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Imagination and mediation: eighteenth-century British novels and moral philosophy. Wells, Michael 2008

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IMAGINATION AND MEDIATION: EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY BRITISH NOVELS AND MORAL PHILOSOPHY. by Michael David Wells B.A.A. Ryerson University, 1995 M.A. University of Toronto, 2000 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (English) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA January 2008 © Michael David Wells, 2008 ii ABSTRACT This study provides a new account of the evolution of the eighteenth-century British novel by reading it as a response to contemporary interest in, and self-consciousness about, print communication. During the eighteenth century, print went from being a marginal technology to being one with an increasingly wide circulation and a diverse range of applications. The pervasive adoption of print generated anxiety about its positive and negative effects, prompting a series of responses from writers. Examining the work of five British novelists from across the long eighteenth century, this dissertation investigates the influence of eighteenth-century philosophical thinking about human understanding and social interaction on the assumptions that these novelists made about the way their work would be received. In particular, this thesis explores the ways in which these novelists respond to contemporary philosophical ideas about the cognitive functions of the imagination by experimenting with the form of their work in order to generate new kinds of reception. But this study also shows that, while these five novelists drew on the tenets of eighteenth-century moral philosophy, their work exposed a number of the limitations of that philosophy by putting it into practice. Each chapter in this study focuses on a different aspect of the intersection of mediation and imagination. Chapter One considers the ways in which Locke's understanding of probability informed Richardson's attempts to promote specific affective reading practices with his epistolary fictions and editorial commentary. Chapter Two reads Sterne's manipulations of the material page in Tristram Shandy as an attempt to expose the limitations of print communication and to suggest new ways of reading that could overcome those limitations. Chapter Three examines the writing of Smith, Kames, Mackenzie, Reeve and Godwin in order to illustrate both the promise and the danger that these authors attribute to imaginative sympathy and to the reading practices that promote sympathetic reactions. Chapter Four explores Scott's experiments with a form of fiction that could collapse the distance between writing and orality in order to force readers to reevaluate the complex relationship of sound and writing in the establishment of communities in an age of print. iii TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract .................................................................................................................................... ii Table of Content...................................................................................................................... iii Acknowledgements...................................................................................................................iv Dedication..................................................................................................................................v Introduction A Novel Concerning Human Understanding................................................................................1 Chapter One Feeling The Moral: Epistolarity, Probability and Richardson's Clarissa ....................................16 Chapter Two The Imagining Type: Tristram Shandy and the Practice of Moral Philosophy............................63 Chapter Three The Life and Times of the Man of Feeling...............................................................................109 Chapter Four Romantic Home Theatre: Orality and Nationhood in Walter Scott’s The Antiquary.................160 Conclusion .............................................................................................................................202 Notes ......................................................................................................................................209 Works Cited ..........................................................................................................................236 iv Acknowledgements I would like to thank the faculty of the English Department at the University of British Columbia for their continued financial and moral support. They say it takes a village to raise a child and I would argue that it takes an entire department to raise a Doctor of Philosophy. In particular, I wish to thank my committee members Dr. Adam Frank and Dr. Nicholas Hudson for their careful reading and encouragement. To my thesis supervisor Dr. Miranda Burgess I wish to extend my gratitude for her invaluable advice and mentorship. I could not have completed this project without her guidance. vDedication To my wife and my parents. Thank you for believing in me. 1Introduction: A Novel Concerning Human Understanding This thesis explores eighteenth-century thinking about how individuals form their understanding, and once formed, how they share that understanding with others. More specifically, this thesis offers a new approach to explaining why the eighteenth-century British novel genre developed in the ways that it did, at the time that it did. It does these things by reading eighteenth-century experiments in novelistic fiction as manifestations of a sustained interest in the effects of print mediation. The writing of five novelists from the period forms the core of my study and I examine the way that these novelists approach the possibilities of print communication, especially as those approaches develop, and expand upon, eighteenth-century philosophical theories of cognition. I draw a strong connection between the work of eighteenth- century moral philosophers and novelists because, as I hope to show, both groups of writers were preoccupied with many of the same concerns about communication and understanding. I have found that eighteenth-century novelists often engage in experiments with structure in order to assist their ability to communicate certain abstract concepts in print, and that these experiments tend to be based on assumptions about the processes of human understanding that come from the works of moral philosophy of their contemporaries. Although the use of print technology was well established in Britain prior to the eighteenth century, its use greatly increased during the period, becoming the first truly mass medium of communication in the nation's history by the end of the century.1 Given its broadcast nature, the medium of print required eighteenth-century authors to develop new techniques that could address the challenges of one-sided communication. While the broadcast quality of print is one that we tend to accept without much thought in the twenty-first century, particularly at a time when so many of our emerging communications technologies operate in two directions (often 2simultaneously), the one-sidedness of print presented both challenges and opportunities for writers like the novelists that I address in this study who were willing to experiment with the medium. As a result, my primary concerns in this thesis are with the expectations that eighteenth-century novelists had about how their work would be read. Put another way, this is a thesis about a series of approaches to the naturalization of print communication that shaped the development of the English language novel genre. My research into the expectations of eighteenth-century novelists for the reception of their work in turn pointed me towards related questions about what specifically they hoped their readers would take away from their novels. What I found was an overwhelming interest in issues of morality and social order in the work of each of the five novelists that this thesis examines; interest that finds expression in both the form and the content of their writing. Each of the authors that I explore confront their readers with many different kinds of moral and social issues, not to establish authoritative positions on those issues per se, but rather to encourage readers to exercise their capacities for rational judgment and for imaginative sympathy. This emphasis on judgment and sympathy relates directly to the theories of human understanding that prevailed throughout the eighteenth century, particularly in the writing of Locke, Hume and Smith. Of course, a number of scholars have already provided detailed accounts of this relationship between eighteenth-century novelistic fiction and moral philosophy.2 But, in the chapters that follow I am going to add to that existing scholarship by illustrating that eighteenth-century moral philosophy not only provided novelists with ideas about how to address moral and social concerns on the level of content. I will illustrate that the same philosophical theories that appear in eighteenth-century novels also provided novelists with the key assumptions about human understanding and feeling that underwrote the varied approaches they took towards shaping the 3form of their printed works. At the same time, I am going to illustrate that the novelistic approach to theories of human understanding offered a critique of many of the assumptions found in the moral philosophy of the day about the nature of individual understanding, and of the communication of that understanding. Given the focus in this thesis on the ontological and epistemological concerns that are addressed in eighteenth-century novels and works of moral philosophy, I believe that Michael McKeon's detailed study The Origins of the English Novel 1600-1740 is an appropriate place to start situating my argument. After all, McKeon has examined a number of the key issues that relate to the development of the English language novel. According to McKeon, the novel "attains its modern, 'institutional' stability and coherence at this time because of its unrivaled power both to formulate, and to explain, a set of problems that are central to early modern experience."3 Building on the work of Ian Watt, who theorized that the rise of the novel was tied to a rise of what he termed middle-class power and middle-class values, McKeon argues that the novel emerges as a way to address a series of epistemological and social/ethical problems that came to prominence during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. More specifically, McKeon examines the capacity of the emerging novel genre to address the instabilities at the center of these epistemological and social/ethical concerns, which he sees epitomized in the analogous relationship of "questions of truth" and "questions of virtue". McKeon writes: Questions of truth and questions of virtue concern different realms of human experience, and they are likely to be raised in very different contexts. Yet in one central respect they are closely analogous. Both pose problems of signification: What kind of authority or evidence is required of narrative to permit it to signify truth to its readers? What kind of social existence or behavior signifies an individual's virtue to others?4 In the analogy that McKeon identifies between questions of truth and virtue as they are explored in the emerging novel genre, he sees the potential for readers to make comparisons of their personal understanding of truth and virtue with an "external social order.” But such 4understanding is made problematic by questions relating to the location of that authority and of that understanding. McKeon finds that one of the concerns that faced authors of the emerging novel genre was the establishment of stable claims to truth. He writes that in the "critical period of the origins of the English novel, the claim to historicity is dominant" as the basis for truth in narrative.5 However, the narrative conventions used by writers were often the same whether they were writing "real" histories or imaginary ones, making it difficult for readers to distinguish between historicity and verisimilitude.6 In the chapters that follow, I will illustrate that eighteenth-century novelists came to believe that the personal judgment of each reader, informed by previous experience, was the only tool that they could rely on to assess the probability of a particular printed narrative. I say probability, rather than truth, because, as eighteenth-century writers increasingly concluded, truth was not necessarily the universally acceptable concept that it had once seemed. McKeon identifies a strain of criticism on the value of historical "truth" offered by the proponents of extreme skepticism, such as Shaftesbury, who proposed a "generalized and universalized 'truth of things'" in opposition to what he identified as an empirical preference for "brute factuality." McKeon argues that this kind of "truth of things" found an outlet in literary realism, which "validates literary creation for being not history but history-like, 'true' to the only external reality that still makes a difference, but also sufficiently apart from it (hence 'probable' and 'universal') to be true to itself as well."7 Put another way, I believe that particular works of eighteenth-century moral philosophy convinced many readers that literary realism could make greater claims to universality than works of history because it provided those readers with an opportunity to reconcile the products of literary creation with their sense-based understanding of 5the world. Literary realism seemed to offer a way to reconcile questions of virtue with a particular kind of claim to truth that had tremendous scope because it addressed probable, and, in the estimation of some, general concerns. But such literary realism, or what I will be calling probable fiction in this thesis, also provided a way to explore emerging concerns about the effects of print media and the role of imagination in human understanding. If McKeon is correct in his assessment that literary realism provided a way to address questions of truth and virtue, it is important to recognize that print was the specific vehicle for this form of literature and that readerly imagination was the cognitive power that was thought to activate it. The chapters that follow will explore the important role that eighteenth-century understanding of mediation and imagination played in the examination of, and in attempts to promote, the concepts of truth and virtue. The cognitive theories of John Locke are an important part of the first chapter of this thesis, particularly as they relate to the redefinition of the cognitive value of imagination during the eighteenth century. Written in the 1670s, his Essay Concerning Human Understanding in many ways set the agenda for thinking about the human mind for the eighteenth century and beyond. In the Essay, Locke is reluctant to use the word imagination in relation to cognition. Instead, he uses the word "imagination" in a derogatory way, as referring to fancy and/or madness. However, I believe that his articulation of primary and secondary ideas, and their role in the formation of human understanding, revolves around an aspect of human cognition that moral philosophers latter called the imagination.8 Locke was likely reluctant to glorify the cognitive role of imagination because suggesting that it is one of the main sources of human understanding is also to suggest that human understanding is partially relative, a concept that would not have appealed to the secular or sacred powers of his day. After all, at the end of the 6seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteenth centuries, imagination was seen primarily as a creative and fanciful mental faculty and not as an integral part of human understanding that required close, scientific study.9 Over the course of the century, however, writing on the imagination began to suggest that it played an important role in the formation of human understanding and in sympathetic response. Building on Locke's ideas about understanding, particularly the formation of "complex ideas", Hume suggested that imagination was more than pure fancy and more than an aspect of creativity, concluding that the imagination was required in nearly all acts of understanding. In his Treatise of Human Nature, Hume argues that while memory stores units of sensory impression as they have been experienced, imagination re-assembles those units into a variety of patterns making it possible for an individual to construct an experience, or a kind of experience, without the direct knowledge of the senses. In The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Smith took these ideas further and focused on the role that imagination plays in the human understanding of social relations, particularly in the ways that human imagination makes acts of sympathetic identification possible. The definitions of imagination that Hume and Smith presented involved the active mental synthesis of an individual's real life experience. These philosophical definitions of imagination made it possible for novelists to envision a style of writing that would encourage readers to develop an understanding of, and have sympathetic reactions to, experiences that were not their own, processes that I argue novelists saw as having the potential to promote moral ideas. Beginning with Watt, a number of scholars have explored the relationship between eighteenth-century novels and works of moral philosophy. This line of scholarship has illustrated that eighteenth-century fiction often served as a prime location for the application and testing of 7philosophical theories, as well as being a useful way to introduce philosophical ideas to a more diverse reading audience. Although many early eighteenth-century novelists tried to overcome or sidestep the unidirectional quality of printed communication, I argue that over the course of the century novelists increasingly sought ways to capitalize on the broadcast qualities of their medium of expression. This search resulted in the highly experimental nature of the form that a number of eighteenth-century novels took. Many of these experiments involved attempts to stimulate the imaginative capacities of readers, either to convey particular kinds of experience or to elicit sympathy. But given the broadcast nature of print, novelists could not be certain that their work was being read in the ways that they wanted it to be. Certainly the review publications that began to appear in the mid-century provided novelists with a regular source of feedback on their efforts. However, these publications, while influential with regards to public opinion, only represented the reading experience of a small number of readers. Faced with the inherent difficulties of gauging the reception of their writing, I argue that novelists began to view formal elements as an essential part of the generation of the meaning of their work. Over the course of the eighteenth- century, I argue, there was an increased interest in the role that the medium of print played in the way that readers approach fiction. Novelists became increasingly theoretical in the kinds of textual interface that they presented to readers. I contend that their approach to this early form of print media theorization was informed by philosophical thinking on the processes of human understanding. But such thinking could only take novelists so far. In order to achieve the kind of printed interface with readers that would suit their artistic and social goals, eighteenth-century novelists approached their chosen medium of expression in a variety of ways that I argue provided a critique of, and often essential additions to, the thinking of eighteenth-century moral 8philosophy. As a result, this thesis does not examine one particular approach to concerns about understanding and mediation, but rather, it explores a variety of techniques and styles sampled from a period of almost one hundred years. The first chapter of this thesis examines the influence that Locke's articulations of probability and imaginative reflection had on Samuel Richardson's novels and on his expectations for the social role of his fiction. In his second novel, Clarissa, Richardson expands on the epistolary form that he had used in Pamela by dramatically increasing the number of letter writers, thereby presenting the reader with a new interpretive challenge. Readers must chart their way through a series of subjective accounts in order to come to conclusions about the events depicted in the novel as a whole. Because of the lack of an authoritative voice within the text, readers are ultimately responsible for judging the propriety of each character's actions and sentiments. In the vast amount of commentary that Richardson produced to accompany Clarissa, he shows concern that readers are not approaching his text correctly because they are not coming to the correct conclusions about his message. Because Richardson believed that Clarissa's probable style of fiction would encourage readers to draw on their own experiences in judging the events of his novel, incidents of misreading were all the more worrisome to him. After all, given the close relationship that Richardson believed his fictions had to lived experience, a reader who failed to judge Clarissa correctly likely had difficulty performing any kind of moral judgment. Although Richardson's use of the epistolary style appeared to facilitate greater misreading than a more direct form of narration would have, his decision to continue using the epistolary form suggests that he believed that it offered a kind of reading experience that was worth the risk of misinterpretation. I argue that Richardson believed that his epistolary style forced readers to 9compare the characters, events and sentiments depicted in Clarissa with their own lived experience, thereby extending the reading process into realistic, yet imagined experience that was commonly accessible to a community of readers. Richardson's belief that such a form of fiction could exist, I contend, comes from his understanding of the cognitive theories of Locke and, to a lesser extent, the extension of Locke's theories by Joseph Addison. While it is debatable whether Richardson read Locke or Hume on his own, the statements that he makes about reading and writing in the paratextual material that accompanies his novels echo many of the principles regarding human understanding and cognition that can be found in the work of these philosophers.10 But Richardson's decision to apply these ideas to a work of printed fiction exposed some of their inherent difficulties, particularly in the way that his novels illustrate that the communication of particular complex ideas, like morality or virtue, is no simple task and may, in fact, be impossible. Richardson had hoped that his readers would judge the message of Clarissa by imaginatively projecting their own experiences onto the probable, but fictional world of the novel, thereby experiencing the injustice of Clarissa's treatment and feeling awe at her elevated moral rectitude. But given the role that each individual reader's previous life experience plays in the reading process, Richardson's novel was open to a variety of interpretations because each individual's experience and understanding are, of course, different. The transformation of experience into understanding is a highly subjective process, particularly when this transformation takes place inside the mind of the solitary reader. With Clarissa in particular, Richardson shows that both the cognitive and sympathetic functions of the imagination are resistant to universal reactions to particular abstract ideas. Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy celebrates the very instability of printed communication that frustrated Richardson and drove him to find ways to stabilize the experience 10 of reading Clarissa. Like Richardson, Sterne draws on the cognitive theories of eighteenth- century moral philosophy in his approach to writing novelistic fiction. But, whereas Richardson continued to embrace the possibilities of those theories, Sterne challenges their validity, particularly where they relate to communication. Although I argue that Richardson's form of epistolary fiction and his expectations for its reception were based on his understanding of the cognitive theories of Locke and Addison, I also want to suggest that the connection is an implicit one. While the theories of Locke, Addison, and Hume are, to a great extent, reflected in the assumptions that Richardson makes about human cognition and the best ways to exploit printed communication, their influence appears only in the form of Richardson's fiction and not in its content. Sterne takes a different approach to eighteenth-century philosophical theories of understanding and communication by addressing them in an explicit, and often, confrontational fashion. I have argued that Richardson attempted to direct his readers towards a specific kind of moral understanding, albeit through an involved reading process. The second chapter in this thesis argues that in Tristram Shandy Sterne took a different approach to the one taken by Richardson in his exploration of morals. I contend that Sterne wanted to refute the idea that one system, or one approach to moral understanding, could serve for all individuals, particularly if that approach used print as its medium of expression. Instead, Sterne presents a series of moral options in Tristram Shandy, leaving the ultimate decision about the value of each option to the reader.11 The role of individual moral interpretation is played out in the novel itself through many scenes that highlight what the character of Parson Yorick calls "practical divinity," which are those acts of moral behaviour that characters perform out of a personal sense of duty and propriety instead of by following a strict set of moral conventions. As a result, Sterne does not 11 promote the idea of a community of agreement in Tristram Shandy as Richardson arguably did with his novels. While Richardson's use of multiple storytellers in Clarissa presented readers with an interpretive challenge, Sterne's experiments in representation in Tristram Shandy all but result in interpretive impasse.12 Sterne clearly wants to involve the individual reader in the production of meaning at many points in Tristram Shandy and I argue that this move is intended to demonstrate Sterne's views on what he perceives to be the realities, not only of printed communication, but of all attempts to share one's understanding with others. In Tristram Shandy, Sterne represents human understanding and communication as thoroughly subjective processes, in both the novel's content and its form. In doing so, I argue, Sterne wants to promote individual judgment as the only realistic way to develop a sense of what is moral. Sterne saw print communication as a way to provide readers with starting points for independent reflection and judgment. As a result, Tristram Shandy does not provide readers with a viable system of moral behaviour or virtuous sentiment. Instead, the novel promotes interpretive diversity, pointing to the judgment of the reader, rather than some outside force, as the source of what we might term moral understanding. If any agreement among individuals is to be had about the lessons of Tristram Shandy, it will not come from any inherent aspect of the text, but rather it will come from discussions of Sterne's "Cock and Bull story" that take place outside of the text through the face-to-face interaction of readers. Although sympathy is an important element in both Richardson's Clarissa and Sterne's Tristram Shandy, in my first and second chapters I focus more attention on their approaches to the cognitive aspects of the imagination than I do to their direct appeals to the sympathetic imaginations of their readers. In my third chapter, I examine the intersection of print 12 communication and ideas about the social role of sympathetic imagination by examining the fiction of sentiment from the 1770s until into the early decades of the nineteenth century. In particular, I explore the character of the man of feeling as he is represented in Henry Mackenzie's 1771 novel The Man of Feeling and William Godwin's 1805 novel Fleetwood; or, the New Man of Feeling. Although these two novels were published over thirty years apart, I argue that many aspects of their treatment of the social role of imaginative sympathy are almost the same. In these two novels, as well as in the non-fictional writing of the two authors, one can find important critiques of the fiction of sentiment and the philosophical approach to imaginative sympathy found in Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments. Because Mackenzie and Godwin are interested in the effects of sympathetic identification as it is mediated by print, their approach to the intersection of feeling and judgment differs quite dramatically from Smith's ideas about sentiment. While I argue that an emphasis on personal judgment in reading was an essential part of the way that Richardson and Sterne viewed the cognitive processes of human understanding, in the works of Mackenzie and Godwin individual judgment is represented as an antidote for the dangers of unchecked sentiment. Both Mackenzie and Godwin characterize imaginative sympathy as an important and highly effective motivator of human behaviour in both their fictional and non-fictional writing, just as Smith and Hume had done in their philosophical works. But Mackenzie and Godwin are suspicious of the potential for sympathetic imagination to mislead individuals, particularly as such sympathetic imagination relates to abstract ideas like virtue, morality and social order. In their fiction, they often depict the dangers of unrestrained sympathy and promote personal judgment as a way to balance that sentiment. But this balance is 13 not only present in the content of their fiction; it also exists in the kinds of reading experience that the two authors attempt to provide for their readers. Although readerly judgment had been an important aspect of the writing of Richardson and Sterne, in the novels of Mackenzie and Godwin the emphasis on judgment is expanded to include the judgment of sentiment. I argue that while Richardson and Sterne appealed to the sentiments of their readers, these appeals are not generally intended to mislead, whereas in the novels of Mackenzie and Godwin they often are. Mackenzie and Godwin are interested in highlighting the dangers of sympathetic identification and in offering up personal judgment as a way to prevent trusting too deeply in one's sentimental reactions. In order to make this emphasis on judgment in relation to readerly sentiment part of the reading experience of their novels, Mackenzie and Godwin deploy a series of narrative techniques that force a great deal of interpretive effort on the reader without the radical formal experiments of Sterne's Tristram Shandy, or, to a lesser extent, Richardson's Clarissa. The final chapter of this thesis focuses on Walter Scott's novel The Antiquary. In this chapter I depart from the pattern of reading novels in relation to moral philosophy that I followed in my first three chapters. Eighteenth-century moral philosophy continues to inform a number of Scott's assumptions about how his work will be received, but the relationship is an indirect one, and stems more from the appropriation of philosophical ideas into the novel genre by previous writers than by a direct interaction with them on Scott's part. However, this chapter relates directly to the previous chapters in its treatment of novelistic reader interface. Like the authors that I explored in chapters one through three, in The Antiquary we can see Scott experimenting with the capacity of print communication to do more than simply broadcast information. Questions about the nature of community affiliation and social interaction pervade my first three 14 chapters as I examine the approaches taken by Richardson, Sterne, Mackenzie and Godwin to their printed works. The final chapter also deals with concerns about community, although the nature of those concerns is rooted in questions relating to the role of reading within a national community. More specifically, I examine Scott's approach to establishing a space for a modern Scottish culture within a larger British culture. Much of the fourth chapter deals with the intersection of two concerns regarding aspects of Scottish culture in The Antiquary: the ramifications of the sound of Scots language and the place of a Scottish oral tradition in an age of print communication. I argue that Walter Scott's decision to make liberal use of Scots language dialogue is an attempt by the author to depoliticize the derogatory associations related to the sound of Scottish difference. Like the novels that I explored in the previous chapters, Scott's novel The Antiquary features experimentation in the mode of its author-reader interface. The Antiquary presents English readers with an interpretive challenge that is all but impossible to circumvent because large parts of the plot advancement in the novel are articulated in Scots language. The English speaking reader who wants to comprehend the Scots speaking characters is left with two choices: to translate the Scots language dialogue with the glossary found in the third volume of the novel, or to capitalize on the aural similarities of the English and Scots languages. While either method forces the English reader to translate the Scots language, I argue that Scott is hoping that readers will attempt the latter because such attempts highlight the similarities of English and Scots, and in highlighting those similarities I believe that Scott was trying to eliminate the stigma of difference. The experimentation in novelistic interface that Scott engages in, I argue, plays on two levels. On the first level, as I have suggested above, Scott encourages readers to read for sound; 15 to enact the aural similarities of the Scots and English languages either imaginatively, or, by actually reading the words out loud.13 On a second level, I believe that Scott is trying to model a form of British literature that is not exclusively in English, but instead represents both English and Scots languages as compatible with a developing sense of Britishness. By making the Scots language speakers an integral part of The Antiquary, Scott makes it all but impossible for English readers to avoid the Scottishness of the novel. At the same time, Scott contrasts his own harmonious version of Scots/English literary integration with James Macpherson's Ossianic poetry, which appears throughout The Antiquary as a topic of conversation and as an example of a failed attempt to generate Scottish national pride. Scott presents his own vision of a modern and printed Scottish literary tradition in contrast with Macpherson's controversial claims to have found the poems of Ossian in a once reliable, but now faded, Scottish oral tradition. Once again, like the other authors that I have been discussing throughout this thesis, Scott encourages individual readers to exercise their personal judgment when they read his novel. Scott wants the reader of The Antiquary to compare the depiction of cultural harmony found within the novel with their own lived experience so that they can reevaluate that experience. This reading experience is presented by Scott as a contrast to the kind of dubious claims to history that Macpherson used in his attempts to establish the authority of his cultural project. As a result of this emphasis on the role of the reader, I argue that Scott can be seen as experimenting with the printed interface of his fiction in an attempt to communicate particular abstract ideas in a way that is quite similar to all of the novelists that I examine in this dissertation. 16 CHAPTER ONE Feeling The Moral: Epistolarity, Probability and Richardson's Clarissa You say, ‘that you are not affected in the same sensible manner by distresses in unnatural heroics, as you are when they appear purely in nature; where the distresses come nearer one's self.’ This is exceedingly well said. This was one of the principal reasons of writing the History of Clarissa.14 In many ways, Lady Bradshaigh was Richardson's perfect reader, but she was also one of the many readers who, at least initially appears to have completely misunderstood the moral message that Richardson wanted Clarissa to illustrate.15 In parts of their correspondence, such as the sample above, it is clear that Bradshaigh is reading in the way that Richardson hoped his readers would: she was forming sympathetic bonds with his characters and seeing their experiences as akin to her own. But Bradshaigh did not always read Richardson's fiction in ways that he would have approved, and in their early correspondence we can see the two debate over the best way to realize Richardson's didactic intentions. As a case in point, Bradshaigh's decision to initiate a correspondence with Richardson under the assumed name of Mrs. Belfour was prompted by her desire to persuade the author to alter his design for the conclusion of Clarissa by having Lovelace and Clarissa wed. It was only through a lengthy debate in letters that Richardson was able to persuade Bradshaigh of what he saw as the error of her reading and to convince her of the necessity of Clarissa's death. The Richardson-Bradshaigh correspondence highlights a number of important aspects of what Richardson hoped his fictions could do, and how he believed they needed to be structured in order to achieve those hopes. But the Richardson-Bradshaigh correspondence, while important, is only a small part of a much larger body of writing that Richardson produced for his readers to explain how his fictions were to be read. Richardson’s dual roles as author and printer made it possible for him to revise and supplement his novels as other novelists of the age could not. As a result, Richardson's attention to the reception of his writing as well as to the form of his 17 writing, make him a very useful figure for examining the developing genre of the novel as many scholars have previously argued. At the same time, Richardson provides an important example of early to mid eighteenth-century anxiety and excitement about the social impact of Britain's first potentially mass broadcast medium of communication. In the chapter that follows, I will be examining Richardson's Clarissa in conjunction with his extensive commentary on that novel in order to illustrate that he believed that the epistolary method provided a kind of reading experience that could not be duplicated in any other form of writing. Richardson, along with many of his key supporters, constantly stressed the importance of the probability of his fictions. Such probability, they argued, was the key element that made it possible for readers to relate directly to Richardson's novels readers to develop strong affective responses to his characters and to the experiences of those characters. Furthermore, Richardson appears to have believed that the probability of his fiction would provide his readers with something approaching a universal reading experience. At the same time, by making his fictions probable, Richardson believed that his moral message would have a greater impact than any didactic work could hope to achieve because his readers would feel the justness of his moral argument. In addition to his emphasis on the probability of his fiction, Richardson stressed what he saw as the important work of judgment that readers needed to exercise when reading his novels. Richardson was not only interested in the sentimental reaction of readers to his characters and to the situations that they faced, but he also wanted readers to form judgments about his characters and about the ramifications of their actions. We can see this interest expressed in the formal arrangement of Clarissa, which places readers into a position where they have to chart their way through a variety of competing subjective positions in order to find patterns of meaning in the 18 novel. It is a complex form of reading that requires the active participation of readers who must decide which characters to support and which to condemn. In many ways the reader of Clarissa is faced with the same kinds of challenges to the formation of opinions and judgments that they would experience in their everyday dealings with others as their own subjective understanding came into contact with the understanding possessed by others. The competing subjectivities in Clarissa intentionally leave room for individual interpretation and indeed require it. Clarissa's readers are faced with a number of interpretive difficulties relating to truth and narrative authority within the text, and as Nicholas Hudson has argued, this was part of Richardson's artistic plan.16 The design of Clarissa makes it possible for readers to come to a variety of conclusions about its characters and their motivations. However, I believe that Richardson thought that through careful reading, and through discussion with others, all readers would ultimately judge his story and his characters in particular ways, especially in the way that they judged the character of Clarissa herself. Richardson appears to have believed that the careful reader would conclude that Clarissa was a paragon of virtue who had been betrayed by the immorality of the community around her. He believed that his readers would ultimately be led by their judgment and sentiment (whether individual or communal) to reach his intended moral message; that reading could provide an alternative to lived experience that would provoke the same active kinds of interpretation that he believed individuals brought to their lived experiences. In many ways, Richardson's optimistic outlook about the potential social functions of his fiction can be attributed to a belief that was made popular by empiricist thinkers like Locke, Hume and Addison, that even large scale social agreement begins at the level of the individual and the personal experiences of that individual. 19 However, Richardson's readers did not always judge his writing in the way he desired, and in the years following the novel's first publication he rewrote and appended Clarissa extensively in order to guide the way it was read. Yet it is important to note, that while Richardson was aware that his use of the epistolary form was causing a great deal of what he felt was misreading he did not abandon it or discontinue his practice of having multiple letter writers vie for the attention of the reader. Although this may seem paradoxical, I believe that Richardson wanted to force his readers to exercise their judgment in relation to his work and that he believed that the best way to do this was with his epistolary form and his use of multiple subjective positions, for these formal elements best satisfied Richardson's conception of how individuals form and share their understanding. This is why, I believe that Richardson tried to correct misreading with paratextual materials rather than by altering the form of his novels, for he appears to have believed that to abandon his form would be, to a great extent, to abandon his purpose. Although he mentions Hume in one of his letters, and published David Hartley's Observations on Man, it is difficult to know how widely read Richardson was in the moral philosophy of his day, or how works of philosophy informed his approach to fiction. Yet the emphasis that Richardson places on probability, reflection and judgment when he writes about his own novels has important resonances with the way that these ideas are examined in contemporary works of moral philosophy during the eighteenth century. Richardson is obviously interested in how individuals form their ideas, particularly those ideas that develop in the absence of sense-based experience, and this interest is reflected in both the form his fiction takes and in the commentary that he provides on that fiction. In the following pages, I hope to show that, with Clarissa in particular, Richardson tried to apply his comprehension of the ideas 20 of eighteenth-century moral philosophy in order to make his readers feel the moral impact of his fiction by internalizing it as if it were their own experience. In particular, I want to examine how Locke's ideas about imagination and understanding, and the reworking of these ideas by Addison, provide the theoretical foundation for what Richardson saw as a unique way to use print, not just to spread a particular moral message, but also to popularize a particular moral ethos.17 As I mentioned in the introduction, Michael McKeon has convincingly argued that during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries "questions of truth" and "questions of virtue" came to the fore as major concerns for Britons. In The Origins of the English Novel, McKeon has identified the emerging novel genre as having a direct relationship to such ontological and epistemological concerns. And, as I also mentioned in the introduction, McKeon's "questions of truth" and "questions of virtue" are directly tied to concerns about the impact of the spread of print media and about new thinking about the nature of human understanding, particularly the role of imagination, which takes on new significance as abstract ideas begin to play a larger role in the daily experience of the individual. In order to examine the importance of mediation and imagination in Richardson's novel Clarissa, I will first address some of the ways that eighteenth-century thinkers understood the cognitive roles of probability and imagination and their relationship to both fiction and to print communication in a larger sense. Next, I will explore the use of the epistolary form by Richardson and others and relate this use to a growing sense of the highly subjective nature of individual reading. Finally, I will explore Richardson's attempts to guide the judgment of his readers and his attempts to prevent misreading without undermining what he deemed to be the affective and cognitive advantages of subjective reading. Clarissa is an important work, not only 21 for its artistry and its influence on future novel writing, but also for the ways that it (and its paratextual additions) foreground some of the period's fundamental concerns about reading and about print communication. This chapter will illustrate the ways in which Richardson drew on the ideas of his philosophical contemporaries about the affective and cognitive potential of the imagination in order to craft what he believed to be a print-specific model for advanced moral instruction. By designing fictions that were highly probable, Richardson further believed that his work would act as an extension of each reader's own experience, able to provide them with a set of experiences that were shared with other readers. In Richardson's estimation, all those readers who interpreted Clarissa "correctly" would see the novel as an important source for community agreement about morality and virtue. Of course, Clarissa failed to achieve Richardson's lofty goals. Ultimately, print did not achieve what Richardson hoped it would. But, though Richardson saw his work as failing to achieve all he had hoped that it would, his epistolary fictions did a great deal to expose the possibilities and limitations of printed communication. What Richardson would have no doubt seen as a failure in his work effectively (if perhaps unintentionally) illustrated a number of the limitations of printed communication to future writers and philosophers alike by showing that reading, particularly when the reader's sympathy is involved, is a highly subjective act. For unlike earlier attempts to build consensus among readers such as the Tatler and the Spectator which relied on the illusion of inclusivity, the emphasis that Richardson placed on the judgment and feeling of each individual reader highlighted the subjective realities of broadcast print communication. Of Probability: In the famous fourth installment of The Rambler, Johnson discusses the ability of fictional works to provide probable examples of the "highest and purest" of virtuous behaviour: 22 In narratives where historical veracity has no place, I cannot discover why there should not be exhibited the most perfect idea of virtue; of virtue not angelical, nor above probability, for what we cannot credit, we never shall imitate, but the highest and purest that humanity can reach, which, exercised in such trials as the various revolutions of things shall bring upon it, may, by conquering some calamities, and enduring others, teach us what we may hope, and what we can perform.18 Johnson argues that because works of fiction are not limited by a strict adherence to factual truth, authors of fiction have the opportunity to provide the best examples of virtue. However, Johnson is quick to add that if such fictions are to provide readers with examples that are worthy of imitation, they must adhere to a standard of probability. Johnson concludes that for a fictional depiction of virtue to serve as a guide to readers, those readers must be able to relate that depiction to their own lived experience, suggesting that, "what we cannot credit, we shall never imitate." In his preface to the first two volumes of the Dutch Clarissa, Richardson's Dutch translator Johannes Stinstra echoes Johnson's remarks about the link between fiction and virtue: The examples of lofty virtue in our own lives are rare; most of the best ones keep themselves hidden in silence and attract the eyes of a small number only. The examples which fiction shows us are also scarce. Among these many are unrealistic and cannot furnish most of us with anything that can be imitated.19 Richardson expressed similar views to those of Johnson and Stinstra about the relationship between questions of virtue and questions of truth. In much of his published commentary on his own works, Richardson stresses the probability of his fiction, particularly as such probability relates to his moral message. It is clear that Richardson and his supporters believed that probable fiction was more valuable to readers than fiction that was improbable. But it is somewhat unclear as to why probability became such an important benchmark for the likes of Richardson and Stinstra. I believe that probability became an important quality for Richardson and his camp because it represented a way to ground the imagination. As a writer of fiction, imagination was clearly an important aspect of Richardson's writing and he no doubt hoped that his readers would exercise their imaginations in relation to his writing. But the challenge that 23 Richardson set for himself was essentially to keep the imagination of his readers in check and make it a productive force that could give his moral message added vigour without spinning out of control into the realm of pure fancy. Locke's theorization of probability provided just such a check, and whether Richardson realized it or not, I believe that his insistence on probability in his fiction stems from Locke's writing on the subject. In the Essay Concerning Human Understanding, John Locke suggests that imagination is one of the essential processes that we use to understand many of the abstract concepts upon which social relations are based: Conformable also to what has been said concerning the essences of the species of mixed modes, that they are the creatures of the understanding rather than the works of nature; conformable, I say, to this, we find that their names lead our thoughts to the mind, and no further. When we speak of justice, or gratitude, we frame to ourselves no imagination of anything existing, which we would conceive; but our thoughts terminate in the abstract ideas of those virtues, and look not further; as they do when we speak of a horse, or iron, whose specific ideas we consider not as barely in the mind, but as in things themselves, which afford the original patterns of those ideas.20 Locke suggests that concepts such as "justice" and "gratitude" are ideas that are based in abstraction and therefore represent a different kind of thinking from the kind that is involved in identifying things (like horses or iron) which are understood though the experience of the senses. However, these two kinds of ideas are intimately linked in Locke's estimation because our sense- based experiences are what make it possible for us to conceive of abstractions. For Locke, the building blocks of our understanding are generated in two ways: sensation and reflection. Sensation, simply put, refers to our sensory perception, or the way we experience the outside world through our senses. Reflection, which Locke also calls "inner sense,"21 refers to the inner workings of our minds and includes the process of transforming sensory experience into units of understanding. According to Locke, reflection is the thought process required to generate complex ideas from simple ones. Simple ideas are those ideas that are taken directly from our sensory 24 experience, while complex ideas involve the synthesis of those simple ideas through the sub- processes of reflection such as imagination, custom, memory, and language. In Locke's estimation, all of these sub-processes have their basis in sensory experience but can move our understanding beyond the constraints of the natural and physical world to generate, or at least to comprehend, abstract constructions such as "justice", "virtue", or even "infinity."22 Therefore, according to Locke, it is our senses that provide the building blocks of understanding, which can then be manipulated by reflection: [E]ven those large and abstract ideas, are derived from sensation, or reflection, being no other than what the mind, by the ordinary use of its own faculties, employed about ideas received from objects of sense, or from the operations it observes in itself about them, may, and does attain unto.23 Through the sub-processes of reflection, which include imagination, custom, memory, and language, we transform our sensory experience into complex ideas. Depending on the way they are formed, these complex ideas may or may not appear to have tangible links to the physical world; nevertheless, they can still have a dramatic impact on the nature of our understanding and institutions. According to Locke, complex ideas are formed in three ways: 1) "by experience and observation of things themselves," 2) "by invention," or combining "several simple ideas in our minds," or, finally, 3) by "explaining the names of actions we never saw, or notions we cannot see" through a process of imaginary construction.24 These three ways of forming complex ideas range from the activity of forming ideas based in personal observation to the construction of mental models that do not necessarily have a foundation in lived, sense-based experience. Although Locke identifies the construction of complex ideas with the assistance of the imagination as "the most usual way" that ideas are formed, this aspect of Locke's theory of cognition threateningly suggests that there are parts of human understanding that are divorced 25 from the natural world and therefore lack verifiable credibility. In a sense, Locke's model of complex idea formation presents a very unstable division between the reflective process of imagination and the flights of pure fancy that we associate with the Quixote and the madman. Locke addresses this potential pitfall in his theory of complex idea formation by attempting to distinguish between "real" and "fantastical" ideas, suggesting that "real" ideas are built upon a solid foundation of simple ideas and the world of the senses, while "fantastical" ideas are not.25 Locke does not completely discredit the value of "fantastical" ideas, but he acknowledges that they are potentially dangerous, especially when they become customary and thereby exempt from rational judgment. However, distinguishing the "reality" of complex ideas based on their links to the natural world is limited in its effectiveness and does not provide stable proof for the "reality" of useful social ideas like "morality, "virtue", or the existence of a supreme being for that matter. In order to validate such invisible concepts, Locke suggests that even fantastical ideas can be effectively controlled and have their credibility examined by reason and judgment. According to Locke, armed with reason and judgment, one can evaluate fantastical ideas and come to a "right conclusion" about their usefulness and value to human understanding.26 However, the problem with these categories of reason and judgment is that they begin to look suspiciously like innate principles, especially if either is credited with final authority in the process of establishing human understanding.27 Locke seems aware of this potential contradiction within the Essay, and he provides a tentative solution in Book IV by suggesting that, in cases where there is no sensory data to attest to the validity of a complex idea, reason and judgment are used to assess the probability of that idea instead of forming an absolute "right conclusion". In this way, Locke presents probability as the last defense against unchecked imagination and "fantastical" ideas. Probability, Locke argues, grounds the imagination and 26 provides a way for individuals to compare ideas, effectively replacing innate ideas as the perceived basis for shared understanding. In Locke's estimation, probability differs from "true knowledge" in the way that it establishes its truth claims and its authority. While "true knowledge" can only be found in the case of simple ideas derived directly from sensory experience of the natural world, probability represents a kind of truth that requires an individual to form judgments based upon their own previous sensory experience, making personal experience a key element in how Locke believes that individuals form understanding. In Locke's estimation, probability is a "likeliness" to be true, a belief that a particular proposition is true "without certain knowledge that it is so."28 In his definition of probability, Locke suggests that in some cases we simply cannot prove that a proposition has a basis in factual truth, but we can accept that such a proposition will serve a useful function. Ultimately, Locke's definition of probability shows that many of his ideas about human understanding, particularly those that deal with invisible things, or "fantastic ideas", are built upon a foundation that is relative, much as Locke wants to downplay that conclusion. Locke does not want to suggest that all truth is relative, and he searches for ways to prevent this reading of his theory. He instead suggests that certain kinds of ideas, particularly those without a solid basis in the physically observable world of nature, require that individuals make judgments about what is likely to be true based on their previous sense-based experience. But if we apply Locke's suggestions about "fantastic ideas" to the case of a complex idea like virtue, we can see that one individual's judgment of what constitutes virtuous behaviour can be completely different from the judgment formed by another individual, particularly if the lived experience of these two individuals has been substantially different. Although he appears skeptical about the success of such attempts to form universally acceptable standards, Locke suggests that one way to avoid the 27 potentially dangerous consequences of such differences in understanding is to establish consensus about certain complex ideas within a group through the establishment of opinion and/or custom.29 We can see a prime example of the importance that Locke places on complex ideas and systems that require popular assent in his examination of the constructed nature of language and words in Book III of the Essay. According to Locke, language is a complex system involving groups of users who agree on sets of standards and begin to treat those standards as "true knowledge."30 Although words are constructed from units of articulate sound, and therefore have a basis in our sensory experience, Locke argues that the sound of words and the meaning of words are connected only as acts of social construction and not as a result of the innate qualities of those words themselves. Locke is careful to separate the form of words from their content; he suggests, for example, that "he that thinks the centaur stands for some real being, imposes on himself, and mistakes words for things."31 For Locke, words are only markers used to express our ideas, and therefore require agreement to have use value. Although I will be discussing Locke's ideas about language fixity in more detail in Chapter Two, it is worth noting here that, in the Essay, Locke argues that greater precision in the definitions of words would be a useful way to decrease the potential for misunderstanding that he sees as being inherent in both written and spoken languages. Locke's discussion of the social life of words and language provides readers with a model of his theorization of how complex ideas come to be shaped by the groups that use them and how this shaping process might potentially overcome differences in understanding that occur as a result of the subjective nature of human experience. Locke's ideas clearly play an essential role in eighteenth-century British thought on human understanding and the role that individual understanding plays in social interaction. His 28 influence can be seen in the work of many authors from the eighteenth century, particularly those who are interested in questions relating to cognition and social organization. One such author is Joseph Addison, who wrote a series of Spectators that ran in the summer of 1712 on the theme of "The Pleasures of the Imagination." These essays not only popularized a number of Locke's key ideas, but they also extended those ideas into the realm of aesthetics in ways that were useful for early century British novelists like Richardson. Locke's articulation of the social construction and use of certain kinds of complex ideas was of crucial importance to Addison's thinking about the role that imagination plays in both human understanding and in acts of sympathetic identification. In "The Pleasures of the Imagination" essays, Addison outlines a system of aesthetic appreciation that he identifies as producing our imaginative interpretation of the natural world. Addison's articulation of the relationship between the senses and the imagination draws heavily on Locke's Essay on Human Understanding, as we can see in the following passage: We cannot indeed have a single image in the fancy that did not make its first entrance through the sight; but we have the power of retaining, altering and compounding those images, which once we have received, into all the varieties of picture and vision that are most agreeable to the imagination; for by this faculty a man in a dungeon is capable of entertaining himself with scenes and landscapes more beautiful than any that can be found in the whole compass of nature.32 Like Locke, Addison draws a link between the knowledge of the natural world that we experience with our senses and the complex ideas that our imaginations help to generate. However, Addison differs from Locke in the emphasis that he places on the relationship between imagination and sight. Addison's examination of the imagination is focused on "only such pleasures as arise originally from the sight," and he divides them into primary and secondary pleasures. Echoing Locke's definition of the process of reflection, Addison credits the secondary pleasures of the imagination with the power to synthesize previous sensory experience in various ways: When I say the ideas we receive from statues, descriptions, or such like occasions, are the same that were once actually in our view, it must not be understood that we had once seen the very 29 place, action, or person which are carved or described. It is sufficient that we have seen places, persons, or actions, in general, which bear a resemblance, or at least some remote analogy with what we find represented. Since it is in the power of the imagination, when it is once stocked with particular ideas, to enlarge, compound, and vary them at her own pleasure.33 Addison suggests that, although we might not have experienced a particular set of circumstances, we can construct them in our imaginations out of the various sensory experiences that we have had. The "pleasure of the imagination" that Addison identifies with such imaginary constructions comes from the creativity involved in manipulating the stock of ideas that we have taken from our sensory experience into new ideas. As a result, it is possible to see Addison's articulation of the "pleasures of the imagination" as a model of artistic appreciation that foregrounds the feeling of the individual, an idea that has tremendous resonance with Richardson's attempts to mobilize feeling with his epistolary novels. One of the main differences between Locke's formulation of the role of imagination in human understanding and the formulation that Addison proposes in the "Pleasures of the Imagination" essays is the emphasis that Addison places on sympathy and emotional response. Although Locke mentions sympathy on a number of occasions in the Essay, it is not one of the major elements of his system. Addison, on the other hand, devotes a great deal of space to outlining the role that sympathy plays in the act of imagining, particularly in those acts of imagination that he refers to as the primary pleasures of the imagination. Addison suggests that, while we are in the physical presence of things that are beautiful or sublime, the imagination produces an emotional response that corresponds with our sensory experience; that it is our imagination that allows us to see certain things as being beautiful or sublime. The cognitive aspect of Addison's theory of aesthetic response becomes more pronounced when he shifts the focus of his discussion from individual imaginative response to sensory experience to the issue of imaginative responses to written descriptions: 30 [W]hen we read of torments, wounds, deaths, and the like dismal accidents, our pleasure does not flow so properly from the grief which such melancholy descriptions give us, as from the secret comparison which we make between ourselves and the person who suffers. Such representations teach us to set a just value upon our own condition, and make us prize our good fortune which exempts us from the like calamities. This is, however, such a kind of pleasure as we are not capable of receiving, when we see a person actually lying under the tortures that we meet with in a description; because, in this case, the object presses too close upon our senses, and bears so hard upon us, that it does not give us time or leisure to reflect on ourselves. Our thoughts are so intent upon the miseries of the sufferer, that we cannot turn them upon our own happiness. Whereas, on the contrary, we consider the misfortunes we read in history or poetry, either as past, or as fictitious, so that the reflection upon ourselves rises in us insensibly, and overbears the sorrow we conceive for the sufferings of the afflicted.34 Here, Addison sounds a great deal like Adam Smith in his articulation of imaginative sympathy, especially in the stress that he places on the differences between those reactions that individuals have to embodied experience and those that they have to experiences represented in written form. Like Smith would do later in the century, Addison talks about the role of imagination in trying to sympathize with the situation of others. But Addison, more than Smith, divides the way individuals react to others by whether or not they can adequately reflect on the experiences of others. According to Addison, when the opportunity to act on our sympathetic reaction to the circumstances of another flesh and blood person are removed by the mediating force of writing, individuals are better able to reflect on the experiences they read about and to relate those reflections to their own experiences. Although Addison believes that individuals feel a brief sense of relief at not suffering the same fate as those that they read about, he also stresses the "secret comparison" that individuals can make between themselves and the sufferer that they read about. This imaginative "secret comparison" of sentiment that Addison outlines is similar in scope to the kind of socially motivated imaginative constructions that Locke discusses in the Essay, for both Addison and Locke are promoting the idea that even largescale social constructions begin with agreement at the level of the individual. But there are important differences between the ways that Locke and Addison approach the concept of community agreement. 31 In An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Locke stresses the importance of communal forms of agreement for particular complex ideas such as language or morality, but he does not spend much time developing the process that is required for such communal agreement to take place. The same can be said for the category of custom, which Locke discusses relatively briefly and without focusing much attention on the way that customs are established, or the possibility of establishing communal agreement through other methods. Addison, on the other hand, focuses a large part of his "pleasures of the imagination" series on outlining a process of sympathetic agreement that is predicated on fictional ties. Addison suggests that because readers accept the fictional nature of their relationship with the characters that they find represented in writing, they can devote most of their attention to their personal reactions to what they read and make comparisons between their own experiences and those represented in the text.35 Addison also argues that if the same readers were witness to real suffering from real individuals, they would focus their sympathy on the suffering individual rather than indulging in personal reflection. Spectatorship (whether in-person or imagined) in Addison's system is invaluable to the understanding of the individual because a spectator has the ability and the time to personally reflect on the instructive value of the spectacle, rather than the pain of victimization that the actual sufferer feels too acutely to reflect upon. In many ways, Addison and Steele's own periodical essays the Tatler and the Spectator attempt to put the reader into a position of imagined spectatorship, prompting them to reflect on a series of social, political and economic issues. Of course, the novel was not the only eighteenth-century literary form that featured authors experimenting with the possibilities and limitations of print. The eighteenth-century periodical press was also an important site for exploring the way that readers and writers 32 negotiated new criteria for the exchange of ideas through a wide-reaching broadcast medium of communication. I raise the topic of eighteenth-century periodicals here in order to illustrate a number of the important assumptions that came to inform the form and content of the early century periodicals and how such assumptions relate to those made by British novelists like Richardson. In periodical publications like the Tatler and the Spectator, readers found the examination of issues related to daily life that tended to be about social interaction and community values rather than the kind of factual news that was available in newspapers. The sense of shared experience was a key aspect of the Tatler and the Spectator and provides an important example of early eighteenth-century thinking about the realities of broadcast communication. In The Making of English Reading Audiences, Jon P. Klancher identifies two important aspects of the attempt by periodical essayists to foster community affiliation, arguing that they were intended "to cement an audience of divergent social ranks as equal interlocutors, and galvanize a new audience previously unrepresented in the universe of public discourse."36 Klancher sees this "society of the text" as offering a potentially egalitarian alternative to a real and hierarchically ranked world outside of the text.37 And while the kinds of textual communities that were represented within periodical essays were not necessarily indicative of actual social formations, the tendency of such publications to encourage readers to imagine their existence suggests a desire for new kinds of social relations and new interfaces with print technology to facilitate such acts of imagination. While it seems paradoxical to create a public forum based in fiction, periodical publications like the Spectator allowed for a broad range of readers to think about the basis and impact of many social conventions and their own relationship to those conventions. One of the key strategies that periodical authors used to create this sense of 33 inclusion and to underplay the broadcast nature of printed communication, was to represent their readers in their essays. An important development in the practice of representing eighteenth-century English readers was the printing of, and the interaction with, their letters.38 J. Paul Hunter has suggested that John Dunton was the first to regularly include letters written by readers in his Athenian Mercury.39 But whether he was the first to do it or not, Dunton's decision to print letters from his readers represents an important shift in the nature of reader/author relations. Although the letters that appeared in the Mercury were likely written by Dunton and his associates, the inclusion of such letters, at least on the level of representation, collapses the distance between the voice of the author and the voice of the reader by encouraging readers to see themselves as having access to the printing press to express their own ideas. Writing about The Gentleman's Magazine, Klancher notes that "[r]eaders exchanged roles with writers as Cave devoted more and more of his journal to "original correspondence." Cave was to find that the resulting ‘society of the text’ could both acculturate and solidify a social stratum still coming into being."40 Like Klancher, Kathryn Shevelow sees the practice of printing the letters of readers as an important development in the history of printed representation: "a new type of periodical necessarily engaged in active audience-building, the Tatler used the publication of letters to figure its readership and to establish the appearance of a bond of complicity between the persona and his public."41 Periodical essayists such as Addison and Steele capitalized on this "bond of complicity" between author and reader by encouraging readers to support the opinions and observations that Addison and Steele presented as if they were the opinions and observations of a large, if unseen, community of readers. The inclusion of letters from readers, whether genuine or not, provided periodical essayists with a way to change 34 the nature of the interface between reader and the printed text, creating the illusion that print was inclusive. It is impossible to know if the letters that made their way into the Spectator were written by actual readers, completely written by Addison and Steele, or some combination of these two options. However, in a sense, it does not matter if the letters were legitimate or not, as long as they were seen to be real, or even potentially real by the original readers of the Spectator. After all, the function of the letters was to encourage readers to see themselves as active, or potentially active, members of a community. The key to this form of representation was the sense that readers and authors shared access to certain kinds of experience and that print could facilitate that sharing, if only in an imagined way. The reader/author relationships depicted in periodicals like The Athenian Mercury, The Spectator, and The Gentleman's Magazine are indicative of important developments in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century thought about what shifts in the nature of printed representation might mean for the experience of reading and for the social role of reading. In The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Jürgen Habermas argues for the emergence of a "bourgeois public sphere" in eighteenth-century Britain. He identifies this body as a community of rational and critical public debate that emerged in coffee houses and the periodical press.42 Members of this bourgeois public sphere were "private" individuals, in that they did not necessarily hold public power or have public profiles like the sovereign or certain members of the aristocracy, but instead expressed their community's values and goals through "public use of their reason".43 An essential aspect of Habermas's articulation of the emerging public sphere is economic, for one had to have financial resources to access the sites of critical debate (products of the press, coffee houses), which is why Habermas classifies this public 35 sphere as bourgeois in nature, a "public of private people, persons who – insofar as they were propertied and educated – as readers, listeners, and spectators could avail themselves via the market of the objects that were subject to discussion".44 However, Habermas also suggests that the public sphere was represented, at least rhetorically, as a social configuration that was potentially open to everyone. According to Habermas, the issues that were discussed in the outlets of this public sphere "became 'general' not merely in their significance, but also in their accessibility: everyone had to be able to participate".45 Habermas describes the bourgeois public sphere as being made up of two distinct but related bodies: the "public sphere in the political realm" and the "public sphere in the world of letters".46 In this formulation, the literary public sphere predates the political public sphere, acting as the "vehicle of public opinion" that puts the state "in touch with the needs of society," and by default the literary public sphere provides the location for the articulation and debate about the nature of those needs.47 Like Shevelow and Klancher, Habermas emphasizes the role that the increasing importance of print communication played in facilitating the emergence of the literary public sphere. According to Habermas, periodical essays, or what he often terms "moral weeklies", provided a way for private persons to read and debate about themselves and their values, thereby giving shape to what Addison and Steele called a "public spirit," or what was soon to be termed "public opinion".48 As a result, Habermas argues that the literary public sphere provided a place where private individuals who were not normally addressed in political circles could have a voice. Readers found a version of themselves (or at least models of social behaviour that they deemed worthy of emulation) in certain periodical publications, particularly those publications that emphasized the active participation of readers (whether real or imagined). Habermas suggests that the emergence of the literary public sphere meant that the "relation 36 between author, work, and public changed. They became intimate mutual relationships between privatized individuals who were psychologically interested in what was "human," in self- knowledge, and in empathy".49 As with Klancher's "society of the text" and Shevelow's "community of the text", the literary public sphere that Habermas describes is made possible by a shift in the nature of representation and subjectivity that comes about as a result of the increased use of print communication during the eighteenth century. Habermas is most interested in drawing a link between representations of the public in early eighteenth-century literary forms and an emerging political public, but I am more concerned with the way that authors approached the task of shaping those representations. Although Habermas's thesis is an appealing way to explain the development of public opinion (particularly bourgeois public opinion) in eighteenth- century Britain, it leaves important questions unanswered about why authors experimented with the kinds of representation that they did and what assumptions they built upon in developing new literary forms like the "moral weeklies" and the novel. Deidre Lynch has examined the nature of character and representation in eighteenth- century Britain as a way to better understand the shift in reading practices that occurs during the period and how they relate to community affiliation. Building on observations made by Carol Kay in her work on Political Constructions, Lynch finds that [u]nderstanding the history of character writing and reading in conjunction with new techniques for imagining community and new ways of connecting people and objects (and people to objects) reveals unsuspected complexities and depths in the impersonality that we tend to explain away. This impersonality speaks volumes about an era that was gradually developing the new impersonal forms—the mechanisms of credit and currency—that could encompass market relationships.50 Kay and Lynch agree that to see the kind of characterization that was popular during the eighteenth century simply as a lack of art is a failure to appreciate the social function that writers intended for their works of fiction. According to Lynch, eighteenth-century novels, and the kind of characterization and representation that they employ, need to be assessed not by subsequent 37 standards of taste, but as examples of eighteenth-century thinking about community, communication, and mediation. At the same time, Lynch links the development of a particular kind of fictional characterization during the eighteenth century with the growing need for Britons to accept the role of abstractions like credit, currency and even Britishness itself as being crucial to their daily experience. In Lynch's estimation, the changing nature of fictional characters during the eighteenth century provides a hitherto unexplored way to chart the shifting nature of how authors imagined their readers and in turn tried to foster a sense of community among those readers who were separated by time and space. Like Habermas, Klancher and Shevelow, Lynch argues that the eighteenth-century writer faced a unique challenge in having not only to appeal to the tastes of their readers, but to actively help to establish what those tastes were. Catherine Gallagher has suggested that the development of fictional figures, or what she calls nobodies "without a physical referent in the real world," was essential to the "massive reorientation of textual referentiality" which took place during the eighteenth century.51 According to Gallagher, purely fictional characters became increasingly important during the eighteenth century because they represented a new way to "use" printed texts as readers learned to embrace the fictiveness of the characters that they found in novels. In Gallagher's estimation, accepting the fictional qualities of the novel genre gave the form a universal quality because the stories were not tied to historically specific individuals and events. Individual readers could relate to fictional accounts in a non-partisan fashion. She contrasts these novelistic depictions of "nobodies" with what she calls "referential truth telling", a form of libel and gossip popular in the prose fiction of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, which featured real life figures that were thinly disguised as fictional characters.52 In contrast to these satirical jabs at 38 real-life figures, stories about "nobodies" provided opportunities for readers to reflect on realistic situations that featured parallels to their own lives. What Gallagher is writing about is a specific kind of fictionality that is not based in pure fantasy or based on veiled gossip, but instead is built upon a kind of realism that is understood by readers to be probable, if not actually true. These realistic fictions differ from the specificity of biography or history, which depict events and situations that are unique to particular individuals and to particular circumstances situated within real time and space. Although histories and biographies often provide readers with rich resources for reflection, their claims to truth differ from those of fiction, a difference that authors like Richardson believed made it essential for readers of fiction to judge the probability of a text based on how it relates to their own experience and understanding. Richardson and his supporters believed that it was this work of readerly judgment that made reading fiction a more self-reflexive activity than reading history or biography, which based a great number of their claims to truth on the basis of their generic qualities.  According to its supporters, probable fiction like Richardson's Clarissa provided a kind of reading experience that other forms could not; one that could guide readers to correct moral judgments by directing their imaginations to form specific sentiments and reflections. Johannes Stinstra was just such a supporter of Richardson's fictions and their socially reforming potential. Stinstra took the liberty of introducing himself to Richardson by letter in mid-September 1752 shortly after his Dutch translation of volumes one and two of Clarissa had been published. What makes Stinstra especially interesting among Richardson's translators and correspondents is the series of prefaces that he wrote for the four installments of his Dutch translation of Clarissa. In each of these prefaces, Stinstra provided a variety of reasons for 39 reading Clarissa, a defense of its value as a source of moral instruction, as well as a series of directions explaining how to read the novel effectively: The great and excellent use which can be drawn from Clarissa and which we have seen we must aim at in reading it certainly requires that one should not run through it lightly and without thought but should consider everything closely, contemplate attentively, and with one's intellect apply oneself to obtain a perfect realization of all that is noteworthy in it.53 Stinstra's insistence on careful reading here mirrors comments made by Richardson in both his correspondence and his paratextual materials where he warns readers against hasty and incorrect interpretations of his novel.54 But Stinstra's observations are not just the direct translations of Richardson's own instructions to the readers of Clarissa. Although Stinstra does draw on Richardson's prefaces and postscripts for some of his remarks, for the most part, Stinstra's comments reflect the way that he personally approached Richardson's text. After all, apart from being the Dutch translator of Clarissa, Stinstra was also, first and foremost, a reader and an admirer of Clarissa. This is evident in his correspondence with Richardson, where Stinstra claims to have embarked on the translation because he felt that the Dutch could benefit from Richardson's innovative style of moral fiction and its potential for developing widespread agreement on the value of the heroine's moral outlook and actions. In the preface to the third and fourth Dutch editions of Clarissa, Stinstra explains how to avoid misreading the novel in a very detailed way. In a series of instructions that break down what he believes to be the correct reading process into a series of steps, Stinstra attempts to ensure that his readers will comprehend the moral message of Clarissa: First of all, one should usefully contemplate the characters and the conduct of persons who appear on the scene here, in order to get to know the world, as one says; in order to fathom the nature, qualities, and aims of one's fellowmen as much as possible and then to make a correct and just judgment as far as one is permitted.55 In order to make a correct "judgment" of Clarissa, Stinstra recommends that readers carefully study Richardson's characters in order to better understand how their dispositions inform their 40 actions. Stinstra recommends that readers approach these characters, not merely as fictional creations, but rather as one's "fellowmen," suggesting that he wants readers to fit Richardson's characters into their preexisting understanding of human behaviour, a suggestion that he develops further in his next reading instruction: One should compare the pictures which are given here with the living examples one meets in daily society; and one will acknowledge from the latter not only the skillful elegance and nicety of the former, but by means of this comparison one will be able to obtain an accurate knowledge of the people whose traits are sketched here.56 According to Stinstra, such comparisons will make it possible for readers to draw direct comparisons between Clarissa's story and their own lived experience, something that Stinstra believes they must do if they are going to understand the deeper meaning of the novel and be usefully guided by it. Stinstra is most concerned with the use value of Richardson's fiction, and he continually suggests that, in order for readers to receive the moral value of Clarissa, they need to pay the "required attention to it."57 In Stinstra's estimation, if a reader approaches Richardson's novel with the right amount of care (an approach that involves readers comparing the scenes of Clarissa with their own experience), they will be rewarded with a system of moral values that have ready application in their own lives: If we are presented here with many precarious incidents, similar to those which we may easily meet in daily life, we should place ourselves in such circumstances in our imaginations and seriously decide to follow the good which is presented to us here and to avoid the mistakes made (in these incidents); and such a deliberation and foresight will make us preeminently capable of holding to the right track if ever we may be placed in any of these situations.58 Stinstra suggests that in order for readers to make the most of the comparison that they draw between their own experience and the experience of the characters that they find in Clarissa, they should imaginatively place themselves into the situation of those characters. In this way, Stinstra is suggesting that Richardson's readers can essentially use his fiction as a substitute for lived experience and exercise judgment (or what Stinstra calls "deliberation") in relation to that 41 experience. The reading process that Stinstra outlines here relies on a mode of reflection that is similar to the one that Addison outlines in his "Pleasures of the Imagination" essays, requiring readers to compare and reflect on their own experience in relation to that of Richardson's characters. It is this process of reflection in particular that is important to the moral project that Stinstra attributes to Richardson, for through such reflection Stinstra believes that the reader will be able to develop a particular understanding of the abstractions of virtue and morality as fictional experience replaces sense-based experience. Stinstra sees the tendency to promote reflection as the specific mechanism that gives Clarissa its real social and moral value, so much so that, at one point, he actually contrasts Richardson's fiction with "the Holy Scriptures and other good books", which do not require the same kind of encouragement in readers. In reading works that do not promote reflection, Stinstra finds that "one leaves oneself completely outside any consideration and neglects therefore to test one's own heart against the matter presented and neglects to bring home the lessons and warnings to one's own condition and morals which one so eagerly knows how to apply to others."59 As a result of this perceived shortcoming, Richardson's emphasis on probability and readerly judgment represents the pinnacle of moral instruction for Stinstra because these traits help those who read the novel correctly to feel the moral message rather than merely intellectualizing it, an evaluation that no doubt pleased Richardson a great deal. As I noted at the beginning of the chapter, Richardson's correspondence with Lady Bradshaigh is an important source for insights about his views on the moral role of fiction and about he way that he felt that his fiction should be read. The Richardson-Bradshaigh correspondence has often been cited for its value as a source of Richardson's explanations about the plot of Clarissa and how it relates to his moral message. But the correspondence also 42 contains a number of important statements by Richardson about the role of readerly sentiment in relation to his novel, particularly as Richardson praises or condemns Bradshaigh's sentiments. In one letter, Richardson seems almost pleased at the painful emotional response that she has had to Clarissa: You cannot imagine, how sensibly I am grieved for the pain the unexpected turn of my story has given you. God forbid that any thing unhappy, or disastrous, should ever fall to the lot of a lady so generously sensible to the woes of others, as she must be who can thus be affected by a moral tale, tho' the characters (however presumed to be in nature) existed not in life.60 Richardson expresses his own sympathetic reaction to Lady Bradshaigh's description of her response to Clarissa. Just as Bradshaigh reacted to Clarissa's woes with tears, Richardson reacts to Bradshaigh's tears with a textual expression of grief. But Richardson's expression of grief at Bradshaigh's pain is, at least on one level, disingenuous since she has done what Richardson hoped his readers would do and has internalized and reacted to Clarissa's experiences as if they were those of a close acquaintance. Bradshaigh's expressions of pain in relation to Clarissa's story must have been all the sweeter for Richardson because of Bradshaigh's initial resistance to his narrative plan. After all, when Bradshaigh first wrote to Richardson as Mrs. Belfour, it was with the intention of convincing him to have Clarissa marry Lovelace so that she could reform him in a manner similar to Pamela's taming of Mr. B. However, the combination of Richardson's entreaties and her own sentimental reaction to the last installments of the novel convinced Bradshaigh of the justness and moral value of Richardson's plan. But while Bradshaigh becomes Richardson's perfect reader in many ways, her initial reaction to his story is indicative of the potential for misreading that is built into the very structure of Richardson's works of fiction; a potential that Richardson sought increasingly to prevent. In the postscript to the first edition of Clarissa, Richardson provides a public explanation for his decision not to heed the suggestion of many readers to provide a happy ending to his 43 tragedy by reforming Lovelace and having him marry Clarissa. As he did with Lady Bradshaigh, Richardson emphasizes the nature and probability of his work, and he tries to illustrate how these things relate to his moral message and his design to "inculcate upon the human mind, under the guise of an Amusement, the great Lessons of Christianity."61 On one level, Richardson's early forays into the realm of paratexual addition provide the sense of give and take within an interpretive community of author and reader as Richardson attempts to restate his purpose in different ways for the sake of clarity. However, when readers continued to question the necessity of Clarissa's death and persisted in calling for a union between Clarissa and Lovelace, Richardson went beyond the point of offering a gentle corrective. In the third edition of Clarissa, Richardson tells his readers that "the Author" always thought, that sudden Conversions, especially, as were left to the candour of the Reader to suppose and make out, had neither Art, nor Nature, nor even Probability, in them; and that they were moreover of very bad example. To have a Lovelace for a series of years glory in his wickedness, and think that he had nothing to do, but as an act of grace and favour to hold out his hand to receive that of the best of women, whenever he pleased, and to have it thought, that Marriage would be a sufficient amends for all his enormities to others, as well as to her; he could not bear that.62 In this passage, Richardson asserts his own authority to decide the fate of Lovelace and Clarissa by aligning his artistic choices with what he feels must be universally accepted as "natural" and "probable" occurrences. He accuses those who question his authorial decisions of misreading his tragic plan and of misinterpreting his moral message. He notes that Clarissa will lose its power to provide a moral lesson if he does not follow a strict adherence to what he deems to be the probable outcomes of the story as he has structured it. This is likely why Richardson continued to structure his novels using the epistolary form, which showcases a variety of competing subjective positions, rather than subordinating these voices to a single narrator with absolute authority. 44 Richardson was not alone in his belief that the probability of Clarissa was essential to its moral message. In July and August of 1747, a review of Clarissa appeared in The Gentleman's Magazine by Albrecht von Haller, a Swiss born professor of anatomy at the University of Göttingen.63 In the review, Von Haller makes a number of observations about Richardson's style of writing and about the social function of that style. He notes that "Clarissa not only amuses, but instructs; and the more effectually, as the writer paints nature, and nature alone." And, just as Richardson had done in his postscripts and his correspondence, Von Haller draws a direct link between the morality of Richardson's novel and its natural quality: The pathetic has never been exhibited with equal power, and it is manifest, in a thousand instances, that the most obdurate and insensible tempers have been softened into compassion, and melted into tears, by the death, the sufferings, and the sorrows of Clarissa. We have not read any performance, in any language, that so much as approaches to a competition; for here nature is represented with all its circumstances, and nature only can persuade and move. In Clarissa we see a virtuous character, in the same station of life as ourselves, suffer with an immovable and unshaken constancy.64 Von Haller suggests that, "nature only can persuade and move." He believes that Clarissa, written in epistolary form and featuring a high degree of minute detail, mirrors nature, and, therefore it is able to move its readers. Like Richardson does in his paratextual materials, Von Haller stresses the importance of the probability, or naturalness, of Richardson's fiction because he feels that it is this natural quality of Clarissa that makes it possible for readers to compare the sentiments and behaviour of Richardson's characters with their own, for they are "in the same station as ourselves." According to Von Haller, the ability of readers to make such comparisons and to judge how they would behave in similar situations turns Clarissa's decisions and virtuous behaviour into a benchmark for their own moral judgments in a way that unrealistic fiction could not. However, it is important to note that the kind of natural representation that Von Haller refers to is openly fictional and he has no hesitation in claiming that Richardson is not just the editor, but 45 also the author of Clarissa.65 In Von Haller's estimation, the truth claims that Richardson's Clarissa makes are not the specific truths of history or biography, but rather the universal (or at least potentially universal) claims of human experience and therefore, are claims that serve a potentially useful social purpose. According to Von Haller, the fact that Clarissa's narrative is both probable and fictional is what gives its moral message both its power and its potential transcendent quality. The end goal of this particular approach to reading appears to be that each reader who interprets the narrative of Clarissa correctly, feeling the appropriate responses to her story, joins a virtual interpretive community that agrees about the value of a particular set of moral ideas and virtuous actions. The key to the social value of probable fictions, in Richardson and Von Haller's estimation, is the individual reader who can imaginatively bridge the gap between textual representation and lived experience and apply their own sense-based understanding to experiences that they have not had but find depicted in Richardson's fictions. Von Haller, Richardson and even Bradshaigh believed that careful readers could imagine Clarissa's story as one that was based in nature even while they acknowledged to themselves that they were actually reading fiction. In Richardson's correspondence and paratextual materials we can see that he believed that his readers could and would combine their own lived experience with his fictional depictions in order to make judgments about "complex ideas" like virtue, morality and divinity. In this way, I believe that we can see Richardson trying to make his readers enact a process of judgment like the one that Locke identified in relation to human understanding and to the process of sharing social concepts. After all, both Richardson and Locke believed in the value of social agreement, wrote about the role of judgment in making such agreement possible, and 46 acknowledged the abstract nature of ideas that could be valuable to the community like morality and virtue. Epistolary Form and the Work of Reading Clarissa: Richardson's decision to tell the story of Clarissa "in a Series of Letters, written principally in a double, yet separate, Correspondence" means that readers were (and still are) faced with multiple interpretations of the events depicted in the collection without a decisive voice of authority to guide them as they read. And, just as Stanley Fish has argued about Milton's Paradise Lost, Richardson's novel does give the reader enough room to misread the intended message.66 Indeed, based on Richardson's use of competing subject positions in Clarissa, William Warner has concluded that Richardson used the epistolary form with the expressed intention of promoting misinterpretation among his readers and highlighting the subjective nature of reading in a more general sense. However, Richardson's decision to add more and more prescriptive paratextual elements to his novels, and to increasingly use the authoritative voice of the editor/author figure in each successive edition of Clarissa in order to guide his readers, undercuts Warner's suggestion that Richardson was encouraging his readers to misread.67 Instead, I would like to suggest that by using such paratextual materials to guide his readers, Richardson actively tried to underscore his moral message while protecting the reading experience of his epistolary fiction. If Richardson did discover that he was of Lovelace's party without intending to be, he believed that it was a result of a structural problem, a problem that he could fix with further paratextual additions. Richardson's attempt to direct readers with extensive revisions and additions has been well documented. However, I feel that questions still remain as to why Richardson would not 47 abandon the technique of "writing to the moment," or his use of multiple letter writers, even though these aspects of his writing were what made it possible for his readers to misinterpret the didactic intent of his fiction. I believe that Richardson continued to use these techniques, even though he recognized the potential that they generated for misreading, because he felt that they provided a particular type of reading experience, and that the potential for a particular kind of successful reading by some readers was worth the possibility that other readers would misinterpret the work. Mary Patricia Martin has agued that "Richardson's fiction is an attempt to develop the moral imagination through the act of reading itself," in that it requires readers to piece together the moral message in the face of conflicting possibilities for reform.68 Such reading, I believe, required readers to make judgments about the actions and sentiments of Richardson's characters as if they were real, all the while knowing that they were not. Richardson attempted to write probable fictions that would encourage readers to make deeply affecting sympathetic judgments, for he and his supporters like Stinstra and Von Haller believed that such judgments would promote the case for virtue more effectively than straightforward forms of didacticism. Richardson's goal was to encourage readers to make personal judgments about his characters and novels and while his chosen vehicle for this kind of reading was fictional, it was also probable. In the commentary on his own writing, Richardson often suggests that readers need to see something of their own experience in his work if they are going to be more than superficially affected by it. In order to achieve this bridge between the real world and the world found in his novels, Richardson tried to make his fictions as probable as possible. In his paratextual material and in his correspondence, Richardson presents his style of writing to the moment as the engine that gives his work its realistic quality. He wanted his readers to personally reflect on the raw (or 48 at least seemingly raw) experiences of his characters and to form moral judgments based on that reflection rather than having moral judgments thrust upon them by a narrator. The key to this project was probability. Richardson continually asserts that in order for the experiences that he depicts in his epistolary novels to be useful to his readers, they must be probable, otherwise they will just be products of fancy and will not provide any use for readers beyond mere entertainment. In Richardson's estimation, probability and readerly sentimental investment gave his fictions a basis that, while not quite universal in scope, came as close to universality as was possible for those who subscribed the empiricist view of the world. The community of agreement that Richardson hoped would embrace his novelistic moral program would of course be imaginary in nature, but it would be predicated on equal access to a specific textual artifact and capable of making the same judgments about the actions and sentiments depicted in that artifact. The kind of reading experience that Richardson hoped for in relation to his novels was in many ways indicative of the kind of model of sympathetic identification that Adam Smith would outline later in the century in his Theory of Moral Sentiments with its emphasis on imaginative sympathy and of the role of such sympathy in establishing and maintaining social customs and conventions. These are also ideas that Richardson likely found in an earlier stage of development in Addison's "Pleasures of the Imagination" essays, or in conversation with his associates in the London literati. Richardson's stated goals about his own fiction are also heavily influenced by Locke's model of human understanding from his famous Essay, whether directly or not. Of course, the relationship between Richardson's fiction and the work of eighteenth- century moral philosophers has already been addressed by a number of scholars. Ian Watt draws a direct comparison between Richardson and Locke and suggests that Richardson drew heavily on the kind of "philosophic realism" and the emphasis on individual perspective as outlined by 49 Descartes and Locke.69 At the other end of the spectrum is the work of Miranda Burgess who has argued that Richardson's attempts to produce a new model of British social order involve a shift away from a Lockean type of contract theory of social order, to a more Humean form of community consciousness based upon 'romance' and sentimental reactions to the concepts of exchange, credit and circulation.70 While Burgess seems correct to distance Richardson from Locke's theories about social contract, drawing a direct connection between Hume and Richardson raises certain difficulties as well. After all, Richardson makes almost no reference to Hume in his published commentary or his correspondence, and, as Burgess has noted, when Richardson does write about Hume he is quite critical.71 John Mullan has also acknowledged the difficulty in making a direct connection between Richardson and Hume, noting the limited influence of Hume's Treatise "when it was first published."72 But Mullan and Burgess have both recognized that many of the ideas that Hume develops in the Treatise had social currency beyond Hume's articulation of them. After all, Hume was not the only thinker of his time to grapple with the issue of what constituted the basis for social virtue, and, as Mullan notes, many of the concerns that were expressed in the work of moral philosophers were also expressed in "types of literature less obviously committed to social analysis or political prescription," such as Richardson's novels.73 But, as I have been trying to illustrate in this chapter, Richardson dealt with matters of social formation and social standards in both the content and the form of his writing, a form that he intended to spark discussion, debate and the performance of social virtue in readers. Along with the paratextual additions that Richardson added to subsequent editions of each of his novels, his correspondence reveals a great deal about his views on how he believed 50 his readers should use his writing. In a letter to Lady Echlin written in late 1754, Richardson discusses the social role he hoped his texts could play. I quote the letter at some length: Lady Bradshaigh acquaints me that she, as well as your Ladyship, meets with persons who quarrel with Sir Charles Grandison. They are welcome. A good character is a gauntlet thrown out. As some apprehend it reflects upon themselves, they perhaps think they have a right to be affronted. The character of a mere mortal cannot, ought not, to be quite perfect. It is sufficient, if its errors be not premeditated, willful, and unrepented of: and I shall rejoice if there be numbers of those, who find fault with the more perfect characters in the piece, because of their errors, and who would be themselves above being guilty of the like in the same situation. Many things are thrown out in the several characters, on purpose to provoke friendly debate; and perhaps as trials of the reader's judgment, manners, taste, and capacity. I have often sat by in company, and been silently pleased with the opportunity given me, by different arguers, of looking into the hearts of some of them, through windows that at other times have been close shut up. This is an advantage that will always be given by familiar writing, and by characters drawn from common life.74 In this letter, it is important to note that Richardson places great emphasis on the way that people use his fiction. We can see that Richardson is especially interested in the social role of his fiction, in its potential to provide a group of readers with a framework through which they can discuss issues of moral interest. At the same time, Richardson stresses what he sees as the important work of "judgment" that readers must exercise in relation to his fictions. Richardson is not only interested in the sentimental reaction of readers to his characters and situations they face; he also wants his readers to form judgments about his characters and the ramifications of their actions. He wants readers to form judgments in relation to his fiction as they would form judgments in relation to their lived experience, thereby making Clarissa, at least imaginatively, a part of that lived experience and a part that many readers could equally access and judge. Although it is somewhat unlikely that he read them directly, the work of moral philosophers like Locke and Hume appears to have provided the building blocks for Richardson's ideas about the role that printed works of fiction could play in encouraging readers to make judgments in relation to specific source material. What Richardson proposes in his paratextual materials and in his correspondence is essentially a process of idea formation that begins with sense-based understanding and which will, ideally, end with all readers achieving a similar 51 understanding of the complex ideas of morality and virtue. While many scholars have examined the important role of sympathetic identification in Richardson's novels, I feel that it is equally important to examine the cognitive processes that Richardson believed were involved in the reading, particularly the role that imagination plays in acts of human understanding. Richardson obviously shares an interest in the social function of sympathy with eighteenth-century philosophers like Hume, Smith and Hutcheson, but he also illustrates a keen interest in the processes that lead to human understanding; an interest that appears to draw especially heavily from the work of John Locke. As I mentioned previously, Locke writes that lived experience plays an important role in our understanding of the world around us. The simple ideas that we generate from our sense- based experiences can then be transformed into complex ideas and abstractions (such as nationality, social justice and virtue) that may or may not have direct relationships to the physical world. Locke's theory of the way that we form complex ideas has a tremendous resonance with the work that Richardson felt was required to adequately read his novels, particularly Clarissa. After all, in the letters themselves, Richardson does not provide his readers with a moral presented by a seemingly objective narrator, or even a set of clear rules for differentiating the moral value of the sentiments of his characters. Instead, he provides his readers with a variety of subjective voices that present differing interpretations of the events leading up to, and following, Clarissa's rape and ensuing death. The reader must provide their own judgment of the validity of each of these interpretations, charting their way through these subjective positions as they would in their day to day lives, by drawing on the stock of understanding that they have built up through their lived experience. In this way, Richardson's attempt to promote specific moral reading practices shares some important similarities with Locke's theory about how individuals 52 come to form complex ideas. Both Richardson and Locke stress the role that sense-based experience plays in the formation of complex ideas and both stress the role that probability plays when individuals come to form judgments without the benefit of direct sense-based experience. Richardson presents the attention that he pays to the minutiae of the daily lives of his characters as a potential stand-in for sense-based experience. In Richardson's estimation, if each of Clarissa's readers came to the "correct" conclusions that the evidence of the text illustrates, then the private judgment of those readers would form the backbone of a larger social agreement on virtue. Letters tend to be written for a specific private reader, but, as I mentioned in the case of the letters to the Spectator and other periodical papers, they also often serve a public function, whether they were written with such a use in mind or not. Terry Eagleton has argued that each of the letters in Clarissa are used both publicly and privately and that while they often showcase the personal emotion of individual characters, such emotion is being expressed with the knowledge that another will be reading the letter.75 Eagleton is thinking specifically about the way letter writers think about language, but his observation also holds true for way that letter readers and writers approach the work of mediation that the letter performs. Although personal letters are written with specific audiences in mind, and so tend to feature many of the rhetorical devices of face-to-face communication, the use of these devices serves to highlight the distance between the reader and the writer that the actual letter mediates. Because all writing represents a different relationship to time and space than face-to-face communication, any sense of immediacy involved in letter writing and reading is of an imaginary nature. The "recipient's likely response," as Eagleton calls it, is a construction based upon previous experience and passed through a filter of probable response in the imagination of the letter writer. The letter then is an important site for 53 introducing readers and writers alike to the understanding that written communication is fundamentally different from face-to-face communication, even when it tries to mimic it. As a result, eighteenth-century readers and writers who accept the role that mediation and imagination play in epistolary communication are actively engaged in an early form of media literacy. James How has recently examined the relationship between the development of the national postal system in Great Britain and the development of something he calls 'epistolary space.' How argues that the increased efficiency of the Post Office in the eighteenth century decreased the time involved in epistolary communication to the point where readers could see it as almost approximating face-to-face exchange. Although the materiality of the letter form constantly reminds its users of the "physical distance between reader and writer." 76 How believes that certain letter readers and writers felt that they could overcome this physical separation through an imaginary relationship with epistolary space and time that approximated the world of their senses.77 According to How, learning to imagine 'epistolary space' changed the way that readers and writers alike approached the written word and helped to prepare audiences for the demands made on them by the epistolary fiction of the eighteenth century, particularly those demands on their ability to think in terms of imagined time and space. However, there are some key differences between epistolary communication and epistolary novels that How tends to downplay. To begin with, the level of mediation that separates the writer of a letter from the reader of a letter is much smaller than the level of mediation that separates the writer of an epistolary novel from its readers. As Elizabeth Heckendorn Cook has noted, although epistolary fiction continues to feature a 'trace of the body' that inscribed it, this trace is ghostly because the written manuscript has been translated into a uniformly printed shape and multiplied many times over.78 On the one hand, the epistolary novel 54 requires a different set of interpretive strategies than the personal letter, especially since the reader of an epistolary novel does not tend to be the intended recipient of the novel's letters, but rather a silent auditor to a conversation that does not include them. Yet at the same time, epistolary novels do draw on the conventions of a genre that was recognizable and accessible to most members of the reading community. Such readers were used to the activity of imagining a specific writer at the other end of epistolary correspondence and this aspect of the form helped Richardson to achieve the air of probability that he believed was essential to promote his moral agenda. In the postscript to the second edition of Clarissa, Richardson reprinted part of Albrecht Von Haller's review of Clarissa from The Gentleman's Magazine, which contains Von Haller's praise of the probability of Richardson's epistolary style: This method has given the author great advantages, which he could not have drawn from any other species of narration. The minute particulars of events, the sentiments and conversation of the parties, are, upon this plan, exhibited with all the warmth of spirit, that the passion supposed to be predominant at the very time, could produce, and with all the distinguishing characteristics which memory can supply a History of recent transactions.79 Unlike non-epistolary narrations (fictional or historical) that rest upon the premise that a chain of events is being reconstructed after the fact, Von Haller and Richardson both claim that the epistolary form gives readers the sense that events and emotions are being transcribed as they are experienced, or at least shortly thereafter. In Richardson's estimation, the sensation of writing to the moment that the epistolary form generates also provides readers with a sense of immediacy in relation to the events that occur within his fictions. In Clarissa, each of the characters is constantly mailing and receiving letters and tends to have only a limited time to reflect upon the events that they narrate. Rather than providing readers with a retrospective account of their experiences, the characters in Richardson's fictions report their impressions as they happen.80 This way of sequencing the narrative structure of Clarissa has the effect of placing readers into a 55 temporal relationship with the events of the story that mirrors the experience of the characters themselves. Because readers are not told Clarissa's story in a retrospective manner in which the key events are organized into a clear and sequential pattern, readers must search for structures of meaning in the vast detail that Richardson provides in the voices of his many subjective letter writers. In his unpublished "Hints for Prefaces," Richardson addressed his rationale for using the epistolary form in his novels: The Writer chose to tell his Tale in a Series of Letters, supposed to be written by the Parties concerned, as the Circumstances related passed: For this Juncture afforded him the only natural Opportunity that could be had, of representing with any Grace those lively and delicate Impressions, which Things present are known to make upon the Minds of those affected by them. And he apprehends, that in the Study of human Nature the Knowledge of those Apprehensions leads us farther into the Recesses of the human Mind, than the colder and more general Reflections suited to a continued and more contracted Narrative.81 Richardson believed that if each reader could reinvest the printed page with their own "lively and delicate impressions" they would feel the importance of the moral message of his text more profoundly than if they were simply told the moral message directly by a narrator. But while feeling is an important part of his process of writing to the moment, it is important to note that what Richardson is proposing in the passage above is not an appeal to the kind of fine feeling that is usually associated with novels of sentiment, but rather a way of generating human understanding through a specific communications medium. In the absence of sensory experience, which Locke defines as the primary source of most of human understanding, Richardson suggests that it is possible for his readers to have sympathetic reactions to his fiction that provide a substitute for lived experience. In this way, Richardson is arguing that it is possible for his readers to construct complex moral ideas of their own by reflecting on the experience of reading his novel. 56 The serial release of Clarissa also provided readers of the first edition with time to reflect on, and to debate with other readers, the meaning of the work and its potential direction.82 As Keymer has noted, Richardson wrote in a letter to a friend that his fiction "abounds, and was intended to abound, with situations that should give occasion for debate, of different ways of thinking and that his epistolary style is intended to make 'if not Authors, [then] Carvers'" of his readers.83 Richardson believed that his fiction required the active participation of readers, and he hoped that those readers would debate and discuss the moral issues raised in his novel (always of course coming to the conclusion that Clarissa represented a benchmark of morality). In this way, Richardson saw his novel as an organ for bringing an individual's private understanding of virtue into a public forum. But Richardson misjudged the impact that the subjective nature of reading has on interpretive consistency and his novels failed to generate the unified response that he believed they would. Readers did not (and indeed still do not) always read Clarissa as Richardson had hoped. In the years following the novel's first publication, he used his dual role as the writer and publisher of his own work in a series of attempts to direct readers while maintaining his epistolary form. Writer and Printer: Modern scholars of Richardson's work have taken a variety of different approaches to examining the relationship of Richardson the printer to Richardson the novelist.84 Watt describes Richardson as a prominent figure that gave "fiction [a] subjective and inward direction," and also sees him as the first author to provide sustained depictions of the private realm of the individual in his epistolary narratives.85 Eagleton, on the other hand, describes Richardson as a well- connected man of business whose fiction was not only a cultural product intended for the public 57 market, but also an important source for the expression of the shifting values of the middling ranks in the eighteenth century. Cook charts a middle path between Watt and Eagleton by focusing on how Richardson's fictions helped to establish eighteenth-century definitions of public and private roles, particularly in his innovative use of the epistolary form.86 More recently, there has been a growing amount of scholarship that examines the role that Richardson's intimate knowledge of both the print medium and the print market had on his views about the possibilities of novelistic fiction. Looking specifically at Richardson's Pamela, William Beatty Warner suggests that evaluating the cultural significance of Richardson's first novel requires that it be resituated back into its market context, or what Warner calls "The Pamela media event." According to Warner, this re-contextualization illustrates that Richardson presented his didactic prose fiction as an alternative to existing novelistic fiction in order to increase its marketability. Warner also notes that Richardson had a very good idea of what was acceptable to British reading audiences and what the printing press was capable of providing. Christopher Flint has also examined Richardson's dual role as printer and writer, paying special attention to the materiality of Richardson's texts. In particular, Flint looks at the "semantic charge" of printer's ornaments including asterisks, rosettes, arabesques, and indices.87 Building on the work of scholars like John Carroll and Geoffrey Dey, Flint places great emphasis on the fact that Richardson's unique role as the printer of his own works allowed him to experiment with the material presentation of his fictions and to closely chart the role that print innovations could play in the reading experience of his texts.88 According to Flint, the printer's ornaments that Richardson uses operate as stand-ins for emotional and embodied forms of signification, such as dramatic pauses, purely visual cues like Lovelace's indices, and added emphasis for certain words or ideas. Flint sees 58 Richardson's use of these marks as an attempt to represent what normally cannot be represented.89  While the use of these printer's ornaments to represent emotion and embodiment cannot erase the traces of their mediation, Flint argues that they illustrate Richardson's interest in the "complex relation that develops between fictional representations of emotion and the print technology that enables them."90 As Flint recognizes, Richardson's experimentation with the signifying potential of print is something that has been traditionally downplayed by scholars, who generally focus more attention on his knowledge of the business of the marketplace rather than on his expertise as a craftsman. Richardson was clearly preoccupied with the way that readers interpreted his work. Such anxiety about reception was not unique, and as Clifford Siskin argued in The Work of Writing, Richardson was indicative of an ongoing eighteenth-century re-evaluation of the potential of prose fiction by many writers in many different genres. But Richardson was in a unique position to address what he believed to be the shortcomings of his work. Richardson's role as the printer of his own novels meant that, unlike his contemporaries, it was possible for him to make fairly radical changes to his work from one edition to the next. Some of the changes that Richardson made to the successive editions of his work include massive rewrites of the letters themselves, the addition of introductions, postscripts, indexes, and even a collection of the most important moral sentiments in his three novels. These paratextual materials provided a series of directions to readers, varying from gentle correctives to blatant suggestions about how to read Clarissa's narrative and how to evaluate specific characters. But it is also important to address what Richardson did not change, particularly his use of the epistolary form, even when it came directly under attack. 59 One of the harshest criticisms of Richardson's claims about the probability of his epistolary fiction has to be Fielding's satirical treatment of writing to the moment in Shamela. Reacting to Richardson's claims for the immediacy of his technique of writing to the moment, Fielding has Shamela write in a letter that "Mrs. Jervis and I are just in Bed, and the Door unlocked; if my Master should come – Odsbobs! I hear him just coming in at the Door. You see I write in the present tense, as Parson Williams says".91 In this letter, Fielding draws attention to the fact that the act of writing does not occur as things happen, but after they happen and although Shamela writes "in the present tense," she writes after the fact. With this scene especially, Fielding illustrates that Richardson's use of present-tense writing in Pamela is in fact a highly fictional construction and not representative of the kind of probability that Richardson claims for it. Yet Richardson continued to assert that his technique of writing to the moment supported his claims about the probability of his fiction. The closest that Richardson comes to addressing the possible limitations of the probability of his epistolary form comes in Sir Charles Grandison when Sir Hargrave Pollexfen and his associates hire a stenographer for their meeting with Grandison in order to take down every word that passes. In this somewhat odd sequence, Richardson tries to provide a plausible explanation for the tremendous detail that Grandison includes in his letter about his meeting with Pollexfen. But by drawing attention to the limitations of human memory in this scene, Richardson inadvertently encourages readers to re- examine his mode of writing to the moment in a more general way and to question the probability of this mode of composition. Eagleton has argued that the more detail that Richardson's letter writers provide, the less probable the fiction of writing to the moment becomes. He finds that when Richardson's letter writers cover too much ground in a single letter it begins to seem improbable to readers that 60 anyone could write as quickly, or remember so much detail, as Richardson's characters do.92 However, these potential improbabilities did not seem to concern Richardson to a great extent. Richardson seemed more concerned about the probability of the content of each letter than the probability related to the act of writing itself. He continued to write his fiction in letters, even though he was faced with criticism about his use of the epistolary style, and even as subsequent revisions to his novels included a growing amount of paratexual apparatus that was intended to combat the misreading that the epistolary form seemed to promote. As I have mentioned previously, the lack of a single narrative authority in Clarissa meant that readers were left to judge the events of the novel without a guide to tell them how to interpret what they read. To a large extent, this was Richardson's intention because he believed that there was value in encouraging his readers to come to "correct conclusions" based on their experience with his novels. The problem that Richardson faced in his pursuit of this program was that there was no guarantee that readers would come to the conclusions he intended; that they would see Clarissa as a paragon of virtue without peer, and Lovelace as villain and as a prime example of aristocratic abuse of power.93 Eagleton has suggested that the problem that Richardson attributed to the misreading of his novel was, in fact, a product of empiricism itself, for "if reading subject confronts literary object with no mediation but 'experience', and if experience is notoriously variable, how is it that there are not as many textual interpretations as there are readers?"94 But as I have tried to show, Richardson believed that the twin forces of sympathy and probability held out the possibility of overcoming the subjective nature of reading by providing readers with a basis for comparison that, while not actually universal, approached universality. 61 On one level, Richardson's fiction takes into account the role that individual interpretation will play in the act of reading by including a variety of subject positions and encouraging a diversity of opinion. Richardson believed that readers would be guided by their rational judgment and by their sympathies to a common set of conclusions about his moral message and the social value of Clarissa's story. However, not all readers came to the conclusions about Clarissa that Richardson had hoped they would. Individual experience, and the subjective interpretation that occurs as a result of that experience, played a role in the way that readers approached Clarissa, resulting in a wide variety of interpretations of the novel. In an attempt to combat divergent interpretations and their role in what Richardson saw as the misreading of the moral message of Clarissa (either seeing Lovelace as the wronged hero of the piece, or seeing Clarissa as morally flawed), he added material to each successive edition of the novel in an attempt to close down interpretation and to simplify the work required to "correctly" read his novel. Richardson added postscripts, an index of the letters, a list of moral sentiments and perhaps the most intrusive kind of paratext, the editorial footnote, to Clarissa in the years following its first public appearance. Each of these elements was intended to assist readers and to direct them towards what he deemed the proper interpretation of the moral message of the piece. But these elements are not meant to replace the work of reading Clarissa itself, which Richardson continued to believe involved individual acts of judgment that were based on each reader's real life experience. Although Richardson was concerned about the potential for misreading Clarissa, he did not want to undo what he saw as the capacity of the epistolary form to allow readers to imaginatively experience Clarissa's story and to feel its moral message. He continued to believe that the potential value of his new kind of writing was its ability to provide 62 diverse readers with a way to internalize a specific, and potentially universally accessible, depiction of fictional experience that illustrated the value of a particular moral ethos and the tragedy of its transgression. The paratextual additions that Richardson created for Clarissa were part of a larger system of fiction that included the subjectively written letters of the novel proper, each being intended to address different aspects of the reader-author interface. 63 CHAPTER TWO The Imagining Type: Tristram Shandy and the Practice of Moral Philosophy WRITING, when properly managed, (as you may be sure I think mine is) is but a different name for conversation: As no one, who knows what he is about in good company, would venture to talk all;--so no author, who understands the just boundaries of decorum and good breeding, would presume to think all: The truest respect which you can pay to the reader's understanding, is to halve this matter amicably, and leave him something to imagine, in his turn, as well as yourself.95 Laurence Sterne's famous comparison of writing and conversation has provided fuel for a wide range of theories about the author's views on the reception of his work and about why Tristram Shandy contains such complexities of form and content. Some see the comparison as Sterne's way of highlighting the oral qualities of his writing, while others see the passage as an ironic statement that draws attention to the absolute separation of author and reader that printed communication generates. But Sterne's comparison of conversation and writing can also, and I believe should, be viewed as a statement about the inherent difficulties that individuals face when trying to communicate their understanding to others, whether in the form of face-to-face interaction or otherwise. Sterne's novel is both informed by, and provides an important critique of, a number of the key assumptions that moral philosophers like Locke and Hume held about the way that individuals develop, and, perhaps more importantly, share ideas. In the chapter that follows, I am going to show that Sterne not only comments on contemporary theories of human understanding and sentiment, but also encourages his readers to perform them in ways that challenge the validity of the original theories and point to different solutions to the problems of human communication, particularly the problems that are exacerbated by print communication. I want to illustrate that Sterne's manipulations of the material page in Tristram Shandy both comment on, and, when possible, actually perform eighteenth-century theories of imagination and understanding, particularly as these theories relate to the establishment of moral ideas. 64 The mid to late eighteenth century was a period of great interest in moral sympathy and in moral reasoning in Britain. Along with the continued influence of Locke, new work by philosophers such as Smith, Kames, and Hume generated a climate of interest in difficult philosophical questions about the nature of human understanding, the social role of feeling, and the basis for moral thought and action. Of particular concern to eighteenth-century philosophers and amateur-theorists alike was the way that the subjective qualities of understanding and sentiment relate to the establishment of moral systems. After all, if one accepts the belief espoused by many philosophers of the period that both understanding and sympathy are subjective processes, and therefore, personal constructions that are not based on innate properties, the only reasonable conclusion seems to be that morality needs to be seen as a relative construct. However, if morality is deemed to be a relative construct, individuals must find ways to establish communally acceptable criteria for what constitutes moral thinking and action without relying on any kind of a priori standards. As Richardson discovered, forming a consensus about community benchmarks and standards is no simple task, particularly in the case of complex ideas like morality and virtue, for which each individual will have a slightly different understanding. Such difficulties in the formation of consensus were complicated further by the increasing importance of printed communication during the eighteenth century, which changed the nature of contemporary ideas about community.96 However, the work of Locke and Hume tends to ignore the ramifications of print technology, focusing instead on face-to-face models of the cognitive and affective aspects of human understanding and the development of social order. This absence in contemporary moral philosophy provided an opening for a writer like Laurence Sterne, who in turn generated some of the first extensive commentary on the role that print communication plays in human 65 understanding and social interaction. By examining many of the assumptions about the cognitive and affective processes outlined by Locke and Hume in their works of moral philosophy, Sterne is able to correct to existing theories about the establishment of moral benchmarks and the encouragement of moral action, particularly as they relate to print communication and its potential for mass dissemination as a broadcast technology. Sterne does not propose a new theory of human understanding or a new method for forging community agreement, but rather, he explores the prevailing assumptions of his time and their ramifications by making them the focus of his novelistic fiction, both in the content of his writing, and in its form, thus exploring the narrative potential of many of the key concepts of the moral philosophy of his age.  In order to place Sterne within the philosophical context of the mid eighteenth century I examine Tristram Shandy in relation to the theories of John Locke and David Hume. I positthat while Sterne was concerned with many of the same preoccupations as these two major philosophers, particularly in the areas of cognition and affect, his focus on the subjective nature of human understanding and on the processes required to activate the moral imagination of subjectively inclined individuals sets him apart from Locke and Hume and provides an important critique of their theories. In order to illustrate Sterne's preoccupation with the subjective nature of human understanding, sympathy, and communication, I will be drawing on examples of Sterne's innovative use of the material page as well as the effect that this use has on one's approach to reading Tristram Shandy. I am taking this approach because Sterne not only draws attention to the subjective nature of the human condition on the level of content in Tristram Shandy, but also makes ample use of formal innovations to force readers to enact that subjectivity, thereby forcing those readers to actively engage with his fiction on a level that was unprecedented among his contemporary novelists. 66 Tristram Shandy provides a unique contribution to the discussion of how imagination and understanding relate to moral concepts by exploring the effect that media have on an individual's cognitive and affective perspectives. Not only does Sterne—like Richardson—embrace the possibilities and the consequences of a narrative form that features the interaction of a number of subjective positions but he also explores the potential of the material page to work as a space for the expression of subjective reader responses. In Tristram Shandy, Sterne subjects his readers to a series of experiments in typography and print design that force them to use their imaginative capacities in order to generate meaning in the face of representational uncertainty. There is no single answer to be found in the pages of Tristram Shandy, but rather, a series of ideas, opinions, and acts that must be evaluated by each reader, or by groups of readers, who decide what aspects of the novel are useful or otherwise. Sterne's Lockean Hobby-Horse: A number of scholars have already drawn attention to Sterne's playful engagement with the work of eighteenth-century moral philosophers, particularly the work of John Locke, the only contemporary philosopher that Sterne identifies by name.97 Scholarship on the Locke-Sterne connection tends to focus on the two aspects of Locke's work that Tristram mentions directly, which are Locke's theories on language and his concept of the succession of ideas. Scholars such as Carol Kay have noted that Sterne tends to make light of many of the ramifications of Locke's theories by playing out their foundational assumptions to comic effect. However, regardless of the humour that Sterne generates at their expense, Locke's theories about the way that individuals receive and evaluate new information tend to underwrite many of Sterne's basic assumptions about cognition and affect. In particular, I would like to suggest that Locke's ideas about human 67 understanding inform Sterne's approach to mediation. I believe that in Locke's theories about language and the succession of ideas, Sterne found a system of cognition that could explain both the subjective nature of human understanding and the ways that individuals attempt to overcome the distancing effect of such subjectivity through various approaches to different forms of communication. Throughout the novel, we can see Sterne attempting to perform a number of the ramifications and possibilities of Locke's formulation of subjectivity through the medium of print. These attempts take place simultaneously on two levels: 1) on the level of the action within the novel itself: some of the  possible consequences of Locke's ideas about language and the succession of ideas are unfolded, often to comic effect. 2) on the level of reader interaction with the text: readers are asked to bring their own subjective interpretations to a text that offers no epistemological certainty. The formation, use, and transformation of language are matters of interest to both Locke and Sterne, although the two differ in their opinions about what exactly constitutes an effective use of language. In the third book of his Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Locke examines the origin of spoken and written languages and concludes that languages are neither innate nor Adamic, but human constructions and voluntary impositions "whereby such a word is made arbitrarily the mark of such an idea."98 In Locke's estimation, the rules and vocabulary of a language need to be based on an agreement between users if that language is going to function effectively. Although he remains skeptical of its practicality, Locke believes that the establishment of precise definitions for words would allow individuals to share an identical understanding of them in the absence of shared sensory experience. Locke finds that this is especially true in the case of complex ideas, which he sees as having a special relationship with 68 language because such ideas enable individuals to augment their comprehension in the absence of personal and embodied experience. According to Locke, proper and static definitions would assist individuals negotiating analogies to understand ideas that were outside their lived experience; such static definitions would make it possible to impart a more perfect understanding of complex ideas to an individual who cannot otherwise enter into the writer’s sense-based experience.99 Locke believes that without such refined definitions, learning by analogy is imprecise and potentially misleading. The creation of proper definitions is of particular value to Locke as a way to communicate moral ideas that are complex by nature and which cannot be "shown" in the same way as simple ideas.100 As a result, in Locke's estimation, precise definitions would be extremely valuable in relation to the social role of language as they eliminate the potential for miscommunication and facilitate the perfect communication of units of understanding from one individual to another. Sterne takes a different approach to language from the one taken by Locke by representing instances of miscommunication as celebrations of individual judgment and subjectivity. The meanings of many of the words in Tristram Shandy are contingent on the particular hobby-horse of their speaker and provide perfect communication only when the listener happens to share the same hobby-horse. Tristram's Uncle Toby provides many of the most entertaining examples of this subjective approach to words. Indeed, Toby's attachment to his hobby-horse often proves so strong that it forces him to capitalize on the mutability of words in order to introduce military topics out of their context, as he does in the case of the word "bridge." But the bridge episode also puts readers into a position where they are at a loss as to understand why Toby has made particular associations, particularly why he thinks that it is possible that Dr. Slop would be preparing a model drawbridge to replace the one that Trim had 69 broken accidentally. Here, Sterne highlights the important relationship that exists between understanding and individual experience. In order to explain why Toby immediately associates the word "bridge" with the Dutch drawbridge model that was broken, Tristram finds that he needs to embark on a lengthy digression containing the story of Toby's failed amours with the Widow Wadman, Trim's successful amours with Bridget, and the generally undesirable nature of bridges in the Italian style for the purposes of bowling green sieges. Amidst this web of ideas, Toby's decision to link the word "bridge" with his lost drawbridge becomes understandable to the reader, Sterne circuitously explaining how the word relates to Toby's personal experience. Sterne's approach to language at first seems quite different from the ideal system of language that Locke hoped for, but, as Wolfgang Iser has argued, Toby's use of words is actually compatible with Locke's overall system of human understanding. The bridge episode in particular actually performs Locke's ideas about the process of human understanding on a number of levels. On one level, this incident shows Toby actively engaged in the process of judging Dr. Slop's unseen activities by applying his sense-based experience to making a probable (if unlikely) inference from that experience. On another level, the episode draws attention to the potential failure of language that can occur even when Toby is drawing on a definition of the word "bridge" that is correct (although out of context). On yet another level, the episode highlights the fractured network of ideas that prompts Toby to understand the word "bridge" in the way that he does. In each instance, Toby's subjective responses to the word "bridge" resist the pull of a potentially universal interpretive system. However, Sterne does not present this as a bad thing. The resulting miscommunication that comes of Toby's subjective association of ideas does not lead to any kind of misfortune, but, instead, provides the group gathered in Shandy Hall with another point of departure for the discussion of their understanding of things, and how they came 70 to such understanding. The threat of miscommunication is held in check by the twin forces of discussion and personal judgment in Tristram Shandy, both for the characters within the text and the readers without; Sterne represents these forces as more fruitful and more egalitarian than the Lockean dream of a miscommunication-resistant form of language. The most prominent eighteenth-century attempt to standardize the definitions of words and to stop the perceived decay of the English language was Samuel Johnson's dictionary. With this project, Johnson intended to bring order to the language and to provide English words with usable and universally recognizable definitions. But the ambitious attempt give words definitive meanings proved to be a nearly impossible task, and Johnson notes in his preface to The Dictionary that: When we see men grow old and die at a certain time one after another, from century to century, we laugh at the elixir that promises to prolong life to a thousand years; and with equal justice may the lexicographer be derided, who being able to produce no example of a nation that has preserved their words and phrases from mutability, shall imagine that his dictionary can embalm his language, and secure it from corruption and decay, that it is in his power to change sublunary nature, or clear the world at once from folly, vanity, and affection.101 While the Lockean ideal of perfect definitions and perfect communication is one that appeals to Johnson, the experience of making his dictionary showed him that a language could not be completely fixed. Johnson came to believe that the meanings of words would shift over time (particularly in advanced societies), and, consequently, his dictionary could only slow the pace of such change, not stop it. However, Johnson continued to see the mutability of words as potentially leading to perversion and misuse and alleged that even modern languages needed the stabilizing work of the lexicographer. Sterne saw the matter differently, and represented the mutability of words as the source of linguistic play and of the expression of a variety of interpretative positions. In his defense of wit, Sterne argues that to suppress different forms of expression is to suppress different kinds of understanding and different subjective views. 71 In Locke's estimation, although providing endowing complex ideas withdefinitions and names be a potentially impossible task, there are particular kinds of word use that can, and should, be avoided because they tend to promote miscommunication. According to Locke, wit is one of the more dubious forms of imprecision in language because it involves an intentional misrepresentation of words. In his examination of the abuse of words, Locke discusses wit specifically and states that it enables such crimes against comprehension as "unsteady application" and "affected obscurity."102 Locke believes that the only real function of wit is to undermine the role of language in the spread of "information and improvement": Language is often abused by figurative speech. Since wit and fancy find easier entertainment in the world than dry truth and real knowledge, figurative speeches and allusion in language will hardly be admitted as an imperfection or abuse of it… if we would speak of things as they are, we must allow that all the art of rhetoric, besides order and clearness; all the artificial and figurative application of words eloquence hath invented, are for nothing else but to insinuate wrong ideas, move the passions, and thereby mislead the judgment; and so indeed are perfect cheats: and therefore, however laudable or allowable oratory may render them in harangues and popular addresses, they are certainly, in all discourses that pretend to inform or instruct, wholly to be avoided.103 Because Locke places judgment at the center of the many processes of understanding, any threat to judgment is a threat to human understanding, and, by extension, a threat to rational social order.104 According to Locke, wit helps to facilitate the artificial and figurative use of language, which in turn is used to "insinuate wrong ideas" and "move the passions," both of which mislead individuals as they try to make judgments. But Sterne sees the suppression of wit as the suppression of individual interpretation and hence, something that is ultimately more dangerous to the good of the community than the possibilities of misinterpretation and deception. In The Author's Preface to Tristram Shandy, Sterne argues that the suppression of wit encourages individuals to adhere to dogmatic positions and undermines the efforts of an individual's judgment by limiting the elements that they consider when forming their opinions. The same 72 logic could be applied to Sterne's position on the flexibility of language and signification in a much larger sense. As Johnson discovered in compiling the Dictionary, decisions had to be made about what words were to be included, what words were excluded, and how the words that were included were ultimately to be defined. In his preface to the Dictionary, Johnson wrote that as he progressed in the dictionary project "one inquiry only gave occasion to another, that book referred to book, that to search was not always to find, and to find was not always to be informed."105 Faced with a seemingly never-ending flow of potential source data (for example, at one point in the preface Johnson laments not being able to learn the latest jargon used by sailors and labourers), he had, as a lexicographer, to select only those words, and sources of authority for those words, which he deemed worthy of print. Far from the organic process of community consensus on language envisioned by Locke, the reality of defining words in an age of print is that an individual, or a small group, will decide what constitutes the "right" use of a word. The broadcast nature of print communication changed the kind of community that shared a language, making the dream of community consensus that Locke envisioned impossible. What Locke fails to account for, and what Johnson discovers first hand, is that attempts to fix language involve the imposition of order on a phenomenon that tends to resist order, and that such impositions require access to control mechanisms that are not universally accessible. As I mentioned above, in the Author's Preface to Tristram Shandy, Tristram takes issue with Locke's ideas about lexical precision, particularly with Locke's treatment of wit. According to Locke, wit is a rhetorical device that is deployed to mislead listeners by disrupting the relationship between words and ideas, a process which ultimately leads to a breakdown in 73 understanding. But Tristram sees wit and judgment as complementary processes, and he uses the Author's Preface to dispel the Lockean distrust of wit: [F]or wit and judgment in this world never go together; inasmuch as they are two operations differing from each other as wide as east is from west.    So says Locke,    so are farting and hickuping, say I. But in answer to this, Didius the great church lawyer, in his code de fartandi et illusrandi fallaciis, doth maintain and make fully appear, That an illustration is no argument,--nor do I maintain the wiping of a looking-glass clean, to be a syllogism;--but you all, may it please your worships, see the better for it,--so that the main good these things do, is only to clarify the understanding, previous to the application of the argument itself, in order to free it from any little motes, or specks of opacular matter, which if left swimming therein, might hinder a conception and spoil all.106 Tristram argues that wit has an important demonstrative function that clarifies and contextualizes words and ideas, assisting readers to make better judgments. While "the wiping of a looking- glass clean" is merely a figure, and does not add to a specific argument, Tristram wants his readers to see that it is a useful way to communicate a particular sentiment or idea because it describes an activity that most of them should be able to relate to because they have likely done just such a thing themselves. Tristram's point here appears to be that individuals form understanding in different ways; one particular method will not work for all, a distinction that is particularly important with regards to printed communication, a medium in which the reception of a particular message cannot be immediately confirmed, and will likely never be confirmed at all. According to Tristram, even if wit does not constitute an argument in and of itself, it can strengthen arguments and assist in comprehension and is therefore compatible with the process of judgment. Unlike the "set dissertations" that he takes exception to in his Author's Preface, Tristram suggests that works that make use of wit encourage readers to draw on their own experiences and sentiments and thereby facilitate a better kind of understanding than that which can be achieved by reading unquestioningly. Tristram argues that wit helps to expose different aspects of a given topic, which in turn provides readers with more material to examine as they try 74 to make useful judgments. Tristram suggests that wit improves communication by addressing its subjective nature through the exploration of multiple aspects of an idea. As Tristram says, referring to his own writing style, knowing the "just boundaries of decorum and good breeding," an author would never presume to "think all,"107 for the reader will draw on aspects of their own understanding as part of their reading experience. This is one of the reasons that Tristram proposes a model of reading whereby he will amicably halve the matter of comprehension with his readers and acknowledge their role in the interpretation of his novel. And while the relationship between Tristram and his readers is by no means equal, Sterne does provide his readers with much interpretive freedom and responsibility. Sterne is obviously far less concerned about the social ramifications of miscommunication than Locke. Rather, he tends to represent miscommunication as an unavoidable (and a potentially useful) aspect of all communication. In one particular scene in Tristram Shandy Sterne uses Locke's concept of the succession of ideas, both to downplay the emphasis that Locke places on the precise definition of words, and to illustrate the subjective nature of an individual's sense of experience. At the tail end of his attempt to explain Locke's articulation of the succession of ideas (an attempt that is continually interrupted by Toby) Walter makes use of Locke's famous image from Book Two of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding of the lantern being turned about by the heat of a candle in the hopes of giving Toby a better sense of what he is trying to explain.108 Toby replies that the succession of his own ideas is "more like a smoak-jack,"109 an odd, but rather appropriate, response for Toby and for the structure of the novel as a whole, although one that causes Walter great consternation.110 Toby's customization of Locke's lantern simile indicates more than mere confusion about the meaning of the figure. Although Toby's substitution of the smoak-jack for the lantern upsets the 75 Lockean image of the relationship of the succession of ideas with light and enlightenment, Sterne's choice of the visceral image of roasting meat on a spit is a more appropriate description of the way that Toby's understanding of the association of ideas works. Although Locke's lantern image is intended to suggest a linear progression of ideas, the smoak-jack suggests a double movement, involving the rotation of the smoak-jack itself and the movement of smoke within the smoak-jack. This double movement of the smoak-jack points to the existence of simultaneous progressive and regressive tendencies within the concept of the succession of ideas –a suggestion that relates to the very narrative structure of Tristram Shandy as a whole.111 Finally, Toby's smoak-jack also implicitly shows him actively engaged in the process of placing Locke's words and ideas within his own sense-based understanding of the world. Indeed, far from dismissing Locke's concept of the succession of ideas, Sterne has Toby use Locke's own words to suggest that the association of our ideas, right down to our understanding of time, is a product of our sense-based experience. Time is an important element in Tristram Shandy and Sterne's constant manipulations of it draw attention to the fact that a printed page can only represent time and not store it, leaving each reader to interpret such representations of time slightly differently.112 Sterne uses this aspect of print to his advantage, capitalizing on the narrative potential and representational freedom created when the insistent forward movement of time is sidestepped. Once again, the theories of Locke have provided Sterne with a philosophical basis for his own observations about time. Locke argues that our understanding of time is contingent on the succession of our ideas; we understand the passing of time, or what Locke calls "duration", in relation to the constant flow of sensation and reflection.113 Locke uses the analogy of the "train of ideas"—which has suggested linearity to some of Locke's readers—to discuss how individuals become conscious of 76 succession and duration. Describing Locke's "train of ideas" as a convenient and unsatisfying metaphor, John Traugott argues that the inconsistency of Locke's treatment of succession and duration provided Sterne with rich satiric material with which to show that ideas are ultimately "unanalyzable" and "irrational."114 When viewed as a linear model for time with an universal application, Traugott is correct in his assessment that Locke's theory of duration does not work because, as Traugott has also noted, the rate at which such ideas pass through the mind is highly irregular and does not correspond to units of time that are measured by clocks and calendars. This irregularity is an aspect of Lockean duration that Sterne plays out to great effect on a number of occasions. However, Locke himself acknowledges that we actually have no accurate measure of time but "such as the train of our own ideas have lodged in our memories, with the concurrence of other probable reasons, to persuade us of their equality."115 This is to say that human understanding of time and duration is not rational, but is at best a probable construction, and one that is based on experience. While Sterne obviously used Locke's formulation of the succession of ideas to comic effect, he was not capitalizing on something that Locke had overlooked or failed to mention himself in the Essay Concerning Human Understanding. But, if Sterne’s satire of Locke was less vituperative than Traugott suggests, what other reasons could he have for raising the "train of ideas" analogy? It is my contention that Sterne was not dismissing Locke's theories outright, as Traugott intimates, but rather examining their narrative potential. Locke suggests that duration is determined by both sensation and reflection, a suggestion that points to an understanding of time that is more complex than the linear model that is generally linked to his "train of ideas" analogy. Instead, Locke's insistence that we experience duration through sensation and reflection suggests that he had an understanding of time as a 77 double relation, featuring both a progressive tendency and a regressive tendency. Although Locke posits that we conceptualize duration in part by the succession of sensory data--indicating a degree of progressive linearity--he also implies that human understanding of time involves reflection and its sub-processes, including imagination and memory. Because, in Locke's estimation, our simple ideas are drawn from sense-based experience, and that experience occurs in progressive succession, it is possible to arrange a narrative of simple ideas into a linear order, much like a train of artillery passing; this would be a narrative of pure action. In contrast to this narrative of pure action is the process of reflection, which is subjective in nature and therefore has a relative relationship to any system of time. Indeed, Sterne dramatizes the relationship of action and reflection by having the time required for Tristram to reflect on his experience dwarf the time required to have that experience. Although they are related to sense-based experience, the cognitive processes of reflection (such as memory and imagination) are subjective and expansive by nature and consequently resistant to progressive linearity; reflection always involves the synthesis of previously acquired ideas. It is therefore possible in Locke's understanding of duration for an individual to concurrently experience several different relationships to time, a possibility that Sterne stages throughout Tristram Shandy. Concomitantly, Sterne plays with constructions of time within Tristram Shandy, and plays with the construction of time as it relates to the activity of reading Tristram Shandy. In Chapter Eight of the second volume, Tristram discusses the relationship of his writing schedule to the time experienced by his readers, noting that it: [I]s about an hour and a half's tolerable good reading since my uncle Toby rung the bell, when Obadiah was order'd to saddle a horse, and go for Dr. Slop, the man-midwife;---so that no one can say, with reason, that I have not allowed Obadiah time enough, poetically speaking, and considering the emergency too, both to go and come;----tho', morally and truly speaking, the man, perhaps, has scarce had time to get his boots on.116 78 Ian Campbell Ross has noted that it is actually Walter who rings the bell to summon Obadiah, and that he does so in Chapter Six of Volume Two, which is only a handful of pages before Dr. Slop's arrival--hardly an hour and a half's reading.117 Yet, as early as Chapter Eleven of Volume One, Tristram is on the verge of having Toby request that Walter ring the bell for Obadiah. If the bell had been rung for Obadiah at this point in the story, then it would have been almost exactly 44 pages of reading in the Florida edition of Tristram Shandy from the ringing of the bell to the arrival of Dr. Slop, an amount of reading that could take approximately the hour and a half that Tristram says it will (depending on the relative speed of reading of course).118 But, before Toby can ask Walter to ring the bell to summon Obadiah, Tristram interjects with a lengthy digression about Toby. Therefore, in terms of reading time, it is possible to argue that Obadiah has had enough time to fetch Dr. Slop and to return, although this would require us to imagine that the bell is rung in Chapter Eleven of Volume One, for the action is not reported. However, in terms of the time of narrated action, very little time has passed. In fact, if we believe the 'hypercritick' and his clock's pendulum,119 "no more than two minutes, thirteen seconds, and three fifths" have passed, or just long enough for Walter to snap his pipe in two in reaction to Toby's conjecture about the reasons for Mrs. Shandy's reluctance to being waited on by a man-midwife. Tom Keymer has argued that, with the Obadiah/Slop sequence, Sterne is trying to achieve the "equivalence of duration between narrative time and reading time."120 However, Keymer's analysis of the sequence does not take into account the ironic effect that Sterne achieves by piling several time schemes on top of each other. After all, in the Obadiah/Slop sequence, Sterne depicts at least four different time schemes. First: there is the "hour and a half's tolerable good reading" that it will approximately take to read the text from the point where the bell is almost rung until Dr. Slop's arrival (complicated by the fact that the bell is not actually 79 rung at this point). Second: there is the time required for the narrative action that is not described by Tristram (Obadiah fetching Dr. Slop). Third: there is the time required for the narrative action that is described by Tristram (Walter and Toby discuss Mrs. Shandy's aversion to Dr. Slop). Fourth: there is the time of the action that takes place within Tristram's digression about Toby's history and character (a description that has covered great distances in both time and space). In the Obadiah/Slop sequence there is not a direct relationship of reading time to narrative time because there is not just one narrative time depicted. Instead, at least three different narrative times are presented, each of which is the representation of a different set of experiences. As a result, instead of using the Obadiah/Slop sequence to show that reading time and narrative time are potentially equivalent, Sterne illustrates that the two can only be related to each other in the most trivial of ways because neither is really a stable entity. But at the same time, Sterne is showing the potential for printed fiction to explore aspects of human experience that a traditional, and linear, approach to time makes difficult, if not impossible. The multiple lines of cause andeffect, intersecting time schemes, and progressive and regressive tendencies in the Obadiah /Slop sequence illustrate the selective nature of experience to the reader. Although the summoning of Dr. Slop is a trivial matter, Sterne presents the event in all of its contextual complexity by layering a variety of time schemes and reflections on top of each other in order to show that even trivial mattersgenerate a variety of interpretations. The hypercritick charges Tristram Shandy with undermining the "unity" and "probability" of time; nonetheless, Sterne defends his writing style, suggesting that he follows a different model of time than the one dictated by the swinging pendulum of a clock. Instead, Sterne's measure of time is the "true scholastick pendulum", which does not denote the progression of experience in a linear way, but rather measures the succession of men's ideas 80 progressively and digressively at the same time. I believe that this "true scholastick pendulum" is less of a measure of action than it is a measure of the representation of experience, which is subjective by nature. The Obadiah/Slop sequence illustrates that reading, at least in the world of Tristram Shandy, is a highly subjective process that does not allow for the uniform representation of time or experience. Instead, each reader will approach the text with a different set of experiences, different kinds of understanding, and different hobby-horses. The most that the author can do is to provide readers with material to reflect upon, and perhaps more importantly, to judge. In my first chapter, I argued that part of Richardson's goal in writing novels like Pamela and Clarissa was to encourage readers to imagine themselves as part of a community that shared access to experience that was mediated through print. Although Richardson did not present this fictional experience as a replacement for lived experience, he believed that if his fictions were "probable" they would be compatible with lived experience, and therefore better able to serve a didactic purpose. In Richardson's estimation, a shared belief among readers about the probability of a narrative would give those readers the necessary base on which to construct proper moral judgments. However, Richardson's escalating use of paratextual devices around his epistolary narratives shows that he became more and more concerned that "misreading" would result in the subversion of the moral message of his works. Although Richardson wanted his readers to form judgments of their own based on the experience they had in reading his fiction, he also wanted to ensure that they judged "correctly." As I illustrated in the previous chapter, Richardson believed that the plausibility of his fiction would guide his readers towards a nearly universal set of conclusions. However, in the plethora of extra-textual material that Richardson generated to correct the misreading of his novels, we can see how he came to believe that the subjective 81 nature of reflection undermined his attempts to foster agreement about moral standards. Sterne also suggests that his work has a moral purpose, but he does not promote a "correct" reading of his text, nor does he seem to believe that such a reading even exists. Instead of promoting specific interpretations of his fiction, Sterne focuses on illustrating the complexities of interpretation and on the need for each reader to strengthen his or her own ability to judge experience, whether real or fictional. Sterne's text provides a common ground for the contemplation of moral issues among groups of readers; he does not aim to direct them with definitive explanations of what is moral or by outlining a specific program for moral action. Tristram Shandy features many, and often contradictory, definitions, opinions and examples of moral behaviour, leaving it to the reader to decide which are useful. David Mazella calls this series of options "moral pathologies," and he suggests that Sterne presents these pathologies to spark moral discussion instead of engaging indirect moral instruction.121 In a number of ways, Sterne's insistence on the moral potential of readerly sentiment and judgment is similar to the one adopted by Richardson. Both authors represent morality as something that is best motivated by the sentimental responses of the individual. But Richardson and Sterne have different views on the universality of moral understanding and we can see these differences played out in the way that they represent moral action and moral sentiments in their fictions. In the previous chapter, I established that while Richardson expected a great deal of personal reflection and judgment from his readers, he hoped that Clarissa's story would generate a consensus about what constitutes elevated moral action and sentiment. Although Sterne also provides examples of elevated moral sentiment and action in Tristram Shandy, he represents these as unique occurrences that are specific to their contexts. These moral episodes are worthy of discussion, but they do not represent a universally 82 acceptable moral outlook. Instead, Sterne represents true moral action and feeling as something that is generated and expressed at the level of the individual and is therefore compatible with their subjective experience and understanding. Yorick calls this kind of moral action "practical divinity", which he identifies as an impetus to perform moral deeds that relate directly to an individual's immediate interaction with the world. While Tristram Shandy does engage with moral concerns, Sterne's ideas about mediation and print communication are incompatible with the sort of moral project that Richardson attempted. Although Sterne appears to believe that there is cognitive value in acts of imaginative construction and imaginative affiliation, he does not share in Richardson's attempt to codify such abstractions, or Richardson's attempt to establish universal social values. Sterne's belief in, and his celebration of, the subjective quality of forms of human communication meant that he could not share in Richardson's hope that probable fiction could act as a guidebook for acts of personal judgment. Although Sterne's text provides a common ground for individuals to enter into discussions about morality, the novel does not provide readers with a definitive explanation of what is moral, but instead offers a range of moral outlooks. I believe that Sterne structures his work in this way because he feels that each reader will have a previously formed subjective outlook to bring to a text; moreover, any new ideas—including moral ones—that are discovered in the process of reading must mix with that reader's existing understanding and sentiments. As Sterne wrote in a letter to his friend Dr. John Eustace in 1768, "a true feeler always brings half the entertainment along with him. His own ideas are only call'd forth by what he reads."122 Humean Sympathy and Tristram Shandy: Although I intend to show that Sterne's views on the social role of sympathy differ from those held by David Hume, the the novelist and the philosopher share a belief in the role that 83 feeling plays in motivating behavior. But while Sterne focuses on the role of sympathy at the individual level, Hume argues for a more pervasive role for sympathy as the proper basis for social order itself. Hume sees feeling as having one of the most important cognitive roles in the development of each individual's stock of ideas and general understanding. In An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Hume argues that it is feeling, and not reason alone, that helps the mind to distinguish between imagination and memory.123 According to Hume, sympathy endows certain impressions with additional vividness, thereby allowing individuals to distinguish those ideas that have their basis in memory and sense-based experience from the fanciful constructions of the imagination. In this way, Hume tries to supply a model for understanding that compensates for the potential relativity of systems that place too great an emphasis on reason alone. In his Treatise of Human Nature, Hume suggests that the power of reason is limited to the discovery of the truth and/or falsehood of particular ideas and is therefore a purely theoretical exercise until it is paired with the encouragement of a sympathetic impulse, which is what individuals rely on to convert reasonable data into the impressions on which they act.124 Hume goes on to suggest that reason "can never be the source of so active a principle as conscience, or a sense of morals," and states that while "actions may be laudable or blameable… they cannot be reasonable."125 As a result, in Hume's estimation, while reason is one of the ways that individuals stock their understanding with ideas, sentiment is required for those same individuals to act upon that understanding. By suggesting that reason and action are separate entities, and that reason cannot control the conscience or moral sense of an individual, Hume is questioning the role that reasonable judgment plays in forming moral standards: Since morals, therefore have an influence on the actions and affections, it follows, that they cannot be deriv'd from reason; and that because reason alone, as we have already prov'd, can never have any such influence. Morals excite passions, and produce or prevent actions. Reason of itself is 84 utterly impotent in this particular. The rules of morality, therefore, are not conclusions of our reason.126 This is not to say that Hume believes that reason plays no role in the making and sharing of moral rules, but rather that reason's function is secondary to that of the passions. Although reason provides the understanding with ideas, morals are expressed in actions, and it is passion that encourages individuals to act. At times, Sterne appears to agree with this position entirely, although there are important differences in the social role that Sterne and Hume attribute to feeling. In both Tristram Shandy and A Sentimental Journey, Sterne privileges the role of passion over reason in forming opinions and in motivating actions. A prime example of Sterne's focus on the motivating role of sentiment occurs in the sermon scene, in which Sterne sets up a comparison between Trim's active interpretation of the fifth commandment and Walter's reasonable but inactive interpretation of the same decree. But the scene is also an important example of Sterne's emphasis on moral acts that are motivated by personal experience—Yorick’s "practical divinity". This "practical divinity" is generally motivated by sentiment, but it does not necessarily result in the kind of universal sympathetic reaction that Hume proposed or the potential for moral instruction that Richardson aspired to. The sermon scene provides us with a valuable example of the way that Sterne interrogates the value of moral instruction. As Trim reads Yorick's sermon on trust and conscience, Toby, Walter, Dr. Slop and Yorick all listen. However, rather than producing a situation in which the group reaches a consensus about the moral message of the sermon, each rides off in a different direction aboard their hobby-horse of choice. This interpretive dispersal even includes Tristram (in his role as narrator), who devotes a great deal of time and effort to describing Trim's presentation of the sermon, but not to providing an interpretation of the sermon. As Jonathan Lamb has noted, given that the sermon is about conscience, it is fitting that 85 any universal reading is blocked by the "innumerable self-deceits and partial judgments" of each of the listeners, as each assesses the meaning of "trust" and "conscience" through their own experience.127 How then is the reading audience going to come to a universal conclusion about the moral lesson of the sermon if the listening audience in the text is unable to? The answer would appear to be that they will not, nor are they intended to agree. Instead, the burden of interpretation is thrust on the individual reader who must decide what constitutes a "correct" reading of the sermon on their own, or, by discussing the scene with other readers. Instead of trying to provide Tristram Shandy's readers with definitive moral instruction in the sermon scene, Sterne uses the sequence as a site for the discussion of moral ideas.128 This discussion takes place on two levels simultaneously, as fictional characters and readers alike try to assess the moral value of the sermon and the value of each other's reactions to it. In that no one definitive interpretation of the sermon is provided, but rather multiple competing interpretations, readers find themselves in a position whereby their own understanding of the sermon has as strong a claim to validity as any of those offered by the characters in the novel. As Lamb has observed, Sterne contrasts this open attitude towards moral interpretation with the kind of adherence to dogma that is embodied by Dr. Slop's unquestioning Catholic faith, or the kind of restricted view of religious interpretation encouraged by Phutatorius and the other church divines.129 Trim's personalized view of religious duty is put into direct conflict with Dr. Slop's views on religion when the two get into a heated debate over the treatment of the Spanish Inquisition in the sermon. Trim's personal experience with the religious persecution of the Spanish Inquisition informs his interpretation of the sermon as a polemic against religious intolerance. By way of contrast, Dr. Slop (who has not lost a brother to the Inquisition as Trim has) sees the work of the 86 Inquisition in an academic light and takes exception to Trim's opinions about its cruelty. But Slop's theoretical position is no match for Trim's experience in the eyes of the audience gathered in the parlour of the Shandy household who condemn Dr. Slop's attachment to the dogma of his faith and the support of the Spanish Inquisition that comes as a result of that attachment. Trim's emotional reaction to his brother's loss provides the parlour audience with a more potent explanation of why the Inquisition is unjust than Dr. Slop's abstract arguments for its necessity. To borrow from the language of Tristram's Author's Preface, Trim's tears are not strictly an argument, but this does not stop them from supplying a clearer illustration of his loss. But, Trim's reading of the sermon is not, ultimately, a definitive one. Instead, it is merely persuasive, particularly for the audience depicted in the text, which is made up of Anglicans and men who are distrustful of Dr. Slop's opinions on religious practice. As a result, the sermon provides the impetus for a discussion among the readers assembled in the parlour; it is the unique experience of those readers that gives the discussion its full substance. Like Tristram Shandy itself, the text of the sermon sets the stage for discussion, but it does not supply universally acceptable answers. Trim plays a central role in another sequence that arises in relation to the found sermon. In this sequence, Trim once again illustrates the potential of the active use of personal judgment to produce instances of "practical divinity." In what I would like to describe as the "Catechism sequence," Walter is convinced that Trim will be unable to provide a meaningful definition of what it means to "honour thy father and mother" because he lacks what Walter sees as the requisite learning to fully comprehend the complex idea of honour. In Walter's estimation, honour is a concept that is understood through rational-scholastic exertion, and is not simply understood through the memorization of a simple definition. Trim reveals that he cannot say the fifth commandment without first saying the four that precede it, all the while performing his 87 recitation in conjunction with field exercise motions. This performance convinces Walter that while Trim has memorized the words of the Catechism, they are only sounds to him and he lacks any real understanding of their meaning. But Trim stuns the group with his explanation of the fifth commandment, which he takes to mean that he should honour his parents by providing them with a pension from his own pay. Trim's interpretation of the fifth commandment is especially noteworthy because he has already put it into practice. As a dumbfounded Walter looks on, Yorick congratulates Trim for providing an interpretation of the commandment that illustrates the parson’s own concept of "practical divinity." Mazella has suggested that Sterne's articulation of practical divinity promotes an expression of morality that is more than just an intellectual exercise, as it involves a "harmonization of word and gesture."130 To Mazella's observations I would add that in his interpretation of the fifth commandment, Trim illustrates such harmony through his actions and sentiments because they are guided by his experience. What makes Trim's interpretation valuable in Yorick's estimation is that in forming it, Trim is able to translate his understanding of the complex idea of "honour" into an action that makes a tangible difference. The text has proven valuable only in the positive action that it has inspired, and not for its own abstract justness. While Walter is correct in his assessment that Trim lacks the education to fully understand the complex concept of honour (and it is arguably difficult for anyone to fully understand such a concept), Trim's sentimental capacity and his subjective interpretation of the commandment guide him to an understanding of honour that has perceivable value and that produces an actual social good. Although Trim does not provide a rational explanation of what it means to "honour" his father and mother, he is clearly able to honour them, a fact that flies in the face of Walter's 88 theories about reason and judgment.131 As a result, in the "Catechism sequence," Sterne appears to privilege sentiment over reason. It is important to remember that Trim's interpretation of the fifth commandment does not represent moral instruction as such, and that the privilege that Sterne appears to award to sentiment over reason is misleading. Much like the episode involving Toby and the fly (which I will explore shortly in more detail), Trim's application of the fifth commandment is unique to his own situation and does not represent an absolute reading of the Biblical text. Instead, Trim offers one possible reading of the fifth commandment, one possible sentimental reaction to that reading, and one possible course of action in response to his sentimental reaction. Although Trim's subjective response to the fifth commandment is one that most readers will likely feel comfortable endorsing, this does not mean that it constitutes anything approaching a universally applicable lesson. For while Sterne appears to believe that sympathy is a great motivator of action, he also appears distrustful of moral lessons that only have sympathy, and not reason and action, to recommend them. Although I will be discussing the differences between moral sentiment and moral action in greater detail in the following chapter, I raise these issues here as a way to distinguish the views of sympathy's social role held by Sterne and Hume. Establishing moral standards becomes a difficult process when reason is no longer deemed to be the yardstick of moral measure. In his essay "Of the Standard of Taste," Hume acknowledges this problem when he states that, "all sentiment is right; because sentiment has a reference to nothing beyond itself."132 But, if sentiment is always subjective, always right, and the controlling force behind moral behavior and standards, can morality be anything but relative? In his Treatise on Human Nature, Hume argues that the subjective nature of passion, pleasure, 89 sympathy, taste, and even language itself avoid being purely matters of unchecked relativity through the intersection of subjectivities that society facilitates: The intercourse of sentiments, therefore, in society and conversation, makes us form some general inalterable standard, by which we may approve or disapprove of characters and manners. And though the heart does not always take part with those general notions, or regulate its love and hatred by them, yet are they sufficient for discourse, and serve all our purposes in company, in the pulpit, in the theatre, and in the schools.133 Although Hume acknowledges that individuals will continue to have sympathetic responses that are out of step with the rest of their community, he believes that the interaction of such subjective positions will generate general standards and will provide a basis for moral discussion, a process that John Mullan has called Hume's currency of social intercourse.134 So, while the passions of the individual remain subjective, those passions find their expression in their interaction within a community, and moral values are formed from such expressions. In a sense, Hume circumvents the potentially disruptive subjective nature of individual sentiment by elevatingthe individual's power to sympathize with the idea of community itself. Hume suggests that sympathy finds its expression in the context of a community because an individual's sympathetic reactions will remain undefined without the perspective one garners from comparisons with other men and women. At the same time, he defines community affiliation itself as a product of the interactions between individual sympathies. This tight interrelationship that Hume identifies between the sympathetic individual and his or her community leads him to formulate a belief that there should be a universal appeal to the idea of a public good within a given community. But, as mid-century moral philosophers and novelists discovered, encouraging normative sympathetic reactions within a community was a difficult, if not impossible, task.135 As Mullan has found, the common project of attempting to "project" and "produce" a society of the text through sympathetic agreement proved problematic because of the subjective quality of feeling and the size and nature of the community in question.136 This is one 90 of the reasons that I would argue that while Sterne sees sympathy as an important motivator of moral action, he does not attempt to foster normative sympathetic reactions to his text. Sterne is more interested in the role that sympathy plays in informing personal moral actions than he is in the Humean idea of a form of sympathy that has social currency, particularly when it is aroused by printed depictions. Put another way, Sterne does not believe that the unity of response that Hume proposes for large-scale communities is possible, but, rather, Sterne believes that instances of community agreement take place on a much smaller scale, and, only when a direct showdown of hobby-horses is possible. Sterne's approach to the concept of moral standards differs from Hume's in the emphasis that he places on action as example. For while Sterne encourages sympathetic reactions from his readers, he does not do so in a way that suggests he was attempting to establish any kind of universally acceptable normative reaction, or that he even believed that such reactions were possible. John Traugott has argued that while Sterne makes various attempts to generate sympathetic reactions from his readers, he does not enclose any kind of direct moral lesson within the text. For example, Traugott finds that readers are encouraged to see Toby's capacity for fine feeling as laudable, but not particularly worthy of emulation.137 After all, it is one thing to agree that Toby has a good heart, but quite another thing to live life as Toby does. Moreover, as Mazella has argued, Tristram Shandy does not feature a single character worthy of emulation as such, but rather a variety of characteristics that are worthy of examination. To these observations I would add that the subjective quality of Sterne's material text mirrors the subjective quality of the scenes of sympathy found in the novel; both prompt further discussion outside of the text and discourage normative interpretations within the work. The adventures of 91 the characters found in Tristram Shandy can be deemed entertaining source material for future discussion, but they do not point to a viable system of social interaction. While he represents sympathy as a great motivator of action at the individual level, Sterne does not represent it as a quality that can be easily shared between individuals. As I contended earlier, readers can speculate on the causes of sympathetic behavior in Tristram Shandy, but it isdifficult, if not impossible to emulate that behavior because it is generally motivated by feelings that have not be rationalized. A good example of this can be seen in the story that Tristram tells about his uncle Toby and the fly. This episode is one of the most famous scenes of sentiment in Tristram Shandy, as Toby enacts the proverbial saying, "had scarce a heart to retaliate upon a fly."138 During dinner, Toby catches a fly in his hand that has been tormenting him cruelly. Rather than destroying the fly, Toby releases it through the sash window saying "go poor Devil, get thee gone, why should I hurt thee?—This world is surely wide enough to hold thee and me."139 While readers can appreciate Toby's treatment of the fly, and the sentiments which motivated it, we must remember that Toby is unconsciously demonstrating his intuitive kindness and that any lesson learned from Toby's example is going to be filtered through the reader's own subjective interpretation of the scene. A reader repeating Toby's action would be engaged in a conscious reenactment instead of an unconscious act of kindness like Toby. In order to faithfully produce the sentiment of the fly episode, readers would need to act sympathetically in a different context, and therefore—in forming their actions—exercise their own subjective interpretation. As a result, Sterne's deployment of sentimental feeling and action in Tristram Shandy is very much in keeping with his resistance to universalizing gestures; moreover, it is also congruent with his attempts, through his manipulations of the material page, to demonstrate the subjective quality of all forms of human interaction. 92 Sterne's Approach to the Printed Page: Unlike Hume, Sterne does not suggest that an individual can ever overcome the subjective nature of their understanding or their sentiments, although he does see value in the attempt. As a result, rather than trying to mobilize sympathetic response in the hope of producing a universal understanding of abstract ideas like morality and virtue, Sterne encourages his readers to formulate a personal understanding of such concepts, and, to act upon this understanding. There are several instances in Tristram Shandy of characters modeling this kind of moral behaviour: Trim's enactment of the fifth commandment, Toby's sympathetically motivated action in the Le Fever sequence, and Yorick's self-sacrificing relinquishment of his horse. With such examples, Sterne points to lived experience, and to the subjective interpretation of that lived experience, as being essential to the promotion of moral action. Sterne does not encourage his readers to see themselves as part of a communal interpretive effort, provide those readers with direct moral instruction, and offer a prolonged appeal to the sympathy of his readers; instead, he exploits the potential of the medium of print, supplying readers with a series of starting points for independent imaginative constructions, starting points that are intended to produce a variety of different readings rather than a closed system of interpretation. Sterne's fascination with mediation, and the effect which mediation has on representation and on understanding, is evidenced in what is perhaps the most prolonged discussion of mediation in Tristram Shandy: the adventures that Toby and Trim share in their military reenactments on the bowling green. After all, these reenactments demonstrate in a very original way the possibilities and limitations of different forms of representation. Toby and Trim retire to the bowling green in search of a way to effectively explain how Toby came to be struck in the groin by a piece of falling parapet during the siege of Namur. In trying to reconstruct the many 93 lines of cause and effect that converged in the exact moment of the impact of the projectile, Toby first turns to a large map of Namur. However, the initial success of locating the exact place where his injury occurred on a two dimensional map only compels Toby to embark on further investigations about the nature of the projectile, the geometry of flight, and, especially, the theory and practice of fortifications. But, in order to fully incorporate these additional pieces of his own story, Toby decides to take his investigation in a new direction by transforming the bowling green of his country seat into a three-dimensional map in which he and Trim can re- enact the battle of Namur. In this way, Toby and Trim convert the bowling green, both physically and imaginatively, into a space where they are able to inject their blended memories, historical accounts, and newly acquired knowledge of fortifications and projectiles into detailed representations that offer perspectives on the past that cannot be rendered in two dimensions. In this way, Toby and Trim, aware of the inadequacy of conventional maps, design a system of representation that better fulfils their desire for a substitute for lived experience. This system of representation has great value for Toby and Trim, who both find it both informative and oddly comforting. But, to those around them, particularly Walter and the Widow Wadman, Toby and Trim's three-dimensional system of battlefield recreation looks suspiciously like two grown men engaged in children's war games. For the Widow Wadman in particular, this system fails to provide the information she really wants about what has actually happened to Toby's person at Namur. The value of this system of representation, it would seem, depends entirely on the hobby-horse that an individual finds himself mounted upon, a situation that is a microcosmic version of the interpretive difficulties of Sterne's novel as a whole. Questions about the relationship between subjectivity and representation pervade the pages of Tristram Shandy and dictate the kind of action that takes place (or fails to take place) within the novel. At the 94 same time, questions about the relationship between subjectivity and representation also inform the way that readers interact with Sterne's novel. Perhaps more than any novelist before him, Sterne was determined to explore the potential of each printed page to generate several levels of meaning. In Tristram Shandy, the printed page does not represent a site for perfect communication, but, rather, a space where readers negotiate between their own understanding of the world outside of the text and the imagined world that they find within the book. This negotiation not only takes place in relation to the non-linear story that Tristam tells about his life and opinions, but, it also occurs as readers try to make sense of Sterne's use of non-linguistic elements in Tristram Shandy, ranging from dashes and asterisks to his inclusion of the black, marbled, and blank pages. After all, Sterne not only wanted his readers to consider the ramifications of the subjective nature of communication, sympathy and understanding; he wanted them to enact their subjectivity in relation to his book. Once again, Locke's cognitive theories provide a useful point of departure for discussing many of the structural techniques that Sterne used in Tristram Shandy. In the third book of the Essay, Locke examines the difference between those ideas that can be effectively demonstrated by diagrams and visual representations, and those that cannot. According to Locke, certain ideas, particularly those that are based on visual, sensory experience, can be better represented in "[d]iagrams drawn on paper" than in words which generate uncertainty.140 But, Locke is quick to point out that such diagrams are cannot be produced for moral ideas because "we have no sensible marks that resemble them." Instead of using diagrams to explain and define moral ideas, one must communicate these concepts through words, a process that Richardson discovered, much to his dismay, allows for subjective interpretations. What then would a visual representation of a moral concept look like? Would such a representation need to encourage 95 subjective interpretation in order to faithfully signify a moral concept? Can complex ideas and abstractions be effectively explained in writing given the imprecise nature of language? Sterne does not provide a single answer to any of these questions in Tristram Shandy, but his experiments with forms of representation and mediation suggest a concern with how individuals share and explain complex kinds of understanding given the subjective nature of communication. Eighteenth-century readers were used to seeing asterisks and dashes in their newspapers, pamphlets, periodical essays and novels. These non-alphabetic marks tended to be used to represent specific names or actions that could not be printed in full for reasons of decorum or for fear of libel suits. While Sterne does use asterisks and dashes for these reasons, he also has them stand in for whole paragraphs and in some cases entire pages, forcing readers to make fairly substantial interpretive choices. With this expanded use of asterisks and dashes, Sterne is relying on the imaginative capacity of his readers in a way that few writers had before him. It is, after all, one thing to fill in the blank left by a missing letter or word, as Swift had already shown; but, when a reader starts to fill in entire missing pages, the line that separates writer and reader becomes quite blurry.141 Sterne tries to show that such a revaluation of duties is an unavoidable, and, even desirable, aspect of print communication because it shifts the responsibility for the generation of meaning from the writer onto the reader, and, by extension, from this reader to other readers, should adiscussion on how they should read Sterne's book ensue. Iser has argued that these non-alphabetic elements are noteworthy, not so much for the "completion of indecent sentences" that they encourage, as for the shift in interpretive responsibility to the reader that they facilitate.142 In this way, Sterne's non-alphabetic elements turn the reader into what Flint calls a "crucial agent outside of the text" who participates in generating the text's content.143 As Iser and Flint interpret them, Sterne's non-alphabetic marks 96 intentionally lack direct translations into spoken language, suggesting that Sterne saw this as a way to encourage a print-specific form of communication, which is an interpretation that runs against the school of "orality in the text" approach to Sterne's use of asterisks and dashes that has proven popular among some scholars.144 In this print-centric form of communication, each reader is faced with the same asterisks to replace, and the same blanks to fill, but there is nothing inherent in these non-alphabetic elements to guide all readers to interpret them in a uniform way. The asterisks and dashes in Tristram Shandy suggest that something is missing from the text, but they do not always give a good indication of what that something might be. Instead, it is up to readers to replace these asterisks and dashes with ideas drawn from their own experiences, thereby making parts of Tristram Shandy, I would argue, almost as much about the reader's own opinions as it is about Tristram's. This process essentially turns the reader into an author, if only briefly, by calling on their imaginative powers to transform Tristram's spatial markers into units of communication. The nature of printed communication makes it possible for Sterne to provide both space and time for the reader to play the role of the author, either imaginatively, or, with pen in hand. Indeed, Sterne's manipulation of print-specific qualities is one of the reasons why Tristram Shandy resists the movement from one medium to another so tenaciously, as illustrated by Michael Winterbottom's recent film adaptation and Martin Rowson's mid-1990s comic book version of Sterne's novel.145 As I mentioned earlier in this chapter, it is possible to see Tristram Shandy as a prolonged examination of the subjective nature of reading and representation. As Keymer has noted, Sterne's use of unconventional visuals in Tristram Shandy disrupts the ideal of transparency in the novel form, just as Tristram's digressions tend to disrupt the continuity of the narrative of his life story. As a result, in both form and content, Sterne is drawing deliberate attention to the 97 constructed nature of his book, suggesting that novelistic representation cannot adequately communicate a life, or even the opinions of one individual, to another. However, as Keymer goes on to suggest, Sterne's "resort to the visual" needs to be seen, not just as a disruption of transparency, but also as Sterne experimenting with non-verbal forms of representation and communication.146 But what does it mean to interpret a dash, an asterisks or a marbled page for that matter? As with written or spoken language, which both Locke and Sterne find incapable of establishing perfect communication, the non-alphabetic elements that Sterne includes in Tristram Shandy fail as a way to perfectly share or explain complex ideas or lived experience. Instead, they provide readers with a series of interpretive sites that intentionally draw attention to their subjective qualities as forms of representation. Sterne's use of non-alphabetic typographic devices did not lead to uniform readings of the text, orthographic or otherwise, because these devices lacked an established or a stable interpretive system. These non-alphabetic elements serve what William Holtz denotes as  an ironic role, "for they reach the reader in ways denied to conventional printed language, yet at the same time they call his attention to the comic limitations" of a "visual system of communication."147 Tristram Shandy deliberately resists the kind of universal reading that Richardson hoped Clarissa would promote. Sterne's use of dashes and asterisks requires his readers to make interpretive choices on an ongoing basis: whether to fill in a specific word (often with indelicate results), to select the pacing or inflection of a piece of dialogue, or, to imaginatively construct the longer sections of narrative or description that Tristram fails to provide. But, while dashes and asterisks disrupt the flow of words in spatial terms, it is important to distinguish them from the disruption caused by the black, marbled and blank pages.148 Although dashes and asterisks do not have specific sounds associated with them, they can influence the way that a reader interprets the 98 qualities of the words that surround them, thereby providing a supplement to written words (although this relationship gets quite problematic when Sterne begins to include complete pages of dashes and/or asterisks in the later chapters of Tristram Shandy). For the most part, these dashes and asterisks are—like words—arranged into lines on the page. As a result, although the dashes and asterisks that Sterne uses in Tristram Shandy do not correspond to a specific set of interpretive conventions, their spatial deployment is (for the most part) in line with the familiar layout of printed words, suggesting to readers that they work in conjunction with, represent, or somehow modify, printed words. Before discussing Sterne's black, marbled, and blank pages and the important ways that they differ from his disruptive use of asterisks and dashes, I want to first draw attention to an experiment in form that occurs in Clarissa. Although Sterne's manipulations of the material page are more essential to my argument about his approach to mediation than Richardson's manipulations of print were to my argument in the previous chapter, it needs to be acknowledged that Richardson devoted a great deal of attention to the physical quality of his printed pages in Clarissa. As Christopher Flint has observed, Richardson uses a variety of non-alphabetic printer's marks in Clarissa to stand in for the passage of time and for movements in space. But, Richardson also experiments with page layout and design in Lovelace's transcription of Clarissa's fragmented thoughts in Letter 261; it is to this particular use of the material page that I want, in relation to Tristram Shandy, to draw attention. Following the rape, Clarissa produces a series of written fragments, papers that Lovelace surmises are the product of her disordered state of mind. In "Paper X," in particular, Clarissa tries to encapsulate her thoughts in a poem. While the content of the poem itself does not betoken madness, the form of the poem does; the way that Clarissa's writing is arranged on the page is 99 quite noteworthy because it is intended to be representative of her madness. The placement of the main text of Clarissa's poem is straightforward enough, but around that text Richardson has arranged three scraps of text that he has taken from various works of English poetry and drama. What makes the placement of these scraps so noteworthy is that each one is oriented on the page in a different direction and none of the scraps lines up with the main text. The overall effect of the page is intended to graphically illustrate Clarissa's disorder by breaking with the accepted method of arranging written words on a page (left to right, top to bottom). This untraditional placement of the scraps makes it possible for Richardson to use of the very layout of the page to add an additional layer of meaning to the content of the text itself. Although the printed words on "Paper X" and the layout of those words are both, strictly speaking, visual phenomenon, they require different interpretive approaches. The added meaning generated by the placement of the scraps on "Paper X" becomes quite apparent when one tries to read the page aloud. While reading the main body of printed text out loud is an easy enough task, some questions regarding interpretive practice present themselves. For example: in what order does one read the words? How do they address the scraps? How do they decode the placement of the scraps? Clearly, there are decisions to be made in "reading" the scrambled page that fall outside of the usual routine of reading. These decisions are especially interesting because, as in the case of Sterne's black, blank and marbled pages, the reader does not have a code of interpretive practice to fall back on as they make these decisions. The placement of the scraps was intended to illustrate Clarissa's temporary madness, and it is interesting to note that Richardson does so by showing Clarissa actively breaking the rules of writing. Attempting to translate Richardson's scrambled "Paper X" from its visual form to what McLuhan would call an "audio-tactile" form (sound waves), verifies that while the general rules 100 of grammar provide readers with a method for translating written words into sounds, there is an important spatial quality to written and printed communication that we tend to overlook. While familiar page layouts facilitate communication, breaking away from such spatial organization can lead to the disruption of our ability to successfully order those words. Richardson's creative approach to representing Clarissa's madness is especially effective because it denotes that madness, not only by showing Clarissa as being unable to follow the conventions of written communication, but also by upsetting the interpretive process that the reader normally follows. Although each of Clarissa's readers has access to the same scrambled page, there is not a fixed practice for decoding its spatial arrangement. The way that readers approach "Paper X" will likely only vary in minor ways, and not greatly affect their overall understanding of Richardson's novel. However, its inclusion draws attention to the potential for even a uniformly printed page to promote divergent interpretations. While spatial disruption of this kind is relatively rare in Richardson's body of work, it pervades Tristram Shandy. The black, marbled and blank pages of Tristram Shandy provide a level of interpretive disruption that far exceeds the disruption of Sterne's use of asterisks and dashes or Richardson's "Paper X," which still rely on some of the conventions of printed communication even as they disrupt others. However, although these pages are difficult and highly subjective, one still "reads" Sterne's pages of asterisks and dashes and Richardson's "Paper X." But how does one read the black page? Does it, as Keymer has suggested, represent a level of sympathetic outpouring at the death of Yorick that mere words cannot express? Does it represent a palimpsest of epic proportions, filing the page with everything that can be written about Yorick?149 Is it meant to represent Yorick's tombstone as the editors of the Florida Edition of Sterne suggest? Keymer and the editors of the Florida Edition have all remarked that Sterne was certainly not the 101 first to use a black page for elegiac purposes, but his use of the black page was innovative in the comments that it makes about representation and communication. Keymer has noted that while the black, marbled and blank pages rework "comparable moments from recent novels," Sterne takes the signifying potential of these pages a step further by using them as emblems for narrative and representational impasse. Based on Tristram's own description of the black page as a "dark veil" that hides "many opinions, transactions and truths," Sterne seems to suggest that the black page is to be read as an excess of words.150 But, that is only one possible interpretation, and, as Keymer has observed, whether the black page is intended to represent too many words, or too few, the resulting representational impasse amounts to essentially the same thing. However, it is also possible to view the black page on its own terms and not merely as a representation of too many or too few words. It can, for example, be seen as a physical space that all but forces readers to use their imaginations. Like Richardson's "Paper X", in the absence of a pre-existing method for interpretation, the reader of the black page must branch out on their own interpretive path. As a result, with the black page Sterne appears to be making an observation about what can and what cannot be adequately represented in a book. But, at the same time, with his deployment of the black page, we can see Sterne pushing the boundaries of what it means to use the material page to represent something. Just as Toby and Trim tried adding a third dimension to their bowling green representations of warfare in order to generate more a complete reconstruction of the past, Tristram tries to represent the effect of Yorick's death in such a way as to force readers to imagine their own experiences of loss in relation to his own. As a result, rather than "tell all", Tristram leaves the reader with room to imagine. Unlike Tristram's use of dashes and asterisks, which modify words or represent absent words, the black page provides a nearly free-form space for readers to exercise their imaginative 102 faculties, which they must do in order to endow it with any kind of meaning.151 But, even if readers decide that they cannot find meaning in the black page, its physical presence in Tristram Shandy serves a double purpose, calling attention to the page as a location where communication is supposed to take place, and, conversely, a space in which it sometimes does not. The black page therefore draws attention to the highly mediated quality of writing as a mode of communication, especially in the case of printed communication whereby language is encoded in mechanically produced symbols that may or may not have a direct equivalent in spoken communication. Far from creating the intimacy of a conversation between author and reader that some critics have identified in Sterne's manipulations of the material page, the black page provides a physical and metaphorical barrier to communication and shifts much of the work of writing to the reader. Another example of this shift in interpretive responsibility comes in volume six when Tristram invites his readers to "paint" the Widow Wadman and to "please but" their "own fancy" in doing so.152 In this way Tristram once again passes the work of representation off to his readers and if they should happen to take him up on his invitation to literally draw in their books, so much the better. Rather than provide a visual illustration of the Widow Wadman (which he does for Toby, Walter, and Dr. Slop in the first volume by including a drawing by Hogarth), Sterne appeals to his readers to construct in an image of the Widow Wadman based on their own sensory experiences and on their personal opinions of what is beautiful.153 In this instance, rather than trying to establish a standard of beauty with pretensions to universality, Tristram opts to encourage the participation and reflection of the reading individual; he lets them decide what is appealing so that they can better sympathize with Toby's predicament. This is not to say that this 103 reader cannot discuss their Widow Wadman with other readers, but rather, that there is intentionally no single, ideal Widow Wadman represented in the text. According to Tristram, shifting the responsibility for painting the Widow Wadman to the reader has the added advantage of robbing the would-be critics of Tristram Shandy of ammunition; the act of representation is taken out of the public register and placed in the private realm of the individual's imagination. Speaking of the picture of the Widow Wadman that his reader has drawn, Tristram exclaims:        Was ever anything in Nature so sweet!—so exquisite!      Then, dear Sir, how could my uncle Toby resist it? Thrice happy book! thou wilt have one page, at least, within thy covers, which MALICE will not blacken, and which IGNORANCE cannot misrepresent154 Whereas Sterne's practice of substituting asterisks and dashes for lewd content had drawn harsh criticism from those who claimed that nothing but smut could be substituted for the missing words, the space that Tristram leaves for readers to describe the Widow Wadman (whether textually or graphically) is completely blank. Like the black page and the marble page, the blank pages can be "read" in a multitude of ways because their complete lack of distinguishing features means that no reading of their "content" is completely wrong, for such content must be the product of each reader's imagination. Any consensus about the meaning of these pages will only occur outside of the reading experience when, and if, each reader's imaginative and subjective response to those pages comes into contact with the subjective responses of others through face- to-face discussion and debate. The marbled page that appears near the end of the third volume also provides readers with a space for imaginative response, but the specific material qualities of this page set it apart from Sterne's other uses of non-alphabetic elements. Tristram distinguishes the marbled page as the "motly emblem" of his work, a distinction that seems fitting given its uniqueness.155 The 104 marbled page is literally unique in that both sides of the page in every copy of the first two editions of Tristram Shandy are slightly different from any other since no two pages could be marbled in exactly the same pattern. While it was not uncommon for single pages (usually illustrations or corrections) to be pasted into printed volumes in the eighteenth century, what makes the marbled page in Tristram Shandy rather unusual is the fact that each of the estimated four thousand marbled pages in the first edition were done entirely by hand. One, or perhaps two, marblers had to perform approximately eight thousand acts of marbling in order to furnish each copy of the third volume of the first edition with a double-sided marbled page. Clearly this process added a great deal of difficulty and expense to the production of the second installment of Tristram Shandy.156 Because of this difficulty and expense, it is difficult to write the marble page off solely as another instance of Shandean novelty and it seems worth exploring some of the possible reasons that might have compelled Sterne to include this oddity in the third volume of Tristram Shandy. According to Diana Patterson and Peter de Voogd, the paper marbling industry was in its infancy in mid eighteenth-century Britain and homegrown marbled paper was still relatively expensive and rare. Because marbling was still done by hand all through the eighteenth century, each piece of marbled paper was slightly different. Therefore, the inclusion of a unique marbled page made every copy of the third edition of Tristram Shandy unique as well (the metaphorical ramifications of which we will discuss in a moment). There is the distinct possibility that the uniqueness of each marble page (as well as the cost and difficulty of its production) was part of an attempt to undermine pirates like John Carr whose spurious third volume of Tristram Shandy appeared in September of 1760. But whether it was for copyright purposes or not, one of the implications of the inclusion of the marbled page in Tristram Shandy was that every reader who 105 purchased a copy of the first or second edition of Sterne's novel had a unique copy. This uniqueness works on both a material level and on an interpretive level, a duality that becomes very apparent when we look at the context of the marbled page. Tristram introduces the marbled page to readers with a series of appeals to their interpretive powers. First, he calls on his audience to "read, read, read, read" in order to develop the required knowledge to decode the moral of the marbled page (or any page for that matter). Then he appeals to the "great saint Paraleipomenon" for additional interpretive assistance. Finally, Tristram recommends that his reader "throw down the book at once" if they do not have the requisite learning to "penetrate the moral of the next marbled page." However, this advice seems overly harsh given that Tristram has just called upon a "saint" whose very name suggests that he is the patron of literary supplement, an act that casts a doubt Tristram's belief in the completeness of any specific body of knowledge. In this set of appeals to the reader, Tristram appears to suggest that human understanding is continually in a state of flux, that new additions must constantly be made to fill in the omissions of the past, and that the more one reads, the better they will be able to approach interpretive stumbling blocks like the marbled page. Yet somewhat paradoxically, Tristram is also insinuating that the subjective nature of communication will always hinder attempts to pass understanding from one individual to another. After all, no amount of reading will realistically prepare the reader for the marbled page, since each reader will approach a page that is unique (at least for Sterne's original readers) and therefore without precedent; this is a situation that raises questions about what is required to "penetrate the moral" of the marbled page, or, Tristram Shandy, for that matter. It is difficult to know if readers are intended to see the marble page as an emblem for interpretive impasse. If Sterne is actually suggesting that the marbled page represents a single 106 moral, then the page does provide an appropriate emblem for, and indeed a mechanism of, interpretive impasse. But the marbled page is also emblematic of the role that reflection and imagination play in breaking through this impasse. In that there cannot be a universal interpretation of the marbled page because each one is unique, each reading can just as easily be valid as invalid. In this case, the value of the marbled page is not the message that it contains, but rather the opportunity that it creates in the text for readers to acknowledge the role of their subjective interpretation in negotiating Tristram Shandy. At the same time, the marbled page also draws attention to the subjective nature of the production of representations in that the physical act of marbling leaves its unique imprint on each page. The marbled page emblematizes both the subjective nature of interpretation and the subjective nature of composition. In trying to create a representation of lived experience, Tristram finds that he must constantly make choices, and for every aspect of his experience that he includes in his representation, other aspects must be overlooked. However, in the case of the marbled page, Sterne is able to provide eight thousand unique versions of the same site of interpretation, a feat that is emblematic of supplying eight thousand different representations of the same experience. This makes it possible to read the marbled page as an emblem for the subjective nature of human experience, and, by extension, the subjective nature of human understanding. The marbled page forces a reader to generate meaning in the absence of normative instruction or a reliable system of interpretation, thereby ensuring that each reading will be grounded in the reader's own subjective understanding. The page itself has no meaning until it is furnished with one by the reader. If that meaning is going to have any social value it will need to come from outside of the text, where multiple interpretations of the page can be compared and contrasted in the kind of live discussion that the text only gestures towards. But, 107 such discussion could never offer anything more than a provisional agreement about the meaning of the page, for new subjective interpretations will always appear as Sterne's text attracts new readers. The marbled page then is an appropriate emblem for Sterne's novel as a whole. However, it is also a fitting emblem for Sterne's articulation of the subjective nature of all forms of mediation, particularly as they effect the development and communication of moral ideas and the encouragement of moral actions, which always retain the subjective interpretation of the individual as their ultimate benchmark. Conclusion: In the previous chapter, I argued that Richardson believed that probable fiction could encourage a sense of shared experience among his readers, and that this shared experience would make it possible to promote specific moral standards. Although readers cannot model their conduct precisely on characters like Pamela, Clarissa or Grandison, there are aspects of the virtuous behavior of these characters that Richardson felt were worthy of emulation and which he felt could be productive of social good if readers did try to emulate them. Sterne takes a different approach to reading, particularly in the way that he deals with the issue of probability. For, unlike Richardson, Sterne draws constant attention to the constructed nature of his fiction in Tristram Shandy, encouraging his audience to read it as an entertaining literary object rather than a probable and "natural" depiction of lived experience.157 Readers are not meant to see the specific actions of Sterne's characters as models for their own behavior, but rather, to examine the motivations that lead to those actions, and to weigh such cause and effect relationships against their own experiences. For example, as I noted earlier, readers are not meant to emulate Toby, Trim or Yorick in their specific actions. Instead, they are, to consider the nature of their 108 motivations and to think in terms of a range of moral possibilities, rather than a specific moral program. Rather than trying to mobilize sympathetic response in the hope of producing a universal understanding of abstract ideas like morality and virtue (for he often seems skeptical that such things exist) Sterne encourages readers to formulate their personal understanding of such concepts, and to act upon such understanding. In the examples of "practical divinity" that Sterne provides in Tristram Shandy, the author points to lived experience, and to the subjective interpretation of that lived experience, as being essential to the promotion of moral action. Instead of urging his readers to see themselves as part of a communal interpretive effort, or providing those readers with direct moral instruction, Sterne saw print as a mode of communication uniquely qualified to supply readers with a series of starting points for independent imaginative construction. These starting points were intended to produce a variety of different readings, the antithesis of the closing down of interpretation. Sterne believed that printed communication was a particularly effective way to promote the kind of interpretive diversity that mirrored what he saw as the subjective nature of aspects of human understanding and experience. 109 CHAPTER THREE The Life and Times of the Man of Feeling There are certain interests which the world supposes every man to have, and which therefore are properly enough termed worldly; but the world is apt to make an erroneous estimate: ignorant of the dispositions which constitute our happiness or misery, they bring to an undistinguished scale the means of the one, as connected with power, wealth, or grandeur, and of the other with their contraries. Philosophers and poets have often protested against this decision; but their arguments have been despised as declamatory, or ridiculed as romantic.158 In his second novel, A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy, Laurence Sterne all but abandons the kind of experimentation with the material page that had played such an important role in Tristram Shandy. At first glance, Sterne appears to be shifting his focus from the mechanics of reading and writing to a new focus on the performance of human sentiment. Indeed, A Sentimental Journey follows the travels of a revamped version of Tristram Shandy's Parson Yorick and places a particular emphasis on scenes that highlight his sympathetic identification with a wide range of characters, making it more a work about sentimental outpouring than about plot. However, in A Sentimental Journey, Sterne's treatment of the social life of feeling vacillates from the serious to the parodic, making it difficult to know what Sterne's attitude was toward the emerging literary and philosophical figure of the man of feeling and how he imagined that his readers would approach this mode of fiction. Sterne's second novel is not unique in its shifting attitude towards the value of sympathetic identification or the excessive outpouring of fine feeling. After all, writing from the period about the value of the fiction of sentiment and the man of feeling in particular is often both ambiguous and contentious, particularly when questions about the social value of such fiction are raised or its moral value discussed. As Robert Markley has noted, writers like "Sterne and Mackenzie can dramatize their heroes' benevolence but cannot convince either themselves or their readers that good nature is 110 sufficient to correct the ways of a corrupt and unjust world".159 In the chapter that follows I will be examining the character of the man of feeling as well as the fiction of sentiment in a broader sense in order to illustrate that these two literary phenomena were inextricably linked to contemporary theories about the social value of feeling. However, I will also be attempting to illustrate that the development of sentimental fiction and the figure of the man of feeling were directly linked to a growing interest in what we would today call print media literacy. I believe that it is no accident that the debate over the social value of the man of feeling and his chosen subgenre, the fiction of sentiment, occurred at a time when novel readership was beginning to rise rapidly.160 In order to draw a link between the fiction of sentiment and an increasing desire by writers to educate readers about the right way to read and to avoid misreading, I will be examining the mid to late eighteenth-century discourse on sentiment as it appears in the work of novelists, philosophers and critics in order to illustrate that the continuing debate about the social role of literature was mirrored by a growing distrust of sympathetic identification as a potential way to develop and maintain social standards. I will be focusing primarily on novels by William Mackenzie and William Godwin in order to show how the concept of the man of feeling evolves during the period from the 1771 publication date of Mackenzie's The Man of Feeling until the 1805 appearance of Godwin's Fleetwood: or, The New Man of Feeling. In addition to these two novels, I will be examining critical writing on the genre of the novel by Godwin, Mackenzie and Clara Reeve as well as philosophical works from the period by Smith, Kames and Godwin. In bringing together this collection of writing about sentiment from across genre boundaries I hope to illustrate how the potential benefits, as well as 111 the potential dangers, of the fiction of sentiment, and the man of feeling in particular, generated contemporary interest in the nature of print mediation, its effects and how to mitigate its dangers, particularly through the encouragement of individual readerly judgment and discussion amongst groups of readers. The mid to late eighteenth-century interest in human sympathy has been documented by a vast number of scholars who have shown the existence of a strong link between the period's fiction of sentiment and its contemporary discourse in moral philosophy.161 Scholars have also located a tension between those who saw sympathy and sentiment as essential social forces and those who believed that the newfound emphasis on feeling was at best ineffective and at worst productive of a variety of social evils, particularly in the role it was seen to play in the marginalization of women.162 As historian Mark Phillips has noted [i]f the proponents of sensibility saw it as offering a kind of vicarious strengthening of the moral faculties, its opponents believed that sentimental reading would only induce a state of excited passivity that had no outlet in effective action… Indeed, it has often been remarked that sentimental plots center on the man of feeling, not of action. This means that, even in the midst of great events, we may sacrifice the sense of the "hero" as an agent, with the obvious loss (from the humanist standpoint) of that clarity of outline that makes a character exemplary.163 The potential problem with this shift from action to feeling as the central preoccupation of the fiction of sentiment was the emphasis that it placed on the feelings of the individual spectator in isolation from any form of actual social interaction. Yet the idea that fiction somehow had a special and powerful appeal to the sympathy of readers, and that this appeal held the key to promoting social values, continued to flourish with philosophers and novelists alike. However, the exact nature of this appeal, and how to best make use of it continued to fuel all sorts of innovations in, and discussions of, the kinds of fiction being written during the final decades of 112 the eighteenth century. In the treatment of sympathy by moral philosophers and by novelists, there is an overwhelming sense that trying to imagine the sentiments of another individual can be a useful exercise, and one that has the potential to encourage the spread of general standards of morality and virtue. As John Mullan has found, eighteenth-century philosophical ideas about the social role of feeling were not only explored in works of moral philosophy, but also "in types of literature less obviously committed to social analysis or political prescription" such as the novels of writers like Richardson and Sterne.164 However, as much of the modern criticism on the subject has shown, the terms "sympathy" and "sentiment" meant a great many different things to eighteenth-century readers and writers. In The Politics of Sensibility, Markman Ellis draws attention to the complexity involved in defining the terms "sentiment" and "sensibility" because of the "large number of varied discourses" that make use of the two.165 Like Mullan, Ellis goes on to offer up the novel as the most valuable location for examining the many faces of eighteenth-century thinking on sentiment and sensibility because of the form's "freedom to mix genres and discourses" and its ability to provide an "extended and deep focus on the subjectivity of one individual".166 According to Ellis, these aspects of the novelistic treatment of sentiment put the novel form in a unique position to provide an account of what sentiment and sympathy might have meant to an eighteenth-century reading public. It is tempting to see eighteenth-century novelists as actively putting the theories of moral philosophy into action, or as translating those ideas for a general audience. But the reality is that in trying to write fiction that moved the sentiments of their readers, eighteenth-century novelists 113 often found themselves challenging and reshaping many of the assumptions that moral philosophers had made about the social value of the communication of sentiment and even of the nature of human understanding itself. This reassessment by eighteenth-century novelists of prevailing philosophical ideas occurs in part, as I tried to show in my previous two chapters, because the encouragement of readerly sympathetic reaction turns out to be a difficult task and one that does not necessarily generate the kind of unified currency of feeling that philosophers like Hume believed that it could. The increased awareness in the subjective qualities of reading, judgment and feeling that Richardson and Sterne highlighted in their novels was reflected in the work of later moral philosophers such as Smith who had to reassess the emphasis on community agreement that had been of such great importance to the social theories of Locke and Hume. In the chapter that follows, I will be charting the way that ideas about sentiment change over the course of the last four decades of the eighteenth century as they move back and forth through the different genres of philosophy, fiction and criticism. At the same time, I will be illustrating that the heightened interest in theories of sentiment and sympathetic identification in the last decades of the eighteenth century played a pivotal role in the development of what we would today identify as a print media literacy as writers across genres speculated on the effects of sentimental reading and suggested ways to combat its ill effects and to take advantage of its particular strengths. On The Philosophical Theorization of the Social Life of Feeling: In his Theory of Moral Sentiments, Smith seeks to answer many of the difficult questions about the nature of social formations that, as I have tried to illustrate in the previous chapters, 114 plagued the work of his philosophical predecessors Locke and Hume. What sets Smith's examination of the mechanics of the social world apart from the approaches taken by other moral philosophers is his interest in, and insistence on, the subjective nature of moral sentiments and the important role that acts of imagination play in forming those sentiments: As we have no immediate experience of what other men feel, we can form no idea of the manner in which they are affected, but by conceiving what we ourselves should feel in the like situation. Though our brother is upon the rack, as long as we ourselves are at our ease, our senses will never inform us of what he suffers. They never did, and never can, carry us beyond our own person, and it is by the imagination only that we can form any conception of what are his sensations. Neither can that faculty help us to this any other way, than by representing to us what would be our own, if we were in his case. It is the impressions of our own senses only, not those of his, which our imaginations copy. By the imagination we place ourselves in his situation, we conceive ourselves enduring all the same torments, we enter as it were into his body, and become in some measure the same person with him, and thence form some idea of his sensations, and even feel something which, though weaker in degree, is not altogether unlike them.167 Here Smith suggests that because of the subjective nature of human understanding and sentiments, the closest that one individual can come to forming an understanding of another individual is through the exercise of their imaginative faculties in an attempt to picture themselves as that other individual. It is important to acknowledge that in Smith's theory of moral sentiments an individual can imagine the sentiments or experiences of another individual but they can never completely overcome their own subjective position or assume that of another. Smith suggests that while the basis for our empirical knowledge rests in sensory experience, our reflections upon that experience are subjective and therefore cannot be completely shared. While Smith's suggestion of the sensory basis of our understanding is shared with Locke and Hume, Smith differs from his predecessors in the emphasis that his places on the role of imagination in the process of sympathetic identification, arguing that while it is not possible to transcend one's subjectivity, social cohesion all but depends on the attempt.168 In Smith's estimation, sympathy is the ability to imaginatively change situations with others, even if this change is only brief in its 115 duration, because only by attempting to change situations with another can an individual ever hope to consider sentiments that are inconsistent with their own lived experience.169 While imagination plays an important role in the cognitive systems of both Locke and Hume, it is arguably the most important element in Smith's system of moral sympathy. According to Smith, without imagination there can be no sympathy and, by extension, people would lose both an important source of self-governance and the ability to effectively relate to others. This is because in Smith's estimation, an individual can only pass judgment on their own feelings and sentiments when they compare these to what they imagine the feelings and sentiments of others to be. In this way an individual establishes, or continues to adhere to, what they feel to be standards of conduct. They do this by imaginatively distancing themselves from their own subjective position in order to pass judgment on themselves as they would, and do, pass judgment on others. Smith believes that this process of internal spectatorship is necessary because [w]e can never survey our own sentiments and motives, we can never form any judgment concerning them; unless we remove ourselves, as it were, from our own natural station, and endeavour to view them as at a certain distance from us. But we can do this in no other way than by endeavouring to view them with the eyes of other people, or as other people are likely to view them. Whatever judgment we can form concerning them, accordingly, must always bear some secret reference, either to what are, or to what, upon a certain condition, would be, or to what, we imagine, ought to be the judgment of others.170 According to Smith, it is only by viewing one's actions as if through the eyes of a "fair and impartial spectator" that an individual can effectively judge their own conduct and sentiments because this process is the closest that an individual can come to transcending their own subjectivity. Smith is suggesting then that it is only in groups that individuals have a way to evaluate their behaviour by comparing and contrasting it with the behaviour of others. Smith argues that while each individual within a society passes judgment on the conduct, and what they suppose to be the sentiments of others, their own conduct and sentiments are simultaneously 116 being judged by others. In Smith's estimation, the belief that other individuals are scrutinizing their actions causes individuals to alter their conduct out of fear of condemnation, or in the hope of praise. Smith suggests that praise is an important part of the motivation that individuals experience when forming their sentiments. He insists, whether correctly or not, that individuals desire both the praise of others and the internal sense that their sentiments and actions are worthy of praise, even when there is no external spectator to judge those sentiments and actions.171 According to Smith, the evaluation of the worth of an act or a sentiment is the jurisdiction of an individual's conscience and of their sense of what others would deem worthy of praise. Like Hume who saw social interaction as the source of sympathy, Smith believes that the individual's relationship to a given community provides them with the ability to evaluate their own feelings and actions. However, unlike Hume, who suggests that the relationship between sympathetic expression and community affiliation should lead to a general appeal for the idea of public good, Smith states that each individual within a social group will form their own general rules about what constitutes proper and improper behaviour. The mental process that Smith identifies as facilitating the assessment of what an individual believes others would deem worthy of praise or censure is the appeal to their impartial spectator. Smith's articulation of the impartial spectator is one of the most important elements in his system of moral sentiments, for he states that this spectator is the only "looking-glass by which" one can "scrutinize the propriety of their own conduct" as it would appear in the eyes of others.172 As a result, Smith points to the impartial spectator as the key mechanism by which individuals judge the social impact of their sentiments and of their actions or intended actions. According to Smith, the desire of the individual for praise and the fear of censure by others will 117 guide that person as they form their sentiments and act upon those sentiments. Imagination then plays an essential role in Smith's system of social relations as each individual assesses their own actions and their own sentiments in terms of what they believe to be the judgment of others through the eyes of the impartial spectator. Smith writes that [i]t is thus that general rules of morality are formed. They are ultimately founded upon experience of what, in particular instances, our moral faculties, our natural sense of merit, approve, or disapprove of. We do not originally approve or condemn particular situations; because, upon examination, they appear to be agreeable or inconsistent with a certain general rule. The general rule, on the contrary, is formed, by finding from experience, that all actions of a certain kind, or circumstanced in a certain manner, are approved of disapproved of.173 In Smith's estimation, the individual can judge their own behaviour and sentiments in relationship to these general rules of morality, provided that they do so in as dispassionate a way as possible, as if they were an impartial spectator to their own behaviour and sentiments. Therefore, according to Smith, the moral vision of the individual is shaped by their sympathetic interaction, or rather their perceived sympathetic interaction, with other individuals who have access to the same kinds of experience. My rationale for describing Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments in such detail is twofold: first, I wish to illustrate that Smith makes a direct correlation between sympathy and what he identifies as the establishment of general rules of morality. Secondly, I want to show that Smith specifically identifies imagination as the essential mental process that makes sympathy possible. It is this emphasis on the role of imagination in Smith's writing on sentiment that I see as having a particular resonance with the fiction of sentiment that became popular in the mid-to-late eighteenth century. While Smith tends to concentrate on episodes of direct spectatorship in The Theory of Moral Sentiments, he never states that direct sensory experience is essential for acts of sympathetic identification. As a result, Smith's examination of moral sentiments does not rule out the possibility that an individual could sympathize with a fictional character, provided that the characterization was probable and not incongruent with the reader's sensory experience. Indeed, 118 Smith's system is completely compatible with fictional narratives. According to Smith, the experience of the agent and the spectator do not need to be exactly matched for the spectator to sympathize with the agent. As he repeatedly suggests, acts of sympathy require that the spectator try to imagine the feelings of the agent and not what they themselves would feel in similar circumstances: When I sympathize with your sorrow or your indignation, it may be pretended, indeed, that my emotion is founded in self-love, because it arises from bringing your case home to myself, from putting myself in your situation, and thence conceiving what I should feel in the like circumstances. But though sympathy is very properly said to arise from an imaginary change of situations with the person principally concerned, yet this imaginary change is not supposed to happen to me in my own person and character, but in that of the person whom I sympathize. When I condole with you for the loss of your only son, in order to enter into your grief I do not consider what I, a person of such a character and profession, should suffer, if I had a son, and if that son was unfortunately to die: but I consider what I should suffer if I was really you, and I not only change circumstances with you, but I change persons and characters. My grief, therefore, is entirely upon your account, and not in the least upon my own. It is not, therefore, in the least selfish. How can that be regarded as a selfish passion, which does not arise even from the imagination of any thing that has befallen, or that relates to myself, in my own proper person and character, but which is entirely occupied about what relates to you? A man may sympathize with a woman in child-bed; though it is impossible that he should conceive himself as suffering her pains in his own proper person and character. 174 By attempting to sympathize with another, Smith argues, an individual does not reconcile their circumstances directly with that other person's experiences so much as try to imagine how they would feel if we were that person. According to Smith, the value of sympathetic identification is in the individual's attempt to develop a new perspective that includes the imagined sentiments and experiences of another. In Smith's estimation, trying to understand how that other's experiences have shaped their sentiments provides the spectator with a stockpile of examples to draw on when forming their general ideas about the propriety and the morality of different kinds of conduct. The more useful examples that a spectator can draw on in forming their general ideas of morality, the more nuanced those rules will be. In 1762, just three years after the appearance of Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments, Lord Kames published his Elements of Criticism. Like Smith, Kames is interested in the 119 relationship between sympathy and morals as well as the role that each plays in the production and maintenance of social order. But whereas Smith devotes the bulk of his work to examining the interrelationship of imagination and sympathy, Kames focuses on the role that taste, particularly literary taste, plays in forming moral benchmarks and standards of virtue. As Mark Phillips has noted, like Smith, Kames is interested in the potential for literature to encourage emotional response in readers, even if he is less interested than Smith in the potential for works of literature to "represent emotional states".175 Kames also differs from Smith in the broadness of the definition that he provides for what constitutes a work of literature, and is more willing to credit modern works of fiction with the status of literature than Smith is. In a section of Elements of Criticism devoted to the "Emotions caused by Fiction", he notes that passions, as all the world knows, are moved by fiction as well as by truth. In judging beforehand of man, so remarkably addicted to truth and reality, one should little dream that fiction can have any effect upon him; but man's intellectual faculties are not sufficiently perfect to dive far even into his own nature. I shall take occasion afterward to show, that the power of fiction to generate passion is an admirable contrivance, subservient to excellent purposes.176 Here Kames points to fiction as a valuable vehicle for the encouragement of moral ideas and the direction of the passions because fiction provides readers with ideas that have great vivacity and therefore, according to Kames, generate great sympathetic response. The most important aspect of any piece of writing that is intended to encourage the sympathetic engagement of readers is, in Kames's view, the potential for that piece of writing to provide readers with a feeling of "ideal presence". The concept of ideal presence and the role that it plays in acts of interpretation is perhaps the most unique feature of the system of moral philosophy that Kames proposes. Kames describes his concept of ideal presence as "a waking dream" that only ends when an individual reflects upon the "real presence" of their immediate situation in the sensory world. Ideal presence then, is the ability to temporarily imagine one's self in the midst of events outside of their actual 120 position in time and space, a particular form of hallucination that makes it possible to become all but fully invested in many different kinds of human-authored representations.177 Like Smith's articulation of the impartial spectator, Kames' ideal presence represents a very specific application of the power of the imagination, particularly as it relates to the act of reading. After all, Kames believes that the phenomenon of ideal presence is required to move the passions of a reader.178 According to Kames, when a reader is made to feel a strong sympathetic reaction to a narrative, whether fictional or historical, they are experiencing ideal presence by imagining themselves to be the genuine spectator of the events found in that narrative. Kames believes that this mode of reading experience is more vivid, and therefore has a greater impact, than the reading experience generated by more traditionally didactic works that provide moral instruction but do not necessarily engage the sympathies of the reader. The animating feature of ideal presence, as Kames describes it, is not the veracity of the narrative (although he insists that the narrative must be probable), but rather that the narrative is animated by a capacity to move the passions of the reader and to encourage that reader to project themselves into the world of the text. As paradoxical as it may at first appear, Kames believes that this model of projection that he attributes to ideal presence, including its temporary detachment from the world of the senses, serves a valuable social function. He writes that [i]n appearance as least, what can be more slight than ideal presence; and yet from it is derived that extensive influence which language hath over the heart; an influence which, more than any other means, strengthens the bond of society, and attracts individuals from their private system to perform acts of generosity and benevolence. Matters of fact, it is true, and truth in general, may be inculcated without taking advantage of ideal presence; but without it the finest speaker or writer would in vain attempt to move any passion: our sympathy would be confined to objects that are really present; and language would lose entirely its signal power of making us sympathize with beings removed at the greatest distance of time as well as of place. Nor is the influence of language, by means of ideal presence, confined to the heart; it reacheth also the understanding, and contributes to belief.179 Ideal presence, then, according to Kames, allows one to transcend their specific location in space and time in order to sympathize with objects and experiences that are not actually present. 121 Kames links this ability to sympathize with the unseen to a belief that when readers are provided with virtuous examples they are more likely to "raise virtuous emotions", and that these raised emotions will effectively make those readers more virtuous by habit.180 Kames postulates that fiction is as good, if not better than works of history for providing improving examples because such fictional examples may be "multiplied without end".181 But whether the reader is able to achieve an ideal presence while reading history or fiction matters little to Kames provided that the reader is presented with examples that will elevate their taste and provide them with virtuous ideas. Kames goes on to suggest that the more a reader comes into contact with works that encourage ideal presence, the more developed their capacity for moral sympathy will become.182 This stronger sense of virtue and morality in the individual, Kames argues, leads to an improvement in "social happiness", particularly as more readers experience sympathetic reactions to the right kinds of literature.183 But what specifically are the right kinds of literature? How does an author generate the kind of readerly sympathetic attachment to a text that Kames identifies as the necessary prerequisite for ideal presence to take place? Kames does leave a number of important questions unanswered about how to achieve ideal presence, and about the kind of literature that would be productive of "social happiness". But these are essentially the same questions that plagued writers like Sterne and Mackenzie in the 1760s and 70, and which continued to plague authors like Reeve and Godwin in later decades as they struggled to find the right mix of readerly feeling and judgment that would make their texts serve a useful social function, or at least serve a useful function for the individual reader. 122 Moral Sentiment and Moral Action: Mackenzie's Man of Feeling: Appearing in 1771, Mackenzie's The Man of Feeling tells the story of a man of overly delicate feeling through a series of sympathetically charged episodes. These episodes relate loosely to his excursion from the country into London to procure the lease of some crown-lands. However the work as a whole does not possess a unified narrative. Although Harley is nominally the hero of Mackenzie's novel, he provides a complex and potentially unappealing version of what it might mean to be the man of feeling. The combination of Harley's complicated characterization, and the dismissive remarks that Mackenzie includes about sentimental fiction in an 1785 issue of his periodical The Lounger, make it difficult to know how readers are intended to approach The Man of Feeling. On the one hand, as Chris Jones and others have argued quite persuasively, it is possible to read The Man of Feeling in an ironic fashion as a parody of the novel of sentiment.184 Yet, as many commentators on Mackenzie's novel have suggested, the work appears to have been taken quite seriously by its original readers.185 In the following pages I will argue that while The Man of Feeling is definitely a work of sentiment, Mackenzie would not have included it among those works of sentimental fiction that he condemns in The Lounger. Instead, I believe that Mackenzie saw The Man of Feeling as a work that was intended to actively engage with, and critique, many of the philosophical ideas of his contemporaries relating to the social value of sentiment rather than embracing them directly; that Mackenzie's novel was also an attempt to refine many of those philosophical ideas and to locate an appropriate place for novels in relation to them. As I mentioned above, there has been much discussion of how Mackenzie believed readers would approach his novels, much of it drawing on the comments that he made in an issue of The Lounger on 18 September 1785. In this issue of The Lounger, Mackenzie provides an 123 explanation of what he deems to be the promise and the pitfalls of the novel genre. This essay tends to be used by critics to illustrate Mackenzie's turn against the fiction of sentiment, as well as his turn against the idea that sympathy can serve a useful social purpose.186 I think that there is another and better way to read Lounger 20. I remain unconvinced that Mackenzie saw his Man of Feeling as the kind of sentimental fiction that he condemns in Lounger 20. Instead, I see Mackenzie as describing two kinds of novelistic fiction in Lounger 20 and carefully dividing his own style from that of the species that he calls "the Sentimental".187 This is not to say that Mackenzie would deny that The Man of Feeling had sentimental elements, but rather that he intended it to be a work that would foster discussion about sympathy rather than simply encouraging sympathetic response from readers, in much the same way that Sterne imagined his readers would approach Tristram Shandy.188 Mackenzie divides Lounger 20 roughly in half with the first part of the essay devoted to a defense of the novel genre from contemporary critics and the second half focusing on sentimental fiction. In the first part of the essay, Mackenzie suggests that the novel form has great potential and that its critics have been perhaps too quick to identify the worst examples of the genre as indicative of the whole. Among the strengths of the genre Mackenzie cites the novel's reliance on probability and its depiction of "domestic scenes and situations in private life".189 According to Mackenzie, more than even "Epic" or "Drama", the novel captures the intricacies of private life, holds forth examples of a refined virtue, and encourages readers to use their own judgment in relation to those examples.190 However, Mackenzie is quick to qualify this praise for the genre by noting that these lofty qualities are achieved only when the best of writers compose novels, and he goes on to suggest that the majority of the novels being written by his contemporaries are a "debasement" of the potential of the form. In other words, Mackenzie does 124 not feel that novels are "dangerous" because of their generic features, but only that they can provide bad examples when they are not carefully written or carefully read. In the second half of Lounger 20, Mackenzie turns his attention to what he identifies as "Sentimental" novels. He does not name specific examples of this subset of the novel genre but rather focuses his attention on the tendency of sentimental novels to promote the "separation of conscience from feeling" by encouraging readers to focus on fine feeling for its own sake. In Mackenzie's estimation, such separation diminishes the potential social value of sympathy by turning it into a vehicle for entertainment instead of a way to promote virtuous behaviour and the alleviation of distress. Mackenzie writes that [i]n the enthusiasm of sentiment there is much the same danger as in the enthusiasm of religion, of substituting certain impulses and feelings of what may be called a visionary kind, in the place of real practiced duties, which in morals, as in theology, we might not improperly denominate good works. In morals, as in religion, there are not wanting instances of refined sentimentalists, who are contented with talking of virtues which they never practice, who pay in words what they owe in actions; or, perhaps, what is fully as dangerous, who open their minds to impressions which never have any effect upon their conduct, but are considered as something foreign and distinct from it.191 Mackenzie's main concern about the fiction of sentiment is the potential that it has to encourage readers to substitute feeling for what he identifies as "real practical duties". Here Mackenzie is denouncing the split between feeling and action that many critics of sentiment draw attention to as one of its primary failures. According to Mackenzie, refined sentiment is of no value unless it relates to conduct. Like Parson Yorick in Sterne's Tristram Shandy, Mackenzie is arguing for the value of a type of "practical divinity", that kind of moral outlook that translates into tangible good, whatever the size of the deed. In other words, according to Mackenzie's estimation, sympathy can only serve a useful social role when it works as a prompt for virtuous action instead of remaining a purely theoretical exercise. Mackenzie's approach to sympathy and to his own characterization of the man of feeling is complex in the way that it encourages readers to exercise their refined sentiments, but it also requires readers to assess the social value of Harley's 125 actions. Although Mackenzie identifies Harley as the man of feeling, he is also a man of action who actively attempts to alleviate distress where he finds it, even when he is mistaken in his assessment of what constitutes distress. In The Culture of Sensibility G. J. Barker-Benfield explores the eighteenth-century fascination with sympathy, paying particular attention to the impact that concepts of sentiment and sensibility had for both gender and class. According to Barker-Benfield, in many of the period's philosophical works and novels, women were described as more susceptible to sympathetic representations than men and more likely to succumb to their feelings than to act in response to such representations.192 Barker-Benfield contrasts this incapacitating form of feminized sympathy with what he sees as the kind of ideal homosocial sympathetic bond attributed to men by philosophers like Hume and Smith.193 However, Mackenzie's Harley blurs the lines of such gender-based assumptions about the operation of sympathy through his extreme susceptibility to overpowering sympathetic identification and his tendency to act in response to scenes of hardship.194 And just as Harley is difficult to pin down in relation to certain assumptions about the gendering of sympathetic reaction, it is also hard to know if Harley is meant to support or to undermine existing theories of the social value of sympathy.195 In many ways, Mackenzie uses his articulation of the man of feeling to explore the complicated motivations for, and the relationship of, sympathy and action in ways that were not necessarily open to the moral philosopher or to the writer of a more straightforward didactic text. As a result, Harley continually experiences difficulty in bridging the distance between his own personal judgment, as it is motivated by his sympathetic reactions, and deciding on the appropriate action to take in response to such judgments. Harley's central problem is one that Smith and Kames acknowledge but tend to downplay. For in following what amounts to the 126 guidance of the man within his breast, Harley often fails to account for differences between the sentiments that he imagines others to have and the actual sentiments that they possess. Although Harley is able to imaginatively project himself into the place of others, he never seems to entertain the possibility that the outward appearance of things does not always reflect things as they really are, and this discrepancy makes it difficult, if not impossible, for Harley to follow a truly effective course of moral action. In this way, Mackenzie challenges Smith's sense that an individual can effectively imagine the motivations of another based on outward appearances. Because Harley can never transcend his own experience, understanding or sympathetic outlook, his attempts to imagine the motivations of others often end in episodes of misreading. But unlike Sterne who sees misreading as an unavoidable and potentially comical aspect of the human experience, there is a melancholy aspect to Harley's sentimentally charged misfires, particularly in the statement that they potentially make about Smith's belief in the establishment of general moral rules. The trouble that Harley runs into as a result of his tendency to act unquestioningly in response to his sympathetic reactions can be illustrated by the many misjudgments he makes in relation to his reliance on his skill in physiognomy.196 Although his aunt has warned him not to place reliance on this skill, Harley is convinced that he can identify inner goodness by examining the face of another. However, Harley's faith in this skill is shaken when he is taken for a fair sum of money by a couple of "noted sharpers". Harley's reading of the faces and sentiments of these two charlatans proves wrong because he fails to account for the very real possibility that their actual sentiments are vastly different from the sentiments he has judged them to possess based on their appearance and conversation. In this way, Mackenzie highlights the distance that separates an individual's internal sentiments and the outward expression of those sentiments. Mackenzie 127 suggests that while a person may appear to exhibit a capacity for fine feeling and a tendency towards virtuous sentiment in their physical presence and outward behaviour, such appearances do not necessarily relate to their true character. This discrepancy between a person's inner sentiments and their outward expression of those sentiments makes it difficult for the spectator to accurately imagine themselves as another person, a difficulty that once again highlights the subjective nature of sympathy. Adam Smith was well aware of this difficulty, and while The Theory of Moral Sentiments argues for the social value of sympathy, Smith also acknowledges that feeling and action are not always united: The man who has performed no single action of importance, but whose conversation and deportment express the justest, the noblest, and most generous sentiments, can be entitled to demand no very high reward, even though his inutility should be owing to nothing but the want of an opportunity to serve. We can still refuse it him without blame. We can still ask him, What have you done? What actual service can you produce, to entitle you to so great a recompense? 197 Here Smith recommends actual face-to-face pressure to induce an individual to act in a way that is consistent with their "justest", "noblest, and most generous sentiments", an emphasis on the pressure of embodied communities and discussion that is very much in keeping with the kind of consensus on moral ideas that Sterne advocates in Tristram Shandy and that Richardson tries to achieve with his own community of readers.198 But Smith goes on to suggest that the same kind of pressure can be internalized and exerted by the impartial spectator, although he is somewhat unclear about how the education of the internal spectator takes place. In many ways Mackenzie's Man of Feeling offers readers a chance to do just that, to educate their internal spectators. As I mentioned above, Harley often finds his best intentions undercut by the complicated details of lived experience. Because Harley's story is told in the third person, readers do not have access to the internal mental processes through which Harley transforms his sympathetic reactions into action. Yet, given Harley's tendency to at least try to assist nearly everyone he believes to be in distress, Mackenzie appears to have created a sentimental hero who is all but a 128 slave to his sympathy. The inferences that Harley makes about the suffering of others provide him with a deep sense of sympathetic attachment to those in distress. But these inferences are, for the most part, fueled by Harley's imagination and represent his interpretation of the sentiments of others and not any tangible indication of their actual sentiments. On one level then, Harley represents the failure of sympathy to transcend an individual's subjective position. Harley's acts of sympathetic identification are little more than an extension of his own preexisting standards for what constitutes distress and do not represent or reflect a set of general rules. With his characterization of Harley, Mackenzie appears to cast a very strong doubt about the potential for the fiction of sentiment to provide useful models for readers to emulate, or to impart instruction in any sort of straightforward manner. After all, Harley is not a viable role model. It is tempting to view The Man of Feeling as a completely ironic treatment of the fiction of sentiment, both for the ineffectiveness of its hero, and for the doubt that the novel casts on the social power of fictionalized depictions of sentiment. But Harley's failures also have an important cautionary aspect and while readers are not encouraged to act like Harley, throughout The Man of Feeling Mackenzie represents Harley's story as potentially instructive. Like Sterne's Uncle Toby, Mackenzie's Harley provides readers with a complex depiction of the intersection of an individual's motives and the social effects of their actions, not for the purposes of imitation, but to encourage reflection. Harley is not always able to read the world correctly, but his intentions tend to be virtuous and display a deeply rooted desire to alleviate distress, even if he is not always successful in doing so. And while Harley is able to assist Emily Atkins and old Edwards in tangible ways, as a sentimental character he is perhaps more notable for his almost constant desire to assist those in distress than for the rare instances when this desire translates 129 into successful action. Harley's intentions remain wholesome throughout The Man of Feeling even if the translation of those intentions into action often suggests a failure on Harley's part to understand the motivations of others. As a result, it is ultimately the reader's decision to cast Harley into the role of sentimental fool or virtuous hero because the material exists to support either interpretation of his character. Rather than presenting his readers with a near faultless "good man" in the mold of Richardson's Grandison, Mackenzie provides an incomplete picture of a man of great sympathy and questionable judgment, leaving the ultimate decision about his potential value to readers. And while the reader of The Man of Feeling is encouraged to consider how they would react to Harley's experiences were they in his place, it also left to them to exercise their own skill in judging the virtue of Harley's actions and sentiments, for it is possible to evaluate his legacy in a variety of ways. Like Smith's figure of the spectator who tries to understand the emotions of the man who has lost his son, Mackenzie's reader is put into a position where to better understand Harley's actions they need to imagine the sentiments that motivate them and imaginatively reconstruct the context that prompts them. But there are important differences in the role that Smith proposes for his spectator and the kind of spectatorship that Mackenzie's readers have access to, particularly in the way that Mackenzie approaches the mediating effect of print on his readers. Unlike Smith's system of emotional exchange, which is based primarily on an individual's reaction to embodied experience, the experiences and sentiments of Mackenzie's Harley are fictional representations. The spectator in Smith's system of moral sympathy is always imagining another real individual, one that they could potentially assist in tangible ways. By way of contrast, Mackenzie's Harley is a fictional character that appears to encourage a Smithean style 130 of sympathetic identification, but which constantly deflates that form of identification by drawing attention to the constructed nature of the relationship. As a result, Harley's characterization is better suited to provide readers with an opportunity to reflect than it is to provide them with an opportunity to sympathize. Put another way, for the reader of The Man of Feeling, sympathy itself becomes a target for the constant exercise of their judgment. Mackenzie's emphasis on the value of a reader's judgment and reflection, instead of their direct sympathy, suggests that his views on the social role of sympathy are closer to those of Addison than they are to those of Smith. After all, it was Addison who had suggested in his "Pleasures of the Imagination" essays that a reader can devote more time to reflection and judgment once the potential for embodied reaction is eliminated.199 By encouraging his readers to judge the value of the interaction of Harley's sentiments and actions Mackenzie shifts the focus of his depiction of the man of feeling from the sympathetic response of the reader (although he continues to allow for this as well) to a focus on the value of judgment in relation to feeling, a process that Mackenzie upholds as an antidote to the kind of sentimental reading he condemns in Lounger 20. Discussing Books: Reeve's The Progress of Romance: Readerly judgment is also important to the approach to reading that is taken by Clara Reeve. Appearing in the same year as Mackenzie's twentieth issue of The Lounger, Reeve's The Progress of Romance tackles the ambitious task of providing a history of prose fiction and a detailed account of what makes some fiction beneficial and some fiction dangerous. Reeve begins her exploration of novels and romances with a request to readers to look beyond the wave of negative criticism that has become associated with the two genres. Like Mackenzie, Reeve finds that before a useful discussion about these genres can take place, existing prejudices need to be laid aside and the tendency to tar all works of prose fiction with the name "trash" needs to 131 be checked. Although Reeve argues that the modern novel sprang from the ruins of romance, she sees them as vastly different forms: The Novel is a picture of real life and manners, and of the times in which it is written. The Romance in lofty and elevated language, describes what never happened nor is likely to happen.—The Novel gives a familiar relation of such things, as pass every day before our eyes, such as may happen to our friend, or to ourselves; and the perfection of it, is to represent every scene, in so easy and natural a manner, and to make them appear so probable, as to deceive us into a persuasion (at least while we are reading) that all is real, until we are affected by the joys or distresses, of the persons in the story, as if they were our own.200 Here Reeve focuses on probability as one of the major defining features of the novel genre just as other eighteenth-century commentators such as Johnson, Richardson and Mackenzie had done. At the same time, Reeve's articulation of the imaginary affiliation that readers develop with fictional characters (the "joys" and "distresses" readers feel) is similar to the theory of spectatorship and sympathy that Smith outlines in The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Like so many authors of the period, Reeve suggests that readers imaginatively bond with probable but fictional characters and use the stories of those fictional characters as a stand in for lived experience. But Reeve is concerned for readers who form too strong an attachment to probable fictions and she worries that such readers will be led to develop misplaced sentiments and to perform inappropriate actions. In order to protect readers from this kind of sympathetically induced misreading, Reeve used The Progress of Romance to outline what she deemed to be useful reading practices. The danger that Reeve identifies with certain kinds of fiction, and the way that certain readers approach that fiction, is essentially a concern with misdirected imagination and sympathy. As I have tried to illustrate, eighteenth-century moral philosophers like Locke, Hume and Smith all discussed the important role that imagination plays in human understanding and in social affiliation. This is especially true of the work of Smith, who argues that the ability to imagine the sentiments and experiences of another individual provides the basis for all social 132 interactions. But as Sterne and other non-philosophic writers illustrated, imagination, and sympathetic identification by extension, are subjective by nature and offer no tenable relationship to verifiable reality or universality. As a result, reconciling these two views of imagination and sympathy is no simple task. Even so, the three authors that I am focusing on in this chapter try to do just that. I have attempted to illustrate that in The Man of Feeling Mackenzie simultaneously appeals to the sentiments of his readers while illustrating the potential dangers of the sentiments he arouses. In this way, I have argued, Mackenzie foregrounds personal judgment as an antidote for the potentially misleading pull of imaginative sympathy. Godwin adopts a similar strategy in both Caleb Williams and Fleetwood, but takes the technique even further by making the central figure in each novel what Godwin calls "his own historian", thereby forcing the reader into a position where they need to question both the sentiments and judgments of the central voice of authority in each novel. Although Reeve takes a different approach to reader education from that of Mackenzie and Godwin with her Progress of Romance (a work that provides readers with a combination of genre history and reading instruction) her focus is remarkably similar, centering on the judgment of individual readers as the antidote to the potential dangers of novelistic fiction and misdirected sentiment. The Progress of Romance is told in a series of dialogues between three friends. In the preface to the Progress, Reeve suggests that her decision to follow the dialogue form grew out of the research phase of her study when she "held many conversations with some ingenious friends upon the various subjects" that would form the core of the book's content.201 The dialogue form makes it possible for Reeve to give her work the appearance of an open discussion about what it is that constitutes the positive and negative aspects of the genre. This design serves two related 133 purposes, allowing Reeve to catalogue the best and worst examples of the novel genre and to explain what makes one worthy and another unworthy. At the same time, the dialogue form provides Reeve with a way to model a method of novel reception in which a group of readers discuss the merits and shortcomings of particular works. This model of reading appreciation provides a potential antidote for, and alternative to, what Reeve represents as the dangers of private and silent reading. Reeve seems very concerned that readers of the wrong kinds of novels and romances will come into contact with works that valorize immoral behaviour and improper sentiments. At the same time, Reeve is also concerned that even when readers are provided with the right books they still run the risk of misinterpreting potentially instructive elements in those works. For unlike the interpretive group of Hortensius, Sophronia and Euphrasia who debate the criteria of romances and novels in Reeve's Progress, the solitary and silent novel reader faces the work of interpretation on their own.202 In many ways, Reeve's Progress can be read as an early attempt to provide the reading public with a crash course in media literacy. In the preface to The Progress of Romance, Reeve tells her readers that in order to properly address the lack of useful critical attention to the novel and romance genres, she will focus on their history, she will provide detailed explanations of how these genres differ, and she will generate a list of the best and worst examples of both.203 As a result, much of The Progress of Romance is dedicated to teaching readers to distinguish good novels from bad. Reeve wants to guide readers to the "most eminent works" of the novel genre so that they can reap the benefits of the form and avoid its dangers    particularly the danger of an over stimulated and misdirected imagination. At best Reeve states that reading the wrong kinds of prose fiction will "lay a foundation of idleness and folly" and cause those readers to develop a distaste for more serious forms of writing and an over-inflated sense of their ability to judge men 134 and manners.204 However, Reeve believes that a worse fate is in store for those that are overly affected by novel reading: The seeds of vice and folly are sown in the heart, —the passions are awakened, —false expectations are raised.—A young woman is taught to expect adventures and intrigues, —she expects to be addressed in the style of these books, with the language of flattery and adulation.—If a plain man addresses her in rational terms and pays her the greatest of compliments, —that of desiring to spend his life with her, —that is not sufficient, her vanity is disappointed, she expects to meet a…fine Gentleman in a Novel.205 Not only does Reeve represent the novel genre as having the potential to undermine learning, she also suggests that novels have the power to undermine the very fabric of communities by encouraging readers to become overly invested in their sympathetic imaginations at the expense of their reason. Reeve feels that novels are particularly dangerous because they deal with characters and situations that are probable and therefore appear to offer truths about the world, when in actual fact they have no solid basis in reality. Although Reeve argues that there are novels that effectively provide the "noblest lessons of virtue and good conduct", she feels that these few instructive works are all but overwhelmed by the sheer volume of poorly written novels. One method that Reeve recommends to readers to separate good from bad novels is to consult the judgment of the review periodicals, particularly where they deal specifically with novels.206 On many occasions, Reeve has Euphrasia and her companions turn to the Monthly Review and the Critical Review to corroborate the opinions that they have formed of certain novels in the course of their discussions.207 In The Progress of Romance, Reeve wants to alert readers to the potential dangers of probable fictions, particularly of the sentimental kind. Because of their probable nature, novels seem to offer a much more realistic danger in Reeve's eyes than works of romance which may engross readers but which do not facilitate direct comparisons with their own lives in the way that novels do. As a result, Reeve is more concerned about the possibility of novel readers mistaking the appropriateness of certain sentiments and manners than she is about a quixotic 135 addiction to romance. Of course Reeve is not alone in such fears and, as Wendy Motooka has shown, discussions of the danger of misreading fictions, both probable and improbable, can be found in many eighteenth-century works, particularly in novels themselves.208 But what sets Reeve's apart from most other examinations of the dangers of reading prose fiction is her desire to place such dangers into a more general discussion about the nature of reading. Towards the end of the Progress, Reeve has Hortensius and Euphrasia engage in a debate about how best to protect readers from dangerous works of prose fiction: Sophronia: It is now that I may enter upon my office of Moderator.—Hortensius would prohibit the reading all Novels in order to exclude the bad ones.—Euphrasia would make a separation in favour of works of Genius, taste, and morality; she would recommend such methods of preventing the mischiefs arising from novel reading, as are moderate, prudent, and above all practicable.— The objections to bad books of this species, are equally applicable to all other kinds of writing,-- indecent novels, indecent plays, essays, memoirs, dialogues are equally to be exploded: but it does not follow that all these kinds of writing are bad.—By the same kind of reasoning we might plead for the prohibition of all kinds of writing; for excellent and unexceptionable works of every species, may be contrasted with vicious and immoral ones. All these objections amount to no more than that bad books are bad things;--but shall we therefore prohibit reading?209 While Hortensius argues for the censorship of what he deems to be inappropriate fictions, Euphrasia counters by noting that it is the content of specific works rather than their form that makes them either appropriate or inappropriate for readers. According to Euphrasia, to censor works based on genre alone will not serve to protect readers in the way that Hortensius hopes it will. Instead of censorship, Reeve recommends a program of media literacy and group discussion as the best ways to ensure that readers do not succumb to the potential dangers of immoral books. Godwin: Judgment and Feeling: As I mentioned above, Godwin shared in Reeve's belief that the exercise of individual judgment was necessary for a reader to reap the potential benefits associated with having a sentimental reaction to works of prose fiction. Like Mackenzie and Reeve, Godwin came to 136 argue that probable fictions could serve a useful social function if readers approached them judiciously. In his unpublished essay entitled "Of History and Romance", Godwin addresses the overly harsh censure of novels and romances in similar terms to those expressed by Mackenzie and Reeve, finding that [t]he critic and the moralist, in their estimate of romances, have borrowed the principle that regulates the speculations of trade. They have weighed novels by the great and taken onto their view the whole scum and surcharge of the press. But surely this is not the way in which literature would teach us to consider the subject. When we speak of poetry, we do not fear to commend this species of composition, regardless of the miserable trash that from month to month finds its way from the press under the appellation of poetry. The like may be said of history, or of books of philosophy, natural and intellectual. There is no species of literature that would stand this ordeal.210 To an even greater extent than Reeve and Mackenzie, Godwin believes that the genres of novel and romance excel in their ability to explore the sentiments of fictional characters because they are not held back by the constraints of factual truth.211 Unlike the kind of imaginatively informed sympathetic identification that Smith proposes in his Theory of Moral Sentiments, which in truth relies on the experience of the spectator, Godwin sees probable fiction as having the potential to provide readers with a detailed glimpse of the sentiments of another individual, albeit one that is fictional. Given the emphasis that Godwin places on personal judgment in his famous philosophical treatise Political Justice, and in most of his subsequent writing, the fictional basis of the sentiment that he praises in novels/romances is less important to him than the reader's ability to personally judge the value of such representations of sentiment. In "Of History and Romance", Godwin goes as far as to call the writer of romance the "real writer of history" because only they are capable of the "delineation of consistent human, character".212 According to Godwin, this is because the romance writer can show the sentiments of a fictional character in tremendous depth since they are the creator of this character and, as a result, dictate both the character's experiences and how they will interpret those experiences. The historian, by contrast must deal in facts, for Godwin claims that when they speculate on the 137 sentiments of their subjects they no longer write as historians but as romance writers. However, Godwin goes on to question the basis upon which historians make their claims to truth, noting that even the direct events that "meet the eye of the spectator" will be interpreted slightly differently by each spectator present, to say nothing of the vast differences that will occur in the subsequent reflection on any given event.213 According to Godwin, the historian's claims to truth are not as solid as they are often portrayed to be. By way of contrast to such historical relativism, Godwin offers the example of the writer of romance, whose mastery of their own characters gives their writing a kind of truth that the historian can only envy. Godwin's reexamination of the line that divides history and romance distinguishes his thinking on the role of prose fiction from treatments of prose works by writers like Mackenzie and Reeve, who still tend to endorse the understanding that romance and history are two distinct genres. As Mark Phillips has noted, although Godwin praises romance as a "bolder" species of history, he does not see romance and history as two distinct genres so much as two types of the same genre that have different relationships to the representation of sentiment. According to Godwin, the faithful representation of sentiment would be the highest achievement that a literary form could accomplish because such a representation would facilitate the perfect communication of sentiment from one individual to another. But Godwin is skeptical that this is actually possible, and this skepticism causes him to revise his final assessment of history and romance in the essay. Godwin concludes "Of History and Romance" by suggesting that the perfect representation of sentiment, while a valuable goal, is ultimately an untenable one and beyond "the powers of man" for it would require "a sagacity scarcely less than divine".214 The writer of history, then, according to Godwin, recovers some of their traditionally ascribed advantage over the writer of romance because the historian can focus on accepted facts. Godwin's last minute 138 reassessment of the strengths of romance and history leaves the reader with questions about the actual value of either of these literary forms as Godwin has found both to be limited and flawed. In a very brief concluding paragraph, Godwin reiterates his belief in the imperfect nature of human knowledge and expression as he has articulated it throughout "Of History and Romance": The result of the whole, is that sciences and the arts of man are alike imperfect, and almost infantine. He that will not examine the collections and the efforts of man, till absurdity and folly are extirpated from among them, must be contented to remain in ignorance, and wait for the state, where he expects that faith will give place to sight, and conjecture be swallowed up in knowledge.215 Godwin's final word in "Of History and Romance" is a suggestion to readers is to be as widely read as possible and to sample all forms of writing and all modes of expression. According to Godwin, no single genre or branch of human science has been perfected enough to rule out the potential value of others, and so he recommends reading works of prose fiction (novels/romances) as a way to supplement other kinds of learning. Novels/romances are especially important to Godwin because, like Mackenzie and Reeve, he sees them as having a capacity to examine human affect and understanding in ways that are not open to other genres. But at the same time Godwin is skeptical about the value of any form of communication that purports to transmit ideas or sentiments from one individual to another. As he notes in Political Justice, when "[t]wo men see a picture… they never see it from the same point of view, and therefore strictly speaking never see the same picture".216 Sounding a great deal like Sterne, who had dramatically enacted the clash of subjective positions in the Shandy household in Tristram Shandy, Godwin draws attention to the distance that human subjectivity creates between different individuals and the effects that such subjectivity has on their ability to effectively communicate. But Godwin is concerned with both the social and the political implications of human subjectivity, and his writing as philosopher, novelist and critic emphasize 139 both. Godwin argues in Political Justice that the proper approach to addressing the subjective nature of understanding and sentiment is not through coercion or inflexible legal controls, but rather through the encouragement of private acts of judgment on the part of all individuals. In order to effectively engage in such acts of judgment, Godwin argues that the individual needs to be free of those kinds of social, economic and political obligations that impede their ability to form their own opinions based on rational contemplation. In both Political Justice and Caleb Williams, Godwin explores the complex relationship of sympathy, obligation and opinion, as well as the impact of these things on the ability of an individual to form rational, and most importantly, independent judgments; hence the inclusion of these two works in this chapter on the man of feeling. Godwin's Political Justice is a work of politically revolutionary philosophy that questioned the status quo in Britain in the 1790s and established Godwin's early literary reputation. Throughout Political Justice, Godwin argues that individual judgment can, and should, provide the basis for a truly egalitarian form of social organization, a claim that stands in direct opposition to the claim made by Burke and his supporters that inheritance (of property, law and tradition) provided the basis for British social order. In Political Justice, Godwin writes that to "the rational being there can be but one rule of conduct, justice, and one mode of ascertaining that rule, the exercise of his understanding".217 He contrasts this desire for the free exercise of reason, judgment and discussion with what he identifies as a controlling and politically influenced public opinion. According to Godwin it is this opinion that forms the basis of all government control and power, thereby effectively undermining the essential independence of "all men".218 Godwin sees the spread of certain types of public opinion (particularly those that support centralized control) as being antithetical to the free exercise of reason, which he holds up 140 as the ideal source of social cohesion. In Godwin's estimation, every individual is "endowed with reason", and is therefore "able to compare, judge and to infer" what actions and processes will lead to the "improvement of all".219 In order to protect the universal exercise of private judgment and reason, Godwin argues that a society must have the ability to engage in open discussion on any topic that its members deem appropriate. He finds that [i]t follows, that promoting the best interests of mankind, eminently depends upon the freedom of social communication. Let us figure to ourselves a number of individuals, who, having stored their minds with reading and reflection, are accustomed, in candid and unreserved conversation, to compare their ideas, suggest their doubts, examine their mutual difficulties and cultivate a perspicuous and animated manner of delivering their sentiments. Let us suppose, that their intercourse is not confined to the society of each other, but that they are desirous extensively to communicate the truths with which they are acquainted. Let us suppose their illustrations to be not more distinguished by impartiality and demonstrative clearness, than by the mildness of their temper, and a spirit of comprehensive benevolence. We shall then have an idea of knowledge as perpetually gaining ground, unaccompanied with peril in the means of its diffusion. Their hearers will be intrigued to impart their acquisitions to still other hearers, and the circle of instruction will perpetually increase. Reason will spread and not a brute and unintelligent sympathy.220 Given the statements that Godwin makes in Political Justice, "Of History and Romance", and The Enquirer about the subjective nature of all knowledge, his insistence on the social importance of discussion makes perfect sense. According to Godwin, it is through the interaction of the private reason of many individuals that something approaching useful knowledge can be found. Of course, Godwin is speaking of a form of "independent and impartial discussion" that is performed by individuals who have prepared themselves for the task with "reading and reflection" on a variety of sources and in many areas of learning. Godwin contrasts this free exchange of reason with a "brute and unintelligent sympathy", placing himself at odds with those who believed that sympathy alone could provide an essential tool for social cohesion.221 Godwin's distrust of direct appeals to the sympathetic imagination of individuals stems from his belief that any force that undermines or influences an individual's reason is ultimately detrimental to the establishment of a true social equality. Godwin is suspicious of the power of 141 persuasion, preferring instead that individuals form reasonable judgments based upon their observations and experience. Like Locke, Godwin places a high level of importance on the role of sensory experience in the development of units of understanding. Godwin finds that simply being told that something is true should not be enough to establish an individual's acceptance of its truth, a proposition that he illustrates with the example of Euclid's rules of geometry: You inform me, "that Euclid asserts the three angles of a plane triangle to be equal to two right angles." Still I am unacquainted with the truth of this proposition. "But Euclid has demonstrated it. His demonstration has existed for two thousand years, and, during that term, has proved satisfactory to every man by whom it has been understood." I am nevertheless uninformed. The knowledge of truth, lies in the perceived agreement or disagreement of the terms of a proposition. So long as I am unacquainted with the middle term by means of which they may be compared, so long as they are incommensurate to my understanding, you may have furnished me with a principle from which I may reason truly to further consequences; but, as to the principle itself, I may strictly be said to know nothing.222 Here Godwin uses Euclid's famous (and easily demonstrated) rule about the angles of a right- angled triangle to illustrate his belief that, even in the face of a widely held opinion, until an individual is able to prove something to their own satisfaction through the rigorous exercise of their reason, they should not say that it is true. Godwin's main concern is with those kinds of received opinion that lead to social and political control, for it is these opinions that undermine the universal exercise of private judgment, an activity that he associates with an enlightened and egalitarian social order. The central danger that Godwin sees facing any social group is the imposition of the opinions of one faction on another. He writes that no vice can be more destructive, than that which teaches us to regard any judgment as final, and not open to review. The same principle that applies to individuals, applies to communities. There is no proposition, at present apprehended to be true, so valuable, as to justify the introduction of an establishment for the purpose of inculcating it on mankind. Refer them to reading, to conversation, to meditation; but teach them neither creeds nor catechisms, either moral or political.223 Godwin finds that the freedom for the individual to make independent judgments is the most important element in the constitution of an equitable social order. As a result, Godwin believes that any form of coercion, benevolent or otherwise, is detrimental to the interests of the 142 individual. In the pages that follow, I will be examining the implications of this doctrine as they apply to Godwin's approach to composing his own works of fiction. In particular, I will be looking at Godwin's appeals to the sympathetic imaginations of his readers and how his approach to individual judgment suggests that human sympathy, while an important motivator of human behaviour, cannot provide the kind of social unity that Smith argued it could without the guiding influence of personal and reasoned judgment. In 1797 Godwin published a series of essays under the title The Enquirer: Reflections on Education, Manners, and Literature.224 In these essays Godwin raises many of the same issues that he examines in Political Justice, but he places a greater emphasis on the role that literature plays in the development of the individual and of the community. Godwin does not abandon his emphasis on private judgment in The Enquirer, but rather moves the site of examination from political structures to questions about the nature of reading and reflection. He argues that reading is one of the most important ways that individuals receive new ideas with which to extend their understanding. Godwin writes that [b]ooks gratify and excite our curiosity in innumerable ways. They force us to reflect. They hurry us from point to point. They present direct ideas of various kinds, and they suggest indirect ones. In a well-written book we are presented with the maturest of reflections, or the happiest flights, of a mind of uncommon excellence. It is impossible that we can be much accustomed to such companions, without attaining some resemblance of them. When I read Thomson, I become Thomson; when I read Milton, I become Milton. I find myself a sort of intellectual camelion (sic), assuming the colour of the substances on which I rest.225 Here Godwin's theorizes an imaginary affiliation with texts that is remarkably similar to what Kames calls ideal presence. As I mentioned above, for Kames, the reading experience that occurs when an individual forms an ideal presence with a text is more likely to sway their passions and to inculcate them to moral precepts than more didactic works. However, Godwin is more skeptical than Kames (or Smith for that matter) about the implications of appealing to, and attempting to direct, the sympathy of readers. Although Godwin states that "[t]here is no motive 143 more powerful in its operations upon the human mind, than that which originates in sympathy" he remains suspicious of sympathetic literature because of its powers of persuasion.226  While he holds out imagination and sympathy as powerful motivators of human behaviour, Godwin also argues that they should ultimately be subordinate to acts of rational judgment. In many ways Godwin's later experiments with novelistic fiction represent a way to teach readers to evaluate their sympathetic reactions and to better understand the pressure that such appeals place on their ability to form independent rational judgments. According to Godwin, one of the chief advantages of literature is the space and time that it provides for reflection. Although he finds that books can "hurry us from point to point", Godwin also argues that books "force us to reflect", and through such reflection readers are provided with a valuable opportunity for judgment. Like Sterne and Richardson, whose works I discussed in detail in the previous chapters, Godwin does not believe that didactic literature is the best way to encourage the spread of moral ideas, but rather he recommends those works of literature that require readers to exercise their powers of judgment. Godwin finds that "[i]f a thing be really good, it can be shown as such. If you cannot demonstrate its excellence, it may well be suspected that you are no proper judge of it".227 According to Godwin, the accomplished reader will be able to sift through the detail of innumerable facts and sentiments to judge of the good of a particular situation or thing: if we read in a just spirit, perhaps we cannot read too much: in other words, if we mix our own reflections with what we read; if we dissect the ideas and arguments of our author; if, by having recourse to all subsidiary means, we endeavour to clear the recollection of him in our minds; if we compare part with part, detect his errors, new model his systems, adopt so much of him as is excellent, and explain within ourselves the reason of our disapprobation as to what is otherwise. A judicious reader will have a greater number of ideas that are his own passing through his mind, than of ideas presented to him by his author. He sifts his merits, and bolts his arguments. What he adopts from him, he renders his own, by repassing in his thoughts the notions of which it rests, correcting its mistakes, and supplying its defects. Even the most dogmatical branches of study, grammar and mathematics, supply him with hints, and give a turn to his mediations.228 144 Godwin is clearly writing about an accomplished reader who can blend many different kinds of information into a body of personalized understanding. However, the basic approach to reading that Godwin outlines here is one that he deems applicable to all readers, for it calls on them to exercise judgment, to draw on their own previous experience and understanding in doing so, and to recognize that the separation that exists between themselves and what they read is what makes it possible for them to effectively reflect.229 In the theorization of the social value of reading that Godwin includes in The Enquirer, he argues that all information extracted from reading only becomes useful when it is placed into the context of an individual's existing understanding. Godwin suggests that this is especially true in those cases where reading modifies or disrupts what an individual had previously believed. The key to this kind of reading practice, in Godwin's estimation, is for each individual to approach all information in as impartial a manner as possible, for only then will they be able to overcome the previously acquired opinions that affect their ability to read objectively. In this way, Godwin is calling on readers to observe their own reading practices and prejudices through the eyes of a figure like Smith's impartial spectator so that they might better assess the subjective nature of their understanding and the role that such subjectivity plays in their interpretive endeavors. Like Smith's articulation of the impartial spectator, Godwin calls on individual readers to try to overcome their subjective view of the world and to scrutinize their own behaviour and opinions as objectively as possible. According to Godwin, this scrutiny is the only way that an individual will be able to perform the kind of judgment required of a responsible and independent reader and, indeed, a responsible and independent citizen. But how does an individual train to read as Godwin suggests? In the following interpretation of two of Godwin's novels, I will argue that he believed that novelistic fiction provided readers with just such 145 training; that the novel form, when properly used, forced readers to exercise their judgment on a number of levels. Judging Fiction: Godwin's Novels and the Individual Reader: Godwin's Things As They Are; or, The Adventures of Caleb Williams was published on the 26th of May 1794, only days after the suspension of habeas corpus in Britain.230 Although the novel was topical enough without it, Godwin had intended to include a short preface drawing a direct link between his fictional account of tyranny and the actions of the Pitt government. However, the preface was withdrawn at the last minute to protect the booksellers from potential political fallout. In that preface, Godwin describes his novel as a vehicle for the communication of ideas that are not likely to reach those readers who do not read works of philosophy such as his own Political Justice. Picking up on this hint, scholars have noted the many ways that Caleb Williams provides a dramatic version of a number of the warnings that Godwin expresses in Political Justice about the tyranny of public opinion and of the resulting political inequality that occurs as a result of such tyranny. At the same time, I believe that it is possible to see Godwin performing a number of the most fundamental concerns expressed in Political Justice, not only on the level of content, but also on the level of form in both Caleb Williams and his later novel Fleetwood. I am going to show that by using the very traits of the print medium in specific ways, Godwin believed that he could force his readers to exercise their personal judgment. As I have tried to illustrate, one of Godwin's central preoccupations in Political Justice is the role that the universal exercise of private judgment could potentially play in transforming the nature of government and social order. But representing and encouraging the universal exercise of private judgment is no simple task. In chapter one, I argued that Richardson used the epistolary form to encourage his readers to exercise their judgment by forcing those readers to 146 weigh the value of the multiple narrative positions that Richardson presented to them. Although Godwin does not use the epistolary form in Caleb Williams or Fleetwood, both feature first- person, non-omniscient narrators who at times seem incapable of telling their own stories in an unbiased way. In the 1832 "Standard Novels" edition of Fleetwood, Godwin was asked by Colburn and Bentley to write a preface describing how he came to write Caleb Williams. In that preface, Godwin addresses his decision to use a first-person narrator: I began my narrative, as is the more usual way, in the third person. But I speedily became dissatisfied. I then assumed the first person, making the hero of my tale his own historian; and in this mode I have persisted in all my subsequent attempts at works of fiction. It was infinitely the best adapted, at least, to my vein of delineation, where the thing in which my imagination reveled the most freely, was the analysis of the private and internal operations of the mind, employing my metaphysical dissecting knife in tracing and laying bare the involutions of motive, and recording the gradually accumulating impulses, which led the personages I had to describe primarily to adopt the particular way of proceeding in which they afterwards embarked. 231 Godwin's decision to assume the first person and to make the hero his "own historian" has a dramatic effect on the way that a reader approaches the text of Caleb Williams. In shifting from a third to a first-person narrative structure, Godwin creates a situation where the reader must decide how far they can trust the interpretation of events provided by Caleb, a technique that he makes even more extensive use of in Fleetwood. Godwin states that he adopted the first-person technique in order to provide a more complete "analysis of the private and internal operations of the mind", a statement that resonates with his declaration in "Of History and Romance" that the true task of the romance writer or the historian is to provide a "delineation of consistent, human character, in a display of the manner in which such a character increases and assimilates new substances to its own".232 In that essay, Godwin suggested that the ultimate achievement of a work of fiction or history is to provide an understanding of the way that a character reacts, both cognitively and affectively, to the influx of stimuli that both lived experience and received information provide. The first-person narrative form provided a way for Godwin to focus specifically on one character's thoughts and feelings as they experienced them. 147 Unlike Mackenzie's Harley, who is kept at a one-step remove from readers, Godwin's Caleb Williams and Casimir Fleetwood directly address their readers and vie for their sympathy. But the separation of subject and observer that print communication generates leaves the reader with space to reflect on, and to judge, the narratives that they are told by Godwin's creations. It is this room for judgment that makes Godwin's fictions so compelling. Caleb's distinctly subjective take on the events of his own story seems to provide supporting evidence for Godwin's assertion in "Of History and Romance" that even the writer of fiction cannot hope to possess the sagacity "to tell precisely how such a person would act in a given situation".233 Throughout Caleb Williams Godwin does not necessarily try to provide an accurate description of Caleb's internal mental processes but rather provides Caleb's interpretation of them, or more specifically, the interpretation that Caleb opts to provide to readers. Caleb needs to constantly perform acts of judgment in relation to the events of his story, but the reader must also make such judgments about what Caleb writes and how that relates to their own experience. Such judgment is necessary, in part, because Caleb often misreads other characters and events, but it is also necessary because Caleb sometimes misrepresents things in order to gain the favour of the reader.  As a number of scholars have noted, Caleb is not an objective narrator, nor can he be one given that he spends the majority of the novel telling his story from hiding places with only a limited amount of information about Falkland and his agents who represent the other side of the story.234 Caleb's fugitive state puts him into a complex relationship with his readers in that he is actively trying to elicit sympathy for his cause while he is in the process of experiencing what he believes to be Falkland's tyranny. This is perhaps most clearly demonstrated by Caleb's stated reasons for telling his story in the first place. 148 When Caleb finally decides that he can no longer endure Falkland's prosecution he makes a resolution to "unfold a tale" that will end Falkland's power over him. By telling such a tale Caleb suggests to his readers that he will be able to uncover the secrets that Falkland has been so careful to defend even though Caleb actually lacks any tangible evidence.235 Because so much of Falkland's power over Caleb is based upon his reputation and public character, Caleb's design to free himself from Falkland's tyranny seems appropriate because it threatens to undermine Falkland's stature in the public eye. Caleb plans to use the lever of public opinion to benefit his own position by broadcasting Falkland's private actions to the reading public. It is a strategy that Falkland's agent Gines had already used to discredit Caleb. By publishing a pamphlet length "history" describing a series of crimes that Caleb was supposed to have committed, Gines successfully turns public opinion against Caleb and in this way drives him out of hiding. The use of the printed page as a weapon was a relatively new plot device when Godwin used it in Caleb Williams, although it was certainly a time honoured tradition in eighteenth- century life.  John Barrell and others have shown that pamphlet wars raged between English radical and government-sponsored publications in the 1790s as both groups hoped to gain favour with the English reading public and sway the tide of public opinion and imagination. After the outbreak of the French Revolution, appeals to the public were seen as essential to the maintenance of, or to successful challenges to, political control.236 Godwin's decision to have Caleb threaten to use public opinion as a weapon against Falkland was a very topical one. It also has important ramifications for the way that readers should approach the narrative that Caleb does tell. For while it never becomes necessary for Caleb to publish his "tale" in order to stop Falkland, Godwin's novel is told by Caleb in the first person and Caleb has structured that narrative with an eye towards public reception. 149 Caleb never acknowledges the limits of his understanding in relation to his own story, even when he is actively promoting his own interests. In the final confrontation between Caleb and Falkland, Caleb tries to describe his actions in the most disinterested terms: It appeared therefore to my mind to be a mere piece of equity and justice, such as an impartial spectator would desire, that one person rather than two should be incapacitated from acting his part, and contributing his share to the general welfare. I thought that in this business I had risen superior to personal considerations, and judged with a total neglect of the suggestions of self- regard. It is true, Mr Falkland was mortal; but, notwithstanding his apparent decay, he might live long.237 Caleb compares his sentiments with those of an impartial spectator, invoking the central figure in Smith's system of social sympathy. Yet Caleb's claims to have risen above "personal considerations" are immediately deflated by the reason that he provides for taking the dramatic step he has taken in accusing Falkland of murder. After all, if Falkland is not found guilty, Caleb's own continued existence will be placed into jeopardy. This situation does not cast Caleb's sincerity into question so much as it raises questions about his ability to be truly "impartial" in situations where his own interests are at stake. Here Godwin seems to be suggesting that, far from offering a transcendent impartiality, the concept of an impartial spectator, or "the man within the breast" as Smith also terms it, is at best a useful and justifying fiction. This is not to say that Godwin is completely dismissing the social value of attempts to achieve such transcendence, but rather that he is questioning their effectiveness. In the place of such sympathetically motivated attempts at the transcendence of human subjectivity, Godwin recommends private acts of personal judgment as the only method to ensure that the individual is not merely being led by received opinion. It is important to note that the final resolution to the conflict between Caleb and Falkland only comes when Falkland is able to identify sympathetically with Caleb's predicament and to recognize his own role in generating it. But readers must distinguish between the bond of 150 sympathy that Falkland and Caleb are able to establish in each other's presence and the responses that they each appear to have imagined for each other during the period of their separation. As Mark Philp has suggested, the assumptions that Caleb and Falkland have made about each other's motives prove wrong and represent the manifestation of each character's self-interested goals rather than the actual sentiments of the other.238 Philp goes on to suggest that the series of events that has brought Caleb and Falkland to this final impasse could have been prevented by a more rational form of interaction between the two. To these observations I would like to add that, Godwin represents imaginative sympathy as lacking the kind of stability that he attributes to rational judgment in the promotion of social order. Time and again in Caleb Williams human sympathy is seen to be lacking. Take for example the inability of Falkland and Tyrrel to sympathize with each other's positions, or Tyrrel's inability to sympathize with the desires of Mr. Hawkins or Emily Melville. As a basis for human interaction, Godwin remains skeptical of imaginative sympathy and, while he does acknowledge the importance of human sympathy and place a greater emphasis on its powers in the second and subsequent editions Political Justice, he continues to promote his belief that private acts of personal judgment can offset the dangerous potential of an over-reliance on feeling.239 In many ways, Caleb Williams was intended to comment on the oppressive reaction of the British government to domestic unrest in the years directly following the storming of the Bastille and the start of the French Revolution. Godwin's focus on the need for private judgment in the face of domestic tyranny was clearly intended to comment on the political climate of its day. But Godwin did not abandon his focus on individual judgment after the crisis of the 1790s was over. In his 1805 novel Fleetwood; or, the New Man of Feeling, Godwin returns to the issue of imaginative sympathy and its social implications, albeit with a greater focus on the 151 ramifications of sympathetic imagination for the private individual.240 Unlike Caleb Williams, which involved a dynamic narrative of pursuit and evasion, much of Fleetwood is devoted to relatively mundane episodes in the life of its eponymous hero. Indeed, in many ways, the descriptor of "hero" is an inappropriate marker for Casimir Fleetwood who does not do anything particularly heroic in the course of the novel. The focus in Fleetwood is on the narrator and his reactions to his own lived experience instead of the focus on action in Caleb Williams. It is clear that Godwin is interested in exploring human sentiment in Fleetwood, a goal that he articulates in the preface to the novel when he notes that "in this little work the reader will scarcely find anything to 'elevate and surprise;' and, if it has any merit, it must consist in the liveliness with which it brings things home to the imagination, and the reality it gives to the scenes it portrays".241 Godwin's emphasis in Fleetwood is on the experience his central character has as a man of feeling rather than as a man of action, and like Mackenzie's Harley, the events that transpire in Casimir Fleetwood's story are less important than his emotional reactions to them. Fleetwood is told in a first-person narrative style by the novel's central character Casimir Fleetwood. As it did in Caleb Williams, this choice of narrative structure has a dramatic impact on the kind of tale that Godwin tells in this novel for it allows him to explore both the sentiments that Fleetwood is willing to reveal to his readers and those which he is not. And just as Caleb illustrated on a number of occasions in his narrative, Casimir Fleetwood cannot be trusted to provide an objective interpretation of the circumstances of his story. But unlike Caleb who has a vested interest in portraying himself in a certain light, Casimir Fleetwood's reasons for telling his own story are often unclear, as are his reasons for including and excluding certain details. Casmir is not the direct victim of a corrupt social order like Caleb, and while Godwin calls Casimir the "new" man of feeling, he is not a slave to his overly fine sentiments like Mackenzie's Harley. 152 Although his story takes a slightly melodramatic turn towards the end of the third volume when Casimir suspects his wife Mary of infidelity, the bulk of the novel is devoted to Casimir's reactions to fairly common occurrences. What makes Fleetwood such an interesting work, and Casimir Fleetwood such an interesting character, is the way that this protagonist constantly draws attention to his own emotional weakness while rarely expressing a desire to address the sources of such weakness. Casimir's difficulties tend to arise as a result of his inability to effectively sympathize with others and his reluctance to perform acts of personal judgment. And although Casimir has extensive dealings with other individuals, he is generally unable to make sympathetic connections with them and, unlike Mackenzie's Harley, generally prefers not to. The central events in Fleetwood revolve around Casimir's friendship with the Macneil family, his subsequent marriage to Mary Macneil, and the complications that arise as a result of this marriage. Casimir explains to his readers that he has opted to tell the story of his own domestic life in detail because these events weigh on his heart and have prompted him to become his own historian.242 Godwin's focus in Fleetwood is clearly on the private realm of the family and the individual, a focus that provides Godwin with a way to examine the dangers of domestic tyranny as he had examined tyranny on a larger scale in Caleb Williams. The character of Casimir Fleetwood, whom Godwin identifies as the "new" man of feeling, shares important similarities with Caleb Williams's Falkland in that he, at least in outward appearance, exhibits the Burkean ideals of inheritance and stability, and exercises total power within his own household. But unlike Falkland, who is presented to the reader through the observations of Caleb and Collins (as retold by Caleb), Casimir is his own historian and explains his own experiences, reflections and sentiments to his readers. Representing himself as a misanthrope, Casimir also casts a very different figure than Caleb Williams as the writer of his own history. It is often 153 unclear to the reader if Casimir writes his own history to exonerate the public appearance of his private actions or in an attempt to provide a moral tale about the dangers of unchecked sentiment. I believe that these two possibilities do not need to be seen as mutually exclusive and I argue that, with Fleetwood, Godwin is attempting to fashion a moral tale by allowing the central character to continually make excuses for his own questionable behaviour. Casimir is often critical of himself, but he tends to couple this criticism with excuses that are intended to explain away his failure to engage in moral action. This constant vacillation between self-criticism and self-defense make Casimir an intriguing character, particularly as he relates to the other characters in the novel. For Casimir seems inclined to take instruction from others without really evaluating it and to then blame others for his misfortunes. Compared to Mackenzie's man of feeling, who was constantly trying to build sympathetic connections with others, Godwin's new man of feeling focuses on his inner sentiments and has great difficulty transcending them. In short, Casimir's highly introspective nature makes it all but impossible for him to make sympathetic connections with others. Yet Godwin's depiction of Casimir Fleetwood does not necessarily provide a pure rejection of sympathetic identification or an absolute endorsement of reasonable judgment.243 Instead, Casimir's narrative displays the complex nature of imaginative sympathy and its relationship to both reason and action. As I noted earlier in this chapter, in Caleb Williams Godwin demonstrates a level of skepticism towards Smith's concept of the impartial spectator, particularly in the mutual inability of both Caleb and Falkland to imaginatively sympathize with each other. In Fleetwood, Godwin continues to explore the relationship of individual subjectivity and imaginative sympathy, finding that there is danger present in the gap that exists between the sentiments one imagines another to have and the actual sentiments that they possess. For example, when Casimir takes 154 Mr. Macneil's advice to marry and sets his sights on one of Macneil's own daughters, Macneil finds himself in a difficult situation, as the practice of his advice proves less palatable than the theory: What a strange thing is advice! How difficult is it to put one's self exactly in the place of another? How hard, to be sure that the advice we give, is exactly that which we should think reasonable, could we change persons with the man upon whom we are so ready to obtrude it? Fleetwood, I swear that I am your friend: I swear that the project I urged upon you, was urged in the sincerity of my heart.244 Although Macneil sees Casimir as a friend, he does not believe that he is an appropriate match for any of his daughters. Here Macneil is faced with a choice, to acknowledge the limitations of his ability to advise others, or to sacrifice one of his daughters to his misanthropic friend. Ultimately Macneil sidesteps the issue by leaving the decision up to his daughter Mary, who only agrees to the match with Casimir when she is left destitute when the rest of her family drowns in a shipwreck. But the episode highlights a constant tension in Fleetwood as Casimir is constantly being subjected to the advice of others, whether it comes from his school friends, the venerable friend of his father Ruffigny, Macneil, or the villainous Gifford. More often than not, Casimir takes the advice of others without sufficiently judging its validity or its value for his personal circumstances. In this way, Casimir resembles Mackenzie's Harley, who fails to adequately read the sentiments of others or to fully comprehend the discrepancy between what he imagines to be their intentions and what those intentions really are. As with Harley, Godwin's "new" man of feeling showcases the limitations of sentiment as a reliable way to promote social standards. However, Godwin's focus on the sentiments and actions of a single unheroic man do more than provide a critique of sentimental fiction and the philosophy of sympathy. Instead, Godwin illustrates that acts of sympathetic identification and their failure do inform the behaviour of most individuals, and while his own philosophical writing tends to promote judgment based upon a solid foundation of reason, with Fleetwood (and 155 Caleb Williams to a lesser extent) Godwin acknowledges the power and influence of feeling on an individual's judgment. The novel form provided a useful platform for Godwin to examine the working of a character's mind because it allowed him to focus on the conflict between reason and sentiment in some detail. This is especially true of Fleetwood. As I mentioned earlier, Fleetwood is less about action than it is about the responses of its central character to action and his attempts to form judgments accordingly. Perhaps the most remarkable instance of Casimir's misplaced internal reaction to the world of experience occurs when his relation Gifford leads him to believe that Mary has been unfaithful. Godwin introduces the seeds of discord between Mary and Casimir early in the account of their married life. However, in the early stages such discord is confined to trivial matters. When Casimir's nephew Gifford decides to drive a wedge between the married couple, he finds a tremendous advantage in Casimir's overindulgence in sentiment at the expense of reason. Gifford supplies Casimir with a few pieces of inconclusive evidence that are intended to inflame his imagination and to push him towards the conclusion that Mary is guilty without directly accusing her. The toxic mix of inflamed sentiment and misinformation prove too much for Casimir, who abandons England for the continent leaving instructions with his servants to eject Mary from his estate. Although Fleetwood ends with a reconciliation between Casimir and Mary, it is hardly a happy ending and, as Casimir himself notes, "we were separated by sentiments, that must for ever twine themselves with the vitals of every honourable individual, and that can only be exterminated by the blow which lays the head that has conceived them in the dust".245 Gifford's plot against Casimir is exposed by Gifford's brother Kendrick, who, along with Casimir's neighbour Mr. Scarborough, provides the details of the plot in the final pages of the novel. 156 However, Godwin does not completely absolve Casimir of the guilt of his actions because those actions were informed as much by his uncontrolled emotional responses as they were by Gifford's misinformation.  Even after the machinations of Gifford have been exposed, Mary questions Casimir's innocence: Kenrick and Scarborough were indefatigable in their endeavours to restore me to her good opinion and favour. They assured her that the letter upon which she laid so much stress had never reached me: they described to her the complicated machinations of the villain Gifford, which might have succeeded with the most clear-sighted and cold-blooded husband in the world. She listened to all this with an unattending ear. "Very well!" said she. "Do not you perceive, that one dispassionate question, one five minutes of tranquil investigation would have brushed away in a moment the cobweb intrenchments of Gifford? Did I deserve no more than this?"246 Here Mary holds up rational discourse as the antidote to sentimental over-reaction in the novel and the only protection she has against the potentially dangerous manifestations of a male- dominated culture of sympathy. As scholars such as Gary Kelly and Claudia L. Johnson have argued, in the tradition of male sentimental fiction such as I have been discussing in this chapter, women tend to be relegated to the realm of objectified and depoliticized objects for sentimental speculation. As an object reserved for the expression of male sentiment, Godwin's Mary Fleetwood finds her very survival at stake. Driven from her marital home by Casimir as punishment for her imagined infidelities, Mary is further punished by the British courts on the charge of adultery when Gifford is able to provide the prosecution with witnesses willing to perjure themselves. As a result of her objectification by men of feeling, Mary is made destitute and labeled a criminal. Godwin's "new" man of feeling exposes the dangers of the objectifying tendencies of the novel of sentiment and the real world over-indulgence in fine feeling. As he had begun to do in Caleb Williams, in Fleetwood, Godwin questions the social role of imaginative sympathy and its consequences. The picture that Godwin paints of Casimir Fleetwood's sentiments is a complex one, particularly in that Godwin makes Casimir his own storyteller with all of the potential for 157 misrepresentation that first-person narration allows for. Casimir is an especially slippery narrator because he often seems unclear of his own sentiments and has a tendency to shirk responsibility for his actions and their consequences. But Godwin's depiction of Casimir Fleetwood does more than merely censure masculine sentimentality. Like Caleb Williams, Fleetwood requires readers to make judgments of their own in the absence of the normative voice of a third-person narrator and in this way Godwin promotes a reading practice that mirrors the central concerns that he expressed in Political Justice about the value of private acts of personal judgment. The novel becomes a training ground for the development of sound personal judgment. What sets Fleetwood apart from Godwin's earlier writing is the emphasis that he places on sentiment. While Caleb Williams was primarily about institutionalized power, Fleetwood examines the impact of the social power of feeling in some detail. Godwin's examination of the "new" man of feeling is perhaps most interesting and revolutionary in the way that he performs the dangers of unchecked sentiment by making Casimir the central figure of the novel. Casimir is ultimately not a "hero", and in following the dictates of his feelings instead of his reasonable judgment he nearly brings about the downfall of his wife, his son and his own estate. Although the reader only sees Fleetwood's world through Casimir's subjective position, and accompanied by his constant excuses and appeals to the extenuating nature of his circumstances, as the novel progresses Casimir's emotional weakness begins to expose a level of brutality that should be unappealing to most readers. However, unlike Richardson, Godwin resists the temptation to tell his readers how to interpret Casimir's behaviour. Instead, the final judgment of Casimir's conduct belongs to the reader and it is ultimately that reader's decision to endorse the actions of the "new" man of feeling or to condemn them. In this way, Godwin is encouraging his readers to practice a mode of sentimental reading that is constantly being scrutinized by personal judgment. Given his 158 complicated depiction of the character of Casimir Fleetwood, Godwin clearly does not dismiss the important role that human sentiments play in forming the experience and understanding of individuals. However, Godwin encourages his readers to have an active skepticism toward the pull of imaginative sympathy, for if they do not they will be pulled in by Casimir's emotional appeals rather than judging the effect of his actions. Conclusion: As I have tried to illustrate throughout this chapter, Godwin's focus on the shortcomings of sentiment and his emphasis on readerly judgment are not unique during the later decades of the eighteenth century. In Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments, we can already see a certain amount of skepticism about the power of feeling to effectively bridge the emotional and cognitive distance that exists between individuals and which is exacerbated by print communication. In the works by Mackenzie, Reeve, and Godwin that I have examined in this chapter, I have tried to illustrate that concerns about the misappropriation of sympathetic imagination, particularly as it occurred in works of novelistic fiction, spurred certain authors to experiment with forms of fiction that strengthened a reader's ability to actively judge what they read by making it a requirement of the reading process. In the case of Mackenzie's The Man of Feeling, this meant that readers were left to judge the value of both the intent and the effect of Harley's sentimentally informed actions, for the two are often disconnected. Sympathetic appeals are still an important part of the experience of reading The Man of Feeling, but the pull of human sentiment is constantly being cast into doubt and its role as a motivator of human behaviour questioned. Ultimately, it is the reader who must decide if Harley's approach to sentiment is appropriate or worthy of censure. In Godwin's treatment of the 159 figure of the man of feeling in Fleetwood, there is a continued emphasis on the role that the reader needs to play in interpreting the value of Casimir Fleetwood's sentiments and actions. But whereas I have argued that Mackenzie had made readerly judgment almost a secondary process that added an additional layer of meaning to his novel as a whole, I believe that Godwin's use of first-person non-omniscient narration in Fleetwood and in Caleb Williams puts the reader into a position where they must constantly question the storyteller's appeals to their sentiments. I have tried to show that the approaches that Godwin and Mackenzie take to readerly judgment need to be seen in relation to the kind of critical theorization of reading that Clara Reeves provides in her Progress of Romance. At the same time, I have argued that it is useful to see the work of Mackenzie, Godwin and Reeve (traditionally separated by divisions of genre and period) as different parts of a greater push among eighteenth-century writers to educate readers about the advantages and limitations of printed communication; to provide readers with what we would today classify as an interest in media literacy in the dominant communications technology of the age. In the chapter that follows, I will be exploring questions of mediation and reading practices as they relate to Walter Scott's novel The Antiquary in the hopes of illustrating that as with earlier novelists such as Richardson, Sterne, Mackenzie and Godwin, Scott was interested in the relationship of print communication with certain kinds of social interaction. But Scott differs from these earlier writers in a number of important ways, particularly for his concern with the relationship between print and an emerging sense of British national identity. 160 CHAPTER FOUR Romantic Home Theatre: Orality and Nationhood in Walter Scott’s The Antiquary. As the Antiquary lifted the latch of the hut, he was surprised to hear the shrill tremulous voice of Elspeth chaunting forth an old ballad in a wild and doleful recitative… A diligent collector of these legendary scraps of ancient poetry, his foot refused to cross the threshold when his ear was thus arrested, and his hand instinctively took pencil and memorandum-book… ‘It’s a historical ballad,’ said Oldbuck eagerly,—a genuine and undoubted fragment of minstrelsy—Percy would admire its simplicity—Ritson could not impugn its authenticity."247 Each of my chapters thus far has examined a different aspect of the relationship between mediation and imagination as it is expressed in the writing and thought of eighteenth-century novelists and moral philosophers. I have tried to show that the increased use of, and indeed reliance on, printed communication in the eighteenth century changed the way that individuals thought about the nature of human understanding and interaction. Questions of morality and virtue have come to dominate much of my discussion up to this point because they play an important role in the thinking of the particular authors addressed in this thesis. I have tried to illustrate that these concerns about morality and virtue tend to revolve around theorizations of the nature of community agreement, the place of the individual in such communal efforts, and the influence (both of a constructive and destructive nature) of print communication on those efforts. My focus up to this point has primarily been on the role that imagination plays in a number of attempts that were made to establish both real and imaginary reading communities, the relationship that such communities were thought to have to lived experience, and role that such relationships played in the development of social practices. I have followed a pattern of reading moral philosophy in tandem with novels in order to illustrate how these two bodies of writing commented on each other and tested each other's assumptions. My previous chapters were structured in this way because I feel that eighteenth-century moral philosophers and novelists are often equally interested in the kinds of epistemological and ontological questions 161 that arose in response to Britain's first broadcast communications medium. Such epistemological and ontological questions concerning the role of print in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Britain continue to underwrite many of the assumptions upon which this final chapter is based. However, the focus of this chapter will be on a specific set of circumstances rather than a more generalized philosophical debate on the nature of human understanding and communication. My central concerns remain with the issues of mediation, imagination and reading practices, but my emphasis in this chapter will be on a different kind of social agreement than the one I examined in the previous three chapters as I turn to questions of cultural identity. In my first three chapters, I was primarily concerned with the different approaches that philosophers and novelists took to promoting moral judgment and action, as well as the pessimism that many of these authors expressed about the efficacy of such attempts. As I have tried to illustrate, eighteenth-century writers became increasingly aware that the disembodied nature of print communication had ramifications for reader reception that were not always compatible with the role they hoped their writing would play. Writers found that the printed page did not provide a stable vehicle for the exchange of complex ideas or feelings between individuals. As a result of these formal constraints, and as a result of the understanding that they gained about such constraints, the authors I have examined experimented with a variety of strategies to communicate complex ideas and sentiments in ways that would account for the subjective reading practices of the individual readers that made up their reading audience. In the chapter that follows, I will be examining how Walter Scott approaches the limitations of the printed page in a slightly different, but related way, focusing on his attention to the sound producing qualities (or lack thereof) of the printed page and the ramifications of those qualities, 162 particularly as they relate to Scottish cultural identity and the place of that identity in the development of a British national culture. The increased naturalization of print communication in eighteenth-century Britain that I have examined in my previous chapters made it possible, at least in theory, to establish a national idiom of expression that would be accessible to all members of the nation, provided that they could read and had access to the products of the printing press. The establishment of a stable, British form of English offered the promise of a way to transcend the social, economic and political differences that existed among the population of Britain by providing a common language through which to imagine the nation. To its supporters, a single and consistent form of written English was a useful tool for bringing the diverse members of the British nation together because it provided a way to overcome regional difference. But at the same time, the silent nature of this print-specific lingua Britannica meant that it failed to address the sound of language and the social, political and even economic ramifications of that sound. As a result, during the eighteenth century and until the invention of the gramophone, I believe that Britishness was primarily a textual phenomenon, a representation of a linguistic harmony that bore little resemblance to the embodied experience of individual Britons, particularly those Britons whose first language was not English.248 The important role of writing in the emerging eighteenth-century sense of British national culture was especially problematic for Scots during the period. The textual nature of an emerging sense of Britishness strengthened the English aversion to, and provided authors like Wilkes a platform to denounce, the sound of the Scots language.249 Yet, paradoxically, this textual Britishness made it possible for Scots to effectively hide the sound of their difference in writing and to play the role of Britons on the page if not in voice. But this emerging British culture based 163 on the standard and silent use of English appeared to threaten a number of aspects of Scottish cultural heritage, especially the interest in, and sense of pride for, a Scottish oral tradition. So, while print communication provided Scots with new opportunities in their dealings with their southern neighbours and in the expanding British Empire, it threatened the integrity of one of their traditional pillars of national identification. Throughout his career in letters, whether as novelist, poet, critic or antiquary, Walter Scott often addressed the relationship between Scottish culture and print communication, generally with an eye towards reconciling the two. In its introduction, Scott describes his 1802 Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border as part of a larger project to preserve the oral poetry of the borders by converting it from a nearly dead minstrel tradition into an enduring written record. As the editor of such a collection, Scott represents himself as maintaining a careful balance between the temptation to preserve border poetry for posterity and the desire to modernize it where possible in order to enhance the reading experience of his contemporaries, particularly his English speaking contemporaries: It would have been easy for the editor to have given these songs an appearance of more indisputable antiquity, by adopting the rude orthography of the period, to which he is inclined to refer them. But this (unless when MSS. of antiquity can be referred to) seemed too arbitrary an exertion of the privileges of a publisher, and must, besides, have unnecessarily increased the difficulties of many readers. On the other hand, the utmost care has been taken, never to reject a word or phrase, used by a reciter, however uncouth or antiquated. Such barbarisms, which stamp upon the tales their age and their nation, should be respected by an editor, as the hardy emblem of his country was venerated by the Poet of Scotland: The rough bur-thistle spreading wide Amang the bearded bear, I turn'd the weeder-clips aside, And spared the symbol dear.                                                 BURNS. The meaning of such obsolete words is usually given at the bottom of the page. For explanation of the more common peculiarities of the Scottish dialect, the English reader is referred to the excellent glossary annexed to the last edition of Burns' works.250 Unlike James Macpherson, who represented his Ossianic poetry as an authentic English translation of a reliable source of ancient Highland poetry, in the introduction to his Minstrelsy of 164 the Scottish Border Scott acknowledges the disputable antiquity of some of the poetry in his collection. At the same time, Scott makes the editorial decision not to translate a variety of words and phrases in his collection that are obsolete or "of the Scottish dialect" but leaves that task to the reader who is provided with, or told where they can find, explanations for those words and phrases. I believe that, with his Minstrelsy of the Scottish Boarder, Scott is trying to blend together a number of elements that he sees as constituting an emerging, and modern, Scottish literary tradition: examples of oral poetry that suggest the literary competency (and not superiority) of a pre-Union Scotland, a blending of languages that reflect the new reality of the British Union (Scots, English and Gaelic), and a scholarly rigour applied to border poetry, both as historical artifacts and as works of art. In short, I am suggesting that Scott is trying to assist in the development of a modern Scottish literature that is compatible with modern English literature, but is neither identical with it, nor will be subsumed by it. In this chapter, I will be focusing on Scott's 1816 novel The Antiquary in order to examine a number of the ways that Scott tries to use the medium of print to generate interest in the melding of English and Scottish literatures. I have opted to focus my discussion of Scott's use of sound and its political and social ramifications on The Antiquary for two reasons: the novel's extensive use of Scots language dialogue and the constant references to Macpherson's Ossianic poems and the controversy surrounding them. Particularly with the character of Edie Ochiltree, the exclusively Scots speaking traveling mendicant with an extensive knowledge of traditional Scottish poems and songs, Scott sets up a situation where readers are encouraged to compare a living, but fading, Scottish oral culture with the fabricated version of Scottish culture found in Macpherson's English language Ossianic poetry. At the same time, I believe that the extensive use of Scots language in The Antiquary is noteworthy because of the interpretive difficulties that 165 it creates for the reader, but also for the ease with which those difficulties can be addressed.251 If an English speaking reader is going to make any sense of the Scots dialogue in The Antiquary, they can approach it in at least two ways: they can translate it with the aid of the glossary of terms that Scott included in the first edition, or they can rely on the aural similarities of English and Scots to aid them in forming a basic idea of what the Scots speaking characters are saying without relying on the glossary. If readers take the former approach, they will find themselves actively engaged in learning what eighteenth-century proponents of standard English called "Scotticisms," thereby reversing the trend of suppressing Scots language words and phrases that had been encouraged by Scottish elites throughout the eighteenth century. If readers take the latter approach they will find themselves contemplating, and possibly even performing, the sound of Scots language. My interest in The Antiquary began with a simple observation. I found that by reading the Scots language dialogue out loud I could hear certain similarities to English words that I did not notice when reading silently. While my eyes have difficulty with unfamiliar words and expressions, my ears suggest English equivalents for those words, and in this way I am able to take advantage of the aural similarities of Scots and English. When I read the Scots language out loud, I generate recognizable syllables, and even entire words, that have enough of a similarity to English to provide me with a rudimentary understanding of the printed text. Having made this discovery, I wondered if Scott had intended his readers to approach The Antiquary in this way. I wondered if such textual enactment by readers was meant to play an essential role in the way that this novel functions. Finally, I wondered why Scott draws attention to the importance of the sound of language in a printed novel. My initial curiosity lead me to examine the many different functions that the sound of language serves in this novel, especially as it relates to matters of 166 cultural identity, but also to the seemingly incompatible media of print and voice. What I found was that in The Antiquary, Scott appears to be examining the potential of the printed word to act as a medium for the spoken voice, or put another way, Scott is experimenting with a form of printed orality. The sound of language is important in The Antiquary, and in the chapter that follows I will illustrate that by attempting to make readers enact the Scots language, Walter Scott was doing more than adding novelty to his work, he was also attempting to use print to depoliticize the sound of Scottishness and to encourage readers to examine new paradigms for the intersection of Scottish and British cultures. The Antiquary is set in the summer of 1794, during the threat of French invasion from abroad and the push for political reform that was causing unrest at home.252 As I examined in the previous chapter, there was a great deal of interest in, and discussion about, the political structure in Britain in the years immediately surrounding the start of the French Revolution. Writers like Paine, Godwin and Burke offered competing visions of both the basis of political power in Britain and of how best to protect the rights of the individual. In addition to this interest in the nature of British political institutions, there was an increase in the attention being paid to the concept of British national identity during the final decade of the eighteenth century.253 This was particularly true in Scotland where the pull of an emerging sense of Britishness competed with a more established, if sometimes contentious, Scottish national identity. We can see a prime example of the tension between these two competing models of national identity in the controversy over Macpherson's Ossianic translations. Although the storm over Macpherson's Ossian had been begun in the early 1760s (shortly after the publication of Fingal) it continued to flourish for the remainder of the century, eventually prompting the Highland Society of Scotland to establish a committee to examine the matter in detail. In The Antiquary, Scott uses these 167 debates about Ossian and the existence of a Scottish oral tradition metonymically to represent larger concerns about the role of Scottishness and about Scottish difference in a united Britain. In its various roles, the voice played an essential part in defining Scottishness in eighteenth-century Britain in both positive and negative ways. One of the reasons that the controversy over Macpherson's Ossian was taken so seriously in Scotland was the threat that it posed to the perceived validity of the Scottish oral tradition, which was seen by many as a threat to the Scottish sense of national identity. The belief in an oral tradition provided Scots in the post-Union era with an important source of pride because it represented a uniquely Scottish cultural phenomenon and a direct link to a glorious Scottish past.254 But while the voice of Scots past, present, and future provided the mechanism for maintaining an oral tradition, this same voice, and its distinctive sound, marked the Scots as "different" from the English. The sound of Scotticisms, as the use of Scots language words and phrases came to be known, provided those who wanted to undermine Scottish advancement within the Union with a powerful tool for identifying, and for calling attention to, Scottish difference. In order to overcome the Scottish voice as a marker of difference, attempts were made by members of Scotland's eighteenth-century Lowland elite and intelligentsia to suppress the use of Scotticisms both in writing and in speech. In Edinburgh in particular, groups were formed to practice "proper" English pronunciation, and high profile Scots like David Hume and James Beattie published lists of "Scottiscisms" to help individuals identify and suppress aspects of the Scots language that were particularly offensive to English ears.255 However, as Janet Sorenson and others have noted, these markers of Scottish difference were generally easier to disguise in writing than they were in person. As a result, it was effectively easier for Scots to be full-fledged members of the British Union in writing than it was for them to be British in person, suggesting 168 that the criteria for Britishness (at least as far as Scots were concerned) was primarily imagined and made possible predominantly by the mediating power of writing. As a result, the individual eighteenth-century Scot is pulled in two separate directions, by an embodied sense of Scottishness expressed by the voice, and by a Britishness that requires the suppression of that voice, for the difference embodied in that voice is seen by some to threaten the homogeneity of an imagined British national identity. The mutual exclusivity of these two identities suggests that it should be impossible to be both a Scot and a Briton and that a Scottish oral tradition is incompatible with the hallmarks of British modernity. In The Anitquary, Scott tries to show that it is possible to be both a Scot and a Briton simultaneously once sound is depoliticized as a yardstick of national identity The Poems of Ossian and Bardic Nationalism: In order to explore the role of sound in The Antiquary in some detail, I will be splitting this topic into three areas of examination: the representation of the Scottish bardic tradition, the use of Scots language in the text, and finally, the way that the inclusion of Scots language in the novel encourages the reader to enact the text. To understand the potential reasons for, and the possible ramifications of, Scott's experiments with a form of orality that is mediated by print, we need to examine the controversy over the Scottish bardic tradition that raged in the decades leading up to the writing of the Waverley novels. In particular, I want to draw attention to the controversy over the translations of the poems of Ossian by James Macpherson that continued more or less from the date of their original publication in the early 1760s until well into the nineteenth-century. In the many pieces of writing devoted to this controversy (in which Scott played a key role) we can see a vigorous debate about what it means to be Scottish, what it means to be British, what the value of a literary tradition is, and how a literary tradition relates to 169 the establishment of a national character. Scott mentions Macpherson's Ossian multiple times in The Antiquary, particularly in the way that the novel's central character Jonathan Oldbuck subjects the poetry to his antiquarian skepticism. What Scott found in the Ossian debates was a well-known examination of the ability of an oral tradition to effectively record and transmit history. After all, Macpherson and his early defenders pointed to his translations of the poems of Ossian as proof of a well-established line of Scottish history which had been handed down through successive generations by the recitation, memorization, and transmission of an oral poetic tradition. However, the critics of the Scottish oral tradition argued that no reliable history could be maintained in an illiterate society, setting the stage for a debate about the value of an oral tradition in an age of print. In June of 1760, Macpherson published a collection of translations of traditional Highland oral poetry under the title Fragments of Ancient Poetry. These poems met with an enthusiastic response and were praised by critics such as Hugh Blair, one of the preeminent Scottish academic voices on literature, for providing an important example of a longstanding Scottish literary tradition. Macpherson made explicit claims about the antiquity of his translations and their relationship to a well-established Highland oral tradition. Given the incomplete nature of the Fragments, Macpherson's claims about their ancient and oral source did not raise a great deal of skepticism because it seemed feasible that fragments of ancient poetry might have been passed on by memory, given the shortness of their length, and the simplicity of their poetic meter. However, with the publication of his second volume of ancient poetry containing the epic poem Fingal, Macpherson set a debate in motion that cast serious doubts about the value of the Scottish oral tradition and which injured the credibility of key members of the Scottish literary community. 170 With subscriptions collected from among the Edinburgh literati including the likes of Hume and Blair, Macpherson traveled to the western Scottish Highlands in order to collect manuscripts and to transcribe oral recitations of ancient poetry, particularly poems attributed to Ossian, son of Fingal.256 Shortly after returning to Edinburgh, Macpherson moved into the lower apartments of the house that Hugh Blair lived in and began to collate his materials into Fingal, the first of two epic poems that Macpherson "translated" from Gaelic into English. At the same time, Hugh Blair's Critical Dissertation on the Poems of Ossian appeared. Blair had been giving lectures on rhetoric and belles lettres at the University of Edinburgh since 1759 and was one of the major voices of the mid-to-late eighteenth-century Scottish literati. He went on to expand on many of the ideas that he started to develop in his writing on Ossian in his 1783 work Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, which proved highly influential in British literary circles. Blair's work on Ossian was an academic and quasi-historical account of the progress of arts that not only provided strength to Macpherson's claims for the authenticity of his poems but also gave an assessment of the value of the Ossianic poetry using the literary criteria of Blair's intellectual contemporaries. As Robert Crawford and Penny Fielding have each noted, Blair was particularly complimentary of Macpherson's ability to translate the poetry of Ossian from what Blair believed to be an ancient and obsolete Gaelic into perfect English, thereby transforming the potential of the Gaelic original into something that was acceptable to a British reading audience. Both Crawford and Fielding align Blair's support for Macpherson's translations of Ossian with his promotion of the study of rhetoric and the belles lettres, noting that Blair's interest in reforming Scottish speech and writing had the same end goal as Macpherson's decision to translate Gaelic poetry into English: to make the Scottish more acceptable members of the Union.257 Indeed, Blair's support of Macpherson appears to have been intended to help to portray 171 the Scottish oral tradition as representative of a once great Scottish culture that had evolved into an even greater British culture, and which therefore no longer represented a source of specifically Scottish national pride. Unfortunately for Blair, the emphasis that he and Macpherson placed on the veracity of the translations, and on the reliability of the Scottish oral tradition, resulted in an uproar that put a great strain on Anglo-Scottish relations for the remainder of the century. Blair appears to have been unprepared for the backlash that arose concerning the authenticity of Macpherson's Ossianic poetry and against the claims that he and Macpherson had made about the existence of a Scottish oral tradition. At the behest of David Hume, Blair added an appendix to the second edition of his Critical Dissertation containing testimonials from notable Scots who attested to the veracity of Macpherson's translations. In trying to quiet the controversy that was beginning to form over Macpherson's Ossian, Blair noted: I had not the least suspicion, when this dissertation was first published, that there was any occasion for supporting their authenticity as genuine productions of the Highlands of Scotland, as translations from the Galic (sic) language; not forgeries of a supposed translator. In Scotland their authenticity was never called into question. I myself had particular reasons to be fully satisfied concerning it.258 Central to his defense of Macpherson’s translation is Blair’s insistence that “in Scotland their authenticity was never called into question,” suggesting that the Ossianic poetry was known to all Scots in some form or another, a position that conveniently glosses over the fact that there was not one Scottish language but two, and that the poetry of Ossian was originally in Gaelic and therefore inaccessible to many Scots language speakers. However, Blair makes an even greater leap when he goes from insinuating that the residuals of a bardic tradition continued to exist in Scotland, to asserting that such a tradition had retained its reliability and that Macpherson's translations were drawn directly from that tradition. Indeed, Scott uses this position on Macpherson's Ossian to comic effect in The Antiquary in a showdown between Oldbuck and his 172 nephew Hector over the authenticity of the poetry; a showdown that Hector loses. This is not to say that Oldbuck does not value, or believe in the authenticity of certain forms of bardic poetry as evidenced in the epigraph where we see Oldbuck anxiously trying to copy down Elspeth Meilklebackit's song. As a self-proclaimed antiquary, Oldbuck has a vested interest in preserving the past, but he wants to preserve it as it is, without the polish and artistic refinement that Macpherson was suspected to have used in his "translations." The controversy over Macpherson's Ossianic poetry was essentially one of authenticity and reliability: Macpherson's supporters argued for the existence and reliability of the Scottish oral tradition and his detractors argued that only written records could provide the stability to protect the poetry from corruption over time.  But the controversy also became wrapped up with national pride because for many Scots, particularly in the Highlands, the belief in a reliable oral tradition of bardic poetry provided them with a source of Scottish self-esteem in the wake of the 1707 Act of Union and the 1745 defeat at the battle of Culloden. As Katie Trumpener suggests, these events, and the radical measures taken to weaken the Highland military threat by the English following the 1745 rebellion, left Scots without a political or military nexus for national identity. Macpherson's translations of the poems of Ossian, particularly the two epic poems Fingal and Temora, offered Scottish readers a source of national pride with their depictions of the heroic Scottish military exploits of the ancient Highlanders, for the refined nature of their sentiments, and for the way they supported the belief that Scotland had a highly developed oral tradition that was as refined as the English literary tradition. The promise of a reliable oral tradition not only held forth the achievements of an ancient Scottish military as a source of pride, but also, as an artistic endeavor, the oral tradition itself was perceived as evidence of a glorious Scottish past. The catch was that it needed to be proven to be real to fully serve these cultural 173 functions. This meant that the controversy over Macpherson's Ossian became entangled with a number of the main ways that Scots had come to define and differentiate themselves as a national group within the larger context of the British Union. As a result, the debate over the veracity of Macpherson’s Ossian poems became more than a debate about Macpherson's role as translator, it became a debate over the reliability of the Scottish oral tradition to faithfully tell the history of Scotland, and to act as a point of Scottish cultural pride. One of the most vocal detractors of the claims made for the poetry of Ossian was Samuel Johnson, whose criticism of Macpherson in his Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland was based predominantly on his wholesale rejection of the concept of the Scottish oral tradition as an accurate record of Scottish history, or as an appropriate nexus for Scottish cultural identity. In his Journey, Johnson finds that while many of the Highlanders he meets are able to recite poetry from memory, there is no consistency in the different recitations that he hears, and certainly nothing to indicate the kind of reliable oral tradition that Macpherson claimed to have drawn from. In what appears to be a direct retort to the defense that Hugh Blair took in the second edition of his Critical Dissertation Johnson wrote: It is said, that some men of integrity profess to have heard parts of it, but they all heard them when they were boys; and it was never said that any of them could recite six lines. They remember names, and perhaps some proverbial sentiments; and having no distinct ideas, coin a resemblance without an original... if we know little of the ancient Highlanders, let us not fill the vacuity with Ossian.259 Johnson argues that the oral transmission of history is unreliable and ethereal; that mistakes are bound to creep into the transmission of these histories from one generation to the next. In his estimation, for Scots to believe that the Ossianic poetry could survive without alteration for hundreds of years is unreasonable and credulous. In Johnson's eyes, the medium of oral communication is faulty because it relies on human memory rather than a more permanent record like those produced by writing. Johnson compares what he sees as the inherent problems of the 174 Scottish oral tradition with written histories that are not subject to the dangers of forgetfulness or embellishment. For Johnson, the oral tradition cannot be proven to be anything more than a fabrication created by scholars such as Macpherson, Blair and their supporters.260 But Johnson's criteria for judging the validity of the Scottish oral tradition could only disprove its likeliness, not completely disprove its existence. For while it was difficult for the supporters of an oral tradition to prove that such a tradition existed, it was equally difficult for its detractors to prove that it did not exist, or that it never had. After all, both sides lacked original source material to verify or to deny the existence of the poetry of the Ossian. Although Johnson was unable to completely dismiss the existence of a Scottish oral tradition, his criticism of Macpherson did convince many that the translator had taken excessive liberties with whatever sources (written or oral) that he did possess. As a result, by the end of the eighteenth century, Macpherson was widely seen to have done tremendous damage to the reputation of the Scottish oral tradition with his "translations." Much of the Ossianic controversy from the 1760s until 1805 focuses on the delicate task of proving Macpherson's claims to be false while still admitting the existence of a Scottish oral tradition. In an attempt to provide some definitive answers in the case of Ossian, the Highland Society of Scotland formed a committee to examine and to report on the controversy.261 Headed by Henry Mackenzie, the Committee published its findings in a report in 1805 after a lengthy series of attempts to find the kind of source material that Johnson had called for and Macpherson had failed to produce. The Committee stated its goals as follows: In execution of the business assigned it, your Committee conceived it to be foreign to its duty to enter into any elaborate argument or discussion on the authenticity of these poems, or to examine, with critical or historical labour, the opinions of different writers who have made this matter a subject of controversy. It conceived the purpose of its nomination to be, to employ the influence of the Society, and the extensive communication which it possesses with every part of the Highlands, in collecting what materials or information it was still practicable to collect, regarding the authenticity and nature of the poems ascribed to Ossian, and particularly of that celebrated collection published by Mr James Macpherson.262 175 The committee's solution to the storm of controversy raised by Macpherson's supposed translations of Ossian was to stage its own antiquarian research in the Highlands to prove, as best they could, the existence of a native oral poetic tradition. Given that the report was written after the Committee had concluded its research, it is worth noting the two qualifications that are built into the goals stated above. The first qualification made by the Committee makes it clear that actually proving the authenticity of Macpherson's collection is of secondary importance to their desire to uncover any verifiable evidence of a tradition of Ossianic poetry. Secondly, the Committee makes it clear from the outset of the report that much of the evidence pertaining to a Highland oral tradition is no longer "practicable to collect." These two qualifications provide readers of the Report with an early glimpse of the tension that exists in the document between a desire to save the reputation of Macpherson and a more pressing need to protect the belief in an Scottish oral poetic tradition that pre-dates the Union of 1707. The Report contains an impressive, if somewhat curious, collection of data, including fragments of Gaelic poetry, English translations of those fragments, letters from a variety of Macpherson's supporters and detractors, a series of appendices that almost triples the length of the report, and roughly as much space devoted to an explanation of process as is devoted to the Report's conclusions. In many ways the emphasis that is placed on process and evidence in the Report is not surprising given the stakes involved in the Ossian controversy. There was more at stake here than Macpherson's reputation and I would like to suggest that the Report is more of a defense of the achievements of the Scottish literary community than it is a defense of the poetry of Ossian, whether in the form of Macpherson's "translations," or as proof of a Scottish oral tradition. This is particularly so for Hugh Blair, whose deep involvement with Macpherson and 176 his Ossianic translations potentially put the long-term reputation of his critical acumen into jeopardy. Blair's role in the controversy is placed front and center in the report with the inclusion of two important letters that David Hume sent to Blair in 1763, shortly after the publication of The Poems of Ossian and Blair's Critical Dissertation on the Poems of Ossian. Although the authors of the Report suggest that they had "scruples against inserting" the letters, it is worth noting that they appear almost at the beginning of the Report and not as part of the vast collection of appendices that are collected at the back of the volume. The decision to place Hume's letters to Blair at the beginning of the Report was likely intended to serve two purposes: to answer the call from Malcolm Laing for transparency in the Report, and to lend credibility to its design.263 In these two letters, Hume provides Blair with a series of instructions that he believes are necessary if Blair wants to defend the reputation of Macpherson's Ossianic poetry and the Scottish oral tradition in a more general sense.264 Warning him to expect no assistance from James Macpherson, Hume charges Blair with the task of repairing the damage that has been caused to the reputation of the Scottish oral tradition by Macpherson's poetry and by Blair's own critical essays on that poetry. Hume instructs Blair: [T]he chief point in which it will be necessary for you to exert yourself will be, to get positive testimony from many different hands, that such poems are vulgarly recited in the Highlands, and have there long been the entertainment of the people. This testimony must be as particular as it is positive. It will not be sufficient that a Highland gentleman or clergyman say or write to you that he has heard such poems: nobody questions that there are traditional poems in that part of the country, where the names of Ossian and Fingal, and Oscar and Gaul are mentioned in every stanza. The only doubt is, whether these poems have any further resemblance to the poems published by Macpherson.265 Hume places special emphasis on finding testimony among Highlanders that is "particular" and not just "positive," suggesting that Hume wants Blair to provide the kind of evidence that will refute the position of critics like Johnson that the Ossianic poetry's existence is ephemeral. 177 In his 1765 edition of A Critical Dissertation on the Poems of Ossian, Blair attempted to support his own claims about the authenticity of Macpherson's translations of Ossian. Blair includes an appendix featuring a series of recorded testimonials from prominent Scots swearing that the poetry of Macpherson is indeed taken directly from a Gaelic oral tradition.266 Following Hume's advice very closely, Blair applied to clergymen across Scotland to seek out those who knew the poetry from the oral tradition and to compare that knowledge with Macpherson's translations.267 In the appendix, Blair tried to include specific instances where parish clergy had been able to make direct connections between the Ossianic poetry as individuals remembered it and Macpherson's version. But the appendix, and Blair's more involved theoretical arguments in the Dissertation proper, failed to put an end to the charges of forgery being leveled at Macpherson. The problem with the plan for authenticating Macpherson's translations that Hume devised and Blair implemented is that it still relied on third-party testimony and not first-hand textual proof of the sort that Johnson would later demand in his critique of Macpherson. Perhaps if Blair had published the original letters containing the testimonials of his correspondents he might have been more convincing in his defense of Macpherson. However, Blair's decision not to include such source material appears to have had a detrimental effect on his ability to convince his adversaries. If the committee of the Highland Society of Scotland wanted to be more convincing than Blair in its assessment of Macpherson's Ossian, it would need to provide its readers with more tangible evidence. The authors of The Report to the Highland Society of Scotland begin with a detailed explanation of the process they followed in amassing their research materials for the report. Like Blair, the Committee sought the assistance of Scots who may have heard the Ossianic poetry before Macpherson published his translations of it. In order to maintain a sense of transparency, 178 and to illustrate the quasi-legal nature of their inquiry, the Committee saw fit to publish the following queries as part of its report: I. Have you every heard repeated or sung, any of the poems ascribed to Ossian, translated and published by Mr Macpherson? By whom have you heard them repeated, and at what time or times? Did you ever commit any of them to writing, or can you remember them so well as now to set them down? In either of these cases, be so good to send the Gaelic original to the Committee. II. The same answer is requested concerning any other ancient poems of the same kind, and relating to the same traditionary persons or stories with those in Mr Macpherson's collection. III. Are any of the persons, from whom you heard any such poems, now alive? Or are there, in your part of the country, any persons who remember and can repeat or recite such poems? If there are, be so good to examine them as to the manner of their getting or learning such compositions; and set down, as accurately as possible, such as they can now repeat or recite; and transmit such their account, and such compositions as they repeat, to the Committee. IV. If there are, in your neighbourhood, any persons from whom Mr Macpherson received any poems, inquire particularly what the poems were which he so received, the manner in which he received them, and how he wrote them down; shew those persons, if you have an opportunity, his translation of such poems, and desire them to say if the translation is exact and literal; or, if it differs, in what it differs from the poems, as they repeated them to Mr Macpherson, and can now recollect them. V. Be so good to procure every information you conveniently can, with regard to the traditionary belief, in the country in which you live, concerning the history of Fingal and his followers, and that of Ossian and his poems published by Mr Macpherson, and the heroes mentioned in them. Transmit any such account, and any proverbial or traditionary expression in the original Gaelic, relating to the subject, to the Committee. VI. In all the above inquires, or any that may occur to [the rest of this line of text is blank] elucidation of this subject, he is requested by the Committee to make the inquiry, and to take down the answers, with as much impartiality and precision as possible, in the same manner as if it were a legal question, and the proof to be investigated with a legal strictness.268 I have opted to include the Committee's queries in full here in order to illustrate the kind of detail that they wanted from their correspondents. There is a noteworthy emphasis on "legal" precision in the Committee's list of queries, suggesting that the Committee is looking for the kind of defensible proof that Johnson had called for, and which had been previously lacking from the pro-Ossian camp's supporting evidence. As with Blair's appeal to his fellow clergymen in amassing the materials for his own appendix on Ossian, one of the queries asks participants to seek out individuals who have gained their knowledge of the Ossianic poetry from the Gaelic oral tradition and to have them compare their knowledge of the poetry with Macpherson's translations. However, the Committee's queries also place a great deal of emphasis on encouraging participants to document both their memory of the Ossianic poetry and particulars 179 about how they first came to hear it. Unlike Blair who only provided the public with a synopsis of his research, from a very early stage the Committee intended to create an archive of documents relating to their inquiry and to publish a great deal of that archival material in the Report itself. The writers of the Report did come to a number of important conclusions about the license that Macpherson took with the Ossianic poetry as he found it. However, the Committee had a much more difficult time proving the existence of a reliable oral tradition. Although the Committee found evidence to support the belief that there once was an "impressive and striking sort" of oral poetry widely practiced in Scotland, they suggest that changes in the Scottish way of life, most dramatically in the Highlands, ended the faithful transmission of that poetry a generation or two before. As a result of this shift in the nature of Scottish life, the Committee could not decisively prove that a faithful Scottish oral tradition did, in fact, once exist. What they could do, however, is provide the reading public with a vast array of source material, and allow them to draw their own conclusions about the validity of the claims of an earlier Scottish oral tradition. At the same time, the appendices to the Report act as a repository for those fragments of Gaelic poetry that had hitherto remained in the realm of oral transmission. The publication of The Report to the Highland Society of Scotland did not end the controversy over Macpherson's translations of the poetry of Ossian. However, the Report was quite successful in separating the matter of Macpherson's potential forgery from larger questions about the native Scottish poetic tradition and its relationship to feelings of Scottish national identity. Before exploring the terms of this separation in The Antiquary, Scott examined the relationship of Macpherson's poetry to what remained of the Scottish oral tradition in a lengthy article in the Edinburgh Review in July of 1805 of the Committee's Report and of Malcolm 180 Laing's edition of The Poems of Ossian. In this article, Scott provides his own interpretation of the Macpherson controversy by charting a course between the Report's guarded conclusions and those of the overly zealous Laing. What sets Scott's reading of the Ossian debate apart from those of the Committee and of Laing is his willingness to embrace Macpherson's achievement as a modern day Scottish poet while simultaneously recognizing his fraudulent attempts to represent his poetry as an authentic product of an infallible Scottish oral tradition. Scott calls on his readers to "hear no more of Macpherson" and to instead look further into the non-Ossianic examples of Highland poetry that the Committee had uncovered in researching its Report. In these poems, Scott argues, there is a rich collection of Scottish literature that is of cultural value. At the same time, Scott wants readers to move past the Macpherson controversy so that they can embrace modern Scottish writing instead of clinging to a fictional past. He concludes by suggesting: [W]hile we are compelled to renounce the pleasing idea, 'that Fingal lived, and that Ossian sung,' our national vanity may be equally flattered by the fact, that a remote, and almost a barbarous corner of Scotland, produced, in the 18th century, a bard, capable not only of making an enthusiastic impression on every mind susceptible of poetical beauty, but of giving a new tone to poetry throughout all Europe.269 Here Scott attempts to rehabilitate Macpherson, not by attempting to validate his claims to truth, but by dismissing those claims and instead arguing that the work needs to be evaluated on its poetic merit and the influence that it has had on the emerging European romantic poetic movement. In his letters to Blair that were published in the Highland Society of Scotland's Report, Hume had argued that Macpherson's poetry did not have enough merit to stand the test of time without its claims to providing a reliable translation of a Gaelic oral tradition. Scott judges Macpherson's Ossianic poetry differently. Instead of promulgating the received argument that Macpherson's translations represented a literary fraud, Scott recasts Macpherson into the role of literary innovator, one who gave British, and even European readers, their first real taste of 181 sentimental poetry.270 Of course, in making such claims for Macpherson's poetry, Scott undermines the critical work of Hugh Blair on Macpherson that The Report of the Highland Society of Scotland had been so careful to protect. But, Scott does not seem overly concerned with protecting Blair's reputation. Instead, Scott is looking to position Macpherson within a new, and specifically modern, Scottish literary tradition that may draw on the past for inspiration but does not claim to be its direct descendent. Ossian and The Antiquary: Scott's 1805 review article for the Edinburgh Review is, of course, not the last time that he addresses Macpherson and his poetry. The Macpherson/Ossian debate appears a number of times as a topic of conversation amongst the characters in Scott's 1816 novel The Antiquary. Interest in, and debate about Macpherson and his poetry play a relatively minor role in The Antiquary, but I believe that their inclusion is central to the novel's overall focus on matters of identity and authenticity. The main action of The Antiquary unfolds in the coastal town of Fairport "near the end of the eighteenth century," with the threat of Republican French invasion ever present.271 The time frame selected by Scott means that The Antiquary is also set in the years just before the publication of The Report of the Committee of the Highland Society of Scotland and Scott's own reaction to that report in the Edinburgh Review. As a result, this specific moment in history provided Scott with a valuable setting for his exploration of Scottish political and cultural identity as both categories were being threatened simultaneously. However, Scott's treatment of these two threats is asymmetrical, and while fears of a French invasion are always present in The Antiquary, Scott is more direct in his examination of Scottish identity and the threats to that identity posed by the Ossian controversy and by a developing sense of Britishness. 182 Although Scott's novel The Antiquary is not specifically about Macpherson and the controversy surrounding his Ossianic poetry, Scott draws them into the story and they haunt the text. Scott not only has his characters openly discuss Macpherson, he also has those same characters perform a variation of the controversy by placing them in an environment that is rife with concerns about translation, mediation, and authenticity, as well as questions about Scottish character, language and the existence of an oral tradition. Although Scott had already articulated his views on Macpherson in his Edinburgh Review article on the Highland Society's Report and Malcolm Laing's edition of Ossian, by setting The Antiquary in the years before the publication of these influential works, Scott is able to bring the debate back to life in order to revisit it, and to reevaluate some of its key assumptions as well as the potential ramifications of those assumptions. Of particular interest to Scott in The Antiquary is the role that a Scottish oral tradition plays in defining a sense of Scottish national identity, and whether or not that tradition needs to be authentic in order to have social value. The authenticity of Macpherson's Ossian is addressed early in The Antiquary when Oldbuck and his nephew Hector debate the subject, raising a number of the most influential arguments used by the pro-Ossian side, only to dismiss them as unconvincing, or inappropriately applied to Macpherson's case. When Oldbuck begins to question Hector on Macpherson's Ossian, Hector becomes immediately defensive and "like many a sturdy Celt, he imagined the honour of his country and native language connected with the authenticity of these popular poems, and would have fought knee-deep, or forfeited life and land, rather than have given up a line of them."272 Undaunted, Oldbuck convinces Hector to engage in a translation exercise with comical results. Hector's translation does not resemble Macpherson’s Ossian, nor does it have much to recommend itself as art, containing lines such as "I shall think it no great harm / To 183 wring your bald head from your shoulders" and "Upon my word, son of Fingal, / While I am warbling the psalms, / The clamour of your old woman's tales / Disturbs my devotional exercises." After translating a number of passages from memory, even Hector concludes that Macpherson "must have taken very unwarrantable liberties with his original."273 However, Hector continues to argue for the existence of a native poetic tradition and suggests that his own translations fail to capture the beauty of the Gaelic originals, which are best represented when sung by a "piper" with the vocal dexterity of his friend Rory MacAlpine; a position which is in many ways irrefutable for the reader who does not know how to speak Gaelic, or know Rory MacAlpine. Even Oldbuck does not dismiss the existence of Gaelic poetry as such in this scene, but he does not accept the poetry that Hector claims to have heard from his childhood as being the same as Macpherson's Ossian. In Oldbuck's eyes, Macpherson's crime is not that he published poetry based on fragments that he had heard in the Scottish Highlands, but rather that he had claimed that his work was an authentic translation of existing oral and written historical records, thereby validating his work on its historical merit rather than its artistic merit. By way of contrast, James Buzard has suggested that Scott’s own Waverley novels were “translations without originals” in that they did not hold claims to being true historical records, but rather were attempts to translate a sense of Scottish history into a modern, and printed form.274 Buzard distinguishes between Macpherson’s poetry and Scott’s novels by saying that: “[w]hereas the Macpherson case revealed the translator as (scandalously) an author, Scott’s historical novels yield the author as translator without original.”275 Where Macpherson tried to base his claims to cultural relevance in historical truth, I would argue that Scott promotes the cultural relevance of his work as fiction. 184 Scott juxtaposes his skeptical treatment of Macpherson's Ossian with Oldbuck's desire to co-author The Caledoniad; or Invasion Repelled, with The Antiquary's nominal hero Lovel. In this national epic that Oldbuck proposes, the Caledonians will repel the Roman armies of Agricola, regardless of historical fact.276 Oldbuck is not troubled by the historical inaccuracy of his poetic design but instead links such inaccuracy to the poetic license of the epic tradition. In this epic project, Lovel will write the poetic verse and Oldbuck will supply full notes, including observations that will "annihilate Ossian, Macpherson, and Mac-Cribb" as an added bonus.277 Scott clearly has Macpherson's Ossian in his sights with Oldbuck's proposal to co-author The Caledoniad, but the working relationship that Oldbuck envisions with Lovel of combining poetic creativity with scholarly rigor is also a play on the working relationship of Hugh Blair and James Macpherson in the early 1760s. But what Oldbuck is proposing is an inversion of Macpherson's Ossian and Blair's Dissertation. He believes that The Caledoniad will be a national epic that will provide a the British reading public with a literary work for the nation to rally behind rather than a fraudulent history in the vein of Macpherson's Ossian.278 And unlike Blair's Dissertation, Oldbuck's notes will correct the historical inaccuracies of the epic poem instead of promoting those inaccuracies as fact. In Oldbuck's estimation, The Caledoniad is a more appropriate source for national pride than Macpherson's Ossian because of its fictional qualities, which show it to be an elevated example of modern British artistic creativity rather than a unique example of ancient, and past, historical greatness. The critique of Macpherson and Blair in The Caledoniad episode of The Antiquary suggests that national identity can, and probably should, be based on something other than an unsupportable account of past glories. In making claims to truth, the supporters of Macpherson's Ossian opened it up to charges of falsehood and forgery; charges that would not be applicable to 185 a firmly established Scottish vernacular literary tradition of the sort that Oldbuck proposes with his design for The Caledoniad, or that Scott attempts to add to with his own novel The Antiquary. The difference is in the tangibility of the cultural product on offer. After all, critics of a modern literary tradition can only judge it based on its artistic merit or lack thereof and not on its claims to ancient truth. This is not to say that The Antiquary ultimately provides a condemnation of the value of an oral tradition, but rather the role of the oral tradition is reconfigured, particularly as it relates to Scottish national character. In the pages of The Antiquary, an attempt is made to reconcile the Scottish oral tradition with a modern vernacular literary tradition. Instead of acting as a marker of a glorious, but past Scotland, Scott wants to include elements of the Scottish oral tradition in a contemporary, and culturally vibrant modern Scotland. Although Oldbuck's proposal to co-write The Caledoniad, as well as his hope to "annihilate Ossian, Macpherson, and Mac-Cribb" with his scholarly notes, suggest that he has an antagonistic relationship towards the Scottish oral tradition, the novel as a whole does not. Instead, The Antiquary encourages a meeting of oral and print cultures in which the voice of an oral tradition will be mediated through print. While Oldbuck seeks to destroy the claims of bardic nationalism with The Caledoniad, Scott wants to preserve a sense of bardic tradition in printed form, but update it to reflect the new cultural identity of the Scots within the larger framework of the British nation. The oral tradition continues to reassert itself throughout The Antiquary, particularly in the symbolic role of the traveling mendicant, Edie Ochiltree, who provides opposition to Oldbuck's insistence on the value of textual and antiquarian knowledge over the products of an oral tradition. Ochiltree is a uniquely Scottish character, one that Lovel believes "would get a speedy check" in England. In Scotland, however, Oldbuck admits that Ochiltree is a "privileged 186 nuisance - one of the old-fashioned Scottish mendicant, who kept his rounds within a particular space, and was news-carrier, the minstrel, and sometimes the historian of the district." Oldbuck sees Ochiltree as a relic of a less print-focused, and therefore in Oldbuck's mind, a less civilized time. However, the mendicant is an important element in The Antiquary, not merely for knowing "more old ballads and traditions than any other man in these four parishes," but also for his almost uncanny ability to appear like a ghost at every important event in the story.279 Ochiltree plays an essential role in the resolution of the main plot lines by helping to save the lives of Sir Arthur and Miss Wardour, by acting as the messenger sent by Elspeth Meiklebackit to the Earl of Glenallan, by delivering the letters which save Sir Arthur from debtor’s prison, and by his willingness to be the only character who will confront Oldbuck directly about the value of his antiquarian knowledge. As a result of all of this activity, Ochiltree, and his bardic values by extension, have tremendous value (perhaps the most value) in the novel. Throughout The Antiquary, Ochiltree threatens to assert himself as the novel’s hero. Although the narrator clearly identifies Lovel as the story’s hero, he is conspicuously absent from the bulk of the novel. And even when Lovel is present, he is a much less interesting figure than Ochiltree.280 Lovel's absence from the novel creates a vacuum in the narrative that Ochiltree, and the oral tradition he represents, seem poised to fill.281 But, in the dying pages of The Antiquary, the character of Ochiltree is domesticated by his old age. When the reader last sees Ochiltree, he is spending the majority of his time in one location, “a snug cottage between Monkbarns and Knockwinnock” with Caxon and his daughter.282 Ochiltree will no longer constantly roam the Scottish countryside but will have his voice translated through Scott's printed novel, in many ways completing the transition from bardic poet to fictional novel character that he began by flirting with the role of novel's hero. In this way, Scott translates the 187 power of the oral tradition into print, thereby widening the scope of the bardic world of characters like Ochiltree by harnessing the distribution potential of the printed novel. As a result, I argue, Scott is not metaphorically silencing the Scottish oral tradition by domesticating Ochiltree, but instead appropriating the bardic voice for a uniquely Scottish form of printed Britishness, one that embraces the aural quality of language in an attempt to depoliticize linguistic differences. Scotticisms and the Scots Language in The Antiquary: In addition to being a symbolic manifestation of the Scottish oral tradition, Ochiltree is the chief representative of the Scots language in The Antiquary. Throughout the novel Ochiltree and other important characters speak in the Scots language, and almost without exception, this Scots language does not get translated into English. The liberal use of the Scots language in The Antiquary has important cultural ramifications because of the sensitive social, political and economic roles that language came to play in re-imagining the Scottish national identity after the Union with England. This is because the category of language presents a number of important questions and difficulties when examining the basis for any cultural identity. Does a particular linguistic code need to be backed by a political body in order to be called a language? Is a dialect merely a language without political autonomy? Is language an essential part of a national culture? What is the relationship of spoken language and written language? Such questions became increasingly important on both sides of the border after the Act of Union and continue to generate passionate responses in Scotland even today. At the time of the 1707 Act of Union, Scots was the official language of parliament in Scotland although it had only replaced Gaelic as the language of government in the fifteenth century.283 Scotland did not have a single national language at the time of Union in the same 188 sense that England did because, in addition to Scots, Gaelic continued to be used almost exclusively in many parts of the country, while the use of English was growing among those who had regular dealings with Scotland's southern neighbours. Following the dissolution of the Scottish parliament in 1707, the Scots language ceased to be the political language of Scotland, and the use of Scots came to be seen by many of the Lowland elite as a hindrance when dealing with the English and when promoting Scottish interests in the newly formed Great Britain.284 As Sorenson has noted, after the Union the gentry and intelligentsia of the Lowlands of Scotland pushed for a standardized British idiom, which they hoped would provide Scots with better opportunities within Britain. Robert Crawford has suggested that this move towards "a 'pure' English in eighteenth-century Scotland was not an anti-Scottish gesture, but a pro-British one."285 However, the appeal of "proper" English, or what Sorenson has called the "language of empire" during the eighteenth century was by no means universal, and there was widespread resistance to the wholesale adoption of English as the official language of Scotland, particularly among the lower classes and in the Gaelic speaking Highlands. Part of the difficulty for native speakers of the Scots language was, somewhat paradoxically, its dramatic similarities to English. Because English and Scots were derived from the same root and made use of many of the same words, the differences between the two were perceived by a “certain school of eighteenth-century linguistic” observers as merely poor usage on the part of Scots speakers.286 Unfortunately for many Scots, these relatively minor differences in idiom meant major obstacles for advancement in England, thereby nullifying many of the perceived advantages of the Union. Cairns Craig calls this divisive nature of language in Great Britain "the vowel bar," suggesting that in the absence of distinguishing physical differences between the English and the Scots, sound becomes the definitive way to mark difference: 189 It is not by our colour, of course, that we have stood to be recognized as incomplete within the British context, it is by the colour of our vowels: the rigidity of class speech in Britain, the development of Received Pronunciation as a means of class identity, is the direct response of a dominant cultural group faced by a society in which the outsiders are indistinguishable by colour.287 Of course Craig is speaking of a much later stage in Anglo-Scottish relations, but his observations about the role of sound in marking social difference and in defining identity can just as easily be applied to the eighteenth century. Scots found their prospects in the new Union diminished because of the sound of their words, particularly at the height of the Scotophobia of the Bute years, and as Leith Davis has argued, it is possible to see the long term development of British national identity, in part, as a result of attempts to displace such manifestations of cultural difference as the sound of Scottish vowels.288 In the hopes of eliminating sound as a marker of Scottish difference and perceived inferiority, a number of prominent Scots including James Beattie, Tobias Smollett, David Hume, Hugh Blair, Lord Kames and Adam Smith started a movement to help Scots speak and write "proper" English and to eliminate their Scotticisms. Scotticisms are those Scots words and phrases that tended to be mistaken by non-Scots as the incorrect use of English. Lists of Scotticisms and their “proper English” substitutes could be found in a variety of publications during the eighteenth century, published in the hopes of helping Scots to purge their writing and their speech of these markers of Scottish difference. Teaching "proper" English became one of the elements of the curriculum at Scottish universities, and societies were formed to encourage Scots to practice, and to perfect, their written and spoken English. It is, however, important to make a distinction between the relative successes of these attempts as they relate to writing and speaking. Compared to the elimination of spoken Scotticisms, the campaign to eliminate the use of Scots language in writing was quite successful because "Scotticisms… were more easily suppressed in writing than in speech".289 The prominence of rhetoric at the universities and the emergence of speaking societies in Edinburgh 190 did help in the struggle to eliminate spoken Scotticisms, but it long remained the case that it was easier to hide one's Scottishness in writing than it was in person. Crawford has noted that during the eighteenth century, Scottish "students studied models which would allow them to realize that 'Persons may write well a language they cannot speak' and to improve until they could 'write the language of the purest authors of their age.'"290 As a result of this difference between spoken English and written English, the mediating effects of writing and print could theoretically eliminate the appearance of cultural difference, making it possible for a Scot to be a full member of British culture in writing, if not in body. Here we can see the idealism of the kind of imagined reading community that Richardson hoped to create reversed as the qualities of Britishness that are promoted in print turn out to be different from the qualities that are possessed by individual members of that community. The development of a standardized version of English that relied heavily on the printed word had dramatic ramifications for a Scottish national identity that still placed a large emphasis on the importance of orally transmitted culture. We can see a prime example of this split between a belief in a Scottish heritage and a desire to adopt “proper English” in the career of Hugh Blair. As we saw before, Blair was a staunch defender of Macpherson’s Ossian and of the Scottish oral tradition. At the same time, Blair was one of the members of the eighteenth-century Scottish intellectual elite who encouraged the proper use of the English language, both in his role as one of the most prominent figures in the Scottish study of English language and literature, and as a member of the Select Society for promoting the Reading and Speaking of the English language in Scotland. Although Blair's pro-Ossian position and his pro-standard English position appear incompatible, they are not if we approach them as discrete parts in a thesis of universal British progress that Blair endorsed. 191 In the published version of his lectures on rhetoric and belles lettres, based on lectures that he had been giving since 1759, Blair stresses the importance of rhetoric in modern Britain: As society improves and flourishes, men acquire more influence over one another by means of reasoning and discourse; and in proportion as that influence is felt to enlarge, it must follow as a natural consequence, that they will bestow more care upon the methods of expressing their conceptions with propriety and elegance. Hence we find, that in all the polished nations of Europe, this study has been treated as highly important, and has possessed a considerable place in every plan of liberal education... If the following Lectures have any merit, it will consist in an endeavour to substitute the application of these principals in the place of artificial and scholastic rhetoric; in an endeavor to explode false ornament, to direct attention more towards substance than show, to recommend good sense of all good composition, and simplicity as essential to all true ornament.291 According to Blair, language and literature are not only signs of a highly evolved society they are the chief tools that facilitate the achievement of such evolution. As a result of this connection, Blair believes that in order for Britain to maintain its position of dominance among the European nations and the world, the proper use of the English language and support for vernacular literature should be encouraged as the most effective ways to facilitate the expression of "reasoning and discourse." Blair’s ideas about the relationship of language, literature and progress were shared by many of his colleagues in the Scottish university system, colleagues who believed that instruction in English language and literature was both “practical” and “useful,” especially for Scots hoping to become valuable members of British civil society.292 As Crawford has argued, although it is tempting to see the emphasis placed on English language and literary instruction at Scottish universities as an imposition of English hegemonic power, in reality it was the Scots themselves who encouraged this pedagogic development.293 He goes on to argue that this change in eighteenth-century Scottish universities was not only self- motivated, but that in many ways led to the creation of the modern discipline of English literature.294 Clifford Siskin agrees, at least in part, with Crawford's insistence in the Scottish push for the adoption of vernacular literature at their universities. Siskin goes on to suggest that the study of English literature at Scottish universities is part of a larger attempt made by Scots to 192 create a unified British national culture that not only recognizes Scottish difference, but that required the recognition of that difference for its existence.295 With The Antiquary, Scott is arguably trying to achieve just such a doubling of culture by representing a Scottish cultural identity that is compatible with an overarching sense of Britishness. But Scott does so by directly confronting the issue of sound as one of the primary indicators of Scottish difference. By way of contrast, sound does not enter into Siskin's articulation of the relationship between Scottish and British cultures. As a result of this omission, I believe that Siskin fails to adequately account for the mechanisms of cultural articulation in his assessment of the relationship between Scottish cultural identity and British national culture, and fails to fully describe the manifestations of this cultural "difference." The British culture that Siskin identifies as "flowering" in relation to the focus on English language and literature in the Scottish universities, is in many ways a disembodied and imagined condition that exists in print only and does not reflect the realities of lived experience; a disconnect that has been common in the work of many of the eighteenth- century authors that I have examined in this thesis. After all, the output of that cultural "flowering," which Siskin aligns primarily with the great works of the Scottish enlightenment, was generally written in English and devoid of telltale Scotticisms. So while Siskin is correct that an emerging form of British national culture appears to have taken root in the years following the Act of Union, I believe that this sense of national culture was primarily a written phenomenon and that the sound of the Scots and Gaelic languages continued to act as markers of a distasteful Scottish difference for many individuals and as impediments to a more comprehensive unity.296 The Role of Scots Language in The Antiquary: In The Antiquary Scott explores the complex relationship of language and cultural identity. In the novel Scott illustrates just how interconnected language, economic status, gender 193 and engagement with the British nation are in determining an individual's sense of cultural identification. For example, the predominantly upper class and male characters in The Antiquary such as the Wardours, Lord Glenallan and Oldbuck all speak the kind of "proper" English taught in the Scottish universities and promoted by the Scottish Lowland elites.297 Hector MacIntyre, the solitary Gaelic speaking character in the novel also speaks "proper" English, as a member of the British military.298 Each of these characters has a vested interest in the Anglo-Scottish union and therefore they have each opted to embrace what Sorensen has called the emerging "supra- regional" standardized English.299 By way of contrast, those characters in The Antiquary who have little or no interaction with non-Scots speakers such as Edie Ochiltree, the Meiklebackits, Oldbuck’s own sister and niece and most of the townspeople, tend to communicate in Scots. Scott's division of characters based on their language use relates directly to divisions of class and gender, suggesting that there is a correlation between language use and economic ties within the Union and the Empire. Those individuals who are able to master the emerging "standard English" can take advantage of the Union and become part of an emerging pan-British (and even an Empire-wide) socio-political class. Conversely, Scott depicts the lower classes that live within the confines of small rural communities as having little use for the English language, or for the concept of "British culture" in a larger sense. Their economic and cultural ties are local, as we see with the Meiklebackits who sell their daily catch directly to local consumers or Ochiltree who performs his bardic role within the relatively small radius of four parishes. Yet the divisions of language and class do not generate serious tensions in Fairport and while the characters in The Antiquary who exclusively use Scots language must have provided the novel's first English readers with a taste of Scottish difference, those characters are not politically or economically threatening. The language 194 difference of the Scots characters in The Antiquary is not represented as something subversive but simply as part of life within the fictional British town of Fairport. In Fairport, English and Scots language speakers co-exist peacefully and neither appears to have stronger claims to be the "correct language" of the town. It is important to note that Scott does not present his readers with a series of rigid binaries in his treatment of language and cultural variation in The Antiquary. Instead, he creates a complicated matrix of multilingualism and overlapping cultural identities that are both open to, and inevitably part of, the experience of the modern Scot.300 Although an English reader will likely experience difficulty in understanding the Scots language in The Antiquary, the characters within the novel never experience any major difficulty in understanding each other. A prime example of this inherent multilingualism occurs in the scene in which Lovel meets Ochiltree for the first time. Oldbuck is busy pontificating to Lovel on the history of the Roman ruins that he believes he has discovered on the grounds of his estate when Ochiltree arrives: Yes, my dear friend, from this stance it is probable, - nay, it is nearly certain, that Julius Agricola beheld what our Beaumont has so admirably described! - From this very Prætorium” - A voice from behind interrupted his ecstatic description - “Prætorian here, Prætorian there, I mind the bigging o’t.” As with most instances of Ochiltree's use of Scots, the precise meaning of the outburst above will be unclear to an English reader. But to a Scots speaker, even one like Oldbuck who suppresses his Scotticisms, Ochiltree's meaning will be immediately evident: “What is that you say, Edie?” said Oldbuck, hoping, perhaps, that his ears had betrayed their duty; “What were you speaking about?” “About this bit bourock, your honour,” answered the undaunted Edie; “I mind the bigging o’t.” “The devil you do! Why, you old fool, it was here before you were born, and will be after you are hanged, man!” 301 Oldbuck does not translate Ochiltree’s Scots language because he does not need to since he is a native Scots speaker himself; his ears serve double duty. Although an in-text Scots-to-English translation would be useful to the English reader, Oldbuck responds to Ochiltree directly as if the 195 two were speaking the same language. After all, neither Ochiltree nor Oldbuck has to switch into the tongue of the other to be understood. They are both bilingual in their language comprehension, but each opts to speak in one language only; Ochiltree in his native language, and Oldbuck in his adopted language.302 The exclusive use of the Scots language by characters like Ochiltree will present a challenge for the English reader that does not exist for the characters within the novel. Even Lovel, who is not a Scots speaker, is able to communicate effectively with Ochiltree in order to bring off their plan to relieve Sir Arthur's financial woes by burying bullion where Sir Arthur is digging for treasure. So while the reader will likely have difficulty comprehending the Scots dialogue in The Antiquary, the novel illustrates that for Britons whose daily lives are lived within the confines of regional towns like Fairport, the use of their “mither tongue” does not need to mark a substantive cultural or political difference or open those who speak Scots up to ridicule or censure among their immediate peers. Although it is an idealized picture of Lowland life, the Scottish characters in The Antiquary are all aurally bilingual in the sense that they can hear and comprehend each other whether they speak in English or in Scots. I believe that English readers of The Antiquary can also find a way to understand the Scots speakers if they pay close attention to the aural similarities of English and Scots. What is required is an approach to reading that focuses on the sound of language, even in its printed form. The heavy use of Scots language in The Antiquary makes it necessary for English readers to try to be bilingual or risk missing out on major parts of the story. In order to achieve this bilingualism, the reader needs to either translate the Scots language with the help of the glossary at the back of volume three, or try to translate Scots into English based on the aural similarities of the two languages. I believe that an argument can be made for the possibility that Scott hoped 196 his English readers would attempt the former before resorting to the later. After all, while Scott did provide a glossary of terms in the first edition of The Antiquary, it is placed at the end of the third volume, and its presence is not alluded to in any of the prefatory material in the first, second, or third volumes. In the review of The Antiquary that appeared in the April/June issue of The Quarterly Review, the author wrote: It may be useful to apprise our readers (a circumstance which we unfortunately did not discover till we had got to the end of the third volume,) that there is to be found a glossary, which is indeed almost indispensable to the understanding of nine-tenths of the work. Those ingenious persons, therefore, who begin to read novels by the latter end, have had, in this instance, a singular advantage over those who, like us, have laboured regularly on through the dark dialect of Anglified Erse. If, as we expect, new editions of Waverley, Guy Mannering, and the Antiquary, should be required by the public, we suggest that the glossary should be placed conspicuously at the beginning of the first volume of the series.303 The reviewer's call for a more conspicuously placed glossary suggests that he felt that the work of translating Scots into English with the aid of an authorized guide would have been preferable to labouring through the Scots language in the novel. But even without the aid of Scott's glossary, and regardless of preference, the reviewer from The Quarterly has "laboured" through the Scots language dialogue, presumably relying on the similarities to English that he found in what he incorrectly, and insultingly, calls the "dark dialect of Anglified Erse."304 As the reviewer indicates, the English reader of The Antiquary can generally piece together what the Scots speaking characters are saying, although the task is not always an easy one. Yet ironically, the reviewer appears to be more confident about the ability of an English speaking reader to translate the Scots language dialogue than even Scott himself, for in the review, though there are long passages taken from The Antiquary that feature Scots language dialogue, there is no gloss provided. The reviewer, like Scott, appears to believe that the average English reader can get enough of a sense of what The Antiquary's Scots speaking characters are saying without the aid of a glossary. 197 Walter Ong has suggested that, while writing changes the nature of language and thought, "the basic orality of language is permanent".305 He goes on to suggest that written texts must all be related back to sound, whether directly, or indirectly; that the activity of reading requires one to convert writing back into sound, either by physically reading it aloud or by imagining it read aloud.306 However, Ong differentiates between those forms of language that are primarily oral, and those forms that he calls "grapholects," which are those languages that are formed by a deep commitment to writing, and which provide for the development of what he calls “secondary orality.”307 Ong cites standard English as an example of a successful grapholect that is built upon a vast vocabulary of recorded words. The eighteenth-century was an important period for the development of standard English, primarily because of the growing importance of writing to many aspects of British life.308 However, as I have tried to illustrate in this chapter, the same cannot be said of Scots language. Indeed, as Marina Dossena has argued in her recent work on Scotticisms, the form of Scots language used in works of literature, like those of Walter Scott or Robert Burns, do not necessarily reflect the ways the language is used by those who speak and write Scots for non-literary purposes. Given the push towards the adoption of standard English by the Scottish literary elite in the eighteenth century, Scots language did not develop into a grapholect in the same way that English did, but retained elements of what Ong would call primary orality. I believe that the lack of a written standard Scots during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries would have meant that the inclusion of the Scots language dialogue of characters like Edie Ochiltree, Elspeth Meilklebackit, and even Mary and Grizzel Oldbuck (Jonathan's niece and sister) disrupted an English speaking reader's ability to silently read The Antiquary. Although Ong insists that all words are "grounded in oral speech," and that the act of 198 reading always relates back to sound, he also finds that readers who become accustomed to a particular grapholect begin to perceive words through a combination of aural and visual elements.309 The Scots language dialogue in The Antiquary disrupts the combination of aural and visual elements for the English reader, for while the sound of Scots language contains important similarities with English, written Scots looks quite different from standard English. This is not to say that an English speaker cannot focus on the sound of the written English in Scott's novel, but rather that they will experience a difficulty reconciling the sight and sound of Scots language dialogue that they will not face with the English text of The Antiquary. Although the glossary that Scott appended to the third volume of The Antiquary provides English readers with a visual way to translate the Scots text, as I have been suggesting, there is also an aural way. The intrepid English reader can search for meaning in the sound of Scots words because they bear a certain (but not complete) likeness to English words. In order to capitalize on the aural similarities between English and Scots, a reader can approach the text in the same way that they approached standard English when they first learned to read, by carefully decoding each syllable into a unit of sound and then looking for recognizable patterns in those sounds. In a sense, the Scots language words and phrases (and particularly the sound of those words and phrases) that members of the Scottish Lowland elite and literati like Blair, Smith, and Hume had objected to are being used by Scott to complete the reading experience of The Antiquary. Instead of being stigmatized as a marker of Scottish otherness, Scott is capitalizing on the sound of Scots language in the hopes of convincing his English speaking readers that they do not need a glossary to understand Scots. In The Antiquary, we can see Walter Scott experimenting with the relationship between the printed page and the production of what, to his English readers, likely seemed a specifically 199 Scottish sound. Of course, Scott was not alone in his attempts to encourage English readers to try to pronounce Scots language words, and one need only to look to his fellow Scot Robert Burns to see an important example of the interplay of Scots language and English in rhyme.310 The inclusion of Scots language in The Antiquary is also not the first attempt that Scott made to encourage his readers to think in terms of the sound of words, although I believe that it might be the most directly political. Celeste Langan has argued that Scott's poem The Lay of the Last Minstrel should be read as a special case of the mediation of sight and speech through print, arguing that "[w]hat we "hear" in the poem… is more a narrative effect than an effect of Scott's experiment with rhyme and meter."311 Langan supports this position by reading Marshall McLuhan's famous statement that "the content of one medium is always another medium" through the more recent media theory of Fredrick Kittler. This reading allows Langan to conclude that, if the medium of print makes all words inaudible, even transforming the language of poetry into silent prose, then all the "audiovisual information" in a poem needs to be redefined as "content."312 By rethinking the audiovisual elements of a poem as part of a poem's content instead of exclusively as part of its form, Langan argues that poets like Scott are able to encourage their readers to experience "audiovisual hallucinations" and to hear and see the content of the poetry in their imaginations, regardless of the poem's printed form. A central element in Langan's argument about Scott's Lay, and in my own arguments about The Antiquary, is the idea that once the use of a medium of communication becomes habitual (and in the case of print this means silent reading) it is possible to generate new forms of meaning by disturbing those habits. But whereas Langan sees Scott's approach to content in the Lay as entirely the domain of the imagination, I see his approach to the printed page in The Antiquary as one that supports readers who adopt either an imaginative or an embodied approach 200 to interpretation. As I mentioned above, the Scots language dialogue in The Antiquary resists the pull of silent reading because the Scots words are unfamiliar to English speaking readers. But unlike Sterne's use of asterisks and dashes, which disrupt reading practices on the level of the visual only, the Scots language dialogue in The Antiquary disrupts reading in both its visual and aural qualities. This double disruption occurs because English and Scots are distinctly different and yet quite similar because of their common ancestry. Reading Scots language presents a challenge for the English reader, but it does not provide the opportunity for the kind of subjective relativism of Sterne's formal innovations. After all, Scots is a language with its own rules and vocabulary and while these lacked the standardization of English during the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, they did exist to the point where Scott could feasibly include a glossary in his novel. It appears that while Scott knew that his use of Scots language dialogue would challenge his English readers, he hoped that they would meet the challenge of The Antiquary's bilingual reading experience; an experience that reflects the reality of language use in the British nation more accurately than the print focused ideal of standard English. As I mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, the naturalization of print in eighteenth- century Britain provided the newly united British nation with something it would not have had otherwise: a common idiom that transcended established social, economic, and political differences among the populace. However, I believe that it is also important to note that the establishment of a lingua Britannica that was all but unique to print meant that in the real world of lived experience, differences in language use were deemed to be representative of other kinds of difference. As a result, the silence of printed Britishness was difficult for an individual to map onto their lived experience, which continued to (and indeed still does) place a premium on embodied interaction and on the role of sound in communication. A British national identity that 201 could exist only in the imagination of readers appears to have represented a source of false cultural affiliation for Scott, in much the same way that he described Macpherson's Ossian as providing an inappropriate basis for Scottish identity in his 1805 Edinburgh Review article. Instead, Scott wants to provide a vision of British national identity and British literature that is accepting of difference, particularly those forms of difference that are not politically threatening, such as Scots language and Scottish cultural practices. In drawing attention to the constructed and largely artificial quality of the criteria for an emerging sense of Britishness, Scott illustrates that those criteria are still open to refinement, and are still capable of being reshaped to include both the Scots language and Scottish culture. As I have shown, Scott uses The Antiquary to highlight the complex nature of developing a specifically British national identity and literature that does not need to compete with, or suppress a pre-existing Scottish national culture in order to function. At the same time, Scott is attempting to recast the role of language in Anglo-Scottish relations by depoliticizing the role that sound plays in marking Scottish difference. 202 CONCLUSION: Walter Scott's emphasis on the sound of words in The Antiquary might seem a great distance from the kind of reading experience that I explored in relation to Samuel Richardson in the first chapter of this thesis. But, in many important ways, the similarities that exist between Clarissa and The Antiquary, particularly on the level of formal experimentation, are immense. I have argued that like Richardson, Scott was interested in guiding the experience of his readers, and to that end he tried to capitalize on his understanding of how certain kinds of ideas could be communicated through print in ways that were unique to the medium. In the case of Scott, this involved the inclusion of unfamiliar, and untranslated words and phrases of the Scots language (at least unfamiliar to English readers), while Richardson used the competing storytellers of his epistolary novels with the hope of forcing his readers to exercise their capacities for sympathy, imagination and judgment. Indeed, I have tried to show that each of the five writers that I have examined in this study experimented with the potential of the printed form to generate meaning in new ways and to access the cognitive potential of the imaginations their readers. But I have also illustrated that each of these authors approached the complex intersections of form and content in different ways, with varied expectations for the results of their novelistic experiments, and diverse ideas about the nature of the audiences that would read them. Although I have tried to resist the kind of teleological progress narrative of eighteenth- century novelistic fiction that Ian Watt provided in The Rise of the Novel, throughout this thesis I have gestured at the issue of influence, particularly those kinds of influence that exist between genres. Primarily, I have tried to show that writers of novels and writers of moral philosophy shared a common interest in questions relating to the production and the communication of human understanding and that the work of writers in both genres influenced future thinking on 203 these issues, whether explicitly, or, implicitly. I have argued that this common interest in building and sharing human understanding can be seen in the preoccupation on the part of eighteenth-century novelists and philosophers with issues relating to mediation and imagination. Of course, ideas about mediation and imagination do not remain static throughout the eighteenth century and one of the main purposes of this study has been to chart the shifting nature of these ideas as they are examined and performed in a specific group of works of novelistic fiction. My focus on the concerns that eighteenth-century novelists had about mediation and imagination was not intended to show a pattern of smooth evolutionary progress leading to a series of codified generic traits, but rather to illustrate that certain prevailing concerns about understanding and communication underwrote many key eighteenth-century experiments in novelistic fiction. In short, this dissertation deals with responses to, and the theorization of, the expanding importance of print communication during the period, and not to the rise to prominence of one genre over another. Although eighteenth-century novelists use a different taxonomy of media theory than the one that is in use