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gives the principal features of Plato's doctrine of beauty; the translation is Shelley's:

"He who aspires to love rightly, ought from his earliest youth to seek an intercourse with beautiful forms, and first to make a single form the object of his love, and therein to generate intellectual excellences. He ought, then, to consider that beauty in whatever form it resides is the brother of that beauty which subsists in another form; and if he ought to pursue that which is beautiful in form, it would be absurd to imagine that beauty is not one and the same thing in all forms, and would therefore remit much of his ardent preference towards one, through his perception of the multitude of claims upon his love. In addition, he would consider the beauty which is in souls more excellent than that which is in form. So that one endowed with an admirable soul, even though the flower of the form were withered, would suffice him as the object of his love and care, and the companion with whom he might seek and produce such conclusions as tend to the improvement of youth; so that it might be led to observe the beauty and the conformity which there is in the observation of its duties and the laws, and to esteem little the mere beauty of the outward form. He would then conduct his pupil to science, so that he might look upon the loveliness of wisdom; and that contemplating thus the universal beauty, no longer would he unworthily and meanly enslave himself to the attractions of one form in love, nor one subject of discipline or science, but would turn towards the wide ocean of intellectual beauty, and from the sight of the lovely and majestic forms which it contains, would abundantly bring forth his conceptions in philosophy; until, strengthened and confirmed, he should at length steadily contemplate one science, which is the science of this universal beauty.

"Attempt, I entreat you, to mark what I say He who with as keen an observation as you can. has been disciplined to this point in Love, by contemplating beautiful objects gradually, and in their order, now arriving at the end of all that concerns Love, on a sudden beholds a beauty wonderful in its nature. This is it, O Socrates, for the sake of which all the former labours were endured. It is eternal, unproduced, indestructible; neither subject to increase nor decay: not, like other things, partly beautiful and partly deformed; not beautiful in the estimation of one person and deformed in that of another; nor can this supreme beauty be figured to the imagination like a beautiful face, or beautiful hands, or any portion of the body, nor like any discourse nor any

science. Nor does it subsist in any other that lives or is, either in earth, or in heaven, or in any other place; but it is eternally uniform and consistent, and monoeidic with itself. All other things are beautiful through a participation of it, with this condition, that although they are subject to production and decay, it never becomes more or less, or endures any change. When any one, ascending from a correct system of Love, begins to contexplate this supreme beauty, he already touches the consummation of his labour. For such as dis ciplined themselves upon this system, or are coducted by another beginning to ascend through these transitory objects which are beautiful, towards that which is beauty itself, proceeding as on steps from the love of one form to that of two. and from that of two to that of all forms which are beautiful; and from beautiful forms to beautiful habits and institutions, and from institutions to beautiful doctrines; until, from the meditation of many doctrines, they arrive at that which is nothing else than the doctrine of the supreme beauty itself, in the knowledge and contemplation of which at length they repose."


P. 460. This sonnet was written by Shelley in friendly competition with Leigh Hunt, who took the river Nile as his subject and, on this one occa sion, proved himself Shelley's equal. The theme is taken from a passage in Diodorus Siculus, who describes the gigantic statue and records the inscription. Here, as elsewhere, Shelley is careless of rhyme and other details of form.


The Euganean Hills are near Este in Italy, south of a line drawn from Padua to Verona. The view from Shelley's garden was a wide one east and south and west. The mood of the poem is due to Shelley's ill health and the recent death of his infant daughter.

P. 461. ll. 212 ff. Cf. Byron's Ode and Wordsworth's sonnet On the Extinction of the Venetian Republic. The brutal Celt (1. 223) is inaccurately applied to the Austrians.

1. 239. Ezzelin. Ezzelino da Romano (11941259), successively conqueror of Verona, Padua, Vicenza, Feltre, Trento and Brescia, aspired to the conquest of Milan and all Lombardy. His cruelty was such that his name became proverbial and the

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legend arose that his mother confessed that he was the son of Satan himself. He is placed by Dante, in the Inferno, among the tyrants expiating the sin of cruelty, and his career was the subject of the first modern tragedy, the Eccerinus of Albertino Mussato. The dice play by Sin and Deathtwo Miltonic figures was, according to the poet, to decide whether he should continue his life of sin or die.

11. 256 ff. Padua was the seat of one of the most famous universities of medieval and early modern times.

P.462. 1. 292. point of heaven's profound, zenith of the fathomless depths of air.

1. 333. Its, the frail bark's (1. 331).


The poet, despondent and empty of energy, appeals for aid to the West Wind of Autumn. Stanzas I, II, and III are successive apostrophes to the Wind in various functions and aspects. In stanzas IV and V he makes his appeal for aid, and as his inspiration glows and his pulses quicken, he passes from appeals that he may be passively subject to the Wind's power -a leaf lifted and driven before it, or a lyre responding in mighty harmonies to its breath to a prayer for active union in spirit and power to scatter his thoughts among men, and finally reaches a triumphant recognition that the coming of Winter is the promise of Spring.

The poem is very subtly and skilfully constructed. Not only do the last two stanzas recall all the activities of the first three, but ll. 64, 65 are beautifully associated with ll. 2-14, and the triumphant note of ll. 68-70 is prepared for by the words,

"Thou dirge

Of the dying year" (ll. 23, 24).

The stanzas are ingeniously formed from the terza rima, the verse of Dante's Divina Commedia. Strictly speaking, the terza rima1 ends with the thirteenth line of each stanza; Shelley, in order to get a stanzaic effect, adds another line rhyming with the thirteenth. The terza rima gives him the continuity of movement within the stanza

In terza rima the first rhyme and the last must appear twice and only twice, while each of the others must appear three times. The rhyme formula is ababcbcdc xwxYxyzyz. Terza rima is rare in English. Other examples of it in this volume are Wyatt's Of the Meane and Sure Estate (p. 98) and Rossetti's fragment, Francesca da Rimini (p. 629), translated from Dante.

appropriate to his subject; the couplet rhyme gives the stanzaic structure necessary to his plan. 1. 9. Thine azure sister of the spring is not the South Wind, as has sometimes been supposed, for from ancient times the south wind has been dreaded in Italy (sce Vergil's Eclogues and Georgics, passim). The wind meant is the West Wind of the Spring, sister to the West Wind of Autumn.

P. 463. 1. 21. Manad. The women who in ecstasy took part in the rites of Dionysus, with flying hair and flaming torches, were called Mænads (the frenzied ones). Everybody who has not already done so should read Professor Gilbert Murray's translation of the Baccha of Euripides.

1. 32. A pumice isle is one formed from the lava of a volcano. Baie, an ancient Roman pleasure resort, is the modern Baja, a few miles west of Naples, in a region where nearly extinct volcanoes still rumble and spurt feebly.


There are several versions of this poem, all apparently originating with Shelley himself. This explains the variant readings, of which there are several, for example: burning for shining (l. 4); As I must die on thine (l. 15); Beloved as thou art (1. 16); press me to thine own and press it close to thine again (1. 23).


P. 464. ll. 17-30. Shelley conceives of the Lightning as the pilot of the Cloud and as itself following the movements of the genii that move in the sea. Wherever the Lightning dreams, the spirit he loves will be found below -- under mountain or stream. But how does the Lightning dissolve in rain (1.30)? One would expect the Cloud to do that.


Pp. 465 f. This flood of divine rapture is one of the many wonderful poems in English which have so impressed lovers of the beautiful, that even we Americans, to whom the cuckoo, the English skylark, and the nightingale are entirely unknown, think of these birds as sources of delight, and some of us who "meddle with making," as the old scribbler said, have even written about them without ever having heard a song from their throats. Nearly all the poem is devoted to the bird itself - the first six stanzas to pure lyric outcries, the second six to lyric comparisons with

latter shows itself chiefly in his ability to assume a certain attitude toward a problem or a situation and carry out this attitude to its logical consequences in even the minutest details. Thus in Gulliver's Travels he shows human life as looked at successively by beings smaller than men, by beings larger than men, and by beings of other standards and ideals. In his Modest Proposal he emphasizes the low value set on human life - on the lives of children in Ireland - by assuming that they are worth only what they will fetch in the market, and consistently pushing that assumption to its logical but horrible consequences. The effectiveness of his method depends upon the fact that, whereas in most of our thinking inherited views and conventional opinions on particular points rise up to prevent us from developing any principle with relentless logic, this method presents a principle under such a form that our inherited views and conventional reactions are not aroused until after we have committed ourselves to what the simple logic of the principle implies.

His style is devoid of grace and charm because it is so set upon practical results and so direct and simple. He uses words with an exact sense of their intellectual values and force rarely equalled; but his clearness and simplicity are deceptive. A second meaning lurks always beneath the plain and simple surface.


Pp. 248 ff. Swift himself explains his title thus:

"The wits of the present age being so very numerous and penetrating, it seems the grandees of Church and State begin to fall under horrible apprehensions lest these gentlemen, during the intervals of a long peace, should find leisure to pick holes in the weak sides of religion and government. To prevent which, there has been much thought employed of late upon certain projects for taking off the force and edges of those formidable inquirers from canvassing and reasoning upon such delicate points. . . . To this end, at a grand committee, some days ago, this important discovery was made by a certain curious and refined observer, that seamen have a custom when they meet a Whale to fling him out an empty Tub, by way of amusement, to divert him from laying violent hands upon the Ship. . . . The Ship in danger is easily understood to be its old antitype, the commonwealth." But this explanation is a part of Swift's jest; "a tale of a tub" had long

been a proverbial expression for an absurd or nonsensical story.

The treatise as a whole is a satire on the three great branches of the Christian Church: the Catholic (represented by Peter), the Church of the Reformation, including the English and the Lutheran branches (represented by Martin, i.e., Luther), and the Presbyterians, Independents and other Dissenters (represented by Jack, i.e., Calvin). The coats represent Primitive Christianity as delivered by Christ to his followers. The successive sections of the main satire describe allegorically the various changes which have been made in Christian doctrine and institutions from time to time. The section given in this volume is devoted entirely to the history of the Church before the split caused by the Reformation. A later section tells how Peter, claiming to be the oldest, assumed authority and kicked his brothers out of the house which he had taken possession of (see p. 252, last paragraph); and other sections narrate the adventures and deeds of the brothers after their separation.


That this satire should have given great offence to Protestants as well as to Catholics and effec tually prevented Swift from ever attaining such a rank and position in the English Church as his intellectual ability clearly entitled him to, is not to be wondered at. It has been said that he was more favorable to Martin the Church of England than to the others; but no good Church of England man can have been pleased with the treatment Martin receives, especially in the brief section entitled The History of Martin which Swift added in some editions of the work. The fact is that every deviation from Primitive Christianity is represented as arbitrary, fraudulent, and ludi


Some details of the allegory may assist the reader:

The seven years of obedience and the travels and exploits (p. 248 a) refer to the early centuries and the spreading of Christianity in foreign lands. The three ladies with whom the brothers fell in love (p. 248 b) are covetousness, ambition, and pride. the great vices which caused the first corruptions of the Church; and the social climbing (p. 248 b) represents the rise of Christianity to dominant power in the Roman Empire. The whole of p. 249 - in which readers of Carlyle will recognize the germ of his Clothes Philosophy in Sartor Resartus · is a general satire on mankind for its worship of externals, such as rank, wealth, etc., and at the same time a special satire on the Church for the

development of an elaborate hierarchy and elaborate ceremonies. The idol sitting crosslegged (249 a) is in primary intention a tailor and secondarily, perhaps, the Pope, the origin of whose dignity and title some deduced from the Roman system of religion. Hell (ibid.) was a term applied in Swift's day to a box beneath the tailor's work-bench into which scraps were thrown, and also, say the satirists, such pieces of cloth as the tailor wished to steal from his customers. I do not understand the symbolism of the goose or of the yard-stick and the needle (ibid.). The shoulder-knots (p. 250 b) and the gold lace (p. 251 a) are symbolical of the additions made to the simple doctrines of early Christianity, and the discussions are a satire on the methods by which authority for these innovations was adduced. The nuncupatory will (ibid.) is tradition, to which the Catholics allow great authority. The flamecolored satin (p. 251 b) is the doctrine of Purgatory, which, according to views in vogue in Swift's day, had already appeared in Jewish rabbinical doctrine (my Lord C -) and in Mohammedanism (Sir J. W.). The advice "to take care of fire and put out their candles before they went to sleep" (ibid.) means to shun hell and, in order to do so, to subdue and extinguish their lusts. The codicil (ibid.) figures the Apocryphal books of the Bible, and the dog-keeper is said to be an allusion to the Apocryphal book of Tobit. The interpretation of "fringe" as "broom-stick" (p. 252 a) alludes to medieval methods of interpreting scripture. The embroidered figures (ibid.) are images of Christ and the saints. The strong box in which the will was locked up (p. 252 b) signifies the Greek and Latin languages, and the power of adding clauses (ibid.) to the will signifies the Pope's power to issue bulls and decretals. The lord whose house was usurped (ibid.) means the Emperor Constantine, from whom the Church was said to have received the donation of St. Peter's patrimony, the foundation of the temporal power of the Church.


Pp. 253 f. Written in Swift's bitterest mood, to show the terrible condition of the poor in Ireland, and the utter heartlessness of the English in dealing with the situation. The terrific force of the satire is due largely to the matter-of-fact handling of details in a proposition subversive of all civilization. Some simple-minded persons have failed to understand Swift's irony and supposed him to be really in favor of the plan he advocates.


Pp. 254 ff. Addison and Steele are as commonly thought of as inseparable as are Beaumont and Fletcher, and the two are as different as the earlier pair. Addison is always cool, level-headed, with a keen eye for the humorous side of life, and an occasional flight of fancy. Steele is usually hot-headed and warm-hearted, inclined to preach and to sentimentalize, at times rather in the manner of Thackeray. These differences are very evident in the passages chosen. Both writers owe much of their charm to their ease and unaf

fectedness, and to the sense of leisure- - the play


that pervades their work.

In No. 10 of the Spectator, Addison is at his best, chatting with his readers as if they were all personal friends; in No. 26, he is the man of taste (cf. Sir Thomas Browne on a similar theme, pp. 181-184, above); in No. 98, he is the satirist, amusing yet never sharp; in No. 159 and Nos. 584-585, he turns his imagination into Oriental fields and produces phantasies which show that even the most classical age has its romantic moods.

In No. 95 of the Tatler and No. 11 of the Spectator, Steele shows himself as a warm-hearted sentimentalist; in No. 167 of the Tatler, as a critic and philanthropist; and in No. 264, as a genial humor



P. 262. Addison was asked to celebrate in verse the Battle of Blenheim for the sake of helping the political party with which the Duke of Marlborough was connected. When he produced his Campaign, Godolphin, Marlborough's son-inlaw, and the other leaders were so pleased that they gave him a political post made vacant by the death of John Locke, the philosopher (see p. 238). Later, as the poem was an immediate and pronounced success, they made him under-secretary of state. One of the most admired passages was the simile of the angel, ll. 287-292, which taken in connection with a terrible storm that passed over England in November, 1704, was obvious and commonplace enough to hit the popular fancy. I have quoted a short passage from the work as a good specimen of utilitarian verse. To-day it is of historical value only.


Pp. 269 ff. The idea of this extravaganza was perhaps suggested by Marvell's poem, To His Coy Mistress, p. 220.


P. 272. Although Prior lived well into the Classical Age, he, like Swift, began to write while Dryden was still at the height of his power. His first production, indeed, was a parody, such as any clever school boy might write, written in collaboration with Charles Montague (later Earl of Halifax), upon Dryden's The Hind and the Panther. It was entitled The Hind and the Panther Transversed to the Story of the Country Mouse and the City Mouse and began:

“A milk-white mouse, immortal and unchanged, Fed on soft cheese and o'er the dairy ranged: Without unspotted, innocent within,

She feared no danger, for she knew no gin."

Later he wrote a successful travesty of Boileau's Pindaric ode in praise of Louis XIV. Most of his writing was called out by some special occasion and is distinguished by playfulness and wit, as are the brief selections here chosen to represent him. That he was capable of more serious efforts is shown by his Carmen Sæculare, an ode in praise of King William, but his life was devoted chiefly to politics and diplomacy.


Pp. 273 ff. Pope was avowedly the pupil of Dryden, but within his more limited field, he far excelled his master. His immediate success was due not only to the fact that he voiced most perfectly the predominant spirit of the cultivated classes of the age in which he lived the age of but also obedience to rule, and worship of form

to his remarkable faculty, however unconscious, of advertising himself by means of a host of friends and an even greater host of rivals and foes. His enduring success is based upon qualities very different from those so admired by his contemporaries. His ideas in criticism, which they regarded as infallible axioms, seem to us partly commonplace, and partly false; his theory of metaphysics, which they regarded with admiring awe, we smile at as superficial, and even so, as borrowed from Bolingbroke; his satires we are likely to read with half-impatient amusement, because they are so largely works of personal spite, and so often ascribe to his enemies qualities which they did not


But with all his glib superficiality and his petty malice, Pope has two qualities more highly developed perhaps than they are found in any other English poet: one is almost inexhaus

tible wit, which spices his dullest subjects and his most objectionable satires; the other is an ama ing instinct for the minor perfections of form.


I, Il. 68-91. The doctrine that creative artists should take Nature as their guide is one of the most astonishing doctrines of the critical theory of Pope and his fellows the so-called classicists; for it seems to us that this is precisely the thing which they did not do, and the thing by doing which the leaders of romanticism, Thomson, Cowper, Wordsworth and others, introduced new subjects and new methods into English literature. The difficulty is cleared up, however, when we learn (from 11. 88-89, 126, 135, and especially 139-140) that the way to "follow Nature" is, not to observe things as they are, but to imitate and defer to the "ancients" - Homer (124), Vergil (129-130), and Aristotle (138).

That this official doctrine did not entirely satisfy Pope's native impulses may be seen from ll. 146155, where he represents Pegasus, the winged horse of poesy, as boldly deviating "from the common track." See also the romantic sentiments expressed in Eloisa to Abelard. In landscape gardening Pope's tastes were decidedly romantic. The classicism of his writings was therefore not so much the expression of anything fundamental in his nature as the result of deliberate conformity to a critical theory.

P. 274. 1. 180. Horace, in his Ars Poetica, had admitted that even Homer sometimes nods; Pope suggests that when we suspect a good writer of writing poorly, the fault may be, not his, but

our own.

P. 275. II, 11. 374-383. Compare Alexander's Feast, p. 224. Pope heightens the compliment by recalling the phrasing of the original.


Pope's mocking spirit made him particularly successful in dealing with this petty quarrel as if it were a matter of national importance. The occasion of the poem was this: A young nobleman named Lord Petre had stolen a lock of hair from a well-known beauty, Miss Arabella Fermor, and a quarrel arose. Their common friend, John Caryll, suggested to Pope, whom he also knew well, that the poet write something to make peace. The first version of The Rape of the Lock was the result. At first, all parties to the quarrel were incensed by the satire, but eventually they were

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