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Selections From The Prose Works Of Matthew Arnold - Preface and Introduction

This book of selections aims to furnish examples of Arnold's prose in all the fields in which it characteristically employed itself except that of religion. It has seemed better to omit all such material than to attempt inclusion of a few extracts which could hardly give any adequate notion of Arnold's work in this department. Something, however, of his method in religious criticism can be discerned by a perusal of the chapter on _Hebraism and Hellenism_, selected from _Culture and Anarchy_. Most of Arnold's leading ideas are represented in this volume, but the decision to use entire essays so far as feasible has naturally precluded the possibility of gathering all the important utterances together. The basis of division and grouping of the selections is made sufficiently obvious by the headings. In the division of literary criticism the endeavor has been to illustrate Arnold's cosmopolitanism by essays of first-rate importance dealing with the four literatures with which he was well acquainted. In the notes, conciseness with a reasonable degree of thoroughness has been the principle followed.


CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

BIBLIOGRAPHY

SELECTIONS:

I. THEORIES OF LITERATURE AND CRITICISM:

1. Poetry and the Classics (1853)
2. The Function of Criticism at the Present Time (1864)
3. The Study of Poetry (1880)
4. Literature and Science (1882)

II. LITERARY CRITICISM:

1. Heinrich Heine (1863)
2. Marcus Aurelius (1863)
3. The Contribution of the Celts to English Literature (1866)
4. George Sand (1877)
5. Wordsworth (1879)

III. SOCIAL AND POLITICAL STUDIES:

1. Sweetness and Light (1867)
2. Hebraism and Hellenism (1867)
3. Equality (1878)

NOTES

 

INTRODUCTION

I

(Sidenote: Life and Personality)

"The gray hairs on my head are becoming more and more numerous, and I sometimes grow impatient of getting old amidst a press of occupations and labor for which, after all, I was not born. But we are not here to have facilities found us for doing the work we like, but to make them." This sentence, written in a letter to his mother in his fortieth year, admirably expresses Arnold's courage, cheerfulness, and devotion in the midst of an exacting round of commonplace duties, and at the same time the energy and determination with which he responded to the imperative need of liberating work of a higher order, that he might keep himself, as he says in another letter, "from feeling starved and shrunk up." The two feelings directed the course of his life to the end, a life characterized no less by allegiance to "the lowliest duties" than by brilliant success in a more attractive field.

Matthew Arnold was born at Laleham, December 24, 1822, the eldest son of Thomas Arnold, the great head master of Rugby. He was educated at Laleham, Winchester, Rugby, and Balliol College, Oxford. In 1845 he was elected a fellow of Oriel, but Arnold desired to be a man of the world, and the security of college cloisters and garden walls could not long attract him. Of a deep affection for Oxford his letters and his books speak unmistakably, but little record of his Oxford life remains aside from the well-known lines of Principal Shairp, in which he is spoken of as

So full of power, yet blithe and debonair,
Rallying his friends with pleasant banter gay.

From Oxford he returned to teach classics at Rugby, and in 1847 he was appointed private secretary to Lord Lansdowne, then Lord President of the Council. In 1851, the year of his marriage, he became inspector of schools, and in this service he continued until two years before his death. As an inspector, the letters give us a picture of Arnold toiling over examination papers, and hurrying from place to place, covering great distances, often going without lunch or dinner, or seeking the doubtful solace of a bun, eaten "before the astonished school." His services to the cause of English education were great, both in the direction of personal inspiration to teachers and students, and in thoughtful discussion of national problems. Much time was spent in investigating foreign systems, and his _Report upon Schools and Universities on the Continent was enlightened and suggestive.

Arnold's first volume of poems appeared in 1849, and by 1853 the larger part of his poetry was published. Four years later he was appointed Professor of Poetry at Oxford. Of his prose, the first book to attract wide notice was that containing the lectures _On Translating Homer delivered from the chair of Poetry and published in 1861-62. From this time until the year of his death appeared the remarkable series of critical writings which have placed him in the front rank of the men of letters of his century. He continued faithfully to fulfill his duties as school inspector until April, 1886, when he resigned after a service of thirty-five years. He died of heart trouble on April 15, 1888, at Liverpool.

The testimony to Arnold's personal charm, to his cheerfulness, his urbanity, his tolerance and charity, is remarkably uniform. He is described by one who knew him as "the most sociable, the most lovable, the most companionable of men"; by another as "preeminently a good man, gentle, generous, enduring, laborious." His letters are among the precious writings of our time, not because of the beauty or inimitableness of detail, but because of the completed picture which they make. They do not, like the Carlyle-Emerson correspondence, show a hand that could not set pen to paper without writing picturesquely, but they do reveal a character of great soundness and sweetness, and one in which the affections play a surprisingly important part, the love of flowers and books, of family and friends, and of his fellow men. His life was human, kindly and unselfish, and he allowed no clash between the pursuit of personal perfection and devotion to the public cause, even when the latter demanded sacrifice of the most cherished projects and adherence to the most irritating drudgery.

II

(Sidenote: Arnold's Place among Nineteenth-Century Teachers)

By those who go to literature primarily for a practical wisdom presented in terms applicable to modern life, the work of Arnold will be reckoned highly important, if not indispensable. He will be placed by them among the great humanizers of the last century, and by comparison with his contemporaries will be seen to have furnished a complementary contribution of the highest value. Of the other great teachers whose work may most fitly be compared with his, two were preeminently men of feeling. Carlyle was governed by an overmastering moral fervor which gave great weight to his utterances, but which exercised itself in a narrow field and which often distorted and misinterpreted the facts. Ruskin was governed by his affections, and though an ardent lover of truth and beauty, was often the victim of caprice and extravagance. Emerson and Arnold, on the other hand, were governed primarily by the intellect, but with quite different results. Emerson presents life in its ideality; he comparatively neglects life in its phenomenal aspect, that is, as it appears to the ordinary man. Arnold, while not without emotional equipment, and inspired by idealism of a high order, introduces a yet larger element of practical season. _Tendens manus ripae ulterioris amore_, he is yet first of all a man of this world. His chief instrument is common sense, and he looks at questions from the point of view of the highly intelligent and cultivated man. His dislike of metaphysics was as deep as Ruskin's, and he was impatient of abstractions of any sort. With as great a desire to further the true progress of his time as Carlyle or Ruskin, he joined a greater calmness and disinterestedness. "To be less and less personal in one's desires and workings" he learned to look upon as after all the great matter. Of the lessons that are impressed upon us by his whole life and work rather than by specific teachings, perhaps the most precious is the inspiration to live our lives thoughtfully, in no haphazard and hand-to-mouth way, and to live always for the idea and the spirit, making all things else subservient. He does not dazzle us with extraordinary power prodigally spent, but he was a good steward of natural gifts, high, though below the highest. His life of forethought and reason may be profitably compared with a life spoiled by passion and animalism like that of Byron or of Burns. His counsels are the fruit of this well-ordered life and are perfectly in consonance with it. While he was a man of less striking personality and less brilliant literary gift than some of his contemporaries, and though his appeal was without the moving power that comes from great emotion, we find a compensation in his greater balance and sanity. He makes singularly few mistakes, and these chiefly of detail. Of all the teachings of the age his ideal of perfection is the wisest and the most permanent.

III

(Sidenote: His Teachers and his Personal Philosophy)

Arnold's poetry is the poetry of meditation and not the poetry of passion; it comes from "the depth and not the tumult of the soul"; it does not make us more joyful, but it helps us to greater depth of vision, greater detachment, greater power of self-possession. Our concern here is chiefly with its relation to the prose, and this, too, is a definite and important relation. In his prose Arnold gives such result of his observation and meditation as he believes may be gathered into the form of counsel, criticism, and warning to his age. In his poetry, which preceded the prose, we find rather the processes through which he reached these conclusions; we learn what is the nature of his communing upon life, not as it affects society, but as it fronts the individual; we learn who are the great thinkers of the past who came to his help in the straits of life, and what is the armor which they furnished for his soul in its times of stress.

One result of a perusal of the poems is to counteract the impression often produced by the jaunty air assumed in the prose. The real substance of Arnold's thought is characterized by a deep seriousness; no one felt more deeply the spiritual unrest and distraction of his age. More than one poem is an expression of its mental and spiritual sickness, its doubt, ennui, and melancholy. Yet beside such poems as _Dover Beach and _Stagirius should be placed the lines from _Westminster Abbey_:--

For this and that way swings
The flux of mortal things,
Though moving inly to one far-set goal.

Out of this entanglement and distraction Arnold turned for help to those writers who seemed most perfectly to have seized upon the eternal verities, to have escaped out of the storm of conflict and to have gained calm and peaceful seats. Carlyle and Ruskin, Byron and Shelley, were stained with the blood of battle, they raged in the heat of controversy; Arnold could not accept them as his teachers. But the Greek poets and the ancient Stoic philosophers have nothing of this dust and heat about them, and to them Arnold turns to gather truth and to imitate their spirit. Similarly, two poets of modern times, Goethe and Wordsworth, have won tranquillity. They, too, become his teachers. Arnold's chief guides for life are, then, these: two Greek poets, Sophocles and Homer; two ancient philosophers, Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus; two modern poets, Goethe and Wordsworth.

In Homer and Sophocles, Arnold sought what we may call the Greek spirit. What he conceived this spirit to be as expressed in art, we find in the essay on _Literature and Science_, "fit details strictly combined, in view of a large general result nobly conceived." In Sophocles, Arnold found the same spirit interpreting life with a vision that "saw life steadily and saw it whole." In another Greek idea, that of fate, he is also greatly interested, though his conception of it is modified by the influence of Christianity. From the Greek poets, then, Arnold derived a sense of the large part which destiny plays in our lives and the wisdom of conforming our lives to necessity; the importance of conceiving of life as directed toward a simple, large, and noble end; and the desirability of maintaining a balance among the demands that life makes on us, of adapting fit details to the main purpose of life.

Among modern writers Arnold turned first to Goethe, "Europe's sagest head, Physician of the Iron Age." One of the things that he learned from this source was the value of detachment. In the midst of the turmoil of life, Goethe found refuge in Art. He is the great modern example of a man who has been able to separate himself from the struggle of life and watch it calmly.

He who hath watch'd, not shared the strife,
Knows how the day hath gone.

Aloofness, provided it be not selfish, has its own value, and, indeed, isolation must be recognized as a law of our existence.

Thin, thin the pleasant human noises grow,
And faint the city gleams;
Rare the lone pastoral huts--Marvel not thou!
The solemn peaks but to the stars are known,
But to the stars and the cold lunar beams;
Alone the sun rises, and alone
Spring the great streams.

From Goethe, also, Arnold derived the gospel of culture and faith in the intellectual life. It is significant that while Carlyle and Arnold may both be looked upon as disciples of Goethe, Carlyle's most characteristic quotation from his master is his injunction to us to "do the task that lies nearest us," while Arnold's is such a maxim as, "To act is easy, to think is hard."

In some ways Wordsworth was for Arnold a personality even more congenial than Goethe. His range, to be sure, is narrow, but he, too, has attained spiritual peace. His life, secure among its English hills and lakes, was untroubled in its faith. Wordsworth strongly reinforces three things in Arnold, the ability to derive from nature its "healing power" and to share and be glad in "the wonder and bloom of the world"; truth to the deeper spiritual life and strength to keep his soul

Fresh, undiverted to the world without,
Firm to the mark, not spent on other things;

and finally, a satisfaction in the cheerful and serene performance of duty, the spirit of "toil unsevered from tranquillity," sharing in the world's work, yet keeping "free from dust and soil."

From the Emperor Marcus Aurelius and from the slave Epictetus alike, Arnold learned to look within for "the aids to noble life." Overshadowed on all sides by the "uno'erleaped mountains of necessity," we must learn to resign our passionate hopes "for quiet and a fearless mind," to merge the self in obedience to universal law, and to keep ever before our minds

The pure eternal course of life,
Not human combatings with death.

No conviction is more frequently reiterated in Arnold's poetry than that of the wisdom of resignation and self-dependence.

These great masters, then, strengthened Arnold in those high instincts which needed nourishment in a day of spiritual unrest. From the Greek poets he learned to look at life steadily and as a whole, to direct it toward simple and noble ends, and to preserve in it a balance and perfection of parts. From Goethe he derived the lessons of detachment and self-culture. From Wordsworth he learned to find peace in nature, to pursue an unworldly purpose, and to be content with humble duties. From the Stoics he learned, especially, self-dependence and resignation. In general, he endeavored to follow an ideal of perfection and to distinguish always between temporary demands and eternal values.

IV

(Sidenote: Theory of Criticism and Equipment as a Critic)

In passing from poetry to criticism, Arnold did not feel that he was descending to a lower level. Rather he felt that he was helping to lift criticism to a position of equality with more properly creative work. The most noticeable thing about his definition of criticism is its lofty ambition. It is "the disinterested endeavor to learn and propagate the best that is known and thought in the world," and its more ultimate purpose is "to keep man from a self-satisfaction which is retarding and vulgarizing, to lead him towards perfection." It is not to be confined to art and literature, but is to include within its scope society, politics, and religion. It is not only to censure that which is blameworthy, but to appreciate and popularize the best.

For this work great virtues are demanded of the critic. Foremost of these is disinterestedness. "If I know your sect, I anticipate your argument," says Emerson in the essay on _Self-Reliance_. Similarly Arnold warns the critic against partisanship. It is better that he refrain from active participation in politics, social or humanitarian work. Connected with this is another requisite, that of clearness of vision. One of the great disadvantages of partisanship is that it blinds the partisan. But the critical effort is described as "the effort to see the object as in itself it really is." This is best accomplished by approaching truth in as many ways and from as many sides as possible.

Another precaution for the critic who would retain clearness of vision is the avoidance of abstract systems, which petrify and hinder the necessary flexibility of mind. Coolness of temper is also enjoined and scrupulously practiced. "It is only by remaining collected ... that the critic can do the practical man any service"; and again: "Even in one's ridicule one must preserve a sweetness and good humor" (letter to his mother, October 27, 1863). In addition to these virtues, which in Arnold's opinion comprised the qualities most requisite for salutary criticism, certain others are strikingly illustrated by Arnold's own mind and methods: the endeavor to understand, to sympathize with, and to guide intelligently the main tendencies of his age, rather than violently to oppose them; at the same time the courage to present unpleasant antidotes to its faults and to keep from fostering a people in its own conceit; and finally, amidst many discouragements, the retention of a high faith in spiritual progress and an unwavering belief that the ideal life is "the normal life as we shall one day see it."

Criticism, to be effective, requires also an adequate style. In Arnold's discussion of style, much stress is laid on its basis in character, and much upon the transparent quality of true style which allows that basic character to shine through. Such words as "limpidness," "simplicity," "lucidity," are favorites. Clearness and effectiveness are the qualities that he most highly valued. The latter he gained especially through the crystallization of his thought into certain telling phrases, such as "Philistinism," "sweetness and light," "the grand style," etc. That this habit was attended with dangers, that his readers were likely to get hold of his phrases and think that they had thereby mastered his thought, he realized. Perhaps he hardly realized the danger to the coiner of apothegms himself, that of being content with a half truth when the whole truth cannot be conveniently crowded into narrow compass. Herein lies, I think, the chief source of Arnold's occasional failure to quite satisfy our sense of adequacy or of justice, as, for instance, in his celebrated handling of the four ways of regarding nature, or the passage in which he describes the sterner self of the working-class as liking "bawling, hustling, and smashing; the lighter self, beer."

By emotionalism, however, he does not allow himself to be betrayed, and he does not indulge in rhythmical prose or rhapsody, though occasionally his writing has a truly poetical quality resulting from the quiet but deep feeling which rises in connection with a subject on which the mind has long brooded with affection, as in the tribute to Oxford at the beginning of the _Essay on Emerson_. Sometimes, on the other hand, a certain pedagogic stiffness appears, as if the writer feared that the dullness of comprehension of his readers would not allow them to grasp even the simplest conceptions without a patient insistence on the literal fact.

One can by no means pass over Arnold's humor in a discussion of his style, yet humor is certainly a secondary matter with him, in spite of the frequency of its appearance. It is not much found in his more intimate and personal writing, his poetry and his familiar letters. In such a book as _Friendship's Garland_, where it is most in evidence, it is plainly a literary weapon deliberately assumed. In fact, Arnold is almost too conscious of the value of humor in the gentle warfare in which he had enlisted. Its most frequent form is that of playful satire; it is the product of keen wit and sane mind, and it is always directed toward some serious purpose, rarely, if ever, existing as an end in itself.

V

(Sidenote: Literary Criticism)

The first volume of _Essays in Criticism was published in 1865. That a book of essays on literary subjects, apparently so diverse in character, so lacking in outer unity, and so little subject to system of any sort, should take so definite a place in the history of criticism and make so single an impression upon the reader proves its possession of a dominant and important idea, impelled by a new and weighty power of personality. What Arnold called his "sinuous, easy, unpolemical mode of proceeding" tends to disguise the seriousness and unity of purpose which lie behind nearly all of these essays, but an uninterrupted perusal of the two volumes of _Essays in Criticism and the volume of _Mixed Essays discloses what that purpose is. The essays may roughly be divided into two classes, those which deal with single writers and those discussing subjects of more general nature. The purpose of both is what Arnold himself has called "the humanization of man in society." In the former he selects some person exemplifying a trait, in the latter he selects some general idea, which he deems of importance for our further humanization, and in easy, unsystematic fashion unfolds and illustrates it for us. But in spite of this unlabored method he takes care somewhere in the essay to seize upon a phrase that shall bring home to us the essence of his theme and to make it salient enough so as not to escape us. How much space shall be devoted to exposition, and how much to illustration, depends largely on the familiarity of his subject to his readers. Besides the general purpose of humanization, two other considerations guide him: the racial shortcomings of the English people and the needs of his age. The English are less in need of energizing and moralizing than of intellectualizing, refining, and inspiring with the passion for perfection. This need accordingly determines the choice in most cases. So Milton presents an example of "sure and flawless perfection of rhythm and diction"; Joubert is characterized by his intense care of "perfecting himself"; Falkland is "our martyr of sweetness and light, of lucidity of mind and largeness of temper"; George Sand is admirable because of her desire to make the ideal life the normal one; Emerson is "the friend and aider of those who would live in the spirit."

The belief that poetry is our best instrument for humanization determines Arnold's loyalty to that form of art; that classical art is superior to modern in clarity, harmony, and wholeness of effect, determines his preference for classic, especially for Greek poetry. He thus represents a reaction against the romantic movement, yet has experienced the emotional deepening which that movement brought with it. Accordingly, he finds a shallowness in the pseudo-classicism of Pope and his contemporaries, and turns rather to Sophocles on the one hand and Goethe on the other for his exemplars. He feels "the peculiar charm and aroma of the Middle Age," but retains "a strong sense of the irrationality of that period and of those who take it seriously, and play at restoring it" (letter to Miss Arnold, December 17, 1860); and again: "No one has a stronger and more abiding sense than I have of the 'daemonic' element--as Goethe called it--which underlies and encompasses our life; but I think, as Goethe thought, that the right thing is while conscious of this element, and of all that there is inexplicable round one, to keep pushing on one's posts into the darkness, and to establish no post that is not perfectly in light and firm" (letter to his mother, March 3, 1865).

VI

(Sidenote: Criticism of Society, Politics, and Religion)

Like the work of all clear thinkers, Arnold's writing proceeds from a few governing and controlling principles. It is natural, therefore, that we should find in his criticism of society a repetition of the ideas already encountered in his literary criticism. Of these, the chief is that of "culture," the theme of his most typical book, _Culture and Anarchy_, published in 1869. Indeed, it is interesting to see how closely related his doctrine of culture is to his theory of criticism, already expounded. True criticism, we have seen, consists in an "endeavor to learn and propagate the best that is known and thought in the world." The shortest definition that Arnold gives of culture is "a study of perfection." But how may one pursue perfection? Evidently by putting oneself in the way of learning the best that is known and thought, and by making it a part of oneself. The relation of the critic to culture thereupon becomes evident. He is the appointed apostle of culture. He undertakes as his duty in life to seek out and to minister to others the means of self-improvement, discriminating the evil and the specious from the good and the genuine, rendering the former contemptible and the latter attractive. But in a degree all seekers after culture must be critics also. Both pursue the same objects, the best that is thought and known. Both, too, must propagate it; for culture consists in general expansion, and the last degree of personal perfection is attained only when shared with one's fellows. The critic and the true man of culture are, therefore, at bottom, the same, though Arnold does not specifically point this out. But the two ideals united in himself direct all his endeavor. As a man of culture he is intent chiefly upon the acquisition of the means of perfection; as a critic, upon their elucidation and propagation.

This sufficiently answers the charge of selfishness that in frequently brought against the gospel of culture. It would never have been brought if its critics had not perversely shut their eyes to Arnold's express statements that perfection consists in "a general expansion"; that it "is not possible while the individual remains isolated"; that one of its characteristics is "increased sympathy," as well as "increased sweetness, increased light, increased life." The other common charge of dilettanteism, brought by such opponents as Professor Huxley and Mr. Frederic Harrison, deserves hardly more consideration. Arnold has made it sufficiently clear that he does not mean by culture "a smattering of Greek and Latin," but a deepening and strengthening of our whole spiritual nature by all the means at our command. No other ideal of the century is so satisfactory as this of Arnold's. The ideal of social democracy, as commonly followed, tends, as Arnold has pointed out, to exalt the average man, while culture exalts man at his best. The scientific ideal, divorced from a general cultural aim, appeals "to a limited faculty and not to the whole man." The religious ideal, too exclusively cultivated, dwarfs the sense of beauty and is marked by narrowness. Culture includes religion as its most valuable component, but goes beyond it.

The fact that Arnold, in his social as in his literary criticism, laid the chief stress upon the intellectual rather than the moral elements of culture, was due to his constant desire to adapt his thought to the condition of his age and nation. The prevailing characteristics of the English people he believed to be energy and honesty. These he contrasts with the chief characteristics of the Athenians, openness of mind and flexibility of intelligence. As the best type of culture, that is, of perfected humanity, for the Englishman to emulate, he turns, therefore, to Greece in the time of Sophocles, Greece, to be sure, failed because of the lack of that very Hebraism which England possesses and to which she owes her strength. But if to this strength of moral fiber could be added the openness of mind, flexibility of intelligence, and love of beauty which distinguished the Greeks in their best period, a truly great civilization would result. That this ideal will in the end prevail, he has little doubt. The strain of sadness, melancholy, and depression which appears in Arnold's poetry is rigidly excluded from his prose. Both despondency and violence are forbidden to the believer in culture. "We go the way the human race is going," he says at the close of _Culture and Anarchy_.

Arnold's incursion into the field of religion has been looked upon by many as a mistake. Religion is with most people a matter of closer interest and is less discussable than literary criticism. _Literature and Dogma_, aroused much antagonism on this account. Moreover, it cannot be denied that Arnold was not well enough equipped in this field to prevent him from making a good many mistakes. But that the upshot of his religious teaching is wholesome and edifying can hardly be denied. Arnold's spirit is a deeply religious one, and his purpose in his religious books was to save what was valuable in religion by separating it from what was non-essential. He thought of himself always as a friend, not as an enemy, of religion. The purpose of all his religious writings, of which _St. Paul and Protestantism_, 1870, and _Literature and Dogma_, 1873, are the most important, is the same, to show the natural truth of religion and to strengthen its position by freeing it from dependence on dogma and historical evidence, and especially to make clear the essential value of Christianity. Conformity with reason, true spirituality, and freedom from materialistic interpretation were for him the bases of sound faith. That Arnold's religious writing is thoroughly spiritual in its aim and tendency has, I think, never been questioned, and we need only examine some of his leading definitions to become convinced of this. Thus, religion is described as "that which binds and holds us to the practice of righteousness"; faith is the "power, preeminently, of holding fast to an unseen power of goodness"; God is "the power, not ourselves, that makes for righteousness"; immortality is a union of one's life with an eternal order that never dies. Arnold did not without reluctance enter into religious controversy, but when once entered he did his best to make order and reason prevail there. His attitude is well stated in an early essay not since reprinted:-- "And you are masters in Israel, and know not these things; and you require a voice from the world of literature to tell them to you! Those who ask nothing better than to remain silent on such topics, who have to quit their own sphere to speak of them, who cannot touch them without being reminded that they survive those who touched them with far different power, you compel, in the mere interest of letters, of intelligence, of general culture, to proclaim truths which it was your function to have made familiar. And when you have thus forced the very stones to cry out, and the dumb to speak, you call them singular because they know these truths, and arrogant because they declare them!"(1) In political discussion as in all other forms of criticism Arnold aimed at disinterestedness. "I am a Liberal," he says in the Introduction to _Culture and Anarchy_, "yet I am a Liberal tempered by experience, reflection, and self-renouncement." In the last condition he believed that his particular strength lay. "I do not wish to see men of culture entrusted with power." In his coolness and freedom from bitterness is to be found his chief superiority to his more violent contemporaries. This saved him from magnifying the faults inseparable from the social movements of his day. In contrast with Carlyle he retains to the end a sympathy with the advance of democracy and a belief in the principles of liberty and equality, while not blinded to the weaknesses of Liberalism. Political discussion in the hands of its express partisans is always likely to become violent and one-sided. This violence and one-sidedness Arnold believes it the work of criticism to temper, or as he expresses it, in _Culture and Anarchy_, "Culture is the eternal opponent of the two things which are the signal marks of Jacobinism,--its fierceness and its addiction to an abstract system."

VII

(Sidenote: Conclusion)

"Un Milton jeune et voyageant" was George Sand's description of the young Arnold. The eager pursuit of high aims, implied in this description, he carried from youth into manhood and age. The innocence, the hopefulness, and the noble curiosity of youth he retained to the end. But these became tempered with the ripe wisdom of maturity, a wisdom needed for the helpful interpretation of a perplexing period. His prose writings are surpassed, in that spontaneous and unaccountable inspiration which we call genius, by those of certain of his contemporaries, but when we become exhausted by the perversities of ill-controlled passion and find ourselves unable to breathe the rarified air of transcendentalism, we may turn to him for the clarifying and strengthening effect of calm intelligence and pure spirituality.

(Footnote 1: From _Dr. Stanley's Lectures on the Jewish Church, Macmillan's Magazine_, February, 1863, vol. 7, p. 336.)

 

~BIBLIOGRAPHY~

ARNOLD'S POEMS.

1849. _The Strayed Reveller, and other Poems_. 1852. ~Empedocles on Etna, and other Poems~. 1853. _Poems_. 1855. _Poems (Second Series). 1858. _Merope_. 1867. _New Poems_. 1869. _Poems (First Collected Edition). (A few new poems were added in the later collections of 1877, 1881, 1885, and 1890.)

ARNOLD'S PROSE.

1859. _England and the Italian Question_. 1861. _Popular Education in France_. 1861. _On Translating Homer_. 1862. _Last Words on Translating Homer_. 1864. _A French Eton_. 1865. _Essays in Criticism_. 1867. _On the Study of Celtic Literature_. 1868. _Schools and Universities on the Continent_. 1869. _Culture and Anarchy_. 1870. _St. Paul and Protestantism_. 1871. _Friendship's Garland_. 1873. _Literature and Dogma_. 1875. _God and the Bible_. 1877. _Last Essays on Church and Religion_. 1879. _Mixed Essays_. 1882. _Irish Essays_. 1885. _Discourses in America_. 1888. _Essays in Criticism (Second Series). 1888. _Civilization in the United States_. 1891. _On Home Rule for Ireland_. 1910. _Essays in Criticism (Third Series).

For a complete bibliography of Arnold's writings and of Arnold criticism, see _Bibliography of Matthew Arnold_, by T.B. Smart, London, 1892. The letters of Matthew Arnold, 1848-88, were edited by G.W.E. Russell in 1896.

CRITICISM OF ARNOLD'S PROSE.

BIRRELL, AUGUSTINE: _Res Judicatae_, London, 1892.

BROWNELL, W.C.: _Victorian Prose Masters_, New York, 1902.

BURROUGHS, JOHN: _Indoor Studies_, Boston, 1889.

DAWSON, W.H.: _Matthew Arnold and his Relation to the Thought of our Time_, New York, 1904.

FITCH, SIR JOSHUA: _Thomas and Matthew Arnold and their Influence on English Education_, New York, 1897.

GATES, L.E.: _Selections from the Prose Writings of Matthew Arnold_, New York, 1898.

HARRISON, FREDERIC: _Culture; A Dialogue_. In _The Choice of Books_, London, 1886.

HUTTON, R.H.: _Modern Guides of English Thought in Matters of Faith_, London, 1887.

JACOBS, JOSEPH: _Literary Studies_, London, 1895.

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