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Rowe's flat and contemptible correction 'hail'; and what is required in (c) is the reproduction of the nonsense of Mason, Bailey, and Singleton. If teachers and those who write books for the instruction of teachers could only be brought to feel that the text of a great poet should be as sacred as his memory, education would greatly gain. But to continue: The third question, intended no doubt to secure an original acquaintance with the play, is either wholly superfluous-for much more effective tests could easily have been applied-or places a premium on the exercise of the least intelligent faculty of the mind-local memory. To questions four and five-if we except at least the condition with which the fifth is saddled-no objections could of course be made. The attainment of such information as they are designed to secure is obviously as essential as it is important. With regard to the sixth, it is chiefly to be regretted that it is the only question of its kind, and with regard to the seventh that it did not supply the deficiency. It is clear, then, that the study of a play of Shakespeare-and what applies to a play of Shakespeare applies obviously to any other work in poetry which runs on the lines indicated in these questions would serve only to attain one of the ends at which the interpretation of literature should aim. It would secure an exact knowledge of the history and meaning of words; it would secure a clear understanding of all that pertains in the mechanism of expression to grammar and syntax, and of all that pertains in the accidents of expression to local and particular allusions. But it would go no further. The questions which ought to form an essential part of every examination not merely elementary in which a play of Shakespeare is offered are questions requiring an intelligent study of its general structure, of the evolution of its plot, of its style and diction not simply in their relation to grammar but in their relation to rhetoric, of its ethics, of its metaphysics, of its characters, of the influences, precedent and contemporary, which importantly affected it. It would be quite as easy to substitute for such questions as I have transcribed some such questions as these:

1. Through what phases did the style of Shakespeare pass? Analyse the characteristics of each phase in its development, and discuss his general claim to be called a consummate master of expression.'

2. Is Macbeth to be regarded as a responsible agent? If so, how does the drama illustrate Shakespeare's ethics? If not, what light does it throw on Shakespeare's theology?

3. Analyse and contrast the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.

4. Point out the exquisite propriety from a dramatic point of view of (a) the porter's speech and (b) Macbeth's soliloquy in the dagger scene, and point out in the play what strike you as being particularly subtle dramatic touches. Explain your reasons for thinking them so.

Or suppose we make the questions assume the form which they

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should assume in a comparative study of classical and modern literature.

1. Show in what way and through what media Attic tragedy determined the form of our Romantic tragedy, and show by a comparative review of the Perso and Henry V., and of the Agamemnon and Macbeth how much Attic and Shakespearian drama have in common.

2. Compare Shakespeare and Sophocles (a) as dramatic artists, (b) as critics of life. Discuss particularly their use of irony.

3. Point out how far the typical tragedies of Shakespeare illustrate Aristotle's analysis of the structure, characterisation, and functions of tragedy. In what respects has Shakespeare violated Aristotle's canons?

I am not proposing these questions as models; I am merely showing the necessity of directing attention to such points as they touch on, if the study of Shakespeare or of any other master poet is to be of profit in popular, or in academic education. There is moreover no lack of excellent guides. We have the Lectures of Coleridge, the Commentaries of Gervinus and Ulrici, Kreyssig's Vorlesungen über Shakespeare, Professor Dowden's suggestive little volume, and innumerable other works. And it would be well if, in every examination where the Clarendon Press edition of a play of Shakespeare is prescribed as a text-book, it should be prescribed only under the condition that its introductions and notes were supplemented by reference to these and similar works. It is, indeed, only one of the many proofs of the anarchy which exists in the English department of education, that the same press-a press which virtually directs the study of our national literature in almost every school in the kingdom-should be simultaneously issuing editions of English poets edited on such principles as Hamlet and Macbeth are edited, and editions of English poets edited as Mark Pattison has edited the Essay on Man and the Satires of Pope.

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But, it may be said, though criticism in its application to solid subjects, like a drama of Shakespeare or the Satires of Pope, is, in teaching, practicable enough, it becomes in its application to less tangible subjects-to lyric poetry, for example-eminently impracticable. What end could be served by dissecting Christabel or by proceeding categorically through the merits and defects of Epipsychidion? No one would deny that the spectacle of a lecturer with Tears, Idle Tears' or 'Mariana in the Moated Grange' in his hand 'proceeding to show' what is graceful, what is fanciful, what is pathetic, would be sufficiently ludicrous and repulsive. But the soundness of a principle is not affected by the possibility of reducing it to an absurdity. It still remains that of all the functions of the literary teacher none is more important than the function which lends itself thus easily to ridicule. And what is that function? It is the interpretation of power and beauty as they reveal themselves in language, not simply by resolving them into their constituent


elements, but by considering them in their relation to principles. While an incompetent teacher traces no connection between phenomena and laws, and confounds accidents with essences, blundering among categorical enumerations' and vague generalities, he who knows will show us how to discern harmony in apparent discord, and discord in apparent harmony. In the gigantic proportions of Paradise Lost he will reveal to us a symmetry as perfect as in the most finished of Horace's Odes. He will expose flaws, interstices, and incongruity where, as in the Essay on Man, all is to the unskilled eye consistency and unity. He will teach us to hear in the choked and turbid rush of Shakespeare's ruggedest utterances a truer and subtler music than in the most mellifluous cadences of Pope.

Nor will he confine himself to interpreting what is excellent and what is vicious in form and style. Rightly distinguishing between the criticism which should be simply suggestive and the criticism which should be directly didactic, he will abstain from impertinent prattle about the effects produced by poetry, to show how far in each. case the effects produced might with a larger insight and a fuller understanding have been heightened and intensified; or how, on the other hand, such effects ought not, and, in the case of a critic whose ethic and aesthetic education had been sound, could not have been produced at all. He will teach us to see in all poetry, not purely lyrical or simply fanciful, a criticism of life, sound or unsound, adequate or defective. And if in dealing with such luminaries as Chaucer and Spenser, as Shakespeare, Milton, and Wordsworth, his care will not extend beyond reverent exposition, in dealing with the lesser lights, with our Drydens and our Popes, with our Byrons and our Shelleys, he will have another task. He will have to show how, in various degrees, defects of temper, the accidents of life, historical and social environment, and the like have obscured and distorted that vision which penetrates through the local and particular to the essential and universal. He will not, for example, allow the brilliant rhetoric and sound sense of Pope to blind us to the worthlessness of his metaphysics or to the insufficiency of his views on the subject of man's relation to spiritual truth; nor will he allow the marvellous music and imaginative splendour of the Revolt of Islam and the Prometheus Unbound to veil from us the folly and insanity of their ethics.

Thus systematised the study of English literature would become on the one side-on the side of its history-as susceptible of serious, methodical, and profitable treatment as history itself; and on the other side-on the side of criticism-it would become a still more important instrument of discipline, for it would correspond as nearly as possible to the Musiké of the Greeks, and supply the one great deficiency in our national education. In a country like ours, where the current will always run in a scientific and positive direction, nothing

is so much to be regretted as the almost entire absence of any systematic provision for musical' culture. At the Universities the want is to some extent supplied by the study of classical literature, but throughout the country our own literature must necessarily be the chief medium for disseminating that culture, if it is to be disseminated at all. Whether English literature is to fulfil this function or not depends obviously on the training of its teachers, and the training of its teachers depends as obviously on the willingness or the unwillingness of the Universities to provide that training. How far that training is likely to be provided by such an institution as the Medieval and Modern Languages Tripos of Cambridge we have already seen. What is to be devoutly hoped is that Convocation will have the wisdom to prevent Oxford from the folly of being guilty of similar treason to the cause of Letters and Culture.




THERE are many who regard the special consideration of nerve rest as absolutely unnecessary. According to them the greatest evil in the world is idleness.

'If men had only enough hard work they would soon sleep off their nervousness. It is thinking about himself that makes a man nervous. Instead of encouraging his introspection we ought to urge him to the pursuit of a useful occupation.'

Such is the talk prevalent among people who call themselves practical.

It is true that if we would live more naturally there would be less nervousness. But we have, for several generations, been getting more artificial in our lives. The nervous system has been goaded to continuous exertion and subjected to constant strain. The effect of this upon each succeeding generation has been so deleterious that there have descended to us numerous persons whose nerves are naturally hypersensitive. To prevent these from becoming severe sufferers ordinary precautions are powerless. The advice just alluded to is excellent for the ordinary man, born with a strong nerve which has not yet been damaged by hurry for money or worry for bread. If followed it would prevent healthy men becoming victims of nervousness; but something more is required for those who have inherited, or acquired, a hypersensitive nervous system. Most men and women of robust health deny the existence of any physical cause for nervous irritability. They insist that it is entirely mental and directly dependent upon the will of the sufferer. They would employ the word 'actor' instead of 'sufferer.'

It is not surprising that we should doubt the existence of that which does not directly appeal to our senses. The writer remembers an instance of this in the case of two hard-working students who boarded in the same house. They were both vigorous in the use of knife and fork as well as of book. In course of time one of them began to complain of dyspeptic symptoms, the result of full diet with scant exercise. His companion laughed him to scorn as he avoided one and another of his favourite dishes. He insisted

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