Language And Literature Of England. The English is preeminently a composite language, made up mainly from the Celtic, Latin, Anglo-Saxon, Danish, and Norman French, with the addition of words from the Greek and many other languages, ancient and modern. For the investigation of this subject there are two modes. One is linguistic, and is more strictly philological. The affinities and diversities of the various words in the language furnish the internal evidence of the several sources from which the vocabulary and the constructions were derived. The other mode, which is ethnological, and which furnishes the external evidence from the history and migration of nations, often conducts to the same conclusions with the linguistic method. When, for instance, we hear of a stream called Wans-beck-water, and know that each of the three words of which the name is made up signifies "water," the first in the Celtic, the second in the German, and the third in the English, we recognize three changes of inhabitants, to whom the former name successively lost its significance. This is internal evidence. We also know from history that the Celts, the Saxons, and the English have successively occupied the territory where that stream is found. This is external evidence.
Both kinds of evidence in this case conduct us toward the conclusion that the Celts and Saxons contributed materials to the formation of the language. - The 'Celtic Element. In the English vocabulary are found basket, from the Celtic basged; mattock, from matog; pail, from paeol; and other words of like derivation. Moreover, a large part of the names of the mountains, lakes, and rivers in the British isles are significant only in some Celtic dialect. The Celts emigrated westward from central Asia in the early ages. They were probably pressed onward by other tribes, until they reached the seaboard and passed over the English channel into Great Britain. Their descendants are still found in Wales and in Cornwall, as well as in Ireland, in the highlands of Scotland, in the isle of Man, and in Brittany. The English language has few Celtic words, and no Celtic constructions. - The Latin Element. In the English vocabulary are found street, from the Latin stratum; master, from magister; state, from status; April, from Aprilis; and many other words of like derivation. The Romans under Julius Caesar invaded England, 55 B. C, and afterward under Agricola completed its conquest.
The forms caster, cester, and Chester, which appear so frequently in the names of places, as Lancaster, Worcester, and Winchester, are merely the Latin castra, camp, and show that the Romans held military possession of the whole country, establishing their fortified camps in the most favorable positions, around which in time grew up towns and cities. Roman law and magistracies were everywhere established, and the Christian religion was introduced by those who spoke the Latin language. But for the most part the Latin words in the language were not introduced during the 400 years that the Romans had possession of Britain, but afterward, while the Anglo-Saxons bore sway, or later still. A large number of Latin words were introduced by monks and learned men, relating to theology and science. Words of Latin origin constitute a very important part of the language, whether introduced directly or through the Norman French. The following is the development of the Latin portion of the language :
1, stem verbs, or roots, as bib, carp, cede, urge;
2, stem adjectives, as bland, brute, brev (short);
3, stem substantives, as arc, barb; 4, primary derivatives, as final, factor; 5, secondary derivatives, as valuable, moderate; 6, derivative words with prefixes, as abode, allude; 7, compound words, such as leopard. - The Anglo-Saxon Element. Whether we take into view the number or the sorts of words, the Anglo-Saxon is less an element than the mother tongue of the English. In the English language there are about 38,000 distinct words, of which some 23,000 in common use are from this source. The names of the greater part of the objects of nature, as sun, moon, day; all those words which express bodily action, as to stand, to stagger; all those words which are expressive of the earliest and dearest connections, as father, mother, brother, sister, are Anglo-Saxon. Most of those objects about which the practical reason is employed in common life, nearly all English pronouns, a large proportion of the language of invective, humor, satire, and colloquial pleasantry, are Anglo-Saxon. English grammar is occupied almost exclusively with what is of Anglo-Saxon origin.
The English genitive, the general mode of forming the plural of nouns, and the terminations by which we express the comparative and the superlative of adjectives (er and est), the inflections of the pronouns and verbs, and the most frequent termination of adverbs (ly), are all Anglo-Saxon; so are the auxiliary verbs. In fact, the Anglo-Saxon imparted so much of itself to the language, that the proximate origin of our tongue is to be sought in Germany, and its remote origin in central Asia, where was spoken the primitive tongue which may be regarded as the parent of the affiliated Indo-European languages, spoken by the successive tribes which migrated westward into Europe. The natural development of the Anglo-Saxon portion of our language has been nearly as follows : 1, instinctive forms and pronominal elements, as ah, oh; 2, stem words or roots, as bend, swim; 3, stem nouns, as blank, band; 4, reduplicate forms, as chit-chat, sing-song; 5,-primary derivatives, as chatter, toilsome; 6, secondary derivatives, as carefully, tiresomeness; 7, words with prefixes, as arise, forbid; 8, compound words, as earthquake, pick-purse; 9, disguised compounds and derivatives, as daisy, not. - The Danish Element. Many hundred words, especially names of places, are Danish, introduced during the incursions and occupation of England by the Danes. A portion of these words are provincial, being confined to the northern and northeastern counties of England, the regions most exposed to Danish visitation.- The Anglo-Norman Element. An etymological analysis of the language shows that the Anglo-Norman element enters very largely into its composition.
This element, which is composed of the Celtic, the Latin, and the Scandinavian, was first introduced (10/36) by the Normans, under William the Conqueror. Norman French was spoken by the superior classes in England from the conquest to the time of Edward III. (1327). The laws and the proceedings in parliament and in courts of justice were in that language. In the 13th century, during the progressive mixture of the two races, a literature sprang up in which the two languages were more or less blended. In the 14th century the Anglo-Saxon element seemed to have gained the upper hand. In the 15th the Anglo-Norman seemed to be gaining the preponderance; but the proportions still continued to vary until it became fixed in the age of Elizabeth. Words were generally adopted into the common language from the Anglo-Norman or the Anglo-Saxon, according as the objects or ideas expressed by those words belonged more exclusively to one race or the other. Thus the names of common articles of dress are Anglo-Saxon, as shirt, breeches, hose, shoes, hat, cloak; but other articles subject to changes of fashion are Anglo-Norman, as gown, coat, boots, mantle, cap, bonnet.
The word house, a common residence, is Anglo-Saxon; but palace, castle, manor, and mansion are Anglo-Norman. The names ox, calf, sheep, pig, boar are Anglo-Saxon, because that part of the population were engaged in tending those animals while they were living; but beef, veal, mutton, pork, venison are Anglo-Norman names, because that part of the population were accustomed to eat their flesh when they were killed. The natural development of the Anglo-Norman or Romanic portion of the language is nearly as follows: 1, verbal roots in English, as boil, cay in decay, ceive in conceive, pound, vouch; 2, stem adjectives, as chaste, clear; 3, stem substantives, as beast, peace; 4, derivative words with suffixes, as flourish, authorize, volunteer, arabesque, plumage, journal, service, fashion; 5, derivative words with prefixes, as avouch, antechamber, countermark; 6, Romanic compounds, as portfolio, wardrobe; 7, disguised Romanic words, as biscuit, bachelor, proctor, curfew. The common statement is that Anglo-Saxon was converted into English : 1, by contracting and otherwise modifying the pronunciation and orthography of words; 2, by omitting many inflections, especially of the noun, and consequently making more use of articles and auxiliaries; 3, by the introduction of French derivatives; 4, by using less inversion and ellipsis, especially in poetry. - Besides the languages already mentioned which have contributed to the composition of the English, several others, and especially the Greek, should also be mentioned: 1, Greek verbal roots, as arch, in archetype, graph in graphic; 2, stem adjectives, as kal, beautiful, in calligraphy, kryph, hidden, in apocrypha; 3, stem substantives, as rhomb, cord; 4, derivative words with suffixes, as poet, chrism; 5, secondary derivatives, as Baptist, Christian; 6, derivative words with prefixes, as apoplexy, catarrh, catastrophe; 7, compounds, as democracy, pedagogue.
There are also in the language Hebrew words, as manna, a gum, jasper, a precious stone, sabbath; Spanish, as guerilla, matadore; Italian, as stanza, piazza; Persian, as bazaar, chess; Arabic, as alembic, gazelle; Chinese, as chop, hyson; and Indian, as hominy, moceason. Our terms in polite literature come from Greece; in music and painting, from Italy; in cookery and war, from the French; and in navigation, from the Flemings and Dutch. - From its composite character, the English is copious in its vocabulary and phrases. There are large classes of words derived from the Norman or the classical languages which are in common parlance synonymous with words derived from the Anglo-Saxon. General terms are from the Latin; those that denote the special varieties of objects, qualities, and modes of action are from the Anglo-Saxon. Thus, color is Latin; but white, black, green are Anglo-Saxon. It has been remarked that "Latin furnishes the elegant, the Saxon the common expression, as bad odor and stench, perspiration and sweat." In looking through the several stages of the language, namely, the Saxon, the semi-Saxon, the old English, the middle English, the modern English, we are struck with the constant death of old words, and the constant birth of new ones that come in to fill their places.
In the early periods this was due to the successive irruptions of foreigners, who in introducing their own language necessarily expelled a portion of the vernacular. Another cause of these mutations is that the pursuits of the English people have been multiform beyond those of any other nation, and the language has correspondingly changed. Lexicographers, in their zeal to introduce new words, to the neglect of old ones, have contributed to the changes by recording the one class and omitting the other. In Halliwell's "Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words " there are more than 50,000 words not recorded in modern dictionaries. - For further information on this subject the reader may consult Grimm's Deutsche Gram-matik (4 vols., Gottingen, 1819 - '37); Guest's "History of English Rhythms" (London, 1838); Rask's "Anglo-Saxon Grammar," translated by Thorpe (London); Bopp's "Comparative Grammar," translated by Eastwick (3 vols. 8vo, London); Trench's " English, Past and Present" (New York ed., 1855), and "Study of Words" (New York ed., 1861); Goold Brown's "Grammar of English Grammars" (New York, 1857); Latham's "Hand-Book of the English Language " (New York ed., 1857); Fowler's "English Language in its Elements and Forms" (New York, 1859); G. P. Marsh's " History of the English Language" (New York, 1862); Alford's "Queen's English" (London, 1864); Earle's "Philology of the English Language" (Oxford, 1867 and 1871); March's " Comparative Grammar of the Anglo-Saxon " and "Introduction to Anglo-Saxon" (New York, 1870); Stormonth's "Etymological Dictionary of English " (Edinburgh and London, 1871); Morris's "Historical Outlines of English Accidence" (London, 1872); and R. G. White's " Words and their Uses " (New York, 1870 and 1873). - English Literature was preceded in the British islands by compositions in the Cymric or ancient British, Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Norman or early French, and Latin languages.
A few Cymric metrical pieces are extant, which date probably from the 6th century; they are the songs of the Welsh bards Aneurin, Taliesin, Llewarch-Hen, and Myrddin, the sage as well as poet, whom succeeding centuries transfigure into the enchanter Merlin. To Gildas, a brother of Aneurin (or in the opinion of some identical with him), is attributed a Latin prose tract, De Excidio et Conquestu Britannia, which if genuine is the earliest historical work produced in Britain that has been preserved. The personages mentioned in these eldest British songs and annals, as Arthur, Merlin, Kay, and Gawain, played prominent parts in romantic literature a few centuries later, and still afford favorite themes for the poets. During the Anglo-Saxon period both a vernacular and a Latin literature were cultivated, their most flourishing era being the 8th century, the age of Alcuin, Aldhelm, Bede, and Ceolfrid. The monasteries of England and Ireland sent forth many scholars of European celebrity for learning, and Alcuin and Erigena served especially to associate these countries with the continent in liberal studies. The alliterative, unrhyming versification of the Anglo-Saxons was employed in some of the early English poems.
But the Norman conquest almost abolished the use of Anglo-Saxon in writing, and for more than a century the prevalent literature of England was either in Latin or in Anglo-Norman. Lanfranc and Anselm, who were attracted from France by the conqueror, and became successively archbishops of Can-terbury, originated or revived the scholastic philosophy, the treatises on which were in Latin, and several of the most eminent later doctors of which, as Alexander of Hales, Duns Scotus, and William Occam, were of British birth. Roger Bacon is especially remarkable for his acquaintance with Hebrew and Arabic literature, and quotes from ten of the most highly reputed Saracen authors. In connection with him may be mentioned Michael Scotus, the wizard of the northern ballads, whose writings were celebrated throughout Europe. The scholastic writers of the 12th century prided themselves on their epistolary style, and many collections of their letters have been preserved, which are among the most valuable illustrations of the public and private history of the time. These letters begin with Lanfranc, were very numerous in the reign of Henry II., and among the most interesting of them are those of Peter of Blois, which contain graphic descriptions of the manners and characters of the time.
Latin poems abounded throughout the 12th century, and those of Laurence of Durham, John of Salisbury, John de Hauteville, Nigellus Wirker, and Alexander Neckham contain passages of almost classic elegance. The most ambitious attempts were by Joseph of Exeter, who wrote two epics in heroic measure. A new style of versification, in which rhymes took the place of the ancient metres, was introduced, and soon attained an attractive energy and sprightliness. It was brought to perfection in the satirical poems attributed to Walter Mapes, which exhibit excellent sense and humor amid bacchanalian jovialities. In his Confessio Golioe is found the famous drinking song beginning Ileum est propositum in taberna mori. This kind of poetry became extremely popular, and flourished long after the style of the more serious Latin authors had become hopelessly debased. But the most important Latin works during the Norman period were the chronicles or histories, all of them by ecclesiastics. The chronicle of Ordericus Vitalis, which comes down to 1141, was the first in which history was made an object of laborious research; that of William of Malmesbury is the most elegant, and that of Geoffrey of Monmouth exerted the greatest influence on subsequent literature, becoming one of the cornerstones of romantic fiction.
It narrated Welsh and Armorican traditions of British history from Brutus, an imaginary son of AEneas, to Cadwalladyr in the 7th century. Ingulphus, Henry of Huntingdon, Giraldus Cambrensis, Roger de Hoveden, Matthew Paris, and Jocelin de Brakelonde are perhaps the other most important names in the long catalogue of monkish chroniclers. The earliest Anglo-Norman compositions extant are supposed to belong to the first part of the 12th century. In the reigns of Stephen and Henry II. a school of poets was formed devoted to versifying history in that language, the three great masters of which were Wace, Gaimar, and Benoit de Sainte-Maure. Wace translated Geoffrey's British history into Anglo-Norman verse, under the title of the Roman de Brut, which extends to over 15,000 lines; and also wrote the Roman de Rou, giving the legends concerning Rollo the Norman. Gaimar made a metrical continuation of the narrative of Geoffrey to the Norman period; and Benoit composed a romance of the history of Troy, which upheld the claims of several of the western nations to a Trojan origin. The cycle of romances relating to Arthur and the round table were prevalent in England from the 11th to the 14th century.
They were in French, but several of them, as the Merlin, Lancelot, Queste du Saint Graal, and Mort d'Arthure, were written by Englishmen for the English court and nobles. Some writers have maintained also that the lays of Marie and the romances concerning Charlemagne and his paladins appeared in England earlier than in France. The original source of these fictions, and of romantic poetry in Europe, is attributed by Bishop Percy to the Scandinavians through the Normans, by Warton to the Arabians through the Moors of Spain, and by Ellis and Turner to the inhabitants of Armorica or Brittany. - During this prevalence of Latin and Anglo-Norman literature the Anglo-Saxon language had been confined to the conquered race, but the " Saxon Chronicle" had been carried on in obscure monasteries by various annalists to the year 1154. About 50 years later, when the two races began to unite in one nation, a work appeared written in Anglo-Saxon so much modified by French that it is usually accounted the beginning of English literature.
This was Layamon's translation of Waco's Roman de Brut, which was followed in the 13th century by many translations from Latin and Anglo-Norman. The older chronicles were more or less closely followed in the English metrical pieces of Robert of Gloucester and Robert Manning, a monk of Bourne. The Anglo-Norman romances were reproduced in the English metrical romances of "Sir Tristrem," "Sir Perceval of Galles," "Ywaine and Gawayne," "Havelok the Dane," "King Horn," "Coeur de Lion," "King Alesaunder," "Morte Ar-thure," "Sir Guy," the "King of Tars," and many others. "Sir Tristrem," one of the oldest, was attributed by Sir Walter Scott, on grounds now generally admitted to be unsatisfactory, to the Scottish poet Thomas the Rhymer. The body of Latin tales entitled Gesta Romanorum, perhaps of German origin, was now and continued much later to be a source of materials for English authors. The first original English poet, who left the beaten track of translation from chronicles, romances, and legends of the saints, was Laurence Minot (about 1350), the author of some short balladlike poems on the victories of the English armies in the reign of Edward III. Richard Rolle, a hermit of Hampole, produced about the same time a moral poem entitled " The Pricke of Conscience." The most remarkable production before the age of Chaucer is " The Vision of Piers Ploughman," ascribed to Robert Langlande. It is in alliterative verse, without rhyme, abounds in allegorical personifications, and is a satire on the vices of the times and especially of the ecclesiastics.
It has passages of humor and extraordinary poetical vigor, but the author adopted an obsolete and unrefined diction. Its popularity caused many imitations to bo made of it, the best of which was "Piers Ploughman's Crede." Contemporary with Chaucer was Gower, whose Confessio Amantis, in octosyllabic metre, is a collection of stories and of physical and metaphysical reflections. Chaucer calls him the "moral Gower," and his poetry is of a grave and sententious turn, professedly serious and instructive. Both in genius and style he is much inferior to Chaucer (died in 1400), the first great English author, admirable for the comprehensiveness and variety of his powers. A courtier and traveller, he was one of the earliest English writers who was not an ecclesiastic, and he excels especially in narrative and in portraiture of character. He introduced and employed with facility the regular iambic pentameter, or heroic couplet, the most approved English metre. The prologue to the " Canterbury Tales " is unsurpassed as a description of character and manners, and the "Knight's Tale" is among the noblest of chivalrous romances. Chaucer has been compared to the appearance of a genial day in spring, preceded and followed by dark clouds and wintry blasts.
After him there is a barren period of more than a century; an age of disputed successions and civil wars, when, says [ an old historian, " the bells in the church steeples were not heard for the sound of drums and trumpets." Till the accession of Elizabeth, the best of numerous versifiers are John the Chaplain, Occleve, Lydgate, Haws, Skelton the laureate, his rival Barclay, the earl of Surrey, Sir Thomas Wyatt, George Gascoyne, Thomas Tusser, and Thomas Sackville, afterward Lord Buckhurst. Of this series, Surrey (died in 1547) is most esteemed as an improver of English verse. He is said to have made the tour of Europe in the spirit of chivalry, proclaiming the unparalleled charms of his mistress Geraldine, and returned to England distinguished as the most devoted lover, learned nobleman, and accomplished gentleman of his age. In his verses he copied the simplicity and grace of the Italian poets, avoiding learned allusions or elaborate conceits, and naturalized the sonnet in England. He also gives the earliest example of blank verse. Wyatt cooperated with him in seeking the elegances of composition; but he embarrassed his songs and sonnets with witty and fanciful conceits.
John Heywood is remembered only for his interludes, but he wrote also 600 epigrams, and his most labored performance, " The Spider and the Flie," is pronounced by Warton to be the most tedious and trifling of apologues, without fancy, meaning, or moral. A remarkable poem of this time is the "Mirrour for Magistrates," written by a combination of authors, the chief of whom was Sackville. He furnished alone its most valuable portion, the " Induction " or prologue, an imitation of Dante, marked by a monotony of gloom and sorrow, but showing both grandeur of imagination and power of language. Spenser's "Faery Queen" appeared in 1590. He had already established his reputation by his "Shepherd's Kalendar," published the year before. The "Faery Queen," although unfinished, is really complete in its first book, every canto of which teems with beauties. The following books are altogether inferior, and are rather supplementary, personifying the struggles of the virtues with their opposite vices. The poem, after the fashion of the reign, flatters Elizabeth under the characters of Gloriana and Belphoebe. Its peculiar stanza, to which Spenser's name has been given, a modification of the Italian ottava rima, with the addition of an Alexandrine to give a full and sweeping close, was an innovation in the art of poetry, and has since been much used.
Contemporary with Spenser was Sir Philip Sidney, whose songs and sonnets deserve mention; and either contemporary or soon following were the "Saint Peter's Complaint" and " Mary Magdalene's Funeral Tears " of Robert Southwell; the " Civil Wars," "Complaint of Rosamond," and numerous minor pieces of Samuel Daniel, of a pensive character, and in remarkably pure style; the "Barons' Wars" and the "Poly-olbion" of Michael Drayton, the former a metrical chronicle, and the latter an immense piece of metrical topography, which contains also striking national legends and ingenious allegorical and mythological inventions; the few and brief poems of Sir Henry Wotton; the Nosce Teipsum and the ""Orchestra " of Sir John Davies, the former a happily condensed piece of metaphysical reasoning; the satires of Bishop Hall, published in 1597, the earliest in the language except the "Steele Glas" of Gascoyne; the satires, elegies, and various lyrics of John Donne, which are rather metrical problems than poems, strongly manifesting the metaphysical tendency then common in poetry, but which reveal a subtle intellect and fruitful fancy, though obscure in thought, rugged in versification, and full of as bad affectations and conceits as are to be found in the century; the poems of the brothers Phineas and Giles Fletcher, the principal of which are "The Purple Island," an allegorical description of the human soul and body, and " Christ's Victory and Triumph," a beautiful religious composition; and the sacred poems of the country parson, George Herbert. The ballad literature of England and Scotland is of uncertain date, but much of it, as "Chevy Chase," "The Nutbrowne Mayde," and the numerous ballads about Robin Hood, probably arose in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Its golden era was the time of Mary, queen of Scots. Scotland meanwhile had a succession of genuine poets, Barbour (died about 1396), who wrote an epic entitled " The Bruce," having been followed by Wyntoun, Blind Harry, Gawin Douglas, and William Dunbar. - The annals of the British drama begin with miracle plays, which are first mentioned as being represented in London in the latter part of the 12th century. They were on sacred subjects, usually from the Bible, were written and to a late period acted by ecclesiastics, and were at first performed in churches and the chapels of monasteries. They were performed on holy days in the largest towns, the most famous and frequented being those of Chester, Widkirk, and Coventry. At Chester they continued every Whit-Sunday, with some interruptions, from 1268 to 1577, and were in Latin or French till in 1338 Higden "obtained leave of the pope to have them in the English tongue." The most ancient extant miracle play in English is at least as old as the reign of Edward III. It is founded on the 16th chapter of the apocryphal gospel of Nicodemus, is entitled " The Harrowing of Hell," and consists of a prologue, epilogue, and intermediate dialogue between nine persons, among whom are Dominus, Satan, Adam, and Eve. Besides this and a few other single pieces, there are three distinct sets of them: the Townley collection, 30 in number, supposed to have belonged to Widkirk abbey, before the suppression of the monasteries; the Coventry collection, performed in that city on the feast of Corpus Christi, 42 in number; and the Chester Whitsun collection, 30 in number.
Miracle plays were transformed into moral plays by exchanging Scriptural and historical characters for abstract, allegorical, or symbolical impersonations. This sort of religious drama was in a state of considerable advancement in the reign of Henry VI., and reached its highest perfection in that of Henry VII. Two prominent personages in them were the Devil and a witty, mischievous, profligate character, denominated the Vice. "By the relinquishment of abstract for individual character," says Mr. Collier, " they paved the way, by a natural and easy gradation, for tragedy and comedy, the representations of real life and manners." John Heywood, the epigrammatist, who belonged to the court of Henry VIII., contributed to driving Biblical and allegorical personages from the stage, and his plays form a class almost by themselves, termed interludes. The later plays of Bishop Bale also belong to the period of transition, and he was the first to apply the name tragedy and comedy to English dramatic representations. The earliest comedy is the "Ralph Roister Doister" of Nicholas Udall, and is at least as ancient as the reign of Edward VI. It has 13 characters, 9 male and 4 female, represents the manners of polished society, and could not be performed in less than 2 1/2 hours.
It is superior to "Gammer Gurton's Needle," by John Still, the second in point of time, which was acted at Cambridge university in 1566, and contains the first drinking song of any merit in the language. The earliest extant piece that can be called a tragedy is the "Ferrex and Porrex" of Thomas Sackville and Thomas Norton, afterward named "The Tragedy of Gordobuc," which is in regular blank verse, consists of five acts, and was played before Queen Elizabeth at Whitehall, Jan. 18, 1562. During a part of the reign of Elizabeth miracle plays, moral plays, and romantic dramas were prevalent together. The custom of acting Latin plays in the universities of Oxford and Cambridge continued till Cromwell's time. - From the middle of the reign of Elizabeth to the accession of Anne (1580-1702), and more particularly to the great rebellion (1580-1642), may be reckoned the period of the so-called old English authors. The more limited era is unsurpassed in force, variety, and originality of literary genius in the annals of the world.
Among the influences which excited vast intellectual and moral activity were the study of the classics and of the literatures of Italy and France, the discovery of America and of the true theory of the solar system, the reformation, the practical results then following from the invention of gunpowder and of printing and from the overthrow of feudalism, the assertion of individual rights, and the enthusiastic sense of national independence and power. New ideas and interests aroused the minds of men, and the old forms and institutions, disappearing from actual life, lingered in the imagination and were idealized in poetry. The language rapidly grew to a strength and affluence which Dr. Johnson declared adequate to every purpose of use and elegance, while a masculine vigor, sometimes coarse, sometimes highly delicate, marked all the diversities of character and culture. The most extensive and important department of literature during this epoch was the drama, which distinguishes that age from all preceding and less decisively from all subsequent periods. It had two distinct periods, that of the old English dramatists (in the narrowest use of the term) prior to the civil war, and that of the comic dramatists after the restoration.
In the former series the most eminent names are Marlowe, Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher, Chapman, Decker, Webster, Marston, Massinger, Ford, Thomas Heywood, and Shirley. Among the precursors of Shakespeare were also John Lilly, whose nine plays, and especially "Endimion," have always had admirers for their dainty and conceited style; Thomas Kyd, whose "Spanish Tragedy," improved by Jonson, is said to have gone through more editions than any other play of the time; Thomas Nash, a ribald satirist; Robert Greene, whose comedies are lively, fantastic, and florid, and whose "Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay" is one of the latest plays in which the devil appears in person; George Peele, whose "David and Bethsabe" has been termed the earliest fountain of pathos and harmony in English dramatic poetry; and Thomas Lodge, who was associated with Greene in writing "The Looking-Glass for London and England," a strange performance, in which the prophecy of Jonah against Nineveh is applied to the city of London. All of these abound in bombast and pedantic classical allusions.
A more potent spirit was Christopher Marlowe (1564-'93), who, throwing off the shackles of rhyme, gave to blank verse an easy modulation and rhythm, and amid much rant and buffoonery produced some scenes and passages of wonderful beauty and grandeur. His most admired plays are "The Jew of Malta," "Edward II.," and "The Life and Death of Dr. Faustus," the last of which best illustrates the " fine madness " of his character. An awful melancholy pervades the fiend Mephistopheles, more impressive than the malignant mirth ascribed to him by Goethe. Marlowe was the immediate precursor of William Shakespeare (1564-1616), a comparison of whose works with those of his contemporaries proves his superiority as much in judgment and taste as in creative power, for a large proportion of his plays are more regular than any other prior to the close of the civil wars. The rules of the classical dramatic art were not then in vogue; the French neo-classical drama had not been originated; and though Shakespeare violated the ancient unities of time and place, he observed almost universally the unity of feeling and of interest.
The soundest criticism has vindicated for him the character of a profound artist as well as a great and luxuriant genius, and his peculiar excellences appear in the marvellous variety and verisimilitude of his personages, in the skill with which opposite characters are grouped and the finest and most diversified threads woven into a harmonious web, and in the completeness with which the entire action as well as the several characters is worked out, minute features and particulars being poetically conceived with reference to the universal system of things. Shakespeare's plays are 34 in number (the authorship of some of which, however, is disputed), and are usually divided into tragedies, comedies, and histories. Since the beginning of the present century their supremacy has attained unqualified and intelligent recognition. A friend of Shakespeare and his associate in the Mermaid, the oldest of clubs, was Ben Jonson (1574-1637), one of the most familiar names among the old dramatists. He had scholarly acquaintance with the classics, and labored to make the laws of the ancients authoritative in English dramatic art.
He is the author of two tragedies, "Catiline" and "Sejanus," and of numerous comedies and masques, the best of which are "The Alchemist," "Volpone, or the Fox," and "The Silent Woman." They are full of solid materials, in a stately, eloquent, but often pedantic style, and seem to have been produced slowly and upon deliberation, the wit, fancy, and satire being severely elaborated. His poetical character appears in its most pleasing aspect in the lyrical verses with which his masques are varied and enlivened, especially in the pastoral drama of " The Sad Shepherd," which display an admirable taste and feeling, and have all the charms of song. Jonson may have aimed at an audience of men of sense and knowledge, but Beaumont and Fletcher wrote for men of fashion and the world. Of the 52 plays published under their joint names, Beaumont may have had a part in only 17. They are keen, vivacious, and often elegant, but slight and superficial in comparison with Shakespeare's and Jonson's; the songs scattered through them are, however, among the most beautiful in the language.
The dramas of George Chapman (1557-1634), the translator of Homer, contain "more thinking " than those of most of his contemporaries; they have many passages of striking grandeur, are in a lofty and extravagant style, and their contemplations on the nature of man and the world leave impressions favorable to moral excellence. The "Fortunatus" and "Honest Whore " of Thomas Decker have graceful and genial passages; and the "Duchess of Malfy" and "White Devil" of John Webster are full of horrors cleverly managed, and have been esteemed among the most striking tragic productions of this period. The modern reputation of Thomas Middleton rests chiefly on his " Witch," which may have suggested to Shakespeare the supernatural scenery in "Macbeth;" and the coarse plays of John Marston abound in murders, ghosts, and scornful satire. The tragedies of Philip Massinger (1584-1640) have an easy and majestic flow. "The Duke of Milan"and "The Fatal Dowry" are among the best; and of his comedies, "The Picture," "The Bondman," and "A Very Woman." His "New Way to Pay Old Debts" still keeps the stage, for which it. is indebted to its effective character of Sir Giles Overreach. John Ford (died about 1640) preferred dark vices and the deepest distress for subjects.
He seems to have taken pleasure in revolving the various possibilities and revenges of sin, and the best of his plays hears the title of "The Broken Heart." Thomas Heywood, an indefatigable and popular dramatist, wrote "beautiful prose put into heroic metre." James Shirley (died in 1666) is the last of this circle of dramatists, and the least remarkable either for merits or faults. Under the commonwealth, and the ascendancy of the Puritans, the theatres were closed and the players flogged. Sir William Davenant tried to introduce a modification of the drama suited to the moral views of the time, but with only partial success. At the restoration the drama was revived under the influence of French rules and of a strong anti-Puritan reaction, with great mechanical improvements, movable decorations, music, and lights; but the larger part of the plays for 40 years are declared by Macaulay to be a disgrace to the English language and the national character. To ridicule and degrade virtue, sincerity, and prudence was the business of the stage. Blank verse was displaced by rhyme, but the tragic authors soon returned to the former, and the comic sank to familiar prose.
The best tragedies of the period are "The Orphan" and "Venice Preserved" of Thomas Otway (1651 -'85); and though the former displeases the delicacy of our age, the latter has been more frequently represented than any other tragedy except those of Shakespeare. The genius of the poet appears especially in pathetic delineations of passion and misery, and few heroines have been so highly honored with the tribute of tears as Belvidera in "Venice Preserved." John Dryden, who was rivalled by none of his contemporaries as a satirical, didactic, and lyric poet, abused his rare gifts to attain dramatic success, the faculty for which nature had denied him. His "Don Sebastian," "Spanish Friar," and " All for Love " are the best of numerous tragedies and comedies, whose bombast and ribaldry have rendered them obsolete, notwithstanding their surprising incidents, stately declamation, and harmonious numbers. The "Fatal Discovery" of Southerne, the "Jane Shore" of Rowe, the "Mourning Bride" of Congreve, and the "Rival Queens" of Lee may also be mentioned among successful tragedies.
The proper representatives of the comedy of this period are Wycherly, Congreve, Far-quhar, and Vanbrugh, and among their profligate plays the most popular were "The Plain Dealer" and "The Country Wife," "Love for Love" and "The Way of the World," "The Beaux Stratagem" and "The Trip to the Jubilee," and "The Provoked Husband" and "The Provoked Wife." Mrs. Aphra Behn, Thomas Shadwell, and Sir George Etherege also deserve mention among those who made the stage as immoral as their talents permitted. The "Careless Husband" and other plays of Colley Cibber, and the "Busy Body" and "Bold Stroke for a Wife" of Mrs. Centlivre, connect the period of the restoration with that of Anne. Among the non-dramatic poems of the Elizabethan age, mention should be made of the translation of Ovid and Lucan by Marlowe; Sandys's versions of Ovid and the Psalms; Harrington's version of Ariosto, Fanshawe's of Camoens, and the more important versions of Homer by Chapman and of Tasso by Fairfax. - The literary genius of the age of Puritan ascendancy, between the Elizabethan epoch and that of the restoration, culminated in Milton, who has no rivals in epic poetry but Homer, Virgil, and Dante. His career illustrates the literary character of his age.
Prior to 1640 he had produced "L'Allegro," "II Penseroso," "Comus," "Lycidas," and the "Ode on the Morning of the Nativity," one of the finest in the language. During the period of civil conflict and Cromwellian rule, from 1640 to 1660, he wrote no poetry except a few sonnets, but produced his various polemical prose treatises; and it is remarkable that there was at that time an almost entire cessation of pure literature in England. The contemporary poets, without an exception of any consequence, had their eras of activity only before the struggle and after it, or in exile or in prison during it, and the intellect of the country was occupied in producing a huge mass of controversial prose, only a very slight portion of which has taken a place in the literature. One literary man only was undisturbed and uninterested by the events of the time. While England was in political and religious confusion, Sir Thomas Browne was quietly meditating in his garden at Norwich upon sepulchral urns and the quin-cuncial lozenge. " Paradise Lost," though published after the restoration, was an early conception of Milton, and bears the impress of this period of fierce discussion and of moral and theological strife.
Its subject, the fall of man, is perhaps without an equal in epical grandeur, and its most prominent personage, if not its hero, is the fallen archangel Satan, whose ruined splendor and power of daring and of suffering make him one of the sub-limest creations of poetry. The latest poems of Milton, " Paradise Regained " and " Samson Agonistes," are of inferior worth. Among the contemporaries of Milton were Thomas Carew, Francis Quarles, George Wither, Sir John Suckling, Robert Herrick, Richard Lovelace, Sir Richard Fanshawe, Richard Crashaw, Abraham Cowley, Henry Vaughan, Sir John Denham, Sir William Davenant, Edmund Waller, and Samuel Butler. The songs and short amatory pieces of Carew were the precursors of numerous similar productions written by gay and accomplished cavaliers and courtiers, as the "Ballad upon a Wedding" and many other poems of Suckling, admirable for their witty levity: the odes and songs of Lovelace; the miscellaneous poems of Fanshawe: and, superior to all others, the graceful occasional poems of Cowley and Waller. The melodious verse of Waller was especially admired, and was diligently studied by Pope. Cowley (1618-67), though full of metaphysical conceits, was the most popular poet of his time.
His Anacreontics, the happiest of his pieces, are lively, joyous, and charmingly embellished. The "Cooper's Hill" of Denham is at once meditative, vigorous. and rhythmical, and the "Gondibert" of Davenant was for a time regarded as a monument of genius. The religious poems of Quarles. Crashaw, and Vaughan may be classed together. The productions of Herrick and Wither exhibit playfulness of fancy and delicacy of sentiment, varied in the former by frequent grossness and indelicacy. Butler's "Hudibras," a work of inexhaustible wit. which was perpetually quoted for half a century, belongs chronologically, as do many of the later poems of Milton and his contemporaries, to the age when Dryden (1631-1700) and the comic dramatists were prevalent. Dryden's rapidity of conception and ease of expression made him a voluminous contributor to various departments of literature. The greatest of his satires are "Abslom and Achitophel" and "Mac Fleeknoe," and first lines of his fine controversial poem." The Hind and Panther." are among the most m cal in the language.
His various, though not his greatest. excellences appear in his "Fables" and his "Ode for Saint Cecilia's Day." Among his contemporaries, a few of whose poems still survice, were Marvell, Rochester.Charles Cotton. Sedley. John Philips. Oldham. Roscommon. Mulgrave. Dorset, andPomfret. - Enlish prose begins with Sir John Mandeville's narrative of his travels, written in Latin. French, and English, soon after his return to England in 1355. It is a medley of his own observations with ancient fables and the marvels reported by other travellers. Nothing like the ex lence of later English prose was produced for the next century and a half during which time Trevisa translated Higden's Latin Poly-chronicon. Wycliffe began to show the copiousness and energy of the language in his translation of the Bible. Chaucer composed two of the Canterbury tales and two other works in prose, Bishop Peacock wrote in favor of reason rather than constraint as a means of bringing the Lollards within the pale of the Catholic church, Tiptoft translated Cicero's De Amicitia,Lord Rivers became an author by his "Dies of Philosophers," and Sir John Fortes-cue (died about 1480) surpassed all of his predecessors in the style of his treatise on "The Difference between an Absolute and a Limited Monarchy." The first book printed in England is supposed to have been "The Game of Chess," ty and progress, with a view to the practical restitution of man to the sovereignty of nature, has entered as a characteristic element into the public mind of England. His "Essays" are among the masterpieces of English prose, and arc equally eminent for power of expression and for compact and solid wisdom.
Contemporary productions were the "Arcadia" and the " Defence of Poesy " of Sir Philip Sidney, the former of which was universally read and admired; the "History of the World" of Sir Walter Raleigh, written in the tower; the "Chronicle of England " and " Survey of London " of John Stow; the chronicles of Raphael Holinshed; the collection of voyages by Richard Hakluyt; the "Purchas his Pilgrims" of Samuel Purchas; the " Relation of a Journey," etc, of George Sandys; the "Epistolse Ho-Elianae " of James Howell; the "History of the Turks" of Richard Knolles; and the sermons of Bishop Andrews and Dr. Donne, mosaics of quaintness, quotation, wisdom, folly, subtlety, and ecstasy. The writings of John Lilly produced a marked effect on much of the Elizabethan literature. His "Euphues," a dull story of a young Athenian, in a smooth style, full of affected conceits and recondite similes, was the model after which wits and gallants formed their conversation and writing. The ladies of the court were among his pupils, and Blount (1632) remarks that the beauty who could not "parley Euphuisme" was as little regarded as one that could not speak French. Under James I. was produced the translation of the Bible which is still the standard English version, and which did much to make the language of the Elizabethan age the permanent speech of the English people.
Between Bacon and Locke, the most acute of English metaphysicians was Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), whose political theories are collected in his "Leviathan." His style is uniformly excellent, a merit which belongs to none of his predecessors. Among his contemporaries were the skeptical philosopher Lord Herbert of Cherbury, who wrote also a history of the reign of Henry VIII.; the antiquaries William Camden, Sir Henry Spel-man, Sir Robert Cotton, and John Speed; John Seldcn, the author of a " Treatise on Titles of Honor," whose admirable " Table Talk " was published after his death; the chronologist Archbishop Usher; William Chil-lingworth, whose "Religion of Protestants " is a model of perspicuous reasoning; Peter Hey-lin, a wit and divine, the author of "Micro-cosmus;" John Hales, a preacher and controversialist; John Gauden, the probable author of the famous "Eikon Basilike," which professed to have been written by Charles I.; and the two most eloquent of the old English divines, Joseph Hall (1574-1656) and Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667), whose works are monuments of their own abilities and of the pedantic tastes of the age.
The "Contemplations" of Hall are superior to any of the writings of Taylor in continuity of thought, but the latter has perhaps had no equal in the pulpit in the splendor of his imagination, and is often called the Shakespeare of divines. The most curious works of the time are the " Anatomy of Melancholy " of Robert Burton (died about 1640), composed largely of apt and learned quotations from rare authors, constantly intermingled with the writer's own thoughts, which exhibits in every part great spirit and power, and has the charm of a full and vigorous style; and the "Religio Medici," " Urn Burial," and other works of Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682), elaborately quaint compositions, fascinating from their pensiveness akin to melancholy, their paradoxes, and their occasional subtlety and imaginative brilliancy. Under the head of essays or sketches may be classed the "Gull's Hornbook" of the dramatist Decker, the "Characters" of Sir Thomas Overbury, the "Resolves" of Owen Feltham, the "Mi-crocosmography" attributed to Bishop Earle, the miscellaneous pieces of Sir Henry Wotton, and the " Discourses by way of Essays " of Cowley. The last are written in a perspicuous style, very unlike the affected obscurities of his poems, and may be reckoned among the earliest models of good writing in English prose.
John Locke (1632-1704) is the author of treatises on civil government, education, and the reasonableness of Christianity, which diffused a spirit of liberty and toleration in opinion and government; but his most important work is the " Essay concerning the Human Understanding," which was for a time the acknowledged code of English philosophy, and displays and inculcates a careful, tentative observation of intellectual habits. It helped to convert metaphysics from scholastic problems into practical and clearly intelligible analyses, but its indefinitness in the use of the phrase "ideas of reflection" has left the essential character and tendency of the Lockean system in dispute between sensationalists and idealists. Two writers who at this time deviated from the track which English speculation has chiefly followed, and in whom Platonic tendencies predominated, were Ralph Cudworth, author of " The Intellectual System of the Universe," a vast storehouse of learning and an unrivalled exhibition of subtle speculation, and Henry More, author of " The Mystery of Godliness," " The Mystery of Iniquity," and other works which were once very popular.
The sermons of Barrow, South, and Tillotson were respectively esteemed for strength, wit, and unction, but the last have retained least of their former popularity. To this period belong most of the prose writings of Milton, which test the power of the language in vigorous and lofty declamation, the Origines Sacroe of Stillingfleet, the theological treatises of Sherlock, the " Exposition of the Creed " of Pearson, the "Exposition of the XXXIX. Articles" of Bishop Burnet, the "Saint's Everlasting Rest" and other works of Baxter, the expository works of Leighton, Owen, and Henry, and the writings of the Quakers George Fox, Robert Barclay, William Penn, and Thomas Ellwood. This age of divines and comic dramatists was also distinguished for its devotion to practical science under the guidance of the spirit of Bacon, and chemistry and physics became at once fashionable and respected. Instances of this tendency are the " Discovery of a New World " and the other so-called " mathematical works" of Bishop Wilkins, the "History of the Royal Society" of Sprat, the "Sacred Theory of the Earth" of Thomas Burnet, the "Sylva" and "Terra" of Evelyn, the "Observations" and the "Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of Creation " of John Ray, and above all others, the " Considerations on the Usefulness of Experimental Philosophy," and other works, philosophical and religious, of Robert Boyle, and the Philosophioe Naturalis Principia Mathematica of Sir Isaac Newton. Among antiquarian works were the Monasticon Anglicanum of Sir William Dugdale, the Athenoe Oxonienses of Anthony a Wood, the history of the order of the garter by Elias Ashmole, the "Miscellanies" of John Aubrey, and the Foedera of Thomas Rymer, who also wrote a curious treatise on tragedy, in which Shakespeare is criticised according to certain stately notions derived from the ancients.
Works of high literary interest are the "Worthies of England" of Thomas Fuller, one of the strangest books in the world, a melange of oddity, sagacity, and humor, in a pithy style; the " History of the Rebellion " of Lord Clarendon, which, in spite of its partiality, is admirable for its portraitures of character and its animated narrative; the " Observations on the United Provinces of the Netherlands " of Sir William Temple; the histories of the reformation and of his own times by Gilbert Burnet; the "Pilgrim's Progress" of John Bunyan, a specimen of homely English, the fruit of a lively and powerful imagination cultivated only by the study of the Scriptures; and the half poetical " Complete Angler " of Izaak Walton, who also wrote some pleasing biographies. Minor works were the translations and political pamphlets of Sir Robert L'Estrange, the "Contemplations" of Sir Matthew Hale, the "Essays" on ancient and modern learning by Temple, and the " Reflections " in answer to them by Wotton. Tom D'Urfey and Tom Brown, the last of the wits of the restoration, wrote comic and licentious compositions in prose and verse.
The " Short View," etc, of Jeremy Collier was the beginning of a controversy between him and the comic dramatists which resulted in the reformation of the theatre. - With the reign of Anne (1702-'14) begins a new era in English composition, when the affluence of the older literature gave way to correctness. The rules of the art were better understood, the style was cleared of its redundances, and wit refined from its alloy. The writers of the Elizabethan period, in an age of stupendous changes, on the confines between barbarism and refinement, had dealt with the original passions and principles of human nature, and had found their illustrations in the pageantry of past institutions and in dreams of the future. As the English advanced to the character of a polished nation, their literature also became less wild and grand in its romance and more regular in its outlines, the suggestions of genius being moulded by the rules of taste. As enriched and refined by the writers of the reign of Anne, which is often called the Augustan age of the literature, the language was almost finally formed.
The fashions and frivolities of elegant and artificial life became the themes of poets and essayists, and while the highest regions of poetry and speculation were abandoned, books were no longer confined to the learned or curious, but were gradually spread among all classes. Men of letters now first became known in England as a distinct class in society. To bring philosophy out of closets and libraries, schools and colleges, and to make it dwell in clubs and assemblies, at tea tables, and in coffee houses, was the task which Steele proposed to himself. That school of poetry which may be traced to the adoption of French rules under Charles II., which acquired stability from the transcendent powers of Dryden, was now perfected by Alexander Pope (1688-1744), and retained its ascendancy nearly through the 18th century. The follies of his feeble copyists have reacted injuriously upon the fame of the great master of the school. For half a century the notion prevailed that whoever deviated from the standard of Pope was worthy only to figure in the "Dunciad;" but somewhat later it became common to deny to him poetic genius, imagination, and versatility, and to decry his wit, epigrammatic force, and faultless numbers, by confounding them with the imitations of those who had caught something of his metre, but nothing of his spirit.
His correctness was branded as the badge of unimaginative and artificial verse, and might almost be numbered among the lost arts. Yet Campbell and Byron were zealous to do him justice, and the latter compared the poetry of the 18th century to the Parthenon, and that of his own times to a Turkish mosque. The vigor of conception and point of expression which distinguished the "Essay on Man," the "Rape of the Lock," the "Epistle from Eloisa to Abelard," the "Satires," and the "Dunciad," vindicate for them the highest rank in a peculiar and admirable class of compositions. His "Iliad" and "Odyssey," though un-Homeric, are valuable additions to English literature. The finest contemporary poetical productions were the " Letter from Italy," the "Campaign," and the "Cato" of Addison, the octosyllabic satires and occasional pieces of Swift, the " Shepherd's Week, in Six Pastorals," of Gay, the "Hermit" and the "Night Piece on Death " of Parnell, and the "Gentle Shepherd" of the Scotch poet Allan Ramsay. The names of Prior, Tickell, Garth, Blackmore, Ambrose Philips, Somerville, and Anne, countess of Winchelsea, also belong here.
It is remarked by Wordsworth that between the publication of "Paradise Lost" (1667) and of the "Seasons" (1730) of James Thomson, with the exception of the "Windsor Forest" of Pope and a passage in the "Nocturnal Reverie" of the countess of Winchelsea, not a single new image of external nature was produced in poetry. "The Seasons" is almost the only memorial which the age has left of poetical sympathy with natural scenery. It was original as well in style as in substance, for its blank verse has an easy flow peculiar to itself. Thomson's " Castle of Indolence " is a successful imitation of the manner of Spenser, and has great and peculiar beauty. The " Night Thoughts " of Edward Young (died in 1765) is also in effective blank verse, dissertational rather than simply poetical, in a sustained imaginative and epigrammatic style. The " Grave " of Robert Blair and the hymns of Watts are serious and devotional compositions of the same time. Through the "Bastard" of Richard Savage, the "London" and "Vanity of Human Wishes " of Dr. Johnson, the eclogues and odes of William Collins, the "Pleasures of Imagination " of Mark Akenside, the odes and the "Elegy" of Thomas Gray, the "Deserted Vil-lage" and the "Traveller" of Oliver Goldsmith, the "Minstrel" of James Beattie, the "Botanic Garden" of Erasmus Darwin, and the "Task"of William Cowper, the line of English poetry was coutinued almost to the commencement of the present century.
Johnson and Goldsmith both belonged to the school of Pope; but their poetry has distinctive characteristics, that of Johnson being marked especially by vigor and strong sense, and that of Goldsmith by sweetness and grace. The " Ode on the Passions" and several other pieces of Collins are masterpieces in their kind, and especially remarkable for the pictorial effects produced by the personification of abstract qualities. Collins and Gray were the two finest lyric poets of the century, and Gray's " Elegy written in a Country Churchyard" and his Pindaric ode of "The Bard" are exquisite examples of finished art and poetical vigor. Cowper was the precursor of the regeneration of poetry, and, abandoning the stock images and metrical sing-song with which art and fashion had been described, he produced pictures of English life and scenery marked by a simplicity, freedom, and freshness which anticipated the dawn of a new period. Among the productions of minor poets of the 18th century are the "Grongar Hill" of John Dyer, the " Schoolmistress" of Shenstone, the "Collin and Lucy" of Tickell, the "William and Margaret" of Mallet, the Scotch songs of Ross, the "Mary's Dream" of Lowe, the "Auld Robin Gray" of Lady Anno Barnard, the "Tullochgorum" of Skinner, the "Tweedside" of Crawford, the various poems of Ferguson, the odes and the epitaph on his wife of Mason, the odes of Smollett, the " Art of Preserving Health " of Armstrong, the "Cumnor Hall" and the translation of the "Lusiad" of Mickle, the "Braes of Yarrow " of Hamilton, the elegies of Hammond, the "Careless Content" of Byrom, the "Country Justice" of Langhorne, the "Lawyer's Farewell to his Muse" of Blackstone, the "Shipwreck" of Falconer, the "Actor" of Robert Lloyd, the "Rosciad" and other satires of Charles Churchill, the brief poems of Thomas and Joseph Warton, the "Leonidas" and "Athenais" of Glover, the short lyrics and translations of Sir William Jones, the "Chameleon" of Merrick, the pastorals of John Cunningham, the "New Bath Guide" of Anstey, and the "Triumphs of Temper" and other works of Hayley. In the latter half of the 18th century also Macpherson produced the pieces which he ascribed to Ossian, Chatterton wrote the poems which he ascribed to Rowley, and Percy collected many old songs and ballads in his "Reliques of English Poetry." - The English drama of the 18th century bore to a considerable extent the impress of the neo-classical school reigning in France, and presented a complete separation of tragedy and comedy.
The "Cato" of Addison, the "El-frida" of Mason, and the "Irene" of Johnson are rather dramatic poems than plays. The "Sophonisba" and four other tragedies of Thomson are the undramatic attempts of a descriptive poet. More successful tragedies were the "Revenge" of Young, the "Barbarossa" of Brown, the " Gamester " of Moore, the " Elvira" of Mallet, and the "Douglas" of Home. In this period were produced the finest examples of English comedy, written usually in prose, and exhibiting refinement of sentiment and wit. The forerunners of the comedies of Goldsmith and Sheridan were the " Conscious Lovers " of Steele, the " Suspicious Husband " of Hoadley, the "Jealous Wife" of the elder Colman, the "Clandestine Marriage" of Col-man and Garrick, the "Way to Keep Him" of Murphy, the "False Delicacy" of Kelly, and the "West Indian" of Cumberland. Goldsmith's "She Stoops to Conquer" has every requisite for making an audience merry. The "School for Scandal," the "Rivals," and the " Critic " of Sheridan are distinguished for epigrammatic witticisms, insight into social weaknesses, and ingeniously contrived whimsical situations; and the first is in many respects superior to any other comedy of modern times.
The "Lying Valet" and "Miss in her Teens" of Garrick, the " Belle's Stratagem " of Mrs. Cowley, the "Tom Thumb" of Fielding, the "Man of the World" of Macklin, the "High Life Below Stairs" of Townley, the "Devil to Pay" of Coffey, and especially the score of farcical plays of Foote, were the best and most popular comic productions of this epoch. - The prose authors of the 18th century may nearly all be classed as essayists, philosophers, historians, divines, and novelists. A new and excellent field for essayists was found in the "Tatler," planned by Richard Steele. Periodical papers containing news had existed in England from the time of the civil war, but this was the first periodical designed to have literary merit and to discuss the features and "smaller morals" of society. It appeared three times a week, extended to 271 numbers from April 12, 1709, to Jan. 2, 1711, and each number contained some lively sketch, anecdote, or humorous discussion, and was sold for a penny. It was succeeded by the " Spectator," which appeared every week-day morning in the shape of a single leaf from March 1, 1711, to December, 1712; after a suspension it reappeared three times a week in 1714, and extended to 635 numbers.
The "Guardian" was begun in 1713, but became political, and ceased after the 176th number. Steele was the principal contributor to the "Tatler" and "Guardian," and Addison to the " Spectator," but papers were also furnished by Swift, Pope, Berkeley, Budgell, Tickell, and Hughes. The essays, especially those of Addison, were often models of grace, delicacy, and amenity, and were highly influential in correcting and refining the tone of society. Numerous works similar in form and purpose appeared later in the century, of which the only ones that have retained their place in literature are the "Ram-bler," written almost wholly by Johnson; the "Adventurer," by Hawkesworth, Johnson, and Warton; the "Idler," chiefly by Johnson; the "World," by Moore, Horace Walpole, Lyttel-ton, and the earl of Chesterfield; the "Connoisseur," by Colman and Thornton, which received also a few essays from Cowper; and the "Mirror"and the "Lounger," both published in Scotland, and supported by a band of literary lawyers, among whom were Mackenzie, Craig, Cullen, Bannatyne, Hailes, Aber-crombie, and Tytler. The letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu are models of an easy and elegant epistolary style.
The two chief philosophical writers of the early part of the century were Bishop Berkeley and the earl of Shaftesbury, and the "Minute Philosopher" of the former is the happiest imitation in English of the dialogues of Plato. The style of his other metaphysical treatises is singularly animated and imaginative. In his "Theory of Vision" he advanced novel and ingenious views on optics, which are now universally adopted. His doctrine of idealism, the object of which was to prove that nothing exists but God and ideas in the mind, marked an era in English philosophy. The "Characteristics" of the earl of Shaftesbury, once greatly admired for their moral and religious sentiments, and their elegant though affected diction, are now little read. He suggested the theory of a "moral sense," which was adopted and illustrated by subsequent Scottish philosophers. The levity with which he sometimes alluded to Christian doctrines greatly impaired his influence. A similar levity is even more apparent in the letters of Lord Bo-lingbroke, who was long considered a master of written eloquence. A notable work of this period was Warburton's "Divine Legation of Moses" (1738-'41), which, though written to support an absurd theory, is a monument of erudition, and contains passages of great eloquence.
The current philosophy of the 18th century was strongly affected by skeptical tendencies, whose influence pervaded the literature of England as of nearly every European country. Bishop Butler, in the preface of his "Analogy," declared that many persons then took it for granted that Christianity was no longer a subject of inquiry, but had at length been discovered to be fictitious. This spirit of skepticism especially pervaded the department of historical composition, which at this time received a great impulse. Unfriendliness toward Christianity is the chief fault of " The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," by Edward Gibbon (1737-'94), one of the greatest historical works in the English language, drawn from a wide variety of sources, and written at once with erudition and genius. The history of England by David Hume, and of Scotland and of the reign of Charles V. by "William Robertson, have retained their reputation for ease and elegance, though later researches have shown their neglect of accuracy.
Less important historical and biographical writers were Echard, Strype, Smollett, Tytler, Ferguson, Middleton, Watson, Lyttelton, Russell, and Jortin. The principal philosophical and critical works after those of Berkeley and Shaftesbury were Hutcheson's "Inquiry into Beauty and Virtue" and "System of Moral Philosophy," Hume's "Essays" and "Treatise on Human Nature," Adam Smith's "Theory of Moral Sentiments," Reid's "Inquiry into the Human Mind" and "Essays on the Intellectual Powers," Beattie's "Dissertations, Moral and Critical," Hartley's "Observations on Man, his Frame, his Duty, and his Expectations," Price's " Review of the Principal Questions and Difficulties in Morals," Ferguson's "History of Civil Society " and " Institutes of Moral Philosophy," Tucker's " Light of Nature Pursued," Priestley's " Matter and Spirit," Lord Karnes's "Essays on the Principles of Morality and Natural Religion" and "Elements of Criticism," Hugh Blair's " Rhetorical Lectures," and George Campbell's " Philosophy of Rhetoric." The critical and controversial writings of Bentley and Atterbury belong to the early part of this period.
The theological writers of greatest influence were Clarke, Lowth, Hoadley, Leslie, Whiston, Doddridge, Butler, Warburton, Wesley, Lardner, Farmer, and Leland. Johnson, Goldsmith, and Burke surpassed all others as miscellaneous writers, and probably Johnson exerted by his conversation and his pen a greater influence upon the literature and tone of thought of his age than any other individual. His wit and learning first stemmed the tide of infidelity, and turned the literary current in favor of revealed religion. It was said by Burke that he appears far greater in Boswell's pages than in his own, and the reason is that he conversed with admirable simplicity and plainness, but in his writings adopted an elaborately vicious and ponderous style. - In the 18th century the novel assumed nearly the form and character which have since made it a leading department of literature. The "Arcadia" of Sir Philip Sidney had been followed by a large number of chivalrously heroic and courtly pastoral romances, many of them translations and adaptations, as Johnson's once famous "Seven Champions of Christendom," and in the 17th century the "Man in the Moon" of Francis Goodwin. After the restoration the most popular novels of the continent were translated, but of English original fictions, the "Parthenissa" of Lord Orrery and the tales of Mrs. Behn and Mrs. Manley are all that are now remembered even by the antiquary.
Daniel Defoe (1661-1731) first gave to English fiction a simple, direct, matter-of-fact, and human interest, and the verisimilitude of "Robinson Crusoe" has never been excelled. The "Tale of a Tub" and "Gulliver's Travels" by Swift, the "History of John Bull" by Arbuthnot, and his "Memoirs of the Extraordinary Life, Works, and Discoveries of Martinus Scriblerus," are satires in the form of fictitious narratives. The writings of Swift are admirable for their vigor and humor. Under his successors the novel became more complex and artistic, embraced greater varieties of character and diversities of treatment, and pictured the artificial refinements and distinctions of society, the contrasts of temper and manners, and the complicated and conflicting relations of life. The "Joseph Andrews," "Tom Jones," and "Amelia" of Fielding, and the "Pamela," "Clarissa Har-lowe," and "Sir Charles Grandison" of Richardson, were published near the middle of the century. Fielding claimed for his great work, " Tom Jones," the dignity of a comic epopee.
Its plot, which involves wonderfully diversified characters and adventures, is contrived with almost perfect art, and it portrays the especial features of real life in England, with keenness, coarseness, an easy humor, and a buoyant affluence of practical knowledge. Richardson is one of the most powerful, tragic, and tedious of novelists, and his voluminous works obtained almost unexampled popularity in England and on the continent. He and Fielding were embodiments respectively of the idealistic and the realistic tendency, and each entertained great contempt for the writings of the other. The "Peregrine Pickle," "Humphrey Clinker," and other novels of Smollett are distinguished for coarse, comic incidents and broad humor; and the " Tristram Shandy " and " Sentimental Journey " of Sterne contain masterly touches of character, passages and episodes sparkling with wit and fancy, and also much melodramatic pathos and sentimentality. Three works of fiction contributed especially to refine the public taste and the style of novels: the "Rasselas" of Johnson, a philosophical essay in the garb of an oriental tale, the " Vicar of Wakefield " of Goldsmith, a picture of English rural life remarkable for kindliness and taste, and the "Castle of Otranto " of Horace Walpole, a striking Gothic and chiv-alric romance.
In 1771 Mackenzie produced "The Man of Feeling," and a few years later appeared Miss Burney's "Evelina," a picture of life and manners, which showed that both the vulgar and the fashionable life of London might be delineated with lively skill, and with broad comic humor, without a line to offend a delicate taste. This and her second novel, " Cecilia," are especially esteemed for their characterizations. - With the French revolution begins a new period in English literature. Again, as in the age of Elizabeth, great civil and religious changes were agitated; old habits and feelings were to be set aside, old manners to pass into oblivion; and out of the ruins of venerable institutions political theorists were seeking to rear the structure of a new social order. Amid bloodshed and confusion, in the conflict between traditions and hopes, men were forced to speculate on the very elements of human nature and destiny. The commotion of the times marked a change of scene in the drama of European civilization, and though it did not shake the constitution of England, it stirred the mind of the country in every department, and led to deeper moods of thought and to larger sympathies.
The revival of poetry had already been prepared by Cowper. A greater influence, probablv, was exerted by Robert Burns (1759-'96), whose "Tarn o' Shanter," "Hallowe'en," " Cotter's Saturday Night," and numerous songs, were indigenous to the soil of Scotland, and displayed a freshness of humor, pathos, force, and beauty which made them esteemed alike by peasants and scholars, and a union of the morally sublime with the extrinsically humble. Yet his influence did not extend at once to England, where Cowper was still rivalled in popularity by Darwin and Hayley. Connected with these was the Delia Cruscan school of affected rhymesters, prominent among whom were Anna Seward, Mrs. Thrale, Mrs. Robinson, Greathead, Merry, Weston, and Parsons, who were ridiculed by Gifford in his "Baviad" and "Maeviad." Matthew Gregory Lewis was the originator of a romantic school, both of poetry and prose fiction, abounding in diablerie and all manner of extramundane machinery. His verses were reflected in some of the most powerful contemporary prose, and exerted an influence on the early productions of Scott, Southey, and Coleridge, but were demolished by the "Rovers " of Canning and Frere, who also ridiculed Darwin's "Loves of the Plants" by a burlesque entitled " The Loves of the Triangles." William Wordsworth (1770-1850), esteemed by many the greatest poet of his century, devoted his life to poetry.
It was the solemn business of his being, the object of all his thought, observation, reading, and experience. His aim was to renovate and refresh literature by bringing back poetry to truth and nature; and he began by composing lyrical ballads on the humblest subjects in language such as was " really used by men." Readers, long familiar with poems on learned themes or marked by polished sentimentalities, marvelled at his bald topics and colloquial platitudes. Yet his simplicity of feeling, truthfulness of delineation, comprehensive spirit of humanity, and union of deep and subtle thought with sensibility, attracted by degrees a circle of enthusiastic admirers. The works of no other poet have been so exclusively the product of personal experience and retrospection. In striking contrast with Wordsworth was Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whose finest pieces, as "Christabel" and "The Ancient Mariner," were produced early in life, and are unsurpassed as strong, wild, and musical sallies of pure imagination. The faultless rhythm of "Christabel," accentual instead of syllabic, was the acknowledged model of Scott's " Lay of the Last Minstrel." As a philosopher and critic he has inspired many followers to rise to higher standpoints than those of Locke, Paley, and Lord Kames. Robert Southey when a schoolboy conceived the design of exhibiting in narrative poems the grandest forms of mythology that ever obtained among men, and his "Thalaba" and "Curse of Kehama," founded on Arab and Hindoo legends, were the partial fulfilments of his plan, and display through a charming diction extensive learning and brilliant imagination.
The irregular, unrhyming verse of "Thalaba " he described as the " Arabesque ornament of an Arabian tale." Southey was the most diligent of literary men, and in almost every department of prose and poetry has left monuments of his talent and erudition. A new tendency appeared in the poems of Sir Walter Scott, who combined the refinements of modern poetry with the spirit and materials of border minstrelsy and of the early metrical romances. He adopted in his principal poems the octosyllabic measure, which had been generally used by the old romancers. From 1805 to 1812, when the first cantos of "Childe Harold" appeared, Scott was the most popular British poet; but he retreated to prose fiction as the genius of Byron began to display its strength. John Wilson, after producing a few poems marked especially by delicacy of sentiment and vigor of description, applied himself chiefly to prose literature, criticism, and philosophy. The celebrity of Lord Byron was unrivalled during his brief and impetuous career; and perhaps no other man, dying at 37, ever wrote so much that was remarkable for intellectual power and intensity of passion.
A new phase of the poetic mind appeared in John Keats, who gave great promise before his early death not only by his profusion of beautiful and grand conceptions, but also by the progress which he rapidly made in bringing his genius under the control of judgment. He had an instinct for choice words, which were in themselves pictures or ideas, and he gave an example of refined sensuousness which has affected especially the forms of poetical expression. He was an early admirer of the poetry of Leigh Hunt, whose manner was derived from Italian models, and his influence appears strongly in the productions of Percy Bysshe Shelley, often most ethereal in imagery and language. Though the conceptions of Shelley were derived from imaginative philosophy and from speculations on elemental nature, rather than from human nature and real life, yet he was instinct with a love and intellectual sense of ideal beauty, which appear in single thoughts and images in his larger productions, and especially in some of his lesser poems, as " The Sensitive Plant," " The Skylark," "The Cloud," and the " Hymn to Intellectual Beauty." His " Prometheus Unbound" is worthy of AEschylus. Thomas Moore, a writer of beautiful songs and of light and elegant satires, displayed his highest powers in the four oriental tales of which "Lalla Rookh" is composed, remarkable for their splendor of diction and copiousness of imagery.
George Crabbe produced strong impressions by elaborately chronicling a series of minute circumstances, and in brief passages, as in " Sir Eustace Grey," rises to a fine imaginative energy. Samuel Rogers (1763-1855), the contemporary of a long series of poets, followed no one of the new tendencies, but attained high artistic excellence in the heroic couplet, with a nicety of taste and grace of sentiment worthy of Pope and Goldsmith. Thomas Campbell had a higher genius with an equal culture; and in his lyrical pieces he gave to romantic conceptions a classical elaboration and finish which was hardly attempted by his contemporaries. His "Pleasures of Hope" will always rank as an English classic. Charles Lamb, a peculiar and happily wayward genius, wrote almost nothing that is not exquisite, and his few poems, like his essays, reveal an original wit and genial character, moulded by sympathetic study of the old French writers. His reputation rests chiefly on his " Essays of Elia," the finest of their kind in literature. The poems of Thomas Hood, whether serious or comic, are pregnant with matter for thought.
Though a singularly clever rhyming punster and jester, his main strength appears in simple pathetic lyrics like "The Song of the Shirt" and "The Bridge of Sighs;" and even through many of his comic pieces, as " The Last Man," "Miss Kilmansegg with her Golden Leg," and others, runs a deep vein of earnest pathos and tragic power. The Scotch poet James Hogg (the Ettrick Shepherd), with a rare imagination, sometimes excelled marvellously in describing things that transcend nature's laws; and his story of "Kil-meny," a child stolen by the fairies and conveyed to fairy land, is a most charming example of pure poetry. The best compositions of Allan Cunningham are ballads and songs of a national character, as "The Mermaid of Galloway," "She's gane to dwall in Heaven," and "My Nannie, O." William Motherwell was successful both in martial pieces, as "The Sword Chant of Thorstein Raudi" and " The Battle Flag of Sigurd," and in plaintive strains, as the ballad of "Jeanie Morrison." Many of the poems of Walter Savage Landor are attempts to reproduce the genius of ancient Greek poetry, and though they have fine and highly intellectual passages, they seem foreign to England and not akin to modern times. His "Gebir"and "Count Julian," however, contain passages excelled by no other poet.
He has a surer reputation for his remarkable prose works, the chief of which is a series of "Imaginary Conversations," than which no better English prose has ever been written. Among the minor poets of this period are Henry Kirke White, Grahame, Bowles, Bloom-field, Hamilton, Lloyd, Lovell, Dyer, Cary, Wolfe, who deserves special mention for his short poem on the " Burial of Sir John Moore," Montgomery, Hartley Coleridge, Heber, Keble, Milman, Croly, Moir, James and Horace Smith, Pollok, Procter, Elliott, Clare, Barton, Sterling, Bailey, Bayley, Moxon, Hervey, Milnes, Swain, Mackay, Aird, Bowring, Praed, Ten-nant, Herbert, Moultrie, Maginn, Anster, Bar-ham, the author of the "Ingoldsby Legends," Trench, A. A. Watts, Aytoun, Tupper, Thomas Davis, Mahoney, Allingham, Barnes, Robert Bulwer Lytton (Owen Meredith), Heraud, Matthew and Edwin Arnold, W. C. Bennett, Alexander Smith, Sydney Dobell, Patmore, De Vere, Horne, Faber, Buchanan, Swinburne, D. G. Rossetti, and Gerald Massey. The most popular English poetess in the first quarter of this century was Mrs.Hemans, among whose numerous productions are some that are melodious in expression and touching in sentiment.
The most eminent English poetess of the age, or indeed of any age, was Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who died in 1861. Her longest work, "Aurora Leigh," is a narrative poem, or rather a versified novel, whose characters and incidents illustrate modern English life and manners. A series of love poems called "Sonnets from the Portuguese" convey perhaps the best impression of her graceful, tender, and yet powerful genius. The dramatist Joanna Baillie wrote also ballads and metrical legends. Caroline Bowles (Mrs. Southey) displayed in many of her slight pieces remarkable elevation and simplicity of feeling. Mary Howitt excels in ballad poetry, and in writings marked by innocent mirth and playful fancy, designed for the young. In contrast with her easy simplicity are the elaborate and impassioned poems of Mrs. Norton, who has been called the Byron of modern poetesses. L. E. Landon checked the diffuseness and efflorescent excess of her early productions, which are distinguished at once for vivacity and melancholy, and gave concentration of thought and style to the verses written not long before her mysterious death. Her "Ethel Churchill" gives her a place also among novelists.
Other poetesses of the time are Mrs. Blackwood, Lady Flora Hastings, Harriet Drury, Camilla Toul-min (Mrs. Crosland), Mrs. Ogilvy, Frances Brown, Christina Rossetti, Jean Ingelow, Mrs. Mulock-Craik, and Eliza Cook. Miss Adelaide Procter, who died in 1864, wrote many lyric poems of singular beauty and refinement. Of living poets, Tennyson, Browning, and Morris are the most eminent. - The most successful dramatic pieces of this epoch have been those of Joanna Baillie, remarkable for their unity of idea and intellectual completeness, the " Bertram " of Maturin, the happily constructed tragedies of Knowles, the " Lady of Lyons " and "Richelieu" of Edward Bulwer Lytton, the "Julian" and "Rienzi" of Miss Mitford, the "Ion" of Talfourd, the "Fazio" of Milman, the comedies of the younger Colman, the plays of Mrs. Inchbald, the "Road to Ruin" of Thomas Holcroft, the " Honeymoon " of John Tobin, and various plays of O'Keefe, Reynolds, Morton, Poole, Planche, Marston, Jerrold, Buckstone, Brooks, Tom Taylor, Boucicault, Gilbert, Holliday, Robertson, and H. J. Byron. The "Remorse" of Coleridge, the "Bride's Tragedy" of Beddoes, the "Tragedy of Galileo" of Samuel Brown, the "Athelwold" of William Smith, the "Philip van Artevelde" of Henry Taylor, the " Legend of Florence" of Leigh Hunt, and the " Strafford," " Blot in the 'Scutcheon," etc, of Robert Browning, are rather dramatic poems than acting plays. - The novel begins with this century to take a foremost place.
In the latter part of the 18th century the circulating libraries abounded with the worthless productions of the so-called Minerva press. The works of Charlotte Smith mark the beginning of the transition from the sentimental to the true in popular fictions. A new energy and dignity was given to them by the political tales of Holcroft and Godwin, and especially by Godwin's " Caleb Williams;" and the romantic fictions of Mrs. Radcliffe, the novels of the sisters Porter, of Dr. John Moore, of Mrs. Inchbald, and the " Monk " of Matthew Gregory Lewis, were at least improvements on frippery love plots. The Arabian tale of "Vathek," by William Beckford, was greatly admired for its imaginative power and literary finish, and the "Canterbury Tales" of Sophia and Harriet Lee are remarkable among English fictions for tenderness and feeling. The delineations of character and society by Miss Edgeworth,Mrs. Opie, and Miss Austen preceded the works of Sir Walter Scott, whose example has given to the novel nearly the same importance in contemporary literature which the drama had in the Elizabethan era.
His prodigious familiarity with Scotch characters, anecdotes, traditions, and superstitions, the delight which he took in displays of sense, humor, or sentiment, in every strong and original symptom of character, prove how broad a foundation his fictions had in actual life. The popularity of the novel in the earlier part of our century was shown by the appearance of a crowd of writers of fiction, among whose works may be mentioned the "Self-Control" and "Discipline" of Mrs. Brunton, the "Cottagers of Glen-burnie" of Elizabeth Hamilton, the "Hungarian Brothers" of Anna Maria Porter, the once highly popular "Thaddeus of Warsaw" and "Scottish Chiefs" of her sister Jane Porter, the "Caelebs in Search of a Wife" of Hannah More, the "Wild Irish Girl" and the other national tales of Lady Morgan, the "Albi-genses," the "Fatal Revenge," and other romantic fictions of Maturin, the "Frankenstein" and "Last Man" of Mrs. Shelley, the "Marriage," "Inheritance," and "Destiny" of Miss Ferrier, the " Annals of the Parish " and " Ayrshire Legatees" of John Galt, the "Salathiel" of George Croly, the "Anastasius" of Hope, the "Valerius" and "Reginald Dalton" of Lockhart, the Scottish tales of Professor Wilson, the eastern romances of Morier and Fraser, the " Sayings and Doings " and other novels of fashion of Theodore Hook, the " Cyril Thornton " of Thomas Hamilton, the Irish stories of Banim, Crofton Croker, Griffin, Carleton, and Mrs. S. C. Hall, the sea stories of Capts. Marryat and Chamier, the "Tom Cringle's Log" and " Cruise of the Midge " of Michael Scott, the "De Vere" of Ward, containing a portraiture of Canning, the "Headlong Hall" and other humorous novels of Peacock, the "Brambletye House" and "Moneyed Man" of Horace Smith, the "Our Village" of Miss Mitford, the " Victims of Society " and other tales of Lady Bless-ington, the fashionable novels of Mrs. Gore, the musical novels of Miss Sheppard, the " Deer-brook," the "Hour and the Man," and the politico-economical tales of Miss Martineau, the multitudinous novels of G. P. R. James, and the miscellaneous novels of Ainsworth, Hannay, Borrow, Warren, Lever, and Lover, of Mrs. Trollope, Mrs. Bray, Mrs. Gaskell, Mrs. Marsh, Miss Sinclair, Mrs. Mulock-Craik, Julia Kav-anagh, and Lady Bulwer. Since the death of Scott the most eminent and popular of English novelists have been Bulwer, Dickens, Thackeray, Disraeli, Charlotte Bronte, and " George Eliot" (Mrs. Lewes). Of these, Disraeli and Mrs. Lewes are still living.
Other living novelists of note are Anthony Trollope, Wilkie Collins, Charles Reade, Charles Kingsley, Thomas Hughes, George Macdonald, Justin McCarthy, B. L. Farjeon, William Black, J. S. Le Fanu, Mortimer Collins, Edmund Yates, Charles Gibbon, Mrs. Florence Marryat Church, Mrs. Oliphant, the baroness Tautphceus, Miss Thackeray, Miss Yonge, Miss Braddon, Miss Amelia Edwards, Mrs. Elizabeth Charles, Miss De La Rame (Ouida), and Miss Rhoda Brough-ton. - Within this period Mitford, Gillies, Thirl-wall, and Grote have produced elaborate general histories of Greece, Finlay has written on the later and Byzantine period of the Greeks, and St. John on the manners and customs of ancient Greece; Sharon Turner, Godwin, Lingard, Palgrave, Mackintosh, Charles Knight, Lord Mahon, Miss Strickland, and Harriet Martineau have produced works on different periods of English history, and Hallam on the constitutional history of England, and on the history of Europe during the middle ages; and various histories have been written by Southey, Tytler, Coxe, Chalmers, Roscoe, Pinkerton, Dunlop, Mill, Mills, Napier, Milman, Crowe, . Elphinstone, and Arnold. Carlyle's " French Revolution," "Oliver Cromwell," and " Frederick the Great" are distinguished for research and vigor of character painting.
Alison's "History of Europe from 1789 to 1852 " gives the English tory view of events with fulness and vigor. Macaulay's "History of England from the Accession of James II." was early interrupted by its author's death, but holds a very high place in historical literature by its brilliant style, vast research, and liberal tone. Buckle's " History of Civilization," another brilliant work, was also left incomplete by the premature death of its author; it made a strong impression by its novel and ingenious theories and heterodox views. Merivale's "History of the Romans " is a work of great learning, and fills satisfactorily the gap between Arnold and Gibbon. Froude's "History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Defeat of the Spanish Armada" is a work of original research and occasionally eloquent style, and throws much new light on the character of Henry VIII. and Elizabeth and of Mary queen of Scots. Gladstone's " Studies on Homer and the Homeric Age" and "Juventus Mundi" are able and scholarly, and have at once a historical, critical, political, and religious character. Raw-linson's "Herodotus" and "Ancient Monarchies" are of high value.
Useful manuals of history have been written by Rawlinson, Lid-dell, and William and Philip Smith. E. A. Freeman's " History of the Norman Conquest" and "Essays" on various points of history are original and suggestive. The recent era excels in narratives of travel, of which the most prominent are those of Mungo Park, Den-ham, Clapperton, Lander, Campbell, Burck-hardt, Belzoni, Alexander, Buckingham, Porter, Clarke, Mure, Forsyth, Eustace, Hobhouse, Holland, Dodwell, Gell, Beckford, Ross, Parry, Franklin, Beechey, Scoresby, Basil Hall, Inglis, Layard, Fellows, St. John, Fraser, Burnes, Barrow, Harris, Head, Burton, Kinglake, Warbur-ton, Stanley, Atkinson, Oliphant, Trollope, Dilke, Dixon, Sala, Wallace, Baker, Speke, Reade, Palgrave, Cooper, Williamson, Alcock, and Livingstone. In scientific works the present century has been especially rich. The chief writers in its earlier half were Herschel, Brewster, Buckland, Davy, Whewell, Nichol, Prichard, John Pye Smith, and Hugh Miller. Among the most prominent of later days are Owen, Murchison, Lyell, Faraday, W. B. Carpenter, Huxley, Darwin, Mivart, Tyndall, Bas-tian, Gosse, Lubbock, Tylor, McLennan, Lock-yer, Proctor, and Grove. In archaeology, the names of Young, Sharpe, Birch, Goodwin, and Wilkinson on Egyptian subjects, of Rich, La-yard, Sayce, Hincks, Norris, Rawlinson, and George Smith on Babylonian and Assyrian, have attained distinction.
The work of Edward W. Lane on the "Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians" is unequalled as a minute and faithful delineation of an oriental people. In the study of Sanskrit and of Indian antiquities the most noted names are Sir William Jones, Colebrooke, Muir, Wheeler, Williams, Cunningham, Fergusson, Caldwell, and Max Muller. The eminent writers on religious subjects were Bishops Horsley, Watson, and Jebb, Joseph Priestley, William Paley, Andrew Fuller, Charles Simeon, Ralph Wardlaw, Thomas Scott, William Wilberforce, Adam Clarke, and Hannah More. The "Tractarian" movement is an interesting department of ecclesiastical literature. Its chief promoters were John Keble, E. B. Pusey, J. II. Newman, and R. II. Froude.. Very different phases of belief appeared at about the same time in the writings of Isaac Taylor, Henry Rogers, James Martineau, and William Cureton, while the views of English Roman Catholics were expressed by Cardinal Wiseman, Archbishop Manning, F. W. Faber, and Kenelm Henry Digby. The most remarkable sermons have been those of Alison, Irving, Robert Hall, Chalmers, Robertson, and Spurgeon. The more distinguished writers upon the Bible are Kitto, Trench, Alford, Conybeare, Howson, Ellicott, Colenso, Westcott, Davidson, Henderson, Fair-bairn, and J. G. Murphy. Other religious writers of importance are Peter Bayne, Tregelles, R. and C. J. Vaughan, Tulloch, Seeley, Maurice, and Robertson. In biographical works this period is peculiarly rich.
The most popular and important of these are the lives of Nelson and Wesley by Southey; of Sheridan and Byron by Moore; of Petrarch and Mrs. Siddons by Campbell; of Burke and Goldsmith by Prior; of Goldsmith, Landor, Dickens, and the statesmen of the commonwealth by Forster; of Napoleon and the English novelists by Scott; of British painters, sculptors, and architects by Allen Cunningham; of the statesmen and men of letters and science of the reign of George III. by Brougham; of the chancellors and chief justices of England by Lord Campbell; of British military commanders by Gleig; of eminent statesmen and great commanders by James; of eminent Scotsmen by Chambers; of Conde by Mahon; of Howard, Blake, Penn, and Bacon by Hepworth Dixon; of Napoleon by Hazlitt; of Sir Walter Scott by Lockhart; of Charles Lamb by Talfourd; of Newton by Sir David Brewster; of Campbell by Beattie; of Mackintosh by his son; of Horner by his brother; of Sydney Smith by his daughter; of Charlotte Bronte by Mrs. Gaskell; of Dr. Arnold by Stanley; of Goethe by Lewes; of Moore by Earl Russell; of Chatterton by Wilson; of Pope by Elwin; of Edward Irving by Mrs. Oliphant; of Sir Joshua Reynolds by Taylor; of George and Robert Stephenson by Smiles; and lastly we may mention the monographs of John Morley on Burke, Voltaire, and Rousseau, and the autobiographies of Lord Brougham, of Sir Henry Holland, and of Henry Crabb Robinson, and the "Memorials of a Quiet Life" by A. J. C. Hare. Among miscellaneous writers on literature, Isaac Disraeli, Sir Egerton Brydges, and John Foster became prominent near the beginning of the century.
The number of books has often been increased by miscellaneous collections from the reviews, journals, and magazines, as the "Noetes Am-brosianae," from "Blackwood's Magazine," chiefly by Prof. Wilson; the " Essays " of Jeffrey and Sydney Smith, Macaulay and Carlyle, from the "Edinburgh Review;" the witty productions of Douglas Jerrold, collected from "Punch;" and many of the writings of Hazlitt and De Quincey. Cobbett and J. Wilson Croker acquired distinction as political pamphleteers, and the latter also by his vigorous and pungent articles in the "Quarterly Review." Frances Power Cobbe has attained a high reputation by her "Essays" and other writings on a variety of subjects. Among the notable works of the day may be mentioned Morell's " History of Philosophy," Lecky's "History of Morals" and of "Rationalism," Maine's "Ancient Law," the duke of Argyll's " Reign of Law," Greg's " Enigmas of Life," and Baring-Gould's "Myths of the Middle Ages," "Origin and Development of Religious Belief," and " Legends of the Patriarchs and Prophets." Important contributions have been made to English art literature by Lindsay, Eastlake, Leslie, Hazlitt, and especially by Mrs. Jameson, Ruskin, Tyr-whitt, and Hamerton. The principal metaphysical writers of the Scottish school were Thomas Reid, Dugald Stewart, Dr. Thomas Brown, and Sir William Hamilton. The more peculiar tendencies of the English mind appeared in Paley. Bentham wrote important works on jurisprudence; Archbishop Whately on logic, political economy, and theology; J. Stuart Mill on logic, on liberty, and on political economy; and Herbert Spencer has written voluminously on psychology, biology, social statics, and similar subjects. - The best historical and critical works on the literature of England are: Wright's "Biographia Bri-tannica Literaria" (vol. i., the Anglo-Saxon period, 1842; vol. ii., the Anglo-Norman period, 184G); Warton's "History of English Poetry," extending to near the end of Queen Elizabeth's reign (3 vols., 1774-'81); Hallam's "Introduction to the Literature of Europe in the 15th, 16th, and 17th Centuries" (1837-9, with additional notes in later editions); Collier's "History of English Dramatic Poetry" (1831); Chambers's "Cyclopaedia of English Literature" (2 vols., 1843-'4); Lowndes's "Bibliographer's Manual" (new ed. by Bohn, 6 vols., London, 1857-'64); Allibone's "Critical Dictionary of English Literature " (3 vols., Philadelphia, 1858-'73); Craik's "History of the English Literature and Language" (London, 1861); Morley's "English Writers" (London, 1864-7) and "First Sketch of English Literature" (1873); Skeat's "Specimens of English Literature from 1394 to 1579 " (Oxford, 1871). Among brief manuals are Shaw's "Authors of English Literature " (London, 1848); Spalding's "History of English Literature " (New York, 1853); T. Arnold's "Manual of English Literature " (London, 1869); Day's "Introduction to the Study of English Literature" (New York, 1869); Minto's "Manual of English Prose Literature " (Edinburgh and London, 1872); and Hart's "Manual of English Literature" (Philadelphia, 1872). In 1864 appeared Taine's Histoire de la litterature anglaise (5 vols., Paris), exhibiting a comprehensive grasp and keen analysis especially remarkable as the work of a foreigner.
It was translated by II. Van Laun and published in Edinburgh and republished in New York in 1871 (2 vols. 8vo).