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The dialectical principle in the poetry of Arthur Hugh Clough. Wells, Margo Constance 1963

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THE DIALECTICAL "PRINCIPLE IN THE POETRY OF ARTHUR HUGH CLOUGH by MARGO CONSTANCE WELLS B.A., The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1 9 6 1 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of English We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1 9 6 3 I n p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r -m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood t h a t copying, or p u b l i -c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department of English  The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia,. Vancouver 8, Canada. Date September 10, 196,3 ABSTRACT The t i t l e of Walter Houghton's reeent a r t i c l e , "Arthur Hugh Clough: A Hundred Years of Disparagement," . could not f a i l to s t r i k e any reader f a m i l i a r with the general tone and subject matter of the major c r i t i c i s m which has appeared on Clough to the present day. Most of the studies have been i n the nature of personal appreciations and have dealt primarily with Clough as a man. Even the more scholarly and objective studies which have been published l a t e l y have f a i l e d to treat h i s poetry i n any comprehensive way, but have tended, rather, to emphasize one aspect of Clough and then have referred b r i e f l y to c e r t a i n poems which support a the s i s . There has been no noteworthy attempt to subject h i s poetry to a close textual analysis i n order to determine i f any general p r i n c i p l e underlies i t . For t h i s reason, I have been primarily concerned i n t h i s study with examining the poetry of Arthur Hugh Clough to assess the presence i n i t of what I have c a l l e d the d i a l e c t i c a l p r i n c i p l e — t h e way i n which h i s most c h a r a c t e r i s t i c approach to experience i s car r i e d over into h i s poetry and finds expression i n theme, mood, tone, form, imagery and characters. i i i i i Chapter II discusses the presence of the d i a l e c t i c a l element i n the theme of Clough*s p o e t r y — p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the poems which deal with r e l i g i o n , i n those which attempt to answer the unanswerable questions, why man i s here, how he should l i v e while here, and i f he w i l l continue to exis t i n some form afte r death, and i n those which probe the nature of love. Chapter III examines the way i n which the d i a l e c t i c a l p r i n c i p l e i s r e f l e c t e d i n juxtaposed moods, i n the tone, and i n the external form of Clough*s poetry. And, f i n a l l y , Chapter IV considers imagery and characters, the imaginative and dramatic embodiment of the d i a l e c t i c i n themes dealt with i n Chapter I I . The study concludes with the suggestion that Clough, f o r the most part, d i d not succeed i n solving h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l and s p i r i t u a l problems and i n conveying the solution through h i s poetry. For the poems here analyzed, with perhaps the exception of "Easter Day, Part I I , " record h i s f a i l u r e to cross "the darkling p l a i n " and f i n d some new l i g h t of truth which would s a t i s f y him both emotionally and i n t e l l e c t u a l l y . In many of them, the d i a l e c t i c exists as unresolved debate when Clough, unable to f i n d an i n t e l l e c t u a l synthesis, con-cludes with an admission of defeat or with the decision to wait f o r some further revelation of Truth. At other times, when h i s desire f o r certainty w i l l not permit him to l e t the d i a l e c t i c end i n an impasse, he i s forced to s h i f t the terms i v of the debate and to "synthesize" h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l d i f f i c u l t i e s i n a realm of pure f e e l i n g or on an i d e a l plane. Thus, the conclusion becomes an emotional, rather than an i n t e l l e c t u a l s o l u t i o n — u s u a l l y one i n which Clough ends by trusting an undefined "larger hope," when he i s unable to answer the problem posed by r a t i o n a l means. V TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER I. ARTHUR HUGH CLOUGH: THE VICTORIAN, THE MAN, THE POET 3 I I . DIALECTIC IN THEME 37 I I I . MOOD, TONE AND FORM 6? IV. IMAGERY AND CHARACTERS 8** CONCLUSION 109 BIBLIOGRAPHY 112 INTRODUCTION The t i t l e of Walter Houghton's recent a r t i c l e , "Arthur Hugh Clough: A Hundred Years of Disparagement," 1 cannot f a i l to s t r i k e any reader f a m i l i a r with the general tone and subject matter of the major c r i t i c i s m which has appeared on Clough to the present day. Most of the studies have been i n the nature of personal appreciations, have dealt primarily with Clough as a man, and have tended to pass quickly over the poetry with apologies to the reader f o r having even considered the work of one who so manifestly was not a poet. The general opinion has been that Clough, while possessing many admirable q u a l i t i e s , had somehow f a i l e d to r e a l i z e h i s p o t e n t i a l i t i e s and had, indeed, been a f a i l u r e i n most w a y s — p a r t i c u l a r l y as a poet. Even the more scholarly and objective studies which have appeared recently have f a i l e d to treat Clough*s poetry i n any comprehensive way, but have tended, rather, to emphasize one aspect of Clough and then have referred b r i e f l y to ce r t a i n Walter E. Houghton, "Arthur Hugh Clough: A Hundred Years of Disparagement," Studies i n English L i t e r a t u r e . 150Q-1 9 0 0 , v o l . 1 (Autumn 1 9 6 D , pp. 3 5-61. This a r t i c l e a n t i c i -pates h i s book, The Poetry of Clough: An Essay i n Revaluation, soon to be published by Harvard University Press. 1 2 p poems which support a thesis. There has been no noteworthy attempt to subject Clough 1s poetry to a close textual analysis i n order to determine i f any general p r i n c i p l e underlies i t . For t h i s reason, I w i l l mainly be concerned i n t h i s study with examining the poetry of Arthur Hugh Clough to assess the presence i n i t of what I am c a l l i n g the d i a l e c t i c a l p r i n c i p l e — the way i n which h i s most c h a r a c t e r i s t i c approach to experience i s carried over into h i s poetry and finds expression i n theme, mood, tone, form, imagery, and characters. As most of Clough*s poetry was written between 1837 and 1853 and no marked change i n s t y l e or theme occurs between these dates, I have chosen to organize my discussion according to the categories of theme, mood, tone, form, imagery, and characters, hoping i n t h i s way to avoid, f o r the reader's sake, r e p e t i t i o n and confusion. With the possible exception of Isobel Armstrong's b r i e f study, Arthur Hugh Clough, which appears i n the Writers  and Their Work Series, No. lM-8 (London, Longmans, Green, 1962). Katharine Chorley ts book, Arthur Hugh Clough: The Uncommitted  Mind (Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1962) attempts l i t t l e t extual c r i t i c i s m and, indeed, i s useful mainly as an additional biographical reference. • CHAPTER I ARTHUR HUGH CLOUGH: THE VICTORIAN, THE MAN, THE POET "I w i l l look straight out, see things, not t r y to evade them; Fact s h a l l be f a c t f o r me, and Truth the Truth as ever, F l e x i b l e , changeable, vague, and multiform, and d o u b t f u l . — " Amours de Voyage. V, 1 0 0 - 0 2 . In h i s introduction to the two volumes of Clough's l e t t e r s which he edited, F. L. Mulhauser shows how Clough's l i f e , short as i t was, touched at so many points on Important elements of V i c t o r i a n l i f e : Schoolboy at Rugby under Br. Arnold, student at B a l l i o l under Ward i n the midst of the Tractarian controversy, Fellow of O r i e l at the time when university reform began to be agitated and subscription again became a serious issue, observer of the uprisings i n Paris i n lQk& and the Roman Republic of 1 8 ^ 9 , head of Univ e r s i t y H a l l and Professor i n the University of London, resident i n Cambridge, Massachusetts, and welcome guest i n the homes of Boston Brahmins, c i v i l servant i n the Education Of f i c e , and devoted admirer and helper of h i s cousin by marriage, Florence N i g h t i n g a l e — a l l these he was, as well as f r i e n d of Matthew and Thomas Arnold, C a r l y l e , Emerson, Froude, Charles E l i o t Norton, and many others whose a c t i v i t i e s were important to their time.l Frederick L. Mulhauser, ed., The Correspondence of  Arthur Hugh Clough. Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1 9 5 7 , v o l . 1 , p. xv. 3 k However, important as a knowledge of these biographical d e t a i l s may be as a basis for viewing Clough as a true representative of h i s age, there i s an even more t e l l i n g reason f o r regarding him i n this l i g h t . For Clough, i n common with so many other key Vi c t o r i a n f i g u r e s , under the pressure of the new s c i e n t i f i c theories, the current m a t e r i a l i s t i c explanations of the universe and the Higher C r i t i c i s m of the Bi b l e l o s t h i s f a i t h i n t r a d i -t i o n a l r e l i g i o n and i n i t s explanations of God, man's rela t i o n s h i p to God, and the meaning and purpose of human existence; and, l i k e them, he experienced the disillusionment and s p i r i t u a l c o n f l i c t attendant on t h i s l o s s of f a i t h . He, too, f e l t himself, l i k e Matthew Arnold, to be "on a darkling p l a i n " and was torn by r e l i g i o u s doubt, "the nagging philosophical nightmare of the sensitive V i c t o r i a n . " As F. L. Lucas rather f a c e t i o u s l y , but nonetheless t r u t h f u l l y , remarked: "For us he remains the impersonation of an age when r e l i g i o u s doubt was not, as now, a rare and mild greensickness, but a c r i p p l i n g , even a f a t a l malady." 3 His poetry i s the record of the John Heath-Stubbs, The Darkling P l a i n : A Study of the Later Fortunes of Romanticism i n English Poetry from George  Parley to W. B. Yeats. London, Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1 9 5 0 , p. 9 8 . 3 F . L. Lucas, Ten V i c t o r i a n Poets, 3 r d ed., Cambridge at the University Press, 1 9 ^ 8 , p. 7 3 . 5 s p i r i t u a l c r i s i s he underwent, of h i s attempt to cross t h i s " p l a i n " and f i n d some new l i g h t of truth which would s a t i s f y him both emotionally and i n t e l l e c t u a l l y , and of h i s f a i l u r e to do so. In the process, he gave expression not only to h i s own doubts, but also to those of h i s age, earning himself the k t i t l e of "the poet of dilemma" and the c r e d i t of "having written poetry r e a l l y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of t h i s c e n tury. n y Moreover, through the characters of the heroes of h i s longer poems, p a r t i c u l a r l y Claude and Dipsychus, Clough explored not only the problems which he and h i s fellow Victorians faced, but also the psychology, the working of the mind, of the nineteenth-century i n t e l l e c t u a l , and drew attention to the dangers attendant upon protracted s e l f - a n a l y s i s . He was only too well aware that introspection and i n t e l l e c t u a l con-scientiousness, when carried to extremes i n a sensitive nature, could lead to over-scrupulousness and a general p a r a l y s i s of the w i l l to a c t — " t h e v i t i a t i n g habit of the nineteenth century"^ deplored by Matthew Arnold and described by him i n h i s preface V. S. P r i t c h e t t , "Books i n General," New Statesman and  Nation. v o l . kl (January 6, 195D, p. 15* ^T. S. Perry, "Arthur Hugh Clough," A t l a n t i c Monthly, v o l . 36 (October 1875), p. 4-18. Armstrong, Arthur Hugh Clough T p. 21. 6 to the Poems of 1 8 5 ^ as "the dialogue of the mind with i t s e l f . " This i s the state of mind s a t i r i z e d by Clough i n h i s p o r t r a i t of Claude i n Amours de Voyage—a character who strongly reminds one of the "superfluous men" who appear throughout nineteenth century Russian l i t e r a t u r e i n works such as A Hero of Our Time by Lermontov, or Rudin or Spoke by Turgenev. Lacking a f i r m basis from which to judge and hence unable to decide on any clear course of action, these characters exhibit "a d i s p o s i t i o n to press too f a r the f i n e r and subtler i n t e l l e c t u a l and moral 7 s u s c e p t i b i l i t i e s 1 " ; they are the victims of "an over-educated ft weakness of purpose," and of a morbid tendency to s e l f - a n a l y s i s which has been pushed "to the verge of monomania," with the r e s u l t that " a l l the springs of action are clogged and impeded by the cobwebs of speculation. 1 , 9 As Claude c r i e s i n a moment of reaction against t h i s tendency i n himself: HANG t h i s thinking, at l a s t ! what good i s i t ? oh, and what e v i l ! Oh, what mischief and pain! l i k e a clock i n a sick man*s chamber, Ticking and t i c k i n g , and s t i l l through each covert of slumber pursuing. (Amours, I I I , 2 0 7 - 0 9 ) 1 0 ^Arthur Hugh Clough, The Poems and Prose Remains. With a Selection from h i s Letters and a Memoir, Edited by h i s Wife, London, Macmillan, 1 8 6 9 , v o l . 1 , pp. 3 7 7 - 7 8 . Hereafter r e f e r r e d to as P.P.R. 8 I b i d . , p. 3 7 7 . 9John Addington Symonds, "Arthur Hugh Clough," Fo r t-n i g h t l y Review, v o l . k , n.s. (December 1 8 6 8 ) , p. 6 0 2 . . 1 0H. F. Lowry, A. L. P. Norrington, and F. L. Mulhauser, 7 or as Dipsychus despairingly asks after a period of prolonged analysis has once more deadened h i s i n s t i n c t i v e desire to act: Is i t a thing ordained, then? i s i t a clue For my l i f e ' s conduct? i s i t a law f o r me That opportunity s h a l l breed d i s t r u s t , Not passing u n t i l that pass? Ghance and resolve, Like two loose comets wandering wide i n space, Crossing each other's or b i t s time on time, Meet never. (Dip.. XI, 6 - 1 2 ) The reason, one would suggest, that Clough was so well q u a l i f i e d to speak f o r and to examine t h i s type of mind i s e s s e n t i a l l y the same as the reason why he could so f a i t h f u l l y express the doubts and anxieties which beset h i s age—namely, that Clough spoke i n these poems from h i s own experience. He recognized i n himself the same tendency to consider c a r e f u l l y every aspect of the s i t u a t i o n at hand before acting and to analyze minutely h i s own c o n f l i c t i n g attitudes to experience. He knew the dangers of t h i s approach to l i f e as well as i t s values, and the habit of debating each question within himself had been aggravated i n him also by the moral and r e l i g i o u s uncertainty of the period i n which he eds., The Poems of Arthur Hugh Clough. Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1 9 5 1 , PP. 2 0 3 - 0 M - . This i s the standard e d i t i o n of dough's poetry, and hence, the one we have chosen to use f o r t h i s paper. Hereafter, quotations from the poetry w i l l not be footnoted. Instead, page references f o r the shorter poems and scene and l i n e numbers (and t i t l e s , where necessary) f o r the longer ones w i l l be incorporated i n the text. "The Mystery of the F a l l " w i l l be referred to as "The F a l l , " Amours de Voyage as Amours. and Dipsvchus as Dip. . 8 l i v e d , by the lack of any absolute authority and the consequent need to r e l y s o l e l y on the i n d i v i d u a l conscience. Glough had not begun h i s career i n t h i s state of mind. When he arrived at Oxford i n 1 8 3 7 , he was as secure i n h i s r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s as a pious mother and eight years at Rugby under the guidance of Dr. Arnold could make him. However, i t appears that these b e l i e f s rested on a very shaky foundation, f o r they crumbled under the onslaught of the new ideas which he met with at Oxford. His emotionally-rooted f a i t h i n the t r a d i t i o n a l teachings of C h r i s t i a n i t y was defenceless against the arguments which d a i l y presented themselves to h i s i n t e l l e c t — the new s c i e n t i f i c theories, the unsettling l o g i c of W. G. Ward and the Straussian Higher C r i t i c i s m of the B i b l e . As Katherine Chorley very aptly comments: "B e l i e f s based on emotion are either impervious to i n t e l l e c t u a l attack or completely defence-l e s s against i t . Clough was among the d e f e n c e l e s s . 1 , 1 1 Hence, 1 2 the b e l i e f s which had been disturbed by Ward's constant x x C h o r l e y , Arthur Hugh Clough. p. 5 2 . 12W. G. Ward was a f r i e n d of dough's at Oxford. He took part i n the Tractarian Movement and l a t e r , l i k e Newman be-came a convert to Roman Catholicism. Ward l a t e r deeply regretted the unwitting e f f e c t he had had on Clough and said: "The r e s u l t was not surprising. I had been prematurely forcing Clough's mind, and there came a reaction. His i n t e l l e c t u a l perplexity f o r some time preyed heavily upon h i s s p i r i t s ; i t grievously i n t e r f e r e d with h i s studies; and I take i t f o r granted i t must have very seriously disturbed h i s r e l i g i o u s practices and habits. I cannot to t h i s day think of a l l t h i s without a b i t t e r 9 probing f i n a l l y f e l l under the seemingly unanswerable arguments of the Higher C r i t i c i s m , 1 3 and he was l e f t with " S a i l s rent, / And rudder broken,—reason impotent,—/Affections a l l unfixed" (p. 2 8 ) . Perhaps t h i s i s to overstate the case somewhat. In f a c t , Clough never l o s t h i s i n t u i t i v e b e l i e f i n the eventual emergence of Truth, i n the existence of a transcendent and un-knowable Deity (whom he often r e f e r s to simply as Truth), or i n the essence of C h r i s t i a n i t y , the eternal truths of human r e l i g i o u s experience which he f e l t the dis c r e d i t e d B i b l i c a l s t o r i e s had merely served to i l l u s t r a t e . The immediate r e s u l t of t h i s l o s s of b e l i e f was, rather, to set him looking f o r a new p r i n c i p l e which would s a t i s f y h i s i n t e l l e c t as well as h i s moral consciousness and h i s emotional need for b e l i e f , and, at the same time, to increase h i s determination to accept nothing which he had not personally proved to be true. Henceforth, he was to seek Truth within, i n the i n d i v i d u a l conscience and the r e a s o n — pang of self-reproach." (Wilfred Ward. William George Ward  and the Oxford Movement, London and New York, Macmillan, 1 8 8 9 , pp. 1 0 9 - 1 0 , as quoted i n Howard Foster Lowry, ed., The Letters  of Matthew Arnold to Arthur Hugh Clough, London, Oxford Univer-s i t y Press, 1 9 3 2 , p. 1 8 . ) n J I have touched only b r i e f l y on the h i s t o r y of the s p i r i t u a l c r i s i s which Clough underwent at Oxford, because the d e t a i l s may be found i n almost any one of the studies which have appeared on Clough, and h i s relat i o n s h i p to the Higher C r i t i c i s m w i l l be discussed i n more d e t a i l i n Chapter Two. 1 0 For not by observation of without Cometh the Kingdom of the Voice of God: , I t i s within u s — l e t us seek i t there. ("The F a l l , " IV, 5 8 - 6 0 ) But, as Clough was to discover, t h i s was a d i f f i c u l t task he had set himself, i n view of the f a c t that he had forgone a l l appeal to revealed truth and the f a c t that there were so many d i f f e r e n t avenues open to man, none of which appeared to lead to the whole truth. The existence of a higher Truth or Deity might be un-mistakable, but, since God had not seen f i t to reveal Himself to man, the question of how to l i v e i n accordance with Truth was s t i l l l e f t unanswered. This dedication to "the uncoloured l i g h t of Truth," which began i n h i s Oxford days, became the keynote of h i s l i f e . I t was t h i s love of truth which prevented him from clin g i n g to the b e l i e f s of h i s youth once h i s i n t e l l e c t had been s a t i s f i e d that they were f a l s e , and which l e d him f i n a l l y to resign h i s Fellowship at O r i e l , because he d i d not f e e l that he could conscientiously remain i n a university that required i t s Fellows to subscribe to the Thirty-Nine A r t i c l e s of the Church. It i s worthy of note here that the one point on which a l l h i s friends and c r i t i c s agree i s i n cred i t i n g him with an unswerving sense of honesty and truth. They a l l appear to have been p a r t i c u l a r l y impressed by t h i s q u a l i t y , both as i t appeared i n h i s l i f e and 1 1 Ik i n h i s work. His f r i e n d Matthew Arnold, who s t i l l remains one of the sternest c r i t i c s of h i s poetry, could not help but be struck by the q u a l i t y of " s i n c e r i t y " evident i n i t — " w h i c h always produces a powerful e f f e c t on the reader." For "the spectacle of a writer s t r i v i n g evidently to get breast to breast with r e a l i t y i s always f u l l of i n s t r u c t i o n and very invigora-1*3 t i n g . " J Henry Sidgwick, whose a r t i c l e , which appeared i n the October, 1 8 6 9 issue of the Westminster Review, i s one of the most perceptive studies of Glough, comments on h i s "horror of i l l u s i o n s and deceptions of a l l kinds," "his perpetual watchfulness against prejudices and prepossessions," as a r e s u l t of "his passionate devotion not to the Search after Truth, but to Truth i t s e l f , absolute, exact t r u t h . " ^ F i n a l l y , i t i s s i g n i f i c a n t that 1^ Goldie Levy, who wrote one of the f i r s t book-length biographies of Clough, declared: "Clough*s most outstanding t r a i t was h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l honesty" (Arthur Hugh Clough, 1 8 1 9 -1 8 6 1 , London, Sidgwick and Jackson, 1 9 3 8 , p. 2 1 0 ) . S i m i l a r l y , T. S. Perry found that "what i s most noticeable i n Clough i s hi s earnestness" ("Arthur Hugh Clough," p. * t l l ) , and F. L. Lucas noted that h i s " i n t e l l e c t u a l conscientiousness . . . r e -mains one of the c e n t r a l things i n the worth of Clough*s poetry and i n the unhappiness of h i s l i f e . " (Ten V i c t o r i a n Poets, p. 6 0 ) . ^Howard Foster Lowry, ed., The Letters of Matthew  Arnold to Arthur Hugh Clough. London, Oxford University Press, 1 9 3 2 , p. 8 6 . " ^ e n r y Sidgwick, "Review of 'The Poems and Prose Remains of Arthur Hugh Clough,'" Westminster Review, v o l . 9 2 (October 1 8 6 9 ) , p. 3 6 7 . 12 one of the epigraphs that Francis Woodward chose to preface the chapter on Clough i n h i s book, The Doctor's D i s c i p l e s , again emphasizes Clough 1s austere adherence to the i d e a l of t r u t h — " ' I f God were able to backslide from truth, I would f a i n c l i n g to truth and l e t God go (Meister Eckhart)." 1'' One perhaps needs to be reminded at t h i s point to r e t a i n a sense of proportion and to guard against the type of exaggera-ted statement often used about Clough*s dedication to truth. For Clough was s t i l l a man, subject to the same f a u l t s and weaknesses as other men. He himself was only too well aware of the times when he f e l l short of t h i s i d e a l , and would, no doubt, have been surprised to see himself pictured as a s a i n t l y devotee before the shrine of Truth. What can be claimed f o r him, how-ever, without fear of being charged with overstating the case, i s that Clough kept t h i s i d e a l of Truth before him a l l h i s l i f e and strove v a l i a n t l y , i n spite of a l l the obstacles that confronted him, to remain f a i t h f u l to i t everywhere. I t was a conscious i d e a l and a conscious e f f o r t on h i s part—one which i s evident i n h i s l i f e , i n h i s poetry, and i n h i s prose. What he conscious-l y sought throughout h i s career was to be a man of " i n t e l l e c t u a l 18 as well as moral honesty" —one who knew the ^ F r a n c i s J . Woodward, The Doctor's D i s c i p l e s ; A Study  of Four Pupils of Arnold of Rugbv--Stanley. p e l l . Clough T William  Arnold, London. Oxford University Press T 195H-« P. 127. l 8P.P.R.. p. ^ 22. 13 High triumphs of convictions, sought And won by i n d i v i d u a l thought; The joy, delusive o f t , but keen, Of having with our own eyes seen. (p. k0$) His constant admonitions against adopting some a r b i t r a r y b e l i e f or p o s i t i o n without having f i r s t subjected i t to the test of the reason can be traced to h i s b e l i e f that i n t e l l e c t u a l honesty i s the only path to truth. As he soon found out, i t was very d i f f i c u l t to follow t h i s path. In the f i r s t place, h i s i n s t i n c t i v e desire "to at t a i n a fix e d point" was constantly at war with the i n t e l l e c t u a l need to determine that "the f i x e d point be a r i g h t one." 1 9 And i t was pr e c i s e l y the Tightness of any one course of action or b e l i e f which was so very hard to ascertain. For Clough*s dedication to truth and h i s conviction that no absolute truth had yet been revealed to man faced him with a dilemma. Even af t e r he had weighed a l l the evidence and considered the problem from every possible point of view, he could never be sure that he had found the truth or made the r i g h t decision. There was no way of proving that he had, no recourse except to h i s own T •••••V reason and conscience—two f a c u l t i e s which were not e n t i r e l y trustworthy, since they had been known to lead men astray i n the past. Moreover, as truth was r e l a t i v e and ever-changing, i t was Ibid ., p. 32k. Ik even dangerous to come to any conclusion, l e t alone decide whether i t was v a l i d ; f o r there was always the p o s s i b i l i t y of new fa c t s coming to l i g h t that..might modify the present conclusion. This i s the thought which i s expressed so v i v i d l y i n dough's poem, "To spend uncounted years of pain," and which caused Henry Sidgwick to comment that, i n spite of dough*s frequent attempts "to reconcile and s e t t l e , h i s deepest con-o n v i c t i o n i s that a l l settlement i s premature" : To spend uncounted years of pain, Again, again, and yet again, In working out i n heart and brain The problem of our being here; To gather f a c t s from f a r and near, Upon the mind to hold them c l e a r , And, knowing more may yet appear, Unto one's l a t e s t breath to fear 2, The premature r e s u l t to draw— (p. 90) Yet, although he was aware of the blank wall that con-fronted him, he s t i l l could not abandon h i s attempt to f i n d the answers to the questions, both metaphysical and personal, which tore, at him. His emotional desire for certainty and the intense moral idealism, which never l e f t him even when he discarded the r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s that had f i r s t engendered i t , would not l e t him rest e a s i l y i n h i s scepticism, or allow him to turn to more Sidgwick, "Review of 'The Poems . . . ,*" p. 373. I t a l i c s mine. 1 5 immediate and p r a c t i c a l problems which could be more readily-solved. They drove him on to f i n d an i n t e l l e c t u a l basis f o r the convictions which he i n t u i t i v e l y f e l t , but could not consciously accept or wholeheartedly adopt u n t i l they had been proven true by h i s reason. Indeed, i t i s further testimony to h i s whole-hearted commitment to truth and to h i s powers of perseverance that he continued to pursue t h i s goal, i n spite of the f a c t that he knew that, at best, he could a r r i v e at only p a r t i a l knowledge, never the complete truth. As he stated i n h i s essay on MThe / Religious T r a d i t i o n , " the foreknowledge of f a i l u r e i n no way released man from the necessity of making the attempt—even though humanly discoverable truth be ever " f l e x i b l e , changeable, vague, and multiform, and doubtful." I do acquiesce i n this humble doctrine; I do believe that, s t r i v e as I w i l l , I am r e s t r i c t e d , and grasp as I may, I can never hold the complete truth. But that does not the least imply that I am j u s t i f i e d i n shutting the eyes of my understanding to the facts of science, or i t s ears to the c r i t i c i s m of h i s t o r y , nor yet i n neglecting those pulsations" of s p i r i t u a l i n -s t i n c t which come to me from association at one time with Unitarians, at another with C a l v l n i s t s , or again with Episcopalians and Roman Catholics. I cannot see beyond the horizon; but within the natural horizon am I to make an unnatural new horizon f o r myself ? 2 2 P.P.R.. pp. * t 2 5 - 2 6 o 1 6 I t was just t h i s commitment to truth, coupled with the multiform and changeable nature of human knowledge and experi-ence, that led to the development i n Clough of a d i a l e c t i c a l  method of reasoning—the process of reasoning from accepted opinions by means of discussion or debate. As nothing could be taken on f a i t h and no " w i l l i n g suspension of d i s b e l i e f " could be made anywhere, every opinion had to be tested and analyzed by the reason before i t could be accepted or considered as a possible s o l u t i o n . 2 3 According to The Concise Encyclopaedia of Western  Philosophy and Philosophers, the word " d i a l e c t i c " derives "from the Greek verb meaning *to converse, 1 and o r i g i n a l l y meant 'the art of conversation, discussion or debate.*" The Oxford English Dictionary defines i t as: "The art of c r i t i c a l examination into the truth of an opinion; the investigation of truth by discussion." The beginning of the d i a l e c t i c , regarded primarily then as "the art of debate by question and JOne remembers at t h i s point Adam's awareness i n "The Mystery of the F a l l " of there being "A wakeful, changeless touchstone i n my brain, / Receiving, noting, testing a l l the while" and h i s decision "To watch the seething process out" ( I I , 3 ^ - 3 5 , . 5 7 ) . pk J . G. Urmson, ed., The Concise Encyclopaedia of  Western Philosophy and Philosophers. London, Hutchinson, i 9 6 0 , P. 1 1 7 . 1 7 per answer," J i s usually associated with the Socrates of the Platonic dialogues. Plato himself regarded d i a l e c t i c as "the supreme philosophical method, 'the coping-stone of the sciences,*" although many of h i s references to i t are vague and "almost any form of non-specialized reasoning could f a l l under i t . " A r i s t o t l e , i n h i s handbook of Topics« i s usually credited with having defined d i a l e c t i c more p r e c i s e l y and with making i t a p r i n c i p l e of formal l o g i c . In h i s handbook, he distinguishes between d i a l e c t i c a l reasoning, which proceeds s v l l o g i s t i c a l l v from opinions generally . accepted, and demonstrative reasoning, which begins with primary and true premises; but he holds that d i a l e c t i c a l reasoning, in,contrast with e r i s t i c , i s *a process of c r i t i c i s m wherein l i e s the path to the p r i n c i p l e s of a l l i n q u i r i e s . 1 2 7 With Hegel (and l a t e r with Marx), d i a l e c t i c was given an addi-t i o n a l function, for they viewed I t "as a process not merely of reasoning, but one found i n h i s t o r y , and i n the universe as a whole, consisting of a necessary movement from thesis to 28 a n t i - t h e s i s , and then to a synthesis of the two." -'Dagobert D. Runes, ed., Dictionary of Philosophy, New York, Philosophical Library, 1 9 ^ 2 , p. 7 8 . ?6 Urmson, Concise Encyclopaedia, p. 1 1 7 . 2'Runes, Dictionary of Philosophy, p. 7 8 ( i t a l i c s mine). 2 8Urmson, Concise Encyclopaedia, p. 1 1 7 . 18 Since Clough did not f e e l that man could a r r i v e at any knowledge of absolute truth, i t i s natural that he should have used a method of probable reasoning, one which proceeded from accepted opinions and which moved towards a conclusion or synthesis by means of a debate. This i s not to suggest that Clough consciously adopted t h i s philosophical p r i n c i p l e , but rather that, given h i s d i s t i n c t l y i n t e l l e c t u a l habit of mind, h i s r e j e c t i o n of revealed truths and, at the same time, h i s l i f e l o n g desire to determine which of the many accepted opinions or r e l a t i v e truths confronting him held the most truth, he n a t u r a l l y developed, a d i a l e c t i c a l method of reasoning. His mind.became the f o c a l point of a constant i n t e l l e c t u a l debate which encompassed every fundamental assumption held by men and which never abated, because he could never f e e l c e r t a i n that any of the conclusions he had reached were f i n a l or completely v a l i d . Tomorrow might bring a new perception or f a c t which could modify, or even i n v a l i d a t e , today's decision. Indeed, Clough's poem, "Upon the water, i n the boat," gives, one f e e l s , a very apt description of h i s approach to l i f e : S t i l l as we go the things I see, E'en as I see them, cease to be; Their angles swerve, and with the boat The whole perspective seems to f l o a t . Yet s t i l l I look, and s t i l l I s i t , Adjusting, shaping, a l t e r i n g i t . (p. 108) 1 9 I t i s not surprising that the strong d i a l e c t i c a l s t r a i n i n Clough 8s mode of reasoning i s also present i n h i s poetry; f o r h i s poetry i s very much an expression of himself. His poems are intensely personal and s u b j e c t i v e — f a s c i n a t i n g reve-l a t i o n s of h i s own thought processes, of the c o n f l i c t s he experienced, of the problems he faced and attempted to s o l v e . 2 9 Even when he t r i e s to be more objective, as, f o r example, i n h i s longer poems, h i s own personality shines through the mask he has assumed. The t r a i t s of the main characters are s t i l l Cloughian t r a i t s , even though they have been exaggerated at times for the purposes of s a t i r e . And, even then, he i s r e a l l y laughing wryly at h i s own weaknesses. Other c r i t i c s have commented on the strongly i n t e l l e c t u a l flavour of Clough's poetry (or on what I am c a l l i n g the d i a l e c t i c a l s t r a i n ) and have then gone on to stress the close r e l a t i o n s h i p between Clough's personality and the subject matter and tone of h i s poetry. Stopford Brooke says that: 'Michael Timko says: "To Clough, the nature of the poetry and the character of the poet were inseparable. Poetry, f o r him, was b a s i c a l l y the expression of a man's character, the r e f l e c t i o n of h i s e s s e n t i a l nature; poetry was, i n short, the verbal expression of a man's innermost being." ("The Poetic Theory of Arthur Hugh Clough," English Studies, v o l . k 3 (August 1 9 6 2 ) , p. 2k0.) 2 0 Of a l l the poets who played on England as on a harp, Clough was one of the most personal. . . . He con-templated h i s soul and i t s sensitive and bewildered workings incessantly, and saw i n them the image of that which was going on i n the soul of the younger men i n England.3 0 Henry Sidgwick expresses t h i s view.even more c l e a r l y when he observes that Clough*s "production i s always i n accordance with the inner laws of h i s nature and expresses . . . f a i t h f u l l y the working of h i s mind.'*31 "His p o e t i c a l utterance," Sidgwick continues, "was connected by an inner necessity with h i s personal experience" and then concludes that "the whole man i s i n the poems, they spring from the very core of h i s being." John Addington Symonds was also struck by the personal q u a l i t y of Clough*s poems and describes them as "the very p i t h and marrow of a deeply-thinking, deeply-feeling s o u l — t h e most h e a r t f e l t utterances of one who sought to speak out what was i n him i n the fewest and the simplest words." 3 2 F i n a l l y , there i s the comment made by John Dowden which contains a v i t a l truth, i f one can overlook i t s tendency to exaggeration and the question-begging, to most readers, of the words, "songs" and "music." 3°Stopford A. Brooke, Four Poets; A Study of Clough. Arnold, Rossetti and Morris, London, Si r Isaac Pitman, 1 9 0 8 , P. 2 6 . 3 1Sidgwick, "Review of *The Poems . . . ,*" p. 3 6 3 . 3 2Symonds, "Arthur Hugh Clough," p. 5 9 1 . 2 1 The whole range of our l i t e r a t u r e shows no poet whose writings so f u l l y and f a i t h f u l l y represent the man as those of Clough. We know none who so f r e e l y and en-t i r e l y gives us himself. There i s not one of h i s poems i n which we do not f i n d the personal outcome of h i s nature. His songs he sings out of h i s own heart. To give expression to h i s own thoughts and fee l i n g s was the motive of h i s music.33 The l a s t l i n e of t h i s quotation i s p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t e r e s -t i n g , as i t suggests a reason why Clough*s poetry was so personal—namely, that i t was h i s way of working out the problems which worried him, or, at l e a s t , a means of r e l i e v i n g the tensions b u i l t up i n him by the continuing mental debate to which he was committed. Furthermore, remembering h i s d i a l e c t i -c a l method of reasoning, one i s prepared f o r these c o n f l i c t s to emerge, to a large extent, i n the form of a d i a l e c t i c . I t seems natural to expect that the inner debate, when given expression, would take the same form that i t had i n the mind of i t s creator. There i s evidence that Clough himself regarded poetry i n the l i g h t both of an emotional outlet and an external medium through which he could work out h i s d i f f i c u l t i e s . In f the poem which begins " I t i s not sweet content, be sure, / That moves the nobler Muse to song," he attributes the source of poetry to some inner c o n f l i c t and continues: J-Vohn Dowden, "Arthur Hugh Clough," Contemporary  Review, v o l . 1 2 (December, 1 8 6 9 ) , p. 5 1 3 . 2 2 I t i s not calm and peaceful breasts That see or read the problem true; They only know on whom*t has prest Too hard to hope to solve i t too. (p. 9 0 ) Here he seems to suggest also that t h i s inner c o n f l i c t i s somehow necessary before one can become a good poet, as only those who have experienced these pains themselves can ade-quately understand and express the problems which beset most men. I t i s an idea which he advances again i n h i s essay on Wordsworth: "Perhaps i t i s only those that are themselves engaged i n the thick of the struggle and c o n f l i c t , that r i g h t l y can cheer on, or f i t l y can admonish t h e i r fellows, or to any ok good purpose assume the high moral tone." J Elsewhere i n h i s w r i t i n g , Clough also stresses the purgative e f f e c t of poetry. In Dipsychus. f o r example, he describes i t as one of the ways i n which "the procreant heat and fervour of our youth escapes" (VIII, 2 3 - 2 L ) and has Mpsychus answer the S p i r i t ' s question as to why he writes poetry with the words: To please my own poor mind? To f i n d repose; To physic the sick soul; to furnish vent To diseased humours i n the moral frame. (VII, 2 9 - 3 1 ) I t i s tempting here to see a sp e c i a l significance i n the t i t l e of Clough*s f i r s t volume of poems, Ambarvalia, which also P.P.R.• P. 3 2 3 2 3 included some poems by Thomas Burbidge. For the name "Ambarvalia," as Isobel Armstrong t e l l s us, "refers to the annual f e s t i v a l i n ancient Rome during which the f i e l d s and boundaries were purified."-'' Gould the t i t l e , one wonders, have appealed to Clough because he regarded h i s poetry as a means of s e l f - p u r i f i c a t i o n ? In any event, i t does seem s i g n i f i c a n t , i n the l i g h t of our suggestion that Clough regarded poetry as an emotional release and as a means of obje c t i f y i n g and resolving h i s per-sonal c o n f l i c t s , that he only revealed himself thus f u l l y i n h i s poetry. His l e t t e r s , f o r example, are markedly impersonal-with the possible exception of the l e t t e r s he wrote to Blanche from America, but even these, as Armstrong comments, "are out-standing only f o r t h e i r uncompromising reserve." 3^ Indeed, any biographer would be hard-put to discover more than a few personal f a c t s from them. As F. L. Mulhauser remarks: Clough*s l e t t e r s are l e t t e r s of statement rather than l e t t e r s of confession. He r a r e l y explores h i s ideas for h i s correspondent, looking at them from f i r s t one angle and then another; likewise, he r a r e l y explores h i s f e e l i n g s . Indeed f o r t h i s he had a personal d i s -taste and he t r i e d to avoid i t . 3 7 •^Armstrong, Arthur Hugh Clou.g,h , p. 1 7 . 3 6 I b i d . , p. 1 1 . •^Mulhauser, Correspondence, v o l . 1 , p. x i v . 2 4 I t appears that the same reserve was also evident i n h i s con-versation, i f we can c r e d i t the l e t t e r which Matthew Arnold wrote to Mrs. Clough i n 1868 , i n answer to her request that he t e l l her a l l he knew of such important events i n Clough*s l i f e as h i s resignation of the O r i e l Fellowship: On t h i s and many other such points he expressed him-s e l f i n h i s poems with more ease and unreserve than i n h i s conversation; and h i s poems, to my mind, rather enlarge the communication he made of himself, than are capable of having what they t e l l of him en-larged by the report of friends.3 8 F i n a l l y , i t i s important to note that most of Clough*s poetry was written during periods of great stress, at the times i n h i s l i f e when he was most uncertain and most unhappy—the period at Oxford, p a r t i c u l a r l y from 1839-4-0, and the years from 1848-53 which witnessed h i s resignation of the O r i e l Fellowship, h i s t r i p abroad, and h i s acceptance and l a t e r resignation of the p o s i t i o n at Uni v e r s i t y H a l l i n London. 3 9 There are a few l e t t e r s of Clough*s from Oxford which chronicle the unsettling J Lowry, Letters to Clough, pp. 1 6 1 - 6 2 . 3 9 A s F. L. Mulhauser comments: "At two important periods of h i s l i f e , 1839-4-0 and 184-9-51 > Clough l o s t h i s sense of himself, h i s funda-mental personal confidence; the i n j u r y was deep and serious, and i t i s during these two periods that most of h i s important poetry was written." (Correspondence, v o l . 1 , p. x v i ) . 2 5 ko e f f e c t that Ward was then having on him, and there are also some which date from the University H a l l period, such as the l e t t e r that he wrote to the younger Thomas Arnold i n 1 8 5 1 i n which he cautions him against returning home with the words: As f o r your coming home, I i n c l i n e to think i t would be a very great hazard. I, l i k e you, have jumped over a d i t c h , f o r the fun of the experiment and would not be d i s i n c l i n e d to be once again i n a highway with my brethren and companions. My s i t u a t i o n here under a^, set of mercantile Unitarians i s i n no way charming. The conclusion of t h i s l e t t e r contains a confession, unusual i n i t s honest revelation of emotion, that he was l a t e r to make to Blanche i n 1 8 5 3 — " I n London I f e l t myself pretty well help-l e s s to e f f e c t anything" — : w I n 1 8 3 9 he writes to John G e l l : " I f you were to come here, you would at once have Ward at you asking you your opinions on every possible sub-jec t . . .beginning with Covent Garden and Macready and c e r t a i n l y not ending t i l l you got to the Question of the Moral Sense and Deontology. I do not quite l i k e hearing so much of these Matters as I do—but I suppose i f one can only keep s t e a d i l y to one's work (which I wish I did) and quite resolve to forget a l l the words one has heard and to theorize only f o r amusement, there i s no harm i n i t . " ( I b i d . , p. 9 3 ) 1 + 1 I b i d . , p. 2 9 0 . I b i d . , v o l . 2 , p. 3 8 O . 2 6 Nothing i s very good, I am a f r a i d , anywhere. I could have gone cracked at times l a s t year with one thing or another, I t h i n k — b u t the wheel comes round. I f I were out i n V.D.I,., I think I should stay, at least t i l l I had done something. k3 Up to t h i s point then, we have been concerned with establishing the thesis that dough had a d i a l e c t i c a l method of reasoning and that t h i s habit, i n turn, was car r i e d over i n t o h i s poetry, because of the intensely personal nature of h i s writing. I t remains now to determine i f other c r i t i c s have noticed the d i a l e c t i c a l s t r a i n i n Clough*s thinking or i n h i s poetry, i f Clough himself was aware of i t , and then f i n a l l y , to suggest the form that the d i a l e c t i c takes i n h i s poems. Many of Clough*s friends and c r i t i c s have commented on the "Dipsychus" element i n h i m — h i s , ,double-mindedness, , , the strongly i n t e l l e c t u a l and a n a l y t i c a l bias of h i s own l i f e and of h i s poetry, h i s r e f u s a l to compromise with truth, and h i s fear of committing himself or of reaching conclusions prema-t u r e l y — y e t few of them have attempted to discover the source of these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c tendencies of Clough, or to analyze the poems fo r the evidences of the d i a l e c t i c at work. Both Stopford Brooke and Goldie Levy perceived that Clough*s poetry often took on the nature of a debate. Stop-ford Brooke says that much of the pleasure he experienced upon J I M d ., v o l . 1 , p. 2 9 0 . (V.D.L. i s an abbreviation for Van Diemens Land.) 2 7 reading Clough*s early poetry came from " i t s clear image of a cer t a i n type of men and women i n a s p i r i t u a l l y troubled time, i t s close contact with and intimate expression of the con-kk s t a n t l y debating soul . . . ." In l i k e manner, Goldie Levy, after stating that Clough*s poetry i s primarily i n t e l l e c -t u a l i n i t s appeal, concludes: VHis poetry i s an i n t e l l e c t u a l debate, f u l l of the speculative doubt of the age."^ Also, one cannot help but be amused by Hoxie F a i r c h i l d * s exasperated remark—"It i s not my f a u l t that t h i s chapter moves l i k e a seesaw: Clough never advances an important idea which he does k6 not elsewhere deny." To return again to Stopford Brooke, both he and Henry Sidgwick came close to discovering a d i a l e c t i -c a l movement i n the mood of Clough*s poetry. Brooke i s fascinated by the i l l u s i o n i n the poetry of "a ceaseless change of mood within one atmosphere, l i k e the ceaseless change of cloud scenery i n a day of the same kind of weather from,morning L. 7 to evening," ' and Sidgwick*s attention i s caught by the moods kk Brooke, Four Poets, p. 3 0 . ^ L e v y , Arthur Hugh Clough, p. 2 1 6 . ^ o x i e Neale F a i r c h i l d , Religions, Trends jfl English Peetrv: v o l . k: I83O-I88O, C h r i s t i a n i t y and Romanticism i n the  Vi c t o r i a n Era. New York, Columbia University Press, 1 9 5 7 ? p. 5 2 3 . kl 'Brooke, Four Poets, p. 3 7 . 28 i n t h e i r "balanced, complex character; there i s either a solemn r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of c o n f l i c t i n g impulses, or a subtle and s h i f t i n g suggestion of d i f f e r e n t points of view." One might conclude by quoting another passage from Sidgwick*s essay on Clough; f o r Sidgwick, perhaps more than any of the other c r i t i c s , seems to have been greatly struck by the very element i n Clough*s poetry which I have presumed to. term the d i a l e c t i c a l element. Clough*s s k i l l , he states, "lay i n balancing assertions, comparing points of view, . s i f t i n g gold from dross i n the i n t e l l e c t u a l products presented to him, r e j e c t i n g the r h e t o r i c a l , defining the vague, paring away the exaggerative, reducing theory and argument to t h e i r simplest form." 7 I t i s also, one f e e l s , p r e c i s e l y t h i s d i a l e c t i c a l s t r a i n i n Clough, although Arnold never uses t h i s term, which prompted Matthew Arnold's c r i t i c i s m of Clough*s poetry and provoked h i s impatient commands to Clough to stop thinking and get on with something. In l 8 k 8 , a f t e r Clough*s resignation of the O r i e l Fellowship, Arnold wrote frequent l e t t e r s ad-monishing him to s t i r himself and f i n d something else to d o — "Shake y o u r s e l f — i t i s easier to discover what we can do than our vanity l e t s us think. For God's sake don't mope, fo r from Sidgwick, "Review of *The Poems . . .,*" p. 371. I b i d . , p. 367. 2 9 that no good can come."' He obviously f e l t that a prolonged period of i n a c t i v i t y would only serve to aggravate Clough 1s natural d i s p o s i t i o n to analyze rather than to act and that t h i s was to be avoided at a l l costs. Hence h i s l e t t e r to Clough on August 1 2 , 1 8 L 8 , i n which he says: I desire you should have some occupation—I think i t desirable f o r everyone—very much so f o r you. Besides since the Baconian era wisdom i s not found i n desarts: and you again especially need the world and yet w i l l not be absorbed by any quantity of i t . . .—you poor subjective, y o u — . . . . 5 1 And again i n 1 8 5 1 when Clough i s once more looking f o r a p o s i t i o n a f t e r resigning h i s post at University H a l l , Arnold advises him to "be bustling about i t ; we are growing old, and advancing towards the deviceless dark: i t would be well not to reach i t t i l l we had at l e a s t t r i e d some of the things men consider d e s i r a b l e . " ' Arnold f e l t that Clough 1s tendency to v a c i l l a t e , rather than act, to question, rather than affirm, to debate, rather than decide an issue was another example of the modern habit of mind which he deplored and labeled as "the dialogue of the mind with i t s e l f . " He believed that i t was necessary i n one*s ^Lowry, Letters to Clough, p. Qk. 5 l I b i d . , pp. 8 8 - 8 9 . 5 2 I b i d . . p. 1 1 8 . 3 0 personal l i f e to accept some premise or s t a r t i n g point i n order to be able to act and that only through action could one f i n d the answers to the other questions which puzzled man. Arnold did not seem to understand that Clough 1s reverence f o r truth would not allow him to compromise i n t h i s fashion, or to act without f i r s t having determined that t h i s p a r t i c u l a r course of action was the r i g h t one, and that h i s method of a r r i v i n g at the truth was just t h i s same d i a l e c t i c a l process of reasoning that Arnold objected to. Instead, he saw i t as a type of "morbid conscientiousness 1 1^ 3 and t o l d Clough so: You ask me i n what I think or have thought you going wrong: i n t h i s : that you would never take your assi e t t e as something determined f i n a l and unchange-able f o r you and proceed to work away on the basis of that: but were always poking and patching and cobbling at the assiette i t s e l f — c o u l d never f i n a l l y , as i t seemed—'resolve to be m y s e l f — but were looking f o r t h i s and that experience, and doubting whether you ought not to adopt th i s or that mode of being of persons qui ne vous valaient pas be-cause i t might possibly be nearer the truth than your own. . . .5^ ^Blanche also accuses him of having "something of a morbid sensitiveness to truth that makes you think^ithe oppro-brium and the necessity f o r speaking greater thahjthey are." ( I t a l i c s mine) (Mulhauser, Correspondence, v o l . 2> f n . 3 ? P» 3 8 1 ) . Lowry, Letters to Clough, p. 1 3 0 31 Consequently, as one might expect, i t was also the i n t e l l e c t u a l tenor of Clough*s poetry, the element of debate and d i a l e c t i c i n i t , which drew Arnold's c r i t i c i s m . For Arnold wanted modern poetry to become a 'magister vitae* as the poetry of former ages had been—poetry which exhibited a comprehensive view of l i f e , which was s a t i s f y i n g to the whole man, which would help men to answer the question of "how to l i v e , " because i t had been written by poets "who saw l i f e s t e a d i l y and saw i t whole." Hence, he found Clough*s attempts "to solve the Universe" through h i s poetry i r r i t a t i n g and accused him of being "a mere d-d depth hunter i n poetry," of tryi n g "to go into and to the bottom of an object instead of grouping objects," when i d e a l l y "'Not deep the poet sees, but wide.*" He d i s l i k e d Clough*s poetry because i t was questioning i n tone and fragmentary, rather than affirmative and whole— because i t asked not answered the question of how man was to l i v e . One f e e l s here that some of the vehemence of Arnold's attack may be attributed to the f a c t that he sensed these same tendencies to question and debate i n h i m s e l f ^ and i n h i s own poetry (the character of Empedocles, for example) and feared that Clough*s influence might bring to the fore the very q u a l i t i e s which he had been f i g h t i n g a l l h i s l i f e to suppress. *^As Lowry comments: "Much as he tArnold] discourages i n him the over-questioning s p i r i t , he was himself mightily of Clough's way." (I b i d . , p. 35) 3 2 As he says i n a l e t t e r to Clough written on November 3 0 , 1 8 5 3 , what people want i s something to animate and ennoble them — not merely to add zest to th e i r melancholy or grace to the i r dreams — I believe a f e e l i n g of t h i s kind i s the basis of my nature — and of my poetics. You c e r t a i n l y do not seem to me s u f f i c i e n t l y to desire and earnestly s t r i v e to-wards — assured knowledge -- a c t i v i t y — happiness. You are too content to fluctuate — to be ever learning, never coming to the knowledge of the truth. This i s why, with you. I f e e l i t necessary to s t i f f e n  myself — and hold f a s t mv rudder.5o To the best of my knowledge, the term " d i a l e c t i c " i s never used by Clough, i n either h i s prose, or h i s l e t t e r s , or i n h i s poetry. However, there are instances i n h i s poetry where he employs a terminology associated with a d i a l e c t i c , as, f o r example, the t i t l e of the poem, "Thesis and An t i -t h e s i s , " which takes the form of a debate between youth and age—instances which suggest that he was consciously aware of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r philosophical method of reasoning. More-over, there i s a very i n t e r e s t i n g passage i n Dipsychus i n which Clough s a t i r i c a l l y describes the very form which a d i a -l e c t i c usually takes and, i n the process, suggests that he was aware of t h i s p r i n c i p l e at work i n h i s own mind and i n h i s poetry and a l l too conscious of the detrimental e f f e c t which t h i s habit of thought would have on a man's personal Ibid . , p. 146. ( I t a l i c s mine) 3 3 l i f e . I t i s the S p i r i t , Dipsychus* more worldly and p r a c t i -c a l s e l f , who i s speaking at t h i s time, and he attacks Dipsychus f o r f a i l i n g to enter wholeheartedly into any aspect of l i f e , f o r being i n " a l l things vague": For a waste f a r - o f f maybe overlooking The f r u i t f u l is. close by, l i v e i n metaphysic, With transcendental l o g i c f i l l your stomach, Schematise joy, e f f i g a t e meat and drink; Or, l e t me see, a mighty Work, a Volume, The complemental of the i n f e r i o r Kant, The C r i t i c of Pure Practice, based upon The antimonies of the Moral Sense: f o r , look you, We cannot act without assuming *x*, And at the same time *y* f i t s contradictory; Ergo, to a c t . 5 7 ( X I , 1 5 3 - 6 3 ) I t i s d i f f i c u l t , a f t e r reading t h i s passage with i t s wry note of self-condemnation, not to f e e l that Clough was f u l l y aware of t h i s d i a l e c t i c a l p r i n c i p l e i n h i s thinking and i n h i s poetry, and that he saw how i t paralyzed the w i l l to act, while, at the same time, regarding i t as the only way open to a man of i n t e g r i t y whose goal was the discovery of truth. Although no c r i t i c has ac t u a l l y made a study of the d i a l e c t i c a l p r i n c i p l e i n Clough*s poetry, a few writers have used t h i s term to describe some aspect of i t . The comments are usually b r i e f and unsupported, and there i s no attempt to pursue t h i s thought or to examine h i s poetry i n the l i g h t of t h i s p r i n c i p l e . John Heath-Stubbs, i n h i s book, The ^ ( I t a l i c s m i n e — 1 1 . 1 6 1 - 6 2 ) 3 k Darkling P l a i n , c r e d i t s Clough with possessing, at h i s best, "a f a c u l t y f o r straightforward imaginative reasoning i n verse, f o r genuine metaphysical poetry, such as had not appeared since the days of P o p e . I t becomes clear i n the parenthetical remark which follows t h i s statement that Heath-Stubbs regards Clough's f a c u l t y f o r "imaginative reasoning" as being a successful attempt at " d i a l e c t i c , " i n contrast to Wordsworth's f a i l u r e to achieve i t i n The E x c u r s i o n — " (Wordsworth indeed i s a great philosophical poet; but he i s so by virtue of the personal l y r i c a l experience he presents. When he attempts d i a l e c t i c — a s i n The Excursion—he f a i l s . ) " J . A. Symonds attributes the variations i n tone to be found i n Clough*s poems to h i s d i a l e c t i c a l method of reasoning: An i r o n i c a l tone runs through them, and i s strangely blended with bitterness, gravity, and a kind of tender regret. They ought not to be separated; f o r nothing i s more true of Clough*s mind than i t worked by thesis and a n t i t h e s i s , not reaching a clear synthesis, but pushing i t s convictions, as i t were, to the verge of a conclusion.5 9 The d i a l e c t i c a l element i s i m p l i c i t i n the terms Symonds chose to u s e — " t h e s i s , " " a n t i t h e s i s , " and "synthesis." In the same vein, Walter Houghton finds that one of the charac-t e r i s t i c techniques of Clough*s poetry i s "the d i a l e c t i c a l ^Heath-Stubbs, The Darkling P l a i n , p. 1 0 9 ^Symonds, "Arthur Hugh Clough," p. 5 9 7 . 3 5 movement"^; Thomas Arnold praises The Bothie f o r " i t s penetrating d i a l e c t i c " ^ 1 ; Katherine Chorley f e e l s that the r e a l theme of Amours de Voyage i s "the d i a l e c t i c between engagement 6? and disengagement" ; and l a s t l y , Richard M. G o l l i n suggests that the t i t l e "Adam and Eve," used by Glough, Mrs. Clough, and Matthew Arnold when r e f e r r i n g to the poem we now know as "The Mystery of the F a l l , " i s more suited to i t s subject matter, as i t points to "the two attitudes toward s i n and redemption Clough d i a l e c t i c a l l y opposed i n the poem's st r u c t u r e . " ^ 3 Admittedly, a l l these references to " d i a l e c t i c " are rather cursory, but the f a c t that these writers have noticed t h i s element i n Clough's poetry does seem to add further weight to our argument. Having thus established the existence of a d i a l e c t i c a l p r i n c i p l e i n Clough's method of reasoning and i n h i s poetry, our concern now w i l l be to examine the way i n which th i s p r i n c i p l e manifests i t s e l f i n the p o e t r y — i n theme, mood, form, tone, imagery, and characters. oughton, "Arthur Hugh Clough: A Hundred Years of Disparagement," p. kk* xThomas Arnold, "Arthur Hugh Clough: A Sketch," Nineteenth Century, v o l . k 3 (January, 1 8 9 8 ) , p. 1 0 9 . ^Chorley, Arthur Hugh Clough. p. 1 9 5 . 6 3 R i c h a r d M. G o l l i n , "The 1 9 5 1 E d i t i o n of Clough-*s Poems: A C r i t i c a l Re-examination," Modern Philology, v o l . 6 0 (November, 1 9 6 2 ) , p. 1 2 3 . 36 Because of the close r e l a t i o n s h i p which exists between theme and form, the theme, as i t develops i n a work of a r t , tends to dictate i t s own form. Hence, when one i s handling ideas i n a balanced or contrasting way or debating an issue, the theme i n e v i t a b l y shapes i t s e l f into a d i a l e c t i -c a l form. However, f o r the purposes of discussion, I have decided, perhaps a r b i t r a r i l y , to consider the question of theme and form separately, placing the emphasis i n Chapter II on the ideas and i n Chapter III on the form. CHAPTER II DIALECTIC IN THEME "If i t i s so, l e t i t be so, And we w i l l a l l agree so; But the plot has counterplot I t may be, and yet be not." (Is i t true, ye gods, who treat us," P. k 3 ) As Clough's d i a l e c t i c a l habit of mind may be traced to the c r i s i s which he underwent at Oxford, i t i s not surprising that r e l i g i o n constitutes the subject of a number of h i s poems i n which the d i a l e c t i c a l p r i n c i p l e may be seen operating thematically. His subsequent e f f o r t s to determine by reason how man can l i v e i n accordance with Truth, even though the exact nature of t h i s higher Truth has not yet been revealed, gave r i s e to another such body of poems—those which attempt to answer the unanswerable questions, why man i s here, how he should l i v e while here, and i f he w i l l continue to exist i n some form aft e r death. F i n a l l y , there i s the group of poems i n which Clough examines the nature of love and the degree of importance i t should assume i n a man's l i f e . In most of these poems, there i s a basic pattern that the clash of ideas takes, although, of course, t h i s pattern undergoes va r i a t i o n s , and the actual d i a l e c t i c a l process i s often 3 7 38 complex. Generally, however, each poem begins by presenting two or more opinions commonly held about the subject under consideration, moves toward a conclusion by a process of debate, and then reaches either a synthesis (compromise solu t i o n ) , or an impasse. 1 From the outset, Glough was well aware that, i n h i s determination to accept only those r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s which he had personally proved to be true, he was setting out on a d i f f i c u l t and l i t t l e - t r a v e l l e d path—one beset with loneliness, self-doubt, and perhaps, ultimately, f a i l u r e . The temptation to give up the quest and r e j o i n h i s fellows, those who receive The implanted word with f a i t h ; believe Because t h e i r fathers did before, Because they learnt, and ask no more, was constantly with him and provided the impetus f o r many inner debates similar i n theme to the one which forms the basis of the poem, " 0 happy they whose hearts receive' 1 (p. M-C^). In t h i s poem, Glough balances the happiness which r e s u l t s from the peace and serenity of mind enjoyed by those who unquestion-i n g l y accept a t r a d i t i o n a l creed against the joy "delusive o f t , but keen" which comes from "having with our own eyes seen" In our discussion, I have t r i e d to choose f o r d e t a i l e d analysis those poems which I have f e l t to be p a r t i c u l a r l y good examples of the d i a l e c t i c i n theme, mood, form, imagery, and characters and then to re f e r b r i e f l y , either i n the text or i n the footnotes, to other poems which i l l u s t r a t e t h i s p r i n c i p l e . 3 9 and, as one might expect, he decides that the l a t t e r joy i s the more s a t i s f a c t o r y one. There were also times when Clough despaired of f i n d i n g any r a t i o n a l grounds fo r man's b e l i e f i n God and was tempted to adopt the opposite point of view—that of the atheist or complete r e l i g i o u s sceptic. At such moments, he could see only two a l t e r n a t i v e s : to ignore the conclusions of h i s reason and retreat to the orthodox r e l i g i o u s p o s i t i o n , or to face the t r u t h , as he saw i t then, and deny the existence of a higher Truth, or Divine Being. I t was while i n t h i s frame of mind that he wrote such poems as "Cease, empty F a i t h , the Spectrum s a i t h " (p. 1 1 0 ) and "Easter Day, Part I" (p. 5 ^ ) . As the b i b l i c a l story of Christ's Resurrection i s regarded by C h r i s t i a n s as proof of His d i v i n i t y , Clough made th i s doctrine the f o c a l point of the d i a l e c t i c i n "Easter Day, Part I." The f i r s t section of the poem ( 1 1 . i - 6 3 ) begins with Clough's passionate denial of C h r i s t ' s R e s u r r e c t i o n — C h r i s t i s not risen? Christ i s not r i s e n , no, He l i e s and moulders low; Christ i s not r i s e n — a denial which becomes the r e f r a i n of Part I and appears with some s l i g h t variations of phrasing at the end of each stanza. He has been provoked into uttering t h i s vehement protest by the sight of "the great s i n f u l streets of Naples" which seem to provide clear proof that the C h r i s t of the Gospels never ko existed and that the idea of new l i f e i m p l i c i t i n the doctrine of the Resurrection has no basis i n r e a l i t y . In the following stanzas, Glough examines and then discards as i n s u f f i c i e n t proof a l l the d e t a i l s found i n the b i b l i c a l account of Chr i s t ' s Resurrection which could be advanced by Christians as evidence that the Resurrection was an actual h i s t o r i c a l event. The tone of voice i n which he does t h i s ("What though . . .") implies that he i s answering someone. Thus, t h i s part of the poem takes on the form of a debate, as the nature of h i s opponents* statements can be deduced from the answers that Clough makes. He f i r s t challenges that part of the gospel which states that when Christ's followers arrived at the tomb on Easter morning, they found the stone r o l l e d away and the grave empty— What though the stone were r o l l e d away, and though The grave found empty there? This cannot be accepted as evidence of Chr i s t ' s d i v i n i t y , f o r someone could e a s i l y have moved Him to another grave where His body, l i k e a l l things human, would gradually decay— Ashes to ashes, dust to dust; As of the unjust, also of the j u s t — C h r i s t i s not r i s e n . Clough then sets aside the second most commonly offered hi S c r i p t u r a l proof of C h r i s t ' s Resurrect ion—that the women saw angels , "or Him himself" near the tomb—with the i r o n i c comment that He has never appeared to anyone s ince , "save i n thunderous  t e r r o r to b l i n d Saul" and "in an af ter-Gospel and la te Creed ." In other words, the C h r i s t and the Angels that these people saw were simply the creatures of imagination, and other men bel ieved and founded a r e l i g i o n on t h i s inc ident because of t h e i r des ire for f a i t h . S i m i l a r l y , he disposes of the s tory that the Apostles and the t r a v e l l e r s to Emmaus saw C h r i s t with the words, "Ah! 'some 1 d id w e l l to doubt." Having thus shown how vulnerable that f a i t h i s which res t s on h i s t o r i c a l f a c t s , Clough ends t h i s sect ion by bringing h i s thes i s to i t s l o g i c a l conclusion and comparing the growth of C h r i s t i a n i t y to the growth of a rumour i n a large c i t y which, s tar t ing from a small i n c i d e n t , soon gains widespread fame and a u t h o r i t y , because no one can trace i t back to i t s o r i g i n and determine i f i t i s based on truth or not . As c i r c u l a t e s i n some great c i t y crowd A rumour changeful , vague, importunate, and l o u d , From no determined centre , or of f a c t , Or authorship exact, Which no man can deny Nor v e r i f y ; So spread the wondrous fame. I t a l i c s mine. H2 In the second sect ion of Part I , Clough depicts the i n i t i a l reac t ion of those people who, struck by the truth of h i s arguments, have come to accept the thes is that "Chris t i s not r i s e n . " An overwhelming sense of despair i s conveyed by such l i n e s as: Is He not r i s e n , and s h a l l we not r i s e ? Oh, we unwise? What d i d we dream, what wake we to discover? Ye h i l l s , f a l l on us, and ye mountains, cover! The d i s cred i t ing - of the doctr ine of C h r i s t ' s Resurrect ion has t r a g i c import for men, because the i r b e l i e f i n redemption and i n immortal i ty—a b e l i e f which made the hardships of th i s l i f e bearable—was, i n a large measure, derived from the s ign i f i cance they attached to the Resurrect ion . Deprived of the f a i t h which gave meaning to t h e i r l i v e s , they are f i l l e d with a sense of lo s s and of hopelessness, f e e l i n g that they have been deceived and betrayed by someone they t r u s t e d : E a t , d r i n k , and d i e , f or we are men deceived, Of a l l the creatures under heaven's wide cope We are the most hopeless who had once most hope We are most wretched that had most be l i eved . However, i n keeping with the d i a l e c t i c a l treatment of the theme of the poem, i n the t h i r d sect ion (11. 95-156) Clough presents man with an a l t ernat ive way of meeting th i s s p i r i t u a l c r i s i s . He counsels man to avoid both optimism and despair and to k 3 adopt an attitude of stoic resignation. One remembers here the timely words that Arnold has Empedocles speak: "Because thou must not dream, thou need'st not then despair." Man must endure and make the most of the small comforts that l i f e brings, for he can expect no more— . . . i f there i s no other l i f e f o r you, Sit down and be content, since t h i s must even do: He i s not r i s e n . The thesis of t h i s poem could not s a t i s f y Clough f o r long, however, as h i s most persistent b e l i e f was that no p o s i -t i o n contained the whole truth. " I f he saw two sides of a question," Sidgwick observed, "he must keep seeking a point of view from which they might be harmonized." 3 Moreover, the decision reached i n "Easter Day, Part I" l e f t no outlet f o r h i s r e l i g i o u s sense. Hence, i n "Easter Day, Part I I " (p. 5 9 ) > he makes use of the basic premise underlying Strauss's Higher k C r i t i c i s m of the B i b l e to formulate a more generally acceptable ^Sidgwick, "Review of 'The Poems . . . ,'" p. 3 6 8 . J . M. Beatty says: "The Bete Moire of the orthodox during t h i s period, how-ever, was the German Strauss, who published the f i r s t volume of h i s Leben Jesu i n 183*+ and the whole work i n the following year. This work was a powerful attack upon the supernatural i n C h r i s t i a n i t y . Strauss attacked even the h i s t o r i c i t y of C h r i s t . Yet as he says i n h i s preface, *The author i s aware that the essence of the If If solution by i n t e r p r e t i n g the B i b l i c a l story metaphorically, a solution which i s a c t u a l l y a synthesis of the d i a l e c t i c i n "Part I" — But i n a l a t e r hour I sat and heard Another voice that spake, another graver word. Weep not, i t bade, whatever hath been said, Though He be dead, He i s not dead. In the true Creed He i s yet r i s e n indeed, C h r i s t i s yet r i s e n . "Christ i s yet r i s e n , " because, even though the b i b l i c a l s t o r i e s themselves, such as the one which t e l l s of Christ's Resurrection, have no basis i n h i s t o r y or f a c t , the truths of human r e l i g i o u s experience which they i l l u s t r a t e remain e t e r n a l l y true. "Manuscripts are doubtful, records may be unauthentic, c r i t i c i s m i s feeble, h i s t o r i c a l f a c t s must be l e f t uncertain," y but the "essence" of C h r i s t i a n i t y s t i l l warrants man's b e l i e f . A higher Truth e x i s t s , although i t s precise nature i s yet unknown, and men, as Tennyson says, can s t i l l r i s e "on stepping stones of t h e i r dead selves to higher things." Taken C h r i s t i a n f a i t h i s p e r f e c t l y independent of h i s c r i t i -cism. The supernatural b i r t h of C h r i s t , h i s miracles, hi s r esurrection and ascension, remain eternal truths, whatever doubts may be cast on t h e i r r e a l i t y as h i s -t o r i c a l f a c t s . ' This point of view i s s i g n i f i c a n t as being c l o s e l y akin to Clough*s." ("Arthur Hugh Clough as Revealed i n h i s Prose," South A t l a n t i c  Quarterly, v o l . 2 5 ( A p r i l 1 9 2 6 ) , p. 1 7 5 . ) P.P.R., p. k 2 1 H5 symbolically, the doctrine of the Resurrection gives man hope; i t suggests that he can r i s e to a new l i f e i n himself, experience a psychological and moral transformation. Clough had expressed t h i s idea e a r l i e r i n a l e t t e r which he wrote i n May, 1 8 4 7 : But I cannot f e e l sure that a man may not have a l l that i s important i n C h r i s t i a n i t y even i f he does not so much as know that Jesus of Nazareth existed. The thing which men must work at, w i l l not be c r i t i c a l questions about the Scriptures, but philosophical problems of Grace and Free W i l l , and of Redemption as an Idea, not as an h i s t o r i c a l event.6 The synthesis he reaches i n "Part I I " i s also i m p l i c i t i n the following passage from h i s essay on "The Religious T r a d i t i o n " — an essay which i s strongly d i a l e c t i c a l i n theme and form: I t i s impossible f o r any scholar to have read, and studied, and r e f l e c t e d without forming a strong impression of the entire uncertainty of h i s t o r y i n general, and of the h i s t o r y of C h r i s t i a n i t y i n p a r t i -cular. I t i s equally impossible for any man to l i v e , act, and r e f l e c t without f e e l i n g the significance and depth of the moral and r e l i g i o u s teaching which passes amongst us by the name of C h r i s t i a n i t y . 7 Mulhauser, Correspondence, v o l . 1, p. 182. P.P.R.. p. 421. 46 Clough develops the theme of "Easter Day, Parts I and I I , " then, according to the p r i n c i p l e of a d i a l e c t i c , with Part II forming the synthesis. I t i s h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c way of resolving any issue, whether i t be r e l i g i o u s or not, and of a r r i v i n g at some measure of the truth. In t h i s case, i t enables him to avoid wholeheartedly adopting either the thesis or the anti t h e s i s of Part I. Instead, he discards the elements of the Ch r i s t i a n r e l i g i o n which he f e e l s to be incompatible with reason, while r e t a i n i n g , at the same time, h i s b e l i e f i n the essence of C h r i s t i a n i t y and thereby reaches a solution which s a t i s f i e s him both emotionally and i n t e l l e c t u a l l y . The d i a -l e c t i c of the poem, M , G l d things need not therefore be t r u e 1 " (p. 89) i s resolved i n a similar manner. Here Clough counsels man to acknowledge the truth wherever i t appears and to hold f a s t to i t , f o r neither i n the past, nor i n the present has man arrived at f u l l knowledge of any subject. *01d things need not therefore be true 5* 0 brother men, nor yet the new; Ah! s t i l l awhile the old thought r e t a i n , And yet consider i t again. The idea contained i n t h i s stanza thus l i n k s the poem with others such as "Easter Day, Part I I 1 , although the topic i s not s p e c i f i c a l l y r e l i g i o n . The d i a l e c t i c i n the theme of "When I s r a e l came out of Egypt" (p. 16) i s e s s e n t i a l l y the same as the one i n "Easter Day." Again, Clough balances the orthodox r e l i g i o u s p o s i t i o n against the modern " a t h e i s t i c unbelief" and afte r a process of debate decides that neither p o s i t i o n warrants man's f u l l support. Each p o s i t i o n contains some truth, but neither one contains the whole. The error i n each po s i t i o n stems from man's desire f o r certainty, and h i s subsequent habit of making a r b i t r a r y decisions prematurely f o r the sake of certainty. Not content simply to believe i n the existence of God and to wait for His complete plan to be revealed, some men have gone on to attribute various c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s to God, to form " i d o l thoughts," and to develop a va r i e t y of r e l i g i o n s , a l l claiming to have the truth. These men, Clough says, are l i k e children who s t i l l need the security of a father and who must be pre-sented with concrete examples before they can grasp an abstract -concept. Other men, products of the modern, s c i e n t i f i c age, have gone to the opposite extreme. Rejecting many of the forms and dogmas of r e l i g i o n on r a t i o n a l grounds, as Clough did, they have then gone on, wrongly he f e e l s , to deny the existence of God as w e l l — By Science s t r i c t so speaks He now To t e l l us, There i s None' Earth goes by chemic forces; Heaven's A Mlchanique C l l e s t e ! And heart and mind of human kind A watch-work as the rest? The conclusion Clough comes to i s e s s e n t i a l l y that no conclusion ko i s possible at the moment; man must wait f o r some further revelation. At t h i s time, Clough states, man must neither accept a t r a d i t i o n a l creed as completely true, nor espouse o the a t h e i s t i c view and abandon a l l b e l i e f i n God. Rather, he must "take better part, with manlier heart" and develop the courage to r e s i s t adopting either point of view— No God, no Truth, receive i t n ' e r — Believe i t ne'er—G ManJ But turn not then to seek again What f i r s t the i l l began;— and the f o r t i t u d e to wait p a t i e n t l y for the whole truth to be r e v e a l e d — . . . a h , wait i n f a i t h God's self-completing plan; Receive i t not, but leave i t not, And wait i t out, G Man.'9 S i m i l a r l y i n the poem, "That there are powers above us I admit" (p. k0$), he concedes the existence of the super-natural "powers," but, since he cannot prove i t one way or the other, decides neither to accept, nor r e j e c t the p o s s i b i l i t y of t h e i r being beneficent ones. "At any r a t e — That there are beings above us, I believe, And when we l i f t up holy hands of prayer, I w i l l not say they w i l l not give us a i d . " 9 I n a l e t t e r of May, 18^7, Clough mentions various r e l i g i o u s positions held by other men and then concludes: "I think others are more r i g h t , who say boldly, we don't understand i t , and therefore, we won't f a l l down and worship i t . Though there i s no occasion h9 The exact nature of t h i s truth may be s t i l l uncertain, but Glough i s f u l l y confident that one day i t w i l l be r e v e a l e d — He s h a l l yet bring some worthy thing For waiting souls to see. U n t i l t h i s time, man's attempts to define t h i s higher Truth or to describe God must i n e v i t a b l y f a l l f a r short of the truth. This i s the reason why Clough usually r e f e r s to God simply as Truth and why he c a r e f u l l y avoids explaining what he means by t h i s term. I t i s enough fo r him that "Truth" e x i s t s ; he does not need to translate t h i s abstract concept into a 1 0 p a r t i c u l a r image. This i s the idea which he expresses i n the poem, 'ftymnos Ahymnos" (p. 8 7 ) — t h e t i t l e of which contains the key to the d i a l e c t i c of the poem. I t i s a hymn, i n the sense that i t i s a poem of praise i n which he affirms h i s b e l i e f i n the existence of God or T r u t h — for adding—'there is. nothing i n i t ' — I should say, U n t i l I know, I w i l l wait: and i f I am not born with the power to discover, I w i l l do what I can, with what knowledge I have; trust to God's j u s t i c e ; and neither pretend to know, nor without knowing, pretend to embrace . . . . (Mulhauser, Correspondence, v o l . 1 , p. 1 8 2 ) . 1 0H oxie F a i r c h i l d comments: "But Clough was one of those uncomfortable people who . ' w i l l not make th e i r image.' They struggle af t e r an 'actual abstract,' refusing to accept a pattern f o r their ignorance." ( C h r i s t i a n i t y and Romanticism i n the  Y i c t o r i a n E r a f p. 5 0 7 . ) 5 0 0 Thou whose image i n the shrine Of human s p i r i t s dwells divine. Yet, on the other hand, i t i s not a hymn i n the t r a d i t i o n a l sense, because he makes none of the statements about God usually found i n r e l i g i o u s songs— 1 w i l l not frame one thought of what Thou mayest either be or not. He i s content simply to f e e l that . . . i n our soul and heart Thou, whatsoe'er Thou mayest be, a r t . Through the medium of these poems dealing with r e l i g i o n , Clough thus eventually comes to the point, aft e r a prolonged inner debate, where he f e e l s j u s t i f i e d i n making ce r t a i n affirmations i n which he expresses h i s b e l i e f i n the existence of God ("Truth".), i n the essence of C h r i s t i a n i t y , and i n the eventual emergence of Truth. This hard-won b e l i e f brought him some peace of mind, but i t did not put an end to the d i a l e c t i c constantly going on within him—a number of v i t a l questions were s t i l l l e f t unanswered. Since a higher Truth existed, i t was p l a i n l y man's duty, Clough f e l t , to t r y to l i v e i n accor-dance with t h i s p r i n c i p l e ; but, as the nature of t h i s higher Truth had not yet been revealed to man, the means of man's doing so was manifestly uncertain. As Dipsychus comments, i t appears hopeless 51 To expect to f i n d i n t h i s more modern time That which the old world styled, i n old-world phrase, Walking with God. It seems His newer w i l l We should not think of Him at a l l , but trudge i t , And of the world He has assigned us make What best we can. (IX, 9-l L) Gnce more, i t seemed that man would have to arrive at the truth on h i s own, that he would have to f i n d the best way "to pace the sad confusion through" himself, with only h i s reason and conscience to guide him. This conclusion of Clough 1s resulted i n another group of poems i n which the d i a l e c t i c a l p r i n c i p l e i s evident i n the theme—those i n which he attempts to answer the unanswerable questions, why man i s here, how he should l i v e while here, iand i f he w i l l continue to exi s t i n some form a f t e r death. Another fundamental problem which occupies Clough*s attention i n a number of poems i s the necessity of action. In spite of man's i n s t i n c t i v e desire to act, the wisest course f o r the present would seem to be to repress t h i s desire and wait f o r some further revelation of God*s plan. For, i n acting now without f u l l knowledge, man may be committing him-s e l f to a point of view or a course which w i l l eventually prove to be f a l s e . I t i s t h i s thought which prompts the frequent expressions of fear found i n Clough*s poems—the fear of being forced to come to a decision or to act prematurely and on i n s u f f i c i e n t evidence. It i s t h i s fear, i n an exaggerated form, which motivates the following speech of Claude: 5 2 I do not wish to be moved, but growing where I was growing, There more t r u l y to grow, to l i v e where as yet I had languished. I do not l i k e being moved: fo r the w i l l i s excited; and action Is a most dangerous thing; I tremble f o r something f a c t i t i o u s , Some malpractice of heart and i l l e g i t i m a t e process; We are so prone to these things with our t e r r i b l e notions of duty. (Amours, I I , 2 7 0 - 7 5 ) Yet, c l e a r l y , as Clough was well aware, man cannot wait f o r the r e v e l a t i o n of a truth which w i l l make doubt and h e s i t a t i o n unnecessary. As Dipsychus says: " L i f e loves no lookers-on at h i s great game" (IX, 8 9 ) . The nature of l i f e and of man him-s e l f demands that h i s role be an active one. Hence a d i a l e c t i c or debate takes place within Clough and within h i s characters whenever they are faced with a s i t u a t i o n that requires action or commitment on t h e i r part. For example, the attempts of the main characters to decide between action and inaction, engagement and disengagement, becomes a major theme i n such poems as "Sa Majeste tres Chretienne (p. 6 9 ) 1 1 and Dipsychus. In Scene IX of Dipsychus, Dipsychus, seeing that h i s submission to the world i s One of the main subjects of the "dialogue of the mind with i t s e l f " i n t h i s poem i s the active versus the contempla-t i v e l i f e , engagement versus disengagement. The poem consists of the King's attempt to j u s t i f y , ostensibly to h i s confessor, but r e a l l y to himself, the sins that he has committed on the grounds that, given the necessity of action and the lack of any clear d i r e c t i o n by which to act, error i s i n e v i t a b l e . He con-siders and then r e j e c t s the p o s s i b i l i t y of h i s having adopted a 5 3 i n e v i t a b l e unless he can f i n d a better a l t e r n a t i v e , makes a supreme e f f o r t to discover, through reason, a better way to l i v e . His r e j e c t i o n , after much thought, of the p o s s i b i l i t y that either r e l i g i o n or love can provide modern man with a s a t i s f a c t o r y purpose fo r l i v i n g forces him to consider the one course that he has t r i e d to avoid and that the S p i r i t (or h i s more worldly s e l f ) has advocated a l l a l o n g — a c t i o n . The necessity of considering action as a possible solution "staggers" him, f o r h i s most persistent conviction has always been that man could only r e t a i n h i s ideals by r e s i s t i n g the forces which would draw him into society. But, as there seems to be no escape, the problem remains now of deciding when and how to act. The d i a l e c t i c of t h i s passage re s u l t s from h i s subsequent e f f o r t to determine whether i t i s better to enter immediately into active l i f e , hoping that action w i l l eventually bring b e l i e f , or to wait u n t i l the truth, God*s plan f o r man, i s revealed, u n t i l the clear c a l l to r i g h t action comes which w i l l make further doubt and h e s i t a t i o n impossible. Dipsychus begins by examining the view that i t i s better to wait u n t i l the one true course can be seen and c i t e s the example of Napoleon who l e t pass the "lesser chances and more passive r o l e , outlines the necessity of action and yet the d i f f i c u l t y of deciding i n "thi s waste and wild i n f i n i t y of ways" which path "conducts.to Thee," and then concludes that, i n spite of everything, "somehow I think my heart i s pure." 5 H i n f e r i o r hopes" ( 5 1 ) , waiting for the ri g h t moment, "the one th i n piece that comes, pure gold" ( 5 6 ) , when action ensures v i c t o r y . The thought that perhaps i n l e t t i n g these "lesser chances" go by he i s losing valuable experience which would enable him to be successful i n the main encounter causes him to s h i f t to the other point of view (the a n t i t h e s i s ) f o r a moment. But there i s no gain here, for t h i s point i s imme-d i a t e l y balanced by the after-thought that, i f he becomes preoccupied with these "lesser chances," he may forget h i s ultimate g o a l — To base mechanical adroitness y i e l d The Inspiration and the Hope, a slave? (77-78) The advantage then, f o r the present, seems to l i e with the th e s i s , "to wait," and he concludes: Were i t not better done, then, to keep off And see, not share, the s t r i f e : stand out the waltz Which f o o l s w h i r l dizzy in? (82-84-) He does not remain i n t h i s frame of mind f o r long, however; immediately the question of whether i t i s possible to remain aloof from l i f e occurs and he has to admit that the nature of l i f e i t s e l f precludes t h i s course. The only avenue open to man under these circumstances would thus seem to be the acceptance of the a n t i t h e s i s — t o put aside a l l h e s i t a t i o n , l e t i n s t i n c t take over, and act ( 8 5 - 1 0 2 ) . But, before he can 5 5 act on t h i s decision, thought again intervenes and causes him to question the assumption on which t h i s conclusion was based— namely, that man's i n s t i n c t s , i f followed, w i l l guide him to trut h . This may have been true f o r former generations, Dipsychus thinks, but not for modern man— The age of i n s t i n c t has, i t seems, gone by, And w i l l not be forced back. And to l i v e now I must s l u i c e out myself into canals. And lose a l l force i n ducts. ( 1 0 5-08) Neither the i n d i v i d u a l nor the society i n which he l i v e s seems to be progressing n a t u r a l l y to any goal beyond a purely material and immediate one. Action f o r a man i n t h i s i n d u s t r i a l age seems to consist of a series of menial and humdrum tasks which, f a r from leading anywhere, seem to be an end i n themselves. . . . We ask Action, And dream of arms and c o n f l i c t ; and str i n g up A l l self-devotion's muscles; and are set To f o l d up papers. To what end? We know not. (131-3 k) The d i a l e c t i c ends with Dipsychus r e l u c t a n t l y accepting the need to act, even though i t w i l l have to be on the world's terms. For, as "action i s what one must get, i t i s c l e a r " (1^-7), and as man seems destined never to be presented with the r i g h t course of action, only numerous smaller ones, he has no choice but to "submit" to the world as i t i s . The disheartening implications of t h i s conclusion were not l o s t on Clough. He r e a l i z e d that h i s search f o r Truth must 5 6 i n e v i t a b l y end, f o r the most part, i n f a i l u r e , but t h i s r e a l i -zation i n no way lessened h i s conviction that t h i s course was the only one possible f o r a man of i n t e g r i t y . The e f f o r t must be made, even though the answers might never be found. This view i s c l e a r l y expressed i n the two poems, "The human s p i r i t s saw I on a day," and "Come back again, my olden heart?" "The human s p i r i t s saw I on a day" (p. 1) i s e s s e n t i a l l y a j u s t i -f i c a t i o n f o r adopting a s c e p t i c a l , questioning attitude to l i f e , on the grounds that a man's i n t e g r i t y and h i s r i g h t to turn f i n a l l y to active l i f e are dependent upon h i s having f i r s t attempted to discover truth. This point of view i s presented by the s p i r i t who passes around the r i n g , "hardly tasking" and "subtly questioning" each of the other s p i r i t s . The antithesis i s expressed through the attitudes taken and the answers given by the other s p i r i t s who represent mankind i n general—those who have given up without r e a l l y trying to f i n d the answers to the questions that the one s p i r i t s t i l l asks and have turned to more immediate and p r a c t i c a l matters which can be more e a s i l y solved. Some of them are i r r i t a t e d by h i s e f f o r t s to rouse them from th e i r i n e r t i a and answer him i n a "querulously high" tone; others reply i n a voice " s o f t l y , sadly low," but they a l l utter the same words: We know not, sang they a l l , nor ever need we know! We know not, sang they, what a v a i l s to know? 57 The answer of the l a s t s p i r i t questioned, "I know not, I w i l l do my duty," leads to the conclusion of the poem which combines th i s point of view and the one expressed by the questioning s p i r i t . The compromise solution i s contained i n the words, "true ignorance" and "thee" ("thee," presumably r e f e r r i n g to the s p i r i t who advocates duty). By "true ignorance," one f e e l s , Clough means an ignorance which i s the r e s u l t , not of a r e f u s a l to face r e s p o n s i b i l i t y (as the other s p i r i t * s was), but of the f a c t that, i n spite of a l l man*s determined e f f o r t s to gain knowledge, the true answers cannot be found. Then, after t h i s point has been reached, man's only recourse i s duty and the hope that through duty and the a c t i v i t i e s of l i f e , the truth w i l l somehow be revealed. The q u a l i t y man must c u l t i v a t e , then, i n order to avoid giving up too soon as the other " s p i r i t s " d id, i s courage—courage to r e s i s t acting u n t i l t h i s "true ignorance" has been reached, or u n t i l some measure of truth has been discovered. This i s e s s e n t i a l l y the theme of Clough*s poem, "Come back again, my olden heart?" (p. 9)» In i t , he compares h i s "olden heart" to h i s present state of mind, assessing the type of courage he possessed i n each state, and decides that, although he may have been a b i t too hesitant and scrupulous then, the courage to forego acting u n t i l the truth has been discerned i s of a higher c a l i b r e than the courage required to 58 east aside h e s i t a t i o n and doubt and a r b i t r a r i l y adopt some f a l s e p o s i t i o n i n order to have a starting point from which to act. For, i n choosing the l a t t e r course, he betrayed himself and T r u t h — s a y i n g , i n e f f e c t , "because I w i l l e d i t , i t i s good." In the conclusion of the poem, he says that, i n the future, he w i l l t r y to steer a middle course between the "wild s e l f - w i l l " of today and the "fear that f a l t e r e d , paltered s t i l l " of yesterday—a course that w i l l combine h i s present confidence and the higher courage he had formerly, Courage to l e t the courage sink, I t s e l f a coward base to think, Rather than not f o r heavenly l i g h t , Wait on to show the t r u l y r i g h t . Another topic which, i n the absence of any certa i n knowledge, c a l l e d for consideration was the nature of man him-s e l f . The question, "What i s man and why i s he here?", becomes the r e f r a i n of a number of poems which i l l u s t r a t e the d i a l e c t i c i n theme. Gn the surface, as Clough states i n the poem, "What we, when face to face we see" (p. 6 l ) , man appears to be no more than a passive instrument, A mind fo r thoughts to pass i n t o , A heart f o r loves to t r a v e l through, Five senses to detect things near. Yet, man's innate f e e l i n g of h i s own worth, h i s need to f e e l that he has a s i g n i f i c a n t work to do here, precludes h i s 5 9 acceptance of thi s view. He i s compelled to f i n d an answer which w i l l substantiate h i s inner conviction that he i s serving a higher purpose than t h i s on earth and has a higher goal to reach. Clough finds i n t h i s poem, however, that i t i s impossible to validate t h i s b e l i e f by observation of l i f e or by reason. This conclusion leaves him with two alterna-t i v e s : he can either, "for assurance 1 sake," adopt some "ar b i t r a r y " explanation of man's reason f o r e x i s t i n g , or he can continue "to pace the sad confusion through" without any assurance. As neither the thesis nor the an t i t h e s i s i s acceptable to Clough, he i s f i n a l l y forced to trust h i s fe e l i n g s and the hope that these lead him to i n order to arrive at a 12 "solution" to t h i s d i a l e c t i c . As the problem cannot be solved i n t e l l e c t u a l l y , he i s forced to s h i f t terms and "synthesize" h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l d i f f i c u l t i e s on another p l a n e — a n The d i a l e c t i c i n the poem, "Whence are ye, vague desires" (p. 3 8 6 ) , ends on a similar note. Unable to determine the source of the vague aspirations and longings which perplex and t a n t a l i z e men, to decide whether they are "A message from the bl e s t , Or bodily unrest; A c a l l to heavenly good, Or fever i n the blood," he concludes, e s s e n t i a l l y on f a i t h , that they are "for some good end designed," and that th e i r existence indicates an i n t u i t i v e awareness on man's part of some higher Good which he w i l l eventually achieve union with. 6 0 emotional or i d e a l one. Ah yet, when a l l i s thought and said, The heart s t i l l overrules the head; S t i l l what we hope we must believe, And what i s given us receive; Must s t i l l believe, f o r s t i l l we hope That i n a world of larger scope, What here i s f a i t h f u l l y begun W i l l be completed, not undone. This i s e s s e n t i a l l y the course that he i s forced to follow i n h i s sonnet sequence on death, f o r , once again, he finds that i t i s impossible to arrive at any d e f i n i t e conclusion through reason. He begins, i n Sonnet #IV, by attempting to determine, through the d i a l e c t i c a l method, which of the popular b e l i e f s about death—death as the end, or death as the be-ginning--contains the most truth and ends, i n Sonnet #VII, by tru s t i n g the "larger hope." The d i a l e c t i c i n Sonnet #IV, "But whether i n the uncoloured l i g h t of Truth" (p. 398), centers on Clough's e f f o r t to decide whether man's confidence i n immorta-l i t y i s founded or unfounded, whether the b e l i e f w i l l hold up under "the uncoloured l i g h t of Truth." The an t i t h e s i s i s i m p l i c i t i n the questioning tone which suggests that he f e e l s that the opposite point of view (that with death man ceases to ex i s t i n any form) may be equally true. He questions whether man's "inward strong assurance" that there i s l i f e a f t e r death i s based on anything more concrete than h i s own desire to 61 believe t h i s , whether i t i s not just an attempt "to shut out f a c t , " because l i f e would be "insupportable" without t h i s f a i t h , and whether " t h i s v i t a l confidence" i s any more Than h i s , who upon death's immediate brink Knowing perforce determines to ignore, as a b i r d sensing the hunter i s near w i l l bury her eyes, so that she "can forget her fea r . " He i s unable to answer these questions, because there i s no discoverable evidence which points one way or the other—nothing but man's persistent b e l i e f — a n d hence concludes the poem with an admission of defeat—"Who about t h i s s h a l l t e l l us what to think?" There appears to be no synthesis which w i l l resolve t h i s d i a l e c t i c . In Sonnet #VI, "But i f , as (not by what the soul desired" (p. 3 9 9 ) } he continues the debate, t h i s time taking into consideration the duration of man's b e l i e f i n immortality and the number of "wise" men who have held i t . The mood i s s t i l l very questioning and tentative; indeed, the whole poem i s an expression of h i s w i s t f u l longing for some assurance, even i f i t be only the bare minimum of b e l i e f . He states that, i f he could believe as other men throughout the ages have "thought"—"(hot by what the soul desired/Swayed i n the judgment)"—that i n t h i s "human complex" there i s something which s t i l l l i v e s a f t e r death, he would be so re l i e v e d that he would not even ask "when and how." In Sonnet #VII, "Shall 62 I decide i t by a random shot?" (399)> h i s desire f o r certainty becomes so i n s i s t e n t that he attempts to solve the dilemma "by a random shot." The poem thus begins with the assertion that Our happy hopes, so happy and so good, Are not mere i d l e motions of the blood; And when they seem most baseless, most are not. He supports t h i s statement by suggesting that, just as the flower could not have grown i f there had not f i r s t been a seed, so man's i n t u i t i v e confidence i n immortality could not have arisen i f i t had not had some basis i n f a c t from which to s t a r t . He then suppresses the d i a l e c t i c a l thought that t h i s argument could hold true f o r the time when man despairs of there being a l i f e a f t e r death, too ("What i f despair and hope a l i k e be true?") and concludes, rather feebly, that, since death i s in e v i t a b l e , man w i l l f i n d l i f e easier to face i f he trusts h i s moments of hope, rather than the moments of doubt. Since there i s no r e a l proof one way or the other, he might as well choose the best a l t e r n a t i v e . Clough's love poems are the l a s t group which c a l l f o r consideration i n t h i s chapter, f o r the subject of love i s one that he gave a great deal of thought to. This i n i t s e l f i s not unusual i n a poet, but h i s approach to the subject, f o r a V i c t o r i a n , i s . As Henry Sidgwick rather wryly comments: Poets, i n f a c t , are the recognized preachers of the d i v i n i t y , e t e r n i t y , omnipotence of Love. I t i s true 6 3 that with some of them f i t s of despair alternate with enthusiasm, and they proclaim that Love i s an empty dream: but the notion of s c r u t i n i z i n g the enthusiasm sympathetically, yet s c i e n t i f i c a l l y , and estimating the precise value of i t s claims and assertions, pro-bably never entered into any poetic soul before Clough.13 The majority of h i s love poems are dispassionate and r e a l i s t i c studies, developed, f o r the most part, along the l i n e s of a d i a l e c t i c . They are the records of the attempts he made to analyze the nature of love and to discover the degree of importance i t should assume i n a man's l i f e . For, as many men before (and a f t e r ) him had turned to love as a refuge when r e l i g i o n f a i l e d them, he could not afford to overlook t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y i n h i s search f o r a s a t i s f a c t o r y solution to the problems of l i f e . The conclusion he comes to, however, d i f f e r s greatly from the attitude taken towards love i n a poem such as Arnold's "Dover Beach." He finds that the p o s s i b i l i t y of a man a c t u a l l y experiencing a love which would be Restorative, not to mere outside needs Skin-deep, but thoroughly to the t o t a l man (Dip., IX, 3 0 - 3 2 ) i s too uncertain to warrant h i s viewing i t as an end and f i n a l ^Sidgwick, "Review of 'The Poems . . .,'" p. 3 7 7 . F. L. Lucas also comments: "It was not only r e l i g i o u s uncer-t a i n t y that tormented him. Even i n love, where few men f i n d any d i f f i c u l t y i n being f o o l i s h enough, h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l con-science pursues him with doubts . . . ." (Ten V i c t o r i a n Poets, p. 6 3 ) 6k answer i n i t s e l f . Thus, Dipsychus decides that such love e x i s t s , but . . . so, so rare, So doubtful, so exceptional, hard to guess; When guessed, so often counterfeit; i n b r i e f , A thing not possibly to be conceived An item i n the reckonings of the wise. (IX, 3 3 - 3 7 ) However, before a r r i v i n g at t h i s decision, Clough wrote a number of poems which i l l u s t r a t e the d i a l e c t i c i n theme—poems such as "When panting sighs the bosom f i l l " (p. k ) i n which he t r i e s to determine how one can decide i f the present emotion i s love. What are the symptoms of r e a l love, and should a person follow h i s i n s t i n c t s , h i s reason, both i n s t i n c t and reason, or some higher f a c u l t y i n t h i s matter? In the f i r s t stanza, Clough describes the experience to be analyzed i n the poem—the turbulent and contradictory f e e l i n g s which can be produced i n two people by a chance meeting of hands or eyes—and then proceeds to examine a number of possible ways of dealing with the question. In the second stanza, he considers the p o s s i b i l i t y that the emotion described i n stanza one may be only sexual desire. Gr i s i t but the vulgar tune, Which a l l that breathe beneath the moon So accurately l e a r n — s o soon? But, he answers himself i n stanza three, what i f "Reason" 65 suggests that the sympathy, admiration and esteem he f e e l s f o r the other person indicates that the emotion i s not just sexual a t t r a c t i o n , but love instead? However, before he can accept t h i s explanation, the inner debate begins again. The voice of "Pru-dence" speaks from within and warns him against making th i s "Irrevocable choice" too quickly, because, by so doing, he may f o r f e i t the chance of finding a truer love l a t e r o n — I hear high Prudence deep within, Pleading the b i t t e r , b i t t e r s t i n g , Should slow-maturing seasons bring, Too l a t e , the v e r i t a b l e thing. For, as reason entered the picture after the i n i t i a l sexual a t t r a c t i o n occurred, emotion may have prompted him to ration a -l i z e and to attribute q u a l i t i e s to the r e l a t i o n s h i p which i t did not, i n f a c t , possess. Hence, he may be mistaking a short-l i v e d a t t r a c t i o n f o r the more durable "treasure" which w i l l appear at some, future time. Thus, he turns i n stanza four to consider the p o s s i b i -l i t y that i t may be better to begin the rel a t i o n s h i p on a r a t i o n a l basis and then l e t the emotional aspect of i t develop. But t h i s approach proves to have l i m i t a t i o n s , also, f o r there i s no way of determining whether the emotion experienced l a t e r i s a l a s t i n g one or merely one of . . . Phosphoric exhalation bred Of vapour, steaming from the bed Of Fancy's brook, or Passion's r i v e r , 66 which w i l l quickly dry up and leave him with the f e e l i n g of having been denied The g i f t f o r which a l l g i f t s above Him praise we, Who i s Love, the giver. The argument, at t h i s point, reaches an impasse, as once again h i s reason i s incapable of solving the problem. There seems to be no r a t i o n a l way of determining i f the experience i s "Love11 or not, of resolving the d i a l e c t i c . Hence, i n order to reach some conclusion, he suggests i n stanza f i v e that Love must be a higher f a c u l t y than reason, "Of Seraph-kind, the l o f t i e r l o t , " which i s i t s own testimony, i t s own v a l i d a t i o n , and which includes and supersedes both emotion and reason and goes at once, by a type of i n t u i t i o n , to the truth. There i s no need to subject love to t h i s type of i n t e l l e c t u a l analysis, f o r , when man experiences i t , there w i l l be no doubts and hesitations l e f t — h e w i l l know. The d i a l e c t i c thus ends, once more, with Clough having to tr u s t "the larger hope" when he i s unable to answer the problem posed, by r a t i o n a l means. CHAPTER III MOOD, TONE, AND FORM " S t i l l as we go the things I see, E'en as I see them, cease to be; Their angles swerve and with the boat The whole perspective seems to f l o a t . Yet s t i l l I look and s t i l l I s i t , Adjusting, shaping, a l t e r i n g i t . ("Upon the water, i n the boat," p. 109) In view of the close r e l a t i o n s h i p which exists between mood and theme, i t i s natural that the d i a l e c t i c a l p r i n c i p l e should be r e f l e c t e d i n juxtaposed moods of Clough's poetry, as well as i n i t s themes. The c o n f l i c t i n g points of view which he attempts to reconcile or synthesize i n h i s poetry give r i s e to contrasting moods which r e f l e c t the i n t e l l e c t u a l debate. Sidgwick remarks on t h i s quality of Clough*s poetry: "He i s , then, pre-eminently a philosophic poet, communicator of moods that depend on profound and complex t r a i n s of r e f l e c -t i o n , abstract and highly refined speculations, subtle i n t e l l e c t u a l perceptions." 1 This i s true of at lea s t a good many of h i s poems—those i n which the opposing moods serve to point up and c l a r i f y the d i a l e c t i c i n theme. Sidgwick, "Review of 'The Poems . . . ,*" p. 367. 67 6 8 There are passages i n Clough*s longer poem, Dipsychus, which provide p a r t i c u l a r l y good i l l u s t r a t i o n s of the contrast i n mood—passages i n which the contrasting emotional attitudes adopted by Dipsychus and the S p i r i t towards a c e r t a i n s i t u a t i o n or question emphasize the two d i f f e r e n t views of l i f e they hold. Although, on the surface, Dipsychus appears to be a dialogue between two people, i t i s ac t u a l l y a "dialogue of the mind with i t s e l f , " an " i n t e r n a l subjective mental f i g h t , " as the S p i r i t i s a projection of Dipsychus* more worldly and m a t e r i a l i s t i c s e l f . The name, "Dipsychus," means "two-souled" or ''double-minded," and t h i s poem i s the record of the hero*s attempt to reconcile the soul and the world, the i d e a l and the r e a l , h i s desire f o r certainty and truth and the need f o r p r a c t i c a l action, h i s vague aspirations to Good and h i s strong a t t r a c t i o n to the things of t h i s world, the i n t u i t i o n s that come to him of a "More Beyond" and the voice of common sense which t e l l s him to "submit" and accept l i f e as i t i s . Dipsychus himself gradually becomes aware i n the course of the debate that the voice of the S p i r i t i s , i n f a c t , the creation of h i s own imagination, born of h i s r e f u s a l to face the f a c t that these baser thoughts are h i s own. In Scene I I , i n an attempt to ascertain the o r i g i n and nature of " t h i s persecuting voice that haunts me," he asks: Patrie Dickinson, "Books i n General," New Statesman  and Nation, v o l . 2 6 (October 2 3 , 1 9 L 3 ) , p. 2 7 1 . 69 Myself or not myself? My own bad thoughts, Or some external agency at work, To lead me who knows whither? (19-21) F i n a l l y , i n Scene X, he i s forced to admit the truth and exclaims: To thine own s e l f be true, the wise man says. Are then my fears myself? 0 double self? And I untrue to both. (62-64) This, then, i s why Clough gives the neutral name of " S p i r i t " to Dipsychus* antagonist, f o r he i s not e v i l incarnate, a d e v i l , or another Mephistopheles—rather, as Thomas Arnold remarks, "the * S p i r i t * i s h i s worldly s e l f — h i ' s own common sense; i r o n i c a l , sarcastic and prudent." 3 He i s the side of Dipsychus that would l i k e to give up the struggle to achieve perfection, t r u t h , and the Absolute and pursue more immediate and t e r r e s t r i a l goals, to forget the s p i r i t u a l and the i d e a l and think only of the material and the r e a l . As Clough says to h i s uncle i n the Epilogue to the poem: . . . 'perhaps he wasn*t a d e v i l after a l l . That's the beauty of the poem; nobody can say. You see, dear s i r , the thing which i t i s attempted to represent i s the con-f l i c t between the tender conscience and the world. Now, the over-tender conscience w i l l , of course, exaggerate the wickedness of the world; and the S p i r i t i n my poem may be merely the hypothesis or subjective imagination, formed--* (p. 2 9 L ) Thomas Arnold, "Arthur Hugh Clough: A Sketch," p. 113 7 0 The nature of the struggle which Dipsychus undergoes i n the poem i s i n t e n s i f i e d by the f a c t that there i s a basic truth of l i f e inherent i n many of the S p i r i t ' s arguments—a truth which i s contained i n h i s comment that . . . *Tis time you learn The Second Reverence, f o r things around. (XI, 1 1 5 - 1 6 ) For the S p i r i t i s not simply a c y n i c a l and corrupt opportunist; he i s the voice of Dipsychus* p r a c t i c a l common sense as well. I t i s h i s common sense which t e l l s him that l i f e necessitates compromise, that the r e a l demands man*s attention and apprecia-t i o n too, that one must, of necessity, . . . truck and practise with the world To gain the *vantage-ground to a s s a i l i t from. (XII, 3 7 - 3 8 ) The answer, thus, as usual, i s the mean which l i e s somewhere between the two extreme positions represented by Dipsychus and the S p i r i t . This, however, i s to anticipate the conclusion, f o r the greater part of the poem i s taken up with the debate between the S p i r i t and Dipsychus—each upholding h i s own view of l i f e and attempting to bring the other to accept t h i s opposite view. The two sides of the d i a l e c t i c are defined f o r the reader perhaps as much by the mood, s t y l e , and form of th e i r respective statements, as by the content. A f e e l i n g of idealism 71 and moral earnestness informs most of Dipsychus 1 utterances:—a depth of f e e l i n g and thought which, i n turn, i s r e f l e c t e d i n the formal and d i g n i f i e d style and tone of h i s speeches. On the whole, he speaks i n blank verse, uses words associated with formal usage, and employs a number of b i b l i c a l references i n h i s arguments. The S p i r i t , on the other hand, usually speaks i n simple rhyming couplets which have a j i n g l i n g , almost nursery-rhyme e f f e c t , employs an informal and c o l l o q u i a l s t y l e , and uses a number of slang words and popular expressions. The emotions expressed i n h i s speeches parody the high seriousness of Dipsychus. By contrast, the S p i r i t * s comments are l i g h t , s u p e r f i c i a l , m a t e r i a l i s t i c , c y n i c a l , bantering, and often b i t i n g l y s a r c a s t i c . This i s h i s way of attacking Dipsychus* ide a l i s m — b y r i d i c u l i n g i t and making i t appear to be a s i l l y and romantic whim. Katharine Chorley says: "He defines Mephistopheles as much by h i s metrical manner as by h i s sentiments. Mephistopheles speaks i n rhyme, and the metres used f o r h i s speeches are jaunty, design-ed to give an impression of smartness and cynicism. By contrast, Dipsychus speaks almost always i n blank verse with smoother and richer cadences, and t h i s emphasizes, pa r t l y by i t s association with poems of a high moral and i n t e l l e c t u a l purpose, h i s moral seriousness and h i s meditative and unworldly character. (Arthur Hugh Clough: The Uncommitted Mind, p. 2$k) 7 2 Scene I, f o r example, finds Dipsychus i n the same frame of mind and the same mood as when Clough wrote "Easter Day." The l o c a l e has changed from Naples to Venice, but the s i t u a t i o n which provoked h i s outburst i n Naples has not. The discrepancy between the significance of the Resurrection--the idea of psychological and moral transformation, of r i s i n g to a new s e l f — a n d the corruption and sin he sees around him brings the old verses to mind, and he repeats the f i r s t four l i n e s of "Easter Day," ending again with the anguished d e n i a l , "Christ i s not r i s e n . " The S p i r i t ' s condescending and mocking reply, C h r i s t i s not risen? Oh indeed! Wasn't aware that was your creed, ( 1 2 - 1 3 ) i s i n d i r e c t contrast to the moral seriousness and idealism i n -herent i n Dipsychus* outburst. The d i a l e c t i c i n mood operates here by a process of counterpoint—idealism i s set against materialism, and earnestness i s juxtaposed with facetiousness and light-hearted mockery. For the S p i r i t , as the m a t e r i a l i s t , as Dipsychus* worldly s e l f , speaks f o r the elements of l i f e that Dipsychus* conscience and r e l i g i o u s sense make him rebel against. His jeering words r e f l e c t the attitude the world adopts towards those who w i l l not accept i t s ways and conform to them— . . . Dear, how odd! H e * l l t e l l us next there i s no God. I thought *twas i n the Bible p l a i n , On the t h i r d day He rose again. ( 1 5 - 1 8 ) 7 3 R i d i c u l e i s a f a v o r i t e weapon of the world, as i s the use of a word such as "odd" to describe any deviation from the norm, fo r i t immediately suggests that there i s something wrong with the c r i t i c , rather than with what he i s attacking. As Scene I continues, the S p i r i t becomes the spokesman for the need to get the most enjoyment from every moment, from each sensual good that presents i t s e l f . He does not look beneath the bright surface of l i f e as Dipsychus does. For he lacks Dipsychus* v i s i o n of the i d e a l and hence, he cannot understand the disillusionment and repulsion which a s s a i l Dipsychus when he compares the revelry taking place around him with the " s i l e n t s t a r s " and with the aspirations and higher fe e l i n g s of man which these stars symbolize to him. Unable to reconcile h i s perceptions of the i d e a l with the r e a l i t y surrounding him, Dipsychus r e j e c t s the imperfect world; while the S p i r i t revels i n the action and gaiety and urges Dipsychus to j o i n the fun. The w i s t f u l and d i s i l l u s i o n e d mood evident i n Dipsychus* words at the end of t h i s scene i s opposed to the energetic, bracing, p r a c t i c a l , and jocular tone of the S p i r i t ' s advice to him. . . .Enjoy the minute, And the substantial blessings i n i t ; Ices, par exemple; evening a i r ; Company, and t h i s handsome square; ( 5 0 - 5 3 ) Up, up; i t i s n ' t f i t With -beggars here on steps to s i t . Up--to the cafe! Take a chair and j o i n the wiser i d l e r s there. ( 5 5 - 5 8 ) 7 k Singing, ye gods, and dancing t o o — Tooraloo, tooraloo, tooraloo, loo; Fiddle d i , diddle d i , diddle d i da Figaro su, Figaro g i u — Figaro qua, Figaro l a j How he l i k e s doing i t ! Ah, ha, ha! ( 6 3 - 6 8 ) One notes i n t h i s passage the impression of action and energy which i s conveyed by the short, s w i f t l y moving lines, and by the numerous ejaculations and exclamatory sentences, the slang expressions, and the words which suggest singing and laughter. The l i n e s capture p e r f e c t l y the light-hearted mood of the crowd, th e i r complete absence of in t e r e s t i n the moral questions which concern Dipsychus and which prompt h i s w i s t f u l and d i s -i l l u s i o n e d reply': "While these do what—ah heaven!" ( 6 9 ) . Scene IIA, which takes place at the quays, continues the debate begun i n the public garden i n Scene II with the S p i r i t s t i l l urging Dipsychus to cast aside h i s moral scruples and have a b r i e f a f f a i r with one of the I t a l i a n g i r l s walking b y -I l l ' s only cure i s , never doubt i t , To do—and think no more about i t . Dipsychus cannot regard the matter so l i g h t l y , however; he has an i d e a l conception of love and f e e l s that i t should exi s t on a higher plane than the sexual one. He c a l l s on h i s memories Of mothers, and of s i s t e r s , and chaste wives, And angel'woman-faces we have seen, And angel woman-spirits we have guessed, And innocent sweet children, and pure love, ( 5 - 8 ) 75 to keep him pure and prevent him from accepting the S p i r i t ' s advice. The mood of "righteous 1 1 contempt i n which he attacks the S p i r i t ' s attitude towards women and love provides a s t r i k i n g contrast to the mood of amused tolerance evident i n the S p i r i t ' s reply. Dipsychus says: Could I believe that any c h i l d of Eve Were formed and fashioned, raised and reared f o r nought But to be swilled with animal delight r> And y i e l d f i v e minutes* pleasure to the male— (k2-H>5) The words, "swilled 1 1 and "animal delight," very powerfully convey Dipsychus* contempt for t h i s type of relat i o n s h i p and the attitude taken by the S p i r i t and the world towards i t — t h e s p i r i t of acceptance and amused tolerance evident i n the S p i r i t ' s r e p l y : With a hey and a ho, and a hey nonino! Betwixt the acres of the rye, With a hey and a ho, and a hey nonino? These pretty country f o l k s would l i e — In the spring time, the pretty spring time. ( k 6 - 5 D This carefree song which echoes " I t was a lover and h i s l a s s " from As You Like I t i l l u s t r a t e s how l i g h t l y such a rel a t i o n s h i p i s generally regarded. By contrast, the seriousness of Dipsychus* approach to the subject stands out even more c l e a r l y — f o r the S p i r i t ' s r e ply i s a s a t i r i c mockery of a l l Dipsychus* fe e l i n g s I t a l i c s mine. 7 6 and thoughts about love. The form, mood and content of t h e i r statements once again, then, are d i a l e c t i c a l l y opposed. The second major topic to be discussed i n t h i s chapter i s the way i n which the d i a l e c t i c a l p r i n c i p l e reveals i t s e l f i n the form of Clough*s poetry. Before beginning, i t would be well to c l a r i f y what i s meant by form here. My examination of the d i a l e c t i c i n form i s based on the older l i t e r a r y use of the term—form i n the sense of an external arrangement of stanzas, l i n e s , and words, rather than i n the more modern sense of organic form. I have chosen to adopt t h i s approach to the question of form, because-I f e e l that, as a number of Clough*s shorter poems show an external d i a l e c t i c a l pattern, t h i s method i s more suitable tb the poems under discussion. In "The human s p i r i t s saw I on a day" (p. 1), f o r example, the d i a l e c t i c i n form i s p a r t i c u l a r l y evident i n the second stanza, which consists of a series of questions and answers that point up the two d i f f e r e n t attitudes to l i f e 6 examined i n t h i s poem: Dost thou not know that these things only seem?— I know not, l e t me dream my dream. Are dust and ashes f i t to make a t r e a s u r e ? — I know not, l e t me take my pleasure. What s h a l l a v a i l the knowledge thou hast sought?— I know not, l e t me think my thought. What i s the end of s t r i f e ? — See the discussion of t h i s poem which appears i n Chapter I I , p. 5 6 . 77 I know not, l e t me l i v e my l i f e . And when the rest were over past, I know not, I w i l l do my duty, said the l a s t . In the general plan of the poem, there i s evidence of the d i a l e c t i c a l p r i n c i p l e also. Stanza one establishes the topic and the basic positions taken by men towards the topic and sets the scene, and stanza two develops the thesis and a n t i -thesis by a series of questions and answers. Stanza three pushes the l a s t answer to i t s l o g i c a l conclusion—when l i f e i s f i n i s h e d , w i l l he s t i l l be able to r e l y on duty, "Or w i l t thou be where there i s none?"; and f i n a l l y , stanza four resolves the d i a l e c t i c by a compromise solution which outlines the need to arr i v e at "true ignorance" f i r s t before one then, of necessity, turns to duty. The subject of the poem, "Say w i l l i t , when our h a i r s are grey" (p. 3 8 8 ) , i s old age and how one can best occupy one*s time then. Glough i s confronted by a number of pos s i -b i l i t i e s , and, as he i s unable to decide which one of them i s the most r e l i a b l e source of comfort, he presents these various points of view i n the form of questions, rather than i n the form of statements. The stanza arrangement i n the poem, then, i s not too important; rather, the d i a l e c t i c i n form resides i n the grouping of l i n e s , with every few l i n e s constituting another question and an alt e r n a t i v e point of view. 78 Say, w i l l i t soothe lone years to extract From f i t f u l shows with sense exact Their sad residuum small of fact? W i l l trembling nerves t h e i r solace f i n d In p l a i n conclusions of the mind? Gr were i t to our kind and race, And our instructed s e l f , disgrace To wander then once more i n you, Green f i e l d s , beneath the pleasant blue; To dream as we were used to dream, And l e t things be whate'er they seem? One remembers here that the fourth sonnet on death, "But whether i n the uncoloured l i g h t of Truth"'' (p. 398), also takes the form of a series of questions and that Clough i s not able to resolve the dilemma there either—"Who about t h i s s h a l l t e l l us what to think?" Perhaps the most c h a r a c t e r i s t i c pattern that the d i a l e c t i c i n form takes, however, i s the one found i n miniature i n the f i r s t stanza of "*01d things need not be therefore true*" (p. 89). *01d things need not be therefore true,* 0 brother men, nor yet the new; Ah! s t i l l awhile the old thought r e t a i n , And yet consider i t again! The f i r s t l i n e states the t h e s i s , the second l i n e gives the a n t i t h e s i s , and the following l i n e s suggest a possible solution. See Chapter I I , p. 60 79 I f one expands t h i s basic pattern, one has the form which i s present i n a good many of Clough's poems. The f i r s t stanza of such a poem usually introduces the topic of the debate and the c o n f l i c t i n g opinions generally held about the top i c . Then, i n the middle section of the poem, the thesis and antithesis are examined i n d e t a i l and the i r respective merits and f a l l a c i e s c a r e f u l l y noted. F i n a l l y , the poem concludes either with an admission of defeat i n the l a s t stanza, as no answer can be reached at the moment, with the decision to avoid adopting either point of view u n t i l some further truth i s revealed, or with a d e f i n i t e synthesis or solution which has either been arrived at i n t e l l e c t u a l l y , or, as i n most cases, by s h i f t i n g to the realm of the emotional or the i d e a l . This i s b a s i c a l l y the pattern followed i n the poem, "Whence are ye, vague desires" (p. 3 8 6 ) . In stanzas one and two, Clough presents the problem to be worked out i n the poem— Whence are ye, vague desires, Which carry men along, However proud and strong; And, having ruled to-day, Tomorrow pass away? Whence are ye, vague desires? Whence are ye? Then i n stanzas three and four, c a r e f u l l y balancing one point of view against the other, he examines two of the explanations which could possibly be advanced by men concerning the source 80 of these vague aspirations and longings which unsettle and perplex mankind. From seats of b l i s s above, Where angels sing of love; Or from the a i r s around, Or from the vulgar ground, Whence are ye, vague desires? Whence are ye? One notices that the question, "Whence are ye, vague desires?", i s repeated at the end of each stanza u n t i l a conclusion i s reached—whereupon the form of the l i n e changes to the exclama-t i o n , "Ah yet, ye vague desires,/Ah yet!" The f a c t that the r e f r a i n i s set off from the other l i n e s i n the stanza also serves to emphasize Glough 1s uncertainty and the d i f f i c u l t y he has i n solving t h i s problem. From stanza f i v e to stanza eight, he catalogues the ef f e c t which these desires have on men, women, boys and g i r l s , but i s s t i l l unable to arrive at an answer to the question. The turning point comes i n stanza nine when Clough, finding that the problem cannot be solved r a t i o n a l l y , decides to trust h i s i n t u i t i o n and emotions and the affirmative conclusion that these lead him t o — Ah yet, though man be marred, Ignoble made and hard; Though broken women l i e In anguish down to die; Ah yet, ye vague desires, Ah yet! The petals of to-day, To-morrow f a l l e n away, 81 S h a l l something leave instead, To l i v e when they are dead; When you, ye vague desires, When you Have vanished, to survive; I Gf you indeed derive Apparent earthly b i r t h , But of f a r other worth Than you, ye vague desires, Than you. , Another external form that the d i a l e c t i c a l p r i n c i p l e • often assumes i n Clough*s poetry i s that of a debate between two people or groups of people. In the poem, "Thesis and An t i -t h e s i s " (p. 400), f o r example, the form necessarily follows the theme of a debate between age and youth—the perennial argument between d i f f e r e n t generations which p i t s wisdom and experience against youth's enthusiasm and desire to l i v e and experience f o r i t s e l f . - The poem begins with the young people's plea to the older generation not to judge them before l i s t e n i n g to th e i r side of the argument— I f that we thus are g u i l t y doth appear, Ah, g u i l t y tho' we are, grave judges, hear! Stanza one, thus, i s concerned with the development of the the s i s , with youth's point of view and the argument that, i f th e i r elders have erred i n th e i r youth, have indulged i n any sensuous and eager l i v i n g ("—as which of you has n o t ? — " ) , then they should take this f a c t into consideration and not be too harsh on those who are i n that stage of l i f e now. 82 Then be not stern to f a u l t s yourselves have known, To others harsh, kind to yourselves alone. Stanza two contains the a n t i t h e s i s — t h e older people's r e p l y to youth. They consider the point made i n the preceding stanza and admit i t s v a l i d i t y — " T h a t we went wrong we say not i s not t r u e " — , but decide that the f a c t that they erred does not d i s q u a l i f y them as judges, but, on the contrary, increases t h e i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to see that th e i r youngsters do not make the same mistakes. But, i f we erred, were we not punished too? I f n o t — i f no one checked our wandering f e e t , — Shall we our parents* negligence r e p e a t ? — For future times that ancient loss renew, If none saved us.,forbear from saving you, Nor l e t that j u s t i c e i n your f a u l t s be seen Which i n our own or was or should have been? In stanza three, youth makes one l a s t attempt to bring the older generation to accept i t s point of view— Yet, yet, r e c a l l the mind that you had then, And, so r e c a l l i n g , l i s t e n yet again. "I f you escaped," they argue, i t i s c l e a r l y proof that "impunity may leave a c u l p r i t good," and " i f you were punished," you, doubtless, did not f e e l then, as you do now, that the punish-ment was just. They then conclude t h e i r argument by asking t h e i r elders to follow a middle course which w i l l avoid the extremes inherent i n the "indulgence" of youth and the "severity" of a g e — 8 3 In youth's indulgence think there yet might be A truth forgot by grey severity; That s t r i c t n e s s and that l a x i t y between, Be yours the wisdom to detect the mean. Stanza four contains age's answer to t h i s request and the conclusion of the poem. The basic idea expressed here by the older men i s that i t i s impossible to resolve the debate i n a way which w i l l s a t i s f y both sides, because, i f they took every aspect of the question into account, they would never act. There comes a time when a decision must be made and adhered to, even though i t be a rather a r b i t r a r y one. Here Clough r u e f u l l y laughs at h i s own tendency to weigh every point of view before coming to a d e c i s i o n — a tendency which too often prevented him from acting. *Tis possible young s i r , that some excess Mars youthful judgment and old men's no l e s s ; Yet we must take our counsel as we may For ( f l y i n g years t h i s lesson s t i l l convey), *Tis worst unwisdom to be overwise, And not to use, but s t i l l correct one's eyes. The external form of this poem, then, i s that of a debate— with stanza one presenting youth's point of view (the t h e s i s ) ; stanza two, age's (the a n t i t h e s i s ) ; stanza three returning to youth again; and stanza four, to age and the conclusion of the poem. CHAPTER IV IMAGERY AND CHARACTERS "I also know not, and I need not know, Only with questionings pass I to and f r o , Perplexing these that sleep, and i n their f o l l y Imbreeding doubt and sceptic melancholy." ("The human s p i r i t s saw I on a day," P. 1) This f i n a l chapter w i l l discuss imagery and characters, the imaginative and dramatic embodiment of the d i a l e c t i c i n theme dealt with i n Chapter I. That Clough possessed the imaginative resources of a poet i s clear from the magnificent imagery present i n a shorter poem, such as "Say not the struggle naught a v a i l e t h " (p. 63)— For while the t i r e d waves, vainly breaking, Seem here no p a i n f u l inch to gain, Far back through creeks and Inlets making Came, s i l e n t , flooding i n , the main, And not by eastern windows only, When daylight comes, comes i n the l i g h t , In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly, But westward, look, the land i s bright. Or, i n a longer poem, such as The B o t h i e — But a revulsion wrought i n the brain and bosom of E l s p i e ; And the passion she just had compared to the vehement ocean, Urging i n high spring-tide i t s masterful way through the mountains, 8 5 Forcing and flooding the s i l v e r y stream, as i t runs from the inland; That great power withdrawn, receding here and passive, F e l t she i n myriad springs, her sources, f a r i n the mountains, S t i r r i n g , c o l l e c t i n g , r i s i n g , upheaving, forth-outflowing, Taking and jo i n i n g , r i g h t welcome, that d e l i c a t e r i l l i n the v a l l e y , F i l l i n g i t , making i t strong, and s t i l l descending, seeking, With a b l i n d f o r e f e e l i n g descending ever, and seeking, With a d e l i c i o u s f o r e f e e l i n g , the great s t i l l sea before i t ; There deep int o i t , f a r , to carry, and lose i n i t s bosom, Waters that s t i l l from t h e i r sources exhaustless are f a i n to be added. (VII, 1 5 3 - 6 5 ) However, i n the few poems of Clough i n which the d i a l e c t i c i s conveyed primarily through imagery, the imagery i t s e l f i s not, on the whole, t h i s successful. In these poems, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n "Why should I say I see the things I see not" and "The S i l v e r Wedding! on some pensive ear," the reader i s aware that the images are being used to present the terms of an argument and hence, they do not evoke as intense an emotional response from him. Analysis and reason seem to be more dominant here than imagination and emotion—with the exception of the poem, "Epi-Strauss-Sum," i n which a more imaginative fusion of thought, f e e l i n g , and image takes place. In the poem, "Epi-Strauss-ium" (p. *+9), Clough returns once more to the subject of the Straussian Higher C r i t i c i s m of the B i b le i n an e f f o r t to determine whether man should recog-nize and a c c e p t — 86 Matthew and Mark and Luke and holy John Evanished a l l and gone!— the change which the Straussian c r i t i c i s m has wrought i n h i s view of C h r i s t i a n i t y or whether he should f e e l a sense of irreparable l o s s — Are, say you, Matthew, Mark and Luke and holy John? Lost i s i t ? l o s t , to be recovered never? After examining the nature of r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f before and a f t e r Strauss, he concludes that, although r e l i g i o n has l o s t much of i t s richness and colour, i t i s now more i n accordance with reason and Truth. This i s a rather prosaic statement of the subject matter of "Epi-Strauss-ium," however|' fo r Clough achieves a more genuinely imaginative expression of theme by embodying the d i a l e c t i c and the conclusion i n imagery. Truth (Clough 1s term f o r God) i s represented i n the poem by the sun, "the Orb." Formerly, Clough says, the sun shone through the multi-coloured stained glass windows of medieval churches (representing t r a d i t i o n a l C h r i s t i a n i t y with i t s dogmas and r i t u a l s , and i t s b e l i e f i n the B i b l e as i n s p i r e d truth) that "intercepted" the l i g h t — Yea, he that e r s t , h i s dusky curtains q u i t t i n g , Through Eastern pictured panes h i s l e v e l beams transmitting, With gorgeous p o r t r a i t s blent, On them h i s g l o r i e s intercepted spent. But, since Strauss, the sun has moved to the southwest and now 87 shines "through windows p l a i n l y glassed," and, i n the bright l i g h t of Truth which the clear windows (reason) l e t pass through, b e l i e f i n everything but the essence of C h r i s t i a n i t y has disappeared. Thus, a f t e r balancing the advantages of the stained glass windows against those of the clear and p l a i n glass windows, Clough concludes that The place of worship the meantime with l i g h t Is, i f l e s s r i c h l y , more sincerely bright, And i n blue skies the Orb i s manifest to sight. S i m i l a r l y , i n the poem, "Why should I say I see the things I see not" (p. .21), Clough uses imagery to dramatize the debate taking place within him. Should he conform to the world's standards of behaviour or wait f o r the voice of h i s own conscience to show him the way, dance to the music of the world or of the soul. Part I of the poem begins with the defiant question, Why should I say I see the things I see not, Why be and be not? Since, i n f a c t , he neither understands many of the ideas people believe i n , nor f e e l s n a t u r a l l y i n c l i n e d to act, think and respond i n the prescribed manner, he cannot see why he should conform to the standards of society and "dance about to music that I hear not." For, i n so doing, he i s playing the part of a hypocrite and denying h i s own i n d i v i d u a l i t y . In the following 88 l i n e s , Clough proceeds to answer t h i s question himself, c i t i n g through an extended metaphor of the dance of l i f e the high price of non-conformity— Who standeth s t i l l i * the street Shall be hustled and justled about; And he that stops i * the dance s h a l l be spurned by the dancers* f e e t , — Shall be shoved and twisted by a l l he s h a l l meet, And s h a l l r a i s e up an outcry and rout. His consideration of the problems which r e s u l t from a r e f u s a l to think and act l i k e most people causes him to question next the very basis of h i s i n i t i a l s t a n d — h i s con-fidence i n the v a l i d i t y of h i s own feelings and b e l i e f s . What i f , he thinks, h i s reluctance to take h i s part i n the "dance" i s the r e s u l t of h i s own f a i l u r e to understand? Perhaps up to now a "humming" i n h i s ears has prevented him from hearing the "music" that the rest of the world seems to hear, and, once t h i s s t a t i c c l e a r s , he w i l l suddenly " i n a moment read the whole" and v o l u n t a r i l y take h i s place i n s o c i e t y — And hand i n hand, and heart with heart, with these ret r e a t , advance; And borne on wings of wavy sound, Whirl with these around, around, Who here are l i v i n g i n the l i v i n g dance? In view of t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y , i t may be best to "keep amid the throng" and go through the motions of l i f e f or the present. For, by re j e c t i n g society too quickly, he may miss the chance to 89 acquire the knowledge that the others seem to possess—and "Why f o r f e i t that f a i r chance?" However, the inner debate does not end here; f o r , before he can act on t h i s thought, h i s old doubts re-assert themselves and he c r i e s i n sudden f e a r : Alas? alasI•alas?-and what i f a l l along The music i s not sounding. This expression of doubt marks the conclusion of Part I and h i s examination of one point of view—namely, the view that there i s only one version of truth, the world's, and man must either accept these rules of conduct or else face l i f e alone without any guide to action. In Part I I , Clough weighs the p o s s i b i l i t y of there being two guides that man can follow when a c t i n g — " A r e there not, then, two musics unto men?" The d i a l e c t i c i n thi s section of the poem i s conveyed primarily through imagery, with Clough balancing two images—the music of the world against the music of the s o u l — a n d thus seeking to determine which i s the most trustworthy sound f o r man to l i s t e n to. The decision which he f i n a l l y reaches i s apparent from the beginning i n the adjectives used to describe these two musics. He finds that the music of the world i s "loud and bold and c o a r s e " — Only of fumes of f o o l i s h fancy bred, And sounding so l e l y i n the sounding head. 90 Men are so overpowered by the volume of t h i s music that they f a i l to r e a l i z e that i t i s leading them astray, that i t i s based not on Truth, but on f a l s e and m a t e r i a l i s t i c values. The music of the soul, i n contrast, i s "soft and low," Stealing whence we not know, P a i n f u l l y heard, and e a s i l y forgot, With pauses oft and many a silence strange; (And s i l e n t oft i t seems, when s i l e n t i t i s not). As man i s pressed upon from every side and e n c i r c l e d by such va r i e t y of opinion, i t i s hard f o r him to f i n d the true way to l i v e . However, i f man r e s i s t s the i n c l i n a t i o n to follow the louder music of the world and searches, instead, h i s own soul and conscience, he w i l l , Clough f e e l s , eventually be rewarded with a glimpse of Truth. This i s the conclusion that he comes to i n Part I I I , as once again he i s forced to resolve h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l and s p i r i t u a l d i f f i c u l t i e s by trusting to h i s i n t u i t i v e b e l i e f i n the ultimate emergence of Truth, to h i s f a i t h that, i n time, Though drums do r o l l , and pipes and cymbals r i n g ; So the bare conscience of the better thing Unfelt, unseen, unimaged, a l l unknown, , May f i x the entranced soul *mid multitudes alone. One notes i n t h i s passage that, once again, Clough makes no attempt to define the nature of t h i s Truth, for fear that, i n so doing, he may misrepresent or d i s t o r t i t . 9 1 The expression of t h i s poem, with perhaps the exception of Part I I I , i s not as genuinely imaginative as that found i n "Epi-Strauss-lum. M The imagery appears, at times, to be imposed on the argument, and the poem, as a whole, appeals more to the i n t e l l e c t than to the emotions. However, the contrasting images of the music of the world and the music of the soul do serve to make the terms of the inner debate more concrete. In the l a s t poem to be considered here, "The S i l v e r Wedding? on some pensive ear" (p. 1 9 ) , the imagery embodying the d i a l e c t i c seems rather contrived. This i s perhaps because, as i s the case with most occasional poems, the creative impulse arose not from a personal emotion or problem of Clough*s, but from an external source, a request that he write a few verses to commemorate some friends* twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. The way i n which he works out the d i a l e c t i c by using imagery taken from metallurgy, the art of separating and r e f i n i n g metals, i s rather ingenious. The subject of the poem, as one might expect, i s romantic love and the gradual change which i t undergoes with the "subtlest alchemy of the years," as i t i s refined i n the crucible of l i f e . Clough begins by balancing the i n t e n s i t y of the i n i t i a l emotion— The golden joys of fancy's dawning bright, The golden b l i s s of, Woo*d, and won, and wed— 92 a g a i n s t the more subdued a t t r a c t i o n he f e e l s must exis t now after twenty-five years have passed. As g o l d i s a p u r e r and more valuable metal than s i l v e r , the c o n t r a s t i n g images that he u s e s to d e s c r i b e each state C g o l d v e r s u s s i l v e r ) s u g g e s t that t h e i r love was at i t s height when they were f i r s t married. Hence he c o n c l u d e s : Ah, golden then, but s i l v e r now? In sooth, The years that pale the cheek, that dim the eyes, And s i l v e r o'er the golden h a i r s of youth, Less prized can make i t s only p r i c e l e s s p r i z e . One f i n d s i n the following stanza, however, that Clough has proposed t h i s point of view only f o r the sake of argument; fo r he now offers an alternative explanation. "Not so," he says, the"golden joy" of youthful love was a "baser metal," the " f a i r y gold of dreams." In r e a l i t y , t h e i r love has been refined and transmuted into a more "genuine substance" by the crucible of l i f e , by the "cares and tears,/And deeds together done, and t r i a l s past" of the ensuing years. I t has been p u r i f i e d by suffering and experience and i s a stronger and truer emotion now than i t was at the beginning—such a "Strange metallurge i s human l i f e ! " He then takes t h i s analogy one step further and suggests that the s i l v e r of t h e i r present love w i l l also undergo a change and w i l l be refined into "pure" gold by th e i r f i f t i e t h anniversary or after t h e i r death. At t h i s point, the process w i l l be complete, and th e i r love, the 93 . . . earthly chains of metal true, By love and duty wrought and f i x e d below, Elsewhere w i l l shine, transformed, celestial-new, W i l l shine of gold, whose essence, heavenly bright, No doubt-damps tarnish, worldly passions f r a y ; Gold into gold.there mirrored, l i g h t i n l i g h t , S h all gleam i n g l o r i e s of a deathless day. The wheel.has thus turned a f u l l c i r c l e ; once again Clough compares t h e i r love to gold, but t h i s time i t i s pure gold, rather than the " f a i r y gold" of youth. Clough also uses characters to dramatize the clash of ideas and the balancing of points of view examined i n the second chapter. In the longer poems, such as "The Mystery of the F a l l , " Amours de Voyage, and The Bothie of Tober-na-vuolich. f o r example, the d i a l e c t i c i s conveyed, i n part, through the i n t e r a c t i o n and the exchanges between the characters. It may be best, before moving on to a more detailed consideration of the characters i n "The Mystery of the F a l l , " to look b r i e f l y at the characters of Claude and Mary i n Amours de Voyage and P h i l i p and E l s p i e i n The Bothie. Claude, the hero of Amours de Voyage (p. 177), i s a s t r i k i n g example of the harmful e f f e c t s which can r e s u l t from persistent s e l f - a n a l y s i s . He has indulged the habits of i n t r o -spection and of debating each question within himself before acting to such an extent that he has developed a morbid s e l f -consciousness and an almost pathological fear of action. What began as a healthy and praiseworthy desire f o r truth and knowledge 9k has degenerated into vexatious h a i r - s p l i t t i n g and a general paralysis of the w i l l to act. He i s a p i t i a b l e and yet, at the same time, a rather contemptible f i g u r e , f o r he i s weak. His i n t e l l e c t u a l conscientiousness i s a negative, rather than a p o s i t i v e q u a l i t y ; f o r he uses i t not as a means of a r r i v i n g at t ruth, but as a way of escaping the truth, of r a t i o n a l i z i n g or j u s t i f y i n g h i s fear of emotion and of becoming involved i n l i f e . He i s oppressed by h i s surroundings and d i s s a t i s f i e d with h i s age, but h i s anger i s not channelled i n any s p e c i f i c d i r e c t i o n , and hence i t becomes a destructive, rather than a constructive f o r c e — a s i t turns back on him and on those near to him. Lacking any clear goal or p o s i t i v e program of action, a l l he can do i s r a i l peevishly against the conditions and r e s t r i c t i o n s of h i s society. Mary Trevellyn, on the other hand, i s completely at home i n her age and i n the middle-class c i r c l e of society i n which she moves. She i s beset by none of the self-doubts and anxieties which perplex Claude, and hence she i s able to r e t a i n her serenity of mind and to sympathize with Claude without experiencing the same hesitations and fears that he does. As Claude says of her: I t i s a pleasure indeed to converse with t h i s g i r l . Oh rare g i f t , Rare f e l i c i t y , this? She can t a l k i n a r a t i o n a l way, can Speak upon subjects that r e a l l y are matters of mind and of.thinking, 9 5 Yet i n perfection r e t a i n her s i m p l i c i t y ; never, one moment, Never, however you urge i t , however you tempt her, consents to Step from ideas and fancies and loving sensations to those vain Conscious understandings that vex the minds of man-kind. No, though she t a l k , i t i s music; her fingers desert not the keys. ( I I , 2 5 5 - 6 2 ) Mary senses, from the beginning, the weakness i n C l a u d e — h i s fear of action and of i n s t i n c t and emotion—and r e a l i z e s that, given h i s character, there i s l i t t l e chance of th e i r mutual a t t r a c t i o n culminating i n a pos i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p , but she cannot help cherishing the hope that he w i l l p e r s i s t i n h i s search for her and that everything w i l l eventually work out. The d i f f e r e n t ways i n which Mary and Claude accept the odds of the i r never meeting again and the end of t h e i r love further enforces the difference between the i r characters and points of view. The i n i t i a l impulse which prompted Claude to leave Rome and set out i n search of the Trevellyns gradually wanes as the days move on and he s t i l l f a i l s to reach her. The delay gives him time to think and to begin questioning the r e a l i t y of the emotion he f e e l s , u n t i l f i n a l l y , after a lengthy mental debate, he decides: After a l l , do I know that I r e a l l y cared so about her? Do whatever I w i l l , I cannot c a l l up her image; Only, t r y as I w i l l , a sort of featureless outline, And a pale blank orb, which no r e c o l l e c t i o n w i l l add to. After a l l perhaps there was something f a c t i t i o u s about i t ; I have had pain, i t i s true: have wept; and so have the actors. (V, 1 5 6 - 6 5 ) 9 6 Thus, the o r i g i n a l emotion loses i t s immediacy as i t i s trans-lated into the realm of ideas, h i s old fear of action reasserts i t s e l f , and he ends by r a t i o n a l i z i n g h i s f a i l u r e with the thought that, a f t e r a l l , the love he f e l t was probably " f a c t i -t i o u s . " One remembers here James Osborne's comment that the love which has "run up and down sand dunes . . . f i n a l l y loses i t s e l f i n the waste." Mary's natural optimism and unwavering a f f e c t i o n would have led her to f i g h t against the circumstances which daunt Claude, but, with h i s submission, she i s forced to bow to the i n e v i t a b l e , too—although, as she says, " i n a d i f f e r e n t manner": Oh, and you see I know so exactly how he would take i t : Finding the chances p r e v a i l against meeting again, he would banish Forthwith every thought of the poor l i t t l e possible hope, which I myself could not help, perhaps, thinking only too much of; He would resign himself, and go. I see i t exactly. So I also submit, although i n a d i f f e r e n t manner. (V, 2 1 0 - 1 5 ) The conclusion of the love story i n The Bothie (p. 1 1 6 ) provides an i n t e r e s t i n g contrast to the impasse reached at the end of Amours de Voyage, especially; as the difference i n character which separates Claude and Mary i s similar i n kind, although not i n degree, to that which divides P h i l i p and E l s p i e . James Osborne, Arthur Hugh Clough, New York, Houghton M i f f l i n , 1 9 2 0 , p. 1 2 3 . 9 7 For, at the beginning, P h i l i p Hewson, l i k e Claude, cannot decide how he should l i v e , experiences a reaction against h i s age and h i s society, becomes known, i n consequence, among hi s friends as something of a " r a d i c a l , " and undergoes a period of "inner debate and choice" (VI, 6 3 ) before marrying E l s p i e . In h i s e f f o r t s to determine what q u a l i t i e s one should look f o r i n a woman, P h i l i p goes from one extreme to another; f i r s t he i d e a l i z e s Katie, the peasant g i r l , because of h i s theory that "labour and labour alone, can add to the beauty of women" ( I I , 2 6 ) and then, suffering a revulsion from Katie, he decides that the decorative personal beauty of the Lady Maria i s worth a l l the "labour and pain" of the "poor and the weary" (V, 5 1 ) needed to provide her with the comfort and service she i s accustomed to. In both instances, P h i l i p i s attracted by outward appearances, u n t i l f i n a l l y , after learning to know and love E l s p i e , he comes to recognize the truth of the prophecy of Adam, h i s tutor, that someday he w i l l learn to value only the good— Good, wherever i t * s found, you w i l l choose, be i t humble or s t a t e l y , Happy, i f only you f i n d , and finding do not lose i t . ( I I , 163-64) While P h i l i p i s a romantic and an i d e a l i s t , E l s p i e , on the other hand, i s more of a r e a l i s t . I t i s a glance of "simple superior i n s i g h t " from her eyes which shows P h i l i p how 9 8 f o o l i s h h i s i d e a l i z a t i o n of Katie i s . This exchange of glances occurs i n Part IV, before he i s even acquainted with E l s p i e , but her eyes seemed to him to say: —Yes, there he i s s t i l l i n h i s fancy, Letting drop from him at random as things not worth h i s considering A l l the benefits gathered and put i n h i s hands by fortune, Doesn't yet see we have here just the things he i s used to elsewhere; People here too are people, and not as f a i r y - l a n d creatures; He i s i n a trance, and possessed; I wonder how long to continue; I t i s a shame and a p i t y — a n d no good l i k e l y to f o l l o w — ( 1 3 5 - W For, l i k e Mary, E l s p i e possesses a t r a n q u i l i t y of mind and an i n t u i t i v e wisdom which keep her on a steady course, whereas P h i l i p often f e e l s l i k e a "needle which i n the shaken compass" f l i e s "hither and t h i t h e r " (VI, 5 2 ) . In the conclusion of the poem, the differences between them are resolved, as, with h i s marriage to E l s p i e , P h i l i p succeeds i n r e c o n c i l i n g the i d e a l and the r e a l , "Rachel-and-Leah" (IX, 1 7 1 ) . He learns the lesson contained i n the following quotation from Clough*s " l 8 k 9 Roma Notebook": It i s the virtue of man to know and learn the i d e a l ^ It i s the wisdom of man to accept and love the r e a l . - 3 — a truth of l i f e which Claude f a i l s to r e a l i z e . Moreover, the other issues which divide them—questions of formal education, 3As quoted i n G o l l i n , "The 1 9 5 1 E d i t i o n of Clough's Poems: A C r i t i c a l Re-examination," p. 1 2 5 . 9 9 of s o c i a l c l a s s , and of environment, of E l s p i e * s a b i l i t y to move up to h i s class or h i s own to move down, of l i v i n g a peasant l i f e i n the Highlands or residing i n the c i t y , of t i l l i n g the s o i l or finding some work commensurate with h i s c l a s s i c a l education—are resolved by th e i r decision to emigrate to New Zealand, to a new country where everyone must i n i t i a l l y work with h i s hands, but where an education w i l l s t i l l be of use, and where no established s o c i a l classes yet ex i s t . They are married, and gone to New Zealand. Five hundred pounds i n pocket, with books, and two or three pictures, Tool-box, plough, and the r e s t , they rounded the sphere to New Zealand. There he hewed, and dug; subdued the earth and h i s s p i r i t ; There he b u i l t him a home; there E l s p i e bare him h i s children, David and B e l l a ; perhaps ere t h i s too an E l s p i e or Adam; There hath he farmstead and land, and f i e l d s of corn and f l a x f i e l d s ; And the antipodes too have a Bothie of Tober-na-vuolich. ( I X , 1 9 3 - 2 0 0 ) ."The Mystery of the F a l l " (p. 4 1 0 ) finds Clough once more attempting to resolve h i s r e l i g i o u s d i f f i c u l t i e s through h i s poetry, with the inner debate focusing t h i s time on the B i b l i c a l account of the F a l l of Man. The d i a l e c t i c arises from Adam and Eve's e f f o r t s to understand the nature and s i g n i -ficance of the event which has just o c c u r r e d — t h e i r vague memories of the Garden of Eden, God warning them not to eat the IGO f r u i t of a ce r t a i n tree, the serpent, the act, the ensuing self-awareness, knowledge and g u i l t , and the expulsion from the Garden. For, as God has not appeared to them since the F a l l , they are l e f t to solve t h i s problem f o r themselves, just as modern man, i n the absence of certa i n knowledge, must f i n d the answers to these ultimate questions himself. Basi-c a l l y , the debate i s between the orthodox r e l i g i o u s p o s i t i o n and the modern post-Straussian position—between f a i t h and reason, between the s p i r i t of acceptance and the f e e l i n g that man must think and decide f o r himself, between the b e l i e f that Truth i s without and the conviction that Truth i s within the i n d i v i d u a l conscience, between a l i t e r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the F a l l and a symbolic i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of i t — w i t h Eve and Abel representing the t r a d i t i o n a l r e l i g i o u s view, and Adam and Cain, the modern p o s i t i o n . Scene I opens with Adam trying to calm Eve's fears by treating the whole issue of the F a l l i n as matter-of-fact a manner as possible, i n an e f f o r t to make her see that the deed cannot be undone and that t h e i r only course now i s to make the most of the l i f e l e f t to them: Since that l a s t evening we have f a l l e n indeed! Yes, we have f a l l e n , my Eve! Oh y e s ! — One, two, three, and f o u r ; — t h e appetite, The enjoyment, the aft e r v o i d , the thinking of i t — Specially the l a t t e r two, most s p e c i a l l y the l a s t . There, i n synopsis, see, you have i t a l l : Come, l e t us go and work! ( 1 - 7 ) 1G1 He suggests that the F a l l should not be viewed as a calamity or as cause f o r g u i l t and repentance, but as a necessary stage i n their development—for "that which we were, we could no more remain" ( 1 3 ) than a seed could. We were to grow. Necessity on us lay This way or that to move; necessity, too, Not to be over-careful t h i s or that, So only move we should. ( 1 6-19) Thus, he cannot see how they could be "damned to death eterne" and "parted from God" ( 1 2 5 ) for t h i s one act, as Eve believes; on the contrary, he welcomes t h i s g u i l t because i t makes him "fre e , " because i t has given him the opportunity to think and act f o r himself, to express h i s own i n d i v i d u a l i t y . The d e t a i l s connected with "the mighty mythus of the F a l l " he r e j e c t s as man-invented—as having resulted from man's attempt to explain the t r i a l s of l i f e i n terms of a punishment v i s i t e d on him by an angry God. Eve, however, i s obsessed by a sense of g u i l t and re-morse and refuses to be comforted by h i s l o g i c a l arguments. As. she i s b a s i c a l l y an emotional being, her fears cannot be calmed by Adam's appeal to reason. Her despairing words, "Oh, g u i l t , g u i l t , g u i l t ! " echo throughout the scene and lead up to her f i n a l prophecy of the s p i r i t u a l doubt and uncertainty which i s to torment future generations: 102 Ah me! alas! alas! More dismally i n my face stares the doubt, More heavily on my heart weighs the world. Methinks The questioning of ages yet to be, The thinkings and cross-thinkings, self-contempts, Self-horror; a l l despondencies, despairs, Of multitudinous souls on souls to come In me imprisoned f i g h t , complain, and cry. Alas! Mystery, mystery, mystery evermore. (121-32) One sees i n Scene II that Adam himself, i n spite of the c o n f i -dent pose he assumes i n front of Eve, i s not free from t h i s inner doubt. He i s divided within h i m s e l f — h i s emotions and i n s t i n c t s prompting him to regard the F a l l i n the same l i g h t as Eve and h i s reason t e l l i n g him that these fears are just c h i l d i s h fancies and that the world and man are the same as before. Moments of clear and l u c i d thought alternate i n him with moments of b l i n d panic and despair, but, even at the times of greatest stress, he never loses h i s c u r i o s i t y about l i f e , h i s confidence i n the future and i n h i s a b i l i t y to deal with any problem the years may bring, or h i s b e l i e f that eventually man w i l l pass through these " s t r a i t s of anguish and doubt" ( I I I , 5*+) and w i l l reach "the calm ocean" of "consummated consciousness of s e l f " (58). In f a c t , the r e s t l e s s , questioning i n t e l l e c t , which has become the dominant c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of f a l l e n man and which repels and t e r r i f i e s Eve, fascinates Adam. He revels i n the "curious seething process" ( I I , 57) of analysis and debate 1 0 3 taking place within him and i n the f e e l i n g of s e l f - r e l i a n c e and independence which th i s gives him. Eve, on the other hand, looks r e g r e t f u l l y at the past and longs f o r a return of t h e i r former ce r t a i n t y and peace of mind and the sense of dependence on a personal God that they had. The debate between them continues i n Scene IV, with Eve upholding the orthodox C h r i s t i a n view of the F a l l and of man's relat i o n s h i p to God, and Adam s t i l l t rying to convince her that God does not speak to man " i n that unmeaning a r b i t r a r y way" ( 5 2 ) , that the commandment "'You s h a l l not'" that she heard, came not from God, but from her own imagination, and that she must learn, as a l l men must, "to discern the Voice amidst the voices" ( 6 5 ) i n her heart. He believes that man must be the a r b i t e r of h i s own actions and that he must look for Truth i n h i s own conscience and not i n some outside a u t h o r i t y — For not by observation of without Cometh the Kingdom of the Voice of God: I t i s within u s — l e t us seek i t there. ( 5 8 - 6 0 ) The differences of personality and point of view which separate Adam and Eve become even more pronounced i n t h e i r sons. Abel surpasses Eve In h i s adoption of the orthodox C h r i s t i a n p o s i t i o n . His r e l a t i o n s h i p to God, whom he sees as a transcendent Being, i s the most important thing i n h i s l i f e . See Chapter I, f n . # 2 3 , p. 1 6 . 104 He views the s t i r r i n g s of h i s own s p i r i t and w i l l as essentially-e v i l and stresses the need f o r self-abnegation and humility, f o r unquestioning f a i t h , and fo r the submission of s e l f to the W i l l and the laws of God. He believes wholeheartedly i n the B i b l i c a l story of the F a l l , i n the need for prayer, repentance and penance, and i n the view that Redemption comes through Grace. His eyes and h i s thoughts are always turned upwards, and he f e e l s keenly the separation between himself and Adam and Cain: My GodJ spurn not my mother's prayer and mine. Since I was born, was I not l e f t to Thee, In an u n s p i r i t u a l and godless house Unfathered and unbrothered—Thine and hers? (VI, 6 -9 ) Cain, on the other hand, represents (even more than Adam) the secular, modern, s c e p t i c a l s p i r i t with i t s emphasis on reason and on s e l f - r e l i a n c e and self-development. One sees i n Scene VII that he i s primarily concerned with the development of h i s own nature and the exercise of h i s i n d i v i d u a l w i l l , and with taking h i s place i n the "world of action." His statements reveal h i s intense c u r i o s i t y about the world and about himself as an i n d i v i d u a l and h i s desire to test the powers that he f e e l s surging within him through a c t i o n — . . . a strange impulse, struggling to the truth, Urges me onward to put forth my strength, No matter how—Wild c u r i o s i t y 1 0 5 Possesses me moreover to essay This world of action round me so unknown; And to be able to do t h i s or that Seems cause enough, without a cause, f o r doing i t . ( 1 0 - 1 6 ) Thus, Scene VII ends with Cain's decision that he must perform some action which w i l l "vindicate my nature" and prove that "I also am, as Adam i s , a man" ( 2 k ) . When the impulse to act comes, i t r e s u l t s i n the murder of Abel. After the deed, Cain goes through a period of inner c o n f l i c t s imilar to the one that Adam underwent a f t e r the F a l l . His i n i t i a l reaction i s one of wild exultation at the vi c t o r y , at the thought that man can r i d himself of any one who " w i l l not l e t us be, nor leave us room to do our w i l l " (IX, 9 ) combined with a f e e l i n g of disappointment that the act was not more of a challenge, that Abel had not "struggled more"—"That passiveness was disappointing" ( 2 2 ) . Then, once he has time to think, he i s stricken with g u i l t and remorse and imagines that he hears voices asking him where h i s brother i s . The scene ends with h i s anguished cry: 0 Abel, brother mine, Where'er thou a r t , more happy far. than me? (M - 9 - 5 0 ) This experience does not cause Cain to change h i s basic p o s i t i o n , but i t does prompt him to modify i t s l i g h t l y . For 1 0 6 through the murder of Abel and h i s ensuing remorse and g u i l t , Cain comes to a knowledge of good and e v i l and to the r e a l i z a -t i o n that man i s responsible f o r h i s actions and that when he acts wrongly he must face the censure of h i s own conscience. Thus, i n Scene XI, when Eve begs him to repent and to seek "atonement from a gracious God" ( 1 2 ) , using the " r i t e s and holy means of Grace" ( 9 ) i n i t i a t e d f o r t h i s purpose, Cain neither denies h i s g u i l t , nor accepts her advice. He i s f u l l y aware of h i s s i n and of the f a c t that he w i l l bear the burden of g u i l t f o r the rest of h i s l i f e , but he asks f o r no outside aid, no " s e l f - d e l u s i o n " of forgiveness, to help him to endure the years a h e a d — a l l he asks i s "never to forget" what "one impulse b l i n d l y followed to i t s end" ( 2 8 ) resulted i n . He stands convicted of s i n before the only judge he reveres, h i s own conscience. Hence, even when Adam warns him against becoming "overscrupulous" (XIII, 6 ) and counsels him not to refuse the "due consolements" which l i f e brings, not to be "too wise for God" ( 7 0 ) , he does not heed him, but, instead, asks h i s father to curse him so that he w i l l always remember That to forget i s not to be restored; To lose with time the sense of what we did Cancels not what we did; what's done remains— I am my brother's murderer. (XIII, 3 5 - 3 7 ) He i s determined to face l i f e and a l l i t s bitterness and pain with no i l l u s i o n s and to f i n d h i s only comfort i n work and duty--1 0 7 "But welcome Fact, and Fact's best brother, Work" ( 5 2 ) . Mam's speech i n the f i n a l scene of the poem i n which he affirms that, i n spite of "doubt, despondency and death," the lack of c e r t a i n knowledge and, at times, the absence of f a i t h or hope, L i f e has been be a u t i f u l to me, my son, And i f they c a l l me, I w i l l come again (XIV, k7~k&) softens the severity of Cain's conclusion—as does the dream which Adam has i n t h i s scene. For, the merging in t o one of Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel which occurs i n h i s dream hints at the p o s s i b i l i t y of some future r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of the opposing views represented by these characters i n the poem, the reconci-l i a t i o n of f a i t h and reason, of orthodoxy and scepticism, perhaps through the adoption by a l l men of a philosophy similar to Strauss's. Thus, i n the dream, Adam sees Abel take Cain's hand and say: 'Forgive me, Cain. Ah me! my brother, sad has been thy l i f e , For my sake, a l l through me—how f o o l i s h l y ; Because we knew not both of us were r i g h t ' (XIV, 9 - 1 2 ) and, while he i s watching, they both fuse into one— The decomposing of those coloured l i n e s Which we c a l l e d you, th e i r fusion into one. And therewithal t h e i r vanishing and end. ( 1 7 - 2 0 ) 108 Then, Eve comes and asks to "vanish" into him, whereupon a general merging of the four characters takes p l a c e — I was a l o n e — y e t not alone—with her And she with me, and you with us, my sons, As at the f i r s t , and yet not wholly—yea, And that which I had witnessed thus i n you, The fusion and mutation and return, Seemed i n my substance working too. I slept. I did not dream, my sleep was sweet to me. ( 3 O - 3 6 ) CONCLUSION The main concern of t h i s paper has been to subject Clough's poetry to a textual analysis i n order to assess the presence i n i t of what I have c a l l e d the d i a l e c t i c a l p r i n c i p l e , to show how h i s most c h a r a c t e r i s t i c approach to experience i s carri e d over into h i s poetry and finds expression i n theme, mood, tone, form, imagery, and characters. The paper was organized according to these headings, because I f e l t that t h i s was the most natural method to use when dealing with Clough's poetry and also because I hoped that the adoption of these t r a d i t i o n a l c r i t i c a l terms would help to c l a r i f y the discussion f o r the reader—although I was aware, at the same time, that such d i v i s i o n s are necessarily rather a r b i t r a r y and that i t i s often d i f f i c u l t to separate "the dancer from the dance." The question which remains to be answered here i s whether Clough succeeded i n solving h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l and s p i r i t u a l problems, and i n conveying the solution through h i s poetry. A c a r e f u l examination of Clough*s poetry leads one to answer t h i s question i n the negative. The poems here analyzed, with perhaps the exception of "Easter Day, Part I I " and i t s conclusion derived from the Straussian Higher C r i t i c i s m of the B i b l e , record h i s f a i l u r e to cross "the darkling p l a i n " 109 1 1 0 and f i n d some new l i g h t of truth which would s a t i s f y him both emotionally and i n t e l l e c t u a l l y . The emphasis i n these poems thus tends to be an analysis and debate, rather than on syn-t h e s i s , and on reason, rather than on imagination. In many of them, the d i a l e c t i c exists as unresolved debate when Clough, unable to f i n d an i n t e l l e c t u a l synthesis, concludes with an admission of defeat, "Who about t h i s s h a l l t e l l us what to think?" or with the decision to accept neither the the s i s , nor the antithesis at the moment, but to wait, rather, f o r some further revelation of T r u t h — Receive i t not, but leave i t not, And wait i t out, 0 Manf At other times, when Clough 1s desire f o r certainty w i l l not permit him to l e t the d i a l e c t i c end i n an impasse, he i s forced to s h i f t the terms of the debate (as he s h i f t s the scene to New Zealand, to a new world, at the conclusion of The Bothie) and to "synthesize" h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l d i f f i c u l t i e s i n a realm of pure f e e l i n g or on an i d e a l p l a n e — a s , for example i n the poems, "Whence are ye, vague desires," "Shall I decide i t by a random shot," and "When panting sighs the bosom f i l l . " In these instances, when emotion and imagination take over from reason, the d i a l e c t i c moves to a resolution which cannot s t r i c t l y be c a l l e d a synthesis, because the affirmation Clough makes does not follow l o g i c a l l y from the argument of the I l l poem. Thus, the conclusion becomes an emotional, rather than an i n t e l l e c t u a l s o l u t i o n — u s u a l l y one i n which Clough ends by trusting an undefined "larger hope," when he i s unable to answer the problem posed by r a t i o n a l means. In the poem, "What we, when face to face we see," f o r example, he finds that i t i s impossible to validate man's b e l i e f that he i s serving a higher purpose than that of a passive instrument on earth and has a higher goal to reach by observation of l i f e or by reason, and comes f i n a l l y to trust h i s feelings and the hope that these lead him to i n order to arrive at a "solution" to the d i a l e c t i c — Ah yet, when a l l i s thought and said, The heart s t i l l overrules the head; S t i l l what we hope we must believe, And what i s given us receive; Must s t i l l believe, f o r s t i l l we hope That i n a world of larger scope, What here i s f a i t h f u l l y begun W i l l be completed, not undone. BIBLIOGRAPHY A. WORKS BY CLOUGH Clough, Arthur Hugh. The Poems and Prose Remains. With a Selection from His Letters and a Memoir. Edited by His Wife. London, Macmillan, 1 8 6 9 . 2 vols. Lowry, H. F., Norrington, A. L. P., and Mulhauser, F. L., eds. The Poems of Arthur Hugh Clough. Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1 9 5 1 . Mulhauser, Frederick L., ed. The Correspondence of Arthur Hugh Clough. Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1 9 5 7 . 2 vols. B. WORKS BY OTHER AUTHORS Armstrong, Isobel. Arthur Hugh Clough. Writers and Their Work: No. 148, London, Longmans, Green, 1 9 6 2 . Brooke, Stopford A. Four Poets: A Study of Clough. Arnold. Rossetti and Morris. London, Si r Isaac Pitman, 1 9 0 8 . Chorley, Katharine. Arthur Hugh Clough: The Uncommitted Mind. Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1 9 6 2 . F a i r c h i l d , Hoxie Neale. Religious Trends in English Poetry. Vol. IV: 1830 - 1 8 8 0 . C h r i s t i a n i t y and Romanticism i n  the V i c t o r i a n Era, New York, Columbia Univ e r s i t y Press, 1 9 5 7 . 5 vols. Heath-Stubbs, John. The Darkling P l a i n : A Study of the Later  Fortunes of Romanticism i n English Poetry from George  Parley to W. B. Yeats. London, Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1 9 5 0 . Houghton, Walter E. The V i c t o r i a n Frame of Mind T 1830-1870. New Haven, Yale Univ e r s i t y Press, 1 9 5 7 * Levy, Goldie. Arthur Hugh Clough f I 8 l 9 - l 8 6 l . London, Sidgwick and Jackson, 1 9 3 8 . 112 1 1 3 Lowry, Howard Foster, ed. The Letters of Matthew Arnold to  Arthur Hugh Clough. London, Oxford University Press, 1 9 3 2 , Lueas, F. L. Ten V i c t o r i a n Poets. 3 r d ed., Cambridge at the University Press, 1 9 k 8 . MacCarthy, Desmond. P o r t r a i t s . London, Putnam, 1 9 3 1 * Osborne, James Insley. Arthur Hugh Clough. New York, Houghton M i f f l i n , 1 9 2 0 . Runes, Dagobert D., ed. Dictionary of Philosophy. New York, Philosophical Library, 1 9 k 2 . Urmson, J . 0 . , ed. The Concise Encyclopaedia of Western Philosophy and Philosophers. London, Hutchinson, I 9 6 0 . , Wolfe, Humbert. "Arthur Hugh Clough." The Eighteen-Sixties: Essays by the Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature. , Edited by John Drinkwater, Cambridge at the University Press, 1 9 3 2 . Woodward, Frances J . The Doctor's D i s c i p l e s : A Study of Four Pupils of Arnold of Rugbv—Stanley. Gell« Clough, William Arnold. London, Oxford University Press, 1 9 5 k . C. PERIODICAL ARTICLES Arnold, Thomas. "Arthur Hugh Clough: A Sketch." Nineteenth  Century, v o l . k 3 (January I 8 9 8 ) , 1 0 5 - 1 6 . . Badger, Kingsbury. "Arthur Hugh Clough as Dipsychus." Modern  Language Quarterly, v o l . 1 2 ( 1 9 5 1 ) , 3 9 - 5 6 . Beatty, J . M. "Arthur Hugh Clough as Revealed i n His Prose." South A t l a n t i c Quarterly, v o l . 2 5 ( A p r i l 1 9 2 6 ) , 1 6 8 - 8 0 . D a l g l i s h , Doris N. "Arthur Hugh Clough:. The Shorter Poems." Essays i n C r i t i c i s m , v o l . 2 (January 1 9 5 2 ) , 3 8 - 5 3 * Dickinson, Patrie. "Books i n General." New Statesman and  Nation, v o l . . 2 6 (October 2 3 , 1 9 ^ 3 ) , 2 7 1 . Dowden, John. "Arthur Hugh Clough." Contemporary RevjLew, v o l . 12.(December I 8 6 9 ) , 5 l 3 - 2 * K Ilk G o l l i n , Richard M. "The 1 9 5 1 E d i t i o n of Clough*s Poems: A C r i t i c a l Re-examination." Modern Philology, v o l . 6 0 (November 1 9 6 2 ) , 1 2 0 - 2 ? . . Houghton, Walter E. "Arthur Hugh Clough: A Hundred Years of Disparagement." Studies i n English L i t e r a t u r e . 1500-1900. v o l . 1 (Autumn 1 9 6 1 ) , 35-61. Johari, G. P. "Arthur Hugh Clough at O r i e l and at University-H a l l . " PMLA. v o l . 6 6 (June 1 9 5 D , k 0 5 - 2 5 . Palmer, Francis W. "The Bearing of Science on the Thought of Arthur Hugh Clough." PMLA, v o l . 5 9 (March 19W, 2 1 2 - 2 5 . Perry, T. S. "Arthur Hugh Clough." A t l a n t i c Monthly, v o l . 3 6 (October 1 8 ? 5 ) , H09 - 1 8 . P r i t c h e t t , V. S. "Books i n General." New Statesman and Nation, v o l . kl (January 6 , 1 9 5 D , 1 5 - l o T Sidgwick, Henry. "Review of 'The Poems and Prose Remains of Arthur Hugh Clough, 1" Westminster Review, v o l . 9 2 (October 1 8 6 9 ) , 3 6 3 - 8 7 . Smidt, K r i s t i a n . "The I n t e l l e c t u a l Quest of the V i c t o r i a n Poets." English Studies, v o l . kO ( 1 9 5 9 ) , 9 0 - 1 0 2 . Symonds, John Addington. "Arthur Hugh Clough." Fortnig h t l y  Review, v o l . k , n.s. (December 1 8 6 8 ) , 5 8 9 - 6 1 7 . Timko, Michael. "The Poetic Theory of Arthur Hugh Clough." English Studies, v o l . k 3 (August 1 9 6 2 ) , 2 k 0 - k 7 . . "The S a t i r i c Poetry of Arthur Hugh Clough." V i c t o r i a n Poetry, v o l . 1 ( A p r i l 1 9 6 3 ) , 10H-l k. . "The 'True Creed* of Arthur Hugh Clough." Modern Language Quarterly, v o l . 2 1 ( i 9 6 0 ) , 2 0 8 - 2 2 . 

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