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the stage even by critics and wits like Sheridan. Their indulgence in tears and morbid sentiment confirnied the taste for weak self-pity and futile self-analysis that had already appeared in English literature.


5. The influence of German music was far sounder. Handel had acclimatised it in England, and Glück, Haydn, and Mozart had shown how its greatest effects might be secularised. And in reforming the taste for grand concerted music, they confirmed the popular English taste for song and hymn. There was a complete revival of the lyric in English literature in the last quarter of the century. The new naval glories of England drew Dibdin into songs of the

Blake and Cowper, though diverted by their circumstances into other literary forms, were largely lyrical in their genius; hence they appear at their best in the brief poem that expresses a single emotion and has a refrain, as, for example, Blake in his Cradle Song and Cowper in his lyric To Mary. Some of the most popular English songs, like the British Grenadiers, The Friar of Orders Gray, The Miller of Dee, and The Lass of Richmond Hill, belong to this period. And few of the poets but attempted the lyrical vein. Even Wordsworth and Coleridge in spite of their strongly metaphysical bent were drawn in the last decade of the century into the lyrical and ballad form. Their joint volume of Lyrical Ballads issued in 1798 is an evidence of the great lyrical movement that was sweeping through English poetry; it reveals their philosophical leanings and yet attempts to adapt itself to the fashion of song.

But it was in Scotland that the influence of music upon literature was most apparent. John Logan's Braes of Yarrow and Jane Elliott's Lament for Flodden show the pathos that Scottish song was capable of; and Mickle's Sailor's Wife shows its humorous and familiar side. It is a mistake to think that Burns was a marvellous lyrical genius that sprang up in the midst of unlyrical surroundings. He only took the songs of the people and added to the stanzas or revised them. His name has overshadowed and absorbed the reputation of a hundred Scottish song-writers of last century; and though he surpasses all of them in variety of power and in uniform beauty and vigour of melody, individual songs of theirs like the two first mentioned and Lady Lindsay's Auld Robin Gray and Lady Nairn's Land of the Leal equal his best in pathos of appeal to the national or to the human heart.

6. The extraordinary development of hymn-writing is due as much to the evangelical and other religious movements as to the influence of music. But we cannot well account for the reappearance of the secular lyric in all its old Elizabethan beauty and power except by the popular demand for melody such as Euglishmen could sing without instrumentation or organised choirs. The old love of the simple song was revived and confirmed by the power which German music began to obtain in oratorio and symphony and opera over the English public. Nothing shows the resurgence of the people so clearly as this influence of a newly Teutonised art, and this revival of the lyric. It reveals at the same time the return of literature to its primitive Teutonic sources and forms, to nature and an older and broader nationalism.





Section I.

I. The great period of Germanism in our literature is the second division of our era, 1800 to 1850. German criticism and philosophy, poetry and fiction, drama and music gave or confirmed new impulses or movements in the English world of letters.

2. To take music first, who can doubt that the wonderful development of musical genius in Germany had a close connection with the experimentation in melody by the English poetry of the period ? It is one of the most striking features of the latter that so many metres and rhythms are attempted. Most ages of poetry had preferred some favourite form; as, for example, the Dryden and Pope age chose the heroic couplet and seldom departed from it. Even the Elizabethan age had its preference for blank verse and a stanza like the Spenserian. But during the first half of our century there is no predominance of any one metre or form ; rhyme is as natural to the poets as blank verse, the heroic couplet as the long stanza, the sonnet as the lyric with refrain ; and the desire for variety is shown in the continual experiments made by Coleridge, Southey, Tennyson, and Browning in new or foreign metres and forms,-anapaestic verse, hexameter, sapphic, Even the tuneless Byron experimented in his lyrics and Hebrew melodies and by no means confined himself to one metre in his longer poems. The poetic power of the age had attained such confidence in its harmony and melody that it could venture out with success in any metre or stanza.

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3. It is almost the same with prose. There had been two or three typical styles in all previous ages, and no writer could depart far from them without losing command of his expression. Now we have continual variety and experiment in the prose books. The vigorous, abrupt Saxon of Cobbett, the regular, balanced paragraph, and rhetorical, Latinised sentence of Macaulay, the halfcolloquial and half-archaic quaintness of Lamb, the prosaic, matter-of-fact style of Grote and Hallam, the passion-lit eccentricity of Carlyle, the solid and undistinctive though copious diction of Scott, and the imaginative brilliancy and polish of Landor seem almost as if they belonged each to a different age. Nay, the same writer develops and changes his style as he proceeds in his literary career, if not within the same year and work. Now he is Saxon, again he is Latinised ; now he prefers the Johsonian, again he indulges in the short and irregular melody of more modern prose. There is a variety of rhythm and style that often makes it difficult to identify a passage. Only mannerists like Carlyle cling to the one style and intensify its singularity. Most other writers vary their style according to their theme and model. But whatever their method of expression, as a rule, the writer has now full command of its rhythm and is conscious of the beauty of melody in it. And this is undoubtedly the effect of the spread and development of musical taste under the tutorship of Germany.

4. There is, too, in some, as often in De Quincey and Landor, and occasionally in Lamb and Hazlitt, a large harmony in passages that seems to find its analogy only in the greater musical compositions of Beethoven, Schubert

, or Mendelssohn. Can we doubt that, without such genius in music as Germany produced, there would have been less of the arts of melody and harmony in the English prose of the period ?

5. The drama was still under the influence of the opera, which had been greatly developed both in Italy and Germany and had drawn to it the finest musical talent as well for execution as for composition; so important had this section of the drama become in England, that a theatre especially for it, the English Opera House, was opened in

1816; great singers like Malibran and Catalani and Mario devoted themselves to it and spread its popularity, and English composers like Balfe set themselves to this combination of music and the drama: The day of Teutonic opera had not yet come; but Mozart's and Beethoven's were popular and helped to mould the public taste to more musical diction in the drama proper.

6. But the chief influence of the drama was negative. The ever-recurring lyric was thrown out, and the mongrel plays, half concert, half drama, that had been such favourites in the previous period began to disappear from the stage. Singers with dramatic power had row full scope in the opera and were drawn off from the drama proper. But German plays continued to affect it. The sentimentalism of Kotzebue moulded many of the plays that could fill a London theatre. Even in those of Sheridan Knowles and Douglas Jerrold there is some tinge of it, whilst in Bulwer Lytton's Lady of Lyons it is rampant. The laughter stirred by The Rovers, Canning's burlesque of these German and Germanised plays, gave only a temporary check to their popularity.

7. By far the most important influence of the German drama was the development of a new species in English literature, the purely literary drama. Coleridge was first attracted by the plays of Schiller, and translated Wallenstein and the Piccolomini; and inspired by these he and his friends started to write plays; he wrote Robespierre, and got his Osorio, an imitation of Schiller’s Robbers, put upon the stage without permanent success; Southey began with his Wat Tyler, and Wordsworth with his Borderers. So Scott, stimulated by his translation of Goethe's Goetz von Berlichingen, wrote several brief tragedies and dramatic scenes as, for example, Auchendrane ; but they were never acted and indeed were incapable of being acted. The stimulus was purely artificial so early in the period as the beginning of the century; none of these poets had essentially dramatic power.

8. The literary drama was to come later, after Goethe's greatest effort, Faust, had begun to be translated and to affect the English imagination. It was this striking product


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