Arthur Hugh Clough: The Critical Heritage

By Michael Thorpe | Go to book overview
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[Quotes Dipsychus, Scene IV, 83-8: ‘O let me love my love’ to ‘mine own inmost heart’. ]

Within Clough’s nature contended the spiritual instincts and intuitions, an intellect compelled to sceptical doubts by the tendencies of his time, and a will bent upon disinterested practical activity. The low worldliness, cynicism, mammon-worship, ignoble prudence, and paltering with conscience of our age were all apparent to him, but could not touch and stain his soul. The Evil Spirit of his Faust-like poem, Dipsychus, is this low worldliness, this ignoble prudence, this cynicism, the demon of a saeculum realisticum, who draws down men to hell.1


[Bishop Arthur T. Lyttelton], ‘The Poetry of Doubt’ —Arnold and Clough, article in Church Quarterly Review vi

April 1878, 117-39

This article was reprinted in Modern Poets of Faith, Doubt and Paganism (London, 1904), 91-104.

Arthur T. Lyttelton (1852-1903), Suffragan Bishop of Southampton, was a liberal in politics and a tolerant high churchman.

We would contrast with Mr. Arnold’s tone of thought, with his hopes, his sympathies, and his beliefs, not one of the more definitely Christian poets such as Mr. Tennyson or Mr. Browning, nor one whose irreligion is as definite, such as Mr. Swinburne; but one whom Mr. Arnold would, we suppose, claim as a sympathiser in thought, and who was, indeed,

1 To illustrate what has been said of Clough, the reader may refer to his review of Newman’s The Soul, his poems ‘The New Sinai’, ‘Qui Laborat Orat’ and Dipsychus. (Dowden’s note. )


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Arthur Hugh Clough: The Critical Heritage
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