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events of the new Revolution in France. There was a menacing Chartist movement in England, and Kingsley, joining himself with F. D. Maurice, whose books had strongly influenced his mind, laboured to put Christian life into the masses, while showing sympathy with their best hopes, and knowledge of the evils that then cried for remedy. Kingsley's Alton Locke, in 1850, and his Yeast, in 1851, represented the stir of the time, and showed what it meant in the long struggle towards a better life on earth. Other novels and poems followed : Westward ho! in 1855 ; Two Years Ago, in 1857 ; Andromeda, and other Poems, in 1858; The Water Babies ; a Fairy Tale for a Land Baby, in 1863; Hereward the Wake, in 1866.
There were books also that helped to diffuse his love of nature, as Glaucus ; or, the Wonders of the Shore, in 1857 ; with writings upon social history and volumes of sermons. In 1859 Charles Kingsley was appointed Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge, and also Chaplain in Ordinary to the Queen. In 1869 he obtained a Canonry in Chester. In 1873 he became Canon of Westminster. In January, 1875, he died. A fitting biography was published by the companion of all his thoughts, his widow, in 1879.
57. George Eliot was the name taken by a novelist of rare genius, whose maiden name was Mary Ann Evans. She was born in November, 1819, at Griff, near Nuneaton, in Warwickshire, where her father was land agent and surveyor to several estates. When she was about fifteen her mother died, and she was youngest daughter in the house. She went to a school at Nuneaton, and removed with her father, in 1841, to Foleshill, near Coventry. The elder children then were all married, and at Foleshill she was alone with her father, from whom she took some features for her Caleb Garth, in Middlemarch. The head master of the Coventry Grammar School gave Miss Evans lessons in Greek and Latin. She taught her. self Hebrew ; learnt French, German, and Italian from another master ; and music, in which she took intense delight, from the organist of St. Michael's Church, at Coventry. Her chief friends at Coventry were a gentleman and his wife, of high intellectual and personal character, who both wrote useful books, and in whose house she found the intellectual society she needed. But her friends had put aside the Christianity to which at Nuneaton she had been strongly attached. The society at the house of her friends was intellectual and sceptical. Another friend was
TO A.D. 1880) CHARLES KINGSLEY.
found, whose influence was yet stronger in the same direction. Taking up the unfinished work of a daughter of her new friend's, Mary Ann Evans completed a translation of Strauss's Leben Jesu, which was published in 1846. Such work brought her at times to London, and into the society of thinkers like those whom she had learned to respect at Coventry. In 1849 her father died, and she left Foleshill. Her home then was with her Coventry friends till 1851. She next removed to London, to assist Mr. John Chapman in editing a new series of the Westminster Review. This brought her into relation with George Henry Lewes.
George Henry Lewes, born in 1817, had begun the world as clerk in the house of a Russian merchant. He had an active, eager intellect, with equal appetite for literature and science, but none for the counting-house. He left business, studied in Germany for a year or two, and then began to write, producing many books and contributing to many journals. He wrote A Biographical History of Philosophy, of which there was an enlarged fourth edition in 1871. In 1846 he wrote two novels : Ranthorpe; and Rose, Blanche, and Violet; in 1847 and 1848, a tragedy, The Noble Heart, which was acted at Manchester in 1848; A Life of Robespierre, in 1849. He was enthusiastic for the Positivism of Auguste Comte, and published a book on Comte's Philosophy of the Sciences, in 1853. The philosophy of Comte has also strong supporters in a few able and earnest English thinkers, subject to impulse originally received from some enthusiastic students of Wadham College, Oxford, who have carried out their ideal in after-life. Its aim is generous and just. It is, indeed, little more than the French crystallisation into a single and harmonious theory of the main thought of our time, that only by the fidelity of each one to the highest sense of duty we advance Humanity. To most people this is a part of religion ; to Comte it was the clear and perfect whole, expressed in formulas, and shaped into a science, of which the worst enemy can only say that it is a truth, but not the whole truth ; and a truth that, rightly acted on, can only work for the well-being of the world.
What was fascinating in this doctrine Miss Evans felt. She was obscure, and without sense of responsibility to others, when she joined her life to that of Mr. Lewes by a faithful bond, though there were reasons why it could not have“ the social sanction." It was he who caused her to try her strength in writing tales. In 1856 the first work of George Eliot-Scenes of Clerical Life-was offered to Blackwood's Magazine, and the first of the three stories, Amos Barton, began to appear in 1857. In January, 1859, Adam Bede was published, and “George Eliot” took her place in the front rank of English novelists. The Mill on the Floss followed, in 1860 ; Silas Marner, in 1861 ; Romola, in 1863; Felix Holt, in 1866; The Spanish Gipsy, a poem, in 1868; Middlemarch, in 1872 ; Daniel Deronda, in 1877; and in 1879, Impressions of Theophrastus Such. Mr. Lewes had founded in 1865 the Fortnightly Review—afterwards made monthly, without change of name
e—for the purpose of bringing within one journal both sides of the discussion of all matters that concerned the general well-being. The conception was a noble one. It was followed by the establishment, in 1866, of the Contemporary Review, with like purpose, but with a religious bias, as in the Fortnightly the bias would be Positivist. These were followed yet again by another monthly, in 1877, the Nineteenth Century, which vigorously labours also to bring the best minds, of all forms of thought, into council with the public. In May, 1879, Mr. Lewes died. In May, 1880, “George Eliot" was married to an old and devoted friend, Mr. John Walter Cross. On the 22nd of the following December she died, after a short illness.
“George Eliot's " novels are admirably various in their scenery. They now paint Methodist life in the days of Wesley; now Mediæval Catholicism in the days of Savonarola ; now the whole range of the Jewish nationality. They are alike in their rich play of humour and pathos, in sympathy with the varieties of human character, in the spirit of humanity that is allied with every honest aspiration ; they are alike also in the steadiness with which every one exalts the life that is firmly devoted to the highest aim it knows. Again and again there is the type of the weak pleasure-loving mind, too easily misled, and of the firm spirit, capable of self-denial, true to its own highest sense of right. “George Eliot's" novels will cloud no true faith ; they are the work of a woman of rare genius, whose place is, for all time, among the greatest novelists our country has produced.
58. John Ruskin was born in 1819, only son of a successful wine merchant, who had fine taste in higher things than wine. Beginning his teaching when, as a graduate of Christ Church, Oxford, he published his Modern Painters, in 1843–46, he in all his writings used his genius as faithfully.
TO A.D. 1900)
Starting with the warning to painters that they should show truly the forms of clouds, and trees, and mountain ranges, he enlarged his teaching from the first by application of it to sincerity of life. The second volume of Modern Painters was followed in 1849 by The Seven Lamps of Architecture, and the three volumes of The Stones of Venice were published in 1851-1853. The stress laid by Ruskin in his Modern Painters upon fidelity of expression and purity of colour, of both of which he found illustrations in the painters before Raffaelle, influenced many young artists, who followed the counsel given and formed what was known as the Preraphaelite School, which Ruskin justified and interpreted, in 1851, with a pamphlet on Preraphaelitism. In 1857 John Ruskin published The Political Economy of Art, with a plan for dis: covering and fertilising all seeds of artistic power in the country. The Two Paths, in 1858, contrasted the barren results of an art based on mechanical principles with the fruitfulness of an art based on living observation. Unto this Last, in 1862, enforced need of the development of the individual in the State. In these and other writings the antagonism to sound doctrines of political economy comes of antipathy to every word or deed that seems to treat masses of men as parts of a human machine. The main consideration that must never be left out of sight, can only be true life in each of us. What error there may be in Ruskin's teaching comes of deep perception of the main truth, with a prophet-like insistance upon that alone as the one truth to be enforced directly upon men. In 1865 appeared Ethics of the Dust, ten lectures on the Elements of Civil. isation; in the same year Sesame and Lilies, two lectures on the Reading of Books. In 1866 followed The Crown of Wild Olives, three lectures on Work, Traffic, and War. In 1867 John Ruskin obtained the honorary degree of LL.D. from the University of Cambridge, and he was elected at Oxford Slade Professor of Fine Art. The Queen of the Air, in 1869, was a Study of the Greek Myths of Cloud and Storm. On the Ist of January, 1871, he dated the first of a series of occasional letters entitled Fors Clavigera, of which the last was dated Christmas, 1884. Through this series there has been a continuous setting forth in his own way of his own ideas as a Reformer A sketch of his own life, published in short sections, and called Præterita, followed in 1885-86. He lingered in his home among the Lakes until the last year of the century.
There was a like sense of life in Mrs. Browning's Cry of the Children. The first book of poems to which that true poetess set her name, The Seraphim, represented voices of the angels as they looked at Him who yet hung dying on the cross at Calvary. Out of the depths of Christianity came her plea for the higher life of man. Her call for union of the thinker with the worker, the idealist with the man eager to provide for each day's bitter need, gave to her poem of Aurora Leigh, published in 1857, a tone blending with the thoughtful music of her husband. Robert Browning, in his Paracelsus, showed the failure of one who desired at a bound to reach the far ideal ; in Sordello showed the poet before Dante, seeking his true place in life, and finding it only when he became leader of men in the real battle of life, and poet all the more. If there be no full civilisation to be won on earth by those who shall come after us in distant years, yet we must labour on, not dreaming, but doing. And to the poet we must go for utterances of the soul of action ; for no true poet is “an idle singer," and no day“ an empty day." Yet let us not wrest unduly from their sense these words from the prelude to The Earthly Paradise of William Morris, who was three years old at the beginning of the reign.
have their own great charm, though not the greatest. Born in 1834, the son of a rich merchant, after education at Marlborough and at Exeter College he studied painting, turned to poetry, and published in 1858 some short Arthurian pieces, The Defence of Guenevere, with “King Arthur's Tomb,” “Sir Galahad,” “The Chapel in Lyonesse,” and other poems. In 1863 he applied his genius as an artist to the founding of an establishment for the supply of refined household decorations. In 1867, he published, a long poem on The Life and Death of Jason; and from 1868 to 1870 the series of tales in verse, drawn chiefly from the old legends of Greece and Scandinavia, entitled The Earthly Paradise. This book, in four volumes, the delight of painters, established William Morris's high reputation as a poet. It passed through five editions before the end of the year in which its last volume appeared. Love is Enough; or, the Freeing of Pharamond, followed in 1873; then in 1876 The Æneid of Virgil in English Verse. William Morris then drew freely from the stores of the old Scandinavian literature, which is second only to the ancient Greek in freshe ness and vigour of life. He joined Mr. Eirikr Magnusson in giving English form to the tales of Grettir the Strong, 1869 ;