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The same remark is true of Milton's longest epic. To say that Shakespeare is so correct a verbal artist that no change of line or word, in play or sonnet, can be safely made, is not only in violation of the doctrine of human fallibility, but counter to the facts of verbal criticism and the radical law of change in language. To place such a poet as Thomas Gray as high as some recent writers have placed him, obliges us indeed to examine carefully the grounds of our dissent, but by no means is it necessary to withdraw our dissent. To endorse, in any valid sense, much of the tenor of modern opinion as to the poetic merit of the school of Whitman, is altogether impossible, though the oracle at Delphi order it. To tell us that the dramatic poetry of Robert Browning is, as a whole, intelligible to any reader of average ability, does not compel us either to avow that it is thus intelligible to us, or to take our place, thereby, below the level of the average mind. Our own literary progress and that of literature itself, is dependent on our having literary opinions of our own, based on sufficient reasons ready at demand and, as such, tenaciously held, until by, a similar exercise of freedom of thought, we see the way clear to a change of view.

Tradition, the history of opinion, and other elements, perchance, are partial factors in reaching safe results in criticism, but the most essential of all is personal reflection and study. With the life and times of authors before us, and their published works actually in hand, there is no good reason why every student of fair ability should not examine and decide for himself. In no republic is freedom of thought so essential as in that of letters. In no one is there greater need of a declaration of independence against all intellectual tyranny. That intellectual development of Europe of which Dr. Draper has so brilliantly written, is mainly the result of the emancipation of modern thought, and that Literary Development of England and America, now in process, and yet to assume more imposing forms, is to be the normal outgrowth of that personality of opinion which always keeps in view the clearly marked course of historic criticism, and also remembers that there are times when it must courteously and courageously depart therefrom. The spirit of mental and literary servility is by no means dead, and, in this unthinking age, often threatens to crush out all that is noblest and best. Under safe limitations, logical and ethical, the right and duty of private judgment in style and literature are to be as fully emphasized as Milton emphasized them within the sphere of English Politics.




Beaconsfield, Lord, 31, 188.
Abbey, Westminster, 61. Beauty and Sublimity, 158.
Addison, Joseph, 112.

Biography, English, 59.
Æsthetics and Ethics, 135.

Blackstone, 31.
Agassiz, Louis, J. R., 36 Bossuet, 220.
Ages, Golden, 46.

Brontë, Charlotte, 75.
Alliteration, 163.

Brook Farm, 252,
Arabian Letters, 10.

Browning, Elizabeth B., 54,
Arnold, Matthew, English

Style of, 217.

Browning, Robert, 295.
Classical, 218.

Bryce, James, 208.
Critical and Controversial, Buckle, 140, 289.

Buffon, 26.
Suggestive, 229.

Burke, Edmund, 35.
Serious, 236.

Defects and Faults, 221, 224, Caedmon, 168.

227, 233, 238.
Special Service as a Writer, Cervantes, 59, 202, 208.

Celts, Style of the, 81.

Characters, Shakespearean,75.
Examples, 244.
Arnold, Thomas, 219, 230.

Chaucer, 59, 210.
Authors, South European and Clearness, in Style, 220.

Choate, Rufus, 38.
British, 80.
Authors, of Prose and Verse, Concord School, 273.

Clubs, Literary, 62.

Cousin, Monsieur, 79.

Craik, Professor, 10.
Bacon, Lord, 8, 9, 12, 17. Criticism and Style, 117.
Bancroft, George, 32.

Origin of English Literary
Bascom, Professor, 28.

Criticism, 118.

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