Resignation To Fausta: Summary and Analysis

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      Resignation To Fausta appeared in the first Volume of Arnold's, which appeared in 1849, under the title The Strayed Reveller and Other Poems. Eleven years later the poet classified it as a "lyric" and still later included it among the Early Poems. It was probably written within, a short time of Arnold's going for a walking tour, in the company of his elder sister Jane whom he mentions here as Fausta". She is often referred to in his letters. During 1841-42 Jane was engaged to George Cotton (Cotton is the young Master mentioned in Tom Brown's School Days. He later came to India as Bishop of Calcutta. The oldest Public School in India. Bishop Cotton's School, Shimla was named after him). The engagement was broken off and Arnold wrote this poem in an attempt to console her. Mrs. Humphrey Wards in her A Writer's Recollections says "It was to her (Jane) that Resignation was addressed, in recollection of their mountain walks and talks together". Lionel Trilling is of opinion that "Fausta" may be taken as a female Faust, the type of romantic who yearns for action, adventure and experience to drive away the tedium of life. As against this we have Arnold's assertion that the way to human freedom lies in the abandonment of the romantic temperament and in the search for a kind of Amor intellectualis Dei, the poet's loving non-personal vision of the world. Critics have pointed out echoes of Lucretius, Senancour, the Bhagwad Gita and Goethe's Wilhelm Meister in this piece. But the poem on the whole is typically Arnoldian.

      According to Quintin, it is a "complete and lucid presentation of what may be called the poet's philosophy of life". The poem is rather tediously long and the thought sequence is not very clear. The theme appears to be resignation as illustrated by the life of the Gipsies and the poet on the one hand contrasted with that of the strenuous life described in the beginning like that of the pilgrims to Mecca, on the other.


      Line. 1-21: The poem Resignation To Fausta opens by quoting the thoughts of fanatical believers in some cause like the pilgrims to Mecca, the Crusaders, the Goths or the Huns. They are ready to undergo all the rigours and sufferings to attain their goal. 'Either achieve the goal or die' used to be their motto. To put in a second effort, after a failure was terrible for them. Only the attainment of the goal would bring peace to them. So they pray either for success in their pursuit or death. They certainly do not want to put in the effort to achieve their goal a second time, if they failed once.

      Line. 22-39: Here people of milder nature than the first group (pilgrims to Mecca, the Crusaders, the Goths or the Huns) are mentioned. People of milder temperament enjoy more freedom and calmness for they are resigned to the conditions they find themselves in. The passions that agitate more ambitious people do not trouble them. Such people do not complain that their activities are controlled by the changing circumstances and time. Neither do they boast that their achievements are the products of their energetic activities. They do not seek power or authority. The poet wants Fausta to follow the examples of such people. She should try to avoid indulging in a life of intense tribulations and trials.

      Line. 40-85: In this section the poet recalls the earlier walking tour they made along the same route. It comes to mind as if it happened yesterday only. He recaptures the memory of the wayside inn where they stayed and the jovial greetings of the inn-keeper from his easy chair; how the leader of the trip from the mountain bank pointed out their destination in the distance. How they crossed a gate to the silent road; how they quietly passed the pastures, bathed in the sun, and reached beyond the stone bridge upon the slopes of the western ridge. Through the woody boarder with the shining Sycamore trees, the party went up the winding path of the hill. Then they were on the top regions which displayed mild hollows, and clear heathen land. The silence of the atmosphere, the soothing air and the warmth of the noon, cheered them. The sound of the moving party scared away birds like the red grouse. The place was all solitary except for the red grouse and the walking party. Soon to the joy of all they could see farms. Through cool shades they moved down along the side of a brook to reach a noisy town. At last they reached the highway and the plain and by evening they had reached the sea and;

We bath'd our hands with speechless glee
That night, in the wide glimmering sea.

      Line. 86-107: Today Fausta and the poet are walking through the same route, they took ten years before, like ghosts of that boisterous company. The poet identifies the shining brook, from where one could get a view of places far below. The noisy town with its cap of smoke is in the distance. They sit there a little and proceed. The heath covered hill appears sleepy in the July sun. Shadows were playing in the glen as in the past; the dark stones in the green path also were the same. Gleaming blue gentian flowers were there in plenty and they had to walk over them. The wild brook, the sailing foam and the shining pool too are there. All these were to be seen unchanged from what they were ten years before.

      Line. 108-143: Here the poet tells Fausta that, the Gipsies they see now, too were seen during their earlier trip. They were rambling without any fixed plan here and there for long. Sometimes they come to the same place a second time and they recognize the place. Now the tents are pitched in the same place as before: their children gather round the fire as usual; their chained beasts move as before. They do not recall incidents of their past for that might bring in unpleasantness. Passage of time brings more and more troubles and discomforts to them as it does to other people. Their joints grow stiffer. The vagaries of life trouble them. But they continue to live enduring all the difficulties. They too compare the past with the present. They continue the life of their ancestors till death overtakes them, ending all troubles.

      Line. 144-198: Here Arnold describes the life of the bard, a life of philosophical detachment. He has a mighty heart and he observes life with an all embracing sympathy for his fellow beings. God has bestowed upon him a power of quick perception. His interest is not in his own personal life but in that of the whole of mankind. He may be mighty enough to move mountains; he may have great temporal power; he may have brought freedom to many; he may have endured great pain and hardship; he may have known great knowledge. But all these are not worth living for. He should think of things beyond all these and live for mankind at large. He should contemplate on Nature and man's role in life. Even if he is struck by the grandeur of a great ruler of the past and his achievements, he would not wish to be a ruler like that. He may admire the beauty of a comely woman but would not desire her. He mingles with ordinary people and feels proud of their achievement. He views the life of a town from a detached distance and feels happy at their success in daily toils. He does not feel that he is alone in this life. In the early morning purity he watches the birth of the day; leaning on a gate he observes the beauty of nature; he listens to the cuckoo's call and its echo; he watches the half shut roses in the hedges that struggle in the stream; the rustic people in their engraved dress going to his flock whistling across the "wet flower'd grass". Seeing all these tears come to his eyes, for great is his capacity to feel. He hears the murmur of a thousand years in Nature, telling of the everlasting nature of life. He sees Nature unfolding its life before him revealing its continuity and tranquility. Life in Nature never ceases and the secret it reveals is that one should aim at peace, not joy, in life. The bard being a creature of feeling will have an inherent sadness in him. The message he gets from the life of plants and stones and rain is this: aim at a life of calm and peace which Nature possesses. The bard rejects the life of action and suffering and affirms a life of peaceful continuity.

      Line. 215-230: Here the poet gives the views of Fausta. She remains cold and shows her disapproval of the poet's way of thinking through a "wandering smile". She views the Gipsics and says they are less than Man while the bard, as described by the poet, is more than Man. The Gypsies, though they have an existence, move and see but do not have "feeling". But the poet feels deeply and lives in the company of great men like Homer and his creations. He is not the slave of the cares of life; he escapes from the troubles of life. Ordinary people exist not with a vision as deep as that of the poet, but with one which is wider.

      Line. 231-260: Here the poet presents his comments on Fausta's arguments. He tells Fausta that aversion, love, effort, interest, hope, remorse, grief, joy etc. are merely transitory compared with the permanence of this world we live in. Even if the scope of these emotions are extended man would still remain confounded. He would seek "regions of eternal change" beyond those passions. For death, which wipes out man ultimately, will leave many plans of man unexecuted, many problems unsolved and many questions unanswered. He cherishes many hopes and desires in life, without learning much from death. In some ways this world even outlasts death.

      Line. 229-248: Here Arnold defends the bard's attitude to life; the wise bard's judgement on this world is the best. For he knows, by his insight, what others learn by experience. He does not value love or power because he knows that both are transient. He leads a life without troubles; for he is free from passions. The poet asks Fausta to praise the bard, and not to blame him. He advises her to crave for nobler aims than the worldly passions. Let her burning heart search for freedom rather than amusement. She should not have passionate hopes. Neither she nor the poet possesses the security that a bard of detachment possesses. However, people who do not attach themselves to hopes consider themselves as having conquered fate. People who do not get attached to worldly affairs are nearer to the calm and peace of Nature. The worldly-wise people consider such detached people fools and weaklings. But in God's eyes such people, who view life and death with equanimity are not weak or foolish.

      Line. 261-278: In these lines Arnold sums up this thoughts. It is enough that we live; we should not aim at rewards or results for our actions. What is necessary is to bear life as it is. If Fausta thinks that such a life is not worth living let her look at nature. The grass we walk on, the hills around, the endless waterfalls, the strange rocks and the lovely sky appear to be bearing life rather than rejoicing at it. Ordinary people, instead of taking a cue from nature and aim at calm or peace in life, crave for ever increasing feverish action to defeat fate. They are caught in the dizzying eddy of worldly life, and they miss the peace Nature offers.


      Arnold wrote the poem Resignation To Fausta with the aim of consoling his sister Jane, whose engagement with George Cotton, an young Master at Rugby School was unhappily broken off. Arnold and Jane went on a walking tour through the mountainous region, possibly to case Jane's troubled mind. Ten years back, along with their father, Thomas Arnold, the headmaster of Rugby, the family had gone through the same route on a walking trip. Both the trips are mentioned in the poem, and they appear to be an allegory of the journey of life itself.

      There are five distinct parts noticeable in the poem. The second part deals with the two walking tours. Between the two tours their father had expired and George Cotton who was engaged to Jane broke off the engagement, to her great disappointment. The specificity of the description in the poem made some critics consider this poem as a mere memoir. There is a Wordsworthian echo in the poem. Just like the elder poet's Tintern Abbey, Resignation was inspired by a second visit to a location dear to the poet's heart. But there is no similarity in the though content. Arnold considers Nature simply enduring or bearing life, an idea unwelcome to Wordsworth. Resignation is a philosophic poem where one gets Arnold's views on man, life and Nature. The thought is developed by portraying three different kinds of life; first that of the fanatical believers in a cause-like the Muslim pilgrims, Crusaders, the Goths or the Huns; then the Gipsies and last, the bard who has achieved detachment. The first group is passionately wedded to the achievement of some goal, Mecca or Jerusalem or Rome. They are passion-enslaved people and they do not attain, peace in life. The second group, the gipsies, has no conscious aim in life and they wander through countryside, influenced by the whim of time. The third is that of a great poet who has attained detachment, who remains at a lofty height and view mankind with sympathy. Though sympathetic to people, he does not share the hopes and aspirations of the ordinary people. He has done" actions in life and has suffered in life. But he considers actions and suffering imperfect mode of life. He has seen great acts and achievements of others but does not envy those who caused them.

Whom an unbalm'd serenity
Hath freed passions, and the state
Of struggle these necessitate;
Whom schooling of the stubborn mind Hath made, or birth hath found, resign'd;

      People like him are free from passion's enslaving influence. They know that there is a peaceful continuity in universal life, a continuity that outlasts death. Such a life is the aim of a contemplative poet who has "a sad lucidity of soul". He urges Fausta to cultivate a quiet and fearless mind and disapproves of her for allowing her mind to go after the vanity of human desires. The philosophic poet who has a security born out of his detachment may appear foolish and weak in the eyes of others. Attachment to action makes us blind and prevents us from seeing things clearly.

      Attitude to Nature: The poet gives a few intensely-felt and long-living memories of the scenic beauty of areas from Wythburn Fells to Keswick. When problems of life troubled Arnold, he sought shelter in recreating those memories in verses. Graphic pictures like are to be found aplenty:

The valley pastures, one by one,
Are threaded, quiet in the sun:

or front, beyond outspread
Those upper regions we must tread;
Mild hollows, and clear healthy swells,
The cheerful silence of the fells.
The red-grouse, springing at our sound,
Skims, now and then, the shining ground; No life, save his and ours, intrudes

Upon these breathless solitudes.
O joy! again the farms appear;
Cool shade is there, and rustic cheer:
There springs the brook will guide us down,
Bright comrade to the noisy town.


...where the brook shines, near its head,
In its clear, shallow, turf-fring'd bed;
Here, whence the eye first sees, far down,
Capp'd with faint smoke, the noisy town;


On this mild bank above the stream,
(You crush them) the blue gentians gleam.
Still this wild brook, the rushes cool.
The sailing foam, the shining pool.

      The pastoral quality of the description where has a close resemblance to a similar description in Milton's D'Allegro.

He leans upon a gate and sees
The pastures and the quiet trees

      (The Scholar Gipsy too enjoys the scenic beauty from a gate.) In the overall picturing of Nature with an understanding sympathy, Arnold is truly Wordsworthian. However, the poem shows the remarkable difference in the attitude to Nature of the two. Wordsworth in his Tintern Abbey tells of

Nature's privilege to lead us from joy to joy

      And his belief that:

Every flower enjoys the air it breathes.

      Arnold, quiet differently, feels that:

The general life, which does not cease
Whose secret is not joy but peace...

      Of course, there is superficial similarity between Tintern Abbey and Resignation. Each is written after a second visit to a dear place and each is addressed to a dear sister.

      The moral tone: There is an unmistakable moralising or didactic tone in Resignation, which is clearer towards the end. The author urges Fausta to cultivate a "quiet and fearless mind", and to abstain from passionate desires. He advises her,

..heart which burns in thee
Ask, not to amuse, but to set free.
Be passionate hopes not ill resign'd,
For quiet, and a fearless mind,
And though Fate grudge to thee and me
The Poet's rapt security,
Yet they, believe me, who await
No gift from Chance, have conquer'd Fate.

      The conclusion of the poem is obviously didactic. The poet tells Fausta not to despair when life does not offer a reward or result or when she feels life is not worth living. She should learn from the things around her that the aim of life is to bear rather than to rejoice.

      Style: The well-praised Arnoldian lucidity is very much alive in this poem. Also present is the typically Arnoldian melancholy, though he urges his sister to take things more cheerfully. The Homeric and sonoric long and compounded phrases occur many times in this piece. The all-common close", a far-seen sign", "wavering many-coloured line", "wide-glimmering sca", "turf-fring'd bed". "his mist-weathered flock", "Eternal mundane spectacle", "strange scrawl'd rocks" and "currents long-steer'd through" are some of them. They give a magical sound effect agreeing with the mood of the poem. The felicity of words describing the happiness of the travellers, in reaching the sea, their destination as described in the lines, is rarely found in poetry.

That, as the balmy darkness fell,
We bath'd our hands, with speechless glee,
That night, in the wide glimmering sea.

      In Matthew Arnold - The Poet Humanist, G.R. Stange analyses Resignation very profitably.

"...the Lake Country setting is patently Wordsworthian...The subjects the poet contemplates are also Wordsworthian but the conclusions are of a very different kind from Wordsworth's .... The significance of the poem seems to fluctuate between the allegorical and the literal. Each character is a point of view, a state of mind and each-whether he be the poet or the gipsy is seen as a walker or place of the earth. Similarly the journey through the Cumberland hills though it has an immediate topographical interest, is, journey of life with its difficulties and its end at the unbounded sea the final destination of the journey of life. But the easy delicacy of Arnold's poetic creation will be lost if strict allegorical interpretation is imposed on it. Noticeably different types of of sensibilities are presented in the poem. The first is that of the Muslim pilgrims, the Crusaders, the Goths or the Huns. Their motto is "die - or attain". The next is that described in Line. 22-39, that of milder natures and more free":

      The second is the resigned nature as opposed to the Crusader-nature. The preliminary definition is for the edification of Fausta, who is "Time's chafing prisoner". She tries to seek satisfaction in action. The name Fausta represents the modern spirit - the woman equivalent of Faustus, as some critics suggest. The next section is the description of the poet's recollection of the walking tour with Fausta, and the whole family some ten years before. As the physical setting of the poem is sketched in, four different attitudes to life become clear:

i. that of the activist pilgrims.

ii. the resigned attitude of the bards

ii. the sensationalism Fausta represents.

iv. that of the author who aims at achieving resignation or detachment.

      The description of the earlier journey and its gleeful ending underlies the present moment and suggests the permanent pattern of change in this world. The poet notices the change that has taken place in Fausta and himself in the lines.

Alone we tread it you and I;
Ghosts of that boisterous company

      But Nature has remained unchanged. However Fausta does not realise the change, for says the poet, addressing her.

..and we you say
Are scarce more chang'd, in truth, than they.

      Fausta displays, here, her fretful modernism, her restless subjection to time.

      What follows is the poet's debate with Fausta. He presents different grades of resignation. The gipsies who are more wanderers than achievers have achieved a degree of resignation. But they attain that stage unthinkingly, rather unconsciously. They are concerned with the troubles of the day-to-day life; they are likely to make unhappy comparisons with the past and the present. However, they continue their traditional way of life. The poet hints that Fausta can profit from their example.

      Then the highest form of resignation, that of the wise bard who by "schooling his stubborn mind" has attained detachment, is presented. That kind of people can live the best life and can produce the best artistic work. A man of such attitude is of the noblest type. He can act and bear pain with a detachment that frees him from action and suffering. For attaining that stage one has to go beyond romantic self-centredness. A poet of such a nature will come to know of the strong and beautiful forces of life without a desire to possess them. The author gives examples of the bard freeing himself from attachment in different areas of human experience. The bard may see a mighty ruler wielding his power swaying his people; but having conquered desire he will not be tempted to have that kind of power for himself; neither does he envy the ruler. Same is the case with physical beauty; he can feel happy at the triumph of beauty without desiring it for himself. He may watch the townsfolk enjoying domestic happiness from his high station, but does not feel that he is lonely. Then there is his attitude to Nature. He observes Nature and learns of its profundity.

...he gazes-tears
Are in his eyes, and in his ears
The murmur of a thousand years:
Before him he sees life unroll.
A placid and continuous whole:;-

      The bard reaches a stage of near-ecstasy, on gazing at Nature. He does not get this feeling from his observations of human situations. The tears he sheds are the result of the philosophic insight into Nature. The murmur that he hears is the history of life, its present and its future. He gains a stoic resignation from Nature and that resignation will lead him to a wiser, fuller, and nobler life. Fausta appears to disagree with this view. She thinks the wise poet lives in the company of Homer and Orpheus. He is not enslaved by the day-to-day troubles of the world.

      He escapes from the troubles of life while ordinary people have to face them. According to Fausta the poet only sees widely, but not deeply.

      Then comes the answer to Fausta from the author, the summing up of Arnoldian philosophy of life. The wise bard is one who sees both widely and deeply. The world of ours, Nature, is independent of human emotions. It also outlives the human emotions. Even if the scope of those emotions are extended man would come to know only of further regions of endless change. By realizing more of the universal process he would see the transient nature, and the insignificance of human hopes and desires. The author then tells of the permanency of natural things; the external world has an existence independent of human perception. Because of this permanency of universe through continual change, Nature outlasts even death.

      In the next section the author tells of the security of mind a wise bard achieves. His

...natural insight can discern,
What through experience others learn.
Who needs not love and power, to know
Love transient, power an unreal show.

      The philosophic vision the author highlights is a combination of the Stoic resignation and the Spinozaic comfort arising out of "understanding the causes and effects of all things". Neither the author nor Fausta has acquired that kind of philosophic insight. However they can cultivate in them a habit not to seek amusement, but freedom of spirit, not passion but peace. This will lead them;

Through clouds of individual strife
Draw homeward to the general Life.

      Fausta should learn to give up her restless desires with which she appears to fill her day. The author, though possess a healthier philosophy, is far from the wise bards detachment. The concluding lines also deal with the values one can learn from Nature.

...the mute turf we tread,
The solemn hills around us spread
This stream that falls incessantly
The strange-scrawl'd rocks, the lovely sky,

      Seem to give a message to man. The aim of life is "to bear rather than rejoice". Line. 271-78 deals with the problem of evil. The stoics do not believe in the existence of evil. There is nothing in the world that is intrinsically evil; death and suffering are not evil. Man's own moral disorder is the evil. Arnold appears to deviate from this stoic view in the end of the poem. He suggests that evil is immanent in things. The lines are too compressed to make the meaning clear. The opinion of Wordsworth in The Borderers that The world is poisoned at the heart", appears to be the view of Arnold.


1. pray all ... steer'd through. Line. 13-21

      Here Arnold presents the attitude to life of fanatic people like the Muslim pilgrims, the Crusaders, the Goths and the Huns.

      They pray for success in achieving their goal, in this world, on this side of death. They are the prisoners of their own labours, because they themselves decided on a goal to achieve in life. If they do not succeed they prefer to face death instead of putting in their effort a second time. For them to go back and begin again is a very painful act. So they pray

To die be given us, or attain
Fierce work it were, to do again.

      The passage is an elaboration of the above prayer, in the beginning of the poem. "Past straits" and "currents long steer'd through" are associated with the Crusaders who crossed the Mediterranean sea and its perils with the object of winning the Holy Land from the Muslims. It is unlikely that the Goths and the Huns have crossed straits and currents. The Muslim pilgrims too, mostly used the land route in olden days.

2. But milder natures ... the passing day Line. 22-29

      After describing different groups of fanatics whose motto is 'do or die' Arnold describes people who are of a milder nature. They do not bother about the struggles of life either because they have trained their mind to be detached from them, or because they have a natural resignation or detachment present in them. They do not complain about the difficulties of life; neither do they feel sorry for living at the mercy of circumstances created by time. They lead a life of perfect contentment and face the problems of life without complaint.

      Arnold, himself wanted to lead a life of perfect resignation but knew he was for distant from the goal. However, he felt that he was nearer to that stage than Fausta was.

3. For them....every day Line. 126-135

      Here Arnold presents the troubles faced by the Gipsies in their apparently carefree life. He presents the rather easy and traditional Gipsy life as a contrast to the fanatic Crusader-like life. There is some amount of resignation in their life. But it is of a lesser kind than that of the wise bard. Arnold says that the imperfection of their life can be noticed from their "disquietude".

      Passage of time, that reduces a few of the sorrows of the Gipsies, is likely to bring in many more troubles. They grow older and the joints become stiffer Winter brings in intense cold and the sharp winds of March will freeze and parch the body; still somehow they live. The country is becoming more and more populated making wandering life more difficult. As their life become degraded they think that the Law of the land is becoming strong. Really they are confusing between the cause and effect. This shows their imperfect understanding of the way of the world. Arnold succeeds in showing that the life of the Gipsies is not a perfectly resigned one, by mentioning the various difficulties they feel in day to day life.

4. The poet, to whose ... he lives so. Line. 144-153

      After describing the care-free life of the Gipsies, whom he met on both his walking tours, Arnold, juxtaposes life of the wise bard who leads a life of perfect resignation with that of the gipsies. The bard has a powerful heart of great sensibility and he has the capacity to use his power to observe not merely his own life but that of the whole mankind. He is not contented with his own victories and achievements. He may have reached a position of high authority and power; he may have helped people attain freedom through his efforts; he may have faced innumerable trials and tribulations. Still his life is not worthwhile if he does not go beyond these. Arnold means that an ideal man should be detached from his own actions and the results of the actions and should contemplate on the whole humanity and the life of Nature. He should see life steadily and see it whole.

      The Gipsies, described earlier, have achieved a sort of resignation by living a carefree life, by following their tradition. But that is an unconscious activity not the result of logical thinking. Further this is not perfect resignation. A perfectly resigned or detached person will not be affected by his own actions or sufferings.

5. Lean'd on his.....lucidity of soul. Line. 186-198

      Here Arnold speaks of the wise bard's attitude to Nature. He is man of mighty heart and of great sensibilities. Leaning on the gate he gazes at Nature and contemplates and then tears come to his eyes. They are not tears of a sentimentalist; they are that of philosophic visionary who sees the primal beauty at the heart of things. He is able to hear the murmur of incidents that happened during centuries past. He sees the life of Nature, life in its entirety unfolding itself before him. It is a tranquil and continuous process. And the essential thing to note in Nature is the presence of peace and not of joy. When he observes the life of plants and stones and rain, where calm and peace exists he craves for such a life for him. He sees things as they are and thus achieves a resignation and thereby a lucidity of the soul.

      The passage shows the characteristic Arnoldian melancholy. Nature is not for the joy or amusement of man. What man notices in Nature is a resigned tolerance of "whatever is". The realisation of this fact gives a sad understanding to man.

6. Those Gipsies...but wide. Line. 203-212

      Here Arnold presents what he thinks could be the view of Fausta on his opinion that a resigned life is a superior life. Fausta thinks that the life of ordinary men is greater or nobler than that of the Gipsies and less than that of the wise poets. The Gipsies move around and see things, but they do not have feeling. The poet on the other hand feels deeper than ordinary men. But he lives a life of the immortals, away from reality, along with Homer and Orpheus. He is not bothered about the day-to-day life and its problems. He tries to separate himself from the rest of mankind. But ordinary people will have to live in the real world facing its problems. The wise poet may be able to get a wider picture of life, but it is not a deeper view.

      Arnold wrote this poem in an effort to console his sister who had to face the disappointment of a broken engagement. Fausta's view is that the poetic view does not lessen her pain, for she faces her pain. The poet wants to escape from the pains and sufferings of this real world into a world of fancy where Homer and Orpheus and other such people exist.

7. The World....outlasts death. Line. 213-228

      Here Arnold presents his views countering that of Fausta, and holds on to the belief that human emotions are transitory phenomena while Nature is everlasting. The world in which we live, exists independent of love, hate, interest, hope, remorse, grief, joy etc. They are transients while Nature lasts forever. Even if the scope of those emotions are extended, beyond them well be the regions of eternal change, showing the transitory nature of those emotions. Death is there at the corner, to put an end to man, his unfulfilled desires, unrealised hopes and untried plans. But as Nature outlives man and his desires, one can say that Nature outlasts even Death.

      Arnold here emphasises for the edification of Fausta that human beings and their emotions are transitory while Nature is eternal.

8. Him blame not.....conquer'd fate. Line. 236-246

      Here Arnold defends the wise-bard's attitude to life and disapproves of Fausta's disparaging the noble poet's view of life. He urges her to praise the bard instead of blaming him. She should give up her life of restless desires and amusement-seeking. He wants her to train herself to seek freedom of the spirit, and a resulting fearlessness of mind. Passionate hopes are not conducive to resignation. The author and Fausta do not possess the higher resignation that gives the security to the wise-poet. Still if they lead a life without expecting any reward for their actions in life, they could consider themselves as having conquered fate. The author and his sister, here Fausta, have different attitudes of life. Arnold wants serenity born out of resignation in his life. Fausta, despite all her affection for her brother, cannot agree with the view. She is naturally bent towards the amusement of the external worlds, and has never enjoyed peace in life. Arnold tries to make her see the superiority of the attitude of life of the wise poet over that of Fausta.

9. Enough, we live.....rather than rejoice. Line. 259-268

      Here we find Arnold presenting the superiority of his stoic philosophy of life for Fausta's edification. Life hasn't got anything grandiose to offer to us. It is enough if we exist bearing the difficulties and facing the problems of life. We should not entertain feverish hopes of good fortune turning up in our life. If she thinks that such a life of simple bearing is not worth the pain, let her look at Nature and realize what happens around. The grass we walk on, the sublime hills around us, the continuously flowing streams, the strangely formed rocks and the lovely sky lead a life where they do not rejoice, but simply bear. As a result there is a calm and tranquility in nature.

      Arnold knows the disposition of Fausta, who is dissatisfied with a life of tranquility and calm. He advises her to learn a lesson from Nature. Nature's objects simply bear what happens in this world; they do not rejoice. Similarly Fausta must learn to bear life rather than seek amusement from life. Then life to her will appear tranquil and peaceful.

10. And even could.....the world. Line. 269-76

      These concluding lines show Arnold's thinking that evil is inherent in this world. Even if Fate grants man's earnest prayers for a life of action and wider pleasures, the lot of the generality of people will not be different. For man in his feverish and purposeless craving for action has forgotten to realize the existence of evil in this world. This inherent evil will make all his ambitions and aspirations and the desire for amusement unrealizable. The conclusion, by default, in these lines, is that the only sensible course for man is to aim at a life of resignation or detachment. The stoics do not believe in the existence of evil in this world. According to them the confusion in the moral order of man is what appears as evil. Arnold here appears to be differing from the stoics by suggesting that evil, "the something that infects the world" is imminent in Nature. The lines are so compressed that the idea expressed is not very transparent.

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