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Scott's first publication was his Border Ballads.
His next,-his longer poems, The Lay of the Last Minstrel, Marmion; Lady of the Lake, etc.
Believing Byron to be a superior poet to himself, he directed his creative genius to novel writing.
His first novel was Waverley, which was succeeded by others; the whole series—twenty-nine in all-were called the Waverley Novels.
The author was called the “Great Unknown."
In 1825 the firm of Ballantyne & Co. failed. Scott was involved to the amount of half a million dollars.
By his tireless pen he paid off that enormous debt in five years. He died in 1832.
Byron, Shelley, and Keats were associated in life. Their characters and poetry were wholly different.
Byron was chaotic. The ocean and storms were his elements.
Byron's first publication was Hours of Idleness. It was severely criti. cised by the Edinburgh Review. His next poem was a satire in reply to the critics, entitled English Bards and Scotch Reviewers.
Soon after this Byron took his seat in the House of Lords.
After two years spent abroad, he returned to England with two cantos of Childe Harold.
These were published in 1812.
The third canto of Childe Harold was written in Switzerland; also, The Prisoner of Chillon, Darkness, and The Dream.
The Dream is a history of his early life.
From Switzerland he went to Italy. Here he wrote Mazeppa, part of Don Juan, and several tragedies.
In 1823 he went in aid of the Greeks, but died at Missolonghi a few months after, in April, 1824.
Shelley's poetry represents all that is most spiritual.
For writing a pamphlet while at Oxford, entitled The Necessity of Atheism, he was expelled from the University. He was but sixteen years old at the time.
His first poem was Queen Mab.
Shelley's chief poems are Alostor, The Revolt of Islam, Hellas, The Witch of Atlas, Prometheus Unbound, The Cenci, The Skylark, The Cloud, The Sensitive Plant.
Shelley was drowned in the Bay of Spezzia, Italy.
Keats's poetry combines the purest sensuous pleasures with the intellectual.
His chief poem, Endymion, was severely criticised by the Quarterly Review.
Some of his other works are Hyperion, Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes.
Keats died at Rome, in his 24th year.
Other poets of this time were Robert Bloomfield, Reginald Heber, Mary Tighe, Robert Pollok, Henry Kirke White.
The Scotch poets were Robert Tannahill, James Hogg (the “ Ettrick Shepherd "), Allan Cunningham, and William Motherwell.
The principal dramatists of the time were George Colman “the younger," Mrs. Inchbald, Joanna Baillie. r The novelists of the age were Sir Walter Scott, Miss Edgeworth, Jane Austen, Jane Porter, Anne Radcliffe, Henry Mackenzie, William Beckford, William Godwin.
Scotch novelists, besides Sir Walter Scott, were Lockhart, Prof. John Wilson (“Christopher North”), John Galt, Miss Ferrier, etc.
Philosophical writers were Dugald Stewart, James Mackintosh, Thomas Brown.
Writers on political economy were Bentham, Malthus, Ricardo, and James Mill.
Writers on physical science were Sir Humphrey Davy and Sir William Herschel
Theology was represented by Robert Hall, Thomas Chalmers, Edward Irving, Adam Clarke.
History by Wm. Mitford, Lingard, Sharon Turner, Tytler, Napier, etc.
The Edinburgh Review was started in 1802 by Sydney Smith, Francis Jeffrey, and others. It was a Whig organ.
The London Quarterly Review was started in the interest of the Tory party, 1809. It was edited by William Gifford.
The Westminster Review was started by the Radical party in 1824. Jeremy Bentham was chief editor.
The monthly magazines began to spring into existence in the early part of the nineteenth century.
Blackwood's Magazine was started in 1817 by William Blackwood.
Weekly magazines were started in 1832. Of these Dickens's Household Words and All the Year Round have been most popular.
The literary world owes a debt of gratitude to the brothers William and Robert Chambers for their indefatigable labors in procuring and furnish. ing popular information.
THE LAKE POETS.
WORDSWORTH, COLERIDGE, AND
EORGE IV. died in 1830, and was succeeded by his
brother, William IV. During his short reign of seven years, important measures of government were begun. In 1832 the great Reform in Parliament was carried by King and Commons against the Lords. The next year slavery was abolished throughout the British Colonies, and in the same year the first public grant was made in behalf of public schools. In England, America, and France, the spirit of universal freedom was awakened.
Among the most ardent upholders of the French Revolution in its earlier stages were the three young poets WORDSWORTII, COLERIDGE, and SOUTHEY. Without tracing the devious path which led to the final overthrow of all their political and religious convictions, it may be briefly stated that the three, starting in life as the most ultra radicals in politics and religion, ended their lives as the upholders of kings and supporters of the Church of England. They were the poets of humanity, and, following Burns, Cowper, and Crabbe in the natural school of poetic art, insisted on a still wider deviation from the artificial school.
Attracted by the beautiful scenery of Westmoreland and Cumberland, one after the other of these poets took up his
residence among the lakes of north-western England, and from this fact they have always been known as the “ Lake Poets."
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH (1770-1850), the chief of this school of poets, was born in Cumberland. He received his education at Cambridge, travelled on the Continent, and was in France at the beginning of the Revolution of 1791. Returning to England, he devoted his time to literary pursuits, and appeared as a poet in 1793. Soon after he met Coleridge, and the two became life-long friends. In 1797 their joint production of Lyrical Ballads was published.*
To bring the art of poetry back to nature, Wordsworth contended that the ordinary topics of daily life were fit subjects for poetry, and that the language should be that “really used by men.” For this deviation from all preconceived ideas of propriety in poetic diction, he received showers of ridicule and censure; yet, undismayed, he held on his course, and, after fifty years of patient waiting, was recognized as the first poet
of his age.
There are golden veins of poetry running throughout everything he has written, gleaming here and there in genuine col· ors, then again obscured, as he meant they should be, in the russet of common, every-day expression. In his Ode to Immortality there is the grand Æolian melody, the perfection of human utterance.t
In the poet's mind there was a natural order and sequence in the arrangement of his poems, typical of the development of his spiritual powers. The Excursion, his principal poem, was intended as a second part to a longer poem to be entitled The Recluse. The first part— The Prelude-records "the origin and progress of his own powers.” The second part-The E.ccursion-deals with passing events and existing circumstances, and, being completed first, was published as an independent poem. In the language of Wordsworth, the two hold the relationship to each other of “the ante-chapel to the body of a Gothic church.” The smaller poems, as he says, are to be
* To this Coleridge contributed his Ancient Mariner.
+ This poem Emerson designates as the "high-water mark of English thought of the nineteenth century."
regarded as “little cells, oratories, and sepulchral recesses." The third part- The Recluse, which was never finished, was to consist of meditations “On Man, on Nature, and on Human Life.”
The love of nature was with him a passion, and the influence of nature on man was a favorite subject.
May teach you more of man,
Than all the sages can." None but a poet inspired by the utmost confidence in himself would have risked such subjects as Wordsworth chose. Yet the sad music of humanity rings in minor tones through such poems as The Idiot Boy, notwithstanding the most prosaic and inharmonious lines. The poet is triumphant in producing a vivid picture, and in calling out the truest, kindliest sympathy.
Wordsworth brought back the Sonnet, which, since Milton's day, had fallen out of English poetry.
The domestic life of the poet was unclouded and happy. * In 1802 he had married Mary Hutchinson, and till his death, in 1850, they lived in the quiet seclusion of Grasmere and Rydal Mount. All the lakes and mountains of that district seemed a portion of the great poet's existence.
Wordsworth's principal poems are, The Exccursion, Hart-Leap Well, Yarrow Unvisited, Visited, and Revisited, and Laodamia. The poems most read are, Ode on Immortality, She was a Phantom of Delight, We are Seven, Ruth, Lucy, etc. Those most ridiculed were, Peter Bell, The Idiot Boy, Alice Fell, The Blind Highland Boy, etc.
SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE (1772-1834) was two years younger than Wordsworth. With kindred sympathies in literary tastes, they were wholly different types of men. Coleridge possessed a rare genius, but lacked “the reason firm, the temperate will." Incompleteness marked all his works, and his works were typical of his life. We probably obtain the truest
* To bis sister Dora, his constant companion, Wordsworth attributes some of the best influences of his life.