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reader than illumine the subject in hand. Possibly any of them may be superseded more easily than de Tocqueville, whose studies on Democracy are, however, examples of political philosophy rather than of history.

But such generalities upon foreign historians are empty without some fuller justification for the writer's impressions. Let us return to the English writers who have made the present century, and even the present generation, famous for its historical studies. There are two Americans who stand among our foremost-Motley, the historian of the great period of Dutch history, and Parkman, upon a smaller canvas, but with no inferior hand, portraying the long struggle of France and England for the possession of North America. In our own country two eminent men, who afford such marked contrasts as to invite comparison, have but lately passed from among us-Freeman and Froude. The latter was a great writer, and had moreover a brilliant imagination-that faculty which may mar a historian, though it is absolutely indispensable for his greatness. But though he has been convicted of many inaccuracies, his grasp and insight are so often true that I cannot but regard him as a far greater historian than his adversary and critic Freeman, who had greater talents for research, far greater accuracy in details, but a certain boorishness which will turn men away from him. He constantly displays his learning not only with pedantic pride, but asserts or implies the inferiority of other workers in the same field with insolence. He turns aside in his History of Greek Federations to write notes on Napoleon III., which might have been written by V. Hugo. In spite, therefore, of his rugged learning, his large grasp of the whole world's history, his careful research, he will be forgotten when the brilliant and graceful Froude is still read, and still speaking to thousands where Freeman speaks to scores, just as the masters of the English people in history are Shakespeare and Walter Scott, rather than Bishop Stubbs or Sir John Seeley. For this is the extremest form of the contrast between the picturesque writer and the laborious investigator. It is, I know, the rule among the students of the Research School to deny all merit or value as

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historians to imaginative writers. Nevertheless, I will maintain that ten thousand average people have got a general idea, and a true idea, of Louis XI. from Quentin Durward, or from Nôtre Dame de Paris, for one who gets it by grubbing up the contemporary chronicles. It may be added that to interest the general public in historical reading is no small duty, and no small gain in our most modern civilisation.

Intermediate in position between Froude and Freeman, I put my two personal friends, Green and Lecky, who are probably the most popular writers of history that England has seen since the days of Gibbon. Green was carried off by disease, long before his work, under normal circumstances, would have ceased. Mr. Lecky is still a prominent figure in England, but rather as a politician than a historian, seeing that he exchanged the study for the Senate, and contemplative for practical life. He is not therefore likely to give us another book on history. His eight volumes on England in the Eighteenth Century would, however, in themselves be an ample record of his genius, even had they not been preceded by those remarkable volumes on the History of European Culture, which first made his name a household word throughout the Empire. is indeed doubtful whether his graceful and finished style equals that of Froude, or whether his research that of Freeman; but he combines qualities which they did not, and therefore may be classed above them by any independent critic. Perhaps it is impossible for any man to write as brilliantly as Froude, if he writes with judicial calmness, if he makes allowance for his opponents, and strives to be impartial in the midst of political controversies. Mr. Lecky's narrative is not like the rushing Aufidus, which carries away men and cattle with its sudden floods, but the peaceful Liris, wearing the banks with its quiet stream.


But though Mr. Lecky knows well the necessity of eloquence to make a history, he knows equally well how to subordinate it to his purpose. In his closing two volumes, which narrate the Irish Rebellion of 1798, his feeling that no one else was likely to go through the evidence again, made him abandon the beauty of his work, for the purpose of giving us a digest of all the most trust

worthy contemporary evidence in the very words of his authorities. Thus these inestimable volumes give us little more than a catalogue of extracts, gathered and set forth with modest, and therefore more admirable, skill and care. And therefore they may fairly be judged as specimens of his research, not of his style, unless it be to show that he is no slave to style, and can lay it aside for higher purposes. Yet had his whole book been of the same quality, it would have been read by students only and not by men and women of the world.

John Richard Green was a brilliant man of another type, and his single volume on the growth and education of the English people, the Volksgeist of England, at once attained, and has maintained exceptional popularity. But as this book is not upon the large scale of Lecky's Eighteenth Century, so it shows traces of less careful research. His accounts, for example, of military operations are manifestly perfunctory, and convey no real comprehension to the reader. He could never have described a battle as Sir G. Trevelyan (who might have stood among our foremost historians, but for the distractions of party politics) has recently described the battle of Bunker's Hill. On the other hand, his accounts of popular movements, for example the revulsion of the people from the Protectorate to the old Royalty, are as brilliant as anything we have in English historical literature.

There is no place in this essay given to political philosophy-to the history of ideas apart from their historical setting, such as the works of Mr. Lecky above mentioned. But I will not lay down my pen without saying that in one of them-Buckle's huge fragment of a huge conception on the civilisation of Europe-I found more stimulus, more suggestion, more incitement to think and to study than in any other book of its day; nor do I know any work which can perfectly replace it in the spiritual education of a historian. This is but a personal confession; other men may have been incited by other causes, to whom Buckle might not have been palatable. Green was turned to think of history, by the accident that when a boy he was shaken by the hand, in obtaining a prize, by an old President of Magdalen, who said to him: "Remember

that the hand you now shake, was shaken by the great Doctor Johnson." And other men have been determined by other accidents, apparently trivial, which awoke in them a dormant faculty. If I may mention mine own case, it was the freedom from all school work, a want of sufficient occupation, and the chance of stumbling upon Grote's Greece, which set me, at the age of fourteen, to the study of classical history, and yet Grote possessed neither the imagination nor the eloquence which would impress a childish reader. Both these qualities are there, but in their transformed condition of clearness in complicated descriptions, impressiveness in giving political lessons, and a certain general dignity which no small man can ever attain. Other men have other tastes and other favourites; but history affords types and varieties to please every kind of higher intelligence, for is it not, as Cicero eloquently describes it: testis temporum, lux veritatis, vita memoriae, magistra vitae, nuntia vetustatis?

16 Mahaffy



[JOHN KEATS: An English poet, sometimes called "The Poets' Poet"; born at Moorsfield, London, October 31, 1795; died at Rome, Italy, February 23, 1821. His first poem, 66 'Endymion," was issued when he was twenty-three. It has beautiful passages, but the story is very difficult to follow, and is mainly a vehicle for luscious verbal music. Its promise was more than fulfilled in his second volume, published in 1820, and containing many noble sonnets, the immortal "Ode on a Grecian Urn," "The Eve of St. Agnes," etc. His highest flight was reached in the sublime "Hyperion," but he had no constructive imagination and let it drop after the first canto. He had enormous effect on the coming poets of his time, and Tennyson was his thoroughgoing disciple. The "Love Letters to Fanny Brawne" appeared in 1878; his "Letters to his Family and Friends" in 1891.]


DEEP in the shady sadness of a vale

Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn,

Far from the fiery noon, and eve's one star,
Sat gray-haired Saturn, quiet as a stone,
Still as the silence round about his lair;

Forest on forest hung about his head

Like cloud on cloud. No stir of air was there,
Not so much life as on a summer's day

Robs not one light seed from the feathered grass,
But where the dead leaf fell, there did it rest.
A stream went voiceless by, still deadened more
By reason of his fallen divinity

Spreading a shade: the Naiad 'mid her reeds
Pressed her cold finger closer to her lips.

Along the margin sand large footmarks went,
No further than to where his feet had strayed,


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