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VOLUME XL. JULY-DECEMBER, 1881
STRAHAN AND COMPANY LIMITED
34 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON
By Sophia Dobson Collet
Naseby and Yorktown. By Goldwin Smith . . . . .
Two Studies in Dante. By E. H. Plumptre, D.D. .
THE TWO FAUSTS.
TT is a rare thing in modern literature that the same story should be 1 treated in two great poems; still rarer that both should be dramas, and each highly characteristic of the age that produced it. This is the case with the history of Doctor Faustus and his pact with the Evil One. Goethe's treatment of this tale is, to use an expression of Emerson, the high-water mark of modern German poetry. Indeed, it is hardly too much to say that, important as are the other works of its author, with their intense intellectual passion and simple tenderness, their chaste sensuousness, their deep, quiet wisdom and sunny charm, and considerable as were the contributions of his contemporaries to the lasting possessions of mankind, the culture of our age would lose more by the want of Faust than by the destruction of every other poem which the classical period of German poetry produced. It was among the earliest works that Goethe planned, and the last that he finished ; and, as he himself was a man of all but universal culture, it is the expression of the highest effort as well as the noblest attainment of the period. Marlowe's Faustus is a play of a very different character. It is marked by depth and intensity rather than scope of genius, by concentrated passion rather than objective insight and just appreciation of the comparative value of the various elements of human life. It is the work of a young man, full of exuberant vigour, but of vigour not yet fully disciplined and subjected to a poetical purpose, as we afterwards see it in his Edward II. Yet in many respects it is hardly less remarkable than the German poem. It was the first word clearly spoken by the English drama; the first work that bore the unmistakable impress of that tragic power which was to find its highest embodiment in Lear and Macbeth, in Hamlet and Othello. Thus, while