Selections from the Prose Works of Matthew Arnold
The pure eternal course of life, Not human combatings with death.
No conviction is more frequently reiterated in Arnold's poetry than that of the wisdom of resignation and self-dependence.
These great masters, then, strengthened Arnold in those high instincts which needed nourishment in a day of spiritual unrest. From the Greek poets he learned to look at life steadily and as a whole, to direct it toward simple and noble ends, and to preserve in it a balance and perfection of parts. From Goethe he derived the lessons of detachment and self-culture. From Wordsworth he learned to find peace in nature, to pursue an unworldly purpose, and to be content with humble duties. From the Stoics he learned, especially, self-dependence and resignation. In general, he endeavored to follow an ideal of perfection and to distinguish always between temporary demands and eternal values.
[Sidenote: Theory of Criticism and Equipment as a