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THE GREATEST BOOKS IN THE WORLD INTERPRETIVE STUDIES BY LAURA SPENCER PORTOR WITH LISTS OF COLLATERAL READING HELPFUL TO THE STUDY OF GREAT LITERATURE BOSTON AND NEW YORK HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY ^!)e Bitcrj^itie pte^^ Cambciti0e 1913 .

BY HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Published October iqi3 #^ .A357598 . I9T3.COPYRIGHT.

TO FRANCIS POPE .

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You will find that in order to understand perfectly and exactly any really vital piece of literature.. and the books — Ruskin. will be gradually and pleasantly persuaded to studies and explorations of which you little you will find yourselves scholars before dreamed when you began.. classes. and you are aware. . .For all books are divisible into two of all time.. to recommend . . a course of study. — . in My you advice would always be to confine yourself to the supreme books whatever literature. Lowell.. the books of the hour One is sometimes asked .

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216 Xn. Suggestions for Study 245 . The Odyssey 23 47 82 113 The Divine Comedy Faust VII. . .9 15 The Writer's Message II 20 V. The Arabian Nights Don Quixote The Book of Job III 146 185 X. On Judging of Great Books m. xi Our Heritage 1 . Great Writers as Interpreters . IX. .CONTENTS Introduction I I. Suggestions for Further Study 253 261 XIV. Reading 273 . IV.. II. VI.. Goethe's VIII. The Comparative Study of Great Books Lists of Collateral . Pilgrim's Progress XI. . Xm. .

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a few guidebook and now and then an anecdote or two as a means of lightening the general dullness. is expected to admire. seeks for him to gain the desired information. treatises too voluminous and detailed and technical to be of help to the lay reader. with dates. I know of no volume which. wishing to inform himself concerning the world's masterpieces of literature or of books which will help any other art. guidebook fashion. or he finds a mass of "get-art-quick" books in which. while there are a great many and reference books and a great many learned treatises on all the arts. or any other great art. like angels' excellent text visits. he finds such volumes.INTRODUCTION When the average sincere person. interestingly but not too lightly. Indeed. he has pointed out to him the masterpieces he facts. and a goodly number of more or less light treatises on literature. he finds a mass of works written by experts. of the masterpieces of literature or sculpture. When he comes to look for a volume that shall treat seriously but not too seriously. in a perfunctory. while dealing particularly with the masterpieces of . very few and far between.

a great art whose history and development are inwoven with the history and development of mankind. not as mere detached forms but as part of a great whole. shall become a help to those interested in its subject. I take its know why these are called masterfor himself. by means of which we may readily and intelligently inform ourselves litera- concerning the world's masterworks of ture. to From time to time there have been attempts make a fairly comprehensive list of the "best . is What most sound in a book. If the present volume. enable him to pieces — and to accept them as such of us need. yet gives the reader at the a clear and connected survey of them in their relation both to literature and life. I shall not regret that it is not called a scholarly. but rather. treatment. a popular discussion world's greatest books.xii INTRODUCTION same time which will literature. if by this means it shall add somewhat to their enjoyment of literature. it. meeting this need. the A further word is perhaps needed concerning the author's choice of the books here discussed. in the of broadest sense. a book not dogmatic but one which rather will help us to discover and interpret some of the beauty of these masterpieces and will lead us to form our own opinions concerning them.

In each case they are books concerning whose greatness there is no dispute." Eminent men have consented to name what they beheve to be the five. all of them are widely admitted to be among the greatest books in the world. could not fairly be included in the present The Bible is not one book. Each is studied merely with a view to a better understanding of the book itself. twenty. but a collection of many lation. not one exaanple of genius or reve- but practically an entire literature. It is not intended in the present volume to make or urge any arbitrary selection of "best books. it books. one In the present choice of famous great books. on reflection. But to those who may chosen. or one hundred "best books. ten." The masterpieces chosen are seven in number." Such lists are generally more fruitful of dispute than they are convincing. Nor is the order in which these books stand in this volume intended to relate to their degrees of greatness. wonder why the Bible is not among the books it will. be clear that it list. with the idea of discovering and realizing some of the reasons which underlie its lasting greatness. is notably absent.INTRODUCTION xiii books of the world. That would not as a whole fall in with the general .

Even a small portion of it.xiv INTRODUCTION is plan of study followed in this volume obvious. is here dealt with all too briefly and inadequately. the Book which takes rank with the greatest books. . of Job.

THE GREATEST BOOKS IN THE WORLD .

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should be taught. we concede. be taught ably to handle his own fortune. and warned against leaving the investing and spending of it in the hands of others who cannot have his interests sufficiently at heart. and. so as to be able in time to make his own wise choice between good and evil. not his fellows less. should be taught no little concerning the value and use and meaning of wealth. He should. be taught discretion and trained in judg- ment. from the he shall be trained in body and mind and . who a respect for that importance and influence and place among which his inheritance will one day give him. with all this in view. He should. Thus his future will lay an admitted obligation even on his early first.THE GREATEST BOOKS IN THE WORLD CHAPTER It I OUR HERITAGE is is a truth which needs no arguing that one with all certainty to inherit a vast fortune should be carefully and wisely trained with that fact in view. between wise and unwise. life.

this we would swear or to. or should . — we to assure not heirs to an immense fortune. but a fact plain and simple. as he reaching years of maturity. a mere pittance. the mere average man woman This is without present or future prospect of great wealth." for here indeed no metaphor or supposition. We are. Yet in a curiously similar case is — similar save that the fortune in this case but incalculably vast — many of us are not yet may if it not merely vast awake to the in such a necessity of training the individual way that he unwise. inheritor. in spirit for that larger responsibility which the years will deliver into his hands. not an be pointed out to us that that individual yourself or myself. little trained to a knowledge of our first vast possessions that our sensation is is one of are and our first is mental act ourselves that here some mistake. Each is newcomer in the world. And is be a wise. I say "fact. no doubt. we are perhaps so surprise. when all is said and is done. answer. becomes gradually aware.2 THE GREATEST BOOKS somewhat. and not only if what you and I would very likely we but thousands of others that of we were suddenly confronted with the fact we are inheritors of fortunes to which that the wealthiest of men is. rather.

" but these stand to us as fables. Not only do most unprepared. worldly poor we ourselves may persistent sense of the world's unlimited. even to the last of our days. a stupendous fortune accumu- lated through countless ages offered for his and intended and enjoyment and benefit." of the "gold of King haustible riches. here and of us come to our inheritance now. and perhaps on windy. sunny mornings in spring. but few of us think of our own particular inheritance. wisely for our what our fortune may be. Midas. to use it first. but a great number of us are not fitted. or own benefit and the benefit of others. exhilarating sense of riches all Most of us. — generally when we are young. when the blood runs red — a mysterious." of the "hoards of the Nibelungs." of the "wealth of the Indies. We hear talk of the "mines of Golconda. he is 3 of a great wealth. a vast inher- itance bequeathed him by the race of which a scion. gain at one time or another about us. . no matter how be. it is true. inex- them as and few of us set about claiming them and using them as Siegfried claimed and forged and used that magic sword long kept from him. either to understand. a subtle. And all the while.OUR HERITAGE become aware.

There are all these things to know. so little appreciated by us." of the the "Sistine Chapel. we perhaps deplore and are a little ashamed of our provincial lives. or view a great on. as stumble on vague knowledge of them as we read books or meet with cultivated people." "Taj Mahal. nor the devices of the minds of all men ever wholly spend or exhaust.4 THE GREATEST BOOKS lie over yonder beyond our intelligence and our which the toiling hands of all in the world shall never carry away. Michelangelo. and of our stay-at-home intelligence which has so rarely put to sea. Raphael." of the "Parthenon. we hear. or come for the lives j&rst time under the spell of memorable music. To these schooling. Phidias." of the "Nike of the Sandal." and "Temples of Karare envious of a knowledge of these nak. city in the we go We dawn. We speculate about them. . of the Madonna "Granduca. hear touch with richer hints of countries than our own we gain we have not speech of certain Princes of the Earth whose provinces are strange to us. In occasional explored." dramas of iEschylus. of we catch the names Homer. would gladly inform ourselves concerning them. of Sophocles. We hear mention of the "Odyssey. if we could. we wonder about them." of "Hamlet. riches the men and women treasures. frequent reference." things.

Or else and this is the happiest chance there awakens in us — — a great longing to know more concerning our inheritance. as it were. because of our dullness. or province of our position of a we are limited to the narrow own experience. a curiosity which will not be gainsaid or denied. We are possessed of a vast fortune. that in time becomes clear. We are in the without previous educaon coming of age to be one of the richest men in the world. but we have not been trained or fitted either to the understanding of it or the use of it. and we are in the main ignorant of them. with a certain blundering and awkwardness. usurped by others better fitted than ourselves to use it. our lack of training. But as a matter of fact these are only a small part of the riches left to us in fee simple. but our lives speak only one lan- guage.OUR HERITAGE 5 they are known to more traveled minds than ours. We determine to put off from the shore of our own limited experience. and knows not what to do with his riches. to sail . And what our wealth is follows? Generally speaking either locked away from us all our days. as that class known as the nouveaux riches use their newly acquired riches. tion. or. finds himself man who. we use it unwisely and with little taste. Many of our possessions lie in foreign lands.

These imme- diately exert an influence over us. and to some they do come later. so to speak. etc. such great art forms as the "Venus de Milo. of course. come earlier. This experience resulting may be mind described as a kind of efflorescence of the from an unconscious but growing fuller desire to create in one's self a sort of secondary beauty by means of a appreciation of all knowledge and that the world calls beautiful. and ajffect us. to explore somewhat the unlimited some of those foreign lands which await us and of which we have heard report. It is a common thing." "Faust. Generally this curiosity and this determination come between the ages of eighteen and twentythree. and with an almost overwrought enthusiasm. they directly and begin already to mould us. to find the mind and emosuch a time accepting as beautiful. intelligence At such a time the tions and the emo- may leap enthusiastically to the accept- ance of any great form of beauty. although they may. We them." the "Apollo Belvedere. we feel them. for instance. we enthuse over them.6 THE GREATEST BOOKS seas." "Tristan and Isolde. whether the form be tions at fully understood or not. find ourselves able to talk of ." etc." "Lohengrin. entirely according as circumstances and environment hasten or retard them..

fail to move us. The influence we feel falls short. great forms. the "Three Fates" of the East Pediment. the "Requiem Mass" of Bach. yet we find. have attained to it and made it ours. it we have sailed would seem. the Russian Symphonies of Tschaikowsky. that certain others. indeed. the "Lemnian Athena". Yet there they unquestionably great. at last. per- haps. the seas to some purpose. In other words. but there are still vast stretches lying in the interior of our . of that broader. 7 preciative of great art. less emotional. reputed equally great. The "Theseus" of the Parthenon. that influence which comes only with a more intellectual and and enjoyment less emotional understanding of art. it is by no means sufficient. We are not prepared to like these are. have known that joy. and believe ourselves honestly apand in a measure we But while all this is as it should be. a very present rebuke to the slenderness of our knowledge. the "Torso" of the Vatican. and more intellectual influence of all great art. rejoice. While the great and familiar forms that accomplish their we have named rouse us and purpose in us. of discovering land lying low on the horizon. the "Divine Comedy". with no little thankfulness.OUR HERITAGE we are. these bewilder us and leave us unstirred.

not only some examples of beauty but beauty.8 THE GREATEST BOOKS feet newly discovered countries which 'our not yet traveled. we shall have need to explore and to learn to judge somewhat are to enjoy not merely of art for ourselves. If have some few given forms of art but art itself. we shall have need to go deeper than a mere superficial and popular study of a few given art forms. we .

Ruskin tells us that to use books rightly is to be led by them into a wider sight and purer conception than our own. and separate There are.CHAPTER II ON JUDGING OF GREAT BOOKS It is not possible to lay down any laws to life which the varied manifestations of beauty in or art will inevitably conform. nor can beauty be so exactly defined that. having got the definition by heart. we can recognize the quality by No touchstone of taste can be found. to receive from them "the united sentence of the judges and councils of all time against our solitary and unstable opinion. it is incom- . of course. Many people before us have examined and studied our great art forms and have recorded their opinions of them. yet it is not entirely from these that we shall learn to appreinfallibly the great it we may know from the less great. ciate great art." While this is sound in a measure. whereby applying the definition. many opinions to help us form our own. even by the most zealous. men better equipped than ourselves have judged and passed sentence.

receptive of beauty. to "discrimin- ate" this impression.10 THE GREATEST BOOKS what calls plete. as work of art. to be desirous of it. is of some value. Our opinion of any that opinion is truly our own. perhaps. we are . but another way of saying that we are not to follow blindly another's opinions. of course. our personal relation to art. results responsive to all criticism it. produces on us a certain effect. A great book. but are to have an opinion of our own. "to realize it distinctly. indeed. a value which lies not so much in the character of the opinion in the fact that it is itself. For our opinion he has. — here is the beginning of of and appreciation any art form whatsoever. To be of an open mind. for instance. In a few beautiful paragraphs in his preface to the "Renaissance. from our individual response to the beauty or power contained in that particular form of art. and opinions of our own." Pater speaks of this. affected by it. and notes the value of it. He urges that not only is it essential to the understanding and realization of beautiful art forms to "see the object as in itself it really is. words. our translation of that effect into ideas." but it is further essential to know one's own impression of any given art form. if our own. it leaves out of account the value of our unstable opinion." This is.

possess. is as a cup holding a different wine and a quite different we "virtue" from that held by the art form known as the "Divine A realizing this Comedy. and interpret it to . first of all. . or see." the "Venus de Milo. . With clear insight he points out that "music. like the products of nature. of distinction. to me? produce on me? Does if give me pleasure? and is so. thinkingly and realizingly. if it it if forms of ities. then.) "What What it is this song or picture. for instance. poetry. or listen. so many virtues and qual- (That great form of architecture and art which call the Taj Mahal.ON JUDGING OF GREAT BOOKS 11 to analyze and "realize" the impression made on ourselves by the work of art. artistic and accomplished if it be literature." sense of this and then a realizing sense of the effect "virtue" and "quality" on ourselves. painting." human life ." must come. be sculpture or be music. this engaging life it personality presented in effect does really or in a book. what sort or degree of pleasure? How my nature modified by its presence and under its influence?" (The lover and seeker after beauty and he who would study intelligently any of its forms feels the peculiar influence of beauty and strives to realize that influence. we are to read. this "virtue" and "quality.

scholarly treatises on the meaning and intent of the author passages is is of help. what is inferred. it were well to remember that each of the books studied has a "quality. for the property each has of affecting one with a special. his impression into the language of ideals. as of we say in speaking an herb. to a com^plete understanding of the work." a personality of its own. it were wise to realize this quality and to note its effect on ourselves. but these alone are but as a valley of dry bones." a " virtue. to translate. impression of pleasure. in proportion as our realization of these impressions augments. a unique.) "To him the picture. 'LaGioconda. then. are valuable for their virtues. elucidation of difficult necessary. and there might be added. Analytic studies of great books are valuable. the landscape. the engaging personality in life or in a book. a wine.12 THE GREATEST BOOKS strives himself. Pico of Mirandola." Pater goes further to say that "our education becomes complete in proportion as our suscepti- bility to these impressions increases in depth and variety".' the hills of Carrara. a gem. perhaps. until there is breathed into them that fine spirit of personal interpretation which gives life and meaning to . as it were. In our study of great books.

Those who wish to carry their studies further will find helpful of the many volumes mentioned in the lists of collateral reading. The form. as it were. They are meant. of each will be an experience of exquisite pleasure to the sensitive and discriminating hand. Being in themselves interpretive it is hoped they will suggest and stimulate further interpretation on the part of the reader and so enable him to come into a more personal relationship with the forms of art here treated of. pressed from what varied fruit of experience. while we should be sensitive to the beauty of the form. still another is like a cup overlaid with delicate tracery and arabesque. and that each form is in itself worthy of extended study. Yet. To taste . the touch. One is clearly classic. 13 The present studies of great books do not pretend to be either exhaustive or complete. it should be remembered that these books are as cups wrought to hold that more precious wine of man's knowledge. in what diverse climes and under what different skies of chance. another mediaeval and wrought with many a strange device. It should be noted that each form differs much from the others. rather. to be suggestive. It should not be forgotten that the several books here written of are so many forms of a great art.ON JUDGmG OF GREAT BOOKS the whole.

to "discriminate" to judge some- and "virtue" of it for oursubtly distilled in and to apprehend the sunit. — — — the pleasure. this should be the task. the growth and stress.14 THE GREATEST BOOKS it. and with a special meaning for us shine and storm. that wine. of all those who study thinkingly and realizingly the world's great books. . the winds and rains. and will be what of the flavor selves. and patience and distillation of hope and beauty which went in ages gone to the making of it.

He takes from the mass of human experience such things as seem to him especially noteworthy. Before Ulysses could set Troy to redeem with other kings his promise of loyalty. or beautiful or proven true. in whatever form pleasing to himself. in the glimmering distant ages had turned white faces homeward. hopefully. thousands of other men. unnamed.CHAPTER The III GREAT WRITERS AS INTERPRETERS an interpreter and interprets and reveals. in ages past. not as it has been known to himself only. and dreamed of wife and children and welcome . He selects himself. shows us or interprets for us their meaning. and. he is great only as he interprets greatly it human experience. but as has been tested and tried since the world began. However great he may seem to be in writer like the painter is rather than a creator. and proven by thousands The ages lie immediately back of every great sail for book. These he sets before us in certain relations. Before Ulysses set his wandering sails hopefully toward home. countless others. had sailed the seas and redeemed their promises as faithfully. to these he calls our attention.

and had resisted ears to the fatal voices of the sirens — — the allurement of dreams. but in reality the father of Ulysses is human suffering. and his mother the ages of the world. Ulysses would never have been. and often before he forbore to taste of the lotos others. for a little time of respite. testing life's life. had fortified themselves against temptation not less. failing and succeeding and out of these attaining to knowledge and wisdom. the dear rewards of life. but for these. The poet but selects from this experience this or that. men as many as the stars of the heavens had striven and done battle. long dead and as brave and wise as he. had been struck down and had risen again. and but for the thousands of men and women who had gone before. to take up. Before Ulysses came and strove and despaired and hoped and attained at last. For the whole background source of all of art and the literature is human experience. Before Ulysses deafened his companions' and had himself bound with cords that he might not yield to their sweetness. toil of difficult life.16 THE GREATEST BOOKS hearth. Let me repeat that he has originated . we think of his father as Laertes. pitting their strength against natural forces. and after much suffering. instead. the active ever again. We think of the creator of Ulysses as Homer. and had grasped at last.

out." GREAT WRITERS AS INTERPRETERS nothing. essentials to Browning office of calls attention to the interpretive all the painter. This same thing has been said often enough before. And so they are better. Lippi. in the dialogue between Ion and Socrates. interpreting Most High. too. Art was given for to thaty God uses us help each other 50." It is whom they are only another way of saying that the great underlying experiences and truths of life "possess" the poet and find in in this him a tongue and a language. But it should be realized newly by every one who has a desire or love for art in any form. Plato. similar in that of the poet. 17 He has at the best but "discriminated and interpreted and been a voice and mouthpiece for some of those enacted truths so far greater than himself. Moses was to his people the meanings of the sense a poet as well as a prophet. things we have passed Perhaps a hundred times nor cared to see. Which the same thing. by severally possessed. Lending our minds This. he says : — when in the person of Lippo We're made so that we love First when we see them painted. painted is — better to us. of Carlyle. observed it when he said: "The poets are only the interpreters of the gods. when he speaks poet and the poet's office: — of the .

or Faust. We call original. but he interprets rather the usual. Nor that he is the poet less but greater by the fact is a revealer and interpreter rather than what we are wont to call an originator. that Ulysses his brother in the race rather than a mere ethereal creation of his fancy. human Homer but is the greater by this. God's great commonplaces. to reveal that to us — that sacred mystery which he more than others for lives ever present with. but is constructed from the bottom up of human sins and human sufferings. is Whosoever may live in the shows of things. the daily. particular will find And though he gives a name to his hero. but the great poet tinguished dis- by no such things. or Christian. . lose — but mankind. He does not interpret or reveal what is peculiar either to himself or to any one person or sect. it him a necessity of nature to live in the very fact of things. . the human. people who are distinguished by peculiar and different and extraordinary is views and opinions.18 THE GREATEST BOOKS [the poet] is He . He deals. rather. look close and you does not is that hero to be not Ulysses. Dante is the greater because his "Divine Comedy" is not built from airy imaginings. in the familiar and universal. human rewards which he saw and sensed and observed in the very materials of . generally.

." This broader conception of the poet's interpreter rather than originator is office as necessary to a broad understanding of the world's great books. and that it is life itself that we shall better understand in reading and understanding any great book.GREAT WRITERS AS INTERPRETERS human 19 life. We should understand once for that all all that it is life itself great poets are interpreting for us. and called their names "Hell" and "Purgatory" and "Paradise.

in part. are likely to be those to which his own joys and sorrows and wisdom are closely allied. therefore. Goethe another. He has interpreted this and not which his own are joys he tells of. The sorrows or and the spiritual truths he sets out. while great art is never drawn from personal sources. yet it is intricately inwoven with the artist's personality. that phase of is human experience. It is experience of humanity those experiences to most akin. . to note what part or parts of life the presumable he will select that which has impressed him most strongly.CHAPTER IV THE WRITER'S MESSAGE It is obvious that a poet can interpret for us only life not all of life. and so conveys his rather than another's mes- sage. Homer has one message. The selection his. It is of interest. It is not unlikely he will choose from the general poet selects. some touch of himself is in it. the selection glows with his personality. life itself yet both draw for their facts from the same great source — and human experience. Hence. some truth and beauty to which he has especially responded and responded perhaps most often.

merge into one. however widely these books may differ. The Prophet. . However we may gauge any of the great books by standards of Aesthetics and find them beautiful. Carlyle. Even Goethe. and poets look into life very deeply. as Beautiful and the like. the Beautiful includes in it the Good. . we may call a revealer of what we are to do.THE WRITER'S MESSAGE As we study the matter carefully ing to note that the message of all it is 21 interest- great books. Duty and Prohibition. The one the sacred . the man. the other of what we are to love. mystery of the Universe. that is. we might say. as Goethe did. — the Man of — — — . No one can look deeply into life without coming upon what we take to be its underlying moral purposes. ." Then follows this. ." adds that the Beautiful includes in it the Good. in his "Heroes and Hero Worship. the man who speaks to the people of life and human experience. who speaks to the people of God. that there. is rooted some moral conception of the author. has seized that sacred mystery rather on the moral side as Good and Evil. Poet on what the Germans call the the aesthetic side." in notes that the calling of the Prophet. Both "have God. and that of the Poet. too. penetrated into . we shall have to admit. who contended that "the Beautiful is higher than the Good.

without discovering in it some large moral and spiritual revelation. the fourth an emerald. own us. Others may show us other one.22 THE GREATEST BOOKS significantly: ''But indeed these two provinces into one another run and cannot be disjoined. truths. do but wall and shut away from our yet unready eyes. And each truth is beautiful and each different and each precious. Homer Goethe another. but we cannot read it earnestly without coming also on the goodness of it. some hoped for and more splendid and final revelation which these. And it is in this selection and revelation of moral and spiritual truth. the second sapphire. but this particular truth he shows reveals to us better than another. the third a chalced- ony. even more than in his selection and revelation of physical and material loveliness. Job another. . This the truth that was known and dear to him. something that speaks to the spirit of us." And beyond all these truths so precious we apprehend some larger and immortal truth. glorious as they are." We may read any great book for the beauty of it. "The first foundation was jasper. that we come is face to face with the author. this the universal spirit- ual fact most intricately inwoven with his spiritual experience.

indeed." Dante. That Homer. from the songs of modern speech Men turn and see the stars. who died. And only shadows of wan lovers pine. it is reckoned. and Shakespeare died a little less than three hundred years ago." We have few facts concerning Shakespeare. As such a one were glad to know the brine Where Salt on his lips and the large air again So gladly. all so that a noted student of moods." Homer in our own day writes of the author of the "Odyssey. Andrew Lang. all races. As one that ^gean isle forgets the main.CHAPTER V THE ODYSSEY The good master [Virgil] began to say sword in hand. three thousand and more years ago. who precedes the three even : " Mark him with that is as their lord. and feel the free Shrill wind beyond the close of heavy flowers. the sovereign Poet. that for a weary space has lain Lulled by the song of Circe and her wine In gardens near the gate of Proserpine. "Homer .. — And through the music of the languid hours They hear like ocean on a western beach The surge and thunder of the Odyssey. The " Inferno. concerning Homer. We have few. It is the first and greatest of the poets a poet for all ages. And only the low lutes of love complain.. We are wont to think of the "Great Age" of Greece the age. — .

and. ^Eschylus. antedate this by more than many of centuries as Shakespeare's age antedates our the name own age. blind. sang of it with a poet's tongue and interpreted There it with a poet's heart in the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey. that of Phidias. or Homerus. THE PERSONALITY OF HOMER If of the we look to his writings for some revelation man. one Homer. and Pericles — as the very heart of ancient classic times. who insist there was no personal Homer. but the world in general continues to believe that there lived. older still.24 THE GREATEST BOOKS is. a Greek. eminent scholars and earnest students who contend that the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey" are not the works of any one man but of many. who saw life with a poet's eyes. it is true. it is said. the time of which he twice as writes. about twelve centuries before the coming of Christ. of persistent greatness. yet the age of Homer. Notwithstanding this Homer towers still among the greatlife est of the world to-day. and though we are with- out authentic knowledge of his we find and history." the two greatest epics the world has known. him moving among the most famous of the earth — a personality are. as we have supposed. we find every evidence that Homer .

hearths secure. we think. He delights and in all the movements of .THE ODYSSEY 25 had a broader and deeper experience of life than comes to most men. a life of peace. wise. keenly observant of life. traveled. but more. a watchful and understanding observer of human nature and human events. reverent. acquainted — . pity. of justice. . we suppose. in the beauty of earth and sky and sea. he must have known. in peace. He writes of "manliness. courage. are many and varied. ." as in life itself. as well as the fortunes of war. Sorrow and separation and peril and glory. which he observes and selects and interprets and reveals. . war. in the courts of princes or huts of swineherds. Yet he delights not less. brave attitude toward life in the joy of battle and death. In the "Iliad" and "Odyssey. no doubt. above the age in which he lived. gentle. in the frank nobility of maidens. reverence for old age and for the hospitable hearth. piety. in the love of wedded wives. these. at home alike. in the tender beauty of children." The things which Homer takes from the great mass of human experience. as we think Shake- speare would have been. like all great poets. with all classes. in prosperous cities. a careful and interested and delighted beholder of nature. these we think he must have been a man.

justice. man's right of conquest. a thing" for all races. effort. that it shall be not for any small or re* stricted class. inextricably interwoven. sor- man's sense of duty. life. men live and die.'* which. virtue. joy. It is generally admitted as one of the requireof great art that it shall have that quality we call democracy. selects. a sort of permanency at the very center of all change. kingdoms rise and fall. while the individual history moves alters. human remain.26 THE GREATEST BOOKS customs come and go. ments . but the great humanities remain and recur. so here in these two great epics they are a permanency in the midst of all the changing happenings of the story. and on which to build. The "Odyssey" meets this requirement. his love of home and kindred. the "Odyssey " is for and of them. honor. all moods. a kind of lasting of fickle fortunes humanity in the midst It is and inconstant chance. interprets for us. these above all that Homer observes. endurance. and As in life they are a kind of immortal- ity in the midst of man's mortality. loyalty. all that is permanent in our faiths. for lack of a better word. his perpetual desire for knowledge. a something sure on which to base all that is lasting in our knowledge. Homer is one with the people. these. but that it shall be for and of the people. as in row.

and went seeking high adventure among the broken islands and wandering waters of Greece. we believe. to the age of chivalry. and the hearts of heroes and chiefs of the land and those of . no hundred years before Christ — — doubt. when kings warred and conquered and built cities for their friends. As we to-day look back to the times of Arthur. and lived loyally. looked back to a time when. sprung up and flowered and withered twelve or fifteen centuries.THE ODYSSEY 27 itself. to that still earlier Heroic Age as to a time of golden romance. When we find it study the "Odyssey" for its quite apart from relation to its author. a brilliant survival in literature of an old and wonderful civilization which had. before the star of the Wise Men shone over Beth- lehem. as to times of particular romance separated from our own day by a kind of golden mist of tradition and by a mellowed charm of half-real. their gathered galleys smote the sea with rhymed oars. five so the Greeks of the Great Age in Greece looked back. looked back to the days of Achilles and Ulysses and their companions. perhaps more. half-legendary happening. pledged to a kind of royal brotherhood not unlike the brotherhood of the Round Table. we in all its coloring and detail essentially Greek.

when the great men of the land were the great doers.28 their THE GREATEST BOOKS companions beat in unison to one loyal purpose. than the mere symbol Life then detailed of gold. also. was on the Greek side a war of united friendship. is pictured an age when something golden and worthy clung about the humblest measures of life. too. too. rendered noble the humblest service. but in a less sunny. The War of Troy from which the "Iliad" and "Odyssey" are drawn. was on a generous scale. personal friendship in the good golden days when such a personal friendship on so large a scale was possible. when they lent their hands to the weaving. Here. the . William Morris." has described an age something like it. when a hundred kings and chiefs pledged one king their loyalty and left home and country and all that was dear to them to endure war and suffering for ten long years toward the fulfilling of their pledge. was less and far more simple. if the actual metal itself overlaid thickly it the pillars of kings' houses. seems. mettle. in the first lines of his "Sigurd the Volsung. there was. too. If in that golden age there was more. less favorable land. and the noblest women. something golden and precious in man's and life itself had less alloy.

Here is a kind of primitive romance. ages. we get at once story of into the heart of an old and classic and sunlit romance that shines brightly across our darker or more dim. 29 washing. . Dukes were the door-wards and silver nailed doors. To those who have read the "Odyssey" these of opening familiar. Odysseus. mind the Alci- nous. in all later history.THE ODYSSEY rushes. and a chivalry of such an order as to make the later chivalry and romance of our own Middle Ages seem somewhat bedecked. lines "Sigurd the Volsung" ring The of description calls to "dweUings" those kings — Menelaus. shall we find such a war waged and for such a woman. Earls were the wrights that wrought its it. Where. a little tricked-out. something perhaps less sincere. queens' daughters strewed its floors. certainly less frank and sunny. Earls* wives were the weaving-women. If the Trojan we take merely the outline of the War itself. and the roofs were thatched with gold. Where could we turn to match face that launched a thousand ships the matchless Helen and that And burned the topless towers of Ilium. and the strewing of the floors with There was a dwelling of kings ere the world was waxen old. less colored. there.

his own services merely. was. therefore. yet to enter fully into the spirit of it one must have in mind the main facts of the Trojan War itself and must know of Helen who caused that war. After ten years of siege Troy was conquered. rallied to the aid of Menelaus. unite in her defense. so that the Greek armament launched against Troy consisted of more than a thousand vessels. and they and the Each brought not ships . But some- what later Paris.30 THE GREATEST BOOKS Though the "Odyssey" relates mainly the events subsequent to the Trojan War. Helen was restored at last to Menelaus. The princes and kings Greece. That they might not quarrel for her among themselves. and that she might be more safe and free in her selection of a husband. if ever need came. and it is reckoned a hundred thousand Greeks embarked on the famous expedition. stole favorite he away Helen whose of into captivity with the aid of Aphrodite. but and companions. son of the King of Troy. was wooed by many of the Greek chiefs. Her choice fell on Menelaus. all these promised to uphold her choice. Helen. agreeing that after it was made they would. and is concerned with Ulysses' return from Troy. the most beautiful woman in the world. but not without the loss of many Trojan and Greek heroes. visit- ing the palace of Menelaus.

she detained him with her for seven long years. presumptuous. After fearful adventures island of the sea nymph of Calypso. admit- all this. Calypso became enamored him. Ulysses was at last cast. and despite his long- ing to return to Ithaca. during which his ship companions all met death. The story. and among others the fate and affairs of man. The "Odyssey" opens just as the seven years are drawing to a close.^ There was. briefly told. had he not been warned of the gods. For was he not. the gods were assembled in heaven to discuss matters of import. for example. often blaming the deities for ill fortune due wholly to his own follies. might read as follows : — Early in those THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY days when the pagan deities held sway in Greece. on the in safety. his home. much suffering Ulysses. the fate of iEgisthus. goddess of wisdom. shipwrecked. indeed.THE ODYSSEY home. 31 surviving Greek chiefs turned their faces toward But though the others reached home and long delay befell and hardships. complained nevertheless that the were not always so blameless of man's . yet had gone headlong to his iaie? But ting deities Pallas Athena. man the presumptuous.

for noteworthy instance. the sage. Polyphemus.^ All Zeus considered. Ulysses the prudent. It was through the instrumentality of Poseidon. When had Ulysses tals . And to depart Now in Ithaca. his wife. Penelope. far from home. When had immorYet did this detained there by her year after year. whose favorite. god of the sea. in the palace of Ulysses. and again turned his face toward Ithaca. the wise. that the Greek chief was detained in the midst of the sea. be sent to Calypso to warn her that Ulysses must be released and allowed to take up once more his homeward journey. Yet because of the wrath of one god should the favor of the rest be withheld from him who had always served them faithfully? So it was agreed at last that Hermes. so it was that Ulysses was allowed upon his way. but Penelope refused them all and waited faithfully from day the return of her lord. Ulysses had made blind.32 THE GREATEST BOOKS her favorite. had. There was. to beg her . during the seventeen long years of his absence. the messenger of the gods.^^ failed of reverence to the he deserved his fate? not the great chief now languish on Calypso's isle. misfortune. the sorrowful fate of Ulysses. faithfully awaited Many suitors came hand in marriage.

yet her heart remained true to the Ulysses' memory of own craft. Was not Ulysses dead? Had not seven years elapsed since the . so that the web was never done. So the suitors agreed to wait. she mourned the great chief. But the threads which by day Penelope had woven by night she would ravel out. As time wore on and years passed and still Ulysses did not come.THE ODYSSEY to 33 day for Ulysses. and urged Penelope to make her choice among them. by means of one excuse or another. But always. They would not wait longer. When this was at last discovered by the suitors they were angry and pressed her anew for her answer. Penelope put them off and delayed her decision. he as did not come. and took up their abode at last in the very palace of Ulysses. the suitors of Penelope grew first impatient. With some of suggested that the suit- ors wait until she finished the weaving of a web or shroud on which she was then engaged. she had Ulysses. as other kings returned from Troy and brought no news of him. then insolent. and waiting feasted on the beeves and drank the stored wine of the absent Ulysses. for though she was helpless against so many. and from year to year. That finished she would make her choice. There they feasted and drank.

was his enemy. who was but a child when his father sailed for Troy. the son of Ulysses. his foot touched once more the shores of his own land. the god of the sea. none would guess to be the great Ulysses. yet Poseidon. At the end of that time. too. At the hut of the swineherd Ulysses was received hospitably and heard there the story of all that had happened one during his absence. But though Pallas Athena still befriended him. while all this took place at the tidings of palace of Ulysses in Ithaca. a swineherd on his estates. and it was here this hut. Pallas To that Ulysses made himself known to Telemachus. the great Ulysses himself continued his journey homeward. Pallas Athena. whom Athena guided Telemachus. . and twenty years after his departure for Troy. bent with years and suffering and ragged with poverty. In this guise the goddess bade him seek not his palace. but rather the hut of Eumseus. Yet with patient persistence and for three years longer he journeyed on toward Ithaca. had changed him now in appearance to an old man.34 fall of THE GREATEST BOOKS Troy? Had any brought so much as faint him? Meantime. for her own wise ends. so that after his release from Calypso's island new peril and suffering befell him.

She told him. she had a seat brought and placed near her own at the hearth for the aged beggar. THE CONTEST Though Penelope longed to believe him. visited the palace. by his recital. grown impatient. and that the great chief should remain in the swineherd's hut that night. and would not be put off.THE ODYSSEY 35 and here that the father and son planned together what might be done to overthrow the suitors. she told him something of her own woes. whether he could perchance give her tidings of Ulysses. with his own eyes seen Ulysses in distant countries. an old man. indeed. too. where the suitors. and he begged her to believe that ere long Ulysses would return to his own once more. not even to Penelope. Moved. told him how the suitors. however. offered him jeers and taunts. as she questioned all strangers. still The next day in the guise of tioned him. bold and insolent and not guessing who he was. that . showed him kindness. Then the old man told her that he had. yet she dared not. It was decided that Telemachus should return to the palace and say nothing of Ulysses' return. and there she quesUlysses. urged her once more to make her choice among them. Penelope. and when the night closed and the noisy suitors were gone to rest. however.

it. he to sleep on the porch of his palace. with his old- and with sure aim sent the shaft through the rings. which she had always believed none but the great chief himself could bend. The suitors protested. In an upper chamber she had guarded all these years the bow of Ulysses. Then. Then. tested felt of it. and tried it. Ulysses took the it great bow it in his hand. Still not daring to discover himself to her. amid the anger and jeers and taunts of the suitors. the contest suitors.^^ But the gentle Penelope urged his right to try. with a given time ease. she would promise to give herself to that one of the suitors who would bend the bow and send a shaft from it through twelve rings of steel. In this plan Ulysses saw the chance he longed for of dealing with the suitors. dreaming of the morrow. they parted for the night. strung . a contest. she to her chamber to dream of Ulysses. on the mor- row. turned and then at last. at a feast set for the pur- pose. The by the following day. lest his plan should miscarry. On the morrow.36 THE GREATEST BOOKS she had determined to offer them. was proposed and agreed to One after another each tried to string the great bow of Ulysses. but not one among them all could bend it. Then Ulysses asked permission to try. Should this old beggar be allowed to enter the contest with them.

with their accounts of the court of Alcinous. tenth. the temptation of the Sirens. almost as they stand. There are stories within the story. The disguise of age had now fallen from him. reigned long in Ithaca. Ulysses returned to his own. in these he of the tells enchantments of Circe. and twelfth books. and Pallas Athena. and dealt death to them all. for instance. the love of Nausicaa.THE ODYSSEY signal to S7 Telemachus. This tale. of his visit to the land of the Dead. and aided once more by on the suitors and showered his shafts among them. united once more to his people. and Ulysses. Once more he was Ulysses the strong and mighty. the escape from Scylla and Charybdis. and are complete. of course. The "Odyssey" is divided into twentysixth four chapters or books. comprise a beautiful story in themselves. and the . the mere bare outline of the The story is full of stirring incidents and beautiful passages. giving the tale of Ulysses' adventures. are those best known and most often quoted. The and seventh books. is. in the land of the Cyclops. Reunion with the patient Penelope followed. Ulysses turned beloved of his subjects. eleventh. In these Ulysses recounts the ad- ventures of himself and his companions in the land of the Lotos-Eaters. in the land of iEolus. The ninth.

everyput in action. that no this convincing simplicity To of plot are man of a true poetical spirit while he reads him. and turns in one place to a hearer. and the recital. as he returns." and his fine manner of telling the tale. the waiting of Penelope. what Pope calls "that unequal fire and rapture which is so forcible in Homer. Ulysses. Everywhere there is evident the touch of a master's hand. but these are told by him and are correspondingly strong and vivid in interest. the appearance of the heroin Ithaca. his "invention. thing lives and is is master of himself Everything moves. of his ad- ventures. the conflict with the suitors and the triumph over them. the reunion of Ulysses and Penelope at last. and directness added the poet's imagination. and twentythird books are especially beautiful and famous. The plan and workmanship are sure and true. twenty-first. The nineteenth. the reader is hurried out of himself by the force of the poet's imagination. Ulysses' return. in another to a spectator. verses resembles that of the The course of his army he describes — . The structure is simple and pure in line like a Greek temple: the absence of feeding on the oxen of the sun.38 THE GREATEST BOOKS In the other books the adventures are told of Ulysses.

something to explain and interpret his own spiritual longings and slake that thirst for goodness which is upon as a his soul. as we our- "Odyssey" it. not the mere general experiences of the spirit.' 39 fire that sweeps the whole Nor are we merely hearers or spectators. selves are of the sympathizers. subtly this impression. some spiritual truth and essence to satisfy his spirit. We impressed by it. but it holds within cup holds wine. we shall find in it some distillation of the spiritual meanings of life. only a man's intellect nor squares only with his life. The more we like taste of it. the more we shall discover a fine flavor some distinct spiritual essence satisfies pervading the entire wine. we are participators. if And if. With all this in view it is interesting to note that distilled in great books it may be said to have them. following the advice and "discriminate" we analyze somewhat it we "realize" if distinctly it. too. wrought upon by of Pater. as were. but as their essential flavor some . For a truly great work of art never general knowledge of itself. are responsive to we read it." THE ODYSSEY *they pour along like a earth before it. and we try to interpret to ourselves the unique "quality" or "virtue" which distinguishes this great book. it.

the recital of diflSculties overcome. implies as much. examine it. this patience — for that is the better and again this experience. strong in purpose. Homer describes Ulysses not once but again and again as a patient man. calls Penelope has wisof speaks of him as the "lion-heart. traits besides this He has bravery. this fruit of the spirit. as it were. and you will find that patience seems to be the very center and motive of it. and pressed out over and over. again coupled with the incident of the story. Study the story carefully." for instance. His very name. this endurance. as is many another great book." He dom and invention: Calypso many wiles. traveled. Again and again. But look carefully and you see that in this particular will book the difficulties of all kinds are overcome not by force and fierce endeavor so much as by a kind of thoughtful endurance and patience. He has many other one of patience. of man's struggle with powers vaster than his own. word — is insisted on. and pressed out. Yet to call Homer chooses oftenest him "the great sufferer.40 THE GREATEST BOOKS spiritual experience. The "Odyssey. is thrown into the winepress. one great some one particugathered again lar flower or fruit of the spirit and again." and in the . is." him "man He is wise in council. the Great Sufferer.

of a heart so bold And such endurance. impatiently. Thou hast borne worse than this. Endure it. Indeed. as does Ulysses. In one adventure after another many of them I go rashly. called trait set "Odyssey" might almost be the "Epic of Patience. but brush impatiently." Not only is the the out positively but negatively as well. and the story knows them no more. to their deaths. . but never yet My eyes have looked on such another man As was Ulysses. wisely. patience of Ulysses impresses us it is The enduring the more strongly because so finely con- trasted with the impatience of his companions. and far Have roamed in many lands. It is not less interesting to remember that . with conditions.THE ODYSSEY 41 mouth of Menelaus puts those words in which he seems to take most care to describe him: — Of many valiant warriors have I known The counsels and the purposes. They do not work patiently. And we find more of endurance notably still those same traits forth in the : and patience shown famous cry Have of Ulysses to his own heart — There have been times when bitter agonies tried thy patience heart! . unwisely against them and are overcome by them. .

one. . of Justice. two mighty songs. as Ulysses is famous for his long suffering. "But all these virtues mass themselves in the Greek mind into the two main uses. physically the lightning and the hail of chastisement by storm. she wears two robes. Ruskin. this patience. and for all men after them. passion or zeal of Athena. In her prudence. the much — . a small part of spiritual life. of -Heart. falls to her feet.' In her justice. which is the dominant virtue. and of these. but each touches into life the beauty of the same great spiritual quality. Justice (the righteous bestowal of favor and indignation). or sight in darkness. "Long-Suffering. and Temperance (patience under trial by pleasure).^ It is only a small part of life. covering her wholly with favor and love the calm of the sky in blessing. breathed into a mortal whose name is *Ache-ofHeart. or color of the daybreak. fringed with fatal serpents. maintained by her in the heart of a mortal whose name is given him from a longer grief. turning men to stone. and lastly in her temperance. or noble patience. . the Greeks had divinely written for them. his refusal to endure. — — — enduring. and the other is of the foresight and fortitude of Athena. Odysseus." - . she is * owl-eyed. and Fortitude. but it is this that Homer 1 In describing Athena. then her robe of indignation is worn on her breast and left arm only. With respect to these four virtues." are splen- didly contrasted. the full of sorrow. she is the queen of maidenhood stainless as the air of heaven. one of light saffron color. Achilles. " Ache- his impatience. Mens.' and whose short life is only the incarnate brooding burst of storm. the chief powers of Athena. Homer's other great character. hero of the "Iliad" is the as notable for his rashness. or noble passion. Then in her fortitude. she bears the crested and unstooping helmet.42 THE GREATEST BOOKS Achilles." Ulysses. the attributes of Athena are all distinct. points out that the four great virtues of which she is the spirit are "Prudence (the right seeing and foreseeing of events through darkness). the long suffering. of the Menis. Fortitude (patience under trial by pain). and fastened with Gorgonian cold. in Queen of the Air.

If we take Wagner's operas as very notable examples. as the "fate motif" in the "Gotter- dammerung. for instance. Or. such. borne home to him and by him. and wandering there chanced on it. You have noted how in the most great and memorable music some one theme dominates the rest and gives especial color and meaning to the whole. 43 from the is great mass of life.THE ODYSSEY here. and is the same in any other. a part of that fine "prop- erty" and essence. to make one of the if finest wines of the world." that "virtue. were. to be found never quite that "quality. more convincing." which distinguishes this wine. we find some one or two dominating motifs or themes occurring and recurring. there. . flower and fruit of it. it is old as the race. in sunshine and storm. he has chosen as it this. that tang and bloom and "bouquet" as the French would this say. It has grown in the fields of life. But it is his selection." woven in skillfully with other motifs. Here a part of that property. everywhere has selected. and pressed out in this fine flavor that Homer — we in centuries after are priviis leged to taste. but more appealing. we dwell too long in the one simile. the truth shines as clear in another likeness. It not of his originating. and bloomed in all seasons long before himself came to wander in those fields.

The story of Ulysses is the story of active patience^ set out in the active events and happen- .44 THE GREATEST BOOKS more memorable than the rest." one key. and carries it away as a spiritual possession. then in another. here changed there broadened somewhat. in the story of beautifully Not only are Ulysses and Penelope mated as man and woman. but their stories are mated as well. consciously or unconsciously the soul has rized it it. Tales rumors of his death. trial — different key. but in a different way. not anything can break her loving and faithful patience. exquisite. It is just so that this dominating theme and motif of patience occurs and recurs in the story of the "Odyssey. tender. husband and wife. until first in a little. recurs exquisitely. it is still in the story of Penelope. motif of patience which runs through the story of Ulysses is of masculine. insisted on again and again. memo- as the ear memorizes music. but always recognizable. it is the same motif. longing and difficulty not these. and sorrow. too. patience. as he does. The Penelope. though occurs most often in relation to the character of Ulysses himself. She too endures. This motif of patience. but feminine. powerful patience. but in a of his shipwreck. For twenty long years Penelope patiently awaits her lord.

and the truthful delineation of nature and human happening and event. The story of Penelope. too. and. too. known danger and difficulty. rises the strong spiritual appeal." spirit is here sufficiently clear. It said that "all great art calls to the spirit." a soul patient and enduring under difficulty.^ Have not we. of the Consciously or unconsciously it. along with him. high and low. might be enduring as Ulysses. and very of life all We have said that the greatest forms of art — especially this is true of great books — of interpret the underlying motives and experiences is common to all men. The theme "Odyssey. which of the story of that passive patience. ihsii tender and is peculiarly the gift women. and which. in some voyage of the spirit. though biding at home. wins no less great and spiritual victories. calls to rich and poor. had need of such wise patience. and calls to them spiritually. alike. The call to the Above the great beauty of workmanship. too. woven in with the story of Ulysses. and appeal most to man's spiritual nature. who have waited perhaps a lesser . too. Have not we. such endurance? If we. patiently wise! Or if we. strong endurance.THE ODYSSEY ings which arise in his dealing with the of 45 power is men and nations and gods. we are roused by Something in our own experience answers to it.

but types for loveliness ages. the faithful and patient Penelope for companion. might but have such waiting faith as Penelope! So the "Odyssey" helps us better to understand the patience and endurance of a strong and calls to us to attain them. adding to the and meaning life. nobility of living. For more than three thousand years they and those who move through the pages of this great book have wrought upon the them from weariness. one of the greatest books in the world. moulding in us unconsciously some strength and beauty not unlike their own. teaching us of its greatest truths. and invited them to nobler endeavor. is to add to the soul. To have Ulysses for friend. whether we know it or not. seems to have in it something undying. as it were. Other books have lived and died. They of are not people of one all age or time. and makes us. interpreting for us some some of life's greatest experiences. . but this one. better men and women.46 THE GREATEST BOOKS time for our heart's desire. a touch of that immortality which characterizes all great beauty and hearts of men. having served their brief purpose. refreshed all great art.

that most excellent man. And the vast minster seems a cross of flowers But fiends and dragons on the gargoyled eaves Watch the dead Christ between the living thieves. I set myself to read that. It is estimated that at least twenty-three hundred years. And Dante. not without divine ordinance. What tenderness. so I.! ! ! CHAPTER How strange VI THE DIVINE COMEDY the sculptures that adorn these towers I This crowd of statues. on the death of his friend Scipio. yet at length I succeeded so far as such knowledge of Latin as I possessed and somewhat of understanding on my part enabled me to do. Uprose this poem of the earth and This mediaeval miracle of song air. almost . treating of friendship. who sought for consolation. Longfellow. but instruction in the terms used by authors in science and other books. had written a book. what hate of What passionate outcry of a soul in pain. And. the traitor Judas lowers . he . What exultations trampling on despair. And although at first it was hard for me to understand the meaning of them. lie between the writing of the "Odyssey" and the "Divine Comedy". had spoken of the consolation of Lselius. hearing also that Cicero. in whose folded sleeves Birds build their nests while canopied with leaves Parvis and portal bloom like trellised bowers. possibly more. finds gold beyond his expectations. Ah ! from what agonies of heart and brain. what tears. And as it befalls that a man who is in search of silver sometimes. underneath. found not only healing for my grief. wrong. it is reckoned. in which. Homer living. too.

" There he is represented as dwelling in a noble castle which is begirt with lofty walls and surrounded with meadows of fresh green. who . are four of the greatest poets of antiquity. who. The shades of the four famous poets of antiquity ask Virgil.48 THE GREATEST BOOKS a thousand years before the coming of Christ. Dante born twelve hundred and sixty -five years after it. sees himself saluted by the great poets as one of their company.'" It is further interesting to note that in the same canto Dante. Dante's estimate of Homer is clear. he afterward learns. beginning with : Homer. the older poet was inaccessible to Dante. who is now Dante's guide. Virgil severally names them to Dante. the sovereign poet. That is Homer. . The good Master began to say *Mark him with that sword in hand. How well the Italian poet knew the writings of Homer we cannot tell. yet in the "Inferno" Dante places Homer among other great men in Limbo where are the "blameless heathen. It is generally supposed that. . The following translation is taken from William Warren Vernon's "Readings on the Inferno": " Dante sees a noble group of spirits approaching him. . with a touching commingling of pride and humility. there being then no Latin translation. who precedes the three even as their lord.

benign. known the in it. Boccaccio places it . "After that they had conversed awhile together. fortunes of war. And far greater honour yet did they pay me.THE DIVINE COMEDY this told. The "Divine Comedy. a man who carried with him for years bitterness. 49 may be whom he brings with him. We think of the "Odyssey" as written by a man experienced. and "ache of heart. Being they welcome Dante among their number." it is believed by some. we think." Some knowledge of Dante himself and his times and his experience is needed to throw a clear light on the purpose and design of the "Divine Comedy. they and their writ- two ages in which they were born. me with sign of salutation: and master smiled thereat. The "Divine Comedy" we know to have been written by a man exiled from all that he loved. yet who was withal and whose life can have retained no lasting bitterness. strong (it seems not unfitting that Dante should have pictured him as with a sword in his hand) a man who had ings are as different as the . in that they bade me be [one] of their band. a sense of wrong." He was born in Florence in 1265. was written in the sixteen years immedigentle. ately preceding his death." they turned to my But though the "sovereign poet" and Dante belong to one fellowship.

His name was early associated with the fortunes of — Florence. while he was absent in Rome that the Neri gained control of Florence. While the city of his birth was sold or betrayed to her enemies for lust of power or gold. we find him maintaining toward her a high ideal of personal service. and that Dante took important part in the longcontinued contest between the Guelphs and Ghibellines her two warring factions. he served her. First as soldier. and none but himself fit to stay to defend her. indeed. which was opposed by the Neri. perhaps. we find him bewailing that none but himself was to go. later as magistrate.50 THE GREATEST BOOKS it somewhat part of his life. There is neither room nor need here to enter — into the history of Florence of Dante's day. some others think the greater was written in the last eight years of Dante may be said to have been influenced his love for mainly by two great experiences his and hatred of injustice. It will be sufficient. and her interests were forever dear to him. time he had become prominently associated with that party known as the Bianchi. earlier. one woman. to recall that Florence was at that time a city torn by poKtical strife. pillaged the By this . When there was needed an envoy to fit Rome in behalf of his city. It was.

We are told they even went so far as if he were to condemn him to be burnt alive — ever found in his forbidden home city. So Dante's long exile was begun. and pay a Great as was his longing to return. replied: "If I cannot return without calling myself guilty. the magistrates of Florence proposed that he return. and thus. Somewhat later. He rejected them. but were unsuccessful. in about 1303. and a hatred Once. make public apology to the fine. had suffered. the Bianchi made an attempt to wrest Florence from the Neri. passing new sentence of exile on himself. With less hope now. it is true. But though life . established a government of their own. his keen sense of justice for- bade him to accept such terms. but named as their condition that he reigning power.THE DIVINE COMEDY 51 house of Dante. yet bearing about with him. In this failure Dante saw his cher- dream of a return to Florence definitely defeated. longing always for the city of his birth with a longing born of his lasting and tender love for her. he wandered from place to place. too." His of from now on remained to the end one wandering and disappointment. and passed sentence of banishment upon him. I will never return. a bitter sense of the wrongs he of her injustice. exiled from all that was dear to ished him.

yet her beauty and her spiritual qualities gained such sway over him that she became the very lady of his soul. Dante saw for first time a child one year his junior whom he calls Beatrice. his return to Florence. fulfilling itself life during the remaining years of his fore and his The great poem he had planned long definite form. was persistently denied him. His recorded interviews with her are infrequent and fragmentary. Though the "Vita Nuova" is written in a manner so the . Here we find not a common love story. In it he tells of his meeting with a being who from thenceforth exerted the strongest possible influence on his life and character. it is rather the account of a great spiritual passion. it appears. In his ninth year. in which he celebrates his love for Beatrice. be- was taking Before studying the later work of Dante. well to turn to the "Vita it is Nuova. yet another purpose was exile. From the moment he saw her there began for him that new life which he has recorded in the great love autobiography which he called by that name." written when he was twenty-seven.52 THE GREATEST BOOKS the success of that project nearest to his heart. From then until he was eighteen he never even so much as spoke with her. but kept her in his heart a cherished ideal.

in which I saw things which made me resolve to speak no more of this blessed one [Beatrice] until I could more worthily treat of her. And to attain to this. that my life be prolonged I hope to say of her what was never said of any Boccaccio in his life of Dante tells us that the "Divine Comedy" was begun in Dante's thirtyfifth year. "began to devote himself to carrying into effect that upon which he had been meditating. yet all through the remaining thirty -one years of his life the memory of her led and swayed him. The "Vita Nuova" ends with these words: A wonderful vision appeared to me." But though it is evident from his Boccaccio's testimony that the "Divine own and Com- . namely. Two years after her death he plans to write a larger work than the "Vita Nuova " in her honor. things live. He "in his thirty -fifth year. to rebuke and glorify the lives of men. and was resumed later. all my power. I study to the utmost of truly knows." he says. if it shall please Him through whom some years. and its symbols often mystical. Beatrice died when Dante was twenty -five.— THE DIVINE COMEDY foreign to our 53 own ideas of a confession of love. woman. that it was then interrupted by his exile. though its meanings are often hidden. as for she So that. according to their different deserts. yet it is exquisite with rich homage and replete with spiritual meanings.

and his hate took on a certain relation to each other. The young Dante Dante of is supremely the lover of Beatrice. indeed. could only have been written. the love and hate which notably moulded the character of Dante. edy" was planned it is evident. flow into one channel. and mingle in the "Divine Comedy. his love own day.54 THE GREATEST BOOKS early in Dante's life. So the two main experiences of his life. His keen and bitter judgments of men were illumined more and more by that spiritual insight with which love had endowed him. out of those later "agonies of heart and brain" out of the suffering and "hate of wTong" which came to him during the years of — his exile. as they are kept distinct in his writings. his love of Beatrice and his hatred of the injustice of men. somewhat later years is supremely the hater of injustice — such injustice as he saw in the tjTanof his nies and unequal governments as years rolled by. At these two are held separate in his first we note life. too. that the "Divine Comedy" as we know it could not have been written by the young Dante." In it we find the uncompromising But . which might be summed up as his love of beauty and goodness and his hatred of injustice and sin. We have spoken of the two great forces.

stress. At sight pitiful Paolo and are told. says: "I know not in the world an affection It is a teoderness. how much fond desire. trembling. led them to this woeful Then I turned again to them.. And fell. and I spake and pass!" began: "Francesca. even as a dead body .'* He then asks Francesca further concerning her love. a equal to that of Dante. Francesca de Rimini's sorrowful love and their doom he bows down his face. so who has fought sternly. who has known such storm and for justice so bitterly. even to tears. and full of . we And so long did I hold it down that at last the Poet [Virgil who was his guide] said to me :" Of what art thou thinking ? " When I answered. I began: *'Ah me! How many tender thoughts.THE DIVINE COMEDY sternness of the 55 Dante of later years. the effect of such. writing of him. heart. pity. thy sufferings make me sad." soft. As she finishes telling ing story. he tells us. like the wail of ^olian harps. longing. . . soft like a child's young This Dante. pitying love. that I swooned — him the touchthe recital on Dante is . com- mingled with all the pity and tenderness of Dante. for pity. falls. away as if I had been dying. Carlyle. yet often in his journey through the of inferno swoons for very pity of the just punish- ments he there witnesses.. the lover of Beatrice.

begins with adverse circumstances. This in its simplest form it: it is the plan of the story of a journey which Dante and his friend and teacher. Yet not less notable are those fearful evidences Stern and sweet. on the other hand. .56 THE GREATEST BOOKS Indeed. and it might be added that out of such discernment was Dante's own nature fashioned. but its begins with adverse theme has a happy termiis nation. it is so Dante discerned that she was made. never perhaps in one man. Virgil." ing seriously with the most serious questions of life In a letter attributed to the word as Dante he sets out the meaning it was accepted in his own times : — of Comedy way. . differs from tragedy beginning in its matter. . . but its theme has a happy termination. are such sternness and such sweetness to be found. it is so Nature is made. . of his stern sense of justice. yet also infinite rigour of law." says Carlyle. The "Divine Comedy" circumstances. everywhere throughout the poem are evidences of Dante's gentleness and his pity. . certainly never in one book. at the heavenly . THE TITLE OF THE BOOK It may seem to some strange that a book dealshould be called a "comedy. in its ending or catastrophe foul and horrible. "Infinite pity. in this is — that tragedy in its admirable and quiet. Comedy.

for It is difficult. if we would understand even the form of the "Divine Comedy. for the intervening cen- have wrought upon us. remarking on the form adopted by Dante. at death.THE DIVINE COMEDY bidding of Beatrice. Scartazzini. of descriptions in prose and poetry that of the torments and the childish bliss of eternity. and travel back in thought to those times and beliefs in the midst of which legends Dante Dante wrote. says: "The form of a journey through the realms of the next world was suggested to him by the age in which he lived." Yet. Indeed. intellect. it were to ask which of these visions and may have known and used. a real task of the the modern mind to conceive or beliefs exactly as it is realize men's they existed in that day. one of the ablest of 57 make through those three which Dante believed awaited the soul worlds Dante com- mentators. and the experience and thought of many generations have obliter- . No doubt he knew many of them. turies perhaps not possible for us to realize them fully. the literature of that age is so full of visions of the future state. To do this we shall need to leave many of our modern ideas and beliefs and prejudices behind us." it were well to study a little these "visions and legends" which were so common in his day.

While Dante summed up and as it were coor- dinated the popular beliefs of his day.58 THE GREATEST BOOKS old beliefs. purgatory. and heaven.. accepted the mediaeval enof hell. however inconsistently. Dante was but .. . heaven were in popular opinion during the Middle Ages. it ated or softened some of the most pronounced and strongly colored of the modern mind. yet before he wrote there had not lacked other writers who had taken pains to give not a symbolic or poetical description.. lack writers etc. As the heaven described by these writers was one to satisfy the senses — containing who trees which bore twelve there did not kinds of fruits. Of that which hell. however much perstitions of its The may cherish su- own. and heaven. but rather what were claimed by many to be literal and authentic accounts of hell. is freed so largely from those particular superstitions and conditions in the midst of which Dante lived that it can hardly realize the willingness and simplicity with which the great mass of the people. purgatory. where. purga- tory. as well as tirely materialistic conception many of the more learned. so allied fanaticism and ingenuity to describe a place of terrible torture. "immaterial spirits suffered bodily and material torments. odors so sweet that the senses swooned with pleasure.

Further along. it is told. in proportion to their age. The purgatory siastical history. than can be said to belong to that of Dante. 59 deep." red-hot ladders on which sinners account of one Alberic. Some accept. Brandon are all well known. all what he embodied hoped. concentrated expression. too." Other torments increasing in horror are then carefully described. of St. as sincere the of Monte Cashe describes is drawn with great detail. monk The hell 1 Milman's History of Latin Christianity. . and. the vision of the priest Wakelin. a sino. doubtless. The hell of the monk Alberic was shown to him. Peter and two angels. those of one year old being subjected to this torment during seven days. by St. feared. St." He comes then to the "least" of the torments. fourteen days. Patrick. the monk is shown the "torment of the ladders. and " afterward successively the more terrible punishments of the other world.THE DIVINE COMEDY the full. recounted as authentic in eccle- the hell of St. and so on." 1 men believed. Peter tells him that he shall see the least torments first. with a greater presumption of authority. those of two years. which is that of infants and little children who are purged "in red-hot burning cinders and boiling vapour. in verse. because of his profession.

objected line may be by some that Dante was not entirely in It is not to with the Church of his day. The existence of such tortures was. it was thought. we know. with the alternative of clinging to the red-hot bars. or falling into great of melted oil. be forgotten that in 1329 (but a few years after the poet's death) Cardinal Poggetto caused some of Dante's works to be publicly burned. This account might be extended indefinitely from a great mass and assortment of skillfully devised boilers tortures. we by many a devout priest of the mediaeval Church. that the cardinal objected. pitch. or resin.60 THE GREATEST BOOKS were doomed to climb. and proposed to dig up and burn the bones of the famous man on the ground that Dante was a heretic. taught not only classes. dangerous ideals of government. But it was not to Dante's descriptions of hell. while he was hated or condemned for this. but was accepted generally without revulsion by laymen of all are told. The contrast with our own less literal times It is obvious enough. It was rather that Dante held. whether in humble or high places. not one voice that we know of . and would have presumed to tell popes how to conduct their state. and for his bold condemnation of those who. So. failed of their sacred trust.

reading the accounts given by sincere priests and monks." Carlyle. however. that is with the fires of hell which he has visited. says: "He no more doubted of it." These are the " fiends and dragons on the we . Some of the simpler-minded of his times believed he had him in the streets. and the mothers would show him to their children: "See how his skin is dark and actually been in hell." Though we may disagree with this and may choose to believe that Dante wrote poetically and not literally of his own beliefs. as a thing apart. but rather as a consistent part of those ages. terrible. to which give the generalizing title "mediseval. Given the painstaking descriptions written down by good men of the Church. if it cannot be fairly denied. and that he himself would see it.THE DIVINE COMEDY was raised torments of hell i 61 in protest that his descriptions of the were either unlikely or out of line with the teachings of the Church. in speaking of the mediaeval and material hell as believed in by Dante and his contemporaries. the entire literalness of the mediaeval conception of hell In fairness. They used to point to his hair crisped. should not be looked on yet magnificent as well. than we doubt that we would see Constantinople if we went thither. the beliefs of the masses of the people of that day cannot fairly be so softened.

Virgil then tells him that he has come to Dante at the instigation of Beatrice. and Sensual Pleasure) Dante knows neither where to turn nor what to do to save himself from them. then. of paradise. but clearly. who has sent him. who offers to direct his steps. giving details. Avarice. but by no means unfamiliar to men and women of his own times. It is these men and women and these times that we must keep in mind in studying the story. and to spirits. one of the blessed in heaven. purgatory. . 62 THE GREATEST BOOKS gargoyled eaves" of a structure which rises nevertheless in grandeur and dignity. threatened by wild beasts (these beasts the commentators tell us symbolize Pride.. Dante writes. briefly. there appears to him the pagan poet Virgil (here generally supposed to symbolize Intellect or Reason) . hell THE STORY OF THE DIVINE COMEDY as follows: — The story. startling enough to us. guide him through the world of departed Dante. of the "Divine Comedy" is At nightfall of Good Friday in the year ISOO Dante finds himself in a dark wood (said to symbolize the wood of sin). At this point. in no indefinite way. fears to go on so dread a journey. even while accepting the offer.

are variously punished. such as murder. and the poet's message) Justice : — . such as gluttony. and the Primal Love made me. the Highest Wisdom. wrath. Abandon all hope ye who enter in. truncated cone. here of the monk Alberic). circles Virgil and Dante. of this dread place stands this you to note it very especially. In the larger and upper circles the punishments are lighter and less dire (we are reminded ference. as it will help us later to determine the great underlying meaning of the poem. In the lower and punished more heavily the heavier sins of selfishness. who have sinned in the flesh. 63 Reassured at this word from his dead lady. sui- . prodigality. now descend into a great region shaped like a vast inverted It consists of nine concentric in circum- which diminish successively Each of the nine circles is presided over by particular demons and in each one distinct classes of human beings. Deeper still are narrower circles are punished sins of violence. The Divine . countless in number. and they enter the inferno. . being for those who have sinned not through selfishness but rather through negligence or love.THE DIVINE COMEDY Dante accepts the Over the gates inscription (I ask offer of Virgil's guidance. moved my Great Maker to build me. Omnipotence. The two poets. etc. avarice.

a place in sin which by being purged of for eternal blessedness. deeper yet. false witnesses. the tory.64 THE GREATEST BOOKS cide. and Venus. shines in the dawn. They find themselves on the seashore at the foot of a vast mountain. frozen in a lake of arch-traitor. falsifiers. They beg and of the guardian of purgatory per- mission to enter on the ascent of the mountain. The purgatory is an island mountain. one is prepared . and traitors. many of whom Dante knows and speaks with. Having passed through all the circles of the inferno. The scene is beautiful Mountain of Purgaand peaceful. sins of malice. of of and the smoke of the inferno from the face of Dante and they begin the ascent. the angel traitor to Lucifer the who in old legend turned God.. as the name indicates. At the very bottom ice. etc. the two poets make their way through a long subterranean passage. This is at daybreak of Easter morning. and having witnessed there with pity and horror the punishment of countless souls. once more to the light of the stars. of purgation. and led a rebel host against the Almighty. here are the hypocrites of all classes. and. the star of love. is of the inferno. their request is the morning Virgil tears With the dew washes away the stain granted. a place.

but Beatrice who shall guide him." At the entrance much the same plan observed in the on the broader and lower terraces of the mount of purgatory are those souls which are to be purged of the sins of negligence. of pride. stands at the entrance to that terrace where pride is sings.. to comfort the penitents. sensuality. At the approach is to each of these ter- races an angel stationed. of gluttony. chants appropriately one of the Beati- tudes.. The Angel purged and is of Humility. of Following inferno. "Blessed are the peacemakers. of envy. As the inferno was cles." in spirit. On souls. who. In the journey through paradise. "Blessed are the poor the sin of wrath etc. etc. Beatrice . etc. and anger. each of the terraces the poets pause to witness the penance of the sinful but repentant At last who speak with them and question them. etc. of sloth. for instance. they come to the summit of the mounVirgil leaves it is tain. Dante is told that from henceforth not Virgil.THE DIVINE COMEDY. to the terrace where purged stands the Angel of Peace. Here Dante. 65 built in descending cir- the purgatory is formed of terraces which ascend. singing. on the higher and steeper terraces are those who do penance for the sins of avarice and prodigality.

those souls of the upright. he sees those who have turned other souls to righteousness. the seventh heaven. the heaven of Christ and his apostles. . those who have fought for Christ. This poem. through the leads Here he sees the souls of those who have sought honor and the esteem of their fellowmen. The long journey over. longing to be of service to him and to impart to him some of their light. Having reached this. the story of the journey closes and the poem ends. Dante now obtains permission to remain in the contemplation of God. Farther on. — Himself dwells with the angelic host. and beyond this. which seems in one light so strangely. of contemplation. kings and rulers who have given themselves to justice. in the third heaven. Dante is finally shown that crystalline heaven where God nine heavens of the blessed. WHY IS THE "divine COMEDY " There are to-day more students SO GREAT? of Dante than ever before. which he believes to be the highest aim of man. the fame of this work grows rather than lessens with the passing centuries.66 THE GREATEST BOOKS Dante from sphere to sphere. These press around Dante. still farther on. and still beyond this. next. he sees those blessed souls who have given themselves to love. next.

souls as sways men and satisno mere material thing could study it ever do. clearly. order of petty and warring factions. belonging to an age so different of intensely from our own. you remember. is apparent materialism of spiritual at the core. had. And sin. is When we carefully the reason all plain. else more than any one has ever seen them. who dwelt at such length on the details of punish- ment and reward. the material and spiritual conse- the great natural laws reward and punishment. he himself had been robbed and despised. but. see But like all truly great men he could beyond the personal experience and grasp . a very passion for justice. despite all the its detail. perhaps. This "Divine Comedy. working through men's vices and virtues. Dante saw clearly. In the world about him he saw injustice triumph. is not only a thing intensely human interest. just here we come close to the great understruc- ture of the whole vast poem. This Dante. quences of He saw of cause and effect." for its strange and quaint devices. He had suffered injustice himself at the hands of his fellowmen. and that by the very city he had cherished. He had known the lawlessness and prejudice and disHe had seen unfair sentence meted out by powerful and unjust hands.THE DIVINE COMEDY fearfully fies their 67 materialistic.

let the world disregard them as it chose. Reason and Love (you remember. Under the tumult of men's sins and failings lay the eternal set himself to find its larger order. In honor of his lady and for the good of men's souls. prevail. And by using the. to interpret to others. dante's own explanation it You will note that the poem was cast in a form which all could understand. he knew. In the unseen worlds. not even by all the follies and mockeries of life. and could see the larger effect of sin. in the worlds of the spirit. he would write of this justice for all men to read. the "vulgar" tongue. Dante wrote not in Latin for scholars. Reason is Virgil. He wrote it in Italian. there God's justice must. he could see beyond the result of they affected his own life. Despite his own experience of injustice. and could remedy. the all popular. This was the truth he knew and knew best. he knew that God's laws stood sure. God was not mocked. that men might read it. form of those . and Love spirit and had shown him the workings of this great divine justice.68 THE GREATEST BOOKS men's sins as the universal truth. It was this truth he would set himsymbolized by his beloved poet by Beatrice) had guided his self to reveal.

THE DIVINE COMEDY three spiritual worlds believed in so firmly literally 69 by the people of his age. to whom Dante dictates the "Paradiso. . had revealed to him concerning justice. pity. but justice as established by which he himself names as the whole underlying idea and motif of reward and punishment justly adthe poem God. subject. in the form of Virgil (or interpret gil. whole work. understanding. this form of Beatrice (and interpret broadly and you have sympathy. the subject man. it more broadly and you have not Vir- but all that reason stands for." he writes this clear statement The subject : — of this work must be understood as taken literally [to the letter] and then as interpreted symbolically [according to the allegorical meaning]. is simply a considera- tion of the state of souls after death. is But its if the work considered symbolically [according to is allegorical meaning]. . moreover. not justice as administered faultily by man. of the The . yearning). and Love. the highest purpose that any . To his friend Can Grande. with the highest possible purpose. then. he and would the more surely be able to make known to many that which Reason. It is plainly justice — ministered. liable to the reward or punish- ment It of justice. taken literally. was written. books or readin the ing or experience or reasoning of the intellect).

are the plan and purpose of the "Divine the book. we come even all the more surely to its inner meaning. then. as seated like blind — those who do penance for envy. of the already quoted. we of of a later day inevitably lay greatest stress on its symbolism and spiritual meanings. perhaps. Dante says work is — letter. and find it to be a symbol of deep truth. and to guide remove those living in this life them to a state of hap- Here. Envy is that sin in us which allows us to look with greed on the blessings of others. It revolts us somewhat. with their eyes sewed up with wire." of immensely to an understanding However Dante's day literally many of the people may have taken the poem. to read of the envious. Comedy. But if we look at this as a mere figure. and set out in his All this helps own words. it very probably did not the people of that age. — men against a cliff in purga- tory. as something in whose actuality we in no way believe. Dante knows that the soul in whom the sin of envy is to be corrected must give up such envious sight. In their ears ring the . The aim piness. it is their penance. as for instance.70 THE GREATEST BOOKS In the same : author can have. the one to from a state of misery. So in the "Purgatorio" the envious sit with their eyes closed.

Those for whom he writes this "Divine Comedy" are to be "guided from misery to happiness. but as cure for the sin of envy. again and higher justice which throughout these — — yet his pity never clouds his clear vision of that three worlds of his writing he sees operate unfailingly. He is determined to tell the truth as it has been revealed to him." never by avoiding but always by fulfilling God's law. Not only as penance. and God's great spir- itual laws as truthfully interpreted. You see how complete and well planned the thing is. in time. the exact justice of it. together with the gentle Angel of Brotherly Love. clothed in a like careful symbolism. 71 warning voices of those who have sinned greatly It is these warning sinners. to renounce envy. This book. be that truth pleasing or awful. He will gloze over nothing. However given to pity for those who suffer the conse- quences of sin Dante himself may be. He is no sentimentalist. Forgiveness of sin (he has no such gentle inter- . and again his paty overcomes him. is only one instance. what better could we have? and note. Everywhere throughout this great and carefully conceived we find similar spiritual truths. who help to teach them. — too.THE DIVINE COMEDY in envy. We are to receive the full wages of sin and nothing less. this Dante.

clear: "Justice deeper meaning is moved my Great Maker to build The Divine Omnipotence.72 THE GREATEST BOOKS is pretation of forgiveness as common to many is not man or friend be given by or priest. You shall in no wise change. There the consequences of sin were sure. In the world in which Dante lived there were those who escaped the punishment of sin. the Highest Wisdom. nor escape the results of sin. to or even by God. the Highest Wisdom and the Primal Love made me. This stern. he conceived. lawful. . are a part of the consistent law of God. . and were ordered in the beginning by Divine Omnipotence. and Primal Love. and the law of God is eternal and unchanging. Dante would have men see the consistent. but in God's more spiritual worlds Dante believed this was not so. Abandon all hope ye who enter in. Abandon all hope." me. If we turn back now to the inscription over the its entrance to the inferno. Such consequences. Sin is to be purged and done away with only by the personal. clear vision of the working of . in just degree only to those who by their vir- tue have earned them. given of us) . and resolute acquirement and practice of virtue. In the same manner. in his stern vision. just rewards of blessedness. forgiveness of sin. . painful. nor alter.

whose damnation the poet himself seems to prophesy ["In- ferno." In describing the Church as it was at the beginning of the thirteenth century a Catholic writer tells us. was not without its grave faults." spirit. It was not a very great while before that the divine command had come to the saintly Francis of Assisi: "Rebuild my was Church. "as . The "Divine Comedy" was during the "pontificate of the Frenchman John XXII. and against whose to election he had endeavored persuade the cardinals in a vehement letter. in speaking of the rich gifts given by powerful princes to win the favor of ecclesiastics. when the very Church itself. it less earnest one that Dante lent his own written in part hand to the matter." not in a If it was in a less saintly spirit.THE DIVINE COMEDY God's eternal laws 73 is the more remarkable when that remember it was attained in a corrupt we age. who declares his seat vacant ["Paradiso. Dante must have found himself oppressed in and to quote further the same author." xxvii]. the generally admitted spiritual force of the day. the reproof of whose simony Dante puts into the mouth of St. Peter. "Thus it was not through faith entirely that the Church became rich and temporally powerful." xi].

and high and feudal lords and barons. either for the consideration of power or prestige or wealth or holy office. and reproaches them bitterly. as God Himself is unchanging. no." Dante gives himself over boldly to the condemnation of the vice of simony the selling of — spiritual gifts for worldly consideration. were playing the part of Judas for power and riches. therefore. Here are God's great and just and. even like the mankind. working as they have always worked. not though the sinners be the earthly representatives and ministers of God. He shows the simoniac popes and rest of priests as receiv- ing the full penalty of their sins. escapes what Dante conceives to be its ordered and lawful and just doom. inevitable." dependable." in his fierce vision and conception of justice. Here in the "Divine Comedy. it must not be forgotten that Dante con- . Dante conceives them. Yet in dwelling on Dante's stern sense of justice. not one soul. loving laws. merciful in their very exactness. in a world where simony was almost the rule.74 all THE GREATEST BOOKS good men were. Throughout the entire poem with its record of unnumbered souls. ecclesiastical and secular. is no exemption from the workings of God's justice." In the nineteenth canto of the "Inferno. unchanging. and like God "without shadow of turning.

THE DIVINE COMEDY God's laws. as it given no other creature. he is established the order of God's law. The most remarkable feature of the "Divine Comedy" is Dante's clear vision of the identity of the sin with its punishment. now here. stance. tial feature which distinguishes it from all other books." Those who have allowed themselves to be car- . thither. but Highest tells us. spirits in punishment or The first circle of the inferno. to choose between good evil. whose sin is that of indecision. — — and are condemned forever to follow an inconstant fluctuating banner which floats before them. in Not alone Justice. by the same also shall he be punished. tifies each sin with the its peculiar." some new or different or striking interpretation of life. are blown as are sands of the desert. for inhither. He carefully idenand what may be result. it has some essentive. said to be its natural. It reminds us of the old Jewish decree: "Wherewithal a man sinneth. THE MOST REMARKABLE FEATURE OF THE *' DIVINE comedy" Each great book contains something distincsome "fine flavor. whereby given man. it is Wisdom and Love. and reaping the consequences of each. 75 ceived of justice and love working together. now there.

like the storm of passion itself. . in the poet's vision. That he. .76 THE GREATEST BOOKS away by sensuality are ried blown in a whirling storm. what sin is in its essence. should have risen to a conception which even at the present day is philosophically incontestable." "are developed into logical consistency from the sin itself. indeed. shows his true greatness the consistency of . No single punishment has been described by Dante solely in order to stimulate the fancy and inspire terror. and the freedom to come and go in God's sunlit world. Those will- who have taken fully their own lives. "Punishments. which." says Scartazzini. and at the same time a horribly cruel tormentor which tortures the is sinner without remission in time and eternity. and makes him stand alone ' in his own time. could not understand him. referring to them in the "Divine Comedy. condemned to stand rooted to one place as trees in the dim and awful wood of the suicides. a child of the Middle Age. and what fruit it bears in time and eternity. but only such as result. Thus Dante's 'Hell proposes to answer the question. are. . who have renounced life and motion. If a man has once recognized that sin a hateful thing which deforms body and soul. . . from the nature of the sins. with the necessity of natural laws. .

" we find a not less clear sense of justice. They mustVatch lives. On the very paths they tread are pictured. they are thus forced to use their reason.'" do to become free from sin?' question is the aim of the PurI * When we pass on to the "Purgatorio. the same vice operative in other they must contemplate.THE DIVINE COMEDY him. Here. so that in anxiety for his asks. too. on which they must tread. exercise themselves in gentleness and kindness. under burdens that force their proud heads to bow. The angry whose anger has blinded them are (as a consequence and penance of their sin) wrapped in a dense smoke and must. in we find Dante equally just. the gluttons must practice absti- nence. The lazy must be busily active. ere they can be rid of their sin. examples of . 77 the yearning after redemption must awaken in own salvation he *What must this To answer gatory. even as they must tread on their own arrogance before they can become purged of the sins of pride. and so teach them humility. in marble. types of proud men and women. Here the proud who are striving to purge away the sins of pride (those who on earth held their heads so high) are bent describing the soul's effective penitence. In each case these sinners must regard and study other examples of their own vice.

that gives to . as it were. enduring the just punishments. it is unlikely there will ever be again. the soul itself tasting for itself pure justice. as all other things are justice. And Dante somehow conveys to us that this God of whom he writes is. a loving God. Here in Dante's vision is found. It is this justice. and awful to the punishments or rewards herein shown there is lent no deterring hand. performing the required and long and painful tasks. Here is not found mentioned pardon of the just in the ordinary sense. Instance after instance might be given further. just vision that Dante had of sin and virtue and their consequences. rather. but enough has been quoted to point out some- what the clear. not despite his justice. You see the consistency and the unfailing justice of it all. exdifficult cused from nothing. this fair dealing between God and man. by God's order and He and shows us sin rationalized.78 THE GREATEST BOOKS the corrective virtue they are striving to attain. There has not been before. governed finally. so wonderful a conception of justice and of man's human relation to a just God. pun- ished by its consistent unavoidable consequence result. He tells us of each as a thing governed. neither indulgence nor any canceling whatsoever consequences of sin. but exactly because of it. mounting the way.

THE DIVINE COMEDY

79

man

in

Dante's eyes his

human

dignity,

and

gives him, almost, a kind of touching equality

with God.

THE UNDERLYING MEANING OF THE POEM

By

Dante's

own

assertion the chief thought

underlying the entire
Justice.
tice.

"Divine Comedy"
be a just man.

is

This

may be

said to be the Epic of Jus-

Dante

strives himself to

He

contemplates and expounds justice.

He

insists

on it; he shows it to us, now in this light, now in another. This is life as he has seen it; this is that part of life which has most impressed him, and which he chooses to reveal to us. The "Divine Comedy" is human in many

ways

— and strongly human in

its

appeal. It

is

human with
it is

tenderness, with pity,

human

in its

vast understanding of

human sin and virtue; but

human most

of all in this

in its call to

the spirit for a love and understanding and practice of justice.

fairness, this innate longing

reason
thing

is

This love of justice and order and toward reason for only a higher kind of justice is some-

common to us ideals of human life.
The
built

all.

It is

among

the high

world's great books are neither mere

forms and fashions of imagination nor are they

on men's imaginings and speculations,

80

THE GREATEST BOOKS
life itself.

they are a very piece of
life

They
that

explain
all

and interpret

it

in such a

way

men

may understand.
is

Justice, as

God's law, nature 's law, about
us, in

Dante interprets it, and inwoven with the

daily happenings of daily life.
of it in all

We see the working

our friends, our compan-

ions, ourselves.

The

glutton, the sensualist, the

usurer, whether these be ourselves or others, are

possessed of more than their sins, they are possessed of those sins' inevitable consequences and cannot escape them; the unselfish, the humble, the pure in heart are possessed of more than their virtues and carry with them and cannot escape some of those just and consistent rewards which

Dante pictured so vividly and symbolically in Comedy." And as this justice of which Dante writes is neither pitiless nor merciless, but, as we underthe "Divine

stand

it

betta*,

is

revealed as something loving

and

wise, so

come
he at

to

Dante himself is to all those who know him well, not stern and harsh as
appears.

first

He

is,

rather, one of those

great souls

who carry

in their hearts a yearning
if

love of their fellowmen; he would lead

he could

them "from a state of them to a state of happiness."
It
is

misery and guide

declares that

Ruskin, a careful student of Dante, who it is only shallow people who think

THE DIVINE COMEDY
Dante
stern.

81

And it might be added that it is only the shallow who would seem to find in the "Divine Comedy" a merely merciless justice. Those who study the poem and grasp its larger
meaning will remember that this justice of which Dante writes so unflinchingly is not a fine figment of his imagination, but is rather that which by divine establishment underlies the law and order of the world, and is the basis for all the onward progress of the spirit. They will recall that on it mainly is built the dignity of our human destiny and our human hopes. Turning once more to the inscription we noted at first, which Dante saw over the dread place of justice, they will read it with clearer insight and better understanding: "Justice moved my Great Maker to build me; the Divine Omnipotence, the Highest Wisdom, and the Primal Love, made me.

CHAPTER
And when the
The
giant

VII

GOETHE'S FAUST
storm in forests roars and grinds, in falling, neighbor boughs And neighbor trunks with crushing weight bear down, And falling, fill the hills with hollow thunders, Then to the cave secure thou leadest me, Then show 'st me mine own self, and in my breast
firs,

The

deep, mysterious miracles unfold.

And when

the perfect moon before my gaze Comes up with soothing light, around me float

From every precipice and thicket damp The silvery phantoms of the ages past
ALud temper the austere delight of thought.
Translated by

Goethe's Faust, Bayabd Taylor.

Here are the poets in their singing robes and here stand we, a very miscellaneous and dusty company by comparison. But through And, some heavenly hospitality we get presented to them. marvellously enough we discover that the poets and ourselves are friends already that we have always cared for the same things, kept the same ideals, loved beauty, and like poor Malvolio in the play thought " very nobly of the soul." All the past, as we listen, becomes a part of the moment's joy, and the long, long future beckons. We perceive that the longer we listen the deeper will be the charm, that the ear grows finer by hearing and the voices even more alluring and more wise ; for these are spiritual utterances, and are
. .
. !
:

spiritually discerned.

Bliss Perry.

"Faust" is sometimes called the German "Divine Comedy." Yet it differs greatly from that work both in theme and form. Dante, living in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, wrote the "Divine Comedy" and, using the mediseval

GOETHE'S FAUST

8S

symbols of his day, wrote of a soul's experience in its journey through hell, purgatory, and heaven. Goethe, living in the less mystical eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, wrote of a soul's experience on its journey through earthly life. Goethe was born in 1749 and died in 1832, and into his eighty-three years were crowded rich

and exceptional experiences of love, art, science, political and social power. To describe the experiences of his hero, Faust, Goethe might look into his own life and write. He was, it is said, a man well-nigh perfect physically and mentally, and added to this he possessed every advantage of social position, which gave him
wide opportunity to use his natural
gifts.

To understand
written.

a great book

we must underit

stand something of the times in which

was

The "Odyssey"

reflects

much

of the

serenity

and beauty and beliefs of the early Greek ages; the "Divine Comedy" is colored with the gloom and creeds and superstitions of the Middle Ages; "Faust," written in a more modern, restless age, an age of intellectual aspirations, scientific investigations, and religious questioning, is a very piece of that age, and richly colored by it. The drama of "Faust" is itself a kind of turbulent thing, broken into uneven scenes often difficult to understand, and

84

THE GREATEST BOOKS
loses in its speculation

sometimes one
unless one
is

and imag-

ery the thread and theme of the story; so that

knows beforehand what to expect one
its

bewildered by

almost too great variety,

which is so largely a result of the very restlessness and questioning of that modern age in which Goethe lived.

THE GREAT ART PERIODS
In a study of literature, or of any of the fine we must admit three great periods first, the classic, under which general term we include those ideals of art which found their greatest perfection in the great age of Greece, an age the chief flower of which was a kind of bodily perfection, a delight in a kind of strong and quiet
arts,
:

and serene beauty. To this period belong, for instance, the "Odyssey," as literature; the Parthenon as architecture. Second: the mediaeval (literally the middle age) with its superstitions, its grotesque imagery, its despising of the

body,
its

its

almost fanatical exaltation of the soul,

on the imperfection of man, its passionate desire for spiritual development and reward, its fantastic belief in demons, evil spirits, magic, enchantments, and the like. To this period belong the "Divine Comedy," some of
insistence

the great mediaeval cathedrals with their niched

art. in the doctrines of romantic love. after the springs of perfect sweetness in the . in pointed architecture. the desire for a more liberal and comely way of conceiving life. . . the rude strength of the Middle to sweetness. And. prompting it constantly to seek vence. urging those who experience this desire to search out first one and then another means of intellectual or imaginative enjoyment. new subjects of poetry. in which the love and the imagination for their own sake. or Rebirth. third: the period of the Renaisof those fantastic detailed descriptions of sance. new forms of Here and under rare and happy conditions. in the poetry of Pro- Age turns and the taste for sweetness generated there becomes the seed of the classical revival in it. To this belongs the rebirth of the old classic ideals which had long been superseded by the mediaeval. but to the divination of fresh sources thereof — new experiences. .GOETHE'S FAUST saints 85 this belong and gargoyle demons. and to hell some and purgatory such as are found in the account given by the monk Alberic of Monte Cassino. Pater speaks of the Renaissance as: sided but yet united of the things of the intellect "A many- movement. there. and directing them not merely to the discovery of old and forgotten sources of this enjoyment. make themselves felt.

and mediaeval . that true 'dark age. briefly. in which had been crushed. THE STORY OF FAUST Goethe from early youth knew the old mediFaust legend. while running through the fabric new scientific and religious When "Faust" was written. and when a boy not infrequently saw it acted as a puppet play." "Faust" era as it is an almost perfect type of this existed. is that of a man one Doctor Faustus gifted with powers of magic who for aeval — — . The story. not in the beginning at the end of the twelfth century affected in its later days of the eighteenth it was by the modern thought — but as — namely new and nineteenth classic centuries.86 THE GREATEST BOOKS And coming after a long period this instinct Hellenic world. mind when we read "Faust.' in which so many sources of intellectual and imaginative enjoyment had actually disappeared. a revival. the modern age of bold questioning and research was well begun." the great variety of it and the mixture of classic and mediaeval and modern forms will If we keep all this in interest rather than bewilder us. In "Faust" we find are threads of the influences. this outbreak is rightly called a Renaissance. interwoven.

appara- .. 87 certain values received. but in detail and general handling differs widely from it. objects of art. God does not say that Faust cannot be tempted to sin. etc. an old man. topheles offers to wager that if The prologue ended. is in his study. Mephis- he had permission to try his powers with Faust he could prove God wrong. The play begins with a prologue in heaven in which Mephistopheles.GOETHE'S FAUST ures. the Spirit of Denial. but only that no material pleasure which Mephistopheles can offer will quench in Faust the instinctive spiritual aspiration toward good. He finds man a discontented and wretched enough creature. It is the drama itself begins. and sees in Faust's "confused service" a promise of goodness. The room is filled with books. Faust. a doctor of science and philosophy and gifted with powers of magic. Thereupon God gives Mephistopheles leave to deal with Faust. the soul of Faust shall be his. If Mephistopheles does succeed in satisfying Faust with such worldly pleasures and powers as he is able to give him. is found sneering at the world as God has made it. midnight of Easter eve. certain worldly pleas- Goethe's "Faust" is based on the old legend. sold his soul to the Devil. When God mentions Faust as a possible exception.

the Earth Spirit. nothing satisfies him. Faust with one of his students walks abroad in the village where the Easter feast and merrymaking are in progress. and he returns to his wretchedness. . By the pale light of it he sees on one of his shelves a vial of poison. Easter Day begins to dawn. But just as he is about to drink it. pours it into a crystal goblet. seems to him a wretched and worthless thing. his Memories of happy childhood and boyhood days sweep over him. The goblet drops from his hand. despite its rich endowments. and along the early air the sound of Easter bells. As the morning advances. He is bitterly dicontented with all his knowledge. and his own life. He takes down the poison. and raises the cup to his lips with a greeting to the dawn.88 THE GREATEST BOOKS is tus for scientific investigation. from a near-by church. he hears. It is evident he is a great and respected man. by means of magic. an Easter hymn. hoping to find through it a better understanding of the vast powers of life and some cure for his discontent. It a beautiful better Gothic chamber. He is greeted on all sides by the villagers. To satisfy his longing he summons at last. This suggests to him an end to all his miseries. But broken interview with the Earth Spirit leaves him still unsatisfied. yet to Faust it is little than a dungeon.

He up advises Faust no longer to think and pon- him to give musty books and studies and to learn. he summons spirits to lull Faust to sleep. rather. It is. And I advise thee brief and jBat. what it is to enjoy as the world enjoys. more even than has the learned Doctor Faust. Mephistopheles has magic means. a plunge into pleasure and gayety that Faust needs to give him a happier view der as has been his wont. ready at his command. and makes his escape. with a gay cock's feather in his hat. he urges all his . When he returns once more. After a discussion with Faust in which Mephistopheles sums up some of his theories of life. swells. He urges Faust to array himself gayly also and come with him and try what the world is like. and finally. it grows. returns with him. Life be at last revealed to thee. for in time it begins to change form. That from this den released and free. alters.GOETHE'S FAUST 89 fields In the course of his walk in the village and a poodle follows him and. To don the selfsame gay apparel. out of the mist of transformation. A kind of magic animal it is. he declares. changes into the form of Mephistopheles dressed in the garb of a traveling scholar. he is arrayed in a scarlet costume and mantle like a man of the world. when Faust returns to his study. it appears.

bach's first takes Faust to Auerwhere a band of rough. " Stay. or cheat me with en- joyment. that were he ever to find a satisfying moment. be that day my last. . The scene is as coarse as we might have expected Mephistopheles to choose. but from it Faust only turns in Mephistopheles cellar. that soul shall be his. disgust. If ever he can satisfy the soul of Faust. thou art so fair. The contract is signed and the two start out upon their adventures. and declare my final ruin. he could wish that mo- ment were his last. K ever I stretch myself calm and composed on a couch be there at once an end of me. world. Let him leave books and reflections behind and come with him. If thou canst ever delude me ing into being pleased with myself." — then may'st thou bind me in thy bonds. scornful of this advice and is sure that the world's pleasures cannot satisfy He says. and then the great we'll see. Mephistopheles takes Faust at his word and makes a compact with him on these terms. If ever I say to the pass- moment. indeed. carousing students drink and make merry. is little But Faust him. Come The plmige into the world with me.90 THE GREATEST BOOKS of life. Then quick from all reflection flee.

she felt the murky influ- ence and presence of some evil. Soon turns. It is Mephistopheles himself who hides them in the clothes-press. in a magic mirror Faust sees the image of a beautiful woman and lingers before it. Mephistopheles brings from under his cloak a box of jewels. She finds the . Margaret reShe finds the room sultry and close. spiritually. Here by means of the witch's magic brew. Faust is touched by the quiet loveliness and homelikeness of it. Here. Margaret is a simple girl of the people. Mephistopheles to further the love affair takes Faust to Margaret's chamber while Margaret is not there. which suggests to him her own purity and simplicity. It is as though. which he tells Faust to leave so as to interest and tempt the girl. He feels once more youth's fresh enthusiasms. Faust sees her first as she comes from church and is charmed with her beauty. From here on.GOETHE'S FAUST Mephistopheles 91 then takes Faust to the Witch's Kitchen. Faust refuses to do this. with only one or two breaks. Faust's youth is restored to him. after the two have left. too. the beautiful and well-known story of Faust and Margaret proceeds. but Mephistopheles promises to show him in the flesh one more beautiful still.

however. The love story progresses rapidly. Mephistopheles sees to it that the potion is such that Margaret's mother never wakens from her sleep. and is offered a harmless sleeping-potion to be given to her mother. Martha. her mother sleeps too lightly. Faust begs to be alllowed to enter Margaret's home that night. lover. . and pleased. but is killed by Faust. He has been maddened by edy. In the next scene Mephistoph- eles. The love story turns now quickly into tragThe first victim of the guilty love of Faust and Margaret is the mother. But Margaret urges that she dares not allow him. whispered gossip concerning his sister and her He comes by chance on Faust serenading Margaret. thrusts at him with his sword. to divert Faust and to make him forget Margaret. interested and With the help of Margaret's neighbor. Mephistopheles arranges for the meeting of Faust and Margaret in Martha's garden. however. Time passes. takes him to a festival of witches. challenges him. the second is Margaret's brother. At another meeting in Martha's garden.92 THE GREATEST BOOKS is jewels at last. She is overpersuaded at last. Faust must now flee for his life and Margaret is left to pay the penalty of her sin.

Mephistopheles of tries to turn Faust's attention from her. . demands that Mephistopheles take him to her that he may rescue her from prison. she refuses to go with him. but in a later scene Faust. But they come too late. Margaret recognizes some evil power in Mephistopheles.GOETHE'S FAUST 93 But pale in the midst of the revels Faust thinks he Margaret. aware now the fate and punishment which have befallen Margaret in his absence. but. and refuses to go. She shrinks from him and casts herself upon the judgment and mercy of God and dies. horses On magic Too long and too far tried by love and suffering. he and Mephistopheles traverse the distance.^ her mind still wandering between the old happiness and the present misery. sees a vision of He notes that she is and falters as she walks. Her last thought is not for herself but — — for Faust. In a scene of the utmost beauty and one of the great scenes of all literature pathos it is Faust strives to rescue her from her fate. dwells on it. Faust begs her to flee with him. He urges her again. Mephistopheles comes to urge Faust to leave Margaret to her doom and save himself. Margaret's mind wanders. but she remembers their love.

There is much said of the obscurity of the Second Part of the drama and of the difficulty . and the development of the human race are set in motion to solve the problem of Faust's destiny. Camp Henry around. In this little world his love for Margaret. government. fittingly the end of the entirely personal experience." where the interest and passion which shape society. with all the personal emotion and It should eles joy and suffering that event. Margaret's death. THE LARGER WORLD be remembered that Mephistophpromised Faust that they would "together see the little world and then the great. He is to see that "great world. The rest of Mephistopheles's promise is yet to be fulfilled." He is to see public life with its lives of many men and is to be put in relation to these lives. guard me. namely. Father! rescue me! Ye angels. it brings. emotion." The little world we must look upon as the world of Faust's individual passion. and aspiration. holy cohorts.94 THE GREATEST BOOKS Thine am I. and from evil ward me! ! I shudder to think of thee. is the supreme The final result of his personal love and is personal selfishness. This ends the First Part of the drama. Faust is now to see the "great world.

all like Faust. But so are the greater world and public life and government and society difficult to understand when we come to deal with them. and when. personal world. civics. So the Second Part of "Faust. government. and great human enterprise.GOETHE'S FAUST of understanding its intricate ings. the happenings and meanings but when our interests. the meanings and interests of this greater world are often enough difficult to understand. is perhaps all the greater in that intricately. quoted about it. as some would assert. finance. matters of state. not inadequately yet with those far larger and intricate experiences of a soul whose motives mingle with the larger human life The is following. That is quite true. war. it deals." far from being. from Bayard Taylor's introduction to his translation of the second part. bright crowded world. when we live only in our own intensely of that world are apt to stand out clear. but we come back to helpful: . we not only breathe a new atmosphere. interests mingle with the great world- with science. "The Second Part opens abruptly in a broad. politics. It is difficult to read 95 and subtle meanand understand. In youth. man tries to find among these things that soul- content which Faust was trying to find. less great than the first part because it is less clear.

still left they have enough untouched to allow fresh discoveries to every sympathetic reader. looked at near at hand. a "expressly declares that the Second Part of the drama must be performed upon a broader. . and when we seem to have reached the bottom of the author's meaning. shows . There are circles within circles. and passionate nature. like an involved riddle it will repeatedly allure the reader to the renewed study of its secret meanings. and find that our former acquaintances have changed in the interval.96 THE GREATEST BOOKS Faust and Mephistopheles as if after a separation of many years. forms which beckon and then disappear. With all that the critics have accomplished. even as ourselves. . different. 'that the First Part is the development of a is somewhat obscure individual it condition. 'It must be remembered/ says Goethe. and that. Taylor continues.'" Goethe himself. and more elevated stage of action. . is the expres- sion of a confused. we suspect that there is still something beyond." Taylor then asserts very justly that "no commentary can exhaust the suggestiveness of the work. It almost wholly subjective." Taylor likens the Second Part to "a great mosaic which. that one who has not lived in the world and acquired some experience will not know how to comprehend it. restricted.

For it is frequently difficult. indeed. must of necessity be furnished with a compass and an outline chart before he enters it. too. surrounded with shapes Beauty and Darkness. seen in the proper perspective. . before reaching that 'peak in Darien ' from like which Keats.GOETHE'S FAUST us the mixture of precious marbles." Changing his metaphor he says later: "The reader to whom this book is a new land. Yet when we study the general plan of the Second Part. Mephistopheles is shown trying to satisfy Faust. as there. choosing for ences which he thinks will give him experihim pleasure. 97 common but and lapis-lazuli. serious study of the be a mistake to attempt any Second Part without a good commentary. and in so doing shall forfeit his soul to Mephistopheles. not in detail but in outline merely. pebbles. toward a victorious immortality. we find that plan not less clear and definite than that of the First Part. even for the accustomed student. but on a grander scale. exhibits only the titanic struggle of Man. jasper. the world. He of may otherwise lose his way in its tropical jun- gles. to understand its references and symbols." Balboa. beheld a new side of It would. of glass. attempting to find for him the moment which Faust shall wish to detain. Here.

Faust. Here is. while Mephistopheles contents himself with be- The realm is in need of money. influences of is given a place of honor at the Emperor's court.98 THE GREATEST BOOKS "The former world is at an end. nor the world in general. and after an opening scene which symbohzes the healing Time and Nature. the desire for Beauty. there arises a new symbol means is in the drama —a new desire — Faust again by magic to summon from the past Beauty. magic Mephistopheles sets anew financial system on foot. Faust and his companion appear at the court of the German Emperor." Here Faust is shown by Mephistopheles that part of the greater world which lies in wealth and pleasure and splendor. which . the Renaissance. symbolized by Helen of Troy. The land becomes suddenly prosperous and Faust and Mephistopheles reap the reward of their power and become important personages at the Emperor's side. symbolized in all manner and types of people. given the power the most beautiful again in symbols is woman in the world. In a magnificent scene of court masquerade the whole world of folly and pleasure goes by. meantime. By means of satisfy either the greedy Emperor or the court or Faust. But as mere money and worldly gayety cannot ing Court Fool.

. etc. the Discus Thrower in 1792. leaving only her mantle in Faust's hand. Just as Goethe himself at one period of his life devoted himself to classic art. so his hero Faust devotes himself to it as symbolized in the of the great — person of Helen. Goethe devoted much time to the study classic of the forms of art.. and Enteris satisfy Faust. In 1801. Worldly Pleasure. etc. Glory. He now shown prise. Science. It is interesting to remem- ber that during his lifetime some of the greatest Greek sculptures were being discovthe Venus de ered and restored to the world Milo in 1820. But potent as it is Beauty.GOETHE'S FAUST 99 strictly speaking. But years pass on and none last. of these things satisfy him. the rebirth or revival of classic beauty. Helen at last summoned once more to the lower is ancient world. War. yet has not the power to satisfy Faust. the Victory of Samothrace in 1826. Then. State. Lord Elgin stirred the art world by removing to England from Greece some of the great and lately discovered Greek marbles. Beauty have fully to failed the world of Power. at larger plan — a plan for bettering the conditions he throws his interest into a "Enlightened and elevated of his fellowmen.

He begins to see the .100 THE GREATEST BOOKS above his former self. will carry is not time. finish. he intends to make it a place of beauty and health and usefulness to man. But meantime years have passed. By magic means Faust gives the advantage to one of these. a great work in which he can find satisfaction. For the great project really interests him. he work for the knows he cannot complete the task." A war takes place between two emperors." he is "anxious for a grand and worthy sphere of activity." His plan is to reclaim a wide stretch of land from the ocean which half submerges and wholly threatens it. By draining its poisonous marshes and protecting it from the sea by means of dikes. generation after generation will be the better for this which he has begun. His aim is to bend nature to the service of man. There finds comfort. He is smitten with blindness. " a free land on which may dwell a free people. He can only prepare Yet even in this a work for others to he Even though he must die. Faust is old. others on the work and will benefit by it. and then claims as his reward the sea strand which he desires to include in his great enterprise. Here is something worth while to which he can devote his energies. Though he gives his full energies to the present benefit of others.

loosens. Margaret. Blind though he is. The very plan of it is . For it is not the pleasures which Mephistopheles has offered him. light floods his spirit. urges his — far-reaching on. his hold on life slackens. not apparently pleasure of the senses. like the prologue. who has long awaited Faust's coming. The drama closes with Faust and Margaret reunited. But even while longing to detain it. not these which have satisfied him. "lofty bliss " this vision in which he sees his work blessing for aeons his fellow-beings. He Here is something that satisfies him. a saved soul. is laid in heaven. The last scene. begs to be allowed to its new and heavHer request is granted.GOETHE'S FAUST vision of it 101 and splendid. and he dies. When we study "Faust" carefully. rather the striving of Faust's own soul to serve others. In contemplation of it he finds at last a happy moment which he would detain if he could. workmen — The contract with Mephistopheles fulfilled is now and Mephistopheles claims the soul of Faust. not worldly power. lead Faust's spirit in these. indeed. and chief among them its human interest. Here is. the pure womanly soul of Margaret leading that enly surroundings. of Faust on to higher bliss. we find many reasons for its greatness. But heavenly messengers dispute the possession of it.

There is something very human. seeking happiness tries life.^ selfishly. the world of our own individual and personal interests. — sacrifice. in Faust's restless longing and dis- Do we not all strive and long for per- sonal happiness just as Faust did. indeed. too. The "little world" is the world we each know in youth. rather it is saved by that persistent aspiration which will not let him rest. as the "Divine Comedy" is built about man's desire and need for justice. content. which prompts him to fling away one experience after another. the greater world lies rather in those richer years when we attain to deeper knowledge. To know first the "little world" and then the greater is the experience of every complete life. Here. so "Faust" is built around that other great human desire and need — unselfishness — the sacrifice of self in service to others. is the keynote to the whole drama. tests and and strives. wider projects. He saves his soul at last not by penance or prayer. and the service of others. until he comes at last to the one satisfying thing self- Faust. and learns.102 THE GREATEST BOOKS broad and human. As the "Odyssey" is built about the great need for patience and endurance. sins. .

have some miracle operate for our benefit without regard to the fixed law of God. Goethe has given the power to accomplish. if we could. If one looks for a reason why this motif of magic should be used so persistently in this work. like Mephistopheles. He attains what he wants. It is selfishness. magic stands as a fine and massive symbol of selfishness.GOETHE'S FAUST MAGIC IN THE FAUST STORY story 103 One of the most noticeable motifs of the Faust It is by magic that is that of magic. but it is the selfishness of desire of Mephistopheles's only. Faust himself is represented as possessed of magic powers. For selfishness is in its set aside the essence the preference of self above law order. and and law and order represent the rights is no uncommon thing for us to pray for what we desire without reference to the good of others. we would. but he has the power his . He. He is not only selfish. without regard to others. by means magic and own. the fulfillment of such selfish desires. This. as so many of us are selfish. in wish. But to Faust. can law and order of the world and can have things as he himself wishes them. Mephistopheles accomplishes all his wonderful feats. and benefits of others. too. it seems clear. In a drama whose key-note is unselfishness.

His is a life richly endowed. in his own manner. imperiously. but is wholly absorbed in his own discontent. Faust. without re- gard to the suffering he his success is to bring her. it cannot be said to be absent from our churches and creeds. — as he. legal or ." this desire to set aside universal law for the sake of personal benefit. We see it in our great industries. There he does not even remember his humankind. He would have her for himself. knowledge are his by magic and selfish means.104 THE GREATEST BOOKS to accomplish his every selfish purpose. All these things must come to him magically. power. Later. though in the forest scene he foresees the ruin he will bring upon her. wishes them. This "magic. and because his longings are unsatisfied. though he has great powers. yet he would end it merely because he is tired of it. In the very first scene. Here. is a thing common enough in the experience of the race. His love for Margaret is not less selfish. which might be of service to others. and power at court are won not as by patient others would have to win these striving. he cannot deny himself for her sake. for. Again and again Goethe depicts Faust as the selfish man with the power to carry out his selfishness. in our body politic. too. it is that in power. they are not used greatly to benefit his fellows. beauty.

The bell from their ancient chapel frets. Their happiness lies here. Even almost to the very last selfishness crops out in Faust. a better house elsewhere. Even in planning his scheme for the benefit of others. and also which he needs for his He wants it for himself. the great workings of natural and divine laws for the operation of human and fishness of personal ones. 105 which gives the few and influential and chosen the greatest benefit. — . and their natural attachment to their own home. for these two. he deprives (and couple of their his great project it is again by magic) an aged it home because happens to stand on a piece of ground which he needs for own pleasure. He is petulant. because they will not sell the land to him. as well as of have things to be as it wishes them to be. which would others. you note.GOETHE'S FAUST illegal. regardless of truth and the rights of heart. which seems to set aside. but the happiness of the aged couple. In Goethe's wide knowledge of have seen this again life he must and again. annoys him. and he exem- plified it in his hero Faust. do not weigh with Faust. angers him: true. temporarily at least. it is He offers to build but they prefer the little old hut with its cherished memories. it is that human sel- mind and intellect. Philemon and Baucis. impatient.

A shady Disturb seat I would create lindens. my joy in mine estate. die and the home catches fire and burns to the ground. the linden cluster. he The The old ones. not my own possession. etc. from gloomy envy of and the brown hut that are not He wants the linden trees for himself that may look out over what he has accomplished and may have a better view of it. " Why be annoyed when you have the power to do as you choose?" Why should not Faust simply exert that power and remove this old couple who stand in the way of his pleasure? Faust bids Mephistopheles go and "clear them out" and set them in a better place he has chosen for them. roughly treated by Mephistopheles and his servants. chapel are not mine. Mephistopheles says to him. Mephistopheles. The bell proclaims My grand estate lacks full design: The brown old The crumbling hut. finds Faust sunk in the linden trees his. The old couple.. etc.. with envious bluster. . ends in disaster." At this point. too. returning sea plunder. there.: 106 THE GREATEST BOOKS Accursed chime! . There would I for a view unbaffled From bough to bough erect a scaffold. But like most of his selfishness this.. should make concession.

GOETHE'S FAUST Faust's selfishness 107 Faust has lived selfishly. or repentance or suffering. but he never years of selfish living he in a great plan for At last. And totally unlearn the incantations. So he has continued for years. Humanly he returns to and again. But spiritual light begins to dawn in him : — an inner The Night seems deeper now But in my inmost spirit all is to press around me. Yet in this supremely human and selfish Faust. His whole desire now carried out. there is one great redeeming quality: Faust is selfish but — never does his selfishness satisfy him. for he is old now. breathes upon his eyes and in his very blindness blinds him. Care visits him. if is to see his great plan may be. at last the benefit of others. many years. his selfishness again rests in it. at last he despises his own he renounces magic and longs to escape from the trammels of it: If I could banish Magic's fell creations. light. before death overtakes . he has tested life his own and always with one thing in view happiness. it Always brings him discontent or wretchedness. after many becomes wholly interested selfishness .

He seems now by the inner beauty nor magic nor worldly power nor selfishness can ever satisfy him. he has come to this restful truth. free soil to see many men. it seems a lesser thing. weary. lesser. When we compare it. perhaps. the result of all his testing. plain to are to be stayed. and if not so stirring. His unselfishness is attended by no personal suffering or tragedy. for instance. the conclusion of all his experience.108 THE GREATEST BOOKS The waves is him. blind. . The drama is all the stronger. Faust's self-sacrifice one may say. because this theme of self-sacrifice is not set out in any morbid way. a vast marshy to be drained to furnish a fair. but only that which is now his supreme spiritual light that neither Here is the sacrifice and in that sacrifice Faust finds his happy moment. the crown and hard-earned knowledge of a long life. the verdict of his intellect. Yet not desire of all his old imperious self. The self-sacrifice of Faust is on a big. not a petty scale. Faust has come to this knowledge. rather only a less passionate thing. its human interest. he has at- the summing-up of tained to this vision — that in service to others and in it alone can the soul find content. all his philosophy. with the magnificent self-sacrifice of Prometheus in the old Greek legend. — service to others. Old. yet not less in is. the more human.

and to the rights of others. the story of Margaret is in exquisite harmony with that of Faust. prevent her meeting with Faust. but by trick and a sleeping-potion. The watchful mother would. and this largely because she is so human. not by conforming or deserving. However much she. as he does in the manner of a man. too. Margaret is indeed one of the most appealing and beautiful characters in literature. There is an unselfishness in her love not noticeable in his. too.GOETHE'S FAUST 109 THE THEME OF THE MARGARET STORY "Odyssey" the story of Penelope is harmony with that of Ulysses. she knows. to the law. like Faust. It is by this means that she surmounts the lawful obstacle to their love that she and Faust may have their desire. She wins her desire. like him. she is at least unselfish toward Faust. in the in beautiful As so here. She is humanly selfish. not by reason. disregards the rights of others. as she in her woman's way practices. She would have her own way and uses unlawful means to attain it. endurance and patience. It comes to her — — . But Margaret attains to unselfishness sooner than Faust. She. would have her own desire fulfilled even when that desire goes counter to her duty. a kind of lesser magic. so she gives her the sleeping-potion.

when Faust arrives with magic horses that wait outside. Stealing closer to the Mater Gloriosa she prays Incline. : — O Maiden. so true. In the heaven to which his soul is at last carried she awaits him. When the final test comes. She is under its ban. Margaret has a keener sense of the rights of others than has Faust.! 110 THE GREATEST BOOKS with a sense of strangeness that her intense love of Faust could have brought about sin toward others : — And now a living sin am I Yet all that drove God! was so good. so dear. down her out the long years she has loved Faust as truly as ever. Thy gracious countenance upon my bliss! . my heart thereto. She refuses to quit her doom. She conforms to law as he does not. not even he whom she loves more than all in the world can break Through the pitiful darkness in which her mind wanders there shine some clearer reason and sanity of the spirit. She pays the full penalty. Margaret learns early that sacrifice of self which comes to Faust only when he is old. With Mercy In light unfading. At the end of the second part we find that throughresolve. and tries to persuade her to escape her penalty. laden.

returns to me in this! She would have him share the heavenly she enjoys : — bliss Vouchsafe to Still me that I instruct him! the Day's dazzles him new glare. His trials over In yonder world. a soul made one of the com- pany of the blessed and attaining the joy of heavenly companionship. Her prayer is granted by the Mater Gloriosa: — Rise thou to higher spheres! Conduct him! His soul aware of thee shall follow there.GOETHE'S FAUST. But these things alone would not suffice to make it one of the greatest books in the world. Underlying these must be some great — human and to give spiritual truth. my lover. As the first scene in Faust's study gives the of a kind of selfish disleft impression of something dark. human appeal. to merge the interests it its . is one of the ideals of the human race. 111 My loved. Unselfishness. some human ideal. the impression with us in the last scene is that of light. of a soul solitary and unhappy by reason content. however we may individually fail of it. magnifa memorable massive icently carried out work of art. This drama is wonderfully conceived.

not less. will find ourselves. All of us who who have watched the beautiful and awful workings of God's unfailing laws. And. And it is it around this ideal and this desire that Goethe's "Faust" written.112 THE GREATEST BOOKS human is of self into the general lasting ideals good is one of the great and desires. largely by means of this that holds our interest so lastingly. enduringly and with patience against heavy odds. as it were. vice to others. All of us who have struggled as did Ulysses. all of us who have with human selfishness enjoyed many benefits and experiences of life. will find ourselves bound with strong bonds to the hero of Goethe's great drama. will find ourselves companions to Dante. for us the "Odyssey" was written. will find ourselves friends to Ulysses. . through this mainly that it touches us. understanding brothers to Faust. only to find at last that joy lies not in living for one's self but in serhave longed or striven for justice.

" The Arabian Nights. " The Story of Mohammed Ali. CHAPTER VIII THE ARABIAN NIGHTS in security until I therefore arose. Shelley. and upon it were inscrihed sion displaying evident signs of prosperity these two verses : — O mansion. India. But whatever the It is generally believed that the stories prising the origin of the tales. proceeded with her we arrived at the house and I found it to he a man. The origin of some of them may be traced to China.! . An strait nor fortune act treacherously to thine owner excellent mansion to every guest art thou when other places are unto him. : its door was adorned with gold and silver and ultramarine. Yet we know that many of the tales date further back than that. pointed to the gorgeous dome. And Spirit I the Fairy said. ! . the flavor of them as we find is dis- them collected in the "Arabian Nights" . having closed the shop. and. may mourning never enter thee. com"Arabian Nights" were collected under that title in Arabia about the twelfth century. Spirit. Greece of a far earlier date. This is a wondrous sight And mocks This is all human grandeur : thine high reward — the past shall rise . Persia. come Thou shalt behold the present I will teach The secrets of the future.

"There was king. and of vivid and colored superstitions. nor are yet into almost every tongue. and there a consistent and splendid exaggeration running through them. . The chief king told of is one who takes a new wife each day and has wives and subjects put to death at will.114 THE GREATEST BOOKS The characters are tinctly Arabian. we read of them with enchantment. The times in which the stories are placed are times of much luxury and splendor. has been translated or habits of these people. most of them. THE STORY OF THE ARABIAN NIGHTS The main story of the "Arabian Nights" in ancient times a starts out in the old fairy-tale "once-upon-a- time" manner. and is readily admitted to be one of the great books of the world." There follows then the story of the king's two sons. We have never known people who had the power we likely to. and especially of the eldest. The book has a world-wide fame. The tales are of a counis try semi -barbarous. Shahriar. Moham- medans. and the cities described are generally those of Arabia and Egypt. In them we find kings of such wealth and power that they may carry out any conceivable royal whim. Every circumstance and happening is as far as possible from the circumstance and happening of our own lives.

too. Sheherazade's request was granted. he determined to take no chances with future ones.THE ARABIAN NIGHTS From rience of his own. his two daughters. the was overcome with woe. Each day he chose a new wife and each morning after her wedding-night she. was beheaded. but before departing she gave this message to her younger sister: . too. fearlessly begged to be given to the king in marriage. dreading that Sheherazade and Dinarzade. She was dressed to go to the king. Shahriar 115 observation. the elder. many books. vizier but of rare intellect as well. as well as from a bitter expe- came to believe that all women were tricky and unfaithful. So he did and continued to do. So when the king sent for his vizier and demanded that another wife be brought him. be sacrificed to the king's wishes. or prime minister. Having put his wife to death for her unfaithfulness. it said. until the people raised an outcry and fled with their daughters so that none of marriageable age were left save only the two daughters of the king's vizier. But Sheherazade. and would not be gainsaid. She had is collected. for to her were of histories known many books and lives of kings and stories of past generations and the works of the poets. Now Sheherazade was not only of rare beauty.

too. with the idea of listening to a story. Sheherazade asked if she might do so. bade her The story that Sheherazade told was of such interest and wonder that the king listened will- ingly enough. Weeping. being restless. So there was. however. And each tale led always so cunningly into another that always the king wished to hear the next story and bade Sheherazade relate never an end to the it. led skilfully into still even more so. and he asked her what that tale might be. and presently. then when you have the chance. you shall ask me to relate some strange story to be- guile the time. The last of the tale. king." Everything happened as she had directed.116 THE GREATEST BOOKS "When I have gone to the king's chamber I shall send and request you to come to me. . begged Sheherazade to relate some tale to beguile the time. as had been agreed upon. stories. Dinarzade was sent for and remained for a time. Day followed day: and for a thousand and one nights Sheherazade related the wonderful tales. indeed. This you shall do. and the begin. so she related that also. and pleased. another quite as wonderful or And the king's interest was piqued. Sheherazade begged the king to allow her to bid good-bye to Dinarzade.

verily I am thy slave. and one crawled. in the time that had passed." And thereupon the King wept. bless thee. thou shalt receive. and said to them "Bring ye my children. and one was at the breast. by Allah. and during a thousand and one nights I have related to thee the history of the preceding generations. these are thy children.THE ARABIAN NIGHTS had borne the king three And when feet 117 Now Sheherazade. O Sheherazade. and pressed his children to his bosom. they brought them to her quickly and they were three male children: one of them walked. and thy father and thy mother. she rose upon her and kissed the ground before the king. because I coming saw thee to be chaste. and. and thy root and thy branch! I call pure. and said to him: "O king of the time. and incomparable one of the age and period." Accordingly. ** Request. children. and the admonitions of the people of former times. for if thou slay me. ingenious. May God . as a favor to these infants. and said: — "0 Sheherazade. and I request of thee that thou exempt me from slaughter. she had ended these tales. pious.'* So thereupon she called out to the nurses and the eunuchs. so that I may request of thee to grant me a wish?'* And the King answered her. having kissed the ground said "O King of the age. I pardoned thee before the of these children. and will not find among women one who : — — : — will rear them well. these infants will become without a mother. then have I any claim upon thy majesty. And when they brought them she took them and placed them before the King.

and extended his generosity to all his subjects . The King rose in the He conferred robes of honor upon morning happy. on this thread. . . . the like of which had not been seen before. upon the poor and needy.. as it so long famous — the were. decorated the city in a magnificent manner. He bestowed alms. REAL AND UNREAL IN THE STORIES This is the main story from which It is all the other tales depend. all the viziers and emirs and lords of the empire. . and gave orders to decorate the city thirty days. until and majesty. .." Then joy spread through the palace it and it was a night not to be reckoned among Hves. but also the lives of those who. . and all the people of his dominions. . and rejoiced with exceeding joy.*' So Sheherazade rose up. and the drums were beaten and the pipes were sounded. . So they became diffused throughout the city. that are strung all those gems of stories individual tales of the . his She kissed hands and life his feet. glad that her device had spared not only her own life. and all the performers of sports exhibited their arts and the King rewarded them munificently. would have suffered with her the of the marvelous tales doom of the king's displeasure. also. but for her ingenuity.118 THE GREATEST BOOKS to witness against God me that I have exempted thee from everything that might injure thee. . and she said to him: "May God prolong thy and increase thy dignity of the King.

If by reason of the magic happenings in them these We may sometimes be classed almost as fairy-tales. ingenious." Not all these are equally great. These.THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 119 "Thousand and One Nights' Entertainment. but at intervals one finds almost perfect stories. the light and beauty and glint of days rich in magnificence." "Rose in Bloom. show an almost barbaric beauty and reflect." and many more." "The City of Brass. The women in the stories are especially real and true to life. for the part. Some shine with a lesser luster. gems of such as "Gulnare of the Sea. Sheherazade herself is the supreme type. but is represented as relating most them in such a fashion as to hold the attention . When we come to study the stories. too. we find in them a curious mixture of the real and unreal. clever. old and full of ancient splendor." "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. like barbaric gems. some are flecked with flaws. as from a hundred facets. find jinns and genii." "Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp. that they are. fairies and magic of all kinds mingled with the most commonplace happenings of daily life in Cairo or Bagdad. She not only has all these thousand and one stories at her command. yet they are fairy-tales woven ingeniously with the lives of real men and women. womanly. It is to be noted.

in the story of Aladdin. pious.120 THE GREATEST BOOKS interest and had and waken the love is. set out in the When we come THE STORIES FINELY IMAGINED finely The stories themselves are inventive." we find it to be a faculty for cleverness and invention. In King Shahriar's praise of Sheherazade (and I ask you to note this very especially) he calls her chaste. imagined. pure. but again and again we see it to be the keytells. and ingenious. whose ingenuity saves him from the forty thieves. She. Not only ingenuity the keynote of her own is story. the using of common means to uncommon ends. the story of a woman who by her is saves herself and others cleverness dire fate and ingenuity. along with the rest. too. ious. marvels are made out of the of life. the devoted slave girl of Ali Baba. splendors invented mere commonplaces out of nothing. ingenious. The from a story of Sheherazade in short. is a kind of younger Sheherazade. to examine ingenuity. of a man who lost faith in his world. as it is "Arabian Nights. an old . Ingenuity is held up as a virtue. has the gift of wit and invention and imagination and ingenuity. Often the plot more often the characters are ingen- Marjaneh. note of the stories she ingenious.

proves itself everyday kind of task by the process to be what but a — magic affair. extraordinarily human. But note that here are real people. this mother of Aladdin." one of the most gloomy and glorious and splendid stories in the wide world. She is an exceedingly real person. A genie. "treasures such as the kings of the earth were unable to procure." In the story of the "City of Brass. we have pictures and records of fabulous wealth. one of the real charac- "Arabian Nights" do such things happen to such people in such wonderful and unheard-of fashion. the "slave of the Lamp. One finds often that the descriptions of marvelous wealth or beauty or festivity or joy are followed by the phrase "the like of which hath not been seen. "and it was a night not to ters of literature." These stories were told not only to King ." In the rejoicing of King Shahriar and Sheherazade we read." appears out of that homely rubbing. — a genie able to give to the owner of the lamp the fulfillment of any wish whatsoever. never quite seen even in that splendid age and country. lights up the pages of the book. A splendor.• THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 121 lamp which the mother of Aladdin scrubs with a mere handful of sand to get it clean of dirt and tarnish — a homely. only in the be reckoned among lives.

" there comes the knock at the — door.122 THE GREATEST BOOKS Shahriar.. yet very streets of Cairo. while they are full of "delight and jesting and mirth and gladness. and he said to them: "What do you "Oh. some- like of which hath not been seen. and ." answered one of them . there is a picture of exquisite reality in the description of Aladdin and his wife Zobeide the lute-player." Accordingly. in the ages since. After they have partaken of the supper Zobeide has prepared. "the this food of our souls consisteth in music and in the delicacies of poetry." Then.. the bazaars of Bagdad. and we desire to recreate ourselves with thee for night . She therefore said to him: "Arise." In the story of Aladdin Abushamat. Aladdin begs her to play for him. It is all at the same time keyed above thing over and above reality. they have been told by Eastern story-tellers and others to thousands upon thousands of real people and they tell of real people and real happenings. and see who the door. opening the door. the Samarcand. and she plays "the sounds of the chords vying with the voice of David. . desire?" . — "the real life. It is wonderful how they fruits of bring before us again and again the intenselj^ real. he went down. my master. is at found four dervishes standing there. and. we are passionately fond of music.

so Aladdin must consult . We can see Zobeide's music-loving hands busy at the hospitable task." the damsel and she said Aladdin replied: "I must consult. for music. devoted to each other. this is even in the "Arabian Nights" a somewhat unusual thing to happen and not to be taken too lightly. it ceased. "We just now heard some pleasant music in thine abode. The dervishes are conducted by Aladdin to the upper chamber and food is offered them. Then the knock of those who have heard the music and wish to enjoy it too. We find them there in the story happy. and we would that we is knew whether she who was performing or a lady." And he went up and informed to him : — "Open the door to them." The whole thing suspect life. hunger being only. is so simple. one it to be nothing would more than a story of real like friends Aladdin and Zobeide are we have known well." is a white or black Aladdin replied: "She my wife. and entertaining themselves with music against the coming of the stars.THE ARABIAN NIGHTS there is 123 retain in his not one among us who doth not memory odes and other pieces of poetry and lyric songs. Well. at home. but when we came up slave girl. so real. their But the dervishes decline to eat." So he opened to them the door. they declare.

is no dervish at all. multiplying like domes and from and a dream. . at last. seated on a magic sofa we now behold which carries them through the air wheresoever they wish. and these people whom we found in in the the first of the story entertaining themselves in so natural and almost homely a fashion evening after the day's duties. He promises Aladdin that the gold shall be paid and bids him not grieve. But from here the wonders minarets in in. THE GREATEST BOOKS The whole scene has the air of friendly The dervishes are asked in. but is. still a real scene among real people. Only. the great Caliph Haroun el Raschid. his father-in-law ten thousand pieces of gold as Zobeide's wedding dower and has not wherewith to pay it. story. dilemma in which is this He is to pay : as the conversation becomes confides to them. has put on this dervish disguise that he — may mingle unknown with the common people and entertain himself with their interests and opinions. So the scene develops. The "fairy" quality comes begin.IM Zobeide. the chief dervish. here on increase. Even the death of is annulled by a Zobeide. more intimate. Aladdin. it appears. reality. wearying of his state. as it turns out. a family which he finds himself. one of the dervishes. later in the friendly princess with fairy powers. who. indeed.

jewels as large as eggs and plentiful as fruit. But no- thing can avail to break him of his idle habits. An almost better example is the story of "Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp. So things go on until Aladdin is fifteen. Aladdin him- . magic dinners brought from nowhere on gold and silver plate. He is a real boy. playing with the ragamuffins in the street. very characteristic Simplicity and reality then magic lamps." In his tenth year he is apprenticed to his father to learn the trade of tailoring. coming meals. magic horses. careless. — unreal. the commonplace into the extraordito be found in nary. suddenly the real has bloomed into the of these tales. At his father's death the boy's widowed mother sells the shop and subsists by spinning. and the reality of the characters loses nothing by the later miraculous happenings." boy and his mother Throughout the entire story preserved the entirely human quality.THE ARABIAN NIGHTS This is 125 all very typical. are drawn "to the is life. The description of the boy is complete." Aladdin is the son of a poor tailor and has been a "scatter-brained scapegrace from his birth. tale the character of the home only to In the few paragraphs given over to the beginning of the selfish. idle. yet not altogether unlovable. thoughtless. flying couches.

The mother girl. these trees were fruit. like Marjaneh the slave one of the real people in books. and as he examined them he perceived that instead of ordinary fruit the yield was of big jewels. But as he had never seen such things in his life. emeralds and diamonds. such as to bewilder the understanding. And though and each he had not all noticed it when he entered. of colours. where he began to marvel at the trees with the birds on their branches singing the praises of their glorious Creator. any like the largest or half the size of the least the trees and gazed upon them and on these things which dazzled the sight and bewildered the mind. is of Aladdin. and the brilliance of these jewels paled the sun's rays at noontide.126 self is like THE GREATEST BOOKS another we have met. covered with precious stones instead of tree all was of a different kind and had different jewels. But it is not long before there appears on the commonplace scene the sorcerer from Barbary. who pretends to be the uncle of the boy Aladdin so as to win him to his own uses and purposes. and to make a cat's-paw of him for the securing of certain vast treasure. There follow then these which Aladdin finds himself fantastic. and had not reached mature years so as to know the value And Aladdin walked among . wonderful passages concerning the subterranean gardens in : — He went down into the garden. and rubies and pearls. [Note this also :] And the size of each stone sur- passed description. and other precious stones. so that none of the kings of the world possessed of them.

After this come the accounts of all those still more wonderful and astounding experiences which have so long delighted so many: Innumerable riches. The in "Arabian Nights" are not." So he began plucking them and stuffing them into his pockets these glass fruits and play with until they were full. We must look deeper. transported. by means as But all facile as extraordinary. you say.THE ARABIAN NIGHTS of such Jewels (for he 127 was all still a little boy). When we seek for some clear ethical or moral tales. this. he put some of each kind that grew on the trees into his pockets and finding them of no use for food. removed. hardly. And he gathered pockets full of them. magic slaves who appear at the rubbing of a ring or lamp and fulfill for Aladdin every wish of his heart. and began to examine fruit. like figs whether they were ordinary other like eatables. he imagined that these jewels were of glass or crystal. vast palaces upreared as easily. of generations of still A mere meaningless extravaganza could not have held the attention men and women. but and grapes and of glass when he saw that they were (knowing nothing of precious stones). either their in their general plot or happening. is a kind of meaningless extravaganza. . recovered. purpose in the stories of the we find very little of it. No. he said in his mind: "I will gather them at home.

He bids his readers as earnestly as ever Solomon did to look upon the world as vanity. a continual reiteration of the necessity of submitting to the will of God. happy in mind and heart. it. the magnificent admonition. nor incline to it. and I amassed riches such as the kings of the regions of the earth were unable to procure. Too often. In the story of the "City of Brass. and I married a thousand damsels of the daughters of kings. indeed. high-bosomed virgins. But I was not aware when there . Then he proceeds to prove recital of his own experience: — his words with a For I possessed four thousand bay horses in a stable. Confide not in Fall not in it. and who in his affairs relieth him upon its snares. they do not point out any grave moral duty or spiritual obligation. and I lived a thousand years. like stern lions. for it will betray who dependeth upon it. and imagined that my enjoyments would continue without failure. and I was blessed with a thousand children. a kind of moral philosophy evident throughout them and ing to our code. on the sepulchre setting out as it of the dead king is impressive. does the powerlessness of riches as against the power of God. like moons. the craft cess practiced in and means of sucthem are condemnable accord- There is. it is true." the fa- mous inscription. nor cling to its skirts.128 THE GREATEST BOOKS moral in any strict sense.

and the thunder of the manifest truth assailed us. and the ravager of inhabited mansions. I said. the Lord of the door that hath no door-keeper?" So I said. Then. mothers. befell us. the Lord of the heavens and the Lord of the earth. the destroyer of the great and the small. and coats of mail. So when I saw that destruction had entered our dwellings and had alighted among us. and admonitions. and to hang on the keen swords. — with treasures such as the kings of the earth were unable to procure. and sharp swords. "O companies of troops and soldiers. and tombs. and mount the high-blooded horses. and they said. and the children. and the infants. the desolator of abodes." (And it was contained in a thousand pits. and in them were varieties of pearls and jewels. I had an army comprising a thousand bridles. I summoned a writer. and drowned us in the sea of deaths. and I ordered them to clothe themselves with the long coats of mail. and lessons.THE ARABIAN NIGHTS alighted 129 among us the terminator of delights and the separator of companions. and when they had brought . and tablets. "Bring me the wealth. and there died of us every day two.) And they did so. in each of which were a thousand hundredweights of red gold. with spears. and the We had resided in this palace in security until the event decreed by the Lord of all creatures. till a great company of us had perished. composed of hardy men. and ordered him to write these verses. befell us. and there was the like quantity of white silver. and strong arms. the Lord of all the earth and the heavens. and to place in the rest the terrible lances. and caused them to be engraved upon these doors. can ye prevent that which hath befallen me from the Mighty King?" But the soldiers and troops were unable to do so. when the event appointed by the Lord of all creatures. "How shall we contend against him from whom none hath secluded.

but. I am Kosh the son Sheddad the son Ad the Greater. the sleep that has fallen over the palace in this more somber tale is the one that to all eternity shall know no waking. The explorers of the City of Brass have come to the palace and find inscribed these on in that story by the prick of a verses : Consider a people who decorated their abodes. . I said to them. and purchase for me therewith one day during which I may remain alive? " But they could not do so. And of if thou ask concerning of my name. them when the term had expired. me by means of all these riches. and treasured. and in the dust have become pledged for their actions.— 130 THE GREATEST BOOKS "Can ye deliver the wealth before me. the dead queen in the same story. but their wealth did not save but their buildings availed not. and made me to dwell in my grave. unlike the sleep of a hundred years that was brought bodkin and the spite of a neglected fairy. They resigned themselves to fate and destiny. Death has rarely been drawn so impressively and in the midst of such splendor. and I submitted to God with patient endurance of fate and affliction until he took my soul. They built. Here is a tale not unlike that of the Sleeping Beauty. It would be hard to match anywhere in literature the combined splendor and gloom of the whole recital. Even more impressive because touched with a greater pity are the inscriptions in the palace of Tadmore.

The Emir Mousa therefore ordered the Sheikh Abdelsamad to throw upon it something. And its owner had any lodging alighting." is not So they packed after And they thereupon became fearful and timid. and departed To the narrow As if graves. and laid down in the dust. led troops in multitudes. are the faces which were veiled and curtained. and found a saloon constructed of polished marble adorned with jewels. pledged for their actions. They then passed on. etc.THE ARABIAN NIGHTS How often they hoped for 131 But they passed profit to the graves. there for you in it. on which. **0 people. all said to them. Where Where are the thrones. The halls visitors come at last through splendid and passages to the great room where the queen herself lies buried. and the apparel? and their beauty. and . and there baggage they have remained. that they might be enabled to walk on it. And They this : — and collected riches. and they left their wealth and buildings. the rose is As gone from them. and if any one walked upon it he would slip. to the cheeks. posed? for and the crowns. the company of travellers had put down their during the night in a house where was no food for guests. proverbs were com- And the grave plainly answered the inquirer for them. its floor The beholder imagined that upon was running water. what was not decreed them! and hope did not them.

then. and in the hand of vthe other a jeweled sword that blinded the eyes. and before the two slaves was a tablet of gold. he wondered extremely at her loveliness. who has subdued his servants by death!" And as to the couch upon which was the damsel. the Merciful. the Creator of man. raised upon columns of red gold. . whereon was a damsel resembling the shining sun. and the redness of her cheeks. in that they had seen. . In it was a pavilion of brocade. O damsel!" said to the emir. Praise be to God.132 THE GREATEST BOOKS this. and jacinths.. Upon this the Emir Mousa said. which was this: "In the name of God. and not deadl And they said to her. and the blackness of her hair. and upon the steps were two slaves. When the Emir Mousa beheld this damsel. The party had not beheld. and by the brink of the fountain was placed a couch adorned with pearls. it had steps. such as none of the kings could procure. beneath each bird was a net of brilliant pearls.. There is no life in her. one of them white and the other black. . And they found in a great dome constructed of stones gilded all with red gold. And in the that dome was a great dome-crowned structure which were lattice of alabaster. anything midst of more beautiful than it. and adorned with oblong emeralds. can she return the salutation? ". How. around windows. the Compassionate. and jewels. and He is the Lord . spread over a fountain. "May God amend thy state! Know that this damsel is dead. he did and contrived so that they passed it on. and was confounded by her beauty. and in the hand of one of them was a weapon of steel. whereon was read an inscription. Eyes had not beheld one more beautiful. "Extolled be the perfection of God. But Taleb the son of Sahl *' Peace be to thee. and within this were birds. the feet of which were of emeralds. decorated. Any beholder would imagine that she was alive.

and sent . . the daughter of the King of the Amalekites. and there remained nothing.. and they returned to us with the wealth. I will acquaint thee with my name and my descent. I am Tadmor. Where are the kings of the foreigners and the Arabs? O thou. if thou know me not.THE ARABIAN NIGHTS of lords. I possessed what none of the kings possessed. locked the gates of the brought. and meted with a measure. But they found it not. and it vision in the world. and disasters occurred before me. during which no water descended on us from heaven. . those who ruled the countries with equity. and emancipated female and male slaves. of . So we ate what food we had in our dwellings. and ruled with justice. not leaving un visited a single large city. . the offspring? father of mankind? Where are make proWhere is Noah and his are the Where are the sovereign kings and Caesars? Where ites? are the kings of India and Irak? Where are the kings of the regions of the earth? Where Amalek- Where are the mighty monarchs? The mansions are void of their presence. Upon this. after a long absence. 133 and the Cause of causes. . Knowest thou not that death hath called for thee. nor did any grass grow for us on the face of the earth. Adam. then. and I lived a long time in the enjoyment of happiness and an easy life. and after that we fell upon the beasts and ate them. Thus I did until the summoner of death came to my abode. to seek for some food. . So thereupon we exposed to view our riches and our treasures. and acted impartially toward my subjects: I gave and bestowed. and hath advanced to seize thy soul? Be ready. I it caused the wealth to be it by trusty men. who went about with it through all the districts. for departure. for thou wilt quit soon. therefore. and they have quitted their families and homes. And the case was this: Seven years in succession came upon us.

the substance there remaineth not aught save the vestige. that in country after country. this is reckoned one of the really great books. then. rich and poor. among people of all classes." Fatalism is evident throughout the stories. of our Lord. that is. . cleverly inventive. inventive. and ingenious. as thou beholdest. I would recall to you again that the king spoke of Sheherazade as chaste. committing our case to our Master. other manners. pious. The more we study the stories.134 THE GREATEST BOOKS and submitted ourselves to the decree and thus we all died. This is the story: and after fortresses in our city. and left what we had built and what we had treasured. the customs and manners among which these tales are laid are so entirely foreign to our own that without earnest study we can have little or no grasp or understanding of them. the more we find "other times. Why is it." Indeed. and is read and reread untiringly? THE INVENTION OF SHEHERAZADE In looking for some of the reasons underlying its greatness. against whose ruling no man may contend. God is extolled as the All-Merciful but equally as the All -Powerful. The gloomy fatalism not less than the rich imagery and materialism of the more colored Eastern religion is inwoven in the whole fabric. lettered and unlettered.

frail in herself A woman. The plot for trapping his and averting his displeasure is thor- oughly ingenious. The wedding night was to have been a day of slaughter. Her plan is a There is a kind of gentle pathos. after all. suflSciently daring one. time passes. doomed to a dire fate. forgets that doom and causes the king to forget it by means of mere invention and imagination. instead. but by ingenuity that she takes facts ugly enough in themselves and turns and handles and remoulds them to another and even lovely fashion. in the circumstance. at the end of one thousand and one nights of extended pleasure and entertainment. Tale after tale is told. and the doom It is forgotten. not by pleading. we find herself and the king of her morrow established in a lasting happiness. Many comis. What was to be a sordid and ugly thing is turned by her ingenuity.THE ARABIAN NIGHTS Her own interest 135 dealing with the king is a consummate piece of cleverness. inventive. and her imaginative woman's mind. by her witty invention. this . Picture after picture she brings before the mind's eye of the king. into a thing actually delightful. main story of Sheherazade herself which has a meaning and beauty in it which seems to outshine the rest. and powerless in the eyes of the world. It is not by argument. as well.

Sheherazade's voice which the stories. and her memory and imagination and invention color them. in the character of Sheherazade that we are most likely to find the clue or reason chaste. and look on for the other tales it mere "framework" and a kind of excuse for the telling of them. It is . after all. But all it is much more than It is that. making merry and telling the tales that go to make up the book." And many look upon the story of Sheherazade as not more a mere framework in which the other stories are — inclosed. then. It she who tells us the tales. It is. heard throughout her personality and hers in connection with the only which telling of we remember is them. inventive. imaginative. It is is.136 THE GREATEST BOOKS it mentators give as a scant attention. She is a person lovely. The whole plan of the telling them is hers. In the same way Chaucer uses the journey of a company of pilgrims to the shrine of a Becket at Canterbury for the tales told in the "Canterbury Pilgrims." A company of men and women go into the country to escape the plague and there dwell. Boccaccio uses the plague which afflicted the fair city of Florence in 1348 as the "framework" for the stories in his "Decameron. in these we are looking for. ingenious.

a sofa endowed with powers to world are set aside at unsailable. established world. while founded on the happenings and events of the it. Now imagination is the power of imagery. but as they have been. or as he for the moment desires it to be. picture things this it is way create a world for himself which.THE ARABIAN NIGHTS qualities 137 and most of all in that of imagination that we shall find the motif of the stories. In this man's world of images or imagination. Man can in understanding of others. but as we would have it exist. yet differs from tion It is crea- on a small scale. imagine events other than they are. the great natural laws and events of the real will and without ado. No magic in the "Arabian Nights " seems quite so magical and wonderful as this. and can by words and other means project his images on the distinguishes man from man — He can by this faculty and events not only as they are. It is that faculty which most the brute creation. are passed over. For can can imagine himself some one else. of producing by one means or another a mental picture of something not as it exists. can summon up the past. . Seas mountains impassable. and can in this fashion show it to his fellow-creatures. or he can picture the future as it might be. sailed over in any fashion man may choose: a flying carpet.

Here. turns it to catch whatever light he likes. It is the thing which. Seeking below the surface for their clearer meaning . as by Aladdin. It is the very root of all romance. and builds happiness on the ruins of unhappiness. this we begin to touch once more in one some of the deep humanities. man. takes up life in his hands like a crystal ball.138 THE GREATEST BOOKS which in the real glide through the air. He imagines things other than they are. palaces world would take years and incalculable labour to construct are upraised. with what splendid daring. THE ROOT OF ALL ROMANCE It is a thing of dignity. when reality presses too hard upon him. Difficulties insurmountable in real life are overcome with what ease. but rather as trol — the very heavens and earth some if within his grasp. of The thing goes far into human nature. this gift. this power imaging and imagining. Feel- ing about for the underlying meaning of these great books. gazes into sees life not as it it. pictures them in happier fashion. makes good out of evil. forever beyond his hold. too vast for his understanding. by the mere rubbing of an old lamp. makes life livable to man yet awhile. subject to his conreflected and held in the palms and hollow of his two hands. and really is.

Here in this almost divine faculty is the very abode of that True Romance of which Kipling sings with so much understanding and devotion old since ever : — Thy face is far from this our war — for me in dreams to see And touch thy garment's hem. Enough On and on in those wonderful verses of his. common to humanity at large. dren. The escape from the real to the contemplation of the desirwritten around experiences able has rested We many It is a soul before it satisfied yours and mine. The better he knows her the . not to any one class. which should be known by all who love life and the romance and beauty of it. Thy feet have trod so near to God I may not follow them. and it the native habit of chil- has been the comfort of young and young men have dreamed dreams and old men have seen visions. action which feed the rivers of our have said that great books are always common to all men. he apostrophizes the True Romance. The "Arabian Nights" is written around that faculty for imagining which is common to us all and which is as old as the race.THE ARABIAN NIGHTS we come upon those 139 inexhaustible springs of all human lives.

. verse quoted gives a hint of the broader meaning and power of romance. has come from her. is Hers the power to lead us on to high ends it is and to \actory. man's hope.140 THE GREATEST BOOKS more he loves her. that meets ten thousand cheats jot of faith! Yet drops no And so on. was." who has endowed life with all its mystery. all patiently Abiding wrack and scaith! Oh Faith. All that is fair in life bej^ond man's material needs. to comfort those who Thou art the voice to kingly boys To Uft them through the fight. Oh Charity. that lasting and undying quality which he has carried with him since the first and will carry with him to the last. who has existed before the world who has given us a name for our beliefs. For when we trace imagination and romance deeper than our first The last in impressions of them. as hers fail. each hope for which men have died. deeper still. It is she who has taught "all lovers speech. And Comfortless of Unsuccess To give the dead good-night. we find them rooted what else but man's faith and. each stroke of toil and fight. straight through the splendid poem.

not defeat. Man. what would one suppose the outcome could be but places surprised ignominious defeat! Yet. blown on by winds that buffeted him. surrounded by seas that forbade him. the end victory.THE ABABIAN NIGHTS THE STORY OF MAN's HOPE 141 Man has taken the facts of Hf e as Sheherazade took them. Always there was his power of imagining . where fire burned and frost bit him. unconquerable thing. but For always there was man's faculty for hope. through the ages. domineered by powers beside which the jinns and genii of the "Arabian Nights" seem but feeble spirits. like an Arab tale. Things dire in themselves he has turned to lovely uses. placed in a world where all things threatened him. or in the noonday overtook him. his home and altars thrown down again and again by vast forces that mocked his puny strength. imaginative. The story of man's hope. is more fascinating than any tale told by Sheherazade. is more splendid in its daring and more marvelous in its craft and invention. menaced by death that in dark and challenged him. an undying. built by the ingenious is fancy of Sheherazade. and from them by means of imagination and hope has made beauty and lovehness.

contended with mighty powers. he worked with feeble fingers at the weaving of his vast future. and beyond these. a place where should dwell all those "who have come up out of great tribulation". established a dream-world of the spirit. as he wished it to his rest. in the very path of the earthquake. with gates of pearl and walls of jasper. "no new temples that towered more death. and as his daily strength failed and he must himself go the world not as all was might he. of "twelve thousand furlongs" and the river of life sweeping through the midst of it. called to another in the fading light. neither sorrow nor crying. pictured first in the mind's eye. through the ages hoped it might be. and. where there should be no night." "Eye . imagining better things. and bade him not neglect the So. So. a city vast and beautiful. where there were trees that bore "twelve manner of fruits". man fulfilled his daring hope and to his sorrows refreshed attained his masterful destiny. with its more enduring city of more precious worth. but as it might be. little by little. hoping better things. not less. reared built cities in the ruined plain. task. man returned always and strengthened for new endeavor.142 THE GREATEST BOOKS it about him. imaged first in some chamber of the brain. Little by little and by a thousand and one ingenuities and inventions.

" etc. "such have not seen. always a kind of higher ingenuity. her hope of is. but again and again in those fascinating and ingenious tales she tells. we see man all their difficulty meeting the needs of life. as in "Faust. It rings You see how in line it all is. For hope indeed. Paul. whether it prime of his strength talking be St. young and less pitiful in her doom. as all great art must be. man the things. telling of the divine revelation on Patmos. of life into a colored and Here of art. with and happening and perplexity. neither have entered famihar. John. or St. fitting the broken and scattered pieces beautiful pattern. old. nor ear heard. as in the "Divine others.THE ARABIAN NIGHTS into the heart of 143 hath not seen. or Sheherazade. escaping her doom. " for ingenuity little else Comedy". picturing with a less solemn but not a human riches as the kings of the earth longing." not alone in the individual story of Sheherazade. Sheherazade's invenis tion of the Arabian tales life. not by law and ordered justice. ." In the "Arabian Nights. in the "Arabian Nights" is a great work but art woven. nor by service to but rather by that faculty and invention which is at bottom than hope itself. as we see it in the "Odyssey". in the to the Corinthians. really her desire for her hope turned to that form. not by patience and endurance.

and therefore essentially moral. for self-sacrifice what lies beyond The its natural experience. essentially spiritual. Yet we should be careful not to interpret that hope either narrowly or personally. a world gone by. may summon days departed and recall vanished delights. however fantastic in its phrases and happenings. By means of it memory as we can cities of rebuild in a moment's time. that endows us with all the delights of well as those of hope. It reminds one. man's longing and need for patience. morrow. essentially true. . of Aladdin's power? And Aladdin's lamp. for seem to be the central motives of the other great books we have studied. for the mind's enjoyment.144 THE GREATEST BOOKS from the very materials and essentials of life. In its larger interpretation and meaning hope is that desire of the soul for If justice. desire of the moth for the star. the central motive here would seem to be man's longing and need for hope. Nor should we forget it that the faculty of imag- ination covers the past as well as the future. or deck it wonders yet to be. does it not. as we in may people the hour with kings of old." can fashion in an instant. "glittering the plain. The devotion to something afar for the Of the day From the sphere of our sorrow.

we conceive. may fail of this gloriwhat ous hope. and as long as he does the "Arabian Nights. the wonderful and the seemingly unattainable attained quickly and with ease by the spirit. man will imagine daringly and hope superbly.j may be may grow . we have touch of in it. 145 has a strange familiarity in our hands. some experience of our own felt the We have been in this place before. it contemplates. his desire for first. and the old faculty of picturing dull in us. Always. From' To hope till hope creates its own wreck the thing individually. of the wonderful. but the race will continue to hope and imagine. Man's love the unattainable. will be accounted among the world's greatest books. You and I. here in these two things lie the springs of all hope and the sources of all romance." or tales similarly true in daring and superb imagery. that then.THE ARABIAN NIGHTS read of it.

as in the case'of the "Ara- bian Nights." said ( Don Diego asked his son what he thought of the stranger. with many lucid intervals. " that it is not in the power of all "I the is physicians and scribes in the world to cure his distemper. Centered around the character of one man though it is." He a Don Quixote. The others are the stories of certain great characters in particular circumstance. yet it differs in many ways so largely from most of the others as to seem to stand in a class almost by itself. sir." of lar many characters in particu- and extraordinary circumstance. In this Cervantes alone approached him and Don Quixote and Sancho. . there is a breadth and univer- While "Don Quixote" of head sality in the tale unparalleled in any of the great books we have so far studied. or. but because they are animated by the primeval and unchanging forces of that humanity. because they are not products of an artificial and transitory society.CHAPTER IX DON QUIXOTE think. Shakespeare embodied generic types rather than individuals. falls readily under the one of the greatest books in the world.. are the contemporaries of every generation. but "Don Quixote" is the story of one man's journey . like the men and women of Shakespeare. diversified madman. LOWBLI. Don Lorenzo. because they are not products of an artificial and transitory generation.

Cervantea brought an unusual fund of experience. To the writing of it. "Don be when he was about to was published in 1605. The story wanders and runs on as does a road. dressed out of season in anachronistic armor and bent on high and in untimely adventure. a kind of highway it is. who acts to him as squire. Born in an age full of color and Quixote. is Don Quixote. besides his keen intellect and nearly matchless observation. And this man. but one meets one character.DON QUIXOTE 147 through a world of entirely usual yet infinitely varied happening. nobles and criminals. and behind him on a dappled ass rides one Sancho Panza. a world of people kind and unkind. most notable of them all." which he wrote old. He is mounted on a scrawny horse. . selfish and generous. Cervantes was born in Spain at Alcala de Henares in 1547 and he died in 1616. and out of town and fields and forest. given over to humanity. He goes in full armor and is not a man after the manner or fashion of his day. Following it one meets on that highway many who come and go. past inns and hospitable and inhospitable dwellings. foolish and partly wise. he is some one different and unlike. up lonely steeps and into far valleys fertile in adventure.

a student. He returned to Spain at thirty-three. his eler. suffering as must have sufl5ced to sober very considerably the lively temperament. captured a trifling price to pay for the honor of partak- ing in so great an action. enlarge. he fought valiantly against the Turks. was even for that age a highly colored and adventurous one. and devoted him- Writing at first for the stage.148 THE GREATEST BOOKS life adventure. It was read by all classes in all . lost his left it hand in one engagement. he was a slave in captivity for some ships." He again followed the profession of arms. by a Corsair captain. continually risked his last. a trav- a soldier enlisted under Don Juan of Austria. having spent *'ten years of manhood amidst such and varieties of travel. five or more years. adventure. He was ransomed however. he found but indiffer- ent success. and at the same time to mature. and thought Later. enterprise. during his years of effort along these lines. by his relatives and friends. but the publication of the of first part his "Don Quixote" brought him almost immediate fame. and strengtheh the powerful understanding with which he had been gifted by nature. but last abandoned that career at self to literature. enduring many hardat To free himself and his fellow-prisoners he life.

One has only to place the book in its own century. Don Quixote. observed a certain student with a book in his hand on the opposite banks of the Manzanares. ''That reading. Knight-errantry. Most of his biographers remember to point out to us that he left his world on the same day of the same year as did Shake- speare. been sometimes supposed that Cer"Don Quixote" to satirize and help put out of fashion knight-errantry. It is told by Barrano Porrena of Philip III." He died the following year.' said the king. to know this supposition to be wrong. however. in the form deseribed It has vantes wrote his . 'is either out of his wits. that "the king. In 1615 he published the second part of "Don Quixote. standing one day in the palace of Madrid. 149 by old and young.DON QUIXOTE places. He was now and then he interrupted and gave himself violent blows upon the forehead. student. but every his reading. met also with much envy and detraction at the hands of many eonor reading the history of temporary authors. while his "Don Quixote" was received so enthusiastically. but none of this seems to have greatly harassed him or much altered his natural poise. accompanied with innumerable motions of ecstasy and mirthfulness. on April 18.'" Cervantes.

We pity the delusion. in every page." He notes that: "One of the greatest triumphs of his [Cervantes] skill is the success with which he continually pre- vents us from confounding the absurdities of the knight-errant with the generous aspirations of the cavalier. but of a calm and enlightened mind. a cold-blooded satirist. not spirit of the Castilian of a heartless scoffer. That the book was intended to satirize the absurd worship of a dead romance it. The cavalier had long before taken the place of the knight. had very long been out of date. beneath a mask of apparent . we laugh at the situation. of one who — knew human nature too well not to respect it. finally. but the larger symbolism and meaning of as one studies all it carefully. that we are perusing the work. in spite of every ludicrous accompaniment. dispose ami- cably enough of clashing theories. Cervantes' purposes and attitude of mind are very nobly conceived by Lockhart in his valuable "Life of Cervantes. is not untenable. and we feel. For to the of madness. of one whose genius moved in a sphere too lofty for mere derision. in which true wisdom had grown up by the side of true experience.150 THE GREATEST BOOKS by Cervantes. the noble gentleman. but we revere. last. even in the midst we respect Don Quixote himself. who. and of every insane exertion. of one.

but he who rises from the perusal of Don Quixote . to give one an adequate idea of the very varied . the satire. been content with the display of wit. principles of humanity. indeed. satire. . and some of them have displayed eloquence all these with the most admirable skill and power. the eloquence of Cervantes but as the accessories and lesser orna- and manners most perfect and glowing that was ever embodied in one piece of composition. the possession of which alone will be sufficient to preserve. — * thinks of the wit. as happenings intricate and itself." It a thing of so does not lend it much itself detail and adventure that to a brief recital . stories within stories." ments of a picture of national life by far the THE STORY OF DON QUIXOTE It is impossible in tell is it an article of this length to at all fully the story of "Don Quixote. the Spanish name and character. too simple. and these allied. there are in so many divisions. so many happenings. the framework or out- line of the story is simple. subdivisions. above to give of the form and expression to the noblest feelings . aspired to 151 commune with the noblest all. in freshness and honour. they are in life On the other hand. a picture. and.' DON QUIXOTE levity. Others have national character of Spain.

an old target. the rest was laid out in a plush coat. Quixada or Quixote. and a suit of the very best home- spun cloth. for holidays. the hero . and a man that served him in the house and in the field. namely. of the variety of adventure which goes to the making of this great book. His whole family was a housekeeper something turned of forty. a lean horse. and could saddle a horse. as he comes later to be called. and with rack. minced meat on most nights. and handle the pruning-hook. The passion of this gentleman. lentils on Fridays. Our only hope lies in a middle course. with slippers of the same. His diet consisted more of beef than mutton. and one Nicholas. whole. the the parish. griefs and groans on Saturdays. the barit ber and surgeon of the town. of which I cannot remember the name. if only very briefly.152 THE GREATEST BOOKS . a niece not twenty. he consumed three-quarters of his revenue. velvet breeches. Besides the housekeeper and niece we note two friends curate of mentioned early in the story. The story starts out like a by one who loved to tell it : — tale told intimately At a certain village in La Mancha. there lived not long ago one of those old-fashioned gentlemen who are never without a lance upon a and a greyhound. to try to give the outline and some idea. and a pigeon extraordinary on Sundays. which he bestowed on himself for working days. being common in those days for the two professions to exist under one cap.

" He believed all that he read in his books of knight-errantry to be actual and at hand. whom he had read. For now he thought for the increase of his it convenient and necessary. or whether it was duty or pleasure that called him.use of his reason. and patched .r. torments. after a happy conclusion of his enterprises. wherein he would so lose himself as to forget whether the time was day or night. It is well to note carefully what Cervantes tells us of Don Quixote's actual purpose. challenges. and "abundance of stuff and impossibilities. as well as the service of own honour. that thus imitating those knights-errant of of grievances.. indeed. the public. With all this in mind he fitted out. . battles. wounds. complaints.DON QUIXOTE 153 of the tale. to turn knight-errant.. redressing all manner and exposing himself to danger on all occasions. he did. seems to have been for the reading of books of knight-errantry. and thought himself called with a special calling to take fession of a up the pro- wandering knight. So because of sleeping little and reading much. he might purchase everlasting honour and renown. so that in time his head was full of nothing but enchantments. "A world of disorderly notions" crowded into his poor brain and remained there. purpose Don Quixote's and to observe how in that own pleasure and honor were bound up with his service to others. lose at last the cleB. at last.

he mined to . he mounted Rosinante. he detercall her Dulcinea del Toboso. Deeming it necessary she should have a name some resembling. then. what abuses to correct. without her knowledge or consent. But. thought it now a crime to injured world. at the very least. though lean and forlorn enough. so elected her the lady of his soul. and what duties to discharge. first of all. the But it was to him unthinkable that there should be any knight without a lady-love.154 THE GREATEST BOOKS as best he up for himself a horse. that wanted such a deliverer. what wrongs and injuries to remove. might an old suit of armor. the name of princess or lady of high degree. selected who. for without one. This horse he dubbed Rosinante. and one morning before day rode out in search of adventure. upon whom he resolved to bestow the distinction of his chivalrous devotion. So being equipped he deny himself any longer to the more when he considered what grievances he was to redress. such as one encounters in ancient tales of chivalry. and having secretly donned his armor. was to the prejudiced eye of ote above all Don Quix- the horses in the world. a country lass. to his valor and on prowess? whom indeed could he dedicate whom bestow the trophies of his Now there lived one not far away in Toboso. Having.

The housekeeper. was now not long in finding adventure and some one he might challenge. 155 lie must find some one who would dub him knight and thus give sanction to his pur- Riding he came at last to an inn which he at once took to be some castle. Here after much misunderstanding. A good many people by Don Quixote's exploits having been set by the ears. Don Quixote. desiring to show his prowess. seeing him to be mad.DON QUIXOTE resolved pose. the innkeeper was finally glad enough to be rid of the disturbing stranger. all whole mischance to Don Quixote's reading of the detested books of knight- "May Satan and Barabbas e'en take such books that have thus cracked the best headpiece in all La Mancha!" . and some to his entreaties and went through some form of knighting him. and the whole expedition ended ingloriously but not unkindly by a good-hearted peasant bringing home the worn and wounded and over-valorous Don Quixote. Meantime Don Quixote's housekeeper and niece worried much over his absence and conguessing aright sulted with Perez the curate barber. laid the and Nicholas the what had happened. yielded initial astonishment. the innkeeper. errantry.

returned. Meanwhile he persuaded one of his neighbors. seeking ad- venture. The housekeeper and his niece got him to bed and at his urgent request left him to his rest." But as might more reasonably have been expected this. an honest and poor country fellow. offering promises and not forgetting to him many inducements and tell him . and which was this They would burn those volumes in Don Quixote's library which had been so largely to blame for his mental downfall. to go with him. Meanwhile the curate and the barber consulted and resolved on a course of action which they thought wise. Sancho Panza. but added fuel to the fire of Don Quixote's madness. of course. "for they hoped the effect would cease when they had taken away the cause. as his squire. also they would board up and stop up the door to his study and tell him when he desired to go to it that the study and all it contained had been carried away by some powerful enchanter.156 THE GREATEST BOOKS while they were discussing the matter Even Don Quixote. sore and much battered. in the care of the countryman. He was resolved now only the more that his services as a knight were needed to break down the power of all such wicked enchanters and to redress this and other : grievous wrongs.

then. for I dare say I shall make shift to govern it. rode away from the vil- lage one night. Don Quixote without so and housekeeper and Sancho Panza without bidding good-bye to his wife and children." is one of innumerable which Don Quixote maintains his valorous and mad resolve to redress wrongs. Having agreed. by the might and glory of his purpose and his prowess. like that of Sheherazade runs like a slender thread through From here on the story all of adventures. to set the world right. As in the "Arabian Nights. as might secure him the conquest of some island in the time that he might be picking up a straw or two. let it be never so big. journey.DON QUIXOTE it 157 was likely such an adventure would present itself. Sir Knight-errant. of which as they jogged on Sancho did not fail to remind as a thought for his niece much and friends. Don Quixote. "be sure you don't forget what you promised me about the island. and. "I beseech your worship. his gray ass." quoth Sancho to his master." the main story that of Don Quixote himself. and then the squire might promise himself to be made governor of the place. on when to begin their Don Quixote on Rosinante and Sancho on Dapple. secretly. and with his head full of the promise of the island. in — — . in his own manner.

have been much disturbed in disguise. here. while others do not lack flaws to make them of less worth. while strung on yet attesting held together it. some of the adventures are rare gems. the barber and curate. we find that the two friends of Don Quixote. while all these adventures are being had. that they may there care for him and cure him of his madat his second absence and. too. . hiding and are all those pearls of adventure. some more nearly perfect than others. the adventure of the Biscayan lady. Those best known to many are perhaps the famous attack on the windmills. having followed ness. etc. It would be as impossible to touch on them singly here as in the essay on the it "Arabian was impossible to deal separately with those many and beautiful Eastern tales. seek him by a trickery of kind intent to decoy Don Quixote back to his home. but all by the thread of the main story. the more famous happenings at the inn where Sancho was tossed in a blanket. all Nights" those adventures of Don Quixote relating to Mambrino's helmet. the battle with the wineskins. Meantime. the whole book. the exquisite story of Marcella and the shepherds. As in that great work. the freeing of the criminals who are on their way to the galleys.158 THE GREATEST BOOKS it.

companionable company of men and women. moves the figure of Don Quixote himself.DON QUIXOTE 159 But kind as are these two men. This leads on to still others. and before our eyes assembles. yet meaning to be kind. supreme egotist of them all. Under the author's hands a world of fiction and reality like our own now takes on form. mad though he is. Each tells some story which adds still other adventures and interests to the tale. never lost sight of. in likely circumstance and a little time. the one person devoted wholly. There is now brought together an entire party of human beings whose interests are intricately mingled and intermingled. the means they employ are not wise means. never lessened. while among them. so that in the end they do but lead to Don Quixote's longer absence and more extended adventure. self-centered. singly to the service of others. all intensely personal and real. The whole scheme broadens out and is admirably devised by the author to introduce new happening and other characters. interesting. You have seen how other paths and roads curve and intersect and cross and recross . here that It is we come on the story of Cardenio and Lucinda and Dorothea. yet among them all. all humanly egotistical. Each one has a human trouble and purpose of his own. a friendly.

New ad- many to mention here. of broader pur- pose and of more import. Don Quixote. manage to battering mad hero and to get him home.^ 160 THE GREATEST BOOKS and lead into a main highway. the highway goes on unhindered. as such things are generally accomplished in real deal with the life. These wail piteously at the plight of Don Sancho's wife Teresa runs to meet Sancho and listens with rapt delight to the tales he tells of the island he is one day to govern. In the second volume. now. too Don Quixote starts out once again and Sancho with him. The first volume ends here with the return of the knight and squire and the promise of the author to tell more of Don Quixote's further and later adventures. it is like that. always distinguishable. keeper and niece. more traveled. it is When the long story at last closes in the following manner: — . not even. returns at last to his village. but which has not yet fallen into his or his master's fortunes. not until after many adventures. It is not until a good while later that the bar- ber and curate. ingloriously sick by oxen. ventures follow. A mounted on Rosinante but lying and weak on a hay-cart drawn boy runs ahead and tells the houseQuixote. clumsily enough. but wider.

and am only sorry the discovery happens so late. Then she questions him as to these mercies of God to which he had cleared his — — it is as though the fever alludes ** : — The mercies. Don Quixote is persuaded to return home village.DON QUIXOTE once more to his 161 By means of a device of the barber and curate. My judgment is now free and clear. more ing care." answered Don Quixote. niece. the housekeeper and weep over him. that I my soul. But "whether from melancholy. my sins do not prevent. niece. Now I perceive their nonsense and deceit. that which my painful and continual reading of those detestable books of knight-errantry cast over me. which. and I . as I said. too. There these two. am at the point of death. His niece and housekeeper stay by him and Sancho never stirs from his Suddenly one day master's bedside. receive him with open arms. who this time have gone ahead of him. and the murky clouds of ignorance removed. "are those Heaven has this moment vouchsafed to me. and get him to bed and tend him with lovniece rejoice once to see him." disposition of or "by the now overtakes heaven that so ordered it." a fever him. There. mind Don Quixote wakes to a sense of God's mercy and tells his niece to send for the curate and the barber. when I want time to make some amends by reading others that should enlighten I find.

162 THE GREATEST BOOKS it would meet madman. Renouncing all castles and imagined estates and high kinships to which his madness •had laid claim. he renounces now. He who tal illness started out mad on his mad adven- tures. Humbly and as a Christian. sane at the last. The men- which had long clouded "the best headpiece in La Mancha " has cleared away now. the high and foolish ambitions that possessed him. Quixote then begs for a confessor to him and a scrivener to make his will. The old follies and enchantments are melted away like so many clouds. though his friends can hardly niece credit and housekeeper and it. the old delusions of grandeur. and commends his soul humbly and . as follies and untruths. He indeed. with that gentleness and courtesy which even his madness at the worst had never unseated from his soul. he now disposes wisely and generously of his meager possessions to those who shall survive him. sanely. now returned to his senses. One finds at the end of the volume a serene Kght like that which sometimes comes in the west at the end of a day which has been uncertain and clouded. he accepts the world for what it is. dies in his bed.'* in such a manner as to show that my Hfe has not been so evil as to leave me the character of a Don shrive is.

he was ever of pleasant humour and agreeable behaviour. Don Quixote was plain Alonso Quixada. Each chapter is con- . and with clean hands and There are in all literature few death-scenes so touching as that in which the soul of the high- minded Don Quixote goes by. but by every one whilst that knew him. as on some occasion has been observed. gentlenesses one sees but the reflected light of The those shining and lovable qualities which show clear in Don Quixote himself only the more clearly as his day draws to its close. mourning and sorrowful. 163 honorably to God. indeed." and more such affectionate and foolish talk.DON QUIXOTE the heart of a child goes to his Maker. having to no avail begged and advised his beloved master of the sheer madness of dying " without ado. Here is a master hand at work. and whilst he was Don Quixote de la Mancha. without being killed by anybody. In all these kindnesses and stand about sadly. the barber and the curate. For. and therefore he was not only beloved by his family. bursts into tears. and Sancho. the Good. while those other simple souls — so little understanding niece all the pity and high meaning of his former madness — and housekeeper are there with swollen eyes. The character of Don Quixote is drawn with an amazing cleverness and consistency.

he would change and alter to suit his fancy. an almost perfect instrument. call it what which unfits him.164 THE GREATEST BOOKS add color trived not only to and adventure to tlie the story. And you will note this is not imagination. is Don Quixote. though it has as in the case of Sheherazade. but the picture grows. some supersensitiveness. Now look at the picture and examine the is character: Here a man essentially noble and devoted. tle — a nature gen- and serviceable. it remains complete master of itself. but to lend a kind of insistence to great character that stroke. before us to the living. Howsoever far fancy may fly. sensitive to beauty and goodness as few are. something somewhere some unadaptability. and there life. For imagination is a quality wholly controlled by the reason. delicate is being drawn. it comes back to reality as a bird which a certain resemblance to it. for the service of mankind. the mind is wholly conscious that it does but imagine. it can at one and the same time admit truth and enjoy fancy. there another. some egotism. here one and seemingly unimportant. he prefers to believe things to be what he wants them to be. . — — — — In imagining. This fact or that. one would say. something which you will from seeing life and its needs as him prevents they really are. yet with one fatal flaw.

must have happened. It their high-sounding adventures lay along the line of Don Quixote's own desires for serving the world. passionate love of truth. to succor the helpless and defend the oppressed.DON QUIXOTE 165 knows its own limitations returns to the home bough and nest. and blinded by those desires. in the name of valor and gentleness and honor. which would have saved him. but he has not innately the desire to see things truthfully as they are. imagination returns invariably to life as it is. that inner all reasonable- beauty of the soul. he has the longing to right wrong. you see. some essential lack of truth in the beginning. You will notice how Don Quixote has all the other lovable or desirable qualities that go to the making of an ideal and serviceable nature. indifferent to the truth. that necessary basis of ness. that white. He has fire and vigor and endurance. that truth. some lack of love of truth. but he has not that crowning virtue. he holds his life light and as of little worth save to serve. But the fancy and self-deception and delusion of Don Quixote are rather the result of some fatal miscalculation. Ingeniously his author has laid Don Quixote's madness to the reading of exaggerated books These were themselves lacking in of chivalry. he stumbles into the folly and false- .

"have a care what you say. These books say. and since it were desirable so be it." At laid this Don Quixote is beside himself. and she looks the truth young eyes : — in the face with clear "Oh. So Don Quixote not only believes the knights of old to have pos- . the stories of knights-errant are but Hes and fables. because they are so nearly would like them to be. all sir. be what they may. anything else. that a famous knight did with one blow of his sword sever the heads of seven giants. but not this. which fit so well with his fancy. to have such power. are true. to him. has clear-seeing girl has touched This on a tender spot. He is determined to believe that these tales and fables. As to these books we are shown. In other words. believe let facts what we find it pleasant to believe. This he cannot endure. let us accept that for truth which we find desir- — able. has hand on something dear drawn away a veil and tried to show him that this thing which he wishes to believe is untruthful. the simple. in clever contrast to Don Quixote's madness and lack of truth. for instance.166 THE GREATEST BOOKS what he ness of believing these books to be what they are not. Don Quix- She is not blinded by her own desires. truthful nature of ote's niece." said the niece.

Is it young baggage who scarce knows her bob! bins from a bodkin should presume to set to with her tongue. that you are a knight. with his deter" Come Heaven. but somewhat old though he do so is — believe himself to be possessed such powers not To his niece we find him replying — he desires of to less. so grossly blind of understanding. and force stubborn malice when you is yourself stoop beneath the burden of and what well yet more odd. not only the . and yet be so strangely mistaken. if know so much as up into a pulpit. mination to have his own way come Hell" (and very generally. because " Now possible that a by the powerful Sustainer of my being . there was occasion. urges." There insisting this... appealing to his " Bless me. he will. Hell it is for his insistence — himself and that all who love him) but Cervantes was all himself great enough of heart to see the pity lies at the heart of egotism. that you should to be able. a little : reason — pleadingly this time. it is set everything right. are none!" when known you We should hate him — this Don Quixote with on his own opinion. to get or preach in the streets. still is more of on the unconscious clear truth. : and feeble himself. that you can to bend. dear Uncle. and censure the histories of knights-errant.DON QUIXOTE sessed 167 superhuman powers. age. as to fancy a man of your years and infirmity can be strong and vaHant. then the girl.

and here. be theirs by means of their adventures. Cervantes wished to draw a great Don and yet lovable egotist egotist. For humor is at bottom just that the surprise of the unlikely. gentle and pitiable he whom one has made his knight. When Sancho and Don Quixote start off. So here is nothing to rouse one's ire.168 THE GREATEST BOOKS folly. nothing to condemn. Here laughter is close to tears. and only as he washes it to be results in adventures that are near to clear humor. For Don Quixote's determination to see the world as it is not. Might he not have not unlikely? Don Quixote answers him one? confidently: "Do but leave the matter of the They picture what wealth shall — . place and lines the You see how well everything falls into how consistently and on what large book is planned. still and to make a supreme can love was obliged to make him mad. and we grow gentle and pitiful reading of him. the humor of the thing runs with them every step of the way. human drew pity of his it but the human pity of it. and so he Quixote so that we could see the too. Sancho sees himself risen to such distinction that he shall have even a special barber for himself. owing to Don — Quixote's determination to see everything as is not. like a faithful page at their stirrups. there is it perpetually the surprise of the unlikely.

everywhere through- Over and over Don Quixote insists it is." 169 — "Do but take care you be a — "Never "and I an Don Quixote.DON QUIXOTE barber to me. but castles. there. the direct denial of truth. As an example: Sancho Panza has gone on a pretended expedition to interview in the of name Quixote the country lass whom Don Quixote has elected lady of his soul. and declares instead that evil enchanters who have some personal grudge against him (you note here the subtle egotism and also the author's keen knowledge of madness with its recurring delusions of persecution) have wrought this calamity. as Sancho . but he turns away from it." begs Sancho. The truth stares him in the face. the implied denial of truth. Inns are not inns. — all these are played on here. Don Quix- Don ote asks eagerly for Sancho's news. barbers' basins are golden helmets. refusing to recognize it. earl. ill-favored wenches out the tale. to tell He does not even facts him the — he wait for any one has them already altered to suit his fancy. doubt it. When his own have resulted in disaster." replied The evasion of truth. the world shall be not as are peerless beauties." king. but as he wishes follies it to be. he turns his head away from that truth also and will never admit himself to have been at fault. etc.

— — " Well. was it not so. when you treasure it delivered in her my letter. and therefore deferred pleasing and private hours.' said she." — "No. "I found her winnowwheat very seriously in the back yard." answered Sancho. did she kiss it? Did she bosom. since she did it the honour of touching it with her divine hand." "Then. Don Quixote puts it aside and substitutes that which he wishes might he the truth. . far more than is here ." it. or embroidering some curious device in answered the squire. truly. — she was very busy handling her sieve. me her captive knight. or what ceremony did she use worthy such a letter? How did she behave herself?" "¥iTiy. But go on. of it. that every corn of that wheat was a grain of pearl. *do so — required leisure. at whitest bread least. this.'" discretion!" cried Don Quixote. sifted by her white hands. "she knew that a perusal prythee. if you must allow it must make the finest. *And letter much as lay that down upon that sack there. was it not of the finest " Very indifferent. Didst thou faith." said the Don. for her more So again and again. sir." said the squire. You well. I thought. my Sancho?** ing a parcel of — sort?" observe the quality of the wheat. "you may rest assured. I cannot read it till I have "0 unparalleled winnowed out what is in my hands. honest friend.170 THE GREATEST BOOKS yet will returns. in see the fine drawing of it and how page after page. and how was that queen of beauty then employed? gold for On my conscience. thou found'st her stringing of orient pearls. not even wait the telling "You arrived. "when I offered her the letter. as Sancho holds out the simple truth to him.

but only an have it that these rather innocent oppressor of innocence. now in another. never admitting that he letting loose on society dangers and strate with him. . to the galleys. for serious offenses. He will not men are criminals. crimes against society. or we hear thing now the theme now in this key. In the adventure of the criminals on their way we have the same theme. For Don Quixote will not see this man to be an officer of the law. now given out by flutes and oboes as it were. said in is it for a knight-errant. Then he manart a cat "Thou by ages violence to free the convicts of their is chains. Straightway his Quixote sees a desire does away with all this truth. they are men oppressed whom he must succor and release from the officer of the law who leads them. Don line of miscreants who." Don Quixote says to him. is 171 sustained. and a rat and a coward to boot. the same thing in this light.DON QUIXOTE quoted. now blared forth by the brasses. are being led in chains to just punishment. When Sancho Don Quix- ventures to point this out to him and remon- we have best manner : — this. and under oppres- "You duffle-headed clown. we see the now in that. now taken up by the strings. ote's evils. when he meets with people laden with chains.

and lies like a baseborn villain and this I will make him know more effectually. linked together like the beads whereupon I did what my conscience and my me to. with the convincing edge of my sword!" This said with a grim look of a rosary.. which is the famous Malbrino's helmet. and who wears on his head to protect his hat from rain his brass barber's basin. Immediately Don Quix- wearing a helmet of gold. Again Sancho urges him that this is not so. Don Quixote sees coming toward him a traveling barber riding an ass. we have the same thing in still another and lighter key. to THE GREATEST BOOKS examine whether they are in those circumstances for their crimes or only through misfortune? We are only to relieve the afllicted. to look on their distress. "and the devil of anything I can .. and not on their crimes." replied Sancho. dejected. thou eternal misbeliever!" Quixote. And what has any man to say to this? If any one dares say otherwise . who went along sorrowful. with a up directly towards us upon a dapple-grey helmet of gold on his head ? " "I see what — 1 see. In the inimitable adventure of Mambrino's helmet. profession obliged he fixed himself in his stirrups and pulled his helm over his brows.172 sion. "dost thou not see that knight that Don conies riding steed. but what we have in reply is the following : — "How cried can I be mistaken. I say he knows little of knight-errantry. of which he has read in some of his musty ote's fancy sees in the traveler a knight books of knight-errantry. I met a company of poor wretches.

seeing himself descended on by what appears to be an apparition. I will finish this adventure. "I laugh. but here the thing becomes too much for him." The barber. 173 with thee. o' top of his head. tri- umphant. and get sight broad country ahead. "What does the fool grin at now?" cried Don Quixote. "to think what a hugeous jolt-head he must needs have who was the owner of this same helmet that looks for all the world like a barber's basin. and possess myself of the desired helmet. away trifling much as a moment in needless talk. to of a ." said he. and leave thou shalt that without Don Quixote. For you notice that before this Sancho has disputed and combated his master's delusions and false assertions." replied — "I so tell Mambrino's helmet. Sancho between fear and mirth very nearly but not quite laughs outright. "do me to deal with him." And just here we come to a notable point in the a fine turn in the highway.DON QUIXOTE spy but a fellow on such another grey ass as mine something that ghtters that is is. and though he has it in his very hand and under the feel of his very fingers. his master's madness here becomes too strong for his handling. leaving the basin behind." see. throws himself off his ass and scuttles away for dear life. Don Quixote seizes it. it breaks down even his stout and tale. he still declares it to be a helmet and claps it on his head as such. thou stand at a distance.

so companions withdraw their converse. only his own exaggerated opinions as- serted dogmatically. alienated would seem as though Cervantes. is so ordered that no man can fail. he at last becomes separated from his fellows. conceived of madness as an alienation. They can no longer deal with him on the basis of truth.174 THE GREATEST BOOKS and practical manner. un- . every assertion which that by and by his differs from his own. that of others is undermined somewhat. as happens. They let him have his hobbies and let them go at that. stolid self -deceived. In this way. long before modern science took up the term. His own mental integrity ruined. more and more he is alienated from his kind. it Don Quixote is But the world. and. without affecting others be in truth or any other than himself. — on himself be the penalty. as time goes on. whether it So nobility. Don Quixote's self-deception begins to alter Sancho. He resents every dispute. more and more he is a lonely figure. There is no longer any exchange of opinions between himself and from his kind. His intellectual integrity gone. and those who are mad as aliens. as Don Quixote more and more indulges his delusions and further departs from strict intellectual and moral integrity and truth. It others. affects others. less and less can any one help him. As the story goes on.

" plan. in trying to cure his master of untruth. across the wide fields of their controversy. for a mind like Sancho's. Besides the instances just quoted. They can no longer deal with him on any reasonable terms. that being. who. Don Quixote's friends. the shortest cut. finally gets to even Sancho downright deception in dealing with him. him withdraw truth from him. to peace. he makes wild assertions and his friends and companions leave them at last undisputed. though for a better purpose. at a Don Quixote proposes some new and . mad companions are "all struck new folly. who has held out longest. you see. we find. but they came into his new design. The whole reasonable order of living and of other people's lives is destroyed by the failure of one man to admit reasonably . do the same. however gentle and courtly by nature. This. this: his with amazement at this Sancho. and approved of his folly as if it were wise. .DON QUIXOTE those about 175 truthful himself to a very point of madness. Those with whom Don Quixote by the meets in his adventures are all more or less set ears by this knight. is the natural development and progress point where of all egotism. The curate and the barber and the bachelor. is nevertheless like a kind of untruth incarnate.

finally relinquish the truth for peace' sake But at last the matter — was made up. absurdly sensible. with . one of the most kindly and most humorous. is it Don faithfully. practical. given to calling a spade a spade. a poor in wits as he is in purse. a kind of animated proverb. : mad against him for the truth's sake. dull. full of proverbs. obvious.176 THE GREATEST BOOKS that things are as they are. and concrete and very simple truth himself. the basin a helmet. man downright. Don Quixote would have it so. amusing. as frank to admit that the object of his expeditions is pelf as his master is zealous in asserting his object to be the succor of the distressed. as when (it is only one of many instances) he declares. funny. His language is like himself. In one of the best scenes at the inn. THE CHARACTER OF SANCHO In splendid contrast to the character of Quixote. yet complementing matchless. the whole place to sustain is set in turmoil Don Quixote's last all the parties At who have been contending assertions. and the inn a castle. Practical. faithful. dull. he goes through the story from end to end. the packsaddle was if agreed to be horse furniture. perpetually calling attention to obvious facts. till the day of judgment. and as that of Sancho Panza. trite.

but his craving is no immaterial and high-flown thing. what he most craves. There is. barring always the craving of that fever to be governor of an island with which Don Quixote has inoculated him early in the story. like that of his master. cleverly matched with Sancho. He goes through sorry adventures with a wry face and through pleasant ones with a happy countenance. sincerity. and a craving nature. so contented. perhaps. in any event. is a comfortable place to sleep and good things to eat. not he." He pretends nothing. Sancho's wife Teresa is as simple as he. Don Quixote" and jests In the second part of the "Adventures of where the coarse horseplay — at the home of the Duke and . as the description of Sancho at the wedding of Comacho. no place in the book quite so happy. yet with a little touch of the cleverness and tact of the feminine added.DON QUIXOTE cheer and downright sincerity. ladling out pullets and geese for himself with a saucepan and falling to on the feast. a downright piece of that stupid yet refreshing good sense and honesty not uncommon in many of her class. Good humor. [177 when he is about an errand: "For the sooner I go to start away on the sooner shall I come back. these are his. and the way to be gone is not to stay here.

the humor. What! would they take his master away from his adventures! Would they rob Sancho of his island. those of Teresa and to the Duchess are about as good as anything in the whole book. the charm for like other great books of this great book. blotting out all other consideration.178 THE GREATEST BOOKS the letters of Sancho Duchess pall on one. — it is practically inexhaustible. mad promises of his master. calling attention to One could go on and on the consistency. of which he may any minute gain possession ! So he berates them for knaves. the wit. and for a moment he seems as demented as his master. more nearly associated with him. but there is space . and characteristically and try loss. the Teresa redeem whole. enough it turns on his own gain When he finds that the curate and the barber are going to take Don Quixote home to and cure him. only the loss has been promised him looms of the island that large in Sancho's mind. His clumsy folly and frank greed show themselves suddenly in anger and a madness of his own. Sancho himself develops at last a madness of his own. But though Teresa maintains her good sense — almost — not quite — unaffected by the mad Under adventures of the Don Quixote. does not. yet Sancho.

Lear. as the adventure and canvas of the story. But there are other feelings than those of tenderness and devotion that this character draws out. his distinction. One cannot read of the mad. not the blood of the Quixadas that gives He. he recalls to us. adventurous knight without in time coming to love him with a kind of tender devotedness. and quote only inexactly) that he would rather listen to the irrational talk of her he loved most (his beloved and aflflicted sister) than to wisdom of many sages. He is the embodied men who have so long believed their own opinions that they are no longer open to the reason of others. as far-reaching. The character of Don Quixote is as human and universal. . is a child of the race itand a brother to all of us. We are reminded of Charles Lamb saying (I know not where to find it. Faust. — his mad egotism. though with less solemn tragedy. his unlikely spirit of all follies. The adventures of thousands of men and women since the world began are bound up in his irrational hopes. and the rest.DON QUIXOTE here only to 179 sum up for better study the charac- ter of its hero. as broad. Christian. we know him to be more than Don Quixote of La Mancha. listen to the It is him self. one might say. like Ulysses. As we know him better.

he is the spirit. touched hands with him a hundred times. for.180 THE GREATEST BOOKS and many more. too. too. in it for each of us. all. severally degrees. who have clung and reason. met in this one great character. Here. less . are all those harmed by the sophistry and unsound reasoning of others. this Don Quixote. differing Don irrational determination to believe as he wants is to believe rather than as the facts warrant something with which most of us are more or possessed. who push the realities of life aside. and instead of truth. We have passed by him often. Here. are all those lost in their own beliefs. too. with their blood flowing in his veins as it were. of all young men as well. indeed. men and women made mad by the countless systems and religions and teachings of those who substitute theories and mysteries and romance for the clear truths of life. will have only their own visions of life as they prefer to believe it to be. this madness of is Don Quixote. and his eyes have looked out at us from under many other disguises than that of the rusty armor in which Cervantes clothes him. a madness Quixote's with which we are affected in without doubt. so strong in him. to their follies against fact The character is not so particular as it is univerSome strange and striking familiarity is sal.

DON QUIXOTE

181

Lockhart observes that: "Don Quixote is not merely to be regarded as a Spanish Cavalier, filled with a Spanish madness, and exhibiting that madness in the eyes of Spaniards of every condition and rank of life, from the peasant to he is also the type of a more the grandee; imiversal madness; he is the symbol of Imagination, continually struggling and contrasted with Reality; he represents the eternal warfare between Enthusiasm and Necessity the eternal discrepancy between the aspirations and the occupation of man the omnipotence and the vanity of human dreams." But the matter goes deeper even than this. Not only is "Don Quixote" faithful in its delineation of human nature, but it holds up again and again one of the desirable and great ideals of life for all of us to see. It insists again and again in its own manner, on one of the great fundamental desires and needs of the human heart. Here, as in "Faust," the great lesson is taught and the great message delivered by negative means. "Faust," selfish almost up to the last, teaches as do few other characters the great lesson of self-sacrifice Don Quixote, mad through a hundred and twenty-five chapters and regaining his reason only on his deathbed, teaches and

.

sets forth the value

and

desirability of truth as

182

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no other character has ever done, and inspires us, as no other, to a better seeking of it. Reading of
this

madman, our own reason
laughed
at, in

consciously or
follies

unconsciously becomes the clearer. These
of his

most
life,

cases, so kindly

hy the
of our

author,

shame us to relinquish a few follies

own;

the ruin of his

the loss of his mental

integrity through the indulgence of his

unwar-

ranted fancy, strike in us some fear

have sacrificed

we may our own integrity, our own knowllest

edge of truth for something that at the time has

seemed more desirable than the truth. Has our own reason been stultified by systems of elaborate beliefs foisted on us by others, or have we thought for ourselves? Have we flattered facts, and assumed what was not.^ Have we pretended or given royalty and titles to things that had none; cheated ourselves and others.^ Have we
exaggerated
stress
trifles,

tilted

at

windmills,

laid

on the unimportant, and overlooked the one thing of great and fundamental value? Or have we seen true, or, at least, desired to see true,
as dear, pitiful

Don

Quixote until almost the
of this courteous

very last did not?

So even

in the
is

madness

Don

Quixote there

a kind of hidden courtesy,

—a

sort of secret charity

and high purpose

in his left

hand

of

which

his right hand, for all its generous

DON QUIXOTE

183

giving, knows nothing. For the tale, even while amusing us, has succeeded in making beautiful that "sweet reasonableness" in which Don Quix-

ote himself
is

is

so lacking.

The very tragedy

itself

thus softened, and that madness, which would
of the

make
to

Knight

of

La Mancha one

of the

really tragic figures of literature, contrives only

make him

instead one of the most lovable.

Dignity, pity, kindness, madness, high purpose

and unreasonableness and failure; out of all of which, by some genius of the author, is wrought a victory of the mind and a truth for the spirit. It is as though Cervantes had set himself to embody, in one memorable and striking figure, humanity itself as he saw it; humanity old,
untruthful, deluded, wandering

among a thou-

sand cheats, clinging to outworn customs and beliefs, pretending to nobilities not its own, lending itself here, there, everywhere among a thousand falsehoods; humanity with its ineffectual virtues, its imperfect vision; man with his wasted energies, his pitiful follies, his selfdelusion, "infinitely childish, often admirably valiant, often touchingly kind; sitting down, amidst his momentary life, to debate of right and wrong and the attributes of the deity; rising up to do battle for an egg or die for an idea." Don Quixote is, indeed, a "diversified madman"

184

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"neither
all

whom

the physicians nor the scribes

of the world can cure of his distemper"; yet

teaching and instilling, even

by his very madness, a deeper reverence and longing for truth, and
fast, in
it

holding
love of

some chamber

of his brain, the
it

himself and coming to

humbly and

gratefully at the last.

;

;

CHAPTER X
PILGRIM'S PROGRESS
Ingenious dreamer, in whose well-told tale Sweet fiction and sweet truth alike prevail Whose hum'rous vein, strong sense, and simple style May teach the gayest, make the gravest smile Witty, and well employed, and like thy Lord, Speaking in parables his slighted word.

COWPER.
is no wise our best theologian ; neither, theology our most attractive science yet which of our compends and treatises, nay, which of our romances and poems, lives in such mild sunshine as the good old " Pilgrim's Progress " in the memory of so many men ?

John Bunyan, we hope,
is

unhappily,

;

Gablylb.

Even those who regard

Christianity itself as but a natural out-

growth of the conscience and intellect, and yet desire to live nobly and make the best of themselves, can recognize familiar footprints
in every step of Christian's journey.
. . .

We,

too,

every one of us,

are pilgrims on the same road.

Fboudb.

It

is,

roughly, about two hundred and fifty

years since the "Pilgrim's Progress" was written.

In that time it has been translated into some seventy or eighty tongues and has become known
all

around the world; in
itself.

its

only to the Bible
history of

Here a remarkable book
it.

wide circuit second is a remarkable

— no

other was

ever, indeed, quite like

186

THE GREATEST BOOKS

When, questioning the reasons for its greatwe look into the life of John Bunyan, its author, we find him to have been a man of the people, with not more learning than could be got
ness,

books.

from scant schooling and the reading of a few His father a brazier, a worker in the

coarser metals,

Bunyan

himself followed the

same trade, working, as a young man, as a tinker, at the mending of pots and kettles, and working later in the Baptist church of his parish, by the word of God, at the mending of men's souls.
TIMES IN WHICH BUNYAN LIVED

Bunyan's life was lived in England (he was born there in 1628 and died there in 1688) during the times ®f Charles I, Cromwell, and Charles II. It was an age of fierce struggles, religious and Royalist and Roundhead, Church otherwise of England and Puritan, set determinedly each against the other. Cromwell' s devoted fighting were picked not so much men "Ironsides" for their knowledge of war as for their religious Cromwell's great warlike enterprises fervor. were all undertaken with prayer. He and his officers would assemble and pray with tears for light and divine guidance before any important action was decided on. There did not lack fervid and devout souls who, rebelling against falsity

wishing to purify the Established Church. and palpable awaited the sinner. cerity. but fact. and very especially it stood for freedom and sincerity in religion. and one part of their sin- .PILGRIM'S PROGRESS 187 of all kinds. established a worship based almost wholly on sincerity. his deep — some try. our their own fashion. he clung to say even loyal to it. consistently. Bunyan never left his coun- While not bitterly intolerant of the Crown. Before Bunyan was Pilgrims had left own a country where religious per- secution was general and religious freedom was difficult to obtain. yet there is this notable Puritanism was a more downright strongly for freedom and sinit stood thing. religious freedom and remained at home to carry out there." The Puritans. which had fallen into insincerities and corruption. — convictions. If the Puritanism of those days seems to us hardly less superstitious than must have seemed the teachings of the Established Church of that day to the Puritans. In Bunyan's day a belief in a material hell that burned and in an everlasting punishment was as real and commonplace as scientific invesdifference: tigation in hard is in ours. "Hell. not in metaphor. courageously. claimed for themselves the free liberty of choice to be fervid and devout in born.

If at the end of that time they were still obstinate. with which they found the Established Church overgrown. We can judge much of their purpose from the names by which history and their own times designate them: Puritans. During Cromwell's Protectorate. they were liable to execution as felons. And worse still: "Nonconformists refusing to attend worship in the parish churches were to be imprisoned till they made their submission. They were tired of the mys- teries. Three months were allowed them to consider.188 THE GREATEST BOOKS showed itself in their cerity very literal interpre- tation of the Bible. to them without meaning. the Puritans were permitted more or less to follow their own beliefs. and if they subsequently returned to England without permission from the Crown. as well as that of Charles II. Nonconformists. Dissenters. Not this alone. though this was enough to have stirred deeply the old sincerities of those sincere men and women. but they were commanded by the Crown to attend worship in the Established Church they had learned to hate and mistrust. matters went so far that the Nonconformists and Puritans were forbidden to hold their religious meetings. This Act had fallen with the Long Par- . the symbols and forms. they were to be banished the realm. But during the reign of Charles I.

The law. under penalties. Their separate meetings were prohibited. of course. He kept his resolve. and . His confinement there a period of twelve years. but at the Restoration it was held to have revived and to be still in force. but they had to attend church. . The Dissenters' chapels were closed. what they could to enable him to evade the law. . Bunyan preaching to them as to obey. on the other hand.PILGRIM'S PROGRESS 189 liament. The Bedford Baptists refused Their meeting-house in the town was shut up." Bunyan to give was. but he would make no such promise. The parish churches were cleared of their unordained ministers. soon spied upon and brought to judgment. had to be administered. did fined to Bedford lasted in all for jail. It was told him that he could be if free on bail until his trial he would promise not to preach during the meantime. before and going to the place in disguise. and Bunyan was conmagistrates then. they were not only forbidden to worship in their own fashion. but Bunyan was no man of evasions and would accept no compromise with his own soul. He was arrested. . but they continued to assemble in woods and outhouses. it is The believed. He refused stubbornly up his religious liberty. refused to go to church. even though he knew he must suffer the penalty of the law.

too fond of those great mercies. and that not only ing with because I am too. it must be admitted. at the very least. in which. but also . as against that Yet I was a man compassed with infirmities.190 THE GREATEST BOOKS Looking into the circumstances of his arrest and trial. The partmy wife and poor children hath often been to me in this place [the prison in which he was writing] as the pulling of my flesh from my bones. the law was as lenient as it consistently could be. Bunyan's obstinate devotion to this cause of a free religion might here or there seem to take on a semblance of fanaticism. his courage. and regarded in the light of our own day. but remembering the beliefs and happenings of his own day it stands out clearly as the courageous determination of a man w^ho dared face many a haunting torment of heart and mind for the sake of what he believed to be right. However different his beliefs from our own. For this struggle caused him mental suffering of an extreme degree. can read the following account of himself which Bunyan wrote in prison without keen sympathy and understanding. or. right. without being convinced of Bunyan's entire integrity of heart and mind. and his suffering. it difficult No one who has found to do that which the spirit knows is which the heart tells us is pleasant. we can but be touched by his sincerity.

. . and an inheritance among them that are What sanctified?" Thus was I tossed many weeks. This lay with great trouble on me.] Poor for child.. and give occasion to the enemy. I feared I might show a weak heart. cold. of eternal tor- ment not uncommon his day. that my imprisonment might end in the gallows for aught I could tell. Yet. 191 with. now endure I. blind [It my mmd the hardmy poor family was like to meet should I be taken from them. I had this much upon my spirit. which I was must partake of that for fear of the cross do shrink from their profession.. suffer hunger. and wants lends meaning to his words when we remember that art thou like to his beloved blind child did indeed die while he was in prison. The sure they things of God were kept out of my sight. who lay nearer my heart than all I had besides. thought I. what sorrow ! have thy portion in this world Thou must be beaten. In the condition I now was in I was not fit to die. too. the wind should blow on thee. I to the sincerest minds of had dread of the torments of hell. miseries. for methought I was ashamed to die with a pale face and tottering knees for such a cause as this. thought I. though I cannot yet. especially my poor child. I was as a man who was pulling down his house upon the head of his wife and children. The tempter fol- lowed me with. I must do it I must do it. Also. thought I — Added to all those tugs at his heart was the fear of death and that fear.PILGRIM'S PROGRESS because I should have often brought to ships. and a thousand calamities. though it goeth to the quick to leave you. "But whither must you go when you die? will become of you? What evidence have you for heaven and glory. But must venture all with God. nakedness.

and sake. It the right — that he the right will : Nothing bound. or save me at the last. it was my duty to stand to His word. but that had nothing to do with his own duty. as he pleased. too. well and — good. I will leap off the ladder even blindfold into eternity. but else matters — what he believes to be do. I was He was free yea. his. the "Pilgrim's Progress. but illumines his great work. of Doubts. you him.192 THE GREATEST BOOKS see. Hell. for not only does it and re-read carefully show us the of force and courage and earnestness it Bunyan himself. Then we see moment we him beat down hands of is this. thought I. sink or swim. has it not It has the sound of other great resolves of other great hearts. with those strong spiritual all consideration of his piness. — for right's him fling away own happiness or unhapsee We God might give me comfort or not. For a a heavenly reward assailed are perhaps out of sympathy with him that he should have so great concern for the reward of his virtue. come Heaven. it and its meanings . It is well to read this last passage. whether He would ever look upon me or no." and sheds strong light on it whereby we may study more clearly. ! It has a familiar ring. [If God chose to reward him.] K God come does not come in.

On the other hand. recovering himself. soul. but the sufferings and punishments and rewards are not his. — but the courage and deter- mination of Bunyan were mingled with a kind of persistent tenderness which pervades this entire great book of his. Dante's keen appreciation of the sins of man. after all. Dante went through hell. paradise. by far the more intimate thing of the two. stumbling. Though there is a certain resemblance between them. battling. the hero of "Pilgrim's Progress" on his journey does not." he but observes and looks on at the suffering and punishments and rewards of his fellow-men. — we it is read of his swooning at sight of the suffering of his fellow-beings. Though Dante is himseM the hero. of the "Divine Comedy. failing. Christian goes experiencing. so much look on at the trials and blessings of others as he tastes them for himself. He is keenly affected by sympathy for them. pur- the "Pilgrim's Progress" gatory. observing. rejoicing. his stern sense of justice. . it is true. as it were. — were allied with — that passion of his pity.PILGRIM'S PROGRESS 193 THE STORY OF THE PILGRIM's PROGRESS Longfellow speaks of the "Pilgrim's Progress" as a kind of "Divine Comedy " in prose. true. yet is. overcoming. in the main.

loving or his parts. of which at thoughts I coidd never be rid. with appreas I then hensions of devils and wicked thought. and did terrify me with dreadful visions. a Puritan hell not so vastly different. to reconcile difference and make friendships with all. is clear from his own writings : — My sins [he my childhood says] did so offend the Lord that even in He did scare and affright me with fearful I dreams. but rather to seem low in his own eyes. . but in his conversation mild and observing never to boast of himself affable. laboured to draw who still.194 THE GREATEST BOOKS that "in We read what a friend wrote of him. me away with them. after all." That he had been in hell even as Dante had. writing of the *' Pilgrim's . and teach one a certain pity and tenderness for all who with like sensitiveness or morbidness pass through the like torments of an inflamed imagination. I was afflicted with thoughts of the Day of Judgment night and day. if beliefs as they do not utterly wreck the mind. . not seeming to revenge injuries. of the fearful torments of hell But such personally tormenting these. from the mediseval one. have been in my bed greatly afflicted while asleep. . trembling fire. countenance he appeared to be of a stern and rough temper. Macaulay. and submit himself to the judgment of others. spirits. can but leave one a gentler judgment of others.

Knowledge. Bunyan's personification of virtues and vices was no new device. and harassed minds. Discretion. Christian. in the form of allegory. It is remember that for several centuries this form was the vivid and popular form in which religious and spiritual truths were most often clothed. some of these dating as many as five or six hundred years before Bunyan. Beauty.PILGREM'S PROGRESS 195 Progress. especially it was in this form that religious and spiritual truths were most frequently taught when they were presented to the people by means of any of the arts. timid. . or. the change of a man's heart and life is The entire story from sin to righteousness. on his way from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. but he used it in his own inimitable manner." The story of the "Pilgrim's Progress" is that of a man. living characters Strength. it may be said in less symbolic language." points out that "the feeling which predominates through the whole book is a feeling of tenderness for weak. When we compare even what might be considered the best and most with of living of the morality plays. its "Everyman." personified virtues. It had been used repeatedly. well to Bunyan used an old form. customarily by the churches in their religious dramas or morality and miracle plays.

"Here will I spill thy soul"? Bunyan had the poetic vision.196 THE GREATEST BOOKS so forth." And is the "Blatant Beast" and the "deadly sins" any one of them as real to us as Bunyan's Apolthose of the Beautiful. living when spiritual and religious questions . "straddling" the path before poor Christian." "House varied landscape of the "Faerie — — — lyon. and we find it cold. along- side of the lifelike reality of "Pilgrim's Pro- where the characters are real people having certain qualities. he possessed the poetic and picturesque habit of clothed realities in symbols in a time ." famous which renders Bunyan's personified vices and virtues so haunting and memorable. indeed. Even Spenser with gress. Spenser's "House of Pride" is not a place whose halls and stairways and upper chambers are familiar to our feet as are all his poetical genius never lent to his allegory any of that reality Nor in all the Queene" shall you come on so fair and memorable a valley as Bunyan's "Valley of Humiliation. with its gentle flocks of lambs drawn to the feeding. and crying out. exulting." low and green and sweet. mind which moreover. not certain qualities masquerading as real people. nor so worldly a place very life. so that we hear even the very busy hubbub of its streets as the town of "Vanity.

that notable sincerity which. no doubt. he had an extraordinary sensitiveness to the moral and spiritual duty and destiny of man." And to do this Bunyan told of his own experience. was the more fanciful "Faerie Queene. he is as real as of the brain. but a piece and human life and the soul's experience. . added to these other qualities. is as sincere as Bunyan. he had that great. whose first adventure on his journey is that of the Slough of Despond and whose last recounted experience is that of entrance into the joy of his Lord. and to guide them to a state of happiness. but more than these. had made his life one of keen * ' tor- ment. his hero. which Dante declared actuated the writing of the "Divine Comedy": "to remove those living in this life from a state of misery. Christian. wrote out of his own struggles and tears. parcel of any one of us. and own hard-won triumphs and peace at last. extraordinary effort. The Pilgrim's Progress " was written not to please queens and courtiers. and spiritual triumph." it was written out of Bunyan's experience and knowledge with much the same purpose. as — recounted his own his state of misery.— PILGRIM'S PROGRESS 197 were uppermost in the minds of all deeply earnest men. much suffering. because he is Bunyan. because he is no figment no thing imagined. his doubts and fears.

a of man named Evangelist asked him the cause his trouble. is And as follows : — There was once upon a time a man named Christian who was oppressed by the burden of his sins which hung like a bundle on his back. the need of righteousness. to cham- pray for and pity them. and showed him what he must do to attain to . he urged him to flee from the City of Destruction. Then he became oppressed as he thought of his own unrighteousness and (to return to the old wording again) he longed to know what he must do to be saved. or. while he was walking in the fields.] wherefore he began to retire himself to his ber. They deride. when Christian told him. to put it in terms nearer our own times. the one book that Bunyan knew well) of the necessity for salvation.198 THE GREATEST BOOKS the story. sometimes they would sometimes they would chide. believing some "frenzied distemper has got into his head. also thought to drive away his distemper harsh and surly carriages to him. and sometimes they would quite neglect him: [Remembering all the inward gentleness of Bunyan himself the next lines bring us close to him. One day he read in "the Book" (the Bible." But by he was not to be dissuaded. briefly. scolding. and. denouncing. His wife and family and neighbors tried to dissuade him from such thoughts. and ridiculing him. One day.

resolved to bring him back lieving by force. . But being unable to persuade him. This was enough for Pliable. Obstinate turned back. too fond. "But his wife and children.) Also Christian's friends and neighbors. poor blind child. perceiving it. friends of his. and Pliable and Christian continued across the field toward the wicket gate together." "those great mercies" of which he was all "too." But he put his fingers in his ears that he might not hear (There comes to their entreaties and ran on. field to 199 He pointed him across a wide this. Obstinate and Pliable. Christian a little wicket gate. And. But on the way thither they both fell into a boggy place called the Slough of Despond. scrambling out of the slough "on the side which was nearest to his house. Then Christian ran toward the place pointed out to him. followed after.PILGRIM'S PROGRESS the Celestial City. began to cry after him to return. At was told. and from there on he would be directed to the way he should go. would have detained him. he must enter." he returned home. mind involuntarily Bunyan's own account in prison how his love for his wife and children." "especially called to my him and would have deterred him from his resolve. indeed. be- him mad.

and. being interpreted.Wiseman pointed out could never lead him to righteousness. rebuking him for having turned aside from the path. yet feeling all the while the Christian. upon great weight of the bundle of sins upon his back. or his young son Civility.200 THE GREATEST BOOKS and went his journey. where dwelt an old gentleman named Legality. however." Here he was welcomed by the master of the house. but to turn aside. who advised Christian not to take that course pointed out to him by Evangelist. decisions. in a path that would lead him to the town of Morality. one named WorldlyWiseman. so Christian learned that the road Worldly. Then Evangelist came once more to Christian's rescue. But as legality (or the law). Somewhat farther along he came to the "House of the Interpreter. rather. struggled on. his In this place the story reads not unlike Dante's . So Christian came at last to the wicket gate. would there Later he fell in with rid Christian of his burden. and was shown many things of interest. set him again in the right road. nor civility do away with it. would help him to that wisdom necessary to journey. cannot and entered a straight and narrow way. This same Legality. whatever its wipe away sin. which.

last And behold three Shining Ones came to him and saluted him with " Peace be to thee " so the first said to him. Then Christian gave three leaps for joy. Christian came at by a narrow path to the foot of a cross. and gave him a roll with a seal upon it. 201 even as Virgil showed Dante the of their souls of those who had sinned. There is not room here to tell of them Sloth. and that he should give it in at the Celestial Gate. From all: here on Christian met many fellow- travelers. which he bid him look on as he ran. the second stript him of his rags and clothed him with Change of Raiment. telhng own sin. Presumption. singing. Hypocrisy." for here. Mistrust.PILGRIM'S PROGRESS "Inferno. So they went their way. and THE HILL OF DIFFICULTY AND THE CHAMBER OP PEACE He had not gone far on his before way. ere there rose him a great hill called the Hill of DiflSculty. Leaving the Interpreter. others. and went on . meant only for a place of rest and refreshment . " Thy sins be forgiven". Midway up the ascent was an arbor. so the Interpreter showed Christian those who. and as he came to it the heavy burden of his sins fell from him. The third also set a mark in his forehead. warned and instructed him and roused him to pity.

This is. slept some Here. Then the four accompanied him to the foot of the Hill of Difficulty and there bade him God- speed and good-bye and gave him a loaf of bread. obliged to return to the arbor for it. they clothed Christian in armor from head to foot and placed a sword in his hand. Here he sat him down to supper with them and they discoursed of the Lord of the Hill and of his loving kindness.202 THE GREATEST BOOKS precious hours away. this he came finally. heedless. Piety. after the sun had to a stately palace called Beautiful. Now before the four damsels allowed him to go farther on his journey. . he was for pilgrims. he lost some time because. but here Christian. a resting- by the Lord of the Hill for the safety and entertainment of pilgrims. forgetting his roll. place built the happiest part of the "Pilgrim's Progress. perhaps. After that Christian was conducted for the night to a large upper chamber whose windows opened toward the sunrising. too." where in the stately palace Christian is hospitably entertained by four beautiful damsels: Discretion. Prudence. and Charity. Beyond set. for they knew that between them and the Delectable Mountain which lay outside the Celestial City stretched such places as should try hard the courage of Christian. and the name of this chamber was Peace.

I never saw him all the while give so much as one pleasant look. A fearful fight it was So. till he perceived he had wounded Apollyon with his two-edged sword. For it was here and in no other place that Christian encountered Apollyon. prepare thyself to die." and here that he fought with him very desperately for many hours until his strength was well-nigh spent. Christian was raisins. Yet in the end it was Christian who came off conqueror. here will I spill thy soul. can imagine. — In this combat [says Bunyan] no unless he man . whereas in a later part of the story it is is shov/n that this Valley of Humiliation a place "rich with grass and covered with flocks". Then Apollyon straddled quite over the whole breadth way and said: " I am void of fear in this matter. a "foul fiend. Now. for I swear. 203 then he now come by this time to the Valley of Humiliation. without . . and a cluster of went on his way. and whereas we are told that some pilgrims find pleasure in its low green fields. by my infernal Den. . then indeed he did smile and look upward. that of the thou shalt go no farther." doubt Apollyon's victory seemed sure. what yelling and and on the other what sighs and groans burst from Christian's heart. but it was the dreadfullest sight that ever I saw. yet so did not Christian.PILGRIM'S PROGRESS a bottle of wine. hideous roaring Apollyon side made . had seen and heard as I did.

too. and there overtook one called Faithful. meeting many others by the way. Here. and here Faithful was condemned to death. After this. Christian traveled on once more. saddened. and Christian must needs go through this also.204 THE GREATEST BOOKS More than this. deep holes and shelvings down. a place which swarmed with people and wherein was held a called All-Prayer. kept all the year round. by the inhabitants Here they were brought at last for judgment before its court. notably one Talkative. at the end of the Valley of Humiliation lay another valley. the Valley of Shadow of Death. after mistreated them. Yet from much . one of the best drawn and most lifelike of all the characters. and from here on they traveled together. by means of care and a the toward the end of the Valley. though they behaved themselves only as Christians." Yet Christian. lay a grievous adventure in Doubting where Giant Despair beat and this. safely weapon came very great fair. they were ill-treated of the town. Ahead of them Castle. despising or turning from the things of Vanity. It was a fearful place beset with snares and nets and fears and darkness. "pits and pitfalls. So traveling together Christian and Faithful came to a town called Vanity. yet accompanied now by one Hopeful.

were certain shepherds keeping their flocks and whose names were Knowledge. Watchful. he came a stranger into And here Hopeful began to be very dull and heavy of sleep. . Other in view. And from these Delectable Mountains. and Sincere." Here. let us : lie down here and take one nap. my Brother ? is sweet to the labor- man. Expeof rience. but the end is There is one adventure. whose if tended to make one drowsy. and did freely eat of the Vineyards. that of the Enchanted Ground. wherefore he said unto Christian. Sleep if we never awake more. THE ENCHANTED GKOUND After this the tale comes soon to a close. to the Delectable Mountains. far beyond. and these con- ducted Christian and Hopeful and showed them many things both of reason and wisdom. the pilgrims. too.PILGRIM'S PROGRESS suffering they escaped 205 and came. in time. where also they drank and washed themselves. where there were "Gar- dens and Orchards and Vineyards and Fountains Water. it. the Celestial City could be seen. said the other. we may be refreshed we take a nap. lest sleeping Christian By no means. which reminds one strongly of the "Lotus-Land" of the " Odyssey": difficulties befall — They went air naturally till they came into a certain country. and of hope and of warning. I do now mine begin to grow so drowsy that I can scarcely hold up eyes. Hopeful ing : Why.

is one of the places in the pilgrimage where the reader lingers as willingly as did the pilgrims. Here they heard continually the singing of Birds and saw every day the Flowers appear in the earth. wherefore let us not sleep as do others. Here they had no want of Corn and Wine . . From here. so that by reason of the natural glory of the City. At this the pilgrims. and especially Christian. And drawing near to the City. that He meant by we should beware of sleeping. After this respite they come at last to what perhaps the darkest difficulty of all. the dark river "without a bridge. wherefore this was beyond the Valley of the Shadow of Death. they must cross before they can enter the City which lies beyond it. having got over the Enchanted Ground." This. hke the Palace Beautiful. the pilgrims entered the Country of Beulah " whose air was very sweet and pleasant. . they are told. . and also out of the reach of Giant Despair. . sight of the . Here they were in City. they had yet a more perfect view thereof. too. In this country the Sun shineth night and day.206 Christian : THE GREATEST BOOKS Do you remember that one of the shepherds ? bid us beware of the Enchanted Ground that. and the reflection of the Sunbeams upon it. neither could they from this place so much as see Doubting Castle. but let us watch and be sober. "began to despond in is ." This. It was builded of Pearls and Precious stones. . also the street thereof was paved with Gold. and heard the voice of the Turtle in the land. Christian with desire fell sick.

But remembering the promise of the All-Merciful. the pilgrims are at last of . though he had with courage passed through so many dangers." Hopeful had. the "company of the Blessed. appeared like to be totally overcome by this last one." is This. as they entered they were transfigured and all the Bells in the City rang for joy." he took courage yet once more." 207 They looked was none. but there Finally. "And lo. who. Here a company of the Heavenly Host and of the King's Trumpeters met them and led them into the City with rejoicing and melodious noises and with ten thousand welcomes. and at the other side were met and were led by Shining Ones into the City of God. . . . . much difficulty to comfort Christian. . ness and horror fell upon Christian.PILGRIM'S PROGRESS their minds. the story of in the "Pilgrim's Progress. told only very briefly. I will be with thee. indeed. hoping for escape. so that he could not see before him." So. about. with their journey and sufferings all gone by." The book abounds . **When thou passest through the Waters. they entered the water and Christian began to sink in the sorrows of death and to despair that he should ever see the "land of And with that a great darkmilk and honey. Thus they got over the dark waters at last.

sharers in our hopes. a genuine human being with the faults and failures and mistakes and timorousness. as we. blood. friends.. . are pilgrims. misgivings and reread. . touched with our infirmities. . "All the forms. "The when once of us. Froude declares: a book which. too. We. . .208 THE GREATEST BOOKS and charHere are no mere empty but human beings of flesh and striking phrases. every one on the same road. can never be forgotten." It is Christian himself who is the most real and lifelike of all the characters. allegorical figures. too. The mind Bunyan ." Owing to this lif elikeness 'Pilgrim's Progress' is of the characters and experiences in the book. truths strikingly set. . when he became men." says Macaulay. acters curiously lifelike.. turning courage of our own selves. or overtake the pilgrims. beings to us. giants ill-favored "who cross and hobgoblins. was so imaginative dealt with them. the abstract the interest of the concrete. almost the only writer of who ever gave to . all ones and shining ones . are actually existing is Bunyan . and images and illustrations come back upon us from so faithful an itinerary. that personifications. fellows. as we encounter similar trials and learn for ourselves the accuracy with which Bunyan has described them. . those of our own kind.

in Goethe's "Faust. WHY IS THIS BOOK SO GREAT? have found in studying other great books that one main reason for their greatness and their continued appeal lies in some one experience or motif which each sets out strongly and clearly. in the journey of our lives. in the "Divine Comedy. but can this timorous Christian be regarded as an . difficulties. 209 temptaof ease tions. So the very humanness of it all would seem to give the "Pilgrim's Progress" sufficient claim upon our sympathies and appreciation. joys. at first glance. The experience is one common to humanity or comprises one of the ideals of humanity which the poet for reasons of his own selects and chooses and interprets for us. Faust attained to self-sacrifice. in "Pilgrim's Progress" we find it to be Courage. but there are deeper reasons still." Justice. Dante loved justice. Ulysses was patient. as there always are deep reasons for the lasting greatness of great books. this may seem some- what surprising. discouragements and dark floods. weariness of well-doing.PILGRIM'S PROGRESS journey past doubts. meadows and refreshment. In the "Odyssey" we find this predominant motif or ideal to be Patience." Self -Sacrifice. We Perhaps.

unless one chooses so to remember the melodious noises of the King's Trumpeters at the very ever. which seal and establish the more securely his courage. in this story. humble courage which must attend all those who would attain righteousness. greet last. which. there are no trumpets of victory in honor of great and particular heroism. and all those who would come happily to the end of any diflScult and serious undertaking. we see that daily.weary travelers. as when he fights with Apollyon. not a colored. It is true the courage underlying the ** Pilgrim's Progress" is not that brilliant occasionalcourage of the heroes of romance. or when he faces the dread darkness of the Valley of Death. too. There are. occasions here. it is not the striking or exceptional thing. when a stronger kind of courage is needed. persistent. but welcome rather two very tired and way. how- no glorious victory. of course. perhaps you will see that it is just the timorousness of Christian. in the meeting of daily . but in the main the courage is a more patient and less triumphant one — such courage as we see daily in the living of noble lives. Here. and at such times Christian is able to summon it. panoplied display of pomp and circumstance. just his blunders and mistakes.210 THE GREATEST BOOKS exemplar of courage? But if you look closer.

as he pleased. darkness. "If God does not come in. death what not. and. dragons. Now let us recall Bunyan's account of his is own experience of his determination taken in prison. I will leap off . lions. nakedness. and the tempter urging that Bunyan might. the courage of a fixed purpose maintained in the face of how many dangers and how much difficult circumstance. In the beginning of the tale Mr. attain in hell. hunger^ perils. painfulness. all for all his pains. the end nothing but Then past march of his these you remember the sure spirit. the fears and affections that beset and besought him. 211 the persistent overcoming of daily discouragement or despair or lassitude. That listens a summing-up. indeed! And Christian and is afraid. the courage of renewed effort. the bravery above all to go on.PILGRIM'S PROGRESS difficulties or trials. thought I. you remember the painfully vivid imagination that pointed out the direst possibilities. in a word. the strong resolve." he says. swords. finally taken. wearisomeness. the courage regained: "God might give me comfort or not. You remember the timorous beginning. you recall the fear of death. Worldly- Wiseman warns Thou art like to Christian of the hard way: meet with in the — way which thou and goest.

" COURAGE REGAINED The timorous fears at first. yes. Men : Why. we were almost in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. if Whither are you going? and we would have you said. and saw the danger before we came to it. what's the matter ? said Christian. When Christian comes at last to the very Shadow of Death. But what have you met with ? said Christian. men running two toward him. — Christian: Why. And in the "Pilgrim's Progress" we find Bunyan's hero tried even as he himself was tried.212 THE GREATEST BOOKS the ladder even blindfold into eternity. fleeing meets he from it. too. Here is a him to do notable instance. Men : here to bring the news to thee. the courage to do and be what he conceived for it right and be. but at last the lost courage grasped firmly once more. but that by good hap we looked before us. Matter! said they. Christian : But what have you seen ? said Christian. back either Hfe or peace is prized by you. for had we gone a little farther. come Hell. we were going that way as you are going. come Heaven. we had not been Christian : . and questions them: entrance to the Valley of the — Christian : : Men They do so. fearful just as Bunyan was. not less. sink or swim. Back. and went as far as we durst. and indeed we were almost past coming back. and we find him courageous.

Moreover. no threats. In a word every whit dreadful. of the Pit. Satyrs. So they parted. There is nothing glorious about it. as of a people under unutterable who there sat in afflictions of irons. We recall after the fearful combat Christian's smile and look upward. Yet Christian's reply when it comes is sure. " the dreadfullest sight that ever I saw. and Dragons misery. and over that Valley hangs the discouraging clouds of Confusion. it is not to be forgotten that he was yet sorely spent and wounded from his fight with Apollyon. by what you have . his resolve mind made up. Death it is also doth always spread his wings over it. yes. stoutest. : Seen ! Why we also the Valley itself. which is as dark as saw there the Hobgoblins. no declarations. being utterly without order. his close. is Here something to shake the heart of the and the heart of Christian is especially sensitive to fear. and Christian went on his way. even in all this. . only. his fearful . for fear lest he should be assaulted." says Bunyan. said. but still Sword drawn in his hand. but that with his this is my way to the desired haven. we heard also bound in that Valley a continual howling and yelling. .PILGRIM'S PROGRESS 21S Men pitch. Now it were well to recall once more Bunyan's account of his own fears in prison. his courage gripped once more taken. no swashbuckling. no heroics. the very face of I perceive not yet [he replied].

It words again If : — is well to read the stalwart God might give me comfort or not. gain a kind of is reflected courage. I will leap off the ladder Hell." humbler yet stalwart kind of courage is insisted on. God come not in. we might wish this Christian. It is line for line. and our own strength He is like ourselves. he wrote while he was in prison) not only to our faint-heartedness own experiences of fear and and new resolve. We pluck up heart somewhat. sink or swim. dread of death. braver. this until we ourselves. come Over and over in the "Pilgrim's Progress. as we read. the book affects us. to illuminating to recall how in the face of the most haunting fears and dire possibilities Bunyan himself went on. in the end as brave as ourselves to be. drawn true. thought I. close this "Pilgrim's Progress" it is is. and of those torments he conceived might attack Note how of which. but stirs us to a nobler living. but how it is Bunyan's experience. as do great books. come Heaven. stirred. (much thought. even blindfold into eternity. as He pleased. over and over it is set before us. helps to mould us. a better understanding of life. without regard to his own welfare or reward. all So the book not only gives us. only more persistently courageous. too.214 THE GREATEST BOOKS him after death. we add some .

and meet its difficulties . his happy discourse with the four gracious Prudence. Like Christian after his damsels ity — or — Discretion. there on the Delectable Mountains we are — able to take up our journey with a happier heart with renewed courage. Piety. Experience. Watchful. and Sincere.PILGRIM'S PROGRESS 215 of Christian's courage to our own. Char- converse with the Shepherds — Knowledge.

is the "There was a man in the land of Uz. compelling the acknowledgment of itself by its own internal majesty. It is many centuries since it has been known to any one. impregnated with strange idioms and strange allusions. and scarcely ever quoted. till at last the light which it had heralded rose up full over the world in Christianity. Book comes from the heart it will contrive to reach other Gablylb. yet exerting no influence over the minds of the people." That way this great book starts out. All information concerning the writer of the book is even more vague." all above a peak . never alluded to. still Yet this its simple story-book beginin the land of "There was a man towers in our literature like Uz. the language Of unknown date. in it. but not of it. The name conveys little to most of us. Fkoudb. great work. . . It is generally surmised that the land lay somewhere in Arabia. teor over the old Hebrew literature. He with the very country he wrote of has been swept into the great mass of forgotten things. and in fiercest hostility with Judaism.CHAPTER XI THE BOOK OF JOB and unknown authorship. un-Jewish in form. The land of IJz is not to be found on our maps now. with ning. but nothing is known of it with certainty. If a hearts. it hovers like a me.

There are those who still read it a chapter only at a time. despite the fact that many different sects it almost entirely than a human standpoint. but rather only as a notable part of world literature. it is not unlikely we have read it as a kind of religious duty. story. We can be the more sure of its vitality it is and greatness when we remember that great. a daily "chapter from the Bible. that it has been made the subject of dull sermons by thousands of dry people. In studying it here it is well to regard it not from any religious standpoint whatever. Mention the Book of Job without reference to it as great literature. beauty of treatment. and in the minds of many of us is called up an idea of something dull or dreary or gloomy. of course. Many of us have never read it through. and depth of meaning. when we recall that many have not failed to weary themselves in quarrels regarding its doctrinal meanings.THE BOOK OF JOB other peaks. that it has been used for reproof and admonition. and most of the beauty and meaning of the wonderful thus missing. for is it is 217 generally agreed that there no other book to compare with it in grandeur of conception." peoples have regarded religious rather and from a all the continuity. if we have. though much preached about. something really little understood. . or.

it is to be strongly recommended that the book be studied from one of the many good editions now published in which it is bound as a separate volume. It is one of the most fascinating stories of all time. in its simplicity. flowing outlines. "apart from all theories about it. apart from all theories about it. we have no need to fear that the story of the Man of Uz will seem dull. one of the grandest things ever written with pen. — . Read in this way and studied carefully. ." he says and I ask you to note very carefully that parenthesis." it — "I he says. in its epic melody and repose of recon. grand in its sincerity. and not as a part of the Old Testament. and God's ways with him here in this earth." ciations The — for I take that to include all the dry-as-dust ser- mons that were ever preached about call that. Carlyle says of it in a chapter of his "Heroes and Hero Worship": "I call that. "apart from all theories about it. treated as a book in itself.218 THE GREATEST BOOKS better to escape the old habits and assowhich in many cases still cling to our ideas of Bible study. And all in such free. A noble Book. all men's Book! It is our first oldest statement of the never ending Problem. Moreover. a man's testing. . it can hardly be urged too strongly that this great book be read in connection with a good commentary.

" THE BOOK OF JOB cilement. the mildly understanding heart. sublime reconciliation." est. But let us see. and great. we is on un- sure ground. material things no less than spiritual. THE TIMES IN WHICH THE STORY WAS WTjittEN When we this story seek for the time and place in which find ourselves was written. the Horse. as the world with its seas and stars There is nothing writ! — choral ten." No book in or out of the Bible of equal literary That is saying a good deal. the great human oldest inter- the warm human understanding: "Sublime sorrow. so soft. true things. melody as of the heart of mankind. that the story was written later . 219 There is the seeing eye. It supposed. And then he calls them goes on to were never since attention to the spiritual insight as well. eyesight and vision for So all true every way. as the summer midnight." it. — 'hast thou clothed his neck with thunder?^ he laughs at the shaking of the spear ! ' Many quoted. say: vivid and poetic descriptions could be Carlyle remembering living likenesses "Such drawn. of equal We merit! turn again to the story with its simple beginning: "There was a man in the land of Uz. on the evidence of the book itself. I think. in the Bible or out of literary merit.

was a Hebrew. who knew the tribes of the desert and the cities of the plain. a part of Arabia. a man who had seen much of life. just as Homer was. generally agreed. for it is told in no haphazard way. Yet the whole tone and work is distinctly Hebrew. He was a man of broad thought and deep spiritual color of the it is Its author. we think. too. sympathies. By its form we know it must have been written at a time when the literary art of the Hebrews had advanced and developed and ripened. a man of strong feeling. yet of gentle tolerance. It is a great work of art. — all these The more we study the story of the Man of Uz .220 THE GREATEST BOOKS than the Proverbs of Solomon. perhaps a Hebrew in exile. things are evident in the book itself. it shows great care of construction. a man. believed. The tale is placed in what was. who had seen the great tombs and pyramids. of independent opinion. who had witnessed the pomp and splendor of old Egypt. In any case it seems certain that much of his life was lived away from his own people. Its hero a sheikh of great wealth and power. it cally impossible to assign But it with any it is is is practi- certainty to any fixed period. a traveled man. who had lived much with nature and observed with quick and reverent and speculative eye the wonders of the natural world.

other men had doubted. The Book of Job was written long before the coming of Christ. before he found a narrow creed too small to hold what he knew of life. While other Greeks religions of the East wandered vaguely or craftily in mysticism. To understand this deep dissatisfaction. we must study somewhat the religion and doctrines which this book sets itself to oppose. like writers of all other great books. and dogmas current It is important for us to remember that this man. And to do this.THE BOOK OF JOB the more is 221 clear the writer's desire to criticize earnestly and to condemn certain religious beliefs in his day. This not merely his opinion. the voice of a people. like the author of other great books." leave behind us the world and its beliefs as they exist to-day. The religion at which it strikes so openly and forcefully is that held and practiced some thousands of years ago by the Jews. the old Hebrew religion preserved at its center that . this all man. we must once more. Before he put his own doubts of the dogmas of a fixed faith into words. is is an is interpreter. as in studying the "Odyssey" and the "Divine Comedy. while that of the allied itself frankly with nature. others had doubted and gone away unsatisfied and unfed from the altars of the Most High.

but One. as time passed. was beginning to outgrow the old belief. the All-Mighty. This God was a ruler and a judge. even while the lesser intelligences ** still regarded their creed as a sacred total to which . or at least the higher type of man. left the hearts of many. It was an old religion even in that day. here were no whimsical Isis deities to deal with. here no comfortable Pantheon with many and varied gods. the thinking man. who dealt rather with man. which made it the most moral and spiritual religion of its day. Here was nothing vague.222 THE GREATEST BOOKS powerful moral idea of right and wrong. and could not change along with man's changing develop with his developing grow with his growing spiritual needs. unsatisfied. portioning out just deserts to the good and to the evil. good and evil. so vastly more spiritual than many another of its time. Man. nor intelligence. and along with these the heart of the writer of Job. since that higher power protected his neighbor as well as himself. nor ritual. neither Apollo nor Aphrodite nor nor Osiris. and its ancient simplicity and nobility of ideal had. We see here a dignified religion having at its center the very noble idea of man's moral responsibility to one higher power and to his neighbors. become crystallized. Yet this religion. had become encrusted by an elaborate experience.

Froude and many others suppose him to have been an exile. it is circumstantially evident that the writer of the a Jew (which we believe him to have been) .THE BOOK OF JOB 223 nothing might be added and from which nothing might be taken away. he had. in probability. beyond the Book of Job itself reveals. by menace to self his the old established creed? own. It seems likely that the writer separated himself not only from the narrow creed of his people. His hero cannot fairly be called a Jew. as we see him arguing it and with what eloquence in the Book of Job. nothing of him personally. but the revewhat lation is We know sufficiently definite and clear. and like his all great hero Job. if Book ist the "faithful" as a pariah — as a danger and a of his day. He lives in a land and among customs strange to the Jewish people of that day. deter- mined to argue his cause himself before the Most High. He was looked on. For had he not questioned Had he not set him- against the teachings of the high priests? He had dared to think for himself. The author mentions no Jewish traditions and refers to none of the old Jewish teachings save in this way: he makes both the material and . but separated himself from their country and society as well. a nonconformof Job." Though we are not told so. no doubt. was a dissenter.

no other has been tried. one might almost tried as — and — "a perfect man. for his goodness and his misfortunes. the writer selects not merely a common type of good man. at the foot of the religion of his religion. This you will note : no very new circumstance or theme. . from these two main facts the full stream of the story flows goodness and misfortunes.224 spiritual THE GREATEST BOOKS experience of his hero to be things directly opposed to and directly disproving the strikes is old Jewish beliefs. drama. The blow he a strong one and aimed with unmistakable intent at the teachings of the established church of his day. is thrown down lenge. sorely tried. a kind of proverb among the people: "his name. A good man. but the most un- commonly good man told. a Priam in Greece. the symbol of fallen greatness. as For that we have observed. To make his point more clear. and the chalcall it. and the men of that day had without doubt observed it also. and his misfortunes the problem like that of of philosophers. most of us have observed the circumstance frequently is enough." Job. Many writes suppose that this Job of whom he was well known in the times of the writer." we are The scene is set for the by the author day. a great sheikh. a man noted for two things. afflicted.

not as with assumed or divine authority. visiting the sins of the fathers third on the children even unto the and fourth generation. is But here here is a notable experience of life itself. Job is but the embodied experience of many other good men who. . If God a just God. dealing out mer- cies to them that deserved them and kept his commandments. have suffered. its who accept teachings without question. mind you. a man with a magnificent mind of his own. himself a thinking man. is a problem to be solved. but to the thinking man who sees and observes and preserves his God-given right to question? old The day had no adequate answer to give.THE BOOK OF JOB taught that 225 God was a just God. he has not constituted himself nor been conof that Hebrew religion stituted a high-priest.) How is the old eye-for-an-eye tooth-for-a-tooth religion to account satisfactorily for this? What answer has it to give. and his story an imaginary one. and punishing evil. sets himself to answer it. how then are Job's misfortunes to be accounted for? (And again we must keep in mind that Job is not a mere imaginary hero. So the writer of this book. he merely uses his prerogative to write out of his rience human own human expe- and the experiences of his fellow -men. despite their goodness. not to the unthinking multitude.

and saw again and again. if his avoidance of evil was based only on his fear of punishment. even as we see it now. in his own soul. man's virtue was based only on the reward man was to receive in pay for his virtue. if this was so. Worse still. day by Here was a fact he had noted often.f^ experience. and suffered no doubt. are God's dealings with mankind opaque He could not be content to leave so vital a question unsolved. poor indeed in spirituality. like his creeds. . He had seen frequently." 226 THE GREATEST BOOKS will set it. Gradually. as he traveled more and thought more. and saw the more widely. it. To his alert mind the question must have come pointedly: "Why are God's judgments as they are. one which had puzzled him and troubled him. could not leave it until he had found some more fitting answer to the perplexing and baffling testimony of life and his own . misery and sorrow not infrequently visited on the virtuous. touched day. He down the truth as he has seen for it. then man was. the wicked prosper. no doubt. viewed in the light of a system of just rewards and just punishments. the higher spiritual If conviction must have developed. gradually the nobler spiritual standard must have arisen.^^" " Why.

a great story. or perhaps from the life of some well-known sheikh of that day. Perhaps. and wove them with poetic skill into a great drama. meantime. probably little by little. So we know he must have set him- this was true. his own spiritual convictions clear.THE BOOK OF JOB God himself was but a mediocre Master. and saw men bound narrowly by a creed that he believed false." . he began writing that simple beginning: "There was a man in the land of Uz. So. self to find it. That truth once found. having learned. behind all possible fallacies of creed. the longing may have grown in him. selected from his own life. yet he must have known." he. 227 willing be served only for hire and for no better moExperience of life told the writer that none of however much his church might teach it to him. "in some hour of burning memory and revived experience. after many wanderings. to tive. the truth remained untouched. the story of a man who served God without reward. the poet's art. facts and incidents. His faith in the old creed and ritual must have fallen away. he must have longed with the generous impulse of a great man to share it with others. that. As he grew older. too.

named Job. But Satan answered that there was little wonder Job served God. asked Satan if he had observed Job. And the Lord. His sheep numbered seven thousand. his camels three thousand. Then the Almighty gave permission that the test should be made. and have taken . a great man respected and loved. a perfect and upright man who feared God and served Him. stipulating only that Job himself be spared. So one day there came to Job a messenger crying. taking pleasure in Job's goodness. a perfect and an upright man. that there was none like him.'* Let God take from him all these mercies and Job would curse God to his face. Seven sons and three daughters had been given him.228 THE GREATEST BOOKS THE STORY TOLD BRIEFLY There was a man of Uz. "The tribes from the desert have fallen upon thy oxen and thy asses." Now there was a day when the sons of God assembled to present themselves before the Lord in heaven." **so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the East. he had five hundred yoke of oxen and "a very great household. Did he do so for nought ? Had not God hedged him about with mercies. and Satan among them.

" When again the sons of God presented themselves in heaven. I only tell am escaped to thee. there came yet a fourth messenger." And another came in the same manner to fire of heaven had fallen and burned up the sheep and the servants who tended them. and worshiped God. slaying all the servants of Job with the sword. report that the And still another came hurrying to report that the Chaldeans had fallen upon the camels and carried them away. saying. As this one finished speaking. and the Lord hath taken away. the Lord once more spoke to Satan concerning Job: "Hast thou considered that there is none like him in the earth. "The Lord gave. and bowed himself down and prayed. 229 slaying also thy servants. one who holdeth fast his integrity?" Then Satan said " I have observed that a man will give all he hath for his life for his life is brother's house : — . a perfect and upright man. crying out. "Thy sons and thy daughters were feasting in their eldest and there came a great wind out of the desert and the house fell upon thy children and they are dead.THE BOOK OF JOB them away. the customary sign of sorrow and submission. blessed be the name of the Lord." Then Job rent his mantle.

" So God gave permission that the test should be made. When at last Job complained bitterly of his misery. who had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him and comfort him. Bildad. There was little for them to say. with family. not only because Job's grief was great. In the midst of all these calamities. there came three from afar off across the desert. And when they saw him they raised their voices and wept and sat down in silence by him. they not have must have come as a punishment for his sins. and health all taken from him. and Zophar. wealth. yet Job preserved his integrity. . possessions. saying: "Shall we receive good at the hand of God and shall we not receive evil?" As time passed.230 THE GREATEST BOOKS dearer than all his possessions. but because they believed (according to the teachings of their religion) that these calamities could come to Job undeserved. Then Job was smitten with a loathsome and painful disease. they were Eliphaz. stipulating only that Job's life be saved. news of Job's great affliction reaching the ears of his friends. and urged him to repentance. they set themselves to reprove him for his wickedness. Put forth thy hand and touch Job's body and he will curse thee to thy face.

need they cannot be found. but though he had enjoyed it in happier times." says Froude. he turns from these indignantly to God. Job again longed for death and demanded passionately to be shown why the Almighty should so have afflicted him. now when he needed it most it was not at hand. for Job. knew his friends accused him So they who had meant to be a comfort to him did but bring him the more misery. in Job's Now Thou inquirest after my iniquity. Job had longed for the comfort of his friends. and thou knowest that I am not wicked. it is . hot they are con- sumed out for of their place. Again he prays for death. . his friends accused him of impiety and presumption. falsely. As the stream they wax of brooks they pass away. "In what other poem in the world. Overwhelmed with his misery and suffering. What time warm they vanish. Under this new affliction. . the waters of their pity and mercy were dried up. . Shocked at such a demand. . "is there pathos deep as this? With . secure in his integrity. Zophar pointing out to him significantly what reward might be looked for by the ungodly. when .THE BOOK OF JOB own 231 This was but a new blow. he even upbraids God. the companies of Sheba waited for them. the caravans of Tema looked them. thou searchest after my sin.

and self-possessed. and without fear the writer allows him to throw out his passion all genuine as it rises. Before this he has contended passionately with his fate. he putteth no trust in his saints. a teaching lofty in sound but degrading in essence. yet out of these rises . filthy is how much more abominable and man. Eliphaz voices the teaching of their religion and the rest follow his lead. not overmuch caring how nice ears might be offended. which drinketh iniquity like water. yea. which would rob man of his real dignity and the dignity of his relation to God. Thy own mouth condemneth thee. But his earthly companions and the teachings of religion itself have failed him.? Behold. Job begins now to be more calm. the heavens are not clean in his sight.232 THE GREATEST BOOKS it was not for Job to be calm. He has hoped for sympathy and earthly comfort. All of his hopes are in ruins around him." His friends turn on him now in earnest. He speaks not what he knows. he begins now to see more clearly. but what he feels. testify against thee. experience so stern as his. but contented to be true to the real emotion of a genuine human heart. Under the unjust accusations of his religion and his friends. and delicate in his words. and he that is bom of a woman that he should be righteous. and thine own lips What is man that he should be clean.

He begins to hope now that in the spirit after death he God and shall be vindicated.THE BOOK OF JOB 233 a yet better hope. He is beginning to get glimpses of great truths. what Bunyan saw clearly so many years later. redeem him. Once more he goes over assertions. that he is coming close to the truth. and the good go unrewarded. flinging back the scorn and condemnation and lies of these men who have attempted to measure God and himself. he is beginning to grasp a larger faith. He is beginning to see. to measure that to serve man is bound. not is man's whole duty. In the thirty- . nor man's creeds wholly comprehend Him. shall see his bold. that he is beginning to understand that man's measurements cannot measure God. literally. yet somewhere. man's duty and integrity must stand God is free. only glimpses. God him. once more. a nobler ideal. but God and love Him. Job asserts once and judge Him. as yet. They cannot see that his vision is gradually becoming clearer. Then. some- how. justify So once more he seems to his pious and orthodox friends Job the blasphemer. that God give or withhold reward. undoctrinal He has shall seen the wicked prosper. Neither his friends nor his religion have justified him. that though fast. more his integrity.

that God Himself not an envoy who may or may not carry God's message aright would draw near. not self-righteous. Then self -vindication. but a fourth "friend" his undertakes own account. and his actions and his ideals in the old days. to who now. and daring wish. and answer him. It is a glorious chapter of not haughty. who longs to believe God just and yearns better to understand God's unfathomable dealings. calls on God And answer to that splendid prayer there appears Elihu not God. in Job. It is rather the speech of one who remembers past joys in the midst of fearful sorrows. We feel a discrepancy somewhere. so characteristic not alone of Job but of all great hearts and great minds. with magnificent sincerity and audacity. on reason doctrinally with Job. sorely puzzle A DISCREPANCY IN THE STORY And just here there comes a discrepancy to reveal Himself. this seems a flaw. bold strain of the The splendid poem seems broken by a lesser . the days of his prosperity. and follows the splendid — — reveal to him these things that so and perplex him. in the story.234 first THE GREATEST BOOKS chapter he goes over once again his life. Following on what has gone before. The mind of — — the reader there is is a little bewildered by it.

Certain it is that the story reads far more its connectedly.THE BOOK OF JOB though still 2S5 lovely music. his words are at variance with the end of the story as it stands. The sentences of Elihu are beautiful. who found this big massive work a little too bold. far more grandly. and upholding. but were inserted later by some writer. speaking after Job's last great speech. undoctrinal things be brought into So Elihu. who saw an opportunity to use it as a great religious work. with which answer the thirty-eighth chapter altogether. beautiful selves in . to the direct answer to that wish. and preserves integrity. if we omit these chapters though they are in themimagery and phrase." perhaps. Moreover. seems to have somewhat defeated Job's views and drawn a veil once more over the splendid vision. with writer has set himself to reveal. but their teachings are at variance. is. the more orthodox views. as it were. a little too iconoclastic. which closes with Job's wish to speak face to face with the Almighty. or at least sustaining. that just that splendid in themselves. if we go straight from the end of the thirty-first chapter. apparently. some "conformist. and bold truth which the Commentators have puzzled much over the speeches of Elihu. but many now believe that these speeches do not belong to the original. could certain line.

the Almighty Creator of the universe.236 THE GREATEST BOOKS In it begins. for I will demand of thee. In substance they this: Shall are Job (Job representing man in general) presume to measure and judge of the Almighty? of experience and his Then said. while the author puts them. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations earth ? of the laid declare. are really drawn from his own deep own heart. in his first precipitancy. The poet. and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or it when brake forth ? — who shut up the sea with doors. Job. and answer thou me. the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind. the outward God. which. well-known verses. if Who hath or the measures thereof. but as Job had at first demanded. and is ? Who this that darkeneth counsel by words without loins like a knowledge Gird up now thy man. and clad in the terrors and the glory of it. God Himself speaks with Job in those glorious. In describes for an answer the universe as it then . in the mouth God. And so on through four chapters. glorious. stretched the line upon thereof fastened ? thou knowest ? who hath it ? Whereupon are the foundations laid the corner stone thereof. in the drama. in gleaming lines. or who when the morning stars sang together. had desired to reason with Him on his government. if thou hast understanding. unmatched them God speaks with Job "not as the healing spirit in the heart of man.

or which he believes himself capable of conducting. vast. to admit that. life and "perfect and upright man. the majesty and awfulness of it. Before this he has heard of God from others. though he "repents in dust and ashes. no mock humility. and then asks whether it is this which he requires to have explained to him." Job is not. no beating of the breast. his faith in A confession of fallibility God and is of his own he now binds together as the offering of his heart and brain. . It is not servile who has thought widely and experienced deeply. and some inner and outer dignity clings to him from that. no wailing that he is a sinner. He does not recoil from God. . wide and deep as he has gone. not for the unorthodox daring of his belief. for a Here nothing servile." infinity. At the end smallness of his understanding. overwhelmed. . are wider. wonderful. you will notice.THE BOOK OF JOB 237 was known." He abhors himself not for sin. He seems rather to draw nearer to him. the of all this. Here is a man who has dared speak direct with God. as we hear of one of whom others bring us report. but now Here is with his own eyes he sees him. said. but for the smallness of his belief. struck down by any sense of sin. Then Job answered the Lord and Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I . deeper yet.

nor had he accused himself winning God's favor. . had not tried to shut up God's everlasting truths in little shells of petty human beliefs. briefly told. "lest I deal with your folly. And from then Job's sorrows were turned to blessing. It stands as the first recorded struggle of the hearts and minds Uz. but now mine eye seeth thee. dogmatic religious interpretation of God's dealings with men. Job. had thought honestly for himself. falsely in the He hope of had dared be a man. the Man of is first of all intended to criticize and disapprove a narrow." He you bids them make amends. and he lived long in the favor of God. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear. I beseech thee. Wherefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.. after friends. Above everything he had clung to his integrity. Then God speaks to the three friends of Job and rebukes them. Hear.. and even all that he had lost was bestowed on him. passionate as he had been.238 THE GREATEST BOOKS me uttered that I understood not. is the story of Job. "For ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right as my servant Job hath. It . This." And Job prayed for his and his prayer was answered. things too wonderful for which I knew not. and I will speak. God warns Job's three friends that they have misrepresented the Most High.

But while lectual intent of the book. whose foundations are laid deep up a broad and towerand and to not so justify broad. To untarnished majesty. as it were. and if by Virtue its own reward' be meant that the . the purpose of broader yet. the author teaches that. in the words of Froude.THE BOOK OF JOB of 239 many men against a narrow and orthodox this is very evidently the intelit is belief. but constructive. "Our place to be true to the best which we know. struggling against manthe narrow reproof and (or suffering it is teachings of his friends (who here typify a definite religious belief). The high intent of the author seems to be to set out a higher spirituality a nobler conception of the divine. His glory had been tarnished. to seek that and do that. as a justification of seemed that God had been misrepresented. by man's handling of it. belittled by the minds and narrow creeds and beliefs of men. It conception. but is not merely iconoclastic. Summing up is the book. It breaks it down a narrow spiritual builds ing one. So he set himself earnestly to tell us something of what he had conceived to be God's the writer it God. serving He sets us a standard of the philosophy of God for nought save for the blessedness of serving him. When we exmuch a amine the story we find that it is justification of its hero Job kind).

? and find no answer. Man will have what he deserves. it is politic. and nobleness of character is nothing else but steady love of good and steady scorn of world is a problem while enjoyment survives. bitter. exactly as he honestly seeks for it. friends fail or prove unkind. and whether happiness come or unhappiness it is no very mighty matter. evil. self -loving men will still ask. and yet to life will be bitter be borne. Let us do right. wealth decay. and not then). being of our souls depends only on what The wellwe are . it is not what we ask or desire. 'We can do without that. But if virtue be valued because it will be- be found most enjoyment and fewest sufferings. If it come. and it is turning the truth of God into a lie. desiring it is nothing more. On such a theory alone is the governcause in pursuit of — ment of this world intelligibly just. if it do not come. Happiness may fly away. not sweet. then it is not noble any more. and fame turn to of the The government the desire of selfish . Why. and when justice is not done according to such standard (which will not be till the day after doomsday. and will find what is really best for him. life will be sweet. then a true and noble saying.' is there no secret. pleasure pall or cease to be obtainable.240 THE GREATEST BOOKS good man cares only to continue good. Only to those who have the heart to say.

and stronger this time: "Though He slay me yet will I trust Him. namely." we find the theme of faith first given out strongly. "Thou speakest as one sorely afflicted bids him curse God. Job's wife." But still the fierce struggle goes on. and treat a other words. you remember.THE BOOK OF JOB infamy.?" women. Job in his This is early in the story. But it comes back again. Then follow all the miseries and sorrows and trials and contending voices of doubt and yearning and suffering which drown the beautiful but as yet insufficient faith. . though in the beginning she knows that he has been good. Here. faith. by means of his hero Job. "The Lord hath given. In good man like that (you see she judges God and does not trust Him) why should one serve Him? But Job answers her mildly. Shall we receive gladhand of God and shall we not receive as well as in the brave reply. my justifier] liveth." All this the writer teaches 241 fails. a God who can — of the foolish ness at the affliction. And the theme that rings through is the whole magnificent story just this teaching brought down to its very essence. when she sees him so die. the Lord hath taken away." "I know that my Redeemer [literally. but the power to serve God never and the love of Him is never rejected.

as Bunyan had. has clung somehow to his faith. though tossed and torn. his friends lost to him. Job. It Bunyan's resolve in prison.242 THE GREATEST BOOKS die. "come Heaven. come Hell!" that is clear resolution and courage. Yet note. the difference." Afflicted beyond measure. yet will I trust Him." "Though He slay me. but he goes further. But Job's to other great souls recalls — ^ resolve is a higher thing still. who is vindicated. For not only will he do his his integrity. He would do right. to do this. It is of the story. the most frank of them. He feels sure of God's justice and has firm faith in it. whether whether He showed God stood by him or not him favor or not. and climax of the story. not only has duty and preserve he the courage." This is typical of Job. all worldly benefits gone. even goes so far as to say. Then comes the God. misery longs to friends He have had in him — and leans on the faith his it breaks. It has a familiar ring that allies it and other great books. and on courage to follow duty. They Zophar. not Job. Bunyan's resolve was one founded on a clear vision of duty. "I know that my Redeemer liveth. "God gives thee less than thy iniquity deserveth. kind of audacity of faith) and wdshes he might argue with God Himself. Job turns again (now with a turn against him. He . too.

and his cry has been at last that of Jacob and of every strong and earnest soul that ever ing fought in mortal frailty with great spiritual powers: "I will not let thee go except thou bless me!" comes not by a jusit comes it is the blessing of greater faith. And — when his faith. shows us that God cannot escape from us. Here the author. yet will I trust Him. from the Job who has suffered and through that suffering has conquered his doubts. human appeal of the book? It We are wont to hear much of . indeed.THE BOOK OF JOB will love 243 God. Job is a changed man. "Though He slay me. As Jacob with the messenger of God. faith. for he has that higher form of courage which we call trust. The prosperous. THE STRONG HUMAN APPEAL OF THE BOOK And is the strong just that — faith." We are used to the idea that we cannot escape from God. no matter how God treats him. Job has wrestled with the afflictions. Let God do what He will. the sufferings. the doubts visited on him. we will hold fast to Him. virtuous Job of the beginning of the story is a different man. and has established so at last the blessing tification of himself. with splendid darand touching assurance.

to a vision of an All. It is Job obtains. faith that the book de- fully without realizing that it is rather Job's faith that faith that is book teaches. yet one cannot read this great book carehis towering spiritual quality." we say. — — substance of things hoped things not seen. faith that the it instills and inspires. but beyond the most fearful fate that life can bestow on us. He teaches us to see further than outward evidence. shows us how to look beyond not only narrow creed and dogma.wise Providence. the dignity and beauty of his trust in God add somewhat to our trust. the evidence of . faith that For reading of Job's faith our own flames a little brighter. a vision of faith which we are told is "the faith it is scribes." for.244 THE GREATEST BOOKS the great patience of Job — as "patient as Job.

to determine where and of what quality the ore But by those who hope to realize the beauty and outline and majesty of the mountain. rather. The student who delves too persistently in a great book for hidden or be. letter. also. to bore into certain sections of and to examine closely certain parts of its soil. that not the but the spirit of it. no doubt. may distinctive suspected meanings may find precious ore.CHAPTER While XII SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY it is study followed in the foregoing chapters hoped that the general plan of may be of use in helping the earnest reader or student better to grasp the meanings of the great books there dealt with. For were the plan here suggested carried out too not unlikely that the over-earnest student. it is book for reit peated evidence of any particular message may bear. find ore in a Those who seek to mountain need. wdll be adopted. but . might lose much of the grander and will it larger beauty of the work. it is hoped. while seeking in a great literally. a more distant and comprehensive view must be had.

some declamation. Faust. The magnificent inter- view is interrupted. In "Faust" Goethe has made the character of that is his assistWagner. comes in dressinggown and nightcap.! 246 THE GREATEST BOOKS he will lose much of the inspiration to be had from a more general study and comprehensive view of his subject. Wagner enters." also — ant or servitor in his laboratory. at Faust's study door. to represent that literal type of student. well-nigh overwhelmed by the magnificent and awful presence. hearing the knock. He himself craves some preparation in the art of oratory. and. having heard the sound of Faust's voice. Wagner. who. that exact letter-ofthe-law person. meantime. . Faust's "famulus. He thought Faust might be reading a Greek tragedy. turns impatiently: death! — I know — it 't is my famulus — That all these visionary shapes A soulless groveller should banish thus One needs not be told that the glorious EarthSpirit vanishes. He had heard. and knocks addresses it. loses the grander meanings of of Faust. he says. in too exact and study. candle in hand. life. — literal Goethe has contrasted this character strongly with that Faust by means of his magic has sum- moned the Earth-Spirit.

The motley throngs come forth elate: Each will the joy of the sunshine hoard. the contrast of the two natures is finely shown. by the pleasure of the Easter merrymakers. and touched. red. blue. Here is one of the finest passages in the book. world with tints he loveth. 247 He is always following Faust about. a crownless Whence.SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY etc. and from this height Back on the town direct thy sight. too. and He takes these gaudy people instead. inspired by the glory of the spring. And. yellow. lacking blossoms. colors of The hope to the valley And weak old Winter himself must shiver. gloomy gate. hopbelieves ing to add to his hoarded store of dry knowledge some that he great man. may be gained from the Also in the Easter morning scene where Faust and Wagner walk abroad together. Out of the hollow. in Everywhere form He will brighten the development moveth. Turn thee about. he sends again Impotent showers of sleet that darkle o' king: In belts across the green the plain. ever retreating. But the sun will permit no white to sparkle. the To honor Day of the Risen Lord! . By the quickening glance of the gracious Spring. quoted here only in part: Released from ice are — brook and river cling. Withdrawn to the mountains. Faust is touched.

Wagner The merrymakers make much remarks how pleasant it must be to be so honored. but he pictures what it might be had ! . They stroll on farther and higher up the ascent. Wagner bent on erudition. Wagner. flatters. Had he but wings to lift him from the soil. him. profit unto me. Faust longs not for that which flatters or honors himself. bent on getting from association with this great Faust some credit for learning. Their reverence Faust honor and revere takes with simple friendly gratitude. While Wagner's desire for knowledge stays close to the earth. honor. who likes to dissect and pull apart to find their meanings Faust's least re- — marks. Sir Doctor. Meanwhile we hear the voice of Wagner. He longs rather for power to see things not in mere detail. He longs for a broader understanding. he wants to see them whole. Faust's longings for broader knowledge and wisdom soar. Faust takes pleasure in the very colors of their clothes. yet sees the entire scene from a height and grasps its greater meaning. that he might follow on the very track of the departing day itself This he cannot do. To 'T stroll is with you. of Faust.248 THE GREATEST BOOKS There follows a further description of the motley throngs.

the weary god is sinking. upward and away. his beams eternal drinking. to illustrate the value of a broad-minded and more general study of great books as contrasted with a nar- . The two characters of Faust and Wagner might be used as parables. the floor of waves beneath me. Would then no more impede my godlike motion. Alas the wings that lift the mind no aid Of wings to lift the body can bequeath me. The silver brook to golden rivers flowing. Yet in each soul is born the pleasure Of yearning onward. On fire each mountain-peak. In imagination he sees the whole world spread out before him : — Then would I see eternal Evening gild The silent world beneath me glowing. lost in the vaulted azure lark sends down his flickering lay.! SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY 249 he the power. Above me heaven unfurled. The mountain-chain. finally. The Day before me and the Night behind. The new-born impulse fires my mind. with all its gorges deep. — When over crags and piny highlands poising eagle slowly soars. in shining sleep Yet. almost. And now before mine eyes expands the ocean With all its bays. with peace each valley filled. — — dream though now the glories fade. I hasten on. glorious ! ! A When The The o'er our heads. And over plains and lakes and islands The crane sails by to other shores.

for inamazing scope of *'Don Quixote. limited. seeking for detailed evidence which shall enable us to determine just what truth Cervantes meant to convey by the madness of his mad hero. that large and comprehensive vision. he ." the big scale of it. for us to realize the more value. Keats had all great tells known many books." for us to have heard the "surge and thunder" of it "like ocean on a western beach. that sense of completeness. Keats's sonnet on Chapman's translation of Homer pictures for us admirably that exploring and reverent attitude of mind. until the more like a vast country than a book. row and too and over-zealous dissection of them. that aspiration after broader knowledge which characterize Faust. that wonder and surprise of the intellect and the soul which we should story seems bring to the discovery and reading of books. It is of stance. than for us to wander here and there narrowly in it. It is without doubt most important that we should bring to the study of great works some of that wider vision." than for us to be able to point out that the stories of Penelope and Ulysses are well matched in theme. It is very much more important for us to have got some glimpse of the wide expanse of the "Odyssey.250 THE GREATEST BOOKS detailed.

to get the vast sweep of the "Pacific" as from a height j^r^^. But then. upon a peak in Darien. and by no such method. no . He had oft been told. for all students. however much one may later explore the lesser bays and shallows. as he puts — — — Then felt I like some watcher of the skies When Or a new planet swims into his ken." it. The writer would urge again that the foregoing essays are intended to be merely suggestions and in no sense dogmatic. but until the volumes of Chapman came to his hands never had he breathed the pure serene air then of that realm.^ SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY us. Countless able commentators have studied these seven books long and ably. like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes He and all his men Looked at each other with a wild surmise Silent. of that wide demesne ruled over by Homer. too. for instance." and in Longfellow's copious notes and comments on the "Divine Comedy. more comprehensive view from high up that I would urge as the^r^i^ vision. or refresh one's self in its changing tides. In Bayard Taylor's introduction and notes to his magnificent translation of "Faust. He had seen many goodly states and kingdoms of the poets." you will find. stared at the Pacific — It is this larger. 251 had traveled much "in the realms of gold.

that." love and pity are there set out with almost equal insistence. hint of such interpretations as are mentioned in this volume. It gestive is set out merely as sug- and with the hope that it may perhaps render somewhat more clear to the minds of many some of the inexhaustible beauty and meaning contained in all great books. by the assertion that the writer has no desire to foist on any one the pres- ent plan of study. but the objection is answered. . Able students of insist that while patience strongly drawn in other great human while justice might seem to be especially dwelt on in the "Divine Comedy." so also are traits. All this is quite true. perhaps.252 THE GREATEST BOOKS Homer might and endurance are the "Odyssey.

CHAPTER

XIII

SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY

Life cannot rightly be understood by any of us without the help of those older or wiser than ourselves, who, before we came to its problems, have already studied it deeply and given it their
earnest thought.

In

much

the same

way

the

great books of the world cannot be rightly under-

stood nor their full meaning grasped by us readily
or easily. There will be needed the

comment and

wisdom

of those

who

are wiser than ourselves in

these matters.

Let us assume that those who have in the foregoing pages read the brief resumes of the seven great books now turn to any one of the books
themselves.
It
is

not unlikely the average reader

will find

himself bewildered
finds these

by the task in front of him. He

books

difficult to read.

He

is

balked

in the beginning

by dark

references he does not

understand; classic or covert allusions of which he is ignorant; symbols he cannot interpret. Thus, though he starts out hopefully, he is not unlikely soon to find himself in a kind of intellec-

254

THE GREATEST BOOKS
him console himself,
all

tual Slough of Despond. Let

however, with this fact which
are never easy reading.
like great people

earnest stu-

dents of great books readily admit: great books

— the

Indeed, great books are
shallow and insincere

rarely succeed in

making friends with them. They

are never popular in the superficial sense, the

and meanings and purposes of them cannot be discovered quickly. It is only in renewed acquaintance with them that we shall come to understand them. As Dante himself needed Virgil, one wiser than himself as guide, to interpret for him the meanings and happenings of his famous journey, so we shall need some one more familiar with these books than ourselves to conduct us through the often difficult paths of them. It is, therefore,
nobility

very strongly to be advised that the student should not attempt any study of any great books

unaccompanied by a good commentary.

As the needs
it is

of each student are so individual,

recommend for each book any one commentator who would be an adequate guide to all readers. In any case, however, it would be well to use an edition of the book
impossible to
studied which has good and ample notes.
If the

book

is

read in translation,

let

us

suppose we are going to study the "Odyssey,"

SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY
the "Divine Comedy," and "Faust,"
wise and helpful to use
tions,
all

255

lated from the originals into English,
if

transit is

possible several transla-

comparing them here and there. The Gary translation of Dante, which is an exceedingly good and popular one, doubles in interest if one has at hand the able Longfellow translation and in noted passages can compare the two. Also the far more ample notes of the Longfellow translation are invaluable to supplement the Gary notes. A still better result and pleasure can be had if along with the two translations mentioned one has for quick reference the extraordinarily valuable "Readings from Dante," by William Warren Vernon. A few months spent exploring the "Divine Gomedy" with these three capable and sympathetic guides could not but be richly fruitful in pleasure and benefit. After exploring with such able commentators this great forest-like work of Dante, there will come, no doubt, the wish to go into it alone; its trees will seem to beckon and its paths to invite. For once the commentators have served their purpose; once we have "through some heavenly hospitality" got presented to the "poets in
their singing robes," then begins our

own

friend-

ship with them, our

own

personal relation to
it is

them. But

it

should not be forgotten that

^56

THE GREATEST BOOKS

friends of the great,

a relation that cannot be forced. If we are to be we may not hope to presume to a cheap intimacy with them, for that the innate dignity and reserve of them forbid us. Before we can know these great ones intimately we must know something of their lives, their times, their friends, their ideals. No one can appreciate even in a small measure Dante's love of Florence, nor that bitterness which sat in his soul, exiled from her, who does not know something of that fair city as she existed in his day; no one can appreciate even slightly Dante's
loneliness

who knows nothing

of his friends, his
life.

associations, and the habits of his

No

one

can judge of the deep sufferings, the earnest resolves, and high exaltations, which led him through his own more personal hell and purgatory and heaven, who knows nothing of the great earthly and spiritual love which led him. You may read the "Divine Comedy" from end to end, but you will hardly have come into its deeper meanings until you have met in history or biowherever you are graphy or autobiography, his deep love for one Beatrice able to find it Portinari in whose honor the great poem was avowedly written. More and more, as Dante becomes in this way a real person to us, more and more we shall enter into an understanding of his

SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY

257

"Divine Comedy" into which he put so much
of his real
self.

Let us remember these great men, not as
tant or strange, not as removed from our
times, but, rather, as those

dis-

own

who by the immortal power of their genius are yet present with us, who
stand beside us here and now, closer, more real

sometimes, than those who in our tricked phrases

These great souls are living still, in the broadest and best sense of the word; and will be here long after we and our earthly associates are gone. For they are remaining and
call living.

we

abiding presences in
all

life,

revealing themselves to

who greatly desire to know them; untouched, unaltered by all that changes or decays; for they
are
gathered to the Kings of Thought

Who
And

waged contention with
of the past are all that

their time's decay,

cannot pass away.

Whatever books, then,

will lead

us to a better

knowledge of Dante the man, for instance, will be valuable reading to those who wish to take up the study of the "Divine Comedy." Such books as "Dante Alighieri," by Paget Toynbee, and "Companion to Dante," by Scartazzini, are
exceedingly valuable as aids to this more inti-

notably the "Vita

mate knowledge of the man. Dante's own works, Nuova" and the "Convito,"

258

THE GREATEST BOOKS

are obviously of inestimable value. Boccaccio's

"Life of Dante," while not reckoned one of the

most
time.

exact, has the great advantage of being

written

by one who

lived near to Dante's

own

All study of history relating to the times of

the author

may be said

to be helpful so long as

is a broad and not a limited one. While it were well to read the history of Dante's times to get better light on Dante, and to make him more living and real to us, it must not be forgotten that an equal bene-

one's conception of history

fit

accrues from reading

Dante

to get a better

light

on the history

of his age.

For

it is

well to

keep in mind that the poets are forever the best
historians.

They

set before us vividly for all

time certain periods of man's life and development. The "Divine Comedy" may be called
history almost, in that

and

his beliefs

as they existed,
certain period.

it shows us so clearly man and surroundings and actions combined and interrelated at a

Froude in his essay on the "Science of History" makes the same point as to Homer. Of him he says, "He sang the tale of Troy, he touched his lyre, he drained the golden beaker in the halls of men like those on whom he was through conferring immortality. And thus,
.
.

.

SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY
Homer's power
of representing
still

259

men and women,

those old Greeks will

stand out from amidst

the darkness of the ancient world with a sharpness of outline which belongs to no period of

For the mere hard purposes of history, the Iliad' and the 'Odyssey' are the most effective books which were ever written. We see the hall of Menelaus, we see the garden of Alcinous, we see Nausicaa among her maidens on the shore, we see the mellow monarch sitting with ivory scepter in
*

history except the most recent.

the market-place dealing out genial justice.
again,

Or,

when the

wild

mood is on, we can hear the

crash of the spears, the rattle of the armor as the heroes fall, and the plunging of the horses among
the slain.

Could we enter the palace

of

an old

Ionian lord, we

know what we
in

should see there;

which he would address us. We could meet Hector as a friend. If we could choose a companion to spend an evening with over a fireside, it would be the man of many counsels, the husband of Penelope." To study the great masters, then, with a large mind, as a part of those ages they interpreted, and to study those ages as an essential part of themselves, is the only adequate way of coming to know them well, and of coming to understand their message clearly. To read a great book.

we know the words

260

THE GREATEST BOOKS

then, even with a good commentary, is but to have made a beginning; is but to have entered an outer chamber of those vast treasure houses in which He stored our inexhaustible inheritance.

CHAPTER XIV
THE COMPARATIVE STUDY OF GREAT BOOKS

There are few things more fruitful to the alert mind than a comparative study of great books. Even the more casual reader can hardly read
several of the classics without

certain

marked

likenesses

becoming aware of which they bear to

Readers and students of all ages seem to have been aware of these likenesses. We find Leigh Hunt referring to the "Divine
each other.

Comedy"

as the Italian "Pilgrim's Progress";

Longfellow speaks of the "Pilgrim's Progress"
as the English "Divine

Comedy."

Both are

agreed evidently on a strong likeness between
these two books.

Likewise we find Goethe's

"Faust" spoken of as the German "Divine Comedy"; and it is also not infrequently referred to as the modern Book of Job, alluding, of course, to the fact that Faust, like Job, was tested and tried for the final losing or saving of
his soul.

These are likenesses obvious enough,
to be

clear to

the most casual observer. But when one comes

more deeply interested

in a comparison

" of a man who progresses by way of self-sacrifice from a kind of damning discontent to happiness and salvation. we find that all of them are constructed on the same ground-plan. really to seek out their likenesses. the "Arabian Nights" of a woman who progresses by way of ingenuity from a dire doom to happiness and honor." "Faust. as it were. the "Odyssey. Each sets out the history of a soul which progresses from lesser to greater. the "Divine Comedy" tells of a man who progresses from sin and wretchedness ("hell") to goodness and bliss ("heaven"). from worse to better." the "Divine Comedy. "Faust. Or to particularize: The "Odyssey" sets out the history of a man who by means of endurance from separation and exile to reunion and homecoming. one likenesses." of one who by way of sometimes sorrowful.262 THE GREATEST BOOKS when one begins is of great books." the "Arabian Nights. Taking only the seven we have selected. but very materially to our understanding of great books. often amazed at the number and variety and the clearness of these Not only will a careful noting of them add greatly to the interest of our study." and the Book of Job. "Don Quixote. namely. generally progresses ." the "Pilgrim's Progress. from unhappiness to happiness." "Don Quixote.

first to doubt This is neither the time nor place to draw con- no doubt. mostly pitiful. to draw attention to these significant facts. Christian.COMPARATIVE STUDY OF GREAT BOOKS 263 humorous. the Book of Job. Not less interesting. of the earth. as it were. the poets "in their singing robes. it is enough. the "Pilgrim's Progress. Dante. Don Quixote. this common fact of life. is otherwise. all go on journeys. have spoken thus and not hardly less significant. They have each in their own way testified to it. or chance. truth). that man progresses. Whatever you or I or any of the rest of the lesser "very miscellaneous and dusty company" may think. adventure. The great writers and their great books are all agreed on this." have testified to this. by means of trial. . the fact that in four out of the seven the hero makes a journey. and lent their hand and seal to it. the great ones clusions. these Ulysses. of one who." of one who by sheer determined courage progresses from misery and the City of Destruction to salvation and the company of the Blessed. or God (as you may choose to believe the story as allegory or from a shallow. untried servand then through doubt to a noble and triumphing faith. solemnly sworn to it. progresses ice to God. progresses from madness and delusion to sanity and truth.

part woman. some of superstition is definite form evident." a visible personal devil. is Dead." though the unare not actually present to the eye." "purgatory. in the "Divine Comedy." "Faust. In the "Odyssey" we find strange creatures. Comedy. the Don Quix- evil spirits." Dante its. without exception." In the last scene Faust is carried to the "heaven" of the redeemed. in Job worlds. In "Odyssey." "Pilgrim's Progress." The "Prologue" to " Faust" shows us "God in his heaven. in "Arabian Nights." jinns and genii "Don Quixote. where Margaret has gone long before and awaits him." Job. enters also the is Land of Departed Spir- but the idea is here gothicized — the Land of Spirits divided into three carefully subdivided and to these are given the names of "heaven. not in general or Ulysses descends to the " Shades. curious monsters of sea and land." ." vast unhuman shapes. "hell. too many to mention here. enchanters. and "Pilgrim's Progress. in "Faust." and the of Job alike. human forms ote.264 THE GREATEST BOOKS all of In the books. in the and fairies." Book represented the "Land of the "Divine in form. they haunt nevertheless the fancy of — giants. In the "Pilgrim's Progress " Christian attains to the Celestial City and sees there the spirits of the blessed." varying only essential fact. part bird.

recalls Virgil who . In four out of the seven we see a soul conscious and longing to be saved. WTien one looks for less obvious and more subtle likenesses.COMPARATIVE STUDY OF GREAT BOOKS terested personally in ^Q5 God's heaven and his angels. in- man. Sheherazade knows she is doomed if she cannot stay the king's displeasure. confronted in the woods by the beasts and longing to escape. Christian becomes convicted of sin and mourns. its of sin or danger. — complaints of souls in misery. Dante's journey to the abode of the dead recalls certain instances in Ulysses' visit to the Land of the Shades. there do not lack examples in plenty. are revealed to us at the beginning of the story. with its fearful noises and moans. begging to know what he must do to be saved. its clanking of chains." Dante. recalls strongly Dante's inferno. Bunyan's description of the Valley of the Shadow of Death." Interpreter of those with punishments shown by the and the lessons taught by the souls are there punished. Faust not what to do or where to turn longs to know what to do to save himself from wretchedness and escape the disgust of living. a Personal God. knows to flee. for instance. Here the like- nesses are often very striking. In the "Divine Comedy. The Interpreter's House in the "Pilgrim's Progress.

and the selves recounting their sins." Christian. grown drowsy on the Enchanted Ground in "Pilgrim's Progress. In the "Odyssey" Ulysses' companions fail him. around some strongly moral idea or view of ." putting his fingers in his ears so as not to hear his wiie when and children cry after him. them- The Court Masquerade in the Second Part of " Faust " reminds one vividly of the Great Fair in the Town of Vanity in the "Pilgrim's Progress. ^66 THE GREATEST BOOKS lost souls interpreting to Dante the meanings of the various torments in the inferno. recalls clearly Ulysses dulling his companions' ears and having himself bound to the mast with cords lest he yield to the voices of the sirens." is built life. in the "Pilgrim's Progress. in "Pilgrim's Progress. in the Job." Christian's family Don way and neighbors fail and mock him." recall Ulysses' experience in the drowsy Land of the Lotus-Eaters Quixote's mad belief in bewitchments enchantments reminds us in a negative and of Faust's use of magic. Christian and Faithful.. Job's three friends turn against lose faith in him. with the exception of the "Arabian Nights. lest he be weakened in his resolves. Book of him and All of the seven books.

or deceit. God may know Yet on visited man. and in the thirty-first chapter his noble summing up If I of his integrity: if — have walked with vanity. In the Book of Job we have the author's assurance early in the story that Job was a perfect and upright man.COMPARATIVE STUDY OF GREAT BOOKS hero 267 In the "Odyssey" and in the Book of Job the is afflicted by misfortunes which seem arbi- trary and unjust. mine integrity. Can it be that Jove all others? though thyself So reverent to the gods? No man on earth Has burned so many thighs of fatling beasts And chosen hecatombs as thou to Jove Hates thee beyond The Thunderer. this just . "one that feared God and eschewed evil. yet the god hath cut thee off A calm old age. From thy return forever. In the "Odyssey" we have not only Athena's defense of Ulysses' piety and her complaint of the misfortunes visited on her hero." We have also Job's bitter laments. my foot hath hasted that to Let me be weighed in an even balance. but we have Ulysses' nurse lamenting his : undeserved suffering — My heart is sad for thee. with prayer that thou mayst reach and rear thy glorious son To manhood. have been sorrow and calamity. and yet I can do nothing. as on Ulysses. my son.

should have been so readily adopted by Homer. too. such as man's progress and power of overcoming. they take to be great fundamentals. they are. though certain striking facts or characteristics of life had made strong impressions on these men whose delight and chief interest it was closely to observe life. Bunyan would seem to point to the likelihood that the constant changefulness of man's life. It is as though they were all convinced of some indisputable truth and said it for us.268 THE GREATEST BOOKS is There in each of these poems a persistent in questioning of the dealings of God. Cervantes. Dante. There are a few things. it would seem. that the integrity of these which the reader men shall be admitted by the Higher Powers. That the form of a journey. shares. on which all these great authors agree. These are only a few of the noticeable similarities to be found in the books named when these books are compared. for instance. its its years that depart and decay and unstable for- . if On many other as not all. severally agreed. or the gods. These. The likeness is very striking. things. and a haunting longing. fashion. alter. its changing adventure. interpreted it merely each in his yet nearly It is own all.

jinns. of a journey. When these writers. took note of the his smallness of man's powers as against the powers nature. half-symbolic. half -believed in. observed the limit of lighted knowledge as compared with the vast dark of his ignorance. when took on the form and and symbol alters. would seem to be a common confession among these writers that they had observed and watched those vast powers of nature and of the spirit.COMPARATIVE STUDY OF GREAT BOOKS tunes and inevitable 269 circumstances strongly life. or delay man's best or observing of least efforts. man and his life. . devils. powerful enchanters. When remembering with how much awe and must have observed it is wonder these great writers greatest of all the visible sensible experience of death. stranger creatures and forces uncomprehended. those great forces. interrupt. magic. which mysteriously influence. so little understood. outside himself. — and the rest. a thing that progresses In a like manner the fact that their heroes a prey to the all have made powers of superstitions and enchantments. the man's material experiences. they must have sought aid of imagination to picture these things in some of those strange forms. harpies. impressed these four writers so that they came to write of it. hasten.

wondered at that we find them all and allowing their heroes to visit the Land of the Dead.270 little THE GREATEST BOOKS to be it. with its facts. that consciousness whereby he compares his woven with these symbols — — actions with his ideals. vation of these writers. his desires with his belief. and so becomes "convicted of sin. the Celestial City. the hell and purgatory and heaven of Dante. the Land of Departed Spirits. in which those melodious noise of music and runwho by death were so lost to us might be recovered and cherished and spoken with ence and as of old." the Elysian Fields. Not only the obserbut how long an experilie how much longing of the race of in- hope and promise. too. And since the sharp changes wrought by death are in no way to be accounted for either by a man's experience or his reason. So. so here again speculation and imagination lent their busy hands to picture some desirwriting of able or hoped-for substitute for the hopeless So were built up these pictures of the "Shades. and desirous of better living. the longing to escape from a dire fate a thing noted in four of these great books is but an interpretation of that deep self-consciousness to which man is humanly subject. Bunyan makes his hero voice and . glories and its ning waters. his failures with his obligations." as we say.

the author of the heroes are just In the point powerfully taken by Homer and Book of Job that their — men direful! y afflicted — we see two great minds strongly impressed by a common and puzzling human fact which you and I. of Christian. failing them in extremity. that the wicked are often seen to prosper and the good to suffer. too. the Enchanted Ground. the weakness of our and friends of Ulysses. The longer one studies the great writers. One might becomes aware cite many other examples. too. we see. may have observed frequently. companions and friends in the companions and of Job. Ulysses resisting the sirens. and Christian stopping his ears against the appealing and detaining voices of those he loves. that common sorrowful thing. . and the Land of the Lotus-Eaters. the more one of striking or subtle similarities. "What must I do to be saved?" As a further instance. are what else but so many ways of picturing that common weakness of the flesh spirits and the temptation of it with which the of all men at some time struggle? And if in the instances above we see our own weaknesses poetically and justly drawn.COMPARATIVE STUDY OF GREAT BOOKS interpret the whole great 271 human longing in those few words of Christian uttered with what poignant sincerity.

that these men all drew their knowledge from one source. It is important that we should know that these likenesses are due rather to this. THE END . that it is touched. ances. —a thing fashioned of and for the spirits of us ("for these are spiritual utter- and are spiritually discerned ") . from life itself — — human existence itself. of the humble. a kind of fellowship which marked them all of one intellectual brotherhood.272 THE GREATEST BOOKS thing at One observe — that these first is especially important for us to similarities are not due. also. as life is. shot through with our joys and triumphs. and therethe kings fore not a privilege of the few but the possession of the many. as we might suppose. acquainted with our grief. not the exclusive of the earth. to a mere likeness of thought or likeness of temperament in these men. gift of and nobles but the inestimable treasure. with our glories and our infirmities. This brings us back to the reassuring realization that great art is but a form of life after all. sharer of our knowledge.

APPENDIX .

.

They contain the names of the editions. From these it is supposed the discriminating reader will choose such as would seem especially adapted to his own general plan of study. such as the histories of Spain and the histories of the East given in the lists for Don Quixote and for the Arabian Nights. Many volumes are included in the lists which have only indirect bearing on the books studied. or on the character and times of its author. essays. commentaries. many of the books chosen for the Arabian Nights list having been selected with a view to giving the student a broader knowledge of Eastern traditions and Oriental manners and customs in general. The simpler books and commentaries best suited to the casual student or .APPENDIX LIST OF BOOKS HELPFUL IN A STUDY OF GREAT BOOKS Each year sees some new volumes added to the already large number of commentaries on great books. The lists given are graded. The author of the present volume makes no claim that the lists given below are in any way complete. Where a book or essay seems to cast light on the nation or people to which the great book in question belongs. and such collateral reading as the author has found helpful in a study of the seven books treated of in the present volume. it has been included in the lists.

*The Macmillan Company. The Odyssey.276 to the one APPENDIX who has made no extended previous study first. Should be studied in connection with a good prose translation Everyman's Library. It has good notes. *E. or IV. The Odyssey. Though these may be ordered through our own book-dealers.. Translated into Verse by Alexander Pope. fHoughton Mifflin Company. it is not possible for the author to give accurately the prices of such books. This is perhaps the best-known and standard edition of the Odyssey in English.. It is helpful to use this edition together with the Bryant or 2. of literature are in each case mentioned The books mentioned under II. 3' Pope translation . P. Button 35 . Butcher and A. This is a valuable translation.) 60 The Odyssey of Homer. In some cases the books mentioned are published abroad. {Student's Edition. 80 4. Lang. more readily understood than those in poetic meter. H. 1. & Co.) $1. are in general for those who wish to take up a more thorough and extended study. Crowell Company. Translated by William Cowper. {Many other inexpensive editions. the f indicates Boston. This volume generally includes Pope's Essay on Homer. III.00 The Odyssey. GRADED The LIST OF VOLUMES HELPFUL IN THE STUDY OF homer's ODYSSEY names is * before the of publishers in these lists indicates in that the publishing house New York. *Thomas Y. A good inexpensive edition. Translated into Blank Verse by William Cullen Bryant. Done into English Prose by S.

Lippincott Company.A. A valuable commentary for beginners for 1. Palmer. 14. with introduction by Andrew Lang.APPENDIX 5. A valuable translation Homer's Odyssey. an English Translation 1. (To be had in many inexpensive editions. 8. Adventures of Ulysses. A valuable reference book for mythology and legends of Greece and other lands Greek Heroes. by Charles Kingsley. W. Gayley's Classic Myths.25 50 8. *Longmans.50 9. fGinn & Co. P. Rhythmic Prose. Stories & Co of by Corinne Spickelmire. The Odyssey 10. Indianapolis Hellas. Duttoii & Co. The story of the Odyssey briefly told in prose The Odyssey.50 1. {Student's Edition. Green & Co Bulfinch's Age of Fable. and 17 are all excellent books written for children. by George H. *John Lane.50 J.70 1. 13.00 {Nos. St. by Denton J. Helpful to an understanding of the religion and symbolism of the Greeks. by Alfred Church. by Alfred J. The Odyssey. and sympathetic rendering in drama $1.) 12. by John Ruskin. beautiful by Stephen Phillips. M. B. H. by Charles Lamb. 50 tGinn 17. Lucas Collins. *The Macmillan Company Tales of Troy and Greece. Church. book 16. J. Snider. 16. Bobbs-Merrill Company.) . 9. Green & Co Queen of the Air. A valuable 1. by Andrew Lang. The Sigma Publishing Company. 277 a Play. Louis. Ulysses. 1. Stories of the Old World. a Commentary. Boys and Girls. A Study of Minerva. Philadelphia. *E. fHoughton Mifflin Company. A 6. by the Rev. but have interest as well for grown-ups. fGinn & Co.) 50 35 30 15. *Longmans.00 in form 7. 11.

*American 1. These volumes include an Essay on the Women of J. S. Original translations covering a wide field of Greek literature. Short Studies on Great Subjects. *D. Chapman's Translation of the Odyssey.00 1. with a brief narrative of travel Charicles. In Greece with the Classics. by Gil5. An interesting account of methods 2. Dutton & Co. One of the standard translations.00 6. Greece (from the Coming of the Hellenes to a. Private Life of the Ancients. *Longmans. Putnam's Sons. hut its it is English being that of several centuries ago. C. Jebb. 1. *Har1. Two Volumes. by Becker. bert Murray. A. *G. *American Book Company 35 1. *Harper & Brothers. Addington Symonds.50 in 1. Mahaffy. Appleton & Co 70 1. Old Greek Education. by Homer 3. by J. 3. Homer. fLittle.50 Old Greek Life. P. Shuckburgh. P. *American 35 Book Company 4. by William Amory Gardner. by R. 5.50 A . *Charles Scribner's Sons $1. by H. Studies of the Greek Poets. Mahaffy. used nowadays rather by the earnest than the casual student History of Ancient Greek Literature. 14).50 2. Guerber. Book Company Myths of Greece and Rome. P.APPENDIX n 1.50 & Brothers. by E. by James Anthony Froude. Brown & Co. *E. by per of education in old Greece J.d.00 4. an Essay. A good history for reference or serious study 3. Green & Co Greek Literature. P.

*G. P. *The Macmillan Company A History of Classical Greek Literature. *American Book Company The World 1. Life of 279 7. 4. *G. by S. by Paul Elmer More. 1. C. *The Macmillan Company 9.25 Company. St. mans. C.50 1. by R. *American 35 Book Company Short History of Greek Literature.50 1.00 7. *American Book Company Essays on Greek Literature. Butcher. the Ancient Greeks. Putnam's Sons. P. A readable and helpful hook Essays on Delphi and Greek Literature.00 of Homer. Adapted to the American Students. C. P. H. 8. Y. by Tolman and Scoggins.25 Art and Humanity in Homer.50 1. R. 5. For advanced study the Greeks Have Done for Modern Civilization. Putnam's Sons Greek Studies. Gulick. Mahaffy.25 3. 12.00 1. Jebb. by R. an Introduction to the IHad and Odyssey. Tyrrell. Wissenborn's Homeric Needs 2. 1. Basil on Greek Literature. by Walter Pater. of Life. Some Aspects of the Greek Genius. MahaflFy.25 10.APPENDIX 6. Green & Co. by Charles B. $1. Jebb 8. P. *American Book Company Mycenean Troy. in "Shelburne Essays" (Second Series). *American Book Company IV 1. *Long1. For student they are invaluable 6. by Andrew Lang. by R. Lawton. (With Appendix on Homer by Profes- . by W. by J. by J.40 *D. C. by E. These essays go deeply into the Greek the casual myths and Greek ideals of beauty. 1. 11.00 Wright. *The Macmillan What 1. Maloney. 75 1. Appleton & Co Greek Literature. by W. *Charles Scribner's Sons Homer.

Burt. volumes each 13.. . ETC.) APPENDIX *The Macmillan Company. by James Russell Lowell. Dutton & Co. . Louis.280 sor Sayce. Gary. A readable book by a well-known Dante vmter . USEFUL IN THE STUDY OF THE DIVINE COMEDY 1." jHoughton Mifflin Company Dante Alighieri.50 1. by Henry Browne.00 COIVIMENTARIES. .00 . by Denton J. in many ways well . Longfellow. "New Life. by Paget Toynbee. *The Macmillan Company.00 1.. 1. 3. Lowell's "Literary Essays. *Thomas Y. A helpful essay to be found in Vol.50 J. suited to beginners 6. IV. Snider. Green & Co Life in the Homeric Age. *E. The above includes Rossetti 's transla- tion of Dante's 2. by » W. . f Houghton Mifflin Company.50 7. 1.'' 60 F. The Divine Comedy.50 4. Gary. 3. 1. *A. *Longmans. a commentary. by Thomas Day Seymour. This is one of the standard translations. ESSAYS. 5. The Sigma Publishing Company. 2. *The Macmillan Co. 15. Everyman's Library. Lectures on Greek Poetry. .50 . *Longmans. The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri. L. His Life and Works. A good and standard edition.35 The Divine Comedy. Translated by Henry Gary. Translated by Rev. Two $1. yet a helpful one.25 14. Mackail. While not one of the accepted scholarly commentaries. . Essay on Dante. St. Translated by Henry F. This includes Life of Dante The Divine Comedy. Green & Co Handbook of Homeric Study. The copious notes in the Longfellow translation are valuable The Divine Comedy. Henry F. Translated by Henry W. P. Crowell Company.

Translated by . TransButler. of Harris. *E. Three volumes. and one 1. and character as carefully Dante's life well as his writings 7. Dutton & Co The Banquet. f LitBrown & Co. Three volumes. 1.50 (Other useful translations with valuable notes are those of Plumtre. 4. Temple 9. much used Comments on Passages in the Divine Comedy of Dante. fHoughton Mifflin Company. and Paradiso. Edition. Prim50 50 8. Purgatorio.25 to Dante. 1. T. A valuable hook for the student. H.Dutton&Co Rossetti Translation. K. 281 Essay on Dante. Dante. 4. *Longmans. The *The Macmillan Company. by John Ruskin. 6. The Vita Nuova. A Companion lated by A. P.50 Dante. F." by Mandell Creighton. Translated by Charles Eliot Norton. by ers. set Inferno. Edmund G.25 5. Edited with Translations and Notes by Arthur J. J. by Maria F.50 2.P. Huntington. A delightful and helpful essay $1. Edited by G. f Houghton Mifflin Company. by Scartazzini. Rossetti. Hazelfoot. Spiritual Sense of Dante's by W. Green & Co. P. An interesting hook.) n 1. The Divine Comedy. CommejHoughton Mifflin ComDivina 1.50 The dia. each S. See also Commentary on the Divina Commedia. Toxers English and F. A Shadow tle. by Dante Alighieri. Gardner.APPENDIX 8. Temple *E. H.25 pany. 9. in "Historical Essaj^s and Reviews. Interesting and useful 1. A prose translation useful to study in connection with one of the good verse translations. *The Macmillan ComIt considers pany. Butler.

Dutton & Co.50 The Teachings Dante. W. A helpful book 12. jLittle. APPENDIX Temple Edition. *Longmans. An interesting and well. Brown & Co. fHoughton Mifflin Company Aids to the Study of Dante. Readings on the Purgatorio (two vols.50 volume also includes Rossetti' s translation of the 13. fHoughton Mifflin Company. Rossetti. *E. Co. known 14. Green & 15." by J. The 1. by Paget Toynbee.). Dins1. *George Doran Company. '* They have very full notes and a valuable running commentary by one of the most able of modern Dante students. By W. Dutton & Co in 3. Vernon. They offer to the Dante student a careful and helpful commentary.282 Philip Wicksteed. P. Dante and His Circle. A fine chapter 3. Readings on the Inferno (2 vols. Three volumes. P." on Dante. & Co of $ . Carroll. In Patria. *E. P.). 1. W.00 Dante Studies and Researches. Each Hope. These volumes are valuable and readable.50 1. by Charles A. in "Lectures on Poetry.00 . Mackail. by Dante G. The Hero as Poet (in Carlyle's "Heroes and Hero. each 2. A collection of poems hy 11. An exposition of Dante's "Divine Comedy" Exiles of Eternity.50 Dante and his friends. These volumes are exceedingly valuable for careful and detailed study of the " Divine Comedy. Dinsmore.). essay 30 Essay on Poetry of Dante. translated by Rossetti.Worship ") Temple Edition.50 more. by John S. Essays ''New Life. *The Macmillan Company. Prisoners of 1. by Charles A. *E.50 2. Readings on the Paradiso (two vols. Dutton 10.

Mifflin Company.00 Goethe's Faust. Annotated by F. Translated by Bayard Taylor. the Wayfarer." 60 by Thomas Carlyle. P. Crowell Company. *The Macmillan Company 5. *The Macmillan Company. 4. P. D. St. 7. A good edition. a Snider.50 Louis 6. 283 De Monarchia of Dante. Translated by A. Translated by Anne Swanwick. Dutton It should he studlater biographies. Henry. Goethe's Faust. P. 45 & Co G. Translated by Miss Swanwick. though without very full notes. *Baker & Taylor Company Dante in English Literature from Chaucer to Cary. Two volumes. *Thomas Y.50 Dante. 1. each Faust. &Co. 2. 35 1. A standard and excellent translation with good notes $2. Commentary by Denton J. Lewes. Part n. Hedge. Goethe's Faust. fHoughton Mifflin Company $1. The Sigma Publishing Company. by Edmund &Co 6. Dante. Dutton of Philosophy. by Boethius. some of the ied in connection with . Dutton 5. A standard life of Goethe. Gardner. by G. A good translation fHoughton 3. mentary Essay on Goethe.) 5.D. *E.APPENDIX 3. useful if studied with good comwith notes.35 . {Many inexpensive editions. By Christopher Hare.00 BOOKS HELPFUL IN THE STUDY OF GOETHE's FAUST 1.25 The Consolation *E. H. in "Heroes and Hero-Worship. By Paget Toynbee. *E. H. 80 4. Life of Goethe.

6. 1. To be found in any good edition of Carlyle' s works. An Essay in Biographical Studies 80 1. by De fHoughton Mifflin Company. by Thomas Carlyle. In "Critical and Miscellaneous Essays. A review of Lewes' s "Life of Goethe. dealing with many phases of German literature. H. Goethe's Autobiography. Quincey.) These essays are invaluable to the Goethe student. Company.25 Bohn Library. (In any good edition of Carlyle' s works. *The Macmillan Company II 1. Translated by John Oxenford.25 . Lewes. 1.284 7. Life of APPENDIX Goethe. with Notes. In "Representative Men. J. Life of Goethe. Goethe. Hayward. Helpful and inspiring. Valuable and interesting for a study of Goethe's later life and opinions Essays on German literature." by Richard Holt Hutton. Hay ward. in two is volumes. Faust." by Thomas Carlyle.00 brief study of Goethe's life Essay on Goethe and His Influence. *The Macmillan Company Conversations of Goethe with Eckermann. 1. by G. by A. Lecture on Goethe.00 7. An interesting and well-known essay Correspondence between Schiller and Goethe. 9.80 Essays on Goethe. $ ." This is especially valuable if life read in 2. *The Macmillan Company. fHoughton Company 4. *The Macmillan Company. each 8. In "Literary Essays. Translated from the German. Bohn Library. B.00 Mifflin connection with that 3." by Ralph Waldo Emerson. 8. *The Macmillan Company. Lippin- cott 2. Philadelphia. A readable and 1.25 5. This a good standard edition unabridged. a prose translation by A.

Interesting and helpful essays 2. Both parts and Marlowe's " Dr. Boyesen. *G.25 sympathetic and com6. by Goethe. Hedge." by Frederic H. by Herman Grimm. Brown & Co The Life of Goethe.75 7. by Albert Bielchowsky.APPENDIX Bohn 9. *The Macmillan Company 10. *E. Dutton & Co. Cambridge. in "Hours with German Classics.25 III 1. by George Santayana. by William H. Goethe. Lippincott Company. 80 Schiller. The Story of the Renaissance. 2. by Edward Dowden. J. *Cassell & Co. One of of Goethe 1. valuable in a comparative study 1. including a Commentary on Goethe's "Faust.. the good biographies flittle. Life and Times of Goethe. . Putnam's Sons. 4. Contains essays on Dante and Goethe. y Hudson. the Man and His Character. 70 3.00 4. *Charles Scribner's Sons. 1. Harvard University Press. which were moving influences in Goethe's life . Faustus. 285 Library. Of use mainly as giving an insight into some of the forces of the Renaissance 5. Three Philosophical Poets. Two volumes Chapters on Goethe and Faust. Their Lives and Works. Goethe's Faust. France. P. An $ ... Generally admitted the best life of Goethe. Brown & Co. *The Macmillan Company. fLittle. P. Mass. B.25 An interesting book recently published .00 Goethe and 11. New Studies in Literature..80 interesting volume Travels in Italy. by Joseph McCabe. plete {in three volumes) It is to be 1.00 6. Philadelphia. and Switzerland." Moreley's Universal Library. Bohn Library.." by Hjalmar H..

1901. October. This edition is valuable for its fine introduction and notes BOOKS USEFUL TO A STUDY OF THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 1. by Mary C. W. Triibner & Co. Goethe's Faust. by W. *The Macmillan Company The Spirit of Goethe's Faust. Crawford. A valuable essay edited in two volumes by Calvin Thomas.. Complete Works.00 10. each $1. London 12. This volume includes five most interesting essays 8. *The Outlook Publishing Company. In Ariel Booklets. Boston. . Trench.286 APPENDIX Kegan Paul. Brown & Co. The Lane translation is the best known and best adapted for general use. Coupland. Vanderbilt University. It is published in several good editions. An interesting chapter 2. The above edition is a very good one for general use. fLittle. Quar- terly. Bohn Library. In four volumes. An account of Goethe's friendship with women. The Arabian Nights. *The Macmillan Company. Lane. Edited by S. Essays on Weimar and Goethe. in " Backgrounds of Literature." by Hamilton W.50 9. Mabie. each 75 2.00 The Arabian Nights. Goethe's 11. and contains an interesting introduction and valuable notes. 13. Lane Poole. London. The plan and purpose of the completed work. Six volumes. together with many interesting illustrations 2. Lane's Version. Faust. Translated by E.00 Goethe and His Woman Friends. on Goethe $2.

of interest to grown-ups as well $2. Crowell Company. Putnam's Sons. Green & Co. * G.00 4. *George H. intended for general use 60 The Arabian Nights. 3. T. 25 Literary History of the Arabs. *Thomas Y. Bride of Abydos. by Thomas Moore. by Edward W. useful to the understanding of Eastern literature Lalla Rookh. 1. Interesting and instructive.) Riverside Literature Series. ^ New edition. *D Appleton & Co. {In any complete edition of his poetical works. History of Arabic Literature. by Edmund Dulac. Selected and edited by Andrew Lang. Doran Company.) 9. with drawings. with introduction by Stanley Lane . fHoughton Mifflin Company II 1. 287 Nights.) 10.) *Thomas Y. New York. A good selection of the "Arabian Nights" Stories. {In any complete edition of Arnold's poetical works. London. P. by Arthur Oilman. An interesting book 1. The notes are valuable and interesting 2. Lane. A book for chil- The Arabian Delightful edition. The Arabian Nights. (In any complete edition of Moore's poetical works. Selections from the Koran. by Matthew Arnold. The Corsair. by Clement Huart.25 2. 5. A good popular selection Story of the Saracens. by Lord Byron. Crowell Comdren. {In any complete edition of Byron's poetical works. 75 8. Fisher Unwin.APPENDIX 3. *Longmans. by Reynolds Nicholson. Lara. Sohrab and Rustum.00 7. retold by Laurence Housman. pany. This book gives one a good idea of many Eastern customs and historical events. The Light of Asia.00 6. by Sir Edwin Arnold.

by Edward Edited by Stanley Lane Poole.288 Poole. Lady Burton's edition of Richard Burton's Ara- bian Nights.. P. London . by David Hogarth. 6." {Many editions. Walter Low & Sons. In chapters 50. Triibner & Co. Crowell Company $ The Arabian Nights. Valuable The Penetration of Arabia. Asiatic Studies. Lane.) A famous essay. Dutton &Co 8. Household Edition. Stokes Company Rise and Fall of the Saracen Empire. London. Folk-Tales London 4. Religious and Social.'' 3. *E. W. by Wortabet.00 *G. 5. These tales are allied to many found in the *' Arabian Nights. P. Trench. W.) These chapters are valuable and interesting. Kegan Paul. by Anton von Schiefner. the Roman 7. & Co of Persia. London.00 6. London The FHght of a Tartar Tribe. {In any good edition of De Quincey's works. 2. London. Mohammed. Valuable 2. G. 2. 1. by Rev. it is valuable and inspiring. APPENDIX Kegan Paul. John Murray. 5. while it treats of a different people of the East. 51. Worship. Trench. Putnam's Sons III 1. *E. Arabian Society in the Middle Ages. Chatto & Windus. Triibner & Co. by Sir Alfred Lyall. .00 Arabian Wisdom. 40 The Story by S. and 52 of Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of Empire." *Thomas Y. by Thomas De Quineey. Triibner & Co. of Kasmir. P. Trench.. Kegan Paul. Hinton Knowles. *Frederick A. Benjamin. J. and interesting Thibetan Tales..35 Button 7. in Carlyle's "Heroes and Hero- 4.

16. *The Macmillan Company Essay on Persian Poetry by Emerson. {In Browning's poetical works. *E. by Richard BurIn fourteen volumes 25. 11. S. *G.) Omar Khayyam. Madinah and Meccah. F. Arabian Nights. in his " Letters and Social Aims. Sir Charles Morell.25 Edition 19.00 Translated by inexpensive edi- 10. Student's Edition. . Button & Co Life of Mahomet. Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al 15. Edward FitzGerald. Bohn Library. Translation of ton. *Everyman's Library. Mackail. *Longmans. Tales of the Caliphs. A selection of legends drawn from the Sanskrit Poem "The Ramayana. by Sir R. Ferishtah's Fancies.75 20. by Washington Irving. P.OO by Claude Field. " fHoughton Mifflin 1. P.75 1. In many Rubaiyat tions fHoughton Mifflin Company. P. Burton. Centenary Edition Little Classic 1.00 14. W. *G. *John Lane . in "Lectures on Poetry. *E. Bohn Library. Bohn Library.00 Essay on Arabian Poetry. . by Stanley Lane Poole.25 35 1. Tales of the Genii.00 17. edition of of by Robert Browning. Putnam's Sons 75 1. *The Macmillan Company from the Persian 1.00 Button 13. 1. The Story of Mediaeval India under Mohammedan Rule." by Frederika Macdonald. Green & Company 12. $2. 289 complete 9. & Co The Iliad of the East. Putnam's Sons The Story of Turkey. 2. P.APPENDIX 8. Translated by 18." by J. by Stanley Lane Poole. *The Macmillan Company The Koran.00 Company.

Illustrated by W. Translated by Robinson Smith. P. Dutton & Co 3. Dutton & Co. *E.00 . 3. *John Lane Essay on Spanish Romance. Translated by Motteaux. Robinson. P. . Dutton & Co. *E. *The Macmillan Company The Alhambra. Translated by Jarvis.) The Bible in Spain. Retold for Children by Judge Parry. Unillustrated. $1. with introduction and notes. P. "Biographies and 1. ton Irving. Putnam's Sons 2. P. Bohn Library.25 Miscellaneous Papers. Don 2. in by Albert F.25 Don Quixote. Valuable 1. Crowell Company. The Life of Miguel de Cervantes. (Several editions. 1. H. 7. *E.50 Don Quixote. II 1." by Washington Irving. P. Bohn Library. Illustrated by Walter Crane. by Washing- 5. *The Macmillan Company.25 The Story of Don Quixote. This is generally accepted as the standard translation.) 4. A Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada and Legends of the Conquest of Spain. (Many editions. Two volumes. Two volumes 70 Don Quixote. Everyman's Library. Quixote.40 Don Quixote. 1. Two volumes each.25 2. Dutton & Co. by Washington Irving. 4. 8. *E. Calvert. 1. Two volumes 2.290 APPENDIX BOOKS USEFUL TO A STUDY OF DON QUIXOTE I 1. *G. with Loekhart's Life and Notes. by George Borrow.50 Don Quixote. Translated by Ormsby. 5. *Thomas Y. 6.50 Blackie & Son .

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60 1. P. . *E. Century Classics Edition. Pilgrim's Progress.75 2.50 1. Illustrated in black and white. Pilgrim's Progress.00 The last three named to 9. *E. Riverside Edition. with Memoir of the Author. Two volumes. 3.60 . 6. 5.00 History of Spanish I^iterature. Illustrated in color by Hammond. P. Three volumes . 7. 1." by Andrew Lang. Pilgrim's Progress.20 1.. VOLUMES.00 .) The Pilgrim's Progress. APPENDIX Chapter on Cervantes. fHoughton Mifflin Company.292 7. 2. *The Century Company {These are all excellent editions.35 ton Mifflin 2.. pany 4. Crowell Com. Illustrated in color by Pape.00 Pilgrim's Progress. P..00 . *Charles Scribner's Sons. Many good edi- 2. Macmillan Company in " Great Writers. Bunyan. $2. *E. Dutton & Co Pilgrim's Progress." *The 8. fHough$ . in "Essays in Little. are so illustrated as to he attractive not alone y grown-ups but to children. 10. Bunyan. *The Macmillan Company Pilgrim's Progress. in Macaula-ys Essays. ETC. .00 Co II 1. by Archdeacon Allen. Pilgrim's Progress. USEFUL IN THE STUDY OF pilgrim's progress I 1. ESSAYS. Dutton & 2. 8. *The Century Company *The Macmillan Company Pilgrim's Progress. Company Everyman's Library. Button & Co *Thomas Y. by George Ticknor.

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S. By E. edited by R. A valuable edition $1. 2. A 3. Watson.. C. An interesting book Perfect 1. . Published by Jewish Chautauqua Society.00 1. Margolis. dear valuable commentary for use of students or for and inspiring 1. Putnam's Sons. F. N. ETC. Newbolt. A.25 of the Inner Life. USEFUL IN THE STUDY OF THE BOOK OF JOB I 1. with notes. 2. The Messages of the Poets {chapters on Book of 1. with notes. Through Suffering. By R. P.25 tHoughton 5. by Max L. by F.294 5. .25 n 1. fHoughton Mifflin Company 4. Genung. Peloubet. Davidson. APPENDIX History of the Reformation in Germany.25 To-day. introduction. Expositor's Bible. C. . by A.25 1. . Button & Co $2. Doran Company. ESSAYS. Doran Company. with notes. *E. Philadelphia The Hebrew Literature of Wisdom in the " Light of 1.00 COMMENTARIES.00 1. The Book of Job.. The Book of Job. by W. Studies in the Book of Job.00 . Gibson. Genung. *George H. 3. 1. by Buchanan Blake. by L. F. *The Macmillan Company The Book of Job and the Problem of Human Suffering. 1. B." by J. *Charles Scribner's Sons Interpretations of the Book of Job. E. etc. Green & Co The Book of Job.50 The Book of Job.50 4. Moulton. *Longmans. earnest readers. P. *George H. 5. Mifflin Company . 6. von Ranke. G. The Epic by J. *G. *The Macmillan Company.

by Francis Coutts. by George G. Moulton. Rawlinson. Bradley. England by G. by George A. Company.00 Job. by Amos Kidder Fiske. 2. *The Macmillan Company. Lippincott 1. *E. Kegan Paul. Moulton. London Literary Study of The Bible. 2. B. by Emil J. Translated by J. 3. C. Blake's Vision of the Book of Job. by Richard G.. Latch. Barton. Trench. by Ort and Hooykass. by Joseph H. London Lectures on the Book of Job. G. don 2. Philadelphia The Sceptics of the Old Testament. Trubner & Co. 2. Wicksteed. Two volumes . illustrated by Blake. fD. London Commentary on Book of Job. *Sturgis & Walton the 11. von Ewald. The Heresy of Job. a study of the Argument. 90 12. Dutton & Co 9. Isbister & Co. H. Exposition This has long been one of the standard commentaries 6..APPENDIX Joh)y 295 by Nathaniel Schmidt.00 Lane. H. 5. delivered in Westminster Abbey. *The Macmillan Company The Bible for Learners.50 2. Smith. Commentary on Book of Job. by R. Wicksteed. by E. John best & Norgate. ClarenIndications of the J. P.00 III 1. Book of Job. A. F. *John Lane 7.00 2.50 Sons World Literature.00 4. *Charles Scribner's $1.00 1.00 2. A valuable popular hook dealing with the general trend of literature as developed by mankind 2.50 10. The Heresy of Job. B. The Great Epic of Israel. London. Oxford. by G.00 2. Dillon. Translated by J. Williams Press. Heath & Co 8. London.

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