Selections from the Prose Works of Matthew Arnold
by Matthew Arnold
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Yet there is a very important difference between the defeat inflicted on Hellenism by Christianity eighteen hundred years ago, and the check given to the Renascence by Puritanism. The greatness of the difference is well measured by the difference in force, beauty, significance, and usefulness, between primitive Christianity and Protestantism. Eighteen hundred years ago it was altogether the hour of Hebraism. Primitive Christianity was legitimately and truly the ascendant force in the world at that time, and the way of mankind's progress lay through its full development. Another hour in man's development began in the fifteenth century, and the main road of his progress then lay for a time through Hellenism. Puritanism was no longer the central current of the world's progress, it was a side stream crossing the central current and checking it. The cross and the check may have been necessary and salutary, but that does not do away with the essential difference between the main stream of man's advance and a cross or side stream. For more than two hundred years the main stream of man's advance has moved towards knowing himself and the world, seeing things as they are, spontaneity of consciousness; the main impulse of a great part, and that the strongest part, of our nation has been towards strictness of conscience. They have made the secondary the principal at the wrong moment, and the principal they have at the wrong moment treated as secondary. This contravention of the natural order has produced, as such contravention always must produce, a certain confusion and false movement, of which we are now beginning to feel, in almost every direction, the inconvenience. In all directions our habitual causes of action seem to be losing efficaciousness, credit, and control, both with others and even with ourselves. Everywhere we see the beginnings of confusion, and we want a clue to some sound order and authority. This we can only get by going back upon the actual instincts and forces which rule our life, seeing them as they really are, connecting them with other instincts and forces, and enlarging our whole view and rule of life.


When we talk of man's advance towards his full humanity, we think of an advance, not along one line only, but several. Certain races and nations, as we know, are on certain lines preeminent and representative. The Hebrew nation was preeminent on one great line. "What nation," it was justly asked by their lawgiver, "hath statutes and judgments so righteous as the law which I set before you this day? Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations which shall hear all these statutes and say: Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people!" The Hellenic race was preeminent on other lines. Isocrates[460] could say of Athens: "Our city has left the rest of the world so far behind in philosophy and eloquence, that those educated by Athens have become the teachers of the rest of mankind; and so well has she done her part, that the name of Greeks seems no longer to stand for a race but to stand for intelligence itself, and they who share in our culture are called Greeks even before those who are merely of our own blood." The power of intellect and science, the power of beauty, the power of social life and manners,— these are what Greece so felt, and fixed, and may stand for. They are great elements in our humanization. The power of conduct is another great element; and this was so felt and fixed by Israel that we can never with justice refuse to permit Israel, in spite of all his shortcomings, to stand for it.

So you see that in being humanized we have to move along several lines, and that on certain lines certain nations find their strength and take a lead. We may elucidate the thing yet further. Nations now existing may be said to feel or to have felt the power of this or that element in our humanization so signally that they are characterized by it. No one who knows this country would deny that it is characterized, in a remarkable degree, by a sense of the power of conduct. Our feeling for religion is one part of this; our industry is another. What foreigners so much remark in us—our public spirit, our love, amidst all our liberty, for public order and for stability—are parts of it too. Then the power of beauty was so felt by the Italians that their art revived, as we know, the almost lost idea of beauty, and the serious and successful pursuit of it. Cardinal Antonelli,[461] speaking to me about the education of the common people in Rome, said that they were illiterate, indeed, but whoever mingled with them at any public show, and heard them pass judgment on the beauty or ugliness of what came before them,—"e brutto," "e bello,"—would find that their judgment agreed admirably, in general, with just what the most cultivated people would say. Even at the present time, then, the Italians are preeminent in feeling the power of beauty. The power of knowledge, in the same way, is eminently an influence with the Germans. This by no means implies, as is sometimes supposed, a high and fine general culture. What it implies is a strong sense of the necessity of knowing scientifically, as the expression is, the things which have to be known by us; of knowing them systematically, by the regular and right process, and in the only real way. And this sense the Germans especially have. Finally, there is the power of social life and manners. And even the Athenians themselves, perhaps, have hardly felt this power so much as the French.

Voltaire, in a famous passage[462] where he extols the age of Louis the Fourteenth and ranks it with the chief epochs in the civilization of our race, has to specify the gift bestowed on us by the age of Louis the Fourteenth, as the age of Pericles, for instance, bestowed on us its art and literature, and the Italian Renascence its revival of art and literature. And Voltaire shows all his acuteness in fixing on the gift to name. It is not the sort of gift which we expect to see named. The great gift of the age of Louis the Fourteenth to the world, says Voltaire, was this: l'esprit de societe, the spirit of society, the social spirit. And another French writer, looking for the good points in the old French nobility, remarks that this at any rate is to be said in their favor: they established a high and charming ideal of social intercourse and manners, for a nation formed to profit by such an ideal, and which has profited by it ever since. And in America, perhaps, we see the disadvantages of having social equality before there has been any such high standard of social life and manners formed.

We are not disposed in England, most of us, to attach all this importance to social intercourse and manners. Yet Burke says: "There ought to be a system of manners in every nation which a well-formed mind would be disposed to relish." And the power of social life and manners is truly, as we have seen, one of the great elements in our humanization. Unless we have cultivated it, we are incomplete. The impulse for cultivating it is not, indeed, a moral impulse. It is by no means identical with the moral impulse to help our neighbor and to do him good. Yet in many ways it works to a like end. It brings men together, makes them feel the need of one another, be considerate of one another, understand one another. But, above all things, it is a promoter of equality. It is by the humanity of their manners that men are made equal. "A man thinks to show himself my equal," says Goethe, "by being grob,—that is to say, coarse and rude; he does not show himself my equal, he shows himself grob." But a community having humane manners is a community of equals, and in such a community great social inequalities have really no meaning, while they are at the same time a menace and an embarrassment to perfect ease of social intercourse. A community with the spirit of society is eminently, therefore, a community with the spirit of equality. A nation with a genius for society, like the French or the Athenians, is irresistibly drawn towards equality. From the first moment when the French people, with its congenital sense for the power of social intercourse and manners, came into existence, it was on the road to equality. When it had once got a high standard of social manners abundantly established, and at the same time the natural, material necessity for the feudal inequality of classes and property pressed upon it no longer, the French people introduced equality and made the French Revolution. It was not the spirit of philanthropy which mainly impelled the French to that Revolution, neither was it the spirit of envy, neither was it the love of abstract ideas, though all these did something towards it; but what did most was the spirit of society.

The well-being of the many comes out more and more distinctly, in proportion as time goes on, as the object we must pursue. An individual or a class, concentrating their efforts upon their own well-being exclusively, do but beget troubles both for others and for themselves also. No individual life can be truly prosperous, passed, as Obermann says, in the midst of men who suffer; passee au milieu des generations qui souffrent. To the noble soul, it cannot be happy; to the ignoble, it cannot be secure. Socialistic and communistic schemes have generally, however, a fatal defect; they are content with too low and material a standard of well-being. That instinct of perfection, which is the master-power in humanity, always rebels at this, and frustrates the work. Many are to be made partakers of well-being, true; but the ideal of well-being is not to be, on that account, lowered and coarsened. M. de Laveleye,[463] the political economist, who is a Belgian and a Protestant, and whose testimony, therefore, we may the more readily take about France, says that France, being the country of Europe where the soil is more divided than anywhere except in Switzerland and Norway, is at the same time the country where material well-being is most widely spread, where wealth has of late years increased most, and where population is least outrunning the limits, which, for the comfort and progress of the working classes themselves, seem necessary. This may go for a good deal. It supplies an answer to what Sir Erskine May[464] says about the bad effects of equality upon French prosperity. But I will quote to you from Mr. Hamerton[465] what goes, I think, for yet more. Mr. Hamerton is an excellent observer and reporter, and has lived for many years in France. He says of the French peasantry that they are exceedingly ignorant. So they are. But he adds: "They are at the same time full of intelligence; their manners are excellent, they have delicate perceptions, they have tact, they have a certain refinement which a brutalized peasantry could not possibly have. If you talk to one of them at his own home, or in his field, he will enter into conversation with you quite easily, and sustain his part in a perfectly becoming way, with a pleasant combination of dignity and quiet humor. The interval between him and a Kentish laborer is enormous."

This is, indeed, worth your attention. Of course all mankind are, as Mr. Gladstone says, of our own flesh and blood. But you know how often it happens in England that a cultivated person, a person of the sort that Mr. Charles Sumner[466] describes, talking to one of the lower class, or even of the middle class, feels and cannot but feel, that there is somehow a wall of partition between himself and the other, that they seem to belong to two different worlds. Thoughts, feelings, perceptions, susceptibilities, language, manners,—everything is different. Whereas, with a French peasant, the most cultivated man may find himself in sympathy, may feel that he is talking to an equal. This is an experience which has been made a thousand times, and which may be made again any day. And it may be carried beyond the range of mere conversation, it may be extended to things like pleasures, recreations, eating and drinking, and so on. In general the pleasures, recreations, eating and drinking of English people, when once you get below that class which Mr. Charles Sumner calls the class of gentlemen, are to one of that class unpalatable and impossible. In France there is not this incompatibility. Whether he mix with high or low, the gentleman feels himself in a world not alien or repulsive, but a world where people make the same sort of demands upon life, in things of this sort, which he himself does. In all these respects France is the country where the people, as distinguished from a wealthy refined class, most lives what we call a humane life, the life of civilized man.

Of course, fastidious persons can and do pick holes in it. There is just now, in France, a noblesse newly revived, full of pretension, full of airs and graces and disdains; but its sphere is narrow, and out of its own sphere no one cares very much for it. There is a general equality in a humane kind of life. This is the secret of the passionate attachment with which France inspires all Frenchmen, in spite of her fearful troubles, her checked prosperity, her disconnected units, and the rest of it. There is so much of the goodness and agreeableness of life there, and for so many. It is the secret of her having been able to attach so ardently to her the German and Protestant people of Alsace,[467] while we have been so little able to attach the Celtic and Catholic people of Ireland. France brings the Alsatians into a social system so full of the goodness and agreeableness of life; we offer to the Irish no such attraction. It is the secret, finally, of the prevalence which we have remarked in other continental countries of a legislation tending, like that of France, to social equality. The social system which equality creates in France is, in the eyes of others, such a giver of the goodness and agreeableness of life, that they seek to get the goodness by getting the equality.

Yet France has had her fearful troubles, as Sir Erskine May justly says. She suffers too, he adds, from demoralization and intellectual stoppage. Let us admit, if he likes, this to be true also. His error is that he attributes all this to equality. Equality, as we have seen, has brought France to a really admirable and enviable pitch of humanization in one important line. And this, the work of equality, is so much a good in Sir Erskine May's eyes, that he has mistaken it for the whole of which it is a part, frankly identifies it with civilization, and is inclined to pronounce France the most civilized of nations.

But we have seen how much goes to full humanization, to true civilization, besides the power of social life and manners. There is the power of conduct, the power of intellect and knowledge, the power of beauty. The power of conduct is the greatest of all. And without in the least wishing to preach, I must observe, as a mere matter of natural fact and experience, that for the power of conduct France has never had anything like the same sense which she has had for the power of social life and manners. Michelet,[468] himself a Frenchman, gives us the reason why the Reformation did not succeed in France. It did not succeed, he says, because la France ne voulait pas de reforme morale— moral reform France would not have; and the Reformation was above all a moral movement. The sense in France for the power of conduct has not greatly deepened, I think, since. The sense for the power of intellect and knowledge has not been adequate either. The sense for beauty has not been adequate. Intelligence and beauty have been, in general, but so far reached, as they can be and are reached by men who, of the elements of perfect humanization, lay thorough hold upon one only,—the power of social intercourse and manners. I speak of France in general; she has had, and she has, individuals who stand out and who form exceptions. Well, then, if a nation laying no sufficient hold upon the powers of beauty and knowledge, and a most failing and feeble hold upon the power of conduct, comes to demoralization and intellectual stoppage and fearful troubles, we need not be inordinately surprised. What we should rather marvel at is the healing and bountiful operation of Nature, whereby the laying firm hold on one real element in our humanization has had for France results so beneficent.

And thus, when Sir Erskine May gets bewildered between France's equality and fearful troubles on the one hand, and the civilization of France on the other, let us suggest to him that perhaps he is bewildered by his data because he combines them ill. France has not exemplary disaster and ruin as the fruits of equality, and at the same time, and independently of this, an exemplary civilization. She has a large measure of happiness and success as the fruits of equality, and she has a very large measure of dangers and troubles as the fruits of something else.

We have more to do, however, than to help Sir Erskine May out of his scrape about France. We have to see whether the considerations which we have been employing may not be of use to us about England.

We shall not have much difficulty in admitting whatever good is to be said of ourselves, and we will try not to be unfair by excluding all that is not so favorable. Indeed, our less favorable side is the one which we should be the most anxious to note, in order that we may mend it. But we will begin with the good. Our people has energy and honesty as its good characteristics. We have a strong sense for the chief power in the life and progress of man,—the power of conduct. So far we speak of the English people as a whole. Then we have a rich, refined, and splendid aristocracy. And we have, according to Mr. Charles Sumner's acute and true remark, a class of gentlemen, not of the nobility, but well-bred, cultivated, and refined, larger than is to be found in any other country. For these last we have Mr. Sumner's testimony. As to the splendor of our aristocracy, all the world is agreed. Then we have a middle class and a lower class; and they, after all, are the immense bulk of the nation.

Let us see how the civilization of these classes appears to a Frenchman, who has witnessed, in his own country, the considerable humanization of these classes by equality. To such an observer our middle class divides itself into a serious portion and a gay or rowdy portion; both are a marvel to him. With the gay or rowdy portion we need not much concern ourselves; we shall figure it to our minds sufficiently if we conceive it as the source of that war-song produced in these recent days of excitement:—

"We don't want to fight, but by jingo, if we do, We've got the ships, we've got the men, and we're got the money too."[469]

We may also partly judge its standard of life, and the needs of its nature, by the modern English theatre, perhaps the most contemptible in Europe. But the real strength of the English middle class is in its serious portion. And of this a Frenchman, who was here some little time ago as the correspondent, I think, of the Siecle newspaper, and whose letters were afterwards published in a volume, writes as follows. He had been attending some of the Moody and Sankey[470] meetings, and he says: "To understand the success of Messrs. Moody and Sankey, one must be familiar with English manners, one must know the mind-deadening influence of a narrow Biblism, one must have experienced the sense of acute ennui, which the aspect and the frequentation of this great division of English society produce in others, the want of elasticity and the chronic ennui which characterize this class itself, petrified in a narrow Protestantism and in a perpetual reading of the Bible."

You know the French;—a little more Biblism, one may take leave to say, would do them no harm. But an audience like this—and here, as I said, is the advantage of an audience like this—will have no difficulty in admitting the amount of truth which there is in the Frenchman's picture. It is the picture of a class which, driven by its sense for the power of conduct, in the beginning of the seventeenth century entered,—as I have more than once said, and as I may more than once have occasion in future to say,—entered the prison of Puritanism, and had the key turned upon its spirit there for two hundred years.[471] They did not know, good and earnest people as they were, that to the building up of human life there belong all those other powers also,—the power of intellect and knowledge, the power of beauty, the power of social life and manners. And something, by what they became, they gained, and the whole nation with them; they deepened and fixed for this nation the sense of conduct. But they created a type of life and manners, of which they themselves, indeed, are slow to recognize the faults, but which is fatally condemned by its hideousness, its immense ennui, and against which the instinct of self-preservation in humanity rebels.

Partisans fight against facts in vain. Mr. Goldwin Smith,[472] a writer of eloquence and power, although too prone to acerbity, is a partisan of the Puritans, and of the nonconformists who are the special inheritors of the Puritan tradition. He angrily resents the imputation upon that Puritan type of life, by which the life of our serious middle class has been formed, that it was doomed to hideousness, to immense ennui. He protests that it had beauty, amenity, accomplishment. Let us go to facts. Charles the First, who, with all his faults, had the just idea that art and letters are great civilizers, made, as you know, a famous collection of pictures,—our first National Gallery. It was, I suppose, the best collection at that time north of the Alps. It contained nine Raphaels, eleven Correggios, twenty-eight Titians. What became of that collection? The journals of the House of Commons will tell you. There you may see the Puritan Parliament disposing of this Whitehall or York House collection as follows: "Ordered, that all such pictures and statues there as are without any superstition, shall be forthwith sold.... Ordered, that all such pictures there as have the representation of the Second Person in the Trinity upon them, shall be forthwith burnt. Ordered, that all such pictures there as have the representation of the Virgin Mary upon them, shall be forthwith burnt." There we have the weak side of our parliamentary government and our serious middle class. We are incapable of sending Mr. Gladstone to be tried at the Old Bailey because he proclaims his antipathy to Lord Beaconsfield. A majority in our House of Commons is incapable of hailing, with frantic laughter and applause, a string of indecent jests against Christianity and its Founder. But we are not, or were not incapable of producing a Parliament which burns or sells the masterpieces of Italian art. And one may surely say of such a Puritan Parliament, and of those who determine its line for it, that they had not the spirit of beauty.

What shall we say of amenity? Milton was born a humanist, but the Puritan temper, as we know, mastered him. There is nothing more unlovely and unamiable than Milton the Puritan disputant. Some one answers his Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce. "I mean not," rejoins Milton, "to dispute philosophy with this pork, who never read any." However, he does reply to him, and throughout the reply Milton's great joke is, that his adversary, who was anonymous, is a serving-man. "Finally, he winds up his text with much doubt and trepidation; for it may be his trenchers were not scraped, and that which never yet afforded corn of favor to his noddle—the salt-cellar—was not rubbed; and therefore, in this haste, easily granting that his answers fall foul upon each other, and praying you would not think he writes as a prophet, but as a man, he runs to the black jack, fills his flagon, spreads the table, and serves up dinner."[473] There you have the same spirit of urbanity and amenity, as much of it, and as little, as generally informs the religious controversies of our Puritan middle class to this day.

But Mr. Goldwin Smith[474] insists, and picks out his own exemplar of the Puritan type of life and manners; and even here let us follow him. He picks out the most favorable specimen he can find,—Colonel Hutchinson,[475] whose well-known memoirs, written by his widow, we have all read with interest. "Lucy Hutchinson," says Mr. Goldwin Smith, "is painting what she thought a perfect Puritan would be; and her picture presents to us not a coarse, crop-eared, and snuffling fanatic, but a highly accomplished, refined, gallant, and most amiable, though religious and seriously minded, gentleman." Let us, I say, in this example of Mr. Goldwin Smith's own choosing, lay our finger upon the points where this type deflects from the truly humane ideal.

Mrs. Hutchinson relates a story which gives us a good notion of what the amiable and accomplished social intercourse, even of a picked Puritan family, was. Her husband was governor of Nottingham. He had occasion, she said, "to go and break up a private meeting in the cannoneer's chamber"; and in the cannoneer's chamber "were found some notes concerning paedobaptism,[476] which, being brought into the governor's lodgings, his wife having perused them and compared them with the Scriptures, found not what to say against the truths they asserted concerning the mis-application of that ordinance to infants." Soon afterwards she expects her confinement, and communicates the cannoneer's doubts about paedobaptism to her husband. The fatal cannoneer makes a breach in him too. "Then he bought and read all the eminent treatises on both sides, which at that time came thick from the presses, and still was cleared in the error of the paedobaptists." Finally, Mrs. Hutchinson is confined. Then the governor "invited all the ministers to dinner, and propounded his doubt and the ground thereof to them. None of them could defend their practice with any satisfactory reason, but the tradition of the Church from the primitive times, and their main buckler of federal holiness, which Tombs and Denne had excellently overthrown. He and his wife then, professing themselves unsatisfied, desired their opinions." With the opinions I will not trouble you, but hasten to the result: "Whereupon that infant was not baptised."

No doubt to a large division of English society at this very day, that sort of dinner and discussion, and indeed, the whole manner of life and conversation here suggested by Mrs. Hutchinson's narrative, will seem both natural and amiable, and such as to meet the needs of man as a religious and social creature. You know the conversation which reigns in thousands of middle-class families at this hour, about nunneries, teetotalism, the confessional, eternal punishment, ritualism, disestablishment. It goes wherever the class goes which is moulded on the Puritan type of life. In the long winter evenings of Toronto Mr. Goldwin Smith has had, probably, abundant experience of it. What is its enemy? The instinct of self-preservation in humanity. Men make crude types and try to impose them, but to no purpose. "L'homme s'agite, Dieu le mene,"[477] says Bossuet. "There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Eternal, that shall stand."[478] Those who offer us the Puritan type of life offer us a religion not true, the claims of intellect and knowledge not satisfied, the claim of beauty not satisfied, the claim of manners not satisfied. In its strong sense for conduct that life touches truth; but its other imperfections hinder it from employing even this sense aright. The type mastered our nation for a time. Then came the reaction. The nation said: "This type, at any rate, is amiss; we are not going to be all like that!" The type retired into our middle class, and fortified itself there. It seeks to endure, to emerge, to deny its own imperfections, to impose itself again;—impossible! If we continue to live, we must outgrow it. The very class in which it is rooted, our middle class, will have to acknowledge the type's inadequacy, will have to acknowledge the hideousness, the immense ennui of the life which this type has created, will have to transform itself thoroughly. It will have to admit the large part of truth which there is in the criticisms of our Frenchman, whom we have too long forgotten.

After our middle class he turns his attention to our lower class. And of the lower and larger portion of this, the portion not bordering on the middle class and sharing its faults, he says: "I consider this multitude to be absolutely devoid, not only of political principles, but even of the most simple notions of good and evil. Certainly it does not appeal, this mob, to the principles of '89, which you English make game of; it does not insist on the rights of man; what it wants is beer, gin, and fun."[479]

That is a description of what Mr. Bright[480] would call the residuum, only our author seems to think the residuum a very large body. And its condition strikes him with amazement and horror. And surely well it may. Let us recall Mr. Hamerton's account of the most illiterate class in France; what an amount of civilization they have notwithstanding! And this is always to be understood, in hearing or reading a Frenchman's praise of England. He envies our liberty, our public spirit, our trade, our stability. But there is always a reserve in his mind. He never means for a moment that he would like to change with us. Life seems to him so much better a thing in France for so many more people, that, in spite of the fearful troubles of France, it is best to be a Frenchman. A Frenchman might agree with Mr. Cobden,[481] that life is good in England for those people who have at least L5000 a year. But the civilization of that immense majority who have not L5000 a year, or, L500, or even L100,—of our middle and lower class,—seems to him too deplorable.

And now what has this condition of our middle and lower class to tell us about equality? How is it, must we not ask, how is it that, being without fearful troubles, having so many achievements to show and so much success, having as a nation a deep sense for conduct, having signal energy and honesty, having a splendid aristocracy, having an exceptionally large class of gentlemen, we are yet so little civilized? How is it that our middle and lower classes, in spite of the individuals among them who are raised by happy gifts of nature to a more humane life, in spite of the seriousness of the middle class, in spite of the honesty and power of true work, the virtus verusque labor, which are to be found in abundance throughout the lower, do yet present, as a whole, the characters which we have seen?

And really it seems as if the current of our discourse carried us of itself to but one conclusion. It seems as if we could not avoid concluding, that just as France owes her fearful troubles to other things and her civilizedness to equality, so we owe our immunity from fearful troubles to other things, and our uncivilizedness to inequality. "Knowledge is easy," says the wise man, "to him that understandeth";[482] easy, he means, to him who will use his mind simply and rationally, and not to make him think he can know what he cannot, or to maintain, per fas et nefas, a false thesis with which he fancies his interests to be bound up. And to him who will use his mind as the wise man recommends, surely it is easy to see that our shortcomings in civilization are due to our inequality; or, in other words, that the great inequality of classes and property, which came to us from the Middle Age and which we maintain because we have the religion of inequality, that this constitution of things, I say, has the natural and necessary effect, under present circumstances, of materializing our upper class, vulgarizing our middle class, and brutalizing our lower class.[483] And this is to fail in civilization.

For only just look how the facts combine themselves. I have said little as yet about our aristocratic class, except that it is splendid. Yet these, "our often very unhappy brethren," as Burke calls them, are by no means matter for nothing but ecstasy. Our charity ought certainly, Burke says, to "extend a due and anxious sensation of pity to the distresses of the miserable great." Burke's extremely strong language about their miseries and defects I will not quote. For my part, I am always disposed to marvel that human beings, in a position so false, should be so good as these are. Their reason for existing was to serve as a number of centres in a world disintegrated after the ruin of the Roman Empire, and slowly re-constituting itself. Numerous centres of material force were needed, and these a feudal aristocracy supplied. Their large and hereditary estates served this public end. The owners had a positive function, for which their estates were essential. In our modern world the function is gone; and the great estates, with an infinitely multiplied power of ministering to mere pleasure and indulgence, remain. The energy and honesty of our race does not leave itself without witness in this class, and nowhere are there more conspicuous examples of individuals raised by happy gifts of nature far above their fellows and their circumstances. For distinction of all kinds this class has an esteem. Everything which succeeds they tend to welcome, to win over, to put on their side; genius may generally make, if it will, not bad terms for itself with them. But the total result of the class, its effect on society at large and on national progress, are what we must regard. And on the whole, with no necessary function to fulfil, never conversant with life as it really is, tempted, flattered, and spoiled from childhood to old age, our aristocratic class is inevitably materialized, and the more so the more the development of industry and ingenuity augments the means of luxury. Every one can see how bad is the action of such an aristocracy upon the class of newly enriched people, whose great danger is a materialistic ideal, just because it is the ideal they can easiest comprehend. Nor is the mischief of this action now compensated by signal services of a public kind. Turn even to that sphere which aristocracies think specially their own, and where they have under other circumstances been really effective,—the sphere of politics. When there is need, as now, for any large forecast of the course of human affairs, for an acquaintance with the ideas which in the end sway mankind, and for an estimate of their power, aristocracies are out of their element, and materialized aristocracies most of all. In the immense spiritual movement of our day, the English aristocracy, as I have elsewhere said, always reminds me of Pilate confronting the phenomenon of Christianity. Nor can a materialized class have any serious and fruitful sense for the power of beauty. They may imagine themselves to be in pursuit of beauty; but how often, alas, does the pursuit come to little more than dabbling a little in what they are pleased to call art, and making a great deal of what they are pleased to call love!

Let us return to their merits. For the power of manners an aristocratic class, whether materialized or not, will always, from its circumstances, have a strong sense. And although for this power of social life and manners, so important to civilization, our English race has no special natural turn, in our aristocracy this power emerges and marks them. When the day of general humanization comes, they will have fixed the standard of manners. The English simplicity, too, makes the best of the English aristocracy more frank and natural than the best of the like class anywhere else, and even the worst of them it makes free from the incredible fatuities and absurdities of the worst. Then the sense of conduct they share with their countrymen at large. In no class has it such trials to undergo; in none is it more often and more grievously overborne. But really the right comment on this is the comment of Pepys[484] upon the evil courses of Charles the Second and the Duke of York and the court of that day: "At all which I am sorry; but it is the effect of idleness, and having nothing else to employ their great spirits upon."

Heaven forbid that I should speak in dispraise of that unique and most English class which Mr. Charles Sumner extols—the large class of gentlemen, not of the landed class or of the nobility, but cultivated and refined. They are a seemly product of the energy and of the power to rise in our race. Without, in general, rank and splendor and wealth and luxury to polish them, they have made their own the high standard of life and manners of an aristocratic and refined class. Not having all the dissipations and distractions of this class, they are much more seriously alive to the power of intellect and knowledge, to the power of beauty. The sense of conduct, too, meets with fewer trials in this class. To some extent, however, their contiguousness to the aristocratic class has now the effect of materializing them, as it does the class of newly enriched people. The most palpable action is on the young amongst them, and on their standard of life and enjoyment. But in general, for this whole class, established facts, the materialism which they see regnant, too much block their mental horizon, and limit the possibilities of things to them. They are deficient in openness and flexibility of mind, in free play of ideas, in faith and ardor. Civilized they are, but they are not much of a civilizing force; they are somehow bounded and ineffective.

So on the middle class they produce singularly little effect. What the middle class sees is that splendid piece of materialism, the aristocratic class, with a wealth and luxury utterly out of their reach, with a standard of social life and manners, the offspring of that wealth and luxury, seeming utterly out of their reach also. And thus they are thrown back upon themselves—upon a defective type of religion, a narrow range of intellect and knowledge, a stunted sense of beauty, a low standard of manners. And the lower class see before them the aristocratic class, and its civilization, such as it is, even infinitely more out of their reach than out of that of the middle class; while the life of the middle class, with its unlovely types of religion, thought, beauty, and manners, has naturally, in general, no great attractions for them either. And so they, too, are thrown back upon themselves; upon their beer, their gin, and their fun. Now, then, you will understand what I meant by saying that our inequality materializes our upper class, vulgarizes our middle class, brutalizes our lower.

And the greater the inequality the more marked is its bad action upon the middle and lower classes. In Scotland the landed aristocracy fills the scene, as is well known, still more than in England; the other classes are more squeezed back and effaced. And the social civilization of the lower middle class and of the poorest class, in Scotland, is an example of the consequences. Compared with the same class even in England, the Scottish lower middle class is most visibly, to vary Mr. Charles Sumner's phrase, less well-bred, less careful in personal habits and in social conventions, less refined. Let any one who doubts it go, after issuing from the aristocratic solitudes which possess Loch Lomond, let him go and observe the shopkeepers and the middle class in Dumbarton, and Greenock, and Gourock, and the places along the mouth of the Clyde. And for the poorest class, who that has seen it can ever forget the hardly human horror, the abjection and uncivilizedness of Glasgow?

What a strange religion, then, is our religion of inequality! Romance often helps a religion to hold its ground, and romance is good in its way; but ours is not even a romantic religion. No doubt our aristocracy is an object of very strong public interest. The Times itself bestows a leading article by way of epithalamium on the Duke of Norfolk's marriage. And those journals of a new type, full of talent, and which interest me particularly because they seem as if they were written by the young lion[485] of our youth,—the young lion grown mellow and, as the French say, viveur, arrived at his full and ripe knowledge of the world, and minded to enjoy the smooth evening of his days,—those journals, in the main a sort of social gazette of the aristocracy, are apparently not read by that class only which they most concern, but are read with great avidity by other classes also. And the common people, too, have undoubtedly, as Mr. Gladstone says, a wonderful preference for a lord. Yet our aristocracy, from the action upon it of the Wars of the Roses, the Tudors, and the political necessities of George the Third, is for the imagination a singularly modern and uninteresting one. Its splendor of station, its wealth, show, and luxury, is then what the other classes really admire in it; and this is not an elevating admiration. Such an admiration will never lift us out of our vulgarity and brutality, if we chance to be vulgar and brutal to start with; it will rather feed them and be fed by them. So that when Mr. Gladstone invites us to call our love of inequality "the complement of the love of freedom or its negative pole, or the shadow which the love of freedom casts, or the reverberation of its voice in the halls of the constitution," we must surely answer that all this mystical eloquence is not in the least necessary to explain so simple a matter; that our love of inequality is really the vulgarity in us, and the brutality, admiring and worshipping the splendid materiality.

Our present social organization, however, will and must endure until our middle class is provided with some better ideal of life than it has now. Our present organization has been an appointed stage in our growth; it has been of good use, and has enabled us to do great things. But the use is at an end, and the stage is over. Ask yourselves if you do not sometimes feel in yourselves a sense, that in spite of the strenuous efforts for good of so many excellent persons amongst us, we begin somehow to flounder and to beat the air; that we seem to be finding ourselves stopped on this line of advance and on that, and to be threatened with a sort of standstill. It is that we are trying to live on with a social organization of which the day is over. Certainly equality will never of itself alone give us a perfect civilization. But, with such inequality as ours, a perfect civilization is impossible.

To that conclusion, facts, and the stream itself of this discourse, do seem, I think, to carry us irresistibly. We arrive at it because they so choose, not because we so choose. Our tendencies are all the other way. We are all of us politicians, and in one of two camps, the Liberal or the Conservative. Liberals tend to accept the middle class as it is, and to praise the nonconformists; while Conservatives tend to accept the upper class as it is, and to praise the aristocracy. And yet here we are at the conclusion, that whereas one of the great obstacles to our civilization is, as I have often said, British nonconformity, another main obstacle to our civilization is British aristocracy! And this while we are yet forced to recognize excellent special qualities as well as the general English energy and honesty, and a number of emergent humane individuals, in both nonconformists and aristocracy. Clearly such a conclusion can be none of our own seeking.

Then again, to remedy our inequality, there must be a change in the law of bequest, as there has been in France; and the faults and inconveniences of the present French law of bequest are obvious. It tends to over-divide property; it is unequal in operation, and can be eluded by people limiting their families; it makes the children, however ill they may behave, independent of the parent. To be sure, Mr. Mill[486] and others have shown that a law of bequest fixing the maximum, whether of land or money, which any one individual may take by bequest or inheritance, but in other respects leaving the testator quite free, has none of the inconveniences of the French law, and is in every way preferable. But evidently these are not questions of practical politics. Just imagine Lord Hartington[487] going down to Glasgow, and meeting his Scotch Liberals there, and saying to them: "You are ill at ease, and you are calling for change, and very justly. But the cause of your being ill at ease is not what you suppose. The cause of your being ill at ease is the profound imperfectness of your social civilization. Your social civilization is, indeed, such as I forbear to characterize. But the remedy is not disestablishment. The remedy is social equality. Let me direct your attention to a reform in the law of bequest and entail." One can hardly speak of such a thing without laughing. No, the matter is at present one for the thoughts of those who think. It is a thing to be turned over in the minds of those who, on the one hand, have the spirit of scientific inquirers, bent on seeing things as they really are; and, on the other hand, the spirit of friends of the humane life, lovers of perfection. To your thoughts I commit it. And perhaps, the more you think of it, the more you will be persuaded that Menander[488] showed his wisdom quite as much when he said Choose equality, as when he assured us that Evil communications corrupt good manners.




[1] Poetry and the Classics. Published as Preface to Poems: 1853 (dated Fox How, Ambleside, October 1, 1853). It was reprinted in Irish Essays, 1882.

[2] the poem. Empedocles on Etna.

[3] the Sophists. "A name given by the Greeks about the middle of the fifth century B.C. to certain teachers of a superior grade who, distinguishing themselves from philosophers on the one hand and from artists and craftsmen on the other, claimed to prepare their pupils, not for any particular study or profession, but for civic life." Encyclopaedia Britannica.


[4] Poetics, 4.

[5] Theognis, ll. 54-56.


[6] "The poet," it is said. In the Spectator of April 2, 1853. The words quoted were not used with reference to poems of mine.[Arnold.]


[7] Dido. See the Iliad, the Oresteia (Agamemnon, Choepharae, and Eumenides) of AEschylus, and the AEneid.

[8] Hermann and Dorothea, Childe Harold, Jocelyn, the Excursion. Long narrative poems by Goethe, Byron, Lamartine, and Wordsworth.


[9] Oedipus. See the Oedipus Tyrannus and Oedipus Coloneus of Sophocles.


[10] grand style. Arnold, while admitting that the term grand style, which he repeatedly uses, is incapable of exact verbal definition, describes it most adequately in the essay On Translating Homer: "I think it will be found that the grand style arises in poetry when a noble nature, poetically gifted, treats with simplicity or with severity a serious subject." See On the Study of Celtic Literature and on Translating Homer, ed. 1895, pp. 264-69.

[11] Orestes, or Merope, or Alcmaeon. The story of Orestes was dramatized by AEschylus, by Sophocles, and by Euripides. Merope was the subject of a lost tragedy by Euripides and of several modern plays, including one by Matthew Arnold himself. The story of Alcmaeon was the subject of several tragedies which have not been preserved.


[12] Polybius. A Greek historian (c. 204-122 B.C.)


[13]. Menander. See Contribution of the Celts, Selections, Note 3, p. 177.[Transcriber's note: this is Footnote 255 in this e-text.]


[14] rien a dire. He says all that he wishes to, but unfortunately he has nothing to say.


[15] Boccaccio's Decameron, 4th day, 5th novel.

[16] Henry Hallam (1777-1859). English historian. See his Introduction to the Literature of Europe in the Fifteenth, Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, chap. 23, Sec.Sec. 51, 52.


[17] Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot (1787-1874), historian, orator, and statesman of France.


[18] Pittacus, of Mytilene in Lesbos (c. 650-569 B.C.), was one of the Seven Sages of Greece. His favorite sayings were: "It is hard to be excellent" ([Greek: chalepon esthlon emenai]), and "Know when to act."


[19] Barthold Georg Niebuhr (1776-1831) was a German statesman and historian. His Roman History (1827-32) is an epoch-making work. For his opinion of his age see his Life and Letters, London, 1852, II, 396.


[20] AEneid, XII, 894-95.



[21] Reprinted from The National Review, November, 1864, in the Essays in Criticism, Macmillan & Co., 1865.

[22] In On Translating Homer, ed. 1903, pp. 216-17.

[23] An essay called Wordsworth: The Man and the Poet, published in The North British Review for August, 1864, vol. 41. John Campbell Shairp (1819-85), Scottish critic and man of letters, was professor of poetry at Oxford from 1877 to 1884. The best of his lectures from this chair were published in 1881 as Aspects of Poetry.

[24] I cannot help thinking that a practice, common in England during the last century, and still followed in France, of printing a notice of this kind,—a notice by a competent critic,—to serve as an introduction to an eminent author's works, might be revived among us with advantage. To introduce all succeeding editions of Wordsworth, Mr. Shairp's notice might, it seems to me, excellently serve; it is written from the point of view of an admirer, nay, of a disciple, and that is right; but then the disciple must be also, as in this case he is, a critic, a man of letters, not, as too often happens, some relation or friend with no qualification for his task except affection for his author.[Arnold.]

[25] See Memoirs of William Wordsworth, ed. 1851, II, 151, letter to Bernard Barton.


[26] Irene. An unsuccessful play of Dr. Johnson's.


[27] Preface. Prefixed to the second edition (1800) of the Lyrical Ballads.


[28] The old woman. At the first attempt to read the newly prescribed liturgy in St. Giles's Church, Edinburgh, on July 23, 1637, a riot took place, in which the "fauld-stools," or folding stools, of the congregation were hurled as missiles. An untrustworthy tradition attributes the flinging of the first stool to a certain Jenny or Janet Geddes.


[29] Pensees de J. Joubert, ed. 1850, I, 355, titre 15, 2.


[30] French Revolution. The latter part of Burke's life was largely devoted to a conflict with the upholders of the French Revolution. Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790, and Letters on a Regicide Peace, 1796, are his most famous writings in this cause.


[31] Richard Price, D.D. (1723-91), was strongly opposed to the war with America and in sympathy with the French revolutionists.

[32] From Goldsmith's epitaph on Burke in the Retaliation.


[33] Num. XXII, 35.

[34] William Eden, First Baron Auckland (1745-1814), English statesman. Among other services he represented English interests in Holland during the critical years 1790-93.


[35] Revue des deux Mondes. The best-known of the French magazines devoted to literature, art, and general criticism, founded in Paris in 1831 by Francois Buloz.


[36] Home and Foreign Review. Published in London 1862-64.


[37] Charles Bowyer Adderley, First Baron Norton (1814-1905), English politician, inherited valuable estates in Warwickshire. He was a strong churchman and especially interested in education and the colonies.

[38] John Arthur Roebuck (1801-79), a leading radical and utilitarian reformer, conspicuous for his eloquence, honesty, and strong hostility to the government of his day. He held a seat for Sheffield from 1849 until his death.


[39] From Goethe's Iphigenie auf Tauris, I, ii, 91-92.


[40] detachment. In the Buddhistic religion salvation is found through an emancipation from the craving for the gratification of the senses, for a future life, and for prosperity.


[41] John Somers, Baron Somers (1651-1716), was the most trusted minister of William III, and a stanch supporter of the English Constitution. See Addison, The Freeholder, May 14, 1716, and Macauley's History, iv, 53.

[42] William Cobbett (1762-1835). English politician and writer. As a pamphleteer his reputation was injured by his pugnacity, self-esteem, and virulence of language. See Heine, Selections, p. 120, [Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 144 in this e-text] and The Contribution of the Celts, Selections, p. 179.[Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 257 in this e-text.]

[43] Carlyle's Latter-Day Pamphlets (1850) contain much violent denunciation of the society of his day.

[44] Ruskin turned to political economy about 1860. In 1862, he published Unto this Last, followed by other works of similar nature.

[45] terrae filii. Sons of Mother Earth; hence, obscure, mean persons.

[46] See Heine, Selections, Note 2, p. 117.[Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 140 in this e-text.]


[47] To think is so hard. Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, Book VII, chap. IX.

[48] See Senancour's Obermann, letter 90. Arnold was much influenced by this remarkable book. For an account of the author (1770-1846) and the book see Arnold's Stanzas in Memory of the Author of "Obermann," with note on the poem, and the essay on Obermann in Essays in Criticism, third series.

[49] So sincere is my dislike to all personal attack and controversy, that I abstain from reprinting, at this distance of time from the occasion which called them forth, the essays in which I criticized Dr. Colenso's book; I feel bound, however, after all that has passed, to make here a final declaration of my sincere impenitence for having published them. Nay, I cannot forbear repeating yet once more, for his benefit and that of his readers, this sentence from my original remarks upon him; There is truth of science and truth of religion; truth of science does not become truth of religion till it is made religious. And I will add: Let us have all the science there is from the men of science; from the men of religion let us have religion.[Arnold.]

John William Colenso (1814-83), Bishop of Natal, published a series of treatises on the Pentateuch, extending from 1862-1879, opposing the traditional views about the literal inspiration of the Scriptures and the actual historical character of the Mosaic story. Arnold's censorious criticism of the first volume of this work is entitled The Bishop and the Philosopher (Macmillan's Magazine, January, 1863). As an example of the Bishop's cheap "arithmetical demonstrations" he describes him as presenting the case of Leviticus as follows: "'If three priests have to eat 264 pigeons a day, how many must each priest eat?' That disposes of Leviticus." The essay is devoted chiefly to contrasting Bishop Colenso's unedifying methods with those of the philosopher Spinoza. In passing, Arnold refers also to Dr. Stanley's Sinai and Palestine (1856), quotations from which are characterized as "the refreshing spots" in the Bishop's volume.

[50] It has been said I make it "a crime against literary criticism and the higher culture to attempt to inform the ignorant." Need I point out that the ignorant are not informed by being confirmed in a confusion? [Arnold.]


[51] Joubert's Pensees, ed. 1850, II, 102, titre 23, 54.

[52] Arthur Penrhyn Stanley (1815-81), Dean of Westminster. He was the author of a Life of (Thomas) Arnold, 1844. In university politics and in religious discussions he was a Liberal and the advocate of toleration and comprehension.

[53] Frances Power Cobbe (1822-1904), a prominent English philanthropist and woman of letters. The quotation below is from Broken Lights (1864), p. 134. Her Religious Duty (1857), referred to on p. 46, is a book of religious and ethical instruction written from the Unitarian point of view.

[54] Ernest Renan (1823-92), French philosopher and Orientalist. The Vie de Jesus (1863), here referred to, was begun in Syria and is filled with the atmosphere of the East, but is a work of literary rather than of scholarly importance.


[55] David Friedrich Strauss (1808-74), German theologian and man of letters. The work referred to is the Leben Jesu 1835. A popular edition was published in 1864.

[56] From "Fleury (Preface) on the Gospel."—Arnold's Note Book.


[57] Cicero's Att. 16. 7. 3.

[58] Coleridge's happy phrase. Coleridge's Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit, letter 2.


[59] Luther's theory of grace. The question concerning the "means of grace," i.e. whether the efficacy of the sacraments as channels of the divine grace is ex opere operato, or dependent on the faith of the recipient, was the chief subject of controversy between Catholics and Protestants during the period of the Reformation.

[60] Jacques Benigne Bossuet (1627-1704), French divine, orator, and writer. His Discours sur l'histoire universelle (1681) was an attempt to provide ecclesiastical authority with a rational basis. It is dominated by the conviction that "the establishment of Christianity was the one point of real importance in the whole history of the world."


[61] From Virgil's Eclogues, iv, 5. Translated in Shelley's Hellas: "The world's great age begins anew."



[62] Published in 1880 as the General Introduction to The English Poets, edited by T.H. Ward. Reprinted in Essays in Criticism, Second Series, Macmillan & Co., 1888.

[63] This quotation is taken, slightly condensed, from the closing paragraph of a short introduction contributed by Arnold to The Hundred Greatest Men, Sampson, Low & Co., London, 1885.


[64] From the Preface to the second edition of the Lyrical Ballads, 1800.

[65] Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve (1804-69), French critic, was looked upon by Arnold as in certain respects his master in the art of criticism.


[66] a criticism of life. This celebrated phrase was first used by Arnold in the essay on Joubert (1864), though the theory is implied in On Translating Homer, 1861. In Joubert it is applied to literature: "The end and aim of all literature, if one considers it attentively, is, in truth, nothing but that." It was much attacked, especially as applied to poetry, and is defended as so applied in the essay on Byron (1881). See also Wordsworth, Selections, p. 230.[Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 371 in this e-text.]

[67] Compare Arnold's definition of the function of criticism, Selections, p. 52.[Transcriber's note: This approximates to the section following the text reference for Footnote 61 in this e-text.]


[68] Paul Pellisson (1624-93). French author, friend of Mlle. Scudery, and historiographer to the king.

[69] Barren and servile civility.

70. M. Charles d' Hericault was joint editor of the Jannet edition (1868-72) of the poems of Clement Marot (1496-1544).


[71] Imitation of Christ, Book III, chap. 43, 2.

[72] Caedmon. The first important religious poet in Old English literature. Died about 680 A.D.

[73] Ludovic Vitet (1802-73). French dramatist and politician.

[74] Chanson de Roland. The greatest of the Chansons des Gestes, long narrative poems dealing with warfare and adventure popular in France during the Middle Ages. It was composed in the eleventh century. Taillefer was the surname of a bard and warrior of the eleventh century. The tradition concerning him is related by Wace, Roman de Rou, third part, v., 8035-62, ed. Andreson, Heilbronn, 1879. The Bodleian Roland ends with the words: "ci folt la geste, que Turoldus declinet." Turold has not been identified.


[75] "Then began he to call many things to remembrance,—all the lands which his valor conquered, and pleasant France, and the men of his lineage, and Charlemagne his liege lord who nourished him."—Chanson de Roland, III, 939-42.[Arnold.]

[76] "So said she; they long since in Earth's soft arms were reposing, There, in their own dear land, their fatherland, Lacedaemon." Iliad, III, 243, 244 (translated by Dr. Hawtrey).[Arnold.]


[77] "Ah, unhappy pair, why gave we you to King Peleus, to a mortal? but ye are without old age, and immortal. Was it that with men born to misery ye might have sorrow?"—Iliad, XVII, 443-445.[Arnold.]

[78] "Nay, and thou too, old man, in former days wast, as we hear, happy."—Iliad, XXIV, 543.[Arnold.]

[79] "I wailed not, so of stone grew I within;—they wailed."— Inferno, XXXIII, 39, 40.[Arnold.]

[80] "Of such sort hath God, thanked be His mercy, made me, that your misery toucheth me not, neither doth the flame of this fire strike me." —Inferno, II, 91-93.[Arnold.]

[81] "In His will is our peace."—Paradiso, III, 85.[Arnold.]

[82] Henry IV, part 2, III, i, 18-20.


[83] Hamlet, V, ii, 361-62.

[84] Paradise Lost, I, 599-602.

[85] Ibid., I, 108-9.

[86] Ibid., IV, 271.


[87] Poetics, Sec. 9.


[88] Provencal, the language of southern France, from the southern French oc instead of the northern oil for "yes."


[89] Dante acknowledges his debt to Latini (c. 1230-c. 1294), but the latter was probably not his tutor. He is the author of the Tesoretto, a heptasyllabic Italian poem, and the prose Livres dou Tresor, a sort of encyclopedia of medieval lore, written in French because that language "is more delightful and more widely known."

[90] Christian of Troyes. A French poet of the second half of the twelfth century, author of numerous narrative poems dealing with legends of the Round Table. The present quotation is from the Cliges, ll. 30-39.


[91] Chaucer's two favorite stanzas, the seven-line and eight-line stanzas in heroic verse, were imitated from Old French poetry. See B. ten Brink's The Language and Meter of Chaucer, 1901, pp. 353-57.

[92] Wolfram von Eschenbach. A medieval German poet, born in the end of the twelfth century. His best-known poem is the epic Parzival.


[93] From Dryden's Preface to the Fables, 1700.

[94] The Confessio Amantis, the single English poem of John Gower (c. 1330-1408), was in existence in 1392-93.


[95] souded. The French soude, soldered, fixed fast.[Arnold.] From the Prioress's Tale, ed. Skeat, 1894, B. 1769. The line should read, "O martir, souded to virginitee."


[96] Francois Villon, born in or near Paris in 1431, thief and poet. His best-known poems are his ballades. See R.L. Stevenson's essay.

[97] The name Heaulmiere is said to be derived from a headdress (helm) worn as a mark by courtesans. In Villon's ballad, a poor old creature of this class laments her days of youth and beauty. The last stanza of the ballad runs thus:

"Ainsi le bon temps regretons Entre nous, pauvres vieilles sottes, Assises bas, a croppetons, Tout en ung tas comme pelottes; A petit feu de chenevottes Tost allumees, tost estainctes. Et jadis fusmes si mignottes! Ainsi en prend a maintz et maintes."

"Thus amongst ourselves we regret the good time, poor silly old things, low-seated on our heels, all in a heap like so many balls; by a little fire of hemp-stalks, soon lighted, soon spent. And once we were such darlings! So fares it with many and many a one."[Arnold.]


[98] From An Essay of Dramatic Poesy, 1688.

[99] A statement to this effect is made by Dryden in the Preface to the Fables.

[100] From Preface to the Fables.


[101] See Wordsworth's Essay, Supplementary to the Preface, 1815, and Coleridge's Biographia Literaria.

[102] An Apology for Smectymnuus, Prose Works, ed. 1843, III, 117-18. Milton was thirty-four years old at this time.


[103] The opening words of Dryden's Postscript to the Reader in the translation of Virgil, 1697.


[104] The opening lines of The Hind and the Panther.

[105] Imitations of Horace, Book II, Satire 2, ll. 143-44.


[106] From On the Death of Robert Dundas, Esq.


[107] Clarinda. A name assumed by Mrs. Maclehose in her sentimental connection with Burns, who corresponded with her under the name of Sylvander.

[108] Burns to Mr. Thomson, October 19, 1794.


[109] From The Holy Fair.


[110] From Epistle: To a Young Friend.

[111] From Address to the Unco' Quid, or the Rigidly Righteous.

[112] From Epistle: To Dr. Blacklock.

[Footnote 4: See his Memorabilia.][Transcriber's note: The reference for this footnote is missing from the original text.]


[113] From Winter: A Dirge.


[114] From Shelley's Prometheus Unbound, III, iv, last line.

[115] Ibid., II, v.



[116] Reprinted (considerably revised) from the Nineteenth Century, August, 1882, vol. XII, in Discourses in America, Macmillan & Co., 1885. It was the most popular of the three lectures given by Arnold during his visit to America in 1883-84.

[117] Plato's Republic, 6. 495, Dialogues, ed. Jowett, 1875, vol. 3, p. 194.

[118] working lawyer. Plato's Theoetetus, 172-73, Dialogues, IV, 231.


[119] majesty. All editions read "majority." What Emerson said was "majesty," which is therefore substituted here. See Emerson's Literary Ethics, Works, Centenary ed., I, 179.


[120] "His whole soul is perfected and ennobled by the acquirement of justice and temperance and wisdom. ... And in the first place, he will honor studies which impress these qualities on his soul and will disregard others."—Republic, IX, 591, Dialogues, III, 305.


[121] See The Function of Criticism, Selections, p. 52.[Transcriber's note: This approximates to the section following the text reference for Footnote 61 in this e-text.]

[122] Delivered October 1, 1880, and printed in Science and Culture and Other Essays, Macmillan & Co., 1881.

[123] See The Function of Criticism, Selections, pp. 52-53. [Transcriber's note: This approximates to the section following the text reference for Footnote 61 in this e-text.]


[124] See L'Instruction superieur en France in Renan's Questions Contemporaines, Paris, 1868.


[125] Friedrich August Wolf (1759-1824), German philologist and critic.


[126] See Plato's Symposium, Dialogues, II, 52-63.

PAGE 100

[127] James Joseph Sylvester (1814-97), English mathematician. In 1883, the year of Arnold's lecture, he resigned a position as teacher in Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, to accept the Savilian Chair of Geometry at Oxford.

PAGE 101

[128] Darwin's famous proposition. Descent of Man, Part III, chap. XXI, ed. 1888, II, 424.

PAGE 103

[129] Michael Faraday (1791-1867), English chemist and physicist, and the discoverer of the induction of electrical currents. He belonged to the very small Christian sect called after Robert Sandeman, and his opinion with respect to the relation between his science and his religion is expressed in a lecture on mental education printed at the end of his Researches in Chemistry and Physics.

PAGE 105

[130] Eccles. VIII, 17.[Arnold.]

[131] Iliad, XXIV, 49.[Arnold.]

[132] Luke IX, 25.

PAGE 107

[133] Macbeth, V, iii.

PAGE 109

[134] A touching account of the devotion of Lady Jane Grey (1537-54) to her studies is to be found in Ascham's Scholemaster, Arber's ed., 46-47.


PAGE 112

[135] Reprinted from the Cornhill Magazine, vol. VIII, August, 1863, in Essays in Criticism, 1st series, 1865.

[136] Written from Paris, March 30, 1855. See Heine's Memoirs, ed. 1910, II, 270.

PAGE 113

[137] The German Romantic school of Tieck (1773-1853), Novalis (1772-1801), and Richter (1763-1825) followed the classical school of Schiller and Goethe. It was characterized by a return to individualism, subjectivity, and the supernatural. Carlyle translated extracts from Tieck and Richter in his German Romance (1827), and his Critical and Miscellaneous Essays contain essays on Richter and Novalis.

PAGE 114

[138] From English Fragments; Conclusion, in Pictures of Travel, ed. 1891, Leland's translation, Works, III, 466-67.

PAGE 117

[139] Heine's birthplace was not Hamburg, but Duesseldorf.

[140] Philistinism. In German university slang the term Philister was applied to townsmen by students, and corresponded to the English university "snob." Hence it came to mean a person devoid of culture and enlightenment, and is used in this sense by Goethe in 1773. Heine was especially instrumental in popularizing the expression outside of Germany. Carlyle first introduced it into English literature in 1827. In a note to the discussion of Goethe in the second edition of German Romance, he speaks of a Philistine as one who "judged of Brunswick mum, by its utility." He adds: "Stray specimens of the Philistine nation are said to exist in our own Islands; but we have no name for them like the Germans." The term occurs also in Carlyle's essays on The State of German Literature, 1827, and Historic Survey of German Poetry, 1831. Arnold, however, has done most to establish the word in English usage. He applies it especially to members of the middle class who are swayed chiefly by material interests and are blind to the force of ideas and the value of culture. Leslie Stephen, who is always ready to plead the cause of the Philistine, remarks: "As a clergyman always calls every one from whom he differs an atheist, and a bargee has one or two favorite but unmentionable expressions for the same purpose, so a prig always calls his adversary a Philistine." Mr. Matthew Arnold and the Church of England, Fraser's Magazine, October, 1870.

[141] The word solecism is derived from[Greek: soloi], in Cilicia, owing to the corruption of the Attic dialect among the Athenian colonists of that place.

PAGE 118

[142] The "gig" as Carlyle's symbol of philistinism takes its origin from a dialogue which took place in Thurtell's trial: "I always thought him a respectable man." "What do you mean by 'respectable'?" "He kept a gig." From this he coins the words "gigman," "gigmanity," "gigmania," which are of frequent occurrence in his writings.

PAGE 119

[143] English Fragments, Pictures of Travel, Works, III, 464.

PAGE 120

[144] See The Function of Criticism, Selections, Note 2, p. 42. [Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 42 in this e-text.]

PAGE 121

[145] English Fragments, chap. IX, in Pictures of Travel, Works, III, 410-11.

[146] Adapted from a line in Wordsworth's Resolution and Independence.

PAGE 122

[147] Charles the Fifth. Ruler of The Holy Roman Empire, 1500-58.

PAGE 124

[148] English Fragments, Conclusion, in Pictures of Travel, Works, III, 468-70.

[149] A complete edition has at last appeared in Germany.[Arnold.]

PAGE 125

[150] Augustin Eugene Scribe (1791-1861), French dramatist, for fifty years the best exponent of the ideas of the French middle class.

PAGE 126

[151] Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon III), 1808-73, son of Louis Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon I, by the coup d'etat of December, 1851, became Emperor of France. This was accomplished against the resistance of the Moderate Republicans, partly through the favor of his democratic theories with the mass of the French people. Heine was mistaken, however, in believing that the rule of Louis Napoleon had prepared the way for Communism. An attempt to bring about a Communistic revolution was easily crushed in 1871.

PAGE 127

[152] J.J. von Goerres (1776-1848), Klemens Brentano (1778-1842), and Ludwig Achim von Arnim (1781-1831) were the leaders of the second German Romantic school and constitute the Heidelberg group of writers. They were much interested in the German past, and strengthened the national and patriotic spirit. Their work, however, is often marred by exaggeration and affectation.

PAGE 128

[153] From The Baths of Lucca, chap. X, in Pictures of Travel, Works, III, 199.

PAGE 129

[154] Cf. Function of Criticism, Selections, p. 26.[Transcriber's note: This approximates to the section following the text reference for Footnote 27 in this e-text.]

[155] Job XII, 23: "He enlargeth the nations and straiteneth them again."

PAGE 131

[156] Lucan, Pharsalia, book I, 135: "he stands the shadow of a great name."

PAGE 132

[157] From Ideas, in Pictures of Travel, Works, II, 312-13.

[158] Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh (1769-1822), as Foreign Secretary under Lord Liverpool, became the soul of the coalition against Napoleon, which, during the campaigns of 1813-14, was kept together by him alone. He committed suicide with a penknife in a fit of insanity in August, 1822.

[159] From Ideas, in Pictures of Travel, Works, II, 324.

[160] From English Fragments, 1828, in Pictures of Travel, Works, III, 340-42.

PAGE 133

[161] Song in Measure for Measure, IV, i.

[162][Transcriber's note: "From The Dying One: for translation see p. 142." in original. Please see reference in text for Footnote 180.]

PAGE 135

[163] From Mountain Idyll, Travels in the Hartz Mountains, Book of Songs. Works, ed. 1904, pp. 219-21.

[164] Published 1851.

[165] Rhampsinitus. A Greek corruption of Ra-messu-pa-neter, the popular name of Rameses III, King of Egypt.

[166] Edith with the Swan Neck. A mistress of King Harold of England.

[167] Melisanda of Tripoli. Mistress of Geoffrey Rudel, the troubadour.

[168] Pedro the Cruel. King of Castile (1334-69).

[169] Firdusi. A Persian poet, author of the epic poem, the Shahnama, or "Book of Kings," a complete history of Persia in nearly sixty thousand verses.

[170] Dr. Doellinger. A German theologian and church historian (1799-1890).

[171] Spanish Atrides, Romancero, Works, ed. 1905, pp. 200-04.

[172] Henry of Trastamare. King of Castile (1369-79).

PAGE 137

[173] garbanzos. A kind of pulse much esteemed in Spain.

PAGE 138

[174] Adapted from Rom. VIII, 26.

PAGE 139

[175] From The Baths of Lucca, chap. IX, in Pictures of Travel, Works, III, 184-85.

[176] Romancero, book III.

PAGE 140

[177] Laura. The heroine of Petrarch's famous series of love lyrics known as the Canzoniere.

[178] Court of Love. For a discussion of this supposed medieval tribunal see William A. Neilson's The Origins and Sources of the Court of Love, Studies and Notes in Philology and Literature, Boston, 1899, chap. VIII.

PAGE 142

[179] Disputation, Romancero, book III.

[180] The Dying One, Romancero, book II, quoted entire.

PAGE 143

[181] Written from Paris, September 30, 1850. See Memoirs, ed. 1910, II, 226-27.


PAGE 145

[182] Reprinted from The Victoria Magazine, II, 1-9, November, 1863, in Essays in Criticism, 1865.

[183] John Stuart Mill (1806-73), English philosopher and economist. On Liberty (1859) is his most finished writing.

[184] The Imitation of Christ (Imitatio Christi), a famous medieval Christian devotional work, is usually ascribed to Thomas a Kempis (1380-1471), an Augustinian canon of Mont St. Agnes in the diocese of Utrecht.

PAGE 146

[185] Epictetus. Greek Stoic philosopher (born c. A.D. 60). He is an earnest preacher of righteousness and his philosophy is eminently practical. For Arnold's personal debt to him see his sonnet To a Friend.

PAGE 147

[186] Empedocles. A Greek philosopher and statesman (c. 490-430 B.C.). He is the subject of Arnold's early poetical drama, Empedocles on Etna, which he later suppressed for reasons which he states in the Preface to the Poems of 1853. See Selections, pp. 1-3. [Transcriber's note: This approximates to the section following the text reference for Footnote 1 in this e-text.]

[187] Encheiridion, chap. LII.

[188] Ps. CXLIII, 10; incorrectly quoted.

[189] Is. LX, 19.

[190] Mal. IV, 2.

[191] John I, 13.

[192] John III, 5.

PAGE 148

[193] 1 John V, 4.

[194] Matt. XIX, 26.

[195] 2 Cor. V, 17.

[196] Encheiridion, chap. XLIII.

[197] Matt. XVIII, 22.

[198] Matt. XXII, 37-39, etc.

PAGE 149

[199] George Long (1800-79), classical scholar. He published Selections from Plutarch's Lives, 1862; Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius, 1862; etc.

[200] Thomas Arnold (1795-1842), English clergyman and headmaster of Rugby School, father of Matthew Arnold.

PAGE 150

[201] Jeremy Collier (1650-1726). His best-known work is his Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage, 1698, a sharp and efficacious attack on the Post-Restoration drama. The Emperor M. Aurelius Antoninus, his Conversation with himself, appeared in 1701.

PAGE 151

[202] Meditations, III, 14.

PAGE 152

203. Antoninus Pius. Roman Emperor, A.D. 138-161, and foster-father of M. Aurelius.

[204] To become current in men's speech.

[205] The real name of Voltaire was Francois Marie Arouet. The name Voltaire was assumed in 1718 and is supposed to be an anagram of Arouet le j(eune).

PAGE 154

[206] See Function of Criticism, Selections, p. 36.[Transcriber's note: This approximates to the section following the text reference for Footnote 36 in this e-text.]

[207] Louis IX of France (1215-70), the leader of the crusade of 1248.

PAGE 155

[208] The Saturday Review, begun in 1855, was pronouncedly conservative in politics. It devoted much space to pure criticism and scholarship, and Arnold's essays are frequently criticized in its columns.

[209] He died on the 17th of March, A.D. 180.[Arnold.]

PAGE 156

[210] Juvenal's sixth satire is a scathing arraignment of the vices and follies of the women of Rome during the reign of Domitian.

[211] See Juvenal, Sat. 3, 76.

[212] Because he lacks an inspired poet (to sing his praises). Horace, Odes, IV, 9, 28.

PAGE 157

[213] Avidius Cassius, a distinguished general, declared himself Emperor in Syria in 176 A.D. Aurelius proceeded against him, deploring the necessity of taking up arms against a trusted officer. Cassius was slain by his own officers while M. Aurelius was still in Illyria.

[214] Commodus. Emperor of Rome, 180-192 A.D. He was dissolute and tyrannical.

[215] Attalus, a Roman citizen, was put to death with other Christians in A.D. 177.

[216] Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, and one of the Apostolic Fathers, suffered martyrdom in 155 A.D.

PAGE 159

[217] Tacitus, Ab Excessu Augusti, XV, 44.

PAGE 161

[218] Claude Fleury (1640-1723), French ecclesiastical historian, author of the Histoire Ecclesiastique, 20 vols., 1691.

PAGE 163

[219] Med., I, 12.

[220] Ibid., I, 14.

[221] Ibid., IV, 24.

PAGE 164

[222] Ibid., III, 4.

PAGE 165

[223] Ibid., V, 6.

[224] Ibid., IX, 42.

[225] Lucius Annaeus Seneca (c. 3 B.C.-A.D. 65), statesman and philosopher. His twelve so-called Dialogues are Stoic sermons of a practical and earnest character.

PAGE 166

[226] Med., III, 2.

PAGE 167

[227] Ibid., V, 5.

[228] Ibid., VIII, 34.

PAGE 168

[229] Ibid., IV, 3.

PAGE 169

[230] Ibid., I, 17.

[231] Tiberius, Caligula, Nero, Domitian. Roman Emperors, 14-37 A.D., 37-41 A.D., 54-68 A.D., and 81-96 A.D.

[232] Med., IV, 28.

[233] Ibid., V, 11.

PAGE 170

[234] Ibid., X, 8.

PAGE 171

[235] Ibid., IV, 32.

[236] Ibid., V, 33.

[237] Ibid., IX, 30.

[238] Ibid., VII, 55.

PAGE 172

[239] Ibid., VI, 48.

[240] Ibid., IX, 3.

PAGE 173

[241] Matt. XVII, 17.

[242] Med., X, 15.

[243] Ibid., VI, 45.

[244] Ibid., V, 8.

[245] Ibid., VII, 55.

PAGE 174

[246] Ibid., IV, 1.

[247] Ibid., X, 31.

[248] Ibid.

PAGE 175

[249] Alogi. An ancient sect that rejected the Apocalypse and the Gospel of St. John.

[250] Gnosis. Knowledge of spiritual truth or of matters commonly conceived to pertain to faith alone, such as was claimed by the Gnostics, a heretical Christian sect of the second century.

[251] The correct reading is tendebantque (AEneid, VI, 314), which Arnold has altered to apply to the present case.


PAGE 176

[252] From On The Study of Celtic Literature, London, 1867, chap. VI. It was previously published in the Cornhill Magazine, vols. XIII and XIV, March-July, 1866. In the Introduction to the book Arnold says: "The following remarks on the study of Celtic literature formed the substance of four lectures given by me last year and the year before in the chair of poetry at Oxford." The chapter is slightly abridged in the present selection.

PAGE 177

[253] Paradise Lost, III, 32-35.

[254] Tasso, I, 2, 304-05.

[255] Menander. The most famous Greek poet of the New Comedy (342-291 B.C.).

PAGE 179

[256] Gemeinheit. Arnold defines the word five lines below.

[257] See The Function of Criticism, Selections, Note 2, p. 42. [Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 42 in this e-text.]

[258] Bossuet. See The Function of Criticism, Selections, Note 2, p. 49.[Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 60 in this e-text.]

[259] Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke (1678-1751), English statesman and man of letters, was author of the Idea of a Patriot King. Arnold is inclined to overestimate the quality of his style.

PAGE 180

[260] Taliessin and Llywarch Hen are the names of Welsh bards, supposedly of the late sixth century, whose poems are contained in the Red Book of Hergest, a manuscript formerly preserved in Jesus College, Oxford, and now in the Bodleian. Nothing further is known of them. Ossian, Ossin, or Oisin, was a legendary Irish third century hero and poet, the son of Finn. In Scotland the Ossianic revival was due to James Macpherson. See Note 1, p. 181.[Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 262 in this e-text.]

[261] From the Black Book of Caermarthen, 19.

PAGE 181

[262] James Macpherson (1736-96) published anonymously in 1760 his Fragments of Ancient Poetry, collected in the Highlands of Scotland and translated from the Gaelic or Erse language. This was followed by an epic Fingal and other poems. Their authenticity was early doubted and a controversy followed. They are now generally believed to be forgeries. The passage quoted, as well as references to Selma, "woody Morven," and "echoing Lora" (not Sora), is from Carthon: a Poem.

PAGE 182

[263] Werther. Goethe's Die Leiden des jungen Werthers (1774) was a product of the Sturm und Drang movement in German literature, and responsible for its sentimental excesses. Goethe mentions Ossian in connection with Homer in Werther, book II, "am 12. October," and translates several passages of considerable length toward the close of this book.

[264] Prometheus. An unfinished drama of Goethe's, of which a fine fragment remains.

PAGE 183

[265] For Llywarch Hen, see Note 1, p. 180.[Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 260 in this e-text.] The present quotation is from book II of the Red Book. A translation of the poem differing somewhat from the one quoted by Arnold is contained in W.F. Skene's The Four Ancient Books of Wales, Edinburgh, 1868.

[266] From On this day I complete my thirty-sixth year, 1824.

[267] From Euthanasia, 1812.

PAGE 184

[268] Manfred, Lara, Cain. Heroes of Byron's poems so named.

[269] From Paradise Lost, I, 105-09.

PAGE 185

[270] Rhyme,—the most striking characteristic of our modern poetry as distinguished from that of the ancients, and a main source, to our poetry, of its magic and charm, of what we call its romantic element— rhyme itself, all the weight of evidence tends to show, comes into our poetry from the Celts.[Arnold.] A different explanation is given by J. Schipper, A History of English Versification, Oxford, 1910: "End-rhyme or full-rhyme seems to have arisen independently and without historical connection in several nations.... Its adoption into all modern literature is due to the extensive use made of it in the hymns of the church."

[271] Lady Guest's Mabinogion, Math the Son of Mathonwy, ed. 1819, III, 239.

[272] Mabinogion, Kilhwch and Olwen, II, 275.

PAGE 186

[273] Mabinogion, Peredur the Son of Evrawc, I, 324.

[274] Mabinogion, Geraint the Son of Erbin, II, 112.

PAGE 187

[275] Novalis. The pen-name of Friedrich von Hardenberg (1772-1801), sometimes called the "Prophet of Romanticism." See Carlyle's essay on Novalis.

[276] For Rueckert, see Wordsworth, Selections, Note 4, p. 224. [Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 356 in this e-text.]

[277] Take the following attempt to render the natural magic supposed to pervade Tieck's poetry: "In diesen Dichtungen herrscht eine geheimnissvolle Innigkeit, ein sonderbares Einverstaendniss mit der Natur, besonders mit der Pflanzen-und Steinreich. Der Leser fuehlt sich da wie in einem verzauberten Walde; er hoert die unterirdischen Quellen melodisch rauschen; wildfremde Wunderblumen schauen ihn an mit ihren bunten sehnsuechtigen Augen; unsichtbare Lippen kuessen seine Wangen mit neckender Zaertlichkeit; hohe Pilze, wie goldne Glocken, wachsen klingend empor am Fusse der Baeume"; and so on. Now that stroke of the hohe Pilze, the great funguses, would have been impossible to the tact and delicacy of a born lover of nature like the Celt; and could only have come from a German who has hineinstudirt himself into natural magic. It is a crying false note, which carries us at once out of the world of nature-magic, and the breath of the woods, into the world of theatre-magic and the smell of gas and orange-peel.[Arnold.]

Johann Ludwig Tieck (1773-1853) was one of the most prominent of the German romanticists. He was especially felicitous in the rehandling of the old German fairy tales. The passage quoted above is from Heine's Germany, Part II, book II, chap. II. The following is the translation of C.G. Leland, slightly altered: "In these compositions we feel a mysterious depth of meaning, a marvellous union with nature, especially with the realm of plants and stones. The reader seems to be in an enchanted forest; he hears subterranean springs and streams rustling melodiously and his own name whispered by the trees. Broad-leaved clinging plants wind vexingly about his feet, wild and strange wonderflowers look at him with vari-colored longing eyes, invisible lips kiss his cheeks with mocking tenderness, great funguses like golden bells grow singing about the roots of trees."

[278] Winter's Tale, IV, iii, 118-20.

[279] Arnold doubtless refers to the passage in The Solitary Reaper referred to in a similar connection in the essay on Maurice de Guerin, though Wordsworth has written two poems To the Cuckoo.

[280] The passage on the mountain birch-tree, which is quoted in the essay on Maurice de Guerin, is from Senancour's Obermann, letter 11. For his delicate appreciation of the Easter daisy see Obermann, letter 91.

PAGE 188

[281]. Pope's Iliad, VIII, 687.

[282] Propertius, Elegies, book I, 20, 21-22: "The band of heroes covered the pleasant beach with leaves and branches woven together."

[283] Idylls, XIII, 34. The present reading of the line gives[Greek: hekeito, mega]: "A meadow lay before them, very good for beds."

[284] From the Ode to a Grecian Urn.

PAGE 189

[285] That is, Dedication.

[286] From the Ode to a Nightingale.

[287] Ibid.

PAGE 190

[288] Virgil, Eclogues, VII, 45.

[289] Ibid., II, 47-48: "Plucking pale violets and the tallest poppies, she joins with them the narcissus and the flower of the fragrant dill."

[290] Ibid., II, 51-52: "I will gather quinces, white with delicate down, and chestnuts."

[291] Midsummer Night's Dream, II, i, 249-52.

[292] Merchant of Venice, V, i, 58-59.

[293] Midsummer Night's Dream, II, i, 83-85.

PAGE 191

[294] Merchant of Venice, V, i, 1 ff.


PAGE 192

[295] Reprinted from the Fortnightly Review for June, 1877, in Mixed Essays, Smith, Elder & Co., 1879. Amandine Lucile Aurore Dudevant, nee Dupin (1804-76), was the most prolific woman writer of France. The pseudonym George Sand was a combination of George, the typical Berrichon name, and Sand, abbreviated from (Jules) Sandeau, in collaboration with whom she began her literary career.

[296] Indiana, George Sand's first novel, 1832.

[297] Nohant is a village of Berry, one of the ancient provinces of France, comprising the modern departments of Cher and Indre. The Indre and the Creuse are its chief rivers. Vierzon, Chateauroux, Le Chatre, and Ste.-Severe are towns of the province. Le Puy is in the neighboring department of Haute-Loire, and La Marche is in the department of Vosges. For the Vallee Noire see Sand's The Miller of Angibault, chap. III, etc.

[298] Jeanne. The first of a series of novels in which the pastoral element prevails. It was published in 1844.

[299] The Pierres Jaunatres (or Jomatres) is a district in the mountains of the Creuse (see Jeanne, Prologue). Touix Ste.-Croix is a ruined Gallic town (Jeanne, chap. I). For the druidical stones of Mont Barlot see Jeanne, chap. VII.

PAGE 193

[300] Cassini's great map. A huge folio volume containing 183 charts of the various districts of France, published by Mess. Maraldi and Cassini de Thury, Paris, 1744.

[301] For an interesting description of the patache, or rustic carriage, see George Sand's Miller of Angibault, chap. II.

[302] landes. An infertile moor.

PAGE 194

[303] Maurice and Solange. See, for example, the Letters of a Traveller.

[304] Chopin. George Sand's friendship for the composer Chopin began in 1837.

PAGE 195

[305] Jules Michelet (1798-1874), French historian.

[306] her death. George Sand died at Nohant, June 8, 1876.

PAGE 196

[307]. From the Journal d'un Voyageur, September 15, 1870, ed. 1871, p. 2.

[308] Consuelo (1842-44) is George Sand's best-known novel.

[309] Edmee, Genevieve, Germain. Characters in the novels Mauprat, Andre, and La Mare au Diable.

[310] Lettres d'un Voyageur, Mauprat, Francois le Champi. Published in 1830-36, 1836, and 1848.

[311] F.W.H. Myers (1843-1901), poet and essayist. See his Essays, Modern, ed. 1883, pp. 70-103.

PAGE 197

[312] Valvedre. Published in 1861.

[313] Werther. See The Contribution of the Celts, Selections, Note 1, p. 182.[Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 263 in this e-text.]

[314] Corinne. An esthetic romance (1807) by Mme. de Stael.

[315] Valentine (1832), George Sand's second novel, pointed out "the dangers and pains of an ill-assorted marriage." Lelia (1833) was a still more outspoken diatribe against society and the marriage law.

PAGE 199

[316] From Lelia, chap. LXVII.

[317] Jacques (1834), the hero of which is George Sand in man's disguise, sets forth the author's doctrine of free love.

[318] From Jacques, letter 95.

PAGE 200

[319] From Lettres d'un Voyageur, letter 9.

[320] Ibid., a Rollinat, September, 1834.

PAGE 203

[321] Hans Holbein, the younger (1497-1543), German artist.

PAGE 205

[322] From La Mare au Diable, chap. 1.

[323] Ibid., The Author to the Reader.

PAGE 206

[324] Ibid., chap. 1.

PAGE 207

[325] Ibid., chap. 1.

PAGE 208

[326] From Impressions et Souvenirs, ed. 1873, p. 135.

[327] Ibid., p. 137.

[328] From Wordsworth's Lines Composed a few Miles above Tintern Abbey.

[329] From Impressions et Souvenirs, p. 136.

PAGE 209

[330] Ibid., p. 139.

PAGE 210

[331] Ibid., p. 269.

[332] Ibid., p. 253.

PAGE 211

[333] See The Function of Criticism, Selections, p. 29.[Transcriber's note: This approximates to the section following the text reference for Footnote 29 in this e-text.]

[334] Emile Zola (1840-1902), French novelist, was the apostle of the "realistic" or "naturalistic" school. L'Assommoir (1877) depicts especially the vice of drunkenness.

PAGE 212

[335] From Journal d'un Voyageur, February 10, 1871, p. 305.

[336] Emile Louis Victor de Laveleye (1822-92), Belgian economist. He was especially interested in bimetallism, primitive property, and nationalism.

PAGE 213

[337] From Journal d'un Voyageur, December 21, 1870, p. 202.

PAGE 214

[338] Ibid., December 21, 1870, p. 220.

PAGE 215

[339] Ibid., February 7, 1871, p. 228.

[340] Round my House: Notes of Rural Life in France in Peace and War (1876), by Philip Gilbert Hamerton. See especially chapters XI and XII.

[341] Barbarians, Philistines, Populace. Arnold's designations for the aristocratic, middle, and lower classes of England in Culture and Anarchy.

PAGE 216

[342] Paul Amand Challemel-Lacour (1827-96), French statesman and man of letters.

[343] See The Function of Criticism, Selections, Note 4, p. 44. [Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 54 in this e-text.]

[344] From Journal d'un Voyageur, February 10, 1871, p. 309.

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[345] The closing sentence of the Nicene Creed with expecto changed to exspectat. For the English translation see Morning Prayer in the Episcopal Prayer Book; for the Greek and Latin see Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, II, 58, 59.


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[346] Published in Macmillan's Magazine, July, 1879, vol. XL; as Preface to The Poems of Wordsworth, chosen and edited by Arnold in 1879; and in Essays in Criticism, Second Series, 1888.

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[347] Rydal Mount. Wordsworth's home in the Lake District from 1813 until his death in 1850.

[348] 1842. The year of publication of the two-volume edition of Tennyson's poems, containing Locksley Hall, Ulysses, etc.

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[349] candid friend. Arnold himself.

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[350] The Biographie Universelle, ou Dictionnaire historique of F.X. de Feller (1735-1802) was originally published in 1781.

[351] Henry Cochin. A brilliant lawyer and writer of Paris, 1687-1747.

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[352] Amphictyonic Court. An association of Ancient Greek communities centering in a shrine.

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[353] Gottlieb Friedrich Klopstock (1724-1803) was author of Der Messias.

[354] Lessing. See Sweetness and Light, Selections, Note 2, p. 271.[Transcriber's note: This is Footnote 427 in this e-text.]

[355] Johann Ludwig Uhland (1787-1862), romantic lyric poet.

[356] Friedrich Rueckert (1788-1866) was the author of Liebesfruehling and other poems.

[357] Heine. See Heinrich Heine, Selections, pp. 112-144.

[358] The greatest poems of Vicenzo da Filicaja (1642-1707) are six odes inspired by the victory of Sobieski.

[359] Vittorio, Count Alfieri (1749-1803), Italian dramatist. His best-known drama is his Saul.

[360] Manzoni (1785-1873) was a poet and novelist, author of I Promessi Sposi.

[361] Giacomo, Count Leopardi (1798-1837), Italian poet. His writings are characterized by deep-seated melancholy.

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