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BEACON LIGHTS OF HISTORY.
BY JOHN LORD, LL.D.
AUTHOR OF "THE OLD ROMAN WORLD," "MODERN EUROPE," ETC., ETC.
DR LORD'S UNCOMPLETED PLAN,
SUPPLEMENTED WITH ESSAYS BY
EMERSON, MACAULAY, HEDGE, AND MERCER ADAM.
This being the last possible volume in the series of "Beacon Lights of History" from the pen of Dr. Lord, its readers will be interested to know that it contains all the lectures that he had completed (although not all that he had projected) for his review of certain of the chief Men of Letters. Lectures on other topics were found among his papers, but none that would perfectly fit into this scheme; and it was thought best not to attempt any collection of his material which he himself had not deemed worthy or appropriate for use in this series, which embodies the best of his life's work,--all of his books and his lectures that he wished to have preserved. For instance, "The Old Roman World," enlarged in scope and rewritten, is included in the volumes on "Old Pagan Civilizations," "Ancient Achievements," and "Imperial Antiquity;" much of his "Modern Europe" reappears in "Great Rulers," "Modern European Statesmen," and "European National Leaders," etc.
The consideration of "Great Writers" was reserved by Dr. Lord for his final task,--a task interrupted by death and left unfinished. In order to round out and complete this volume, recourse has been had to some other masters in literary art, whose productions are added to Dr. Lord's final writings.
In the present volume, therefore, are included the paper on "Shakspeare" by Emerson, reprinted from his "Representative Men" by permission of Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., the authorized publishers of Emerson's works; the famous essay on "Milton" by Macaulay; the principal portion--biographical and generally critical--of the article on "Goethe," from "Hours with the German Classics," by the late Dr. Frederic H. Hedge, by permission of Messrs. Little, Brown & Co., the publishers of that work; and a chapter on "Tennyson: the Spirit of Modern Poetry," by G. Mercer Adam.
A certain advantage may accrue to the reader in finding these masters side by side for comparison and for gauging Dr. Lord's unique life-work by recognized standards, keeping well in view the purpose no less than the perfection of these literary performances, all of which, like those of Dr. Lord, were aimed at setting forth the services of selected forces in the world's life.
NEW YORK, September 15, 1902.
SOCIALISM AND EDUCATION.
Jean Jacques Rousseau and Edmund Burke
Rousseau representative of his century
Education and early career; engraver, footman
Secretary, music teacher, and writer
His first public essay in literature
Operetta and second essay
Geneva; the Hermitage; Madame d'Épinay.
The "Nouvelle Héloïse;" Comtesse d'Houdetot
"Émile;" "The Social Contract"
Books publicly burned; author flees
England; Hume; the "Confessions"
Death, career reviewed
Character of Rousseau
Essay on the Arts and Sciences
"Origin of Human Inequalities"
"The Social Contract"
The "New Héloïse"
Influence of Rousseau
SIR WALTER SCOTT.
THE MODERN NOVEL.
Scott and Byron
Evanescence of literary fame
Parentage of Scott
Birth and childhood
Schooling and reading
Becomes an advocate
His friends and pleasures
Writing of poetry; first publication
Marriage and settlement
"Lay of the Last Minstrel;" Ashestiel rented
The Edinburgh Review: Jeffrey, Brougham, Smith
Jeffrey as a critic
Quarrels of author and publishers; Quarterly Review
Duration of poetic fame
Clerk of Sessions; Abbotsford bought
"Lord of the Isles;" "Rokeby"
Fiction; fame of great authors
Great popularity of Scott
"Old Mortality;" comparisons
Scotland's debt to Scott
Prosperity; rank; correspondence
Life at Abbotsford
Works issued in 1820-1825
Bankruptcy through failure of his publishers
Scott's noble character and action
Works issued in 1825-1831
Illness and death
Payment of his enormous debt
Vast pecuniary returns from his works
Difficulty of depicting Byron
Descent; birth; lameness
Schooling; early reading habits
Temperament and character
First publication of poems
Savage criticism by Edinburgh Review
"English Bards and Scotch Reviewers"
Byron becomes a peer
Loneliness and melancholy; determines to travel
Malta; Greece; Turkey
Profanity of language in Byron's time
Instant fame and popularity
Consideration of the poem
Marries Miss Milbanke; separation
Genius and marriage
"The Corsair;" "Bride of Abydos"
Evil reputation; loss of public favor
Byron leaves England forever
Switzerland; the Shelleys; new poems
Degrading life in Venice
Wonderful labors amid dissipation
The Countess Guiccioli
Two sides to Byron's character
His power and fertility
Inexcusable immorality; "Don Juan"
"Manfred" and "Cain" not irreligious but dramatic
Byron not atheistical but morbid
Many noble traits and actions
Generosity and fidelity in friendship
Eulogies by Scott and Moore
Byron's interest in the Greek Revolution
Devotes himself to that cause
Raises £10,000 and embarks for Greece
Collects troops in his own pay
His latest verses
Illness from vexation and exposure
Death and burial
CRITICISM AND BIOGRAPHY.
Froude's Biography of Carlyle
Brief résumé of Carlyle's career
Parentage and birth
Slender education; school-teaching
Abandons clerical intentions to become a writer
"Elements of Geometry;" "Life of Schiller;" "Wilhelm Meister"
Marries Jane Welsh
Edinburgh and Craigenputtock
Essays: "German Literature"
"Life of Heyne;" "Voltaire"
Wholesome and productive life at Craigenputtock
Friendship with Ralph Waldo Emerson
Carlyle removes to London
Begins "The French Revolution"
Manuscript accidentally destroyed
Habits of great authors in rewriting
Publication of the work; Carlyle's literary style
Better reception in America than in England
Carlyle begins lecturing
Popular eloquence in England
Carlyle and the Chartists
"Heroes and Hero Worship"
"Past and Present"
Carlyle becomes bitter
"Life of Oliver Cromwell"
Carlyle's confounding right with might
Great merits of Carlyle as historian
Death of Mrs. Carlyle
Success of Carlyle established
"Frederick the Great"
Decline of the author's popularity
Public honors; private sorrow
Final illness and death
Carlyle's place in literature
ARTISTIC HISTORICAL WRITING.
Macaulay's varied talents
Descent and parentage
Birth and youth
Character; his greatness intellectual rather than moral
Enters the law
His early writings; poetry; essay on Milton
Social success; contemporaries
Enters politics and Parliament
Sent to India; secretary board of education
Essays in the Reviews
Limitations as a statesman
Devotion to literature
Return to London and public office
Still writing essays; "Warren Hastings," "Clive"
Special public appreciation in America
Drops out of Parliament; begins "History of England"
Prodigious labor; extent and exactness of his knowledge
Self-criticism; brilliancy of style
Remarkable successes; re-enters Parliament
Illness and growing weakness
Conclusion of the History; foreign and domestic honors
Resigns seat in Parliament
Final illness and death; his fame
SHAKSPEARE; OR, THE POET.
BY RALPH WALDO EMERSON.
The debt of genius to its age and preceding time.
The era of Shakspeare favorable to dramatic entertainments.
The stage a substitute for the newspaper of his era.
The poet draws upon extant materials--the lime and mortar to his hand.
Plays which show the original rock on which his own finer stratum is laid.
In drawing upon tradition and upon earlier plays the poet's memory is taxed equally with his invention.
All originality is relative; every thinker is retrospective.
The world's literary treasure the result of many a one's labor; centuries have contributed to its existence and perfection.
Shakspeare's contemporaries, correspondents, and acquaintances.
Work of the Shakspeare Society in gathering material to throw light upon the poet's life, and to illustrate the development of the drama.
His external history meagre; Shakspeare is the only biographer of Shakspeare.
What the sonnets and the dramas reveal of the poet's mind and character.
His unique creative power, wisdom of life, and great gifts of imagination.
Equality of power in farce, tragedy, narrative, and love-songs.
Notable traits in the poet's character and disposition; his tone pure, sovereign, and cheerful.
Despite his genius, he shares the halfness and imperfection of humanity.
A seer who saw all things to convert them into entertainments, as master of the revels to mankind.
JOHN MILTON: POET AND PATRIOT.
BY THOMAS BABINGTON MACAULAY.
His long-lost essay on Doctrines of Christianity.
As a poet, his place among the greatest masters of the art.
Unfavorable circumstances of his era, born "an age too late".
A rude era more favorable to poetry.
The poetical temperament highest in a rude state of society.
Milton distinguished by the excellence of his Latin verse.
His genius gives to it an air of nobleness and freedom.
Characteristics and magical influence of Milton's poetry.
Mechanism of his language attains exquisite perfection.
"L'Allegro" and "II Penseroso," "Comus" and "Samson Agonistes" described.
"Comus" properly more lyrical than dramatic.
Milton's preference for "Paradise Regained" over "Paradise Lost".
Contrasts between Milton and Dante.
Milton's handling of supernatural beings in his poetry.
His art of communicating his meaning through succession of associated ideas.
Other contrasts between Milton and Dante--the mysterious and the picturesque in their verse.
Milton's fiends wonderful creations, not metaphysical abstractions.
Moral qualities of Milton and Dante.
The Sonnets simple but majestic records of the poet's feelings.
Milton's public conduct that of a man of high spirit and powerful intellect.
Eloquent champion of the principles of freedom.
His public conduct to be esteemed in the light of the times, and of its great question whether the resistance of the people to Charles I. was justifiable or criminal.
Approval of the Great Rebellion and of Milton's attitude towards it.
Eulogium on Cromwell and approval of Milton's taking office (Latin Secretaryship) under him.
The Puritans and Royalists, or Roundheads and Cavaliers.
The battle Milton fought for freedom of the human mind.
High estimate of Milton's prose works.
JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE.
GERMANY'S GREATEST WRITER.
BY FREDERIC HENRY HEDGE.
Fills highest place among the poets and prose-writers of Germany.
Influences that made the man.
Self-discipline and educational training.
Counsellor to Duke Karl August at Weimar, where he afterwards resides.
Visits Italy; makes Schiller's acquaintance; Goethe's personal appearance.
His unflagging industry; defence of the poet's personal character.
The "Märchen," its interpretation and the light it throws on Goethe's political career.
Lyrist, dramatist, novelist, and mystic seer.
His drama "Götz von Berlichingen," and "Sorrows of Werther".
Popularity of his ballads; his elegies, and "Hermann und Dorothea".
"Iphigenie auf Tauris;" his stage plays "Faust" (First Part) and "Egmont".
The prose works "Wilhelm Meister" and the "Elective Affinities".
His skill in the delineation of female character.
"Faust;" contrasts in spirit and style between the two Parts.
Import of the work, key to or analysis of the plot.
ALFRED (LORD) TENNYSON.
THE SPIRIT OF MODERN POETRY.
BY G. MERCER ADAM.
Tennyson's supreme excellence--his transcendent art.
His work the perfection of literary form; his melody exquisite.
Representative of the age's highest thought and culture.
Keen interpreter of the deep underlying spirit of his time.
Contemplative and brooding verse, full of rhythmic beauty.
The "Idylls of the King," their deep ethical motive and underlying purpose.
His profound religious convictions and belief in the eternal verities.
Hallam Tennyson's memoir of the poet; his friends and intimates.
The poet's birth, family, and youthful characteristics.
Early publishing ventures; his volume of 1842 gave him high rank.
Personal appearance, habits, and mental traits.
"In Memoriam," its noble, artistic expression of sorrow for Arthur Hallam.
"The Princess" and its moral, in the treatment of its "Woman Question" theme.
The metrical romance "Maud," and "The Idylls of the King," an epic of chivalry.
"Enoch Arden," and the dramas "Harold," "Becket," and "Queen Mary".
Other dramatic compositions: "The Falcon," "The Cup," and "The Promise of May".
The pastoral play, "The Foresters," and later collections of poems and ballads.
The poet's high faith, and belief that "good is the final goal of ill".
His exalted place among the great literary influences of his era.
Expressive to his age of the high and hallowing Spirit of Modern Poetry.
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