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In his edition of Johnson's Lives of the Poets Mr. Matthew Arnold inveighs against the eagerness which is shown by the modern educationalist 'to add, set right, and annotate.' Our great endeavour, he says, should be to bring the learner 'face to face with masterpieces, and to hold him there, not distracting or rebutting him with needless excursions or trifling details.'

Every true lover of literature will agree heart and soul with Mr. Matthew Arnold's main contention. He cannot but feel the deepest gratitude for having been brought face to face with masterpieces in early life. What he thus gained has proved the one foundation of that pleasure-house, lowly it may be or lordly, which he has built for his soul, while all the lumber and scaffoldings of commentary and criticism have long ago been stowed away in some back-yard of the memory, to be used perchance from time to time in case of necessary repairs. Life teaches that the one true object of all literary culture is to foster that love for what is great in literature without which there can be no true understanding of its message, as it also teaches that the one true object of all scientific training is to awaken a love

of Nature and an appreciation of her infinite wonders, without which all mere knowledge of scientific facts is a vain acquisition.

But those who are not only theoretical educators know from a weary experience that, though it may be comparatively easy to bring one's horse to the water, and even to hold him there, it is by no means so easy to make him drink. They know moreover that many minds, both young and old, are in no wise 'distracted and rebutted' by what to others may seem 'needless excursions or trivial details,' and that in not a few cases even the enforced study of detail helps to develop an appreciation of masterpieces.

In his annotations to Johnson's Lives Mr. Matthew Arnold has exemplified his theory. To a text of 456 pages he has appended not quite seven pages of notes. At this rate the notes to Macaulay's Essay on Milton would occupy not quite one page.

But, whether or not this method be right in the case of a masterpiece-and as such he treats Johnson's Lives —Mr. Matthew Arnold would probably have been willing to allow that a very different method might be advisable in the case of an author whose productions he most assuredly did not class among the masterpieces of literature, but whom he has admitted to be 'preeminently fitted to give pleasure to all who are beginning to feel enjoyment in the things of the mind.'

Macaulay may not be a great writer in the highest sense of the word; his facts and his judgments may be alike untrustworthy; he may have no 'penetrative imagination'; his philosophy may be beneath contempt; he may not even have been aware, as Mr. Morison says,

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