Pronunciation of English Vowels, 1400-1700
Modern Language Review
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... iples of policy and of their corollaries in action. Wordsworth bases his argument on the right of an organized national state to genuine independence. He claims it as a necessity for the healthy development of the race. He hopes for the union of conscious nations then in fragments, Germany and Italy, and maintains that by their union a stable balance of power, the object of statesmen then and now, may be attained. But he recognizes the difficulties then extant in Spain, and the dangers in his own ideal for Europe. Unreal or rose-coloured pleas, here as elsewhere, he disregards; he painfully, too painfully, grapples his argument to undeniable facts. For all his fervour he is a temperate and wary crusader. A nation needs internal freedom to obtain the main value of its independence, he says in effect, but national independence is indispensable to the existence of civil liberty. So, too, with the example of France before him, he dreads the irresistible power of one nation, even his own, and urges the voluntary equal union of the smaller states. Thus a stable balance of power may be maintained. It is not surprising that the great Tract has never been a popular work. Its fire is not a light-giving flame, but a white-hot glow. This is not merely an effect of long-winded sentences. The principles on which the thesis is founded emerge slowly and partially late in the argument. They receive their completion in a subsequent Vindication, which was not published till 1876. This is, so to say, true to life, but, in consequence, we struggle through corollaries before we reach the proposition. Some obscurity and clumsiness were all the more natural owing to the originality of the Tract. Wordsworth seems to have had no English precursors in his conception of Nationalism. Mr Dicey is at pains to show that Mazzini belonged to a later generation and was uninfluenced by his English predecessor. It is possible, however, that Wordsworth received some clue from Mazzini's forerunner Alfieri. Wordsworth may well have read and admired some works of Alfieri during his stay in France or even later, and more especially the Del Principe e delle Lettere published in 1789 where the ideal of the union and freedom of Italy finds its first expression in modern times. It is not easy to say what Wordsworth did or did not read during his residence in France, but fresh light might be obtained could we recover the original text of the Preltude as it left the poet's hands in the years 1799-1805. C. W. PREVITI~-ORTON. CAMBRIDGE.