He teaches us nothing ; but he prepares us, fashions us, and makes us ready to know all. Arnold classic poets include Dante , Milton , Homer and Shakespeare. Normal Hardbound Edition is also available on request. I do not wish to hurt any one's feelings ; but surely this is so. One must not look to the form in him, but to the matter, which is exquisite.
FriendsJup' s Garland is his wittiest and most amusing book, and its comparison of English and German ideals in politics and education is of peculiar interest. In 1844, after completing his undergraduate degree at Oxford, he returned to Rugby as a teacher of classics. Arnold united active independent insight with the authority of the humanistic tradition. Brown cloth, gilt spine titles, chocolate endpapers. Great powers of mind will make him inform himself thoroughly, great powers of mind will make him think profoimdly, even Avith ignorance and platitude all 30 round him ; but not even great powers of mind will keep his taste and style perfectly sound and sure, if he is left too much to himself, with no ' sovereign organ of opinion,' in these matters, near him. Perhaps in iifty years' time it will in the English House of Commons be an objection to an institution that it is an anomaly, and my friend the Member of Parliament will shudder in his grave.
And so on through all the various fractions, political and religious, of our society ; every fraction has, as such, its organ of criticism, but the notion of combining all fractions in the common pleasure of a free lo disinterested play of mind meets with no favour. O71 ne vit dans la memoire du monde, he saj's and says truly, que par des travaux pour le monde — ' a man can live in the world's memory only by what he has done for the world. The first kind are the great abounding fountains of truth, whose criticism of life is a source of illumination and joy to the whole human race for ever, — the Homers, the Shakspeares. It is nearly identical with that of Goethe. Nay, they are more within the control of the critical power.
Prize bookplate to the front pastedown. They will never, like the Shakspeares, command the homage of the multitude ; but they are safe ; the multitude will not trample them down. There is a danger in such proofs ; for in arguing it is necessary to treat that which is in question as something problematic : now that which we accustom ourselves to treat as problematic ends by appearing to us as really doubtful. Kenan's language, which does imply this ; but, I confess, the only person who can really settle such a question is M. Writers must choose subjects from the world of their own experience. He knew little of physical science, and was at times inclined to dejireciate it, but he realized the importance of the scientific attitude.
Or, if we followed him back to his seclu- sion at Littlemore,. Sometimes, no doubt, for the sake of establishing an author's place in literature, and his relation to a central standard and if this is not done, how are we to get at our best in the world? Russell, in a recent book » Op. And, having given him this advice, let me again turn, for a little, to the Tractatus Theologico- Politicus itself. They show that an author has long made the thought or the feeling expressed his mental food ; that he has so assimilated them and familiarised them, that the most common expressions suffice him in order to express 40 ideas which have become everyday ideas to him by the length of time they have been in his mind. The charm of Arnold's character is well suggested by a writer of very different temperament and training, Leslie Stephen. Both of them passionately devoted to reading in a class of books, and to thinking on a class of subjects, out of the beaten line of the reading and thought of their day ; both of them ardent students and critics of old literature, poetry, and the metaphysics of religion ; both of them curious explorers of words, and of the latent significance hidden under the popular use of them ; both of them, in a certain sense, conservative in religion and politics, by antipathy to 10 the narrow and shallow foolishness of vulgar modern liberal- ism ; — here they had their inward and real likeness. These works often have much ability ; they 30 often spring out of sincere convictions, and a sincere wish to do good ; and they sometimes, perhaps, do good.
Even with well-meant efforts of the practical spirit it must express dissatisfaction, 30 if in the sphere of the ideal they seem impoverishing and limiting. But the criticism which the men of genius pass upon human life is permanently acceptable to mankind ; the criticism which the men of ability pass upon human life is transitorily acceptable. It is comparatively a small matter to express oneself well, if one will be content with ' A critic says this is paradoxical, and urges tliat many second-rate French academicians have uttered the most commonplace ideas possible. There is something insincere about it, smacking of bravado. Originally published in 1865 this reprint inculdes the original preface. But it is not easy to lead a practical man — unless you reassure him as to your practical intentions, you have no chance of leading him — to see that a thing which he has always been used to look at from one lo side only, which he greatly values, and which, looked at from that side, more than deserves, perhaps, all the prizing and admiring which he bestows upon it, — that this thing, looked at from another side, may appear much less bene- ficent and beautiful, and yet retain all its claims to our practical allegiance.
He had correctness of judgment, 30 liveliness of imagination, nimble wits, quick taste, and a moral sense in ruins. He was the first to deliver his lectures in English rather than Latin. Externally, sound with light marks to the boards, and minor rubbing to the spine. Gray constantly studied and enjoyed Greek poetry and thus inherited their poetic point of view and their application of poetry to life. Arnold commends Shakespeare's use of great plots from the past. He starts, we feel, from what is to him a hypothesis, and we want to know what he really thinks about this hypothesis. However, it is not merely out of modesty that I prefer to stand alone, and to concentrate on myself, as a plain citizen of the republic of letters, and not as an office- bearer in a hierarchy, the whole responsibility for all I write ; it is much more out of genuine devotion to the University of Oxford, for which I feel, and always must feel, the fondest, the most reverential attachment.
The French Revolution, however, — that object of so much bhnd love and so much blind hatred, — found undoubtedly its motive-power in the 20 inteUigence of men and not in their practical sense ; — this is what distinguishes it from the English Revolution of Charles the First's time ; this is what makes it a more spiritual event than our Revolution, an event of much more powerful and world-wide interest, though practically less successful ; — it appeals to an order of ideas which are universal, certain, permanent. The first or preliminary chapter has some fancifulness and affectation in it ; the reader should begin with the second. But he goes on : 'It is astonishing that a recent article ' in a French periodical, he means ' should have brought forward as the last word of German exegesis a work like this, composed by a doctor of the University of Cambridge, and universally condemned by 20 German critics. Perhaps, even of the life of Pindar's time, Pompeii was the inevitable bourne. By this it certainly escapes certain real incon- 20 veniences and dangers, and it can, at the same time, as we have seen, reach undeniably splendid heights in poetry and science.
I will not now ask what more the Athenian or the French spirit has than this, nor what shortcomings cither of them may have as a set-oft' against this ; all I want now to point out is that they have this, and that we have it in a much lesser degree. Who would not gladly keep clear, from all these passing clouds, an august institution which was there before they arose, and which will be there when they have blown over? The remaining essays, with the exception of the last two on Tolstoy and Amiel , all deal with English poets: Milton, Gray, Keats, Wordsworth, Byron, and Shelley. According to Walter Raleigh, Arnold's method is like that of a man who took a brick to the market to give the buyers an impression of the building. To our provincial and second- rate literature of the eighteenth century. To try and approach truth on one side after another, not to strive or cry, nor to persist in pressing forward, on any one side, with violence and self-will, — it is only thus, it seems to me, that mortals may hope to gain any vision of the mysterious Goddess, whom we shall never see except in outline, but only thus even in outline.
Arnold died suddenly, of , in the spring of 1888, at and was buried at Laleham, with the three sons whose early loss had shadowed his life. But he asserts that the voice which uttered the command- ments on Mount Sinai was a real voice, a vera vox. But I return to my design in writing this Preface. Slow and obscure it may be, but it is the only proper work of criticism. His excursions into politics began later with the pamphlet England and the Italian Question 1859 , and into theology with his attack upon Bishop Colenso's book on the Penta- teuch 1863.