UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The conceptions of nature in the poetry of William Wordsworth and Matthew Arnold Cole, Desmond William 1948

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata


831-UBC_1949_A8 C64 C6.pdf [ 4.91MB ]
JSON: 831-1.0106856.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0106856-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0106856-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0106856-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0106856-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0106856-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0106856-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

Cccf Oh THE CONCEPTIONS" QF MATURE 1M THE POETRY OF  VSflLLtA«V- ^ORDSflORTH.AteP t&ATTHEP? A R MOLD-BY DESMOND W I L L I A M COLE A THESIS SUBMITTED IM PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR'.TMB. DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH THE UNIVERSITY OF BR IT I SH COLUMBIA SEPTEMBER 5 348. ^Jf A AB8E»A03f Of ^S3I3 this ©asay compareE %?d@«®2th*a end Arnold's conceptions of nature sad suggeete reasons tor the differences found. Both poets mre Keenly sensitive to the loveliness of the external uorld, sad found la no ture a coetMnft ond heeling pes©* for th® troubled mind of man. Both derived f-oneuouo ©ajoyaent from the beauties of nature, sad found in nature permanence, peace» QB<S tranquillity. Hie funderaentel difference In their doctrineB of nature te la their conceptions of abstract satmro. lo >?©rde*?orth, nature rcee e bsnevolent force which actively pGrtieipsted in tlx© moral end © p i n t u s l growth of ma. H© woo a doetrine of joy and eptimiem. fo Arnold* nature ©os a fs?©at and in-different force tfhich man must transcend. Hie wo© & doctrine of steiclea end peseloiosi. fhe differenceo ere laeialy dus to the progress In science and thour^t from the mld*ei$iteenth. to the raid-nineteenth century. Ttjrdsaorth inherited tho oi^fcteontb century belief in e benevolent end all^po&orful 2eity» rafeo saaifosted Sis flped-a o c o in natures, Sy e fspnttteels of this pftiloeo^hj?, the negfuaptlons of octree l o t tool At psychology t end hi© ot?a ex-perience, fee egploinoa t!*e aos?el end npirituol growth of aaa. iVord ©worth beliovsd thot through loves of nature, mn oos led to lev© of hia felloe? mon end of ©ed. Uo believed that nature participated in man* ID moral growths through tn© senees* ralth tiie e l d of mm eupro-Rcncuoua wowor - a *superseded soul*, nn f e u x i l i p r l i g h t 9 , will eh he believed to be the i a -ceinotion. Through £5emi-myatleel end visionary esperiencer, h® become convinced of the unity between the coul of sian and the eoul of nature. This met the source of hid joy in nature. M o l d tool* for gran tod &eny of the asrumntlons of nine-teenth century science regarding nature. Through these* and his own search for truth, he loot f a i t h in e benevolent force in the universe,, He mm do evidence of hertaony or teloologioal purpose in nature. HQ found in nature only an edifying example of tranquillity, oteadfaotness, end stoicism, fti© control tenet of hin doctrine me of the superiority of aan over nature s through his reason esd conscience* On a broader boolo , the change l a attitude to nature be-tween CordDworth one Arnold 1© due to the changed conception of i»6nt0 piece in the Chain of Being. In the Eighteenth cen-tury, sen held the eoct importont eerthly ploco in nature*@ Chain of felng, in the nineteenth century, he lost thet place. Th© Induetriel Revolution erected e materialist uorld in Qhioh only the f i t t e s t survived economically. Biologists end zo-ologists reduced mn to the level of e l l other creatures* Be lost his favoured place in the Chain of OsinflU- end for him nature lost s l l order end ptirnoelveneoe. A poacimlstlc view of neturo m& logieol end coasnon. he, who i n his youth, A dal ly wanderer among woods and f ields With l i v i n g U&ture hath been Intimate, . . . doth receive In measure only dealt out to himself, Knowledge and increase of enduring Joy From the great Nature that exists In works of mighty Poets. The Prelude, V, 586-595. TABLE OF CONTENTS I. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND 1. Eighteenth century attitude to nature, 2 . The Great Chain of Being. a. . The Chain, the principle of plenitude, and philosophical optimism. b. Reaction against idea of static creation. 3. Change in Attitude to Nature. a. Loss of faith. b. Skepticism and despair. II. THE COIJCEPTIGB OF MATURE III WORDSWORTH 19 . 1. Wordsworth's early life.and growth. 2 , Wordsworth end the French Revolution. 3. Return to nature. k. Nature as a moral force. 5. Love of nature to love of man. 6. nature as a source of sp i r i t u a l inspiration. III. THE CONCEPTION OF NATURE Hi ARBQLD 41 1. Arnold's sensitivity to nature. 2 . Desire for sense of unity x*ith nature. 3. Cosmos as a moral example to man. Arnold unable to accept Wordsworth's premises of benevolent nature. 5. Superiority of man over nature. 6. Hope for Ban. IV, CONCLUSIONS 55 V. BIBLIOGRAPHY \ * 59 1.s Historical Background. 2 . Williajn Wordsworth. 3. Matthew Arnold. Distinctly opposing vieor. of nature underly the poetry of William $orflaworta end Bfotthew Arnold. Arnold recognised t;ordGrjorth* c pre-e&inenee among the many Snellen poets of nature, and found in hiss poetry comfort end coneolation and 3oy, though, like urv, he wee unable to accept ^ordssorth'© aa&tftsptione about nature. Arnold*e orm conception of nature i a ffiore intellectually acceptable to us, though i t locks the SordGworthioB and optimism. It 1B the purpose of this paper to enunciate and compare the conceptions} of nature in the tfse poet© end te suggeet probable reeaone for their d i f -ferences. fc'erdefcorth'e poetry was, asong other things, the culmin-ation of the eighteenth century cult of nature. One scholar, after a thorough study of the nature poetry between fope and v.'ordswotfch, hu© found that ;.•••);'. The love of nature mae mote® in the hearts of men. Their eyes mm open to he# beauty. faeir ears drank in her harmonies. Their apirite were ccn-O C I O U D of her higher g i f t s . Before ^ordasorth fsort of hie characteristic thought» on nature had received f a i r l y explicit statement.1 ffordswotfth^s conception of nature ©aa baaed on the eigh-teenth century philosophy which he inherited and modified* At the time of hie birth in 1770 the univerpe was recorded as the divine srerk of a great and beaeveient creator, flswton had 1 Syr a Beynoids, tiature in Bnfdlah poetry Between ?op@  and %ordsi§orth,B.3$5t C. de Haae. inTfrettire end the Country  i n ^ l i e h Beetrv of the Fir at Half of the Klahteenth Century, end"S.r'••> ffeane. in 4sY?ectl; oF^l^hteenth Century Weture Poetry in general support S3Eir"Hefamo^^ dstftOBStrated at the clo e of the previous century the! the cosmic spheres end the universe i tself fere controlled end directed by 0 universal end fixed %m of gravitation* The more sen pondered Hevaton's le#e* the more they became im-pressed with the intricate yet perfect order of the universe* It seemed to them that this greet end wonderful mechanism* with i t s infinite ©umber of interdependent pert©, ma set in oper-ation and kept in order by some oanipotont Oreat Artif icer. The fullaesa and diversity of the creation m& the manifest-stiou of l i e s tal l eiid poster. Stature was the elesr end suf-ficient evidence of the Creator,. It proceeded from divinity and war? i t se l f divinity* Many poets end morelista bocom© nature Seists sad leeked "through $etur© up to Heturs'e Qod.1' Wherever they Rooked they feund proof© at their preconceived notions of the Master Crsfttrasn. Themeon is his Hyggi on the  Masons preiees the "foree dlvine% 0 tolghty He ture t wim subetittite of Providence'. Isipowerea creatress! Or thou impoteeriag Deity, ft Supreme Creator£ Thee I invoke end thee alone adore. 8 Henry Brooke believed that, The One grows sundry by creative power„ The eternal*e found ia each revolving hour} Th' Immanoe appears in essry poiat of apace ®t* unchangeable* ia nature*^ verting foce, ABA Eeity is ©very atom shriaed.® i 1 kinee g©~30* • Oher@c-ter.iet lea... ttol* II» p#38* 3 8aa to jjftiysrgel Jseuty. tines as Quoted in. E. Berabaust, Selections from the I-re-BoOTantic Movement.E0880 &h$ftesbury invoked c a ture as follows*. Mailer aeatlzoeiits were also e&preeaed by Dyer, Young, A&e&aide, £ope, and others of tMa period. To n i l , the creation wee l t -aelf the baeia for faith, ana proof of the l i t era l truth of the story of Genesis. The Creator could be intellectually apprehen-ded by a l l who observed the world about them. Newton*s> laws of gravitation were regarded as laws of nature* new evidence ishlca he brought forward of unity end order in the universe re-awakened iatereet in the old con-ception of the creation aa a chain of being. The Great Chain of Being was now given new interpretation end new significance. The refurbished chain MOB composed of an infinite number of beings, extending from the loweet forme of existence et the bottom to the EUper-natural being® at the top, with an infinite number of intervening gradettone. A corollary of this theory waa what Bpofees&r tovejoy hoa called the 'principle of pleni-1 tude* , i . e . , the belief that the Creator manifested hir; good-ness, through the fulineas and diversity of the creation. Hie goednea»i It #ae maintained, impelled Him to create an infinite number end variety of being-; end i t was better for the Creator to give l i f e , even i f for only a short tirae, than to withhold It . "Goodness" meant a fullness end diversity of finite being. If a being merely exirted, i t wee g&od* By thia principle even the existence of animal*: 'red in tooth end claw* could be ac-counted for. Thua a place wee found in the Chain of Being for every conceivable form of creation$ and the existence of every form waa justified by the principle of plenitude. 1 h» 0* Irovejoy, The (treat Chain of Being * p.SS. -4-Vast chain of being', which from God began, Natures ethereal, human, angel, iaan, Beszt, bird, fleh, insect, what so eye eon see, 5?o glaa* can reach; from i n f i n i t e to thee, From the© to nothing. 1 That which appeared to be or to produce e v i l or pain ap-peared a© only because f i n i t e men was unable properly to com-prehend the i n f i n i t e plan. That which he did not understand, he was t© accept ar pert of the greet plan which reruired auch eleatente to complete i t s design*. $hefteabury, one of the most Influential philo.^ophero of the time, speaks for such a f a i t h t Dhoble to declare the ure or service of a l l things in this univerra, ne era yet ae.-ured of the perfec-tion of a l l , and of the justice of that; economy to which a l l things ere subservient, and in rerpact of which things eeemlneiy deforced are amiable; dlearder becomes regular, corruption wholesome, and poitom;... prove healing and beneficial.^ These philosopher® and poet? followed their abstract theories of a divine and benevolent Providence to the logical con-clusion, ea espreeeed by H>pe, A l l discord, harmony not understood; A i l p a r t i a l e v i l , universal good ? And, rpita of pride, in erring reason*£ spite, One truth i s clear, miATtmB IS, IS jRXQBT.9 Social and p o l i t i c a l implications followed naturally. The harmony and order so apparent in the physic©! world pro-vided esassple and instruction for the social v;orld. The laws of church and state wars the social counterpart of nature *R divine example* :ince 'whatever i r , i? r i g h t 1 , i t waa man's . 1 Pope, Essay on f'<nn. I, £37-41. 2 Characteristics. Vol. II, p* 122* 3 Basag on $£aa. I, £91-4. - 5 -duty to *follow nature.* Happiness was open to a l l wno lived according to nature, and lb l i v e according to nature* i?»... to co-op«rate with the general disposition and tendency of the present ay a teas, of things. 1 It wae generally accepted that "the present system of things* waa, like the universe, divinely ordered* and therefore com-plete end. impossible of improvement; i.e. i t wao, to use the characteristic phrase of this age of optimists, *the best of a l l possible worlds." Irian, of course, had a place in the C h a m of Being - above the animal a and slightly below the angels. III?, possession of the faculty of reason distinguished him from the animals below him and entitled him to their service, Par aa creation's ample range extends, Th® scale of sensual, mental powers ascender* Mark horn It mount;, to man's imperial race, Without thia just gradation could they be Subjected the&e to thoae, or a l l to thee? The powers of e l l subdued by thee alone, g not thy reeron a l l these powers in one? Though there were opinions, to the contrary, i t was generally taken for granted that mmi waa "eminently rained above the vest creation*'* 8 1 Samuel Johneon, Raeaelaa. Chapter XXII. S Pope, Eaeay on Han. I, 807-10, 2S9-32. .3 Akenalde. Pleacuree of Imagination, ISl-g. The doctrine of tho static and immutable Chain of Being waa, however, in many respects a goepel of hopelessness* If the universe» <>ad by implication* the aviating social order, were perfect, end the imperfections In nature a necessary part of the universe, there seemed l i t t l e hope for improve-ment or advancenent. Feny thinker© reacted against and re-jected auch an interpretation of the Divine Flan. If God was eternal and all-powerful, they thought, Hi* power and goodness suet be manifested in creation through e l l time, and such continuous creativity 1 ould be possible only in a dynamic universe* The insatiably creative God could beat reveal Hie omnipotence and omnipresence through continuous creation. I t was concluded that Se wo© ever at @ork creating new forms in the inf i n i t e chain; and that every addition to the chain raided the statue of those already in i t , Hot content, Sy one exertion of creative power His goodness to reveal; through every age, Through every moment up the track of time Hie p^rent-hana with ever-new increase Of happiness end virtue has adorned The vast harmonious frame:...... Forever leads the generations on To higher scenes of being; while jnipplled From day to day with hie enlivening breath, Inferior orders in auocesalon rise To f i l l the void below.1 Thus the world changed from one of being to one of becoming; and «lth the change coins hope of progress for man in the universe. ' ' ^ince the fullness of the creation wee i t s greatest good, aome thought that nusn could bast, imitate God br assisting l a 1 Akenaide. F l e a a u r c F ^ Ig»glnation. ELY 3^7-866• -7-the creation through th? creative faculty which God had gives him* That is, he could increase the rum of things easing aosse thing of fciw own to the creation, and thue aaaiat the Creator In f u l f i l l i n g th® Divine Plan} and in doing eo mn could perhaps better hie own position on earth. Zt had long been obvious to many that man did not l i v e in the freedom, love, and virtue intended bcv God. This* however waa not considered to be the fault of Clod nor of nature*, but of the institutions which man-had devised for hisuelf. Hen who had not been corrupted hr. bad education, fair,© religion, and faulty Dociai institutions* eeeaed to live in a natural state of freedom and f e l i c i t y epproachinn the b l i - ; of Bden. The explorations and discoveries made by Captain Cook and other voyagere reawakened intareat in the l i f e of savages and natives of distent lands. It waa believed by many that these eavagesr in their primitive society lived in the natural state of hamony intended by &od for man. The 'ftohle lavage' and hi; l i f e of unrestricted freedom waa contreated with that of •civilized* man and bis* 3yete» of sovermaent. <?oua-eeau and other eenti&entallntc wove a halo of purity and innocence around the savage and simple rural folk, Their n a t u r a l 1 lysstua of l i f e wan obviously that intended for man. Many beeain® convinced that man could progress towards per-fection by abolishing the evilfl of hip own governing i n -atltutionn. Mature then changed from a regulating principle and became 8»;lnly a liberatinn principle. Ideas regarding •natural• and * Inalienable 1 Bights of Mon, In pert Inspired both the American and the French Revolutionsboth of ^  ich were interpreted by many aa movements towards a State of Nature. In England the French Revolution with i t s motto of ''lib-erty, equality, fraternity** seemed to herald a new golden age of peace and happiness for a l l ; The Revolution waa therefore a notable encourage-ment to a l l who believed in change and the power, of human endeavour.1 To the politician JTox the f a l l of the Be©tills was "the great-est event .... that ever happened in the world, and ho^ much the beetl"^ and to the young poet Wordsworth* Sot favoured spots alone, but the whole earth, The beauty wore of promise.... Not in Utopia...Butin....the world Of a l l of us. 3 Thus in :?ordsworthfT time i t was thought that the laws of nature could be applied to the p o l i t i c s of man to euro social i l l s - that the way to human perfection was through the laws of nature. It was thought that Providence was working through nature^ constant and uniform laws f o r the wall^belng of the whole universe and for the welfare of man in particular. 1 JhV Brown, The French Revolution in Snail sh Bi story, page 29, 8 Hemorials of goat, ed. Russell, II, 361, quoted Ibid, page 38. 3 The. Prelude. XI, 117-18j 140-3. Quotations from ^ords* worth are from the Oxford Edition of jordsworth'e Poetical Torkf ,ed. T. Kutehim oa. The letter P.will hereafter be used as an abbreviation for The Prelude, uotationa from tho early text (1605-6} of She Prelude are from the 1l.de yelincourt ed-I S ^ B o i ^ h f r W S W S ^ ****** - 9 -Th©jse assumptions of order end pur poms In the universe under-lay ferdeworth'a conception of nature. An optimistic view of nature was common and acceptable. By Arnold's time the lows of nature were regarded as inimical to the interests of man, and a force against which he had to strive in order to ri s e above his brute creation. From a p o l i t i c a l l y liberating principle, nature had becom* a sanction for economic competition. This change in Inter-pretation of the laws of nature waa due in part to the f a i l -ure of the French Revolution, but mainly to the material Buoceea of the Industrial devolution. Progress in acience and invention footered the Industrial Devolution, which in turn brought a change in the mode of l i f e for the majority of the people, and a corresponding change in thought to f i t the new mode of l i f e . With the progress of the revolution, men's attitudes to nature underwent a gradual change, ro that by the Mid-?ictor-ian period even the injustices of the Iowa of economiea tr/ere attributed to nature. leople no longer ignored or excused the apparent imperfections in nature* It waa aeeerted that "no good or lovely thing exists in thia world without Ita correspondent darkness. n i Hewraan'ii f a i t h in God was baaed on a voice speaking in hie conscience end hie heart, because he could see no evidence of the Creator in the l i v i n g world* 8 1 Buskin, Modern Fointers. Bfc.IV, pt«Y,ehJUX« quoted in B.T.Houth, Snglend Under Victoria. p.43. 8 Apologia pro Vita -Xie. Chap.V.,quoted Ibid., p . l . -10* Many others who failed to see the Creator reflected l a the world were, however, unable to even find Hia in their hearts and eonsciences as SSewash did. -The loss of fa i t h in God, and consequently in. a benevolent Deity working in and behind nature* was one of the most signi-ficant changes in the attitude toward nature between the time of Wordsworth and Arnold, The reasons for this loss of fa i t h and the changed attitude to nature, l i e in the major changes in l i f e and thought in the f i r s t half of the nineteenth century . 1&© f i r s t breakdown in fai t h came pith the failure of the French Revolution to achieve what had been hoped of i t . Hopes for a natural Idea were shattered by the brutality of the Heiga of Terror and the oggreeeion and military dictator-ship of Napoleon. These excesses demonstrated that i t was not sufficient for man merely to •follow nature*» because apparently some control of the *natural* impulses was also needed. England emerged from the Napoleonic wars elated end victorious; but the shouts of victory were soon replaced by murmurs of discontent. Ae in most wars» the aftermath was in many respects worse than the actual co n f l i c t . Thousands of soldier© were released to seek work, when there was no work to be found, $ony farmers, deprived of their l i v e l i -hood by the Esielojure hot a, swelled the ranks of the unem-ployed. The clatter of new machinery for the manufacture of textilac and other goods drowned out the whirr of the. cottage spinning wheelo, end the apinnerii) were, robbed of their source of income* M incree&e in population end a eerie® of bed harvests caused more poverty ana misery. In the period of the *Hungry Forties* r e l i e f for the destitute end unemployed could be ob-tained only in workhouses, or 'Boatilies' as they were popu-l a r l y called* Punch of the period, in a cartoon e»tltledtThe Poor Man's friend," deplete Beath standing by the bedaide of a poor man ©ho claapa hie hende in supplication to the ceda-veroua figure* 1 Apparently for snome,, death had replaced nature aa the friend of man. The thousands who flocked into the new factory towns seeking work were crowded into hastily built houeee near the factories, with l i t t l e or no provision for their welfare* The conditiona under which they lived mey be aummed up in the phrase of Gorlylo es "tho Universal Stygian quegmire of Ibpitish Induetrial U f e . " 5 Though reform® did come about, the system which was recponeible for conditions requiring reform remained on the whole umchenged. The new Middle flleae entrepreneur did not wlah to interfere with the lawn; of economics, but preferred to exerciae his humahlterlanlism in contributing to charities for the r e l i e f of the poor, who ee a O I Q S O were considered a neeessoiry part of the economic system. He took refuge 1 0. I*. Gravea, ffr. launch'a History of Bngland, %>l*I 9p^?* 8 latter Sav Pamphlets* p. 84* —12— behind the various theories that attempted to account for and explain conditions in the pew industrial world. The most important of thaee thoorier are embodied in the works of . Mem 3ml th, Jeremy lien th am, John Stuart M i l l , &avid Bieardo, and Thomea Malthua. Ifelthu; examined "tho constant tendency in a l l animated l i f e to increase beyond the nourlcftnent prepared f o r it," 3? with particular reference to men. He held that population tended to mereec:® faster than food supply, and that epidemics, disagree, ware, and famine were therefore nature! end neces-sary checks on population growth. Any improvement in working class conditions would tend to encourage marriage, and b ing en increase in population* The food produced would then have to be divided among more people; more laborers would be competing for food and work; and food would go up in price and wages would drop.. This constant tendency to over-popu-lation kept a large number of the people in a constant state of distress, and prevented any permanent melioration of their condition, nature could provide for only a certain number ©f her creatures, and any increase beyond this number meant mis-ery and hardship, ^althus* description of the principle of population could scarcely be reconciled with the idee of a benevolent Seit? behind nature. 1 An Bs&as on the Principle of Population. Vol, I, p.3 - i s - ' Mel thus' theory was supplemented by Hicerdo'c *iroa law* of wages * which was baaed on the principles of supply and demand. Hlcardo put forward the theory: that because of the inexorable laws of supply and demand, wages were governed by the ratio of the supply of workers to the demand for them. With thia went the belief that only a certain fised proportion of the nation'o money could be available for wages, and that the total number of workers had to share this sum. The coat of a laborer waa the amount needed to keep him alive and able to work. If the eect went above this subsistence level, more workere would swell the ranks of labor, and again reduce a l l to the loweat level. The influence of these doctrines, many of which were re-garded as 'natural' law©, must be considered In the l i g h t in which they were interpreted by those who found them useful to protect or Justify their own privileged position, Helther &althue nor Bicard© really taught the dogmatic despair which wee generally received aa the lesson of their philosophies...their ldeaj5, when adopted by other minde, hardened Into © r i g i d and inexorable theory from which both of them would have shrunk** The theories of Smith, Sestham, and M i l l militated against government interference in the economic sphere. It was as-sumed that man was by nature selfish and would work beet for hie own welfare, and that i f every individual worked for hie Own end® he $ould also be working for the good of the com-munity, which was but a collection of self-motivated Individ-p 3oi S* *** S a i s ® o 8 * e n f i Barbara Hesmond, The Tbwh_ Laborer. -14-uals> ©o 3Pope had said earlier, Thus God and nature linked the general frame And bade.self-love and social be the same,* Any attempt to interfere with the pursuits of the individijel was regarded ea interference in the welfare of the community. The good of society, i t was thought, depended on free com-petition; and the moat successful individuals were the beet citiaenn. This free enterprise system was regarded as the natural course of man's economic a c t i v i t y . If one f e l l toy the wayside he had only himself to blame„ because he was ob-viously. less energetic than hie fellow^men, end therefore must suffer the natural consequences of hie weaknese. If nature was allowed to take i.t» course, the unfit would be weeded out, The aignty law of self-preservation was becoming a new law of nature and society. For the majority there was no escaping the lawc of supply and demand. These lews were considered to be inevitable and natural* The Times, eom-menting on a promise of the French government to provide work for the people, aayr-, To f u l f i l l such promisee io not only beyond the poserof any government, but absolutely contrary to the laws of nature itself***® Again, The Times, surveying the Saat End of London in the throes of on economic depression, comments, There i s no one to blame for this;_ifc Is the result of Ha ture *a simplest lawei*"9 1 Fope„ An Essay on Man. 1X1. 317-18, 2 Jisreh l e t , 1848, p.5, Quoted in H, F, X@wry» let t e r a of 1st thaw Arnold. 4ppendis I V . , p. I Q « , Jtaerlhy 1^ !&§? * U e n * ^ u o t e 4 b ? Arnold in Gia.itwue,,,,,-^ ^ -15-The only hope for success against these laws, It was thought, lay in hard work end perseverance on the part of the.individ-ual. Mm now had to struggle against nature. In the Puritan piety of the times, riches became viitue and poverty, vice. God fevered thoae who *got on* in the world, so that material prosperity and spiritual salvation went hand in hand. It waa this materialistic interpretation of l i f e that Carlyle so bitterly attacked, Hudson, the railway king, i f popular election be the rule, aeema to me by far the moat authentic king extent in thia «orldL . .3hat the deeire of every hoert wee, Hudson had or seemed to have produced; Scrip out of f&ieh profit could be made.1 Man wee concerned now only with his materiel welfare in the struggle against nature. The benevolent and divine nature which had once given him spiritual inspiration no longer existed for him. If there was a Deity, he was not to be found in the tendencies of society. . Biology and zoology also contributed to the dieilluelon-mentD flhile economics, and religion, and bitter experience in combination were demonstrating that only the f i t t e s t num-bers of society prospered or deserved to prosper, similar evidences of struggle were being noted in phyaical nature. Lyell in his Principles of geolo&v. 1633, end Chambers in vwatUcea of Creation. 1844, detected;an evolutionary and metamorphic process in nature. Their findings prepared the way for Barwln'a Origin of Spec tea. 1889,' which, with i t s 1 ^'Hudson*© Statue*, Latter fcay Pamphlets, p. 235. -16-mase of evidence, removed practically a l l doubt about the growth aiid development of the physical universe. Darwin found that a l l forms of natural l i f e survived by adapting themselves and overcoming their environments, a procesa in which only the fitteat survived. It la significant that Bar-win's interpretation of hie data wee influenced by Maithus1  Population: In October, 1333 • • . X happened to read for asausement 'llalthuB on Population', and . . . It at once struck me that under these conditions [struggle for existence^] favor-able variations aeuld tend to be preaerved> and unfavorable ones to be destroyed.* Darwin's theory, with i ts revelation of indifference, waate„ and even cruelty in the animate world was incompatible with the idea of a Benevolent Deity. Ho benevolent God could be found in the fickleneae end cruelty of nature. Sven the traditional eouree of faith, the Bible, waa . questioned. Historians examined the gospels with the cold logic of scientific reeearch, ee they would any other bistort eel writ Inge, and began to wonder, when they were written, and by whom, end why. fae Bible? wee rut m the witness bos and under cross examination contradicted itself again and again. 8 faose attack® on the record.of revealed religion deprived many of their leat rouree of faith. — , — . — •. • 1 •' The l i f e and Letters of Charles fterwla. Vol,I,p,83. S t>* @. aomervoll, Ifee ffictorlan $m. Historical Assoc-iation Pamphlet, Ro. 107, p. 19. - 17-The Industrial Revolution, Darwin, and the Bible c r i t i c s destroyed the basis of f a i t h for many, and l e f t them only skepticism, agnosticism, and spiritual despair* This cry of despair from the nineteenth Century Wasteland may be heard in In Memoriaa. written while Tennyson, li k e his contemperaries* was desperately searching for **the larger hope** It could certainly no longer be found In nature. Are God and Nature then at st r i f e That Nature lends such e v i l dreams? So careful of the type she seems. So careless of the single l i f e \ That I, considering everywhere Her secret meaning in her deeds, And* finding that of f i f t y seeds She often brings but one to bear, I f a l t e r where I firmly trod,-And, f a l l i n g with my weight of cares Upon the great world* s altar-stairs That slope thro* darkness up to God, I atretch lame hands of fait h , and grope, And gather dust and chaff* and c e i l To what I feel i s Lord of a l l , And faintly trust the larger hope. , .... And he, shall he, Man, her last work,, ... Who trusted God was love indeed And love Creation's f i n a l lew--Tho* Nature, red in tooth and claw With ravine, shriek*d against his creed— ... Be blown about the desert dust, Or seal'd within the iron h i l l s ? ! At approximately the same time, John Stuart M i l l wrote of nature as follows: 1 J.V, 5-20, LVIj 9-20, -18-Nature Impales map, breaks them as i f on the wheel, ...bursa them to death, ... starves them with hunger, freeze a them with cold *.» A l l this, Nature does with the most tmpercilioua disregard both of mercy and of justice, ... no human being ever comes into the world but another human being tc l i t e r a l l y stretched on the rack for hour-i or days, not i n -frequently issuing in death ... M l which people are accustomed to deprecate as 'disorder* and i t s consequences, in precisely a counterpart of Nature's ways. Anarchy and the Beige of Terror are over-matched in injustice, ruin, and death, by a hurri-cane and a pestilence*1 1 Nature (composed 1880-8) uotud in H. V * Routh, iSncland Under V i c t o r i a p p 3 9 - 4 0 . Chapter II THE CONCEPTION OF NATUBE! IN THE FOBTBY OF WILLIAM WOBDSWORTH . William Wordsworth, horn in 1770, spent a joyous and com-paratively uneventful boyhood "compass*d round by mountain solitudes' 1 in the lakes District of England. The Derwent, "the fairest of a l l rivers", flowed through the" back yard of his home, and made "ceaseless music that composed [his) thoughts."! His school days (1778-1787} were spent at Hawkshead school,, which he remembered more for the free and natural l i f e than for the instruction given there. He was more in-* tereated in his physical recreation than in his studies. Here he dwelt among simple folk, and roamed the woods and h i l l s at w i l l . He derived pure sensuous pleasure from his contacts with nature at this time, when he,-bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides . Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams, Wherever nature l e d . 2 In his days of maturity he particularly remembered some of his more exciting boyhood experiences in this nature back-ground, such as skating on the lake, trapping woodcocks by moonlight, and even S$®a-11D£ game, f r o m other boys*, snares -«... end when the deed was done I heard among the solitary h i l l s Low breathing© coming after me..... 1 P. I, 277. 2 Tintern Abbey..66-70. 3 P. I, 321-3.. - 2 0 -Ke recalls hie fear one evening when he stole a boat and went rowing on the lake. Suddenly a huge.black mountain peek up-reared i t s head, and l i k e a l i v i n g thing seemed to stride after him, u n t i l "with trembling oars*he returned the boat.31 At another time he hung above the raven's nest.by knots of §r/g.ss when."with what strange utterance* the wind blew through hie ear .*2 The rapture of bis boyhood experiences, when nature was • secondary to his own pursuits, l a recaptured by the poet i n his reminiscences of It; I wheeled about /. • Proud a*i& exulting l i k e ah untried horvge ; ife hissed along the polished lee i n games...3 nature provided no particular joys of her own; she merely ser-ved as background for sports and games. However, as the l i g h t -hearted boy went skating, trapping woodcocks, hunting birds' eggs, and boating, the surroundings in which he enjoyed these sports impressed themselves on his memory, and by association with such exciting experiences, came i n tiae to be loved for themselves. As he grev; older and his boyish energies sub-sided, he found that he loved nature for herself.. He loved the sun and the mountains, the headlong torrents, the lowly plains, end their flowers and unassuming brooks, the sail i n g clouds, the warm fields, and the sheltering woods. Xn this 1 £• X> 3 5 7 - ^ 0 . 3 £. 430-^,. time of "aching Joys" and "dlszy raptures" nature became f , a l i in a l l " , and, he found a new delight in beauty for i t s own sake* . . . . drinking in a pure Organic pleasure from the silver wreaths, Of curling mist, or from the level plain Of waters coloured by impending clouds. .....gathering as i t seemed, Through every hair-breadth of that field of light , » New pleasure like a bee among the flowers. 1 At this time a l l hie thoughts were "steeped in feeling, 4 1 and he felt 41 the sentiment of Being spread o'er a l l . " He now found joy in communion with nature, and a l l that he beheld "respired with inward meaning,f2 From Hawkshead he went to Cambridge, where he Was in general % n idler among academic bowers." Bis vacations from university were noteworthy events in hie l i f e . In his f irst summer vacation he returned to Hawkshead and to nature. The experiences of this summer renewed end deepened the influences of nature on his growing imagination. One event i n parti -cular he held significant to his future development. As he was returning home at sunrise from a night of "dancing, gaiety, and mirth% on a morning as ''glorious as e'er I had beheld4, the sight of the sea, the shining mountains*, and the dew-sparkling meadows, coupled with the melody of the birds, struck into his soul with never-forgotten force. 1 £ . 1 , 563-66, 578-80, 2 £,II, 399 and III, 132 - 2 2 -% heart was f u l l : X made ft© vows, out vows were then made for mi ... that I should be ... A dedicated, s p i r i t . On X walked , In thankful blessedness, which yet survives. In the nest summer vacation (1789) he vis i t e d his sister at Penrith, Now, after separation desolate Hester*d to me. Sere he and his sister, and her friend Sary Hutchinson, who© he was later to marry, rambled over the paths and fiel d s and through the woods and over crags and mountain-sidea, enjoying the beauties of nature "and youth's golden gleam.4'2 In this summer he completed and dedicated to Dorothy a descriptive poem (An Evening ifalk) which he had sketched out during hie f i r s t vacation. The poem shows a sensitivity to nature, which however, i s spoiled in the expression. The poem .is i n rhymed couplets i n the eighteenth century tradition, with e l l i t s worst evils of Conventional 'poetical* style and diction. The Bastille in Paris had fallen in July, and when Words-worth returned to Cambridge -"he found the University t h r i l l e d by the f i r s t act of the French Revolution. »3 During that year the events i n Francs were closely followed by a l l of Europe, Europe at that time was t h r i l l e d with joy France standing on the top of golden.hours, And human nature seeming born again. 1 P. IV, 323-38. 2 £. VI« 200-236. 3 t. Legouls, ?he Esrlv klfe of Wordsworth, p. 107. £. VI, 339-^i. At the end of th© tern, i.e. in the summer vacation of 1790. Wordsworth and his friend. Robert Jones determined to make a walking tour of the Continent, particularly to v i s i t the Alps. Wordsworth had some misgivings about slighting his studies to do this, and about the 'censures and: ill-omening* of his guardians But nature then was sovereign in my mind, And mighty forms, seising a youthful fancy. Had given a charter to irregular hopes, So doubt the youthful travellers were somewhat t h r i l l e d at the prospect of v i s i t i n g France while such exciting events were taking place, but Wordsworth's interest was i n the V countryside through which they travelled, rather than in the people. Though he participated in th© celebrations of the French people, tee did not yet understand the f u l l implications of the revolution, and eo remained an outsiders A stripling, scarcely of the household then Of social l i f e , X looked upon these things As from a distance.., the ever^iivlng universe, Turn where I might, was opening out i t s glories. And the independent s p i r i t of pure youth Celled forth, at every season, new delights « Spread round ray steps li k e sunshine o'er green f i e l d s . 4 After graduation, from Cambridge, he went to London, but : even there, "amid those overflowing streets," the s p i r i t of nature was s t i l l upon him, and he found "composure and en-nobling harmony* in the great ci t y where he spent the winter months, 3 1 £ . V I , 333-35. 2 V I , 76^78. 3 P. VII, 765-770. 0ee also his Sonnets Composed Upon  Westminster Bridge. -24-He passed moat of the following summer enjoying the natural beauty of Walee^ with; his friend Robert Jones. Sis formal education wee now completed, tout he had not yet any definite occupation or vocation. Restless and unoccupied, he returned to France with the professed Intention of learn-ing French to qualify himself aa a tutor, or, more l i k e l y , aa Mr. Legoule suggests, @uch was the excuse beneath which he concealed the two-fold desire of continuing his roving l i f e and revisiting the country which had already charmed him by i t s cheer* -fu l gaiety, and wes. beginning to inspire him with i t s revolutionary s e a l . 1 In France he associated with a group of officers, one of whom became his particular friend. Wordsworth and Captain Michel Heatipuy, a patriot to the revolutionary cause, were, for a time, inseparable companions. They held frequent and lengthy discourses .... about the end Of c i v i l government, and i t s wisest forms. ......'we added dearest themes-Kan and his noble nature, as i t i s The g i f t which God has placed within his power, ...... saw In rudest men, ' Self-sacrifice the firmest, generous love, ' ibid continence of mind, and sense of right. Uppermost in the midst of fiercest s t r i f e . * Finally, under the influence of this man, he saw the Revol-ution as the promise of a new world of freedom, peace, and Justice f o r a l l mankind. He ardently embraced the cause, 1 The Early Life of Wordsworth, p. 192. 2 P. IX, 322-89, • -25-and had he not been "dragged by a chain of harsh necessity" baek to England, he might have given up his l i f e for human-ity. 3' Nature had now surrendered to humanity f i r s t place in his heart and mind. His new love and faith underwent severe t r i a l s after he returned to England. The f i r s t shock came early in 1793* when England declared war on Prance. t t was a bitter blow,, but his hopes and f a i t h i n the f i n a l goal overcame his patriotism, and he continued to cheer th© triumphs of the revolutionaries, even when their victories were at th© ex-pense of English l i v e s . Than the Belgn of Terror broke forth with a l l i t s excesses, and "the goaded land waxed mad." It was a time of deepest grief and despair for those, Whose souls were sick with pain of what would be Hereafter brought i n charge against mankind.^ Even through this night of doubt and sorrow he excused the course of events, and clung to hie hopes, H e remained stead-fast to the cause u n t i l the French lost sight of e l l which they had struggled for and "changed a war of self-defence for one of conquest"3 - an outrage which Wordsworth made no attempt to defend. He could no longer condone the course of events, but for a time clung desperately to his faith in the abstract idea or theory of the revolution. Under the i n -fluence of 6edwinlsn theories, he attempted to explain the 1 P. 5C, 152-5**; 229-30. 2 X, 3<?5-6. 3 £... XI, 20^-7, -26-ravolution in terms of reason. Like Godwin and other ration-a l i s t s , he set up the individual intellect as the sole guide for action. He found, however, that though the intellect could rationalize the turn of events, i t could not make them morally acceptable for him. He called his theories to ac-count, and questioned the premises on which they were based, tested end re-tested then, and found them wanting. In this moral c r i s i s he ...... tolled, Intent To anatomise the .frame of social l i f e ; Y/eaf the whole body of society Searched to i t s heart ... c a l l i n g the mind, Suspiciously to establish in plain day Her t i t l e s and her honours... t i l l demanding formal laroof And seeking i t i n everything, X lost A l l feeling of conviction and, in fine, Sick, wearied out with contrarieties, Yielded up moral questions in despair. This was the c r i s i s of that strong disease, This the soul's last and lowest ebb; 1 drooped Deeming our blessed reason of least use where wanted most...'..,1 This was the turning point In his doctrine. D i s i l l u s i o n -ed, depressed, and bewildered, he turned temporarily from the unstable world of mon and his amoral p o l i t i c a l theories to the abstract world of mathematics,, where the disturbances from human w i l l and power could not reach him - perhaps immutable and eternal truths could be found only i n the 2 abstract world. At this c r i t i c a l Juncture, his sister intervened and gave him new l i f e and hone. Under the tri p l e influence of 1 P. XX, 279-309, '2 *XV 321-3* ; -27-hsr and.Coleridge and nature, hie despondency was overcome and his mind restored. In the quiet of the Quantock h i l l s he found peace and r e l i e f and comfort, and time to reflect far from ^the weariness* the fever, and the fret." Here he re-established contact with his former self ("ray true self' 1) and returned To those sweet counsels between head and heart Whence grew .... genuine knowledge.! He how realised that in exalting the reason as a sole judge of action, he- had failed to recognize the feelings and higher Instincts of mankind. Through his disillusionment i n the French Revolution he found the true value of human instincts, passions, sympathies, and intuition. He recalled and noted anew that the shepherds and dalesmen owed their serenity and nobility of character to something much deeper and more re-liable than mere i n t e l l e c t . 2 He rediscovered the beauties of nature and found them more refreshing and salutary than ever, In contrast with the world of cold and. dispassionate reason, from which he had just been rescued. He recalled hia youthful ecstecies and joys i n nature, and his early experiences of spiritual rap-ture when he had transcended thought and " f e l t a presence" and "a sense sublime," when, the earth And common face of nature spake to me Hememberable things.,...... 3 1 ,E* «X» 353-^ 2 f . I l l , 165-75. 3. £,. X, 586-88. -28-These early feelings about nature were only now, i n the refining light of experience and the calm of contemplation, beginning to take on significance. The chastened s p i r i t be-gan at last "to see into the light of things." He found an inner Identity of his own soul and the soul of nature. He now perceived a spiritual unity between man and nature; the 1 something* that " r o l l s through a l l things* was also working in the mind of man. Be linked the past end present, and now realized that his hapoy boyhood and youth had been the true l i f e for him. Sis period of despair had been the period of reliance on reason, when he had out off hie heart *Pros a l l the sources of her former strength. t t l He thus found that his source of Joy was i n nature. He once again f e l t himself a part of nature, interfused with her by an immutable and permanent Presence ("the soul of a l l the worlds"). Under this now-recognized "never f a i l i n g prin-ciple of Joy•, his l i f e took on new meaning. His poetic activity burst forth into f u l l flood with his great hymn of thanksgiving to nature, written near Tlntern Abbey. This intuition of the unity of a l l l i f e i n and through nature lends the poetry of Wordsworth i t s unique quality. It was the foundation of his optimism and intense Joy in nature, and of his doctrine of nature as applied to the moral and spiritual growth of man. It promoted him to write MOn Man, on nature, and on Human Life " to show their Inter* 1 P. XII, 79-80. -29-relation and interdependence. He endeavoured to show how nature, through developing the spi r i t u a l and moral l i f e , leads to man*s love of God and of his fellow men. To rationalize his belief lit the beneficence of nature, Wordsworth drew on the assumptions of assoclatlonist psy-chology as expounded by David Hartley. 3 , Hartley maintained that pur ideas and moral character are not Innate but are built up through the association of contiguous or successive sensations with one another. According to Hartley, the primary sensations are transmuted into •purer* forms of thought, f i r s t into ideas of a simple sort, and then Into more complex ones. Our passions or affections can be no more than, aggregates of simple ideas united by association. , For they are excited by objects, and by the i n -cidents of l i f e . 2 How these pleasures and pains (pf virtue and vice]! by often recurring i n various combinations, and by being variously transferred upon each other, from the great a f f i n i t y between the several virtues and their rewards, with each other; also between the several vices, and their punishment, with each other; w i l l at last beget in us a general, mixed, pleasing idea and consciousness, when we r e f l e c t . upon our own virtuous affections or actions; a sense of gu i l t , and an anxiety when we reflect on the contrary; and also raise i n us love and esteem of virtue, and hatred of vice in others.3 Wordsworth subscribed i n large part to these theories of sen-eation, but did not attempt to explain everything i n such 1 Observations on Man. His Frame. Hie Duty, and His  Expectations, 1791. 2 Ibid. Vol. 1 , p.365, 3 Ibid. Vol. I, p . & 9 5 - 6 s -30-terms. Indeed, as w i l l be shown below, the essential part of his philosophy Is based oh concepts entirely outside the sphere of sensational psychology. He believed that there was some well-intentioned "over-seeing power", a "dark Inscrutable workmanship" working through nature to mould his character. I f this were so, i t gave moral significance to his above-mentioned boyhood ex-periences i n nature: How strange that a l l The terrors, pains, and early miseries,...interfused Within my mind, should e'er have borne a part.... in making up ' / The calm existence that i s mine when %; Am worthy of myself J Praise to the end? Thanks to the means which Nature deigned to egroldy; Whether her fearless vieitinga, or those That came with soft alarm, ... or she say use Severer interventions, ministry More palpable, as best might suit her aim.* Bis explanation here of the process or means of moral growth i s similar to Hartley's theory of moral instruction through pleasure and pain. In applying Hartley's theory to nature, Wordsworth believed that the fear or Joy associated with cer-tain experiences i n nature impressed the natural objects or scene, associated with that experience on the memory, where i t could be called forth to stimulate the imagination, which in turn softened the affections. He believed that even when the joy i t s e l f was gone, The scenes which were & witness of that joy Remained... Depicted on the brain .... and thus By the impressive discipline of fear, By pleasure and repeated happiness, , end by force 1 P.I. i*t4-56. See also Three years she (arret;.... my i t a l i c a . -31-Of obscure feelings reoresentative Of things forgotten, these same scenes so bright, 0o beautiful, so majestic In themselves, Though yet the day was distent, did become Habitually dear, and'all their forms And changeful colours by invisible links were fastened to the affections. 1 wbrdsworth asserted that natural objects in themselves played a large part in building up the moral being - speci-f ical ly , in enlarging the sympathies and affections. He speaks, for example, of.his return one evening across a shadowy lake after an ail-day excursion with a number of com-panions. One of the party, "the minstrel of the troopV was taken ashore near his home, and the future poet and his com-panions rowed off gently, listening to his friend playing the. flute, oh,-then* the calm. ' And dead s t i l l water lay upon my; mind . . . . and the sky Never before so beautiful, sank down Into my heart, and held me l ike a dreamJ* Recalling such scenes, and other experienceB in nature, lie says* • ' Thus dally were my sympathies enlarged Refined or strengthened, . . . . the senses trained To nice observance and the mind to thought.3 The strengthening and refining of the affections and sym-pathies by natural objects and events further enhanced the value of those natural objects in the youth's mind and heart, and prompted him to closer observation and greater love of nature. 1 £ . X, 599-612, My italics^. 2 P. II, 170*17*. 3 Pv 11, A 181~3, .S3 variant, p. SO de Selinoourt. -32-Wordsworth believed that love of nature led to love of man. He t e l l e us that i n boyhood he f i r s t loved man — not for man's own sake, but for the surroundings i n which he f i r s t beheld him ("his presence in his own domain"). Shepherds, dwellers i n the Valleys, men Ehom I already loved; - not ve r i l y For their own sakes, but for the fields, and h i l l s ; vJhere was their occupation and ebofie.l Elsewhere, he speaks of the shepherds en the h i l l s , " g l o r i -f i e d by the deep radiance of the setting sun." 2 Hence he owed to nature his early love and reverence for the human form and. human nature. Later, i n his period of passionate devotion to nature, the love of nature led him on to love of man through the fancy and imagination.. Nature and her objects provided the stimulus for the fancy("this new power"). The elder-tree, the yew, a foxglove, a wet rock, were e l l subjects with which his fancy played, and Engrafted far fetched shapes on feeling bred By pure imagination:.,, and with her ready pupil turned Instinctively to human passions.3 The yew tree had i t s ghost, the, foxglove was transformed by the fancy into a dejected mother surrounded by her thoughtless children, and the wet rock shining i n the sun became & bur-nished si l v e r shield suspended over a knight's tomb. Thus 1 Michael. 23-26, 2 £ . VIII, 256-59. 3 P, VIII, 422-5., - 3 3 -nature led him on to think of man and human passion. Man outwardly and inwardly contemplated became for him "Of a l l natures, crown* though bom of dust."* After the storms and stresses of the French Revolution, ' he was led back to the love of man again, largely through the ministry of nature* The peace and harmony he found in nature composed his mind, and provided an example of enduring things. By this display of oermanence and order, as compared to the "mean and vulgar works of man," nature trained the mind to meekness and humility, u n t i l i t sought In man, and in the frame of social l i f e , what e'er there i s desirable and good Of kindred permanence.2 He was thus tutored to look with feelings of fraternal love upon the quiet and unassuming objects end workings of nature. Thus moderated, thus composed, 1 found Once more in rash an object of delight Of pure imagination, and of love,-3 This poet's conception of the ministry of nature to mail through boyhood, youth, and maturity can best be summed up i n the description and discourse of The Wanderer, who, as a boy, roamed alone among the grand and enduring objects of nature, subject to boyish fears and awe in solitude, but sensitive to nature's power to kindle or restrain hie fancy and imagination and his actions. 1 P. V l l l , *7e-8&\ 2 P, XIXI, 35-37, 3 XII!; 1-50.. He, many an evening, to hia distant home Xn solitude returning, saw the h i l l s Grow larger in the darkness; a l l alone Beheld the stars come out above his head, And travelled through the wood, with no one near To whom he might confess, the things he saw. So the foundations of his mind were l a i d Xn such communion, not from terror free, While yet a child, and long before his time, Had he i>ereeived the presence and the power Of greatness; and deep feelings had impressed So vividly great objects that they lay Upon hia mind l i k e substances, whose presence Perplexed the bodily sense. He had received A precious g i f t ; for, as he grew in years, With these impressions would he s t i l l compare A l l his remembrances, thoughts, shapes, and forms; And, being s t i l l unsatisfied with aught Of dimmer character, he thence attained An active power to fasten Images upon his brain;... 8uch,«as" the Boy.. •> Xn youth, he " f e l t the sentiment of Being spread o'er a l l " and found "bliss ineffable 0 i n his communions with nature, and his moments of insight into the ultimate. ... for the growing Youth what soul was his, when, from the naked top Of some bold headland, he beheld the sun Rise up, and bathe the world i n ligh t ! ...Far and wide the clouds were touched, And i n their silent feces could be read Unutterable love. Sound needed none, Nor any voice of Joy; his s p i r i t drank The spectacle; sensation, soul, and form. A l l melted, into him; they swallowed up His animal being; In them did he l i v e , And by them did he l i v e ; they were hie l i f e . In such access of mind, in such high hour Of visitation from.the l i v i n g Sod, Thought was not, in enjoyment i t expired. 2 Maturity was a time of peace and meditative cheerfulness, when he contemplated the inner workings of nature, her laws and her relation to man, and turned to her as an "unerring rule and """" 1 The Excursion. X. 126-97. 2 The Excursion. I, 197-213, - 3 5 -measure of ennobling principle, eternal and unchanged.*1 For, the Man-* who, in this s p i r i t communes with the Forms ©f nature, who with understanding heart Both knows and loves such objects as excite Ho morbid passions, no disquietude, Ho vengeance, and no hatred — needs must feel The Joy of that pure principle of love So deeply, that, unsatisfied with aught Less pure and exquisite, he cannot choose But seek for objects of a kindred love In fellow-natures and a kindred joy. Accordingly he by degrees perceives His feelings of aversion softened down; A holy tenderness pervade hie frame, ..... a l l his thoughts now flowing, he looks round And seeks for good; and finds the good he seeks. 2 Supplementary to Wordsworth's belief in nature as a moral force«as his conception of nature as a source of spiritual inspiration to man. C r i t i c s have tended to explain this as-pect of his nature worship by the theory of sensation and association or to classify i t as transcendentalism. His doc-trine, however, was not entirely transcendental or assoclat-lonal, but contained elements of both of these theories. Wordsworth inherited rationalist and sensationalist Philosophy and psychology from the eighteenth century. The assoelatleftists believed that a l l knowledge originated in sense, without which the mind was a blank. They believed that ideas were simply sensations compounded, and that the higher sentiments were built up through association of pleasure and pain with certain experiences. Through this theory Words-1 E. de Selincourt edh, The Prelude.o. 593, II, * l - 5 5 -"rough draft manuscript which i s an 'overflow' from Hutting. 8 1 2 The Excursion. IV, 1308-2% -36-worth explained, as described above, the part played by nat-ure in building character. He believed that the inward fac-ulties must f i r s t be aroused by "the speaking face of earth and heaven", that the beauteous forms of nature themselves or a recollection of them in association with some memorable incident (such as he refers to as "spots of time"-*-), prompted sense impressions which were " f e l t in the blood and f e l t along the heart.'' He found in sense the starting point for his spiritual progress from natural to divine. By the "quickening impulse" of sense impressions, he was made more prompt To hold f i t converse with the spiritual world. 2 The senses were to him the mortals of entry to the spiritual world. Though these sense impressions stimulated mental activity, they were not for Wordsworth sufficient in themselves, or i n association with pleasure or pain, to account for his mystical awareness or intuition of some source of knowledge "beyond the mind of man," He had early experienced "impulses of a deeper birth", and "swellings of the s p i r i t " , and had "re-ceived convictions" of a suprasensuoua and supraration&l force or power In the universe. His was © mind sustained By recognitions of transcendent ?>ower...3 x p xil, 208-335. 2 P. XIV., 106-8. 3 £ . X I V . , 74-5, -37* He usually experienced this transcendent power in scenes of solitude end silence in the out-of-doors.. He recalls going out In the early dawn, and sitting alone in a spot overlooking the vale, when he felt "marvellous things" as a "holy Calm*' overspread his soul and the outer senses were utterly for-gotten.. On such occasions he "felt a nreeence"; a sense sublime Of something . . . Whose dwelling Is . . . the l iving a ir , And the blue sky, and In the mind of man: A motion and a spirit that impels A l l thinking things, a l l objects of a l l thought, And rol ls through a l l things..-1 Hie intuitions of this transcendent power came to his mind through some faculty above the "toiling reason", a faculty that selected, integrated, and fused disparate sensations, which singly would have had no spiritual significance. This faculty, "creative sensibility" or "auxillar l i g h t » was for Wordsworth the imagination. This spiritual love acts not nor Can exist without imagination*2 Intercourse with the "active universe0 soon imparts to the infant this "poetic s p i r i t , » which doth l ike an agent of the one great mind Create, creator and receiver both/ Working but in alliance with the works, which i t beholds. 3 1 Tlntern Abbey. 93-102 2 £ . XIV,, 188-189, 3 £> %XV«6>-<e» i ta l ic a. -38-Through this power the mind of man was °a thousand times more beautiful than the earth on which i t dwells » n It was for him a transcendental force which gave unity to a l l l i f e and, bound man to God,. It transformed the sense impressions, and as i t had, i t s e l f , transcendental roots, added to them a light and gleam not i n the objects themselves: An auxillar light Came from roy mind, which on the setting aim Bestowed new splendour; The sense impressions heightened by this auxillar l i g h t passed into the purer mind, where, fused with other elements of feeling and of thought, they induced a. supersensuous. i n -sight, which saw into the l i f e of things: ..... that blessed mood, In which the heavy and the weary weight Of a l l this unintelligible world, Ia lightened;- that serene and blessed mood, In which the affections gently lead us o n , — Until, the breath .of this corporeal frame And even the motion of our human blood Almost suspended, we are l a i d asleep Xn body, and become a l i v i n g soul: While with an eye made quiet by the power Of harmony, end the deep power of joy, We see into the l i f e of things* 2 At such moments the soul "put off her v e i l 1 1 and penetrated into the eternal order, and the poet, sensing the oneness of himself with the universe, needed no rational explanation of the relationship of nature, God and man:. the mighty unity . In which we behold, and f e e l , and are....3 X £v. II, 3^ 8-71, • r" ' " a Tintern Abbey. 37-39,, 3 P., A XXII, 254-55,, -39* Whether or not one regards Wordsworth as a mystic depends on the definition of the term. Granger defines mysticism as ... that attitude of mind which divines and moves toward the spiritual i n the common things of l i f e . * . , * and Miss Spurgeon defines a mystic as follows: The true mystic then, in the f u l l sense of the term, i s one who knows there i s unity under'diversity at the centre of a l l existence, and he knows i t fey the most perfect of a l l tests for the person concerned; because Under either of these definitions, particularly the latter, Wordsworth can certainly be considered a mystic. He i s not. however, a mystic in the Eastern sense* despising and re-jecting the, material world in striving for absorption into Eternity, or seeking mystical annihilation and loss of i d -entity. He seeks rather a v i t a l union with nature and the Eternal, to l i v e a greater l i f e here and now, through recog-nition of the spiritual in the common things of l i f e . Wordsworth found his deepest and most abiding Joy In the spiritual experiences described above. The real source of his Joy and optimism lay i n his recognition, not of the beauties of external nature, but of the l i f e i n nature, the l i f e which he f e l t and i n which he shared. To him, **the highest b l i s s that can be known1* was for minds that "hold Com-munion with the invisible world. 0 ; He remembered his ex-1 Granger, The Soul of a Christian, p. *1, quoted In W. H. Inge, "Studies of English Mystics 0, p. 13. 2 C P . E, Spurgeon, Mysticism In English Literature, p. 11. neriences of insight into nature as oeriods of "consummate happiness," and recalled them, with thanks And gratitude, and perfect joy of heart, 1 In the consciousness of the unity of a l l men in.one liffcidlffused through them and in the unity of them with nature through the same all-pervading power, the soul,, he said, reaches i t s highest state of b l i s s , Rejoices as in her highest joy... • And passing through a l l nature rests with Ood.^ 1 £. IV, 13*-5. 2 £. A VII I , 833-5 Chapter III THE CONCEPTIOH OF BATURE IM THE POETRY  OF MATTHEW ARNOLD Matthew Arnold, eon of the famous Master of Rugby, was bora at Laleh&m, Surrey, In 18?2. L i t t l e l a known of his childhood and early boyhood. In I833 the Arnold family moved to Fox How, less than a mile front Wordsworth's home, and ac-cording to Mr., Chambers, We have an early record of a tea-party given by Dora Wordsworth... with Wordsworth himself stretched in the grass, and Mrs. Wordsworth reading to some of.the eiders some of his manuscript poetry. 1 Apparently Matthew was early acquainted with the great poet, whose work he later loved and admired. At fourteen, he was sent to school at Winchester, end after spending a year there, in I837 entered Rugby where he spent five years under the supervision of his father. Dr. Arnold Is well known for his stem moral teaching and dis-cipline, and for his revitalising of the classics and ancient history. His mtpils l e f t Rugby with a thorough acquaintance with the classics, a strong moral sense, and an ardent social passion. This rigorous Rugby method i a in striking contrast with the Hawkshead system, which allowed i t s boys so much freedom i n work and play: A race of real children, not too wise, Too learned, or too good,., yielding not In happiness to the happiest upon earth, 2 1 E, K, Chambers, Matthew Arnold; A Study. p,4v 2 P. V, 411-20.: - * 2 -In 18*0 Arnold won the school prize for poetry with his »Alarie at Rome.* He won a scholarship to B a l l i o l i n 18*1, and graduated in 1844*. He then taught at Rugby u n t i l his election to a fellowship at Oriel i n 18*5. His f i r s t volume of poems, The Strayed Reveller and Other Poems, was published i n 1849. His sister wrote of them: It i s the moral strength, or, at any rate, the moral  consciousness which struck and surprised me so much In the poems.1 Matthew had apparently hitherto hidden his seriousness and moral consciousness, beneath his superficial banter, good humour, and gaiety. In I837 he was appointed secretary to Lord Lansdowne, and moved to London. He was appointed Inspector of Schools in 1851, a post which he held for thirty-five years. Matthew Arnold was one of the f i r s t admirers and c r i t i c s of Wordsworth to note the "Joy whose grounds are true" per-vading his poetry.. Xn fact, he attributed much of the great-ness of Wordsworth's poetry to this Joy. Wordsworth's poetry i s great because of the extra-ordinary power with which Wordsworth feels the Joy offered to us i n nature..... The source of Joy from which he thus draws i s the truest and moat unfailing source of joy accessible to man..-.. Nature herself seems... to take ths pen out of his hand, and to write for him with her own bare, sheer, penetrating power,? One would expect such a tribute to be made only by a man who 1 A Writer'a Recollectlone, p, 45, quoted In H.F.Lowry, The Letters of Matthew Arnold to Arthur Hugh Plough. p * 2 6 . 2 Essay3 In Criticism. Second Series, pp^ 108-9, 112 -*3-also f e l t that Joy in nature. However, there i s certainly very l i t t l e feeling of Joy i n Arnold's poetry. The prevailing mood of his poetry i s rather one of longing, regret, or melancholy, and at the beat an austere and r a r i f i e d stoical pleasure. This does not suggest that Arnold was insensitive to nature. In-deed, he was a true Englishman in his deep appreciation of the beauties of nature. He observed nature closely and ac-curately, and what he says of his descriptions i n Thvrais i s applicable to a l l his nature poetry: "The images are a l l from actual observation.."1 In many of his letters to his mother, he described the beauties of various places he vi s i t e d i n his inspection tours. His descriptions i n Thyrsia and The Scho- l a r gypsy have made him the r>oet of the Cummer countryside, as Wordsworth i s of the Lakes D i s t r i c t . When garden-walks, and a l l the floor, With bloesoms, red and white, offallen May, And chestnut-flowers are strewn— So have I heard the-cuckoo's parting cry, From the wet f i e l d , through the vext garden trees, Gome with the volleying rain and tossing breeze. 2 He wrote also of the gleaming "pale, dew-drench*d, half-shut roses", the "burnished sycamores", "gold-dusted snapdragon", and of sweet-William "with i t s homely cottage smell," He noticed "the fragrant lawn with i t s cool trees," end the white anemones that "starr'd the cool turf", the "blue, haze- . cradled mountains", the "Jasmine muffled latt i c e s " , and the "darting swallowa" and "bright-eyed squirrels." 1 0 , W, E, Hus8ell, Letters of Matthew Arnold. Vol,I,p,325. 2 Thyrale, lines 54-59. -44-Arnold was as sensitive to "the nighty world of eye and ear" as his great Master.. His pleasures in nature were mainly derived frost sensuous aesthetic perception of external nature. The quiet, peaceful countryside brought him peace and quiet and sensuous delight.. At such times nature became the "calm soul of a l l things19 to which he could retreat from "men's im-pious uproar" and find a peace of thine Han did not make, and cannot mar .f There are a f f i n i t i e s with Wordsworth in this contrasting of the quiet of nature with the disquietude of man. Words-worth praised the mountains and the sounding cataracts for keeping him from " l i t t l e enmities and low desires" 2; end Arnold looked to the sun, moon, and stars, "too great for haste, too high for rivalry.."3 For Wordsworth, "the morning shines, nor heedeth man's perversenessHi{'; and for Arnold, the same vainly-throbbing heart was there, and the same bright calm rnoon.''^ This, conception of nature i s of course more characteristic of Arnold than of Wordsworth.. Arnold wished on his "bed of death 0 to escape the minis-trations of doctor and priest and to see once more. Bathed in the sacred dews of morn The wide aerial landscape spread--The world which was ere X was born, v The world which lasts when X am dead. 1 Kenalttgton gardens. 37-40. 3 £... I X , 431,. 3 Quiet Work. 8 . 4 P. XXX,3 I - 2 , 5 A Summer Night. 24-5, There l e t me 0 0 2 © , t i l l I become • -Is soul t&th what "I .gee* on wedt To feel the univeroe js^ home; To have before ay mind-**,. The pure eternal course of l i f e , Hot human combetings with death. Thue feeling, gazing, le t me grow Cempoe'd, refre&h'fii ennobled, ole®r;, ,-* In thin wiph for peace end quiet there was also a Seep desire for permanence end o yearning for $ »®nee of oaeneee with the universe. Throughout hie l i f e Arnold sought gome principle of permanence on which he could rely, some base fro© which to combat, This ©treage di&eeee of modem l i f e « . tfith i t s sick harry, i t s divided »i»o* He FQW in nature the permanence and peace that he deelred. To him, as to Wordsworth, she Hold® up before the mind istoxicsto 3lth present objects, end the busy dance Of things that pao© seat, a temperate shew Of object© thet endure. 5 In this etehility end permanence, Arnold thought, ley the superiority af listuro over ison* Mature outlasted the poet end hie themes, outlasted man, end outloeted death. Arnold found this permanene© edifying in contract vith the tronisltorineee of men. 3hlle the "complaining millions'* of oen lived in "labour and pain,*4 noturo looked on "mild and Inscrut-ably eaim, w* Arnold turned to nature for her exemplary and e&ify-' 1 A UishT¥3-W;"41-80. [ ~ '"'n""''" 8 S^to Scholar Qyasv, 803-4. 3 P.•XIII, 4 The Youth of Mature &nd The Youth of Bteiu -lin-ing aspects. The cosmos carried out i t s operations above the adhere of man, and could provide him with an example of peace and tranquillity: One lesson, nature, let me learn of t h e e — One lesson that in every wind i s blown, ... Of t o i l unaever'd from Tranquillity... $hile on earth a thousand discords ring S t i l l do thy sleepless ministers move on, Their glorious tasks i n silence perfecting... Labourers that shall not f a i l , when man i s gone.1 By contrast with man who toiled "with aching hands and bleed-ing feet", nature performed her work effortlessly and un-queationingly, ?nd in so doing achieved a calm and dignity lacking i n man. Unaffrlghted by the silence round them, tJn&istracted by the eights they see These demand not that the things without them Yield them love, amusement, sympathy.2 Arnold also suggested that nature had once striven l i k e man and had similarly f e l t "that severe, that earnest a i r " , but had f i n a l l y achieved peace and tranquillity; and he implies that perhaps man too may find the law of his being. 3 Arnold merely suggested this without explanation or developmentJ He could carry the thought no further. Though Arnold emotionally desired to identify him-self with nature and assign himself & place in the permanent cosmic processes, he was intellectually unable to do so. His Empedocles, in Emoedoclea on Etna, was able to do so only i n death. 1 Quiet Work. 2 8elf-Dependence. 17-20. 3 Morality, last stanza. - 4 7 -Arnold's enjoyment of nature was, on the whole, a mature centemulative pleasure. In him there wag nose of Words-worth 1e ecstatic delight in nature for her own eaks. We cannot Imagine Arnold abandoning himself to nature's "aching Joys" and "dizzy raptures", nor can we olcture him, even as a child, sporting "naked in the thunder, shower'.1, as Wordsworth did. Indeed, nature does not seem to have held much appeal for Arnold as a child: In many people, perhaps with the majority of educated persons, the love of nature i s nearly imperceptible at ten y|&rs old, but strongly operative at t h i r t y . 1 In maturity, Arnold lacked Wordsworth's enthusiasm for nature because he lacked his imaginative insight into nature. Arnold's reasoned deductions about nature carry none of the warmth of Wordsworth's emotional convictions. Arnold turned to nature for moral example, and Wordsworth turned to her for moral help. Wordsworth believed that nature actively participated in the moral growth of man through childhood, youth, and maturity. Bature, for him, was not the cold "uncaring and undelighted" stars of Arnold's Empedocles, nor the solemn h i l l s and lonely sky performing their t&sks i n stoic resignation, but a warm and glowing universe that en-larged- and strengthened the sympathies and affections and stimulated the imagination. 1 Esaava i n Criticism. Second Series* p., 107. Arnold's rare visionary momenta brought him l i t t l e comfort compared to the joy which Wordsworth derived from similar ex-periences. Arnold saw through nature That general l i f e , which does not cease, Whose secret i s not joy, but peace. 1 To Wordsworth i t was nature's privilege Through a l l the years of this our l i f e , to lead From joy to joy...* 2 Wordaworth had faith that every flower enjoyed the a i r i t breathed, whereas Arnold observed that the solemn h i l l s and lonely sky seamed to bear rather than rejoice. Though Arnold found great consolation in Wordsworth's expressions of his faith, he could not accent their premises. He implied that Wordsworth's optimism was possible only to one who could avert his eyes from "half of human fate"3 or out by "the cloud of mortal destiny."** We must admit that there i s a certain amount of justice in Arnold's criticism. Wordsworth inherited the 'Divine Providence' philosophy of the eighteenth century and found no reason to question i t seriously. In the seclusion of the lakes and mountains, he could ignore many of the darker aspects of human existence. Disregard of e v i l , however, was not the sole basis for Wordsworth's optimism and faith i n nature. He saw nature as a unified whole, with each element transfused and modified by his conception of the 1 Resignation. 191-2. 2 Tint em Abbey. 12^-5. 3 Stanzas in Memory of the Author of "Obermann". 53, 4 Memorial Verses. 70* - in-complete plan. He thought that there was, ... a s p i r i t and a pulse of good, A l i f e and soul, to every mode of being Inseparably linked. 1 He apprehended, as did many eighteenth century optimists, the good in the whole rather than merely the e v i l i n the parts. He saw that sometimes pain and wrong were conditions con-tributing to the happiness of the whole; for example., the poverty of the Cumberland Beggar disposed the villagers to virtue and true goodness. It was nature's law that no created things "should exist divorced from good." Wordsworth had found joy and happiness the only true l i f e for himself. In his per-iod of bondage to the int e l l e c t , he had been shut off from his highest moods and clearest moments of insight and rapture, and suffered despair and lethargy of soul. He had re-estab-lished contact with his true self only through his feelings, in contact with nature — the sources of his former joy. Dea-pair had shut off the avenue to truth; joy had re-opened i t . He consciously strove to obtain joy from everything he per-ceived* Indeed, he considered i t part of the poet's art and duty to provide joy for man: The poet writes under one restriction only, namely, the necessity of giving immediate pleasure to a human being....,2 1 The Old Cumberland Beggar. 77-79. 2 "Preface to Lyrical Ballade", Poetical Works, ed. Hutchinson, p. 938. i -So-Arnold did not have Wordsworth's faith nor his philoso-phic optimism. He did not experience Wordsworth's mystic i n -tuitions of the unity of a l l l i f e i n and through nature* pnd he did not apprehend the Inscrutable workmanship that reconciles Discordant elements....1 ^Rigorous teachers* had early purged Ms faith and shown him "the high white star of Truth" 2, l.e. truth acceptable to the intellect. He could see no proof of harmony or purposlveness in nature, and was l e f t , Wandering between two worlds, one dead The other powerless to be born. 3 In his duties as Inspector of Schools, he saw a i l the social etflls of a materialist society fostered by the Indus-t r i a l Hevolution. He dwelt with the Philistines i n their tents, and had too strong a sense of moral responsibility to shut his eyes to the world In which he dwelt. He took for granted the prevailing scientific attitude towards nature, and for him she was certainly not benevolent and good, but merely Indifferent and uncaring. In her very indifference lay her inherent cruelty. nature with equal mind, . 3ees a l l her sons at play, Bees man control the wind, The.wind sweep man away: Allows the proudly-priding and the founder *d berk..* 1 £.1, 3*2-3* ~ ' ^ " 2 Stan&as from the Qrsnd Chartreuse. 67-69, 3 Ibid. 85-6. 4 Empedocles on Etna.257-61. Other expressions of this constantly recurring theme may be found i n Resignation. Conso- lation and A Summer Wight. -51-Arhold was unable to decide whether the world waa & creation from the "mind of One all-pure*, or whether i t was but "a wild unfathered mess" with no divine o r i g i n * 1 He posed the problem, and was prepared for either alternative, but gave no answer. His uncertain stand was indeed a lon$ step from that of the eighteenth century Deists and of Wordsworth* For Wordsworth, love of nature led to love and esteem of ©an; but for Arnold, "nature and man never can be fast friends." 2 One of the central tenets of Arnold's doctrine of nature was the superiority of man over nature; Know, man hath a l l which nature hath, but more. And i n that more l i e s a l l his hopes of good.3 Hature was cruel, f i c k l e , unthinking, and indifferent, but man could transcend nature through the 'more1 that made him unique in the universe, i.e. his Reason and Conscience., Arnold be-lieved that th® potentialities of the human s p i r i t could be realized only through culture. He believed that through c u l -ture man could f u l f i l l the law of his being and could trans-cend nature. Han's task then was to direct his energies to social culture, nature's ministers again provided man with an example, Xn their own tasks a l l their powers pouring Theae attain the mighty l i f e you see..**" 1 Xn Utrurooue Paratua. 2 Xn Harmony with fl&ture. 13, 3 Ibid. 5-6. 4 Self-Deaendence. 27-28. -52-Arnold thought that thia culture could be beet acquired through a knowledge of wthe best that has been said and thought i n the world,* Th© study of letters i s the study of the operation of human force, of human freedom and activity; the study of nature i s the study of the operation of human limitations and passivity. The Contemplation of human force and activity tends to heighten our force and activity; the contemplation of human limits and passivity tends rather to cheek i t . l He said elsewhere that the art, and poetry, and eloquence of men who lived long ago had the power of "refreshing and de-lighting 4 1 us, and that they have also a "fortifying, and elevating, and quickening, and suggestive mower."2 Words-worth found a l l these powers in nature. Wordsworth's tribute to the Greeks was to the "unenlightened swains of pagan Greece,» who. In rural solitude, through the working of the Imagination created myths out of their own experiences — myths which could serve as moral guides, "outward ministers of inward conscience."3 Arnold's greatest praise was for the most enlightened greeks. The inner consolation which Arnold found i n men of the past, Wordsworth found in nature. "In these bad days" Arnold's mind waa propped by Socrates, "the clearest soul'a of men", and Wordsworth i n his 1 Schools and Universities on the Continent. London,1368, 0 . 2 6 0 , quoted i n P. A. Dudley, "Matthew Arnold and Science", PHLA, 57.. Har. 19*2, p. 290, 2 "Literature and Science,tt Arnold. Introduction and Rotes by E. K. Chambers, p. 178, 3 The Excursion. IV, 77*-8*6, -53-iron time Of doubts, disputes, distractions, fears 1 retained his "more than Roman confidence" i n humanity through the ministry of nature: .,.. the g i f t i s yours Ye winds and sounding cataractsi ' t i s yours, Ye mountains.' thine, 0 Nature.*2 Arnold would have man imitate nature only in f u l f i l l i n g his destiny as nature f u l f i l l e d hers. Nature provided the example, and even some inspiration, we begin to get some r e l i e f from Arnold's almost overwhelming pessimism, as he finds a source of hope and optimism. Se looks now to the calm, untroubled heavens, as A world above man's head, to l e t him see Row boundless might his soul's horizon he, How vest, yet of what clear transparency. How high a l o t to f i l l Is l e f t to each man s t i l l . 3 The very striving to transcend nature would raise him above "the brutes who l i v e without a plan." There was no force . outside man to which he could turn for aid, To i t s own impulse every creature s t i r s , Live by thy light, and Earth w i l l l i v e by hers. 1 4 , Man had "no t i t l e from the Gods to welfare and repose"; he had only the possible Socrates in every man and the collective beat self of a nation on which he could rely, Man then, during his 1 Memorial Ver sea. 3^-W>. 2 £ .11 , WK>-7. 3 A Summer Right. 80-92. k Religious Isolation. 13-14. ~B4-GO.journ 013 earth had this hope, plus the eon se let lots ef ex-ternal nature* limited as i t was. Io i t eo seal! a thing To have ess joy* d the sun, % To have lived light in the ©pri;a& . , , 9 hm he reached the end. of Ms journey, home doon the Mvsr of finse, mm might even sesuirQ, through the example set by nature, pgeee of mind and soul, and perhaps catch, Kurmure end seat*to ef th© inf i n i t e eeo. g 1 anwedfliciee on Utmo»''§eV-vC-. S The Future. © 7 . Chapter XV . ITorfieoorth and Arnold wore both poets of the countryside, who preferred the consoling loveliness of rural nature to the disturbing drobnessof torn l i f e . They were both keenly sen-sitive to the external beauties of the physical world; end both described these beoutiea simply and accurately. They both turned to nature for solitude, peace, end tranquillity, end for i t s soothing end healing powers away from a work-a-day world. But in their abstract conceptions of nature the two men differed fundamentally, Although both men conceived of nature as the great example of permanence, peace, end stab-i l i t y , they did not hold identical opinions ©bout nature's regard for man or man's, proper regard for nature. Words-worth's was a doctrine of joy and optimism, end Arnold'© one of atolciem and pessimism. Bach poet's conception of nature was consistent with his own times, end the reasons for the difference in their doctrines of nature are found in the pro-gress of science and thought from the mid-eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth century* ^ordewerth?© conception of nature was consistent with his whole phllorophy of l i f e . To Wordsworth, nature was rtall ia a l l " , flne part of Wordsworth's love of nature was due to the freedom of hie early l i f e , when aa a boy he roamed and played in and around the beautiful lakes end mountains of the Lekea d i s t r i c t . Another part sprang from the eighteenth century philosophy of the benevolence of nature and the good--56-nees and power of the Ueity. In hie ortnodox Christian home, Uordeworth hod been taught to love eisd reverence Obd ee the all-powerful Deity, The fee lings end impulses which he early experienced in hie own soul were eventually equated with this all-powerful God. He conceived of God as the l i f e in thing®, the l i f e in and behind nature - e Deity both lmmeneht and transcendent, By a aynthe&ia of person©! experience end eighteenth century philosophy and religion, Ebrdsworth deve-loped his ethical doctrine of benevolence * Sic optimiem end joy tsero baaed on thia conviction of benevolence and as>od in the world, and on hi a intuition of the oneneea of man and nature. The French devolution des-troyed his faith in pure Heasion, ond renewed and strengthened hie f a i t h in nature. Through this experience, be recognized that nature, the original source'Of hie happiner©, wee the true source of Truth and <Toy for man. He believed that through nature man could be led to love hie fellow men end to love, worship, and obey ©od. In t*ordsworthf a tim, i t mo thought tbat the laws of nature could be applied to the p o l i t i c s of man to cure social i l i a . Nature was* then the lodestar to human perfection and hoppiaeor. At such e tliae an optimistic view of nature was common and acceptable. By Arnold*a time appeal was* mode to the lows of nature to justify economic depression and human misery. There oae a loss of faith in God, and ia a benevolent Pelty working in and behind nature. Nature, in ceasing', to be divine, ceaeed -57-to be Interested In human welfare, and there was no longer the sense of a common s p i r i t binding man and nature., The laws of economies, science, and experience had exposed nat-ure as indifferent, cruel, ana f i c k l e . The law of the phy* si c a l world, as of the economic, was the law of survival of the f i t t e s t . Arnold did not unquestioningly accent a l l the contempor-ary interpretations of nature, particularly the assumptions of the economists and of those who regarded economic theories as 'natural* laws. He did, however, take for granted nat-ure's cruelty and blindness. He found nothing i n his obser-vations or experience to make him think otherwise. Indeed his own pursuit of truth had destroyed his fa i t h i n a bene-volent Deity behind nature., He regarded nature as a great indifferent force, s i l e n t l y and tranquilly f u l f i l l i n g the inexorable laws of i t s being, apart from man. In carrying out i t s task, nature provided man with an example of stead-fastness, tranquillity and resignation, but also demon-strated to man that his survival depended on his own efforts. Arnold believed that i n a levelled and mechanical universe, man could become superior only through his own efforts, only by striving to transcend his brute creation, i.e. by striving to transcend nature,. I f man were to survive, he must sur-vive oh the higher level to which he was capable of rising, the level to which man In the past had risen,. This level could be attained through culture. • ~9B* Arnold*e pessimistic view of nature seems to be tb® poly tenable ©its for a man aneke to bis times in tho materialistic world.created by science and tne Industrial Devolution, pa r t i -cularly for a mail «it» Arnold's strong ©oral conscience. Between the time of ^ordsi^orth and Arnold, man lost his place in nature and In the Chain of Being. He v&o had been the chosen creature and colleague of nature had n©e> become her unregarded servant, There ssas apparently no longer rea-son or order in nature, $hen man ceased to be the mala l i n k in the Chain of Using, i t collapsed, leaving only a die* ordered heap of uniformly smell linka. t&m m@ loot to sight i n the tangled ma$£• Bature had lost her order and t e l e o l -ogies! purpose and had becoae an overwhelming and irrational external force uhlchtmn must strive to overcome• Faith in nature ees replaced by f a i t h in man, and there ©aa nothing l e f t in nature but her physical aSornmente - mountaine and lekee, gras©, trees, end flowre. fhes® continued to give |oy and congelation in an otherwise drab universe, but they cere no longer evidence of e divine and benevolent iblng in and behind nature. -59-B 1 8 L.I O . f t S A p n X. HISTORICAL MCKOBQUHD Sernbsum, E., ed., Oelecttong from the Pre-Romantic Movement. Bex? York, Thomas Kelson and Eons, 1931. (Bernbaum, E., ed., Anthology of Romanticist* and fluids  through the Romantic Etovenent. Vol. 2.) Batho, E., end fcobree, B., The Victorians and After. London, The Gresset Preso, 1938. (Pobree. B.. ed.. Introductions  To English Literature. Vol. 1830-191^.) BeaGh, J. U. , The Concept of Mature i n ftlneteenth-Ccmtugy  English Poetry. &ew York, The JiscKillan Company, 193*3. Brown, P. A., The French Revolution In English History. London, George Allen and Wnwin Ltd., 1918. Cariyie, T., Latter-Sav Pamphlets. London, Chapman end Hall Ltd., 1903.. Chesterton, G. K., The Victorian Age in Literature. London, Thornton Butter^orth, Ltd., 1913. Cooper, Anthony Ashley, Earl of Shaftesbury, Characters of  Men^ Manners. Opinions. Timen. etc., ed., Robertson, John Ht., London, Grant Richards, 1900. Cunliffe, J . tJ., Leaders of the Victorian Revolution. Blew York, London, 9. Appleton-Oentury Company, Inc., 193^* Darwin, C , The Life and Letters of Charles Parwln. ed*, Prone 10 Darwin, London, John Jlurrsy, 1887* 9eane, C. V., Aspect« of Eighteenth Century fetura Pqetry. Oxford, Basil Qlsckwell, 1935. Powden, E., The French devolution find English Literature. London, Kegen Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co., Ltd., 1911* Fcirchild, ff. II., The 13ohle gava&e. Hew York, Columbia University Preso, 1928. Graves, C. L., nr. Punch'n History of Modern England. London, Cassell and Company Ltd., 1921. de Haas, C. E., Oature and the Country in Emyllah Poetry of  the First Half of the Eighteenth Cantury. Amsterdam, H. J . Paris, 1 9 2 8 . • -6o-Hammond, J. L., and Hammond, Barbara, The Town Labourer^ London, Longmans, Green and Co., 1920. Hartley, D.., Observations on Man. Hie Frame. His Duty and  His Expectations. (1791)f Londohr Reprinted for J. Johnson, 1791. Inge,, W. R. The Victorian Age. Cambridge, University Press, 1922. LoveJoy, A. 0., The Oreat Chain of Being. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press," 1936. Hal thus-, T. R., An Essay on the Principle of Population. . Fifth Edition, London, John Murrey, 1617. Reynolds, Myra, Nature In English Poetry Between Pone and  Wordsworth. Chicago. University of Chicago Press f 1909. Routh, H. V., England Under Victoria. London, Hethuen and Go.., Ltd., 1930. Routh, H. V,,- Towards the Twentieth Century. Cambridge, University Press, 1937. Schilling, Bernard N., Human Dignity and the Oreat Victorians. Hew York, Columbia University Press, 19*7. Somervell, D. C , The Victorian Aae. London, *0>. Bell, and Sons, 1937, Historical Association Pamphlet, No, 107... Somervell, D. C , English Thought in the Nineteenth Century. London, Methusn and Co., Ltd., 1929, . Stevenson, Lionel, Darwin Among the Poets. Chicago, Univer-sity of Chicago Press, 1932. Tinker, C. B., nature's Blmole Plan. Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1922. Trevelyan, 0, M . , British^History in the Nineteenth Century  and After (1782-1919). London. Longmans. Green and Co., Second Edition, 1937, Wagner, Bv 0., ed., Social Reformers: Adam Smith to John Dewey. Hew York, The MacMlllan Company, 19^3* Whitehead, A. H., Science and the Modern World. Hew York, The MacMlllan Go., 1925. Willey, Basil, The Eighteenth Century Background. London, Chatto and Windus, 19&0. -61-Wlngfield-Stratford, E., The Victorian Tragedy. Londonr 8. Routledge and Sons, Ltd., 1931. Young, 0. M., Victorian England. London, Humphrey Milford, 1936. II. WILLIAM WORDSWORTH Bibliography Bateson, F. W., ed., The Cambridge Bibliography of English  Xiterature.. Cambridge, University Press, 19^0, Vol.. 3 , pp. 165-172. Works The Poetical. Works of William Wordsworth, ed.., Hutchinson, T.,, (1850), Oxford University Press, 19*2. The Prelude., ed, from the manuscripts by E. de Sellncourt, Oxford, at the Clarendon Press, 1926. Poems of Wordsworth. Chosen and ed. Matthew Arnold, London, MacMlllan. and Co., Ltd., 1897. C r i t i c a l . Arnold, Matthew. Essays and Studies. Second Series (1888), London, MacMlllan and Col, Ltd., 19*1, Beatty, Arthur, William Wordsworth; His Doctrine and Art in their Historical Relation, second ed,., Madison, Univer-sity of Wisconsin Studies i n Language and Literature, Ho. 2*>.-1929. Bradley, A. C , Oxford Lectures on Poetry, London, MacMlllan and Co., Ltd., 193*. Burra, P., Wordsworth. London, Duckworth, 1936, Cooper, Lane, A Concordance to the Poems of William Wordsworth. London, Smith, Elder and Co., 1911, Oarrod, W.. H.., Wordsworth. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1923, Oingerich, 8. F., Essays i n the Romantic Poets. Hew York, The MacMlllan Company, 1929. -62-Harper, ft. H., Wllilam Wordsworth His Life. works, and In- fluence . New York, Charles 3cribners Sons/ 1916, Havens, R. D., The Mind of a Poet. Baltimore, John Hopkins Press, 1941, Herford, C. H., The Age of WordsworthP London, 0. Bell and Sons,, Ltd., 1939• Legouls, E,, the Early Life of William Wordsworth, trans. J . W. Matthews, New York,""tl P. Dutton and Co., 1918. Hyersi F. W. ft., Wordsworth. London, MacMillan and Co., I883. .Hader, Melvin M., Presiding Ideas In Wordsworth's Poetry. Seattle, University of Washington Press, 1931. Read, H ., Wordsworth. London, J. Cape, 1930. Sherwood,. Margaret, Undercurrents of Influence in English Romantic Poetry. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1934. Spurgeon, C. F. E., Mysticism in English Literature. Cambridge, University Press, 1913. . Stallkneeht, jlewton P., Strange Seas of Thought. Pur ham, Puke University Press, 1945. Winchester, C. T., William Wordsworth. Indianapolis, The Bobbs-Merril Company, 1916. Periodicals Christensen, F., "Creative Sensibility in Wordsworth," (October, 1946), Journal of English and Germanic Philology Vol. 45, pp. 3 6 l - 3 6§7 1 ^""^ "~ * Rader, K., "The Transcendentalism of William Wordsworth, <} Modern Philology. Vol. 26, (November, 1928),pp.169-190. Thorpe, C. D>.# "The Imagination: Coleridge Versus Wordsworth," Philological Quarterly. Vol. 18, (January, 1939),pp.1-18. T r i l l i n g , L., "Wordsworth's 'Ode: Intimations of Immortality,'" English Institute Annual. 1941, pp. 1-28. Willey, Basil, "Wordsworth's Beliefs," Criterion. Vol. 13, (January, 1934), pp. 232-251. - 6 3 -MATTHEW ARNOLD Bibliography Bateson> ed.. The Cambridge Bibliography of Engllah Literature. Cambridge, University Press] 19*0, Vol; 3; pp. 265-70. Ehrsam, T. 0., Delly, R. H., Smith, R. M., Bibliographies of  Twelve Victorian Authors. New York, The H. W. Wilson Company, 1936. Templeraan, W. D., ed., Bibliographies of Studies in Victorian  Literature..1932-19***, Urbana, University of I l l i n o i s . Press, 19**5. works The Poems of Matthew Arnold, 18*0*1867, London, Oxford . University Press, 1937. The Poems of Matthew Arnold. 18*0-1866. (Everyman edn.), London, J. M. Dent and Sons, Ltd., 1912. Poetry and Prose, with an Introduction and Notes by E. K. Chambers, Oxford, At the Clarendon Press, 1939. Culture and Anarchy and Friendship's Garland. New York, The MacMlllan Company, 1899. Essays In Criticism. Second Series (1888), London, MacMlllan and Co., Ltd., 19*1. C r i t i c a l Chambers, E. JC., Matthew Arnold. A Study. Oxford, At the Clarendon Press^ 19*7. Harvey, C.H., Matthew Arnold: A C r i t i c of the Victorian  Period. London, James Clarke and Co., Ltd., 1931. " Lowry, H. F., The Letters of Matthew Arnold to Arthur Hugh  Plough. London and New York, Oxford University Press, Humphrey Milford, 1932. Lucas, F. L., Ten Victorian Poets. Cambridge, University Press, 19*0. Russell, G. W. E., Matthew.Arnold. New York, Charles Scrib-ner's Sons, 19o5> -64-Rusoell, 0. U. E., Letters of Matthew Arnold. 1848-1888. collected and arranged by O.' V, E . Rugsell, London, IfecMlllan and Go., 1895. Oells, XrlSj E., Matthew Arnold and France. Cambridge, University Press, 1935. Tinker, C. B. ana Lowry, H. F,, The Poetry of Matthew Arnold f London, Oxford University Press, 1940; Trilli n g , . Lionel, Matthew Arnold. Hew York, W* W< Sbrton and Co., 1930. Walker^ Hugh, The Literature of the Victorian Sra. Cambridge, University Press, 1940. Periodicals Bradfleld, Thomas, "Ethical Tendency of Ifet^jheiKArnold's Poety,* Westminster Review. Vol. 142 xJuiy/Beceraber,1894), PP. 650-06T v_y Bush, D., "The Varied Hues of Pessimism,* ftalhousle Review. Vol* 9 (October, 1929), pp. 271-281. Dudleyj F. A., "Matthew Arnold and Science," Publications of  the tfo&era Language Association of America. Vol. 57, (Kerch, 1942), pp. 275-294. E l l i o t t , 0 . R., "The Amoldlan Lyric Melancholy," Publications  of the Modern Language Association of America. Vol. 38, (December, 1923), pp. 929-932. ^ Sedgewlck, G, G., "tfordswofcth, Arnold, and Profesoor Lane Cooper," Dalhousle Review^ Vol. 10 (April, 1930), pp. 57-66. 


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items