for it, quite beyond the passing delight or the good contributed thereby to the world without. “There shall never be one lost good! what was, shall live as before.”

“All we have willed or hoped or dreamed of good shall exist;

Not its semblance, but itself,” &c.
Take this in connection with Rabbi Ben Ezra, verses 23, 24, 25.

Thus each individual beauty or affection on earth has an import for eternity through its influence on an individual's soul,

“ a sunset-touch,
A fancy from a flower-bell, some one's death,

A chorus-ending from Euripides ;' and with a chorus-ending from Euripides I conclude, as expressing a truth that Browning has ever in view—the correlation of Love and Beauty as of absolute significance :

ό,τι καλόν φίλον αεί. .

P.S. It has been objected that there is inconsistency in conceiving God as concrete and self-conscious Love, and at the same time refusing the predicate “personal.” I think the question may be one of words more than the objectors suspect. On the one hand, God is manifested in the individual as his (the individual's) personality, and in this sense God may be called personal; on the other hand, as a universal, God is impersonal : but these sides are mutually complementary, and each is as inadequate as the other to express the Absolute, which, while it contains in itself the conditions of both, is indifferent to the distinction, and so neither of the adjectives (personal and impersonal) can accurately be predicated of it, though of course personal is the higher conception of the two, as is indicated by the histories of Philosophy and Religion. We are not entitled to speak of the Absolute as personal because it contains the conditions of personality, just as its containing the conditions of space does not entitle us to speak of it as extended. In short, to arrive at the notion of God we must raise the notion of person to a uni. versal : we thereby suspend the essence of person in a new and higher notion, and thus not only is "personal" a wrong predicate to apply to God, but universal person is a false description, because it sets the two terms of the notion abstractly side by side, and so implies that they are still contradictory and unreconciled, whereas in the concrete notion of God (the Idea) they are suspended moments of a higher unity. (Note: the opposition of abstract and concrete must not be taken to imply such a contrast, for example, as of Thought and Life; it is the contrast-cf. sect. v.-of a one-sided with a complete view, of the grasping of thought which seizes but a part with the grasp which holds the whole. Thus in the very example instanced, to look upon Life as concrete is an abstract point of view, because Life expresses only one side of the whole of Thought.)

Now I have tried to show that Browning, while insisting—as his purposes demanded—chiefly on the individual side, nevertheless does not neglect the universal side. He does not conceive Love as bound up with personality (personality rather expresses the form in which Love knows itself in the individual), but conceives it as the unity that underlies and forms the connecting bond of both sides, and it is consequently his expression of God. It is not my object to criticize, but merely to exhibit, what I consider to be Browning's teaching; and the purpose of this note is to defend my reading of Browning against the charge of formal inconsistency.

I may add, as it is in the interests of ethics more than of metaphysics, that the Personality of God is so obstinately clung to, that this conception is even more plainly untenable from an ethical than from a metaphysical standpoint; for, thus viewed, “personal God” becomes a contradiction in terms, since it expresses God as co-ordinated with other persons,—superior indeed in degree, but qua person co-ordinate. Such a personal Being may be a fine abstract ethical ideal, but is not God. The Christian religion first obtains its true significance when this rem nant of anthropomorphism, the doctrine of a personal God, is laid aside.

In general such objections seem due to the respectable but unfounded prejudice that it is blasphemy to deny personality of God. The retort might be made, that it is they who blaspheme, in limiting God by the category of personality. Mr. Herbert Spencer well speaks of the "erroneous assumption that the choice is between personality and something lower than personality; whereas the choice is rather between personality and something higher.”



AN IMITATION. The following has been sent me, as from the Examiner of Aug. 6, 1876, as a poem of Browning's left out of my Bibliography. But that he never wrote it, is certain. I only reprint it to stop any one else attributing it to him.-F.

(Written since my last publication [Pacchiarotto].)

So, Master Critic, I'm told you think

I should lend you my loving cup,
And fill it too with the best of drink,
Give you in short both bite and sup.

No doubt you fancy yourself clever,

And fit to tell me what to say ;
You have perhaps a strong enough lever
To hoist me into light of day?

You'd have me stand upon a stage

Like a naked Spanish acrobat,
And go through my tricks. You'll then engage
To send about the begging hat?

You say I should sing, I should not prate;

But which knows best what each should do?
You say my large poems are only a spate
Of dirty brown water, a hullabaloo !


Then when I issue a volume of short,

You snigger and sniff as if you'd got
Something to show up for Philistine sport,
A flea in my ear, a bug, a bot!

But I am a favorite of the Numphs,

And if you knew your place you'd drop
Upon your knees, you niggery sumphs,
In the back slum of the editor's shop.

You would like, no doubt, to knock and ring,

To be just hail fellow well met with me;
But I've slops dirtier still to fling
About you, and I shall, you'll see !


B Bibliography, p. 156. “Browning, whom I met beside him [Ruskin], is, in point of complexion, a fine contrast; dark in hair, eyebrow, and luxuriant beard as a Spaniard or Portuguese, which he very much resembles. A fine, large, expansible dark eye, and a mouth, not exactly poetic, but wonderful' for its facility, arrest you at once.”—From “The Life and Letters of Sydney Dobell.” Edited by E. J. London : Smith, Elder & Co. 1878. Vol. I. Chap. V. page 260. Lines 14-19.-T. J. Wise,





(Read at the 7th Meeting of the Browning Society, on Friday, May 26, 1882.)

the “ dramatic

This is one of those“ dramatic monologues" in which Introduction : the Poet has shown so remarkable an originality and skill. monologue."

The dramatic monologue differs from a soliloquy in this : while there is but one speaker, the presence of a silent second person is supposed, to whom the arguments of the speaker are addressed. Perhaps such a situation may be termed a novelty of invention in our Poet. It is obvious that the dramatic monologue gains over the soliloquy in that it allows the artist greater room in which to work out his conception of character. We cannot gaze long at a solitary figure on a canvas, however powerfully treated, without feeling some need of relief. In the same way a soliloquy (comp. the great soliloquies of Shakspere) cannot be protracted to any great length without wearying the listener. The thoughts of a man in self-communion are apt to run in a certain circle, and to assume a monotony. The introduction of a second person acting powerfully upon the speaker throughout, draws the latter forth into a more complete and varied expression of his mind. The silent person in the background, who may be all the time master of the situation, supplies a powerful stimulus to the imagination of the reader. In the following exposition it will be convenient for clearness' sake to refer to the piece as if it were a dialogue.

I will not linger upon the merely artistic or amusing qualities of the piece; noting simply in passing with what skill the gravest subjects are relieved by the careless ease of the treatment; and how the keenest satire of human vices or foibles conceals deep sympathy for human nature itself.

Mr. Gigadibs, the critic of Bp. Blougram's life, is a young The Persons : man of thirty (p. 296). He is immature, desultory and Contrastrof impulsive. He has not yet wrestled with the hard problems Gigadibs. of actual life, nor with those of speculative thought. Hence his reasoning is of a purely abstract or juvenile character. Children, we all

reasoner; a doctrinaire.

to face our criticism (the

have overheard his “ monologue").

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know, are the clearest and most merciless of logicians. The only fault in their reasoning about the conduct of their elders is, that it is too mathematical. They allow nothing for the friction of actual life. They do not understand the difficulty of working abstract principles He is a juvenile into conduct. Probably we are all in like manner juvenile

reasoners in respect of problems of conduct which we only look at from the outside and in the abstract. He who has not lived the life of the working politician or artist can be but a doctrinaire in reference to politics or art. In like manner, Gigadibs is but a doctrinaire in reference to the life of the ecclesiastic and religious teacher. He reasons very clearly and very irritatingly to his antagonist; and at the same time very helplessly. Blougram. Blougram, on the other hand, is a man of sixty (p. 294), The Bp. over- and a master, not only of all the poor dialectic with which four hans gradibs; the younger man attacks him, but of life and of those secrets

of the human heart, which defy all logic, because they are poet's and reader's, who before and after it. He has no difficulty in beating down

the weapons of his opponent, or in eluding what he laughs at as

fool's bolts, soon shot.” But whether at the same time he succeeds with his “Apology” for his own life, is entirely another question. The satirist himself has given us a clear clue by which to follow the windings of the Bp.'s argument. At the end of the poem (p. 297), he tells us (1) that B. was only sincere in about half of his speech; (2) that the rest, though unsound, was put in a way unanswerable by his opponent; (3) that his rhetorical devices consisted in giving an assumed fixity to certain passing ideas of his own (the cabin-simile in particular); in suppressing the real premises from which he reasoned, and so in calling true things by wrong names. Socrates once compared a sophist to the Hydra :1 it is a many-headed monster of fallacy that we have to deal with in Bp. Blougram. It is of not much avail to attack him in detail. He is wrong in the concealed premises from which all his reasoning starts. The root is at fault; and nothing will serve but extirpation (argumentatively speaking) as applied to him. At the same time, I prefer to consider his sophistry as ironical. No man (it seems to me) of the Bp.'s calibre ever seriously reasoned as he does in portions of his argument.

Although the admirable sketch of the Bp. may remind us strongly, in certain external traits, of an ecclesiastic once well-known among us, it would be obviously unfair to treat Bp. Blougram as a whole, otherwise than as an “imaginary person.” Yet any bishop might well feel flattered in having so dialectical a head attributed to him as that

1 Euthydemus, p. 297.

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