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4 MONG the names of the writers treated in our concluding
vohimes, that of Henry James, who had quite recently
fleeted to identity himself altogether with his adopted country,
would, naturally, have found an honourable place, had we known
that he would be lost so soon to the world of English letters.
But the swift hand of death left us no time for a fit appreciation
of one who was himself a most careful, as well as a most
considerate, literary critic. We have had to content ourselves
with a list of his publications in the bibliographical section
of our work.

A. W. W.

A. R. W.

April 1916


By J. G. Robertson, M.A., B.Sc. (Glasgow), Ph.D. (Leipzig),
Professor of German Language and Literature in the
University of London

Goethe on Carlyle. Carlyle's early years. Life of Schiller. Carlyle's
marriage. His relation to Goethe. Sartor Resartus. The French
Revolution. On Heroes. Chartism. Past and Present. Latter-
Day Pamphlets. Oliver Cromwell. John Sterling. Frederick
the Great. Carlyle as a moral force



By Herbert J. C. Grierson, M.A., Professor of Rhetoric and
English Literature in the University of Edinburgh

Tennyson's early poems. The Princess, hi Memoriam. Maud.
Idylls of the King. Enoch Arden and dialect ballads. Dramas
and later poems and ballads. His metres. Summary. Charles
Tennyson. Frederick Tennyson i 23



By Sir Henry Jones, M.A., F.B.A., Professor of Moral
Philosophy in the University of Glasgow

Robert Browning's ear.iy years. The influence npon him of Byron and
Shelley. Pauline. Paracelsus. Strafford. Sordello. Bells and
Potnegranates. Tlie dramatic element in Browning's work.
Elizabeth Barrett's Poetns. Sonnets from the Portuguese. Casa
Guidi JVindows. Aurora Leigh. Christmas Eve a^id Easter
Day. The Ring and the Booh. Later poems 49

viii Contents



By W. Lewis Jones, M.A., sometime Scholar of Queens'
College, Professor of English Language and Literature
at the University College of North Wales, Bangor


Arnold's early poems. The Strayed Reveller. Arnold's 'theory of
poetry.' Sohrah and Rustmn. His later poems. The qualities
of his poetry. His prose. Essays in Criticism. The Study of
Celtic Literature. Culture and Anarchy. Arthur Hugh Clough.
His hexameters. The Bothie. James Thomson. The City of
Dreadful Night 85



By A. Hamilton Thompson, M.A., F.S.A., St John's College

The pre-Raphaelites. The Germ. The Blessed Damozel. The House
of Life. The Earthly Paradise. Sigurd the Volsung. Morris's
prose narratives. Swinburne's early years. Atalantain Calydon.
Poems and Ballads. Tristram of Lyonesse. Swinburne's prose.
Christina Rossetti. Arthur O'Shaughnessy. Edward Fitz Gerald . 110



By George Saintsbury, M.A., Merton College, Oxford,

LL.D., D.Litt, F.B.A.

Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Rome. Tupper's Proverbial Philosophy.
Bailey's Festus. Ernest Jones. Ebenezer Jones. Alexander Smith.
Sydney Dobell. Aytoun's Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers. Bon
Gaultier Ballads. Percival Leigh. W. J. Prowse. Mortimer
Collins. Edward Jiear. Frederick Locker. C. S. Calverley.
H. D. Traill. J. K. Stephen. Lewis Carroll. Keb^e. Newman.
Isaac Williams. Faber. Neale. Trench. W. M. Wilks Call.
T. T. Lynch. Translations. Caroline Archer Clivy. Sarah Flower
Adams. Fanny Kemlde. Adelaide Anne Procter. Isa Craig. Jean
Ingelow. Harriet Eleanor Hamilton-King. Ingusta Webster.
Margaret Yeley. Mathilde Blind. Michael Field. Constance
Naden. Amy Levy. Mary E. Coleridge. Lord Houghton.

Contents ix


T. aordon Hake. Sir F. H. Doyle. Alfred Domett. W. J. Linton.
W. B. Seott. Aubrey_d.e_Yei'e. Thomas "Westwood. Charles
Mackay. Coventry Patmore. George Macdonald. F. T. Palgrave.
William Johnson (Cory). T. E. Brown. R. W. Dixon. Sebastian
Evans. ' Owen Meredith.' Edwin Arnold. Lewis Morris. Sir
Alfred Lyall. Alfred Austin. Roden Noel. Lord de Tabley.
Thomas Ashe. John Addington Symonds. Robert Buchanan.
Frederic Myers. Andrew Lang". French forms of verse. W. E.
Henley. Philip Boiirke Marston. Robert Louis Stevenson.
H. E. Clarke. E. C. Lefroy. John Davidson. Francis Thompson.
Ernest Dowson. Richard Middleton. Summary .... 147



By George Saintsbury

Ossian. Percy's Reliques. Chatterton. Blake. Anti-Bysshism.
Coleridge's Christabel. Southey. Scott. Moore. Byron. Shelley.
Keats. Warnei*'s Metronariston. Gruest. Victorian prosody.
The hexameter controversy. Later prosodists. Summary . . 225



By Harold Child, sometime Scholar of Brasenose

College, Oxford

The drama a popular amusement in the nineteenth century. Richard
Lalor Sheil. Charles Robert Maturin. H. H. Milman. Sheridan
Knowles. R. H. Home. J. Westland Marston. Melodrama. Black-
ey'd Susan. Dion Boucicault. Tom Taylor. W. G. Wills.
Douglas Jerrold. John Poole. Box and Cox. J. R. Planche.
Shirley Brooks. H. J. Byron. T. W. Robertson. W. S. Gilbert . 255

By A. Hamilton Thompson

Early life. The Yelloiuplush Correspondence. Michael Angelo
Titmarsh. Barry Lyndon. The Sketch Books. Thackeray's
contributions to Punch. The Book of Snobs. Vanity Fair.
Bendennis. Esmond. The Newcomes. The Virginians. Philip.
Summary 275





Early life. Sketches. The Pickwick Papers. Oliver Twist.
Nicholas Nickleby. The Old Curiosity Shop. Barnaby Rudge.
Martial Chuzzlewit. Christ?nas Books. Dojnbey and Son.
David Copperfield. Bleak House. Hard Times. Little Dorrit.
A Tale of Two Cities. Great Expectations. Summary . . 303





Disraeli, Charles Kingsley, Mrs G-askell, 'Gteorge Eliot'
By Sir A. W. Ward, LittD., F.B.A., Master of Peterhouse

The reaction against Romanticism. Harriet Martineau. Benjamin
Disraeli. Charles Kingsley. The Saint's Tragedy. Yeast.
Alton Locke. Hypatia. Westward Ho! Two Years Ago.
Kingsley's lectures and essays. Thomas Hughes. Tom Brown's
School Days. EUzabeth Cleghorn Gaskell. Mary Barton. North
and South. Cranford. Ruth. Mrs Gaskell's Life of Charlotte
Bronte. Sylvia's Lovers. Cousin Phillis. Wives and Daughters.
'George Eliot.' Her early years. George Henry Lewes. Scenes of
Clerical Life. Adam Bede. The Mill on the Floss. Silas
Mamer. Romola. Felix Holt. The Spanish Gypsy. Middle-
march. Daniel Deronda. 'George Eliot's' poems. Summary . 340




By A. A. Jack, M.A., Peterhouse, Chalmers Professor of English
Literature in the University of Aberdeen

The Bronte family. Jane Eyre. Shirley. Villette. Wuthering

Heights. Emily Bronte's poems 403

Appendix 414

Contents xi



By W. T. Young, M.A.

Sometime Lecturer in English Language and Literature at the
University of London, Goldsmiths' College


LordLytton. Pelhavi. Criminal biography. Paul Clifford a.uA Eugene
Aram. Historical romances. Tales of the occult. The Caxtons.
Summary. Anthony Trollope. The Barchester series. 1^\9 Auto- ^a
biography. Charles Reade. Novels based on ' documents.' The ' / '

Cloister and the Hearth. Mary Russell Mitford. Our Village. i2_^^
Mrs Henry Wood. Mrs Oliphant. George Macdonald. William |
Black. Henry Kingsley. George Du Maurier. Lorna Doone.
John Inglesant. G. A. Lawrence and 'Ouida.' WiUde Collins.
'Mark Rutherford' 417


By W. T. Young, M.A

Meredith. His poems. The comic spirit. His characterisation. Style n^''^'^^^

in prose and in verse. Metrical experiments. Butler. His
scientific controversies. Eretohon. Erewhon and Gulliver's
Travels. Erewhon Revisited. The Way of all Flesh. The
Pontifex cell. Gissiug. Gissing's work transitional. A com-
parison with Zola. The delineation of poverty. Realism and
pessimism. Novels of the middle classes: problems discussed in
New Grub Street, Born in Exile and The Odd Wo7nen. The
classical world. By the Ionian Sea. Veranilda. The Private
Papers of Henry Ryecroft. Structure and style .... 440

Bibliographies 464

Table of Principal Dates . .. ^ 575

Index of Names . . . \^ 577


When Goethe, in 1827, declared Carlyle — the Carlyle of the
Life of Schiller — to be 'a moral force of great significance,' he
showed, as often in his judgments of men, an insight which, at the
same time, was prophetic; for Carlyle, unquestionably, was the
strongest moral force in the English literature of the nineteenth
century. In an age which dealt pre-eminently in ethical and
religious ideas ; an age in which the intellectual currency was
expressed in terms of faith and morality, rather than of abstract
metaphysics ; when the rapid widening of knowledge was viewed
in many quarters with suspicion and apprehension; and, especi-
ally, when the new-born science of biology appeared as a sinister
force threatening the very foundations of belief — in such an age,
Carlyle was a veritable leader to those who walked in uncertainty
and darkness. He laughed to scorn the pretensions of scientific
materialism to undermine man's faith in the unseen; he heaped
obloquy on the much vaunted science of political economy;
he championed the spiritual against the material, demanded
respect for justice and for the moral law and insisted on the
supreme need of reverence — reverence, as Goethe had taught him,
not merely for what is above us, but, also, for what is on the earth,
beside us and beneath us. Nowadays, when the interest in
many of these questions has ceased to be a burning one, when a
tolerance, not far removed from indifierence, has invaded all fields
of mental and moral speculation, and when a calmer historical
contemplation of human evolution has taken the place of the
embittered controversy of Victorian days, Carlyle's power over
men's minds is, necessarily, no longer what it was. But it is,
perhaps, just on this account the easier to take a dispassionate
view of his life and work, to sum up, as it were, and define his place
in the national literature. Such is the chief problem which we
propose to deal with in the present chapter.

E. L. XIII. CII. I. 1

2 Carlyle [cH.

Born in the little Dumfriesshire village of Ecclefechan on
4 December 1795, when the lurid light of the French revolution
still lit up the European sky, Thomas Carlyle came of a typical
lowland Scottish peasant stock, and, to the last, he remained
himself a peasant, bound by a thousand clannish bonds to his
provincial home. The narrow ties of blood and family always
meant more to him than that citizenship of the world Avhich is
demanded of a man of genius; and, in spite of his forty years'
life in the metropolis, he never succeeded in shaking off the
unpliant instincts of the south of Scotland peasant. His prickly
originality and sturdy independence had something Celtic about
them, and these characteristics clung to him all his life, even
although he had early found an affinity in the Germanic mind.
In the Dichtimg imd Wahrheit of Sartor Resartus and the
preternaturally vivid pictures of Reminiscences, a kindly light
of retrospect is thrown over Carlyle's childhood and early life;
but, none the less, the reader is conscious of the atmosphere
of oppressive frugality, through which, as a child and youth,
he fought his way to the light. At the gi-ammar school of
Annan, to which, after sparse educational beginnings in his native
village, he was sent in 1805, he was too sensitive a child to
distinguish himself other than as the tearful victim of his rougher
schoolmates ; and, at the early age of fourteen, he passed to the
university of Edinburgh, where he attended lectures through five
sessions. The Scottish universities, still medieval in character and
curriculum, were then veritable bear-gardens, where the youth of
the land, drawn from every rank of the population, were let loose
to browse as they listed; the formalities and entrance-examina-
tions which now guard these institutions, and have destroyed
their old democratic character, were, as yet, undreamt of: but
the Scottish students of the early nineteenth century enjoyed a
Lern/reiheit as complete as, if, in its opportunities, more restricted
than, that of German students of our own time; and Carlyle, while
following, nominally, the usual courses, availed himself of this
freedom to the full. Ever intolerant of teachers and of the
systematic acquisition of knowledge, he benefited little from his
classes in Edinburgh. Like many of our men of genius, he — one
of the least academically minded of them all — always stood outside
the academic pale. He had no high opinion of centres of learning,
from this, his first experience — which, doubtless, provoked the
outburst in Sartor, 'that out of England and Spain, ours was the
worst of all hitherto dii^covered universities ' — to the day when he


i] Early Years 3

recalled to students of Edinburgh university, more than fifty
years later, his dictum from Lectures on Heroes, that 'the true ]
university of our days is a collection of books.'

Edinburgh had thus little share in Carlyle's development;
at most, he succeeded, like his own Teufelsdrbckh, 'in fishing
up from the chaos of the library more books perhaps than had
been known to the very keepers thereof.' He had begun his
studies with certain vague and half-hearted aspirations towards
the ministry ;"biTt these were soon discarded. His only tie with
academic learning was mathematics, for which he had a peculiar
aptitude, and in which he even won the praise of his professor. He
left the university in 1814 without taking a degree. On his return
to Dumfriesshire, he was appointed a teacher of mathematics in
Annan, in which post he succeeded a friend who was also to make
some mark in the world, Edward Irving. From Annan, Carlyle,
now in his twenty-first year, passed, with the help of a recom-
mendation from his Edinburgh professor, to Kirkcaldy, whither
Irving had preceded him — still as mathematical master, still
without any kind of clearness as to what kind of work he was
ultimately to do in the world. In Fifeshire, however, he appears
to have had his first experience of romance, which presented itself
to him in the shape of a pupil of higher social station than his
own ; Margaret Gordon, Carlyle's first love, may, possibly, have
hovered before him as a kind of model for the 'Blumine' of
Sartor ; although it seems hardly necessary to seek any specific
model for so purely 'literary' a figure. No doubt, this love-
affair, which, through the timely interposition of a relative of
Miss Gordon, came to an abrupt end, uj)set many of the presup-
positions with which Carlyle set out in life. Another significant
event was the chance reading, in September 1817, of Madame de
Stael's De V Allemagne, then quite new, which did more than all
the treasures of the university library in Edinburgh to bring
order and direction into Carlyle's intellectual world. Considerable
emphasis must be laid on this, the accident of his first introduction
to the literature that was to mean much to him. Madame de
Stael's work, which opened up the wonderland of Germati thought
and poetry, not only to Carlyle, but, also, to all Europe outside
Germany, was a product of German romanticism, having been
written, in great measure, under the guidance of August Wilhelm
Schlegel, the chief critic of that movement ; it was responsible for
the fact that the impress which the new literature of Germany
made on the European mind was, in the main, romantic. Even


4 Carlyle [ch.

Goethe and Schiller are here seen essentially as Schlegel saw
them ; and Carlyle, all his life long, viewed the German writers
whom he loved and looked up to as his masters from the romantic

Heartily weary of school-teaching, Carlyle, once more, made an
^ effort towards a profession; he returned with his friend Irving_to
^ Edinburgh, and, in September 1818, took up the study of law.
But he soon found that law had even less grip on him than had his
previous studies for the church; and, gradually, he drifted into
the undefined^ and, for a man of Carlyle's temperament infinitely__
disheartening and uphill, profession of the 'writer of books.' His
task was the harder, as he had already begun to be tortured by
dyspepsia, and by the melancholy and depression which that
disease brought in its train. Nevertheless, he made a beginning
towards a literary activity with a number of articles contributed to
Sir David Brewster's Edinburgh Encyclopaedia] this was the
merest hackwork, but, at least, it was hackwork honestly per-
formed. Meanwhile, in the summer of 1820, when at home in
Dumfriesshire, he entered on a systematic study of the German
language, and threw himself with passionate ardour into the works
of the new writers, from whom Madame de Stael's book had led
him to hope that he would find guidance. And, in his early efforts
to make money by his pen, it was only natural that he should have
turned his German studies to account ; while translating — again for
Brewster — Legendre's Elements of Geometry and Trigonometry, \iQ
found time to write an essay on Goethe's Faust, which appeared in
The New Edinburgh Revieiv in April 1822. But his first serious
task as an interpreter of German literature was a Life of Schiller,
the German writer to whom, as was to be expected, he had been first
attracted. This is an excellent piece of work, if it be remembered
how meagre were the materials at his disposal ; and it is hardly
surprising that Schiller's personality — in which Carlyle saw mirrored
his own early struggles — and Schiller's work as a historian, are
more adequately treated than are his dramatic poetry or aesthetic
studies. Carlyle's Life of Schiller came out serially in The London
Magazine in 1823 and 1824, and appeared in book form in 1825.
Meanwhile, he had turned to Goethe, and translated, not without
occasional secret misgivings, Wilhelm Meisters Apprenticeship,
which was published in 1824. This was followed by four volumes
entitled German Romance, which included stories by Musaus —
something of an intruder in this circle of romanticists — Fouque,
Tieck, Hofimann, Richter, as well as the continuation of Goethe's

i] Under German Influence 5

novel, Wilhelm Meisters Travels, the translation of which was,
naturally, more to his mind than that of the Apprenticeship had
been. German Romance appeared in 1827, and found little favour
with the reading public ; but in that same year Carlyle had begun
to write the remarkable series of essays on German literature,
contributed to The Edinburgh Review, Foreign Review and
Foreign Quarterly Review, which now form a considerable part
of Critical and Miscellaneous Essays.

The beginnings of Carlyle's career as man of letters, all things
considered, had been auspicious : perhaps, indeed, more auspicious
than was justified by subsequent developments. But, at least, all
thought of the bar as a profession was given up. Through Edward
Irving, who, in the meantime, had settled in London, Carlyle
became tutor to Charles Buller in 1822, and had the opportunity
of getting to know something of a social world much above his
own and of seeing London and even Paris. Before this, however,
a new chapter in his life had begun with his introduction, in the
early summer of 1821, to Jane Welsh of Haddington. Again,
it was Irving whom he had to thank for this introduction, which
formed a momentous turning-point in his life. Irving had himself
been attracted by Miss Welsh, and she by him ; but he was under
other obligations; and the friendship between her and Carlyle
was free to drift, in spite of many points of friction, into love.
In 1826, the many difficulties and scruples which had arisen were
successfully overcome, and she became Carlyle's wife. After
a short spell in Edinburgh, the young couple took up their
abode amid the solitudes of the Dumfriesshire moors, at Craigen-
puttock, 'the dreariest spot in all the British dominions,' where
Mrs Carlyle, born, if ever woman was, to grace a salon, spent six
of her best years in oppressive solitude added to household work.
With these years, which produced the essays on German literature,
as well as Sartor Resartus, Carlyle's apprenticeship to literature
may be said to have come to a close.

It will be convenient, at this stage, to consider what these
literary beginnings under German influence meant for Carlyle.
He was by no means, as has been often asserted, a pioneer of
German studies in this country; he rather took advantage of
an already existing interest in, and curiosity about, things
German, to which many translations and magazine articles — Black-
woods Magazine, for instance, had, since its inception in 1817,
manifested a strong interest in German poetry — bear witness.
Carlyle, however, had an advantage over other writers and

6 Carlyle [ch.

translators of his day, in so far as his work is free from the taint

of dilettantism, the besetting sin of all who, in those days, wrote

on German literatnre in English magazines; he spoke with the

authority of one who knew, whose study had been deep and

fundamental, even although his practical knowledge of German at

no time reached a very high degree of proficiency.

Carlyle was never weary, all his life long, of proclaiming his

personal debt to his German masters, above all, to Goethe; and,

no doubt, the debt, especially to the latter, was a very real one.

It was Goethe who helped him out of the Slough of Despond in

the early twenties, when he was searching for a solution to the

problem: 'What canst thou work at?' — Goethe who showed

him how to work his way through blank despair to the 'Ever-

\lasting Yea.' ~ ^

' If I have been delivered from darkness into any measure of light,' he him-
self wrote to the German poet, ' if I know aught of myself and my duties and
destination, it is to the study of your writings more than to any other circum-
stance that I owe this; it is you more than any other man that I should always
thank and reverence with the feeling of a Disciple to his Master, nay of a Son
to his spiritual Father.'

/ Carlyle has himself said that the famous incident in Sartor
I Resartus, where the light breaks on Teufelsdrockh in the rue
1 Saint Thomas de I'Enfer, really took place in his own life one June
\ afternoon in 1821, as he went down Leith walk to bathe in the
firth of Forth. He, too, like his hero, had dwelt with the 'Ever-
lasting No'; difficulties of all kinds had beset him, religious
/ difficulties, moral difficulties, above all, the racking problem of the
end of life — happiness versus renunciation. He had, perhaps, also
to face problems of a more practical kind than those which assailed
/ his Teufelsdrockh ; for it was only a few weeks before the crisis
/ that he had met Miss Welsh ; and, doubtless, in a dim way, he felt
I that the problem of life was now, or would become for him, not
merely what canst thou work at, but what canst thou work at
with sufficient worldly success to allow of sharing thy life with
another. Moreover, the spiritual cris^i^ when it did break over
I Carlyle, assuredly did not come and go with the dramatic vivid-
ness of the chapters in Sartor ; Carlyle's struggles with the powers

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