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and work of the poet. Rossetti's "Memoir," as yet the richest collection of biographical materials from all sources, is bound up with his critical edition of the poems; Hogg's "Life" is but a fragment, and, unfortunately, far less trustworthy than brilliant, if not in the general impression, at any rate in many of the details it gives of Shelley at Oxford, and after his expulsion; Medwin's "Life" (1847) is sketchy and inaccurate, and not easily accessible; Lady Shelley's "Memorials" are distinctly ancillary; M'Carthy's "Early Life" is mainly concerned with the Dublin episode; the articles by Peacock and Garnett only discuss particular points of interest; and brave Trelawny's graphic "Recollections" relate to no more than the last half-year of Shelley's life; while the poems are rarely accompanied by the prose works, including the magnificent "Defence of Poetry," the translations, and the letters from Italy to Peacock, of which last Mr. Symonds says: "Taken altogether, they are the most perfect specimens of descriptive prose in the English language; " with which verdict we shall scarcely disagree, remembering that they are real letters, and not elaborate compositions like those whereby Ruskin has added glory to our glorious mother-tongue.

Matters being in this state, it is evident that a cheap and handy volume, drawing from all these dispersed and fragmentary and comparatively dear contributions a clear and truthful outline of the whole life and work of Shelley, was really much wanted; and we, therefore, give hearty welcome to the present work, which undertakes, and, in our opinion, very successfully, to satisfy this want. Mr. Symonds is well

known as an accomplished scholar and writer, of liberal sympathies with all that is beautiful in nature and art; and he reveals himself as an old lover of Shelley in noting that when he was a Harrow boy he picked up two uncut copies of "Laon and Cythna" (unperverted original of the "Revolt of Islam") at a Bristol book-shop. As for the spirit in which Mr. Symonds writes of Shelley, we can scarcely better praise it than by saying that it is as nearly as possible directly opposed to the spirit in which Professor Shairp writes of Burns.

In the limits of our space we could not, even were it desirable, accompany Mr. S. through his narrative and criticisms. We may, however, say a very few words on a very few of the still-vexed questions concerning Shelley. And here it must be remarked that while, in discussing such questions, Mr. S. usually starts with a deferential, though by no means very ardent, support of authority or the world's opinion, his natural clear-sightedness and rectitude and love of liberty generally constrain him before he is done into a virtual though unavowed vindication of Shelley.

1. The expulsion from Oxford for the (then unproved) authorship of the two-paged tract, "The Necessity of Atheism;" Shelley then in his nineteenth year. Mr. S. begins by defending the authorities against the charges of unfair dealing in this matter. But what does he say for and of them in the course of his palliation ?—he himself being not only an unexpelled University man, like many others who have argued this business against Shelley, but an Oxford man and the author of a prize poem.

Read pp. 36, 37: "But it must be remembered that he despised the Oxford dons with all his heart; and they were probably aware of this. He was a dexterous, impassioned reasoner, whom they little cared to encounter in argument on such a topic. . . . Nor was it to be expected that the champion and apostle of atheism should be unmolested in his propaganda by the aspirants to fat livings and ecclesiastical dignities. . . . At the beginning of this century the learning and the manners of the Oxford dons were at a low ebb; and the Fellows of University College acted harshly but not altogether unjustly, ignorantly but after their kind, in this matter of Shelley's expulsion. Non ragionam di lor, ma guarda e passa. "They are not worth speaking about; look at them and pass on;" the most contemptuous line in all Dante; for the miserables in limbo who have never really lived, the neutrals rejected by hell as by heaven, who envy even the positive tortures of the deeper damned, who are hateful to God and to the enemies of God! Call you that backing of your friends? A plague on such backing! they might well exclaim. We are not concerned here with Shelley's opinions; but as mere outsiders, who have no Alma Mater to look back upon either with gratitude or contempt, we may remark that a university which has no other discipline at command for sceptical or heretical pupils than expulsion, proclaims its own utter incapacity for the duties it undertakes to fulfil in the guidance and education of youth. Try to fancy one of the old teachers, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Zeno, or any other, driving away a pupil who propounded

doubts and difficulties, instead of attempting to clear up and solve them! Non ragionam di lor, ma guarda e passa!

2. The relations between Shelley and his father. Mr. S. writes, p. 44: "I agree with Shelley's last and best biographer, Mr. W. M. Rossetti, in his condemnation of the poet's behaviour as a son." But read some of his other sentences bearing on this subject: "We only know that in his early boyhood Shelley loved his father so much as to have shown unusual emotion during his illness on one occasion, but that, while at Eton, he [Shelley] had already become possessed by a dark suspicion concerning him [his father]. This is proved by the episode of Dr. Lind's visit during his fever. Then and afterwards he expected monstrous treatment at his [father's] hands, although the elder gentleman was nothing worse than a muddle-headed squire." In fact, Shelley believed that his father intended to put him in a madhouse (p. 17). Again, p. 5: "Mr. Timothy Shelley was in no sense of the word a bad man; but he was everything which the poet's father ought not to have been. . . . His morality, in like manner, was purely conventional, as may be gathered from his telling his eldest son [Shelley] that he would never pardon a mésalliance, but that he would provide for as many illegitimate children as he chose to have." Yet young Oxford accounts Mr. Timothy in no sense of the word a bad man; but Shelley must have felt as outraged and disgusted as was Marius in Les Misérables at a similar hint from his well-to-do relative of l'ancien régime. After the expulsion from Oxford, the father forbade his return home, and cut

off supplies, and after the mésalliance with Harriet Westbrook (a sort of compromise having been patched up in the meantime) he did the same. Afterwards (p. 53), "Mr. Timothy Shelley was anxious to bind his erratic son down to a settlement of the estates, which, on his own death, would pass into the poet's absolute control. . . . He proposed to make him an immediate allowance of £2000 [per annum] if Shelley would but consent to entail the land on his heirs male. This offer was indignantly refused. Shelley recognised the truth that property is a trust far more than a possession, and would do nothing to tie up so much command over labour, such incalculable potentialities of social good or evil, for an unborn being of whose opinions he knew nothing." Finally, we learn from Lady Shelley's "Memorials," that Sir Timothy proposed to relieve Shelley's widow from her poverty if she would resign her infant son, the heir to the title and estates, the present Sir Percy Florence Shelley, into his absolute charge; which offer also was indignantly refused, she preferring to earn a hard livelihood with her pen.

3. The separation from Harriet, his first wife. Mr. S. says, p. 81: "That Shelley must bear the responsibility of this separation seems to me quite clear." Yet in the note, previous page, he states: "Leigh Hunt, Autob.,' p. 236, and Medwin, however, both assert that it was by mutual assent." And on this same p. 81: "It must be added that the Shelley family, in their memorials of the poet, and through their friend, Mr. Richard Garnett, inform us, without casting any slur on Harriet, that documents are extant which will completely vindicate the poet's

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