Gladstone as man of letters.
Sir Adolphus Ward, the historian, wrote of Gladstone's scholarship and of his love of classical and Italian literature, "But," continues he, "he could not be called ... a man of letters." (1) I am encouraged to demur because James Bryce himself was "forcibly struck" by "the source of strength as well as enjoyment" which Gladstone "found in cherishing the love of letters ... among the occupations of practical life." (2) I am emboldened in my demurrer because the published Diaries and unpublished letters and papers, none of them accessible to Ward, have told us now what books he read--the number is beyond that of reading men, let alone of men with full public lives--how thoroughly he read and remembered them, and how and why he wrote his many review articles and established himself as an authority on Homer; have brought us, in short, closer than Ward was, to the imagination, to the musical ear and to the intellect of a good and constant writer in the quarterlies and monthlies, of a man with a universal curiosity and a life-long book-lover.
Certainly the beginning of review-writing was not typical of the romantic novelist's idea of a man of letters; for the spur was neither money nor fame. The beginning was in 1842. By then he has already published two books; (3) he has married and his two eldest children have been born; he will soon have been ten years a Tory M.P.; he has a reputation for intellect and oratory. He is a junior minister and because of his indispensability with the customs tariff changes in the previous spring, Sir Robert Peel is about to appoint him to the cabinet. The year is drawing to its close and parliament is in recess. Although he is putting in some six hours a day at the Board of Trade, he has time free. The urge to systematise and record takes possession of him and he resolves "to try my hand at an article about tariff." (4) He is in touch with Hatchard, bookseller and publisher, and with John Murray, his own publisher. There is ground to surmise that one or the other gave him the name of the Rev. Dr. James Worthington who, with Murray's advice, was collecting material to start a new review, to be called the Foreign and Colonial Quarterly Review. Gladstone wrote to Worthington on 6 December, received prospectuses of the new review by return and sent him the article on the 8th. (5) It duly appeared in the first number in January 1843. The article reviewed a number of parliamentary papers and the official publication of the Prussian (Zollverein) tariff.
Worthington, eager to promote his review, offered "to assist the Government," obtained an interview with Gladstone and gained a promise of more articles. Gladstone's original article had been anonymous, but the newspapers (6) soon gossiped of his writing for the new review--he was already news--and he had laid himself open to editorial importunity when he sent nothing more. (7) Worthington was pacified with--Gladstone's second--"The Present Aspect of the Church" for October 1843 and--his third article--"The Theses of Erastus" for October 18447 Both articles reviewed publications of Gladstone's choice. The third article was the end of the connection and in 1846 the review ceased publication. Of payment there is never any mention. Worthington's effusive thanks "for noble support" and his pointed remarks on the proprietors' expectation of heavy losses during the first two years suggest no payment or very little. Gladstone's circumstances enabled him to dispense with it. He had just agreed with his wife to live on the income of their inherited wealth, to pass the inheritance on to their children and "to give what we earn or save." (9)
Meanwhile, and for quite different reasons, Gladstone was supporting another new quarterly review. William Palmer of Worcester College, Oxford and B. W. Savile of Emmanuel College, Cambridge had joined together to try to change the partisan character of the Tractarian British Critic. By the summer of 1843 Manning and Hope, both still Anglican, were concerned about it. The editor was known to be "romanising" and had indeed "gone over" by September. The October number was the last of the British Critic. (10) Rivington, its publisher was approached by two sets of men to negotiate a replacement, one led by Palmer and Savile. The other was led by Gladstone and Manning. Their aim was a review which, while maintaining Church principles, should show no Tractarian bias and provoke no one. The difficulty of succeeding in that object in 1844 will be appreciated. In the end the conciliatory mind and the self-sacrifice of William Palmer prevailed. The English Review lasted, under his unpaid editorship, from 1844 to 1853. Gladstone wrote for it two short, anonymous articles. For the first number he sent "a paltry criticism" as he called it, but it was far from that, of Lord John Russell's translation of the Paolo and Francesca story in Dante's Inferno "to show," as he said, "goodwill." For the second number he sent a review of Ellen Middleton, a Tractarian novel, by Lady Georgiana Fullerton, of which the central idea was the need to confess one's misdeeds. (11) From the beginning Gladstone thought the new review reminded him of "petrifaction." It was never better than "feeble and dull" as such a neutral product might well appear in 1844. (12) Gladstone must find another outlet for his articles.
Except, then, in so far as a literary instinct may have been present in his support of new periodicals, Gladstone's motive for this group of five articles was not literary: the character of the five articles, in part, was literary. The three contributions to the Foreign and Colonial were rooted rather in public controversy than in his private, bookish life. Yet they were literary in their systematising, generalising, even moralising, character. The two contributions to the English Review, in motive partly literary, were wholly literary in character. The first with its comparisons with translations of the same episode by Cary, Dayman and Byron, could not have been written except by a man of letters. The second was certainly the work of a literary critic. This beginning of Gladstone's literary reviewing was confirmed when he made contact with John Lockhart and the Quarterly to which he began to send articles at the end of 1844.
One notices, however, that as he began, so he continued. The literary articles were always to be interspersed between articles which belonged only partly to his private, bookish life. To read in chronological order all the articles Gladstone wrote, is to survey the speculative controversies of the century. He took part in all of them: in the thirties and forties, in the argument about the Church establishment; in the fifties and later, in the argument over the relationship between the Hebraic tradition and the Old Testament on one side and the Homeric and ancient Greek tradition on the other, all writers, including Gladstone, calling in the new archaeological evidence to support their views; in the sixties in the argument provoked by those three strange works, D.F. Strauss, Das Leben Jesu (1837), Ernst Renan, Vie de Jesus (1863) and John Seeley, Ecce Homo (1865). (13) All these Gladstone read--the foreigners in the original language--and he reviewed Ecce Homo in a reconciling sense. (14) In the sixties and onwards all the dogmas of the Church were attacked under the watchword "free enquiry" and Gladstone entered the lists against the rationalists. In 1885 he contributed "Dawn of Creation" and "Proem to Genesis" to the arguments about the origin of life and revealed religion. (15) For good measure he took part in the sabbatarian controversy, arguing with characteristic exactitude in choice of word for a day not of rest, but of renewal. (16) Though in the learning they displayed and in their quotations, allusions and comparisons, they suggest the bookish man, these articles are in their essence what any public man who was also a Churchman might have thought it incumbent on himself to write. They are only the context in which Gladstone, man of letters, wrote.
If I may continue to digress a little longer: Gladstone's manner of working meant that the stream of writing would narrow to a trickle and even run underground in some years when he was in office. His habit was to keep a group--sometimes as many as five--of books in reading at the same time, turning to another when he tired of one. Then suddenly he would become engrossed and excited by one of them, would read it on consecutive days, always omitting Sunday which had its own kind of reading, until he finished it, and then, perhaps after a short interval, write upon what he had read. He wrote to disburden an excited mind--or imagination. After some days with short spells of writing came the crisis, when he worked on--the Diary replaces "wrote on" by "worked on" for the task of abridging, checking references and revising--when he worked on his essay from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. or "all my working day" or "from early morning to late afternoon." A twelve-hour, or more, working day in his office, in parliament, in the cabinet, did not accommodate such spells of literary labour and it had to be abandoned or nearly so.
To return to my theme: the five articles which made the beginning led on to the connection with John Lockhart and the Quarterly. On 15 September 1844, Gladstone began to read W.G. Ward's Ideal of a Christian Church. The Diary records the day on which each of the stages I have described then followed. It tells us the day he decided to write to calm his excitement and relates that throughout the second week of November he worked on cutting down and polishing an article. (17) Through John Murray, he tested the ground first and then on November 20th sent the article to Lockhart for the Quarterly. This essay was not like his contributions to the Foreign and Colonial, rooted in his public life; for it was less theological and speculative than critical in a literary sense. Lockhart, who had already put the Quarterly in an aloof position towards the Tractarians, would not have accepted it had it not been a review of the manner rather than the matter of the book. As it was he made trouble enough when the article was set up in print. He had accepted it warmly as "an intellectual luxury," but insisted on much alteration when it was in print. (18) Certainly the article had polemical and ecclesiastical importance, however much Lockhart had diminished it, when it was published in January 1845. But it also confirmed Gladstone in his career as literary critic, after his first appearance in that part in the English Review.
The impulse to write continued to come from the excitement of mind or imagination. One cannot otherwise account for the predominance of reviews of Memoirs, Lives and Letters, in his writing. This continued from 1845 to his last article, "Recollections of Arthur Hallam" of 1898, (19) published a few months before he died. But I do not refer to reviews of memoirs of friends, such as that of Dollinger, the German theologian, nor to reviews which gave him scope for political apology, such as those of the successive volumes of Theodore Martin's Life of the Prince Consort, written during the period of comparative leisure after the fall of his first ministry, nor to that of Fraser Rae's Sheridan, "patriot, orator, statesman," which allowed him to express political reflection in 1896 towards the end of his life. (20) (I need not say that Gladstone read all political memoirs as they came out and some collections of speeches, back to Bolingbroke, Horace Walpole, Chatham, Burke and Pitt and among contemporaries, Greville's Memoirs the last part of which he reviewed in the first number of the English Historical Review in 1886.) I refer not to these but to reviews which were fully rooted in his private, bookish life. I mean those of J.H. Thom's edition of the Autobiography and Correspondence of Joseph Blanco White, of Charlotte Yonge's Life of Bishop Patteson, and of W.J. Fitzgerald's Correspondence of Daniel O'Connell, the Liberator. (21) These are very odd choices of subject matter. They are inexplicable unless by the explanation that Gladstone's imagination was excited by vivid, commanding personalities whose lives were lived at the limits of human strain. Sometimes it was a strain of introspection that excited him, as in the case of Blanco White, sometimes the strain of practical endeavour in an alien society, as in that of Bishop Patteson, or a hostile society, as with O'Connell. One remembers that Gladstone's own life was lived under the dual strain of self-examination, self-questioning of a kind peculiar to himself as the Diaries record, and of endeavour quite exceptional, even by Victorian standards of self-exertion--a seventeen-hour working day occurred more than once.
Lockhart accepted the essay on Blanco White for the June 1845 number of the Quarterly "as the best article that could have been done on that painful subject" and sent Gladstone 46 [pounds sterling], his maximum payment for a long article. (22) Blanco White's "spirit," wrote Gladstone, "was a battlefield, upon which with fluctuating fortune and a singular intensity, the powers of belief and skepticism waged, from first to last, their unceasing war." He recounts the varying religious fancies of this Spaniard of Irish extraction, from his Roman Catholicism in Seville to Unitarianism in Liverpool in a manner that is far from lifeless, though he thought it was, (23) with respect for Blanco White's honesty, but full recognition of his instability. In 1889 Gladstone reviewed an autobiography of another "harrowed soul," an extraordinary piece of introspection by a dying woman painter, Journal de Marie Bashkirtseff (Paris, 1888). (24) The repetition of the choice in an exaggerated form seems to vindicate one in explaining the Blanco White review by the power of this sort of strain to hold Gladstone's imagination.
Gladstone's review of Charlotte Yonge's, "long" but not "bulky" Life of Bishop Patteson appeared in the Quarterly for October 1874. Lockhart had died and (after two other successors) W. Smith had succeeded to the editorship and Gladstone had been Liberal prime minister, but his private literary life was so far separate, that he would not abruptly break with the Tory Quarterly. He had found it unreceptive to his Italian political enthusiasm in 1851 and had sent his articles on that subject elsewhere (25) and he begins in 1874 to send his articles on Homer to the Liberal monthly Contemporary, but there was no dramatic break and the Patteson article went to the Quarterly. In the Patteson review Gladstone is clearly excited by the drama of the Bishop's life. He makes the most of the contrast between the happiness of childhood and youth and the hardship of the later life of this missionary in the South Sea Islands. He dwells upon Patteson's reading and practical contriving as farmer, builder, doctor as well as teacher and pastor and leads us to the catastrophe. The Bishop was tragically killed by the gentle people whom he had served and taught. Gladstone relies all the time upon quoting the letters which Charlotte Yonge prints. Patteson was one of the tribe of Coleridges and wrote vivid letters home from Eton, Oxford and, of course, the Islands. It is these last, one suspects, which so fired Gladstone's imagination.
The article on Daniel O'Connell was accepted by James Knowles for the Liberal monthly Nineteenth Century for the number of January 1889. Knowles had been on the staff of the Contemporary and when he left it to found his own review Gladstone, supporting yet another new review, went with him, and remained loyal to him for the rest of his life. The article was a eulogy to purge old prejudices--understandable during the Home Rule campaign. But it was also a piece of literature and a human document; for it revived from memory the man with whom a young Gladstone had ridden out into the Essex countryside one summer morning more than half a century before. They were in search of a witness too old and ill to appear in person before the parliamentary committee of enquiry on which he and O'Connell sat. The vividness with which O'Connell is made to live on the page suggests again a personal, imaginative impulse to write.
But there was a skill at work in these reviews of Lives and Letters, beyond the imagination which inspired them. Gladstone possessed to an extraordinary degree the ability--and the urge--to generalise at large from minute particulars. Inspired by a prosaic fact or two he would flow off into a whole philosophy. It was an ability which sometimes made him laughable, when small talk was required, and it had a disastrous effect upon his relations with the Queen, whom it embarrassed. It gives character and interest to all his reviews. It throve on biographical details. This was perhaps why he used the Prince Consort's death to give a biographical cast to the generalisations he wished to make in addressing the Mechanics' Institutes in 1862 or why he inserts his generalisations, about beauty in objects of daily use, into an account of the life of Josiah Wedgewood in opening the Wedgewood Museum in 1863. (26) It enables him to moralise about the unhappy Blanco White without exaggeration and without self-righteousness. It enables him to tell us at the beginning of the Patteson review, and to catch our interest in so doing, why all biographies of religious celebrities are flat and unreal; and to end it with general propositions about heroes, martyrs and saints. It enables him to discuss what he calls "the statesmanship" of O'Connell without drifting of f into politics and losing sight of the human being he has so vividly brought back to life.
Gladstone's review of G.O. Trevelyan's Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay in the Quarterly for July 1876 (27) carries one a stage further in this attempt to interpret Gladstone, the man of letters. For it was a consideration not only of Macaulay's life, but of his works. As a piece of literary and historical criticism it has considerable value. It also illustrates well the interplay in Gladstone between the excited imagination which stirred him to write and the systematising, generalising, moralising intellect which controlled and gave its character to what he wrote. He had first been struck by Macaulay's essay on Milton of 1825. And he had read Macaulay's History as he read Carlyle's books from On Heroes, Hero-Worship to Frederick the Great, when they first appeared, (28) though he did not rely on these for his own historical knowledge. Sir Walter Scott, he wrote, was "a yet greater, and much greater, man" than either Carlyle or Macaulay. Of Macaulay, he continued, "the higher energies of his life were as completely summed up in the present, as those of Walter Scott were projected upon the past ... [Macaulay] judges the men and institutions and events of other times by the instruments and measures of the present." (29) Scott revived the past with as little regard to the present as any man can have, who wishes still to remain intelligible. This comparison with Scott suggests that Gladstone was not judging Macaulay adversely merely in the light of his own, different assessment of the past. He certainly did not think of the past as progress towards a glorious culmination in the 1870s. Indeed, he was singularly divided about his own day. In the education and standard of living of the poorer classes there had been spectacular improvement; in scientific discovery there had been many marvels; in the chances of all men to share in political life there had been progress. But in the bowing of the mind to material wealth, in the extravagant waste of taxpayers' money on large armaments and inefficient administration, and in the widespread questioning of religious belief, there had been great decline. Gladstone had one thing only in common with Macaulay. He, like Macaulay, after a glance at Magna Carta, saw the true beginning of English history in the Tudor period. Then, for Gladstone, but not for Macaulay, there were three peaks of greatness: during the reign of the "sagacious" Elizabeth, during the reign of Charles I, patron of literature and the arts, and during the reign of Charles II, with its re-affirmation of Anglicanism and the glory of the Caroline divines. For Gladstone the Glorious Revolution was but the vindication of liberties inherited and already possessed. He is clearly not much enamoured of the "great dualism" which he believed entered our history with the Reformation: the dualism wherein stability faced change, authority faced freedom, Tory faced Whig. (30)
It is indicative of the good reviewer that Gladstone was, that he said nothing of this in his discussion of Macaulay as an historian. He might have said it all. Gladstone judged Macaulay adversely only in so far as he was ill-balanced. He merely suggests Macaulay had a parti pris, not that he was wrong, except in one thing. Macaulay's strictures on the Restoration clergy he answers sentence by sentence from an array of first-hand authorities. (31) His value as a reviewer was that he showed readers of Macaulay how to discriminate between the acceptable and the possibly prejudiced. He showed them, too, how to discriminate among Macaulay's literary merits. He put his works "among the prodigies of literature." He could not find praise too high for the liveliness and artistry of his narrative. But he deprecated his deficiency of reflection. Macaulay's mind, he wrote, "like a dredging-net at the bottom of the sea, took up all that it encountered, both bad and good, nor ever seemed to feel the burden." Gladstone, the generaliser, the systematiser, the drawer of fine distinctions, controls the whole essay and marks it with characteristic apothegms, as for example "truth depends above all on proportion and relation." (32)
To read Gladstone's writing on poetry, especially Italian poetry, is to become aware most sharply of the difference between the excited, imaginative impulse to write and the systematising, generalising, prosaic intellect which controls what Gladstone wrote. It is as if there were, indeed, two Mr. Gladstones. My "indeed" refers to the two desks in the bookroom at Hawarden. The one Mr. Gladstone was imaginative, passionate, impulsive. "He is a man of versatile mind and great impulsiveness," wrote Mrs. Tennyson. The other Mr. Gladstone was balanced, methodical and controlled with an iron self-control. The one yields to the enchantment of the poetry. The Diary records his excitement: "Read Tennyson, Tennyson, Tennyson." (33) The other systematises, generalises, judges, lowers the temperature of the review--spoiling it sometimes. The one might have written novels like his rival Disraeli. The other ensured that he did not do so. Speaking as the common reader, I judge the rhythm of his own verse to be better than its poetry. He is best in his verse translations--I am thinking of his translation of Grossi's Nelda--where his imagination penetrates and reflects the poetry of the author and does not need to make poetry itself. (34) I think the more sympathetic Mr. Gladstone chanced to receive the specimens of his verse, neatly copied out in purple ink, which a young undergraduate of Magdalen sent him--his name was Oscar Wilde--for he replied seriously and kept them.
To return to my theme: "There is but one qualification I have for writing about Italian literature and language---an intense love of it." (35) One guesses that it was Gladstone's musical ear that found it so agreeable; for he did not love it until he heard it. He also wrote that scarce a word can be found in the Italian language which is not musical. (36) He learned it rapidly during an extended tour of Italy, made in 1831 on first going down from Oxford. After his return he kept up the colloquial language with a gossipy book and, more seriously, plunged into Ariosto, Tasso and Dante. He acquainted himself with Italian history from Sismondi and was next steeped in Risorgimento literature: Silvio Pellico, Ugo Foscolo, Alfieri, D'Azeglio, above all, Manzoni. Macchiavelli he could not get on with, though he understood him better at a second attempt and with the Discorsi instead of the Prince. (37) But it was Dante on whom his imagination fed. He was to call him in the critique of Lord John Russell's translation, "the great Christian philosopher ... who was like the ancient Egyptians of whom it was said they wrought upon the scale of giants with the nicety of jewellers." (38) He read First the Inferno and after a year's interval, while he was in Peel's administration of 1835, the Purgatorio, and after another two months, the Paradiso. He read steadily at the rate of two cantos a day and later returned to it all "with the greatest anticipations of delight." (39)
It is a pity that his one piece of writing on Dante was a half serious jeu d'esprit towards the end of his life. (40) It is a wonderfully clever argument to prove that Dante visited Oxford. Part at least of its cleverness lay in leaving anything like a shred of evidence to the end when it appeared to clinch a series of tendentious deductions from poetry. As it is, Dante is much present in his reviews by allusion and quotation.
Then, one day, in Italy, in 1849 Gladstone discovered Giacomo Leopardi. Everything about the poet touched his imagination from the very first reading of his name. This was in the brief, vivid account of the young poet's last days in the early summer of 1837, read in Vicenzo Gioberti's Il Gesuita moderno in May 1848. (41) In July a year later, Gladstone in Rome bought the four-volume edition of the Opere and began to read the canti. (42) He was bewitched. But he set the music aside to probe further into the life. One notices again how Gladstone was stirred by a life under great strain. The relationship between son and father moved him, himself all too familiar with the experience of an exacting and dominating father. He wrote to Leopardi senior, read his account of the supposed house of the Virgin Mary at Loreto, and wrote to Panizzi, Principal Librarian of the British Museum and a friend, for further information. (43)
Gladstone already deep in Homeric studies was interested in the poet's philological learning and critical powers and skill as translator of Homer. He was sympathetic, too, to the tension in Leopardi between a rationalist belief in material progress and a deep feeling about the unhappiness of men. (44) He believed he had found in G. Casati's Il poema tartaro the source of Leopardi's satirical poem. (45) But, set it aside as he would, it was the music of his lyrical verse, "forcible, noble, graceful" which sounded so pleasant in his ear; the matter of it "wonderfully imaginative" and the puzzle of it: so much nobility and beauty and so little sensitivity to the religious experience.
An earlier reviewer of the Opere in Fraser's Magazine had made no impression. Gladstone wrote such a review in the number of the Quarterly for March 1850 that Leopardi found a permanent place in England. One passage may help to explain why Gladstone succeeded. "In the Dorian metre of the terza rima the image of Dante comes before us; in his blank verse we think of Milton; in his lighter letters, and in the extreme elegance of touch with which he describes mental gloom and oppression, we are reminded of the grace of Cowper." English scholars of the seventeenth and eighteenth century and Shelley and Coleridge take their places in further comparisons. The earlier reviewer had enlarged to his English readers only upon Leopardi's alien quality. (46)
Tennyson was the poet of Gladstone's middle life as Leopardi was of his youth. Tennyson and Gladstone were coevals and were both friends of Arthur Hallam, Gladstone at Eton and Tennyson at Trinity College, Cambridge. Hallam wrote or talked of the one to the other and after Hallam's death, Tennyson called on Gladstone in London. In June 1855 they had a long talk in Oxford, where Tennyson had come to receive his doctorate. (47) They met a dinner at "The Club," that venerable survival from Dr. Johnson' s day to which Tennyson was elected in 1865, Gladstone being already a member. (48) In 1871 Gladstone made his first visit to Farringford. In 1876 Tennyson stayed at Hawarden. In the 1880s there were several meetings and in 1883 they were for two weeks together on a sea voyage. Hallam Tennyson records their conversation on the poets Homer, Dante, Chaucer and Shakespeare. (49)
The essay on Tennyson to which the excitement of August 1859, already referred to, led, appeared in the Quarterly for October 1859. (50) Hallam Tennyson in the Memoir of his father treats it as three reviews and records his father's high opinion of each of two and the "noble" recantation over Maud. (51) Gladstone's main concern was with the four Idylls of the King just published which "had laid hold" of him "with a power" he had not felt, even "suffered" for many years. (52) But he recalls Tennyson's Poems Chiefly Lyrical of 1830, Poems of December 1832, draws attention to "Oenone" and "Ulysses" published in 1842. He then passes to The Princess of 1847 and In Memoriam of 1850. In all this he reflects his excitement straightforwardly; for by quoting, he lets Tennyson speak for himself. When he turns to Maud the other Mr. Gladstone holds the pen, and lowers the poem to the prosaic level of political economy. He thought its beginning was written in praise of war--it was published in the second year of the Crimean War-and war he argues with force and in detail, far from being a cure for materialism, the "mammon Worship" of the age, stimulated production, economic growth and the desire for wealth. This Mr. Gladstone fortunately withdraws. Mr. Gladstone of the fiery imagination writes on the Idylls. Guinevere has especially moved him: "No one can read the poem without feeling when it ends ... that void in heart and mind for the want of the continuance, of which we are conscious when some noble strain of music ceases." He learnt it by heart. (53)
As literary criticism, the essay was not without value. He places Tennyson as he had placed Leopardi. "The music and the just and pure modulation of his verse carry us back not only to the fine ear of Shelley, but to Milton and to Shakespeare." He notices that Tennyson's "extraordinary felicity and force in the use of metaphor and simile" had "grown with his years, alike in abundance, truth and grace." One's assessment of Gladstone's literary scholarship depends upon one's view of Gladstone the system-builder, the generaliser. He has read Malory--in Southey's edition of 1817--and is well aware that Malory expresses ideas older than the reign of Edward IV in language also older than those times. But then Gladstone the systematiser writes: "Lofty example in comprehensive form is, without doubt, one of the great standing needs of our race." This the ancient world found in the heroes of Homer. "At length, after many generations, and great revolutions of mind and of events, another age arrived, like, if not equal in creative power, to that of Homer." The Christian era had begun and it, too, had its need of models. Two great epic cycles sprang into begin: that of Arthur in England, of Charlemagne on the continent. Lancelot in the one: Orlando or Roland in the other; Guinevere in one: Angelica in the other. (54) Not perhaps Arthurian scholarship as today understood! Yet the instinct which led him to read Lady Charlotte Guest's Mabinogion, A.F. Cruese de Lesser, Les Chevaliers de la table ronde (1812), Geoffrey of Monmouth and the Niebelungenlied, as well as to re-read Orlando Furioso before he wrote the sentences I have quoted, would not be miscalled, if one named it scholarly. (55)
He wrote once more on Tennyson, in 1887. Remembering Scott's second title for Waverley, "Tis Sixty Years Since," he compared Tennyson' s Locksley Hall after Sixty years with the Locksley Hall of 1842 and commended Tennyson's objectivity in commenting on his own age. (56)
Remembering that "letters" in the phrase "man of letters" are "literae humaniores," classical studies, I turn to Gladstone on Homer. Gladstone wrote three full versions of his ideas: Studies on Homer and the Homeric Age in three volumes, Oxford, 1858; Juventus Mundi. The Gods and Men of the Homeric Age, revising this and reducing it to one volume, London, Macmillan, 1869; and Landmarks in Homeric Study, revising the Juventus and reducing it to 160 pages, London, Macmillan, 1890. These successive revisions show the intellectual development and the constant reshaping of thought to accommodate new material, characteristic of the pragmatic Gladstone. In addition in Homeric Synchronium (London: Macmillan, 1876), he discussed specifically The Time and Place of Homer, (the book's subtitle) which he had already touched on in the introduction to the Juventus and alluded to in the Studies.
There was an element of chance in the beginning of Gladstone's work on Homer. In 1840 T.S. Brandreth, a fellow Etonian and like Gladstone a mathematician as well as a classicist, sent him the proofs of his edition of the Iliad and the punctilious Gladstone read them through. (57) When six years later Gladstone read Brandreth's verse translation he was stimulated to re read Iliad and Odyssey. (58) He recovered his fluency in Greek and his "intense delight" in that world of spare beauty and began to write short essays as he read. Yet work on Homer satisfied a need in Gladstone "to fill up my time" (59) after an abrupt relaxation of parliamentary or ministerial tension. The circumstances were always the same. When he returned to Homer in 1846-7 he was temporarily without a seat in the Commons after the Maynooth crisis and the outcome was his first article on a Homeric subject. (60) When he returned again in 1855 it was after his first spell as Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Studies resulted. In July 1867 when a great struggle with Disraeli over parliamentary reform had ended, he returned yet again to Homer and wrote the Juventus. In 1890 he stood between the two peaks of Home Rule effort.
Work on Homer may have filled a need for Gladstone but publication in 1858 was still premature. It was so for three reasons. His ideas were immature and were almost at once rendered out-of-date by new discoveries and new theories, and publication was justified to himself by a perhaps passing personal motive. "The remote idea of publication of the fruits of study as intended to reach others" was a remedy for the temptation to selfishness which his great enjoyment had engendered. (61) Yet there was consistency between the three books as well as development. Their topics were always the same: the movement and settlement of peoples, religion, politics, certain literary themes and, a subject rather by itself, the geography of Odyssey and Iliad. One subject is consistently absent: the so-called Homeric question. Gladstone was familiar with books in German (e.g. by F.W. Wolf) and French (e.g. by J.B. Le Chevalier) which at the end of the eighteenth century had opened the question of the single or multiple identity of Homer and the unity or disunity of Iliad and Odyssey. From the Studies onwards to the end he preferred to treat Homer as one poet and the texts as fixed data. Though in the introduction to the Juventus he indicated Wolf's argument, he insisted that "internal evidence" supported "both the soundness of the texts as well as ... the unity of the Poems," (62) i.e. that they were written by one poet. He preferred the attitude of J.B. Friedrich who taught scholars to think about the Realien of Homer. (63) In the Landmarks he most eloquently pleaded for "close, minute, and comprehensive study of the matters contained in the Poems" and urged students "steadily to mine deeper and deeper into the text by observation and comparison." (64)
Of these matters the ethnographical took pride of place. He began the Studies by trying to solve the puzzle of Homer's apparent use of three different "appellations" to describe one people. He was a most observant reader, tabulating the different ways the words Danaan, Achaian and Argive were used in different passages, adding a fourth word, Hellas, and going through the catalogues of ships in the Iliad and the genealogies to find other racial terms and counting the number of times the four main words were used. He concluded with a scheme of settlement. The Pelasgians were "the bulk of the Greeks ... under the sway of ruling tribes or families belonging to another race," the Achaian, more warlike, of later arrival and rulers wherever they were. Danaan was used to refer to the soldiery; Argos, a geographical term, to refer to the lowlands of the Peloponnese and Hellas to describe northern or middle Greece. What had begun as tentative speculations became premises for fresh arguments and the discussion ended with the surprising remark that Homer's purpose "was to unite more closely the elements of the Achaian nation, not to record that they had once been separate." (65)
In the Juventus the emphasis on nationality was even stronger, because he began by describing the pastoral and cultivating Pelasgians as the indigenous inhabitants of both the Greek and Italian peninsulas and the Achaians as a greater people coming in from outside, eventually, he suggested, to absorb them. He then gave his proofs. He dealt with the other racial and geographic terms, but now had more to say about the Phoenicians whose influence he rightly showed came in through Crete. His etymological evidence, confined in the Studies to the names of heroes and legendary characters, was now more extensive. He listed words similar in Greek and Latin to show that these related to pastoral life and tillage, but rarely to religion, the use of metals or to war. A modern reader is more impressed by his force and learning than convinced by his argument, for it is not clear whether he used this discovery to prove that the Pelasgians were the original people in both peninsulas or whether this is the premise which has led him to seek out the similar words. The rhetorical conclusion was still the same; Homer was "intensely national in feeling," (66) and he repeated the sentence already quoted from the Studies.
The Landmarks is an even more marked indication that for Gladstone nationality was the supreme force of his own age. He stated at the beginning that Homer's purpose was "before all things" national. The book with very little exaggeration might be called "in praise of the Achaian nation." He ascribed great importance to the Phoenician element in Greece and claimed that Ulysses and Ithaca showed "distinct Phoenician characters." But "the two ideas in Homer that are really cardinal, central, generative, are the nation, and its reflection in the Thearchy, or Olympic society." Homer "had to launch into the world the Greek idea," a nation and its religion. (67)
The idea of Thearchy had not been present in Gladstone's first discussion of Homeric religion. He had begun in the Studies with a theory never widely acceptable and rendered quite old-fashioned by the sociological approach to religion founded by Johann Bachofen within three years of its publication. (68) Gladstone rightly appreciated the religious sense of the Homeric heroes, their piety, their respect for the supernatural world, (69) but for him religion could never be the mere product of social conditions though he came to understand how much it was influenced by them. For the young Gladstone the truths of divine revelation and of Christianity, which embodied it, were absolutes and the only way to validate Homeric religion was to give it some share in these truths. This he did by postulating an original revelation of one God to all people for all time and drawing a distinction between Homer's "traditive" Gods (who preserved the tradition of it), as Zeus, Hera, Apollo and Athene, and his "invented" gods and goddesses. Aphrodite and Ares, for example, were mere "personalized attributes" and without the special powers which Gladstone had observed in Apollo and Athene, in relation, for example, to death. Indeed, Apollo, the son of Latona, might have been a kind of pre-figuring of Christ, born of the seed of Woman, the Deliverer. But the reflective reader is not sure quite where Gladstone is leading him, for the argument up to now has demanded survival not foreshadowing. So far he had argued that by the time of Homer the original revelation had been corrupted, or rather, disintegrated, so that the idea of one God had been broken up into many gods and a tradition of it only preserved in those whom he had called "traditive." He had shown that Genesis recorded the original revelation and (without answering obvious objections) all the elements of Christianity. He had strengthened his argument of corruption by analogy with the parallel Hebrew corruption which had made the original revelation the monopoly of a single people. (70) The modern reader is impressed by his exact and detailed knowledge of Old Testament and Hebrew sources rather than convinced by his eccentric argument.
In the Juventus he made no attempt to sustain the idea of an original universal revelation and its disintegration. He now wrote that "Homer from living in the midst of an intermixture and fusion of bloods constantly proceeding in Greece, acquired a vast amount of materials, and by his skillful use of them exercised an immense influence on the construction of the Greek religion." (71) Gladstone included Egyptian and Assyrian elements among those materials, but is especially well-informed on the Phoenician. (72) He devoted twenty-one sections to individual gods and goddesses and the ideas connected with them. He showed how together they composed a single Olympian society "or Polity formed on the human model with a king, an aristocracy and even a people or multitude." (73) After calling these sections a discussion of the Olympian system, he ended by calling this the Olympian religion. (74) In the Landmarks which he concluded with an essay on the Assyrian tablets and their points of contrast with the Homeric texts, Gladstone put his whole emphasis on Homer, the maker of "a formula of concord, a modus vivends" among the multitude of religious traditions among which he felt himself to live. "Divine revelation is not here supposed," he wrote, while insisting that religious unity was the necessary condition of national unity. He had made Homer "the maker of a religion" as well as "the maker of a nation." (75)
Like the discussions of nationality and religion the discussion on politics was governed by a personal conviction. He believed in free government and he believed in its Greek, even Homeric origin. The idealization of Greek institutions was so characteristically English that it has been said that all German histories of Greece after the mid-century were an answer to George Grote who typified it. His twelve volumes were read by Gladstone as they came out between 1845 and 1856. Gladstone plainly stated in the Studies that all the best ideas on government were to be seen in their ancient form in the Iliad and Odyssey. There "the strength and simplicity" of social relations was remarkable and the characters in the poems were pervaded by "an intense political spirit." (76) He developed his meaning by showing that alongside the characteristic features of a patriarchical society--he had discussed Homeric kingship at length--"we find the full, constant and effective use, of two great instruments of popular government ... namely, publicity and persuasion." (77) He illustrated this from the eight assemblies of the Greek army and from Telemachus's assembly in the Odyssey. He noticed how much of the Iliad was composed of speeches and how each speech answered another one. In the liveliest part of the discussion he characterized each speaker in turn. Gladstone on the art of persuasion became Gladstone on his own oratory. "And if we regard it," he wrote of Thersites' speech, "as every speech should be regarded, with reference to some paramount purpose, it is really senseless and incompetent." (78) The reader senses a note of personal experience. He began in the Juventus too by showing that all ideas of free government were derived from the Greeks and listed them as: responsibility in rulers, their use of persuasion rather than force, of open rather than secret methods, their reconciliation of freedom with order and their rule by law. After again discussing kingship, he noticed the absence of ideas such as the submission of the minority to the vote of the majority and of law-making as later understood, but "in the Homeric ideas upon Polity perhaps the most remarkable of all is the distinction accorded to the power of speech." "The voice and the sword are the twin powers by which the Greek world is governed." (79) Corporate or political life was intense and the organ of consensus or "the common soul" was Tis, often translated as public opinion. (80) He characterized individual speakers more tersely and without the personal note of the Studies. In the Landmarks he began the political discussion with slavery, left to the last in the Juventus. He soon dismissed it since it had so little importance in the Homeric world, and moved on to kingship. He summed up his first conclusion: "the Poet sets a high value on the personal freedom of the human being as such." He made a second point: "another characteristic and singularly striking idea of the Poems is the power of the spoken word." (81) The Greek epithet, "glory-giving", was applied only to success in speech or battle. There was no higher gift. It could change public opinion or Tis. (82) He remarked that styles of speaking were varied and "singularly diversified," but he did not consider individual speakers.
To turn to literary themes: he treated them in volume three of the Studies, more briefly in the Juventus and largely omitted them from the Landmarks. He commented on Homer's similes, his epithets especially of movement, his special feeling for the horse and for some other animals, his use of number, not as an instrument of calculation but as an inexact yet vivid tool of description, and his attitude to color, where he described intensity rather than named a pigment. On the geography of Odyssey and Iliad he had to change his ideas between 1858 and 1890 but in all three works he was ingenious, mathematically fascinated and immensely knowledgeable.
From 1858 onwards Gladstone treated Homer as a real person, living either at or soon after the time when he composed the poems for oral recitation. Nevertheless he faced the question, When did Homer live?--and sought an answer. His method was to consider what could be learnt of the use of metals from the texts and from archaeological evidence and to weigh up what could be learnt by comparisons between ancient Greece and ancient Egypt and Assyria. Gladstone here had lasting importance since he contributed to making widely known the results of excavations and the deciphering of Egyptian papyri and Assyrian tablets. (83) I illustrate this from his relations with H. Schliemann who was associated with the excavations at Troy and Mycene. Gladstone met Schliemann in London in the summer of 1875. In company with the historian of eighteenth-century England, Lord Stanhope, Gladstone attended him to the Society of Antiquaries, heard his lecture on Troy and intervened in the discussion to question his dating. (84) They subsequently corresponded. He read some of the German edition of Schliemann's book on Troy when it first came out in 1874, but after the lecture, relied for working purposes on the English edition, Troy and its Remains, which by then had appeared. He also read German commentaries. Then he wrote a lengthy preface for Schliemann's Mycene: a narrative of excavations and discoveries at Mycene and Tyrene (London, 1878). Meanwhile in Homeric Synchronium he described Schliemann's excavations at Hissarlik: the burnt-out town in the fourth layer down and the remains of successive later towns in the three layers above. He gave his reasons for accepting Hissarlik as the site of Troy. He passed on to the general layout of Priam's Palace, the wall and the Scanian Gate, the remains of objects in daily use, the two headdresses and the six blades of silver. He gave his reasons for accepting Schliemann's interpretation of it all, adding conjectures of his own. He concluded that Homer supplied reliable evidence on Greek society, and its customs, of a period just before the time at which he himself lived. He next dismissed claims that Homer was the author of the Hymn to Apollo, which also survived from prehistoric Greece, or was the blind poet of Chios. These dismissals helped to give the reader confidence in Gladstone's argument on what mattered most: the date when Homer lived. Here he used the recently established Egyptian chronology and especially that of the years 1316 to 1226 B.C. because he found "correspondences" between the Egyptian nineteenth dynasty and the material for dating which Homer supplied in the genealogies of his heroes and in the legends he recounted about happenings before the siege of Troy. His conclusion was that 1316 and 1226 were respectively the earliest and the latest dates at which the siege of Troy could have taken place. According to the modern view that Homer (whatever is meant by that name) may have lived in the late bronze age, perhaps the eighth century B.C. Gladstone put him too early, but some of his method is acceptable. The interest of it all is in what it shows us of Gladstone's mind. He argued like a barrister in a court of law, determined to convince. He was deeply and imaginatively stirred by the worlds archaeology, Egyptology and Assyriology were opening up.
Gladstone had always been interested in the plot of the Iliad. In the Studies he noticed the problem in composition Homer faced: the double mechanism of the plot. (85) Homer had to maintain a clear superiority in the Greeks because they were going to win and yet make the Trojans an enemy worth beating. In the Studies he noticed the other duality: two stories, one of heroes, one of gods. In the Juventus he made less of this last, only showing how the balance was redressed for the Trojans by "the Theotechny, or divine movement of the Poem." (86) In both the Studies and the Juventus he showed how Homer succeeded in making Achilles head and shoulders above the other heroes yet never allowing Ulysses to be diminished by him and in keeping Achilles supreme while making Agamemnon and Hector great men in relation to him. In the Landmarks he wrote only that there was not a single episode which did not contribute to the structure of the whole and that Homer had surmounted both the difficulty of the twofold movement and that or proportion as between Greeks and Trojans and between Achilles and the other heroes. (87) He omitted here what he had made the primary interest of the plot in the Juventus: the theme of justice. There after writing that the Iliad was not about the fate of Troy but about Achilles, "in whose marvelous character the Greek nationality is to find its supreme satisfaction," he went on to name the successive steps in its development. Achilles had withdrawn from the battlefield in wrath. The Greeks will show that they can get on without him. They failed so the Wrath had its first triumph. The next step was the second triumph of the Wrath, or the second defeat of the Greeks. Then came the slaying of Patroclus, the dear companion of Achilles. "That which was to be the last triumph of his wounded pride ... now becomes the cause of an agony so intense, as by far to surpass ... the emotions he has suffered from anger." So Achilles was punished for allowing "indignation to degenerate into revenge" (88) as the Greeks had been punished for the wrong they had done or allowed to be done to Achilles. Next Homer turned, wrote Gladstone, upon the Trojans and Hector was slain. The Trojan king then repented and offered reparation which was justly refused. Next the dishonoring of Hector's body became another crime for which Achilles must pay the price. Gladstone's imagination had clearly been fired, but Gladstone the systemiser had invented a theory of retributive justice which simply did not exist in prehistoric Greece.
To complete this vindication of Gladstone, man of letters, I should like to revert to his literary reviewing and to notice that his habit in reviewing novels was to recount the story first, to comment in doing so on the character-drawing and then to discuss the novel's central idea. This was his method with the review of Ellen Middleton, already mentioned, of From Oxford to Rome by Elizabeth Harris in the Quarterly for January 1847 and of Robert Elsmere by Mrs. Humphrey Ward in the Nineteenth Century for May 1888. (89) All had the human stuff and religious interest which always caught his imagination. He had plenty of material on which to draw for comparisons and to exercise his generalising habit; for he was well read in Scott, Jane Austen and the new publications. He read as they appeared the novels of George Eliot, the Brontes, William Thackeray--Vanity Fair he thought in 1849, "a work of genius, to be admired in some respects" and read a second time in 1864 (90)--Mrs. Gaskell, Dumas, Trollope, Disraeli, Victor Hugo, but not Dickens, except for Pickwick.
His review of one more novel deserves comment, For the Right by Karl Emil Francos. This was contributed to a new series which Gladstone opened in the Nineteenth Century, of occasional articles called "Noticeable Books." (91) The novel was translated from the German. It is not surprising that it should fall into Gladstone's hands, for his reputation among continental liberals was such that it might well have been sent to him. One is more surprised that he should have thought it so important--until one grasps its central idea. The hero is a quite humble man, a village magistrate. The plot is summed up in his nature. "He is impelled by an enthusiasm for justice, alike passionate, persistent and profound." All Gladstone's generalising, system-building, balancing was governed by the search for justice as he understood it. Aristotle's Politics was a strong influence on all Gladstone's thought. Gladstone's obsession with justice--justice in the sense of balance of interests, what he called right relationship--runs through all his thought. His appeal to justice made him popular with the people, men like the dour hard-working men from which his Scottish forebears came; his pretension to a monopoly of it alienated from him in the end the class to which by education, marriage and occupation he belonged. When he thought he had found justice he proclaimed it alike in politics, domestic, foreign or Irish, and in his literary work, though "proclaimed" is too loud a word to use here. Yet it may perhaps be the bridge between the two sides of his personal nature, both nourishing the fiery imagination of the one and directing the intellect of the other.
I should like in conclusion to speak of Gladstone's love of books. He wrote: "In a room well filled with them no one has felt or can feel solitary." They are "the allies of the thought of man," his means of talking with "the vast human procession" of the dead. He understood the desirable harmony between subject-matter, paper, type, ink and binding "the dress in which a book went forth into the world." (92) He knew better than most others how to shelve and arrange books and something of his knowledge, so I am told, survives in Bodley's stacks. The present London Library, as well as St. Deiniol's, is a memorial to him. He with Carlyle and ten others were founders of the London Library and composed the committee that met on 18 July 1840 to found the Library which opened in the following May. (93)
Nothing better bespeaks the love of books of a bookish man than a characteristic manner of quoting--in Gladstone's case of quoting poetry. I refer to quotation external to the argument, used not to convey his meaning, nor to provide evidence or authority, but to grace his text. I have not counted the quotations from Tennyson in the article on Tennyson; I have considered some 133 quotations taken from some 60 articles and addresses, political, speculative and literary. Leaving aside quotations from Scripture which outnumber all the rest, I can say that Homer he alludes to most often, but Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare are the poets he most often quotes. Next in frequency is Tennyson, then Wordsworth, Milton and Horace; in the next group are Juvenal, Gray, Goethe, Manzoni and Shelley. He quotes a single time from Chaucer, Dryden, Voltaire, Schiller, Thomas Campbell and others. One notices the range and the element of standard Great Authors. Of course he quotes as all quoters do, to distance something that is difficult to say directly as when he apologises for vehemence with "Let Kent be unmannerly when Lear is mad"; he quotes like others to notice an especially happy way of saying something one has already oneself said as when he quotes Gray "And blended form, with artful strife/the strength and harmony of life"; he quotes to compliment his readers by assuming they share his own enjoyment, as when he disposes of Annie Besant's inflated self-satisfaction as capable of bearing her through tracts of air, buoyant and copious enough to carry the Dircaean swan, in allusion to Horace's ode to Pindar.
But the interesting quotations bear a personal stamp. This is caused by their being called up by some association of ideas personal to himself. One can show that they are called from memory because the Diaries notice when he read the works from which they come. They do not come from what he is reading when he is writing, but from something read long before or some time before. The quotations are lines that he has remembered, because they chime with some thought of his own, not because they are especially poetic, not because they are especially important in conveying the meaning of the poet who has written them. Dante's"in la sua voluntade e nostra pace," "in God's will is our peace," he quotes several times either alone or with neighbouring lines and he seldom uses a quotation more than once. It tells us more about Gladstone than about Dante. Tom Moore's Lallah Rookh (1817) was not a likely place to go deliberately for an encouraging passage for undergraduates. Yet he finds there, "And when he dies he leaves a lofty name / A light, a landmark on the cliffs of fame" and uses it both in his Inaugural (1860) and in his Valedictory Address (1865) as Rector of Edinburgh University. To go where Gladstone's quotations lead one is to follow the path of his thought and his personal literary enjoyment.
Gladstone, man of letters, was a quieter character than the man in politics. Among his books he is open-minded, excitable yet balancing arguments on both sides of what he has read, and then releasing his mind in writing. He is a private, enclosed man, who yet must needs come forth from his privacy. He wrote:
The authority of literary inquiries depends on care, comprehensiveness, and precision, in collecting facts, and on great caution in concluding from them. There is no democracy so levelling as the Republic of Letters. Liberty and equality here are absolute, though fraternity may be sometimes absent on a holiday. And a literary labour, be it critical, be it technical, be it archaeological, when it has done its immediate duty of disposing of a cause ... must come into the light, and be turned round and round ... (94)
He may not much have relished the coming forth from his books into print, but the need seems to have been stronger than the man.
(1) Cambridge History of English Literature, xiv (1916) p. 135.
(2) Bryce to Mrs. Gladstone, 18 Jan. 1884, Bodleian Library, MS Bryce 11, fol. 79. For this reference my thanks are due to Mr. D. Porter of the Bodleian Library, Dept. of Western Manuscripts.
(3) The State in its relations with the Church(1838); Church Principles considered in their Results (1840).
(4) M.R.D. Foot and H.C.G. Matthew (editors) The Gladstone Diaries (1968-) vol.iii. 26 Nov. 1842.
(5) Worthington in fact published with Smith Elder, not Murray, but told Gladstone of Murray's advice; see Gladstone to Worthington, copies, 8, 9, Dec. 1842, British Library, Gladstone Papers, Add. Ms. 44527, fol. 106; Worthington to Gladstone, 9, 13, Dec. 1842, Add. Ms. 44359, fols. 238, 291; see also Diaries, iii.28, 30 Nov., 3, 6, 8, 12, 16, 20 Dec. 1842.
(6) The Globe and Chronicle, according to Worthington.
(7) Worthington to Gladstone, 18 Apr., 4/5 May, 2 Sept., undated, 13, 20 Sept. 1843, Add. Ms. 44360, fols. 118, 133, 239, 243, 245, 249.
(8) Reprinted in W.E. Gladstone, Gleanings of Past Years 1843-78 (1879) vol. v. p. 1, vol. iii. p. 1, reviewing respectively an anonymous Letter to the Bishops of the Church of England on the necessity of Liturgical Adjustment (1843), Rev. J. Sutcliffe, A Letter to ... Bishop of London (1843), Rev. Dr. Holloway, Reply to the Charge of ... Bishop of London (1842), Rev. C.J. Yorke, A Respectful Address to ... Bishop of London (1842); Theses of Erastus, translated with an introduction by Dr. R. Lee (1844); Diaries, iii. 31 Aug., 3 Sept. 1844.
(9) Diaries, iii. 4 Feb. 1844.
(10) T. Mozley, Reminiscences (1882) ii. pp. 310ff; Diaries, iii .236, footnote 11.
(11) Inferno, v. 73-142; Lord John Russell's translation is in Literary Souvenir (1844); Gladstone's review in English Review, i. p. 164 (Apr. 1844); Ellen Middleton: A Tale by Lady Georgiana Fullerton, 3 vols. (1844) English Review, i (Jul. 1844)336; quotation from Gladstone to Manning, 8 Apr. 1844, Add. Ms. 44247, fol. 211.
(12) Diaries, iii, 1 Apr. 1844.
(13) Diaries, iv. 15 Feb.-8 Apr., 22 Aug.-8 Sept., 26 Oct.-3 Nov. 1848 for reading of Strauss but cp. 24 Mar. 1847; on 3 Nov. he commented on Strauss "a painful book but has its uses as well as dangers"; 21-25 Dec. 1865 for Seeley when he also "recommenced Renan," continuing with the Vie de Jesus until 2 Jan. 1866; his first reading unrecorded but v. 30 Jan.-14 Feb. 1858 he was reading Renan, Etudes d'histoire religieuse (1858) and vi. 24 Jan. 1864 W. Lee, Recent forms of unbelief: some account of Renan's "Vie de Jesus" (1864).
(14) "J.R. Seeley, Ecce Homo: A Survey of the Life and Works of Jesus Christ (1865)," Good Words, ix (Jan., Feb., Mar. 1868) 33, 80, 177; reprinted in Gleanings, iii. 41.
(15) "Dawn of Creation and of Worship," Nineteenth Century, xviii (Nov. 1885) 685; "Proem to Genesis. A Plea for a Fair Trial," Nineteenth Century xix (Jan. 1886) 1; both reprinted in Gleanings, viii. 1 and 40.
(16) "The Lord's Day," Church Monthly, viii (Mar., Apr. 1895) 51, 75.
(17) Diaries, iii. 15 Sept., 12 Oct.-13 Dec. 1844 passim.
(18) See J. Murray to Gladstone, 15 Nov. 1844 and encl. and further letters esp. 21 Nov. and 3 Dec. also enclosing letters from Lockhart to Murray, Add. Ms. 44259, fols. 43ff; see also Lockhart to Gladstone, direct, 18 Dec. 1844, Add. Ms. 44237, fols. 371ff; Gladstone to Manning, 14, 17, 23 Nov., 3, 6, 24 Dec. 1884, Add. Ms. 44247, fols. 226-246; the Diaries record a visit to Lockhart on 5 Dec. to go through his corrections and modify the article accordingly; review reprinted in Gleanings, v. 81.
(19) Daily Telegraph, 25 Jan. 1898.
(20) "Dr. Dollinger's Posthumous Remains," Speaker, 30 Aug. 1890; "Life and Speeches of the Prince Consort," Contemporary Review, xxvi (June 1875) 1; "Life of the Prince Consort," Church Quarterly Review, iii (Jan. 1877) 465; v (Jan. 1878) 469; all three reprinted, Gleanings, i. 23-130; "Sheridan," Nineteenth Century, xxxiv (June 1896) 1037.
(21) Quarterly Review, 1xxvi (June 1845) 164; cxxxvii (Oct. 1874) 458. Nineteenth Century xxv(Jan. 1889) 149; the first two reprinted, Gleanings, ii. 1 and 213.
(22) Lockhart to Gladstone, 7, 19 June 1845, Add. Ms. 44237, fols. 379, 383.
(23) He wrote of the review in the Christian Remembrancer, "it breathes, mine does not," Diaries, iii. 3 Jul. 1845; for quotations see Gleanings, ii. 2.
(24) See Nineteenth Century, xxvi.(Oct. 1889) 602.
(25) See Gladstone to Lacaita, referring especially to his Letter to Aberdeen (1851) on the Neapolitan prisons, 11 Oct. 1855, Add. Ms. 44233, fol. 66; for hostile review of his translation of Farini's Stato Romano, see Quarterly Review, xc (Dec. 1851) 226; for his own review of that book see Edinburgh Review, xcv (Apr. 1852) 357.
(26) Both these addresses he reprinted, Gleanings, "Death of the Prince Consort," i. 1, "Wedgwood," ii. 181.
(27) Reprinted Gleanings, ii. 265.
(28) For Carlyle see Diaries, iii. 6 Sept. 1841 (On Heroes, Hero Worship ...) 28 Dec. 1842, 5 Jan. 1843 (Sartor Resartus) 22, 24, 27 Jul. 1843 (Past and Present) iv. 18 Feb. 1850 (Latter-day papers) v. 25-27 Aug. 1857 (On German Romances, 1827, and Biographical Essays) v. 19 Oct. 1858, vi. 9 Jul. 1862 (Frederick the Great) 22 Dec. 1862-17 Jan. 1863 (O liver Cromwell's Letters & Speeches). For Macaulay see Diaries, iii. 3 Nov. 1842 (Lays of Ancient Rome) iv. 2-19 Feb. and occasionally up to 9 June 1849 (History, vols. i & ii) v. 18 Dec. 1855-5 Jan. 1856 (History, vols. iii & iv) 27 May-15 June 1858 (Historical Essays) 10-16 Mar. 1860. (Biographies in Encyclopaedia Britannica) vi. 23-27 Mar. 1861 (History, vol. v).
(29) See Gleanings, ii. 286-7, 336; for comparison of Macaulay with Carlyle whose "licentious, though striking, peculiarities of style" he deplored, pp. 287-8.
(30) As the Diaries indicate Gladstone relied for historical knowledge in addition to Burnet, Clarendon, Strype, on D. Hume, History of England (1754-61), Henry Hallam, Constitutional History of England, 3 vols. (1827). P.H. Stanhope (Mahon), History of England from the Peace of Utrecht to the Peace of Versailles, 7 vols. (1836-54), J.A. Froude, History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of Elizabeth, 12 vols. (1856-70), J. Lingard, History of England, 8 vols. (1819-30), T.E. May, Constitutional History of England, 1760-1860, 2 vols. (1861), W.N. Massey, A History of England during the Reign of George III (1855-60). The views about the past summarised here are gleaned from a variety of parliamentary speeches and a number of articles, see especially "Kin Beyond Sea," Gleanings, 1.210 for the "great dualism"; "Wedgwood", Gleanings ii. 201; "The Sixteenth Century arraigned before the Nineteenth," Gleanings iii. 227 for Elizabeth; "Examination of the Reply of the Neapolitan Government," Gleanings iv. 127 for Charles I.
(31) Gleanings, ii. 320ff. quoting John Eachard, Contempt of the Clergy (1670), Anthony Wood. Athenae Oxonienses (1691-2), Gilbert Burnet, Pastoral Care, History of his Own Time (1723-34). Isaac Barrow, Opuscula, Clarendon, History of the Rebellion, White Kennet, Collectanea Curiosa, John Walker, Sufferings of the Clergy, Jeremy Collier, Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage (1698). Barnabas Oley, preface to George Herbert's Country Parson (1675) and Herbert himself.
(32) For quotations see respectively Gleanings, ii. 341, 339, 290, 311.
(33) Diaries, v. 13 Aug. 1859.
(34) Fraser's Magazine, lx (Dec. 1859) 668.
(35) Gladstone to Panizzi, 4 Dec. 1849, quoted from the Panizzi papers in the British Library by D.E. Rhodes, "The Composition of Mr. Gladstone's Essay on Leopardi," Italian Studies, viii (1953) p. 70.
(36) Gleanings, vi. 112-13.
(37) Diaries i. 5 Mar., 2 Apr. 1832; ii.9, 15 Aug. 1833, 28 Mar.-16 Apr. 1836 for Ariosto and Tasso; 9-28 Feb., 27 Mar., 15, 22 May-1 June 1833 for G. Pecchio, Osservazioni semiserie di un Esule sull' Inghilterra (1831); 6, 8-16 Apr. 1833 for Sismondi, taking full notes and recording his delight; 3-19 June 1833, 18-29 Mar., 12-16 Jul. 1834 for Silvio Pellico; 23-28 Aug. 1833; 12 Aug. 1833 for I Promessi Sposi; 2 Mar.-23 May 1833 for d' Azeglio, Ettore Fieramosca; 9 Mar., 30 Oct. 1834, 28 Apr.-24 May 1836 (i.e. after Dante) for Macchiavelli; references continue at intervals throughout later vols.
(38) English Review, vol. i, no. 1 (Apr. 1844) 164, 180.
(39) Diaries, ii. 16 Sept.-14 Oct. 1834, 10 Nov.-4 Dec. 1835. 23 Feb.-23 Mar. 1836. He translated some of the Paradiso into blank verse, found cantos iii and iv "veramente deliziosi" and xviii "delightful"; 11-23 Nov. 1836 for his return to Dante.
(40) "Did Dante study in Oxford?" Nineteenth Century, xxxi (June 1892) 1032.
(41) In vol. i. p. cxcviii in the edition of 1846-7 in 5 vols., Diaries, iv. 4 May-18 June, 24 Aug.-11 Sept., 16 Sept.-12 Dec. 1848, records his reading and note taking.
(42) Diaries, iv. 28 Jul. 1849; see also D. E. Rhodes, "The Composition of Mr. Gladstone's Essay on Leopardi," Italian Studies, viii (1953) 59.
(43) Diaries iv. 12 Aug. 1849 records his letter to "Count Recanati" and 7 Oct. 1849 his reading of Count Monaldo Leopardi, La Santa casa di Loreto (1841); for letters to Panizzi, see D. E. Rhodes, p. 59.
(44) See Sebastiano Timpanaro, Classicismo e illuminismo nell' ottocento italiano (Pisa 1965) pp. 150-1.
(45) I.e. his Betrachomyomachia. Diaries, iv. 9, 13 Aug. 1849 records his reading of G. Casati, Il poema tartaro, 2 vols. (1803); 6 Oct.-10 Nov. 1849 records his reading of the prose works and letters of Leopardi, the latter sent to him by Panizzi, and then the writing of his essay, his "working on" and revising it.
(46) "Giacomo Leopardi," Quarterly Review, lxxxvi (Mar. 1850) 295 reprinted in Gleanings, ii. 89 and 128 for quoted passages; for first review see Fraser's Magazine, xxxviii (Dec. 1848) 659.
(47) See Hallam Tennyson, Tennyson. A Memoir (1899) 138, 324.
(48) Diaries, v.21 Apr. 1857 records first time he dined having been just elected.
(49) Tennyson, Memoir, pp. 433, 507, 651-6.
(50) Quarterly Review, cvi (Oct. 1859) 454; reprinted Gleanings, ii. 131.
(51) Tennyson, Memoir, pp. 250, 336, 373.
(52) Diaries, v. 14 Jul. 1859.
(53) Gleanings, ii. 169; cp. "I have always thought that the prettiest English hexametre is Longfellow's 'when she had passed it seemed like the ceasing of exquisite music,'" Evangeline, part i line 62, Gladstone to Granville, 5 Nov. 1876, Ramm, Political Correspondence of Mr Gladstone and Lord Granville (1961) i. 17. Diaries, v. 14 Oct. 1859 for learning of Guinevere.
(54) Gleanings, ii. quotations respectively at pp. 175, 159, 148-50.
(55) See Diaries, v. 14 Aug.-15 Sept., 21 Sept.-1 Oct., 1 Nov. 1859 as well as references in the article to these works.
(56) Nineteenth Century, xxi (Jan. 1887) 1.
(57) Diaries, iii. 1 Dec. 40. See Ilias. Littera digamma restituta ad metri leges redegit, et notatione brevi illustravit T.S. Brandreth (London, 1841). The section on Homer was not in the original lecture.
(58) T.S. Brandreth, The Iliad translated, 2 vols. (London, 1846).
(59) Diaries, iii. 15 Jan. 47.
(60) Quarterly Review, lxxxi. Sept. 47, article iii. pp. 381-417, reviewing Karl Lachmann, Uber die ersten zehn Bucher des Ilias (1839) and his fernere Betrachtungen (1843).
(61) Diaries, iii. 6 Nov. 46.
(62) Juventus, p. 24.
(63) Juventus pp. 14ff. See J.B. Friedrich, Die Realien in der Iliade und Odyssen (Erlangen, 1851). He also mentions E.A.W. Buchholz, whose Die Homerischen Realien, 3 vols. (Berlin, 1871-85) was not yet published. Die Realien are the realities of the Homeric text.
(64) Landmarks, pp. 6, 12.
(65) Studies, i. 370, 373, 386, 423; i. 361 for the final quotation.
(66) Juventus, p. 38.
(67) Landmarks, pp. 30, 55, 88.
(68) J.J. Bachofen, Versuch uber der Grabersymbolik der Alten (1859) and Das Mutterrecht. Eine Unternehmung uber der Genikrotie der Alten (1861). Modern editions of his works belong only to 1938 (Berlin) and 1943 (Basle). An English translation, Myth, Religion and Mother right came from Princeton in 1973.
(69) Cp. Jasper Griffin, Homer on Life and Death (Oxford, 1980) pp. 40-44, 148-78, 201-2.
(70) Studies, ii. 3, 5, 47-52.
(71) Juventus, p. 179.
(72) January 1868 he had published a review of Ernst Renan, Mission de Phoenicie, 3 vols. (1864-7), Quarterly Review, cxxiv article vii. 199-225.
(73) Juventus, p. 193.
(74) Juventus, p. 377.
(75) Landmarks, pp. 56, 83, 87-8.
(76) Studies, iii. 2-3.
(77) Studies, iii. 7.
(78) Studies, iii, 122-3.
(79) Juventus, p. 431.
(80) Juventus, p. 436
(81) Landmarks, pp. 98, 99.
(82) Landmarks, p. 100.
(83) He relied much on F. Lenormant, Histoire des premieres civilizations (1874), F.J. Lauth, Homer und Aegypten (1867) and in a minor way on G. Rawlinson, The five great monarchies of the ancient eastern world, 4 vols. (1862-67). Lauth later (1877) published Aegyptische chronologie.
(84) Diaries, ix. 24 June 75 and note 8.
(85) Cp. Juventus, p. 490.
(86) Juventus, p. 491.
(87) Landmarks, pp. 106ff.
(88) Juventus, pp. 493ff.
(89) He reprinted no reviews of novels except that of Robert Elsmere for which see Gleanings, viii. 77.
(90) Diaries, iv. 11-23 Jan. 1849, vi. 16 Aug.-17 Sept. 1864, "on this reperusal after a long interval I think it a very remarkable and on the whole a good book."
(91) Nineteenth Century, xxv (Feb. 1889) 213 for first of the series to which Gladstone contributed an account of Margaret Lee, Faithful and Unfaithful (1889); xxv (Apr. 1889) 615 for account of For the Right.
(92) "On books and the housing of them," Nineteenth Century, xxvii (Mar. 1890) 384.
(93) The minute books of the committee of the London Library show that Gladstone with Carlyle and ten others attended its first meeting, 18 July 1840, Lord Lyttelton in the chair. He was again present, Carlyle absent, on 25 July. Meetings were then intermitted until Nov. 1840. Gladstone did not attend again until 3 Feb. 1841, an important meeting since it appointed the first librarian and the first committee for purchasing books, and 20 Feb., when the "laws" of the Library were drawn up. In Apr. 1841 he was appointed to the general committee for the first year of the Library's existence. My thanks are due to Mr. Higgins, the Deputy Librarian, for showing me the minute books. See also Diaries, iii. 18, 25 Jul. 1840, 3, 11, 20, 27, Feb., 5 Mar., 26 Apr. 1841.
(94) Gleanings, vi. 178.