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obtained the right to criticise the conduct and measures of Ministers and Parliament and the King; and, after the struggle in 1771, the right to publish and comment on the debates in the two Houses.
The great English Journals, the Morning Chronicle, the Post, the Herald, and the Times, gave an enormous impulse within the next twenty years to the production of books, and created a new class of literary men—the Journalists. Later on, in 1802, the publication of the Edinburgh Review, and afterwards of the Quarterly Review and Blackwood's Magazine, started another kind of prose writing, and by their criticisms on new books improved and stimulated literature.
4. Communication with the Continent had increased during the peaceable times of Walpole, and the wars that followed made it still easier. With its increase, two new and great outbursts of literature told upon England. France sent the works of Montesquieu, of Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, D'Alembert, and the rest of the liberal thinkers who were called the Encyclopædists, to influence and quicken English literature on all the great subjects that belong to the social and political life of man. Afterwards, the fresh German movement, led by Lessing and others, and carried on by Goethe and Schiller, added its impulse to the poetical school that arose in England along with the French Revolution. These were the general causes of the rapid growth of literature from the time of George III.”
“ It seems as if a simple and natural prose were a thing which we might expect to come easy to communities of men, and to come early to them; but we know from experience that it is not so. Poetry and the poetic form of expression naturally precede prose. We see this in ancient Greece. We see prose forming itself there gradually and with labor; we see it passing through more than one stage before it attains to thorough propriety and lucidity, long after forms of consummate adequacy have already been reached and used in poetry. It is a people's growth in practical life, and its native turn for developing this life and for making progress in it which awaken the desire for a good prose—a prose, plain, direct, intelligible, serviceable.
The practical genius of our people could not but urge irresistibly to the production of a real prose style, because, for the purposes of modern
a life, the old English prose, the prose of Milton and Taylor, is cumbersome, unavailable, impossible. A dead language, the Latin, for a long time furnished the nations of Europe with an instrument of the kind superior to any which they had yet discovered in their own tongue. But such nations as England and France, called to a great historic life, and with powerful interests and gifts, were sure to feel the need of having a sound prose of their own, and to bring such a prose forth. They brought it forth in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; France first, afterwards England.”—Matthew Arnold.
THE NOVEL.-“ The novel is perhaps the most remarkable of the forms literature now took. It began in the reign of George II. No other books have ever produced so plentiful an offspring as the novels of Richardson, Fielding, and Smollett. The novel arranges and combines round the passion of love and its course between two or more persons a number of events and of characters, which, in their action on one another, develop the plot of the story and bring about a sad or a happy close. The story may be laid at any time, in any class of society, in any place. The whole world and the whole of human life lie before it as its subject. Its vast sphere accounts for its vast production—its human interest for its vast numbers of readers.
SAMUEL RICHARDSON, 1689–1761, while Pope was yet alive, wrote in the form of letters, and in two months' time, Pamela, 1740, and afterwards Clarissa Harlowe, 1748, and Sir Charles Grandison. The second is the best, and all are celebrated for their subtile and tender drawing of the human heart. They are novels of Sentiment; and their intense minuteness of detail gives them reality. Henry Fielding and Tobias Smollett followed him with the novel of Real life, full of events, adventures, fun, and vivid painting of various kinds of life in England.
FIELDING, 1707-1754, began with Joseph Andrews, 1742; SMOLLETT, 1721-1771, with Roderick Random, 1748. Both wrote many other stories, but in truthful representation of common life, and in the natural growth and winding up of the story, Fielding's Tom Jones, 1749, is our English master-piece and model. Ten
thus sufficed to create an entirely new literature. LAURENCE STERNE, 1713–1768, in his Tristram Shandy, 1759, introduced the novel of Character in which events are few. His peculiar vein of labyrinthine humor and falsetto sentiment has been imitated, but never attained. We mention Johnson's Rasselas, 1759, as the first of our Didactic tales, and the Fool of Quality, by HENRY BROOKE, as the first of our Theological tales.
Under George III. new forms of fiction appeared. GOLDSMITH's Vicar of Wakefield, 1766, was the first, and perhaps the most charming, of all those novels which we may call Idyllic, which describe the loves and the simple lives of country people in country scenery.
Miss BURNEY's Evelina, 1778, and Cecilia were the first novels of Society. MRS. INCHBALD's Simple Story, 1791, introduced the novel of Passion, and MRS. RADCLIFFE, in her wild and picturesque tales, the Romantic novel.”
BIBLIOGRAPHY. RICHARDSON,—D, Masson's Brit, Novelists; Mrs. Oliphant's Hist, Sketches; L. Stephen's Hours in a Library; Fort. Rev., v, 12, 1869; Fraser's Mag., v. 62. 1860, and v. 71, 1865; West. Rev., v. 91, 1869,
FIELDING.—Thackeray's Eng. Humorists; Whipple's Essays and Reviews; Forsyth's Novels and Novelists; Scott's Lives of the Novelists; Black. Mag., v. 87, 1860; Fraser's Mag., v. 57, 1858, and v. 61, 1860; N. Br. Rev., v. 24, 1855; Quar. Rev., V. 98, 1856.
STERNE.-P. Fitzgerald's Life of; Thack.'s Eng, Humorists; Scott's Lives of the Novelists; Tuckerman's Essays; Black. Mag., v. 97, 1865; Nat. Rev., v. 18, 1864; N. A. Rev., v. 81, 1865, and v. 107, 1868; Quar. Rev., v. 94, 1854.
From Fielding's Tom Jones. Mr. Jones, being at last in a state of good spirits, agreed to carry an appointment, which he had before made, into execution. This was to attend Mrs. Miller and her youngest daughter into the gallery at the playhouse, and to admit Mr. Partridge as one of the company. For, as Jones had really that taste for humor which many affect, he expected to enjoy much entertainment in the criticisms of Partridge; from whom he expected the simple dictates of nature, unimproved, indeed, but likewise unadulterated, by art.
In the first row, then, of the first gallery, did Mr. Jones, Mrs. Miller, her youngest daughter, and Partridge take their places. Partridge immediately declared it was the finest place he had ever been in. When the first music was played, he said it was a wonder how so many fiddlers could play at one time without putting one another out. While the fellow was lighting the upper candles, he cried out to Mrs. Miller, “Look, look, madam; the very picture of the man in the end of the common prayer-book, before the gunpowder treason service.” Nor could he help observing with a sigh, when all the candles were lighted, that here were candles enough burned in one night to keep an honest poor family for a whole twelvemonth.
As soon as the play, which was Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, began, Partridge was all attention, nor did he break silence till the entrance of the ghost; upon which he asked Jones what man that was in the strange dress; “something,” said he, “like what I have seen in a picture. Sure it is not armor, is it?”
Jones answered, “That is the ghost.'
To which Partridge replied with a smile, “ Persuade me to that, sir, if you can. Though I can't say I ever actually saw a ghost in my life, yet I am certain I should know one, if I saw him, better than that comes to. No, no, sir; ghosts don't appear in such dresses as that, neither.” In this mistake, which caused much laughter in the neighborhood of Partridge, he was suffered to continue till the scene between the ghost and Hamlet, when Partridge gave that credit to Mr. Garrick which he had denied to Jones, and fell into so violent a trembling that his knees knocked against each other.
Jones asked him what was the matter, and whether he was afraid of the warrior upon the stage.
“O la! sir,” said he, “I perceive now it is what you told me. I am not afraid of anything, for I know it is but a play; and, if it was really a ghost, it could do one no harm at such a distance, and in so much company; and yet, if I was frightened, I am not the only person.”
Why, who,” cries Jones, “dost thou take to be such a coward here besides thyself ?”
“Nay, you may call me coward if you will; but, if that little man there upon the stage is not frightened, I never saw any man frightened in my life. Ay, ay; go along with you! Ay, to be sure! Who's fool, then? Will you? Lud have mercy upon such foolhardiness! What
ever happens it is good enough for you. Follow you? I'd follow the devil as soon. Nay, perhaps it is.the devil—for they say he can put on what likeness he pleases. Oh! here he is again. No farther! No, you have gone far enough already; farther than I'd have gone for all the king's dominions.” Jones offered to speak, but Partridge cried, “Hush, hush, dear sir, don't you hear him?” And, during the whole speech of the ghost, he sat with his eyes fixed partly on the ghost and partly on Hamlet, and with his mouth open; the same passions which succeeded each other in Hamlet succeeding likewise in him.
When the scene was over, Jones said, “Why, Partridge, you exceed my expectations. You enjoy the play more than I conceived possible.”
Nay, sir,” answered Partridge, “if you are not afraid of the devil, I can't help it; but, to be sure, it is natural to be surprised at such things, though I know there is nothing in them: not that it was the ghost that surprised me, neither; for I should bave known that to have been only a man in a strange dress; but, when I saw the little man so frightened himself, it was that which took hold of me."
“And dost thou imagine then, Partridge,” cries Jones, that he was really frightened?"
“Nay, sir,” said Partridge, “did not you yourself observe afterwards, when he found it was his own father's spirit, and how he was murdered in the garden, how his fear forsook him by degrees, and he was struck dumb with sorrow, as it were, just as I should have been, had it been my own case.
But hush! O la! what noise is that? There he is again. Well, to be certain, though I know there is nothing at all in it, I am glad I am not down yonder where those men are.” Then, turning his eyes again upon Hamlet, “Ay, you may draw your sword; what signifies a sword against the power of the devil?”
During the second act, Partridge made very few remarks. He greatly admired the fineness of the dresses; nor could he help observing upon the king's countenance. · Well,” said he, “how people may be deceived by faces! Who would think, by looking in the king's face, that be had ever committed a murder?” He then inquired after the ghost; but Jones, who intended he should be surprised, gave him no other satisfaction than that he might possibly see him again soon, and in a flash of fire.
Partridge sat in fearful expectation of this; and now, when the ghost made his next appearance, Partridge cried out, “There, sir, now; what say you now? is he frightened now or no? As much frightened as you think me; and, to be sure, nobody can help some fears. I would not be in so bad a condition as—what's his name?-Squire Hamlet is there,