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NOTE

All the papers here collected are now printed for the first time except those on Ruskin, Clough, and Bronson Alcott. The latter are reprinted through the courtesy of the Methodist Review, where they appeared in the numbers for March 1900, September 1906, and July 1919, respectively. No manuscript has been found of Professor Winchester's earliest and repeatedly called for 1 lecture, An Evening in London a Hundred Years Ago. Fewer examples of his lectures on the writers between 1789 and 1832 have been included, though Memories of the English Lakes was among the most popular, because of his books dealing with this period, Wordsworth: How to Know Him, and A Group of English Essayists. A Bibliography of nearly all his published writings will be found in the Memorial issued by Wesleyan University in 1921, the year following his death. Of course none of the following papers, except the three previously printed, received the benefit of Professor Winchester's revision for publication. But they are perhaps as interesting in their present state since, being in practically the form in which they were delivered, they show in what pure English and in what a finished style it was natural for their author to speak. The vignette on the title-page is a miniature reproduction of an old crayon drawing of Ludlow Castle by Mrs. Winchester,—one of a set which in the early days illustrated, and, as Professor Winchester was fond of telling his friends, greatly increased the popularity of his lecture. The texts of the Cambridge Editions published by Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin & Co. have been used for the longer quotations from the poets. A British custom of using

Professor Winchester told the editor in 1908 that he supposed he had delivered the companion lecture, An Old Castle, three hundred times.

single quotation marks to indicate inexact or slightly appropriated quotations has been followed; and words and phrases that Professor Winchester in lecturing inserted for any reason into quoted texts are set off in brackets. The footnotes, unless signed by initials in brackets, are the author's own.

L. B. G.

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INTRODUCTION

I am told that our Oxford Professor of English Literature, Sir Walter Raleigh, once said: "Of all the men I have met in America the most interesting was a man by the name of Winchester, from a place I never heard of called Wesleyan.” I too had never heard of Winchester or Wesleyan till I was introduced to both through a friend during my first visit to America in 1920, about a month after Winchester's death.

"Interesting" is not the first epithet we generally apply to scholars or dons. Few teachers make even their teaching interesting. At all events, after the customary years in an English Public School and the greatest of our Universities, I remember only one who taught me anything interestinganything vital, anything that touched my life. I suppose it is its effect upon life that is the test of teaching, and that is why the teacher is so much more important than the thing taught that the subject does not really matter in comparison. It is because so few Professors and dons have this influence upon life, or have even much intimacy with life, that so few are called interesting.

With distant but reverent admiration I think of the verbal scholar, the emendator of classic texts, the authority upon minute particles of speech, like the honoured corpse at the Grammarian's Funeral, of whom it was written,

This man decided not to Live but Know. By all means let us rejoice at assisting in a grammarian's funeral—the elevated funeral upon the mountain top. But for interest we must go to life—the life common to all who pass from darkness into darkness through this dimly torchlit world.

It might be thought an easy matter to make the teaching of literature interesting; for literature is closely connected with life; more closely than language, and quite as closely as history. Yet I believe English literature to be just the most difficult of all subjects to teach. So far as merely getting knowledge into the pupils' heads goes, it is far easier to make them learn Euclid or arithmetic or the Greek verbs. About all literature there is something intangible and indefinite as compared with other studies like mathematics or physical science; and to an English-speaking student English literature appears so simple that it may be taken as a kind of relaxation, but I am old-fashioned and wise enough to know that good teaching draws a very sharp line between work and play. Besides, the teaching of most literature is inextricably complicated by an element which lurks in it as in all the arts, and can never be taught at all—the incalculable element of beauty. Everything else can be taught up to a certain point, either by sympathetic understanding or by the ancient method of cruelty. But no power on earth or in heaven can drive the perception of beauty into a head which has it not.

I once heard a lecturer begin by calling upon his audience "to join him in culling a few choice and fragrant flowers from the Shakespearian fields.” Refusing to cull, I heard no more; for even to those who know what beauty is, a selection of beauties grows as tedious as a succession of anecdotes or jokes. If you get hold of a whole volume of Punch, you may think you are going to have a really good time, but within ten minutes you are bored so stiff that you long for Paradise Lost or the Differential Calculus or anything that is no joke. In the same way we soon sicken of special beauties that critics point out for our admiration, as Swinburne, for instance, sometimes did in his literary rhapsodies. That was not Professor Winchester's way. He presents us with no tempting tit-bits. He culls no pretty flowers. He does not pick the phrase, but leaves us to find it where it grew. Literature to him was no

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