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On the Art of Writing / Lectures delivered in the University of Cambridge 1913-1914 By Arthur Quiller-Couch Characters: 19559

Updated: 2017-12-04 00:02


If the exhortation of these verses be somewhat too high and stoical for you, let me return to Longinus and read you, from his concluding chapter, a passage you may find not inapposite to these times, nor without a moral:

'It remains' [he says] 'to clear up, my dear Terentianus, a question which a certain philosopher has recently mooted. I wonder,' he says, 'as no doubt do many others, how it happens that in our time there are men who have the gift of persuasion to the utmost extent, and are well fitted for public life, and are keen and ready, and particularly rich in all the charms of language, yet there no longer arise really lofty and transcendent natures unless it be quite peradventure. So great and world-wide a dearth of high utterance attends our age. Can it be,' he continued, 'we are to accept the common cant that democracy is the nursing mother of genius, and that great men of letters flourish and die with it? For freedom, they say, has the power to cherish and encourage magnanimous minds, and with it is disseminated eager mutual rivalry and the emulous thirst to excel. Moreover, by the prizes open under a popular government, the mental faculties of orators are perpetually practised and whetted, and as it were, rubbed bright, so that they shine free as the state itself. Whereas to-day,' he went on, 'we seem to have learnt as an infant-lesson that servitude is the law of life; being all wrapped, while our thoughts are yet young and tender, in observances and customs as in swaddling clothes, bound without access to that fairest and most fertile source of man's speech (I mean Freedom) so that we are turned out in no other guise than that of servile flatterers. And servitude (it has been well said) though it be even righteous, is the cage of the soul and a public prison-house.'

But I answered him thus.-'It is easy, my good sir, and characteristic of human nature, to gird at the age in which one lives. Yet consider whether it may not be true that it is less the world's peace that ruins noble nature than this war illimitable which holds our aspirations in its fist, and occupies our age with passions as with troops that utterly plunder and harry it. The love of money and the love of pleasure enslave us, or rather, as one may say, drown us body and soul in their depths. For vast and unchecked wealth marches with lust of pleasure for comrade, and when one opens the gate of house or city, the other at once enters and abides. And in time these two build nests in the hearts of men, and quickly rear a progeny only too legitimate: and the ruin within the man is gradually consummated as the sublimities of his soul wither away and fade, and in ecstatic contemplation of our mortal parts we omit to exalt, and come to neglect in nonchalance, that within us which is immortal.'

I had a friend once who, being in doubt with what picture to decorate the chimney-piece in his library, cast away choice and wrote up two Greek words-[Greek: PSYCHES 'IATREION]; that is, the hospital-the healing-place-of the soul.

[Footnote 1: 'Well! … my education is at last finished: indeed it would be strange, if, after five years' hard application, anything were left incomplete. Happily that is all over now; and I have nothing to do, but to exercise my various accomplishments.

'Let me see!-as to French, I am mistress of that, and speak it, if possible, with more fluency than English. Italian I can read with ease, and pronounce very well: as well at least, and better, than any of my friends; and that is all one need wish for in Italian. Music I have learned till I am perfectly sick of it. But … it will be delightful to play when we have company. I must still continue to practise a little;-the only thing, I think, that I need now to improve myself in. And then there are my Italian songs! which everybody allows I sing with taste, and as it is what so few people can pretend to, I am particularly glad that I can.

'My drawings are universally admired; especially the shells and flowers; which are beautiful, certainly; besides this, I have a decided taste in all kinds of fancy ornaments.

'And then my dancing and waltzing! in which our master himself owned that he could take me no further! just the figure for it certainly; it would be unpardonable if I did not excel.

'As to common things, geography, and history, and poetry, and philosophy, thank my stars, I have got through them all! so that I may consider myself not only perfectly accomplished, but also thoroughly well-informed.

'Well, to be sure, how much have I fagged through-; the only wonder is that one head can contain it all.'

I found this in a little book "Thoughts of Divines and Philosophers," selected by Basil Montagu. The quotation is signed 'J. T.' I cannot trace it, but suspect Jane Taylor.]

[Footnote 2: Samuel Daniel, "Epistle to the Lady Margaret,

Countess of Cumberland."]

INDEX

"Acts of the Apostles, The," 165

Addison, Joseph, 146, 192

"Adonais," Shelley's, 79

Adrian VI, Pope, 77

Aeschylus, 1, 121, 179, 183

"Aesop and Rhodopè," Landor's 117

"Agamemnon, The," 79

"Aims of Literary Study, The," 6

"Allegro,L'," 62, 63, 64

Ameipsias, 21

"Anatomy of Melancholy," Burton's, 155

"Ancient Mariner, The," 59

Andersen, Hans Christian, 46

"Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, The," 154

"Annual Register, The," 155

"Anti-Jacobin, The," 194

"Apologia," Newman's, 155

"Arabian Nights," M. Galland's, 43

"Arabian Nights, The," 139

Arber, 99

Aristophanes, 21, 147

Aristotle, 1, 25, 48, 51, 52, 58, 59, 60, 121, 129, 148, 150,

174, 207

Arnold, Matthew, 38, 99, 104, 124, 153, 205, 213

"Arraignment of Paris," Peele's, 80

"As You Like It," 71

Aulnoy, Madame D', 43

Aurispa, 209

Austen, Jane, 102, 194, 197

Bacon, Francis 21, 22, 23, 73, 94, 114, 126, 155, 205

Bagehot, Walter, 36, 113

Bailey, Philip James, 155

Baker, Sir William, 170

"Balder Dead" 163

Ballad. The, 55

Barboar, John, 155

Bede, 207. 209

Beethoven, 139

"Beginnings of Poetry," Dr Gummere's, 55, 56, 58

"Beowulf,". 99

Berkeley, George, 191

Berners, 193

"Bible, The," 97, 126 et seq.

"Bible, The Geneva," 155

"Blackwood's Magazine," 80

Blair, Robert, 155

Blake, William, 33, 155

Boileau, 193

Bologna, University of, 73

"Book of Nonsense," Lear's, 111

Boswell, James, 93, 155

Bottomley, Horatio, 185

Brady, Nicholas, 170

Brooke, Stopford, 94

Brown, Dr John, 56

Browne, Sir Thomas, 145, 185, 189, 190

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, 72

Browning, Robert, 5, 6, 7, 15, 152, 155, 205

"Bruce, The," Barbour's, 155

Bunyan, John, 97, 134, 135, 145, 152

Burke, Edmund, 94, 104, 116, 155, 192

Burns, Robert, 97, 132, 133

Burton, Robert, 155

Butcher, Professor, 129

Byron, Lord, 5, 80, 168

"Cabinet des Fées, Le," 43

"Cambridge Essays on Education," Inge's essay in, 112

"Cambridge History of English Literature, The," 5, 152, 208

Cambridge Platonists, The, 29, 193

Cambridge, University of, 1, 2 et seq., 57, 76, 77, 87, 88,

105, 121, 209

Campbell, John, 155

Canning, 193

"Canterbury Tales, The," 71, 161

"Canterbury Tales, The Prologue to the," 71, 94, 144, 161

Canton, William, 38

Carlyle, Thomas, 5, 38, 106

Casaubon, 70, 197

"Centuries of Meditations," Thomas Traherne's, 44

Chatham, Earl of, 115, 116, 192, 211

Chaucer, 4, 27, 65, 66, 71, 88, 94, 102, 164, 105, 124, 144,

164, 193

Chicago, University of, 154

"Choephori," 175

"Chronicles, Book of," 138

Clarendon, Lord, 155

Clark, William George, 94, 99

"Cloister and the Hearth, The," Charles Reade's, 189

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 65

Collins, William, 124

Colvin, Sir Sidney, 86

"Complaint of Deor, The," 155

Comte, Auguste, 51

Congreve, William, 192

"Corinna, from Athens, to Tanagra," Landor's, 124, 125

"Corinthians, St Paul's First Epistle to the," 81, 82

Corson, Dr, 6, 66, 100

Cory, William (Johnson), 123

"Cotter's Saturday Night, The," Burns's, 132, 139

Coverdale, Miles, 97,145, 158

Cowper, William, 100, 115, 192

Cranmer, Thomas, 97

Crashaw, Richard, 193

Cuthbert, 207

"Cyrano de Bergerac," 111

Daniel, Samuel, 215

Dante, 27, 79, 104, 153, 164. 197

Darwin, Charles, 154

Davenant, Sir William, 151

"Death in the Desert, A," Browning's, 6, 7

"Descent of Man," Darwin's, 154

"Deserted Village, The," 155

Dickens, Charles, 5, 193

Dionysius, 212

"Divina Commedia," 52

"Doctor's Tale, The," 71

"Dolores," Swinburne's, 155

"Domesday Book," 155

"Don Quixote," 105

Donne, John, 82, 89, 105, 114, 155, 193

"Dream of Boccaccio," Landor's, 82

Dryden, John, 54

Dublin, University of, 131

Dunbar, William, 193

"Dutch Republic," Motley's, 82

Earle, John, 44, 49

"Ecclesiastes," 161

"Ecclesiastical Polity," Richard Hooker's, 155

"Ecclesiasticus" 144

Education, 35 et seq.

Ehrenreich, Dr Paul, 55

"Elegy written in a Country Churchyard," Gray's, 61, 144, 164

Eliot, George, 14

Ellis, A. J., 99

Elyot, Sir Thomas, 11

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 33, 203

"E?then," Kinglake's, 196

"Epipsychidion," Shelley's, 89

"Epistle to the Lady Margaret, Countess of Cumberland,"

Samuel Daniel's, 214, 215

Erasmus, 121, 209

"Erster Schulgang," 39

"Esmond," Thackeray's, 82, 83

"Essay on Comedy," Meredith's, 110

"Essay on Man," Pope's, 144

"Essays," Bacon's, 94, 155

"Esther," 161

"Ethics," Aristotle's, 1

Euclid, 93, 131

Euripides, 19, 21, 123, 157

"Everyman," 176

"Everyman's Library," 198

Ezekiel, 161

"Faerie Queene, The," 155

"Fairchild Family, The," 40

"Festus," Bailey's, 155

"Fetch a pail of water

," 53

Fitzgerald, Edward, 118, 122, 155

Fort, Paul, 174

Fowler, F. G., 108

Fowler, H. W., 108

Franklin, Benjamin, 90

Frere, J. H., 193

"Friar's Tale, The," 71

"Friendship's Garland," Matthew Arnold's, 38

Froissart, 155

Furnivall, 99

Galileo, 27

Galland, M., 43

"Gammer Grethel," 43

Gautier, Théophile, 197

"Genesis, Book of," 213

"Geneva Bible, The," 155

Gibbon, Edward, 20, 21, 121, 131, 146, 149, 192

"Golden Treasury," Palgrave's, 155

Goldsmith, Oliver, 102, 105

"Gondibert," Sir William Davenant's, 151

"Grammarian's Funeral, A," Browning's, 15

Grave, Robert Blair's, 155

Gray, Thomas, 61, 144, 164

Gregory the Great, 207

Grimm, the brothers, 43

Grocyn, 121

Grosart, Alexander Balloch, 99

Gummere, Dr, 55, 56, 58

Hakluyt, Richard, 155 Hales, Dr, 99

Hamerton, Philip Gilbert, 3, 41 11, 23, 24

"Hamlet," 71, 127, 144, 161, 163, 203

Hammond, Mr, 190

Hammond, Mrs, 190

Hay, 211

Hazlitt, William, 202 Hegel, 25, 26

Heidelberg, University of, 76

"Here Come Three Dukes a riding," 53

"Here we go Gathering Nuts in May," 53

Herodotus, 123

Hesiod, 197

Hobbes, Thomas, 197

Holmes, Mr, 47, 50, 51, 52

Homer, 83, 118, 146 147, 148, 149, 153, 164, 167, 195, 196

Hooker, Richard, 155

Hopkins, John, 170

Horace, 1

"Hound of Heaven, The," Thompson's, 155

"Household Tales," the Grimms; 43

Hugo, Victor, 164

Hume, David, 192

"Hymns Ancient and Modern," 170

"Idea of a University, The," Newman's, 114

"Iliad, The," 99, 147, 148

"Imitatione Christi, De," 138

"In Memoriam," Tennyson's, 58

Inge, Dean, 112

"Intellectual Life, The," Hamerton's, 3, 4, 23, 24

"Intimations of Immortality," Wordsworth's, 44

"Invisible Playmate, The," William Canton's, 38

"Irish R.M., The Adventures of an," Somerville's and Ross's, 135

Irwin, Sidney, 121

Isaiah, 138, 153, 156, 161

"Isaiah, Book of," 138, 144, 153, 161

"Isthmian Odes," Pindar's, 98

Jansen, 77,

Jenkinson, Mr, 184, 185

Job, 166, 167, 168, 175 et seq.

"Job, Book of," 139, 144, 161 et seq.

"John Bull," Bottomley's, 185

John, St, of Patmos, 7, 130, 151

Johnson, Samuel, 61, 89, 93, 105, 131, 146, 192, 193

Jonson, Ben, 102

"Joshua, Book of," 47, 136, 137

Joubert, 117

Jowett, Benjamin, 186

Jusserand, J. J., 104

Keats, John, 84, 85, 87

Keble, John, 114

"King Henry IV," Part I, 71

"King John," 71

"King Lear," 16, 71, 163, 201

Kinglake, Alexander William, 196

"Kings, Book of," 138, 139, 141

"Kings' Treasuries, Of," Ruskin's, 195

"Knight's Tale, The," 71

Lamb, Charles, 102, 106, 156, 197, 200

Landor, Walter Savage, 82, 117, 124, 130

Latymer, Lord (F. B. Money-Coutts), 154, 162, 167, 183

Laus Veneris, Swinburne's, 155

Lear, Edward, 111

"Lectures on Poetry," Keble's, 114

Leipsic, University of, 76

"Letters on a Regicide Peace," Burke's, 155

"Life of Cowley," Johnson's, 193

"Life of Johnson," Boswell's,

Lincoln, Abraham, 124

"Literary Study of the Bible," Moulton's, 162

"Lives of the Lord Chancellors," John Campbell's, 155

Longinus, 148, 149, 150, 151, 212 et seq.

"Longinus on the Sublime," 149, 150, 212 et seq.

Louvain, University of, 76

Lowell, James Russell, 211

Lucian, 108

"Luke, Gospel of St," 161

Lycidas, 164

Macaulay, Lord, 19, 155, 156

"Macbeth," 71

Macchiavelli, 197

Maeterlinck, 174, 175

Malherbe, 193

Malory, Sir Thomas, 193

"Man of Law's Tale, The," 71

"Manfred," 155

Map, Walter, 155, 156

Martin, Violet, 136

Marvell, Andrew, 201

"Matthew, Gospel of St," 137

"Memories, Irish," Somerville's and Ross's, 135

"Merchant of Venice, The," 71

Meredith, George, 5, 110

"Microcosmography," John Earle's, 44

Mill, John Stuart, 93, 155

Milton, John, 27, 62, 65, 93, 94, 111, 127, 131, 145, 162,

164, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170, 188

Molière, 79

Money-Coutts, F. B. (Lord Latymer), 154, 162, 167, 183

Montagu, Basil, 211

Moore, Sturge, 124

More, Hannah, 192

More, Sir Thomas, 114

Morris, Richard, 99

"Morte d'Arthur, Le," 155

Motley, 82, 211

Moulton, Dr R. G., 154, 158, 162, 177

"Much Ado About Nothing," 71

Myers, F. W. H., 165, 166

Newman, John Henry, 113, 114, 131, 155, 206

Newton, Sir Isaac, 27, 114

Nicholas V, Pope (Tommaso Parentucelli), 209

North, Sir Thomas, 123

"Notes and Queries," 101

"Nun Priest's Tale, The," 71

"Ode to a Grecian Urn," Keats's, 85,86

"Ode to a Nightingale," Keats's, 85, 86

"Ode to Evening," Collins's, 124

"Ode to Psyche," Keats's, 85

"Odyssey, The," 42, 147, 148

"Of Studies," Bacon's, 21, 22, 23

Omar, 20

"Omar Khayyàm," FitzGerald's, 155

"On Liberty," John Stuart Mill's, 155

"On the Art of Writing," 1

"Ossian," 155

"Othello," 52, 71, 89

Oxford, University of, 9, 73, 75, 76, 77, 121

Page, 211

Paine, Thomas, 192

Paley, Frederick, 98, 123

Palgrave, Francis Turner, 15 5

"Pall Mall Gazette, The," 197, 198

"Paradise Lost," 56, 58, 59, 62, 127, 144, 154, 161, 164, 166,

167, 168, 169, 170, 182, 188, 202

"Paradise Regained," 166, 170

"Paradiso, The," 201

"Pardoner's Tale, The," 71

Parentucelli Tommaso (Pope Nicholas V), 209

Paris, University of, 74, 75

"Parlement of Fowls, The," 27, 71

Pater, Walter, 99, 149

Patmore, Coventry, 33

Pattison, Mark, 70

Paul, St, 32, 60, 81, 82, 147, 161, 165

Peele, 80

Pericles, 124

Perrault, 43, 110

"Pervigilium Veneris, The," 124

"Phaedo, The," 147, 148, 201, 206

"Phaedrus, The," 118, 186

"Piers Ploughman," 155, 156

"Pilgrim's Progress, The," 68

Pindar, 57, 79, 98

Plato, 8, 16, 25, 26, 27, 28, 36, 111, 118, 147, 150, 185

Plutarch, 123

"Poems and Ballads," Swinburne's, 155

"Poet's Charter, The," Lord Latymer's (Money-Coutts), 162

"Poetics," Aristotle's, 52, 58, 59, 129

"Polonius," FitzGerald's, 122

Pope, Alexander, 105, 131, 144, 164, 192, 196

"Prince Charming," Perrault's, 111

"Principia," Newton's, 114

Prior, Matthew, 102

"Prometheus Bound," Aeschylus's, 175, 179, 180, 183

"Prometheus Unbound," Shelley's, 59, 155, 164, 167, 168, 169

"Psalm of Life, The," 56

"Psalm cvii," 158, 159, 160

"Psalm cxiv," Milton's Paraphrase of, 169,

"Psalm cxxxvi," Milton's Paraphrase of, 169, 170

"Psalms, The," 139, 144 142, 161

Pythagoras, 27

"Pythian Odes," Pindar's, 98

Quarles, Francis, 155

Rashdall, Hastings, 76

Reade, Charles, 189

"Reading without Tears," 38, 41

"Reason of Church Government," Milton's, 167

Reid, Captain Mayne, 138

"Religio Medici," Sir Thomas Browne's, 189, 190

"Republic," Plato's, 16, 26

"Revelation of St John the Divine, The," 151

"Revellers," Ameipsias's, 21

Rhoades, James, 11, 110, 202, 205

"Rifle Rangers, The," Mayne Reid's, 138

Roberts, Prof. W. Rhys, 150

Ronsard, 193

Ruskin, John, 93, 138, 155, 195

"Ruth," 139, 161

"Sally, Sally Waters," 53

Sainte-Beuve, 99, 199

"St Paul," Myers's, 165, 166

"Samson Agonistes," 170

"Sartor Resartus," Carlyle's, 38, 155

"Scalp Hunters, The," Mayne Reid's, 138

"School for Scandal, The," 89

Scott, Sir Walter, 43, 131

"Sermon on the Mount, The," 128

"Sermon II preached at Pauls upon Christmas Day, in the

Evening." 1624, Donne's, 89

"Sermons," Donne's, 155

"Sesame and Lilies," Ruskin's, 138, 195

Sévigné, Madame de, 197

Shakespeare, William, 4, 33, 65, 66, 70, 71, 94, 97,

104, 116, 123, 131, 145, 155, 200, 203, 204, 205

Shelley, 79, 155, 167, 168, 169, 193, 194

Sheridan, Richard Brinsley, 192

"Sicilian Vine-Dresser, The," Sturge Moore's, 124

Skeat, Walter W., 99

Smiles, Samuel, 194

Smith, Adam, 56, 155, 156

Socrates, 118, 147, 148, 186, 187, 188, 206, 207

Solomon, 156, 157

"Song of Songs," 139, 156, 157, 161

Sophocles, 111

Spenser, 164

Stead, W. T., 197

Steele, Sir Richard, 102, 192

Sternhold, Thomas, 170

"Sthenoboea," Euripides's, 21

"Stradivarius," George Eliot's, 14

"Strayed Reveller," Matthew Arnold's, 124

Stubbs, 101

"Sublimitate, De," Longinus's, 149

Suckling, Sir John, 90

Swift, Jonathan, 105, 131

Swinburne, Algernon Charles, 155

"Table Talk," Johnson's, 131

"Tale of a Tub, A," 89

"Task, The," Cowper's, 100

Tasso, 167

Tate, Nahum, 170

Taylor, Edgar, 43

Taylor, Jane, 211

"Tempest, The," 59, 71, 202, 203, 204, 205

Tennyson, Alfred, Lord, 5, 193, 194

Tertullian, 207

Thackeray, William Makepeace, 82, 146

Theocritus, 124

Thompson, Francis, 155

"Thoughts of Divines and Philosophers," Basil Montagu's, 211

"Thoughts on the Present Discontents," Burke's, 155

Thucydides, 121

"Tintern Abbey," Wordsworth's, 152

Todhunter, Dr, 93

Traherne, Thomas, 29, 44

"Training of the Imagination, The," Rhoades's, 110

"Troilus," 71

Tyndale, William, 97, 145

"Utopia," More's, 114

Vaughan, Henry, 193

"Vicar of Wakefield, The," 144

Vienna, medical school of, 76

"Village Labourer, The," Mr and Mrs Hammond's, 190, 191

Villon, 193

Virgil, 12, 116, 167

"Voyages," Hakluyt's, 155

"Vulgate, The," 170

Walpole, Sir Spencer, 192

Walton, Isaak, 82, 145

"Wealth of Nations," Adam Smith's, 155

Wesley, John, 61

Wessobrunn, 208

"What is and What Might Be," Holmes's, 50, 51, 52

White, Blanco, 31, 112

Wilberforce, 192

"Wisdom, Book of," 144

Wolfe, General, 116

Wordsworth, William, 5, 28, 33, 37, 44, 61, 66, 73, 116, 123,

152, 155, 202, 207

"World's Classics, The," 138

Wright, Aldis, 94, 99

Wyclif, 145

Zadkiel, 139

Zenobia, 212

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