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who at once addressed themselves to the examination of his "Theory of Verse." It is needless to state what that discussion was in its continuance and evidence. Even Coleridge felt himself obliged to oppose his fellow-craftsmen in the art of verse. Christopher North, in his "Noctes Ambrosianæ," examined the literary questions of the day, treating them, however, with so deft a hand as to make them popular and impressive. Lord Byron, in his "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers," sustains an important relation to this critical movement, in that it was the furious attack of the Edinburgh Review upon his "Hours of Idleness that provoked his bitter retort and opened up an entirely new chapter in his literary life. It is clearly seen, however, that Byron was out of his element in the rôle of a critic, and he wisely confined himself to other and more promising spheres. William Hazlitt deserves a place in this critical list, on the ground of such works as his "Lectures on the English Poets," his "Characters of Shakespeare's Plays," and his "Dramatic Literature of the Age of Elizabeth." His discussions of Bacon and Taylor, of ancient and modern literature, and of the German drama, are all in the line of the later and better method. Hallam, in his "Introduction to

the Literature of Europe," has placed all subsequent criticism under obligations to him for the use of the comparative method in literary study, traversing, as he has done, the entire circuit of European letters. He may be said to be the pioneer in this historico-literary method, so that literature proper finds ample illustration in the pages of Froude and Lecky and Green and Freeman. Charles Lamb, in his "Specimens of English Dramatic Poets" and "Characters of Dramatic Writers," reveals his right to be called a critic. Macaulay, also, must have place here in the province of the critical essay, as a literary product. His paper on Milton, in 1825, served to connect English criticism with the Edinburgh Review, and justified the claim of English literature in having already established a worthy critical record. Macaulay's faults as a critic conceded, it cannot be denied that he was deferent to the best traditions descending from Johnson and Coleridge and substantially furthered the interests of English literary art and


Here belongs the name of De Quincey, whose death in 1859 was coincident with that of Macaulay's. In his "Biographical Sketches" and "His


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torical Sketches there is a distinctive critical method and spirit. In the special sphere of literary discussion he is most at home, and one is at a loss to know how the English language could be used to better effect than in such papers as Greek Tragedy," "Wordsworth's Poetry," "Rhetoric and Style," and "Jean Paul Richter." "No English writer," says Masson, "has left a finer body of disquisition on the science and principles of criticism"; and no English writer, we may add, has more successfully exemplified those principles. Shelley, in his unfinished "Defense of Poetry," has well-deserved mention among our abler critics. Recalling the famous critiques of Sidney and Dryden on the same subject, it vitally connects the nineteenth century with the sixteenth and seventeenth. He defines poetry as "the expression of the imagination"; holds that poets are "the institutors of laws and the founders of civil society"; that they "participate in the eternal and the infinite"; that " poetry is ever accompanied with pleasure," and that it is essentially moral in effect; and he closes his discussion in enthusiastic strain, that "all high poetry is infinite, the center and circumference of all knowledge," the

"record of the best and happiest movements of the best and happiest minds." While insisting that the world might live on in peace and comfort had the philosophers and scientists never lived, it could not live without the poets. These are just the sentiments we should expect from Shelley, and it is more than a pity that the second part of this subject "Defense" was not completed at his untimely death.

It is thus that Coleridge and his colleagues did a most essential work in the cause of general letters and English criticism, enunciating still more clearly the fundamental principles of criticism and infusing a new spirit into all judicial literary work. This was the best result of Shelley's labors, that they connected criticism as a science with literature as a vital product, minimized the distance between authorship and the examination of authorship, so that, as we stand at the close of the earlier modern era, in 1850, it is easy to see what decided an advance English criticism has made since the days of Dryden. The publication of Arnold's "Essays in Criticism" brought him to the front of the criticism of his time, and the later era of Modern English criticism was fully opened.


A study of the critical work of Matthew Arnold as related to that of Coleridge, how it resembled it and how it differed from it, would be a subject of the deepest interest in the developing history of criticism. Suffice it to say that each of these great authors was a representative English critic in the age to which he respectively belonged; that each of them was true to the best traditions of the older schools of Dryden and Johnson; that each of them in his literary personality illustrated the true relation of authorship to criticism; and that each of them made such decided contributions to the cause of English criticism as to leave it stronger and richer than he found it. If the element of difference between them is pressed, it may be said that Coleridge represented the philosophical side and Arnold the æsthetic side of critical work; that Coleridge was the more intellectual and Arnold the more literary; that the one found the best province for his effort in prose and the other in verse, and that thus they together expressed all the essential elements of the art. Though Arnold was always and everywhere a critic, there are some of his writings that espe

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