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CIVIL SERVICE PAPERS.-I.
The results we shall set forth at length under the different
The Commissioners having ascertained what was wanted, It is the intention, in the series of papers that will follow upon arranged examinations accordingly, and the practice is now, the subject of the Civil Service, to explain as fully as is neces- when nominations are given, to send with them notice to attend sary for all practical purposes, not only what the Civil Service before the Civil Service Commissioners, who arrange, as a matter is, but how to get into it. The various branches of the service of course, for the examination to take place. The offices of the will be pointed out, their relative importance will be explained, Commission were in Dean's Yard, Westminster; they are now and the most accurate information will be given as to the removed to Cannon Row.' means of obtaining nominations, as to the examinations to be As to patronage, the principle of throwing the public service passed, as to the salaries given, and as to the nature of the open to general competition has not yet obtained. The patronduties which devolve upon successful candidates after admission age is in the hands of ministers, who bestow nominations where into the service. The aim and object of this series of papers they wish to oblige. Some ministers make a rule of disobliging is to enable those who have not other means of knowing, to their personal friends, lest they should be charged with nepotism; ascertain for themselves what the conditions of service are, and others will not give except to personal friends, lest they should to put them in the way of working up to the standard of edu- be charged with using their power for political purposes; some cational requirements, without being necessarily driven to employ are amenable to both these influences; and a few lay down expensive assistance; and to place in the hands of the thousands for themselves a rule which it is impossible to carry out, a who draw the means of self-education from the POPULAR rule of selecting from the applicants only those who are best EDUCATOR, the further means of turning their education to qualified, irrespective of the interest recommending them. In account in an honourable and useful way.
seeking to obtain a Government appointment, the greatest disThe Civil Service is the office-staff of the country. Over crimination should be used, both as to the place asked for and every important department of State is placed a minister of the influence to be worked in order to get a nomination. It is the Crown responsible to Parliament, and changing with the vain for a candidate personally unsuitable for a particular office Government; but, for the purposes of actual administration, to try to get into it: the minister will not nominate him. It is there are under each minister a number of sub-departments which equally futile to set in motion influence which might avail for are charged with the execution of details, with carrying out the department No. 6, if department No. 1 is the department aimed orders of the minister, and with the performance of all business at. _Influence which would open the door of the Custom House naturally pertaining to his branch of government. Thus, the or Excise Offices, might knock in vain for admission at the War Office, with its sub-departments, is charged with the door of the Foreign or Home Offices ; and interest that is an transaction of all business pertaining to the army, the Admiralty "Open Sesame” at the Post Office might be powerless at the with all naval matters, the Treasury with all affairs relating to Admiralty or Treasury. As a rule, strong political interest is the public income and expenditure. These offices are manned the most efficacious of all, in every department; and applicaby persons on what is called the establishment, which includes tions by the servants of the State, whether civil, naval, or both the directors and the doers of departmental business, the military, are more likely to command attention than those of secretaries, heads of departments, and the clerks, assistants, persons having no connection with the public service. Any title and writers. The aggregate of these “establishments" is the on the score of past services should be put prominently forward, Civil Service.
and as for refusals in any case, it will not do to be discouraged How does one get into it? Formerly, the process was per by the stereotyped answer: “Your claims will be considered fectly easy for those who possessed influence enough to get with those of others as opportunities occur.” It will not do to nominations. Nomination carried with it the appointment; be discouraged ; it will not do to be put off the scent by it. the idea—if there was any definite idea on the subject-being Contra audentior ito must be the motto of those who would win that the minister would not nominate any one who was not in the race for appointments; they must not be abashed, nor competent for the post. As a matter of fact, however, ministers must they go away ashamed. Let them remember the importudid appoint persons who were often notoriously unfit; they nate widow. never appointed any one because of special fitness, but gave When the nomination has been received it will commonly be nominations to their friends and those for whom their friends found that it is conditional on the candidato succeeding in a asked, without inquiring into the qualifications of the candidates. competitive examination with several other candidates. In the Appointments in the Civil Service were looked upon as a means early days of examinations, and sometimes even now, it was of repaying political adherents for service done, and as a means only required of candidates that they should come up to a certain also of providing for the needy sons of “good families” on standard; but it is the general rule at present that no vacancy friendly relations with the minister. Whether the public service shall be filled but by the winner in a competition. It is, was helped or not was a secondary consideration, and no steps therefore, manifestly advantageous to offer to be examined in aś were taken to justify, by examination or otherwise, the nomination many extra subjects as possible ; for though it is absolutely of the minister. For some years before the Civil Service Com- necessary to come up to the standard, and no amount of excel. mission was instituted, there was a practice in some of the lence in extra subjects will make up for deficiencies in those preoffices by which nominees underwent a pro formâ examination, scribed, yet marks in extra subjects tell considerably when once after admission, by the chief clerk of the department to which the standard has been attained. As a means of preparation for they were accredited. But this examination was of the very the examination, it is well, if the expense can be afforded, to emslenderest kind, and consisted more in ascertaining by whose ploy " a coach," or a tutor whose special business it is to educate interest the candidate had come in, than in finding out what candidates up to the mark of proficiency. A “coach” knows ideas he had, or how much or how little his education had fitted the stock questions, and knows also the trick and style of each him for the service.
particular class of examination; and where cramming is necesIn the year 1855 the principle was recognised that, in the sary, it is almost indispensable to employ such help. But it interests of the public service, candidates for appointments is far from being essential. Any one who has thoroughly should be subjected to examination after receiving a nomination, mastered his subjects, whether by private study or tuition, has and not be appointed until the minister nominating should have no need to fear the most artfully-contrived questions; and to had a certificate from the examiners of the fitness of the can- such a candidate the pass certificate is personally ten times didates. As an expression of this principle, the Civil Service more valuable and satisfactory than to him who has succeeded Commission was issued to certain well-qualified persons, who only through a process of mental forcing. It is quite competent were empowered to erect educational standards of efficiency, to a diligent private student, working with such material as the and to try all candidates by such standards. The principle of POPULAR EDUCATOR furnishes and points out to him, to qualify nomination was retained, but nominees were tested either with himself for an examination of one of the better sort of offices in reference to the standard only, or with reference to their relative the Civil Service. In addition to testing his power by such merits in a competitive examination. The Commissioners com- specimens of examination papers as we have been enabled to promunicated with every branch of the public service, and ascer- vide (those that will be given are taken from the published reports tained from heads of offices the subjects in which candidates for of the Civil Service Commissioners themselves), let him got as the respective
departments were required to be proficient. many of the papers as possible, and make a habit of going right
through them, getting some able friend to look over his answers
Extra Clerks. for him, and to set him right when in error. A little inquiry
1. Handwriting and orthography, among Civil Service men, perhaps an application for information
2. Arithmetic (including rule of three). at the offices of the Commission itself, will enable any one to
3. Grammatical construction of sentences of a simple character. form a very accurate notion of the extent and character of the Messengers and office-keepers, who must be between 20 and examination in each particular subject.
40 years of age, are examined in-1. Reading; 2. Writing from In dealing with the Government Offices for the purpose of dictation ; 3. Elementary arithmetic. these articles, the intention is to group them according to their
3.-FOREIGN OFFICE. standing, as more useful and instructive than according to their alphabetical order. Group I. includes the Treasury and the
This office carries on all the administrative business of the Home, Foreign, and Colonial Offices.
state in its relations with foreign countries; pursues the policy
of the Foreign Secretary for the time being to its practical end, GROUP I. (FOUR OFFICES).
has the oversight of ambassadors, consuls, and all diplomatic 1.- TREASURY.
agents of Great Britain. Age of admission for clerks, 18 to 24; The business of the Treasury is to control the spending and for attachés, 21 to 26; consuls, 25 to 50; foreign servico mes. revenue departments of Government; to decide upon all questions sengers, 25 to 35. Home establishment divided into five classes. of principle affecting the revenue of the country; to prepare the Pay :ways and means, subject to the revision of Parliament, for carrying on the business of the country, and generally to influence
Annunl the whole machinery of the administration.
Increase. Age of admission for clerks, established or supplemental, 18 to 25. Establishment divided into three classes, with three Third-class Junior Clerks
£100 £10 £150 supplemental classes. The salaries are as follow:
150 350 550
10 15 20 25
300 545 650
£100 £15 £250
Patronage in the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Second-class Clerks
600 First-class Clerks
1, Writing from Dictation,
4. German (translation and reading MS.). Messengers, £85 to £150 a year.
II. CLERKS IN CHIEF CLERK'S DEPARTMENT. Patronage in First Lord of the Treasury. The qualifications 1. Exercises designed to test Handwriting, accuracy of punctuarequired are :
tion, and orthography. 1. Handwriting and Orthography.
2. Arithmetic (including Vulgar and Decimal Fractions). 2. Arithmetic (including Vulgar and Decimal Fractions).
3. Geography (a general knowledge). 3. English Composition.
4. Book-keeping by Single Entry. 4. Précis.
5. French (Translation). 5. Geography. 6. History of England.
III. ATTACHÉS. 7. First three Books of Euclid.
1. Orthography and Handwriting.
2. General Intelligence, 8. Latin, French, German, or Italian, the selection being left to
3. Précis Writing. candidate.
4. Latin (Grammar and Translation into English). Supplemental clerks are examined in-1. Handwriting and 5. Arithmetic (the first four rules, and Decimals-Colenso). orthography; 2. Arithmetic (including vulgar and decimal 6. Euclid (Book I.). fractions); 3. English composition. Their pay is as above, and 7. Geography. they have no claim to be put on the establishment when vacancies 8. French (Grammar and Translation into English). occur. Messengers, who must be between 21 and 25 years of
9. German (Grammar). age, are examined in--1. Reading; 2. Writing from dictation;
10, Constitutional History of England [Text-books, " Blackstone's 3. Elementary arithmetic.
Commentaries" (Kerr's edition of 1862), and Hallam's Con
stitutional History of England]. 2.--HOME OFFICE.
11. A general knowledge of the Political History of Europe and of This office carries on the ministerial part of the government
the United States of North America, from the Treaty of at home, is responsible for the preservation of the country's
Paris, in 1815, to the Treaty of Villafranca, in 1860, comprising peace, and is the supreme authority on all questions of internal
an acquaintance with the most important international trans
actions during that period. policy. Age of admission for established clerks, 18 to 25; for extra clerks, 17 to 35. Establishment divided into three classes, of a Commission as Third Secretary and that of a Commission as Second
A second examination must be undergone in the interval between the grant and supplemental clerks. Pay :
1. General Intelligence, as evinced by the manner in which they
acquit themselves, and specifically by the quickness they may
show in seizing the points in papers read by them or read Third-class Clerks £100 £10 £300
over to them once or twice. Second-class Clerks
2. Précis Writing. Senior Clerks
3. French (Grammar, Translation into English, Translation into Extra Clerks-Third-class
French, and Conversation).
4. German (Grammar, and Translation into English). First-class
(If the Candidate between his first and second examination has not resided
a reasonable time--twelve months, for instance-in Germany, he may substitute Patronage in Secretary of State for the Home Department. for German some other foreign language besides French). Qualifications :-
5. Political History of Europe, a general knowledge of the Political 1. Handwriting and Orthography.
History of Europe, and of the United States of North America, 2. Arithmetic (including Vulgar and Decimal Fractions).
from the Treaty of Versailles, in 1783, to the Treaty of Villa3. English Composition.
franca, in 1860, comprising the most important international 4. Geography.
transactions during that period. 5. English History.
6. Political Economy (a general knowledge to be required from 6. Latin.
Adam Smith's “Wealth of Nations," and Mill's "Political 7. French
100 250 350
20 25 10 10 15
7. Maritime and International Law (a general knowledge to be referred to the examination papers which are published by the
acquired from Vattel, Wheaton's "Elements of International authority of the Civil Service Commissioners, and which are
Law," and the first volume of Kent's “ Commentaries"). 8. A General Report on the Commerce and Political Relations of readily supplied to all who ask for them.
the several Countries in which they have resided. Candidates
EXERCISES IN EUCLID.-I.
The question is frequently asked, What is the utility of the geo
Without in any languages upon which the candidate is destined to be employed. way attempting to discuss its merits, we content ourselves with V. CONSULS AND VICE-CONSULS. 1. Arithmetic (including Vulgar and Decimal Fractions).
giving the only satisfactory answer which can be given, that 2. English Composition.
such studies are pursued, not for their results, but for the intel3. French (written and spoken).
lectual habits which they generate. The power to apprehend 4. The language of the port at which the candidate may be ap- and the power to convince are both strengthened; the habit of pointed to reside.
clear and consecutive reasoning is developed by the successive 5. British Mercantile and Commercial Law. [Text-book, Smith's stages through which the mind is conducted in the course of a Compendium of Mercantile Law.]
geometrical investigation. It is our purpose, therefore, to aid VI. FOREIGN SERVICE MESSENGERS.
our readers by giving them a series of exercises upon the various 1. Arithmetic (first four rules). 2. Either French, German, or Italian (conversational knowledge). propositions of Euclid, consisting principally of riders” which VII, HOME SERVICE MESSENGERS ; OFFICE-KEEPERS; OFFICE may be deduced from them. Each article will take a certain
PORTERS ; DOOR PORTERS; AND OTHERS EMPLOYED IN SUB- number of propositions, and the riders given will be deduced ORDINATE CAPACITIES,
from them without assuming any subsequent ones. At the con1. Reading.
clusion of each article the ground to be covered by its successor 2. Writing from Dictation.
will be stated, and the enunciations given of those riders which 3. Arithmetic (first four rules).
will be proved, that the student may, if he so please, exercise VIII. HOUSEKEEPERS.
himself beforehand, by attempting their solution. It may be 1. Reading
mentioned here that the term “ rider" is applied to a deduction 2. Writing from Dictation. 3. Arithmetic (sufficient for simple accounts).
from any proposition of Euclid because the deduction is borne
ro or supported by the mathematical reasoning worked out in 4.-COLONIAL OFFICE.
the proposition, as a horseman, or rider, is supported or carried Governed by the Secretary of State for the Colonies, who has by the horse that he bestrides; or, in other words, that the proall the patronage; carries out the colonial policy of the coun-position carries the deduction on top of it, as it were, pretty try; instructs and supervises governors of British dependencies; much as the horse carries its rider. This explanation of a term watches generally over the interests of the colonies. Age of which is familiar enough to any Cambridge man, may be necesadmission for clerks, 18 to 25; for messengers and porters, sary for the information of many of our self-taught students who 21 to 35. Establishment divided into four classes. Pay : now meet with the apparently singular but decidedly appropriate
expression for the first time.
Maximum. We assume a knowledge of definitions, axioms, and postulates.
Definitions are the explanations of terms to be used in the
course of investigation; axioms are statements of things obvious Assistant Junior Clerks
to common sense; postulates are statements of things requisite, Junior Clerks
without which the investigation cannot be carried on. All those Assistant Clerks Senior Clerks
160 350 700
15 20 25
requisite for the first book are given at the commencement of
any ordinary edition of Euclid's Elements, a book which, we Qualifications :
presume, is in the possession of all who intezd to follow us in I. CLERKS.
these exercises. Those who have not yet provided themselves Preliminary Examination :
with a copy may obtain a useful edition at the office of the 1. Handwriting and Orthography.
POPULAR EDUCATOR.* 2. Arithmetic (including Vulgar and Decimal Fractions).
It will be seen that some of the propositions are headed 3. Précis or Abstract of Official Papers.
“Problem," some “Theorem.” Strictly speaking, a “theorem" 4. Geography.
is the proof of a geometrical fact; a "problem" is the solution 5. Translation from one of the following Languages-Greek, Latin, of some geometrical difficulty, or a method of executing some French, German, Spanish, Italian–the selectien being left to geometrical device which
mayaid us in the solution of “theorems.” the candidate. Candidates failing to satisfy the Civil Service Commissioners upon The riders which we shall give will be some " problems,” some each of these subjects will not be permitted to proceed further with "theorems." In either case the method of solution may be the examination.
thus indicated. We have certain given facts, and a certain end Final Examination :
to be deduced from them. Taking first the facts, endeavour to 1. Languages and Literature of Greece and Rome.
argue from them towards the required end. Then, assuming 2. Languages and Literature of France, Germany, and Italy. the required end to be accomplished, endeavour to argue back 3. Modern History, including that of the British Colonies and from it to the original facts; and if some common ground can
Possessions ; Exercises in English Composition, designed to be found in which these processes meet in one, the problem is
test purity and accuracy of style. 4. Elements of Constitutional and International Law; Elements argue out for ourselves
, Book I., we have given a straight
solved or the theorem is proved. Thus, if we were endeavouring to of Political Economy. 5. Pure and mixed Mathematics, not including the highest line a B, and have to find a point c, such that CA, C B, and a B shall branches ; Accounts and Book-keeping.
be all equal. Assuming this accomplished, we see that A is the of the five classes of subjects thus defined, Candidates are at liberty to select centre of a circle passing through B and o; and B is the centre of any number not exceeding three in which they dosire to be examined. a circle passing through A and c. Thence our method is obvious. II. TEMPORARY REGISTRY CLERKS.
Let us apply this method to the following proposition :1, Handwriting and Orthography.
PROPOSITION I.-If in the figure of Euclid 1. 1 (Fig. 1), the 2. Indexing. III. PORTERS AND LIBRARY MESSENGERS.
circles cut again in F, and the line C F cut A B in G;
(B) 2. Writing from Dictation,
Angle ACG= angle BCG; 3. Arithmetic (first four rules).
And angles AGC, B G C are right angles. (y) The above will afford all the information requisite for aspirants Join A F, BF; then Ac, AF are equal, being radii of the same to any of the four offices that we have included in Group I., as circle (Def. 15). And for the same reason B 0, B F are equal. far as emoluments and subjects of examination are concerned. Cassell's Euclid: being the First Six Books, with the Eleventh Por details respecting the style and nature of the examinations and Twelfth of EUCLID. Crown 8vo, stiff covers, 18.; cloth, 19. 6d. for the various branches of the Civil Service, candidates are Key to ditto, 4a.
But AC=BC; and by Axiom 1 things which are equal to the triangle required. For since A C, A G are radii of the same circle, same thing are equal to one another. Therefore A C, A F, BC, AC=AG; but A G = 4 A B, therefore a c= 4 A B. Similarly BF are all equal. Then, in the two triangles A CF, BCF, since BC=BI=4 AB; therefore AC = BC, and the triangle a BC AC=CB, and c r is common, also base A F= base F B, there is isosceles, and each of its sides equal to four times the base. fore, by Euclid I. 4, the angle acr= the angle BC F. Q. E. F. Hence the angle A C B is bi.
PROPOSITION IV.-If ABC (Fig. 4) be an isosceles triangle, sected by the line C F.
vertex A, and two points H, K be taken in the sides A B, A C, such
that Av=A K, and if BK, CH meet in F, then A F bisects the Again, in the two triangles ACG, angle BAC. E) BCG, because side Ac=side c B, and For in the triangles C A H, B A K, since A C= A B, and
side cg is common, also included A I = A K, also the included angle C A B is common to the two
cu to B K, and also the
base a I to the base A K,
therefore the included angle Again, in the two triangles AGC, BGC, because side A G = side ACH is equal to the included a B, and side c is common; also base a c= base CB; there- angle A B K (I. 4). But the fore, by Euclid I. 4, included angle adc = included angle BGC. whole angle ACB=whole But these are adjacent angles which the straight line CG makes A B C (I. 5), and, by Axiom 3, by standing on the straight line A B. Therefore, by Def. 10, if equals be taken from each of them is a right angle.
equals the remainders are This gives us at once the results of Props. IX., X., XI., and equal; therefore if ACH, XII. of Book I.
ABK be taken from A CB,
Fig. 4, PROPOSITION II.-- In the figure of Euclid I. 2 (Fig. 2), required A BC, the remainders FC B, to draw from D a straight line DMN, cutting the circles in mand FBC will be equal, and consequently the side rc = side n, such that m n, the part intercepted between them, may be FB (I. 6). Then, in the two triangles CAF, BAF, because equal to A L or B C.
AC=AB and Ar is common, also base Fc=base F B, thereSuppose DMN to be thus drawn, then DN, DL, being radii fore also included angle fac is equal to included angle PAB,
of the same circle, will be equal; that is, A F bisects the angle B AC. Q. E. D.
circle, DA = D M (Def, 15); and, cluded angle A EF=included angle
since D L, D N are radii of the GEF (I. 8), therefore CD bisects the
same circle, DL=DN. Therefore, angle A E B. Q. E. F. by Axiom 3, if D A, D M are taken from DL and DN, the re In the present paper we have mainders A L, M N will be equal; that is, the part of D N inter- used Book I. 1-8. In our next cepted between the circles will be equal to A L, and therefore paper we shall use Book I. 1-16,
Fig. 5. equal also to BC. Q. E. F.
and give solutions of the following Corollary.—It is obvious that there will be certain limits propositions :beyond which the problem will be impossible. This will be the PROPOSITION VI.-In the figure of Euc. I. 5, if G o at right case when the circle described with centre D and radius DA angles to A G cut al produced in 0, H being the intersection does not cut the smaller circle. When it touches the smaller of BG, FC, then of shall be perpendicular to A F. circle, there will be only one possible position for DMN, that of PROPOSITION VII.-If Ac, the side of an isosceles triangle passing through the point of contact. When it cuts there will A B C, be bisected in D, and BD produced to E, so that DEE be two positions, as indicated in the figure by the dotted line. D B, then if A E be joined, the angle A E D shall be equal to the PROPOSITION III.-On a given base AB (Fig. 3), to describe an angle D BC.
isosceles triangle PROPOSITION VIII.-If AB be two points on the same side
Produce A B with a c, one side shall coincide with A B, and the other side be both ways indefi- equal to D.
nitely to E and F, PROPOSITION X.-In an isosceles triangle A B C, if Al be E and from B E, the drawn from vertex A perpendicular to the base BC, and if AL
greater in the side be produced to m so that LM=LA, then shall BL be equal to Fig. 3.
remote from A, cut B A.
off BG equal to PROPOSITION XI.-If in any triangle the sides A B, A o be three times B A (I. 3), and from AF on the side remote from bisected in L,M, and Lo, Mo be drawn at right angles to A B, AC, B cut off A u equal to three times a B (I. 3), then a G will be meeting in o, then on, drawn perpendicular to Bo, will bisect equal to four times A B, and BI will be equal to four times BA. BC. From centre B, at distance B 1, describe a circle (Post. 3), and PROPOSITION XII.-In the figure of Euc. I. 9, if with centre from centre A, at distance A G, describe another circle, and
let A and radius
A F, a circle be described oatting A B, A C IN 1 M, these two circles cut in c. Join A C, B C, then A B C shall be the then shall E L be equal to BM.
LESSONS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE.-I.
closely connected with the history of the times. Thus the same
exuberance of life and energy, seeking a vent for itself in every INTRODUCTION.
direction, which in the days of Elizabeth and her successor sent The literature of England is a collection of works of art, each English sailors and adventurers about the world, discovering one of which may be studied separately, for the sake of its in- strange lands, fighting-half as lawful warriors, half as pirates dividual excellence, without regard to its connection with the-on the Spanish main, or colonising Virginia, is apparent in rest, or the circumstances of its production. Such a study will all the Elizabethan dramatists, and above all in Shakespeare. develop the taste and judgment, and give pleasure in proportion Their characteristics are activity of invention, freedom, and to the capacity of the student; and it requires only diligence in variety. And the same patriotic pride and unity of national reading, and sufficient discernment to appreciate what is read. spirit which was shown when the Armada threatened our shores All that a teacher can do to assist it, is to point out what are is prominent in the literature of the period. It is the very keythe works best worthy of study, and to call attention to some of note of at least one of Shakespeare's plays, "Henry V.” But their more prominent beauties. This service we hope to render the next generation of Englishmen lived in a very different to such students in the course of the following lessons, so far as world. England was no longer a united nation. The kingour space permits us.
Charles I.--and his people have been alienated from one another, But those who would go in the full benefit of the study of the liberties of the nation are at stake, the civil war ensues; English literature must rez ird it from a wider point of view. and the political contest is intensified and embittered by the The literature of a country is one of the most instructive parts religious differences which are so closely connected with it. The of its history. Every thoughtful student of history seeks to day is one in which every man is compelled to choose his side in know not only what men have done, but what they have thought a contest of surpassing importance; and men do choose their and felt. He seeks to know not merely the great external sides, and maintain them with rare earnestness and fidelity. events of the period he is studying—the wars, the revolutions, and how does this change of spirit in men show itself in literathe religious controversies, the social struggles--but also the ture? The representative of the literature of the age is Milton. motives which influenced men, the extent of their know- Milton in power of genius falls behind none of the Elizabethan ledge, their standard of right and wrong, their likes and dis- poets, except Shakespeare himself; but in tone and spirit his likes: in short, he wishes to know not men's acts only, but men; works stand in the strongest contrast to theirs. Seriousness and for this he must look chiefly to the literature they have left of spirit, earnestness of purpose, and an intense realisation of behind them. Every student of English literature, then, ought the presence of the unseen, are the characteristics of everything to endeavour, in all that he reads, to read not only beautiful he has left us. Nor is the change less instructive in the next poetry or eloquent prose, but history as well.
generation. The Commonwealth was followed by the RestoraIt is not merely that he will find historical facts embedded in tion. The cavalier party became in the ascendant. A natural what he reads, which he might not meet with elsewhere, though reaction against the austerity of puritanism, combined with the this is true. He will also find such facts related often by eye evil example of a licentious court, introduced a tone of morality witnesses, and therefore with all that freshness and vividness of lower than anything that had ever been known in England bedescription which stimulates the imagination and impresses the fore; and this is immediately reproduced in the literature of the memory. He will
, moreover, be able to observe for himself, and day. Dryden and the series of comedians whom we shall have at first hand, what effect was produced upon men's minds at the to describe hereafter are its chief representatives; and they time by the great events of history with which he is familiar. stand in the most marked contrast to the writers of the pre
All these things are of importance. But the connection be- vious generation, in the entire absence of any seriousness or tween national history and a national literature lies much deeper earnestness of purpose, and in their low moral tone. still; and it is of the utmost importance that every student of Nor is it only the changes and movements taking place literature should at the outset clearly realise it. Every one must within our own country, which we may see thus faithfully reobserve that literature in England has not been like a river flected in the literature of each age. The study of literature flowing on in a steady and unbroken course ; but has ebbed and enlarges our view and enables us to watch the influence which lowed like the tide, though without the regularity of the tide. one nation has exercised upon another, either by means of its In the days of Edward III., at the close of the fourteenth living thinkers and writers, or by its older literature. Thus we century, there was produced a great mass of literature, of which all read, as matter of history, that at the time of the first great Chancer's poems are the most important examples. For a harvest of English literature, in the time of Edward III., century afterwards there is almost a total blank. Then began the chief impulse to literary activity both in England and elsegradnally the revival, which culminated in the days of Elizabeth where was derived from Italy; for in Italy had but shortly and James I. in an amount of literary life such as has never before been produced the great works of Dante, Boccaccio, and been seen in England before or since the age of Shakespeare Petrarch. But the extent of this influence can only be appreand the great dramatists, of Spenser and the countless con- ciated by reading Chaucer's poems, and observing how he-one temporary poets. And the same alternation of activity and of the most original of poets--is indebted for his stories, his depression is to be seen throughout the whole history of our metres, and to a large extent his style, to his Italian models. literature. But what it is important for the student to observe This our readers will see more fully when we come to treat of is , that these changes are not isolated or meaningless events. Chaucer's poems in detail. In the same way we read, as matter Literary activity is only one of the many forms in which an of history, of the great effect produced in England, as elsewhere, increased mental energy exhibits itself, and a period fertile in during the Elizabethan era, by the revived knowledge of classical great books is sure to be a period fertile in great deeds and literature, through study of the originals by the few, through the great changes. Thus the age which produced the poetry of medium of translations with the many. But there is no way in Chaucer was the same in which the feudal organisation of which this influence can be more fully realised than by obserysociety was broken up, the same in which the national spirit ing how a man like Shakespeare, who had “small
Latin and less and vigour of England displayed itself in the French conquests Greek,” shows in his works that he was affected by it. Play of Edward III., the victories of Cressy and Poitiers; and the after play, as “ Julius Cæsar," and "Antony and Cleopatra," is fame in which Wycliffe led the first great religious reforma- taken from classical sources ; and in each he shows not only tion in England, the first rebellion against the superstitions of that he can follow the narrative
as he read it, probably in transthe dark ages and the corruptions of the clergy. The century lation, but that he had largely entered into the spirit of the of literary dearth that followed was a century of national de time. pression, in which the country was desolated by the Wars of We have said enough to show that the student of English the Roses. The Elizabethan era, so rich in literary genius, literature has the opportunity of reading English history in the was also the era of the revival of classical learning, of the fullest, best, and most reliable way, for he is enabled to get Reformation, of the Spanish wars and the defeat of the Armada, a step nearer to the men with whose history he is dealing than of the voyages of Drake and the other great navigators, and he can do by any other method. But the advantage of keeping of the first colonisation of America.
the connection between literature and history always in view is But not only is the amount of literary genius shown at different not entirely on the side of history. We have said that the times seen to be very different; the character and spirit of the various books which go to make
up the total of English literaworks produced varies not less,
and this diversity
may be so