Slike strani


but honest man, "as violent against | He has obtained a place among Greek accents,” said Porson, "as English poets on account of a few he was against the Trinity, and original pieces and several translaanathematised the final y as strongly tions from the Eastern writers, pubas episcopacy."

lished at Calcutta in 1800. ROBERT WATSON (1730 ?-1781), JOHN LANGHORNE (1735-1779) Professor of Logic at St. Andrews, was born in Westmorland, and held continued Robertson's Charles V in the living of Blagdon in Somersel. an unprofitable History of Philip II He was a preacher of some popu(1777).

larity, and wrote tales and poems. JOHN WHITAKER (1735 - 1808) In company with his brother, Wil.

a History of Manchester LIAM LANGHORNE (1721-1772), he (1771-5) and a book called Mary, published a translation of Plutarch's Queen of Scots, Vindicated (1787) Lives (1770), which superseded which deserve a passing mention. North's magnificent version in the

The Universal History, in 23 correct taste of the eighteenth cen. volumes, was completed in 1760, tury, and, until quite recently, was under the care of Swinton, Archi- the standard English edition of the bald Bower, George Psalmanazar, great work. and others. Goldsmith wrote a CHARLOTTE LENNOX (1720-1804) preface for it, and received three wrote two popular novels, Harriot guineas for the task.

Stuart (1750) and The Female

Quixote (1752).


née Chamberlaine, mother of Richard

Brinsley Sheridan, wrote two very THOMAS AMORY (16917-1788), an tearful novels in the sentimental Irishman by descent, resided in manner, Memoirs of Miss Sidney BiWestminster, was a staunch Uni-dulph (1761) and Nourjahad (1788), tarian, and lived to the great age of the first of which was greatly adninety-seven. His Memoirs, con- mired by Johnson. Her two come. taining the Lives of several Ladies dies, The Discovery (1763) and The of Great Britain, appeared in 1755.

Dupe (1764), are not as able as her In The Life of John Buncle, Esq. novels. (1756-66), he approaches the domain JOHN HORNE TOOKE (1736-1812) of the novel. The book is an erratic was the son of a London poulterer narrative written in the first person, named Horne. He received his full of humour, quotation, and medi- education at Westminster, Eton, tative digression, and reminding the and St. John's College, Cambridge, reader, in its oddness, of Burton's after which, taking Holy Orders, he Anatomy.

threw himself into the great political SIR WILLIAM JONES (1746-1794), struggles of those days, and wrote a celebrated Oriental scholar, and in 1765 in favour of Wilkes. In the author of many works in various 1773 he resigned his preferment in branches of literature, was the son the Church in order to study for of an eminent mathematician. He the bar ; but the benchers refused was educated at Harrow and Uni. to call him because he was a clergy. versity College,; Oxford, was called man. Mr. Tooke of Purley, whose to the bar in 1774, and, in 1783, was name he afterwards adopted, left appointed a judge of the Supreme him his fortune. In 1796 he was Court at Calcutta, where he died in a candidate for Parliament as mem1794. He was one of the first Euro- ber for Westminster, and in 1801 was peans who studied Sanskrit, and elected for Old Sarum. Previously, contributed many valuable papers to in 1794, he had been tried for high the Researches of the Bengal Asiatic treason, when he was defended by Society. While in India he trans- Erskine. The declining years of his lated from the Sanskrit, Sakuntala, life were passed at his literary retreat a dramatic poem by Kalidasa, and at Wimbledon, where his friends the Hitopadesa, a collection of fables. often came to enjoy the hospitality,

humour, and philosophy of the hale | 1812), who had contributed notes and witty old man. Between 1786 to Steevens' second edition of the and 1805 he enlarged his Letter to work (1778) and had published a Mr. Dunning on the English Par- critical and historical supplement, ticle into the "ENEA NTEPOENTA, containing the poems, Broke's or the Diversions of Purley, a series Romeus and Juliet, and other things, of dialogues upon language, in which in 1780, subsequently fell foul of he reduced all parts of speech to Steevens, and brought out a Shakenouns and verbs. The book should speare of his own in 1790. After be carefully consulted by every stu- Boswell's death he edited four dent of the English language; but editions of the Life of Johnson, many of its etymologies are fanciful between 1797 and 1812, and his and far-fetched.

further notes on Shakespeare were The chief Shakespearean critics incorporated by the younger Boswell of this period were: (1) RICHARD in the third variorum Shake FARMER (1735-1797), Master of Em speare, usually known as “ Boswell's manuel College, Cambridge, who Malone” (1821). Malone had not published in 1767 an Essay on the Steevens' ability ; but he was a Learning of Shakespeare, discussing more cautious editor, and paid with great skill the dramatist's his- more respect to the text of the first torical and classical authorities. folio.

(2) GEORGE STEEVENS (1736- Among the numerous travellers 1800), who was Johnson's partner of this age should be mentioned in the Shakespeare of 1773, and Sir GEORGE LEONARD STAUNTON became a member of the Club in (1737-1801) and GEORGE, EARL 1774 He afterwards remodelled MACARTNEY (1737-1806), who nar. the text and, with Reed's help, rated their mission to China in brought out a new edition-actually two interesting works, Staunton's the fourth-in 1793, in which he in- Account of the Embassy (1797) and troduced serious textual alterations. Macartney's Journal (1807). He was by no means an universal The two greatest names, however, favourite. Topham Beauclerk called are those of JAMES BRUCE (1730him " malignant," and said that he 1794), who penetrated far into Abys. deserved to be kicked.

sinia and Central Africa in search (3) ISAAC REED (1742-1807) of of the source of the Nile, and Staple Inn, who edited the third MUNGO PARK (1771-1806), whose edition of Johnson and Steevens' literary achievements are far greater Shakespeare (1785), and brought than those of Bruce. His famous out a new revised version in 1803. | Travels appeared in 1799. He was known as the

"first variorum." drowned while escaping from The "second variorum" is the re- native attack, but his journal was vision of this in 1813.

preserved, and published posthu. (4) EDMUND MALONE (1741 - 1 mously in 1815.




$ 1. The revival of nature-poetry. The share of Scotland in the move.

ment. § 2. JAMES THOMSON. The Seasons and The Castle of Indvience. $ 3. William SHENSTONE. WILLIAM COLLINS: his Odes. $ 4 THOMAS GRAY. Importance of his Odes and Elegy. § 5. MARK AKENSIDE. $ 6. The WARTONS and the History of English Poetry. $ 7. Literary forgeries. THOMAS CHATTERTON and the medieval spirit of romance. $ 8. JAMES MACPHERSON. Ossian and its appeal to the imagination. $ 9. WILLIAM FALCONER and ERASMUS DARWIN. $ 10. WILLIAM COWPER. $ 11. GEORGE CRABBE: homeliness and realism of his poetry. $ 12. WILLIAM BLAKE. Isolated character of his lyric poetry. & 13. ROBERT BURNS : his lyric poetry; its spontaneity and humour. § 14. Drama from 1750-1800. R. B. SHERIDAN'S comedies.

to nature

§ 1. LITERARY fashions are seldom of long duration. The classical taste in English poetry had no sooner reached its

zenith in Pope than it began to disappear before The return

the rise of a new fashion. English poetry, in the in English stilted graces of the heroic couplet, had been brought poetry.

to so mechanical a perfection that every versiñer was capable of writing his copy of neat machine-made lines full of regular melody and of all those artificial tricks which, by constant repetition, communicated themselves to his ear. He wrote fluently of gods and nymphs, and gave his heroes and heroines names which more or less distantly recalled the classics; he dealt in a continual supply of ingenious phrases, epigrams, and antitheses; he lived, as it were, in an elaborate garden, whose arrangements bore the least imaginable resemblance to nature. His imagination led him to nothing more natural than a grotto or a fountain. When he talked of forests, he meant trim shrubberies; when he referred to caves and deserts, he was thinking of summer-houses and rockeries. And, although it was only by degrees that the English mind freed itself from this constrained attitude, a movement in the direction of natural feeling becomes perceptible in the second quarter of the eighteenth century, and grows in strength-albeit with rather dull and tentative efforts-through its remaining half. This movement is, in a certain sense, a reaction. The artificial spirit in English poetry was, as we have seen, a direct result of


the Restoration and the fashions which it brought from France. Waller, Cowley, Dryden, and Pope, the great hierophants of this cult, take us, each of them, farther from the

Attitude romantic age of Elizabethan poetry, and establish a

of the canon of verse which removes itself very far from the classical standard of Shakespeare. On the other hand, these school to poets cannot be said to reject the claims of nature ; their attitude is simply one of blindness to anything save the artificial surroundings they have created for themselves. And, when younger poets began to show their desire to see something for themselves, and to escape from the monotony of the well-ordered garden which had been so assiduously cultivated for more than sixty years, the older men were the first to praise them.

The promise of the romantic movement, the return to the poetry of nature, thus sprang, in the ordinary course of evolution, from the classical school of the age of Anne ; it inherited many of the traditions of the Augustan Influence of age-an inevitable tendency to stiffness, a choice of poets on conventional words, epithets, and metaphors which the early speaks of the influence of Pope. At the same time, mature. the new school of poets, with Thomson at their head, are, so to speak, sons of Pope who have been strongly affected by the earlier poets. Young, for example, whose Night Thoughts (1741-2) we have already mentioned, addresses Milton

“Ah, could I reach your strain Or his, who made Mæonides our own

-thus bracketing Pope with Milton. The choice of blank verse as the metre, both of Young's Night Thoughts and of Thomson's Seasons, shows their obligation to Milton, whose splendid fire they might imitate, but never catch. Gradually the influence of Shakespeare and the old dramatists made itself more and more felt, and grew in force until the earlier writers became the source of the living element in English literature, and the poetry of the Restoration and Revolution—the direct result, it should not be forgotten, of disturbed political conditions —was regarded as an interesting parenthesis in literary history. The growth of interest in the older poetry is manifest in the unflagging zeal with which the worthies of the eighteenth century--some of them, like Warburton, most unlikely persons -edited and re-edited Shakespeare, and even more clearly in the epoch-making publication of Percy's Reliques (1765).

Another thing to be noticed is the part which Scotland took in this great revival. Of Sir Walter Scott we need not speak at present ; he belongs to a later generation, and his

The part work is the full flower of romance. But Thomson, of Scotland who did more than anyone else for the early poetry in the netu of nature, was a Scotsman and a native of that Border poetry.

where the English spirit had, centuries before, encountered the Celtic love of nature, and had been blended with it in a subtle and indissoluble union. The lyric poetry of the Lowlands, although its volume had in some measure ceased, had never died out ; and, even in Allan Ramsay, indebted as his pastoral poetry was to the artificial school, the love of nature and of the bygone singers who had cherished it was far more conspicuous than any other external influence. Until the day of Burns and Scott, when the native poetry and prose of Scotland became a vital force in English literature, there was never wanting a series of Scottish bards who, poor and ephemeral though much of their verse was, carried on the romantic tradition and helped to keep it alive in Eng!and through the poetical deadness of the Johnsonian age. Blair and Beattie, by no means first-rate poets, were admired in England. Beattie's Hermit brought tears into the eyes of Johnson, whose rabid aversion to Scotland was not the least of his eccentricities. The same great critic, who gave rather grudging praise to Thomson, and showed an overwhelming contempt for that wild outbreak of Celtic romanticism, Macpherson's Ossian, confessed, in 1783, the hold that Scottish literature had gained on his country. 'You know, sir, that no Scotchman publishes a book or has a play brought on the stage, but there are five hundred people ready to applaud him.”

$ 2. JAMES THOMSON is the greatest poet among Pope's immediate successors. He was the son of a gentleman at Ednam

in Roxburghshire, and was educated at Edinburgh The early naturlists:

University, where, at an early age, he was "smit 1. JAMES with the love of sacred song." Like his fellowTHOMSON (1700-1748).

countryman, Smollett, he determined to seek his

fortune in London, and, going up in 1725, lived for some time in great poverty. Another of his countrymen, David Mallet, the deist, a young man who had already shown sufficient originality to write the romantic ballad of William and Margaret (1723), was at this time his chief friend, and en

couraged him to publish his poem on Winter. This, Publication the first contribution to The Seasons, appeared early Seasons." in 1726, and brought the young poet into favour.

He was taken up by Aaron Hill, one of those pretenders to literary fame whom Pope was very soon to lash so severely in The Dunciad; but Pope himself recognised the merits of the new poem, and not only gave advice to its author, but corrected and retouched several passages in it. In 1727 Winter was followed by Summer ; in 1728 Spring, and, in 1730, Autumn, with a Hymn to Nature, completed the cycle of The Seasons. Thomson had been already for a short time a private tutor at East Barnet in the family of Lord Binning; he was now appointed governor to the son of the Solicitor-General (afterwards Lord Chancellor) Talbot, and travelled with his pupil in the South of France and Italy. Talbot, whose younger brother, it will be remembered, was the friend of Bishop Butler,

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