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English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism

ENGLISH LITERATURE:

FROM THE LATE RENAISSANCE TO THE RISE OF ROMANTICISM

A Course for second Year students in English

Tutor: dr. Ioana Mohor-Ivan

English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism

POETRY OF THE LATER RENAISSANCE Though literary history does not lend itself to tidy divisions and the late Renaissance in England should be seen as a whole movement from Sidney and Spenser to Marvell and Milton (Vickers 1990, 160), the literary modes, genres or individual texts included in this survey tend to belong to the historical period spanning the accession to the throne of James I (1606) and the restoration of Charles II (1660), at the centre of which there lies the Puritan Revolution which wrought immense social changes and impinged upon the quality of English literature. Throughout the Jacobite and Caroline ages the court remains an undisputed centre of national authority, influence, power, reward and intellectual inspiration. As such, the literature produced in this context will tend to reflect courtly values, favouring an intricate, allusive and decorative writing, where the emphasis is placed on love (not necessarily marriage), warfare (largely free of political context) or devotional piety (quite apart from practical morality.) In the period of the Civil.Wars and Commonwealth, the urgency of crisis dominates English society, while the court looses its privileged position. Social divisions (e.g. Puritan / Anglican, or Parliamentarian / Royalist) reflect themselves within the literary field. If decorative writing survives among cultured parliamentarians and royalists, new developments are registered with the growth of a more civic and utilitarian writing favouring plain-style verse or plain-style prose, particularly within politico-religious controversy. If the lyric mode is representative for the courtly values that poetry enshrines and finds expression in the two alternate poetic modes - Cavalier and Metaphysical - which dominate the first half of the century, John Miltons verse is not only too varied in tone and scope to be adequately contained by either of them, but also exemplifies the Puritan ethos and its hostility towards the courtly culture, remaining thus apart. A. The Cavalier Poets The Cavalier are a group of poets associated with the Court as cavaliers, not only in the sense of being Royalists in opposition to the Puritan Roundheads, but also as Renaissance Courtiers, having accepted the ideals of the Renaissance gentleman popularised by Castigliones The Courtier: at once a lover, soldier, wit, man of affairs, musician and poet. Moreover, poets like Thomas Carew, Sir John Suckling, Richard Lovelace and Robert Herrick were fervent admirers of Ben Jonsons lyric verse (hence the other label - The Tribe/Sons of Ben attached to the group), whose eloquence and elegance they tried to imitate in their own artful poems. The characteristic theme of their verse is love. Yet its treatment differs from the Elizabethan praise of an abstracted and idealised beauty, being more carefree, flippant, and often sexual. The dichotomy between Art / Nature is also present in much Cavalier poetry, which often contains pastoral scenery and images, drawn from a combination of a nostalgic English past and classical mythology. Most poems are also hedonist, embodying the very essence of the Latin carpe diem (seize the day) philosophy, while the dark side of the poems is provided by the sense of impending decay or death implied in the theme of transience.

English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism

1. Ben Jonson (1572-1637) Though primarily remembered as a dramatist, the author of the famous comedies of humours and Volpone, Jonson was also a scholar, critic and poet, and it is with the songs and poems in the masques together with the collected verse of Epigrams and The Forest (both published in 1616) and Underwoods (1640) that his influence among the Cavalier poets is to be explained. A classicist by formation, Jonson took the lead from Latin poets like Catullus and Horace, showing a similar concern for humane, largely secular topics and the craftsmanship of the verse. The light playfulness of Song: To Celia, a poem about the act of flirtation, realised, placed and valued, or the brisk and alert movement of Vivamus, with its outspoken carpe diem philosophy are also proof of Jonsons command of metrics, verse and stanza forms.
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English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism

2. Robert Herrick (1591-1674) Like Jonson, his literary forebear, Robert Herrick turned to the classical lyric for inspiration and worked to achieve eloquence and precision of form. Though his major collection of poems, Hesperides (1648) takes on an impressive variety of forms including elegies, epigrams, songs, hymns and imitations of the same Horace and Catullus, it is the lyrics like To the Virgins, to make much of time a classic exposition of the carpe diem motif -, or Corinna's Going AMaying a synthesis of classical paganism with English folk themes which gives a special twist to his celebration of the seasonal custom which have earned him the reputation of a distinguished verbal craftsman.

English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism

English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism

B. The Metaphysical Poets

Metaphysical is a term used to group together certain 17th- century poets like John Donne, Andrew Marvell, George Herbert, Henry Vaughan or Richard Crashaw, who tried to deepen the traditional lyric forms of love and devotion by stretching them to comprehend the new scientific discourses and theories, the topical debates on humanism, faith and eternity. As such, their poetry investigates the world by a rational investigation of its phenomena, rather than by intuition or mysticism. As such, the following attributes characterize It is traditional to oppose the Cavalier to the Donnes both love and religious poems, and are Metaphysical poets: whereas the Cavaliers considered to have set the pattern for other poets preferred more straightforward expression, valuing labelled as metaphysical due to the fact that elegance, the metaphysical poets were fond of they shared a similar poetic style and way of abstruse imagery and complicated metaphors, organising thought: sharing common characteristics of wit, inventiveness, and a love of elaborate stylistic manoeuvres. Reacting against the deliberately smooth and sweet tone of much 16th-century verse, the metaphysical poets adopted a style that is energetic, uneven and vigorous, otherwise labelled as the poetry of strong lines. The term was first applied by John Dryden when, in 1693, he criticised Donne because he affects the Metaphysics in his amorous verses where nature only should reign; and perplexes the minds of the fair sex with nice speculations of philosophy, when he should engage their hearts. Dr. Samuel Johnson consolidated the critique in the 18th-century, when he described the far-fetched nature of their comparisons as a kind of discordia concors; a combination of dissimilar images, or discovery of occult resemblances in things apparently unlike. It was only in the 20th-century that their poetry was brought back to favour, when T.S. Eliot defended the style as fusing reason with passion and showing a unification of thought and feeling. 1. John Donne (1537-1631) John Donnes literary output lends itself to two major divisions: the first phase, coinciding with his youth and studies, combines gaiety and sophistication of the urban wit with the specific immersion in metaphysical concerns. The most interesting are the love poems collected in Songs and Sonnets, addressed to different persons, some cynical in nature, others marked with a violence of

passion. The second phase belongs to the later part of his life, when the young and sophisticated scholar had grown into a grave and philosophical divine, the Dean of St. Pauls Cathedral. The poems included in Donnes Divine Poems and Holy Sonnets reflect religious tensions and his poetic exploration of mans relationship with God. Although thus changed in focus and theme, they still retain the same intensity, the same combination of passion and argument that is characteristic of his earliest endeavours.

It is sharply opposed to the intricate, allusive, highly decorative writing and the idealised view of sexual love which constituted the central tradition of Elizabethan poetry; It adopts a diction and meter modelled on the rhythms of actual speech; It is usually organised in the dramatic or rhetorical form of an urgent or heated argument: the opening of the poems shock the reader into attention, sometimes by asking a question; then the thought or argument is ingeniously developed in terms of ideas developed from philosophy or scientific notions; It is marked by realism, irony, and often cynicism in its treatment of the complexity of human motives; It puts to use a subtle and often outrageous logic It reveals a persistent wittiness, making use of paradox, puns, and startling parallels.

These characteristics may be exemplified by Loves Growth, in which commonplaces of Elizabethan thought are ingeniously transmuted by Donnes argumentation, which teases them out in a mock-serious way and sustains the argument through a series of images that surprise and yet compel acquiescence in their validity.
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English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism

2. Andrew Marvell (1621-78) Andrew Marvells poetry ranges from political (the Horatian Ode: Upon Cromwells return from Ireland) to pastoral poems (The Garden), from satirical (The Loyal Scot) to passionate love verse (To His Coy Mistress). Nevertheless, Marvells chief influence was Donne, whose metaphysical conceits he adopted. The Definition of Love treats the theme of star-crossed love in a characteristically metaphysical fashion, making recourse to an accumulation of ingenious and elaborate imagery to reach the obvious conclusion that though destined to remain united in mind, the two lovers will eternally be separated in body by a greater power than they can contradict.

English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism .

3. Henry Vaughan (1593-1633) If Marvell illustrates the secular development of metaphysical verse, Henry Vaughan is representative for its religious concerns. A Welsh country-side doctor, interested in the occult, Henry Vaughan was also a late adept of the philosophy of

mystic correspondence between the world of creatures and the spirits. This is mirrored in his poems, where Vaughan often seems to be recounting direct experiences of the supernatural, identified with visions of the countryside and childhood innocence, like in one of his best-known poems, The Retreate:
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C. John Milton (1608-74) Widely considered among the five greatest poets in English language, John Milton is the last great liberal intelligence of the English Renaissance, as the values he advocated in his work are: tolerance, freedom and self-determination, the same that Shakespeare had expressed in his time. In all his writings, Milton drew on an extensive classical education - which included seven years at Cambridge, seven years further study, a years travel in Italy devoted to the study of the Bible and theology, literature and philosophy, in Latin Greek, Italian and English. (Vickers 1990, 196). a) Miltons early poems (from the 1620s) include the famous On the Morning of Christs Nativity (1629), his first considerable poem in English. It is a poem in two parts, consisting of an introductory invocation of 4 seven-line stanzas, in which the poet summarizes the generally accepted Christian understanding of what happened at Christmas, and then turns to the pagan Muse for inspiration:
This is the month, and this the happy morn Wherein the son of Heavens eternal King, Of wedded maid and virgin mother born, Our great redemption from above did bring; For so the holy sages once did sing, That he our deadly forfeit should release, And with his Father work us a perpetual peace. That glorious form, that light unsufferable, And that far-beaming blaze of majesty Wherewith he wont at Heavens high council-table To sit the midst if Trinal Unity, He laid aside; and here with us to be, Forsook the courts of everlasting day, And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay. . Say, heavenly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein Afford a present to the infant God? Hast thou no verse, no hymn, or solemn strain, To welcome him to his new abode?

The second part of the Ode is designed as the Hymn itself and consists in 27 eight-line stanzas in a more lyric metre. Having been failed by the Muse, the poet takes it upon himself to glorify Christ as a transcendent paragon of heroic action, decribing his virtuous deed and victory, while still in cradle over the pagan gods of the ancient world:
Peor and Baalim, Forsake their Temples dim, With that twice-batterd God of Palestine, And mooned Ashtaroth, Heavns Queen and Mother both, Now sits not girt with tapers holy shine, The Lybic Hammon shrinks his horn, In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Thammuz mourn.

b) The works of the 1630s may be included in Miltons so-called pastoral period, for they reflect the poets mood as he lived in retirement at his fathers country-house in Buckinghamshire. LAllegro and Il Penseroso (c. 1632) are a pair of contrasted poems related to the synkriseis tradition of classical literature, which extend the lyrical mode established by the Ode in order to juxtapose the cheerful and the thoughtful man. Though notionally opposed, the qualities of both are alluring, because the two are in fact complementary, dividing all legitimate pleasures into the private and the public realms.
But let my due feet never fail To walk the studious cloisters pale, And love the high embowed roof, With antique pillars massy proof, And storied windows richly dight, Casting a dim religious light. There let the pealing organ blow To the full-voicd choir below, In service high, and anthems clear, As may with sweetness, through mine ear, Dissolve me into ecstasies, And bring all Heavn before mine eyes . . .

Comus (1634) is a masque written at the request of his friend, the composer Henry Lawes, to celebrate the appointment of the Earl of Bridgwater, owner of the Ludlow Castle, as Lord Lieutenant of Wales. The text employs a simple plot - three travellers, a lady and her brothers are stranded in a forest by nightfall; as the brothers go in search of a spring, the lady befalls into the hands of Comus, an evil sorcerer, offspring of Bacchus and Circe, who lures travellers into drinking a magic potion that turns them into monsters; an Attending Spirit intervenes helping the brothers free their sister to present the morality theme of Virtue triumphing over Vice. Despite Comuss attempts to tempt the Lady and the persuasive rhetoric of his argument:
Wherefore did Nature pour her bouties forth, With such a full and unwithdrawing hand [. . . ] But all to please, and sate the curious taste?

the Lady finds no difficulty in rejecting his false rules:


She fables not, I feel that I do fear Her words set off by some superior power; And though not mortal, yet a cold shuddering dew Dips me all oer, as when the wrath of Jove Speaks thunder.

Lycidas (1637) is a pastoral elegy published to the memory of Edward King, a former Cambridge student and possibly a friend of Miltons who had drowned on a journey to Ireland. Nevertheless, the poem moves from its commemoration of the actual person to reflections on the writers own mortality and ambitions, while also engaging in polemic and touching upon the political, philosophical and religious concerns of the time:

What recks it them? What need they? They are sped; And when they list, their lean and flashy songs Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw. The hungry sheep look up and are not fed, But swoln with wind, and the rank mist they draw, Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread: Besides what the grim Wolf with privy paw Daily devours apace; and nothing said; But that two-handed engine at the door Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more.

The ending, after offering a vision of Lycidas rising to heaven, like the stars, has Milton himself (as the uncouth swain) utter the final lines which bring the remarkable optimism of a renewal:
Weep no more, woeful shephers, weep no more, For Lycidas, you sorrow, is not dead Thus sang the uncouth swain to the oaks and rills, While the still morn went out with sandals grey; He touched the tender stops of various quills, With eager thought warbling his Doric lay. And now the sun had stretched out all the hills, And now was dropped into the western bay; At last he rose, and twitched his mantle blue: Tomorrow to fresh woods, and pastures new.

c) During the period of the Civil wars and the Commonwealth all of Miltons energies went into the support of radical republicanism, his work becoming civic and utilitarian. While prose propaganda on topical issues like the defence of the new state (Defence of the British People; Second Defence, Eikonoklastes), divorce, education or the freedom of the press (Aeropagitica) dominates his literary output, the only poems that he wrote are 24 sonnets, public and political rather than personal, with the exception of On His Blindness (1652), the poem which records Miltons reaction at his loss of sight, as he reconciles his own desire to surrender hope with his faith in Gods will:
When I consider how my light is spent, Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide, And that one talent which is death to hide, Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent To serve therewith my maker, and present My true account, lest he returning chide, Doth God exact day-labour, light denied, I fondly ask. But Patience to prevent That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need Either mans work or his own gifts. Who best Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed And post oer land and ocean without rest; They also serve who only stand and wait.

d) After the Restoration, having been imprisoned but released after a paying a fine, Milton returned to the full-time composition of poetry, producing the three great epics which mark the end of his literary career. Paradise Lost (1667) remains the most impressive of the three. Though at first Milton seems to have been tempted by the Arthurian legends as the fit subject for a national British epic, he then decided on the theme of the Fall, because the latter went beyond national confines, allowing the poet to analyse the whole question of freedom, free will and individual choice. The same as in On His Blindness, Miltons intention was the assert eternal providence,/And justify the ways of God to men. For this, Milton set out to demonstrate that even sin was a part of Gods plan for humanity, for mankind would not exist outside Paradise if Satan had not engineered the fall of Adam and Eve. Undergoing constant revision, in its final form Paradise Lost is clearly divided in two halves: the first one deals with the Fall of Satan and his rebellious Angels, while the second parallels it in the Fall of Man. Yet for both the Fall involves individual choice and becomes an assertion of their free will: reasoning between heaven and hell, Satan chooses the latter, to be free and supreme:
The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. What matter where, if I be still the same, And what I should be, all but less than he Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least We shall be free; the Almighty hath not built Here for his envy, will not drive us hence: Here we may reign secure, and in my choice To reign is worth ambition, though in hell: Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.

After Eve has yielded to Satans temptation and bitten of the forbidden fruit, Adams choice to share in the transgression of divine law is similarly an act of free will: the effect of his choice is one of loss, but a loss that will later turn to gain the gain of a future for humanity on earth and, like the ending of Lycidas the final image of Paradise Lost is profoundly forward-looking:
The world was all before them, where to choose Their place of rest, and Providence their guide: They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow, Through Eden took their solitary way.

Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes (1671), both published four years after Paradise Lost, show a different conception of humanity from that portrayed in the first epic. Unlike Adam and Eve, Christ and Samson are both superhuman, i.e. beyond the bounds of normal human beings, and their triumphs (Christs over the tempting Satan, or Samsons over the Philistines) are less clearly explorations of human qualities than ideal exempla of what humanity should be rather than what it is. In Samson Agonistes Milton

also returns to the theme of blindness, as Samson is eyeless in Gaza, at the mill with slaves:
O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon, Irrecoverably dark, total eclipse Without all hope of day! The sun to me is dark And silent is the moon, When she deserts the night Hid in her vacant, interlunar cave. To live a life half-dead, a living death.

The poem becomes a journey from darkness to light, from defeat to victory. Samsons final act of strength as he pulls down the temple of his foes turns his own death into an achievement, while the last lines compare his fame to the Phoenix, and turn Samson into a Christ-like figure, resurrected after death:
So virtue given for lost, Depressed and overthrown, as seemed, Like that self-begotten bird In the Arabian woods embossed, That no second knows or third, And lay erewhile a holocaust, From out her ashy womb now teemed, Revives, reflourishes, then virtuous most When most unactive deemed, And though her body die, her fame survives, A secular bird ages of lives.

Background to the Literature of the Restoration 1. Political and Social Issues: a) restoration of monarchy b) development of a two-party parliamentary system c) the growth of a protestant, middle-class and stable society d) social beliefs and behaviours modelled on Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) The Leviathan, or the Matter, Form and Power of a Commonwealth Ecclesiastical and Civil (1651), i.e. a total organism in which the individual is the total subject of state control.

e) increased urbanization triggering a shift in the balance of power from the country-side to the city f) renewed commitment to empire-building 2. Cultural Issues: a) insitutionalisation of scientific investigation and research (The Royal Society, 1662-63) b) The Age of Reason: characteristic value-system espousing a preference for rationality, order, general truths c) Deism: belief in a rational religion of nature d) Empiricim (John Locke, 1632-1704, George Berkeley, 1685-1753)
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Literary Issues: Neoclassicism a) a regard for tradition and reverence for the classics b) a sense of literature as art (i.e artificed, artificial, made by craft) c) a concern for social reality, and the communal commonplaces of thought which hold it together d) a concern for nature, i.e. the way things are and should be e) a concern with pride (threat against the status quo)

THE AGE OF DRYDEN (1660-1700) John Dryden (1631-1700) is the dominant figure in the literature of the Restoration, a highly prolific writer expressing himself in all the important contemporary forms (odes, satires, epistles, fables, literary criticism, drama), as well as always placing himself at the centre of the greatest debates of the time (be them political, religious, or the specifically literary questions of neoclassicism.) a) From the very beginning of his literary career, Drydens writing evinces strong interest in topical matters. His occasional poems celebrating events of public character: the death of Cromwell - Heroic Stanzas (1659) -, the return of Charles II - Astraea Redux (1660) -, or the expanding glory of his nation and age - Annus Mirabilis (1667). This last poem interprets the wonders of 1666 - the Great Fire of London and the two national defensive victories against the Dutch, as trials sent by God to bind King and People together, closing on an image of London restored, ready to take her place as a trade centre for the world:
Yet London, empress of the northern clime, By an high fate though greatly didst expire: Great as the worlds, which at the death of time Must fall, and rise a nobler frame by fire.

b) In the 1680s, Dryden moved on to writing formal verse satires, as part of the ages preference for the genre. Restoration satire, mainly written in verse, could be of two kinds: the first one took the form of a very general sweeping criticism of mankind, such as A Satire Against Reason and Mankind, written by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester exemplifies. The other type tended to be very specific, with allusions to real figures in politics and society. Samuel Butlers Hudibras is a commentary on the Civil Wars and the events leading to the Restoration, attacking the Puritan religion and debasing its enemies by using the burlesque, caricature, and the grotesque. Drydens satirical works belong to the second type, being specifically targeted. Absalom and Achitophel (1681) uses an allegorical form in order to comment on the fundamental religious and political issues of the time: the succession to the throne, disputed between the Kings Catholic brother, James, and his Protestant, but illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth. The poem blends the heroic and the satiric, distancing contemporary events through the analogues found in the biblical story of Absaloms revolt against his father, David, the king of Israel. Other contemporary figures are similarly matched to their biblical counterparts, most notable being the association of the Whig earl of Shaftesbury, the principal supporter of Monmouths claim, to Achitophel, Absaloms chief adviser in the Bible. One of the most impressive features of the poem resides with Drydens skill in rendering the fragility of the Restoration settlement, while reasserting his faith in the kings ability to control the situation. Among other things, this involves a tactical success in the presentation of the main characters. David is not offered as a simple heroic character at the start. Dryden is careful to mention the kings faults, but finally transforms them into qualities, related to principles of warmth and creativity:

In pious times, ere priestcraft did begin, Before polygamy was made a sin; When man on man multiplied his kind, Ere one to one was cursedly confined; When nature prompted, and no law denied Promiscuous use of concubine and bride; Then Israels monarch, after heavns own heart, His vigorous warmth did variously impart On wives and slaves, and, wide as his command, Scattered his makers image through the land.

These are to be contrasted with the sterile energy of Achitophel, which wilde Ambition misdirects to work to the downfall of the Tree/nation - by shaping Absalom into a rebel and, eventually, to his own destruction:
Oh, had he been content to serve the Crown, With virtues only proper to the Gown; David, for him his tuneful Harp had strung, And Heaven had wanted one Immortal song. But wild Ambition loves to slide, not stand; And Fortunes Ice prefers to Virtues Land: Achitophel, grown weary to possess A lawful Fame, and lazy Happiness; Disdaind the Golden fruit to gather free, And lent the Crowd his Arm to shake the Tree.

Absalom and Achitophel also proves Drydens mastery of the heroic couplet a pentameter couplet, containing a complete statement - which becomes the norm with Neoclassicist authors. MacFlecknoe (1684) is another specifically-targeted satire, this time against a literary rival, Thomas Shadwell, with whom Dryden had had an argument. In order to expose his victim to ridicule, Dryden uses the devices of the mock-epic - which treats the low, mean or absurd in the grand language, lofty style, solemn tone of epic poetry in order to link Shadwell to a minor poet, Richard Fleckoe, who had been ridiculed by Andrew Marvell in a previous poem. The ageing Flecknoe is made by Dryden an anti-monarch, ruling over realms of Nonsense absolute, who hands on his power (in an absurdly pompous ceremony of procession and coronation) to his son (Mac) Shadwell:
And pondering which of all his sons was fit To reign, and wage immortal war with wit, Cried: Tis resolved; for nature pleads that he Should only rule who most resembles me. Sh ---- alone my perfect image bears, Mature in dullness from his tender years: Sh ---- alone, of all my sons, is he Who stands confirmed in full stupidity. The rest to some faint meaning make pretence, But Sh ---- never deviates into sense.

c) A different side to Drydens literary interests is represented by his lyrics: various songs and odes which follow the Restoration fashion (which prefers stronger dance rhythms, with the poet more ready to imitate musical effects through verbal devices):
Song for Saint Cecilias Day (1687) From harmony, from heavenly harmony This universal frame began: When Nature underneath a heap Of jarring atoms lay And could not heave her head, The tuneful voice was heard from high: Arise, ye more than dead. Then cold, and hot, and moist, and dry, In order to their stations leap, And Musics power obey. Alexanders Feast (1693) CHORUS: Bacchus blessings are a treasure; Drinking is the soldiers pleasure; Rich the treasure, Sweet the pleasure; Sweet is pleasure after pain. Soothed with the sound the King grew vain, Fought all his battles oer again; And thrice he routed all his foes, and thrice he slew the slain.

To the Pious Memory. . .Mrs. Anne Killigrew (1686) is an elegy over the death of the title figure, whose talent for poetry and painting offers Dryden an opportunity to consider the arts themselves, their present style, their central role in civilisation. d) Drydens abiding interests in principle of authority and methods of government also went into two poetic statements of his religious creed. While Religio Laici (1684) defends the middle-way of the Anglican Church, The Hind and the Panther (1687), written after his conversion to Catholicism, is a beast fable in which a milk-white Hind (standing for the Roman Church) debates theology with the intelligent, carnivorous and spotted Panther (representing Anglicanism). e) Drydens literary criticism is represented by the various essays, prefaces, dramatic prologues and epilogues in which he expressed his opinions on literature and art. Some of the best known ones are:

Essay of Dramatic Poesie (1668) Essay of Heroic Plays (1672) Discourse concerning the Original and Progress of Satire (1693) Preface to Fables Ancient and Modern (1700)

Having proclaimed himself a classicist, Dryden follows the model of the Graeco-Roman tradition and considers that literature must imitate nature and give a picture of truth in order to both delight and instruct. Moreover, he stresses the importance of decorum (a literature principle in accordance to which style and subject-matter must be matched) and of the rules (e.g. the rule of the dramatic unities) which literature must obey. f) As a playwright, Dryden is careful to put into practice his critical opinions, both in the comedies - The Wild Gallant (1663), The Rival Ladies (1664), Marriage la Mode (1672) and the tragedies The Conquest of Granada (1668), All for Love (1678) -which he wrote for the Restoration stage. The last play mentioned is an example of neoclassical revision of the Shakespearean Antony and Cleopatra, a heroic tragedy which

employs an elaborately formal style, is written in rhyme, and respects the unities of time, place and action, which the original violated. The differences between the two texts are visible if one compares the following excerpts:

RESTORATION DRAMA Between 1642 and 1660 the theatres in England were officially closed and the actors were put outside the law, being considered rogues or vagabonds. When theatre was officially reopened three months after the restoration of Charles II, a new type of theatre, quite different from its Elizabethan and Jacobian predecessors, emerged. Unlike the Globe or the Fortune, the Restoration theatres were roofed, bigger and less intimate. While the Elizabethan thrust stage was incorporated, it gradually grew shallower, with the action being jutted back, behind the picture frame. Artificial lightning, stage boxes, or moveable perspective scenery were also introduced. Another innovation consisted in the introduction of women players, which encouraged a more realistic sexual atmosphere on stage, and also witnessed to the beginning of extratheatrical relationships being established between performers and members of the audience. The audience itself also changed in its social composition, shrinking from the wide spectrum of national life of the Elizabethan playgoers to encompass mainly members of the aristocracy and the newly-rich middle-classes. With this, an era of specialist drama (catering for narrower tastes) was ushered in. As such, the two main genres favoured by the Restoration theatre are: the heroic tragedy and the comedy-of-manners. I. Heroic Tragedy The Heroic Tragedy may be seen as the wish-fulfilling counterpart of the comedy-ofmanners, set far from the reality of the intrigue-ridden London, in strange places where people with exotic names discuss heroic ideals related to love and honour. Its basic conception is simple: at its centre there is a hero, conceived as a superman, and placed in a situation where he is to choose between fulfilling his own emotional needs, or dedicating himself to the public good. His actions are meant to arouse not pity or terror, but wonder and admiration. In keeping with the neo-classical standards, the plays are written in rhyme, and very often make use of the splendour and fascination of the spectacle. Among the playwrights making their contribution to the Restoration tragedy the most notable are: John Dryden, with The Conquest of Granada and All For Love, Nathaniel Lee, with his Nero, Sophonisba, Gloriana or The Rival Queens, and Thomas Otway, with The Orphan (1680) or Venice Preservd (1682). By far the most original, Otway wrote tragedies of failure, remorse and suicide, rather than of ambition, corruption and destiny. In Venice Preservd, the hero Jaffeir becomes a foe to Venice by joining a conspiracy against the its senators not for the sake of freedom, but mainly to avenge his love, Belvidera:
Jaffeir: . . . from this hour I chase All little thoughts, all tender human follies Out of my bosom. Vengeance shall have room. Revenge! Pierre: And Liberty! Jaffeir: Revenge! Revenge!

Having become an outcast, his plans and friendships fail, Jaffeir is eventually obliged to kill his best friend and himself:
Jaffeir: How cursed is my position, tossed and jostled From every corner; fortunes common fool, The jest of rogues, an instrumental ass For villains to lay loads of shame upon, And drive about just for their ease and scorn.

What the play proves is the inadmissibility of dissent, for Jaffeir is a hero because his actions ensure that the social order should not be overturned, affirming thus the status quo rather than questioning and re-examining it. A case apart is represented by George Lillo, in whose plays like The London Merchant (1731) or The Fatal Curiosity (1736) the domestic tragedy of the Elizabethan theatre finds a new middle-class setting. The Fatal Curiosity is set in Cornwall where an old couple murder a visiting stranger in the hope of monetary gain, only to discover that the young stranger was their own son, thought long lost at sea:
Agnes: The stranger sleeps at present, but so restless His slumbers seem, they cant continue long. Come, come, dispatch! Here, Ive secured his dagger. Old Wilmot: Oh, Agnes, Agnes! If there be a hell, tis just We should expect it. [Goes to take the dagger but lets it fall.] Agnes: Nay, for shame! Shake off this panic, and be more yourself! Old Wilmot: Whats to be done? On what had we determined? Agnes: Youre quite dismayed. Ill do The deed myself. [Takes up the dagger.] Old Wilmot: Give me the fatal steel. Tis but a single murder Necessity, impatience, and despair, The three wide mouths of that true Cerberus, Grim poverty, demands. They shall be stopped.

II. The Comedy-of-manners At the other end of the spectrum there lies the comedy-of-manners, an import of the French comedy of morals, which mirrored the manners, modes and morals of the upper-class society. Its main subject is sex: sexual attraction, sexual intrigue, sexual conquest, with an acute interest in the relationships between love and money, or love and marriage. The typical play features a witty and amoral couple at the centre, a fatuous fop, a discarded mistress and a cuckolded citizen in the middle distance, as well as a group of assorted elderly lechers of both sexes in the background. The plot, which is highly complex and involves the proliferation of intrigue in subplots, deals alternatively with the pursuit of love and money. Another subject of interest is related to the uses and abuses of affectation (or socially determined behaviour): its characters are obsessed with fashion, gossip and their own circle in society. Strong contrasts are made between innocence and knowingness, often represented as contrasts between rustic country-manners and the refinements of the city.

Its aims are twofold: to correct (by making vice seem ridiculous) and to amuse. As such the plays offer a realistic picture of life, less stylized and more naturalistic, creating the illusion of a more familiar world than that presented in the tragedies. George Ethereges plays - The Comical Revenge, or Love in a Tub (1664), She Woud If She Coud (1668) or The Man of Mode or, Sir Fopling Flutter (1676) were among the first notable successes. The Man of Mode uses interwoven plots to counterpoint youth and old age, town and country, male and female. At one end of the scale we find Dorimant, the young gallant always in search of pleasure until forced to agree to marriage; at the other there Sir Fopling Flutter, the old country squire, the innocent in town, whose mindless foppery is satirized:
[Sir Fopling dancing by himself.] Young Bellair: See Sir Fopling dancing. Dorimant: You are practising and have a mind to recover, I see. Sir Fopling: Prithee Dorimant, why hast not thou a glass hung up here? A room is the dullest thing without one? Young Bellair: Here is company to entertain you. Sir Fopling: But I mean in case of being alone. In a glass a man may entertain himself. Dorimant: The shadow of himself indeed. Sir Fopling: Correct the errors of his motion and his dress. Medley: I find, Sir Fopling, in your solitude you remember the saying of the wise man, and study yourself. Sir Fopling: Tis the best diversion in our retirements.

William Wycherleys plays - The Gentleman Dancing Master 1672); The Country Wife (1675); The Plain Dealer (1676) belong to the 1670s when the presence of the actresses had become firmly established. As such as subjects are related to physical sex and cuckoldry, and Wycherley has often been considered the most obscene and amoral of the Restoration playwrights. The Country Wife is a comedy of seduction and hypocrisy, dealing with Horners sexual conquests of both the fashionable town wives and the artless country wife of the title:
Horner: You would not take my advice to be gone home before your husband came back; hell now discover all. Yet pray, my dearest, be persuaded to go home and leave the rest to my management. Ill let you down the back way. Mrs Pinchwife: I dont know the way home, so I dont. Horner: My man shall wait upon you. Mrs. Pinchwife: No, dont you believe that Ill go at all. What, are you weary of me already? Horner: No, my life, tis that I may love you long. Tis to secure my love, and your reputation with your husband. Hell never receive you again else. Mrs. Pinchwife: What care I? Dye think to frighten me with that? I dont intend to go to him again. You shall be my husband now. Horner: I cannot be your husband, dearest, since you are married to him. Mrs Pinchwife: Oh, would you make me believe that? Dont I see, every day at London here, women leave their first husbands and go and live with other men as their wives? Pish, pshaw! Youd make me angry, but that I love you so mainly. Horner: So, they are coming up. - In again, in, I hear em. [Exit Mrs Pinchwife.]

Nevertheless, the masterpiece of the genre is considered to be William Congreves The Way of the World (1700), whose way was paved by the other three comedies that Congreve wrote in the 1690s: The Old Bachelor (1693), The Double Dealer (1693) and Love for Love (1695). The Way of the World makes use of the standard situation which involves the witty pair of lovers, the amorous widow, the squire from the country, intrigues and adultery, and the usual

tensions between desire and reputation. Though the plays main theme is marriage, its reality and appearance, its relationship to love and money, Mirabell and Millamant demonstrate that the terms need not be antagonistic, for their marriage should primarily be linked to emotional fulfilment. At the same time, the the play remains memorable for the classic jousts of wit into which the two lovers - in the tradition of the Shakespearean comic lovers like Beatrice and Benedick engage, with Millamant demonstrating great poise and a sense of appropriate modern behaviour:
Millamant: Ill never marry, unless I am first made sure of my will and pleasure. Mirabell: Would you haveem both before marriage? Or will you be contented with the first now, and stay for the other till after grace? Millamant: Ah, dont be impertinent My dear liberty, shall I leave thee? My faithful solitude, my darling contemplation, must I bid you then adieu? Ah-y adieu my morning thoughts, agreeable wakings, indolent slumbers, all ye douceurs, ye sommeits du matin, adieu I cant do it, tis more than impossible. Positively, Mirabell, Ill lie a-bed in a morning as long as I please. Mirabell: then Ill get up in a morning as early as I please. Millamant: Ah! Idle creature, get up when you will And dye hear, I wont be called names after Im married; positively, I wont be calld names. Mirabell: Names! Millamant: Ay, as wife, spouse, my dear, joy, jewel, love, sweetheart, and the rest of that nauseous cant, in which men and their wives are so fulsomely familiar, - I shall never bear that. Good Mirabell dont let us be familiar or fond, nor kiss before folks, like my Lady Fadler and Sir Francis: not go to Hyde Park together the first Sunday in a new chariot, to provoke eyes and whispers; and then never be seen there together again; as if we were proud of one another the first week, and ashamed of one another ever after. Let us never visit together, nor go to a play together, but let us be very strange and well-bred: let us be as strange as if we had been married a great while; and as well-bred as if we were not married at all. Mirabell: Have you any more conditions to offer? Hitherto your demands are pretty reasonable. Millamant: Trifles, - as liberty to pay and receive visits to and from whom I please; to write and receive letters, without interrogatories or wry faces on your part; to wear what I please; and choose conversation with regard only to my own taste; to have no obligation upon me to converse with wits that I dont like, because they are your acquaintance; or to be intimate with fools, because they may be your relations. Come to dinner when I please, dine in my dressing-room when Im out of humour, without giving a reason. To have my closet inviolate; to be sole empress of my tea-table, which you must never presume to approach without first asking leave. And lastly wherever I am, you shall always knock at the door before you come in. These articles subscribed, I I continue to endure you a little longer, I may by degrees dwindle into a wife.

Of the younger generation of playwrights, John Vanbrugh, the author of The Relapse (1696) and The Provoked Wife (1697) and George Farquhar, the author of The Recruiting Officer (1706) and The Beaux Stratagem (1707) ensured the genres continuing appeal on the English stage. Farquhars plays, though using Restoration themes and plot devices, are more realistic in setting and tone, and explore the comedy of human motivation with more sympathy and a concern for morality. At the same time, they leave the claustrophobic atmosphere of fashionable London to be set in the country, which is depicted very different form the limbo of earlier dramatists. The Beaux Stratagem is thus set in Lichfield, where two impoverished London gallants hope to recoup their fortunes but, instead, fall in love with the women they try to trick. At times, the humour verges on pathos, like in the excerpt in which Mrs Sullen, the victim of an oppressive marriage, is enchanted by Archer, who had been hiding in her closet:
Mrs Sullen: Ah! [Shrieks, and runs to the other side of the stage.] Have my thoughts raise a spirit? What are you, Sir, a man or a devil? Archer: A man, a man, Madam. [rising.]

Mrs Sullen: How can I be sure of it? Archer: Madam, Ill give you demonstration this minute. [Takes her hand.] Mrs Sullen: Do you intend to be rude? Archer: Yes, Madam, if you please? Mrs Sullen: In the name of wonder, whence came ye? Archer: From the skies, Madam - Im a Jupiter in love, and you shall be my Alemena. Mrs Sullen: How came you in? Archer: I flew in at the window, Madam; your cousin Cupid lent me his wings, and your sister Venus opened the casment. Mrs Sullen; Im struck dumb with admiration. Archer: And I with wonder. [Looks passionately at her.] Mrs Sullen: What will become of me?

THE AUGUSTAN AGE: ALEXANDER POPE (1688-1744) Augustan is a descriptive term applied loosely to the literature and art of early 18th-century Britain. It denotes a period of literary excellence and refers back to the heyday of classical writing during the reign of the Roman emperor Augustus (27 BC 14 AD), when many distinguished authors such as Virgil, Horace, Ovid and Tibullus flourished. The writers of this later, neoclassical age not only admired but tried to imitate their style, aiming their own writing to exhibit urbane and classical elegance, harmony, decorum and proportion. Pope is the greatest poet of the age, in many ways summing it in a similar manner in which Dryden did for the Restoration period. His first notable poetic attempts are four Pastorals (1709), dedicated each to one season and beginning with spring, which abound in visual imagery and descriptive passages of an ideallyordered nature:
Oh deign to visit our forsaken seats, The mossy fountains and the green retreats! Whereer you walk cool gales shall fan the glade, Trees where you sit shall crowd into a shade: Whereer you tread the blushing flowers shall rise, And all things flourish where you turn your eyes.

Windsor Forest (1713) is a commendatory poem which combines a celebration of rural Albion with a political affirmation of the peace under Queen Anne. The poems conclusion, bowing towards the end of the European war in the Tory partys Peace of Utrecht, calls up Father Thames to foretell a wealthy, mercantile future for Britain in which faction, discord and other foes of peace will be triumphed over:
Exil'd by Thee from Earth to deepest Hell, In Brazen Bonds shall barb'rous Discord dwell: Gigantick Pride, pale Terror, gloomy Care, And mad Ambition, shall attend her there. There purple Vengeance bath'd in Gore retires, Her Weapons blunted, and extinct her Fires: There hateful Envy her own Snakes shall feel, And Persecution mourn her broken Wheel: There Faction roar, Rebellion bite her Chain, And gasping Furies thirst for blood in vain. (413-22)

The Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady (1717) and Eloisa to Abelard (1717) are Popes most romantic poems, engaging with the high heroics of love. The first is a

melodramatic poem which addresses and meditates over the ghost of the unfortunate lady whose love brought her condemnation, ostracism and suicide. The second, written in imitation of Ovids Heroids, is a bleak study in the self-imposed loneliness of the legendary Eloise whose love for Abelard, the 11th-century scholastic philosopher, has been blighted. If balance, or harmony is one of Popes early themes, the other one is literary ambition. An Essay on Criticism (1711), as well as surveying abuses in reading and writing, makes a plea for correctness in literary composition and, in neoclassical fashion, highlights the relationship between Art and Nature:
First follow Nature, and your judgement frame By her just standard, which is still the same; Unerring Nature, still divinely bright, One clear, unchanged, and universal light, Life, force, and beauty must to all impart, At once the source, and end, and test of art.

The masterpiece of the earlier part of Popes career is, nevertheless, The Rape of the Lock (1712, 1714). It is a mock-heroic poem on an actual episode which involved two prominent families of the day, and its aim to laugh the two out of the quarrel that resulted after Lord Petre had cut off a lock from Miss Arabella Fermours hair. Pope elaborated the trivial event into the semblance of an epic in miniature, which abounds in parodies and echoes of The Iliad, The Aeneid, or Paradise Lost, forcing thus the reader to constantly compare great things with small. Even if the familiar devices of the epic are observed, the incidents or characters are beautifully proportioned to the scale of the mock epic: the war becomes in the poem the drawing room one between the sexes, the heroes and heroines are the beaux and the belle of the day, supernatural characters are present in the Sylphs (the souls of the dead coquettes), the epic journey to the underworld becomes a journey undertaken to the Cave of Spleen. As such, the poem traces the course of the fateful day when Belinda, the society beauty, wakes up, glorifies her appearance at a ritualistic dressing-table, engages into a game of cards, sips coffee and gossips and finally has her hair ravaged. As in the pastoral tradition, the action is set in the wider circle of time itself: at the close of the poem, the violated lock is transported to heaven to become a new star, an attractive trap for all mankind. The following excerpts illustrate both the mock-formality which defines the genre, as well as the characteristics of Popes neoclassical couplet, whose rhetorical organisation makes use of parallel and contrast, wit, puns and wordplay:
Sol thro white curtains shot a timrous ray, And oped those eyes that must eclipse the day: Now lap-dogs give themselves the rousing shake, And sleepless lovers, just at twelve, awake: Thrice rung the bell, the slipper knockd the ground, And the pressd watch returd a silver sound. [] Know farther yet; Whoever FAIR and CHASTE Rejects Mankind, is by some Sylph Embrac'd : For Spirits, freed from mortal laws, with ease Assume WHAT Sexes and WHAT Shapes they please. [] What guards the purity of Melting Maids, In Courtly Balls, and Midnight Masquerades,

The Glance by Day [obj1c], the Whisper in the Dark; WHEN kind Occasion prompts their warm Desires, WHEN Musick softens, and WHEN Dancing fires?(I.67-76) [] Whether the Nymph shall break Diana's Law, Or some frail China Jar recieve a Flaw, Or stain her Honour, or her new Brocade, Forget her Prayer's, or miss a Masquerade, Or lose her Heart, or Necklace, at a Ball... (II.103-9) [] Here Britain's Statesmen oft the Fall foredoom Of Foreign Tyrants, and of Nymphs at Home; Here Thou, Great Anna! whom three Realms obey, Dost sometimes Counsel take and sometimes Tea. (III.5-9)

Pope returned once more to the question of literary ambition with The Temple of Fame (1715), a poem modelled distantly on Chaucers The House of Fame. Written in the form of a dream vision, it presents the fantastic visions induced by sleep in the mind of the poet, at the centre of which there stands the presiding deity of the poem, the Goddess of fame:
When on the Goddess first I cast my Sight, Scarce seem'd her Stature of a Cubit's height, But swell'd to larger Size, the more I gaz'd, Till to the Roof her tow'ring Front she rais'd. With her, the Temple ev'ry Moment grew, And ampler Vista's open'd to my View, Upward the Columns shoot, the Roofs ascend, And Arches widen, and long Iles extend. (258-65)

In the temple, the poet faces the statues of the various heroes that populate its interior. The first to be described is that of Homer:
High on the first, the mighty Homer shone Eternal Adamant compos'd his Throne; Father of Verse! in holy Fillets drest, His silver Beard wav'd gently o'er his Breast; Tho' blind, a boldness in his Looks appears, In Years he seem'd, but not impair'd by Years. The Wars of Troy were round the Pillar seen: Here fierce Tydides wounds the Cyprian Queen; Here Hector glorious from Patroclus' Fall, Here dragg'd in Triumph round the Trojan Wall Motion and Life did ev'ry Part inspire, Bold was the Work, prov'd the Master's Fire; A strong Expression most he seem'd t'affect, And here and there disclos'd a brave Neglect. (182-95)

There follow those of Virgil, Pindar, Horace and Aristotle, each of them representing a classical ideal (of poetry, wisdom, or patriotism), which they embody it and shadow forth. Nevertheless, these are the ideals of fame, and, as such, they are further opposed to its reality - presented in the dramatic procession of suppliants who crowd around the Shrine of Fame, and in the Mansion of Rumour, placed next to the Temple, where lies and truth contend until

"At last agreed, together out they fly, / Inseparable now, the Truth and Lye" (494). But the allegory somehow reconciles these extremes, and the poet decides neither to seek nor to reject the reward of Fame, but to follow virtue rather than the fickle Goddess. A different sideline to Popes literary activity is represented by his translation of Homers famous epics, the Iliad (1715, 1720), and the Odyssey (1725-6). A less distinguished project was, nevertheless, his editing of Shakespeares Works (1725), which prompted a pamphlet by a contemporary scholar and playwright, Lewis Theobald, in which the latter was pointing out Popes scholarly deficiencies. In response, Pope turned Theobald into the hero of his Dunciad, a satire and mock-epic reply to the poets critics. In the final version of the work, another contemporary, Colley Cibber, a playwright who, in the meantime, had earned Popes disapproval, was moved into that position. The Dunciad was designed originally as a contribution to the war against literary dullness carried on by the members of the Martinus Scriblerus club which Pope had joined in 1713. The first version, published in 1728, consisted of three books; a fourth, The New Dunciad, was published in 1742, while the complete work appeared in 1743 as a brilliantly wrought attack on all sorts of literary vices. In the first book, the character Bayes (Colley Cibber), unpopular and despairing, tries to decide where his talents will be best deployed:
Swearing and supperless the Hero sate, Blasphemed his gods, the dice, and blamed his fate; Then gnawed his pen, then dashed it on the ground, Sinking from thought to thought, a vast profound! Plunged for his sense, but found no bottom there; Yet wrote and floundered on in mere despair.

But Bayes decision is made up for him, because, like the aged Flecknoe, in Drydens Mackflecknoe, the Goddess Dullness, contemplating her realm of confusion and bad poetry, anoints the Hero king of the Dunces, his domain being the empire of Emptiness and dullness. The celebrations which follow his enthronement are described as a burlesque of the funeral games for Anchises in the Aeneid in the second book, while the third book presents Bayes, asleep in the goddesss lap, dreaming of the past and future triumphs of the empire of Dullness, extended to all arts and sciences, the theatre and the court. The last book sees the dream realized, describing how the Goddess comes to substitute the kingdom of Dull upon the Earth and closing on a bleak vision of cultural chaos:
She comes! she comes! the sable Throne behold Of Night Primaeval, and of Chaos old! Before her, Fancy's gilded clouds decay, And all its varying Rain-bows die away. Wit shoots in vain its momentary fires, The meteor drops, and in a flash expires. As one by one, at dread Medea's strain, The sick'ning stars fade off th'ethereal plain; As Argus' eyes by Hermes' wand opprest, Clos'd one by one to everlasting rest; Thus at her felt approach, and secret might, Art after Art goes out, and all is Night. See skulking Truth to her old Cavern fled, Mountains of Casuistry heap'd o'er her head! Philosophy, that lean'd on Heav'n before, Shrinks to her second cause, and is no more. Physic of Metaphysic begs defence, And Metaphysic calls for aid on Sense! See Mystery to Mathematics fly!

In vain! they gaze, turn giddy, rave, and die. Religion blushing veils her sacred fires, And unawares Morality expires. Nor public Flame, nor private, dares to shine; Nor human Spark is left, nor Glimpse divine! Lo! thy dread Empire, CHAOS! is restor'd; Light dies before thy uncreating word: Thy hand, great Anarch! lets the curtain fall; And Universal Darkness buries All. (629-56)

In the last part of his literary career, Pope moved on to philosophical, ethical and political subjects, through which he championed the same values of traditional civilisation: right reason, humanistic learning, sound art, good taste, and public virtue. In his Essay on Man (1733-34), the poet, influenced by Deism, approached the study of humanity scientifically, in relation to the cosmos, confident that meaning can be found:
An honest mans the noblest work of God. Know then thyself; presume not God to scan; The proper study of mankind is man.

The Moral Essays (1731-5) continued the investigation at the social level, focusing on various aspects of mans social morality:
See the same man, in vigour, in the gout; Alone, in company; in place, or out; Early at Business, and at Hazard late; Mad at a Fox-chase, wise at a Debate; Drunk at a Borough, civil at a Ball; Friendly at Hackney, faithless at Whitehall.

In the more miscellaneous Imitations of Horace (1733-1738), consisting of 11 translations and adaptations of Horaces Odes, Satires and Epistles, Pope undertook the personal defence of his trade of satire. Each addressed to some particular personal ally (the first of them being the erudite physician and Scriblerian Dr. Arbuthnot) they unite, however, in presenting the beleaguered but stubbornly truth-telling poet against a backdrop of officially sponsored humbug and corruption, allegorically portrayed in the following excerpt from An Epistle from Mr Pope to Dr Arbuthnot (1735) in the picture of the flatterer Sporus, a personification of vice in general, but also a representation of a contemporary flatterer, Lord Hervey, spitting venom at the ear of an Eve who, for the 18 th-century readers, was too readily identified with Queen Caroline:
Eternal Smiles his Emptiness betray, As shallow streams run dimpling all the way. Whether in florid Impotence he speaks, And, as the Prompter breathes, the Puppet squeaks; Or at the Ear of Eve, familiar Toad, Half Froth, half Venom, spits himself abroad, In Puns, or Politicks, or Tales, or Lyes, Or Spite, or Smut, or Rymes, or Blasphemies. His Wit all see-saw between that and this, Now high, now low, now Master up, now Miss, And he himself one vile Antithesis. Amphibious Thing! that acting either Part, The trifling Head, or corrupted Heart! (315-27)

AUGUSTAN PROSE: A. Joseph Addison (1672-1719), Sir Richard Steele (1672-1729) and the Periodical essay Despite the interesting body of verse produced during the Augustan Age, the works that have worn best and still hold the interest of the general reader are written in prose. While Pope seems artificial to many modern readers, on the contrary, Swift and Defoe, hardly seem to have become old-fashioned. However, before dealing with them, the development of the newspapers and of the periodical essays, standing as an interesting literary sideline of the 17th and 18th centuries, should be considered. Journalism had started developing during the Civil Wars, stimulating the public appetite for up-to-minute news that was vital at the time. The Restoration period with its interest in men and affairs, its information services in the coffee houses developed an even wider interest in home and foreign news and as the market for the printed word expanded, the production rose to meet the demands of the public, largely represented by middle-class readership. The result was the foundation of newspapers and weekly journals. The Tatler (1709-11) and The Spectator (1711-12, 1714) were journals of coffee house gossip and ideas in London and progenitors of a long line of well-informed magazines. Their founders, Joseph Addison (1672-1719) and Richard Steele (1672-1729), are looked upon, in many ways, as being the fathers of the modern periodical. Their friendship began when they were schoolboys together in London, their careers ran parallel courses (they both attended Oxford) and brought them into fruitful collaboration; they both enjoyed the patronage of the great Whig magnates (except during the last four years of Queen Annes reign, under the Tories) by whom they were generously treated. The aim of these two conscious moralists was frankly educational; they never disguised their intention of improving the minds, morals and manners of their readers. Addison outlines a moral and educational programme for the post Restoration English society, particularly for the nouveaux riches and the rising middle-class in general, mainly through the discussion of great authors and their books:
[Our aim] is to enliven morality with wit, and to temper wit with morality. [. . .] And to the end that their [the readers] virtue and discretion may not be short, transient, intermittent starts of thought, I have resolved to refresh their memories from day to day, till I have recovered them out of that desperate state of vice and folly into which the age has fallen. I shall be ambitious to have it said of me, that I have brought philosophy out of closets and libraries, schools and colleges, to dwell in clubs and assemblies, at tea-tables and coffee-houses.

Steele, in his turn, has the same educational purpose that he believes can be achieved by insinuating moral or other teachings under the guise of entertainment:
Though the other papers which are published for the use of the good people of England have certainly very wholesome effects, and are laudable in their particular kinds, they do not seem to come up to the great design of such narrations, which, I humbly presume, should be principally intended for the use of political persons, who are so public spirited as to neglect their own affairs to look into transactions of State. Now these gentlemen, for the most part, being men of strong zeal and weak intellects, it is both a charitable and necessary work to offer something, whereby such worthy and well-affected members of the commonwealth may be instructed, after their reading, what to think; which shall be the end and purpose of this paper: . . . I have also resolved to have something which may be of entertainment to the fair sex, in honour of whom I have taken the title of this paper.

As can be seen, they both clearly point out the new social ideal of balance between the morality and respectability of the old, rather Puritan middle-class and the wit, grace and enlightenment of the aristocracy, stressing moderation, reasonableness, self-control, urbanity and good taste. The Tatler (1709-11) was first launched by Steele (hiding behind a pseudonym, Isaac Bickerstaff) with the contribution of Addison and its title was meant as a bid for female readers. It provided the readers with a mixture of news with personal reflections that made it highly popular. Steeles essays applied his ideal to any topic that suggested itself as pleasing or useful: the theatre, true breeding as against vulgar manners, education, simplicity in dress, the proper use of Sunday etc.; he ridiculed common social types such as the prude, the coquette, the rake, etc. The Spectator (1711-12, 1714) was a joint undertaking, though dominated by Addison. He turned it into the journal of an imaginary gentlemans club (Mr. Spectators Club), whose members represented contemporary social types (a man about town, a student of law and literature, a churchman, a soldier, etc.). The most memorable of all were Sir Roger de Coverley, a Tory country squire, rather simple-minded, thoroughly good-hearted, never for long away from his country estate, full of prejudices and superstitions, and, respectively, Sir Andrew Freeport, a Whig London merchant, a man of less charm, but of far more intelligence. The intention was to outline the middle way as being the best: though there is much good in the old, the progress lies with the Whigs. The attitudes the essays display in relation to the opposition between the city and the countryside and between the social classes provide, in fact, the readers with significant indications of the time. This sense of class and social identity is significant in the papers consideration of market appeal, for it sets down and perpetuates class values which would remain strong for two centuries.
A Country Sunday I am always very pleased with a Country Sunday, and think, if keeping holy the Seventh Day were only a human Institution, it would be the best Method that could have been thought of for the polishing and civilising of Mankind. It is certain the Country-People would soon degenerate into a kind of Savages and Barbarians, were there not such frequent Returns of a stated Time, in which the whole Village meet together with their best Faces, and in their cleanliest Habits, to converse with one another upon indifferent Subjects, hear their Duties explained to them, and join together in Adoration of the Supreme Being . . . My friend Sir Roger, being a good Churchman, has beautified the inside of his Church with several texts of his own choosing. He has likewise given a handsome Pulpit-Cloth, and railed in the Communion-Table at his own Expense. He has often told me that at his coming to his Estate he found his Parishioners very irregular; and that in order to make them kneel and join the Responses, he gave every one of them a Hassock and a Common-prayer Book: and at the Country for that Purpose, to instruct them rightly in the Tunes of the Psalms; upon which they now very much value themselves, and indeed outdo most of the Country Churches that I have ever heard. As Sir Roger is Landlord to the whole Congregation, he keeps them in very good Order, and will suffer no Body to sleep in it besides himself; for if by Chance he has been surprised into s short Nap at sermon, upon recovering out of it he stands up and looks about him, and if he sees any Body else nodding, either wakes them himself, or sends his Servant to them.

Addisons words: I live in a world rather as a spectator of mankind than as one of the species. purvey an attitude, a point of view rather than committed engagement with issues and debates. Addisons well-balanced attitude, well-informed distance, both tolerant and selfprotective, established the tradition of the periodical essay, aimed at purveying opinions rather than news, characterized by a safe, witty, reassuring observation and comment on the

life and times of the 18th century and his work stands as a proof that the published word was becoming a powerful instrument in society. Samuel Johnson in his Life of Addison described his style as follows:
His prose is the model of the middle style; on grave subjects not formal, on light occasions not groveling; pure without scrupulosity, and exact without apparent elaboration; always equable, and always easy, without glowing words or pointed sentences . . . Whoever wishes to attain an English style, familiar but not coarse, and elegant but not ostentatious, must give his days and nights to the volumes of Addison . . .

In spite of his identifying sentimentality and whimsical humor as the main faults of Addisons style, Dr. Johnson praised it, above all, for its admirable compromise between the grace and polish of the artist and the ease, flow and simplicity of the journalist. The Tatler and the Spectator were not, however, the only periodicals of the time. Reference should also be made to other periodicals such as: The Gentlemans Journal (1692-94) that eventually turned into the long-lasting The Gentlemans Magazine (1731-1914), The Grub Street Journal (1730-37), a satirical literary magazine (the jockey name is synonymous with literary hack work) and The Monthly Review (1760- ), the most significant of the literary magazines. They all reflected the image of London during the Augustan period and its tastes, that dominated and influenced the tastes of the entire nation. That is why many of the writers of the age (Pope, Swift, Defoe, Fielding, Johnson) used journalism as a vehicle for their ideas. B. JONATHAN SWIFT (1667-1745) Jonathan Swift is the greatest writer of the first half of the 18th century (if not of the whole century). He was a great humanist and a savage satirist, taking the satire of such poets like Dryden and Pope to a polemical extreme, criticizing and mocking authority figures with an ever-increasing venom. Born in Dublin of Anglo-Irish parents, he came to England following the troubles related to James IIs abdication. While staying in the household of his kinsman, Sir William Temple, a retired diplomat, during 1689-99, he read widely, rather reluctantly took orders (embarking upon an ecclesiastical career), but at the same time, discovered his gift as a satirist. He wrote two satires on corruption in religion and learning: A Tale of a Tub (1704) and The Battle of the Books (1704). A Tale of a Tub (1704) is a prose satire on religious fanaticism. It tells the story of three brothers representing the main branches of the Christian Church: Peter represents Catholicism, Martin stands for Anglicanism and Jack for Dissent. Their father leaves his coat to the three boys, saying that they must not alter it, but all three of them fail and fall out in the process. Accounting for the various ways in which the brothers behave towards the coat, Swift ironically presents the history of the development of Christianity: Rome is attacked for its arrogance and doctrine of transubstantiation, Dissent (Presbyterianism) for its religious fundamentalism, whereas the Anglican Church, while celebrated as the most perfect in discipline and doctrine, still has its flaws. The Tale is meant to divert attacks upon the ship of state and religion by using the old seamans trick of throwing an empty tub into the sea to distract whales. The preface is then followed by five digressional episodes satirizing various modern absurdities, such as pedantic scholarship and Puritanism. The narrator is the most

memorable character, interrupting the story with digressions (e.g. a Digression in Praise of Digression), and whose pride in learning and lack of common sense represent the zealous modern insanity that Swift takes as his target for satire.
A Digression Concerning the Original, the Use, and Improvement of Madness in the Commonwealth Nor shall it any ways detract from the just reputation of his famous sect, that its rise and institutions are owing to such an author as I have described Jack to be, a person whose intellectuals were overturned, and his brains shaken out of its natural position; which we commonly suppose to be a distemper, and call by the name of madness or frenzy. For, if we take a survey of the greatest actions that have been performed in the world, under the influence of single men, [. . .] we shall find the authors of them all to have been persons whose natural reason had admitted great revolutions from their diet, their education, the prevalency of some certain temper, together with the particular influence of air and climate.

The above mentioned quotation is based on Swifts ironical doctrine of the mechanical operation of the spirit, i.e. all spiritual and mental states derive from physical causes (here the ascent of vapours to the brain). Beneath his whimsy, a fearful question lies: what right has any human being to trust that he is sane? The Battle of the Books (1704) is part of the Ancients vs. the Moderns controversy. This mock-heroic prose satire, revealing for the first time Swifts mastery of light, ironic satire, makes use of allegory which was to become the authors favorite device in Gulliver. The Spider standing for the Moderns is opposed to the Bee, representing the Ancients. For the rest of his life, Swift devoted his talents to politics and religion (not clearly separated at the time) and most of his works in prose were written to further a specific cause. Introduced to Pope, he enjoyed the literary company of the Scriblerus club. Having befriended Addison and Steele, he wrote several satirical pieces for the Tatler, including The Bickerstaff Papers that was meant as an attack on projectors and schemers, using Swifts favourite device (an astrologer appears as an obvious fraudulent spokesman). He continued his journalistic activity with his taking over the editorship of the Examiner, a weekly propaganda paper for the Tories, and writing major essays defending government policy. As a reward for his services, he was offered the deanship of St. Patricks Cathedral in 1713, one year before the death of Queen Anne and the fall of the Tories, that marked the end of the hopes of preferment in England. Under the circumstances, he returned to Ireland where he remained until his death. He was not only an efficient ecclesiastical administrator but started writing a series of pamphlets (many anonymously published) on Ireland and its colonial status. In The Injured Lady (1707), he protested that the Union between England and Scotland was a betrayal of Protestant Ireland in favour of dissenting Scotland. In A Proposal for the Universal Use of Irish Manufacture (1720), he attacked the English mercantilist policy draining Ireland of its wealth and urged economic self-reliance and the boycott of English goods. The Drapiers Letters (1724), that earned him the title of a Hibernian Patriot, is a hard-hitting attack on the governments proposal for a new Irish coinage. The mask of a Dublin tradesman is used both to protect the Deans identity and to provide a rhetorical platform for the authors criticism of the English rule. With A Short View of the State of Ireland (1727), Swift abandoned his favourite ironic method and expressed deep pessimism in relation to Irelands unstable economy. Finally, out of his Irish pamphlets, A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People from Becoming a Burden to Their Parents or to Their Country

(1729) is the most bitter, bringing disturbing analogies to the forefront. It offers as a solution for Irelands economic problems the marketing of Irish children for English consumption.
. . . a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled, and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or a ragout.

This appalling proposal is couched in terms of quietly realistic humanitarianism (they might suffer less); the details are expounded with all the calm reasonableness of a merchant persuading his customers of the superior quality of a particular kind of article. A quite different side of Swift is revealled in his Journal to Stella (1710-13, published in 1766) and his poems (Stellas Birthday, Cadenus and Vanessa, Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift). Vividly expressive, they show a rich span of emotion and verbal invention. The Journal to Stella was written for Esther Johnson, the daughter of Temples steward, educated by Swift. Swift formed her character and came to love and she followed him to Dublin where they met constantly until her death. He wrote her letters and charming poems (seven birthday poems). Their love was not unsettled even by the passion Swift awakened in a much younger woman, Hester (Esther) Vanhomrigh. An enigmatic account of his relation with Hester/ Vanessa is given in the poem Cadenus (an anagram for Dean) and Vanessa, which narrates the love and friendship between the middle-aged, reluctant Dean and the spirited young woman, using the convention of the medieval courtly love. As for the poem Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift (1739), it is Swifts own joking epitaph in which he presents his perception of himself:
He knew an hundred pleasant stories, With all the turns of Whigs and Tories; Was cheerful to his dying day, And friends would let him have his way. He gave the little wealth he had To build a house for fools and mad, And showed by one satiric touch, No nation wanted it so much. That kingdom he hath left his debtor; I wish it soon may have a better

For a long time he was considered merely a mad misanthrope, but that critical opinion convenient for the tastes of his own day could now be seen to do less then justice to a writer who used satire with great originality and wit to highlight what he saw as the faults and hypocrisies of his age. His literary personality was aggressive in temperament, classical in taste, inventive in form and disciplined in style. However, Swifts masterpiece is Gullivers Travels (1726), looked upon as the most universal satire, in spite of its being also full of allusions to recent and contemporary events, whose main objects are mans moral nature and the defective political, economic and social institutions which human imperfections call into being, in other words, antagonism to the current optimistic view that human nature is essentially good. Swift used the device of the imaginary voyage in producing a purportedly autobiographical narrative of Lemuel Gulliver, a ships surgeon, who tells of his voyage to Lilliput, Brobdingnag, Laputa and the country of the Houyhnhnms.

In his first voyage to Lilliput, he encounters diminutive inhabitants who call him Man Mountain; his satirical plan is aimed at pointing out the long-standing feud between England and France (Blefuscu) and the petty functionalism of the kingdom with its political parties and religious controversies. In the second voyage to Brobdingnag, the perspective is reversed: Gulliver is diminutive and the Brobdingnagians gigantic. The main features of this second voyage are Gullivers revulsion at the magnified details of human anatomy and his defensive account of English and Continental politics. The account he gives of England grows increasingly ironic as he unintentionally exposes the irrationality and barbarism of his own culture, all the time convinced that he is making a good impression. After two years, he leaves Brondingnag through a misadventure and makes his way to England which he now sees as Lilliputian. During the next journey he visits the flying island of Laputa and the neighbouring Lagado and Luggnagg. Laputas inhabitants are obsessed with astronomical speculations involving mathematic and music; at Lagados Academy of Projectors a satire on the Royal Society he finds manic researches going on at the hands of scientists (one trying to extract sunbeams from cucumbers, another one trying to build a house starting from the roof, etc.). Swifts satire is this time directed against some new scientific institutions of the time such as the above mentioned Royal Society and other schools of learning. Finally, he visits the land of the horses who live by the dictates of reason and whose language is the perfection of nature. Having listened to Gullivers account of European politics in general, the Houyhnhnms decide he is a yahoo, i.e. the vilest form of life in their country.
. . . He asked me what were the usual causes or motives that made one country to go to war with another. I answered, they were innumerable, but I should only mention a few of the chief. Sometimes the ambition of princes, who never think they have land or people enough to govern; sometimes the corruption of ministers who engage their master in a war in order to stifle or divert the clamour of the subjects against their evil administration. Difference in opinions hath cost many millions of lives; for instance, whether flesh be bread, or bread be flesh; whether the juice of a certain berry be blood or wine; whether whistling be a vice or a virtue; whether it be better to kiss a post, or throw it into the fire; what is the best colour for a coat, whether black, white, red, or grey; and whether it should be long or short, narrow or wide, dirty or clean with many more. Neither are any wars so furious and bloody, or of so long continuance, as those occasioned by difference in opinion, especially if it be in things indifferent.

Tomashevsky, the Russian Formalist critic, explains that in order to present a satirical picture of the European social order, Gulliver tries to tell everything with the utmost accuracy: he removes the shell of euphemistic phrases and fictitious tradition, his narrative is stripped of verbal justification, hence it emerges in all horror, as Gulliver defamiliarises the world of everyday perception. This is the culmination of Swifts angry polemic: he contrasts the rational, clean, civilized horses with the foul, brutal, uncivilized Yahoos, a race of ape-like beasts in human form. Gulliver himself has to recognize that the Yahoos are the closest to his own species:
. . . several horses and mares of quality in the neighbourhood came often to our house upon the report spread of a wonderful Yahoo, that could speak like a Houyhnhnm, and seemed in his words and actions to discover some glimmerings of Reason. These delighted to converse with me; they put many questions, and received such answers as I was able to return. By all which advantages, I made so great a progress, that in five months from my arrival, I understood whatever was spoke, and could express myself tolerably well.

The Houyhnhnms who came to visit my master, out of a design of seeing and talking with me, could hardly believe me to be a right Yahoo, because my body had a different covering from others of my kind. They were astonished to observe me without the usual hair or skin, except on my head, face and hands.

In a period when horses were one of the main servants of man, Swifts examination of roles seems intended to provoke and offend, but in fact it was dismissed as fantastic comedy and its satiric power was blunted. As the above given quotation shows, his prose style is clear, simple, characterized by concrete diction, uncomplicated syntax, economy and conciseness of language, that shuns amazement and grows more teasing and controlled the more fierce the indignation that is called upon to express. Gulliver is banished and returns to England, where the impression made on him remains so strong that he prefers the company of horses to that of his own family. That determined many critics to see his work, for a long time, as a deeply pessimistic judgment on human nature. Nevertheless, it will continue to exert its influence on twentieth-century writers like James Joyce in The Holy Offer (written in Swiftian verse), Aldous Huxley in Ape and Essence, and George Orwell in his Animal Farm. Swifts literary career is remarkable for the way in which his artistic energy both sewed and transcended ideological conservatorism, mindful, in all he wrote, of the public and political responsibilities of a writer. Through satire, parody and other kinds of literary impersonation, Swift diverts attention away from his own limited yet consistent principles towards the distortion of reason and sanity which he detects in his enemies. His ambiguous art is reflected in the anonymous and pseudonymous forms he habitually employed (he very rarely spoke in his own voice or signed his name), largely a stylistic preference (something of a legal safeguard). Consequently, his most memorable works are based solidly on the intrinsic exploitation of a seemingly innocent persona whose character eventually becomes part of the satirical strategy of rebuking the readers complacency. Swifts elusive literary identity illustrates an ambivalent sense of national loyalty. Although he repeatedly referred to himself as Englishman born in Ireland, he came to feel increasingly alienated and vengeful towards England.

THE ENGLISH NOVEL: 18TH CENTURY VARIANTS The birth of the "Novel", with its associations of newness and originality, occurs in the eighteenth century. Before that there had been forms of long and continuous narrative prose, such as travel writings - e.g. the Travels of Sir John Mandeville (c. 1375) and Thomas Nashes The Unfortunate Traveller (1594) -, prose romances e.g. Aphra Behns Oroonoko (1688), or prose satires e.g. Delarivier Manleys The Secret History of Queen Zarah (1705) and The New Atlantis (1709). But it was only in the 1720s that a recognisable "Novel" form emerges, i.e, one which is concerned with the realistic depiction of middle class life, values and experience, showing the development of individual (and individuated) characters, over time. Ian Watt in The Rise of the Novel connects the emergence of the genre with the growth of the middle classes in the eighteenth century (which creates a readership anxious to read of itself and its values). His thesis is a materialist one, that social and historical factors generated aesthetic responses. In particular he isolates three key areas in which we see the influence of contexts: the growth of economic/possessive individualism, and with it the new mercantile capitalist values of investment and capital accumulation. related to this, the rise of materialistic philosophical individualism, with its new emphasis on the individual (rather than social groups) as the essential social unit. the new demand for education/moral training associated with middle class values. The middle classes existed as a readership, and required reading material. Other critics, particularly in writing of Robinson Crusoe, place an equal emphasis on the influence of protestant individualism (especially Calvinism) in directing new attitudes towards the individual. A key concern in terms of the development of the eighteenth century novel is the recurring preoccupation with realism, and realistic depiction of society. This is seen in Defoe's and Fielding's preoccupations with the word "History" (and the need to defend themselves against accusations of lying, and in their attempts to make their works as realistic as possible, whether by using first person narration as in Moll Flanders and Robinson Crusoe, or by relying on Aristolean notions of "mimesis". An alternative tactic was to use epistolary form, most notably in the works of Richardson, (and burlesqued by Fielding in Shamela), or to use consciously anti-romance forms, in the picaresque tradition of Cervantes (as in Roderick Random), as a means of asserting the realism of their writing. Working against this was the need to shape experience into narrative order, which would lead to the inevitable conflict between the demands of narrative order and realistic portrayal. Part of the answer, in Defoe's case, was to produce a loose novel, without a clear sense of narrative order and progression, which employed the episodic technique. By the time of Fielding, he is already self-consciously using Chapters and Books to order his narratives. This conflict between realistic intention and aesthetic narrative order is most clearly evident in Sterne's anti-novel Tristram Shandy, in which the conventions of the Novel are exploded before the novel has had a chance to become a settled form. Another issue related to this was that of moral purpose. The eighteenth century novel often appears torn between the demand not to offend, to teach, and yet to be realistic. Novel writing is thus tied to the moral demands of a middle class readership, with is need for pleasurable instruction, evident in the way in which these early novelists deal with sex, adultery, passion and desire.

1. Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) and the Fictitious Autobiography The writings of Daniel Defoe may be seen as fundamental to eighteenth-century ways of thinking. They range from the early Essay on Projects (1697), written with the moral and educational aim to encourage polite learning, to refine the English tongue, and advance the so-much neglected faculty of correct language, and to purge it from all the irregular additions that ignorance and affectation have introduced, to the quasi-factual A Journal of the Plague Year (1722), a reconstructed documentary account of London between 1664 and 1665, from the Swiftian pamphlet The Shortest Way With the Dissenters (1702), in which he satirises the Anglican Torry attitude to non-conformity, to Robinson Crusoe (1719), one of most enduring fables in Western literature as well as the strongest claimant to the title of the first true English novel. The story of Robinson Crusoe is based squarely on the account of a fugitive sailor, Alexander Selkirk, who survived on an uninhabited island in the Pacific for five years. Defoes imaginative reworking of Selkirks memoirs enjoys therefore a pronounced degree of realism. His Crusoe is a mariner who takes to sea despite parental warnings and, after suffering a number of misfortunes at the hands of Barbary pirates and the elements, is shipwrecked off South America, where, according to his journal, is able to resist for some 28 years, two months and nineteen days. If, as a psychological study in isolation, the novel seems now unconvincing, its strength comes from a combination of disparate echoes and shapes: Jonah, Job, Everyman, the Prodigal Son, the colonial explorer and the proto-industrialist. The economic aspects of Defoes fiction have in particular prompted the interest of recent criticism: Crusoes survival and his enterprising behaviour are seen as expressions of Defoes own belief in the mercantilist mentality of the expanding British Empire. Crusoe starts his journey as a trader, to make money and thus increase his material comforts. Once shipwrecked on the island, his only thought is to remould in his distant isolation the whole pattern of the material civilisation he has left behind. This is supplemented by a sober, businesslike religion, with due gratitude for the Gods mercies and a belief that God helps those who help themselves. The novel confirms for the reader the ultimate rightness of Crusoes way of thinking and acting. It ends positively, going beyond Crusoes rescue to show how the mariners investments make him rich, while the island becomes colonised, ensuring thus the continuation of the model of society that Crusoe established there. Moll Flanders (1722) is another of Defoes attempts to pass as genuine a work of imagination. This time it is the memoirs of a prostitute, and, as Defoe wrote in the preface to the novel, he was keen to insist on their truthfulness:
The author is here supposed to be writing her own history, and in the very beginning of her account she gives the reasons why she thinks fit to conceal her own name, after which there is no occasion to say any more about that. It is true that the original of this story is put into new words and the style of the famous lady we here speak of is a little altered; particularly she is made to tell her own take in modester words than she told it at first, the copy which came first to hand having been written in language like one still in Newgate than one grown penitent and humble, as she afterwards pretends to be. The pen employed in finishing her story , and making it what you now see it to be , has had no little difficulty to put it into a dress fit to be seen, and to make it speak a language fit to be read.

Thus, the first person narration unravels Molls dissolute life as thief, prostitute and incestuous wife, while also containing much social comment on the gaols, the conditions of the poor, and the suffering of emigrants, all of them subjects of concern for the wellintentioned middle-classes. Though Moll uses her beauty and sex as a commodity, continually trying to sell them in the highest market in order to reach financial security, she is penitent in

the end, and the narrative allows her not only to find happiness and peace but also to be accepted back into society. The title hero of Colonel Jack (also 1722) is another narrator telling his story from the vantage point of someone who has achieved wealth and respectability, after no less dissolute beginnings as pickpocket and member of the London underworld. Looking back on his youth, the mature colonel recounts his first major exploit as a thief:
As soon as it was day, I got out of the hole we lay in, and rambled abroad into the fields, towards Stepney, and there I mused and considered what I should do with this money, and many a time I wished that I had not had it, for after all my ruminating upon it, and what course I should take with it, or where I should put it, I could not hit upon any one thing, or any possible method to secure it, and it perplexed me so, that at last, as I said just now, I sat down and cried heartily. When my crying was over, the case was the same; I had the money still, and what to do with it I could not tell, at last it came into my head, that I would look out for some hole in a tree, and see to hide it there, till I should have occasion for it: big with this discovery, as I then thought it, I began to look about me for a tree; but there were no trees in the fields about Stepney. . . and if there were any that I began to look narrowly at, the fields were so full of people, that they would see if I went to hide anything there, and I thought the people eyed me as it was, and that two men in particular followed me, to see what I intended to do. This drove me further off, and I crossed the road at Mile-End, and in the middle of the town I went down a lane that goes away to the Blind Beggars at Bethnal-Green; when I came a little way in the lane, I found a foot-path over the fields, and in those fields several trees for my turn, as I thought; at last one tree had a little hole in it, pretty high out of my reach, and I climbed up to the tree to get to it, and when I came there, I put my hand in, and found (as I thought) a place very fit, so I placed my treasure there, and I was mighty well satisfied with it; but behold, putting my hand in again to lay it more commodiously, as I thought, of a sudden it slipped away from me, and I found the tree was hollow, and my little parcel was fallen in quite out of my reach, and how far it might go in, I knew not; so that, in a word, my money was quite gone, irrecoverably lost, there could be no room, so much as to hope ever to see it again for it was a vast great tree. As young as I was, I was now sensible what a fool I was before, that I could not think of ways to keep my money, but I must come thus far to throw it into a hole where I could not reach it; well I thrust my hand quite up to my elbow, but no bottom was to be found, or any end of the hole or cavity; I got a stick off of the tree and thrust it in a great way, but all was one; then I cried, nay, I roared out, I was in such a passion, then I got down the tree again, then up again, and thrust my hand again till I scratched my arm and made it bleed, and cried all the while most violently: then I began to think I had not so much as half-penny of it left for a half-penny roll, and I was a hungry, and then I cried again: then I came away in despair, crying and roaring like a little boy that had been whipped, then I went back again to the tree, and up the tree again, and thus I did several times.

Here Defoe offers his readers an example of a learning experience: the little boys feelings are concentrated entirely upon the pleasure and pain which govern his appetites and desires. The money has brought unpleasant feelings of guilt, but the need for money is a consequence of a need for food. As the older man measures the distance between his present self and the urchin he remembers, he is also analysing the morality and psychology of theft, with the boys experience of guilt, hunger and puzzlement at the unpredictability of the natural world creating the image of a rescuable human soul. And the point of the novel is to trace how the rescue was effected.

2. Samuel Richardson(1689-1761) and the Epistolary Novel In the next generation of novelists, Samuel Richardson devised a different formula for achieving authenticity in his fictional works, namely to allow it to be understood that the author was simply the editor of a bundle of letters from various hands which threw light on an interesting human situation. Novels in the form of letters had been popular for several decades (Aphra Behn had published Love Letters between a Nobleman and his Sister as early as 1683). Richardsons Pamela: or, Virtue Rewarded (1740) raises the tone of the novel from the level of this kind of subjectmatter. In the letters that Pamela Andrews sends to her honest and poverty-stricken parents, the novel presents a breathless account of how the poor but virtuous teenage maidservant resists the sexual harassment of her master until the man learns to appreciate and respect her nature and proposes marriage in earnest. However, the story does not end here, and the second part of the novel focuses on Pamelas acclimatisation to the new social position and the dignified way with which she conducts her marriage, in accordance to Richardsons didactic purpose to prove that worth depends on individual effort rather than social status. Clarissa (1748) marks a major step forward. A longer and more elaborate novel, it tells the story of the title heroine, the virtuous, beautiful and talented young daughter of the wealthy Harlowes, who falls in love with a profligate aristocrat, Robert Lovelace, rejecting an older suitor, Mr. Solmes, whom the family have chosen for her. Lovelace abducts Clarissa, then plays with her emotions in devious ways and finally rapes the young woman while she is under the influence of drugs. Filled with remorse, he then wants to marry her, but Clarissa refuses and, very slowly, dies a martyr to the combined cruelty of her lover and her family. The novel handles the interplay of its characters psychology with more subtlety and complexity than the previous Pamela, mainly due to a development of Richardsons epistolary technique which employs two main sets of correspondents: Clarissa and her friend, Anna Howe, and Lovelace and his friend, Belford. This arrangement allows Richardson to take the readers into the inner thoughts of the main characters. It also allows him to present the action of the novel through the eyes of each of them, and while one of them is explaining what is happening, to keep the reader in suspense about what the other is thinking and feeling. The excerpt, taken from one of Clarissas letters in which she describes how her sister Bella broke the news that the family decided that the heroine must marry Mr. Solmes, proves that the novel is essentially dramatic in form:
Obedience without reserve is required of you, Clary. My papa is justly incensed that you should presume to dispute his will, and to make conditions with him. He knows what is best for you; and as your own matters are gone a great way between his hated Lovelace and you, they will believe nothing you say; except you will give the one only instance, that will put them out of doubt of the sincerity of your promises. What, child, are you surprised? Cannot you speak? Then, it seems, you had expected a different issue, had you? Strange that you could! With all your acknowledgements and confessions, so creditable to your noted prudence! I was indeed speechless for some time: my eyes were even fixed, and ceased to flow. But, upon the hard-hearted Bellas proceeding with her airs of insult, indeed I was mistaken, said I; indeed I was! For in you, Bella, I expected, I hoped for, a sister What! Interrupted she, with all your mannerly flings, and your despising airs, did you expect that I was capable of telling stories for you? Did you think that when I was asked my own opinion of the sincerity of your declarations, I could not tell them how far matters had gone between you and your fellow [Lovelace]? When the intention is to bend that stubborn will of yours to your duty, do you think I would deceive them? Do you think I would encourage them to call you down, to contradict all that I should have invented in your favour?

Well, well, Bella; I am the less obliged to you; thats all. I was willing to think that I had still a brother and a sister. But I find I am mistaken. Pretty Mopsa-eyed soul, was her expression! And was it willing to think it had still a brother and sister? And why dont you go on, Clary? (mocking my half-weeping accent) I thought too I had a father and mother, two uncles and an aunt: but I am mis-taken thats all - come, Clary, say this, and it will be in part true, because you have thrown off their authority, and because you respect one vile wretch more than them all. How have I deserved this at your hands, sister? But I will only say, I pity you. And with that disdainful air, too, Clary! None of that bridled neck! None of your scornful pity, girl! I beseech you! This sort of behaviour is natural to you, surely, Bella! What new talents does it discover in you! But proceed - if it be a pleasure to you, proceed, Bella. And since I must not pity you, I will pity myself: for nobody else will. Because you dont, said she Hush, Bella, interrupting her, because I dont deserve it - I know you were going to say so. I will say as you say in everything; and thats the way to please you. Then say, Lovelace is a villain. So I will, when I think him so. Then you dont think him so? Indeed, I dont. You did not always, Bella. And what, Clary, mean you by that? (bristling up to me) Tell me what you mean by that reflection? Tell me why you call it a reflection? What did I say? Thou art a provoking creature - but what say you to two or three duels of that wetchs? I cant tell what to say, unless I knew the occasions. Do you justify duelling at all? I do not: neither can I help this duelling. Will you go down and humble that stubborn spirit of yours to your mamma? I said nothing. Shall I conduct your ladyship sown? (offering to take my declined hand) What! Not vouchsafe to answer me? I turned from her in silence.

While the novelist is much less obviously in control of the presentation of the scene with no narrator to stage-manage its development it is the dialogue alone which carries on the story, as well as indicating emotion and attitude, and differentiating between the two sisters. The novel itself may be read as a play of voices, at times communing, at other times, conflicting, in which Clarissas tones are often contradicted or qualified, but in the end, for most readers, thoroughly vindicated. At the end of the 18th century the epistolary novel had a brief but intense European vogue. Jean-Jacques Rousseau employed in his Julie ou la nouvelle Hloise (1761), J. W. Goethe used it in The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774), and Choderlos de Laclos brilliantly exploited the dramatic possibilities of the form in his only novel, Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1782). Though the artificiality it imposed on the writer brought about its disappearance during the next century, 20th century authors, like Iris Murdoch in An Accidental Man (1971), Saul Bellow in Herzog (1964) and John Barth in the suggestively entitled Letters (1979) have witnessed to its continuing appeal.

3. Henry Fielding (1707-54): the omniscient narrator Henry Fielding was the other dominant figure of the mid-eighteenth century English novel. Until the introduction of censorship with the Licensing Act of 1737, Fielding turned to the stage for a living, writing a series of successful satirical plays like Tom Thumb (1730), Pasquin (1736) and The Historical Register for the Year 1736 (1737), dense with contemporary allusions directed chiefly at Horace Walpole. After the blocking of that avenue, Fielding resumed his legal studies and also turned to political journalism (becoming, in turn, the editor of The Champion , 1739-41, The True Patriot, 1745-46, and the burlesque Jacobites Journal, 1747-48) as another outlet for his witty inventiveness. An adept at literary parody and a good stylistic mimic, Fielding was prompted into novelwriting by the furore caused by the publication of Richardsons Pamela in 1740. A year later he replied with a skilful pastiche entitled Shamela (1741), which makes the innocent virtue displayed by Richardsons original heroine appear calculating and conniving. Fielding followed up the same idea with his first novel, Joseph Andrews (1742), which was also intended as a kind of parody of Richardson. Supposedly the story of Pamelas brother, the novel intends to make fun of chastity (male) as a heavy moral issue. Thus it begins by ridiculing the view that innocence is possible would a young man-servant reject the advances of his mistress? However, under Fieldings hand, the novel develops quite differently: its simple tale - in which the chaste young hero is unjustly dismissed for resisting the lures of his employer, Lady Booby, and travels homewards, accompanied by Abraham Adams, a poor clergyman, and Fanny, Josephs sweetheart - ends by asserting the opposing view. The episodic narrative, which traces the mishaps of the trio on their way home, constantly opposes their unaffected goodness and innocence with the greed, arrogance, aggression and deceit that characterise the predatory world of Georgian England. But Joseph Andrews is not only an enquiry into the character of a virtuous man, but also an enquiry into the form of a novel, on which Fielding theorizes in its Preface. Appealing to Homer and Aristotle as authorities for the new genre, Fielding considers the novel to be a comic romance or a comic epic poem in prose, with a more extended and comprehensive action, which includes a much larger circle of incidents and introduces a greater variety of characters. This comic epic would take its subjects from life and would follow Nature, and though the subjects would be treated in a comic way, they would not be distorted. Moreover, events and characters should be presented not as examples of life, but as comments on it, in order to provide the readers with models of ethical behaviour. As such, the novelist becomes not simply a chronicler, still less an entertainer, but a moralist who believes that through fiction (a fabricated tale which resembles the historians narrative, but goes beyond it to trace permanent features of human nature) can make recommendations about how people should behave:
It is therefore doing him [the novelist] little honour, to imagine he endeavours to mimic some obscure little fellow, because he happens to resemble him in one particular feature, or perhaps in his profession; whereas his [the novelists] appearance in the world is calculated for much more general and noble purposes; not to expose one pitiful wretch to the small and contemptible circle of his acquaintance; but to hold the glass to thousands in their closets, that they may contemplate their deformity, and endeavour to reduce it, and thus by suffering private mortification may avoid public shame.

In order to achieve this end, the novelist becomes an active shaper and manipulator of the narrative, an omniscient and intrusive narrator who not only controls the lives and destinies of

his characters, but can intervene, explain, move away from the detail of the story to the general truths which it was intended to illustrate. As such, Fielding places his novel before the reader, as if inviting him to engage in a deeply serious game, where the distance between its three participants (the narrator, the narrative, and the reader) is often altered: now the actions of the characters completely occupy the readers attention, now the narrator acts as commentator, quietly describing what is going on, now narrator and reader confront one another talking about the game and its implications, like in the following fragment where the reader is challenged to visualise Lady Boobys surprise at Josephs recoil from her advances by following the narrators instructions:
You have heard, reader, poets talk of the statue of Surprise; you have heard likewise, or else you have heard very little, how Surprise made one of the sons of Croesus speak, though he was dumb. You have seen the faces, in the eighteen-penny gallery, when, through the trap-door, to soft or no music, Mr Bridgewater, Mr William Mills, or some other of ghostly appearance, hath ascended, with a face all pale with powder, and a shirt all bloody with ribbons - but from none of these, nor from Phidias or Praxiteles, if they should return to life - no, not from the inimitable pencil of my friend Hogarth, could you receive such an idea of surprise as would have entered in at your eyes had they beheld the Lady Booby when those last words issued out from the lips of Joseph. Your virtue! said the lady, recovering after a silence of two minutes; I shall never survive it!

In 1743 Fielding published the three volumes of his Miscellanies; part three comprised The life of Jonathan Wild the Great, an ironical contemporary fable that pretends to equate goodness with greatness and concerns the heroic character of the centurys most notorious criminal and scoundrel (hanged in 1725), while pouring scorn on the innocent Heartfree. As can be seen from the above examples, Fielding focuses more on male characters and manners than Richardson, intending his heroes to be types representative of their sex. The same holds true for The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling (1749), where the title character is the model of the male rake reduced to good looks, ready instincts and an inability to say no. Tom Jones is thus both a vital and fallible hero, both generous and imprudent, enjoying his freedom in various ways: hunting, travelling, having relationships with women. But in the course of the journey that he is forced to undertake from the security of Mr Allworthys country home to the rickety of London is also a journey from innocence to experience, from freedom to responsibility, during which the hero matures and learns prudence. As such Tom is eventually rewarded with a happy marriage to Sophia Western, the woman he has always loved and with financial security, for his true origins as Mr Allworthys proper heir are promptly discovered. The novel, structured in eighteen books, is also distinguished by the way in which the fortunes of the hero are described by a separate narrator, who is virtually a character in his own right, playing a great part in directing the spicing the course of the story. These omniscient and frequently intrusive authorial utterances invite the reader to sympathise with the hero, despite his faults or yieldings to temptation:
Though she behaved at last with all decent reluctance, yet I rather choose to attribute the triumph to her, since, in fact, it was her design which succeeded.

Fieldings last novel, Amelia (1751), is a domestic novel which mirrors its authors own grim experience of social hardships in the metropolis. The story of William Booth, the young army officer who has married the virtuous and beautiful Amelia against her mothers wishes is less exuberant than Fieldings other fiction, and in its depiction of social evil and legal injustice is generally gloomy, although some minor characters like Dr Harrison, an honest clergyman, or the brave Colonel Bath enliven the representations of human behaviour.

4. Tobias Smollett (1721 - 71) and the picaresque tradition Tobias Smollett followed Fielding in writing life-stories of high-spirited young men, like Roderick Random (1748), Peregrine Pickle (1751), The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom (1753), or The Life and Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves (1762). These novels partly belong to the tradition of picaresque fiction, which deals with the lives of thieves and vagabonds, and which originated in 16th century Spain, the earliest example being the anonymous Lazarillo de Tormes (1553). Alain Ren Le Sage adapted the tradition of the picaresque novel in his Gil Blas (1715), a much more ambitious narrative in which the story of the title hero, a respectable young man who falls among thieves, serves as a frame for the life histories of many of the men and women he meets on his travels. This is the formula which Smollett himself drew upon, as the novelist was careful to acknowledge in his preface to Roderick Random:
I have attempted to represent modest merit struggling with every difficulty to which a friendless orphan is exposed, from his own want of experience, as well as from the selfishness, envy, malice, and base indifference to mankind. To secure a favourable prepossession, I have allowed him the advantage of birth and education, which, in the series of his misfortunes, will, I hope, engage the ingenious more warmly in his behalf; and though I foresee that some people will be offended at the mean scenes in which he is involved, I persuade myself the judicious will not only perceive the necessity of describing those situations, to which he must of course be confined, in his low state, but also find entertainment in viewing those parts of life, where the humours and passions are undisguised by affectation, ceremony, or education; and the whimsical peculiarities of disposition appear as nature has implanted them.

Nevertheless, Smollett also aimed to charge it with a human warmth that he found lacking in his admired Gil Blas, appealing to a much wider range of interests than Le Sage did. As such, Smolletts expects his reader to be sympathetic rather than merely curious, but open-minded enough to look dispassionately on the raw scenes of low life in which his chosen form of the picaresque novel compels him to place his hero. Though his heros surname (Random) hints at the chances to which he will be subject, Smollett has taken a decisive step away from the picaresque tradition by making him a man of good birth, while the circumstances in which Roderick finds himself are due to the ill-will of his grandfather as much as to chance. And like Tom Jones, Roderick will be saved from his surroundings and an incredible series of adventures - during which he is press-ganged in London, sails to the West Indies, is kidnapped and taken to France by smugglers -, by his innate good breeding, and will finally be rewarded by a happy marriage to the beautiful Narcissa. Though the plot lacks in plausibility, the Smolletts realism finds expression in the slices of documentary or nonfictional matter which are roughly inserted, like the following description of a storm at sea which the novelist could have experienced first-hand while a surgeons mate in the navy:
[ . . . ] I was wakened by a most terrible din, occasioned by the play of the gun-carriages upon the deck above, the cracking of cabins, the howling of the wind through the shrouds, the confused noise of the ships crew, the pipes of the boatswain and his mates, the trumpets of the lieutenants, and the clanking of the chain pumps. [. . .] The sea was swelled into billows mountain high, on the top of which our ship sometimes hung as if it was about to be precipitated to the abyss below! Sometimes we sunk between two waves that rose on each side higher than our top-mast head, and threatened, by dashing together, to overwhelm us in a moment! Of all our fleet, consisting of a hundred and fifty sail, scarce twelve appeared, and these driving under their bare poles, at the mercy of the tempest. At length the mast of one of them gave way, and tumbled overboard with a hideous crash! Nor was the prospect in our own ship much more agreeable; a number of officers and sailors ran backward and forward with

distraction in their looks, halloing to one another, and undetermined what they should attend to first. Some clung to the yards, endeavouring to unbend the sails that were split into a thousand pieces flapping in the wind; other tried to furl those who which were yet whole, while the masts, at every pitch, bent and quivered like twigs, as if they would have shivered into innumerable splinters! [. . .]

Smolletts last novel, Humphry Clinker (1771) differs from the rambling narratives of his other fictions by adopting the old-fashioned form of the epistolary novel. Through the interplay of several letter-writers outlook, the readers find out the story of the Brambles, a family who tries to achieve health and social harmony as they travel round Britain. It also bears witness to the cult of sensibility, which had already entered fiction several decades earlier, and had brought about an interest in the analysis, indulgence and display of the emotional life, prompting a real flowering and display of humanitarian ideals and philanthropic action. As such, the health in question is not just the health of the principal character, Matthew Bramble, a benevolent elderly hypochondriac, but of the nation and of all society, from the semi-literate servant Win to the frustrated spinster aunt Tabitha, from the young Oxford student Jery to the young and impressionable Lydia. And, significantly, the farthest point of the journey - where the family finally reach a kind of utopia - is a Scottish paradise at Loch Lomond, not far from Smolletts own birthplace, at Dumbarton.

5. Laurence Sterne (1713-68) and the anti-novel The tradition of the English novel, after less than a century of existence, started to lend itself to subversive experimentation once Laurence Sternes Tristram Shandy made its entrance onto the literary scene, upsetting previous notions of time, place and action and extending thus the boundaries of what fiction meant, beyond a mere observation of human actions with moral overtones. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, a highly original 8-volume novel published between 1760 and 1767, is the first to parody the existing conventions of the form. If plot was supposed to follow the natural order of things, having thus a beginning, a middle and an end, Sterne was addressing his readers even at the outset of his work pointing up the absurdities, contradictions and impossibilities of relating time-space-reality relationship in a linear form:
Nothing which has touched me will be thought trifling in its nature, or tedious in its telling. Therefore, my dear friend and companion, if you should think me somewhat sparing of my narrative on my first setting out bear with me, - and let me go on, and tell my own story my own way: - Or, if I should seem now and then to trifle upon the road, -r should sometimes put on a fools cap with a bell to it, for a moment or two as we pass along, - dont fly off, - but rather courteously give me credit for a little more wisdom than appears upon my outside; and as we jog on, either laugh with me, or laugh at me, or in short, do anything, only keep your temper.

As such, the novel, which is narrated in the first person, begins on the night of Tristrams conception, but does not allow its character to be born until the fourth volume, to finally end some four years before his birth, becoming thus a parody of the autobiographical novel, with the story of Tristrams life never getting told. The author deliberately hinders all movement, for his narrators thoughts ramble forward, backward, sideways, describing a wide range of characters and their peculiarities, covering every subject under the sun, but never able to carry a story to its end. Influenced by John Lockes Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690) - which viewed mental life as a stream of ideas, linked together by chance and flowing on beyond the control of the human being which were its hosts - the novel attempts to imitate what passes in a mans own mind, with the narrator being led from one topic to another in an apparently random way, interrupting the narrative with frequent digressions, i.e. episodes going off at a tangent from the main line of the plot. For example, the accident on Tristrams nose (flattened with the forceps by Dr. Slop when delivering the baby) prompts the narrator intervene with a long digression on noses. Other digressions are provided by a sermon delivered by Yorrick, the local clergyman named after the jester in Hamlet, a solemn and extensive oath of excommunication in Latin, with the translation given on the opposite page, or an unfinished tale of the King of Bohemia. The same effect is achieved by Sternes use of graphological means, such as a blank sheet, a page with a marbled design on it, a collection of asteriks, lines and curves to display the difficulty of keeping to one single line of his story. The characters themselves are further illustrations of Lockes theory, proving that each man lives in a world of his own, with his private obsessions, or hobby-horses, as the consciousness of every individual is conditioned by his private train of associations. Thus, if the obsession of Tristrams father, Walter Shandy, is the theory of names, which leads to the accidental misnaming of the child, corrupting the Greek name of the Egyptian god of wisdom, Trismegistus, his uncle Tobys hobby horse is the theory and practice of fortification and siege warfare, and the

retired military man who has fought on the Continental wars spends much of his time attempting to reconstruct the battle of Namur on the bowling green. With no declared ideological or moral position other than to be a unique, civil, non-sensical and good-humoured Shandean book, much of the appeal of Tristram Shandy is to be sought for in its self-conscious narrator, who proves fully aware of the artificiality of his form and the fact that he is engaging in an intricate game with the reader, in a conversational manner that rustles on headlong, with no regard for consistency or coherence, such as illustrated by the following excerpt in which the narrator enters into a direct dialogue with his imaginary audience, explaining the problems he confronts as an author:
. . . to understand how my Uncle Toby could mistake the bridge - I fear I must give you an exact account of the road which led to it; - or to drop my metaphor, (for there is nothing more dishonest in an historian than the use of one,) - in order to conceive the probability of this error in my Uncle Toby aright, I must give you some account of an adventure of Trims, though much against my will. I say much against my will, only because the story, in one sense, is certainly out of its place here; for by right it should come in, either among the anecdotes of my uncle Tobys amours with widow Wadman, in which Corporal Trim was no mean actor, - or else in the middle of his and my uncle Tobys campaigns on the bowling-green, - for it will do very well in either place; but then if I reserve it for either of those parts of my story, - I ruin the story Im upon; - and if I tell it here - I anticipate matters, and ruin it there. - What would your worships have me to do in this case? Tell it, Mr. Shandy, by all means. - You are a fool, Tristram, if you do. O ye POWERS! (for powers ye are, and great ones too) - which enable mortal man to tell a story worth hearing - that kindly shew him, where he is to begin it - what he is to put into it - and what he is to leave out - how much of it he is to cast into the shade, - and whereabouts he is to throw his light! - Ye, who preside over this vast empire of biographical freebooters, and see how many scrapes and plunges your subjects hourly fall into; - will you do one thing? I beg and beseech you (in case you will do nothing better for us) that wherever in any part of your dominions it so falls out, that three several roads meet in one point, as they have done just here - that at least you set up a guide-post in the centre of them, in mere charity to direct an uncertain devil which of the three he is to take.

The first truly experimental English novel, Laurence Sternes Tristram Shandy has become the model for the 20th-century anti-novel, exemplified by authors like Samuel Beckett, Vladimir Nabokov or John Fowles.

6. Oliver Goldsmith (1730-74) and the sentimental novel During the second half of the 18th century, in reaction to the ideas of the Enlightment placing their emphasis on reason and order, there became more and more prevalent the belief that sentiment could influence social development more powerfully. As such, the literary atmosphere started to witness the replacement of the neoclassical calm detachment and mocking attitude by the compassionate note meant to rouse the readers sympathy for their fellow men, which eventually, under the influence of Jean Jacques Rousseaus philosophy, came to be associated with emotions. Oliver Goldsmith, successful as a poet and comic dramatist, published his Rousseauisque fable on the antithesis between the goodness and innocence of mans natural emotions and the corrupting power of society, law and civilisation, The Vicar of Wakefield, in 1766. The novel is an improbable fairy-tale about Dr. Primrose (the vicar of the title and a person who combines learning with innocence, finding his greatest happiness by the domestic hearth with his wife and children) who is led by the activities of the wordly and the vicious, as well as a number of accidents, from one misfortune to another: his fortune is lost, his elder daughter is apparently seduced and ruined by the local squire; himself is cheated and deceived in numerous ways until he finds himself in the local jail; his eldest son becomes a fellow prisoner, accused of severely injuring a man in a duel. Nevertheless, to all these the vicar responds with gentle resignation and fortitude, and, by implausible contrivance, the novel is finally huddled to a happy ending, where the lost fortune is restored, the ruined daughter is discovered alive and married to her seducer, the son is freed and able thus to marry his first love. In spite of the deliberate naivities of the story and the moralising and sentimental exhibitions of feeling, the real achievements of Goldsiths novel are to be found in the way in which the tale is told in the first-person point of view, in the slight but effective differentiations in character between the various members of the family, and the comprehensive picture of provincial, family life that it provides:
[ . . .] My children, the offspring of temperance, as they were educated without softness, so they were at once well-formed and healthy; my sons hardy and active, my daughters beautiful and blooming. When I stood in the midst of the little circle, which promised to be the supports of my declining age, I could not avoid repeating the famous story of Count Abensberg, who, in Henry the Seconds progress through Germany, when other countries came with their treasures, brought his thirty-two children, and presented them to his sovereign, as the most valuable offering he had to bestow. In this manner, though I had but six, I considered them as a very valuable present made to my country, and consequently looked upon it as my debtor. Our eldest son was named George, after his uncle, who left us ten thousand pounds. Our second child, a girl, I intended to call after her aunt Grissel; but my wife, who had been reading romances, insisted upon her being called Olivia. In less than another year we had another daughter, and now I was determined that Grissel should be her name; but a rich relation taking a fancy to stand god-mother, the girl was by her direction called Sophia: so that we had two romantic names in the family; but I solemnly protest I had no hand in it. Moses was our next; and, after an interval of twelve years, we had two sons more. [. . . ] a family likeness prevailed through all, and properly speaking, they had but one character, that of being all equally generous, credulous, simple and inoffensive

7. The Gothic novel In the last decades of the century, a new shift in sensibility occurred toward what came to be called the sublime, a concept from classical Greek which entered English thought through the French of Boileau and found its definitive explanation in Edmund Burkes Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful. Published between 1757-9, Burkes essay was to become a key text of the times, displaying an emphasis on feelings and on imagination, in stark contrast to the neoclassicist insistence on form and reason. Nevertheless, Burkes idea of the sublime goes beyond natural beauty into the realms of awe, or terror, because, for him, the sublime is productive of the strongest emotion which the mind is capable of feeling. Linking it thus with terror, emotion and feeling. The link between the sublime and terror is most clearly seen in the Gothic novel, a form which concentrated on the fantastic, the macabre and the supernatural. The term Gothic has medieval and architectural connotations, being generally held to refer to the kind of European building characterised by its use of pointed arches which had flourished in the Middle Ages. But in a series of novels written from the 1760s to the 1790s, which featured haunted castles, spectres rising from the grave and wild landscapes, the term came to be associated with mystery, romance, ivycovered and owl-haunted ruins, acquiring the generic meaning of horror fantasy. The Castle of Otranto, the novel published by Horace Walpole (1717-97) in 1764 is the first of this kind, initiating this sub-genre in English literature. It is a story of medieval times, set in south Italy, with castles, vaults, ghosts, statues which come to life, sudden violent death, forest caves, and the whole paraphernalia of horror. Passion, grief and terror are the mainstrays of the plot, which moves between the unlikely and the totally incredible. Manfred, the actual prince of Otranto, is in fact the offspring of a usurper who had poisoned the rightful heir, Alonso. Haunted by the prophecy foretelling the end of his male line and the return of the rightful heir, Manfred engineers the marriage of Conrad, his son, to the beautiful Isabella and then attempts to enforce himself on the maiden once his son gets mysteriously killed. But his plans are thwarted by a peasant boy, Theodore, who helps Isabella escape and who, at the end of the novel, is proclaimed the true price of Otranto by a suddenly enlivened statue of Alonso, which grows enormous and overthrows the castle burring a terrified Manfred with it. The immediate widespread popularity of the Gothic novel was also helped at the hands of several accomplished women writers, such as Ann Radcliffe and Clara Reeve, who combined Gothic sensationalism with the cult of feeling. The novels of Ann Radcliffee (1764-1822) are typical in this respect. Though they still employ standard Gothic properties, such as secret passages, vaults, sliding panels, old manuscripts unexpectedly discovered, their emphasis falls on romance, and the supernatural incidents, after allowing the novelist extract maximum of suspense and excitement, are always explained in the end as produced by natural causes. For example, in The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), Radciffes most successful novel, the young heroine, Emily, is forced to follow her tyrannical aunt, Madame Cheron, to the castle of her new husband, the cruel Montoni. But the series of sinister and frightening occurrences which the two face at Udolpho and which eventually lead to the aunts death are proven to have been engineered by Montoni himself, who has, in the meantime, turned his attentions to Emily. Nevertheless, in the nick of time the heroine manages to escape and the resolution seals the triumph of good, with Emilys return to her native Gascony where she is happily reunited with the Chevalier de Valancour, her first and faithful lover.

Frankenstein, the novel published by Mary Shelley (1797-1851) in 1818, is not properly Gothic if compared to The Castle of Otranto and The Mysteries of Udolpho, where the virginal female victim is subjected to increasingly exaggerated horrors. Here the horror element of the story is related to the unsuccessful experiment of the hero, the young doctor Victor Frankenstein, who, instead of creating a perfect human being, gives birth to a monster, an eight-foot hideous creature who will become responsible for the death of his family, fiancee, as well as his own eventual destruction. During the 20th century, mostly due to the Hollywood film industry, the subject of Mary Shelleys novel was raised to the level of universal myth, while its title is liable of giving a new word to the language. Nevertheless, many modern readings have reacted against the cinematic image of the monster, preferring to read the tale as a psychological exploration of creation, childbirth and responsibility, with a corresponding emphasis on the creature as an outcast - an innocent who has had human life thrust upon him and who is destined to roam the icy waters (a vision of 20th-century wastelands) in solitude. To support this view, one may often cite the creatures own point of view, which is given full voice in the epistolary form of the novel, balancing with pathos the horror which other narrative voices describe, such as is the case in the following fragment in which the monster utters his first words to another human being:
My heart beat quick; this was the hour and moment of trial which would decide my hopes or realise my fears. The servants were gone to a neighbouring fair. All was silent in and around the cottage; it was an excellent opportunity; yet, when I proceeded to execute my plan, my limbs failed me, and I sunk to the ground. Again I rose; and, exerting all the firmness of which I was master, removed the planks which I had placed before my hovel to conceal my retreat. The fresh air revived me, and, with renewed determination I approached the door of their cottage. I knocked. Who is there? said the old man - Come in. I entered; Pardon this intrusion, said I, I am a traveller in want of a little rest; you would greatly oblige, if you would allow me to remain a few minutes before the fire.

8. Maria Edgeworth (1767-1849) and the regional novel Maria Edgeworth, or the great Maria as she came to be known -, was one of the best-known literary figures of the time, writing of the Irish social scene at the time when the Act of Union passed in 1801 had brought Ireland fully into he United Kingdom, in both a political and legal sense. Her fictional work established Edgeworth as a writer of small-scale, provincial novels, where the particular detail and the humour and sense of character enlists the sympathetic participation of the reader. At the same time, these novels proved to become an acknowledged influence on Walter Scott, who praised Edgeworths innovations in his praface to Waverley (1814) and followed their model in his own depictions of the Scottish provincial scene. Castle Reckrent, published in 1800, is the first of these. The novel is set in 1782, aiming to provide a vivid picture of the Irish social conditions preceding the Union. It focuses on the history of a family of Irish landlords, whose path to ruin is narrated by Thady Quirk, their steward, who has witnessed their excesses and improvidence for the past three generations. Thadys narrative starts with the story of the lavish entertainer Sir Patrick Rackrent, who drinks himself to death. Then it goes on to that of Sir Patricks eldest son, Sir Murtagh, who dies in a rage against the enemies whom he continually sues. Sir Kit, the next Rackrent, is a gambler who fares no better, being killed in a duel. The present landlord, Sir Condy, eventually loses the estate by loans and litigations to Thaddys own son, Jason, and the Rackrents line is ended when Condy himself dies trying to emulate one of his grandfathers drinking feats. The novel displays a lively awareness of the Irish scene as well as that of the moral and psychological problems arising out of an impinging new social order, for Thaddys son, Jason, who educated himself and managed to become a lawyer, is intended as a representative of a rising, predatory middle-class. In the same order of ideas, the retainers self-professed loyalty to the Reckrents becomes ambiguous, especially in view of his sons eventual possession of the estate. The addition to the text of a preface, footnotes and a glossary introduces s;s,emts of antiquarian and sociological commentary, while the use of Hiberno-English (a term applied to those varieties of English spoken and sometimes written in Ireland) in Thaddys narrative, reveals an interest in regional varieties of language, such as the following fragment illustrates:
Then we were all bustle in the house, which made me keep out of the way, for I walk slow and hate a bustle, but the house was all hurry-skurry, preparing for my new master. - Sir Murtagh, I forgot to notice, had no children, so the Rackrent estate went to his younger brother - a young dashing officer - who came amongst us before I knew for the life of me whereabouts I was, in a gig or some of them things, with another spark along with him, and led horses, and servants, and dogs, and scarce a place to put any Christian of them into; for my late lady had sent all the feather-beds off before her, and blankets, and household linen, down to the very knife cloths, on the cars to Dublin, which were all her own, lawfully plaid for out of her own money. -So the house was quite bare, and my young master, the moment ever he set foot in it out of his gig, thought all those things must come of themselves, I believe, for he never looked after any thing at all, but harum-scarum called for every thing as if we were conjurers, or he in a public-house. For my part, I could not bestir myself any how; I had been so used to my late master and mistress, all was upside down with me, and the new servants in the servants hall were quite out of my way; I had nobody to talk to, and if it had not been for my pipe and tobacco should, I verily believe, have broke my heart for poor Sir Murtagh.

Castle Reckrent was followed by Belinda (1810), a satiric novel in which the wicked Lady Delacour, whose tortured life has elements of gothic mystery, is reformed by the title-character. The Absentee (1812) deals with the ill-effects of landlord absenteeism in Ireland, while Ormond (1817) is innovative in its exploration of the effect of reading on the title-hero. Of her later novels, Helen (1834) presents a depressing view of the prospects for Irish society. Edgeworths keen, but disillusioned love of Ireland which her work records is also acknowledged in a letter dated the same year, 1834, in which the novelist declared it impossible to write fiction about the post-Union Ireland: The people would only break the glass and curse the fool who held the mirror up to nature distorted nature, in a fever. 10. The novel of social and domestic life If women took an active part in producing the gothic novel, they proved even more active in producing a different type of novel, at the other end of the scale, namely the one of contemporary social and domestic life. Here the chief interest lies in the delineation of manners and the detail and intimacy with which the behaviour of characters in a specific and limited social environment is described. a) Fanny Burney (1752-1840) is the author of a series of novels which portray how a young woman grows up and develops as she enters and experiences the society of her day. The first of them and the one which established her reputation is Evelina; or, The History of a Young Ladys Entrance into the World, published in 1778. Employing an epistolary form, the novel traces the story of the title-heroine, a girl of humble education, brought up in rural seclusion until the age of 17 when she is sent to see the world and also enters the world of fashion. There she suffers a series of frustrations and humiliations until she meets the right people, in the persons of the aristocratic Lady Howard and Lord Orville, who, in seven months (and three volumes) tutor her education in self-knowledge, prudence and discretion and eventually turn her into a right match for Lord Orville himself. Her second novel, Cecilia; or, Memoirs of an Heiress, published in 1782, concerns the fortunes of Cecilia Beverley, who is victimised by her three unscrupulous guardians, Harrel, Briggs and the Hon. Compton Delville until she is eventually allowed to find a modicum of happiness with her lover Mortimer Delville. In both of them the tone is gently satirical, blended with vivid observation, while society and the aspirations to be part of it are their main concerns. Their strength lies in comedy and the comedy of domestic life, developed around innocent heroines like Evelina and Cecilia. As a novelist, Burney inherited the form from Richardson and Fielding, but handled it in such a way that would prove useful to Jane Austen, herself. b) Jane Austen (1775-1817) ranks as the greatest of these women novelists, the one who raised the genre to a new level of art by applying the techniques of the novel to the acute observation of the provincial society of her time. Austens novels portray small groups of people in a limited, perhaps confining environment. Her characters, who are middle-class and provincial, have as their most urgent preoccupations courtship, while their greatest ambition proves to be marriage. The apparently trivial incidents of their life are moulded by the author into a poised comedy-of-manners, where a gentle irony is deployed in order to point to the underlying moral commentary. Though one finds no exhibitionist critical apparatus, like in Fielding, nor any pretentiously announced didactic purpose, like in Richardson, Austens novels remain arresting because she managed to apply the microscope to

human motivation and character, turning her fictions into representations of universal patterns of behaviour, which display the vision of man as a social animal, as well as the ironic awareness of the tensions between spontaneity and convention, or between the claims of personal morality and those of social and economic propriety. Northanger Abbey, published in 1818, but completed in 1798, is probably the first. The novel gently satirises the 1790s enthusiasm for the gothic sub-genre, by contrasting day-to-day life with the imagined horrors of Ann Radcliffes novels. These have had a considerable effect on the impressionable heroine, Catherine Morland, who humiliates herself in the eyes of her fiancs father when she misconstrues the atmosphere and events occurring at the Tilneys home (the rebuilt old abbey of the title) as part of a gothic novel situation:
Charming as were all Mrs. Radcliffes works, and charming even as were the works of all her imitators, it was not in them perhaps that human nature, at least in the midland counties of England, was to be looked for. Of the Alps and Pyrenees, with their pine forests and their vices, they might give a faithful delineation; and Italy, Switzerland, and the South of France, might be as fruitful in horrors as they were there represented. Catherine dared not doubt beyond her own country, and even of that, if hard pressed, would have yielded the northern and western extremities.

The authors distanced and slightly ironic observation of the heroine and of the love-intrigues in fashionable Bath already displays the tone and point of view which Austen was to refine in her later works, less obviously intended to ridicule and more concerned with the acute depiction of character and interaction. In the novels which followed, Austen continues to focus on young heroines. Sisters are often contrasted, like in Sense and Sensibility, published in 1811, in which Elinor represents sense and self-control, while Marianne stands for sensibility and impulsive emotions. Their closely worked out plots usually involve the twists and turns of emotion in search for love, marriage, happiness and social status, like in Pride and Prejudice, published in 1813, where Elizabeth Bennett and Darcy have first to discover themselves and then each other in their loss of pride and prejudice. It is this development which allows them a happy marriage, while the other characters, who remain quite the same throughout the novel, settle back at the end into their accustomed modes of behaviour. Austens use of point of view also becomes more sophisticated. Though she employs the omniscient point of view, the explicit manipulation of the reader which characterised Fieldings narrators dissapears, and irony determines something of the point of view shared between an invisible third person narrator and the reader. Consider, for example, the opening of Pride and Prejudice:
It is a truth generally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on this first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters. My dear Mr. Bennet, said his lady to him one day, have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?

The first sentence, without explicitely interpellating the reader with the address dear reader, like in Fielding, manages, nevertheless, to effectively give him the premise on which the author will work. The reader is invited to share it before proceeding with the reading of what subsequently happens to the members of the Bennett family once their interest in the new tenants at Netherfield is aroused, and thus colludes with the author/narrator in the telling of the tale.

At other times, Austen uses free indirect speech or adjectives that represent her characters own opinions and attitudes rather than those of the author/narrator. In this case the reader is silently manipulated into a situation of plural points of view, represented by the interplay of that of the author/narrator and character, or an explicit and implicit one. The following excerpt represents the beginning of Emma, the novel published in 1816 which tells the story of a rich and clever girl, whose confidence in her own understanding of people and her well-meaning desire to manipulate the lives of her social inferiors as well as some of her equals will involve her in a number of delusions: .
Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her. She was the youngest of the two daughters of a most affectionate, indulgent father, and had, in consequence of her sisters marriage, been mistress of his house from a very early period. Her mother had died too long ago for her to have more than an indistinct remembrance of her caresses, and her place had been supplied by an excellent woman as governess, who had fallen little short of a mother in affection. Sixteen years had Miss Taylor been in Mr Woodhouses family, less as a governess than a friend, very fond of both daughters, but particularly fond of Emma. Between them it was more the intimacy of sisters. Even before Miss Taylor had ceased to hold the nominal office of governess, the mildness of her temper had hardly allowed her to impose any restraint; and the shadow of authority being now long passed away, they had been living together as friend and friend mutually attached, and Emma doing just what she liked; highly esteeming Miss Taylors judgement, but directed chiefly by her own. The real evils indeed of Emmas situation were the power of having rather too much her own way, and a disposition to think a little too well of herself; these were the disadvantages which threatened ally to her many projects. The danger, however, was at present so unperceived, that they did not by any means rank as misfortunes with her. Sorrow came - a gentle sorrow - but not at all in the shape of any disagreeable consciousness. Miss Taylor married.

After subtly setting the heroine for a fall in the first sentence by means of the series of three epithets which encapsulate the deceptiveness of Emmas seeming contentment, the narrator rapidly summarises the circumstances likely to breed her arrogance: deprived of her mothers guidance at an early age, she had assumed the role of mistress of the house due to an indulgent father and a governess who had supplied her with a mothers affection and not discipline. In the third paragraph, the exact nature of Emmas relationship with Miss Taylor, the governess, is rendered more emphatic by means of a shift of point of view between the author/narrator and the heroine herself, though the latter is not allowed to appear entirely in the light of her own point of view because the reports of her thinking are still in the third person. This narrative strategy, in which the narrative is carried by author and character together, is the one which Jane Austen refined, enabling her to reveal a characters feelings more directly, while still providing readers with her own (often ironic) view of character.

THE MOVEMENT FROM NEO-CLASSICISM TO ROMANTICISM IN POETRY During the second half of the eighteenth century, paralleling developments in the novel, poetry began to explore new themes, handled in more low-key language and forms which often lacked the bite of satire, reacting thus against the formal, self-consciously heightened, and satirically selfreferential poetry of the Augustans. While some voices, like that of Dr. Samuel Johnson, still pay tribute to the waning neo-classical ideals, others, like those of John Thomson, Thomas Gray, or Robert Burns become pointers to the English Romantic age, the beginnings of which are marked by the publication of Wordsworth and Coleridges Lyrical Ballads in 1798. The following comparison between the Classical/Augustan Age and Romanticism might reveal that the two periods refer not only to two different attitudes to literature, but to distinct ways of seeing and experiencing life: The Augustans stressed the importance of reason and order. Strong feelings and flights of imagination had to be controlled, because they trusted intellect and the head. In contradistinction, the Romantics are attracted by the irrational, mystical and the supernatural. The Augustans looked outward to society, celebrating a social order in which everyone knew his or her place. In their turn, the Romantics look inward, to their own soul and the life of the imagination, celebrating the freedom of nature and of individual experience, and being critical of society and what they consider to be its injustices. The Augustans developed a formal and ordered way of writing, characterised by the balance and symmetry of the heroic couplet (in poetry) and by an adherence to the conventions of a special poetic diction. The Romantics employ a different kind of writing, which attempts to capture the ebb and flow of individual experience in forms and language intended to be closer to everyday speech.

The transition between the two aesthetic matrices is linked to the specific historical contexts of the agrarian and industrial revolutions which occurred at that same time. As the small towns and villages were replaced by s more impersonal, mechanised society where individuals lost their identity, the writers often sought to correct this imbalance by giving greater value to the countryside, nature and individual sensibility, consciousness and freedom. A. BETWEEN REASON AND SENSIBILITY DR. SAMUEL JOHNSON (1704-84) is the major author of the period who is still strongly anchored in the neoclassical tradition. Best remembered as a lexicographer (author of the Dictionary of the English Language, 1755) and literary critic (The lives of the Poets, 1779-81), Johnson was also a poet who used the heroic couplet mainly for moralising purposes. In the two verse satires that he wrote, London (1739) and The Vanity of Human Wishes (1749) he tried to modernise the Roman poet Juvenal in order to attack various evils of the thoughtless age he lived in: from courtiers, flattery and fashion to the dangers of wishful thinking. OLIVER GOLDSMITH (1730-1774), though not primarily a poet, exemplifies the transition between neo-classical and romantic writing with two long poems written in heroic couplets, The

Traveller (1764) and The Deserted Village (1770). The latter is the most famous of the two, taking the form of a pastoral elegy which contrasts an idyllic rural past with the harsh reality of the present, represented by the Enclosure Acts and the depopulation of agrarian communities triggered by the Industrial Revolotion. The Deserted Village is the imaginary and idealised Auburn, recreated in part from his childhood memories of the Irish Westmeath, where Goldsmith had grown up, and the poem laments the vanishing of traditions and that of the romantic pleasures of rural life brought by the fact that money and progress have become more important than human destinies, leading to the decay of such a previously happy place: Along thy glades, a solitary guest, The hollow-sounding bittern guards its nest; Amidst thy desert walks the lapwing flies, And tires their echoes with unvaried cries. Sunk are thy bowers in shapeless ruin all, And the long grass oertops the mouldring wall. [. . .] How often have I blessed the coming day, When toil remitting lent its turn to play, And all the village train, from labour free, Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree, While many a pastime circled in the shade, The young contending as the old surveyed; And many a gambol frolicked oer the ground, And sleights of art and feats of strength went round. In contradictinction, GEORGE CRABBE (1754 - 1832) in The Village (1783}reacted against the view of rurality as that of a lost golden age, attempting to show that country life was not idyllic, not a romantic dream, but a continual trial. By vividly painting the squalor and poverty of the lives of humble farmers, fishermen, agricultural laborious, Crabbe was attacking both the Arcadian ideal as well as the complacency with which town-dwellers viewed their lot: Ye gentle souls, who dream of rural ease, Whom the smooth stream and smoother sonnet please; Go! If the peaceful cot your praises share, Go, look within, and ask if peace be there: If peace be his - that drooping weary sire, Or theirs, that offspring round their feeble fire, Or hers, that matron pale, whose trmbling hand Turns on the wretched hearth thexpiring brand. Nor yet can time itself obtain for these Lifes latest comforts, due respect and ease; For yonder see that hoary swain, whose age Can with no cares except its own engage; Who, propped on that rude staff, looks up to see The bare arms broken from the withering tree, On which, a boy, he climbed the loftiest bough, Then his first joy, but his sad emblem now. Almost a quarter of a century later, Crabbe continued his bleak descriptions of country life in The Borough (1810), a poem in 24 letters sent to a friend, in which the writer offered a precise and

detailed view of his native Aldeburgh in Suffolk, as Truth will paint it, and as Bards will not, rejecting thus both the idealisation of rural life and the over-sentimental identification with it (in which city fashion often indulged).

B. BETWEEN SENSIBILITY AND ROMANTICISM JAMES THOMSON (1700 - 1748) is the first poet of the age who chose to reject the heroic couplet and use, instead, a quasi-Miltonian blank verse in his four long poems, published season by season between 1726 and 1730. The Seasons aim to describe the countryside at different times of the year, often interlarding the descriptive passages with meditations on man. Thomsons vision of nature as harsh, especially in winter, but bountiful, stresses the pure pleasures of rural life, with no denial of the pain these pleasures can involve. His celebration of nature is thus closely allied with a sense of desolation, of hard work and harsh landscapes, so that the tone of his Seasons is far removed from that of the classical idyll: These, as they change, Almighty Father, these Are but the varied God! The rolling year Is full of Thee. Forth in the pleasing Spring Thy beauty walks, Thy tenderness and love. Wide flush the fields; the softening air is balm; Echo the mountains round; the forest smiles; And every sense, and every heart, is joy. Then comes Thy glory in the Summer months, With light and heat refulgent . . . . Thy bounty shines in Autumn unconfined, And spreads a common feast for all that lives. In Winter awful Thou! With clouds and storms Around Thee thrown, tempest oer tempest rolled, Majestic darkness! . . . Mysterious round! What skill, what force divine, Deep felt in these appear! A simple train, Yet so delightful mixed, with such kind art, Such beauty and beneficence combines, Shade, unperceived, so softening into shade, And all so forming an harmonious whole That, as they still succeed, they ravish still. In his treatment of nature, Thomson diverged thus from the neoclassical writers in many important ways: through sweeping vistas and specific details in contrast to circumscribed, generalised landscapes, exuberance instead of balance, and a hailing of philosophic melancholy. The last of these was also the major concern of the so-called poets of the Graveyard School, exemplifying the strain of descriptive and meditative poetry, developing throughout the 18th century, where natural description prompted moral reflections on the human situation. The foremost of them was EDWARD YOUNG (1683 - 1765), whose early verses were in the Augustan tradition. Nevertheless, in his The Complaint; or Night Thoughts on Life, Death and Immortality (1742-46), the melancholy meditations against a backdrop of tombs and death indicate a major departure from the conventions and convictions of the preceding generation. While the neoclassical authors regarded melancholia as a weakness, the pervasive mood of the Complaint is a sentimental and pensive contemplation of loss, as the speaker, in carefully wrought gloomy context of night, broods over his sorrow, meditating on mortality and immortality:

Night, sable goddess! From her ebon throne, In rayless majesty now stretches forth Her leaden sceptre oer a slumbering world. Silence, how dead! And darkness, how profound! Nor eye nor listening ear an object finds; Creation sleeps. THOMAS GRAYs (1716 - 1771) Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (1751) is often considered the central text in this tradition, though the poem is considerably different in emphasis, becoming, in some senses, a life-affirming reconsideration of rural values. Grays Elegy opens with a contemplation of the landscape, which is gradually emptied of both sights and sounds as dusk descends and the meditative tone is thus set: The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, The lowing herd wind slowly oer the lea, The plowman homeward plods his weary way, And leaves the world to darkness and to me. Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, And all the air a solemn stillness holds, Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight, And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds; Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower The moping owl does to the moon complain Of such, as wandering near her secret bower, Molest her ancient solitary reign. Beneath those rugged elms, that yew trees shade, Where heaves the turf in many a moldering heap, Each in his narrow cell forever laid, The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep. Having thus introduced the poets considerations of the rude forefathers of the village and the short and simple annals of the poor, the poem alternates then between generalised abstractions and individual examples that turn it into an affirmation of simple lives and their values. The elegiac element, however, concerns the consideration of loss in the villages lack of ambition, and the passing of the poets own life, for The Elegy is given an unexpected turn at the end, revealing the poets own epitaph: Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown. Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth, And Melancholy marked him for her own. Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere, Heaven did a recompense as largely send: He gave to Misery all he had, a tear, He gained from Heaven (twas all he wished) a friend.

C. PROTO-ROMANTICS WILLIAM COLLINS (1721 - 1759) foreshadows the concerns of the Romantic poets in his Odes on Several Descriptive and Allegorical Subjects (1746), which are visionary and intensely lyrical. Among these, Collins Ode on the Poetical Character ranks as an early dramatic engagement with one of the central topics of the Romantic age, i.e. the origin and role of the creative imagination, which is the poet himself: The band, as fairy legends say, Was wove on that creating day, When He, who called with thought to birth Yon tented sky, this laughing earth, And dressed with springs, and forests tall, And poured the main engirting all, Long by the loved Enthusiast wooed, Himself in some diviner mood, Retiring, sate with her alone, And placed her on his sapphire throne; The whiles, the vaulted shrine around, Seraphic wires were heard to sound, Now sublimest trimph swelling, Now on love and mercy dwelling; And she, from out the veiling cloud, Breathed her magic notes aloud: And thou, thou rich-haired Youth of Morn, And all thy subject life was born! Another poetical movement heralding Romanticism found expression in a yearning for the unknown, the strange and the mysterious, often connected to a remoter and more magical world related to the mythical past. JAMES MACPHERSON (1736-96) and THOMAS CHATTERTON (1752-70) are noteworthy for two literary fabrications, Fragments of Ancient Poetry, Collected in the Highlands of Scotland and Translated from the Gaelic or Erse Language (1760) and Poems, Supposed to Have Been Written at Bristol, by Thomas Rowley and Others, in the Fifteenth Century (1778). The first of them purported to be Macphersons recovery (through translation) of the poems written by the legendary Ossian, a Gaelic warrior and poet appearing in the old Irish tales included in the Cycle of Leinster. Though critics like Samuel Johnson challenged the authenticity of Macphersons Ossianic poems and, after the poets death, a committee of inquiry concluded that he had treated the Gaelic material in a free and selective fashion, adding much verse of his own inventions, their popularity and success was immense, spreading beyond Britain to include Napoleon, Herder and Goethe among their admirers. By turning attention to wild nature, the mythic past and folk culture, Macphersons poems played a crucial role in the emergence of Romanticism, as well as providing an interesting comment on the way in which certain minds were trying to escape the hard sunlight of the Age of Reason.

4. ROBERT BURNS (1759 - 1796) Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (1786) Ha! Whare ye gaun, ye crowlan ferlie! Your impudence protects you sairly: I canna say but ye strunt rarely, Owre gauze and lace; Tho faith, I fear ye dine but sparely, On sic a place.

Ye ugly, creepan, blastit wonner, Detested, shunnd, by saunt an sinner, How daur ye set your fit upon her, Sae fine a Lady! Gae somewhere else and seek your dinner, On some poor body.

D. ROMANTIC POETRY: WILLIAM BLAKE (1757 - 1832) Poetical Sketches (1783) The Book of Thel (1789-91); Visions of the Daughters of Albion (1791-93); The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790-93) Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1794) The Lamb Little Lamb, who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee? Gave thee life & bid thee feed, By the stream & oer the mead; Gave thee clothing of delight, Softest clothing wooly bright; Gave thee such a tender voice, Making all the vales rejoice! Little Lamb sho made thee? Dost thou know who made thee? Little Lamb Ill tell thee, Little Lamb, Ill tell thee! He is called by thy name, For he calls himself a Lamb; He is meek & he is mild, He became a little child; I a child & thou a lamb, We are called by his name. Little Lamb God bless thee. Little Lamb God bless thee. The Tiger Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or skies Burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand dare seize the fire? And what shoulder, & what art, Could twist the sinews of thy heart? And when thy heart began to beat, What dread hand? & what dread feet? What the hammer? What the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? What dread grasp Dare its deadly terrors clasp? [. . . ] Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

London I wander thro each charterd street Near where the charterd Thames dows flow, And mark in every face I meet Marks of weakness, marks of woe. In every cry of every Man, In every Infants cry of fear, In every voice, in every ban,

The mind-forgd manacles I hear. The Four Zoas; Milton; Jerusalmen (1804-20) APPENDIX 1 THE NOVEL
DEFINITION: An extended fictional prose narrative, often including the psychological development of the central characters and of their relationship with a broader world. The modern novel took its name and inspiration from the Italian novella, the short tale of varied character which became popular in the late 13th century. As the main form of narrative fiction in the 20th century, the novel is frequently classified according to genres and subgenres such as the historical novel, detective fiction, fantasy, and science fiction. DEVELOPMENT: A major period of the novel's development came during the late Italian Renaissance, when the stimulus of foreign travel, increased wealth, and changing social patterns produced a greater interest in the events of everyday life, as opposed to religious teaching, legends of the past, or fictional fantasy. The works of the Italian writers Boccaccio and Matteo Bandello (1485-1561) were translated into English in such collections as William Painter's Palace of Pleasure 1566-67, and inspired the Elizabethan novelists, including John Lyly, Philip Sidney, Thomas Nash, and Thomas Lodge. In Spain, Cervantes' Don Quixote 1604 contributed to the development of the novel through its translation into other European languages, but the 17th century was dominated by the French romances of Gauthier de Costes de la Calprende (1614-1663) and Madelaine de Scudry (1607-1691), although William Congreve and Aphra Behn continued the English tradition. With the growth of literacy, the novel rapidly developed from the 18th century to become, in the 20th century, the major literary form. INTRODUCTION TO NARRATOLOGY NARRATOLOGY: a term used since 1969 to denote the branch of literary study devoted to the analysis of narration, and, more specifically, of forms of narration and varieties of narrator. NARRATIVE: a telling of some true or fictitious event or connected sequence of events, recounted by a narrator to a narratee. It consists of a set of events (the story) recounted in the process of narration (discourse); the events are selected and arranged in a particular order (Plot). NARRATOR: one who tells, or is assumed to be telling the story in a given narrative, i.e. the imagined voice transmitting the story. NARATEE: the imagined person whom the narrator is assumed to be addressing in a given narrative. ELEMENTS OF ANALYSIS: PLOT; SETTING/SPACE; TIME; CHARACTER; FOCALISATION/POINT OF VIEW. 1. PLOT The pattern of events and situations in a narrative, as selected and arranged both to emphasise relationships (usually cause and effect) between incidents and to elicit a particular kind of interest in the reader (through surprise or suspense.) A simpler definition would be: the authors design for a novel, in which the story plays a part, as well as the authors choice of language and imagery. The concept of plot was first developed by the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, to describe the properties of drama. His formulation introduced concepts such as the protagonist, or hero, whose fate is the focus of the audiences attention. The hero may be in conflict with an antagonist in the form of a human opponent or of some abstract concept such as fate; or the conflict may be in his own mind. As the plot progresses, it arouses expectations in the reader about the future course of events and how characters will respond to them. A concerned uncertainty about what is going to happen is known as suspense. If what in fact happens violates the readers expectations, it is known as surprise. A plot has unity of action if it is perceived by the reader as a complete and ordered structure of actions, directed towards the intended effect, in which none of the component part (incidents) is unnecessary. Aristotle claimed that it does not constitute a unified plot to present a series of episodes which are strung together because they happen to a single character. Many picaresque narratives, nevertheless, such as Defoes Moll Flanders, have held the interest of the readers for centuries with such an episodic plot structure. A successful development which Aristotle did not foresee is the type of structural unity that can be achieved with double plots, where a subplot - a second story that is complete and interesting in its own right - is introduced to broaden our perspective on the main plot and to enhance rather than diffuse the overall effect. The subplot may have either the relationship of analogy to the main plot, or of counterpoint against it.

The order of a unified plot, as Aristotle pointed out, is a continuous sequence of beginning, middle, and end, and develops through the stages of exposition, amplification, climax, denouement. In many plots the denouement involves a reversal in the heros fortunes, which frequently depends on a discovery, i.e. the recognition by the protagonist of something of great importance hitherto unknown to him or to her. Novelists in particular have at times tried to subvert or ignore the reader's expectation of a causally linked story with a clear beginning, middle, and end, with no loose ends. James Joyce and Virginia Woolf wrote novels that explore the minutiae of a character's experience, rather than telling a tale. However, the tradition that the novel must tell a story, whatever else it may do, survives for the most part intact. English novelist E M Forster, in Aspects of the Novel, defined it thus: The king died and then the queen died. The king died and then the queen died of grief at the king's death. The first is the beginning of a series of events; the second is the beginning of a plot. 2. SETTING/SPACE Setting refers to the part which may be played by location or milieu or historical time in the design of the novel. This is most commonly a reflective or supporting role; it underlines or enhances the nature of the action or the qualities of the characters which form the substance of the novels. Setting may be a means of placing a character in society which allows scope for the action his nature is capable of, or it may generate an atmosphere which has a significant function in the plot. In simple terms, the relations between setting on the one hand and character and events on the other, may be causal, or analogical: features of the setting may be either cause and effect of how characters are and behave; or, more by way of reinforcement and symbolic congruence, a setting may be like a character or characters in some respects. While the examples above tend towards the broadly personifactory, the more conventional, undramatised settings play an important part in promoting verisimilitude and indirect characterization. 3. TIME The amount of time which is allotted in the narrative to the various elements of the story is determined with respect to the amount of time which these elements take up in the story. One must distinguish here between the moment in history when the story is supposed to take place, and the time-span covered by the story, i.e. the fictional time taken up by the action (e.g. a whole generation, a single day.) The most influential theorist of fictional time is Gerard Genette, who isolates three aspects of temporal manipulation or articulation in the movement from story to narrative/text: a) order (refers to the relations between the assumed sequence of events in the story and their actual order of presentation in the text.) Any departures in the order of presentation in the text from the order in which events evidently occurred in the story are termed anachronies, i.e. any chunk of text that is told at a point which is earlier or later than its natural or logical position in the event sequence. They naturally divide into flashbacks and flashforwards. The first (called analepses by Genette) is an achronological movement back in time, so that a chronologically earlier incident is related later in the text; the second (prolepses)is an achronological movement forward in time so that a future event is related textually before its time. The two types of anachrony entailed by them are called correspondingly: retroversions and anticipations. b) Duration (concerns the relations between the extent of time that events are supposed to have actually taken up, and the amount of text devoted to presenting those same events.) Maximum speed is said to constitute ellipsis (no text space is spent on a piece of story duration); the opposite situation is a descriptive pause (text without story duration.) Related terms are summary and scene. In summary the pace is accelerated through a textual compression of a given story period into a relatively short statement of its main features. In scene, story and text duration are conventionally considered identical (e.g. purely dialogue passages.) c) Frequency (how often something happens in story compared with how often it is narrated in text.)it may be: singulative (telling n times what happened n times); repetitive (telling n times what happened once); iterative (telling once what happened n times.) 4. CHARACTER A personage in a narrative (or dramatic work): it is normally expected of a novel that it should have at least one character, and preferable several characters shown in processes of change and social relationship. CHARACTERIZATION: the representation of persons in narrative and dramatic works. It may include direct methods (narrative), like the attribution of qualities in description or commentary, and indirect (or dramatic) methods inviting the reader to infer qualities from characters actions, speech or appearance. A distinction was made by Forster made between FLAT and TWO-DIMENSIONAL characters (which are simple and unchanging) and ROUND characters which are complex, dynamic (i.e. subject to development) and less predictable. Another classification was advanced by W.J. Harvey (Character and the Novel), including protagonists, background figures, intermediate figures.

5. POINT OF VIEW/ FOCALISATION POINT OF VIEW: The way a story gets told - the mode or perspective established by the author by means of which the reader is presented with the characters, actions, setting, and events that constitute the narrative in a work of fiction. A broad division is established between THIRD-PERSON and FIRST-PERSON narratives. In a third-person narrative, the narrator is someone outside the story proper, who refers to all the characters in the story by name, or as he, she, they. In a first person narrative, the narrator speaks as I, and is himself a participant in the story. a) Third-person points of view: 1) the OMNISCIENT point of view: the convention in a work of fiction that the narrator knows everything that needs to be known about the agents and the events; is free to move at will in time and place, to shift from character to character, and to report (or conceal) their speech and actions; and also that the narrator has privileged access to the characters thoughts and feelings and motives, as well as to their overt speech and actions. Within this mode, the narrator may be INTRUSIVE (not only reports, but freely comments on and evaluates the actions and motives of the characters, and sometimes expresses personal views about human life in general: e.g. Dickens and Hardy), or UNINTRUSIVE (IMPERSONAL or OBJECTIVE) (i.e. describes, reports, or shows the action in dramatic scenes without introducing his own comments or judgements, e.g. Hemingway.) 2) the LIMITED point of view: the narrator tells the story in the third-person, but within the confines of what is experienced, thought, felt by a single character (or at the most by very few characters) within the story. Henry James, who refined this mode, described such a selected character as his focus or mirror, or centre of consciousness. In a number of Jamess later works all the events and actions are represented as they unfold before and filter to the reader through the particular awareness of one of his characters. Later writers developed this technique into STREAM-OF-CONSCIOUSNESS narration, in which we are presented with outer observations only as they impinge on the current of thought, memory, feelings, and associations which constitute the observers awareness (e.g. Joyce, Virgina Woolf.) b) First-person points of view: This mode naturally limits the point of view to what the first-person narrator knows, experience, infers, or can find out by talking to other characters. We distinguish between the narrative I who is a fortuitous witness of the matters he relates, or who is a minor or peripheral participant in the story, or who is himself or herself the central character in the story (e.g. Mark Twain, Salinger.) FOCALISATION: Term used in narratology, covering broadly the same semantic sphere as point of view (i.e. the interpretation of the text as grounded, or anchored, coming from a particular speaker at a particular place at a particular time.)The basic contrast is established between external/internal focalisation. External focalisation occurs when the focalisation is from an orientation outside the story (i.e. the orientation is not associable with that of any character within the text.) Internal focalisation occurs inside the represented events, and involves a characterfocaliser.

APPENDIX 3 The Movement from Neo-classicism to Romanticism in Poetry (2) PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY: Robert Burns and William Blake (excerpted from Eugenia Gavriliu, A Course in English Literature Galati, 1999)
The significant transition through which the Age of Reason modulated gradually into the Age of Sensibility continued throughout the last decades of the eighteenth century. The feeling for nature, the haunting love of ruins and the past, the melancholy and musing attitudes and, above all, the need to reveal the inner self, became the prevailing features in the poetry of the pre-Romantics in which tradition and the new trends are closely intermingled. ROBERT BURNS (1759-1796). Generally placed among the English pre-Romantic poets, Burns holds a place apart. Revered as a national poet by the Scottish nation, he is a considerable lyric poet whose talents were largely based on a native ballad tradition. He came in the wake of remarkable predecessors (Allan Ramsay and Robert Fergusson) who gave him a lesson in realism, humour and lyricism which never loses sight of reality. On the other hand, his debt also extends to the literature south of the Border. Far from being an unlettered peasant, he was well read not only in the Bible, Shakespeare and Pope, but also in the SPECTATOR essays, Richardson and Sterne, while Thomson, Gray and Young taught him the discipline necessary to check and direct the spontaneous expression of his poetry. In Burns the influence of a half-foreign nationality and the vigour of a son of the Scottish soil quickened the germ of originality. The poet was born at Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland as the eldest among the seven children of a poor Scottish cotter. Educated by his father and the local schoolmaster, he received little schooling but he reaped the benefit of the literary traditions of his country, and of England. He worked on his fathers farm from an early age becoming a skilled ploughman by the age of fifteen. His inclination for literature developed early and at sixteen he wrote his first song and embarked upon his first love affair. His father dying from tuberculosis in 1784, Robert and his brother Gilbert salvaged what they could to buy the farm of Mossgiel. His affair with Jean Armour resulted in a child but, at her familys insistence, the two separated and Robert turned to Mary Campbell. During this period he wrote some of his best work: THE COTTERS SATURDAYS NIGHT, THE TWA DOGS, HALLOWEEN, THE JOLLY BEGGARS, TO A MOUSE, TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY. The work on the farm being meagrely successful, Burns decided to emigrate to Jamaica with Mary Campbell, and in order to get the necessary money he printed the first edition of his poems in 1786. Thus, the so-called Kilmarnock edition made him famous and took him to Edinburgh where his modesty and conviviality made him very popular. The appreciation of literary Edinburgh helped Burns forget the death of his dear Mary while the second edition of his poems brought him 500, enabled him to settle down on a small farm at Ellisland and to marry Jean Armour. Farming proving unsuccessful again, he secured the office of excise man at the Dumfries customs in 1791. His enthusiasm with the French Revolution brought him in conflict with the authorities and nearly cost him his place when he brought two cannons and sent them as a present to the French Republic. Meanwhile he contributed some 200 songs to James Johnsons SCOTS MUSICAL MUSEUM, among which the famous AULD LANG SYNE, SCOTS WHO HAE, A RED, RED ROSE. No other single poet in literature produced so many lyrics that compulsively sing themselves. Burns died at the age of thirty-seven broken in health and fortune, leaving behind him a literary work of unique value. All the elements of Romanticism: sensibility, personal effusion, love of nature, wealth of imagination, sympathetic interest in the humblest things in nature are to be found in the work of Burns. However, he has none of the romantic pangs of the mind and soul. His strong, robust self renders him immune from any excesses either of melancholy or ecstasy. Most of Burnss verse appeared in POEMS, CHIEFLY IN THE SCOTTISH DIALECT, of which three gradually expanding editions appeared successively in 1786, 1787 and 1793. Any attempt at analysing Burnss poetry has to face the abundance and variety of his poetic achievements. A classification according to the major themes adopted here for didactic purposes causes the poetry of Burns to fall into the following divisions: a) Social poetry. A sense of liberty is the animating force of his poetic genius which ranks Burns in the same line with such proletarian writers as William Langland and John Bunyan5. Burns is deeply aware of the dignity and equality of men and voices the conviction that social rank does not determine mans real worth. The poets attitude varies from the glorification of the simple and humble life in THE COTTERS SATURDAY NIGHT,

through the vivacious mock-heroic animal tale in THE TWA DOGS, to the wild bravado song in THE JOLLY BEGGARS, to culminate in the pathetic cry for equality in FOR ATHAT AND ATHAT. THE COTTERS SATURDAY NIGHT follows the current taste for sentimentalism in its pictures of rural simplicity, homely virtues and praise of unaffected rural life. Burns reveals himself as a rustic poet who wrote when Scotland was on the verge of the Industrial Revolution, hence the irresistible temptation to sentimentalise over an idealised country-life. The principle that inherent worth determines the rank of man is voiced in the often quoted line: An honest mans the noblest work of God. THE TWA DOGS relates, in the manner of a beast mediaeval fable, a conversation between Caesar, a gentlemans Newfoundland dog, and Luath, a poor mans mongrel, on the social inequality in the country. This dogs eye view of mans world is carefully handled so as to make the latter appear the more contemptuous and abusive. The two dogs part in the end rejoicd they were na men, but dogs. THE JOLLY BEGGARS, published after the poets death in 1799, depicts the sturdy independence and courageous defiance of all social conventions of a group of beggars carousing in an ale-house. Brief descriptive moments are linked together in challenging songs resounding with revolutionary motifs. All institutions, all conventions, anything that limits the freely chosen human intercourse, are abandoned in roaring professions of anarchist independence. FOR ATHAT AND ATHAT voices the equalitarian cry of the French Revolution, looking forward to the days when class discriminations will end and all men will be brothers. b) Satirical poems. Burnss poetry breathes a spirit of irreverence which spares neither church nor clergy. With peculiar verve he pokes fun at the devil, makes free with the theme of eternal damnation and laughs at the secret troubles which haunt the Puritan conscience. ADDRESS TO THE DEIL reduces Miltons Satan to the folklore devil in an attack against the rigid Calvinism of the Scottish church. The poem is a fine example of Burnss technique of criticising theological dogmas by translating them into the realities of daily, ordinary experience. HOLY WILLIES PRAYER, one of Burnss greatest satirical poems, is a monologue in which Willie, a parish elder, is overheard at his prayers. Willie is convinced that he is one of Gods elect and that his salvation is assured regardless of his moral conduct. Willies filthy soul and his hypocritical religion are laid bare in solemn, biblical rhythms6. The target of Burnss satire here is again the Calvinist doctrine of predestination and of salvation of predestined grace regardless of mans behaviour but, as the poem proceeds, it acquires generalising force, Willie standing for universal religious hypocrisy and selfishness. TO A LOUSE, ON SEEING ONE ON A LADYS BONNET AT CHURCH is another satirical approach to the old theme of social inequity. The ladys aristocratic airs are confronted with the vulgar louse which reveals pretence and hypocrisy in their true light. Her airs and graces are stripped away in a tone of kind amusement and the poem concludes with a simple, epigrammatic note: O wad some lowr the giftie gie us/ To see oursels as others see us!/ It wad frae monie a blunder free us/ An foolish notion;/ Wat airs in dress an gait wad laee us,/ An een Devotion! c) Patriotic lyrics. Burnss love for his native land calls forth various responses on the part of the poet. MY HEARTS IN THE HIGHLANDS voices a Scots intense love for his native hills though Burns was a native of the Lowlands. SCOTS WHA HAE also known as BRUCES ADDRESS BEFORE BANNOCKBURN celebrates the Scottish victory over the English at Bannockburn in the 14th century. Burnss hostility at contemporary reactionary forces is obvious in the prose conclusion to the poem: So may God defend the cause of Truth and Liberty as he did that day! THE TREE OF LIBERTY echoes the ideals of the French Revolution which are contrasted with the life of the oppressed people: A scene o sorrow mixed wi strife. Burnss devotion to the Stuart pretenders expressed in such poems as CHARLIE, HES MY DARLING should be interpreted as a longing for the national independence of the by-gone patriarchal days rather, than an attachment to monarchy, which was so alien to his spirit. d) Nature poems. The poetry of Burns is in close touch with all the human element in life. The keen love of nature intermingles with a sympathetic interest in the humblest things in it. TO A FIELD MOUSE bridges the gap between the world of men and that of the animal in the similar unexpected misfortune befalling both. The poet expresses his regret to the mouse, the wee, sleekit, cowrin, timirous beastie, on turning her up with the plough, and muses over the hostile forces that thwart the ideals of both animal and man. This fellow-feeling is conveyed in well-controlled, proverbial lines: The best laid schemes o mice an men/ Gang aft a-glay,/ An leae us nought but grief an pain/ For promisd joy. TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY displays a similar disposition towards a flower. The poets crushing of the blossom with his plough becomes symbolic of mans fate in a hostile environment. The poem bears the stamp of Burnss complying to the new sensibility since he was here posturing as a man of feeling, one that Melancholy has marked for her own as Gray whom he thought highly of, had described in his ELEGY.

THE AULD FARMERS NEW-YEAR MORNING SALUTATION TO HIS AULD MARE MAGGIE recounts a farmers thoughts as he brings the traditional extra food to his animal at the start of the new year. The poem displays a realistic unsentimental sense of the shared labour of animal and man which remained unequalled in Romantic poetry. e) Lyrical songs. The poet of good-natured frankness, Burns has made of his poetry a full and open confession of himself. His private life, his friendships, his love affairs, his marriage and his paternal feelings are all reflected in his lyrical poetry. A huge amount of love lyrics which have rendered Burns the worlds supreme love lyricist from courting in GREEN GROW THE RUSHES to a happy requited love in I LOVE MY HEAN and OF A THE AIRTS THE WIND CAN BLOW up to the ecstasies in A RED, RED ROSE and COMING THROUGH THE RYE. AE FOND KISS is a sad lyric of a lost romance, while TO MARY IN HEAVEN is an elegy upon the death of Mary Campbell JOHN ANDERSON MY JO is a touching piece of loyalty and tenderness in a husband and wife in their old age. WILLIE BREWD A PECK O MAUT has remained the favourite drinking song of Britain since the days of Burns, while AULD LANG SYNE has become the reunion and parting song of the entire English-speaking world. Thus Burns took the whole corpus of Scottish folk song and reshaped it, providing suitable words for song and dance tunes, making new songs out of fragmentary remains, reworking old ones with an assurance and a poetic splendour never matched by any other poet. f) Narrative poems of folk inspiration. Burns, who had been born and bred among the Scottish legends and folk tales, had a sympathy for rustic superstition which he treated in a mock-serious tone combining the realistic with the imaginary. TAM OSHANTER, the famous narrative of folklore inspiration relates how Tam, having drunk heavily before riding home from Ayr, comes upon a witches dance in the ruins of Alloway Kirk. Found out, Tom is given a wild chase until his mare reaches the middle of the Bridge of Doon beyond which no evil spirit can pass. A witch snatches off the mares tail, but Meg, the mare, and her master escape the infernal powers. The variations of speed and tone of the octosyllabic couplets, the skill in creating the proper atmosphere for each part as the poem develops, reveal Burns as a master of narrative poetry. JOHN BARLEYCORN has all the sterling strength and frankness of folk poetry cast into the ballad form. The poet seizes upon the personification of barley as the grain from which malt liquor is made, to symbolise the invincible spirit of the people which the three mighty kings cannot subdue. To the foreign and even to the uninitiated Englishman the language of Burnss Lowland Scots poems offers some difficulty. The reader finds a glossary indispensable; but once the linguistic obstacles surmounted, the use of dialect is discovered to lend greater charm to the work bringing forth a peasant-like atmosphere of shrewd observation and genial good nature. His language conveys a conscious sense of the complexity of life, a humorous knowledge of human nature, an old, timeless wisdom. His poems are poetry made out of the spoken language free from poetic diction and from poetical subject-matter. Like Chaucers CANTERBURY TALES, Burnss comic and satiric poetry creates, through rhythm and imagery, a world of particular characters, behaving, talking in particular scenes.7 We listen not only to dialogues or monologues, to the characters talking, but to the poet himself talking as eye-witness and commentator on the life he is presenting and of which he is himself a part. With the notable exception of Byrons DON JUAN, Burnss realistic and satiric vein had but little effect on the English poetry in the 19th century. It was his lyrical songs, felt to be Scottish counterparts of Thomas Moores IRISH MELODIES, that the romantic taste appreciated and that lyric was what was chiefly needed to melt the eighteenth-century frost8. WILLIAM BLAKE (1757-1827). Born and bred in London, William Blake was early apprenticed to an engraver and earned his livelihood by continuing this trade for himself with the help of his wife, an illiterate woman, but about the most perfect wife on record, as Swineburne put it. In 1783 he published his LYRICAL SKETCHES, a collection of poems which impress through their freshness of feeling, freedom of metre and delicate harmony. The SONGS OF INNOCENCE appeared in 1789, the SONGS OF EXPERIENCE were published in 1794, and the later years the so-called prophetic books were printed. Except for his first volume of poems, Blakes poems and prophetic books were etched by himself on copper plates, with decorative designs. An engraver by profession, his work as a poet was little known in his lifetime. Besides his own poems, Blake made and engraved designs and illustrations of many works, notably Youngs NIGHT THOUGHTS, Blairs GRAVE, the Biblical BOOK OF JOB, Miltons PARADISE LOST, and the DIVINA COMEDIA. The designs reveal his greatness as an artist. The extreme originality of his work kept him apart from public recognition. His own age dismissed him as a competent engraver with a bent for eccentric verse. His reputation increased by the turn of the 19 th century and William Butler Yeats, while admitting the enigmatic character of his work, highly praised it. James Joyce has explored the vistas opened by Blake until, at last, our age has conferred him great reputation, Blake being a highly discussed poet in the 20th century.

What follows is an oversimplified attempt at analysing the work of this difficult poet9. Blakes intellectual background broke violently from the cultural pattern of his age. Blake immersed himself in readings such as the HEBREW CABBALA*, alchemical and astrological writings. The mystical writing of William Law asserting the fundamental unity of all existence and the concept of good and evil as representations of Gods power and love were also influential upon Blakes vision. He turned to account ideas derived from the Swedish visionary and religious thinker Swedenborg and from the German mystic Boehme. The potent influence of OSSIAN can easily be traced in the similarity of the melodious, sonorous names. But whatever influence may have been at work in shaping Blakes universe, they bear the hall-mark of the strong originality and the innate power of mythmaking with which he recreated everything that he set his hand to. All Blakes vast mythology is talking exclusively about the tumultuous forces within the individual human being symbolised as Albion, the sleeping giant. Blake observes four functions in each human being which he personifies as Los (Intuition), Urizen (Reason), Luvah (Emotion) and Tharmas (Sensation). Four Mighty Ones are in every Man, says Blake and, anticipating much of Freuds theory on the danger of repression, advocates a release of all inhibition imposed by Reason (Urizen). Every restraint means deformation to Blake while the unchained spirit will achieve true balance and creative harmony. We can find in his prose aphorisms, a form of which he was master, sudden flashes like the following in THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN AND HELL, that takes us directly to the heart of his doctrine: Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained; and the restrainer or reason usurps its place and governs the unwilling. The dream world was also explored by Blake. In his vision it consists of an upper part, Beulah, the realm of sweet dream-nymphs of the idyllic slumber. Underneath lies Ulro, the barren waste of the repressed functions which appear like dream-ghosts. Mans way to psychic salvation plunges him into the depths of the unconscious life in order to release and develop the repressed elements. Blake represents this idea symbolically through a great wheel that descends through Beulah, Generation (the physical world in which we live) and Ulro, to surge upward to Eden, the state of the purified and harmonious psyche. In applying his vision to the universe Blake analyses such events of his day as the American War of Independence or the French Revolution in terms of his own mythology, conveying an image of a world shaken by the momentous conflict between oppressing authority (Urizen) and rebelling, uninhibited forces. Blakes literary beginning, however, displayed but little of the ecstatic and weird fantasy of the prophetic books. POETICAL SKETCHES (1783) was Blakes first work consisting of poems written between the ages of twelve and twenty and representing his apprenticeship. Reminiscences from Shakespeare (MY SILKS AND FINE ARRAY) intermingle with echoes from the Graveyard School (FAIR ELEANOR; TO THE EVENING STAR). GWIN, KING OF NORWAY follows the Scandinavian verse of Gray. There is an Elizabethan freshness and a lyrical touch in such lines as these: My silks and fine array,/ My smiles and languished air,/ By love are drivn away;/ And mournful lean Despair;/ Brings me yew to deck my grave:/ Such end true lovers have. SONGS OF INNOCENCE (1789) represents a poet who is wholly himself seeking his own visions of life. The poems in SONGS OF INNOCENCE deal with childhood as the symbol of untarnished innocence that ought to be, but which in modern civilisation cannot be, part of the adult response the world. There is a sense of everything in its proper place, of content and order and spontaneity ruling together enhanced by the elemental simplicity of the language, by the regular rhythmic patterns. The poems display an imaginative picture of the state of innocence derived from the Bible, pastoral tradition and the growing Romantic fascination with childhood and a supposed primitive condition of human perfection in innocence. The universe in SONGS OF INNOCENCE is seen through the eyes of a child, felt through his senses, judged through his mind; and this child is the symbol of the most delicate and courageous intuition of the human mind, just like the soul of a peasant in those moments of sober exaltation which will be with Wordsworth the very source of poetry. THE LAMB sees the innocence in the child as kindred to that of the lamb of Christ. NURSES SONG praises the happiness of the uninhibited childhood freely playing. The final lines in THE CHIMNEY SWEEPER: So, if all do their duty, they need not fear harm, far from being versified moral platitudes, are a half-ironic, half-yearning vision of a world in which all men behave as Blake would have them behave. The SONGS OF EXPERIENCE (1794) are in a marked contrast with the precious collection. The theme in these poems is the notion that the conventions of civilisation represented intolerable restrictions on the individual personality and produced every kind of corruption and evil. There is no road back to innocence, since innocence, by its very nature, is easily led astray, only a road forward, through experience, to a comprehensive vision. SONGS OF EXPERIENCE are clearly the product of disillusion and present a sad picture of what man has made of man 10. The brightness of the earlier work gives place to a sense of gloom and mystery and of the power of evil. They depict the
*

Cabbala = a mediaeval system of Jewish theosophy, mysticism and magic (the origination of the world by a series of hierarchically descending radiations from the Godhead through intermediate stages to matter) marked by belief in creation through emanation and a cipher method of interpreting Scripture.

actual world of suffering mankind by means of concrete, evocative symbols. Many of these poems are deliberate responses to the similar pieces in SONGS OF INNOCENCE. NURSES SONG counters the identical poems in SONGS OF INNOCENCE. The nurse contemplates her own ruined life and concludes with the idea that the innocence of childhood is followed by the hypocrisy of mature age. THE TIGER counters THE LAMB. The tiger is a symbol to the fierce forces in the human soul and in the universe. Blake sees in the apparent evil and malevolence of the tiger another manifestation of the unity of God displayed here in its power and energy. Power and energy are necessary to achieve final fulfilment. There is both beauty and terror in the elemental forces of nature as later works of Blake proclaim. That section of THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN AND HELL entitled PROVERBS OF HELL in which Hell is the symbol of liberty and spontaneous energy provides a clue to the meaning of the symbol of the tiger: The pride of the peacock is the glory of God. The lust of the goat is the bounty of God. The wrath of the lion is the wisdom of God. The nakedness of woman is the work of God. The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, Are portions of eternity, too great for the eye of man. These first poems contain such elements of Romanticism as the sense of wonder, the contemplation of nature through fresh eyes, intimate sympathy with the varieties of existence, the absorbing sense of the self. Alongside these traditional trends Blake introduces for the first time the concept of his universe torn between Inspiration and Reason. Inspiration is surrounded by humanitarianism, personal and political freedom, emotion, creative activity. Reason is surrounded by opposing attitudes, selfishness, political and individual restraint, cold calculation, static rigidity. Blake will continue the conflict in terms of his own mythology in the prophetic books. Though the form is still simple and the images often familiar, symbolic and visionary elements are more frequent while the change of rhythms in the last line often provides a note both haunting and sinister. D. H. Harding11 has warned about the danger of missing much of the meaning in those apparently comprehensible poems by ignoring their relation to the obviously esoteric writing in the prophetic books. Most of the writings in the prophetic books reflect Blakes struggles to establish order among apparently conflicting aspects of his own personality expressed as symbolic figures and situations. The personal issues with which he wrestled seemed to him to be also salient problems of human life. They included questions of the proper place of intellectual control in the total economy of the personality, the place of impulse, the relations between authority and those it controls, the relation of the sexes, the poison of jealousy and the overwhelming importance of forgiveness. As pointed out by the same D. H. Harding, one can draw a parallel between the prophetic books and Blakes struggle to understand and harmonise the features of his own personality. TIRIEL was the first prophetic book which remained in manuscript until printed by William M. Rossetti in 1874. The poem has a full story line and contains Blakes proclamation that an old age is dying and a new one is coming to birth. THE BOOK OF THEL (1789) presents for the first time the theme that will prevail in all Blakes subsequent works: the soul is eternal but must pass through the wheel of Destiny, through Generation (Blakes symbol for the physical world we live in) to surge up to Eden, i.e. the state of imaginative power and balanced harmony. THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN AND HELL (probably printed c. 1790-95) considers good and evil as synonymous for passivity and energy, both of which must be fully developed to achieve life. Analysing PARADISE LOST in terms of his concepts, Blake sees Miltons God as Urizen, the great forbidder, and Miltons Satan as Los, energy, inspiration and revolt. Self-restraint is considered not strength of will, but weakness of desire. VISIONS OF THE DAUGHTERS OF ALBION (1793) insists that everyone is entitled to the most ideal union that he or she can secure despite such frequent obstacles as jealousy, hypocrisy, abusive authority. Blakes Albion is the sleeping self composed of the harmonious balance of all elements. The indebtedness to Macphersons OSSIAN can be easily traced in the similarity of names. Though Blake was a visionary influenced by the main undergrounds of European mystical thought, he was also a man of his time who responded characteristically and sometimes violently to the main political and social events of his age, notably the French Revolution and the American War of Independence. A SONG OF LIBERTY (c. 1793) considers the current unrest throughout Western Europe, the prelude to the momentous toppling over of all repression by the powers of innate energy. AMERICA (1793) represents Blakes vision of the American Revolution as the wild upsurge of Orc (another name for Luvah, Blakes personification of Emotion) against Albions Angel (the repressive George III.) EUROPE (1794) figures Orc as the spirit of the French Revolution freeing himself from Asia, the symbol of oppression.

THE BOOK OF URIZEN (1794) is Blakes first attempt at an overall explanation of mans total psychic problems. Blake personified the four functions which he identified in each human being as: Los (Intuition), Urizen (Reason), Luvah (Emotion) and Tharmas (Sensation). Blake sees the struggle between Urizen and Los as taking place simultaneously within the individual soul and within the entire spirit of mankind. Reason usurps the world of inspiration (Los) and his lack of imaginative power results in terrible errors imposing superstitions and restraint in order to maintain his dominance. Los establishes an evolutionary cycle through Revolt personified as Fuzon that will eventually bring the new age of perfection. THE BOOK OF AHANIA (1789) continues the narrative thread from Urizen, hence the title of THE SECOND BOOK OF URIZEN. Fuzon, another name for Orc, i.e. Revolt, is the leader of the revolt against his father Urizen. Fuzon is crucified upon the Tree of Mystery, a symbol of youthful energy fettered by the restrictive powers of the laws of Reason. THE BOOK OF LOS (1795) recounts much of the previous two books from the point of view of Los. The personification of light in the dark world of Urizen, Los, the spirit of poetry, starts the constructive process that will carry man to perfection. THE SONG OF LOS (1795) consists of two parts: AFRICA and ASIA, which together with AMERICA and EUROPE form Blakes tetralogy upon the four continents. Africa is a symbol of Beulah, the realm of primitive innocence and freedom which is invaded by Urizen who tries to impose wisdom and happiness through reason. But a new liberating spirit is in the air and, significantly, AFRICA concludes with the opening line in AMERICA. Asia is the equivalent of Ulro, Blakes symbol for a nightmarish wasteland where the repressed functions of man erupt in terrifying dream ghosts. Ors is rising against Urizen and the poem concludes with the ecstatic contemplation of the revolutionary explosion. In the last prophetic books Blake attempted to see all four functions at work through complete development and final harmony. THE FOUR ZOAS, probably written between 1797 and 1804, remained in manuscript form until Yeats printed a revised edition in 1893. The work consists of nine Night, a counterpart to Edward Youngs NIGHT THOUGHT for which Blake is known to have prepared the illustrations in 1797. The word Zoa is taken from Greek in the meaning of living creature. Blake sees each Zoa engaged in fearful battle with the other three. The total personality appears as Albion, the sleeper. The work is essentially the dream of Albion revealing the theme of the fall of man in the fearful contest of each function for dominance, the redemption of Man through Christ, and Mans final integration in an apocalyptic vision in which the four Zoas assume their rightful position and responsibility. Though full appreciation of Blakes prophetic books is possible only to these who have worked out in detail his intricate system of myth and symbol, the less specialised reader can respond to his unusual combinations of the exotic and the everyday, and the beat and surge of his prophetic eloquence as in the following lines from THE FOUR ZOAS: But loss and Enitharmon delighted in the moony spaces of Eno, Nine times they livd among the forests, feeding on sweet fruits, And nine bright spaces wanderd, weaving mazes of delight, Snaring the wild goats for their milk, they eat the flesh of lambs And male and female, naked and ruddy as the pride of summer. MILTON (1808) was meant to parallel PARADISE LOST, Blake producing the exquisite illustration for Miltons poem in the same year. The poem, consisting in two books, portrays Milton in Eternity who realises his error of having worshipped Jehovah-Urizen (Reason and Repression). In punishment he is separated from his Sixfold Emanation (his three wives and three daughters) with whom he will eventually be reunited when he rejects his Selfhood. Blake introduces the concept of Selfhood in the meaning of what we believe ourselves to be and what we persuade other people that we are. The plea for casting off the selfhood urges the individual to reveal his genuine personality previously concealed and repressed. The opening hymn, And did these feet in ancient time, associating a primitive pastoral past with the liberated future, was the only part of Blakes prophetic books to become popular. It was sung by the crowds in the London streets during the enthusiasm over the 1945 victory of the Labour party. JERUSALEM, THE EMANATION OF THE GIANT ALBION, written probably in 1804, was not engraved earlier than 1818. The Romantic plea for imagination which made up the concluding lines in MILTON is paid full tribute to in JERUSALEM. The theme of the poem is the Fall of Man and his regeneration through following the Inspiration. The concluding lines praise the perfect man with the four Zoas properly restored in the human psyche. Blake points forward to Shelley in PROMETHEUS UNBOUND in his insistence on the fact that Mans weakness and baseness are an illusion produced by hate and selfishness. Since mans nature is essentially good he has only to assert the fullness of his true nature to achieve immortality.

In the prophetic books Blake conforms to no conventional means of artistic expression. His style has often a Biblical grandeur. The rhythm of the verse is ample, free, irregular, instinct with unequalled majesty, the kind of which was to be used by Walt Whitman. His rhythms are at the same time forceful and supple, some based on ballad metres, some metrically free and influenced by the Bible, but all returning again and again to the rhythm of speech. His language, full of symbolism and specialised terms, demands a reader long training in deciphering it, but once the veil of mystery removed, he will be rewarded with some of the most exquisite lyrics in English. Blakes unique and exceptional creation links him with the Romantics through his urging plea for Imagination. There also runs through his work a strain of protest against tyranny and repression of all kinds and a plea for social and intellectual freedom, shared by all the Romantic poets. In the poetry of Blake, the Romantic Movement is imaginatively and energetically foreshadowed.