A History of English Romanticism in the Nineteenth Century
by Henry A. Beers
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"See through my long throat how the words go up In ripples to my mouth: how in my hand The shadow lies like wine within a cup Of marvellously colour'd gold."

"Dost thou reck That I am beautiful, Lord, even as you And your dear mother?" [37]

Morris criticised Tennyson's Galahad, as "rather a mild youth." His own Galahad is not the rapt seer of the vision beatific, but a more flesh-and-blood character, who sometimes has cold fits in which he doubts whether the quest is not a fool's errand; and whether even Sir Palomydes in his unrequited love, and Sir Lancelot in his guilty love, do not take greater comfort than he.

Other poems in the book were inspired by Froissart's "Chronicle" or other histories of the English wars in France: "Sir Peter Harpdon's End," "Concerning Geffray Teste Noire," "The Eve of Crecy," etc.[38] Still others, and these not the least fascinating, were things of pure invention, lays of "a country lit with lunar rainbows and ringing with fairy song." [39] These have been thought to owe something to Edgar Poe, but they much more nearly resemble the work of the latest symbolistic schools. When reading such poems as "Rapunzel," "Golden Wings," and "The Tune of Seven Towers," one is frequently reminded of "Serres Chaudes" or "Pelleas et Melisande"; and is at no loss to understand why Morris excepted Maeterlinck from his general indifference to contemporary writers—Maeterlinck, like himself, a student of Rossetti. There is no other collection of English poems so saturated with Pre-Raphaelitism. The flowers are all orchids, strange in shape, violent in colouring. Rapunzel, e.g., is like one of Maeterlinck's spellbound princesses. She stands at the top of her tower, letting down her hair to the ground, and her lover climbs up to her by it as by a golden stair. Here is again the singular Pre-Raphaelite and symbolistic scenery, with its images from art and not from nature. Tall damozels in white and scarlet walk in garths of lily and sunflower, or under apple boughs, and feed the swans in the moat.

"Moreover, she held scarlet lilies, such As Maiden Margaret bears upon the light Of the great church walls." [40]

"Lord, give Mary a dear kiss, And let gold Michael, who look'd down, When I was there, on Rouen town, From the spire, bring me that kiss On a lily!" [41]

The language is as artfully quaint as the imaginations are fantastic:

"Between the trees a large moon, the wind lows Not loud, but as a cow begins to low." [42]

"Pale in the green sky were the stars, I ween, Because the moon shone like a star she shed When she dwelt up in heaven a while ago, And ruled all things but God." [43]

"Quiet groans That swell out the little bones Of my bosom." [44]

"I sit on a purple bed, Outside, the wall is red, Thereby the apple hangs, And the wasp, caught by the fangs, Dies in the autumn night. And the bat flits till light, And the love-crazed knight Kisses the long, wet grass." [45]

A number of these pieces are dramatic in form, monologues or dialogues, sometimes in the manner of the mediaeval mystery plays.[46] Others are ballads, not of the popular variety, but after Rossetti's fashion, employing burdens, English or French:

"Two red roses across the moon";

"Hah! hah! la belle jaune giroflee";

"Ah! qu'elle est belle La Marguerite"; etc.

The only poem in the collection which imitates the style of the old minstrel ballad is "Welland Water." The name-poem is in terza rima; the longest, "Sir Peter Harpdon's End," in blank verse; "Golden Wings," in the "In Memoriaro" stanza.

When Morris again came before the public as a poet, his style had undergone a change akin to that which transformed the Pre-Raphaelite painter into the decorative artist. The skeins of vivid romantic colour had run out into large-pattern tapestries. There was nothing eccentric or knotty about "The Life and Death of Jason" and "The Earthly Paradise." On the contrary, nothing so facile, pellucid, pleasant to read had appeared in modern literature—a poetic lubberland, a "clear, unwrinkled song." The reader was carried along with no effort and little thought on the long swell of the verse, his ear lulled by the musical lapse of the rime, his eye soothed—not excited—by ever-unrolling panoramas of an enchanted country "east of the sun and west of the moon." Morris wrote with incredible ease and rapidity. It was a maxim with him, as with Ruskin, that all good work is done easily and with pleasure to the workman; and certainly that seems true of him which Lowell said of Chaucer—that he never "puckered his brow over an unmanageable verse." Chaucer was his avowed master,[47] and perhaps no English narrative poet has come so near to Chaucer. Like Chaucer, and unlike Scott, he did not invent stories, but told the old stories over again with a new charm. His poetry, as such, is commonly better than Scott's; lacking the fire and nervous energy of Scott in his great passages, but sustained at a higher artistic level. He had the copious vein of the mediaeval chroniclers and romancers, without their tiresome prolixity and with finer resources of invention. He had none of Chaucer's humour, realism, or skill in character sketching. In its final impression his poetry resembles Spenser's more than Chaucer's. Like Spenser's, it grows monotonous—without quite growing languid—from the steady flow of the metre and the exhaustless profusion of the imagery. The reader becomes, somewhat ungratefully, surfeited with beauty, and seeks relief in poetry more passionate or intellectual. Chaucer and, in a degree, Walter Scott, have a way of making old things seem near to us. In Spenser and Morris, though bright and clear in all imagined details, they stand at an infinite remove, in a world apart—

"—a little isle of bliss Midmost the beating of the steely sea"

which typifies the weary problems and turmoil of contemporary life.

"Jason" was a poem of epic dimensions, on the winning of the Golden Fleece; "The Earthly Paradise," a series of twenty-four narrative poems set in a framework of the poet's own. Certain gentlemen of Norway, in the reign of Edward III. of England, set out—like St. Brandan—on a voyage in search of a land that is free from death. They cross the Western ocean, and after long years of wandering, come, disappointed of their hope, to a city founded centuries since by exiles from ancient Greece. There being hospitably received, hosts and guests interchange tales in every month of the year; a classical story alternating with a mediaeval one, till the double sum of twelve is complete. Among the wanderers are a Breton and a Suabian, so that the mediaeval tales have a wide range. There are Norse stories like "The Lovers of Gudrun"; French Charlemagne romances, like "Ogier the Dane"; and late German legends of the fourteenth century, like "The Hill of Venus," besides miscellaneous travelled fictions of the Middle Age.[48] But the Hellenic legends are reduced to a common term with the romance material, so that the reader is not very sensible of a difference. Many of them are selected for their marvellous character, and abound in dragons, monsters, transformations, and enchantments: "The Golden Apples," "Bellerophon," "Cupid and Psyche," "The Story of Perseus," etc. Even "Jason" is treated as a romance. Of its seventeen books, all but the last are devoted to the exploits and wanderings of the Argonauts. Medea is not the wronged, vengeful queen of the Greek tragic poets, so much as she is the Colchian sorceress who effects her lover's victory and escape. Her romantic, outweighs her dramatic character. Sea voyages, emprizes, and wild adventures, like those of his own wanderers in "The Earthly Paradise," were dearer to Morris' imagination than conflicts of the will; the vostos or home-coming of Ulysses, e.g. He preferred the "Odyssey" to the "Iliad," and translated it in 1887 into the thirteen-syllabled line of the "Nibelungenlied." [49] Of the Greek tales in "The Earthly Paradise," "The Love of Alcestis" has, perhaps, the most dramatic quality.

Like Chaucer and like Rossetti,[50] Morris mediaevalised classic fable. "Troy," says his biographer, "is to his imagination a town exactly like Bruges or Chartres, spired and gabled, red-roofed, filled (like the city of King Aeetes in 'The Life and Death of Jason') with towers and swinging bells. The Trojan princes go out, like knights in Froissart, to tilt at the barriers." [51] The distinction between classical and romantic treatment is well illustrated by a comparison of Theocritus' idyl "Hylas," with the same episode in "Jason." "Soon was he 'ware of a spring," says the Syracusan poet, "in a hollow land, and the rushes grew thickly round it, and dark swallow-wort, and green maiden-hair, and blooming parsley and deer-grass spreading through the marshy land. In the midst of the water the nymphs were arraying their dances, the sleepless nymphs, dread goddesses of the country people, Eunice, and Malis, and Nycheia, with her April eyes. And now the boy was holding out the wide-mouthed pitcher to the water, intent on dipping it; but the nymphs all clung to his hand, for love of the Argive lad had fluttered the soft hearts of all of them. Then down he sank into the black water." [52] In "Jason," where the episode occupies some two hundred and seventy lines, one of the nymphs meets the boy in the wood, disguised in furs like a northern princess, and lulls him to sleep by the stream side with a Pre-Raphaelite song:

"I know a little garden close Set thick with lily and red rose";

the loveliest of all the lyrical passages in Morris' narrative poems except possibly the favourite two-part song in "Ogier the Dane";

"In the white-flower'd hawthorne brake, Love, be merry for my sake: Twine the blossoms in my hair. Kiss me where I am most fair— Kiss me, love! for who knoweth What thing cometh after death?"

This is the strain which recurs in all Morris' poetry with the insistence of a burden, and lends its melancholy to every season of "the rich year slipping by."

Three kinds of verse are employed in "The Earthly Paradise": the octosyllabic couplet; the rime royal, which was so much a favourite with Chaucer; and the heroic couplet, handled in the free, "enjambed" fashion of Hunt and Keats.

"Love is Enough," in the form of a fifteenth-century morality play, and treating a subject from the "Mabinogion," appeared in 1873, Mackail praises its delicate mechanism in the use of "receding planes of action" (Love is prologue and chorus, and there is a musical accompaniment); but the dramatic form only emphasises the essentially undramatic quality of the author's genius. What is the matter with Morris' poetry? For something is the matter with it. Beauty is there in abundance, a rich profusion of imagery. The narrative moves without a hitch. Passion is not absent, passionate love and regret; but it speaks a sleepy language, and the final impression is dream-like. I believe that the singular lack which one feels in reading these poems comes from Morris' dislike of rhetoric and moralising, the two main nerves of eighteenth-century verse. Left to themselves, these make sad work of poetry; yet poetry includes eloquence, and life includes morality. The poetry of Morris is sensuous, as upon the whole poetry should be; but in his resolute abstention from the generalizing habit of the previous century, the balance is lost between the general and the concrete, which all really great poetry preserves. Byron declaims and Wordsworth moralises, both of them perhaps too much; yet in the end to the advantage of their poetry, which is full of truths, or of thoughts conceived as true, surcharged with emotion and uttered with passionate conviction. One looks in vain in Morris' pages for such things as

"There's not a joy the world can give like that it takes away";


"—the good die first, ——And they whose hearts are dry as summer dust, Burn to the socket."

Such coin of universal currency is rare in Morris, as has once before been said. Not that quotability is an absolute test of poetic value, for then Pope would rank higher than Spenser or Shelley. But its absence in Morris is significant in more than one way.

While "The Earthly Paradise" was in course of composition, a new intellectual influence came into Morris' life, the influence of the Icelandic sagas. Much had been done to make Old Norse literature accessible to English readers since the days when Gray put forth his Runic scraps and Percy translated Mallet.[53] Walter Scott, e.g., had given an abstract of the "Eyrbyggja Saga." Amos Cottle had published at Bristol in 1797 a metrical version of the mythological portion of the "Elder Edda" ("Icelandic Poetry, or the Edda of Saemund"), with an introductory verse epistle by Southey. Sir George Dasent's translation of the "Younger Edda" appeared in 1842; Laing's "Heimskringla" in 1844; Dasent's "Burnt Nial" in 1861; his "Gisli the Outlaw," and Head's "Saga of Viga-Glum" in 1866. William and Mary Howitt's "Literature and Romance of Northern Europe" appeared in 1852. Morris had made the acquaintance of Thorpe's "Northern Mythology" (1851) and "Yuletide Stories" (1853) at Oxford; two of the tales in "The Earthly Paradise" were suggested by them: "The Land East of the Sun" and "The Fostering of Aslaug." These, however, he had dealt with independently and in an ultra-romantic spirit. But in 1869 he took up the study of Icelandic under the tuition of Mr. Erick Magnusson; in collaboration with whom he issued a number of translations.[54] "The Lovers of Gudrun" in "The Earthly Paradise" was taken from the "Laxdaela Saga," and is in marked contrast with the other poems in the collection. There is no romantic glamour about it. It is a grim, domestic tragedy, moving among the homeliest surroundings. Save for the lawlessness of a primitive state of society which gave free play to the workings of the passions, the story might have passed in Yorkshire or New England. A book like "Wuthering Heights," or "Pembroke," occasionally exhibits the same obstinate Berserkir rage of the tough old Teutonic stock, operating under modern conditions. For the men and women of the sagas are hard as iron; their pride is ferocious, their courage and sense of duty inflexible, their hatred is as enduring as their love. The memory of a slight or an injury is nursed for a lifetime, and when the hour of vengeance strikes, no compunction, not even the commonest human instincts—such as mother love—can avert the blow. Signy in the "Voelsunga Saga" is implacable as fate. To avenge the slaughter of the Volsungs is with her an obsession, a fixed idea. When incest seems the only pathway to her purpose, she takes that path without a moment's hesitation. The contemptuous indifference with which she hands over her own little innocent children to death is more terrible than the readiness of the fierce Medea to sacrifice her young brothers to Jason's safety; more terrible by far than the matricide of Orestes.

The colossal mythology of the North had impressed Gray's imagination a century before, Carlyle in his "Hero Worship" (1840) had given it the preference over the Greek, as an expression of race character and imagination. In the preface to his translation of the "Voelsunga Saga," Morris declared his surprise that no version of the story yet existed in English. He said that it was one of the great stories of the world, and that to all men of Germanic blood it ought to be what the tale of Troy had been to the whole Hellenic race. In 1876 he cast it into a poem, "Sigurd the Volsung," in four books in riming lines of six iambic or anapaestic feet. "The Lovers of Gudrun" drew its material from one of that class of sagas which rest upon historical facts. The family vendetta which it narrates, in the Iceland of the eleventh century, is hardly more fabulous—hardly less realistic—than any modern blood feud in the Tennessee mountains. The passions and dramatic situations are much the same in both. The "Voelsunga Saga" belongs not to romantic literature, strictly speaking, but to the old cycle of hero epics, to that earlier Middle Age which preceded Christian chivalry. It is the Scandinavian version of the story of the Niblungs, which Wagner's music-dramas have rendered in another art. But in common with romance, it abounds in superhuman wonders. It is full of Eddaic poetry and mythology. Sigmund and Sinfiotli change themselves into were wolves, like the people in "William of Palermo": Sigurd slays Fafnir, the dragon who guards the hoard, and his brother Regni, the last of the Dwarf-kin; Grimhild bewitches Sigurd with a cup of evil drink; Sigmund draws from the hall pillar the miraculous sword of Odin, and its shards are afterwards smithed by Regni for the killing of the monster.

Morris was so powerfully drawn to the Old Norse literature that he made two visits to Iceland, to verify the local references in the sagas and to acquaint himself with the strange Icelandic landscapes whose savage sublimity is reflected in the Icelandic writings. "Sigurd the Volsung" is probably the most important contribution of Norse literature to English poetry; but it met with no such general acceptance as "The Earthly Paradise." The spirit which created the Northern mythology and composed the sagas is not extinct in the English descendants of Frisians and Danes. There is something of it in the minstrel ballads; but it has been so softened by modern life and tempered with foreign culture elements, that these old tales in their aboriginal, barbaric sternness repel. It is hard for any blossom of modern poetry to root itself in the scoriae of Hecla.

An indirect result of Morris' Icelandic studies was his translation of Beowulf (1897), not a success; another was the remarkable series of prose poems or romances, which he put forth in the last ten years of his life.[55] There is nothing else quite like these. They are written in a peculiar archaic English which the author shaped for himself out of fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century models, like the "Morte Darthur" and the English translation of the "Gesta Roroanorum," but with an anxious preference for the Saxon and Danish elements of the vocabulary. It is a dialect in which a market town is called a "cheaping-stead," a popular assembly a "folk-mote," foresters are "wood-abiders," sailors are "ship-carles," a family is a "kindred," poetry is "song-craft," [56] and any kind of enclosure is a "garth." The prose is frequently interchanged with verse, not by way of lyrical outbursts, but as a variation in the narrative method, after the manner of the Old French cantefables, such as "Aucassin et Nicolete"; but more exactly after the manner of the sagas, in which the azoic rock of Eddaic poetry crops out ever and anon under the prose strata. This Saxonism of style is in marked contrast with Scott, who employs without question the highly latinised English which his age had inherited from the last. Nor are Morris' romances historical in the manner of the Waverley novels. The first two of the series, however, are historical in the sense that they endeavour to reproduce in exact detail the picture of an extinct society. Time and place are not precisely indicated, but the scene is somewhere in the old German forest, and the period is early in the Christian era, during the obscure wanderings and settlements of the Gothic tribes. "The House of the Wolfings" concerns the life of such a community, which has made a series of clearings in "Mirkwood" on a stream tributary to the Rhine. The folk of Midmark live very much as Tacitus describes the ancient Germans as living. Each kindred dwells in a great common hall, like the hall of the Niblungs or the Volsungs, or of King Hrothgar in "Beowulf." Their herding and agriculture are described, their implements and costumes, feasts in hall, songs, rites of worship, public meetings, and finally their warfare when they go forth against the invading Romans. In "The Roots of the Mountains" the tribe of the Wolf has been driven into the woods and mountains by the vanguard of the Hunnish migrations. In time they make head against these, drive them back, and retake their fertile valley. In each case there is a love story and, as in Scott, the private fortunes of the hero and heroine are enwoven with the ongoings of public events. But it is the general life of the tribe that is of importance, and there is little individual characterisation. There is a class of thralls in "The House of the Wolfings," but no single member of the class is particularised, like Garth, the thrall of Cedric, in "Ivanhoe."

The later numbers of the series have no semblance of actuality. The last of all, indeed, "The Sundering Flood," is a war story which attains an air of geographical precision by means of a map—like the plan of Egdon Heath in "The Return of the Native"—but the region and its inhabitants are alike fabulous. Romances such as "The Water of the Wondrous Isles" and "The Wood beyond the World" (the names are not the least imaginative feature of these curious books) are simply a new kind of fairy tales. Unsubstantial as Duessa or Armida or Circe or Morgan le Fay are the witch-queen of the Wood beyond the World and the sorceress of the enchanted Isle of Increase Unsought. The white Castle of the Quest, with its three champions and their ladies, Aurea, Atra, and Viridis; the yellow dwarfs, the magic boat, the wicked Red Knight, and his den, the Red Hold; the rings and spells and charms and garments of invisibility are like the wilder parts of Malory or the Arabian Nights.

Algernon Charles Swinburne was an early adherent of the Pre-Raphaelite school, although such of his work as is specifically Gothic is to be found mainly in the first series of "Poems and Ballads" (1866);[57] a volume which corresponds to Morris' first fruits, "The Defence of Guenevere." If Morris is prevailingly a Goth—a heathen Norseman or Saxon—Swinburne is, upon the whole, a Greek pagan. Rossetti and Morris inherit from Keats, but Swinburne much more from Shelley, whom he resembles in his Hellenic spirit; as well as in his lyric fervour, his shrill radicalism—political and religious—and his unchastened imagination. Probably the cunningest of English metrical artists, his art is more closely affiliated with music than with painting. Not that there is any paucity of imagery in his poetry; the imagery is superabundant, crowded, but it is blurred by an iridescent spray of melodious verbiage. The confusion of mind which his work often produces does not arise from romantic vagueness, from the dreamlike and mysterious impression left by a ballad of Coleridge's or a story of Tieck's, but rather, as in Shelley's case, from the dizzy splendour and excitement of the diction. His verse, like Shelley's, is full of foam and flame, and the result upon the reader is to bewilder and exhaust. He does not describe in pictures, like Rossetti and Morris, but by metaphors, comparisons, and hyperboles. Take the following very typical passage—the portrait of Iseult in "Tristram of Lyonesse" (1882);

"The very veil of her bright flesh was made As of light woven and moonbeam-colored shade More fine than moonbeams; white her eyelids shone As snow sun-stricken that endures the sun, And through their curled and coloured clouds of deep, Luminous lashes, thick as dreams in sleep, Shone, as the sea's depth swallowing up the sky's, The springs of unimaginable eyes. As the wave's subtler emerald is pierced through With the utmost heaven's inextricable blue, And both are woven and molten in one sleight Of amorous colour and implicated light Under the golden guard and gaze of noon, So glowed their aweless amorous plenilune, Azure and gold and ardent grey, made strange With fiery difference and deep interchange Inexplicable of glories multiform; Now, as the sullen sapphire swells towards storm Foamless, their bitter beauty grew acold, And now afire with ardour of fine gold. Her flower-soft lips were meek and passionate, For love upon them like a shadow sate Patient, a foreseen vision of sweet things, A dream with eyes fast shut and plumeless wings That knew not what man's love or life should be, Nor had it sight nor heart to hope or see What thing should come; but, childlike satisfied, Watched out its virgin vigil in soft pride And unkissed expectation; and the glad Clear cheeks and throat and tender temples had Such maiden heat as if a rose's blood Beat in the live heart of a lily-bud."

What distinct image of the woman portrayed does one carry away from all this squandered wealth of words and tropes? Compare the entire poem with one of Tennyson's Arthurian "Idyls," or even with Matthew Arnold's not over-prosperous "Tristram and Iseult," or with any of the stories in "The Earthly Paradise," and it will be seen how far short it falls of being good verse narrative—with its excesses of language and retarded movement. Wordsworth said finely of Shakspere that he could not have written an epic: "he would have perished from a plethora of thought." It is not so much plethora of thought as lavishness of style which clogs the wheels in Swinburne. Too often his tale is

"Like a tale of the little meaning, Though the words are strong."

But his narrative method has analogies, not only with things like Shelley's "Laon and Cythna," but with Elizabethan poems such as Marlowe and Chapman's "Hero and Leander." If not so conceited as these, it is equally encumbered with sticky sweets which keep the story from getting forward.

The symbolism which characterises a great deal of Pre-Raphaelite art is not conspicuous in Swinburne, whose spirit is not mystical. But two marks of the Pre-Raphaelite—and, indeed, of the romantic manner generally—are obtrusively present in his early work. One of these is the fondness for microscopic detail at the expense of the obvious, natural outlines of the subject. Thus of Proserpine at Enna, in the piece entitled "At Eleusis,"

"—she lying down, red flowers Made their sharp little shadows on her sides."

"Endymion" is, perhaps, partly responsible for this exaggeration of the picturesque, and in Swinburne, as in Keats, the habit is due to an excessive impressibility by all forms of sensuous beauty. It is a sign of riches, but of riches which smother their possessor. It is impossible to fancy Chaucer or Goethe, or any large, healthy mind dealing thus by its theme. Or, indeed, contrast the whole passage from "At Eleusis" with the mention of the rape of Proserpine in the "Winter's Tale" and in "Paradise Lost."

Another Pre-Raphaelite trait is that over-intensify of spirit and sense which was not quite wholesome in Rossetti, but which manifested itself in Swinburne in a morbid eroticism. The first series of "Poems and Ballads" was reprinted in America as "Laus Veneris." The name-poem was a version of the Tannhaeuser legend, a powerful but sultry study of animal passion, and it set the key of the whole volume. It is hardly necessary to say of the singer of the wonderful choruses in "Atalanta" and the equally wonderful hexameters of "Hesperia," that his imagination has turned most persistently to the antique, and that a very small share of his work is to be brought under any narrowly romantic formula. But there are a few noteworthy experiments in mediaevalism included among these early lyrics. "A Christmas Carol" is a ballad of burdens, suggested by a drawing of Rossetti's, and full of the Pre-Raphaelite colour. The inevitable damsels, or bower maidens, are combing out the queen's hair with golden combs, while she sings a song of God's mother; how she, too, had three women for her bed-chamber—

"The first two were the two Maries, The third was Magdalen," [58]

who "was the likest God"; and how Joseph, who, likewise had three workmen, Peter, Paul, and John, said to the Virgin in regular ballad style:

"If your child be none other man's, But if it be very mine, The bedstead shall be gold two spans, The bedfoot silver fine."

"The Masque of Queen Bersabe" is a miracle play, and imitates the rough naivete of the old Scriptural drama, with its grotesque stage directions and innocent anachronisms. Nathan recommends King David to hear a mass. All the dramatis personae swear by Godis rood, by Paulis head, and Peter's soul, except "Secundus Miles" (Paganus quidam), a bad man—a species of Vice—who swears by Satan and Mahound, and is finally carried off by the comic devil:

"S. M. I rede you in the devil's name, Ye come not here to make men game; By Termagaunt that maketh grame, I shall to-bete thine head. Hic Diabolus capiat eum." [59]

Similarly "St. Dorothy" reproduces the childlike faith and simplicity of the old martyrologies.[60] Theophilus addresses the Emperor Gabalus with "Beau Sire, Dieu vous aide." The wicked Gabalus himself, though a heathen, curses by St. Luke and by God's blood and bones, and quotes Scripture. Theophilus first catches sight of Dorothy through a latticed window, holding a green and red psalter among a troop of maidens who play upon short-stringed lutes. The temple of Venus where he does his devotions is a "church" with stained-glass windows. Heaven is a walled pleasance, like the Garden of Delight in the "Roman de la Rose,"

"Thick with companies Of fair-clothed men that play on shawms and lutes."

Swinburne has also essayed the minstrel ballad in various forms. There were some half-dozen pieces of the sort in the "Laus Veneris" volume, of which several, like "The King's Daughter" and "The Sea-Swallows," were imitations of Rossetti's and Morris' imitations, artistically overwrought with elaborate Pre-Raphaelite refrains; others, like "May Janet" and "The Bloody Son," are closer to popular models. The third series of "Poems and Ballads" (1889) contains nine of these in the Scotch dialect, two of them Jacobite songs. That Swinburne has a fine instinct in such matters and holds the true theory of ballad imitation is evident from his review of Rossetti's and Morris' work in the same kind.[61] "The highest form of ballad requires, from a poet," he writes, "at once narrative power, lyrical and dramatic. . . . It must condense the large, loose fluency of romantic tale-telling into tight and intense brevity. . . . There can be no pause in a ballad, and no excess; nothing that flags, nothing that overflows." He pronounces "Sister Helen" the greatest ballad in modern English; but he thinks that "Stratton Water," which is less independent in composition, and copies the formal as well as the essential characteristics of popular poetry, is "a study after the old manner too close to be no closer. It is not meant for a perfect and absolute piece of work in the old Border fashion, . . . and yet it is so far a copy that it seems hardly well to have gone so far and no farther. On this ground Mr. Morris has a firmer tread than the great artist by the light of whose genius and kindly guidance he put forth the first fruits of his work, as I did afterwards. In his first book, the ballad of 'Welland River,' the Christmas carol in 'The Land East of the Sun and West of the Moon,' etc., . . . are examples of flawless work in the pure early manner. Any less absolute and decisive revival of mediaeval form . . . rouses some sense of failure by excess or default of resemblance."

Swinburne's own ballads are clever and learned experiments, but he does not practise the brevity which he recommends; some of them, such as "The Bloody Son," "The Weary Wedding," and "The Bride's Tragedy," otherwise most impressive, would be more so if they were shorter or less wordy. Though his genius is more lyrical than dramatic, the fascination which the dramatic method has had for him from the first is as evident in his ballads as in his series of verse dramas, which begins with "The Queen Mother," and includes the enormous "Mary Stuart" trilogy. Several of these are mediaeval in subject; the "Rosamond" of his earliest volume—Fair Rosamond of the Woodstock Maze—the other "Rosamund, Queen of the Goths" (1899) in which the period of the action is 573 A.D.; and "Locrine" (1888), the hero of which is that mythic king of Britain whose story had been once before dramatised for the Elizabethan stage; and whose daughter, "Sabrina fair," goddess of the Severn, figures in "Comus." But these are no otherwise romantic than "Chastelard" or "The Queen Mother." The dramatic diction is fashioned after the Elizabethans, of whom Swinburne has been an enthusiastic student and expositor, finding an attraction even in the morbid horrors of Webster, Ford, and Tourneur.[62]

Once more the poet touched the Round-Table romances in "The Tale of Balen" (1896), written in the stanza of "The Lady of Shalott," and in a style simpler and more direct than "Tristram of Lyonesse." The story is the same as Tennyson's "Balin and Balan," published with "Tiresias and Other Poems" in 1885, as an introduction to "Merlin and Vivien." Here the advantage is in every point with the younger poet. Tennyson's version is one of the weakest spots in the "Idylls." His hero is a rough Northumberland warrior who looks with admiration upon the courtly graces of Lancelot, and borrows a cognisance from Guinevere to wear upon his shield, in hope that it may help him to keep his temper. But having once more lost control of this, he throws himself upon the ground

"Moaning 'My violences, my violences!'"—

a bathetic descent not unexampled elsewhere in Tennyson.

This episode of the old "Morte Darthur" has fine tragic possibilities. It is the tale of two brothers who meet in single combat, with visors down, and slay each other unrecognised. It has some resemblance, therefore, to the plan of "Sohrab and Rustum," but it cannot be said that either poet avails himself of the opportunity for a truly dramatic presentation of his theme. Tennyson, as we have seen, aimed to give epic unity to the wandering and repetitious narrative of Malory, by selecting and arranging his material with reference to one leading conception; the effort of the king to establish a higher social state through an order of Christian knighthood, and his failure through the gradual corruption of the Round Table. He subdues the history of Balin to this purpose, just as he does the history of Tristram which he relates incidentally only, and not for its own sake, in "The Last Tournament." Balin's simple faith in the ideal chivalry of Arthur's court is rudely dispelled when he hears from Vivien, and sees for himself, that the two chief objects of his reverence, Lancelot and the queen, are guilty lovers and false to their lord; and in his bitter disappointment, he casts his life away in the first adventure that offers. Moreover, in consonance with his main design, Tennyson seeks, so far as may be, to discard whatever in Malory is merely accidental or irrational; whatever is stuff of romance rather than of epic or drama—whose theatre is the human will. To such elements of the wonderful as he is obliged to retain he gives, where possible, an allegorical or spiritual significance. There are very strange things in the story of Balin, such as the invisible knight Garlon, a "darkling manslayer"; and the chamber in the castle of King Pellam, where the body of Joseph of Arimathea lies in state, and where there are a portion of the blood of Christ and the spear with which his heart was pierced, with which spear Sir Balin smites King Pellam, whereupon the castle falls and the two adversaries lie among its ruins three days in a deathlike trance. All this wild magic—which Tennyson touches lightly—Swinburne gives at full length; following Malory closely through his digressions and the roving adventures—most of which Tennyson suppresses entirely—by which he conducts his hero his end. This is the true romantic method.

As Rossetti for the Italian and Morris for the Scandinavian, Swinburne stands for the spirit of French romanticism. At the beginning of the nineteenth century France, the inventor of "Gothic" architecture and chivalry romance, whose literature was the most influential of mediaeval Europe, still represented everything that is most anti-mediaeval and anti-romantic. Gerard de Nerval thought that the native genius of France had been buried under two ages of imported classicism; and that Perrault, who wrote the fairy tales, was the only really original mind in the French literature of the eighteenth century. M. Brunetiere, on the contrary, holds that the true expression of the national genius is to be found in the writers of Louis XIV.'s time—that France is instinctively and naturally classical. However this may be, in the history of the modern return to the past, French romanticism was the latest to awake. Somewhat of the chronicles, fabliaux, and romances of old France had dribbled into England in translations;[63] but Swinburne was perhaps the first thoroughpaced disciple of the French romantic school. Victor Hugo is the god of his idolatry, and he has chanted his praise in prose and verse, in "ode and elegy and sonnet." [64] Gautier and Baudelaire have also shared his devotion.[65] The French songs in "Rosamond" and "Chastelard" are full of romantic spirit. "Laus Veneris" follows a version of the tale given in Maistre Antoine Gaget's "Livre des grandes merveilles d'amour" (1530), in which the Venusberg is called "le mont Horsel"; and "The Leper," a very characteristic piece in the same collection, is founded on a passage in the "Grandes Chroniques de France" (1505). Swinburne introduced or revived in English verse a number of old French stanza forms, such as the ballade, the sestina, the rondel, which have since grown familiar in the hands of Dobson, Lang, Gosse, and others. In the second series of "Poems and Ballads" (1878) he gave translations of ten of the ballads of that musical old blackguard

"Villon, our sad, bad, glad, mad brother's name." [66]

The range of Swinburne's intellectual interests has been wider than that of Rossetti and Morris. He is a classical scholar, who writes easily in Latin and Greek. Ancient mythology and modern politics divide his attention with the romantic literatures of many times and countries. Rossetti made but one or two essays in prose criticism, and Morris viewed the reviewer's art with contempt. But Swinburne has contributed freely to critical literature, an advocate of the principles of romantic art in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, as Coleridge, Lamb, and Hazlitt had been in the first. The manner of his criticism is not at all judicial. His prose is as lyrical as his verse, and his praise and blame both in excess—dithyrambic laudation or affluent billingsgate. In particular, he works the adjective "divine" so hard that it loses meaning. Yet stripped of its excited superlatives, and reduced to the cool temperature of ordinary speech, his critical work is found to be full of insight, and his judgment in matters of poetical technique almost always right. I may close this chapter with a few sentences of his defence of retrospective literature.[67] "It is but waste of breath for the champions of the other party to bid us break the yoke and cast off the bondage of that past, leave the dead to bury their dead, and turn from the dust and rottenness of old-world themes, epic or romantic, classical or feudal, to face the age wherein we live. . . . In vain, for instance, do the first poetess of England and the first poet of America agree to urge upon their fellows or their followers the duty of confronting and expressing the spirit and the secret of their own time, its meaning, and its need. . . . If a poem cast in the mould of classic or feudal times, of Greek drama or mediaeval romance, be lifeless and worthless, it is not because the subject or the form was ancient, but because the poet was inadequate. . . . For neither epic nor romance of chivalrous quest or classic war is obsolete yet, or ever can be; there is nothing in the past extinct . . . [Life] is omnipresent and eternal, and forsakes neither Athens nor Jerusalem, Camelot nor Troy, Argonaut nor Crusader, to dwell, as she does with equal good will, among modern appliances in London and New York."

[1] See vol. i., chaps. iv. and vii., "The Landscape Poets" and "The Gothic Revival."

[2] This was the organ of the Pre-Raphaelites, started in 1850. Only four numbers were issued (January, February, March, April), and in the third and fourth the title was changed to Art and Poetry. The contents included, among other things, poems by Dante Gabriel and Christina Rossetti. One of the former's twelve contributions was "The Blessed Damozel." The Oxford and Cambridge Magazine, which ran through the year 1856 and was edited by William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, was also a Pre-Raphaelite journal and received many contributions from Rossetti.

[3] The foreign strain in the English Pre-Raphaelites and in the painters and poets who descend from them is worth noting. Rossetti was three-fourths Italian. Millais' parents were Channel Islanders—from Jersey—and he had two mother tongues, English and French. Burne-Jones is of Welsh blood, and Alma Tadema of Frisian birth. Among Neo-Pre-Raphaelite poets, the names of Theophile Marzials and Arthur O'Shaughnessy speak for themselves.

[4] Let the reader consult the large and rapidly increasing literature on the English Pre-Raphaelites. I do not profess to be a very competent guide here, but I have found the following works all in some degree enlightening. "Autobiographical Notes of William Bell Scott," two vols., New York, 1892. "English Contemporary Art." Translated from the French of R. de la Sizeranne, Westminster, 1898. "D. G. Rossetti as Designer and Writer." W. M. Rossetti, London, 1889. "The Rossettis." E. L. Cary, New York, 1900. "Dante Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelite Movement." Esther Wood, New York, 1894. "Pre-Raphaelitism." J. Ruskin, New York, 1860. "The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood." Holman Hunt in Contemporary Review, vol. xlix. (three articles). "Encyclopaedia Britannica," article "Rossetti." by Theodore Watts. Of course the standard lives and memoirs by William Rossetti, Hall Caine, William Sharp, and Joseph Knight, as well as Rossetti's "Family Letters," "Letters to William Allingham," etc., afford criticisms of the movement from various points of view. Lists of Rossetti's paintings and drawings are given by several of these authorities, with photographs or engravings of his most famous masterpieces.

[5] "Lectures on Architecture and Painting." Delivered at Edinburgh in 1853. Lecture iv., "Pre Raphaelitism."

[6] Cf. Milton: "Each stair mysteriously was meant" ("P. L.").

[7] "Dante Gabriel Rossetti: a record and a study," London, 1882, pp. 40-41.

[8] "Pre-Raphaelitism," p. 23, note.

[9] "Autobiographical Notes of William Bell Scott," vol. i., p. 281.

[10] "English Contemporary Art," p. 58.

[11] "Lectures on Architecture and Painting," 1853.

[12] See vol. i., p. 44.

[13] "The return of this school was to a mediaevalism different from the tentative and scrappy mediaevalism of Percy, from the genial but slightly superficial mediaevalism of Scott, and even from the more exact but narrow and distinctly conventional mediaevalism of Tennyson. . . . Moreover, though it may seem whimsical or extravagant to say so, these poets added to the very charm of mediaeval literature, which they thus revived, a subtle something which differentiates it from—which, to our perhaps blind sight, seems to be wanting in—mediaeval literature itself. It is constantly complained (and some of those who cannot go all the way with the complainants can see what they mean) that the graceful and labyrinthine stories, the sweet snatches of song, the quaint drama and legend of the Middle Ages lack—to us—life; that they are shadowy, unreal, tapestry on the wall, not alive even as living pageants are. By the strong touch of modernness which these poets and the best of their followers introduced into their work, they have given the vivification required" (Saintsbury, "Literature of the Nineteenth Century," p. 439). Pre-Raphaelitism "is a direct and legitimate development of the great romantic revival in England. . . . Even Tennyson, much more Scott and Coleridge and their generation, had entered only very partially into the treasures of mediaeval literature, and were hardly at all acquainted with those of mediaeval art. Conybeare, Kemble, Thorpe, Madden were only in Tennyson's own time reviving the study of Old and Middle English. Early French and Early Italian were but just being opened up. Above all, the Oxford Movement directed attention to mediaeval architecture, literature, thought, as had never been the case before in England, and as has never been the case at all in any other country" ("A Short History of English Literature," by G. Saintsbury, London, 1898, p. 779).

[14] "Recollections of Dante Gabriel Rossetti," by T. Hall Caine, London, 1883, p. 41.

[15] "The Collected Works of Dante Gabriel Rossetti." Edited by W. M. Rossetti, two vols., London, 1886.

[16] "Dante Gabriel Rossetti. A Record and a Study," p. 305.

[17] He wrote to Allingham in 1855, apropos of the latter's poem "The Music Master": "I'm not sure that it is not too noble or too resolutely healthy. . . . I must confess to a need in narrative dramatic poetry . . . of something rather 'exciting,' and indeed, I believe, something of the 'romantic' element, to rouse my mind to anything like the moods produced by personal emotion in my own life. That sentence is shockingly ill worded, but Keats' narratives would be of the kind I mean." Theodore Watts ("Encyclopaedia Britannica," article "Rossetti") says that "the purely romantic temper was with Rossetti a more permanent and even a more natural temper than with any other nineteenth-century poet, even including the author of 'Christabel' himself." He thinks that all the French romanticists together do not equal the romantic feeling in a single picture of Rossetti's; and he somewhat capriciously defines the idea at the core of romanticism as that of the evil forces of nature assailing man through his sense of beauty. Analysis run mad! As to Poe, Rossetti certainly preferred him to Wordsworth. Hall Caine testifies that he used to repeat "Ulalume" and "The Raven" from memory; and that the latter suggested his "Blessed Damozel." "I saw that Poe had done the utmost it was possible to do with the grief of the lover on earth, and so I determined to reverse the conditions, and give utterance to the yearning of the loved one in heaven" ("Recollections," p. 384).

[18] "Recollections," p. 140.

[19] Caine's "Recollections," p. 266.

[20] Burne-Jones had been attracted by Rossetti's illustration of Allingham's poem, "The Maids of Elfinmere," and had obtained an introduction to him at London in 1856. It was by Rossetti's persuasion that he gave up the church for the career of an artist. Rossetti and Swinburne some years later (1862) became housemates for a time at Chelsea; and Rossetti and Morris for a number of years, off and on, at Kelmscott.

[21] Sharp's "Dante Gabriel Rossetti," p. 190.

[22] See especially Morris' poem "Rapunzel" in "The Defence of Guenevere."

[23] "I can't say," wrote William Morris, "how it was that Rossetti took no interest in politics; but so it was: of course he was quite Italian in his general turn of thought; though I think he took less interest in Italian politics than in English. . . . The truth is, he cared for nothing but individual and personal matters; chiefly of course in relation to art and literature."

[24] "The Liberal Movement in English Literature," by W. J. Courthope, London, 1885, p. 230.

[25] "Keats was a great poet who sometimes nodded. . . . Coleridge was a muddle-brained metaphysician who, by some strange freak of fortune, turned out a few real poems amongst the dreary flood of inanity which was his wont. . . . I have been through the poems, and find that the only ones which have any interest for me are: (1) 'Ancient Mariner'; (2) 'Christabel'; (3) 'Kubla Khan'; and (4) the poem called 'Love'" (Mackail's "Life of Morris," vol. ii., p. 310).

[26] "The Life of William Morris," by W. J. Mackail, London, 1899, vol. ii., p. 171.

[27] For the Chaucerian manipulation of classical subjects by Pre-Raphaelite artists see "Edward Burne-Jones," by Malcolm Bell, London, 1899.

[28] "The slough of despond which we call the eighteenth century" ("Hopes and Fears for Art," p. 211). "The English language, which under the hands of sycophantic verse-makers had been reduced to a miserable jargon . . . flowed clear, pure, and simple along with the music of Blake and Coleridge. Take those names, the earliest in date among ourselves, as a type of the change that has happened in literature since the time of George II." (ibid., p. 82).

[29] Page 113.

[30] "Sir Edward Burne-Jones told me that Morris would have liked the faces in his pictures less highly finished, and less charged with the concentrated meaning or emotion of the painting . . . and he thought that the dramatic and emotional interest of a picture ought to be diffused throughout it as equally as possible. Such, too, was his own practice in the cognate art of poetry; and this is one reason why his poetry affords so few memorable single lines, and lends itself so little to quotation" (Mackail's "Life of William Morris," vol. ii., p. 272).

[31] "Hopes and Fears for Art," p. 79.

[32] Ibid., p. 83.

[33] See vol. i., pp. 241-43.

[34] Vide supra, p. 153.

[35] "A Short History of English Literature," p. 783.

[36] "Recollections of Rossetti," vol. ii., p. 42.

[37] "King Arthur's Tomb."

[38] 0ne of these, "The Haystack in the Floods," has a tragic power unexcelled by any later work of Morris.

[39] Saintsbury, p. 785.

[40] "King Arthur's Tomb."

[41] "Rapunzel."

[42] "King Arthur's Tomb."

[43] Ibid.

[44] "Rapunzel."

[45] "Golden Wings."

[46] See "Sir Galahad," "The Chapel in Lyoness," "A Good Knight in Prison."

[47] See "Jason," Book xvii., 5-24, and the Envoi to "The Earthly Paradise."

[48] Some of Morris' sources were William of Malmesbury, "Mandeville's Travels," the "Gesta Romanorum," and the "Golden Legend." "The Man Born to be King" was derived from "The Tale of King Constans, the Emperor" in a volume of French romances ("Nouvelles francaises en prose du xiii.ieme Siecle," Paris, 1856) of which he afterwards (1896) made a prose translation. The collection included also "The friendship of Amis and Amile"; "King Florus and the Fair Jehane"; and "The History of Over Sea"; besides "Aucassin and Nicolete," which Morris left out because it had been already rendered into English by Andrew Lang.

[49] His Vergil's "Aeneid," in the old fourteener of Chapman, was published in 1876.

[50] Vide supra, p. 315.

[51] Mackail, i., p. 168.

[52] Lang's translation.

[53] See vol. i., pp. 190-92.

[54] The "Grettis Saga" (1869); the "Voelsunga Saga" (1870); "Three Northern Love Stories" (1875).

[55] These, in order of publication, were "The House of the Wolfings" (1889); "The Roots of the Mountains" (1890); "The Story of the Glittering Plain" (1891); "The Wood Beyond the World" (1894); "The Well at the World's End" (1896); "The Water of the Wondrous Isles" (1897); and "The Sundering Flood" (1898).

[56] Morris became so intolerant of French vocables that he detested and would "fain" have eschewed the very word literature.

[57] This collection is made up of Swinburne's earliest work but is antedated in point of publication by "The Queen Mother, and Rosamond" (1861) dedicated to Rossetti; and "Atalanta in Calydon" (1865). "Poems and Ballads" was inscribed to Burne-Jones.

[58] "Where the lady Mary is, With her five handmaidens whose names Are five sweet symphonies, Cecily, Gertrude, Magdalen, Margaret and Rosalys." —"The Blessed Damozel."

[59] Cf. Browning's "The Heretic's Tragedy," supra, p. 276.

[60] This was the subject of Massinger's "Virgin Martyr."

[61] "Essays and Studies," pp. 85-88.

[62] See "A Study of Ben Jonson"; "John Ford" (in "Essays and Studies"); and the introductions to "Chapman" and "Middleton" in the Mermaid Series.

[63] Vide supra, pp. 90, 109, 330, and vol. i., pp. 221-22, 301.

[64] See especially "A Study of Victor Hugo" (1886); the articles on "L'Homme qui Rit" and "L'Annee Terrible" in "Essays and Studies" (1875); and on Hugo's posthumous writings in "Studies in Prose and Poetry" (1886); "To Victor Hugo" in "Poems and Ballads" (first series); Ibid. (second series); "Victor Hugo in 1877," Ibid.

[65] See "Ave atque Vale" and the memorial verses in English, French, and Latin on Gautier's death in "Poems and Ballads" (second series).

[66] "A Ballad of Francois Villon." Vide supra, pp. 298-99.

[67] "Essays and Studies," pp. 45-49.


Tendencies and Results.

It has been mentioned that romanticism was not purely a matter of aesthetics, without relation to the movement of religious and political thought.[1] But it has also been pointed out that, as compared with what happened in Germany, English romanticism was almost entirely a literary or artistic, and hardly at all a practical force, that there was no such Zusammenhang between poetry and life as was asserted by the German romantic school to be one of their leading principles. Walter Scott, e.g., liked the Middle Ages because they were picturesque; because their social structure rested on a military basis, permitted great individual freedom of action and even lawlessness, and thus gave chances for bold adventure; and because classes and callings were so sharply differentiated—each with its own characteristic manners, dialect, dress—that the surface of society presented a rich variety of colour, in contrast with the drab uniformity of modern life. Perhaps to Scott the ideal life was that of a feudal baron, dwelling in a Gothic mansion, surrounded by retainers and guests, keeping open house, and going a-hunting; and he tried to realise this ideal—so far as it was possible under modern conditions—at Abbotsford. He respected rank and pedigree, and liked to own land. He was a Tory and, in Presbyterian Scotland, he was an Episcopalian. But his mediaeval enthusiasms were checked by all kinds of good sense. He had no wish to restore mediaeval institutions in practice. In spite of the glamour which he threw over feudal life, he knew very well what that life must have been in reality: its insecurity from violence and oppression, its barbarous discomfort; the life of nobles in unplumbed stone castles; the life of burghers in walled towns, without lighting, drainage, or police; the life of countrymen who took their goods to market over miry roads impassable half the year for any wheeled vehicle. As to the English poets whom we have passed in review, from Coleridge to Swinburne, not one of them joined the Catholic Church; and most of them found romantic literary tastes quite consistent with varying shades of political liberalism and theological heterodoxy.

THE ANGLO-CATHOLIC MOVEMENT.—Still even in England, the mediaeval revival in art and letters was not altogether without influence on practice and belief in other spheres of thought. Thus the Oxford Tractarians of 1833 correspond somewhat to the throne-and-altar party in Germany. At Newcastle in 1845, William Bell Scott visited a painted-glass manufactory where he found his friend, Francis Oliphant—afterwards husband of Margaret Oliphant, the novelist—engaged as a designer. He describes Oliphant as no artist by nature, but a man of pietistic feelings who had "thrown himself into the Gothic revival which was, under the Oxford movement, threatening to become a serious antagonist to our present freedom from clerical domination." Scott adds that the master of this glass-making establishment was an uncultivated tradesman, who yet had the business shrewdness to take advantage of "the clerical and architectural proclivities of the day," and had visited and studied the French cathedrals. "These workshops were a surprise to me. Here was the Scotch Presbyterian working-artist, with a short pipe in his mouth, cursing his fate in having to elaborate continual repetitions of saints and virgins—Peter with a key as large as a spade, and a yellow plate behind his head—yet by constant drill in the groove realising the sentiment of Christian art, and at last able to express the abnegation of self, the limitless sadness and even tenderness, in every line of drapery and every twist of the lay figure."

Here is one among many testimonies to the influence of the Oxford movement on the fine arts. It would be easy to call witnesses to prove the reverse—the influence of romance upon the Oxford movement. Newman[2] quotes an article contributed by him to the British Critic for April, 1839, in which he had spoken of Tractarianism "as a reaction from the dry and superficial character of the religious teaching and the literature of the last generation, or century. . . . First, I mentioned the literary influence of Walter Scott, who turned men's minds to the direction of the Middle Ages. 'The general need,' I said, 'of something deeper and more attractive than what had offered itself elsewhere may be considered to have led to his popularity; and by means of his popularity he reacted on his readers, stimulating their mental thirst, feeding their hopes, setting before them visions which, when once seen, are not easily forgotten, and silently indoctrinating them with nobler ideas, which might afterwards be appealed to as first principles.'" Of Coleridge he spoke, in the same paper, as having laid a philosophical basis for church feelings and opinions, and of Southey and Wordsworth as "two living poets, one of whom in the department of fantastic fiction, the other in that of philosophical meditation, have addressed themselves to the same high principles and feelings, and carried forward their readers in the same direction." Newman, like Ruskin, was fond of Scott's verse as well as of his prose.[3]

Professor Gates has well recognised that element in romantic art which affiliates with Catholic tendencies. "Mediaevalism . . . was a distinctive note of the Romantic spirit, and, certainly, Newman was intensely alive to the beauty and the poetic charm of the life of the Middle Ages. One is sometimes tempted to describe him as a great mediaeval ecclesiastic astray in the nineteenth century and heroically striving to remodel modern life in harmony with his temperamental needs. His imagination was possessed with the romantic vision of the greatness of the Mediaeval Church—of its splendour and pomp and dignity, and of its power over the hearts and lives of its members; and the Oxford movement was in its essence an attempt to reconstruct the English Church in harmony with this romantic ideal. . . . As Scott's imagination was fascinated with the picturesque paraphernalia of feudalism—with its jousts, and courts of love, and its coats of mail and buff-jerkins—so Newman's imagination was captivated by the gorgeous ritual and ceremonial, the art and architecture of mediaeval Christianity. . . . Newman sought to revive in the Church a mediaeval faith in its own divine mission and the intense spiritual consciousness of the Middle Ages; he aimed to restore to religion its mystical character, to exalt the sacramental system as the divinely appointed means for the salvation of souls, and to impose once more on men's imaginations the mighty spell of a hierarchical organisation, the direct representative of God in the world's affairs. . . . Both he and Scott substantially ruined themselves through their mediaevalism. Scott's luckless attempt was to place his private and family life upon a feudal basis and to give it mediaeval colour and beauty; Newman undertook a much nobler and more heroic but more intrinsically hopeless task—that of re-creating the whole English Church in harmony with mediaeval conceptions." [4]

All this is most true, and yet it is easy to exaggerate the share which romantic feeling had in the Oxford movement. In his famous apostrophe to Oxford, Matthew Arnold personifies the university as a "queen of romance," an "adorable dreamer whose heart has been so romantic," "spreading her gardens to the moonlight, and whispering from her towers the last enchantments of the Middle Age," and "ever calling us nearer to . . . beauty." Newman himself was a poet, as well as one of the masters of English prose. The movement left an impress upon general literature in books like Keble's "Christian Year" (1827) and "Lyra Innocentium" (1847); in Newman's two novels, "Callista" and "Loss and Gain" (1848), and his "Verses on Various Occasions" (1867); and even found an echo in popular fiction. Grey in Hughes' "Tom Brown at Oxford" represents the Puseyite set. Miss Yonge's "Heir of Redcliffe" and Shorthouse's "John Inglesant" are surcharged with High-Church sentiment. Newman said that Keble made the Church of England poetical. "The author of 'The Christian Year' found the Anglican system all but destitute of this divine element [poetry]; . . . vestments chucked off, lights quenched, jewels stolen, the pomp and circumstances of worship annihilated; . . . the royal arms for the crucifix; huge ugly boxes of wood, sacred to preachers, frowning on the congregation in place of the mysterious altar; and long cathedral aisles unused, railed off, like the tombs (as they were) of what had been and was not." [5] Newman praises in "The Christian Year" what he calls its "sacramental system"; and to the unsympathetic reader it seems as though Keble saw all outdoors through a stained-glass window. The movement had its aesthetic side, and coincided with the revival of church Gothic and with the effort to make church music and ritual richer and more impressive. But, upon the whole, it was more intellectual than aesthetic, an affair of doctrine and church polity rather than of ecclesiology; while the later phase of ritualism into which it has tapered down appears to the profane to be largely a matter of upholstery, given over to people who concern themselves with the carving of lecterns and the embroidery of chasubles and altar cloths; with Lent lilies, antiphonal choirs, and what Carlyle calls the "singular old rubrics" of the English Church and the "three surplices at All-Hallowmas."

Newman was, above all things, a theologian; a subtle reasoner whose relentless logic led him at last to Rome. "From the age of fifteen," he wrote, "dogma has been the fundamental principle of my religion; I know no other religion; I cannot enter into the idea of any other sort of religion; religion, as a mere sentiment, is to me a dream and a mockery." Discussions concerning church ceremonies, liturgy, ritual, he put aside with some impatience. His own tastes were simple to asceticism. Mozley says that Newman and Hurrell Froude induced several of the Oriel fellows to discontinue the use of wine in the common room. "When I came up at Easter, 1825, one of the first standing jokes against the college all over the university was the Oriel tea-pot." [6] Dean Church testifies to the plainness of the services at St. Mary's.[7] Aubrey de Vere reports his urging Newman to make an expedition with him among the Wicklow Mountains, and the latter's "answering with a smile that life was full of work more important than the enjoyment of mountains and lakes. . . . The ecclesiastical imagination and the mountain-worshipping imagination are two very different things. Wordsworth's famous 'Tintern Abbey' describes the river Wye, etc. . . . The one thing which it did not see was the great monastic ruin; . . . and now here is this great theologian, who, when within a few miles of Glendalough Lake, will not visit it." [8]

There is much gentle satire in "Loss and Gain" at the expense of the Ritualistic set in the university who were attracted principally by the external beauty of the Roman Catholic worship. One of these is Bateman, a solemn bore, who takes great interest in "candlesticks, ciboriums, faldstools, lecterns, ante-pend turns, piscinas, roodlofts, and sedilia": wears a long cassock which shows absurdly under the tails of his coat; and would tolerate no architecture but Gothic in English churches, and no music but the Gregorian. Bateman is having a chapel restored in pure fourteenth-century style and dedicated to the Royal Martyr. He is going to convert the chapel into a chantry, and has bought land about it for a cemetery, which is to be decorated with mediaeval monuments in sculpture and painting copied from the frescoes in the Campo Santo at Pisa, of which he has a portfolio full of drawings. "It will be quite sweet," he says, "to hear the vesper-bell tolling over the sullen moor every evening." Then there is White, a weak young aesthete who shocks the company by declaring: "We have no life or poetry in the Church of England; the Catholic Church alone is beautiful. You would see what I mean if you went into a foreign cathedral, or even into one of the Catholic churches in our large towns. The celebrant, deacon and sub-deacon, acolytes with lights, the incense and the chanting all combine to one end, one act of worship." White is much exercised by the question whether a sacristan should wear the short or the long cotta. But he finally marries and settles down into a fat preferment.

Newman's sensitiveness to the beauty of Catholic religion is acute. "Her very being is poetry," he writes. But equally acute is his sense of the danger under which religion lies from the ministration of the arts, lest they cease to be handmaids, and "give the law to Religion." Hence he praises, from an ecclesiastical point of view, the service of the arts in their rudimental state—the rude Gothic sculpture, the simple Gregorian chant.[9] A similar indifference to the merely aesthetic aspects of Catholicism is recorded of many of Newman's associates; of Hurrell Froude, e.g., and of Ward. When Pugin came to Oxford in 1840 to superintend some building at Balliol, he saw folio copies of St. Buenaventura and Aquinas' "Summa Theologiae" lying on Ward's table, and exclaimed, "What an extraordinary thing that so glorious a man as Ward should be living in a room without mullions to the windows!" This being reported to Ward, he asked, "What are mullions? I never heard of them." Ward cared nothing about rood-screens and lancet windows; Newman and Faber preferred the Palladian architecture to the Gothic.[10] Pugin, on the other hand, who had been actually converted to the Roman Church through his enthusiasm for pointed architecture; and who, when asked to dinner, stipulated for Gothic puddings, for which he enclosed designs, was greatly distressed at the carelessness about such matters which he found at Oxford. A certain Dr. Cox was going to pray for the conversion of England, in an old French cope. "What is the use," asked Pugin, "of praying for the Church of England in that cope?" [11]

Of the three or four hundred Anglican clergymen who went over with Newman in 1845, or some years later with Manning, on the decision in the Gorham controversy, few were influenced in any assignable degree by poetic motives. "As regards my friend's theory about my imaginative sympathies having led me astray," writes Aubrey de Vere, "I may remark that they had been repelled, not attracted, by what I thought an excess of ceremonial in the churches and elsewhere when in Italy. . . . It seemed to me too sensuous." [12] Indeed, at the outset of the movement it was not the mediaeval Church, but the primitive Church, the Church of patristic discipline and doctrine, that appealed to the Tractarians. It was the Anglican Church of the seventeenth century, the Church of Andrewes and Herbert and Ken, to which Keble sought to restore the "beauty of holiness"; and those of the Oxford party who remained within the establishment continued true to this ideal. "The Christian Year" is the genuine descendant of George Herbert's "Temple" (1632). What impressed Newman's imagination in the Roman Catholic Church was not so much the romantic beauty of its rites and observances as its imposing unity and authority. He wanted an authoritative standard in matters of belief, a faith which had been held semper et ubique et ab omnibus. The English Church was an Elizabethan compromise. It was Erastian, a creature of the state, threatened by the Reform Bill of 1832, threatened by every liberal wind of opinion. The Thirty-nine Articles meant this to one man and that to another, and there was no court of final appeal to say what they meant. Newman was a convert not of his imagination, but of his longing for consistency and his desire to believe.

There is nothing romantic in either temper or style about Newman's poems, all of which are devotional in subject, and one of which—"The Pillar of the Cloud" ("Lead, Kindly Light") (1833)—is a favourite hymn in most Protestant communions. The most ambitious of these is "The Dream of Gerontius," a sort of mystery play which Sir Henry Taylor used to compare with the "Divine Comedy." Indeed, none but Dante has more poignantly expressed the purgatorial passion, the desire for pain, which makes the spirits in the flames of purification unwilling to intermit their torments even for a moment. The "happy, suffering soul" of Gerontius lies before the throne of the Crucified and sings:

"Take me away, and in the lowest deep There let me be, And there in hope the lone night-watches keep Told out for me." [13]

Some dozen years before the "Tracts for the Times" began to appear at Oxford, a sporadic case of conversion at the sister university offers a closer analogy with the catholicising process among the German romantics. Kenelm Henry Digby, who took his degree at Trinity College in 1819, and devoted himself to the study of mediaeval antiquities and scholastic philosophy, was actually led into the Catholic fold by his enthusiasm for the chivalry romances, as Pugin was by his love of Gothic architecture. His singular book, "The Broad Stone of Honour," was first published in 1822, and repeatedly afterwards in greatly enlarged form. In its final edition it consists of four books entitled respectively "Godefridus," "Tancredus," "Morus" (Sir Thomas More), and "Orlandus," after four representative paladins of Christian chivalry. The title of the whole work was suggested by the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein, the "Gibraltar of the Rhine." Like Fouque, Digby was inspired by the ideal of knighthood, but he emphasises not so much the gallantry of the knight-errant as his religious character as the champion of Holy Church. The book is, loosely speaking, an English "Genie du Christianisme," less brilliantly rhetorical than Chateaubriand, but more sincerely devout. It is poetic and descriptive rather than polemical, though the author constantly expresses his dislike of modern civilisation, and complains with Burke that this is an age of sophists, calculators, and economists. He quotes profusely from German and French reactionaries, like Busching,[14] Fritz Stolberg, Goerres, Friedrich Schlegel, Lamennais, and Joseph de Maistre, and illustrates his topic at every turn from mediaeval chronicles, legendaries, romances, and manuals of chivalry; from the lives of Charlemagne, St. Louis, Godfrey of Bouillon, the Chevalier Bayard, St. Anselm, King Rene, etc., and above all, from the "Morte Darthur." He defends the Crusades, the Templars, and the monastic orders against such historians as Muller, Sismondi, and Hume; is very contemptuous of the Protestant concessions of Bishop Hurd's "Letters on Chivalry and Romance";[15] and, in short, fights a brave battle against the artillery of "the moderns" with weapons borrowed from "the armoury of the invincible knights of old." The book is learned, though unsystematic and discursive, but its most interesting feature is its curiously personal note, its pure spirit of honour and Catholic piety. The enthusiasm of the author extends itself from the institutes of chivalry and the Church to the social and political constitution of the Middle Ages. He is anti-democratic as well as anti-Protestant; upholds monarchy, nobility, the interference of the popes in the affairs of kingdoms, and praises the times when the doctrines of legislation and government all over Europe rested on the foundations of the Church.

A few paragraphs from "The Broad Stone of Honour" will illustrate the author's entrance into the Church through the door of beauty, and his identification of romantic art with "the art Catholic." "It is much to be lamented," he writes, "that the acquaintance of the English reader with the characters and events of the Middle Ages should, for the most part, be derived from the writings of men who were either infidels, or who wrote on every subject connected with religion, with the feelings and opinions of Scotch Presbyterian preachers of the last century." [16] "A distinguishing characteristic of everything belonging to the early and Middle Ages of Christianity is the picturesque. Those who now struggle to cultivate the fine arts are obliged to have recourse to the despised, and almost forgotten, houses, towns, and dresses of this period. As soon as men renounced the philosophy of the Church, it was inevitable that their taste, that the form of objects under their control, should change with their religion; for architects had no longer to provide for the love of solitude, of meditation between sombre pillars, of modesty in apartments with the lancet-casement. They were not to study duration and solidity in an age when men were taught to regard the present as their only concern. When nothing but exact knowledge was sought, the undefined sombre arches were to be removed to make way for lines which would proclaim their brevity, and for a blaze of light which might correspond with the mind of those who rejected every proposition that led beyond the reach of the senses. . . . So completely is it beyond the skill of the painter or the poet to render bearable the productions of the moderns, . . . and so fast are the poor neglected works of Christian antiquity falling to ruin, that it is hard to conceive how the fine arts can be cultivated after another century has elapsed; for when children are taught in infant schools to love accounts from their cradle, and to study political economy before they have heard of the Red Cross Knight or the Wild Hunter, the manner and taste of such an age will smother the sparks of nature." [17] The Church summoned all natural beauty to the ministry of religion. "Flowers bloomed on the altars; men could behold the blue heaven through those tall, narrow-pointed eastern windows of the Gothic choir as they sat at vespers. . . . The cloud of incense breathed a sweet perfume; the voice of youth was tuned to angelic hymns; and the golden sun of the morning, shining through the coloured pane, cast its purple or its verdant beam on the embroidered vestments and marble pavement." [18] Or read the extended rhapsody which closes the first volume, where, to counteract the attractions of classic lands, the author passes in long review the sites and monuments of romance in England, Germany, Spain, Italy, and France. Aubrey de Vere says that nothing had been so "impressive, suggestive, and spiritually helpful" to him as Newman's "Lectures on Anglican Difficulties" (1850), "with the exception of the 'Divina Commedia' and Kenelm Digby's wholly uncontroversial 'Mores Catholici'" (1831-40).

THE STUDY OF MEDIAEVAL ART.—The correlation of romantic poetry, Catholic worship, and mediaeval art has been indicated in the chapter upon the Pre-Raphaelites, as well as in the foregoing section of the present chapter. But the three departments have other tangential points which should not pass without some further mention. The revival of Gothic architecture which began with Horace Walpole[19] went on in an unintelligent way through the eighteenth century. One of the queerest monuments of this new taste—a successor on a larger scale to Strawberry Hill—was Fonthill Abbey, near Salisbury, that prodigious folly to which Beckford, the eccentric author of "Vathek," devoted a great share of his almost fabulous wealth. It was begun in 1796, took nearly thirty years in building, employed at one time four hundred and sixty men, and cost over 273,000 pounds. Its most conspicuous feature was an octagonal tower 278 feet high, so ill constructed that it shortly tumbled down into a heap of ruins.[20]

The growing taste for mediaeval architecture was powerfully reinforced by the popularity of Walter Scott's writings. But Abbotsford is evidence enough of the superficiality of his own knowledge of the art; and during the first half of the nineteenth century, Gothic design was applied not to churches, but to the more ambitious classes of domestic architecture. The country houses of the nobility and landed gentry were largely built or rebuilt in what was known as the castellated style.[21] Meanwhile a truer understanding of the principles of pointed architecture was being helped by the publication of archaeological works like Britton's "Cathedral Antiquities" (1814-35), Milner's "Treatise on Ecclesiastical Architecture" (1811), and Rickman's "Ancient Examples of Gothic Architecture" (1819). The parts of individual buildings, such as Westminster Abbey and Lincoln Cathedral, were carefully studied and illustrated with plans and sections drawn to scale, and measurement was substituted for guesswork. But the real restorer of ecclesiastical Gothic in England was Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, an enthusiast, nay, a fanatic, in the cause; whose "Contrasts" (1836) is not only a landmark in the history of the revival of mediaeval art, but a most instructive illustration of the manner in which an aesthetic admiration of the Middle Ages has sometimes involved an acceptance of their religious beliefs and social principles. Three generations of this family are associated with the rise of modern Gothic. The elder Pugin (Augustus Charles) was a French emigre who came to England during the Revolution, and gained much reputation as an architectural draughtsman, publishing, among other things, "Specimens of Gothic Architecture," in 1821. The son of A. W. N. Pugin, Edward Welby (1834-73), also carried on his father's work as a practical architect and a writer.

Pugin joined the Roman Catholic Church just about the time when the "Tracts for the Times" began to be issued. His "Contrasts: or a Parallel between the Architecture of the Fifteenth and Nineteenth Centuries" is fiercely polemical, and displays all the zeal of a fresh convert. In the preface to the second edition he says that "when this work was first brought out [1836], the very name of Christian art was almost unknown"; and he affirms, in a footnote, that in the whole of the national museum, "there is not even one room, one shelf, devoted to the exquisite productions of the Middle Ages." The book is a jeremiad over the condition to which the cathedrals and other remains of English ecclesiastical architecture had been reduced by the successive spoliations and mutilations in the times of Henry VIII., Edward VI., and Cromwell, and by the "vile" restorations of later days. It maintains the thesis that pointed architecture is not only vastly superior artistically, but that it is the only style appropriate to Christian churches; "in it alone we find the faith of Christianity embodied and its practices illustrated." Pugin denounces alike the Renaissance and the Reformation, "those two monsters, revived Paganism and Protestantism." There is no chance, he thinks, for a successful revival of Gothic except in a return to Catholic faith. "The mechanical part of Gothic architecture is pretty well understood, but it is the principles which influenced ancient compositions, and the soul which appears in all the former works, which is so lamentably deficient. . . . 'Tis they alone that can restore pointed architecture to its former glorious state; without it all that is done will be a tame and heartless copy." He points out the want of sympathy between "these vast edifices" and the Protestant worship, which might as well be carried on in a barn or conventicle or square meeting-house. Hence, the nave has been blocked up with pews, the choir or transept partitioned off to serve as a parish church, roodloft and chancel screen removed, the altar displaced by a table, and the sedilia scattered about in odd corners. The contrast between old and new is strikingly presented, by way of object lessons, in a series of plates, arranged side by side, and devised with a great deal of satirical humour. There is, e.g., a Catholic town in 1440, rich with its ancient stone bridge, its battlemented wall and city gate, and the spires and towers of St. Marie's Abbey, the Guild Hall, Queen's Cross, St. Cuthbert's Church, and the half-timbered, steep-roofed, gabled houses of the burgesses. Over against it is the picture of the same town in 1840, hideous with the New Jail, Gas Works, Lunatic Asylum, Wesleyan Chapel, New Town Hall, Iron Works, Quaker Meeting-house, Socialist Hall of Science, and other abominations of a prosperous modern industrial community. Or there is the beautiful old western doorway of St. Mary Overies, destroyed in 1838. The door stands invitingly open, showing the noble interior with kneeling worshippers scattered here and there over the unobstructed pavement. Opposite is the new door, grimly closed, with a printed notice nailed upon it: "Divine Service on Sundays. Evening lecture." A separate plate exhibits a single compartment of the old door curiously carved in oak; and beside it a compartment of the new door in painted deal and plain as a pike-staff.

But the author is forced to confess that the case is not much better in Catholic countries, where stained windows have been displaced by white panes, frescoed ceilings covered with a yellow wash, and the "bastard pagan style" introduced among the venerable sanctities of old religion. English travellers return from the Continent disgusted with the tinsel ornament and theatrical trumperies that they have seen in foreign churches. "I do not think," he concludes, "the architecture of our English churches would have fared much better under a Catholic hierarchy. . . . It is a most melancholy truth that there does not exist much sympathy of idea between a great portion of the present Catholic body in England and their glorious ancestors. . . . Indeed, such is the total absence of solemnity in a great portion of modern Catholic buildings in England, that I do not hesitate to say that a few crumbling walls and prostrate arches of a religious edifice raised during the days of faith will convey a far stronger religious impression to the mind than the actual service of half the chapels in England."

In short, Pugin's Catholicism, though doubtless sincere, was prompted by his professional feelings. His reverence was given to the mediaeval Church, not to her—aesthetically—degenerate daughter; and it extended to the whole system of life and thought peculiar to the Middle Ages. "Men must learn," he wrote, "that the period hitherto called dark and ignorant far excelled our age in wisdom, that art ceased when it is said to have been revived, that superstition was piety, and bigotry faith." In many of his views Pugin anticipates Ruskin. He did not like St. Peter's at Rome, and said: "If those students who journey to Italy to study art would follow the steps of the great Overbeck,[22] . . . they would indeed derive inestimable benefit. Italian art of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries is the beau ideal of Christian purity, and its imitation cannot be too strongly inculcated; but when it forsook its pure, mystical, and ancient types, to follow those of sensual Paganism, it sunk to a fearful state of degradation."

As a practising architect Pugin naturally received and executed many commissions for Catholic churches. But the Catholic Church in England did much less, even in proportion to its resources, than the Anglican establishment towards promoting the Gothic revival. Eastlake says that Pugin's "strength as an artist lay in the design of ornamental detail"; and that he helped importantly in the revival of the mediaeval taste in stained glass, metal work, furniture, carpets, and paper-hangings. Several of his works have to do with various departments of ecclesiology; chancel-screens, roodlofts, church ornaments, symbols and costumes, and the like. But the only one that need here be mentioned is the once very influential "True Principles of Pointed or Christian Architecture" (1841). This revival of ecclesiastical Gothic fell in with the reform of Anglican ritual, which was one of the features or sequences of the Oxford movement, and the two tendencies afforded each other mutual support.

Evidence of a newly awakened interest in mediaeval art is furnished by a number of works of a more systematic character which appeared about the middle of the century, dealing not only with architecture, but with the early schools of sculpture and painting. One of these was "Sketches of the History of Christian Art" (3 vols., 1847) by Alexander William Crawford Lindsay, twenty-fifth Earl of Crawford. In the preface to the reprint of this book in 1885, Lady Crawford speaks of it as a pioneer in an "early time of unawakened interest." Ruskin refers to it repeatedly—always with respect—and acknowledges in "Praeterita" that Lord Lindsay knew a great deal more about Italian art than he himself did. The book reviews in detail the works of Christian builders, sculptors and painters, both in Italy and north of the Alps, from the time of the Roman catacombs and basilicas down to the Renaissance. It gives likewise a history of Christian mythology, iconography and symbolism; all that great body of popular beliefs about angels, devils, saints, martyrs, anchorites, miracles, etc., which Protestant iconoclasm and the pagan spirit of the cinque-cento had long ago swept into the dust-bin as sheer idolatry and superstition. Lord Lindsay's treatment of these matters is reverential, though his own Protestantism is proof against their charm. His tone is moderate; he has no quarrel with the Renaissance, and professes respect for classical art, which seems to him, however, on a lower spiritual plane than the Christian. He remarks that all mediaeval art was religious; the only concession to the secular being found in the illuminations of some of the chivalry romances. Gothic architecture was the expression of Teutonic genius, which is realistic and stands for the reason, while Italian sacred painting was idealistic and stands for the imagination. In the most perfect art, as in the highest type of religion, reason and imagination are in balance. Hence, the influence of Van Eyck, Memling, and Duerer on Italian painters was wholesome; and the Reformation, the work of the reasoning Teutonic mind, is not to be condemned. Reason is to blame only when it goes too far and extinguishes imagination.[23]

"The sympathies of the North, or of the Teutonic race, are with Death, as those of the Southern, or classic, are with Life. . . . The exquisitely beautiful allegorical tale of 'Sintram and His Companions' by La Motte Fouque, was founded on the 'Knight and Death' of Albert Duerer, and I cannot but think that Milton had the 'Melancholy' in his remembrance while writing 'Il Penseroso.'" [24] The author thinks that, whatever may be true of Gothic architecture—an art less national than ecclesiastical—"sculpture and painting, on the one hand, and the spirit of chivalry on the other, have usually flourished in an inverse ratio one to the other, and it is not therefore in England, France, or Spain, but among the free cities of Italy and Germany that we must look for their rise." [25] I give these conclusions—so opposite to those of Catholic mediaevalists like Digby and Pugin—because they illustrate the temper of Lindsay's book. One more quotation I will venture to add for its agreement with Uvedale Price's definition of the picturesque:[26] "The picturesque in art answers to the romantic in poetry; both stand opposed to the classic or formal school—both may be defined as the triumph of nature over art, luxuriating in the decay, not of her elemental and ever-lasting beauty, but of the bonds by which she had been enthralled by man. It is only in ruin that a building of pure architecture, whether Greek or Gothic, becomes picturesque." [27]

Lord Lindsay's "Sketches" contained no illustrations. Mrs. Jameson's very popular series on "Sacred and Legendary Art" was profusely embellished with wood-cuts and etchings. The first number of the series, "Legends of the Saints and Martyrs," was begun in 1842, but issued only in 1848. "Legends of the Monastic Orders" followed in 1850; "Legends of the Madonna" in 1852; and the "History of Our Lord" (completed by Lady Eastlake) in 1860. Mrs. Jameson had an imperfect knowledge of technique, and her work was descriptive rather than critical. But it probably did more to enlist the interest of the general reader in Christian art than Lord Lindsay's more learned volumes; or possibly even than the brilliant but puzzling rhetoric of Ruskin.

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