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Chaucer–His education–His political and social life—Wherein his

talent was serviceable—He paints the second feudal society 119

How the middle age degenerated—Decline of the serious element

in manners, books, and works of art-Need of excitement-

Analogies of architecture and literature .
Ul. Wherein Chaucer belongs to the middle age-Romantic and orna-

mental poems—Le Roman de la RoseTroilus and Cressida-
Canterbury Tales—Order of description and events—The House
of FameFantastic dreams and visions-Love poems—Troilus
and Cressida Exaggerated development of love in the middle
age—Why the mind took this path—Mystic love-The Flower

and the Leaf-Sensual love-Troilus and Cressida

IV. Wherein Chaucer is French-Satirical and jovial poems—Canterbury

TalesThe Wife of Bath and marriage—The mendicant friar and

religion-Buffoonery, waggery, and coarseness in the middle age 136

Wherein Chaucer was English and original—Idea of character and

individual—Van Eyck and Chaucer contemporary-Prologue to

Canterbury Tales—Portraits of the franklin, monk, miller, citizen,

knight, squire, prioress, the good clerk-Connection of events

and characters—General idea—Importance of the same-Chaucer

a precursor of the Reformation-He halts by the way–Tedious-

ness and Childishness—Causes of this feebleness—His prose, and

scholastic notion-How he is isolated in his age


VI. Connection of philosophy and poetry—How general notions failed

under the scholastic philosophy-Why poetry failed-Comparison
of civilization and decadence in the middle age, and in Spain,
Extinction of the English literature - Translators — Rhyming
chroniclers–Didactic poets—Compilers of moralities–Gower-
Occleve–Lydgate—Analogy of taste in costumes, buildings, and

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Limit of the poetry-Changes in society and manners-How the

return to nature becomes an appeal to the senses-Corresponding

changes in poetry-How agreeableness replaces energy–How

prettiness replaces the beautiful-Refinements—Carew, Suckling,

Herrick — Affectation – Quarles, Herbert, Babington, Donne,

Cowley–Beginning of the classic style, and drawing-room life . 226

How poetry passes into prose-Connection of science and art-In

Italy—In England—How the triumph of nature develops the ex-

ercise of the natural reason-Scholars, historians, speakers, com-

pilers, politicians, antiquaries, philosophers, theologians—The

abundance of talent, and the rarity of fine works-Superfluous-

ness, punctiliousness, and pedantry of the style-Originality, pre-

cision, energy, and richness of the style-How, unlike the class-

ical writers, they represent the individual, not the idea


III. Robert Burton-His life and character—Vastness and confusion of

his acquirements—His subject, the Anatomy of Melancholy-

Scholastic divisions—Medley of moral and medical science


IV. Sir Thomas Browne-His talent—His imagination is that of a

North-man-Hydriotaphia, Religio MediciHis ideas, curiosity,

and doubts belong to the age of the Renaissance--Pseudodoxia-

Effects of this activity and this direction of the public mind 241

v. Francis Bacon-His talent—His originality-Concentration and

brightness of his style—Comparisons and aphorisms—The Es-
says—His sstyle not argumentative, but intuitive-His practical
good sensı – Turning-point of his philosophy—The object of sci-
ence is the amelioration of the condition of man-New Atlantis
-The idea is in accordance with the state of affairs and the spirit

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