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His “Ode on the Death of Thomson," " Ode to Evening,” and “Ode on the Passions" are excellent poems.

George Crabbe (1754-1832). His principal poem is “The Village" (1783). He was Augustan in the form of his poetry, using the rhymed couplet, but modern in spirit. Byron calls him “Nature's sternest painter, but the best.”

James Beattie (1735-1803). “The Minstrel," his best poem, appeared, the first part, in 1771, and the second part in 1774. It is written in Spenserian stanza and marks the transition from the artificial to the natural school.

William Shenstone (1714-1763). “ The Schoolmistress " (1742) is a poem in Spenserian verse, belonging to the rising romantic school. It describes a village school.

MISCELLANEOUS. -- Thomas Warton (1728-1790). Professor of Poetry at Oxford, and author of a “ History of English Poetry" (1781), extending to the early part of the seventeenth century.

Thomas Percy (1729-1811). Bishop, and author of “ Reliques of Ancient English Poetry.”

James Boswell (1740-1795). Friend of Dr. Johnson, noting that great writer's speech and actions. His “ Life of Dr. Johnson " (1791) is regarded as one of the best biographies ever written.

Horace Walpole (1717-1797). Earl of Oxford, and author of “ The Castle of Otranto" (1765), written in an extravagant romantic style, and “ Historic Doubts on the Life and Reign of Richard III.” (1768).

Adam Smith (1723-1790). Political economist, and author of “ The Wealth of Nations" (1776), a widely influential book, laying the foundations of a national political economy.








Characteristics of period – Transition Brotherhood of man -Dec

laration of Independence - Democratic tendencies – Advancing intelligence - Newspapers - Moral and religious improvement Philanthropy – England a world-power — Results on English character — Oratory – Pitt, Burke – Historical writing – Hume, Robertson Romantic movement Effects — Humanity - Nature SAMUEL JOHNSON -- OLIVER GOLDSMITH – EDWARD GIBBON WILLIAM COWPER — ROBERT BURNS.

The course of English literature is marked by a succession of rises and descents. Notwithstanding the presence of a few writers of marked excellence, the period under consideration is one of decadence. Old influences were giving place to new. This period is named after Johnson, the great literary dictator, simply as a matter of convenience. While he was the centre of an influential literary group for many years, and the most picturesque and commanding literary figure of his time, other and mightier influences were at work, giving a new tone and direction to literature.

In great measure Johnson bore the impress of the preceding period. In his poetry he is coldly classical; and in a part, at least, of his prose, he is an imitator of Addison. The real characteristic of this second half of the eighteenth century is transition. By the side of the literary forms and canons of the age of Pope, there arose a new kind of writing distinguished by a return to nature. Artificial poetry had already been carried to its utmost limits; and if literature was to reach a higher excellence, it was obliged to assume a new form. And to this it was urged by the momentous social, political, and religious changes that took place, not only in England, but on the Continent and in America during the latter part of the century.

In their onward course mankind made a marked advance. In social and political relations the rights of men were more clearly recognized, and the brotherhood of mankind began to affect existing customs and institutions. As in all

great forward movements of the world, a variety of causes cooperated in bringing about great changes. Unwilling hands often played an important part. The stupidity and obstinacy of George III. and of some of his ministers hastened the formal declaration of those principles of liberty which mark a new era in civil government.

A strong tendency of the age was crystallized in the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident," said the wise and courageous representatives of the American colonists, "that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed ; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness." This solemn declaration sounded the knell of absolutism in the world. It is a political gospel that is destined to leaven the whole lump.

But how came the American colonists to a recognition of the weighty truths embodied in this declaration? They simply voiced the growing spirit of the age. The greater diffusion of knowledge had opened the eyes of men to a better perception of truth. The force of custom and prejudice was, in a measure, broken. The claims of superiority set up by privileged classes were seen to be baseless, and injustice and oppression in the state were discerned and denounced.

In England there was a noteworthy advance in popular intelligence. Remarkable inventions in the mechanic arts placed new power in the hands of the producing classes. The use of coal in smelting iron; the opening of canals throughout England; the invention of the spinning-jenny and power-loom; the perfecting of the steam-engine with its wide application to manufacturing purposes — all this brought people together in large communities, greatly raised the average intelligence, and established the industrial supremacy of England.

Printing-presses were set up in every town; circulating libraries were opened; newspapers were multiplied; and monthly magazines and reviews fostered the general intelligence that called them into being. The proceedings of Parliament were regularly published and naturally became the subject of discussion in every club-room and at many a hearthstone. The first great English journals — the Morning Chronicle, the Morning Post, and the Times – date from this period.

The moral and religious state of society showed marked improvement. The Wesleyan revival had rendered the fox-hunting clergyman an impossibility. Grossness gave way to decorum in life. Indecency was almost wholly banished from the stage and from literature. This happy change is illustrated in an incident told us by Sir Walter Scott. His grandaunt assured him that, when led by curiosity to turn over the pages of a novel in which she had delighted in her youth, she was astonished to find that, sitting alone at the age of eighty, she was unable to read without shame a book which sixty years before she had heard read out for amusement in large circles, consisting of the best society in London.

This improved moral tone was not restricted to sentiment. One of the noble features of this period was the active efforts to improve the condition of the unfortunate and the oppressed. The slave-trade, which Englishmen had long made a source of profitable commerce, was abolished. Hospitals were established. Howard, by his noble enthusiasm and incessant labors, secured a reform in prison discipline. Robert Raikes of Gloucester established the Sunday-school, which for England was the beginning of popular education.

With the conclusion of the Seven Years' War, England entered upon her career as a world-power. She ceased, in large measure, to be a rival of Germany or France. By the treaty of Paris, in 1763, Canada and the Mississippi Valley were ceded to England, and the future of America as an English-speaking nation was secured. Through the fearless explorations of Cook, numerous islands in the Pacific, including Australia, were added to the domain of

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