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Das großangelegte Werk Martin Werners “Die Entstehung des christlichen Dogmas”1 hat mir einen starken Eindruck gemacht. Wenn ich auch den wichtigen theologischen Streitfragen gegenüber mir kein Urteil anmaße, so weiß ich doch, was eine scharfe und klare Beweisführung ist, die ohne vorgefaßte Meinung gerade auf ihr Ziel losgeht. Vor allem aber ist mir eines dabei deutlich geworden: daß die Geschichte kein einfaches Continuum ist, in dem Sinne, daß das Neue einfach an das unmittelbar Vorhergehende anknüpft, sondern daß sich Gegenwärtiges, Vergangenes, Vorvergangenes und Längstvergangenes zu einem unentwirrbaren Zauberknäuel verflechten, den so und so oft die menschliche Phantasie mit ihren buntesten Fäden umspinnt.
It is quite natural that most mediaevalists who have up to the present dealt extensively with problems presented by the Oxford version of the Chanson de Roland should not have had an active personal interest in mediaeval Hispanic studies per se. True it is that members of the last generation of Roland specialists, notably the historian P. Boissonnade in extending J. Bédier's theories, have brought into sharp focus the importance for Roland studies of the eleventh- and early twelfth-century French crusades into Spain against the Moors, especially in aid of, or collaboration with the Cid's overlord, Alfonso VI of Leon and Castile. And in this connection Bédier added his voice to those who have admitted the possibility that the Oxford Roland may have been composed after the turn of the century.
In 1941 I published and translated in this periodical an early Irish text which I called “The Exile of Conall Corc” because owing to a defective beginning the title had not been preserved. In the introduction to the text I listed among the sources dealing with Conall Corc, who as an early and semi-historical king of Munster supposedly reigned about 400 A.D., an account of him which the editor Kuno Meyer entitled “Conall Corc, and the Corco Luigde,” since, being an extract from a larger work, it lacked a separate heading of its own. Various reasons now prompt me to attempt a translation of it. One of them naturally is the intrinsic interest of the subject matter, for Conall Corc, who is a vivid and picturesque member of “The Royal Cycle” of ancient Ireland, had a varied career which deserves to be better known than it actually is. Another reason is that several scholars, especially in recent years, have urged me to make an English rendering so that those who are not familiar with the Irish language at least may have access to the legendary as well as folkloristic elements that are implicit in “Conall Corc and the Corco Luigde.” And the third reason is that more than a decade ago having received the aid of the late Professor Thurneysen in the elucidation of some of the difficult passages, an aid which I here gratefully acknowledge, I feel that the present translation, now that he is dead, will preserve at least to some extent his interpretation of the text.
The present study of Chaucer's unaccented final -e, particularly his final -e in rhyme, must clearly be understood to be a study in phonology, not one in morphology. The question is not whether or not most of the forms surviving in spelling were at one time pronounced; it is the question of whether or not they were still pronounced in Chaucer's day (particularly by Chaucer in his poetry), and whether or not the grammatical forms furnish the best hypothesis for a possible pronunciation. An acceptable hypothesis, I think everyone would agree, not only should explain the majority of cases covered by it, but should not be unduly hampered by exceptions, and exceptions to exceptions. I believe that the generally accepted hypothesis of pronunciation on the basis of historical grammar is so hampered. When originally enunciated, this was not the case. Child recognized certain exceptions, Kittredge greatly expanded these, and recently Mrs. McJimsey has enlarged them still more. Material now available, though not available to the early investigators, warrants a thorough reinvestigation of the entire theory. Enough rules for the suppression of final -e within the verse have been accepted until at the present time only about 20 per cent of such final -e's are pronounced. The supporters of a theory that demands so many suppressions should be willing to examine a hypothesis based on additions rather than suppressions, especially when the exceptions to the basic rule are only 20 per cent of the whole rather than 80 per cent, and that 20 per cent can be simply explained.
It has been generally assumed that in the Morrell of the July eclogue of the Shepheardes Calender Spenser intended to satirize Dr. John Aylmer, bishop of London at the time of the composition and publication of this poem. Morrell's antagonist in this eclogue, Thomalin, has usually been considered a Puritan, but the Puritan so honored has been a matter of dispute among those scholars bold enough to hazard an identification. In this article I intend, first, to present in detail the grounds for Spenser's presumed dislike of Aylmer and to indicate Spenser's probable attitude towards him; second, to suggest that Dr. Thomas Cooper, bishop of Lincoln between 1571 and 1584, and definitely not a Puritan, is a more probable Thomalin.
This study of Christopher Marlowe's The Tragicall Historie of Doctor Faustus and The Taming of a Shrew is related to the preceding study on “Shakespeare's Shrew and Greene's Orlando” in that both involve parallels between A Shrew and contemporary plays—parallels which have been thought by H. D. Sykes and others to involve Samuel Rowley in the rôle of a contributor to each. Instead of such a common author a theory of common sources in earlier versions of the plays is herein maintained. Shakespeare is apparently not involved in these parallels with Doctor Faustus either as the author of The Taming of the Shrew or as the probable author of the original version of the play.
The parallels with A Shrew which are herewith cited seem to call for a theory of a common source in an earlier form of Doctor Faustus than the 1604 and 1616 texts.1
In the darkest time of the long period of poverty, illness, and dependence that followed his imprudent elopement, John Donne wrote in a letter to Sir Henry Goodyer in September, 1608:
Two of the most precious things which God hath afforded us here, for the agony and exercise of our sense and spirit, which are a thirst and inhiation after the next life, and a frequency of prayer and meditation in this, are often envenomed and putrified, and stray into a corrupt disease…. With the first of these I have often suspected myself to be overtaken, which is with a desire of the next life; which though I know it is not merely out of a weariness of this, because I had the same desires when I went with the tide, and enjoyed fairer hopes than now; yet I doubt wordly encumbrances have increased it. I would not that death should take me asleep. I would not have him merely seize me, and only declare me to be dead, but win me and overcome me.
When I must shipwreck, I would do it in a sea where mine impotency might have some excuse; not in a sullen weedy lake, where I could not have so much as exercise for my swimming. Therefore I would fain do something, but that I cannot tell what is no wonder. For to choose is to do; but to be no part of any body is to be nothing. At most, the greatest persons are but great wens and excrescences; men of wit and delightful conversation but as moles for ornament, except they be so incorporated into the body of the world that they contribute something to the sustentation of the whole.1
When all the evidence has been marshalled, Milton's views on the position of women are both consistent and plain, whatever the astonishing obfuscations of many of his critics, assailants and apologists alike. Each side in the old controversy might at least have known better what they were attacking or defending if they had not ignored a major source-book for Milton's attitude, the History of Britain. There is reason to believe that Milton was here giving vent to a passing mood, but it was sharp and arrogant while it lasted. Herein we have a contrast with the evidence usually cited. Just preceding the composition of the early books of the History had come the divorce tracts, where the author made an heroic effort at impersonality, and perhaps only his images betray him; it would take a very sensitive critic to analyze them. Years later came Paradise Lost and Samson Agonistes, where, as Professor Allan H. Gilbert has warned,1 the interpreter must tread lightly, for the poet in the angry outbursts of Adam and of Samson was not ostensibly speaking in his own person but rather writing as a dramatist. But in the History of Britain the voice that speaks out on the inferiority and proper subjection of women is at times unmistakably Milton's own. To heap up discredit upon what John Knox called “the monstrous regiment of women” he will go out of his way, whether by parenthetical remark, or by free alteration of his sources, or, in one case, by sheer misinterpretation of the original Latin.
When Fielding advanced his theory of the comic prose epic, he took particular occasion to denounce “those voluminous works, commonly called romances, namely Clelia, Cleopatra, Astrea, Cassandra, the Grand Cyrus, and innumerable others, which contain, as I apprehend, very little instruction or entertainment.”1 He was quite explicit in drawing a sharp distinction between such narratives and his own works. Yet, although he frequently referred to the heroic romances, he made no mention whatsoever of the rather elaborate theory of prose fiction which the writers of these romances had set forth during the preceding century. This omission is somewhat surprising, not only because the principles of the heroic romance constituted the most detailed theory of prose fiction prior to his own day, but also because those principles were in many instances strikingly similar to the theories which Fielding himself advanced. In view of the tremendous difference between Clelia and Tom Jones, one would hardly expect to find much resemblance between the critical theories upon which the two works were based; yet as a matter of fact, the two theories had quite a number of points in common; and it is rather strange that neither Fielding nor his modern critics should have noted the fact.2
That graphic illustrations have value as criticism through the illumination they throw on the interpretation of a literary work at various periods of its history is an idea which, though not new by any means, has been somewhat neglected by scholars and critics. To those interested in such study it is apparent that the closer the relationship between author and illustrator, the greater the chance of a pictorial interpretation of the work acceptable to the author. For this reason Edward Burney's rare and almost forgotten illustration for Evelina is herewith reproduced.
Mary Wollstonecraft was not born a feminist. However much she may have chafed under the tyranny of men, she kept silence until she had served her apprenticeship as a writer. In 1786, while she was teaching school at Newington Green, she wrote Thoughts on the Education of Daughters, a collection of innocuous platitudes which any maiden schoolmistress then might have approved; in 1787, while serving as governess in an Irish family, she wrote Mary, a semi-autobiographical novel of sensibility about a virtuous and long-suffering heroine.1 Then in 1790, at the age of 31, she emerged suddenly as a second Mrs. Macaulay, a female champion of human emancipation, when she published her Vindication of the Rights of Men in answer to Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France. And early in 1792 she eclipsed even Mrs. Macaulay by urging, in her Vindication of the Rights of Woman, that her own sex be included in the general emancipation. She who had been an obscure schoolma'am dabbling in fiction became for many of her contemporaries the symbol of women's potentialities—and for others, a shameless vixen.
This paper announces no great discovery, but it contains fresh material of interest to students of Coleridge, of David Hartley and the philosophical tradition which he represents, and of Anglo-German literary relations. Our starting-point is lines 35-45 of Religious Musings, where Coleridge declares that the life and death of Christ freed the human soul from the bonds of idolatrous fear:
Till of its nobler nature it 'gan feel
Dim recollections; and thence soared to Hope,
Strong to believe whate'er of mystic good
The Eternal dooms for His immortal sons.
From Hope and firmer Faith to perfect Love
Attracted and absorbed: and centered there
God only to behold, and know, and feel,
Till by exclusive consciousness of God
All self-annihilated it shall make
God its Identity: God all in all!
We and our Father one!1
Few of Shelley's poems have received a wider variety of explanations and interpretations than Alastor. Most critics would probably admit that the poem is difficult, and some would even go so far as to say that a clear understanding of it is impossible, agreeing with Havens that “the reader of Alastor is confused because its author was confused.”1 Hoffman attempts to explain it as largely autobiographical,2 while Mueschke and Griggs come to the conclusion that the prototype of the poet is Wordsworth.3 The poet's vision has also been interpreted in a number of ingenious ways. Woodberry calls it “Alastor or evil genius,” which “drives him on in search of its own phantasm till he dies.”4 Du Bois describes it as “a materialization of an ideal man, free, true, beautiful, loving poetry,”5 and Forman believes that it is the ideal of female perfection.6 The Preface has also given difficulty. Havens complains that the statements of the Preface are at variance with the action of the poem,7 Du Bois believes that there is no inconsistency,8 and Stevens, Beck, and Snow that the difference is only one of emphasis.9 It is hoped that the present discussion will add clarity rather than confusion to the understanding of this early example of Shelley's deep-set convictions and powers of imagery.
Shelley composed “Mont Blanc” upon the occasion of his first visit to the Swiss Alps. “The immensity of these aerial summits,” he tells us, “excited when they suddenly burst upon the sight, a sentiment of extatic [sic] wonder, not unallied to madness.” Of “Mont Blanc,” which resulted from this experience, he says that “it was composed under the immediate impression of the deep and powerful feelings excited by the objects which it attempts to describe,” and then evidently aware of the poem's difficulty, describes it as “an undisciplined overflowing of the soul.”
Is Endymion Keats's hymn to Platonism or to some related form of idealism? Is Cynthia a symbol of Plato's absolute Beauty or one of its derivatives? Is the shepherd-hero really a poet in disguise, a poet yearning for mystic union with transcendent, intellectual Beauty? With minor qualifications, an affirmative answer can be said to characterize the trend of criticism during the last sixty years.
In three of his stories, “A Tale of the Ragged Mountains,” “Mesmeric Revelation,” and “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,” Edgar Allan Poe reflected the interest of his day in what was by all odds the most fascinating of the new “sciences.” Mesmerism, first as a somewhat frightening novelty in the hands of its “discoverer,” Anton Mesmer, during the closing decades of the eighteenth century, and then as the handmaiden of medicine in the first half of the nineteenth century, had achieved enormous popularity throughout Europe and the United States.1 To compare such popularity with the spread of the psychoanalytic theories of Freud, Jung, and Adler in the twentieth century is to make but a feeble analogy, considering the difference in time and the development of science between the two ages. In addition, the interest manifested in mesmerism contained far more sensationalism and mysticism, and therefore had a more direct and widespread appeal. The extent of interest becomes clear when it is realized that in 1815 a commission was appointed in Russia to investigate animal magnetism, with a “magnetical” clinic being subsequently established near Moscow; that by 1817 doctors in Prussia and in Denmark were the only ones authorized to practice mesmerism, and were compelled to submit their findings to royal commissions; and that by 1835 a clinic had been established in Holland, and in Sweden theses on the subject were accepted for the doctorate.2
That Robert Browning, the poet, possessed wide and multifarious learning is evident to a casual reader of his poems. The careful reader is impressed by the range and extent of his learning which includes much of what is called hole-in-the-corner knowledge, a familiarity with out-of-the-way topics and incidents that few readers possess. The scholarship of the past two decades has begun to give us a good deal of knowledge upon the nature of Browning's learning, and we are in a fair position now to estimate how much of the poet's knowledge was systematic and well-ordered, and how much of it was haphazard and based upon a following-up of this or that temporary interest. The letter which is the heart of this paper and which is published for the first time below will shed light upon this problem in an area in which Browning's training was probably most systematic.
In a tantalizing footnote to The Name and Nature of Poetry (1933), A. E. Housman lists a number of prosodic matters which, in his opinion, constitute an important part of the Artifice of Versification—the “natural laws by which all versification is conditioned.” Unfortunately, Housman did not elaborate or publish his prosodic observations, but the range and penetration of the hints in his footnote suggest that at least one corner of the usually sterile field of metrics can be made to bring forth good fruit. Housman also noted the lack of serious efforts to discover the “latent base … by which all versification is conditioned.” The “natural laws” are unknown to most writers of verse, who succeed, when they do succeed, by virtue of “instinctive tact and a natural goodness of ear.” And in Housman's opinion, little of value has been written on such matters, and literary critics seldom explore the field.
L'histoire intellectuelle de la Troisième République naîtra gradu ellement de l‘étude patiente et minutieuse des divers problèmes d'ordre politique, philosophique, littéraire et social qui ont occupé une période qui comptera parmi les plus mouvementées et les plus complexes, les plus riches et fécondes aussi, qu'ait connues la vie française. Sans doute est-il prématuré de porter sur les hommes et les œuvres dont l'action se prolonge autour de nous le jugement équitable et nuancé qui sera celui de la postérité. Mais pour la génération dont la naissance précéda ou suivit de près l‘établissement de la République, et dont la jeunesse et la maturité coïncidèrent avec la période troublée de l'affaire Dreyfus et de la Grande Guerre, il n'est peut-être pas top tôt, maintenant que la première moitié du vingtième siècle touche à son terme, de faire les sondages préliminaires et de retracer à tout le moins les débuts littéraires d'une des figures les plus représentatives de la période qui vient de se clore.
Das Problem der religiösen Anschauungen, die dem Irdischen Vergnügen von Barthold Heinrich Brockes zugrunde liegen, hat in der Forschung keineswegs die Beachtung gefunden, die es in Anbetracht der Tatsache verdient, daß dieses Werk vom ersten bis zum letzten Gedicht religiöse Bedeutung hat und ohne eine genaue Kenntnis der Religion seines Verfassers schlechthin unverständlich bleibt. Die bedeutsamste Spezialuntersuchung, die diesem Problem gewidmet ist, ist der bekannte Aufsatz von David Friedrich Strauß (1861),1 und die Schlußfolgerungen zu denen dieser große Streiter für religiose Aufklärung gelangte, werden auch heute noch häufig ohne weitere Untersuchung angenommen.2 Strauß sieht in Brockes einen entscheidenden Wegbereiter des Deismus und charakterisiert ihn als einen Denker, in dessen Werk sich der Sturm vorbereitete, “der das Gebäude des positiv christlichen Religionssystems so schonungslos wegzufegen Anstalt machte.” Daß dieses Resultat einigermaßen überraschend ist und jedenfalls nicht dem ersten Eindruck des Werkes entspricht, dessen ist sich Strauß sehr wohl bewußt, doch fühlt er sich seiner Sache auf Grund der folgenden fünf Beweise sicher. “Die ganze Brockes'sche Naturpoesie ist ein gereimter physico-theologischer Beweis,”3 und wenn auch Brockes die Offenbarung nicht völlig aufgibt, so ist sie doch tatsächlich überwunden, denn “wer die gesamte Natur als Offenbarung Gottes begreift, der braucht nur den Muth zu haben, sich zu gestehen was er denkt, um jede besondere Offenbarung als überflüßig zu erkennen … ”4 Als zweiten Grund führt Strauß die Toleranz des Dichters an, die ihn selbst gegenüber Atheïsten nicht verläßt;6 seine scharfe Kritik an Christen und ihrem Wandel6 wie seine Charakterisierung Gottes als “Weltgeistes”7 stellen zwei weitere Bekräftigungen seiner These dar, und die Tatsache, daß Reimarus den Dichter in seine sonst so ängstlich gehüteten theologischen Geheimnisse einweihte,8 setzt dem Ganzen gewißermaßen die Krone auf.