Conjectures on Original Composition  

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"Originals are, and ought to be, great Favourites, for they are great Benefactors; they extend the Republic of Letters, and add a new province to its dominion: Imitators only give us a sort of Duplicates of what we had, possibly much better, before." --Conjectures on Original Composition (1759) by Edward Young

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Conjectures on Original Composition is a 1759 essay by Edward Young concerned with originality, imitation, authorship and -- a posteriori -- genre theory and copyright.

Young's text was the most significant reformulation of "genius" away from "ability" and toward the Romantic concept of "genius" as seer or visionary. His essay influenced the Sturm und Drang German theorists, and these influenced Coleridge's Biographia Literaria.

Excerpts:

On originality
"Originals are, and ought to be, great Favourites, for they are great Benefactors; they extend the Republic of Letters, and add a new province to its dominion: Imitators only give us a sort of Duplicates of what we had, possibly much better, before."
"sordid Theft" he calls the work of bad authors
On the 'god within'
With regard to the moral world, conscience, with regard to the intellectual, genius, is that god within. Genius can set us right in Composition, without the rules of the learned ; as conscience sets us right in life, without the laws of the land : This, singly, can make us good, as men : that, singly, as writers, can, sometimes, make us great.
As cited by Logan Pearsall Smith in "Four Romantic Words"
  • “Imitations are of two kinds; one of Nature, one of Authors; The first we call Originalls, and confine the term Imitation to the second.” (p. 9.)
  • “An Original, tho’ but indifferent (its Originality being set aside), yet has something to boast.” (p. 11.)
  • “An Original may be said to be of a vegetable nature; it rises spontaneously from the vital root of Genius; it grows, it is not made: Imitations are often a sort of Manufacture wrought up by those Mechanics, Art, and Labour, out of pre-existent materials not their own.” (p. 12.)
  • “Originals can arise from Genius only.” (p. 34.)
  • “What, for the most part, mean we by Genius, but the Power of accomplishing great things without the means generally reputed necessary to that end? A Genius differs from a good Understanding, as a Magician from a good Architect; That raises his structure by means invisible; This by the skilful use of common tools. Hence Genius has ever been supposed to partake of something Divine.” (p. 26–7.)
  • Sacer nobis inest Deus, says Seneca. With regard to the Moral world, conscience, and with regard to the Intellectual, Genius, is that God within.” (p. 30–1.)
  • “In the Fairyland of Fancy, Genius may wander wild; there it has creative power, and may reign arbitrarily over its own empire of Chimeras.” (p. 37.)
  • “So boundless are the bold excursions of the human mind, that in the vast void beyond real existence, it can call forth shadowy beings, and unknown worlds, as numerous, as bright, and, perhaps, as lasting, as the stars; such quite-original beauties we may call Paradisaical, Natos sine semine flores, Ovid.” (p. 70.)
  • “Many a Genius, probably, there has been, which could neither write, nor read.” (p. 35.)
  • “Learning we thank, Genius we revere; That gives us pleasure, This gives us rapture; That informs, This inspires; and is itself inspired.” (p. 36.)
  • “To the neglect of Learning, Genius sometimes owes its greater Glory.” (p. 29.)
  • “Genius is from Heaven, Learning from man.” (p. 36.)
  • “A Star of the first magnitude among the Moderns was Shakespeare; among the Ancients, Pindar; who (as Vossius tells us) boasted of his No-learning, calling himself the Eagle, for his Flight above it.” (p. 30.)
  • “An Adult Genius comes out of Nature’s hand, as Pallas out of Jove’s head, at full growth, and mature: Shakespeare’s Genius was this kind.” (p. 31.)
  • “Shakespeare mingled no water with his wine, lower’d his Genius by no vapid Imitation.” (p. 78.)
  • “Who knows if Shakespeare might not have thought less, if he had read more?” (p. 81.)
  • “Born Originals, how comes it to pass that we die Copies?” (p. 42.)
  • “The less we copy the renowned Antients, we shall resemble them the more.” (p. 21.)
  • “Let us build our Compositions with the Spirit, and in the Taste, of the Antients; but not with their Materials.”78 (p. 22.)

Full text

EDITED BY

L. E. KASTNER

Professor of French Language and Liter ature. University of Manchester

W. p. KER

Professor of English Literature^ University of London AND

J. G. ROBERTSON

Professor of German Language and Literature^ University of London


fiDobern XanguaQc Zcvts

ENGLISH SERIES Genera/ Editor.—^. P. Ker

EDWARD YOUNG'S

CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION


EDITED BY

EDITH J. MORLEY


MANCHESTER AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS

12 LIME GROVE, OXFORD ROAD

LONGMANS, GREEN & CO.

LONDON, NEW YORK, BOMBAY, ETC. I918


Published by the University of Manchester at

THE UNIVERSITY PRESS (H. M. McKechnie, Secretary)

12 Lime Grove, Oxford Road, MANCHESTER

LONGMANS, GREEN & CO.

London : 39 Paternoster Row, E.C.4

New York : 443-449 Fourth Avenue and Thirtieth Street

Chicago : Prairie Avenue and Tvpenty-fifth Street

Bombay ■- 8 Hornby Road

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NOTE

University teachers of Modern Languages have felt for some time past the need for a series of Modern Language Texts which sets itself primarily to fiilfil the requirements of University students. In many cases, and particularly where mediaeval litera- ture is concerned, the Universities have been obliged to import from abroad the Texts they require for class use.

The present Series is intended to meet this want and provide Modern Language Texts for the use of English-speaking University students; at the same time, it is hoped that the Series may be found serviceable in the Upper Forms of Schools.


The Editor desires to acknowledge, with thanks, the permission given, her by Messrs. Horace Marshall to republish part of an article on Young's Conjectures, which originally appeared in The Journal of English Studies for June 19 14.


CONTENTS


PAGE


Introduction ........ xi

Text ......... i

Bibliography —

A. Editions ....... 50

B. Eighteenth-Cei^tury References . . 50

C. Modern References . . . . . 53 Appendix A. Preface to the Satires, 1728

(Extract) . . . . . ^ . . 55

Appendix B. On Lyric Poetry, 1728 . . . 56

Appendix C. Preface to Imperwm Pelagi, 1730 . 63


INTRODUCTION

'. . . a clear head, and acute understanding are not sufficient, alone^ to make a Post ... it is a creative and glowing Imagination, " acer spiritus ac vis," and that alone, that can stamp a writer with this exalted and very uncommon character.' — J. Warton, Dedication to Young of his Essay on Pope, 1756,

Tn the year 1759, Edward Young, the veteran poet of Night Thoughts, addressed anonymously to the 'Author of Sir Charles Grandison,' a letter containing his Conjectures on Original Composition, written, so he tells us somewhat shamefacedly, as a recreation for old age. Perhaps it really appeared 'somewhat licentious in its conduct' to him who in earlier life had revelled in the melancholy contemplation of man's mortality and the funereal gloom of

The grave, his subterranean road to bliss.

To the modern reader no excuse seems necessary for this lively little treatise on the critical problems which were engaging men's minds at the time when it was written. We could spare the digressions into subjects ' more important and more suitable' to Young's years, which to us appear as blots on the composition. The account, for instance, of the way in which Addison ' taught us how to die,' that to Young formed the chief inducement for writing, does not strike us with ' useful awe^ but it helps to put us in touch with the author whose own plesaunce is the one described in the opening paragraph, where 'monumental marbles scattered in a wide pleasure-garden (and such there are) will call to


xii CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

recollection those who would never have sought it in a churchyard walk of mournful yews.' This lugubrious be- • ginning is not a fair sample of the Conjectures though it is an excellent introduction both to Young himself and to the prevailing gloom in the moralizings of most of his contemporaries. Croft's comment on the letter is justified : ' Though he despairs " of breaking through the frozen ob- structions of age and care's incumbent cloud, into that flow of thought and brightness of expression which subjects so polite require " ; yet it is more like the production of ' untamed, unbridled youth, than of jaded fourscore' — (a. poetic licence, since Young was but seventy-five at the time of its composition).

The pamphlet deserves more attention than it has received in England or America, for, brief and ill-arranged as it is, it marks a definite epoch in English criticism. Young was mistaken when he said that the subject of original composi- tion was new, and that nothing had hitherto been written . upon it : like other preachers, he over-states his case, and , his innovation is not so great as he supposes. But it is true that no earlier work had dealt so boldly or in such detail with this aspect of the war between Ancients and Moderns. Young pleads throughout the cause of 'original' as opposed to 'inikative' genius; he endorses Warton's indictment against Pope (1756) : not even Daniel, in The Defence of Rime, 1603, is more emphatic in demanding a wise independence on the part of the moderns.

The beginnings of a wider outlook in eighteenth-century criticism are at least as important as the revival of old forms and the introduction of new subject matter in poetry ; the two movements are complementary, and must be taken as symptomatic of the same tendencies. Young explicitly and implicitly expresses his dissatisfaction with the classicist rules, and demands greater freedom for modern writers than was, at that period, commonly accorded to them. He urges the necessity for national and personal development in literature.


INTRODUCTION XUl

but combined always with respect for the achievements of the ancients. Pope had said that ' To copy Nature is to copy them.' Young points out a better way when he pleads for ' mental individuality ' rather than for imitation.

There are other things in the pamphlet which are interesting in their relation to the critical thought of the time — the reference to rime in tragedy, for example, and the condemnation of the ' childish shackles and tinkling sounds ' in Pope's Homer. And there is the unexpected praise of the ' djvinely-inspired enthusiast ' which seems to waft us far from the age of common sense and rationalism and belief in rules. But these are digressions from the main subject of original composition.

It is popularly supposed that eighteenth- centviry criticism was mainly occupied with an attempt to secure consistency of dogma within very arbitrarily determined and narrow .boundaries. But all through the century there was another type of criticism which gradually grew in strength, though at first it represented simply a broadened and deepened spirit of rationalism, and only quite slowly and timorously a belief in the value of modern literature as something else than an imitation of the classics. The Scriblerus Club marks the beginning of this revolt against rules in the very heart of the age of technique and of obedience. Pope and Swift unite in the condemnation of a rationalism which is very different from sense. The essay on The Art of Sinking in Poetry is one of the most cutting protests ever levelled against convention, and is a practical annihilation of the more rigid eighteenth-century attitude.

In the Spectator, No. 1 60 (Sept. 3, 171 1), Addison already distinguishes between two classes of genius, those ' who by the mere strength of iiVtural parts, and without any assistance of art or learning, havejproduced works that were the delight of their own times, and the wonder of posterity,' and ' those that have formed themselves by rules, and submitted the greatness of their natural talents to the corrections and


xiv CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

restraints of art.' He even adds that ' The great danger in these latter kind of geniuses, is, lest they cramp their own abilities too much by imitation, and form themselves altogether upon models, vyithout giving the full play to their own natural parts. An imitation of the best authors is not to compare with a good original.' (Cf. also Essays 41 1-42 1, on ' The Pleasures of Imagination.')

Shaftesbury's Characteristics, 171 1, similarly distinguishes;- two kinds of genius — 'the natural and simple genius of antiquity,' and ' that which has its rise chiefly from the critical art itself and from the more accurate inspection into the works of preceding masters.' So that Richardson (Letter to Young, May 29, 1759) is not correct when he says, 'Your subject of original composition is nezv and nobly spirited.'. Indeed Young too, long before he wrote the Conjectures, in an essay On Lyrick Poetry, prefixed to the ode Ocean, in 1728, had strenuously upheld the virtue of originality, which, at the same date, he also claims for himself in the preface to his Satires. Compare, too, his attack on ' copies and transla- v. tions ' in the preface to Imperium Pelagi, 1730.^

Scarcely a quarter of a century later, while Johnson is writing in The Rambler (July 30, 175 1) that there is little novelty in a work apart from the arrangement and disposition! of the matter, and Hurd is maintaining the same point of view in his Discourse concerning Poetical Imitation, various almost contemporary works exhibit the new attitude in criticism. To cite only a few of these : The freedom of genius to create its own laws is insisted upon, and Shenstone heralds a later period when he tries to show that even social and moral ordinances must give way before it. Hogarth, in his Analysis of Beauty (1753), demands conformity to nature rather than to the rules of the Ancients ; Burke's Essay on the Sublime and Beautiful (1756) refuses to measure beauty by the degree of conformity to abstract ideas. Lowth, in his

^ See Appendices.


INTRODUCTION XV

Sacred Poetry of the Hebrews (i753>, points to a literature, great because of its truth to nature, and in spite of its ignor- ance of the Classics. Thomas Warton's Observations on the Faerie Queene (1754) is a critical examination of Spenser's own ideals, and an attempt to understand and enjoy them without reference to the authorities. Joseph Warton, in his Essay on Pope (1756), introduces the heresy that he is, strictly speak- ing, not a poet at all, since he lacks imagination, and 'the sublipie and the pathetic ' which are ' the two chief nerves of all genuine poetry.' In an introduction to the book, Tyrwhitt — the editor of the first scholarly text of Chaucer — remarks that it is no longer dangerous ' to avow an opinion that poetry is not confined to rhyming couplets.' As a final example, in 1759, Johnson, who can scarcely be regarded as typically romantic, in the tenth chapter of Rasselas, states his conception of the poetic function in terms that may be compared with those of Shelley himself.

Thus the whole neo-classic position is challenged and traitors penetrate into the very citadel, even before Young in his old age unfurls once more the banner he had waved less vigorously in his youth. The classicists have preconceived and fixed standards concerning the beautiful in literature, and by these they judge the works which they examine. The romantic critics, even in this tentative period, adopt a totally different method. They demand scope for the individual ; they evince catholicity of taste ; they deduce their theories of the beautiful from that which they see of beauty in nature and in art as well as in books ; they are ready to recognize virtue in the new as well as in the familiar. They search h 1 for the characteristics which arouse aesthetic feelings, and j endeavour to analyse those feelings when they have been ' aroused. They do not believe that obedience is always better than sacrifice in art : the tried ways may be safer, but they do not invariably yield the finest results.

Young, in h.n Conjectures (17S9). does not add anything strikingly new to the various statements made by his im-


Xvi CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

mediate predecessors and contemporaries. It is his merit, rather, to sum up and emphasize their scattered remarks m an essay, brief, brilliantly pointed, enthusiastic, and readable. The treatise is a sort of literary Bill of Rights and Declara- tion of Independence, couched not in legal and learned, but in popular and comprehensible terms, in sparkling aphorisms written with evident enjoyment and convictionf In one respect, at any rate, it may be compared with Dryden's Preface to the Fables. Here, too, is an old man who has devoted his life to letters, writing about literature with the gusto and the hopeful spirit of a boy entering for the iirst time on his newly -discovered heritage. His ardour was convincing and at once attracted attention to the theories promulgated. In literary circles the Letter aroused consider- able interest and was eagerly discussed.^

Looking back nowadays on the far away controversies with which it deals, we feel that its importance lies chiefly in twos directions. First, it reiterates the value of independence. It demands freedom for genius to express itself as it can and will, without reference to the authorities. Genius is not so rare as is commonly supposed, and it is only by minute personal observation of the subject to be treated, only by the expression of personal feelings and beliefs, that it can fittingly unfold itself. Originality can be attained by observing the ■ two golden rules of self-knowledge and self-reverence. These rules Young derives, he tells us, from ethics. Possibly he has in mind Bacon's application of them in The Advancement of Learning, where he says : ' Above all things, caution must be taken that men have a good stay and hold of themselves, — the second precept is for men to take good information touching their own person.' Certainly he owes to Bacon his realization of the value of independent, first-hand observa- tion, and indeed it is Bacon who inspires him throughout.

Professor Brandl has pointed out that it is Young's great

^ See Bibliography.


INTRODUCTION XVll

achievement to have transferred the twfo 'golden rules' from the region of science to that of aesthetics. One might go further, and point out that he applies Bacon's whole con- ception of the means of advance in natural philosophy, to the possibilities of progress in literature and art. The plea for originality is based on what nowadays would be called faith in intellectual and spiritual evolution — ' larger prospects extending our Understanding, with brighter objects enriching our Imagination, with an inestimable prize setting our Passions on fire, thus strengthening every power that enables composition to shine.' ^

Advance is necessary in literature as in science : the present must not be subservient to the past.

Secondly, then. Young insists that no imitation, however great, can reach the height of an original. It is inherently incapable of attaining the first rank, for it is opposed to all progress. An imitator does but build on another's foundation. Yet the moderns must profit by the achievements of the ancients. They must imitate, not Homer or Shakespeare, but the independent way in which these men studied and portrayed both nature and man. ' The less we copy the renowned Antients, we shall resemble them the more.' TJiis is very different from the abject submission preached by Pope {e.g. in his Preface of 1 71 6) : it is a triumphant plea for the ' creative imagination ' in which Warton had found him wanting. Young makes his claim in a carefully thought out, trenchantly stated general principle : his work is the logical sequence to that of the Wartons, which preceded it.

Compared with this achievement, even the matter-of-fact statement, made without any attempt at justification, that Shakespeare ranks with the greatest of the Ancients, and that his methods, like theirs, are to be studied and followed, almost sinks into ' insignificance. Nor does, the bold preference which Young expressed for blank verse, suggestive as it is, seem more than is to be expected, though it comes in the same year in which Goldsmith condemns that metre as a


Xvni CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

'Mark of Literary Decay' {Enquiry, chap, xi.), and long before Johnson {Life of Milton) quotes with approval the dictum that 'blank verse seems to be verse only to the eye.'^ As a plea for independence and for innovation, the Con- jectures is in every sense a remarkable work, the comparative neglect of which it is hard to understand. In France and in Germany (where a new edition of the translation appeared in 19 lo), it has been more influential and better treated than in England. It is hoped that this reprint may do something to rectify a long-standing oversight.

EDITH J. MORLEY.

^ There was, however, clearly much oscillation with regard to blank verse. Thus in the Life of Waller (1690), generally attributed to Atterbury, at the very moment when he is celebrating Waller's command of rime, the writer regrets that ' the tyrant ' is not ' dethroned, and Blank Verse set up in its room/


CONJECTURES

ON

ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

, IN A

LETTER

TO THE

AUTHOR

OF

Sir CHARLES GRANDISON,


Si habet aliquod tanquam pabulum studii, l^ doctrinae, otiosa senectute nihil est jucundius. — Cic.


The SECOND EDITION.


LONDON :

Printed for A. MILLAR, in The Strand; and R. and J. DODSLEY, in Pall-Mall.


M.DCC.LIX.


A

LETTER

TO THE

AUTHOR

OF

SIR CHARLES GRANDISON*

Dear Sir — We confess the follies of youth without a blush ; not so, those of age. However, keep me a little in countenance, by considering, that age wants amuse- ments ^ more, tho' it can justify them less, than the pre- ceding periods of life. How you may relish the pastime here sent you, I know not. It is miscellaneous in its nature, somewhat licentious in its conduct ; and, perhaps, not over important in its end. However, I have en- deavoured to make some amends, by digressing into sub- jects more important, and more suitable to my season of life. A serious thought standing single among many of a lighter nature, will sometimes strike the careless wanderer after amusement only, with useful awe : as monumental marbles scattered in a wide pleasure-garden (and such there are) will call to recollection those who would never have sought it in a churchyard-walk of mournful yews.

To one such monument I may conduct you, in which is a hidden lustre, like the sepulchral lamps of old j but not like those ^ will This be extinguished, but shine the

  • The present text is that of the second edition (B). First edition

readings are given in footnotes (marked A). For further particulars see Bibliography, p. 5°-

1 Amusement, A. ' like them, A.

3


4 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

brighter for being produced, after so long concealment, into open day.

You remember that your worthy patron, and our common friend, put some questions on the Serious Drama^ at the same time when he desired our sentiments on Original, and on Moral Composition. Tho' I despair of breaking thro' the frozen obstructions of age, and care's incumbent >cloud, into that flow of thought, and brightness of expression, which subjects so polite^ require ; yet will I hazard some conjectures on them.

I begin with Original Composition ; and the more willingly, as it seems an original subject to me, who have seen nothing hitherto written on it : But, first, a few thoughts ^ on Composition in general. Some are of opinion, that its growth, at present, is too luxuriant ; and that the Press is overcharged. Overcharged, I think, it could never be, if none v^ere admitted, but such as brought their Imprimatur from sound Understanding, and the Public Good. fWit, indeed, however brilliant, should not be permitted to gaze self-enamoured on its useless Charms, in that Fountain of Fame (if so I may call the Press), if beauty is all that it has to boast ; but, like the first Brutus, it should sacrifice its most darling oiFspring to the sacred interests of virtue, and real service of mankind.?

This restriction allowed, the more composition the better. To men of letters, and leisure, it is not only a noble amusement, but a sweet refuge ; it improves their parts, and promotes their peace : It opens a back-door out of the bustle of this busy, and idle world, into a delicious garden of moral and intellectual fruits and flowers ; the key of which is denied to the rest of man-

^ such polite Subjects, A. ^ Composition ; but first a few Thoughts, A.


CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION 5

kind. When stung with idle anxieties, or teazed with fruitless impertinence, or yawning over insipid diversions, then we perceive the blessing of a letter'd recess. With what a gust do we retire to our disinterested, and immortal friends in our closet, and find our minds, when applied to some favourite theme, as naturally, and as easily quieted, and refreshed, as a peevish child (and peevish children are we all till we fall asleep) when laid to the breast ? Our happiness no longer lives on charity ; nor bids fair for a fall, by leaning on that most precarious, and thorny pillow, another's pleasure, for our repose. How independent of the world is he, who can daily find new acquaintance, that at once entertain, and improve him, in the little world, the minute but fruitful creation, of his own mind ?

These advantages Composition affords us, whether we write ourselves, or in more humble amusement peruse the works of others. While we bustle thro' the thronged walks of public life, it gives us a respite, at least, from care ; a pleasing pause of refreshing recollection. If the country is our choice, or fate, there it rescues us from sloth and sensuality, which, like obscene vermin, are apt gradually to creep unperceived into the delightful bowers of our retirement, and to poison all its sweets. Conscious guilt robs the rose of its scent, the lilly of its lustre ; and makes an Eden a deflowered, and dismal scene.

Moreover, if we consider life's endless evils, what can be more prudent, than to provide for consolation under them ? A consolation under them the wisest of men have found in the pleasures of the pen. Witness, among many more, Thucydides, Xenophon, Tully, Ovid, Seneca, Pliny the younger, who says In uxoris infirmitate, & ami- corum periculo, aut morte turbatus, ad studia, unicum doloris levamentum, confugio. And why not add to these their


6 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

modern ec^uSLh,' Chaucer, Raw/eigh, Bacon, Milton, Claren- don^ under the same shield, unwounded by misfortune, and nobly smiling in distress ?

Composition was a cordial to these under the frowns of fortune ; but evils there are, which her smiles cannot prevent, or cure. Among these are the languors of old age. If those are held honourable, who in a hand benumbed by time have grasped the just sword in defence of their country ; shall they be less esteemed, whose un- steady pen vibrates to the last in the cause of religion, of virtue, of learning ? Both These are happy in this, that by fixing their attention on objects most important, they escape numberless little anxieties, and that tedium vitae' which often hangs ^ so heavy on its evening hours. May not this insinuate some apology for my spilling ink, and spoiling paper, so late in life ?

! But there are, who write with vigor, and success, to the world's delight, and their own renown. These are the glorious fruits where genius prevails. QThe mind of a man of genius is a fertile and pleasant field, pleasant as Elysium, and fertile as Tempe ; it enjoys a perpetual ■ spring., Of that spring, Originals are the fairest flowers : Imitations are of quicker growth, but fainter bloom. Imitations are of two kinds ; one of nature, one of authors : The first we call Originals, and confine the term Imitation to the second. ' I shall not enter into the curious enquiry of what is, or is not, strictly speaking, Original, content with what all must allow, that some compositions are more so than others ; and the more they are so, I say, the better. \Originals are, and ought to be, great favourites, for they are great benefactors ; they extend the republic of letters, and add a new province to its dominion : 'Imitators only give us a sort of duplicates of what we had, possibly much better, before ; increasing the mere drug of books, while all that makes them valuable, knowlege and genius, are at a stand. ' The pen of an original writer, like Armida's wand, out of a barren waste calls a blooming spring : Out of that blooming spring an Imitator is a transplanter of laurels, which some- times die on removal, always languish in a foreign soil. "^

(But suppose an Imitator to be most excellent (and such there are), yet still he but nobly builds on another's foundation ; his debt is, at least, equal to his glory ; which therefore, on the balance, cannot be very great. On the contrary, an Original, tho' but indifferent (its Originality being set aside), yet has something to boast ;\it is something to say with him in Horace,

Meo sum Pauper in aere ; and to share ambition with no less than Casar, who declared he had rather be the first in a village, than the second at Rome.

j Still farther : An Imitator shares his crown, if he has one, with the chosen object of his imitation ; an Original enjoys an undivided applause. An Original may be said to be of a vegetable nature ; it rises spontaneously , from the vital root of genius ; it grows, it is not made : Imitations are often a sort of manufacture wrought up by those mechanics, art, and labour, out of pre-existent materials not their own.

Again : We read Imitation with somewhat of his languor, who listens to a twice-told tale : Our spirits rouze at an Original ; that is a perfect stranger, and all throng to learn what news from a foreign land : And tho' it comes, like an Indian prince, adorned with feathers only, having little of weight ; yet of our attention it will rob the more solid, if not equally new :


O CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

Thus every telescope is lifted at a new-discovered star ; it makes a hundred astronomers in a moment, and denies equal notice to the sun. But if an Original, by being as excellent, as new, adds admiration to surprize, then are we at the writer's mercy ; on the strong wing of his imagination, we are snatched from Britain to Italy, from climate to climate, from pleasure to pleasure ; we have no home, no thought, of our own ; till the magician drops his pen : And then falling down into ourselves, we awake to flat realities, lamenting the change, like the beggar who dreamt himself a prince.

It is with thoughts, as it is with words ; and with both, as with men ; they may grow old, and die. Words tarnished, by passing thro' the mouths of the vulgar, are laid aside as inelegant, and obsolete. So thoughts, when become too common, should lose their currency ; and we should send new metal to the mint, that is, new meaning to the press. The division of tongues at Babel did not more effectually debar men from making themselves a name (as the Scripture speaks,) than the too great concurrence, or union of tongues will do for ever. We may as well grow good by another's virtue, or fat by another's food, as famous by another's thought. The world will pay its debt of praise but once ; and instead of applauding, explode a second demand, as a cheat.

If it is said, that most of the Latin classics, and all the Greek, except, perhaps. Homer, Pindar, and Anacreon, are in the number of Imitators, yet receive our highest? applause ; our answer is. That they tho' not real, are* accidental Originals ; the works they imitated, few excepted are lost : They, on their father's decease, enter as lawful heirs, on their estates in fame : The fethers of our copyists are still in possession ; and secured in it, in spitei of Goths, and Flames, by the perpetuating power of the


CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION 9

Press. Very late must a modern Imitator's fame arrive, if it waits for their decease.

An Original enters early on reputation : Fame, fond of new glories, sounds her trumpet in triumph at its birth ; and yet how few are awaken'd by it into the noble ambition of like attempts ? Ambition is sometimes no vice in life ; it is always a virtue in Composition. High in the towering Alps is the fountain of the Po ; high in fame, and in antiquity, is' the fountain of an Imitator's undertaking ; but the river, and the imitation, humbly creep along the vale. So few are our Originals, that, if all other books were to be burnt, the letter'd world would resemble some metropolis in flames, where a few incombustible buildings, a fortress, temple, or tower, lift their heads, in melancholy grandeur, amid the mighty ruin. Compared with this conflagration, old Omar lighted up but a small bonfire, when he heated the baths of the Barbarians, for eight months together, with the famed Alexandrian library's inestimable spoils, that no prophane book might obstruct the triumphant progress of his holy Alcoran round the globe.

• But why are Originals so {e.vf ? not because the writer's harvest is over, the great reapers of antiquity having left nothing to^be gleaned after them ; nor because the human mind's teeming time is past, or because it is incapable of putting forth unprecedented births ; but because illustrious examples engross, prejudice, and in- timidate. They engross our attention, and so prevent a due inspection of ourselves ; they prejudice our judgment in favour of their abilities, and so lessen the sense of our own ; and they intimidate us with the splendor of their renown, and thus under diffidence bWy our strength. Nature's impossibilities, and those of diffidence lie wide asunder. '


10 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

Let it not be suspected, that I would weakly insinuate any thing in favour of the moderns, as compared with antient authors ; no, I am lamenting their great m- feriority. But I think it is no necessary inferiority ; that it is not from divine destination, but from some cause far beneath the moon : ^ I think that human souls, thro' all periods, are equal ; that due care, and exertion, would set us nearer our immortal predecessors than we are at present; and he who questions and confutes this, will show abilities not a little tending toward a proof of that equality, which he denies.

I^After all, the first ancients had no merit in being Originals : They could not be Imitators. Modern writers have a choice to make ; and therefore have a merit in their power. J They may soar in the regions of liberty^ or move in the soft fetters of easy imitation ; and imitation has as many plausible reasons to urge^ as Pleasure had to ofFer to Hercules. Hercules made the choice of an hero, and so became immortal. ,

Yet let not assertors of classic excellence imagine, that I deny the tribute it so well deserves. He that admires not antient authors, betrays a secret he would conceal, and tells the world, that he does not understand them. Let us be as far from neglecting, as from copying, their admirable compositions : Sacred be their rights, and inviolable their fame. Let our understanding ^ feed on theirs ; they afFord the noblest nourishment ; But let them nourish, not annihilate, our own. When we read, let our imagination kindle at their charms ; when we write, let our judgment shut them out of our thoughts ; treat even Homer himself as his royal admirer was treated by the cynic ; bid him stand aside, nor shade our Com-

' Enquiry into the Life of Homer, p. 76. B. [This note is not in A.l ^ Understandings, A,


CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION II

position from the beams of our own genius ; for nothing Original can rise, nothing immortal, can ripen, in any other sun.

iMust we then, you say, not imitate antient authors ? Imitate them, by all means ; but imitate aright.; He that imitates the divine Iliad, does not imitate Homer ; but he who takes the same method, which Homer took, for arriving at a capacity of accomplishing a work so great. [Tread in his steps to the sole fountain of im- mortality ; drink where he drank, at the true Helicon, that is, at the breast of nature : Imitate ; but imitate not. the Composition, but the Man?^ For may not this paradox pass into a maxim ? viz. ' The less we copy the renowned antients, we shall resemble them the more.'

But possibly you may reply, that you must either imitate Homer, or depart from nature. Not so : For suppose you was to change place, in time, with Homer ; then, if you write naturally, you might as well charge Homer with an imitation of you. Can you be said to imitate Homer for writing so, as you would have written, if Homer had never been ? As far as a regard to nature, and sound sense, will permit a departure from your great predecessors ; so far, ambitiously, depart from them ; the farther from them in similitude, the nearer are you to them in excellence ; you rise by it into an Original ; become a noble collateral, not an humble descendant from them. Let us build our Compositions with the spirit, and in the taste, of the antients ; but not with ; their materials': Thus will they resemble the structures; of Pericles at Athens, which Plutarch commends fori having had an air of antiquity as soon as they were built. All eminence, and distinction, lies out of the beaten road ; excursion, and deviation, are necessary to find it ; and the more remote your path from the


12 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

highway, the more reputable ; if, like poor Gulliver (of whom anon) you fell not into a ditch, in your way to

glory.

What glory to come near, what glory to reach, what glory (presumptuous thought !) to surpass, our predecessors? And is that then in nature absolutely impossible ? Or is it not, rather, contrary to nature to fail in it ? Nature herself sets the ladder, all wanting is our ambition to climb. For by the bounty of nature we are as strong as our predecessors ; and by the favour of time (which is but another round in nature's scale) we stand on higher ground. As to the fint^ were they more than men ? Or are we less ? Are not our minds cast in the same mould with those before the flood ? The flood aflFected matter ; mind escaped. As to the second ; though we are moderns, the world is an antient ; more antient far, than when they, whom we most admire, filled it with their fame.^ Have we not their beauties, as stars, to guide ; their defects, as rocks, to be shunn'd ; the judgment of ages on both, as a chart to conduct, and a sure helm to steer us in our passage to greater perfection than theirs ? And shall we be stopt in our rival pretensions to feme by this just reproof?

Stat contra, dicitque tibi tua pagina, fur es.

Mart.

It is by a sort of noble contagion, from a general familiarity with their writings, and not by any particular sordid theft, that we can be. the better for those who went before us. Hope we, from plagiarism, any dominion in literature ; as that of Kome arose from a nest of thieves ? Rome was a powerful ally to many states ; antient authors are our powerful allies ; but we must take heed,

' they filled it with their Fame, whom we most admire, A.


CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION I3

that they do not succour, till they enslave, after the manner of Rome, f Too formidable an idea of their superiority, like a spectre, would fright us out of a proper use of our wits ; and dwarf our understanding, by making a giant of theirs. Too great awe for them lays genius under restraint, and denies it that free scope, that full elbow-room, which is requisite for striking its most masterly strokes. jGenius is a master-workman, learning is but an instrument ; and an instrument, tho' most valuable, yet not always indispensable.^ Heaven will not admit of a partner in the accompHshment of some favourite spirits ; but rejecting all human means, assumes the whole glory to itself. Have not some, tho' not famed for erudition, so written, as almost to persuade us, that they shone brighter, and soared higher, for escaping the boasted aid of that proud ally ?

Nor is it strange ; for what, for the most part, mean we by genius, but the power of accomplishing great things without the means generally reputed necessary to that end ? A genius differs from a good understanding^ as a magician from a good architect ; that raises his structure by means invisible ; this by the skilful use of common tools. Hence genius has ever been supposed to partake of something divine. Nemo unqudm vir magnus fuit, sine aliquo aflatu divino.

Learning, destitute of this superior aid, is fond, and proud, of what has cost it much pains ; is a great lover of rules, and boaster of famed examples : As beauties less ; perfect, who owe half their charms to cautious art, learn- ing inveighs ^ against natural unstudied graces, and small harmless inaccuracies,^ and sets rigid bounds to that liberty, to which genius often owes its supreme glory ; but the no-genius its frequent ruin. For unprescribed beauties,

1 she inveighs, A. ' Indecorums, A.


14 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

and unexampled excellence, which are characteristics of genius, lie without the pale of learning's authorities, and laws ; which pale, genius must leap to come at them : But by that leap, if genius is wanting, we break our necks ; we lose that little credit, which possibly we might have enjoyed before. For rules, like crutches, are a needful aid to the lame, tho' an impediment to the strong. A Homer casts them away ; and, like his Achilles,

Jura negat sibi nata, nihil non arrogat,

by native force of mind. There is something in poetry beyond prose-reason ; there are mysteries in it not to be explained, but admired ; which render mere prose-men infidels to their divinity. And here pardon a second paradox ; viz. ' Genius often then deserves most to be praised, when it is most sure to be condemned ; .that is, when its excellence, from mounting high, to weak eyes is quite out of sight.'

i If I might speak farther of learning, and genius, I would compare genius to virtue, and learning to riches. As riches are most wanted where there is least virtue ; so learning where there is least genius. As virtue with- out much riches can give happiness, so genius without much learning can give renown. ' As it is said in Terence, Pecuniam negligere interdum maximum est lucrum ; so to neglect of learning, genius sometimes owes its greater glory. Genius, therefore, leaves but the second place, among men of letters, to the learned. It is their merit, and ambition, to fling light on the works of genius, and point out its charms. We most justly reverence their informing radius for that favour ; but we must much more admire the radiant stars pointed out by them.

A star of the first magnitude among the moderns was Shakespeare ; among the ancients, Pindar ; who (as Vossius tells us) boasted of his no-learning, calling himself the eagle, for his flight above it. And such genii as these may, indeed, have much reliance on their own native powers. For genius may be compared to the natural strength of the body ; learning to the superinduced accoutrements of arms : if the first is equal to the proposed exploit, the latter rather encumbers, than assists ; rather retards, than promotes, the victory. Sacer nobis inest Deus, says Seneca. With regard to the moral world, conscience, with regard to the intellectual, genius, is that god within. Genius can set us right in Composition, without the rules of the learned ; as conscience sets us right in life, without the laws of the land : This, singly, can make us good, as men : that, singly, as writers, can, sometimes, make us great.

I say, sometimes, because there is a genius, which ' stands in need of learning to make it shine. Of genius . there are two species, an earlier, and a later ; or call them infantine, and adult. An adult genius comes out of .' nature's hand, as Pallas out of Jove's head, at full growth, and mature : Shakespeare's genius was of this kind ; On the contrary, Swift stumbled at the threshold, and set out for distinction on feeble knees : His was an infantine genius ; a genius, which, like other infants, must be nursed, and educated, or it will come to nought :/ Learn- ing is its nurse, and tutor ; but this nurse may overlay with an indigested load, which smpthers common sense ; and this tutor may mislead, with pedantic prejudice, which vitiates the best understanding : As too great admirers of the fathers of the church have sometimes set up their authority against the true sense of Scripture ; so too great admirers of the classical fathers have some- times set up their authority, or example, against reason, /

' to the Body's natural Strength, A.


1 6 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

Neve minor, neu sit quinto productior actu Fabula. So says Horace, so says antient example. But reason has not subscribed. I know but one book that can justify our implicit acquiescence in it : And (by the way) on that book a noble disdain of undue deference to prior opinion has lately cast, and is still casting, a new and inestimable light.^

But, superstition for our predecessors set aside,^ the /classics are for ever our rightful and revered masters in Composition ; and our understandings bow before them : But when ? When a master is wanted ; which, some- times, as I have shown, is not the case. Some are pupib ■ of nature only, nor go farther to school : From such we reap often a double advantage ; they not only rival the reputation of the great antient authors, but also reduce the number of mean ones among the moderns. For when they enter on subjects which have been in former hands, such is their superiority, that, like a tenth wave, they overwhelm, and bury in oblivion all that went before : And thus not only enrich and adorn, but remove a load, and lessen the labour, of the letter'd world.

' But, you say, since Originals can arise from genius only, and since genius is so very rare, it is scarce worth while to labour a point so much, from which we can reasonably expect so little.' To show that genius is not so very rare as you imagine, I shall point out strong instances of it, in a far distant quarter from that mentioned above. The minds of the schoolmen were almost as much cloistered as their bodies ; they had but little learning, and few books ; yet may the most learned be struck with some astonishment at their so singular natural sagacity, and most exquisite edge of thought. Who

' From ! — And (by the way) . . . light, added in B. ' But superstition set aside, A.


CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION 1 7

would expect to find Pindar and Scotus, Shakespeare and Aquinas, of the same party ? Both equally shew an original, unindebted, energy ; the vigor igneus, and ctslestis' origo, burns in both ; and leaves us in doubt whether genius ^ is more evident in the sublime flights and beauteous flowers of poetry, or in the profound penetrations, and marvelously keen and minute distinctions, called the thorns of the schools. There might have been more able consuls called from the plough, than ever arrived at that honour : Many a genius, probably, there has been, which could neither write, nor read. So that genius, that supreme lustre of literature, is less rare than you conceive.

By the praise of genius we detract not from learning ; we detract not from the value of gold, by saying that diamond has greater still. He who disregards learning, shows that he wants its aid ; and he that overvalues it, shows that its aid has done him harm. Overvalued indeed it cannot be, if genius, as to Composition, is valued more. Learning we thank, genius we revere ; That gives us pleasure, This gives us rapture ; That informs. This inspires j and is itself inspired j for genius is from heaven, learning from man : This sets us above the low, and illiterate ; That, above the learned, and polite. Learning is borrowed knowlege ; genius is knowlege innate, and quite our own. Therefore, as Bacon observes, it may take a nobler name, and be called Wisdom ; in which sense of wisdom, some are born wise.

But here a caution is necessary against the most fatal of errors in those automaths, those self-taught philosophers of our age, who set up genius, and often, mere fancied genius, not only above human learning, but divine truth. I have called genius wisdom ; but let it be remembered,

' if Genius, A.

C


1 8 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

that in the most renowned ages of the most refined heathen wisdom (and theirs is not Christian) ' the world by wisdom knew not God, and it pleased God by the foolish- ness of preaching to save those that believed.* In the feiry- iand of fancy, genius may wander wild ; there it has a creative power, and may reign arbitrarily over its own empire of chimeras. The wide field of nature also lies open before it, where it may range unconfined, make what discoveries it can, and sport with its infinite objects uncontrouled, as far as visible nature extends, painting them as wantonly as it will : But what painter of the most unbounded and exalted genius can give us the true portrait of a seraph ? He can give us only what by his own or others eyes, has been seen ; tho' that indeed infinitely compounded, raised, burlesqued, dishonoured, or adorned : In like manner, who can give us divine truth unrevealed ? Much less should any presume to set aside divine truth when revealed, as incongruous to their own sagacities — Is this too serious for my subject ? I shall be more so before I close.

Having put in a caveat against the most fatal of errors, from the too great indulgence of genius, return we now to that too great suppression of it, which is detrimental to Composition ; and endeavour to rescue the writer, as well as the man. I have said, that some are born wise ; but they, like those that are born rich, by neglecting the cultivation and produce of their own possessions, and by running in debt, may be beggared at last ; and lose their reputations, as younger brothers estates, not by being born with less abilities than the rich heir, but at too late an hour.

Many a great man has been lost to himself, and the publiick, purely because great ones were born before him. Hermias, in his collections on Homer^s blindness, says,


CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION 1 9

that Homer requesting the gods to grant him a sight of Achilles, that hero rose, but in armour so bright, that it struck Homer blind with the blaze. Let not the blaze of even Homer's muse darken us to the discernment of our own powers ; which may possibly set us above the rank of Imitators ; who, though most excellent, and even immortal (as some of them are) yet are still but Hii minorum gentium, nor can expect the largest share of incense, the greatest profusion of praise, on their secondary altars.

But farther still : a spirit of Imitation hath many ill effects ; I shall confine myself to three. First, It deprives the liberal and politer arts of an advantage which the mechanic enjoy : In these, men are ever endeavouring to go beyond their predecessors ; in the former, to follow them. And since copies surpass not their Originals, as streams rise not higher than their spring, rarely so high ; hence, while arts mechanic are in perpetual progress, and increase, the liberal are in retrogradation, and decay. These resemble pyramids, are broad at bottom, but lessen exceedingly as they rise ; Those resemble rivers which, from a small fountain-head, are spreading ever wider and wider, as they run. Hence it is evident, that different portions of understanding are not (as some imagine) allotted to different periods of time ; for we see, in the same period, understanding rising in one set of artists, and dechning in another. Therefore nature stands absolved, and our inferiority in Composition ^ must be charged on ourselves.

Nay, so far are we from complying with a necessity, which nature lays us under, that, Secondly, by a spirit of Imitation we counteract nature, and thwart her design. She brings us into the world all Originals : No two faces,

^ the inferiority of our Composition, A.


20 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

no two minds, are just alike ; but all bear nature's evident mark of separation on them. Born Originals, how comes it to pass that we die Copies ? That meddling ape Imita- tion, as soon as we come to years of Indiscretion (so let me speak), snatches the pen, and blots out nature's mark of separation, cancels her kind intention, destroys all mental individuality ; the letter'd world no longer consists of singulars, it is a medly, a mass ; and a hundred books, at bottom, are but One. Why are Monkies such masters of mimickry ? Why receive they such a talent at imita- tion ? Is it not as the Spartan slaves received a licence for ebriety ; that their betters might be ashamed of it ?

The Third fault to be found with a spirit of Imitation is, that with great incongruity it makes us poor, and proud : makes us think little, and write much ; gives us huge folios, which are little better than more reputable cushions to promote our repose. Have not some seven- fold volumes put us in mind of Ovid's sevenfold channels of the Nile at the conflagration ?

Ostia septem Pulverulenta vacant septem sine flumine valles.

Such leaden labours are like Lycurguis iron money, which was so much less in value than in bulk, that it required barns for strong-boxes, and a yoke of oxen to draw five hundred pounds.

But notwithstanding these disadvantages of Imitation, imitation must be the lot (and often an honourable lot it is) of most writers. If there is a famine of invention in the land, like JosepKs brethren, we must travel far for food'; we must visit the remote, and rich, Antients ; but an inventive genius may safely stay at home ; that, like the widow's cruse, is divinely replenished from within ; and affords us a miraculous delight. Whether our own


CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION 21

genius be such, or not, we diligently should inquire ; that we may not go a begging with gold in our purse. For there is a mine in man, which must be deeply dug ere we can conjecture its contents. Another often sees that in us, which we see not ourselves ; and may there not be that in us which is unseen by both ? That there may, chance often discovers, either by a luckily chosen theme, or a mighty premium, or an absolute necessity of exer- tion, or a noble stroke of emulation from another's glory ; as that on Thucydides from hearing Herodotus repeat part of his history at the Olympic games : Had there been no Herodotus, there might have been no Thucydides, and the world's admiration might have begun at Livy for excel- lence in that province of the pen. Demosthenes had the same stimulation on hearing Callistratus ; or Tully might have been the first of consummate renown at the bar.

Quite clear of the dispute concerning antient and modern learning, we speak not of performance, but powers. The modern powers are equal to those before them ; modern performance in general is deplorably short. How great are the names just mentioned ? Yet who will dare affirm, that as great may not rise up in some future, or even in the present age .? Reasons there are why talents may not appear, none why they may not exist, as much in one period as another. An evocation of vegetable fruits depends on rain, air, and sun ; an evocation of the fruits of genius no less depends on externals. What a marvellous crop bore it in Greece, and Rome ? And what a marvellous sunshine did it there enjoy ? What encouragement from the nature of their governments, and the spirit of their people ? Firgil and Horace owed their divine talents to Heaven ; their immortal works, to men ; thank Macenas and Augustus for them. Had it not been for these, the genius of those poets had lain


22 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

buried in their ashes. Athens expended on her theatre, painting, sculpture, and architecture, a tax levied for the support of a war. Casar dropt his papers when Tully spoke ; and Philip trembled at the voice of Demosthenes : And has there arisen but one Tully, one Demosthenes, in so long a course of years ? The powerful eloquence of them both in one stream, should never bear me down into the melancholy persuasion, that several have not been born, tho' they have not emerged. The sun as much exists in a cloudy day, as in a clear ; it is outward, accidental circumstances that with regard to genius either in nation, or age,

Collectas fugat nubes, solemque reducit.

ViRG.

As great, perhaps, greater than those mentioned (pre- sumptuous as it may sound) may, possibly, arise ; for who hath fathomed the mind of man ? Its bounds are as unknown, as those of the creation ; since the birth of which, perhaps, not One has so far exerted, as not to leave his possibilities beyond his attainments, his powers beyond his exploits. Forming our judgments, altogether by what has been done, without knowing, or at all inquiring, what possibly might have been done, we natur- ally enough fall into too mean an opinion of the human mind. If a sketch of the divine Iliad before Homer wrote, had been given to mankind, by some superior being, or otherwise, its execution would, probably, have appeared beyond the power of man. Now, to surpass it, we think impossible. As the first of these opinions would evidently have been a mistake, why may not the second be so too ? Both are founded on the same bottom ; on our ignorance of the possible dimensions of the mind of man. Nor are we only ignorant of the dimensions of the


CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION 23

human mind in general, but even of our own. That a man may be scarce less ignorant of his own powers, than an oyster of its pearl, or a rock of its diamond ; that he may possess dormant, unsuspected abilities, till awakened by loud calls, or stung up by striking emergencies, is evident from the sudden eruption of some men, out of perfect obscurity, into publick admiration, on the strong impulse of some animating occasion ; not more to the world's great surprize, than their own. Few authors of distinction but have experienced something of this nature, at the first beamings of their yet unsuspected genius on their hitherto dark Composition : The writer starts at it, as at a lucid meteor in the night ; is much surprized ; can scarce believe it true. During his happy confusion, it may be said to him, as to Eve at the lake.

What there thou seest, fair creature, is thyself.

Milt.

Genius, in this view, is like a dear friend in our company under disguise ; who, while we are lamenting his absence, drops his mask, striking us, at once, with equal surprize and joy. This sensation, which I speak of in a writer, might favour, and so promote, the fable of poetic in- spiration : A poet of a strong imagination, and stronger vanity, on feeling it, might naturally enough realize the world's mere compliment, and think himself truly in- spired. Which is not improbable ; for enthusiasts of all kinds do no less.

Since it is plain that men may be strangers to their own abilities ; and by thinking meanly of them without just cause, may possibly lose a name, perhaps a name immortal ; I would find some means to prevent these evils. Whatever promotes virtue, promotes something more, and carries its good influence beyond the moral


24 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

man : To prevent these evils, I borrow two golden rules from ethics, which are no less golden in Composition, than in life. i. Know thyself; adly, Reverence thyself: I design to repay ethics in a future letter, by two rules from rhetoric for its service.

1st. Know thyself. Of ourselves it may be said, as Martial says of a bad neighbour.

Nil tam prope, proculque nobis.

Therefore dive deep into thy bosom ; learn the depth, extent, bias, and full fort of thy mind ; contract full intimacy with the stranger within thee ; excite and cherish every spark of intellectual light and heat, how- ever smothered under former negligence, or scattered through the dull, dark mass of common thoughts ; and collecting them into a body, let thy genius rise (if a genius thou hast) as the sun from chaos ; and if I should then say, like an Indian, Worship it, (though too bold) yet should I say little more than my second rule enjoins, [viz.) Reverence thyself.

That is, let not great examples, or authorities, brow- beat thy reason into too great a diffidence of thyself: Thyself so reverence, as" to prefer the native growth of thy own mind to the richest import from abroad ; such borrowed riches make us poor. The man who thus reverences himself, will soon find the world's reverence to follow his own. His works will stand distinguished ; his the sole property of them ; which property alone can confer the noble title of an author ; that is, of one who (to speak accurately) thinks, and composes ; while other in- vaders of the press, how voluminous, and learned soever, (with due respect be it spoken) only read, and write.

This is the difFerence between those two luminaries in literature, the well - accompHshed scholar, and the


CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION 25

divinely- inspired enthusiast ; the fir it is, as the bright morning star ; the second^ as the rising sun. The writer who neglects those two rules above will never stand alone ; he makes one of a group, and thinks in wretched unanimity with the throng : Incumbered with the notions of others, and impoverished by their abundance, he conceives not the least embryo of new thought ; opens not the least vista thro' the gloom of ordinary writers, into the bright walks of rare imagination, and singular design ; while the true genius is crossing all publick roads into fresh untrodden ground ; he, up to the knees in antiquity, is treading the sacred footsteps of great examples, with the blind veneration of a bigot saluting the papal toe ; comfortably hoping full absolution for the sins of his own understanding, from the powerful charm of touching his idol's infallibility.

Such meanness of mind, such prostration of our own powers, proceeds from too great admiration of others. Admiration has, generally, a degree of two very bad ingredients in it ; of ignorance, and of fear ; and does . mischief in Composition, and in life. Proud as the world is, there is more superiority in it given, than assumed : And its grandees of all kinds owe more of their elevation to the littleness of others minds, than to the greatness of their own. Were not prostrate spirits their voluntary pedestals, the figure they make among mankind would not stand so high. Imitators and Translators are some- what of the pedestal- kind, and sometimes rather raise their Original's reputation, by showing him to be by them inimitable, than their own. Homer has been translated into most languages ; Mlian tells us, that the Indians, (hopeful tutors !) have taught him to speak their tongue. What expect we from them ? Not Homer's Achilles, but something, which, like Patroclus, assumes


26 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

his name, and, at its peril, appears in his stead ; nor expect we Homer's Ulysses, gloriously bursting out of his cloud into royal grandeur, but an Ulysses under disguise, and a beggar to the last. Such is that inimitable father of poetry, and oracle of all the wise, whom Lycurgus transcribed ; and for an annual public recital of whose works Solon enacted a law ; that it is much to be feared, that his so numerous translations are but as the publish'd testimonials of so many nations, and ages, that this author so divine is untranslated still. But here,

Cynthius aurem Vellit,—

VlRG.

and demands justice for his favourite, and ours. Great things he has done ; but he might have done greater. What a fall is it from Homer's numbers, free as air, lofty and harmonious as the spheres, inta childish shackles, and tinkling sounds ! But, in his fall, he is still great —

Nor appears Less than archangel ruin'd, and the excess Of glory obscur'd. —

Milt.

Had Milton never wrote. Pope had been less to blame : But when in Milton's genius. Homer, as it were, person- ally rose to forbid Britons doing him that ignoble wrong ; it is less pardonable, by that effeminate decoration, to put Jchilles in petticoats a second time : How much nobler had it been, if his numbers had rolled on in full flow, through the various modulations of masculine melody, into those grandeurs of solemn sound, which are in- dispensably demanded by the native dignity of heroick song ? How much nobler, if he had resisted the tempta-


CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION 27

tion of that Gothic daemon, which modern poesy tasting, became mortal ? O how unlike the deathless, divine harmony of three great names (how justly join'd ! ), of Milton, Greece, and Rome ? His verse, but for this little speck of mortality, in its extreme parts, as his hero had in his heel ; like him, had been invulnerable, and im- mortal. But, unfortunately, that was undipt in Helicon ; as this, in Styx. Harmony as well as eloquence is essential to poesy ; and a murder of his musick is putting half Homer to death. Blank is a term of diminution ; what we mean by blank verse, is, verse unfallen, uncurst ; verse reclaim'd, reinthron'd in the true language of the gods ; who never thunder'd nor suffer'd their Homer to thunder, in rhime ; and therefore, I beg you, my Friend, to crown it with some nobler term ; nor let the greatness of the thing lie under the defamation of such a name.

But supposing Pope's Iliad to have been perfect in its kind ; yet it is a Translation still ; which differs as much from an Original, as the moon from the sun.

— Phoeben alieno jusserat igne Impleri, solemque suo.

Cl«ud.

But as nothing is more easy than to write originally wrong ; Originals are not here recommended, but under the strong guard of my first rule — Know thyself. Lucian, who was an Original, neglected not this rule, if we may judge by his reply to one who took some freedom with him. He was, at first, an apprentice to a statuary ; and when he was reflected on as such, by being called Prometheul, he replied, ' I am indeed the inventor of new work, the model of which I owe to none ; and, if I do not execute it well, I deserve to be torn by twelve vulturs, instead of one.'


28 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

If SO, O Gulliver! dost thou not shudder at thy brother Luciari's vulturs hovering o'er thee ? Shudder on ! they cannot shock thee more, than decency has been shock'd by thee. How have thy Houyhnhunms throwrn thy judgment from its seat, and laid thy imagination in the mire ? In what ordure hast thou dipt thy pencil ? What a monster hast thou made of the

Human face divine ?

Milt.

This writer has so satirised human nature, as to give a demonstration in himself, that it deserves to be satirised. But, say his wholesale admirers, Few could so have written ; true, and Fewer would. If it required great abilities to commit the fault, greater still would have saved him from it. But whence arise such warm advo- cates for such a performance ? From hence, viz. before a character is established, merit makes fame ; afterwards fame makes merit. Swift is not commended for this piece, but this piece for Swift. He has given us some beauties which deserve all our praise ; and our comfort is, that his faults will not become common ; for none can be guilty of them, but who have wit as well as reputation to spare. His wit had been less wild, if his temper had not jostled his judgment. If his favourite Houyhnhunms could write, and Swift had been one of them, every horse with him would have been an ass, and he would have written a panegyrick on mankind, saddling with much reproach the present heroes of his pen : On the contrary, being born amongst men, and, of consequence, piqued by many, and peevish at more, he has blasphemed a nature little lower than that of angels, and assumed by far higher than they : But surely the contempt of the world is not a greater virtue, that the contempt of mankind is a vice.


CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION 29

Therefore I wonder that, though forborn by others, the laughter-loving Swift was not reproved by the venerable Dean, who could sometimes be very grave.

For I remember, as I and others were taking with him an evening's walk, about a mile out of Dublin, he stopt short ; we passed on ; but perceiving that he did not follow us, I went back ; and found him fixed as a statue, and earnestly gazing upward at a noble elm, which in its uppermost branches was much withered, and decayed. Pointing at it, he said, ' I shall be like that tree, I shall die at top.V/As in this he seemed to prophesy like the Sybils ; if, like one of them, he had burnt part of his works, especially this blasted branch of a noble genius, like her too, he might have risen in his demand for the rest.

Would not his'friend Pope have succeeded better in an original attempt ? Talents untried are talents unknown. All that I know, is, that, contrary to these sentiments, he was not only an avowed professor of imitation, but a zealous recommender of it also. Nor could he recom- mend any thing better, except emulation, to those who write. One of these all writers must call to their aid j but aids they are of unequal repute. Imitation is in- feriority confessed ; emulation is superiority contested, or denied ; imitation is servile, emulation generous ; that fetters, this fires ; that niay give a name ; this, a name immortal : This made Athens to succeeding ages the rule of taste, and the standard of perfection. Her men of genius struck fire against each other ; and kindled, by conflict, into glories, which no^ time shall extinguish. We thank Eschylus for Sophocles ; and Parrhasius for Zeuxis ; Emulation, for both. That bids us fly the general fault of imitators ; bids us not be struck with the loud report of former fame, as with a knell, which damps the

^ glories no, A.


30 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

spirits ; but, as with a trumpet, which inspires ardour to rival the renown'd. Emulation exhorts us, instead of learn- ing our discipline for ever, like raw troops, under antient leaders in composition, to put those laurel'd veterans in some hazard of losing their superior posts in glory.

Such is emulation's high-spirited advice, such her immortalizing call. Pope would not hear, pre-engaged with imitation, which blessed him with all her charms. He chose rather, with his namesake of Greece^ to triumph in the old world, than to look out for a new. His taste partook the error of his religion ; it denied not worship to saints and angels ; that is, to writers, who, canonized for ages, have received their apotheosis from established and universal fame. True poesy, like true religion, abhors idolatry ; and though it honours the memory of the exemplary, and takes them willingly (yet cautiously) as guides in the way to glory ; real, though unexampled, excellence is its only aim ; nor looks it for any inspiration less than divine.

Though Pope's noble muse may boast her illustrious descent from Horner^ VirgiL, Horace, yet is an Original author more nobly born. As Tacitus says of Curtius Rufus, an Original author is born of himself, is his own progenitor, and will probably propagate a numerous off- spring of imitators, to eternize his glory ; while mule-like imitators die without issue. Therefore, though we stand much obliged for his giving us an Homer, yet had he doubled our obligation, by giving us — a Pope. Had he a strong imagination, and the true sublime ? That granted, we might have had two Homers instead of one, if longer had been his life ; for I heard the dying swan talk over an epic plan a few weeks before his decease.

Bacon, under the shadow of whose great name I would shelter my present attempt in favour of Originals says,


CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION 3 1

' Men seek not to know their own stock, and abilities ; but fancy their possessions to be greater, and their abilities less, than they really are.' Which is, in effect, saying, 'That we ought to exert more than we do ; and that, on exertion, our probability of success is greater than we conceive.'

Nor have I Bacon's opinion only, but his assistance too, on my side. His mighty mind travelled round the intellectual world; and, with a more than eagle's eye, saw, and has pointed out, blank spaces, or dark spots in it, on which the human mind never shone : Some of these have been enlightened since ; some are benighted still.

Moreover, so boundless are the bold excursions of the human mind, that, in the vast void beyond real existence, it can call forth shadowy beings, and unknown worlds, as numerous, as bright, and, perhaps, as lasting, as the stars ; such quite-original beauties we may call paradisaical.

Natos sine semine flores.

Ovid.

When such an ample area for renowned adventure in original attempts lies before us, shall we be as mere leaden pipes, conveying to the present age small streams of excellence from its grand reservoir in antiquity ; and those too, perhaps, mudded in the pass ? Originals shine, like comets ; have no peer in their path ; are rival'd by none, and the gaze of all : All other compositions (if they shine at all) shine in clusters ; like the stars in the galaxy ; where, like bad neighbours, all suffer from all ; each particular being diminished, and almost lost in the throng. •■

If thoughts of this nature prevailed ; if antients and moderns were no longer considered as masters and pupils, but as hard-matched rivals for renown ; then moderns,


32 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

by the longevity of their labours, might, one day, become antients themselves : And old time, that best weigher of merits, to keep his balance even, might have the golden weight of an Augustan age in both his scales : Or rather our scale might descend; and that of antiquity ^ (as a modern match for it strongly speaks) might kick the beam. And why not ? For, consider, since an impartial Providence scatters talents indifFerently, as thro' all orders of persons, so thro' all periods of time ; since, a marvellous light, unenjoy'd of old, is pour'd on us by revelation, with larger prospects extending our understanding, with brighter objects enriching our imagination, with an inestimable prize setting our passions on fire, thus strengthening every power that enables composition, to shine ; since, there has been no fall in man on this side Adam, who left no works, and the works of all other antients are our auxiliars against themselves, as being perpetual spurs to our ambition, and shining lamps in our path to fame ; since, this world is a school, as well for intellectual, as moral, advance ; and the longer human nature is at school, the better scholar it should be ; since, as the moral world expects its glorious milennium, the world intellectual may hope, by the rules of analogy, for some superior degrees of excellence to crown her later scenes ; nor may it only hope, but must enjoy them too ; for Tully, ^intilian, and all true critics allow, that virtue assists genius, and that the writer will be more able, when better is the man — All these particulars, I say, considered, why should it seem altogether impossible, that heaven's latest editions of the human mind may be the most correct, and fair ; that the day may come, when the moderns may proudly look back on the comparative darkness of former ages, on the children of antiquity;

' and antiquity's, A.


CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION 33

reputing Homer and Demosthenes, as the dawn of divine genius ; and Athens i as the cradle of infant fame ; what a glorious revolution would this make in the rolls of renown ?

What a rant, say you, is here ? — I partly grant it : ^Yet, consider, my friend ! knowledge physical, mathe- matical, moral, and divine, increases ; all arts and sciences are making considerable advance j with them, all the accommodations, ornaments, delights, and glories of human life ; and these are new food to the genius of a polite writer ; these are as the root, and composition, as the flower; and as the root spreads, and thrives, shall the flower fail ? As well may a flower flourish, when the root is dead. It is prudence to read, genius to relish, glory to surpass, antient authors ; and wisdom to try our strength, in an attempt in which it would be no great dishonour to fail.

Why condemn'd Maro his admirable epic to the flames ? Was it not because his discerning eye saw some length of perfection beyond it ? And what he saw, may not others reach ? And who bid fairer than our country- men for that glory ? Something new may be expected from Britons particularly ; who seem not to be more sever'd from the rest of mankind by the surrounding sea, than by the current in their veins ; and of whom little more appears to be required, in order to give us Originals, than a consistency of character, and making their com- positions of a piece with their lives. May our genius shine ; and proclaim us in that nobler view ! . . . minimi contentos nocte Britannos.

ViRG.

And so it does; for^ in polite composition, in natural, and mathematical, knowlege, we have great Originals

' and on Athens, A. ^ May our . . , for, added in B,

D


34 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

a.lrea.dy— Bacon, Boyle^ Newton, Shakespeare, Milton, have showed us, that all the winds cannot blow the British flag farther, than an original spirit can convey the British fame ; their names go round the world ; and what foreign genius strikes not as they pass ? Why should not their posterity embark in the same bold bottom of new enter- prize, and hope the same success ? Hope it they may ; or you must assert, either that those Originals, which we already enjoy, were written by angels, or deny that we are men. As Simonides said to Pausanias, reason should say to the writer, 'Remember thou art a man.' And for man not to grasp at all which is laudable within his reach, is a dishonour to human nature, and a dis- obedience to the divine ; for as heaven does nothing in vain, its gift of talents implies an injunction of their use.

A friend of mine has obeyed that injunction ; he has relied on himself, and with a genius, as well moral, as original (to speak in bold terms), has cast out evil spirits ; has made a convert to virtue of a species of composition, once most ■ its foe. As the first christian emperors ex- pell'd daemons, and dedicated their temples to the living God.

But you, I know, are sparing in your praise of this author ; therefore I will speak of one, which is sure of your applause. Shakespeare mingled no water with his wine, lower'd his genius by no vapid imitation. Shake- speare gave us a Shakespeare, nor could the first in antient fame have given us more ! Shakespeare is not their son, but brother ; their equal ; and that, in spite of all his faults. Think you this too bold ? Consider, in those antients what is it the world admires ? Not the fewness of their faults, but the number and brightness of their beauties j and if Shakespeare is their equal (as he doubtless

' Boyle, om. A.


CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION 35

is) in that, which in them is admired, then is Shakespeare as great as they ; and not impotence, but some qther cause, must be charged with his defects. When we are setting these great men in competition, what but the comparative size of their genius is the subject of our inquiry ? And a giant loses nothing of his size, tho' he should chance to trip in his race. But it is a compliment to those heroes of antiquity to suppose Shakespeare their equal only in dramatic powers ; therefore, though his faults had been greater, the scale would still turn in his favour. There is at least as much genius on the British as on the Grecian stage, tho' the former is not swept so clean ; so clean from violations not only of the dramatic^ but moral rule ; for an honest heathen, on reading some of our celebrated scenes, might be seriously concerned to see, that our obligations to the religion of nature were cancel'd by Christianity.

Johnson, in the serious drama, is as much an imitator, as Shakespeare is an original. He was very learned, as Sampson was very strong, to his own hurt : Blind to the nature of tragedy, he pulled down all antiquity on his head, and buried himself under it ; we see nothing of Johnson, nor indeed, of his admired (but also murdered) antients ; for what shone in the historian is a cloud on the poet ; and Cataline might have been a good play, if Salust had never writ.

Who knows whether i Shakespeare might not have thought less, if he had read more ? Who knows if- he might not have laboured under the load of JohnsorHs learn- ing, as Enceladus under Mtna ? His mighty genius, indeed, through the most mountainous oppression would have breathed out some of his inextinguishable fire ; yet, possibly, he might not have risen up into that giant, that ' if, A.


36 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITIo'n

much more than common man, at which we now gaze with amazement, and delight. Perhaps he was as learned as his dramatic province required ; for whatever other learning he wanted, he was master of two books, unknown to many of the profoundly read, though books, which the last conflagration alone can destroy ; the book of nature, and that of man. These he had by heart, and has tran- scribed many admirable pages of them, into his immortal works. These are the fountain-head, whence the Cas- talian streams of original composition flow ; ' and these are often mudded by other waters, tho' waters in their distinct chanel, most wholesome and pure : As two chymical liquors, separately clear as crystal, grow foul by mixture, and offend the sight. So that he had not only as much learning as his dramatic province required, but, perhaps, as it could safely bear. If Milton had spared some of his learning, his muse would have gained more glory, than he would have lost, by it.^

Dryden, destitute of Shakespeare's genius, had almost as much learning as Johnson^ and, for the buskin, quite as little taste. He was a stranger to the pathos, and, by numbers, expression, sentiment, and every other dramatic cheat, strove to make amends for it ; as if a saint could make amends for the want of conscience ; a soldier, for the want of valour ; or a vestal, of modesty. The noble nature of tragedy disclaims an equivalent ; like virtue, it demands the heart ; and Dryden had none to give. Let epic poets think, the tragedian's point is rather to feel ; such distant things are a tragedian and a poet, that the latter indulged, destroys the former. Look on Barnwell, and Essex, and see how as to these distant characters Dryden excells, and is excelled. But the strongest demonstration of his no-taste for the buskin, are his

' From ! — If Milton ... by it, added in B.


CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION 37

tragedies fringed with rhyme ; which, in epic poetry, is a sore disease, in the tragic, absolute death. To DryderCs enormity, Pope^s was a Hght offence. As lacemen are foes to mourning, these two authors, rich in rhyme, were no great friends to those solemn ornaments, which the noble nature of their works required.

Must rhyme then, say you, be banished .' I wish the nature of our language could bear its intire expulsion ; but our lesser poetry stands in need of a toleration for it ; it raises that, but sinks ^ the great ; as spangles adorn ^ children, but expose men. Prince Henry bespangled all over in his oylet-hole suit, with glittering pins ; and an Achilles, or an Almanzor, in his ^ Gothic array ; are very much on a level, as to the majesty of the poet, and the prince. Dryden had a great, but a general capacity ; and as for a general genius, there is no such thing in nature : A genius implies the rays of the mind concenter'd, and determined to some particular point ; when they are scatter'd widely, they act feebly, and strike not with sufficient force, to fire, or dissolve, the heart^ As what comes from the writer's heart, reaches ours ; so what comes from his head, sets our brains at work, and our hearts at ease. It makes a circle of thoughtful critics, not of distressed patients ; and a passive audience, is what tragedy requires. Applause is not to be given, but extorted ; and the silent lapse of a single tear, does the writer more honour, than the rattling thunder of a thou- sand hands. Applauding hands, and dry eyes (which during DryderCs theatrical reign often met) are a satire on the writer's talent, and the spectator's taste. When by such judges the laurel is blindly given, and by such a poet proudly received, they resemble an intoxicated hoste,

^ but it sinks, A, 2 in this, A.


38 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

and his tasteless guests, over some sparkling adulteration, commending their Champaign.

But Dryden has his glory, tho' not on the stage ; What an inimitable original is his ode ? A small one, indeed, but of the first lustre, and without a flaw ; and, amid the brightest boasts of antiquity, it may find a foil.

Among the brightest of the moderns, Mr. Addison must take his place. Who does not approach his char- acter with great respect ? They who refuse to close with the public in his praise, refuse at their peril. But, if men will be fond of their own opinions, some hazard must be run. He had, what Dryden and Johnson wanted, a warm, and feeling heart ; but, being of a grave and bashful nature, thro' a philosophic reserve, and a sort of moral prudery, he conceal'd it, where he should have let loose all his fire, and have show'd the most tender sensi- bilities of heart. At his celebrated Cato, few tears are shed, but Cato^s own ; which, indeed, are truly great, but unaffecting, except to the noble few, who love their country better than themselves. The bulk of mankind want virtue enough to be touched by them. His strength of genius has reared up one glorious image, more lofty, and truly golden, than that in the plains of Dura, for cool admiration to gaze at, and warm patriotism (how rare !) to worship ; while those two throbbing pulses of the drama, by which alone it is shown to live, terror and pity, neglected thro' the whole, leave our unmolested hearts at perfect peace. Thus the poet, like his hero, thro' mistaken excellence, and virtue overstrain'd, becomes a sort of suicide ; and that which is most dramatic in the drama, dies. All his charms of poetry are but as funeral flowers, which adorn ; all his noble sentiments but as rich spices, which embalm, the tragedy deceased.

Of tragedy, pathos is not only the life and soul, but


CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION 39

the soul inextinguishable ; it charms us thro' a thousand faults. Decorations, which in this author abound, the' they might immortalize other poesy, are the splendida peccata which damn the drama ; while, on the contrary, the murder of all other beauties is a venial sin, nor plucks the laurel from the tragedian's brow. Was it otherwise, Shakespeare himself would run some hazard of losing his crown.i

Socrates frequented the plays ■ of Euripides ; and, what living Socrates would decline the theatre, at the representa- tion of Cato ? Tullfs assassins found him in his litter, reading the Medea of the Grecian poet, to prepare him- self for death. Part of Cato might be read to the same end. In the weight and dignity of moral reflection, Addison resembles that poet, who was called the dramatic philosopher ; and is himself, as he says of Cato^ ambitiously sententious. But as to the singular talent so remarkable- in Euripides^ at melting down hearts into the tender streams of grief and pity, there the resemblance fails. His beauties sparkle, but do not warm ; they sparkle as stars in a frosty night. There is, indeed, a constellation in his play ; there is the philosopher, patriot, orator, and poet ; but where is the tragedian ? And, if that is wanting,

Cur in theatrum Cato severe venisti ?

Mart.

And, when I recollect what passed between him and Dryden in relation to this drama, I must add the next line.

An ideo tantum veneras, ut exires ?

For, when Addison was a student at Oxford, he sent up this play to his friend Dryden, as a proper person to

' From : — Was it . . . crown, added in B.


40 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

recommend it to the theatre, if it deserved it ; who returned it, with very great commendation ; but with his opinion, that, on the stage, it could not meet with its deserved success. But tho' the performance was denied the theatre, it brought its author on the pubhc stage of life. For persons in power inquiring soon after of the head of his college for a youth of parts, Addison was re- commended, and readily received, by means of the great reputation w\\\chDryden had just then spread of him above. v' There is this simiHtude between the poet and the play ; as this is more fit for the closet than the stage ; so, that shone brighter in private conversation than on the public scene. They both had a sort of /«f a/ excellency, as the heathen gods a local divinity ; beyond such a bound they, unadmired ; and these, unadored. This puts me in mind of Plato, who denied Homer to the public; that Homer, which, when in" his closet, was rarely out of his hand. Thus, tho' Cato is not calculated to signalize himself in the warm emotions of the theatre, yet we find him a most amiable companion, in our calmer delights of recess.

Notwithstanding what has been offered, this, in many views, is an exquisite piece. But there is so much more of art, than nature in it, that I can scarce forbear calling it, an exquisite piece of statuary.

Where the smooth chisel all its skill has shown, To soften into flesh the rugged stone.

Addison.

That is, where art has taken great pains to labour un- dramatic matter into dramatic life ; which is impossible. However, as it is, like Pygmalion, we cannot but fall in love with it, and wish it was alive. How would a Shakespeare, or an Otway, have answered our wishes ?


CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION 4 1

They would have outdone Prometheus, and, with their heavenly fire, have given him not only life, but im- mortality. At their dramas (such is the force of nature) the poet is out of sight, quite hid behind his VeHus, never thought of, till the curtain falls. Art brings our author forward, he stands before his piece ; splendidly indeed, but unfortunately ; for the writer must be forgotten by his audience, during the representation, if for ages he would be remembered by posterity. In the theatre, as in life, delusion is the charm ; and we are undelighted, the first moment we are undeceived. Such demonstration have we, that the theatre is not yet opened, in which solid happiness can be found by man ; because none are more than comparatively good ; and folly has a corner in the heart of the wise.

A genius fond of ornament should not be wedded to the tragic muse, which is in mourning : We want not to be diverted at an entertainment, where our greatest pleasure arises from the depth of our concern. But whence (by the way) this odd generation of pleasure from pain ? The movement of our melancholy passions is pleasant, when we ourselves are safe : We love to be at once, miserable, and unhurt : So are we made ; and so made, perhaps, to show us the divine goodness j to show that none of our passions were designed to give us pain, except when being pain'd is for our advantage on the whole ; which is evident from this instance, in which we see, that passions the most painful administer greatly, sometimes, to our delight. Since great names have accounted otherwise for this particular, I wish this solution, though to me probable, may not prove a mistake.!

To close our thoughts on Cato : He who sees not

' This sentence added in B.


42 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

much beauty in it, has no taste for poetry ; he who sees nothing else, has no taste for the stage. Whilst it justifies censure, it extorts applause. It is much to be admired, but little to be felt. Had it not been a tragedy, it had been immortal ; as it is a tragedy, its uncommon fate somewhat resembles his, who, for conquering gloriously, was condemn'd to die. Both shone, but shone fatally ; because in breach of their respective laws, the laws of the drama, and the laws of arms. But how rich in reputation must that author be, who can spare a Cato, without feeling the loss ?

That loss by our author would scarce be felt ; it would be but dropping a single feather fronj a wing, that mounts him above his cotemporaries. He has a more refined, decent, judicious, and extensive genius, than Pope^ or Swift. To distinguish this triumvirate from each other, and, like Newton, to discover the different colours in these genuine and meridian rays of literary light. Swift is a singular wit, Pope a correct poet, Addi$on a great author. Swift looked on wit as the jus divinum to dominion and sway in the world ; and considered as usurpation, all power that was lodged in persons of less sparkling understandings. This inclined him to tyranny in wit ; Pope was somewhat of his opinion, but was for softening tyranny into lawful monarchy ; yet were there some acts of severity in his reign. Addison's crown was elective, he reigned by the public voice :

. . . Volentes Per populos dat jura, viamque afFectat Olympo.

ViRG.

But as good books are the medicine of the mind, if we should dethrone these authors, and consider them, not in their royal, but their medicinal capacity, might it not


CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION 43

then be said, that Addison prescribed a wholesome and pleasant regimen, which was universally relished, and did much good ; that Pope preferred a purgative of satire, which, tho' wholesome, was too painful in its operation ; and that Swift insisted on a large dose ot ipecacuanha, which, tho' readily swallowed from the fame of the physician, yet, if the patient had any delicacy of taste, he threw up the remedy, instead of the disease ?

Jddison wrote little in verse, much in sweet, elegant, Firgilian, prose ; so let me call it, since Longinus calls Herodotus most Homeric, and Thucydides is said to have formed his style on Pindar. Addison's compositions are built with the finest materials, in the taste of the antients, and (to speak his own language) on truly Classic ground: And tho' they are the delight of the present age, yet am I persuaded that, they will receive more justice from posterity. I never read him, but I am struck with such a disheartening idea of perfection, that I drop my pen. And, indeed, far superior writers should forget his com- positions, if they would be greatly pleased with their own.

And yet (perhaps you have not- observed it) what is the common language of the world, and even of his admirers, concerning him ? They call him an elegant writer ; That elegance which shines on the surface of his compositions, seems to AxLiXe their understanding, and render it a little blind to the depth of sentiment, which lies beneath : Thus (hard fate !) he loses reputa- tion with them, by doubling his title to it. On subjects the most interesting, and important, no author of his age has written with greater, I had almost said, with equal weight : And they who commend him for his elegance, pay him such a sort of compliment, by their abstemious


44 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

praise, as they would pay to Lucretia, if they should commend her only for her beauty.^

But you say, that you know his value already — You know, indeed, the value of his writings, and close with the world in thinking them immortal ; but, I believe, you know not, that his name would have deserved im- mortality, tho' he had never written ; and that, by a better title than the pen can give : You know too, that his life was amiable ; but, perhaps, you are still to learn, that his death was triumphant : That is a glory granted to very few : And the paternal hand of Providence, which, sometimes, snatches home its beloved children in a moment, must convince us, that it is a glory of no great consequence to the dying individual ; that, when it is granted, it is granted chiefly for the sake of the surviving world, which may profit by his pious example, to whom is indulged the strength, and opportunity to make his virtue shine out brightest at the point of death : And, here, permit me to take notice, that the world will, probably, profit more by a pious example of lay-extraction, than by one born of the church ; the latter being, usually, taxed with an abatement of influence by the bulk of mankind : Therefore, to smother a bright example of this superior good influence, may be reputed a sort of murder injurious to the living, and unjust to the dead.

Such an example have we in Addison ; which, thd' hitherto suppressed, yet, when once known, is insuppres- sible, of a nature too rare, too striking to be forgotten. For, after a long, and manly, but vain struggle with his distemper, he dismissed his physicians, and with them all hopes of life : But with his hopes of life he dismissed not his concern for the living, but sent for a youth nearly related, and finely accomplished, yet not above being

' This paragraph added in B.


CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION 45

the better for good impressions from a dying friend : He came ; but life now glimmering-in the socket, the dying friend was silent : After a decent, and proper pause, the youth said, ' Dear Sir ! you sent for me : I believe, and I hope, that you have some commands ; I shall hold them most sacred : ' May distant ages not only hear, but feel, the reply ! Forcibly grasping the youth's hand, he softly said, 'See in what peace a Christian can die.' He spoke with difficulty, and soon expired. Thro' grace divine, how great is man ! Thro' divine mercy, how stingless death ! Who would not thus expire ?

What an inestimable legacy were those few dying words to the youth beloved ? What a glorious supple- ment to his own valuable fragment on the truth of Christianity ? What a full demonstration, that his fency could not feign beyond what his virtue could reach ? For when he would strike us most strongly with the grandeur of Roman magnanimity, his dying hero is ennobled with this subHme sentiment.

While yet I live, let me not live in vain.

Cato.

But how much more sublime is that sentiment when realized in life ; when dispelling the languors, and appeasing the pains of a last hour ; and brightening with illustrious action the dark avenue, and all-awful confines of an eternity ? When his soul scarce animated his body, strong faith, and ardent charity, animated his soul into divine ambition of saving more than his own. It is for our honour, and our advantage, to hold him high in our esteem : For the better men are, the more they will admire him ; and the more they admire him, the better will they be.

By undrawing the long closed curtain of his death-


46 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

bed, have I not showed you a stranger in him whom you knew so well ? Is not this of your favourite author,

— Notcl major imago ?

ViRG.

His compositions are but a noble preface ; the grand work is his death : That is a work which is read in heaven : How has it join'd the final approbation of angels to the previous applause of men ? How gloriously has he opened a splendid path, thro' fame immortal, into eternal peace ? How has he given religion to triumph amidst the ruins of his nature ? And, stronger than death, risen higher in virtue when breathing his last ?

If all our men of genius had so breathed their last ; if all our men of genius, like him, had been men of genius for eternals ; then, had we never been pained by the report of a latter end — oh ! how unlike to this ? But a little to balance our pain, let us consider, that such reports &s make us, at once, adore, and tremble, are of use, when too many there are, who must tremble before they will adore ; and who convince us, to our shame, that the surest refuge of our endanger'd virtue is in the fears and terrors of the disingenuous human heart.

' But reports, you say, may be felse ; and you farther ask me, If all reports were true, how came an anecdote of so much honour to human nature, as mine, to He so long unknown ? What inauspicious planet interposed to lay its lustre under so lasting and so surprising an eclipse ? '

The fact is indisputably true ; nor are you to rely on me for the truth of it : My report is but a second edition ; It was published before, tho' obscurely, and with a cloud before it. As clouds before the sun are often beautiful ; so, this of which I speak. How finely pathetic are those


CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION 47

two lines, which this so solemn and affecting scene inspired ?

He taught us how to live ; and, oh ! too high A price for knowledge, taught us how to die.

TiCKELL.

With truth wrapped in darkness, so sung our oracle to the public, but explained himself to me : He was present at his patron's death, and that account of it here given, he gave to me before his eyes were dry : By w^hat means Addison taught us how to die^ the poet left to be made known by a late, and less able hand ; but one more zealous for his patron's glory : Zealous, and impotent, as the poor Egyptian, who gather'd a few splinters of a broken boat, as a funeral pile for the great Pompey, studious of doing honour to so renown'd a name : Yet had not this poor plank (permit me, here, so to call this imperfect page) been thrown out, the chief article of his patron's glory would probably have been sunk for ever, and late ages have ^ received but a fragment of his fame : A fragment glorious indeed, for his genius how bright ! But to commend him for composition, tho' immortal, is detraction now ; if there our encomium ends : Let us look farther to that concluding scene, which spoke human nature not unrelated to the divine. To that let us pay the long, and large arrear of our greatly posthumous applause.

This you will think a long digression ; and justly ; if that may be called a digression, which was my chief inducement for writing at all : I had long wished to deliver up to the public this sacred deposit, which by Providence was lodged in my hands ; and I entered on the present undertaking partly as an introduction to that, which is more worthy to see the light ; of which I gave

1 had, A.


48 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

an intimation in the beginning of my letter : For this is the monumental marble there mentioned, to which I promised to conduct you ; this is the sepulchral lamp^ the long-hidden lustre of our accomplished countryman, who now rises, as from his tomb, to receive the regard so greatly due to the dignity of his death ; a death to be be distinguished by tears of joy ; a death which angels beheld with delight.

And shall that, which would have shone conspicuous amid the resplendent lights of Christianity's glorious morn, by these dark days be dropped into oblivion ? Dropped it is ; and dropped by our sacred, august, and ample register of renown, which has entered in its marble-memoirs the dim splendor of far inferior worth : Tho' so lavish of praise, and so talkative of the dead, yet is it silent on a subject, which (if any) might have taught its unletter'd stones to speak : If powers were not want- ing, a monument more durable than those of marble, should proudly rise in this ambitious page, to the new, and far nobler Addison, than that which you, and the public, have so long, and so much admired : Nor this nation only ; for it is Europe's Addison, as well as ours ; tho' Europe knows not half his title to her esteem ; being as yet unconscious that the dying Addison far outshines her Addison immortal : Would we resemble him ? Let us not limit our ambition to the least illustrious part of his character ; heads, indeed, are crowned on earth ; but hearts only are crowned in heaven : A truth, which, in such an age of authors, should not be forgotten.

It is piously to be hoped, that this narrative may have some effect, since all listen, when a death-bed speaks; and regard the person departing as an actor of a part, which the great master of the drama has appointed us to perform to-morrow : This was a Roscius on the stage of


CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION 49

life ; his exit how great ? Ye lovers of virtue ! plaudite : And let us, my friend ! ever "• remember his end, as well as our own, that we may never do amiss.' — I am,

Dear SIR, Your most obliged^ humble Servant.

P.S. — How far Addison is an Original, you will see in my next ; where I descend from this consecrated ground into his sublunary praise ; And great is the descent, tho' into noble heights of intellectual power.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

The following bibliography, which is not exhaustive, is intended to illustrate the history and influence of the Conjectures on Original Composition.

A. Editions

The treatise is said to have been formulated in 1756. It was first published anonymously three years later, but the authorship was at once detected, and in the May Number of the Gentleman's Magazine for 1759, '•^- '" '^^ ^^T month of publication, there is a reference to this ' performance of the justly celebrated author of the Night Thoughts.' The first edition of 1000 copies was speedily exhausted, and a second appeared in the same year. This second edition was republished in a supplementary volume of Young's works in 1767, after his death, and again in the Complete Works of 1770, 1774, 1778, 1798, and 1854. It is not included in any other English edition of his writings, nor has it been separately printed in England since 1759. The first edition was republished by Professor Brandl in the Jahrhuch der deutschen Shakespeare Gesellschaft, 1903, vol. xxxix. The present volume is a reprint of the second edition, collated with the first. The variations of text are cited in footnotes. There is a great difference between the two editions in the use of capitals ; while the second conforms to modern usage, the first employs them for all nouns.

B. Eighteenth-Century Criticism and References

(a) Advertisements in the Gentleman's Magazine and Scot's Magazine, May 1759.

{b) Horace Walpole, Letter to George Montagu, May 16, 1759. 5°


BIBLIOGRAPHY 5 1

[' Dr. Young has published a new book,' etc. : the reference is uncomplimentary, and deals only with the story of Addison's death. That Walpole was sensible of the critical value is better shown by the Castle of Otranto, in the second preface to which he claims that he has endeavoured to write 'with genius as well as with originality.']

(c) Warburton, Letters to Hurd, p. 285, No. 129, May 17, 1759.

[' I don't know whether you have seen Dr. Young's Conjectures on Original Composition. He is the finest writer of nonsense of any of this age. And had he known that original composition consisted in the manner, and not in the matter, he had wrote with common- sense, and perhaps very dully under so insufferable a burthen. But the wisest and kindest part of his work is advising writers to be original and not imitators ; that is, to be geniuses rather than block- heads, for I believe nothing but these different qualities made Virgil an original author and Blackmore an imitator ; for they certainly were borrowers alike.']

(if) Monthly Ke'vienu, May 1759.

[Says many of Young's remarks are 'new, striking, and just.']

(?) Goldsmith, Critical Re'vieio (Works, vol. iv. pp. 220-2).

[Goldsmith analyses the contents and discusses Young's theories. He must have been struck by the optimistic tone of the Conjectures as contrasted with his own Enquiry into the Present State of Polite Learning, which appeared in the same year.]

(/) S. Richardson.

(i.) Letter, Sept. 11, 175*.

[' Dr. Young is finely recovered, and, if I guess right, will one day oblige the world with a small piece on Original Writing and Writers.']

(ii.) Letter to Dr. Young, May 29, 1759 (Richardson's Letters, ii. 54 and 56).

[' . . . Your subject of original composition is new and nobly spirited. How much is your execution admired ! But three good judges of my acquaintance, and good men too, wish, as I presumed formerly myself to propose, that the subject had been kept more separate and distinct. They think the next-to divine vehemence


52 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

. . . with which original writing is recommended, suffers some cooling abatement, which it would not have done had the solemn subject been left to the last. . . . One of Dr. Warburton's ' remarks was that the character of an original writer is not confined to subject, but extends to manner ; by this distinction I presume, securing his friend Pope's originality."]

(g) Shenstone, Letter to Dr. Percy, 1759.

[' You must by all means read Dr. Young's Neiv Conjectures on Original Composition, and let it deter you, when you have com- pleated Ovid, from engaging in any more translations.']

(A) Johnson, Limes of the Poets, 1781.

[Young's life was contributed by Sir Herbert Croft, who says : ' ... It is more like the production of untamed, unbridled youth, than of jaded fourscore. . . .']

{!) Blair, Lectures on Rhetoric, 1783.

[Speaks of Young as having ' too much glitter, fatiguing.']

(J) Boswell, Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, 1785.

['The first time he saw Dr. Young was at the house of Mr. Richardson, the author of Clarissa. He was sent for, that the doctor might read to him his Conjectures on Original Composition, which he did, and Dr. Johnson made his remarks : and he was surprised to find Young receive as novelties what he thought very common maxims. He said, he believed Young was not a great scholar, nor had studied regularly the art of writing. . . . Thursday, 30th September.']

{k) Mrs. Piozzi.

['In the Conjectures upon Original Composition, written by that man of genius, we shall perhaps read the wittiest piece of prose'our whole language has to boast ; yet from its over twinkling, it seems little gazed at and too little admired perhaps.']

[l) J. Warton. Edition of Pope, 1797.

(i.) Vol. i. p. 7. (Note on Pope's statement in )\h Preface to the

1 Defence of the ' Essay on Man.' See Pope's Works, ed. by Elwin and Courthope, vol. ii. p. 287.


BIBLIOGRAPHY 53

Pastorals that : ' All that is left us is to recommend our productions by the imitation of the Ancients').

['I have frequently heard Dr. Young speak with great dis- approbation of the doctrine contained in this passage ; with a view to which he wrote his discourse on Original Composition, in which he says, "Would not Pope," etc. (see Text, p. 29). It might, perhaps, have been replied to Young : "You, indeed, have given us a considerable number of original thoughts in your works, but they would have been more chaste and correct if you had imitated the ancients more. . . ." ']

(ii.) Vol. i. p. 199 (Note on Essay on Criticism, 1. 140 : 'To copy Nature . . .').

[' It may not be unuseful or unpleasant to see the very different opinion of a writer, who, perhaps, had done better if he had followed this rule. A spirit of imitation hath many ill effects (says Dr. Young),' etc. (see Text, p. 19).]

See also references in letters by Mrs. Montagu, Mrs. Delany, etc. The latter says it was written ' with the spirit of twenty-five.'

C. Modern References

H. A. Beers, English Romanticism in the Eighteenth Century.

A. Brandl, Preface to the reprint in the Jahrbuch der deutschen Shakespeare Gesellschaft. See under A above.

[This is by far the most important contribution to the criticism of the subject. The present writer is indebted to Professor Brandl for sundry references and suggestions.]

P. Hamelius, Die Kritik in der englischen Literatur des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts, 1897.

J. L. Kind, Ediuard Young in Germany, 1906.

W. Phelps, The Beginnings of the English Romantic Movement, 1893.

G. Saintsbury, History of Criticism. _ C. H. von Stein, Die Entstehung der neueren Asthetik.

Texte, J.-J. Rousseau et les origines du cosmopolitisme lilt&aire (English translation, 1899, pp. 304-14).

W. Thomas, Le poite Edward Young, 1901, p. 463 ff.


54 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

Kurt Jahn (editor), Edrward Youngs Gedanken uber die Original- •werke in einem Sckreiben an S. R. ilbersetzt 'V. H. E. 'Von Teubern. Bonn, 1 910.

' Die bedeutung von Young's originalitatstheorie ftlr die bildung der genialen epoche ist nicht leicht zu fiberschatzen. Sein brief wurde sofort zweimal Obersetzt : neben der hier vorgelegten tlber- tragung erschien eine verdeutschung in dem zweiten stOck (1760) der " Freymtlthigen Briefe fiber die neuesten Werke aus den Wissen- schaften in und aufier Deutschland," von kritischen referaten nicht zu reden ; und noch 1787 konnte eine neue flbersetzung an interesse hofFen.'

H. C. Shelley, Life and Letters ofEd'ward Young, 19 14, pp. 258 ff.


APPENDIX A

EXTRACT FROM THE PREFACE TO THE SATIRES, 1728

No man can converse much in the world, but, at what he meets with, he must either be insensible, or grieve, or be angry, or smile. Some passion (if we are not impassive) must be moved, for the general conduct of mankind is by no means a thing indifferent to a reasonable and virtuous man. Now to smile at it, and turn it into ridicule, I think most eligible ; as it hurts ourselves least, and gives vice and folly the greatest offence : and that for this reason, because what men aim at by them, is, generally, public opinion and esteem ; which truth is the subject of the following satires ; and joins them together, as several branches from the same root : an unity of design, which has not, I think, in a set of satires, been attempted before. . . Juvenal is ever in a passion : he has little valuable but his eloquence and morality : the last of which I have had in my eye, but rather for emulation than imitation, through my whole work. . . . Boileau has joined both the Roman satirists with great success ; but has too much of Juvenal in his very serious Satire on Woman, which should have been the gayest of all. An excellent critic of our own commends Boileau's closeness, or, as he calls it, pressness, particularly ; whereas it appears to me, that repetition is his fault, if any fault should be imputed to him.


55


APPENDIX B


ON LYRIC POETRY, 1728

How imperfect soever my own composition may be, yet am I willing to speak a word or two, of the nature of lyric poetry ; to sh,ow that I have, at least, some idea of perfection in that kind of poem in which I am engaged ; and that I do not think myself poet enough entirely to rely on inspiration for success in it.

To our having, or not having, this idea of perfection in the poem we undertake, is chiefly owing the merit or demerit of our performances, as also the modesty or vanity of our opinions concerning them. And in speaking of it I shall show how it unavoidably comes to pass, that bad poets, that is, poets in general, are esteemed, and really are, the most vain, the most irritable, and most ridiculous set of men upon Earth. But poetry in its own nature is certainly

— Non hos qusesitum munus in usus.

VlRG.

He that has an idea of perfection in the work he undertakes may fail in it ; he that has not, must -. and yet he will be main. For every little degree of beauty, how short or improper soever, will be looked on fondly by him ; because it is all pure gains, and more than he promised to himself ; and because he has no test, or standard in his judgment, with which to chastise his opinion of it.

Now this idea of perfection, is, in poetry, more refined than in other kinds of writing ; and because more refined, therefore more difiicult i and because more difficult, therefore more rarely attained ; and the non-attainment of it is, as I have said, the source of our vanity. Hence the poetic clan are more obnoxious to vanity than

56


APPENDIX B 57

Others. And from vanity flows that great sensibility of disrespect, that tinder of the mind that kindles at every spark, and justly marks them out for the genus irritabile among mankind. And from this combustible temper, this serious anger for no very serious things, things looked on by most as foreign to the important points of life, as consequentially flows that inheritance of ridicule, which devolves on them from generation to generation. As soon as they become authors, they become like Ben Jonson's angry boy and learn the art of quarrel.

Concordes anitnae — dum nocte premuntur ; Heu ! quantum inter se bellum, si lumina vitas Attigerint, quantas acies stragemque ciebunt ! Qui Juvenes ! quantas ostentant, aspice, vires. Ne, pueril ne tanta animis assuescite Bella, Tuque prior, tu parce, genus qui ducis Olympo, Sidereo flagrans clypeo, et ccelestibus armis, Projice tela manu, sanguis meus ! Ncc te uUae facies, non terruit ipse Typhceus Arduus, arma tenens ; non te Messapus et Ufcns, Contemptorque Deum Mezentius.'

ViRG.

But to return. He that has this idea of perfection in the work he undertakes, however successful he is, will yet be modest ; because to rise up to that idea, which he proposed for his model, is almost, if not absolutely, impossible.

These two observations account for what may seem as strange, as it is infallibly true ; I mean, they show us why good writers have the lowest, and bad writers the highest, opinion of their own per- formances. They who have only a partial idea of this perfection, as their portion of -ignorance or knowledge of it is greater or less, have proportionable degrees of modesty or conceit.

Nor though natural good understanding makes a tolerably just judgment in things of this nature, will the reader judge the worse, for forming to himself a notion of what he ought to expect from the piece he has in hand, before he begins his perusal of it.

The Ode, as it is the eldest kind of poetry, so it is more spiritous, and more remote from prose than any other, in sense, sound, ex-

1 Professor Ker points out that this is a rather inept cmto from different passages in Virgil.


58 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

pression, and conduct. Its thoughts should be uncommon, sublime and moral ; its numbers full, easy, and most harmonious ; its, expression pure, strong, delicate, yet unaffected j and of a curious felicity beyond other poems ; its conduct should be rapturous, some- what abrupt, and immethodical to a vulgar eye. That apparent order and connexion which gives form and life to some compositions, takes away the very soul of this. Fire, elevation, and select thought are indispensable ; an humble, tame, and vulgar ode is the most pitiful errour a pen can commit.

Musa dedit fidibus divos, puerosque deorum.

And as its subjects are sublime, its writer's genius should be so too ; otherwise it becomes the meanest thing in writing, viz. an involuntary burlesque.

It is the genuine character, and true merit of the ode, a little to startle some apprehensions. Men of cold complexions are very apt to mistake a want of vigour in their imaginations, for a delicacy of taste in their judgments ; and, like persons of a tender sight, they look on bright objects, in their natural lustre, as too glaring ; what is most delightful to a stronger eye is painful to them. Thus Pindar, who has as much logic at the bottom as Aristotle or Euclid, to some critics has appeared as mad, and must appear so to all who enjoy no portion of his own divine spirit. Dwarf-understandings, measuring others by their own standard, are apt to think they see a monster, when they see a man.

And indeed it seems to be the amends which Nature makes to those whom she has not blessed with an elevation of mind, to indulge them in the comfortable mistake, that all is wrong, which falls not within the narrow limits of their own comprehension and relish.

Judgment, indeed, that masculine power of the mind, in ode, as in all compositions, should bear the supreme sway ; and a beautiful imagination, as its mistress, should be subdued to its dominion. Hence, and hence only, can proceed the fairest offspring of the human mind.

But then in ode, there is this difference from other kinds of poetry ; that, there, the imaginatio'n, like a very beautiful mistress, is indulged in the appearance of domineering ; though the judg- ment, like an artful lover, in reality carries its point ; and the less it


APPENDIX B 59

is suspected of it, it shows the more masterly conduct, and deserves the greater commendation.

It holds true in this province of writing, as in war, ' The more danger, the more honour." It must be very enterprising j it must, in Shakespeare's style, have hair-breadth 'scapes ; and often tread the very brink of errour : nor can it ever deserve the applause of the real judge, unless it renders itself obnoxious to the misapprehensions of the contrary.

Such is Casimire's strain among the moderns, whose lively wit, and happy fire, is an honour to them. And Buchanan might justly be much admired, if anything more than the sweetness of his numbers, and the purity of his diction were his own : his original, from which I have taken my motto,* through all the disadvantages of a northern prose translation, is still admirable ; and Cowley says, as preferable in beauty to Buchanan, as Judaea is to Scotland.

Pindar, Anacreon, Sappho, and Horace, are the great masters of lyric poetry among Heathen writers. Pindar's Muse, like Sacharissa, is a stately, imperious, and accomplished beauty ; equally disdaining the use of art, and the fear of any rival ; so intoxicating that it was the highest commendation that could be given an antient, that he was not afraid to taste of her charms ;

Plndarici fontis qui non expalluit haustus ;

a danger which Horace declares he durst not run.

Anacreon's Muse is like Amoret, most sweet, natural, and delicate ; all over flowers, graces, and charms ; inspiring com- placency, not awe ; and she seems to have good-nature enough to admit a rival, which she cannot _/?«</.

Sappho's Muse, like Lady , is passionately tender, and

glowing i like oil set on fire, she is soft and 'warm, in excess. Sappho has left us a few fragments only ; Time has swallowed the rest ; but that little which remains, like the remaining jewel of Cleopatra, after the other was dissolved at her banquet, may be esteemed (as was that jewel) a sufficient ornament for the goddess of beauty herself.

Horace's Muse (like one I shall not presume to name) is correct, solid, and moral ; she joins all the sweetness and majesty, all the

' ' Let the sea make a noisCr- let the floods clap their hands.' — Psalm xcviii.


6o CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

sense and the fire of the former, in the justest proportions and degrees, superadding a felicity of dress entirely her own. She more- over is distinguishable by this particularity, That she abounds in hidden graces, and secret charms, which none but the discerning can discover ; nor are any capable of doing full justice, in their opinion, to her Excellencies, without giving the world, at the same time, an incontestable proof of refinement in their own understandings.

But, after all, to the honour of our own country I must add, that I think Mr. Dryden's Ode on St. Cecilia's Day inferior to no com- position of this kind. Its chief beauty consists in adapting the numbers most happily to the variety of the occasion. Those by which he has chosen to express Majesty, viz. :

Assumes the God, Affects to nod. And seems to shake the spheres,

are chosen in the following ode, because the subject of it is great.

For the more harmony likewise, I chose the frequent return of rhyme, which laid me under great difficulties. But difficulties overcome give grace and pleasure. Nor can I account for the pleasure of rhyme in general (of which the moderns are too fond) but from this truth.

But then the writer must take care that the difficulty is overcome. That is, he must make rhyme consistent with as perfect sense, and expression, as could be expected if he was free from that shackle. Otherwise, it gives neither grace to the work, nor pleasure to the reader, nor, consequently, reputation to the poet.

To sum the whole : Ode should be . peculiar, but not strained ; moral, but not flat ; natural, but not obvious ; delicate, but not affected ; noble, but not ambitious ; full, but not obscure ; fiery, but not mad ; thick, but not loaded in its numbers, which should be most harmonious, without the least sacrifice of expression, or of sense. Above all, in this, as in every work of genius, somewhat of an original spirit should be, at least, attempted ; otherwise the poet, whose character disclaims mediocrity, makes a secondary praise his ultimate ambition ; which has something of a contradiction in it. Originals only have true life, and differ as much from the best imitations, as men from the most animated pictures of them. Nor is what I say at all inconsistent with a due deference for the great


APPENDIX B 6 1

standards of antiquity ; nay, that very deference is an argument for it, for doubtless their example is on my side in this matter. And we should rather imitate their example in the general motives, and fundamental methods of their working, than in their works them- selves. This is a distinction, I think, not hitherto made, and a distinction of consequence. For the first may make us their equals ; the second must pronounce us their inferiors even in our utmost success. But the first of these prizes is not so readily taken by the moderns ; as valuables too massy for easy carriage are not so liable to the thief

These antients had a particular regard to the choice of their subjects; which were generally national and great ; most proper for an Englishman ; never more proper than on this occasion ; and (what is strange) hitherto unsung.

If I stand not absolutely condemned by my own rules ; if I have hit the spirit of ode in general j if I cannot think with Mr. Cowley, that ' Music alone, sometimes, mades an excellent ode,' Venus inopes rerum, nugaeque canorae ;

if there is any thought, enthusiasm, and picture, which are as the body, soul, and robe of Poetry ; in a word, if in any degree I have provided rather food for men, than air for wits j I hope smaller faults will meet indulgence for the sake of the design, which is the glory of my country and my king.

And indeed^this may be said, in general, that great subjects are above being nice ; that dignity and spirit ever suffer from scrupulous exactness ; and tl^at the minuter cares effeminate a composition^ Great masters of poetry, painting, and statuary, in their nobler', works, have even affected the contrary : and justly ; for a truly- masculine air partakes more of the negligent, than of the neat, both in writings, and in life —

Grandia oratio haberet majestatis suae pondus.

Petron.

A poem, like a criminal, under too severe correction, may lose all its spirit^ and expire. We know it was Faberrimus, that was such an artist at a hair or a nail. And we know the cause was

Quia ponere totum Nescius.

HOR.


62 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

To close : If a piece of this nature wants an apology, I must own, that those who have strength of mind sufficient profitably to devote the whole of their time to the se'verer studies, I despair of imitating, I can only envy and admire. The mind is relieved and strengthened by variety ; and he that sometimes is sporting with his pen, is only taking the most effectual means of giving a general importance to it. The truth is clear from the knowledge of human nature, and of history ; from which I could cite very celebrated instances did I not fear that, by citing them, 1 should condemn myself, who am so little qualified to follow their example in its full extent.


APPENDIX C

PREFACE TO IMPERIUM PELAGI : A NAVAL LYRIC

(Written in Imitation of Pindar's Spirit, 1730)

A Pindaric carries a formidable sound ; but there is nothing formidable in the true nature of it 5 of which (with utmost sub- mission) I conceive the critics have hitherto entertained a false idea. Pindar is as natural as Anacreon, though not so familiar. As a fixt star is as much in the bounds of Nature, as a flower of the field, though less obvious and of greater dignity. This is not the received notion of Pindar ; I shall therefore soon support at large that hint which is now given.

Trade^ is a very noble subject in itself; more proper than any for an Englishman ; and particularly seasonable at this juncture.

We have more specimens of good ivriting in every province, than in the sublime ; our two famous epic poems excepted. I was willing to make an attempt where I had fewest rivals.

If, on reading this ode, any man has a fuller idea of the real interest, or possible glory of his country, than before ; or a stronger impression from it, or a warmer concern for it, I give up to the critic any further reputation.

We have many copies and translations that pass for originals. This ode I humbly conceive is an original, though it profess imitation. , No man can be like Pindar, by imitating any of his particular works ; any more than like Raphael by copying the cartoons. The genius and spirit of such great men must be collected from the 'whole ; and when thus we are possessed of it,

' A reference to the subject matter of the poem. 63


64 CONJECTURES ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

we must exert its energy in subjects and designs of our own. Nothing is so unpindarical as following Pindar on the foot. Pindar is an original, and he must be so too, who would be like Pindar in that which is his greatest praise. Nothing so unlike as a close copy, and a noble original.

As for length, Pindar has an unbroken ode of six hundred lines. Nothing is long or short in writing, but relati'vely to the demand of the subject, and the manner of treating it. A distich may be long, and a folio short. However, I have broken this ode into Strains, each of which may be considered as a separate ode if you please. And if the variety and fullness of matter be considered, I am rather apprehensive of danger from brevity in this ode, than from length. But lank writing is what I think ought most to be declined, if for nothing else, for our plenty of it.

The ode is the most spirited kind of poetry, and the Pindaric is the most spirited kind of ode ; this I speak at my own very great peril i but truth has an external title to our confession, though we are sure to suffer by it


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OF MANCHESTER. A Record of Twenty-five Years' Work (1881 to 1906). Fifteen Plates. 5s. net.

No. II. LABORATORY EXERCISES IN PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY, By J. N. Pring, D.Sc. Twenty-seven Diagrams. 4s. net.

Public Health Series

No. I. ARCHIVES OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LABORATORY OF

THE UNIVERSITY, Vol. I. Edited by Professor A. Sheridan Delepine, M.Sc, M.B., Ch.M. ;£i, IS. net.

Theological Series

No. I. INAUGURAL LECTURES delivered during the Session 1904- 1905. By tbe Members of the Faculty of Theology. Edited by Professor A. S. Peake, M.A., B.D. 2S. 6d. net.

No. II. THE ARIAN MOVEMENT IN ENGLAND. By the Rev. J.

Hay Colligan, M.A. 3s. 6d. net.

Works relating to the University

THE UNIVERSITY CALENDAR. Published annually in October.

i^No issue will be made for 1918-19). 5s. net,

SUPPLEMENT TO THE CALENDAR 1917-18. Bringing the informa- tion up to date, l^xS-ig. 6d. net.

THE OWENS COLLEGE, ITS FOUNDATION AND ITS GROWTH AND ITS CONNECTION WITH THE VICTORIA UNIVERSITY. By Joseph Thompson. Seven Illustrations. tSs. net.

THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER MEDICAL SCHOOL. Seventeen Illustrations. 6d. net.

THE UNIVERSITY DIARY. Published annually in October.

IS. 6d. net.

THE UNIVERSITY: an Impression. Being a reproduction of a three-colour drawing by H.G.S. Delepine. 6d. net.

LIST OF PAST AND PRESENT MEMBERS OF THE UNIVERSITY

SERVING WITH H.M. FORCES IN THE WAR. Second edition corrected to March 1917. 6d. net.

ADDRESS PRESENTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUVAIN BY THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER. Written by Professors R. S. Conway, Litt.D., and W. B. Anderson, M.A., D.Lit. 6d. net.

A SELECTION OF VERSES FROM THE UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE, 1868 to 191Z. Edited by H. B. CHARLTON, M.A., and O. C. de C. Ellis, B.Sc, .with a Preface by Sir Alfred Hopkinson. 4s. fid. net.

THE REGISTER OF GRADUATES OF THE UNIVERSITY UP TO JULY, igo8. Paper, 2s. 6d. net; cloth, 35. fid. net.


12 SELECTED LIST OF PUBLICATIONS OF Works relating to the University — continued

EXAMINATION PAPERS SET FOR THE VARIOUS DEGREES

AND SCHOLARSHIPS OF THE UNIVERSITY FOR THE FOLLOWING YEARS :—

Scholarships and Prizes, 1912, 13, 14, 15. gd. net.

Faculties of Law, Music and Theology, 1912, 13, 14, 15. gd. net.

Entrance Scholarships, 1912, 13, 16, 18. gd. net.

Faculties op Arts and Commerce, 1912, 13, 14, 15. is. 6d. net.

Faculty of Education, 19x2, 13, 14, 15. 6d. net.

Faculty of Medicine, 1912, 13, 14, 15. is. net.

Faculty of Science, 1913, 14, 15. is. net.

Faculty of Technology, 1913, 14, 15. is. net.

Faculties of Science and Technology, igiz. is. net.

Miscellaneous

BRITAIN'S CASE AGAINST GERMANY. An Examination of the Historical Background of the German Action in 1914. By Professor Ramsav Muir, M.A. Paper, 25. net ; cloth, 25. 6d. net.

WITH MANCHESTERS IN THE EAST. By Major G. B. Hukst,

M.A., B.C.L. Illustrated. 2S. fid. net.

AUCASSIN AND NICOLETTE. An old French Love Story. The

French Version, with English Translation, Notes, etc, etc By F, W. Bourdillon, M.A. 3s.6d.net. Second Edition. Sff a:/r<7 Modem Language Texts, page lo.

THE ELLESMERE CHAUCER: Reproduced in Facsimile, i^o net.

RUSSIAN COMMERCIAL CORRESPONDENCE. By A. S. Mindei, B.Com. 3s. fid. net.

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF GREEK VASE PAINT- ING. By May A. B. Herford, M.A. Illustrated. [/« the Press.

A CATALOGUE OF GREEK VASES PRESERVED IN MAN- CHESTER. By May A. B. Heefokd, M.A. Illustrated. [/« Preparation.

THE BOOK OF RUTH (Unpointed Text), gd. net. Second edition.

THE BOOK OF AMOS (Unpointed Text). 6d. net.

THE BOOK OF JUDGES (Unpointed Text), is. net.

THE SECOND BOOK OF KINGS. Cap. 15-Cap. 17. (Unpointed

Text.) 4d. net.

SELECTIONS FROM THE OLD ENGLISH BEDE. By Professor

W. J. Sedgefield. 3S. fid. net.

A SKELETON OUTLINE OF OLD ENGLISH ACCIDENCE. Re- printedjront the above, is. 3d. net.

SHELL SHOCK AND ITS LESSONS. By Professor G. Elliot Smith, M.D., F.R.S., and T. H. Pear, B.Sc. 3s. fid. net. Second Impression of the Second Edition.

PLANTS IN HEALTH AND DISEASE. An Abstract of a Course

of Lectures to Allotment Holders. By Professor F. E. Weiss, D.Sc, Dr A. D. Imms, and W. Robinson, M. Sc. is. fid. net.

A POCKET SYNOPSIS OF THE FAMILIES OF BRITISH FLOWER- ING PLANTS : Based upon the System of Engler. By W. B. Grove, M.A. is. net.

MANCHESTER IN 1915. Edited by H. M. McKechnie. Fifteen

Illustrations. Paper, is. net; cloth, with the Plates mounted, 2s. fid. net.

MANCHESTER BABIES' HOSPITAL, MEDICAL REGISTRAR'S MONTHLY REPORTS. August, 1915, to July, 1916. Paper covers, is. net.


THE MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY PRESS 13

Miscellaneous — continued

MATERIALS FOR THE STUDY OF HEBREW COMPOSITION.

Adapted and arranged by Professor M. A. Canney, M.A. is. net. .

JOURNAL OF THE MANCHESTER ORIENTAL SOCIETY, 19 n.

Illustrated. 5s. net.

JOURNAL OF THE MANCHESTER EGYPTIAN AND ORIENTAL

SOCIETY, 1917-18. Published annually, beginning with the year xgi2.z3. ss. net.

SHIPS AS EVIDENCE OF THE MIGRATIONS OF EARLY CUL- TURE. By Professor G. Elliot Smith, is.net.

THE EFFECT OF WAR UPON ART AND LITERATURE. By Lawrence Haward, M.A. 3d. net.

SOUND AND SYMBOL. An Outline of a Scheme of Instruction,

Introductory to School Courses in Modern Languages, Shorthand, etc. By Professor J. J. FiNDLAY, M.A., with W. H. Bruford, M.A. is. net.

EDUCATIONAL REFORM. An Address by the Right Hon. H. A L. Fisher, M.P. 2d. net.

THE STORY OF THE FLOOD. By Professor G. Elliot Smith.

[/« Preparation.

PUBLICATIONS OF THE JOHN RYLANDS LIBRARY

Catalogues of Books and Manuscripts in the Library

BOOKS PRINTED IN ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, AND IRELAND, AND OF BOOKS IN ENGLISH PRINTED ABROAD, TO THE END OF

THE YEAR 1640. (1895.) los. 6d. net.

THE ENGLISH BIBLE IN THE LIBRARY, 1525 to 1640. With

Sixty-Uve Plates. In levant Morocco. (1899.) £5, 5s. net.

THE COPTIC MANUSCRIPTS. By W. E. Crum. (1909.) Twelve

Plates. £1, IS. net.

THE DEMOTIC PAPYRI. With Plates. By F. Ll. Griffith, M.A.

(1909.) Three vols. ;^3, 3s. net.

Vol. I. Atlas or Facsimiles in Collotype.

Vol. II. Lithographed Hand Copies op the Earlier Documents.

Vol. III. Key List, Translations, Commentaries, and Indexes.

THE GREEK PAPYRI. By Professor Arthur S. Hunt, D.Lit. Vol. I. Literary Texts, (igii.) 21s. net. Vol. II. Non-Literary Documents. (1915.) ais. net. Vol. III. Non-Literary Documents. [/« Preparation.

PRINTED BOOKS AND MANUSCRIPTS. (1899.) 3 vols. 4to. 31S. 6d. net.

THE WESTERN MANUSCRIPTS. Part I. LATIN MANUSCRIPTS Nos. 1-185. By M. R. James, Litt.D. £-3, 3s. net.

Vol. I. Descriptive Catalogue. With Index. Vol. II. Facsimiles in Collotype.


14 SELECTED LIST OF PUBLICATIONS OF The John Rylands Facsimiles

A series of reproductions of unique and rare books in the possession of the Library.

No. I. PROPOSITIO JOHANNIS RUSSELL. Printed by William

Caxton, circa a.d. 1476. 3s. 6d. net.

No. II. A BOOKE IN ENGLYSH METRE, of the Great Marchaunt

man called " Dives Pragmaticus "... 1563. 55. net.

No. III. A LITIL BOKE the whiche tras^tied and reherced many gode

thinges necessaries for the . . . Pestilence . . . made by the . . . Bisshop of Amsiens . . . (London), [1485?]. 5s. net.

No. IV. WOODCUTS OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY IN THE

LIBRARY. Reproduced in Facsimile, with an Introduction and Notes by Campbell BoDGSON, M.A. In Portfolio. 75. 6d. net.

Exhibition Catalogues

A series of Catalogues (mostly illustrated) of Special Exhibitions of books in the possession of the Library.

AN EXHIBITION ILLUSTRATING THE HISTORY OF THE TRANSMISSION OF THE BIBLE. 6d. net.

THE WORKS OF DANTE ALIGHIERI. (1909-) 6d. net.

ORIGINAL EDITIONS OF THE PRINCIPAL ENGLISH CLASSICS.

(igro.) 6d. net.

GREEK AND LATIN CLASSICS. See under "A Brief Historical

Description," below.

ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS, principaUy BibUcal and Liturgical.

(1908.) 6d. net.

MEDIEVAL MANUSCRIPTS AND BOOK COVERS. 6d. net. ORIGINAL EDITIONS OF THE PRINCIPAL WORKS OF JOHN

MILTON, arranged in celebration of the tercentenary of his birth. (1908.) 6d. net.

SHAKESPERE, HIS SOURCES, AND THE WRITINGS OF HIS PRINCIPAL CONTEMPORARIES. (1916.) is. net.

Miscellaneous

A CLASSIFIED CATALOGUE OF THE WORKS ON ARCHITEC- TURE AND THE ALLIED ARTS IN THE PRINCIPAL LIBRARIES OF MANCHESTER AND SALFORD. Edited by H. Goppy, M.A., and G. Vine. 3s. 6d. net, or interleaved 4s. 6d. net.

AN ACCOUNT OF A COPY FROM THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY

of a map of the world preserved in Cardinal Stephen Borgia's Museum at Velletri. By A. E. NokdenskiBld. 7s. 6d. net

AN ANALYTICAL CATALOGUE OF THE CONTENTS OF THE TWO EDITIONS OF "AN ENGLISH GARNER," compiled by E. Arbes, and rearranged under the editorship of Thomas Seccombe. is. net.

THE ODES AND PSALMS OF SOLOMON. Facsimile of the original

manuscript, with a transliteration of the text, an introduction, etc., etc. By J. Rendel Harris, M.A., D.Litt., and A. Mingana, D.D. 2 vols.

Vol. I. : The Text, with facsimile reproductions. 10s. 6d. net.

Vol. II. : Translation and Introduction. los. 6d. net. [rn the Press.


THE MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY PRESS 15 Miscellaneous — continued

SUMERIAN TABLETS FROM UMMA IN THE LIBRARY. Tran- scribed, Transliterated, and Translated by C. L. Bbdale, M.A. Foreword by C. H, W. Johns, M.A., Litt.D, With Ten Plates. 4to, 5s. net.

A BRIEF HISTORICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE LIBRARY AND ITS CONTENTS, with Catalogue of an exhibition of Greek and Latin Classics. (igo6.) Plates, rs. net.

A BRIEF HISTORICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE LIBRARY AND ITS CONTENTS. With Plates. 6d. net.

THE EVOLUTION OF THE DRAGON. Based upon Three Lec- tures delivered in the Library on "The Birth of Aphrodite," "Incense and Libations," and "Dragons and Rain Gods." By Professor G. Elliot Smith. lUustrfited. ios.6d.net.

BULLETIN OF THE LIBRARY. Issued quarterly, price is. net each part. Volumes already published :

Vol. I. (1903-08.) Part I out of print. Parts 2 to 6, is. net each. Vol. II. (October, 1914, to December, 1015.) 4s. net. Vol. III. (January, 1916, to April, 1917.) 4s. net. Vbl. IV. (May, 1917, to June, igi8.) 4s. net.

Reprints from the Bulletin

A Series of Lectures and original articles, many of which are illus- trated. — Conway (Professor R. S., Litt.D., F.B.A.). THE YOUTH OF VERGIL.

IS, net.

THE VENETIAN POINT OF VIEW IN ROMAN HISTORY.

IS. net.

Harris (J. Rendel, Litt.D.). THE ASCENT OF OLYMPUS. Four Lectures. 5s. net.

Contents f which viay he obtained separately : The Origin of the Cult of Apollo. {Out ef Print,

The Origin of the Colt of Dionvsos. 6d. net. The Origin of the Cult of Artemis, is. net. The Origin of the Cult of Aphrodite, is. net,

THE ORIGIN AND MEANING OF APPLE CULTS, is. net.

[/» the Press,

Herford (Professor C. H., Litt.D.). NATIONAL AND INTERNAT- TIONAL IDEALS IN THE ENGLISH POETS, is. net.

THE POETRY OF LUCRETIUS, is. net.

NORSE MYTHS IN ENGLISH POETRY, is. net. [/„ the Press.

MiNGANA (A., D.D.). SOME EARLY JUDiEO-CHRISTIAN DOCU- MENTS IN THE LIBRARY, zs. net.

Peake (Professor A. S., D.D.). THE QUINTESSENCE OF

PAULINISM. is. net. BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTES FOR STUDENTS OF THE

NEW TESTAMENT. 6d. net. Perry (W. J., B.A.). WAR AND CIVILISATION, is. 6d. net.

PoEL (W ), A CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE SHOWING WHAT IS PROVED AND WHAT IS NOT PROVED ABOUT SHAKSPERE'S LIFE AND WORK. IS. net.

SOME NOTES ON SHAKSPERE'S STAGE AND PLAYS.


16 SELECTED LIST OF PUBLICATIONS

Reprints from the Bulletin — continued

PowicKE (F. J., Ph.D.). A PURITAN IDYLL : RICHARD BAXTER (1615-1691) AND HIS LOVE STORY, is. net.

Rivers (W. H. R., M.D.). DREAMS AND PRIMITIVE CULTURE.

xs. net.

Elliot Smith (Professor G.). THE INFLUENCE OF ANCIENT EGYPTIAN CIVILISATION IN THE EAST AND AMERICA, is. net.

Set also THE EVOLUTION OF THE DRAGON, p 15.

Thumb (Professor A., D.Phil.). THE MODERN GREEK AND HIS ANCESTRY, is. net.

Tout (Professor T. F.). A MEDI.S;VAL BURGLARY, is. net.

THE ENGLISH CIVIL SERVICE IN THE FOURTEENTH

CENTURY. IS. net.

MEDIAEVAL TOWN PLANNING, is. 6d. net.

MEDI.S;VAL AND MODERN WARFARE. umhePrai.


Publications of the Chetham Society

TAe Chetham Society, named after Humphrey Chetham (d. 1653), the founder of the Chetham Library in Manchester, was established in 1843 for the publication of historical and literary remains connected with the palatine counties of Lancaster and Chester. It has issued to its members 1 89 volumes, including the chartularies of Furness, Whalley and Cocker- sand Abbeys, The Stanley Papers, Civil War Tracts of Lancashire and Cheshire, The Lancashire Lieutenancy under the Tudors and Stuarts, Lancashire and Cheshire Wills and Inventories, etc. The annual sub- scription is £1. Applications for membership, which is open to Libraries, should be made to

Thb Hon. Secretary,

C. W. SUTTON,

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Conjectures on Original Composition" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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