Books > Old Books > A BRIEF HISTORY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE (1914)


Page 10

PART I - THE PRESENT
CHAPTER I - NOTES ON THE ENGLISH CHARACTER

direct connection with the divine, and, judging by history, few Englishmen have succeeded in doing this. We have produced no series of prophets, as has Judaism or Islam. We have not even produced a Joan of Arc, or a Savonarola. We have produced few saints. In Germany the Reformation was due to the passionate conviction of Luther. In England it was due to a palace intrigue. We can show a steady level of piety, a fixed determination to live decently according to our lights-little more.
Well, it is something. It clears us of the charge of being an unspiritual nation. That facile contrast between the spiritual East and the materillistic West can be pushed too far. The West also is spiritual. Only it expresses its belief, not in fasting and visions, not in prophetic rapture, but in the daily round, the common task. An incomplete expression, if you like. I agree. But the argument underlying these scattered notes is that the Englishman is an incomplete person. Not a cold or an unspiritual ore. But undeveloped, incomplete.
The attitude of the average orthodox Englishman is often misunderstood. It is thought that he must know that a doctrine -say, like that of the Trinity-is untrue. Moslems in particular feel that his faith is a dishonest compromise between polytheism and -monotheism. The answer to this criticism is that the average orthodox Englishman is no theologian. He regards the Trinity as a mystery that it is not his place to solve. ' I find difficulties enough in daily life,' he will say. ' I concern myself with those. As for the Trinity, it is a doctrine handed down to me from my fathers, whom I respect, and I hope to hand it down to my sons, and that they will respect me. No doubt it is true, or it would not have been handed down. And no doubt the clergy could explain it to me if I asked them ; but, like myself, they are busy men, and I will not take up their time.'
In such an answer there is confusion of thought, if you like, but no conscious deceit, which is alien to the English nature. The Englishman's deceit is generally unconscious.
For I have suggested earlier that the English are sometimes hypocrites, and it is now my duty to develop this rather painful subject. Hypocrisy is the prime charge that is always brought against us. The Germans are called brutal, the Spanish cruel, the Americans superficial, and so on ; but we are perfide Albion,

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where is HTML where is HEAD where is TITLE direct connection with what is divine, and, judging by history, few Englishmen have succeeded in doing this. We have produced no series of prophets, as has Judaism or Islam. We have not even produced a Joan of Arc, or a Savonarola. We have produced few saints. In Germany what is Reformation was due to what is passionate conviction of Luther. In England it was due to a palace intrigue. We can show a steady level of piety, a fixed determination to live decently according to our lights-little more. Well, it is something. It clears us of what is charge of being an unspiritual nation. That facile contrast between what is spiritual East and what is materillistic West can be pushed too far. what is West also is spiritual. Only it expresses its belief, not in fasting and visions, not in prophetic rapture, but in what is daily round, what is common task. An incomplete expression, if you like. I agree. But what is argument underlying th where is meta name="keywords" content="old books, Free book , free book offer , free audio books , free coloring book pages , free book reports , free audio book , audio books free download , book free , free guest book , books free , free book summaries , download free audio books , free childrens books." where is where are they now rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="../../style.css" where is meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" where is BODY bgColor=#ffffff text="#000000" where are they now ="#000000" v where are they now ="#FF0000" where is div align="center" where is strong where is strong where is a href="http://www.aaoldbooks.com" Books > where is a href="../default.asp" title="Book" Old Books > where is strong where is a href="page_001.asp" A BRIEF HISTORY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE (1914) where is table width="700" border="1" align="center" cellpadding="15" cellspacing="0" where is center where is tr where is td width="160" align="center" valign="top" where is div align="center" where is td align="center" valign="top" where is div align="left" where is div align="center" where is p align="left" Page 10 where is strong PART I - what is PRESENT CHAPTER I - NOTES ON what is ENGLISH CHARACTER where is p align="justify" direct connection with what is divine, and, judging by history, few Englishmen have succeeded in doing this. We have produced no series of prophets, as has Judaism or Islam. We have not even produced a Joan of Arc, or a Savonarola. We have produced few saints. In Germany what is Reformation was due to what is passionate conviction of Luther. In England it was due to a palace intrigue. We can show a steady level of piety, a fixed determination to live decently according to our lights-little more. Well, it is something. It clears us of what is charge of being an unspiritual nation. That facile contrast between what is spiritual East and the materillistic West can be pushed too far. what is West also is spiritual. Only it expresses its belief, not in fasting and visions, not in prophetic rapture, but in what is daily round, what is common task. An incomplete expression, if you like. I agree. But what is argument underlying these scattered notes is that what is Englishman is an incomplete person. Not a cold or an unspiritual ore. But undeveloped, incomplete. what is attitude of what is average orthodox Englishman is often misunderstood. It is thought that he must know that a doctrine -say, like that of what is Trinity-is untrue. Moslems in particular feel that his faith is a dishonest compromise between polytheism and -monotheism. The answer to this criticism is that what is average orthodox Englishman is no theologian. He regards what is Trinity as a mystery that it is not his place to solve. ' I find difficulties enough in daily life,' he will say. ' I concern myself with those. As for what is Trinity, it is a doctrine handed down to me from my fathers, whom I respect, and I hope to hand it down to my sons, and that they will respect me. No doubt it is true, or it would not have been handed down. And no doubt what is clergy could explain it to me if I asked them ; but, like myself, they are busy men, and I will not take up their time.' In such an answer there is confusion of thought, if you like, but no conscious deceit, which is alien to what is English nature. The Englishman's deceit is generally unconscious. For I have suggested earlier that what is English are sometimes hypocrites, and it is now my duty to develop this rather painful subject. Hypocrisy is what is prime charge that is always brought against us. what is Germans are called brutal, what is Spanish cruel, what is Americans superficial, and so on ; but we are perfide Albion, where is Server.Execute("_SiteMap.asp") %

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