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detestation of Nashe and a pious satisfaction that Marlowe has got his deserts.
Let us now examine Mr. Hubbard's position as he states its keystone:
"The title and the first part of the 'Sonet' hold something up to ridicule, some wonderment' that was to astonish the world, something as terrible as Gorgon. Is it not reasonable to infer that this is the same thing as that referred to in the last line of the sonnet, namely Tamburlaine? Is not such an inference almost inevitable?" 01 And his chief evidence in support of this interprétation is afforded by a poem of Harvey's added to Pierce's Supererogation, which was evidently written just before the New Letter.
An other occasionall admonition.
Fame rows'd herselfe, and gan to swash about:
Her meritorious worke, a Wonderclowte:
Est bene, non potuit dicere: dixit Erit.
"There is some obscurity in this piece, but it is plain that it refers to Nashe from 'S. Fame' in line 8 and 'her redoubtable Bull-begging knight' in line 9. The first four lines plainly refer to the conclusion of the Epistle to the Reader of Nashe's Strange News, ; they ridicule Nashe's pre
tension to fame and belittle his work. Now, if we compare these lines with the first six lines of Gorgon, we find points of resemblance in general thought and phraseology. In each Fame raises much ado about something (in the Admonition a 'worke') that is to be a wonder (Gorgon, 'wonderment' 'wonder '); in each the expected wonder turns out to be a ridiculous failure (Gorgon, no wonder fell,' Admonition, a wonderclowte'). There can be no doubt that in the Admonition a worke of Nashe's is referred to; we may be sure, then, that in Gorgon some work is referred to. The Admonition plainly ridicules Nashe and one of his works, Strange News; Gorgon just as plainly ridicules Marlowe and Tamburlaine." 63
"Op. cit., p. 440.
62 G. H., п, 339.
13 Op. cit., p. 440-41.
My first objection to this theory is that it has taken no account of the real trend of Harvey's thought, which appears clearly enough if we accept "wonderment of Eighty-Eight" as being the Armada. It runs something like this: "Five years ago a really serious event of history, only too serious in its threat to England, came to nothing—a joke on Spain. Today there are occurring events of even greater importance, such as this and that; not the least significant is the death of a notorious atheist-a joke too,-on him. I still have a little joke of my own to play." Were Tamburlaine in Harvey's mind as opposed to conceited-irreligious-braggart Marlowe (we have seen that these are the points always stressed), we should certainly expect a reflection upon the play in the Glosse; but the epithets of ridicule, "Scanderbeg," "tamberlaine contempt," gawdy bird," and so forth, are all personal in their application. In the second place, I believe that such a ready and pointed association of the name of a play and its date of appearance is unlikely, if not unexampled, in the works of that age. Particularly is this the case with Harvey, since, to judge by his marginalia, he does not seem to have followed the popular theatre closely enough for such an idea to occur in his mind; and we do not know that he was in London during 1588.
And again, whatever balance or antithesis is to be found between "wonderment of Eighty Eight" and "Tamberlaine voutsafes to die" can be quite as well, if not more aptly, explained as religious in its point: a Catholic power, the enemy of true religion, fails in its attempt; likewise does an individual enemy of God, Marlowe, fail in his. This is in accord with the utterances which Harvey. as we have seen, was accustomed to make about Marlowe.
Finally, if my exposition of the trend of Harvey's argument in Gorgon is at all correct, the parallel alleged by Mr. Hubbard with An other occasionall admonition loses most of its relevance. The former, as Harvey himself says, is " for priuate consideration, very notable; for publique vse passing memorable"; in other words, quite different from the Admonition, which is entirely a personal
64 Cf. Marg., p. 53-54.
65 On p. 262 of the New Letter Harvey notes, "The king of Spaine a mighty enemy: the Pope an vnreconcilable aduersary to a Protestant Prince."
New Letter, p. 269.
dig at the enemy, Nashe. The fact, noted by Mr. Hubbard, that Nashe speaks of these and the other poems together proves nothing, since the volumes containing them appeared at the same time and are treated throughout as one in Nashe's reply, Have with you to Saffron Walden.
Briefly, I believe that the foregoing has cleared the obscurities in Harvey's poem Gorgon so long a puzzle; that it adds in one or two particulars to the known Marlowe data; and that it supports a view of Harvey certain to affect the writing of a history of the English Renaissance. For, consider the nature of Harvey's MS notes as well as his printed references to Marlowe. Commentaries they are, but not literary criticism: they illustrate a view hinted. by Moore Smith, in which I entirely agree, to the effect that Harvey the critic of literature merits our attention rather less than Harvey the neglected Elizabethan scholar. Because he and his friend Spenser connived to advertise some youthful experiments in prosody by the publication of five letters, so-called, because Harvey composed two volumes of Latin lectures while an instructor in rhetoric at Cambridge, and because he not infrequently praised his favorite authors in his controversial writings and in his marginalia, we have been accustomed to think him a literary critic of more or less significance. Now it is becoming evident we have quite unduly stressed this feature in his work. The old view was not merely unjust to the man, it led to the ridicule or misinterpretation of most of what he published and to the complete neglect 7 of the large body of marginalia except as it served the ends of Spenser or Shakespeare scholarship. It is a certainty that careful examination of these records of a life of study spent in the Great Age will yield full profit.
67 Grosart expressly avoided adding to the "unpleasant bulk" of Harvey's works by including any marginalia. Cf. G. H., ш, xxiv.
68 I note that Professor Schelling has accepted Harvey's words on Hamlet found in the 1598 Chaucer (Marg., p. 232) as dating the play before February, 1601. See Elizabethan Playwrights, F. E. Schelling, New York, 1925, p. 98.
A LATE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY PURIST
BY W. F. BRYAN
Although throughout the eighteenth century many minds were concerned with the general problem of English usage or with particular details of it, yet it was not until the last quarter that there appeared any comprehensive treatment of the subject, any formulation of a body of principles whereby propriety in use was to be determined. This general formulation was first made in George Campbell's Philosophy of Rhetoric, published in 1776. As its name implies, this work was a complete treatise of all aspects of rhetorical theory as applicable to English, but a relatively large part of it was devoted to the matter of usage. Chapter I of Book II, on "The Nature and Character of the Use which gives Law to Language," established in English the definition of Good Use as that which is Reputable, National, and Present, a definition so sound and serviceable that it has remained unaltered ever since. Chapter II falls into two sections. In the first, recognizing that usage in any period is not always invariable and uniform, Campbell set up five "canons as criteria for cases of "divided use.” In the second, under the heading "Everything favored by good use, not on that account worthy to be retained," he proposed supplementary critical canons by which even generally accepted forms were to be tested and if found unnecessary or objectionable were to be discarded. Chapter III, "Of Grammatical Purity," considered Barbarisms, Solecisms, and Improprieties categories which Campbell of course did not invent, but which from the time of his Philosophy of Rhetoric until the very recent past were essential parts of the apparatus of most treatises on the use of English. In addition to these chapters devoted specifically to questions of usage, pronouncements upon words or phrases condemned for one reason or another appeared in various sections of the work.
In the main Campbell's judgments appear today eminently reasonable; they obviously proceeded from the same clear, analytic, and orderly mind that phrased his definition of good use. If language were purely a creation of the reason, if all its processes could be regulated by a consistent and carefully thought out body of principles, Campbell's canons might serve for all time without essential modification. But the great fact that Campbell and most
of his contemporaries failed to realize and apply practically in their works is that language is not conditioned solely by rational principles, and especially that usage in words, like other questions of taste, is after all a matter of fashion-largely capricious and little amenable to any rule of reason. In the following paper I shall illustrate this fact by presenting some of Campbell's canons to which reasonable exception can hardly be taken, and citing the words or phrases which he rejected because of conflict with these canons but which are in good use today. I shall also present other words and phrases in good use at present which Campbell rejected on various grounds, together with his reasons for condemning them. In several instances, expressions reprobated by Campbell were also considered by the other foremost independent authorities of his time-Lowth and Priestley in England and Webster in America. These grammarians, though they formulated no body of critical principles concerning the whole subject of good use, made a number of more or less incidental pronouncements upon individual forms or modes of speech. For the sake of completeness I include not merely their statements upon matters considered by Campbell but other judgments of theirs as well which are inconsistent with the accepted practice of the present.1
The first of Campbell's canons was (I, 374): "When use is divided as to any particular word or phrase, and the expression used by one part hath been preoccupied, or is in any instance susceptible of a different signification and the expression of the other
My references to Campbell are to the first edition of his Philosophy of Rhetoric, 2 vols., London and Edinburgh, 1776; to Lowth, A Short Introduction to English Grammar: with Critical Notes, The second edition, corrected, London, 1763; to Priestley, The Rudiments of English Grammar. with Notes and Observations for the Use of Those Who have made some proficiency in the Language, A New Edition, Corrected, London, 1769; and to Webster, A Plain and Comprehensive Grammar, Thomas and Andrews' Third Edition, Boston, 1794. For the opportunity to examine these texts I am indebted to the Library of Harvard University and the Library of Congress. I have given fuller accounts of these texts in "Notes on the Founders of Prescriptive English Grammar " in the Manly Anniversary Volume. The present paper and these "Notes" are complementary studies.
Full discussion of a few of the expressions considered in this paper and of a great many condemned by later grammarians is contained in J. Leslie Hall's English Usage, Chicago and New York, 1917.