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one per cent., whereas only twenty-one per cent. of the medical students, ten per cent. of the law students, and 1.4 per cent. of the dental and pharmaceutical students possest a baccalaureate degree.
The attendance on the normal schools, strange to say, has dropt from 97,541 in 1907, to 92,391 in 1908, of which number 76,605 were in attendance on public and 15,786 on private institutions. Practically all of the states and territories support normal schools; in Tennessee the state provides the tuition fees for a large number of students at the Peabody Normal College, which is a private institution located at Nashville, while Delaware, Nevada, and Wyoming provide for the training of their pupils in the respective state colleges. In spite of last year's decrease in attendance, the normal schools are enjoying a period of prosperity and advancement, which is evidenced by the fact that the annual budgets of the public institutions in this category rose from $1,312,419 in 1890 to $4,640,996 in 1908, and that in the latter year no less than $3,127,490 were appropriated for buildings and improvements, as against $1,595,693 in 1907, an increase of almost 100 per cent. in a single year.
Altho the above summary follows the report of the Commissioner somewhat closely, it will no doubt be appreciated by those who have not the time or the opportunity to study the complete document.
RUDOLF TOMBO, JR. COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
Critical essays of the seventeenth century-Edited by J. E. SPINGARN, 3 vols., Oxford, at the Clarendon Press, 1908.
Criticism adapts itself to the purposes of the anthologist better than most other types of literature. In comparatively small compass it is possible to present the most significant monuments of thought in this department. The scholar who undertakes to winnow the wheat of criticism from the chaff will himself require high critical powers, but, granted his possession of these, he will perform a service that merits grateful recognition, and the value of this service will be enhanced in proportion as the matter dealt with is difficult of general access.
Professor Spingarn, of Columbia University, has already proved himself an adept in dealing with critical theory. His Literary criticisin in the Renaissance, which has recently been reissued, first revealed the extent of the debt of France and England to Italian writers of poetics. Now, in preparing a collection of the critical essays of the seventeenth century, he offers a body of literature that has long demanded such treatment. His work fills in the gap between Professor Gregory Smith's Elizabethan critical essays and Professor Ker's Essays of John Dryden, and it is of worth, not only for the texts it reproduces from first editions, but also for the notes and its extensive introduction.
This introduction, indeed, constitutes a compendious history of English literary criticism during the seventeenth century. That century was a period of development and organization. At its dawn Bacon contributed the conception of imagination as the creative force of poetry, transmuting life into forms more satisfying to the mind than actuality. Then Jonson, who had early been inspired by Sidney's Defence, and who was
yielding gradually to a colder classicism, introduced the English to the critical pronouncements of the post-classical rhetoricians and of Dutch scholars like Heinsius. Hobbes evolved a new psychology that recognized the mind as holding and combining impressions received by it from a mechanical universe. For him, accordingly, the source of perspicuity and of decorum was to know nature well, and the source of variety and novelty of expression was to know nature variously. The century developed a theory of translation that allowed increasingly for freedom from literality; it developed also a defense of morality in art based partly upon ethics, but more largely upon common sense; and it fulminated an attack upon farfetched conceits, which Professor Spingarn discusses with regard to one literary form in particular—the sermon.
But the transitional character of the time he has best made clear by indicating the steps it took in formulating a critical terminology. Such words as wit, humor, nature, sense, taste, and virtuoso changed surprizingly in content during the period, and by the end of the century most had taken on their present significance. Wit, which in Elizabeth's day had denoted intellect in general, came presently to mean ingenuity or fancy, and then, under the influence of rationalism, fancy properly restrained by judgment. Humor, which from its primal medical sense had been extended to include the general disposition of men, was narrowed by Johnson into a singularity of character distinguishing the individual from all others. Then, in France, it was enlarged to signify the keen perception or unconscious expression of the incongruous, a meaning that soon lost currency abroad, but which was borrowed and retained in England. Virtù, which had once been applied to individual will, came to be applied to intellectual power and cunning, and later to esthetic talent and accomplishment, so that the virtuoso of the Royal Society was the antiquarian, the scholar, the scientist, or the artist, interested, according to Hobbes, in particulars of past and present experience, and guided by taste; he was opposed, therefore, to the wits or devotees of fancy on the one hand, and to the critics or advocates of authority on the other. Taste itself, a word used by the ancients chiefly in its physical sense, found application of art, and the Spaniards gave it European standing, altho the concept of taste as a special function of the mind reached England principally thru France. This taste, which was at first regarded as a mere instinct or sentiment, an individual whim, was soon rationalized, and not only was good taste distinguished from bad, but the work of art came to be relished by it in relation to the process of mind and the external circumstances determining its creation, rather than in vacuo.
If Professor Spingarn is helpful in tracing historically these subtle shifts in the meaning of critical terms and theories, he is not less happy in his consideration of individual critics. His treatment of the much-berated Thomas Rymer is a case in point. Instead of heaping abuse upon Rymer or poking fun at the more fallible of his concrete judgments, Professor Spingarn attempts to understand and to explain him. Rymer's service was no mean one. He developed a method of judging poetry by particulars and illustrations. In his dramatic criticisms he recognized the determining influence upon the play of the physical conditions of the theater. Without being a moralist in poetry, he evolved a theory of poetical justice based upon the idea that the poet must give some notion of order in the world, if he would be true to nature. For Rymer, indeed, nature and sense were the shibboleths of criticism. Nature meant the universe conceived as governed by law, the rules of art representing the order found in nature; while sense meant the common reason of men, which Rymer held quite adequate to cope with the problems of literature, unsupported by a knowledge of critical theory. Thus he adopted the attitude of The rehearsal, trying all things by the test of common sense, justifying the unities as rational deductions, declaring that the laws of poetry must approximate the laws of life, and with such criteria studying great works of the past as a pioneer in literary research. His method was analytical and comparative. He seized upon a temporary phase of Dryden's criticism, the reactionary spirit of The defence of the epilogue, but he differed from his master in his burly dogmatism and in his interest in particulars rather than ideas. For
the neo-classicists he was, as Pope exprest it “one of the best critics we ever had.” For the moderns he has been, as Macaulay put it," the worst critic that ever lived." ”
Now, whereas Professor Saintsbury, in his History of criticism, has simply echoed the statement of Macaulay, Professor Spingarn endeavors to explain the reason for the divergence here of classic and romantic views. In a romantic age, he says, the test of a man's criticism is his judgment of individual poems or poets ; in a classical age it is his doctrine and his method. Rymer's individual verdicts and impressions may often have been erratic, but these alone are not sufficient to determine his rank as a critic.
Here, as elsewhere, may be recognized the conflict between the impressionistic and the philosophic school of literary historians. Professor Saintsbury represents the former, and Professor Spingarn—the unnamed object of his British confrère's diatribe against “philosophic criticism,” represents the latter. To Professor Saintsbury we are indebted for immense industry and a wealth of knowledge, agreeably displayed; to Professor Spingarn we are grateful for the philosophic synthesis that can illumine and interpret facts.
FRANK W. CHANDLER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE OF BROOKLYN
Writing and speaking—a textbook of rhetoric. By CHARLES Sears BALDWIN, A.M., Ph.D., Professor of Rhetoric in Yale University. New York: Longmans, Green & Co., 1909. xvii +445 p. $1.20.
Professor Baldwin's College manual of rhetoric, published several years ago, is probably the most helpful textbook of composition for those who have mastered elementary matters of form and are seeking an approach to literary art. By this very fact, however, it is too advanced for high school students or even for freshman classes in college. The present volume, Writing and speaking, is clearly intended for younger students, and in exercises and illustrative material at least, if not always in brevity and simplicity of precept, it is well adapted to their needs.
* History of criticism, vol. iii, p. 141 sq.