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Years After, written toward the close of his life, Tennyson expressed the feeling of the later period, — the sense of the inadequacy of modern science, which we have already found in the works of Ruskin and Carlyle. The cry of “Forward” is heard no longer; the inventions of science have not, after all, redeemed the world:

“Half the marvels of my morning, triumphs over time and space Staled by frequence, shrunk by usage into commonest common

place!”

But Tennyson is not merely the poet of scientific invention, in its promise or in its disappointments; he is the poet of science in a far deeper sense. He absorbed the theories and the spirit of modern science, and made them the basis of much of his work. Yet his point of view is not purely scientific, for he interpreted the new scientific ideas in his own way, often finding in them a deeper spiritual meaning. The theory of evolution, for example, appealed to him very deeply and became a leading feature of his teachings. But it was the broad spiritual application of this theory which interested him. Evolution, or the development of life from the lower to the higher, suggested to him the eternal purpose of God in his creation; it revealed life to him as a slow progress toward perfection. So the youthful cry of “Forward” gains a deeper meaning, and Tennyson sees:

“One God, one law, one element,
And one far-off divine event
To which the whole creation moves."

Thus Byron's rebellious clamor for liberty, Shelley's noble "passion for reforming the world" by some sudden and unaccountable conversion of humanity, were

succeeded by Tennyson's belief that the race is slowly moving upward, and that all which is low and brutal in man is to be brought at last under the mastery of the spirit. This painful but certain progress of the race is the underlying theme of the Idylls of the King. Taken as a whole, these Idylls show us the struggle between the lower and the higher elements in man, — between body and spirit, the senses and the soul. The higher elements are not always victorious: the progress of the world, while certain, is not uninterrupted. King Arthur tries to set up his ideal Kingdom, to reform the world at a stroke, as Shelley would have done, and apparently fails. But his failure is only apparent. He is disheartened only because he has been too impatient and has not seen to the end. Arthur will come again, and as he departs, the King himself declares, “I pass but shall not die.”

Finally, Tennyson is not only the poet of modern science and modern progress; he is the poet of that conflict between doubt and faith which stirred the men of his generation. Up to a certain point he followed science; but he felt that science alone could not meet the deepest needs of the soul. To Tennyson, the unseen, or spiritual, world was more real than the world which we call physical. He appreciated with the scientist the laws which govern the physical world, — the world we can see, and feel, and touch, yet to him the "true world” was the world of spirit:

Within the world we see
Whereof our world is but the bounding shore."

To him, as to Wordsworth, Carlyle, and Ruskin, Nature was but the manifestation of that Spirit which fills and sustains it:

“The sun, the moon, the stars, the seas, the hills and the plains –

Are not these, O Soul, the Vision of Him who reigns ?

race.

Conclusion. — Thus in Wordsworth and Carlyle, in Browning and in Tennyson, we find that deep religious earnestness, that astounding force, which we noted in those obscure English tribes who nearly fifteen centuries ago began to possess themselves of the Island of Britain. It is, indeed, this sound and vigorous character of the English race, underlying all the long centuries of its literary history, which gives a profound unity to all it has created. Browning's Prospice, that dauntless challenge to death from one who “was ever à fighter,” repeats, in its cadence and spirit, poetry that comes to us from the dimly seen and far-off childhood of our

If in the nineteenth century we have bartered and sold, and offered sacrifice to the Britannia of the market-place, it is still true that the problems of existence have never been dwelt on with more earnestness, that the greatest voices of the literature have called us with a new ardor to the eternal and the unseen. Henry Morley reminds us that the opening lines of Cædmon's Creation, the first words of English literature on English soil, are words of praise to the Almighty Maker of all things. After reviewing in outline the long and splendid history of the literature thus solemnly begun, we find in the two greatest poet-voices of our own day, Alfred Tennyson and Robert Browning, the note of an invincible faith, an undiminished hope; we find them affirming, in the historic spirit of the English race,

“Thy soul and God stand sure.”

IMPORTANT DATES
HISTORICAL.
GEORGE IV

1820-1830 WILLIAM IV

1830-1837 Opening of Manchester and Liverpool Railroad

1830 Passage of Parliamentary Reform Bill

1832 Abolition of Slavery.

1833 VICTORIA

1837-1901 First electric telegraph in operation

1837 Steam communication established with United States. 1840 Sub-marine cable between England and America. .

1866 Chartist Riots

1842 Crystal Palace Exhibition.

1851 Duty on newspapers abolished

1855 Crimean War

1854-1856 Indian Mutiny

1857 Canadian Provinces united as Dominion of Canada 1867 Second Parliamentary Reform Bill

1867 Victoria, Empress of India

1876 Third Parliamentary Reform Bill

1885 Settlement and growth of Australia

.about 1788–1901 Commonwealth of Australia established

1901 Boer War in South Africa.

1899–1902

LITERARY.

Prose-writers (historians, essayists, etc.). THOMAS CARLYLE

. 1795-1881 Period of literary activity

about 1824-1881 THOMAS BABINGTON MACAULAY

1800-1859 Period of literary activity

about 1825-1859 JOHN HENRY NEWMAN

1801-1890 Apologia Pro Vitâ Suâ

1864 JOHN RUSKIN

1819–1900 Modern Painters

1843–1860 Unto This Last .

1862 MATTHEW ARNOLD

1822-1888 On Translating Homer

1861 (Other prose-writers: James A. F'ROUDE, E. A. FREEMAN,

FREDERIC HARRISON, LESLIE STEPHEN, J. R. GREEN, WALTER
H. PATER, J. A. SYMONDS, etc.)

NOVELISTS.
WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY

1811-1863 Vanity Fair

1847 Henry Esmond

1852 CHARLES DICKENS.

1812–1870 Period of literary activity

about 1834–1870 GEORGE ELIOT

1820–1981 Scenes of Clerical Life

1858 Daniel Deronda

1876 GEORGE MEREDITH

1828-1909 THOMAS HARDY .

born 1840 (Other novelists and story-writers: CHARLES READE; ANTHONY

TROLLOPE; CHARLOTTE, Emily, and ANNE BRONTË; CHARLES
KINGSLEY, WILKIE COLLINS, R. L. STEVENSON, RUDYARD
KIPLING, etc.).

POETS.
ALFRED TENNYSON

. 1809-1892 Period of literary activity

about 1830–1892 ROBERT BROWNING

1812-1889 Period of literary activity

about 1833-1889 RISE OF PRE-RAPHAELITE SCHOOL OF POETRY AND PAINTING

about 1848 Prominent in this movement were DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI

(1828–1882) and William MORRIS (1834–1896). ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE

1837-1909 Atalanta in Calydon .

1864 Poems and Ballads

1866 (Other poets of the period: EDWARD FITZGERALD (Omar Khay

yám, 1859), MATTHEW ARNOLD, COVENTRY PATMORE, GEORGE MEREDITH, JAMES THOMSON, ALFRED AUSTIN, Austin Dobson, WILLIAM Watson, RUDYARD KIPLING, etc.)

SCIENCE.
SIR CHARLES LYELL's Principles of Geology

1830 British Association for the Advancement of Science founded .

1831 CHARLES DARWIN

1809–1882 Origin of Species

1859 HERBERT SPENCER

1820–1903 THOMAS HENRY HUXLEY

1825-1895

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