Изображения страниц

the passion gone, the further changes simply | emancipated humanity. These great events reduce the concentrated utterance of intense stirred the intellect and heart, not only of emotion to a conventional sentiment clothed England but of Europe. But one of the in incongruous phrase. This illustrates the most striking effects on our literature of this process of improving Shakespeare's diction moral upheaval is the exuberance of origiby excluding common words" connected with nal poetic genius that marked the opening gordid offices," which found favour not only decades of the present century. The names with the dramatists of the Restoration, who of Scott, Byron, Wordsworth, Southey, Colecould bardly be expected to appreciate the ridge, Campbell, Shelley, Keats, not to language of real passion, but to a certain mention others of equal rank though of more extent with Johnson bimself. At least, as recent fame, represent an age of original we have seen, Johnson unites with critics of imaginative power and productiveness second the same age and school in condemning the only to the Elizabethan. The literary inuse of such terms. The great critic was fluence of the profound reaction produced indeed haunted with the notion, common to by the critical movement of the eighteenth many of his immediate predecessors, of refin- century has however been often traced, and ing and fixing the language so as finally to ex. in its general outline is tolerably well known clude all rustic and vulgar elements from the to the majority of intelligent readers. But, authorized vocabulary of the lettered and po- as in the case of the Elizabethan period, the lite. Dryden, as we have seen, had a vague influence on the national speech of this idea of establishing an academy for this great original movement of the national mind, purpose, and Swift formally addressed a let- has never yet been carefully analysed, and ter to the Earl of Oxford, suggesting that, only noticed at all in a very partial and imas a member of the Government, he should perfect manner. As might, however, have take the initiative in devising some means been expected from the circumstances of the for "ascertaining and fixing the language case, the movement had a direct and powerfor ever, after such alterations are made in ful influence on the vocabulary of the lan. it as shall be thought requisite.” This no- guage. The change is, moreover, well worth tion of circumscribing the language within detailed notice, both for its own sake, and some artificial boundary was indeed the for the sake of the deeper tendencies and dominant conception on the subject of the characteristics of the modern period of which whole period, from the days of Dryden, who it is a striking sign and index. Though, reigned at its commencemeot, to those of like all natural developments, gradual and Johnson, who saw its close, and whose Dic- for the most part unperceived, it neverthe tionary, the partial realization of his origin- less represents a revolution in the resources al plan, was published about the eighteenth of literary and current English, greater than century.

any that had taken place since the formation Early in the second half of the eighteenth of the language, with the exception of the century the tide of conventional restriction Elizabethan era. As the causes affecting began almost imperceptibly to turn. In the the national mind in the two periods were works of Collins, Goldsmith, and Thomson, to some extent similar, so there is a likeness the despotic influences of the town and in the effects. In both, the national intelthe Court are somewhat relaxed, and there lect was roused by the commanding impulse is, at least, a partial return to the simplicity of great public events, the national heart of nature-to the varied charm of rural stirred to its depths by fresh interests and sights and sounds

, and the moving realities more generous sympathies, and the national of a more homely human experience. The imagination quickered by the exciting stimworks of Percy, Crabbe, Cowper, and Burns ulus of new and glorious hopes. But in the fed the rising tide until the fountains of the modern period the national movement bad a great deep were once more broken up by the wider sweep, and was naturally of a more French Revolution following the American self-conscious and reflective character. ToWar. The criticism of the eighteenth cen- wards the close of the sixteenth century the tury, cold and negative as it sometimes ap- dominant feeling was a national one, the peared, bad at length done its work, and a strong desire to secure and maintain coni work of unexpected magnitude it proved to plete independence, -scope for the free manbe. It struck a mortal blow at theories of ifestation of the nation's energies, and the feudal privileges and divine right, which bad full development of its civil and ecclesiastibecome prolific sources of evil; and gradu- cal life. But at the end of the eighteenth ally undermined the despotic' institutions century, wider thoughts and sympathies, that were fatal barriers to human progress, quickened by the stirring of new life in other until at last they fell with a crash, and there lands than our own, modified the isolated swept over them the wild tumultuous tide of conception of nationality that had hitherto


In pure

ruled the English mind with indisputed tion between nations, to express the fact that
sway. Under the liberalizing stimulus of different peoples, so far from being, accord.
larger vital interests, the limited notion of ing to the traditional view, rivals and antag.
nationality, of national welfare as an exclu- onists, are one in the higher conditions of
sive end, broadened, deepened, and expanded welfare and progress, have common duties
into that of humanity at large. The more and responsibilities, and, as members of the
open, sensitive, and eager minds of the time, same family, ought to unite in efforts for the
as well as the more far-seeing and reflective, promotion of the common good; or, to vary
were stirred with a truer and more enlarged the metaphor, as soldiers fighting under the
notion of liberty and justice as the indis- same banner share together the hardships
pensable conditions of real progress every and perils to be encountered in securing the
where. They were kindled to righteous in- triumph of the common cause.
dignation against bondage of every kind, This expansion of social and political in-
social and political, intellectual and spirit- terests had a powerful intellectual effect, and
ual, and keenly sympathized with the rising helped directly to widen the horizon in every
struggles of long oppressed European peo- department of inquiry, in history and phi-
ples to throw off the yoke of hereditary losophy, science and literature.
despotic rule, and secure for themselves the literature the effect was perhaps most inime-
national liberty and independence essential diately seen in the opening up of fresh and
to the development of bigher individual living sources of interest in every depart-
character and progressive national life. ment of imaginative activity. The poets,

This new conception of nations being in particular, looked at nature and human bound together by common interests and life no longer through the medium of books relationships, soon enriched our own lan- and traditional representations, or artificial guage with a new word for its expression. lights and conventional draperies, but face Coleridge justly says that any now word ex to face; and in the growing light and kindpressing a fact or relationship, not expressed ling rapture of that open vision, the whole by any other word in the language, is a new universe of life, including its most familiar organ of thought; and this is true of the objects and experiences, was completely term international, a coinage of our own cen- transfigured. The obscuring veil of custom tury, which aptly expresses one of its most was rent, the indurating scales of indiffercharacteristic and operative conceptions.ence fell away, and this goodly frame, the We are now so familiar with the term, and carth, o'ercanopied with this majestical roof, the idea it expresses, that it is difficult to "fretied with golden fire," and peopled by realize fully the extreme recentness of both. this quintessence of breathing dust, so noble Hardly any conception is however at once in reason and infinite in faculty, appeared more thoroughly povel, and more expressive once more, as it ever does to the purified of the modern spirit, than that represented and observant eye, in all the dewy freshness by the term international. For though the and beauty of a new creation. The multiword, it is true, does not necessarily denote tude of new thoughts and feelings and exfriendly interests and relationships, it was periences arising from this quickened creaoriginally introduced to express them, and tive activity of the intellect, imagination, since its introduction has been largely used and affections, demanded to some extent, at for the same purpose. It was not, indeed, least, a new vehicle for their full and apprountil the perception of common interests and priate expression. The limited vocabulary connexions between nations had risen into of the satirical and didactic poetry of the importauce, and occupied the attention of eighteenth century was, in fact, almost ludipublic writers and speakers, that the want of crously inadequate to the larger wants and a term to express them was generally felt requirements of the lyrical, descriptive, and or adequately supplied. A more advanced dramatic poets of the nineteenth. Some of phase of the same conception is expressed its more conventional elements were moreby another word, wholly new, and less suit- over unsuitable from their artificial charac. ed, perhaps, to the genius of the language, ter. Hence Wordsworth's vigorous protest but which, nevertheless, has already passed against " what is usually called poetical dicinto reputable use, and will

, probably, on tion,” the adulterated phraseology arising account of its convenience, be ultimately from a lavish but wholly mechanical use of adopted. This is the word solidarity, as in figures of speech and sterotyped metaphorthe phrase "solidarity of the peoples," first ical phrases, as simply a hindrance and a popularized by Kossuth during his visit to snare to the true poet of nature. Throwing this country after the revolutionary move aside this useless lumber, the representament of 1848. It is employed to denote tives of the new and natural school of poetry essential community of interest and obliga- I sought in all directions, wherever they could

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]


be found, the materials of a more simple and doubt true. During the last half-century expressive, as well as of a more rich, copious, our vocabulary has been enlarged by the and varied imaginative diction. Some, like addition of a vast number of new words and Wordsworth and Southey, recalled to poet- fresh forms. In particular, the inherent viical use the homely but significant terms tality of the language has been vindicated belonging to the dialect of rustic and com- by the formation of a number of new and mon life. Others, like Coleridge and Keats, expressive compounds that have already passpassing over the uncongenial school of the ed into general use, and enriched the reprevious century, betook themselves to the sources of literary and current English. living study of the Elizabethan poets, es. But the largest additions of all have been pecially Spenser and Shakespeare, and ip made from the very sources which Professor their own writings recalled to use many pic- Craik regards as least likely to furnish any,-turesque expressions belonging to that noble the nervous diction of older thinkers and school. Others, like Scott, and even Byron, pocts. We venture to say, as the result of roamed at will amongst the literary trea- à somewhat careful and prolonged study of sures of the past, visiting the byways as the materials essential to a judgment on the well as the highways of its poetic literature, question, that the words from this sourceand enriching their vocabulary from various from the more archaic and obsolescent elesources, but especially from the fugitive ment of the language-added to the vocabulyrical and ballad poetry north and south of lary during the present century, must be the Tweed. The modern lyrical poets, nnmbered not by tens but by hundreds, if Burds and the Ettrick Shepherd, and a not by tens of hundreds. This is a sweep: number of less distinguished bards, such as ing assertion, but it admits of detailed and Leyden, Bowles, and Clare, Beattie, Graham, rigorous proof. The details of this proof, and Wilson, fed their poetical feeling from however, it would be impossible to comprise the same living springs, and helped in the even in outline within the already exhausted same way to_vitalize the vehicle of their space of the present article, and they must poetic art.

From these various sources therefore be reserved for a subsequent large additions to the plastic medium of paper. poetry were gradually made; and in the first quarter of the century a stream of expressive words from the older language of feeling and imagination passed into our current speech. In the second quarter of the century, this process of enriching the language Art. IV.-Annals of St. Paul's Cathedral. by recalling to use its neglected stores of By HENRY HART MILMAN, D.D., late expressive diction has been carried still fur- Dean of St. Paul's. London: Murray. ther by a new generation of poets and writers 1868. of fiction. This important work of a reflective expansion is still actively going for. In welcoming this last fruit of a noble tree, ward, and as the result of it we have now in we are naturally led to look back over the use hundreds, and even thousands, of words older memorials of the author's long and that were neglected or upknown during the distinguished labours. Born early in 1791, greater part of the eighteenth oentury. The the son of a Court physician, who was bo late Professor Craik, for example, who was noured during his professional career," as on many grounds well entitled to speak on his son was happy to commemorate," by the such a question, says, in discussing this very distinguished favour of " his sovereign,* Milsubject and period—the diction of the last man enjoyed the best opportunities of culture half-century—that when a word has, from which England then could furnish, under whatever cause, dropped out of use, it seems Dr. Burney and at Eton and at Oxford, "nearly as impossible to recall it to a really His reputation dates from a time when the living and working condition as to raise the present leaders of thought had not begun dead in any other case.” And he concludes their course, and recalls or anticipates the with the broad statement that “very little of age of many who have passed away

before genuine revivification has ever been accom- him full of honour. He records with some plished in human speech ;” adding, “ You emotion that IIeber was his "early friend." will sooner introduce into a language a hun. (p. 488); and he contributed to Heber's dred or a thousand new words than you will Hymnal some of its most cherished and re-establish in the general acceptance ten old ones familiar pieces. It is nearly fifty years since that have been sometime thrown aside." What is here suggested with regard to the ease

* Dedication of Milman's Bampton Lectures to with which new words are introduced is no l George IV., 1827.

on his


66 after

[ocr errors]

his longer poems were attaining the highest rare instance of that kind of growth which point of their popularity. Dr. Newman, bis widens and strengthens with its stature; junior by nine or ten years, looked up to carries up breadth, as we may say, along with him in his youth as a rising man of brilliant height, so that his end was even greater than reputation."* In the Oxford class-list his the promise of his outset. Excepting the name stands next to that of J. G. Lockhart. few hymns to wbich we have referred, his In the prize-list it is surrounded by such poetry has already passed away from the ear names as those of Sir J. T. Coleridge, Lord and memory of the nation. Excepting, and Derby (eight years his junior), Whately, scarcely excepting, one or two passages, his Keble, Arnold, and Hampden. His Bamp- Bampton Lectures are forgotten.* His carton Lectures furnished illustrations for liest historical work was an anonymous conArchbishop Whately's Rhetoric. He held tribution to the unpretending series of the the chair of Poetry before Mr. Keble. His Family Library; and the outcry raised by Annals of St. Paul's are full of recollections the novelties of its style and mode of interwhich carry us back among scenes and per- pretation was not kept in check by any spesons now belonging to history. He was cial signs of massive strength about the confirmed at Éton by Pretyman, then workinanship. No one could have foreseen Bishop of Lincoln (p. 472). The " inefface that it would have formed the prelude, able memory” of the 'voice of Bishop through an intermediate publication of mixed Porteus dwells

character, to a production like the History lapse of pearly seventy years" (p. 468). He of Latin Christianity, a book of grand pro“ heard, or fancied that" he“ heard, the low portions and comprehensive scope; a book wail of the sailors ” who bore the body of which soars above its rivals (if indeed it bas Nelson to his grave (p. 485). The name of any in English) like the done of St. Paul's Hallam is “ dear to him, " from long rev. above the London churches; a book which erential friendship” (p. 491). Yet no man must always be counted among the few works erer kept up to the last a more living con holding the highest rank as masterpieces of pexion with every passing movement of the the English tongue. intellect; so that all men felt him to belong Eminent as he was, alike as poet, scholar, to the present by sympathy and interest, as essayist, and preacher, it is as historian that fully as in memory and reputation he be- he fills the largest space in our literature, longed to the past. And whatever he did and will secure the most enduring placo was well done, and was crowned with appro- among great writers. It was his good forpriate success. His clerical life was full and tune to find a distinct place unoccupied, and prosperous, from bis Reading vicarage, to occupy it with a completeness which has through a canonry of Westminster and the made him its master. If Gibbon first built rectory of St. Margaret's, to the deanery of a strong bridge between the ancient and the St. Paul's. But his earlier Oxford life was modern world, compacting into that stately equally complete and rounded. A first class, fabric all the wrecks and fragments of inwhen a first class was a very high distinc formation which had survived the deluge of tion, every one of the four great annual barbarian inroads, Milman raised another prizes, a fellowship, the Bampton Lecture, structure of scarcely less imposing grandeur, and the Poetry professorship, together foriu-to trace the human aspects of Church hisan outline of an Oxford career which could tory through the long period of its greatest scarcely be surpassed. Dean Stanley calls splendour, as it was carried on by the strong his Newdigate " the most perfect of all Ox. practical energy of the Latin race from the ford prize-poems;” and Dean Stanley him- point to which it had been advanced by the self wrote a Newdigate, which a third illus- more speculative Greek intellect. A third trious winner of that prize, Professor Wil- task still awaits its architect, but Milman son, called the best prize-poem since He- foreshadowed its place and its plan,—a hisber's 'Palestine.?" These four pames, Hc- tory of Christianity as it was shaped at a ber, Wilson, Milman, and Stanley, are about later date by the peculiar characteristics of the brightest in the series of the Newdigate the Teutonic races, to form a platform for prizemen, and Milman stands out as, upon the history of the Church of the future. the whole, the foremost of the four.

The Annals of St. Paul's, with their narBut beyond all this, Dean Milman was a rower subject and their nearer interests,

formed an appropriate work for his old age. Apologia, p. 76.

Never did he write a more attractive vol. t Bampion Lectures, p. 269 seq.; Whateley's Rhe- ume; but his editors are surely to blame toric, p. 451, ed. 1846. Compare His:ory of Christianity, i. 428, note, cd. 1963.

* We observe, however, an instance of reference # McMillan: Magazine, Jan. 1869, p. 168; Black- to them in a recent work, Dr. Roberts' Discussions wood's Magazine, Oct. 1837, p. 556.

on the Gospels, 1864, pp. 10, 24.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]


[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

for the state in which it is published. The Deans for whom he shows much less respect. book is everywhere disfigured by errors of As for the Canons, a most important element the press, to an extent which the long list in that great corporation, he tells us very of errata by no means covers.

We should little about them individually, except when gladly make excuses for broken sentences, he passes a strong condemnation on their miscopied dates, and small confusions between behaviour towards their illustrious architect. one name and another, rather than have We begin by quoting a few passages in which wished to task the eye of the vencrable au- he gives expression to his personal predilecthor by imposing on him the tedium of re- tions and antipathies :-vision. But surely he had relatives who

Radulph de Diceto built the Deanery of St. should bave found a pleasure in discharging Paul's, inhabited after him by many men of letso pious a duty. A young man's memory ters; before the Reformation by the admirable could not fail to supply the lapses into which Colet, who may compensate for many names; an old man's memory, however wonderful, after the Reformation, by Alexander Nowell

, would sometimes fall. Here is an instance,

Donne, Sancroft, who rebuilt the mansion after or rather two instances together :

the fire, Stillingfleet, Tillotson, W. Sherlock,

Butler, Secker, Newton, Van Mildert, Cople“The wiser defender of the Church of Eng: stone [read Copleston). As a lover of letters

, I land, Richard Hooker (I wish that I could find might perhaps without presumption add another the name of Hooker among the preachers at the name” (p. 39). Cross or in the Cathedral), had not yet come - According to the theory of Colet (strange forward; the 'Ecclesiastical Polity' appeared that the Dean of St. Paul's in the ninein 1594. Richard Bancroft rose to London and teenth century should find the views which to Canterbury; Richard Hooker died Master of he has long lield so nearly anticipated by the the Temple” (p. 303).

Dean of the sixteentlı),” etc. (p. 116).

“ The Dean of St. Paul's of the present day To use his own phrase (p. 31), the Dean thanks God that he is spared such trials as leave is not well up in his Walton.

Within a a blot, at all events a dark suspicion, on the very few pages he refers to "those charming fame of his pious and learned predecessor," viz., popular biographies by Isaak Walton, which Nowell, in his conference with Campian (p. will last as long as English literature lasts" 308). (p. 323). How could author or editor forget

“Donne is the only Dean of St. Paul's, till a that curious parrative in one of those bio- very late successor, who was guilty of poetry"

(p. 324). graphies, which tells how Hooker went to London" to preach at St Paul's Cross ;" how ashamed of my clerical forefathers. With all

.“ In this respect alone, I am not heartily be stayed at "the Shunammite's hcuse,” my admiration of (Wren's] first desigu, I canwith the unlucky sequel of his visit; how not regret the prolongation of the nave, or its the Bishop of London was among his hear- expansion into the Latin Cross” (p. 403). For ers; and how "the justifying of his doc- their conduct to Wren “I would willingly draw trine did not prove of so bad consequence, the inexorable duty of the historian forbids all

a veil over the shame of my predecessors; but as the kindness of Mrs. Churchman's curing disguise, all reticence” (p 436). "My Etonian him of his late distemper and cold”?† For reverence for the good prorost (Godolphin) will the other point, it is well known that Mr. hardly mitigate my strong reprobation of his Hooker left the Temple for the seclusion of conduct to Sir Christopher Wren while Dean of a country parsonage several years before his St. Paul's (p.458). death,- correction which would

It might console the shades of those whom strengthen the argument of the passage, he has neglected to note, that he thinks just

Considering the grounds of Dean Mil. as little of many of the Bishops of London, man's chief claims to distinction, it is not who pass across his page like the

figures of unpatural that his main interest turns on

a pageant, or like the phantoms of a dream, the more lettered of his predecessors in the which “come like shadows, so depart:""deanery of St. Paul's. There were other

“We have a long barren list of Teutonic * C. g., p. 168, for “it was crerlooked” read “it

names of Bishops, barbarously Latinized, not overlooked;" p. 286, for “Gulls' Handbook" rend

one of whom his left bis mark in history, or "Gull's Hornbook," etc., etc. Many other errors

even in legend. St. Dunstan alone passes over have been already pointed out elsewhere. But for one so-called "slip” which has been charged against bury. ... The list of deans is even

the throne of London on his way to Canterthe book the critic who complains is himself responsible. Dean Milman has been accused of calling sounding names, and no more" (p. 12).

dreary, obscure, and imperfect; a few SaxonWaller "the best of poets,” p. 342. The words are a quotation from Denham's verses inserted just be

“Robert [read Richard] de Belmeis," thie

second of that name, fore, and they ought to bave been distinguished by

was bishop for ten și. quotation marks. The irony is sufficiently obrious. lent years” (p. 28). + Keb!e's Hooker, Life by Walton, pp 22, 23 cd.,

"During the sixty years of the thirteenth 1841. “That which I taught was at Paul's Cross." [fourteenthi] century,"1304-1364, "seven bish-Hooker, Answer to Travers, Works, iii, 576. ops passed over the see of London," of whom



« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »