. Part of his youth was 
spent in Germany and France, and from the Hterature of 
these countries he has drawn for his numerous writings. 
His easy conversational style has enabled him to treat 
English rural life, Ireland, theological topics, mediaeval 
myths, folk-lore, comparative mythology, and German his- 
tory in an equally interesting way. The best known of 
his books is "Curious Myths of the Middle Ages" ( 1866). 
Of more than thirty novels may be mentioned, "Red 
Spider," "Mehalah; a Tale of the Salt Marshes," "Gabri- 
elle Andre," "In Exitu Israel." Wide information and 
powerful imagination are shown in these, but the striking 
characters often drawn from English peasant life, are not 
attractive. Much more pleasant is his biography of the 
Rev. R. S. Hawker, "The Vicar of Morwenstow." 

Henry Rider Haggard is a fine story-teller, whose 
accounts of wild adventures gave him for a time extraor- 
dinary success. He was born in 1856 and had been on 
Government service in South Africa. After publishing 
an account of "Cetewayo and His White Neighbors" 
(1882) he used his knowledge of strange lands in ro- 
mances of adventure. Among the most noted of his books 
are "King Solomon's Mines" (1886), "She" (1888), and 
"Allan Quartermain" ( 1889) . In "The World's Desire" 
he was associated with Andrew Lang. 


The Scotch Highlands and the rocky islands to the 
West are the region which William Black has made fam- 
iliar by several fine stories, but he is quite as much at home 


in London drawing-rooms. He was born at Glasgow in 
1 84 1 and went to London in 1864. In 1875 he gave up 
journalism for fiction, in which he had already made some 
ventures. His first really successful novel was "A Daugh- 
ter of Heth" ( 1871 ), in which a gay Southern girl, full of 
innocent wiles, is sadly bewildered and tragically mis- 
understood by the grim, sober folk among whom she has 
thoughtlessly been lured. In the "Princess of Thule," 
the proud and beautiful heroine by her feminine witchery 
and skill in sailing, captivates the summer tourist. ''The 
Strange Adventures of a Phaeton" (1872) describes a 
tour through Great Britain, interweaving a love-story. 
"White Wings" (1880) is a yachting romance. "Shan- 
don Bells" (1883) is an Irish story, telling the struggles 
of a literary man. Black is an enthusiastic lover of out- 
door sports, of fly-fishing, yachting, and deer-stalking, and 
describes all these in his stories. He is equally skillful in 
delineating the wild scener}' of rocky islands, the grandeur 
of sunsets, the terrors of ocean storms, and the melancholy 
temperament and peculiar humor of the Highland chief 
and clansmen. 


As Black has given prominence to the Hebrides, Hall 
Caine has given his native Isle of Man a place in literature. 
He was born in 1853 and became an architect in Liverpool. 
He had, however, an inclination to literature, which was 
fostered by his friendship with Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 
with whom he went to live in London in 1880. His first 
book was "Recollections of Rossetti," and in 1885 he pub- 
lished his first novel, "The Shadow of a Crime," which 
was written with prodigious pains. "The Deemster" 
(1887) obtained more favor, "The Scapegoat" (1891) 


still more, and "The Manxman" (1894) completed his 
group of pictures of Manx life. Yet for each of these he 
has declared that he drew the primary idea from the Bible 
— from the story of Joseph and his brethren, from David 
and Uriah, and from David and Jonathan. Mr. Caine 
visited Russia in 1892 in behalf of the persecuted Jews, and 
in 1895 lectured in the United States. His novel, "The 
Christian" (1897), presents, according to his view, the 
religious question of to-day, John Storm, a religious 
fanatic, is yet in love with Glory Quayle, a friend of his 
childhood, who has become a famous actress, and tries to 
draw her from demoralizing associations. When she re- 
fuses, his frenzy makes him seek to kill her, but her words 
restore him to sounder mind. Storm, who has been a 
High Churchman, finally becomes a Salvation Army 
preacher, and after a meeting is assaulted by a mob in the 
streets. Glory hastens to him and they are married while 
he is lying on his death-bed. The scenes of the story are 
highly realistic, but the whole is wildly improbable. 


Sir Walter Besant had been a worker In other fields 
before James Rice, editor of "Once a Week," took him 
into partnership in novel-writing. Good as their joint 
efforts were, Besant's chief fame is due to his later inde- 
pendent output. An astonishing material response to his 
"All Sorts and Conditions of Men" was the People's Pal- 
ace, built and liberally furnished to provide recreation for 
the poor but honest inhabitants of East London. This 
in turn brought the philanthropic author his knighthood. 
Walter Besant was born at Portsmouth in 1838, and was 
educated at King's College, London, and Christ's College, 
Cambridge. He became professor in the Royal College of 


Mauritius for seven years. Then, returning to England, 
he pubHshed "Studies in Early French Poetry" (1868) 
and "French Humorists" (1873). He was secretary of 
the Palestine Exploration Fund and, with Professor Pal- 
mer, wrote a "History of Jerusalem" (1871). Mean- 
time, his acquaintance with Rice had ripened into their 
well-known partnership, the results of which were "Ready- 
Money Mortiboy," "With Harp and Crown," "The 
Golden Butterfly," and "The Chaplain of the Fleet." The 
latter relates to the Fleet prison, into the foul atmosphere 
of which an innocent country girl, niece of the chaplain, 
brings an air of purity. After the death of Rice in 1882, 
Besant issued his famous novel, depicting the ordinary, 
dreary life of East London, which his hero and heroine 
undertake to relieve with a palace of pleasure. In other 
stories, as "The Children of Gibeon" (1884) and "The 
World Went Very Well Then" (1885) Sir \\^alter Besant 
pursued his philanthropic schemes. But in many more he 
treated a wide range of subjects and characters, sometimes 
the woman question or other problems of the time, some- 
times a miser or whimsical individual, sometimes the 
wrongs of the poor, and sometimes the sufficiency of a 
little for life's wants. Some of them are tragical or melo- 
dramatic, but most of them are pen^aded with a cheerful 
humor, which is seen even in their titles, as "Call Her 
Mine" and the "Wapping Idyll." 


Far different in aim and eft'ect is the stem realist, 
Thomas Hardy, loving painter of rural scenery, but grim 
pessimist in his delineation of character and fate. Born 
in Dorsetshire in 1840, he studied architecture, but at the 
age of thirty turned to novel-writing and soon proved sig- 


nal ability. "Under the Greenwood Tree" (1872) showed 
him a master of rural life and of the English rustic, whose 
homely dialect talk reveals an unconscious humor. In "A 
Pair of Blue Eyes" (1873) the heroine, Elf ride, when a 
girl, trifles a little with a village youth, who pines and dies, 
leaving his mother to avenge his wrongs. A slight im- 
prudence of Elfride's with another is magnified into a 
scandal which drives off her true lover. In "The Return 
of the Native" the lofty pride of the dainty Eustacia Vye 
destroys the ambition of Clym Yeobright without granting 
him love. In "Jude the Obscure," the hero wishing to 
become a student at Oxford, is tricked into marriage with 
the sensual Arabella. Later, when his early hope seems 
likely to be realized, he meets his intellectual cousin, Sue, 
who is so highly educated that she is too pure to think of 
marriage, yet in too intimate association with Jude, falls 
into sin. In "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" a fair country 
maiden had been betrayed, but had gone to tend a dairy a 
short distance away, where her fault was unknown. 
Angel Clare, a gentleman's son, falls in love with the dairy- 
maid, but on their marriage-day he feels bound to confess 
a previous love-affair. Tess then tells her own story, and 
Clare, horrified, repulses her as unclean, and she is swept 
downward to her wretched fate. These powerful but 
gloomy novels show Hardy's stern, fatalistic view of 
human life, regarding the causes and chances leading to 
failure and misery as more numerous and powerful than 
those tending to success. In parts of these stories and 
still more in his short tales, the charms of the country are 
finely depicted, and in this Hardy excels all other novelists. 



George Meredith is unique among English novelists. 
He can never become popular, for he disdains elaborate 
plots and cares little for dramatic scenes. His design is to 
reveal character as it is exhibited in real life in a succession 
of apparently unimportant incidents. All subjects are 
treated with philosophic calmness, yet with patient study. 
The minds and thoughts of men, and still more of women, 
are the objects of his searching analysis. Meredith was 
born in Hampshire in 1828, and spent much of his child- 
hood in Germany. He studied law, but soon devoted 
himself to literature. He married a daughter of Thomas 
Love Peacock (1785-1866), the fantastic author of the 
satirical romances, "Headlong Hall" and ''Nightmare 
Abbey." After a volume of poems, Meredith published 
"The Shaving of Shagpat" (1855), a burlesque Oriental 
poem. His first and perhaps his finest novel, "The Ordeal 
of Richard Feverel" (1859), opens with a beautiful love 
idyll, exhibits a variety of eccentric characters, and closes 
with tragic gloom. Most of his books deal with the com- 
edy of life, yet in a highly philosophic, rather than amus- 
ing way. The most noted are "The Egoist" (1879), 
"The Tragic Comedians" (1881), "Diana of the Cross- 
ways" (1885), and "The Amazing Marriage." Women 
are his favorite study, and Diana, the strong and beautiful 
Irish gentlewoman, is most radiant, while her lovers are 
satellites to her glory. IMeredith's poems are full of the 
same philosophic spirit as his novels, and his imagination 
and love of nature carry him to even greater achievement. 



The life of Robert Louis Stevenson was spent in the 
constant pursuit of health and happiness. Early doomed 
to death by consumption, that scourge of the Scotch race, 
he struggled manfully to stave it off by traveling and resid- 
ing in the most favorable climates. In spite of this in- 
cubus, he was diligent in writing and left a large number 
of delightful volumes in prose and verse. He belonged 
to a family famous from his great-grandfather down to 
his father, for the erection of light-houses. He was in- 
tended to be an engineer himself, but fate by his physical 
and mental constitution decided otherwise. He was born 
at Edinburgh in 1850, studied there at school and uni- 
versity, was called to the bar, but did not practise law. 
From his boyhood he had been a persistent cultivator of 
style in writing, not originally for publication, but for its 
own sake. He imitated various authors, from Sir Thomas 
Browne to Hawthorne, and then became expert in the 
choice and collocation of words. For the sake of his 
health he went to the South of France in 1873, leading a 
seemingly idle life. He had begun to publish essays in 
the "Cornhill Magazine," which were afterwards gathered 
in two volumes. His first books were "An Inland Voy- 
age" (1878) and "Travels with a Donkey in the Ceven- 
nes" ( 1879) . He crossed the Atlantic as a steerage pass- 
enger in 1879 ^^^ went to California, where he married 
Mrs. Osboume, whom he had first met in France. She 
took special care of his health and collaborated with him 
in some stories. His "Treasure Island" ( 1883) first gave 
him wide reputation. It is just such a story as boys 
delight in, full of adventure, pirates and fights. Quite as 
entertaining are the short stories of the "New Arabian 
Nights" and "Prince Otto," which introduces a few fine 


poems. Some of his stories were written in collaboration' 
with his stepson. 

In 1886 Stevenson created wide sensation by his 
"Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," in which the 
chief personage is transformed at intervals, physically and 
mentally, so as to appear and act in entirely different ways. 
The story is told in a restrained, measured way, which 
helps to retain the reader's belief in the good faith of the 
narrators. In the same year came another adventurous 
story, "Kidnapped," which the author considered his best 
in fulfilling the purpose intended. It is a story of the early 
Eighteenth Centur}^, full of grim and terrible scenes and 
characters, in dealing with which lay, as he believed, his 
forte. "The Black Arrow" is an historical romance of 
the War of the Roses. "The Master of Ballantrae" 
(1889) is another of the powerful stories with terrible 
scenes. Before this Stevenson had begun his voyages in 
the Pacific, which resulted in his making his home in 
Samoa. There some measure of health came to him 
again, and he was able to spend much time out of doors. 
His "Vailima Letters" (published after his death) and 
"A Foot-Note to History" show what interest he took 
in the strange people among whom his lot was cast. Their 
fond regard for this new friend was proved by their mak- 
ing, at his suggestion, the Road of the Loving Heart, 
which was the name they bestowed on him. One more 
novel the invalid lived to complete, "David Balfour" 
(1893); one he left unfinished, "Weir of Hermiston." 
Both are reckoned among his best achievements. After 
the many years of watchful care of a frail, diseased body, 
he died suddenly December 3, 1894. 

Besides his prose writings, Stevenson wrote considera- 
ble amount of verse, which is gathered in "Underwoods" 
(1887), "Ballads" (1891), and the earlier "Child's Gar- 


den of Verse" ( 1885). These are all simple In style and 
metre, and especially the last has won much favor. They 
Seem to be the spontaneous expression of his thoughts, 
while his prose is distinctly labored. He has told in full 
detail how he wrought to obtain a perfect style, and ad- 
mitted that he had not always succeeded. While most 
critics award him high praise, a few have alleged against 
him an occasional strain after effect. It has also been 
objected that his stories are not brought to a close as care- 
fully as the case demanded. Yet his story-telling faculty 
remains unimpeached, and the general verdict pronounced 
him the most delightful of essayists and most fascinating 
of romance-writers of his time. 

While the story of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" was 
terribly tragical, another story of transformation was 
entirely comical. This was Frederic Anstey's "Vice 
Versa," which showed a respectable middle-aged, com- 
mon-place father metamorphosed into his small son at 
school, while the boy takes the father's place. The joke 
was received with loud laughter throughout England. 


In the latter part of the eighties a small group of nov- 
elists appeared who depicted in a life-like manner the 
peculiarities of Scotch character. The first was James 
Matthew Barrie, born in May, i860, at Kirriemuir, which 
he has described under the name Thrums. He was the 
son of a physician, and after graduating at Edinburgh 
University, went to London to work as a journalist. In the 
"St. James's Gazette" he began the series of "Auld Licht 
Idylls," showing the stiff, stubborn character of the mem- 
bers of the smallest body of Scotch Presbyterians, yet 
awakening sympathy for their kindly nature, hidden deep 


under the forbidding surface. In "A Window in 
Thrums" the sketches of Hfe in the little village are con- 
tinued, from the point of view of a crippled woman, Jess, 
and her daughter Leeby. But Barrie's real success came 
with "The Little Minister" (1891), a romantic story in 
which a Scotch minister who undertakes to reprove and 
rebuke a half-gipsy girl ends by being married to her with 
gipsy rites. In spite of the improbability of the plot, the 
whirl of the incidents, the gay humor of the writer, and 
the variety of strange characters, enlist the reader's favor. 
''Sentimental Tommy" (1895) is a grim revelation of the 
miseries of child life in London, mitigated by the fancies 
and posings of the hero. 


The second of the "Kail-yard Group," as these Scotch 
novelists have been somewhat contemptuously called, is 
the Rev. John Watson, who writes under the pen-name 
Ian Maclaren. Though of Highland Scotch descent, he 
was born in 1850 in Manningtree, Essex, England, but 
was taken to Scotland in childhood. He was educated at 
Edinburgh University in the class with Robert Louis 
Stevenson. Watson was ordained to the ministry in the 
Free Church of Scotland, and became pastor at Harvest- 
field, in Perthshire, a village which he has described as 
Drumtochty. Hence he was called to be assistant pastor 
in Glasgow, and thence in 1880 to take charge of a Pres- 
byterian Church in Liverpool. His sermons exhibit his 
culture as well as the liberality of his views and deep spirit- 
uality. In 1896 he delivered the Lyman Beecher lectures 
at the Theological Seminary of Yale University, which 
were published as "The Mind of the Master." In his pro- 
foundly pathetic story, "Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush" 
(1894), the characters of the ambitious scholar, of his 


loving mother, and above all of Doctor William Maclure, 
strongly touched the hearts of the people. In "The Days 
of Auld Lang Syne" other sketches of Dnimtochty were 
presented. In "Kate Carnegie" (1896) the theological 
disputes which make so much of Scotch Church history, 
are so treated as tO' impress the truly religious feeling 
which underlies them. Dr. Watson's combination of droll 
humor, with genuine religious sentiment, has given him 
his deserved popularity. It has frequently been urged 
that his characters were a trifle too good to be quite true. 


No novel of recent years has excited wider discussion 
than "Robert Elsmere" (1888). Mr. Gladstone honored 
it with a long article in the "Contemporary Review," and 
at once it secured an enormous sale. It boldly presented 
an existing phase of the moral and intellectual world, por- 
traying the gradual loss of faith in a cultivated religious 
mind through the sceptical tendency of the times. The 
novel thus became the vehicle of fundamental religious 
controversy. This startling innovation was made by Mrs. 
Humphry Ward, a granddaughter of Dr. Arnold, of 
Rugby. Her maiden name was Mary Arnold. Her 
father, Thomas Arnold, had become a Roman Catholic, 
and after doing considerable literary work in England, 
had gone to Tasmania to teach. Mary was born at 
Hobart Town in that island in 1851. The family after- 
wards removed to Oxford, England, and Mary was thor- 
oughly educated. She was married to Humphry Ward, 
editor of various works. Her scholarship was shown in 
reviews and translations, including "Amiel's Journal." 
Her first novel, "Miss Bretherton" (1884), told the 
growth of love between a young actress and a middle-aged 
man of letters. "Robert Elsmere," depicting a tragedy of 


the soul, was the next. It was criticized as being too 
didactic, but its vitality was seen in other characters as well 
as the central figure. "The History of David Grieve" 
(1892) is a contrast as well as a companion to its prede- 
cessor. It showed the growth of faith in persons of 
humbler class than Elsmere, but brought them through 
severe straits. The earnest David, who had spent his boy- 
hood with his more spirited sister Louie, in a quiet nook 
of England, is transported to the bustling streets of Lon- 
don and the gay scenes of Paris before his moral develop- 
ment is completed. 

Mrs. Ward turned next to the training of a noble 
woman, and did it through social and political rather than 
religious influences. In "Marcella" (1894), a crudely 
romantic English girl becomes finally a worthy leader of 
society. The English world, London and Parliament, the 
rich and the poor, politics and socialism, are all described 
with minute fidelity. In "Sir George Tressady" (1896) 
Marcella appears again as Lady Maxwell and passes un- 
scathed through a perilous temptation. Tressady, married 
hastily to a pretty wife, finds her unfit intellectually for his 
companionship. In a later novel, "Helbeck of Bannis- 
dale" (1898), Mrs. Ward took up again the subject of 
religion. Helbeck is a Catholic bachelor, who, in his zeal 
for the faith, is consuming his estate to build chapels. To 
his house comes an invalid relative, whose daughter Laura 
has been trained by an agnostic father. They fall in love 
with each other, and Laura strives to overcome her repug- 
nance to her lover's religious zeal, but fails and drowns 
herself. Though the characters are finely portrayed, they 
become to the thoughtful reader mere pawns in the great 
game between Roman Catholicism and Agnosticism. 



The most suddenly successful novel of recent times 
was "Trilby," first published in "Harper's Monthly" in 
1894. It was written by George du Maurier (1834- 
1896), who had long been a special artist of "Punch," and 
had published "Peter Ibbetson" in 1891. His father was 
a Frenchman, who wished his son to be a chemist, while the 
latter had stronger propensity for art. Severe study so 
injured his sight that he had to give up painting. After 
two years of idleness he began to draw for periodicals, and 
soon had permanent engagement on "Punch." No 
attempt was made at broad fun or political satire. Cer- 
tain phases of London society occupied his attention, and 
he was especially successful in the delineation of women. 
Much care was given to the brief dialogues below the 
drawings, and in this way Du Maurier was trained to 
write. The story of "Peter Ibbetson" had often been told 
to his friends before it was written. When given to the 
public, its quotations from American poets helped to com- 
mend it. "Trilby" was founded partly on the author's 
experience in Paris studios, while the hypnotism was a 
recognition of a fashionable fad. The immense popu- 
larity of the story was due to its revelation of life-like char- 
acters in a singular society. Du Maurier, who had long 
suffered from ill health, did not live long to enjoy his 
success. He died before his next novel, "The Martian" 
(1897), appeared. 


The Nineteenth Century was drawing to a close; stu- 
dents of literature lamented the passing of the great 
masters of song and story; watchful critics noted with 
Vol.. 9—13 


sorrow the signs of decadence-; careful judges pronounced 
that henceforth in this age of science and materiahsm the 
spirit of poetry and imagination was extinct, nor could it 
possibly be revived ; when lo ! from the far East was heard 
a voice like a trumpet, waxing louder and stronger and 
sweeter, and the cry arose, "The new genius has arrived; 
Kipling is here." "Plain Tales from the Hills" (1888) was 
the unexpected herald of a new era. The stories were 
realistic in a new style, of new characters, new scenes, new 
life. Other tales quickly followed, treating of English 
private soldiers and native Hindoos and Mohammedans, 
sometimes pathetic, sometimes tragic, always startlingly 
real, and strongly masculine. In the humorous group of 
"Soldiers Three" came a revelation of the inner and outer 
man of the British private, previously unknown even to 
those most concerned. Again came touching stories of 
children in "Wee Willie Winkie" (1888). After some 
preliminary tuning there arose in the air also a burst of 
soldiers' songs, gay, reckless, warlike, irresistible, in "De- 
partmental Ditties" (1S91) and "Barrack-Room Ballads" 

Rudyard Kipling is the son of John Lockwood Kip- 
ling, principal of the school of industrial art at Lahore, and 
was born at Bombay in December, 1865. He was sent to 
school in England, but returned to India in 1882, and 
became sub-editor of a newspaper at Lahore. Here he 
learned to write swiftly and effectively, and soon produced 
stories and verses that were circulated through India. 
From these a selection was made in the "Plain Tales from 
the Hills," his first challenge to the outer world. The 
response of welcome was clear and unmistakable. In 
1889 Kipling went to England and soon afterwards made 
a tour across the United States, writing descriptive letters 


as he journeyed. Then he married Miss Balestier, the 
sister of Wolcott Balestier, with whom he had collaborated 
in a novel, "The Naulahka" (1892). He built a house at 
Brattleboro, Vermont, and settled there for a few years, 
but went back to England in 1897. 

Besides his Anglo-Indian stories, Kipling in 1894 pro- 
duced an entirely unique kind of fables in ''The Jungle 
Book." These are dialogues and stories of the life of 
the wild beasts of India from their own point of view. 
For these almost a special dialect was invented, marvel- 
ously appropriate and suggestive. Compared with 
yEsop's simple moralizings and the grotesque German 
stories of "Reineke Fuchs," these jungle stories are in- 
tensely realistic, yet are not lacking in ethical suggestions. 
"The Light that Failed" (1890), Kipling's first novel, 
included a graphic account of an Egyptian campaign, with 
a sketch of studio life in London. "Captains Courageous" 
(1897) is a breezy narrative of the perilous adventures of 
the fishermen of Gloucester, Massachusets, In some 
short stories Kipling has availed himself of his observa- 
tions in America. His quickness in perceiving and accu- 
racy in reproducing details of new subjects are equally 
astonishing. Yet he leaves the impression of being able 
to tell more if it were necessary. His poems, even the 
coarse soldiers' ballads, are full of imagination and patriot- 
ism. He has proved himself, without appointment, the 
inspired poet laureate of England. His "Seven Seas" is 
a glorification of the British imperial policy; his "Reces- 
sional" was an appropriate hymn of humble praise for the 
celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of Queen Vic- 
toria's accession; the "Truce of the Bear" was a startling 
yet genuine British response to Czar Nicholas' suggestion 
of the disarmament of nations; "The White Man's Bur- 


den" is a thrilling presentation of the unavoidable duty 
of the capable white race to the incapable, unreliable col- 
ored races of the world, in spite of all the inherent difficul- 
ties of the glorious task. With this royal leader in prose 
and verse, England grandly enters a new literary era. 



Literature of a high order was virtually extinguished 
in France during the terrors of the Revolution. The 
public mind was too excited by grim realities for the neces- 
sary calm to consider works of the imagination or reason. 
Yet the mind must still be supplied with intellectual food, 
and found it in parliamentary eloquence and journalism. 
The latter, indeed, may be said to have been created for 
France at this time. There was also, strange to say, con- 
siderable scientific writing; chemistry and natural phil- 
osophy were cultivated throughout the stormiest period. 
But literature proper had to await a breathing time, when 
public thought could regain its balance and recover from 
the shock of the explosion. The national ideal had been 
cast from its throne at the very time and by the very means 
which were expected to extend its sway over the earth. 

Before the Revolution, while France in general was 
still professedly and really Catholic, the skepticism of the 
English deists of the Eighteenth Century had permeated 
its higher literature. Voltaire had early and prophetically 
declared, in view of the general borrowing from the Eng- 
lish, "we shall imperceptibly acquire from them their noble 
freedom of thought and their profound contempt for the 
petty trifling of the schools." The French wits and think- 
ers went far beyond their English teachers. Nothing was 
free from their mockery, which was open and undisguised. 
The church, the government, the throne, did not escape. 
The Classicism, which had prevailed in literature for nearly 



two centuries and formed its finest models, was contrasted 
with the Gothic freedom of Shakespeare and Milton. But 
in pure literature the classic spirit was not lightly to be 
extinguished. The Encyclopaedists, D'Alembert and 
Diderot, with their destructive criticism, did not in their 
great work undertake to dispel all illusions. They 
restricted themselves to statement of facts. But in the 
salons profound human problems w^re discussed and 
solved by means of epigrams. Faith was undermined 
and when the fearful time of trial came, it fell, and srreat 
was the fall thereof. Church, state, religion, literature, 
went down — in one vast ruin blent. At the close of the 
Century France, so far as literature is concerned, was 
living on husks. The soul seemed to have left the body of 
her poetry ; the outward form of the drama was devoid of 
substance; philosophers discoursed in lifeless platitudes. 
Brunetiere, the greatest living French critic, declares that 
the decay of classicism in his country's literature was due 
to its rule of preserving the impersonal. In literature 
abstractions were sought for, the presentation of real char- 
acter w^as excluded. The decadence of the later Eight- 
eenth Century literature was derived from these two 
causes, the growth of philosophic materialism on the one 
hand, and a sham idealism on the other. 

The powerful Voltaire, the cro\\Tied laureate of the 
nation, the perfect embodiment of the Gallic mocking 
spirit, never disturbed the prescribed rules of literature in 
poetry or prose. However revolutionan,- in actual effect 
were his utterances, in form they were of perfect propriety 
according to the canons of the time. He therefore re- 
mains distinctly the national classic, whose precise work 
is imperfectly comprehended outside of France. But 
Rousseau, his younger contemporary, the gloomy, dreary 
Swiss republican, was more than a Frenchman — he be- 


longed to all Europe. He was the inventor of new modes 
of thought and writing, the apostle of sentimentalism, the 
teacher of love of nature, the reformer of education, the 
reconstructor of human society. In due time his ideas 
germinated. All Europe heeded his voice and gave reality 
to his dreams. Literature, education, government, so- 
ciety, took on new forms according to his bidding. One 
man, of little account in literature, Rouget de Lisle, was 
inspired at the opening of the Revolution to give voice 
to the impassioned feelings of his countrymen in the spirit- 
stirring "Marseillaise," still the national song of France. 

Three other men of moderate power have had a lasting 
influence on French literature. Beaumarchais, in his 
Figaro comedies, taught the Nineteenth Century how the 
drama can sparkle with wit, satire, wholesome merriment, 
but, like too many others, tainted it with indelicacy. Ber- 
nardin de Saint-Pierre was the successor of Rousseau in 
propagating love of nature and made the world his debtor 
by the romantic story of "Paul and Virginia." The third 
figure is Andre Chenier, guillotined at thirty-two, who 
combined the sensuous feeling of modern verse with a 
marked classic simplicity. These three, so different in 
life and work, were yet, each in his own peculiar way, 
harbingers of the coming Romanticism. They agreed in 
proclaiming individualism as a protest against the imper- 
sonal ideals of the later decaying classicism. 

Even the pioneer scientists, like Buffon, and philoso- 
phers, like Condorcet, showed regard for this individual- 
ism. Man in himself was to be regarded as greater than 
mathematical and political and theological systems. 
Henceforth the human heart was to be the theme and realm 
of an awakened literature. None of these forerunners 
saw the tendency of their own work, but in retrospect it is 
possible to trace a sure movement toward the old faiths 


that had been so violently flung off. The transition from 
lifeless classicism and materialistic philosophy to sunny 
Romanticism and renewed Christianity may be dated from 
the very opening of the Nineteenth Century. 

By the Revolution of the i8th Brumaire (9th of 
November, 1799), Napoleon Bonaparte was made First 
Consul and became virtually supreme dictator of France. 
His imparalleled military and unscrupulous political 
glories had raised him to that proud eminence. Fully 
aware of the unstable foundation of his suddenly acquired 
power, he was desirous to cement it with the potent tradi- 
tions of the past. Utterly indifferent as he was personally 
to spiritual considerations, he was well aware of their 
incalculable influence on the mass of mankind, and he saw 
clearly the growing desire of the people for much that 
they had lost. The failure of the vaunted Revolution to 
realize the sublime dreams of its self-deceived promoters 
was palpable to all. For liberty, equality, fraternity, they 
had received slaver}', anarchy, bloodshed. They longed 
for the restoration of order, for a government which 
should possess the ability and will to maintain itself un- 
moved against foreign enemies and domestic factions, for 
the restoration of the Christian worship. Napoleon de- 
clared that his object in the permission of public worship 
was to gain the hearts of the people. In return for the 
contemplated ridicule of the skeptics he won the gratitude 
of millions throughout the Empire. But further he made 
way for an unexpected triumph of Catholicism which not 
only greatly assisted him at the time, but eventually revo- 
lutionized the literature of France. 



If one man and one book can fairly be fixed as marking 
the entrance of the new order of French literature, that 
honor belongs to Franqois Auguste, Vicomte de Chateau- 
briand and his work, "Le Genie du Christianisme" (The 
Genius of Christianity), published in 1802. In that work 
was included "Rene," a somewhat gloomy youthful 
romance of the "sensibility" type, afterwards issued sepa- 
rately. Though not strictly great as a writer, and cer- 
tainly not great as a man, Chateaubriand fancied himself 
to be Napoleon's literary counterpart. He really had an im- 
mense influence not only on literature, but on popular 
thought. He was bom of a noble Breton family in 1768, 
and was intended for the church, but entered the army at 
sixteen, and was presented at the court of Louis XVI. On 
the outbreak of the Revolution, having neither accepted 
nor rejected the new opinions, he voyaged to America in a 
fruitless attempt to discover the northwest passage, still 
dreamed of by geographers. He journeyed from Niagara 
to New Orleans, and this visit gave him direct knowledge 
of American scenery, which he utilized later. He dined 
with Washington in Philadelphia, and said with reference 
to him, "There is virtue in the look of a great man. I felt 
myself warmed and refreshed by it during the rest of my 
life." On hearing of the execution of the King, Chateau- 
briand returned to France, and as a royalist joined the 
"emigrants." He also, at his sister's suggestion, mar- 
ried a lady from whom he soon parted, though he con- 
tinued to show her respect. After being wounded in 


Conde's army, he took refuge in London, where he re- 
mained until 1800, in honorable poverty. Here he wrote 
an essay on the Revolution, showing the bitterness of his 
spirit. He also began his work on Christianity, which 
occupied altogether four years. In 1801 he published the 
romance "Atala," portraying the loves of idealized Ameri- 
can Indians, and depicting the primeval forest scenery of 
the New World. Amid the plaudits awarded to this pic- 
turesque romance of natural emotions and primitive so- 
ciety Chateaubriand issued the "Genie du Christianisme" 
( 1802). It was likewise an innovation, both as a literary 
and a philosophical performance. After the multitude of 
books and discourses which had dismissed Christianity as 
vulgar and obsolete, here was a champion who exalted it 
above Paganism and skepticism, who did not dwell on its 
truth, but on its artistic superiority. The new work 
showed religion possessed of all the arts of refinement and 
the dignity of a royal career. In it were displayed Cha- 
teaubriand's poetical gifts of interpretation and expres- 
sion. His readers enjoyed his delineation of historic 
events, of the experiences, emotions and outpourings of 
Christian life. Compared with these the pretentious 
fictions and stilted poems of the Century just past seemed 
hollow and worthless. The terrible realities of social con- 
vulsion made these pictures of a better life strongly capti- 
vating to wearied and anxious minds. The author had 
struck the right chord for the times and the public mood, 
by lifting poetical romance into the region of religious 
feeling. He revealed the beauties and elevation of relig- 
ion. Subsequent historians and philosophers, as well as 
poets and romancists, confess their indebtedness to Cha- 
teaubriand for splendor of style. 

Napoleon recogfnized the author, now famous, by ap- 
pointing him secretary to the embassy at Rome. But 


Chateaubriand was estranged from the Emperor by the 
murder of the Due d'Enghien, and he later pronounced 
the condition of France under Napoleon "slavery without 
shame." In 1806 he made a tour to Greece and Palestine 
to familiarize himself with regions in which he proposed 
to lay the scene of a new romance. This was a prose 
epic, entitled "The Martyrs ; or, the Triumphs of the Chris- 
tian Religion" (1809). It treated of the persecution of 
Diocletian, and wanders from the Holy Land to Gaul and 
mythical Frankish Kings. It presents the argument of 
his greater work in a more popular form. The "Itinerary 
from Paris to Jerusalem" (1811) is a picturesque record 
of the author's travels. His implacable enmity to 
Napoleon was shown in his eloquent pamphlet "Bonaparte 
and the Bourbons" ( 1814) , which Louis XVIII afterward 
declared had been worth to him a thousand men. 

Under the Restoration the renowned Chateaubriand 
showed himself an ultra-royalist. He held embassies to 
Berlin, London, and Rome, and was for some months min- 
ister of foreign affairs. After the Revolution of 1830 
he refused to take the oath of allegiance to Louis Philippe. 
His waywardness in politics is indicated in his own words : 
"I am a Bourbonist by honor, a royalist by reason and con- 
viction, and a republican by taste and character." His 
writings after the Restoration added nothing to his repu- 
tation or influence. His brilliant imagination and elo- 
quent style enabled him to endow his books with vital 
force. He died in July, 1848, having witnessed the 
advent of the second Republic. His posthumous memoirs, 
"Memoires d'Outre-Tombe" (1849), displayed his genius 
and egotism. He had filled a large space as author, trav- 
eler and politician, but his chief distinction is in having 
inaugurated the return of French literature from artificial- 
ness and negation to the natural and supernatural in art. 



From a different starting-point and in a different way 
Madame de Stael contributed to infuse new ideals and 
methods into French literature. It is impossible here to 
give full consideration to the genius and unique person- 
ality of this extraordinary woman. She was born at 
Paris in 1766, Anne Louise Germaine Necker, daughter 
of the famous Swiss banker and financier, Jacques Necker, 
who had been made a baron and minister of France. Her 
mother was Suzanne Curchod, with whom the historian 
Gibbon had once been in love. As a child the daughter 
was trained by her mother in rather a rigid way, but at her 
more liberal father's instance she was early permitted to 
converse with the distinguished men of the time. Her 
precocity was extraordinary and her vivacity baffled her 
mother's efforts to control it. At the age of twenty she 
was married to Eric Magnus, Baron of Stael-Holstein, 
who was preferred by her father to other suitors, but for 
whom she had no real affection. She obtained by this 
marriage a privileged place at court, as her husband was 
the Swedish Ambassador. After his death in 1802, if not 
even before, she professed enthusiastic attachments to 
various distinguished public characters, not excepting 
Napoleon himself, who hated her as a woman that had 
departed from her sphere and as a political idealist. Her 
mental development, social experiences and philosophical 
aims must be rehearsed. 

In 1788 she published "Letters on Rousseau" and other 
short papers on literary topics, in which her coming pow- 
ers are discernible. During the Reign of Terror she made 
courageous and successful efforts to save the lives of some 
proscribed persons. In 1793 she withdrew to England, 
where she lived with Talleyrand and other exiles. But in 


1795 she returned to Paris to wield considerable influence 
under the Directory. In 1800 was published her import- 
ant treatise ''De la Litterature consideree dans ses Rap- 
ports avec les Institutions Sociales" (On Literature Con- 
sidered in its Relations with Social Institutions). Here 
she contended nobly for the greater liberty asserted, 
claimed, and ultimately won by the patriots of the Ameri- 
can Revolution. She declared her faith in human nature, 
in progress, and in republican principles, which would 
inspire a grand world-literature, uniting the practical and 
the ideal. So far she still adhered to the philosophical 
style then in vogue. In her first novel "Delphine" ( 1802) 
she bewailed the lot of gifted women with ambitions. The 
heroine's free will, free speech and free acts are all mis- 
interpreted by a stupid community so that despairing of 
liberty with a good name, she flies to the wilds of 

Madame de Stael was herself banished by Napoleon's 
order from Paris and forbidden to reside within forty 
leagues of that capital. She went to Germany and sought 
the society of Goethe, Schiller and Schlegel at Weimar. 
The great German poet listened to her brilliant conversa- 
tion "with vast admiration and not a little fatigue." She 
insisted on philosophizing in society, and gave her 
hearers, who were expected to reply, not a moment for 
reflection on the most important topics. They must 
dispatch the deepest concerns as lightly as in a game of 
shuttlecock. After a tour in Italy, this swift-witted woman 
produced, in 1807, her best-known novel, "Corinne," in 
which she herself, somewhat idealized, is the heroine, a 
woman of genius hemmed in by conventional restrictions. 
She has a faithless lover, and dies of a broken heart. The 
author had returned to France to attend to the publication 
of this work, but its success drew from Napoleon an order 


banishing her from France. She had incurred his enmity 
persisting in severe criticisms of his actions in spite of 
warning. After travehng in Germany, she settled at 
Coppet, in Switzerland, where several of her friends went 
to console her. Her book on Germany ''De V Allemagne" 
was printed at Paris in 1810, but seized by the police, and' 
not reprinted until 1813 in London. In it she portrayed 
intellectual and political Germany with keen feminine 
intuition. Contrasting the literatures of France and 
Germany she showed tliat the former concerned itself 
mainly with a limited society and consequently lacked the 
element of growth and elevation traceable in the literature 
of the Northern races, marked by imagination, introspec- 
tion, and religious sentiment. Goethe declared the work 
ought to be ''a powerful battery making a wide breach in 
the wall of superannuated prejudices between the two 
nations." By this tribute to the rising German literature 
and by example in her mature writings, Aladame de Stael 
gave a strong impulse to the Romantic movement. 
Though aristocratic in sentiment, she was not hostile to 
the Revolution. She admired the German temperament 
and believed that reason and philosophy made steady 
progress despite the innumerable misfortunes of the 
human race. She inveighed against social restrictions 
which prevented her from living in freedom from conven- 
tional rules. Her timely exposition of German intellectual 
power had considerable effect on French thought. Among 
her other works are autobiographic memoirs, entitled "Ten 
Years of Exile," and "Considerations on the French Revo- 
lution," which was published after her decease in July, 
1 817. She had returned to Paris after Napoleon's abdica- 
tion. Her daughter became the Duchess de Broglie. 
Madame de Stael was formerly considered the greatest 
authoress of modern times, but her fame has declined in 



recent years. Critics now maintain that in style she is too 
diffuse, and in matter she had Httle originahty, but great 
power of absorption of the best ideas of others, which she 
then expressed with admirable vigor and clearness. 


The new literature which was to signalize the new 
Century found its most telling expression in imaginative 
writings, that class of work which most directly touches 
the heart. But this spirit also animated the works of phil- 
osophers and religionists, whose conflicting contributions 
to the thought of the day, though sometimes resisting the 
rising tide, yet in the main added to its momentum. A 
certain class, who were known as Ideologists, bold pro- 
pounders of advanced ideas, argued in other literary forms 
than poetry and fiction. The most accessible and perhaps 
the most representative book of this class is Volney's 
''Ruins of Empires," as it has been called in English. Its 
dreamy meditations are not without lofty eloquence and 
poetical charm. The author, Constantin Frangois Chasse- 
boeuf, Comte de Volney (1757-1820), was a traveler and 
moderate statesman, who was raised to the peerage and 
Senate by Napoleon, though he was not a servile partisan. 
The name of his chief work is in French, "Les Ruines, ou 
Meditation sur les Revolutions des Empires." It was 
published in 179 1, but is mentioned here as being the repre- 
sentative of a class which continued into the present Cen- 
tury. He visited the United States, and wrote a book on 
its climate and soil. His last work was "Researches on 
Ancient History" (1814). 

Among the general writers a notable figure is Hugues 
Felicite Robert de Lamennais (1782-1854). As a priest 
and ardent champion of the church he was deeply dis- 


tressed by the widening of. the gulf between it and the 
people. With his poetical temperament he set himself to 
bridge that gulf with mutual concessions and thus unite 
theocracy and democracy in happy content. This ideal 
he sought to make practical. After a sojourn in England 
he published a work that made a startling and deep impres- 
sion, "Essai sur I' Indifference en Matiere de Religion" 
(Essay on Indifference in Regard to Religion). The 
conservative party in the church sharply criticized the 
work, but this opposition moved him to more aggressive 
polemics, resulting in more ecclesiastical trouble. His 
paper L'Avenir (The Dawn) had for its flamboyant motto 
"God and Liberty ; the Pope and the People," and called 
upon the clergy to separate themselves from Kings and 
join with the working classes. But this programme was 
too radical and the paper was suppressed. Failing to 
broaden the church, Lamennais changed his tack and 
sought to spiritualize democracy. His "Paroles d'un 
Croyant" (Words of a Believer) is a singular but fascin- 
ating prose poem. He was derisively charged with 
flaunting the cross crowned with the red cap of Liberty, 
like Pere Hyacinthe of the present day. Lamesinais did 
valiant service in behalf of intellectual progress, mellowed 
by religious faith, but his church frowned him down, de- 
fied his not unfriendly attacks, and let him die outside its 
pale. In the history of literature he must be reckoned as 
one of the forces in the widespread Romantic movement. 


We pass to the creative writers whose works appeal 
to the sense of pleasure first and to the reasoning faculty 
only secondarily. The first and greatest of these is cer- 
tainly Victor Hugo, preeminent in both prose and poetry, 


but on account of the length of his career, treatment of 
him is postponed. The next greatest is Lamartine, who 
Hkewise distinguished himself in the two grand divisions ; 
a third, Beranger, wrote only songs for the people. Treat- 
ing them in chronological order, the last is first to be con- 
sidered. Jean Pierre de Beranger, born in 1780, has been 
denied by some critics a place among the poets, but he 
was certainly a song-maker, and the dividing line has yet 
to be discovered which shall exclude the songs of Burns 
and Beranger from the garden of poetry. If the question 
were to be decided by the sovereign people, who would 
be more likely to gain their suffrages than the candidate 
who could set them singing his ideas in their own simple 
language? It was because the appeal was to the people 
that Beranger, to his own amused astonishment, found 
himself a power in the land. For he did not possess the 
recognized elements of greatness, either as man or po<;t. 
Born of the humblest class, he was apprenticed to a 
printer, and began to write songs at the age of sixteen. 
Some of these he sent to Lucien Bonaparte, who rewarded 
him handsomely and procured for him a clerkship under 
the Empire. Thenceforth he was equally devoted to 
Napoleon and the Republic, and despised the emigrant 
nobles. After the Restoration he lost his place and was 
fined and imprisoned for his biting satires. His songs 
helped to bring about the Revolution of 1830, but he 
refused to accept any office from the new government, nor 
would he serve when elected to the Constituent Assembly 
of 1848. Though he lived in a garret, he had long been 
allowed to sing as he pleased, and this was his only desire. 
As he says in one of his songs, "God in His grace bade me 
sing. Sing, poor little one." When he died, in 1854, the 
Government of Napoleon III accorded this people's poet 

a grand funeral. 
Vol.. 9 — 14 


Beranger sent his artless songs straight into the hearts 
of the people, and set them singing grander sentiments 
than they could even have comprehended in eloquent prose. 
A loftier and purer inspiration would have limited his use- 
fulness or have brought it to an untimely end. Of an easy 
temperament, with a love of simple comfort in perilous 
times, he gave the people chorus-songs of love and jollity, 
while waiting for the good time coming, and in each 
sprinkled some political spice. For more than thirty years 
he reigned as king of the light-hearted whistling multi- 
tude. He was the poet, he felt himself the prophet, of 
old and young folks, at home and out of doors, and varied 
his song to suit each class, yet without yielding his own 
clear view of what was right. Those qualities ensured 
popularity, which Beranger estimated and utilized to the 
full. The politics may be obsolete, but other elements of 
his songs remain, of which many a greater poet would be 
proud. He was despised by both classicists and Roman- 
ticists in his day as vulgar, but the best critics of to-day 
recognize his lively wit, his touching pathos, his hearty 
patriotism, his thorough humanity. His power is still felt 
in the later popular lyrics. 


Lamartine, compared with Beranger, fills a nobler 
space in a loftier realm. Whatever Beranger lacked to 
make his songs undeniably true poems — depth, dignity, 
sublimity — Lamartine possessed. His grandeur of soul 
lifted him beyond the reach of his early comrades. In that 
age of sentiment even the affectation of it gave some writ- 
ers reputation. But with Lamartine all was genuine. It 
was the free spirit rather than his highly finished verses 
that gave him lasting fame. Alphonse Marie Louis Prat 


de Lamartine was born at Macon in Southern France in 
1790. From his infancy, he revelled in the beautiful, as 
his expanding mind perceived it in his mother's readings, 
in the dawn of love with sorrow in its train and in Italian 
travel. He entered the life-guards of Louis XVHI in 
1 8 14, but retired to Switzeidand during the Hundred 
Days. In 1820 he published his "Meditations Poetiques," 
the masterpiece of which is the elegy "Le Lac" (The 
Lake), expressing the contrast between the instability of 
human affairs and the perseverance of nature. The 
appearance of this book has been likened to that of a new 
planet in the firmament, brilliant and abiding. Here was 
a singer who, discarding artifice, struck the new, true 
note. His beloved one had passed away, but the love 
survived. In these meditations on the mysteries of life, 
love, and death Lamartine gave play to the elemental 
emotions common to all men. The book gave a new trend 
to poetry. 

After serving as charge d'affaires at Florence, Lamar- 
tme returned to Paris and in 1830^ published a new vol- 
ume, "Harmonics Poetiques et Religieuses" (Poetical and 
Religious Harmonies), declaring his devotion to the 
church and throne. After the Revolution of that year he 
gave up his official position. With his wife, an English 
woman, and his daughter, he made a tour in the East, and 
returning published, in 1833, what is called in the English 
version "A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land." He had mean- 
time been elected to the Chamber of Deputies, and in the 
course of a few years passed from conservative to republi- 
can principles. In 1836 "Jo^^^Y^^" was published, an 
ambitious attempt at poetizing an incident of the Revolu- 
tion. Jocelyn, a peasant child, had taken refuge in the 
mountains from the perils of the time, and there found a 
companion, who, after their friendship is established, is 


discovered to be a girl. ''J^^celyn" is an essentially noble 
poem, soaring to the heights, exquisite in description, and 
chaste in conception, but its length and monotony of mel- 
ancholy prevent it from reaching the standard of its 
predecessors. Lamartine's last great poem, "La Chute 
d'un Ange" (The Fall of an Angel), was still more a fail- 
ure. It is an unwieldly composition, too flighty for a 
treatise on human ideals, too sentimental for an epic like 
"Paradise Lost." 

Lamartine had now evidently exhausted his stock of 
poetic inspiration. He may then have deliberately given to 
statecraft a genius better fitted for poetry, as Milton had 
done in the middle of his career, or his ambition may have 
spurred him to attempt other conquests in the arena of 
public life. If eloquence and other oratorical gifts had 
sufficed to sustain a great statesman's reputation, Lamar- 
tine might have had that fame. But there seems to have 
been a glittering insincerity in the poet, and the same qual- 
ity made him in his political career a skilful time-server. 
His eloquent "History of the Girondists" ( 1847) , in which 
he first avowed democratic principles, had an important 
political influence in bringing about a new Revolution. 
For a few glorious months in 1848 Lamartine seeme^d the 
master of his country's destinies, and then fell to an in- 
glorious obscurity. He labored diligently with the pen, 
pouring out a vast quantity of his historical, biographical 
and autobiographical works, which are useful but not in- 
spiring. His last purely literary work was the pretty 
romance of "Graziella" (1852). He lingered under the 
imperialism which he had anathematized and even became 
a pensioner of Napoleon III before he died in 1869. 

The immortal part of a man's work must be viewed in 
the light of the times and conditions in which it was done. 
Lamartine came when poetry was limping, unbound its 


wings and set it free to soar. For this his fame may 
rightly be judged to transcend that of greater poets who 
followed where he had led. His after decline may per- 
haps be traced to the enervating affectation of sentiment 
which brought to light the defects of its noble quality. 
Chateaubriand and Lamartine are conspicuous examples 
of true genius crippled and finally smothered with insin- 
cerity of thought and over-refinement of diction. 

The lasting popularity of the affecting story of "Pic- 
ciola; or, the Prison Flower" (1825) entitles its author 
to mention. Xavier Boniface Saintine (1790-1845) left 
nothing of merit besides this brief story. 


Henri Beyle (1783- 1842), who used the pen-name 
Stendhal, was a prolific writer of novels, remarkable for 
depth and a peculiar power of analysis. Though not 
widely known, he is considered by the foremost French 
critics to be not simply an able delineator of human pas- 
sions, but to be the precursor of the psychological novel- 
ists of recent times. He practically anticipated both the 
coming Romanticism and the later realism. He told 
Balzac, in 1840, that he fancied he "might meet with some 
success toward 1880." Born in 1783, he served under 
Napoleon, and in his hatred of the Restoration, betook 
himself to more congenial Italy. Its music, pictures and 
sculptures are worked into his early romances. After- 
ward a bitter philosophy is infused into his profoundly 
intellectual stories, and spoils their effect. Beyle wrote 
much miscellaneous biography and criticism. His aim 
in all his writings was to acquaint the nations with those 
literary works which yield the highest degree of pleasure. 
He had written first as an artist, but he afterward became a 


psychologist. His best novels are "Le Rouge et Noir** 
(The Red and Black) (1830) and "La Chartreuse de 
Parme" (The Carthusian Nun of Parma) (1839), but 
much of his influential work is of earlier date. 

In an essay, which was translated into English in 1823, 
Beyle contrasts the style of Racine with that of Shakes- 
peare, to the glory of the latter. Voltaire's tribute to the 
effect of the free note in English literature applies with 
renewed force to the years when the Waverley novels 
began to fill his countrymen with enthusiasm for romance. 
Beyle's efforts to enlarge and enrich the national litera- 
ture by introducing foreign theories and treatment were 
being put in execution. French dramatists and poets were 
busy transferring Othello and Shylock, Cromwell and 
Chatterton to their stage. The old national romances of 
Spain, Germany and other lands were also pressed into the 
new movement. Not only the poetical renaissance, but also 
the monarchial Restoration, had marked effect on the 
young writers of the time. The temporary result was a 
curious blending of effete conservatism with a sham lib- 
erty, but this could not last. If the Romantic spirit meant 
anything, it meant absolute freedom of range. It would 
discern and employ whatever of beauty the church and the 
throne had to boast, but it would enslave itself to neither. 
A small group, known as the Cenacle, withdrew from court 
service, and became the apostles of Romanticism, liber- 
ated from every species of fashionable patronage. 


The work of another writer belonging in part to this 
period has provoked considerable criticism. Some com- 
plain that he has not received full appreciation. Alfred 
de Vigny (1797-1863) was one of those men of gloomy 


genius who prefer the proud isolation of their souls to the 
applause of crowds. He was a young soldier when the 
Empire fell, and composed poems in the somber year of 
Waterloo. His first book was published in 1822, and 
was followed by another in 1826. These poems are 
thought by some to have had influence on the works of 
Hugo and other Romanticists, while others regard de 
Vigny himself as an imitator. He certainly ceased writing 
poetry for many years, but he published in 1826 the novel 
"Cinq-Mars." Here, again, critics differ; some pronounce 
it one of the finest, as well as earliest, historical romances 
in the style of Sir Walter Scott. But other critics declare 
it deficient in dramatic quality and even void of interest. 
It had an excellent style, and received the favor of the 
Royalist party. De Vigny married an English lady, but 
the union proved unhappy, and he took refuge in gloomy 
philosophy. His knowledge of English served him in 
paraphrazing "Othello" and adapting "Shylock" from 
Shakespeare. His own drama, "Chatterton," when pre- 
sented on the stage, shocked the audience by showing the 
hero's suicide. His strange book, "Stello," represents an 
invalid as relating to his physician the sad fate of three 
unfortunate poets — Gilbert, Chatterton, and Andre 
Chenier. His last work, "Poemes Philosophiques" was 
only partly published before his death. The poems 
abound in expressions of despondency, mingled with 
exhortations to stoical resignation. 


The radical difference between Classicism and Roman- 
ticism, so prominent in French literary history, may be 
broadly stated to be that between artificialism and natural- 
ism. The former insisted on strict observance of certain 


rules and principles derived by rhetoricians from the study 
of the ancient classics, the masterpieces of Greek and 
Roman literature. These rules were particularly strict 
in regard to the drama, and in France that form of litera- 
ture has always had a dominant effect on the rest. The 
three unities — of time, place, and action — must be strictly 
observed in every tragedy. The plays are in rhymed coup- 
lets, and each couplet must be complete in sense, as in 
Pope's poetry in English. The diction was strictly 
limited to dignified expressions, and certain words of con- 
stant use in prose were positively prohibited. The dra- 
matist who dared on one occasion to introduce in the most 
carefully guarded way the word "moiichoir" (handker- 
chief) was compelled to cancel it before the play could be 
repeated. Other artifices of refinement cramped the 
genius of French writers, and while many of their produc- 
tions are truly grand, the wonder to those accustomed to 
English freedom is not merely that under the stifling 
panoply genius could achieve so much, but that it could 
exist at all. Even the great Corneille was censured for his 
violation of rules in his masterpiece, "The Cid," but the 
unstinted applause of Paris supported him against the 
decision of the Academy. The rules of all poetn;. whether 
lyrical, satirical, didactic, or epic, were equally strict and 
cramping in regard to subject, treatment, diction, and 

But from England, just when it was adopting many 
of these artificial regulations for its own poetry, came the 
knowledge of what had been achieved by the so-called 
Gothic genius of Shakespeare and his successors. Both 
Voltaire and Rousseau resided for a time in England, and 
both were more affected by their novel surroundings than 
they were fully aware. Though Voltaire censured Shake- 


speare as barbarian, he was compelled to admit his power. 
Bolingbroke, Hume and others from Britain resided in 
France and diffused acquaintance with English literature. 
At the same time, Germany, casting off the bondage of 
French fashion, welcomed the English freedom and helped 
to transmit it to France. Later the emigrant nobles 
learned much in their exile, and did not altogether forget 
it on their return. Still more, the grand wars of Na- 
poleon caused an unprecedented mingling of races, and a 
breaking down of the barriers between them. Madame 
de Stael revealed to France the intellectual movement in 
Germany and called for a European bent of mind. When 
the French were thus made ready for the acceptance of 
new ideas, the Romantic movement began, not in one coun- 
try, but almost simultaneously in all the leading nations of 
Europe. In Great Britain it was manifest in the genius 
of Scott and Byron; in Germany in that of Goethe and 

The open controversy between the Classicists and the 
Romanticists was started by Lamartine in his "Medita- 
tions" in 1820, assisted by Victor Hugo's first book in 
1822, "Odes et Ballades." In the preface to the second 
edition Hugo roundly declared that he was "absolutely 
ignorant of what was meant by the Classic School and the 
Romantic School." But he certainly altered his views 
within a few years. Romanticism was opposed to arti- 
ficialism, conventionalism, and formalism in literature. It 
sought for freedom in choice of subjects and for natural 
expression of primal feelings. Some of the earliest, like 
Chateaubriand, to find scope for their feelings, went back 
to the religious fervor of olden times, or abroad to the 
simple nature of savage tribes. Later Romanticists, like 
Hugo, full of self-consciousness, sought to express directly 


their own emotions or passions. The impulse of every 
passing experience was to take the place of the studied 
phrases of classicism. Individual aspiration, hope, and 
despair were to be the body and soul of the new literature. 
To its exponents and enthusiasts the rules and traditions 
of poetry were of no value or use, but rather fetters and 
shackles. The heart alone must direct the voice or pen. 




In the land of Romance there are three Kingdoms — 
that of Poetry, of the Drama, of the Novel. Only once 
has one strong conqueror worn the triple crown, and that 
was when Victor Hugo was hailed as first in song, first 
in stagecraft, and first in prose fiction. Time has cor- 
rected not a few of the estimates formed by his contem- 
poraries, nevertheless, it cannot be disputed that he 
had a truly imperial genius, a mind that spanned the 
wide earth, and touched the heavens above and the depths 
of misery below. Hugo was the most romantic of poets 
and the most realistic of romancers. 

Victor Marie Hugo, born at Besan^on in 1802, passed 
as a child under powerful influences, traceable in his ma- 
ture work. His father was an army officer, who flourished 
and declined with the Bonapartes; his mother was a 
Catholic and a royalist. With her children she followed 
her husband to Spain and Italy, when Victor was but 
five years old. The characters, Hernani, Quasimodo, and 
Triboulet, are taken from incidents of that time. At fifteen 
he won the prize offered by the Academy for a poem on 
"The Advantages of Study," though there was at first 
some doubt whether this attempt of 320 lines could be 
original. Hugo had already written in his diary: "I 
wish to be Chateaubriand or nothing," and that great 
writer, then at the height of his renown, pronounced the 
boy poet "a sublime child." Other prizes were awarded 
to the youth at the Floral Games of Toulouse. He lived 



in Paris with his mother and remained in her faith until 
her death in 1820. His father, who had been obliged to 
dwell in seclusion at Blois, on account of his former con- 
nection with Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain, survived 
her eight years. In 1822 Hugo published his first book, 
"Odes et Ballades." The poems were highly finished, but 
not according to classical rules ; they were in wrong metres, 
and extravagant in style. Hugo was still a Royalist and 
had not openly withdrawn from the Classicists. King 
Louis XVIII, hoping to encourage a new genius in aid of 
the Bourbons, bestowed on him a pension of 1,500 francs. 
This was welcome, for Hugo had married his youthful 
love, Adele Foucher. In 1823 came his first novel, ''Hans 
d'Islande" (Hans of Iceland), which shows the fondness 
for the extravagant and grotesque, found in his later 
works. "Bug Jargal" (1826), the next tale, was praised 
in the organ of the "Romantics," who were then beginning 
their war on the Classicists. 

The French Academy, always so potent in literature, 
was at this time decidedly opposed to innovations, and 
upheld the principles which had dominated the Eighteenth 
Century. The young writers who had grown up amid 
the storms of the Revolution and Empire, rebelled against 
its dictation. Hugo, though deeply filled with the spirit 
of Romanticism, held aloof for a time, and then entering 
the new school, passed at once to its head. In the preface 
to his drama, "Cromwell" (1827), which was not allowed 
to be acted, he preached the new doctrine. "Amy 
Robsart," which was based on Scott's "Kenilworth," was 
not successful. These dramas from English sources 
showed the direction of the author's thoughts. When 
"Marion Delorme," which had been approved by the poet's 
friends, was offered for presentation on the stage, the cen- 
sor found disloyal allusions in it and prohibited its produC' 


tion. King Charles X, whom Hugo had eulogized in an 
ode, offered to quadruple his pension if he would withdraw 
the play, but the poet, who declared that it was not meant 
to have any political significance, refused to accept the 
bribe, and wrote at once another drama, ''Hernani." The 
first performance of the new play on Saturday, February 
25, 1830, was made a battle between the old and the new, 
the Classicists, and the "Romantics." The former gath- 
ered to hiss, the latter, comprising several who were after- 
ward notable in literature, decked themselves with red 
badges and gay apparel, and came to applaud. Young 
France was victorious in spite of brawls. Though the 
press, with but one exception, condemned the play, it was 
repeated for two months. The King had aided the Clas- 
sicists in the attempts to crush the play and in July he had 
to fly from Paris. Hugo had been made a power in the 
state in spite of himself. 

The victorious dramatist published a volume of poems, 
"Les Feuilles d'Automne" (Autumn Leaves), which 
added to his fame. This was still further increased by his 
great historical novel, "Notre Dame de Paris" (1831), 
which fairly presents both his strength and his weakness. 
It is full of contrasts, guilt and innocence, beauty and 
deformity, intrigue and simplicity, ferocity and love. The 
work itself, in spite of its grandeur, is an ill constructed 
conglomeration. The author was entirely destitute of 
humor, and therefore liable to pass unconsciously from 
eloquence to bombast, from the sublime to the ridiculous. 
And yet this great work has not inaptly been compared to 
the great cathedral which gives it name — an architectural 
wonder, full of splendid sculpture and ornament, brilliant 
shows and gloomy recesses, glorious works of religious art 
and frightful or burlesque gargoyles. The censorship of 
the stage was relaxed under the new citizen King, Louis 


Philippe, and when ^'Marion Delorme" was allowed to 
appear, it ran for more than two months. The contest 
between the Classicists and "Romantics" continued at its 
representation. Then Hugo wrote a new drama, ''Le Roi 
S'amuse" (The King's diversion), a play of the time of 
Francis I, which was performed amid a tumult. The cen- 
sor had condemned some passages, and the press pro- 
nounced against the whole play as indecent. King Louis 
Philippe was induced by the Conservatives to forbid its 
repetition. LIugo defended his play against the charge of 
immorality and sued in the courts for compensation, but 
was defeated. Still undaunted, he produced another 
drama, perhaps still more offensive, "Lucrece Borgia," 
which was presented at a different theater. So he went 
on, year after year, writing plays, sometimes in verse, as 
the foregoing were, according to the old rules, and some- 
times in prose, according to the new license. His last suc- 
cessful play was "Ruy Bias," in 1838. Then his popularity 
as a dramatist passed to younger men, who had been 
trained by his example. In 1843 ^^ tried to regain favor 
by "Les Bur graves," but it failed and was withdrawn after 
a month's presentation. Yet Hugo did not altogether 
relinquish dramatic writing, as some half dozen examples 
remain to prove. 

In the meantime his poetical activity had continued 
unabated. In "Les Orientals" (Songs of the Orient) his 
lyrical power is displayed in richness befitting its title. In 
"Les Chants du Crepuscule" (Chants of the Twilight) 
he deals with the realities of modem life, divided between 
hope and despondency. "Les Voix Intcricures" (The 
Inner Voices), dedicated to his father, and "Les Rayons 
et les Ombres" (The Rays and the Shadows), repeat this 
mingled strain. On these volumes Hugo's fame as a 
lyrical poet firmly rests ; other French poets have equaled 


him in power or delicacy; he alone combines both in an 
eminent degree. 

Hugo was defeated more than once in seeking a place 
in the French Academy, but succeeded in 1841, thanks to 
the goodwill of Balzac, who retired from the competition, 
and never became an Academician. Four years later Hugo 
was made a peer. When Louis Philippe was driven into 
exile by the Revolution of 1848, Hugo supported the 
Republic, and in the new Assembly he showed his demo- 
cratic and socialist tendencies. Though taunted with his 
political changes, he remained firm in his new principles. 
He so strenuously opposed Louis Napoleon, that when the 
coup d'etat was effected in December, 185 1, Hugo's name 
was put at the head of the proscribed, and a large reward 
offered for his capture. He was concealed by a Royalist 
nobleman, escaped to Brussels, and afterward fixed his 
residence in Guernsey in the English Channel. His exile 
continued until the fall of the Empire in 1870, and was 
rich in literary production. In ceaseless diatribes in prose 
and verse, he continued his war on Napoleon the Little. 
Among other publications were "Les Contemplations" a 
poetical record of his own early life ; and the first part of a 
projected epic, "La Legcnde des Siecles" (Legend of the 
Ages), which was to embody the history of the human 
race in pictures of successive epochs. But a grander prose 
work was to extend his fame over the world. In 1862 
appeared "Les Miserahles," in which he put forth all his 
powers as if to eclipse the generation of popular novelists 
by one mighty effort. It consists of five volumes, and 
reveals to the gaze of the world the life of the wretched 
and outcast. The author himself with his love for grand 
phrases, called it "a sort of planetary system, making the 
circuit about one giant mind that is the personification of 
all social evil." It was followed in 1866 by "Les Travail- 


leurs de la Mer" (The Toilers of the Sea), founded on his 
observation of the fisher-folk of Guernsey. Still another 
of the same kind was "L'Homnic qui Rit" (The Man Who 
Laughs) ( 1869) , which was less popular. Hugo, though 
a monarch in literature, was a preacher as well as a poet, 
and though a peer of France, desired to win the hearts and 
suffrages of the uncultured multitude. From his island re- 
treat he often put forth appeals in behalf of those oppressed 
or in danger of condemnation to death, and called for the 
abolition of capital punishment, as he had already done 
when in the Assembly. On the surrender of Napoleon 
III at Sedan in September, 1870, Hugo returned to Paris, 
and at once took an active part in public affairs. He was 
now an extreme Radical, and as such was elected in 1876 a 
Senator for life. During the last years of his life he was 
regarded by the people as a national hero. Yet he did 
not rest from literary labor, but sent forth pamphlets, 
poems, autobiographic sketches, a drama, and one more 
powerful novel, " Quatre-vingt-treize," treating of insur- 
rection in Brittany in belialf of the King in 1793. One of 
his most channing productions is the volume of verse, 
"L'Art d'etre Grand- pere" (The Art of Being a Grand- 
father) . He died after a brief illness on the 226. of May, 
1885. His state burial at the Pantheon was a memorable 

Hugo's national popularity may be attributed partly to 
his longevity. He became the Grand Old Man of France. 
But his fame was founded on the most substantial work. 
In lyrical poetry he excelled Lamartine and Alfred de 
Musset In the amount, the variety, the power, and the deli- 
cacy of his odes. In the drama he had no close competi- 
tor. In fiction he surpassed Balzac, who, though a most 
laborious workman, never became a real artist. He rivals 
Dumas in his depiction of adventure, and George Sand in 


delineation of emotion and idyllic life. Other poets, 
dramatists, and novelists in various degrees claimed pop- 
ular attention, but Hugo rose above them in his splendid 
enthusiasm for humanity and marvelous versatility. He 
v^as the typical representative of the Gallic spirit at its 
best enthusiastic and rhetorical, eloquent in behalf of the 
oppressed and in denunciation of tyranny, abounding in 
epigram and prone to exaggeration. No other man of the 
Century lorded it so superbly over so vast and brilliant a 
realm as did Hugo, governing with the glad consent of 
the governed. More than graceful courtesy moved the 
Laureate of England to lay his wreath on Hugo's coffin, 
bearing the inscription, 'To the World's Greatest Poet." 


After Hugo there followed a brilliant crowd of writers, 
who adorn the new reign of Romance. In the Cenacle 
one of the youngest was Alfred de Musset (181 0-185 7), a 
typical Parisian, regarding pleasure as the chief end of 
life. He was a disciple of Hugo, and still more of Byron, 
and published at nineteen, "Contes d'Espagne et d'ltalie" 
(Stories of Spain and Italy), which had an immediate 
success. The stories are in verse and are ideals of love- 
poetry. His first drama, "Une Nuit Vmitienne" (A 
Venetian Night), failed on the stage in 1830, and the 
author was seriously hurt. After some further poems, 
Musset returned to the drama, producing "Les Caprices de 
Marianne" (Marianne's Caprices), in which he sought to 
present a compromise which should combine the merits of 
the Classical and the Romantic schools. Through adhering 
pretty closely to the unities, it is fully imbued with the 
Romantic spirit. It is called a comedy from its fresh dia- 
logue and swift action, but it has also tragical elements in 


plot and character. The chief event of Mnsset's career is 
his unfortunate liaison with George Sand, which has given 
rise to much controversy. The two authors went to Italy 
in 1833, and after a short period of passionate devotion, 
separated. George Sand published her version of the 
story in "Elk et Lid" (She and He), charging him with 
mad jealousy. After Alfred's death, his brother Paul 
replied in "Lui et Elle" (He and She), charging her with 
mfidelity. When Alfred recovered from the shock, he 
produced his most notable poems, "Les Nuits" (The 
Nights) , describing the seasons of love in four parts, May, 
August, October, December. His prose ''Confession 
d'un Enfant dii Steele" (Confession of a Child of the 
Age), is a wild protest against his surroundings, throw- 
ing all the blame of the moral evil of the time on the despot- 
ism of Napoleon. The fault of the poet's life lay in the 
moral weakness of the man himself. His genius enabled 
him to give expression to the ardor of his youth and to the 
mental conflict of his later dissipated life. He was ad- 
mitted to the Academy in 1852, being then regarded as a 
poet of the highest rank. 

Other poets and dramatists of the Romantic school 
who became also novelists, will be treated later. The most 
notable WTre Theophile Gautier and Alexandre 
Petrus Borel and Gerard de Nerv^al affected wierd poetry 
with a certain success. Later came Charles Baudelaire 
(182 1- 1 867), who translated Poe's short stories. He 
copied and exaggerated the morbid features of his master's 
imaginative writings. He had, however, original genius 
which he unfortunately put to vile uses, making the evil of 
human nature the theme for his artistic skill in language. 
His excellent critical instinct is seen in some admirable 
studies of poets. 


The novel, now all but supreme in the literature of the 
world, is traced by literary historians to the prose romance 
which originated, with little, if any foreign impulse, in 
France in the Twelfth Century. It was at first the telling 
in simpler form for a ruder audience of the poetical 
romances of chivalry, as in "Amadis of Gaul." In the 
Seventeenth Century there arose pastoral romances 
which described the characters and doings of the 
French court under a disguise borrowed from ancient 
history. Then there came tales of the adventures of 
rogues and vagabonds. But the name Novel was applied 
to the long drawn out tales which depended for their inter- 
est on their "sensibility," or proper regulation of the ten- 
der feelings of the human heart. With the opening of the 
Nineteenth Century some of these forms were partly 
revived. But the French novel, as commonly accepted, 
came in with the Romanticism, which has been viewed in 
its poetical and dramatic aspects. Previous stories had no 
marked power or length and no special design. The in- 
vention of the French novel destined to live and exert 
influence is ascribed to George Sand, Hugo, Dumas, and 
Balzac. Their methods and ideals differed materially, but 
together their efforts made a new species of literature. 


George Sand Is the literary pseudonym of a woman, 
who was by birth Armantine Lucile Aurora Dupin, and 
became by marriage Baroness Dudevant. Born in 1804, 



her life is as fantastic as her fictions. She inherited an 
untamable gypsy temperament. Her childhood was a 
breezy idyll ; then she spent two years in the seclusion of a 
convent. At eighteen she was married to a country squire, 
and nine years later, with her two children, she left her 
husband to live by her pen in Paris. Jules Sandeau was 
one of the new novelists who sought to unfold character 
and picture the actual life of the time. He was her lover 
and assisted her in writing a story of this sort, "Rose et 
Blanche" ( 183 1 ) . Though she appropriated a syllable of 
his name as her pseudonym, their literary union did not 
continue. She had found her vocation and could go alone. 
Within a year she wrote "Indiana," the first unrestrained 
protest against what she felt to be the subjection of woman, 
and a plea for freedom in love. The book brimmed over 
with high-flown sentiment expressed in the music of 
words. The same plea was repeated with variations in a 
long series of romances which flowed rapidly from her 
pen. The liberty which she claimed in her books she 
practiced without concealment in her long, varied, and by 
no means happy life. She was a child of nature, shrewd 
enough to utilize her mastery of literary art in adapting 
her ideas for the market, in which her first book had made 
her a favorite purveyor. Having shown the evils flowing 
from unhappy marriages, she next depicted those due to 
unhappy liaisons, and labored to prove that no unions are 
binding beyond the mutual passion of the hour. Her per- 
sonal influence upon such weak men of genius as Musset 
and Chopin was sadly in contrast with the happy results 
alleged to flow from her theory of freedom. Experience 
seems to have brought disillusion. Her earlier books 
expressed tlie universal unrest in impracticable and pas- 
sionate ways. In her later books she left off her rhap- 
sodies for abstractions and unreal liberty, and turned back 


to enjoy the sweet simplicity of her early years in the coun- 
try. "Consuelo" (1843), which is partly based on her 
acquaintance with Chopin and her experience in Venice, 
marks the turning point in her literary career. Among 
her later books, "La petite Fadette" (Little Fadette), 
"L' Homme de Neige" (The Snow Man), and "La Mare 
au Diable" (The Devil's Pool), are the best liked. The 
"Histoire de ma Vie" (Story of My Life), is a romance 
of reality, but leaves much untold. For her pastorals she 
invented a style of her own, using words so simple that 
peasants could understand them, and so pure that the 
Academy would approve them. In her peaceful old age 
she wrote fairy stories for her grandchildren. She died 
in June, 1876, having witnessed many revolutions, political 
and literary. 


As George Sand is the typical emotionalist in romance, 
Honore de Balzac is the accepted type of the realists. She 
was a prose poet, revealing the joys and sorrows, the 
revolts and aspirations of individuals. He was the me- 
chanical recorder of the people's daily life, yet was able 
to penetrate into the average man's personality. Honore 
de Balzac was born in moderate circumstances in Touraine 
in 1799. His father wished him to study law, but a sister, 
who understood his character, helped him to devote himself 
to literature. His early novels were not read, but he per- 
severed in writing. A few years before Victor Hugo 
published his "Cromwell," Balzac had tried the same 
theme for a tragedy, but could not get it printed. At last, 
when he was thirty, his "Chouans," an historical romance 
after Scott's style, gained some favor. Then he published 
a rapid succession of stories, striking while the iron was 
hot. He was always fond of speculation, and made sev- 


eral ventures in trade, especially seeking to establish a large 
printing and publishing house, which loaded him with 
debt. In literature he undertook to make a modern 
*'Human Comedy" to display all the types and varieties of 
human life and character. And so far as French char- 
acter represents humanity in general he succeeded in 
depicting it with marvelous truth. Intense love of money 
was a part of his own character, and he makes it a universal 
ruling principle in his work. This binds him to a sordid 
view of life^ and makes his stories less elevated in tone 
than a cheap daily newspaper. Balzac called himself the 
secretary of society and was indeed, by choice, a matter- 
of-fact reporter, and had scant regard for any higher life 
than the streets of Paris afforded. But his indomitable 
will and perseverance in his self-appointed task are beyond 
all praise. Twelve hours from midnight to noon he toiled 
at his desk, stimulating himself with strong coffee. He 
sacrificed himself to his ambition. He was engaged to a 
Polish Countess for sixteen years, and at last, when fifty- 
one, was married to her in March, 1850. He had looked 
forward to a happy old age as compensation for years of 
toil, but was disappointed, dying in the August after his 

In the work which he had planned and systematically 
arranged, he claimed to have portrayed over two thousand 
distinct types of character. The idea of the vast comedy 
was not announced by him until 1842, when he had already 
been at work twelve years. He undertook to analyze and 
classify human life as the naturalist Buffon had done with 
the animal kingdom. The characters of his previous 
novels were arranged to suit his plan, and he set out to 
supply all missing parts. But being of plebeian birth, 
he could not study the patrician aright. He did not dis- 
guise his preference for the baser sort and baser side of 


life. Intellectually he was intense rather than comprehen- 
sive. Poetry and refined sensibility were alien to his habit 
and work. He was deficient in style, and this defect kept 
him from being recognized early. He had power but not 
grace, point without polish, and verbosity without fluency. 
Yet French critics, admirers and lovers of perfect style, 
have pronounced him the greatest novelist of the world. 
Taine has declared his works "the greatest storehouse of 
documents of human nature." If other students may not 
be able to accept this view and regard Balzac as the 
supreme master in modern fiction, they can still award 
him the full honor of being a founder of a grand school 
of novelists. They may admit that he has done more than 
any other single writer to intensify the study of human 
nature in the realistic way. 

His "Comedie Humaine" was divided into three main 
sections — Studies of Manners, Philosophic Studies, An- 
alytic Studies. The studies of Manners comprise twenty- 
four stories grouped as Scenes of Private Life, ten stories 
of Provincial Life, three stories of Country Life, twenty 
stories of Parisian Life, and seven stories of Political and 
Military life. The Philosophical Studies comprise twenty 
stories and the Analytic Studies only two. The catalogue 
of these works is immense, and it is difficult to select those 
which far surpass others. Balzac has several portraits of 
misers ; one of these is the father in "Eugenie Grandet," 
of whose greed the wife and daughter are victims. In 
"Cousin Pons," an old musician is preyed upon by rogues. 
In "Le Pere Goriot," the father lives in a shabby boarding 
house, while his married daughters revel in luxury. In 
"The Greatness and Decline of Cesar Birotteau" a per- 
fumer who has worked his way to wealth, is made the vic- 
tim of bankers. In the "Peau de Chagrin" (The Magic 
Skin) Raphael, the hero, has the skin of a wild ass as a 


talisman, by means of which his wishes can be readily- 
obtained. But a serious condition is attached, that as the 
skin is diminished his life is shortened, and that every 
desire gratified takes a certain portion from the skin. It 
has been truly said that Balzac's own life is symbolized in 
this story. 


Alexandre Dumas shares with Hugo the glory of the 
revival of the romance of adventure. He was the son of 
General Alexandre Dumas, who was a Creole, the illegiti- 
mate son of a French Marquis and a negro girl. General 
Dumas was a man of remarkable gallantry, but so little 
inclined to submit to control that Napoleon dismissed him 
from the army. His wife was an innkeeper's daughter, 
who proved an affectionate motlier. The great Alexandre 
was born at Villers-Cotterets on July 4, 1802. He was 
boisterous and troublesome in youth and at the age of 
twenty-one went to Paris to seek his fortune. He entered 
the employ of the Duke of Orleans, and two years later 
began to write small pieces for the theater. He took quite 
naturally to the Romantic movement, being influenced by 
the visit of some English actors to Paris, who introduced 
him to Shakespeare. The performance of his drama of 
*'Henri III" on February 11, 1829, was the first success 
of the Romantic school. In the Revolution of July, 1830, 
Dumas took an active part. But he soon returned to the 
theater and wrote "x\ntony," a powerful but immoral 
play. When his "Tour de Nesle" ( 1832) led to a charge 
of plagiarism, critics discovered that in his earlier plays 
also he had appropriated whole scenes from foreign plays, 
fitting them ingeniously to his plot. Dumas not only con- 
tinued this practice afterward in his novels, but employed 
various collaborators, none of whom, however, could ob- 


tain the same success, when working independently. On 
account of a duel, he was ordered to leave France, and 
went to Switzerland. In 1842 he married an actress, who 
three years later separated from him and went to Italy. 

At last, in 1844, appeared the first of his great novels, 
which gave Dumas at once a European reputation. No 
romance since "Waverley" had excited such universal 
interest as "The Count of Monte Cristo." The brilliance 
of its coloring, the unflagging rush of the narrative, the 
frequent surprises and the air of probability given to the 
most improbable circumstances filled the world with aston- 
ishment. Scarcely was this story finished when "The 
Three Musketeers" followed, characterized by the same 
qualities. The immediate demand for Dumas' services as 
a story writer for the daily journals led him to put in 
practice the plan already mentioned of employing skilled 
assistants. In one year he is said to have issued forty 
volumes and still the demand grew for more. Whatever 
the amount of help from others, or of direct plagiarism, 
which he called "conquest," Dumas had the gift and the 
ambition of story-telling. He saw life in fascinating 
motion, a series of adventures dazzling and exciting. He 
loved the elemental, and believed in it as an artist. The 
secret of all genuinely great art is to appeal to the senses 
and not in vain. Dumas had this gift in perfection. 
Thackeray wrote to Dumas : "Of your heroic heroes I 
think our friend Monseigneur Athos is my favorite. I 
have read about him from sunrise to sunset, with the ut- 
most contentment of mind. He has passed through how 
many volumes, forty, fifty ? I wish there were a hundred 

Dumas made money by his manufacture of novels, but 
squandered it faster than it came. Among his most cele- 
brated works, besides those already mentioned, were 


"Twenty Years After/' a continuation of "The Three 
Musketeers," "The Vicomte de Bragelonne," "Margaret 
of Anjou," and "The Memoirs of a Physician." Novel 
writing did not withdraw him from the drama. He 
adapted some of his best romances for the stage and wrote 
original pieces, such as "The Youth of Eouis XIV," "A 
Marriage Under Louis XV." He also published several 
historical works, chiefly relating to France. In 1852 he 
began the publication of his "Memoirs," which gives beau- 
tiful pictures of his early life. The Revolution of 1848 
had cut off much of his income, and his splendid but 
unfinished palace of Monte Cristo was sold in 1854 for a 
tenth of its cost. Dumas lived to witness the Prussian 
invasion, and died at Dieppe in December, 1870. 


In the fifth decade of the Century there was somewhat 
of a reaction against the Romanticists, which was called 
the School of Common Sense. Its nominal leader was 
Francois Ponsard, but Emile Augier (1820- 1889) de- 
serves, perhaps, the chief place. He was born at Valence 
and was intended for the bar, but became a dramatic 
writer. His first play, "Cigiie" (Hemlock), was a senti- 
mental picture of old Greek life. It was first acted in 
1844, and is still occasionally produced. In 1849 Augier 
departed from the practice of the Romanticists in his 
"Gabrielle." Here, in the usual complication of husband, 
wife, and lover, he was bold enough to make the husband 
the hero. It won for the author a prize from the Acad- 
emy. Several other plays of unimpeachable morality fol- 
lowed, and in 1855 as a protest against the younger 
Dumas' famous play, "La Dame aux Camelias," known 
in English as "Camille," Augier brought out the 


"Manage d'Olympe." A comedy written In collaboration 
with Jules Sandeau, "Le Gendre de M. Pokier" ( M. Poi- 
rier's Son-in-Law),has been pronounced, perhaps, the best 
French comedy of the Century. Other comedies, clean 
and wholesome, helped to make Augier the foremost of 
French dramatists, and warranted his election to the Acad- 
emy. After the German war he endeavored to stir the 
patriotism of his countrymen, and then returned to his 
usual style. 


The ideas of England and Germany, introduced by 
the Romanticists, affected philosophic thought and his- 
torical writing as well as poetry and fiction. Their effect 
in these regions became apparent in the second quarter of 
the Century. The great philosophers of Germany — 
Kant, Fichte, Schelling and Hegel — had propounded their 
systems, and had endeavored to give a rational view of the 
universe. The French, who have been diffusers rather 
than creators of philosophy, took up the discussion of these 
new views and modified them according to their own 
apprehension. Victor Cousin ( 1 792-1867) was the leader 
in appreciation and exposition of the new ideas. He was 
professor at the Sorbonne and after the Revolution of 
1830 his services were enlisted in the service of the gov- 
ernment and for a time he was Minister of Public Instruc- 
tion. The English system of philosophy, founded by 
Locke, and extended by the Scotch philosophers, Reid and 
Stewart, considered that all human knowledge is derived 
through the senses. The German pliilosophers insisted 
that certain higher ideas are intuitive and are ascertained 
by pure reason, while the knowledge obtained through the 
senses belongs to practical reason or understanding. 
Cousin endeavored to effect a compromise, and formulated 
the Eclectic system, derived from many sources. He gave 
much attention to Plato, and translated his works into 
French. Under his management national education was 
improved. His colleague, Abel Villemain (1790-1870), 
held similar positions and in his discourses on Eighteenth 
Century literature directed attention to the pre-eminence 



of English literature and oratory. The work of both was 
direct and fruitful. 

There were other thinkers who are generally regarded 
as philosophical only and yet had considerable influence 
on literature and the general course of events in French 
history. They were Eclectics at the outset, but they in- 
sisted on carrying their convictions to practical results. 
Their ideas have become foundation-stones for many lat- 
ter-day edifices. Claude Henri de Saint-Simon (1760- 
1825) is interesting as the father of Socialism, a theory 
which has spread over the world and entered into the 
life of the present day. He was the seer, the pioneer who 
blazed the way through the forest, but was not qualified 
for constructive work. Francois Charles Fourier (1772- 
1837) worked out a definite social scheme, which is called 
by his name. While this system of organized communism 
failed to take root except in a few places, it contributed 
to the rapid development of its basic idea, the perfecting of 
fratemalism. Pierre Joseph Proudhon (1809- 1865) 
went so far in his radicalism as to pronounce that property 
is theft. He gave the force of literary expression to com- 
munistic doctrines. 

The founder of the Positive philosophy, belongs to a 
superior class of world reformers, considered as systematic 
thinkers. Auguste Comte (1798-1857) is the most orig- 
inal of French philosophers since Descartes. His system 
is not only philosophic and social, but religious, having 
Humanity as its Divinity, good people as its Saints, and a 
new social order made by rule on a vast and complex plan. 
The Comtist school has had some distinguished men in 
science and literature among its disciples. 



On turning now to the French historians, the work o^ 
Thierry firsts enlists the attention. History had been 
written by Dryasdusts in chronological style for genera- 
tions. At best it gathered crude facts, made loose deduc-' 
tions, and wound up with moral comment. But what had 
been a wilderness Thierry's art turned into a garden. 
Stirred by the imaginative writings of Scott and other 
Romanticists, he was endowed with sufficient poetic gift 
to grace his own substantial work. He perceived that 
history is, if rightly seen, a splendid epic. Jacques Nicolas 
Augustin Thierry was born at Blois in 1795, went to 
Paris and passed under the influence of Saint-Simon, to 
whom he was secretary. He dreamt of international 
solidarity with national individuality, a view which gave 
tone to much of his subsequent work. But his chief ser- 
vice to progress consisted in his proving by research that 
the past cannot be understood without intimate acquaint- 
ance with ancient traditions and records, showing the 
racial character of the people. His "Lettres siir I'Histoire 
de France," published in 1820 and revised 'n 1827, marks 
the new departure in the interpretation of history. His 
"History of the Norman Conquest of England" first ap- 
peared in 1825, and was much improved in the edition of 
1840. Picturesque, brilliant and accurate, it was hailed 
with acclamation in England and Germany, as well as in 
France. But the dread calamity of blindness overtook 
him in 1830. Yet, aided by his wife, he persevered in his 
labors, publishing "Dix Ans d'Etudes Historiqiies" (Ten 
Years of Historic Studies) in 1834, and ''Recits 
Merovingiens" (Merovingian Narratives) in 1840, He 
died in 1856. His younger broth <.".% Amedee (1797- 
1873) was also an able historian, treating chiefly of 


Roman Gaul, but did not attain the same success. Kis 
most popular work is the "History of Attila" (1856). 
Under the Empire he was made a Senator. 


In Jules Michelet (1798-1874) literature recognizes a 
brilliant compound of historian, poet, philosopher, natural- 
ist and reformer. The poetic faculty lent his work in the 
other capacities a characteristic glamour. He was the son 
of a Parisian printer and having received a good education 
was made professor of history in the College Rollin. His 
early works were school books, good of their kind, the 
"Precis de VHistoh / Moderne" (Summary of Mod- 
ern History) (182/) being the best. The "Intro- 
duction to Universal History" (1831) first showed 
his peculiar power of poetizing facts. His great 
"History of France" occupied him for thirty-seven 
years, and was completed in nineteen volumes, yet 
it comes down only to the Revolution, which was 
treated in a separate work (1852). The history was 
based on a thorough examination of all the authorities 
accessible, but the writer's strong religious and political 
prejudices, as well as his picturesque style, render it often 
untrustworthy on account of its suggestions, though it 
never falsifies facts. The part relating to the Middle 
Ages is the most interesting account of that period. 
Michelet was a believer in progress, and found in the rec- 
ords of the past support for his visions of the future. 
While his main work was under way, he sent out a swarm 
of other books, more or less related to it. His "History of 
the Revolution" is not equal to Carlyle's though full of 
enthusiasm for the cause of liberty. When Louis 
Napoleon became Emperor, Michelet would not take th« 


oath of allegiance, and therefore lost his place in the 
Record office. He began a new series of books on natural 
history, probably suggested by his second wife. These 
books, "The Bird," "The Insect," "The Sea," "The Moun- 
tain," "Woman," "Love," were filled with a fervent pan- 
theism; they showed all nature as divine. In them the 
author's peculiar poetic prose was carried to its furthest 
limits, and became declamatory. His "Bible de I'Hiwiaji- 
ite" (1864) is a similar poetizing of the history of all 
religions. After the downfall of the Empire, Michelet, 
then seventy-two, began a "History of the Nineteenth 
Century," but carried it only to Waterloo. He died in 


Frangois Pierre Guillaume Guizot (1787-1874), 
eminent as a statesman and historian, was born at Nimes, 
where his father, a Liberal and Protestant, was guillo- 
tined in the Revolution. The son was educated under 
his mother's care at Geneva, and studied law at Paris. 
There he began to write for the press, and in 1812 was 
made professor of modern history. He was a firm be- 
liever in constitutional monarchy and upheld that system 
against the democratic spirit of the age and the absolutism 
of the court. His important political services to his coun- 
try must be passed by in this notice of his literary career. 
Besides editing many historical works, among which was 
Gibbon's "Rome," and translating Shakespeare, he pub- 
lished an impartial "History of the English Revolution, 
1625-60." His greatest work is the "History of Civiliza- 
tion in Europe," which was only the introduction to his 
"History of Civilization in France." They are both reck- 
oned among the classics of modern history. The author's 
orofound study of the history of France from the Tenth 



to the Fourteenth Century gave prominence to the growth 
of solidarity in the nation. The chief deficiency in the 
work is the author's prosaic plainness of thought and 
speech; he rejects enthusiasm and ornament and contents 
himself with arguments, dry in presentation, however 
cogent in force. Guizot rose to be prime minister under 
Louis Philippe, and fell with him in the Revolution of 
1848. During the last twenty-six years of his life he 
was a philosophical spectator of human afifairs. In his 
old age he wrote for his grandchildren a "History of 
France," which is thorough and attractive, and has proved 
immensely popular. 


Another great historian, who was also a statesman, 
was Louis Adolphe Thiers (1797-1877). His difficult 
role during and after the Franco-German war displayed his 
quality as statesman, and has given him a prominent place 
in the world's history. He was born in Marseilles, was 
educated for the bar, but turned to journalism and became 
a noted political writer. His literary fame rests on two 
works, "The History of the French Revolution" 
(1823-32) and "The History of the Consulate and 
Empire" (1840-62). Their chief fault is excess both in 
matter and manner of relation. They have also been 
charged with unfairness, but this probably arose from 
the author's being obliged to decide between witnesses 
who contradict each other, and following the one whose 
testimony suited his own views. Still another fault is the 
glorification of Napoleon, which was due in part to the 
writer's patriotism. 



Americans should feel special interest in the French 
historian who rev^ealed to Europe, and even to America 
itself, the real meaning and tendency of the institutions 
established here. Alexis Charles Henri Clerel de 
Tocqueville, to give him his full due, was a philosopher 
rather than an historian. His study was of the democratic 
principle rather than the democracy then entering upon the 
second experimental stage of it. He was born in Paris 
in 1805, studied law and was made a judge. In 183 1 he 
visited the United States, being sent with G. de Beaumont 
to examine the penitentiaries. After his return he pub- 
lished "La Democratie en Amerique" (4 vols., 1835-40), 
in which he predicted the progress and predominance of 
democracy in the world. He had a gift for true perception 
and his work has not receded from the place originally 
accorded to it by common consent. He believed in the 
principles of enlightened Liberalism and he anticipated 
their ultimate triumph, but frankly exposed the errors, 
observable in this country and his own. He himself be- 
came minister of foreign affairs under the French Republic 
of 1848 and was driven from the public service by the 
coup d'etat of 1851. Five years later he published 
"L'Ancien Regime et la Revolution," a further testimony 
to his abiding interest in political philosophy. His search- 
ing analysis and forecast of popular destiny deserve honor- 
able mention in literature. 


In the reign of Louis Philippe serious Hterature had 
been cultivated. Several of the leading statesmen, as 
Guizot and Thiers, had already won fame as historians, 
and political writers. But the overthrow of the Republic 
drove such men from power. The Empire, founded by- 
violence, was opposed to serious discussion. Its aim was 
to amuse and entertain the people. Great writers like 
Hugo were banished. Some of less force of character 
were bribed by sinecures or lucrative places. Some, indif- 
ferent to political considerations, continued to devote them- 
selves to their chosen field of literature. In Paris the con- 
dition of affairs under the Empire was favorable to the 
development of light literature. It was an era of outward 
prosperity and pleasure. Novel-reading, and theater- 
going occupied the time of the populace. The dominant 
note was that of enjoyment, and everything was shaped 
and directed toward that. Familiar ideas were retold 
with new readings in plays and stories. Impressionism 
was cultivated; ingenious subtleties were discovered by 
those who catered for popular taste. Playwrights began 
to introduce moral problems or riddles into the drama. 
Song-writers expanded their light verses into treatises on 
society and conduct, the art of the singers adding zest to 
the effect. Music and the graphic arts used the same 
devices to catch public attention by infusing a more intel- 
lectual quality into the lightest performance. Naturally 
the minor novel multiplied a hundred-fold in such favoring 




Among- those who were conspicuous in the contest over 
the memorable first performance of Victor Hugo's 
"Hernani" in 1830 none was more so than Theophile 
Gautier (1811-1872) who had arrayed himself for the 
occasion in a crimson vest. Born at Tarbes in Gascony, 
he went to school in Paris^ and studied art. But his real 
bent was toward literature, and he gave much attention to 
the writers of the Sixteenth Century. He astonished the 
critic Sainte-Beuve with some poems written when he was 
but eighteen. The aggressive young "Romantics" who 
were ready to strike a blow, as well as argue and applaud, 
for their side^ found in him a spirited leader. He had no 
dramatic faculty and prepared nothing for the tlieater, ex- 
cept a few masques and ballets. His first long poem 
"Albertus" (1830) and others of his early career showed 
great command of language, but were marred by extravag- 
ance. For a while he was an assistant to Balzac, but hated 
the drudgery. His own first novel, "Alademoiselle de 
Maupin" (1835), was a tale of a girl who sought adven- 
tures while dressed in man s attire. The licentiousness of 
the stor}' offended even French readers and hurt the 
author's reputation. But Gautier persevered and cul- 
tivated his style so that his prose has become a model for 
his successors. Of his short tales the masterpiece is tlie 
highly artistic but ghastly story, "La Morte Amoureuse' 
(The Dead Leman). It is founded on the mediaeval 
superstition of the incubus, and tells how a devout young 
priest is ensnared by tlie beauty of a girl, who transports 
him in sleep to a distant castle. Finally she is discovered 
to be but a corpse who receives animation for a while from 
the blood of her victims. That such an unnatural subject 
should be so treated as to win the verdict of critics is a tes- 


timony to the power of Gautier's perfection of handling. 
Other weird and fantastic stories are his "Arria Marcella,** 
a revival of the life of Pompeii ; "Omphale," in which a 
gay lady of olden times emerges from a tapestry; ''Roman 
de la Momie" (Romance of the Mummy), which repro- 
duces the life of ancient Egypt. "Le Capitaine 
Fracasse" (Captain Fracasse) (1863) is a novel of stir- 
ring adventures in the fashion made popular by Dumas, 
and is considered by many Gautier's best work. 

To the last Gautier remained the master of pictorial 
prose and poetry. His elaborately finished poems were 
collected in "Emaux et Camees" (Enamels and Cameos), 
first published in 1856. They are polished gems and show 
his love for beauty in art and nature. To search for beauty 
he gave all his powers with an absolute indifference to any 
other consideration. He cared nothing for religion or 
science, but was acknowledged as supreme in criticism of 
art and the drama. He formulated the principle of art for 
art's sake and lived up to it. In his later career he traveled 
much and wrote brilliant descriptions of various countries 
and places. Most of his writing was done for newspapers, 
but he never lowered his style nor took sides in politics. 
He died in October, 1872. 


Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve might have been In- 
cluded among the early Romanticists, but his valuable 
work was as a critic. He was one of the staff that made 
the "Globe" an engine of war against the classical. In 
its columns he wrote his first work (1827-28) the 
"Tableau de la Poesie Francaise au XVI Steele. " It is 
to be noted that the rise of journalism gave criticism Its 
opportunity, may almost be said to have created it. This 


half-literary, half-historic sketch was designed to back up 
the Romantic revival with proofs that his comrades were 
worthy followers of the great poets of old. He linked 
their work with that of Ronsard, whom he pronounced 
king of all wielders of the French language, and with the 
other famous poets of that age. In this Sainte-Beuve dis- 
pleased the Classics, whose national models were of later 
date. He also published a selection of Ronsard's poems in 
support of his contention. Then he ventured a book of 
his own poems, the "Vie, Poesies, et Pensees de Joseph 
Del or me" (Life, Poems and Thoughts of Joseph 
Delorme) in the introspective fashion of the hour. A year 
later saw his second venture "Consolations" (1830), 
pitched in the same key. In 1834 he issued his solitary 
novel, "Volupte" (Pleasure) ; and in 1837 his last poetry 
book "Pensees d'Aout" (Thoughts of August). He was 
not a success as poet. His vein of romance was drying up. 
Journalism with free play for his critical pen attracted him. 
He considered that French poetry, his own included, lacked 
body and soul as compared with that of the English sing- 
ers, and his constant advice to his verse-making friends 
was to study English. He next undertook the first stages 
of a work on Port Royal. It was not finished for twenty 
years. This work, five volumes, was in part delivered as 
lectures before the Academy of Lausanne in 1837. As 
Brunetiere pronounces this "beyond question one of the 
great books of the Century," it is well to cite his reasons. 
Its author, he says, displays in it these master qualities, 
examination of works, analysis of sentiments, apprecia- 
tion of ideas. In the chapters on Pascal, Montaigne, St. 
Francis de Sales, Corneille and Boileau are seen the pre- 
cision of the historian, the subtlety of the psychologist, and 
judicial firmness. Here, then, we get a first glimpse at 
the making of a critic. 


Sainte-Beuve was appointed to the Mazarin Library in 
1840, a comfortable post which allowed him time to master 
the Greek poets in the original, and earn an income by his 
pen. Between 1832 and 1848 he published seven volumes 
of his ''Portraits Litteraires" and ''Portraits Contempo- 
rains," afterward pronounced by himself youthful 
gush. In 1832 he had written of Hugo in these make- 
believe criticisms that the poet was "sublime," "adorable," 
but within four years the idol was pronounced "artificial," 
"theatrical" and "violent." The critical faculty was 
asserting itself. Steadily the depth and keenness of the 
work increased. The Revolution of 1848 indirectly caused 
his acceptance of the chair of French literature in the Uni- 
versity of Liege, his lectures afterward forming two 
volumes on Chateaubriand and his group. When 
Napoleon IH brought twenty years of stability to the 
country Sainte-Beuve began his famous series of 
"Causeries du Lundi," familiar talks on literary men and 
topics, appearing every Monday In the " C onstitutionneL" 
These continued in the "Moniteur" until his death, and 
afterward were published In twenty-eight volumes. His 
allegiance to the Empire cost him friends and influence. 
He accepted offices of emolument from it and the cross 
of the Legion of Honor. In 1865 he was made a Senator, 
but his health was broken. 

As a richly qualified and mellowed master in criticism, 
Salnte Beuve pronounced himself to be simply a searcher 
for truth. Having started on the track of the merely 
beautiful he wisely refused to be longer Identified with a 
cult which he had become convinced was erroneous. "I 
hold very little to literary opinions ; they occupy very little 
place In my life and thoughts. What does occupy me seri- 
ously Is life Itself and the object of It. I am accustomed 
to call my judgments In question anew, and to re-cast my 


opinions the moment I suspect them to be without 
vaHdity." A man brave enough to follow this principle 
up is sure of enemies. Sainte-Beuve had plenty. His 
method created them, his courage embittered them. From 
Romanticism to Naturalism is a clean sweep to the oppo- 
site pole. His mode of work was first to ascertain the 
interesting thing about the book before him. This found, 
described, and explained, he then took its author in hand, 
seeking to know all about him and his environment that 
could illuminate his work, account for its quality and 
mainspring. Thus he would aim to enlarge the man and 
his book into the history, or an epitome and reflection of it, 
of a period or a movement. The method has its draw- 
backs even in the hands of so great and clearheaded a 
writer as Taine, who owned Sainte-Beuve as his master. 
Except the "Port Royal" and the early efforts, this great 
critic's works are monographs, "infinite riches in little 
room." Perhaps he was not always quite fair to some of 
his neighbors — Balzac, for example. But he was a noble 
spirit, a finely equipped guide, philosopher and friend for 
the student of French literature and the literary genius at 
large. Not strictly the founder of a system or a school 
of his own choice, he was a leader whom the best are 
proud to follow. 


The popularity of the opera "Carmen" directs atten- 
tion to Prosper Merimee (1803-70), on whose story it is 
founded. Born in Paris, he studied law, but entered the 
civil service, was expert as a linguist and archaeologist, 
gradually rose to important positions, and became a per- 
sonal friend of the Emperor Napoleon III. As a young 
man he was affected by the Romantic movement, but his 
cynical temper kept him from becoming a partisan. His 


entrance into literature was with some pretended transla- 
tions of dramas by a Spanish lady, Clara Gazul. These 
were followed by a book called ''La Guzla," which pro- 
fessed to be translated from the Illyrian language. Good 
scholars were hoaxed by these tricks. After some smaller 
pieces Merimee published, in 1830, the Corsican story, 
"Colomba," and in 1845 ^^^ Spanish gipsy story of "Car- 
men." These and his other short stories are especially 
distinguished by their local color, thrilling tragedy and 
artistic finish. Merimee is one of the greatest masters of 
French prose style. Besides his stories he published his- 
torical works, some translations from the Russian, and 
official reports which display his accurate scholarship. He 
died in September, 1870. After his death appeared his 
interesting "Lettres a une Inconnue" (Letters to an 
Unknown Lady) which display the same beautiful style 
and vary in manner from friendship to love. Other series 
of his letters have also been published, and all tend to in- 
crease the regard for him as a man and writer. 


The transformation of the novel became complete 
when Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) startled even Paris 
with his realistic creation, "Madame Bovary," in 1856. 
What Balzac had roughly though minutely begun, his 
pupil worked up to the finest finish. Flaubert had the 
enormous advantage to a novelist of refined instincts, high 
culture, and a facility in the strictly artistic use of lan- 
guage. He naturally began life under the banner of 
Romanticism. A period of travel gave a different bent to 
his earlier tastes. He took the pessimist's ungenial view 
of the world. Balzac had portrayed the dismal side of 
life with a realism that enchained the interest without 
exhilarating either the sense of pleasure or the better emo- 
tions. Flaubert thought he could paint a picture of an 
unattractive subject, yet which should kindle admiration 
by the skill and beauty of the workmanship. 

Flaubert succeeded so well in this pen-picture that even 
the police were moved by it. His trial was the grand 
tournament of literary champions; the romanticists, real- 
ists, and rational respectabilities waged a three-cornered 
duel, with the law as umpire. Flaubert made his own 
defense, the artist must not be punished for holding the 
mirror to the mob in the streets. He won the fight, 
because the game of suppression is liable to turn into the 
business of oppression. Flaubert took higher artistic 
ground in his powerful study of ancient Carthage, named 
"Salammbo," from its heroine (1862). The charm of 
this is in its ultra-realistic picture of the time and people. 
Here his years of special study and travel for this re^yb- 



repay the effort. Great as it is, the average novel-reader 
will find it dry. The author carefully suppresses himself 
in his books; he refuses to point a moral or make an excur- 
sion into happier regions. His "Tentation de Saint 
Antoine" ( 1874) is an equally appalling picture of a holy 
man of old in the Egyptian desert, before whose vision 
passes the nightmare of humanity's evils, incurable woes 
intensified by futile efforts to ameliorate them. Flaubert's 
best novel of modern life is "VEducation Sentimentale" 
(1870). He again depicts a phase of sordid life in all 
its ugliness. By causing the hero to lose in the long run 
by rascality, the author may for once have posed as 
moralist to that extent. Flaubert's style may captivate 
the stylists. Those who want heart-throbs or romance 
will find him cold and repellent. Partly by heredity and 
partly by choice, he made himself one of the conspicuously 
able school of naturalists, some of whose later disciples 
have carried its methods several degrees farther in the 
direction of animalism. 

That all its followers denied themselves the right to 
sunshine is disproved in the case of Octave Feuillet (182 1- 
1890) . A realist he was, but he did not disdain all roman- 
ticism. He began his career as one of Alexandre Dumas' 
clever young men, who worked up his plots in that mer- 
chant's back office. He collaborated with another in two 
romantic dramas, produced in 1845, and brought out his 
first original novel, ''Bellah," in 1850. In this his lean- 
ings to realism were marked, though it preserved^ the 
romantic spirit. So in the succession of novels written 
during the next few years, "La Petite Comtesse" (1856), 
and his most popular and durable story, the "Roman d'un 
Jeune Homme Pauvre/' (Story of a Poor Young Man) 
(1858). These have characteristics of importance as 
viewed in connection with their date and the author's posi- 


tion. The last named has a distinct value as a picture 
of rural life in Normandy. Though written on the lines 
of simple realism, it is imbued with a softened poetical 
influence, possibly suggested by the "Vicar of Wakefield," 
which rises into idealism. There is moral force, if not 
purpose, in the story, and the most confirmed naturalis- 
tic devotee would not venture to deny that its literary art 
gained by this gentle trait. In 1862 he ventured to break 
a lance with George Sand in the work, "Histoire de 
Sihylle." She replied a year later in her romance, "Made- 
moiselle de la Quintinie." It doubtless influenced her in 
the departure she was taking from the individualistic 
story. Both of them were tired of the selfish claim for 
personal gratification at any cost. To this extent Feuillet 
was distinctly a reformer of fiction, while continuing to 
picture the shadows of life. He contended for legitimate 
liberty for women, as for men, but always upheld pure love 
and honorable marriage as the ideal happiness and the 
only sure path to it. His greater novels are "M. de 
Camoes" (1867), ''Julie de Trecoeur" (1872), "Le Jour- 
nal d'une Femme" (1878), and ''La Morte" (1886). 
There are several others, besides five volumes of plays. 
One advantage he had in sustaining the tone he adopted, 
his novels mostly portray the lives of well-to-do people. 
Feuillet was a gentleman, and wrote as one. A high 
standard of honor is upheld generally. As a whole, his 
work may be pronounced clean, artistic, and with a ten- 
dency to the good. 

Though Alexandre Dumas, the younger, who was 
born in 1824, died in 1895, ^^i^ fame as a dramatist was 
won under the Empire. It is likely to endure, though 
disproportioned to the intrinsic worth of his literary influ- 
ence. His father's wild nature was largely repeated in 
the romantic youth. Not until 1852 did he perceive that 

FRENCH . 253 

he must offer original work, the outcome of hard think- 
ing, if any such celebrity as his father's was to be his. He 
produced the novel, afterward turned into the better 
known play, "Dame aux Camelias" (1848). As a study 
of the phase of Paris life with which he was most familiar, 
it was recognized as faithful and strong. There was some 
difficulty in getting permission to have it played, but it is 
a stock piece to this day. The next dramatized novel was 
"Diane de Lys," which failed, and then came the "Demi- 
Monde" in 1855, which is regarded as a masterpiece. The 
atmosphere of these plays cannot be breathed for any 
length of time with pleasure. Following up the lead thus 
secured, Dumas availed himself of the notoriety of his 
origin by using it as material for two unabashed charac- 
ter plays, the "Fils Natiirel" (1858) and the "Pere Pro- 
digue" (1859). One of these, the "Idees de Madame 
Anbray" (1867), pleaded for sympathetic judgment for 
those who fall through weakness. Dumas took his success 
very seriously, favoring the world with several volumes 
of his plays, prefaced with eloquent arguments in proof 
of their moral value. From this time he regarded himself 
as a public oracle. No national event, such as the war 
of 1870, or scandal, or law suit involving large issues, 
was allowed to pass without its Dumas play or pamphlet 
to settle the principle at issue. His dramas, "La Visite 
de Noces" (1871), and "La Femme de Claude" (1873), 
showed that henceforth the stage was to be his pulpit. 
The point to be remarked here is that in this new departure 
from stage tradition Dumas was undoubtedly doing his 
best to widen and deepen its influence. His success was 
not continuous, but it was something that a mercurial peo- 
ple could be induced to ponder grave problems in the place 
where hitherto they had sought only merriment. It shows 
that, irrespective of his fitness for the office of moralist, 


Dumas possessed artistic power in no ordinary degree. 
He had the rare distinction of being admitted to the 
Academy in 1874 by a large majority, with Victor Hugo 
among them. 

A poet of note in the naturalistic school, Charles Marie 
Rene Leconte de Lisle, (1818-1894) may be included here. 
His work has come to the front again, owing to a new 
development of the literary principles he formulated for 
himself and adhered to. De Lisle wrote "Poemes Antique" 
(1852), "Poemes et Poesies" (1853), and "Poemes 
Barhares" (1862) a.nd ''Poemes Tragique" (1884). The 
severest canons of art are observed in these poems, which 
are gaining a new repute among the select. They betray 
a vein of pessimism, but are instinct with a beauty akin 
to the classical, and the polish which art gives to ideas, 
themselves coldly rough. 

A set of popular works in fiction involved also political 
motives. They are sufficiently described as the Erckmann- 
Chatrian novels, being written in partnership by Emile 
Erckmann (1822- 1899), a Lorrainer, with a taste for 
literature, and Alexandre Chatrian (1826-1890), an 
instructor in law. In 1859 their joint work, "L'lllustre 
Docteur Matheus," gained a fair success. Thereafter they 
managed to glorify and keep alive the principles of the 
Revolution in a long series of stories, most craftily con- 
trived to escape imperial censure. Under the guise of 
peasant stories of their native region, they depicted the 
seamy side of Napoleonism, its crushing influence on the 
poor people, and, by suggestion, the mischievous influence 
of the Second Empire. This subtle but telling propagand- 
ism was veiled in romances, of which the most popular 
were "Madame Therese, ou les Volontaires de '^2" 
(1863), "L'Ami Fritz" (1864), "Histoire d'un Cons- 
ent de 1813". (1864), "Waterloo" (1865), "Histoire 


d'un Homme du Peuple" (1865), "La Guerre" (1866), 
"Histoire d'un Paysan" ( 1868) . The influence exercised 
by these stories had no Httle share in ripening the country 
for the downfall of imperialism. When the Second 
Empire fell the clever collaborators reaped a golden har- 
vest by their realistic, though also romantic, disclosure of 
the methods by which the royal adventurer had coerced 
the nation. This they did in the "Histoire du Plebiscite, 
recontee par un des 7,500,000 Oui" (1872). From then 
until Chatrian's overstrained mind gave way, they pro- 
duced a second string of novels, some almost idyllic, others 
strongly naturalistic, which always appealed to the sym- 
pathies of the people. 

Not every novelist of philosophical radical leanings 
indulged in this latent hostility to the Empire. Jules 
Sandeau (1811-1882), already referred to as collaborator 
with George Sand in her first romantic novel in 1831, con- 
tinued to produce his own romances for nearly fifty years. 
His work was maintained on a higher level than that of 
the popular novel, the characterization was strong, and his 
style pure. He did not care to pander to lovers of ques- 
tionable sensation. He made no sign against the new 
regime. It gave him two lucrative librarianships, and 
when the Empire collapsed the republic pensioned him 
for the loss of his office in the library of St. Cloud. Among 
his best novels are "Marianna" ( 1839) , "Le Docteur Her- 
heau" (1841), "La Chasse au Roman" (1849), ^^^ "^^ 
Roche aux Mouettes" (1871). He was better known as 
a playwright in conjunction with Emile Angier. The 
most popular piece, "Le Gendre de M. Poirier," is still a 
favorite in its English version by Robertson. 

Victor Cherbuliez, born in 1829, and elected an Aca- 
demician in 1882, wrote one of the strongest romances of 
realism in 1873, "Meta Holdenis," the heroine being a 


charming deceiver. His fame had been won by the 
"Roman d'une Honnete Femme" (Story of an Honest 
Woman) (1866), a piece of character portraiture of rare 
artistic excellence. Cherbuliez did equally striking work 
as a critic in art and letters, as may be seen in his "Etudes 
de Litterahire et d'Art" (1873). He also published works 
showing deep research and philosophical thought on the 
political systems of Germany, 1870, and Spain, 1874. 
Among his popular novels are "Le Fiance de Mdlle. Saint- 
Maur," "Samuel Brohl et Cie/' and "L'Idee de Jean 

Another brilliant miscellaneous writer who made the 
best of Napoleonism was Edmond About (1828- 1885). 
His literary career was stormy. He earned his first celeb- 
rity by the record of his observations during a sojourn 
in Greece, "La Grece Contcmporaine" (1855). His 
denunciatory criticisms led to the translation of his book 
into several languages. This was followed by an auto- 
biographical romance, ''Tolla," which he had to defend 
against a cry of plagiary. Then came a play, "Guillery'* 
which was hissed off the stage on the second night. His 
novels, which ran through the Monitcur, had better luck, 
"Le Roi dcs Montagues" "Trente et Quarante/' and 
others. Then he left for Rome, returning with a book on 
a political problem of the time, "La Question Roniaine." 
Between i860 and 1869 About published political pam- 
phlets, witty short stories, such as ''The ]Man with the 
Broken Ear" and "The Notary's Nose," and a quick suc- 
cession of stories, including "Ulnfame," and "Les Man- 
ages de Province," besides a manual of political economy 
and souvenirs of Egypt. As a friend of the Empire, in 
the Paris journals, he went into the field as correspondent, 
when the war broke out. In due course he became a loyal 
republican and had the honor of being arrested for treason 


to the German emperor when in Alsace in 1872, but was 
released without trial. To this indignity he responded by 
issuing "Alsace," in which his patriotic feelings had full 
play. He collaborated in several dramas, but without spe- 
cial success. His entire work is marked rather by versa- 
tility than special ability. 

A new form of novel which arose under the empire was 
that familiarly known as the detective story. It was prob- 
ably due to a hint from some of Poe's work. Emile Ga- 
boriau (1835-1873) constructed several of these in- 
genious novels in which the reader is started on the hunt 
after the perpetrator of a crime or some other 
mystery, and for him there is no rest until it is cleared 
up. Among his best are "M. le Coq," "Le Crime d'Orci- 
val" and "La Degringolade." He has imitators In abund- 
ance to-day. Zola was at first one of the purveyors of 
this type of novel. Henry Murger had shown a strain of 
the old romantic feeling in his realistic portrayal of happy- 
go-lucky student life in the Latin quarter, "Vie de 
Boh me." Of the throng who courted fame and ill-fame 
by their extravagant fiction during the closing years of 
the Empire, only a few survivals of merit can be found. 
The short story established itself on a broader foundation, 
and the typical decadent naturalistic novel entered upon 
its questionable career. 

Perhaps the downfall of the Empire was a more direct 
incentive to the typical novel of the Republic than is sup- 
posed. By this is meant the excessively materialistic 
novel, which by glaring portrayal of the gross, pretends 
to be enhancing the charm of the pure. Once the gayety 
of imperialism was extinguished, a field was discovered 
for novels which should unveil its wickedness. It was a 
neat tribute to stern republican morality. Lest this vir- 
tuous motive should not discover itself in the high-colored 

VOj^. 9 — 17 


pictures, the authors prudently avowed their purpose in 
impressive prefaces. Thus grew the rage for satirizing 
the fraihties of the rich, which has not lessened with the 
rise of scathing exposures of low life. The popular novel 
had gradually to tell a more knowing tale, the popular 
play had to turn upon a still stronger situation involving 
conjugal honor. Playwright and novelist competed in 
the skill with which they could dress foul skeletons to 
simulate ordinar}^ men and women. City life was their 
study, and of all cities none met the conditions so well as 
Paris. Once this rivalry commenced, it had to run its 
course. The pace steadily increased. Plays that were pro- 
hibited and novels that were prosecuted under the old 
regime had now a free course. Here and there a venture 
would be made into the realm of romance, and there are 
still attempts at a revival of the idyllic story. 




Giving precedence to fiction over serious literature, the 
extraordinary work done by Jules Verne is entitled to first 
notice. Beginning as a writer of comedies, he turned in 
1863 to a Poe-like romance, ''Cinq Semaines en Ballon'' 
(Five Weeks in a Balloon), the start on a trail peculiarly 
his own. He can now point to books that average nearly 
one for each year of his life. This is the more wonderful 
because they have demanded harder and drier study in 
their composition than the average novel. Verne had an 
aptitude for the learning necessary to successful explora- 
tion, as his books on travel bear witness. Having hit on 
the notion of substituting achievements and possibilities 
of science for magical absurdities, he set to work and 
devised a series of modern Arabian Nights Entertain- 
ments which are worthy to rank alongside those master- 
works of Eastern genius. His books need not be named, 
they are well known to old and young, and are in no dan- 
ger of being forgotten or surpassed. By the exercise of a 
strictly matter-of-fact wizardry, prosaic to the last degree, 
he compels a not unwilling credence to the wildly impos- 
sible, trading on popular faith in the potential omnipo- 
tence of science to-morrow. In a way this trick borders 
on the poetical without touching it, though the reader may 
find himself projected far into the domain of fantasy 
when he has closed the book. If novels of life and 
manners played no worse pranks with our imagination 
than these of Verne, there would have been much less mis- 
chief and more happiness to lay to the account of fiction, 




Two novelists of equal talent and fame were bom in 
1840, Zola and Daudet. Both claim to be of the Naturalis- 
tic school. Both have sought to present life as they saw 
it, in all verity, and they are allowed to have succeeded 
to unusual perfection. Zola came first into a notoriety 
which was not then fame. He began as a journalist, then 
turned to novel writing for years on starvation wages. 
Experience of this kind is not a sweetener of disposition, 
especially of naturall}^ gloomy temperaments. Zola might 
have been inspired by the spirit of revenge against his fel- 
lows high and low alike, so ruthlessly does he pillory them 
all.. The power of works such as "L'Assommoir," "Ger- 
minal" "La Terre," "Nana," "La Debacle" is extraordi- 
nary. The degrees in which they are edifying, amusing, 
comforting, which are the three main ends of fiction, is to 
be determined by the reader and not for him. The courage 
behind the perseverance which created this burden of 
nominally light literature is not less extraordinary, and it 
is due to Zola to recognize that he insists on the worthi- 
ness of his intention. He declares he is not of the licen- 
tious school. The shoveling of filth in broad daylight 
before the public eye is not his chosen delight, yet he per- 
sists in it. 

After a time Zola, having finished the long family 
history of the Rougon-AIacquart tribe, turned to the sub- 
ject of religion of the present day, as he views it. He 
prepared after his usual close studies a set of three books, 
"Lourdes," ''Rome," and "Paris." A priest, named Fro- 
ment, but practically Zola himself, finding his mind 
troubled; goes on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, but is disgusted 
with the worldly aspect of religion there. Then he goes 
to Rome to see the Pope and get his faith renewed. Again 


he is disappointed, and returns to Paris, where he devotes 
himself to self-sacrificing work in behalf of the afflicted 
and distressed. Zola, not content with his fame as an 
author, has drawn the attention of the world upon him- 
self by his interference in behalf of Captain Dreyfus, who 
has been unjustly condemned, as he alleges. Zola and 
his works, the degradation of naturalism, are phenomena 
of a curious transition period, to be studied scientifically, 
not to be enjoyed. 


In sharp contrast with Zola stands his contemporary, 
Alphonse Daudet ( 1840- 1898) . Born at Nimes of Gascon 
blood, his first utterance was a book of verse, "Les 
Amoureuses." To this succeeded plays and novelettes, in 
which he introduced public men and topics with playful 
satiric touches. The story, afterward dramatized, which 
gained his popularity was "Fromont Jeune et Risler Aim" 
(1874). This became fame after "Le Nabab" (The 
Nabob) appeared in 1878. It was an undisguisedly scat- 
tering satire of public characters under the Empire, much 
of it gratuitous and cruel slander. In better vein are 
his delightful short stories in "Letters from My Mill," 
and his entertaining books, the lively adventures of 
"Tartarin de Tarascon," of which there are three. They 
may take a permanent place alongside the D'Artagnan and 
Mousquetaire romances, and perhaps Don Quixote. 
"L'Evangeliste" (1883) satirizes the Salvation Army, and 
"L'Immortel" (1888) the Academy, on which he vents 
considerable personal spleen. With all his satirical power 
Daudet preserved a charming gentleness, a grace of 
blended poetry and humor, which beautifies his work as 
a whole. He shows nature, Zola shows it up. For this 


reason Daudet is and will be read with a slightly alloyed 
delight, where Zola is tolerated for the fascination of his 
experiments in social vivisection. 


Though only a writer of short stories, Guy De Mau- 
passant (1850- 1 893) won a reputation equal to the best 
as an artist. He had the advantage, for such it was to 
one who aspired to literature in writing, of knowing Flau- 
bert. It is told that the elder insisted on his docile pupil 
practicing at descriptive writing for years, giving him 
the most trivial objects on which to exercise his powers. 
At last he attained the Flaubert standard of proficiency, 
and his schooling gained instant attention to his work. 
The French short story is now thoroughly acclimated here 
and need not be analyzed. Maupassant followed his mas- 
ter's method, devoting his days and nights to intimate 
exploration of the life he sought to paint. His fatal enthu- 
siasm landed him in a madhouse and a suicide's grave, per- 
haps the strongest testimony to the realism of his work. 
The stories show all the qualities held supreme in this 
kind of art work, graphic power, microscopic observation, 
knowledge of the morbid mind, quick changes of scene and 
impression. If most of them leave a nasty taste in the 
mouth, the more enjoyable to those on whose palate the 
pleasing is sickly flat. 

The brothers Goncourt added notably to the literature 
of their day. Edmond, born in 1822, died in 1896; Jules, 
1830-1869. Their first joint novel, "En 18 — ," failed on 
its first appearance in 1852, owing to the excitement of 
the time. They also failed in journalism before they took 
to history as material for romance. They made fanciful 


pictures of Eighteenth Century personages, royal and 
other. The "Soeur Philomene" (1861) was a success. 
Four years later came "Germinie Lacerteux," d. study in 
morbid psychology, which caused a sensation. Their pro- 
ductions have influenced recent writers ambitious to suc- 
ceed in this school. They formed a new Academy de Gon- 
court, and Edmond left a large estate for its support. 

Anatole France is known by his novel, "Le Crime de 
'Sylvestre Bonnard," a striking production. In "Thais" 
and other stories he goes back to early Christian times 
without intent to create sympathy for Christianity. "La 
Fille de Lilith," "Le Livre de Mon Ami," and the collec- 
tion of stories "Balthasar" display a remarkable versa- 
tility, with a subtle vein of irony which somewhat shakes 
one's faith in the writer's general seriousness. He is 
equally clever as a miscellaneous writer and critic, and may 
yet do a strong piece of work. 

Jules Viaud, known in literature as Pierre Loti, was 
received into the Academy while quite a young man, the 
more interesting, seeing he was a lieutenant in the navy. 
His claim to remembrance will rest upon his style rather 
than his strength. His first books were the outcome of 
voyaging round the world. The "Manage de Loti" is a 
story of Tahiti, with natives for its heroines, affording 
opportunities for the study of love in its primitive mani- 
festations, and for sentimental reflections in the vein of 
the early romanticists, who pitched their stories among 
half- savage people. "Les Pecheurs d'Islande" (The Fish- 
ers of Iceland) ventures into a quasi-philosophical analy- 
sis of motives in love and duty. The general tone of his 
writings, beneath their fantastic peculiarities, is that of a 
deep-rooted pessimism, all the gloomier for the half-poetic 
flights into introspective wonderland, seeking happiness 
and finding none. 


As author of "Cosmopolis" Paul Bourget gained his 
footing among novelists who introduce their readers to 
fashionable and brilliant metropolitan circles. He dwells 
among the sons and daughters of wealth, gathered for its 
most effective display in the gayest of cities. These mixed 
people he pictures with no marked power, and with no par- 
ticular moral, unless to inspire contempt. A criminal trial 
suggested the psychological novel, "Le Disciple" as mor- 
bid and artificial a story as need be read. "Un Crime 
d' Amour," and other books of his confessedly excel in 
the presentation of figures which are not men and women. 
His fluent style and superficial penetration commend his 
books to certain readers, but his better work is seen in 
essays and critical studies. His last novel, "La Duchesse 
Blue" is an argument for the impersonality of the nov- 

These are the popular men of the hour, whose slight- 
est productions are sure of a ready sale. They indicate 
the parting of the ways, on the one hand toward rigid 
realism, on the other bearing toward a mystical region 
not far from the old personal romanticism. In both there 
is a strange lack of the rational romantic spirit which lifts 
the mind above the oppressive materialism of existence 
without losing it in pure moonshine. For the present the 
French novelist holds aloof from the old, old story of 
honest love, beset with ills from without and frets within, 
tested by troubles, strengthened by patient struggle, tri- 
umphing over all in the long run with a happiness all the 
richer for their buffetings. The passing appetite is for 
seasoned and overseasoned meats. The novelist by pro- 
fession takes note of public taste. Much excellent natur- 
alistic work has been done by Hector Malot, Rene Bazin, 
du Boisgobey, and a few others. 


Much of the foregoing appHes to the dramatic output 
c^f the last quarter-century. Indeed, it is more true of the 
playwright than the novelist that he is fettered by the fickle 
taste of the hour. On the stage, aided by its well-skilled 
interpreters, a glittering picture of some phase of social 
life catches the public attention quickly and holds it as 
tenaciously as the national temperament allows. For 
pecuniary reasons the literary men of France court the 
theater. Success is more rapidly won by a play than a 
book. Scarcely a writer of note but has tried his hand 
at the drama. Novels have been turned into plays and 
vice versa, with considerable gain to the authors, and occa- 
sionally to literary reputations. Victorien Sardou ( 1831 ) 
is the ablest as well as the most successful dramatist of 
the period. From "Candide," produced in i860, to 
"Diplomacy," "Fedora" and the later plays, he has 
achieved a succession of literary triumphs not less than 
theatrical. Of these, many hold our own stage under 
other names, not always translations. His comedies have 
been political, as when "Rahagas" satirized Gambetta, and 
h?ve freely treated passing questions, sometimes polem- 
ically. They are invariably brilliant, and well-earned his 
elevation to the Academy in 1877. 

Franqois Edouard Joachim Coppee (1842-1897) 
issued poems in his youth. His first drama, "Le Passant" 
was acted in 1869, with success. Among later poems were 
"Les Humbles" "Exilee" and a romance, "Une Idylle 
Pendant le Siege." Napoleon HI made him librarian of 
the Senate at Luxembourg, and afterward he was 



appointed keeper of the archives of the Comedie Fran- 
^aise. Coppee was not only a true, but an exceptionally 
gifted poet. Five volumes contain his poetical and dra- 
matic work. He has maintained a pure and noble tone 
throughout. His verse interprets the thought and aspira- 
tions of the genuinely patriotic of his countrymen. He 
has abundant wit, and the charm of native geniality per- 
vades all his work. 

A number of the prose writers named have been mak- 
ers of verse also. Among the aspirants for the laurel 
wreath have been a few whom posterity may class outside 
the pale of mediocrities. The characteristics of modern 
French poetry resemble those of the typical novel and play 
in the main. Impressionism has marked it for its own. 
There is little to call for remark outside the lyric, and of 
its innumerable devotees the one who claims consideration 
above the rest is Paul Verlaine (1844-1896). What 
Francis Villon was in the Fifteenth Century, Verlaine has 
realistically been in ours, to this extent — a voluntary out- 
cast if not outlaw, a poet in spite of his rags and tatters, 
a pariah despite a wealth of genius. Married and always 
in love with his wife, he poetically expended her small 
dowry in a merry-go-round with which he haunted village 
fairs. Practically it did not pay. The lady upbraided, 
and when an onlooker enjoyed the sport Verlaine flew at 
him with a knife. In his Belgian prison the poet found 
his better self. But the pretty verses, which are pure 
poems, he composed for his wife did not bring him good 
fortune all at once. He was two years in the cells and the 
infirmary. When he came out he was very good, thanks 
to the chaplain and nuns. He sang fine hymns of bitter 
repentance, then, and on many similar occasions after- 
ward. It is told of his artless conception of life that once, 
when in trouble, friends collected 300 francs and gave 


them to him. That night he drove his boon companions 
in a hired carriage the whole round of the drinking places, 
until there was no more money, drink, or sense. Verlaine 
was always pouring out rich devotional verse on these 
morrows. His poems commanded cash on the instant, 
yet his friends had to fine their slim pocketbooks by mak- 
ing constant contributions for his recovery rather than 
maintenance, for he managed to exist between w'hiles. 
With body and brain damaged by long neglect, and 
toward the last avoided by those who still felt pity for the 
hopeless, the poet took to bed for the last time and expired 
while imploring his wife to come. Coppee, Zola, and 
others who knew the man, declare that Verlaine's poetry 
will survive. It meets the requirements of true lyric verse 
in being artless, spontaneous, touching, and musical. He 
had a perfect ear and taste, and gave polish without hard- 
ness to every expression. 


The French Academy has no brighter names on its 
roll than those of Renan and Taine. Each in his depart- 
ment and degree shed bright luster on the literature of 
the half-century. If style can be regarded, as some claim, 
apart from the subject matter it illuminates as in itself 
a source of intellectual good, then French literature may 
be proud of its two glorifiers of the themes usually dulled 
by the absence of their art. With the advent of these great 
VTiters it was perceived that the gravest subjects and solid 
scholarship could be endowed with high literary charm, 
giving a glow as of romance to the hitherto cold records of 
special fields of research. In this aspect the service these 
men rendered to their country is greater than that of their 
several contributions to knowledge. They disclosed the 
secrets which had been supposed the peculiar property of 
belles-lettres, and demonstrated that they belonged in 
common to all craftsmen who knew how to use them in 
the fashioning of learned works. Their example told with 
varied effect on many disciples in their country and out 
of it, on the whole with undoubted benefit to literature 
generally, and to the special gain of all who study in their 


Ernest Renan rose from a Breton peasant's cottage to 
be perhaps the first of those who added the distinct attrac- 
tion of literary style to studies in history and allied sub- 
jects. He was bom in 1823, was brought up religiously, 
and trained for the priesthood. In his study of Semitic 



languages he encountered difficulties in his religious belief 
which he afterward ascribed to philological causes, 
though this was probably a minor reason. In 1845 he left 
the Seminary, and was assisted by his sister until he 
could gain a living by teaching. He won a public 
prize for an essay on the Semitic languages, whereupon 
he was commissioned to make researches in Italy, the 
outcome of which was the important work on Arabic phi- 
losophy, "Averroes et I'Averroisme" (1852). Various 
flattering promotions came within the next few years, dur- 
ing which he published "Etudes d'Histoire Religieuses," 
and an" Essai sur I' Origine du Language" (1858). When 
the army went to Syria, i860, Renan was appointed scien- 
tific commissioner, which enabled him to explore the 
Holy Land. His first lecture, as professor of Hebrew in 
the College de France, caused a disturbance, of which the 
result was the withdrawal of the course. Now appeared 
the book with which his popular fame is most identified, 
the "Vie de Jesus" (Life of Jesus) (1864). It marks an 
epoch in modern religious literature, theological, histori- 
cal and critical. The title indicated its humanistic bias, 
which aroused hostility so strong that the author was dis- 
missed, and he refused to accept a proffered appointment 
in the Imperial Library as a consolation. The charac- 
ter of his book gave it notoriety, but its captivating style 
won the place it still holds in the literature of the world. 
Strauss's "Leben Jesu" had presented a mythical being 
instead of the Christ of loving tradition. Renan por- 
trayed an ideal human character, full of beauty and the 
genius which touches the divine, yet shorn of the supreme 
qualities cherished by and essential to the Christian faith. 
The exquisite charm of the book did not conceal its radi- 
cal weakness as offering a substitute for the Jesus of the 
Gospels. It was the first installment of an elaborate workj 


"Origines du Christianisme" of which there followed 
these volumes, "Les Apotres" (1866), "Saint Paul et sa 
Mission" (1867), "L'Antechrist" (1873), "UEglise 
Chretienne" (1879). The same graceful lucidity charac- 
terized these studies, which did not wholly escape dam- 
age from more drastic criticisms than Renan favored. 
His subsequent work included "Marcus Aurelius" 
(1881), "History of the People of Israel" (1887- 1892). 
In his earlier years he issued translations of the Book of 
Job and Ecclesiastes. Besides these Renan wrote sev- 
eral philosophical essays and miscellaneous pieces in 
lighter vein. He was elected to the Academy in 1878, 
and delivered the Hibbert course of lectures in London, in 
1880, on the "Influence of Pagan Rome on Christianity." 
So great and diversified a body of literary work of such 
hig'h character gives its author enviable distinction among 
the best writers of his age. His immense learning, pa- 
tient research, and his gift of utterance, while they placed 
him high among the scholars of the century, and the fa- 
vorites of the public, seem nevertheless to have crowned 
him with the laurel of a graceful rather than a powerful 
intellectual athlete. He wrote "Recollections of Youth" 
in 1890. Having found after a long life of study that, 
as he expressed it, he really knew little more of the truth 
than a street boy gets at a first guess, his future influence 
may be gauged as that of a literary stylist first, scholar 
next, and a teacher last. Considerable egotism of a weak 
kind detracts from the value of his later and more per- 
sonal writings. 


Hippolyte Adolphe Taine, born in 1828, had at twen- 
ty-five earned the degree of Doctor in Letters; in the 
year following the Academy crowned his essay on the 


historian Livy, and the public applauded his next effort, 
"Voyage aux Eaux des Pyrenees" (Travels in the Pyre- 
nees). In 1857 he showed a stronger hand in his "Phil- 
osophes Frangais du XIX me 'Siecle," and in the "Essais 
de Critique et d'Histoire" ( 1858) . He had formed a sys- 
tem of criticism for himself, influenced by the Positive 
philosophy, which suited his somewhat dry temperament. 
As the realistic school in poetry and romance eliminated 
considerations of sweetness and light, moral purpose or 
tendency, so his method should content itself with simple 
description of what it might find as a fact. Certain in- 
fluences from the past operate to shape present conditions; 
men born under those conditions do but reflect them in 
their views and acts; writers only voice the average senti- 
ments of their day, and it is waste of brain to try and 
elevate them to the level of creators. Under these con- 
trolling convictions Taine produced his justly famous 
work, "History of English Literature" in 1863. What 
Renan was at the same instant doing for the author of 
Christianity Taine was doing for the kings of English lit- 
erature, deposing them from the throne, supposed to be 
hedged round with divinity. It was a splendid attempt, 
to demonstrate that the great were only the small crea- 
tures of circumstance, but it was working a theory to 
death. The literary criticism was of itself masterly and, 
from a Frenchman's point of view, admirably conceived, 
but the backbone of logic seemed to have got a twist. 
Taine found it impossible to cover up every trace of origi- 
,nality in the great poets with his theory of environment. 
Within two years, when he was appointed professor of 
aesthetics and the history of art in 1865, he had developed 
broader views. Gradually he let it be seen that this hard 
and rigid naturalistic method was not working well. In his 
'Thilosophie de I' Art" and "Voyage en Italie" (1865-66) 



he takes account of things below the surface. In his 
"Ideal dans I'Art" (1869) he admits not only the wis- 
dom, but the duty of judging men and their works, not 
simply in themselves, but as influences. This was a de- 
parture from the doctrine of art for art's sake. He vis- 
ited England in 1871, receiving honors from Oxford, and; 
next year published his ''Notes siir I'Angleterre" which 
testify to the enlarging of his perceptions. The result 
was a determination to write a history of Contemporary 
France and its beginning. The first volume appeared in 
1876, "L'Ancicn Regime;" then "La Rez'olution" 
(1878), and "La Conqueste Jacohine" (1881), with 
other volumes down to 1890. He died in 1893, not hav- 
ing completed his work. 

When well-matured in years and thought Taine laid 
aside the machine standard of criticism in favor of one 
which should judge men according to their good or bad 
aims or tendencies. Hence his impartial distribution of 
praise and blame among royalists, republicans and revo- 
lutionists alike. It is not so important to fix on the pre- 
cise technical classification of this method of criticism, 
whether and how far realistic or romantic. The grand 
mission of sound criticism is to discover all essentials to 
fair judgment, and having displayed them, assist the 
reader to discriminate wisely. Taine started out with the 
opposite theory, but came back to a more free method of 
rational adjudication. His impartiality struck the Aca- 
demicians as a welcome progress in conserv^atism, where- 
upon he, with Renan, was admitted in 1878, after hav- 
ing suffered two rejections. Compared with Renan's the 
style of Taine. fine as it is, seems artificial. It has great 
force, surprising effectiveness, is occasionally eloquent by 
simplicity and more often by careful rhetoric. His work 
as an historian is probably superior in the higher quali- 


ties to his more strictly critical work, though the two are 
really one. As a philosophical thinker he must always 
rank among the most influential by virtue of his power in 
setting his readers to work out his conclusions for them- 
selves. His "English Literature" is one of the greatest, 
most instructive, and delightful reading books on that sub- 
ject despite all drawbacks. 


The name of Edmond Henri Adolphe Scherer (1815- 
1896) commands exceptional respect. Trained as a the- 
ologian he parted company with orthodoxy in a thoughtful 
work, "La Critique et la Foi" (1850). He became a 
Liberal leader of moderate views, and a moderator of fac- 
tionism in his capacity as member of the National As- 
sembly in 1 87 1. Journalism occupied his pen for a few 
years, but his standard works on theological and espe- 
cially literary subjects have placed him among the sound- 
est of philosophical writers. 

Jules Lemaitre, born in 1853, is one of the foremost 
journalists of the younger school. His reviews, especially 
of the drama, ancient and modern, have high authority 
and make brilliant reading. He was elected an Acade- 
mician in 1896. As usual with his fraternity Lemaitre 
has attempted play-writing, and since 1891 with success. 
Politics, Platonic affection, and less attractive topics he 
treats with a light vein of humor, pointed with sharp sat- 
ire, the end in view being an evening's entertainment. 

Eugene Melchior de Vogiie was born in 1848 and was 

made an Academician at forty. His mental endowment 

and general career have been likened to those of Lamartine. 

First appeared, in the "Revue des Deux Mondes," his 

"Voyage en Syrie et en Palestine" ( 1873) . That so young 
Vol 9 — t8 


a writer should make a striking success of a well-worn 
theme denotes more than ordinary powers. The book 
displays some of the features of the Chateaubriand style, 
prose poetr}% fine sentiment, put into exquisite French. 
The dreamy tone befits wanderings in the Holy Land. 
An official sojourn in Russia, where he married a native 
lad)', brought him into sympathetic contact with Tolstoi 
and his school, whose ideals and crusade Vogiie eloquently 
commends to his own people. He has written largely on 
Russia, its people, histor}\ and outlook. He has served 
on several diplomatic missions to foreign courts. Of 
their order his writings have most of the qualities prized 
by lovers of refined language expressing lofty sentiment. 
He does not write for art's sake alone. He stands for the 
new idealism, a religion of heart freed from ecclesiastical 
trammels, a standard of personal and national honor that 
shall lift men up out of the slough of materialism in which 
they have so long been dragged by the ultra-naturalistic 
blind guides, as he conceives them. It is claimed that he 
has an enthusiastic following in the young men of the 
land, and it is assured that his influence will spread and 
prove a power for good. 

The latest critic of eminence is Ferdinand Brunetiere, 
who was made known to Americans by his visit in 1897 
when several universities listened to his lectures on modem 
French literature and its tendencies. He was bom in 
1849 and was elected to the Academy in 1894. He is 
a pronounced Catholic and upholds his religious convic- 
tions with courage. His journalistic career was signal- 
ized by the bold onslaught he made against the Natural- 
istic school. Recognizing its ability he denounces what 
amounts to the prostitution of it. He went so far in one 
of his lectures as to honor George Eliot above Gustave 
Flaubert, her superior in point of art, because "she has 


the advantage of not resorting to adultery. The obser- 
vation of simple facts suffices her without crime." He 
was invited to give a course of lectures in the Odeon The- 
ater in 1 89 1, on the Classic Drama. Since then he is 
the favorite lecturer in the Sorbonne and elsewhere. He 
has published several volumes, and though he is tren- 
chantly criticized by his contemporaries and has been hon- 
ored with the hostility of the extreme naturalists, his 
broad championship of the pure and uplifting as the cri- 
terion of all good literature has made him a power. His 
last utterance on the present phase of French literature is 
hopeful. He shows that individualism was the note of 
the Romantic movement, which the naturalistic school has 
changed to the impersonal. Now there is in progress a 
movement toward the social, in the sense that literature 
now aims at the good of all as contrasted with the interests 
of the individual. If this is correct, and it is to a large 
extent, the new Century will probably bring with it a na- 
tional literature purified of its adulterants. When the 
transparency of its moral tone shall match the clearness of 
its expressive language, French literature may claim the 
crown and wear it with the approval of all nations. 



The literature of Germany in the middle of the Eight- 
eenth Centur}'- had shown many signs of social unrest and 
impending political revolution. This was especially evi- 
dent in the drama. One of Klinger's plays "Sturm und 
Drang'' (Storm and Stress), first acted in 1775, has given 
an appropriate name to the whole period. Many of these 
dramas, written by noblemen, revealed the deplorable con- 
dition of the down-trodden masses. They extolled liberty 
in hysterical speeches and urged revolt against tyranny 
and superstition. Yet while the feelings of the intellec- 
tual classes were deeply stirred, the people did not respond 
to the alarm. The threatening political storm seemed to 
pass over the land to take effect in France, from which 
much of the original impulse had come. The reason for 
this failure of political action undoubtedly lay in the 
divided condition of the Fatherland. Germany was 
broken up into some forty different States, varying in size 
and importance from the extensive territories of Austria 
and Prussia to petty principalities, the boundaries of which 
the ruler could traverse in a day's ride. The jealousies 
and absurd quarrels of these petty sovereigns and the 
rivalry of their subjects attracted and carried off the light- 
ning which seemed about to dart from the lowering clouds. 

Yet the great epic and lyrical poet, Klopstock, who 
survived a few years beyond the Century, had already 
roused a general enthusiasm for religion and the Father- 



land. He was the first to direct the attention of modern 
Germans to the ancient hero Hermann or Arminius, who 
defeated the Roman legions in the Teutoburger forest. 
Hermann has now become the symbol of united Germany, 
but a full century was required to raise him to his destined 
elevation. The popular desire for unity steadily grew, 
but the people must pass through terrible trials, bloody 
wars and destructive commotions before a real union could 
be accomplished. The first of these afflictions was 
brought about by the agreement of the Emperor Leopold 
II and the King of Prussia to support the cause of Louis 
XVI against the revolutionary movement in France. 
This unfortunate coalition plunged all Europe into a con- 
flict which destroyed the entire State system of the Conti- 
nent. The Holy Roman Empire, which had prolonged 
into modern times the name, though not the glory, of the 
grandest political structure ever erected, was brought to 
an ignominious end when Francis II resigned the im- 
perial crown at the bidding of Napoleon in 1806. Dur- 
ing the struggle between France and Austria Frederick 
William III, King of Prussia, had selfishly held aloof, 
but he was destined to suffer in turn. When the Confed- 
eration of the Rhine, composed of the chief central and 
southern States of Germany, was formed under the pro- 
tectorate of France, Frederick William, hoping for aid 
from England and Russia, declared war for which he was 
ill prepared. The first battle at Jena in October, 1806, 
laid Prussia prostrate at Napoleon's feet, and after a 
second battle at Friedland, the King was compelled to sign 
a treaty giving up the best part of his Kingdom and more 
than half his subjects. This national, humiliation sank 
deeply into the hearts of the German people. The na- 
tional spirit had already been roused by the lyrics of Klop- 
stock and of his followers known as the Hainbund (Grove- 


alliance) ; they were students of Gottingen and had ob- 
tained this name by their dancing one night by moonlight 
around an oak tree and swearing to devote themselves to 
their native land. Under the wise and vigorous states- 
manship of Stein and Hardenberg the Prussian system of 
education was remodeled, her people trained to be intelli- 
gent soldiers, and the whole country was regenerated. 
In a few years the War of Liberation, by which the French 
were driven out, called forth a grand outburst of patriotic 

At the opening of the Century Goethe reigned supreme 
in the literary world. In his youth he had been deeply 
moved by the influences around him, but now he seemed 
to withdraw from the external world and find peace and 
comfort in the lofty regions of art. Yet in his heart he be- 
lieved in a grand future for Germany and felt it his duty 
to increase and promote the national culture. Before con- 
sidering his career in detail, it is necessary to look at some 
of his predecessors. Johann Gottfried Herder (1744- 
1803) does not rank high as an original poet. Animated 
by a real enthusiasm for human happiness he was unable 
to give proper poetic expression to the deep feelings of his 
soul. But in his ''Stimmen der Volker" (Voices of the 
Peoples) he brought together a splendid collection of the 
lyrics of many races, and thus prepared the way for the 
lyrical revival among his own countrymen. In his "Ideen 
2ur Philosophie der Geschichte der Menschheit," (Ideas 
on the Philosophy of the History of Humanity), he de- 
veloped the idea of progress in the history of the world, 
and thus enlarged the scope of historical inquiry. He 
had the high honor of directing and stimulating the genius 
of Goethe at a critical stage, and had powerful influence 
on other leading writers. Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock 
(1724- 1 803) is best known as the author of "The Mes- 


siah," an epic poem on the sufferings of Christ, in which 
he sought to surpass Milton, but failed to give the central 
figure distinct outlines. It has been pronounced an ora- 
torio rather than an epic. His dramas are also failures 
from his want of sufficient knowledge of real life and 
stage craft. But in his lyrics his genius was shown in 
fiery patriotism, enthusiasm for humanity, and strong love 
for the grand phenomena of nature. Christoph Martin 
Wieland (1733-1813) at the outset of his career was as 
religious and patriotic as Klopstock, but he passed into 
an Epicurean indifference. Of his numerous works the 
most pleasing is the romantic narrative poem "Oberon" 
which transports the hero on a fantastic errand to the 
court of the Caliph of Bagdad. In his later prose ro- 
mances he discouraged enthusiasm and ridiculed the aspi- 
rations of his youth. Some of his stories treated themes 
of ancient Greek life in a thoroughly modern spirit. Gott- 
hold Ephraim Lessing (i 729-1 781) had more influence 
on the course of German literature. He produced dramas 
which still hold the stage, and wrote criticisms which 
have borne fruit in successive generations. In his ''Lao- 
koon" he 'defined the domains of art and poetry; by his 
work on the drama he abolished slavery to the French 
classical rules; and by his "Wnlfenbiittel Fragments" he 
started the movement for higher criticism of the Bible. 
In his "Education of the Human Race" he showed that 
religions which may not be absolutely true may yet have 
value in leading toward higher moral ideals. The same 
idea is presented artistically in his finest work, the drama 
of "Nathan the Wise," the hero of which is an idealiza- 
tion of his friend, Moses Mendelssohn. It inculcates the 
duty of religious toleration. 



Born in 1749 and dying in 1832, Johann Wolfgang 
Goethe belongs to two Centuries and in his active and 
varied intellectual career expressed the spirit of both. He 
is not only supreme in German literature, but in the Euro- 
pean literature of his time. In modern times only Dante 
and Shakespeare hold similar places. Goethe was born 
and spent his boyhood in Frankfort, then still the capital 
of the Empire, though not the residence of the Emperor. 
His father, descended from a family which had steadily 
risen in wealth and importance for some generations, was 
the Emperor's representative in the town council. He 
was formal and pedantic and exercised his talents in the 
strict education of his son and daughter. Their mother 
was a lovely, bright-witted woman, who cultivated their 
affections. While French garrisons occupied the city dur- 
ing the Seven Years' War, young Goethe learned their 
language and found pleasure in their theater. He went 
to the University of Leipsic, and in 1770 to Strasburg to 
obtain his degree in law. Here two important influences 
came upon him. First, he met with Herder, poet and 
theologian, who taught him that poetry is the expression 
of national life, and introduced him to the beauties of 
English literature. Secondly, he, then handsome as 
Apollo, met with the fair Friederike Brion, whose presence 
gives charm to his "Autobiography." On his love affair 
with her was founded the story of Gretchen in "Faust." 

After taking his degree in law, the young man went 
home and began to write lyrical poems, but he soon at- 
tempted a drama after the boisterous style then prevalent. 
"Gotz von Berlichingen," though written without a plan, 
displayed his genius in vivid representation of a power- 
ful character of the Sixteenth Century. Still another man- 


ifestation of his literary ability was seen in his "Sorrows 
of Werther," a story told in letters in the sentimental style 
of Rousseau. It was really founded on his own hopeless 
love for Charlotte Buff. It exhibits the force of unre- 
strained youthful passion and expresses with deep pathos 
that weariness of life that overtakes imperfect natures. 
Werther, a well-educated young man, falls in love with a 
friend's wife, but shrinks from temptation and at last in 
fond despair, commits suicide. But Goethe was too 
strong intellectually and morally to yield thus. In his 
many lyrics the emotions of his soul found vent. In I775> 
at the invitation of the Duke of Saxe Weimar, Goethe 
removed to his capital where Wieland already was, and 
whither Herder and Schiller came later. The little Saxon 
town of Weimar became the intellectual and literary cen- 
ter of Germany. "Here," says a biographer, "everybody 
worshiped him, especially the women." For ten years 
Goethe was busy in official duties and published little ex- 
cept some dramas. Then he visited Italy to complete his 
study of art and arouse his slumbering genius. He trav- 
eled incognito, that his studies might not be disturbed, 
and spent two years in the land. 

On his return he produced his beautiful drama of 
"Iphigenia," a masterly imitation of ancient Greek 
tragedy, yet with Christian sentiment interfused. In 
"Tasso" are exhibited the woes of a poetic nature which 
cannot fairly discriminate between the real and the ideal 
world. In "Egmont" there is some splendid historical 
portraiture, but the hero is not the real Egmont of the 
great struggle of the Netherlands for liberty. He is a 
young high-minded patriot resisting the relentless bigotry 
and despotism of Alva. His love-romance with Clarchen 
is especially admirable. To this period also belongs the 
first chapter of "Faust" (1790) whose romantic exuber- 


of his career. It was fostered by the admiration, and 
even worship, which he everywhere received. He came 
to regard it as his own duty to cultivate himself, and he 
soon urged it as a duty upon others. Hence even during 
that grand struggle for the liberation of the Fatherland 
in 1813, he kept quiet, except in an occasional outburst 
in a letter or in conversation with a friend. When others 
complained of his indifference, he declared that he was 
true in heart, but that he was convinced the struggle would 
then be ineffectual. He went further, and said, "As a 
man and citizen, the poet will love his fatherland, but the 
fatherland of his poetic strength and his poetic activity 
is the good, the noble, the beautiful, which is confined to 
no special province or land, which he seizes wherever he 
finds it." 

Goethe was unexcelled as a lyrical poet, and retained 
his power in this respect to the end. In his lyrics as Heine 
finely says, "the word embraces you, while the thought 
kisses you." But his fame rests upon "Faust," the great- 
est drama of the world, yet with a simple well-known plot. 
Faust, the most learned scholar, finding at last that human 
knowledge is vain, is in despair, when Mephistopheles in 
the disguise of a black dog, follows him to his study. 
He reveals himself as the spirit of negation, and by echo- 
ing Faust's notions, persuades him to sign a compact in 
his own blood that when his desires had been fully grati- 
fied his life should end. The spirit then transports him 
to a students' revel, which only disgusts him; then to the 
horrors of the Witches' Kitchen. Faust drinks a magic 
potion which renews his youth. He beholds Helena, the 
most beautiful of women, and is told that this drink shall 
cause him to see Helena on earth. When he returns to 
earth, he meets Margaret (or Gretchen, in familiar Ger- 
man), a pretty maiden who is afraid of him as so much 


above her. By the aid of Martha he conveys a casket of 
jewels to her room. These awaken a desire for finery 
which leads to her ruin. Her mother is removed by a 
poisonous sleep-potion. Her soldier brother Valentin, 
discovering her shame, fights a duel with Faust and is 
slain. To the cathedral the betrayed woman goes as a 
penitent, but an evil spirit mocks and taunts her till she 
faints. Faust seeks relief from his sense of guilt and 
Mephistopheles takes him to the witches' festival on Wal- 
purgis night (May i) on the Brocken. When Gretchen 
is imprisoned, having been convicted of slaying her 
child, Faust returns. Her mind wanders, and she dies 
assured of pardon by angel voices. Thus the First Part 
ends. The story of the Second Part is so intricate that it 
is impossible to relate it briefly. Faust continues to work 
out his problems and is bidden to follow Gretchen's spirit 
in a new life. He tries in various ways to benefit his fel- 
low-men. At the last Mephistopheles is baffled, and 
angels, among whom is the spirit of Gretchen, escort his 
soul to Heaven. It may be added that in the prologue 
to Part First there is some indication that Goethe intended 
from the start, to end with Faust's redemption, in spite 
of his sins. 


The name of Friedrich von Schiller is inseparably 
associated with that of his great friend. While the strong 
and healthy Goethe lived to his eighty-fourth year, the 
frail Schiller passed away in his forty-sixth. Yet he had 
accomplished a vast amount of work in both poetry and 
prose which the world will not willingly let die. He was 
pure and noble in heart and won the affectionate regard 
of his countrymen. He was born at Marbach in the 
Duchy of Wiirtemberg in November, 1759. His father 


was a Alajor and overseer of the Duke's gardens. The 
son was trained to be a miHtary surgeon, but early showed 
his dishke for the army and his predilection for literature. 
Under the influence of the ''Storm and Stress" period he 
composed at nineteen his first drama, "The Robbers," full 
of faults yet showing unregulated genius. The hero, Karl 
Moor, had been defrauded by his brother and ill-treated 
by the world. Therefore he became the chief of a band 
of robbers who revenge themselves on society. They 
commit many crimes, but at last Moor, on whose head a 
price is set, surrenders to a poor workman. Schiller was 
still a pupil in the medical school, and the Duke, learning 
that he was the author, forbade him to write except on 
medicine. When the dramatist slipped off to see his play 
he was imprisoned for two weeks. On his release he left 
the duchy altogether. But the popularity of the play 
went on. Schiller wrote more, attacking in the same 
revolutionary style the despotism and vices of the petty 
German courts. In "Love and Intrigue" he rebukes the 
sale of Hessian soldiers by their rulers. His tragedy, 
"Don Carlos," founded on the gloomy story of the son 
of Philip II of Spain, showed change in dramatic method. 
There is less extravagant declamation. The wayward 
Don Carlos falls a victim to the Inquisition and a court 
intrigue, while his magnanimous friend. Marquis Posa, 
dies for him in vain. 

In 1789 Schiller was called to Jena to be professor of 
history. He wrote his "Rise of the Netherlands," and 
"History of the Thirty Years' War." After a few years 
he became acquainted with Goethe and in 1794 they 
became fast friends. The older poet declared that Schiller 
"created for him a second youth and made him again a 
poet, which he had almost ceased to be." The loving in- 
tercourse was equally beneficial for the younger; it made 


him more artistic, so that his poems became perfect in 
form without losing energy and warmth. Schiller pub- 
lished a literary journal to which Goethe contributed. 
The two friends competed in ballad-making, and Schil- 
ler's ballads of this period are his best in strength of con- 
ception and dignity of style. They generally represent the 
conflict between the higher and the lower in man, and 
call upon the will to assert itself against circumstances. 
Such are "The Diver," "The Fight with the Dragon," 
"The Security." Others are remarkable tales from an- 
cient history, as "The Cranes of Ibycus," "The Ring of 
Polycrates," dealing with the moral government of the 
world. His lyrical masterpiece is "The Song of the Bell," 
which describes the course of human life in connection 
with the casting and founding of a bell. The charm is 
enhanced by frequently varying the meter to suit the 
different aspects of the theme. This poem is nobly imi- 
tated in Longfellow's "Building of the Ship." Schiller's 
exultant "Hymn to Joy" was set to music by Beethoven. 
In this period Schiller wrote a noble series of histor- 
ical plays. His study of the Thirty Years' War had made 
him familiar with the grand figure of Wallenstein, who 
was drawn on by belief in his destiny to betray his Em- 
peror. The trilogy relating to him consists of "Wallen- 
stein's Camp," "The Piccolomoni," and "The Death of 
Wallenstein." In the first the devotion of the disorderly 
soldiers to their great leader is realistically shown. In 
the second the interest lies in the struggle in the soul of 
Max Piccolomini between his love for the beautiful 
Thekla, Wallenstein's noble daughter, and his loyalty to 
the Emperor. To end the struggle he dashes against the 
host of Swedes and falls. In the third Wallenstein is led 
by his self-deceiving belief in astrology to trust implicitly 
Max's father, Octavio, by whom he is betrayed. In the 


tragedy of "Mary Stuart," as in some others Schiller sac- 
rifices truth of history to dramatic exigencies. The im- 
prisoned Mary Queen of Scots is so carried beyond pro- 
priety by her unexpected liberty that on meeting Queen 
Elizabeth suddenly in the garden of the castle she 
insults her so as to bring upon herself the death sentence 
In "The Maid of Orleans," the heroine is not the peasant 
girl of history, who is burnt at the stake, but an ideal 
warrior maid who dies on the battle-field, because she has 
yielded for a moment to love for the English Talbot. His 
"William Tell" is a dramatic masterpiece, full of local 
color and noble patriotism. In this final tragedy Schiller 
renews his youthful energy and love of freedom and com- 
bines with them the highest art. It may be regarded as 
an emphatic protest against the despotism of Napoleon. 
Yet the author died at Weimar May 9, 1805, before he 
had seen the lowest degradation of his native land. 


Jean Paul Richter is unique among the writers of the 
world. His works sparkle with gems, but these are 
thrown together without order or reason, and though de- 
lightful at first view, they become tiresome when read con- 
tinuously. Nevertheless there is strong temptation to go 
back again for a fresh look at the riches. Richter, or Jean 
Paul, as he is usually called, was born at Wonsiedel in 
Bavaria in 1763, the son of a poor country pastor who 
died in debt. While he studied at the University of Leip- 
sic he suffered from pinching poverty, and finally ran away 
to escape imprisonment for debt. After a time the poor 
lad became a private tutor, then a schoolmaster, then an 
author, and finally a celebrity. His first book was "Law- 
suits in Greenland" (1784), a collection of thin satirical 



sketches. He did not fairly succeed until he published 
his quaint romance "The Invisible Lodge" in 1793. Then 
followed, with continued success, ''Hesperus" (1794), 
"The Life of Quintus Fixlein" (1796), "Flower, Fruit 
and Thorn-Pieces" (1797) and several more. The eccen- 
tric Jean Paul became the fashion of the time and giving 
up his school he visited the literary centers, being every- 
where welcomed. After his marriage at Berlin in 1801 
he went back to Bavaria and wrote more books, his great 
romance, "Titan," the novel, "Wild Oats/' "Levana" 
(1807), a treatise on education, and a host more. His 
collected works comprise sixty-five volumes. They con- 
sist of poetical rhapsodies about everything in the universe 
great and small. He is a splendid landscape-painter, an 
interpreter of the emotions of the soul, a describer of odd 
characters and grotesque incidents, a touching painter of 
domestic life, a scholar of recondite learning. His books 
abound in strange men and women who move about in a 
bewitched world, simple dreamers, gay wanderers with- 
out care, cynical philosophers, and burnt-out prodigals. 
Yet his pages reveal the real life, domestic and civil Ger- 
many a century ago. He paints the poor with their vir- 
tues and joys, rather than their sin and misery. Among 
the most attractive figures are the schoolmaster Quintus 
Fixlein and his beloved Thiennette, Dr. Katzenberger, 
Wuz, and Lawyer Siebenkaes. His language and style 
are as queer as his characters. He enlarged the German 
dictionary and tore pages out of the grammar. His 
abounding quality, for which many sins of writing are for- 
given, is his humor. While he heaped scorn upon every- 
thing that smacked of vulgarity and pretence, he was 
tender in sympathy for the weakness and failings of others 
and earnestly desirous to promote their spiritual and intel- 
lectual enlightenment. Carlyle, who borrowed some pe- 
Voi,. 9— 19 


culiarities of style from the German, says of him : "In 
the whole circle of literature we look in vain for his par- 
allel. Unite the sportfulness of Rabelais and the best 
sensibility of Sterne, with the earnestness, and even in 
slight portions, the sublimity of Milton; and let the mosaic, 
brain of old Burton give forth the workings of this strange 
union with the pen of Jeremy Bentham." 


The Romantic school in Germany had much in com- 
mon with the Romanticists of France, whose views and 
practices, aims and doctrines have already been described. 
Yet they had peculiar features, due to nationality, circum- 
stances, and above all philosophy, which had been so popu- 
larized by the labors of Kant, Fichte and Schelling, that 
it had become a fashion and indeed a craze. J. G. Fichte 
( 1762-1814) who was professor at Jena, then the focus of 
philosophy for Germany, regarded the external world as 
the projected creation of the Ego or individual. Each 
man has or makes his own world. There is therefore an 
infinite variety of worlds and no uniform principle per- 
vades them. This Transcendentalism, or rather wild ideal- 
ism, had important moral and social consequences. It 
abolished at once the moral law, for no law could be made 
to bind the differing and opposing worlds. It made the 
individual superior to society, and his will superior to any 
agreements of others, for after all, what were they but crea- 
tions of his mind? F. W. J. Schelling (1775-1854), who 
also lectured at Jena, gave a poetical turn to the new doc- 
trine by dwelling on the relations between mind and na- 
ture. He called his system Nature-philosophy; it was 
really an idealistic pantheism, such as may be seen in the 
philosophic poetry of Wordsworth. Some of hi? disciples 


insisted on the mystery of human Hfe and the world, and 
thus assisted the movement toward the introduction of 
supernatural in literature. 

The students trained under these philosophers found 
different modes of expression for their intellectual activ- 
ity. Some in wild dramas and romances gave examples 
of the individual will opposed to the laws and con- 
ventions of society in whatever shape. From this sub- 
stitution of individual caprice for moral law of any kind, 
othei^s went on to declare opposition to spiritual progress 
and to glorify the flesh. Instances of this reversion to 
barbarism are not wanting in the Romantic literature of 
any country. Byron and Shelley furnish examples in 
some of their works. Friedrich Schlegel is a German 
example of the same, and in one of his works has set 
forth his idea of "charming lawlessness," which is really 
moral dissoluteness. He insists upon being allowed this 
freedom in writing as in practice. On the other hand, 
there were refined, spiritual natures who sought for sepa- 
ration from the sin-stained world, and longed for a 
perfect transfiguration. Such a person was the saintly 
Hardenberg, known by his assumed name Novalis (1772- 
1801). He concluded that the highest attainment of the 
human spirit is rest and that conscious activity is sin. 
The visible world is a chaotic dream, and actual life which 
calls constantly for exertion of the will is a disease of 
the spirit. He went on to hold that the true object of 
poetry is to represent the supernatural, miraculous and 
irrational. His poems and mystical prose writings still 
find admirers. 

But there were other professors at Jena who were 
directly concerned with literature. The chief was August 
W. von Schlegel (1767- 1845) who made the admirable 
poetic translation of Shakespeare, which has rendered the 


great English dramatist a German classic. Schlegel 
founded the "Athenaeum," a literary journal to propagate 
his views. He accompanied Madame de Stael in her tour 
in Germany. With his brother, Friedrich, he promoted 
the study of foreign literatures, including the Sanskrit. 
Heine, however, has maliciously caricatured A. W. 
Schlegel, who was lacking in creative power. Friedrich 
was the first to attempt a complete history of the literature 
of the world. 

The early Romanticists were not in sympathy with 
the world around them. They found it dull and formal 
and without the proper elements for the nourishment of 
the mind and spirit. Some of them in their search for 
what they missed went back to the Middle Ages, when 
chivalry and faith prevailed. They drew splendid pic- 
tures of the devout piety which was supposed to regulate 
all the affairs of life and produced the grand cathedrals 
with their splendid architecture, painting and sculpture, 
and their elaborate ritual. Others were attracted by the 
recent discoveries of the wealth of Oriental literature — 
Arabic, Persian, and Sanskrit. Others found satisfac- 
tion in English literature, making Shakespeare the god of 
their idolatry. Still another group were content with the 
early writers of their own land. Many mediaeval authors, 
who had been neglected, were now brought to light. In 
this search for the new and strange, or for the old and 
forgotten, some called attention to the folk-lore and folk- 
songs which had previously been considered outside of the 
pale of literature. The noble-hearted brothers Jacob and 
William Grimm, in addition to their scholastic labors, 
gathered the simple nursery tales which have since become 
household favorites in all lands. The merit of these sim- 
ple stories once revealed, some writers, as Tieck, set to 
work to enlarge the stock. But there is generally an ex- 


travagance and pretentiousness in the modern inventions 
which distinguishes them from the simpHcity and playful- 
ness of the genuine antiques. 

The Romanticists at first regarded themselves as dis- 
ciples of Goethe in literature, for there was much in his 
writings that seemed to favor the new tendency, but they 
gradually separated themselves from his dominion. 
Where Goethe urged self-restraint, they clamored for free- 
will. They rejected the sense of order in literary form, 
and indulged in all manner of extravagant freaks. In 
this respect Jean Paul Richter, who preceded the Roman- 
ticists, was the chief offender. 

The influence of the Romanticists was not confined to 
literature. It entered into practical life. Many of its ad- 
herents became so filled with enthusiasm for the Middle 
Ages, as reconstructed by their fancy, that they sought to 
revive medisevalism in every direction. On art it had pro- 
found influence, which still remains. It deepened the 
sense of mystery in religion, and led many into the Cath- 
olic Church. It restored general appreciation of the life 
of the Middle Ages, and led to closer and fuller examina- 
tion of its history with many marvelous results. It led 
to a universal recognition that there are elements in man 
and the world which cannot be definitely stated but can 
only be felt in their manifestations. 

The most prominent and most prolific of the German 
Romantic novelists is Ludwig Tieck (1773- 1853). He 
was born in Berlin and from boyhood showed passionate 
fondness for Shakespeare and the theater. On graduat- 
ing from the University of Halle, he devoted himself to 
literature, his earliest work being melodramatic tales. 
His "William Lovell" (1775), is a wild story of seduc- 
tion, murder and robbery. Next he made satirical farces 
out of 'Tuss in Boots" and "Blue Beard." Then coming 


under the influence of the Schlegels, he translated dramas 
from the Spanish and from Ben Jonson. In original work 
he was an interpreter of mediaeval life in the curiously 
constructed dramas ''Genoveva" (1800), and "Emperor 
Octavian" ( 1804) . For the sake of his health he went to 
Italy in 1805, and made a long stay during which a change' 
came over his spirit and manner of writing. He dropped 
his mediaevalism and gave attention to artistic construc- 
tion. Henceforth there is in his tales considerable re- 
semblance to some of Hawthorne's weird short stories. 
It is probable that the American learned from the German 
something of his art of making nature exercise direct and 
conscious influence on the human spirit. Tieck's new 
manner w^as first shown in the collection called "Phanta- 
sus" (1812), in which plays and stories are brought to- 
gether in a framework of aesthetic conversation. In later 
works with great ingenuity he blended with the story 
his comment, which is often ironical, here again resem- 
bling Hawthorne. In "The Pictures" there is a dissipated 
painter Eulenbock, who gets a beggarly living by forging 
old masters when he might have acquired fame and for- 
tune by original work. On the other hand in "Luck 
Brings Brains" a man of weak character is roused to 
proper exertion and realization of his powers by having 
responsibility thrust upon him. Two contrasted historical 
pieces are "A Poet's Life," referring to Shakespeare, and 
"A Poet's Death," to Camoens. More than once Tieck 
seems to have tried to make a story counterpart to "Wil- 
helm Meister." This may have been the case with "Will- 
iam Lovell," written in his youth, and more probably with 
"Sternbald's Travel" and "The Young Carpenter." In 
"Vittoria Accorambona" (1840), Tieck approaches the 
modern French school of fiction. Since 18 19 he had been 
a resident of Dresden, where he was active in directing the 


royal theater and gave dramatic readings in the court 
circle. He translated the English dramatists before 
Shakespeare, and lent his name to the completion of 
Schlegel's poetic translation of Shakespeare. At the age 
of seventy he returned to his native city by invitation of. 
the King of Prussia. He died in 1853. 

Tieck's original powers seem to have been held in 
check by self-criticism, which produced self-distrust. He 
was never able to do any large work, but his small pieces 
often exhibit unmistakable genius. His want of self- 
confidence is shown in his ready submission to successive 
influences, while his genius enabled him to produce excel- 
lent work in each new style. His natural inclination was 
most in accord with a moderate Romantic tendency. 

The weirdly beautiful tale of "Undine" is the immor- 
tal classic of the Romantic era. Its author. Baron Fried- 
rich de la Motte Fouque (1777- 1843), was a valiant war- 
rior as well as an industrious writer. His family name 
shows his French descent, and his Christian name was 
taken from the great Friedrich, of Prussia, whose godson 
he was, and in whose army his father and grandfather were 
officers. At the age of seventeen he himself commenced 
his military service, and ten years later he became an 
author. With the encouragement of the Schlegels he 
published various dramas under the name Pellegrin, then 
poems and a romance. By 1808 public favor shown to 
these warranted his putting his own name to his story of 
"Sigurd the Dragon-Slayer," the first of a series taken 
from the old Norse legends. Then came the chivalric 
romance of "The Magic Ring" (1811), and other tales 
and plays. The year 18 14 was signalized by a story for 
each season, the spring number being "Undine," the au- 
tumn number "Aslauga's Knight," which Carlyle trans- 
lated in his "German Romances," and the winter num- 


ber "Sintram and His Companions." In 18 13 the baron 
had buckled on his sword again, but after the battle of 
Liitzen was disabled by illness and honorably discharged. 
Again he took up the pen and nearly every year till his 
death in 1843 issued a volume. For some years the Ger- 
man people eagerly waited for each new romance, then the 
fashion changed. The popular writer outlived his vogue. 
But "Undine" has never lost its charm, and the other re- 
mances of the year 18 14 are often bound with it. 

"Undine" tells how a water-nymph, of beautiful 
human form, desired to obtain a human soul. This could 
only be done by winning and retaining the love of a human 
being. She frequented the hut of two old fisher-folk on 
an island, and was treated as their daughter. By render- 
ing help to a wandering knight she won his regard and 
was married to him. For a time their lives were happy, 
but his cousin, who had hoped to marry him, excited dis- 
trust of the gentle nymph, and when she is called by her 
former companions to rejoin them in the Danube, she 
plunges in the stream. Throughout the story there is an 
ethereal beauty, enhanced by the simple style. The super- 
natural is so exquisitely blended with the natural that the 
reader gladly accepts the whole as poetically true. 

Far different in effect, and more widely improbable, 
are the gruesome tales of horrors presented by Ernst 
Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann (1776- 1822). The man 
himself was as different as possible from the moral, ami- 
able Fouque. Though clever in music and painting, and 
learned as a jurist, he was dissipated and reckless, mali- 
cious and sarcastic, and frequently brought disgrace on 
himself, and trouble on his friends. Yet he was powerful 
as a writer, and used his imaginative talent on frightful 
superstitions and myths. But these are so accompanied 
by brilliant descriptions, and stirring dialogue, that they 


allure even while they repel. ''Der Elixire des Teufels" 
(The Devil's EHxir), shows revolting delusions; but 
among his smaller pieces "The Golden Top," and "Master 
Martin and His Comrades" are the most pleasing. 

Among the Romantics whose fame has passed away 
was Clemens Brentano (1777-1842), who had some orig- 
inality of thought and fancy, and with the aid of his 
brother-in-law, Achim von Arnim (1781-1831), made a 
collection of popular lyrics, "Des Knahen Wunderhorn" 
(The Boy's Wonder Horn). Adelbert von Chamisso 
(1781-1838) was by birth and training a Frenchman, 
but in his literary activity, a German. In 18 15 he was 
appointed the botanist of a Russian expedition which cir- 
cumnavigated the globe, and after his return he had charge 
of the botanical gardens at Berlin. He wrote some tales 
after the romantic fashion and lyrics in which there is 
often true pathos. But he is best known by the story of 
"Peter Schlemihl" (1814), the man who lost his shadow. 
It was written for a friend's children, and has proved 
popular with children of all nations by its fun and lively 
incidents, while to older readers it may seem an allegory 
of the author's life. With the Romanticists may be asso- 
ciated Johann Heinrich Daniel Zschokke (1771-1848), 
who, though born in Prussia, lived most of his life in 
Switzerland, and devoted his historical labors to his 
adopted country. His "Pictures of the Swiss" and his 
romantic tales, "The Creole," "The Goldmakers' Vil- 
lage," "Jonathan Frock," had wide circulation. But his 
most celebrated work is "Stunden der Andacht" (1806), 
(Hours of Devotion), which consists of meditations on 
death and eternity. 

The lovely collection of "Household Fairy Tales" has 
rendered the names of the brothers Grimm familiar in 
all parts of the world. Yet it was only an episode of their 


life-work. The elder, Jacob L. C. Grimm, was born at 
Hanan, in Hesse Cassel, in 1785, and William a year later. 
Jacob, at the University of Marburg, came under the influ- 
ence of Savigny, the celebrated investigator of Roman 
law, and followed that scholar to Paris as his assistant for 
a year. He returned to become a librarian at Cassel, yet 
was employed occasionally in diplomatic duties at Paris 
and Vienna. The two brothers henceforth worked 
together in more than one library. They, with others, 
were dismissed from Gottingen in 1837 for signing a pro- 
test against the King's abrogation of the State Constitu- 
tion, but in 1840 they were called to Berlin. Jacob was 
stout and robust, and worked without pause at his great 
"German Dictionary and Grammar." William, who had 
been equally robust in boyhood, lost his health in youth, 
and remained weak the rest of his life. When he mar- 
ried, his elder brother continued to live with him. Wil- 
liam had greater love of poetry, and was fond of story- 
telling. The two brothers had begun to collect the old 
epics, ballads, and tales, when the younger suggested a col- 
lection of popular stories from books and from mouths of 
the people. The first edition of the "Kinder und Haus- 
M'drchen" (Children's and House Stories) came out in 
1812-15. Then they went on to a critical sifting of the 
oldest epic traditions of the Germanic races in their 
"Deutsche Sagen" (German Stories). This prepared the 
way for Jacob's great work on "German Mythology" 
(1835), which traced the Teutonic myths and supersti- 
tions as far back as evidence would allow. It also treated 
of the decay of these myths under change of religion and 
showed their fragmentary survival in traditions, stories, 
and proverbial expressions. William died in 1859, while 
the elder Jacob survived till 1863. Out of their lighter 
labors, so apparently trivial in their origin has grown, no^ 


GERMAx^ 299 

only the vast literature of folk-lore, but the Important 
science of comparative mythology. But the literary value 
of these stories really lies in their delightfully naive style, 
which has captivated all readers. The tender-hearted 
brothers, whose affection and kindred tastes bound their 
lives so closely together, opened the doors of fairyland 
to the whole world. 

William Grimm, in his preface to the Tales describes 
their character: "The sphere of this world is limited. 
Kings, princes, faithful servants, honest craftsmen, fish- 
ermen, millers, charcoal-burners, and shepherds, all the 
folk who live nearest to nature, appear in it; what lies 
beyond is strange and unknown. As in myths that tell 
of the Golden Age, all nature is alive; sun, moon, and stars 
are accessible, bestow gifts, or may, perhaps, be woven in 
garments; in the mountains dwarfs are digging for 
precious metals, in the sea the water spirits rest; birds, 
plants, and stones talk and express their sympathy; even 
blood speaks and cries out. This innocent familiarity of 
the greatest and the smallest has an inexpressible charm, 
and we could rather listen to the conversation between the 
stars and a poor child lost in the forest than to the music 
of the spheres." 

Somewhat allied with the Romantic movement, was a 
class of plays known as Destiny dramas. The chief 
author of these was the eccentric poet, Friedrich Ludwig 
Zacharias Werner (1768-1823). It is said that his 
mother, at the time of his birth, was insane, and believed 
herself the Virgin Mary. Leaving the Prussian civil 
service, in 1806, Werner traveled through Germany and 
Switzerland, visiting Goethe and Madame de Stael, who 
sent him on to Italy. At Rome he was converted to 
Catholicism, and in 1814 was ordained a priest, and be- 
came noted for half-mad pulpit eloquence. In his Destiny 


dramas, the heroes are showji to be guided by fate, either 
to the realms of hght, or the abode of night and flames. 
Those who are born angels pass through some trials and 
are duly admitted to the destined heaven. Destined lovers 
find each other, no matter how widely separated. In most 
of these dramas Werner took the cheerful view of fatalism, 
but in the "Twenty- fourth of February" he shows a per- 
son destined to a succession of misfortunes on that day on 
account of a curse pronounced upon him by one whom hs 
had offended. 



Speculative philosophy had direct as well as indirect 
effect upon German literature, but it is impossible here 
to do more than glance at this vast and profound subject. 
Immanuel Kant ( 1724-1804), the son of a saddler, rose to 
be a great metaphysician at Konigsberg, his native city. 
He set himself in opposition to John Locke, who had main- 
tained that the mind has no ideas except what it gains, 
through sensation and reflection, from the external world. 
Kant, on the other hand, asserted that besides the ideas 
thus obtained, the soul has certain ideas which it perceives 
by intuition. His system was set forth in his "Critique of 
Pure Reason" (1781), and later works. By determining 
the laws and limits of reason he sought to guard against 
the dogmatism which overestimates the power of the 
human intellect and against the skepticism which under- 
estimates the same. Johann G. Fichte (1762-1814) was 
the second great metaphysician of German}'-, but he was 
also an orator and public agitator. He began his career 
as philosopher by an "Attempt at a Criticism of all Revela- 
tion" and developed his system in his "Doctrine of Knowl- 
edge." He rejected sensation altogether as a source of 
knowledge, and held that the only thing of whose existence 
we are sure is the ego, the thinking soul. The external 
world has no existence except in the mind perceiving it. 
Fichte was charged with atheism, and resigned his pro- 
fessorship at Jena, but made an appeal to the public. He 
really held an idealistic pantheism. In 18 10 he was made 



professor of philosophy in the newly-founded University 
of Berlin, In the War of Liberation he used all his influ- 
ence and eloquence to arouse the patriotism of his country- 
men and fiaally entered the ranks himself. He died in 
January, 1814, at the age of fifty-two. The third great 
philosopher was Friedrich W. J. Schelling (1775-1854), 
who was for a time associated with Fichte at Jena. He 
passed to Munich in 1826, and thence to Berlin in 1841. 
From the pure idealism of Fichte he developed a new sys- 
tem, according to which the external world is not derived 
from, or dependent upon, the ego, but exists along with 
It; and further that the opposition in which they stand to 
each other is united and reconciled in the Absolute or God. 
Another great philosophical leader was Georg Wilhelm 
Friedrich Hegel (i 770-1 831), who succeeded to the chair 
of Fichte at Berlin in 1818. His system has been pro- 
nounced more logical, complete, and comprehensive than 
those of his predecessors. But his followers have been 
divided into several groups, some maintaining that Hegel- 
ian philosophy is perfectly harmonious with Christianity, 
while others deny the personality of God as well as the 
doctrines of Christianity. 

Another philosopher, who seemed to start with the 
extreme individualism of the Romantic movement, but 
departed from it later, was Friedrich Ernst Daniel 
Schleiermacher (1768-1834). An "Essay on the Im- 
morality of All Morals" first attracted attention to him. 
In his "Discourses on Religion" he placed the true aim of 
life In becoming filled with the Divinity. This pantheistic 
religion he presented as the fulfillment of Protestantism. 
His translation of Plato did much to elucidate the ancient 
philosopher, and apply his principles to modern thought. 
Schleiermacher was active In founding the University of 


Berlin in 1809, as part of the new national system of edu- 
cation in Prussia. His later work was chiefly theological. 
Kant had considerable influence on Schiller, who, in 
order to represent the working of the passions, made many 
of his characters untrue to nature, and many scenes untrue 
to life. The Romantic writers carried this subjective 
tendency to still greater excess, and some, by utter care- 
lessness for external form, made their works mere dreams. 
Following Fichte, young men of genius regarded the ideal 
as all-in-all, and demanded for their own will unlimited 
freedom. The form is dependent altogether upon the 
idea, and cannot be regulated. In poetry, fancy is the 
creative principle and the poet follows wherever it leads. 
As Schelling had said, "Every phenomenon in nature is 
the embodiment of an idea," another class of men of 
genius made it the poet's task to point out the ideas to be 
thus found in nature. Poetry therefore became symboli- 
cal and allegorical. Some early examples of this may be 
found in Schiller, but it became the moving principle of 
inferior poets. In their attempts to explain these phenom- 
ena, many fell into an abyss of mysticism. Goethe re- 
jected the mysticism and enthusiasm for the Middle Ages, 
and retained his love for the ancient classics, so that he was 
reproached as "the great heathen." 


Still another philosopher long suffered from neglect of 
his teachings, but has in recent time had powerful influ- 
ence on thought: Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860). 
He was fall of contempt for the superficiality of existence 
and became the boldest assertor of pessimism. His life 
corresponded to his doctrine. He was unsociable and 
<3ogmatic. in youth immoral, and in age cynical. When 


his fellow students were filled with enthusiasm against 
Napoleon, Schopenhauer recognized in the conqueror 
merely the stronger expression of the selfishness of all 
men, and instead of taking arms against him, went to the 
Weimar Library to write a philosophical essay for his de- 
gree. His chief treatise is "The World as Will and Idea" 
(1819), in which he maintained that previous philoso- 
phers had erred in making reason the primary object in 
philosophy; whereas, he argued that in knowing, the ego, 
or subject perceiving, and the object perceived, are but 
opposite poles of the same thing; but in willing, there is 
a revelation of an inner real existence. The identity of 
the ego in *T will" and "I know" is the mystery which 
philosophy must ponder. Schopenhauer expressed his 
admiration for Plato and Kant, his contempt for Fichte, 
and his hostility to Hegel. There was practically no call 
for his services at any university. He renounced all super- 
stitions of duty to country, kindred or associates, and 
found pleasure in reading the ancient and modern classics. 
He admired asceticism and was attracted to Buddhism, 
the similarity of which to his own philosophy is generally 
recognized. While the former philosophers had almost 
immediate effect upon literature, Schopenhauer did not 
exert any in his lifetime, but since his death his views have 
appeared in the literature of many countries. 

It may be added to this brief sketch of the philosophers 
of the earlier part of the Century, that their work has been 
continued by eminent successors. Hermann Rudolf 
Lotze (181 7- 1 881) was professor in Gottingen and 
ranked first among metaphysicians. Among his works 
are the "Microcosmos of Philosophy" (1856-64), and his 
valuable "History of Esthetics in Germany" (1868). 


He gave countenance to the later development of physio- 
logical psychology. 

The successor of Schopenhauer as an exponent of pes- 
simism is Eduard von Hartmann, born in 1842. On 
retiring from the Prussian military service in 1865, he 
devoted himself to philosophy. His greatest work is 
"The Philosophy of the Unconscious" (1868), which was 
based on physiology. Among his later works are "The 
Ethical Consciousness," "The Philosophy of Religion," 
and "Esthetics" (1886), besides numerous essays on 

philosophical, religious, and social questions. 
Vol* 9— ao 


When Prussia was crushed to earth under the iron 
heel of Napoleon it seemed impossible that she should ever 
recover her former status. But Baron von Stein (1757- 
1831), the great forerunner of Bismarck, was able in a few 
brief terms of office, in spite of the opposition of those with 
whom he had to work, to set in motion forces which liber- 
ated the country and started it on a new and more splendid 
career. His reputation as a clever financier had caused 
him to be recalled to the Prussian ministry after the dis- 
astrous battle of Jena, and he set about reorganizing all 
the departments of the government with such energy that 
Napoleon required his dismissal, but the work he com- 
menced went on. German unity, which had long seemed 
to be a chimera, was made to appear feasible and the moral 
forces were roused in its behalf. Feudalism and serfdom 
were abolished and the people were roused to take an inter- 
est in governing themselves. The disastrous retreat of 
Napoleon from Moscow gave an opportunity for the new 
German spirit to manifest itself. At once a wave of 
enthusiasm passed over the land, the universities taking 
the lead in furnishing volunteers for the War of Libera- 
tion. The spirits of the people were cheered by the splen- 
did lyrics of various poets, among whom the youthful 
martyr, Theodor Korner (1791-1813), takes the fore- 
imost place. 

Korner, born at Dresden, went to the University of 
Leipsic, and afterward to Berlin and Vienna, where his 
dramas and the librettos to operas met such approval that 
he was appointed poet to the Court Theater. He was just 


GERMAN! 307 

engaged to be married when he heard the call to arms for 
the liberation of the Fatherland and responded. He was 
made lieutenant in the Prussian army and his wild war- 
songs sung to old national melodies round the camp-fires 
at night, spread such fervor in Liitzow's volunteer corps, 
to which he belonged, that it became especially terrible to 
the enemy. They were afterward collected under the 
name "Lyre and Sword." His last poem, the celebrated 
"Sword Song," a love rhapsody to his sword, was written 
in a memorandum book at dawn of the 26th of August, 
181 3. In the pursuit of the French, who had been 
defeated, Korner was mortally wounded. Of his other 
pieces the most notable are "Liitzow's Wild Chase," 
"Father, I Call Thee," and "Farewell to Life," written 
while he lay wounded. 

Of much longer life, and equal patriotism, was Ernst 
Moritz Arndt ( 1769-1860). He was one of the pupils of 
Fichte, and became a professor of history at the University 
of Greifswald. His bold "History of Serfdom in Pome- 
rania and Riigen" (1803), led to the abolition of that relic 
of barbarism. In "Geist der Zeit" (Spirit of the Time), 
( 1807), he denounced the tyranny of Napoleon and called 
on the German people to unite in throwing off the hateful 
yoke. Great excitement followed, and the professor had 
to flee to Sweden. But his indefatigable pen kept up its 
activity, and numerous pamphlets excited hatred of the 
French domination. His poems and songs increased the 
popular enthusiasm, especially that famous one, "What 
Is the German's Fatherland ?" When the liberation was 
effected, the poet returned and was made professor of 
history at the newly established University of Bonn, but 
his demands for constitutional reform offended the author- 
ities and he was deprived of his chair. After twenty 
years' retirement, he was restored in 1840. He con- 


tinued to lecture and write until his ninetieth year. His 
patriotic poems were collected in i860, another of the 
famous ones being that "Song of the Fatherland" in which 
he thanks God for making iron that there might be 
weapons for freemen. 

Friedrich Riickert (1788- 1866) was another poet of 
the struggle against Napoleon, writing then under the 
name Freimund Reimar. Later he gave attention to 
Oriental studies and was made professor at Erlangen in 
1826, and thence called to Berlin in 1841. Eight years 
later he retired to his estate at Coburg, where he continued 
to write inferior dramas and superior poems, many of 
the latter being translated or imitated from Oriental liter- 
ature. He was master of thirty languages. His love of 
splendid imagery made Eastern poetry congenial to him, 
and his works exhibit a wonderful variety of lyrical forms 
from the most simple to the most complex. His most 
elaborate work is "Die Weisheit des Brahmanen" (The 
Wisdom of the Brahmans), (1836), in six volumes. 

August Graf von Platen-Hallemund (1796- 1835)' 
was another poet who was affected by Oriental influences. 
He had been educated for a military career and served 
against France. He became proficient in many languages 
and wrote lyrics and other poems in the Oriental style, 
sonnets, and a long narrative poem on "The Abbasides" 
(1835). His fierce controversy with Heine afforded 
amusement at the time. He is considered the best classi- 
cal poet of modern Germany, an aristocratic "sculptor of 
words and connoisseur of the sublime." He ridiculed the 
Romanticists In two comedies. 

Wilhelm Muller (1794-1827) was a lyric poet who 
won the praise of the caustic Heine. Born at Dessau, he 
left his studies at the University of Berlin to take part in 
the War of Liberation, but returned in 18 14. Later he 



traveled in Italy, and then became a teacher and librarian 
in his native town. He was cut off at the early age of 
thirty-three, but had already published several volumes of 
poems, edited a collection of the poets of the Seventeenth 
Century and translated "Modern Greek Popular Songs." 
His son, Friedrich Max Miiller, has won fame by his 
philological labors in England. Two series of Muller's 
lyrics have had wide circulation from their having been 
set to music by Schubert: "Die Schone MuUerin" (The 
Pretty Maid of the Miller), and "Die Winterreise" (The 
Winter Journey). In his "Songs of the Greeks" Miiller 
gave voice to the sympathy of the German people for the 
Greeks in their struggle for independence against the 
Turks in 1822. The Greek Parliament afterward voted 
marble for the monument to Miiller, erected at Dessau. 

Two Austrian poets deserve mention, Zedlitz and 
Auersperg. Baron Joseph von Zedlitz (1790-1862), 
whose "Wreaths for the Dead" is a series of eulogies on 
noble men. His "Dungeon and Crown" treats of the last 
days of Tasso, who died before the day on which he was 
to be crowned King of Poets. Anton, Graf von Auers- 
perg (1806-1876), chose to be known in literature as 
Anastasius Grun. His "Walk of a Vienna Poet" is his 
best work; he also wrote an epic, "Robin Hood.'* 


After the downfall of Napoleon there was need for 
reconstruction of Germany. The people expected that 
they should receive back all the lands that had ever been 
taken from them by France, but the Treaty of Paris in 
1816 fixed the boundaries as they had been at the out- 
break of the French Revolution. As regards the internal 
arrangements of Germany, bitter experience had taught 
the need of a real union, and the people would have wel- 
comed the establishment of a vigorous Empire. But Aus- 
tria and Prussia could not forego their ancient jealousy, 
and the lesser princes objected to their petty States being 
wiped out. Instead of an Empire the Congress of Vienna 
organized merely a Bund or Confederation, leaving each 
State independent in its internal affairs. A permanent 
Diet, in which each State should be represented, was to 
meet at Frankfort and the Austrian representative was to 
be its presiding officer. 

But the German people had been roused to seek not 
only national unity, but constitutional liberty. In the dis- 
tricts ruled by the French a higher regard for the natural 
rights of man had been introduced, and the principles of 
the Revolution had obtained general acquiescence. The 
selfish policy of the old German princes was detested, and 
the restoration of the old abuses was resisted. During the 
struggle with Napoleon the princes had made lavish prom- 
ises of reform and concessions after peace should be estab- 
lished. In the very Act of Confederation there was a 
decree that a constitutional system should be established 

in every State. But the sovereigns of Europe, who had 



suffered so severely from the wars of Napoleon, and who 
regarded him as a product of rebellious democracy, deter- 
mined to prevent the recurrence of such dangers. Alex- 
ander of Russia, Francis of Austria, and Frederick Wil- 
liam of Prussia, before leaving Paris in 181 5, had insti- 
tuted the Holy Alliance, which was joined by every Euro- 
pean sovereign, except the Pope and the King of England. 
The sovereigns were to be brothers to each other, fathers 
to their people, and would maintain religion, peace, and 
justice. This alliance was soon made the instrument of 
a faithless policy which sought to establish the absolutism 
of rulers, and suppress the doctrine that the people had 
any right in the government. The power of religion was 
invoked to crush the rising democracy and to set at naught 
the attempts at constitutional government. Eventually 
the Holy Alliance drew upon itself the reproach of hypoc- 
risy and the hatred of the people. Prince Metternich, the 
Prime Minister of Austria, governed the diverse nationali- 
ties of that Empire without any regard to their separate 
characters and customs. His system was pure despotism. 
The King of Prussia repressed the popular aspirations; 
he refused a general parliament, but allowed provincial 
councils. Bavaria, Wiirtemberg, and smaller States, in 
which constitutions were granted, soon found their rulers 
endeavoring to annul them in practice. Every opportu- 
nity was taken to repress the free movement of ideas. The 
universities which, in the days of Napoleon, had been filled 
with crowds of students, enthusiastic for liberty, were put 
under police supervision. Professors who dared to raise 
their voices in behalf of constitutional liberty were 
silenced. Such was the treatment of the patriotic poet 
Arndt, the inoffensive brothers Grimm, and others. A 
rigid censorship of the press was established. Secret 
societies were hunted out. In the Diet the representatives 


of some small States favored conciliation and concession 
to the wishes of the people, but the reactionary party was 
united and determined, and long checked the wheels of 
progress. During this dismal period literature was 
repressed. Goethe, who held aloof from politics, busied 
himself with science, and labored to complete his "Faust." 

Great hopes were entertained when Frederick William 
IV succeeded to the throne of Prussia, in 1840, that a 
change in the direction of greater liberty would be made. 
Concessions were made; professors who had been dis- 
missed were restored to their places; the brothers Grimm 
were welcomed to Berlin. But there was no disposition 
to allow the people a real share in the government. The 
new King ruled more wisely than his father, but not less 
absolutely. The people were disappointed and the King 
soon lost all the popularity he had at the commencement of 
his reign. 

In the fourth and fifth decades of the Century there 
arose a group called "Young Germany," different, how- 
ever, in spirit and aims from the "Young England," to 
which Disraeli gave countenance. "Young Germany" 
was inspired by the influences which led to the Revolution 
of 1830 in France. It rose in opposition to the reaction- 
ary tendency in theology as well as politics and proclaimed 
rationalism as its creed. Among its leaders or supporters 
were Borne and Gutzkow. Ludwig Borne (1786-1837) 
was a child of the Ghetto, but in later life professed Chris- 
tianity. He was chiefly engaged in journalism, and in his 
"Letters from Paris," where he had gone in 1830, he 
assailed the leading German orthodox writers with caus- 
tic wit. He had been an associate of Heine's, but they 
quarreled, and Heine wrote a severe criticism of his for- 
mer friend. Karl Ferdinand Gutzkow ( 181 1- 1878) was 
the acknowledged head of "Young Germany." His novel, 


"Wally, die Zweiiierin" (Wally, the Female Skeptic) 
(1835), was pronounced atheistical and subversive of pub- 
lic order, and he was imprisoned three months. But his 
drama, "Nero," was not any better. He was an able critic 
and for a time was an assistant to Menzel, but quarreled 
with him. Among his later works are "Blasedow " 
(1839), a satirical tale; "Der Zauherer von Rom" (The 
Magician from Rome) (1859). But his masterpiece is 
the tragedy of "Uriel Acosta" (1847). 

Franz von Dingelstedt (181 4-1 881) also did his best 
work in this period, though he lived to become a famous 
stage director at Munich and Vienna. His "Songs of a 
Cosmopolitan Night- Watchman" (1841) produced a pro- 
found sensation. They gave poetical utterance to the sen- 
timents of the free-thinking class. Among his novels the 
most admired are "Seven Peaceful Tales" (1844) and 
"The Amazon" (1868). He wrote also excellent criti- 
cism on Goethe and Shakespeare. 


Heinrich Heine and Goethe are in many respects 
opposite as the poles, yet the former is also the real suc- 
cessor in literature of the great German. Heine was born 
at Diisseldorf, of Jewish parentage, on the 13th of Decem- 
ber, 1799. While he was a schoolboy, the French troops 
occupied the town and made deep impression on his mind. 
Thenceforth he was a worshiper of the great Napoleon. 
Though Heine had been intended for mercantile pursuits, 
his evident inclination to literature led his uncle, a Ham- 
burg banker, to assist him generously. He went to the 
University of Bonn, then to Berlin, where he was admitted 
to the best literary society, and published his first poems 
in 1822. Neither this nor the tragedies which followed 


attracted any attention. Heine obtained his degree in law 
at Gottingen in 1825, and professed Christianity in order 
to be allowed to practice. But the change brought him 
sorrow rather than fortune. Literature claimed him for 
her own. His "Reisehilder" (Pictures of Travel) 
(1826) caused a great sensation by their bold ridicule 
of every idea and institution usually treated with rever- 
ence. In its method it resembles Sterne's "Sentimental 
Journey," but the spirit is far different. Its readers were 
delighted with its wit, elegance, and vivacity, while they 
were shocked at its blasphemy. The author added three 
volumes to the first, attacking every literary leader of the 
day. The audacity with which he voiced the youthful 
opposition to the official reactionary policy captivated the 
students of the University. Then in 1827 Heine pub- 
lished his "Bitch der Lieder" (Book of Songs), compris- 
ing most that had been in his first book, and these now 
found delighted readers throughout Germany. The poems 
had a new beauty; they treated everything, from the great- 
est historical themes to the ordinary incidents of life, in 
a wonderfully fresh and lifelike way. Some were filled 
with melancholy, some with mockery, some with grief, 
and some with joy. But they were always original and 

Heine was now called to Munich, where he edited a 
political periodical, but he also visited Berlin, where he had 
a quarrel with Count Platen, which produced some witty 
and scandalous writing. After the Revolution of 1830, 
which had put him in a frenzy, the Prussian Government 
so persecuted him that he was obliged to leave Germany. 
Henceforth Paris was his home. Soon he became inti- 
mate with Victor Hugo, Balzac, Dumas, and other lead- 
ers of the literary world. His pen was active in jour- 


nalism, and his contributions to the press are still attract- 
ive by their art, elegance, and keenness of judgment of 
affairs. But he wrote also articles of more substantial and 
permanent literary value. His discussions of the religion 
and philosophy of Germany threw new light on a subject 
only half understood. His history of the German 
"Romantic School" is a valuable but bitter critical sketch 
of the period to which it relates. In 1839 he published 
"Shakespeare's Maidens and Wives," an exquisite guide 
to the dramatist's portrait gallery. In the preface he has bit- 
ter flings at England : "My spirit faints when I consider 
that Shakespeare was an Englishman, and belongs to the 
most repulsive people that God in his wrath has created. 
What a disgusting people ! What an unrefreshing coun- 
try!" In 1843 Heine made a visit to Germany and 
recorded his impressions in "Deutschland, ein Winter- 
mar chen" (Germany, a Winter Tale), treating the coun- 
try in the same sarcastic, irreverent style. 

In 1848, while Heine was in full tide of activity, he 
was attacked with a spinal disease which inflicted intense 
suffering and confined him for seven years to a "mattress 
grave." But his mental faculties were unimpaired, and 
to the end he continued to write poetry of the finest luster 
and prose of the keenest satire. He had already formed 
an attachment for an uneducated grisette, and after some 
years of cohabitation they were married. Now she proved 
a faithful, loving wife, assiduous in her attentions to the 
slowly dying man. He died on the 17th of February, 
1856. In his will this strange, witty blasphemer wrote : "I 
die in the belief of one only God, the Creator of the world, 
whose pity I implore for my immortal soul. I lament that 
I have sometimes spoken of sacred things without due 
reverence, but I was carried away more by the spirit of 


my time than by my own inclinations. If I have unwit- 
tingly violated good manners and morality, I pray both 
God and man for pardon." 

Heine is one of the greatest song writers of the world. 
Many of his pieces were set to music by Schumann and 
IMendelssohn. His intense personal feeling was essential 
to these, to enable them to reach the heart of the people. 
The sweetest of his early poems were inspired by a strong 
affection for his cousin, and some critics have asserted that 
the bitterness of his later years arose from his love not 
having been requited. His lyrics are usually very short, 
sudden ejaculations or expressions of a momentary feel- 
ing, pain or pleasure, regret or love. The tone of sadness 
prevails; they never rouse the spirit with words of power. 
Among the best of his lyric poems are "The Rose, the Lily, 
the Dove, the Sun," "On the Wings of Song," "Thou Art 
Like a Flower," "The Sea Hath Its Pearls." Many of his 
ballads and narrative pieces have great charm, as "The 
Lorelei," "The Princess Sabbat," "Jehuda ben Halevy," 
"Wicked Dreams," "The Pilgrimage to Kevlaar," "The 
Island Bimini." His "North Sea" and "Return to Home" 
are cycles of song, celebrating the mystery and great- 
ness of the sea. Many of his poems which open sweetly 
allow a sudden discord to enter and destroy the charm. 

In his prose Heine set himself forth as an enemy of 
Philistinism, that dull, narrow-minded adherence to con- 
ventional ideas in literature and art. But he abused his 
power of ridicule, directing it not merely against pedants 
and hidebound critics, but against the masters in litera- 
ture and philosophy. His "Romantic School" was a vio- 
lent blow against the monstrosities and absurdities into 
which that school had fallen. His "Pictures of Travel" 
is his chief prose work, and contains every variety of 
description, from simple narrative to satirical caricature. 




GERMAN :^i7 


As an offshoot from the Romantic School there arose 
a group which has been called the Suabian School, its 
modest leader being Ludwig Uhland (1787- 1862). He 
was born at Tiibingen, and after studying law, became 
a professor of literature in the university of his native 
town. His has been called the Classic of Romanticism, 
to denote that while affected by the Romantic spirit, he 
returned to the moderation of the Classic School. No 
frightful phantasms or shadowy monsters appear in his 
ballads. His figures are usually simple, poetic types of 
German nationality, children of the Black Forest, fair 
shepherds, and mountain boys. To the experiences of 
common life he imparts a warm imaginative coloring. In 
his poems of the Middle Ages there is the same natural 
beauty, far apart from the mystical and supernatural 
favored by the extreme Romanticists. His heroes of early 
times possess the genuine German nature, strong, brave, 
good humored, patient, faithful. Next to Schiller, he is 
the most popular of all the German poets. Several of his 
poems have been translated by Longfellow, with whose 
genius Uhland had much in common. Among these are 
"The Luck of Edenhall," "The Passage," "The Castle by 
the Sea," "The Black Knight." Another of Uhland's best 
poems is "The Minstrel's Curse." 

Other poets of this school are Gustav Schwab (1792- 
1850), inferior to Uhland in feeling; and Justinus Ker- 
ner (1786- 1862), who was still inclined to the super- 
natural and morbid. Kerner's best poems are "Kaiser 
Rudolf's Ride to the Grave" and "The Richest Prince." 

Karl Lebrecht Immermann (1796-1840) was one of 
those poets who started under the influence of the Roman- 
ticists and then diverged. Born at Magdeburg, he left 


the University of Halle to take part in the war against 
Napoleon. He fought at Waterloo and entered Paris 
under Bliicher. Returning to Halle, he opposed political 
agitation among the students. He completed his law- 
studies and entered the Prussian service, and became a 
judge. In 1826 he settled at Diisseldorf, and here became 
a theater director, noted for his perfect taste. He was 
now a follower of Goethe, who had approved his early- 
poems. His first romance, "The Epigoni" (The After- 
born) (1835), holds the mirror up to his own age as 
degenerated from the virtues of its predecessors. Another 
of his dramas had Andrew Hofer, the patriot of the 
Tyrol, as its hero. But his chief work is his romance, 
"Miinchhausen, a Story in Arabesques" (1839), a love- 
story of peasant life, in which are introduced the marv^el- 
ous tales of the hero's grandfather. His Platonic literary 
affection for the Countess of Ahlfeldt had considerable 
influence on his work. In 1839 he married another lady 
and wrote a love epic on "Tristan and Isolde." A volume 
of memoirs was left unfinished. 

August Heinrich Hoffmann (1798- 1874), called von 
Fallersleben, to distinguish him from other literary 
Hoffmanns, was professor in the University of Breslau 
until 1842, when his "Unpolitische Lieder" (Unpolitical 
Songs), which were really political, caused his dismissal. 
He traveled in various countries until 1848, when he 
returned to Prussia and received a pension. He was libra- 
rian to the Duke of Ratibor from i860 till his death. His 
poems were popular, sometimes describing rural life with 
hearty affection, sometimes full of kindly satire, and some- 
times representing the political movements of his time. 
In his song on "German National Wealth," he shows the 
emigrant carrying to the New World the old parchments, 
liveries, books of heraldry, tax receipts, and passports, all 


of inestimable value in the old life. Without them the 
German will not feel at home. 

Nikolaus Lenau is the pseudonym under which Niko- 
laus Niembsch von Strehlenau (1802-1850) wrote. He 
has been styled "the German poet of sorrow." This 
unhappy Austrian poet was a victim not only of melan- 
choly, but of insanity. Its gloom overshadowed his whole 
life, even before his madness fully declared itself in 1844, 
on the eve of his contemplated marriage. His yearnings 
for the release of death had been breathed forth in his 
poem, "Der Seelen Kranke" (Soul-Sickness). Hoping 
to find happiness and a brighter inspiration in the New 
World, he came to Pennsylvania in 1832. But, soon dis- 
gusted, he returned to Europe, still under the spell of 
melancholy, and died in a lunatic asylum. In his "Faust" 
(1836) he made suicide the goal of free thought; in his 
"Savonarola" (1837) he denounced modern science; but 
in "The Albigenses" (1842) he hailed the progress of 


Ferdinand Freiligrath (1810-1876), born at Detmold, 
was from childhood a scribbler of verse, original and 
translated. He was engaged in commercial pursuits until 
the success of his first volume of poems in 1838 induced 
him to devote his time to literature. He edited various 
periodicals, and, after 1845, took part in politics, from 
which he had previously held aloof. Giving up his royal 
pension, he joined the democratic party and aided it effect- 
ively by numerous spirited songs. But he was soon 
obliged to seek refuge in Switzerland, where he published 
a collection of poems translated from English. He was 
about to emigrate to America, when the Revolution of 
1848 broke out and allowed him to return to Diisseldorf. 


In the political strife of the succeeding years he was active 
for liberty in spite of trials and imprisonment until 1851, 
when he went to London. He continued his translations 
from English into German. In 1868 he was allowed to 
return to his native land. New songs were composed for 
the new war with France, among them "Germania" and 
the "Trompete von Gravelotte" (The Trumpet of Grave- 
lotte). Freiligrath was a cosmopolitan poet and cannot 
be claimed by any poetic school. His poem, "The Lion's 
Ride," describes grandly a lion's fierce attack on a giraffe, 
which carried the king of beasts in its flight. Many others 
of his poems are equally original in subject and treatment. 
From Iceland to South Africa, he laid the whole world 
tinder tribute, and yet he was intensely patriotic. Ger- 
mans regard him as a political poet-martyr, "the inspired 
singer of the Revolution." One of his famous Revolu- 
tionary poems is the ''Ca ira." His early poems, by their 
mastery of rhyme and melody, have attracted most atten- 
tion, but his love lyrics and his spirited songs of freedom 
are his noblest monument. He is a splendid colorist, and 
has been called "the Rubens of German poetry." 

Emanuel von Geibel (1815-1884) was a highly cul- 
tivated and earnestly religious poet. In 1838 he went 
to Greece as tutor in the family of the Russian ambassa- 
dor. With his friend, Ernest Curtius, he traveled over 
the land and wrote a volume of "Classical Studies." He 
assisted in editing a large collection of poetry from the 
French, Spanish, and Portuguese. His original poems 
were "Voices of the Time" (1841), "King Sigurd's Bri- 
dal Journey" (1843), and "Twelve Sonnets" (1846). In 
1852 he was made professor of aesthetics in the University 
of Munich, but resigned in 1857 and returned to his native 
Liibeck, where he died. Geibel's poetry is characterized 


by rich fancy, melodious versification, and beauty of 

Friedrich Martin von Bodenstedt (18 19-1892) is best 
known by liis "Songs of Mirza Schaffy," long supposed 
to be really translations from the Persian. He was born 
in Hanover and bred to business, but devoted all his leisure 
to study, and at the age of twenty-one was able to go to 
the University of Gottingen. He studied later at Munich 
and Berlin, and, going to Russia as a tutor, plunged into 
the Slavonic literature. His excellent translations of Rus- 
sian poets were considered equal to the originals. While 
teaching at Tiflis, he studied Tartar and Persian under a 
real Mirza Schaffy, a Tartar philosopher, who had 
obtained Persian culture. On his return to Germany 
Bodenstedt published a romantic picture of his travels in 
"A Thousand and One Days in the East" ( 1850) . Here 
Mirza Schaffy, idealized, occupies a prominent place, but 
the poetry was Bodenstedt's own, adapted to the charac- 
ter of the Eastern sage. The poems were soon published 
separately and were enthusiastically received. They treat 
of wine and love, of the pleasures of life and the charms 
of maidens, in joyful, melodious verses. In a later volume 
called "The Posthumous Works of Mirza Schaffy" 
(1874) the poet gave a more serious tone to his philoso- 
phy. Bodenstedt was professor in the University of 
Munich, and director of a theater in Saxony. After a 
visit to the United States in 1879 he wrote an account 
of his travels to the Pacific, and an interesting autobiog- 

South Germany, although the home of the Minne- 
singers in the Middle Ages, has been less rich in poets than 
North Germany in modern times. Perhaps the most dis- 
tinguished Austrian poet of recent date is Robert Hamer- 
Voi,. 9 — 21 


ling (1830-1889). He was born at Kirchberg, became 
a chorister, and was educated at Vienna. A volume of 
poems, published in his twenty-first year, gave promise 
of his ability. He was engaged in teaching at Trieste 
until 1866, when he retired on account of ill-health, and 
was allowed a pension. His fame rests chiefly on his epic 
poem, "Ahasuerus in Rome" (1866), which exhibits the 
failing power of paganism in the time of Nero. Another 
work of note is "The King of Leon" (1868), written in 
hexameters. "Aspasia" is a graphic picture of Athenian 
life in the time of Pericles, but the erudition interferes 
with the poetry. A few dramas, satires, and minor poems 
flowed from the author's pen. Toward the close of his 
life he wrote an autobiography. 


As in other literatures, realism came to prevail in Ger- 
many after the middle of the Century. Fanciful romanti- 
cism could not be content with lower personages than 
Kings and knights, and sought its subjects in the remote 
idealized Middle Ages, or in a supernatural world, unvis- 
ited except in dreams. But the extravagance of its prac- 
titioners caused a reaction which was helped by some of 
themselves who repented of their early works. Heine 
confessed that he had once belonged to that school which 
he mercilessly exposed after he went to France, and 
declared himself a "disfrocked Romanticist." But there 
were others who were fortunate enough to be born so late 
as to escape the epidemic. They were warned in due time 
and avoided the plague. For them real life has furnished 
the staple of their works. In the commonplace lives of 
ordinary people of town and country have been found the 
possibilities of humor and pathos, and occasionally, as in 
life itself, grim tragedy may enter. 


Of German novelists Gustav Freytag holds the fore- 
most place. He was born at Kreuzburg, in Silesia, in 
1816, and graduated at the University of Berlin in 1838. 
After lecturing for a few years on the German language 
and literature he devoted himself to literature at Leipsic, 
where he edited "Die Grenzhoten." In 1870 he served in 
the Franco-Prussian War, on the staff of the Crown 
Prince. After the war he resumed his newspaper work. 



He died at Wiesbaden in 1895. His first publication was 
a volume of poems, then a comedy, then a tragedy. His 
greatest success was with the comedy "The Journalists" 
(1853), which still remains on the stage. His first novel, 
"Soil und Hahen" (Debit and Credit) (1855), was nota- 
bly successful. It depicted accurately the social condi- 
tions of its time, showing the relation of modern indus- 
trialism to the life of the times. A wholesale grocer, pros- 
perous in business, is set in contrast with a nobleman who 
represents the effete force of feudalism. The hero, Anton 
Wohlfahrt, begins a commercial career in the store, and 
becomes a member of the firm, and falls in love with the 
baron's daughter, Lenore. Her mother asks Anton to 
help her husband out of embarrassments produced by an 
attempt to run a mill on his estate. The baron rejects his 
aid, and Anton returns to the store. Lenore is engaged 
to a young nobleman, Fink, who has served in the store 
and has visited America. Fink advances money for the 
improvement of the estate and ultimately purchases it. 
Fink marries Lenore and Anton marries his partner's sis- 
ter. Freytag's second story, "The Lost Manuscript" 
(1864), tells how Werner, a scholar, seeking for the lost 
books of Tacitus, finds his future wife. Use, a noble type 
of a German woman. But Werner in his devotion to 
scholarship, neglects his wife, whose beauty attracts a 
Prince. The seducer endeavors to ensnare the innocent 
wife until even Werner sees his aim. The covers of the 
lost manuscript are at last found, but the precious con- 
tents have disappeared. The professorial life is vividly 
and humorously described, and the nobleman is con- 
trasted with him to his own discredit. 

Freytag next published "Pen Pictures from the Ger- 
man Past" (1859-62), which consisted of studies of Ger- 
man life in various periods since the Fourteenth Century. 


The sketch of Doctor Luther in this series has been most 
popular. Then followed the series of historical novels 
called "The Ancestors" (1872-80), in which the author 
traced a typical German family in each successive period 
with most careful attention to historical accuracy. This 
ambitious work was intended to be not merely correct in 
external antiquarianism, but to reveal the true spirit of 
the actors at each successive stage. In this series "Ingo" 
and "Ingraban" are the most attractive. Freytag's fault 
is his tendency to point a moral, and to philosophize too 
much. Besides his novels he wrote an autobiography and 
some critical and historical essays. He died at Wiesbaden 
in 1895. 

Diversified experience in mercantile and military life 
as well as in foreign gave Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von 
Hacklander (1816-1877) abundant material for author- 
ship. Having served in the Prussian artillery, he wrote 
sketches of soldier life which attracted the attention of 
Baron von Taubenheim, who took him on a journey to 
the East. After his return he became secretary to the 
Crown Prince of Wiirtemberg and traveled with him in 
Italy. He accompanied the Austrian Marshal, Radetzky, 
in the campaign against Piedmont in 1849. When again 
in Italy in 1859 he was invited to the headquarters of the 
Emperor of Austria, who afterward gave him a patent of 
hereditary nobility. His chief residence was at Stuttgart, 
where he was director of the royal buildings, but he went 
on many tours. He was in 1857 one of the founders of 
the well-known illustrated journal "Uher Land und Mcer" 
(Over Land and Sea). For this he wrote many of his 
stories and sketches of travel. His novels include "Han- 
del und Wimdel" (1850), translated by Mary Howitt 
under the title "Behind the Counter": "The New Don 


Quixote" (1858), "Day and Night" (i860), "The Last 
Bombardier" (1870), "Forbidden Fruit" (1876). His 
faculty of quick observation and humorous sketching 
were better adapted to books of travel than to long novels. 
Among his comedies the best are "Geheimer Agent" (The 
Domestic Agent) and the "Magnetic Cures." A number 
of one-act pieces proved very popular on the stage. After 
his death an incomplete autobiography was published. 

Fritz Renter is a master in Gemian dialect stories. He 
describes with genial humor the joys and sorrows of the 
humblest class in country and village. The characters are 
so carefully and vividly drawn that they are immortal- 
ized. Fritz Renter was born in 1810 at the sleepy old town 
of Stavenhagen in Mecklenburg-Schwerin. He was edu- 
cated at the Universities of Rostock and Jena. It was 
a troublous time, and the Government was still alarmed 
by the Revolution of 1830. When some students made 
a noisy demonstration in 1833, Renter was arrested, tried 
and condemned to death for high treason. But the King 
of Prussia commuted the sentence to thirty years' impris- 
onment, and after Renter had had experience of several 
prisons, he was discharged by the amnesty granted by 
Frederick William IV in 1840. He now took to farm- 
ing, but failed, and became a private tutor. In 1853 he 
published his first volume, "Funny Stories and Rhymes." 
It was written in Piatt Deutsch or Low German, and the 
homely mirth of the stories was strengthened by the appro- 
priate dialect. Its success led to the publication of another, 
"Wedding Eve Stories," and still another, "The Journey 
to Belgium," telling the adventures of some peasants who 
traveled to Belgium to find out the secret of industrial 
prosperity. "Kein Hiising" (1858), a poem of village 
life, was followed by other poems. "Old Camomile Flow- 
ers" (1862) is a series of sketches, chiefly autobiographic. 


He tells of the part played by the village of Stavenhagen 
in the uprising of the German people against Napoleon in 
1813, of his own imprisonment, how he courted his wife, 
and his apprenticeship on the farm. The leading charac- 
ters are the comical bailiff, Uncle Brasig, pious Parson 
Behrens and his bustling wife, and the rascal Pomuchels- 
kopp. The truth of these pictures of village life places Ren- 
ter high among the realists of the Century. He died in 

Berthold Auerbach (1812-1882) became widely 
known by his homely stories of peasants of the Black For- 
est and afterward published large novels which, though 
powerful, had only a temporary success. He was born at 
Nordstetten in Wiirtemberg and was of Jewish parentage. 
He studied at the Universities of Tubingen, Munich, and 
Heidelberg, and for his participation in students' riotous 
frolics in 1836 he was imprisoned for some months. His 
first essay in authorship was on "Judaism and the latest 
Literature;" then came "The Ghetto," a series of Jewish 
romances, and a translation of the Jewish philosopher 
Spinoza. But meanwhile he was contributing to periodi- 
cals his tales of peasant life, which, when collected as 
"Black Forest Village Stories" (1843), were enthusias- 
tically received, not in Germany alone, but throughout the 
civilized world. Their happy mingling of the real and 
the ideal was helped by their genial humor. Auerbach's 
tragedies met with little success on the stage, but the story 
of "Little Barefoot" ( 1856) renewed his former reputation. 
His most ambitious work, "On the Heights" (1851), con- 
trasted tiresome court life and its ambitions and intrigues 
with quiet peasant life, and aimed also to inculcate the 
philosophy of Spinoza. It belongs to the class of "pur- 
pose" novels. The heroine is an admirable character and 
there are others truly human. "The Villa on the Rhine" 


(1868) was another philosophical romance, but treated 
different problems. "Waldfried" (1874), a patriotic story 
of a German family from 1848 to 1871, has not the at- 
traction of good literary style. Auerbach afterward 
returned to sketches of the Black Forest in "After Thirty 
Years" (1876) and other stories. After 1859 he lived 
chiefly in Berlin, but he died at Cannes, in France, where 
he had gone for the sake of his health. 

Friedrich Spielhagen's best novel is a worthy succes- 
sor of Goethe's "Wilheim Meister," but he has been so 
busy in production that he has not always kept up to his 
high standard. He was born at Magdeburg in 1829 and 
studied in the Universities of Berlin, Bonn, and Greifs- 
wald. His literary ambition was aroused but his earliest 
novels seemed failures. In i860 he began to publish his 
"Problematic Natures" showing the struggle between old 
established feudalism and the rising industrialism of the 
time, yet showing also the futility of the efforts of a man, 
richly endowed by nature, to attain high ideals unless he 
recognizes his own limitations and the conditions of the 
world around. It was intended partly as a picture of 
his own mental state, but in the very act of making the 
picture he was enabled to outgrow it. The work attracted 
attention and Spielhagen was engaged to furnish novels 
to a newspaper. He wrote some dramas which were par- 
tially successful, and made several translations from 
French and English, chiefly of important works, as Emer- 
son's "English Traits." But his chief and almost inces- 
sant work has been as a novelist. "In Rank and File" 
was his second strong novel. "Quisisana" (1880) is 
highly interesting, showing a vigorous man of fifty, who 
falls in love with a beautiful ward, but overcomes his 
passion and marries her to the young man of her choice, 
while her filial affection only distresses him who has made 


the sacrifice. In 1890 Spielhagen published an autobio- 
graphical work called "Finder and Inventor," which treats 
particularly of his early life and the circumstances under 
which he produced his typical novel. 

Georg Moritz Ebers ( 1837-1898) won distinction both 
as an Egyptian archaeologist and as historical novelist. 
Born at Berlin, he studied at the University of Gottingen, 
and during convalescence from an injury to his feet be- 
gan to investigate the Egyptian hieroglyphs. Afterward 
by the instruction of Richard Lepsius he became well 
versed in that science. His first novel, "An Egyptian 
Princess" ( 1864), was written to impress on his own mind 
the period he was studying. He had already visited the 
principal museums in Europe and in 1869 went to Egypt, 
Nubia, and Petra. On his return he was made professor 
of Egyptian antiquities in the University of Leipsic. A 
visit to Egypt in 1872 resulted in the discovery of a papy- 
rus which now bears his name. Various treatises on his 
special subject maintained his reputation as an Egyptolo- 
gist. He resigned his professorship in 1889, and died 
after long illness in 1898. In literature Ebers owes his 
fame to his romances reconstructing the ancient life of 
the valley of the Nile. The "Egyptian Princess" is a 
story of the conquest of Egypt by Cambyses, the king of 
Persia. "Uarda" (1877) belongs to a much more an- 
cient period, when Rameses the Great was ruler. "Homo 
Sum" (1878) tells of the desert anchorites of the Fourth 
Century after Christ. "The Sisters" (1880) again takes 
the reader back to Memphis in the time of the Ptolemies. 
"The Emperor" (1881) treats of Christianity in the time 
of Hadrian. In other novels Ebers comes down to mod- 
ern history, as in "The Burgomaster's Wife" (1882), 
which shows the struggle of the people of Leyden against 
Spanish rule in 1547. "Gred" is a story of mediaeval 


Nuremberg. "A Question" (1881) is a modern idyl, 
and "A Word" (1883) a psychological study. After 
these Ebers returned again to his familiar field in "Sera- 
pis," "A Bride of the Nile," and "Cleopatra." He wrote 
also an excellent biography of his instructor, Lepsius. 


History has been raised to the dignity of an independ- 
ent science in the Nineteenth Century. It was formerly 
regarded as the servant of other sciences, the handmaid 
which suppHed to them what was needed in any exigency 
for argument or illustration. "History," said Boling- 
broke, "is philosophy teaching by examples." But it was 
more commonly regarded as merely gathering and having 
ready whatever examples the great dame Philosophy 
might see fit to call for. The art of history was to join 
these examples in a narrative which should recommend 
itself to the reader's taste or prejudices. It was to fur- 
nish arguments or morals. But the error of this relega- 
tion of history to a subordinate position has been rebuked 
and the practice generally abandoned in the Nineteenth 
Century. The change was brought about gradually, but 
credit for the first step toward it may be given to Barthold 
Georg Niebuhr (i 776-1 831), who was a Dane, son of a 
famous traveler, Karsten Niebuhr. This scholar was called 
to Prussia to assist Stein in the reformation of its govern- 
ment, and was for a time ambassador at Rome. He set- 
tled down as a professor at Bonn in 1823, and soon began 
his "History of Rome." The new departure in his work 
was his entire discarding of the fables which had previ- 
ously passed current in regard to the kings and heroes of 
Rome, The true history begins centuries later than the 
accepted date of the foundation of the city. To prove this 
conclusion so clearly that it could not be controverted 
was the work of Niebuhr. He went on to show how frag- 



ments of the truth could be detected in later writers and 
in various institutions of the historical period. 

From new materials, gathered by independent 
researches, philological and archaeological, he recon- 
structed the true course of the history of Rome. But his 
labors really went much further and involved the recon- 
struction of historical study everywhere. He settled the 
fundamental distinction between history and legend. The 
method corresponding to this distinction inaugurated a 
new epoch in the study of history. Niebuhr was cut off 
before he had fully exhibited the results of his method 
even in regard to Rome. Some of his hypotheses have 
been rejected by later investigators. It was left to his suc- 
cessor, ]\Iommsen, to write the "Roman Histor}^" which 
exhibits the truth in regard to the origin of the Eternal 
City and its mighty power. 


Of the great historians of Germany Leopold von Ranke 
is the most distinguished. Bom in Saxony in 1795 he be- 
gan his historical studies under Niebuhr and Savigny. In 
1825 he was called to Berlin and nine years later was 
made full professor. He retired from his professorship 
in 1 87 1, and undertook the revision of his numerous books. 
Many honors had been conferred upon him. In 1865 he 
was raised to knighthood; in 1882 he was made a privy 
councilor, and in 1895 his ninetieth birthday was cele- 
brated amid general rejoicing. He died in the following 
year. Ranke's first work was a "History of the Romanic 
and Germanic Nations," published in 1824. The first vol- 
ume covered but twenty years, from 1494 to 15 14. the 
beginning of modern history. The author declared his pur- 
pose to show the fundamental unity of modern European 


civilization, and to trace the mingling of the Romanic and 
Germanic elements. Throughout his long career he 
remained faithful to his method of thoroughly sifting the 
primary authorities and carefully examining original docu- 
ments. The Prussian government aided him in making 
researches in Rome and other foreign capitals. His sec- 
ond volume (1827) treated of the Turks and Spain in 
the Sixteenth Century. Then his great work on "The 
Roman Papacy: Its Church and State" (1834-37) gave 
the author fame throughout Europe. When translated 
into English it was reviewed by Macaulay in a memor- 
able article. The reviewer justly characterized the spirit 
of the history as "admirable . . . equally remote 
from levity or bigotry; serious and earnest, yet tolerant 
and impartial." The whole work was a new revelation 
to Protestant Christendom of the greatness and power of 
the Roman Catholic Church. Particularly was attention 
directed to that counter-reformation by which that church 
recovered one-half of the countries which it had lost in the 
Sixteenth Century. 

In 1 84 1 Ranke was made historiographer of Prussia. 
The great historian turned from Southern Europe, in 
which Catholicism remained unshaken, to Northern 
Europe, where the Reformation had been successful. 
First the history of Germany in the time of the Reforma- 
tion was presented; then Prussian history in three vol- 
umes (1847-48), which were revised and enlarged after 
the new German Empire was organized in 1871. Mean- 
time there had been issued histories of France (1852-61), 
and England (1859-67, afterward enlarged). Altogether 
nearly fifty volumes of conscientiously elaborated works 
testified the diligence of the veteran. But amply learned 
and still vigorous, the old man looked abroad for new 
oceans to cross, and continents to discover. At the age 


of eighty he ventured to undertake the history of the world 
from the dawn of civiHzation. He Hved to complete 
twelve volumes, bringing his great work down to the 
Middle Ages. Of course there was not in this universal 
history the same diligent investigation of original sources, 
nevertheless in regard to interest of the narrative and cor- 
rect presentation of facts there was no apparent diminu- 
tion of the writer's intellectual force. As historiographer 
of Prussia, it became Ranke's duty to edit several impor- 
tant works. He published treatises on important epochs in 
German history and a volume of "Biographical Studies'' 


Ranke in his first work announced a new method of 
history and adhered to it during his long career. He de- 
clared that the proper aim of history is not to support any 
preconceived notions, but to relate the facts without regard 
to moral lessons. History is not to be regarded as the 
handmaid of any other science, but is mistress in its own 
domain. The aim therefore of the historian should be 
to ascertain the exact facts in regard to which he gives 
evidence. He should discard, as far as possible, his own 
views and prejudices. The result will be an objective pres- 
entation of the truth. As previous writers, even when 
contemporary, had not followed this plan, but had recorded 
events as distorted by their own feelings, their histories 
should not be accepted as authorities. The only safe 
method of ascertaining the truth is to examine genuine 
primary sources of information, diplomatic correspond- 
ence and State papers. Not only did Ranke carry out this 
method faithfully, but in the discharge of his duties as 
professor he trained a number of others in the same patient 
examination of documentary evidence, so that all recent 
historical writing has been largely affected by him. 


The most popular of his works is generally known in 
English as the "History of the Popes." It sketches the 
rise of the Papal power, shows its characteristics in dif- 
ferent stages of development, and exhibits the benefits 
it conferred upon Europe in the Middle Ages. 

Theodor Mommsen, the great historian of ancient 
Rome, was born at Carding in Schleswig, in 1817. He 
graduated at the University of Kiel in 1844, and spent 
two years in further study of archaeology in France and 
Italy. In 1848 he was made professor of Roman law in 
the University of Leipsic, but his political activity as a 
Liberal caused his dismissal. In 1852 he was made pro- 
fessor of law at Zurich; two years later he was called to 
Breslau, and in 1858 to Berlin, His careful study of 
Italian antiquities had borne fruit in several works on the 
early languages of that peninsula, its coins and inscrip- 
tions. He is the chief editor of the great "Corpus" of 
Latin inscriptions, the greatest memorial of Cerman clas- 
sical scholarship. But the greatest work of his own labors 
is his "Roman History," which began to appear in 1854, 
and has been brought down to the time of the Empire. 
The Imperial Covernment of the Provinces has been 
treated in volumes intended to form part of the completed 
work. Mommsen's thorough scholarship, the basis of his 
history, is not displayed in notes, but is shown in many 
monographs on particular points. He has gathered into 
one continuous narrative the results of life-long investiga- 
tions. In regard to the better known portions of his subject 
he has taken positions at variance with the common judg- 
ment. Thus for Cicero, as a politician, he has nothing' 
but censure, and for Csesar nothing but eulogy. He is 
ready to cite modern parallels and illustrations for his 


judgment of these and other public men of ancient times. 
His history has been well translated into English by W. 
P. Dickson. 

Another distinguished historian of the objective school 
is Heinrich von Sybel, who was a pupil of Ranke. He 
was born at Diisseldorf in 1817, and chiefly educated at 
Bonn. His first work was a ''History of the First Cru- 
sade" (1841), which exposed various popular errors in 
regard to that movement. Then came his "Origin of the 
German Kingdoms." From Alarburg, where he was pro- 
fessor of history, he was called in 1856 by Duke Maxi- 
milian II of Bavaria to the University of Aiunich. There 
he introduced Ranke's method, training his pupils in orig- 
inal research. On the death of his patron he went to 
Bonn as professor, and was soon active in political affairs. 
In 1875 he was made director of the State archives at 
Berlin. His edition of these important historical docu- 
ments began to be issued in 1878. Von Sybel's great 
work is a "History of the Revolution Period from 1789 
to 1795" (1853-67). Based upon faithful study of State 
papers in all the capitals of Europe, it is the most accu- 
rate account of the French Revolution. Nor is it defi- 
cient in graphic presentation of the facts, though it is free 
from the poetic glamour of Carlyle's prose epic. Von 
Sybel has published many historical essays and "The Ris- 
ing of Europe Against Napoleon" ( i860) . 

Heinrich von Treitschke also takes high rank among 
the German historians. He was born at Dresden in 1834, 
studied there and at Leipsic, and in 1858 became an assist- 
ant in government publications at Berlin. For three years 
he was professor in the University of Freiburg, and in 
1866 passed to Heidelberg, and thence in 1874 to Berlin. 
He was active in the German Parliament as a National 
Liberal, and supported Bismarck's efforts for German 


unity. Treitschke's early work comprised two volumes 
of "Patriotic Poems" ( 1856), but his later work was con- 
fined to history and politics. In "Der Socialismus und 
Seine Conner" (Socialism and Its Protectors) (1875) he 
attacked the professors who were giving aid to socialism 
by their lectures. In "Zehn Jahre Deutscher Kdmpfe" 
(Ten Years of German Conflict) (1875) he rehearsed the 
movements by which the new German- Empire was formed. 
But his most important work is ''Deutsche Geschichte im 
19 Jahrhundert" (German History in the 19th Century). 
The value of von Treitschke's labors is admitted by every 
historical student of the period. His sagacity and indus- 
try are equal to those of Ranke ; his style is more sprightly, 

and his judgment of men and events is impartial. 
Vol,. 9—22 


Karl Marx (i 818-1883), the founder of modern Ger- 
man socialism, deserves mention since his masterpiece 
"Capital'' has become almost the Bible of the Social Dem- 
ocrats. Like Ferdinand Lassalle, Marx was of Jewish 
descent. He was born at Cologne, and studied jurispru- 
dence at Bonn and Berlin. When the newspaper which 
he edited at Cologne was suppressed in 1843 ^^r its radi- 
cal utterances, he went to Paris and studied political econ- 
omy. But driven from France and Belgium, he found 
refuge in London. Here he took part in the Working- 
men's Congress in 1847, but went to Paris during the 
Revolution of 1848. Then he was allowed to return to 
Cologne, where he revived his paper and advocated a Com- 
munistic Revolution. Though the paper was suppressed, 
the juries acquitted him. Again he was banished from 
Germany, went to Paris, and thence to London. In 1864 
he founded the society known as the International, and 
was thereafter the leader and inspirer of its work. For a 
time European statesmen were greatly alarmed about its 
possibilities, but were relieved when the British workmen 
in 1 87 1 refused his leadership as tending to anarchism, 
and insisted on confining the work of the society to amel- 
ioration of the workingmen's condition. 

Marx's book was published in London in 1867. Vol- 
ume I is on the process of capital production; Volume II 
on "The Circulation of Capital"; Volume III, which was 
written by a friend, deals with "Forms of Process and 
Theory of History." The literary power of this work lies 
in Marx's consummate skill as a thinker and logician. 



Its spirit may be seen in his description of capital as "dead 
labor, which, vampire-like, becomes animate only by suck- 
ing living labor, and the more labor it sucks, the more it 
lives." His theory of the development of history recog- 
nizes four eras : First, the Classic Age, when wealth was 
represented by slaves; second, the Middle Age, when it 
lay in serfs, but has been destroyed by the bourgeoisie and 
the Third Estate; third, the age of modern capitalistic 
production ; fourth, the coming age, when the proletariat, 
or Fourth Estate, is to rise and overthrow this capitalism. 
It must be borne in mind that Marx limits the term "capi- 
tal" to economic goods in the hands of employers. His 
work is based on the political economy of Ricardo and 

Marx's theories were popularized by Ferdinand Las- 
salle (1825-1864), the son of- a rich Jewish merchant of 
Dresden. Lassalle had a fiery romantic temperament 
which led him to champion the cause of the workingmen 
and to sacrifice his life in a duel about a lady. He was 
a prodigy of learning, and had published a work on an 
ancient Greek philosopher, who was surnamed "the ob- 
scure." He called himself the "President of Humanity," 
and the workingmen "the disinherited." His attack was 
directed against "the iron law of wages" as the keystone of 
the capitalistic system. Unlike Marx, Lassalle was a 
monarchist and desired the unity of Germany. 


Some of the later German novelists, following the 
French example, have cultivated the short story. Prob- 
ably the most successful of these is Paul Heyse, who has, 
however, also written "purpose" novels, that is, novels in- 
tended to present a social problem of the times, or to urge 
a reform. Heyse is a man of high culture, a poet of 
considerable ability both in lyrics and in the minor epic, 
and a dramatist of no mean repute, He was bom at Ber- 
lin in 1830, the son of an eminent scholar. He studied at 
the University of that city, and afterward at Bonn, devot- 
ing himself chiefly to the Romance languages. His ear- 
liest works were poems and dramas, and while he has never 
abandoned these departments, he has later given more 
attention to prose fiction. His short stories are pictur- 
esque, dreamy and melancholy, sentimental and sometimes 
dangerously sensuous. His "purpose" novels, "Children 
of the World" (1870) and "In Paradise" (1875), have 
given him widest fame. They are strongly individual- 
istic, asserting the right of every person to seek happi- 
ness as he pleases in spite of conventional regulations and 
religious restraints. Self-culture is made the aim of life. 
The earlier novel, while somewhat philosophical, is more 
pleasing, involves a charming love experience and has a 
happy ending. The later is more in the spirit of Omar 
Khayyam. Both abound in poetical passages. Of 
•Heyse's dramas the best are the "Sabine Women" (1859) 
and "Hans Lange." His chief epic is "Thekla." Both 
Italian and French influences are strongly manifest in his 
work, and yet he remains German in the spirit of Goethe. 



In the latter part of the Century there has been a cer- 
tain revival of the Romantic spirit, free from the wild 
disregard of the natural seen in the early Romanticists. 
No better example can be found than the works, both prose 
and verse, of Count Joseph Victor von Scheffel (1826- 
1886). He was born at Carlsruhe, Baden, and was edu- 
cated in law at Heidelberg and Berlin. He was for a time 
in government employ and afterward lived at Weimar, but 
spent his last twenty years chiefly in his native city. 
In 1853 while in Italy he composed his romantic epic "The 
Trumpeter of Sackingen," which has become a favorite 
classic. It relates how Werner, who had been a student 
at Heidelberg, became trumpeter to the Baron von Scho- 
nau. Being wounded in a riot, he is tenderly nursed by 
the Baron's daughter, Margaretha, who is already in love 
with him. The Baron refuses his consent to their mar- 
riage and Werner bids farewell to Sackingen. But his 
skill in music enables him to become chapel-master to 
Pope Innocent, and thus finally to obtain the fair Mar- 
garetha's hand. The Baron's tobacco-pipe and his cat 
Hiddigeigei are prominent features of the quaintly humor- 
ous poem. The romance "Ekkehard" (1855) is a fine 
reconstruction of mediaeval history. It includes a Ger- 
man version of the Latin poem of "Walter of the Strong 
Hand," attributed to Ekkehard, a monk of St. Gall in the 
Tenth Century. Another of Scheffel's novels is "Junip- 
erus, the History of a Crusader" (1883). His collection 
of poems "Frau Adventiure, Songs of the Time of Hein- 
rich von Ofterdingen" is an echo of the old Minnesingers. 
His "Gaudeamus, Songs from Far and Near" are marked 
with genial humor. 

In contemporary German poetry the most prominent 
figure is Baron Detlev von Liliencron, born at Kiel in 
Holstein in 1844. In spite of his Danish birth he has 


been a firm adherent of Prussia, in whose army he fought 
through both the Austrian \\'ar of 1866 and the French 
War of 1870. He was wounded in both campaigns. His 
first small volume of poems 'The Rides of the Adjutant" 
appeared in 1883. He has published a comic epic 'Togg- 
fred" and two volumes of poems, "Kampf iind Spiel e'^ 
(Conflict and Play) and "K'dmpfe und Ziele" (Struggles 
and Goals). His North German moorland pictures have 
a peculiar charm. He is best as a writer of ballads, and 
has shown in striking verse the terrible tragedy of war. 
His poems "Who Knows Where?" and '"In Remem- 
brance" are full of true pathos. 

The work and story of Joanna Ambrosius have called 
forth special interest. This daughter of a poor laborer 
was born in miserable circumstances in a little village in 
East Prussia, and early, wdiile occupied with the drudg- 
ery of household toil, had charge of an invalid mother. 
At the age of twenty she married a field laborer named 
Voigt. Two children increased her cares, but love of 
them seems to have awakened the poetry slumbering in 
her soul. This humble woman began to compose poems. 
Professor Karl \\'eiss-Schrattenthal, who had discovered 
her merits in her obscurity, aroused not only national but 
international astonishment by reporting her case in 1894. 
She deals with simple peasant life, singing from the heart 
songs of consolation. In spite of the weariness of toil 
she finds in the love of her children a spiritual happiness. 
"Believe in pain and anguish," cries this daughter of the 
soil, "thy Father means it well." 


In the Eighteenth Century, Denmark, like the rest of 
Continental Europe, was strongly under the influence of 
French ideas. The tragedies of Voltaire were the most 
popular dramas and native writers strove to imitate this 
pseudo-classical style, but one effective parody, in which 
its rules and meter were applied to a trivial plot, Wessel's 
"Love Without Stockings," was sufficient to banish all 
French plays from the Royal Theater. Only Danish 
plays on national subjects were henceforth allowed. A 
number of young poets, fellow-students at Copenhagan, 
celebrated in lyrics the mountains and scenery of their 
native Norway. But this revival fell off in the next gen- 
eration, and poetry became mechanical. 

At the beginning of the Nineteenth Century the new 
fight of Romanticism penetrated into Denmark. The 
chief factor in this was the work and influence of the na- 
tive Adam Gottlob Oehlenschlager (1779-1850). In 
youth he aspired to be an actor and had written poems 
in the French didactic style then prevailing, but in 1802 
Flenrik Steffens, who had studied at Jena under Fichte 
and Schelling, converted his friend to the new Roman- 
ticism by one memorable interview, which lasted sixteen 
hours. Oehlenschlager on the next day wrote "The 
Golden Horns." In this poem two carved and inscribed 
relics of antiquity recently unearthed are celebrated as the 
gifts of the gods, reminding men of their divine origin. 
Casting aside his former work the poet devoted himself 
ardently to the new impulse and published in 1803 a vol- 



ume of ballads and lyrics which inaugurated a new era in 
Danish literature. Oehlenschlager, who had already 
given some attention to ancient Scandinavia, now repro- 
duced the "First Song of the Edda," and wrote a pan- 
theistic interpretation of nature in "The Life of Jesus 
Christ Annually Repeated in Nature." In the dramatic 
fairy tale "Aladdin," dedicated to Goethe as his master, 
Oehlenschlager sought to illustrate the marvelous power 
of genius. The Danish poet went to Germany in 1805, vis- 
iting Fichte and Goethe, thence to Paris, Switzerland and 
Rome. During the four years thus spent he wrote the 
national dramas "Hakon Jarl" relating to the overthrow 
of Pagan sacrifices in Norway by Christianity; "Palna- 
toke" describing the same period in Denmark; "Axel and 
Valborg" a romantic love-tragedy. "Correggio" is a 
tragedy in German in which that gentle painter is set in 
contrast with the sublime Michael Angelo. On his re- 
turn to Copenhagen Oehlenschlager was generally lauded 
as the greatest Danish poet, but was severely criticised by 
Grundtvig and others. His most important production in 
later years was a cycle of splendid poems on "The Gods 
of the North." Among his dramas are "Charles the 
Great," and "The Land Found and Vanished," which 
treats of the discovery of Vinland by the Norwegians. 
He requested that "Socrates," his only attempt at a Greek 
play, might be performed as a memorial after his death. 

Jens Emmanuel Baggesen ( 1765-1826), who was born 
fourteen years before Oehlenschlager, did not come un- 
der the Romantic influence. He had risen from poverty 
and won his first success by "Comical Tales" in verse, but 
when his opera was ridiculed he left the country for for- 
eign travel. His descriptive poem "The Labyrinth," pub- 
lished on his return in 1790, received applause. There- 
after he roamed over Europe, still publishing in Danish 


and German. When Oehlenschlager had achieved fame, 
Baggesen was more determined than ever to prove his 
own superiority. He remains simply a fine comic writer, 
but the best of all his pieces is the simple poem "Child- 
hood," translated by Longfellow. 

The lyrical dramatist Henrik Hertz (1798-1870) was 
of Jewish parentage. His satirical "Letters of a Return- 
ing One" (1830), professing to be written by Baggesen's 
ghost, were published anonymously and caused great sen- 
sation. After a visit to Italy and France, Hertz showed 
new power in his romantic dramas "Svend Dyring's 
House" (1837) and "King Rene's Daughter" (1845). 
These two beautiful creations still hold the stage in Den- 
mark and the latter has been produced in every civilized 
country. Yet the troubadour genius of Hertz shines most 
in his sweet impassioned lyrics. 

Frederik Paludan-Miiller (1809-1876) was the best 
successor of Oehlenschlager. He wrote under the influ- 
ence of Byron. His dramas "The Death of Abel" ( 1854), 
the philosophic "Kalanus," and "Paradise" (1861) raise 
him to a high rank among European poets. He obtained 
even greater success in a long humorous epic, "Adam 
Homo" (1841-48), which proved him to be a keen satir- 

Nikolai Frederik Severin Grundtvig (1783- 1872) was 
more noted as an earnest theologian than as a poet, and 
after long service in the Church was made a bishop. His 
study of Scandinavian antiquities resulted in his publish- 
ing "Northern Mythology" and "Decline of the Heroic 
Life in the North" (1809). In lyrical and historical 
poetry he rivaled Oehlenschlager, as in "King Harald and 
Ansgar." From the vehemence of the writings which 
gave him influence over his countrymen he has been com- 
pared to Carlyle. 


Bernhard Severin Ingemann (1789- 1862), under the 
influence of Sir Walter Scott, wrote a number of historical 
romances, "Valdemar Seier" (1826), "King Erik" (1833) 
and "Prince Otto of Denmark" (1835), Before these he 
had published many romantic poems, tragedies, and short 
tales. His rapidity of production and the religious mel- 
ancholy of his verse gave him high popularity. He was 
the author of the national song, "Dannebrog." 

Perhaps the only Danish writer who is universally 
known is Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875), the 
prince of story-tellers for children. The son of a poor 
shoemaker of Odense, he went to Copenhagen and tried 
in vain to get employment at the theater. He was always 
fond of travel and his trip to Germany gave occasion for 
his first book of value, "Silhouettes." After a journey 
to Italy in 1833 his novel "The Improvisator" gave his 
impressions of that classic and romantic land. Then 
came "O. T.," a picture of Northern life. It was not 
until 1836 that he began to publish the "Wonder Tales," 
children's stories, forever inseparably connected with his 
name. In them he gave his fancy free scope, and re- 
vealed his child-like heart. The finest story is "The Ugly 
Duckling" (1845), which is really an allegory of his own 
career. The most popular of the later volumes are the 
''Picture Book Without Pictures" and "Tales and Stories." 
Andersen continued to add to this stock during the rest of 
his life. In 1837 he published his best novel, "Only a 
Fiddler," partly autobiographical. His journey to the 
East is shown in "A Poet's Bazaar" (1842). He was a 
bird of passage ; he never settled down at home till he was 
past sixty. His "Story of My Life" has been regarded 
as an imperfect portrait, though it reveals both his merits 
and his weaknesses. His novels and books of travel show 


the egotism which constantly beset him. But the chil^ 
dren's tales retain their vogue, because they show all 
things as children see them, living and acting, and tell 
everything as children wish it to be told. 

Wilhelm Bergsoe, born in 1835, was in youth a zool- 
ogist, but having so injured his sight that he was obliged 
to relinquish such work, he dictated a collection of stories, 
"From the Piazza del Popolo" (1866), which won gen- 
eral favor. His sight was afterward partly restored and 
he continued his literary labor. Later works include a 
romance "From the Old Factory" (1869), "In the Sabine 
Hills" (1871), stories told in letters; "In the Gloaming" 
(1876), "The Bride of Rorvig" (1872), and "Who was 
He?" The}' show keen observation and vivid imagina- 
tion and are written in fine style. Some popular works 
on natural history have come from his pen. 

One of the greatest living critics is Georg Brandes, 
born at Copenhagen in 1842. After a distinguished 
course at the University he traveled in England, France, 
and Germany to become acquainted with men of letters 
and science. The result of his studies appeared in his 
brilliant and valuable work, "Main Currents of Nineteenth 
Century Literature" (1872-76). It showed the gradual 
emancipation of thought through the first half of this 
Century. His former publications had provoked contro- 
versies, but a still greater one arose in 1876 and his oppon- 
ents prevented his being appointed professor in the Uni- 
versity of Copenhagen. Offended at this treatment he 
left the city and went to Germany. But he had already 
won a European reputation by "French Esthetics in Our 
Day" (1870), "Esthetic Studies" and "Critiques and Por- 
traits." For some years he resided in Berlin, but he re- 
turned to Copenhagen in 1883. Many biographical works 


have been prepared by him, among them being Hves of 
Tegner and Lord Beaconsfield. Among his critical works 
are "Modern Men of Genius" (1881), "Bjornson and 
Ibsen" (1882). He is industrious, learned, energetic, 
and brilliant. 


Norway had been united to Denmark for four Cen- 
turies until Napoleon's wars changed the map of Europe. 
At that critical period Denmark came into conflict witli 
England in defense of her merchant marine, and in alarm 
for her own safety, attached herself to victorious France. 
After the battle of Waterloo the allied powers punished 
her for this, by forcing her to resign Norway to Sweden. 
The Norwegians attempted to defend their own independ- 
ence under a Danish hereditary Prince, but the Swedish 
army advanced on Christiania, and the brave people were 
obliged to yield. Norway continued under Swedish rule 
until 1905, but had her own Constitution and Parliament 
and has now her own king. Before 18 14 Norway shared 
the intellectual life of Denmark. For many years after 
that writers aimed to celebrate the virtues of the free and 
independent peasant, and to glorify the rocks and water- 
falls of their native land. Two distinct parties were 
formed, the clash of whose arguments may still be heard. 

Henrik Wergeland (1808- 1845) was the son of a. 
patriotic clergyman, but had imbibed the views of Rous- 
seau, and his lyrical dramatic poem, "The Creation, Man, 
and Messiah," was an expression of the fermentation of 
French ideas of the Eighteenth Century. Though 
lengthy and tedious, it contained passages of great beauty 
and majesty; and the author was hailed as the first ex- 
ponent of a distinctly Norwegian literature. Wergeland 
had a marked personality, and used his great powers in 
defending the welfare of the common people, and in wag- 
ing war against everything having a Danish origin. He 



became the leader of the poUtical party called Ultra-Nor« 
wegians. It was through his influence that the Seven- 
teenth of May, the date of the adoption of the Norwegian 
Constitution, was made a national holiday. His zealous 
labors in poetry and politics did not cease till his death in 


Wergeland's opponent was Johan Sebastian Cammer- 
meyer Welhaven, and those who gathered to his standard 
distinguished themselves as "Intelligence." In 1834 Wel- 
haven, in the preface to a series of sonnets, pointed out 
that a national literature cannot be constructed from noth- 
ing; and that for many years Norway must depend on 
Denmark for art, culture, and literary style; but that in 
time she would be able to evolve a distinct culture of her 
own, based on the study of her antiquities, and on an 
expression of individual life. These sonnets caused a tre- 
mendous sensation. "Intelligence" rallied around Wel- 
haven, while Wergeland and his adherents shouted "Trea- 
son !" The violent literary feud which ensued has hardly 
yet been healed. Welhaven continued his career as 
author and university professor until his death in 1873. 
By his lectures on Danish literature, and his romances, 
founded on popular traditions, he proved himself faithful 
to those principles which he had advocated as the leader 
of "Intelligence." 

Andreas Munch (1810-1863), professor in the Uni- 
versity of Christiania, wrote poetry and dramas which are 
echoes of Oehlenschlager's, and tales after the fashion of 
Welhaven. His poems of "Sorrow and Consolation" are 
dear to all Scandinavians. His prose masterpiece is the 
"History of the Norwegian People" (1851-64). 

The two greatest poets of the North are the Norwe- 
gians Bjornson and Ibsen. The former is a writer of 
stories, songs, and dramas for his people; the latter is 


the author of the most remarkable psychological plays ever 
portrayed by pen or presented upon the stage. Bjorn- 
sjerne Bjornson, the son of a clergyman, was born among 
the barren Dovre Mountains in 1832, and removed with 
his family at the age of six, to Komsdal, the region of all 
Norway most celebrated for its beauty. To this may be 
attributed Bjornson's magnificent descriptions of natural 
scenery. In his early years he devoted himself to folk- 
tales and became a passionate admirer of Wergeland. He 
commenced his life's work by writing poems and dramas, 
but his first important book was "Synnove Solbakken," 
a story of peasant life which captivated the hearts of his 
countrymen. It was followed by other tales, poems and 
dramas in quick succession. The Scandinavians were 
then setting up barriers between themselves and the 
thought of Europe. All streams were muddy save the 
rivers of the pure North. A modern intellectual move- 
ment began in Denmark in 1871 and penetrated to Nor- 
way, and Bjornson was the first to profit by it. He read 
every variety of work, in every language, and he thus 
describes the influence on himself : "I am Norseman. I 
am human. Of late I have been subscribing myself: 
man." His latest dramas, therefore, are full of the broad- 
est humanitarianism. His modern plays are "The Bank- 
rupt," "The Editor," "The King." The best of his later 
novels is a profound and exquisitely written story called 
"Dust." Among all the shorter compositions of Bjorn- 
son's the most remarkable is the monologue "Bergliot," 
the lamentations of a chieftain's wife over her murdered 
husband and son. Bjornson's great struggle is for free- 
dom and modern enlightenment. Personally he is a gen- 
ial giant, with a charming and joyous presence. He has 
the reputation of being the most eloquent and convincing 
political orator in Norway. 


Henrik Ibsen, the dramatist of pessimism, was born at 
Skien, in Norway, in 1828. His connections were people 
of the highest standing in the place, but his father became 
a bankrupt, and the boy worked in one menial capacity 
after another. He was twenty-two years old before he 
had means or leisure for study. His desolate youth, in 
which he often did not have enough to eat, unquestionably 
soured his disposition. For many years he toiled unsuc- 
cessfully as a newspaper publisher, a theater manager, 
and a writer of poems and dramas which were misun- 
derstood. Ibsen led a wild life, as a young man, and was 
disliked and shunned in consequence. At the time of the 
Schleswig-Holstein troubles in 1864, he fell into a pro- 
found melancholy because Sweden and Norway failed to 
stand by Denmark in her war with Prussia and Austria- 
Denouncing his countrymen as cowardly, he turned his 
back on his native land, and has since lived in Dresden, 
Munich, or Italy, a friendless and isolated man. He is 
always well received, in a public way, in any city where 
he happens to reside. His powerful and gloomy dramas 
have at last brought him fame and fortune; and the North 
is proud to acknowledge his genius as her own. 

His best known dramas are "Brand," "Peer Gynt," 
"A Model Home" (also called The Doll's House), "The 
Pillars of Society," "Apparitions," "Hedda Gabler," and 
"Little Eyeolf." Ibsen would hurl all existing institu- 
tions off the face of the earth. Nothing is right. A sense 
of duty founded upon the conventional claims of others 
upon us, and our conventional claims on them, he finds in- 
tolerable. Like the early Romanticists he insists on each 
man's right to live, think and act as he pleases, with little 
regard for others. His dramas have caused an intellec- 
tual tumult throughout Europe. 


At the close of the Eighteenth Century Swedish liter-, 
ature had sunk into a depressed state. The French clas- 
sical style prevailed; didactic and serious poems like those 
of Pope and Young were the only kind approved. But 
Romanticism was introduced by a group of poets whose 
organ was called "Phosphor" (Light-bringer), whence 
they were known as Phosphorists. The leader of this 
group, Peter Daniel Amadeus Atterbom (1790- 1855), 
edited the journal, which contained only poetry and criti- 
cal essays. His lyrical poems called "The Flowers" were 
marred by too great fondness for mysticism and allegory. 
His most celebrated work is the beautiful drama "The 
Fortunate Island" (1823). Another member of this 
group, Lorenzo Hammarskold (1785-1827), published in 
1806 "Translations and Imitations of Poets, Old and 
New," in the preface of which he condemned the Swedish 
classic writers, and commended Goethe and Tieck for imi- 
tation. His most important work was a "History of 
Swedish Literature" (1818). 

The leader of the opposition to these Phosphorists was 
the far more distinguished Bishop Esaias Tegner (1782- 
'1846). He was the son of a village pastor and taught 
in the University of Lund. In 1808, stirred by the great 
events of the time, he composed a war-song which was 
welcomed and sung by the people. He then organized a 
Gothic League for the study of Scandinavian antiquity. 
Its journal "Iduna," so called from the goddess of youth 
in Northern mythology, was edited at first by Geijer and 
afterward by Tegner. In this journal appeared Tegner's 



romance of "Axel," his beautiful idyl of "The Children 
of the Lord's Supper," which has been translated into 
English by Longfellow, and his famous modernization of 
"Frithiof's Saga." The last consists of twenty-four short 
cantos or ballads, each having a different form of verse 
or meter to suit the special subject, and all taken together 
presenting the finest picture of ancient Scandinavian life. 

As a reward for this national epic Tegner was made 
a bishop, though he had not previously been ordained. 
He discharged his episcopal duties well until his mind 
gave way. During a temporary recovery he began two 
epic poems which were left unfinished. The work of his 
youth, however, has placed him at the head of Swedish 
literature. As Longfellow has said: "This modern 
Skald has written his name in immortal runes, not on the 
bark of trees alone, in the 'unspeakable rural solitudes' of 
pastoral song, but on the mountains of his native land, 
and the cliffs that overhang the sea, and on the tombs of 
ancient heroes, whose histories are epic poems." 

The other leader of the Gothic League, Erik Gustaf 
Geijer (1783-1847), is Sweden's greatest historian. To 
the "Iduna" he contributed several essays and some songs, 
whose sweet simplicity and ardent patriotic feeling have 
made them ever dear to his countrymen. In 181 5 he was 
called to the University of Upsala to give instruction in 
history, and thenceforward devoted himself to that depart- 
ment. His "History of the Swedish People" (3 vols. 
1832-36) brings the subject down to the close of Queen 
Christina's reign in 1654. Many other historical works 
and essays were published by him, before failing health 
obliged him to resign in 1846. They all exhibit correct 
critical insight and artistic arrangement of material. 

Frans Michael Franzen (1772- 1847), who was a native 
of Finland, became professor of history in the University 


of Abo, and eventually a bishop, was the author of many 
minor poems full of sweetness and of popular songs. His 
epics on Sven Sture, Columbus, and Gustavus Adolphus, 
in spite of beautiful passages, are inferior to his short 
ipieces. His best lyrics sing of domestic joys, the prattle 
of children and the beauty of the fields. 

The most extraordinary character in Swedish literary 
history is Karl Jonas Ludwig Almquist ( 1793- 1866). In 
early manhood he gave up an official position at Stockholm 
and led a colony to wild forest lands to found a primitive 
community called "Man's Home Association." On its 
failure he became a teacher and prepared some school text 
books. After awhile he issued a collection of dramas, 
lyrics and romances, under the name ''The Book of the 
Thorn-Rose." It contains some of the finest gems of 
Swedish literature, and quickly made him famous. Then 
a flood of treatises of all kinds, historical, philosophical, 
religious, flowed from his pen. With these were inter- 
mingled admirable lyrical, epic and dramatic poems. But 
the unstable author passed from one position to another, 
and raved about socialism. Suddenly in 185 1 he fled from 
Sweden, and it became known that he was convicted of 
forgery and charged with murder. It was afterward 
ascertained that he came to the United States under an 
assumed name, earned a precarious living, and it is even 
stated that he was a secretary to Abraham Lincoln. When 
he was almost within the grasp of the law, his papers were 
seized and destroyed, but he himself escaped to Europe. 
He died at Bremen. Almquist put in practice the extreme 
disregard of morality which some of the Romanticists 
taught or exhibited in fiction. His books show great 
keenness of observation, rich humor and strong poetic 

Finland, though now belonging to Russia, is peopled 


by Swedes, and has contributed to Swedish literature. 
Johann Ludvig Runeberg (1804- 1877) as a poet, is sec- 
ond only to Tegner. He was born in Finland and edu- 
cated at the University of Abo. His little epic "The Elk- 
Hunters" (1832) was followed by "Hanna" (1836), a 
charming idyl in hexameters. Runeberg was now made 
professor of Latin at Borga College, and from this obscure 
place sent forth poems which established his high rank. 
Among them are "Nadeschda," a romance of Russian life, 
"Kung Fjalar," a cycle of romances in unrhymed verse. 
His popularity was greatly enhanced by "Ensign Steel's 
Stories," poems on the War of Independence in 1808. His 
tragedy "The Kings at Salamis" (1863) shows the true 
classical spirit. His poems are realistic, yet full of artis- 
tic beauty and strong religious feeling. 

Another able poet of Finland is Zacharias Topelius, 
born in 1818. He was editor of a newspaper in Helsing- 
fors until i860. His poems were collected in book form 
in "Heather Flowers" (1845-54). His best prose work, 
"The Surgeon's Stories" (1872-74), relates to the history 
of Sweden and Finland in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth 

Of Swedish novelists none is more widely known than 
Miss Fredrika Bremer (1801-1865). She was born near 
Abo in Finland, but her childhood was spent at Arsta near 
Stockholm. In 1821 the family went on a tour through 
Germany and France. After a year thus spent, Fredrika, 
to escape the dullness of country life, began to visit the 
poor and sick. To get money for her charities her brother 
sold some sketches she had written. When in 1830 "The 
H — Family" was issued the Swedish Academy awarded 
her a gold medal. Her career was now determined. Her 
simple tales of middle-class family life were favorably re- 
ceived in Sweden, and even more so in England and Amer- 



ica, when translated by Mary Hewitt. After residing 
some years in Norway, Miss Bremer visited England and 
America, and on her return wrote her impressions in 
"Homes in the New World" (1853). Later visits to 
Switzerland, Italy, Palestine and Greece, were also pleas- 
antly sketched. The better education of girls and the ad- 
mission of women to various employments were advocated 
in her later novels, "Hertha" and ''Father and Daughter," 
but these "purpose" novels were not so attractive as the 
simpler pictures of family life in "The Neighbors," "The 
President's Daughters," "Brothers and Sisters," "The 

Less widely known, yet almost of equal merit as a nov- 
elist, is Mrs. Emilia Flygare-Carlen (1807- 1892). She 
was twice married, her second husband, J. G. Carlen, being 
a lawyer and poet. Her first novel, "Waldemar Klein," 
was published anonymously when she was thirty years of 
age. Its success led her to prepare a long series of similar 
works, treating all classes and conditions of Swedish life. 
Her wide experience enabled her to depict not only the 
well-to-do, but peasants, fishers and smugglers. Among 
her best books are "The Professor" (1840), "The Rose of 
Thistelon" (1842), "The Maiden's Tower" (1848), "The 
Tutor" (1851), "The Trading House" (i860), and her 
autobiography "Recollections of Swedish Life" (1878). 
Her novels are graphic pictures rather than studies of 
character, but they are bright and sparkling. 

Abraham Viktor Rydberg (born in 1829) is the most 
attractive essayist of Sweden. His original work includes 
aesthetic and historical studies, treatises on the philosophy 
of religion, and one on "Teutonic Mythology" (1886). 
His only novel, "The Last of the Athenians" (1859), 
relates to the struggle between classical Paganism and 


When Alexander I came to the throne of Russia in 
1801, he was inclined to peace, but the policy and acts of 
Napoleon forced him into war, which culminated in the 
French invasion and the disastrous retreat from IMoscow. 
After the downfall of Napoleon, the influence of Alexan- 
der was paramount in the Congresses which settled the 
affairs of Europe. He was the founder of the Holy Alli- 
ance, which was to combine the powers of Church and 
State in suppressing revolutionar}' tendencies. But he 
was also intent on promoting the civilization of his vast 
Empire. French influence, which during the reign of 
Catharine II, had prevailed in literature, was supplanted 
by an effort at a truly national literature. 

The historian, Nikolai Mikhailovich Karamzin (1765- 
1826) was one of the glories of Alexander's reign, and is 
said to have revealed Russia to itself. His father was an 
army oflicer of Tartar descent and wished his son to fol- 
low in that profession, but the latter was drawn into liter- 
ature at St. Petersburg and AIoscow. His visit to France 
and England gave occasion for his "Letters of a Russian 
Traveler" (1801), but most of his writings were miscel- 
laneous and sentimental tales, until he took up in earnest 
his "History of the Russian Empire." To accomplish this 
he had gone to live in retirement, but the Czar, Alexander, 
learning the fact, invited him to St. Petersburg, and gave 
him every facility for work. In 1825 his health began to 
fail, and a year later he died. His History was brought 
down to the year 16 13. It was founded on original 




research ajid is written in elegant style, modeled upon 
Addison. It has been censured for the romantic air cast 
over the barbarism and cruelty of olden times, and has 
been called an "epic of despotism." It traced the origin 
of Russian greatness to Ivan the Terrible and even to his 
grandfather, instead of limiting it to Peter the Great, as 
previous writers under French influence had done. 

In Russia Ivan Kriloff (1768-1844) holds the same 
place as La Fontaine in France. He is the national 
fabulist, and lines from his homely verses are stock quota- 
tions among the people. He resembled the French fabu- 
list not only in the style of his writing but in the careless 
unpractical mode of his life. Born at Moscow, the son 
of an army officer who died in 1779, he was taken to St. 
Petersburg by his mother, who hoped in vain to get a 
pension. Kriloff's earliest writings were for the stage, 
chiefly translations and imitations, and it was not until 
1809 that his first volume of "Fables" was issued. Hon- 
ors then began to be heaped upon him and he was appointed 
to a position in the Imperial Public Library. Although 
he professed indifference to public affairs, his fables were 
really suggested by passing events, and by idiomatic grace 
and sound sense caught at once the fancy of the people. 
Their perfection of style was the result of careful polish. 
Personally, he was careless in dress, regardless of etiquette, 
and absent-minded. 

The chief representative of Romanticism in Russian 
literature is Vasile Andreevich Zhukovski (1783-1852). 
He was the preceptor of Alexander II in his youth, and 
succeeded Karamzin in editing the "European Messenger" 
in 1808. His aim was to familiarize his countrymen with 
the best productions of foreign literature, and for this he 
translated from Goethe, Uhland, Schiller, Gray, Byron 
and Moore. He even translated Oriental poems at sec- 


ond-hand through the German. His most famous poems 
are the ballads in "The Poet in the Russian Camp" which 
were sung by his fellow soldiers in the War of 1812. 
Another fine ballad is "Svietlana." His finest tale is 
"Mary's Grove." 

But the most celebrated of Russian poets is Alexander 
Pushkin (1799-1837) who, like Alexandre Dumas, had 
some negro blood in his veins. His mother's grandfather 
was a negro who had been brought from Abyssinia, and 
by his bravery won the favor of Peter the Great. Pushkin 
was employed in the ministry of foreign affairs and lived 
as a man of fashion until a daring "Ode to Liberty" 
incurred censure and he was virtually banished to Bessar- 
abia, near the Danube, where he held office. Under the 
influence of Byron he composed "The Prisoner of the Cau- 
casus," a story of the love of a Circassian girl for a cap- 
tive Russian officer. Another poem was a tale of love 
and vengeance called "The Gipsies." With this strange 
people he had become acquainted in his new residence, and 
their mode of life attracted him. His conduct did not 
give satisfaction to his superiors, and he was dismissed 
from the service in 1824. He retired to his father's 
country place and there became embroiled with his rela- 
tives, while he was also under the surveillance of the Gov- 
ernment. A product of his retirement was the tragedy of 
"Boris Gudunoff," in which he departed from the French 
classical style, and sought to imitate Shakespeare. His 
"Poltava" is a spirited narrative poem of the defeat of 
Charles XII by Peter the Great. But a much more origi- 
nal poem is "Eugene Oneguin" which relates the adven- 
tures of a Russian in sprightly verse somewhat after the 
fashion of Byron's "Don Juan." Pushkin had married a 
noble lady in 1831, and six years later out of jealousy 
fought a duel, in which he was mortally wounded. His 


opponent was banished. Pushkin's fame as a poet has 
steadily increased. Though strongly influenced by By- 
ron, he was not a mere copyist. His subjects and scenery 
are thoroughly Russian. He excelled in his poetical tales, 
especially in "Eugene Oneguin," in which humor and 
satire are well mingled. His few prose tales and his his- 
torical novels display dramatic power. 

The death of Pushkin was lamented in an impassioned 
poem addressed to the Czar by Mikhail Lermontoff ( 1814- 
1841). He declared that if no vengeance was taken on 
the assassin Heaven would grant no second poet to Rus- 
sia. But the Czar was seriously offended and sent the 
new poet, who was an army officer, to the Caucasus on mili- 
tary duty. Lermontoff, who had visited those mountains 
in childhood, found there the inspiration of his mature 
years. He became the poet of the Caucasus, celebrating 
the courage and other virtues of the mountaineers, as well 
as the sublime and varied scenery amid which they dwelt. 
Lermontoff was of Scotch ancestry, as he states in one of 
his poems, but was born in Moscow and carefully edu- 
cated. When he returned to St. Petersburg, in 1839, he 
published a volume of poems and a novel, "A Hero of Our 
Time." Two years later, like his predecessor, he fell in 
a duel. Three volumes of his poems were then published, 
and Bodenstedt translated them into German. Among his 
poems are "Ismail-Bey," "The Demon," and a remarkable 
imitation of an old Russian ballad. 

As in all other countries of Europe, there arose in 
Russia imitators of Sir Walter Scott, who endeavored to 
renew the life of past ages of their country's history. The 
best of these was Zagoskin, who in "Yuri Miloslavski," 
took for his subject the expulsion of the Poles from Rus- 
sia in 1612. But a romantic coloring is given to the nar- 
rative, and the characters utter sentiments which belong 


to a more refined age than their own. The first really 
great and original novelist of Russia was Nikolai Vasilie- 
vich Gogol (1809-1852). He was born in Poltava, in 
South Russia, and early began writing for the stage. At 
the age of twenty he went to St. Petersburg and published 
an idyll, which was so severely criticised that he burnt all 
the copies he could obtain. Then the recollections of 
childhood came back, when his father was regimental 
secretary of Cossack troops, and he heard tales of the wild 
life of these tribes. These he now undertook to repro- 
duce in a periodical under the title, "Evenings on a Farm 
near Dikanka." The novelty and brilliance of the stories 
were acknowledged by all critics. Gogol went on to pub- 
lish "Arabesques,*' a mingling of stories and essays, 
"Taras Bulba," the finest of his ''Cossack Tales," and 
"The Revisor," a satirical comedy. In the last, a traveler, 
who has just arrived in a town, is mistaken for a revisor 
or Government inspector, and receives all the attention, 
favors and bribes that the town of^cials intended for the 
real inspector. But much more searching and effective 
was the exposure made in Gogol's great novel, "Dead 
Souls" (1842). A speculator travels around the coun- 
try, purchasing from landlords the title to dead souls, that 
is, serfs who have died since the last census, and then 
obtains advances from the Government on this imaginary 
property. This plan enabled the author to introduce and 
satirize many varieties of provincial Russians. The pain- 
ful realism of the whole is acknowledged, yet it had 
important effect in stirring the Government to redress the 
wrongs described. A second part of this work was writ- 
ten when he was in Italy, but he sank into religious melan- 
choly and destroyed most of it. Later he wrote "Con- 
fessions of an Author." which showed a mind diseased. 
He made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, but died at Moscow. 


Alexander Hertzen (18 12- 1870), was a political agi- 
tator, who in youth was exiled to Siberia, afterward was 
permitted to return and hold official posts, then in 1847 
left Russia, and passed the rest of his life in Geneva, Lon- 
don and Paris. His chief literary work was a novel, 
"Who Is to Blame?" The story tells how a tutor, having 
married the unacknowledged daughter of a sensualist of 
the old type, dull and ignorant, yet kindly, finds his home 
life troubled by the entrance of a sensualist of a new type, 
intelligent and accomplished, but callous. The question 
of the title has reference to the tragical termination. Hert- 
zen's most important political publication was the "Kolo- 
kol" (Bell), a periodical printed in London, but vigor- 
ously excluded from Russia till after the death of Nicholas 
I, in 1855. Then smuggled into the country in large 
quantities, it did much to bring about the sweeping 
reforms of Alexander II, including the emancipation of 
the serfs. 

A morbid self-analysis is found in many Slavonic writ- 
ers. This is seen in Feodor Michailovich Dostoievsky 
(1821-1881), who, at the age of twenty-three, published 
a novel which won for him the name of "the new Gogol." 
In "Poor Folk" he revealed the miseries of the poor of 
St. Petersburg. The power of analysis shown in this 
work appears also in his later short stories, "The Black 
Heart," "The Little Hero," and others. In 1849 the 
novelist was implicated in a socialist conspiracy, and was 
condemned to death, but at the moment of expected execu- 
tion, his sentence was commuted to banishment to Siberia. 
For four years he toiled in the mines, then was allowed to 
return to St. Petersburg, and published "Recollections of a 
Dead House," which described his experience. This nar- 
rative, revealing the horrors of Siberian prison life, had 
powerful effect throughout Russia. "Raskolnikoff," 


another novel, has been translated into English as "Crime 
and Punishment." In it a weak man is led to murder a 
woman for a little money, then slowly driven by remorse 
to admit the crime to a girl friend, and by her friendly 
sympathy, induced to confess it to the authorities and 
submit to the punishment of exile. In all Dostoievsky's 
work the love of the morbid prevails, so as to make the 
reading of them a painful task. 

In novel writing, Gogol had introduced the practice of 
realism, and Ivan Turgenieff (181 8-1883), perfected it. 
Until the rise of Tolstoi, Turgenieff was the Russian 
author most widely known. He was born at Orel, of 
wealthy parents, his father being colonel of a cavalry regi- 
ment. In his mother's house French only was spoken, 
save in intercourse with servants. The serfs were treated 
with extreme cruelty. From one of these Turgenieff 
learned that there really was a Russian literature. His 
mother believed that her son had degraded himself when 
he began to write in his native tongue. His first sketches 
that attracted attention were the "Memoirs of a Sports- 
man," which set various characters of the Russian peas- 
antry in a favorable light and revealed the miseries of 
their life. The novelist's next production was the pathetic 
story, "A Nest of Nobles" (1859), which was soon fol- 
lowed by "On the Eve," which showed the generous but 
indolent youth of Russia. In "Fathers and Sons''' 
(1862), Turgenieff marked the rise of Nihilism, and, in 
fact, invented that word to express the destructive doc- 
trines then beginning to pervade the educated young men 
of his country. Their creed was to tear down all exist- 
ing institutions without caring to substitute anything in 
their place. During the latter part of his life Turgenieff 
resided chiefly at Baden-Baden and Paris. At the former 
he met several Russians exiled for their participation in 


plots. He came to see that their schemes were mere illu- 
sions, and his romance "Smoke" (1867) showed the 
alteration of his opinions. Though he still retained faith 
in Russia's final freedom, the Nihilists regarded him as a 
renegade. Ten years later he published "Virgin Soil," 
which exposes the futility of Nihilism in action. He was 
now accused of having been bribed by the Russian Gov- 
ernment; yet the book really shows sympathy with the 
liberty desired by the Nihilists, though condemning the 
methods they proposed to use in attaining it. Turgenieff 
produced many short stories, exquisitely finished. All 
his writings exhibit wide sympathy, close study of the 
human soul, and pervading all a poetical pessimism. 


Born of noble family, living the careless and dissipated 
life of gilded youth, then raised to high honor in war and 
literature. Count Lyof Tolstoi forsook his early ways to 
devote himself to the instruction of the emancipated serfs. 
But his conversion was not complete until, after close 
study of the New Testament, he humbled himself to be- 
come himself a peasant in dress, work and mode of life. 
In this way he became not only a social reformer in Russia, 
but an oracle of the civilized world, the prophet of a new 
religion. Yet his dominion is still in literature, and he 
is thus the most prominent Russian at the close of the 
Nineteenth Century. 

He was born in 1828 near Tula, and after his father's 
death was brought up on his mother's estate. For two 
years he attended the University of Kasan, but left his 
studies to lead a wild life, becoming a gambler and an 
idolater of individual force. In 185 1 he entered the army 
and served in the Caucasus, and in the Crimean war took 


part in the defense of Sebastopol. Having attained the 
rank of Division Commander, he left the army and mar- 
ried the daughter of a German physician. After pubHsh- 
ing "Mihtary Sketches," describing the siege in which he 
had suffered, he v^rote "The Cossacks," portraying the Hfe 
and scenery of the Caucasus. His first novel, "War and 
Peace," related to Napoleon's invasion, but had for its 
chief theme a social complication, in which he showed his 
repugnance to divorce, even to end the miseries of mar- 
riage. Two years later the successful author began to 
devote himself to the instruction of the peasants, and 
wrote for them many educational text-books. His next 
long novel, "Anna Karenina" (1876), shows a growing 
dislike for Russian society and its conventions. Anna, 
a gay, impulsive lady, had married Alexei Karenina, an 
upright, reserved gentleman. The gallant young Baron 
Vronsky wins her affection, and forms a liaison. When 
Alexei discovers this he banishes his wife from his house, 
and seeks a divorce, but becoming aware of her abiding 
love of their son, he afterward refuses to consent to it. 
The guilty pair separate, and Anna commits suicide. On 
the other hand the same story contains an idyll of pure 
love in the wooing of Katia by Constantin Levin. 

Tolstoi had begun to show his new views of the Gospel. 
He felt bound to adopt a literal interpretation of all the 
precepts of Christ's Sermon on the Mount. He formed 
on his own estate a community in which every one capable 
was bound to engage in manual labor. He himself 
dressed as a peasant and worked as a shoemaker. His 
religious views have been set forth in "My Confession" 
and "My Religion." They approach closely to those of 
the Quakers. He teaches non-resistance to evil and force, 
rejects ecclesiastical authority, but does not approve dis- 


senting sects, for he holds the spirit to be above all forms 
and organizations. He looks on his own past life with 
loathing and even regards his novels as monuments of 
misdirected energy. Yet, while occasionally issuing 
tracts such as "Life," "What to Do," he has still written 
some stories, and in the "Kreutzer Sonata" he shocked the 
world by seeming to make the institution of marriage 
a crime and advocating universal celibacy. But his 
friends explain that it is only the abuse of subjecting 
woman to man's unstinted lust that is censured. For a 
time he appeared to have given up belief in the immortal- 
ity of the soul, but afterward he regained it. He insists 
that the true remedy for the ills of humanity is work, and 
points to the peasants, who, even when working against 
their will, have peace of mind and soul, while idle nobles 
are driven to despair. 

Whatever may be thought of Tolstoi's religious views 
and practice, it cannot be denied that he is the most forcible 
personage in Russian literature. He has carried on the 
realistic exhibition of Russian life, commenced by Gogol, 
and elaborated by Turgenieff. As Gogol depicted the 
owners of small farms, and Turgenieff portrayed the 
peasants and the Nihilists, Tolstoi has added representa- 
tions of the higher classes and their selfish lives. His 
works reveal with the utmost effectiveness all the aspects 
of war, the glory of victory, the horrors of the battlefield, 
the monotony of sieges, the inspiration of patriotism, the 
alteration of the common man into the soldier, with his 
peculiar code of morals. He has set forth the evils of 
divorce and shown the blessing of pure marriage. 
Through all his works runs a strong sentiment of kind- 
ness and good will toward his fellow-men, and an intense 
hatred of sins which are lightly esteemed, because they are 


secret. His prophetic message has been boldly delivered 
not to Russia only, but to the world. He has called on 
every one to work out his own salvation. There he has 
stopped, for he insists on the right of every man to free 
will, to choose for himself the way of life or the way of 


The unhappy Kingdom of Poland came to an end in 
1 795 J when the territories left after two previous divi- 
sions went to Austria and Russia. Yet not till after this 
national extinction did its literary glory arise. Regret 
for what was irretrievably lost, and vain hope for its 
restoration, unsealed the mouths of its poets. The first 
was Adam Mickiewicz (1798- 1855), a native of Lithu- 
ania. Being involved in political trouble at the Univer- 
sity of Wilna, he was ordered to St. Petersburg, where 
he was well received in literary circles. His poem "Kon- 
rad Wallenrod" (1828) described the battles of the Teu- 
tonic Knights with the heathen Lithuanians in the Fif- 
teenth Century, but it is easy to see that it was aimed at 
the wars of the Poles and the Russians. When Mickie- 
wicz obtained permission to travel, he went to Germany, 
Italy, and finally France. His "Pan Tadeusz" (1832) 
gives a picture of Lithuania on the eve of Napoleon's 
invasion in 18 12. He ceased writing at the age of thirty- 
six and afterward his native mysticism grew into a deplor- 
able imbecility. A statue to his memory was unveiled at 
Warsaw on December 24, 1898, the centenary of his birth. 

The second great poet of Poland was Julius Slowacki 
(1809- 1 849), who was also a mystic and an imitator of 
Byron. His mysticism was shown in "Anhelli," which 
expressed allegorically the sufferings of his native land. 
His Byronism appeared in "Lambro," a picture of a Greek 
corsair, and "Beniowski," an adventurer like Don Juan. 
Sigismund Krasinski (1812-1849), though born in Paris, 



was a thorough Pole and mystic. As his father had 
adhered to the Russian Government, the son concealed his 
name, and was called "The Unknown Poet." In his 
"Undivine Comedy" the woes of Poland were again 
bewailed allegorically. His writings seem like a dirge 
over her extinction. 

The most prolific of all Polish authors was Josef 
Ignacy Kraszewsky (1812-1887), who wrote over 
250 works, including epics, novels, romances, histories, 
and political treatises. A series of his novels was 
devoted to depicting Polish history from the earliest 
times. Of his other stories, "The Hut Beyond the Vil- 
lage (1855) and "Jermota the Potter" (1857) were the 
most popular. The last resembles George Eliot's "Silas 

But far beyond any other Polish writer, Henryk Sien- 
kiewicz has extended the literary fame of his native land. 
This has been partly due to the help of the eminent lin- 
guist, Jeremiah Curtin, who translated his works into 
English, yet still more must be granted to the creative 
genius of the novelist himself. It enabled him to over- 
come the opposition of critics in Poland and to win the 
approbation of all serious judges elsewhere. Sienkiewicz 
was born at Vola in Lithuania in 1846. He was edu- 
cated at Warsaw and became a journalist. In 1876 he 
came to America with a colony led by Madame Modjeska 
to settle in Southern California. A year's experience here 
furnished material for newspaper correspondence and 
sketches. In 1884 his novels of Polish history in the Sev- 
enteenth Century began to appear. They comprise "With 
Fire and Sword," "The Deluge," and "Pan Michael," and 
describe respectively the Cossack, Sv/edish and Turkish 
invasions. Each has its own hero and its own special 
interest, the last being the best. In all of them appears 


a unique character, Zagloba, somewhat boastful and ridic^ 
ulous, and yet full of sense and spirit. They are generally 
regarded as the best historical novels of the last half of 
the Century. The profound psychological novel of the 
present day, "Without Dogma" (1890), could not secure 
the same general attention. But "Quo Vadis" appeared 
in 1895, and quickly made the author's name familiar 
throughout the world. It is a story of the persecution 
of the Christians by Nero, and is founded on a close study 
of Roman literature of that period. The art of the novel- 
ist has reproduced the brilliance of imperial Rome, the 
waning power of Paganism, and the hopeful courage of 
the early Christians. The title, meaning "Whither Goest 
Thou?" is taken from the legend which records that when 
St. Peter in dismay was leaving Rome, he met his Lord 
bearing his cross, and asked that question, to which the 
reply was, "I go to Rome to be crucified." This legend 
is incorporated in the work. One of the prominent char- 
acters is Petronius, who was Nero's master of pleasure, 
and has left a humorous Latin description of a feast, which 
is also interwoven in the modern author's work. Sien- 
kiewicz has also displayed his abilities in fine short stories. 
Those relating to America are not equal to those in which 
Polish village life is exhibited. The best is "God's Will/* 
a tragical story, relieved at times with humorous scenes. 


In the Eighteenth Century there had been an attempt 
to reform Itahan literature by introducing simpHcity in 
place of the over-wrought rhetoric which had long pre- 
vailed. For this purpose the Academy of Arcadia was 
established at Rome. Its members adopted a style of 
thought and language supposed to be used in the fabulous 
Arcadia of the classical poets. But this was far from 
being a real return to nature such as Wordsworth advo- 
cated in English. The Arcadian mode was a palpable 
sham. The result was a flood of trifling, effeminate son- 
nets, madrigals and other forms of verse. But the deep- 
reaching social and political ideas which were circulated 
in France, and eventually produced the Revolution, made 
their way also into Italy. The Arcadian school of feeble, 
languishing poets vanished. The mighty but uncultivated 
genius of Alfieri was aroused. Inspired with love of 
liberty and hatred of tyrants, he poured forth twenty-one 
tragedies, chiefly founded on incidents and characters of 
classical history. He swept away the foolish trifling that 
had usurped the place of literature, and directed the intel- 
lectual movement to liberal and national aims. 

The Italian poets who were excited by the same causes 
and inspired by his example, looked back to the ancient 
glory of their land for subjects and to the ancient classics 
for models of style. Hence they were careful to obser\^e 
the rules and methods which had long been stamped as 
classical. In thought they were really modern, full of 
new ideas of the rights of man and universal freedom, 



but in form they followed that stiff and antiquated style 
which the French Romanticists opposed and ridiculed. 
Yet it must be admitted that the richness and easy grace 
of the Italian language are seen to advantage in their 

The most remarkable of these modern classical poets 
was Vincenzo Monti (1754-1828), who illustrated in his 
career the frequent political changes which swept over 
his country. Kindly received at the Papal court, he was 
early admitted to the Academy of the Arcadians, but pro- 
voked his fellow-members by his sharp satire and impa- 
tience of criticism. Then he wrote a classical drama in 
rivalry with Alfieri. In 1793 the murder of the French 
minister, Basseville, at Rome called forth his splendid 
poem, "Bassvilliana," written in imitation of Dante. The 
spirit of Basseville is represented as condemned to wander 
over France under an angel's guidance, beholding the suf- 
ferings brought upon the land by the Revolutionary 
principles which he had advocated in life. Strange as 
the subject is, the poem abounds in fine descriptive and 
dramatic passages, one of which represents the ascension 
of the soul of Louis XVI to Heaven. In 1796 Monti 
wrote a poem, "Musogonia," which was favorable to the 
Papal party, but two years later he altered it to make 
Napoleon the hero. Still further was this homage to the 
French general carried in the "Prometeo," another imi- 
tation of Dante. Here Napoleon was exalted to Heaven 
as the impersonation of valor and virtue. After the down- 
fall of the Emperor, Monti sang the praises of the Aus- 
trians. This frequent change of attitude is attributed to 
the mobility of his feelings. He felt keenly the impres- 
sion of the moment and immediately gave it utterance in 
vigorous poetry. His only deep abiding passion was for 
his art. In him the common talent of the Italian impro- 


visator was magnified to a powerful genius. He insisted 
on making Dante and Petrarch the models of style, and 
opposed the pretensions of the Delia Cruscan school who 
wished to limit the literary vocabulary to strictly Tuscan 
words. His influence on the regeneration of Italian 
poetry was beneficial and permanent. 

While the fickle Monti varied in political opinion with 
every passing breeze, Ugo Foscolo (1778- 1827) was ever 
steady in his love of country, though a man of fierce pas- 
sions, and apt to quarrel with his friends. He was born 
at Zante and was proud of being a Greek, yet thoroughly 
devoted to Italy. His first fame was due to the "Last 
Letters of Jacopo Ortis" (1799), a tragical love story 
in imitation of Goethe's "Sorrows of Werther," but also 
expressing disappointment that Napoleon did not liberate 
Italy. His finest poem, "The Sepulchers" (1807), 
rebukes the people of Milan for allowing the poet Parini 
to be buried in a common grave with robbers, and tells 
how "the aspiring soul is fired to lofty deeds by great 
men's monuments." His "Hymns to the Graces" make 
beauty the source of all high qualities. In all of his poetry 
the charm lies in the harmonious versification. When 
made professor at Pavia in 1808, Foscolo oflf ended Napo- 
leon by directing his pupils to seek inspiration in patriot- 
ism, and again by his tragedy of "Ajax." Obliged to 
leave Italy he went to England, where for a time he pro- 
moted the study of Italian literature, but afterward by his 
waywardness lost his patrons and sank into poverty. His 
prose writings were disfigured by rhetorical vehemence.' 

A third poet who was a still more ardent classicist was 
Giambattista Niccolini (i 782-1 861), bom in Florence, 
where he became professor of history. His first tragedy, 
"Polyxena," w^as crowned by the Delia Cruscan Academy 
in 1810. While he imitated ^schylus he allowed his 



Muse more freedom than Alfieri, His tragedies show 
lyrical power rather than dramatic genius. His subjects 
were taken from modern history as well as classical 
mythology. One of them, "Giovanni da Procida" 
(1830), treats of the expulsion of the French from Sicily 
and ends with the Sicilian Vespers. On its presentation, 
it was felt to be an attack on Austrian tyranny. The 
"Arnaldo da Brescia," founded on the history of the phil- 
osopher who proposed Church reforms In the Twelfth 
Century, was directed against the Papal power. Although 
in dramatic form, it is too long for presentation on the 

Here may be noted, also, a prose classicist who, in his 
"History of Italy," imitated the style of Livy, and after 
the fashion of ancient writers put into the mouths of his 
characters long declamations. This was Carlo Botta 
(1766-1837) of Piedmont, who in early life suffered long 
imprisonment for an unproved political offense, and there- 
after spent much of his life at Paris. His "History of the 
War of Independence in America" (1810) is superior to 
his other work, and attests his republican principles. 
Cesare Cantu ( 1805- 1895), a Lombard by birth, through- 
out his long life was a diligent writer of history. His 
chief work was his "Universal History" in thirty-five 
volumes, which has been translated into many languages. 
It made no pretension to original research of documentary 
evidence, but gave in clear and fluent style the traditional 
clerical view of the world's progress. 

While the Liberal poets in Italy adhered to the classic 
forms in literature, there were others who desired the 
literary freedom of the Romantic school. In Milan a 
large group of these held firmly the Catholic faith, and 
from their general avoidance of political controversy, 
were sometimes known as the School of Resignation. 


They had for their organ the "ConciUatore," established 
in 1818. Its very name shows that they were a party of 
compromise. Some of them longed for national unity, 
while others looked upon such ideas as chimerical. Minor 
controversies about purity of language occupied much of 
their attention. The classicists generally insisted on 
exclusion of words and forms not belonging to the Tuscan 
dialect, while the Milanese desired a literary language 
which should draw from all the dialects of the peninsula. 
This Milanese or Lombard group is often vaguely called 

The most distinguished leader of this new school was 
Count Alessandro Manzoni (1785- 1873). He declared 
that its object was to discover and express historical and 
moral truth as the eternal source of the beautiful. It has 
therefore connection with the later realists as well as the 
early Romanticists. In youth Manzoni had at Paris 
imbibed the infidelity of Rousseau, but he was converted 
by the faith of his wife, and became a fervent Catholic, 
as he proved by his "Sacred Hymns" (1810), which fol- 
low the festivals of the Church as in Keble's "Christian 
Year." Manzoni's noble ode on the death of Napoleon 
is called "The Fifth of May." His two fine tragedies 
were criticised for violation of classical rules. But his 
fame rests on his "Promcssi Sposi" (The Betrothed) 
(1827), which placed him at the head of modern Italian 
literature. The idea of this picture of the past was 
undoubtedly suggested by Sir Walter Scott's novels, but 
Manzoni did not confine himself to reproducing history. 
The plot is slight ; Renzo and his betrothed Lucia, simple 
peasants, are prevented from marriage by the craft and 
violence of Don Rodrigo and the weakness of the priest, 
Abbondio. The cruel Innominato assaults Lucia in his 
castle. Fra Federigo endeavors to rescue the lovers from 


their perils, and the -holy archbishop of Milan is brought to 
their aid. Don Rodrigo dies of the plague of 1630, which 
is fully described from contemporary documents. To his 
famous novel Manzoni added a sequel called "The Col- 
umn of Infamy." The people of Milan had believed that 
an inhabitant had introduced the plague by poison and 
therefore destroyed his house and erected a column to 
mark the accursed spot. The real value of Manzoni's 
work lies in its searching analysis of characters. In his 
later years he so far yielded to the claims of the Tuscan 
dialect as to revise carefully the diction of his great work. 
He outlived all his children and died in his ninetieth year. 
Another noted member of the Milanese group was the 
gentle Silvio Pelhco (1789-1854), most widely known by 
his narrative, "My Prisons" (1832). Born of wealthy 
parents in Piedmont, he associated with Foscolo and 
Monti and wrote tragedies of which the most famous 
was "Francesca da Rimini" ( 1818). He joined the secret 
society of the Carbonari, who sought the freedom of their 
country. Being arrested, he was tried, convicted and 
condemned to death, but this sentence was commuted to 
fifteen years' imprisonment. In 1830, ten years after his 
arrest, the Emperor ordered his discharge. Pellico went 
to live at Turin and wrote there his simple, affecting nar- 
rative which attests his piety and charity. This unpre- 
tending revelation of Austrian tyranny did much eventu- 
ally toward winning liberty for Italy. 

When Austrian domination was fully re-established in 
Italy, the lovers of their country expressed their feelings 
in satire or took refuge in history of its former glory. 
The noblest of the satirists was Giuseppe Giusti (1809- 
1850), who in spite of ill health, preserved a sunny tem- 
perament. His early verses were romantic lyrics, and had 
the times been favorable he might have proved himself 


the restorer of Italian supremacy. As it was, he employed 
his wit on light temporary themes, and the excellence 
of his work has caused his admirers regret that his ability 
was not displayed on grander subjects. He was a Tuscan 
by birth, and his diction is always in that purest dialect. 
One of his strongest satires, 'The Guillotine," exposes to 
infamy the bloody tyranny of the King of Naples. 
Another, "Gingillino," playfully yet pointedly treats of 
the corruption of treasury officials in Tuscany. Giusti was 
at first active in the Revolutionary movements of 1847 and 
1848, yet afterward was distrusted by his comrades. 

Physical suffering, mental gloom and moral despair 
were united in the person of Count Giacomo Leopardi 
(1798- 1 837). This lyric poet of atheism and pessimism 
remains in the greatest possible contrast with the cheerful 
Catholic novelist, Manzoni. Yet he represents fairly well 
the spirit of intellectual Italians under the rigorous, crush- 
ing despotism of the Bourbons. His father, an impov- 
erished, bigoted and avaricious noble, lived at Recanati in 
the Apennines. The sickly, deformed, sensitive boy picked 
up his education by solitary reading in the home library. 
He became an expert classical scholar and wrote learned 
treatises before reaching manhood, but his virtual impris- 
onment produced deep melancholy, which ended in athe- 
ism. His only recreation was in writing poetry, at first 
in the classical style yet full of the Revolutionary spirit, 
then realistic descriptions of nature and country life, then 
the sorrowful cries of agonizing despair. Deprived of 
companionship, friendship and love, he came to regard 
all objects of human pursuit and desire as vain illusions. 
The bright metal of his genius was consumed with rust. 
When the pale, shy, sickly man ventured to Rome at the 
age of twenty-four, he was rather an object of ridicule 
than of pity. He wandered from one Italian city to 


another, and settled at a friend's house in Naples. Not 
only is his poetry exquisite and limpid, but his prose has 
been pronounced among the best that Italy has produced. 
It was chiefly in philosophical dialogues and discourses. 
His best poems are "Sylvia," "The Last Song of Sappho," 
"The Villagers' Saturday Night," "Brutus the Younger," 
"The Broom Flower," and "The Night Song." All 
critics have united in pronouncing him the greatest of 
Italian poets of the Century. It has been said that "pain 
and love form the two-fold poetry of his existence." So 
exquisite is the melody of his verse that it cannot be ade- 
quately rendered in translation. 

Two historical novels of this period were received with 
enthusiasm, "The Battle of Benevento" (1827), and "The 
Siege of Florence" ( 1835). They were written by Fran- 
cesco Domenico Guerrazzi (1804- 1873), a lawyer of Leg- 
horn, who wished to rouse the patriotic feeling of his 
countrymen. His activity in political agitation caused 
him to be banished more than once. While in exile in 
Corsica he wrote "Beatrice Cenci" and other novels, but 
none of his numerous later books reached the success of 
the early spasmodic novels which for a brief time caused 
him to be regarded as the Walter Scott of Italy. 

Poet as well as patriot was Aleardo Aleardi (1812- 
1378), born near Verona, and educated at the University 
of Padua. His "Primal Histories" (1845) is a lofty 
rhapsody tracing the progress of the human race through 
the Scriptural, classical and feudal periods to the present 
age and giving a vision of a glorious future. Another 
meditative poem, "An Hour of My Youth" (1858), deals 
with his disappointments as a patriot. His later poems, 
"Raphael and the Fornarina," "The Three Rivers," "The 
Three Maidens," "The Seven Soldiers," are more definite 
in scope, finely descriptive, brilliant and impassioned. He 


inclined rather to the classicists, and was Christian as well 
as patriotic. 

Francesco Dall'Ongaro (1808-1873) was in early 
life a priest, but his patriotic feeling brought him into dis- 
favor with the authorities, so that he abandoned that pro- 
fession and entered on a varied career as journalist, dra- 
matist and political agitator. For oMadame Ristori he 
composed the tragedy ''Bianca Capello," and for Salvini 
"Fasma" and "11 Tesoro." For a time he was banished 
from Italy but afterward returned and held literary pro- 
fessorships at Milan, Venice and Naples, where he died. 
As a lyric poet he took high rank. 

Giovanni Prati (1805-18S4) was best known by his 
political songs and lyrics but wrote also "Edmenegarda" 
( 1841), a narrative poem in Byron's style, a satire "Satan 
and the Graces" (1855), and some epics. 


Of contemporary Italian poets the greatest is Giosue 
Carducci, born in 1836. To his example is attributed the 
marked revival of poetry in recent times. As Leopardi 
represented the hopeless apathy of Italy under foreign 
domination, Carducci expresses the joy of the nation in 
its new life. He is a professor in the University of 
Bologna. His first work to attract attention was the 
"Kymn to Satan," published in 1865 under an assumed 
name. It was really a celebration of the advent of science 
and free thought, and showed strong love of Hellenic cul- 
ture. This Paganism is displayed in his other poems, 
just as it was in the works of artists and poets of the 
Renaissance of the Sixteenth Century. It interferes with 
the modern poet's regard for the Christian Dante, whom 


he otherwise reverences as the supreme master of ItaHan 
literature. In his "Odi Barbare" (Barbarian Odes) Car- 
ducci has endeavored to introduce new meters into ItaUan. 
Thoroughly versed in the literary history of his country, 
he has published some able treatises upon it. Strong 
national feeling, a thoroughly modern spirit, and a love 
of art are seen in all his work. 

Two writers of later birth have secured more atten- 
tion abroad — the traveler Edmondo De Amicis, born in 
1846, and the novelist Gabriele D'Annunzio, born in 1864. 
De Amicis had been a soldier, and was a journalist when, 
in 1869, his volume of short stories called "Military Life," 
at once scored a success. Other stories from civil life 
kept up his reputation. But his brilliant books of travel — 
"Holland," "Morocco," "Spain," "London," "Paris," and 
"Constantinople," have not only been highly popular in 
Italian, but when translated into other tongues have 
attained equal success. They are picturesque, full of 
enthusiasm, and exhibit the best aspects of every land and 
people that he has visited. D'Annunzio, born on the 
Southern Adriatic coast, began his career at the early age 
of sixteen with a volume of riotously erotic poems, but 
after some others of similar character, became serious and 
even pessimistic. French critics were the first to give him 
full recognition as a master of melodious verse. His 
first novel, "Pleasure" (1889), was as objectionable as his 
early poems. His "Giovanni Episcopo" is a tragedy of 
low life, in which a weak man, long tyrannized over by a 
brutal companion, at last stabs him for beating his wife 
and child. In "The Triumph of Death," a sensualist is 
pursued by the thought of death and at last commits sui- 
cide by leaping from a cliff into the sea. In the "Maidens 
of the Crag," an Italian, wearied with the corruption of 


Roman society, retires to his native mountain, and finds 
three charming sisters. The problem is, Which will he 
choose? D'Annunzio belongs to the naturalistic school of 
fiction, but he surpasses its French representatives by the 
poetic beauty of his style. 


When Napoleon in 1808 humiliated Spain by treacher- 
ously seizing its King and placing his own brother Joseph 
on the throne, the intensely proud and loyal people rose in 
fviry against the outrage. Although in open warfare they 
were soon overcome, they maintained a guerilla struggle 
for years. This seemingly insignificant trouble proved 
to be the beginning of the end for the hitherto irresistible 
Emperor. It might have been expected that this momen- 
tous uprising of the nation would have important effects 
on its literature, which had long been under French influ- 
ences. But the style of the most ardent patriotic writers 
remained thoroughly French. 

Manuel Jose Quintana (1772-1857) has been called 
the Spanish Tyrtseus, from the aid which his popular songs 
lent to the patriotic cause. His spirited drama, "Pelayo'^ 
(1805), and his rhetorical "Lives of Celebrated Span- 
iards" (1807) were written to incite opposition to foreign 
oppression. When the Bourbon King, Ferdinand, was 
restored, Quintana, as a constitutionalist, suffered impris- 
onment for six years. Later some amends were made for 
this unworthy treatment, and in 1855 Queen Isabella II 
crowned with laurel the aged poet who had been her 

The first Romantic poet of Spain was Angel de Saave- 
dra, Duke of Rivas (i 791- 1865), who held firmly to the 
national traditions in his epics, "Florinda" (1825), which 
treated of the Moorish conquest of Spain, and "El Moro 
Esposito" (The Moorish Foundling) (1835). His 



drama, "Don Alvaro," also maintained the manner of the 
old theater of Spain, But Jose de Espronceda (1810- 
1842) belonged to the cosmopolitan school of Byron. His 
lyrics are full of fiery defiance to authority. His short 
life was unsettled and his Liberal politics made him some- 
times an exile. During a residence in London he wrote 
a pathetic elegy "To Spain." An unhappy love affair 
inspired his "Canto to Teresa." His unfinished "El 
Diablo Mundo" (The World Spirit) is the story of an old 
man who receives the boon of immortal youth, but yields 
to the cynical instruction of a hardened villain, and enters 
upon a career of crime. In "The Student of Salamanca" 
Espronceda portrayed the lawlessness of his own char- 

Don Jose Zorrilla (18 17- 1893) was the next repre- 
sentative of the Romantic school. The legendary history 
of Spain was ransacked for subjects for his dramas and 
epics. His "Don Juan Tenoro" (1844) gave a religious 
turn to that Spanish story. His comedies in the old Span- 
ish style suited the popular taste. He wrote hastily, care- 
lessly and voluminously. He went to Mexico, where he 
was patronized by the Emperor Maximilian. Before his 
protector's death he returned to Spain and was assisted by 
others until the Government granted him a pension. In 
1889 he was publicly crowned with gold at Granada. 
His aim had been to revive national independence in liter- 
ature. The last dramatist who adhered to the old Span- 
ish style was Manuel Breton de los Herreros ( 1796- 1873), 
who wrote a hundred comedies. 

Like George Eliot and George Sand, the most emi- 
nent woman writer of Spain took a masculine pen-name 
in order to obtain a fair hearing. Fernan Caballero is 
the assumed name of the lady who was at first Cecilia 
Eohl de Faber (1796- 1877). Her father, a German 


merchant in Cadiz, had married a Spanish lady of noble 
family. The daugiiter, born at Morges, Switzerland, was 
educated in Germany and traveled much with her parents, 
but was always passionately devoted to Spain. She was 
married thrice to Spaniards, lost her fortune, and when 
past fifty turned to literature for support. Her story, 
"La Gaviota" (The Sea-gull), appearing in 1849, at once 
made her famous. Other stories followed, but never sur- 
passed the first. They are deeply imbued with fervent 
Catholicism, devotion to the glories of the past, hostility 
to all innovations and modern improvements. The poetic 
side of Andalusian peasant life is especially revealed in 
her books. She resided in Seville, and had favor at the 
court of Queen Isabella 11. For ten years she was gover- 
ness of the royal children. In 1859 she published the first 
collection of Spanish fairy tales. Her object throughout 
was to sketch with exactness the home life of the people 
of both higher and lower classes, and thus give a correct 
view of Spain and its people. Though aiming at real- 
ism, as well as morality, her cheerful religious spirit helped 
to give an ideal color to her sketches. 

Another writer who assisted in making the modem 
novel popular was Telesforo Trueba y Cosio (1798- 1835), 
who emigrated to England in 1823, and wrote there most 
of his works. He plainly imitated Sir Walter Scott, but 
drew his subjects from Spanish history. He wrote also 
historical novels and other works in English. 

Among those who strenuously opposed foreign influ- 
ences was Don Serafin Estebanez Calderon (i 801 -1867), 
who collected a vast library of old Spanish literature, espe- 
cially ballads, now incorporated in the National Library 
at Madrid. Besides some poems and historical works he 
published a novel and a pleasing volume of "Andalusian 

Sketches." In the effort to make his style idiomatic and 
Vol.. 9—25 


to avoid foreign words he used rare and provincial terms 
which obscure his meaning. Calderon was known as 
"The SoHtary." His nephew, the distinguished states- 
man, Canovas del Castillo, wrote his biography. 

The connecting link between the earlier style of novels 
and the present is found in the writings of Pedro Antonio 
de Alarcon (i 833-1891), In early life he was democratic 
but he afterward became conservative and was a councilor 
of state under Alfonso XII. Through most of his career 
he was an active journalist, and in 1859 he took part in a 
campaign in Morocco. His diary of this period made a 
fortune for his publishers. His most celebrated novel, 
"The Three-cornered Hat," is a quaint and humorous 
sketch of old-fashioned village life. "The Child of the 
Ball" is highly esteemed. "The Scandal" and "The 
Prodigal" are sensational stories. Alarcon was also a 
poe;t and critic of no small merit. 


The Revolution of 1868 drove from the throne of 
Spain the profligate Queen Isabella II, who had compen- 
sated for her scandalous behavior by allowing the eccles- 
iastical authorities to control the press. When a more 
liberal form of government was introduced, the press was 
granted freedom. This was soon seen in the criticisms 
of old institutions, and in the expression of modern opin- 
ions. In fiction the influence of English, Russian and 
French writers became manifest. Yet there was also a 
strong national spirit which led the writers to seek themes 
at home, either of the present day or the past, not too 

The honor of inaugurating the realistic novel in Spain 
is usually ascribed to Jose Maria de Pereda, who published 


In 1859 sketches of the maimers and customs of Santander 
the district on the Northern coast, in which he was born 
in 1834, His first novel, "Men of Property," which 
appeared in 1874, showed the rise of a country grocer, who 
is elected to the Cortes, but is afterward cheated out of his 
property and falls back into the lower class. In his sec- 
ond novel, "Don Gonzalo Gonzalez" (1878), the leading 
character has acquired wealth in the colonies and returns 
to enjoy it, but owing to his innate vulgarity finds him- 
self despised and avoided. In other books Pereda 
describes with equal force the life of the sea coast and the 
mountains of his native province. His style is forcible 
and idiomatic. The dialogue is true and racy. His 
humor is genuine Spanish of the old type. Pereda is 
intensely conservative, an upholder of absolutism. In lit- 
erature he is opposed to both Romanticism and classicism. 
Juan Valera, born in 1827, still holds an eminent place. 
He has been a professor of foreign literatures at Madrid, 
was secretary of legation in various capitals, and minister 
at Washington. Since his return to Madrid he has been 
afflicted with blindness. He had distinguished himself as 
a critical essayist and translator of poetry before he wrote 
his first novel "Pepita Ximenez" ( 1874) . In it he endeav- 
ored to portray the conflict in the mind of a devout young 
man, who had been trained by his uncle, the dean of a 
cathedral, to be a priest, while his father wished him to 
marry and inherit his estate. Pepita is a handsome young 
widow whose modest charms seize upon his heart and fin- 
ally control his action. Donna Luz, the heroine of another 
novel, also meets an interesting priest, but marries a man 
of the world. "The Illusions of Doctor Faustino" (1876) 
is the tragical story of a poor and philosophic patrician, 
who, finding himself unable to loosen the tangle of worldly 
affairs, commits suicide. In "Commander Mendoz^" 


( 1877), a story of the last Century, a Spanish commander 
having acquired a fortune in Peru, returns to his native 
land. There he meets Donna Blanca, with whom he had 
a liaison in Lima, and her daughter, Clara, who is also 
his child. To enable the latter to marry the man of her 
choice, the commander secretly sacrifices his wealth. Yet 
he is rewarded by winning the love of Lucia, his daughter's 
friend. All Valera's works are of the most polished style; 
he never introduces imitation of dialect. 

Benito Perez Galdos has been a prolific novelist in dif- 
ferent styles. He was born at Las Palmas in the Canary 
Islands in 1845, ^^d at the age of eighteen went to Madrid 
to study law. After trying the drama to no purpose, he 
began to write novels and in 1868 published "The Golden 
Fountain," a Romantic story which told of the rebellion 
of the young men of 1820 against the reactionary policy of 
Ferdinand VII. His next book, "The Fearless One" 
(1872) told tlie faithful love of a noble maiden for a 
youth who fell in that Rebellion. But in 1873 Galdos, 
in imitation of the Erckmann-Chatrian stories, began to 
issue a series of "National Episodes." They relate to 
the deliverance of Spain from the domination of the 
French; and the same characters appear in the successive 
stories. The first gives the Spanish view of the battle 
of Trafalgar; the second tells of the baggage which 
Joseph Bonaparte tried to carry out of Spain. In the 
"Battle of Salamanca" Gabriel, who tells all the stories, 
has risen through many adventures to be major and gives 
important aid to Wellington. In a second series Salvador 
Monsalud is the principal character. He had been driven 
by want to take service with the French, but is hated and 
despised by his countrymen. The "Episodes" are well 
constructed, graphic in style, full of life and movement. 
Galdos wrote next some "purpose" novels, of w*hich 


"Donna Perfecta," is the best. In this a bright young 
engineer who is about to marry his beautiful cousin, finds 
unexpected difficulties arise in his way; he shocks the 
prejudices and incurs the enmity of everybody in the 
village except his true-hearted betrothed; but it is discov- 
ered that all these troubles are due to one woman who 
wished her homely son to win the prize. Galdos turned at 
last to simple realism, setting down the ordinary affairs 
of life without any purpose of teaching or surprising the 
reader. Yet in these he happens upon the deepest trage- 
dies, as in "The Disowned" (1881), and "Reality" 

A younger novelist, whose stories have been trans- 
lated into various languages, is Armando Palacio Valdes, 
born in 1853. He excels in rural description and the 
portraiture of young women, using sometimes the free- 
dom of French writers, yet adhering to morality. He was 
born at Entralgo, near Oviedo, in the northwest of Spain, 
and studied law at Madrid. These places and neighbor- 
ing towns furnish the scenes of his novels. He became 
secretary of the Athenaeum at Madrid, and editor of "The 
European Review." His first novel, "Senorito Octavio" 
(1881) was humorous, sentimental, and somewhat melo- 
dramatic. A better one is his "Martha and Mary" 
(1883) translated into English under the title "The Mar- 
quis of Penalta." Mary, the young and beautiful hero- 
ine, gifted with a splendid voice, has become possessed 
with so strong religious devotion that she practices the 
asceticism of mediaeval saints. She also is induced to 
believe that placing Don Carlos on the throne will advance 
the cause of religion, and therefore engages in a plot which 
results in her being arrested. A realistic romance is 
"The Fourth Estate" (1888), which tells of the found- 
ing of a newspaper in a primitive village. The main plot 


shows how a young engineer's engagement with a plain 
sincere girl is broken by the wiles of her prettier younger 
sister. In "Sister San Sulpicio" (1889) a gay girl who 
has been induced to enter a convent finds her true happi- 
ness in leaving it for the love of a devoted admirer. 

Although political wTiters are usually excluded from 
treatment in literary history, an exception is made in 
favor of Emilio Castelar, whose eloquence as an orator 
and prominence as a statesman have made his name famil- 
iar throughout the world. He was born at Cadiz in 1832, 
and at the age of twenty-two was conspicuous in the Lib- 
eral party. He became professor of history in the Uni- 
versity of Madrid. In 1866 he was arrested and con- 
demned to death for participation in a revolutionary 
attempt, but escaped from Spain. Returning after the 
Revolution of 1868 he opposed the restoration of mon- 
archy. After the resignation of King Amadeo Castelar 
was made president of the Spanish Republic, but being 
unable to suppress the Carlists resigned in 1874 and went 
abroad. Again he returned and was elected to the Cortes. 
He now declared that Spain insists on having monarchi- 
cal government and he accepts that conclusion. Among 
his numerous works the most noted are "Democratic 
Ideas" (1858), "Parliamentary Speeches" (1871), "Old 
Rome and New Italy" (1873). 

While the novel has been the most absorbing part of 
Spanish literature in the Nineteenth Century the drama 
has not been altogether neglected. In this field there has 
been the same struggle as in that of romance. Some 
playwrights adhered strictly to the forms of the old Span- 
ish drama, others drew their inspiration from France. 
The former wrote in the style of Calderon, the latter ini 
that of the younger Dumas. Zorrilla wrote in the former 
style, but his rivals seemed to be preferred. But in the 


contemporary period Jose Echegaray has been acknowl- 
edged as the most vital force in the drama. He was born 
at Madrid in 1832, and became a civil engineer and profes- 
sor of mathematics. He took part in the Revolution of 
1868 and has thrice been a member of the cabinet. His 
first dramatic work was "The Check-Book" (1872), but 
his fame was established by the tragedy of "Madman or 
Saint?" (1877). In this the hero finds himself unable to 
induce his friends to accept his view that every man is 
bound to render obedience to the moral law at whatever 
sacrifice. Tlie dramatist also insists on the necessary 
punishment of sin but makes it overtake the innocent as 
well as the guilty, and in this shows his tendency to pessi- 
mism. He is at his best in the exhibition of passion. 
Several dramas of notable excellence followed, the grand- 
est being "The Great Galeoto" (1881) which exhibits the 
terrible results of evil speaking, even when no evil is 
intended. The genius of Echegaray is chiefly tragic, yet 
he has produced some lighter pieces, the best of which is 
"A Budding Critic." 

With the genuine revival of the novel and the drama 
in truly national spirit there seems no reason to doubt 
that Spain has entered on a new literary era, which may 
be as fruitful as her Golden Age. 



At the beginning of the Nineteenth Century Ameri- 
can hterature had but a small legacy from Colonial and 
Revolutionary authors. Our forefathers had been com- 
pelled to exercise their powers mostly in the development 
and control of the material and political problems of the 
New World. And yet much time and attention as they 
gave to these urgent matters there were two things which 
most of them prized above all worldly considerations — 
religion and religious freedom. Pilgrims and Puritans, 
Separatists and Quakers, Huguenots and Roman Catho- 
lics, had all come to this country that they mjght have a 
place in which to worship God according to the dictates of 
their own conscience. Nor were the stout Churchmen, 
the first settlers of Virginia, less pronounced in their pro- 
fession of faith. When the British colonists began to 
realize their actual separation from the mother country, 
with all its benefits and privileges, they set themselves 
rigorously to work to supply their needs according to their 
own estimate of the comparative importance of these. To 
obtain a learned and godly ministry seemed a prime neces- 
sity. Hence the early establishment of colleges — Har- 
vard and Yale in the Seventeenth Century. Though 
both bear the name of English benefactors, they really 
depended on the support of the colonists themselves. In 
loyal Virginia, the ancient William and Mary received 
more substantial aid from England and bears the name of 



the sovereigns who granted its charter ; yet it has not been 
able to survive the vicissitudes of later revolutions. 
King's College, founded in New York City, in the same 
loyal spirit, afterward entered on a new career as Columbia 
College, and has commenced a still more promising era as 
Columbia University. Dartmouth, near the northern 
frontier of New Hampshire, was a missionary enterprise, 
intended to benefit Indians as well as whites, but found 
its work practically confined to the latter. Princeton, in 
New Jersey, and Brown at Providence, Rhode Island, 
depended on denominational support, the former from 
Presbyterians, the latter from Baptists. The University 
of Pennsylvania is the outgrowth of one of the numerous 
proposals of Benjamin Franklin for the benefit of his fel- 
low citizens of Philadelphia. In all of these educational 
institutions a large majority of the graduates before the 
Nineteenth Century became ministers in various churches. 
The intellectual activity aroused in the colonies was chiefly 
directed to religious and theological questions. The few 
printers that set up their hand presses in the colonies were 
employed in printing sermons and religious treatises, as 
well as laws and proclamations, almanacs and handbills. 
The learned and industrious Cotton Mather is said to have 
published four hundred works, mostly sermons, solemn 
and full of quotations from all sources. His ponderous 
history of New England is ca\\ed''Christi Magnalta Ameri- 
cana" (The Great Works of Christ in America) . It treats 
more of the churches, the ministers, and their little con- 
troversies, and their political activity, than of the progress 
of the people in other matters. The greatest intellect of 
New England in the Eighteenth Century belonged to Jon- 
athan Edwards, who astonished the philosophers of Great 
Britain by the metaphysical ability shown in his treatise 
"On the Freedom of the Will." In his "History of 


Redemption" he set forth the unity of all history and thus 
anticipated the German philosophers, whose speculations 
were to be so fruitful in that field. 

But besides theolog}' Americans were compelled to give 
attention to questions of government. The revolutions in 
England produced important corresponding changes in 
the colonies, and aroused animated discussion from one 
end of the land to the other. The endeavor to protect the 
rights of the colonists, inherited or acquired, led to close 
study of charters, laws and acts of Parliament. The ulti- 
mate result was seen in the Constitution of the United 
States, which was not struck off at one blow, but was 
framed by careful examination and discussion of many 
plans already in operation here and there through the coun- 
try. Enlightened publicists in Europe, who had imagined 
that the Americms were a rabble of law-defying revolu- 
tionists were surprised on reading their political docu- 
ments to find in them nearly every element of personal and 
national greatness. Thomas Jefferson takes high rank 
among the political writers of his time, and the ''Declar- 
ation of Independence," for literary merit, is not only 
worthy of the highest enconiums, but stands unmatched in 
the annals of the world. Benjamin Franklin, who added 
a few touches to that document, was also eminent as a 
practical philosopher able to reach the hearts of his coun- 
trymen by his pithy proverbs and pointed paragraphs. 
Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. by 
their masterly exposition of the Constitution in "The Fed- 
eralist" have laid the American people under lasting obli- 
gations which have been duly acknowledged. John 
Adams was a writer of state papers not inferior in style 
to those of his great contemporaries. George "Washing- 
ton, though reserved in speech, and more accustomed and 
inclined to action, made his Presidential addresses, and 

AMERICA!^ 395 

particularly his ever-memorable *Tarewell Address," 
models of a pure and effective literary style. 

The American Revolution developed not only states- 
men and writers of public documents but also orators who 
possessed the faculty of so presenting the questions of their 
time as to excite the feelings of the people, to prove to 
them that the imposition of a trifling tax on tea or a stamp 
on paper involved the great question of liberty, and to 
arouse them to action on its behalf. When the great ora- 
tors from Patrick Henry to Fisher Ames had so moved 
the hearts of the people, there were responses not only in 
assemblies and associations, in preparation for war and 
actual fighting, but in a general outburst of patriotic songs, 
ballads, and doggerel, which seem to suit well with the 
Continental fife and drum. The best of all the satires 
of the Revolution was Trumbull's "MacFingal," a Yankee 
imitation and perversion of Butler's "Hudibras." It 
marks well the ludicrous side of the turbulent epoch, and 
held the Tories up to popular ridicule. Captain Philip 
Freneau, a mariner of Huguenot descent, was the chief 
laureate of the Revolutionary War. 

It was through the newspapers that Freneau and 
Franklin and writers of less capacity reached the great 
public. Newspapers had begun to appear early in that 
Century. In 1704 the first American newspaper, "The 
Boston News-Letter," was established. The second, "The 
New England Courant," was started by James Franklin 
in 1720. His troubles in connection with it are well 
known from his younger brother Benjamin's famous 
"Autobiography." While James by order of the Colonial 
Assembly was imprisoned for some unfortunate para- 
graphs the paper was issued in the name of Benjamin, 
then but a boy. Yet gradually the press worked its way 
to freedom in spite of stupid governors and assemblies. 


In 1765, at the time of the Stamp Act, there were forty 
newspapers in the British American Colonies. 


In the year 1800, gateway to a Century of almost magi- 
cal national development, the population of the free States 
was 2,684,616, of the slave States, 2,621,316, making a 
total of 5,305,932. Philadelphia was the chief city of the 
Nation. It had been the national capital during the Revo- 
lution, though it fell for a time into possession of the 
British army. Here the Declaration of Independence, the 
Articles of Confederation, and the Federal Constitution 
had been framed and signed. Here the Federal Congress 
met and Washington held his Republican court. Here 
were the American Philosophical Society, which had 
grown out of Franklin's Junto ; the Philadelphia Library, 
mother of all institutions of the kind ; and the University 
of Pennsylvania, likewise the outgrowth of Franklin's 
matchless genius for public enterprise. The first Ameri- 
can monthly magazine had been issued here by Franklin 
in 1741. After the establishment of peace in 1783 other 
magazines were issued, the principal being the "American 
Museum." The city therefore was the literary center of 
the ncAV Nation, though the political capital was in 1800 
removed to Washington. Foreigners of distinction still 
resorted to Philadelphia, whether they came to visit or to 
settle in the New World. It boasted itself to be the Amer- 
ican Athens. 

Noah Webster, long regarded as the American author- 
ity in orthography, was in other senses a man of letters, 
and deserves note as a pioneer of literature. He was born 
in West Hartford, Connecticut, in 1758, being descended 
from the first settlers. As a young student of Yale in the 


spring of 1775, he played the fife proudly before the col- 
lege escort, accompanying George Washington on his way 
to Cambridge to take command as General-in-Chief of the 
new Continental Army. After shouldering a gun as a 
volunteer private in a campaign without a battle, Webster 
studied law under Oliver Ellsworth, later chief-justice; 
then fell into his life career as a school teacher, although 
later admitted to the Hartford bar. In 1782, while teach- 
ing a classical school at Goshen, N. Y., he compiled his 
"Grammatical Institute of the English Language," the 
germ of his great "Unabridged." He afterward removed 
to Philadelphia and there taught school and wrote pam- 
phlets in the interest of the Federal party. For twenty- 
five years the chief support of his family was the penny 
royalty on his "Spelling Book." Yet he industriously 
waged his pioneer work for reformed spelling and a New 
World system of language. In 1806 he gave to America 
his "Compendious Dictionary." By continued shifts the 
self-taught dictionary-maker finally developed his nucleus 
into his "American Dictionary," in two volumes quarto, 
published in London in 1828. Horace E. Scudder 
declares in his appreciative biography, "Webster was the 
prophet of a national independence, in which language 
and literature were involved as inseparable elements." 

Joseph Dennie, then called the "American Addison," 
had come to Philadelphia, in 1799, as clerk to Secretary 
of State Timothy Pickering. He had been born in Bos- 
ton in 1767, had failed to continue a pupil at Harvard, 
had attempted law, and at last had drifted into his Bohe- 
mian career in journalism. In January, 1801, he began the 
publication of "The Port-Folio" under the sobriquet of 
"Oliver Oldschool, Esq." He was the most picturesque 
figure of his day in the then metropolitan city on the banks 
of the Delaware. The Port-Folio was praised by Josiah 


Quincy as the best American magazine of its day, "no whit 
behind the best Enghsh." Dennie himself had a timid 
reverence for the mother country, and he and his col- 
leagues drew their inspiration from Pope and Addison. 
"To study with a view of becoming an author by profes- 
sion in America," wrote Dennie, "is a prospect of no less 
flattering promise than to publish among the Esquimaux 
an essay on delicacy of taste, or to found an academy of 
sciences in Lapland." 

Other authors of the Eighteenth Century still sur- 
vived : John Trumbull, at the age of fifty, author of the 
Revolutionary satire "McFingal," and chief survivor of 
the group known as the "Hartford Wits;" Joel Barlow, 
aged forty-five, whose prodigious epic, the "Columbiad," 
was issued in Philadelphia in 1807, and dedicated to Rob- 
ert Fulton, famous for his steamboat; William Dunlap, 
aged thirty-four, who had written plays, "The Father," 
and "Andre," and who was yet to write the "History of 
the American Theater;" Joseph Hopkinson, aged thirty, 
whose song, "Hail Columbia" — written in 1798, during 
the French excitement, to the then popular air of the 
"President's March" — shared public popularity with the; 
celebrated ode of Robert Treat Paine, Jr., "Adams and 
Liberty." It was not long afterward eclipsed by the 
"Star Spangled Banner," the words of which were com- 
posed by Francis Scott Key, a Marylander, during the 
British bombardment of Fort McHenry in 18 14. 

Philip Freneau did not die until December 18, 1832, 
when nearly eighty-one years old. This satirical poet of 
the Revolutionary era had witnessed remarkable progress 
in his nation and the world. Of Huguenot descent, he 
was a classmate of Madison at Princeton College, after- 
ward a British prisoner of war, and later a savage satirist. 
He lent his pen, on the birth of the Republic, to Jefferson 


and the Democrats, and so bitter were his newspaper 
attacks upon the administration that Washington has 
handed him down to posterity in the epithet, "That rascal 
Freneau." And yet, while this "rascal's" satires and 
lampoons have faded away, he still deserves indelible 
credit as the first real American poet. The English poet 
Campbell did not hesitate to appropriate one of his most 
effective lines, and Sir Walter Scott did him the honor to 
borrow, in "Marmion," the final line of one of his stanzas, 
"They took the spear, but left the shield." Freneau 
handled effectively Indian themes. "In his verses, says 
Professor Beers, "appear for the first time, a sense of the 
picturesque and poetic elements in the character and wild 
life of the redman, and that pensive sentiment which the 
fading away toward the sunset has left in the wake of their 
retreating footsteps." The Indian was already becoming 
a strange, half-legendary figure to the dwellers in the 
American towns, and Freneau's "Indian Student" is 
brought from the remote backwoods : 

"From Susquehanna's farthest springs, 
Where savage tribes pursue their game 
(His blanket tied with yellow strings), 
A shepherd of the forest came." 

Even in his day he found "the hunter and the deer a 
shade." In his romantic and poetic appreciation of the 
American aboriginal, Freneau anticipated, in a mild way, 
"The Leather Stocking Tales" of Cooper and Longfel- 
low's legend of "Hiawatha." 

Of Joel Barlow, it may be noted that he had been one 
of the "Hartford Wits," earnest patriots in the Revolution. 
But Barlow deserted Hartford for France, where he wrote 
his thoroughly American mock epic, "Hasty Pudding," 
and yet became so plague-stricken a Frenchman that he 
wrote a song in praise of the guillotine. In 1805 he 


returned and published in sumptuous style his work, the 
"Columbiad," in which Hesper fetches Columbus from his 
Spanish prison "to a hill of vision" where the entire pano- 
rama of American — or Columbian — history is unrolled 
before his eyes. This artificial "Vision," with its machin- 
ery borrowed from Milton, and its heroic couplet from^ 
Pope, has sunk into oblivion. 

Dr. Timothy Dwight's moralizing poem, "Greenfield 
Hill," descriptive of his own rural parish, gave him con- 
temporary luster as one of the poets of Connecticut. But 
he is now known only by his "Travels in New England 
and New York," published posthumously in 182 1 and 
praised by Southey. These descriptions of the Niagara 
Falls, White Mountains, and the Catskills exerted influence 
in calling attention to the grandeur and inspiring char- 
acter of American scenery. James Hall, in his "Letters 
from the West," had before this written, "The vicinity of 
Pittsburg may one day wake the lyre of the Pennsylvania 
bard to strains as martial and as sweet as Scott; . . . 
believe me, I should tread with as much reverence over the 
mausoleum of a Shawnee chief, as among the catacombs 
of Egypt, and speculate with as much delight upon that 
site of an Indian village as in the gardens of Tivoli, or 
the ruins of Herculaneum." The first collection of Amer- 
ican poems was selected and edited by Elihu H. Smith 
as far back as 1793, and a second collection, the "Colum- 
bian Muse," appeared in the year following. 


It is necessary to turn now to the true pioneer in the 
realm of the American novel. Charles Brockden Brown, 
the first American professional man of letters, as well as 


first of all Cis-Atlantic writers of fiction, was born in 
Philadelphia in 1771, was educated in the school of Robert 
Proud, the historian of Pennsylvania, and would have 
entered the bar but for ill health. His first published article 
appeared in the "Columbian Magazine" of August, 1789, 
and in 1806 he himself became an editor. Perhaps his 
invalidism put him in peculiar sympathy with those 
ghostly, ghastly, "clumsy-horrible" English romances 
before Scott's Waverley Novels — those of "Monk" Lewis, 
Walpole, and Mrs. Radcliffe. From William Godwin it 
was that Brown caught the style of his first work, "Alcuin, 
a Dialogue on the Rights of Women" (1797). Godwin's 
"Falkland" and "Caleb Williams" furnished the models 
for Brown's "Wieland" (1798), a story of crime com- 
mitted by means of ventriloquism, and "Ormond" ( 1799). 
Shelley was under the spell of "Wieland," according to 
his own confession, in writing "Zastrozzi" and "St. 
Irvyne." Godwin's influence on Brown thus returned 
upon Godwin's son-in-law. Sir Walter Scott also 
admired this American novelist, naming the hero of "Guy 
Mannering" after him, and calling one of its characters 
Arthur Merwyn. Brown's novel, "Arthur Merwyn" 
(1799), contains vivid descriptions of the scenes in Phila- 
delphia during the terrible yellow fever pestilence of 1793. 
Brown's somber genius "for churchyard romance" found 
a congenial theme in this narrative of the horrors of a 
plague. His next work, "Edgar Huntley," followed the 
fortunes of a somnambulist in the mountains of Western 
Pennsylvania. This curious plot of sleep-walking was as 
strange as the ventriloquism of the villain in his first novel, 
which led the hero to believe in spiritual voices and to kill 
his wife and children; but the incidental descriptions of 

wilderness scenery atoned for much. Weak as his style 
Vol.. 9— 


now seems, be deserves credit as the first writer to discover 
the capabihty of romance in America, its scenery, and its 


The author who was first to gain for American htera- 
ture a recognized place in European eyes was ^^^ashington 
Irving. Born in New York City in 1783, the year of the 
peace between Great Britain and the United States, he was 
named after the great Commander-in-Chief and first 
President of the Republic, and, while yet a child, "blessed" 
by him. His was indeed an international mission to heal 
to some extent by the sympathetic charm of his style and 
his personality the breach between the two countries, 
aggravated by the second war of 1812. He became "the 
first literary Ambassador of the New World to the Old." 
Like a loyal son of the soil, he breathed the breath of liter- 
ary immortality into the traditions of his own country, as 
well as voyaged to England and began to write about Eng- 
lish scenes and associations. Born of a Scotch father and 
an English mother, he belonged in religion to the conser\-a- 
tive Episcopalians. Professor Richardson has remarked, 
he was "the first conspicuous American author who was 
neither a Puritan nor a Southron; his local tone is that of 
New York City and the Hudson." Quick to assimilate 
the customs and characteristics of other lands, he was the 
first to make distinctly American themes familiar to the 
world of letters. The main reason for this lay in his truly 
Addisonian style, the result of close acquaintance with the 
English essayists of the Eighteenth Century. Irving. 
like Bryant and Longfellow after him, studied law, but 
he found his true bent when he contributed, in 1802, to 
his brother Peter's newspaper, "The New York Morning 
Chronicle," a series of letters over the signature of "Jona- 


than Oldstyle," satirizing the town folUes and foibles, and 
reflecting the theaters and coffee-houses. While he still 
groped toward his destiny his ill-health gave the decisive 
turn to his observation. He walked much along the Pali- 
sades and in the Hudson region, thus becoming familiar 
with the scenes he was later to adorn with humorous fancy 
and romance. In 1804, when he was twenty-one, his 
persistent ill health led to a sea voyage and a "grand tour" 
of Europe — then a rare thing — covering two years. To 
quote Professor Richardson again: "The American 
author was getting his education; the crude Westerner 
was becoming a citizen of the world. To see Mrs. Sid- 
dons and Kemble; to talk with the greatest of talkers, 
Madame de Stael; to tread the pavement of Westminster 
Abbey or St. Peter's; to gaze on Vesuvius and the Coli- 
seum — all this was a new experience for an American. 
. . . Brockden Brown introduced the weird, the 
romantic, the appalling, the native American, and made 
a failure, on the whole; Irving, using the English manner 
for his treatment of American themes, made one of those 
happy compromises to which pioneers sometimes owe their 

After returning to New York, Irving eventually 
gathered around him a group of friends now known as the 
Knickerbocker school, which comprised James Kirke 
Paulding (a connection of Irving by marriage, who after- 
ward became Secretary of the Navy, under Van Buren), 
and the poets Drake and Halleck. All four were Knicker- 
bockers to the bone. Together with Paulding, Irving 
now followed up his early boyish letters with the lively 
"Salmagundi" papers ( 1807-8) . This little paper became 
the playful satirical censor of that society which dwelt on 
the island of Manhattan. Behind the mock individ- 
ualities of such pseudonyms as Anthony Evergreen, 


Launcelot Langstaff, and William Wizard, these wits 
indulged their varied rapier play and thrust of mirth at 
the provincial town that was yet to astonish the world by 
its growth in size, riches, and power. It was a spirit of 
fun akin to that which inspired "Salmagundi," that 
prompted Irving to that elaborate burlesque-chronicle, 
Knickerbocker's "History of New York," designed at 
first as a mere parody of Samuel L. Mitchill's pretentious 
and then newly-issued "Picture of New York." The 
book, prefaced by a circumstantial account of the fabulous 
Diedrich Knickerbocker, and of the way in which the man- 
uscript came into the editor's hands, became in the course 
of development a jest upon real history, the result being 
an immortally amusing cartoon of the Dutchman of the 
original Nieuw Amsterdam. Irving made humorous use 
of the old Dutch traditions, clustering them about the 
romantic scenery of the Hudson. Its mock heroic charac- 
ter had at times the coarseness of Fielding. The most 
familiar episode in the book is the description of the mus- 
tering of the clans under Peter Stuyvesant and the attack 
on the Swedish Fort Christiana. Walter Scott declared 
Diedrich to be a cousin of Swift and of Sterne. Encour- 
aged by his success, Irving made ten years later a fresh 
incursion into the Dutch traditions of his native State. 
The immortal story of Rip Van Winkle, the vagabond 
of the Catskills, and his twenty years' nap, and the 
"Legend of Sleepy Hollow," with its quaint picture of 
the Yankee schoolmaster, Ichabod Crane, gave Irving a 
new claim to European consideration; as did his later 
flights in this realm of fiction, such as Dolph Heydiger in 
"Bracebridge Hall," "The Money Diggers," "Kidd the 
Pirate," and "Wolfert Weber" in the "Tales of a Trav- 
eler;" and the late published "Wolfert's Roost." But Irv- 
ing simultaneously in "The Sketch Book of Geoffrey 


Crayon, Gent.," published in London during his second 
sojourn abroad, and in "Bracebridge Hall" was the new 
Columbus to rediscover "Merry Old England" — for 
Americans. His pleasant description of English country 
life and its good old Yuletide cheer was also supplemented 
by such tales of pathos as "The Broken Heart," over 
which Byron is said to have wept, and "The Pride of the 
Village." His Westminster Abbey meditation has been 
praised as equal to that on the same theme in Addison's 
"Spectator." Irving also opened up for Englishmen as 
well as Americans a new literary Mecca in Shakespeare's 
birthplace, Stratford-on-Avon, which has since his time 
been a favorite point of pilgrimage for the entire English- 
speaking race. He investigated, too, Shakespeare-land in 
London, at the Boar's Head Tavern. In the same finished 
style he wrote his "Tales of a Traveler," which rank high 
in the second class of American fiction. 

From 1842 to 1846 Washington Irving represented 
the United States as its Minister at Madrid. Attracted 
by his studies for the "Life and Voyages of Columbus," 
he found a new field of peculiar interest to Americans in 
the Iberian peninsula and in the romance of Spain. Truly 
picturesque are his succeeding books, "The Conquest 
of Granada," "The Companions of Columbus," and the 
"Alhambra." His history of "Mahomet and His Suc- 
cessors" was comparatively unsuccessful, but his "Life of 
Oliver Goldsmith" is a delightful literary memoir. Upon 
his return to American soil Irving was greeted as the great 
international representative of the motherland. Having 
won high honors for American literature abroad, he lapsed 
into modest retirement at Sunnyside, that now historic 
home of his on the banks of the Hudson, the river of his 
romance; and here he lived out, surrounded by friends 
and enacting the part of a sort of a national literary host, 


a ripe old age, the influence of which was as sweet and 
wholesome as his contributions to the world of letters. 
His "Life of Washington," intended to be the chief and 
crowning work of his career, is still consulted as an 
authority. He died at Tarrytown, N. Y., in 1859. 

Associated in memory with Irving are the poets Joseph 
Rodman Drake (1795-1820) and Fitz-Greene Halleck 
(1790- 1 867). These two comrades made their debut in 
the Irving style in the "Croaker Papers," a series of 
humorous and satirical verses contributed to the "New 
York Evening Post" during the Salmagundi period. In 
the year that Irving in Europe published "The Sketch 
Book" (1819), Drake gave America "The Culprit Fay." 
Three years before this, Bryant had produced his unique 
"Thanatopsis," and Drake's "Fay," a delicate fairy-tale 
of the Highlands of the Hudson, was the second best poem 
then produced in America. As Poe declared, this brilliant 
poem is fanciful rather than imaginative. Drake's patri- 
otic lyric, "The American Flag," is a spirited national 
anthem of the first luster. But this promising poet died 
at the age of twenty-five, lamented by Halleck in the touch- 
ing elegy, the first stanza of which runs : 

"Green be the turf above thee, 
Friend of my better days; 
None knew thee but to love thee, 
Nor named thee but to praise." 

Halleck himself lived half a century longer and wit- 
nessed the growth of a new literary New York. His noble 
ode on the Greek hero, Marco Bozzaris, is worthy to rank 
in its way with Drake's "American Flag," while his "Aln- 
wick Castle," a playful contrast between mediaeval and 
modern life, has a Praed-like daintiness. 



William Cullen Bryant (1794- 1878), who in early 
youth wrote anonymously a political satire, "The 
Embargo," was the first American poet of note. His 
stately hymn In blank verse, "Thanatopsis," which 
appeared in the "North American Review" in 1817, was 
a wonderful masterpiece of precocity, and won him an 
audience in England. Wordsworth is said to have learned 
the poem by heart, and in dignity of verse and majesty of 
style it is certainly still to be recognized as one of the poeti- 
cal masterpieces of this Century. Bryant, who was born 
in a little Massachusetts town, became America's great 
meditative poet of nature, fulfilling what Matthew Arnold 
asserts to be the peculiar office of modern poetry, and 
giving to nature its moral interpretation. His "Forest 
Hymn," "Blue Gentian," "Death of the Flowers," "Green 
River," "To a Water Fowl," "June," and "Evening Wind" 
belong to the great anthology of high American verse. 
Although a country lawyer before he came to New York 
in 1825, and a hard- worked journalist during his subse- 
quent long career in that busy mart, his heart ever 
remained in New England, cradled in the Berkshire Hills, 
and the fruit of his ripe old age, such as "The Planting 
of the Apple Tree" and "The Flood of Years," is still rosy 
with the flush of the springtime of his youth. Or rather, 
we think of Autumnal bloom more than Spring blossom. 
"Bryant," remarks Prof. Beers, "is our poet of 'the mel- 
ancholy days,' as Lowell is of June. . . . He is, in 
especial, the poet of Autumn, of the American October 
and the New England Indian Summer, that season of 
'dropping nuts' and 'smoky light.' " The majesty of 
"Thanatopsis" was reflected again in his "Battle Field," 
with its familiar stanza: 


"Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again, 
The eternal years of God are hers ; 
But Error, wounded, writhes in pain, 
And dies amid her worshipers." 

In the last decade of Bryant's life appeared his blank 
verse translations of the "Iliad" and "Odyssey," constitut-- 
ing one of the best metrical versions of Homer in the Eng- 
lish tongue. 


As Bryant may be regarded as the pioneer American 
poet, and Irving as the pioneer essayist and man of let- 
ters, so James Fenimore Cooper may be styled the first 
American novelist of true distinction. It is the fashion 
nowadays to criticise Cooper's style — even such a public 
jester as Mark Twain having taken that office upon him- 
self. There can be no doubt that Cooper was too prolific, 
too tediously prolix in his style, and actually trashy and 
insipid in his novels of society. But this should not blind 
us to the real merits of his greater romances, which far 
surpassed the writings of Irving in their intense 
Americanism, and which are almost as fascinating 
to-day as when they were first published. So great 
was their appeal to mankind that Morse, the electrician, de- 
clared in 1833: "In every city of Europe that 
I visited, the works of Cooper were conspicuously placed 
in the windows of every book-shop. They are published 
as soon as he produces them, in thirty- four different places 
in Europe. They have been seen by American travelers 
in the languages of Turkey and Persia, in Constantinople, 
in Egypt, at Jerusalem, and Ispahan." Cooper was one 
of the world's great story-tellers, whose defects of style 
are abundantly compensated by the invention of his nar- 
rative in plot and incident. He became, furthermore, the 


first voice of primeval America, of her virgin wilderness 
and her aboriginal children. He created the Indian as a 
life-size figure of literature, impressive even if idealized. 
And as he originated the novel of the forest, so to a certain 
extent he originated the novel of the sea. The early child- 
hood of Cooper was mainly passed in the wilderness at 
the very time, as his biographer says, when "the first 
wave of civilization was beginning to break against its 
hills. ... he was on the border, if he could not justly 
be said to be in the midst, of mighty and seemingly inter- 
minable woods. The settler's axe had as yet scarcely 
dispelled the perpetual twilight of the primeval forest. 
The little lake lay enclosed in a border of gigantic trees." 
When afterward in the first flush of his fame Cooper set 
out to revive the memory of the days of the pioneers, he 
said that he might have chosen for his subject happier 
periods, more interesting events and possibly more beau- 
teous scenes, but he could not have taken any that would lie 
so close to his heart. The spell of this scenery rests upon 
the reader of "The Pathfinder" in particular. 

Cooper (1789- 1 851), was born at Burlington, New 
Jersey, but in infancy was taken to the wilderness of Cen- 
tral New York. Finding his nature unadapted to 
the college life at Yale, he shipped as a lad be- 
fore the mast. After an apprenticeship on a mer- 
chant vessel he entered the United States Navy 
as midshipman In 1806. He married and resigned 
his commission just before the War of 18 12. His few 
years of sea service fitted him to be a great romancer of 
the salt water. A special expedition to Lake Ontario in 
1808 enabled him to draw, as well, that vivid picture of 
the great fresh- water sea in the novel just cited, and to 
make the amusing contrast between the old salt and the 
fresh-water sailors. Mere accident, however, led Cooper 


to the writing of any kind of novel. At the age of thirty 
he had written nothing, nor had he collected any material. 
Writing in itself was distasteful to him. He was one day 
reading to his wife a novel descriptive of English society; 
suddenly he laid down the book and said : ''I believe I 
could write a better story myself." The result was a novel 
(1820) entitled "Precaution." It was not merely a tale 
of English social life, but it purported to be written "by 
an Englishman," echoing English cant and even compli- 
menting George III. It was a practical failure, but Cooper 
resolved to try his hand upon a native theme. John Jay 
had told him the story of a shrewd, fearless, unselfish spy 
on the American side in the bitter struggle of the Revo- 
lution, in the Highlands of the Hudson. With this inspira- 
tion Cooper produced "The Spy, a Tale of the Neutral 
Ground" (1820). Its best characters are its skillfully 
drawn hero, Harvey Birch, and the commanding figure 
of Washington. "The Spy" made Cooper's reputation, 
both at home and abroad, and he now set about the task 
that lay near his heart — to describe the frontier life in 
which he had been trained. Two years later appeared 
"The Pioneers," itself the pioneer of the five famous 
romances now known as the "Leather Stocking Tales," of 
which series it is the poorest. Perhaps the best of the 
series, the "Last of the Mohicans," was next to appear. 
The former novel introduced a solitary old white hunter, 
whose home in the hills is being invaded by the advancing 
tide of settlement and of that civilization which he loathes. 
In the latter novel, this hunter had become idealized; he 
represents the knowledge, mystery and virtue of the silent 
forest. Cooper's Indians, Chingachgook and Uncas, also 
became idealized, until it became a joke that "Cooper's 
imaginary Indians belonged to a tribe that never existed." 


But if he gave a prominence to some virtues, real or imag- 
inary, of the Indian race, he was careful not to pass over 
their vices. Most of the warriors he introduces are 
depicted as crafty, bloodthirsty and merciless. Through- 
out the whole civilized world, whether his representation 
be true or false, the conception of the Indian remains as 
Cooper drew it in the two tales mentioned and in "The 
Prairie," "The Pathfinder," and the "Deerslayer," which 
completed the series. "Leatherstocking," the trapper, 
scout and backwoods philosopher — or Natty Bumpo, to 
give the hero his other name — was inspired by the actual 
personality and career of Daniel Boone, the pioneer of 
Kentucky. This man of the woods was the first real 
American in fiction. 

Of Cooper's sea tales, the two best were the "Pilot," 
founded upon the daring exploits of Paul Jones, and the 
"Red Rover," the introduction of which opens in the har- 
bors of Newport. Cooper's other tales include an Indian 
story of King Philip's War, "The Wept of Wish-ton- 
Wish," published in England as "The Borderers" and in 
France as "The Puritan in America," although the Puri- 
tan minister in it bears the repellent name of the Reverend 
Meek Wolf; "Satanstoe," a picture of colonial life and 
manners in New York during the middle of the Eighteenth 
Century, unsurpassed elsewhere and taking rank among 
his best stories; its sequel, "The Chain-Bearer"; and the 
"Water Witch." 

Cooper's tales reflected to a certain extent the new 
era of national expansion, for which a motto might be 
found in Bishop Berkeley's famous line, "Westward the 
course of Empire takes its way." The westward march 
and struggle are also dealt with in Irving's "Tour on the 
Prairies" and in Paulding's "Westward Ho!" as well as 


his poem, "The Backwoodsman." It was not long indeed 
before the new West was to produce a Hterature of its 


Meanwhile, in the East, although Irving and his asso- 
ciates had made the practical "retort courteous" to Sydney 
Smith's bitter taunt in the "Edinburgh Review" : "Who 
reads an American book?" it was nevertheless necessary 
for professional men of letters to adopt, as Bryant did, 
the bread-winning employment of the newspaper. Lit- 
erature as a profession did not really exist, and such giants 
of literary genius as Poe and Hawthorne, not to mention 
Lowell and others, belonged to a generation of poorly paid 
Bohemians. In the early forties two Philadelphia maga- 
zines began to pay their contributors what was then 
thought to be a princely munificence. "Godey's Lady's 
Book," which had the chief financial success among the 
Philadelphia magazines, had succeeded Dennie's "Port 
Folio" in the fine personnel of its contributors. It began 
in July, 1830, and its circulation grew several years later 
to 150,000 a month, largely due to its colored fashion 
plates. Somewhat dimmed by these prismatic fashions, 
some of the earliest compositions of Poe, Holmes, Lydia 
H. Sigourney, Frances S. Osgood, Longfellow, Bayard 
Taylor and Harriet Beecher Stowe, appeared in this mag- 
azine. Its chief rival was the "Gentleman's Magazine," 
which George R. Graham in 1841 purchased from William 
E. Burton, the actor, and renamed simply "Graham's 
Magazine," "There is one thing more," said Burton, after 
concluding the sale. "I want you to take care of my 
young editor." The "young editor" was Poe, who pub- 
lished "The Murderers of the Rue Morgue," "The Masque 
of the Red Death," and the poems "The Conqueror 


Worm" and "To Helen" and "Israfel" in its various num- 
bers. Later Rufus Wilmot Griswold, of somewhat 
unpleasant fame, sat in the editorial chair, and Lowell 
assisted Poe. Longfellow's "Spanish Student," Cooper's 
"Jack Tier," some of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Twice Told 
Tales" appeared in its pages. The Cary Sisters, Charles 
Fenno Hoffman, Thomas Dunn English, N. P. Willis, W. 
W. Story, and E. P. Whipple all contributed to it. Bayard 
Taylor and Charles Godfrey Leland are among the last 
names associated with it. 

Nathaniel Parker Willis came of a race of printers and 
publishers, and began his literary career by edit- 
ing illustrated Annuals for Samuel G. Goodrich. He was 
born in Portland, Maine, 1806, and died on the Hudson 
in 1867. In 1829 he established the "American Monthly 
Magazine," later merged in the "New York Mirror," a 
weekly established by Samuel Woodworth, the printer 
who wrote that familiar song, "The Old Oaken Bucket." 
Willis was associated with George P. Morris, also a song 
writer, but whose only surviving piece is "Woodman, 
Spare that Tree." Willis had distinguished himself at 
Yale by his "Scriptural Poems," written in blank verse. 
In personality Willis was not a Scriptural sort of figure. 
Though far from handsome, he dressed in the extreme of 
fashion and affected the dandified manners of a D'Orsay. 
He was a kindly helper of struggling literary aspirants, 
however, and as Thackeray, who was helped by him as an 
unknown, asserted, "It is comfortable that there should 
have been a Willis." Like Irving, he enjoyed a European 
tour, which resulted in "Pencilings by the Way" and "Ink- 
lings of Adventure," dashing sketches of foreign as well 
as American life. His style was sparkling and full of 
melody, but also jaunty and marred by frivolous conceits. 
He was, it is said, the most successful American magazin- 


ist of the second quarter of this Century. His studies of 
society life at American watering places of fifty years ago 
are still worth reading, and his ''Letters from Under a 
Bridge" make a charming rural series. 


In the Bohemian world of literary newspapers and 
magazines, Edgar Allen Poe (1809- 1849) found his des- 
tiny cast. He had been born in Boston, but he never 
belonged there, though his first volume, "Tamerlane and 
Other Poems," bore on its title page the words, "By a 
Bostonian." His father was a Marylander, for whom 
some biographers have claimed a noble descent, but who 
was a penniless actor and had married an actress. Early 
deprived of both parents, Poe was adopted by Mr. Allan, 
a wealthy merchant of Richmond, Va. For a time 
he was at school in England and afterward was a student 
at the University of Virginia, where his irregular 
nature was nurtured in the old cavalier vices of the South. 
He drank and gambled, ran in debt, indulged in perverse 
pride, and was finally disowned by his adoptive father, 
who had tried to make a soldier of him at West Point. 
Turning to literature for support, Poe won a prize of $100 
offered by a weekly paper for a story. His contribution 
was "The Manuscript Found in a Bottle." Being brought 
to the notice of John P. Kennedy, he was made editor of 
"The Southern Literary Messenger" at Richmond. He 
'married his cousin, Virginia Clemm, in 1836, and a year 
later went, first to New York, and then to Philadelphia, 
where he was editor of the "Gentleman's Magazine." 
When Graham purchased this periodical and changed its 
title to "Graham's Magazine," Poe was retained as editor, 
but fifteen months later he left it abruptly. He had in 


the meantime published "Tales of the Grotesque and Ara- 
besque" (1839), which gave him renown as a prose writer. 
They were soon translated into French, and since that time 
Poe's popularity in France has exceeded that of any other 
American writer. After seven years of literary hack- 
work in Philadelphia, Poe went back to New York and 
carried on the struggle for existence there. He was asso- 
ciated with Willis and in 1845 became proprietor of "The 
Broadway Journal," in which he published "The Raven," 
the poem which established his fame. His wife died of 
consumption in 1847, and two years later he himself died 
mysteriously in a Baltimore hospital, while on his way 
to Richmond to be married a second time. He had devel- 
oped signs strangely like insanity, and was picked up 
senseless in the streets of Baltimore. 

There was certainly much in Poe's character and life to 
call for censure. He drifted from one friend or supporter 
to another, but never attached himself long to any one. 
His literary distinction was entirely due to his own genius, 
yet there was enough of charlatanry in his rodomontade 
to justify Lowell's sharp couplet: 

There comes Poe with his Raven, like Barnaby Rudge, 
Three-fifths of him genius and two-fifths sheer fudge. 

In his "Essay on Composition" he declares that he 
composed "The Raven" on a strange, artificial principle, 
but this may be only an ironical hoax, somewhat on the 
order of his Hans Pfaal mystification. His theories on 
short poems and on the poetic art in general are often 
insincere, and yet his critical faculty was strong and his 
criticisms on his contemporaries were valuable, though not 
free from prejudice. His imagination was so powerful 
that it dominated his actual life, producing many prevari- 
cations and falsehoods, that still perplex his biographers. 
But in his literary work this active fancy produced most 


remarkable tales, sometimes, introducing curious mathe- 
matical problems, as in "The Gold Bug," sometimes super- 
natural incidents, as in "The Fall of the House of Usher," 
and sometimes strangely revolting features, as in "The 
Murder in the Rue Morgue." It is hard to believe that 
these grotesque and weird stories were the result of delib- 
erate calculation of effects, as the author asserted of some 
of them. Such combination of mathematical and imag- 
inative powers is unknown elsewhere in all the range of 
literature. It must be admitted that the stories are defi- 
cient in display of character, that the persons who act in 
them are merely pieces in the gam.e, and not really alive 
and self-determined. So also it is evident that Poe had 
no humor, and that his attempts at it are failures. In the 
preface to his "Poems," Poe declares, "Poetry has been 
with me not a purpose, but a passion," and though he else- 
where offers a mechanical explanation of his "Raven," 
the poems themselves prove his passion. They spring 
from persons or incidents connected with his life, but they 
rise into an ethereal region in which the original persons 
are idealized and the simple facts are singularly metamor- 
phosed. There is an exquisite fascination and enchanting 
melody in his verse that seems beyond the reach of cal- 
culating art. 


In the early part of the Nineteenth Century there was 
in New England a mingled religious and philosophical 
ferment. There had been some reaction against the rigid 
Calvinism of the Puritans even before the Revolution, but 
it was not until Channing arose that Unitarianism took 
definite shape, and gave rise to a prolonged controversy. 
It was assisted by influences, direct and indirect, from 
Germany and France. From these in turn came the New 
England Transcendentalism, the experiment of the Brook 
Farm community, the Concord school of philosophy, the 
Cambridge group of scholars, wits, poets, and romancers, 
that brilliant era which justified Dr. Oliver Wendell 
Holmes in declaring Boston "the hub of the universe." 
It should not be a matter of surprise that New England's 
literary awakening was due to religious philosophy, for 
that was precisely the case with the German revival of the 
latter part of the Eighteenth Century, to which this Amer- 
ican revival was much indebted. The philosophy of Kant, 
Fichte and Schelling found its way to New England as 
well as Old England and France, and in each country 
underwent modifications corresponding to its previous 
intellectual condition. But furthermore the thinkers and 
writers of Boston and Cambridge had a unique ancestry, 
of ministers and scholars. As Emerson has phrased it, 
"Man is a quotation of all his ancestors." Emerson's own 
lineage is a striking illustration in point. Most of his 
male ancestors in direct line had been Congregational min- 
isters in Eastern Massachusetts, and a maternal avices- 
tor, Rev. Peter Bulkley, had been the first pastor of r 'on- 

VOI,. 9— 27 ^jy 


cord. Nearly 50 per cent of Harvard's alumni became 
ministers and cultivated style in their discourses. Even 
the poets and prose-writers who succeeded this prophetic 
generation of pulpit orators, though they did not enter 
the same career, did turn to its kindred institution, the 
school or college. Amos Bronson Alcott, the patriarch 
of Concord philosophers, was a schoolmaster of the tribe 
satirized by Irving in Ichabod Crane. Margaret Fuller, 
who became Marchioness D'Ossoli, Lydia Maria Child, 
Mrs. Lydia H. Sigourney, and many more, were teachers. 


Distinctive American literature has been said to have 
been born in "the era of good feeling" which character- 
ized the peaceful administration of President Monroe 
(181 7- 1 82 5) when, after the War of 18 12, the fierce ani- 
mosities of Federalists and Democrats had subsided. It 
owed much to the "beneficial influence of such a creator, 
critic and stimulating power as Channing." William 
Ellery Channing (1780- 1842) was born at Newport, 
Rhode Island, graduated from Harvard, and was for a 
time a tutor in Richmond, Virginia. Chosen pastor of the 
Federal Street Church, Boston, in 1803, he held this posi- 
tion for the rest of his life. Though he never accepted the 
name Unitarian for himself, he really gave to the body 
so called the consciousness of its position. This was espe- 
cially the result of his sermon preached at Baltimore in 
May, 1819, at the ordination of Jared Sparks, afterward 
noted for his American biographies. The controversy 
which ensued agitated all the churches of New England 
and gave impulse to later movements affecting literature 
and politics. Channing proclaimed the essential dignity 
of human nature, the fatherhood of God and the brother- 


hood of men. He was a man of intense spirituality, and 
purity of life, yet resolute in following what he believed 
to be truth. He became an authority on political and lit- 
erary as well as religious questions. His essay on "The 
Character of Napoleon Bonaparte" attracted attention 
abroad, and one on "Milton" added to his reputation. 
His literary work was confined to sermons, addresses and 
essays, all carefully prepared, and beautiful with moral 

The literary organ of the new movement was the 
"North American Review," a quarterly established in 
May, 1 81 5. It grew out of a scheme for a bi-monthly 
magazine by the Anthology Club, an association of young 
men of Boston and Cambridge, including George Ticknor, 
Edward Tyrrel Channing, John Ouincy Adams, and 
Richard Henry Dana (1787- 1879). Its first editor was 
William Tudor, and in its general scope it was modeled 
on the "Quarterly Review," of London. In its first num- 
ber Dana criticized Hazlitt, and dared to praise Words- 
worth. Dana was a melodious and graceful poet, but wrote 
comparatively little. Between 181 5 and 1830 the "North 
American Review" was edited successively by Willard 
Phelps, Edward Everett and Jared Sparks. In 181 7 it 
accepted and published the most famous poem — "Than- 
atopsis" — of William Cullen Bryant, then but a youth. 
In 1830 Alexander H. Everett became editor, and for the 
six years that he was in charge Longfellow, Prescott, Ban- 
croft and other distinguished writers were among the con- 
tributors. Dr. John G. Palfrey was the next editor, and 
during his incumbency Ralph Waldo Emerson was a fre- 
quent contributor. James Russell Lowell and Charles 
Eliot Norton assumed control in 1864, and at that time 
its writers were the most eminent literary men in the coun- 



Edward Everett (1794- 1865), Boston-born and Har- 
vard-bred, returned in 18 19 from Germany, where he had 
spent four years, two of them at Gottingen. He was a 
Unitarian preacher, and a sermon dehvered by him in the 
House of Representatives at Washington in 1820, gave 
him a national reputation. In the pages of the "North 
American Review" Everett unloaded his treasures of Ger- 
man thought. More than a hundred articles came from 
his pen. In 1824 his address before the Phi Beta Kappa 
Society of Harvard on "The Circumstances Favorable to 
the Progress of Literature in America," was a prophetic 
precursor of Emerson's dissertation on "The American 
Scholar," delivered before the same society thirteen years 
later. Everett was noted for his high classical scholar- 
ship and for the careful finish of his prose style. But he 
was not merely a literary man; he was active in public 
affairs. He represented Boston in Congress for ten years, 
was Governor of Massachusetts for three years, United 
States Minister to England for four years, president of 
Harvard for three years, Secretary of State in President 
Fillmore's Cabinet for one year, and United States Sen- 
ator for one year, when he resigned on account of impaired 
health. Yet afterward he delivered in various parts of the 
country an oration on Washington for the purpose of rais- 
ing a fund to purchase Mount Vernon and preserve it 
intact as a national memorial. His final service was in 
delivering the oration at the dedication of the National 
Cemetery at Gettysburg in November, 1863. His speeches 
were polished to the perfection of classical oratory, and 
were full of admiring contemplation and thoughtful 
admonition. But owing to their lack of fervor and to the 
change in public taste, his fame, even as an orator, has been 


greatly diminished. During- his life-time he was a model 
in eloquence and a controlling factor in literary criticism. 


One of the most curious episodes in the history of 
American intellectual development is the Brook Farm 
community, which was founded in 1840, and lingered until 
1847. It grew out of the Transcendental movement, in 
which Emerson was a leader. The first meeting of the 
Transcendentalists was held on September 19, 1836, at 
the house of Dr. George Ripley (1802-1880), a Harvard 
graduate and Unitarian preacher. The library in his 
house in Concord was rich in foreign literature, concern- 
ing which he issued a series of books. The organ of the 
Transcendentalists was "The Dial," a scholarly quarterly. 
Its teachings, combined with certain notions derived from 
the French Fourier, led Ripley to propose the experiment 
of Brook Farm, to be conducted by a semi-socialistic stock 
company near West Roxbury, Massachusetts. It was to 
combine agriculture, economical. Unitarian, humanitarian, 
and educational features. It was hoped that, while life 
could be supported by honest toil, a high ideal of social 
and intellectual entertainment might be achieved. Teach- 
ing, farming and the milking of cows were to be alter- 
nate occupations. Among these intellectual farmers were 
John Sullivan Dwight, the musical critic, and Charles 
Anderson Dana (18 19-1897), afterward the noted editor. 
George William Curtis (1824-1896) and a brother, 
reported by those who knew him to be still more gifted, 
were pupils in the school. Dana, born in New Hamp- 
shire, had been prevented by weakness of sight from com- 
pleting his course at Harvard, and edited the Brook Farm 
organ — "The Harbinger." He afterward served a» 


apprenticeship under Horace Greeley on the "New York 
Tribune," became Assistant Secretary of War, and finally 
editor of the "New York Sun." Curtis, after travels in 
Egypt and Syria, became a member of the Tribune staff, 
published the "Howadji in Syria," an excellent travel- 
book, "Potiphar Papers," a social satire, and "Prue and 
I," a delicious series of meditations by a humble clerk, 
who philosophizes on New York life as he sees it in his 
daily promenades. Later Curtis had a severe experience, 
somewhat like Scott's, from a partnership in the publish- 
ing" business, but finally worked his way clear of embar- 
rassment. He gained a special fame by his "Editor's 
Easy Chair" in "Harper's Monthly." He was prominent 
in advocacy of Civil Service reform, and lived to witness 
it in successful operation. 

Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) also joined the Brook 
Farm community, although she never exactly believed in 
it. She was regarded by all who came in contact with 
her as the most learned and highly gifted American 
woman. She was the daughter of a Congressman, and after 
his death supported herself as a teacher, conducted "The 
Dial," afterward became a literary critic of the "Tribune," 
and lived under Horace Greeley's roof. While on a tour 
in Europe she met and married Giovanni Angelo, Mar- 
quis D'Ossoli, settled in Rome, and entered zealously 
into the Italian struggle of 1849 ^o^ independence. After 
the capture of Rome by the French army, she sailed for 
America with her husband and child. The captain of the 
vessel died at the start of the voyage, smallpox broke out 
on the ship at sea, and a gale wrecked it off Fire Island 
beach. The Marquis and his family perished in the sea. 
The principal work of this remarkable but unfortunate 
genius was "Woman in the Nineteenth Century," which 
first appeared in "The Dial." Emerson, Julia Ward 


Howe and Thomas W. Higginson have all written biog- 
raphies of her. She is reflected in the Zenobia of Haw- 
thorne's "Blithedale Romance," which is an idealized and 
distorted vision of the Brook Farm. 

Hawthorne joined the Brook Farm community in 184 1 
but was not blind to its ridiculous aspects. Emerson, 
curiously practical as well as sublimely transcendental, 
stood aloof from it, and humorously called it "a French 
Revolution in small, an Age of Reason in a patty-pan." 
With all his idealism and semi-Brahmanism, he had a 
saving salt of Yankee common sense, that justifies Dr. 
Holmes' question : 

Where in the realm of thought, whose air is song, 
Does he, the Buddha of the West, belong? 
He seems a winged Franklin, sweetly wise, 
Born to unlock the secrets of the skies. 

At Concord he was worshiped in Apollo's two-fold 
character, as poet and seer. Dr. Holmes again refers to 

"From his mild throng of worshipers released, 
Our Concord Delphi sends its chosen priest." 


To-day, foreigners probably consider Poe and Haw- 
thorne to contain the most classical elements of any Amer- 
ican writers, although they will admit Longfellow's cos- 
mopolitanism, Lowell's scholarliness and Lowell's descrip- 
tion of Emerson as "a Greek head on right Yankee shoul- 
ders." As Lowell himself declared : 

"There is Hawthorne, with genius so shrinking and rare 
That you hardly at first see the strength that is there; 
A frame so robust, with a nature so sweet, 
So earnest, so graceful, so solid, so fleet. 
Is worth a descent from Olympus to meet. 


'Tis as if a rough oak that for ages had stood 

With his gnarled bony branches like ribs of the wood, 

Should bloom, after cycles of struggle and scathe, 

With a single anemone trembly and rathe. 

His strength is so tender, his mildness so meek, 

That a suitable parallel sets one to seek, 

He's a John Bunyan Fouque, a Puritan Tieck." 

Despite a certain delicate humor and playful fancy, 
which are revealed so beautifully in his "Tanglewood 
Tales," that feat of "Gothicising" the Greek myths (as 
he himself described it), he felt the gloomy spirit of Puri- 
tanism and became for all time its supreme romantic inter- 

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) was born in 
Salem, Massachusetts. This old seaport town appealed 
at the outset to his spirit of melancholy, and its witch- 
craft associations had a peculiar force for him; for one 
of his forefathers, Judge Hathorne (so the name was 
then spelled), had sentenced several of the ''witches." 
Hawthorne himself was a graduate of Bowdoin College 
in the same class with Longfellow. He was shy and too 
lacking in self-assertion. As a collegian he served the 
usual apprenticeship to the Muse and after graduation 
in 1825 he became a recluse and book- worm, writing by 
day and night. In 1826 he published anonymously and 
at his own expense a novel entitled "Fanshawe" in which 
we can see to-day the real Hawthorne but in which his 
contemporaries saw nothing. "I passed the day," he 
afterward said of this time, "in writing stories, and the 
night in burning them." But some manuscripts, includ- 
ing several of the "Twicetold Tales," were sent to Samuel 
Goodrich, who published them in "'The Token." Peter 
Parley introduced Hawthorne to literary hack-work as 
well. The first series of "Twicetold Tales" appeared in 
1837 and was reviewed in the "North American" by Long- 

From an old daguerreotype. 


fellow with enthusiasm. These half weird but felici- 
tously told tales marked an epoch in American literature. 
They were followed by his delightful tales for children 
from "Grandfather's Chair," in which he first treated 
New England history. Meanwhile Bancroft, the histo- 
rian, then collector of customs at Boston, appointed him 
a weigher and gauger, a place which the Whigs permitted 
him to retain but two years. He also embarked in the 
Arcadian Brook Farm experiment. 'T went to live in 
Arcadia," he said, "and found myself up to my chin in 
a barnyard." Deserting Brook Farm he married and took 
the historic gambrel-roofed home at Concord, from whence 
issued the tales collected in the "Mosses from an Old 
Manse." His second series of "Twicetold Tales" with 
their Legends of the Province House, added a fresh 
romantic interest to Revolutionary Boston. Almost 
noiselessly his shy genius had made itself recognized as 
a new literary force. He returned to Salem for four years 
as Surveyor in its old Custom House. After leaving this 
berth, he gave forth his master work, "The Scarlet Let- 
ter," in the preface to which he has told the story of that 
old Salem institution (1850). Hawthorne afterward 
observed that "no author without a trial can see the dijfifi- 
culty of writing a romance about a country where there 
is no shadow, no antiquity, no mystery, no picturesque 
and gloomy wrong, nor anything but a commonplace pros- 
perity in broad and simple daylight." Yet in "The Scar- 
let Letter" he had touched even the gloom of Puritanism 
with the glamour of romance, as well as achieved a world's 
masterpiece of psychology. He now retired to Lenox, 
Massachusetts, with Herman Melville, author of "Typee," 
as almost his sole companion, and wrote the "House of 
Seven Gables," in which with his peculiar mingling of 
mystery and melancholy he fairly invested the past- 


haunted house with a spiritual atmosphere. Hepzibah, 
sad rehc of New England aristocracy, condemned to run a 
penny store, and stern Judge Pyncheon are masterly delin- 
eations of Rembrandt shadow and force. And yet he could 
turn from this somber tale to his charming "Wonder 
Book" and parable of the "Snow Image." In Haw- 
thorne's genius there was a remarkable intermingling of 
delicacy and strength, grave sunshine and beautiful 
shadow. In the "Blithedale Romance" he figured forth the 
superb Zenobia, the placid Miles Coverdale, the sweet 
Priscilla with the same skill as the intensely self-concen- 
trated Hollingsworth, blindly abandoning and ruining 
himself for a theory. In the "Dolliver Romance" he 
found theme for his plot in the idea of an elixir of life. 
In 1853 President Pierce, a life-long friend of Hawthorne, 
appointed him consul at Liverpool, England. Shortly 
before his term expired he resigned, and traveled on the 
continent. The record of his sojourn survives in his 
charming English, French and Italian . Notebooks. In 
Italy he sketched the tale of "The Marble Faun," in which 
strange tale a young Italian bears the symbolical tell-tale 
ears of the Faun of Praxiteles. Here the author treated 
with the same fascination — despite its change of scene 
from New England to Italy — the old problem of moral 
guilt and of passion and sorrow. 


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807- 1882) had been 
Hawthorne's fellow collegian at Bowdoin College, became 
a professor in his Alma Mater and later in Harvard, 
whence, after some years of a professorial work, he retired 
and devoted himself to literature. His quality was decid- 
edly academic, as befitted a son of Cambridge. Perhaps 


the first feature to be here noted concerning him is the 
influence which he had as a promoter of American culture, 
a service generally overshadowed by his immense popu- 
larity as a poet. In the respect noted he was a lineal suc- 
cessor to Irving, whom he also resembled in his equal 
treatment of foreign and native themes and legends alike. 
Such an academic influence as his, broadened and deep- 
ened by generous travel abroad to prepare him for his 
Harvard chair, was certainly needed in the decade after 
1830. By his "Poets and Poetry of Europe" he famil- 
iarized Americans with the literature and lore of France, 
Germany, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia and even of old 
Anglo-Saxon days. His "Outre Mer," a book of travel, 
has kept a place for itself until to-day. When he came 
to write his Indian legend of "Hiawatha," his familiarity 
with the then little known literature of the Northland 
enabled him to borrow the curious meter, style of imagery, 
and treatment of the Finnish epic, "Kalevala." As a critic 
proper, Longfellow possessed more learning than Foe, but 
was less truly critical, nor had he the satire and penetra- 
tion of Lowell. But it is as the great poet of sympathy, 
as America's most popular poet, that Longfellow must 
be chiefly considered and in the scope of this brief sketch 
it is impossible to give a systematic account of all his 
familiar poems. His poetical works include: "The 
Voices of the Night," "Ballads and other Poems," "Poems 
on Slavery," "The Spanish Student," "The Belfry of 
Bruges," "Evangeline," "The Golden Legend," "Hiawa- 
tha," "The Courtship of Miles Standish," "Tales of a 
Wayside Inn," "Flower de Luce," "Christus," "Three 
Books of Song," "Aftermath," "The Mask of Pandora," 
"Keramos." Longfellow's conspicuous note as a poet was 
from the heart and not the head. He touched his readers 
with such tender poems of common sentiment as "The 


Reaper and the Flowers," "The Beleaguered City," "The 
Old Clock on the Stairs," and the "Wreck of the Hes- 
perus." He sang, too, like Whittier, inspiring songs of 
labor such as "The Ropewalk" and the now hackneyed 
"Village Blacksmith," personification of honest toil. Hel 
idealized ambition in "Excelsior," and taught the lesson 
of existence in "The Psalm of Life." His national hymn, 
"The Ship of State," deserves rank as an achievement of 
poetic allegory beside Schiller's "Song of the Bell." This 
spiritual symbolism was also admirably attained in "Kera- 
mos, the Song of the Potter and His Wheel." Long- 
fellow's mastery of poetic narrative was revealed particu- 
larly in the "Tales of a Wayside Inn," which range from 
the charming story of "The Birds of Chillingworth" — 
"those little feathered minstrels of the air" — to the noble 
mediaeval legend of "Robert of Sicily," who in his pride 
is transformed into a poor court jester while an angel 
takes his place for a reformatory spell upon the throne. 
The same gift enabled him to treat at such elaborate length 
his two notable American epics, "Evangeline," which 
depicts the woes of the cruelly dispersed Arcadians in 
Gabriel's long and futile pursuit of his w^andering sweet- 
heart, and "The Courtship of ]\Iiles Standish," which tells 
how that sturdy but Cupid-fearing warrior sent John 
Alden as his proxy to woo the fair Priscilla. Said Pris- 
cilla: "Why do you not speak for yourself, John?" and 
the poem ends with the mild clerk and not the fierce war- 
rior as its real hero. In "Hiaw^atha" he achieved the poet- 
ical apotheosis of the American Indian ; not such a roman- 
tic idealization as that of Cooper's Uncas nor such a 
heroic idealization as Simm's Yemassee Chieftain, Sanu- 
tee, but an idealization of the Indian's religious spirit, 
his sense of the Grand IManitou, his feeling for the mys- 
tery and beauty of nature, and his appreciation of those 



gifts of his native soil, as embodied in the myth of the 
birth of the maize. But perhaps Longfellow's best, rip- 
est, most scholarly achievement in poetry was his trans- 
lation of Dante's "Divina Commedia," pubhshed in 1867. 
How deeply he lingered throughout this long labor of 
love under the spell of the stern Florentine may be seen 
in those sonnets inspired by his work and effectively mir- 
roring on their surface this "mediaeval miracle of song." 
Longfellow's translation is in many respects, such as the 
metrical and onomatopoetic, superior to that of Doctor 

Two tales in prose by him are "Kavanagh" and 
"Hyperion," the latter of which with its scenes laid in 
Europe, is an expression of the ideals of his heart. The 
serenity of his poetic work as a whole w^as reflected in his 
life and especially in his old age. As he himself said in 
his poem for the fiftieth anniversary of the graduation 
of his class, the beautiful "Morituri Salutamus :" 

' And as the evening twilight fades away, 
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day." 

No figure in Ainerican literature has gathered unto 
itself such a wealth of affection as that given to him, and 
England herself paid her first tribute of memorial honor 
to an American writer by placing his bust in the Poets' 
Corner in Westminster Abbey. 


Longfellow was succeeded in his professor's chair at 
Harvard by James Russell Lowell (1819-1888), also a 
son of Cambridge, a fine New England heritage, and a 
Harvard student. Lowell, while not entitled to Longfel- 
low's rank as a poet, nor perhaps any more learned than he, 
was a greater critic and essayist, and may to-day be rec- 


ognized as the representative of indigenous American 
culture in the sense that Matthew Arnold was the repre- 
sentative of that of England. Lowell, who took a deep 
interest in American politics, was destined to be appointed 
by President Hayes to the Spanish Mission and to repre- 
sent his country at the Court of St. James, and to receive 
the highest degrees from Oxford and Cambridge. In his 
youth he was so active in the anti-slavery and other public 
agitations of the time that in his rollicking and brilliant 
"Fable for Critics" ( 1848) — an imperishable landmark of 
American literature — he satirized himself : 

"And there is Lowell, who's striving Parnassus to climb, 
With a whole bale of isms tied together with rhyme." 

And in that very year he did, indeed, "make a drum of 
his shell," in his first series of the "Biglow Papers." 
These poems, prefaced by a delightful parody of old time 
New England pedantry and even of the new fangled Car- 
lylese, established Lowell as the great typical Yankee wit 
His creation of "Hosea Biglow," the Down East poet, full 
of homely humor, wit, satire, patriotism and idyllicism, 
is unique in literature. How well Lowell could write a 
Yankee idyl he showed in his little poem, "Zekle Crep' up 
all Unbeknown." These poems, written in true Down 
East dialect, with the twang of Down East character as 
well, were called forth in opposition and satire of the war 
spirit fomented by the slaveholders eager for new terri- 
tory. Lowell held up the contemptible buncombe politi- 
cians of the day to merciless ridicule in the figure of the 
Honorable John Doughface. He made Congressman 
Robinson a national butt of laughter in those ludicrous 

"Jbhn P. 
Robinson he 
Says they didn't know everything down in Judee." 



In the second series he tuned his Down East lyre to 
the new Northern patriotism, writing Yankee lyrics of 
the Civil War. 

Lowell originally studied for and was admitted to the 
bar, but the only record of his practice is found in his 
little story entitled "My First Client." His first volume 
of poems inspired by his love for her who became his wife 
appeared in 1841 under the title of "A Year's Life." 
His earlier "Biglow Papers" were given to the public in 
the columns of the "Boston Courier" anonymously 
and edited with its playful learned introduction, notes, 
glossary, index and "notices of an independent press" by 
"Homer Wilbur, A. M., Pastor of the First Church in 
Jaalam, and prospective member of many literary, learned 
and scientific societies." Before this satire on the Mexi- 
can War, slavery and political cant, Lowell had written his 
exquisite vision of "Sir Launfal," a poem founded on the 
legend of the Holy Grail, and composed rapidly. Two 
of his most successful small poems of this time were 
"The Crisis" and "The First Snowfall." When the Kan- 
sas struggle (1856-58) enlisted his sympathies he actually 
contemplated sending his Hosea Biglow to that "dark and 
bloody ground" to report in vernacular, but Hosea had 
to wait for the Civil War. Of all his poems the one most 
praised for its loftiness and beauty is "The Cathedral." 
In this poem, despite one unhappy lapse from dignity, 
Lowell sought to catch that spirit of new-born greatness 
and sense of human destiny — 

"Missed in the commonplace of miracle." 

Equally noble is his superb "Ode recited at the Com- 
memoration of the Living and Dead Soldiers of Harvard 
University, July 21, 1865." This "Commemoration Ode" 
not only contains a magnificent eulogy of the martyred 
Abraham Lincoln as the great typical American, but it 


seeks to give a splendid apotheosis of her whom he apos- 
trophized in the lines — 

"Who Cometh over the hills, 
Her garments with morning sweet. 
The dance of a thousand rills 
Making music before her feet? 
Tis Liberty, fairest of all the daughters of Time and of Thought*' 

Lowell was not as popular as Longfellow, but his best 
lines contain that "beauty's acme" described by him as 
"The wave's poise before it break and curl." 

It is, however, chiefly as critic and essayist that he is 
best known to-day. In his three books of literary criti- 
cism and fancy, "Fireside Travels," "Among My Books," 
"My Study Windows," he proved himself to be America's 
most scholarly critic. The old English authors Chaucer, 
Spenser, the dramatists of Elizabeth's reign, attracted his 
attention particularly. But his catholicity of taste was 
also accompanied by a catholicity of subjects. In "My 
Garden Acquaintance," and "A Good Word for Winter," 
he displayed notable graces of style, and his paper "On 
a Certain Condescension in Foreigners," was a capital 
"retort courteous" to the woes inflicted upon America by 
foreign critics, and continues to be a compensating solace 
even to this day. 



The most potent force in New England thought was 
Ralph Waldo Emerson ( 1803- 1882). For more than two 
centuries his ancestors were Congregational ministers. 
His father, Rev. William Emerson, died in 181 1, and his 
mother was assisted by relatives in providing for her sons' 
education. William, the elder, went to Germany, and 
being unsettled in faith, gave up the intention of enter- 
ing the ministry, and became a lawyer. Waldo studied 
divinity with Channing and Andrews Norton, and began 
to preach in 1827. He became assistant to Rev. Henry 
Ware in the Second Church of Boston, and soon had entire 
charge. At the end of 1832, being unwilling to dispense 
the Lord's Supper, he resigned the pastorate. His wife 
had died in that year, and he resolved to go to Europe. He 
went to Italy and France, then to England, and found 
his way to Carlyle's remote humble home at Craigenput- 
tock. The two great thinkers formed a notable friendship 
which was maintained by correspondence through their 
lives. Emerson married Lilian Jackson in 1835 and went 
to live in Concord. He had inherited a modest compe- 
tence, but later his chief support was derived from lectur- 
ing before lyceums, as he continued to do for forty-six 
years. His first book, "Nature," published in 1836, set 
forth his transcendental views of man and the universe, 
in several chapters with little apparent connection. In 
1837 his address on "The American Scholar" proved that 
thoughtful minds were attracted by the new force. His 
Divinity School address in 1838 on "The Christian 
Teacher" deeply stirred the Unitarian body and called 
forth a warm protest from his teacher, Professor Norton, 
against its radical views. In the controversy which 

ensued Emerson declined to take part, though his friends 
Vol.. 9 — 28 


were active. The first series of his "Essays" appeared 
in 1 84 1, and met with favor, both at home and abroad. 
They enlarged and extended ideas which had been stated 
in "Nature." Emerson smiled approval on the Brook 
Farm experiment, but took little part in it except to con- 
tribute to "The Dial." But he did assist with voice and 
pen in the anti-slavery agitation. In 1847 he went on a 
second visit to England, which was rich in observation 
and efifect on his mind. After his return his lectures on 
Plato, Shakespeare, Napoleon, Swedenborg, and others, 
were published under the title, "Representative Men" 
(1850). This proved popular, and still more so was his 
"English Traits" (1856). More readers could appreciate 
his judgment of great men and nations than could under- 
stand his sublime philosophy of the universe. 

Emerson had but rarely contributed to periodical lit- 
erature, but in 1857 a group of his friends — Longfellow, 
Lowell, Holmes — arranged in his parlor for the publica- 
tion of "The Atlantic Monthly," Lowell being editor. For 
some years Emerson contributed to it regularly prose and 
verse. His essays were collected in "The Conduct of Life" 
(i860), "Society and Solitude" (1864), and "Letters and 
Social Aims" ( 1876) ; his poems in "May-Day" ( 1867). 
He edited a collection of poetry by other authors in "Par- 
nassus" (1874), and a selection of his own "Poems" 
( 1876) . Thereafter he wrote but little, though he revised 
and edited his former publications. The projected 
"Natural History of the Intellect," on which he had 
labored for many years, was never put into a form suita- 
ble for publication. In the latter years of his life his 
mind and memory failed. After his death his correspond- 
ence with Carlyle was edited by Professor Charles Eliot 
Norton (1883). 

Matthew Arnold shocked his Boston audience when in 


1888 he deliberately pronounced Emerson not essentially 
a poet nor a philosopher, but a seer. Yet in the dozen years 
which have since elapsed it has been frequently admitted 
that the critic was substantially right. Emerson himself 
had said, "I am not a great poet, but whatever there is of me 
at all is poet." Yet he was aware of his want of facility 
in metrical expression, and that his poetic faculty was sel- 
dom under the control of his will. A single small volume 
contains all his poetic work. Even in his poetry, though 
there are often charming lines and melodious passages, 
the utterances are generally oracular and sometimes enig- 
matic. When he sang of love, for instance, he was not 
content to celebrate its rapture, but must elevate it into 
a divine sentiment and make It a world-mystery. 

No more in philosophy than in any other department 
can Emerson be said to have had a system, but he had 
intuitions of truth. These are shown in his first book, 
"Nature," and restated, reinforced, applied and sometimes 
made clearer in his later essays. He held a lofty idealism 
or poetic pantheism, such as that of Wordsworth, but was 
more consistent in applying it than the English poet. 
Nature or the external world corresponds to the human 
soul. Nature is the embodiment of God's infinite ideas 
and is the symbol of the soul. When nature and the soul 
are brought into proper relations to each other, the high- 
est powers of man will be awakened, and he will behold 
God. To this rapt state all men are capable of attaining. 
The idea of nature as a Divine incarnation involved an 
optimistic view of the universe; it also made natural and 
spiritual laws identical, and thus gave a religious aspect to 
everything. To this high ethical conclusion Emerson 
remained true throughout life and exemplified it in every 
action. But he did not engage in any strife with others. 
He ^voided all controversy. Having delivered his oracle, 


he left it to others to interpret and apply it for themselves. 
He was a teacher rather than a leader. And yet so con- 
vincing were his statements that many arose to do as he 
had said. Dr. Holmes declared that his address on "The 
American Scholar" was "an intellectual Declaration of 
Independence," and Lowell said : "We were socially and 
intellectually moored to English thought till Emerson cut 
the cable and gave us a chance at the dangers and glories 
of blue water." "The Conduct of Life" has had wide- 
reaching effect by giving practical lessons to the young, 
and directing them to noble aims. Like all his other writ- 
ings it insisted on self-reliance and intense individualism. 
His greatest service to his countrymen is to have taught 
and exemplified a marked American type of thought and 
feeling, not materialistic, but grandly spiritual. 

Horace Bushnell (1802- 1876), influenced by the 
teaching of Coleridge, introduced liberal views into 
Puritan theology and rendered important service to Chris- 
tian thought. He was born at Litchfield, Connecticut, 
graduated at Yale College, and in 1833 became pastor of a 
Congregational church in Hartford. After twenty years' 
service he resigned on account of ill-health, yet lived and 
worked nearly a quarter of a century longer. His first 
publication, "Christian Nurture," insisted on a truly 
natural training of children as inheritors of Christianity. 
His "Nature and the Supernatural" was an effort to show 
the harmony in God's relation to the universe. "The 
Vicarious Sacrifice" was a new explanation of a theolog- 
ical problem, making Christ's sacrifice the measure of 
God's love and not his wrath. "Work and Play," an 
oration before the Phi Beta Kappa Society of Harvard in 
1848, explained that the highest aim of life is to get free 
from the constraint of work and rise to that natural action 


of the faculties which may be called play, and that poetry 
is the ideal, yet true, state of man's soul. His "Moral Uses 
of Dark Things" is a vindication of the Divine govern- 
ment of the world. Bushnell's spiritual interpretation of 
nature had profound effect upon the orthodox pulpit, set- 
ting it free from the rigid bonds which cramped its 


John Greenleaf Whittier (1807- 1892), born at Haver- 
hill, Massachusetts, was not only the chief Quaker poet, 
but the clearest voice of New England country life. Bred 
on a farm, he found his first poetic inspiration in reading 
the poems of the inspired Scotch ploughman, Robert 
Burns. At the age of twenty he had earned enough by farm 
chores and shoe-making to secure some instruction at 
Haverhill Academy, and then became a district school 
teacher. He contributed verse to the "Free Press," and 
found a lasting friend in the editor, William Lloyd Gar- 
rison, who enlisted him in the anti-slavery crusade. In 
1835 Whittier was a member of the Massachusetts Legis- 
lature. From 1837 to 1839 he edited the "Pennsylvania 
Freeman," at Philadelphia, where his office was sacked 
and burnt by a mob. His delicate health obliged him to 
return to Amesbury, Massachusetts, where with his sister, 
he led a frugal life, contributing chiefly to the "National 
Era," published in Washington. Gradually his books of 
poems made their way, and when the struggle for Kansas 
came, in 1856, he was recognized as the poet of freedom. 
These militant poems of a peace-loving Quaker helped to 
prepare the Northern people for the Civil War. When the 
"Atlantic Monthly" was founded Whittier was a frequent 
contributor. His verse celebrated there the emancipation 
of the slaves, but in his ballad of "Barbara Frietchie,"^ he 


told effectively the story of the old woman of Frederick, 
Maryland, who waved the Union flag over the troops of 
Stonewall Jackson, and was gallantly spared by him. This 
tribute to Northern loyalty and Southern chivalry has 
become a national classic. In some of his New England 
poems Whittier told of the persecution of the early 
Quakers, in others he simply exhibited the homely features 
of farming life. His "Songs of Labor" appealed to the 
multitude as combined for general welfare. He revived 
the legends of his neighborhood. Especially famous is 
his "Skipper Ireson's Ride," the story of a skipper who, 
for his neglect to rescue a perishing crew, was tarred and 
feathered and carried in a cart by the women of Marble- 
head. And yet more famous is the simple ballad of "Maud 
Muller" and its dreams of what might have been. The 
"Tent on the Beach" is an idyl of summer life by the sea, 
in which Bayard Taylor and James T. Fields listen to a 
group of tales told by the poet. "Snow-Bound" is the 
poet's masterpiece, telling of a New England family shut 
in by a snow-storm for three days. The family was that 
of the poet's father. After the death of his sister in 1864, 
his niece took charge of his house till her marriage, then 
for twenty years he lived alone. Whittier became the 
most popular American poet, next to Longfellow. This 
is due to the simple dignity of his character, the homeliness 
and universal interest of his themes. His anti-slavery 
lyrics are forgotten, but his pictures of New England life 
are treasured in the heart. 


Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894), who was 
the last survivor of the famous galaxy of Cambridge poets, 
was the cheerful embodiment of the spirit of Unitarian 


New Englandism. He was the son of Rev. Abiel Holmes, 
a Harvard pastor, who wrote "The Annals of America.'* 
Having graduated from Harvard in 1829, he studied law 
and medicine, and spent three years in Europe. He was 
but twenty-one years old when he made his famous pro- 
test, "Old Ironsides," which saved the frigate Constitution 
from destruction, and not much older when in "The Last 
Leaf" he combined humor with the deepest pathos. 
Holmes was professor of medicine at Dartmouth College 
for a year, but settled in Boston in 1840, and seven years 
later was made professor at Harvard. Besides lecturing 
there and on the lyceum platform, he wrote patriotic and 
entertaining poems for occasions and became the laureate 
of his Alma Mater, inditing forty poems in her honor. 
One of these, "The Boys," is the jolliest class poem ever 
written. Holmes was also the bard of Boston, whose 
State House he pronounced to be "the hub of our solar sys- 
tem." But his lasting fame was due to the founding of the 
"Atlantic Monthly" in 1857. Lowell took the editorship 
only when assured that Holmes would be a regular con- 
tributor. The contribution came in a form of a serial, 
"The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table." When but twenty 
years of age. Holmes had written for a college magazine 
two short papers of a similar kind, and at forty-eight he 
began the new version with the words "As I was saying 
when interrupted." Then followed a long monologue 
addressed to some typical New England characters assem- 
bled at the table of a boarding house. It consisted of 
philosophical reflections on things great and small, with 
occasional "asides" and parenthetical stage directions. 
Nearly every number contained a poem, graceful, brilliant, 
or humorous, as suited the Autocrat's whim. Altogether 
the series was a quaint and happy mingling of wit and 
good sense, humor and pathos, worldly shrewdness and 


heavenly aspirations. Among the poems were the comical 
logical story of "The Deacon's Masterpiece, or the Won- 
derful One-Hoss Shay," which ran a hundred years to a 
day, and the mathematical story of "Parson Turell's Leg- 
acy," the story of the Harvard President's arm-chair. But 
the loftiest utterance among the lay sermons of the Auto- 
crat was his own favorite, "The Chambered Nautilus." 

At last the ever-grateful monthly series was brought 
to an end when the Autocrat invited the quiet, sensible 
school-mistress to take the long path with him. Yet it 
was renewed, though not with the full vivacity, in "The 
Professor" (1859) and "The Poet at the Breakfast Table" 
(1873). Between these came some novels, in which he 
developed certain physiological theories to account for 
morbid characters. Thus in "Elsie Venner" the heroine 
has certain qualities of a snake, the origin of which the 
story serves to explain. In "The Guardian Angel," the 
eccentricities of a young lady are similarly explained by 
heredity. In later years Dr. Holmes wrote pleasant biog- 
raphies of his friends Motley and Emerson. In 1884 he 
published "Our Hundred Days in Europe," telling of his 
observations there fifty years after his first visit. Then 
in hii^ eightieth year the veteran renewed his conversa- 
tional contributions to the "Atlantic" in a series called 
"Over the Tea-Cups," full of the same shrewd sense and 
tender sentiment as "The Autocrat." He lived to be a 
"Last Leaf," yet without losing his geniality and optim- 
ism, preserving to the last the fresh spirit of youth. 

Holmes was small in person, but quick and lively in 
speech and movement. He belonged to what he called 
"the Brahmin caste of New England." He was a physi- 
cian, and his medical studies afforded him both illustra- 
tions and theories which appeared in his literary works. 
Curtis has said : "The rollicking laugh of Knickerbocker 



was a solitary sound in the American ear till the blithe 
carol of Holmes returned a kindred echo." Holmes loved 
the approbation of his fellow-men, and spoke not unkindly 
of the Boston group as a Mutual Admiration Society. 
Yet his sturdy independence was shown both in literature 
and science. His epigrams were often keen thrusts at 
swollen pretensions; but his best sayings were pithy 
expressions of general facts of human nature, readily 
accepted when stated. He penetrated deeply into the char- 
acter and motives of men, and expressed the result of his 
research so vividly that all acknowledged its truth. It was 
his desire^ if his name was to live, to have it live in people's 
hearts rather than in their brains, and his wish has been 
amply gratified. His wit was never irreverent. His strong 
religious feeling is shown in many hymns. 

The first American writer to devote himself chiefly 
to literary criticism was Edwin Percy Whipple (1819- 
1886). Born at Gloucester, Massachusetts, he lived 
chiefly in Boston, where for over twenty years he was 
superintendent of the reading room of the Merchants' 
Exchange. His ability as a critic was first displayed in 
an able article on Macaulay in 1843. He lectured as well 
as wrote on his favorite topics. Among his best books 
are "Literature and Life" (1849), "Character and Char- 
acteristic Men" (1866), "Literature of the Age of Eliza- 
beth" (1869), "Success and Its Conditions" (1871), and 
the posthumous "American Literature" (1887). He was 
equally familiar with European literature, and exhibited 
careful judgment in weighing the merits of modern writ- 
ers and public men not less than the accepted classics. He 
discussed political and historical questions as well as litera- 
ture. His penetrating insight was well matched by his 
humor and eloquence. 


Connecticut produced some poets of merit, but of less 
power than the Massachusetts group. John Pierpont 
(1785- 1 866), who graduated at Yale in 1804, after being 
a teacher, lawyer, merchant, and became a Unitarian 
preacher in Boston, Troy, and Medford. At the age of 
seventy-six he was made chaplain of a Massachusetts regi- 
ment, but soon exchanged the position for a clerkship in 
the Treasury at Washington. His "Airs of Palestine and 
Other Poems" ( 1816) was intended to show the power of 
music, combined with local scenery and national character 
in Palestine and other countries. Most of his other poems 
were written for special occasions. James Gates Percival 
(1795- 1 856), who graduated at Yale in 181 5, was an 
army surgeon, geologist and able linguist. He edited sev- 
eral learned works, assisted in revising "Webster's Dic- 
tionary," and made geological surveys of Connecticut and 
Wisconsin. Throughout his career he published poems, 
which were finally collected in 1859. His poetry is schol- 
arly and meditative, rather than popular. 


In the beginning of the Nineteenth Century a new 
view of history was developed, as an outgrowth of the 
Transcendental philosophy inaugurated by the German 
Kant, and carried out more fully by his successors. His- 
tory was no longer regarded as a gathering of isolated 
arbitrary facts, but as the study of the progress of man- 
kind. National history could not be properly considered 
apart from its relation to the general movement. Each 
Nation was an actor in a great world's drama. Its con- 
tribution was best understood when properly presented in 
its true connection. 


Bancroft was educated In Germany when this new 
view was introduced and emphasized. His first work was 
a translation of Heeren's "History of the Political System 
of Europe" (1828). By such training he was peculiarly 
fitted to present to the world the significance and import- 
ance of the great experiment of democratic government 
in the New World. For sixty years he continued to labor 
on his self-appointed task, enlightening his countrymen 
in regard to the work and intentions of their fathers, and 
erecting for himself an Imperishable literary monument. 

George Bancroft was born at Worcester, Massachu- 
setts, in 1800, and died at Washington in 1891. He 
was the son of a Unitarian minister, was educated at Har- 
vard, and afterward at Gottlngen, Germany, where he 
received the degree of Ph. D. Returning to Massachu- 



setts he founded the Round Hill School at Northampton, 
to put in practice the best methods of German instruction. 
But his ambition was to set forth clearly, adequatel}', and 
in full detail the foundations of his countr}^*s greatness. 
The first volume of his "History of the United States" 
appeared in 1834. It started from the discovery of Amer- 
ica in 1492, and when completed, in 1S88, the work was 
brought down only to the inauguration of Washington. 
Colonial History coming down to 1748, occupied about 
one-fourth. The overthrow of the European colonial 
system and the American Revolution occupied more than 
one-half. The remainder, which was issued as a separate 
work, treated of the formation of the Federal Constitution. 

Bancroft's labors on this work were interrupted by his 
political services to his country. He was an ardent Demo- 
crat and was made Collector of the Port of Boston in 1838. 
When called by President Polk to his cabinet, as Secretary 
of the Navy, in 1845, Bancroft founded the Naval Acad- 
emy at Annapolis. He also, in anticipation of the Mexi- 
can War, issued orders which helped to secure possession 
of California. In 1846 he was sent as Minister to Eng- 
land. Returning three years later, he fixed his residence 
in New York and devoted his time to the history, but 
occasionally ventured in other fields. During the Civil 
War he was a firm friend of the Union, and after its close 
he was sent by President Johnson as Minister to Ger- 
many, where he remained until 1874. His later residence 
was at Washington, though his summers were spent at 
Newport, where his rose-garden was celebrated. 

His great history was the result of conscientious 
research, careful consideration of authorities, and enthusi- 
asm for the subject. Its style is brilliant, though in the 
early volumes sometimes discursive and declamaton,'-. 
There is a tendency to philosophize, to bring forward too 



prominently, the underlying principle of the facts re- 
corded. While desirous to give just due to every actor in 
public affairs of the time treated, Bancroft offended the 
descendants of some, and evoked controversies, which 
were humorously called "the war of grandfathers." Over- 
whelming evidence was required to convince him that he 
had been mistaken in his attempt to render the final verdict 
of truth. He was slow in composition, and revised the 
chapters of his work repeatedly before they were published. 
The later editions show still further correction. Proba- 
bly the best part of his work is the last, written after 
the Civil War and the discussion of questions of recon- 
struction had shed new light on the fundamental principles 
of the Union and the Constitution. Though the author 
had not historical genius of the highest order, he was 
eminently well fitted for his task by a liberal education, by 
his capability and disposition to take pains, and by his 
judicial insight, which was only occasionally distorted by 
partisan bias. Perhaps improperly called the "History 
of the United States," the work in its utmost extent tells 
only the story of the foundation of the Nation, but it does 
point out the sources of its greatness, and sets forth the 
virtues of democratic government in a vehement oratorical 
way, which rather provokes than disarms criticism. Yet 
the whole work, showing at first the exuberant enthusiasm 
of youth, and finally the cautious wisdom of age, is a grand 
epic of democracy. 


In marked contrast with Bancroft's eloquent declama- 
tory narrative stands Richard Hildreth's "History of the 
United States." It is dry in style, judicial in tone, never 
aiming at brilliance or entertainment. The author de- 
clared his object to be "to set forth the personages of our 


Colonial and Revolutionary history such as they really 
were, . . . their faults as well as their virtues." 
Three volumes brought the history down from the dis- 
covery of America to the adoption of the Constitution. 
Three more, which surpass the former in interest, carry it 
on to the year 1821. The author, who had projected his 
work while a college student, evidently desired to correct 
the partisan bias manifested in Bancroft's work, and for 
this purpose it is valuable, though it can never become 

Richard Hildreth was bom at Deerfield, Massachu- 
setts, in 1807. He graduated from Harvard in 1826, 
studied law, but after some practice in Boston, became 
editor of the "Boston Atlas." He was opposed to slavery, 
and wrote a novel, "Archy Moore" (1837), which was 
afterward republished under the title, "The White Slave." 
Another volume, "Despotism in America" ( 1840) , treated 
of the political, economical and social aspects of slavery. 
For three years he resided in British Guiana, and there 
wrote his "Theory of Morals" (1844), and "Theory of 
Politics," which w^as not published until 1853. Mean- 
time he had removed to New York and began to publish 
his History. He was connected with the "New York 
Tribune." In 1861 he was appointed Consul at Trieste, 
but when his health failed, he resigned and removed to 
Florence, where he died in 1865. 

Though Hildreth aimed to be impartial, and by his 
calm, judicial tone, gives that impression, his interest in 
the politics of the day governed his treatment of men of 
the past and made him in some cases unjust. Yet in the 
main his views of the founders of our Government are 
eminently correct. 



William Hickling Prescott was not a profoundly 
philosophical historian, yet he became the most brilliant 
and famous of our historical writers. This was owing to 
his judicious selection of romantic themes, in which the 
American people felt an interest, as belonging to the New 
World, to his artistic arrangement of the events, and to 
his captivating style. His works are all the more remark- 
able because of the serious disadvantages under which he 
labored. Prescott was born at Salem, Massachusetts, in 
1796, grandson of the Captain Prescott who commanded 
at Bunker Hill. He was educated at Harvard College, 
from which he graduated with honors in 1814. While 
a junior in his seventeenth year he was struck in the left 
eye with a piece of bread thrown in sport by a fellow- 
student. The sight of that eye was destroyed, and, after 
his graduation, the right eye was attacked with inflam- 
mation, so that it was feared he would lose his sight totally. 
The sight, however, improved after he had taken a Euro- 
pean tour, but for the rest of his life he was practically 
blind, and subject to frequent inflammatory attacks. Yet 
undismayed by this grievous affliction, Prescott, who was 
wealthy, set himself at the age of twenty-six, resolutely 
to work on a grand historical undertaking. He sought to 
present for the first time in English an adequate account 
of Ferdinand and Isabella, who laid the foundation of 
Spain's greatness. His life was arranged according to 
an exact programme; his work was performed with the 
aid of amanuenses and secretaries, and he used a mechan- 
ical contrivance for writing. His library was supplied 
with documents from the archives of Europe. His prac- 
tice was to have the authorities read to him, then to make 
a careful mental digest of the material, dividing it into 


appropriate chapters, and then to shape his thoughts in 
literary form before the final dictation of writing. 

The first installment of Prescott's life-work appeared 
in 1837, having cost him more than ten years' assiduous 
labor. It was the "History of Ferdinand and Isabella," 
printed at his own expense. The romantic nature of the 
subject, enhanced by the author's dignified yet charming 
style, gave it a popularity which it has retained to the 
present day. It was soon translated into several European 
languages, and caused the author to be ranked the fore- 
most of American historians. In 1843 appeared the "Con- 
quest of Mexico," which had an unparalleled reception, 
both from the general public and from the highest authori- 
ties. It won special praise from Wilhelm von Humboldt, 
who had visited that country. Four years later the "Con- 
quest of Peru" was published. In 1850 Prescott, who 
had suffered domestic affliction, went abroad, visiting 
England and the Continent, and everywhere was received 
with the highest honor. He never visited the scenes of his 
histories. On his return he undertook the "History of 
Philip II," which, unfortunately, he did not live to com- 
plete; two volumes appeared in 1855 and a third in 1856. 
In the latter year his continuation of Robertson's "History 
of Charles V." was issued. He published also a volume 
of "Miscellanies," chiefly essays contributed to the "North 
American Review." Prescott died at Boston in 1859. 
His life was written by his friend, George Ticknor, the 
historian of Spanish literature. 

As an historian Prescott excels in vigorous and pic^ 
turesque narrative. His work was based on a thorough 
study of the original documents, so far as this could be 
effected by one who depended on the sight of others. Yet 
there can be no doubt about Prescott's broad and catholic 
scholarship, his carefulness in selecting facts, and the 


glowing style, which gives to his history the interest of 
romance. Prescott criticized his own work and admitted 
that his style might seem too studied. His rule was to 
alternate long and short sentences in order to produce har- 
mony. Yet his chief object was to put liveliness into the 
narrative, believing that if the sentiment was lively and 
forcible, the reader would be carried along without much 
heed to the arrangement of periods. Emerson praised 
Prescott in comparison with other historians for rendering 
his work of such absorbing interest to his readers, for 
making them feel its reality, while the others make battles, 
sieges and fortunes only words. In later years there has 
been criticism on the value of the authorities which he 
exhibited so liberally in footnotes, especially in his "Mex- 
ico" and "Peru." It must be said in his defense that he 
used cautiously the evidence of the actors in the events he 
related. They may have misunderstood what they saw, 
interpreting it according to European notions of the time. 
Prescott had not the means of correcting their errors 
which archaeological investigation has since furnished. 
John Fiske and some English writers have retold the story 
of the Spanish Conquest of America. 


John Lothrop Motley was a man of high scholarship 
and varied attainments, but was late in concentrating his 
labor on the historical work which was to give him fame. 
He was born at Dorchester, (now part of Boston) Massa- 
chusetts, in 1 8 14. He was partly of New England Puritan 
descent, and partly Scotch-Irish. He was educated at Ban- 
croft's Round Hill School and at Harvard College; after 
his graduation he went to Germany and studied at Got- 

tingen and Berlin, forming a memorable student-friend- 
Voi. 9 — 29 


ship with Bismarck. On his return to Boston he studied 
law. His first book, "Morton's Hope" (1839), a novel 
of Revolutionary times, was unsuccessful, but his second, 
"^Merry Mount" (1849), a story of the founding of Bos- 
ton, had greater favor. Meantime he had contributed some 
historical articles to the "North American Review," and 
had determined to write a work on the revolt of the Neth- 
erlands from Spain in the Sixteenth Century, and was 
encouraged in his undertaking by Prescott. Finding it 
essential to his purpose to consult the European archives, 
he went abroad in 185 1. So great was the labor that his 
"Rise of the Dutch Republic" did not appear until five 
years later. But it immediately won fame by its impetu- 
ous, graphic style, its enthusiastic love of liberty, its mas- 
terly exposure of Spanish misrule, tyranny, and religious 
persecution under Philip II and the Duke of Alva. The 
great hero of the work is William the Silent, and in the 
portrayal of this great statesman and others on both sides 
of the struggle, the ability of the author was finely dis- 
played. The whole work was characterized by vivid de- 
scription and dramatic force. After a year's interval, spent 
in travel. Motley continued his historical labors, and pub- 
lished in i860 the "History of the United Netherlands," 
which was marked by the same general character as the 
former work. While the great hero was missing, the 
scene was greatly enlarged, and much attention was given 
to English and French affairs. It was an inspiring recital 
of the story of a brave little nation conquering for itself a 
place in the world's affairs. 

When the American Civil Wslt broke out, Motley 
wrote to the London "Times" an elaborate letter explain- 
ing the cause of the war and the nature of the Union, 
which was misunderstood in Europe. He was appointed 
by President Lincoln Minister to Austria, where he still 


exerted himself in behalf of his country's interests. The 
concluding volumes of his "History of the United Nether- 
lands" were also issued, bringing the narrative down to 
1609. Motley resigned his ministerial position in 1867, 
owing to some complaint by an American traveler, which 
should have been disregarded. President Grant sent Mot- 
ley as minister to Great Britain in 1869 at the request of 
Senator Sumner, but afterward, when the President and 
Senator quarreled, recalled him. Motley was deeply hurt 
and never recovered from the effects of the blow. In 1874 
he published "The Life and Death of John of Barneveld," 
a continuation of his history, giving a view of the primary 
causes of the Thirty Years' War. Motley had hoped to 
bring his narrative down at least to the peace of West- 
phalia in 1648, but his health failed, and he died near Dor- 
chester, England, May 29, 1877. 

It cannot be" denied that Motley wrote his histories as 
a partisan, as an enthusiastic, eloquent advocate of the 
great cause of liberty. Nowhere could he have found a 
more inspiring theme than in the uprising of a gallant and 
determined people, with few natural resources, against 
the crushing, bloody despotism of Spain, enriched with 
the spoils of two worlds. But the method of historical 
writing has been changed and in treatment of great move- 
ments perfect objectivity is now insisted on. Yet Mot- 
ley's works retain their high mark and popularity, owing 
to their thorough research and splendid delineation of an 
important period in the progress of humanity. Froude, 
who is the English historian most akin to Motley in spirit 
and manner, pronounced his first work "as complete as 
industry and genius can make it." 



Another historian, who, like Prescott, labored under 
the affliction of partial blindness, and yet achieved mem- 
orable results, was Francis Parkman. Descended from 
the earliest settlers of Massachusetts, he was born in Bos- 
ton in 1823 and was educated at Harvard College. He 
studied law, but he had already determined to devote his 
life to an adequate presentation of the great conflict 
between the French and English for the possession of 
North America. In order to understand the background 
of the subject fully, he resolved to examine the manners 
and customs of Indians as yet unaffected by contact with 
the whites. For this purpose in 1846 he explored the 
wilderness toward the Rocky Mountains and lived for sev- 
eral weeks among the Dakota Indians in that region then 
just becoming known. Although previously strong and 
fond of exercise, the privations which he endured rendered 
him an invalid for life. The immediate results of his 
observations and experiences were given in his pictur- 
esque book called "The Oregon Trail" ( 1849). The next 
was "The Conspiracy of Pontiac" ( 185 1 ) ; chronologically 
it treated of a later episode of his historical series, called 
as a whole, "France and England in the New World." 
This series comprised "The Pioneers of France in the New 
World" (1865); "The Jesuits in North America" 
(1867) ; "La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West" 
(1869); "The Old Regime in Canada" (1874); "Count 
Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV" (1877); 
"Montcalm and Wolfe" (1884), which was issued in 
advance of the one chronologically preceding it; "A Half- 
Century of Conflict" ( 1892) . Parkman paid several visits 
to France to examine the archives. He gave considerable 
attention to horticulture, and for a time taught that branch 


in the Agricultural School of Harvard. He published also 
"The Book of Roses" (1866). Ten years earlier he had 
published his only novel, "Vassall Morton." He died in 
1893, having completed his main work, though his ill 
health had seemed likely to prevent its consummation. 

It is an evidence of Parkman's genius that he observed 
and selected a grand historical subject, practically unex- 
plored, though the material was rich and accessible. The 
real grandeur of his subject can only be estimated by con- 
sidering that it was not merely a story of exploration and 
colonization of a vast wilderness, but an important part 
of a conflict which extended over the world in the Eight- 
eenth Century. This was the great question at issue. Was 
France or England to become the foremost factor in rul- 
ing and civilizing the outlying world? The outcome of 
the struggle for Canada decided that England was to be 
supreme in the empire of the world. Parkman not only 
possessed rare insight into the causes and effects of large 
events; he was also an excellent judge of character, and 
treated all the actors in the great drama with which he 
was concerned, whether French, English or Indians, with 
even and exact justice. His personal reputation is 
enhanced by the fact that his arduous and delicate work 
was done fairly and impartially in spite of the physical ills 
which steadily beset him. His history is a permanent 
monument reflecting credit on himself and on New Eng- 


It was given to a New England woman to write the 
most widely circulated book of the Century, one which 
had even greater political effect than literary power. 
"Uncle Tom's Cabin" excited both in North and South 


that impassioned feeling which culminated in bloody strife 
and did not cease till slavery was abolished. Yet the book 
U'as written by a woman who had never been in the slave 
States, though she had lived on the border and had learned 
much of the working of the slave system from fugitive 
negroes and from newspapers. Her strong imagination^ 
humanitarian sentiment and reforming spirit had supplied 
whatever was necessary to make the fiction more power- 
ful than fact in overthrowing an institution protected bj 
legal and constitutional bulwarks. 

Harriet Beecher Stowe was the daughter of Rev. 
Lyman Beecher, the leading orthodox Calvinistic minister 
of his time. Her brother, Henry Ward Beecher, became 
even more noted in his time, being as active in the politi- 
cal strife as in the theological field. Other brothers and 
sisters were prominent in Church and educational mat- 
ters. Harriet was born at Litchfield, Connecticut, in 
1811, and grew up in a strongly religious atmosphere 
She was a pupil and afterward teacher in her sister Cath- 
erine's school. In 1832 the Beecher family removed to 
Cincinnati, and there Harriet was married to Prof. Calvin 
E, Stowe, of Lane Theological Seminary. Her first book 
was "The Mayflower" (1849), slight sketches of New 
England life. Professor Stowe was called to Bowdoin Col- 
lege, at Brunswick, Maine, and there his wife wrote 
"Uncle Tom's Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly." It 
appeared first in the "National Era," an anti-slavery 
paper published at Washington, but excited no sensation 
until it came out in book form in 1852. When its revela- 
tions of slavery were called in question, Mrs. Stowe 
published a "Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin," containing 
extracts from Southern newspapers and other testimony 
in vindication of the truth of incidents in her story. As 
that book had shown the working of slavery in Kentucky 


and Louisiana, she went on to describe the system in Vir- 
ginia in "Dred, a Tale of the Dismal Swamp." Being 
raised to affluence by the income from her books she went 
to Europe, where she was received with high honor. In 
1864 the family removed to Hartford, Connecticut, where 
she kept her residence until her death in 1896. She made 
several visits to Europe and for many years spent her win- 
ters in Florida. After the Civil War Mrs. Stowe wrote 
several tales of New England life, including "The Minis- 
ter's Wooing," 'The Pearl of Orr's Island," "Oldtown 
Folks," "Poganuc People." In these appeared a new 
development of the Puritan spirit, turning away from the 
logical discussion and devoting itself to the cultivation 
of kindness and immediate social duty. Sam Lawson, 
a shrewd, talkative Yankee, was made responsible for 
several stories. In "My Wife and I" and other tales, Mrs. 
Stowe undertook to teach young married people the proper 
way of living. But while these didactic stories were 
attractive to a large class, they never reached the wide 
popularity of her anti-slavery novels. 


The growing commercial and political importance of 
New York, its increase of wealth, and the enterprise of its 
publishers, both of books and periodicals, tended to make 
it a literary center before the close of the first half-century. 
Among the writers drawn thither were some who had been 
connected with Brook Farm, including Dr. George Ripley 
(1802- 1 880), who had first suggested that experiment. 
Ripley became literary critic of the "New York Tribune,'* 
which had been founded by Horace Greeley (1811-1872). 
Ripley was also the chief editor of "Appleton's American 
Cyclopaedia" (1858-61; revised edition, 1875). In this 
he was assisted by Charles Anderson Dana (181 9-1 891), 
a native of New Hampshire, who had also been a member 
of the Brook Farm community, and edited its organ, "The 
Harbinger." Dana became assistant editor of the 
"Tribune," and during the Civil War assistant Secretary 
of War, but his chief distinction is as editor of the "New 
York Sun," which under his management became the 
model in style for American daily newspapers. George 
William Curtis (1824-1892), who had been a pupil at 
Brook Farm and a student at Berlin, went on a tour in 
Egypt and Syria, which furnished material for his enter- 
taining books of travel, "Nile Notes of a Howadji" 
(1851) and "The Howadji in Syria" (1852). He joined 
the "Tribune" staff, and afterward was editor of "Put- 
nam's Magazine." In it appeared his social satirical 
"Potiphar Papers" and his charming "Prue and I," in 
which a clerk philosophizes on New York social life as 
he sees it in his daily walks. Partnership with a printer 



who failed involved Curtis in debts which embarrassed 
him for many years. After some contributions to "Har- 
per's Magazine" and "Harper's Weekly," he became edi- 
tor of the latter and the writer of the "Editor's Easy 
Chair" for the former, and retained these positions to the 
end of his life. Thirty-five years were thus spent in con- 
stant literary work of a high order, but no books were 
issued except the novel, "Trumps," which had been a 
serial in the "Weekly." The "Easy Chair" touched 
lightly, gracefully, but wisely, all the questions of the 
time, and contained tributes to many prominent person- 
ages. Curtis was also widely known as a lecturer and 
political orator. He was especially active in behalf of civil 
service reform, and may be regarded as the champion of 
that movement. 


Bayard Taylor (1825-1878) achieved wide fame, yet 
never reached the distinction at which he aimed. He was 
renowned as a traveler and descriptive writer, was much 
sought as a lecturer, but he wished to be known as a great 
poet. He was born at Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, of 
Quaker parents, learned to set type, and early showed 
strong desire for travel. At the age of twenty, after pub- 
lishing a poem called "Ximena," he set sail for Europe, 
and supported himself during two years' wandering by 
writing letters to American newspapers. His "Views 
Afoot, or Europe Seen with Knapsack and Staff" (1846) 
proved very popular. It led to his success as a popular 
lecturer, and to an engagement as writer for the "New 
York Tribune." On behalf of this paper he went on new 
travels to California, Russia, Syria, Central Africa, the 
Land of the Midnight Sun, India, China, and Japan. Ten 
more books of travel followed the first, besides "Rhymes 


of Travel," "California Ballads," "Poems of the Orient/' 
His novels, "Hannah Thurston" and "A Story of Ken- 
nett" were intended to exhibit the scenery and life of his 
native Chester county in his own day and in the Revolu- 
tionary period? "John Godfrey's Fortunes" is partly auto- 
biographical, showing his early experience in New York 
city. But all the while Taylor was cherishing his ambition 
to be a great poet. He published altogether thirteen vol- 
umes of verse in a great variety of styles, from ballads to 
dramatic romances. His most laborious undertaking was 
the translation of Goethe's "Faust" in the original meters, 
and in this he was successful beyond the utmost expecta- 
tions of critics. He married as his second wife a 
German lady and had indeed become perfectly saturated 
with German ideas. He wished to realize in himself the 
noble intellectual life of Goethe. When he was appointed 
American Minister to Germany in 1878, it seemed that his 
desire to write adequate biographies of Goethe and Schil- 
ler would be fulfilled, but his health had already failed 
and he died in Berlin in December of that year. His two 
great poems are "Prince Deukalion," which recites dra- 
matically the progress of civilization, and "The Masque 
of the Gods," which shows vast movements in human 
affairs. Plis long narrative poem, "Lars," is a pastoral 
of Norway. But he was at his best in short lyrical pieces, 
whether relating to his native Pennsylvania, or to the 
distant Orient. 


Richard Henry Stoddard is a connecting link between 
the early New York period and the present. He was born 
at Hingham, Massachusetts, in 1825. His father, a sea 
captain, was lost at sea while the poet was a child. Remov- 
ing afterward to New York, Stoddard worked for some 


years in an iron foundry. But the iron did not enter into 
his soul to the exchision of poetry. In 1849 he brought 
out a volume called "Footprints," but he afterward 
destroyed the edition, and issued a riper volume in 1852. 
For many years he was employed in the Custom House 
in New York, and in the Dock Department. Yet he did 
not abandon writing, nor did the Muse forsake him. His 
"Songs of Summer" (1857) abounded in a tropical lux- 
uriance of feeling and delicate fancy. For ten years Mr. 
Stoddard was literary editor of the "New York World," 
and has since held the same position with "The Mail and 
Express," though partly disabled by impaired sight. He 
is a just and discerning critic. Among his best poems is 
"Abraham Lincoln : a Horatian Ode," a noble tribute to 
the martyred President. His fancy has been attracted by 
Persian poetry, and he published in 1871 "The Book of 
the East." He has also written some tales for the young, 
and edited various collections of English and American 
poetry. While he has written much prose, his poetry 
represents his best literary efforts. He excels in lyrics, 
showing delicate feeling and wide sympathy. 


Dr. Josiah Gilbert Holland did good work in editing 
the "Springfield Republican," and founding "Scribner's 
Monthly," which became the "Century Magazine." He 
was born at Belchertown, Massachusetts, in 1819, and in 
spite of poverty and ill-health, won a doctor's degree from 
Berkshire Medical College at the age of twenty-five. Yet 
he was obliged to turn to teaching and other employment 
until in 1839 he became editor of the "Springfield Repub- 
lican," just founded by Samuel Bowles. To this paper, 
under the name Timothy Titcomb, he contributed "Let- 


ters to Young People, Married and Single," which by iheir 
moral earnestness, sprightliness and good sense, obtained 
wide popularity, especially when published in book 
form. In 1870 Dr. Holland assisted in founding 
"Scribner's Monthly," which was intended to be (like 
"Macmillan's Magazine," then just started in England) 
unobjectionable to religious readers and at the same 
time of high literary quality. Its success was very 
great from the start. Afterward, on a change of pro- 
prietorship, it became the "Century Magazine," Dr. Hol- 
land remaining editor until his death in 1881. His best 
writing is in his short lyrics and his mixed narrative and 
dramatic poems of American home life, "Bittersweet" 
(1858), "Katrina" (1868), and "The Mistress of the 
Manse" (1881). His novels, "Arthur Bonnicastle" 
(1873), "Sevenoaks" (1876), and "Nicholas Minturn" 
(1877), did not attain popularity. In all his writings a 
high moral aim was manifest. 


In the South, before the Civil War, literature was not 
generally favored. Men of intellectual ability there be- 
came statesmen, ministers, orators and jurists. Yet some 
of these gave occasional attention to literary work, and a 
few devoted themselves to it almost entirely. William 
Wirt (1772-1834), of German descent, and famous as a 
lawyer, published in 1803 "Letters of a British Spy," 
describing the scenery and prominent persons of Virginia, 
and contributed to the volume of essays, called "The Old 
Bachelor" (1812). His best known work is the "Life of 
Patrick Henry" (1817), which preserved the fame of that 

John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-1870), born in Balti- 
more, became a lawyer, member of Congress, leader of the 
Whig party, and in 1852 Secretary of the Navy. His 
chief Hterary work was "Swallow Barn" (1832), in which 
he sought to do for Virginia country life what Irving had 
done for the Hudson, and some novels, of which the best 
are "Horse-shoe Robinson" (1835), a story of the Revo- 
lutionary War, and "Rob of the Bowl." He wrote also 
the "Memoirs of William Wirt." 


But the principal literary figure of the Old South was 
William Gilmore Simms (1806-1870), who was born in 
Charleston, South Carolina, where his father had come 
from the North of Ireland, shortly after the Revolution. 
Left a motherless boy, he was apprenticed to a druggist, 



studied law under difficulties, but early showed devotion 
to the Muse. His father had gone to settle in the Terri- 
tory of Mississippi and fought in the Florida campaign 
under Andrew Jackson. The son joined the father, and 
with him made long journeys through the backwoods, 
visiting the Creek and Cherokee nations. This experience 
laid the foundation for Simms's later work. He was ad- 
mitted to the bar in 1827 and became editor of a Charles- 
ton paper which opposed nullification, and was thus 
reduced to poverty. He had already written fair verses in 
Byronic style, and "The Lost Pleiad" showed Words- 
worth's influence. His eccentric drama, "Atalantis," 
describes a sea-fairy who is persecuted by a demon, but 
rescues herself and marries a mortal lover. The scenes 
take place at the bottom of the sea, on an enchanted island, 
and on the deck of a Spanish bark. Simms went North 
and lived for a time in Massachusetts. His first novel was 
written under the influence of Godwin, but his second, 
"Guy Rivers" (1834) introduced his readers to new per- 
sonages of romance, the Southern backwoodsmen, the 
squatters and Indians, the North Carolina mountaineers, 
and the Yankee peddler. This was the beginning of a long 
series which showed not only the heroism of the settlers of 
Carolina and the Southwest, but the bravery and virtues 
of their Indian foes. Simms did not make his redskins 
as noble as those of Cooper, nor as devilish as did Dr. 
Robert M. Bird in "Nick of the Woods." In the tragical 
story of "The Yemassee" (1835), the chief Sanutee, the 
soul of the uprising of the Indians against the whites, 
his wife Mattawan, a lovely character, and their unfortu- 
nate son, Oconestoga, perish in their defeat. "The Parti- 
san" (1835) was a story of Marion's men, and may be 
ranked with Cooper's "The Spy." Its Lieutenant Porgy 
is one of Simms's best characters. His "Wigwam and 


Cabin Tales" contain thirteen short stories of pioneer and 
Indian hfe. "Grayhng" has been praised as one of the 
best. Simms wrote historical, geographical and didactic 
or reflective works, but he lives only in his novels. Even 
these are full of faults, but the rapidity of action and the 
vigor of the narrative gave them popularity. They are 
in the style of Scott and Cooper, but never reach the endur- 
ing qualities of those masters. In the latter part of his 
life Simms lived on a plantation at Midway, South Caro- 

Augustus Baldwin Longstreet (1790-1870), born at 
Augusta, Georgia, became a judge and president of the 
University of Mississippi. His chief literary work was 
the humorous "Georgia Scenes" (1840) and "Master 
William Mitten" (1858). 

Albert Pike (i 809-1 891), born in Boston, and educated 
at Harvard, went to St. Louis in 1831. Thence he set out 
on an expedition to Santa Fe, and finally settled in Arkan- 
sas, becoming editor and proprietor of a newspaper, and 
afterward a lawyer. During the Mexican War he served 
as a volunteer. In the Civil War he organized a force of 
Cherokee Indians on the Confederate side, and with them 
fought at the battle of Pea Ridge, in March, 1862. In 
1867 he became editor of the "Memphis Appeal." Later 
he resided in Washington, practising law. His "Hymns 
to the Gods" (1831) were for their force and beauty 
republished in "Blackwood's Magazine." "Buena Vista" 
is a war ballad; other poems showed high lyric power. 
Collections of his poems were made in 1873 and 1882. 

John Esten Cooke (1830- 1886) undertook to do for 
Virginia what Simms had done for South Carolina. After 
some stories and sketches he oublished the novel "Leather 


Stocking and Silk" (1854), which was soon followed and 
surpassed by "The Virginia Comedians" (1854), proba- 
bly the best Southern novel written before the war. Others 
of his early stories were *'The Last of the Foresters" and 
"Henry St. John, Gentleman." During the Civil War 
Cooke served on the staff of various Confederate Generals. 
Afterward he retired to his farm near Winchester, and 
wrote biographies of Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and 
several novels relating to the great conflict. Among those 
were "Mohun, or the Last Days of Lee and His Paladins" 
(1868), "Hilt to Hilt, or Days and Nights in the Shen- 
andoah" (1869). 

Paul Hamilton Hayne (1831-1886), bearing a name 
famous in the annals of South Carolina, was the finest poet 
of the South. He was a native of Charleston, and edited 
literary periodicals there until the war, when he served 
on the staff of General Pickens. His house and property 
were destroyed in the bombardment of Charleston, and 
after the war he settled at Copse Hill, Georgia, where he 
pursued literary work till his death. Among his best 
poems are "The Pine's Mystery," the ballad "The Battle 
of King's Mountain," "The Lyric of Action." His war 
lyrics are thrilling and his descriptive and meditative 
verses are exquisite in music and thought. 

Henry Timrod (1829-1867), also bom in Charleston, 
suffered from ill-health and poverty, yet wrote poems full 
of ardent devotion to the South and its lost cause. His 
war lyrics, grand and impetuous, won for him the title of 
^'the Tyrtseus of the South." His poems were edited by 
P. H. Hayne. 

Abram Joseph Ryan (1840-1886), born of Irish par- 
ents at Norfolk, Virginia, was equally devoted to the 
Southern cause. He was a Catholic priest, and served 
as chaplain in the Confederate army. After the war he 


edited religious and literary papers in New Orleans and 
Knoxville, and had charge of a church at Mobile. In 
1880 he published his "Poems, Patriotic, Religious, Mis- 
cellaneous." He died at Louisville, Kentucky, in 1886. 
He is best known by his lament over the defeat of the 
Confederacy, "The Conquered Banner," and the spirited 
tribute to the Southern leader, "The Sword of Robert 
Lee." Other fine poems are "Erin's Flag," "Sursum 

Charles Etienne Gayarre (1805-1892) was born in 
New Orleans of Creole stock, and became a lawyer and 
judge. His chief work was a "History of Louisiana" (3 
vols. 1854-57), but he wrote also a history of "Philip II 
of Spain" and two historical novels, "Fernando de Lemos'* 
(1872) and "Aubert Dubayet" (1882). 


The most remarkably original singer of the South 
was Sidney Lanier ( 1 842-1 88 1 ) , who was chosen to write 
the cantata for the opening of the Centennial Exhibition 
at Philadelphia. He was descended from a long line of 
musicians, and distinguished his poetry by the interming- 
ling of musical efifects. He was born at Macon, Georgia, 
^nd studied at Oglethorpe College, until the war broke 
out, when he entered the Confederate service. He was 
captured on a blockade-runner, and held prisoner for five 
months. The hardships of war developed consumption, 
and the rest of his life was a courageous struggle with that 
disease. In 1873 he went to Baltimore to be a musician. 
He had already published a novel "Tiger Lilies" (1867), 
founded on his war experiences. His fine poem, "Corn," 
which appeared in "Lippincott's Magazine" in 1875, was 

the first to attract attention to his name. For support of 
Vol,. 9—30 


his family he wrote a "Guide-Book to Florida" and edited 
for boys "Froissart," "King Arthur," "Percy's Reliques" 
and the "Mabinogion." In 1879, he was appointed 
lecturer on English literature in Johns Hopkins Univer- 
sity. His "Science of English Verse" (1880) is an elab- 
orate study of the metrical structure of English poetry, 
in which he held that time was as important as in music. 
"The English Novel and the Principle of Its Develop- 
ment" (1883) was the first treatise in which the growth 
of fiction was fully considered, historically and philo- 
sophically. Lanier's "Poems" were not collected until 
1884, three years after his death; but since that time his 
fame has steadily risen. All of his work is marked by his 
strong feeling for music, and many of his pieces are really 
songs, "Song of the Chattahoochee," "A Song of Love." 
His "Psalm of the West" is a grand expression of true 
Americanism. "The Stirrup Cup" is a friendly challenge 
to death. "A Ballad of Trees and the Master" is a mys- 
tical expression of the sympathy of nature with the suffer- 
ings of Christ. Many others of his poems give a striking 
personality to the products of nature, as "Corn," "Clover," 
"Tampa Robins," and "The Dove." His dying swan- 
chants are found in "Hymns of the Marshes." Though 
his art was too fine and high for general appreciation, Lan- 
ier must be regarded as one of the greatest American poets. 


More than a dozen years after the Civil War there 
began to appear in "Scribner's Magazine" a series of short 
stories, revealing singular types of character, and a pecu- 
liar civilization, surcharged with a delightful atmosphere, 
admirably adapted to the purpose of romance. They were 


found in the limits of the United States, and yet belonged 
to a reserved aristocratic French and Spanish community. 
This revelation of the Creoles of New Orleans, hitherto 
secluded from general observation, was made by George 
Washington Cable, who had lived familiarly among them, 
and had the artistic sense necessary to set them properly 
before the world. He was born in New Orleans in 1844, 
the son of a prosperous merchant, who failed a few years 
later. On the death of his father, young Cable left school 
and became a store clerk. At the age of nineteen he 
entered the Confederate army, and served till the close 
of the war. Thereafter he led a checkered life, as clerk, 
member of a surveying expedition, reporter and con- 
tributor to the New Orleans papers. The stories of Creole 
life published in "Scribner's Magazine" proved still more 
popular, when issued in the volume "Old Creole Days." 
In 1880 appeared "The Grandissimes," his first long novel, 
followed soon by "Madame Delphine" and "Dr. Sevier." 
This remarkable trio' of novels has given Cable a unique 
place in American literature. No rivals have entered his 
field; he stands alone as a truthful delineator of a remark- 
able civilization. His scenes were laid in a former gen- 
eration, thus giving better scope for his fancy, while his 
thorough knowledge of the conservative society and its 
environment prevented his going astray in depicting it. 
Of course the sensitive, tender-hearted Creoles, jealous 
of their caste and their privacy, resented the exposure of 
their lives, however sympathetic the relation. Part of his 
picturesque stories related to the Quadroons, and the mix- 
ture of these with the others gave serious offense. There 
were later sketches of the descendants of the Acadians, 
who found refuge in Louisiana, when dragged into exile 
from Nova Scotia. The volume, "Bonaventure," includes 


three of the best stories. Mr. Cable wrote also a "History 
of New Orleans," in connection with the census of 1880. 
He afterward removed to Massachusetts and engaged in 
religious work. One more novel has been added to his 
list, "John March, Southerner." 



According to the method which long prevailed in the 
study of history, attention is confined to wars, battles, 
sieges, changes of dynasties, actions of rulers and intrigues 
of courts, while the condition and desires of the mass of the 
people were disregarded. But in recent years the latter 
has come to be considered not only an essential element 
but the chief material of true history. It was probably 
first exemplified in a single notable chapter of Macaulay's 
"History of England." It was afterward fully presented 
in J. R. Green's "History of the English People." Its 
chief American representative is J. B, McMasters' "His- 
tory of the People of the United States," which aims to 
exhibit the social growth ol the American people from 
the adoption of the Constitution in 1789 to the outbreak 
of the Civil War in 1861. The first volume appeared in 
1883, and four more have been issued, bringing the his- 
tory down to 1 82 1. 

John Bach McMaster was born in Brooklyn, New 
York, in 1852, and graduated from the College of the 
City of New York in 1872. He became instructor in civil 
engineering at Princeton College in 1877, and after the 
publication of the first volume of his history in 1883 was 
called to the University of Pennsylvania as professor of 
American history. Besides his chief work, he has pub- 
lished "Benjamin Franklin as a Man of Letters" (1887) 
and "With the Fathers" ( 1896), a series of historical por- 
traits. He is thoroughly democratic in spirit, and objects 
to the hero-worship which has occupied so much space in 
records of the past. He believes that the true vitality of 



a nation consists in the general welfare of the plain people, 
whose combined efforts make the commonwealth. 

John Fiske was noted as a linguist, an exponent of 
evolution, and a synthetic philosopher, before he devoted 
himself to writing the history of his country. He was 
born at Hartford, Connecticut, in 1842. His father was 
Edmund Brewster Green, but the son at the age of thirteen 
took his present name from one of his mother's ancestors. 
His extraordinary facility in acquiring languages was 
early displayed. He graduated from Harvard in 1863, 
and studied law, but soon devoted himself to literature. 
For some years he was assistant librarian at Harvard. 
Intending to prepare a work on the early Aryans, he wrote 
"Myths and Myth-Makers" (1874), but afterward laid 
the project aside, finding it necessary to know more about 
the barbaric world. In his "Cosmic Philosophy" (1874), 
the system of Herbert Spencer is fully expounded. His 
other philosophical writings are "Excursions of an Evolu- 
tionist" (1883); "The Destiny of Man" (1884); "The 
Idea of God as Affected by Modern Knowledge" (1884). 
The last were originally delivered as courses of lectures. 
Mr. Fiske holds that the Darwinian theory of natural 
selection, so far from lowering man in the scale of organic 
life, exalts him and his spiritual part as the goal toward 
which nature has been tending. Original sin is the brute 
inheritance from warring ancestors. Mr. Fiske declares 
his belief in a future life and the existence of God, main- 
taining that there is no necessary conflict between science 
and religion. 

Another course of lectures was called for in aid of 
the preservation of Old South Meeting House, in Boston. 
Mr. Fiske then discussed "American Political Ideas" 
(1885), and since its delivery, he has given attention 
chiefly to American history. In the "Discovery of 


America" he treated fully the condition of the aborigines 
found by Columbus and his successors, and traverses much 
of what Prescott had written on the authority of the Span- 
ish explorers. His other historical works are "The Begin- 
nings of New England," "The American Revolution," 
"The Critical Period of the American Revolution." All 
his writings are characterized by clearness and fluency. 
His vigor and skill are best displayed in the romantic inci- 
dents and dramatic crises. 

Edward Eggleston had attained popularity as a writer 
of stories of Western life before he undertook to relate in 
a series of books the history of social life in the United 
States. He was born at Vevay, Indiana, in 1837, his 
father having come from Virginia. In youth he suffered 
from ill-health and went to Minnesota on this account. 
Here he became a Methodist preacher, and soon began 
writing for newspapers. In 1870 he was made literary 
editor of the New York "Independent," and afterward he 
edited "Hearth and Home." In this was published "The 
Hoosier Schoolmaster," his most popular novel. It was 
soon followed by others, "The End of the World," "The 
Mystery of Metropolisville," "The Circuit Rider," 
"Roxy," "The Graysons." These were chiefly founded 
on his experiences in Indiana, but the last related to an 
incident in the life of Abraham Lincoln. Meantime Mr. 
Eggleston published a series of sketches of "Life in the 
Colonial Period," and a school "History of the United 
States" as preliminary to his larger work, which was not 
intended to be strict history, but descriptions of individual 
and social life at successive periods. The first volume, 
"The Beginners of a Nation," appeared in 1896. It treats 
of the various experiments in colonization, the various 
motives influencing the leaders, and the unexpected out- 
come of the several ventures. Mr. Eggleston's industry 


of research and realistic imagination are shown in these 
picturesque sketches. His style is simple, vigorous and 
natural. A strong moral enthusiasm is manifest in all his 
writing. In treating of the founders of New England 
he condemns their religious intolerance, and while admir- 
ing Roger Williams' noble plea for soul-liberty, does not 
conceal his scruples about insignificant trifles. 

The Adams family has always been prominent in the 
history of the United States, and its diaries and other 
records are part of the national archives. Henry Adams, 
son of Charles Francis Adams, who was the American 
Minister in England during the Civil War, has devoted 
himself specially to historical writing. He was born in 
1838, graduated from Harvard in 1858, and served as 
his father's private secretary in England. He was after- 
ward editor of the "North American Review" and profes- 
sor of history at Harvard, where he introduced the new 
methods and inspired his pupils with enthusiasm for 
research. Besides many essays, he has written valuable 
biographies of Albert Gallatin ( 1879) and John Randolph 
(1882). But his most important and characteristic work 
is his "History of the United States, 1801-17" (9 vols., 
1889-91). To this subject he was drawn by the fact that 
while President John Adams had been the head and front 
of the Federal party, his son, John Quincy Adams, who 
also became President, went over to the Democratic party. 
The History presents an explanation, if not a justification, 
of the change. In preparation of it the author spent much 
time in Washington, London, and other foreign capitals, 
examining archives and studying every subject necessary 
for a complete understanding of the questions involved. 
The result is a remarkable reconstruction of a period long 
supposed to be perfectly understood. The account of the 
War of 18 1 2, for instance, is entirely different from that 


of former historians, except in the general outHne. As 
a work of art, the History deserves high praise for orderly 
arrangement and clear statement of a vast number of par- 
ticulars, without obscuring the general effect of the whole. 
Every statement is carefully fortified by array of authori- 
ties. The author has enforced by example what he had 
before taught by precept. 

Theodore Roosevelt has been so prominent as a maker 
of history that it excites wonder that he has also been dili- 
gent and productive as a writer. He was born in New 
York city in 1858, his father being a successful merchant. 
He graduated at Harvard in 1880, and three years later 
published his "Hunting Trips of a Ranchman." His direct 
interest in the West led to his study of its dramatic devel- 
opment which is shown in "The Winning of the West" 
(4 vols., 1895). These volumes exhibit careful investiga- 
tion of original documents, as well as thorough sympathy 
with the subject. But they did not exhaust his energies. 
He wrote also lives of Thomas H. Benton (1887) and 
Gouverneur Morris (1888) and a "History of New York 
City" ( 1891 ) , besides two or three new books on hunting. 
Yet during this period of book-making, the author was 
also busy in politics; he was member of the New York 
Assembly, 1882-84, United States Civil Service Commis- 
sioner, 1889-95, president of the New York Board of 
Police Commissioners, 1895-97, and Assistant Secretary 
of the Navy until the declaration of war with Spain. Then 
he resigned, raised a regiment of Rough Riders, went to 
Cuba, distinguished himself at Santiago, and returned to 
be elected Governor of New York. Throughout his 
career he has been conspicuous for stalwart independence, 
and a leader in behalf of civil service reform and the puri- 
fication of politics. His thoroughly American spirit is as 
conspicuous in his writings as in his public life. His style 


is fresh, vigorous and manly.. He is an honor to American 
literature as to American public life. 

An epoch-making work in history was Captain Alfred 
Thayer Mahan's "Influence of Sea Power Upon History" 
(1890). This treatise was the first adequate literary 
statement of the importance of a navy, and even of the real 
meaning of its existence. It shows the precise force which 
maritime strength has had upon the fortunes of each 
nation from 1660 to 1783. The revelation has had pro- 
found effect in every civilized country, and when the 
author visited Europe in command of the Chicago in 1893, 
he received many public honors in acknowledgment of his 
services. Captain Mahan was born in New York City in 
1840, and entered the Naval Academy at Annapolis in 
1856. He was made lieutenant in 1861, and served in 
the blockading squadrons during the Civil War. In 1872 
he was made captain and he was President of the Naval 
War College at Newport in 1886-89 ^^^ 1890-93- Before 
publishing his great work he had written "The Gulf and 
Inland Waters" ( 1883). Afterward he wrote a "Life of 
Admiral Farragut" (1892), and continued his great work 
in the "Influence of Sea Power upon the French Revolu- 
tion and Empire" (1893). From various magazines he 
has gathered his essays on "The Interest of America in Sea 
Power, Present and Future" (1897). His latest publica- 
tion is an admirable "Life of Ndson" (1897) which has 
been received with the warmest welcome in England. The 
chief object of Captain Mahan's labors has been to prove 
that the interests of the United States require a departure 
from the traditional policy of neglecting the navy. He 
appears to have converted the whole world to his central 
idea, if not to its intended application. 

Henry Cabot Lodge, United States Senator from 
Massachusetts, has been as active and distinguished in 


historical, as in political work. He was born in Boston 
in 1850, and after graduating from Harvard, edited the 
"North American Review" and "International Review." 
He served in the Massachusetts Legislature two years, in 
Congress eight, and was elected to the Senate in 1893. 
He published "Life and Letters of George Cabot" ( 1877), 
as a defense of New England Federalism; also lives of 
Alexander Hamilton, Daniel Webster, and Washington; 
also "Studies in History" (1884), "Political and Histori- 
cal Essays" (1888), "Certain Accepted Heroes" (1897). 
Mr. Lodge is a painstaking investigator and brilliant 
writer, but somewhat disposed to inject into controversies 
of the past feeling derived from political conflicts of the 
present day. 


Several writers of this Century have devoted t"hem- 
selves almost entirely to the literary treatment of natural 
history. Perhaps the first of the Nature-Essayists was 
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), who was born and 
died at Concord, Massachusetts. The son of a farmer, 
he was educated at Harvard, and for a time taught school. 
But after a while he took up his self-appointed work of 
minute observation of nature. He attached himself to 
Emerson, who always showed him friendly regard. In 
1845 he built himself a hut on the shore of Walden Pond, 
and lived as a recluse in communion with nature. His 
experiences and observations were embodied in "Walden, 
or Life in the Woods" ( 1854) . He had already published 
"A Week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers" ( 1848). 
Thoreau was an apostle of plain living and high think- 
ing, and practiced what he preached. His life was a pro- 
test against all forms of superfluous comfort, and an effort 
to reach harmony with nature, as the basis of true hap- 
piness. After two years' experience of hut life, he left 
the woods because he had "several more lives to live, and 
could not spare any more time for that one." He never 
entered a church, but he was thoroughly imbued with 
Pantheism, and had a devout spirit. His individualism 
was carried so far that he refused to pay taxes and was 
imprisoned on that account, but was released when Emer- 
son, against his wish, paid them for him. But the world's 
indebtedness to him is for the love of nature manifested 
in his books. Besides "Walden" he wrote "Excursions" 
(1863), "The Maine Woods" (1864), "Cape Cod" 
(1865), "A Yankee in Canada" (1866), "Summer" 



(1884), "Winter" (1888), "Autumn" (1892). These 
posthumous pubUcations were made up from his daily 
journal begun in 1835. 

Wilson Flagg- ( 1805- 1894) also deserves a place among 
the American nature essayists. Born at Beverly, Massa- 
chusetts, he was educated at Phillips Acadamy, Andover, 
and studied medicine. He was a keen observer of out- 
door life and natural phenomena. His writings were 
contributed to Boston newspapers and to the "Atlantic 
Monthly." His best known works are "Halcyon Days," 
"A Year With the Trees," and "A Year With the Birds." 

Another man who took delight in the portrayal of out- 
door nature with the pen was William Hamilton Gibson 
( 1850-1896) . He was also an artist and book-illustrator. 
He was born at Sandy Hook, Connecticut, and after study- 
ing went to New York, where he was engaged in making 
illustrations of botany and natural history for various 
publications. Soon he began to write on these subjects, 
and to illustrate his own books. Much of his time was 
spent in study of the night life of plants and insects. But 
in his popular books he gave literary form to his ob- 
servations. These include "Camp-Life in the Woods," 
"Highways and Byways, or Saunterings in New Eng- 
land," "Happy Hunting Grounds, or a Tribute to the 
Woods and Fields," "Strolls by Starlight and Sunshine." 

But the best known of the nature-essayists and most 
genial successor of Thoreau is John Burroughs, who was 
born at Roxbury, New York, in April, 1837. As he says 
in an essay, "I think April is the best month to be born 
in; in April all nature starts with you." His boyhood 
was spent on a farm, and after receiving an academic edu- 
cation, he taught school and became a journalist. For 
some years he was a clerk in the Treasury Department 
at Washington, and afterward a bank inspector. In 1874 


he settled on a farm at Esopus, New York, and gave his 
leisure time to friendly study of nature. Among his 
books are "Wake-Robin," "Birds and Poets," "Locusts 
and Wild Honey," "Fresh Fields," and "Signs and Sea- 
sons." Burroughs, like Thoreau, has written of travels 
and literature, but his chief interest is in nature. In his 
essays the charm of out-door life is reproduced. His read- 
ers are initiated in wood-craft and bird-lore, and are not 
inveigled into mysticism and metaphysics. He is a single- 
hearted lover of nature, endowed with sympathy for every- 
thing that lives. 

Donald Grant Mitchell is well known by the pen-name 
"Ik Marvel," under which he wrote his most popular books 
— "The Reveries of a Bachelor," and "Dream Life." 
Born at Norwich, Connecticut, in 1822, he was educated 
at Yale College, and became a lawyer, but has given much 
attention to farming. His first books were the results of 
travel in Europe, "Fresh Gleanings" (1847), and "The 
Battle Summer" (1848), and the more popular books, 
named above, followed in 1850 and 185 1. The "Rev- 
eries," to use the author's statement, consist of "such 
whimsies and reflections as a great many brother bache- 
lors are apt to indulge in, but which they are too cautious 
or too prudent to lay before the world." "Dream Life" 
sketches a career from the cradle to the grave, from the 
aspirations of boyhood to the reminiscences of age. In 
1853 Mitchell was made United States Consul at Venice, 
and on his return settled on his farm, Edgewood, near 
New Haven. Here he has written a series of delightful 
books on the practical and aesthetic aspects of rural life, 
"My Farm at Edgewood," "Wet Days at Edgewood," 
"Rural Studies." Later he has treated, in a fresh and 
lively way, the history of literature in "English Lands, 
Letters and Kings," and "American Lands and Letters." 



The most startling and debatable contribution to 
American literature is that made by Walt Whitman ( 1819- 
1892). It claimed to be the true voice of Democratic 
America, and while the claim has been admitted by a 
scholarly few here, and acknowledged by an equal num- 
ber of scholarly poets in Europe, there is no evidence that 
it has been so accepted anywhere by the people. Long- 
fellow and Whittier they know and respect, Whitcomb 
Riley and Will Carleton they quote, but Whitman they 
care nothing for. Nor does there seem any likelihood 
that the few enthusiastic admirers will be able to infuse 
their warm feeling into the apathetic masses. Yet respect 
must be paid to the high endorsement which this singular 
poet has obtained from critics of high rank. 

Walt Whitman was born at West Hills, Long Island, 
in May, 18 19. His father was an English carpenter, his 
mother Dutch, and there was a strain of Quaker blood in 
him. While he was a boy the family moved to Brook- 
lyn, where he attended the common schools and became a 
compositor. He began to write for newspapers and in 
1838 to publish a weekly paper at Huntington, Long 
Island, but after two years' experience returned to the 
printer's case. He cultivated familiarity with working- 
men of all classes in New York city. In 1846 he was 
editor of the "Brooklyn Eagle" and afterward set out 
on a long tour through the Western and Southern States, 
until he reached New Orleans, getting employment as 
compositor or editor in various places. Then he returned 
in the same way to Brooklyn and engaged in building 
small houses. In 1855 he published his "Leaves of 
Grass," having set most of the type himself. Rhyme 
and the old regular forms of verse were discarded. Lines 


of various lengths were joined in stanzas quite as abnor- 
mal. Slang and uncouth phrases were used, and a bold 
egotism was everywhere manifested. "Toward all" 
exclaimed the author, 'T raise high the perpendicular hand 
— I make the signal, to remain after me in sight for- 
ever, for all the haunts and homes of men." The book 
met with little but ridicule until Emerson, ever generous 
and alert for new genius, wrote the author a letter of 
praise. This letter was published in an enlarged edition 
of the ''Leaves," containing matter much more objection- 
able than anything in the first. Whitman's thought was a 
singular outgrowth of the strong individualism of the 
Transcendental School, but Emerson was repelled by its 
later manifestations. The Pre-Raphaelites in England 
hailed the author as the type of the new American. In 
New York city Whitman became the hero of a Bohemian 
club of young "cameradoes." Then came the Civil War 
and Whitman went to Washington, where for a time he 
had employment as a clerk in the Department of the Inte- 
rior, and afterward devoted himself to visiting the 
wounded in hospitals. The war experiences inspired his 
volume of lyrics, "Drum-Taps" (1866), mournful rather 
than exhilarating. From 1865 to 1873 Whitman was a 
clerk in the Treasury Department, then, having had a 
stroke of paralysis, he removed to Camden, New Jersey, 
where in a whitewashed cottage he was supported by the 
generosity of a few friends. His tastes were simple, his 
wants few. The evening of his life was passed in cheer- 
ful serenity. Most of his poems were gathered in late 
editions of his "Leaves of Grass," but he added "Novem- 
ber Boughs," "Specimen Days and Collect," and "Good 
Bye, My Fancy." Whitman's aim was to set forth in 
poetic spirit, if not recognized poetic form, American man- 
hood. At times he presents himself witliout conventional 



disguise, "hankering, gross, mystical, nude;" at times he 
calls attention to the swarming multitude around him, 
with all their various movements and desires, and refuses 
to pronounce any common or unclean; at times, he 
describes as the goal of American progress a grand per- 
,. Bonification of free and pure Humanity. 



Bret Harte was born at Albany, New York, in 1839. 
After receiving an ordinary education he went to Califor- 
nia in 1854. There he taught school, worked in the mines 
and in a printing office, and wrote for the press. In 
1867 he published "Condensed Novels," clever parodies 
of the leading English and American novelists. From 
1864 to 1870 he was secretary of the Mint at San Fran- 
cisco, and during this time wrote his poems, "John Burns 
of Gettysburg," "The Pliocene Skull," and "The Society 
upon the Stanislaus." In 1868 the "Overland Monthly" 
was started with Harte as editor, and in it appeared his 
tales of frontier mining life. "The Luck of Roaring 
Camp" was instantly hailed as the evidence of a new 
genius. It was soon followed by "Miggles," "Tennes- 
see's Partner," "The Outcasts of Poker Flat." In 1871 
Harte removed to New York, and became a contributor 
to the "Atlantic Monthly." In 1878 he was appointed 
United States Consul at Crefeld, Germany, and in 1880 
was transferred to Glasgow. His time, however, was 
chiefly spent in London, where he became a social favorite. 
He still lives in England, and writes stories usually of 
California life. 

The first success of Harte's poems and stories was due 
to their vivid re\^elation of strong characters living amid 
strange surroundings which brought out in bold relief 
their good and evil qualities. The stories showed dra- 
matic power, keen insight and glowing humor. Within 
a small compass these men and women were swiftly and 



clearly portrayed so as to be easily understood and recog- 
nized. And yet, however real the characters and inci- 
dents appear, there is an artistic idealism thrown over the 
whole which stamps it the work of genius. Harte did 
not succeed so well in his novel "Gabriel Conroy," which 
relates to early California civilization. Though it has fine 
descriptions and humorous scenes, it is a succession of 
episodes, not wrought into an organic whole. Harte's 
best poems are dramatic monologues in dialect. The one 
most widely known as "The Heathen Chinee," but prop- 
erly called "Plain Language from Truthful James," is an 
historical landmark, 


William Dean Howells, born at Martinsville, Ohio, in 
1837, is descended from Welsh Quakers. His father was 
a printer and published local newspapers. The son 
learned the same business and at nineteen went to Colum- 
bus, the State Capital, to become correspondent and 
editor. With his friend, John James Piatt, he published 
a volume of verses, which showed poetic talent. A cam- 
paign biography of Abraham Lincoln helped to procure 
for the young journalist an appointment as Consul at 
Venice. His four years' sojourn in the romantic Italian 
city of the sea gave opportunity for his graphic sketches 
of "Venetian Life." On returning to the United States, 
he settled in New York and wrote for the "Tribune" and 
"Nation." In 1871 he became assistant editor of the 
"Atlantic Monthly," and for it wrote "Their Wedding 
Journey," a pleasant portrayal of American character. In 
this mode of sketching actual life he went on with "A 
Chance Acquaintance" (1873) "A Foregone Conclusion" 
(1874) "The Lady of the Aroostook" (1878) "Dr. 
Breen's Practice" (1885). But his strongest work was 


"The Rise of Silas Lapham," a realistic description of the 
success of a country-bred man who acquires wealth by the 
discovery on his farm of a substance from which mineral 
paint is made. He and his family are brought into con- 
tact and contrast with cultured Boston people with result- 
ing comedies and tragedies. The story abounds in humor 
and shows kindly sympathy with the actors. In 18S6 
Howells became connected with "Harper's Magazine," 
having charge of "The Editor's Study," and in it explained 
and inculcated realism as the proper method of fiction. 
Sensationalism and every species of Romanticism are 
entirely banished, as giving false ideas of life. People 
are sketched and characters revealed in ordinary inci- 
dents. Howells has exemplified this in his later work, 
as "April Hopes" (1888), "Annie Kilburn" (1889), "A 
Hazard of New Fortunes" (1890), "The World of 
Chance" (1893). In the romance "A Traveler from 
Altruria" (1894), he has set forth the contrast between 
the actual life of American people and their ideals. His 
interest in social problems and the relations of labor and 
capital is shown in several stories. But in general he is 
content to exhibit pictures of ordinary life, leaving the 
moral to suggest itself. He has been called the apostle of 
the commonplace. Some of his stories have been dra- 
matized, and he has shown skill in writing parlor dramas 
and farces. Many essays in criticism and on social ques- 
tions have come from his pen. He has especially been 
the interpreter and advocate of the ideas and methods of 
the Russian Tolstoi, whom he regards as the greatest nov- 
elist of the Century. "Modern Italian Poets" (1887) is 
an instructive review of the Italian literature of this Cen- 
tury. "Stops of Various Quills" ( 1895) is a collection of 
his poems, showing brotherly interest in the movements of 



Henry James, noted as an essayist, sketch writer and 
novelist, was born in New York city in 1843. His father, 
bearing the same name, was a scholarly Swedenborgian 
and wrote much in advocacy of his belief. The son, on 
account of delicate health, was educated at home. Both 
as boy and man he has spent much time in Europe. He 
entered early on a literary career, and after publishing 
some sketches, issued in 1875, "Roderick Hudson," in 
which he displayed the two motives that appear in most 
of his work — the contrast between Americans and Euro- 
peans, and the contrast between the artistic and the aver- 
age human character. These contrasts were brought out 
still more strongly in "The American" (1877), in which 
Christopher Newman is the hero, but the pathetic short 
story, "Daisy Miller" (1878), impressed them most effec- 
tually on the public. James has written with great care 
and deliberation other short stories and studies, and has 
had much efifect on the style of other writers, though he 
has never become a really popular novelist. He treats 
of polite society and cares little for plot. His object is 
to reveal character, and this is done in dialogue and pre- 
liminaries tending to action rather than in action itself. 
He has written descriptive sketches of men and places, 
minor travels, and essays on social topics. With Sir 
Walter Besant he prepared "The Art of Fiction" (1885) 
and he has made translations from the French. One of 
his best short stories is "The Madonna of the Future" 
(1879) ; others are "The Lesson of the Master" (1892), 
and "What Maisie Knew" (1897). "The Portrait of a 
Lady" (1882) is deservedly the most popular of James's 
longer stories. "The Princess Casamissima" (1886) is 
a kind of sequel to "Roderick Hudson," introducing again 


one of his finest characters, Christina Light. It is more 
serious and somber than the earher part. "The Tragic 
Muse" (1890) is a long compHcated novel of English 
characters, who are made more attractive than his Amer- 
icans. James has been a close student of Turgenieff and 
the modern French school, and has written excellent criti- 
cisms of those novelists. He is a realist, yet not in any 
offensive sense. He never descends to the vulgar or 


Lewis Wallace had won distinction in other fields thai? 
that of hterature before he became known to the world 
as the author of ''Ben Hur," but this distinction has 
eclipsed his former fame. He was born at Brookville, 
Indiana, in 1827, the son of the Hon. David Wallace, 
who was at one time Governor of Indiana. At the begin- 
ning of the Mexican War he was studying law. but left 
his books to take the field. After serving with credit he 
returned and was admitted to the bar. He was in the 
State Senate for four years and when the Civil War 
began received command of a regiment. After brilliant 
service both in the West and the East, he was mustered 
out in 1865 with the rank of Major-General of Volunteers. 
He resumed the practice of law at Crawfordsville, Indiana. 
From 1878 to 1881 he was Governor of Arizona, and was 
then sent as American Minister to Turkey. Before writ- 
ing "Ben Hur" he had published "The Fair God" ( 1873), 
a story of the Spanish conquest of Mexico. "Ben Hur," 
a romantic setting of the life of Christ, appeared in 1880, 
and soon obtained a wider circulation than any previous 
American work, except "Uncle Tom's Cabin." This is, 
of course, due to its religious character, as well as its liter- 
ary merit. The hero is a noble Israelite, whose eventful 


life has brought him in contact with the Savior. The 
Oriental scenery was accurately depicted from vivid imag- 
ination, before General Wallace had ever visited the East. 
The description of the chariot race is justly regarded as 
one of the most stirring chapters of an historical romance. 
The author's style is not free from faults, but these seem 
not to have interfered with his popularity. General Wal- 
lace has since written "The Boyhood of Christ" (1888), 
founded on the apocryphal Gospels, "Commodus, a Trag- 
edy" (1889), and "The Prince of India" (1893). The 
last is an historical novel, dealing with the capture of 
Constantinople by the Turks. The Prince is a finely 
drawn character, whose career bears some resemblance to 
that of the Wandering Jew. General Wallace in 1897 
published an Oriental narrative poem in blank verse, "The 
Wooing of Malkatoon." 


Among the most busy and productive leaders of Bos- 
ton for neariy half the Century has been Edward Everett 
Hale. Born in 1822, he was educated at the Latin School 
and Harvard College. For ten years from 1846 he was 
pastor of a church in Worcester, and then took charge 
of the South Church in Boston. By personal effort as 
well as by his writings he has helped to organize societies 
for doing good in manifold ways. One of his enterprises 
was the magazine, "Old and New," which was finally 
merged in "Scribner's Monthly;" another was "Lend a 
Hand," which represents organized charity. Besides 
these he has written a pile of books, including histories, 
novels, poems and short stories. All of his books were 
written for instruction, some for spiritual or moral pur- 
poses. The most famous is "The Man Without a Coun- 


try" (1862), a story intended to inculcate loyalty to the 
Federal Government. Though pure fiction, it was told 
in such a realistic way as to be taken for fact. Other 
stories illustrate his power of making impossibilities 
appear real, as the comical ''My Double and How he 
Undid Me," and "The Skeleton in the Closet." 'The 
Brick Moon," is in the style of Jules Verne. Among the 
other stories which have had wide effect for good are 
"Ten Times One Is Ten," and "In His Name." The 
novels include "Philip Nolan's Friends," "Mr. Tangier's 
Vacations," and "Ups and Downs." Several books of 
travel are grouped together under the general name, "A 
Family Flight." The story of his early days is told in 
"A New England Boyhood." All his books show a true 
literary instinct, good sense and sound morality. 


In 1870 the "Songs of the Sierras," published in Lon- 
don, and describing California scenes, produced a literary 
sensation in England, and gave the author temporary 
fame as the long-expected truly American poet. The 
author's name was given as Joaquin Miller, but it was 
originally Cincinnatus Hiner Miller, the name Joaquin 
being borrowed from a Mexican brigand. Miller was 
born in Indiana in 1841, but when he was a boy his 
parents emigrated to Oregon. After working on a farm 
he went to seek for gold in California, and began to write 
verse. Unsuccessful as a miner, he led a wandering life 
in California and Nevada, and went with the filibuster 
Walker to Nicaragua. On his return to Oregon in i860, 
he studied law and was for a time a county judge. In 
1870 he went to England, and having there obtained a 
reputation as a poet, came back to America to seek work 


as a journalist. In 1887 he settled at Oakland, California. 
His poetical works include "Songs of the Sunlands," 
"Songs of the Sierras," and "Songs of the Mexican 
Seas." His best known prose works are "The Danites in 
the Sierras," " '49, or the Gold-Seekers of the Sierras," and 
"The Destruction of Gotham." Miller has not hesitated 
to appropriate some of the work of others, and yet he 
has originality and force. He cares little for accepted 
laws of literature. He is able to represent vividly the wild 
life and grand scenery of the Pacific slope. 


Edmund Clarence Stedman has done immense service 
to American literature by his poems and criticisms, and 
by his editing the "Library of American Literature" (11 
vols. 1890-92), the "Victorian Anthology" (1895), and 
a complete edition of "Poe's Works" (1895). He was 
born at Hartford, Connecticut, in 1833, and was educated 
at Yale College. For twelve years he was a journalist 
in the country, at New York and with the army. In 1864 
he became a broker in New York, yet he has steadily kept 
up a connection with literature. His poems were col- 
lected in 1884 and a later volume was added in 1897. His 
important critical work is seen in "The Victorian Poets" 
(1875) and "The Poets of America" (1880). In these 
books the chief poetical productions of the Century are 
subjected to careful, discriminating and suggestive inspec- 
tion. His own poems are chiefly lyrical, celebrating 
£vents of the time in appropriate and memorable verse. 
Among the notable pieces are "How Old Brown took Har- 
per's Ferry," "The Hand of Lincoln," "Pan in Wall 



Thomas Bailey Aldrich is a writer of polished, deli- 
cate poetry, and of quaint humorous stories. He was 
born at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1837, but entered 
on mercantile life in New York at the age of seventeen. 
Soon he turned to literature and in 1866 went to Boston 
to be editor of "Every Saturday." After a tour in Europe 
in 1875 he published "From Ponkapog to Pesth," a 
charming book of travel. In 1881 he was made editor of 
the "Atlantic Monthly," and held this post for nine years. 
He has since made a journey around the world. His 
poetry is mostly in short pieces, expressing single emo- 
tions or describing special scenes. His most noted poem 
is "Babie Bell," which relates tenderly the birth and short 
life of a child. "Friar Jerome's Beautiful Book" has 
met with wide favor. "Judith" and "Wyndham Tow- 
ers" are narratives in blank verse, but the most striking 
piece in this form is "The Unguarded Gates," crying out 
against unrestricted immigration as threatening the sta- 
bility of American institutions. In his short stories Aid- 
rich has shown a fondness for elaborate mystification, as 
in "Marjorie Daw." His longer novels "Prudence Pal- 
frey," "The Queen of Sheba," are more serious, yet 
involve a quaint humor. "The Story of a Bad Boy" is 
an autobiographical record of his youthful pranks, which 
has been welcomed by old and young. 


So competent a critic as Andrew Lang has pronounced 
Francis Marion Crawford the "most versatile and vari- 
ous" of modern novelists. His novels cover an immensely 
wide range and introduce to the reader a great variety of 


character as well as environment. He has great adapta- 
bility and suppleness of mind and is equally facile and free 
of touch in dealing with life in modern Rome or New 
York, in India or rural England, at the court of the ancient 
Persian Darius or in Sicily of the present day. Liberal 
education and wide travel have furnished a rich variety of 
knowledge, which his native genius has been prompt to 

Francis Marion Crawford was born in Italy in 1854, 
his father being the celebrated sculptor, Thomas Craw- 
ford, whose statue of Liberty surmounts the dome of the 
Capitol at Washington. When a lad he was sent to St. 
Paul's school at Concord, New Hampshire, but afterward 
returned to Italy, and then entered Trinity College, Cam- 
bridge, England. For some years after graduation he 
traveled on the Continent, and then going to India joined 
the staff of a newspaper at Allahabad. The result of his 
Indian experiences was shown in his first novel, "Mr. 
Isaacs," in which an educated Mohammedan merchant 
pays court to a typical English girl. Crawford has since 
been an exceedingly prolific writer, and his stores of accu- 
mulated knowledge have stood him in good stead, being 
illumined by a vivid and picturesque imagination. His 
thorough knowledge of the upper classes of Italian soci- 
ety has enabled him to present it in a satisfactory way to 
English readers. He has perhaps reached his highest 
mark in his trilogy of novels of Roman life, "Saracinesca," 
"Sant' Ilario," and ''Don Orsino." Among his other 
novels may be mentioned ''A Roman Singer," "A Tale of 
a Lonely Parish," "Marzio's Crucifix," "Greifenstein," 
"The Three Fates," "Casa Bracchio," and "A Rose of Yes- 
terday." To these he has added a remarkably brilliant 
description of Rome in various ages, under the title, "Ave 
Roma Immortalis." 



The most distinguished exponent of American hiimor 
is Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known universally as Mark 
Twain. He was born at Florida, in Missouri, in 1835, 
and became a pilot on a Mississippi steamboat. Here he 
got the name "Mark Twain" from the cry used to signify 
that the water was two fathoms deep. In 1862 Clemens 
went to Nevada, engaged in mining, and wrote for the 
newspapers. At the suggestion of a friend "The Jumping 
Frog and Other Sketches," were published in New York 
in 1867 and set the public in a roar of laughter. Clemens 
then went on a tourists' excursion to the Mediterranean 
and the Holy Land and gave the voyage wide fame in his 
"Innocents Abroad." In his next work, "Roughing It," 
he described in the same grotesque style his mining experi- 
ences. He joined with C. Dudley Warner in "The Gilded 
Age," to satirize the modern race for wealth. Clemens 
fixed his residence at Hartford, Connecticut, and contin- 
ued his sketches and stories of Western life in "The 
Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Finn," 
but hoping for more ample pecuniary returns from book- 
publishing, he joined a firm which after a few years' suc- 
cess became bankrupt. Clemens had in the meantime been 
writing some romances, dealing with history in a novel 
way. "The Prince and the Pauper" was a reconstruc- 
tion of the story of Edward VI of England. "A Yankee 
at King Arthur's Court," was a mingling of things old and 
new in fantastic style. Then the story of Joan of Arc 
was retold seriously as if written by a personal attendant. 
Though this was published anonymously, the authorship 
was soon disclosed. Meantime Clemens, in his effort to 
get rid of debt, had gone to lecture in Australia and India, 
and afterward to Austria, whence he sent humorous 


sketches of his observations. He is a bold caricaturist of 
human pecuHarities, national and individual, 


Among American writers of fiction Frank Richard 
Stockton holds a unique place. He was born in Phila- 
delphia in 1834 and learned wood-engraving. He began 
his literary career by writing for children "Round- 
about Rambles" and "Tales out of School." But his 
peculiar position was established by his "Rudder Grange" 
(1879), ^ picturesque humorous exposition of American 
life. His peculiarity consists in treating odd, and even 
impossible, events as if they were perfectly natural. Over 
the improbabilities of character and incident there is shed 
a pleasant humor, which beguiles and reconciles the reader. 
"The Casting Away of Mrs. Leeks and Mrs. Aleshine," 
and its sequel "The Dusantes," are full of amusing impos- 
sibilities, yet told in such a straightforward manner as to 
enchain the attention. "The Lady or the Tiger?" is a 
short story which ends like a riddle, leaving the reader to 
give his own answer. "The Adventures of Captain Horn" 
(1895) and its sequel, "Mrs. Chff's Yacht" (1897), are 
full of absurdly romantic incidents, related in a clear and 
charming style. 


A remarkable contribution to American literature was 
made by Joel Chandler Harris in his negro dialect fables, 
popularly known as "Uncle Remus." Harris was born in 
1848 at Eatonton, Georgia, learned the printer's trade and 
studied law before he settled down to journalism. While 
editing an Atlanta paper, he prepared for it the sketches 
which were afterward published in book form as "The 


Folk-Lore of the Old Plantation" ( 1880). The welcome 
with which this was received led to "Nights with Uncle 
Remus" (1883), "Daddy Jake the Runaway" (18S9), and 
many more sketches. The four-footed hero of these new 
fables is Brer Rabbit, who, weak as he is, manages by his 
shrewdness to get ahead of the fox, the wolf and the bear, ! 
and other smart and strong folk. In his book, "On the 
Plantation," Harris tells his early experiences, and in 
other books he shows his affectionate feeling for the negro 
as well as the white. 


Eugene Field ( 1850- 1895) was a remarkable combina- 
tion of a book-loving scholar, a wide-awake journalist, 
a Western humorist, and a tender-hearted poet. He was 
born at St. Louis, studied at more than one college, gradu- 
ated from the U'^niversity of Michigan and traveled in 
Europe. After his return he was a journalist in Denver 
and other cities, but finally settled in Chicago. Here he 
found congenial work in contributing daily to the press 
whims and fancies in prose and verse. Some of his poems 
were in Western dialect and described vividly rude fron- 
tier life. But he also had especial fondness for children 
and some of his most pleasing work was lullabies, little 
folk's stories, and "Love Songs of Childhood." His clas- 
sical scholarship was shown in his translations from Hor- 
ace. After his death his works and plays were collected 
in ten volumes, and his friends testified their regard in 
affectionate praise. 

James Whitcomb Riley is the popular Hoosier poet 
He was born at Greenfield, Indiana, in 1852, and early 
contributed to local papers, chiefly in verse. He belonged 
for a time to a strolling company of actors, for whom he 
recast plays and improvised songs. Then he obtained a 


place with the "Indianapolis Journal." He has also been 
a popular lecturer. Among his publications are ''The 
Ole Swimmin'-Hole and 'Leven More Poems," "Pipes o' 
Pan at Zekesbury," "Rhymes of Childhood," "Poems here 
at Home." Though most of his poems are in dialect, he 
has written also in serious style, and has touched the 
hearts of people, seldom reached by the loftier poets. 

Another poet who has won favor with the masses of 
the people is Will Carleton. He was born at Hudson, 
Michigan, in 1845, graduated at Hillsdale College, and 
engaged in newspaper work in Detroit and Chicago. His 
numerous poems of rural life and incidents have been col- 
lected in "Farm Ballads," "Farm Legends," "Farm Festi- 
vals," and a similar series relating to the city. The best 
known of his poems are "Betsey and I Are Out," "How 
Betsey and I Made Up," "Over the Hills to the Poor 
House," and "Gone With a Handsomer Man." Though 
not ranking high from a literary point of view, they de- 
serve commendation for their correct moral tone. 

John Boyle O'Reilly (i 844-1 891), a native of Ireland, 
entered the British army for the purpose of propagating 
Fenianism. Detected, tried and convicted, he was trans- 
ported to Australia, but managed to escape to an American 
vessel. He settled in Boston, where he became editor of 
"The Pilot." Besides a narrative of his adventures, he 
published some volumes of poetry and a novel, "Moon- 
dyne." He was, above all, a poet, and utilized his knowl- 
edge of remote lands and seas in both poetry and prose. 

Richard Watson Gilder, born at Bordentown, New 
Jersey, in 1843, belongs to a literary family. In 1869 he 
became associate editor of "Scribner's Monthly" and when 
the title was changed to the "Century Magazine," in 188 1, 
he was made editor-in-chief. His own books have been 
poems, artistic and mystical. They include "The Celestial 


Passion," "The New Day," 'The Poet and His Master" 
(1878), and "Lyrics" (1885). 

No more vivid picture of the condition of Virginia 
just before and during the Civil War has been given than 
in the dialect stories of Thomas Nelson Page. These 
humorous and pathetic tales are put in the mouth of an old 
negro, who looks back with regret to the vanished bless- 
ings of patriarchal slavery. "Alarse Chan" appeared in 
the "Century Magazine" in 1884, and was soon followed 
by "Meh Lady," "Ole Stracted," and "Unc' Edinburg s 
Drowndin'." Page was born in Hanover County, Vir- 
ginia, in 1854, was educated at the University of Virginia, 
and became a lawyer at Richmond. He has sketched his 
own boyhood in "Two Little Confederates" (1888). 
Other stories of Virginia war life are "On Newfound 
River" (1891), "The Burial of the Guns" (1894). In 
"Red Rock" (1899) the troublous times of reconstructicm 
and carpetbaggers are dealt with from the Southern point 
of view. 

The novelist who has best succeeded in reproducing the 
atmosphere of Kentucky country life before the war is 
James Lane Allen, who was bom at Lexington in that 
State in 1850. He had been engaged as a teacher before 
he devoted himself to literature in 1885. For "Harper's 
Magazine" he prepared sketches of the Blue Grass Region, 
and afterward used these studies as the background of his 
stories. "The Choir Invisible" is an enlargement of a tale 
of pioneer times originally published as "John Gray." 
"With Flute and Violin" is a pathetic story, founded on 
the life of a minister of Lexington. One of the "Two 
Gentlemen of Kentucky" is an old negro preacher. "King 
Solomon" is a tribute to the self-sacrificing heroism of an 
outcast. In other stories historical events and personages 


are freely introduced. "Summer In Arcady," though full 
of local color, is poetical and spiritual. 

The American novelist of socialism was Edward Bel- 
lamy (1850-1898). Born at Chicopee Falls, Massachu- 
setts, he was educated in Germany. He was chiefly en- 
gaged in journalism, and for a time resided in Hawaii. 
Returning to his native State in 1877, he founded the 
"Springfield News." His earlier novels were "Six to 
One; a Nantucket Idyl" (1878), "Dr. Heidenhoff's Proc- 
ess" (1880). But his name was made widely known by 
his novel, "Looking Backward" ( 1888), in which a person 
enjoying the public comforts and manifold inventions of 
the socialistic era of A. D. 2000 describes the inconven- 
ience and troubles of life in the Nineteenth Century. Such 
was its effect on the public mind that societies were formed 
in all parts of the country to promote the ideas of the 
work, especially the single tax on land. After some years 
of labor in this cause, Bellamy's health failed, but he added 
another work, advocating the same ideas, "Equality" 
( 1897). His great merit is that he put into literature the 
ideal community of the vast mass of the American people, 
whether to be realized in the way he proposed or not. 

Julian Hawthorne, son of Nathaniel, was born in Bos- 
ton in 1846, and went with his father to England in 1853. 
He returned to Massachusetts for his education, but left 
Harvard on the death of his father in 1864, and went 
abroad. After further study in Germany he became a 
civil engineer, and was employed as such in New York 
City. In 1872 he took up journalism and literature and 
since that time has been constantly engaged in contributing 
to periodicals and newspapers. For some years he resided 
in London and contributed to "The Spectator." His 
"Saxon Studies" consists of pleasant sketches of German 
life. Among his best short stories are "Bressant," "Wol- 

Vol.. 9 — 38 


atry," and "Archibald Malmaison;" among the longer 
novels are "Garth," "Sebastian Strome," and "Fortune's 
Fool." He has also written a biography of "Nathaniel 
Hawthorne and His Wife." 

John Hay at one time seemed to be the rival to Bret 
Harte, but the wealth acquired by his marriage seems to 
have diverted him to other pursuits. He was bom at 
Salem, Indiana, in 1838, graduated at Brown University, 
and entered on law practice at Springfield, Illinois. 
Abraham Lincoln, when elected to the Presidency, chose 
John G. Nicolay and Hay as his private secretaries, and 
during the war employed the latter on missions of import- 
ance. For faithful service in the field he was brevetted 
colonel of volunteers. When Lincoln died. Colonel Hay 
was at his bedside. Afterward he was in the diplomatic 
service at Paris, Vienna and Madrid. In 1870 he became 
an editorial writer on the "New York Tribune." His 
"Pike County Ballads" (1871), at once took the world by 
storm; "Jim Bludso," the pilot who stuck to his post when 
the steamboat was on fire, and "Little Breeches" 
were the first dialect poems in which the humorous and 
heroic were blended. At the same time Colonel Hay 
published "Castilian Days," giving his impressions of the 
romance and beauty of Spain. The style is graceful, and 
the book shows both humor and fancy. A notable novel, 
"The Breadwinners," describing the struggle between 
labor and capital, has been ascribed to Hay, but he has never 
acknowledged it. His most important literary undertak- 
ing has been the "Life of Abraham Lincoln" (10 vols., 
1890) , prepared in conjunction with Nicolay. It portrays 
the martyred President in public and private life and gives 
full details of his surroundings in all parts of his career. 
In 1897 Colonel Hay was appointed Minister to England, 
and in i8q8 he was called to be Secretary of State. 


One of the strangely attractive writers of recent times 
is Lafcadio Hearn. He was born in the Ionian Islands 
in 1850, of an Irish father and Greek mother. He was 
educated in England and France, but came to America, 
and was employed on newspapers in Cincinnati and New 
Orleans. After publishing "Chita, a Memory of Last 
Island" ( 1889) , he was sent to the West Indies to describe 
the natives. This was done in "Two Years in the West 
Indies," and in "Youma," a tale of the fidelity of a black 
nurse tO' her infant white charge during an insurrection. 
Hearn then went to Japan, where he has become a teacher, 
learned the Japanese language, accepted the Buddhist 
faith, married a Japanese wife and taken a Japanese name, 
Y. Koijumi. His books include "Glimpses of Unfamiliar 
Japan" (1895), "Kokoro; Hints and Echoes of Japanese 
Inner Life" (1896). His style is highly picturesque, 
vividly expressing the beauty of the distant land in which 
the wanderer has fixed his abode. 

Charles Dudley Warner is a delightful essayist, humor- 
ist, and companion in travel, and an accomplished editor. 
He was born at Plainfield, Massachusetts, in 1829, gradu- 
ated at Hamilton College in 185 1, was a surveyor in Mis- 
souri, and a lawyer in Chicago. In i860 he removed to 
Hartford, Connecticut, and became editor of the "Cour- 
ant." He has had charge of the "Editor's Drawer" in 
''Harper's Magazine" since 1884. After various con- 
tributions to magazines, he became known as a humorist 
by "My Summer in a Garden" (1870), a book full of 
quiet but irresistable fun. "Back-Log Studies" (1872), 
mingled graver thoughts with mirth. Warner was asso- 
ciated with Mark Twain in "The Gilded Age" (1873). 
His books of travel in Egypt and the Levant, and in the 
Western and Southern United States, are among the best 
of their class, brisk, bright, and stimulating. Warner has 


also written much on literature, one of his best books being 
"The Relation of Literature to Life" (1896). He has 
published biographies of Captain John Smith and Wash- 
ington Irving. He was chief editor of the "Library of 
the World's Best Literature" (1896-8). 

Having earned a high reputation as a newspaper cor- 
respondent, Harold Frederic (1856-1898) was coming 
into fame as a novelist when death suddenly cut short his 
career. He was born at Utica, New York, of an Irish 
father and New England mother. Taken from school at 
twelve, he found his way to a ncAVspaper office. As a 
reporter he went to Albany and New York, and in 1884 
was made London correspondent of the New York 
"Times." His ability was soon widely recognized. Amid 
his journalistic labors he found time to write stories and 
novels of more than average merit. The first that 
attracted notice was "Seth's Brother's Wife" (1887), a 
"purpose" story. "In the Valley" was a story of colonial 
times along the Mohawk River, contrasting scenes of peace 
and war; "The Copperhead," a somewhat similar story 
of the Civil War. But "The Damnation of Theron Ware" 
(1896), challenged public attention by its startling title 
and manifest power. A weak, imperfectly educated 
Methodist minister is brought into unexpected contact 
with the strong faith and impressive ritual of the Roman 
Catholic Church. Swayed from his religious moorings 
by admiration and love of an intellectually robust girl, he i3 
morally shipwrecked. Carefully as the story is wrought, 
and exact as it is in separate scenes, the whole is not con- 
sistent. The signal ability displayed in the first part is not 
maintained to the end. In later stories Frederic turned 
to England for scenes and themes. His last, "The Mar- 
ket Place" (1898), is equal to any of its predecessors. 
Yet the testimony of his associates is that in none of his 


works did he exhibit the full measure of the powers they 
believed him to possess. In particular, humor, which was 
a marked characteristic of his conversation, is absent from 
his writings. 

Literature for juvenile readers has been almost exclu- 
sively an American invention. There had been some 
English precursors in "Evenings at Home," "Sandford 
and Merton," and Miss Edgeworth's "Moral Tales." 
Even Goldsmith and Charles Lamb wrote some children's 
stories. But the first who devoted himself with success 
to instructive books of this class was the American Samuel 
Griswold Goodrich (1793-1860), best known as "Peter 
Parley." More than two hundred volumes were prepared 
by him, historical, biographical and instructive. So popu- 
lar did his pen-name become that more than seventy vol- 
umes were issued under it without his authority. Jacob 
Abbott (1803-1879) wrote almost an equal number of 
instructive story books, including the "Rollo Books," the 
"Franconia Stories," and the "Marco Paul Series." Wil- 
liam T. Adams (1822-1897), a teacher in the Boston pub- 
lic schools, became, under the name "Oliver Optic," a 
favorite writer for boys. He wrote several series, 
"Young America Abroad," "Lake Shore," and "Army and 
Navy." Other superior writers of this class are Hezekiah 
Butterworth, born in 1839, who has written "Zig-Zag 
Journeys" in many countries, many excellent stories and 
ballads; Horatio Alger, born in 1834, who has written 
"Luck and Pluck," and more than fifty similar books, urg- 
ing boys to self-support, besides biographies of Lincoln, 
Garfield, etc.; Horace Elisha Scudder, bom in 1838, who 
has written the "Bodley Books," biographies of Wash- 
ington and Noah Webster, some histories, and literary 
essays; Willis John Abbot, born in 1863, who has written 
boys' books on the Navy in each of the American wars. 


To the same class may be added Charles Carleton Coffin 
(1823-1896), best known as a war correspondent, who 
wrote for boys the "Story of Liberty" ( 1878) , and a series 
of books on the Civil War. 

Dr. S. Weir Mitchell, after attaining international 
reputation as a specialist in nervous diseases, began, at the 
age of fifty, to write stories, sketches, and literary essays, 
with increasing success until in "Hugh Wynne, Free 
Quaker" (1897), he produced a powerful historical novel 
of Philadelphia in the Revolution. He has, however, 
done injustice to the Quakers and their mode of life. 
Earlier novels were, "In War Time," and "Far in the For- 
est." Later came "The Adventures of Francois," a tale 
of the French Revolution. Francois was a foundling, 
who became a thief, juggler and fencing-master. The 
tale is artistically constructed, but has not the same direct 
interest as its predecessor. Dr. Mitchell has also written 
poems which were collected in 1896. In his dramatic 
pieces he has displayed especial vigor. Dr. Mitchell was 
born at Philadelphia in 1829, the son of a distinguished 
physician. He was led to his study of nervous affections 
by his experience as an army surgeon. 

The most successful American soldier novelist is 
Charles King, born at i\lbany. New York, in 1844, but 
taken to Wisconsin a year later. He is a graduate of West 
Point, but resigned from the army in 1879, and was for a 
time professor of military science at the University of 
Wisconsin. In the Spanish-American War he was made 
a general of volunteers, as his father had been in the Civil 
War, His literary work consists of narratives of his own 
experience, as "Campaigning with Crook" (1890), and 
"Famous and Decisive Battles of the World" (1884), and 
a long series of novels describing army and frontier life. 
Among the best are "The Colonel's Daughter" (1883), 


"Kitty's Conquest" (1884), and "Captain Close and Ser- 
geant Croesus" (1895). Two of his stories relate to 
the Civil War, and one of these, "Between the Lines" has 
had special success. 


The popular story, "Little Women" (1868), was an 
idealized transcript of the author's family life. Never was 
there a more humorous and pathetic contrast than between 
the self-sacrificing devotion of the author and her mother 
and the unworldly wisdom of her unpractical father, "the 
sage of Concord." Yet family affection united this house- 
hold in enviable harmony. Louisa May Alcott (1832- 
1888), was born at Germantown (now part of Philadel- 
phia), but in infancy was taken to Boston, where 
her father taught school. From the age of seventeen she 
was busily occupied in helping to support the family, by 
teaching, sewing, and writing stories. In 1862 she was a 
hospital nurse in Washington, and wrote "Hospital 
Sketches." In 1866 she became editor of a magazine for 
children, and was thus led to her successful family story. 
This was followed by "An Old-Fashioned Girl" (1869), 
and by "Little Men" and "Jo's Boys," as sequels to her 
"Little Women." For the "No Name" series she wrote 
"A Modern Mephistopheles." Her popularity brought 
her fame and comparative wealth, yet for the family's sake 
she toiled on until she died on the day of her father's 
funeral. Children of all ages are attracted by the unaf- 
fected humor of her books, which teach, by lively examples, 
the duty of work and loving service of others. The rapid- 
ity with which she wrote for support of her family excuses 
the carelessness of her style. Some of her best work was 
done before she was in demand as a writer for children. 


The mountains of Eastern Tennessee and their pecuHar 
inhabitants have been made famihar to American readers 
by the genius of Miss Mary Noailles Murfree, who writes 
under the name Charles Egbert Craddock. She was born 
at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in 1850, but on account of 
ill health, which has rendered her permanently lame, she 
spent much time in the mountains. When her stories first 
appeared in the "Atlantic Monthly," they were supposed to 
come from a man, and the editor was much surprised when, 
in 1883, she presented herself in person. Her writings 
are free from expression of the author's feelings, and show 
full understanding of masculine life. They abound in 
picturesque descriptions of scenery, grand mountains and 
romantic streams, brilliant sunshine and variegated clouds, 
gloomy woods and sylvan glades. Against this back- 
ground are depicted hardy, taciturn men and lonely re- 
served women, and the strange phases of their isolated hfe. 
"In the Tennessee Mountains" ( 1884), the first collection 
of these sketches, proved popular, and was soon followed 
by "Where the Battle was Fought," and "In the Clouds" 
(1886). "The Story of Keedon Bluffs" (1887), "The 
Prophet of the Great Smoky Mountains" (1888), and 
"Down the Ravine," are further specimens of her artistic 
skill in her familiar region. 

Under the initials "H. H." an American woman won 
high regard as a poet, and afterward showed brilliant 
descriptive power in prose. Later, when her name was 
fully disclosed, she took up the cause of the Indian and 
in history and a popular novel pleaded in his behalf with 
the Government and the people of the United States. 
Helen Fiske was born in 183 1 at Amherst, Massachusetts, 
where her father was professor in the college. At twenty- 
one she was married to Captain Edward Hunt of the 
United States army and wandered with him in different 


parts of the country. When he was killed by the explos- 
ion of a mine and her daughter died, Mrs. Hunt was 
plunged in the deepest grief. After some time she began 
to write meditative and descriptive poems which attracted 
attention by their strong feeling, and vivid fancy. Some- 
times they took the form of parable or allegory, but they 
were best when they painted out-door nature. Mrs, Hunt 
then wrote prose descriptions which were collected under 
the title "Bits of Travel," and proved attractive to 
even a wider circle of readers. They abound in humor 
as well as pathos, and show the delicate insight of women. 
Other books of the same class followed. Two novels in 
the "No Name" series are known to have been from her 
pen — "Mercy Philbrick's Choice," and "Hetty's Strange 
History." The stories published under the pen-name 
"Saxe Holm" have also been ascribed to her. After she 
was married to Mr. William Jackson in Colorado, she 
became fully aware of the gross wrongs done to the 
Indians, and exerted herself to secure justice for them 
from the nation. For this purpose she studied the full 
history of Government dealings with the red men and 
summed it up in "A Century of Dishonor," making a pas- 
sionate appeal for removal of the national disgrace. This 
was followed by the powerful story "Ramona," written 
shortly before her death in 1885. This expiring effort of 
her genius is perhaps its fullest illustration. 

Another woman writer who has won popularity is 
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward. She was born at 
Andover, Massachusetts, being the daughter of the dis- 
tinguished professor. Dr. Austin Phelps. Her book, 
"Gates Ajar" (1868) was an attempt to depict the future 
life as in many respects resembling the present. This 
idea was continued in "Beyond the Gates," and "The Gates 
Between" (1887). In other books, as "The Story of 


Avis" (1877), and "Doctor Zay" the conflict in woman's 
nature between love and professional ambition is shown. 
In 1888 she was married to Herbert D. Ward, and with 
him she has written some stories and essays. To her 
"Old Maids' Paradise" (1879) they added a sequel "The 
Burglars Who Broke into Paradise" (1897). 

Frances Hodgson Burnett is best known by her story, 
"Little Lord Fauntleroy," in which a boy brought up in 
poverty in New York brings English aristocratic life into 
humiliating contrast with democratic equality, when he is 
restored to his rights as heir to a dukedom. She was born 
at Manchester, England, in 1849, and lived there till she 
was sixteen. Then the Hodgson family, having suffered 
/osses, removed to Knoxville, Tennessee. Frances began 
early to write stories for magazines, but did not reach 
success till after her marriage to Dr. Burnett, in 1873. 
With him she settled in Washington in 1875. "That Lass 
o' Lowrie's" appeared in "Scribner's ]\Iagazine" in 1877, 
and made her name known. Joan Lowrie had been abused 
since infancy and was compelled to do a man's work as a 
pit girl in an English coal mine. Her father is a vicious 
brute, but she develops such noble virtue as to win the 
regard and love of Derrick, the educated engineer. The 
contrast between this pure soul and her grim and repulsive 
surroundings is dramatically brought out. Other novels 
sustained the high reputation now awarded the author. 
Among them were "Haworth's" (1879), "Louisiana" 
(1881), "Esmeralda" (1882), "A Fair Barbarian" 
(1882). "Through One Administration" (1883), was a 
bright picture of Washington society. Then came "Little 
Lord Fauntleroy" (1887), which won greater triumph in 
a new field. In "The One I Knew Best of All" (1893), 
Mrs. Burnett sketched her own career. In "A Lady of 
Quality" (1895), and its sequel "His Grace of Osmonde," 


she seems to have departed from the high moral tone of 
her previous works. She has since separated from her 

Octave Thanet is the pen-name of Miss AHce French, 
who has written good short stories of Trans-Mississippi 
Hfe. She was born at Andover, Massachusetts, about 
1850, and was educated there, but her father had settled 
at Davenport, Iowa. She has a plantation in Arkansas, 
and her stories generally relate to that State or Iowa. 
They are marked by strong dramatic quality, truth in 
dialect, character, and scenery. Some of her collections 
are "Knitters in the Sun," "Otto, the Knight," "Stories 
of a Western Town," "Stories of Capital and Labor." 

New England life is by no means exhausted as a quarry 
for the novelist in search of characters and types. Several 
women writers have done good work in this direction and 
have brought to light some striking specimens. Among 
these is Sarah Orne Jewett, born at South Berwick, Maine, 
in 1849. Her first book, "Deephaven" ( 1877), was in the 
form of an autobiography, revealing life in fishing villages. 
Her chief novel is "A Country Doctor," but most of her 
work has been in short stories, which Howells has pro- 
nounced masterpieces. Among them are "The King of 
Folly Island" (1888), "The Country of the Pointed Firs" 

Another successful explorer of this field is Mary 
Eleanor Wilkins, born at Randolph, Massachusetts, about 
1855. In her first book, "The Adventure of Ann" ( 1886) , 
and other collections of short stories, "A Humble 
Romance," "A New England Nun," and "Young 
Lucretia," she deals with plain country folk, and espe- 
cially the old maids. "Giles Corey, Yeoman" (1893) is 
a play depicting colonial times. In her later novels, "Jane 
Field" (1893), "Madelon" (1895), and "Jerome, a Poor 


Man" (1897), there is more attempt to introduce romaxi 
ticism. "The Long Arm" ( 1895) won a prize as a detec- 
tive story. 

Still another who deals with New England life is Mrs. 
Annie Trumbull Slosson, born in Stonington, Connecticut, 
of the well-known Trumbull family. She has, however, 
directed her attention chiefly to peculiar characters, such 
as are "cracked" or "a little ofif." Seven of her sketches 
were collected under the title, "Seven Dreamers" (1891). 
The best is "Fishin' Jimmy." 

Another writer of this class is Mrs. Sarah Pratt (Mc- 
Lean) Greene, who had the unpleasant experience of being 
tried for libel for her "Cape Cod Folks" (1881), and had 
to alter the story. She has since written "Towhead, the 
Story of a Girl" (1884), and "Lastchance Junction" 

Mrs. Burton Harrison's maiden name -was Constance 
Cary, and she was born at Vancluse, Virginia, the resi- 
dence of her maternal grandfather, Thomas, ninth Lord 
Fairfax. She was married to Burton Harrison, who had 
removed from Virginia to New York after the war. Her 
first story was "Golden Rod" (1878), relating to Mount 
Desert. It was followed by "Helen Troy" (1881), a 
story of New York society and the Berkshire Hills. Then 
came an "Old-Fashioned Fairy Book" (1884), and "Bric- 
a-Brac Stories" for children. But the work by which 
she attracted special attention was "The Anglomaniacs" 
(1889), a brilliant and witty exhibition of certain phases 
of American society. "A Bachelor Maid" treated of 
social questions of the day; "An Errant Wooing" (1895), 
embodies material gathered in a tour in Spain and Italy. 
Other stories related to the South before and during the 
war. Among them is "A Son of the Old Dominion" 


Frances C. Tiernan, born at Salisbury, North Caro- 
lina, has written, under the pen-name, Christian Reid, a 
large number of excellent stories. The first was "Valerie 
Aylmer" (1870); others are "A Daughter of Bohemia" 
(1873), "A Question of Honor" (1875), "Hearts of 
Steel" (1882). In "The Land of the Sky" (1875) the 
scene is laid in the Allegheny Mountains. 

Mrs. Frances Courtenay Barnum was born in Arkansas 
in 1848; her maiden name was Baylor. Besides many 
short stories and essays, she has written "On Both Sides," 
an international novel, and "Behind the Blue Ridge." 

Louise Chandler Moulton, born at Ponfret, Con- 
necticut, in 1835, has been active as a writer of children's 
stories, poems, sketches, essays, and novels. Among her 
sketches are "Ourselves and Our Neighbors" (1887), 
"Some Women's Hearts" (1888). 

Blanche Willis Floward, born at Bangor, Maine, in 
1847, has by marriage become Mrs. von Teuffel, and lives 
in Germany. She has published several popular novels, 
"One Summer" (1875), "One Year Abroad" (1877), 
"The Open Door" (1889), "No Heroes" (1893).