St. John, H., (see Bolingbroke).
Sala, George Augustus Henry (1828–1895). — Journalist and novelist, born in London of Italian ancestry, began life as an illustrator of books and scene-painter, afterwards taking to literature. He contributed to many periodicals, including Household Words, and the Illustrated London News, and was the founder and first ed. of Temple Bar. Among his novels were The Buddington Peerage and Quite Alone. He also wrote books of travel, and an autobiographical work, his Life and Adventures (1895).
Sale, George (1697?-1736). — Orientalist, a Kentish man, and practising solicitor. In 1734 he published a translation of the Koran. He also assisted in the Universal History, and was one of the correctors of the Arabic New Testament issued by the S.P.C.K.
Sanderson, Robert (1587–1663). — Theologian and casuist, born of good family at Rotherham in Yorkshire, was at Oxford Entering the Church he rose to be Bishop of Lincoln. His work on logic, Logicæ Artis Compendium (1615), was long a standard treatise on the subject. His sermons also were admired; but he is perhaps best remembered by his Nine Cases of Conscience Resolved (1678), in consideration of which he has been placed at the head of English casuists. He left large collections of historical and heraldic matter in MS.
Sands, Robert Charles (1799–1832). — Miscellaneous writer, born at New York, was a scholarly and versatile writer, but without much originality. His best work is in his short stories. His chief poem was Yamoyden, an Indian story written in collaboration with a friend.
Sandys, George (1578–1644). — Traveller and translator, son of an Archbishop of York, born at Bishopsthorpe, and ed. at Oxford, is one of the best of the earlier travellers, learned, observant, and truth-loving. He published in 1615 an account of his journeys in the East which was highly popular. He also translated when in America the Metamorphoses of Ovid, produced a metrical Paraphrase on the Psalms, with music by Henry Lawes, and another on the Canticles, and wrote Christ’s Passion, a tragedy. He held various public offices, chiefly in connection with the colony of Virginia.
Savage, Richard (1697?-1743). — Poet, was probably of humble birth, but claimed to be the illegitimate son of the Countess of Macclesfield. He was the friend of Johnson in the early and miserable days of the latter in London; and in The Lives of the Poets J. has given his story as set forth by himself, which is, if true, a singular record of maternal cruelty. There are strong reasons, however, for doubting whether it was anything but a tissue of falsehoods mingled with gross exaggerations of fact. He led a wildly irregular life, killed a gentleman in a tavern brawl, for which he was sentenced to death, but pardoned; and by his waywardness alienated nearly all who wished to befriend him. For a time he had a pension of £50 from Queen Caroline on condition of his writing an ode yearly on her birthday. He wrote Love in a Veil (1718) (comedy) and Sir Thomas Overbury (1723) (tragedy), and two poems, The Bastard (1728) and The Wanderer (1729). He died in prison at Bristol.
Savile, Sir Henry (1549–1622). — Scholar, ed. at Oxford, where he lectured on mathematics. He was afterwards Warden of Merton College and Provost of Eton, and made a translation from Tacitus entitled, The Ende of Nero and Beginning of Galba, etc. (1581), and in the same year published Rerum Anglicarum Scriptores post Bedam Præcipui, a collection of some of the chronicles subsequent to Bede, William of Malmesbury, Roger of Hoveden, etc. He founded the Savilian Professorship of Astronomy and Geometry at Oxford
Saxby, Edward (died 1658). — Born in Suffolk, and was in Cromwell’s Horse. His extreme republican views, however, led him into the bitterest antagonism when C. assumed the Protectorship. This received expression in his extraordinary pamphlet, Killing no Murder, in which the assassination of C. is advocated, and which displays in a remarkable degree perverted ingenuity of argument combined with considerable literary power. S. died demented in the Tower in 1658.
Scott, Alexander (1525?-1584?). — Scottish poet. Almost nothing is known of his life, but he is believed to have spent most of his time in or near Edinburgh Thirty-six short poems are attributed to him, including Ane New Yeir Gift to Quene Mary, The Rondel of Love, and a satire, Justing at the Drum. He has great variety of metre, and is graceful and musical, but his satirical pieces are often extremely coarse.
Scott, Hugh Stowell (1863?-1903). — Novelist (under the name of Henry Seton Merriman). He was an underwriter in Lloyd’s, but having a strong literary bent, latterly devoted himself to writing novels, many of which had great popularity. They include The Slave of the Lamp (1892), The Sowers (generally considered his best) (1896), In Kedar’s Tents (1897), Roden’s Corner (1898), Isle of Unrest (1900), The Velvet Glove (1901), The Vultures (1902), and Barlasch of the Guard (1903). He worked with great care, and his best books hold a high place in modern fiction. He was unusually modest and retiring in character.
Scott, John (1730–1783). — Poet, son of a Quaker draper who in his later years lived at Amwell, a village in Herts, which the poet celebrates in his descriptive poem, Amwell. He wrote much other verse now forgotten.
Scott, Lady John (Alicia Ann Spottiswoode) (1801–1900). — M. Lord John Scott. She was the writer of a number of Scottish songs characterised by true poetic feeling. Among them may be mentioned Annie Laurie, Douglas, and Durrisdeer. She also composed the music for them.
Scott, Michael (1789–1835). — Novelist, born near and ed. at Glasgow, and settled in business at Kingston, Jamaica, which led to his making frequent sea voyages, and thus yielded him experiences which he turned to account in two vivacious novels, Tom Cringle’s Log and The Cruise of the Midge, both of which first appeared in Blackwood’s Magazine, where they attained deserved popularity. They have frequently been reprinted. The author, however, maintained a strict incognito during his life.
Scott, Sir Walter (1771–1832). — Poet, novelist, and biographer, son of Walter S., a Writer to the Signet in Edinburgh, and Margaret Rutherford, daughter of one of the Prof. of Medicine in the University there. Through both parents he was connected with several old Border families; his father was a scion of the Scotts of Harden, well known in Border history. In early childhood he suffered from a severe fever, one of the effects of which was a permanent lameness, and for some time he was delicate. The native vigour of his constitution, however, soon asserted itself, and he became a man of exceptional strength. Much of his childhood was spent at his grandfather’s farm at Sandyknowe, Roxburghshire, and almost from the dawn of intelligence he began to show an interest in the traditionary lore which was to have so powerful an influence on his future life, an interest which was nourished and stimulated by several of the older members of his family, especially one of his aunts. At this stage he was a quick-witted, excitable child, who required rather to be restrained than pressed forward. At the age of 7 he was strong enough to be sent to the High School of Edinburgh, where he was more remarkable for miscellaneous and out-of-the-way knowledge and his powers of story-telling than for proficiency in the ordinary course of study; and notwithstanding his lameness, he was to be found in the forefront wherever adventure or fighting were to be had. Thereafter he was for three sessions at the University, where he bore much the same character as at school. He was, however, far from idle, and was all the time following the irresistible bent, which ultimately led to such brilliant results, in a course of insatiable reading of ballads and romances, to enlarge which he had by the time he was 15 acquired a working knowledge of French and Italian, and had made the acquaintance of Dante and Ariosto in the original. Percy’s Reliques of Ancient Poetry, published in 1765, came into his hands in 1784, and proved one of the most formative influences of this period. At 15 he was apprenticed to his father, but preferring the higher branch of the profession, he studied for the Bar, to which he was called in 1792. He did not, however, forego his favourite studies, but ransacked the Advocates’ Library for old manuscripts, in the deciphering of which he became so expert that his assistance soon came to be invoked by antiquarians of much longer standing. Although he worked hard at law his ideal was not the attainment of an extensive practice, but rather of a fairly paid post which should leave him leisure for his favourite pursuits, and this he succeeded in reaching, being appointed first in 1799 Sheriff of Selkirk, and next in 1812 one of the Principal Clerks to the Court of Session, which together brought him an income of £1600. Meanwhile in 1795 he had translated Bürger’s ballad of Lenore, and in the following year he made his first appearance in print by publishing it along with a translation of The Wild Huntsman by the same author. About the same time he made the acquaintance of “Monk” Lewis, to whose collection of Tales of Wonder he contributed the ballads of Glenfinlas, The Eve of St. John, and The Grey Brother; and he published in 1799 a translation of Goethe’s Goetz von Berlichingen. In 1797 he was married to Miss Charlotte Margaret Charpentier, the daughter of a French gentleman of good position. The year 1802 saw the publication of Scott’s first work of real importance, The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, of which 2 vols. appeared, the third following in the next year. In 1804 he went to reside at Ashestiel on the Tweed, where he ed. the old romance, Sir Tristrem, and in 1805 he produced his first great original work, The Lay of the Last Minstrel, which was received with great favour, and decided that literature was thenceforth to be the main work of his life. In the same year the first few chapters of Waverley were written; but the unfavourable opinion of a friend led to the MS. being laid aside for nearly 10 years. In 1806 S. began, by a secret partnership, that association with the Ballantynes which resulted so unfortunately for him 20 years later. Marmion was published in 1808: it was even more popular than the Lay, and raised his reputation proportionately. The same year saw the publication of his elaborate ed. of Dryden with a Life, and was also marked by a rupture with Jeffrey, with whom he had been associated as a contributor to the Edinburgh Review, and by the establishment of the new firm of J. Ballantyne and Co., of which the first important publication was The Lady of the Lake, which appeared in 1810, The Vision of Don Roderick following in 1811. In 1812 S. purchased land on the Tweed near Melrose, and built his famous house, Abbotsford, the adornment of which became one of the chief pleasures of his life, and which he made the scene of a noble and kindly hospitality. In the same year he published Rokeby, and in 1813 The Bridal of Triermain, while 1814 saw The Life and Works of Swift in 19 vols., and was made illustrious by the appearance of Waverley, the two coming out in the same week, the latter, of course, like its successors, anonymously. The next year, The Lord of the Isles, Guy Mannering, and The Field of Waterloo appeared, and the next again, 1816, Paul’s Letters to his Kinsfolk, The Antiquary, The Black Dwarf, and Old Mortality, while 1817 saw Harold the Dauntless and Rob Roy. The enormous strain which S. had been undergoing as official, man of letters, and man of business, began at length to tell upon him, and in this same year, 1817, he had the first of a series of severe seizures of cramp in the stomach, to which, however, his indomitable spirit refused to yield, and several of his next works, The Heart of Midlothian (1818), by many considered his masterpiece, The Bride of Lammermoor, The Legend of Montrose, and Ivanhoe, all of 1819, were dictated to amanuenses, while he was too ill to hold a pen. In 1820 The Monastery, in which the public began to detect a falling off in the powers of the still generally unknown author, appeared. The immediately following Abbot, however, showed a recovery. Kenilworth and The Pirate followed in 1821, The Fortunes of Nigel in 1822; Peveril of the Peak, Quentin Durward, and St. Ronan’s Well in 1823; Redgauntlet in 1824, and Tales of the Crusaders (The Betrothed and The Talisman) in 1825. By this time S. had long reached a pinnacle of fame such as perhaps no British man of letters has ever attained during his lifetime. He had for a time been the most admired poet of his day, and though latterly somewhat eclipsed by Byron, he still retained great fame as a poet. He also possessed a great reputation as an antiquary, one of the chief revivers of interest in our ancient literature, and as the biographer and ed. of several of our great writers; while the incognito which he maintained in regard to his novels was to many a very partial veil. The unprecedented profits of his writings had made him, as he believed, a man of wealth; his social prestige was immense; he had in 1820 been made a baronet, when that was still a real distinction, and he had been the acknowledged representative of his country when the King visited it in 1822. All this was now to change, and the fabric of prosperity which he had raised by his genius and labour, and which had never spoiled the simplicity and generosity of his character, was suddenly to crumble into ruin with, however, the result of revealing him as the possessor of qualities even greater and nobler than any he had shown in his happier days. The publishing and printing firms with which he had been connected fell in the commercial crisis of 1826, and S. found himself at 55, and with failing health, involved in liabilities amounting to £130,000. Never was adversity more manfully and gallantly met. Notwithstanding the crushing magnitude of the disaster and the concurrent sorrow of his wife’s illness, which soon issued in her death, he deliberately set himself to the herculean task of working off his debts, asking only that time might be given him. The secret of his authorship was now, of course, revealed, and his efforts were crowned with a marvellous measure of success. Woodstock, his first publication after the crash, appeared in the same year and brought £8000; by 1828 he had earned £40,000. In 1827 The Two Drovers, The Highland Widow, and The Surgeon’s Daughter, forming the first series of Chronicles of the Canongate, appeared together with The Life of Napoleon in 9 vols., and the first series of Tales of a Grandfather; in 1828 The Fair Maid of Perth and the second series of Tales of a Grandfather, Anne of Geierstein, a third series of the Tales, and the commencement of a complete ed. of the novels in 1829; a fourth and last series of Tales, History of Scotland, and other work in 1830. Then at last the overworked brain gave way, and during this year he had more than one paralytic seizure. He was sent abroad for change and rest, and a Government frigate was placed at his disposal. But all was in vain; he never recovered, and though in temporary rallies he produced two more novels, Count Robert of Paris and Castle Dangerous, both in 1831, which only showed that the spell was broken, he gradually sank, and died at Abbotsford on September 21, 1832.
The work which S. accomplished, whether looked at as regards its mass or its quality, is alike marvellous. In mere amount his output in each of the four departments of poetry, prose fiction, history and biography, and miscellaneous literature is sufficient to fill an ordinary literary life. Indeed the quantity of his acknowledged work in other departments was held to be the strongest argument against the possibility of his being the author of the novels. The achievement of such a result demanded a power of steady, methodical, and rapid work almost unparalleled in the history of literature. When we turn to its quality we are struck by the range of subject and the variableness of the treatment. In general there is the same fulness of mind directed by strong practical sense and judgment, but the style is often heavy, loose, and even slipshod, and in most of his works there are “patches” in which he falls far below his best. His poetry, though as a whole belonging to the second class, is full of broad and bold effects, picturesqueness, and an irresistible rush and freshness. As a lyrist, however, he stands much higher, and in such gems as “Proud Maisie” and “A weary lot is thine, Fair Maid,” he takes his place among our greatest singers. His chief fame rests, of course, upon the novels. Here also, however, there is the same inequality and irregularity, but there is a singular command over his genius in virtue of which the fusing, creating imagination responds to his call, and is at its greatest just where it is most needed. For the variety, truth, and aliveness of his characters he has probably no equal since Shakespeare, and though, of course, coming far behind, he resembles him alike in his range and in his insight. The most remarkable feature in his character is the union of an imagination of the first order with practical sagacity and manly sanity, in this also resembling his great predecessor.
Summary. — Born 1771, ed. Edinburgh, called to Bar 1792, Sheriff of Selkirk 1799, Principal Clerk of Session 1812, first published translation of Lenore, etc., wrote ballads and made translation from German, published Minstrelsy of Scottish Border 1802–3, Lay of Last Minstrel 1805, began Waverley 1805, partner with Ballantynes 1806, published Marmion 1808, Lady of Lake 1810, began to build Abbotsford 1812, Waverley novels began and continued 1814–31, health began to fail 1817, made Baronet 1820, ruined by failure of Ballantynes 1826, devotes rest of his life to clearing off debt by novels and historical works, Tales of a Grandfather, Life of Napoleon, etc., health finally gave way 1830, died 1832.
The great authority is the Life by Lockhart, but it has been supplemented by the Journal (1890) and Letters (1893). Short Lives by C. Gilfillan, R.H. Hutton, etc., etc.
Scott, William Bell (1811–1890). — Poet and painter, son of Robert S., an engraver, and brother of David S., painter, born in Edinburgh, settled in London, and painted chiefly historical subjects. He published five vols. of poetry, including Hades and The Year of the World, and many fine sonnets, a form of poetry in which he excelled, and in prose Half-hour Lectures on Art and The Little Masters in the Great Artists Series. He also ed. a series of “English Poets,” and wrote a Life of his brother and one of Albrecht Dürer, etc.
Sedley, Sir Charles (1639?-1701). — Poet, son and heir of a Kentish baronet, was at Oxford and, coming to the Court of Charles II., became one of the most popular and brilliant members of its dissipated circles. He was the author of two tragedies and three comedies, now forgotten, though extravagantly lauded in their day, and of some poems and songs, of which the best known are Phyllis and Chloris. His only child was the witty and profligate Catherine S., mistress of James II., who created her Countess of Dorset. Bellamira and The Mulberry Garden, founded respectively on Terence and Molière, are his best plays. His prose in pamphlets and essays is better than his verse.
Seeley, Sir John Robert (1834–1895). — Historian and essayist, son of a publisher in London, ed. at City of London School and Cambridge In 1863 he became Prof. of Latin at University College, London, and was Prof. of Modern History at Cambridge from 1869 until his death. In 1865 appeared anonymously Ecce Homo, a work which created intense excitement and keen controversy in the theological and religious world. Other works were The Life and Times of Stein, the Prussian statesman (1879), Natural Religion (1882), The Expansion of England (1883), Life of Napoleon (1885), and a work on Goethe. The Growth of British Policy (1895) was left finished but unrevised at his death. In recognition of his services to the empire in his political writings he was, in 1894, made K.C.M.G.
Selden, John (1584–1654). — Jurist and scholar, born near Worthing, Sussex, the son of a farmer who was also a musician, ed. at Chichester and Oxford, and studied law at Clifford’s Inn and the Inner Temple. His learning soon attracted attention and, though practising little, he was consulted on points involving legal erudition. His first work, Analecton Anglo–Britannicon, a chronological collection of English records down to the Norman invasion, was written in 1606, though not published till 1615. In 1610 appeared a treatise on the Duello, or Single Combat; and in 1614 his largest English work on Titles of Honour, full of profound learning, and still a high authority. Three years later, 1617, he wrote in Latin his treatise, De Deis Syris (on the Gods of Syria), an inquiry into polytheism, specially with reference to the false deities mentioned in Scripture. His reputation as a scholar had now become European. In 1618 he incurred the indignation of the King and the clergy by his History of Tithes, in which he denied their claim to be a divine institution. Called before the High Commission he made a statement regretting the publication of the book though not withdrawing any of its statements. In 1621 he suffered a brief imprisonment for withstanding some of James’s doctrines as to the privileges of Parliament. Two years later he was elected member for Lancaster. As a politician his views were moderate, and all along he endeavoured to repress the zeal of the extremists on both sides. He was imprisoned in the Tower for four years, 1630–34. During the final struggle of King and Parliament he was much employed; but like most men of moderate views, was frequently under suspicion, and after the execution of the King, to which he was strongly opposed, he took little to do with public matters. He was a lay member of the Westminster Assembly, 1643, where his profound knowledge of the original tongues made him somewhat of a terror to certain extremists among the divines. He had at an early age been appointed steward to the Earl of Kent, and at the house of his widow, with whom he had long lived in such close friendship as to give rise to the belief that they were married, he died Among other works may be mentioned a description of the Arundel Marbles (1629), a treatise concerning the Jewish calendar (1646), and, specially, his Table Talk, published 1689, of which Coleridge said “there is more weighty bullion sense in this book than I can find in the same number of pages of any uninspired writer.” He was likewise the author of various treatises on constitutional matters and the law of nations, including Mare Clausum (a Closed Sea), in defence of the property of England in its circumfluent seas. Most of these were written in Latin.
College Works with Life, Dr. Wilkins (3 vols., folio, 1726), Aikin’s Lives of Selden and Ussher.
Sellar, William Young (1825–1890). — Scholar, born in Sutherlandshire, his father being factor to the Duke of Sutherland, ed. at Glasgow University and Oxford, became in 1859 Prof. of Greek at St. Andrews and, in 1863, of Latin at Edinburgh He published a work on the Roman Poets of the Republic (1863), followed by The Roman Poets of the Augustan Age. Both of these hold a high place among modern works of scholarship.
Sempill, Robert (1530?-1595), Sempill, Robert (1595?-1659?), Sempill, Francis (1616?-1682). — Scottish poets, all belonging to the same family, the last two being father and son The first was mainly a satirist, was in Paris at the massacre of St. Bartholomew, and belonged to the extremist division of the Reforming party, The Regente’s Tragedy laments the death of Murray, Ane Complaint upon Fortoun, the fall of Morton. The second Robert wrote The Life and Death of Habbie Simson, the Piper, a humorous description of old Scottish life. Francis wrote occasional pieces. The song She Rose and let me in, formerly attributed to him, is now known to be by Tom D’Urfey (q.v.).
Senior, Nassau William (1790–1864). — Economist and essayist, son of a clergyman, was born at Compton Beauchamp, Berks, ed. at Eton and Oxford, studied law, and was called to the Bar in 1819. He twice held the Professorship of Political Economy at Oxford, 1825–30 and 1847–52, rendered important service as a member of the Poor Law Commission of 1833, and wrote its Report. S. holds a high position among English economists, and made many contributions to the literature of the science, including Outline of the Science of Political Economy (1836). He was, moreover, a writer of considerable versatility, his works in general literature including Essays on Fiction (1864), Historical and Philosophical Essays (1865), and specially his notes of conversations with many eminent persons, chiefly political, e.g., De Tocqueville, Thiers, and Guizot, which combine fulness of information with discretion; he also published journals of his travels in Turkey, Greece, Egypt, etc.
Settle, Elkanah (1648–1724). — Poet and dramatist, ed. at Oxford, was the author of a number of turgid dramas, now unreadable and unread, but which in their day were held to rival Dryden, who pilloried S. as Doeg in the second part of Absalom and Achitophel. S. essayed a reply in Absalom Senior. He wrote against the Papists, but recanted, and made amends by a Narrative of the Popish Plot, in which he exposed the perjuries of Titus Oates. He was appointed City Poet. Latterly he had a booth in Bartholomew Fair. He died in the Charterhouse. His plays include Cambyses (1666), Empress of Morocco (1671), Love and Revenge (1675), The Female Prelate, Distressed Innocence (1691), and the Ladies’ Triumph (1718).
Shadwell, Thomas (1640 or 1642–1692). — Dramatist and poet, belonged to a good Staffordshire family, was born in Norfolk, ed. at Cambridge, and after studying law travelled, and on his return became a popular dramatist. Among his comedies, in which he displayed considerable comic power and truth to nature, may be mentioned The Sullen Lovers (1668), Royal Shepherdess (1668), The Humourists (1671), and The Miser (1672). He attached himself to the Whigs, and when Dryden attacked them in Absalom and Achitophel and The Medal, had the temerity to assail him scurrilously in The Medal of John Bayes (1682). The castigation which this evoked in MacFlecknoe and in the second part of Absalom and Achitophel, in which S. figures as “Og,” has conferred upon him an unenviable immortality. He may have found some consolation in his succession to Dryden as Poet Laureate when, at the Revolution, the latter was deprived of the office.
Other plays are Epsom Wells (1673), The Virtuoso (1676), Lancashire Witches (1681), The Volunteers (1693), etc.
Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd Earl of (1671–1713). — Philosopher, born in London, grandson of the 1st Earl, the eminent statesman, the “Achitophel” of Dryden. After a private education under the supervision of Locke, and a short experience of Winchester School, he travelled much on the Continent. On succeeding to the earldom in 1699 he took a prominent part in the debates of the House of Lords, but devoted himself mainly to philosophical and literary pursuits. His collected writings were published in 1711 under the title of Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, and Times. In his philosophy he maintains, as against Hobbes, the existence of a moral sense, a view subsequently developed by the Scottish school of philosophy. The style of S. is stately and sonorous but laboured. He died at Naples, whither he had gone in search of health, at the early age of 42. Though his writings are directed strongly against Atheism, they have been held to be hostile to a belief in revelation.
Shairp, John Campbell (1819–1885). — Poet and critic, ed. at Glasgow and Oxford, became Prof. of Latin at St. Andrews 1861. Principal of the United College there 1868, and Prof. of Poetry at Oxford 1877–87. Among his writings are Kilmahoe and other Poems (1864), Studies in Poetry and Philosophy (1868), Culture and Religion (1870), and a Life of Burns in the English Men of Letters Series. He also collaborated with Prof. Tait in writing the Life of Principal Forbes (q.v.), and ed. the Journal of Dorothy Wordsworth.
Shakespeare, William (1564–1616). — Dramatist and poet, born at Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, on 22nd or 23rd, and baptised on 26th April, 1564. On his father’s side he belonged to a good yeoman stock, though his descent cannot be certainly traced beyond his grandfather, a Richard S., settled at Snitterfield, near Stratford. His father, John S., appears to have been a man of intelligence and energy, who set up in Stratford as a dealer in all kinds of agricultural produce, to which he added the trade of a glover. He became prosperous, and gained the respect of his neighbours, as is evidenced by his election in succession to all the municipal honours of his community, including those of chief alderman and high bailiff. He married Mary, youngest daughter of Robert Arden, a wealthy farmer at Wilmcote, and a younger branch of a family of considerable distinction, and whose tenant Richard S. had been. On her father’s death Mary inherited Asbies, a house with 50 acres of land attached to it. The first children of the marriage were two daughter, who died in infancy. William was the third, and others followed, of whom three sons, Gilbert, Richard, and Edmund, and a daughter Joan, reached maturity. He was ed. with his brother Gilbert at Stratford Grammar School, where he learned Latin from Lilly’s Grammar, English, writing, and arithmetic. He probably read some of the Latin classics and may have got a little Greek, and though his learned friend Ben Jonson credits him with “little Latin and less Greek,” Aubrey says he “knew Latin pretty well.” This happy state of matters continued until he was about 13, when his father fell into misfortune, which appears to have gone on deepening until the success and prosperity of the poet in later years enabled him to reinstate the family in its former position. Meanwhile, however, he was taken from school, and appears to have been made to assist his father in his business. The next certain fact in his history is his marriage in November, 1582, when he was 18, to Ann Hathaway, daughter of a yeoman at the neighbouring hamlet of Shottery, and 8 years his senior. Various circumstances point to the marriage having been against the wishes of his own family, and pressed on by that of his wife, and that it was so urged in defence of the reputation of the lady, and as perhaps might be expected, they indicate, though not conclusively, that it did not prove altogether happy. The birth, in May, 1583, of his eldest child Susannah (who is said to have inherited something of his wit and practical ability, and who married a Dr. John Hall), followed in the next year by that of twins, Hamnet and Judith, and the necessity of increased means, led to his departure from Stratford, whence he travelled on foot to London, where the next 23 years of his life were mainly spent. The tradition that his departure was also caused by trouble into which he had got by killing the deer of Sir Thomas Lucy, of Charlcote, is credible. Leaving Stratford in 1585 or the beginning of 1586, he seems at once to have turned to the theatres, where he soon found work, although, as Rowe, his first biographer, says, “in a very mean rank.” It was not long, however, before he had opportunities of showing his capacities as an actor, with the result that he shortly became a member of one of the chief acting companies of the day, which was then under the patronage of the Earl of Leicester, and after being associated with the names of various other noblemen, at last on the accession of James I. became known as the King’s Company. It played originally in “The Theatre” in Shoreditch, the first playhouse to be erected in England, and afterwards in the “Rose” on the Bankside, Southwark, the scene of the earliest successes of S. as an actor and playwright. Subsequently to 1594, he acted occasionally in a playhouse in Newington Butts, and between 1595 and 1599 in the “Curtain.” In the latter year the “Globe” was built on the Bankside, and 10 years later the “Blackfriars:” and with these two, but especially with the former, the remainder of his professional life was associated. It is not unlikely that he visited various provincial towns; but that he was ever in Scotland or on the Continent is improbable. Among the plays in which he appeared were Jonson’s Every Man in his Humour and Sejanus, and in Hamlet he played “The Ghost;” and it is said that his brother Gilbert as an old man remembered his appearing as “Adam” in As You Like It. By 1595 S. was famous and prosperous; his earlier plays had been written and acted, and his poems Venus and Adonis, and Lucrece, and probably most of the sonnets, had been published and received with extraordinary favour. He had also powerful friends and patrons, including the Earl of Southampton, and was known at Court. By the end of the century he is mentioned by Francis Meres (q.v.) as the greatest man of letters of the day, and his name had become so valuable that it was affixed by unscrupulous publishers to works, e.g. Locrine, Oldcastle, and The Yorkshire Tragedy, by other and often very inferior hands. He had also resumed a close connection with Stratford, and was making the restoration of the family position there the object of his ambition. In accordance with this he induced his father to apply for a grant of arms, which was given, and he purchased New Place, the largest house in the village. With the income derived from his profession as an actor and dramatist, and his share of the profits of the Globe and Blackfriars theatres, and in view of the business capacity with which he managed his affairs, he may be regarded as almost a wealthy man, and he went on adding to his influence in Stratford by buying land. He had enjoyed the favour of Elizabeth, and her death in 1603 did nothing to disturb his fortunes, as he stood quite as well with her successor. His company received the title of the “King’s Servants,” and his plays were frequently performed before the Court. But notwithstanding this, the clouds had gathered over his life. The conspiracy of Essex in 1601 had involved several of his friends and patrons in disaster; he had himself been entangled in the unhappy love affair which is supposed to be referred to in some of his sonnets, and he had suffered unkindness at the hands of a friend. For a few years his dramas breathe the darkness and bitterness of a heart which has been sounding the depths of sad experience. He soon, however, emerged from this and, passing through the period of the great tragedies, reached the serene triumph and peace of his later dramas. In 1611 S. severed his long connection with the stage, and retired to Stratford, where the remaining five years of his life were spent in honour and prosperity. Early in 1616 his health began to give way, and he made his will. In the spring he received a visit from his friends, Jonson and Drayton, and the festivity with which it was celebrated seems to have brought on a fever, of which he died on April 23. He was survived by his wife and his two daughter, both of whom were married. His descendants died out with his grand-daughter, Elizabeth Hall.
Immense research has been spent upon the writings of S., with the result of substantial agreement as to the order of their production and the sources from which their subjects were drawn; for S. rarely troubled himself with the construction of a story, but adopting one already existing reared upon it as a foundation one of those marvellous superstructures which make him the greatest painter and interpreter of human character the world has ever seen. His period of literary production extends from about 1588 to 1613, and falls naturally into four divisions, which Prof. Dowden has named, “In the Workshop” ending in 1596; “In the World” 1596–1601; “Out of the Depths” 1601–1608; and “On the Heights” 1608–1613. Of the 37 plays usually attributed to him, 16 only were published during his lifetime, so that the exact order in which they were produced cannot always be determined with certainty. Recent authorities are agreed to the extent that while they do not invariably place the individual plays in the same order, they are almost entirely at one as to which belong to the four periods respectively. The following list shows in a condensed form the order according to Mr. Sidney Lee (Dictionary of National Biography) with the most probable dates and the original sources on which the plays are founded.
First Period — 1588?-1596
LOVE’S LABOUR LOST (1591) — Plot probably original.
TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA (1591) — The Shepherdess Felismena in George of Montmayor’s Diana.
COMEDY OF ERRORS (1591) — Menæchmi of Plautus and earlier play.
ROMEO AND JULIET (1591) — Italian romance in Painter’s Palace of Pleasure and Broke’s Romeus and Juliet.
HENRY VI. 1, 2, and 3 (1592) — Retouched old plays, probably with Marlowe.
RICHARD III. (1592–3) — Holinshed’s Chronicle.
RICHARD II. (1593–4?) — do.
TITUS ANDRONICUS (1594) — Probably chiefly by Kyd, retouched.
KING JOHN (1594) — Old play retouched.
Second Period — 1596–1601-2
MERCHANT OF VENICE (1594) — Italian novels, Gesta Romanorum, and earlier plays.
MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (1595) — North’s Plutarch, Chaucer, Ovid.
ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL (1595) — Painter’s Palace of Pleasure.
TAMING OF THE SHREW (1596?) — Old play retouched, and Supposes of G. Gascoigne, Shakespeare’s in part only.
HENRY IV. 1 and 2 (1597?) — Holinshed and earlier play.
MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR (1597–8) — Italian novels (?).
HENRY V. (1599).
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (1599) — Partly from Italian.
AS YOU LIKE IT (1599) — Lodge’s Rosalynde, Euphues’ Golden Legacie.
TWELFTH NIGHT (1599) — B. Riche’s Apolonius and Silla.
Third Period — 1602–1608
JULIUS CÆSAR (1601) — North’s Plutarch.
HAMLET (1601–2) — Belleforest’s Histoires Tragiques.
TROILUS AND CRESSIDA (1603?) — Probably Chaucer’s Troilus and Cresseide and Chapman’s Homer.
OTHELLO (1604) — Cinthio’s Hecatommithi.
MEASURE FOR MEASURE (1604?) — Cinthio’s Epithia.
MACBETH (1605–6?) — Holinshed.
LEAR (1606) — do.
TIMON OF ATHENS (1607?) — Palace of Pleasure and Plutarch written with G. Wilkins (?) and W. Rowley (?).
PERICLES (1607–8) — Gower’s Confessio Amantis, with G. Wilkins (?).
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA (1608) — North’s Plutarch.
CORIOLANUS (1608) — do.
Fourth Period — 1608–1613
CYMBELINE (1610–11?) — Holinshed and Ginevra in Boccaccio’s Decamerone.
WINTER’S TALE (1610–11) — Green’s Dorastus and Fawnia.
TEMPEST (1611?) — S. Jourdain’s Discovery of the Bermudas.
HENRY VIII. (1612–13) — Draft by S. completed by Fletcher and perhaps Massinger.
VENUS AND ADONIS (1593).
RAPE OF LUCRECE (1594).
The evidence as to chronology is three-fold — (1) External, such as entries in registers of Stationers’ Company, contemporary references, or details as to the companies of actors; (2) External and internal combined, such as references in the plays to events or books, etc.; (3) Internal, content and treatment, progressive changes in versification, presence of frequency of rhyme, etc. The genius of S. was so intensely dramatic that it is impossible to say confidently when he speaks in his own character. The sonnets, written probably 1591–94 have, however, been thought to be of a more personal nature, and to contain indications as to his character and history, and much labour and ingenuity have been expended to make them yield their secrets. It is generally agreed that they fall into two sections, the first consisting of sonnets 1 to 126 addressed to a young man, probably Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, the friend and patron of S., and 9 years his junior; and the second from 127 to 154 addressed or referring to a woman in whose snares the writer had become entangled, and by whom he was betrayed. Some, however, have held that they are allegorical, or partly written on behalf of others, or that the emotion they express is dramatic and not personal.
There are contemporary references to S. which show him to have been generally held in high regard. Thus Ben Jonson says, “I loved the man, and do honour to his memory, on this side idolatry, as much as any,” and Chettle refers to “His demeanour no lesse civil than exelent in the qualities he professes.” The only exception is a reference to him in Greene’s Groat’s-worth of Wit, as “an upstart crow beautified with our feathers, that with his tyger’s heart wrapt in a player’s hide supposes he is as well able to bumbast out a blanke verse as the best of you . . . and is in his own conceit the only Shake-scene in a countrie.” He is said to have written rapidly and with facility, rarely requiring to alter what he had set down. In addition to his generally received works, others have been attributed to him, some of which have been already mentioned: the only two which appear to have serious claims to consideration are The Two Noble Kinsmen, partly by Fletcher, and Edward III., of which part of Act I. and the whole of Act II. have been thought to be Shakespeare’s. On the other hand a theory has been propounded that none of the plays bearing his name were really his, but that they were written by Bacon (q.v.). This extraordinary view has been widely supported, chiefly in America, and has been sometimes maintained; with considerable ability and misplaced ingenuity.
Summary. — Born 1564, ed. at Stratford School, father falls into difficulties c. 1577, married Ann Hathaway 1582, goes to London end of 1585, finds employment in theatres and acts in chief companies of the time, first in “The Theatre” afterwards the “Rose,” the “Curtain,” the “Globe” and “Blackfriars,” appearing in Jonson’s Every Man in his Humour and Sejanus. Venus and Adonis, Lucrece, earlier plays, and perhaps most of sonnets published by 1595, when he was friend of Southampton and known at Court, purchases New Place at Stratford, falls into trouble c. 1600, having lost friends in Essex’s conspiracy, and has unfortunate love affair; emerges from this into honour and peace, retires to Stratford and died 1616. Productive period c. 1588–1613, 4 divisions, first (1588–96), second (1596–1601), third (1601–1608), fourth (1608–1613). Of 37 plays usually attributed, only 16 published in his life.
As might have been expected, there is a copious literature devoted to Shakespeare and his works. Among those dealing with biography may be mentioned Halliwell Phillipps’s Outline of the Life of Shakespeare (7th ed., 1887), Fleay’s Shakespeare Manual (1876), and Life of Shakespeare (1886). Life by S. Lee (1898), Dowden’s Shakespeare, his Mind and Art (1875), Drake’s Shakespeare and his Times (1817), Thornberry’s Shakespeare’s England (1856), Knight’s Shakespeare (1843). See also Works by Guizot, De Quincey, Fullom, Elze, and others. Criticisms by Coleridge, Hazlitt, Swinburne, T.S. Baynes, and others. Concordance by Mrs. Cowden Clarke. Ed., Rowe (1709), Pope (1725), Theobald (1733), Johnson (1765), Capell (1768), Steevens’s improved re-issue of Johnson (1773), Malone (1790), Reed’s 1st Variorum (1803), 2nd Variorum (1813), 3rd Variorum by Jas. Boswell the younger (1821), Dyce (1857), Staunton (1868–70), Cambridge by W.G. Clark and Dr. Aldis Wright (1863–66), Temple (ed. I. Gollancz, 1894–96), Eversley Shakespeare (ed. Herford, 1899).
Sharp, William (“Fiona Macleod”) (1856–1905). — Wrote under this pseudonym a remarkable series of Celtic tales, novels, and poems, including Pharais, a Romance of the Isles, The Mountain Lovers, The Sin–Eater (1895), The Washer of the Ford, and Green Fire (1896), The Laughter of Peterkin (1897), The Dominion of Dreams (1899), The Divine Adventure (1900), Drostan and Iseult (1902). He was one of the earliest and most gifted promoters of the Celtic revival. In verse are From the Hills of Dream, Through the Ivory Gate, and The Immortal Hour (drama). Under his own name he wrote Earth’s Voices, Sospiri di Roma, Sospiri d’Italia, poems, and books on Rossetti, Shelley, Browning, and Heine; also a few novels.
Shaw, Henry Wheeler (“Josh Billings”) (1818–1885). — Humorist, born in Massachusetts. After working on steam-boats and farming, he became an auctioneer, and settled at Poughkeepsie. Stripped of the fantastic spelling by which he first succeeded in catching the public attention, the shrewd and droll maxims of his Farmers’ Allminax have something in common with Franklin’s Poor Richard. Other books with the same features are Josh Billings’ Sayings, Everybody’s Friend, Josh Billings’ Trump Kards, etc.
Shelley, Mrs. Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin) (1797–1851). — Novelist, born in London, the only child of William Godwin (q.v.) and Mary Wollstonecraft, his wife (q.v.). In 1814 she went to the Continent with P.B. Shelley (q.v.), and married him two years later. When abroad she saw much of Byron, and it was at his villa on the Lake of Geneva that she conceived the idea of her famous novel of Frankenstein (1818), a ghastly but powerful work. None of her other novels, including The Last Man and Lodore, had the same success. She contributed biographies of foreign artists and authors to Lardner’s Cabinet Cyclopædia, and ed. her husband’s poems.
Shelley, Percy Bysshe (1792–1822). — Poet, son of Sir Timothy S., was born at Field Place, near Horsham, Sussex, and ed. at Brentford, Eton, and University College, Oxford, whence for writing and circulating a pamphlet, The Necessity of Atheism, he was expelled. One immediate result of this was a difference with his father, which was deepened into a permanent breach by his marriage in the following year to Harriet Westbrook, the pretty and lively daughter of a retired innkeeper. The next three years were passed in wandering about from place to place in Ireland, Wales, the Lake District, and other parts of the kingdom, and in the composition of Queen Mab (1813), the poet’s first serious work. Before the end of that period he had separated from his wife, for which various reasons have been assigned, one being her previous desertion of him, and the discovery on his part of imperfect sympathy between them; the principal one, however, being that he had conceived a violent passion for Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (see Shelley, Mrs. M.W.), daughter of William Godwin (q.v.), with whom he eloped to Italy in 1814, and whom he married in 1816, his first wife having drowned herself. The custody of his two children, whom he had left with their mother, was refused him by the Court of Chancery. In Switzerland he had made the acquaintance of Byron, with whom he afterwards lived in intimacy in Italy. Returning to England in 1815 he wrote his first really great poem, Alastor (1816), followed by the Hymn to Intellectual Beauty, Prince Athanase, Rosalind and Helen, and Laon and Cythna, afterwards called the Revolt of Islam (1817). In 1818 he left England never to return, and went to Italy, and in the next two years — while at Rome — produced his two greatest works, the tragedy of The Cenci (1819) and Prometheus Unbound (1820). He removed to Venice in 1820 in the company of Byron, and there wrote Julian and Maddalo, a poetic record of discussions between them. Epipsychidion, Hellas, and Adonais, a lament for Keats, were all produced in 1821. After a short residence at Pisa he went to Lerici on the Gulf of Spezzia, where he indulged in his favourite recreation of boating, and here on July 8, 1823, he went, in company with a friend, Mr. Williams, on that fatal expedition which cost him his life. His body was cast ashore about a fortnight later, and burnt, in accordance with the quarantine law of the country, on a pyre in the presence of Byron, Leigh Hunt, and Trelawny. His ashes were carefully preserved and buried in the Protestant cemetery at Rome near those of Keats. The character of S. is a singularly compounded one. By the unanimous testimony of his friends, it was remarkable for gentleness, purity, generosity, and strong affection: on the other hand he appears to have had very inadequate conceptions of duty and responsibility, and from his childhood seems to have been in revolt against authority of every kind. The charge of Atheism rests chiefly on Mab, the work of a boy, printed by him for private circulation, and to some extent repudiated as personal opinion. As a poet he stands in the front rank: in lyrical gift, shown in Prometheus, Hellas, and some of his shorter poems, such as “The Skylark,” he is probably unsurpassed, and in his Cenci he exhibits dramatic power of a high order. Among his shorter poems are some which reach perfection, such as the sonnet on “Ozymandias,” “Music when soft voices die,” “I arise from dreams of thee,” “When the lamp is shattered,” the “Ode to the West Wind,” and “O world! O life! O time!” During his short life of 30 years he was, not unnaturally, the object of much severe judgment, and his poetic power even was recognised by only a few. Posterity has taken a more lenient view of his serious errors of conduct, while according to his genius a shining place among the immortals.
The best ed. of the Works is that of Buxton Forman (4 vols.). There are ed. of the Poems by W.M. Rossetti (1894), Dowden (1891), etc. Lives by Medwin (1847), J.A. Symonds (1887), W.M. Rossetti, Prof. Dowden, T. Jefferson Hogg, and others.
Shenstone, William (1714–1763). — Poet, son of Thomas S., owner of a small estate at Hales Owen, Shropshire. At this place, called the Leasowes, the poet was born In 1732 he went to Oxford On his father’s death he retired to the Leasowes where he passed his time, and ran through his means in transforming it into a marvel of landscape gardening, visited by strangers from all parts of the kingdom. The works of S. consist of poems and prose essays. Of the former two, The Schoolmistress, a humorous imitation of Spenser, with many quaint and tender touches, and the Pastoral Ballad in four parts, perhaps the best of its kind in the language, survive. The essays also display good sense and a pointed and graceful style. The last years of S. were clouded by financial embarrassments and perhaps also by disappointed affections. After his death his works, were collected and published by Dodsley.
Sheridan, Richard Brinsley (1751–1816). — Dramatist and orator, born in Dublin, the son of an actor, was ed. at Harrow. In 1772 he eloped with Miss Linley, a famous singer, went with her to France, fought two duels, and married her in 1773. S. has a reputation of the highest in two distinct walks, those of the dramatist and the Parliamentary orator. By his three great comedies, The Rivals (1775), The School for Scandal (1777), and The Critic (1779), he raised himself to the first place among the writers of the comedy of manners; and by his speeches, specially those in support of the impeachment of Warren Hastings, he has a position among the greatest of Parliamentary orators. Unfortunately he had little turn for business, and too great a love of pleasure and conviviality, which led to lifelong pecuniary embarrassment, completed by the destruction by fire of Drury Lane Theatre, of which he had become proprietor. As a politician S. supported the Whig party, and held the offices of Under–Sec. for Foreign Affairs, Sec. to the Treasury, and Treasurer of the Navy. He was also confidential adviser to George IV. when Prince of Wales, but like everybody else who had to do with him suffered from the ingratitude of “the first gentleman in Europe.” The accounts long prevalent of the poverty and misery of his last years have been shown to be greatly exaggerated, though he was in reduced circumstances. As a dramatist S. shines in the construction of amusing situations, and in a sparkling flow of witty dialogue which never flags. His only other play was Pizarro (1799), a patriotic melodrama.
Lives by Walkins (1817), T. Moore (1825), and Mrs. Oliphant (1883).
Sherlock, William (1641?-1707). — Divine and controversialist, born at Southwark, ed. at Eton and Cambridge, took orders, and became in 1684 Master of the Temple, and in 1691 Dean of St. Paul’s. He exercised a powerful influence in the Church. His most popular work was his Discourse concerning Death, and his principal controversial effort was his Vindication of the Doctrine of the Trinity. Other works were on Future Judgment and on The Divine Providence. His son, THOMAS SHERLOCK (1678–1761), who was also Master of the Temple, became Bishop successively of Bangor, Salisbury, and London, and was, like his father, a noted controversialist. His best known work is his Tryal of the Witnesses of the Resurrection of Jesus (1729).
Sherwood, Mrs. Mary Martha (Butt) (1775–1851). — Writer of children’s books, married in 1803 Captain H. Sherwood, and went to India, where she took much interest in soldiers’ children. Among her books, many of which attained great popularity, are Susan Gray, Little Henry and his Bearer, and The Fairchild Family.
Shirley, James (1596–1666). — Dramatist, born in London, ed. at Merchant Taylor’s School, London, and at Oxford and Cambridge, became a master of St. Alban’s Grammar School, and afterwards joined the Roman Catholic Church, and going to London wrote for the stage, producing 39 plays. His talents and his religion recommended him to Queen Henrietta Maria, and he appears to have led a fairly prosperous life until the interdict of plays by Parliament in 1642. In the Civil War he bore arms on the Royalist side, and during the Commonwealth he returned to his occupation of schoolmaster. The Restoration does not appear to have improved his fortunes much; he was burnt out in the great fire of 1666, and very soon afterwards he and his wife died on the same day. The plays of S. include The Traitor (1631), The Cardinal (1641), The Gamester (1633), Hyde Park (1632), and The Lady of Pleasure (1635). He also wrote poems, including the well-known lines beginning “The Glories of our mortal State.” S. has fancy, liveliness, and the style of a gentleman, but he lacks depth and interest. He is less gross than most of his contemporaries.
Other plays are The Ball (1632), The Maid’s Revenge (1626), The Grateful Servant (1629), Bird in a Cage (1633), The Example (1634). The Constant Maid (c. 1640), Doubtful Heir, or Rosania (1640), Court Secret (1653), Contention of Ajax and Ulysses (1659), etc.
Shorthouse, Joseph Henry (1834–1903). — Novelist, born at Birmingham, where he was a chemical manufacturer. Originally a Quaker, he joined the Church of England. His first, and by far his best book, John Inglesant, appeared in 1881, and at once made him famous. Though deficient in its structure as a story, and not appealing to the populace, it fascinates by the charm of its style and the “dim religious light” by which it is suffused, as well as by the striking scenes occasionally depicted. His other novels, The Little Schoolmaster Mark, Sir Percival, The Countess Eve, and A Teacher of the Violin, though with some of the same characteristics, had no success comparable to his first. S. also wrote an essay, The Platonism of Wordsworth.
Sibbes, Richard (1577–1635). — Divine, was at Cambridge, where he held various academic posts, of which he was deprived by the High Commission on account of his Puritanism. He was the author of several devotional works expressing intense religious feeling — The Saint’s Cordial (1629), The Bruised Reed and Smoking Flax, etc. He was a man of great learning.
Sidney, or Sydney, Algernon (1622–1683). — Political writer, son of the 2nd Earl of Leicester, and grand-nephew of Sir Philip S., in his youth travelled on the Continent, served against the Irish Rebels, and on the outbreak of the Civil War, on the side of the Parliament. He was one of the judges on the trial of Charles I., and though he did not attend, he thoroughly approved of the sentence. He opposed the assumption of the supreme power by Cromwell. After the Restoration he lived on the Continent, but receiving a pardon, returned in 1677 to England. He, however, retained the republican principles which he had all his life advocated, fell under the suspicion of the Court, and was in 1683, on the discovery of the Rye House Plot, condemned to death on entirely insufficient evidence, and beheaded on Tower Hill, December 7, 1683. Though no charge of personal venality has been substantiated, yet it appears to be certain that he received money from the French King for using his influence against war between the two countries, his object being to prevent Charles II. from obtaining command of the war supplies. S. was deeply versed in political theory, and wrote Discourses concerning Government, published in 1698.
Sidney, Sir Philip (1554–1586). — Poet and romancist, son of Sir Henry S., Deputy of Ireland, and Pres. of Wales, born at the family seat of Penshurst, and ed. at Shrewsbury School and Oxford He was at the French Court on the fateful August 24, 1572 — the massacre of St. Bartholomew — but left Paris soon thereafter and went to Germany and Italy. In 1576 he was with his father in Ireland, and the next year went on missions to the Elector Palatine and the Emperor Rudolf II. When his father’s Irish policy was called in question, he wrote an able defence of it. He became the friend of Spenser, who dedicated to him his Shepherd’s Calendar. In 1580 he lost the favour of the Queen by remonstrating against her proposed marriage with the Duke of Anjou. His own marriage with a daughter of Sir Francis Walsingham took place in 1583. In 1585 he was engaged in the war in the Low Countries, and met his death at Zutphen from a wound in the thigh. His death was commemorated by Spenser in his Astrophel. S. has always been considered as the type of English chivalry; and his extraordinary contemporary reputation rested on his personal qualities of nobility and generosity. His writings consist of his famous pastoral romance of Arcadia, his sonnets Astrophel and Stella, and his Apologie for Poetrie, afterwards called Defence of Poesie. The Arcadia was originally written for the amusement of his sister, afterwards Countess of Pembroke, the “Sidney’s sister, Pembroke’s mother,” of Ben Jonson. Though its interest now is chiefly historical, it enjoyed an extraordinary popularity for a century after its appearance, and had a marked influence on the immediately succeeding literature. It was written in 1580–81 but not published until 1590, and is a medley of poetical prose, full of conceits, with occasional verse interspersed. His Defence of Poesie, written in reply to Gosson (q.v.), is in simple and vigorous English. S. also made a translation of the Psalms.
Poems ed. by Grosart, Apologie by Arber and others, Astrophel by Gray, Arber, and others. Life by Fulke Greville (1652), ed. by Sir E. Brydges (1816). Arcadia (facsimile), by Somner. Lives by J.A. Symonds, Fox Bourne, and others.
Sigourney, Mrs. Lydia (Huntley) (1791–1865). — American verse writer, was an extraordinarily copious writer of smooth, sentimental verse, which had great popularity in its day. Her most ambitious effort was a blank verse poem, Traits of the Aborigines of America (1822). Other books were Connecticut Forty Years Since, Pocahontas, etc.
Simms, William Gilmore (1806–1870). — Novelist, etc., born at Charleston, South Carolina, began his literary life with journalism. He then for some time tried poetry, but without any distinct success except occasionally in Southern Passages and Pictures (1839). But in fiction, which he began in 1833 with Martin Faber, he was more successful, though rather an imitator of Cooper. The Yemassee (1835) is generally considered his best novel. He was less happy in his attempts at historical romance, such as Count Julian and The Damsel of Darien. During the war, in which he was naturally a strong partisan of the South, he was ruined, and his library was burned; and from these disasters he never recovered. He had a high repute as a journalist, orator, and lecturer. He was the first Southerner to achieve any name in literature.
Skelton, John (1460?-1529). — Poet, born in Norfolk, and ed. at Oxford and Cambridge, of both of which he was created Poet Laureate, and perhaps held the same office under the King. He was appointed tutor to Henry VIII., and notwithstanding his sharp tongue, enjoyed some favour at Court. In 1498 he entered the Church, and became Rector of Diss in his native county. Hitherto he seems to have produced some translations only, but about this time he appears to have struck upon the vein which he was to work with such vigour and popularity. He turned his attention to abuses in Church and State, which he lashed with caustic satire, conveyed in short doggerel rhyming lines peculiar to himself, in which jokes, slang, invectives, and Latin quotations rush out pell-mell. His best works in this line are Why come ye not to Court? and Colin Clout, both directed against the clergy, and the former against Wolsey in particular. Piqued at his inconstancy (for S. had previously courted him) the Cardinal would have imprisoned him, had he not taken sanctuary in Westminster, where he remained until his death. Other works of his are The Tunning (brewing) of Elynor Rummynge, a coarsely humorous picture of low life, and the tender and fanciful Death of Philip Sparrow, the lament of a young lady over her pet bird killed by a cat.
Skelton, Sir John (1831–1897). — Miscellaneous writer. Born in Edinburgh, ed. at the University there, and called to the Scottish Bar 1854, he was Sec. and ultimately Chairman of the Local Government Board for Scotland. He wrote Maitland of Lethington and the Scotland of Mary Stuart (1887), The Crookit Meg (1880), and The Table Talk of Shirley. He contributed to Fraser’s and Blackwood’s Magazines. He received the degree of LL.D. from Edinburgh 1878, and was made K.C.B. 1897.
Skene, William Forbes (1807–1892). — Historian, 2nd son of James S. of Rubislaw, friend of Sir Walter Scott, was a Writer to the Signet in Edinburgh, and Clerk of the Bills in the Court of Session. He wrote and ed. historical works of considerable authority, The Highlanders of Scotland (1837), and his most important work, Celtic Scotland (1876–80), and ed. of The Four Ancient Books of Wales (1868), and other Celtic writings.
Skinner, John (1721–1807). — Historian and song-writer, son of a schoolmaster at Birse, Aberdeenshire, was ed. at Marischal College Brought up as a Presbyterian, he became an Episcopalian and ministered to a congregation at Longside, near Peterhead, for 65 years. He wrote The Ecclesiastical History of Scotland from the Episcopalian point of view, and several songs of which The Reel of Tullochgorum and The Ewie wi’ the Crookit Horn are the best known, and he also rendered some of the Psalms into Latin. He kept up a rhyming correspondence with Burns.
Skipsey, Joseph (1832–1903). — Poet, born near North Shields, and from childhood worked in the mines. He published a few pieces of poetry in 1859, and soon after left working underground and became caretaker of Shakespeare’s house at Stratford-on-Avon. During the last 30 years of his life he published several vols. of poetry, including The Collier Lad and Carols from the Coal Fields; and he ed. some vols. for the “Canterbury Poets.” Memoir by R.S. Watson (1908).
Smart, Christopher (1722–1771). — Poet, son of the steward to Lord Vane, was born at Shipbourne, Kent, and by the bounty of the Duchess of Cleveland sent to Cambridge Here his ill-balanced mind showed itself in wild folly. Leaving the University he came to London and maintained himself by conducting and writing for periodicals. His Poems on Several Occasions, which contained “The Hop Garden,” was issued in 1752, and The Hilliad in 1753 against “Sir” John Hill, a notoriety of the day who had attacked him. His mind ultimately gave way, and it was in confinement that he produced by far his most remarkable work, the Song to David, a most original and powerful poem. Unfortunate to the last, he died in the King’s Bench prison, to which he had been committed for debt. He also translated Horace.
Smedley, Frank (1818–1864). — Novelist, was the author of several novels which had considerable popularity, including Frank Fairleigh (1850), Lewis Arundel (1852), and Harry Coverdale’s Courtship (1855). S. was a life-long cripple.
Smiles, Samuel (1812–1904). — Biographer and miscellaneous writer, born at Haddington, ed. at the Grammar School there, studied medicine at Edinburgh, and settled in practice in his native town. Subsequently he betook himself to journalism, and ed. a paper in Leeds. Afterwards he was secretary to various railways. His leisure was devoted to reading and writing, and his first publication was The Life of George Stephenson (1857). Self–Help, his most popular work, followed in 1859; it had an immense circulation, and was translated into 17 languages. It was followed up by Character (1871), Thrift (1875), and Duty (1880). The Lives of the Engineers and Industrial Biography appeared in 1863, The Huguenots, their Settlements, Churches, and Industries in England and Ireland (1867), and The Huguenots in France a little later. He also wrote biographies of Telford and James Watt, and of the Scottish naturalists, Edwards the shoemaker and Dick the baker. He received the degree of LL.D. from Edinburgh in 1878.
Smith, Adam (1723–1790). — Philosopher and economist, born at Kirkcaldy, Fife, the son of the Controller of Customs there. His father died shortly before his birth. The first and only adventure in his tranquil life was his being kidnapped by gipsies. After being at the Grammar School of Kirkcaldy, he went to the University of Glasgow, whence he proceeded to Oxford On the conclusion of his University course he returned to Kirkcaldy, going subsequently to Edinburgh, where he was soon recognised as a man of unusual intellect. In 1751 he was appointed to the Chair of Logic at Glasgow, which he next year exchanged for that of Moral Philosophy, and in 1759 he published his Theory of the Moral Sentiments. He received in 1762 the degree of LL.D. from his University, and two years later resigned his chair and became travelling tutor to the young Duke of Buccleuch, accompanying him to the Continent. He remained for nearly a year in Paris, and made the acquaintance of the brilliant circle of savans in that city. Returning to Kirkcaldy in 1766 he lived there with his mother for nearly ten years in retirement and close study, the results of which were given to the world in 1776 in the publication of his epoch-making work, Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776). This book may be said to have founded the science of political economy, and to have created a new department of literature; and very few works have, to the same extent, influenced the practical history of the world. In 1778 S. was made a Commissioner of Customs, and settled in Edinburgh; and in 1787 he was elected Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow. In addition to the works above mentioned, he wrote various essays on philosophical subjects, and an account of the last days of David Hume. The style of his works was plain and lucid, and he had a remarkable faculty of apt illustration.
Smith, Albert (1816–1860). — Humorous writer, studied medicine, and for a short time assisted his father in practice. He was one of the original contributors to Punch, and among his books are The Adventures of Mr. Ledbury and The Scattergood Family. He also lectured and gave entertainments, including The Ascent of Mont Blanc, which were highly popular.
Smith, Alexander (1830–1867). — Poet and essayist, son of a Paisley pattern-designer, at first followed the same occupation in Glasgow, but having become known as a poet of promise was, in 1854, appointed Sec. of Edinburgh University. After contributing to the Glasgow Citizen he published A Life Drama (1853), which received much admiration. Thereafter appeared War Sonnets (in conjunction, with S. Dobell, q.v.), City Poems (1857), and Edwin of Deira (1861). In prose he wrote Dreamthorpe (essays), A Summer in Skye, and two novels, Alfred Hagart’s Household and Miss Dona M’Quarrie. His poems were in a rich and glowing style, but by some good judges were held to show fancy rather than imagination. He belonged to what was called the “spasmodic” school of poetry.
Smith, Mrs. Charlotte (Turner) (1749–1806). — Was married at 15 to a West Indian merchant, who by a series of misfortunes and imprudences was reduced from affluence to poverty. She had in her youth shown considerable promise as a poetess, and in her misfortunes she was able to maintain herself and her family by her pen. In addition to a poem, Beachy Head, and sonnets, she wrote several novels of more than usual merit, including Emmeline (1788), and, her best work, The Old English Manor House.
Smith, Horace (1779–1849), Smith, James (1775–1839). — Humorists, son of a London lawyer who was solicitor to the Board of Ordnance. James succeeded his father; Horace became a successful stockbroker. Both brothers were distinguished for brilliant wit and humour. Their first great hit was Rejected Addresses (1812), extremely clever parodies on leading contemporary poets. To this jeu d’esprit James contributed among others imitations of Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Crabbe, while Horace’s share included Scott and Moore. James published little more, but anonymously gave Charles Matthews assistance in his entertainments. Horace published several novels which, with perhaps the exception of Brambletye House, are now forgotten. He also wrote The Address to a Mummy, a remarkable poem in which wit and true sentiment are admirably combined. Both brothers were highly esteemed not only for their social qualities, but for their benevolence and goodness of heart.
Smith, Sydney (1771–1845). — Miscellaneous writer, born at Woodford, Essex, the son of a gentleman of independent means, and ed. at Winchester and Oxford, took orders 1794, becoming curate of Amesbury. He came to Edinburgh as tutor to a gentleman’s son, was introduced to the circle of brilliant young Whigs there, and assisted in founding the Edinburgh Review. He then went to London, where he was for a time preacher at the Foundling Hospital, and lectured on moral philosophy at the Royal Institution. His brilliant wit and general ability made him a favourite in society, while by his power of clear and cogent argument he exercised a strong influence on the course of politics. His Plymley Letters did much to advance the cause of Catholic emancipation. He received various preferments, and became a canon of St. Paul’s. In politics he was a Whig, in his Church views an Erastian; and in the defence of his principles he was honest and courageous. Though not remarkable for religious devotion he was a hard-working and, according to his lights, useful country parson. By the death of a younger brother he in his later years came into a considerable fortune.
Smith, Walter Chalmers (1824–1908). — Born in Aberdeen and ed. there and at Edinburgh, was a minister of the Free Church of Scotland at Orwell, Glasgow, and Edinburgh successively, a distinguished preacher and a man of kindly nature and catholic sympathies. He attained considerable reputation as a poet. Among his works are The Bishop’s Walk (1861), Olrig Grange (1872), Hilda among the Broken Gods (1878), Raban (1880), Kildrostan (1884), and A Heretic (1890). Some of these were written under the names of “Orwell” and Hermann Kunst. He received the degrees of D.D. and LL.D.
Smith, Sir William (1813–1893). — Lexicographer, ed. at University College, London, was a contributor to the Penny Magazine and compiled or ed. many useful works of reference, including Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1842), and dictionaries of the Bible, of Christian Antiquities, and Christian Biography, etc., also various school series and educational handbooks, including The Classical Dictionary. He held various academical degrees, including Ph.D. of Leipsic, and was knighted in 1892.
Smith, William Robertson (1846–1894). — Theologian and Semitic scholar, son of the Free Church minister of Keig, Aberdeenshire, studied for the ministry of that Church. In 1870 he was appointed Prof. of Hebrew, etc., in its coll. at Aberdeen, a position which he had to resign on account of his advanced critical views. He became joint ed. of The Encyclopædia Britannica, and in 1883 Prof. of Arabic at Cambridge S. was a man of brilliant and versatile talents, a mathematician as well as a scholar, somewhat uncompromising and aggressive in the exposition and defence of his views. His works include The Old Testament in the Jewish Church (1881), and The Religion of the Semites (1889).
Smollett, Tobias George (1721–1771). — Novelist, 2nd son of Archibald S., of Dalquhurn, Dumbartonshire, and ed. at Glasgow, proceeded to London in 1739 with the view of having a tragedy, The Regicide, put on the stage, in which, however, he failed. In this disappointment he took service as surgeon’s mate on one of the vessels of the Carthagena expedition, 1741, an experience which he turned to account in his novels. On his return he settled in London, and endeavoured to acquire practice as a physician, but was not very successful, and having discovered where his talent lay, he thenceforth devoted himself to literature. Roderick Random appeared in 1748, The History of an Atom (1749), Peregrine Pickle in 1751, Ferdinand, Count Fathom in 1753, Sir Lancelot Greaves in 1766, and Humphrey Clinker, generally considered his best novel, in 1770. Besides these works, however, he translated Voltaire, wrote a History of England in continuation of Hume’s, an Ode to Independence, travels and satires, and contributed to various periodicals. He was repeatedly involved in acrimonious controversy, and on one occasion fined and imprisoned for a libel, which, with various private misfortunes, embittered his life, and he died disappointed and worn out near Leghorn. Had he lived four years longer he would have succeeded to his grandfather’s estate of Bonhill. The novels of S. display great narrative power, and he has a remarkable comic vein of a broad type, which enables him to present ludicrous scenes and circumstances with great effect. There is, however, a strong infusion of coarseness in his treatment of his subjects.
Somerville, Mrs. Mary (Fairfax) (1780–1872). — Mathematician and writer on science, daughter of Admiral Sir William G. Fairfax, born at Jedburgh, was twice married, first to Mr. Greig, an officer in the Russian Navy, and second to her cousin Dr. William S. Although she had early manifested a taste for study, and specially for science, she had, until after the death of her first husband, little opportunity of following out her favourite subjects. With Dr. S., who was in full sympathy with her scientific tastes, she went to reside in London, and there her talents made her known in scientific circles. In 1823 she was requested by Lord Brougham to popularise the Mechanique Celeste of La Place. This she did with great success, publishing her work as The Celestial Mechanism of the Heavens (1830). She also published The Connection of the Physical Sciences (1834), and other works. She received a pension from Government, and died aged 92 at Naples, where she had resided for the last ten or twelve years of her life.
Somerville, William (1675–1742). — Poet, a Warwickshire squire of literary tastes, wrote among others a poem, The Chase, in 4 books, which has some passages of considerable descriptive power.
Sotheby, William (1757–1833). — Poet and translator, belonged to a good family, and was ed. at Harrow. In early life he was in the army. He published a few dramas and books of poems, which had no great popularity, and are now forgotten; his reputation rests upon his admirable translations of the Oberon of Wieland, the Georgics of Virgil, and the Iliad and Odyssey. The last two were begun when he was upwards of 70, but he lived to complete them. His Georgics is considered one of the best translations from the classics in the language.
South, Robert (1634–1716). — Divine, son of a London merchant, was born at Hackney, and ed. at Westminster School and Oxford, where in 1660 he was appointed University Orator. He became domestic chaplain to the Lord Chancellor Clarendon, and in 1663 the degree of D.D. was conferred upon him. After accompanying an embassy to Poland he became Rector of Islip, and a chaplain to Charles II. Thereafter he steadily declined higher preferment, including the bishopric of Rochester. He was opposed to the Romanising measures of James II., but owing to his views as to the duty of passive obedience he declined to associate himself in any way with the Revolution, to which nevertheless he submitted. He was an expert controversialist, but it is chiefly by his sermons, which are among the classics of English divinity, that he is remembered. He has the reputation of being the wittiest of English preachers, and this characteristic is sometimes present to a degree not quite suitable to the subjects treated.
Southerne, Thomas (1660–1746). — Dramatist, born in Dublin, and ed. at Trinity College there, came to London and studied law at the Middle Temple. Afterwards he entered the army and saw service. He wrote ten plays, of which two were long acted and are still remembered, The Fatal Marriage (1694) and Oroonoko (1696), in the latter of which he appeals passionately against the slave-trade. Unlike most preceding dramatists he was a practical man, succeeded in his theatrical management, and retired on a fortune. Other plays are The Loyal Brother (1682), The Disappointment (1684), The Wives’ Excuse (1692), The Spartan Dame (1719), etc.
Southey, Mrs. Caroline Anne (Bowles) (1786–1854). — Poetess, daughter of a captain in the navy, submitted a poem, Ellen Fitzarthur to Southey (q.v.), which led to a friendship, and to a proposed joint poem on Robin Hood, not, however, carried out, and eventually to her becoming the poet’s second wife. She wrote various other works, including Chapters on Churchyards and Tales of the Factories.
Southey, Robert (1774–1843). — Poet, biographer, etc., son of an unsuccessful linen-draper in Bristol, where he was born, was sent to Westminster School, and in 1792 went to Oxford His friendship with Coleridge began in 1794, and with him he joined in the scheme of a “pantisocracy” (see Coleridge). In 1795 he married his first wife, Edith Fricker, and thus became the brother-inlaw of Coleridge. Shortly afterwards he visited Spain, and in 1800 Portugal, and laid the foundations of his thorough knowledge of the history and literature of the Peninsula. Between these two periods of foreign travel he had attempted the study of law, which proved entirely uncongenial; and in 1803 he settled at Greta Hall, Keswick, to which neighbourhood the Coleridges had also come. Here he set himself to a course of indefatigable literary toil which only ended with his life. Thalaba had appeared in 1801, and there followed Madoc (1805), The Curse of Kehama (1810), Roderic, the Last of the Goths (1814), and A Vision of Judgment (1821); and in prose a History of Brazil, Lives of Nelson (1813), Wesley (1820), and Bunyan (1830), The Book of the Church (1824), History of the Peninsular War (1823–32), Naval History, and The Doctor (1834–37). In addition to this vast amount of work he had been from 1808 a constant contributor to the Quarterly Review. In 1839 when he was failing both in body and mind he married, as his second wife, Miss Caroline Ann Bowles, who had for 20 years been his intimate friend, and by whom his few remaining years were soothed. Though the name of S. still bulks somewhat largely in the history of our literature, his works, with a few exceptions, are now little read, and those of them (his longer poems, Thalaba and Kehama) on which he himself based his hopes of lasting fame, least of all. To this result their length, remoteness from living interests, and the impression that their often splendid diction is rather eloquence than true poetry, have contributed. Some of his shorter poems, e.g., “The Holly Tree,” and “The Battle of Blenheim” still live, but his fame now rests on his vigorous prose and especially on his classic Life of Nelson. Like Wordsworth and Coleridge, S. began life as a democratic visionary, and was strongly influenced by the French Revolution, but gradually cooled down into a pronounced Tory. He was himself greater and better than any of his works, his life being a noble record of devotion to duty and unselfish benevolence. He held the office of Poet Laureate from 1813, and had a pension from Government. He declined a baronetcy.
Life and Correspondence (6 vols., 1849–50) by his younger son, Rev. C. Southey. Life by Dowden in Men of Letters (1880).
Southwell, Robert (1561?-1595). — Poet, born at Horsham St. Faith’s, Norfolk, of good Roman Catholic family, and ed. at Douay, Paris, and Rome, he became a Jesuit, and showed such learning and ability as to be appointed Prefect of the English College In 1586 he came to England with Garnett, the superior of the English province, and became chaplain to the Countess of Arundel. His being in England for more than 40 days then rendered him liable to the punishment of death and disembowelment, and in 1592 he was apprehended and imprisoned in the Tower for three years, during which he was tortured 13 times. He was then put on trial and executed, February 22, 1595. He was the author of St. Peter’s Complaint and The Burning Babe, a short poem of great imaginative power, and of several prose religious works, including St. Mary Magdalene’s Teares, A Short Rule of Good Life, The Triumphs over Death, etc.
Spedding, James (1808–1881). — Editor of Bacon’s works, son of a Cumberland squire, and ed. at Bury St. Edmunds and Cambridge, was for some years in the Colonial Office. He devoted himself to the ed. of Bacon’s works, and the endeavour to clear his character against the aspersions of Macaulay and others. The former was done in conjunction with Ellis and Heath, his own being much the largest share in their great ed. (1861–74); and the latter, so far as possible, in The Life and Letters, entirely his own. In 1878 he brought out an abridged Life and Times of Francis Bacon. He strongly combated the theory that B. was the author of Shakespeare’s plays. His death was caused by his being run over by a cab. He enjoyed the friendship of many of his greatest contemporaries, including Carlyle, Tennyson, and Fitzgerald.
Speed, John (1552?-1629). — Historian, born at Farington, Cheshire, and brought up to the trade of a tailor, had a strong taste for history and antiquities, and wrote a History of Great Britain (1611), which was long the best in existence, in collecting material for which he had assistance from Cotton, Spelman, and other investigators. He also published useful maps of Great Britain and Ireland, and of various counties, etc. In 1616 appeared his Cloud of Witnesses confirming . . . the truth of God’s most holie Word. His maps were collected and with descriptions published in 1611 as Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain.
Speke, J.H., (see under Grant, J.A.)
Spelman, Sir Henry (1564?-1641). — Historian and antiquary, born at Congham, Norfolk, studied at Cambridge, and entered Lincoln’s Inn. He wrote valuable works on legal and ecclesiastical antiquities, including History of Sacrilege (published 1698), Glossarium Archæologicum (1626 and 1664), a glossary of obsolete law-terms, A History of the English Councils (1639), and Tenures by Knight-service (1641). His writings have furnished valuable material for subsequent historians. He sat in Parliament and on various commissions, and in recompense of his labours was voted a grant of £300.
Spence, Joseph (1699–1768). — Anecdotist, born at Kingsclere, Hants, and ed. at Winchester and Oxford, he entered the Church, and held various preferments, including a prebend at Durham, and was Prof. of Poetry at Oxford He wrote an Essay on Pope’s Odyssey, which gained for him the friendship of the poet, of whose conversation he made notes, collecting likewise anecdotes of him and of other celebrities which were published in 1820, and are of great value, inasmuch as they preserve much matter illustrative of the literary history of the 18th century which would otherwise have been lost.
Spencer, Herbert (1820–1903). — Philosopher, born at Derby, the son of a teacher, from whom, and from his uncle, mentioned below, he received most of his education. His immediate family circle was strongly Dissenting in its theological atmosphere, his father, originally a Methodist, having become a Quaker, while his mother remained a Wesleyan. At 13 he was sent to the care of his uncle, Thomas S., a clergyman, near Bath, but a Radical and anti-corn-law agitator. Declining a University career he became a school assistant, but shortly after accepted a situation under the engineer of the London and Birmingham railway, in which he remained until the great railway crisis of 1846 threw him out of employment. Previous to this he had begun to write political articles in the Nonconformist; he now resolved to devote himself to journalism, and in 1848 was appointed sub-ed. of the Economist. Thereafter he became more and more absorbed in the consideration of the problems of sociology and the development of the doctrine of evolution as applied thereto, gradually leading up to the completion of a system of philosophy which was the work of his life. His fundamental proposition is that society, like the individual, is an organism subject to evolution, and the scope of this idea is gradually expanded so as to embrace in its sweep the whole range of cognisible phenomena. Among the books which he published in exposition of his views may be mentioned Social Statics (1850), Principles of Psychology (1855), First Principles (1862), Principles of Biology (1867), Data of Ethics (1879), Principles of Sociology (1877), Political Institutions (1882), and Man versus the State (1884). His works have been translated into most European languages — some of them into Chinese and Japanese. The most characteristic qualities of S. as a thinker are his powers of generalisation and analysis. He left an autobiography, in which he subjects his own personality to analysis with singular detachment of mind.
Life by David Duncan, LL.D., Life by A.J. Thompson. See also Outlines of Cosmic Philosophy, Fishe (1874), and books on S. and his philosophy by Hudson (1894), White (1897), and Macpherson (1890).
Spencer, William Robert (1769–1834). — Poet, ed. at Harrow and Oxford, belonged to the Whig set of Fox and Sheridan. He wrote graceful vers de societé, made translations from Bürger, and is best remembered by his well-known ballad of Gelert. After a life of extravagance he died in poverty in Paris.
Spenser, Edmund (1552?-1599). — Poet, was born in East Smithfield, London, the son of John S., described as gentleman and journeyman in the art of cloth-making, who had come to London from Lancashire. In 1561 the poet was sent to Merchant Taylor’s School, then newly opened, and in 1569 he proceeded to Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, as a sizar, taking his degree in 1576. Among his friends there were Edward Kirke, who ed. the Shepheard’s Calendar, and Gabriel Harvey, the critic. While still at school he had contributed 14 sonnet-visions to Van de Noot’s Theatre for Worldlings (1569). On leaving the University S. went to the north, probably to visit his relations in Lancashire, and in 1578, through his friend Harvey, he became known to Leicester and his brother-inlaw, Philip Sidney. The next year, 1579, saw the publication of The Shepheard’s Calendar in 12 eclogues. It was dedicated to Sidney, who had become his friend and patron, and was received with acclamation, all who had ears for poetry perceiving that a new and great singer had arisen. The following year S. was appointed secretary to Lord Grey of Wilton, Deputy for Ireland, a strict Puritan, and accompanied him to Ireland. At the same time he appears to have begun the Faerie Queen. In 1581 he was appointed Registrar of Chancery, and received a grant of the Abbey and Castle of Enniscorthy, which was followed in 1586 by a grant of the Castle of Kilcolman in County Cork, a former possession of the Earls of Desmond with 3000 acres attached. Simultaneously, however, a heavy blow fell upon him in the death of Sidney at the Battle of Zutphen. The loss of this dear friend he commemorated in his lament of Astrophel. In 1590 he was visited by Sir Walter Raleigh, who persuaded him to come to England, and presented him to the Queen, from whom he received a pension of £50, which does not, however, appear to have been regularly paid, and on the whole his experiences of the Court did not yield him much satisfaction. In the same year his reputation as a poet was vastly augmented by the publication of the first three books of the Faerie Queen, dedicated to Elizabeth. The enthusiasm with which they were received led the publisher to bring out a collection of other writings of S. under the general title of Complaints, and including Mother Hubbard’s Tale (a satire on the Court and on the conflict then being waged between the old faith and the new), Teares of the Muses, and The Ruins of Time. Having seen these ventures launched, S. returned to Kilcolman and wrote Colin Clout’s come Home Again, one of the brightest and most vigorous of his poems, not, however, published until 1595. In the following year appeared his Four Hymns, two on Love and Beauty and two on Heavenly Love and Beauty, and the Prothalamion on the marriage of two daughters of the Earl of Worcester. He also published in prose his View of Ireland, a work full of shrewd observation and practical statesmanship. In 1594 he was married to Elizabeth Boyle, whom he had courted in Amoretti, and his union with whom he now celebrated in the magnificent Epithalamion, by many regarded as his most perfect poem. In 1595 he returned to England, taking with him the second part of the Faerie Queen, published in 1596. In 1598 he was made Sheriff of Cork, and in the same year his fortunes suffered a final eclipse. The rebellion of Tyrone broke out, his castle was burned, and in the conflagration his youngest child, an infant, perished, he himself with his wife and remaining children escaping with difficulty. He joined the President, Sir T. Norris, who sent him with despatches to London, where he suddenly died on January 16, 1599, as was long believed in extreme destitution. This, however, happily appears to be at least doubtful. He was buried in Westminster Abbey near Chaucer, and a monument was erected to his memory in 1620 by the Countess of Dorset.
The position of S. in English poetry is below Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Milton only. The first far excels him in narrative and constructive power and in humour, and the last in austere grandeur of conception; but for richness and beauty of imagination and exquisite sweetness of music he is unsurpassed except by Shakespeare. He has been called the poets’ poet, a title which he well merits, not only by virtue of the homage which all the more imaginative poets have yielded him, but because of the almost unequalled influence he has exercised upon the whole subsequent course and expression of English poetry, which he enriched with the stanza which bears his name, and which none since him have used with more perfect mastery. His faults are prolixity, indirectness, and want of constructive power, and consequently the sustained sweetness and sumptuousness of his verse are apt to cloy. His great work, the Faerie Queen, is but a gorgeous fragment, six books out of a projected twelve; but probably few or none of its readers have regretted its incompleteness. In it Protestantism and Puritanism receive their most poetic and imaginative presentation and vindication.
Summary. — Born 1552, ed. Merchant Taylor’s School and Cambridge, became known to Leicester and Sir P. Sidney 1578, published Shepheard’s Calendar 1579, appointed secretary to Lord Deputy of Ireland 1580, and began Faerie Queen, receives various appointments and grants 1581–6, published Astrophel in memory of Sidney 1586, visited by Raleigh and by him presented to Queen Elizabeth, who pensioned him 1590, and in same year published first three books of Faerie Queen, Teares of Muses, etc., writes Colin Clout, published 1595, and in 1596 published Four Hymns and Prothalamion, married E. Boyle 1594, whom he had courted in Amoretti, and now celebrated in the Epithalamion, returned to England 1595, Sheriff of Cork 1598, in which year the rebellion broke out and ruined his fortunes, returned to London and died 1599.
There have been very numerous ed. of the works, among which may be mentioned the Globe (1899), and Dr. Grosart’s (10 vols., 1882–84). There is an excellent biography by Dean Church (1879).
Spottiswood, John (1565–1639). — Historian, son of John S., minister of Midcalder and Superintendent of Lothian. Entering the Church he gained the favour of James VI., and was his chief instrument in his endeavours to restore Episcopal church-government in Scotland. He became Archbishop successively of Glasgow and St. Andrews, and in 1635 Lord Chancellor of Scotland. On the rising caused by the introduction of the service-book, he had to flee from Scotland, and was excommunicated by the General Assembly (1638). He wrote a History of the Church and State of Scotland, published 1655. It is, of course, written from the Episcopalian standpoint, as Calderwood’s is from the Presbyterian.
Sprague, Charles (1791–1875). — Poet, born at Boston, Mass., had some reputation as a writer of prize poems, odes, and domestic poems. To the first class belong Curiosity and Shakespeare Ode, and to the latter, The Family Meeting and I see Thee Still, an elegy on his sister.
Sprat, Thomas (1635–1713). — Divine and writer of memoirs, born at Beaminster, Dorset, ed. at Oxford, was a mathematician, and one of the group of scientific men among whom the Royal Society, of which he was one of the first members and the historian, had its origin. He wrote a Life of his friend Cowley the poet, and an account of Young’s plot for the restoration of James II. His History of the Royal Society is his principal work, but he also wrote poems, and had a high reputation as a preacher. His literary style gives him a distinguished place among English writers. He held various, high preferments, and died Bishop of Rochester.
Spurgeon, Charles Haddon (1834–1892). — Born at Kelvedon, Essex, left the Independents and joined the Baptist communion and became, at the age of 20, pastor of New Park Street Chapel, London, where he attained an unprecedented popularity. In 1859 the Metropolitan Tabernacle was erected for him. He was a decided Calvinist in his theological views, and was strongly opposed to modern critical movements. He possessed in an eminent degree two of the great requisites of effective oratory, a magnificent voice and a command of pure idiomatic Saxon English. His sermons, composed and published weekly, had an enormous circulation, and were regularly translated into several languages. In addition to his pastoral labours he superintended an almshouse, a pastor’s coll., and an orphanage; and he was likewise a voluminous author, publishing, in addition to his sermons, numerous works, including The Treasury of David (a commentary on the Psalms).
Stanhope, Philip Henry, 5th Earl Stanhope (1805–1875). — Historian, was born at Walmer, and ed. at Oxford He sat in the House of Commons for Wootton Bassett and Hertford, held some minor official appointments under Peel, and identified himself with many useful measures, specially in regard to literature and art. His writings, which are all remarkable for industrious collection of facts, careful and impartial sifting and weighing of evidence, and a clear, sober, and agreeable style, include History of England from the Peace of Utrecht to the Peace of Versailles (1836–63), and histories of the War of the Spanish Succession (1832), and of the Reign of Queen Anne (1870), besides Lives of the younger Pitt (1861) and of Lord ‘Chesterfield. As an author he is best known as Viscount Mahon.
Stanley, Arthur Penrhyn (1815–1881). — Historian, biographer, and theologian, son of Edward S., Bishop of Norwich, born at Alderley, Cheshire, of which his father was then rector, ed. at Rugby and Oxford, became a Fellow of University College. Taking orders in 1839 he became Canon of Canterbury 1851, and of Christ Church 1858, and Dean of Westminster 1864. He was also Prof. of Ecclesiastical History at Oxford 1856. His ecclesiastical position was Erastian and latitudinarian, and his practical aim in Church politics comprehension. He gave great offence to the High Church party by his championing of Colenso, W.G. Ward, Jowett, and others, by his preaching in the pulpits of the Church of Scotland and in other ways, and his latitudinarianism made him equally obnoxious to many others. On the other hand, his singular personal charm and the fascination of his literary style secured for him a very wide popularity. He was a prolific author, his works including Life of Dr. Arnold (of Rugby) (1844), whose favourite pupil he was, and Memorials of Canterbury (1854), Sinai and Palestine (1855), Lectures on the Eastern Church (1861), History of the Jewish Church (1863, etc.), Historical Memorials of Westminster Abbey (1867), Lectures on the History of the Church of Scotland (1872), besides various commentaries. In his historical writings he aimed rather at conveying a vivid and picturesque general effect than at minute accuracy of detail or philosophical views. His masterpiece is his Life of Dr. Arnold, which is one of the great biographies in the language. His wife was Lady Augusta Bruce, to whom he was married in 1868.
Stanley, Sir Henry Morton (1841–1904). — Traveller in Africa, born in America, went to find, and found, Livingstone, and wrote an account of his adventures in the quest, How I found Livingstone. Other works were In Darkest Africa and Through the Dark Continent.
Stanley, Thomas (1625–1678). — Philosopher and scholar, connected with the Derby family, ed. at Cambridge, was the author of some poems and of a biographical History of Philosophy (4 vols., 1655–62). He was learned in the classics, and translated from the Latin and late Greek as well as from the Italian and Portuguese, and ed. Æschylus. His poetry is thoughtful and gracefully expressed.
Stanyhurst, Richard (1547–1618). — Translator, was at Oxford, and studied law at Furnivall’s Inn and Lincoln’s Inn. He collaborated with Holinshed (q.v.). His principal literary achievement was a grotesquely stiff, clumsy, and prosaic translation of the first four books of the Æneid into English hexameters. He also translated some of the Psalms.
Stedman, Edmund Clarence, L.H.D., LL.D., (1833–1908). — American poet and critic. Poems Lyric and Idyllic (1860), Alice of Monmouth (1864), The Blameless Prince (1869), Victorian Poets (1875–87), Lyrics and Idylls (1879), Poets of America (1885), Victorian Anthology (1896), American Anthology (1896), etc.
Steele, Sir Richard (1672–1729). — Essayist and dramatist, son of a Dublin attorney, who died when his son was 5 years old, was on the nomination of the Duke of Ormond, sent to the Charterhouse School, where his friendship with Addison began, and thence went to Oxford, but left without taking a degree, and enlisted in the Horse Guards, for which he was disinherited by a rich relation. He, however, gained the favour of his colonel, Lord Cutts, himself a poet, and rose to the rank of captain. With the view of setting before himself a high ideal of conduct (to which unhappily he was never able to attain), he at this time wrote a treatise on morals entitled The Christian Hero (1701). Abandoning this vein, he next produced three comedies, The Funeral, or Grief à la Mode (1702), The Tender Husband (1703), and The Lying Lover (1704). Two years later he was appointed Gentleman Waiter to Prince George of Denmark, and in 1707 he was made Gazetteer; and in the same year he married as his second wife Mary Scurlock, his “dear Prue,” who seems, however, to have been something of a termagant. She had considerable means, but the incorrigible extravagance of S. soon brought on embarrassment. In 1709 he laid the foundations of his fame by starting the Tatler, the first of those periodicals which are so characteristic a literary feature of that age. In this he had the invaluable assistance of Addison, who contributed 42 papers out of a total of 271, and helped with others. The Tatler was followed by the Spectator, in which Addison co-operated to a still greater extent. It was even a greater success, and ran to 555 numbers, exclusive of a brief revival by Addison in which S. had no part, and in its turn was followed by the Guardian. It is on his essays in these that the literary fame of S. rests. With less refinement and delicacy of wit than Addison, he had perhaps more knowledge of life, and a wider sympathy, and like him he had a sincere desire for the reformation of morals and manners. In the keen political strife of the times he fought stoutly and honestly on the Whig side, one result of which was that he lost his office of Gazetteer, and was in 1714 expelled from the House of Commons to which he had just been elected. The next year gave a favourable turn to his fortunes. The accession of George I. brought back the Whigs, and S. was appointed to various offices, including a commissionership on forfeited estates in Scotland, which took him to Edinburgh, where he was welcomed by all the literati there. Nothing, however, could keep him out of financial embarrassments, and other troubles followed: his wife died; differences, arose with Addison, who died before a reconciliation could be effected. The remaining years were clouded by financial troubles and ill-health. His last work was a play, The Conscious Lovers (1722). He left London and lived at Hereford and at Carmarthen, where he died after a partial loss of his faculties from paralysis.
Lives by Austin Dobson (1886) and G.A. Aitken (1889). Ed., Plays by Aitken (1893), Essays (selected) Clarendon Press (1885), Tatler, Aitken (1898), Spectator, H. Morley (1868), Gregory Smith (1897–8), Aitken (1898).
Steevens, George (1736–1800). — Shakespearian commentator, ed. at Eton and Cambridge He issued various reprints of quarto ed. of Shakespeare, and assisted Dr. Johnson in his ed., and also in his Lives of the Poets. In 1793 he himself brought out a new ed. of Shakespeare, in which he dealt somewhat freely with the text. He was in constant controversy with Ritson and other literary antiquaries, and was also an acute detector of literary forgeries, including those of Chatterton and Ireland.
Steevens, George Warrington (1869–1900). — Journalist and miscellaneous writer, born at Sydenham, and ed. at City of London School and Oxford, took to journalism, in which he distinguished himself by his clearness of vision and vivid style. Connected successively with the National Observer, the Pall Mall Gazette, and the Daily Mail, he utilised the articles which appeared in these and other publications in various books, such as The Land of the Dollar (America) (1897), With Kitchener to Kartoum, and The Tragedy of Dreyfus. His most striking work, however, was Monologues of the Dead (1895). He went as war correspondent to South Africa in 1900, and died of enteric fever at Ladysmith.
Stephen, Sir James (1789–1859). — Statesman and historical writer, son of James S., Master in Chancery, ed. at Cambridge, and called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn 1811. After practising with success, accepted appointment of permanent counsel to Colonial Office and Board of Trade 1825, and was subsequently, 1826–47, permanent Under–Sec. for the Colonies, in which capacity he exercised an immense influence on the colonial policy of the empire, and did much to bring about the abolition of the slave trade. Impaired health led to his resignation, when he was made K.C.B. and a Privy Councillor. He was afterwards Prof. of Modern History at Cambridge 1849–59, and of the same subject at the East India College at Haileybury 1855–57. He wrote Essays in Ecclesiastical Biography (1849) and Lectures on the History of France (1852).
Stephen, Sir Leslie (1832–1904). — Biographer and critic, son of the above, was born in London, and ed. at Eton, King’s College, London, and Cambridge, where he obtained a tutorial Fellowship, and took orders. He came under the influence of Mill, Darwin, and H. Spencer, and devoted himself largely to the study of economics. His religious views having undergone a change, he gave up the clerical character and his Fellowship, and became a pronounced Agnostic. In 1865 he definitely adopted a literary career, and contributed to the Saturday Review, Fraser’s Magazine, and other periodicals. In 1873 he published a collection of his essays as Free Thinking and Plain Speaking, which he followed up with An Agnostic’s Apology (1893). He became ed. in 1871 of the Cornhill Magazine, in which appeared the essays afterwards collected as Hours in a Library (3 series, 1874–79). His chief work was The History of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century (1876–81). He also wrote Science of Ethics (1882), and biographies of Dr. Johnson (1878), Pope (1880). Swift (1882), and George Eliot (English Men of Letters Series). In 1882 he became ed. of the Dictionary of National Biography, to which he devoted much labour, besides contributing many of the principal articles. The English Utilitarians appeared in 1900. As a biographical and critical writer he holds a very high place. His first wife was a daughter of Thackeray. In recognition of his literary eminence he was made a K.C.B.
Life and Letters by F.W. Maitland (1906).
Stephens, Thomas (1821–1875). — Welsh historian and critic, born at Pont Nedd Fechan, Glamorganshire, son of a shoemaker. His works include The Literature of the Kymry (1849), The History of Trial by Jury in Wales, and an essay in which he demolished the claim of the Welsh under Madoc to the discovery of America. He also wrote on the life and works of the bard Aneurin. The critical methods which he adopted in his works often made him unpopular with the less discriminating enthusiasts for the glory of Wales, but he earned the respect of serious scholars.
Sterling, John (1806–1844). — Essayist and miscellaneous writer, son of Edward S., a well-known writer in the Times, was born in Bute, and ed. at Glasgow and Cambridge At the latter he became acquainted with a group of brilliant men, including F.D. Maurice, Trench, and Monckton Milnes. He took orders and became curate to Julius Hare (q.v.); but intellectual difficulties and indifferent health led to his resignation within a year, and the rest of his life was passed in alternating between England and warmer climes. He wrote for Blackwood’s Magazine, the London and Westminster, and Quarterly Reviews, and published Essays and Tales, The Election, a humorous poem, Strafford, a tragedy, and Richard Coeur de Lion, a serio-comic poem of which three books out of eight were published His memory, perpetuated in a remarkable memoir by Carlyle, lives rather by what he was than by anything he did. His character and intellect appear to have exercised a singular influence on the eminent men he numbered among his friends.
Sterne, Laurence (1713–1768). — Novelist, son of an officer in the army, and the great-grandson of an Archbishop of York, was born at Clonmel, where his father’s regiment happened to be stationed, and passed part of his boyhood in Ireland. At the age of 10 he was handed over to a relation, Mr. Sterne of Elvington in Yorkshire, who put him to school at Halifax, and thereafter sent him to Cambridge He entered the Church, a profession for which he was very indifferently fitted, and through family influence procured the living of Sutton, Yorkshire. In 1741 he married a lady — Miss Lumley — whose influence obtained for him in addition an adjacent benefice, and he also became a prebendary of York. It was not until 1760 that the first two vols. of his famous novel, Tristram Shandy, appeared. Its peculiar and original style of humour, its whimsicality, and perhaps also its defiance of conventionality, and even its frequent lapses into indecorum, achieved for it an immediate and immense popularity. S. went up to London and became the lion of the day. The third and fourth vols. appeared in 1761, the fifth and sixth in 1762, the seventh and eighth in 1765, and the last in 1767. Meanwhile he had published the Sermons of Mr. Yorick (1760), and his remaining work, The Sentimental Journey appeared in 1768. From the time of his finding himself a celebrity his parishioners saw but little of him, his time being passed either in the gaieties of London or in travelling on the Continent. Latterly he was practically separated from his wife and only daughter, to the former of whom his behaviour had been anything but exemplary. His health, which had begun to give way soon after his literary career had commenced, finally broke down, and he fell into a consumption, of which he died in London on March 18, 1768, utterly alone and unattended. His body was followed to the grave by one coach containing his publisher and another gentleman; and it was exhumed and appeared in a few days upon the table of the anatomical professor at Cambridge He died in debt, but a subscription was raised for his wife and daughter, the latter of whom married a Frenchman, and is said to have perished under the guillotine. Worthless as a man, S. possessed undoubted genius. He had wit, originality, and pathos, though the last not seldom runs into mawkishness, and an exquisitely delicate and glancing style. He has contributed some immortal characters to English fiction, including Uncle Toby and Corporal Trim. His great faults as a writer are affectation and a peculiarly deliberate kind of indecency, which his profession renders all the more offensive; and he was by no means scrupulous in adopting, without acknowledgment, the good things of previous writers.
Works ed. by Prof. Saintsbury (6 vols., 1894). See also Macmillan’s Library of English classics. Lives by P. Fitzgerald (1896); and H.D. Traill in English Men of Letters Series.
Sternhold, Thomas (1500–1549), Hopkins John (died 1570). — Were associated in making the metrical version of the Psalms, which was attached to the Prayer-book, and was for 200 years the chief hymn-book of the Church of England. It is a commonplace and tame rendering. The collection was not completed until 1562. It was gradually superseded by the version of Tate and Brady.
Stevenson, Robert Louis (1850–1894). — Novelist and essayist, was born at Edinburgh, the son of Thomas S., a distinguished civil engineer. His health was extremely delicate. He was destined for the engineering profession, in which his family had for two generations been eminent, but having neither inclination nor physical strength for it, he in 1871 exchanged it for law, and was called to the Bar in 1875, but never practised. From childhood his interests had been literary, and in 1871 he began to contribute to the Edinburgh University Magazine and the Portfolio. A tour in a canoe in 1876 led to the publication in 1878 of his first book, An Inland Voyage. In the same year, The New Arabian Nights, afterwards separately published appeared in magazines, and in 1879 he brought out Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes. In that year he went to California and married Mrs. Osbourne. Returning to Europe in 1880 he entered upon a period of productiveness which, in view of his wretched health, was, both as regards quantity and worth, highly remarkable. The year 1881 was marked by his unsuccessful candidature for the Chair of Constitutional Law and History at Edinburgh, and by the publication of Virginibus Puerisque. Other works followed in rapid succession. Treasure Island (1882), Prince Otto and The Child’s Garden of Verse (1885), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Kidnapped (1886), Underwoods (poetry), Memories and Portraits (essays), and The Merry Men, a collection of short stories (1887), and in 1888 The Black Arrow. In 1887 he went to America, and in the following year visited the South Sea Islands where, in Samoa, he settled in 1890, and where he died and is buried. In 1889 The Master of Ballantrae appeared, in 1892 Across the Plains and The Wrecker, in 1893 Island Nights Entertainments and Catriona, and in 1894 The Ebb Tide in collaboration with his step-son, Mr. Lloyd Osbourne. By this time his health was completely broken, but to the last he continued the struggle, and left the fragments St. Ives and Weir of Hermiston, the latter containing some of his best work. They were published in 1897. Though the originality and power of S.’s writings was recognised from the first by a select few, it was only slowly that he caught the ear of the general public. The tide may be said to have turned with the publication of Treasure Island in 1882, which at once gave him an assured place among the foremost imaginative writers of the day. His greatest power is, however, shown in those works which deal with Scotland in the 18th century, such as Kidnapped, Catriona, and Weir of Hermiston, and in those, e.g., The Child’s Garden of Verse, which exhibit his extraordinary insight into the psychology of child-life; Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a marvellously powerful and subtle psychological story, and some of his short tales also are masterpieces. Of these Thrawn Janet and Will of the Mill may be mentioned as examples in widely different kinds. His excursions into the drama in collaboration with W.E. Henley — Deacon Brodie, Macaire, Admiral Guinea, Beau Austin, — added nothing to his reputation. His style is singularly fascinating, graceful, various, subtle, and with a charm all its own.
Works, Edinburgh ed. (28 vols., 1894–98). Life by Grahame Balfour (1901), Letters, S. Colvin (1899).
Stewart, Dugald (1753–1828). — Philosopher, son of Matthew S., Prof. of Mathematics at Edinburgh, was born in the College buildings, and at the age of 19 began to assist his father in his classes, receiving the appointment of regular assistant two years later. In 1785 he became Prof. of Moral Philosophy, and rendered the chair illustrious by his learning and eloquence, his pupils including Lords Palmerston, Russell, and Lansdowne. S. was, however, rather a brilliant expositor than an original thinker, and in the main followed Reid (q.v.). His works include Philosophy of the Human Mind, in three vols., published respectively in 1792, 1813, and 1827, Outlines of Moral Philosophy (1793), Philosophical Essays (1810), Dissertation on the Progress of Metaphysical and Ethical Philosophy (1815, part II. 1821), and View of the Active and Moral Powers of Man. He also wrote memoirs of Robertson the historian, Adam Smith, and Reid. The Whig party, which he had always supported, on their accession to power, created for him the office of Gazette-writer for Scotland, in recognition of his services to philosophy. His later years were passed in retirement at Kinneil House on the Forth. His works were ed. by Sir William Hamilton.
Stillingfleet, Edward (1635–1699). — Theologian, born at Cranbourne, Dorsetshire, ed. at Cambridge, entered the Church, and held many preferments, including a Royal Chaplaincy, the Deanery of St. Paul’s (1678), and the Bishopric of Worcester (1689). He was a frequent speaker in the House of Lords, and had considerable influence as a Churchman. A keen controversialist, he wrote many treatises, including The Irenicum (advocating compromise with the Presbyterians), Antiquities of the British Churches, and The Unreasonableness of Separation. S. was a good and honest man and had the respect of his strongest opponents.
Stirling, James Hutchison (1820–1909). — Philosopher, born in Glasgow, and ed. there and at Edinburgh, where he studied medicine, which he practised until the death of his father in 1851, after which he devoted himself to philosophy. His Secret of Hegel (1865) gave a great impulse to the study and understanding of the Hegelian philosophy both at home and in America, and was also accepted as a work of authority in Germany and Italy. Other works, all characterised: by keen philosophical insight and masterly power of exposition are Complete Text-book to Kant (1881), Philosophy and Theology (1890), What is Thought? or the Problem of Philosophy (1900), and The Categories (1903). Less abstruse are Jerrold, Tennyson, and Macaulay (1868), Burns in Drama (1878), and Philosophy in the Poets (1885).
Stirling, William Alexander, Earl of (1567–1640). — Poet, son of A. of Menstrie, and created Earl of S. by Charles I., 1633, was a courtier, and held many offices of state. He studied at Glasgow and Leyden, and wrote among other poems, partly in Latin, sonnets and four Monarchicke Tragedies, Darius, Croesus, The Alexandræan Tragedy, and Julius Cæsar (1603–7), the motive of which is the fall of ambition, and which, though dignified, have little inspiration. He also assisted James I. in his metrical version of the Psalms. He died insolvent in London. The grant of Nova Scotia which he had received became valueless owing to the French conquests in that region.
Stirling-Maxwell, Sir William (1818–1878). — Historian and writer on art, son of Archibald Stirling of Keir, succeeded to the estates and title of his uncle, Sir John Maxwell of Pollok, as well as to Keir, ed. at Cambridge, afterwards travelled much. He sat in the House of Commons for Perthshire, which he twice represented, 1852–68 and 1874–80, served on various commissions and public bodies, and was Lord Rector successively of the University of St. Andrews and Edinburgh and Chancellor of that of Glasgow. His works include Annals of the Artists of Spain (1848), The Cloister Life of the Emperor Charles V. (1852), and Don John of Austria, published posthumously in 1885. They were all distinguished by research and full information, and the last two are standard authorities He married as his second wife the Hon. Mrs. Norton (q.v.).
Stockton, Francis Richard (1834–1902). — Born at Philadelphia, was an engraver and journalist. He became well known as a writer of stories for children, and of amusing books of which Rudder Grange (1879) is the best known. The Lady and the Tiger was also highly popular. Others are Adventures of Captain Horne, Mrs. Null, Casting Away of Mrs. Leeks and Mrs. Aleshine, The Hundredth Man, Great Stone of Sardis, Captain’s Toll-gate, etc. His work was very unequal in interest.
Stoddard, Richard Henry (1825–1903). — Poet, born at Hingham, Mass., worked in a foundry, and afterwards in New York Custom House, wrote a Life of Washington, but is chiefly known as a poet, his poetical works including Songs in Summer (1857), The King’s Bell, The Lions Cub, etc.
Storer, Thomas (1571–1604). — Poet, born in London, and ed. at Oxford, wrote a long poem, The Life and Death of Thomas Wolsey, Cardinal.
Story, William Wetmore (1819–1895). — Sculptor, poet, etc., born at Salem, Mass., was intended for the law, but became a sculptor and an eminent man of letters. His writings include Roba di Roma (1862), The Tragedy of Nero (1875), The Castle of St. Angelo (1877), He and She (1883), Conversations in a Studio, A Poet’s Portfolio (1894), etc.
Stow, John (1525–1605). — Historian and antiquary, born in London, son of a tailor, and brought up to the same trade. He had, however, an irresistible taste for transcribing and collecting ancient documents, and pursuing antiquarian and historical researches, to which he ultimately entirely devoted himself. This he was enabled to do partly through the munificence of Archbishop Parker. He made large collections of old books and manuscripts, and wrote and ed. several works of importance and authority, including The Woorkes of Geoffrey Chaucer, Summarie of Englyshe Chronicles (1561), afterwards called Annales of England, ed. of the chronicles of Matthew Paris and others, of Holinshed’s Chronicle, and A Survey of London (1598). It is sad to think that the only reward of his sacrifices and labours in the public interest was a patent from James I. to collect “among our loving subjects their voluntary contributions and kind gratuities.”
Stowe, Mrs. Harriet Beecher (1811?-1896). — Novelist and miscellaneous writer, daughter of Dr. Lyman Beecher, a well-known American clergyman, and sister of Henry Ward B., one of the most popular preachers whom America has produced, was born at Litchfield, Connecticut, in 1811 or 1812. After spending some years as a teacher, she married the Rev. Calvin E. Stowe. Up till 1852 all she had written was a little vol. of stories which failed to attract attention. In that year, at the suggestion of a sister-inlaw, she decided to write something against slavery, and produced Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which originally appeared in serial form in a magazine, The National Era. It did not at the time receive much attention, but on its appearance in a separate form it took the world by storm. Its sale soon reached 400,000 copies, and the reprints have probably reached a far greater number. It was translated into numerous foreign languages, and had a powerful effect in hurrying on the events which ultimately resulted in emancipation. Her later works include Dred, The Minister’s Wooing, Agnes of Sorrento, The Pearl of Orr’s Island, and Old Town Folks. Some of these, especially the last, are in a literary sense much superior to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, but none of them had more than an ordinary success. In 1869 an article on Lord Byron involved her in a somewhat unfortunate controversy.
Strickland, Agnes (1796 or 1806–1874). — Historical writer, daughter of Thomas S., of Royden Hall, Suffolk, was ed. by her father, and began her literary career with a poem, Worcester Field, followed by The Seven Ages of Woman and Demetrius. Abandoning poetry she next produced among others Historical Tales of Illustrious British Children (1833), The Pilgrims of Walsingham (1835), Tales and Stories from History (1836). Her chief works, however, are Lives of the Queens of England from the Norman Conquest, and Lives of the Queens of Scotland, and English Princesses, etc. (8 vols., 1850–59), Lives of the Bachelor Kings of England (1861), and Letters of Mary Queen of Scots, in some of which she was assisted by her sister Elizabeth. Though laborious and conscientious she lacked the judicial faculty, and her style does not rise above mediocrity.
Strode, William (1600–1645). — Poet, only son of Philip S., who belonged to an old Devonshire family, he was born at Plympton, Devonshire, and showing studious tendencies, was sent to Westminster School and Oxford While at the University he began to manifest his poetic talents, and generally distinguished himself, being elected in 1629 Public Orator. He took orders and, on Richard Corbet (q.v.) becoming Bishop of Oxford, became his chaplain. Later he was Rector of E. Bredenham, Norfolk, and of Badley, Northants, and Canon of Christ Church. On the outbreak of the Civil War he attached himself warmly to the cause of the King. He was a High Churchman, and had a reputation as “a witty and sententious preacher, an exquisite orator, and an eminent poet.” It is therefore singular that, until the recovery of his poems by Mr. B. Dobell, he had fallen into absolute oblivion. As a poet he shines most in lyrics and elegies. With much of the artificiality of his age he shows gracefulness, a feeling for the country, and occasional gleams of tenderness. His play, The Floating Island, a political allegory, was produced in 1633 and played before the Court then on a visit to Oxford, where it was a subject of complaint that it had more moralising than amusement. Mr. Dobell, who ed. his poems in 1907, claims for S. the poem on “Melancholy” (“Hence all you vain delights”), hitherto attributed to Fletcher.
Strype, John (1643–1737). — Ecclesiastical historian, born at Hackney, and ed. at St. Paul’s School and Cambridge, took orders and, among other livings, held the Rectory of Low Leyton, Essex, for upwards of 60 years. He made a large collection of original documents, chiefly relating to the Tudor period, and was a voluminous author. Among his works are Memorials of Archbishop Cranmer (1694), Life of Sir Thomas Smith, Secretary of State to Edward VI. and Elizabeth (1698), Annals of the Reformation (1709–31), and Ecclesiastical Memorials (1721); besides Lives of Bishop Aylmer and Archbishops Grindal, Parker, and Whitgift. S., who was a painstaking and honest, but dull and unmethodical, writer, remains an authority.
Stuart, Gilbert (1742–1786). — Historical writer, son of George S., Prof. of Humanity (Latin) at Edinburgh Among his publications were An Historical Dissertation on the English Constitution (1768), Discourse on the Government and Laws of England (1772), A View of Society in Europe (1778), and a History of Scotland (1782). He was a man of extremely jealous and implacable temper, and made venomous attacks on the historical works of Robertson and Henry. His own writings, though well-written, are inaccurate.
Stubbs, William (1825–1901). — Historian, son of a solicitor, born at Knaresborough, Yorkshire, and ed. there and at the Grammar School of Ripon, and Oxford In 1848 he became a Fellow of Trinity College, and in the same year took orders and was appointed to the coll. living of Navestock in Essex, where he remained for 16 years, during which he began his historical researches, and published his earlier works. His first publication was Hymnale Secundum Usum Sarum. In 1858 appeared Registrum Sacrum Anglicanum, a calendar of English bishops from Augustine; and then followed ed. of several Chronicles in the Rolls Series. The learning and critical insight displayed in these works commanded the attention and admiration of historical scholars both at home and on the Continent. In 1862 he was appointed librarian of Lambeth Palace, and in 1866 Prof. of Modern History at Oxford There he published in 1870 his Select Charters, and his chief work, The Constitutional History of England (3 vols., 1874–78), which at once became the standard authority on its subject. It deals with the period preceding that with which the great work of Hallam begins. In 1879 he was appointed a Canon of St. Paul’s, and in 1884 Bishop of Chester, whence he was translated five years later to Oxford As an active prelate he was necessarily largely withdrawn from his historical researches; but at Chester he ed. two vols. of William of Malmesbury. S. was greater as a historian than as a writer, but he brought to his work sound judgment, insight, accuracy, and impartiality. He was a member of the French and Prussian Academies, and had the Prussian Order “Pour le Mérite” conferred upon him. Since his death his prefaces to the Rolls Series have been published separately.
Stukeley, William (1687–1765). — Antiquary, ed. at Cambridge, and after practising as a physician took orders in 1729 and held benefices at Stamford and in London. He made antiquarian tours through England, and was one of the founders of the Society of Antiquaries, to which he acted as secretary He published Itinerarium Curiosum (1724) and Stonehenge (1740). He made a special study of Druidism, and was called “the Arch–Druid.”
Suckling, Sir John (1609–1642). — Poet, son of a knight who had held office as Sec. of State and Comptroller of the Household to James I., was born at Whitton, Middlesex, ed. at Cambridge, and thereafter went to Gray’s Inn. On the death of his father in 1627, he inherited large estates. After travelling in France and Italy, he is said to have served for a short time under Gustavus Adolphus. On his return he was knighted, and went to Court, where his wealth, generosity, and wit made him a general favourite. When Charles I. was moving against the Scots S. fitted out a gorgeously appointed troop for his service which, however, were said to have fled at first sight of the Scots army at Duns, an exploit which is ridiculed in the ballad of Sir John Suckling’s Campaign. He got into trouble in connection with a plot to rescue Strafford from the Tower, and fled to the Continent. He died at Paris, it is now believed by his own hand. He was a noted gambler, and has the distinction of being the inventor of the game of cribbage. He wrote four plays, Aglaura (1637), Brennoralt (1646), The Goblins, and The Sad One (unfinished), now forgotten; his fame rests on his songs and ballads, including The Wedding, distinguished by a gay and sparkling wit, and a singular grace of expression.
Surrey, Henry Howard, Earl of (1517?-1547). — Poet, son of Thomas H., 3rd Duke of Norfolk, was ed. by John Clerke, a learned and travelled scholar, and secretary to his father He became attached to the Court, was cup-bearer to the King (Henry VIII.), ewerer at the Coronation, and Earl Marshall at the trial of Anne Boleyn. In 1542 he was made a Knight of the Garter a few weeks after the execution of his cousin, Queen Catherine Howard. He suffered imprisonment more than once for being implicated in quarrels and brawls, did a good deal of fighting in Scotland and France, and was the last victim of Henry’s insensate jealousy, being beheaded on a frivolous charge of conspiring against the succession of Edward VI. The death of Henry saved Norfolk from the same fate. S. shares with Sir Thomas Wyatt (q.v.) the honour of being the true successor of Chaucer in English poetry, and he has the distinction of being, in his translation of the Æneid, the first to introduce blank verse, and, with Wyatt, the sonnet. The poems of S., though well known in courtly circles, were not published during his life; 40 of them appeared in Tottel’s Miscellany in 1557. He also paraphrased part of Ecclesiastes and a few of the Psalms. The Geraldine of his sonnets was Elizabeth Fitzgerald, daughter of the Earl of Kildare, then a lonely child at Court, her father being imprisoned in the Tower.
Surtees, Robert Smith (1802–1864). — Sporting novelist, a country gentleman of Durham, who was in business as a solicitor, but not succeeding, started in 1831 the Sporting Magazine. Subsequently he took to writing sporting novels, which were illustrated by John Leech. Among them are Mr. Sponge’s Sporting Tour, Ask Mamma, Plain or Ringlets, and Mr. Facey Romford’s Hounds.
Swift, Jonathan (1667–1745). — Satirist, was born at Dublin of English parents. Dryden was his cousin, and he also claimed kin with Herrick. He was a posthumous child, and was brought up in circumstances of extreme poverty. He was sent to school at Kilkenny, and afterwards went to Trinity College, Dublin, where he gave no evidence of ability, but displayed a turbulent and unruly temper, and only obtained a degree by “special grace.” After the Revolution he joined his mother, then resident at Leicester, by whose influence he was admitted to the household of Sir William Temple (q.v.) at Moor Park, Lady T. being her distant kinswoman. Here he acted as secretary, and having access to a well-stocked library, made good use of his opportunities, and became a close student. At Moor Park he met many distinguished men, including William III., who offered him a troop of horse; he also met Esther Johnson (Stella), a natural daughter of Sir William, who was afterwards to enter so largely into his life. Dissatisfied, apparently, that Temple did not do more for his advancement, he left his service in 1694 and returned to Ireland, where he took orders, and obtained the small living of Kilroot, near Belfast. While there he wrote his Tale of a Tub, one of the most consummate pieces of satire in any language, and The Battle of the Books, with reference to the “Phalaris” controversy (see Bentley), which were published together in 1704. In 1698 he threw up his living at the request of Temple, who felt the want of his society and assistance, and returned to Moor Park. On the death of his patron in 1699 he undertook by request the publication of his works, and thereafter returned to Ireland as chaplain to the Lord Deputy, the Earl of Berkeley, from whom he obtained some small preferments, including the vicarage of Laracor, and a prebend in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. At this time he made frequent visits to London and became the friend of Addison, Steele, Congreve, and other Whig writers, and wrote various pamphlets, chiefly on ecclesiastical subjects. In 1710, disgusted with the neglect of the Whigs, alike of himself and of the claims of his Church, he abandoned them and attached himself to Harley and Bolingbroke. The next few years were filled with political controversy. He attacked the Whigs in papers in the Examiner in 1710, and in his celebrated pamphlets, The Conduct of the Allies (1712), The Barrier Treaty (1713), and The Public Spirit of the Whigs (1714). In 1713 he was made Dean of St. Patrick’s, the last piece of patronage which he received. The steady dislike of Queen Anne had proved an insurmountable obstacle to his further advancement, and her death proved the ruin of the Tories. On the destruction of his hopes S. retired to Ireland, where he remained for the rest of his life a thoroughly embittered man. In 1713 he had begun his Journal to Stella, which sheds so strange a light upon his character, and on his return to Ireland his marriage to her is now generally believed to have taken place, though they never lived together. Now also took place also his final rupture with Miss Van Homrigh (Vanessa), who had been in love with him, with whom he had maintained a lengthened correspondence, and to whom he addressed his poem, Cadenus and Vanessa (1726). Though he disliked the Irish and considered residence in Ireland as banishment, he interested himself in Irish affairs, and attained extraordinary popularity by his Drapier’s Letters, directed against the introduction of “Wood’s halfpence.” In 1726 he visited England and joined with Pope and Arbuthnot in publishing Miscellanies (1727). In the same year, 1726, he published Gulliver’s Travels, his most widely and permanently popular work. His last visit to England was paid in 1727 and in the following year “Stella,” the only being, probably, whom he really loved, died Though he had a circle of friends in Dublin, and was, owing to his championing the people in their grievances, a popular idol, the shadows were darkening around him. The fears of insanity by which he had been all his life haunted, and which may account for and perhaps partly excuse some of the least justifiable portions of his conduct, pressed more and more upon him. He became increasingly morose and savage in his misanthropy, and though he had a rally in which he produced some of his most brilliant, work — the Rhapsody on Poetry, Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift, and; the Modest Proposal (a horrible but masterly piece of irony) — he gradually sank into almost total loss of his facilities, and died on October 19, 1745.
The character of S. is one of the gloomiest and least attractive among English writers. Intensely proud, he suffered bitterly in youth and early manhood from the humiliations of poverty and dependence, which preyed upon a mind in which the seeds of insanity were latent until it became dominated by a ferocious misanthropy. As a writer he is our greatest master of grave irony, and while he presents the most humorous ideas, the severity of his own countenance never relaxes. The Tale of a Tub and Gulliver’s Travels are the greatest satires in the English language, although the concluding part of the latter is a savage and almost insane attack upon the whole human race. His history is a tragedy darkening into catastrophe, and as Thackeray has said, “So great a man he seems that thinking of him is like thinking of an Empire falling.”
S. was tall and powerfully made. His eyes, blue and flashing under excitement, were the most remarkable part of his appearance.
Summary. — Born 1667, ed. at Trinity College, Dublin, entered household of Sir W. Temple at Moor Park 1692, and became his secretary, became known to William III., and met E. Johnson (Stella), left T. in 1694 and returned to Ireland, took orders and wrote Tale of a Tub and Battle of Books (published 1704), returned to Sir W.T. 1698, and on his death in 1699 published his works, returned to Ireland and obtained some small preferments, visits London and became one of the circle of Addison, etc., deserts the Whigs and joins the Tories 1710, attacking the former in various papers and pamphlets, Dean of St. Patrick’s 1713, death of Anne and ruin of Tories destroyed hopes of further preferment, and he returned to Ireland and began his Journal to Stella, Drapier’s Letters appeared 1724, visits England, and joins with Pope and Arbuthnot in Miscellanies 1726, published Gulliver’s Travels 1727, “Stella” died 1728, gradually lost his faculties and died 1745.
Lives by Craik (1882), Leslie Stephen (1882), Churton Collins (1893), etc. Works ed. by Sir Walter Scott (19 vols., 1814, etc.) Bonn’s Standard Library (1897–1908).
Swinburne, Algernon Charles (1837–1909). — Poet, son of Admiral S. and of Lady Jane Ashburnham, daughter of the 3rd Earl of A., born in London, received his early education in France, and was at Eton and at Balliol College, Oxford, where he attracted the attention of Jowett, and gave himself to the study of Latin, Greek, French, and Italian, with special reference to poetic form. He left Oxford without graduating in 1860, and in the next year published two plays, The Queen Mother and Rosamund, which made no impression on the public, though a few good judges recognised their promise. The same year he visited Italy, and there made the acquaintance of Walter Savage Landor (q.v.). On his return he lived for some time in Cheyne Row, Chelsea, with D.G. Rossetti (q.v.), and G. Meredith (q.v.). The appearance in 1865 of Atalanta in Calydon led to his immediate recognition as a poet of the first order, and in the same year he published Chastelard, a Tragedy, the first part of a trilogy relating to Mary Queen of Scots, the other two being Bothwell (1874), and Mary Stuart (1881). Poems and Ballads, published in 1866, created a profound sensation alike among the critics and the general body of readers by its daring departure from recognised standards, alike of politics and morality, and gave rise to a prolonged and bitter controversy, S. defending himself against his assailants in Notes on Poems and Reviews. His next works were the Song of Italy (1867) and Songs before Sunrise (1871). Returning to the Greek models which he had followed with such brilliant success in Atalanta he produced Erechtheus (1876), the extraordinary metrical power of which won general admiration. Poems and Ballads, second series, came out in 1878. Tristram of Lyonnesse in heroic couplets followed in 1882, A Midsummer Holiday (1884), Marino Faliero (1885), Locrine (1887), Poems and Ballads, third series (1889), The Sisters (1892), Astrophel (1894), The Tale of Balen (1896), Rosamund, Queen of the Lombards (1899), A Channel Passage (1904), and The Duke of Gandia (1908). Among his prose works are Love’s Cross Currents (1905) (fiction), William Blake, a Critical Essay (1867), Under the Microscope (1872), in answer to R. Buchanan’s Fleshly School of Poetry, George Chapman, a Critical Essay (1875), A Study of Shakespeare (1879), A Study of Victor Hugo (1886), and A Study of Ben Jonson (1889).
S. belongs to the class of “Poets’ poets.” He never became widely popular. As a master of metre he is hardly excelled by any of our poets, but it has not seldom been questioned whether his marvellous sense of the beauty of words and their arrangement did not exceed the depth and mass of his thought. The Hymn to Artemis in Atalanta beginning “When the hounds of Spring are on Winter’s traces” is certainly one of the most splendid examples of metrical power in the language. As a prose writer he occupies a much lower place, and here the contrast between the thought and its expression becomes very marked, the latter often becoming turgid and even violent. In his earlier days in London S. was closely associated with the pre-Raphaelites, the Rossettis, Meredith, and Burne–Jones: he was thus subjected successively to the classical and romantic influence, and showed the traces of both in his work. He was never married, and for the last 30 years of his life lived with his friend, Mr. Theodore Watts–Dunton, at the Pines, Putney Hill. For some time before his death he was almost totally deaf.
Sylvester, Joshua (1563–1618). — Poet and translator, is chiefly remembered by his translation from the French of Du Bartas’ Divine Weeks and Works, which is said to have influenced Milton and Shakespeare. He seconded the Counterblast against Tobacco of James I. with his Tobacco Battered and the Pipes Shattered . . . by a Volley of Holy Shot thundered from Mount Helicon (1620), and also wrote All not Gold that Glitters, Panthea: Divine Wishes and Meditations (1630), and many religious, complimentary, and other occasional pieces. S., who was originally engaged in commerce, acted later as a sort of factor to the Earl of Essex.
Symonds, John Addington (1840–1893). — Writer on art and literature, son of a physician in Bristol, was ed. at Harrow and Oxford His delicate health obliged him to live abroad. He published (1875–86) History of the Italian Renaissance, and translated the Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini. He also published some books of poetry, including Many Moods (1878) and Animi Figura (1882), and among his other publications were Introduction to the Study of Dante (1872), Studies of the Greek Poets (1873 and 1876), Shakespeare’s Predecessors in the English Drama (1884), and Lives of various poets, including Ben Jonson, Shelley, and Walt Whitman. He also made remarkable translations of the sonnets of Michelangelo and Campanella, and wrote upon philosophical subjects in various periodicals.
Synge, John Millington (1871–1909). — Miscellaneous writer, born near Dublin, ed. privately and at Trinity College, Dublin. He wrote Riders to the Sea, In the Shadow of the Glen (1905), The Well of the Saints (1905), The Play Boy of the Western World (1907), and The Aran Islands (1907).
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:07