Obrazy na stronie

The Library.

Five Centuries of Religion. Vol. ii. The
Friars and the deadweight of tradition,
1200-1400. By G. G. Coulton. (Cambridge
University Press. £1 11s. 6d.).
SINCE the appearance of the first volume of
this great work we have looked forward
with pleasure to the second. We now lay Vol.
II. down with increased respect for both the
range and the minuteness of Dr. Coulton's
learning. The special task he here sets himself
does not afford much opportunity either for
displaying his penetration and original insight
in the matter of portraiture, or for eliciting
principles and forming generalisations. Yet
his characterization of St. Francis, though it
mainly refers back to the numerous works
about him, adds something definite to current
conceptions, especially in regard to the theory
of poverty, and in the useful insistence on the
fact that the positive elements so immeasur-
ably outweighed the negative " in the saint's
mind; and he has drawn out of obscurity and
set clearly before us, albeit only in one aspect
the notable figure of Odo Rigaldi.

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a whole volume merely to decay, and the more
so as Dr. Coulton frankly acknowledges that
he insists upon the dark side of monastic his-
tory just because certain recent writers have
ignored it. Throughout he has the discomfiture
of these peccant historians in his eye:
in his
reader feels in
the end as tiresome the triumph with
which he sets down name after name,

reproach after reproach, to shatter the edify-
ing picture constructed at the expense of
suppression. He justifies his own suppression
of what was good by declaring that it has
already been over-emphasized. In so far as
he disapproves and combats disingenuousness
for the sake of edification in the writing of
history, we heartily agree with him, but we
think that contention with sinners of this
order would better find place in a review or
in a work ad hoc than in a history to which
students will turn for a substantial and all
round account of the subject. Some consideration
too, the mere reader himself may claim; and a
great deal of this book is uncommonly heavy
reading. Moreover, the true significance of the
evidence cannot well be seen when it is pre-
sented, as here, unrelated to the development
of the political, social, and intellectual
ditions of the times; unrelated to what was
good surviving and reviving in different times
and places in the monasteries, and unrelated
cussion of these topics would have served Dr.
too, to the influence of personalities. Dis-
Coulton well even in his own sense, by giving
formlessness, not easy to get a grasp of. To
form and coherence to what is now, through
turies on the plan of describing the decay first
write an account of religion in these two cen-
and the religion second is like writing a life of


Virtually only one generalisation or master idea can be elicited from, and used to interpret, the facts here handled: the deadly effect of wealth upon religion. This Dr. Coulton sees not only in the large but also in its detailed working, and the picture he draws of the stranglehold of riches in the first six chapters of the book is as impressive as it is melancholy. The theme of the volume is not religion as a Keats which should first tell with the utmost whole as it presented itself to the world during detail available the progress of his consumption. the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, but and only thereafter give account of himself and religion when, where and how, in spite of its his work. And just as what Keats has left us ideals, in spite of heroic individual lives, and as the outcome of his last years stands by its in spite of reiterated reforms, it was decay- own merits; so what the world owes to the best ing. This narrowing of subject makes it men and the best community life in these cennecessary to postpone any serious judgment turies is not in itself diminished by the more of this volume until we have the succeeding general failure to uphold the monastic ideal. ones, which are to deal, we understand, This is a point of which, if we mistake with the ordinary life of the monastery not, Dr. Coulton is inclined to make too and other topics not connected with cor- little. The evil in the monasterie s had ruption. Except, perhaps, in inconsiderable nothing distinctive about it, or, if it had, detail, no one would dispute the truth, as that arose from the special character and facts, of the facts here set out by Dr. Coulton. quality of monastic life, and it is precisely that He gives us chapter and verse for his multitud- special element which eludes us here. There is inous statements, of which the most important a chapter entitled The Glory and the Gloom,' are drawn from remaining records of visita- which treats of the rise of the friars but passes tions, just as the evidential value of visitations over perfunctorily with a quotation or two furnishes the topic of the most important of whatever is meant by the former word. This the discussions a topic requiring to be care- is to be made good by and by; but meanwhile, fully thought over. as we indicated above, the plan upon which he has proceeded makes fair criticism of Dr. Coulton's work in its present state almost impos sible since he has simply dashed in all the shadows of the picture and bids us wait till later for the lights, for outline of forms, and discrimination of levels and proportions. What the finished piece is to count for as an interpretation of the religious life is the real point

Dr. Coulton's conscientiousness is such that a large proportion of these pages is virtually scissors and paste work, a rolling up of a great mass of evidence, from all quarters and from times outside his assigned field, to prove, as it certainly does prove, that the religious of these centuries were often, perhaps mostly, in a bad way. We rather doubt the wisdom of devoting

of interest. It is in sight, we think, but not so, Goldsmith's birth, to make any collection of as yet, clearly enough for discussion.

New Essays by Oliver Goldsmith. Now first collected and edited with an Introduction and Notes by Ronald S. Crane. (University of Chicago Press: Cambridge University Press. 158. net).




as anonymous

HOSE upon whom Goldsmith has cast his spell and he is very capable of holding those whom he suits bound in a spell-will feel greatly, and justly, indebted to Mr. Ronald S. Crane. Indeed, what he has achieved is somewhat of a feat, whether we consider the longsuffering labour required, or the deep-going and easy familiarity with Goldsmith without which the labour would have been vain, or, again, the acuteness to discern amid the of material searched through the stuff, or promise of the stuff, he was seeking. We have here eighteen essays, not hitherto recognized Goldsmith's, which appeared contributions in and have been extracted by Mr. Crane from, the British Magazine, the Royal Magazine, the Public Ledger, the Lady's Magazine and Lloyd's Evening Post, In ascribing them to Goldsmith, Mr. Crane relies partly, and in some cases upon external evidence, principally, but not without due caution, upon resemblances in them to Goldsmith's other work. He points out that with Goldsmith this method of identification is more promising than with most authors, in that Goldsmith's stock of ideas was small, and but little added to in the course of his career as a writer. Caution has restricted the collection to this relatively small number of examples; but in an appendix we are given a considerable number of pieces in which Mr. Crane finds trace of Goldsmith upon which he invites study and opinion. The notes supply the parallels which support the ascription to Goldsmith of the essays selected. So far as a first reading and thinking over can be worth anything judgment of this sort hardly reaches finality without some slow savouring we should think Mr. Crane's intuition in style and consideration of evidence have served him well. The essays themselves are not equal to those we know so well as Goldsmith's

works published to celebrate him should not miss this book of Mr. Crane's.

We have received from the Oxford University Press M. Henri Delacroix's Zaharoff lecture for 1926 entitled L'Analyse Psychologique de lá Fonction Linguistique (2s. net) an argument based on the fourfold distinction of la langue, le langage, le parler, and la parole; and Mr. H. A. L. Fisher's Taylorian Lecture for 1927, Paul Valéry (28. net), a penetrative study of the most curious and baffling poet of our time. For the English Association, the Oxford Press us Mr. S. C. Roberts's Lord also sends Macaulay: the Pre-eminent Victorian (suggestive and amusing and making a real contribution to solution of the puzzle why Macaulay, with all the gifts and greatness he possessed, falls somehow short), and Mr. Michael Sadleir's The Northanger Novels: a footnote to Jane Austen, where Mr. Sadleir has applied his critical wisdom with much sympathy to the Gothic productions of the end of the eighteenth century. He is so fortunate as to be able to add an appendix announcing discovery of a copy of the lost Orphan of the Rhine, which turns out to be a good deal on the lines he predicts in the text. He gives in facsimile the seven title-pages of Isabella Thorp's seven favourites. The account of them is preceded by a good introduction on Gothic romance which contains, too, happy phrases. 66 in terms Thus we like the ruin which becomes of emotion, sensibility and an elegant disequilibrium of the spirit."


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Vol. 154. No. 5.

FEBRUARY 4, 1928.

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MEMORABILIA :-73. NOTES:-The Chiltern dwellers, 75-Unpublished letters of Warren Hastings, 76-A XVII Century MS. List of Tokens, 78-A curious insurance policy, 81.

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use made of it in the world at large; on the
other in the way it is taught.
development of experimental science he
calls the former; and gives plenty of
examples to show what he means: we are
becoming mechanised automata; science,
modern superstition, in the hands of a few
freaks, is driving us along the roads of
mechanical progress to our destruction.
to teaching, he complains that, forced by the
schools give the
Universities, teachers in
young professional science and dogmatic at
that, not reasoned, therefore worthless to the
mass of scholars." As education, he avers,
in school and University, science so called
has been a dismal failure; and suggests to us
to go back to Huxley's definition of it,
organized common sense,' as our guide for
reform. Mr. W. M. Parker has a good paper
on Meredith, for whom he is so bold as to
predict eventual standing with Dante,
rate hardly count for so much beyond his own
which we reflect that Meredith will at any
language and country as these have contrived
to do. Mr. Robert M. Macdonald's account
of the Solomon Islands and the New Hebrides,
and the horrors connected with the "Netik,"
especially in the description of devil-worship
will repay
Mr. Mayo continues his Harrow
an anthropologist's attention.

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Shakespeare, Cervantes and Scott,"



A CORRESPONDENT sends to The Times (Jan. 30) account of a humble but yet important centenary that of the vehicle first called an " omnibus." These appeared first in Paris, on Jan. 30, 1828, driving down the boulevards. Pascal had had some such idea with the carrosses à cinq sols, which ran for a few years and then were dropped. M. Baudry was the man who, after an interval of one hundred and fifty years or so, revived the plan and gave the new carrosses their name. The route was from the Bastille to the Made- THE further article, in this month's Connoisseur on the Rowlandson drawings in leine by way of the Porte St. Martin; the the Desmond Coke Collection, by Mr. fare 25 centimes. In order to induce the public to adopt the new mode, when the very Basil S. Long, illustrates the artist's feelname of the vehicle proclaimed a recklessing for landscape and poetry of place in disregard of class, the Duchesse de Berry was the rendering of village street and hillside He had, as these drawings persuaded to make a journey from the Made- and buildings. leine to the Bastille in an omnibus. The show, an unusually happy feeling for air, and device was successful. The following year power of rendering it. This is conspicsaw Mr. George Shillibeer introducing the uous not only in the country scenes or in the omnibus to London. It is sad to think that Review,' but equally in the densely crowded the originator of anything so useful should, and grim Execution at Newgate.' but a year after setting it going, have been Charles R. Beard touches a relatively new hopelessly ruined by competition possibly, subject in his paper on English Medieval possibly by the cheating of his employees. Closing Rings,' that is door-handles in the At any rate he found it all too bad to face, which the first presents a gargoyle-like head form of rings. He gives ten illustrations, of and committed suicide. If any one's work ever survived him, his has survived poor M. not doubtfully to be assigned to the twelfth Baudry. century. This is at Dormington in Herefordshire. Of other heads the most interesting is one at Stratford-on-Avon of the fourteenth century. Mr. Ambrose Heal, in collaboration with Mr. Howard H. Cotterell, makes a number of good additions to the account of Pewterers' Trade-Cards contributed to the Connoisseur about a year ago. The article begins with some additional information

PROFESSOR Armstrong can claim to be listened to with respect, and his indictment of modern civilization under the title Captain Cuttle's Philosophy,' in the February Cornhill, tells thereby all the more depressingly. His main point is the mishandling of science, on the one hand in the

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