UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Satire in the novels of Thomas Love Peacock Ferguson, Byron Laird 1950

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S A T I R E I N T H E N O V E L S O F T H O M A S L O V E P E A C O C K fey B Y R O N L A I R D F E R G U S O N A t h e s i s s u b m i t t e d i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s f a r t h e d e g r e e o f M A S T E R O F A R T S I n t h e D e p a r t m e n t ,J ' E N G L I S H Q f T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A A U G U S T , 1950 S a t i r e i n the Novels of Thomas,Love Peacock ABSTRACT Two main problems are i n v e s t i g a t e d : Peacock's technique, h i s aims and method, as a s a t i r i c a l n o v e l i s t ; and h i s p e r s o n a l o p i n i o n s , which, o f t e n obscured.by i r o n y , can be determined only by r e f e r e n c e to biography, and to h i s l e t t e r s , memoirs, and s e r i o u s essays. He aimed to s a t i r i z e " p u b l i c conduct and p u b l i c o p i n i o n " and not p r i v a t e l i f e . H i s c h a r a c t e r s , i n the •'humours" t r a d i t i o n , are a b s t r a c t i o n s , o f t o p i c a l i d e a s , f a d s , and t h e o r i e s ; others are c a r i c a t u r e s o f contemporary p h i l o s o p h e r s , p o l i t i c i a n s , and men o f l e t t e r s . A l l expose the f o l l y o f t h e i r o p i n i o n w h ile i n d u l g i n g i n a f t e r - d i n n e r wine, song, and con-t r o v e r s y . Peacock b e l i e v e d that 'pretentiousness and f o l l y pervaded upper m i d d l e - c l a s s E n g l i s h s o c i e t y . As a s a t i r i s t , he i s a j e s t e r , not a reformer. H i s a t t a c k , d i f f u s e and g e n e r a l l y s u p e r f i c i a l , i s governed by l a u g h t e r r a t h e r than b i t t e r n e s s . H i s i r o n y i s d i s c e r n i b l e i n h i s treatment of c h a r a c t e r and s e t t i n g , i n h i s s c o r n f u l a t t i t u d e towards h i s reader, and i n h i s d i v i d e d p o s i t i o n as a humorist who some-times poses as a s e r i o u s c r i t i c . He i s a s t y l i s t , a c r e a t o r of w i t t y and pedantic d i a l o g u e who i s content merely to a i r d i s p a r a t e and extreme i d e a s , to pursue f o l l y w ithout attempt-i n g t o s l a y i t . Peacock's p e r s o n a l o p i n i o n s and p r e j u d i c e s are determined, thus to i n t e r p r e t h i s s a t i r e , i n these broad a r e a s : s o c i e t y , p o l i t i c s , r e l i g i o n , e ducation and s c i e n c e , and men of l e t t e r s . He r i d i c u l e s the c u r r e n t d o c t r i n e s of primitivism;-and p r o g r e s s ; He g e n e r a l l y avoids comment on the upper and lower c l a s s e s , and on the moral and humanitarian problems of the-times. H i s most s u c c e s s f u l , a t t a c k i s a g a i n s t Tory a n t i -r eform p o l i c y ; but he a l s o d i s t r u s t s the p o l i t i c a l masses and the e a r l y U t i l i t a r i a n a ppeal f o r a wide e x t e n s i o n of the f r a n c h i s e . He accepts the i d e a o f l a i s s e r - f a i r e , p a r t i c u l a r l y the a s s e r t i o n of man's r i g h t to p e r s o n a l o p i n i o n and r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f . H i s r e l i g i o u s s a t i r e changes with the t i m e s : i n h i s e a r l y work, some unpublished, he a t t a c k s d i r e c t l y the drunken-ness and ignorance of c e r t a i n A n g l i c a n c l e r g y ; h i s r e l i g i o u s a t t i t u d e , more pagan than C h r i s t i a n , probably remains, but h i s l a t e r clergymen v o i c e h i s o p i n i o n s of c l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e and the " p r o g r e s s " of the times. His view of e d u c a t i o n i s c l a s -s i c a l and a r i s t o c r a t i c : he o b j e c t s t o education f o r the masses, to the t r a i n i n g o f f e r e d by the u n i v e r s i t i e s , and t o the found-i n g of Mechanics' I n s t i t u t e s . H i s r e a l enemy i s not " p r o g r e s s " but Lord Brougham, the M i n i s t e r and educator whom he d i s l i k e d p e r s o n a l l y . H i s a t t a c k on Southey and Wordsworth a l s o grows from p e r s o n a l enmity. He r e s p e c t s t h e i r p o e t r y but he d e s p i s e s t h e i r p o l i t i c s . Both are charged as Tory h i r e l i n g s . H i s c a r i c a t u r e s of C o l e r i d g e , the K a n t i a n p h i l o s o p h e r and the l a y preacher, are merely f a c e t i o u s . H i s most s u c c e s s f u l c a r i c a t u r e exposes S h e l l e y ' s f o l l y as a y o u t h f u l r e f o r m e r and l o v e r . He o b j e c t s t o Byron's m i s a n t h r o p i c a l pose i n C h i l d e Harold, but he admires him as a f e l l o w - s a t i r i s t . CONTENTS Chapter 1. Background and Problems i n I n t e r p r e t a t i o n . . 1 Peacock's novels i n o u t l i n e . 1 D i r e c t i o n and scope of t h i s study . . . . 3 S a t i r e i n Peacock's p o e t r y 3 Peacock and h i s c r i t i c s 7 Chapter 2. Peacock 1 s Aims and A t t i t u d e 11 Chapter 3. Peacock's Method 20 Chapter 4. S o c i a l S a t i r e 28 Chapter 3- P o l i t i c a l S a t i r e 37 Chapter 6. R e l i g i o u s S a t i r e 49 Chapter 7« S a t i r e o f Progress i n E d u c a t i o n and S c i e n c e . 37 Chapter 8. S a t i r e o f L i t e r a r y Contemporaries 64 Southey and Wordsworth. 64 C o l e r i d g e 72 S h e l l e y . . . 80 Byron . 87 B i b l i o g r a p h y 96" SATIRE IN THE NOVELS OF THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK CHAPTER 1 Background and Problems i n I n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Peacocks nov e l s i n o u t l i n e . The popular reader of f i c t i o n i n l8lj? was d o u b t l e s s p l e a s e d w i t h t h i s c o n v e n t i o n a l b e g i n n i n g of a new n o v e l : The ambiguous l i g h t of a December morning, peeping through the windows of the Holyhead m a i l , d i s p e l l e d the s o f t v i s i o n s of the four i n s i d e s , who had s l e p t , or seemed to s l e e p , through the f i r s t seventy m i l e s of the r o a d . . . . l I f the r e a d e r ' s t a s t e s were t y p i c a l , i f he a n t i c i p a t e d a n o v e l of sentiment or t e r r o r w i t h i t s s e t t i n g i n the a n c i e n t e s t a t e of S q u i r e Headlong i n Wales, he was perhaps s t a r t l e d to read on the f o l l o w i n g page: The f o u r persons were, Mr. F o s t e r , the p e r f e c -t i b i l i a n ; Mr. E s c o t , the d e t e r i o r a t i o n i s t ; Mr. Jenkinson, the s t a t u - q u o - i t e ; and the Reverend Doctor Gaster, who, though of course n e i t h e r a p h i l o s o p h e r nor a man of t a s t e , had so won on the S q u i r e ' s fancy, by a l e a r n e d d i s s e r t a t i o n on the a r t o f - s t u f f i n g a t urkey, t h a t he concluded no Christmas p a r t y would be complete without him. 2 This beginning of Thomas Love Peacock's f i r s t n o v e l , Headlong H a l l , i n t r o d u c e s the reader a t once to t r a i t s common to a l l the"novels o f t a l k " : a s e t of c h a r a c t e r s who r a r e l y become more than p e r s o n i f i e d a b s t r a c t i o n s of a c o n t e n t i o u s i n t e r e s t or theory, who t a l k merely to expound w i t h o u t attempting t o con-v i n c e , who share a z e s t f o r good food and wine and t a l k , and who d i s p l a y t h e i r o p i n i o n s and f o l l i e s i n passages t h a t range 1. T.L.Peacock, Headlong H a l l (1815), ed. David Garnett, London, Rupert Hart-Davis, 1948, p.9 . 2. I b i d . , p.11. f r o m f a r c e a n d f a n t a s y t o s u s t a i n e d i r o n y . I n c o n s i d e r i n g t h i s c u r i o u s m i x t u r e o f c o m e d y a n d s a t i r e , t h i s s t u d y w i l l e x a m i n e i n s o m e d e t a i l P e a c o c k ' s s e v e n p u b l i s h e d n o v e l s : f i v e n o v e l s o f t a l k o r o p i n i o n , e a c h w i t h a c o n t e m p o r a r y s e t t i n g , H e a d l o n g H a l l ( 1 8 I J ? ) , M e l i n c o u r t ( 1 8 1 7 ) , N i g h t m a r e A b b e y ( 1 8 1 8 ) , C r o t c h e t C a s t l e ( l 8 ? l ) , a n d G r y l l  G r a n g e ( l 8 6 l ) ; a n d t w o h i s t o r i c a l r o m a n c e s , i n w h i c h t h e p r e s e n t i s s a t i r i z e d o b l i q u e l y i n t e r m s o f t h e p a s t , M a i d M a r i a n ( 1 8 2 2 ) , a n d T h e M i s f o r t u n e s o f E l p h i n ( 1 8 2 9 ) . T h e n o v e l s o f t a l k a l l e x p l o i t a d o m i n a n t t h e m e o r p a r t i c u l a r c o n t r o v e r s y t h a t , b e i n g t o p i c a l , i n v i t e s s a t i r e . T h e c o n t r a r y i d e a s o f p r o g r e s s a n d p r i m i t i v i s m a r e t h e b a s i s o f t h e d i s c u s s i o n i n H e a d l o n g H a l l . A s i n a l l t h e n o v e l s , r o m a n -t i c l o v e i s h e r e t r e a t e d w i t h e x t r e m e i m p r o b a b i l i t y , w i t h t h e h a p h a z a r d m a r r i a g e o f v a r i o u s l o v e r s e m p l o y e d m e r e l y a s a d e v i c e t o c o n c l u d e t h e n o v e l . M e l i n c o u r t , t h e l o n g e s t o f t h e n o v e l s , c o n t a i n s t h e m o s t d i f f u s e s a t i r e . T h e c e n t r a l f i g u r e , S i r O r a n , i s a c i v i l i z e d t h o u g h m u t e o r a n g - o u t a n g w h o b e c o m e s t h e p a r l i a m e n t a r y r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f a r o t t e n b o r o u g h . W o r d s -w o r t h , C o l e r i d g e , a n d S o u t h e y a r e a t t a c k e d a s l i t e r a r y h i r e -l i n g s o f t h e T o r y p a r t y . T h u s t h e s a t i r e b e c o m e s a m a n y - s i d e d a t t a c k o n r e a c t i o n a r y o p i n i o n i n p o l i t i c s , p h i l o s o p h y , a n d l i t e r a t u r e . T h e s a t i r e i n N i g h t m a r e A b b e y i s s p e c i f i c a n d c o h e r e n t , d i r e c t e d * a g a i n s t t h e c u l t o f t h e G o t h i c a n d t h e " m o r b i d i t i e s " w h i c h t h e a u t h o r d i s c e r n e d i n c o n t e m p o r a r y f i c t i o n . F o r p l o t a n d c e n t r a l f i g u r e s , h e d r a w s u p o n t h e s i t u a t i o n i n w h i c h S h e l l e y , M a r y , a n d H a r r i e t f o u n d t h e m s e l v e s i n 1 8 1 4 . * - 5 -I n the l a t e r n o v e l s of o p i n i o n , C r o t c h e t C a s t l e and G r y l l Grange', the a t t a c k i s centered on the p r o g r e s s , the "march of mind", of the ce n t u r y . The author i n t r o d u c e s a host of e x t r e m i s t s , f a d d i s t s , and reformers i n almost a l l the a r t s and s c i e n c e s , and r e v e a l s h i s p r e j u d i c e s i n a t t a c k s on p o l i t -i c a l economy, popular education, the u n i v e r s i t i e s , and L o r d Brougham. A t t a c k on the A n g l i c a n c l e r g y now almost d i s a p p e a r s w i t h the i n t r o d u c t i o n of Dr. F o l l i o t t and Dr. Opimian, two Johnsonian d i v i n e s who become spokesmen f o r the author's views on the major t o p i c s of progress and c l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e . In the h i s t o r i c a l romances, the s a t i r e becomes more i n d i r e c t and u n i v e r s a l . Using a romantic and p i c t o r i a l s e t t i n g , Peacock r e f i n e s h i s a t t a c k with i r o n i c comment on the broad t o p i c s of s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l i n j u s t i c e by comparing the con-temporary scene w i t h the i d e a l i z e d p a s t . I n Maid Marian, a f r e e a d a p t a t i o n of the Robin Hood legend, he p r a i s e s i r o n i c a l l y the " l e g i t i m a c y " of an out lav/ s o c i e t y . The M i s f o r t u n e s o f  E l p h i n , s e t i n s i x t h century Wales, i s n o t a b l e as s a t i r e m a i n l y f o r the i n t r o d u c t i o n of an o r i g i n a l c h a r a c t e r , P r i n c e Seithenyn, who serves as a v e h i c l e of a t t a c k on Tory a n t i - r e f o r m p o l i c y . D i r e c t i o n and scope o f t h i s study The f o r e g o i n g o u t l i n e of Peacock's nov e l s i s intended to acquaint the reader with h i s range and t o p i c s as a s a t i r i s t . No attempt i s made i n t h i s study t o catalogue h i s many o b j e c t s of a t t a c k . The purpose i s r a t h e r to estimate the l i t e r a r y v a lue of h i s s a t i r e and, i n p a r t i c u l a r , to c o n s i d e r two main problems. Chapters two and three tender an i n v e s t i g a t i o n of h i s aims and a t t i t u d e , and h i s method as a s a t i r i s t . H i s technique i s examined f i r s t because of the obscure r e l a t i o n -ship between h i s serious intentions and h i s facetious method. Peacock's novels represent a unique l i t e r a r y a r t , almost f r e e from influence or t r a d i t i o n . They bear mainly the stamp of h i s personality, his crotchets and opinions. But he chose to hide his i d e n t i t y i n an a r t i f i c i a l , self-conscious form that cannot be likened p r e c i s e l y to either s a t i r e or f i c t i o n . The discovery of Peacock's b e l i e f s , the other problem, i s thus rendered d i f f i c u l t by the obscurity of his manner. In the remaining chapters, four to eight i n c l u s i v e , h i s s a t i r e i s c l a s s i f i e d to show the major emphasis of h i s attack, extending over a half-century period, on the broad topics of society, p o l i t i c s , r e l i g i o n , education and science, and l i t e r a t u r e . The usual approach i n his c r i t i c i s m , that of i d e n t i f y i n g Peacock with c e r t a i n characters i n his novels, i s here l a r g e l y avoided for several reasons. In h i s long career as a novelist, he s e l -dom enunciates a f i x e d conviction. Nor can his philosophy, i f he had one, be considered e c l e c t i c ; he i s an i r o n i s t who w i l l s a c r i f i c e any opinion or theory for a j e s t . . In Peacock, the reader enters i n t o a game, the puzzle being to discover the author's po s i t i o n , concealed amid an array of c o n f l i c t i n g opinion. In discovering his b e l i e f s , thus to inte r p r e t his s a t i r e , this study follows mainly a biographical approach. This approach reveals that Peacock, the Ironist, often over-states what he does not mean, and understates what he does mean. Although the bulk of h i s attack on the Lake poets, for example, i s made on l i t e r a r y grounds, he admired t h e i r poetry. But he c a r e f u l l y hides his r e a l judgment of t h e i r poetry -5-because he d e s p i s e d t h e i r p o l i t i c s . Before c o n s i d e r i n g h i s a t t a c k , one must be acquainted t h e r e f o r e with h i s background, two a s p e c t s of which are p a r t i c u l a r l y r e l e v a n t : h i s attempts as a s a t i r i c poet, before t u r n i n g to the novel form; and h i s p r i v a t e l i f e and o p i n i o n s as d i s t i n c t from h i s guise as a s a t i r i s t . S a t i r e i n Peacock's p o e t r y As a young poet, Peacock r e p r e s s e d an i n c l i n a t i o n f o r s a t i r e w h i l e attempting t o " f o l l o w n a t u r e " as a d i s c i p l e of Wordsworth. He deplored, f o r example, f a l s e sentiment. He asks i n a l e t t e r to h i s p u b l i s h e r i n 18.O9: "Is Wordsworth s l e e p i n g i n peace on h i s bed of mud i n the p r o f u n d i t y of h i s Bathos, or w i l l he ever a g a i n awake to dole out a l y r i c a l b a l l a d ? " 1 Peacock's s o l e ambition was t o e s t a b l i s h h i m s e l f i n the l i t e r a r y world o f the day; and he appears t o have sought i n s p i r a t i o n i n nature as a contemporary, f o r he wrote from Wales i n 1810: I have been c l i m b i n g about the r o c k s and mountains, by the r i v e r s and sea, w i t h i n d e f a t i g a b l e z e a l , c a r r y i n g i n my mind the b a r d i c t r i a d , t h a t a poet should have an eye t h a t can see nature, a h e a r t t h a t can f e e l nature, and a r e s o l u t i o n t h a t dares to f o l l o w n a t u r e ; i n obedience to which l a t t e r i n j u n c t -i o n I have n e a r l y broken my neck.2 Peacock's i n n a t e humor, h i s p h y s i c a l r o b u s t n e s s , and h i s s c o r n f u l a t t i t u d e towards a l l who do not share h i s views, i n d i c a t e t h a t he was i l l - e q u i p p e d to pursue nature i n t r o s p e c t . - " i v e l y . 1. ' Peacock to E.T. Hookham, H a l l i f o r d ed-. Works, H.F.B.Brett-Smith and C.E. Jones, ed., v o l . 8 , p . 1 6 4 . 2. Peacock to Hookham, March 1810, Works, v o l . 8 , p . l 8 l . A t the same time, h i s e a r l y work does not r e v e a l a c a p a c i t y f o r outspoken c r i t i c i s m . An i m i t a t i v e q u a l i t y p a r t l y e x p l a i n s the d u l l n e s s of h i s poetry, most of which i s l i t e r a r y and experimental, modelled on Gray, Ossian, and Pope. With the exc e p t i o n of a f a r c i a l b a l l a d , The Monks of St.Mark, which r e -4 c a l l s R a b e l a i s and B u t l e r , h i s p o e t r y i s t r a d i t i o n a l ; and he i s anxious t o conform t o accepted standards. H i s f i r s t p u b l i c a t i o n of any s i z e , Palmyra and other poems, 1806, i s p r e f a c e d w i t h t h i s note to t h e r e v i e w e r s : "no l e v e l l ' d m a l i c e / I n f e c t s one comma i n the course I h o l d " . He i s c a r e f u l not t o be c o n s i d e r e d a r e b e l ; but'he i s aware of s u b j e c t s f o r a t t a c k . H i s i n d e c i s i o n , the h a l f - h e a r t e d n e s s which marks h i s s a t i r e i n the nov e l s , i s a f f i r m e d i n a l e t t e r which d e s c r i b e s h i s t o u r i n p r e p a r a t i o n f o r the l o n g panegyric poem, The Genius o f the Thames, l b l O . He i s i n d i g n a n t t o f i n d "a ponderous engine over the ve r y p l a c e of i t s n a t i v i t y , to suck up i t s unborn waters from the bosom o f the e a r t h , and pump them i n t o a n a v i g a b l e c a n a l I " ^ He notes t h a t "the Thames i s almost as good a s u b j e c t f o r a s a t i r e as a p a n e g y r i c " ; ^ but the p u b l i s h e d poem i s mere u n i n s p i r e d p r a i s e of England's commercial p r o s p e r i t y . The p o e t r y of h i s mature years i s a l s o i m i t a t i v e and t r a d i t i o n a l : S i r Proteus, 1814, a clumsy attempt i n parody, d i s p l a y s h i s f i r s t a t t a c k on Southey's p o l i t i c s ; Rhododaphne, p u b l i s h e d anonymously i n 1818, r e v e a l s h i s i n t e r e s t i n the by-ways of c l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e ; and Paper Money L y r i c s , w r i t t e n 1. Peacock t o Hookham, June 1809, Works, v o l . 8 , p.172. 2. I b i d . d u r i n g the f i n a n c i a l d i s t u r b a n c e s of 182.5-6 and c i r c u l a t e d p r i v a t e l y among Peacock's f r i e n d s a t I n d i a House, was not pub-l i s h e d f o r twelve years u n t i l a f t e r the death of James M i l l , who might have ta k e n o f f e n c e . Peacock's background as a poet thus i n d i c a t e s a d i s -p o s i t i o n which toys with s a t i r e as a medium, but which i s governed by c a u t i o n and se l f - c o n c e a l m e n t . He was what S h e l l e y c a l l e d him i n h i s L e t t e r t o M a r i a Gisborne, "that shy b i r d ? . His b i t t e r e s t a t t a c k s i n the n o v e l s , n o t a b l y on Southey, Words-worth, and L o r d Brougham, never become p e r s o n a l . Although he r e c o g n i z e d the e x c e l l e n c e of the p o e t r y of a l l the g r e a t Roman-t i c s except Keats, he was seldom at ease among h i s " e n t h u s i a s t i c 1 1 contemporaries; he p l a c e d r a t i o n a l l i v i n g above a r t ; he d i s -t r u s t e d the extreme and the emotional; and h i s t a s t e s were pr o f o u n d l y c l a s s i c a l . H i s s a t i r e i n the n o v e l s , l i k e h i s poetry, i s m a i n l y i m i t a t i v e ; both e x h i b i t h i s n a t u r a l t a l e n t f o r parody and c a r i c a t u r e . U n s u c c e s s f u l as a poet i n an age of t r a n s i t i o n , he turned to n o v e l w r i t i n g f o r p l e a s a n t r e l i e f from more s e r i o u s p u r s u i t . He produced h i s f i r s t novel w h i l e engaged w i t h Hogg and S h e l l e y i n i n t e n s e study o f the c l a s s i c s . The time, he r e c a l l s , was "a mere A t t i c i s m . Our s t u d i e s were e x c l u s i v e l y Greek". 1 Peacock and h i s c r i t i c s The d i f f e r e n c e s between the r e a l Peacock and h i s guise as a s a t i r i s t c o n t i n u a l l y c o n f r o n t the reader and c r i t i c . By b i r t h , he belonged to the -second g e n e r a t i o n of the new middle 1. Peacock, The Memoirs of Percy Bysshe S h e l l e y , Works, v o l . 8 P.99. c l a s s . H i s f a t h e r , a London g l a s s merchant d i e d or disappeared sometime a f t e r Peacock's t h i r d year. As an o n l y c h i l d , he enjoyed the constant companionship o f h i s mother, from whom he was seldom separated u n t i l her death i n 1833- I n s e v e r a l r e s -p e c t s Peacock was not t y p i c a l o f h i s c l a s s . T h i s "new and e n t e r p r i s i n g type", T r e v e l y a n g e n e r a l i z e d , " b e l i e v e d i n Mr. Brougham, s l a v e r y a b o l i t i o n and the 'inarch of mind', hated Church Rates, Orders i n C o u n c i l , Income Tax and Corn Laws, and read the Edinburgh Review". 1 From h i s education, pursued m a i n l y i n p r i v a t e and under the s u p e r v i s i o n of h i s mother, Peacock d e r i v e d an independent, s e l f - r e l i a n t a t t i t u d e of mind and an e x t r a o r d i n a r y l o v e o f c l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e . H i s extreme ped-a n t r y as a s a t i r i s t , and h i s b i a s a g a i n s t the u n i v e r s i t i e s and the broadening of education are r e l a t e d c l o s e l y to h i s p o s i t i o n as a s e l f - t r a i n e d c l a s s i c i s t who r a i l s a g a i n s t o p p o r t u n i t i e s he was denied or, so f a r as i s known, o p p o r t u n i t i e s t h a t he was not d i s p o s e d as a youth to a c c e p t . H i s l e t t e r s t o S h e l l e y between l 8 l 8 and 1822 r e v e a l h i s s i n g u l a r d e v o t i o n t o Cobbett. Along w i t h Cobbett, he d i s t r u s t e d Brougham's attempts to p o p u l a r i z e s c i e n c e through the S o c i e t y f o r the D i f f u s i o n of U s e f u l Knowledge and to educate the working c l a s s e s through Mechanics' i n s t i t u t e s . Nothing appears t o s t i r h i s wrath as a s a t i r i s t more than the progress of h i s times; y e t he p l a y e d a p a r t i n the expansion of the E a s t I n d i a Company, and he was, i n p a r t i c u l a r , l a r g e l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the c o n v e r s i o n of i t s merchant f l e e t f rom wood to s t e e l and from s a i l to steam. 1. G.M. T r e v e l y a n , B r i t i s h H i s t o r y i n the Nineteenth Century, London, Longmans, Green, 1922, p. 133' -9-Peacock merely a f f e c t s a c y n i c a l a t t i t u d e i n h i s s a t i r e . He poses as the enemy of romance and sentiment; he t r e a t s romantic s u b j e c t s i r o n i c a l l y i n each o f the n o v e l s . But he i s a s e n s i t i v e , s e n t i m e n t a l person: the l o v e a f f a i r s of h i s youth, d i s c o v e r e d by h i s l a t e s t b i o g r a p h e r s , 1 r e v e a l an unsuspected human s i d e t h a t may p a r t l y e x p l a i n the p a i n f u l d e l i c a c y w i t h which he t r e a t s the "love i n t e r e s t " i n h i s n o v e l s ; h i s sudden marriage, so amusing t o S h e l l e y , appears as the co-i n c i d e n t a l r e s u l t of f i n a n c i a l independence, but i s symptomatic of romantic behavior; although h i s manner i n p u b l i c l i f e and i n the n o v e l s i s a l o o f and unemotional, he wore throughout h i s l i f e a l o c k e t of h a i r as a momento of one u n f o r t u n a t e l o v e a f f a i r . Peacock poses a l s o as a l o v e r of masculine c o n v i v i a l i t y . H i s novels abound i n g o o d - f e l l o w s h i p ; but i n l i f e he was i n -c l i n e d to withdraw from s o c i e t y . Always r e s e r v e d and d i s c r i m -i n a t i n g i n h i s f r i e n d s h i p s , i n the l a t e r years o f h i s l i f e he r e c o g n i z e d o n l y one i n t i m a t e f r i e n d , Lord Broughton. His whole l i t e r a r y c a r e e r marks him as a s a t i r i s t who p r e f e r s t o h i d e h i s i d e n t i t y from an i n q u i s i t i v e p u b l i c . Almost a l l h i s e a r l y work and most of h i s l a t e r was p u b l i s h e d anonymously. His n o v e l s are p o l i s h e d and impersonal, w r i t t e n i n p r i v a c y by an amateur who a c t s as h i s own c r i t i c and who, although i n d i f f e r e n t to p u b l i c t a s t e , i s ever aware of p u b l i c gaze. His s a t i r e i s conceived, i t would appear, f o r h i s own p r i v a t e p l e a s u r e r a t h e r than p u b l i c d e l i g h t o r e d i f i c a t i o n . Peacock's s a t i r e t h e r e f o r e sometimes d i s p l a y s and 1. H.F.B. B r e t t - S m i t h and C.E.Jones, B i o g r a p h i c a l Introduction., . Works.,-' v o l . 1 , pp. l x i - l x i v . -10-sometimes conceals h i s p e r s o n a l o p i n i o n s , f e e l i n g s , and p r e -j u d i c e s . S a i n t s b u r y , h i s most devoted e d i t o r and c r i t i c , notes the d i f f i c u l t y i n drawing an i n t e g r a t e d p i c t u r e of t h e man and the s a t i r i s t : "a good d e a l remains unexplained i n Peacock... he i s a treacherous s u b j e c t f o r c r i t i c i s m " . * 1 ' The c o - e d i t o r s of h i s complete work, B r e t t - S m i t h and Jones, supply m a i n l y a, b i o g r a p h i c a l estimate. Of a l l h i s c r i t i c s , o n l y Mr. P r i e s t l e y has attempted a complete c r i t i c a l enquiry, which has l e d t o a major c o n c l u s i o n t h a t Peacock i s a " b a f f l e d i d e a l i s t " who 2 "takes refuge i n l a u g h t e r " . T h i s c o n c l u s i o n , however, may not be accepted as f i n a l and complete by a l l r e a d e r s . Peacock i s c o n s i s t e n t i n one important r e s p e c t : he d i s t r u s t s a l l extremes. I n h i s s a t i r e , the f o l l y o f one extreme i s opposed, by the equal f o l l y of i t s o p p o s i t e : Tory apathy and r a d i c a l v i o l e n c e , mass edu-c a t i o n and mass ignorance, i m p r a c t i c a l schemes f o r the regener-a t i o n of man and r e a c t i o n a r y s u p p r e s s i o n of the human r i g h t s a s s e r t e d by Bentham. Peacock "takes r e f u g e i n l a u g h t e r " merely to expose the f o l l y o f i n t e l l e c t u a l s and c h a r l a t a n s who impose t h e i r f i x e d o p i n i o n s on a s u f f e r i n g s o c i e t y . He d e a l s s i g n i f -i c a n t l y i n ideas t h a t d e f y f i n a l answers. The h o s t i n C r o t c h e t  C a s t l e , a r e t i r e d s t o c k b r o k e r o f Hebrew and S c o t t i s h e x t r a c t i o n , i r o n i c a l l y remarks: The s e n t i m e n t a l a g a i n s t the r a t i o n a l , the i n t u i t i v e a g a i n s t the i n d u c t i v e , the ornamental a g a i n s t the u s e f u l , the i n t e n s e a g a i n s t the t r a n q u i l , the romantic 1. George S a i n t s b u r y , P r e f a c e s and E s s a y s , London, 'Maomillan, 1933, P. 221. 2. J.B. P r i e s t l e y , Thomas Love Peacock, London, Macmillan, 1927, p.199. ~ — -11-a g a i n s t the c l a s s i c a l ; these a r e ' g r e a t and i n t e r -e s t i n g c o n t r o v e r s i e s , which I should l i k e , before I d i e j to see s a t i s f a c t o r i l y s e t t l e d . 1 Peacock's a t t a c k on o p i n i o n i s i n t e n t i o n a l l y s u p e r f i c i a l and d i f f u s e ; i t all o w s him to preserve h i s p o s i t i o n as a comic observer without advocating, or m o r a l i z i n g . He i s not an i n t e r p r e t e r or a c r i t i c o f l i f e ; he i s i n t e r e s t e d s o l e l y i n con t r o v e r s y , i n idea s f o r t h e i r own sake. A l t h o u g h he frames h i s s a t i r e i n an a r t i f i c i a l , f a n t a s t i c w o r l d t h a t i s f o r e i g n t o h i s nat u r e , h i s a t t a c k i s informed by a r e a l i s t i c sense of value s i n which he a p p l i e s common sense as a c o r r e c t i v e o f a l l excesses that arouse h i s sc o r n . CHAPTER 2  Peacock's Aims and A t t i t u d e Peacock s e t h i m s e l f the t a s k o f exposing the p r e -t e n t i o u s and f a l s e o p i n i o n s of a host of e x t r e m i s t s , some o f them p e r s o n i f i e d a b s t r a c t i o n s o f a conte n t i o u s i d e a o r theory, such as Cranium, the p h r e n o l o g i s t , E s c o t , the d e t e r i o r a t i o n i s t , and Chainmail, the m e d i e v a l i s t ; and others, i n c l u d i n g Malthus, Canning, S h e l l e y , and the Lake Poets, members of the i n t e l -l e c t u a l world of the time. To a v o i d d e a l i n g i n p e r s o n a l i t i e s , and to r e s t r i c t h i s view o f s o c i e t y to a g a r r u l o u s world of i n t e l l e c t , he c r e a t e s a f a n c i f u l s e t t i n g , i n remote v i l l a s and abbeys where c h a r a c t e r s o f o p i n i o n expose t h e i r f o l l y w h i l e i n d u l g i n g i n wine and c o n t r o v e r s y . In such an i r o n i c s e t t i n g , 1. C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , G-arnett ed., pp. 660-1. -12-no " c h a r a c t e r " can be regarded s e r i o u s l y . 'When the c o n v e r s a t i o n becomes heated, the quarrelsome guests are r e s t r a i n e d by such p a c i f y i n g reminders as "buz the b o t t l e " . Thus i n s a t i r i z i n g o p i n i o n , Peacock appears t o conduct h i s a t t a c k i n a f r i v o l o u s , harmless manner. He b e l i e v e d , however, t h a t s a t i r e of o p i n i o n r a t h e r than of i n d i v i d u a l s was c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the g r e a t e s t comic a r t . H i s c r i t i c a l essay on French Comic Romances'!' p u b l i s h e d anonymously i n The London Review i n 1835, c o n t a i n s evidence o f h i s aims as a s a t i r i s t . He was aware of "two very d i s t i n c t c l a s s e s of comic f i c t i o n " : "one i n which the c h a r a c t e r s are a b s t r a c t i o n s " , and " o p i n i o n s are the main matter of the work"; the other * i n which the c h a r a c t e r s are i n d i v i d u a l s " , and 2 " o p i n i o n s are merely i n c i d e n t a l " . To the f i r s t c l a s s , he b e l i e v e s , belong a l l the g r e a t comic w r i t e r s , from A r i s t o p h a n e s and R a b e l a i s to S w i f t and V o l t a i r e . T h e i r s i s "the h i g h e s t order of comic f i c t i o n - t h a t which l i m i t s i t s e l f , i n the ex-posure of abuses, to t u r n i n g up i n t o f u l l ; d a y l i g h t t h e i r i n -t r i n s i c a b s u r d i t i e s - riot t h a t which makes r i d i c u l o u s t h i n g s not r e a l l y so, by throwing over them a f o o l 1 s coat which does 3 -not belong to them". T h i s , c e r t a i n l y , was Peacock's d i d a c t i c aim as a comic w r i t e r : t o a t t a c k o p i n i o n s r a t h e r than i n d i v i d -u a l s , and h i s age, w i t h i t s due share of c h a r l a t a n r y i n s o c i e t y , p o l i t i c s , s c i e n c e , and l i t e r a t u r e , o f f e r e d him broad scope f o r 1. ' Works, H a l l l f o r d ed., v o l . 9, p p . " ' 2 5 3 - 2 8 7 . ' 2. I b i d . , p.238. 3. I b i d . , p.261. a t t a c k . • I t seems probable, moreover, t h a t Peacock p a t t e r n s h i s manner as a s a t i r i s t to some extent on t h a t of one of h i s f a v o r i t e a u t h o r s : "Rabelais put on the robe o f the a l l - l i c e n -sed f o o l , t h a t he might, l i k e the court j e s t e r , convey b i t t e r t r u t h s under the semblance of simple b u f f o o n e r y " . 1 Viewed i n such a l i g h t , Peacock i s much more than what h i s contemporaries, a l l u d i n g t o Democritus, c a l l e d a " l a u g h i n g p h i l o s o p h e r " . However s l i g h t may be h i s treatment of the important moral and humanitarian problems of h i s age, and however j o v i a l he may appear on the s u r f a c e , h i s p o s i t i o n i s c l e a r . H i s a t t a c k i s d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t ideas and not i n d i v i d u a l s . But he r e f u s e s to assume the r o l e of the. m o r a l i s t or reformer. He i s c a u t i o u s ; h i s s a t i r e i s t o p i c a l and seldom s t r i k e s deep. He p r e f e r s , l i k e R a b e l a i s , the impish r o l e of the j e s t e r . I t cannot be i m p l i e d , however, t h a t Peacock chose R a b e l a i s as h i s master. T h e i r a f f i n i t y i s l i m i t e d t o t h e i r a t t i t u d e as sardonic humorists and t o t h e i r entensive use of f a r c e . Both are products of t h e i r own time. Peacock's s t r e n g t h as a s a t i r i s t i s l i m i t e d almost w h o l l y to the depth and s u b t l e t y o f h i s i r o n y . He conforms with l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n "the g r e a t R a b e l a i s i a n bellow", Frye observes,"has dropped out of l i t e r a t u r e . Por t h a t k i n d of s a t i r e f l o u r i s h e s i n a w o r l d of s o l i d assurances and unshakable v a l u e s ; ...the l e s s sure s o c i e t y i s of i t s assumptions, the more l i k e l y s a t i r e i s t o take the l i n e of i r o n y " . Peacock was no l e s s sure o f h i m s e l f 1. ' Peacock, French Comic Romances, pp.238-9. 2. Northrop F f y e , "The Nature of S a t i r e " , Toronto U n i v e r s i t y  Q u a r t e r l y , vol.ZTV, October 1944, p.82. or of h i s values than were h i s contemporaries. H i s a t t a c k , i n many r e s p e c t s , i s c o n v e n t i o n a l , f o r the outpour of parody and c a r i c a t u r e d u r i n g the f i r s t q u a r t e r of h i s cen t u r y i s one of the g r e a t e s t i n our l i t e r a t u r e . U n l i k e R a b e l a i s , u n l i k e S w i f t , Peacock i s never e a r t h y . He adds d i g n i t y to h i s broadest humour, and refinement to t h e E n g l i s h n o v e l . H i s d e p i c t i o n o f f a s h i o n a b l e s o c i e t y d u r i n g the years immediately p r e c e d i n g the co r o n a t i o n of Queen V i c t o r i a i s an i d e a l i z e d c o n c e p t i o n o f the a c t u a l , i n which '•grossness o f mind and c o n v e r s a t i o n s e t the tone o f male s o c i e t y . . . c a r i c a t u r i s t s d e l i g h t e d i n making human beings as d i s g u s t i n g as a b r i l l i a n t p e n c i l could...and R a b e l a i -s i a n t o a s t s were a f e a t u r e o f masculine c o n v i v i a l i t y " . 1 Peacock, i n a d d i t i o n , was a s a t i r i s t who guarded h i s p o s i t i o n from an i n q u i s i t i v e p u b l i c . Because of h i s i n t e n s e d i s l i k e f o r g o s s i p , he e x p l a i n s , he l o n g r e f u s e d t o w r i t e on S h e l l e y ' s l i f e , and i t was o n l y because of the b i a s and d i s -t o r t i o n of f a c t t h a t he found i n th r e e b i o g r a p h i e s , by Medwin, Hogg, and Mary S h e l l e y , t h a t he chose t o w r i t e the Memoirs a t 2 a l l . H i s novels had appeared w i t h o u t p r e f a c e s because, he w r i t e s i n an 1837 e d i t i o n of h i s work, "I l e f t them to speak f o r themselves; and I thought I might very f i t l y p reserve my own i m p e r s o n a l i t y , having never i n t r u d e d on the p e r s o n a l i t y of ot h e r s , nor taken any l i b e r t i e s but with p u b l i c conduct and p u b l i c o p i n i o n s . " ^ I n h i s s t r o n g e s t p e r s o n a l a t t a c k , on 1. Esm6 W I n g f i e l d - S t r a t f b r d , The V i c t o r i a n Tragedy, London, Routledge and Sons, 1931, p.13* 2. Peacock, Memoirs of S h e l l e y , pp. 40 -43 . 3. Peacock, Works, v o l . 1 , p . l . - 1 5 -Wordsworth and L o r d Brougham, Peacock r e s p e c t e d the p r i v a t e l i f e of the i n d i v i d u a l , j u s t as he guarded so s e c r e t l y , even from h i s c l o s e s t f r i e n d S h e l l e y , h i s own p e c u l i a r l o v e and domestic a f f a i r s . 1 He intended, t h e r e f o r e , t h a t h i s c h a r a c t e r s should be r e c o g n i z e d not as i n d i v i d u a l s but as types o f human f r a i l t y , and t hat t h e i r c o n v e r s a t i o n should be a c l o s e i m i t a t i o n of a l l that was f a l s e and r i d i c u l o u s i n the t a s t e s , f e e l i n g s , and opi n i o n s of the time. Such people, he b e l i e v e d , are a p a r t of a l l ages and a l l s o c i e t i e s . Here a t some l e n g t h , f o r t h i s remains the onl y d i r e c t statement of h i s s a t i r i c aims, are the types he l i s t s : P e r f e c t i b i l i a n s , d e t e r i o r a t i o n i s t s , s t a t u - q u o - i t e s , p h r e n o l o g i s t s , t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i s t s , p o l i t i c a l econom-i s t s , t h e o r i s t s i n a l l the s c i e n c e s , p r o j e c t o r s i n a l l the a r t s , morbid v i s i o n a r i e s , romantic enthus-i a s t s , l o v e r s of music, l o v e r s of the p i c t u r e s q u e , and l o v e r s of good d i n n e r s , march, and w i l l march f o r ever, p a r i passu w i t h the march of mechanics, which some f a c e t i o u s l y c a l l the march of i n t e l l e c t . The f a s t i d i o u s i n o l d wine are a r a c e t h a t does not decay. L i t e r a r y v i o l a t o r s of the c o n f i d e n c e s o f p r i v a t e l i v e s s t i l l g a i n a d i s r e p u t a b l e l i v e l i h o o d . and an unenviable n o t o r i e t y . Match-makers from i n t e r e s t , and the d i s a p p o i n t e d i n lov e and i n f r i e n d -s h i p , are v a r i e t i e s o f which specimens are extan t . The g r e a t p r i n c i p l e of the Righ t o f Might i s as f l o u r i s h i n g now as i n . t h e days of Maid Marian: the a r r a y of f a l s e p r e t e n s i o n s , moral, p o l i t i c a l , and l i t e r a r y , i s as imposing as e v e r : the r u l e r s o f the world s t i l l f e e l t h i n g s i n t h e i r e f f e c t s , and never f o r s e e them i n t h e i r causes; and p o l i t i c a l mounte-banks continue, and w i l l continue t o p u f f nostrums and p r a c t i s e legerdemain under the eyes of the m u l t i t u d e . . . 2 These, and many more, are the f l i m s i l y sketched f i g u r e s who form the ranks of Pe a c o c k 1 s parade. He was c l e a r -1 . See S h e l l e y "to Peacock, May 1820, S h e l l e y ' s L e t t e r s t o  Peacock, H.P.B. B r e t t - S m i t h , ed.,London. Henry Frowde, 1909, p. 201. 2. Peacock, Yforks, v o l . 1 , pp. 2-J5. -16-s i g h t e d enough t o b e l i e v e t h a t such people " w i l l march f o r e v e r " . He had no i n t e n t i o n of adding h i m s e l f t o the ranks of the r e -formers, f o r to him human f r a i l t y i s immortal. F o r t u n a t e l y , he d i d not share the complacent f a i t h of h i s contemporaries i n pr o g r e s s . He had a l a s t i n g d i s t r u s t of what he termed "the march of mind", f o r he pr o b a b l y f e l t , l i k e h i s c h a r a c t e r the Reverend Doctor Opimian, that "most o p i n i o n s worth m a i n t a i n i n g must have an a u t h o r i t y two thousand years o l d " . 1 H i s a t t a c k , t h e r e f o r e , i s not p e n e t r a t i n g or r e f o r m a t i v e ; r a t h e r , he b i t e s s h a r p l y at a l l that i s extreme and p r e t e n t i o u s . Though human f o l l y i s thus p e r s i s t e n t , that alone does not g i v e a s a t i r i s t s t a n d i n g ; the q u a l i t y o f h i s s a t i r e remains to be judged. S h e l l e y , f o r i n s t a n c e , b e l i e v e d t h a t Peacock was "an enemy of every shape o f tyranny and super-s t i t i o u s imposture"; he exhorts Peacock "to g i v e the enemy no qu a r t e r . Remember i t i s a sacred war." ^ But most r e a d e r s , l e s s zealous, a r e i n c l i n e d to agree with C l a i r e C l a i r m o n t ' s advice i n a l e t t e r t o Mary S h e l l e y : " T e l l Peacock from me t o make h i s book 'funny'".^ These comments i l l u s t r a t e p r e c i s e l y Peacock's dual p o s i t i o n as a s a t i r i s t and cl o w n i s h humorist, a p r e c a r i o u s p o s i t i o n which weakens h i s whole a t t a c k . He had at h i s d i s p o s a l a l l the requirements o f a s a t i r i s t : a c r i t i c a l mind t h a t c o u l d analyse the f o l l i e s and extremes of h i s times i n terms of common sense; an apparent 1. G r y l l Grange, Garnett ed., p.809. 2. S h e l l e y t o Peacock, J u l y l 8 l 8 , L e t t e r s , p.132. 3. C i t e d i n Works, v o l . 1 , p . l x v i . -17-s k i l l as a s a r d o n i c humorist, possessed with a mature command of language and w i t ; a p o s i t i o n i n l i f e whence he c o u l d observe w i t h detachment the, i n t e l l e c t u a l and commercial a c t i v i t y of a p r o d u c t i v e p e r i o d i n E n g l i s h h i s t o r y . But Peacock's s a t i r e l a c k s f o r c e . He enjoys the pl e a s u r e of c o n f l i c t without attempting t o s l a y the f o e : For s a t i r e one needs both pleasure i n c o n f l i c t and de t e r m i n a t i o n to win; both the heat of b a t t l e and the c o o l n e s s of c a l c u l a t i o n . To have too much hat r e d and too l i t t l e g a i e t y w i l l upset the balance of t o n e . 1 In Peacock, g a i e t y i s uppermost. He i s too h e a l t h y to e n t e r -t a i n an a b i d i n g h a t r e d . Even h i s Tory foes i n M e l i n o o u r t , Wordsworth, Southey, G i f f o r d , and Canning, i n d u l g e i n f r i e n d l y s i n g i n g and d r i n k i n g . His a t t a c k i s sometimes i n d i s c r i m i n a t e and spontaneous. On the s u s p i c i o n t h a t Wordsworth and Southey had been b r i b e d by the T o r i e s to change t h e i r p o l i t i c a l a l l e g i a n c e , he a t t a c k s t h e i r p o e t r y and t h e i r conduct as p u b l i c f i g u r e s . In t h i s important r e s p e c t , l a c k o f balance of tone, one can say t h a t Peacock f a i l s as a s a t i r i s t . I t i s d o u b t f u l whether he ever intended to re f o r m mankind through d i r e c t a t t a c k . He r e f u s e s i n h i s s a t i r e t o d i s t u r b h i m s e l f unduly w i t h whatever he found d i s a g r e e a b l e . In Nightmare Abbey, f o r example, he avoids comment on Byron's p r i v a t e l i f e , c r e a t i n g a k i n d l y c a r i c a t u r e and i g n o r i n g the current t a s t e f o r s c a n d a l . E d i t h N i c o l l s ' d e s c r i p t i o n o f h i s d i s p o s i t i o n p a r t l y e x p l a i n s the l a c k of b i t t e r n e s s i n h i s s a t i r e : 1. F r y e , The Nature of S a t i r e , p.76. -18-As he advanced i n y e a r s , h i s d e t e s t a t i o n o f a n y t h i n g d i s a g r e e a b l e made him simply a v o i d whatever f r e t t e d him, l a u g h i n g o f f a l l s o r t s of o r d i n a r y c a l l s upon h i s l e i s u r e time. His l o v e of ease and kindness of h e a r t made i t impossible t h a t he c o u l d be a c t i v e l y unkind to any one, but he would not be w o r r i e d , and j u s t got away from a n y t h i n g t h a t annoyed him . l In the n o v e l s , Peacock seldom becomes engaged i n d i r e c t or s u s t a i n e d a t t a c k . He s o f t e n s h i s a t t a c k because he b e l i e v e d t h a t the p l e a s u r e s o f the dinner t a b l e would do much to m i t i -gate the j e a l o u s i e s and h a t r e d o f mankind. This b e l i e f , which a l s o e x p l a i n s i n p a r t h i s aims as a s a t i r i s t , i s given f u l l e x p r e s s i o n i n h i s formal essay, Gastronomy and C i v i l i z a t i o n , p u b l i s h e d i n 1831, over the i n i t i a l s of h i s daughter, Mary M e r e d i t h : Our p u b l i c and great c i t y d i n n e r s , where p o l i t i c a l , l i t e r a r y , and s c i e n t i f i c bonds are cemented by common enjoyment, and a n i m o s i t i e s are softened by the i n t e r -mediatory o f f i c e s of an unpremeditated l i b a t i o n , are p r o d u c t i v e o f g r e a t good. Hearts expand sim u l t a n e o u s l y , with mouths; the p r i d e of o f f i c e thaws i n the r e f u l -gence of the r e f l e c t e d k i t c h e n f i r e ; genius and t a l e n t u n v e i l themselves; and the mahogany of a goodly t a b l e f r e q u e n t l y becomes the bond of r e c o n c i l i a t i o n between . a n c i e n t f e u d s ; then the h i t h e r t o unperceived m e r i t of an enemy i s brought to l i g h t by a jorum of c l a r e t . 2 To Peacock, the notes to t h i s essay suggest, cookery i s the most important of the s c i e n c e s . I n t h i s essay, he addresses h i m s e l f t o "honourable members and l e a r n e d gentlemen", the same s e l e c t group which i n h a b i t s h i s n o v e l s . Thus d e s p i t e h i s scorn, Peacock's s a t i r e i s softened by a constant under-tone of t o l e r a n c e and f r i e n d s h i p . . I t may be i n f e r r e d a l s o 1. E d i t h N i c o l l s , " B i o g r a p h i c a l N o t i c e " , The Works of T.L. Peacock, London, R i c h a r d Bentley and Son, lb 7 3 , v o l . 1 , pp. - x l i x - 1 ; c i t e d i n H a l l i f o r d ed.,vol.1, pp. c c v - c c v i . 2. Peacock, "Gastronomy and C i v i l i z a t i o n " , Works, v o l . 9 , pp. 396-7." -19-t h a t a man b a s i c a l l y g e n i a l enough t o b e l i e v e t h a t a good dinner w i l l d i s p e l a n i m o s i t i e s i s not l i k e l y t o be a s u c c e s s f u l s a t i r -i s t . To most re a d e r s , he r e v e a l s h i m s e l f as he was i n d a i l y l i f e : e c c e n t r i c and c r o t c h e t y , p r e t e n t i o u s as a s c h o l a r and o p i n i o n a t e d as a c r i t i c . He turned t o n o v e l w r i t i n g , a p p a r e n t l y , f o r p e r s o n a l enjoyment, r e s e r v e d f o r w i n t e r even-ings "when the time r e t u r n s f o r l i g h t i n g f i r e s " . 1 He d o u b t l e s s became weary of the i n t e n s e l y r e a l w o r l d of contemporary o p i n -i o n and c o n t r o v e r s y ; i n the s o l i t u d e of h i s l i b r a r y i t became a f a n t a s t i c world i n which i n d i g n a t i o n i s almost l o s t i n l a u g h t e r . Thus f a n t a s y - the c i v i l i z e d orang-utan i n M e l i n -c o u r t , the legend of T a l i e s i n i n E l p h i n , the A r i s t o p h a n i c i n t e r l u d e i n G r y l l Grange - become b a s i c i n h i s bookish form of s a t i r e . The c r e a t i n g o f f a n t a s y , i t would appear, may be the p e c u l i a r g i f t of those who, l i k e Peacock, a r e i n r e a l l i f e p a r -t i c u l a r l y a u s t e r e and r a t i o n a l . G.K. C h e s t e r t o n remarks t h a t Lewis C a r r o l was r e s p e c t e d as "a s i n g u l a r l y s e r i o u s and con-v e n t i o n a l don", but was a l s o "very much of a pedant and some-t h i n g of a P h i l i s t i n e " ; he l i v e d a "strange double l i f e i n e a r t h and i n d r e a m l a n d . . . l i v i n g one l i f e i n which he would have thundered m o r a l l y a g a i n s t any one who walked on the wrong p l o t of g r a s s , and another i n which he would c h e e r f u l l y c a l l p the sun green and the moon b l u e " . Through the d i v e r t i n g 1. Peacock to Thomas L'Estrange, J u l y l 8 6 l ,Letters,vol.8 ,p.2 5 3 . 2. G.K. C h e s t e r t o n , "A Defence of Nonsense", Modern Humour, Everyman ed., London, Dent and Sons, 1942, pp. 158 -9. • i n f l u e n c e o f f a n t a s y and nonsense, Peacock's s a t i r e l o s e s much of i t s b i t t e r n e s s . He i s , i n one r e s p e c t , a dreamer and a p h i l o s o p h e r r a t h e r than a s a t i r i s t : h i s no v e l s a n t i c i p a t e an age i n which man has become c i v i l i z e d enough to accept the b l e s s i n g s of good f e l l o w s h i p and c o n t r a r y o p i n i o n . CHAPTER 3  Peacock's Method S e v e r a l causes f o r t h e p e c u l i a r form taken by Peacock's s a t i r e have been suggested i n chapter two. He b e l i e v e d t h a t , i n s a t i r i z i n g o p i n i o n and not i n d i v i d u a l s , he was f o l l o w i n g a great t r a d i t i o n i n comic a r t ; he sought to expose i n t e l l e c t u a l f o l l y which, he f e l t , pervaded the whole frame of s o c i e t y . His a t t a c k i s so f t e n e d by an over-abun-dance of g a i e t y ; b a s i c a l l y g e n i a l i n temperament, he tends to suppress h i s a n i m o s i t y by r e s o r t i n g t o l a u g h t e r . He .is a j e s t e r r a t h e r than a reformer; a s a t i r i s t who i s d i s i n c l i n e d to commit h i m s e l f t o d i r e c t o r outspoken a t t a c k . H i s d i s t i n c t i v e brand o f s a t i r e , now to be exam-ined, i s t h e r e f o r e m a i n l y i n d i r e c t i n form. He i s an i r o n i s t and dramatic humorist who, by means of c o n s i s t e n t u n d e r s t a t e -ment, a l l o w s h i s c h a r a c t e r s of o p i n i o n to expose t h e i r f o l l y without comment from the author. Peacock's i r o n y i s apparent on s e v e r a l l e v e l s . I n the quaintness of h i s s e t t i n g and c h a r a c t e r s , h i s n o v e l s verge on f a n t a s y . Even-here, h i s i r o n i c i n t e n t p e r s i s t s . H i s char-a c t e r s f o l l o w the "humours" t r a d i t i o n ; they remain almost without e x c e p t i o n two-dimensional, the mere embodiment of an o p i n i o n or a human f r a i l t y . He r i d i c u l e s zealous r e f o r m e r s along w i t h e g o i s t s and s o c i a l m i s f i t s * S y l v a n F o r e s t e r , the tiresome d i s c i p l e o f Rousseau i n M e l i n c o u r t , annoys the reader w i t h h i s pedantry and p r i g g i s h n e s s ; Scythrop, the amusing l o v e r and reformer i n Nightmare Abbey, i s the r e f o r m i s t author of the t r e a t i s e , " P h i l o s o p h i c a l Gas; or a P r o j e c t f o r a General I l l u m i n a t i o n of the Human'Mind". The Honourable Mr. L i s t l e s s , a dandy of the p e r i o d , i s p r o b a b l y a p r e c u r s o r o f a c h a r a c t e r type i n " f a s h i o n a b l e " f i c t i o n which H a z l i t t , w r i t i n g i n 1827, d e f i n e d as "The Dandy S c h o o l " . 1 Mr. L i s t l e s s i s a l l that h i s name i m p l i e s ; he f i n d s t h a t Dante i s now "growing f a s h i o n a b l e , and I am a f r a i d I must r e a d him some wet morning." The calamitous Mr. Toobad, a l s o i n Nightmare Abbey, i s a t y p i c a l Peacockian "crack-pot"; he moves w i t h "spontaneous locomotion", e x c l a i m i n g "The d e v i l has come among you, having great wrath". A l l c h a r a c t e r s speak w i t h f i x e d purpose, and a l l are g i f t e d with uncommon f l u e n c y and p r e c i s i o n o f speech. "His method", Balder observes, "was to l e t h i s c h a r a c t e r s anatomize them-s e l v e s without knowing t h a t they were shamelessly exposing 1. W i l l i a m H a z l i t t , "The Dandy S c h o o l " , Complete Works, P.P. Howe ed., Eondon, Dent and Sons, 1934, vol.20,p. 14-8. 2. Nightmare Abbey, Garnett ed., p.380 -22-t h e i r i n s i d e s " . 1 I t i s easy t o f o l l o w the i r o n i c mind of the author t o y i n g w i t h h i s puppet c h a r a c t e r s . A t a secondary l e v e l , no t h o u g h t f u l reader can f a i l to sense that he too i s the v i c t i m of Peacock's i r o n i c l a u g h -t e r . I n t h i s r e s p e c t , Peacock shares a l i t e r a r y k i n s h i p with Max Beerbohm. Throughout the n o v e l s , as i n Beerbohm's essays and s h o r t s t o r i e s , runs a v e i n of comic s e r i o u s n e s s . Both e x c e l i n c a r i c a t u r e , i n the c r e a t i o n of a f a n t a s t i c world of u r b a n i t y and w i t ; and both are masters: of the l i t e r a r y hoax. Peacock wrote as he pleased, and a t no time r e s p e c t e d the t a s t e s of the r e a d i n g p u b l i c . At times, however, he f a v o r s the r e a d e r w i t h a s l y wink. M e l i n c o u r t ends with a s a r c a s t i c the a s i d e t o A r e a d e r who has a t a s t e f o r sentiment: "We must not conclude without i n f o r m i n g those among our t e n d e r - h e a r t e d r e a d e r s " t h a t Miss Pinmoney's marriage was a- "good match, through the s k i l f u l management o f h e r mother". I n Nightmare  Abbey, he comments on h i s own d e t a i l e d d e p i c t i o n of a B y r o n i c pose: "We hope the admirers of the minutiae i n p o e t r y and romance w i l l a p p r e c i a t e t h i s a c c u r a t e d e s c r i p t i o n of a pensive a t t i t u d e " . In the romances, he teases h i s r e a d e r w i t h g r o s s exaggeration, such as h i s assurance t h a t Robin Hood c o u l d h i t "a t a r g e t of an i n c h at two E n g l i s h m i l e s " w i t h the l o n g -bow. In C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , a f t e r f i r s t d e s c r i b i n g m i n u t e l y a r u s t i c home and i t s occupants, he concludes: 1. E r n e s t A. Baker, H i s t o r y of the E n g l i s h Novel, London, Witherby L t d . , 19^6, vol.7, p.124. We s h a l l leave t h i s tempting f i e l d o f i n t e r e s t i n g e x p a t i a t i o n t o those whose b r a i n s are h i g h - p r e s s u r e steam engines f o r s p i n n i n g prose by the f u r l o n g , to be trumpeted i n p a i d - f o r paragraphs i n the quack's corner of the newspapers. 1 As a n o v e l i s t , Peacock set h i s own standards, i g n o r i n g both the conventions and the growing demands f o r r e a l i s m i n the n o v e l . He wrote as an independent and at times i n d i f f e r e n t amateur, and h i s r e a d e r s no more than h i s c h a r a c t e r s can escape h i s i r o n y . There i s f i n a l l y a t h i r d though obscure l e v e l o f , i r o n y , f o r Peacock was not above i n c l u d i n g h i m s e l f as a butt f o r h i s s a t i r e . Eedden remarks,"The l a t i n i s m s he in d u l g e s i n from time t o time, h i s copious f o o t n o t e s , the se r i o u s n e s s i n t o which he i s sometimes to be caught l a p s i n g , a l l c o n s c i o u s -l y poke f u n at 'Old Peacock' the a u t h o r . " 2 Here the c r i t i c i s sens i n g a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c t r a i t i n Peacock's i n d e f i n a b l e humour. Detached though he i s i n manner, h i s e c c e n t r i c p e r s o n a l i t y and i r o n i c w i t l u r k on every page. H i s pedantry, t h e r e f o r e , r a r e l y bores, and h i s s e r i o u s n e s s i s but momentary. Walter R a l e i g h observes i n a c r i t i c i s m o f Shaw: "The man who i s a f r a i d to be caught i n a s e r i o u s sentiment l e s t others should f i n d i t r i d i c u l o u s , cannot t e l l a moving t a l e i n a f o r t h r i g h t , whole-hearted way. H i s mind i s a kingdom d i v i d e d a g a i n s t i t s e l f -3 under two k i n g s , a w a r r i o r and a clown". Peacock's mind 1. C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , Garnett ed., p .73&. 2. H.R. Fedden, "Thomas Love Peacock", The E n g l i s h N o v e l i s t s , London, Chatto and Windus, 1936, p .133. ~ ~ ~" 3. Walter R a l e i g h , "Peacock", On -Writing and W r i t e r s , London, Edward A r n o l d , 1927, p.110. - 2 4 -i s no l e s s d i v i d e d . He i s too s e l f - c o n s c i o u s to shed h i s im-p e r s o n a l i t y . He assumes the r o l e of the humorist who s u s p e c t s , s i n c e a l l humanity appears r i d i c u l o u s , t h a t he h i m s e l f may be open to r i d i c u l e . R a l e i g h contends t h a t "The p r o f e s s i o n s of reformer, and humorist, have never been s u c c e s s f u l l y combined. The reformer does not care who l a u g h s " . 1 Peacock l a c k s both the p e r s o n a l i t y and the i n c l i n a t i o n f o r the job of r e f o r m e r . He becomes i n s t e a d a humorist. H i s a t t a c k , i n t e n t i o n a l l y d i f f u s e and at times i n c o n s i s t e n t , i s d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t a l l t h a t lends i t s e l f to r i d i c u l e . A c o n s i d e r a b l e b u l k of Peacockian c r i t i c i s m , however, i s devoted to the d i s c o v e r y of h i s b e l i e f s , and i t i s d i s c o n c e r t i n g to f i n d that h i s sentiments i n the novels are a t once r a d i c a l and r e a c t i o n a r y . One answer to such s p e c u l a t i o n i s found not i n h i s s a t i r e but i n h i s i r o n i c p o s i t i o n as a n o v e l i s t - "Old Peacock", as he i s c a l l e d , the l i t e r a r y wag who r e f u s e d totake even h i m s e l f s e r i o u s l y , and who avoided exposing h i s own b e l i e f s by a p p l y i n g dramatic technique to the n o v e l form; f o r , as a dramatic humorist, he i s able to speak i m p a r t i a l l y without i d e n t i f y i n g h i m s e l f with the.views of h i s c h a r a c t e r s . I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t b e f o r e h i s f i r s t n o v e l he experimented w i t h the drama. The framework of country-house comedy was f i r s t d e v i s e d i n h i s two unpublished p l a y s , p r o -bably w r i t t e n about l b l l ; and both p l a y s 2 , The Three Doctors and The D i l e t t a n t i , c o n t a i n c h a r a c t e r s , s i t u a t i o n s , and t o p i c a l 1. Walter R a l e i g h , "Peacock", On W r i t i n g and W r i t e r s , London Edward A r n o l d , 19 27, p.111'. 2. Works, H a l l i f o r d ed., v o l . 7 . -23-s a t i r e t h a t are repeated i n h i s f i r s t n o v e l . In u s i n g the dramatic method, h i s i n t e r e s t i s centered i n the di a l o g u e , which c a r r i e s the whole a c t i o n . He makes s l i g h t use o f i n c i d e n t , and when hedoes, i t i s u s u a l l y t r e a t e d f a r c i c a l l y . T y p i c a l o f h i s r e s t r a i n t as a d e s c r i p t i v e w r i t e r , and r e m i n i s c e n t of the heightened s t y l e of F i e l d i n g , i s h i s account of an e x p l o s i o n , one of s e v e r a l i n the n o v e l s , which i s pa r t o f an a t t a c k on p i c t u r e s q u e landscape gardening: Mr. M i l e s t o n e had p r o p e r l y c a l c u l a t e d the f o r c e of the e x p l o s i o n ; f o r the tower remained untouched: but the S q u i r e , i n h i s c o n s o l a t o r y r e f l e c t i o n s , had omitted the c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the i n f l u e n c e o f sudden f e a r , which had so v i o l e n t an e f f e c t on Mr. Cranium, who was j u s t commencing a speech concerning the very f i n e p r o spect from the top of the tower, t h a t , c u t -t i n g s h o r t the t h r e a d of h i s o b s e r v a t i o n s , he bounded, under the e l a s t i c i n f l u e n c e o f t e r r o r , s e v e r a l f e e t i n t o the a i r . H i s ascent being un-l u c k i l y a l i t t l e out o f the p e r p e n d i c u l a r , he descended w i t h a p r o p o r t i o n a t e curve from the apex of h i s p r o j e c t i o n , and a l i g h t e d , not on the w a l l of the tower, but i n an i v y bush by i t s s i d e , which, g i v i n g way beneath him, t r a n s f e r r e d him to a t u f t of h a z e l a t i t s base, which, a f t e r upholding him f o r an i n s t a n t , consigned him to the boughs of an ash tha t had r o o t e d i t s e l f i n a f i s s u r e about half-way down the rock, which f i n a l l y t r a n s m i t t e d him to the waters below. 1 No l e s s r e s t r a i n e d i s h i s treatment o f s e t t i n g , which he i n v a r i a b l y d e s c r i b e s b r i e f l y and i r o n i c a l l y : The abbey of R u b y g i l l stood i n a p i c t u r e s q u e v a l l e y , at a l i t t l e d i s t a n c e from the western boundary of Sherwood F o r e s t , i n a spot which seemed adapted by nature to be the r e t r e a t of monastic m o r t i f i c a t i o n , b e i ng on the banks of a f i n e t r o u t stream, and i n the midst of woodland c o v e r t s , abounding with e x c e l l e n t game.2 In the depth of h i s i r o n y , and i n h i s s i m p l i f i c a t i o n of c h a r a c t e r , p l o t , and s e t t i n g , Peacock c r e a t e s h i s own 1. Headlong H a l l , Garnett ed., p.34. 2. Maid Marian, Garnett ed., p.443* comedy of humours. H i s world i s narrow and h i s s a t i r e i s r e s t r i c t e d ; he chose to ignore or t r e a t l i g h t l y most of the great c o n t r o v e r s i a l i s s u e s , moral and humanitarian, of the time. He i s a s t y l i s t and pedant r a t h e r than a c r i t i c . P r i e s t l e y b e l i e v e s t h a t "The s e c r e t of Peacock's success i s c h i e f l y t o be found i n . the p i q u a n t l y f l a v o u r e d d i a l o g u e The d i a l o g u e , based p a r t l y upon i d e a s c u l l e d from h i s r e a d i n g , f r e q u e n t l y f a l l s heavy with aphorism. F o r e s t e r , f o r example, speaks the moral p l a t i t u d e s o f a S i r A u s t i n F e v e r a l , b u t l i k e most Peacockian c h a r a c t e r s remains b l o o d l e s s ; i n a t t a c k i n g the l i t e r a r y h i r e l i n g s of the Tory p a r t y , he observes, "Vices of unfrequent occurrence stand s u f f i c i e n t l y s e l f - e x p o s e d i n the i n s u l a t i o n of t h e i r own d e f o r m i t y " . ^ Few m e n - o f - l e t t e r s are more quotable than Peacock, but a s i n g l e e x c e r p t cannot capture f u l l y the even pace and i r o n i c w i t of h i s d i a l o g u e . The Johnsonian humor of Dr. F o l l i o t t , i n h i s comment on Scotsmen, "the modern Athenians", serves as a t y p i c a l example: The Rev. Dr. F o l l i o t t -S i r , I say every n a t i o n has some eximious v i r t u e ; and your country i s pre-eminent i n the g l o r y of f i s h f o r b r e a k f a s t . We have much to l e a r n from you i n that-l i n e a t any r a t e . Mr. MacQ,uedy-2 And i n many other, s i r , I b e l i e v e . Morals and metaphysics, p o l i t i c s and p o l i t i c a l economy, the way to make the most o f the m o r t i f i c a t i o n s of smoke; steam, gas, and paper c u r r e n c y ; you have a l l these t o l e a r n from us; i n s h o r t , a l l the a r t s and s c i e n c e s . We are the modern A t h e n i a n s . 1. P r i e s t l e y , Peacock, p.l6j>. 2. M e l i n c o u r t , Garnett ed., p.194. "5. Peacock's f o o t n o t e : "Quasi Mac Q,.E.D.,son of a demon-s t r a t i o n " . -27-The Rev. Dr. P o l l i o t t -I, f o r one, s i r , am content to l e a r n n o t h i n g from you but t h e a r t and s c i e n c e o f f i s h f o r b r e a k f a s t . Be content, s i r , to r i v a l the Boeotians, whose redeeming v i r t u e was i n f i s h . . . and leave the name of Athenians t o those who have a sense o f the b e a u t i f u l , and a p e r c e p t i o n of m e t r i c a l q u a n t i t y . 1 Nothing, as t h i s passage suggests, i s allowed to d i s t u r b the d i g e s t i o n or the r i g i d c o n v i c t i o n s of Peacock's guests. They l i v e i n a l a r g e r w o r l d of i d e a s , i n a w o r l d of e t e r n a l c o n f l i c t . T h i s , f i n a l l y , i s the b a s i s of h i s method. The t a l k , now w i t t y and f a c e t i o u s , now p e d a n t i c and s e r i o u s , has a s u f f i c i e n c y of i t s own. I t i s immaterial whether the s a t i r e i s always well-aimed, f o r no i d e a or i n d i v i d u a l escapes h i s l a u g h t e r . 1. C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , Garnett ed., p.657. CHAPTER 4 S o c i a l S a t i r e Although Peacock developed a l i t e r a r y genre s u i t e d t o h i s i n d i v i d u a l i t y and t a s t e s , h i s n o v e l s are t o p i c a l , and each i n d i c a t e s t o some degree the c u r r e n t t r e n d of c o n t r o v e r s y and o p i n i o n . He i s c o n s i s t e n t with l i t e r a r y p r a c t i c e : " i n ages of p o l i t i c a l u n s e t t l e m e n t . . . h a r d l y any p r a c t i c a l problem can be brought forward without l e a d i n g to debate upon u l t i m a t e r e a l i t i e s " . 1 With the d e c l i n e of the r e v o l u t i o n a r y s p i r i t a f t e r 1820, and, more important, with h i s adjustment to a l i f e of ease and s e c u r i t y , Peacock's s o c i a l s a t i r e becomes l e s s u n i v e r s a l and l e s s b i t t e r . Under s e t t l e d c o n d i t i o n s , "men r e s t content, f o r the most p a r t , w i t h debating p a r t i c u l a r problems i n the l i g h t of c u r r e n t e x p e d i e n c i e s or p e r s o n a l p r e f e r a n c e s f o r one s o l u t i o n or a n o t h e r . " 2 Peacock's s a t i r e f o l l o w s t h i s p a t t e r n . H i s s o c i a l c r i t i c i s m i s most a b s t r a c t i n h i s e a r l y work; i n the l a t e r n ovels of t a l k , i t i s l i m i t e d almost e x c l u s i v e l y t o a t t a c k s on " f a s h i o n a b l e s o c i e t y " , w i t h o n l y s l i g h t r i d i c u l e of c h a r a c t e r s drawn from the upper and lower extremes of the s o c i a l s c a l e . This chapter examines these two main a s p e c t s of h i s s o c i a l c r i t i c i s m : h i s treatment o f c u r r e n t Romantic philosophy, and h i s a t t a c k s on contemporary t y p e s . 1. G.D.H.Cole, P o l i t i c s and L i t e r a t u r e , London, Hogarth P r e s s , 19 29, p.27. 2. I b i d . -29-The bulk of Peaco,ck's s o c i a l s a t i r e i n the early-n o v e l s i s d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t extreme aspects of the d o c t r i n e of p r i m i t i v i s m . E s c o t , the most g a r r u l o u s c h a r a c t e r i n Headlong H a l l , i s a c u r i o u s embodiment of t h e p h i l o s o p h i e s of Rousseau, L o r d Monboddo, J.F. Newton, and Godwin. The theme i n t h i s n o v e l , p r i m i t i v i s m versus p r o g r e s s , i s e s t a b l i s h e d i n the f i r s t c o n v e r s a t i o n . F o s t e r , the p e r f e c t i b i l i a n , observes b r i e f l y t h a t the p r e s e n t progress o f man p o i n t s to "a g r a d u a l advancement towards a s t a t e o f u n l i m i t e d p e r f e c t i o n " . 1 T h i s aroused E s c o t to r e p l y , i n a paraphrase of Rousseau, t h a t t h i s advancement i s " o n l y so many l i n k s i n the g r e a t c h a i n of c o r r u p t i o n , which w i l l soon f e t t e r the whole human race i n i r r e p a r a b l e s l a v e r y and i n c u r a b l e wretchedness"; and t h a t man, "at the mercy of e x t e r n a l circumstances", has degenerated r a p i d l y "from the p r i m i t i v e d i g n i t y of h i s s y l v a n o r i g i n " . E s c o t ' s c l a i m , based on Monboddo, t h a t p r i m i t i v e man "had not the f a c u l t y of speech" arouses the Rev. Doctor Gaster to d i s -agree, f o r such b e l i e f i s c o n t r a r y to' "the a u t h o r i t y o f Moses". The p o l i t e mockery of E s c o t ' s r e p l y i s t y p i c a l of numerous s a l l i e s a g a i n s t the Church and i t s d o c t r i n e s : Of course, s i r , I do not presume t o d i s s e n t from the very e x a l t e d a u t h o r i t y of that most e n l i g h t e n e d astronomer and profound cosmogonist, who had, more-over, the advantage of being i n s p i r e d . . . I am too o f t e n apt to l o s e s i g h t of the d o c t r i n e s of t h a t great f o u n t a i n of t h e o l o g i c a l and g e o l o g i c a l p h i l o s ophy.3 1. Headlong H a l l , Garnett ed., p . I I . 2. I b i d , pp. 11-12. 3. Headlong H a l l , p.28. -30-While p a r t a k i n g of a h e a r t y b r e a k f a s t o f eggs and beef, E s c o t ' s i r o n i c views on v e g e t a r i a n i s m r e c a l l Peacock's acquaintance w i t h the pseudo-philosopher Newton and h i s d i s c i p l e S h e l l e y : The n a t u r a l and o r i g i n a l man l i v e d i n the woods: the r o o t s and f r u i t s of the e a r t h s u p p l i e d h i s . simple nutriment: he had few d e s i r e s and no d i s e a s e s . But, when he began to s a c r i f i c e v i c t i m s on the a l t a r o f s u p e r s t i t i o n , to pursue the goat and the deer, and, by the p e r n i c i o u s i n v e n t i o n of f i r e , to p e r v e r t t h e i r f l e s h i n t o food, l u x u r y , d i s e a s e , and premature death were l e t loose upon the world. Such i s c l e a r l y the c o r r e c t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the f a b l e o f Prometheus. Godwinism i s i m p l i c i t i n E s c o t ' s l e n g t h y d e n u n c i a t i o n o f t h e present system of marriage. Irony i s here a p p l i e d l i b e r a l l y , f o r E s c o t has t r i c k e d Mr. Cranium i n t o exchanging the hand of h i s daughter, "the b e a u t i f u l C e p h a l i s " , f o r the pseudo s k u l l of Cadwallader. A f t e r a d m i t t i n g "I am the ha p p i e s t man a l i v e " , E s c o t laments the r a r i t y of m a r i t a l happiness: Females, condemned...to monastic c e l i b a c y , . . . become w i l l i n g t o.take up w i t h any coxcomb or scoundrel...Young men are d r i v e n from the company of the most amiable and modest o f the opposite sex... Thus, the youth of one sex i s consumed i n s l a v e r y , disappointment, and spl e e n ; that of the other, i n . f r a n t i c f o l l y and intemperance: t i l l at l e n g t h , on the necks of a couple so e n f e e b l e d , so p e r v e r t e d , so distempered both i n body and s o u l , s o c i e t y throws the yoke o f marriage...what can be expected from these i l l - a s s o r t e d y o k e - f e l l o w s , but t h a t , l i k e two i l l - t e m p e r e d hounds, coupled by a t y r a n n i c a l s p o r t s -man, they should drag on t h e i r d i s s o l u t e f e t t e r s , s n a r l i n g and growling, and p u l l i n g i n d i f f e r e n t d i r e c t i o n s ? 2 As these examples suggest, Peacock was i n sympathy w i t h many of the p h i l o s o p h i e s o f h i s day. A l t h o u g h he d e l i g h t s i n mocking t h e i r extremes, he uses these extremes to 1. Headlong H a l l , pp.14 -15. 2. Headlong H a l l , pp.89-90. -31-m i r r o r tne more r e a l f o l l i e s i n contemporary s o c i e t y . I t i s d i f f i c u l t , however, to determine h i s personal b e l i e f s from the bent of h i s s a t i r e , a l t h o u g h i t may be surmised that he i s on the s i d e of the romantic p a s t , f o r F o s t e r , the p e r f e c -t i b i l i a n , has l i t t l e t o say, and h i s r o l e i s dispensed with i n l a t e r n o v e ls, w h i l e Escot i s a prototype of p r i m i t i v i s t s who appear i n l e s s e r r o l e s i n a l l the n o v e l s of t a l k . Never-t h e l e s s , Peacock's_ main concern was to s e l e c t , a p p a r e n t l y a t random, i d e a s and c o n t r o v e r s i e s o f the age, and to c r e a t e s p i r i t e d d i s c u s s i o n which u s u a l l y r e s u l t s i n r i d i c u l e o f a l l s i d e s of a "question. In Melancourt, f o r example, the c e n t r a l f i g u r e , S i r Oran Haut-ton, s a t i r i z e s a t once Monboddo's r e s e a r c h i n anthropology, Rousseau's r e t u r n to nature, and p o l i t i c a l c o r r u p t i o n i n E n g l a n d . 1 His a p p l i c a t i o n of c u r r e n t p h i l o s o p h y to s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n s , t h e r e f o r e , i s n e i t h e r d i r e c t nor c l e a r l y b i a s e d . That he i s an observer r a t h e r than a reformer i s i n d i c a t e d by the sources from which he drew h i s m a t e r i a l . F i r s t , as an informed w r i t e r and c o n v e r s a t i o n a l i s t , he p a t t e r n e d h i s s a t i r e on a theme a l r e a d y e s t a b l i s h e d i n the popular l i t e r a t u r e o f the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y . The i d e a s o f progress and p r i m i t i v i s m had been f u l l y e x p l o i t e d i n the f i c t i o n a l s a t i r e s o f h i s immediate predecessors, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n C h a r l e s Lucas, Isaac D ' I s r a e l i , Hannah More, George Walker, and E l i z a b e t h H a m i l t o n . 1 1. Peacock acknowledges h i s debt to Monboddo i n many f o o t n o t e s . 2. see L o i s Whitney, P r i m i t i v i s m and the Idea o f Progress, B a l t i m o r e , Johns Hopkins P r e s s , 1934, pp.2 9 b - 3 3 3 . ~~ -32-3ut Peacock, i n c o n t r a s t t o these n o v e l i s t s , i s n e i t h e r d i d a c t i c nor b i a s e d . H i s c l o s e f r i e n d s h i p w i t h S h e l l e y d o u b t l e s s s u p p l i e d the other source of h i s m a t e r i a l . Peacock found i n S h e l l e y a mutual admirer and l i t e r a r y a d v i s o r . When they met, i n l8l2, S h e l l e y was absorbed i n the extreme i m f c e l l e c t u a l i s m of the t i m e : the fads of v e g e t a r i a n i s m and a s t r o l o g y and the Godwinian d o c t r i n e s of j u s t i c e and determinism. A t B r a c k n a l l , when Peacock v i s i t e d w i t h him i n 1813, S h e l l e y was surrounded by a ' group of f a d d i s t s , i n c l u d i n g the B o i n v i l l e s and Newtons. Hogg d e s c r i b e s t h i s croud i n d i s g u s t : 0 They sighed, t u r n e d up t h e i r eyes, r e t a i l e d p hilosophy, such as i t was, and swore by W i l l i a m Godwin and P o l i t i c a l J u s t i c e , a c t i n g , moreover, and very c l u m s i l y , the p a r t s of P e t r a r c h s , Werthers, St.Leons, and Fleetwoods.! Peacock, w r i t i n g i n 1858, i s more t o l e r a n t : E v e r y one of them adopting some of the a r t i c l e s of t h e i r g e n e r a l church, had each n e v e r t h e l e s s some predominant c r o t c h e t of h i s or her own, which l e f t a number o f open ques t i o n s f o r earnest and not always temperate d i s c u s s i o n . 2 While i n t h i s group, Peacock's a t t i t u d e was one of amused i n t e r e s t , and there he doubtless found b o t h c h a r a c t e r types and t o p i c s o f c o n v e r s a t i o n which he i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o the n o v e l s . To such c h a r a c t e r types, the e x t r e m i s t s o f t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l and commercial upper middle c l a s s , Peacock devotes the g r e a t e r p a r t o f h i s a t t e n t i o n as a s o c i a l s a t i r i s t . H i s complete i n d i f f e r e n c e towards the humanitarian impulses of the 1. C i t e d i n B r e t t - S m i t h , " I n t r o d u c t i o n " , Memoirs o f S h e l l e y , p . x i i i . 2. Peacock, '^Memoirs of S h e l l e y " , Works, v o l . 8 , p.70. - 5 3 -day i s p a r t i c u l a r l y n o t i c e a b l e . Because of h i s i r o n i c a t t i t u d e , i t i s d i f f i c u l t to determine whether o r not he uses, i n M e l i n - c o u r t , Burke's phrase, "the s w i n i s h multitude", as a term of d i r e c t d e r i s i o n . But whether or not he had any p e r s o n a l sympathy f o r the masses, the a t t i t u d e e s t a b l i s h e d by E s c o t i n Headlong H a l l remains constant throughout h i s n o v e l s : Sedentary v i c t i m s of unhealthy t o i l , they have n e i t h e r the c o r p o r e a l energy of t h e savage, nor the mental a c q u i s i t i o n s of the c i v i l i z e d man. Mind, indeed, they have none, and s c a r c e l y animal l i f e . But Peacock never m o r a l i z e s , and when he does on o c c a s i o n i n t r o d u c e l o w e r - c l a s s c h a r a c t e r s h i s aim i s u s u a l l y to add comic i n c i d e n t . In Nightmare Abbey, f o r example, the c h a r a c t e r of the footman, Diggery Deathshead, r e p r e s e n t s as h i s name i m p l i e s a burlesque of the fearsome servant type of the G o t h i c romance. Although he was d i s m i s s e d because of h i s g r i n n i n g and " u n h a l l -owed l a u g h t e r " , "Diggory, however, had stayed l o n g enough to make conquests of a l l the o l d gentleman's maids, and l e f t him a f l o u r i s h i n g colony of young Deathsheads to j o i n chorus w i t h the owls, t h a t had b e f o r e been the e x c l u s i v e c h o r i s t e r s of Nightmare Abbey" 2 Again, i n C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , humorous i n c i d e n t serves as an i n t r o d u c t i o n to a chapter of d i s c u s s i o n on con-temporary progress, and to an a t t a c k on Lord Brougham and h i s attempts to p o p u l a r i z e s c i e n c e . The Rev. Doctor F o l l i o t t i s "out of a l l p a t i e n c e w i t h t h i s march o f mind", which he blames as the cause of a f i r e i n h i s home. H i s cook had overturned a 1. Headlong H a l l , Garnett ed., p.49; see a l s o C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , p.b74, and G r y l l Grange, pp . 927-8. 2. Nightmare Abbey, p.359' candle w h i l e s t u d y i n g " h y d r o s t a t i c s i n a sixpenny t r a c t , p u b l i s h e d by the Steam I n t e l l e c t S o c i e t y . . . L u c k i l y the f o o t -man went i n t o the room at the moment i n time to t e a r down the c u r t a i n s and throw them i n the chimney, and a p i t c h e r of water on her nightcap e x t i n g u i s h e d the wick:, she i s a greasy s u b j e c t , and would have burned l i k e a short mould." 1 Unconcerned as Peacock i s w i t h the lower c l a s s e s , he i s even l e s s d i sposed to a t t a c k the landed g e n t r y . The h o s t s i n the n o v e l s of t a l k are estimable f e l l o w s b e l o n g i n g to the s q u i r e c l a s s , and a l l are i n f e c t e d w i t h an urge f o r p h i l o s o p h -i c a l d i s c u s s i o n . T h e i r prototype i s Harry Headlong, who i s "fond o f shooting, hunting, r a c i n g , d r i n k i n g . . . B u t u n l i k e other Vfelsh squires...he became s e i z e d w i t h a v i o l e n t p a s s i o n to be thought a p h i l o s o p h e r and a man of t a s t e " . 2 Ebenezer MacCrotchet, however, i s an e x c e p t i o n ; as the London-born o f f s p r i n g of a Scotsman, he a f f o r d s Peacock an o p p o r t u n i t y to r i d i c u l e a t once the wealthy Scot i n England and the commercial c l a s s who had f o r the past c e n t u r y been i n s i n u a t i n g themselves i n t o the ranks of landed a r i s t o c r a c y . To the i n v i t e d guests, the members of f a s h i o n a b l e s o c i e t y , Peacock d i r e c t s h i s f u l l a t t e n t i o n as a s o c i a l s a t i r i s t . A complete index of h i s c h a r a c t e r s would r e v e a l t h a t s c a r c e l y a s i n g l e contemporary theory, f a d , o r fancy escapes h i s s c o r n . I t appears unimportant whether a c h a r a c t e r i s "a c r o t c h e t e e r w i t h a dominating i n t e r e s t or theory", or "a c a r i c a t u r e of an a c t u a l person", or "a more rounded and normal" 1. C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , p.636. 2. Headlong H a l l , p.10. type, as Mr. P r i e s t l y has c l a s s i f i e d the c h a r a c t e r s . A l l speak w i t h s i n g l e n e s s of c o n v i c t i o n and a l l r i d e t h e i r own hobby-horse. A p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n i n C r o t c h e t C a s t l e i l l u s -t r a t e s the d i v e r s i t y of types and o p i n i o n . The contenders f o r the l a r g e sum of money o f f e r e d by young C r o t c h e t to "regenerate the w o r l d " i n c l u d e : a p o l i t i c a l economist, a c o - o p e r a t i o n i s t , ' a medical d o c t o r , a geographer, a t o x i c o l o g i s t , a d i l e t t a n t e composer, a m e d i a e v e l i s t , a t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i s t , a m e t e o r o l o g i s t , and an A n g l i c a n clergyman of pagan b e l i e f s . Only one r e s u l t could p o s s i b l y f o l l o w : "the schemes f o r the w o r l d 1 s r e g e n e r -a t i o n evaporated i n a tumult of v o i c e s " , but the c o n t e s t a n t s agreed to continue, /the d i s c u s s i o n by spending the fund on " d e l i b e r a t i v e / d i n n e r s " . Peacock's c r i t i c i s m of s o c i e t y , as t h i s passage suggests, l a c k s f o r c e because he was not i n c l i n e d to take a stand on any i s s u e . The r e g e n e r a t i o n of man i s soon f o r -g otten i n the p l e a s u r e s of the dinner t a b l e . H i s reformers succeed i n d e s t r o y i n g themselves by t h e i r own pompous d e c l a -mations. H i s s k i l f u l use of parody and c a r i c a t u r e suggests t h a t he was a s e n s i t i v e observer of humanity. But h i s o b s e r v a t i o n s do not range beyond a narrow and i n t e l l e c t u a l l y s e l e c t group. He s u f f e r s from a d i s a b i l i t y which V i r g i n i a WooIf b e l i e v e s i s i n h e r e n t i n the E n g l i s h n o v e l i s t : "His work i s i n f l u e n c e d by h i s b i r t h . . . H e i s f a t e d to know i n t i m a t e l y , and so t o d e s c r i b e with understanding, o n l y those who are of 1. P r i e s t l e y , Peacock, p.142. 2. C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , pp.6 8 5 - 6 9 4 . -36-h i s own s o c i a l r a n k . " 1 C e r t a i n l y almost the whole of h i s s o c i a l c r i t i c i s m stems d i r e c t l y from h i s p e r s o n a l i n t e r e s t i n the i n t e l l e c t u a l and commercial a c t i v i t y o f h i s time. Hi s s o c i a l s a t i r e l a c k s f o r c e a l s o because he was simply not i n t e r e s t e d i n humanity. U n l i k e h i s contemporaries, Dickens and D i s r a e l i f o r example, he was not concerned w i t h s o c i e t y en masse or i n d u s t r i a l i s m and i t s a t t e n d i n g e v i l s . His complaints, a g a i n s t i n d u s t r i a l smoke and the p o l l u t i o n of h i s beloved Thames, are p e t t y and p e r s o n a l . Walker remarks, "The t r u t h i s t h a t i n Peacock the l i t e r a r y q u a l i t y i s s u p e r i o r to the human interest...What he l a c k s i s humanity, j u s t t h a t which i s the essence of the greatness of the great humourists-Cervantes, R a b e l a i s , Shakespeare". As a n o v e l i s t commenting on i n t e l l e c t u a l s o c i e t y , Peacock laments the p o v e r t y of common sense i n the schemes and c o n t r o v e r s i e s of the t i m e s . He con-s i d e r s human "madness" t o be i n e v i t a b l e and immortal. As a young man, he wrote from Wales: On the top of C a d a i r I d r i s , I f e l t how happy a man may be w i t h a l i t t l e money and a sane i n t e l l e c t , and r e f l e c t e d w i t h astonishment and p i t y on the madness of the m u l t i t u d e . 3 These views Peacock a p p a r e n t l y r e t a i n e d throughout h i s secure, w e l l - o r d e r e d l i f e . 1. V i r g i n i a Woolf: "The Neice of an E a r l " , The Second Common  Reader, Penguin, Wyman and sons, London, 1944, p.16.5. 2. Hugh Walker, The L i t e r a t u r e of the V i c t o r i a n E r a , Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1940, p . 6 l 8 . : J. Peacock t o E.T. Hookham, A p r i l l 8 l l , L e t t e r s , v o l . 8 , p.191. -37-CHAPTER 5 P o l i t i c a l S a t i r e Peacock's p o l i t i c a l b e l i e f s o f f e r broad scope f o r c r i t i c a l s p e c u l a t i o n . The assumption t h a t he was a r a d i c a l i n h i s youth and, because he avoided p o l i t i c a l comment i n the l a t e r n o v e l s , a Tory i n h i s middle and o l d age, i s a common-p l a c e . Mr. P r i e s t l e y , f o r example, d e f i n e s h i s p o l i t i c a l sentiments as "those of an a r i s t o c r a t i c i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c repub-l i c a n R a d i c a l w i t h a s t r o n g Tory b i a s " . 1 Such i s the t r a p i n t o which Peacock l e a d s h i s c r i t i c s who attempt a complete d e f i n i t i o n of h i s p o s i t i o n i n terms of h i s s a t i r e . Peacock, i n the n o v e l s , viewed p o l i t i c s as he d i d most t o p i c s : as an observer of s o c i e t y , he had no commitments, p o l i t i c a l or o t h e r , to d i s t o r t h i s view. H i s s a t i r e i s t o p i c a l , and he appears t o s e l e c t at random any abuses and f o l l i e s which he f e e l s i n c l i n e d t o a t t a c k . Accused i n h i s o l d age of Tory b i a s as a p o l i t i c a l s a t i r i s t , he r e p l i e d : I have endeavoured t o be i m p a r t i a l , and to say what cou l d be s a i d on both s i d e s . I f I have not done so, i t i s because I c o u l d f i n d n o t h i n g to say i n b e h a l f of some s p e c i f i c p r o p o s i t i o n . 2 I t i s dangerous, t h e r e f o r e , t o a l i g n Peacock w i t h a p a r t i c u l a r p a r t y on the basi s of h i s p o l i t i c a l s a t i r e . H i s e a r l y a t t i t u d e , a p p a r e n t l y one of p o l i t i c a l independence, i s . r e v e a l e d i n a l e t t e r to S h e l l e y , w r i t t e n i n l 8 l 8 immediately 1. P r i e s t l e y , Peacock, p.196. 2. Peacock t o Thomas L ' E s t r a n g e , J u l y l 8 6 l , WOT?KS,vol-.8, p. 153.- - ' -58-f o i l o w i n g the p u b l i c a t i o n of h i s a n t i - T o r y s a t i r e i n M e l i n - c o u r t : The Edinburgh Review j u s t p u b l i s h e d has an a r t i c l e on the "State o f P a r t i e s " , the cream of which i s , t h a t the g r e a t panacea f o r the n a t i o n a l g r i e v a n c e s i s to b r i n g the Whigs again i n t o power, without r e f o r m i n g the Parliament*, The people must be the s w i n i s h m u l t i t u d e indeed i f they can b e l i e v e t h i s . 1 This comment e x p l a i n s i n p a r t h i s dual p o s i t i o n as a p o l i t i c a l s a t i r i s t : he a t t a c k s the r e a c t i o n a r y a n t i - r e f o r m p o l i c y of the Tory p a r t y , but he cannot e n t e r t a i n the r a d i c a l ' s sympathy f o r the p o l i t i c a l masses. Nor can he be i d e n t i f i e d w i t h a p a r t i c u l a r p a r t y i n h i s l a t e r n o v e l s . I n these, h i s view merely s h i f t s from h i s e a r l i e r a t t a c k s on a n t i - r e f o r m to the broader s o c i a l t o p i c o f p r o g r e s s , a t t a c k i n g as he does the complaceny and s e l f - s a t i s f a c t i o n of the times. The b a s i s , then,,of Peacock's p o l i t i c a l s a t i r e , which f i n d s i t s f u l l e s t e x p r e s s i o n i n M e l i n c o u r t , i s p a r l i a -mentary reform. The companion chapters of "The C i t y of Novote" and "The Borough of Onevote", which r e p r e s e n t i n some r e s p e c t s h i s supreme s k i l l as a s a t i r i s t , f a r o u t c l a s s the remaining d e s u l t o r y a t t a c k s a g a i n s t p r i m i t i v i s m and the Lake Poets which render the n o v e l u n p a l a t a b l e to most r e a d e r s . Based on the theme of Burke's d i a t r i b e on "Old Sarum", these chapters d e s c r i b e the e l e c t i o n scenes i n which Mr. C h r i s t o p h e r C o r p o r a t e t h e p a i d tenant of the Duke o f Rottenburgh, and . the s o l e tenant of the borough, r e t u r n s to p a r l i a m e n t by h i s own assent two members. Co n t r a s t e d with t h i s borough i s the 1. Peacock t o S h e l l e y , September l 8 l 8 , Works,vol.8 ,p.2 0 5 - 6 . c i t y o f Novote, w i t h f i f t y thousand i n h a b i t a n t s and no r e p -r e s e n t a t i o n , "the d e f i c i e n c y being v i r t u a l l y s u p p l i e d by the two members f o r Onevote". On e l e c t i o n day, Mr. S a r c a s t i c , one of the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s , addresses the l a r g e g a t h e r i n g of c i t i z e n s from Novote, who, i n a h o l i d a y mood, have f o l l o w e d "the l o n g t r a i n o f brewer's d r a y s " to the borough. Sarcasm and i r o n y are s u s t a i n e d throughout h i s o r a t i o n , i n which are mocked many of the f a m i l i a r f i g u r e s o f speech then c u r r e n t i n par l i a m e n t a r y r h e t o r i c . Amid the shouts o f the crowd, he addresses Mr. Corporate i n the f o l l o w i n g v e i n : Free, f a t , and dependent burgess of t h i s a n c i e n t and honourable boroughl I stand forward an unworthy candidate, to be the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f so important a personage, who comprises i n h i m s e l f a t h r e e hundredth p a r t of the whole e l e c t i v e c a p a c i t y o f t h i s e x t e n s i v e empire. For i f the whole p o p u l a t i o n be estimated at elev e n m i l l i o n s , w i t h what awe and v e n e r a t i o n must I l o o k on one, who i s , as i t were, the a b s t r a c t and quintessence o f t h i r t y - t h r e e thousand s i x hundred and s i x t y - s i x p e o p l e . ! L a t e r i n h i s harangue he addresses the people of Novote, and assures them, "we s h a l l always be deeply a t t e n t i v e t o your i n t e r e s t s , when they happen, as no doubt they sometimes w i l l , t o be p e r f e c t l y compatible w i t h our own". 2 H i s conclu d i n g r h e t o r i c a l f l o u r i s h "was r e c e i v e d with great applause, a c c -lamations r e n t the a i r , and a l e flowed i n t o r r e n t s " : as l o n g as the c r y of Question i s a s a t i s f a c t o r y answer t o an argument, and to outvote reason i s to r e f u t e i t ; as l o n g as the way to pay o l d debts i s to i n c u r new ones of f i v e times the amount...so l o n g must you r e j o i c e i n the p r i v i l e g e s of Mr. C h r i s t o p h e r Corporate, so l o n g must you acknowledge from the 1. M e l i n c o u r t , Garnett ed., p.229. 2. I b i d , p.230. -40-very bottom of your pockets, the b e n e f i t s and b l e s s i n g s of v i r t u a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . ! As these excerpts suggest, Peacock r e a l i z e s i n Mr. S a r c a s t i c a c h a r a c t e r of g r e a t s a t i r i c p r o p o r t i o n s . Completely without s c r u p l e s , and under no moral o b l i g a t i o n to e i t h e r h i m s e l f or s o c i e t y , he i s a man who reduces " p r a c t i c e to t h e o r y " : When I get i n t o Parliament I i n t e n d to make the s a l e o f my vote as n o t o r i o u s as the sun a t noonday. I w i l l have no r u l e of r i g h t , but my own pocket... When my daughter becomes of m a r r i a g e a b l e age, I s h a l l commission C h r i s t i e t o put her up to a u c t i o n , the h i g h e s t b i d d e r to be the b u y e r . 2 The mute f i g u r e of the other borough r e p r e s e n t a t i v e , S i r Oran Haut-ton, stands i n c o n t r a s t with the eloquent Mr. S a r c a s t i c . S i r Oran i s much more than a double-edged a t t a c k on p o l i t i c a l c o r r u p t i o n and Monboddo's p r i m i t i v i s i t i c t h e o r y . As a man-monkey endowed w i t h s u p e r i o r manners and v i r t u e s , he s e t s i n r e l i e f the g u l l i b l e m e n t a l i t y and animal behavior of the p o l i t i c a l masses. Nowhere i s Peacock's s a t i r e more s p i r i t e d than i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of the u n r u l y mob of Onevote. In the r i o t which concludes the e l e c t i o n scene, S i r Oran i s the h e r o i c v i c t o r of a c l u b - s w i n g i n g brawl. M e l i n c o u r t , t h e r e f o r e , i s no l e s s an a t t a c k on the p o l i t i c a l masses than i t i s on Tory r e a c t i o n . T h i s same two-sided a t t a c k i s r e p e a t e d , though l e s s p o i n t e d l y , i n Maid Marian and i n The M i s f o r t u n e s o f E l p h i n . In the former, the f o r c e s of r e a c t i o n are p r a i s e d i r o n i c a l l y . The outlaw s o c i e t y of Robin Hood, f o r example, bases i t s 1. M e l i n c o u r t , p . 2 J l . 2. I b i d . , p.222. i l -l e g i t i m a c y on the p r i n c i p l e of "might i s r i g h t " : Our government i s l e g i t i m a t e , and our s o c i e t y i s founded on the golden r u l e of r i g h t , consecrated by the u n i v e r s a l consent of mankind, and by the p r a c t -i c e s of a l l ages, i n d i v i d u a l s , and n a t i o n s : namely, to keep what we have, and to c a t c h what we c a n . l D e s c r i b e d as "a profane, r o a r i n g , b r a w l i n g , bumper-drinking, neck-breaking, c a t c h - s i n g i n g f r i a r " , the R a b e l a i s i a n F r i a r M i c h a l l i s used as a v e h i c l e f o r i r o n i c comment. He p r o c l a i m s t h a t : Robin Hood i s k i n g of the f o r e s t both by d i g n i t y of b i r t h and by v i r t u e of h i s s t a n d i n g army: to say nothing o f the f r e e choice of h i s people, which he has indeed, but I pass as an i l l e g i t i m a t e . b a s i s o f power...Is i t not w r i t t e n t h a t the f a t r i b s ' o f the herd s h a l l be f e d upon by the mighty o f the land? And have not they w i t h a l my b l e s s i n g ? T. my orthodox, c a n o n i c a l , and a r c h i e p i s c o p a l b l e s s i n g ? 2 Peacock's i n t e n t i o n s i n t h i s n o v e l are a l l i n c l u s i v e : to s a t i r i z e a t once a r e a c t i o n a r y s t a t e power, the i n h e r e n t sub-s e r v i e n c e o f the masses, and a l l p a r a s i t e s i n Church and S t a t e . But here he t r e a t s i n j u s t i c e w i t h u n r e s t r a i n e d l e v i t y , and d e s p i t e h i s i r o n i c i n t e n t i o n s , the s a t i r e never exceeds the bounds of f a r c e . Because of the i d e a l i z e d background and the l a c k of d i r e c t i o n i n h i s a t t a c k , moreover, the n o v e l becomes comic opera, and i t v/as s u c c e s s f u l l y produced as such i n London, r a t h e r than as p o l i t i c a l s a t i r e . In h i s second romance, The M i s f o r t u n e s of E l p h i n , Peacock i s more s u c c e s s f u l i n t r e a t i n g s a t i r i c a l l y the romantic p a s t . He p e r s i s t s w i t h h i s f a v o r e d t o p i c s o f 1. Maid Marian, p . 5 0 3 . 2. Maid Marian, pp.497-0. -42-p a r l i a m e n t a r y r e f o r m and the a u t h o r i t y of might, and here the f a r c e i s r e s t r a i n e d and the i r o n y unmistakeable. The g r e a t comic f i g u r e of the n o v e l , P r i n c e Seithenyn, "the immortal drunkard", p e r s o n i f i e s the i n d i f f e r e n c e and s e l f - i n t e r e s t of the a n t i - r e f o r m Tory p o l i t i c i a n s . As High Commissioner of the Royal Embankment, which symbolizes the B r i t i s h c o n s t i t u t i o n , h i s arguments on "decay" and " e l a s t i c i t y " are a . c l o s e parody of the a n t i - r e f o r m speeches of Canning and the Duke of W e l l i n g -ton i.1 When advised t h a t the embankment i s " i n a s t a t e o f dangerous decay", he r e p l i e s : "Decay i s one t h i n g , and danger i s another...That i s the beauty of i t , some p a r t s of i t are r o t t e n , and some p a r t s of i t are sound." 2 H i s whole speech, u n t i l he c o l l a p s e s i n a drunken stupor, combines i r o n y with the p e c u l i a r r e a s o n i n g of the c a r e f r e e a l c o h o l i c : the p a r t s t h a t are r o t t e n give e l a s t i c i t y to those t h a t are sound: they g i v e them e l a s t i c i t y , e l a s -t i c i t y , e l a s t i c i t y . I f i t were a l l sound, i t would break by i t s own o b s t i n a t e s t i f f n e s s : the soundness i s checked by the r o t t e n e s s , and the s t i f f n e s s i s balanced by the e l a s t i c i t y . There i s n o t h i n g so dangerous as i n n o v a t i o n . 3 Although t h i s speech i s c l e a r l y a d i r e c t a t t a c k on Tory p o l i c y , i t a l s o i l l u s t r a t e s Peacock's two-sided p o s i t i o n as a p o l i t i c a l 4 s a t i r i s t . For, as S a i n t s b u r y p o i n t s out, the symbolism can be c a r r i e d a step f a r t h e r , and the i m a g i n a t i v e or c o n s e r v a t i v e -minded reader can i d e n t i f y the power of the sea w i t h the f o r c e s 1. B r e t t - S m i t h , " I n t r o d u c t i o n " , Works, v o l . 1 , p . c x x x v i . 2. E l p h i n , p .^61. 3. E l p h i n , p .^61 . 4. S a i n t s b u r y , P r e f a c e s and Essays, p.260. -43-of extreme r a d i c a l i s m d e s t r o y i n g the B r i t i s h c o n s t i t u t i o n . The remainder of the s a t i r e i n t h i s n o v e l p a l e s i n comparison with the i n s p i r e d declamations of Se i t h e n y n . The chapter on the "Education o f T a l i e s i n " , however, i s the l o n g e s t passage of i r o n i c comment i n the n o v e l s . In t h i s , p o l i t i c a l s a t i r e i s onl y a small p a r t of the whole comparison, i n which the present i s c o n t r a s t e d s a t i r i c a l l y with the s u p e r i o r morals, manners, and i n s t i t u t i o n s of an i d e a l i z e d p a s t . Here, as i n the War-Song of Dinas Vawr, the p o l i t i c a l s a t i r e i s d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t the d e s p o t i c power of the s t a t e , based on m i l i t a r y f o r c e . Although tee A r t h u r i a n s o c i e t y l a c k e d " p o l i t i c a l s c i e n c e " and "the b l e s s i n g s of v i r t u a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n " , Peacock adds s a r c a s t i c a l l y : S t i l l they went to work p o l i t i c a l l y much as we do. The powerful took a l l they c o u l d get from t h e i r s u b j e c t s and neighbors; and c a l l e d something or other s a c r e d or g l o r i o u s , when they wanted the people to f i g h t f o r them. They r e p r e s s e d d i s -a f f e c t i o n by f o r c e , when i t showed i t s e l f i n an ove r t a c t ; but they encouraged freedom o f speech, when i t was, l i k e Hamlet's r e a d i n g , "words, words, words" 1 I t i s understandable that the emphasis of Peacock's a t t a c k i s completely s h i f t e d i n Cro t c h e t C a s t l e , p u b l i s h e d i n 1831, f o r d u r i n g t h a t year L o r d John R u s s e l l brought before Parliament the f i r s t Reform B i l l . H i s f i n a l f l i n g as a p o l i t i c a l s a t i r i s t i s a g e n e r a l i z e d a t t a c k , not a g a i n s t a p a r t i c u l a r p a r t y or i s s u e , but a g a i n s t the s t u p i d i t y o f both the p o l i t i c a l masses and government p o l i c y . While the r a b b l e clamour at the door o f Chainmail H a l l , t h a t " f o r t r e s s o f beef 1. E l p h i n , p.581. -44-and a l e " , seeking t o arm themselves w i t h the medieval weapons i n i t s armoury, and i n t e r r u p t i n g the "Christmas gambols" of the guests, the a c t i o n i s suspended w h i l e the Reverend Dr. F o l l i o t t expounds i r o n i c a l l y the p r e s e n t s t a t e of p o l i t i c a l a f f a i r s . As the spokesman of Tory A n g l i c a n i s m , which he f a c e t i o u s l y c a l l s "the church m i l i t a n t " , he compares the present demands f o r p o l i t i c a l emancipation to medieval " J a c q u e r i e " . The d i s c o n t e n t among the l a b o u r i n g c l a s s e s , he b e l i e v e s , i s caused by f o o l i s h government p o l i c y : I t i s the n a t u r a l r e s u l t , Mr. MacQ,uedy, of t h a t system of s t a t e seamanship which your s c i e n c e upholds. P u t t i n g the crew on s h o r t allowances, and d o u b l i n g the r a t i o n s of the o f f i c e r s , i s the sure way to make a mutiny on board a s h i p i n distress.- 1-Peacock's stand, i f anything, i s one of common sense. But he does not e n t e r d i r e c t l y i n t o the c o n t r o v e r s i a l p o l i t i c a l problems of the l83>0's. The whole g e n e r a l i z e d debate i s soon ended when the more ro b u s t guests take on "the armour of the t w e l f t h c e n t u r y " and, l e d by the m i l i t a n t Doctor, enter i n t o the f r a y . Again, the s a t i r e f o l l o w s the u s u a l p a t t e r n . Peacock l e a d s h i s reader to a p o i n t a t which c o n t r o v e r s y s h i f t s suddenly to l i v e l y f a r c e : The r a b b l e - r o u t , b e i n g unprepared f o r such a s o r t i e , f l e d i n a l l d i r e c t i o n s , over hedge and d i t c h . Mr. T r i l l o s t a y e d i n the h a l l , p l a y i n g a march on the harp, to i n s p i r i t the r e s t to s a l l y out. The w a t e r - l o v i n g Mr. P h i l p o t had d i l u t e d h i m s e l f w i t h so much wine, as to be q u i t e hors de combat. Mr. Toogood, i n t e n d i n g to equip h i m s e l f i n p u r e l y d e f e n s i v e armour, c o n t r i v e d to s l i p a ponderous coat o f m a i l over h i s shoulders, which p i n i o n e d h i s arms to h i s s i d e s ; and i n t h i s c o n d i t i o n , l i k e a c h i c k e n t r u s s e d f o r r o a s t i n g , he was thrown 1. C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , p.754. —45-behind a p i l l a r , i n the f i r s t r u s h of the s o r t i e . Mr. C r o t c h e t s e i z e d the occurrence as a p r e t e x t f o r s t a y i n g w i t h him, and passed the whole time of the a c t i o n i n p i c k i n g him out of h i s s h e l l . "Phewl" s a i d the d i v i n e , r e t u r n i n g ; "an i n g l o r -i o u s v i c t o r y : but i t deserves a d e v i l and a bowl of punch". 1 The f o r e g o i n g examples have been s e l e c t e d to suggest the t r e n d and s t r e n g t h of Peacock's p o l i t i c a l s a t i r e . Seldom p e r s o n a l i n h i s a t t a c k , he becomes even more a b s t r a c t and g e n e r a l i z e d a f t e r h i s f i r s t attempt as a p o l i t i c a l s a t i r i s t i n M e l i n c o u r t . N e v e r t h e l e s s , h i s novels c o n t a i n a c o n s i d e r a b l e body of b r i l l i a n t , i f a t times uneven, comment on contem-porary p o l i t i c s . He i s . aware of p o l i t i c a l i n j u s t i c e ; but he so f t e n s h i s a t t a c k by extravagant use of f a r c e . The d u a l i t y of h i s p o s i t i o n , a t t a c k i n g Tory a n t i - r e f o r m p o l i c y and d i s -t r u s t i n g at the same time p o l i t i c a l emancipation, and the v e i l e d , i r o n i c nature of h i s at t a c k , suggest t h a t he wished t o remain as an informed but detached observer of the p o l i t i c s o f the time. N e i t h e r i n h i s s a t i r e , nor i n h i s p u b l i c l i f e , so f a r as i s known, does Peacock espouse a p a r t i c u l a r p a r t y . His c r i t i c s , as a r e s u l t , d i s a g r e e i n d e f i n i n g h i s p o l i t i c a l b e l i e f s . David Garnett's r e c e n t comment p r e s e n t s the opposing views: Since C a r l van Doren has r e f e r r e d to Peacock's t o r y i s m and George S a i n t s b u r y has l a i d i t down t h a t whatever Peacock may have been i n p o l i t i c s , he was at no p e r i o d a l i b e r a l , i t i s perhaps worth s t a t i n g what he was. He was a r a d i c a l i n d i v i d u a l i s t , an admirer of Cobbett, a U t i l i t a r i a n who b e l i e v e d i n l a i s s e r - f a i r e . He d i s t r u s t e d Governments and hated S t a t e i n t e r f e r e n c e , l o a t h e d c o r r u p t i o n and tyranny and had no i l l u s i o n s about the mob. 2 1. Cr o t c h e t C a s t l e , p.756. 2. Garnett, " I n t r o d u c t i o n to M e l i n c o u r t " , Novels of Peacock, PP. 98-9- — — — -46-As Garnett"s broad d e f i n i t i o n of Peacock's p o l i t i c s suggests, much of the c o n f u s i o n a r i s e s from the meaning of terms. Peacock observes i n i i h i s s a t i r e the t r a n s i t i o n a l p o l i t i c a l scene between 1815 and the f i r s t Reform B i l l . He found Bentham*s idea s a t t r a c t i v e , as d i d many of h i s g e n e r a t i o n without d i s t i n c t i o n of p a r t y . The b u l k of h i s p o l i t i c a l s a t i r e i s concerned s i g n i f i c a n t l y with reform. R e f e r r i n g to the "abundant l e g i s -l a t i v e a c t i v i t y " of t h a t p e r i o d , Somervell remarks: The great bulk of t h a t l e g i s l a t i o n , whether enacted by Whigs or T o r i e s , r e p r e s e n t s the i n f l u e n c e o f a s i n g l e s c h o o l of thought, the L i b e r a l or Benthamite s c h o o l . . . I t was L i b e r a l i n the o l d and proper sense of t h a t term, i n t h a t i t stood f o r the l i b e r a t i o n from l e g a l r e s t r i c t i o n s of a l l i n d i v i d u a l s who were capable Of i n t e l l i g e n t and u s e f u l a c t i v i t y . 1 I n t h i s sense, Garnett would agree, Peacock was a " l i b e r a l " ; and h i s p e r s i s t e n t demands f o r r e f o r m f u r t h e r i n d i c a t e the i n f l u e n c e o f U t i l i t a r i a n thought on h i s s a t i r e . But Peacock d i d not accept U t i l i t a r i a n i s m completely. Although a f t e r 1824 he d i n e d o f t e n w i t h Jeremy Bentham, h i s r e l a t i o n s w i t h James M i l l , h i s c o l l e a g u e at I n d i a House, were never c o r d i a l . 2 He appears, i n M e l i n c o u r t , to d i s t r u s t U t i l i t a r i a n i s m , as he d i d a l l schemes t h a t c o u l d not stand the t e s t of p r a c t i c a l a p p l i c a t i o n . Mr. Pax, who p e r s o n i f i e s Malthus" theory of p o p u l a t i o n , i s f r u s t r a t e d i n h i s solemn attempt to stop the marriage of a r u s t i c c o u ple. H i s appeal as "the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f g e n e r a l r e a s o n " i s n o t h i n g more than 1. D.C. Somervell, E n g l i s h Thought i n the N i n e t e e n t h Century, London, Methuen and Co., -1947, p.79 . 2. B r e t t - S m i t h , I n t r o d u c t i o n , v o l . 1, p . c x x x i . -47-"a mort o' voine words" to Robin and Sus a n . 1 Again, when F o r e s t e r remarks, "Your system i s s u f f i c i e n t l y amusing, but I much q u e s t i o n i t s u t i l i t y " , Mr. S a r c a s t i c , the champion of s e l f - i n t e r e s t and d i s h o n e s t p r a c t i c e , r e p l i e s t h a t "moral t h e -o r y " i s beyond the comprehension of the masses: I t r i e d t h a t i n my youth, when I was t r o u b l e d with -the "passion f o r r e f o r m i n g the world"; o f which I have been l o n g cured, by the c o n v i c t i o n of the , i n e f f i c a c y of moral theory w i t h r e s p e c t to pr o d u c i n g a p r a c t i c a l change i n the mass of mankind. 2 Peacock's a t t a c k i n M e l i n c o u r t t h e r e f o r e suggests t h a t he d i d not agree completely w i t h the e a r l y Benthamites, p a r t i c u l a r l y James M i l l , who " b e l i e v e d t h a t a wide ex t e n s i o n o f the s u f -f r a g e , coupled w i t h complete freedom of p o l i t i c a l d i s c u s s i o n , would almost a u t o m a t i c a l l y produce l e g i s l a t i v e wisdom".5 Hi s l a t e r a t t a c k s , i n C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , on the growth o f popular e d u c a t i o n and on Lo r d Brougham, h i m s e l f a p a r t i a l Benthamite, f u r t h e r i n d i c a t e t h a t he was most s c o r n f u l of the i n t e l l e c t of the masses.^ H i s p o l i t i c a l s a t i r e suggests t h a t he accepted the u n r e s t o f the times as i n e v i t a b l e symp-toms of man's p o l i t i c a l incompetence and o f the h i s t o r i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n c l a s s s o c i e t y . Peacock was smitten, however, by the i d e a that " p l e a s u r e " was t h e . u l t i m a t e o b j e c t i n l i f e . A lthough h i s answer t o the p o l i t i c a l i s s u e s o f the time i s l o s t i n many-1. M e l i n c o u r t , pp. 293-298 2. I b i d . , p. 224. 3. Somervell, E n g l i s h Thought, p.48. 4. See Ch.7. s i d e d a t t a c k , lie sometimes r e v e a l s h i s U t i l i t a r i a n sympathy. Hi s answer to misanthropy, to the " m y s t i f y i n g and b l u e -d e v i l l i n g o f s o c i e t y " , may be found i n Mr. H i l a r y ' s remark, "that the hi g h e s t wisdom and the h i g h e s t genius have been i n v a r i a b l y accompanied w i t h cheerfulness"." 1" This f a i t h i n the i n t i m a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p between wisdom and c h e e r f u l n e s s i s d i s p l a y e d i n the framework o f h i s n o v e l s . To Peacock, p l e a s u r e i s d e r i v e d by the s e l e c t few from the s t i m u l a t i o n of the i n t e l l e c t , and a i r i n g of d i s p a r a t e o p i n i o n s and t h e o r i e s , but not from o f f e r i n g a c o n c l u s i v e answer t o the t o p i c d i s c u s s e d . 1. Nightmare Abbey, p.413>. -49-CHAPTER 6  R e l i g i o u s S a t i r e Of a l l Peacock's b e l i e f s , those on r e l i g i o n are most c a r e f u l l y concealed. A c c o r d i n g to S h e l l e y , w r i t i n g i n i l o l 2 , Peacock was considered to be an a t h e i s t by h i s f r i e n d s i n Wales, where " B i g o t r y i s so u n i v e r s a l l y pervading t h a t the best are deeply t a i n t e d " . 1 I t can be i n f e r r e d , however, that Peacock's atheism was as c o n v e n t i o n a l as h i s y o u t h f u l r a d i c a l -ism. Jane Gryffydh, i n answering h i s p r o p o s a l of marriage, wished to be assured of h i s views on r e l i g i o n but d i d not doubt h i s f a i t h : your sentiments on the awful s u b j e c t of r e l i g i o n I t r u s t are changed; that i s , i f they r e q u i r e d t h a t change, which I understood you induced some of your acquaintances here to suppose they d i d , but which was never my f i r m o p i n i o n . 2. Peacock's sympathies were pro b a b l y more pagan than orthodox C h r i s t i a n . H is e d i t o r s b e l i e v e t h a t t o him: "the p h i l o s o p h y of E p i c u r u s was pro b a b l y nearer to the i d e a l r u l e o f l i f e than any other r e l i g i o u s or p h i l o s o p h i c a l system".^ H i s p r a i s e of Epicureanism, "the n o b l e s t p h i l o s o p h y o f a n t i q u i t y " , g i v e s credence to t h i s view. A l e s s s p e c i f i c though perhaps 1. S h e l l e y to Thomas Hookham, D e c . l 8 l 2 , c i t e d i n B r e t t - S m i t h I n t r o d u c t i o n , v o l . 1 , H a l l i f o r d ed., p . x l i v . 2. Jane G r y f f y d h t o Peacock, N o v . l 8 l 9 , L e t t e r s , v o l . 8 , p.477. 3. H a l l i f o r d ed., v o l . 1 , p . c x x x i v . 4. Peacock's review, "Moore's E p i c u r e a n " , Works, v o l . 9 , pp.46-53. -50-more a c c u r a t e comment on Peacock's i n t e l l e c t u a l a t t i t u d e i s g i v e n by Thackeray, who wrote i n I85O: "he i s a whiteheaded j o l l y o l d w o r I d l i n g . . . f u l l of i n f o r m a t i o n about India, and e v e r y t h i n g e l s e i n the wor I d " . 1 Whether h i s views on r e l i g i o n changed, h i s r e l i g i o u s s a t i r e undergoes a marked t r a n s i t i o n . In the e a r l y n o v e l s , the c l e r g y i s t r e a t e d w i t h u n r e s t r a i n e d l e v i t y ; , i n the l a t e r work, the clergymen, the o n l y c h a r a c t e r s who can be i d e n t i f i e d c l o s e l y w i t h the author's views and p r e j u d i c e s , are presented w i t h n o t i c e a b l e sympathy. As a young w r i t e r , he i s tempted to take r e l i g i o n as a t o p i c f o r s a t i r e . The prose fragments of p r o j e c t e d n o v e l s , Satyrane and C a l i d o r e , c o n t a i n i n v e c t i v e t h a t i s not found i n h i s p u b l i s h e d work. Satyrane i s p a t t e r n e d on the misadventures p u b l i s h e d i n 1810 by George Vason, an apostate but repentant e v a n g e l i s t . The fragment i s an i r o n i c a t t a c k , o n a rum-drinking m i s s i o n a r y who attempts "to save the s o u l s of A u s t r a l a s i a n s i n n e r s with a l a r g e cargo of b i b l e s and rum ( i t having been found by experience t h a t the Indians w i l l not swallow the f i r s t w i t h o u t the second of these commodities)'." 2 C a l i d o r e d e s c r i b e s two drunken Welsh c l e r g y -men who meet each Sunday at the l o c a l i n n , w i t h c o n v e r s a t i o n l i m i t e d t o " W i l l you j o i n me i n another j u g " . Each evening ends w i t h : "The v i c a r o f L l a n g l a s s h y d was c a r r i e d home by the p o s t i l i o n s , and the r e c t o r of Bwlchpenbach was put to bed by 1. Thackeray to Mrs. Jane B r o o k f i e l d , 1850, c i t e d i n H a l l i f or d ed., v o l . 1 , p . c l x x v i i i . 2. Satyrane, H a l l i f o r d ed., v o l . 8 , p.297. -51-the ostler."" 1" T h i s fragment was do u b t l e s s i n s p i r e d d u r i n g Peacock's s o j o u r n in'Wales i n 1810-11, and the clergymen probably r e p r e s e n t h i s f u t u r e f a t h e r - i n - l a w 1 , whom he d e s c r i b e d i n a l e t t e r as "a l i t t l e dumpy, drunken, mountain-goat." 2 In the e a r l y novels, drunkenness i s a g a i n the. b a s i s of the s a t i r e . H is clergyman i n each o f the n o v e l s of o p i n i o n belongs to the f a m i l i a r c l a s s . o f w o r l d l y A n g l i c a n v i c a r s and bishops who were then popular members of f a s h i o n a b l e s o c i e t y . The Rev. Dr. Gaster, " t o s s i n g o f f a bumper of Burgundy", r e c a l l s i r o n i c a l l y t h a t "milk and honey was the pure food o f the a n t e d i l u v i a n p a t r i a r c h s , who knew not the use of the grape h a p p i l y f o r them."^ The Rev. Mr. P o r t p i p e e x p l a i n s t h e i r p o s i t i o n : 'When I open the b o t t l e , I shut the book of Numbers" And the Rev. Mr. Larynx i s d e s c r i b e d as t y p i c a l : "a good-natured accommodating d i v i n e , who.was always most o b l i g i n g l y ready t o take a dinner or a bed at the house of a country gentleman i n d i s t r e s s f o r a companion."^ As c h a r a c t e r types, these clergymen are gross and p l e a s u r e - s e e k i n g , and r a r e l y enter i n t o the w i t t y d i a l o g u e . They are t o l e r a t e d as con-v e n t i o n a l f i g u r e s to complete the country-house c a s t and to supply low-comic r e l i e f . The Rev. Mr. P o r t p i p e , f o r example, attempts t o r i d a desert e d wing o f M e l i n c o u r t c a s t l e o f "a colony o f g h o s t s " by means of "pious i n c a n t a t i o n s " , o f t e n p a s s i n g t he n i g h t 1. - C a l i d o r e , v o l . 8 , p . 310 . 2. C i t e d i n H a l l i f o r d ed., v o l . 1 , p . x l i i i . 3. Headlong H a l l , Garnett ed., p.27. 4. M e l i n c o u r t , Garnett ed., p.192. 5. Nightmare Abbey, p . 361 . -3 2-over a b l a z i n g f i r e w i t h the same i n v a r i a b l e e x o r c i s -i n g apparatus of a l a r g e v e n i s o n pasty, a l i t t l e Prayer-book, and t h r e e b o t t l e s of Madiera;...he was always found i n the morning comfortably a s l e e p i n h i s l a r g e arm-chair, w i t h the d i s h scraped c l e a n , the t h r e e b o t t l e s empty, and the Prayer-book c l a s p e d and f o l d e d p r e c i s e l y i n the same s t a t e and p o s i t i o n i n which i t had l a i n the preceding n i g h t . 1 In the two l a t e r n o v e l s of o p i n i o n , a t t a c k on the c l e r g y almost d i s a p p e a r s . The clergymen, Dr. F o l l i o t t and Dr. Opimian, now become spokesmen f o r the author. They assume the s t a t u r e and manner of Dr. Johnson: pedantic i n t e l -l e c t u a l s who d i r e c t the c o n v e r s a t i o n and who speak as f i n a l a u t h o r i t i e s on a l l t o p i c s . The Rev. Dr. F o l l i o t t i s d e s c r i b e d as"a gentleman endowed w i t h a t o l e r a b l e s t o c k of l e a r n i n g , an 2 i n t e r m i n a b l e swallow, and an i n d e f a t i g a b l e s e t of l u n g s " . As an o p i n i o n a t e d c l a s s i c a l s c h o l a r , he i s the enemy of p r o -gress, which he s a r c a s t i c a l l y terms "the march of i n t e l l e c t " . In p a r t i c u l a r , he i s used as a v e h i c l e f o r a t t a c k on contem-porary progress i n s c i e n c e and popular e d u c a t i o n . Peacock, a c c o r d i n g t o Cole, h i s f i r s t b iographer, "used t o say t h a t t h i s c h a r a c t e r was intended by him to make the amende honorable to the c l e r g y " f o r h i s e a r l i e r a t t a c k s . 5 He t r e a t s the l a s t clergyman even more k i n d l y . The Rev. Dr. Opimian appears as a s e l f - p o r t r a i t of Peacock i n h i s o l d age: "His t a s t e s were f o u r : a good l i b r a r y , a good dinner, a p l e a s a n t garden, and 1. M e l i n c o u r t , p.104. 2. C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , p.654. 3. C i t e d i n I n t r o d u c t i o n , H a l l i f o r d ed., v o l . 1 , p . c x l v i i . - 5 3 -r u r a l walks."-1- The d i a l o g u e now becomes p o l i t e t a b l e - t a l k * Dr. Opimian expresses the a u t h o r ' s r e s e a r c h i n c l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e , and h i s a b i d i n g d i s t r u s t o f p r o g r e s s and a l l "reformers, s c i e n t i f i c , moral, e d u c a t i o n a l , p o l i t i c a l . " Peacock's r e l i g i o u s s a t i r e thus ignores the p e r t i n e n t t o p i c of Church d o c t r i n e . The p u b l i s h e d s a t i r e i s n e i t h e r b i t t e r nor r e f o r m a t i v e . With the e x c e p t i o n o f a m i l d l y R a b e l -a i s i a n account of g l u t t o n o u s l i f e i n a medieval monastery, i n Maid Marian, the s a t i r e i s almost r e s t r i c t e d to a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of a c l a s s of A n g l i c a n clergymen. Two t o p i c s which d o u b t l e s s express the author's views are touched upon i n c i d e n t a l l y . The S o c i e t y f o r the Suppression of V i c e had moved Peacock i n 1821 to compose h i s burlesque l y r i c s , R i c h and Poor. In C r o t c h e t  C a s t l e he r e p l i e s to an order of the S o c i e t y "that no p l a s t e r -o f - P a r i s Venus should appear i n the s t r e e t s without p e t t i c o a t s . " Mr. C r o t c h e t shows h i s contempt by f i l l i n g " h i s house w i t h Venuses of a l l s i z e s and k i n d s " , and observes,"where the Greeks had modesty we have cant;...where they had e v e r y t h i n g t h a t e x h a l t s , d e l i g h t s , or adorns humanity, we have nothing but c a n t . . . " ^ Peacock's r e a l r e l i g i o u s b i t t e r n e s s was p r o b a b l y d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t the r e f o r m i s t s o c i e t i e s , and e s p e c i a l l y the E v a n g e l i c a l s , whose emotional f e r v o u r would d i s t u r b h i s Epicureanism, with i t s t e n e t s of temperance a n d . r i g h t r e a s o n . Thus i n Satyrane he had c o n s i d e r e d a t t a c k i n g the E v a n g e l i c a l s , .1. G r y l l Grange, p.7 8 5 . • ' 2. G r y l l - Grange, p.9 3 0 . 3 . C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , p.7 0 0 . who had formed the B r i t i s h and F o r e i g n B i b l e S o c i e t y i n 1804, which r e s o l v e d t o promote "the most extensive c i r c u l a t i o n o f the Holy S c r i p t u r e s both-at home and abroad."-'- In E l p h i n he r e f e r s b r i e f l y but i r o n i c a l l y to the s u p e r i o r c u l t u r e , of the a n c i e n t Yfelsh: "A's the people d i d not read the B i b l e , and had no r e l i g i o u s t r a c t s , t h e i r r e l i g i o n , i t may be assumed, was not very p u r e . " 2 Peacock d o u b t l e s s ' d e p l o r e d the 'current emphasis on B i b l e r e a d i n g as a panacea f o r i l l i t e r a c y and human mis e r y . He was, we know by h i s l e t t e r s , a devoted reader of Cobbett, who notes t h i s t r e n d : I t i s n o t o r i o u s t h a t , where one B i b l e was p r i n t e d a hundred years ago, a hundred B i b l e s and perhaps a thousand B i b l e s are p r i n t e d now;...it i s n o t o r i o u s that where one person was a pauper when P i t t was m i n i s t e r , t h e r e are now more than twenty persons paupers.3 Peacock's r e l i g i o u s s a t i r e , on the whole, i s as s u p e r f i c i a l as h i s comments on human misery. Such t o p i c s are uncongenial and soon disposed of i n the j o v i a l world of the n o v e l s . A n g l i c a n i s m o f f e r e d him a t o p i c f o r a t t a c k t h a t was safe and w i t h i n ;the bounds o f humour. The notable f e a t u r e of h i s r e l i g i o u s s a t i r e i s the complete change i n h i s treatment of the A n g l i c a n c l e r g y . Peacock's r e l i g i o u s views may have changed, but t h i s i s d o u b t f u l . He accepted Bentham's i d e a of l a i s s e r - f a i r e , which a s s e r t e d man's r i g h t t o p e r s o n a l o p i n i o n , i n c l u d i n g the f r e e e x p r e s s i o n of r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f . H i s review 1. E.L. Woodward, The Age o f Reform, l8l5-l870, Oxford, Clarendon P r e s s , 1938, p.486. 2. E l p h i n , p.583. 3. W i l l i a m Cobbett, P o l i t i c a l R e g i s t e r , Sept. 7, l 8 l 6 . -55-(1830) o f Moore's L e t t e r s and J o u r n a l s of L o r d Byron c o n t a i n s a s c a t h i n g a t t a c k on the author, who had commented on Byron's " s c e p t i c i s m " : •Mr. Moore wishes to persuade the p u b l i c t h at he denies the r i g h t o f p r i v a t e judgment i n r e s p e c t of r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f . He seems t o t h i n k that b e l i e f can be enforced, and t r e a t s d i s b e l i e f as an offence. 1 In answering Moore, Peacock c i t e s c o p i o u s l y from Thomas J e f f e r s o n ' s Memoirs, and i n d i r e c t l y r e v e a l s h i s own r a t i o n a l a t t i t u d e towards r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f : Your own reason i s the o n l y o r a c l e g i v e n you by heaven, and you are answerable not f o r the Tightness, but the u p r i g h t n e s s of the d e c i s i o n . 2 He concludes t h a t "Mr. Moore...' invades the l i b e r t y o f cons-c i e n c e o f o t h e r s ' and 'betrays the common r i g h t of independent opinion'".2 What Peacock does a l t e r i n h i s n o v e l s i s the manner of h i s a t t a c k . In the e a r l y n o v e l s , he a t t a c k s d i r e c t l y the h y p o c r i s y and shallow i n t e l l e c t of the c l e r g y . He t r e a t s the l a t e r clergymen, Dr. F o l l i o t t and Dr. Opimian, i r o n i c a l l y ; but the i r o n y i s almost l o s t because he uses these clergymen to present h i s own views on contemporary l i f e and c l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e . He do u b t l e s s r e t a i n e d h i s contempt o f the s c h o l a r s h i p of the r u r a l A n g l i c a n c l e r g y . In the unpublished Essay on Fashionable L i t e r a t u r e , he notes the r a r i t y of a s c h o l a r l y clergyman: 1. H a l l i f o r d ed., v o l . 9 , pp . l l 8 - 1 1 9 . 2. I b i d . , p.120. 3. H a l l i f o r d ed., v o l . 9 ; pp.120-1. - 5 6 -In orthodox f a m i l i e s that have the advantage o f being acquainted w i t h such a phaenomenon as a r e a d i n g parson (which i s f o r t u n a t e l y as r a r e as the Atropos Belladonna - a h u n t i n g parson, on the other hand, a much more innocent v a r i e t y , b e i n g as common as the Solanum Nigrum}.. . 1 Thus the tone of Peacockv's a t t a c k on the c l e r g y changed w i t h the times, w i t h the growth of E v a n g e l i c a l i s m and the b i r t h of the Oxford Movement c o - i n c i d i n g w i t h the p e r i o d which s e p a r a t e s Nightmare Abbey ( I 8 l 8 ) and C r o t c h e t C a s t l e (1831). Mrs. G-isborne's comment t o Mary S h e l l e y expresses the a t t i t u d e of the g e n e r a l reader of t h a t p e r i o d : Peacock's Maid Marian I t h i n k a b e a u t i f u l l i t t l e t h i n g , but i t has not taken y e t . O i l i e r says the reason i s , t h a t no .work can s e l l which turns p r i e s t s i n t o r i d i c u l e . 2 In deference to p u b l i c t a s t e , and because o f h i s n a t u r a l d i s t a s t e f o r prominence, Peacock avoids r e l i g i o u s a t t a c k i n the l a t e r n o v e l s . 1. H a l l i f o r d ed., v o l . 8 , pp.273-4. 2. Mrs. Gisborne t o Mary S h e l l e y , A p r i l 1822, c i t e d i n H a l l i f o r d ed., v o l . 1 , p.ex. CHAPTER 7 S a t i r e o f Progress i n E d u c a t i o n and S c i e n c e . Headlong H a l l , w r i t t e n i n 181,5, c o n t a i n s the lament that the domestic economy of "twenty years ago" has been r e -p l a c e d by the c o t t o n - m i l l i n which c h i l d l a b o r i s e x p l o i t e d "amid the smell of o i l , the smoke of lamps, the r a t . t l i n g of wheels, the d i z z y and complicated motions of d i a b o l i c a l mechanism.'" 1 G r y l l Grange, p u b l i s h e d i n l 8 6 l by a l e s s c a u s t i c o l d man, i s e s s e n t i a l l y a yearning f o r "the good o l d days" before the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of i n d u s t r y . Although Peacock's s a t i r e of " p r o g r e s s " i s on the whole s u p e r f i c i a l , t h i s broad t o p i c becomes more prominent i n the l a t e r n o v e l s with the changing events, and of these he appears to' be e s p e c i a l l y alarmed a t the broadening of e d u c a t i o n and the growth of s c i e n c e . He remains on the s i d e o f custom and t r a d i t i o n ; and he shares n e i t h e r the optimism nor complacency of the mid-V i c t o r i a n s . H i s a t t a c k s on e d u c a t i o n a l p r a c t i c e a re l i n k e d c l o s e l y w i t h h i s t r a i n i n g and p r e j u d i c e s . He r e f e r s t o h i s educa t i o n i n a l e t t e r w r i t t e n a few years before h i s death: I d i d not go to any U n i v e r s i t y or p u b l i c s c h o o l , I was s i x and one h a l f years at a p r i v a t e s c h o o l on E n g l e f i e l d Green. I l e f t i t before t h i r t e e n . The master was not much of a s c h o l a r ; but he had the a r t o f i n s p i r i n g h i s p u p i l s w i t h a l o v e of l e a r n i n g , and he had e x c e l l e n t c l a s s i c a l and F r e n c h a s s i s t a n t s . 1. Headlong H a l l , Garnett ed., p.48. 2. Peacock to Thomas L'Estrange, June 1862, L e t t e r s , v o l . 8 , P. 259-- 5 8 -H i s p e r s o n a l views on educ a t i o n are not found i n h i s s a t i r e but i n h i s Pr o s p e c t u s : C l a s s i c a l E d u c a t i o n , a fragment now f i r s t p r i n t e d i n the H a l l i f o r d e d i t i o n . T h i s p r o s p e c t u s , d r a f t e d a t an unknown date a f t e r h i s b r i e f v i s i t t o the Lake Country i n 1813, r e v e a l s t h a t Peacock c o n s i d e r e d e s t a b l i s h i n g h i m s e l f as a p r i v a t e schoolmaster w i t h " e i g h t p u p i l s , i n a b e a u t i f u l r e t i r e m e n t i n the county of Westmoreland. 1 1 He intended to o f f e r c l a s s i c a l t r a i n i n g i n a R o u s s e a u i s t i c s e t -t i n g : "an i n t i m a t e acquaintance w i t h the poets, p h i l o s o p h e r s , and h i s t o r i a n s of a n t i q u i t y " , t o g e t h e r w i t h the language and l i t e r a t u r e of I t a l y , France and England, taught under " k i n d and s k i l f u l superintendence, amidst the w i l d b e a u t i e s of n a t u r e . . . " 1 "The y o u t h f u l mind", he contends,"should be taught from the beginning to take p l e a s u r e i n the a c q u i s i t i o n of knowledge, and t o pursue i t f o r i t s own sake: when t h i s o b j e c t has not been accomplished, the end o f e d u c a t i o n has not been answered." He i s s c o r n f u l of contemporary p r a c t i c e : "the t o t a l n e g l e c t of c l a s s i c a l s t u d i e s among the young men of the p r e s e n t age, who, i n the language of the time, have f i n i s h e d t h e i r e d u c a t i o n . . . " ^ Thus Peacock's view of edu c a t i o n i s e s s e n t i a l l y c l a s s i c a l and a r i s t o c r a t i c : l e i s u r e l y growth of knowledge " f o r i t s own sake", pursued i n d e p e n d e n t l y or i n " s e l e c t " company without concern f o r e x t r i n s i c g a i n . 1. H a l l i f o r d ed., v o l . 8 , p.4 3 1 . 2. H a l l i f o r d ed., v o l . 8 , p.429. 3. I b i d . - 5 9 -He never became a schoolmaster; but i n the prominent p o s i t i o n of Examiner w i t h the E a s t I n d i a Company, "Peacock was d e l i g h t e d t o f i n d an Oxford f i r s t - c l a s s man who was unacquainted w i t h Nonnus." 1 His s a t i r e i n the n o v e l s d i s p l a y s t h i s impish d e l i g h t . As a s u c c e s s f u l o f f i c i a l and a s e l f - d i s c i p l i n e d s c h o l a r who f o l l o w s h i s own t a s t e s , he i s s u s p i c i o u s of both mass e d u c a t i o n and the U n i v e r s i t y . During the f i r s t q u arter of the century, the L a n c a s t r i a n movement had become an agency f o r the promotion of popular education. James M i l l had advocated t h a t these , • schools be open to students r e g a r d l e s s o f s e c t , t h a t they were "schools f o r a l l " . In mocking t h i s phrase, Peacock p o i n t s t o A r t h u r i a n times, when the people "were l o s t i n the grossness of beef and a l e " , and had no "pamphleteering s o c i e t i e s " or "schools f o r a l l " to mar t h e i r happy c o n d i t i o n . 2 In the s a t i r e , popular e d u c a t i o n appears as another f a d . Peacock probably f e l t t h a t ignorance i s i n h e r e n t i n the masses, and t h a t e x t e n s i v e formal e d u c a t i o n i s o f t e n a waste of time. C e r t a i n l y these c o n t e n t i o n s are repeated i n the novels,. Dr. F o l l i o t t c l a i m s : I h o l d t h a t there i s every v a r i e t y o f n a t u r a l capac-i t y , from the i d i o t to Newton and Shakespeare; the mass of mankind midway between the extremes, b e i n g blockheads of d i f f e r e n t degrees; e d u c a t i o n l e a v i n g them p r e t t y n e a r l y as i t found them, w i t h t h i s s i n g l e d i f f e r e n c e , that i t g i v e s a f i x e d d i r e c t i o n to t h e i r s t u p i d i t y , a s o r t o f i n c u r a b l e wry-neck t o t h e ' t h i n g t h e y c a l l t h e i r understanding.? 1. B r e t t - S m i t h , I n t r o d u c t i o n , v o l . 1 , p . c l x x i i i . 2. E l p h i n , p.586. 3. C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , p.674. -60-As always, v i t u p e r a t i o n i s saved by a humorous t w i s t . But the p e r s i s t e n c e of the a t t a c k suggests t h a t Peacock had l i t t l e sympathy w i t h the attempts t o broaden educa t i o n , and that he f e l t , as he wrote i n h i s o l d age, t h a t more "nonsense" had been " t a l k e d on t h s s u b j e c t of education.... i n the l a s t q u a r t e r c e n t u r y " than on a l l other s u b j e c t s combined. 1 His a t t a c k s on U n i v e r s i t y education, however, may be more c o n v e n t i o n a l than p e r s o n a l , a l t h o u g h he prolbably con-s i d e r e d h i m s e l f f o r t u n a t e to have escaped t h i s " f i n i s h i n g p r o c e s s " . Scythrop i s t y p i c a l of the f a s h i o n a b l e young men i n the n o v e l s : ...he was sent, as u s u a l , to a p u b l i c s c h o o l , where a l i t t l e l e a r n i n g was p a i n f u l l y beaten i n t o him, and then to the U n i v e r s i t y , where i t was--carefully taken out of him; and he was sent home, l i k e a w e l l -threshed ear of corn, with nothing i n h i s head:2 By the " U n i v e r s i t y " , Peacock means Oxford, the f i n i s h i n g ground of the Tory a r i s t o c r a s y , where at t h a t time, d u r i n g the Regency, wealthy students l i v e d r i o t o u s l y . In C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , Oxford i s d e s c r i b e d as "a Babylon of b u r i e d l i t e r a t u r e " ; and the d i s t i n g u i s h e d gentlemen deplore the l a c k of s c h o l a r s h i p , although t h e i r v i s i t i s i n J u l y : "Dr. P o l l i o t t l a i d a wager wi t h Mr. C r o t c h e t 'that i n a l l t h e i r p e r l u s t r a t i o n s they would not f i n d a man r e a d i n g ' , and won i t . " ^ Thus, d e s p i t e h i s p r e j u d i c e s as a s e l f - t r a i n e d c l a s s i c i s t , Peacock's s a t i r e of e d u c a t i o n i s r e s t r a i n e d and 1. G r y l l Grange, p.884. 2. Nightmare Abbey, p.356. 3. C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , p.708. - 6 1 -impersonal,with one e x c e p t i o n . Lord Brougham, r e f e r r e d t o as the " l e a r n e d f r i e n d " and "Lord Facing-both-ways" i n the l a s t two n o v e l s , i s s i n g l e d out f o r a t t a c k . As a c l a s s i c i s t , Peacock d e c r i e d the growing emphasis on s c i e n c e i n e d u c a t i o n . In 1 8 2 7 he wrote but d i d not p u b l i s h a s c a t h i n g a t t a c k i n v e r s e 1 on the founding of U n i v e r s i t y C o l l e g e , London, s a t i r -i c a l l y c a l l e d Brougham's "Cockney C o l l e g e " , which was d e d i c a t e d 2 to the p u r s u i t of modern s t u d i e s , i n c l u d i n g s c i e n c e . I n the novels, the a t t a c k c e n t e r s on Brougham's S o c i e t y f o r the D i f f u s i o n of U s e f u l Knowledge, founded i n 1 8 2 5 . Although Peacock belonged to the second g e n e r a t i o n of the new middle c l a s s , he d i d not share t h e i r f a i t h i n Brougham and a d u l t education, which o f f e r e d mechanical knowledge to the i n d u s -t r i a l workers. He b e l i e v e d that the d i f f u s i o n of knowledge was dangerous. He d e p l o r e d "such s c i e n c e as the l e a r n e d f r i e n d d e a l s i n : e v e r y t h i n g f o r everybody, s c i e n c e f o r a l l , schools f o r a l l , r h e t o r i c f o r a l l , law f o r a l l , p h y s i c s f o r 3 a l l , words f o r a l l , and sense fo r none." A f t e r an i n t e r v a l of t h i r t y y e a r s , h i s a t t i t u d e i s unchanged. Brougham"s^ f o l l o w e r s , nov/ c a l l e d the Pantopragmatics, arouse the comment: "The s o c i e t y has d i v i d e d i t s work i n t o departments, which are to meddle w i t h e v e r y t h i n g , from t h e . h i g h e s t to t h e lowest -from a v o i c e i n l e g i s l a t i o n t o a f i n g e r i n Jack Horner's p i e " 4 -1 . H a l l i f o r d ed., v o l . 1 , p . c x x x i i i . 2 . CM. T r e v e l y a n , B r i t i s h H i s t o r y , p . 2 2 3 . 3 . C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , p . 6 3 8 . 4. G r y l l Grange, p . 9 5 1 . - 6 2 -As t h i s banter suggests, Peacock i s a vague and mischievous c r i t i c . Indeed, he sometimes f o r s a k e s h i s p e r s o n a l b e l i e v e s merely to indulge i n r a i l l e r y . H i s a t t a c k on the founding of London U n i v e r s i t y , f a r example, i s d o u b t l e s s i n s i n c e r e . Hogg w r i t e s to him that the U n i v e r s i t y was "prospering", and adds: I have no doubt, although you sometimes show your i n g e n u i t y by a r g u i n g a g a i n s t t h a t i n s t i t u t i o n , t h a t you are e q u a l l y g l a d . l H i s r e a l enemy i s not p r o g r e s s but Brougham, the pompous M i n i s t e r who had become, to the lower and middle c l a s s e s of I83O, a symbol of p r o g r e s s . Because of p e r s o n a l a n i m o s i t y and the narrowness of h i s views on e d u c a t i o n , Peacock r e f u s e d to acknowledge Brougham's s e r v i c e as an e n l i g h t e n e d educator of the working c l a s s . A part from h i s p e r s i s t e n t a t t a c k on Brougham, Peacock's views on educa-tion and s c i e n c e are detached. He b e l i e v e d t h a t knowledge i n u n s k i l l e d hands i s dangerous. Thus he deplored the p o p u l a r i z a t i o n of s c i e n c e among the masses. Hi s q u a r r e l i s not w i t h s c i e n c e but w i t h man: "High-pressure steam b o i l e r s would not s c a t t e r death and d e s t r u c t i o n around them, i f the d i s h o n e s t y o f a v a r i c e d i d not tempt t h e i r employment, where the more c o s t l y low pressure would ensure a b s o l u t e s a f e t y " . 2 From h i s detached p o s i t i o n he c o u l d see the d u a l i t y , the good and the e v i l , i n most o p i n i o n s , whether • 1.' Hogg to Peacock, 1826, New S h e l l e y L e t t e r s , W.W.Scott ed., London, John Lane, The Bodley Head L t d . , 1 9 4 8 , p . 1 6 5 . 2. G r y l l Grange, p.808. -63-they be on educa t i o n or s c i e n t i f i c p r o g r e s s . Nowhere i s h i s c l e a r s i g h t e d n e s s more n o t i c e a b l e than i n Dr. Opimian's pro-nouncement on s c i e n c e , which i s even more t o p i c a l i n t h i s century: Science i s one t h i n g , and wisdom i s another. Science i s an edged t o o l , w i t h which men p l a y l i k e c h i l d r e n , and cut t h e i r own f i n g e r s . . . I almost t h i n k i t i s the u l t i m a t e d e s t i n y o f s c i e n c e t o exterminate the- human r a c e . l Peacock's views, moreover, are e s s e n t i a l l y a r i s t o c r a t i c . Wisdom, he b e l i e v e d , could not be spread t h i n l y over the masses. H i s t r a i n i n g and h a b i t o f mind suggest that he f a v o u r -ed i n t e n s i v e , l e i s u r e l y s c h o l a r s h i p . Thus he de p l o r e d , i n IB30, the s u p e r f i c i a l t r a i n i n g o f f e r e d by Oxford, and by both the N a t i o n a l and D i s s e n t i n g s c h o o l systems, both of which s t r e s s e d B i b l i c a l - i n s t r u c t i o n and employed the m o n i t o r i a l system. As an i n t e l l e c t u a l , he b e l i e v e d that mental d i f f e r e n c e s are i n h e r e n t i n s o c i e t y . He pro b a b l y f e l t t h a t the i d e a l o f mass enlightenment was an i l l u s i o n , an u n r e a l i s t i c f a d of e n t h u s i a s t i c r e f o r m e r s . He was, f i n a l l y , s u s p i c i o u s of the members of h i s own c l a s s ; and he was c e r t a i n t h a t the masses were immeasurably happier i n p r e - i n d u s t r i a l t i m e s : They had 110. steam-engines, w i t h f i r e s as e t e r n a l as those of the. nether world, wherein the s q u a l i d many, from i n f a n c y t o age, might be turned i n t o component p o r t i o n s o f machinery f o r the b e n e f i t of the p u r p l e - f a c e d few.2 1 . G r y l l Grange, p.877. 2. E l p h i n , p .581 . - 6 4 -CHAPTER 8 SATIRE OF LITERARY CONTEMPORARIES Southey and Wordwsorth. Peacock's l a u g h t e r ceases i n o n l y one n o v e l . I n h i s m a l i c i o u s a t t a c k i n M e l i n c o u r t on Southey and Words-worth as poets and p o l i t i c a l t u r n c o a t s , he a l l o w s p e r s o n a l a n i m o s i t y and p o l i t i c a l b i a s to d i s t o r t h i s judgment of men of l e t t e r s . H i s s u s p i c i o n t h a t Southey and Ylordsworth had been b r i b e d by the T o r i e s to change t h e i r o p i n i o n s governs h i s a t t a c k - an a t t a c k which f l o u r i s h e d d u r i n g the decade f o l l o w i n g t h e i r acceptance of p o l i t i c a l s i n e c u r e s . Peacock merely j o i n s the g e n e r a l c r y which, l e d by the Edinburgh  Review, combined charges of apostasy and t i m e - s e r v i n g with r i d i c u l e of Lake " s c h o o l " p o e t r y and the p o e t i c p r i n c i p l e s of the L y r i c a l B a l l a d s . L e i g h Hunt's comment, i n 1814, i s a m i l d e x p r e s s i o n of the f e e l i n g of t h e a t t a c k e r s : "Mr. Southey, and even Mr. Wordsworth have both accepted o f f i c e under government; of such a nature, as a b s o l u t e l y t i e s up t h e i r independence." 1 As l a t e as 1822, d e s p i t e Wordsworth's g e n e r a l acceptance as a great poet, the Edinburgh Review p e r s i s t s i n i t s u s u a l v e i n : The l a u r e l seems to have proved m o r t a l to the v i v a c i o u s Muse of Southey... The c o n t a c t of the Stamp-office appears to have had n e a r l y as bad an e f f e c t on Mr. Wordsworth...since he has openly 1. L e i g h Hunt, The Feast of the Poets, Note 14, c i t e d i n E l s i e Smith, An Estimate of W i l l i a m Wordsworth by h i s  Contemporaries, Oxford, 1932, p.133. taken t o the o f f i c e of a p u b l i c a n , and exchanged the company of l e e c h - g a t h e r e r s f o r t h a t of t a x -g a t h e r e r s . , . 1 Peacock's s a t i r e i n M e l i n c o u r t , f o l l o w i n g t h i s p a t t e r n , v/as t h e r e f o r e provoked on p o l i t i c a l and not l i t e r a r y grounds. Evidence f o r t h i s important d i s t i n c t i o n may be t r a c e d to the d i r e c t i n f l u e n c e of S h e l l e y . M e l i n c o u r t was r e v i s e d d u r i n g S h e l l e y ' s v i s i t w i t h Peacock at Marlowe i n I817 .. B r e t t -Smith b e l i e v e s t h a t i t was lengthened to meet the demands of Peacock's p u b l i s h e r , a l e i s u r e l y t o u r and the a d d i t i o n o f v i s i t s with the Lake poets d e l a y the l o g i c a l ending of the n o v e l . In a d d i t i o n to t h i s f l a w i n s t r u c t u r e , the s a t i r e i s " s h r i l l i n tone" and, Garnett suspects, " i n p l a c e s the s h r i l l -ness i s an echo of S h e l l e y ' s v o i c e . " ^ C e r t a i n l y , S h e l l e y ' s i n f l u e n c e might e x p l a i n the abundance o f i n v e c t i v e and s t i l t e d argument which d i s t i n g u i s h M e l i n c o u r t from Peacock's other n o v e l s . However c o n c l u s i v e these deductions may be, Peacock and S h e l l e y agreed on the apostasy o f Wordsworth and Southey. Peacock w r i t e s i n 1 8 1 8 , r e f e r r i n g to the e l e c t i o n i n West-moreland: Southey and the whole gang are s u p p o r t i n g the Lowthers...and seem i n c l i n e d to h o l d out a yet more f l a g r a n t specimen of the degree of moral degr a d a t i o n t o which s e l f - s e l l e r s can f a l l under the dominion of s e a t - s e l l e r s . . . W o r d s w o r t h dines every day a t L o r d Lonsdale'sA 1. The Edinburgh Review, ' N o v . 1 8 2 2 , v o l . x x x v i i , p.450. 2. Peacock, Works, v d l . l , p . l x x . 3. Peacock, Novels, p.99. 4. Peacock, L e t t e r s , v o l . 8 , p.199. -66-S h e l l e y ' s r e p l y expresses t h e i r shared c o n v i c t i o n : What a b e a s t l y and p i t i f u l wretch t h a t Wordsworth'. That such a man should be such a p o e t . l The a t t a c k i n M e l i n c o u r t , based on moral and p o l i t i c a l grounds, i s conducted i n the same b i t t e r n e s s r e v e a l e d i n the l e t t e r s . Southey and Wordsworth symbolize r e a c t i o n a r y o p i n i o n and h y p o c r i t i c a l conduct which Peacock i d e n t i f i e s w i t h the Tory p a r t y . But the a t t a c k on the Lake poets i s o n l y a p a r t of a l a r g e r d e s i g n . A r a d i c a l i n d i v i d u a l i s t and devoted reader o f Cobbett, as h i s l e t t e r s r e v e a l , Peacock i n the n o v e l denounces r i o t i n g and government r e p r e s s i o n and demands par l i a m e n t reform. In a d d i t i o n to these immediate i s s u e s , he sees the g r e a t e r danger of moral decay, i l l u s t r a t e d f o r example i n the completely unscrupulous Mr. S a r c a s t i c . Indeed, the d e g e n e r a t i o n o f man i s the theme which u n d e r l i e s a l l the s a t i r e i n the n o v e l . Through h i s spokesman, F o r e s t e r , he d e f i n e s h i s broad i n t e n t i o n s as a s a t i r i s t : The v i c e s t h a t c a l l f o r the scourge of s a t i r e , are those which pervade the whole frame of s o c i e t y , and which, under some specious pretence of p r i v a t e duty, or the s a n c t i o n of custom and precedent, are almost p e r m i t t e d t o assume the semblance o f v i r t u e , or a t l e a s t to pass u n s t i g m a t i z e d i n the crowd of con-g e n i a l t r a n s g r e s s i o n s . 2 Southey and Wordsworth, to Peacock, are not p e r s o n a l i t i e s but merely specimens of a degenerate group t h a t i s found a t a l l l e v e l s o f s o c i e t y . The c a r i c a t u r e s of the poets thus become bare 1. S h e l l e y to Peacock, J u l y , l 8 l 8 , i n H.F.B. B r e t t - S m i t h , Peacock's "Memoirs of S h e l l e y " , v a t h S h e l l e y ' s L e t t e r s t o  Peacock,- London, Henry Frowde, 1909, p.131. -2. M e l i n c o u r t , p.195. -67-sketches, based upon t h e i r o p i n i o n and conduct.as p u b l i c f i g u r e s . Southey, who had accepted the l a u r e a t e s h i p i n 1813, i s l a b e l l e d as Mr. Feathernest, a poet who "burned h i s Odes to T r u t h and L i b e r t y " and now f o l l o w e d "the motto., 'Whatever i s a t c o u r t , i s r i g h t ' " . 1 T h i s c u r r e n t s l u r a g a i n s t the l a u r e a t e and the change i n the t o p i c s of h i s p o e t r y l e a d s to heated comment by F o r e s t e r on the l i t e r a r y h i r e l i n g s o f the Tory p a r t y . When Feathernest asks, " I presume, S i r , every man has a r i g h t to p change h i s o p i n i o n s " , he provokes the most venomous a t t a c k i n a l l the n o v e l s . F o r e s t e r agrees t h a t o p i n i o n s may change "from d i s i n t e r e s t e d c o n v i c t i o n " , but "when i t i s o b v i o u s l y from mercenary motives, the apostasy of a p u b l i c man i s a p u b l i c c a l a m i t y " : f o r t h e r e i s i n these cases no c r i t e r i o n , by which the.world can d i s t i n g u i s h the b a y i n g of a noble dog t h a t w i l l defend h i s t r u s t t i l l death, from the y e l p i n g of a p o l i t i c a l cur, t h a t o n l y i n f e s t s the h e e l s of power to be s i l e n c e d with the o f f a l s of c o r r u p t i o n . 3 As t h i s Johnsonian outburst i n d i c a t e s , the s a t i r e i s almost l o s t , t o the modern reader, i n bombastic o r a t o r y . Peacock c o n s i d e r s n e i t h e r the drudgery i n which Southey e x i s t e d as a w r i t e r nor the p e r s o n a l c o n v i c t i o n s which drove him from the r e v o l u t i o n a r y . t o the Tory camp. His charges a g a i n s t Southey, i n a d d i t i o n , s u f f e r from gross e x a g g e r a t i o n and vague g e n e r a l i t y : 1. M e l i n c o u r t , p.144. 2. I b i d , p.194. 3. I b i d , p.194. i f he purchase l e i s u r e and l u x u r y by the p r o s t i t u t i o n of h i s t a l e n t t o the cause of s u p e r s t i t i o n and tyranny, every new e x e r t i o n of h i s powers i s a new outrage to r e a s o n and v i r t u e , and i n p r e c i s e p r o -p o r t i o n t o those powers, i s he a curse t o h i s country, and a t r a i t o r to mankind.1 By " s u p e r s t i t i o n and tyranny", Peacock doubtless r e f e r s , t o r e l i g i o n and Tory p o l i c y . But when he accuses Southey of " l e i -sure and l u x u r y " and t r e a c h e r y , h i s charges are consumed i n v e r b o s i t y and he becomes an exponent of the l i t e r a r y d i s h o n e s t y that he has been r a i l l i n g a g a i n s t . The vehemence of h i s a t t a c k on Southey suggests t h a t Peacock was moved by more than d i f f e r e n c e s of p o l i t i c a l o p i n i o n . Evidence again i n d i c a t e s that S h e l l e y probably i n f l u e n c e d Peacock's a t t i t u d e towards Southey. In h i s Memoirs o f S h e l l e y , Peacock r e c o r d s the b i t t e r q u a r r e l between Southey and S h e l l e y which f o l l o w e d the elopement w i t h Mary Godwin In 1814. Southey, i t i s r e p o r t e d , claimed that "a man ought to be able t o l i v e w i t h any woman."2 Peacock, i n the Memoirs, i s most s c o r n f u l of t h i s apathy, and i s sympathetic i n h i s e x p l a n a t i o n of S h e l l e y ' s conduct as a l o v e r . I t can be i n f e r r e d , t h e r e f o r e , t h a t the presumptuous a t t a c k on Southey"s p u b l i c m o r a l i t y was p a r t l y i n s p i r e d by p e r s o n a l a n i m o s i t y which Peacock shared with S h e l l e y . The a t t a c k on Wordsworth i s even l e s s c o n v i n c i n g than the t i r a d e a g a i n s t Southey*s p u b l i c m o r a l i t y . Wordsworth's acceptance of o f f i c e as D i s t r i b u t o r of Stamps f o r Westmoreland i n l 8 l 3 s i g n i f i e d t o Peacock and S h e l l e y t h a t he a l s o had s o l d 1. M e l i n c o u r t , p. 200. 2. Peacock, 'Itemoirs o f Percy Bysshe S h e l l e y " , Works,vol.8, p.93-h i m s e l f to the Tory cause. Introduced i n M e l i n c o u r t as Mr. Paperstamp, the host of "Mainchance V i l l a " i n Westmoreland, Wordsworth expresses no r e a l o p i n i o n ; he merely v o i c e s approval of the r e a c t i o n a r y sentiments of h i s f r i e n d s , Southey, Canning (Mr. Anyside A n t i j a c k ) , and the Q u a r t e r l y r e v i e w e r s , G-ifford (Mr. Vamp) and Croker (Mr. K i l l t h e d e a d ) . No c a r i c a t u r e o f Wordsworth i s . attempted beyond d e s c r i b i n g him as an e g o i s t who p r a i s e s " h i s own v i r t u e s and t a l e n t s " and i d e n t i f y i n g him w i t h the r u s t i c c h a r a c t e r s i n h i s p o e t r y . Tory o p i n i o n , drawn l a r g e l y from a c u r r e n t i s s u e of the Q u a r t e r l y Review, i s reduced to a b s u r d i t y . Canning, the spokesman of the group, r e f u s e s t o d i s c u s s the r e a l i s s u e s o f the time - "boroughs, taxes, and papermoney" - and concludes to F o r e s t e r : I am' very s o r r y to f i n d a gentleman l i k e you, t a k i n g the p a r t of the s w i n i s h m u l t i t u d e , who are only f i t f o r beasts of burden, to r a i s e s u b s i s t e n c e f o r t h e i r b e t t e r s , pay.taxes f o r placemen, and r e c r u i t the army and navy f o r the b e n e f i t of l e g i t i m a c y , d i v i n e r i g h t , the J e s u i t s , the Pope, the I n q u i s i t i o n , and the V i r g i n Mary's p e t t i c o a t . 1 What i s i n t e n d e d as s p i r i t e d a t t a c k t u r n s to d r i v e l . Whenever the p e r t i n e n t i s s u e of reform i s broached, Paperstamp j o i n s i n the c r y "The Church i s i n danger'." T h i s c u r r e n t Tory t a c t i c , employed t o counteract popular demands f o r f r a n c h i s e reform, induces Paperstamp to observe: a l i t t l e pious cant goes a great way towards t u r n i n g the thoughts o f men from the dangerous and J a c o b i n -i c a l p r o p e n s i t y of l o o k i n g i n t o moral and p o l i t i c a l causes, f o r moral and p o l i t i c a l e f f e c t s . 2 Thus the r e l i g i o u s note t h a t was becoming prominent i n 1. M e l i n c o u r t , pp.319-20. 2. I b i d , p.319. Wordsworth's p o e t r y , i n the Thanksgiving Ode and, l a t e r , i n E c c l e s i a s t i c a l Sketches, draws from Peacock the i n s i n u a t i o n of "pious c a n t " . To Peacock's s u s p i c i o u s mind, cant was d i s c e r n i b l e i n the p u b l i c l i f e of Wordsworth and Southey because t h e y d i d not share h i s p o l i t i c a l o p i n i o n s . He f a i l s , i n h i s s a t i r e of the poets, t o d i s s o c i a t e p o l i t i c s from l i t e r a t u r e , and t h e i r p e r s o n a l i t i e s from t h e i r work as w r i t e r s . H i s a t t a c k i s groun-ded o n l y on the s u s p i c i o n t h a t , i n a c c e p t i n g p o l i t i c a l ' s i n e c u r e s , Wordsworth and Southey had been b r i b e d . T h e i r o p i n i o n s d i d undergo pronounced change. But I t i s i m p o s s i b l e to prove t h a t t h e i r motives were mercenary; indeed i t i s c o n t r a r y to f a c t . Wordsworth*s p o l i t i c a l b e l i e f s , whether r i g h t or wrong, are marked by a d i s i n t e r e s t e d concern f o r humanity, i n both h i s r e v o l u t i o n a r y L e t t e r t o the Bishop of LTandaff and h i s Tory Two Addresses to the F r e e h o l d e r s i n Westmoreland. Although Herbert Read c l a i m s , r e f e r r i n g to the change i n Wordsworth's p o l i t i c a l b e l i e f s , t h a t "Apostasy i s not too s t r o n g a word to u s e " 1 , e n q u i r y i n t o the "motives" of Wordsworth and Southey 'remains p e r s o n a l s p e c u l a t i o n . Peacock's s a t i r e of the poets f a i l s a l s o as l i t e r a t u r e . L a c k i n g o r i g i n a l i t y , he bases h i s a t t a c k on quotations c u l l e d from the r a d i c a l l i t e r a t u r e of the time. His s a t i r e thus becomes a pompous a t t a c k , d i s p l a y e d i n the p l a t i t u d e s of Fax and F o r e s t e r ; i t becomes at times a sermon, 1. Herbert Read, Wordsv/orth, London, Jonathan Cape, 1930, p.234. -71-f i l l e d w i t h such p o n t i f i c a l remarks as: "V i c e s o f unfrequent occurrence stand s u f f i c i e n t l y s e l f - e x p o s e d i n the i n s u l a t i o n o f t h e i r own d e f o r m i t y " . 1 The hollow r i n g of Peacock's i n f l a t e d s t y l e warns the reader t h a t he i s no s e r i o u s c r i t i c . Yet the commonest e r r o r i n Peacockian c r i t i c i s m i s to r e g a r d the author too s e r i o u s l y . He i s a mischievous c r i t i c who, when he i s most s i n c e r e , becomes a j e s t e r . For t h i s reason, h i s s i n c e r e a t t a c k on the p o l i t i c s o f Wordsworth and Southey has been d i s t i n g u i s h e d from h i s s u p e r f i c i a l c r i t i c i s m of t h e i r p o e t r y . The Four Ages of Po e t r y , f o r example, appears as an a t t a c k on p o e t r y i n g e n e r a l , but was c o n c e i v e d f o r the main purpose of r i d i c u l i n g the Lake poets, the poets o f "the-age of b r a s s " . This essay, w r i t t e n In the b a n t e r i n g tone which pervades Melincourt,- i s p a r t l y an e l a b o r a t e hoax which attempts to con c e a l Peacock's d i s t a s t e f o r the p o l i t i c s of t h e Lake p o e t s . In the manner o f the p o l i t i c a l e s s a y i s t s o f the time, he d e s c r i b e s the Lake poets a s : s h i n i n g models of p u r i t y and v i r t u e , p a s s i n g the whole day i n the innocent and amiable o c c u p a t i o n of going up and down h i l l , r e c e i v i n g p o e t i c a l impressions, and communicating them i n immortal verse to a d m i r i n g g e n e r a t i o n s . 2 H i s i r o n y i s here unmistakable; but he was a p p a r e n t l y s u c c e s s -f u l as a j e s t e r , f o r S h e l l e y , before w r i t i n g the Defence of  Poetry, complained t o Peacock t h a t "your anathemas a g a i n s t p o e t r y i t s e l f e x c i t e d me t o a sacred rage".? Peacock's honest 1. M e l i n c o u r t , p.194. 2. Peacock, "The Four Ages of Poetry',' Works, v o l . 8 , p . l 8 . 3. Peacock, Works, v o l . 1 , p . c i . -72-a p p r a i s a l of the Lake poets i s c a r e f u l l y hidden: i n the un-p u b l i s h e d and incomplete Essay on F a s h i o n a b l e L i t e r a t u r e , he p r a i s e s C o l e r i d g e ; and i n h i s l a s t n o v e l , he speaks no l o n g e r as a clown: Shakespeare .never made a f l o w e r blossom out of season. Wordsworth, C o l e r i d g e , and Southey are true to nature i n t h i s and i n a l l o t h e r r e s p e c t s : even i n t h e i r w i l d e s t i m a g i n i n g s . 1 C o l e r i d g e Although C o l e r i d g e i s r e f e r r e d to i n Peacock's f o o t n o t e i n M e l i n c o u r t as a s p e c i e s of " p o e t i c a l and p o l i t i c a l t u r n c o a t " , he Is not, l i k e v'ordsworth and Southey, i d e n t i f i e d d i r e c t l y w i t h the Tory p a r t y . Peacock, i n a d d i t i o n , r e t u r n s to h i s u s u a l manner of a l l o w i n g a c h a r a c t e r to expose h i m s e l f without o p p o s i t i o n by spokesmen o f the author. Thus the c a r i c a t u r e , a d i s t o r t e d r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of C o l e r i d g e ' s o p i n i o n s as a p h i l o s o p h e r and t h e o l o g i a n , adds comic r e l i e f to the otherwise sombre a t t a c k on the Lake poets. Mr. Moley M y s t i c , C o l e r i d g e , i s i s o l a t e d from s o c i e t y , l i v i n g i n Cimmerian Lodge on the " I s l a n d of Pure I n t e l l i g e n c e . " , surrounded by f o g and the "Ocean o f D e c e i t f u l Form". In t h i s f a n c i f u l s e t t i n g he expounds a p h i l o s o p h y of t r a n s c e n d e n t a l g i b b e r i s h which i s a parody of the f i r s t Lay Sermon (1816) and the "new p r i n c i p l e s " advanced i n the B i o g r a p h i a L i t e r a r i a (1817): I d i v i d e my-day", s a i d Mr. M y s t i c , "on a new ' p r i n c i p l e : I am-always p o e t i c a l a t b r e a k f a s t , moral 1. G r y l l Grange, p.906. - 7 3 -a t luncheon, metaphysical a t d i n n e r , and p o e t i c a l at t e a . . . General d i s c o n t e n t s h a l l be the b a s i s of p u b l i c resignation'. Ihe m a t e r i a l s of p o l i t i c a l gloom w i l l b u i l d the s t e a d f a s t frame of hope. The main p o i n t i s to get r i d of a n a l y t i c a l r e a s o n , which i s experimental and p r a c t i c a l , and l i v e o n l y by f a i t h , which i s s y n t h e t i c a l and o r a c u l a r . 1 C o n t i n u i n g i n t h i s v e i n , while the d i n n e r guests remain s i l e n t , Mr. M y s t i c f i n a l l y t u rns to h i s " c y l i n d r i c a l m i r r o r " , i n which he has " d i s c o v e r e d the d i f f e r e n c e between o b j e c t i v e and sub-p j e c t i v e r e a l i t y : and t h i s p o i n t of view i s t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i s m " : Hal i n t h a t c y l i n d r i c a l m i r r o r I see t h r e e shadowy forms: - dimly I see through the smoked g l a s s of my s p e c t a c l e s . What a r t thou? Mystery'. - I h a i l thee'. ¥Jho a r t thou? - Jargonl - I l o v e thee'. Who a r t thou?-Sup e r s t i t ion'. - I worship thee'. H a i l - t h e t r a n s -cendental Triad'. 3 C a r r i e d away by h i s p o r t r a i t of C o l e r i d g e , the p r o p h e t i c c r y s t a l - g a z e r , Peacock cannot r e s i s t c o n c l u d i n g the chapter i n f a r c e : the usual e x p l o s i o n occurs; Mr. M y s t i c s taper i g n i t e s i the escaping gas i n h i s chamber, "blowing the t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i s t down s t a i r s , and s e t t i n g f i r e to h i s c u r t a i n s and f u r n i t u r e " . 4 The v i s i t ends w i t h Mr. M y s t i c s u p e r s t i t i o u s l y lamenting h i s f a t e , f o r he sees i n the e x p l o s i o n an e v i l omen of "an approach-i n g p e r i o d of l i g h t " , when "metaphysical mystery" and "ancient s u p e r s t i t i o n " w i l l be r e p l a c e d by "the p l a i n common-sense m a t t e r - o f - f a c t of moral and p o l i t i c a l t r u t h " . ? 1. M e l i n c o u r t , p . 2 8 0 . 2. I b i d , p. 280. 3- I b i d , p. 281. 4. M e l i n c o u r t , p. 28 2. 5 . I b i d , p. 28 2. -74-The r e a s o n s f o r t h i s many-sided a t t a c k on C o l e r i d g e ' s o p i n i o n s can o n l y be i n f e r r e d . I t s i n c l u s i o n i n a no v e l d e d i c a t e d to the s a t i r e of a n t i - r e f o r m p o l i c y suggests t h a t Peacock saw i n C o l e r i d g e a Tory t h r e a t t o the enlightenment and m a t e r i a l progress of the middle c l a s s . The tone o f h i s a t t a c k suggests t h a t Peacock was merely amused by the f i g u r e o f C o l e r i d g e , the l a y preacher who appealed to f a i t h alone as a cure f o r the i l l s o f h i s time. Peacock's d i s t r u s t , however, was well-founded, s i n c e the Lay Sermons mark the beg i n n i n g of C o l e r i d g e ' s p o l i t i c a l w r i t i n g , which ended i n h i s pamphlet on the C o n s t i t u t i o n of the Church and S t a t e , and "procured f o r C o l e r i d g e the name of High-churchman and Tory."-*- Peacock was indeed aware of the d i r e c t i o n of C o l e r i d g e ' s p o l i t i c o - r e l i g i o u s thought, f o r he i n c l u d e s "metaphysicians" i n minor r o l e s i n h i s l a t e r n o v els, Mr. F l o s k y i n Nightmare Abbey and Mr. Skionar i n Crot c h e t C a s t l e . Thus the a t t a c k , l a t e r s o f t e n e d , has two d i s t i n c t a s p e c t s : C o l e r i d g e , the Ka n t i a n p h i l o s o p h e r who i s r i d i c u l e d as a contemporary type i n three of the novels o f o p i n i o n ; and C o l e r i d g e , the p o l i t i c i a n and l i t e r a r y c r i t i c who provokes Peacock's s t r o n g e s t a t t a c k and can be i d e n t i f i e d o n l y i n M e l i n c o u r t . Peacock doubtless o b j e c t e d to C o l e r i d g e ' s s u b j e c t i v e approach to l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m on numerous p o i n t s . The main charge, o b s c u r i t y , p r o b a b l y arose from h i s impatience with C o l e r i d g e ' s s t y l e as a c r i t i c and d e l i v e r y as a l e c t u r e r . T h i s was a common charge by the s a t i r i s t s of Tory m e n - o f - l e t t e r s . 1. E a r l L e s l i e G r i g g s ; "Notes", The Best of C o l e r i d g e , The Ronald P r e s s , New York, 1945, p.705. - 75-Th e Edinburgh Review d e s c r i b e s Chapter 4 of the B i o g r a p h i a  L i t e r a r i a as a: long-winding m e t a p h y s i c a l march...the fo r m i d a b l e ascent of t h a t mountainous and b a r r e n r i d g e of clouds p i l e d on p r e c i p i c e s and p r e c i p i c e s on c l o u d s , from the top of which the author deludes us with a view of the Promised Land that d i v i d e s the r e g i o n s of Fancy from those of the i m a g i n a t i o n . . . ! As a c o n v e r s a t i o n a l i s t and l e c t u r e r , C o l e r i d g e p r o b a b l y annoyed many of h i s l i s t e n e r s ; he admits, "My i l l u s t r a t i o n s swallow up my t h e s i s . I f e e l too i n t e n s e l y the omnipresence of a l l i n e a c h . . . . " 2 A t t h e same time, he c l a i m s , "Few men, I w i l l be b o l d to say, put more meaning i n t o t h e i r words than I, or chose them more d e l i b e r a t e l y or d i s c r i m i n a t e l y . Peacock, however, d i d not want to understand C o l e r i d g e . In 1817, a l o n g w i t h Hogg, Hunt, and S h e l l e y , he c o n s i d e r e d him-s e l f an "Athenian".^ He v/as, B a r r e l l c l a i m s , one of the few of h i s time who "perceived the i n t e l l e c t u a l i s m of the Greeks," who i n h i s l i f e was able "to p l a c e reason above a l l other f a c u l t i e s , to regard wisdom as c h i e f among the v i r t u e s " . ? Being a c r o t c h e t y i f not profound s c h o l a r of the c l a s s i c s , he d e spised German p h i l o s o p h y . H i s s a r c a s t i c f o o t n o t e i n M e l i n - c o u r t , r e f e r r i n g t o C o l e r i d g e ' s K a n t i a n nomenclature, 1. Edinburgh Review, v o l . 2 8 , August, 1817, p.495. 2. C o l e r i d g e , "Conversation", Anima Poetae, E.L.Griggs ed., p.545. • ~ ~ '3. I b i d . 4. c f . W. S . S c o t t , " I n t r o d u c t i o n " , New S h e l l e y L e t t e r s , The Bodley Head L t d . , London, 1948, p.10. •5. Joseph B a r r e l l , S h e l l e y and the-Thought o f h i s Time, Ya l e U n i v e r s i t y Press,- -1947, pp.l?9-6G. '• "~ ~ ' 6. M e l i n c o u r t , p.27?. - 7 6 -i n d i c a t e s t h a t he c o n s i d e r e d German metaphysics p r e t e n t i o u s and u n i n t e l l i g i b l e . C o l e r i d g e ' s t r i b u t e to Bowles and h i s remarks on the c l a s s i c s , at the beginning o f the B i o g r a p h i a L i t e r a r i a , would at once c l a s h w i t h Peacock's sympathies, which were c l a s s i c and t r a d i t i o n a l : The g r e a t works o f p a s t ages seem to a young man t h i n g s of another r a c e . . h i s f a c u l t i e s must remain p a s s i v e and submiss...But the w r i t i n g s of a con-temporary . .possess a r e a l i t y f o r him, and i n s p i r e an a c t u a l f r i e n d s h i p as a man f o r a man. 1 That Peacock was inca p a b l e o f such " f r i e n d s h i p " i s i m p l i c i t i n the l e t t e r he r e c e i v e d from Hogg i n l 8 l ? : What would be the b a r b a r i t y of the present age, but f o r the r e v i v a l of G r e c i a n l i t e r a t u r e ? 2 Beyond these d i f f e r e n c e s i n l i t e r a r y t a s t e , i t i s impo s s i b l e to determine Peacock's r e a l estimate of C o l e r i d g e the c r i t i c . We know, however, t h a t he admired C o l e r i d g e ' s p o e t r y . The Essa y on Fa s h i o n a b l e L i t e r a t u r e , w r i t t e n w i t h i n a year o f M e l i n c o u r t , c o n t a i n s a l e n g t h y defence o f C h r i s t a b e l a g a i n s t the charges of t h e Edinburgh Review. H i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the poem, and h i s c l a i m that he f a i l e d t o f i n d "anything u n i n t e l l i g i b l e or i n c o h e r e n t " ^ i n Kubla Khan, indicate.: s e n s i t i v e a p p r e c i a t i o n o f i m a g i n a t i v e p o e t r y . I t i s p o s s i b l e , t h e r e f o r e , t h a t he was f a v o r a b l y impressed by the B i o g r a p h i a L i t e r a r i a , and that h i s r i d i c u l e of C o l e r i d g e ' s l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m may have been a decep t i v e a t t a c k intended to obscure 1. C o l e r i d g e , B i o g r a p h i a L i t e r a r i a , E.L.Griggs ed.,p.l45« 2. Hogg to Peacock, 1817, i n W.S.Scott,ed. New S h e l l e y L e t t e r s , p.100. 3. Peacock, "An Essay on Fashionable L i t e r a t u r e " , Works, v o l . 8 , p.291. ~ " h i s v e r y r e a l o b j e c t i o n s to C o l e r i d g e ' s p o l i t i c a l and r e l i g i o u s o p i n i o n s . The f i r s t Lay Sermon, I, The Statesman's Manual, p r o f e s s e s a dual purpose: "the removal of i g n o r a n c e " by r e t u r n i n g to the B i b l e .for"wisdom", and the u r g i n g o f " q u a l -i f i e d " men "to an e s p e c i a l study of the Old Testament as tea c h -i n g the elements of p o l i t i c a l s c i e n c e . " 1 C o l e r i d g e ' s son remarks that "the l e a d i n g i d e a " of the sermons " i s the t r a n s -f u s i o n o f a r e l i g i o u s element throughout the s o c i a l f a b r i c , w i t h the B i b l e as a text-book o f state-wisdom..." Peacock, a f r e e - t h i n k e r and l a t e r i n t i m a t e w i t h U t i l i t a r i a n l e a d e r s i n c l u d i n g Bentham,5 must have regarded C o l e r i d g e ' s p r o p o s a l s as a r e a c t i o n a r y p l a n t o keep the masses i n s u p e r s t i t i o n and ignorance. To him, c o n s i d e r i n g the emphasis o f h i s a t t a c k i n M e l i n c o u r t , they r e p r e s e n t e d another Tory t a c t i c to m a i n t a i n power and delay the immediate problem of domestic reform. Above a l l , he dep l o r e d the current i n t e r e s t i n the B i b l e as a handbook f o r the masses.^ C o l e r i d g e ' s a d d i t i o n a l p r o p o s a l , t h a t the B i b l e serve as a guide f o r p o l i t i c a l s c i e n t i s t s , was undoubtedly to Peacock the most presumptuous of a l l . Such a pro p o s a l was so r i d i c u l o u s t h a t he r e f u s e d t o c o n s i d e r C o l e r i d g e s e r i o u s l y . A l though moved i n h i s a t t a c k by profound d i s t r u s t of 1. C o l e r i d g e , Lay Sermons, E.L.Griggs ed., pp.467-8. 2. C i t e d i n C o l e r i d g e , Griggs ed., p.704. 3. Peacock, Works, v o l . 1 , p . c x x x i . •4. See Ch . 6 , p.54. C o l e r i d g e ' s theology and p o l i t i c s , Peacock's p e r s o n a l r e a c t i o n s are almost l o s t i n whimsy and nonsense. He was o b s e r v i n g i n 1817 C o l e r i d g e ' s e a r l y attempts as a r e l i g i o u s and p o l i t i c a l pamphleteer, and he appears amused r a t h e r than alarmed. The Lay Sermons.representing C o l e r i d g e ' s answer t o the post-war d i s t r e s s e s of the country, c a l l f o r moral improvement and ignore the i s s u e of p o l i t i c a l reform, which was, Peacock b e l i e v e d , the g l a r i n g i n i q u i t y of the t i m e s . Peacock and C o l e r i d g e belonged i n separate camps. With the U t i l i t a r i a n s , Peacock saw the r e p e r c u s s i o n s of the French R e v o l u t i o n i n England as "an a s s e r t i o n o f the r i g h t s of reason as a g a i n s t t r a d i t i o n " ; to C o l e r i d g e , these r e p e r c u s s i o n s r e p r e s e n t e d "the revenge of enthusiasm f o r i t s l o n g r e p r e s s i o n by the r a t i o n a l i s m of the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y " : I t was t h i s aspect t h a t appealed to C o l e r i d g e , to whose ardent f a n c y i t seemed t o promise the i n c a r n a -t i o n of those views of u n i v e r s a l love i n s p i r e d by h i s r e a d i n g of the r e l i g i o u s mystics...when the R e v o l u t i o n d i s a p p o i n t e d him..he became a Tory, and y e t h i s e s s e n t i a l f a i t h was unchanged.1 Peacock was probably aware i n l 8 l 7 of the u l t i m a t e end of C o l e r i d g e ' s r e a s o n i n g i n the Lay Sermons: an a l l i a n c e between r e l i g i o n and p o l i t i c s , which was l a t e r s e t f o r t h i n C o l e r i d g e ' s p l a n f o r a N a t i o n a l Church as p a r t of the s t a t e i n a l e g i s -l a t i v e sense. He was p r o b a b l y aware a l s o t h a t C o l e r i d g e ' s metaphysics r e p r e s e n t e d an attempt t o r e c o n c i l e C h r i s t i a n i t y and t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i s m . But he r e f u s e s to i n c l u d e r e l i g i o u s 1. H a r o l d Beeley, "The P o l i t i c a l Thought of C o l e r i d g e " , C o l e r i d g e , S t u d i e s by S e v e r a l Hands, London, Constable, 1 9 3 4 ,pp . 160 - 16l7 2. See C o l e r i d g e , The Idea o f the N a t i o n a l Church, Griggs ed., p.493 f f . c o n t r o v e r s y as a t o p i c f o r s a t i r e i n h i s l a t e r n o v e l s . As a p u b l i c o f f i c i a l , conscious of the refinement i n p u b l i c m o r a l i t y and manners, the l o o s e - l i v i n g Regency code g i v i n g p l a c e to V i c t o r i a n i s m , and probably conscious of C o l e r i d g e ' s i n f l u e n c e on the r e l i g i o u s r e v i v a l which became the Oxford Movement, Peacock i s content i n h i s l a t e r n o v e l s to r e g a r d o n l y a t r i v i a l aspect of C o l e r i d g e - the jargon-speaking Kantian p h i l o s o p h e r . Thus i n the eyes of h i s r e a d i n g p u b l i c , Peacock remained s a f e . Miss M i t f o r d r e f e r s to h i s next p o r t r a i t of C o l e r i d g e , i n Nightmare Abbey, as "an amiable p i e c e o f r a i l l e r i e . . . M r . Peacock...throws him down and then dances over h i s body. 5 , 1 1. C i t e d i n B r e t t - S m i t h , " I n t r o d u c t i o n " , Peacock's ?forks, v o l . 1 , p . l x x x i v . --8o^ S h e l l e y Commenting on Peacock's "method of b u i l d i n g up c h a r a c t e r s from o p i n i o n s " , B r e t t - S m i t h observes: "When he knew the o p i n i o n s too l i t t l e , or mocked them too much, the r e s u l t i s unsympathetic...But when Peacock understood h i s s i t t e r , he drew b r i l l i a n t l y . " 1 T h i s d i s t i n c t i o n a p p l i e s p a r t i c u l a r l y t o h i s c a r i c a t u r e s of the Romantic poets. The p o r t r a i t s o f Wordsworth, Southey and C o l e r i d g e i n M e l i n c o u r t s u f f e r from d e l i b e r a t e f a l s i f i c a t i o n and from Peacock's s t u d i e d ignorance of the p e r s o n a l c o n v i c t i o n s which caused the.Lake poets to renounce t h e i r r a d i c a l sympathies. I n Nightmare Abbey, however, he draws from intimate knowledge. Scythrop, the c e n t r a l f i g u r e , i s a l i v e l y p o r t r a i t of the y o u t h f u l S h e l l e y of the p e r i o d between h i s banishment from Oxford ( l 8 l l ) and h i s elopement w i t h Mary Godwin (1814). T h i s p o r t r a i t , Blunden b e l i e v e s , " i s nearer to S h e l l e y i n l i f e , s o f a r as i t goes, 2 than o f f i c i a l b iography." Peacock c a r e f u l l y avoids i n c l u d i n g the t r a g i c love a f f a i r . By combining S h e l l e y ' s s i t u a t i o n w i t h the p l o t i n Goethe's S t e l l a , Peacock c r e a t e s h i s own p l o t and preserves the comic tone: " S h e l l e y had p r e f e r r e d one of the he r o i n e s , Goethe's Fernando had been l e f t w i t h both, Scythrop i s a b l e to secure n e i t h e r . " ? Whereas the c a r i c a t u r e o f 1. H.F.B.Brett-Smith, "Introduetion",Peacock's Works, v o l . 1 , p . l x x x v i i . 2. Edmund Blunden, S h e l l e y , New York, V i k i n g Press,1947,p.2J2 3. B r e t t - S m i t h , I n t r o d u c t i o n , v o l . 1 , p . l x x x v i . -81-S h e l l e y dominates the n o v e l , Byron, the m i s a n t h r o p i c a l Mr. Cypress, appears on l y b r i e f l y . Although Byron's p o r t r a i t i s thus incomplete, i t i s i n t e g r a t e d p e r f e c t l y i n t o the comic d e s i g n of the n o v e l . Nightmare Abbey, Peacock e x p l a i n s t o S h e l l e y , has as i t s o b j e c t , "to b r i n g to a s o r t of p h i l o s o p h i c a l focus a few o f the m o r b i d i t i e s of modern l i t e r a t u r e , and to l e t i n a l i t t l e d a y l i g h t on i t s a t r a b i l a r i o u s complexion. 1 T h i s r e s o l v e seems intended to impress S h e l l e y , who looked upon s a t i r e as a " s a c r e d " weapon f o r r e f o r m i n g human f o l l y . Although S h e l l e y was " d e l i g h t e d " w i t h the c h a r a c t e r of Scythrop, and p r a i s e d "the l i g h t n e s s , c h a s t i t y , and s t r e n g t h of the language of the whole", he c o n s i d e r e d Nightmare Abbey i n f e r i o r to M e l i n c o u r t , which "had more o f the t r u e s p i r i t , and an o b j e c t l e s s i n d e f -i n i t e , than i n e i t h e r Headlong H a l l or Scythrop". S h e l l e y , however, Is alone i n h i s judgment. Peacock i s s u c c e s s f u l i n t h i s n o v e l , h i s b e s t , because he does not pretend to be a reformer. He r e v e a l s h i m s e l f more c l e a r l y to Hogg: hei.'writes f o r p e r s o n a l amusement, and h i s aim i s not r e f o r m but laughter:-A t present I am w r i t i n g a comic romance w i t h the t i t l e of Nightmare Abbey, and amusing myself w i t h the darkness and misanthropy of modern l i t e r a t u r e , from the l a n t e r n jaws of which I s h a l l endeavor t o e l i c i t a laugh.3 1 . . 1. Peacock to S h e l l e y , September l 8 l 8 , Works, ,vol.8,p.204. 2. S h e l l e y to Peacock, November 1820, B r e t t - S m i t h , S h e l l e y ' s  L e t t e r s to Peacock, p.205. -3. Peacock t o Hogg, l 8 l 8 , New S h e l l e y L e t t e r s , W.S.Scott, ed., p.112. • --82-Peacock's s a t i r e i n t h i s n o v e l i s t h e r e f o r e f r i v o l o u s , c o n t a i n i n g none of the a n i m o s i t y which appears i n h i s a t t a c k on the Lake poets. By r e s t r i c t i n g h i s t a l k to the t o p i c s of. gloom and despondency, which he a t t r i b u t e s l a r g e l y to the i n f l u e n c e of Germanic romances on the l i t e r a t u r e of the period;^,, and by f i x i n g a t t e n t i o n on the f a n c i f u l p o r t r a i t of S h e l l e y , an impetuous reformer and l o v e r , Peacock achieves f o r once an a r t i s t i c a l l y - c o n v i n c i n g p l o t . He c r e a t e s a "hero" who i s not a c o l o r l e s s a d a p t a t i o n of p r i g g i s h o p i n i o n , and-who'is not i n the end disposed of i n marriage as a means of c o n c l u d i n g the n o v e l . Scythrop i s a comic hero who chooses madiera i n p r e f e r e n c e to s u i c i d e as a remedy f o r d i s i l l u s i o n e d l o v e . As a c h a r a c t e r s k e t c h , Scythrop c l o s e l y resembles Peacock's l a t e r d e s c r i p t i o n of S h e l l e y In the Memoirs. The novel begins with Mr. Glowry c o n s o l i n g h i s son, who i s lament-i n g the l o s s of h i s f i r s t l o v e , M i s s E m i l y G i r o u e t t e . Peacock r e c i t e s the a f f a i r i n i r o n i c terms: He f e l l i n l o v e ; which i s nothing new. He was f a v o u r a b l y r e c e i v e d ; which i s no t h i n g strange. Mr. Glowry and Mr. G i r o u e t t e had a meeting on the o c c a s i o n , and q u a r r e l l e d about the terms of the b a r g a i n ; which i s n e i t h e r new nor s t r a n g e . The l o v e r s were t o r n asunder, weeping and vowing ever-l a s t i n g constancy; and, i n t h r e e weeks a f t e r t h i s t r a g i c a l event, the l a d y was l e d a s m i l i n g b r i d e to the a l t a r , by the Honourable Mr. L a c k w i t . l . In the Memoirs, Peacock r e c o r d s that S h e l l e y ' s a t h e i s t i c t r a c t and e x p u l s i o n from Oxford had "brought to a summary c o n c l u s i o n 1. Nightmare Abbey, Garnett ed., p.357' - 8 3 -h i s b o y i s h p a s s i o n f o r Miss H a r r i e t Grove."! S h e l l e y , l i k e Scythrop, i s d e s c r i b e d as the comic v i c t i m of " b o y i s h p a s s i o n " . Peacock pres e n t s d e t a i l e d evidence t o r e f u t e the c l a i m s of S h e l l e y ' s biographers, M i d d l e t o n and Medwin, t h a t the a f f a i r w ith H a r r i e t Grove was an "enduring p a s s i o n " . He quotes S h e l l e y ' s l e t t e r t o Hogg, which i d e n t i f i e s the u n i o n of E m i l y and Mr. Lackwit." i n Nightmare Abbey w i t h the sudden marriage of H a r r i e t Grove to a " c l o d " : ' Jan. 1 1 , l 8 l l . - She.is gone. She i s l o s t to me f o r , ever. She i s married - m a r r i e d to a c l o d of e a r t h . Both S h e l l e y and Scythrop soon f o r g e t t h e i r f i r s t l o v e ; and Scythrop's i r r a t i o n a l behavior as a l o v e r corresponds w i t h Peacock's d e s c r i p t i o n of S h e l l e y , who had r e c e n t l y met Mary Godwin: Nothing t h a t I ever read i n t a l e or h i s t o r y could present a more s t r i k i n g image of a sudden, v i o l e n t , i r r e s i s t i b l e , u n c o n t r o l l a b l e p a s s i o n . . . H i s eyes were bloodshot, h i s h a i r and dress d i s o r d e r e d . He caught up a b o t t l e of laudanum, and s a i d : "I never p a r t from t h i s " . . . A g a i n he s a i d more c a l m l y : "Every one who knows me must know t h a t the p a r t n e r of my l i f e should be one who can f e e l p o e t r y and understand p h i l o s o p h y . H a r r i e t i s a noble animal, but she can do n e i t h e r " . 3 The d i s t i n c t i o n which S h e l l e y makes i n comparing H a r r i e t and Mary i s a p p l i e d to the h e r o i n e s i n the n o v e l . M a r i o n e t t a and H a r r i e t Westbrook are of a l i k e beauty and temperament; both are "noble a n i m a l s " but not i n t e l l e c u t a l l y 1. Peacock, "Memoirs of Percy Bysshe 'Shelley", Works, v o l . 8 , p.6 0 . 2 . Peacock, Memoirs, p . 6 l . 3 . Peacock, Memoirs, pp.9 1 - 9 2 . -84-a p p e a l i n g . 1 S t e l l a , o f g r e a t e r beauty than Mary Godwin, possesses her i n t e l l e c t and many of her i n t e r e s t s . S t e l l a ' s mind i s " f u l l of impassioned schemes f o r l i b e r t y " ; she i s p o s s e s s i v e and j e a l o u s i n l o v e : " ' I f I ever l o v e ' , s a i d she, 'I s h a l l do so without l i m i t or r e s t r i c t i o n . . . 1 w i l l have no r i v a l . . ; ' " 2 she condemns outspokenly her "sex's s l a v e r y " , and she quotes Mary W o l l s t o n e c r a f t as her a u t h o r i t y . ? Although Peacock was never f r i e n d l y w i t h Mary Godwin, he a p p r a i s e s h i s heroines without p r e j u d i c e . He attempts t o p o r t r a y i n f i n e d e t a i l S h e l l e y ' s r e l a t i o n s w i t h H a r r i e t and Mary. H a r r i e t never shared i n S h e l l e y ' s i n t e l l e c t u a l p u r s u i t s ; Peacock r e c a l l s t h a t , among the f a d d i s t s and reformers a t B r a c k n e l l , " H a r r i e t S h e l l e y was always ready t o laugh w i t h me, and we thereby both l o s t c a s t e . " ^ H a r r i e t was a l s o f l i r t a t i o u s , c ausing S h e l l e y on one o c c a s i o n to q u a r r e l v i o l e n t l y w i t h Hogg over an i n t i m a c y that was probably imaginary.^ These c h a r a c t -e r i s t i c s , a long w i t h S h e l l e y ' s motives i n marrying H a r r i e t , are suggested i n the n o v e l : she ( M a r i o n e t t a ) knew n o t h i n g of the w o r l d and s o c i e t y beyond the sphere of her own e x p e r i e n c e . . . when h i s l o v e was f l o w i n g , hers was ebbing.. Scythrop took i t f o r g r a n t e d . . t h a t she had g r e a t n a t u r a l t a l e n t s , which were wasted a t present on t r i f l e s : but coquetry would end w i t h marriage, and leave room f o r p h i l o s o p h y to e x e r t i t s i n f l u e n c e on her mind.6 1. ' 'cf. Nightmare Abbey, p..366, and Memoirs, p.95. 2. Nightmare Abbey, p.406. 3. I b i d , p.404. 4. Peacock, Memoirs, p. 7 0 . 5. c f . W.S.Scott, " I n t r o d u c t i o n " , New S h e l l e y Letters,pp.13-14. 6. Nightmare Abbey, p.407 . - 8 5 -Peacock's pronouncement i n the Memoirs, "that S h e l l e y ' s second w i f e was i n t e l l e c t u a l l y b e t t e r s u i t e d t o him than h i s f i r s t " , 1 i s confirmed i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of the.second h e r o i n e : S t e l l a was no coquetry, no d i s g u i s e : she was an e n t h u s i a s t i n s u b j e c t s of ge n e r a l i n t e r e s t ; and her conduct to Scythrop was always uniform.2 . U n d e r l y i n g these p o r t r a i t s of the h e r o i n e s and the c a r i c a t u r e of S h e l l e y i s the same r e s p e c t f o r p e r s o n a l o p i n i o n and the s a n c t i t y of p r i v a t e l i f e which d i s t i n g u i s h e s Peacock's biography. There i s a l s o the same b i a s e d sympathy w i t h which Peacock regarded S h e l l e y ' s weaknesses. Scythrop i s a f o o l , but a very human f o o l . L i k e S h e l l e y , he "became t r o u b l e d w i t h the p a s s i o n f o r r e f o r m i n g the w o r l d " ^ and, a d o p t i n g Kant i n -stead of Godwin as h i s guide, he had p u b l i s h e d u n s u c c e s s f u l l y a t r e a t i s e on "the r e g e n e r a t i o n of man"4 which r e c a l l s S h e l l e y ' s Address to the I r i s h People ( l 8 l 2 ) . L i k e S h e l l e y , who was obsessed w i t h s u i c i d e and who at Et o n had drunk from a s k u l l • to r a i s e a ghost, Scythrop t h r e a t e n s s u i c i d e by po i s o n taken from h i s "ancestor's s k u l l " . - 5 But S h e l l e y ' s d e l u s i o n s and tormented love are turned to f a r c e : the p o i s o n i s o n l y madiera and h i s pledge, which t e r r i f i e s M a r i o n e t t a , i s a parody of German tragedy and S h e l l e y i a n p h i l o s o p h y : Le t us open a v e i n i n the other's arm and mix our blood i n a bowl, and d r i n k i t as a sacrament of l o v e . 1. Peacock, Memoirs, p . 9 5 . 2. Nightmare Abbey, p.407. J . Nightmare Abbey, p.362. 4. I b i d . , p .3&3. '5. I b i d . , p.371. -86-Then we s h a l l see v i s i o n s of t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i l l u m i n -a t i o n , and soar on the wings of i d e a s i n t o the space of pure i n t e l l i g e n c e . 1 To r e a d e r s u n f a m i l i a r w i t h S h e l l e y ' s biography, o r p r e j u d i c e d because of h i s treatment of H a r r i e t , the r e a l S h e l l e y i s l o s t i n h i l a r i t y and exag g e r a t i o n . Peacock, however, was one of the few contemporaries who understood and consoled S h e l l e y . He saw t h a t S h e l l e y ' s r e s t l e s s temperament and d i s -r e s p e c t f o r a u t h o r i t y r e s u l t e d from p e r s e c u t i o n i n c h i l d h o o d and p u b l i c l i f e : H i s own f a t h e r , the B r e n t f o r d schoolmaster, the head master of Eton, the Master and Fe l l o w s o f h i s c o l l e g e at Oxford, the L o r d C h a n c e l l o r Eldon, a l l s u c c e s s i v e l y presented themselves t o him i n the l i g h t o f t y r a n t s and oppressors.2 Peacock saw a l s o t h a t S h e l l e y ' s i n t e l l e c t u a l energy was o f t e n wasted on i m p r a c t i c a l schemes. In one of h i s l a s t " p r o j e c t s " , S h e l l e y sought "to be employed p o l i t i c a l l y a t the cou r t o f a na t i v e p r i n c e " i n In d i a . ? Though Peacock c o n s i d e r e d t h i s i d e a l u d i c r o u s , he r e p l i e d w i t h k i n d l y a d v i c e : There i s nothing that would g i v e me so much p l e a s u r e . , than to see you f o l l o w i n g some scheme of f l e s h and blood - some i n t e r e s t i n g matter connected w i t h the business of l i f e , i n the t a n g i b l e shape of a p r a c t i c a l man.4 1. Nightmare Abbey, p.36B. 2. Peacock, Memoirs, p. 73. 3. Bret t - S m i t h , I n t r o d u c t i o n , v o l . 1 , p . c i x . 4. Peacock to S h e l l e y , October 18 21, Works, v o l . 8 , p.226. - 3 7 -I n Scythrop the r e a d e r s see i n extreme the r i d i c u l o u s s i d e of S h e l l e y , h i s f o l l y as a reformer and a l o v e r . The human s i d e , S h e l l e y h i m s e l f d i s c e r n e d . He seems to be j u s t i f y i n g h i s e a r l i e r conduct i n h i s o b s e r v a t i o n on Scythrop: . . . l o o k i n g deeper i n t o i t , i s not the m i s d i r e c t e d enthusiasm of Scythrop what T . C . c a l l s the " s a l t of the earth".1 Byron Among the numerous a t t a c k s i n Nightmare Abbey on " p h i l o s o p h i c gloom" and morbid o p i n i o n , Peacock i n c l u d e s a s a l l y on Lord Byron. He e x p l a i n s h i s purpose to S h e l l e y : I t h i n k i t necessary to "make a stand" a g a i n s t the "encroachments" of b l a c k - b i l e . The f o u r t h canto of C h i l d e H a r o l d i s r e a l l y too bad. I cannot consent t o be a u d i t o r tantum of t h i s s y s t e m a t i c a l " p o i s o n i n g " of the "mind" o f the "reading p u b l i c " . 2 As h i s q u o t a t i o n marks i n d i c a t e , Peacock i s h a l f - s i n c e r e , kciiltf-&ms&sa^ h a l f - s c o r n f u l , i n h i s aim to improve "the mind of the r e a d i n g p u b l i c " . H i s o b j e c t i o n t o Canto IV p r o b a b l y a r i s e s from h i s a v e r s i o n to emotional excess. As a s c h o l a r with p r o -nounced c l a s s i c a l t a s t e s , Peacock o b j e c t s f a c e t i o u s l y but w i t h apparent s i n c e r i t y t o "three i n g r e d i e n t s " i n p o e t r y : "the r a n t of u n r e g u l a t e d p a s s i o n , the whine of exaggerated f e e l i n g , and the cant of f a c t i t i o u s sentiment".3 In p a r t i c u l a r , he 1. S h e l l e y to Peacock, June , ' l 8 l 9 , S h e l l e y ' s L e t t e r s to  Peacock, B r e t t - S m i t h , ed., p.190. -,: - - • 2. Peacock to S h e l l e y , May 1818, L e t t e r s , v o l . 8 , p.193. 3. Peacock, The Four Ages of P o e t r y , v o l . 8 , p.21. a t t r i b u t e s the c u r r e n t l i t e r a r y t a s t e f o r misanthropy to German romanticism, symptoms of which he d i s c e r n s i n the Gothic n o v e l s of Mrs. R a d c l i f f e and W i l l i a m Godwin and i n the K a n t i a n meta-p h y s i c s of C o l e r i d g e . He d i s p o s e s of Godwin's M a n d e v i l l e , f o r example, wi t h the comment: "Devilman, a novel I Hm. Hatred -revenge - misanthropy - and q u o t a t i o n s from the B i b l e . Hm. This i s the morbid anatomy of b l a c k b i l e . " ! H i s a t t a c k on Canto TV, c a r r i e d i n t h i s s u p e r f i c i a l manner, i s i n t e g r a t e d i n t o h i s s a t i r e of German romanticism and i g n o r e s completely the p e r s o n a l b a s i s of Byron's m o r b i d i t y . In Canto IV Byron d i s c a r d s h i s f l i m s y guise as a p i l g r i m k n i g h t . This canto summarizes i n p e r s o n a l terms h i s gloomy contemplation of the v a n i t y and decay of human endeavor. He r e t u r n s to the former c e n t e r s of I t a l i a n c u l t u r e . "To meditate amongst decay, and s t a n d / a r u i n amidst r u i n s " . 2 He p e r c e i v e s i n the "dying G l o r y " of Venice and Rome an e x p r e s s i o n of h i m s e l f - h i s own s u f f e r i n g and moral decay. He becomes, l i k e the d y i n g G l a d i a t o r , the v i c t i m of a s o c i e t y i n which men " p l o t i n s l u g g i s h m i s e r y / R o t t i n g from s i r e t o son, and age t o age."^ He p r o c l a i m s t h a t "our l i f e i s a f a l s e n a t u r e " 4 : man's mind, the a r t i s t , " f e v e r s i n t o f a l s e c r e a t i o n " ^ ; human 1. Nightmare Abbey, Garnett ed., p.3 7 6 . 2. C h i l d e Harold, Canto IV, verse xxv. 3 . I b i d . , verse x c i v . 4. I b i d . , verse c x x v i . 5- I b i d . , verse c x x i i . -89-l o v e i s a "frenzy"", a "Reaping the whirlwind from the oft-sown winds"; 1 and l i f e i t s e l f i s 'Withered", " s i c k " , and plagued w i t h "Disease, death, bondage, a l l the woes...which throb t h r o u g h / The immedicable s o u l " . 2 I n the end, he f o r s a k e s humanity, t u r n i n g t o nature f o r s p i r i t u a l r e s t . C r i t i c s have i n t e r p r e t e d Byron's d e s p a i r , growing from h i s abnormal p e r s o n a l i t y and h i s r e a l o r imagined sense of g u i l t , as a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e e x p r e s s i o n of "the f e e l i n g o f ennui i n c u l t i v a t e d s o c i e t y " o f the time.3 E l t o n ' s view of ChiIde H a r o l d i s s t i l l l a r g e r : he observes that Byron's "vast and warranted egoism..gave impulse to t h e enlargement of the European s p i r i t " , and that i n Byron i s an "emancipating power": the s p e c t a c l e of a l a r g e nature, at i s s u e w i t h i t s e l f , and l o s i n g i t s e l f , a t l e a s t f o r p a s s i n g s o l a c e , both i n the pageant of the p a s t , and i n a v i s i o n so s p l e n d i d of the banded peoples of the wo r l d , as should even now s t e e l us a g a i n s t a l l the al l u r e m e n t s of R eaction..A Peacock, however, does n o t attempt a c r i t i c a l estimate of Byron. H i s view i s r e s t r i c t e d , being made at c l o s e range and s i x years before the l a s t a d d i t i o n t o Don Juan. However much he disapproved of Byron's emotional, p u b l i c d i s p l a y i n Canto IV, Peacock i s content i n h i s s a t i r e merely t o mock the more despondent l i n e s of the canto without commenting on Byron's p e r s o n a l i t y or h i s s o c i a l and l i t e r a r y i n f l u e n c e s . 1. C h i l d e H a r o l d , Canto I v, verse c x x i i i . 2. I b i d . , verse cxxvi..., 3. W.J. Courthope, H i s t o r y o f E n g l i s h P o e t r y, London Mao-m i l l a n , 1910, vol.71, p.20o. 4. O l i v e r E l t o n , Survey of E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , London, Edward A r n o l d , 1933, I new ed.}, V o l . I I , p .155--90-Although the s a t i r e o f Byron i s t o p i c a l , Peacock does not, i n the f a s h i o n of the t i m e s ) 1 indulge i n s c u r r i l o u s r e f e r e n c e to Byron's r e c e n t s e p a r a t i o n and departure from England. Mr. Cypress - the name being one of the most repeated symbols of mourning i n C h i l d e H a r o l d - i s "on the p o i n t of l e a v i n g E n g l a n d . " 2 S c y t h r o p 1 s charge, that he ''forsakes h i s country" f o r "a degenerate race o f s t u p i d and s h r i v e l l e d s l a v e s " , echoes S h e l l e y ' s estimate of the I t a l i a n people r e v e a l e d i n h i s l e t t e r s t o Peacock.? Cypress r e p l i e s i n Byron's f a c e t i o u s manner, i n d i r e c t l y d i s c l o s i n g Peacock', s judgment of the o f f e n -s i v e l y s e n t i m e n t a l Eare thee w e l l ; , S i r , I have q u a r r e l l e d w i t h my v/ife; and a man who has q u a r r e l l e d w i t h h i s w i f e i s absolved from a l l duty to h i s country. I have w r i t t e n an ode t o t e l l the people as much, and they may take i t as the y l i s t . 4 Most of Byron's subsequent"remarks are prose paraphrases of despondent passages i n Canto IV. The closene s s of the par a -phrase i s i n d i c a t e d i n these e x c e r p t s : Our l i f e i s a f a l s e nature...We w i t h e r from our youth; we grasp with unslaked t h i r s t f o r u n a t t a i n -able good...There i s no beauty but i n the mind's i d e a . Love sows the wind and reaps the v i i i r l w i n d . . . The mind i s d i s e a s e d of i t s own beauty> and f e v e r s i n t o f a l s e c r e a t i o n s . ? 1. See Samuel C. Chew, Byron i n England, London, John Murray, 19 24, pp.19-26. 2. Nightmare Abbey, p.408. J. S h e l l e y to Peacock, October, 1818, S h e l l e y ' s L e t t e r s t o  Peacock, B r e t t - S m i t h , ed., p.136. • - • 4. Nightmare Abbey, p.410. ?• I b i d . , pp.410-41?. - 9 1 -In d e t a c h i n g these l i n e s " i n d i s c r i m i n a t e l y from t h e i r s e t t i n g i n the poem and from the p e r s o n a l i t y of the poet, Peacock attempts u n s u c c e s s f u l l y to show, i n the i r o n i c s e t t i n g of t h e a f t e r -dinner p a r t y , t h a t Byron's "gloom and grandeur" i s merely an a f f e c t a t i o n . H i s charges against Byron are n e i t h e r d i r e c t nor s p e c i f i c , and are not intended to generate heated d i s c u s s i o n . He r e s o r t s t o p l a t i t u d e r a t h e r than i n v e c t i v e . The remarks o f Mr. Hilars* -, a f o i l t o morbid p h i l o s o p h y and doubtless the author's spokesman, i l l u s t r a t e the g e n e r a l answer to B y r o n i c d e s p a i r : • To r e c o n c i l e man as he I s t o the world as i t i s , t o preserve and improve a l l t h a t i s good, and d e s t r o y or a l l e v i a t e a l l that i s e v i l , i n p h y s i c a l and moral nature - have been the hope and aim of the g r e a t e s t t e a c h e r s and ornaments of our species. ; I w i l l say, too, that the h i g h e s t wisdom and the h i g h e s t genius have been inv a r i a b l y ' a c c o m p a n i e d w i t h c h e e r f u l n e s s . 1 Peacock, i t appears, i s not attempting e f f e c t i v e a t t a c k . He seems to be amusing h i m s e l f , r a t h e r than h i s reader, i n d e l i v e r i n g a sermon t o Byron. But he redeems h i m s e l f i n the h i l a r i o u s departure o f Mr. Cypress. The d r i n k i n g songs which conclude the chapter d i s p l a y h i s s k i l l as a p a r o d i s t . . Mr. G-lowry laments "Let us a l l . be unhappy t o g e t h e r " . I n r e s -ponse, Mr. Cypress s i n g s the parody, beginning, "There i s a f e v e r in. the s p i r i t / The brand of Cain's u n r e s t i n g doom", 2 which r i d i c u l e s the Byroni.c s p i r i t r a t h e r than a s p e c i f i c poem. To c o u n t e r a c t t h i s " f e v e r " , Mr. H i l a r y and the Rev. Mr. Larynx s i n g the catch, "Seaman t h r e e " , and "the whole p a r t y i n s p i t e 1. Nightmare Abbey, p.413. 2. Ibid.', p.414. ' of themselves 1' j o i n i n the chorus: "And our b a l l a s t i s o l d wine Byron, "having h i s b a l l a s t on board", d e p a r t s i n a j o v i a l mood "to rake seas and r i v e r s , l a k e s and c a n a l s , f o r the moon of i d e a l b e a u t y " . 1 In C h i l d e Harold, Byron c l o s e s with sombre t r i b u t e to the Ocean, a " s o c i e t y where none i n t r u d e s " ; i n Nightmare Abbey, he departs as a drunken s a i l o r . By t r e a t i n g Byron i n a s p i r i t o f f r i e n d l y banter, and by i g n o r i n g h i s p r i v a t e l i f e , Peacock draws a sympathetic p o r t r a i t which Byron h i m s e l f e n j o y e d . 2 Peacock d o u b t l e s s f e l t t hat Byron's d e s p a i r was p a r t l y the r e s u l t of d i s s i p a t i o n ; S h e l l e y informed him at the time t h a t Byron's p o e t i c t a l e n t was b e i n g destroyed by a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h the lowest p r o s t i t u t e s of Venice.3 H a z l i t t ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Canto IV i s merely a r e f i n e n d e n t o f t h i s charge, which a t the time was common g o s s i p : I t i s the l a s s i t u d e or f e v e r i s h t o s s i n g and tumbling of the i m a g i n a t i o n , a f t e r having taken a s u r f e i t of p l e a s u r e , and f e d upon the fumes of pride...He i s i n l o v e w i t h misery, because he has possessed every enjoyment A Peacock, however, r e f u s e s to pander to the p u b l i c t a s t e f o r s c a n d a l . Although h i s works do not c o n t a i n a c r i t i c a l estimate of the poet, we know that he admired Byron's s a t i r e . Peacock observes to S h e l l e y : 1. Nightmare Abbey, p.415. 2. See B r e t t - S m i t h , " I n t r o d u c t i o n " , Works, v o l . 1 , p . l x x x v i i . 3. S h e l l e y to Peacock, December, l b l b , L e t t e r s , B r e t t - S m i t h ed p.152. ~ -4. W i l l i a m H a z l i t t , The Complete Works of, P.P.Howe ed.,London J.M.Dent, 19 34, v o l . 1 9 , pp.35-6. C a i n i s f i n e ; Sardanapalus I t h i n k f i n e r ; Don Juan i s best of a l l . I have r e a d n o t h i n g e l s e i n r e c e n t l i t e r a t u r e t h a t I t h i n k good f o r anything. 1 In h i s review of the L e t t e r s and J o u r n a l s of L o r d Byron, Peacock a t t a c k s Byron's b i o g r a p h e r s , Hunt, Medwin, and Moore, and not the poet. He cl a i m s t h a t Byron i n h i s c o n v e r s a t i o n and w r i t i n g d e a l t "very l a r g e l y i n m y s t i f i c a t i o n " , and a f f e c t e d a " s p i r i t of badinage" because he was haunted "by v a r i e t i e s o f the s m a l l Boswell or eavesdropping genus, who..would take the f i r s t o p p o r t u n i t y of s e l l i n g h i s confidences to the p u b l i c . . . " 2 Peacock agrees w i t h Byron t h a t i n a l l r e s p e c t s , moral, r e l i g i o u s , and p o l i t i c a l , "The s t a p l e commodity of the pr e s e n t age i n . England i s cant."? That Byron appealed to Peacock as a f e l l o w - s a t i r i s t i s suggested i n the f r i e n d l y p o r t r a i t i n Nightmare Abbey. The g l a r i n g d e f e c t s i n Byron's c h a r a c t e r - hrs arrogance, h i s v i n d i c t i v e n e s s , and h i s im m o r a l i t y - Peacock i g n o r e s . No s p e c i e s of degenerate man d i s g u s t e d Peacock more than the " v i o l a t o r s of the s a n c t i t y of p r i v a t e l i f e " ; t h i s phrase he repea t s many times i n h i s l e t t e r s and c r i t i c a l e ssays. But t h i s f i x e d a t t i t u d e does not e x p l a i n completely h i s sympathetic treatment of Byron. Of a l l h i s l i t e r a r y contemporaries, Byron comes c l o s e s t t o Peacock i n s p i r i t . Both were convinced t h a t h y p o c r i s y was the major s o c i a l e v i l of the times; both e x c e l 1. Peacock to S h e l l e y , February 1822, L e t t e r s , v o l . 8 , p.228. 2. Peacock, "Moore's L e t t e r s and J o u r n a l s of L o r d Byron", Works, v o l . 9 , p.73 and p. 7 ° . . . . . . . ; ~ . . . . . . 3. I b i d . , p.115. -94-i n badinage, i n h i d i n g t h e i r p e r s o n a l f e e l i n g s i n mischievous and at times i n d i s c r i m i n a t e r a i l l e r y a g a i n s t t h e i r c u l t i v a t e d contemporaries. With the e x c e p t i o n of Byron, the l e a d i n g Romantic poets were not s u c c e s s f u l i n t h e i r attempts to be humorous. A f t e r examining these attempts i n Wordsworth, C o l e r i d g e , S h e l l e y , and Keats, one c r i t i c concludes t h a t : The g i f t of l a u g h t e r was by them i n a sense s e l f -denied. E l e c t i n g o t h e r p r e o c c u p a t i o n s , they never had i t i n t h e i r h e a r t to be merry; having other r e c o u r s e from experience, they f e l t no compulsion to laugh at i t . l » In a l l other r e s p e c t s , Peacock and Byron d i f f e r as s a t i r i s t s . Byron's h e a r t was seldom "merry"; Peacock's s a t i r e i s over-charged w i t h merriment. U n l i k e Byron, Peacock co u l d not s u s t a i n h i s b i t t e r n e s s ; nor could he f e e l i n h i s h e a r t the s e l f - r i g h t e o u s b i t t e r n e s s which u n d e r l i e s Don Juan. In a l l h i s n o v e l s , even M e l i n c o u r t , the f r i e n d l y atmosphere o f the dinner t a b l e p r e v a i l s . Peacock i s e s s e n t i a l l y content i n h i s adjustment to nature and s o c i e t y . H i s d e t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i o n s of n ature, the Lake country i n M e l i n c o u r t , the sea i n E l p h i n , the mountains of Wales i n C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , r e v e a l a f e e l i n g f o r n a t u r a l beauty t h a t i s Wordsworthian i n tone. H i s a t t a c k i s s o f t e n e d by n o i s y indulgence i n food and wine and by l y r i c s and d r i n k i n g songs t h a t resound i n a l l the n o v e l s . Romantic l o v e , t r e a t e d w i t h a r e s p e c t t h a t i s not always i r o n i c , i s a l s o a b a s i c i n g r e d i e n t ; and h i s h e r o i n e s are a l l i n t e l l e c t u a l l y equal and o f t e n s u p e r i o r , p a r t i c u l a r l y C l a r i n d a 1. James R. C a l d w e l l , "The Solemn Romantics", S t u d i e s i n the  Comic, U.of C a l i f . P u b l i c a t i o n s i n E n g l i s h , v o l . b , N o . 2 , 1941, p.271. - 9 5 -i n C r o t c h e t C a s t l e , to h i s male c h a r a c t e r s . Although l e s s prominent than h i s scorn, these sympathies, f o r nature, good-f e l l o w s h i p , and human l o v e , b e t r a y the r e a l Peacock as much as does h i s s a t i r e . As a r e s u l t , he i s almost caught i n h i s own i r o n i c a t t a c k . He i s not, l i k e Byron, i n t e n t on s l a y i n g h i s enemy. H i s a t t a c k , l a c k i n g emotional f o r e e , appeals almost completely to re a s o n . He agrees with H a z l i t t , t h a t "the p l e a s u r e s of the chase" are not i n c a t c h i n g "the game", but i n the " e x e r c i s e " and "ex c i t e m e n t . . i n hunting i t down". 1 As a s a t i r i s t o f o p i n i o n , Peacock deals i n never-ending c o n t r o v e r s y : h i s quarry i s seldom caught; h i s g o a l i s seldom a t t a i n a b l e : ...so i t i s i n the e x e r c i s e s of the mind and the p u r s u i t of t r u t h , which are c h i e f l y v a l u a b l e (perhaps) l e s s f o r t h e i r r e s u l t s when d i s c o v e r e d , than f o r t h e i r a f f o r d i n g c o n t i n u a l scope and employment to the mind i n i t s endeavours t o re a c h the f a n c i e d g o a l , without i t s being ever ( o r but seldom) able t o a t t a i n i t . 2 1 . H a z l i t t , "The S p i r i t of Controversy", Complete Works, v o l . 2 0 , p.3 0 7 . 2. I b i d . - 9 6 -BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. Peacock's Works and Correspondence The Works of Thomas Love Peacock, H a l l i f o r d e d i t i o n , ~ H.F.B. B r e t t - S m i t h and C E . Jones ed., London, Constable and Co., 1 9 3 4 , 10 v o l s . The Novels of Thomas Love Peacock, ed. David Garnett, - - London, Rupert Ha r t - D a v i s , 1 9 4 8 . Peacock's Memoirs of S h e l l e y w i t h S h e l l e y ' s L e t t e r s to • • Peacock, ed. H.F.B. Bre t t - S m i t h , London, Henry Frowde, 1 9 0 9 . New S h e l l e y L e t t e r s , ed. W.S. S c o t t , London, John Lane • L t d . , 1 9 4 b . -1 1 . General Works Adams, M. Ray, S t u d i e s i n the L i t e r a r y Backgrounds o f  E n g l i s h R a d i c a l i s m , F r a n k l i n and -Marshall C o l l e g e S t u d i e s , 1 9 4 7 . Baker, E r n e s t A., H i s t o r y of the E n g l i s h Novel, London, Witherby L t d . , 1 9 3 6 , v o l . 7 , pp.121-141. - • B a r r e l l , Josheph, S h e l l e y and the Thought of h i s Time, Y a l e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 4 7 . Beeley, Harold, "The P o l i t i c a l Thought of C o l e r i d g e " , C o l e r i d g e , S t u d i e s by S e v e r a l Hands, ed. Edmund Blunden and- E.L. G r i g g s , London, Constable, 1 9 3 4 , pp. 149 - 1 7 6 . Birkenhead, E., The Tale of T e r r o r , A Study of the Gothic  Novel, London, Constable, 1 9 2 1 . ' [ " C a l v e r t , W i l l i a m J . , Byron,, Romantic Paradox, U. of North C a r o l i n a P r e s s , 1 9 3 5 . Chambers, E.K.,Samuel T a y l o r C o l e r i d g e , Oxford, Clarendon P r e s s , 1 9 3 8 . Chesterton, G.K., "A Defence of Nonsense", Modern Humour, Everyman ed., London, Dent and Sons, 1942. Chew, Samuel C , Byron i n England, London, John Murray, 19 24. Cole, G.D.H., P o l i t i c s and L i t e r a t u r e , London, Hogarth - P r e s s , 1929 . C o l e r i d g e , Samuel T a y l o r , .The Best o f E . L . Griggs ed., New York, Ronald Press,- -1945. Cruse,. Amy, The Englishman and h i s Books i n the E a r l y N i n e t e e n t h Century, London, George Harrap, 1 9 3 0 . -9 7-Dicey, A.V., The Statesmanship of Wordsworth, Oxford, Clarendon P r e s s , 1917• Dowden, Edward, Southey, London, Maomillan, 188 2. F a i r c h i I d , H.N., The Noble Savage, New York, Columbia U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 2 8 . Freeman, A.M., Thomas Love Peacock, a C r i t i c a l Study, New York,' M. Kennerley, 1911 . H a z l i t t , W i l l i a m , The Complete Works, ed. P.P. Howe, London, J.M. Dent, 1934-. • • • • Henderson, Mary E.P., T;L. Peacock's C r i t i c i s m of h i s L i t e r a r y Contemporaries, M.A. Th e s i s , Dept. o f E n g l i s h , U. 6f B r i t i s h Columbia,- 1 9 4 3 , 2 v o l s . H e r f o r d , C.H., The Age of Wordsworth, London, G. B e l l and Sons, 1939 • • Johnson, Edgar, "The Nature and Value of S a t i r e " , A Treasury o f . S a t i r e , New York, Simon and Schuster, 1 9 4 5 , P P . 3 - 3 7 . K i t c h e n , George, A Survey of Burlesque and Parody i n E n g l i s h , Edinburgh, O l i v e r and Boyd, 1 9 3 1 . Peek, K a t h e r i n e Mary, Wordsworth i n England, Bryn Mawr Pres s , 1 9 4 3 . P i e r c e , F r e d e r i c k E..., Currents and Eddies i n the E n g l i s h  Romantic Generation, Y a l e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1918. P r i e s t l e y , J.B., Thomas'Love Peacock, London, Maomillan, 19 27 . P r i e s t l e y , J.B.,"Prince Seithenyn", The E n g l i s h Comic  C h a r a c t e r s , London, John Lane, 1 9 3 7 , pp.178 -197 . Q u i l l e r - C o u c h , S i r A r t h u r , C h a r l e s Dickens and other  V i c t o r i a n s , Cambridge, U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 2 5 . R a l e i g h , Walter, "Peacock", On W r i t i n g and W r i t e r s , London, Edward A r n o l d , 19 27, pp. 1 5 1 - 4 . ' ! : Read, Herbe r t , Wordsworth, London, Jonathan Cape, 1 9 3 0 . Redman, Ben Ray, " I n t r o d u c t i o n " , The P l e a s u r e s of Peacock, New York, F a r r a r , S t r a u s , 1 9 4 7 . R o m i l l y , Henry, "Thomas Love Peacock", The E n g l i s h N o v e l i s t s , ed. D. Ve r s c h o y l e , London, Chatto and Windus, 1 9 3 6 , pp.1 2 3 - 1 3 8 . S a i n t s b u r y , George, " I n t r o d u c t i o n " , M e l i n c o u r t , London, Maomillan, 1 9 2 7 . S a i n t s b u r y , George, " I n t r o d u c t i o n " , Maid Marian and Cr o t c h e t C a s t l e , London, Maomillan,- 1 9 2 7 . S a i n t s b u r y , George, "Peacock", P r e f a c e s and Essays, London, Maomillan, 1933 , pp.2 1 0 - 2 7 2 , Sedgewick, G.G., Of Irony, e s p e c i a l l y i n Drama, Toronto, U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 3 5 . -98-Smith, E l s i e , Estimate of W i l l i a m Wordsworth by h i s  Contemporaries, Oxford, B a s i l B l a c k w e l l , 1 9 3 2 . Somervell, D.C.,- E n g l i s h Thought i n the Nineteenth Century, London, Methuen, f i f t h ed.-, 1 9 4 7 . Trevelyan, G.M., B r i t i s h H i s t o r y i n the N i n e t e e n t h Century, London, Longmans, Green; 19 22. Wagenknecht, Edward,"Cavalcade o f the E n g l i s h Novel, New York, Henry H o l t , 1 9 4 3 . -Walker, Hugh, E n g l i s h S a t i r e and S a t i r i s t s , London, J.M. Dent, 19 2 ? . Walker, Hugh," The L i t e r a t u r e of the V i c t o r i a n E r a , Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 4 0 . Weygandt, C o r n e l i u s , A Century of the E n g l i s h Novel, New York, The Century Co., 19 25 . Whitney,Lois, P r i m i t i v i s m and the Idea o f Progress , Johns Hopkins P r e s s , 1 9 3 4 . W i n g f i e l d - S t r a t f o r d , Esme, The V i c t o r i a n Tragedy, London, Routledge and Sons, 1 9 3 1 . Winwar, Frances, The Romantic Rebels, Boston, L i t t l e , Brown and Co., 1935* Woodward, E.L., The Age of Reform, 1 8 1 5 - 1 8 7 0 , Oxford, Clarendon Press, 19 J 8 . Woolf, V i r g i n i a , "The Neice of an E a r l " , The Second Common Reader, Penguin ed., London, Wyman and Sons, 1944. 111 . P e r i o d i c a l s and L i t e r a r y P u b l i c a t i o n s A l l e n , B.S., "The R e a c t i o n a g a i n s t W i l l i a m Godwin", Modern P h i l o l o g y , v o l . l 6 , Sept. 1 9 1 8 , pp. 225 - 243. Boynton, H.W., "Thomas Love Peacock", A t l a n t i c Monthly, v o l . 9 8 , 1 9 0 6 , pp. 7 6 5 - 7 7 4 . C a l d w e l l , James R., "The Solemn Romantics", S t u d i e s i n the Comic, U. of C a l i f . P u b l i c a t i o n s i n E n g l i s h , vol.o,. ho. 2, 1 9 4 1 . Draper, John W., "The S o c i a l S a t i r e of Thos.Love Peacock", Modern Language Notes. vol.X X X I I I , 1 9 1 8 , pp.4 5 6 - 6 3 ; and vol.XXXIV, 1919, pp.2 3 - 2 8 . . . The Edinburgh Review, v o l . 2 8 , Aug. 1817 , C o l e r i d g e ' s " B i o g r a p h i a L i t e r a r i a " , pp . 4 8 8 - 5 1 5 ; and v o l . 3 7 s Nov. 1822, Wordsworth's "Memorials of a Tour on the Continent", pp.4 4 9 - 4 5 6 . - 9 9 -Frye,"Northrop, "The Nature of S a t i r e " , Toronto U n i v e r s i t y  Q u a r t e r l y , vol.XIV, October 1944, pp.7 5 - 9 0 . Love joy, A.O., "Monboddo and Rousseau", Modern P h i l o l o g y , vol.JO, August 1932, pp.275-296. Montague, A s h l e y , "Tyson's Orang-Outang, L i v e Homo S y l v e s t r i s , and S w i f t ' s ~ 0 / u l l i v e r ' s T r a v e l s " , P.M.L.A. vol.LIX, March 1 9 4 4 , p p . o 4 - b 9 . " ' ~~~~ Newbolt, S i r H., "Peacock, S c o t t , and Robin Hood", Essays by D i v e r s Hands, new s e r i e s , v o l . I V , 1924, P P . 0 7-11 a.. ~ ~ P a u l , Herbert, "The Novels of Peacock", The L i v i n g Age, v o l . 2 3 8 , 1 9 0 3 , pp. 1 5 8 - 1 6 9 . S a i n t s b u r y , George, "Thomas Love Peacock", Cambridge H i s t o r y of E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , v o l . X I , 1914 , p p . 3 4 0 - 3 . W i l s o n , Edmund, "The M u s i c a l Glasses o f Peacock", New Yorker, v o l . X X I I I , no.27, August 23, 1 9 4 7 . Wright, H., "The A s s o c i a t i o n s of T.L. Peacock w i t h Wales", Essays and S t u d i e s , v o l . X I I , Oxford, Clarendon P r e s s , 19 26, pp. 24-4:6. " 

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