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A Handbook to the Works of Browning (6th ed.)

An historical personage used fictitiously


Lyric disclaims, in the name of one of the world's workers, all excessive--_i.e._, loving recognition of his work. The speaker has not striven for the world's sake, nor sought his ideals there. "Those who have done so may claim its love. For himself he asks only a just judgment on what he has achieved."

Mr. Browning here expresses for the first time his feeling towards the "Religion of Humanity;" and though this was more or less to be inferred from his general religious views, it affords, as now stated, a new, as well as valuable, illustration of them. The Theistic philosophy which makes the individual the centre of the universe, is, perhaps, nowhere in his works, so distinctly set forth as in this latest of them. But nowhere either has he more distinctly declared that the fullest realization of the individual life is self-sacrifice.

"Renounce joy for my fellows sake? That's joy Beyond joy;" (_Two Camels_, vol. xvi p. 50.)

The lyrical supplement to Fancy 12 somewhat obscures the idea on which it turns, by presenting it from a different point of view. But here, as in the remainder of the book, we must regard the Lyric as suggested by the argument, not necessarily as part of it.

The EPILOGUE is a vision of present and future, in which the woe and conflict of our mortal existence are absorbed in the

widening glory of an eternal day. The vision comes to one cradled in the happiness of love; and he is startled from it by a presentiment that it has been an illusion created by his happiness. But we know that from Mr. Browning's point of view, Love, even in its illusions, may be accepted as a messenger of truth.

Index to names and titles in "Ferishtah's Fancies;"--

P. 12. "Shah Abbas." An historical personage used fictitiously.

P. 15. "Story of Tahmasp." Fictitious.

P. 16. "Ishak son of Absal." Fictitious.

P. 20. "The householder of Shiraz." Fictitious.

P. 32. "Mihrab Shah." Fictitious.

P. 36. "Simorgh." A fabulous creature in Persian mythology.

P. 40. The "Pilgrim's soldier-guide." Fictitious.

P. 41. "Raksh." Rustum's horse in the "Shah Nemeh." (Firdausi's "Epic of Kings.")

P. 50. (_Anglice_), "Does Job serve God for nought?" Hebrew word at p. 51, line 2, "M[=e] El[=o]h[=i]m": "from God."

P. 54. "Mushtari." The planet Jupiter.

P. 65. "Hudhud." Fabulous bird of Solomon.

P. 68. "Sitara." Persian for "a star."

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