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Lord Macaulay. 

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Thomas Bablngton Macaulay. 

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Lite of Macattlat. 

Thomas Babtngton Macaulay, whose father was Zacliary 
Macaulay — famous for his advocacy of the abolition of slavery, 
was born at Rothley Temple, in Leicestershire, towards the end 
of 1800. From his infancy he showed a precocity that was simply 
extraordinary. He not only acquired knowledge rapidly, but he 
possessed a marvelous power of working it up into literary form, 
and his facile pen produced compositions in prose and in verse, 
histories, odes, and hymns. From the time that he was three 
years old b.3 read incessantly, for the most part lying on the rug 
before the fire with his book on the ground, and a piece of bread 
and butter in his hand. It is told of him that when a boy of four, 
and on a visit with his father, he was unfortunate enough to have 
a cup of hot coffee overturned on his legs, and when his hostess, 
in her sympathetic kindness, asked shortly after how he was feel- 
ing, he looked up in her face and said, " Thank you, madam, the 
agony is abated." At seven he. wrote a compendium of Universal 
History. At eight he was so fired with the Lay and with Mar- 
mion that he wrote three cantos of a poem in imitation of Scott's 
manner, and called it the "Battle of Cheviot." And he had many 
other literary projects, in all of which he showed perfect correct- 
ness both in grammar and in spelling, made his meaning uniformly 
clear, and was scrupulously accurate in his punctuation. 

With all this cleverness he was not conceited. His parents, and 
particularly his mother, were most judicious in their treatment. 
They never encouraged him to display his powers of conversa- 
tion, and they abstained from every kind of remark that might 
help him to think himself different from other boys. One result 
was that throughout his life he was free from literary vanity ; 
another was that he habitually overestimated the knowledge of 
others. When he said in his essays that every schoolboy knew 



this and that fact in history, he was judging their information by 
his own vast intellectual stores. § 

At the age of twelve, Macaulay was sent to a private school in 
the neighborhood of Cambridge. There he laid the foundation of 
his future scholarship, and though fully occupied with his school 
work-chiefly Latin, Greek, and mathematics-he found time to 
gratify his insatiable thirst for general literature. He read at ran- 
dom and without restraint, but with an apparent partiality for the 
lighter and more attractive books. Poetry and prose fiction re- 
nTained throughout his life his favorite reading. On subjects of 
this nature he displayed a most unerring memory, as well as the 
capacity for taking in at a glance the contents of a printed page. 
Whatever caught his fancy he remembered, as well as though he 
had consciously got it by heart. He once said, that if all the cop- 
ies of Paradise Lost and the Pilgrim's Progress were to be de- 
stroyed, he would from memory alone undertake to reproduce 

both. . 

In 1818 Macaulay went from school to the university— to trin- 
ity College, Cambridge. But here the studies were not to his 
mind He had no liking for mathematics, and was nowhere as a 
mathematical student. His inclination was wholly for literature, 
and he gained various high distinctions in that department. It 
was unfortunate for him that he had no severe discipline in scien- 
tific method; to his disproportionate partiality for the lighter 
sides of literature must be attributed his want of philosophic 
grasp, his dislike to arduous speculations, and his want of cour- 
age in facing intellectual problems. 
"The private life of Cambridge had a much greater influence on 
him than the recognized studies of the place. He made many 
friends. His social qualities and his conversational powers were 
widely exercised and largely developed. He became too, a brill- 
iant member of the Union Debating Society, and here politics 
claimed his attention. Altogether he gave himself more to the 
enjoyment of all that was stirring around him than to the taking 
of university honors. In 1824, however, he was elected a Fel ow, 
and began to take pupils. Further, he sought a wider field for 
his literarY labors, and contributed papers to some of the maga- 


zines — mostly to Knight's Quarterly Magazine. Chief among these 
contributions are " Iviy," and " Naseby" in spirited verse, and the 
conversation between Cowley and Milton, in as splendid prose. 

When Macaulay went to Cambridge, his father seemed in afflu- 
ent circumstances, but the slave-trade agitation engrossed his time 
a«nd his energy, and by and by there came on the family commer- 
cial ruin. This was a blow to the eldest son, but he bore up 
bravely, brought sunshine and happiness into the depressed 
household, and proceeded to retrieve their position with stern 
fortitude. He ultimately paid off his father's debts. 

Though called to the bar in 1826, he did not take kindly to the 
law, and soon renounced it for an employment more congenial — 
literature. Already in 1824 he had been invited to write for the 
Edinburgh Review, and in August, 1825, appeared in that maga- 
zine his article on Milton, which created a sensation, and made 
the critics aware of the advent of a new literary power. This first 
success he followed up rapidly, and besides giving new life to the 
periodical, he soon gained for himself a name of note. In 1828 
he was made a Commissioner of Bankruptcy, and in 1830 was 
elected M.P. for Calne. In the Reformed Parliament he sat for 

He entered Parliament at an opportune period, and was in the 
thick of the great Reform conflict. His speeches on the Reform 
Bill raised him to the first rank as an orator, and gained for him 
official posts. It was while burdened with these severe public 
labors that he wrote thirteen (from Montgomery to Pitt) of the 
Edinburgh Review Essays. Thus he went on for four years, but 
the narrow circumstances of his family induced him to accept the 
lucrative post of legal adviser to the Supreme Council of India. 
This necessitated his going to India, which was clearly adverse to 
his prospects at home ; yet the certainty of returning with £20,- 
000 saved from his large salary was sufficient inducement to make 
the sacrifice, and he sailed February 15, 1834. 

In India he maintained his reputation as a hard worker. Be- 
sides his official duties as a Member of Council, he undertook the 
additional burden of acting as chairman in two important com- 
mittees, and it is in connection with one of these — the committee 


appointed to draw up the new codes— that he has his chief title to 
fame as an Indian statesmen. The New Penal Code was in great 
part his work, and proves his wide acquaintance with English 
Criminal Law. He also took great part in the work of the Com- 
mittee of Public Instruction, and was chiefly instrumental in in- 
troducing English studies among the native population. But he 
was not popular in Calcutta. Certain changes he helped to intro- 
duce roused the feeling of the English residents against him, and 
he was attacked in the most scurrilous way. 

In 1838 he was back in England. Meanwhile he had written 
two more essays for the Edinburgh, one on Mackintosh and one 
on Bacon, and he was hardly home when there appeared another, 
that on Sir W. Temple. After spending the winter in Italy, he 
reviewed in 1839 Mr. Gladstone's book on Church and State, and 
might have settled down to purely literary life, but once more he 
was drawn into politics. Elected as Member for Edinburgh, he 
was soon admitted into the Cabinet as Secretary-at-War to the 
Whig Ministry of Lord Melbourne. The position, however, was 
no gain to Macaulay. He purposed to write "A History of Eng- 
land, from the accession of King James II., down to a time which 
is within the memory of men still living," and his official duties 
forced him to lay this project aside for the present. 

Fortunately Lord Melbourne's ministry did not last long ; it fell 
in 1841, and Macaulay was released from office. Still retaining 
his seat for Edinburgh, and speaking occasionally in the House- 
lie was free to follow his natural bent. 

His leisure hours were given as usual to essay-work for the 
Edinburgh, and he wrote in succession Clive, Hastings, Frederick 
the Great, Addison, Chatham, etc. But in 1844 his connection 
with the Bemew came to an end, and he wrote no more for the 
Blue and Yellow, as it was called. In 1841 he had put forth a 
volume of poems-the Lays of Ancient Rome-not without mis- 
givings as to the result. But the fresh and vigorous language at 
once carried the volume into popularity, and it had an enormous 


On a change of government in 1846, Macaulay, at the request 
of Lord John Russell, again became a Cabinet Minister, this time 


as Paymaster-General of the Army, and ha\ ing to seek re-election 
from his constituents, went down to Scotland for the purpose. 
After a severe contest, and notwithstanding a growing unpopu- 
larity, he was successful. But at the general election of the fol- 
lowing year the forces in opposition to him redoubled their en= 
ergy, and he was defeated. 

This was the real end of his political life. Although pressed 
to contest other seats, he resolutely declined, and for the next 
few years worked ' doggedly ' at his History. In 1848 appeared 
the first two volumes, which had an immense success, 13,000 
copies being sold in less than four months. The same year he 
was elected Lord Rector of Glasgow University. By 1852 the 
people of Edinburgh had repented the rejection of their famous 
Member, and took steps to re-elect him free of expense ; and so 
thoroughly was the scheme carried out that Macaulay, without 
having made a single speech, and without having visited the city, 
was returned triumphantly at the top of the poll. Through the 
length and breadth of the land the news was hailed with satisfac- 
tion, as an act of justice for an undeserved slight in the past. The 
result was very flattering to Macaulay, but he never really re- 
turned to political life as in his younger days. Moreover, forty 
years of incessant intellectual labors had begun to undermine his 
health, and he was now unequal to the fatigues that formerly were 
a pleasure to him. Accordingly in 1856, after having brought out 
the third and fourth volumes of his history, of which in a few 
months 25,000 copies were sold, he resigned his seat, and yield- 
ing too late obedience to all interested in his welfare, gave him- 
self up to the enjoyment of that ease which he had faithfully 
earned. Then in 1857 he was created a Peer — Baron Macaulay of 
Rothley, his birthplace. Still struggling on with his History in 
the intermissions of his malady, he died suddenly on December 28, 
1859. He was only fifty-nine — the victim of an appetite for work, 
insatiable and unfortunately too long ungoverned. 


It has been said of Lord Byron, that " he was prouder of being 
a descendant of. those Byrons of Normandy, who accompanied 
William the Conqueror into England, than of having been the 
author of Childe Harold and Manfred." 

Its antiquity was not the only distinction by which the name of 
Byron came recommended to its inheritor. 

Of the better-known exploits of the family, it is sufficient, per- 
haps, to say, that at the siege of Calais, under Edward III., and 
on the fields of Cressy, Bosworth, and Marston Moor, the name 
of the Byrons reaped honors both of rank and fame. 

Lord Byron combined in his own nature some of the best and, 
perhaps, worst qualities that lie scattered through the various 
characters of his predecessors,— the generosity, the love of enter- 
prise, the highmindedness of some of the better spirits of his 
race, with the irregular passions, the eccentricity, and daring 
recklessness of the world's opinion, that so much characterized 

That, as a child, the boy's temper was violent, or rather sul 
lenly passionate, is certain. Even when in petticoats he showed the 
same uncontrollable spirit with his nurse which he afterwards ex- 
hibited, when an author, to his critics. Being reprimanded one 
day for having soiled or torn a new frock, he got into one of his 
"silent rages "(as he himself has described them), seized the 
frock with both his hands, rent it from top to bottom, and stood 
in sullen stillness, setting his censurer and her wrath at defiance. 

Notwithstanding such unruly outbreaks,— in which he was 
but too much encouraged by the example of his mother, who fre- 



quently proceeded to the same extremities with her caps, gowns, 
etc., — there was in his disposition, as appears from the testimony 
of all employed about him, a mixture of affectionate sweetness 
and playfulness, by which it was impossible not to be attracted ; 
and which rendered him then, as in his riper years, easily man- 
ageable by those who loved and understood him sufficiently to be 
at once gentle and firm enough for the task. 

By an accident, which occurred at his birth, one of his feet was 
twisted out of its natural position, and this defect (chiefly from 
the contrivances employed to remedy it) was a source of much 
pain and inconvenience to him during his early years. 

Though the chance of his -succession to the title of his ances- 
tors was for some time altogether uncertain, his mother had, 
from his very birth, cherished a strong persuasion that he was 
destined not only to be a lord, but " a great man." 

The title devolved to him but too soon. Had he been left to 
struggle on for ten years longer as plain George Byron, there can 
be little doubt that his character would have been, in many re- 
spects, the better for it. On May 19, 1798, his granduncle, the 
fifth Lord Byron, died at Newstead Abbey, having passed the 
latter years of his strange life in a state of austere and almost 
savage seclusion. It is said that, the day after little Byron's 
accession to the title, he ran up to his mother and asked her 
" whether she perceived any difference in him since he had been 
made a lord, as he perceived none himself." 

The small volume of poems which he had now for some time 
been preparing, was, in the month of November [1800], ready for 
delivery to the select few among whom it was intended to circu- 

[August 2, 1807, he writes to a friend :] 

"Crosby, my London publisher, has disposed of his second im- 
portation, and has sent to Ridge for a third — at least so he says. 
In every bookseller's window I see my own name, and say noth- 
ing, but enjoy my fame in secret. My last reviewer kindly re- 


quests me to alter my determination of writing no more ; and ' A 
Friend to the Cause of Literature' begs that I will gratify the 
public with some new work ' at no very distant period.' Who 
would not be a bard? — that is to say, if all critics would be so 
polite. . . . So much for egotism/ My laurels have turned my 
brain, but the cooling acids of forthcoming criticisms will proba- 
bly restore me to modesty." ["Hours of Idleness " — Byron's first 
literary attempt.] 

Byron, in addition to the real misfortune of being an unbeliever 
at any age, exhibited the rare and melancholy spectacle of an un- 
believing school-boy. The same prematurity of development 
which brought his passions and genius so early into action, en- 
abled also to anticipate this worst, dreariest result of reason; 
and at the very time of life when a spirit and temperament like 
his most required control, those checks which religious prepos- 
sessions best supply were almost wholly wanting. 

Such was the state of mind and heart in which Lord Byron 
now [1809] set out on h'.s indefinite pilgrimage. . . . Baffled, 
as he had been, in his own ardent pursuit of affection and friend- 
ship, his sole revenge and consolation lay in doubting that any 

such feelings really existed His natural vivacity and 

humor but lent a fresher Mow to his bitterness, till he at last 
reveled in it as an indulgence ; and that hatred of hypocrisy, 
which had hitherto only showed itself in a too shadowy coloring 
of his own youthful frailties, now hurried him, from his horror 
of all false pretensions to virtue, into the still more dangerous 
boast and ostentation of vice. 

[After traveling for two years in Greece, Turkey, and the East, 
Byron returned to England. The first two cantos of Ghilde 
Harold took the public by storm, and Byron "awoke one morn- 
ing and found himself famous;" then came in rapid succession 
The Giaour, The Bride of Abydos, The Corsair, and Lara, — de- 
scriptive of the "manners, scenery, and wild passions of the East 
and of Greece — a region as picturesque as that of his rival [Scott], 
and as new and fresh to his readers." 

In 1S15 he married Miss Milbanke, a lady of fortune ; but in 


about a year Lady Byron left her husband. "Her reasons foi 
taking this step remain a mystery." 

Soon [1816] Byron left his native land, and the remainder of 
his life was spent on the Continent, whore he indulged in the 
grossest dissipation. In 1824 he went to the aid of the Greeks, 
then struggling for their independence ; and, a few months after 
his arrival at Missolonghi, died of inflammatory fever— after an 
illness of ten days ] 

To attempt to describe how the intelligence of this sad event 
struck upon all hearts would be as difficult as it is superfluous, 
lie, whom the who!.' world was to mourn, had on the tears of 
(Greece peculiar claim -as it was at her feet he now laid down 
the harvest of such a life of fame. 

On a tablet of white marble in the chancel of the church of 

Hucknell is the following inscription : 

In the vault beneath, 

where many of his ancestors and bis mother are 


lie the remains of 

George Gordon Noel Byron 

Lord Byron, of Rochdale, 

in the county of Lancaster, 

the author of " Childe Harold's Pilgrimage." 

He was born in London on the 

22nd <>f January, 1788. 

He died at Missolonghi, in Western Greece, on the 

19th of April, 1824, 

engaged in the glorious attempt to restore that 

country to her ancient freedom and renown 

His sister, the honourable, 

Augusta Maria Leigh, 

placed this tablet to his memory. 

" Many pictures have been painted of him (says a fair critic of 
his features), with various success ; but the excessive beauty of his 
lips escaped every painter ami sculptor. In their ceaseless play 
they represented every emotion, whether pale with anger, curled 
in disdain, smiling in triumph, or dimpled with archness and 
love. This extreme facility of expression was sometimes painful, 
tor 1 have seen him look absolutely ugly— 1 have seen him look 


so hard and cold, thai you must bate; him, and then, in a moment, 
brighter than the sun, with such playful .softness in his look, 
such affectionate eagerness kindling' in his eves, and dimpling his 
lips into something more sweet than a smile, that you forgot the 
man, the Lord Byron, in the picture of beauty presented to you, 
and. gazed with intense curiosity — 1 had almost said — as if to 
satisfy yourself that thus looked the god of poetry, the god of 
the Vatican, when he conversed with the sons and daughters of 

[First visit abroad; letU r to his mother. .] 

"The next day I was introduced to Ali Pacha. 1 was dressed 
in a full suit of staff uniform, with a very magnificent saber, etc. 
The vizier received me in a large room paved with marble ; a 
fountain was playing in the center ; the apartment was sur- 
rounded by scarlet ottomans. lie received me standing, a won- 
derful compliment from a Mussulman, and made me sit down on 
his right hand. I have a Greek interpreter for general use, but 
a physician of Ali's named Femlario, who understands Latin, 
acted for me on this occasion. His first, question w!ls, why, at 
so early an age, I left my country? (the Turks have no idea of 
traveling for amusement). He then said the English minister, 
Captain Leake, had told him I was of a great family, and desired 
his respects to my mother ; which I now, in the name of Ali 
Pacha, present to you. He said he was certain I was a man of 
birth, because I had small ears, curling hair, and little white 
hands, and expressed himself pleased with my appearance and 
garb. He told me to consider him as a father whilst I was in 
Turkey, and said he looked on me as his son. Indeed, he treated 
me like a child, sending me almonds and sugared sherbet, fruit 
and sweetmeats, twenty times a day. 

"To day I saw the remains of the town of Actiura, near which 
Antony lost the world, in a small bay, where two frigates could' 
hardly maneuver; a broken wall is the sole remnant. On an- 
other part of the gull' stands the ruins of Nicropolis, built by 
Augustus, in honor of his victory. Last night 1 was at a Greek 
marriage ; but this and a thousand things more I have neither 
time nor space to describe." 


[ Extracts from Jo u rn at. ] 

"Sept. 19, 1810. — Rose at five. Crossed the mountains to 
Montbovon on horseback, and on mules, and, by dint of scram- 
bling, on foot also ; the whole route beautiful as a dream, and 
now to me almost as indistinct. . . . 

"The view, from the highest points of to-day's journey, com- 
prised on one side the greatest part of Lake Leman ; on the 
other, the valleys and mountain of the Canton of Fribourg, and 
an immense plain, with the lakes of Neuchatel and Morat, and 
all which the borders of the Lake of Geneva inherit ; we had 
both sides of the Jura before us in one point of view, with Alps 
in plenty. . . . 

" The music of the cows' bells (for their wealth, like the pa- 
triarch's, is cattle) in thejpastures, which reach to a height far 
above any mountains in Britain, and the shepherds shouting to 
us from crag to crag, and playing on their reeds where the 
steeps appeared almost inaccessible, with the surrounding scenery, 
realized all that I had ever heard or imagined of a pastoral ex- 
istence : — much more so than Greece or Asia Minor, for there 
we are a little too much of the saber and musket order, and 
if there is. a crook in one hand, you are sure to see a gun in 
the other : — but this was pure and unmixed — solitary, savage, 
patriarchal. As we went, they played the " Ranz des Vaches " 
and other airs, by way of farewell. I have lately repeopled my 
mind with nature." 

" SErT. 22. — Arrived at the foot of the mountain (the Jung- 
1'rau, that is, the Maiden) ; glaciers ; torrents ; one of these tor- 
rents nine hundred feet in height of visible descent. Lodged at 
the curate's. Set out to see the valley ; heard an avalanche fall, 
like thunder ; glaciers enormous ; storm came on, thunder, light- 
ning, hail, all in perfection, and beautiful." 

The Journal concludes : " I am a lover of nature and an ad- 
mirer of beauty. 1 can bear fatigue, and welcome privation, and 
have seen some of the noblest views in the world. But in all 
this — the recollection of bitterness, and more especially of recent 
and more home desolation, which must accompany me through 
life, have preyed upon me here ; and neither the music of the 


shepherd, the crashing of the avalanche, nor the torrent, the 
mountain, the glacier, the forest, nor the cloud, have for one 
moment lightened the weight upon my heart, nor enabled me to 
lose my own wretched identity, in the majesty, and the power, 
and the glory, around, above, and beneath me." 


Hours of Idleness. — " Fugitive Poems." !► 

English Bards and Scotch Reviewers. — Due to an unfavorable crit- 
icism in the Edinburgh Review. 

Childe Harold, — " A series of gloomy but intensely poetical mono- 
logues put into the mouth of a jaded and misanthropic 
voluptuary, who seeks refuge from his misery in the con- 
templation of lovely and historic scenes of travel." 

The Giaour ( [joor] chief). "] 

The Siege of Corinth. 



The Prisoner of Chillon. 

The Bride of Abydos. 

The Corsair. 


The Island. 

nu tt- • fi t 7 * [ Gav, airy, satirical.' 

The Vision of Judgment. \ J J 

The Age of Bronze.— " A vehement, satirical declamation." 

The Curse of Minerva.— "Directed against the spoliation of the 
frieze of the Parthenon." 

The Lament of Tasso. 

The Prophecy of Dante.— ■" Written in the terza rima, the first at- 
tempt of any English poet to employ that measure." 

The Bream.— "In some respects the most touching of Byron's 
minor works." 

"These are, in general, fragmen 
tary. They are made up of 
intensely interesting moments 
of passion and action." 


Manfred. The best of his dramas. "] 

Marino Faliero. 

The Two Foscari. 

Sardanapalus. \ Dramatic Works. 



The Deformed Transformed. J 

Don Juan.—" The longest, and in some respects the most char- 
acteristic, of Byron's poems." 
Hebrew Melodies.— One of the most familiar of these is "The De- 
struction of Sennacherib." 
" Byron's prose, which is full of vigor and animal spirits, is to 
be found chiefly in his Letters." 

"There are but two personages in all Byron's poems— a man in 
whom unbridled passions have desolated the heart and left it 
hard and impenetrable; a man contemptuous of his kind, skepti- 
cal and despairing, yet occasionally feeling kindly emotions with 
a singular intensity. The woman is the woman of the East— de- 
voted and loving, but loving with the unreasoning attachment of 
the lower animals." 


Biographies by Gait ; Elze ; Nichol (English Men of Letters 
Series); Moore. 

Lord Bywn and Some of his Contemporaries. Leigh Hunt. 

Recollections of the Last Days of Shelley and Byron . Trelawney. 

Lord Byron's Poems. (First review of Byron.) Edinburgh 
Review, January, 1808. 

Byron. Thomas Carlyle., nces. De Quincey. 

Essays in Literary Criticism. Hutton. 

Afternoons with the Poets. Deshler. 

Modem Greece. (Byron in Greece.) Jebb. 

Letters to Dead Authors. Lang. 

Byron and Wordsworth. Swinburne, Nineteenth Century 
Magazine, April and May, 1884. 

[For fuller list, see " Nineteenth Century Authors," by Louise 
Manning Hodgkins.] 


Chief biographer" of Macaulay — G. 0. Trevelyan. 

Biographies by Milinan ; Jones ; Morison (English Men of Let- 
ters Series). 

Home Life of Great A uthors. Griswold. 

Lord Macaulay's Place in English Literature. North British 
Review, August-November, 1860. 

Gleanings of Past Years. Gladstone. 

History of English Thought. Stephen. 

Representative British Orations. Adams. 

The Tom Side of Macaulay. Lloyd, Harper's Magazine, 
March, 1879. 

Essays in Biography and Criticism. Bayne. 

A New Spirit of the Age. Home. 

[For fuller list, see " Nineteenth Century Authors," by Louise 
Manning Hodgkins.] 



The division of discourse next higher than the sentence is the 
Paragraph: which is a collection of sentences with unity of pur- 
pose. Like every division of discourse, a paragraph handles and 
exhausts a distinct topic; there is a greater break between the 
paragraphs than between the sentences. 

There are certain principles that govern the structure of the 
paragraph, for all kinds of composition. 

I. The first requisite of the paragraph is that the bearing of 
each sentence upon what precedes shall be explicit and unmistak- 

II. When several consecutive sentences iterate or illustrate the 
same idea, they should, as far as possible, be formed alike. This 
may be called the rule of Parallel Construction 

III. The opening sentence, unless so constructed as to be obvi 
ously preparatory, is expected to indicate with prominence the 
subject of the paragraph. 

IV. A paragraph should be consecutive, or free from dislocation. 

V. The paragraph should possess unity ; which implies a defi- 
nite purpose, and forbids digressions and irrelevant matter. 

VI. As in the sentence, so in the paragraph, a due proportion 
should obtain between principal and subordinate statements. 

[Very few writers in our language seem to have paid much 
attention to the construction of paragraphs. Macaulay is perhaps 
the most exemplary.] 



Letters and Journals of Lord Byron ; with Notices of his Life. 
By Thomas Moore, Esq. 2 vols, 4to. London, 1830. 

We have read this book with the greatest pleasure. Con- 
sidered merely as a composition, it deserves to be classed 
among the host specimens of English prose which our age has 
produced. It contains, indeed, no single passage equal to two 
or three which we could select from the Life of Sheridan. But, 5 
as a whole, it is immeasurably superior to that work. The 
style is agreeable, clear, and manly, and when it rises into 
eloquence, rises without effort or ostentation. Nor is the 
matter inferior to the manner. It would be difficult to name 

2. As a composition. Opposed I o what? 

5. Life of Sheridan. Biography by M -e. Richard Brinsley Sheridan 

(1751-1816), author of The Riv<ds, School for Scandal, etc. 



a book which exhibits more kindness, fairness, and modesty. 
It has evidently been written, not for the purpose of showing, 
what, however, it often shows, how well its author can write, 
but for the purpose of vindicating, as far as truth will permit, 
5 the memory of a celebrated man who can no longer vindicate 
himself. Mr. Moore never thrusts himself between Lord Byron 
and the public. With the strongest temptations to egotism, 
he has said no more about himself than the subject absolutely 

10 A great part, indeed the greater part of these volumes, con- 
sists of Extracts from the Letters and Journals of Lord Byron ; 
and it is difficult to speak too highly of the skill which has been 
shown in the selection and arrangement. We will not say 
that we have not occasionally remarked in these two large 

15 quartos an anecdote which should have been omitted, a letter 
which should have been suppressed, a name which should have 
been concealed by asterisks, or asterisks which do not answer 
the purpose of concealing the name. But it is impossible, on 
a general survey, to deny that the task has been executed with 

20 great judgment and great humanity. When we consider the 
life which Lord Byron had led, his petulance, his irritability, 
and his communicativeness, we cannot but admire the dexter- 
ity with which Mr. Moore has contrived to exhibit so much of 
the character and opinions of his friend, with so little pain to 

25 the feelings of the living. 

The extracts from the journals and correspondence of Lord 
Byron are in the highest degree valuable, not merely on ac- 
count of the information which they contain respecting the 
distinguished man by whom they were written, but on account 

30 also of their rare merit as compositions. The Letters, at least 
those which were sent from Italy, are among the best in our 
language. They are less affected than those of Pope and 

15. Quartos. Quarto, for in quarto, a sheet of paper folded in four. 

'32. Pope (.1088-1744). " If the letters of Pope are considered merely as 
compositions, they seem to be premeditated and artificial" (Johnson's 
Tjives). Pope was the first in rank of the artificial poets of the first half of 
■the eighteenth century. 


1 = 


Walpole ; they have more matter in them than those of Cowper. 
Knowing that many of them were not written merely for the 
person to whom they were directed, but were general epistles, 
meant to be read by a large circle, we expected to find them 
clever and spirited, but deficient in ease. We looked witli vig- 5 
ilance for instances of stiffness in the language and awkward- 
ness in the transitions. We have been agreeably disappointed; 
and we must confess that, if the epistolary style of Lord Byron 
was artificial it was a rare and admirable instance of that 
highest art which cannot be distinguished from nature. 

Of the deep and painful interest which this book excites no 
abstract can give a just notion. So sad and dark a story is 
scarcely to be found in any work of fiction ; and we are lit lie 
disposed to envy the moralist who can read it without being 

The pretty fable by which the Duchess of Orleans illustrated 
the character of her son the Regent, might, with little change, 
be applied to Byron. All the fairies, save one, had been bid- 
den to his cradle. All the gossips had been prof use of their 
gifts. One had bestowed nobility, another genius, a third 20 
beauty. The malignant elf who had been uninvited came last, 
and, unable to reverse what her sisters had done for their fa- 
vorite, had mixed up a curse with every blessing. In the rank 
of Lord Byron, in his understanding, in his character, in his 
very person, there was a strange union of opposite extremes. 25 
He was born to all that men covet and admire. But in every 
one of those eminent advantages which he possessed over 
others, was mingled something of misery and debasement. 
U^ was sprung from a house, ancient indeed and noble, but 

mmis^er^-XnO^n ™ 06, *!*** SOn of u Robert Walpole, the celebrated prime 
rfJSSnH.™ hli g Ca " ^^ ore i cheer y than Horace's letters. Fiddles 
sing all through them " (Thackeray's Four Georges) 

«nH C f °,7 per - , p oet 1731-1800. He stands forth as the poet of the home 
and of the marked religious movement of his time. " Livine the life of ? 

E£ ! U o?h? S poems!» dn0thing l ° ta ' k ab ° Ut but his tame hares " hj s garden^ 
10. That highest art. Ars est celare artem. 
16. Duchess of Orleans. Wife of Philippe, brother of Louis XIV of 

EZSeSfttSft?' D " ke of 0rleans ' " as '•^" t ot <"»«« "Uk 

J9. Gossips. Here means sponsors. 


degraded and impoverished by a series of crimes and follies 
which had attained a scandalous publicity. The kinsman 
whom he succeeded had died poor, and, but for merciful judges, 
would have died upon the gallows. The young peer had great 
5 intellectual powers ; yet there was an unsound part in his 
mind. He had naturally a generous and feeling heart : but 
his temper was wayward and irritable. He had a head which 
statuaries loved to copy, and a foot the deformity of which the 
beggars in the streets mimicked. Distinguished at once by the 

10 strength and by the weakness of his intellect, affectionate yet 
perverse, a poor lord, and a handsome cripple, he required, if 
ever man required, the firmest and the most judicious train- 
ing. But, capriciously as nature had dealt with him, the par- 
ent to whom the office of forming his character was intrusted 

15 was more capricious still. She passed from paroxysms of rage 
to paroxysms of tenderness. At one time she stifled him with 
her caresses ; at another time she insulted his deformity. He 
came into the world ; and the world treated him as his mother 
had treated him, sometimes with fondness, sometimes with 

20 cruelty, never with justice. It indulged him without discrim- 
ination, and punished him without discrimination* He was 
truly a spoiled child, not merely the spoiled child of his parent, 
but the spoiled child of nature, the spoiled child of fortune, the 
spoiled child of fame, the spoiled child of society. His first 

2 5 poems were received with a contempt which, feeble as they 
were, they did not absolutely deserve. The poem which he 
published on his return from his travels was, on the other 
hand, extolled far above its merit. At twenty-four lie found 
himself on the highest pinnacle of literary fame, with Scott, 

30 Wordsworth, Southey, and a crowd of other distinguished 
writers beneath his feet. There is scarcely an instance in his- 
tory of so sudden a rise to so dizzy an eminence. 

Everything that could stimulate, and everything that could 
gratify the strongest propensities of our nature, the gaze of a 

3. The kinsman whom lie succeeded, etc. His ^reat-iincle, the fifth. 
Lord Byron, had killed a relation in a duel, the result of a tavern brawl, and 
Ji.til been tried by his peers. 


hundred drawing-rooms, the acclamations of the whole nation, 
the applause of applauded men, the love of lovely women, all 
this world and all the glory of it were at once offered to a youth 
to whom nature had given violent passions, and whom educa- 
tion had never taught to control them. He lived as many men 5 
live who have no similar excuse to plead for their faults. But 
his countrymen and his countrywomen would love him and 
admire him. They were resolved to see in his excesses only 
the flash and outbreak of that same fiery mind which glowed 
in his poetry. He attacked religion ; yet in religious circles his 10 
name was mentioned with fondness, and in many religious 
publications his works were censured with singular tenderness. 
He lampooned the Prince Regent ; yet he could not alienate the 
Tories. Everything, it seemed, was to be forgiven to youth, 
rank, and genius. I5 

Then came the reaction. Society, capricious in its indigna- 
tion as it had been capricious in its fondness, flew into a rage 
with its fro ward and petted darling. He had been worshiped 
with an irrational idolatry. He was persecuted with an irra- 
tional fury. Much has been written about those unhappy 20 
domestic occurrences which decided the fate of his life. Yet 
nothing is, nothing ever was, positively known to the public, 
but this, that he quarreled with his lady, and that she refused 
to live with him. There have been hints in abundance, and 
shrugs and shakings of the head, and " Well, well, we know," 25 

3. All this world and the glory of it. Matt iv. 8 

10. He attacked religion. Byron often wrote flippantly and irrever- 
ently of religion, but he cannot be said to have attacked it in any of his 

13. He lampooned the Prince Regent. In Don Juan he makes the 
amende honorable, calling the Prince Regent " a polished gentleman from 
top to toe." 

14. Tories. "It was about this time [time of Charles II. of England, 
1GC0-1GS5] that the names 'Whig' and 'Tory' begun to be given to two 
political parties, which soon became very powerful " " One [Whig] is, in an 
especial manner, the guardian of liberty, and the other [ToVy], of order. 
One is the moving power and the other the steadying power of the state. 
One is the sail, without which society would make no progress, the other, 
the ballast, without which there would be small safety in a tempest" 
(.Macaulay). Latterly the place of the Whigs has been taken by the Liberals; 
that of the Tories by the Conservatives. " British "Radicals form an impor- 
tant section of the liberal party.*' (Century). " Liberals and Radicals have 
now generally superseded the Whigs in English politics." (International.) 

','5. Well, well, we know, etc. Hamlet, Act I., Scene 5 Hamlet 
warns his friend Horatio not to hint that he knows the cause of Hamlet's 
strange behavior. 


and " We could an if we would," and " If we list to speak,' 
and "There be that might an they list." But we are not 
aware that there is before the world, substantiated by credible 
or even by tangible evidence, a single fact indicating that Lord 

5 Byron was more to blame than any other man who is on bad 
terms with his wife. The professional men whom Lady Byron 
consulted were undoubtedly of opinion that she ought not to 
live with her husband. But it is to be remembered that they 
formed their opinion without hearing both sides. We do not 

10 say, we do not mean to insinuate, that Lady Byron was in any 
respect to blame. We think that those who condemn her on 
the evidence which is now before the public are as rash as 
those who condemn her husband. We will not pronounce any 
judgment, we cannot, even in our own minds, form any judg- 

i5ment, on a transaction which is so imperfectly known to us. 
It would have been well if, at the time of the separation, all 
those who knew as little about the matter then as we know 
about it now had shown that forbearance which, under such 
circumstances, is but common justice. 

20 We know T no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in 
one of its periodical fits of morality. In general, elopements, 
divorces, and family quarrels, pass with little notice. We 
read the scandal, talk about it for a day, and forget it. But 
once in six or seven years our virtue becomes outrageous. We 

25 cannot suffer the laws of religion and decency to be violated. 
We must teach libertines that the English people appreciate 
the importance of domestic ties. Accordingly, some unfortu- 
nate man, in no respect more depraved than hundreds whose 
offenses have been treated with lenity, is singled out as an 

30 expiatory sacrifice. If he has children, they are to be taken 
from him. If he has a profession, he is to be driven from it. 
He is cut by the higher orders and hissed by the lower. He 
is, in truth, a sort of whipping-boy, by whose vicarious agonies 
all the other transgressors of the same class are, it is supposed, 

35 sufficiently chastised. We reflect very complacently on our 

33. Whipping-boy. The boy whose function it was to be punished for 
the faults and mistakes of the prince. 


own severity, and compare with great pride the high standard 
of morals established in England with the Parisian laxity. 
At length our anger is satiated. Our victim is ruined and 
heart-broken. And our virtue goes quietly to sleep for seven 
years more. 5 

It is clear that those vices which destroy domestic happiness 
ought to be as much as possible repressed. It is equally clear 
that they cannot be repressed by penal legislation. It is 
therefore right and desirable that public opinion should be 
directed against them. But it should be directed against them xo 
uniformly, steadily, and temperately, not by sudden fits and 
starts. There should be one weight and one measure. Deci- 
mation is always an objectionable mode of punishment. It is 
the resource of judges too indolent and hasty to investigate 
facts and to discriminate nicely between shades of guilt. It is 15 
an irrational practice, even when adopted by military tribu- 
nals. When adopted by the tribunal of public opinion, it is 
infinitely more irrational. It is good that a certain portion of 
disgrace should constantly attend on certain bad actions. But 
it is not good that the offenders should merely have to stand 20 
the risks of a lottery of infamy, that ninety-nine out of every 
hundred should escape, and that the hundredth, perhaps the 
most innocent of the hundred, should pay for all. We remem- 
ber to have seen a mob assembled in Lincoln's Inn to hoot 
a gentleman against whom the most oppressive proceeding 25 
known to the English law was then in progress. He was 
hooted because he had been an unfaithful husband, as if some 
of the most popular men of the age, Lord Nelson for example, 
had not been unfaithful husbands. We remember a still 
stronger case. Will posterity believe that, in an age in which 30 
men whose gallantries were universally known, and had been 

English tragedian (1787(?)-1833). ivean, tne gieat 


legally proved, filled some of the highest offices in the state 
and in the army, presided at the meetings of religious and 
benevolent institutions, were the delight of every society, and 
the favorites of the multitude, a crowd of moralists went to 
5 the theater, in order to pelt a poor actor for disturbing the 
conjugal felicity of an alderman ? What there was in the cir- 
cumstances either of the offender or of the sufferer to vindicate 
the zeal of the audience, we could never conceive. It has 
never been supposed that the situation of an actor is peculiarly 

10 favorable to the rigid virtues, or that an alderman enjoys any 
special immunity from injuries such as that which on this 
occasion roused the anger of the public. But such is the jus- 
tice of mankind. 

In these cases the punishment was excessive ; but the offense 

15 was known and proved. The case of Lord Byron was harder. 
True Jedwood justice was dealt out to him. First came the 
execution, then the investigation, and last of all, or rather not 
at all, the accusation. The public, without knowing anything 
whatever about the transactions in his family, flew into a vio- 

20 lent passion with him, and proceeded to invent stories which 
might justify its anger. Ten or twenty different accounts of 
the separation, inconsistent with each other, with themselves, 
and with common-sense, circulated at the same time. What 
evidence there might be for any one of these, the virtuous 

25 people who repeated them neither knew nor cared. For in 
fact these stories were not the causes, but the effects of the 
public indignation. They resembled those loathsome slanders 
which Lewis Goldsmith, and other abject libellers of the same 
class, were in the habit of publishing about Bonaparte ; such 

30 as that he poisoned a girl with arsenic when he was at the 
military school, that he hired a grenadier to shoot Dessaix 

16. Jedwood justice. Implies hanging first, and trial afterwards. 

28. Lewis Goldsmith. His works have fallen into merited oblivion. 

31. The military school. Napoleon was educated first at Brienne; 
then at the military school at Paris, from which he received his commission 
as a lieutenant of artillery in 1785. 

31. Dessaix. Accompanied Napoleon in his Egyptian campaign; turned 
the fortunes of the day at Marengo, 1800, but was mortally wounded. 


at Marengo, that he filled St. Cloud with all the pollutions of 
Capreae. There was a time when anecdotes like these obtained 
some credence from persons who, hating the French emperor, 
without knowing why, were eager to believe anything which 
might justify their hatred. Lord Byron fared in the same 5 
way. His countrymen were in a bad humor with him. His 
writings and his character had lost the charm of novelty. He 
had been guilty of the offense which, of all offenses, is pun- 
ished most severely; he had been overpraised; he had excited 
too warm an interest, and the public, with its usual justice, 10 
chastised him for its own folly. The attachments of the mul- 
titude bear no small resemblance to those of the wanton en- 
chantress in the Arabian Tales, who, when the forty days of 
her fondness were over, was not content with dismissing her 
lovers, but condemned them to expiate, in loathsome shapes, 15 
and under cruel penances, the crime of having once pleased 
her too well. 

The obloquy which Byron had to endure was such as might 
well have shaken a more constant mind. The newspapers 
were rilled with lampoons. The theaters shook with execra- 20 
tions. He was excluded from circles where he had lately been 
the observed of all observers. All those creeping things that 
riot in the decay of nobler natures hastened to their repast; 
and they were right; they did after their kind. It is not 
every day that the savage envy of aspiring dunces is gratified 25 
by the agonies of such a spirit and the degradation of such a 

The unhappy man left his country forever. The howl of 
contumely followed him across the sea, up the Rhine, over the 
Alps; it gradually- waxed fainter; it died away; those who 30 
had raised it began to ask each other, what, after all, was the 

1. Marengo. In northwestern Italy. Here Napoleon conquered the 
Austrians, June 14. 1800. 

1. St. Cloud, A suburb of Paris, where was a palace of the kings of 

2. Capreae. An island at the entrance of the Bay of Naples. Here the 
Roman Emperor Tiberius lived, for several years, a gloomy and wicked life. 

13. The wanton enchantress. .' A magic queen, ruling over the City 
of Enchantments in the Story of Bedr Basim, King of Persia, in the "Arabian 
Nights," who, by her art, transformed men in tu horses and other animals. 



matter about which they had been so clamorous, and wished 
to invite back the criminal whom they had just chased from 
them His poetry became more popular than it had ever been; 
and his complaints were read with tears by thousands and 
5 tens of thousands who had never seen Ins face. 

He had fixed his home on the shores of the Adriatic , in the 
most picturesque and interesting of cities, beneath the bright- 
est of skies, and by the brightest of seas. Ceiisonousness was 
not the vice of the neighbors whom he had chosen. They 
IO were a race corrupted by a bad government and a bad religion, 
long renowned for skill in the arts of voluptuousness, and 
tolerant of all the caprices of sensuality From he publm 
opinion of the country of his adoption, he had * 
dread With the public opinion of the country of Ins bnth 
, 5 he was at open war. He plunged into wild and desperate ex- 
cesses, ennobled by no generous of tender sentu. en F om 
his Venetian harem he sent forth volume after volume, full of 
el quence, of wit, of pathos, of ribaldry, and of bitter disdaim 
His health sank under the effects of his mtemperance. Ha 
2 o hair turned gray. His food ceased to nourish him. A hectic 
fever withered him up. It seemed that his body and nnnd 
were about to perish together. 

From this wretched degradation he was in some measure 
rescued by a connection, culpable indeed, yet such as if it 
OT judged by the standard of morality established in the 
out wherc y he lived, might be called virtuous But an 
Pagination polluted by vice, a temper embittered by misfo - 
™ne° and a frame habituated to the fatal of intox- 
catton prevented him from fully enjoying the happiness 
hdhe^ght have derived from the purest and most tran- 
quil of his many attachments. Midnight draughts of ardent 
spits and Khenish wines had begun to work the run, of his 
fine intellect. His verse lost much of the energy and conden- 
sation which had distinguished it. But he would not, 

Tl^n^^^^^^ Novem ' 

"IS Tconnect.on, e.c . In the beginning of .8*. He was domesticated 
with the Countess Guiccioh. 




without a struggle, the empire which he had exercised over 
the men of h,s geueratiou. A new dream of ambition arose 
before h,m: to be the chief of a literary party; to be the 

mm! 77 °, ( 8 , inr ""'"'" l: ' 1 reVOlatl ° n : *" *< M - «'* P"Mi« 
mind of England from his Italian retreat, as Voltaire had 5 

guided the public mind of France from the villa of Feruey 
Wih this hope, as it should seem, he established the Liberal' 
Bur. powerfully as he bad affected the inn,,, nations of his 
contemporaries, he mistook bis own powers if he hoped to 
direct their opinions; and he still more grossly mistook his ,o 
own disposition, if he thought that he could long act in con 
cert with other men of letters. The plan failed: and failed 
.gnommiously. Angry with himself, angry with his coadju- 
tors, he relinquished it. and turned to another project, the last 
and noblest of his life. 

A nation, once the first among the nation.,, pre-eminent in '* 
knowledge, pre-eminent in military glory, the cradle of phi- 
losophy of eloquence, and of the fine arts, bad been for ages 
bowed down under a cruel yoke. All the vices which oppres- 
sion generates, the abject vices which it generates in those 20 
who submit to it, the ferocious vices which it generates in 

Prussiaf who admired both "ihSnC"^ \fZ ?«. '1 V t " lm , c ' k L he Grest °' 
assailed the goyornment an cfer" of SaS-« i? ','& '"" ll ,vl,idl he h « a 
greatly honoFed in Franw 1 , ™i„ ! i , 'i' different limes he was 
His chief claim to hte mrv a,n ' " ,s i, lis smSs' , ^ e ',"1 " is " fe - 
epigrams, in which the whole s , i,-i „, , " i' „ Sa '" es ' !?''"■ letters, and 
inimitable vivacity m" ,? Viii* saw itself expressed with 

Voltaire from nlsSms" "" 1<!S n0rth o£ Geneva, the residence of 

s4?s«on t of b S!ey and Byron"' ""rS^S " y L< " g " Hunt "' ,S "' al "» 
only a few months y ' ' ' The mper ,vas aenr Popular, an J lived 

a coolne'sf Stween Byronan^HSnt" 1^?' ^^ ° f " W ^' xr P ro «need 
pole in Dickens' BleikHomi wis ih.„ ™i ''«-. Prototype of Harold Skim- 

them^e onbus ss-likfana , £5J2ttS&SS2t'£i£ "" Sa '" e """ 

unVm»e m C y„ k °e° it ,8? SL^V4'4 S ' Qre <*° ™ 

30 LORD \\\ RON, 

those who struggle against it, had deformed the character of 
that miserable race. The valor which had won the great 

battle of human civilization, which had saved Europe, which 
had subjugated Asia, lingered only among pirates and robbers. 
5 The ingenuity, once so conspicuously displayed in every de- 
partment of physical and moral science, had been depraved 
into a timid and servile cunning-. On a sudden this degraded 
people had risen on their oppressors. Discountenanced or 
betrayed by the surrounding potentates, they had found in 

io themselves something of that which might well supply the 
place of all foreign assistance, something o\ the energy of 
their fathers. 

As a man of letters, Lord Byron could not but be interested 
in the event of this contest. His political opinions, though, 

15 like all his opinions, unsettled, leaned strongly towards the 
side of liberty. He had assisted the Italian insurgents with 
his purse, and, if their struggle against the Assyrian Govern- 
ment had been prolonged, would probably have assisted them 
with his sword. But to Greece he was attached by peculiar 

20ties. He had when young resided in that country. Much of 
his most splendid and popular poetry had been inspired by its 
scenery and by its history. Sick of inaction, degraded in his 
own eyes by his private vices and by his literary failures. 
pining for untried excitement and honorable distinction, he 

25 carried his exhausted body and his wounded spirit to the 
Grecian camp. 

His conduct in his new situation showed so much vigor and 
good sense as to justify us in believing that, if his life had 
been prolonged, he might have distinguished himself as a 

30 soldier and a politician. But pleasure and sorrow had done 

16. He had assisted the Italian insurgents. la 1814 the Venetian 
dominions were joined to Austria. In 1819 Lord Byron first associated 
himself with the conspiracy which was brewing against the Austrian 

00. Ho had when young, etc. In 1810 he made a tour of the Morea, and 
in 1811 he took up his residence at the Franciscan convent at Athens. 

81. Much «>f his most splendid ami popular poetry. Childe Harold, 
Canto 11. The Oiawtr. 

26. The Grecian camp, lie sailed for Greece July 14, 1828, and reached 
Missolonghi Jan. 5, 1824. 


the work of seventy years upon his delicate frame. The hand 
of death was upon him : he knew it ; and the only wish which 
he uttered was, that he might die sword in hand. 

This was denied to him. Anxiety, exertion, exposure, and 
those fatal stimulants which had become indispensable to him, 5 
soon stretched him on a sick-bed, in a strange land, amidst 
strange faces, without one human being that he loved near 
him. There, at thirty-six, the most celebrated Englishman of 
the nineteenth century closed his brilliant and miserable career. 

We cannot even now retrace those events without feeling 10 
something of what was felt by the nation, when it was first 
known that the grave had closed over so much sorrow and so 
much glory ; something of what was felt by those who saw the 
hearse, with its long train of coaches, turn slowly northward, 
leaving behind it that cemetery which had been consecrated 15 
by the dust of so many great poets, but of which the doors 
were closed against all that remained of Byron. We well re- 
member that on that day rigid moralists could not refrain 
from weeping for one so young, so illustrious, so unhappy, 
gifted with such rare gifts, and tried by such strong tempta- 20 
tions. It is unnecessary to make any reflections. The history 
carries its moral with it. Our age lias indeed been fruitful of 
warnings to the eminent, and of consolations to the obscure. 
Two men have died within our recollection, who,, at a time of 
life at which many people have hardly completed their educa- 25 
tion, had raised themselves, each in his own department, to 
the height of glory. One of them died at Longwood ; the 
other at Missolonghi. 

It is always difficult to separate the literary character of a 
man who lives in our own time from his personal character. 30 
It is peculiarly difficult to make this separation in the case of 
Lord Byron. For it is scarcely too much to say, that Lord 
Byron never wrote without some reference, direct or indirect, 
to himself. The interest excited by the events of his life 
mingles itself in our minds, and probably in the minds of 35 

27. Napoleon. 

28. Byron. 


almost all our readers, with the interest which properly lie- 
longs to his works. A generation must pass away before it 
will be possible to form a fair judgment of his books, consid- 
ered merely as books. At present they are not only books, 
5 but relies. We will however venture, though with unfeigned 
diffidence, to offer some desultory remarks on his poetry, 

His lot was cast in the time o( a great literary revolution. 
That poetical dynasty which had dethroned fche successors of 
Shakespeare and Spenser was, in its turn, dethroned by a race 

iowho represented themselves as heirs of the ancient line, so 
long dispossessed by usurpers. The real nature of this revo- 
lution has not, we think, been comprehended by the great 
majority of those who concurred in it. 
Wherein especially does the poetry of our times differ from 

15 that of the last century? Ninety-nine persons out of a hun- 
dred would answer that the poetry of the last century was cor- 
rect, but cold and mechanical, and that the poetry of our 
time, though wild and irregular, presented far more vivid 
images, and excited the passions far more strongly than that 

20 of Parnell. of Addison, or of Pope. In the same manner we 
constantly hear it said, that the poets of the age of Elizabeth 
had far more genius, but far less correctness, than those of 
the age of Anne. It seems to be taken for granted, that 
there is some incompatibility, some antithesis, between correct- 

25 ness and creative power. We rather suspect that this notion 
arises merely from an abuse of words, and that it has been 
the parent of many of the fallacies which perplex the science 
of criticism. 

What is meant by correctness in poetry? If by correctness 

8. That poetical dynasty, etc As a rough outline of the history of 
English poetry from the times of Elizabeth, we may set down rive dynasties 
or schools, adding the most distinguished name in each (1)The so-called 
Metaphysical school— Cowley ; (2) The poets of the Civil War and Common- 
wealth—Milton ; (3) The poets of the Restoration— Dryden ; (4) The Au- 
gustan Age— Pope ; (5) The poets of our own century. 

00. Parnell. The Rev. Thos. P.; 1679-1717. Best known by his Hermit. 

•20. Addison. The most elegant prose-writer of the eighteenth century. 
Dr. Johnson has said of him: " Whoever wishes to attain an English style, 
familiar but not coarse, and elegant but not ostentatious, must give his 
days and nights to the volumes of Addison." 


be meant the conforming to rules which have their foundation 
in truth and in the principles of human nature, then correct- 
ness is only another name for excellence. If by correctness be 
meant the conforming to rules purely arbitrary, correctness 
may be another name for dullness and absurdity. 5 

A writer who describes visible objects falsely and violates 
the propriety of character, a writer who makes the mountains 
'• nod their drowsy heads" at night, or a dying man take leave 
of the world with a rant like that of Maximin, may be said, in 
the high and just sense of the phrase, to write incorrectly. 10 
He violates the first great law of his art. His imitation is 
altogether unlike the thing imitated. The four poets who are 
most eminently free from incorrectness of this description are 
Homer, Dante. Shakespeare, and Milton. They are therefore, 
in one sense, and that the best sense, the most correct of poets. 15 

When it is said that Virgil, though he had less genius than 
Homer, was a more correct writer, what sense is attached to 
the word correctness ? Is it meant that the story of the iEneid 

8. Mountains nod, etc. From Dryden's Indian Emperor. 

9. A rant like that of Maximin. Maximin, the principal character 
iu Dryden's Tyrant Love ; or, The Royal Martyr. He is made to exclaim:. 

" Bring me Porphyrion and my Empress dead; 
I will brave heaven, in my each hand a head ! " 
And again when dying: 

" And shoving back the earth on which I sit, 
I'll mount and scatter all the gods I hit." 
14. Homer. Author of Iliad and Odyssey. The greatest name in the 
history of epic poetry. Supposed to be an Asiatic (ireek. 

14. Dante. One of the greatest poets of all time. His greatest work is 
The Divine Comedy. (Italian.) 

14. Milton. Author of Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained. 
Dryden says of these poets: 

" Three poets in three distant ages born, 
Greece. Italy, and England did adorn. 
The first in loftiness of thought surpassed; 
The next, in majesty; in both, the last. 
The force of nature could no further go- 
To make a third, site joined the former two." 

15. Note the many illustrations and allusions in this and the succeeding 
paragraphs. Is this a merit or a defect ? 

Hi. Virgil. Author of JEneid, etc. After Homer, the greatest epic poet 
of antiquity. Born in Mantua, Italy. TO b.c-19 b.c. 

18. iHneid. An epic poem by Virgil. In this poem Virgil celebrates the 
adventures of ^Eneas, a Trojan prince. When Troy fell, ^Eneas left the 
city, accompanied by his father, his son, and many followers. He visited 
various countries and settled in Latium. To him tradition ascribes the 
commencement of the Roman Empire. 


is developed more skillfully than that of the Odyssey ? thai the 
Roman describes the face of the external world, or the emo- 
tions of the mind, more accurately than the Greek? that the 
characters of Achates and Mnestheus are more nicely discrimi- 
5 nated, and more consistently supported, than those of Achilles, 
of Nestor, atid of Tlysses ? Tin 1 fad incontestably is that, for 
every violation of the fundamental laws of poetry which can 
be found in Homer, it would be easy to find twenty in Virgil. 
Troilus and Cressida is, perhaps, of all the plays of Shake- 

iospeare, that which is commonly considered as the most incor- 
rect. Yet it seems to us infinitely more correct, in the sound 
sense of the term, than what are called the most correct plays 
of the most correct dramatists. Compare it, for example, 
with the Iphigenie of Racine. We are sure that the Greeks of 

15 Shakespeare bear a far greater resemblance than the Greeks 
of Racine to the real Greeks who besieged Troy ; and for this 
reason, that the Greeks of Shakespeare are human beings, and 
the Greeks of Racine are mere names, mere words printed in 
capitals at the head of paragraphs of declamation. Racine, it 

20 is true, would have shuddered at the thought of making a 
warrior at the siege of Troy to quote Aristotle. But of what 
use is it to avoid a single anachronism, when the whole play is 
one anachronism, the sentiments and phrases of Versailles in 
the camp of Aulis? 

1. Odyssey. Great epic poem, attributed t«> Homer. It celebrates the 
adventures of Ulysses after the Trojan War, and of his son Telemachus, 
who went in search of Ulysses. (Ulysses: Gk., Odysseus). 

4. Aehates and Mnestheus. Two of Eneas' companions. 

5. Achilles. The lino of the Iliad, and especially famous as the most 
valiant of all the Greek ehiefs at the siege of Troy. Was killed by Paris, who 
shot him in the heel - his only vulnerable pari 

C. Nestor. A Greek hero. He distinguished himself among the leaders 
at the siege of Troy by Ins commanding eloquence and wisdom. 

6 Ulysses. Thl' greal Greek hero. His achievements at Troy most 
materially assisted the sueeess of the expedil ion 

14. Iphigeuie of Racine. Racine, the most admired of all the French 
dramatists. Iphigenia was daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, and 
was offered as a sacrifice to Diana: hut (he goddess spared her life and 
made her a priestess. Hallam has said of this and other of Racine's female 
characters, that they bear the same analogy to Shakespeare's that sculpture 
does to painting. 

21. Making :i warrior, etc. In Troilus and Cressida, ii. 2, Agamem- 
non quotes Aristotle. 

24. Ill the camp of Aulis. Where the scene ol the Iphigenie is laid. 
" Aulis, a seaport of Bceotia, where Agamemnon assembled Ihe Greek fleet 
intended to sail against Troj ."' 


In the sense in which we arc now using the word correct- 
ness, we think that Sir Walter Scott, Mr. Wordsworth, Mr. 
Coleridge, are far more correct poets than those who are com- 
monly extolled as the models of correctness, Tope, for example, 
and Addison. The single description of a moonlight night in 5 
Pope's Iliad contains more inaccuracies than can be found in 
all the Excursion. There is not a single scene in Cato in 
which all that conduces to poetical illusion, all the propriety 
of character, of language, of situation, is not more grossly 
violated than in any part of the Lay of the Last Minstrel. No 10 
man can possibly think that the Romans of Addison resemble 
the real Romans so closely as the moss-troopers of Scott re- 
semble the real moss-troopers. Wat Tinlinn and William of 
Deloraine are not, it is true, persons of so much dignity as 
Cato. But the dignity of the persons represented has as little 15 
to do with the correctness of poetry as with the correctness 
of painting. We prefer a gypsy by Reynolds to his Majesty's 

S.Scott. Port ami Novelist; 1771-1832. Regarding Scott both as a poet 
and as a writer of fiction lie must be reckoned beyond question the greatest 
which this century lias yet produced. 

2. Wordsworth. One of the so-called Lake Poets; 1770-1850, Hsi 
poems are all marked by purity of language, originality of thought— the 
product of his own meditation,— wonderful strength and beauty in occa- 
sional lines, almost perfect knowledge of nature, and high moral aim. " To 
console the afflicted; to add sunshine to daylight, by making the happy 
happier; to lead the, young and the gracious of every age to see, to think, 
to feel, and to become more actively and securely virtuous this is their 

3. Coleridge. One of the Lake Poets; 1772 1834. Coleridge says, 
" Poetry has been to me its own exceeding great reward; it has soothed 
my afflictions: it has multiplied and refined my enjoyments; it has endeared 
solitude; and it has given me the habit of wishing to discover the good and 
the beautiful in all that meets and surrounds me. 

6. Iliad. One of the so-called Homeric poems. It commemorates the 
deeds of Achilles and other (b-eek heroes at siege of Troy. (Troy: Ilium or 
llion.) Pope translated the Hind 

7 Excursion. Wordsworth's great poem. 

7. Cato. Tragedy by Addison. 

10. Lay of Last Minstrel. Poem by Scott. 

12. Moss-trooper. A marauder of the border country between England 
and Scotland. 

14. Wat Tinlinn and William of Deloraine. Two moss-troopers in 
Lay of Last Minstrel. 

17. Reynolds. " Sir Joshua Reynolds, generally placed at the head of 
the English School of painting, was born in England in 1723. His portraits 
were of unsurpassed merit.'eclipsing everything that had been executed 
since the time of the celebrated Flemish artist Van Dyke (died in 1G41). 
He was the companion and friend of .Tohuson, Burke, Goldsmith, (4arrick. 
the famous actor, and other literary men of the time. lie died in 1792 ,? 
(Andersons' History of England). 


head on a sign-post, and a Borderer by Scott to a Senator by 

In what sense, then, is the word correctness used by those 
who say, with the author of the Pursuits of Literature, that 
5 Pope was the most correct of English poets, and that next to 
Pope came the late Mr. Gifford ? What is the nature and 
value of that correctness, the praise of which is denied to Mac- 
beth, to Lear, and to Othello, and given to Hoole's translations, 
and to all the Seatonian prize-poems ? We can discover no 

10 eternal rule, no rule founded in reason and in the nature of 
things, which Shakespeare does not observe much more strictly 
than Pope. But if by correctness be meant the conforming 
to a narrow legislation which, while lenient to the mala in se, 
multiplies, without the shadow of a reason, the mala pjohibita, 

1 5 if by correctness be meant a strict attention to certain cere- 
monious observances, which are no more essential to poetry 
than etiquette to good government, or than the washings of 
a Pharisee to devotion, then, assuredly, Pope may be a more 
correct poet than Shakespeare ; and, if the code were a little 

20 altered, Colley Cibber might be a more correct poet than Pope. 
But it may well be doubted whether this kind of correctness 
be a merit, nay, whether it be not an absolute fault. 

It would be amusing to make a digest of the irrational laws 
which bad critics have framed for the government of poets. 

25 First in celebrity and absurdity stand the dramatic unities of 
place and time. No human being has ever been able to find 

6. Mr. Gifford. First editor of the Quarterly Review. Author of " two 
of the most bitter, powerful, and resistless literary satires which modern 
times have produced. His translation of Juvenal is one of the most perfect 
versions of an ancient author in the English language.'' 

8. Macbeth; Lear; Othello. Plays of Shakespeare. 

8. Hoole's translations. Ariosto's Orlando Furioso and a work of 

9. Seatonian prize poems. " An annual prize given for the best poem 
on a religious subject written by a graduate of Cambridge." 

20. Colley Cibber (1671175?). Poet Laureate from 1730-1757. He is 
best known^for his comedies, The Nonjuror and The Careless Husband. 

23. Digest. See diction/try. 

25. Dramatic unities, 'the three unities of fiction, of time, and of place 
are generally attributed to Aristotle. These are the rules- (1) There should 
be a distinct plot with one main action, to which all the minor parts of the 
play should contribute; (2) The incidents of the play should naturally come 
within one day; (3) The entire action should naturally occur in one place. 


anything that could, even by courtesy, be called an argument 
for these unities, except that they have been deduced from the 
general practice of the Greeks. It requires no very profound 
examination to discover that the Greek dramas, often admir- 
able as compositions, are, as exhibitions of human characters 
and human life, far inferior to the English plays of the age of 
Elizabeth. Every scholar knows that the dramatic part of 
the Athenian tragedies was at first subordinate to the lyrical 
part. It would, therefore, have been little less than a miracle 
if the laws of the Athenian stage had been found to suit 10 
plays in which there was no chorus. All the greatest master- 
pieces of the dramatic art have been composed in direct viola- 
tion of the unities, and could never have been composed if the 
unities had not been violated. It is clear, for example, that 
such a character as that of Hamlet could never have been 15 
developed within the limits to which Alfieri confined himself. 
Yet such was the reverence of literary men during the last 
century for these unities, that Johnson, who, much to his 
honor, took the opposite side, was, as he says, ''frightened at 
his own temerity," and "afraid to stand against the authori- 20 
ities which might be produced against him." 

There are other rules of the same kind without end. 
"Shakespeare," says Rymer, " ought not to have made Othello 
black ; for the hero of a tragedy ought always to be white." 
"Wilton," says another critic, "ought not to have taken 25 
Adam for his hero ; for the hero of an epic poem ought always 
to be victorious." "Milton," says another, "ought not to 
have put so many similes into his first book ; for the first book 
of an epic poem ought always to be the most unadorned. 
There are no similes in the first book of the Iliad." "Mil- 30 
ton," says another, " ought not to have placed in an epic poem 
such lines as these: 

'While thus I called, and strayed I knew not whither. 1 " 

8. Lyrical. See rhetoric or dictionary for definition of Epic, Dramatic, 
and Lyric poetry. 

16. Alfieri. Italian dramatist ; 1749-1803. 

18. Johnson (1709-1781,). Essayist, lexicographer, poet. Wrote Lives of 
the Poets. 

23. Rymer, An indifferent critic, but a careful compiler of records; 


And why not? The critic is ready with a reason, a lady's 
reason. ''Such lines,' 1 says lie, "are not, it must be allowed, 
unpleasing to the ear ; but the redundant syllable ought to be 
confined to the drama, and not admitted into epic poetry." 
5 As to the redundant syllable in heroic rhyme on serious sub- 
jects, it has been, from the time of Pope downward, proscribed 
by the general consent of all the correct school. No magazine 
would once have admitted so incorrect a couplet as that of 

10 "As when we lived untouched with these disgraces, 

When a?, our kingdom was our dear emhraces. 1 ' 

Another law of heroic rhyme, which fifty years ago was con- 
sidered as fundamental, was, that there should be a pause, a 
comma at least, at the end of every couplet. It was also pro- 
15 vided that there should never be a full stop except at the end 
of a line. Well do we remember to have heard a most correct 
judge of poetry revile Mr. Rogers for the incorrectness of that 
most sweet and graceful passage, 

" Such grief was ours,— it seems but yesterday,— 
*° When in thy prime, wishing so much to stay, 

'Twas thine, Maria, thine without a sigh 

At midnight in a sister's arms to die. 

Oh thou wert lovely; lovely was thy frame, 

And pure thy spirit as from heaven it came : 

And when recalled to join the blest above 
2 c Thou diedst a victim to exceeding love, 

Nursing the young to health In happier hours, 

W 7 hen idle Fancy wove luxuriant flowers, 

Once in thy mirth thou badst me write on thee ; 

And now I write what thou shalt never see." 

Sir Roger Newdigate is fairly entitled, we think, to be ranked 
30 among the great critics of this school. He made a law that 
none of the poems written for the prize which he established 
at Oxford should exceed fifty lines. This law seems to us to 
have at least as much foundation in reason as any of those 
which we have mentioned; nay, much more; for the world, 

9. Drayton. Poet; 1563-1631. 

17. Rogers. London banker, poet, and wit; 17G3-1855 The quotation is 
from Hitman Life. 


we believe, is pretty well agreed in thinking that the shorter a 
prize-poem is the better. 

We do not see why we should not make a few more rules of 
the same kind ; why we should not enact that the number of 
scenes in every act shall be three or some multiple of three, 5 
that the number of lines in every scene shall be an exact 
square, that the dramatis persomr shall never be more or 
fewer than sixteen, and that, in heroic rhymes, every thirty- 
sixth line shall have twelve syllables. If we were to lay down 
these canons, and to call Pope. Goldsmith, and Addison incor- 10 
rect writers for not having complied with our whims, we should 
act precisely as those critics act who find incorrectness in the 
magnificent imagery and the varied music of Coleridge and 

The correctness which the last century prized so much 15 
resembles the correctness of those pictures of the Garden of 
Eden which we see in old Bibles. We have an exact square, 
enclosed by the rivers Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel, and Euphrates, 
each with a convenient bridge in the center, rectangular beds 
of flowers, a long canal, neatly bricked and railed in, the tree 20 
of knowledge, clipped like one of the limes behind the Tuile- 
ries, standing in the center of the grand alley, the snake 
twined round it, the man on the right hand, the woman on 
the left, and the beasts drawn up in an exact circle round 
them. In one sense the picture is correct enough. That is to 25 
say, the squares are correct ; the circles are correct ; the man 

3 We do not see why, etc. Macaulay lias borrowed a hint from 
Schlegel's Dramatic Literature: " Three unities, five acts why not seven 
persons? These rules seem to proceed according to odd numbers.'' 

8. Heroic rhymes. Iambic pentameter constitutes what is called the 
Heroic line. 

10. Goldsmith (1728-1774). He is best known to us as a novelist and a 
poet. As a writer, perfect ease is his characteristic, and nothing could be 
more natural, simple, and graceful than his stvle 

14. Shelley. Poet; 1792-18-22. " A cloud, a plant, a sun rise— these are his 
characters: they were those of the primitive poets, when they took the 
lightning for a bird of fire, and the clouds for the Hocks of heaven. But 
what a secret ardor beyond these splendid images, and how we feel the heat 
of the furnace beyond' the colored phantoms which it sets afloat over the 
horizon 1 Has any one since Shakespeare and Spenser lighted on such 
tender and such grand ecstasies? " (Taiue). 

22. Tuileries. Royal palace in Paris. Burned by the mob in 1871. 


and the woman are in a most correct line with the tree ; and 
the snake forms a most correct spiral. 

But if there were a painter so gifted that he could place on 
the canvas that glorious paradise, seen by the interior eye of 
5 him whose outward sight had failed with long watching and 
laboring for liberty and truth, if there were a painter who 
could set before us the mazes of the sapphire brook, the lake 
with its fringe of myrtles, the flowery meadows, the grottoes 
overhung by vines, the forests shining with .Hesperian fruit 

ioand with the plumage cf gorgeous birds, the massy shade of 
that nuptial bower which showered down roses on the sleeping 
lovers, what should we think of a connoisseur who should tell 
us that this painting, though finer than the absurd picture in 
the old Bible, was not so correct? Surely we should answer, 

35 It is both finer and more correct ; and it is finer because it is 
more correct. It is not made up of correctly drawn diagrams; 
but it is a correct painting, a worthy representation of that 
which it is intended to represent. 

It is not in the fine arts alone that this false correctness is 

20 prized by narrow-minded men, by men who cannot distinguish 
means from ends, or what is accidental from what is essential. 
M. Jourdain admired correctness in fencing. "You had no 
business to hit me then. You must never thrust in quart till 
you have thrust in tierce. 1 ' M. Tomes liked correctness in 

25 medical practice. " I stand up for Artemius. That he killed 
his patient is plain enough. But still he acted quite according 
to rule. A man dead is a man dead ; and there is an end of 
the matter. But if rules are to be broken, there is no saying 
what consequences may follow." We have heard of an old 

30 German officer who was a great admirer of correctness in mil- 
itary operations. lie used to revile Bonaparte for spoiling 
the science of war, which had been carried to such exquisite 

3. But if there were a painter, etc. Of. Paradise Lost, iv 210, seq., 
and 773. 

22. M. Jourdain. From Moliere's Bourgeois Qentilhomme; but the 
words in the text do not occur in the play. 

21. Quart ; tierce. Two of the ei^ht thrusts and parries in fencing. 

24. M. Tomes. From Moliere's IS Amour Medecin, Act ii. sc. 3. 


perfection by Marsha] Daun. ' k In my youth we used to 
march and countermarch all the summer without gaining or 
losing a square league, and then we went into winter quarters. 
And now comes an ignorant hot-headed young man, who flies 
about from Boulogne to Ulm, and from Ulm to the middle of 5 
Moravia, and lights battles in December. The whole system 
of his tactics is monstrously incorrect." The world is of opin- 
ion, in spite of critics like these, that the end of fencing is to 
hit, that the end of medicine is to cure, that the end of war is 
to conquer, and that those means are the most correct which 
best accomplish the ends. I0 

And has poetry no end, no eternal and immutable prin- 
ciples ^ is poetry, like heraldry, mere matter of arbitrary 
regulation? The heralds tell us that certain scutcheons and 
bearings denote certain conditions, and that to put colors on 
colors, or metals on metals, is false blazonry. If all this were 15 
reversed, if every coat-of-arms in Europe were new-fashioned, 
if it were decreed that or should never be placed but on 
argent, or argent but on or, that illegitimacy should be de- 
noted by a lozenge, and widowhood by a bend, the new science 
would be just as good as the old science, because both the new 20 
and the old would be good for nothing. The mummery of 
Portcullis and Rouge Dragon, as it has no other value than 
that which caprice has assigned to it, may well submit to any 
laws which caprice may impose on it. But it is not so with 
that great imitative art, to the power of which all ages, the 25 
rudest and the most enlightened, bear witness. Since its first 
great masterpieces were produced, everything that is change- 
able in this world has been changed. Civilization has been 

1. Marshal Daun (1705-1766). Field -marshal of Austria, Geueralissimo 
of the Imperial troops in the Seven Years 1 War. 

5. Who flies about, etc. Disappointed of the arrival of the French 
fleet under Villeneuve, Napoleon determined to break up the camp he had 
formed at Boulogne for the invasion of England, Aug 89, 1H05. Crossing 
the Rhine at the head of his army, he followed the line of the Snabian Alps 
so as to turn the position of General Mack, who had occupied Ulm on the 
Danube. Mack capitulated with 80.000 men, Oct. 17. Napoleon shortly 
after marched on Vienna through the Tyrol, and ended the campaign by 
crushing the Austrian and Russian armies at Austerlitz, Dec. 2. 

14. Escutcheons, bearings, etc. See dictionary; pictures in back of dic- 
tionary will be helpful, bee also Boniell's Heraldry, 


gained, lost, gained again. Religion, and languages, and 
forms of government, and usages of private life, and modes of 
thinking, all have undergone a snecession of revolutions. 
Everything has passed away but the great features of nature, 
5 and the heart of man, and the miracles of that art of which it 
is the office to reflect back the heart of man and the features 
of nature. Those two strange old poems, the wonder of 
ninety generations, still retain all their freshness. They still 
command the veneration of minds enriched by the literature 

10 of many nations and ages. They are still, even in wretched 
translations, the delight of schoolboys. Having survived ten 
thousand capricious fashions, having seen successive codes of 
criticism become obsolete, they still remain to us, immortal 
with the immortality of truth, the same when perused in the 

15 study of an English scholar, as when they were first chanted at 
the banquets of the Ionian princes. 

Poetry is, as was said more than two thousand years ago, 
imitation. It is an art analogous in many respects to the art 
of painting, sculpture, and acting. The imitations of the 

20 painter, the sculptor, and the actor, are indeed, within certain 
limits, more perfect than those of the poet. The machinery 
which the poet employs consists merely of words; and words 
cannot, even when employed by such an artist as Homer or 
Dante, present to the mind images of visible objects quite so 

25 lively and exact as those which we carry away from looking 
on the works of the brush and the chisel. But, on the other 
hand, the range of poetry is infinitely wider than that of any 
other imitative art, or than that of all the other imitative arts 
together. The sculptor can imitate only form ; the painter 

30 only form and color; the actor, until the poet supplies him 
with words, only form, color, and motion. Poetry holds the 
outer world in common with the other arts. The heart of 

16. Comment upon the diction of this paragraph. 

17. Poetry in, as was said, etc. By Aristotle. 

18. It is an art analogous, etc. " The following paragraphs are a brief 
summary of the conclusions arrived at by Lessing in his famous treatise on 
the limits and respective relations of poetry, painting, and sculpture— the 
Laocoon. The pupil should read, in Mr. Matthew Arnold's poem, the Epi- 
logue to [/XQCOOH. 


man is the province of poetry, and of poetry alone. The 
painter, the sculptor, and the actor can exhibit no more of 
human passion and character than that small portion which 
overflows into the gesture and the face, always an imperfect, 
often a deceitful, sign of that which is within. The deeper 5 
and more complex parts of human nature can be exhibited by 
means of words alone. Thus the objects of the imitation of 
poetry are the whole external and the whole internal universe, 
the face of nature, the vicissitudes of fortune, man as he is in 
himself, man as he appears in society, all things which really ro 
exist, all things of which we can form an image in our minds 
by combining together parts of things which really exist. The 
domain of this imperial art is commensurate with the imagi- 
native faculty. 

An art essentially imitative ought not surely to be subjected 15 
to rules which tend to make its imitations less perfect than 
they otherwise would be ; and those who obey such rules 
ought to be called, not correct, but incorrect artists. The 
true way to judge of the rules by which English poetry was 
governed during the last century is to look at the effects which 20 
they produced. 

It was in 1780 that Johnson completed his Lives of the 
Poets. He tells us in that work that, since the time of Dry- 
den, English poetry had shown no tendency to relapse into its 
original savageness, that its language had been refined, its 25 
numbers tuned, and its sentiments improved. It may perhaps 
be doubted whether the nation had any great reason to exult 
in the refinements and improvements which gave it Douglas 
for Othello, and the Triumphs of Temper for the Fairy Queen. 

It was during the thirty years which preceded the appear- 30 

23. Dryden. Poet-. 1631-1700. "I admire Dryden's talents and genius 
highly; but his is not a poetical genius. The only qualities I can find in 
Dryden that are essentially poetical are a certain ardor and impetuosity of 
mind, with an excellent ear. . , . There is not a single image from nature in 
the whole of his works' ' ( William Wordsworth). 

28. Douglas. Tragedy by Home. '"The play is now almost forgotten, 
save for the quotation ' My name is Norval, 1 etc. 1 ' 

29. Othello. Tragedy by Shakespeare. 

29. Triumphs of Temper. By Hayley. Cf. Byron's English Bards 
and Scotch Reviewers. 
29. Fairy Queeu. By Spenser, 


ance of Johnson's Lives that the diction and versification of 
English poetry were, in the sense in which the word is com- 
monly used, most correct. Those thirty years are, as respects 
poetry, the most deplorable part of our literary history. They 
5 have indeed bequeathed to us scarcely any poetry which de- 
serves to be remembered. Two or three hundred lines of 
Gray, twice as many of Goldsmith, a few stanzas of Beattie 
and Collins, -a few strophes of Mason, and a few clever pro- 
logues and satires were the masterpieces of this age of con- 

iosummate excellence. They may all be printed in one volume, 
and that volume would be by no means a volume of extraor- 
dinary merit. It would contain no poetry of the very highest 
class, and little which could be placed very high in the second 
class. The Paradise Regained or Comus would outweigh it 

15 all. 

At last, when poetry had fallen into such utter decay that 
Mr. Hayley was thought a great poet, it began to appear that 
the excess of the evil was about to work the cure. Men be- 
came tired of an insipid conformity to a standard which de- 

20 rived no authority from nature or reason. A shallow criti- 
cism had taught them to ascribe a superstitious value to the 
spurious correctness of poetasters. A deeper criticism brought 
them back to the true correctness of the first great masters. 
The eternal laws of poetry regained their power, and the tem- 

25 porary fashions which had superseded those laws went after 
the wig of Lovelace and the hoop of Clarissa. 

7. Gray. Poet; 1716-1771. The poetry of Gray, with the exception of 
the elegy— which everybody knows— has never become popular; yet in its 
own sphere it is very perfect; delicately if not richly imaginative, curiously 
studded with imagery; exquisitely finished, like miniatures painted on ivory. 

7. Beattie. Poet and miscellaneous writer; 1735-1803. 

8. Collins. Poet; 1721-1759. 

8. Strophes. "In Greek choruses and dances, the movement of the 
chorus while turning from the right to the l£ft of the orchestra; hence the 
strain or part of the choral ode. sung during this movement. Also some- 
times used of a stanza of modern verse." (See etymology of word.) 

8. Mason. Poet; 1725-1797. 

9. Prologue. Greek Trpo'Aoyo?, to say beforehand. 
14. Paradise Regained. Poem by Milton. 

11. Comus. Poem by Milton. 
22. Poetasters. Dabblers in poetry. 

26. Lovelace. Hero in Richardson's novel, Clarissa Harlowe, published 
20. Clarissa. Heroine in Clarissa Harhwe, 


It was in a cold and barren season that the seeds of that 
rich harvest which we have reaped were first sown. While 
poetry was every year becoming more feeble and more mechan- 
ical, while the monotonous versification which Pope had intro- 
duced, no longer redeemed by his brilliant wit and his com- 5 
pactness of expression, palled on the ear of the public, the 
great works of the old masters were every day attracting more 
and more of the admiration which they deserved. The plays 
of Shakespeare were better acted, better edited, and better 
known than they had ever been. Our fine ancient ballads 10 
were again read with pleasure, and it became a fashion to 
imitate them. Many of the imitations were altogether con- 
temptible. But they showed that men had at least begun to 
admire the excellence which they could not rival. A literary 
revolution was evidently at hand. There was a ferment in 15 
the minds of men, a vague craving for something new, a dis- 
position to hail with delight anything which might at first 
sight wear the appearance of originality. A reforming age 
is always fertile of impostors. The same excited state of 
public feeling which produced the great separation from the 20 
see of Rome produced also the excesses of the Anabap- 
tists. The same stir in the public mind of Europe which 
overthrew the abuses of the old French government, pro- 
duced the Jacobins and Theophilanthropists. Macpherson and 

9. The pl^ys of Shakespeare, etc. Acted by Garrick and Foote: 
edited by Pope, Warburton, Johnson, Stevens, Malone. 

10. Our fine ancient ballads. Addison first pointed out the literary 
merits of English ballads by Ins criticism in the Spectator of Chevy Chase 
and of The Children in the Wood. In 1765 Bishop Percy published his 
Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. 

21. See of Rome. The Pope or his court at Rome. 

21. Anabaptists. A religious sect founded by Nicholas Storch, first the 
disciple, and then the bitter enemy, of Luther. The rebuptizers. They 
deny the validity of infant baptism. 

24. Jacobins. The name was originally given (during the French Revo- 
lution) to a revolutionary club whose meetings were held in a house in the Rue 
St. Honore, this house having formerly been a convent of the Jacobins or 
Dominicans. There questions were discussed before being proposed in the 
National Assembly. The name has been since applied to any who hold ex- 
treme democratic principles. 

24. Theophilanthropists. Friends of God and man; one of the nu- 
merous sects which sprang up at the time of the French Revolution. 

24. Macpherson (1738-17%). Translated a mass of fragments of 
ancient poetry composed in the Gaelic or Erse dialect, and accumulated by 
him in his travels through the Highlands of Scotland. These fragments 
purported to have been written by Ossian, a Celtic bard. They were pretty 
conclusively proved to be forgeries. 


Delia Crnsea were to the true reformers of English poetry 
what Knipperdoling was to Luther, or Clootz to Turgot. The 
success of Chatterton's forgeries, and of the far more con- 
temptible forgeries of Ireland, showed that people had begun 

5 to love the old poetry well, though not wisely. The public was 
never more disposed to believe stories without evidence, and 
to admire books without merit. Anything which could break 
the dull monotony of the correct school was acceptable. 

The forerunner of the great restoration of our literature was 

10 Cowper. His literary career began and ended at nearly the 
same time with that of Alfieri. A comparison between Al- 
fieri and Cowper may, at first sight, appear as strange as that 
which a loyal Presbyterian minister is said to have made in 
1745 between George the Second and Enoch. It may seem 

15 that the gentle, shy, melancholy Calvinist, whose spirit had 
been broken by fagging at school, who had not courage to 

1. Delia Crusca. (Academy of the Sieve.) A celebrated literary 
association in Florence, Italy, founded in the 16th century, for the purpose 
of purifying and refining the Italian language and style. The name is better 
known, probably, to English readers as a designation applied to a class of 
sentimental writers in England during the last century, distinguished by 
their affected style of expression. 

2. Knipperdoling. The most fanatical of the Anabaptists, appointed 
headsman by John of Leyden. 

2. Luther. One of the greatest of church Reformers. 
2. Clootz. A Prussian baron, who, as a Paris student, espoused in their 
wildest and most grotesque form the principles of the French Revolution. 

2. Turgot. One of the ministers of Louis XVI. of France. An emi- 
nent statesman and political economist. 

3. Chatterton. Poet (1752-1770). His name has become famous both 
by his extraordinary literary forgeries of so-called Old English poems, and 
by his sad fate. Stung to the core of his proud heart by neglect and in- 
creasing want, he took arsenic and died amid the fragments of his torn 
papers. Picturesque description is the leading charm of his poems. 

4. Ireland. Deserves mention only on account of his Shakespearean 
forgeries, imposed upon the public while he was yet a boy. 

9. (o) Find examples of the balanced sentence in this paragraph, 
(o) Are there examples of the figure Antithesis ? 

(c) Have you seen any examples in preceding paragraphs? 

10. Cowper. See p. 21. 

14. 1745. The year of Culloden (defeat of the Young Pretender). Cf. 
Cowper, Winter Walk at Noon, 1 658. 

14. Enoch. Gen. v.; Enoch, one of the apocryphal books of the Old 

15. Calvinist. Cowper. Calvhu'sts, followers of John Calvin, the great 
French Protestant Reformer (1509-1564). 

15. Whose spirit, etc. Of one bully in particular he tells us in his 
autobiography: "I had such a dread of him that I did not dare lift my eyes 
to his face. I knew him best by his shoe-buck le." 

16. Fagging. A fag is a school-boy who is obliged to do menial services 
for another boy of a higher form or class in English schools. 

16. Who had not the courage. To qualify himself for a clerkship in 


earn a livelihood by reading the titles of bills in the House of 
Lords, and whose favorite associates were a blind old lady and 
an evangelical divine, could have nothing in common with the 
haughty, ardent, and voluptuous nobleman, the horse-jockey, 
the libertine, who fought Lord Ligonier in Hyde Park, and 5 
robbed the Pretender of his queen. But though the private 
lives of these remarkable men present scarcely any points of 
resemblance, their literary lives bear a close analogy to each 
other. They both found poetry in its lowest state of degrada- 
tion, feeble, artificial, and altogether nerveless. They both 10 
possessed precisely the talents which fitted them for the task 
of raising it from that deep abasement.. They cannot, in 
strictness, be called great poets. They had not in any very 
high degree the creative power, 

" The vision and the faculty divine ; " 15 

but they had great vigor of thought, great warmth of feeling, 
and what, in their circumstances, was above all things impor- 
tant, a manliness of taste which approached to roughness. 
They did not deal in mechanical versification and conven- 
tional phrases. They wrote concerning things the thoughts of 20 
which set their hearts on fire ; and thus what they wrote, even 
when it wanted every other grace, had that inimitable grace 
which sincerity and strong passion impart to the rudest and 
most homely compositions. Each of them sought for inspira- 
tion in a noble and affecting subject, fertile of images which 25 
had not yet been hackneyed. Liberty was the muse of Alfieri, 
religion was the muse of Cowper. The same truth is found 

the House of Lords he had to present himself at the bar of the House, 
and his first attack of madness was consequent on his morbid nervousness 
at appearing in public. 

2. A blind old lady. Mrs. Unwin. She befriended Cowper, and. with 
her husband, did more than any other to make his life happy. He often 
speaks of her in his poems and letters. 

3. An evangelical divine. The Rev. William Unwin. 

4. The voluptuous nobleman, etc. Alfieri was a Piedmontese count 
of ancient family. He passed a dissipated youth in travel and adventure 
till the age of twenty-five. The duel with Lord Ligonier was iu consequence 
of an intrigue with his wife. The wife of Chales Edward, the last of the 
Stuarts, deserted him for Alfieri, whom she afterwards married. 

15. The vision ami the faculty divine. Wordsworth's Excursion, 
bk. 1. 
20. Liberty, etc. Alfieri was an ardent Republican. 


in their lighter pieces. They were not among those who dep- 
recated the severity, or deplored the absence of an unreal 
mistress in melodious commonplaces. Instead of raving about 
imaginary Chloes and Sylvias, Oowper wrote of Mrs. Unwin's 

5 knitting-needles. The only love-verses of Alfieri were addressed 
to one whom he truly and passionately loved. "Tutte le 
rime amorose che seguono," says he, "tutte sonO per essa, e 
ben sue, e di lei solamente ; poiche mai d'altra donna per 
certo non cantero." 

10 These great men were not free from affectation. But their 
affectation was directly opposed to the affectation which gen- 
erally prevailed. Each of them expressed, in strong and bit- 
ter language, the contempt which he felt for the effeminate 
poetasters who were in fashion both in England and in Italy. 

1 S Cowper complains that 

" Manner is all in all, whate'er is writ. 
The substitute for genius, taste, and wit." 

He praised Pope ; yet he regretted that Pope had 

" Made poetry a mere mechanic art, 
20 And every warbler had his tune by heart " 

Alfieri speaks with similar scorn of the tragedies of his prede- 
cessors. " Mi cadevano dalle mani per la languidezza, trivi- 
ality e prolissita dei modi e del verso, sen/a parlare poi della 
snervatezza dei pensieri. Or perche mai questa nostra divina 

25 lingua, si maschia anco, ed energica, e feroce, in bocca di 
Dante, dovra tdla farsi cosi sbiadata ed eunuca nel dialogo 

To men thus sick of the languid manner of their contempo- 
raries ruggedness seemed a venial fault, or rather a positive 

30 merit. In their hatred of meretricious ornament, and of what 

5. Mrs. Unwin's knitting-needles. Cowper's Lines to Mary. 

7. Tutte le rime, etc. "All the poems of love that follow are one 
to her, all are hers and of her ouly; for assuredly 1 shall never hereafter 
sin}? of another lady." 

82. Mi cadevanos etc. " They fell from my hands by reason of the Ian- 
guidness, the triviality, and the prolixity of the style and versification, to 
say nothing of feebleness of thought. Now why should our divine tongue, 
still so masculine, so energetic, so vigorous in the mouth of a Dante, become 
so colorless and emasculated in tragic dialogue ?" 


Cowper calls " creamy smoothness," they erred on the oppo- 
site side. Their style was too austere, their versification too 
harsh. It is not easy, however, to overrule the service which 
they rendered to literature. The intrinsic value of their 
poems is considerable. But the example which they set of 5 
mutiny against an absurd system was invaluable. The part 
which they performed was rather that of Moses than that of 
Joshua. They opened the house of bondage; but they did 
not enter the promised land. 

During the twenty years which followed the death of Cow- 10 
per, the revolution in English poetry was fully consummated. 
None of the writers of this period, not even Sir Walter Scott, 
contributed so much to the consummation as Lord Byron. 
Yet Lord Byron contributed to it unwillingly, and with con- 
stant self-reproach and shame. All his tastes and inclina- is 
lions led him to take part with the school of poetry which was 
going out against the school which was coining in. Of Pope 
himself he spoke with extravagant admiration. lie did not 
venture directly to say that the little man of Twickenham was a 
greater poet than Shakespeare or Milton ; but he hinted pretty 20 
clearly that he thought so. Of his contemporaries, scarcely 
any had so much of his admiration as Mr. Gifford, who, consid- 
ered as a poet, was merely Pope, without Pope's wit and fancy, 
and whose satires are decidedly inferior in vigor and poignancy 
to the very imperfect juvenile performance of Lord Byron 25 
himself. lie now and then praised Mr. Wordsworth and Mr. 
Coleridge, but ungraciously and without cordiality. When he 
attacked them, he brought his whole soul to the work. Of 
the most elaborate of Mr. Wordsworth's poems he could find 
nothing to say, but that it was "clumsy, and frowsy, and his 30 
aversion." Peter Bell excited his spleen to such a degree that 
he evoked the shades of Pope and Dryden, and demanded of 
them whether it were possible that such trash could evade con- 
tempt ? • In his heart he thought his own Pilgrimage of Har- 

10. Do you notice any mannerisms in tin's paragraph ? 

19. Twi<:k«Miliain. Pope was called the wicked wasp of Twickenham, 

31. Peter Bell. Poem by Wordsworth. 



old inferior to his Imitation of Horace's Art of Poetry, a feeble 
echo o\' Pope ami Johnson. This insipid performance he re- 
peatedly designed to publish, and was withheld only by the 
solicitations of his friends. Ho has distinctly declared his 
5 approbation of the unities, the most absurd laws by which 
genius was ever held in servitude. In one of his works, we 
think in his letter to Mr. Bowles, he compares the poetry of 
the eighteenth century to the Parthenon, and that of the nine- 
teenth to a Turkish mosque, and boasts that, though lie had 

10 assisted his contemporaries in building their grotesque and 
barbarous edifice, he had never joined them in defacing the 
remains of a chaster and more graceful architecture. In an- 
other letter he compares the change which had recently passed 
on English poetry to the decay of Latin poetry after the Au- 

15 gustan age. In the time o\' Pope, he tells his friend, it was all 
Horace with us. It is all Claudian now. 

For the great old masters o[' the art he had no very enthusi- 
astic veneration. In his letter to Mr. Bowles he uses expres- 
sions which clearly indicate that he preferred Pope's Iliad to 

20 the original. Mr. Moore confesses that his friend was no very 
fervent admirer of Shakespeare. Of all the poets of the first 
class. Lord Byron seems to have admired Dante and Milton 
most. Yet in the fourth canto of Childe Harold he places 
Tasso, a writer not merely inferior to them, but of quite a 

25 different order of mind, on at least a footing of equality with 
them. Mr. Hunt is, we suspect, quite correct in saying that 
Lord Byron could see little or no merit in Spenser. 

But Byron the critic and Byron the poet were two very dif- 
ferent men. The effects of the noble writer's theory may in- 

30 deed often be traced in his practice. But his disposition led 
him to accommodate himself to the literary tastes of the age 
in which he lived ; and his talents would have enabled him to 
accommodate himself to the taste of any age. Though he said 
much of his contempt for mankind, and though he boasted 

35 that amidst the inconstancy of fortune and of fame he was all- 

10 Claudian (865? 408?). The last of the Latin classic poets. 
84. Tasso U341-15l>:>). An eminent Italian poet. 


.sufficient to himself, his literary career indicated nothing of 
thai lonely and unsocial pride which he affected. We cannot 
conceive him, like Milton or Wordsworth, defying the criti- 
cism of his contemporaries, retorting their scorn, and laboring 
on a poem in the full assurance that it would be unpopular, 5 
and in the full assurance th;ii it would be immortal. He has 
said, by the mouth of ones of his heroes, in speaking of politi- 
cal greatness, that "he musl serve who fain would sway;" 
and this he assigns as a reason for not entering into political 
life !!<■ did not consider that the sway which he had exer- 10 
cised in literature had been purchased by servitude, by the 
sacrifice of his own taste to the taste of the public. 

He was the creature of his age ; and whenever he had lived 
he would have been the creature of his age. Under Charles 
the First, Byron would have been more quainl than Donne. 15 
Under Charles the Second the rants of Byron's rhyming plays 
would have pitted n, boxed it, and galleried it, with those' of 
any Hayes or Bilboa. Under George the Firsl the monotonous 
smoothness of Myron's versification and the terseness of his 
expression would have made Pope himself envious. 20 

As it was. he was the man of the last thirteen years of the 
eighteenth century, and of the first twenty three years of the 
nineteenth century. He belonged half to t lie old, and half to 
the new school of poetry. Bis personal taste led him to the 
former; his thirst of praise to the latter; his talents were 25 
equally suited to both. His fame was a common ground on 
which the zealots of both sides, Gilford, for example, and 
Shelley, might meet. He was the representative, not of either 
literary party, but of both at once, and of their conflict, and 

15. Donne (1753-1631). He is classed among the metaphysical poets. 

10. Rants of Byron's rhyming plays. Alluding in particular to 
Dryden, nearly all of whose plays are written in rhyme. 

18. Bayes or Bilboa. Dryden was satirized under the name of Mr. 
Bayes in the famous burlesque of The Rehearsal, written by the Duke of 
Buckingham, with the assistance of the author of Hudibras and others. 
Bayes first appeared under the title of BiU><m. as a satire on that mediocre 
dramatist Sir Robert Howard. Afterwards, however, the conception was 
so far corrected and altered as to form a caricature of Dryden. 

21. It. For what noun does this pronoun stand? 

21. (a) What is the cause of the abruptness of this paragraph? 

ib) Have you noticed the same thing in any other paragraph? 


o( the victory by which thai conflicl was terminated. His 
poetry fills ami measures the whole of the vasl interval through 
which our literature lias moved since the time o\' Johnson. 
li touches the* Essay on Man at the one extremity, and the 

5 Excursion at the other. 

There are several parallel instances in literary history. Vol- 
taire, for example, was the connecting link between the France 
o\ Low is the Fourteenth and the France of Lewis the s i\ 
teen th, between Racine and Boileau on the one side, and Con- 

lodorcel and Beaumarchais on the other. He, like Lord Byron, 
put himself at the head o( an intellectual revolution, dreading 
it all the time, murmuring at it, sneering at it, yet choosing 
rather to move before Lis age in an) direction than to bo left 
behind and forgotten. Dryden was the connecting link be- 

i5tween the literature o( the age of James the First, and the 
literature o\ the age of Anno. Oromasdes and Arimanes 
fought for him. Arimanes carried him off. Hut his heart 
was to the last with Oromasdes. Lord Byron was, in the satno 
manner, the mediator between two generations, between two 

20 hostile poetical sects. Though always sneering at Mr. Words- 
worth, ho was yet, though perhaps unconsciously, the inter- 
preter between Mr. Wordsworth and the multitude. In the 
Lyrical Ballads and the Excursion, Mr. Wordsworth appeared 

4 Es&aj on "Man. By l'opo. 

Are there •• real " or figurative comparisons in this paragraph) 
[b\ What evidepce does tins paragraph give <•!' Macaulay's range of 
(c) What example of climax in this paragraph! 
»). Racine (1689 1699). a great French dramatist ami poet 

9. Boileau. a celebrated French poet ami critic. He attacked the 
false taste o( his age 

10. Condorcet. admirer ana biographer of Voltaire; the philosopher 
who claimed the perfectibility of the human race, 

10 Beaumarchais (1738 : ;;»;>». Geruiey calls his Figaro at once the 
signal ami the programme of the Revolution. 

n Dryden was the connecting link, etc. 

(a) Did the literature o\' James l.'s reign have any distinctive character ? 

lb) Has Macaula) heretofore praised the poets oi Queen Anne's reign? 
(Anne, 1708-171 1.' 

(c) Note that Queen Anne's age is typified by Oromasdes, the good 

1 Ahrunan or Arimanes was the evil Principle or Being 

it). Oromasdes. ol the ancient Persians; the Prince of Darkness, as 

16 Irimanes. opposed to OrmUSd or Oromasdes. the King of 



as the high-priesl of .'i worship of which nature was the idol- 
No poems have ever indicated a more exquisite perception of 
the beauty of the outer world, or a more passionate love and 
reverence for thai beauty. Yet they were nol popular; and 
ii is not likely that they ever will be popular as the poetry of 5 
Sir Walter Scotl is popular. The feeling which pervaded them 
was too deep for general sympathy. Their style was often too 
mysterious for general comprehension. They made a few 
esoteric disciples, and many scoffers. Lord Byron founded 
what may be called an exoteric Lake school . and all the read- 10 
ers of verse in England, we might say in Europe, hastened to 
sil ai his feet. Whal Mr. Wordsworth had <;\h\ like a recluse, 
Lord Byron said like a man of the world, with less profound 
feeling, but with more perspicuity, energy, and conciseness. 
We would refer our readers to the last two cantos of Childeis 
Harold and to Manfred in proof of these observations. 

Lord Byron, like Mr. Wordsworth, had nothing dramatic in 
his genius. He was indeed the reverse of a great dramatist, 
th<; very antithesis to a great dramatist. All his characi 
Harold looking on the sky, from which his country and the 20 
sun are disappearing together ; tin- Giaour, standing apart in 
the gloom of the side aisle, and casting a haggard scowl from 
under his long hood at tin; crucifix and the censer; Conrad 
leaning on his sword by tin; watch-tower, Lara smiling on the 
dancers, Alp gazing steadily on the fatal cloud as it passes 25 
before the moon, Manfred wandering among the- precipices of 
Berne, A.zzo on the judgment seat, Ugo at the bar, Lambro 

lo! Exoteric, f Note etymology and meaning. 

10. Lake School, rhe Lake School derived its name from the fact that 
its three most conspicuous members, Wordsworth, 'Southey. and Coleridge, 
lived near the English lakes. Originally a contemptuous name, it has grad 

ually come to be the recognized title of Wordsworth and his disciples. 

12. What Mr. Wordsworth had s;iid like a recluse. The differ- 
ence lies deeper than this Wordsworth loved Nature for herself, as a 
sharer of his joys and sorrows, as at once reflecting and snj<tCHst in^ bi« 
deepest thoughts and feelings. Byron loves Nature not so much for herself 
as for the associations she sn^ests 

10. Manfred. A drama by Byron. 

17. (a) Are the sentences in tins paragraph periodic or loose? 

(in Note the lontj sentence. Is it clear, despite its lengthy 

(o Why? 

23, Coiirad, etc. All are characters in Byron's poems. 


frowning on the siesta of his daughter and Juan, Cain present- 
ing his unacceptable offering, are essentially the same. The 
varieties are varieties merely of age, situation, and outward 
show. If ever Lord Byron attempted to exhibit men of a dif- 
5 ferent kind, he always mj-de them either insipid or unnatural. 
Selim is nothing. Bonnivarl is nothing. Don Juan, in the 
first and Lest cantos, is a feeble copy of the Page in the Mar- 
riage of Figaro. Johnson, the man whom Juan meets in the 
slave-market, is a most striking failure. How differently 

10 would Sir Walter Scott have drawn a bluff, tearless English- 
man, in such a situation ! The portrait would have seemed to 
walk out of the canvas. 

Sardanapalus is more coarsely drawn than any dramatic 
personage thai we can remember. His heroism and his effem- 

iSinacy, his contempt of death and his dread of a weighty hel- 
met, his kiu.uiy resolution to he seen in the foremost ranks, 
and the anxiety with which he calls for a looking-glass, that 
he may be seen to advantage, are contrasted, it is true, with 
all the point of Juvenal. Indeed the hint of the character 

20 seems to have been taken from what Juvenal says of Otho : 

" Speculum civilis sarcina belli. 
Nimirum sumiui duels est occidere (ialbara, 
Et curare eutem sumiui constant ia civis. 
Bedriaci iu campo spoliuiu affectare Palati, 
25 Et pressum in faeiem di^itis extendere panem." 

These are excellent lines in ;i satire. But it is not the busi- 
ness of the dramatist to exhibit characters in this sharp 
antithetical way. It is not thus that Shakespeare makes Prince 
Hal rise from the rake of Eastcheap into the hero of Shrews- 
30 bury, and sink again into the rake of Eastcheap. It is not 
thus that Shakespeare has exhibited the union of effeminacy 
and valor in Antony. A dramatist cannot commit a greater 
error than that of following those pointed descriptions of 

25 Juvenal, ii. 86-90. Translation by Gifford: 

A Mirror, midst the arms of civil rage!— 

To murder Gal ba, was— a general's part! 

A stern republican's- to dress with art ! 

The empire of the world in arms to seek. 

And spread— a softening poultice o'er the cheek! 


character in which satirists and historians indulge so much. 
It is by rejecting what is natural thai satirists and historians 
produce these striking characters. Their greal object gener- 
ally is to ascribe to every man as many contradictory qualities 
as possible: and this is an object easily attained. By judicious 5 
selection and judicious exaggeration, the intellect and the dis- 
position of any human being mighl be described as being made 
up of nothing but startling contrasts, [f the dramatist at- 
tempts to create a being answering to one of these descrip- 
tions, lie fails, because he reverses an imperfect analytical io 
process. He produces not a man, but a personified epigram. 
Very eminent writers have fallen into this snare. Ben Jonson 
has given us a Hermogenes, taken from the lively lines of 
Horace; but the inconsistency which is so amusing in the 
satire appears unnatural and disgusts us in the play. Sir rs 
Waller Scotl has committed a far more glaring error of the 
same kind in the novel of the Peveril. Admiring, as every 
judicious reader must admire, the keen and vigorous lines in 
which Dryden satirized the Duke of Buckingham, Sir Walter 
attempted to make a Duke of Buckingham to suit them, a real 20 
living Zimri ; and he made, not a man, but the most grotesque 
of all monsters. A writer who should attempt to introduce 
into a play or a novel, such a Wharton as the Wharton of 

6. liy judicious selection and .judicious exaggeration. Is this 
a clause or a phrase? What does it modify? 

10. He reverses, etc. He tries to construct a character from the 
materials presented him hy the satirist, materials from which all the com- 
mon stuff of human nature has been excluded. 

12 Ben Jonson (1573-1637). The greatest dramatist of England after 
Shakespeare. " Many were the wit combats betwixt him (Shakespeare) and 
Ben Jonson ; which two I beheld like a Spanish great galleon and an English 
man-of-war. Master Jonson, like the former, was built far higher in learn 
ing: solid, but slow in his performances. Shakespeare, with the English 
man-of-war, lesser in bulk but lighter in sailing, could turn with all tides, 
tack about, and take advantage of all winds by the quickness of his wit and 
invention."— Thomas Fuller, 1662. 

13. Hermogenes. In Horace. H. is a tasteless fop. He is one of the 
characters in Jonson's Poetaster. 

17. Admiring. Part of speech? What does it modify? 

21. Zimri. The name under which the Duke of Buckingham was sati- 
rized by Dryden. 

23. Wharton (1669-1731). Son of the great Whig Marquis of Wharton. 
Abandoned public life, and assumed the habit of a Capuchin. See Pope's 
Moral Essays, Ep. 1. 


Pope, or a Lord Hervey answering to Sporus, would fail in the 
same manner. 

But to return to Lord Byron ;his women, like his men, are 
all of one breed. Haidee is a half-savage and girlish Julia ; 

5 Julia is a civilized and matronly Haidee. Leila is a wedded 
Zuleika, Zuleika a virgin Leila. Gulnare and Medora appear 
to have been intentionally opposed to each other. Yet the 
difference is a difference of situation only. A slight change 
of circumstances would, it should seem, have sent Gulnare to 

iothe lute of Medora, and armed Medora with the dagger of 

It is hardly too much to say, that Lord Byron could exhibit 
only one man and only one woman, a man proud, moody, 
cynical, with defiance on his brow, and misery in his heart, a 

15 scorner of his kind, implacable in revenge, yet capable of deep 
and strong affection : a woman all softness and gentleness, 
loving to caress and to be caressed, but capable of being trans- 
formed by passion into a tigress. 
Even these two characters, his only two characters, he could 

20 not exhibit dramatically. He exhibited them in the manner, 
not of Shakespeare, but of Clarendon. He analyzed them ; he 
made them analyze themselves; but he did not make them 
show themselves. We are told, for example, in many lines of 
great force and spirit, that the speech of Lara was bitterly 

25 sarcastic, that he talked little of his travels, that if he was 
much questioned about them, his answers became short, and 
his brow gloomy. But we have none of Lara's sarcastic 
speeches or short answers. It is not thus that the great 
masters of human nature have portrayed human beings. 

30 Homer never tells us that Nestor loved to relate long stories 
about his youth. Shakespeare never tells us that in the mind 
of Iago everything that is beautiful and endearing was asso- 
ciated with some filthy and debasing idea. 

1. Lord Hervey, etc. Eldest son of the first Earl of Bristol. See 
Prologue to Satires, lines 305-300, Pope. 
2i Lara; Marino Faliero. Characters in Byron's poems. 
3:.'. Iago. Character in Shakespeare's Othello. 


It is curious to observe the tendency which the dialogue of 
Lord Byron always has to lose the character of dialogue, and 
to become a soliloquy. The scenes between Manfred and the 
Chamois-hunter, between Manfred and the Witch of the Alps, 
between Manfred and the Abbot, are instances of this tendency. 5 
Manfred, after a few unimportant speeches, has all the talk to 
himself. The other interlocutors are nothing more than good 
listeners. They drop an occasional question or ejaculation 
which sets Manfred off again on the inexhaustible topic of his 
personal feelings. If we examine the fine passages in Lord 10 
Byron's dramas, the description of Rome, for example, in 
Manfred, the description of a Venetian revel in Marino Faliero, 
the concluding invective which the old doge pronounces 
against Venice, we shall find that there is nothing dramatic 
in these speeches, that they derive none of their effect from 15 
the character or situation of the speaker, and that they would 
have been as fine, or finer, if they had been published as frag- 
ments of blank verse by Lord Byron. There is scarcely a 
speech in Shakespeare of which the same could be said. No 
skillful reader of the plays of Shakespeare can endure to see 20 
what are called the fine things taken out, under the name of 
"Beauties" or of "Elegant Extracts," or to hear any single 
passage "To be or not to be," for example, quoted as a 
sample of the great poet. "To be or not to be" has merit 
undoubtedly as a composition. It would have merit if put 25 
jnto the mouth of a chorus. But its merit as a composition 
vanishes when compared with its merit as belonging to Hamlet. 
It is not too much to say that the great plays of Shakespeare 
would lose less by being deprived of all the passages which are 
commonly called the fine passages, than those passages lose by 30 
being read separately from the play. This is perhaps the high- 
est praise which can be given to a dramatist. 

On the other hand it may be doubted whether there is, in all 
Lord Byron's plays, a single remarkable passage which owes 

13. Doge. Chief magistrate in the republics of Venice anil Genoa. 
33. What do you consider the most forcible passage in this paragraph? 
33. It, For what noun does it stand? 


any portion of its interest or effect to its connection with the 
characters of the action. He has written only one scene, as 
far as we can recollect, which is dramatic even in manner, the 
scene between Lucifer and Cain. The conference is animated, 
5 and each of the interlocutors has a fair share of it. But this 
scene, when examined, will be found to be a confirmation of 
our remarks. It is a dialogue only in form. It is a soliloquy 
in essence. It is in reality a debate carried on within one un- 
quiet and skeptical mind. The questions and the answers, the 

10 objections and the solutions, all belong to the same character. 
A writer who showed so little dramatic skill in works pro- 
fessedly dramatic was not likely to write narrative with dra- 
matic effect. Nothing could indeed be more rude and careless 
than the structure of his narrative poems. He seems to have 

15 thought, with the hero of the Rehearsal, that the plot was 
good for nothing but to bring in fine things. His two longest 
works, Childe Harold and Don Juan, have no plan whatever. 
Either of them might have been extended to any length, or 
cut short at any point. The state in which the Giaour appears 

20 illustrates the manner in which all Byron's poems were con- 
structed. They are all, like the Giaour, collections of frag- 
ments ; and, though there may be no empty spaces marked by 
asterisks, it is still easy to perceive, by the clumsiness of the 
joining, where the parts for the sake of which the whole was 

25 composed end and begin. 

It was in description and meditation that Byron excelled. 
" Description," as he said in Don Juan, " was his forte." His 
manner is indeed peculiar, and is almost unequaled ; rapid, 
sketchy, full of vigor ; the selection happy ; the strokes few 

30 and bold. In spite of the reverence which we feel for the 
genius of Mr. Wordsworth, we cannot but think that the 
minuteness of his descriptions often diminishes their effect. 
He has accustomed himself to gaze on nature with the eye of a 
lover, to dwell on every feature, and to mark every change of 

35 aspect. Those beauties which strike the most negligent ob- 

15. Rehearsal. See previous note on Bayes, p. 51. 


server, and those which only a close attention discovers, are 
equally familiar to him and are equally prominent in his 
poetry. The proverb of old FTesiod, that half is often more 
than the whole, is eminently applicable to description. The 
policy of the Dutch who cut down most of the precious trees in 5 
the Spice Islands, in order to raise the value of what remained, 
was a policy which poets would do well to imitate. It was a 
policy which no poet understood better than Lord Byron. 
Whatever his faults might be, he was never, while his mind 
retained its vigor, accused of prolixity. 10 

His descriptions, great as was their intrinsic merit, derived 
their principal interesl from the feeling which always mingled 
with them. He was himself the beginning, the middle, and 
the end of all his own poetry, the hero of every tale, the chief 
object in every landscape. Harold, Lara, Manfred, and a 15 
crowd of other characters, were universally considered merely 
as loose incognitos of Byron ; and there is every reason to be- 
lieve that he meant them to be so considered. The wonders 
of the outer world, the Tagus, with the mighty fleets of Eng- 
land riding on its bosom, the towers of Cintra overhanging the 20 
shaggy forest of corktrees and willows, the glaring marble of 
Pentelicus, the banks of the Rhine, the glaciers of Clarens, the 
sweet Lake of Leman, the dell of Egeria with its summer-birds 
and rustling lizards, the shapeless ruins of Rome overgrown 
with ivy and wall-flowers, the stars, the sea, the mountains, all 25 
were mere accessaries, the background to one dark and melan- 
choly figure. 

Never had any writer so vast a command of the whole elo- 
quence of scorn, misanthropy, and despair. That Marah was 
never dry. No art could sweeten, no draughts could exhaust, 30 
its perennial waters of bitterness. Never was there such 

3. Hesiori. Greek epic poet (800 B.C.). 

19. Tagus. River in Portugal; rises in Spain. 

20. Cintra. Town in Portugal. 

22. Pentelicus. Mountain in Attica, Greece. 

22. Clarens. Village of Switzerland, canton of Vaud. 

23. Leman, Lake Geneva. 

23. Egeria. Egeri, a small lake in Switzerland. 

28. Fiud an Epigram in this paragraph. 

29. Marah. Exodus xv. 22-24; Numbers xxiii. 8. 


variety in monotony as that of Byron. From maniac laughter 
to piercing lamentation, there was not a single note of human 
anguish of which he was not master. Year after year, and 
month after month, he continued to repeat that to be wretched 
5 is the destiny of all ; that to be eminently wretched is the des- 
tiny of the eminent ; that all the desires by which we are 
cursed lead alike to misery; — if they are not gratified, to the 
misery of disappointment ; if they are gratified, to the misery 
of satiety. His heroes are men who have arrived by different 

10 roads at the same goal of despair, who are sick of life, who 
are at war with society, who are supported in their anguish 
only by an unconquerable pride resembling that of Prometheus 
on the rock, or of Satan in the burning marl, who can master 
their agonies by the force of their will, and who, to the last, 

15 defy the whole power of earth and heaven. He always de- 
scribed himself as a man of the same kind with his favorite 
creations, as a man whose heart had been withered, whose 
capacity for happiness was gone and could not be restored, but 
whose invincible spirit dared the worst that could befall him 

20 here or hereafter. 

How much of this morbid feeling sprang from an origina 
disease of the mind, how much from real misfortune, how 
much from the nervousness of dissipation, how much was 
fanciful, how much was merely affected, it is impossible for 

25 us, and would probably have been impossible for the most inti- 
mate friends of Lord Byron, to decide. Whether there ever 
existed, or can ever exist, a person answering to the descrip- 
tion which he gave of himself may be doubted ; but that he 
was not such a person is beyond all doubt. It is ridiculous to 

30 imagine that a man whose mind was really imbued with scorn 
of his fellow-creatures would have published three or four 
books every year in order to tell them so ; or that a man who 
could say with truth that he neither sought sympathy nor 

4. What are the objects of repeat? How connected with it? 

T. What is the subject of lead? 

16. He always described* etc. See lines " Qa my Thirty -third Birth* 



Heeded it would have admitted all Europe to hear his farewell 
to his wife, and his blessings on his child. In the second 
canto of Ohilde Harold he tells us that he is insensible to fame 
and obloquy : 

" 111 may such contest now the spirit move. 
Which heeds nor keen reproof nor partial praise." 

Yet wc know on the best evidence, that, a day or two before 
he published these lines, he was greatly, indeed childishly, 
elated by the compliments paid to his maiden speech in the 
House of Lords. 10 

We are far, however, from thinking that his sadness was 
altogether feigned. He was naturally a man of great sensi- 
bility ; he had been ill educated ; his feelings had been early 
exposed to sharp trials ; he had been crossed in his boyish 
love ; he had been mortified by the failure of his first literary 15 
efforts ; he was straitened in pecuniary circumstances ; he was 
unfortunate in his domestic relations; the public treated him 
with cruel injustice ; his health and spirits suffered from his 
dissipated habits of life ; he was. on the whole, an unhappy 
man. He early discovered that by parading his unhappiness 20 
before the multitude he produced an immense sensation. The 
world gave him every encouragement to talk about his men- 
tal sufferings. The interest which his first confessions excited 
induced him to affect much that he did not feel ; and the 
affectation probably reacted on his feelings. How far the 2 5 
character in which he exhibited himself was genuine, and how 
far theatrical, it would probably have puzzled himself to say. 

There can be no doubt that this remarkable man owed the 
vast influence which he exercised over his contemporaries at 
least as much to his gloomy egotism as to the real power of 30 

2. His farewell to his wife. The lines " Fare thee well, and if for 
ever." Moore says that Lord Byron had no intention of making them pub- 
lic, and that it was through the injudicious zeal of a friend, whom he had 
allowed to take a copy, thai ihey appeared in the papers. 

2. His blessings on his child. See beginning and end of canto iii., 
Chi hi.- Harold 

10. His maiden speech in the House of Lords. Feb. 27, 1812. 

28. There. Part of speech? 


his poetry. We never could very clearly understand how il is 
thai egotism, so unpopular in conversation, should be so popu- 
lar in writing ; or how it is thai men who affect in their com- 
positions qualities and feelings which they have not, impose so 

5 much more easily on their contemporaries than on posterity. 
The interest which the loves o( Petrarch excited in his own 
time, and the pitying fondness with which half Europe looked 
upon Rousseau, are well known. To readers of our age, the 
love of Petrarch seems to have been love of that kind which 

lobreaks no hearts, and the sufferings o\' Rousseau to have de- 
served laughter rather than pity, to have been partly counter- 
feited, and partly the consequences o\' his own perverseness 
and vanity. 

What our grandchildren may think of the character of Lord 

15 Byron, as exhibited in his poetry, we will not pretend to guess. 
It is certain, that the interest which he excited during his life 
is without a parallel in literary history. The feelings with 
which young readers of poetry regarded him can be conceived 
only by those who have experienced it. To people who are 

20 unacquainted with real calamity, "nothing is so dainty sweet 
as lovely melancholy." This faint image of sorrow has in all 
ages been considered by young gentlemen as an agreeable ex- 
citement. Old gentlemen and middle-aged gentlemen have so 
many real causes of sadness that they are rarely inclined " to 

25 be as sad as night only for wantonness." Indeed, they want 

6. Loves of Petrarch. His hopeless attachment to Laura de Noves, 
the mistress of his sonnets. Petrarch (1304-1374), an illustrious Italian 


8. Rousseau (1712-1778). A celebrated Swiss philosopher and writer. 
His early career presents a series of bizarre adventures, absurd vagaries, 
and surprising vicissitudes, of which he gave an extremely candid and unre- 
served account in Ids Confessions He produced in 1753 the discourse on 
the origin of inequality among men, in whtbb he maintains that all men are 
born with equal rights. " He was the father of modern democracy," says 
Professor Lowell, " and without him our Declaration of Independence would 
have wanted some of those sentences in which the immemorial longings of 
the poor and the dreams of solitary enthusiasts were at last affirmed in the 
manifesto of a nation, so that all the world might hear." 

14. What. Construction? 

21. Nothing is so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy. From 

25. To be sad as night only for wantonness. Shakespeare's King 
John, iv. l. 

LOIil) BYRON. 63 

the power almost as much as the inclination. We know very 
few persons engaged in active life who, even if they were to 
procure stools to be melancholy upon, and were to sit down 
with all the premeditation of Master Stephen, would be able 
to enjoy much of what somebody ealls the " ecstasy of woe." 5 

Among that large class of young persons whose reading is 
almost entirely confined to works of imagination, the popular- 
ity of Lord Byron was unbounded. They bought pictures of 
him; they treasured up the smallest relics of him; they 
learned his poems by heart, and did their best to write like ro 
him, and to look like him. Many of them practiced at the 
glass in tin,' hope of catching the curl of the upper lip, and the 
scowl of the brow, which appear in some of his portraits. A 
few discarded their neckcloths in imitation of their greal 
leader. For some years the Minerva press sent forth no novel 15 
without a mysterious, unhappy, Lara-like peer. The number 
of hopeful undergraduates and medical students who became 
tilings of dark imaginings, on whom the freshness of the heart 
ceased to fall like dew, whose passions had consumed them- 
selves to dust, and to whom the relied" of tears was denied, 20 
passes all calculation. This was not the worst. There was 
created in the minds of many of these enthusiasts a pernicious 
and absurd association between intellectual power and moral 
depravity. From the poetry of Lord Byron they drew a sys- 
tem of ethics, compounded of misanthropy and voluptuousness, 25 
a system in which the two greal commandments were, to hate 
your neighbor and to love your neighbor's wife. 

This affectation has passed away ; and a few more years will 
destroy whatever yet remains of that magical potency which 
once belonged to the name of Byron. To us he is still a man, 30 
young, noble, and unhappy. To our children he will be 
merely a writer ; and their impartial judgmenl will appoint 
his place among writers, without regard t<> his rank or to his 

15. Minerva Press. A sobriquet for fashionable novels, such as Lady 
ftlessington's, etc. 
18. On whom the freshness of the heart. Don Juan, canto i. cciv. 
89. Potency. Etymology? Kindred words in our language? 


private history. That his poetry will undergo a severe sifting, 
that much of what has been admired by his contemporaries 
will be rejected as worthless, we have little doubt. But we 
have as little doubt, that, after the closest scrutiny, there will 
5 still remain much that can only perish with the English lan- 



Classes in English Literature, Reading, Grammar, etc. 


Each Volume contains a Sketch of the Author's Life, Prefatory and 
Explanatory Notes, etc., etc. 

1 Byron's Prophecy of Dante. 

(Cantos I. and II.) 
•2 Milton's L' Allegro, and II Pen- 

3 Lord Bacon's Essays, Civil and 

Moral. (Selected.) 

4 Byron's Prisoner of Chillon. 

5 Moore's Fire Worshippers. 

(Lalla Rookh. Selected.) 

6 Goldsmith's Deserted Village. 

7 Scott's Marmion. (Selections 

from Canto VI.) 

8 Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel. 

(Introduction and Canto I. ) 

9 Burns'sCotter'sSaturdayNight, 

and other Poems 

10 Crabbe's The Village. 

11 Campbell's Pleasures of Hope. 

(Abridgment of Part I.) 
13 Macaulay's Essay on Bunyan's 
Pilgrim's Progress. 

13 Macaulay's Armada, and other 


14 Shakespeare's Merchant of Ve- 

nice. (Selections from Acts I., 
m., and IV.) 

15 Goldsmith's Traveller. 

16 Hogg's Queen's Wake, and Kil- 

ns eny. 

17 Coleridge's Ancient Mariner. 

18 Addison's Sir Roger de Cover- 


19 Gray's Elegy in a Country 

SO Scott's Lady of the Lake. (Canto 

21 Shakespeare's As You Like It, 

etc. (Selections.) 
23 Shakespeare's King John, and 

Richard II. (Selections.) 

23 Shakespeare's Henry IV., Hen- 

ry V., Henry VI. (Selections.) 

24 Shakespeare's Henry VIIL, and 

Julius Caesar. (Selections.) 

25 Wordsworth's Excursion. (Bk.I.) 

26 Pope's Essay on Criticism. 

27 Spenser'sFaerieQueene. (Cantos 

I. and II.) 

28 Cowper's Task. (Book I.) 

29 Milton's Comus. 

30 Tennyson's Enoch Arden, The 

Lotus Eaters, Ulysses, and 

31 Irving's Sketch Book. (Selec- 


32 Dickens's Christmas Carol. 


33 Carlyle's Hero as a Prophet. 

34 Macaulay's Warren Hastings. 


35 Goldsmith's Vicar of Wake- 

field. (Condensed.) 

36 Tennyson's The Two Voices, 

and\V Dream of Fair Women. 

37 Memory Quotations. 

38 Cavalier Poets. 

39 Dryden's Alexander's Feast, 

and MacFlecknoe. 

40 Keats's The Eve of St. Agnes. 

41 Irving.'s Legend of Sleepy Hol- 


42 Lamb's Tales from Shake- 


43 Le Row's How to Teach Read- 


44 Webster's Bunker Hill Ora- 


45 The Academy Orthoiipist. A 

Manual of Pronunciation. 

46 Milton's Lycidas, and Hymn 

on the Nativity. 

47 Bryant's Thanatopsis, and other 


48 Ruskin's Modern Painters. 


49 The Shakespeare Speaker. 

50 Thackeray's Roundabout Pa- 


51 Webster's Oration on Adams 

and Jefferson. 
53 Brown's Rab and his Friends. 

53 Morris's Life and Death of 


54 Burke's Speech on American 


55 Pope's Rape of the Lock. 

56 Tennyson's Elaine. 

57 Tennyson's In Memoriam, 

58 Church's Story of tbe ^Eneid. 

59 Church's Story of the Iliad. 

60 Swift's Gulliver's Voyage to 


61 Macaulay's Essay on Lord Ba- 

con. (Condensed.) 

62 The Alcestis of Euripides. Eng- 

lish Version by Rev. R. Potter.M. A. 

{Additional numbers on next page.) 

English Classic Series-Continued. 

63 Th© Antigone of Sophocles. 

English Version by Thos. Franck- 
lin, D.D. 

64 Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 
(Selected Poems.) 

65 Robert Browning. (Selected 

66 Addison's Spectator. (Selec'ns.) 

67 Scenes from George Eliot's 
Adam Bede. 

68 Matthew Arnold's Culture and 


69 DeQuincey's Joan of Arc. 

70 Carlyle's Essay on Burns. 

71 Byron's Childe Harold's Pil- 


72 Poe's Raven, and other Poems. 

73 & 74 Macaulay's Lord Clive. 

(Double Number.) 

75 Webster's Reply to Hayne. 

76&77 Macaulay's Eays of An- 
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78 American Patriotic Selections: 

Declaration of Independence, 
Washington's Farewell Ad- 
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Speech, etc. 

79 & 80 Scott's L.ady of the Lake, 

81 & 83 Scott's Marmion. (Con- 

83 & 84 Pope's Essay on Man. 

85 Shelley's Skylark, Adonais, and 

other Poems. 

86 Dickens's Cricket on the 


87 Spencer's Philosophy of Style. 

88 Lamb's Essays of Elia. 

89 Cowper's Task, Book II. 

90 Wordsworth's Selected Poems. 

91 Tennyson's The Holy Grail, and 

Sir Galahad. 
93 Addison's Cato. 

93 Irving's Westminster Abbey, 

and Christmas Sketches. 

94 & 95 Macaulay's Earl ,of Chat- 
* ham. Second Essay. 

96 Early English Ballads. 

97 Skelton, Wyatt, and Surrey. 
(Selected Poems.) 

98 Edwin Arnold. (Selected Poems.) 

99 Caxton and Daniel. (Selections.) 

100 Fuller and Hooker. (Selections.) 

101 Marlowe's Jew of Malta. (Con- 


103-103 Macaulay's Essay on Mil- 

104-105 Macaulay's Essay on Ad- 

106-107 Macaulay's Essay on Bos- 
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108-109 Macaulay's Essay on Fred- 
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