Arthur Hugh Clough: The Critical Heritage

By Michael Thorpe | Go to book overview

send him off to school. Let the reader try to crack the nut himself; and not, as is usual in these lazy days, expect reviewers to do it for him. It will be wholesome exercise; and we will warrant the kernel worth the trouble.


8.

R. W. Emerson, a review in the Massachusetts Quarterly Review

March 1849, ii, 249-52

Reprinted in Uncollected Writings, New York, 1912, 23-5.

See also No. 5, R. W. Emerson to Clough.

Here is a new English poem which we heartily recommend to all classes of readers. It is an account of one of those Oxford readingparties which, at the beginning of a long vacation, are made up by a tutor with five or six undergraduates, who wish to bring up arrears of study, or to cram for examination and honors, and who betake themselves with their guide to some romantic spot in Wales or Scotland, where are good bathing and shooting, read six hours a day, and kill the other eighteen in sport, smoking, and sleep. The poem is as jocund and buoyant as the party, and so joyful a picture of college life and manners, with such good strokes of revenge on the old tormentors, Pindar, Thucydides, Aristotle, and the logical Aldrich, that one wonders that this ground has not been broken up before. Six young men have read three weeks with their tutor, and after joining in a country dinner and a dance in a barn, four of them decide to give up books for three weeks, and make a tour of the Highlands, leaving the other two partners with the tutor in the cottage, to their matutive, or morning bath, six hours’ reading, and mutton at seven. The portraits of the young party are briefly but masterly sketched. Adam the tutor, C

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