UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

T.L. Peacock's criticism of his literary contemporaries Henderson, Mary Elizabeth Park 1943

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T. L. PEACOCK'S CRITICISM OF HIS LITERARY CONTEMPORARIES "by Mary E. P. Henderson  A t h e s i s submitted i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r t h e degree o f Master of A r t s i n t h e Department of English-.  4  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia October, 1943.  ii  T. L. PEACOCK'S CRITICISM OF HIS LITERARY COiTTEMPORARIES  Volume 1.  iii  TABLE Off CONTENTS Volume 1* Peacock, man and author . . . . . . .  1  The "background o f P e a c o c k i a n c r i t i c i s m  25  Peacock and p o p u l a r l i t e r a t u r e  55  Volume 2. Peacock v e r s u s t h e Lake P o e t s  . 81  B y r o n and S h e l l e y i n f a c t and f i c t i o n . . . . . . .  .110  Peacock, c r i t i c o f Romanticism  .134  Botes .  .145  Bibliography. . .  . . . . . . . . . . .  .154  1 T. L. PEACOCK'S CRITICISM Off HIS LITERARY COETEigQRARIES Peacock, man  and  author  Though Thomas L o r e Peacock l i v e d a f u l l l i f e and a l o n g one, d y i n g i n h i s e i g h t y - f i r s t y e a r , d e t a i l s c o n c e r n i n g  his  l i f e are s i n g u l a r l y w a n t i n g , and even more markedly i n h i s l a t t e r y e a r s than i n h i s e a r l y ones. o n l y c h i l d , and was  h o r n i n London i n  He was,  however, an  1785.  As h i s f a t h e r , Samuel Peacock, a London g l a s s merchant, d i e d when Peacock was was  the dominating  t h r e e y e a r s o l d , h i s mother, Sarah Love,  influence i n his early l i f e .  When Samuel  d i e d , mother and son l e f t London to l i v e w i t h her f a t h e r , Thomas Love, a t C h e r t s e y .  A l r e a d y , i t may  be s a i d , Peacock i s  l i v i n g i n t y p i c a l l y Peacockian surroundings.  He i s i n the  h e a r t of the c o u n t r y - and he l o v e d the c o u n t r y to the end his  life.  of  He d w e l l s i n a home w i t h the almost u n b e l i e v a b l e  name of Gogmoor H a l l , i n d u b i t a b l y the p r o g e n i t o r , along w i t h the Abbey House (where he spent h i s s c h o o l h o l i d a y s w i t h h i s f r i e n d C h a r l e s ) , of t h a t d e l i c i o u s l i n e of c o u n t r y houses w h i c h f o r m the s e t t i n g s of h i s v a r i o u s n o v e l s of t a l k .  And  i f , as i s u s u a l l y thought, Thomas Love, a r e t i r e d n a v a l  man,  was  the model f o r C a p t a i n Hawltaught i n M e l i n c o u r t j , he was  a  man  a f t e r Peacock's own h e a r t - "a f i n e o l d c r u s t e d sea-dog,  f i l l e d w i t h humorous c r o t c h e t s and l i q u o r , and w i t h a s a i l o r ' s d i s l i k e of a l l mere t h e o r y - s p i n n i n g , t r u t h - h u n t i n g , U t o p i a building." for  Thus e a r l y Peacock developed a l i f e l o n g fondness  things seafaring.  Though a b r i e f p e r s o n a l c o n t a c t w i t h  2  the navy was more than enough f o r him, he d i d much i n l a t e r l i f e , a t the I n d i a House, to promote the cause of steam n a v i g a t i o n to I n d i a . Peacock's mother appears to have "been a woman.  remarkable  She h e r s e l f wrote some v e r s e and she u n f a i l i n g l y  couraged h e r son i n h i s l i t e r a r y endeavours.  en-  She had a g r e a t  i n f l u e n c e on h i s work and he s a i d t h a t he wrote n o t h i n g of v a l u e a f t e r her death i n 1833. his  T h i s was  not t r u e , a l t h o u g h  works a f t e r t h a t date were n e i t h e r as numerous nor  as  v i t a l as those w h i c h preceded her death, and they i n c l u d e d o n l y one n o v e l , G r y l l Grange, w r i t t e n more than a q u a r t e r of a century l a t e r .  I t i s a v e r y f a i r t r i b u t e to Mrs.  c a p a c i t i e s t h a t she was 2  •  works.  Peacock's  a b l e to a p p r e c i a t e h e r son's mature  '  ;:  As C a r l van Doren has a p t l y p o i n t e d o u t , Peacock's  s a r d o n i c m i r t h i s of a type t h a t r a r e l y appeals to women and was "not of the type approved f o r r e a d e r s 'of the female sex' d u r i n g the days of George IV. One can s c a r c e l y imagine t h a t the woman who enjoyed Headlong H a l l and Nightmare Abbey had been educated w h o l l y upon the p r i n c i p l e s i n c u l c a t e d by Mrs. Hannah More." 3 .  .-  •  •  -  :  '  •  /  ~ -  -  -  -:  •-•  We know t h a t Mrs. Peacock encouraged and d i r e c t e d h e r son's boyhood r e a d i n g , but e q u a l l y i m p o r t a n t was h e r own d e v o t i o n to h i s t o r i c a l s t u d i e s and e s p e c i a l l y to Gibbon.  A great deal i n  Peacock's subsequent s t y l e and a t t i t u d e i s made more compreh e n s i b l e i f we remember t h a t he was p r o b a b l y n u r t u r e d on the great eighteenth century i r o n i s t from h i s tenderest years. W i t h P r i e s t l e y we may w e l l say, " I t i s not g i v e n to every to make a c q u a i n t a n c e w i t h E p i c u r e a n i s m and i r o n y a t h i s mother's knee."  4  one  3 • Peacock's f o r m a l e d u c a t i o n l a s t e d t i l l he was twelve years o l d .  He attended s c h o o l a t E n g l e f i e l d Green where, i t  seems, t h e t e a c h e r , though n o t a profound s c h o l a r , had t h e a b i l i t y to interest h i s pupils i n the c l a s s i c s .  At school  Peacock met C h a r l e s B a r d w e l l , w i t h whom he h o l i d a y e d a t Abbey House, a c c o r d i n g t o h i s account i n h i s b r i e f b u t charming R e c o l l e c t i o n s of Childhood.  C h a r l e s , he r e c o r d s , was g r e a t l y  i n t e r e s t e d i n g h o s t s and h o r r o r s , b u t . a l r e a d y Peacock, aged about e i g h t , was the complete s c e p t i c ! f  "Charles was f o n d of romances. The 'Idysteries o f Udblpho, and a l l the ghost a n d ' g o b l i n s t o r i e s o f t h e day, were h i s f a m i l i a r r e a d i n g . I c a r e d l i t t l e about them a t t h a t ' t i m e ? but he amused me by r e l a t i n g t h e i r grimmest passages." 6 L i t t l e i s known o f Peacock i n h i s s c h o o l d a y s , except t h a t he was p r e c o c i o u s .  T h i s same p r e c o c i t y m a n i f e s t e d i t s e l f r a t h e r  amusingly when, a t t h e age of f o u r t e e n , he found h i s way f o r the f i r s t time i n t o p r i n t , i n The Monthly P r e c e p t o r (an epheme r a l p u b l i c a t i o n d e s i g n e d - t o spread e d u c a t i o n and encourage the young t o w r i t e ) , w i t h a p o e t i c , o r a t l e a s t rhymed, answer 1  to t h e q u e s t i o n I s H i s t o r y o r Biography Study?'  the more improving  P o r t h i s Peacock r e c e i v e d a S p e c i a l p r i z e , n o t because  the e d i t o r s thought  the p o e t r y m e r i t o r i o u s , b u t because they  saw i n i t an e x t r a o r d i n a r y e f f o r t o f g e n i u s c o n s i d e r i n g t h e extreme y o u t h o f t h e a u t h o r . I f Peacock's f o r m a l educ at i o n  ended when he was t w e l v e  y e a r s o l d , h i s i n f o r m a l , o r s e l f - d i r e c t e d , e d u c a t i o n was maintained t i l l was  t h e day he d i e d .  When he w r o t e h i s p r i z e poem he  i n London, we know, working f o r a f i r m o f merchants i n . • ••••'7 : ' • • ' Throgmorton S t r e e t . I t seems p r o b a b l e t h a t he d i d n o t s t a y  l o n g i n t h e i r employ, hut remained i n London f o r a few  years,  f i n a n c i a l l y independent, to pursue h i s s t u d i e s i n h i s own h a u n t i n g the reading-room of the B r i t i s h Museum.  way,  H i s mother's  f i n a n c e s were such t h a t she c o u l d a l l o w him a few y e a r s of freedom, p r o v i d e d he l i v e d q u i e t l y . Peacock's l i f e  i s d i f f i c u l t to t r a c e d u r i n g these early-  y e a r s , "but we know f r o m a l e t t e r to Edward Hookham, the son the b o o k s e l l e r and p u b l i s h e r , t h a t i n the autumn of 1806 went on a w a l k i n g  tour i n Scotland.  I n the summer of  o c c u r r e d h i s f i r s t and a b o r t i v e l o v e a f f a i r . m a r r i e d to a more p r o m i s i n g  s u i t o r by her  p a r e n t s and she d i e d w i t h i n a y e a r . a locket t i l l Abbey' and  1  of  he  1807  The g i r l  was  materially-minded  Peacock wore her h a i r i n  t h e end of h i s l i f e , and she i n s p i r e d 'Newark  1 dug, b e n e a t h the c y p r e s s shade' - two  of h i s  f i n e s t l y r i c s i n serious vein. A f t e r a b r i e f p e r i o d , i n the w i n t e r of 1808-09, of r e t a r i a l work i n the navy, Peacock was dom  and p o e t r y .  He was  sec-  g l a d to r e t u r n to f r e e -  engaged upon a t o p o g r a p h i c a l poem,  The  Genius of the Thames, w h i c h gave him an excuse f o r e x p l o r i n g the r i v e r to i t s s o u r c e .  This apparently  i n s p i r e d him to voy-  age f a r t h e r a f i e l d , and w i t h i n a s h o r t time he p a i d h i s f i r s t v i s i t to Wales.  There he found the s c e n e r y and s u r r o u n d i n g s so  a t t r a c t i v e t h a t t h e v i s i t was  p r o t r a c t e d f o r s e v e r a l months.  H i s a s s o c i a t i o n s w i t h Wales were of v i t a l importance to Peacock, b o t h i n h i s p r i v a t e and i n h i s l i t e r a r y l i f e . Maentwrog i n M e r i o n e t h s h i r e  he met  At  Jane G r y f f y d h , whom he  m a r r i e d i n a r a t h e r s u r p r i s i n g and impromptu manner more than  e i g h t y e a r s a f t e r he f i r s t met h e r .  Here, t o o , he met  Jane's  f a t h e r , Dr. G r y f f y d h , the l o c a l p a r s o n , whom Peacock d e s c r i b e d i n a l e t t e r to Hookham as a " l i t t l e dumpy, drunken mountain8 goat" and who was the f a t h e r of more than one P e a c o c k i a n p a r s o n i n the n o v e l s .  Welsh s c e n e r y a f f o r d e d Peacock m a t e r i a l f o r a  number of e n t h u s i a s t i c l e t t e r s , b u t , more i m p o r t a n t , i n s p i r e d some of h i s f i n e s t d e s c r i p t i v e passages i n Headlong C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , and The M i s f o r t u n e s of E l p h i n .  Hall,  The l a s t of  these i s h e a v i l y i n d e b t e d to Wales, not o n l y f o r s c e n e r y b u t for  such p l o t as i t h a s , f o r from h i s r e a d i n g s i n Welsh  l i t e r a t u r e Peacock drew the t h r e e legends w h i c h he adapted and f u s e d to make what i s c o n s i d e r e d by some to be h i s f i n e s t book. Meanwhile, as has been suggested, Peacock was t o y i n g w i t h l i t e r a r y composition.  He began w i t h p o e t r y , and h i s f i r s t  e f f o r t of any importance o r i n t e r e s t was  'The Monks of S a i n t  Mark,' w r i t t e n i n 1804 - a b i b u l o u s , r o l l i c k i n g p i e c e ,  little  more than d o g g e r e l , b u t g i v i n g us our f i r s t h i n t o f the Peacock-to-be.  I n 1806 appeared P a l m y r a , a l o n g e r poem and a  t u r g i d m e d i t a t i o n on decayed grandeur i n the w o r s t c l a s s i c a l tradition.  I t was o v e r l o a d e d w i t h f o o t n o t e s w h i c h , i t seems,  were the b e s t p a r t of i t .  A second e d i t i o n , r e v i s e d and con-  s i d e r a b l y improved, was brought out s i x y e a r s l a t e r and earned " " 1 0 the  y o u t h f u l commendation of S h e l l e y .  The Genius of t h e Thames.  The n e x t p r o d u c t i o n was  I t s c a l i b r e may be gauged by the  f a c t t h a t "The A n t i - J a c o b i n [ s i c f o r A n t i - J a c o b i n Review j f i n d i n g i n i t no d i s t u r b i n g t o u c h of. g e n i u s , p r a i s e d i t h e a r t i l y a t the expense of i n f i n i t e l y b e t t e r work."  More r o m a n t i c  6 i n tone, i f h a r d l y more happy i n e x e c u t i o n , was The P h i l o s o p h y of Melancholy,  t h e p h i l o s o p h y o f w h i c h , a p p a r e n t l y , i s non-  e x i s t e n t , w h i l e t h e melancholy i s l i t t l e more than l i t e r a r y 12 "" affectation.  I t c o n t a i n s , however, some f a i r d e s c r i p t i o n s o f  Welsh scenery.  The Genius of t h e Thames was p u b l i s h e d i n t h e  summer of 1810, The P h i l o s o p h y of Melancholy 1812.  i n the spring of '13  I n t h e autumn o f 1812 Peacock met S h e l l e y . Though S h e l l e y and Peacock met i n 1812,  Shelley's jour-  neyings i n N o r t h Wales and I r e l a n d i n t e r v e n e d , and t h e acquaintance  d i d not r i p e n i n t o f r i e n d s h i p u n t i l n e a r l y a y e a r  l a t e r , when Peacock went to s t a y w i t h the S h e l l e y s , who were temporarily s e t t l e d at Bracknell.  I n t h e w i n t e r o f 1812-13  Peacock b u s i e d h i m s e l f w r i t i n g a G r a m m a t i c o - A l l e g o r i c a l B a l l a d y S i r Hornbook, t o a i d c h i l d r e n w i t h t h e elements o f grammar. He f o l l o w e d t h i s t h r e e y e a r s l a t e r w i t h another d i d a c t i c poem f o r c h i l d r e n , t h i s time t r e a t i n g o f h i s t o r y i n The Round T a b l e . Among S h e l l e y ' s B r a c k n e l l companions Peacock was i n t r o d u c e d t o J.P. Newton, p h i l o s o p h e r of v e g e t a r i a n i s m and of t h e Z o d i a c . Peacock mocked h i s z o d i a c a l t h e o r i e s , b u t he must e v e n t u a l l y have been impressed,  f o r he a c t u a l l y planned  poem embodying Newton's formulae  a twelve-canto  and p o s t u l a t i n g t h a t t h e  w o r l d was r u l e d a l t e r n a t e l y by good and e v i l i n f l u e n c e s emana t i n g f r o m d i f f e r e n t phases of the Z o d i a c , a poem o f w h i c h p r o b a b l y o n l y one canto was ever w r i t t e n .  T h i s canto was  p u b l i s h e d a f t e r Peacock's d e a t h as t h e fragment, Ahrimanes. I n a s h o r t time t h e s a t i r i s t i n Peacock began to come to l i g h t when he r e t u r n e d , i n t h e w i n t e r o f 1813-14, t o work on  7 two l i t t l e comedies, The D i l e t t a n t i and The Three D o c t o r s , ~ ~ ' 14 w h i c h had p r o b a b l y been begun some y e a r s p r e v i o u s l y . These :  dramas were crude and f a r c i c a l , showing l i t t l e sense of the t h e a t r e , and were o n l y i m p o r t a n t because they embodied some of the  personages and speeches t h a t were to appear a g a i n i n more  d e t a i l and w i t h i n f i n i t e l y g r e a t e r a r t i s t r y i n Headlong H a l l . A t h i r d drama of Peacock's i s e x t a n t - The C i r c l e of Loda, "15 p o s s i b l y w h o l l y w r i t t e n by t h e s p r i n g of 1808.  I t i s purely  romantic i n v e i n , d e a l i n g w i t h Horse and I r i s h c h i e f t a i n s of the  h e r o i c age, and i s b e t t e r i n every way t h a n t h e o t h e r s .  All  t h r e e p l a y s a r e v e r y s h o r t and u n f i t t e d f o r p r o d u c t i o n ,  and appear never to have been p u b l i s h e d by Peacock. The s a t i r i s t who had begun to show h i s head i n t h e comedies appeared a g a i n i n the s p r i n g of 1814 i n t h e obscure s a t i r i c a l b a l l a d , S i r P r o t e u s , and t h i s time f o u n d h i s way print.  into  The b a l l a d c o n t a i n e d a v i c i o u s a t t a c k upon contemporary  l e t t e r s , w i t h s p e c i a l emphasis upon the Lake S c h o o l and the reviewers.  I t was s a r c a s t i c a l l y d e d i c a t e d t o B y r o n , who. was  e x t o l l e d f o r a l l t h e p e r s o n a l and l i t e r a r y q u a l i t i e s  that  Peacock most d e s p i s e d i n h i m (an a t t a c k w h i c h B y r o n l a u g h e d o f f w i t h the J o h n s o n i a n q u o t a t i o n , "Are we a l i v e a f t e r a l l .16 " : . censure?"  ).  '•  ' •  this  " :  The v i l l a i n , Johnny Raw - o r Southey - i s con-  ducted t h r o u g h an almost unleavened mass of s a t i r i c a l  topical  a l l u s i o n to r e a c h a t l a s t the cave of O b l i v i o n , t h e home of f o r g o t t e n m i n s t r e l s where, n a t u r a l l y , he f i n d s h i s f r i e n d s C o l e r i d g e and Wordsworth.  Such p a r t s of the poem as a r e de-  c i p h e r a b l e today f o r m a s o r t of p r e l u d e to M e l i n c o u r t .  There  8 we meet Wordsworth, C o l e r i d g e , Southey, and the r e v i e w e r s a g a i n , and i n not v e r y d i f f e r e n t  garb.  From t h e time of the B r a c k n e l l v i s i t u n t i l S h e l l e y h i s death, Peacock and S h e l l e y were f a s t f r i e n d s .  met  When the  S h e l l e y s v i s i t e d S c o t l a n d i n the autumn of 1813 Peacock was w i t h them.  When, i n the w i n t e r of 1813-14, Peacock r e t u r n e d  to C h e r t s e y , h i s f r i e n d s took a near-by house a t Windsor. Peacock was  on hand, d o u b t l e s s w i t h s e n s i b l e but unpopular 1  a d v i c e , throughout the p a i n f u l p e r i o d of S h e l l e y s estrangement f r o m H a r r i e t and h i s f a l l i n g i n l o v e and e v e n t u a l f l i g h t f r o m the c o u n t r y w i t h Mary Godwin.  And though Peacock was  a  f i r m s u p p o r t e r of the cause of H a r r i e t , he y e t remained S h e l l e y ' s b e s t f r i e n d - one, i t s h o u l d be remembered, of h i s v e r y few f r i e n d s a t t h i s time.  S h e l l e y , who  had p r o b a b l y  rational-  i z e d h i m s e l f i n t o b e l i e v i n g t h a t H a r r i e t was  as d e s i r o u s of the  s e p a r a t i o n as he h i m s e l f was,  angry a t Peacock's  f o r a time was  a t t i t u d e , but y e t d i d not s c r u p l e to c a l l upon h i s f r i e n d to s u p e r i n t e n d H a r r i e t ' s money a f f a i r s f o r him.  H i s anger can  o n l y have been t r a n s i e n t , however, f o r i n the w i n t e r of 1814-15 {  when S h e l l e y was  back i n London, i t i s r e c o r d e d t h a t he  Peacock were h e l p i n g one another ive creditors.  and  t o escape f r o m t h e i r r e s p e c t -  I n the summer of 1815  the two  friends,  accompanied by Mary Godwin and C h a r l e s C l a i r m o n t , went on a b o a t i n g t r i p up t h e Thames as f a r as L e c h l a d e .  I t was  on  this  t r i p t h a t Peacock's famous p r e s c r i p t i o n of " t h r e e mutton chops, w e l l peppered" c u r e d S h e l l e y a t l e a s t t e m p o r a r i l y of the a t t e n d i n g h i s v e g e t a b l e regimen.  ills  T h i s e x p e d i t i o n appears a g a i n  (though minus - a l a s ! - t h e mutton chops) i n t h e pages of Crotchet  Castle*  The f o l l o w i n g w i n t e r t h e p a i r w a l k e d , t a l k e d  and r e a d Greek t o g e t h e r ,  and p a i d an o c c a s i o n a l v i s i t t o London  I n f a c t , f r o m t h i s time u n t i l S h e l l e y made h i s f i n a l d e p a r t u r e f o r I t a l y , the d i r e c t personal  i n t e r c o u r s e o f t h e two f r i e n d s  was i n t e r r u p t e d o n l y by S h e l l e y ' s second v i s i t t o S w i t z e r l a n d , and d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d b o t h A l a s t o r and The R e v o l t o f I s l a m had  t h e b e n e f i t of Peacock's c r i t i c i s m .  abroad, S h e l l e y had f r e q u e n t  During h i s  sojourns  commissions f o r Peacock to p e r f o r m  - now r e n t i n g a house, now n e g o t i a t i n g w i t h p u b l i s h e r s , and sometimes s e n d i n g p a c k e t s of t h e l a t e s t books, o r news of t h e doings of p a r l i a m e n t ,  o r c r i t i c i s m s o f S h e l l e y ' s l a t e s t poems.  By t h i s time, however, Peacock was i n a measure o b l i g a t e d t o S h e l l e y f o r f i n a n c i a l a s s i s t a n c e , and c o n t i n u e d  s p o r a d i c a l l y to  be so u n t i l he found r e g u l a r work i n t h e I n d i a House, i n t h e s p r i n g of 1819.  On S h e l l e y ' s d e a t h , Peacock was a p p o i n t e d  j o i n t e x e c u t o r o f the w i l l w i t h B y r o n . i a t i o n s between Mrs.  He conducted t h e negot-  S h e l l e y and o l d S i r Timothy i n t h e s p i r i t  of the t r u e f r i e n d and good man o f b u s i n e s s t h a t he was, '"'19 thoroughly  earning  t h e r e b y t h e l e g a c y l e f t h i m by S h e l l e y .  D u r i n g t h e f r i e n d s h i p w i t h S h e l l e y , Peacock's»literary output r e a c h e d i t s peak, i n q u a n t i t y and p o s s i b l y i n q u a l i t y , though he was never a p r o l i f i c w r i t e r , f o r he c a r e f u l l y p o l i s h ed even h i s s l i g h t e s t p r o d u c t i o n s  b e f o r e p r i n t i n g them.  After  S h e l l e y ' s d e a t h i n 1822 Peacock's w r i t i n g s appeared l e s s and l e s s f r e q u e n t l y , d y i n g out almost c o m p l e t e l y the coming o f the r e n a i s s a n c e  a f t e r 1831, u n t i l  of h i s o l d age, f o l l o w i n g h i s  10 r e t i r e m e n t f r o m the I n d i a House.  I n 1815  Peacock found h i s  r e a l f o r t e and wrote and p u b l i s h e d Headlong H a l l . i n g upon h i s experiences  Here, draw-  and acquaintances a t B r a c k n e l l , he  evolved the frame f o r h i s n o v e l s of t a l k t h a t was  to serve  f a i t h f u l l y f o r the r e s t of h i s l i f e - the a c t i v i t i e s , and  him es-  p e c i a l l y the c o n v e r s a t i o n , of t h e members of a country-house party. 1817,  The book was  p u b l i s h e d anonymously.  I n the s p r i n g of  i n t h r e e volumes, appeared a second n o v e l , M e l i n c o u r t ,  Peacock's l o n g e s t , most s e r i o u s , and,  a t l e a s t i n the  of p o s t e r i t y , h i s l e a s t s u c c e s s f u l book.  opinion  L a t e r i n 1817  Peacock  made h i s l a s t attempt to w r i t e p o e t r y on t h e grand s c a l e , and e a r l y i n 1818  p u b l i s h e d h i s Rhododaphne, u n d o u b t e d l y the f i n e s t  of the l o n g e r poems.  I t o n l y j u s t f a l l s s h o r t of  greatness.  The p l o t , f o r Peacock, i s good and the e x e c u t i o n d e l i c a t e and admirable.  I t was w r i t t e n a t the h e i g h t of the S h e l l e y p e r i o d  when S h e l l e y was  h e l p i n g Peacock to r e a l i s e more f u l l y  m e r i t s of r o m a n t i c i s m  and h i s (Peacock's) own  the  shortcomings.  The poem i s a c c o r d i n g l y w r i t t e n w i t h more t r u e r o m a n t i c f e e l i n g , and at t h e same time more t r u l y c l a s s i c . a l r e s t r a i n t , than Peacock had  ever a t t a i n e d to b e f o r e .  throughout and  The p i e c e i s Greek  at the same time i s t h o r o u g h l y  romantic.  v e r y w e l l r e c e i v e d by the contemporary l i t e r a r y w o r l d .  I t was Carl  van Doren sums up s u c c i n c t l y * "Byron sent word to Peacock t h a t he s h o u l d be w i l l i n g to f a t h e r the ' G r e c i a n E n c h a n t r e s s ' h i m s e l f ; Poe, never l i g h t of p r a i s e , c a l l e d i t ' b r i m f u l of music'% and Medwin rendered i t a degree of commendation w h i c h would have been more f l a t t e r i n g but f o r t h e f a c t t h a t he spoke of i t as 'Rhododendron'." 20 S h e l l e y as w e l l thought h i g h l y of the poem, b u t d e s p i t e  this  11 w e a l t h of t r i b u t e Peacock at l a s t r e a l i s e d t h a t p o e t r y was his  f o r t e , and he t u r n e d h i s a t t e n t i o n to i r o n i c p r o s e .  not  Sub-  s e q u e n t l y h e . c o n f i n e d h i s v e r s i f y i n g to c a r e f r e e l y r i c s , w h i c h he s c a t t e r e d w i t h a l i b e r a l hand throughout h i s n o v e l s .  As i t  happens, the b e s t of these l y r i c s are h i s major c o n t r i b u t i o n to E n g l i s h p o e t r y .  Most of these are r o l l i c k i n g d r i n k i n g -  songs w h i c h , as a group, are e a s i l y h i s b e s t . many songs of s e n t i m e n t .  There are a l s o  B e s t of them a l l , however, and  unique i n Peacock's p o e t i c c a r e e r i s 'The war  song of Dinas  Vawr' Having made up h i s mind, a p p a r e n t l y ,  about h i s p o e t i c  c a p a b i l i t i e s , Peacock r e t u r n e d w i t h renewed v i g o u r to  the  n o v e l , and had completed Nightmare Abbey by the summer of I t was  p u b l i s h e d t h a t November and,  though s i n c e  one of h i s b e s t , a t t r a c t e d l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n .  1818.  considered  Shelley, i t s  p r i n c i p a l ' v i c t i m ' , proved, i t s most e n t h u s i a s t i c  critic!  About t h i s time - p r o b a b l y somewhat e a r l i e r , n e a r e r the time t h a t Rhododaphne was  b e i n g w r i t t e n , though the p r e c i s e date i s  not known - Peacock t r i e d to. w r i t e a t a l e f u s i n g r a t h e r i s e d elements of a n c i e n t Greek and m e d i e v a l l i f e . apparently ive  too much f o r h i s l i m i t e d i m a g i n a t i v e  It  idealwas  and- c o n s t r u c t "  a b i l i t i e s , f o r he abandoned i t i n the fragments today known  as G a l i d o r e .  The  o n l y e x t e r n a l evidence as to i t s d a t e i s the  f a c t t h a t the paper on w h i c h i t i s w r i t t e n b e a r s the watermark 21 1816. Between the w r i t i n g and the p u b l i c a t i o n of Nightmare Abbey a new  epoch i n Peacock's l i f e began when, a f t e r  sub-  12 m i t t i n g t o c o m p e t i t i v e examination, he found h i m s e l f f i l l i n g a c o m f o r t a b l e c l e r i c a l p o s t i n t h e I n d i a House. for  The appointment  a time f i l l e d him w i t h g r e a t enthusiasm f o r b u s i n e s s , i f we  are t o t a k e s e r i o u s l y the c o n c l u s i o n of The Four Ages of P o e t r y (his  f i r s t i m p o r t a n t l i t e r a r y work a f t e r e n t e r i n g I n d i a House)  and s i m i l a r sentiments  a r e expressed  i n a l e t t e r to Shelley  dated about the same t i m e , where s c i e n t i s t s , economists,  mathematicians,  and s i m i l a r people a r e lauded t o the s k i e s - i n  complete c o n t r a s t w i t h Peacock's u s u a l o p i n i o n of such men. The appointment a l s o p r e c i p i t a t e d Peacock's m a r r i a g e ,  which  was a happy one, though Mrs. Peacock was f o r many y e a r s an i n v a l i d and d i e d i n 1851. g i r l s and a boy.  There were f o u r c h i l d r e n - t h r e e  The second g i r l d i e d i n e a r l y c h i l d h o o d , and  i t was a f t e r h e r death t h a t Mrs. Peacock's h e a l t h began to g i v e way.  I n 1849 the e l d e s t daughter, a l r e a d y a widow, m a r r i e d  George M e r e d i t h , who was s e v e r a l y e a r s h e r j u n i o r , and, a f t e r n i n e y e a r s of q u a r r e l l i n g , d e s e r t e d him f o r an a r t i s t and d i e d a few y e a r s l a t e r .  Though M e r e d i t h ' s books, and e s p e c i a l l y h i s  Essay on Comedy, owe much to Peacock'syexample, i t i s u n l i k e l y t h a t t h e a d m i r a t i o n was m u t u a l , f o r M e r e d i t h had been educated i n Germany and was u n i n t e r e s t e d i n s c h o l a r s h i p w h i l e h i s f a t h e r - i n - l a w was a devoted s c h o l a r and d e t e s t e d a l l t h i n g s German. The Four Ages of P o e t r y , though p r o b a b l y w r i t t e n d u r i n g the w i n t e r of 1818-19, was not p u b l i s h e d u n t i l 1820, when i t appeared i n O i l i e r ' s L i t e r a c y M i s c e l l a n y .  Though i t provoked  S h e l l e y ' s much b e t t e r known Defence of P o e t r y , i t i s r e a l l y a  13 .jeu d' e s p r i t , "something "between a p i e c e of c r i t i c i s m and : 22 •• domestic j o k e " Lake P o e t s .  with i t s shafts directed c h i e f l y against  Oddly enough, the incomplete  Essay on  a the  Fashionable  L i t e r a t u r e , w r i t t e n o n l y a few months "before The Pour Ages, c o n t a i n s a defence and a p p r e c i a t i o n of the v e r y p e o p l e he a t t a c k s , or pretends to a t t a c k , i n t h e l a t e r essay. two passed b e f o r e another work was  forthcoming,  too l a t e f o r S h e l l e y to see i t , Maid M a r i a n , m e d i e v a l t a l e s , was  published.  of s l a p - s t i c k episodes  A year  but i n  or  1822,  the e a r l i e r of the  I t i s l i t t l e more than a s e r i e s  i n t e r s p e r s e d w i t h a g r e a t many i r r e s i s -  t i b l e l y r i c s , so i t i s - not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t i t was turned i n t o a comic opera by J.R.  Planche', who  l i b r e t t o , and by the m u s i c i a n B i s h o p .  v e r y soon  arranged  the  The opera had a twenty-  seven n i g h t r u n , an i n d i c a t i o n of c o n s i d e r a b l e p o p u l a r i t y i n those days.  Hookham, the p u b l i s h e r , was  opposed to the pro-  d u c t i o n of the opera, but Peacock approved, p r o b a b l y the p u b l i c i t y v a l u e .  realising  The book s a l e s d i d not s k y r o c k e t ,  Maid M a r i a n has remained a steady f a v o u r i t e s i n c e . number of y e a r s a f t e r Maid M a r i a n , Peacock the man  but  Por  a  of l e t t e r s  seems to have c o n f i n e d h i m s e l f l a r g e l y to c o n t r i b u t i o n s to  The  Westminster Review, the organ of the P h i l o s o p h i c a l R a d i c a l s . A good p a r t of the a s s o c i a t i o n may  have been due  to the f a c t  t h a t James M i l l , one of the l e a d e r s of the R a d i c a l s , worked i n the same department of the I n d i a House as Peacock. of the U t i l i t a r i a n c r e e d Peacock a c c e p t e d , e m p h a t i c a l l y d i d not.  Some p a r t s  o t h e r p a r t s he most  Hence, d u r i n g the f i n a n c i a l p a n i c  1825-26, we f i n d him w r i t i n g h i s Paper Money L y r i c s , w i t h  of  14 economists as w e l l as contemporary poets as h i s "butts.  The  scheme of the p r o d u c t i o n i s t h a t of the R e j e c t e d Addresses.  A  number of well-known poets supposedly c o n t r i b u t e v e r s e s on the financial situation.  As the t i t l e s u g g e s t s , these r a t h e r  crude p a r o d i e s were a l s o an a t t a c k on paper money, w h i c h Peacock c o u l d never r e s i s t a t t a c k i n g throughout h i s l i f e .  The  L y r i c s were not p u b l i s h e d , presumably out of r e s p e c t to M i l l , u n t i l 1837, when s e v e r a l appeared i n a minor p e r i o d i c a l and a l l were p r i n t e d i n a l i m i t e d p r i v a t e e d i t i o n . however, to the Westminster.  To r e t u r n ,  Peacock*s b e s t known c o n t r i b u t -  i o n s were two a n n i h i l a t i n g r e v i e w s of works of Thomas Moore, f i r s t of h i s E p i c u r e a n , i n October 1827, and then a g a i n i n 1830 of  the f i r s t volume of h i s L e t t e r s and J o u r n a l s of L o r d Byron.  In  the same y e a r appeared a n o t i c e of The Memoirs, Correspon-  dence, and P r i v a t e Papers of Thomas J e f f e r s o n showing the dec i d e d e i g h t e e n t h - c e n t u r y tone of Peacock's p o l i t i c a l v i e w s .  By  t h i s time Peacock had produced another n o v e l - The M i s f o r t u n e s of E l p h i n , t h e second and l a s t of h i s m e d i e v a l t a l e s , p u b l i s h e d i n 1829.  C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , p u b l i s h e d two y e a r s l a t e r , can be  s a i d to mark t h e end of h i s f i r s t p e r i o d of l i t e r a r y o u t p u t . P r e s s u r e of work a t t h e I n d i a House was p r o b a b l y m a i n l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the submergence of Peacock as a l i t e r a r y d u r i n g the n e x t twenty y e a r s . his  man  Owing to s e v e r a l deaths among  immediate s u p e r i o r s , Peacock i n 1836 became one of the  c h i e f o f f i c i a l s i n t h a t v e r y l a r g e c o n c e r n , and he was a man n a t u r e thorough i n e v e r y t h i n g .  by  B e s i d e s , the d e a t h of h i s  mother, as he h i m s e l f t e l l s u s , p r o b a b l y d i d have an i n h i b i t i n g  15 e f f e c t on him.  At any r a t e , f o r a l l these y e a r s he produced  nothing - a p a r t from the o s t e n s i b l y a u t o b i o g r a p h i c i o n s of C h i l d h o o d , w r i t t e n when he was  Recollect-  about f i f t y and pub-  l i s h e d i n B e n t l e y ' s M i s c e l l a n y - except o c c a s i o n a l , unimport a n t magazine a r t i c l e s , though the fragmentary Cotswold Chase, C h e r t s e y , and &t. K a t h e r i n e  as w e l l as two  t e n t a t i v e but  t y p i c a l t i t l e s , Boosabout Abbey and P o t t l e d e e p to t e s t i f y to h i s c o n t i n u e d  Priory, survive  i n t e r e s t i n the n o v e l .  The  liter-  acy r e s u r g e n c e came a t l a s t i n the f i f t i e s when, i n 1852, E r a s e r ' s Magazine, appeared the f i r s t two of the t h r e e  in  fine,  s c h o l a r l y d i s s e r t a t i o n s on c l a s s i c a l drama known j o i n t l y as Horae Dramaticae.  The  t h i r d d i d not appear t i l l - 1857.  c l a s s i c a l s t u d i e s were f o l l o w e d i n 1858  These  by a l o n g r e v i e w of  Mxiller and Donaldson's H i s t o r y of Greek L i t e r a t u r e i n the same magazine.  A g r e a t d e a l more i m p o r t a n t ,  however, are  the  Memoirs of S h e l l e y , w h i c h appeared a t i n t e r v a l s i n E r a s e r ' s between 1858  and 1862.  The.Memoirs are r e a l l y a s e r i e s of r e -  views of v a r i o u s L i v e s of S h e l l e y t h a t had been p u b l i s h e d . l a r g e s t p a r t , a p p e a r i n g i n 1858, Trelawney, and M i d d l e t o n .  i s a r e p l y to books by Hogg,  The next most i m p o r t a n t p o r t i o n i s  t h a t p u b l i s h e d i n January, 1860, orials.  a r e v i e w of the S h e l l e y Mem-  I n March of the same y e a r Peacock p u b l i s h e d  he had r e c e i v e d f r o m S h e l l e y from I t a l y , w i t h a b r i e f t o r y note; and f i n a l l y , i n 1862, i n r e p l y to Dr. G a r n e t t , who  The  the  letters  introduc-  a Supplementary Note was  added  had a t t a c k e d Peacock's p o s i t i o n  and statements c o n c e r n i n g S h e l l e y ' s d e s e r t i o n of H a r r i e t . l a s t of the n o v e l s , G r y l l Grange, was  published s e r i a l l y i n  The  16 1860,  a l s o i n E r a s e r ' s , "but i t i s more t h a n l i k e l y t h a t the  •whole had "been completed "before the f i r s t i n s t a l m e n t s appeared. Thus the n o v e l was p r o b a b l y w r i t t e n i n the h i a t u s between the two main d i v i s i o n s of the Memoirs.  The l a s t p i e c e worthy of  mention i s the l i t t l e essay of r e m i n i s c e n c e , Windsor F o r e s t , w h i c h was remained u n p u b l i s h e d  The L a s t Pay  of  p r o b a b l y w r i t t e n i n 1862 b u t whic?a  d u r i n g Peacock's l i f e t i m e .  I t s mellow  u r b a n i t y p r o v i d e s a f i t t i n g c o n c l u s i o n to t h a t l o n g  literary  life. On r e t i r i n g f r o m b u s i n e s s about 1856, the c o u n t r y , a t Lower - H a l l i f ord. and a, garden. his  Peacock s e t t l e d i n  He s t i l l l o v e d c o u n t r y walks  H i s l a s t t e n years were l i v e d v e r y q u i e t l y w i t h  o l d books, o l d wine, good d i n n e r s and hand-picked v i s i t o r s .  An outbreak of f i r e i n the r o o f of h i s bedroom hastened h i s end, f o r i n h i s l a t t e r y e a r s he was dread of f i r e .  p o s s e s s e d by a morbid  He d i e d on January 23,  1886.  G e n e r a l l y s p e a k i n g , Peacock's w r i t i n g s can be s a i d to f a l l i n t o two s e c t i o n s - t h a t s e c t i o n ^which i s e a s i l y , or r e l a t i v e l y e a s i l y , a v a i l a b l e , and t h a t s e c t i o n w h i c h i s a l l but 24 ' • •• unavailable.  The  e a r l y p o e t r y and t h e p l a y s I have been un-  a b l e to examine, and I have had to depend f o r my concerning  information  them on secondary s o u r c e s , c h i e f l y b i o g r a p h i c a l and  c r i t i c a l works of Freeman, van Doren, and J.B.  Priestley.  F o r t u n a t e l y , w i t h the d o u b t f u l e x c e p t i o n of S i r P r o t e u s  (the  o b s c u r i t y and sheer bad temper of w h i c h i n f i n i t e l y reduce i t s v a l u e ) , these works have l i t t l e b e a r i n g on t h e p r e s e n t  study.  17 More to be r e g r e t t e d has been my i n a b i l i t y t o see the Paper Money L y r i c s , though the p a r o d i e s are s a i d to be b u t s u p e r f i c 25 i a l , and hence would add l i t t l e t o t a s t e s and o p i n i o n s i n h e r e n t or expressed elsewhere.  Of t h e l o n g poems, Rhododaphne o n l y  has proved a v a i l a b l e , and i t i s not w i t h o u t i n t e r e s t as r e v e a l ing Peacock i n unashamedly r o m a n t i c c o l o u r s .  I t i s Peacock's  prose work, however, t h a t i s of f i r s t c o n c e r n i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h h i s c r i t i c a l v i e w s , and, h a p p i l y , a l l h i s p r o s e of any importance, w i t h t h e p a r t i a l e x c e p t i o n of the Essay on P a s h i o n a b l e L i t e r a t u r e , has proved a c c e s s i b l e .  The Essay on P a s h i o n -  a b l e L i t e r a t u r e , an u n p u b l i s h e d m a n u s c r i p t , i s housed i n the B r i t i s h Museum.  The essay i s d i v i d e d i n t o two p a r t s , however,  the f i r s t p a r t of w h i c h i s complete, and the second i n c o m p l e t e , and i n Hotes and Queries of J u l y 1910 A.B. Young has t r a n s c r i b e d i n f u l l the f i r s t p a r t , and s k e t c h e d t h e c o n t e n t s of the fragmentary remainder. When we come to d e a l w i t h the c r i t i c a l m a t e r i a l by  itself  once more two c a t e g o r i e s a r e d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e - m a t e r i a l cont a i n i n g d i r e c t c r i t i c i s m and t h a t i n w h i c h t h e c r i t i c i s m i s i m p l i e d r a t h e r than overt.  The l a t t e r type p r e p o n d e r a t e s .  D i r e c t c r i t i c i s m appears f r o m time t o time i n t h e p o e t r y - as i n S i r P r o t e u s and the Paper Money L y r i c s - where, as we have seen, i t appears to be too t r i v i a l t o m e r i t much a t t e n t i o n . The tone of b o t h i s , however, t y p i c a l .  Peacock bludgeons h i s  b u t t s i n S i r P r o t e u s , and mocks them i n the Paper Money s e r i e s . Fragments of h i s l e t t e r s a l s o p r o v i d e s c r a p s of Peacock's o v e r t c r i t i c i s m , and p r o b a b l y these p r i v a t e o p i n i o n s a r e t h e most  18 s i n c e r e he ever u t t e r e d .  He i s speaking i n h i s own p e r s o n i n  the l e t t e r s * , i n the n o v e l s , a t l e a s t , one can never he s u r e . The essays, t o o , few as they a r e , p r o v i d e g r e a t e r or l e s s e r amounts of s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d c r i t i c i s m .  There seems no  reason  to doubt the good f a i t h of the o p i n i o n s expressed i n the Essay on F a s h i o n a b l e L i t e r a t u r e , b u t , as a l r e a d y suggested,  there  are good grounds f o r s u s p e c t i n g t h a t The Four Ages of P o e t r y i s l a r g e l y meant as an e l a b o r a t e l i t e r a r y j o k e .  At the same  time, t h e r e i s s u f f i c i e n t c r i t i c a l t r u t h or s p e c i o u s n e s s  in i t  to have l e d some r e a d e r s even today to take i t q u i t e s e r i o u s ly.  The l a t e r essays a r e of l e s s v a l u e i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h  contemporary c r i t i c i s m .  The f i r s t essay of the Horae Dramati-  cae s e r i e s i s a c r i t i c a l a p p r e c i a t i o n of a l i t tie-known  late  L a t i n comedy, the second i s a s c h o l a r l y r e c o n s t r u e t i o n of a fragmentary  Greek t r a g e d y , and the t h i r d , w h i l e o s t e n s i b l y  s i m i l a r i n n a t u r e to the f i r s t , i s r e a l l y a j o v i a l d i s c u s s i o n of t h e a t t i t u d e of poets to w i n e - b i b b i n g , h i s t o r i c a l l y s i d e r e d , and i n t h i s c o n n e c t i o n c o n t a i n s a few words on Wordsworth.  con-  well-chosen  The L a s t Day of .Windsor F o r e s t a l s o , i n  p a s s i n g , e n s h r i n e s a b r i e f a p p r e c i a t i o n of Wordsworth.  By  no  means the most n e g l i g i b l e s o u r c e of Peacock's d i r e c t c r i t i c i s m i s The 7/estminster Review, where Moore's p r e t e n s i o n s are t w i c e r a z e d to the ground. we a r e concerned,  The r e v i e w of the E p i c u r e a n , as f a r as  d e a l s o n l y w i t h Moore, but t h a t of  The  L e t t e r s and J o u r n a l s of L o r d B y r o n c o n t a i n s as much m a t e r i a l on B y r o n as on Moore and aims a few u g l y blows a t L e i g h Hunt en p a s s a n t .  L a s t l y , the Memoirs of S h e l l e y c o n t a i n a good  19 d e a l of c r i t i c a l m a t e r i a l .  There i s no doubt here of the  s i n c e r i t y of t h i s mature view of S h e l l e y , where f r i e n d s h i p  has  not been a l l o w e d t o b l i n d the eyes of t h e author t o S h e l l e y ' s v e r y r e a l weaknesses.  The Memoirs a l s o c o n t a i n some v e r y p e r -  t i n e n t remarks on d e s i r a b l e q u a l i t i e s i n b i o g r a p h e r s biography.  and  '  I m p l i e d l i t e r a r y - and p o l i t i c a l - c r i t i c i s m of Peacock's contemporaries meets us a t every t u r n i n the n o v e l s , e s p e c i a l l y i n t h e n o v e l s of t a l k . c o n f i n e themselves  The two medieval t a l e s more or l e s s  t o i r o n i c comparisons  of the r e l a t i v e s o c i a l  p o s i t i o n s and a t t i t u d e s of t h e m e d i e v a l b a r d and the modern laureate.  Frequent q u o t a t i o n s from, and a l l u s i o n s t o , contem-  p o r a r y l e t t e r s , however, s c a t t e r e d not o n l y through the n o v e l s , but throughout a l l t h e prose works, r e v e a l t h a t Peacock was more a p p r e c i a t i v e of the l i t e r a t u r e of h i s own time t h a n he would always have us b e l i e v e .  This fundamentally a p p r e c i a t i v e  a t t i t u d e , though never commanding so much a t t e n t i o n as t h e r e p e a t e d and o f t e n v i t r i o l i c d e r o g a t o r y c r i t i c i s m , s h o u l d never be f o r g o t t e n .  The l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m i n Headlong H a l l  i s not as p l e n t i f u l as i n some of the o t h e r n o v e l s , and i t i s more g e n e r a l than s p e c i f i c . ers  The n a t u r e of reviews, and r e v i e w -  i s a n a l y s e d , however, and some of the minor c h a r a c t e r s may  be meant t o suggest such well-known l i t e r a r y p e r s o n a l i t i e s as C o l e r i d g e , J e f f r e y , and Thomas Campbell.  I n Headlong H a l l ,  then, the c a r i c a t u r i n g i s t e n t a t i v e ; i n M e l i n c o u r t i t i s q u i t e d e f i n i t e and u n m i s t a k a b l e .  There G i f f o r d and the aims and  methods of the (Quarterly Review are u n s p a r i n g l y t r a v e s t i e d ,  20 and C o l e r i d g e , Wordsworth, and Southey appear as the t r a n s c e n d e n t a l Mr. M y s t i c , and t h e p o l i t i c a l o p p o r t u n i s t s Messrs Paperstamp and P e a t h e r n e s t , r e s p e c t i v e l y .  The s a t i r e of t h e  Lake S c h o o l , however, d e a l s more w i t h p o l i t i c a l than w i t h l i t e r a r y a t t i t u d e s , though the two a r e i n t e r r e l a t e d .  In  Nightmare Abbey t h e l i t e r a r y s a t i r e i s much p u r e r , though somewhat c o m p l i c a t e d .  I n t h e two e a r l i e r n o v e l s , i n a d d i t i o n  to t h e s p e c i f i c c a r i c a t u r e o f people and i d e a s ( t h e i d e a s , however, b e i n g more i m p o r t a n t than t h e p e o p l e ) , the types and p l o t s o f t h e n o v e l s themselves form a s o r t of i r o n i c r u n n i n g commentary on a type .of l i t e r a t u r e t h a t was v e r y p o p u l a r t o wards t h e c l o s e o f t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y ; those works advoca t i n g e i t h e r a r e t u r n t o t h e p r i m i t i v e l i f e o r those p r o c l a i m i n g the i n e v i t a b l e p r o g r e s s o f mankind, as w e l l as those which i n g e n u o u s l y combined these i r r e c o n c i l a b l e p s e u d o - p h i l o s o p h i e s . Headlong H a l l and M e l i n c o u r t , then, s a t i r i s e d p r i m i t i v i s m and progress.  Nightmare Abbey, i n t h e same way, i s a s k i t on t h e  c u l t o f the G o t h i c , and i n c o r p o r a t e s as w e l l some v e r y penet r a t i n g remarks on t h e Godwinian no v e l - w i t h - a- pur p o s e. i t lacking i n personalities.  Nor i s  A barely-disguised Shelley i s  h e r o , and B y r o n i s brought on t h e s t a g e f o r a few. i n c i s i v e pages.  C o l e r i d g e once more appears, h a v i n g been promoted from  t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i s t t o m e t a p h y s i c i a n , and h i s Lake f r i e n d s r e c e i v e p a s s i n g mention.  The t a l e s c o n t a i n n o t h i n g o f import-  ance i n t h e way o f l i t e r a r j r c r i t i c i s m , and when we come t o C r o t c h e t C a s t l e we f i n d t h a t our author has mellowed a l i t t l e , p o s s i b l e c a r i c a t u r e s a r e fewer and much more d i f f i c u l t to  21 i d e n t i f y , and the whole tone of the s a t i r e i s l e s s t r e n c h a n t than of o l d . who may  There i s t h e u s u a l m e t a p h y s i c i a n , Mr.  or may  not be C o l e r i d g e .  Skionar,  There i s an amiable medieval-  i s t , a development of Mr. Derrydown i n M e l i n c o u r t , who, the e a r l i e r worthy, may  or may  p l e a s a n t Mr. Eavesdrop, who  not r e p r e s e n t S c o t t .  like  The  un-  i s i n t h e h a b i t of c h a r a c t e r i z i n g  h i s acquaintance i n t h e p o p u l a r p e r i o d i c a l s , has been t e n t a t i v e l y i d e n t i f i e d w i t h H a z l i t t and h i s S p i r i t of the Age.  And  there- i s , of c o u r s e , the i n e v i t a b l e r e f e r e n c e t o Wordsworth and Sou they.  G r y l l Grange, mellowest of a l l , can be s a i d to con-  t a i n no c a r i c a t u r e s a t a l l .  I f , as i s sometimes thought,  the  nominal hero, F a l c o n e r , i s Peacock's attempt to p o r t r a y what S h e l l e y might have been had he l i v e d l o n g e r , i t i s not a c a r i c a t u r e but a r e a s o n a b l y s e r i o u s imaginary p o r t r a i t .  In G r y l l  Grange, t o o , as i n most of the o t h e r books, t h e c h a r a c t e r s from time to time t o u c h upon l i t e r a t u r e i n t h e i r c o n v e r s a t i o n , and i n v a r y i n g degrees t h e i r o p i n i o n s may cock's own.  be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h Pea-  T h i s , t h e n , i s the c o m p l i c a t e d n a t u r e of P e a c o c k i a n  c r i t i c i s m ; sometimes d i r e c t , sometimes i n d i r e c t  ( w i t h the i n -  d i r e c t r u n n i n g the gamut f r o m the u n m i s t a k a b l e t o the w h o l l y o b s c u r e ) , and b o t h types c o m p l i c a t e d by the f a c t t h a t they  may  be meant t o be t a k e n s e r i o u s l y , or as pure f a r c e , or as p r a c t i c a l l y a n y t h i n g i n between. Why,  then, do we b o t h e r a t a l l about what Peacock has to  say about the l i t e r a r y w o r l d i n w h i c h he l i v e d ?  Why  do we  pay  a t t e n t i o n t o the o p i n i o n s of H a z l i t t , of Lamb, of K e a t s , of C o l e r i d g e , o r of anyone who  has ever r e c o r d e d or had  recorded  22 his  o p i n i o n s of the men  their writings?  he knew e i t h e r p e r s o n a l l y or through  The l e a s t important  o p i n i o n , whether s e r i o u s  or comic, i l l - c o n s i d e r e d or c a r e f u l l y weighed, adds something to the mental h i s t o r y of the r a c e , i f i t does n o t h i n g more than g i v e us a g l i m p s e i n t o the psychology of one man,  f o r that  man,  however e c c e n t r i c , must r e f l e c t some p o r t i o n of h i s times.  The  more we know about the man,  of course, the "better we are  able  to gauge the r e l i a b i l i t y of h i s o p i n i o n s , a l l o w i n g a t the same time f o r any i d i o s y n c r a s i e s t h a t may  have i n f l u e n c e d h i s  judgmentj and the more i n t e l l i g e n t he i s , the more i n t e r e s t i n g and p e n e t r a t i n g h i s judgment i s l i k e l y to be. A number of s u c h c o n s i d e r a t i o n s suggest t h a t the  opinions  of Peacock, however d i f f i c u l t to a s s e s s , s h o u l d be of v a l u e . Peacock was  undoubtedly a v e r y i n t e l l i g e n t man  - a glance  any one of h i s books w i l l v e r y s h o r t l y persuade a r e a d e r that.  He was  a l s o a s i n g u l a r l y w e l l - r e a d man  consequently  on l e t t e r s , was  f r i v o l o u s - a l t h o u g h i t was  of  and c o u l d draw  upon a g r e a t d e a l of European as w e l l as c l a s s i c a l f o r purposes of l i t e r a r y comparison.  into  literature  H i s o u t l o o k on l i f e ,  n e i t h e r w h o l l y seriovis nor  and  utterly  r e a l l y a good d e a l more s e r i o u s  than would appear f r o m a s u p e r f i c i a l r e a d i n g of h i s works. Though he always hoped f o r the b e s t f r o m mankind,  experience  taught him s c e p t i c i s m , and h i s sense of humour, w h i c h was  un-  u s u a l l y keen, l e d him to l a u g h e q u a l l y a t excess optimism and undue pessimism.  I n a d d i t i o n t o t h i s , h i s span of l i f e happen-  ed t o p a r a l l e l the f u l l f l o o d of E n g l i s h r o m a n t i c i s m . t h i r t e e n y e a r s o l d when L y r i c a l B a l l a d s was  He  p u b l i s h e d , and  was the  23 "best of Tennyson, Browning, and A r n o l d had appeared "before he died.  I n f a c t , t h e romantic decadence had o f f i c i a l l y s e t i n  w i t h t h e p u b l i c a t i o n o f Swinburne's Poems and B a l l a d s j u s t as he was d y i n g .  B u t though Peacock l i v e d when he d i d , he was o f  the romantic e r a , n o t i n i t .  Not even h i s c l o s e f r i e n d s h i p  w i t h S h e l l e y c o u l d make o f him a thorough-going r o m a n t i c . This a l o o f n e s s , as a m a t t e r of f a c t , a p p l i e s to every sphere of h i s l i f e , and n o t j u s t t o h i s w r i t i n g . . And though, as we s h a l l - see, he had a number o f romantic sympathies, he always gives the impression  of s t a n d i n g  as a r e f e r e e - on t h e s i d e l i n e s . s i d e l i n e s , he e p i t o m i s e s b e f o r e him.  as a s p e c t a t o r - o r perhaps Then, as he watches from t h e  t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l l i f e t h a t he sees  I n t h i s he d i f f e r s from, t h e t y p i c a l r o m a n t i c , who  p r e f e r s to r e c o r d h i s own s e n s a t i o n s  as l i f e b i l l o w s round him.  The w r i t i n g s and c r i t i c i s m s of Lamb, f o r i n s t a n c e , a r e t h o r oughly s u b j e c t i v e - and unashamedly so. H a z l i t t a t times c a n be e q u a l l y s u b j e c t i v e - i n h i s f a m i l i a r essays - though h i s c h a r a c t e r s k e t c h e s and l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m c o n t a i n b o t h s u b j e c t ive  and o b j e c t i v e elements.  Hunt and C o l e r i d g e , too, a r e  l a r g e l y s u b j e c t i v e i n t h e i r approach: even De Quincey, under a c l o a k of s c h o l a r s h i p .  I n t h e l a s t a n a l y s i s , Peacock's a t t i t u d e  more c l o s e l y resembles t h a t of such d e s p i s e d r e v i e w e r s J e f f r e y and G i f f o r d than t h a t o f any other n o t a b l e critic.  as  romantic  Among t h e V i c t o r i a n s , p o s s i b l y Macaulay and A r n o l d  most c l o s e l y resemble him: A r n o l d had something of h i s i n t e l 1 e c t u a l background, w h i l e Macaulay had a d i s t i n c t  political  b i a s - though n o t t h e same b i a s as Peacock - and they b o t h  24 s t r o v e i n a c e r t a i n measure f o r o b j e c t i v i t y .  Generally  speaking then, though, as van Doren t h i n k s , Peacock may  have  been an i n t r o v e r t i n p r i v a t e - p r o b a b l y v e r y few of us are not - he d i d n o t , l i k e t h e m a j o r i t y of h i s contemporaries, l a y bare to the r e a d i n g p u b l i c t h e r e s u l t s of h i s i n t r o v e r t e d s p e c u l a t i o n s , but made of h i s u b i q u i t o u s l a u g h t e r a weapon b o t h of o f f e n c e and  defence.  25  The "background of P e a c o c k i a n c r i t i c i s m . Measured a g a i n s t the l i t e r a r y men of h i s time, Peacock, though s e l f - e d u c a t e d , was p o s s i b l y t h e g r e a t e s t s c h o l a x among them.  Landor alone - though Peacock chose to c o n s i d e r him a  " f r o t h y personage" - may have e q u a l l e d him.  I f he d i d not know  the m i d d l e ages as S c o t t knew them, nor t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y as Thackeray  d i d , h i s r e a d i n g , i f l e s s wide, was more minute  than t h a t o f C o l e r i d g e , and he surpassed them a l l i n c l a s s i c a l lore.  A t t h e same time he was remarkably conversant w i t h  F r e n c h and I t a l i a n l i t e r a t u r e - and he took up S p a n i s h i n h i s o l d age - though he c o n s i d e r e d German a waste o f time.  His  f a v o u r i t e authors were Homer, Sophocles, A r i s t o p h a n e s , Nonnus, C i c e r o , P e t r o n i u s , V i r g i l , Horace, T a c i t u s , B o j a r d o , P u l c i , A r i o s t o , R a b e l a i s , V o l t a i r e , B u t l e r , and Wordsworth.  This l a s t  may seem s u r p r i s i n g b u t "...Wordsworth, much as Peacock r i d i c u l e d the Lake P o e t s , y e t found few more a p p r e c i a t i v e r e a d e r s than h i s v e r y s a t i r i s t , who quotes him a g a i n and a g a i n , and pays h i m a n o t a b l e number o f times t h e homage o f m i s q u o t a t i o n . " 2 The f a c t t h a t Peacock was n o t a u n i v e r s i t y man was not w i t h o u t i t s b e a r i n g on h i s l i f e .  L i k e many a s e l f - e d u c a t e d man,  he was never t i r e d o f r a i l i n g a t the u s e l e s s n e s s and incompetence o f t h e u n i v e r s i t y p r o d u c t .  He l o v e d to t r i u m p h over t h e  Oxford o r Cambridge s c h o l a r i n some p e d a n t i c q u i b b l e .  Whether  or not he wanted t o a t t e n d u n i v e r s i t y , b u t was f i n a n c i a l l y una b l e , we do n o t know.  P r o b a b l y he had no d e s i r e t o go, h a v i n g  imbibed Gibbon on U n i v e r s i t i e s , and, always the i n d i v i d u a l i s t , p r e f e r r i n g t o r e a d t o s u i t h i m s e l f , r a t h e r than some a r b i t r a r y  26 authority.  He had no d e s i r e thus to ' f i n i s h h i s  education'.  I f he had gone to u n i v e r s i t y , he might e a s i l y have "become a don and c o n f i n e d h i m s e l f to c r i t i c a l commentaries on h i s f a v o u r i t e authors.  As i t i s , h i s f a v o u r i t e s a r e so thoroughly  assimil-  ated t h a t they l i v e a g a i n i n h i s w r i t i n g s , "both i n s t y l e and opinion.  He not merely admires and a p p r e c i a t e s  the works of  A r i s t o p h a n e s and R a b e l a i s , f o r i n s t a n c e , b u t , when the mood s e i z e s o r t h e o p p o r t u n i t y demands, he w r i t e s A r i s t o p h a n i c or R a b e l a i s i a n p r o s e - or p o e t r y .  I n f a c t , i n many v/ays Peacock  i s l e s s an o r i g i n a l c r e a t o r than a p e r p e t u a l and s p l e n d i d parodist.  *  Peacock's u n d e n i a b l e s u c c e s s i n d i r e c t i n g h i s own educa t i o n , combined w i t h t h e complete honesty and s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d ness of t h e t r u e s c h o l a r , r e s u l t e d i n the e a r l y development i n him of some p r e j u d i c e s - or a t l e a s t o b j e c t s of d i s l i k e - which l a s t e d h i s whole l i f e through.  The u n i v e r s i t y , as has been  seen, was prominent among these o b j e c t s of d i s l i k e , though h i s venom i s d i r e c t e d more a t the n a t u r e of the u n i v e r s i t i e s i n h i s own time and c o u n t r y  than a t u n i v e r s i t i e s i n g e n e r a l , of the  p a s t or of o t h e r c o u n t r i e s - o r so a p a s s i n g r e f e r e n c e  i n the  B B S a y on P a s h i o n a b l e L i t e r a t u r e would l e a d us t o suppose, where he mentions "The s e a t s of l e a r n i n g (as the u n i v e r s i t i e s a r e s t i l l c a l l e d according ' 3 v captain')..,"  t o t h e p r o v e r b 'Once a c a p t a i n always a *'  A g a i n , i n the r e v i e w of Moore's L e t t e r s and  J o u r n a l s of L o r d B y r o n , s e v e r a l pages a r e devoted to the quota t i o n of passages f r o m the w r i t i n g s of M i l t o n , Locke, Gibbon, Gray, and o t h e r s , t o show t h a t he i s not alone i n condemning a  27 l a t t e r - d a y u n i v e r s i t y e d u c a t i o n as u s e l e s s , i f not p o s i t i v e l y 4 harmful.  I n support of h i s argument, however., he c i t e s o n l y  u n i v e r s i t y men,  and such c r i t i c i s m i s more a c c e p t a b l e , as w e l l  as more v a l i d , f r o m them than from an o u t s i d e r .  His a t t i t u d e  i s not c o n f i n e d , of c o u r s e , to essay and r e v i e w . I t appears a g a i n and a g a i n i n the n o v e l s as w e l l . The f o l l o w i n g paragraph f r o m Nightmare Abbey i s t y p i c a l * "When Scythrop grew up, he was s e n t , as u s u a l , to a p u b l i c s c h o o l , where a l i t t l e l e a r n i n g was p a i n f u l l y beaten i n t o him, and thence to the U n i v e r s i t y , where i t was c a r e f u l l y t a k e n out of him? and he was s e n t home, l i k e a w e l l t h r e s h e d ear of c o r n , w i t h n o t h i n g i n h i s head? h a v i n g . f i n i s h e d h i s e d u c a t i o n t o the h i g h s a t i s f a c t i o n of the master and f e l l o w s of h i s c o l l e g e , who had, i n testimony of t h e i r a p p r o b a t i o n , p r e s e n t e d him w i t h a s i l v e r f i s h s l i c e , on w h i c h h i s name f i g u r e d a t the head of a l a u d a t o r y i n s c r i p t i o n i n some semi-barbarous d i a l e c t of AngloSaxonized L a t i n . " 5 Another a t t a c k , i n C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , i s worthy of comment. the b o a t - p a r t y pause i n t h e i r voyage to i n s p e c t Oxford,  As  Dr.  F o l l i o t t remarks t h a t "the system of d i s s u a s i o n f r o m a l l good l e a r n i n g i s brought h e r e to a p i t c h of p e r f e c t i o n t h a t b a f f l e s the keenest a s p i r a n t .  I r u n over to myself the names of the  s c h o l a r s of Germany, a g l o r i o u s c a t a l o g u e ! but ask f o r those of Oxford - Tifhere a r e t h e y ? "  At the same time Dr. F o l l i o t t wins a  b e t t h a t they w i l l not f i n d a s i n g l e man  r e a d i n g as they wander  through the whole u n i v e r s i t y and u n d i s t u r b e d l i b r a r i e s - an i n c i d e n t r e n d e r e d c o n s i d e r a b l y l e s s damning by the f a c t t h a t the voyagers are v i s i t i n g Oxford i n J u l y ! of t h i s s c o r n f o r u n i v e r s i t i e s was i o n w h i c h Peacock developed  A p o s s i b l e outgrowth  a d i s l i k e f o r popular  i n m i d d l e age and m a n i f e s t e d  l y i n C r o t c h e t C a s t l e and G r y l l Grange.  I n the former,  educatchiefDr.  28 F o l l i o t t i s f o r e v e r f u l m i n a t i n g a g a i n s t the 'Learned F r i e n d ' L o r d Brougham - whose e f f o r t s to p o p u l a r i s e s c i e n c e f o r the b e n e f i t of the p r o l e t a r i a t Peacock c o n s t a n t l y r e f e r s to as 'the march of mind', sponsored by the 'Steam I n t e l l e c t S o c i e t y . Those p r o l e t a r i a n s f o o l h a r d y enough to s n a t c h at such educat i o n a l o p p o r t u n i t y are i n e v i t a b l y i n v o l v e d i n l u d i c r o u s misadventures,  of c o u r s e ,  a c c o r d i n g to Peacock.  H i s a t t i t u d e seems  to be t h a t e d u c a t i o n , l i k e wine, r e q u i r e s a s t r o n g head, i f d i s a s t e r i s to be avoided.  I n G r y l l Grange the s a t i r e i s  d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t c o m p e t i t i v e examination. drama, "Aristophanes  An i n c i d e n t i n the  i n London", w h i c h i s one of the h i g h l i g h t s  of the book, shows such p o t e n t f i g h t e r s as R i c h a r d Goeur de L i o n and H a n n i b a l  - as w e l l as s e v e r a l o t h e r s - examined and  r e j e c t e d as s o l d i e r s by an examining b o a r d of nincompoops f o c u s s i n g a l l t h e i r a t t e n t i o n on t r i v i a l i t i e s .  The  scene ends  i n pandemonium when R i c h a r d w r a t h f u l l y f l o u r i s h e s h i s b a t t l e axe and the examiners f l y f o r t h e i r l i v e s .  Though Peacock  c o n s i d e r s c o m p e t i t i v e e x a m i n a t i o n o n l y f r o m the p o i n t of view of the i n t e l l e c t u a l , h i s fundamental c r i t i c i s m - t h a t such e x a m i n a t i o n i s a t e s t of memory r a t h e r t h a n i n t e l l i g e n c e remains u n r e f u t e d  today.  As sometimes happens w i t h s c h o l a r s , Peacock was a g a i n g u i l t y of g u a r d i n g tives.  too j e a l o u s l y the s c h o l a r ' s  now  and  preroga-  He d i d not b e l i e v e i n h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n f o r the lower  c l a s s e s , b u t he f e l t t h a t those who  were educated s h o u l d  educated p r o p e r l y - t h a t i s , t h a t they s h o u l d be grounded i n the c l a s s i c s , a t l e a s t .  Those who,  be  thoroughly h a v i n g had  a  1  29 good e d u c a t i o n , f a i l to l i r e up to i t , are o n l y d e s p i c a b l e : those who  p r e t e n d to e d u c a t i o n w i t h o u t a thorough knowledge of  the c l a s s i c s are i n t e r l o p e r s who  s h o u l d be i g n o r e d .  l a t t e r c a t e g o r y , i t would seem, Peacock put K e a t s .  I n the I t probably  seemed presumptuous to Peacock t h a t K e a t s , w i t h h i s ignorance of Greek and p r i v a t e - s c h o o l background  of L a t i n , s h o u l d make  use of c l a s s i c a l themes and scenery f o r h i s p o e t r y .  At any  r a t e , he denounced Keats because he " c o u l d prove by a hundred q u o t a t i o n s that- the s l e e p of Endymion was  e t e r n a l , v/hereas i n  the modern poem t h e Latmian shepherd i s f o r ever c a p e r i n g up and down t h e e a r t h and ocean l i k e the German c h a s e r of shadows."  Even a f t e r he met Keats he remained unimpressed, f o r  thus he wrote t o S h e l l e y ; " I f I s h o u l d l i v e to the age of Methusalem, and have u n i n t e r r u p t e d l i t e r a r y l e i s u r e , I s h o u l d not f i n d time to r e a d K e a t s  1  Hyperion."  Peacock c o u l d never a p p r e c i a t e .  Tennyson, l i k e K e a t s ,  H i s most famous a t t a c k occurs  i n G r y l l Grange, where p a r t of Tennyson's d e s c r i p t i o n of C l e o 9 p a t r a , i n 'The Dream of P a i r Women', i s h e l d up to s c o r n .  The  s t r i c t u r e s of Dr. Opimian seem h y p e r c r i t i c a l and p e d a n t i c , b u t p r o b a b l y express Peacock's  own o p i n i o n , as p a r a l l e l remarks on  the appearance of C l e o p a t r a occur i n t h e E p i c u r e a n r e v i e w . T h i s would suggest t h a t Peacock thought Tennyson, i n t h i s case at l e a s t , too ready to s a c r i f i c e t r u t h to p o e t i c And t h a t the t r e s p a s s had been committed made i t doubly h e i n o u s .  suitability.  i n the c l a s s i c  A somewhat s i m i l a r c r i t i c a l  field  attitude  may have been b e h i n d the u n f l a t t e r i n g d e s c r i p t i o n of Landor a l r e a d y quoted.  The s c h o l a r s h i p of B y r o n i s a l s o q u e s t i o n e d i n  30 the  r e v i e w of Moore's L i f e .  Moore had commented on the g r e a t  amount of r e a d i n g accomplished by Byron by the autumn of 1807. Peacock t h i n k s i t - m u s t have been mere skimming, to judge by 10 v a r i o u s examples of Byron's poor Greek s c h o l a r s h i p . Peacock never elsewhere reached the peak of s c h o l a s t i c  But insult  t h a t he a t t a i n e d i n h i s r e v i e w s of Moore's work i n the pages of der,  the Westminster, where Moore i s exposed as a l i t e r a r y pana s o c i a l sycophant, and the merest p r e t e n d e r to s c h o l a r -  s h i p . • Peacock never l i k e d Moore or h i s work.  His f i r s t  c h a l l e n g e appears i n the second p a r t of the Essay on P a s h i o n a b l e L i t e r a t u r e , w h i c h , though f r a g m e n t a r y , c o n s i s t s of a l o n g 1  defence of ' O h r i s t a b e l ' and 'Kubla Khan a g a i n s t Moore's r e v i e w 11 i n the E d i n b u r g h . U n f a v o u r a b l e comment appears b o t h i n The 12 13 Pour Ages of P o e t r y and i n G r y l l Grange, w h i l e i n the Paper Money L y r i c s Moore i s p a r o d i e d i n a b a l l a d of Venus and Cupid ' 14 ' headed w i t h a q u o t a t i o n f r o m Anacreon. But a l l t h i s i s as n o t h i n g to the a t t a c k Peacock launched when he r e v i e w e d The E p i c u r e a n i n the Westminster Review of October, 1827.  He opens  by presuming t h a t t h e book w i l l be p o p u l a r w i t h the l a d i e s because of i t s l o v e , m y s t e r y , p i e t y , and s h a l l o w p h i l o s o p h y . Then he proceeds t o o u t l i n e the s t o r y , q u o t i n g l a v i s h l y and p o i n t i n g out i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s , i m p o s s i b i l i t i e s , and r i d i c u l o u s d e s c r i p t i o n s - not to mention some of Moore's l e s s happy »un15 ' ' - '" A t t i c c o n c e i t s ' - as he goes a l o n g . Peacock a l s o i n d i c a t e s some of Moore's source m a t e r i a l , w h i c h i n c l u d e d T e r r a s s o n ' s Romance of 'Sethos' and from w h i c h , a p p a r e n t l y , Moore borrowed l i b e r a l l y and " t u r n e d the absurd i n t o the monstrous, and the  31 improbable  i n t o the i m p o s s i b l e . "  Towards the end. Peacock  accuses Moore of w r i t i n g merely to p l e a s e h i s r e a d e r s .  The  book "commits no s i n on the score of knowledge, w h i c h the audi e n c e i t i s made f o r i s l i k e l y to detect? i t commits no materi a l o f f e n c e , except a g a i n s t what was  thought good t a s t e i n  Athens, and a g a i n s t the d o c t r i n e s and memories of a l l t h a t i s most i l l u s t r i o u s i n the Pagan w o r l d ! and, i f t h a t be an e r r o r , i t i s a p i o u s one, for i t . "  and the author i s to be the b e t t e r l o v e d  Peacock goes on to scourge Moore's s c h o l a r s h i p ,  s a y i n g t h a t the notes are s c r a p s of authors r a k e d t o g e t h e r  by  d i p p i n g i n t o a wide range of books, and meant o n l y f o r d i s p l a y purposes', t h a t h i s Greek i s thoroughly bad, but "the s o r t of 18 •'• t h i n g t h a t passes w i t h the m u l t i t u d e f o r s c h o l a r s h i p . " cock's c h i e f d i s g u s t , however, was Epicureanism  i n the book.  Pea-  a t the m i s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s of  Moore had not t r o u b l e d to possess  h i m s e l f of even the most elementary  f a c t s about the  Epicurean  s e c t and had p i c t u r e d i t a c c o r d i n g to the v u l g a r t r a d i t i o n as s e e k i n g o n l y immediate p l e a s u r e .  Peacock had a p a r t i c u l a r  fondness f o r the E p i c u r e a n p h i l o s o p h y and goes to some l e n g t h to e p i t o m i s e i t and to def end i t a g a i n s t Moore's i g n o r a n t description.  He quotes a number of c l a s s i c a l a.uthors i n order  to e l u c i d a t e the fundamental g r a v i t y and temperance of the movement.  He concludes  t h a t Moore has "drawn a p o r t r a i t of  every t h i n g t h a t an eminent E p i c u r e a n was to us as a, f a i r specimen of what he was.  not, and p r e s e n t s i t  Hamlet's u n c l e might ' 19 as f a i r l y have sa,t f o r the p o r t r a i t of Hamlet's f a t h e r . " P a r a l l e l to h i s demand f o r s c h o l a s t i c i n t e g r i t y i s  32 Peacock's demand f o r p o l i t i c a l i n t e g r i t y among M s a r i e s , and h i s b i t t e r d e n u n c i a t i o n s to have, i t not.  Although  contempor-  of those v/ho had, or seemed  such statesmen as Burke, Canning,  and Brougham are p i l l o r i e d i n Peacock's pages, i t i s w i t h the l i t e r a r y men  t h a t we  are here concerned, and those whom Peacock  c h i e f l y a t t a c k e d because of t h e i r p o l i t i c s were the members of the Lake School and the r e v i e w e r s - e s p e c i a l l y those to the Q u a r t e r l y .  attached  I t must not be f o r g o t t e n t h a t Peacock  was  not alone i n h i s o p i n i o n of the Lakers - h i s views were shared by B y r o n , S h e l l e y , and, indeed, a l l the younger g e n e r a t i o n of romantic  poets and w r i t e r s .  To those who  had not l i v e d  through,  or had p e r s o n a l c o n t a c t w i t h , the P r e n c h R e v o l u t i o n , the beh a v i o r of Wordsworth, C o l e r i d g e , and Southey seemed the r a n k e s t apostasy, f u l l y d e s e r v i n g a l l the contumely i t r e c e i v e d .  In  Nightmare Abbey and C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , a c c o r d i n g l y , the o n l y r e f e r e n c e to Wordsworth and Southey d e a l s w i t h t h e i r apparent s t a t u s as Tory placemen.  C o l e r i d g e i s d e a l t w i t h r a t h e r more  l e n i e n t l y , the i m p l i c a t i o n b e i n g t h a t h i s bad name i s due l e s s to h i s own misdeeds than to h i s a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h the o t h e r I n Mel i no our t , however, he s u s t a i n s h i s f a i r share i n the  two. all-  out a t t a c k on the p o l i t i c s of the Lake School and the A n t i Jacobins.  But t h i s w i l l be d e a l t w i t h i n more d e t a i l l a t e r .  The same i n s i s t e n c e on i n t e g r i t y and h a t r e d of  time-  s e r v i n g determines Peacock's a t t i t u d e towards contemporary reviewers.  Of the Lake Poets he c o u l d , i n some r e s p e c t s a t  l e a s t , approve; f o r the r e v i e w e r s he never had a good word. Once a g a i n h i s fundamental c r i t i c i s m - and he r e f e r r e d to i t  33 a g a i n and a g a i n - concerned t h e i r mercenary n a t u r e .  As t h i s ,  too, w i l l be e l a b o r a t e d l a t e r , I w i l l c i t e o n l y a t y p i c a l ext r a c t f r o m t h e Essay on F a s h i o n a b l e L i t e r a t u r e .  The Q u a r t e r l y  and The C o u r i e r newspaper a r e c i t e d as "the hardy v e t e r a n s of c o r r u p t i o n " ; t h e c o n t r i b u t o r s of t h e Q u a r t e r l y a r e " a l l , more, or l e s s , k i n d ' s l a v e s of t h e Government, and, f o r the most p a r t , gentlemen p e n s i o n e r s  c l u s t e r i n g round a common c e n t r e i n the  t e r r i b l e shape of t h e i r paymaster, Mr. G i f f o r d " j and t o sum up, " t h i s - p u b l i c a t i o n c o n t a i n s more t a l e n t and l e s s p r i n c i p l e than i t would be easy t o b e l i e v e c o e x i s t e n t . "  From a l l t h i s i t i s  easy t o see t h a t i n any c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f Peacock as a c r i t i c due allowance must be made f o r t h e p r e j u d i c e of a 'self-made' man and o f a man s a t i s f i e d w i t h n o t h i n g l e s s t h a n h i s own h i g h standards  of s o c i a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l  integrity.  To some e x t e n t o f f s e t t i n g t h e element of t h e s t r a i g h t l a c e d i n t e l l e c t u a l i n the P e a c o c k i a n the a t t i t u d e s w h i c h Peacock shared, e x t e n t , w i t h h i s romantic  c r i t i c a l background a r e to a greater or l e s s e r  contemporaries - h i s a t t i t u d e s , t h a t  i s , t o t h e p a s t , t o n a t u r e , and t o t h e problems of s o c i e t y . Peacock had a p r o f o u n d r e v e r e n c e  f o r the past - f o r  A n c i e n t Greece a t any r a t e - b u t a r e v e r e n c e w h i c h d i m i n i s h e d r a p i d l y as h i s t o r y g r a d u a l l y merged i n t o modern times.  Any-  t h i n g connected w i t h Greece was almost s a c r e d i n h i s eyes. Pie i s p e r p e t u a l l y h a r k i n g back t o Greece and t h i n g s Greek  through-  out h i s w r i t i n g s , e s p e c i a l l y i n G r y l l Grange, where Dr. Opimian had l i t t l e use f o r an i d e a l e s s than two thousand y e a r s o l d .  34 But most of a l l , perhaps, i n the T h e s s a l i a n f a n t a s y , Ehododaphne, and i n the fragmentary G a l i d o r e ? Peacock d i s p l a y s h i s affection  f o r A n c i e n t Greece.  Long, e n t h u s i a s t i c y e a r s of  study had enabled him to know the highways and byways of Greek history,  l i t e r a t u r e , r e l i g i o n , and a r t as he knew those more  m a t e r i a l l a n e s of h i s Ohertsey boyhood.  A c c o r d i n g l y , those  p o r t i o n s of Rhododaphne w h i c h are not devoted to the n a r r a t i v e form a s p o r a d i c lament f o r the p a s s i n g of the s p i r i t of A n c i e n t Greece, f o r man has been d e p r i v e d of the i n s p i r a t i o n solation  and con-  a r i s i n g from s p i r i t u a l i n t e r c o u r s e w i t h the g e n i i of  nature?  -  "Great Pan i s dead? The l i f e , the i n t e l l e c t u a l s o u l Of v a l e , and g r o v e , and stream, has f l e d For ever w i t h t h e c r e e d sublime That nursed the Muse of e a r l i e r t i m e . " 21 Q a l i d o r e seems to have been Peacock's s o l e attempt to w r i t e a P e a c o c k i a n U t o p i a , i n w h i c h he hoped to merge a l l t h a t he most admired i n m e d i e v a l and Greek romance i n a s p i r i t e d a t t a c k on modern t i m e s , but the p r o j e c t p r o b a b l y p r o v e d too much f o r h i s c o n s t r u c t i v e powers - a t l e a s t , no o t h e r adequate r e a s o n i s known f o r the abandonment of the n o v e l .  However, one of the  fragments d e a l s w i t h a meeting between the m y t h o l o g i c a l heroes of B r i t a i n and Greece. we are n o t t o l d - a r r i v e  K i n g A r t h u r and h i s c o u r t - how or why a t the i s l a n d w h i c h has been chosen  as a temporary r e t r e a t by the denizens of Olympus, u n t i l mank i n d s h a l l r e g a i n i t s senses and welcome them back to Greece. Bacchus, who meets t h e s t r a n g e r s on the s h o r e , e x p l a i n s the former r e l a t i o n s  between t h e gods and  mankind:  35 "Though we had not much need of mankind} we had a g r e a t a f f e c t i o n f o r them, and l i v e d among them oh good terms and i n an i n t e r c h a n g e of k i n d o f f i c e s . They r e g a l e d us with' " the odours of s a c r i f i c e , " b u i l t us m a g n i f i c e n t temples, and e s p e c i a l l y showed t h e i r p i e t y by s i n g i n g and dancing, and b e i n g always s o c i a l and c h e e r f u l , and f u l l of p l e a s u r e and l i f e , which i s t h e most g r a t i f y i n g appearance t h a t man can p r e s e n t to t h e gods." 22 But d e t e r i o r a t i o n s e t i n among mankind, and t h e s a c r i f i c e s were stopped, the images broken, the temples s p o l i a t e d - the gods were g i v e n " f r i g h t f u l and cacophonous names - Beelzebub and Amaimon and A s t a r o t h " - b u t , w o r s t of a l l , i n s t e a d of dancing and r e j o i c i n g , men were " e t e r n a l l y  s i g h i n g and groan-  i n g , and b e a t i n g t h e i r b r e a s t s , and dropping t h e i r lower  jaws,  and t u r n i n g up t h e w h i t e s of t h e i r eyes, and c u r s i n g each o t h e r and a l l mankind, and c h a u n t i n g such d i s m a l staves t h a t ' 23 ' we shut our eyes and ears ..." A r t h u r i a n s f a i r warning  And so Bacchus g i v e s the  t h a t , u n l e s s they a r e w i l l i n g to behave  l i k e normal, happy human b e i n g s , they can e i t h e r l e a v e peacea b l y o r be f o r c e d t o l e a v e .  We a r e n o t t o l d what t h e i r  d e c i s i o n i s , b u t we c a n q u i t e e a s i l y guess! Peacock's h a n d l i n g of medieval matter i s more e x t e n s i v e and a l s o more s t i m u l a t i n g than h i s treatment of A n c i e n t Greece - more s t i m u l a t i n g because he i s n o t bound by the same t i e s of idolatry.  H i s a t t i t u d e to m e d i e v a l times can perhaps b e s t be  d e s c r i b e d as one of amused a f f e c t i o n .  He d e a l s w i t h the middle  ages i n two wayst i n t h e arguments brought f o r w a r d by Derrydown and C h a i n m a i l and t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e opponents, and i n the more u s u a l method of s a t i r i c or approving p e r s o n a l comment i n t h e romances, i n The Pour Ages, and v e r y o c c a s i o n a l l y i n the novels of t a l k .  I n t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n o f Derrydown Peacock d e a l s i n  36 "brief w i t h the l i t e r a r y aspects of the m i d d l e ages; i n t h a t of Chainmail he d e a l s i n much g r e a t e r d e t a i l w i t h s o c i e t y i n medie v a l times.  The f a c t t h a t i n h i s novels of t a l k Peacock i s  p r i m a r i l y concerned w i t h producing  amusing d i s c u s s i o n r a t h e r  than i n t e l l i g e n t i d e a s , i n d i c a t e s t h a t we must "be wary of accepting Chainmail's  i d e a s as Peacock's own,  "but as  Chain-  m a i l ' s v a r i o u s opponents are t r e a t e d a good d e a l l e s s sympat h e t i c a l l y than he, i t i s a f a i r i n d i c a t i o n t h a t Peacock's sympathies l i e r a t h e r w i t h t h e p a s t than w i t h the p r e s e n t . elaborate Chainmail's  To  view of the m i d d l e ages would "be super-  f l u o u s - i n h i s eyes e v e r y t h i n g connected w i t h the t w e l f t h c e n t u r y i s admirable, degenerate.  We  e v e r y t h i n g connected w i t h l a t e r ages  can get much nearer to Peacock's own view of  the m i d d l e ages by s t u d y i n g Maid M a r i a n and The M i s f o r t u n e s Elphin.  They b o t h d e a l s a t i r i c a l l y w i t h p a s t and p r e s e n t ,  w h i l e Maid M a r i a n d e a l s w i t h f o l l y and roguery  of but  i n a s p i r i t of  b o i s t e r o u s merriment the s p i r i t of the l a t t e r i s i n f i n i t e l y d r i e r and more d e a d l y .  The s a t i r e i n Maid M a r i a n may  be  chief-  l y on the s u b j e c t of l e g i t i m a c y - showing the i n f e r i o r i t y of the k i n g and h i s c o u r t t o the s o c i e t y of outlaws l e d by R o b i n Hood - but Peacock has made the church the p r i n c i p a l b u t t of his Rabelaisian laughter.  The f i r s t mention of R u b y g i l l Abbey  s e t s the tone w h i c h Peacock m a i n t a i n s h i s d e a l i n g s w i t h the church.  throughout the book i n  T h i s suggestively-named abbey  stood near Sherwood P o r e s t " i n a spot w h i c h seemed adapted by nature to be the r e t r e a t of monastic m o r t i f i c a t i o n , b e i n g  on  the banks of a f i n e t r o u t - s t r e a m , and i n the m i d s t of woodland  37 24 c o v e r t s , abounding w i t h e x c e l l e n t game." the  Prom t h i s p o i n t on,  c h u r c h i s r e p r e s e n t e d as g l u t t o n o u s , money-grabbing  cowardly.  and  As a f o i l t o the r e g u l a r type of churchman towers  F r i a r M i c h a e l - s u r e l y a p r i n c e among G-oliardic p r i e s t s - who, f o n d as he i s of good l i v i n g , i s no m i s e r and even l e s s a coward,  and who,  though he does l i t t l e honour to h i s c l o t h , a t  l e a s t has the m e r i t (no s m a l l m e r i t i n Peacock's eyes) to be honest - not to say merry - about h i s f r a i l t i e s .  Church and  state," t h e n , a r e the main o b j e c t s of Peacock's mockery i n h i s f i r s t romance.  Modern t i m e s , on the whole, escape l i g h t l y ,  w i t h a g l a n c e each at - paper money, p o l i t i c a l economy, and the picturesque.  The t r e a t m e n t of such t y p i c a l m e d i e v a l a c t i v i t i e s  as may-day c e l e b r a t i o n s and Crusades i s more i n t e r e s t i n g . first, the  The  s i n c e i t b e l o n g e d t o the p e o p l e , he w h o l l y approved o f t  second, s i n c e i t was a p u r s u i t i n s t i g a t e d by the c o u r t , i s  d i s p l a y e d as m e d i e v a l gangsterdom.  I n f a c t , the t o t a l impres-  s i o n t h a t the r e a d e r i s l e f t wi th i s t h a t the r u l i n g c l a s s e s were mere g a n g s t e r s , t h e p e a s a n t r y a l l t h a t was r o m a n t i c and admirable.  I n The Pour Ages m e d i e v a l / l i t e r a t u r e i s d e a l t w i t h ,  as we would e x p e c t , i r o n i c a l l y . ent  Peacock enumerates the d i f f e r -  a s p e c t s of m e d i e v a l l i f e and says t h a t i n c o n j u n c t i o n they  f ormed a s t a t e of s o c i e t y " i n w h i c h t h e t h r e e s t a p l e i n g r e d i e n t s of l o v e r , p r i z e - f i g h t e r , and f a n a t i c , t h a t composed the b a s i s of the c h a r a c t e r of every t r u e man, were mixed up and d i v e r s i f i e d , i n d i f f e r e n t i n d i v i d u a l s and c l a s s e s , w i t h so many d i s t i n c t i v e e x c e l l e n c i e s , and under such an i n f i n i t e motley v a r i e t y of costume, as gave t h e range of a most e x t e n s i v e and  38 p i c t u r e s q u e f i e l d t o t h e two g r e a t c o n s t i t u e n t s of p o e t r y , and b a t t l e . "  love  I n E l p h i n t h e common people a r e l e f t out of t h e  p i c t u r e , and the treatment, i r o n i c throughout.  except f o r t h e l o v e scenes, i s  Sometimes t h e m e d i e v a l scene i t s e l f i s  mocked a t , b u t more o f t e n some l a t e r p e r i o d f r o m the s t a n d p o i n t of t h e m i d d l e ages.  I n g e n e r a l , a much l a r g e r number of abuses  i s p i l l o r i e d than i n Maid M a r i a n . s o c i e t y a r e a t t a c k e d as b e f o r e .  Gangster r o y a l t y and feudal!.  The church,  too, comes i n f o r  i t s share of l a u g h t e r , though n o t n e a r l y as much as i n Maid Marian.  C h r i s t i a n i t y i t s e l f i s n o t l e f t unscathed when i t s  m i l i t a n t v a r i e t y i s compared w i t h D r u i d s a c r i f i c e .  Modern  s c i e n c e , l a w , and e d u c a t i o n a r e a l l s a t i r i s e d under cover of a d i s c u s s i o n of t h e i r m e d i e v a l e q u i v a l e n t s , and of course t h e most famous s a t i r e i n t h e book i s a g a i n s t d i e - h a r d t o r y i s m i n the p e r s o n of P r i n c e S e i t h e n y n .  So g e n e r a l i s t h e s a t i r e t h a t  i t i s n o t always p o s s i b l e t o know where Peacock s t a n d s , b u t a passage towards t h e end of t h e book seems s i g n i f i c a n t .  At the  c l o s e of t h e b a r d i c f e s t i v a l , Peacock has t h i s t o say: "This p e n n i l l i o n - s i n g i n g l o n g s u r v i v e d among t h e Welsh p e a s a n t r y almost every other v e s t i g e o f b a r d i c customs, and may s t i l l be heard among them on the few o c c a s i o n s on w h i c h , r a c k - r e n t i n g , t a x - c o l l e c t i n g , common-enclosing,"methodistp r e a c h i n g , and s i m i l a r developments of t h e l i g h t o f t h e age, have l e f t them e i t h e r t h e means o r i n c l i n a t i o n of making m e r r y . " 2 7 B e s i d e s h i s i n t e r e s t i n m e d i e v a l times i n g e n e r a l , Peacock had a p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t i n Welsh a n t i q u i t i e s - and one t h a t c o u l d h a r d l y f a i l t o be enhanced and encouraged by h i s Welsh b r i d e .  A l r e a d y i n Headlong H a l l we f i n d Welsh legends  making t h e i r appearance, as i n t h e s t o r y o f the f i d d l e r who  39 disappeared  i n t o one o f t h e sea-shore caves and was never seen  a g a i n , though t h e s t r a i n s of h i s v i o l i n c o u l d sometimes "be ' ' 28 ' •••• ' ' heard underground, and i n t h e sexton's nervous g o s s i p about the r a i s i n g of the d e v i l .  I t has been suggested by H e r b e r t W r i g h t ,  moreover, i n h i s study o f Peacock's a s s o c i a t i o n s w i t h Wales, that the stanza, "0 r i c h a r e the f e a s t s i n t h e Englishman's h a l l , And t h e wine s p a r k l e s b r i g h t i n the g o b l e t s ' of Gauls But t h e i r m i n g l e d a t t r a c t i o n s I w e l l c o u l d w i t h s t a n d , Por the m i l k and t h e oatcake o f H e i r i o n ' s dear l a n d . "  30  i n t h e b a l l a d of the Welsh s o l d i e r ' s r e t u r n , sounds l i k e a f a i n t echo f r o m a poem by a seventeenth Llwyd.  c e n t u r y Welshman, Huw  That Peacock knew o f t h i s poet we know, f o r he makes  the s e x t o n t a l k of him. extensive modernization in Elphin.  This may be t h e f o r e r u n n e r of the of Welsh song i n w h i c h Peacock engages  E l p h i n marks t h e h i g h water mark o f Peacock's  i n t e r e s t i n t h i n g s Welsh.  I n i t he shows h i m s e l f t o have r e a d  e x t e n s i v e l y i n Welsh l i t e r a t u r e .  Much o f t h i s l i t e r a t u r e was  o b t a i n a b l e i n t r a n s l a t i o n b u t , a c c o r d i n g to W r i g h t , "a c a r e f u l study of t h e n o v e l demonstrates t h a t a t times he must have had 31 , -' ' r e c o u r s e to t h e o r i g i n a l s . " Whatever h i s sources f o r the t h r e e legends he has f u s e d t o make t h e p l o t o f E l p h i n , he has used h i s m a t e r i a l v e r y much t o s u i t h i m s e l f , w i t h a freedom v e r y s i m i l a r to t h a t w h i c h he condemns i n K e a t s  1  Greek borrow-  i n g s , though, a c c o r d i n g t o the R e c o l l e c t i o n s of Strachey, "he was proud of t h e f a c t t h a t Welsh a r c h a e o l o g i s t s t r e a t e d h i s ' ' 32 book as a s e r i o u s and v a l u a b l e a d d i t i o n t o Welsh h i s t o r y . " I n t r a n s f o r m i n g Welsh l e g e n d i n t o a s a t i r i c n o v e l Peacock takes good c a r e t o a v o i d t h e m i r a c u l o u s  or the supernatural.  The  40 mysterious warning of Gwenhidwy i s the o n l y  supernatural  element i n t h e book, and i t i s d e a l t w i t h w i t h a s m i l e .  Pea-  cock i n h i s most romantic moments never loosened h i s h o l d on common sense.  The numerous l y r i c s s c a t t e r e d through t h e book  are of e s p e c i a l i n t e r e s t , as many of them a r e a d a p t a t i o n s of o l d Welsh songs, h a n d l e d w i t h v a r y i n g degrees of freedom. According  t o a u t h o r i t i e s who have had access t o t h e o r i g i n a l s  (both i n Welsh and i n t h e t r a n s l a t i o n s t h a t Peacock p r o b a b l y used).the m e r i t s o f Peacock's v e r s e s v a r y i n i n v e r s e r a t i o to the c l o s e n e s s of t h e t r a n s l a t i o n s .  Apparently  a h i n t o r two  f r o m t h e o b s c u r e s t of. sources was s u f f i c i e n t t o suggest to Peacock a l y r i c imbued b o t h w i t h t h e Welsh s p i r i t and w i t h h i s own.  'The War Song of Dinas Vawr', p r o b a b l y t h e b e s t known of  a l l Peacock's l y r i c s , i s , however, e n t i r e l y h i s own work. S t i l l , i t c a t c h e s t h e s p i r i t of ingenuous b a r b a r i s m  so com-  p l e t e l y t h a t , a c c o r d i n g to v a n D o r e n , " i n B e n t l e y ' s M i s c e l l a n y for  June 1837, a v a r i a n t v e r s i o n o f i t was g r a v e l y c i t e d as a  genuine war-song o f one of t h e N o r t h American t r i b e s ..." We c a n not c l o s e any c o n s i d e r a t i o n of Peacock as a n t i quarian without mentioning h i s connection, o r , r a t h e r , l a c k of connection, w i t h Scott.  I t so happens t h a t some of t h e matter  i n Maid M a r i a n s u p e r f i c i a l l y p a r a l l e l s i n c i d e n t s i n Ivanhoe. Evidence i n l e t t e r s t o S h e l l e y and i n Peacock's d i a r y shows t h a t t h e g r e a t e r p a r t o f Maid M a r i a n was w r i t t e n i n 1818, though t h e book was n o t f i n i s h e d and p u b l i s h e d t i l l 1822. Since Ivanhoe, d e a l i n g w i t h t h e same p e r i o d , had appeared i n the i n t e r i m , Peacock added a p r e f a t o r y note t o h i s book  41 e x p l a i n i n g t h a t a l l hut the t h r e e f i n a l chapters had "been w r i t t e n i n the autumn of 1818. t h i n k t h a t he was  He d i d not want the p u b l i c to  e i t h e r copying or parodying  S i r Walter Scott.  D e s p i t e t h i s d i s c l a i m e r , the s i m i l a r i t i e s between the two books are i n t e r e s t i n g .  Most of the s i m i l a r i t i e s , however, are due to  common sources'•- R o b i n Hood's G a r l a n d , R i t s o n ' s R o b i n Hood, and Munday and C h e t t l e ' s two p l a y s , The D o w n f a l l and The Death, of Robert, E a r l of Huntingdon (which l a s t Peacock may have known •'" • • '36 e i t h e r i n the o r i g i n a l or i n R i t s o n ' s a b s t r a c t s ) . Van Doren has summed up the d i f f e r e n c e between the two s t u d i e s of medie v a l England once f o r - a l l : "The magnitude of Ivanhoe, the g r e a t n e s s of i t s i s s u e s , the i n t e n s i t y of i t s c o n f l i c t s , the near approach to tragedy, the wide f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h medieval manners, have no c o u n t e r p a r t i n the i d y l l of Sherwood P o r e s t . Maid Marian, a mere b u r s t of j o v i a l l a u g h t e r , sweetened w i t h s i n g i n g , and s p i c e d w i t h w i t , took i t s o r i g i n i n the mood of a man l a u g h i n g a t the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y from the s t a n d p o i n t of the t w e l f t h . " 37 So much f o r Peacock's r e l a t i o n s wi t h "the p a s t .  We must  now  c o n s i d e r h i s p o i n t s of c o n t a c t w i t h h i s contemporaries  his  a t t i t u d e to n a t u r e .  Prom h i s boyhood Peacock was  to c o u n t r y l i f e and n a t u r a l scenery - a t a s t e w h i c h i n o l d age,  attached developed,  i n t o a v i g o r o u s •prejudice a g a i n s t the n o i s e ''38:'  smoke of c i t i e s .  in  and  H i s f a v o u r i t e y o u t h f u l p u r s u i t s were s o l i t a r y  and h i s f a v o u r i t e r e c r e a t i o n h i s wanderings through the more s c e n i c p a r t s of S c o t l a n d , England, and Wales. s e l f c o u l d not b o a s t a more romantic youth.  Wordsworth himHe was most en-  t h u s i a s t i c a,bout w a l k i n g , b o a t i n g , and e x p l o r i n g . Hooker f r o m S c o t l a n d i n 1806, glimpse of h i s romantic  W r i t i n g to  Peacock a f f o r d s us our  tendencies.  first  I n t h i s l e t t e r we have  42 the engaging s p e c t a c l e of the man  who  was  most a s t r i n g e n t c r i t i c s of romanticism, year was  the i m p l a c a b l e  to become one of the  and who  f o r many a  enemy of the Scot and t h i n g s S c o t t i s h ,  waxing e n t h u s i a s t i c over the b e a u t i e s of the B o r d e r s ,  and  doing them no more than j u s t i c e s "Is not the Esk a most d e l i g h t f u l stream? D i d you see t h a t enchanting Spot where the N o r t h and South Esk u n i t e ? Did" you t h i n k of the l i n e s of S i r W a l t e r S c o t t , 'His wandering f e e t ... And c l a s s i c Hawthorhden?' D i d you v i s i t the' banks of the sweet s i l v e r T e v i o t , and that" most l o v e l y of r i v e r s , the i n d e s c r i b a b l y f a s c i n a t i n g Tweed? D i d you s i t by m o o n l i g h t i n the r u i n s of Melrose? D i d you s t a n d at ' t w i l i g h t i n t h a t romantic wood w h i c h overhangs the T e v i o t on the s i g h t of Roxburgh C a s t l e ? " 39 Peacock had a d m i r a t i o n , too, f o r the Lake D i s t r i c t .  Chief  t r i b u t e i s p a i d i n M e l i n c o u r t , w h i c h has the mountains of Westmoreland f o r a s e t t i n g , and w h i c h c o n t a i n s , among other t h i n g s , a p r o t e s t a g a i n s t the mounting t o u r i s t - t r a d e i n t h a t r e g i o n w i t h i t s r e s u l t t h a t "innocence, and h e a l t h , and s i m p l i c i t y of l i f e and manners, are b a n i s h e d from t h e i r l a s t r e t i r e m e n t ,  and  nowhere more l a m e n t a b l y so than i n the romantic scenery of  the  n o r t h e r n l a k e s , where every wonder of n a t u r e i s made an  article  of t r a d e , where the c a t a r a c t s are l o c k e d up, and the echoes are s o l d ..."  But more than any other Peacock admired the  scenery of Wales and d e s c r i b e d i t a g a i n and a g a i n i n h i s w r i t ings.  The b e s t p a r t of The P h i l o s o p h y  d e s c r i p t i o n of the Welsh scene.  of M e l a n c h o l y i s the  Wales gave him the background  f o r Headlong H a l l and Wales i s the scene of one of the C a l i d o r e fragments.  The M i s f o r t u n e s  of E l p h i n i s w h o l l y Welsh except  f o r i t s i m p l i e d c r i t i c i s m of the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y .  Letters  w r i t t e n d u r i n g h i s Welsh v i s i t s c o n t a i n the embryos of many of  43 the f i n e s t d e s c r i p t i v e passages i n h i s f i c t i o n .  Tremadoc i s  one of the f i r s t names to occur i n these l e t t e r s , and the scene w h i c h so enchants the t h r e e p h i l o s o p h e r s i n Headlong H a l l  was  one w h i c h Peacock was h i m s e l f p r i v i l e g e d to see o n l y a s h o r t " '41 •"• time "before the "building of the embankment was i t i s not unreasonable  completed.  And  to suppose t h a t the Tremadoc embankment  aroused h i s i n t e r e s t i n embankments i n g e n e r a l and l e d him to make a study of the i n u n d a t i o n of Gwaelod, w h i c h he has woven so memorably i n t o the opening  c h a p t e r s of E l p h i n .  E l p h i n , of c o u r s e , the adventures  Also i n  of T a l i e s i n a f f o r d c o n s i d e r -  a b l e o p p o r t u n i t y f o r the e n t h u s i a s t i c d e s c r i p t i o n of the w i l d and romantic scenery.  The Welsh scenes i n C r o t c h e t C a s t l e are  p r o b a b l y drawn almost i n t h e i r e n t i r e t y f r o m Peacock's  own  experience.  Jane  Gryffydh.  The scene i s M e r i o n e t h s h i r e , where he met He was  so enchanted by Maentwrog t h a t he d e c i d e d to  s t a y f o r a time and w r o t e to London f o r h i s books and  belong-  ings to be sent on t o him, j u s t as i n the book C h a i n m a i l comm i s s i o n s F i t z c h r o m e to b r i n g books f r o m London,  And w h i l e  a w a i t i n g the books, Peacock, l i k e C h a i n m a i l , spent h i s time i n d e t a i l e d e x p l o r a t i o n of the s u r r o u n d i n g c o u n t r y s i d e .  ( i tis  not l i k e l y t h a t Peacock's f i r s t r e n c o n t r e w i t h Jane o c c u r r e d i n q u i t e such romantic c i r c u m s t a n c e s as t h a t of C h a i n m a i l w i t h Susannah Touchandgo, but t h e r e i s some ground f o r b e l i e f t h a t Susannah may  be a p a r t i a l p o r t r a i t of Jane.)  I t h i n k i t may  s a f e l y be s a i d t h a t i f Peacock ever f e l t s i n c e r e p a s s i o n f o r anything or anybody i t was f o r the scenery and, to a l e s s e r e x t e n t , the p e o p l e of ITorth Wales.  That p a s s i o n i s e p i t o m i s e d  44 i n a s i n g l e sentences "His {"chainmail' s ] r a m b l i n g s brought him at  l e n g t h i n t o the i n t e r i o r of M e r i o n e t h s h i r e , the l a n d of a l l '42  t h a t i s b e a u t i f u l i n n a t u r e , and a l l t h a t i s l o v e l y i n woman." The l e s s w i l d a s p e c t s of n a t u r e a l s o had t h e i r  attrac-  t i o n s f o r Peacoclc, w i t n e s s the whole o p e r a t i c backdrop of Maid Marian," t h a t d e l i g h t f u l f o r e s t i d y l l , and the a p p r e c i a t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n of the s u r r o u n d i n g s of C r o t c h e t C a s t l e - a desc r i p t i o n so t y p i c a l of Peacock t h a t I quote i n f u l l s "In one of those b e a u t i f u l v a l l i e s , through w h i c h the Thames (not y e t p o l l u t e d by the t i d e , the s c o u r i n g of c i t i e s , or even t h e minor d e f i l e m e n t of the sandy streams of S u r r e y , ) r o l l s a c l e a r f l o o d through f l o w e r y meadows, under the shade of o l d beech woods, and the smooth mossy greensward of the c h a l k h i l l s (which pour i n t o i t t h e i r t r i b u t a r y r i v u l e t s , as pure and p e l l u c i d as the f o u n t a i n of Bandusium, or the w e l l s of Scamander, by which" the w i v e s and daughters of the T r o j a n s washed t h e i r s p l e n d i d garments i n the days of peace, b e f o r e the coming of the G r e e k s ) j i n one of those b e a u t i f u l v a l l i e s , on a b o l d r o u n d - s u r f a c e d lawn, s p o t t e d w i t h j u n i p e r , t h a t opened i t s e l f i n the bosom of an o l d wood, w h i c h r o s e w i t h a s t e e p , b u t not p r e c i p i t o u s a s c e n t , from the r i v e r to the summit of the h i l l , s t o o d the c a s t e l l a t e d v i l l a of a retired citizen." 43 llor can we f o r g e t the d e l i g h t f u l voyage up the Thames w h i c h i s described i n Crotchet Castle. too,  The p r o s e of Peacock's o l d age,  i s f u l l of q u i e t l o v e f o r the p l a c i d E n g l i s h c o u n t r y s i d e ,  i n G r y l l Grange, and most p a r t i c u l a r l y i n The L a s t Day of Y/indsor F o r e s t w h i c h , i n many ways, i s an o l d man's r e c a p i t u l a t i o n o f the s p i r i t of Maid M a r i a n - e s p e c i a l l y the c o n c l u d ing  pages, w h i c h r e c a l l a r e a l R o b i n Hood of Peacock's y o u t h ,  who h e l p e d h i m s e l f l i b e r a l l y to t h e r o y a l deer i n the f o r e s t under t h e c o v e r of a f a u l t y a c t of P a r l i a m e n t . expect, Peacock l o v e d gardens t o o .  As we might  He s t a t e s h i s p o s i t i o n w i t h  r a t h e r an a i r of f i n a l i t y i n Headlong H a l l , where he e n g i n e e r s  45 an a e s t h e t i c c l a s h "between the Humphrey Hep ton s c h o o l of thought on the s u b j e c t of landscape gardening Uvedale P r i c e .  and t h a t of S i r  P r i c e , whose o p i n i o n s are v o i c e d i n the book  by S i r P a t r i c k 0'Prism, o b v i o u s l y has Peacock's support i n h i s c o n t e n t i o n t h a t n a t u r a l scenery i s more p i c t u r e s q u e than the a r t i f i c i a l c r e a t i o n s of landscape gardeners.  Milestone, a  c a r i c a t u r e of Repton, opposes 0'Prism on t h i s p o i n t , Peacock o b v i o u s l y h a v i n g i n mind the good-natured c o n t r o v e r s y e a r r i e d on between Repton and P r i c e on t h a t s u b j e c t .  M i l e s t o n e , how-  ever, i s much l e s s s y m p a t h e t i c a l l y t r e a t e d than 0'Prism, and 1  h i s p l a n f o r L o r d L i t t l e b r a i h ' s park, w h i c h p a r a l l e l s R e p t o n s p u b l i s h e d p l a n f o r T a t t o n Park, i s u l t i m a t e l y rendered  thor-  oughly l u d i c r o u s i n the l i g h t of the ingenuous comments of Miss T e n o r i n a Chromatic and the a s i n i n e a d m i r a t i o n of S q u i r e Headlong.  Payne K n i g h t * s p a r t i n t h i s c o n t r o v e r s y c o n c e r n i n g  p i c t u r e s q u e i s a l s o a l l u d e d to i n f o o t n o t e s , i n such a way we h a r d l y know whether or not Peacock approves of him. would seem u n l i k e l y , i n the l i g h t of the acrimonious  the that  It  dispute  c a r r i e d on between him and P r i c e on the d i s t i n c t i o n between the P i c t u r e s q u e and the B e a u t i f u l .  But elsewhere - i n the Essay on  P a s h i o n a b l e L i t e r a t u r e - Peacock commends K n i g h t ' s book. The 45 * P r i n c i p l e of T a s t e , as a d m i r a b l e . But a c t u a l l y what Peacock i s doing i s l e a d i n g up to and f o c u s s i n g a t t e n t i o n on a p e c u l i a r l y f o o l i s h remark made i n the E d i n b u r g h Review when i t t r i e d to sum up and say the l a s t word on the P i c t u r e s q u e and B e a u t i f u l controversy.  T h i s i s Peacock's c l i m a x :  "'Allow me,' s a i d Mr. G a l l . ' I d i s t i n g u i s h the p i c t u r e s q u e and the b e a u t i f u l , and I add to them, i n the l a y i n g out of  46 "grounds? a t h i r d and d i s t i n c t c h a r a c t e r , which I c a l l unexp ec t ednes s .' 'Pray s i r , ' s a i d Mr. M i l e s t o n e , 'by what name do you d i s t i n g u i s h t h i s c h a r a c t e r , when a person walks round the grounds f o r the second time?'" 46 But though Peacock s t r i v e s f o r s u r f a c e w i t , h i s u n d e r l y i n g sympathy f o r the ' n a t u r a l ' garden i s made r e a s o n a b l y  clear.  S i r W a l t e r R a l e i g h , w i t h h i s u s u a l p e r s p i c a c i t y , has summed up once f o r a l l Peacock's a t t i t u d e to the c o u n t r y l i f e :  "Life i n  the woods - l i f e i n a c o t t a g e w i t h a garden - Peacock i s almost 47 p a s s i o n a t e about t h e s e . " I t must be noteworthy f r o m the f o r e g o i n g t h a t i t i s the p i c t o r i a l aspect of n a t u r e t h a t i s c h i e f l y s t r e s s e d by Peacock. H i s a t t i t u d e seems to be much c l o s e r to t h a t w h i c h i s u s u a l l y d e s i g n a t e d 'pre-romantic' than i t i s to r o m a n t i c i s m  proper,  where the emphasis i s l a i d more on man's p h y s i c a l and  spiritual  r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h n a t u r e , as i n the p o e t r y p r e - e m i n e n t l y of Wordsworth and C o l e r i d g e .  T h i s d i f f e r e n c e i n a t t i t u d e may  have  i t s b e a r i n g on the f a c t t h a t Peacock, whenever he mentions them, g i v e s much more u n q u a l i f i e d a p p r o v a l to poets than to t h e i r s u c c e s s o r s .  'pre-romantic'  In a,,literary discussion i n  G r y l l Grange, Burns i s h i g h l y commended f o r h i s t r u t h to n a t u r e , w h i l e i n The Pour Ages Peacock has t h i s to say* "Thomson and Cowper l o o k e d a t the t r e e s and h i l l s w h i c h so many i n g e n i o u s gentlemen had rhymed about so l o n g w i t h o u t l o o k i n g at  them a t a l l , and the e f f e c t of the o p e r a t i o n on p o e t r y ' 49  l i k e the d i s c o v e r y of a new w o r l d . "  T h i s a t t i t u d e may,  was  lastly,  e x p l a i n the f a c t t h a t Peacock, whatever he found to c r i t i c i s e i n Byron, never c r i t i c i s e d h i s h a n d l i n g of n a t u r e ; f o r Byron's  47 treatment of n a t u r e i s " b a s i c a l l y the same as Peacock's own, r a t h e r more dramatic and  if  exuberant.  And now we must c o n s i d e r Peacock's a t t i t u d e to s o c i a l problems, and a s c e r t a i n , i f p o s s i b l e , where he agrees w i t h ,  and  where he d i s a g r e e s w i t h , h i s l i t e r a r y contemporaries i n t h i s connection.  I t seems f a i r l y c l e a r t h a t S h e l l e y d i d a g r e a t  d e a l to shape and d i r e c t Peacock's p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l , "viewso That Peacock had u n t h i n k i n g l y accepted a p o s i t i o n of smug and complacent c o n s e r v a t i s m  b e f o r e he met  S h e l l e y i s i n d i e a t e d by  the f o l l o w i n g e x t r a c t f r o m a l e t t e r of S h e l l e y ' s w r i t t e n i n August 1812  to Thomas-Hookham.  Hookham had sent S h e l l e y  Peacock's P a l m y r a and Genius of the Thames and  Shelley  commented on them: "The poems abound w i t h a g e n i u s , an i n f o r m a t i o n , the power and extent of w h i c h I admire, i n p r o p o r t i o n as I lament the o b j e c t of t h e i r a p p l i c a t i o n . Mr. Peacock c o n c e i v e s t h a t commerce i s p r o s p e r i t y ; t h a t the g l o r y of the B r i t i s h F l a g , i s the happiness of the B r i t i s h p e o p l e ; t h a t George I I I , so f a r f r o m h a v i n g been a w a r r i o r and a Tyrant, has been a P a t r i o t . " 50 Then S h e l l e y and Peacock became a c q u a i n t e d , a b l y s e t to work to c o n v e r t c a l views.  and S h e l l e y presum-  Peacock to, more a c c e p t a b l e  politi-  The Ahrimanes fragment must have been w r i t t e n i n  the e a r l y s t a g e s of the f r i e n d s h i p , and i t speaks volumes. contagious enthusiasm of S h e l l e y i s u n m i s t a k a b l e i n the i n t e r e s t shown i n the ' g u i l t l e s s v i c t i m s ' of s o c i e t y .  The  intense Contrast  the tone of the f o l l o w i n g f o o t n o t e to Ahrimanes w i t h t h a t of the sentiments i n the e a r l i e r poems noted above by  Shelley:  " I t i s p o s s i b l e to s a c r i f i c e v i c t i m s - human v i c t i m s w i t h o u t c u t t i n g t h e i r t h r o a t s or shedding a drop of t h e i r blood;, and t h a t , too, under the name and w i t h the s p e c i o u s f o r m of j u s t i c e . I t i s p o s s i b l e to d i s p l a y the sword of  48 " s t r i f e and "be a v e r y e f f e c t i v e member of the church m i l i t a n t w i t h o u t the v i s i b l e employment of temporal" weapons. I f a man can be robbed of h i s l i b e r t y and h i s p r o p e r t y f o r the calm e x p o s i t i o n of h i s o p i n i o n s on s p e c u l a t i v e s u b j e c t s , i t i s of l i t t l e consequence whether the i n s t r u m e n t of o p p r e s s i o n be a Grand I n q u i s i t i o n or an Attorney General." 51 But Peacock c o u l d not l o n g remain on t h i s p i n n a c l e of s o c i a l enthusiasm.  Prom t h i s p o i n t h i s r a d i c a l i s m s l o w l y d i m i n i s h e d ,  and e v e n t u a l l y t u r n e d , i n h i s o l d age, i n t o c o n s e r v a t i s m , though a more reasoned c o n s e r v a t i s m than t h a t of h i s youth. Fundamentally  h i s r a d i c a l s a l l i e s were i n t e l l e c t u a l e x e r c i s e s  r a t h e r than i n d i c a t i o n s of genuine p h i l a n t h r o p y , and hence he had l e s s compunction about shedding h i s r a d i c a l arguments one by one than S h e l l e y might have had, had he grown o l d w i t h Peacock.  The s a t i r e of h i s mature work i s d i r e c t e d more  a g a i n s t the f o l l i e s of the upper and r u l i n g c l a s s e s than i n support of the u n d e r p r i v i 1 e g e d .  I t i s dangerous to t r y and  deduce Peacock's s o c i a l views from the n o v e l s , but some suggestions may  be made.  i n Headlong H a l l .  There i s l i t t l e s o c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e  The main arguments are n o t h i n g more than a,n  accumulation and o p p o s i t i o n of most of.- the c u r r e n t c l i c h e s of the p r e v i o u s l y p o p u l a r t h e o r i e s of p r i m i t i v i s m and of p r o g r e s s . I f a n y t h i n g , p r i m i t i v i s m i s p r e f e r r e d to a l l the modern manif e s t a t i o n s of m e c h a n i c a l p r o g r e s s .  M e l i n c o u r t c o n t a i n s more  r e a l d i s c u s s i o n of s o c i a l problems than a l l the r e s t of Peacock' s works put t o g e t h e r .  The nominal hero, F o r e s t e r , ex-  pounds many of the views h e l d by S h e l l e y , and Fax, i n whose company he i n d u l g e s i n most of h i s arguments c o n c e r n i n g s o c i e t y and who  i s s u p e r f i c i a l l y to be i d e n t i f i e d w i t h Mai thus though  49 many of h i s views not d i r e c t l y concerned w i t h ' p o p u l a t i o n  1  are  s u f f i c i e n t l y r a t i o n a l t o he c o n s i d e r e d as approximating Peacock's own - Pax i s made to agree w i t h P o r e s t e r on many heads, though he sometimes m o d i f i e s the more extreme o p i n i o n s . E s s e n t i a l l y , P o r e s t e r seems t o b e l i e v e t h a t the p r e s e n t a r i s t o c r a c y should' remain t h e a r i s t o c r a c y , b u t s h o u l d t a k e a much more s e r i o u s view of t h e i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s towards the lower classes.  The i d e a l s o c i e t y would be a f e u d a l one, each man  having- s u f f i c i e n t ground t o a f f o r d him a decent l i v i n g , and each community l o v i n g l y tended by i t s l i e g e l o r d .  Pax t a c i t l y  agrees w i t h P o r e s t e r ' s 'back t o the l a n d ' argument, b u t would have an i n t e l l e c t u a l r a t h e r than a f e u d a l a r i s t o c r a c y .  Wealth  a l l o w s a, c a p a b l e man t r a n q u i l i t y and l e i s u r e i n w h i c h to exerc i s e h i s i n t e l l e c t f o r the b e n e f i t of society.  T h i s would  e v e n t u a l l y r e s u l t i n the w i d e r d i f f u s i o n of moral and p o l i t i c a l t r u t h , and c o n s e q u e n t l y i n t h e improvement o f s o c i e t y .  Pax's  views a r e f u n d a m e n t a l l y P l a t o n i c , w i t h o u t the m i l i t a r y c l a s s , and, as such, a r e v e r y l i k e those w h i c h , as f a r as we c a n a s c e r t a i n , a r e Peacock's own.  M g h t m a r e Abbey has no p o l i t i c a l  s i g n i f i c a n c e , b u t t h e m e d i e v a l t a l e s are f u l l o f i t .  Maid  M a r i a n , as we have a l r e a d y seen, c o n c e n t r a t e s on the problem of l e g i t i m a c y , o r o f might b e i n g , i n p r a c t i c e i f n o t i n t h e o r y , right.  E l p h i n i n c l u d e s a number of v a r i a t i o n s on t h e same  theme, b u t i s c h i e f l y n o t a b l e f o r i t s opening a t t a c k on d i e hard Toryism, embodied i n the p e r s o n o f t h a t g l o r i o u s drunkard P r i n c e S e i t h e n y n , whose pompously i d i o t i c excuses f o r n e g l e c t ing h i s d u t i e s as L o r d H i g h Commissioner o f the Embankment  50 i n c o r p o r a t e a number of arguments propounded by Canning i n Parliament  i n o p p o s i t i o n to reform.  Most c r i t i c s i n t e r p r e t  t h i s a t t a c k on Canning as a m a n i f e s t a t i o n of r a d i c a l i s m i n c l u d i n g S a i n t s b u r y , who h i s conscience  does so a g a i n s t the g r a i n , and  a t the end by q u a i n t l y s u g g e s t i n g  r a g i n g ocean w h i c h inundated  salves  t h a t the  Gwaelod might be meant, as w e l l ,  to t y p i f y the d i s a s t e r t h a t f o l l o w s i n the wake of r a d i c a l extremism.  I t seems to me  have been made by any man  t h a t such an a t t a c k on Canning might - g i v e n Peacock's g e n i u s and  predil-  e c t i o n f o r parody - whose p o l i t i c a l sympathies l a y anywhere between m i l d c o n s e r v a t i s m  and r a d i c a l i s m .  E l p h i n , then,  may  s t i l l be i n d i c a t i v e of r a d i c a l sympathies, but i t i s d i f f i c u l t to be c e r t a i n . obvious.  I n C r o t c h e t C a s t l e a change of camp seems to be  The m i l i t a n t c o n s e r v a t i s m  of Dr. P o l l i o t t ,  m a i n l y through h i s a t t a c k s on popular vade the whole book.  education,  expressed  seems to per-  But a g a i n i t i s u n s a f e to i d e n t i f y Pea-  cock too c l o s e l y w i t h t h e o p i n i o n s of any one of h i s c h a r a c t e r s . B e s i d e s , Brougham, the champion of the maligned 'Steam I n t e l l e c t S o c i e t y ' , had r e c e n t l y d e s e r t e d  the r e f o r m p a r t y , and i t  i s not u n r e a s o n a b l e to suppose t h a t the unhappy peer  was  p i l l o r i e d as much f o r t h i s d e s e r t i o n as f o r h i s popular ' ' 53 ' cation a c t i v i t i e s .  We  edu' ' ' '  s h o u l d be doubly c a x e f u l , moreover, i n  c l a i m i n g Pea,cock f o r the c o n s e r v a t i v e s when he wrote  Crotchet  C a s t l e , i n the l i g h t of h i s r e v i e w of the Memoirs, Correspondence, and P r i v a t e Papers of Thomas J e f f e r s o n i n the Westmins t e r Review, w r i t t e n o n l y a few months b e f o r e C r o t c h e t and i n d i s p u t a b l y l i b e r a l i n tone.  There Peacock showed  Castle how  51 ' J e f f e r s o n had supported t h e p o l i c y of votes f o r a l l and f r e e dom of speech and p r e s s - c a l l e d i n England the " d o c t r i n e s of anarchy and c o n f u s i o n " - and d u r i n g h i s term of o f f i c e had accomplished w i t h o u t  d i s a s t e r a l l those t h i n g s w h i c h E n g l i s h  p o l i t i c i a n s had screamed c o u l d o n l y l e a d t o "the d i s s o l u t i o n of t h e s o c i a l 'order," these being t h e a b o l i t i o n of i n t e r n a l t a x e s , t h e s u b s t a n t i a l r e d u c t i o n o f t h e n a t i o n a l debt, t h e p r e s e r v a t i o n of peace, the encouragement of domestic i n d u s t r y , and so on.  He notes t h a t t h e J e f f e r s o n a d m i n i s t r a t i o n was  perhaps t h e f i r s t i n s t a n c e i n h i s t o r y of a group of l e g i s l a t o r s h o n e s t l y a b i d i n g by t h e i r p a r t y p l a t f o r m and doing t h e i r f o r t h e i r country.  He n o t e s , t o o , J e f f e r s o n ' s i n s i s t e n c e on  freedom of t h e p r e s s , d e s p i t e t h e b i t t e r n e s s of p r e s s on him.  best  attacks  The r e v i e w c l o s e s on a note of eulogy unique i n Pea-  cock's w r i t i n g s , J e f f e r s o n b e i n g commended f o r h i s good sense, h i s c a r e f u l and comprehensive i n v e s t i g a t i o n , sound and d i s passionate  d e c i s i o n , k i n d l y f e e l i n g , enlarged p h i l a n t h r o p y and  s p o t l e s s i n t e g r i t y , and h e l d up as an example of "such a r a r e c o m b i n a t i o n of an enthusiasm almost c h i v a l r o u s f o r t h e l i b e r t y and h a p p i n e s s of mankind, w i t h a c a l m p h i l o s o p h i c a l judgment, r e s t r a i n i n g i t s p u r s u i t s w i t h i n t h e l i m i t s of t h e . a t t a i n a b l e ; such a p i c t u r e of p o l i t i c a l s i n c e r i t y , p r e s e n t i n g always the same c h a r a c t e r i n appearance as i n r e a l i t y , i n p u b l i c as i n p r i v a t e l i f e , as w i l l n o t e a s i l y f i n d a p a r a l l e l ( a t l e a s t on t h i s s i d e of t h e A t l a n t i c ) i n t h e r e c o r d s of any i n d i v i d u a l who • " 54 has had so l a r g e a share i n the government of n a t i o n s . " I f Peacock, l i k e C a r l y l e , had been g i v e n t o h e r o - w o r s h i p , i t i s  52 reasonable Statesman.  to b e l i e v e t h a t J e f f e r s o n would have been h i s HeroTwo t h i n g s stand out i n t h i s eulogy of J e f f e r s o n -  the s t r e s s l a i d on h i s commons ense or r a t i o n a l behaviour, and 8  h i s i n t e g r i t y - and these o f f e r c l u e s to Peacock s own r a t h e r indefinable p o l i t i c s .  I n almost every case where a p o l i c y bore  the hall-marks" of common sense i t had Peacock's support, whet h e r i t emanated f r o m t h e c o n s e r v a t i v e , o r t h e l i b e r a l , or t h e p h i l o s o p h i c a l r a d i c a l camp; and p o l i t i c a l i n t e g r i t y , as has. a l r e a d y been suggested arid as w i l l be more and more c l e a r when we study i n d e t a i l h i s c r i t i c i s m s of the Lake P o e t s , was a l l but a f e t i s h w i t h him*  There i s no means of t r a c i n g Peacock's  p o l i t i c a l development between C r o t c h e t C a s t l e and G r y l l Granges but t h e r e i s no m i s t a k i n g t h e c o n s e r v a t i v e tone o f h i s l a s t book.  I t i s n o t , of c o u r s e ,  a book o f c o n s e r v a t i v e polemic -  i n f a c t , p o l i t i c a l a l l u s i o n h a r d l y enters t h e book a t a l l - b u t s i g n i f i c a n t i s t h e o m i s s i o n of any r e f e r e n c e t o t h e lowerc l a s s e s except where seven young yeoman farmers a r e r e q u i r e d f o r purposes o f p l o t .  I:t i s indeed  an o l d man's book, f u l l of  good t a l k , good f o o d , good wine, and everywhere r e m i n i s c e n c e of the 'good o l d days'. I t i s d i f f i c u l t t o determine t h e p a r t p l a y e d by t h e I n d i a House i n Peacock's p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l o u t l o o k , b u t i t i s not unjustifiable  to b e l i e v e that h i s very comfortable  and o f t e n -  r a i s e d s a l a r y , combined w i t h t h e i n c r e a s e d r e s p o n s i b i l i t y  that  f o l l o w e d each p r o m o t i o n , had some e f f e c t , whether he was aware of i t or not, i n g i v i n g h i s mind a c o n s e r v a t i v e bent.  I t may  be argued t h a t t h e same r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s i n I n d i a House f a i l e d  53 to have any such e f f e c t on James and John S t u a r t M i l l , "but the M i l l s had a d e v o t i o n f o r p o l i t i c a l economy and  utilitarian  t h e o r i e s t h a t Peacock p r o b a b l y never had f o r a n y t h i n g - w i t h the p o s s i b l e e x c e p t i o n of h i s i d e a l c o n c e p t i o n of A n c i e n t Greece.  A s s o c i a t i o n w i t h the U t i l i t a r i a n s seems, t o o , to have  had some l i t t l e  ;  e f f e c t on Peacock f o r , though he mocks repeat-,  edly the genus p o l i t i c a l economist i n h i s n o v e l s , i n the review of Moore's E p i c u r e a n the p r i n c i p l e of g e n e r a l u t i l i t y i s i n cluded i n h i e o u t l i n e of the n a t u r e of t r u e E p i c u r e a n i s m . F i n a l l y , Peacock's  a t t i t u d e to s o c i a l p r o g r e s s was  the o p t i m i s t i c one of - r a d i c a l i s m . for  that.  H i s n a t u r e was  never  too s c e p t i c a l  I n Headlong H a l l the p e r f e c t i b i l i a n has, on the  whole, the worst of the t u s s l e w i t h the d e t e r i o r a t i o n i s t .  In  M e l i n c o u r t b o t h Fax and F o r e s t e r , though hoping f o r the b e s t , are f o r c e d to concede t h a t at p r e s e n t the f o r c e s of e v i l are s t r o n g e r than those of good.  The m e d i e v a l t a l e s show t h a t  though v a r i o u s s u p e r f i c i a l changes have been made along mecha n i c a l l i n e s , human n a t u r e i s much the same as ever, and the l i v i n g c o n d i t i o n s have c e r t a i n l y not improved.  One of the ma,ny  l e s s o n s i n C r o t c h e t C a s t l e i s t h a t , no matter how  ardent a  t h e o r i s t a man may be, h i s t h e o r i e s w i l l be s a c r i f i c e d f o r the sake of a good d i n n e r any day.  F i n a l l y , " A r i s t o p h a n e s i n Lon-  don" i n G r y l l Grange h i n g e s on the c a l l i n g up of the s p i r i t of G r y l l u s to comment on a number of f e a t u r e s of the London of the m i d - n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y w h i c h were l o o k e d upon p o p u l a r l y as f i n e examples of p r o g r e s s .  The comments of G r y l l u s are not  flatter-  ing - o n l y the meals have m a i n t a i n e d the standards s e t by the  54 ancients. Summing up Peacock's c o n t a c t s w i t h h i B contemporaries his  a t t i t u d e s to the p a s t , to n a t u r e , and to p o l i t i c s  s o c i a l p r o g r e s s , i t may  in  and  he s a i d t h a t he shared - a l b e i t un-  w i l l i n g l y - h i s reverence f o r Greece w i t h Keats and Landor, and h i s i n t e r e s t i n the middle ages w i t h such pre-romantics Gray, l&acpherson,  as  and P e r c y , and such romantics as C o l e r i d g e ,  Keats, and S c o t t , though h i s i r o n i c c o n t r a s t of p a s t and p r e s ent puts him i n a c l a s s a p a r t f r o m a l l of these; h i s a t t i t u d e to nature was  almost w h o l l y c o n f i n e d to an a d m i r a t i o n of the  p i c t u r e s q u e , w h i c h l i n k s him more c l o s e l y to the e i g h t e e n t h than to the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y r o m a n t i c s , w i t h the p o s s i b l e e x c e p t i o n of Byron; w h i l e h i s s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l though e c l e c t i c , more resembles t h a t of romanticism  outlook,  second-generation  than i t does t h a t of the f i r s t g e n e r a t i o n , f o r he  accepted many of S h e l l e y ' s arguments, never showed the p o l i t i cal  t i m i d i t y (which he chose to i n t e r p r e t as t r e a c h e r y i n s p i r e d  by mereenary m o t i v e s ) of Wordsworth and h i s f r i e n d s a f t e r  their  disappointment  i n the outcome of the F r e n c h R e v o l u t i o n , and .  never remotely  approximated the d i e - h a r d t o r y i s m of Wordsworth  i n h i s l a t t e r y e a r s , though h i s c a u t i o u s and s c e p t i c a l mind c o u l d never b e l i e v e , w i t h S h e l l e y , i n the u l t i m a t e e v o l u t i o n of a new heaven s,nd a new was  not f o r him.  e a r t h - the v i s i o n of Prometheus Unbound  55  Peacock and p o p u l a r  literature  B e f o r e t h e P e a c o c k i a n c r i t i c i s m s of t h e major romantics axe c o n s i d e r e d i t w i l l be as w e l l t o t r a c e , as b r i e f l y as p o s s i b l e , Peacock's o p i n i o n of t h e v a r i o u s phases of 'popular' l i t e r a t u r e - p o e t r y , p r e s s , reviews f a s h i o n s of f i c t i o n .  (and r e v i e w e r s ) , and the  I n t h e l a s t c a t e g o r y I have decided t o  i n c l u d e S i r W a l t e r S c o t t ' s work, n o t because i t i s i n any degree minor, b u t because i t a t t a i n e d a p o p u l a r i t y beyond t h a t of any o t h e r major w r i t e r o f h i s age, w i t h B y r o n o n l y p r o v i d i n g anything l i k e c o m p e t i t i o n . Of t h e p o p u l a r p o e t r y of t h e time Peacock has l i t t l e t o say, b u t t h a t l i t t l e makes h i s o p i n i o n q u i t e c l e a r .  W r i t i n g to  Hookham i n 1809 he a s k s , "What i s t h e l a s t a c t of f o l l y of P r a t t , Mason, M i s s Seward, Hayley, o r any o t h e r of P h i l l i p s ' I formidable host of i n a n i t y ? "  I n t h e same l e t t e r he i n d i c a t e s  approval o f Joanna B a i l l i e and o f Campbell.  Miss B a i l l i e i s  never mentioned a g a i n i n h i s w r i t i n g s , b u t Campbell d i d not long r e t a i n h i s f a v o u r . t i f i e d him w i t h MacLaurel  Some c r i t i c s . h a v e t e n t a t i v e l y i d e n i n Headlong H a l l - he who " f o l l o w e d  the t r a d e o f p o e t r y , b u t o c c a s i o n a l l y i n d u l g e d ... i n t h e "." 2 •  composition o f bad c r i t i c i s m . "  The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i s so dub-  ious as t o do l i t t l e harm t o Campbell's r e p u t a t i o n , b u t t h e r e i s no doubt about Peacock's change of h e a r t i n The Pour Ages of Poetry, where Campbell i s b r a c k e t e d i n common calumny w i t h Moore and Southey.  A passage i n a l e t t e r t o S h e l l e y (December  4, 1820) w r i t t e n about t h e same time, and i n t h e same tone, as  56 The Four Ages of P o e t r y t h r o w s . f u r t h e r l i g h t on Peacock's view of the minor p o e t r y of the dayv " C o n s i d e r i n g p o e t i c a l r e p u t a t i o n as a p r i z e to be "obtained by a c e r t a i n s p e c i e s of e x e r t i o n , and t h a t the s o r t of" t h i n g w h i c h o b t a i n s the p r i z e i s the d r i v e l l i n g doggerel p u b l i s h e d under the name of 'Barry C o r n w a l l , I t h i n k but one c o n c l u s i o n p o s s i b l e - t h a t to a r a t i o n a l a m b i t i o n p o e t i c a l , r e p u t a t i o n i s not o n l y not to be d e s i r e d , but most e a r n e s t l y to be deprecated." 3 1  S c o t t ' s p o e t r y a l o n e , i n the Essay on F a s h i o n a b l e  Literature,  i s conceded to be b o t h p o p u l a r and m e r i t o r i o u s . Of the p r e s s , as of p o p u l a r p o e t r y , Peacock has but s u f f i c i e n t , to say.  We have a l r e a d y seen how,  on F a s h i o n a b l e L i t e r a t u r e s The C o u r i e r was  the newspaper devoted to p a r t y p o l i t i c s .  i n the Essay  linked with  q u a r t e r l y Review as a hardy v e t e r a n of c o r r u p t i o n .  The  So much f o r  Years l a t e r , i n G r y l l  Grange, Dr. Opimian i s made to c h a r a c t e r i z e the p o p u l a r of the e i g h t e e n - f i f t i e s i n terms t h a t are as f r e s h and today as they were almost a hundred y e a r s  little,  press incisive  ago:  "For, l e t us see, what i s the epitome of a newspaper? I n the f i r s t p l a c e , specimens of a l l the deadly s i n s , and i n f i n i t e v a r i e t i e s of v i o l e n c e and f r a u d ) a g r e a t q u a n t i t y of t a l k , c a l l e d by c o u r t e s y l e g i s l a t i v e wisdom, of which the r e s u l t i s 'an i n c o h e r e n t and u n d i g e s t e d mass of law, shot down, as f r o m a r u b b i s h - c a r t , on the heads of the people?* [Jeremy Bentham ] lawyers b a r k i n g a t each o t h e r i n t h a t p e c u l i a r s t y l e of h y l a c t i c d e l i v e r y which i s c a l l e d f o r e n s i c eloquence, and of w h i c h the f i r s t and most d i s t i n g u i s h e d p r a c t i t i o n e r was Cerberus; bear-garden meetings of mismanaged companies, i n w h i c h d i r e c t o r s and shareh o l d e r s abuse each o t h e r i n c h o i c e terms, not a l l to be found even i n R a b e l a i s ; b u r s t i n g s of bank b u b b l e s , which, l i k e a touch of h a r l e q u i n ' s wand, s t r i p o f f t h e i r masks and dominoes f r o m ' h i g h l y r e s p e c t a b l e ' gentlemen, and l e a v e them i n t h e i r t r u e f i g u r e s of cheats and p i c k p o c k e t s ; s o c i e t i e s of a l l s o r t s , f o r t e a c h i n g everybody e v e r y t h i n g , meddling w i t h everybody's b u s i n e s s , and mending everybody's morals; mountebank advertisements p r o m i s i n g the beauty of Helen i n a b o t t l e of c o s m e t i c , and the age of Old P a r r i n a box of p i l l s ; f o l l y a l l a l i v e i n t h i n g s c a l l e d r e u n i o n s ; announcements t h a t some e x c e e d i n g l y s t u p i d f e l l o w has been  57 " ' e n t e r t a i n i n g ' a s e l e c t company! m a t t e r s , however"multiform, m u l t i f a r i o u s , and m u l t i t u d i n o u s , a l l brought i n t o f a m i l y l i k e n e s s "by the v a r n i s h of f a l s e p r e t e n s i o n w i t h w h i c h they are a l l o v e r l a i d . " 4 Of reviews and r e v i e w e r s Peacock has spoken a t much g r e a t e r l e n g t h , and w i t h a c e r t a i n - though never b o r i n g amount of t a u t o l o g y .  The p e r n i c i o u s h a b i t s of the reviews were  a p e r e n n i a l source of i r r i t a t i o n to Peacock, but h i s major c r i t i c i s m s of them occur i n h i s e a r l y w r i t i n g s , i n Headlong H a l l , i n M e l i n c o u r t , and i n the Essay on F a s h i o n a b l e  Literature.  The most d i r e c t and most s e r i o u s of these a t t a c k s i s t h a t i n the Essay.  There Peacock compares the reviews of the moment  w i t h those of t h i r t y y e a r s b e f o r e and f i n d s them l e s s l i b e r a l , more d i v i d e d i n t o p e t t y f a c t i o n s , and much more s u p e r f i c i a l i n learning.  The pre-eminence of The E d i n b u r g h and The  Reviews,, he p o i n t s o u t , i s not due to t h e i r l i t e r a r y  Quarterly quality,  but to the hope of the p u b l i c to l e a r n something of the probable f u t u r e moves of the Whigs and T o r i e s .  The s t a r c o n t r i b u -  t o r s of each magazine are h a r d l y known beyond the c i r c u l a t i o n of t h a t magazine, and members of each e x c l u s i v e l i t t l e group puff themselves up w i t h mutual a d m i r a t i o n .  Because of the  c l o s e c o n n e c t i o n of the r e v i e w s w i t h p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s ,  the  success of a new work depends to a v e r y c o n s i d e r a b l e extent the i n t e r e s t t h e p u b l i s h e r has w i t h the p e r i o d i c a l p r e s s ,  on  and  on the p o l i t i c a l c o l o u r of the work i t s e l f - " C o r r u p t i o n must be stamped upon a work b e f o r e i t can be admitted to f a s h i o n a b l e " 5 . •' simulation."  Peacock's treatment  of reviews and r e v i e w e r s i n  the novels i s r a t h e r more p i c t u r e s q u e and d r a m a t i c , i n Headlong H a l l .  Among S q u i r e Headlong's guests  beginning  appear  "two  58 v e r y profound  c r i t i c s , Mr. G a l l and Mr. T r e a c l e , who f o l l o w e d  the t r a d e of r e v i e w e r s , h u t o c c a s i o n a l l y i n d u l g e d themselves i n the c o m p o s i t i o n of had p o e t r y . "  Treacle i s u n i d e n t i f i a b l e ,  and i s p r o b a b l y a c a r i c a t u r e of r e v i e w e r s i n g e n e r a l .  Gall i s  u s u a l l y taken t o r e p r e s e n t J e f f r e y , though t h e o n l y p o s i t i v e c l u e to i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i s a remark made by G a l l  concerning  w h i c h the r e a d e r i s a d v i s e d i n a f o o t n o t e to r e f e r t o "Knight on Taste, and t h e E d i n b u r g h Review, Ho. XIV."  Otherwise, the  f a c t t h a t G a l l i s something of a poet would seem t o i n d i c a t e t h a t G i f f o r d i s t h e o b j e c t o f the s a t i r e .  However, i t i s the  g e n e r a l n a t u r e of t h e . p e r i o d i c a l r e v i e w s , and not p a r t i c u l a r r e v i e w e r s , t h a t i s t h e s u b j e c t of the a f t e r - d i n n e r d i s c u s s i o n i n w h i c h Peacock, through E s c o t , d e l i v e r s h i s o p i n i o n . b e g i n s t h e a t t a c k by remarking a r y people  that the understanding  He of l i t e r  " i s f o r t h e most p a r t e x a l t e d , as you express i t ,  not so much by t h e l o v e of t r u t h and v i r t u e , as by  arrogance  and s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y ! and t h e r e i s , perhaps, l e s s d i s i n t e r e s t edness , l e s s l i b e r a l i t y , l e s s g e n e r a l benevolence, and more envy, h a t r e d , and u n c h a r i t a b l e n e s s among them, than among any 8 other d e s c r i p t i o n of men."  The r e v i e w e r s n a t u r a l l y take t h e  remark as a p p l y i n g t o themselves,  b u t E s c o t assures them t h a t  can h a r d l y be, s i n c e he never reads t h e i r r e v i e w .  He e x p l a i n s  t h a t he l o o k s on p e r i o d i c a l c r i t i c i s m i n g e n e r a l as "a s p e c i e s of shop where p a n e g y r i c and defamation  are sold,  wholesale,  r e t a i l , and f o r e x p o r t a t i o n " and t h a t he has no w i s h t o encourage such a.mischievous t r a d e . concludes  thus!  The passage of arms  59 "Mr. Nightshade. - You a r e , perhaps, s i r , an enemy to l i t e r a t u r e i n general? "Mr. E s c o t . - I f I were, s i r , I s h o u l d be a b e t t e r f r i e n d to p e r i o d i c a l c r i t i c s . " S q u i r e Headlong. - BuzI "Mr. T r e a c l e . - May I s i m p l y take t h e l i b e r t y to i n q u i r e i n t o t h e b a s i s of your o b j e c t i o n ? '• "Mr. E s c o t . - I c o n c e i v e t h a t p e r i o d i c a l c r i t i c i s m ' dissemi n a t e s s u p e r f i c i a l knowledge, and i t s p e r p e t u a l a d j u n c t , v a n i t y ) t h a t i t checks i n t h e y o u t h f u l mind t h e h a b i t o f thinking f o r i t s e l f } that i t d e l i v e r s p a r t i a l opinions, and thereby m i s l e a d s the judgment! t h a t i t i s never conducted w i t h a v i e w to t h e g e n e r a l i n t e r e s t s of l i t e r a t u r e , b u t to serve t h e i n t e r e s t e d ends o f i n d i v i d u a l s , and the m i s e r a b l e purposes o f p a r t y . " 10 By f a r t h e most famous of Peacock's a t t a c k s on t h e r e v i e w s o c c u r s , of c o u r s e ,  i n Melincourt.  There t h e h i s t o r y o f Desmond  i s made t h e v e h i c l e f o r an exposure of what Peacock suggests are G-ifford's c r i t i c a l methods.  Desmond has w r i t t e n a book on  morals w h i c h i s , o f c o u r s e , r e j e c t e d by a l l t h e p u b l i s h e r s . One p u b l i s h e r , however, suggests t h a t , a l t h o u g h t h e m a t e r i a l i s u s e l e s s i n book shape, p a r t o f i t may p r o v e of u s e to t h e e d i t o r of t h e L e g i t i m a t e Review, Mr. Vamp.  H a s t e n i n g t o Vamp's  l o d g i n g s , Desmond f i n d s t h e g r e a t man l o u n g i n g over and penc i l l i n g a l a r g e q u a r t o , w h i l e around him on t h e t a b l e a r e "a number o f books and pamphlets, and fragments of b o t h c u r i o u s l y c u t up ... t o g e t h e r w i t h a l a r g e p o t o f p a s t e and an enormous p a i r of s c i s s o r s . " Vamp r e c e i v e s Desmond i n a h i g h and mighty manner and e x p l a i n s t h a t m o r a l s a r e i n v e r y l i t t l e demand among h i s r e a d e r s ,  though they make "a v e r y p r e t t y seasoning  f o r our p o l i t i c s , i n cases where they might o t h e r w i s e be r a t h e r ' •' 12 u n p a l a t a b l e and h a r d o f d i g e s t i o n . "  Vamp then i n d i c a t e s a  number o f books, o f w h i c h t h e purpose of a l l , he says, i s t o prove t h e e x i s t e n c e o f a g r e a t d e a l o f p o l i t i c a l c o r r u p t i o n ,  60 and to convince the p u b l i c t h a t such c o r r u p t i o n ought to he extinguished! "Now, we are anxious to do away the e f f e c t of a l l these i n c e n d i a r y clamours. As,to the e x i s t e n c e of c o r r u p t i o n ( i t i s a v i l l a i n o u s word, by the bye - we c a l l i t persuasi o n i n a t a n g i b l e shape)* as to the e x i s t e n c e , then,' of p e r s u a s i o n i n a t a n g i b l e shape, we do not wish" t o " d e n y " i t ; on the c o n t r a r y , we have no h e s i t a t i o n i n a f f i r m i n g t h a t i t i s as n o t o r i o u s as the sun at noondays but as"to the i n f e r e n c e . t h a t i t ought to be e x t i n g u i s h e d - t h a t i s the^ " p o i n t a g a i n s t w h i c h we d i r e c t the f u l l f i r e of our c r i t i c a l a r t i l l e r y ? we m a i n t a i n t h a t i t ought to e x i s t ; and here i s the l e a d i n g a r t i c l e of our next number, i n w h i c h we "con- " found i n one mass a l l these obnoxious p u b l i c a t i o n s , p u t t i n g the weakest a t the head of the l i s t , t h a t i f any of our r e a d e r s s h o u l d f e e l i n c l i n e d to judge f o r themselves ( I must do them t h e c r e d i t to say I do h o t suspect many of them of s u c h a d e m o c r a t i c a l p r o p e n s i t y ) , they may be ' stopped i n l i m i n e , by f i n d i n g v e r y l i t t l e t e m p t a t i o n to proceed."13 This paragon among a r t i c l e s , w r i t t e n by a man  w i t h a very  p r o f i t a b l e s i n e c u r e , Vamp wants Desmond to * season' w i t h morals.  Owing to a s h o r t a g e i n m o r a l i s t s an attempt had been made  to s u b s t i t u t e t h e o l o g y f o r m o r a l s , but t h i s o n l y the o l d women (who,  however, are the b e s t and most numerous customers of  L e g i t i m a t e Review) f i n d a c c e p t a b l e . be had,  Morals,  t h e r e f o r e , must  or a l l the eloquence of c o r r u p t i o n w i l l soon be  l i t t l e avail.  the  of  Desmond, n a t u r a l l y , w i l l not stoop to such  l i t e r a r y p r o s t i t u t i o n , whereupon Vamp c a l l s him a f l i e s i n t o a temper, and h u s t i e s him out.  And  Jacobin,  a s i m i l a r re-  c e p t i o n meets Desmond when he v i s i t s o t h e r e d i t o r s . Vamp's g r e a t scene, though he appears a g a i n i n the  This i s diehard  chorus a t Mainchance V i l l a , , where he i s p r o v i d e d w i t h scraps  of  p e r s o n a l comedy s u c h as the f o l l o w i n g : "Mr. Vamp. - M o r a l p h i l o s o p h y I E v e r y man who t a l k s of moral p h i l o s o p h y i s a t h i e f and a r a s c a l , and w i l l never make any s c r u p l e of seducing h i s neighbour's w i f e , or s t e a l i n g h i s  61 "neighbour's p r o p e r t y . "Mr. F o r e s t e r . - You c a n prove t h a t a s s e r t i o n o f course. "Mr.- Vamp. - Prove i ' t l The e d i t o r of t h e L e g i t i m a t e Review r e q u i r e d to prove an a s s e r t i o n ! " 14 But t h e main s a t i r e on t h e r e v i e w s i n t h e Mainchance V i l l a episode i s n o t on i n d i v i d u a l s , b u t on t h e Q u a r t e r l y .  Nearly  a l l t h e arguments r a i s e d by Any s i d e A n t i j a c k and h i s f r i e n d s i n support o f extreme c o n s e r v a t i s m a r e drawn from t h e pages o f the Q u a r t e r l y , and i n no way m i s r e p r e s e n t t h e views of t h a t magazine.  Each borrowing i s c a r e f u l l y a s t e r i s k e d by Peacock,  and i n t h e f o o t n o t e s t h e r e a d e r i s r e f e r r e d d i r e c t l y to t h e source.  L i t t l e new i s added to these two condemnations of t h e  r e v i e w i n g t r a d e i n Peacock's  subsequent w r i t i n g s .  Mr. H i l a r y  i n Nightmare Abbey merely echoes E s c o t when he says t h a t "the c r i t i c does h i s utmost to b l i g h t genius i n i t s i n f a n c y ; t h a t w h i c h r i s e s i n s p i t e o f him he w i l l n o t see; and then he comp l a i n s of t h e d e c l i n e o f l i t e r a t u r e . "  Dr. F o l l i o t t ,  i n Crot-  chet C a s t l e , v e r y f o r c e f u l l y sums up t h e whole s i t u a t i o n : "... these gentlemen [ o f t h e Edinburgh j ... have p r a c t i s e d as much d i s h o n e s t y a s , i n any o t h e r department than l i t e r a t u r e , would have brought t h e p r a c t i t i o n e r under t h e cognisance o f t h e p o l i c e . I n p o l i t i c s , they have r u n w i t h the hare and hunted w i t h t h e hound. I n c r i t i c i s m they have, knowingly and u r i b l u s h i n g l y , g i v e n f a l s e c h a r a c t e r s , b o t h f o r good and f o r e v i l : s t i c k i n g a t no a r t of misrepr e s e n t a t i o n , t o c l e a r out of t h e f i e l d o f l i t e r a t u r e a l l who s t o o d i n t h e way o f t h e i n t e r e s t s o f t h e i r own c l i q u e . They have never a l l o w e d t h e i r own p r o f o u n d i g n o r a n c e of any t h i n g (Greek, f o r i n s t a n c e ) t o throw even an a i r o f h e s i t - " a t i o n i n t o t h e i r o r a c u l a r d e c i s i o n on t h e m a t t e r . They s e t an example of p r o f l i g a t e contempt f o r t r u t h , of which t h e s u c c e s s was i n p r o p o r t i o n t o t h e e f f r o n t e r y ; and when t h e i r p r o s p e r i t y had f i l l e d t h e market w i t h c o m p e t i t o r s , they c r i e d o u t a g a i n s t t h e i r own r e f l e c t e d s i n , as i f they had never committed i t , o r were e n t i t l e d to a monopoly of i t . The l a t t e r , I r a t h e r t h i n k , was what they wanted." 17 Folliott,  s c h o l a r and bon v i v a n t , has much o f Peacock i n him.  62 F a i r l y c o n c l u s i v e p r o o f of Peacock's own views on the s u b j e c t , however, i s o f f e r e d by S i r Edward Strachey i n h i s Reco3.1ections of Thomas Love Peacock.  He r e c o r d s t h a t Peacock s c o f f e d im-  p a r t i a l l y a t the two g r e a t p a r t y r e v i e w s , and "once he s a i d to my f a t h e r , as they passed a man  w i t h a package of E d i n b u r g h  Reviews, 'There goes a l o t of l i e s and bad grammar,' w i t h as much p l e a s u r e as i f he had been the e d i t o r of the L e g i t i m a t e 18 Review  ..." About the f a d s and f a n c i e s of contemporary f i c t i o n Pea-  cock shows much l e s s a s p e r i t y than about any o t h e r b r a n c h of popular l i t e r a t u r e .  But he was  not i n d i s p o s e d to l i t e r a r y  parody on a c o n s i d e r a b l e s c a l e , as when i n Headlong H a l l  and,  to a l e s s e r e x t e n t , i n M e l i n c o u r t he q u i e t l y makes f u n of the r i v a l t h e o r i e s of p r i m i t i v i s m and p r o g r e s s , and i n Nightmare Abbey he i n d u l g e s i n a s k i t on the G o t h i c n o v e l .  Also i n  Nightmare Abbey he i n t r o d u c e s a c o n v e r s a t i o n w h i c h n e a t l y e v a l u a t e s the n o v e l of purpose - t h a t type of n o v e l w r i t t e n e i t h e r i n or opposed t o the Godwinian t r a d i t i o n ,  and,  in  C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , t h e r e i s an even more s u c c i n c t resume of the nature of the n o v e l of s o c i e t y s c a n d a l .  S h a r i n g the p o p u l a r i t y  of such n o v e l s , but q u i t e a p a r t f r o m them i n nature and i n m e r i t , are t h e n o v e l s of S c o t t , about whom Peacock has q u i t e a l o t to say.  At one time or another,  on the d i f f e r e n t tendencies century.  i n f a c t , Peacock comments  i n p o p u l a r f i c t i o n over h a l f a  The d o c t r i n e s of p r i m i t i v i s m and of p r o g r e s s  had  p l a y e d an important p a r t i n e a r l y Romanticism, and although by ' -19 Peacock's time they had to some e x t e n t d i e d down, S h e l l e y ' s  63 d e v o t i o n to many of these ideas p r o b a b l y kept them i n the f r o n t of Peacock's mind.  I n Headlong H a l l , a c c o r d i n g l y , Peacock  introduces a f e r v i d p e r f e c t i b i l i t a r i a n ( p r o g r e s s i v i s t ) , Poster, and an e q u a l l y f e r v i d d e t e r i o r a t i o n i s t ( p r i m i t i v i s t ) ,  Escot,  and i n the course of t h e i r s p i r i t e d d i s c u s s i o n s they b r i n g f o r w a r d n e a r l y a l l the s t o c k arguments common i n the f i c t i o n of the second h a l f of the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y i n support of  one  s i d e or the o t h e r , and wherever o p p o r t u n i t y p r e s e n t s Peacock g i v e s the argument a l i t t l e push or t w i s t to reduce i t to absurdity.  E s c o t ' s b e l i e f i n the i n e v i t a b l e d e t e r i o r a t i o n of the  r a c e i n c o r p o r a t e s the f o l l o w i n g p o i n t s : s c i e n c e merely produces a r t i f i c i a l wants i n mankind, r e s u l t i n g i n c o r r u p t i o n , l u x u r y , and s e l f i s h n e s s , w h i c h i n due course w i l l r e s u l t i n the e x t e r m i n a t i o n of mankind - s c i e n c e o n l y aggravates human wants w i t h o u t a l l e v i a t i n g them - machinery outruns man's a b i l i t y to c o n t r o l i t , does away wi t h i n d i v i d u a l i t y and benevolence, and has a bad e f f e c t on p h y s i q u e - the e a t i n g of meat has hastened the d e g e n e r a t i o n  of mankind and i s the source of many of h i s  v i c e s (compare the p e a c e f u l nature of the v e g e t a r i a n Hindoo) the men may  of the p a s t were p h y s i c a l g i a n t s compared w i t h us - we  be more i n t e l l i g e n t , b u t t h a t does not mean we are more  happy t h a n p r i m i t i v e man, c i v i l i s e d man  who  c o u l d be happy i n one spot w h i l e  i s always r e s t l e s s - the savage l i v e s a calm,  p h i l o s o p h i c a l l i f e except when h i s n a t u r a l a p p e t i t e s rouse him to a c t i o n - the savage i s not a c t u a t e d by s e l f - l o v e to the same extent as i s c i v i l i s e d man  - the s i m p l e l i f e i s the most d e s i r -  a b l e - the degeneracy of man  i s a c c e l e r a t e d by the b l i n d n e s s of  64 man  t o h i s degeneracy f o r , deluded i n t o complacency by a l l the  t a l k of p e r f e c t i b i l i t y he h e a r s , he f a i l s to r e c o g n i s e t h a t a m e l i o r a t i o n can o n l y be brought about by a t o t a l and change of the whole scheme of human l i f e .  radical  Gn b e h a l f of per-  f e c t i b i l i t y , on the o t h e r hand, P o s t e r has t h i s to say? s c i e n c e w i t h i t s g r e a t s t r i d e s i n commerce and communication i n d i c a t e s the advance of c i v i l i s a t i o n towards u n l i m i t e d p e r f e c t i o n i n d u s t r y i s not y e t f r e e of e v i l , but i t s b e n e f i t s g r e a t l y outweigh i t s d e f e c t s - the many a c t i v i t i e s of commerce g i v e l i f e and employment to many people - p r o g r e s s may be observed  even  among the p o o r e s t p e o p l e , f o r the peasant of today i s more enl i g h t e n e d and i n t e l l i g e n t t h a n the peasant of c e n t u r i e s ago the use of animal f o o d does not s e r i o u s l y r e t a r d man's p e r f e c tibility  ( s i m i l a r l y , though wine checks moral and  intellectual  p r o g r e s s , many g r e a t men have found i t e x a l t i n g ) and the H i n doos can not be compared w i t h the Greeks i n mental power - can the s i m p l e savage know the f e l i c i t y of a Hewton or a M i l t o n ? men  a r e v i r t u o u s i n p r o p o r t i o n as they are e n l i g h t e n e d , and  hence each g e n e r a t i o n i n c r e a s e s i n v i r t u e as i n knowledge - the g r e a t p r o g r e s s b e i n g made i n mathematics and p h i l o s o p h y w i l l soon l e a d to the d e m o n s t r a b i l i t y of c l e a r and i n d i s p u t a b l e moral p r i n c i p l e s - the p r e v a l e n c e of d e t e r i o r a t i o n t h e o r i e s has a numbing e f f e c t on every phase of l i f e .  I t would seem from  t h i s t h a t Peacock wanted a drawn b a t t l e between h i s two  dis-  p u t a n t s , but a t one p o i n t E s c o t g a t h e r s t o g e t h e r a few v e r y reasonable arguments to support h i s p o s i t i o n , and these P o s t e r can not, or i s not a l l o w e d to answer.  E s c o t ' s summing-up i s  65 as f o l l o w s : "Be t h a t as i t may, I t h i n k you must a t l e a s t assent t o t h e f o l l o w i n g p o s i t i o n s : t h a t the many a r e s a c r i f i c e d t o t h e few; t h a t n i n e t y - n i n e i n a hundred a r e occupied i n a perp e t u a l s t r u g g l e f o r t h e p r e s e r v a t i o n o f a p e r i l o u s and p r e c a r i o u s e x i s t e n c e , w h i l e t h e remaining one wallows i n a l l t h e redundancies of l u x u r y t h a t can be wrung f r o m t h e i r l a b o u r s and p r i v a t i o n s ; t h a t l u x u r y and l i b e r t y are" i n compatible}, and t h a t every new want you i n v e n t f o r c i v i l - " i z e d man i s a new instrument of t o r t u r e f o r h i m who cannot indulge i t . " 21 This seems t o i n d i c a t e t h a t Peacock, i f a n y t h i n g , tended t o f a v o u r t h e p r i m i t i v i s t i c argument - b u t on t h e whole h i s a t t i t u d e i s one o f a f f e c t i o n a t e amusement.  He was, of course,  not t h e f i r s t t o mock t h e t h e o r i s t s o f h i s y o u t h : he was, i n f a c t , p o s s i b l y the l a s t .  Some o f the better-known of h i s p r e -  decessors were E l i z a b e t h H a m i l t o n , C h a r l e s Lucas, A m e l i a Opie, Mrs.  Jane West, George Y/alker and Izaac D ' I s r a e l i .  The two  last-named, whose most famous books a r e The Vagabond and V a u r i e n : o r Sketches of t h e Times E x h i b i t i n g Views of t h e P h i l o s o p h i e s , R e l i g i o n s , P o l i t i c s , L i t e r a t u r e , and Manners o f the Age, may have p l a y e d some p a r t i n shaping Peacock's method of n o v e l - w r i t i n g , f o r they b o t h embodied o p i n i o n i n f i c t i o n and s a t i r i s e d l i v i n g Englishmen.  A l l these w r i t e r s were w r i t -  i n g a t about t h e t u r n of t h e c e n t u r y .  Some of the t h i n k e r s o f  t h a t e r a , whose i d e a s i n a p o p u l a r i s e d f o r m appear i n t h e mouths o f Peacock's c h a r a c t e r s , were B u r k e , Adam Perguson, Godwin, M a c k i n t o s h , and P r i e s t l e y - who a l l i n some way o r another b e l i e v e d i n p r o g r e s s , w h i l e those who tended i n s t e a d t o support d e t e r i o r a t i o n (or p r i m i t i v i s m ) i n c l u d e d Rousseau, Mary w b l l s t o n e c r a f t , Monboddo (who o n l y b e l i e v e d p a r t i a l l y i n det e r i o r a t i o n ) , and R i c h a r d Payne K n i g h t , whose e p i c P r o g r e s s o f  66 C i v i l S o c i e t y was so r o u n d l y p a r o d i e d "by Canning, G i f f o r d and IT ere i n t h e pages of t h e A n t i - J a c o b i n . Peacock had not f i n i s h e d w i t h p r i m i t i v i s m when he had w r i t t e n Headlong H a l l . court.  He took another t i l t a t i t i n M e l i n -  B u t t h i s time, i n s t e a d of aiming h i s s h a f t s a t a  v a r i e t y o f p o p u l a r i s e d p h i l o s o p h i e s , he c o n f i n e s h i s a t t e n t i o n almost w h o l l y t o L o r d Honboddo, and p a r t i c u l a r l y to t h a t s m a l l but much-discussed p o r t i o n o f Monboddo d e a l i n g w i t h the humani t y of the orang-utan.  Monboddo's p r e c i s e p o s i t i o n on the  q u e s t i o n o f d e t e r i o r a t i o n o r p r o g r e s s i s even now r a t h e r h a r d to determine, b u t i t seems t h a t he found o n l y t h e p h y s i c a l f i t n e s s of t h e savage a d m i r a b l e . progressed (according  Prom savagery man g r a d u a l l y  t o Monboddo) t i l l he reached h i s h i g h e s t  s t a t e o f p e r f e c t i o n i n the p a s t o r a l l i f e o f A n c i e n t  Greece.  A f t e r t h a t , though h i s mind tended to become f i n e r and f i n e r , h i s p h y s i c a l c o n d i t i o n became worse and worse - t h e u l t i m a t e r e s u l t o f w h i c h , Monboddo thought, would be man's metamorphosis i n t o a t h i n g of t h e s p i r i t o n l y . philosophy,  Such i n o u t l i n e i s Monboddo's  and o b v i o u s l y i t c o n t a i n s  and o f d e t e r i o r a t i o n .  elements b o t h o f p r o g r e s s  I n c i d e n t a l t o t h i s major t h e s i s was the  n o t o r i o u s d i s q u i s i t i o n on t h e orang-utan. sophical p o s i t i o n i s not wholly c l e a r . to t h i n k o f t h e orang as r e p r e s e n t i n g  Here a g a i n the p h i l o -  A t times Monboddo seems the c o n d i t i o n of p r i m i -  t i v e man, w h i l e a t o t h e r times he t h i n k s o f i t as r e p r e s e n t i n g a more advanced s t a g e .  However, he does p o s t u l a t e t h a t men and  orangs a r e of t h e same s p e c i e s , s i n c e they d i f f e r f r o m other animals i n t h e i r c a p a c i t y f o r mental development.  Implied, i f  67 not a c t u a l l y f o r m u l a t e d , i s the b e g i n n i n g of the e v o l u t i o n theory put f o r w a r d by Erasmus Darwin twenty years l a t e r .  All  t h i n g s c o n s i d e r e d , we would p r o b a b l y p l a c e Monboddo among the p r o g r e s s i v i s t s ? b u t the f a c t remains t h a t ( i f we can judge as t y p i c a l the r e a c t i o n of Dr. Johnson) he was summarily as a p r i m i t i v i s t i n h i s own  time.  dismissed rather I t seems to be a  f a i r l y w e l l e s t a b l i s h e d f a c t t h a t Monboddo was  one of Peacock's  f a v o u r i t e authors - e s p e c i a l l y i n h i s y o u t h - and t h i s i s not u n l i k e l y i n v i e w of the f a c t t h a t Monboddo was  as e c s t a t i c  about the p a r a d i s a l q u a l i t i e s of A n c i e n t Greece as ever Peacock was, b u t we must suppose t h a t he thought Monboddo's d i g r e s s i o n concerning h i s f a v o u r i t e branch of the ape f a m i l y a v e r y good joke i n d e e d , f o r i t i s o n l y r e l a t i v e l y r e c e n t l y t h a t the experiments  of K o h l e r and o t h e r p s y c h o l o g i s t s have shown us t h a t  Monboddo - though he e r r e d on the s i d e of e n t h u s i a s t i c c r e d u l i t y when, l e a r n e d judge as he was, he most u n j u d i c i a l l y  accep-  ted as s t r i c t l y t r u e a l l the t r a v e l l e r s ' t a l e s he r e a d of or heard - came a g r e a t d e a l nearer to r e a l i s i n g the t r u t h than h i s amused contemporaries ever have b e l i e v e d .  and t h e i r immediate p o s t e r i t y would  Oddly enough, many of Monboddo's most  outre d o c t r i n e s were i n c o r p o r a t e d a l s o - and a p p a r e n t l y i n d e pendently - i n t h e w r i t i n g s of Rousseau, where they a t t r a c t e d no n o t o r i e t y whatever.  At any r a t e , i n M e l i n c o u r t , P o r e s t e r i s  i n t r o d u c e d as a p r i m i t i v i s t i c p h i l o s o p h e r f u l l of Monboddo's d o c t r i n e s (combined w i t h the n a t u r e - p h i l o s o p h y of Wordsworth), w i t h a c i v i l i s e d orang-utan, and companion.  S i r Oran Haut-ton, f o r a f r i e n d  The p o s s i b i l i t i e s of c i v i l i s i n g an  orang-utan  68 are amply s u b s t a n t i a t e d by copious f o o t n o t e s c i t i n g a p p r o p r i a t e passages from Monboddo and, to a l e s s e r e x t e n t , B u f f on  and  Rousseau, and S i r Or an i s p r e s e n t e d as a p e r f e c t gentleman (a good d e a l more p e r f e c t than the r e s t of the gentlemen i n the book), l a c k i n g o n l y the a b i l i t y to speak to be human.  completely  T h i s admirable ape i s bought a b a r o n e t c y , accepted  by  s o c i e t y , and e v e n t u a l l y i s e l e c t e d by a pocket borough to parliament  (i  n  one of the most e f f e c t i v e s a t i r e s on  tary corruption i n English l i t e r a t u r e ) .  parliamen-  As u s u a l , w h i l e pro-  v i d i n g a r u n n i n g commentary on the extremes of p r i m i t i v i s m , Peacock manages t o s a t i r i s e a whole h o s t of r e a l e v i l s .  The  d o c t r i n e s of P o r e s t e r do not c o v e r much new ground - we have met most of them b e f o r e i n the c o n v e r s a t i o n of E s c o t . t h e r e i s s t r e s s on t h e d i m i n i s h e d s t a t u r e of man  Again  since primitive  times, f o r the i n t e l l e c t u a l are n o u r i s h e d a t the expense of the p h y s i c a l f a c u l t i e s (pure Monboddo), a g a i n an emphasis on modera t i o n i n the e a t i n g of animal f o o d and d r i n k i n g wine - though P o r e s t e r i s not such a b i g o t on t h i s s c o r e as was  Escot.  Again  we f i n d a r e t r o s p e c t i v e fondness f o r c l a s s i c times as the Golden Age  (Monboddo again) to w h i c h i s added the p e s s i m i s t i c  view t h a t peasants and mountain-dwellers  f o r m our l a s t  and  f a s t - d i s i n t e g r a t i n g l i n k w i t h t h a t d e s i r a b l e p a s t (a touch of Wordsworthian p r i m i t i v i s m ) .  The l u x u r y of the r u l i n g c l  i s once more a t t a c k e d , and P o r e s t e r b e l i e v e s , w i t h Wordsworth, t h a t r e t i r e m e n t f r o m the w o r l d i s the o n l y course open to the virtuous.  And so P o r e s t e r t a l k s on and on, i n d u l g i n g i n the  l o n g e s t and l e a s t i n t e r e s t i n g - because s e r i o u s - speeches  69 Peacock ever wrote.  P o r though Peacock makes f u n of the ape-  man, he i s much more i n c l i n e d to agree w i t h the more moderate p o s i t i o n s o f Monboddo (and even o f Wordsworth), and F o r e s t e r i s p r o v i d e d w i t h no r e a l l y competent a d v e r s a r y .  The p r i m i t i v i s t i c  l e a n i n g s we suspected i n Headlong H a l l a r e made a l i t t l e more plain.  I n t h e l a t e r n o v e l s p r i m i t i v i s m , as such, i s l e f t alone  but t h e whole tone o f them suggests t h a t Peacock had more sympathy w i t h t h e p a s t than w i t h t h e f u t u r e .  I n any one of them  b r i e f o u t b u r s t s a g a i n s t modern s c i e n t i f i c p r o g r e s s may be found.  One of t h e most amusing occurs i n G r y l l Grangev  "He [ D r . Opimian] quoted Homer, A e s c h y l u s , A r i s t o t l e , P l u t a r c h , Athenaeus, Horace, P e r s i u s , and P l i n y , t o show t h a t a l l w h i c h i s p r a c t i c a l l y w o r t h knowing on t h e s u b j e c t o f e l e c t r i c i t y had been known t o t h e a n c i e n t s . The e l e c t r i c t e l e g r a p h he h e l d to be a n u i s a n c e , as d i s a r r a n g i n g chrono l o g y , and g i v i n g o n l y t h e heads o f a c h a p t e r , of which the d e t a i l s l o s t t h e i r i n t e r e s t b e f o r e they a r r i v e d , the heads of another c h a p t e r h a v i n g i n t e r v e n e d t o d e s t r o y i t . Then, what an amount o f m i s e r y i t i n f l i c t e d , when, merely s a y i n g t h e r e had been a g r e a t b a t t l e , and t h a t thousands had been wounded o r k i l l e d , i t m a i n t a i n e d an agony o f suspense i n a l l who had f r i e n d s on t h e f i e l d , t i l l t h e o r d i n a r y chann e l s of i n t e l l i g e n c e brought t h e names o f the" s u f f e r e r ' s i ' Ho S i c i l i a n t y r a n t had i n v e n t e d such an engine o f c r u e l t y ? C l o s e l y r e l a t e d to - r e a l l y a s u b s i d i a r y p a r t of - the s a t i r i c a l f i c t i o n on p r o g r e s s i v i s m was the s a t i r i c a l l i t e r a t u r e t h a t c o n c e n t r a t e d e s p e c i a l l y on Godwin's dangerous t h e o r i e s , which had been spread abroad n o t o n l y by Godwin h i m s e l f i n h i s P o l i t i c a l J u s t i c e and even more i n h i s Caleb W i l l i a m s , b u t which f o r many y e a r s c o n t i n u e d to be embodied i n f i c t i o n a l by h i s s u p p o r t e r s .  form  Many p e o p l e avoided Godwin!an t h e o r i e s when  they saw what was happening  i n F r a n c e , many more were shocked  by h i s d e n u n c i a t i o n o f m a r r i a g e , o t h e r s saw f l a w s i n , o r merely d i s l i k e d , h i s philosophy.  Wordsworth, who had been f o r a time  70 Godwin's d i s c i p l e but i n due course r e a c t e d , was e a r l i e s t (though C o l e r i d g e was  ahead of him)  one of the  to a t t a c k him,  and  was p r o b a b l y the f i r s t to p o r t r a y a hero l e d a s t r a y by Godwini a n f a l l a c i e s , i n The B o r d e r e r s .  Peacock's s a t i r i c predeces-  sors above mentioned were not l o n g i n f o l l o w i n g i n the f o o t steps of Wordsworth. tragedy young men  I n books r u n n i n g the gamut f r o m f a r c e to  and women good and bad go or are l e d a s t r a y  w i t h r e s u l t s sometimes l a u g h a b l e and sometimes lamentable - and a l l because of the p e r n i c i o u s use of r e a s o n  ( g e n e r a l l y most  p a t e n t l y reduced to mere r a t i o n a l i s a t i o n ) .  I t i s clear that  t h i s sub-species  of l i t e r a t u r e had comic p o s s i b i l i t i e s t h a t  c o u l d not be o v e r l o o k e d by Peacock.  The u s u a l s a t i r i c a l method  was f o r the author to a n a l y s e s t e p by s t e p the sham motives w i t h w h i c h the Godwinian c h a r a c t e r f o o l e d h i m s e l f and h i s a s s o c i a t e s every time h i s behaviour f a i l e d to come up to u s u a l e t h i c a l standards.  So i n t o the mouth of Mr. F l o s k y ( C o l e r i d g e )  i n Nightmare Abbey, on the o c c a s i o n of the a r r i v a l of a packet of p o p u l a r l i t e r a t u r e , Peacock puts a few apt comments I "'Devilman [anagram of Godwin's M a n d e v i l l e "1 , a n o v e l . ' Hm. H a t r e d - revenge - misanthropy - and q u o t a t i o n s from the B i b l e . Hm. T h i s i s the morbid anatomy of b l a c k b i l e . 'Paul Jones, a poem.' Hm. I see how i t i s . P a u l Jones, an amiable e n t h u s i a s t - d i s a p p o i n t e d i n h i s a f f e c t i o n s t u r n s p i r a t e f r o m ennui and magnanimity - c u t s v a r i o u s m a s c u l i n e t h r o a t s , wins v a r i o u s f e m i n i n e h e a r t s - i s hanged at the yard-armJ The c a t a s t r o p h e i s v e r y awkward, and very unpoetical." 27 L a t e r F l o s k y e x p l a i n s t h e r i s e of t h i s type of f i c t i o n .  The  s u p e r n a t u r a l h a v i n g been exhausted, p o p u l a r w r i t e r s proceeded to c o n c e n t r a t e on the w o r s t p a s s i o n s of human nature out i n a masquerade d r e s s of h e r o i s m and  disappointed  "tricked  71 28 |  -benevolence."  To draw a c h a r a c t e r along these l i n e s i t i s only-  necessary to f l y i n the f a c e of experience and compound t o gether the most heterogeneous  elements of c h a r a c t e r , having a  s i n g l e v i r t u e more than redeem a l l s o r t s of m a n i f e s t v i c e s . And F l o s k y concludes w i t h a h y p o t h e t i c a l example of such charact er- dr awi ng: "... i f a man knocks me down, and takes my purse and watch by main f o r c e , I t u r n him t o account, and s e t him f o r t h i n a tragedy as a dashing young f e l l o w , d i s i n h e r i t e d f o r h i s romantic g e n e r o s i t y , and f u l l of a most amiable h a t r e d ofthe w o r l d i n g e n e r a l , and h i s own c o u n t r y i n p a r t i c u l a r , and of a most e n l i g h t e n e d and c h i v a l r o u s a f f e c t i o n f o r h i m s e l f ; t h e n , w i t h the a d d i t i o n of a w i l d g i r l to f a l l i n l o v e w i t h him, and,a s e r i e s of adventures i n which they break a l l the Ten Commandments i n s u c c e s s i o n (always, you w i l l observe, f o r some sublime m o t i v e , w h i c h must be c a r e f u l l y a n a l y s e d i n i t s p r o g r e s s ) , I have as amiable a p a i r " of t r a g i c c h a r a c t e r s as ever i s s u e d from t h a t hew r e g i o n of the b e l l e s l e t t r e s , which I have c a l l e d the Morbid Anatomy -of B l a c k B i l e , and w h i c h i s g r e a t l y to be admired and r e j o i c e d a t , as a f f o r d i n g a f i n e scope f o r the e x h i b i t i o n of mental power." 29 Another phase of contemporary a t w o f o l d e f f e c t on Peacock, was  l e t t e r s , and one which had  the c u l t of the G o t h i c .  In  i t s most extreme a s p e c t s he found much to r i d i c u l e , but w i t h i t s romantic f e e l i n g f o r w i l d scenery and f o r the p a s t he e n t i r e l y i n sympathy.  was  H i s s a t i r e of the c u l t occurs almost  e n t i r e l y i n M e l i n c o u r t and i n Nightmare Abbey, w h i l e c r i t i c a l pronouncements a r e made or i m p l i e d i n the Essay on P a s h i o n a b l e L i t e r a t u r e and i n G r y l l Grange.  That Peacock was  attracted i n  h i s y o u t h by G o t h i c l i t e r a t u r e i s made p l a i n by the f a c t t h a t among the f i r s t b a t c h of books he o r d e r e d to s o l a c e h i s navy s e r v i c e were L e w i s ' Romantic T a l e s , The Romance of the P o r e s t , 30 The Ring and the W e l l , and Adelmorn the Outlaw. We have no  72 f u r t h e r r e c o r d of h i s development along t h i s l i n e u n t i l w r i t i n g of M e l i n c o u r t . the c r o s s - r o a d s .  the  Here Peacock seems to be s t a n d i n g  at  C e r t a i n f e a t u r e s of the book - the s e t t i n g ,  i n w i l d and p i c t u r e s q u e Cumberland, the r e s t o r e d Gothic t e c t u r e of M e l i n c o u r t C a s t l e , and the attempted and successful abduction  archi-  finally  (and, of course, the e v e n t u a l r e s c u e ) of  An the l i s , - a r e not u n r e l a t e d to the r e g u l a r f e a t u r e s of the Gothic romance, and are t r e a t e d q u i t e s e r i o u s l y .  But here and  there we can c a t c h Peacock i n d u l g i n g i n a l i t t l e c h u c k l e at the a f f e c t e d a t t i t u d e s of story-book men  and women.  Thus he com-  ments upon M i s s D a n a r e t t a C o n t a n t i n a Pinmoney and her mother as they approach M e l i n c o u r t : "The i v i e d b a t t l e m e n t s and f r o w n i n g towers of M e l i n c o u r t C a s t l e , as they b u r s t a t once upon the s i g h t , v e r y much' a s t o n i s h e d t h e e l d e r and d e l i g h t e d the younger l a d y ; f o r the l a t t e r had c u l t i v a t e d a g r e a t d e a l of t h e o r e t i c a l romance"i n t a s t e , not i n f e e l i n g - an important d i s t i n c t i o n - which enabled her to be most l i b e r a l l y s e n t i m e n t a l i n words, w i t h o u t a t a l l i n f l u e n c i n g her a c t i o n s ; to t a l k of h e r o i c a f f e c t i o n and s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g enthusiasm, w i t h o u t i n c u r r i n g the l e a s t danger of forming a d i s i n t e r e s t e d a t t a c h ment, or of e r r i n g i n any way whatever on the score of p r a c t i c a l generosity."" 31 The p o r t r a i t of Derrydown, the m e d i e v a l i s t , i s more c h u c k l i n g -"32 at the same a t t i t u d e when i t i s taken r a t h e r more s e r i o u s l y : '"The s p i r i t of the age of c h i v a l r y ! ' s o l i l o q u i s e d Mr. Derrydown; ' I t h i n k I am a t home t h e r e . I w i l l be a k n i g h t of the round t a b l e . I w i l l be S i r L a n e e l o t , or S i r Gawaine, or S i r T r i s t r a m . Kb: I w i l l be a troubadour - a l o v e - l o r n m i n s t r e l . I w i l l w r i t e the most i r r e s i s t i b l e b a l l a d s i n p r a i s e of the b e a u t i f u l A n t h e l i a . She s h a l l be my l a d y of the l a k e . We w i l l s a i l about U l l e s w a t e r i n our p i n n a c e , and s i n g duets about M e r l i n , and King A r t h u r , and F a i r y l a n d . " 1  And then t h e r e i s a f i n a l c h u c k l e concerning  Forester's protrac-  ted s e a r c h f o r A n t h e l i a , when he e x p l a i n s t h a t "they c o u l d sometimes make b u t l i t t l e p r o g r e s s  i n a day, b e i n g  often  73 compelled t o t u r n a s i d e from the w i l d e r t r a c k s , i n search of a town or v i l l a g e , f o r t h e purposes o f refreshment o r r e s t s there "being t h i s remarkable d i f f e r e n c e between t h e l o v e r s of the days of c h i v a l r y and those of modern times, t h a t t h e former c o u l d pass a week o r two i n a d e s e r t o r a f o r e s t , w i t h o u t meat, drink, or s h e l t e r - a very u s e f u l a r t f o r a l l t r a v e l l e r s , whether l o v e r s o r not, w h i c h these degenerate days have unfortunately l o s t . "  By t h e time he came t o w r i t e Nightmare  Abbey Peacock had a p p a r e n t l y made up h i s mind about G o t h i c erature.  lit-  He t e l l s S h e l l e y t h a t h i s book i s designed as a  c o u n t e r b l a s t t o t h e 'black b i l e ' of C h i l d e H a r o l d , and e l s e where, " I thought I had f u l l y e x p l a i n e d t o you t h e o b j e c t of Nightmare Abbey, w h i c h was merely to b r i n g to a s o r t of p h i l o s o p h i c a l f o c u s a few o f t h e m o r b i d i t i e s o f modern l i t e r a t u r e , and t o l e t i n a l i t t l e d a y l i g h t - on i t s a t r a b i l a r i o u s complex'34 '" . . . . ion."  He does throw l i g h t , on Byron's p o e t r y , and on t h e y o u t h  of S h e l l e y as w e l l , b u t b e s i d e s t h a t t h e whole machinery o f Nightmare Abbey i s mock-Gothic.  The d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e abbey,  i n t h e opening s e n t e n c e , "a v e n e r a b l e f a m i l y - m a n s i o n , i n a highly picturesque  s t a t e of s e m i - d i l a p i d a t i o n , p l e a s a n t l y s i t -  uated on a s t r i p of d r y l a n d between t h e s e a and the f e n s ..." i s s u f f i c i e n t i n d i c a t i o n of what i s to f o l l o w . imagine a l e s s p i c t u r e s q u e  One c a n h a r d l y  s i t u a t i o n than t h e L i n c o l n f e n s f o r  the scene of a G o t h i c romance.  I t i s a note of bathos t h a t i s  only e q u a l l e d i n s u b l i m i t y b y t h e l a s t sentence, when S c y t h r o p , disappointed  i n l o v e by b o t h t h e l a d i e s , i n s t e a d of s h o o t i n g  h i m s e l f as he has t h r e a t e n e d  t o do, c a l l s f o r some Madeira.  74 A f t e r the f i r s t c h a p t e r , when Mr. Glowry i s i n t r o d u c e d as 'a v e r y c o n s o l a t e widower' - though o t h e r w i s e a thorough p e s s i m i s t - and Scythrop as a normal p u b l i c s c h o o l and u n i v e r s i t y the s t o r y f o r a time becomes l e s s o b v i o u s l y s a t i r i c .  man,  Scythrop's  d e v o t i o n to romance and metaphysics, h i s b u i l d i n g of the s e c r e t room i n the tower, and h i s l o v e f o r M a r i o n e t t a a r e almost convincing.  B u t when S t e l l a a r r i v e s on the scene the a c t i o n pas-  ses i n t o the r e a l m of b u r l e s q u e , which becomes w i l d e r and wilder t i l l  i t explodes i n t h e exposure scene.  Purer s a t i r e i s  r e v e r t e d to i n the i n c i d e n t of the t u r n i n g back of the c l o c k hands, and then i t a l l  f i z z l e s out i n a g l a s s of Madeira.  Be-  s i d e s s a t i r i s i n g the hero of romance i n Scythrop's adventures, Peacock t r a v e s t i e s i n p a s s i n g a number of contemporary l e c t u a l extravagances.  intel-  These i n c l u d e the complete pessimism of  Mr. Glowry, t h e t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i s m of Mr. P l o s k y , the Ahrimanic t h e o r i e s of Mr. Toobad, the Byronism of Mr. Cypress, and the m e r m a i d - f i x a t i o n of Mr. A s t e r i a s and h i s h o p e f u l son.  In  a d d i t i o n to a l l t h i s Mr. P l o s k y s e r v e s up an acute a n a l y s i s of the p r o g r e s s of s e n s a t i o n a l l i t e r a t u r e ;  "Tea," he informs h i s  audience,"has s h a t t e r e d our n e r v e s ; l a t e d i n n e r s make us s l a v e s of  i n d i g e s t i o n ? the F r e n c h R e v o l u t i o n has made us s h r i n k from  the name of p h i l o s o p h y , and has d e s t r o y e d , i n the more r e f i n e d p a r t of t h e community (of w h i c h number I am one), a l l enthus.. 35 iasm f o r p o l i t i c a l l i b e r t y . "  Those, then, who  d i d not want  s e r i o u s l i t e r a t u r e , had to have more and more s e n s a t i o n a l f i c t i o n w r i t t e n f o r them, u n t i l t h e i r p a l a t e s became c o m p l e t e l y depraved, " t i l l  even the d e v i l h i m s e l f , though m a g n i f i e d to the  s i z e of Mount Athos, became too base, common, and p o p u l a r f o r i t s surfeited appetite."  About the same time, Peacock was  c r i t i c i s i n g , i n h i s Essay on F a s h i o n a b l e L i t e r a t u r e , the f l o o d of ephemeral l i t e r a t u r e t h a t was p o u r i n g f r o m the p r e s s ,  and  e s p e c i a l l y the M i n e r v a P r e s s , summing i t up as "completely purgated  of a l l the h i g h e r q u a l i t i e s of mind,"  however, the tone i s q u i t e d i f f e r e n t .  I n G r y l l Grange,  Medievalism  s u p e r n a t u r a l a r e accepted w i t h u r b a n i t y .  ex-  and  the  Falconer r e l a t e s at  some l e n g t h the 'Legend of S a i n t C a t h a r i n e ' , w h i c h i s p u r e l y medieval i n tone, and Dr. Opimian, d i s c u s s i n g constancy i n l o v e , t e l l s the s t o r y of Inez de C a s t r o , w h i c h might w e l l have been developed i n t o a Minerva-press  bo ok-of-the-day.  At  one  p o i n t the whole h o u s e - p a r t y g a t h e r s  t o g e t h e r to t e l l ghost  s t o r i e s , and though some of them are h a r d l y s e n s a t i o n a l , Miss I l e x , t h a t s e n s i b l e and amiable s p i n s t e r , t e l l s of the deep i m p r e s s i o n produced on her. by Lewis' famous p l a y , The Spectre.  Castle  And l a s t l y t h e r e are F a l c o n e r ' s comments on the ex-  p l a i n e d s u p e r n a t u r a l : the n o v e l s of Brockden Brown " c a r r y the p r i n c i p l e of t e r r o r to i t s utmost l i m i t s .  What can be more  a p p a l l i n g t h a n h i s Wieland? I t i s one of the few t a l e s i n which the f i n a l e x p l a n a t i o n of the a p p a r e n t l y s u p e r n a t u r a l does not • • " ' 38 destroy or d i m i n i s h the o r i g i n a l e f f e c t . "  These a r e not  the  accents of d i s a p p r o v a l . The n o v e l of s o c i e t y s c a n d a l was  popular during  the  e i g h t e e n - t w e n t i e s , and so i n C r o t c h e t C a s t l e the  intelligent  and w i t t y Lady C l a r i n d a r e c o u n t s her experiences  i n starting  to w r i t e  one:  76 " . . . I wrote a chapter or two, and sent them as a specimen to Mr. P u f f a l l , the b o o k s e l l e r , t e l l i n g him they were t o be a p a r t of the f a s h i o n a b l e something or o t h e r , and he "" o f f e r e d me, I w i l l not say how much, to f i n i s h i t i n three volumes, and l e t him pay a l l the "newspapers f o r recommend" i n g i t as the work of a l a d y of q u a l i t y , who had made v e r y f r e e w i t h the c h a r a c t e r s of h e r acquaintance .... So you w i l l see, some morning, t h a t my n o v e l i s 'the most popular p r o d u c t i o n of the day.' This i s Mr. P u f f a l l ' s f a v o u r i t e phrase. -He makes the newspapers say i t of' "everything he" p u b l i s h e s . But 'the day",' you know, i s a v e r y convenient p h r a s e ! i t a l l o w s of t h r e e hundred and s i x t y - f i v e 'most popular p r o d u c t i o n s ' i n a year. And i n l e a p - y e a r one more." 39 L a s t , but f a r from l e a s t , i n any d i s c u s s i o n of the popu l a r f i c t i o n of the romantic and n o v e l i s t .  e r a must come the Waverley Hovels  S c o t t a l o n e , of the major r o m a n t i c s ,  r e l a t i v e l y generous treatment by Peacock.  i s accorded  He cuts a poor f i g -  u r e , i t i s t r u e , i n S i r P r o t e u s , and i s laughed a t i n The Pour Ages of P o e t r y , where he i s accused of d i g g i n g up the poachers and c a t t l e - s t e a l e r s of the a n c i e n t b o r d e r , and i n the Paper Money L y r i c s , i n w h i c h he i s made to e x p l a i n t h a t b o r d e r warf a r e i s s t i l l c a r r i e d on by h i s countrymen, i n the shape of dishonest b u s i n e s s d e a l i n g s .  In Crotchet C a s t i e there i s a  r a t h e r b e w i l d e r i n g debate about the m e r i t s of the  'northern  enchanter' - b e w i l d e r i n g because b o t h the l e a d e r s of the  argu-  ment, Lady C l a r i n d a and Dr. P o l l i o t t , a t c e r t a i n times i n the course of the book seem to have been accorded the honour of being Peacock's own mouthpiece, and i t i s d i f f i c u l t to decide here w h i c h o p i n i o n i s h i s own,  i f either.  Lady C l a r i n d a i s a l l  i n f a v o u r of S c o t t , f i n d i n g him i n t e r e s t i n g and i n f o r m a t i v e . In P o l l i o t t ' s o p i n i o n S c o t t ' s h i s t o r i c a l n o v e l resembles a pantomime: "There i s the same v a r i e t y of c h a r a c t e r , the same d i v e r s i t y  77 "of s t o r y , the same copiousness of i n c i d e n t , the same re-" s e a r c h i n t o costume, the "same d i s p l a y of h e r a l d r y , f a l c o n r y m i n s t r e l s y , scenery, monkery, w i t c h e r y , d e v i l r y , robbery, poachery, p i r a c y , f i s h e r y , g i p s y - a s t r o l o g y , deiaohology, a r c h i t e c t u r e , f o r t i f i c a t i o n , c a s t r a m e j i t a t i o n , navigation"; the same running base of l o v e and b a t t l e . The main d i f f e r ence i s , t h a t the one s e t of amusing f i c t i o n s i s t o l d i n music and a c t i o n ; t h e o t h e r i n a l l the w o r s t d i a l e c t s of the E n g l i s h language." 42 Then the d i s c u s s i o n becomes more g e n e r a l .  Chainmail  accuses  S c o t t of making the p a s t seem worse than i t a c t u a l l y was. F o l l i o t t p o i n t s out t h a t the p u b l i c must have  misrepresentation  s i n c e the t r u t h i s so d u l l , and MacQuedy j o i n s i s s u e w i t h Chainmail by a v e r r i n g t h a t S c o t t whitewashed the p a s t . the b a t t l e i s r e a l l y on, and we h i m s e l f thought.  Then  s t i l l do not know what Peacock  I n the Essay on F a s h i o n a b l e  L i t e r a t u r e , how-  ever, where occurs h i s o n l y o t h e r d i r e c t c r i t i c i s m of S c o t t , h i s o p i n i o n i s made q u i t e c l e a r , and t h e r e i s no r e a s o n whatever to doubt h i s s i n e e r i t y . most p o p u l a r  D i s c u s s i n g the ephemerality  of  l i t e r a t u r e , Peacock makes an e x c e p t i o n of S c o t t ' s  work, s a y i n g t h a t though i n p o e t r y he appears to have been deposed by B y r o n , he has r i s e n w i t h r e d o u b l e d might as a n o v e l i s t becoming, perhaps, "the most u n i v e r s a l l y s u c c e s s f u l i n h i s day of any w r i t e r t h a t ever l i v e d . "  He can p l e a s e , Peacock  goes on to say, every rank and c l a s s of man, a r r i v a l of 'Rob  Roy',  own  so t h a t , "On  the  as f o r m e r l y on t h a t of 'Marmion', the  s c h o l a r l a y s a s i d e h i s P l a t o , t h e statesman suspends h i s c a l c u l a t i o n s , t h e young l a d y d e s e r t s her hoop, the c r i t i c s m i l e s he t r i m s h i s lajnp, t h a n k i n g God f o r h i s good f o r t u n e , and  as  the  weary a r t i s a n r e s i g n s h i s s l e e p f o r the refreshment of the 44 magic page." E l s e w h e r e i n the same essay Peacock notes t h a t ,  78 though. S c o t t ' s success has been a t t r i b u t e d l a r g e l y to h i s keeping  c l e a r of o p i n i o n , f a r f r o m t e a c h i n g n o t h i n g , he i s f u l l  of  valuable information; "He i s a p a i n t e r of manners. He i s the h i s t o r i a n of a" p e c u l i a r and remote c l a s s of our countrymen who w i t h i n a few y e a r s have c o m p l e t e l y passed away. He o f f e r s m a t e r i a l s to the p h i l o s o p h e r i n d e p i c t i n g w i t h the t r u t h of l i f e the f e a t u r e s of human n a t u r e i n a p e c u l i a r s t a t e of s o c i e t y , b e f o r e c o m p a r a t i v e l y l i t t l e known." 45 In Peacock's n o v e l s S c o t t p l a y s l i t t l e or no p a r t .  Derrydown  i n M e l i n c o u r t - has been v a r i o u s l y i n t e r p r e t e d as 'Monk' Lewis • "46 . " ' ' "and as S c o t t , e.nd though the p o r t r a i t can be c l a i m e d as a s t r i k i n g resemblance of n e i t h e r , i t perhaps comes nearer than i t does Lewis.  Scott  Derrydown's l a b o r i o u s e d u c a t i o n , however,  during w h i c h he "had consumed a g r e a t q u a n t i t y of midnight o i l over ponderous tomes of a n c i e n t and modern l e a r n i n g , p a r t i c u l a r l y of m o r a l , p o l i t i c a l , and m e t a p h y s i c a l p h i l o s o p h y ,  ancient  1,  and modern,' c o u l d not l e s s resemble the e c l e c t i c r e a d i n g i n dulged i n by S c o t t , a c c o r d i n g to the t h i r d c h a p t e r of Waverley, which was  i n a l l p r o b a b i l i t y Peacock's o n l y c l u e to S c o t t ' s  early reading.  But Derrydown's u l t i m a t e d e v o t i o n to b a l l a d  p o e t r y , and the f a c t t h a t he t r a v e l s up and down the  country  (though i n a r a t h e r more s t y l i s h and s t r i k i n g manner than S c o t t explored h i s b o r d e r s )  i n s e a r c h of a l l manner of p o p u l a r  lore,  i s not w i t h o u t k i n s h i p w i t h c e r t a i n phases of S c o t t ' s c a r e e r . But as f a r as any d i r e c t resemblance i s concerned, the p o r t r a i t of Derrydown might as w e l l be a 'pure a n t i c i p a t e d c o g n i t i o n ' (to borrow a t r a n s c e n d e n t a l phrase Peacock was of V a c h e l L i n d s a y .  f o n d of mocking)  The f a c t t h a t Derrydown i s a zealous admir-  er of o l d E n g l i s h ( i . e . E l i z a b e t h a n ) l i t e r a t u r e and of the  age  79 of c h i v a l r y l e n d s a l i t t l e support to the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h Scott.  A l s o , he t h i n k s of A n t h e l i a as h i s 'lady of t h e l a k e ' .  33ut Derrydown i s merely a f i r s t s k e t c h of Mr. C h a i n m a i l i n C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , and C h a i n m a i l has even l e s s of S c o t t i n him than has Derrydown.  The o n l y p o s s i b l e c o n n e c t i o n t h a t can he  made i s i n the statement,  "He i s f o n d of o l d p o e t r y , and i s 48  something of a poet h i m s e l f . " one, he i s modelled medieval  I f C h a i n m a i l i s modelled  •  on any-  on Peacock h i m s e l f , f o r he shares many a  t a s t e w i t h h i s author, and h i s wooing of Susannah  Touchandgo i n t h e mountains of Wales i s s t r o n g l y r e m i n i s c e n t of Peacock's own wooing of Jane G r y f f y d h . C o n s i d e r i n g as a whole t h e p o p u l a r l i t e r a t u r e around him, then, Peacock does n o t seem t o have "been v e r y f a v o u r a b l y sed - and i f we remember h i s somewhat arrogant  impres-  intellectuality  we cannot be s u r p r i s e d . "The minor p o e t r y annoyed him - made him ashamed - w i t h i t s t i n k l i n g v a c u i t y ; t h e p r e s s was much as i t i s today - sometimes an organ of p a r t y , more o f t e n a purveyor of cheap s e n s a t i o n a l i s m and c h a r l a t a n i s m f o r the masses.  These  two a s p e c t s of t h e l i t e r a t u r e around him d i d n o t r e a l l y a f f e c t him a g r e a t d e a l , b u t t h e n a t u r e of the reviews came v e r y near home - f o r was he n o t , on o c c a s i o n , h i m s e l f a r e v i e w e r ? - and the p e t t i n e s s , t h e p r e t e n s i o n , t h e l a c k of r e a l knowledge coupled w i t h h o s t i l i t y t o genius  ( e s p e c i a l l y i f i n the o p p o s i t e  p o l i t i c a l camp) and, f i n a l l y , t h e b a r e l y - c o n c e a l e d f u n c t i o n as p a r t y s a t e l l i t e of d i s s e m i n a t i n g p a r t y propaganda aroused i n Peacock a l l t h e w r a t h of outraged honesty and s c h o l a r s h i p .  The  numerous v a g a r i e s of contemporary f i c t i o n , however, do not seem  - 80' ' to have aroused any of h i s p r e j u d i c e s , and so h i s a t t i t u d e i s one of good-humoured mockery.  He had p r o b a b l y enjoyed a good  d e a l o f second o r t h i r d - r a t e f i c t i o n i n h i s y o u t h and, when he e v e n t u a l l y r e a l i s e d i t s f a u l t s , c o u l d not b r i n g h i m s e l f t o render i t c o m p l e t e l y d e s p i c a b l e .  And a f t e r a l l , i t was l a r g e l y  harmless - w h i c h was much morse than he c o u l d say of t h e reviews - and s o , i n some of t h e most d e l i c a t e s a t i r e he ever  produced,  he c h u c k l e s a t i t s most r i d i c u l o u s aspects - t h e s e r i o u s single-mindedness  o f t h e p h i l o s o p h e r s o f p r o g r e s s and of d i s -  i n t e g r a t i o n (and of course t h e obvious f l a w s i n t h e i r t h e o r i s i n g ) - a l l t h e l u d i c r o u s machinery o f mystery and t e r r o r i n the G o t h i c - t h e warped pseudo-psychology anti-Godwinian c u l t .  o f t h e Godwinian and  Then S c o t t - most popvilar, perhaps, o f  them a l l - he c o u l d n o t n e g l e c t .  I t would never do t o p r a i s e  him w h o l e - h e a r t e d l y , so he i s laughed a t because o f h i s n a t i o n a l i t y , h i s a n c e s t r y , and h i s d e v o t i o n t o a n t i q u i t y .  It is  suggested, t o o - n o t w i t h o u t j u s t i c e - t h a t t h e m e d i e v a l n o v e l s a r e n o t as good as t h e n o v e l s of contemporary, o r a p p r o x i m a t e l y contemporary, S c o t t i s h l i f e .  B u t a t l a s t Peacock has to admit  t h a t S c o t t i s a g r e a t and t r u t h f u l d e l i n e a t o r o f men and mann e r s , and one w i t h u n i v e r s a l a p p e a l .  -T. L> PEACOCK'S CRITICISM OP HIS LITERARY CONTEMPORARIES  Volume 2.  81  Peacock versus the Lake Poets One  of the most h i t t e r and a b i d i n g a n i m o s i t i e s of Pea-  cock's l i f e was  t h a t which he e n t e r t a i n e d towards Wordsworth,  C o l e r i d g e , and Southey as a p o e t i c s c h o o l .  As  individual  poets, he found much to admire i n them - e s p e c i a l l y  i n Words-  worth and C o l e r i d g e - but h i s a p p r o v a l he seems to mention o n l y i n p a s s i n g , or he tucks i t away i n some or o t h e r f o o t n o t e , w h i l e h i s d i s a p p r o v a l he p r o c l a i m s a l o u d , again and again, so t h a t the i m p r e s s i o n of the c a s u a l r e a d e r must be t h a t no good had or c o u l d ever come out of the Lake School.  Only i n h i s o l d  age, i n G r y l l Grange, does he i n some measure p u b l i c l y  recant  the judgment passed on them i n a l l h i s e a r l i e r novels and h i s Pour Ages of P o e t r y , and by t h a t time he h i m s e l f had done, though not to the same extreme e x t e n t , what he so vehemently d e c r i e d i n Wordsworth and' the r e s t - t u r n e d c o n s e r v a t i v e . Peacock's c r i t i c i s m of the Lake P o e t s , l i k e most of h i s c r i t i cism, i s now  d i r e c t , now  i n d i r e c t , and b o t h the d i r e c t and  the  i n d i r e c t c r i t i c i s m s i n c l u d e f a v o u r a b l e and h o s t i l e m a t e r i a l . The d i r e c t c r i t i c i s m w i l l be c o n s i d e r e d f i r s t , the  indirect  l a s t , as t h e r e i s a good d e a l more of i t . The Pour Ages of P o e t r y , as we have a l r e a d y seen,  was  w r i t t e n by Peacock w i t h h i s tongue i n h i s cheek: (whoever doubts t h i s need o n l y r e f e r i t s extravagant  to i t s C i c e r o n i a n p e r o r a t i o n w i t h  eulogy of mathematicians, astronomers, meta-  p h y s i c i a n s , p o l i t i c i a n s , and p o l i t i c a l economists - indeed,  of  the whole r a c e of i n t e l l e c t u a l s and would-be i n t e l l e c t u a l s t h a t  82 Peacock s a t i r i s e s so c o n s i s t e n t l y and so comprehensively i n h i s novels).  I t i s not too f a r - f e t c h e d a c o n j e c t u r e , I t h i n k , to  suppose t h a t Peacock may  v e r y w e l l have c o n s t r u c t e d h i s whole  c r i t i c a l f a b r i c of i r o n , golden, s i l v e r and b r a z e n ages of p o e t r y merely to g i v e him a b a s i s f o r an a t t a c k on the Lake poets.  The c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the Lake S c h o o l , as a group and  i n d i v i d u a l l y , takes up a preponderant p a r t of the whole  essay,  and h i s d i v i s i o n of p r e v i o u s work i n p o e t r y i n t o the f o u r d i f f e r e n t c a t e g o r i e s does not always bear c l o s e  examination.  The g e n e r a l theme i s of the decadence of p o e t r y , w h i c h i s t r a c e d f i r s t i n Greece and Rome and subsequently  i n England.  In c l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e the times b e f o r e Homer c o n s t i t u t e the age of i r o n , the Homeric age i s the age of g o l d , the V i r g i l i a n i s the age of s i l v e r , w h i l e Honnus completes the c y c l e w i t h h i s age of b r a s s .  The c o r r e s p o n d i n g  are, of c o u r s e , the m e d i e v a l ,  ages i n E n g l i s h l i t e r a t u r e  c h i v a l r i c age of i r o n ,  the  E l i z a b e t h a n age of g o l d , the Augustan age of s i l v e r , and, i n e v i t a b l y , the Romantic age of b r a s s .  One  of the c h i e f s t r i c -  tures upon t h e b r a z e n poets i s t h a t they merely r e - p r e s e n t , i n a s t u p i d , i g n o r a n t , long-winded way,  the m a t e r i a l s of the i r o n  age - b a r b a r i c customs and s u p e r s t i t i o n s .  Hence i t i s con-  cluded t h a t poets are b a r b a r i a n s among c i v i l i s e d  people,  appealing to a more and more v u l g a r and r e s t r i c t e d  audience,  searching f o r t h e i r m a t e r i a l s . i n myth and mystery, w h i l e true i n t e l l e c t u a l s of the age  the  ( t h e mathematicians, s c i e n t i s t s ,  and economists, remember J) work o n l y w i t h f a c t s and logic*, so p o e t r y i s on the .point of t o t a l e x t i n c t i o n .  Against  and  this  "background the Lake Poets are i n t r o d u c e d and accused of b r i n g ing  the age of b r a s s 'prematurely to i t s dotage'.  Peacock  notes w i t h f a v o u r the f a c t t h a t Thomson and Cowper had reopened people's eyes to the b e a u t i e s of n a t u r e , but he goes on to say t h a t t h e i r success t u r n e d the heads of those who f o l l o w e d them, e,nd t h a t these f r e n z i e d f o l l o w e r s seemed to have evolved a p o e t i c c r e e d something  like this:  " ' P o e t i c a l g e n i u s i s the f i n e s t of a l l t h i n g s , and we f e e l ' t h a t we have more of i t ' t h a n any one ever had. The way to b r i n g i t t o p e r f e c t i o n i s t o c u l t i v a t e p o e t i c a l impressions e x c l u s i v e l y . P o e t i c a l i m p r e s s i o n s can be r e c e i v e d o n l y ' among " n a t u r a l scenes: f o r a l l t h a t i s a r t i f i c i a l i s a n t i p o e t i c a l . S o c i e t y i s ' a r t i f i c i a l " , t h e r e f o r e we w i l l " l i v e out of s o c i e t y . The" mountains a r e n a t u r a l , t h e r e f o r e " we w i l l l i v e i n t h e mountains. There we' s h a l l be s h i n i n g models of p u r i t y and v i r t u e , p a s s i n g the whole day' i n the • i n n o c e n t and amiable o c c u p a t i o n of g o i n g up"and down h i l l , r e c e i v i n g p o e t i c a l i m p r e s s i o n s , and communicating them i n immortal v e r s e to a d m i r i n g g e n e r a t i o n s . ' " 1 We cannot but admire t h i s w i t t y c a r i c a t u r e of the t h e o r y and p r a c t i c e of L y r i c a l B a l l a d s .  But Peacock cannot l e a v e w e l l  a l o n e , and goes on to e l a b o r a t e h i s o p i n i o n of the Lake School w i t h remarks more i n d i c a t i v e of i l l - f e e l i n g than of w i t .  He  mentions t h e i r 'most e x t r a o r d i n a r y p o e t i c a l i m p r e s s i o n s ' - they, or Wordsworth and C o l e r i d g e at l e a s t , had had the i n s i g h t  and  courage to break away from the moribund t r a d i t i o n t h a t Peacock had c l u n g t o i n h i s e a r l y poems.  He sneers i n h i s u s u a l way  at  t h e i r 'models of p u b l i c v i r t u e , too s p l e n d i d to need i l l u s tration'  (and one c o u l d w i s h t h a t a t times he might have found  that v i r t u e w i t h o u t need of i l l u s t r a t i o n i n some of h i s o t h e r writings).  He r e f e r s t o , w i thout e l a b o r a t i n g on, t h e i r  new  p r i n c i p l e of v e r s i f i c a t i o n - and we s h o u l d remember Wordsworth' s remarks ( i n the P r e f a c e t o the second e d i t i o n of the  84 L y r i c a l B a l l a d s ) on t h e p o e t i c d i c t i o n Peacock h i m s e l f had c h e r i s h e d n o t so many years b e f o r e .  Up t o t h i s p o i n t he might  j u s t have been a spokesman f o r t h e l i t e r a r y c o n s e r v a t i v e s , b u t now he shuts h i s eyes and h i t s out w i l d l y . poets of ignorance  He accuses t h e Lake  of h i s t o r y , s o c i e t y , and human nature - than  which, n o t h i n g c o u l d be f a r t h e r from the t r u t h - of c u l t i v a t i n g phantasy a t t h e expense of memory and reason, and, f i n a l l y , of c o n v e r t i n g nature i n t o a ' s o r t of f a i r y - l a n d , which they peopled w i t h mysticisms  and chimaeras.'  These l a s t a c c u s a t i o n s ,  t o t a l l y unsupported by any examples, a r e so nebulous as to be quite i n e f f e c t i v e .  H i s l o a t h e d r e v i e w e r s c o u l d h a r d l y have  made a more p r e j u d i c e d or l e s s s u b s t a n t i a t e d c r i t i c i s m .  One  might be f o r g i v e n f o r s u s p e c t i n g t h a t he had never read any of the Lake p o e t r y , b u t was depending on hearsay. however, can be made f o r him.  No such excuse,  I n f a c t , a l r e a d y b e f o r e t h i s he  had shown, b o t h d i r e c t l y and i n d i r e c t l y i n h i s w r i t i n g s , t h a t he c o u l d and d i d a p p r e c i a t e much i n t h e work of the Lake men. We can o n l y suppose t h a t Peacock was s t i l l a l i t t l e  chagrined  at h i s own f a i l u r e t o s e t t h e w o r l d a f i r e w i t h h i s p o e t r y , and t h a t , as b a i t i n g t h e Lakers was s t i l l a p o p u l a r amusement, he was  not u n w i l l i n g to j o i n i n . The s e t t i n g of lifeline our t ,  i n Cumberland, n a t u r a l l y gave  Peacock another chance t o c r i t i c i s e t h e Lake Poets.  Indeed,  many of t h e most memorable p a r t s of t h e book a r e i n d i c t m e n t s of them i n d i v i d u a l l y , b u t a few words a r e a l s o s a i d of them as a group.  P a x and P o r e s t e r , i n t h e course of one of t h e i r i n -  terminable d i s c u s s i o n s , r a i s e t h e s u b j e c t of t h e c o n n e c t i o n ,  85 i f i t e x i s t s , "between mcmntain-dwellers and t h e s p i r i t of liberty.  F o r e s t e r , presumably v o i c i n g e n l i g h t e n e d o p i n i o n , i f  not the o p i n i o n of Peacock h i m s e l f , i s q u i t e convinced, d e s p i t e a l l the arguments  tha,t Pax may adduce, t h a t l i f e i n mountainous  country i s conducive to images of energy and l i b e r t y , though he laments t h e f a c t t h a t t h e mountains o f Cumberland can boa,st no names o f t r u e g r e a t n e s s and unshaken d e v o t i o n to g e n e r a l liberty.  Instead,  "We have seen a l i t t l e horde of p o e t s , who brought h i t h e r from t h e v a l e s of t h e s o u t h t h e harps which they had cons e c r a t e d t o T r u t h and L i b e r t y , to a c q u i r e new energy i n the mountain winds! and how those harps are a t t u n e d to t h e p r a i s e of l u x u r i o u s power, t o t h e s t r a i n s of c o u r t l y sycophancy, and to t h e hymns of exploded s u p e r s t i t i o n . B u t l e t not t h e i n n o c e n t mountains bear t h e burden of t h e i r transgressions. 2 11  So much f o r Peacock's o p i n i o n of the Lake Poets as a group.  We w i l l now g l a n c e a t t h e pronouncements he made on  them i n d i v i d u a l l y throughout h i s l i f e .  The e a r l i e s t of these  occurs i n 1808, d u r i n g h i s b r i e f n a v a l c a r e e r , when we a r e * somewhat s t a r t l e d to f i n d t h e f o l l o w i n g passage i n a l e t t e r to Hookhaml  .  f  "Is another volume of M i s s B a i l l i e ' s t r a g e d i e s f o r t h c o m i n g ? Has G-ifford Undertaken to e d i t Beaumont & F l e t c h e r ? ... What i s W a l t e r S c o t t about? I s a n y t h i n g new expected from the pen of t h e incomparable Southey? How i s poor Campbell? His i y r e b r e a t h e d t h e v e r y s o u l of p o e t r y : must i t remain u n s t r u n g f o r ever? ... I s Wordsworth s l e e p i n g i n peace on h i s bed of mud i n t h e p r o f u n d i t y of t h e Bathos, o r w i l l he a g a i n wake to d o l e out a l y r i c a l b a l l a d ? H i s l a s t work [Poems i n Two Volumes(?)] t o a l l appearance has damned him i r r e c o v e r a b l y v " 3 As these q u e s t i o n s a r e m a n i f e s t l y asked i n a l l s e r i o u s n e s s , a,nd as Southey had s e v e r e d h i s c o n n e c t i o n s w i t h h i s e a r l y r a d i c a l ism  f u l l y t e n y e a r s b e f o r e , i t i s apparent t h a t Peacock had not  86 yet been awakened to the p o l i t i c a l comings of the l a u r e a t e - t o - b e .  (and hence p o e t i c a l ) s h o r t -  Notable, t o o , i s the f a c t t h a t  the c r i t i c i s m of Wordsworth i s c o n f i n e d to h i s p o e t r y , and mention i s made of h i s p o l i t i c s .  no  Very d i f f e r e n t i s the tone of  the next r e f e r e n c e to Southey, i n Nightmare Abbey, where, i n a f o o t n o t e of unique a c e r b i t y , he i s compared and condemned w i t h BurkeI "Our'immaculate l a u r e a t e (who g i v e s us to understand t h a t , i f . h e had not been p u r i f i e d by holy.matrimony i n t o a m y s t i c a l type, he would have d i e d a v i r g i n ) i s another" sublime gentleman of t h e same genus: he v e r y much astoni s h e d some persons when he s o l d h i s b i r t h r i g h t f o r a pot of sack; but not even h i s S o s i a had a g r a i n of r e s p e c t f o r him, though, d o u b t l e s s , he t h i n k s h i s name v e r y t e r r i b l e to the enemy, when he f l o u r i s h e s h i s c r i t i c o p o e t i c o p o l i t i c a l tomahawk, and s e t s up h i s I n d i a n y e l l f o r the b l o o d of h i s o l d f r i e n d s : b u t , a t b e s t , he i s a mere p o l i t i c a l scarecrow, a man of straw, r i d i c u l o u s to a l l who know of what m a t e r i a l s he i s made; and to none more so, than to those who have s t u f f e d him, and s e t him up, as the P r i a p u s of the garden of t h e g o l d e n apples of c o r r u p t i o n . " 4 In The Pour Ages of P o e t r y , however, Peacock almost w h o l l y glects personality for l i t e r a r y  ne-  criticism:  "Mr Southey wades through ponderous volumes o f " t r a v e l s and o l d c h r o n i c l e s , f r o m w h i c h he c a r e f u l l y s e l e c t s a l l t h a t i s f a l s e , u s e l e s s , and absurd, as being e s s e n t i a l l y p o e t i c a l ; and when he has a commonplace' book f u l l of monstrosi t i e s , s t r i n g s them i n t o an e p i c . Mr Wordsworth p i c k s up v i l l a g e legends f r o m o l d women and s e x t o n s ; and Mr C o l e r i d g e , to the v a l u a b l e i n f o r m a t i o n a c q u i r e d from s i m i l a r s o u r c e s , superadds t h e dreams of c r a z y t h e o l o g i a n s and the m y s t i c i s m s of German metaphysics, and f a v o u r s the w o r l d w i t h v i s i o n s i n V e r s e , i n w h i c h the quadruple elements of s e x t o n , o l d woman, Jeremy T a y l o r , and Emiaanuel Kant are harmonised i n t o a d e l i c i o u s p o e t i c a l compound." 5 This c r i t i c i s m i s j u s t s u f f i c i e n t l y c l o s e to the t r u t h to h i t home and to p r o v i d e amusement, b u t once a g a i n Peacock goes too f a r when he b e g i n s  to e l a b o r a t e .  b a r b a r i a n , a morbid dreamer, a man  Wordsworth i s d e s c r i b e d as a u n a b l e to " d e s c r i b e a scene  87 under h i s own eyes w i t h o u t p u t t i n g i n t o i t the shadow of a Danish hoy or the l i v i n g ghost of Lucy Gray, or some s i m i l a r p h a n t a s t i c a l p a r t u r i t i o n of the moods of h i s own mind,"  And.  c o n t i n u i n g h i s i n t e r r u p t e d t r a i n of thought about C o l e r i d g e * "These d i s j o i n t e d r e l i c s of t r a d i t i o n and fragments of second-hand o b s e r v a t i o n , b e i n g woven i n t o a t i s s u e of v e r s e , c o n s t r u c t e d on what Mr C o l e r i d g e c a l l s a new p r i n c i p l e ( t h a t i s , no p r i n c i p l e a t a l l ) , compose a moderna n t i q u e compound of f r i p p e r y and b a r b a r i s m , i n which the p u l i n g s e n t i m e n t a l i t y of the p r e s e n t time i s g r a f t e d ' oh the m i s r e p r e s e n t e d ruggedness of the p a s t i n t o a heterogeneous c o n g e r i e s of unamalgamating manners, s u f f i c i e n t to'impose" on the common r e a d e r s of p o e t r y , over whose understandings the poet of t h i s c l a s s possesses t h a t commanding advantage, w h i c h , i n a l l c i r c u m s t a n c e s and c o n d i t i o n s of l i f e , a man' who knows something, however l i t t l e , always possesses over one who knows n o t h i n g . " 7 This wordy nonsense would have been l e s s extraneous i f i t had come from the mouth of Mr. M y s t i c of Cimmerian Lodge r a t h e r than from the pen of h i s c r e a t o r . the  And y e t , o n l y s h o r t l y b e f o r e , i n  fragmentary second p a r t of the Essay on F a s h i o n a b l e L i t e r -  a t u r e , Peacock had defended ' C h r i s t a b e l the  Edinburgh reviewers.  1  a g a i n s t the a t t a c k s of  H i s i n t e n t i o n may have been more to  a t t a c k the a t t a c k e r s than to defend C o l e r i d g e , but he appears . to have shown a keen a p p r e c i a t i o n of the m e r i t s of the p i e c e , c a l l i n g i t 'a most b e a u t i f u l l i t t l e poem.'  By the time he  reached o l d age, however, Peacock's d i s a p p r o v a l had gone.  Re-  p e a t e d l y i n G r y l l Grange and i n the l a s t essays he quotes Wordsworth w i t h a p p r o v a l , u s u a l l y t o e x p l a i n or e l a b o r a t e h i s own s t a t e of mind, or the mind of t h e c h a r a c t e r who speaks f o r him.  More complete a s s i m i l a t i o n of a man's p o e t r y would not  seem to be p o s s i b l e .  And i n the t h i r d paper of the Horae Dram-  a t i c a e he sums up Wordsworth i n h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c manners  88 "Wordsworth's own genius i s i n no r e s p e c t B a c c h i c * i t i s " n e i t h e r e p i c , nor d r a m a t i c , nor d i t h y r a m b i c . He has deep thought and deep f e e l i n g , g r a c e f u l i m a g i n i n g s , g r e a t pathos, and l i t t l e p a s s i o n . " 8 And i n G r y l l Grange somewhat b e l a t e d j u s t i c e i s meted out to the l e a d e r s of the Lake School when Miss I l e x , the v o i c e of m a t u r i t y and'common sense, says: "Truth to Hature i s e s s e n t i a l to p o e t r y . Pew may p e r c e i v e an i n a c c u r a c y : but to those who do, i t causes a g r e a t d i m i n u t i o n , i f not a t o t a l d e s t r u c t i o n , of p l e a s u r e i n '. p e r u s a l . Shakespeare never makes a f l o w e r " b l o s s o m out of season. Wordsworth, C o l e r i d g e , and Southey are t r u e to Nature i n t h i s and i n a l l o t h e r r e s p e c t s i even i n t h e i r w i l d e s t imaginings." 9 Turning to the i n d i r e c t c r i t i c i s m , we f i n d the Lake t r i o i n t r o d u c e d i n no v e r y f l a t t e r i n g c o l o u r s i n S i r P r o t e u s . ing  Pass-  on to the n o v e l s , i t i s j u s t p o s s i b l e t h a t Mr. Panscope i n  Headlong H a l l i s meant to be C o l e r i d g e .  I n h i s g e n e r a l out-  l i n e s he may w e l l be a f i r s t s k e t c h of Messrs M y s t i c , P l o s k y , and S k i o n a r .  The p o i n t on w h i c h he i s c h i e f l y s a t i r i s e d i s h i s  e n c y c l o p e d i c l e a r n i n g - though t h e r e i s a h i n t of t h e metap h y s i c i a n and K a n t i a n t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i s t t h a t i s to f i g u r e so l a r g e l y i n t h e l a t e r books.  He has a s m a t t e r i n g of e v e r y t h i n g  and r e a l knowledge of n o t h i n g , and hence, when d i s c u s s i n g a b s t r a c t m a t t e r s , l a p s e s r e p e a t e d l y i n t o nonsense u n t i l ,  after  a s p a r k l i n g passage of arms w i t h E s c o t , h i s p r e t e n s i o n s to knowledge a r e exploded.  But Panscope shows no l a c k of w o r l d l y  wisdom ( c o n s i d e r h i s s k i l f u l h a n d l i n g o f the f a t h e r of the g i r l he wishes to m a r r y ) , i n w h i c h he v e r y l i t t l e resembles C o l e r idge, though he does have an e x c e l l e n t n o t i o n of h i s own  abil-  i t i e s , a t r a i t w h i c h Peacock a t t r i b u t e s to C o l e r i d g e more than once i n the u n e q u i v o c a l p o r t r a i t s .  I n t h i s book Wordsworth  89 appears i n no g u i s e whatever, w h i l e one amiable a l l u s i o n i s made t o Southey's Curse of Kehama. I n M e l i n o o u r t appear Peacock's most d e t a i l e d and most d e v a s t a t i n g treatments o f the Lake Poets.  Southey i s the f i r s t  to be i n t r o d u c e d , w i t h t h e two v i l l a i n s o f t h e p i e c e (the v i l l a i n s , a t l e a s t , of t h e romance, i f n o t of t h e p o l i t i c s o f the s t o r y ) , L o r d Anophel Achthar and h i s t u t o r , the Reverend Mr. Grovelgrub.  He i s g i v e n t h e name of P e a t h e r n e s t , and i t i s  e x p l a i n e d t h a t he had r e c e n t l y been g i v e n a p l a c e by t h e Marq u i s , Achthar's f a t h e r , ' i n exchange f o r h i s c o n s c i e n c e ' - h i s f r i e n d s were of the o p i n i o n t h a t he had s t r u c k a v e r y good b a r g a i n - and i n consequence of h i s promotion  t h e p o e t had  "burned h i s o l d Odes t o T r u t h and L i b e r t y , and had p u b l i s h e d a volume of P a n e g y r i c a l Addresses 'to a l l t h e crowned heads i n ~ ' 10 1  Europe,' w i t h t h e motto, 'Whatever i s a t c o u r t , i s r i g h t . " This may seem q u i t e s u f f i c i e n t l y damning as i t s t a n d s , b u t i t i s the merest p r e l u d e t o t h e complete p o r t r a i t of P e a t h e r n e s t , or, ra,ther, P e a t h e r n e s t ' s views.  He i s no so oner i n t r o d u c e d t o  us than he i s t h o r o u g h l y embarrassed by a q u e s t i o n  by.Achthar  as t o t h e n a t u r e o f t h e s p i r i t of t h e age o f c h i v a l r y : "Since h i s p r o f i t a b l e metamorphosis i n t o an ami-du p r i n c e , he had never dreamed of such a q u e s t i o n . I t b u r s t upon h i m l i k e t h e s p e c t r e o f h i s y o u t h f u l i n t e g r i t y , and he mumbled a h a l f - i n t e l l i g i b l e r e p l y about t r u t h and l i b e r t y - d i s i n t e r e s t e d benevolence - s e l f - o b i i v i o n - h e r o i c d e v o t i o n t o l o v e and honour - p r o t e c t i o n of t h e f e e b l e , and s u b v e r s i o n of t y r a n n y . " 11 Lord Anophel's comment, t h a t i t a l l sounds v e r y J a c o b i n i c a l , discountenances  t h e unhappy poet even more, b u t he hastens t o  e x t r i c a t e h i m s e l f f r o m h i s dilemma by p o u r i n g f o r t h a f l o o d of  90 t r a n s c e n d e n t a l j a r g o n w h i c h he had l e a r n e d from h i s f r i e n d Mystic.  A touch of t h e genuine Southey i s i n t r o d u c e d when we  are t o l d t h a t F e a t h e r n e s t i s an e n t h u s i a s t i c admirer of o l d E n g l i s h l i t e r a t u r e , e s p e c i a l l y o f the e c c l e s i a s t i c a l w r i t e r s and t h e t r a n s l a t i o n of the B i b l e .  An argument soon develops  w i t h Derrydown, t h e b a l l a d e n t h u s i a s t , as t o whether P a r a d i s e L o s t o r Chevy Chase i s t h e b e t t e r poem.  An even more heated  d i s c u s s i o n a r i s e s over t h e r e l a t i v e m e r i t s of Chapman's Homer and Jeremy T a y l o r ' s Holy L i v i n g .  To P e a t h e r n e s t ' s a s s e r t i o n  t h a t Chapman wrote mere d o g g e r e l , Derrydown r e p l i e s t h a t t a s t e and j u s t i c e a r e not to' be expected critic,  i n a combination poet and  " i n w h i c h duplex c a p a c i t y he had f i r s t deluged t h e  w o r l d w i t h t o r r e n t s of e x e c r a b l e v e r s e s , and then w r i t t e n anonymous c r i t i c i s m s t o prove them d i v i n e . " cludes a c i d l y by remarking  Derrydown con-  t h a t , though no man can combine the  q u a l i t i e s of Homer and A r i s t o t l e , y e t i t i s v e r y p o s s i b l e t o be b o t h Dennis and C o l l e y C i b b e r .  I n r e p l y , Peathernest  contents  h i m s e l f w i t h a p o i n t - b l a n k d e n i a l t h a t he wrote c r i t i c i s m s of h i s own p o e t r y .  That k i n d o f f i c e was performed f o r him by h i s -  f r i e n d s , M y s t i c and Vamp.  This o n l y provokes a f r e s h o u t b u r s t :  "'Yes,' s a i d Mr. Derrydown, 'on t h e " T i c k l e me, Mr. Hayley" p r i n c i p l e ; by w h i c h a m i s e r a b l e c a b a l o f d o g g e r e l rhymes t e r s and worn-out paragraph-mongers of bankrupt g a z e t t e s r i n g t h e e t e r n a l changes of p a n e g y r i c on each o t h e r , and on e v e r y t h i n g e l s e t h a t i s e i t h e r r i c h enough to buy t h e i r p r a i s e , o r v i l e enough t o deserve i t " 14 P e a t h e r n e s t , h a v i n g no r e p l y , can o n l y w i s h t h a t h i s enemy had w r i t t e n a book, and t h a t h i s might be t h e p r i v i l e g e of c r i t i c i s i n g i t i n t h e L e g i t i m a t e Review.  Prom time to time L o r d  Anophel takes p l e a s u r e i n embarrassing  h i s f a t h e r ' s m i n i o n , and  91 lie i n t e r r u p t s P e a t h e r n e s t he was  i n a eulogy of wine to comment t h a t  not always so f o n d of the grape.  Peathernest  waves away  the r e f e r e n c e to h i s y o u t h f u l e r r o r s e x p l a i n i n g t h a t he drank water a g a i n s t h i s w i l l , s i n c e no one o f f e r e d him wine.  Achthar  f u r t h e r p o i n t s out t h a t water seemed to i n s p i r e him to Odes on Truth and L i b e r t y .  Again Peathernest  has h i s answer:  ""Ah, no more of t h a t , an' thou l o v e s t me.' Mow t h a t I can g e t i t f o r a song, I take my p i p e of wine a y e a r s ' and what i s the e f f e c t ? Not c o l d phlegmatic l a m e n t a t i o n s over the s u f f e r i n g s of the poor, but h i g h - f l o w n , j o v i a l , r e e l i n g d i t h y r a m b i c s 'to a l l the crowned heads i n Europe.' I had t h e n a vague n o t i o n t h a t a l l " was wrong." Persuasion'has s i n c e appeared to me i n a t a n g i b l e shape, and convinced me t h a t a l l i s r i g h t , e s p e c i a l l y a t c o u r t . Then I saw d a r k l y through a g l a s s - o f water. Kbw I see c l e a r l y through a g l a s s of wine ..." 15 Mr. P o r e s t e r a t t h i s p o i n t i n t i m a t e s t h a t he i s one who the T r u t h and L i b e r t y Odes and who Peathernest his  deplores  h o t l y assumes t h a t any man  opinions.  ed m o t i v e s .  admired  the r o y a l l y r i c s .  i s at l i b e r t y to change  P o r e s t e r agrees, i f he changes f r o m d i s i n t e r e s t But i f a man  i n the p u b l i c eye goes over f r o m  c o r r u p t m o t i v e s , the m o r a l damage done to s o c i e t y i s widespread. His b e h a v i o r  a f f e c t s t h e r e p u t a t i o n of h i s f r i e n d s and of h i s  whole p r o f e s s i o n u n t i l t h e p u b l i c i s no l o n g e r a b l e to d i s t i n g u i s h a t r u e man  from a f a l s e .  Peathernest  waits p a t i e n t l y  throughout t h i s t i r a d e and then r e p l i e s t h a t he i s used to such language.  H i s p l a c e at c o u r t q u i t e o f f s e t s i t .  I t i s an axiom  of p a r t y p o l i t i c s t h a t t h o s e w i t h o u t government p o s i t i o n s c r y out a g a i n s t the government t i l l the government chooses to s i l e n c e them w i t h a s i n e c u r e . them t i l l "It  Envy, not p u b l i c s p i r i t , prompts  they g e t a p l a c e :  i s p r e t t y and p o l i t i c to make a v i r t u e of n e c e s s i t y !  but  92 "when t h e r e i s an end of the n e c e s s i t y r am v e r y w i l l i n g " t h a t t h e r e s h o u l d he an end of the v i r t u e . I f you c o u l d " l i v e on r o o t s , s a i d Diogenes to A r i s t i p p u s , you would have n o t h i n g to do w i t h k i n g s . - I f you c o u l d l i v e on k i n g s , r e p l i e d A r i s t i p p u s , you would have n o t h i n g to do with" r o o t s . - Every man  f o r h i m s e l f , s i r , and God f o r us a l l . "  16  S h o r t l y a f t e r w a r d s P e a t h e r n e s t i s a l l o w e d h i s o n l y r e a l measure of s e l f - d e f e n c e i n the hook - he p o i n t s out t h a t P o r e s t e r may he a b l e to a f f o r d a c o n s c i e n c e , and i f so he s h o u l d be d u l y t h a n k f u l , but poets l i k e everyone e l s e must l i v e , and i n order to l i v e must f i n d a market f o r t h e i r poems. not f e e d and c l o t h e them.  Conscience  will  P o r e s t e r can o n l y r e p l y t h a t i f such  i s t h e case, poets s h o u l d announce themselves  as merchants,  i n s t e a d of p r e t e n d i n g to independence i n t h e o r y w h i l e p r a c t i s ing t h e most a b j e c t v e n a l i t y and sycophancy.  At t h i s Peather-  nest r e v e r t s t o h i s P e a c o c k i a n s e l f , exclaims t h a t no expects t h e o r y and p r a c t i c e to c o i n c i d e , and  one  continuest  " T r u t h and l i b e r t y , s i r , are p r e t t y words, v e r y p r e t t y words - a few y e a r s ago they were the gods of the day -'they superseded i n p o e t r y the agency of mythology and magics they were t h e o n l y p a s s p o r t s i n t o the p o e t i c a l marketJ I a c t e d a c c o r d i n g l y the p a r t of a prudent mans I took my' s t a t i o n , became my own c r i e r , and v o c i f e r a t e d T r u t h and L i b e r t y , t i l l the n o i s e I made brought people about' me, t o b i d f o r me: and to t h e h i g h e s t b i d d e r I knocked myself down, a t l e s s than I am w o r t h c e r t a i n l y ; but when an a r t i c l e i s not l i k e l y t o keep, i t i s by no means prudent to postpone t h e s a l e . " 17 P o r e s t e r , presumably v o i c i n g the o p i n i o n of Peacock, m a i n t a i n s h i s view t h a t a man,  i f he has no p r i v a t e means, s h o u l d  support  h i m s e l f i n some everyday manner and w r i t e , i f he so d e s i r e s , i n h i s spare time.  A s i n g l e volume so produeed would outweigh i n  m e r i t hundreds of s y c o p h a n t i c o u t p o u r i n g s .  The s e r v i l e  liter-  ary a t t i t u d e appears to be to blame f o r the g l u t of bad books on the market.  And so t h e one-sided argument c l o s e s .  And  so,  too, P e a t h e r n e s t "blusters h i s way through t h e "book.  A t Main-  chance V i l l a , t h e home of h i s f r i e n d Mr. Paperstamp  (Words-  worth) , he appears f o r the l a s t time, one of t h a t group of r e a c t i o n a r i e s d e d i c a t e d t o t h e t o t a l and f i n a l e x t i n g u i s h i n g of t h e l i g h t of human u n d e r s t a n d i n g .  I n h i s cups he i s made to  d e l i v e r a s e l f - l a u d a t o r y speech p r o v i n g h i m s e l f to "be a model of t a s t e , g e n i u s , c o n s i s t e n c y and p u b l i c v i r t u e .  I n t h e sub-  sequent r o u n d - t a b l e d i s c u s s i o n on t h e e x t i n g u i s h i n g of human u n d e r s t a n d i n g he i s applauded by Canning (Mr. Any s i d e A n t i j a c k ) and compared w i t h t h e sublime Burke as an honest man who has changed h i s o p i n i o n s .  A t i n t e r v a l s he p r o f e s s e s h i m s e l f nos-  t a l g i c f o r t h e "happy i g n o r a n c e of former ages I when t h e people were d o l t s , and knew themselves t o be s o . " He ends on a t y p i c a l n o t e , " S i r , I am a w i s e and a good man: mark t h a t , " 19 s i r ? ay, and an honourable man." S a i n t s b u r y , i n h i s p r e f a c e t o M e l i n c o u r t , i s a t some p a i n s t o defend Southey a g a i n s t t h i s a t t a c k , which, he c o n s i d e r s , condemns Peacock "by t h e laws of a r t no l e s s than by those of e t h i c s J " iously.  S a i n t s b u r y , as u s u a l , i s t a k i n g t h i n g s too s e r -  He p o i n t s out what everyone knows, t h a t Southey, f a r  from f e a t h e r i n g h i s n e s t , eked out a s i m p l e e x i s t e n c e by means of c o n t i n u a l l i t e r a r y drudgery.  I t i s too much to suppose  t h a t Peacock was n o t aware o f t h i s .  D e s p i t e t h e a c e r b i t y of  the p o r t r a i t , Peacock has no i n t e n t i o n of p i l l o r y i n g the laureate himself.  H i s w i s h i s t o scourge c e r t a i n a t t i t u d e s  and p r a c t i c e s w h i c h might be a t t r i b u t a b l e t o Southey, b u t w h i c h are common to many o t h e r s as w e l l .  These c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s by no  94 means r e p r e s e n t i n g the whole Southey (and some of them are warped i n the b o r r o w i n g ) , a r e moulded i n t o an e n t i r e l y  differ-  ent e n t i t y . Next to appear on the M e l i n c o u r t scene i s C o l e r i d g e , or H o l e y M y s t i c of Cimmerian Lodge. the man,  As a p o r t r a i t of C o l e r i d g e  of c o u r s e , i t i s u t t e r l y u n r e c o g n i s a b l e , but as a  c a r i c a t u r e of a t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i s t , w i t h C o l e r i d g e ' s transcendental a t t i t u d e s f o r basic m a t e r i a l , i t i s e x q u i s i t e . Mystic's p a r t i n the book i s c o n f i n e d to one c h a p t e r , but t h a t chapter is inspired.  One  evening as F o r e s t e r , Fax, and S i r Oran are  wandering, i n t h e i r s e a r c h f o r the abducted A n t h e l i a , through some r a t h e r b l e a k c o u n t r y and are b e g i n n i n g to worry about f i n d i n g l o d g i n g f o r the n i g h t , they meet a gentleman whom Fax immediately  r e c o g n i s e s as "the p o e t i c o p o l i t i c a l ,  p r o s a i c a l , deisidaemoniacoparadoxographical, i c a l , transcendental meteorosophist,  rhapsodico-  pseudolatreiolog-  Moley M y s t i c . "  Mystic i s  no sooner thus i n t r o d u c e d to us than we a r e plunged i n t o a c o m p l i c a t e d d i s c u s s i o n on the d e r i v a t i o n of h i s C h r i s t i a n name. M y s t i c h i m s e l f , of c o u r s e , had f o r m u l a t e d a v e r y obscure Kanti a n d e r i v a t i o n , b u t h i s f r i e n d s chose to i n t e r p r e t i t as  "a  c o r r u p t i o n of Mole-eye, i t b e i n g the o p i n i o n of some n a t u r a l i s t s t h a t the mole has  eyes, w h i c h i t can withdraw or p r o j e c t  at p l e a s u r e , i m p l y i n g a f a c u l t y of w i l f u l b l i n d n e s s , most happ i l y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of a t r a n s c e n d e n t a l m e t a p h y s i c i a n . " i n v i t e s h i s acquaintances  Mystic  to be h i s g u e s t s f o r the n i g h t , and  i s e s p e c i a l l y anxious t o show o f f to them h i s home and  fine  garden, "which he had l a i d out a c c o r d i n g to the topography of  95 the human mind*"  But b e f o r e these wonders can be demonstrated,  host and guests have to c r o s s a l a k e , c a l l e d by M y s t i c  the  Ocean of D e c e i t f u l Form, i n o r d e r to g e t to the I s l a n d of Pure I n t e l l i g e n c e , whereon Cimmerian Lodge i s s i t u a t e d . i s not w i t h o u t hazard.  The voyage  Upon q u i t t i n g the shore the p a r t y i s  shrouded i n f o g of the utmost d e n s i t y , amid w h i c h the o n l y c o n s o l a t i o n of the t r a v e l l e r s i s M y s t i c ' s assurance " t h a t he c o u l d not miss h i s way  i n a s t a t e of the atmosphere so consen-  taneous to h i s p e c u l i a r mode of v i s i o n , " f o r repeated i e n c e had proved t o him t h a t he o n l y l o s t h i s way  exper-  i n daylight,  and t h i s d i f f i c u l t y he had overcome by keeping h i s eyes c l o s e shut whenever the sun shone.  Then f o l l o w s a passage w h i c h  c o n t a i n s the v e r y . e s s e n c e of Peacock's c r i t i c i s m of C o l e r i d g e the  metaphysician: "He [ M y s t i c ] immediately added t h a t he would take the' o p p o r t u n i t y of making a remark p e r f e c t l y i n p o i n t : ' t h a t experience was a C y c l o p s , w i t h h i s eye i n the back of h i s head'| and when Mr. Pax remarked t h a t he d i d not see the c o n n e c t i o n , Mr. M y s t i c s a i d he was v e r y g l a d to hear i t ; f o r he s h o u l d be s o r r y i f anyone but h i m s e l f c o u l d see' the c o n n e c t i o n of h i s i d e a s , as he arranged h i s thoughts on a new p r i n c i p l e . " 23 >  M y s t i c l a n d s P o r e s t e r and h i s : f r i e n d s i n a bed of weeds and but they a l l manage to scramble up the bank to the -house.  mud, The  house proves to have as much f o g i n s i d e as o u t s i d e , except f o r the k i t c h e n , w h i c h i s somewhat l i g h t e d by a l a r g e f i r e .  Mystic  then produces a ' s y n t h e t i c a l t o r c h ' and l e a d s h i s v i s i t o r s  out  to admire the garden, the b e a u t i e s of w h i c h , he e x p l a i n s , are u t t e r l y d e s t r o y e d by d a y l i g h t and sunshine.  Bearing h i s torch,  which 'shed around i t the r a y s of t r a n s c e n d e n t a l M y s t i c l e a d s the way,  illumination,'  t a l k i n g a l l the time and p o i n t i n g out  96 images of ' s i n g u l a r l y n u b i l o u s beauty'.  The v i s i t o r s , however,  axe q u i t e unable t o see a n y t h i n g b u t t h e v e r y f a i n t glimmer of the t o r c h .  I n due c o u r s e M y s t i c informs  now i n a 'Spontaneity  them t h a t they a r e  f r e e f r o m Time o r Space, and a t the p o i n t  of A b s o l u t e L i m i t a t i o n ' , w h i c h F a x h o p e f u l l y . i n t e r p r e t s as meaning they c a n go no f a r t h e r .  He i s soon d i s i l l u s i o n e d when  M y s t i c p o i n t s out, i n s t e a d , t h a t they a r e i n t h e m i d s t of a maze f r o m w h i c h o n l y he c a n e x t r i c a t e them, 'and he must take the l i b e r t y t o t e l l  them t h a t t h e c a t e g o r i e s of m o d a l i t y were  connected i n t o t h e i d e a of 'absolute n e c e s s i t y . '  They f i n a l l y  g e t back t o t h e house, where d i n n e r i s ready, and s e r v e d , a t t h e i r request, i n the k i t c h e n .  They had h a l f f e a r e d a t r a n -  s c e n d e n t a l d i n n e r , b u t g e t a t h o r o u g h l y good one, complete w i t h e x c e l l e n t wine. for  A f t e r dinner Mystic t a l k s  transcendentalism  hours w i thout i n t e r r u p t i o n . Tea and c o f f e e h a v i n g been  brought i n , he b e g i n s a g a i n : " ' I d i v i d e my day,' s a i d Mr. M y s t i c , 'on a new p r i n c i p l e : I am always p o e t i c a l a t b r e a k f a s t , m o r a l a t luncheon, m e t a p h y s i c a l a t d i n n e r , and p o l i t i c a l a t t e a . How you' s h a l l know my o p i n i o n of t h e hopes of t h e w o r l d . - [And h e r e Peacock l i f t s h i s m a t e r i a l unashamedly f r o m the Lay Sermon of C o l e r i d g e ] G e n e r a l d i s c o n t e n t s h a l l be the b a s i s of p u b l i c r e s i g n a t i o n . ' The m a t e r i a l s of p o l i t i c a l gloom w i l l b u i l d t h e s t e a d f a s t frame o f hope. The main p o i n t i s to g e t r i d o f a n a l y t i c a l reason, w h i c h i s e x p e r i m e n t a l and p r a c t i c a l , and l i v e o n l y by f a i t h , w h i c h i s s y n t h e t i c a l and o r a c u l a r . The c o n t r a d i c t o r y i n t e r e s t s o f t e n m i l l i o n s may n e u t r a l i s e each o t h e r . B u t t h e s p i r i t of A n t i c h r i s t i s abroad: - t h e p e o p l e r e a d l - nay, they t h i n k ! ! The p e o p l e r e a d and t h i n k 1 ! I The p u b l i c , t h e p u b l i c i n genera l , t h e s w i n i s h m u l t i t u d e , t h e many-headed monster, a c t u a l l y reads and t h i n k s ! 1 ! ! H o r r i b l e i n thought, b u t i n f a c t most h o r r i b l e ! S c i e n c e c l a s s i f i e s f l o w e r s . Can i t make them bloom where i t has p l a c e d them i n i t s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n J Ho. T h e r e f o r e f l o w e r s ought not t o be c l a s s i f i e d . This i s t r a n s c e n d e n t a l l o g i c . Hal i n t h a t c y l i n d r i c a l m i r r o r I see t h r e e shadowy forms:- d i m l y I see them through t h e smoked g l a s s of my s p e c t a c l e s . "Who a r t thou? - MYSTERY! -  97 »'I h a i l thee! Who a r t thou? - JARGON - I l o v e thee! a r t thou? - SUPERSTITION! - I worship thee! Hail, t r a n s c e n d e n t a l TRIAD! " 24  Who  1  The i n e v i t a b l e a n t i c l i m a x comes when M y s t i c , on r e t i r i n g to bed, i g n i t e s w i t h h i s t a p e r the accumulated gas i n h i s room and i s p r e c i p i t a t e d by the e x p l o s i o n t o t h e f o o t of the s t a i r s . A l though S i r Oran e x t i n g u i s h e s t h e f i r e i n v e r y s h o r t space, M y s t i c g l o o m i l y i n t e r p r e t s t h e a c c i d e n t as an e v i l omen - a symbol of an approaching p e r i o d of p u b l i c l i g h t - a n o t i o n which so d i s t r e s s e s , him t h a t he w r i t e s to Canning i n warning and i n d i r e c t l y causes t h e assemblage of l u d i c r o u s placemen whom we l a t e r meet a t Mainchance. V i l l a . Mainchance V i l l a i s t h e abode of Wordsworth i n M e l i n c o u r t . Once a g a i n , as i n the cases of Southey and C o l e r i d g e , t h e port r a i t i s so f a r - f e t c h e d as to be r e c o g n i s a b l e o n l y by e x t e r n a l , i n s t e a d of i n t e r n a l , evidence.  L i k e C o l e r i d g e , too, Wordsworth  has h e r e one g r e a t chapter,, b u t he by no means dominates the scene as does Coleridg»e.  I n f a c t , he i s h a r d l y more than an  adequate h o s t a t Mainchance V i l l a , except when he- becomes somewhat u p r o a r i o u s  i n h i s cups.'  Among h i s Tory f r i e n d s he has  l i t t l e i n d i v i d u a l i t y , w h i l e C o l e r i d g e , segregated on h i s i s l a n d , i s unique.  f r o m mankind  The f i r s t h i n t , i n M e l i n c o u r t , t h a t  we a r e i n due course g o i n g to meet Wordsworth, i s the mention of two s e r v a n t s , o l d P e t e r Gray and o l d Harry P e l l , who, we are solemnly  t o l d , a r e r e l a t e d d i s t a n t l y t o l i t t l e Lucy and l i t t l e  A l i c e , r e s p e c t i v e l y . L a t e r on, i n t h e course of h i s e l e c t i o n speech, Mr. S a r c a s t i c a l l u d e s to Harry G i l l , whose v o i c e was as the v o i c e o f t h r e e .  I t i s not l o n g b e f o r e the p o e t h i m s e l f  puts  98 i n an appearance, p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n Mr. F o r e s t e r ' s chess dance, of a l l t h i n g s I  He i s " b r i e f l y d e s c r i b e d as b e i n g " c h i e f l y r e -  markable f o r an a f f e c t e d i n f a n t i n e l i s p i n h i s speech, and f o r ""  '25  always wearing w a i s t c o a t s of a d u f f e l gray."  The i n t r o d u c t i o n  having been performed, we see no more of him t i l l F o r e s t e r and h i s s e a r c h - p a r t y happen one n i g h t upon the Paperstamp - f o r under t h i s s u g g e s t i v e name Wordsworth masquerades - mansion, Mainchance V i l l a .  Paperstamp i s not i n evidence when the  wanderers a r r i v e , b e i n g c l o s e t e d , Mr. Derrydown e x p l a i n s , w i t h h i s d i e - h a r d f r i e n d s , Messrs F e a t h e r n e s t , Vamp, K i l l t h e d e a d , and A n t i j a c k , i n the hope of f i n d i n g some means of t o t a l l y  and  f i n a l l y e x t i n g u i s h i n g the l i g h t of the human understanding. While w a i t i n g u n t i l t h e i r h o s t s h o u l d be f r e e , the v i s i t o r s i n s p e c t a p i c t u r e of Mother Goose c h a r a c t e r s hanging  on the  w a l l , and Derrydown e x p l a i n s the s p e c i a l p a r t i a l i t y of Paperstamp and h i s f r i e n d s f o r the f i g u r e of l i t t l e Jack Horner, so • c a p a b l y attended to h i s own wants, and was  who  "therefore i n  double f a v o u r w i t h Mr. Paperstamp, f o r h i s e x c e l l e n c e as a pa/ttern of moral and p o l i t i c a l wisdom, * and f o r the beauty of the p o e t r y i n w h i c h h i s g r e a t a,chievement of e x t r a c t i n g a plum from the Christmas p i e i s c e l e b r a t e d . "  Papers tamp and h i s  f r i e n d s , of c o u r s e , i n t e r p r e t the p i e as r e p r e s e n t i n g the p u b l i c purse, i n w h i c h they are a l l v e r y eager to have t h e i r f i n g e r s , i n the hope of p r o c u r i n g a plum.  Paperstamp i s a l s o a t t a c h e d  to another n u r s e r y c h a r a c t e r , Jack the G i a n t k i l l e r , i n whose coat of darkness he would smother a l l gleams of i n t e l l e c t u a l 27 • " l i g h t . When Paperstamp does appear, he i s c o r d i a l o n l y w i t h an  99 e f f o r t towards F o r e s t e r , whose o p i n i o n s he p a r t i c u l a r l y d i s l i k e s s i n c e they were once h i s own, h u t r e f l e c t i o n s on h i s guest's s u b s t a n t i a l p r o p e r t y  and on the m u t a b i l i t y of govern-  mental p a r t i e s h e l p t o s o f t e n h i s a t t i t u d e . c e l l e n t d i n n e r and wine p u t him i n thoroughly  Soon h i s own exgood humour, and  he b u t needs Southey's example t o make an a f t e r - d i n n e r speech e x t o l l i n g h i s own v i r t u e s , t a l e n t s , and a m i a b i l i t y .  I n the  ensuing d i s c u s s i o n on t h e e x t i n g u i s h i n g of the l i g h t of human u n d e r s t a n d i n g he p l a y s no g r e a t p a r t , except to make i n t e r j e c t i o n s c o n c e r n i n g Jack t h e G - i a n t k i l l e r ' s and the c h u r c h b e i n g  i n danger.  COBX  of darkness  Whenever F a x o r F o r e s t e r shows  s i g n s o f b e s t i n g Mr. A n y s i d e A n t i j a c k (Canning) i n argument, Paperstamp and a few of h i s c r o n i e s r i s e as one man t o t r y and confuse t h e i s s u e b y c r y i n g 'The c h u r c h i s i n danger!'  Not  t h a t they a r e a c t u a t e d b y any r e l i g i o u s m o t i v e , of course.  A  few remarks b y Paperstamp l a t e r i n the debate make t h a t q u i t e clears "We s h a l l make out a v e r y good case; b u t you must not f o r g e t to c a l l t h e p r e s e n t p u b l i c d i s t r e s s ah awful d i s p e n s a t i o n s a l i t t l e p i o u s c a n t goes a g r e a t way towards t u r n i n g " the thoughts o f men f r o m t h e dangerous and J a c o b i n i c a l ' propens i t y o f l o o k i n g i n t o ' m o r a l and p o l i t i c a l causes f o r moral and p o l i t i c a l e f f e c t s . " 28 And  t h e r e l e t us l e a v e Papers tamp and h i s s e l f - s e e k i n g ,  obscurantist friends. The most a r d e n t Wordsworthian c a n r e a d M e l i n c o u r t w i thout offence. nothing  Paperstamp i s a p u r e l y A r i s t o p h a n i c c r e a t i o n , w i t h of Wordsworth i n him b u t h i s c o n s e r v a t i s m  i t y , b o t h of w h i c h a r e a b s u r d l y  exaggerated.  and h i s van-  The ardent  Wordsworthian would be more amused t o n o t i c e i n t h e same book  100 some unmistakable  s i g n s of the v e r y r e a l i n f l u e n c e t h a t Words-  worth the poet had over the s a t i r i c a l n o v e l i s t . t i o n o n l y two of the most o u t s t a n d i n g .  I s h a l l men-  Forester, i n his dis-  c u s s i o n of the c o n n e c t i o n between mountains and  liberty,  a l l u d e s , w i t h a p p r o v a l , to Wordsworth's sonnet 'Two  v o i c e s are  t h e r e ' ; b u t , most s t r i k i n g of a l l , i s the opening d e s c r i p t i o n of A n t h e l i a l "The m a j e s t i c forms and w i l d e n e r g i e s of Nature t h a t surrounded h e r from her i n f a n c y impressed t h e i r c h a r a c t e r on her mind, communicating to i t a l l t h e i r own w i l d n e s s , and" more than t h e i r own beauty. F a r removed f r o m the pageantry of c o u r t s and c i t i e s , her i n f a n t a t t e n t i o n was awakened to s p e c t a c l e s more i n t e r e s t i h g " and' more i m p r e s s i v e a the m i s t y mountain-top, the a s h - f r i n g e d p r e c i p i c e , the gleaming c a t a r a c t , the deep and shadowy g l e n , and the f a n t a s t i c m a g n i f i c e n c e of the mountain c l o u d s . The murmur of the woods, the rush" of the winds, and the tumultuous dashing of the t o r r e n t s , were the f i r s t music of her c h i l d h o o d . A f e a r l e s s wanderer among these romantic s o l i t u d e s , the s p i r i t of mountain l i b e r t y d i f f u s e d i t s e l f through the " xvhole tenor of h e r f e e l i n g s , m o d e l l e d the symmetry of her' form, and i l l u m i n e d the e x p r e s s i v e but f e m i n i n e b r i l l i a n c y of her f e a t u r e s ..." 29 I f t h i s i s not a Wordsworthian poem turned i n t o e x q u i s i t e p r o s e , i t i s undoubtedly the q u i n t e s s e n c e and Peacock was  of Lake School  romanticism,  i n no mood of mockery when he wrote i t .  C o l e r i d g e i s the o n l y member of the Lake School to p l a y a p a r t i n Nightmare Abbey - though Southey i s o c c a s i o n a l l y ment i o n e d - and no i n c o n s i d e r a b l e p a r t i t i s . The C o l e r i d g e of Nightmare Abbey, Mr. F l o s k y , has been promoted from an e n v i r o n ment of f o g and S t y g i a n darkness to one of mere shadows. F l o s k y , moreover, i s more r e c o g n i s a b l e as C o l e r i d g e i n every way,  and i s undoubtedly Peacock's b e s t a l l - r o u n d c a r i c a t u r e of  the poet and m e t a p h y s i c i a n .  He i s i n t r o d u c e d to us a t some  l e n g t h as Mr. d o w r y ' s c l o s e f r i e n d and "a v e r y lachrymose and  101 morbid gentleman, of some note i n t h e l i t e r a r y w o r l d , hut i n 30 • h i s own e s t i m a t i o n of much more m e r i t than name."  He  appealed  to Mr. Glov/ry e s p e c i a l l y on account of h i s unsurpassed a b i l i t y to p o r t r a y t h e m i s e r a b l e , t h e wretched, and t h e g h a s t l y . Mystery, was h i s element, he dreamt w i t h h i s eyes open, and saw ghosts a t noonday.  I n h i s youth he had welcomed t h e French  R e v o l u t i o n , b u t , when i t d i d not develop  along t h e l i n e s he  expected, he deduced, l o g i c a l l y , t h a t i t was a l l wrong, and t h a t t h e overthrow of tyranny and s u p e r s t i t i o n had been a c a l amity of f i r s t magnitude, and became a staunch s u p p o r t e r of the old order.  E v e r y t h i n g o l d came to have g r e a t charm f o r him.  And to q u a l i f y h i m s e l f f o r h i s s e l f - i m p o s e d t a s k of keeping the w o r l d i n darkness he became a profound  student of Kant, and  an enemy of t h a t i g n i s f a t u u s , t h e sun. Though t h i s i s no v e r y amiable p o r t r a i t , i t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t Peacock from time to time puts h i s - own o p i n i o n of contemporary l e t t e r s i n t o the mouth of P l o s k y .  Very o f t e n , of course, p e r f e c t l y s e n s i b l e  o p i n i o n s develop i n t o r i d i c u l o u s s e l f - p r a i s e , b u t Peacock o n l y does t h i s to m a i n t a i n t h e P l o s k i a n c h a r a c t e r of e,bsurd s e l f esteem and a tendency t o t a l k nonsense.  P l o s k y , i t i s to be  remembered, has t h e honour of a n a l y s i n g t h e n a t u r e ' o f t h e Godwinian n o v e l , and h i s remarks i n t h i s c o n n e c t i o n a r e much too sane and p e n e t r a t i n g f o r the g e n e r a l r u n of Peacockian transcendentalists.  B u t P l o s k y n a t u r a l l y i s n o t a l l o w e d to  remain l o n g a t such a h i g h l e v e l of i n t e l l i g e n c e - v e r y soon he i s t a k i n g a p a r t o f the c r e d i t f o r t h e b l i g h t on contemporary l e t t e r s , a b l i g h t b e i n g necessary, he t r a n s c e n d e n t a l l y remarks,  102 to produce a r e a l l y f i n e f l o w e r .  He a l s o modestly mentions  t h a t the b e s t p a r t s of h i s f r i e n d s ' books were e i t h e r v r c i t t e n or suggested by h i m s e l f .  A l i t t l e l a t e r , however, he i s a l l o w -  ed to r e i n s t a t e h i s genuine c r i t i c a l a b i l i t i e s w i t h h i s analys i s of the d e c l i n e of the G o t h i c n o v e l , and h o r r o r l i t e r a t u r e i n general.  But though F l o s k y l a p s e s from time to time i n t o  something l i k e i n s p i r e d common sense, a s t r o n g t h r e a d of Peacockia,n t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i s m i s everywhere interwoven w i t h h i s speech.  At one p o i n t he e l a b o r a t e s h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l methods.  A f i r s t and important p o i n t i s never to have i d e a s w i t h v i s i b l e connection.  Next, p h i l o s o p h y s h o u l d concern i t s e l f  the p u r s u i t of t r u t h so a b s t r a c t t h a t i t i s c o m p l e t e l y attainable. what m a t t e r s .  any with  un-  The means, not the end, of t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i s m i s I n t h i s way  the mind may  be e x e r c i s e d u n f a i l i n g -  l y , w i t h o u t g e t t i n g anywhere - a p p a r e n t l y the i d e a l t r a n s c e n dental existence.  O c c a s i o n a l l y PIosky d i s c o v e r s h i m s e l f on  the  verge of t a l k i n g sense v/hen he i s supposed to be p h i l o s o p h i s i n g , and he r e c o i l s i n h o r r o r .  F l o s k y ' s supreme scene a r r i v e s when  M a r i o n e t t a comes to ask h i s a d v i c e on the r e a s o n f o r odd b e h a v i o r .  Scythrop's  The i n t e r v i e w opens most a u s p i c i o u s l y ?  " M a r i o n e t t a . - I must a p o l o g i s e f o r i n t r u d i n g on you, Mr. F l o s k y ; but t h e i n t e r e s t w h i c h I - you - take i n my c o u s i n Scythrop "Mr. F l o s k y . - Pardon me, Miss 0 ' C a r r o l l j I do not take any i n t e r e s t i n any p e r s o n or t h i n g on the f a c e of the e a r t h ; w h i c h sentiment, i f you a n a l y s e i t , you w i l l f i n d to be the q u i n t e s s e n c e of t h e most r e f i n e d p h i l a n t h r o p y . " M a r i o n e t t a . - I w i l l take i t f o r g r a n t e d t h a t i t i s so, Mr. F l o s k y ; I am not conversant w i t h m e t a p h y s i c a l s u b t l e t i e s , but "Mr. F l o s k y . - S u b t l e t i e s J my dear M i s s 0 * C a r r o l l . I am s o r r y to f i n d you p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the v u l g a r e r r o r of the r e a d i n g p u b l i c , to whom an unusual c o l l o c a t i o n of words, i n v o l v i n g a j u x t a p o s i t i o n of a n t i p e r i s t a t i c a l i d e a s ,  103 "immediately suggests t h e n o t i o n of h y p e r o x y s o p h i s t i c a l paradoxology. " M a r i o n e t t a . - Indeed, Mr. F l o s k y , i t suggests no such n o t i o n t o me. I have sought you f o r t h e purpose of obtaining information. "Mr. F l o s k y (shaking h i s head). - No one ever sought me f o r such a purpose b e f o r e . " 31 And so Mr. F l o s k y goes o f f a t a tangent, no matter how Marione t t a t r i e s t o open h e r s u b j e c t , u n t i l a t l a s t she l e a v e s him i n d e s p a i r , having mation t o g i v e .  come t o t h e c o n c l u s i o n t h a t he has no i n f o r -  As she l e a v e s , F l o s k y makes a f i n a l e f f o r t a t  self-extenuation: "My dear M i s s 0 ' C a r r o l l , i t would have g i v e n me g r e a t p l e a s ure t o have s a i d a n y t h i n g t h a t would have g i v e n you p l e a s • : . u r e ; b u t i f any p e r s o n l i v i n g c o u l d make r e p o r t of having o b t a i n e d any i n f o r m a t i o n oh any s u b j e c t from Ferdinando' F l o s k y , my t r a n s c e n d e n t a l r e p u t a t i o n would be r u i n e d f o r ever." 32 One of F l o s k y ' s tangents i n h i s c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h has become a l l b u t h i s t o r i c . the c o m p o s i t i o n  Marionetta  I n i t Peacock w i t t i l y  o f 'Kubla Khan'.  parodies  Flosky explains!  " I am w r i t i n g a b a l l a d w h i c h i s a l l mystery? i t i s 'such s t u f f as dreams a r e made o f , ' and i s , indeed, s t u f f made of a dream; f o r l a s t n i g h t I f e l l a s l e e p as u s u a l over my book, and had a v i s i o n o f pure reason. I composed f i v e ' hundred l i n e s i n my s l e e p ; so that,, having had a dream of a b a l l a d , I am now o f f i c i a ' t i n g as my own P e t e r Quince, and making a b a l l a d o f my dream, and i t s h a l l be c a l l e d Bottom's Dream, because i t has no bottom." 33 Upon t h i s note o f i n s p i r e d r a t i o c i n a t i o n we w i l l  leave  Ferdinando F l o s k y . The r e f e r e n c e s t o Southey throughout Nightmare Abbey are not f l a t t e r i n g .  F l o s k y a l l u d e s t o him a number of times as h i s  f r i e n d , famous b o t h f o r h i s p u r i t y and h i s a b i l i t y - l i k e F l o s k y - t o p a i n t p i c t u r e s of g h o s t s , g o b l i n s , and s k e l e t o n s . Among t h e books t h a t a r r i v e a t the Abbey i s a copy of 'The  104 1  Downing S t r e e t R e v i e w , and P l o s k y i n c l u d e s i t i n h i s c r i t i c a l comments as he opens the p a r c e l : Hm.  1,1  The Downing S t r e e t Review.  1  F i r s t a r t i c l e - An Ode to the Red Book, by R o d e r i c k Sack•••••••• • -' 34  but, E s q u i r e .  Hm.  H i s own poem reviewed by h i m s e l f .  Hm-m-m. " 1  The name R o d e r i c k Sackbut, of course, r e f e r s b o t h to S o u t h e y s l a s t epic, Roderick,  the L a s t of the.Goths., and to the l a u r e -  ate's annual b u t t of sack (Peacock c o u l d never r e s i s t a joke about the l a u r e a t e ' s s a c k one t h a t he r e p e a t e d  he seemed to t h i n k i t such a good  i t almost ad nauseam).  I n the two m e d i e v a l t a l e s the Lake t r i o are f o r g o t t e n , a l t h o u g h the f u n c t i o n s of the m i n s t r e l H a r p i t o n (the name being from the Greek, meaning *a c r e e p i n g t h i n g ' ) i n Maid- Marian,  who  i s as ready to undertake any s o r t of d i r t y work as to e u l o g i s e h i s master, a r e compared w i t h those of the modern poet l a u r e a t e i n r a t h e r s u g g e s t i v e terms.  I n Maid M a r i a n , however, one  chapter i s headed by a q u o t a t i o n from Wordsworth, and i n The M i s f o r t u n e s of E l p h i n s i m i l a r honour i s accorded C o l e r i d g e . C o l e r i d g e ' s l a s t appearance i n the n o v e l s , as Mr.  Skionar,  the t r a n s c e n d e n t a l p o e t , i n C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , i s much l e s s important. of P l o s k y .  S k i o n a r i s l i t t l e more than a l e s s emphatic p o r t r a i t He does not t a l k so much a,s P l o s k y , he " c e r t a i n l y  does not t a l k so much nonsense, b u t he by no means f i l l s  the  same p l a c e i n our a f f e c t i o n s . Peacock has not t r o u b l e d to make him more than a name and a v o i c e .  Lady C l a r i n d a sums him  up  s u f f i c i e n t l y i n her c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of him f o r the b e n e f i t of Captain Fitzchrome  - t h a t he i s a g r e a t dreamer, though he  takes  care to dream w i t h one eye open - the eye to h i s own g a i n - but  105 perhaps the company he keeps ( t h e t u r n c o a t poets W i l f u l Wontsee and Rumblesack ation.  Shantsee) has been the cause of h i s bad r e p u t -  S k i o n a r makes o n l y one memorable remark i n the whole-  course of the book.  When an angry mob  t h r e a t e n s Mr. C h a i n m a i l  and h i s g u e s t s a t C h a i n m a i l H a l l , S k i o n a r o f f e r s to harangue them, adding " I never f a i l e d to convince an audience t h a t the b e s t t h i n g they c o u l d do was to go away." and Shantsee - who  H i s f r i e n d s Wontsee  a r e , of c o u r s e , Wordsworth and Southey - are  e l a b o r a t e d a l i t t l e a t one p o i n t .  We l e a r n t h a t they are  "poets of some n o t e , who used to see v i s i o n s of U t o p i a , and pure r e p u b l i c s beyond the Western deep: but f i n d i n g t h a t these E l Dorados brought them no revenue, they t u r n e d t h e i r v i s i o n seeing f a c u l t y i n t o t h e more p r o f i t a b l e channel of espying a l l s o r t s of v i r t u e s i n the h i g h and the mighty, who were a b l e and • ' ' 36• w i l l i n g to pay f o r the d i s c o v e r y . " u n a c c e p t a b l e , i t seems.  The Lake p o l i t i c s a r e s t i l l  But once a g a i n a Wordsworth q u o t a t i o n  appears - a v e r y a p t and b e a u t i f u l one.  To suggest the degree  to w h i c h Susannah Touchandgo had become a p a r t of the Welsh c o u n t r y s i d e , Peacock quotest "The s t a r s of m i d n i g h t s h a l l be dear To h e r ; and she s h a l l l e a n h e r ear I n many a s e c r e t p l a c e Where r i v u l e t s dance t h e i r wayward round, And beauty b o r n of murmuring sound S h a l l pass i n t o h e r f a c e . " This one q u o t a t i o n i s almost enough to o f f s e t a l l the unfavourable c r i t i c i s m s Peacock ever made of Wordsworth, b u t we have a i r e a d y seen t h a t h i s e a r l i e r h e r o i n e , A n t h e l i a M e l i n c o u r t , was s i m i l a r l y conceived.  I n G r y l l Grange b o t h Wordsworth and  C o l e r i d g e a r e quoted and a l l u d e d to i n the most a p p r e c i a t i v e  106 manner, and a l l the o l d b i t t e r n e s s seems to have gone. I n c o n c l u s i o n , l e t us c o n s i d e r the s p e c i f i c aspects of the Lake Poets and t h e i r p o e t r y , as a group and i n d i v i d u a l l y , t h a t were a t t a c k e d by Peacock.  As a group they are f i r s t of  a l l a t t a c k e d as c u l t u r a l b a r b a r i a n s , w i t h a r a p i d l y d i m i n i s h i n g place i n society.  Then Peacock goes on to suggest t h a t they  are what we s h o u l d c a l l e s c a p i s t s . - they use myth and mystery f o r p o e t i c m a t e r i a l , they segregate themselves from mankind i n the mountains  ( g i v i n g the excuse t h a t t h e mountains a r e the  l a s t s t r o n g h o l d of v i r t u e ) , and they c u l t i v a t e f a n t a s y a t the expense of r e a l i t y .  As a r e s u l t of t h i s they a r e i g n o r a n t of  human n a t u r e and s o c i e t y .  Then t h e r e a r e t h e i r f r e a k i s h innov-  a t i o n s i n the matter and manner of w r i t i n g p o e t r y !  When Pea-  cock c r i t i c i s e s them as i n d i v i d u a l s he c r i t i c i s e s b o t h t h e i r p o l i t i c s and t h e i r l i t e r a r y performances, w i t h o u t always d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g s u f f i c i e n t l y between the two q u i t e s e p a r a t e o b j e c t s of c r i t i c i s m .  Concerning Southey he i s s a r c a s t i c shout h i s  p o l i t i c a l ' p u r i t y ' , w h i c h amounts to t u r n i n g h i s p o l i t i c a l c o a t and then l u s t i n g f o r the b l o o d of former f r i e n d s .  He d e s p i s e s  Southey's apparent sycophancy and acceptance of l a u r e a t e s h i p s u g g e s t i n g t h a t , i f Southey s h o u l d defend h i m s e l f by s a y i n g he needed the money, any such defence would be p u r e s o p h i s t r y as Southey i s o n l y out to ' f e a t h e r h i s n e s t ' .  He accuses the poet,  f i n a l l y , of h a v i n g been ashamed of h i s p a s t a f t e r he became a Tory and, d e s p i t e h i s former P a n t i s o c r a t i c dreams, of c o n s p i r i n g w i t h the government to keep the masses i n i g n o r a n c e . Southey as a l i t e r a r y man,  Turning to  Peacock i m p l i e s t h a t he panders to  107 p o p u l a r t a s t e by p r o d u c i n g ghosts and c o r p s e s , and t h a t h i s e p i c s a r e mere p i r a c i e s from the most l u d i c r o u s passages i n t r a v e l books.  I f any of Southey's p o e t r y i s of v a l u e , indeed,  i t i s c e r t a i n l y not h i s wretched odes to r o y a l t y , but the p o e t r y of l i b e r t y similarly. his  and freedom of h i s y o u t h .  Wordsworth f a r e s  He t o o , Peacock s a y s , i s a Tory s a t e l l i t e ,  l i b e r a l youth.  despite  He too d e s i r e s an i g n o r a n t p r o l e t a r i a t and  uses p i o u s cant to f u r t h e r h i s n e f a r i o u s schemes.  He admires  Jack Horner and h i s plum-seeking as a p o l i t i c a l model, and t h a t and o t h e r n u r s e r y rhymes as p o e t i c g u i d e s - g u i d e s which r e s u l t (combined w i t h n a r r a t i v e s g l e a n e d from o l d wives and sextons) i n such l u d i c r o u s c r e a t i o n s as Lucy Gray, A l i c e P e l l , and Harry G i l l , as w e l l as i n the g e n e r a l bathos of the L y r i c a l B a l l a d s . Wordsworth t h e man,  Peacock c o n c l u d e s , a f f e c t s an  infantile  l i s p and w a i s t c o a t s of d u f f e l g r e y , and i s a b a r b a r i a n , or at l e a s t a morbid dreamer.  C o l e r i d g e , p o l i t i c a l l y , r e a c t e d from  r a d i c a l i s m a f t e r t h e P r e n c h R e v o l u t i o n and developed l i k e h i s f e l l o w s a f e a r of p u b l i c enlightenment - b e l i e v i n g the people s h o u l d depend on f a i t h a l o n e .  Though he i s always awake to h i s  own i n t e r e s t s , however, h i s Toryism may have been due to the p e r s u a s i o n of h i s f r i e n d s .  As a l i t e r a r y man he g a t h e r s p o e t i c  m a t e r i a l from s e x t o n s , o l d women, T a y l o r and Kant, and, m i x i n g t o g e t h e r such elements combined w i t h p u l i n g s e n t i m e n t a l i t y and historical  i n a c c u r a c i e s , produces something t h a t imposes o n l y  on t h e man i n the s t r e e t . bid  He i s , t o o , d e c l a r e s Peacock, a mor-  c r e a t o r of g h o s t s and s k e l e t o n s , and he makes b a l l a d s out  of h i s dreams.  H i s new p r i n c i p l e of v e r s e i s no p r i n c i p l e a t  108 a l l - w h i l e as a l e c t u r e r he d r i v e s h i s audience away.  But  most of a l l , perhaps, Peacock a t t a c k s the t r a n s c e n d e n t a l p h i l osopher i n C o l e r i d g e .  He suggests t h a t h i s r e a d i n g , though  wide, i s f a r from deep, and that h i s t r a n s c e n d e n t a l t a l k , f a r from b e i n g l e a r n e d , i s the merest j a r g o n designed to bemuse the g e n e r a l p u b l i c (and perhaps the T o r i e s ) .  even to make a smoke s c r e e n f o r  And h i s new p r i n c i p l e of t h i n k i n g - l i k e h i s new  p r i n c i p l e of p o e t r y - i s no t i l i n g more nor l e s s than chaos. A l l t h i s may  seem a t f i r s t l i k e a v e r y f o r m i d a b l e a r r a y of c r i t i c -  ism, but i t b o i l s down to a common c r i t i c i s m of Lake School p o l i t i c s and p o e t i c methods, the l a t t e r - i n the case of Wordsworth" and C o l e r i d g e a t l e a s t - r e f e r r i n g s o l e l y to the p o e t i c aims and t h e o r i e s s e t f o r t h i n the P r e f a c e to L y r i c a l B a l l a d s . Though time and c a r e f u l i n v e s t i g a t i o n has c l e a r e d the Lake Poets of any s u s p i c i o n of apostasy when they q u i t t e d the R a d i c a l for  t h e Tory camp, i g n o r a n c e - perhaps a s t u d i e d ignorance - o f  t h e f a c t s made Peacock and many of h i s contemporaries t h e i r p o l i t i c s a g a i n and a g a i n .  Peacock,  decry  then, not o n l y de-  p l o r e d t h e i r extremism b u t suspected t h e i r honesty - and t h a t made him see r e d .  We'cannot doubt h i s s i n c e r i t y when he  c i s e s the.Lake p o l i t i c s .  I n h i s c r i t i c i s m of t h e i r p o e t i c  methods he i s p r o b a b l y a good d e a l l e s s s e r i o u s . at  criti-  When he j e e r s  the sources of the new p o e t r y - t r a v e l extravagances, Kant,  s e x t o n s , and what not - as w e l l as the 'new p r i n c i p l e ' of v e r s i f i c a t i o n one cannot b u t wonder how Peacock would have r e a c t e d to E l i o t , Pound, and Hopkins I  I t s h o u l d be remembered  t h a t , to one n o u r i s h e d on c l a s s i c a l and Augustan p o e t r y as  109 Peacock had undoubtedly been, the t h e o r i e s Wordsworth e l a b o r ated i n h i s P r e f a c e must have been as a s t o n i s h i n g l y d i f f e r e n t as those made m a n i f e s t i n our own above-mentioned moderns.  time i n the p o e t r y of the  And i t should be noted t h a t Peacock's  s p e c i f i c c r i t i c i s m s , though exaggerated, point.  are seldom w i t h o u t  Southey's e p i c s are dead today, and C o l e r i d g e h i m s e l f  has a d m i t t e d , w i t h Peacock, t h a t those poems i n which Wordsw o r t h d e a l s w i t h v i l l a g e s e x t o n s , o l d women, and so f o r t h , are among "the l e a s t s u c c e s s f u l of a l l h i s poems.  And there is_ a  tendency i n Wordsworth, when he i s determined to c o n f i n e hims e l f to the r u l e s of h i s p r e f a c e , to o v e r - s i m p l i f y and h i s w r i t i n g as b a n a l as some c h i l d r e n ' s rhymes.  render  To c a l l Words-  worth, however, a morbid dreamer i s m a n i f e s t l y i n a c c u r a t e - the phrase i s more a p p l i c a b l e to C o l e r i d g e , to whom i t i s a l s o applied.  The mockery of C o l e r i d g e t h e t r a n s c e n d e n t a l ! s t i s  w i l d l y exaggerated,  but does not l a c k f o u n d a t i o n i n f a c t .  The  w r i t i n g of 'Kubla Khan' has been turned i n t o pure comedy - and not i l l - h u m o u r e d comedy - w h i l e the h i g h - s p i r i t e d d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e component p a x t s of C o l e r i d g e ' s 'poetry as a, whole a l t o g e t h e r d i s p r o v e d by The Ho ad to Xanadu.  Essentially,  i s not then,  -  Peacock found out the same f l a w s as d i d subsequent c r i t i c i s m the d i f f e r e n c e b e i n g t h a t subsequent c r i t i c s have not been concerned about t u r n i n g those f l a w s i n t o r o a r i n g f a r c e or e x c e l l e n t comedy.  And as f o r a p p r e c i a t i o n - we need l o o k no f a r t h e r than  the Essay on •Fashionable L i t e r a t u r e and G r y l l Grange to know t h a t , t h i s s i d e i d o l a t r y , he d e l i g h t e d i n the b e s t of the Lake poetry as much as any  man.  110  Byron and S h e l l e y i n f a c t and f i c t i o n In  s p i t e of t h e way he used - or misused - b i o g r a p h i c a l  d e t a i l s from the l i v e s of h i s f r i e n d s and contemporaries i n h i s f i c t i o n . Peacock had v e r y d e f i n i t e i d e a s about the w r i t i n g of bona f i d e b i o g r a p h y .  These i d e a s a r e i n h e r e n t i n h i s c r i t i c i s m  of "Moore's L i f e of Byron and they a r e e x p l a i n e d i n some d e t a i l i n the Memoirs of S h e l l e y .  He found Moore, needless to say, a  very imperfect biographers "The p r i n c i p a l a t t r a c t i o n of t h i s work i s t h e l i g h t which i t has been expected t o throw on the c h a r a c t e r of L o r d Byron. So f a r , i t has, t o us a t l e a s t , thrown l i t t l e new l i g h t upon i t , and much o f t h a t l i t t l e by no means c a l c u l a t e d to render any e s s e n t i a l s e r v i c e t o h i s memory." 1 Peacock then goes on to mention a h a b i t of Byron's which was apt t o l e a d a s t r a y h i s acquaintances end would-be b i o g r a p h e r s . This was h i s h a b i t o f i n d u l g i n g i n h a l f - c o n f i d e n c e s w i t h a g r e a t many p e o p l e , sometimes o b s c u r i n g h a l f the c i r c u m s t a n c e s he was communicating,  and sometimes making h i s remarks d e l i b e r -  a t e l y ambiguous i n o r d e r t o b e f o o l h i s audience: "Indeed, b o t h i n h i s w r i t i n g s and c p n v e r s a t i o n he d e a l t , i n his l a t t e r years e s p e c i a l l y , very l a r g e l y i n m y s t i f i c a t i o n ; and s a i d many t h i n g s w h i c h have brought h i s f a i t h f u l remi n i s c e n t s i n t o s c r a p e s , by making them r e p o r t , what o t h e r s , knowing he c o u l d n o t have b e l i e v e d , t h i n k he c o u l d never have a s s e r t e d : w h i c h a r e v e r y d i f f e r e n t m a t t e r s . 2 11  Moore, a c c o r d i n g t o Peacock, knew Byron s u f f i c i e n t l y w e l l not to be t a k e n i n by t h i s , b u t Medwin and L e i g h Hunt f a r e d l e s s happily.  A t t h i s p o i n t Peacock pauses f o r a moment t o comment  on Hunt, who had a l s o p u b l i s h e d some m a t e r i a l on Byron.  Hunt,  a p p a r e n t l y , as a b i o g r a p h e r , i s even more lamentable than Moore, f o r h i s 'querulous egotisms,' ' s c a t u r i e n t v a n i t y , '  Ill 'readiness to v i o l a t e a l l the c o n f i d e n c e s of p r i v a t e l i f e , ' 'shallow mockeries of p h i l o s o p h i c a l t h i n k i n g , ' 'quaint and s i l l y f i g u r e s of speech,' 'out-of-the-way n o t i o n s of morals and manners,' and ' e t e r n a l r e f e r e n c e of e v e r y t h i n g to s e l f , ' t o g e t h e r w i t h 'the i n t r i n s i c nothingness of what the w r i t e r had i t i n h i s power to t e l l ' are a l l n o t i c e d and then l e f t to oblivion.  A f t e r t h a t Peacock c o n t e n t s h i m s e l f w i t h summarising  Byron's l i f e and o c c a s i o n a l l y commenting.  As a p a r t i n g s h o t ,  however, he sums up h i s o p i n i o n of Moore as b i o g r a p h e r and friends "In the second volume, Mr. Moore w i l l be on more p e r i l o u s ground. To do j u s t i c e to h i s f r i e n d s who a r e gone, and to p l e a s e those among the l i v i n g , whose f a v o r he most s t u d i o u s l y c o u r t s i n h i s w r i t i n g s , must be, i n the treatment of t h a t p e r i o d w h i c h h i s second volume w i l l embrace, impossi b l e . He w i l l endeavour to do b o t h , a f t e r h i s f a s h i o n : ' a n d we t h i n k we can p r e t t y ac c u r a t e l y a n t i c i p a t e the r e s u l t . 4 1 1  As a r e s u l t of t h i s b l i s t e r i n g c r i t i c i s m , The Westminster Review d i d not g e t the o p p o r t u n i t y of r e v i e w i n g the second volume of Moore's work, and we a r e a c c o r d i n g l y d e p r i v e d of f u r t h e r comments on B y r o n and on the n a t u r e of c r i t i c i s m - Moore's and o t h e r s ' - from Peacock's pen.  At the opening of h i s Memoirs of  S h e l l e y , however, he has a few more v/ords to say of the eager b i o g r a p h e r s of the famous, f o r j u s t as soon as t h e " r e a d i n g publ i c develops a t a s t e f o r g o s s i p about n o t o r i e t i e s , " t h e r e w i l l be always found persons to m i n i s t e r to i t ? and among the v o l u n teers of t h i s s e r v i c e , - those who  a r e b e s t informed and who' most  valued the d e p a r t e d w i l l p r o b a b l y not be the foremost  ..."  Peacock then o u t l i n e s t h e r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s of a c o n s c i e n t i o u s biographer.  Ho man  i s under compulsion to w r i t e the l i f e of  112 another, and i f he does w r i t e , he need not i n c l u d e he knows about h i s s u b j e c t .  everything  Anything t h a t w i l l h u r t the i n t e r -  ests o r f e e l i n g s of the l i v i n g s h o u l d be o m i t t e d ,  and a l s o any-  t h i n g w h i c h the b i o g r a p h e r f e e l s h i s s u b j e c t would have wished to be o m i t t e d and f o r g o t t e n - and " i f such an event be the c a r d i n a l p o i n t of a l i f e ? i f t o c o n c e a l i t o r to m i s r e p r e s e n t i t would be to r e n d e r t h e whole n a r r a t i v e i n c o m p l e t e ,  incoher-  ent, u n s a t i s f a c t o r y a l i k e t o t h e honour of the dead and the f e e l i n g s o f the l i v i n g , * then ... i t i s b e t t e r to l e t the whole s t o r y slumber i n s i l e n c e . " been a l l o w e d  Peacock wished t h a t S h e l l e y had  t o l i v e i n h i s song alone, b u t as t h i s was not to  be, and as he f e l t m o r a l l y o b l i g e d to r i g h t some misapprehens i o n s and e r r o r s i n t h e L i v e s of Medwin and Hogg, he o u t l i n e s his  own e x c e l l e n t q u a l i f i c a t i o n s as S h e l l e y ' s b i o g r a p h e r ,  for,  having l i v e d f o r some y e a r s i n g r e a t i n t i m a c y w i t h S h e l l e y and having had b e t t e r o p p o r t u n i t i e s than most to observe S h e l l e y ' s genius as w e l l as h i s mode of l i f e and c h a r a c t e r , h a v i n g been S h e l l e y ' s executor,  and having continued  a f t e r h i s death i n  f r i e n d s h i p w i t h h i s widow and f a m i l y , '"Peacock r i g h t l y ed h i m s e l f w e l l s u i t e d to the t a s k . c o r r e c t i n g some o f t h e m i s l e a d i n g  consider-  The Memoirs b e g i n by  passages i n the v a r i o u s  t h a t Peacock was supposed to be r e v i e w i n g  Lives  i n t h e f i r s t p a r t of  h i s paper, b u t soon develop i n t o Peacock's own o u t l i n e of the l i f e of S h e l l e y , f u l l -of anecdote and w i t h d i g r e s s i o n s on subj e c t s i n w h i c h Peacock had a s p e c i a l i n t e r e s t . part, nominally  The second  a r e v i e w of t h e S h e l l e y Memorials, spends a  good d e a l of time making c l e a r , to t h e b e s t of Peacock's  113 knowledge and a b i l i t y , Mary and H a r r i e t .  the t r u t h about S h e l l e y ' s r e l a t i o n s w i t h  Peacock d e a l s w i t h t h i s d i f f i c u l t problem  w i t h g r e a t c a r e , weighing the evidence a t h i s d i s p o s a l l i k e  the  most u p r i g h t of judges, and, w h i l e doing i n j u s t i c e to none, i s the f i r s t to p l a c e H a r r i e t i n the l i g h t she deserves.  He  de-  c l a r e s i t to be h i s most decided c o n v i c t i o n " t h a t her conduct as a w i f e was  as p u r e , as t r u e , as a b s o l u t e l y f a u l t l e s s , as ." 7 ." '  t h a t of any who  f o r such conduct a r e h e l d most i n honour."  d e s p i t e the attacks, of the S h e l l e y - w o r s h i p p e r s ,  no proof  And,  has  y e t been adduced to show t h a t Peacock was wrong i n s t a t i n g t h a t H a r r i e t d i d not agree"to  the s e p a r a t i o n from S h e l l e y .  On  the  s u b j e c t of S h e l l e y ' s h a l l u c i n a t i o n s , a l s o , Peacock d w e l l s f o r some time, and h i s c o n c l u s i o n s are remarkably sound.  He men-  t i o n s the imaginary v i s i t i n c h i l d h o o d , the E t o n i n c i d e n t , the madhouse s c a r e , the a f f r a y a t T a n y r a l l t , the dread of t i a s i s , W i l l i a m s ' s w a r n i n g , and the c l o a k e d man  elephan-  at Plorence,  and suggests i n e x p l a n a t i o n t h a t on some b a s i s " h i s [ S h e l l e y ' s ] i m a g i n a t i o n b u i l t a f a b r i c of romance, and when he presented i t as s u b s t a n t i v e f a c t , and i t was  found %o c o n t a i n more or l e s s  of i n c o n s i s t e n c y , he f e l t h i s s e l f - e s t e e m i n t e r e s t e d i n maint a i n i n g i t by accumulated c i r c u m s t a n c e s , which s e v e r a l l y vani s h e d under the touch of i n v e s t i g a t i o n . " When a l l the  circum-  stances have been c o n s i d e r e d , Peacock's Memoirs of S h e l l e y show a b l e n d of sympathy and discernment t h a t has never been surpassed i n the e x t e n s i v e annals of S h e l l e y biography  and  criticism. Outside  the r e a l m of pure biography,  however, Peacock was  114 not averse to making f r e e w i t h the c h a r a c t e r s and o p i n i o n s of h i s acquaintances  and f r i e n d s , and to u t i l i s i n g , f r o m time to  time, i n c i d e n t s and s i t u a t i o n s t h a t o c c u r r e d i n the course of their l i v e s . biography  This l a t t e r group of borrowings from a c t u a l  i s not v e r y l a r g e , however.  I t begins i n Headlong  H a l l , i n w h i c h the c u r i o u s assemblage of guests i n v i t e d by Squire Headlong was  p r o b a b l y suggested  to Peacock by h i s obser-  v a t i o n s of S h e l l e y ' s a s s o c i a t e s a t B r a c k n e l l .  I n the Memoirs  Peacock d e s c r i b e s the company i n some d e t a i l s "At B r a c k n e l l , S h e l l e y was surrounded by a numerous s o c i e t y , a l l i n a g r e a t measure of h i s own o p i n i o n s i n r e l a t i o n to r e l i g i o n and p o l i t i c s , and the l a r g e r p o r t i o n of them i n r e l a t i o n to v e g e t a b l e d i e t . But they wore t h e i r rue' w i t h a d i f f e r e n c e . Every one of them adopting some of the' ' a r t i c l e s of the f a i t h of t h e i r g e n e r a l church, each had n e v e r t h e l e s s some predominant c r o t c h e t of h i s or her' own, w h i c h l e f t a number of open q u e s t i o n s f o r earnest a/n"d not always temperate d i s c u s s i o n . I was sometimes i r r e v e r e n t enough to l a u g h a t the f e r v o u r w i t h w h i c h o p i n i o n s u t t e r l y unconducive to any p r a c t i c a l r e s u l t were b a t t l e d f o r "as matters of the h i g h e s t importance to the w e l l - b e i n g of mankind ..." 10 • This i s by no means i d e n t i c a l w i t h the Headlong H a l l company, but we can see t h a t the p o s s i b i l i t i e s were c o n s i d e r a b l e , and Peacock d i d not f a i l to make them m a t e r i a l i s e .  Again,  the  v i s i t of the t h r e e p h i l o s o p h e r s to the Tremadoc embankment, and the model v i l l a g e t h e r e , may v i s i t s i n 1812 ' ''  have been suggested by S h e l l e y ' s  and subsequent years and by h i s grea/fc i n t e r e s t 11  i n the embankment p r o j e c t , as w e l l as by Peacock's own and a p p r e c i a t i o n of the scenery t h e r e .  visit  I n M e l i n c o u r t the  episode of the somewhat drunk S i r Oran jumping out of the window  i s o b v i o u s l y modelled  on an o c c a s i o n , mentioned by Peacock  i n the Memoirs, on w h i c h S h e l l e y l e a p t out of the l i b r a r y  115 window i n order to a v o i d an unwelcome c a l l e r .  The l o v e t r i -  angle i n Nightmare 'Abbey i s almost c e r t a i n l y based on the H a r r i e t - S h e l l e y - M a r y s i t u a t i o n s though e l a b o r a t e d beyond recogn i t i o n , almost, and g i v e n a s o c i a l l y a c c e p t a b l e outcome, and, f i n a l l y , the boat t r i p up the Thames i n C r o t c h e t O a s t l e  was  b o r n of t h a t s i m i l a r e x c u r s i o n to Lechlade made by Peacock, S h e l l e y , Mary, and C h a r l e s  Clairmont.  When i t comes to borrowing  o p i n i o n s and p e r s o n a l  Peacock h e l p s h i m s e l f w i t h an i n f i n i t e l y f r e e r hand.  traits, In a very  few pages of Nightmare Abbey he manages to i n c o r p o r a t e a great, d e a l of B y r o n - of Byron's s e l f - d r a m a t i s a t i o n , at l e a s t , i f not the r e a l Byron.  He i s g i v e n the s u g g e s t i v e l a b e l of Mr.  Cypress and i n t r o d u c e d to us when he i s on the p o i n t of l e a v i n g England - Byron, we r e c a l l , was  f r e q u e n t l y l e a v i n g England.  He  has come to se.y goodbye to h i s f r i e n d s a t the Abbey, a s s u r i n g them he w i l l always l o o k back on them " w i t h as much a f f e c t i o n as h i s la.cerated s p i r i t c o u l d f e e l f o r a n y t h i n g . "  A l l his  remarks a r e e i t h e r w h o l l y B y r o n i c i n essence or most exact paraphrases  of some of the more melancholy and moody passages  i n Childe Harold.  A f t e r a f a r e w e l l bumper Cypress e x p l a i n s  t h a t he wanders because he i s always s e a r c h i n g f o r something "The mind i s r e s t l e s s , and must p e r s i s t i n s e e k i n g , though to f i n d i s to be d i s a p p o i n t e d . "  A f t e r a l i t t l e general discussion  of f o r e i g n t r a v e l , Scythrop suggests  t h a t Cypress., b e i n g a  man  of s o c i a l p o s i t i o n as w e l l as g e n i u s , would do b e t t e r to serve his  own  country.  Cypress r e p l i e s , " S i r , I have q u a r r e l l e d w i t h  my w i f e ; and a man who  has q u a r r e l l e d w i t h h i s w i f e i s absolved  116 from a l l duty to h i s c o u n t r y . the  I have w r i t t e n - a n ode to t e l l •" 15  people as much, and they may  t a k e i t as they l i s t . "  This  m a n i f e s t l y r e f e r s to the s e p a r a t i o n f r o m Lady Byron, and to the r a t h e r u n f o r t u n a t e poem 'Fare thee w e l l J ' which Byron subseq u e n t l y wrote.  Scythrop then suggests t h a t B r u t u s would not  have n e g l e c t e d h i s c o u n t r y ' s good because of domestic d i s s e n t i o n , b u t F l o s k y p o i n t s out t h a t though Cypress ( l i k e Byron) i s a s e n a t o r ( t h a t i s , a member of the House of L o r d s ) , the cases are  d i f f e r e n t , i n t h a t w h i l e B r u t u s had hope of p o l i t i c a l good,  Cypress has none.  The remainder of Cypress's speeches, on h i s  views of human n a t u r e , are neat paraphrases of passages from the  t h i r d and f o u r t h cantoes of C h i l d e H a r o l d .  example i s s u f f i c i e n t .  One  detailed  Here a r e the r e l e v a n t passages i n  Childe Harolds "Our l i f e i s a f a l s e natures ' t i s hot i n The harmony of t h i n g s , - t h i s h a r d decree, T h i s u n e r a d i c a b l e t a i n t of s i n , This boundless" upas, t h i s a l l - b l a s t i n g t r e e , • Whose r o o t i s e a r t h , whose leave's and branches be' The s k i e s w h i c h r a i n t h e i r plagues on men l i k e dew - " [Canto IV, c x x v i j "We w i t h e r from our y o u t h , we gasp away" S i c k - s i c k ; unfound the boon, u n s l a k e d the t h i r s t , Though t o t h e l a s t , i n verge" of our decay, Some phantom l u r e s , such as we sought a t f i r s t But' a l l too l a t e , - so a r e we doubly c u r s t . Love, fame, a m b i t i o n , a v a r i c e -" ' t i s the same, Bach i d l e , and a l l i l l , and none the w o r s t For a,ll a r e meteors w i t h a d i f f e r e n t name, And Death t h e s a b l e smoke where v a n i s h e s the f l a m e . " _ [Canto IV, c x x i v j And h e r e the paraphr ••'"I have no hope f o r m y s e l f or f o r o t h e r s . Our l i f e i s a f a l s e n a t u r e ; i t i s not i n the harmony of t h i n g s ; i t i s ' an a l l - b l a s t i n g upas, whose r o o t i s e a r t h , and whose l e a v e s are the s k i e s w h i c h r a i n t h e i r poison-dews upon mankind. We w i t h e r f r o m our y o u t h ; we gasp w i t h u n s l a k e d t h i r s t f o r u n a t t a i n a b l e good; l u r e d f r o m the f i r s t to the l a s t by  117 "phantoms - l o v e , fame, a m b i t i o n , a v a r i c e - a l l i d l e , and a l l i l l - one meteor of many names, t h a t v a n i s h e s i n the smolce of death. " 1 6 Thus the core of Byron's romantic melancholy  i s p l u c k e d out  and  e x h i b i t e d f o r what i t i s - a s h a l l o w t h i n g , and r a t h e r s i l l y . The whole o u t l o o k of Byron i s summed up v e r y n e a t l y by  Mr.  H i l a r y , the s o l e exponent of common sense i n the book (and t h e r e f o r e , presumably, the one who most n e a r l y expresses Peacock's v i e w s ) : "You t a l k l i k e a R o s i c r u s i a n , who n o t h i n g b u t a s y l p h , who  w i l l love  does not b e l i e v e i n the e x i s t e n c e of a  s y l p h , and who y e t q u a r r e l s w i t h the whole u n i v e r s e f o r not ' ' 17 • • '•' • c o n t a i n i n g a s y l p h . " "And Peacock takes good c a r e t h a t none of h i s r e a d e r s w i l l miss the r e f e r e n c e s to Byron. each paraphrase  The source of  i s c a r e f u l l y g i v e n i n the f o o t n o t e s .  c l o s e s w i t h a song f r o m Cypress,  The scene  'There i s a f e v e r of the  s p i r i t ' , w h i c h i s a, most admirable parody, not of any poem of Byron's, but of B y r o n i c p o e t r y i n g e n e r a l . " " 18 d e l i g h t e d w i t h the c a r i c a t u r e .  single  Byron was  Peacock's u t i l i s a t i o n of the o p i n i o n s of S h e l l e y i s a, g r e a t d e a l more widespread  and occurs '"chiefly i n Headlong H a l l ,  M e l i n c o u r t , and Nightmare Abbey.  I n the f i r s t of these,  S h e l l e y ' s i d e a s appear b o t h i n the arguments of E s c o t and i n those of P o s t e r , though E s c o t p r o b a b l y has more of S h e l l e y ' s views than has P o s t e r , and P o s t e r r e p r e s e n t s a younger S h e l l e y than does E s c o t .  Still,  i t i s not s a f e to say t h a t any  t e r i n the book r e p r e s e n t s S h e l l e y .  charac-  E s c o t and P o s t e r are no  more than p e r s o n i f i e d i d e a s , or homogeneous groups of i d e a s , and i t l i t t l e m a t t e r s where they come f r o m or w i t h whom they  118 originate,  when F o s t e r opens h i s case w i t h a panegyric on the  progress of s c i e n c e , e s p e c i a l l y i n the f i e l d of communication and t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , he i s speaking i n t h e tones of S h e l l e y the i d e a l i s t i c young Oxford freshman; when E s c o t r e p l i e s t h a t a l l t h i s seeming p r o g r e s s i s o n l y e n s l a v i n g mankind and l e a d i n g to h i s d o w n f a l l , he i s v o i c i n g the views o f t h e maturer S h e l l e y of 1811 who c o u l d w r i t e to E l i z a b e t h H i t c h e n e r  of "any populous  manufacturing d i s s i p a t e d town," and who was to w r i t e i n due course 'The Masque of Anarchy', chemistry  F o s t e r s p e c i f i e s progress i n  - another of S h e l l e y ' s y o u t h f u l enthusiasms, w h i l e  E s c o t adduces t h e growth of l u x u r y which s c i e n t i f i c development i n g e n e r a l produces - the more mature S h e l l e y was an enemy of luxury.  Escot's vegetarianism  i s obviously a close l i n k with  S h e l l e y , t h e v e g e t a r i a n note on Queen Mab being c o n s i d e r a b l y <• " ' '22 drawn on, even to t h e extent of borrowing a c t u a l phrases. Escot's and  subsequent p o i n t , ' t h a t t h e anatomy of the human stomach  the f o r m a t i o n  o f the t e e t h p l a c e man i n the c l a s s of f r u g -  i v o r o u s animals i s a l s o l i f t e d from the Queen Mab note.  I n a.  l a t e r g e n e r a l argument i t i s a g a i n F o s t e r ' s t u r n t o quote Shelley.  H i s remark t h a t "men a r e v i r t u o u s i n p r o p o r t i o n as  they a r e e n l i g h t e n e d ;  and t h a t , as every g e n e r a t i o n  increases  i n knowledge, i t a l s o i n c r e a s e s i n v i r t u e " i s a borrowing from S h e l l e y ' s Address t o t h e I r i s h People and t h e b a s i s of F o s t e r ' s p e r f e c t i b i l i a n arguments throughout.  E s c o t r e p l i e s t h a t he  cannot f i n d t h a t man i s i n c r e a s i n g i n mental powers "Energy - independence - i n d i v i d u a l i t y - d i s i n t e r e s t e d v i r tue - a c t i v e benevolence - s e l f - o b l i v i o n - u n i v e r s a l p h i l anthropy - t h e s e a r e the q u a l i t i e s ! d e s i r e t o f i n d , and  119 "of w h i c h I contend t h a t every succeeding age produces fewer examples." 24 This i s a s o r t of i n v e r t e d Godwinism, f o r the q u a l i t i e s  Escot  sees d i m i n i s h i n g a r e p r e c i s e l y those from whose i n c r e a s e the Godwinians expected the improvement of mankind. a t t a c k on the r e v i e w e r s Shelley - i n f a c t a time.  s  Escot's  i n Headlong H a l l i s not so t y p i c a l of  Peacock s i m p l y takes over the argument f o r  S h e l l e y d i d not l i k e the r e v i e w e r s , h u t , where he him™  s e l f was concerned, he e i t h e r i g n o r e d them or bore t h e i r a t t a c k s w i t h meekness.  But when E s c o t a t t r i b u t e s r a c i a l de-  t e r i o r a t i o n i n p a r t to t h e use of wine, we a r e reminded of the Q.ueen Mab note a g a i n .  The d i s c u s s i o n between P o s t e r ,  Escot,  and J e n k i s o n on the o b l i q u i t y of the e a r t h ' s a x i s once again l e a n s h e a v i l y on t h e notes t o Queen Mab.  Escot b e l i e v e s that  t h i s o b l i q u i t y i s the cause of a g r e a t d e a l of p h y s i c a l and moral e v i l .  S h e l l e y says t h a t t h e p r e s e n t  s t a t e of the c l i -  mates of the e a r t h i s due t o t h i s o b l i q u i t y and as a r e s u l t r e a l h e a l t h i s out o f the r e a c h of c i v i l i s e d man.  P o s t e r , of  course, l o o k s on t h e b r i g h t s i d e and i s o f t h e o p i n i o n t h a t the p r o c e s s i o n o f t h e equinoxes " w i l l g r a d u a l l y a m e l i o r a t e the p h y s i c a l s t a t e of our p l a n e t , t i l l t h e e c l i p t i c s h a l l  again  c o i n c i d e w i t h t h e equator, and t h e equal d i f f u s i o n of l i g h t and heat over t h e whole s u r f a c e of t h e e a r t h t y p i f y t h e equal and happy e x i s t e n c e of man, who w i l l then have a t t a i n e d t h e f i n a l step of pure and p e r f e c t i n t e l l i g e n c e . "  P o s t e r ' s remarks a r e  a p r o g r e s s i v i s t ' s summary o f S h e l l e y ' s note, e s p e c i a l l y the f o l l o w i n g passages "It. i s exceedingly probable,  from many c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , t h a t  120 " t h i s o b l i q u i t y w i l l g r a d u a l l y d i m i n i s h , u n t i l the equator c o i n c i d e s w i t h the e c l i p t i c ... There i s no g r e a t e x t r a v a gance i n presuming t h a t the progress of the p e r p e n d i c u l a r i t y of the p o l e s may "be as r a p i d as the progress of int'elr l e c t ; or t h a t t h e r e should he a p e r f e c t identity'"between • the moral and p h y s i c a l improvement of the human species."26 Finally,  J e n k i s o n r e f e r s to L a P l a c e to support a middle-of-  the-road p o s i t i o n .  S h e l l e y , too, mentions L a P l a c e , though  o n l y to s e t him a s i d e a g a i n , because h i s t h e o r i e s do not w i t h S h e l l e y ' s own.  accord  This l i t t l e d i s c u s s i o n , a l l the d i f f e r e n t  ideas of w h i c h are drawn from a s i n g l e s h o r t note to S h e l l e y ' s poem, i s t y p i c a l of what Peacock can do i n e l a b o r a t i n g and exaggerating any unusual m a t e r i a l he may reading.  Contemplating  come a c r o s s i n h i s  the Tremadoc s e t t l e m e n t , E s c o t , w h i l e  d e p l o r i n g the advance of the machine age, d e c r i e s c h i l d - a s u b j e c t on w h i c h S h e l l e y a l s o f e l t s t r o n g l y . ing passage i n w h i c h E s c o t i s unmistakably  The  labour  conclud-  v o i c i n g the o p i n i o n s  of S h e l l e y i s h i s f i n a l onslaught on marriage.  The whole l o n g  speech has a s t r o n g l y Godwinian f l a v o u r , but a p a r t of i t at l e a s t merely r e c a p i t u l a t e s i n s l i g h t l y more c o n s e r v a t i v e terms what S h e l l e y has  to say of the p r e s e n t s t a t e of marriage  b a r t e r b a s i s - t h a t i t d r i v e s young men t i t u t e s who  on a  to c o n s o r t w i t h pros-  a r e themselves the i n n o c e n t v i c t i m s of the corrup-  t i o n s of s o c i e t y - i n h i s note on marriage  i n Queen Mab.  a g a i n s i m i l a r i t i e s of phrase a r e o b s e r v a b l e between the  Once two  passages. The i d e a s produced i n Headlong H a l l a r e , g e n e r a l l y speaki n g , S h e l l e y ' s l e s s c o n v e n t i o n a l ones.  Porester i n Melincourt  i n many ways resembles E s c o t , e s p e c i a l l y i n h i s p r i m i t i v i s m , but we do not know, though S h e l l e y was  assuredly f a m i l i a r w i t h  121 Monboddo, Rousseau, and t h e r e s t , t h a t he a c t u a l l y "believed i n the p h y s i c a l d e g e n e r a t i o n orang-utan.  o f mankind o r i n the humanity of the  The s o c i a l " b e l i e f s of F o r e s t e r , apart from these  extreme p r i m i t i v i s t i c c r o t c h e t s , a r e much more moderate and not very i n d i v i d u a l .  As we have seen, F o r e s t e r champions a form of  p l a t o n i s m , n o t u n l i k e S h e l l e y ' s p o l i t i c s , "but a l s o the views of many o t h e r l i b e r a l s then and s i n c e .  resembling I have found  i n M e l i n c o u r t no more d i r e c t q u o t a t i o n s f r o m or paraphrases of Shelley's w r i t i n g s .  Some minor d e t a i l s may have been suggested  by S h e l l e y , however.  F o r e s t e r , l i k e E s c o t and S h e l l e y , was not  v e r y much impressed b y t h e b l e s s i n g s of c i v i l i s a t i o n .  Like  S h e l l e y , t o o , he i s o n l y an o c c a s i o n a l w i n e - d r i n k e r - i n gene r a l d i s a p p r o v i n g of t h e p r a c t i c e .  I c a n f i n d i n Newman White  no support o f t h e b e l i e f t h a t S h e l l e y a b s t a i n e d from the use of sugar i n order t o d i s c o u r a g e West I n d i a n s l a v e r y , b u t Peacock ( l i k e C o l e r i d g e ) c e r t a i n l y d i d , and he p r o b a b l y took a good o p p o r t u n i t y to do a l i t t l e propagandising cause.  i n a worthy  We l e a r n f r o m S i r Telegraph P a x a r e t t t h a t ' the d i f f u s -  i o n o f l i b e r t y , and t h e g e n e r a l happiness of mankind' were F o r e s t e r ' s f a v o u r i t e t o p i c s a t c o l l e g e , a remark t h a t sounds s u f f i c i e n t l y d e s c r i p t i v e of Shelley.  F o r e s t e r t a l k s , t o o , of  the v e n a l i t y of l o v e and t h e c o m m e r c i a l i s a t i o n of marriage i n terms n o t u n l i k e those of E s c o t , b u t he a l s o opposes Fax, who advocates t h e p o p u l a t i o n t h e o r i e s of Malthus and e u l o g i s e s the " ' 28 •' s i n g l e man o r woman.  S h e l l e y r e p e a t e d l y a t t a c k e d Malthus and  by no means i n such reasonable e s t e r towards h i s f r i e n d .  tones as those adopted by For-  F o r e s t e r appears, moreover, to be a  122 d i s c i p l e - though somewhat d i s i l l u s i o n e d - of Godwinian benevolence.  P o r e s t e r , too, l i k e Scythrop a f t e r him, was a pioneer  i n t h e cause of b e t t e r education  {that i s , a more l i b e r a l  education) f o r women - and we cannot suppose S h e l l e y to have been o t h e r w i s e when he m a r r i e d the daughter of Mary V/ollstonecraft.  P o r e s t e r , l i k e E s c o t and S h e l l e y once a g a i n , i s a f o e  of l u x u r y .  F i n a l l y , F o r e s t e r ' s p o l i t i c a l creed can not be un-'  f a m i l i a r to t h e s t u d e n t of S h e l l e y , f o r i t i s pure Godwins " I am no r e v o l u t i o n i s t . I am ho advocate f o r v i o l e n t and a r b i t r a r y changes i n t h e s t a t e of s o c i e t y . I care hot i n what p r o p o r t i o n p r o p e r t y i s d i v i d e d ... p r o v i d e d t h e r i c h can be made t o know t h a t they a r e b u t t h e stewards of the" poor, t h a t they a r e not to be the monopolisers of s o l i t a r y s p o i l , b u t t h e d i s t r i b u t o r s of g e n e r a l p o s s e s s i o n : t h a t ' they a r e r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h a t d i s t r i b u t i o n to every p r i n - " c i p l e of g e n e r a l j u s t i c e , t o every t i e of moral o b l i g a t i o n , to every f e e l i n g of human sympathy; t h a t they a r e bound to c u l t i v a t e simple h a b i t s i n themselves, and to encourage most such a r t s of i n d u s t r y and peace as a r e most compatible w i t h t h e h e a l t h and l i b e r t y of o t h e r s . " 29 This may n o t be S h e l l e y ' s creed word f o r word, b u t there i s a f a m i l y resemblance.  S h e l l e y i n h i s maturer y e a r s v/as_ v e r y  moderate i n h i s demands f o r reform - he r e a l i s e d , f o r i n s t a n c e , t h a t England was n o t y e t ready f o r u n i v e r s a l s u f f r a g e , d e s i r a b l e as t h a t u l t i m a t e l y was.  He h o r r i f i e d h i s f a m i l y by s t a t -  i n g h i s i n t e n t i o n , when he should i n h e r i t t h e f a m i l y e s t a t e , of d i v i d i n g i t e q u a l l y among a l l t h e members of t h e f a m i l y . And h i s a t t i t u d e towards s o c i e t y i n g e n e r a l to by h i s g e n e r o s i t y  i s amply t e s t i f i e d  alone.  Scythrop i n Hightmare Abbey i s a t t h e same time the most f a r c i c a l and t h e most audacious p o r t r a i t of S h e l l e y Peacock ever i n d u l g e d i n .  The c r u x of the p l o t i s Scythrop's double  l o v e a f f a i r , and somehow Peacock avoided o f f e n d i n g S h e l l e y by  123 the use he made o f i t . Marionetta,  For Scythrop'B.frivolous  tormentor,  i s a l l h u t a complete p o r t r a i t of H a r r i e t West-  brook, w h i l e - t h e  s e r i o u s and m y s t e r i o u s S t e l l a i s the i n t e l l e c -  t u a l , i f n o t the p h y s i c a l , c o u n t e r p a r t  of Mary Godwin. But  Peacock does not f o l l o w S h e l l e y ' s amatory adventures so c l o s e l y t h a t he i n f r i n g e s upon c o n v e n t i o n a l m o r a l i t y .  He s o l v e s  Scythrop's thorny problem by making him l o s e b o t h l a d i e s a t once and i n the most amusing circumstances.  Scythrop, of  cou.rse, d e s p i t e t h e f a c t t h a t Pea.cock f o r m u l a t e d  h i s personal-  i t y f r o m a. s e r i e s o f the most f l a g r a n t borrowings f r o m r e a l life,  i s a p o r t r a i t n e i t h e r of the mature nor of the young  Shelley.  He i s a t y p i c a l l y Pea,cockian c h a r a c t e r composed of a  number o f t h e most r i d i c u l o u s t r a - i t s d i s p l a y e d by S h e l l e y i n his  youth.  He i s f i r s t i n t r o d u c e d  t o us as a p e r f e c t l y o r d i n -  a r y p e r s o n , a. t y p i c a l Eton-and-Oxford p r o d u c t { i n Peacock's o p i n i o n ) , c u l t u r a l l y barbarous b u t s o c i a l l y p o l i s h e d . there i s nothing  of S h e l l e y about him.  So f a r  B u t soon he i s i n v o l v e d  i n a, f u t i l e l o v e a f f a i r , p a r a l l e l i n g t h a t of S h e l l e y w i t h H a r r i e t Grove, and r e t i r e s d i s g r u n t l e d t o the p a t e r n a l mansion, Hightmare Abbey. his  There h i s f a t h e r t r i e s t o comfort him w i t h  r e f l e c t i o n s on the mercenary n a t u r e of women, t o which  Scythrop r e p l i e s , S h e l l e y - l i k e * . " ' I em s o r r y f o r i t , s i r , ' s a i d Scythrop. 'But how i s i t t h a t t h e i r minds a r e l o c k e d up? The f a u l t i s i n " t h e i r a r t i f i c i a l e d u c a t i o n , w h i c h s t u d i o u s l y models them i n t o mere m u s i c a l d o l l s , to be' s e t out f o r s a l e i n t h e g r e a t toy-shop of s o c i e t y . ' " 30 S h o r t l y t h e r e a l extravagances o f c h a r a c t e r come to l i g h t . Disappointed  l o v e d r i v e s Scythrop t o read endless German  124 romances and t r a g e d i e s , and a f t e r t h a t , a c t i n g on the advice of Mr... F l o s k y  ( C o l e r i d g e ) , he "begins t o pore over  philosophy.  transcendental  I n a c t u a l l i f e , C o l e r i d g e had a c o n s i d e r a b l e i n -  f l u e n c e upon S h e l l e y - though more i n p o e t r y than, i n p h i l o s ophy.  I n no time Scythrop i s ' t r o u b l e d w i t h the p a s s i o n f o r  reforming  t h e w o r l d ' w h i c h S h e l l e y confesses t o i n h i s  to Prometheus.  preface  S c y t h r o p , however, proposes t o regenerate  s o c i e t y through t h e agency of i i l u m i n a t i  (and b a n d i t t i ) , over  whom, of c o u r s e , he would be supreme r u l e r .  B u t from these  romantic and j u v e n i l e i m a g i n i n g s he somehow develops a, P l a t o n i c and S h e l l e y - l i k e creed*. "Knowledge i s power; i t i s i n t h e hands of a few, who employ i t t o m i s l e a d the many, f o r t h e i r own s e l f i s h purposes of aggrandisement and a p p r o p r i a t i o n , what i f i t were" i n the hands of a few who s h o u l d employ i t t o l e a d the. many? What i f i t were u n i v e r s a l , and the m u l t i t u d e were enlightened? No. The many must be always i n l e a d i n g - s t r i n g s ! but" l e t ' ' them have w i s e and honest c o n d u c t o r s . A' few to t h i n k , * and" many t o a c t ; t h a t i s the o n l y b a s i s of p e r f e c t s o c i e t y . " 33 Having come to these c o n c l u s i o n s , Scythrop must needs g i v e them to t h e w o r l d , and, as S h e l l e y wrote and p u b l i s h e d h i s 'Proposa l s f o r an A s s o c i a t i o n of those P h i l a n t h r o p i s t s who, convinced of t h e inadequacy of t h e m o r a l and p o l i t i c a l s t a t e of I r e l a n d to produce b e n e f i t s , w h i c h a r e n e v e r t h e l e s s  a t t a i n a b l e , are  w i l l i n g to u n i t e to accomplish i t s regeneration',  so he wrote  and f o i s t e d upon t h e w o r l d - w i t h about as much success as S h e l l e y - ' P h i l o s o p h i c a l Gas; o r , a P r o j e c t f o r a G e n e r a l I l l u m i n a t i o n of t h e Human Mind.'  Very soon t h e s u s c e p t i b l e  Scythrop becomes i n v o l v e d i n a new l o v e a f f a i r .  Por Marionetta  0 ' C a r r o l l , who has a l l t h e p h y s i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s though she wants a few of the moral ones of H a r r i e t Westbrook, he i s an  125 easy conquest u n t i l S t e l l a , who can o f f e r Scythrop b o t h beauty and i n t e l l e c t u a l companionship, a r r i v e s on the scene.  I n the  book, however, n e i t h e r l a d y i s aware of her r i v a l u n t i l the denouement, when Scythrop i s c o n f r o n t e d w i t h b o t h a t once, and when b o t h , h i g h l y d i s s a t i s f i e d w i t h h i s attempts a t e x p l a n a t i o n f l o u n c e out of the room and i n s h o r t space marry t h e Honourable Mr. L i s t l e s s and t h e m e t a p h y s i c a l Mr. P l o s k y .  In t h i s pleasant  way Peacock e n t i r e l y a v o i d s the p a i n f u l aspects of the H a r r i e t S h e l l e y - M a r y t r i a n g l e , w h i c h he so d e e p l y d i s a p p r o v e d and l a mented.  Moreover, Scythrop does not d e s e r t t h e f i r s t f o r the  subsequent l o v e , b u t i s suspended e q u i d i s t a n t , l i k e Mahomet's c o f f i n , between M a r i o n e t t a ' s e a r t h and S t e l l a ' s heaven.  Scyth-  rop tends more and more, as he i s developed i n the course of t h e book, t o shed h i s l i k e n e s s t o S h e l l e y and to t a k e on a p u r e l y mock-heroic c h a r a c t e r .  I n h i s l a s t g r e a t scene, when he  has vowed to shoot h i m s e l f a t t w e n t y - f i v e minutes p a s t s even, but as the f a t a l moment draws near persuades the b u t l e r by f o r c e of arms t o put back the c l o c k , u n t i l h i s f a t h e r a r r i v e s and saves the s i t u a t i o n , the whole a c t i o n i s p r o b a b l y of Peacock' s i n v e n t i o n .  Yet i t i s strangely i n character.  Peacock  can h a r d l y have known of S h e l l e y ' s c o n f e s s i o n i n an e a r l y l e t t e r to Hogg: " I s s u i c i d e wrong?  I s l e p t with a loaded  p i s t o l and some p o i s o n l a s t n i g h t , but d i d not d i e .  11  P a r t - p o r t r a i t s and the ideas of S h e l l e y have no p l a c e i n the m e d i e v a l t a l e s nor i n C r o t c h e t Ca,stie; but i n G r y l l Grange - w r i t t e n about the same time as the Memoirs, which no doubt r e v i v e d a l l s o r t s of d e t a i l s about S h e l l e y i n Peacock's mind -  126 the hero once a g a i n i s g i v e n some of the t r a i t s of S h e l l e y . The p o r t r a i t - i f , indeed, i t i s meant to he a p o r t r a i t - i s a p a l e one, however - even more p a l e and i n d e f i n a b l e than t h a t i n Melincourt.  F a l c o n e r , though a man of wide l e a r n i n g and catho-  l i c -taste, i s p a r t i a l to t h e novels of C h a r l e s Brockden Brown. Peacock notes i n the Memoirs a s i m i l a r p a r t i a l i t y i n S h e l l e y . F a l c o n e r a l s o p r o f e s s e s g r e a t a d m i r a t i o n f o r Cervantes, Lope de Vega, and C a l d e r o n - a l o v e shared by S h e l l e y , e s p e c i a l l y concerning Calderon.  ' F i n a l l y , S h e l l e y ' s d e v o t i o n t o types of  i d e a l beauty and h i s tendency t o l i v e i n t h e i m m a t e r i a l r a t h e r than t h e m a t e r i a l w o r l d - and to confuse t h e two - a r e sed i n t h e Memoirs.  expres-  I t c a n h a r d l y be a c o i n c i d e n c e t h a t  F a l c o n e r a t one p o i n t expresses h i m s e l f thus* " I t h i n k I can c l e a r l y d i s t i n g u i s h d e v o t i o n t o i d e a l beauty f r o m s u p e r s t i t i o u s b e l i e f . I f e e l t h e n e c e s s i t y of some such d e v o t i o n t o f i l l up t h e v o i d , which' the 'world,. as i t ' i s , l e a v e s i n my mind. I w i s h to b e l i e v e i n the' presence' ' of some l o c a l s p i r i t u a l influence*, genius of nymph"; l i n k i n g us by a medium of something l i k e human f e e l i n g , but more' p u r e and more e x a l t e d , to t h e a l l - p e r v a d i n g , c r e a t i v e , and p r e s e r v a t i v e s p i r i t of the u n i v e r s e ..." 36 How f a r a r e these p o r t r a i t s t h a t Peacock has drawn f o r us c o n s i s t e n t w i t h themselves,  or w i t h t h e i r o r i g i n a l s ?  be l i t t l e doubt about t h e i r c o n s i s t e n c e w i t h i n  There can  themselves.  Peacock never drew an i n c o n s i s t e n t p o r t r a i t f o r the v e r y good reason t h a t he never drew r e a l people.  He was j u s t f e e l i n g h i s  way to the drawing of r e a l f l e s h and b l o o d c h a r a c t e r s by the time he was f i n i s h i n g G r y l l Grange.  The people t h a t t a l k round  the i n e v i t a b l e d i n n e r - t a b l e i n h i s novels of t a l k a r e merely p e r s o n i f i e d i d e a s , o r l o g i c a l sequences of i d e a s , and n o t h i n g more.  Consequently,  when he c r e a t e s a c h a r a c t e r to r e p r e s e n t  127 some p a r t i c u l a r c r o t c h e t or p o i n t of view, he would he a, poor craftsman indeed i f he d i d not keep each c h a r a c t e r c o n s i s t e n t with i t s e l f .  -Thus Byron, i s u n f a i l i n g l y r e p r e s e n t e d as  the  melancholy, wordy poseur, w h i l e S h e l l e y as F o r e s t e r - i f we must c o n s i d e r F o r e s t e r a p o r t r a i t of him - i s a s e r i o u s young p h i l o s o p h e r and reformer w i t h one or two p r i m i t i v i s t i c c r o t c h e t s , and S h e l l e y as Scythrop behaves throughout i n the i o n of G o t h i c romanticism, And how  tradit-  u n t i l the a n t i c l i m a x at the v e r y  end.  c l o s e l y do these p o r t r a i t s resemble the l i v i n g poets?  Cypress: has about as much i n common w i t h Byron as F l o s k y w i t h C o l e r i d g e i n the same book.  1  Byron d i d n o t , of course,  arouse  the p o l i t i c a l a n i m o s i t y i n Peacock t h a t the Lake Poets d i d , and so h i s p o r t r a i t i s a l e s s p r e j u d i c e d one.  But we know t h a t  Peacock thought he saw r e a l danger i n the more morbid t r e n d s of contemporary l i t e r a t u r e , - f o r concerning w r i t e s - thus to S h e l l e y :  Nightmare Abbey he  ' 1  " I have almost f i n i s h e d 'Nightmare Abbey .'.'/T think:' it'"' necessary to 'make a s t a n d a g a i n s t the encroachments of black b i l e . The f o u r t h canto of ' C h i l d e H a r o l d ' i s r e a l l y too bad. "• 37 1  1  1  The p o r t r a i t - : in. Nightmare Abbey, then, i s merely designed l a u g h out of c o u r t the morbid excesses t h a t Byron - and  to other  w r i t e r s - were making the s t u f f of t h e i r poems and books. That was  one aspect of Byron t h a t Peacock d e p l o r e d to a marked ex-  t e n t , and he c o n c e n t r a t e d h i s c r i t i c i s m on i t a c c o r d i n g l y . A g a i n we  are o n l y shown a p a r t of the o r i g i n a l - a p a r t s i g n i f i -  cant enough to be r e c o g n i s e d  ( e s p e c i a l l y as i t was  the p a r t  t h a t B y r o n r e g u l a r l y e x h i b i t e d to the p u b l i c ) - but s t i l l part.  only  The unhappy and warped background t h a t made Byron what  128 he "was i s w h o l l y n e g l e c t e d : hut then Peacock e x c e l l e d as a c a r i c a t u r i s t , and not as a p s y c h o l o g i s t . c a t u r i s t who  Again i t i s the c a r i -  predominates i n the drawing of Scythrop,  few c l u e s to h i s f a n t a s t i c behaviour  though a  are dropped, namely d i s -  appointment i n l o v e and subsequent immersion i n German l i t e r a t u r e and p h i l o s o p h y .  Scythrop  i s a S h e l l e y w i t h o u t purpose  and w i t h o u t "genius - o t h e r w i s e the p o r t r a i t i s as t r u e to l i f e as i t c o u l d be w i t h i n the l i m i t s of f r i e n d s h i p and good t a s t e . There was  no harm i n r e p r o d u c i n g  a number of Shelley's, y o u t h f u l  and amusing v a g a r i e s , but Peacock o b v i o u s l y c o u l d not p o r t r a y the l o v e a f f a i r s as they a c t u a l l y appeared to him. S h e l l e y had l o n g outgrown such extravagances,  Scythrop  ed to c o n t i n u e on the somewhat f r e a k i s h p l a n e of and romantic  adolescence.  So whereas i s allow-  imaginative  P o r e s t e r i s h a r d l y a p o r t r a i t at a l l  but what t h e r e i s of i t i s no l o n g e r c a r i c a t u r e , f o r Peacock's mood i s i n t h i s case one of amused a f f e c t i o n .  S u t what t h e r e  i s of S h e l l e y i n M e l i n c o u r t i s j u s t a c o l l e c t i o n of ideas t h a t might have been f a v o u r i t e s of h i s .  The t o o - p e r f e c t P o r e s t e r  can never have been i n t e n d e d f o r a f u l l - l e n g t h p o r t r a . i t of Peacock's f r i e n d .  I t i s f u t i l e to attempt to c o n s i d e r h i s con-  s i s t e n c y w i t h h i s o r i g i n a l because of t h i s .  The same o b j e c t i o n  a p p l i e s w i t h even g r e a t e r f o r c e to any attempt to weigh P a l e oner of G r y l l Grange i n the s c a l e s w i t h S h e l l e y .  He has merely a  few of S h e l l e y ' s t a s t e s w h i c h seem to have been added as afterthought.  an  As f o r Headlong H a l l - s i n c e S h e l l e y ' s ideas  are  d i v i d e d between E s c o t and P o s t e r , o b v i o u s l y n e i t h e r i s a port r a i t of S h e l l e y - each i s j u s t as o b v i o u s l y a w a l k i n g argument  129 for  p r i m i t i v i s m i n the one case, and p r o g r e s s i v i e m i n the  other. What, then, we may Byron and S h e l l e y ?  ask, was  Peacock's r e a l a t t i t u d e to  A number of r e f e r e n c e s s c a t t e r e d through  the w r i t i n g s , - d i r e c t statements - g i v e us some n o t i o n of h i s o p i n i o n s on Byron.  As f a r as S h e l l e y i s concerned, d i r e c t  c r i t i c i s m and comment i s to he found o n l y i n the Memoirs. b e g i n w i t h , h e r e are the r e l e v a n t comments on Byron. Pour Ages of P o e t r y p a s s i n g mention i s made of him. how  In  To The  Discussing  modern poets make use of b a r b a r i c m a t e r i a l f o r t h e i r p o e t r y  Peacock merely says, "Lord Byron c r u i s e s f o r t h i e v e s  and  p i r a t e s on the shores of the Morea and among the Greek i s l a n d s . A l e s s f r i v o l o u s judgment i s expressed  i n a l e t t e r to S h e l l e y :  "Cain i s v e r y fine*, Sardanapalus I t h i n k f i n e r ; Don b e s t of a l l .  I have r e a d n o t h i n g e l s e i n r e c e n t  t h a t I t h i n k good f o r a n y t h i n g . "  Juan i s  literature  I n the review of Moore's  L i f e Peacock has one or two good t h i n g s to say about Byron though he was  r e s e r v i n g the major p a r t of h i s c r i t i c i s m t i l l  he  s h o u l d have the o p p o r t u n i t y of r e v i e w i n g the second volume. U n f o r t u n a t e l y h i s own ity.  s e v e r i t y d e p r i v e d him of t h a t opportun-  The g r e a t e r p a r t of the c r i t i c i s m of the f i r s t volume i s  c r i t i c i s m of the author, a good d e a l more i s a mere o u t l i n e of Byron*s l i f e , b u t o c c a s i o n a l l y h i s comments on some aspect the l i f e are i l l u m i n a t i n g . g r e a t sublime he drew.'  "Lord Byron was  always 'himself the  Whatever f i g u r e s f i l l e d up the middle  and back ground of h i s p i c t u r e s , the f o r e - g r o u n d was consecrated  t o h i s own."  of  invariably  Then, h i s c o n f i d e n c e s were o n l y  130 h a l f - c o n f i d e n c e s , meant o n l y to rouse the c u r i o s i t y of the p u b l i c , and many of h i s remarks, b o t h i n c o n v e r s a t i o n and i n w r i t i n g , . were p u r p o s e l y m y s t e r i o u s .  "He gave f u l l vent to h i s  f e e l i n g s : but he h i n t e d , r a t h e r than communicated, the circumstances of t h e i r o r i g i n s and he mixed up i n h i s h i n t s shadowy s e l f - a c c u s a t i o n s of i m a g i n a r y c r i m e s , on which, of c o u r s e , the l i b e r a l p u b l i c put the worst p o s s i b l e c o n s t r u c t i o n . " A neat analysis that"  There a r e f u r t h e r s e n s i b l e remarks c o n c e r n i n g  the Mary Chaworth a f f a i r .  Moore was  c o l o u r e d the whole of Byron's l i f e .  of the o p i n i o n t h a t i t Peacock, however, t h i n k s  t h a t , i f Byron had m a r r i e d Mary, he would have t i r e d of her as he t i r e d of the o t h e r s ; t h a t , l i k e many another, Byron  always  wanted the u n a t t a i n a b l e : "Through l i f e he aimed a t what he c o u l d not compass. He took the b e s t s u b s t i t u t e w h i c h circumstances p l a c e d I n h i s way, and c o n s o l e d h i m s e l f w i t h a handmaid f o r the l o s s of a Helens the l a t t e r b e i n g s t i l l longed f o r because she was i n a c c e s s i b l e . " '42 L a t e r i n the r e v i e w t h e r e a r e some s a r c a s t i c remarks upon the f a c t t h a t Byron  ( a f t e r h a v i n g w r i t t e n h i s ' E n g l i s h Bards and  S c o t t i s h Reviewers') ers.  and Moore became f r i e n d l y w i t h the review-  J e f f r e y , Moore, and Byron, he says, "became t h r e e of the  b e s t f r i e n d s i n t h i s l i t e r a r y w o r l d , t o the g r e a t advantage of t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e r e p u t a t i o n s w i t h the e n l i g h t e n e d and d i s c e r n 43 ' • ing p u b l i c . " I n h i s o l d age, a n n o t a t i n g b e f o r e p u b l i c a t i o n the l e t t e r s he had r e c e i v e d from S h e l l e y from I t a l y and Peacock c l o s e s h i s Byron c r i t i c i s m on y e t another note.  abroad,  sarcastic  B y r o n ha,d once mentioned to Medwin a n o v e l w r i t t e n by a  f r i e n d of S h e l l e y ' s , founded on h i s bear.  His d e s c r i p t i o n  was  131 s u f f i c i e n t to i d e n t i f y the hook as M e l i n c o u r t , hut Peacock s t r e n u o u s l y denies any r e l a t i o n s h i p between S i r Oran and any  of  Byron's p e t s : " I thought n e i t h e r of L o r d Byron's bear nor of C a l i g u a ' s horse. ing  But L o r d Byron was  t h a t a l l the w o r l d was  much i n the h a b i t of fancy44  s p i n n i n g on h i s p i v o t . "  S h e l l e y ' s work i s t r e a t e d by Peacock w i t h most a t y p i c a l gentleness.  I n the f i r s t p l a c e . Peacock wishes t h a t h i s w r i t -  i n g s might be t o t a l l y d i v o r c e d from h i s l i f e . S h e l l e y ' s poetry, was his  He f e l t  that  the best and o n l y necessary v i n d i c a t i o n of  existence* "NOT/, I c o u l d have wished t h a t , l i k e Wordsworth's Cuckoo, he had been a l l o w e d to remain a v o i c e and a mystery: t h a t , l i k e h i s own S k y l a r k , he had been l e f t unseen i n h i s congenial region. Above the smoke and s t i r of t h i s dim spot Which men c a . l l e a r t h , M i l t o n , Comus, i i . 5 , 6 and t h a t he had been o n l y heard i n the splendour of h i s song."45  S h e l l e y ' s s p l e n d i d song, however, i s not f l a w l e s s .  Peacock  never a l l o w e d p r e j u d i c e w h o l l y to obscure the good p o i n t s of his  enemies, and h i s f r i e n d s h i p f o r S h e l l e y d i d not b l i n d  him  e i t h e r to the. f a u l t s of S h e l l e y ' s c h a r a c t e r , or to the l e s s e r f a u l t s of h i s p o e t r y . aspects  He d e s c r i b e s S h e l l e y ' s l o v e of the grand  of n a t u r e - a l o v e t h a t must have been v e r y c l o s e to  Peacock's own - a l o v e f o r mountains, t o r r e n t s , f o r e s t s , sea, and s u c h r u i n s a.s " s t i l l r e f l e c t e d the g r e a t n e s s and how  of a n t i q u i t y , "  i n h i s p o e t r y he p e o p l e d them w i t h "phantoms of v i r t u e 46 '  and beauty, such as never e x i s t e d on e a r t h . "  One  examples of s u c h w r i t i n g i s Prometheus Unbound.  of h i s f i n e s t Peacock then  has a, few p e n e t r a t i n g remarks to make on the s u b j e c t of S h e l l e y ' s dramatic w r i t i n g :  "He o n l y once descended i n t o the arena of r e a l i t y , and t h a t was i n the tragedy of the C e n c i . This i s u n q u e s t i o n a b l y " a work of g r e a t dramatic power, but i t i s as. u n q u e s t i o n a b l y not a, work f o r the modern E n g l i s h stage. : I t "would" have been a g r e a t work i n the days of lias 'singer .... But'he c o u l d not c l i p h i s wings'to the l i t t l e n e s s of the a c t i n g " .drama; and though he adhered to h i s purpose of "writing- f o r the stage, a,nd chose C h a r l e s I f o r h i s s u b j e c t , he' d i d not make much p r o g r e s s i n "the t a s k . I f h i s l i f e ' h a d been""""' prolonged,' I s t i l l ' t h i n k he would have accomplished somet h i n g worthy of the b e s t days of t h e a t r i c a l l i t e r a t u r e . I f t h e gorgeous scenery of h i s p o e t r y c o u l d have' been peopled f r o m a c t u a l l i f e , i f the deep thoughts and s t r o n g f e e l i n g s which he was so capable of e x p r e s s i n g , had been accommodated to c h a r a c t e r s such as have been a,nd may be, however e x c e p t i o n a l i n the g r e a t n e s s of p a s s i o n , he would have added h i s own name to those of the masters of the art." 47 r  The Memoir concludes w i t h an a p p r e c i a t i o n of S h e l l e y w i t h v„hich none but the extrernest e n t h u s i a s t can f i n d s e r i o u s f a u l t : "So p e r i s h e d Percy'Bysshe S h e l l e y , i n the f l o w e r of h i s age, and h o t perhaps even y e t i n the " f u l l f l o w e r of" h i s g e n i u s ; a genius unsurpassed i n the d e s c r i p t i o n ' and i m a g i n a t i o n of . scenes of beauty and" grandeur*, i n the e x p r e s s i o n of im-" ' ' * p a s s i o n e d l o v e of i d e a l beauty; i n the i l l u s t r a t i o n of deep f e e l i n g by c o n g e n i a l imageryj and i n the i n f i n i t e v a r i e t y of harmonious v e r s i f i c a t i o n . 'i7hat was, i n my o p i n i o n , d e f i c i e n t i n h i s p o e t r y , was, as I have a l r e a d y said," the want of r e a l i t y i n " the c h a r a c t e r s w i t h w h i c h he p e o p l e d ' h i s s p l e n d i d scenes, and t o which he addressed or imparted the u t t e r a n c e of h i s impassioned f e e l i n g s . He was advancing," I t h i n k , to the attainment of t h i s r e a l i t y . I t would have g i v e n to h i s p o e t r y the o n l y element of t r u t h w h i c h i t wanted ..." 48 Peacock i s n o t a b l y more sympathetic  towards Byron a,nd  S h e l l e y than he i s towards the o l d e r r o m a n t i c s .  The  liberalism,  of the two young p o e t s p r o b a b l y had a g r e a t d e a l to do w i t h i t , and more than t h a t , t h e i r p o l i t i c a l s i n c e r i t y s t r u c k a s i v e chord i n Peacock.  respon-  C r i t i c i s m s - i n the case of Byron a t  l e a s t - a r e g i v e n , as u s u a l , more p u b l i c i t y than p r a i s e , but r e a l l y B y r o n i s s u b j e c t e d o n l y to one important c r i t i c i s m - t h a t he o v e r i n d u l g e s i n morbid s e l f - d r a m a t i s a t i o n . The minor f a u l t s  133 Peacock f i n d s i n him stem i n the main f r o m t h i s fundamental one.  I t i s v e r y p r o b a b l y t h a t Peacock knew a g r e a t d e a l l e s s  of the r e a l i t y b e h i n d the B y r o n i c facade than we do.  He seems  to have thought the B y r o n i c a t t i t u d e a pose o n l y •- probably designed to _ a t t r a c t the p u b l i c - whereas we r e a l i s e i t to have been the almost i n e v i t a b l e outcome of h i s doubly h e r e d i t y and environment.  unfortunate  But a p a r t f r o m t h i s u n - E n g l i s h and  u n h e a l t h y i n t r o s p e c t i o n , Peacock f i n d s l i t t l e to o b j e c t to i n Byron, and we can w e l l understand h i s r e l i s h f o r Byron the satirist.  I t i s more d i f f i c u l t to understand h i s  enthusiasm  f o r S h e l l e y ' s p o e t r y - i t s i m m a t e r i a l i s m and i d e a l i s m would seem, at f i r s t , t o have no p l a c e whatever i n the scheme of t h i n g s . l y i n Peacockia. and though h i s own the every-day,  Peacockian  But Peacock h i m s e l f d i d not d w e l l p e r p e t u a l He c o u l d t a k e time o f f to i d e a l i s e Greece, i d e a l i s m tended  to crumble i n the f a c e of  m a t e r i a l w o r l d , he must have r e t a i n e d i n h i s  h e a r t enough of the v i s i o n a r y to a p p r e c i a t e and applaud uncowed and unashamed i d e a l i s m of h i s f r i e n d .  the  And h i s c r i t i c i s m  of a want of r e a l i t y i s o n l y too j u s t - the r a r e f i e d atmosphere of S h e l l e y ' s p r o p h e t i c p o e t r y has b l i n d e d many and many a r e a d e r to the e s s e n t i a l t r u t h , and p r a c t i c a l i t y , t h a t l i e s behind.  134  Peacock? c r i t i c of Romantioism Peacock i s one of the a r i s t o c r a t s of E n g l i s h l e t t e r s . He never had t o w r i t e i n o r d e r t o make a l i v i n g . was  I n h i s youth he  a b l e t o l i v e on the modest f a m i l y income, eked out, event-  u a l l y , by some few c o n t r i b u t i o n s from S h e l l e y and, once he had j o i n e d the s t a f f of t h e India, House, he was i n v e r y comfortable c i r c u m s t a n c e s f o r t h e r e s t of h i s days.  As a r e s u l t of t h i s he  wrote t o p l e a s e h i m s e l f , and s a i d h i s say i n d e f i a n c e of the p l e a s u r e o r d i s p l e a s u r e of the w o r l d .  He p r o b a b l y had no g r e a t  w i s h t o become a 'popular' author - a t l e a s t , h i s o f t - r e p e a t e d sneers a t t h e 'reading p u b l i c ' suggest t h a t he was no l e s s f a s t i d i o u s about h i s audience than h i s contemporary,  Landor.  Some remarks made by Peacock i n t h e London Review on the nature of comic f i c t i o n throw l i g h t on h i s p r o b a b l e a t t i t u d e t o h i s own w r i t i n g s I  '  "An i n t e n s e l o v e o f truth" may e x i s t w i t h o u t the f a c u l t y of d e t e c t i n g i t ; and a c l e a r apprehension of t r u t h may' coexist w i t h a determination to pervert i t . The u n i o n of b o t h i s r a r e ; and s t i l l more r a r e .is the c o m b i n a t i o n of b o t h w i t h t h a t p e c u l i a r 'composite o f n a t u r a l c a p a c i t y and s u p e r i n d u c e d h a b i t , ' w h i c h c o n s t i t u t e s what i s u s u a l l y denominated comic g e n i u s . " 2 This suggests t h a t he wrote i n o r d e r to promote t h e cause of truth.  H i s p r e c i s e i d e a o f the n a t u r e of t r u t h i s nowhere  e x p l a i n e d , b u t the n o v e l s seem to p o i n t t o a c l o s e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of i t w i t h common sense.  P o r t h e r e he i s always  promoting  the cause of what he sees as common sense a g a i n s t a l l the extravagances i n the w o r l d around him.  And h i s n o t i o n s of common  sense are warped by no adherence t o p a r t y o r p a t r o n .  H i s major  b i a s i s a g a i n s t b i a s , and i t i s one we can r e a d i l y f o r g i v e him. We can accept h i s o p i n i o n s , then, w i t h o u t s u s p i c i o n .  H i s judg-  ments, a l t h o u g h not i n v a r i a b l y c o r r e c t , are among the most s i n c e r e of h i s age.  B u t i n a c c e p t i n g these judgments, the  g r e a t m a j o r i t y of which time has proved to be remarkably good, i t i s i n a d v i s a b l e to f o r g e t or f a i l to make some allowance f o r Peacock's  own p r e j u d i c e s .  Although i t i s h i g h l y  improbable  t h a t he ever thought h i m s e l f f a u l t l e s s , he was perhaps r a t h e r too prone to judge other men by h i s own h i g h s t a n d a r d s .  He  was  f i r s t and foremost an i n t e l l e c t u a l , and one w i t h v e r y d e f i n i t e views on e d u c a t i o n and the t r a i n i n g of the i n t e l l e c t .  I t would  almost seem as i f he f a n c i e d he had found the o n l y r e a l way  to  o b t a i n an e d u c a t i o n , and t h a t a l l o t h e r s were wrong - especi a l l y i f they i n c l u d e d a course a t u n i v e r s i t y , or p a i d i n s u f f i c i e n t a t t e n t i o n t o the c l a s s i c s .  H i s i n t e l l e c t u a l i s m , or  s c h o l a r s h i p , then, l e d him a t times t o l a y undue s t r e s s on minutiae.  P a c t s (at l e a s t when used by o t h e r people) had to be  handled w i t h t h e utmost e x a c t i t u d e .  I t seems to be the case,  however, t h a t Peacock u s u a l l y mounted h i s p e d a n t i c hobby-horse p a r t i c u l a r l y when he was  c r i t i c i s i n g people he d i d not l i k e ,  and d i d not want to l i k e - K e a t s , Tennyson, and Moore, f o r instance.  As i t happens, the s t r i c t u r e s were l a r g e l y deserved  Where Moore was  concerned, b u t h i s a t t i t u d e to Keats and Tenny-  son i s much more d i f f i c u l t t o extenuate.  Peacock, however, was  o n l y human, and h i s p r e j u d i c e s a g a i n s t i n d i v i d u a l s and  insti-  t u t i o n s p a l e i n t o i n s i g n i f i c a n c e b e s i d e those of h i s b e t t e r known contemporary, - Thomas C a r l y l e l  S t i l l , we must not f o r g e t  136 h i s l i f e - l o n g p r e d i l e c t i o n f o r sound s c h o l a r s h i p and f o r p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l i n t e g r i t y .  And i f i t i s a f a u l t , i t i s a  f a u l t f a r more v e n i a l than most. Peacock's g e n e r a l and f r e q u e n t l y adverse c r i t i c i s m of h i s contemporaries may e a s i l y l e a d us to t h i n k of him as the enemy of r o m a n t i c i s m , h u t t h i s i s f a r from b e i n g t h e case.  He was  one o f t h e s e v e r e s t c r i t i c s t h a t romantic w r i t e r s , g r e a t and s m a l l , have ever had to f a c e , b u t he seldom c r i t i c i s e s them on the s c o r e of t h e i r - r o m a n t i c i s m , u n l e s s , l i k e Byron, they were c a r r y i n g c e r t a i n phases of i t to excess, o r , l i k e t h e Lake S c h o o l , had f o r m u l a t e d p o e t i c t h e o r i e s w h i c h they  themselves  p a r t i a l l y r e f u t e d i n the c o m p o s i t i o n of t h e i r b e s t p o e t r y . A p a r t from t h i s , Peacock a t t a c k s h i s contemporaries because o f r e a l or apparent f l a w s i n t h e i r c h a r a c t e r s .  The w o r l d tends to  take i t f o r g r a n t e d that- theory and p r a c t i c e s h a l l not be expected, to c o i n c i d e , b u t many a y e a r passed b e f o r e Peacock c o u l d i n any measure r e c o n c i l e h i m s e l f t o such a s t a t e of a f f a i r s . H i s most v i o l e n t o u t c r y a g a i n s t i t occurs i n M e l i n c o u r t , where Mr. S a r c a s t i c , t o t h e p a i n e d bewilderment e x a c t l y what he p r a c t i s e s .  of a l l , preaches .  I t i s n o t s u r p r i s i n g , then, t h a t i n  the same book Peacock s h o u l d scourge as he does t h e apparent t e r g i v e r s a t i o n of Wordsworth, C o l e r i d g e , and.Southey.  Pea-  cock's e s s e n t i a l l y r a t i o n a l mind was unable to sympathise w i t h the more emotional r e a c t i o n s of t h e Lake Poets to t h e w o r l d around them (and p a r t i c u l a r l y to the outcome o f the Prench Rev-o l u t i o n ) , and i t i s n o t i m p o s s i b l e t h a t he never made any s e r i o u s e f f o r t to u n d e r s t a n d t h e i r p o i n t of view.  B u t the p o i n t  137 i s t h a t Peacock never c r i t i c i s e s the r e a l b a s i s of romanticism, the r e t u r n t o n a t u r e .  He sometimes laughs at the romantic  i d e a l i s a t i o n of t h e p a s t , but i t i s a f a u l t w i t h which he has the s t r o n g e s t sympathy, and so h i s l a u g h t e r concerning i t i s never a n y t h i n g but g e n i a l .  I n f a c t , Rhododaphne and the f r a g -  mentary C a l i d o r e suggest t h a t Peacock i s not above i n d u l g i n g i n a l i t t l e i d e a l i s a t i o n of h i s own where a n c i e n t Greece i s concerned.  The complete p r o s e works, however, r e v e a l a man p o i s e d  e q u i d i s t a n t between c l a s s i c i s m and romanticism.  I n each of h i s  n o v e l s , a g a i n s t a background unashamedly r o m a n t i c , he t i l t s i n the t r u e Augustan manner a t f o l l y and f a s h i o n , men Sometimes, t o o , the romantic background  and manners.  forgets i t s e l f  and  becomes the f o r e g r o u n d , e s p e c i a l l y i n the l a t e r n o v e l s , P r o t chet C a s t l e and G r y l l Grange.  H i s c h i e f p o i n t s of c o n t a c t -with  his  romantic contemporaries were, of c o u r s e , h i s l o v e of n a t u r e  in  a l l i t s a s p e c t s , from the p a s t o r a l to the w i l d l y p i c t u r e s q u e  scene (and h i s d e s c r i p t i o n s of some of h i s h e r o i n e s - such as A n t h e l i a M e l i n c o u r t and Susannah Touchandgo - suggest t h a t he may  a l s o have been s l i g h t l y impregnated w i t h a s o r t of Words-  w o r t h i a n nature-wor s h i p ) , and h i s i n t e r e s t i n the p a s t , conc e r n i n g w h i c h he p r o b a b l y knew more about Greece than any of his  c o n t e m p o r a r i e s , and more about the m i d d l e ages than anyone  besides Scott. All  t h e s e l i k e s and d i s l i k e s , b o t h i n t e l l e c t u a l and aes-  t h e t i c , l e d him to form f a i r l y d e c i d e d o p i n i o n s about the major l i t e r a r y men  around him.  I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t , i n the f i r s t  p l a c e , t h a t he has r e a l i s e d v e r y a c c u r a t e l y j u s t who were the  138 g r e a t men  of l e t t e r s of h i s time.  Wordsworth, C o l e r i d g e ,  S h e l l e y , Byron, S c o t t , Southey, Moore, and the r e v i e w e r s p l a y the l a r g e s t p a r t s i n h i s c r i t i c i s m .  Of these, Southey i s n o t ,  perhaps, a major author, and Moore i s d i s t i n c t l y a minor (and, of c o u r s e , Peacock's e x t e n s i v e c r i t i c i s m of him was  intended to  prove t h a t , or w o r s e ) , w h i l e the r e v i e w e r s , though not i n thems e l v e s of major l i t e r a r y importance, had a profound i n f l u e n c e upon the l i t e r a t u r e of the time.  This i s q u i t e a good c r i t i c a l  r e c o r d , f o r Peacock had to make up h i s mind ahout these  men  h e f o r e p o s t e r i t y c o u l d make h i s mind up f o r him, and h i s a b i l i t y to a p p r e c i a t e the b e s t i n them i s i n i t s e l f r a t h e r remarka b l e i n the l i g h t of h i s p r e p o n d e r a n t l y c l a s s i c a l background. L o o k i n g a t h i s c r i t i c i s m of h i s contemporaries  as a whole,  however, we must be aware of a d i f f e r e n c e between h i s a t t i t u d e to the r o m a n t i c s of the. f i r s t g e n e r a t i o n and h i s a t t i t u d e to those of the second.  His c r i t i c i s m s  of the e a r l i e r men - not-  a b l y of Wordsworth, C o l e r i d g e , and Southey - are much s e v e r e r . Of c o u r s e , they were the p i o n e e r s of the movement, c l e a r i n g a way not o n l y f o r themselves, b u t a l s o f o r S h e l l e y and  Byron,  and as p i o n e e r s they had to bear the h o s t i l i t y of those  who  s t i l l c l u n g t o the worn garment of Augustan t r a d i t i o n , as w e l l as the l a u g h t e r o f the p h i l i s t i n e .  Peacock, when L y r i c a l  B a l l a d s invaded t h e l i t e r a r y w o r l d , was  s t i l l an Augustan, and  he a p p a r e n t l y found the poems, e& w e l l as the Prefa.ee which Wordsworth s u b s e q u e n t l y added, as l u d i c r o u s and d e s p i c a b l e as d i d the m a j o r i t y of h i s contemporaries.  But i n s p i t e of t h i s  i n i t i a l bad i m p r e s s i o n , Peacock came, as the years passed  by,  139 to a p p r e c i a t e these once-despised Lake Poets more and more. Wordsworth may  have made too much of u n f o r t u n a t e  the aged and i n f i r m , C o l e r i d g e may  c h i l d r e n or of  have heen too fond of meta-  p h y s i c a l d i s c o u r s e and w r i t i n g dream-poetry, and Southey's e p i c s were too l o n g and f a n t a s t i c , hut, n e v e r t h e l e s s ,  they  never f a i l e d to he t r u e to nature - no mean compliment, as t h i s was  the t r i b u t e p e r p e t u a l l y i n Augustan mouths i n  w i t h Shakespeare. Wordsworth was he  And Peacock found, d e s p i t e h i m s e l f , t h a t  coming to mean more and more to him,  (Peacock) became.  t h e i r prime was  connection  the o l d e r  H i s main o b j e c t i o n to the Lake Poets i n  their p o l i t i c s .  This he should have d i v o r c e d  from h i s e s t i m a t i o n of t h e i r w r i t i n g , but he found i t v e r y d i f f i c u l t to do so.  He was  probably  not so v e r y wrong about  the e f f e c t s . o f l a u r e a t e s h i p upon a poet, moreover. ates i n M e l i n c o u r t t h a t Southey's work when he was was  He  indic-  a, r a d i c a l  of much g r e a t e r anesthetic w o r t h t h a n t h a t done a f t e r he  became a t o r y minion.  Peacock was  probably  a little  prejudiced  on b e h a l f of r a d i c a l l i t e r a t u r e when he wrote t h a t , but  liter-  a r y h i s t o r y c e r t a i n l y bears out Peacock's p o s i t i o n , t h a t l a u r - . e a t e s h i p tends to have a d i s i n t e g r a t i n g e f f e c t on a poet's work. The younger r o m a n t i c s had by no means the same b a r r i e r s to contend a g a i n s t i n Peacock's c r i t i c a l e s t i m a t i o n , f o r t h e i r e l d e r s had made a c o n s i d e r a h l e b r e a c h i n the defences b e f o r e they came along.  B e s i d e s , Peacock's f r i e n d s h i p wi t h S h e l l e y must have  smoothed the way  considerably.  a b l e n e s s must have had  S h e l l e y ' s fundamental  reason-  i t s e f f e c t on Peacock i n the f i e l d of  l i t e r a r y a p p r e c i a t i o n as w e l l as i n p o l i t i c s and s o c i a l  outlook.  140 Peacock, then, was  ' c o n d i t i o n e d ' t o romanticism,  as w e l l as i n  sympathy w i t h the p o l i t i c a l i d e a l s of Byron and S h e l l e y when the two younger poets were w r i t i n g and p u b l i s h i n g t h e i r b e s t .; work.  The younger men,  too, d i e d young.  They had h a r d l y  any  o p p o r t u n i t y to r e a c t from, or even to modify, t h e i r y o u t h f u l p o l i t i c s , and they o f f e r e d , by t h e i r e a r l y deaths,  the d e l i g h t -  f u l o p p o r t u n i t y of s p e c u l a t i n g upon what they might hare done or become - always a much more agreeable t a s k than contemplating  g r e a t n e s s r e a c h i n g i t s peak and then g r a d u a l l y l o s i n g i t s  grip.  So, f o r a number of reasons, Peacock f i n d s more to c r i t -  i c i s e i n the f i r s t g e n e r a t i o n of r o m a n t i c s ,  though, as we have  seen, a p a r t f r o m t h e i r p o l i t i c s , he has l a r g e l y found f a u l t o n l y w i t h those aspects of the Lakers which the consensus of c r i t i c i s m condemns today.  And  of Byron and S h e l l e y , too, h i s  judgment has been proved v e r y just.'  They embody, he_seems to  i m p l y , a l l the e s s e n t i a l s of romanticism,  but now  they c a r r y some or o t h e r aspect r a t h e r too f a r .  and  again  S c o t t can  h a r d l y be c l a s s e d e i t h e r as f i r s t or second g e n e r a t i o n romant i c i s m - he belongs to b o t h g e n e r a t i o n s , and i n him, as i n the o t h e r s , Peacock 1ms  seen and r e c o r d e d the b e s t .  A l l things  c o n s i d e r e d , I t i s v e r y d o u b t f u l i f a w r i t e r of today c o u l d p i c k out and e v a l u a t e from among a l l h i s l i t e r a r y contemporaries the h a l f dozen or so who  a hundred years from now w i l l be  ed the g r e a t e s t l i t e r a r y f i g u r e s of the e a r l i e r c e n t u r y - i t i s v e r y d o u b t f u l i f s,ny man  consider-  twentieth  could evaluate h i s  l i t e r a r y f e l l o w s more j u s t l y or c l e a r - s i g h t e d l y than d i d Peacock.  141 For M s  c r i t i c a l prowess Peacock owes more to pure  c l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e than to n e o - c l a s s i c i s m . of Greece and Rome, w h i c h was  I n the  literature  the u l t i m a t e f o u n t a i n of h i s  i n s p i r a t i o n s he found models b o t h of r a t i o n a l and romantic l i t e r a t u r e , w h i c h ; l a i d the b a s i s f o r h i s v e r y c a t h o l i c t a s t e s i n E n g l i s h , F r e n c h , I t a l i a n , and l a t t e r l y Spanish l e t t e r s . Thus, though he may i c comedy, he. was  have had a p e r s o n a l p r e d i l e c t i o n f o r s a t i r -  n e i t h e r unaware nor u n a p p r e c i a t i v e  many o t h e r f i e l d s of l i t e r a t u r e . ready to a p p r e c i a t e every language.  of  L i k e a s e n s i b l e man,  the b e s t i n every f i e l d and  the he  was  every age  and  But h i s standards were h i g h , and he would have  nothing but the b e s t . e r a t u r e of t h e p a s t had  The g r e a t e r p a r t of the v e r y minor l i t sunk so f a r out of s i g h t t h a t he  was  not a f f e c t e d by i t s e x i s t e n c e , and o n l y c a l l e d i t to mind when i n moods s u c h as t h a t i n which he wrote The Four Ages of I t i s very  Poetry.  easy t o f o r g e t - t h a t the l i t e r a t u r e of the p a s t  was  not a s u c c e s s i o n of m a s t e r p i e c e s , but t h a t i t i n c l u d e d a veinc o n s i d e r a b l e p r o p o r t i o n of r u b b i s h - though not, of c o u r s e , the huge p r o p o r t i o n r e s u l t i n g f r o m the i n f i n i t e l y g r e a t e r a v a i l a b i l i t y of m a t e r i a l and time. day.  the tremendous r i s e i n l i t e r a c y i n our  These modern c o n d i t i o n s were j u s t b e g i n n i n g Augustan w r i t e r s had  the a r i s t o c r a c y and tastes.  own  i n Peacock's  a r e l a t i v e l y homogeneous p u b l i c -  the m i d d l e c l a s s i m i t a t i n g a r i s t o c r a t i c  The romantics.had a p u b l i c so heterogeneous t h a t each  w r i t e r had more or l e s s to w r i t e f o r some s p e c i a l audience. The  s p r e a d of e d u c a t i o n ma.de i t p r a c t i c a l l y i m p o s s i b l e f o r  man  to appeal to a l l t a s t e s and c l a s s e s a l i k e .  The  natural  one  142 i n s t i n c t of a g r e a t many w r i t e r s , under these was  circumstances,  to w r i t e f o r the w i d e s t p u b l i c p o s s i b l e , w h i c h g e n e r a l l y  meant w r i t i n g down to r e l a t i v e l y u n i n t e l l i g e n t or people.  That Peacock was  uninformed  aware of t h i s change i n l i t e r a t u r e  and the r e a d i n g p u b l i c , and was  d i s t r e s s e d by i t , we know from  h i s Essay on F a s h i o n a b l e L i t e r a t u r e and h i s c r i t i c i s m s of Moore.  That he saw i t s . d a n g e r s , we know f r o m The Pour Ages of  P o e t r y , though h i s r e d u c i n g the system to a b s u r d i t y i n h i s u s u a l manner - t h a t i s , p o i n t i n g out t h a t the poet's  audience  must needs grow s m a l l e r and more b a r b a r i a n t i l l i t u l t i m a t e l y v a n i s h e s - tends to obscure h i s a p p r e c i a t i o n of the r e a l of the spread of e d u c a t i o n on the r e p u b l i c of l e t t e r s .  effect It is  h a r d l y s u r p r i s i n g t h a t he became such a vehement opponent of the spread of p o p u l a r e d u c a t i o n .  A l l t h i s has a d i s t i n c t bear-  i n g on h i s a t t i t u d e to h i s contemporaries.  H i s own  financial  independence of h i s r e a d i n g p u b l i c made him r a t h e r unsympatheti c towards the dependence of a g r e a t number of the w r i t e r s around him.  He f e l t s t r o n g l y t h a t they s h o u l d on no  p r o s t i t u t e t h e i r a r t by p l a y i n g to the g a l l e r y . they s h o u l d , i f necessary  account  He f e l t t h a t  (and as he h i m s e l f d i d ) , make a l i v -  i n g by some o r d i n a r y t r a d e or p r o f e s s i o n and w r i t e i n t h e i r spare time; b u t a t l e a s t they s h o u l d be a b l e to c a l l s o u l s t h e i r own.  their  This i s fundamental i n Peacock's c r i t i c i s m of  the rome.ntic movement. literary integrity,  He demanded i n t e l l e c t u a l honesty  and  Where he knew or suspected i t s absence he  c o u l d be, a.nd f r e q u e n t l y was, m e r c i l e s s .  He wanted g r e a t  men  l i k e Wordsworth, C o l e r i d g e , and Byron to c o n c e n t r a t e on g i v i n g  143 of t h e i r v e r y b e s t .  T h e i r b e s t work he does not h e s i t a t e to  commend, but he does not want i t obscured by what he  considers  f o o l i s h n e s s ~ such as too f a i t h f u l adherence to the p o e t i c t h e o r i e s put f o r w a r d i n t h e P r e f a c e to the L y r i c a l B a l l a d s . These f a u l t s he d e a l s w i t h i n v a r y i n g degrees of s e v e r i t y ( a c c o r d i n g to h i s e s t i m a t i o n of the d i s h o n e s t y of the motive) i n the sometimes b i t t e r , but more o f t e n s a t i r i c and  ironic  passages i n h i s w r i t i n g s d e a l i n g w i t h the d i f f e r e n t phases and f i g u r e s of romanticism.  Had h i s p o i n t of view been p u r e l y  c l a s s i c he c o u l d have produced very s i m i l a r c r i t i c i s m , p r o b a b l y a g r e a t d e a l more of i t .  The f a c t t h a t he  and  fully  a p p r e c i a t e d a v e r y c o n s i d e r a b l e body of the b e s t romantic e r a t u r e - and p r o b a b l y  neo-  lit-  a good d e a l more than he has g i v e n us  any h i n t of - i n d i c a t e s t h a t i t must have appealed to some sympathetic  segment of h i s own mind.  That segment we have to  some e x t e n t e x p l o r e d , and have found i t much more comprehensive t h a n might have been expected. f o r the p a s t  H i s l o v e of nature and  feeling  (though he never t r i e d to p o r t r a y i t as p e r f e c t )  alone would mark him out as a r o m a n t i c ,  though much of h i s work  might seem a t f i r s t s i g h t t o d i s q u a l i f y him, or a t l e a s t t h e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n extremely  dubious.  render  But i f one s i n g l e exam-  p l e were to be c i t e d to prove h i s c l a i m to be an i n t e g r a l p a r t of r o m a n t i c i s m ,  s u r e l y i t must be h i s i n i m i t a b l e p a s t i c h e of  B y r o n , "There i s a f e v e r of the s p i r i t ' .  No man w i t h o u t  a  p h y s i c a l as w e l l as an i n t e l l e c t u a l a p p r e c i a t i o n of the v e r y core of r o m a n t i c i s m  c o u l d have w r i t t e n t h a t .  I n a d d i t i o n to  a l l t h i s , and f u r t h e r c o m p l i c a t i n g c r i t i c a l e f f o r t , Peacock  was  144 essentially a wit.  He l o v e d t o l a u g h , and e x a g g e r a t i o n - not  always t h e k i n d e s t e x a g g e r a t i o n - i s p r a c t i c a l l y e s s e n t i a l to wit.  Very l i t t l e i n heaven and e a r t h escaped h i s mockery, the ....... 5 scope of w h i c h he sums up i n the words of h i s F r i a r M i c h a e l : "The w o r l d i s a s t a g e , and l i f e i s a" f a r c e , and'he t h a t laughs most has most p r o f i t of t h e performance.' "The " ~"" worst t h i n g i s good enough to he laughed a t , though"'it" he g o o d f o r n o t h i n g else';"and the b e s t t h i n g , though" i t be good f o r something e l s e , i s good f o r n o t h i n g b e t t e r . "  145  Chapter I p.l 2  3  5  6  7  8 9  Peacock, man and author  1. P r i e s t l e y , J.B., Thomas Love Peacock, M a c m i l l a n , London, 1927, pp.4-5. 2. I t appears to he a p o i n t of ..honour ' among a l l true' admirers of Peacock to take i t f o r g r a n t e d , and sometimes to p r o c l a i m to the w o r l d a t l a r g e , t h a t they d i n e l a t e , t h a t t h e i r numbers are few and s e l e c t , and t h a t he who' would f u l l y savour Thomas Love Peacock must he equipped w i t h no mean i n t e l l e c t . 3. Van Doren,C., The L i f e of Thomas Love Peacock, Dent, London, 1911, p.5. 4. P r i e s t l e y , op. c i t . , p.5. 5. Preeman, A.M., Thomas Love Peacock, a c r i t i c a l s t u d y , K e n n e r l e y , New York, 1911, p.32. 6. Peacock,T.L., C a l i d o r e and M i s c e l l a n e a , Dent, London, 1891, p.29. 7. P r i e s t l e y , op« c i t . , p.7. 8. Preeman, op. c i t . , p.87. 9. P r i e s t l e y j op. c i t . , p.13. 10. W r i t i n g to Thomas Hookham i n August 1812, S h e l l e y r e f e r s to the c o n c l u s i o n of P a l m y r a as "the f i n e s t p i e c e of p o e t r y I ever r e a d . " White,N.I., S h e l l e y , Knopf, New York, 1940, v o l . 1 , p.241, 11. P r i e s t l e y , op. c i t . , p.16. 12. I b i d . , p.17. 13. There has been a good d e a l of c r i t i c a l u n c e r t a i n t y as to when S h e l l e y and Peacock f i r s t met, but White an;d B r e t t - S m i t h , t h e l e a d i n g a u t h o r i t i e s on S h e l l e y and Peacock r e s p e c t i v e l y , agree i n g i v i n g credence to Peacock's own statement i n h i s Memoirs of S h e l l e y , t h a t they" met j u s t b e f o r e S h e l l e y went to T a n y r a l l t . S h e l l e y l e f t London f o r T a n y r a l l t on November 12, 1812. See White, op. c i t . , v o l . I , pp.242, 637-38''. 14^ P r i e s t l e y , op. c i t . , p.25. 15. Preeman deduces t h i s date f r o m i n t e r n a l evidence. And w h i l e P r i e s t l e y s u p p o r t s the i d e a t h a t the comedies were begun about t h i s time, b u t completed 1813-14, Preeman b e l i e v e s t h a t The D i l e t t a n t i , ' a t l e a s t , was w h o l l y composed about 1809. Preeman, op. c i t . , pp.60 f f . and 130 St, 16. Van Doreh, op. c i t . , p.63. 17. P r i e s t l e y , op. c i t . , p.27. 18. There has been c o n s i d e r a b l e d i s c u s s i o n about the a c t u a l amount t h a t Peacock r e c e i v e d f r o m S h e l l e y . White s t a t e s t h a t by 1817 Peacock was t h e o r e t i c a l l y r e c e i v i n g an a l l o w a n c e of £ 100 ( y e a r l y ? ) though the r e g u l a r i t y of payment was d o u b t f u l . 3 r e t t - S m i t h has o n l y found e v i d ence of £ 125, a l l t o l d , b e i n g handed over. See White, op. c i t . , v o l . I , pp.541, 742. 19. A c c o r d i n g to Preeman and P r i e s t l e y , S h e l l e y w i l l e d  146 p.9  Peacock /500 as a "bequest, and ^2,000 vrith w h i c h to" purchase an a n n u i t y . . White seems to make no mention of this. 10 20. Van Doren, op. c i t . , p.106. 11 21. I h i d . , p.112. 13 22. P r i e s t l e y , op. c i t . , p.53. 23. I h i d . , pp.59 et seq. 16 24. T h i s d i s t i n c t i o n i s even more p e r s o n a l than genera l s i n c e , a t the moment of w r i t i n g , "both the distance' and the war combine to make the B r i t i s h Museum i n a c c e s s i b l e . 17 25. P r i e s t l e y , op. c i t . , p.64. 26. I t may have been i n c l u d e d i n the d e f i n i t i v e t e n volume H a l l i f o r d e d i t i o n of Peacock's works, e d i t e d by H.F.B. B r e t t - S m i t h and C.E. Jones, 1924-34? I have no i n f o r m a t i o n on t h i s p o i n t . . . .. . 18 27. See, f o r example,' P a i r c h i l d , H.B"., The Noble Savage, a s t u d y i n r o m a n t i c n a t u r a l i s m , Columbia U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , . New York,' 1928, p.496. 24 28. Van Doren, op. c i t . , p.281. Chapter I I s The background of P e a c o c k i a n c r i t i c i s m  p.25 26 27  29  30  1. Van Doren, op. c i t . , p.21. 2. I b i d . , p.20. "" 3. Young,A.B., "T.L. Peacock's 'Essay on F a s h i o n a b l e L i t e r a t u r e , ' " Notes and Q u e r i e s , s e r i e s 11. v o l . 1 1 , J u l y 23, 1910, p.63. 4. Peacock,T.L., " L e t t e r s and J o u r n a l s of L o r d Byron, w i t h N o t i c e s of h i s L i f e , " W e s t m i n s t e r Review, v o l . X I I , A p r i l , - 1 8 3 0 , pp.284 e t seq. 5. I d . , Headlong H a l l and Nightmare Abbey, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1929, p.1357 6. I d . , The M i s f o r t u n e s of E l p h i n and C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1937, p.211. 7. C i t e d by Van Doren, op. p i t . , p.17 and by P r i e s t l e y , op. c i t . , p.10. 8. C i t e d by Van Doren, op. c i t . , p.128. 9. Peacock,T.L., G r y l l Grange, Dent, London, 1891, v o l . I i , pp.55-57. 10. I d . , " L e t t e r s and J o u r n a l s of L o r d B y r o n ...," l o c . c i t . , pp.282 et seq. 11. Young, l o c . c i t . , p.63. 12. Peacock, C a l i d o r e ..., p.65. 13. I d . , G r y l l " Grange, v o l . I I , p. 54. 14. Freeman, op. c i t . , p.280. 15. A t y p i c a l example of such an ' u n - A t t i c c o n c e i t ' w i t h Peacock's comment - i s the f o l l o w i n g ? " ' I s t o o d b e f o r e the Pyramids of Memphis, and saw them t o w e r i n g a l o f t , l i k e the watch-towers of Time, f r o m whose summit when he e x p i r e s he w i l l l o o k h i s l a s t . ' - p.37. T h i s i s a v e r y i n f e l i c i t o u s c o n c e i t . The peak' of a pyramid must be an u n c o m f o r t a b l e dying-bed even f o r Time.  147 p. 30  31 33 34 35 57 38  39  40 41  I f we attempt to make a p i c t u r e of t h i s f i g u r e , we must" imagine the o l d gentleman dying on t i p - t o e , and f i n i s h i n g h i s t e r r e s t r i a l c a r e e r "by r o l l i n g down the s i d e of the Pyramid i n t o the sand." - Peacock,T.L., "The E p i c u r e a n , " Westminster Review, v o l . V I I I , n o . x v i , October, 1827, p. 356.- " • 16. I h i d . , up,363-64. 17. I h i d . , p.379. 18. I b i d . , p.382. 19. • I b i d . , p.376. 20. Young, l o c . c i t . , p.5. 21. Peacock, T.L., The" M i s f o r t u n e s of E l p h i n and Rhododaphne, M a c m i l l a n , London, 1927, p.171. 22. I d . , C a l i d o r e ..., p.41. 23. I b i d . , p.42. 24. Peacock,T.L., Maid M a r i a n and C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , M a c m i l l a n , London and Hew York, 1895, p.3. 25, I d . , C a l i d o r e ..., p.60. 26. Even i n h i s o l d age, i n R e c o l l e c t i o n s of C h i l d h o o d , Peacock was s t i l l l a u g h i n g a t the ' g h o s t l y ' b r o t h e r h o o d ' and t h e i r m o r t i f i c a t i o n of the f l e s h - see i b i d . , pp.24-5. 27. Peacock, E l p h i n and C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , p.114. 28. This 1eg end i s not t y p i c a l l y Welsh, but i s probabl y common a l l down the west c o a s t of B r i t a i n . To my c e r t a i n knowledge, the shores of Galloway and the Solway P i r t h are p a r t i c u l a r l y f e r t i l e i n s t o r i e s t h a t are obvious p a r a l l e l s and v a r i a t i o n s of t h i s . 29. Wright,H., "The A s s o c i a t i o n s of T.L. Peacock w i t h ' Wales," Essays and S t u d i e s , Clarendon P r e s s , Oxford, v o l . X I I , 1926, pp.24-46. •''."' 304 Peacock, Headlong H a l l ' ..., p.112. 31. W r i g h t , l o c . c i t . , p.34.' 52. C i t e d by Van Doren, op. c i t . , p.170. 33, See i b i d . , p.175 and W r i g h t , l o c . c i t . , p.43. 34. Van Doren, op. c i t . , p.176. 35. P r i e s t l e y , op. c i t . , p. .,57. 36. These sources are agreed upon by most a u t h o r i t i e s - see P r i e s t l e y , op. c i t , , pp.57-58, Van Doren, bp. c i t . , p.160, and a d e t a i l e d d i s c u s s i o n by S i r Henry Bewbolt, "Peacock, S c o t t , and R o b i n Hood" i n Essays -by D i v e r s Hands, M i l f o r d , London, new s e r i e s , v o l . I V , 1924, pp.87 et seq,. I n .this essay ITewbolt r e p o r t s a number of s i m i l a r i t i e s w h i c h are not due to the common source m a t e r i a l . He p o i n t s out t h a t Peacock's R o b i n , d i s g u i s e d as a f r i a r , says Dominus vobiscum, S c o t t ' s pax vobiscum; t h a t b o t h t r e a t of the defence of A r l i n g f o r d C a s t l e a g a i n s t P r i n c e John - S c o t t d e s c r i b i n g a g a i n s t the background of f l a m i n g c a s t l e the t r a g i c death of U l r i c a . , w h i l e Peacock, i n what seems a d e l i b e r a t e parody of the S c o t t s p i r i t , p i c t u r e s • the emergence of the l i t t l e f a t f r i a r from h i s f l a m i n g castle*, t h a t b o t h have i n c i d e n t s d e a l i n g w i t h d e s c r i p t i o n of the H o l y Land, though S c o t t ' s c r u s a d e r i s genuine, Peacock's bogus; t h a t though h i s t o r i a n s have agreed t h a t R o b i n Hood p r o b a b l y l i v e d d u r i n g the r e i g n of Edward I ,  148 "both S c o t t and Peacock p u t him i n the r e i g n of Coeur de L i o n ; and f i n a l l y , b o t h S c o t t and Peacock, d e s c r i b i n g t h e r e t u r n of R i c h a r d , d e s c r i b e the k i n g i n v e r y s i m i l a r terms. S c o t t has e x p l a i n e d ( i n the I n t r o d u c t i o n t o Ivanhoe) t h a t he has p l a c e d R o b i n i n R i c h a r d ' s r e i g n the" ' b e t t e r t o c o n t r a s t Saxon and'Norman, b u t Peacock o f f e r s no e x p l a n a t i o n o f h i s cbnduct. Newb'olt suggests t h a t he" may have done i t to be a b l e to' u t i l i z e John as a v i l l a i n . The s i r n . i l a r i t y i n " the two d e s c r i p t i o n s of R i c h a r d may" have been due in" p a r t to an unconscious" memory-"in Peacock,, s i n c e h i s d e s c r i p t i o n appears i n t h e second-last" chapter, w h i c h was w r i t t e n a f t e r t h e publication'"of'"Ivahhoe." *" N e v e r t h e l e s s , t h e a d j e c t i v e s used by b o t h w r i t e r s are o n l y ones which'would n a t u r a l l y ' s p r i n g to mind i n " connection'"with" a s t u r d y w a r r i o r , " "and" h a r d l y c a l l " f o r " the profound c o n j e c t u r e Newbolt expends upon them. Newbblt ' ' " o f f e r s t h r e e p o s s i b l e e x p l a n a t i o n s :o'f these " s i m i l a r i t i e s he has so l a b o r i o u s l y ' t r a c k e d down - coincidence,' uncoh-' s c i o u s reminiscence" on''the p a r t o f Peacock'when" r e v i e w i n g Maid M a r i a n a f t e r r e a d i n g Ivahhoe, a,nd second s i g h t or thought t r a n s f e r e n c e ! The f i r s t he r e j e c t s as un'satis- ' f a c t o r y , the second as u n l i k e l y i n the l i g h t of Peacock's, d i a r y and ..statement, and w i t h regard" to the' t h i r d he" ' c i t e s s e v e r a l examples of such a t h i n g r e a l l y happening". • The f r i a r ' s L a t i n , however, i s such a r e g u l a r f e a t u r e " o f m e d i e v a l and pseudo-medieval s t o r y t h a t i t i s not' astoni s h i n g t h a t i t s h o u l d have o c c u r r e d to' both," w h i l e "the" i n c i d e n t s of t h e b u r n i n g c a s t l e and the r e t u r n e d crusaders a r e e q u a l l y t y p i c a l of romance, and t h e i r " t r e a t m e n t ' i n Ivanhoe and Maid' M a r i a n , though d i a m e t r i c a l l y " o p p o s i t e i n s p i r i t , i s o n l y what one -would expect of S c o t t and Peacock r e s p e c t i v e l y . 37. Van Dor en, pp. c i t . , pp. 158-59. 58. I b i d . , p..6. 39. Preeman, op. c i t . , p. 56.. 40. Peacock, T.L., Melincourt., or S i r Oran Haut-ton, M a c m i l l a n , London, 1896, p.196. 41. Preeman, op. c i t . , p.86. 42. Peacock, E l p h i n and C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , p.232. 43. I b i d . , p. 125. ~ " .. 44. Preeman, op. c i t . , p. 134. 45. Young, l o c . c i t . , p.62. 46. Peacock, Headlong H a l l . .., p.26. 47. R a l e i g h , S i r W., On W r i t i n g and W r i t e r s , E. A r n o l d & Co., London, 1926, p.151. 48. Dr. Opimian, who has so much i n common w i t h Peacock t h a t we may c o n s i d e r him l a r g e l y t h e spokesman o f h i s c r e a t o r , e l a b o r a t e s the p o i n t a l i t t l e : "Burns was not a s c h o l a r , b u t he was always master of h i s s u b j e c t . A l l the s c h o l a r s h i p of t h e w o r l d would not have produced Tarn 0' Shan t e n b u t i n the whole o f t h a t poem t h e r e i s not a f a l s e image nor a misused word." - Peacock, G r y l l Grange, * v o l . I I , p.55. 49. I d . , C a l i d o r e ..., p.62. 1  :  149 p.47 48  50  51  50. C i t e d "by White, op. c i t . , v o l . I , p.241. 51. C i t e d hy Freeman, op. c i t . , p.115. The r e f e r e n c e •would appear to he to the b o o k s e l l e r , Eaton, whose t r i a l and c o n v i c t i o n f o r p u b l i s h i n g a ' f r e e - t h o u g h t pamphlet " ' were t h e s u b j e c t of S h e l l e y ' s l e t t e r to Lord E l l e n b d r o u g h . 52. Peacock, Elphin" and Rhododaphne, p p . x i i - x i i i . " 53. This s u p p o s i t i o n i s borne out by a f o o t n o t e to " ' C r o t c h e t C a s t l e i n w h i c h Peacock quotes a s a t i r i c a l poem of h i s own c o m p o s i t i o n w h i c h suggests t h a t Brougham's " advocacy of r e f o r m i s no more than empty" a i r . This poem i s e n t i t l e d 'The P a t e of a Broom? an A n t i c i p a t i o n ' arid b e g i n s thus: "Lo! i n C o r r u p t i o n ' s lumber-room, The remnants of a wondrous broomj That w a l k i n g , t a l k i n g , o f t was seen, Making s t o u t promise to sweep c l e a n ..." - Peacock, E l p h i n and C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , p.269. 54. Peacock,T.L., "Memoirs, Correspondence, and P r i v a t e Papers of Thomas J e f f e r s o n , " Westminster Review, v o l . X I I I , 1830, p.334. Chapter I I I : Peacock and p o p u l a r l i t e r a t u r e  p. 55 56 57 58  59 60 61  62  64  65 67  1. C i t e d by Freeman, op. c i t . , p.66. 2. Peacock, Headlong H a l l ... , p.22. 3. C i t e d by Van Doren, bp. c i t . , p.153. 4.' Peacock, G r y l l Grange, v o l . I , pp.64-65. 5. Young, l o c . c i t . , p.63. 6. Peacock, Headlong H a l l ... , p.22. 7. I b i d . , p.26; • 8. I b i d . , pp"..34-35. 9. I b i d . , p.35. 10. Ibid.,'" p.36. .11. I d . , M e l i n c o u r t , p.99. 12. Ibid.., p.99. , 13. I b i d . , p. 100.' 14. I b i d . , pp.284-85. 15. See Ho. 31 of the Q u a r t e r l y Review." 16. Peacock, Headlong H a l l axxcl Nightmare, Abbey, p.190. 17. I d . , E l p h i n and'Crotchet C a s t l e , pp.163-64. 18. I d . , C a l i d o r e p.19. 19., See F a i r c h i l d , bp. c i t . , p.355 and Whitney,L., P r i m i t i v i s m ' a n d t h e I d e a of P r o g r e s s i n E n g l i s h p o p u l a r l i t e r a t u r e of the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y , Johns Hopkins P r e s s , B a l t i m o r e , 1934, passim. 20. Spa.ce f o r b i d s any d i s c u s s i o n of the p o s s i b l e sources of a l l these i d e a s and arguments, b u t i t d e t a i l e d i n f o r m a t i o n i s d e s i r e d Whitney, op." c i t . , should be com s u i t e d , as w e l l as the l e s s v a l u a b l e Noble Savage by Fairchild. 21. Peacock, Headlong H a l l ... , p . 6 7 . 22. This d i s c u s s i o n i s based on Lovejoy,A.0., "Monboddo and Rousseau," Modern P h i l o l o g y , v o l . 3 0 , August,  15G p.67  69 70 71  1932, pp.275-296 and Whitney, op. c i t . , passim, s i n c e I am u n a b l e t o r e f e r to t h e works of Monboddo himself." ' ' 23. Van Doren, White, Preeman, and others a l l accept this. '" 24. L o v e j o y , l o c . c i t . , passim. 25. Peacock, G r y l l G r a n g e , " v o l . I , p.88. 26. A l l e n , B . S . , "The R e a c t i o n a g a i n s t W i l l i a m Godwin," Modern P h i l o l o g y , v o l , X V I , September, 1918, p.231. ' 27. Peacock, Headlong H a l l and Nightmare Abbey, p.165. 28. i l b i a . , p.175. 2 9  72 73 74 75 76  « I b i d . , pp.176-77. 30^ Preeman, op. b i t . , p.65,' 31. Peacock, '• M e l i n c o u r t . p. 14. 32. I b i d . , p.65. 33. I b i d . , p.223.. 34. C i t e d by Van Dor en, op. c i t . , pp. 113-1.4;. ' 35, Peacock, Headlong H a l l and Nightmare Abbey, pp. 174-75. .—— 36. I b i d . , p.175. 37. Young, l o c . c i t . , p.4.. 38. Peacock, G r y l l Grange, v o l . I I , p.150. 39. I d . , E l p h i n and C r o t c h e t Castle^, pp.175-76. 40. I d . , C a l i d o r e '.., ,'p,65.. 41. Preeman, op", c i t . , . p.281. " " 42. Peacock, E l p h i n and C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , p.213. 43. Young, l o c . c i t . , p.4. 44.. I b i d . , p.. 5. ' 45. I b i d . , p.62. 46. Preeman (op. c i t . , p.147) has suggested Lewis, though he i s not c o n v i n c e d by t h i s I n t e r p r e t a t i o n , Van Dor en -(op. c i t , . , . pllO'l.) supports, the' c l a i m s of" S c o t t . George E l l i s was y e t another a n t i q u a r i a n of the p e r i o d , b u t h i s c o n n e c t i o n w i t h G I f f o r d and' the Anti-"Jacobin group r e n d e r s ' I t extremely improbable t h a t Derrydown ' " '" would have been p a i n t e d i n such amiable c o l o u r s , i f E l l i s had'been i n Peacock s mind. 'j; 47. Peacock, M e l i n c o u r t , pp.63-64." 48.. l d i _ , E l p h i n and C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , p.169. :  77 78  1  79  Chapter IV s Peacock v e r s u s the Lake Poets p. 83 85 86 87 : 88 89 90  • 1. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. IS •  Peacock, C a l i d o r e •.. , p.63. I d . , M e l i n c o u r t , " pp.274-75. C i t e d by Preeman, op. c i t . , pp.65-66. Peacock, Headlong. H a l l - and Nightmare Abbey, p.207. I d . , ' C a l i d o r e ,.. , p.65. I b i d . , p.64. I b i d . , pp.65-66. I b i d . , p.132. I d . , G r y l l Grange, v o l . I I , p.53. I d . , M e l i n c o u r t , p.62. I b i d . , p.65. I n i n t r o d u c i n g t h i s i n c i d e n t , Peacock p r o b a b l y had  151 p.90  i n mind the -two S p e c t a t o r papers i n which Addison compared Chevy Phase and the Aeneid as examples of e p i c p o e t r y ~ Spectator;, nos 70 and 74. ' 13. P e a c o c k , " M e l i n c o u r t , p,135. • , l f t i d , p..136. • 91 15. I h i d . , p-o.122-25. 92 16. I h i d . , p.126. 17. I h i d . , p.127. 93 18. I b i d . , p.286. 19. I b i d . , p.292. '20. S a i n t s b u r y , G . , P r e f a c e s and E s s a y s , M a c m i l l a n , London, 1933, p.249. 94 21. Peacock, M e l i n c o u r t , p.232. 22. I b i d . , p i 2 3 2 . 95 23. I b i d . , p.234. 97 24. I b i d . , p.238. 98 ' 25. I b i d . , p.212. 26. I b i d . , p.282. 27. Peaco~ck's remarks about Jack the. G i a n t k i l l e r ' would seem t o have r e f e r e n c e t o the P r e l u d e , Book VII,"280-87. As the P r e l u d e was' not p u b l i s h e d t i l l 1850, .however', and as t h e r e i s not t h e s l i g h t e s t r e a s o n to suppose"that Peacock had access t o t h e m a n u s c r i p t s , Peacock's joke ' must be c o n s i d e r e d a happy c o i n c i d e n c e . I t i s p o s s i b l e , of c o u r s e , t h a t Peacock and Wordsworth b o t h had i n mind the same t h e a t r i c a l performance, or even t h a t the G i a n t k i l l e r r e f e r e n c e was o n l y i n s e r t e d by Peacock i n h i s ' second (1856) e d i t i o n of M e l i n c o u r t . This l a s t c o n j e c t u r e , however, i s h i g h l y improbable, and I have at p r e s e n t no way of c h e c k i n g i t . 99 28.- Peacock, M e l i n c o u r t , pp.290-91. 100 29. I b i d . , p.9. 101 30. I d . , Headlong H a l l and Nightmare Abbey, p. 140. . 103 31. I b i d . , pp.193-94. 32. I b i d . , p.199. 33. I b i d . , p.195. • 104 34, I b i d . , pp.165-66. 105 35. I d . , E l p h i n and C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , p.275. 36. I b i d . , p.169. 1 4  A  f  Chapter V : B y r o n and S h e l l e y i n f a c t and f i c t i o n p.110 111  112 1 1 3  1. Peacock, " L e t t e r s and J o u r n a l s of L o r d Byron ...," l o c . c i t . , p.270. 2. I b i d . , ' p.270. 3. I b i d . , p.274. 4. I b i d . , p.304. 5. Brett-Smith,H.P.B. ( e d . ) , Peacock's Memoirs of S h e l l e y w i t h S h e l l e y ' s L e t t e r s t o Peacock, Frowde, London, 1909, pp.1-2. 6. I b i d . , p.2. • • « r b i d . , pp.49-50. , 8. I b i d . , pp.58-59 7  9  152 p.114  115  116 117  9. A c c o r d i n g to White, these people were the B o i n v i l l e s and t h e i r F r e n c h emigre f r i e n d s , ' a l o n g w i t h a numher of p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l r a d i c a l s . Hogg,' of course, has c h a r a c t e r i s e d them as "two or t h r e e s e n t i m e n t a l young b u t c h e r s , an e m i n e n t l y p h i l o s o p h i c a l t i n k e r , and s e v e r a l v e r y u n s o p h i s t i c a t e d m e d i c a l p r a c t i t i o n e r s , or m e d i c a l s t u d e n t s ..." 10. B r e t t - S m i t h , op. c i t . , pp.29-30. 11. For d e t a i l s see Y/hite, o p . c i t . , v o l . 1 , pp.254 e t seq. • . ..12. Peacock, Headlong H a l l and Nightmare Abbey, p.215. 13. I b i d . , p.217. 14. Of. S h e l l e y ' s p r e f a c e to ' J u l i a n and Maddalo' where, i n the c h a r a c t e r of Count Maddalo, he d e s c r i b e s "" Byron: "He i s a p e r s o n of the most consummate"genius',' and c a p a b l e , i f he would d i r e c t h i s energies to such an end, of becoming the redeemer of h i s degraded country."' - The Complete P o e t i c a l Works of P e r c y Bysshe S h e l l e y , (ed. T. H u t c h i n s o n ) , Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1935, p.185. 15. Peacock, Headlong H a l l and Nightmare Abbey, p.218. 16. I b i d . , 'p;219. 1 7  118  119 120 121 122 123 124  »  I b i d . , p.222'.  18. Van Doren, op. c i t . , p.122. 19. See W h i t e , op. c i t . , v o l . I , pp.78-79. 20. I b i d . , v o l . I , p.616. 21. I b i d . , v o l . 1 1 , p.435. 22. 'Premature d e a t h , ' ' a p p l i e d f i r e to c u l i n a r y purposes ' and 'the v u l t u r e of d i s e a s e ' a l l appear b o t h i n the Q,ueen Mab note and i n E s c o t ' s arguments. A l s o , the Prometheus f a b l e 3,s i n t e r p r e t e d i n S h e l l e y i s c l o s e l y f o l l o w e d by Peacock. And though S h e l l e y d e r i v e d many of h i s arguments f r o m Joseph R i t s o n ' s Essay on the A b s t i n ence f r o m Animal Food as w e l l as J.P. Newton's Defence of V e g e t a b l e Regimen," i t i s S h e l l e y ' s own words and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s t h a t are borrowed, not those of the people he' quotes i n h i s n o t e s . Queen Mab, of c o u r s e , was p u b l i s h e d p r i v a t e l y , and c o p i e s were o n l y d i s t r i b u t e d by S h e l l e y " h i m s e l f to those he knew would a p p r e c i a t e them. Peacock i s not a known r e c i p i e n t , but he i s a v e r y p r o b a b l e one. 23. Peacock, Headlong H a l l ... , p.28. 24. I b i d . , p.30. 25. I b i d . , p.59. 26. The P o e t i c a l Works of S h e l l e y , p.799. 27. See White, op. c i t . , v o l . I I , p.147. 28. See, f o r i n s t a n c e , the P r e f a c e to the 'Revolt of I s l a m , ' The P o e t i c a l Works of S h e l l e y , p.34. 29. Peacock, M e l i n c o u r t , p.192. 30. Id.,. Headlong H a l l and Nightmare Abbey, p. 137. 31. See W h i t e , op. c i t . , v o l . I , pp.278, 455, 509. 32. The I l l u m i n a t i were a group of r e p u b l i c a n f r e e t h i n k e r s founded i n 1776 by Adam Weishaupt, P r o f e s s o r of Canon Law a t I n g o l s t a d t , an e x - J e s u i t . The chosen t i t l e of t h i s Order or S o c i e t y was P e r f e c t i b i l i s t s , and i t s members p l e d g e d obedience to t h e i r s u p e r i o r s . The order  155 .124,had i t s branches i n most c o u n t r i e s of Europe, but i t s t o t a l numbers were always v e r y s m a l l . Such l i t e r a r y men as Goethe and Herder were a t t r a c t e d , but i n t e r n a l r u p t u r e and the B a v a r i a n government brought about i t s d o w n f a l l i n 1785. - E n c y c l o p a e d i a B r i t a n n i c a , 1 4 t h ed., vol.12," p.100, 33.. Peacock, Headlong H a l l and Nightmare Abbey, p. 146. 125 34." Ingpen,R. (ed. ), The L e t t e r s of Percy Bysshe Shell e y , Pitman, London, 1909,'" v o l . I , ' p.30. ' "' 126 35. C.B. Brown, l i k e S h e l l e y , was an e n t h u s i a s t i c adm i r e r of Godwin. He embodied the t h e o r i e s of P o l i t i c a l J u s t i c e i n h i s n o v e l s , and h i s most memorable work - and the one w h i c h S h e l l e y most admired - Edgar H u n t l y , obv i o u s l y resembles Godwin's Caleb W i l l i a m s . - B i r k h e a d , E . , The T a l e of T e r r o r , C o n s t a b l e , London, 1921, pp.197-99, 36. Peacock, G r y l l Grange, v o l . 1 , p.80. 127 37. C i t e d by "Van Doren, op. c i t . , pp.112-13. 129 38. Peacock, C a l i d o r e .... , p.65. 39. C i t e d by Van Doren, op. c i t . , p.21. 40. Peacock, " L e t t e r s ejid J o u r n a l s of Lord Byron," l o c . c i t . , p.270. 130 41. I b i d . , p.270. ' ' 22MJL» p.281. 43. I b i d . , p.288. 131 44. B r e t t - S m i t h , op. c i t . , p.211. 45. I b i d . , p.4. 46. I b i d . , . p . 7 1 . 132 47. I b i d . , pp.71-72. 48. I b i d . , pp.82-83. 42  Chapter V i i Peacock, c r i t i c .134  of Romanticism  1. As, f o r i n s t a n c e , i n a l e t t e r to S h e l l e y , concerni n g Canto IV of C h i l d e Harold*. " I cannot consent to be a u d i t o r tanturn of t h i s s y s t e m a t i c a l ' p o i s o n i n g of the 'mind' of t h e ' r e a d i n g public'.." - C i t e d by Van Doren, op. c i t . , p.113. See a l s o the comprehensive c r i t i c i s m of the r e a d i n g p u b l i c c o n t a i n e d i n the f i r s t p a r t of the E s s a y on F a s h i o n a b l e L i t e r a t u r e , t r a n s c r i b e d by Young, l o c • c i t . , pp.4-5, 62-63. 2. C i t e d by Van Doren, op. c i t . , p.206. 3. Peacock, Maid M a r i a n ... - , p.125. 1  144  154 BIBLIOGRAPHY P r i m a r y Sources; 1. Brett-Smith,H.F.B.(ed. ), Peacock's Memoirs of _ S h a l l e y with. S h e l l e y ' s s e t t e r s to Peacock. .Henry Frowde, London, 1909. " "~ 2. Byron",Lord George Gordon, P o e t i c a l . Works, Oxford Univers i t y P r e s s , 1939. 3. Ingpen,R.(ed.), The L e t t e r s of P e r c y Bysshe S h e l l e y , Pitman, London, 1909, 2v. 4. Peacock, T.L., C a l i d o r e and M i s c e l l a n e a (ed. R.C-arnett), Dent, London,. 1891. 5. Peacock, T.L., "The E p i c u r e a n , " Westminster Review, v o l . V I I I n o . x v i , October, 1827, pp.351-384." 6. Peacock,T.L., G r y l l Grange (ed. R . G a r n e t t ) , Dent, London. 1891, 2v. 7. Peacock, T.L., Headlong H a l l and Nightmare Abbey, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1929. 8. P e a c o c k , T . L . , " L e t t e r s and J o u r n a l s of L o r d Byron, w i t h N o t i c e s of h i s L i f e , " Westminster Review, v o l . X I I , n o . x x i v , A p r i l , 1830, pp.269-304. 9. Peacock,T.L., M a i d M a r i a n and C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , M a c m i l l a n & Co., London and New Y o r k , 1895. 10. Peacock,T.L., M e l i n c o u r t , o r , S i r Oran Haut-ton, M a c m i l l a n & Co. L t d . , London, 1896. . 11• Peacock,T.L.,"Memoirs, Correspondence, and P r i v a t e Papers of Thomas J e f f erson, ... , " 'Westminster Review, v o l . X I I I , 1830, pp.312-335. \ 12. Peacock,T.L., The M i s f o r t u n e s of E l p h i n and C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1937. 13. Peacock,T.L., T h e " M i s f o r t u n e s of E l p h i n and Rhododaphne, M a c m i l l a n & Co. L t d . , London, 1927. 14. S h e l l e y , P . B . , The Complete P o e t i c a l Works (ed. T.Hutchinson) , Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1935. 15. Wordsworth,W., The P o e t i c a l Works (ed. T.Hutchinson), Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1936.  155 16. Young,A.B.,"T.L.Peacock's 'Essay on F a s h i o n a b l e L i t e r a t u r e ' ," Notes and. Q u e r i e s , s e r i e s 11, v o l . I I , J u l y 2, 1910, pp.4-5 and J u l y 23, 1910, pp.62-63. Secondary Sources; 1. Allen,B.S.,"The R e a c t i o n a g a i n s t W i l l i a m Godwin," Modern P h i l o l o g y , v o l . X V I , September, 1918, pp.225-243. 2. A n o n y m o u s , " I l l u m i n a t i , " E n c y c l o p a e d i a B r i t a n n i c a , 1 4 t h ed., v o l . 1 2 , p.100. 3. Anonymous,"Peacock the A r i s t o c r a t , " Times L i t e r a r y Supplement , August 31, 1933, p.572. 4. B i r k h e a d , E . , The T a l e of T e r r o r , a Study of the G o t h i c Romance, C o n s t a b l e & Co. L t d . , London, 1921. 5. Chapman, R.W., "Thomas Love Peacock," Saturday Review of L i t e r a t u r e , ' v o l . I , A p r i l 18, 1925, pp.685-86. 6. De S e l i n c o u r t , E . , Oxford .Lectures on P o e t r y , Clarendon P r e s s , Oxford, 1934. 7. F a i r c h i l d , H . N . , The Noble Savage, a study i n romantic n a t u r a l i s m , Columbia U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , New York, 1928. 8. Pedden,H.R., "Thomas Love Peacock, " The E n g l i s h N o v e l i s t s (ed. D . V e r s c h o y l e ) , Chatto & Windus, London, 1936, pp.125-138. 9. Freeman, A.M., Thomas Love Peacock, a c r i t i c a l study, M. K e n n e r l e y , New York, 1911. . 10. Lovejoy,A.O.,"Monboddo and Rousseau," Modern P h i l o l o g y , v o l . 3 0 , August, 1932, pp.275-296. 11. 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