Contents Index

The Transposition of Gothic

David Morse

Chapter 2 in Romanticism: A Structural Analysis (Totowa: Barnes & Noble Books, 1982), 50-103.

{50} The publication of The Monk by Matthew Lewis in 1796 marked a decisive turning-point in the development of Gothic. Other writers of the 1790s, such as Radcliffe, Bage and Holcroft, had taken over a genteel literary tradition and attempted to open it up by broaching within its parameters themes of personal and political liberation. Since their paramount value was reason, they felt obliged to maintain a consistent moral perspective in their work. Oddly, The Monk too is written from a rationalistic point of view and there is much in it that is consistent with the radical temper of the times, but it is marked off from its predecessors by its unequivocal character as a work of popular literature, by its frank espousal and even exultation in the erotic, in violence, in the horrors of the supernatural. Where Mrs Radcliffe presented mysterious happenings and then explained them away, Lewis presented the satanic as real; where she hinted at illicit sensuality and gestured towards obscure crimes, Lewis openly presented and described. What made the book all the more disturbing was the equivocal attitude which Lewis took towards his subject: behind a genteel deploring of such nefarious goings-on can be discerned a humanistic point of view, similar to that Diderot, which sees the religious and ascetic life as unnatural because it contradicts the essential nature of man; but at the back of that is the implication that man is most truly himself when most utterly perverse: that is to say, when he follows deep and unexplained impulses within him. The Monk reflects the intellectual ferment and confusion in the aftermath of the French Revolution: its clearest message is the disintegration of all traditional moral values and one which the Gothic iconography is able to present with the utmost force.

{51} Virtually all the paradoxes of The Monk are linked with its pretensions to be a polemic against the Catholic Church. Lewis can write about Catholicism with confidence, secure in the knowledge that his Protestant readers will be only too ready to concur in his condemnation, without examining too closely the standpoint from which the condemnation is made. Lewis alternates between an indictment characteristic of the Reformation period, in which the church is seen as a decadent and morally corrupt institution, propagating mystifying doctrines to deceive the people while licensing practices that are morally abhorrent, and a more contemporary view in which the church is seen as violating man's natural instincts. Significantly anti-Catholic literature of the Reformation and post-Reformation period, dealing with licentious monks and so forth, was an important source both for Lewis himself and for other writers of the Romantic period. Lorenzo, in The Monk, though a Catholic in Spain during the period of the Inquisition, adopts towards the church the stance of a good Protestant:

Universal silence prevailed through the crowd, and every heart was filled with reverence for religion -- every heart but Lorenzo's. Conscious that among those who chanted the praises of their God so sweetly, there were some who cloaked with devotion the foulest sins, their hymns inspired him with detestation at their hypocrisy. He had long observed with disapprobation and contempt the superstition which governed Madrid's inhabitants. His good sense had pointed out to him the artifices of the monks, and the gross absurdity of their miracles, wonders, and suppositious relics. He blushed to see his countrymen the dupes of deceptions so ridiculous, and only wished for an opportunity to free them from their monkish fetters. The opportunity, so long desired in vain, was at length presented to him. He resolved not to let it slip, but to set before the people, in glaring colours, how enormous were the abuses but too frequently practised in monasteries, and how unjustly public esteem was bestowed indiscriminately upon all who wore a religious habit. He longed for the moment destined to unmask the hypocrites, and convince his countrymen that a sanctified exterior does not always hide a virtuous heart.1
{52} There is also much in Lewis's criticism of the church that is consonant with the views of Godwin and other radical contemporaries. The novel points to the dangers of absolute and irresponsible use of power, so that the prioress can commit murder (or contemplate it) without fear of retribution and can even deny a papal bull. Hypocrisy and lack of openness are identified as the gravest of moral crimes. The dangers associated with closed institutions and the excessive practice of secrecy are insisted upon. Like Godwin, Lewis also shows that justice or the lack of it is bound up with one's position in society: Agnes can have the severest punishments inflicted upon her, while Ambrosio and the prioress can act with complete impunity. The irrational is displayed as the means by which arbitrary power is masked and veiled. For Lewis everything that is connected with the institutional is false; it is therefore fitting that the novel should reach its climax with the destruction of the convent of St Clare. Since many religious institutions were similarly invaded during the French Revolution, it is difficult not to see Lewis as associating himself with the destruction of an irrational and oppressive past - its replacement by a society based more securely on the principles of human nature.

Critical discussions of The Monk tend to focus obsessively on the character of Ambrosia; yet it is crucial to any understanding of the novel to recognise both its polycentric character and the intricacy of its construction. In particular it is clear that the story of the Bleeding Nun, or the History of Don Raymond, as it is known, is not an exotic interpolation but is the motif that underlies everything else, as it is subjected to various permutations. Lewis took the theme of the Bleeding Nun from traditional German literature, but there can be little doubt but that Lewis clearly understood its erotic significance -- the repression of female sexuality. For Lewis's purpose it was necessary to show that convents, as much as monasteries, were unnatural places and that the confinement of women within them involved the denial of their libidinal instincts as well as their capacity for bearing children. The myth of the Bleeding Nun is built around a structural opposition between the fact that the nun is veiled and the fact that she is bleeding. The veil stands for the traditional chastity ascribed to women, the fact that their charms are traditionally covered, the belief that sex {53} does not and need not concern them. The symbol of the veil is contradicted by the symbol of blood, which implies both the defloration of the virgin and the menstrual flow, which is a perpetual sign of a woman's capacity to have children. Significantly, in the story of the Bleeding Nun, Beatrice has been early confined in a convent, but her highly sexed nature cannot be concealed and she exchanges the role of nun for that of mistress. Her death at the hand of her lover Otto and her repeated and regular reappearances strongly suggest that the sexual nature of woman cannot be denied: she will keep returning to haunt a world that refuses to give it a place and truly acknowledge it. In the case of Matilda the nature of the veil becomes completely explicit:

Oh, since we last conversed together, a dreadful veil has been rent from before my eyes. I love you no longer with the devotion which is paid to a saint; I prize you no more for the virtues of your soul; I lust for the enjoyment of your person. The woman reigns in my bosom, and I am become a prey to the wildest of passions.2
At this moment, the meaning of 'woman' becomes transvalued.

Thematic doubling is a notable feature of literature of the Romantic period and The Monk is no exception. Lewis lays great stress on the idea of the erotic woman, and all the female characters in the novel are shown to be highly sexed -- in fact, the women characteristically take the initiative. Baroness Lindenberg presses her attentions on Don Raymond in a way that he finds embarrassing. Marguerite, who aids him when he is in danger from brigands, describes her nature as being 'licentious and warm'.3 When it is suggested that Agnes be confined within a convent, Lewis refers to this as 'a fate so contrary to her inclinations'.4 Ambrosio is initiated into the delights of sex by Matilda in a way that strongly recalls the corruption of Adam by Eve. Even the beautiful Virginia de Villa Franca is induced to give up the veil by the fact that Lorenzo's 'person pleased her'.5 The only woman character whose modesty is stressed is Antonia, but even here Lewis hints at the passion that lurks behind her reserved demeanour. In the opening description of her on her appearance at the church of the Capuchins in Madrid -- where she is {54} significantly veiled and refuses to unveil (a veiling paralleled by the early appearance of Matilda as Rosario, who always keeps her head muffled in a cowl) -- Lewis notes, 'She appeared to be scarcely fifteen; an arch smile, playing round her mouth, declared her to be possessed of liveliness which excess of timidity at present repressed.'6 Her age is, of course, highly pertinent: she is just at the point of becoming conscious of herself as a woman and of her own sexuality. This is betrayed by her constant blushing, which is insisted upon by Lewis at virtually every point in the narrative. Her cheeks are 'suffused with blushes'7, 'a deep blush'8 spreads across her cheek, her cheeks are 'suffused with Crimson'.9 This only confirms the veil- blood opposition of the narrative: Antonia though veiled nevertheless has erotic feelings, which are disclosed by the appearance of blood in her cheeks. The whole novel can be seen as a struggle between those who conceal or deny the nature of feminine sexuality and those who seek to bring it out into the open. For this reason it is symbolically appropriate that Agnes after her terrible sufferings should finally be freed from the convent of St Clare and enabled to marry Don Raymond; for Agnes has become identified with the Bleeding Nun and her liberation signifies the ending of the nightmare induced by the false and unnatural ideal of chastity.

The motif of the veil that conceals feminine sexuality is doubled and paralleled by the mask of sanctity that covers the uncontrollable desires of Ambrosia. This symmetrical relation is apparent from the opening scene in the church of the Capuchins: Antonia is introduced as the veiled woman, Ambrosio as 'the man of holiness'10 -- a transparent disguise, since as soon as he is alone he 'gave free loose to the indulgence of his vanity'11; humility is only a 'semblance'12, pride the reality. This first chapter announces, in the manner of an overture, the principle themes of the novel: Antonia's reluctance to unveil, even in church as is customary, can be seen as symbolically contradicting the assumption that there is nothing to offend a woman's modesty in church, while both Lorenzo's dream and the gypsy's prophecy suggest that in a future confrontation between Ambrosio and Antonia all such cultural concealments of the nature of sexuality will be thrown aside. Indeed, the theme of the picture strongly suggests that Ambrosio's religious fervour is a deflection from the path of {55} normal profane love. Matilda, who has presented her image to Ambrosio in the masked form of a Madonna hopes that when Ambrosio gazes upon it a response may be kindled by it that goes beyond mere piety: 'With what pleasure he views this picture! With what fervour he addresses his prayers to the insensible image! Ah, may not his sentiments be inspired by some kind of secret genius, friend to my affection? May it not be man's natural instinct which informs him -- ?'13

Ambrosio's progress through the novel is not from sensuality to spirituality, but from the spiritual to the sensual; but, what is still more important, Lewis suggests that Ambrosio as a model of religious piety, as a man who does not even know the difference between the sexes, can only be bogus; when erotically obsessed, he is most completely genuine. Moreover, Lewis is perfectly clear that it is culture that prevents the free expression and fulfilment of his desires: 'The danger of discovery, the fear of being repulsed, the loss of reputation -- all these considerations counselled him to stifle his desires.'14 Nevertheless, Lewis suggests that because of his education within religious institutions Ambrosio's sexuality has become warped. His heart has been corrupted by a thoroughgoing Catholic education, so that it is no longer possible for him to respond in a completely spontaneous and authentic manner. His education has been an initiation into moral iniquity:

His instructors carefully repressed those virtues, whose grandeur and disinterestedness were ill-suited to the cloister. Instead of universal benevolence, he adopted a selfish partiality for his own particular establishment: he was taught to consider compassion for the errors of others as a crime of the blackest dye; the noble frankness of his temper was exchanged for servile humility; and in order to break his natural spirit, the monks terrified his young mind, by placing before him all the horrors with which superstition could furnish them; they painted to him the torments of the damned in colours the most dark, terrible and fantastic, and threatened him at the slightest fault with eternal perdition. No wonder that his imagination, constantly dwelling upon fearful objects, should have rendered his character timid and apprehensive. Add to this, that his long absence from the great world, and total unacquaintance with the common {56} dangers of life, made him form of them an idea far more dismal than the reality. While the monks were busy in rooting out his virtues and narrowing his sentiments, they allowed every vice which had fallen to his share to arrive at full perfection. He was suffered to be proud, vain, ambitious, and disdainful: he was jealous of his equals, and despised all merit but his own: he was implacable when offended, and cruel in his revenge.15
The position that Lewis adopts is one very characteristic of the Enlightenment. Since man's natural inclinations are good, it is only necessary to give them scope for expression; in contact with others and with the opposite sex, in an expanded commerce with the ordinary world, his benevolence and sympathy for others can expand and flourish. The passions, when acknowledged and given latitude, can also be directed and controlled. A religious education, on the other hand, denies a man's essential nature, cuts him off from his fellow men, develops irrational prejudices and partial sympathies. The Monk is a lesson in the catastrophic consequences of such an education: desires that under other circumstances would be natural in Ambrosio become perverse and are deflected from their appropriate forms of expression: erotic tenderness is transformed into sadistic negativity and violence.

That Ambrosio represents the working out in a perverse form of normal human desires is clearly demonstrated by a counter-plot of Don Raymond and Agnes: just as Matilda/ Rosario pursues Ambrosio into the monastery and attempts to awaken his natural impulses, so Don Raymond follows Agnes and attempts to secure her release from the convent. Don Raymond's disguise as a gardener's assistant repeats Matilda's disguise as a religious novice. However, there is a very crucial difference between the two cases: Ambrosio has been so long cut off from a pattern of normal relations between the sexes that his desires, when awakened, can find no adequate object; it is his tragedy that his self-discovery necessary leads him on a downward path of self- destruction.

The conflict between eros and the Catholic Church in The Monk also has the form of a conflict between life and death. The church is associated with rottenness, putrescence, decay: {57} the transformation of life into death. Indeed this, for Lewis, is precisely the function fulfilled by the monastery or convent. The church is unnatural, for, instead of acknowledging that the living and the dead are mutually exclusive categories, in its preoccupation with the dead and in its denial of life, it represents the means whereby the world of the living is invaded by the world of the dead. That the church is an institution which contradicts human nature is emphasised by Lewis in the opening lines of the novel: 'The audience now assembled in the Capuchin church was collected by various causes, but all of them were foreign to the ostensible motive. The women came to show themselves -- the men, to see the women.'16 Sexual attraction, not religiosity, is the real motive for the gathering; but, while normal human instincts can express themselves through the forms prescribed by religious convention, the church also has a sinister significance: as a mechanism whereby the living are transformed into the dead. Ambrosia by a process of religious instruction, is made into a monster of virtue, a man made unnatural as well as hypocritical by the pretence that he is not touched by human feeling. Significantly, his sexual awakening is also associated with revival from death: it is only after Matilda has sucked the venom from a deadly snake bite and after he is restored to consciousness that he also becomes aware of her nature as a woman and his initiation into the erotic takes place. The struggle between eros and death is also worked out in the theme of the Bleeding Nun and through its relation to Agnes. The denial of eros in the case of Beatrice with catastrophic consequences is nearly repeated with Agnes, who is thwarted in her attempt to escape with Don Raymond, her lover, through the fact that her own impersonation of the Bleeding Nun is inverted, when the spectre of the Bleeding Nun is thought by Don Raymond to be Agnes. The appearance of the Bleeding Nun -- herself a symbol of the cultural repression of female sexuality -- represents an invasion of the world of the living by the world of the dead. As a result, Agnes is confined within a convent, proclaimed dead, given what is apparently poison, and then discovered in the subterranean vaults in a state that can only be described as half alive. Simultaneously Don Raymond himself has endured a severe illness and been on the point of death. Thus the restoration of both to health {58} and to each other represents a fitting negation of the negation. This state of being between life and death is paralleled by Ambrosio and Antonia. The multiple symbolic deaths of Agnes also befall Antonia: first rendered insensible by mysterious powers, then buried in a state of suspended consciousness, from which she revives only to be slain by Ambrosia. Although Antonia is the most modest and virtuous feminine character in the book, her death figures symbolically as a punishment both of Lorenzo, her lover, and herself for their denial of eros. Their relations become so veiled and so oblique as to become virtually non-existent:

Having thrown a veil over her face, she ventured to look out. By the light of the moon, she perceived several men below with guitars and lutes in their hands; and, at a little distance from them, stood another wrapped in a cloak, whose stature and appearance bore a strong resemblance to Lorenzo's. She was not deceived in this conjecture: it was indeed Lorenzo himself, who, bound by his word not to present himself to Antonia without his uncle's consent, endeavoured, by occasional serenades, to convince his mistress that his attachment still existed. This strategem had not the desired effect. Antonia was far from supposing that this nightly music was intended as a compliment to her. She was too modest to think herself worth such attentions; and, concluding them to be addressed to some neighbouring lady, she grieved to find that they were offered by Lorenzo.17
Lorenzo's obedience to social norms of behaviour leads to the masking of both his own and Antonia's feelings. In this scene she is veiled, while he adopts a disguise. The bashfulness of both means the fulfilment of Lorenzo's nightmare at the opening of the novel -- not his dream. The appropriation of life by death is most distinctly articulated in the case of Ambrosio himself. His relations with Antonia assume a perverse form, in which he can only deal with her as an inert object -- not as a living human being. Ambrosio's erotic impulses are totally transposed into an obsession with death:
By the side of three putrid half-corrupted bodies lay the {59} sleeping beauty. A lively red, the forerunner of returning animation, had already spread itself over her cheeks, and, as wrapped in a shroud she reclined upon her funeral bier, she seemed to smile at the images of death surrounding her. While he gazed upon their rotting bones and disgusting figures, who perhaps were once as sweet and lovely, Ambrosio thought upon Elvira, by him reduced to the same state. As the memory of that horrid act glanced upon his mind, it was clouded with a gloomy horror; yet it served but to strengthen his resolution to destroy Antonia's honour.18
At this point all the implications of Lewis's opening quotation from Measure for Measure,
Lord Angelo is precise;
Stands at a guard with envy; scarce confesses
That his blood flows, or that his appetite
Is more to bread than stone
are symbolically realised. In Shakespeare's terms Ambrosio is shown to be homologous with both bread and stone: he has the feelings and desires of a normal man but expresses them in a perverse form, so that his eroticism has no more appropriate setting than catacombs, filled with decaying bodies. This is the price that Ambrosio pays for his long-standing suppression and hypocritical denial of sexuality. It is a particular irony of the book that Lewis should actually suggest that Ambrosio's principal mistake was to choose an unsuitable setting for his advances: 'The aspect of the vault, the pale glimmering of the lamp, the surrounding obscurity, the sight of the tomb, and the objects of mortality which met her eyes on either side, were ill calculated to inspire her with the emotions by which the friar was agitated!'19 Ambrosio possesses absolute power over Antonia: 'Resistance is unavailing, and I need disavow my passion for you no longer. You are imagined dead; society is forever lost to you. I possess you here alone; you are absolutely in my power.'20 She is assigned to the world of the dead -- like Agnes: a terrorism only possible within the closed institutions of the church. It is the church which sanctions such dominance and which denies women freedom and autonomy as human beings. Ambrosio's perverted sexuality, {60} which can only express itself as violence, as wounding and bruising, is an inevitable consequence of a society in which sexual relations assume repressed and mystified forms.

Nevertheless, Lewis is not an unqualified sexual libertarian. Lewis recognised that a free and spontaneous sexuality necessarily implied the acknowledgement of feminine sexuality, and he saw the harm caused by its denial; but when it came down to it he was as fearful of opening this Pandora's box as anyone else. Indeed, The Monk can also be read as an allegory of the rejection of female sexuality by Monk/Lewis! Ambrosio is at first delighted to be initiated into sexual mysteries by Matilda, but he quickly tires of her because she always takes the initiative and assumes a dominant and demanding role:

But a few days had passed since she appeared the mildest and softest of her sex, devoted to his will, and looking up to him as to a superior being. Now she assumed a sort of courage and manliness in her manners and discourse, but ill-calculated to please him. She spoke no longer to insinuate, but to command: he found himself unable to cope with her in argument, and was unwillingly obliged to confess the superiority of her judgement. Every moment convinced him of the astonishing powers of her mind; but what she gained in the opinion of the man, she lost with interest in the affection of the lover.2 1
It is in response to this threatening reversal of sex roles that Ambrosio reverts to a more passive and acceptable form of femininity -- the chaste and gentle Antonia. Ambrosio is in fact in an erotic double bind, from which there can be no escape: he could enjoy liberated sexuality with a woman whom he finds intimidating and therefore not erotic, but he is attracted towards a woman with whom erotic fulfilment is not possible -- indeed, the eroticism of Antonia is connected with taboo, the transgression of which would also destroy the erotic, as the rape scene itself clearly demonstrates. The erotic appears itself as a phantom, forever intangible, forever out of reach. The demonic conclusion of The Monk has a certain psychological truth, if Lewis himself is far from the moral pietism which it notionally invokes: the dream of freedom and fulfilment has turned into a nightmare.

{61} Although Lewis sealed Ambrosio's fate with terrifying retribution and punishment, he nevertheless did write The Monk very much from the point of view of his demonic hero -- so much so that there can be little doubt that the longing for erotic liberation, and the anxiety which the prospect induces, is Lewis's own. Lewis ostensibly deplored the duplicity and sensuality of Ambrosia but his manner of exhibiting Ambrosio's awakening has powerfully amoral overtones. For Ambrosio could only be moral as long as he was not acquainted with his own erotic drives, and, if his consciousness of them left him no alternative but to follow them, there could only be one conclusion: that the appearance of morality could only be hypocritical and inauthentic, that the strength of a man's impulses becomes for him at once truth and nemesis. The Monk, for contemporary readers, was shocking simply in the garishness of its surface details, but it also disconcerted at this deeper level. For, although Lewis had retained damnation, he had nevertheless very effectively disposed of morality!

The new orientation which Lewis gave to the Gothic is clearly written in the subsequent development of the genre. It emerges with particular clarity in the case of Mrs Radcliffe's The Italian, published in 1797. Although there is a definite continuity with her earlier The Mysteries of Udolpho in the way in which a feminist point of view is linked with the critique of arbitrary power, there is also -- in Russian formalist terms -- a distinct shift in the nature of the dominant. Innocence is still for Mrs Radcliffe, as it was not for Lewis, a meaningful and realisable value, but the opposition between innocence and madness is transposed into a contrast between innocence and hypocrisy. It is also important to note that Mrs Radcliffe's attitude towards reason undergoes some modification. Her earlier novels were concerned to show how crucial was the role of reason in the struggle against the forces of oppression and irrational domination and such an emphasis continues to be felt in The Italian. It is important that Vivaldi, Ellena's lover, should have an understanding 'sufficiently clear and strong to teach him to detect many errors of opinion, that prevailed around him, as well as to despise the common superstitions of his country',22 and it is equally significant that Schedoni, the hypocritical monk and dominant figure in the {62} novel, should be shown as alienated from truth, to which both reason and feeling should lead. But Schedoni also exemplifies the tortuousness of reason, its ability to become alienated from itself through the very complexity and deviousness of its own workings:

The elder brothers of the convent said that he had talents, but denied him learning; they applauded him for the profound subtlety which he occasionally discovered in argument, but observed that he seldom perceived truth when it lay on the surface; he could follow it through all the labyrinths of disquisition but overlooked it, when it was undisguised before him. In fact he cared not for truth, nor sought it by bold and broad argument, but loved to exert the wily cunning of his nature in hunting it through artificial perplexities. At length, from a habit of intricacy and suspicion, his vitiated mind could receive nothing for truth, which was simple and easily comprehended.23
Here is a great paradox. The Gothic novel shows a new awareness of the intricacy of mental processes that represents one of its most significant claims on our attention, yet what it exhibits it also deplores. The truth is there, open and transparent, yet man in his perversity cuts himself off from it. The most crucial and fundamental moral issues become badly blurred. Schedoni criticises the Marchese, Vivaldi's father, on the grounds that he cannot distinguish virtue from vice at the very moment when he and the Marchese are discussing plans for the murder of Ellena, whom they regard as an unworthy object for the affections of Vivaldi. At which Mrs Radcliffe applies the same criticism to them:
A philosopher might, perhaps, have been surprised to hear two persons seriously defining the limits of virtue, at the very moment in which they meditated the most atrocious crime; a man of the world would have considered it to be mere hypocrisy; a supposition which might have disclosed his general knowledge of manners, but would certainly have betrayed his ignorance of the human heart.24
Thus, in The Italian Mrs Radcliffe is more disposed to see evil {63} in the world as connected with faults in human nature. She still criticises evils and injustices and is conscious of their social and institutional basis, but there is notably greater element of pessimism in her work, which doubtless registers the impact on her of the Reign of Terror in France. In The Italian she is highly critical of the injustice, arbitrariness and antidemocratic mystifications of the procedures of the religious Inquisition, but it becomes for her an exemplification not simply of the corruptness of civilisation, but also of human irrationality:
While meditating upon these horrors, Vivaldi lost every selfish consideration in astonishment and indignation of the sufferings, which the frenzied wickedness of man prepares for man, who, even at the moment of infliction, insults his victim with assertions of the justice and necessity of such procedure. 'Is this possible!' said Vivaldi internally, 'Can this be in human nature! -- Can such horrible perversions of right be permitted! Can man, who calls himself endowed with reason, and immeasurably superior to every other created being, argue himself into the commission of such horrible folly, such inveterate cruelty, as exceeds all the acts of the most irrational and ferocious brute? Brutes do not deliberately slaughter their species; it remains for man only, man, proud of his prerogative of reason, and boasting of his sense of justice, to unite the most terrible extremes of folly and wickedness!'25
The Inquisition is itself a form of perversity: it sanctions the most awful crimes in the name of reason. Instead of assuming that it is only through culture that man is alienated from nature, the possibility has to be faced that man himself becomes, or has become, alienated from the natural. Thus the notion of hypocrisy as the embodiment of a socially generated false consciousness begins to acquire an internal dynamic of its own: it opens up the prospect of perennially false sets of relations -- a hall of mirrors, of distorting mirrors, from which it is impossible to escape.

Nevertheless, although influenced by the new mood of irrationalism, Mrs Radcliffe does remain faithful to her belief in the goodness of human nature and in the value of {64} spontaneity. She contrasts the frankness, sincerity, love of justice and generosity of Vivaldi with Schedoni, who 'saw only evil in human nature'.26 To see only this evil is to be guilty of partiality and excessive despondency, to align oneself with the forces of death against the forces of life. In this respect Mrs Radcliffe shows herself influenced by the symbolic language of The Monk. Throughout The Italian she is conscious of the difference between those who 'render life a blessing or a burden'27 This also appears as a contrast between the sacred and the secular, between those, such as Paulo, who love life and wish to enjoy themselves, and those, such as Schedoni, whose tortuous spirits prevent them from living in anything other than a negative and malignant fashion. In The Italian 'enthusiasm' is seen as the greatest of all virtues: a generosity of spirit that contrasts with the meanness and narrowness fostered by the church. The antithesis appears with great clarity in the dialogue between Vivaldi and the Abate of the abbey in which Ellena has been confined:

'And can you endure, holy father,' said Vivaldi, 'to witness a flagrant act of injustice and not endeavour to counteract it? not even step forward to rescue the victim when you perceive the preparation for the sacrifice?'

'I repeat, that I never interfere with the authority of others,' replied the Superior, 'having asserted my own, I yield to them in their sphere, the obedience which I require in mine.'

'Is power then,' said Vivaldi, 'the infallible test of justice? Is it morality to obey when the command is criminal? The whole world have a claim upon the fortitude, the active fortitude of those who are placed as you are, between the alternative of confirming a wrong by your consent, or by preventing it by your resistance. Would that your heart expanded toward that world, reverend father!'

'Would that the whole world were wrong that you might have the glory of setting it right!' said the Abate, smiling. 'Young man! you are an enthusiast, and I pardon you. You are a knight of chivalry, who would go about the earth fighting with everybody by way of proving your right to do good; it is unfortunate that you are born somewhat too late.'

'Enthusiasm is the cause of humanity'- said Vivaldi, but {65} he checked himself; and despairing of touching a heart so hardened by selfish prudence, and indignant at beholding an apathy so vicious in its consequence, he left the Abate without other effort.'28

The whole discussion is striking in the note it adopts. It is unexpected to find the arguments rehearsed at the Nuremburg trials and at the trial of Adolf Eichmann, positions which it is often assumed are peculiarly modern, occurring in a work such as this. But it should not really surprise us. The radical tradition of the times laid great emphasis on the evils of institutions, so it is only fitting that Mrs Radcliffe should insist on the importance of combating injustices that are so strongly and so institutionally entrenched and argue that in relation to them apathy is just as much an endorsement of a malignant system as positive complicity. Oppression figures prominently in the argument of the novel. Vivaldi sees Ellena as 'oppressed'29 and his own father as a 'haughty oppressor'30 while Ellena herself regards the Abbess and the other nuns responsible for her enforced captivity as guilty oppressors. However, Mrs Radcliffe does qualify her anti-clericalism to some degree, by presenting in volume iii, chapter 4, a good convent where no coercion is used, thus providing a positive contrast with the one shown earlier in the novel. Even so, it does not significantly shift the frame of reference. For Mrs Radcliffe argues so strongly for enthusiasm and generosity of spirit that she even questions the conduct of her heroine: in Ellena's own eyes she appears as
an unjust and selfish being, unwilling to make any sacrifice for the tranquility of him, who had given her liberty, even at the risk of his life. Her very virtues, now that they were carried to excess, seemed to her to border upon vices; her sense of dignity appeared to be narrow pride; her delicacy weakness; her moderated affection cold ingratitude; and her circumspection, a little less than prudence degenerated into meanness.31
These are the moral faults which the religious life tends to engender, intensifying them through mystery, intimidation and coercion. Through the novel Ellena's life is blighted by the {66} spectre of Schedoni, while Vivaldi is subjected to the sinister procedures of the Inquisition. The church appears as a gloomy shadow cast over the secular forms of human life -- which is dispelled by the fête of the final chapter and Paulo's cries of 'O! giorno felice!'

In The Italian as in The Mysteries of Udolpho it is the natural world and the contemplation of scenery that is marked by sublimity and grandeur which constitutes a crucial and saving moral resource. In the first section of the novel Ellena is seized by unknown ruffians and taken on an obscure and frightening journey, of the purpose or direction of which she can have little conception, since she is travelling in a carriage with closed blinds, above which she can see only 'the towering tops of mountains', 'veiny precipices' and 'tangled thickets'.32 As they pass through highly dramatic mountainous scenery the blinds are raised; but Ellena, far from being oppressed with any sense of terror or of her own personal helplessness, instead experiences a revival of confidence and a creative expansion of her own subjectivity. Her spirits are 'gradually revived and elevated by the grandeur of the images around her'33 and she says to herself,

If I am condemned to misery surely I could endure it with more fortitude in scenes like these, than amid the tamer landscapes of nature! Here, the objects seem to impart somewhat of their own force, their own sublimity, to the soul. It is scarcely possible to yield to the pressure of misfortune while we walk, as with the Deity, amidst his most stupendous work .34
There follows a passage in which the full splendours of the Radcliffian sublime are unveiled: precipices, torrents, the setting sun, gloom and darkness are brought together in a thunder of hyperbole. But the Radcliffian sublime, unlike that of Burke, does not convince the spectator of his insignificance, but rather has a reassuring and tranquilizing effect:
It was when the heat and the light were declining that the carriage entered a rocky defile, which shewed, as through a telescope reversed, distant plains, and mountains opening beyond, lighted up with all the purple splendor of the setting sun. Along this deep and shadowy perspective a river, which {67} was seen descending among the cliffs of a mountain, rolled with impetuous force, fretting and foaming amidst the dark rocks in its descent, and then flowing in a limpid lapse to the brink of other precipices, whence again it fell with thundering strength to the abyss, throwing its misty clouds of spray high in the air, and seeming to claim the whole empire of this solitary wild. Its bed took up the whole breadth of the chasm, which some strong convulsion of the earth seemed to have formed, not leaving space even for a road along its margin. The road, therefore, was carried high among the cliffs, that impended over the river, and seemed as if suspended in air; while the gloom and vastness of the precipices, which towered above and sunk below it, together with the amazing force and uproar of the falling waters, combined to render the pass more terrific than the pencil could describe, or language can express. Ellena ascended it, not with indifference but with calmness . . . .35
It is through descriptions such as this rather than through Austenian character analysis that the development of subjectivity is presented: the progressive revelation to Ellena of herself as a free and autonomous human being rather than a helpless and abject dependant. Soon after her confinement -- which is to say, imprisonment in the convent -- she climbs a flight of winding stairs to find, at the top, a small turret, which has the most magnificent view. Looking out of the windows she sees 'a landscape spread below, whose grandeur awakened all her heart. The consciousness of her prison was lost, while her eyes ranged over the wide and freely-sublime scene without.'36 The sublime thus presents itself as a reminder of the possibility of freedom. The turret and its discovery become 'an important circumstance',37 since here Ellena can find the strength of character that will enable her to endure her persecutions with fortitude. The contemplation of nature elevates the mind and softens 'the asperities of affliction'.38 Even in her darkest hour, when she is under the sinister guardianship of Spalatro, she overcomes her intense fears in the contemplation of a sea illuminated by moonlight and is finally able to sleep. For Ellena, as for Wordsworth, nature is guardian, guide and nurse.

{68} In contrast with Ellena, the evil characters in the novel are shown to be unresponsive to nature -- indeed, it is precisely this fact that serves as a sign of their depravity. Schedoni's inability to respond to the beauty of nature indicates that he lacks a capacity for genuine or spontaneous feeling, that he is too much the narrow rationalist:

Their track now lay through a country less savage, though scarcely less wild than that they had passed in the morning. It emerged from the interior toward the border of the forest; they were no longer enclosed by impending mountains; the withdrawing shades were no longer impenetrable to the eye, but now and then opened to gleams of sunshine landscape, and blue distances; and in the immediate scene, many a green glade spread its bosom to the sun. The grandeur of the trees, however, did not decline; the plane, the oak, and the chestnut still threw a pomp of foliage round these smiling spots, and seemed to consecrate the mountain streams, that descended beneath their solemn shade.

To the harassed spirits of Ellena the changing scenery was refreshing, and she frequently yielded her cares to the influence of majestic nature. Over the gloom of Schedoni, no scenery had, at any moment, power; the shape and paint of external imagery gave neither impression or colour to his fancy. He contemned the sweet illusions, to which other spirits are liable, and which often confer a delight more exquisite, and not less innocent, than any which deliberative reason can bestow.39

Such a description is heavily coded. For Schedoni has raised the alarming prospect that Ellena may be his daughter, and consequently any sign that they are temperamentally different may offer some hope to the reader that Schedoni' s conclusion is mistaken -- as, indeed, it proves to be. The narrative itself implies that Ellena's tribulations may be drawing to an end, since the travellers are no longer enclosed by impenetrable mountains but are surrounded by scenery characterised by clarity, transparency and openness. The connection between man and nature in this scene is not hard to discover. Ellena responds to the landscape because it is in {69} keeping with her own sunny and spontaneous disposition; but we should hardly expect Schedoni to warm to a 'green glade' that spreads its bosom to the sun, since his own character is gloomy and introverted. His dark past and his brooding, guilt-ridden nature cut him off from the world of authentic feeling. This distinction is so important to Mrs Radcliffe that she returns to it again only a little while later. As they approach Naples, Ellena weeps as they see the summit of Vesuvius and other well-known scenes: 'when every mountain of that magnificent horizon, which enclosed her native landscape, that country which she believed Vivaldi to inhabit, stood unfolded, how affecting, how overwhelming were her sensations!'40 But Schedoni, who feels nothing, becomes prototypical of the consciousness that becomes alienated from the real world through an obsession with distinctions constituted through language:
Her expressive countenance disclosed to the Confessor the course of her thoughts and of her feelings, feelings which, while he contemned, he believed he perfectly comprehended, but of which, having never in any degree experienced them, he really understood nothing. The callous Schedoni, by a mistake not uncommon, especially to a mind of his character, substituted words for truths; not only confounding the limits of neighbouring qualities, but mistaking their very principles.41
The only truthful responses are spontaneous and intuitive; an excess of ratiocination does not simply lead to error -- it leads to a total disjuncture between the objective world and the mind that purportedly contemplates it. Schedoni's blindness to the beauty of nature is shared by his patroness, the Marquess: the villa has a splendid view over the bay of Naples, but she is totally incapable of responding to it: 'her eyes were fixed upon the prospect without, but her attention was wholly occupied by the visions that evil passions painted to her imagination'.42 The horror of the demonic is that it knows only itself. Subjectivity becomes a prison. Thus, in some sense, the crucial moral distinction in The Italian becomes the line of demarcation that separates good from bad subjectivity: one points towards freedom, the other towards oppression.

The phenomenology of The Italian is significantly constituted {70} through the imagery of the cloak and of the veil -- tokens of the way in which relations become obscured and mystified and of the destructive nature of the intervention of the church between man, the world and his own nature. The omnipresent and omnipotent figure of The Italian is that of a monk muffled in cloak or cowl with no clue as to his identity, his character or his intentions. If the world becomes nightmarish and confused, if nothing is what it seems and if no outlines or lineaments can be discerned, this is because the church has made it so. The torments suffered by Ellena and Vivaldi are above all the torments of uncertainty: they endure not so much physical agonies as the mental anguish of having to live in a world deprived of clarity, transparency and truth. Although Ellena, like Antonia, is first presented to the reader in a veil, its significance is progressively transvalued as it becomes a marker of oppression and terror. When Ellena is brought to the convent she refuses to accept the nun's veil. In the veiling ceremony witnessed by Vivaldi the replacement of a white veil by a black one signifies a kind of terrifying oblivion, but Vivaldi, who recognises Ellena in her half-veil, is able to come to her rescue. The veil initiates Ellena into a world of treachery and false appearances. Although she is able to make her escape by actually wearing a nun's veil -- that of Olivia -- its wearing is laden with menace. She unveils to the wrong person, while her disguise provides a basis for the charge against Vivaldi that he has stolen it; as she is seized and taken away the fainting Vivaldi revives to see her veil floating away -- the veil is associated not so much with innocence as with its loss, with an initiation into a world of violence, corruption and deception. Veil and cowl alike are the signs of a world that has lost its transparency, where anything can be anything and where nothing is but what is not.

The most alarming scenes in The Italian are connected with this feeling of obscurity. There is Ellena's journey in the carriage with the blinds drawn; her frustration at receiving a letter from Vivaldi in circumstances where it is so dark that she finds it impossible to read it; the fact that Vivaldi, before the Inquisition, is unable to identify those who accuse him. Mrs Radcliffe's stylistic method is well represented by the following description of the room in which the inquisitionary proceedings are held:

{71} Round the table were several unoccupied chairs, on the back of which appeared figurative signs, at the upper end of the apartment, a gigantic crucifix stretched nearly to the vaulted roof; at the lower end, suspended from an arch in the wall, was a dark curtain, but whether it veiled a window or shrouded some object or person, necessary to the designs of the Inquisitor, there was little means of judging. It was, however, suspended from an arch such as sometimes contains a casement, or leads to a deep recess.43
We are presented with intangibles, with gaps in the world waiting to be filled. The chairs are unoccupied, the signs are enigmatic, the purposes of the Inquisitor obscure. The description focuses on a 'dark curtain', but this itself only leads to vague speculation and the proliferation of imponderables. The torment of the Inquisition is seen not so much in terms of torture as in terms of epistemological uncertainty. The quintessential symbol of the whole work is the bloody garment of a monk, 'vest and scapulary rent and stained with blood',44 which Vivaldi discovers in the vault. The explanation of how it came to be there is eventually provided, but the garment conveys its own indisputable message: the association of the church with intrigue and mysterious violence. Although a mystery, it simultaneously supplies its own solution to the riddle of the novel -- suggesting as it does the guilt of Schedoni, though in reality the result of the wounding of Nicola di Zampari by Paulo, Vivaldi's servant.

The greatest mystery in the novel is connected with the character of Schedoni. Schedoni is an absent presence: he does not directly appear in large sections of the narrative, but he nevertheless figures as the point of imaginative focus for the reader. His gigantic stature, his apparent omnipresence and omniscience, his formidable memory, which permits him to memorise down to the last detail an official document of the Inquisition -- all this suggests the Superman. But Schedoni is also imposing because he represents the complex, multifarious personality, as contrasted with the simple, unambiguous personality of Ellena and Vivaldi. Everything connected with Schedoni raises problems of identity. Is he identical with the cowled figure who warns Vivaldi not to go to the villa Altieri? Is he the same person whose agonising symptoms of guilt and {72} remorse created a stir at the confessional of the Black Penitents? Is he Ellena's father? Is he Ferrando, Count di Bruno, and was Ferrando also the man who confessed? Schedoni has a multiplicity of doubles. His assumed identity as Schedoni makes him his own double, but there is also Spalatro, his evil minion, and Nicola di Zampari, who is many times confused with him. The difficulty of making all these connections, of ever really establishing anything for certain, is precisely what constitutes the nightmare of a world deprived of transparency. To nail Schedoni down is extremely difficult, since he can be proved guilty only if all the identities can be clarified. A multiplicity of evidence is required: from Nicola di Zampari, from Father Ansaldo, to whom he confessed, from Beatrice, Olivia, the old peasant who found a dead body in a sack and also from Spalatro. The mystery element in The Italian actually has far more substance than The Mysteries of Udolpho, since Udolpho simply confronts us with one or two puzzles and shocks, while The Italian is an intricately constructed detective story, whose denouement has great moral force: the labyrinths which Schedoni has constructed are symptomatic of his own tortuous and alienated subjectivity -- evidence of the heavy price to be paid when man deserts the spontaneous and the natural.

Nevertheless, Schedoni is not altogether without redeeming features -- for the Romantic mind the hypocrite must always be a figure of compassion, as well as an object of moral censure. Schedoni, though lost in the labyrinthine workings of his own mind, is not altogether bereft of the redeeming power of sympathy. And the reader himself must sympathise a little with Schedoni, if only because he may be under the delusion that Schedoni really is Ellena's father. Although he frequently teeters on the brink of evil, the Schedoni who is actually present in the novel is rarely able to bring himself to commit it: at the last moment he fails to murder Ellena and the knife falls from his hand; in response to Ellena's pleading he spares the life of Spalatro. But Schedoni must be condemned because for him there is no path leading back to humanity: his actions have cut him off irrevocably from the world of the human for the Romantics the most terrible punishment of all. Schedoni may be superhuman, but he is also less than human. By implication Mrs Radcliffe is also making a statement about {73} authenticity: the novel suggests that once you have lost it there can be no going back. This also reflects intriguingly on Schedoni's indecisiveness at critical moments: a man possessed by bad faith, he lacks any genuine basis for action.

The figure of Schedoni, when taken in conjunction with the thematic doubling of the theme of oppression, through the alternation of the narrative from Ellena to Vivaldi, creates a richer and more complex novel than The Mysteries of Udolpho. It is structurally polycentric and allows us to see events from a number of different points of view. Nevertheless, it may be objected that Mrs Radcliffe draws back from the more interesting implications of her subject, by first raising the possibility that Schedoni may be Ellena's father, only subsequently to discount it in a manner that appears anticlimactic. However, this is to ignore the obvious but important point that The Italian is a novel written by a woman. The mysterious omnipotence of Schedoni signifies the fact that woman lives in a world of masculine domination and her attempts to develop her identity and personality are thwarted at every turn. In Ellena's struggle towards self- realisation, it is Schedoni who stands there blocking the path and impeding her progress at every step of the way. It is therefore indispensable that Schedoni, like Montoni in Udolpho, be stripped of the appearance of grandeur. The full significance of the attempted murder of Ellena by Schedoni is that, symbolically, it is an attempted rape, a violation of the last vestige of her independence. But his inability to go through with it produces a reversal of roles: now it is Ellena who is dominant, Schedoni who is abject. But Schedoni's claim to the paternity of Ellena must be repudiated by Mrs Radcliffe not simply because he is the kind of man he is, but also because a validation of it would also be a symbolic validation of male dominance and omnipotence. Ellena has lost not only a father but also a mother, and Mrs Radcliffe quite consciously stresses the importance of this relationship in the closing pages of the narrative:

Ellena no longer returned her caresses; surprise and doubt suspended every tender emotion; she gazed upon Olivia with an intensity that partook of wildness. At length she said slowly -- 'It is my mother, then, whom I see! When will these discoveries end!'

{74} 'It is your mother!' replied Olivia solemnly, 'a mother's blessing rests with you!'

The nun endeavoured to soothe the agitated spirits of Ellena, though she was herself nearly overwhelmed by the various and acute feelings this disclosure occasioned. For a considerable time they were unable to speak but in short sentences of affectionate exclamation, but joy was evidently a more predominant feeling with the parent than with the child. When, however, Ellena could weep, she became more tranquil, and by degrees was sensible of a degree of happiness such as she had perhaps never experienced.45

The significance of the mother-daughter relationship in the novel is not that a daughter necessarily feels more affection for a mother than for a father, but primarily that a mother is supportive of the feminine role; she can provide a strong and clear sense of what it is to be a woman. We may remember that in Udolpho it is through a false mother-figure that Emily is delivered into the hands of Montoni. In The Italian the discovery of her mother makes her marriage to Vivaldi possible:
Then, irresolute, desolate, surrounded by strangers, and ensnared by enemies, she had believed she saw Vivaldi for the last time; now, supported by the presence of a beloved parent, and by the willing approbation of the person, who had so strenuously opposed her, they were met to part no more!46
In a very real sense Ellena's task in The Italian is to lose a father and find a mother.

The other important reworking of the thematic materials of The Monk, E. T. A. Hoffmann's Die Elixiere des Teufels, appears in quite a different cultural context and considerably later: the Germany of 1816. This context is in all respects highly significant. The defeat of Napoleon and the re- establishment of 'order' in Germany indicates a reactionary political climate very far from the context of earlier Gothic. Hoffmann himself embodied the contradictions of bourgeois culture in an acute form. Though a Kunstler in multifarious guises, a writer, musician and theatrical producer, he had nevertheless, in {75} 1814, abandoned these occupations as a means of financial support in order to become a deputy judge in Berlin. The preoccupation with a splitting of the ego in Die Elixiere des Teufels bears a clear relationship to his own personal experience as a man split between contradictory roles, even though there is an unmistakable provenance for such a concern in the literature of the Gothic itself. The elements of social criticism in Hoffmann are even more subterranean than they are in Lewis, though they are undoubtedly there. In Die Elixiere des Teufels Hoffmann makes an ironic focus of the novel the discrepancy between his occupation and his passion when he has Medardus, the monk, answer the question as to why he withheld certain information from the judge by saying, 'How could I expect him to attach any importance to a story which could only have sounded fantastic to him? Is an enlightened court of justice allowed to believe in the miraculous?'47 -- but this only has the force of implying that the individual and the social are incommensurable. Hoffmann deflects attention from the individual's conflict with society, yet even here the falsity of the social world is apparent.

Die Elixiere des Teufels not only self-consciously alludes to Lewis's The Monk, rendering transparent its own character as an over-determined fiction, but also picks up many of its motifs. Medardus's love for Aurelia repeats Ambrosio's love for Antonia, but it is intensified by the fact that Hoffmann transposes the motif of the picture to her, thus making his love for her more ideal. In The Monk it was Matilda who bore a resemblance to the Madonna and thus caused Ambrosio to fall away from the ascetic ideal. Antonia's attraction for him is primarily erotic. Hoffmann more deliberately restructures the fable in terms of a contradiction between sacred and profane love. Francesca the painter who figures in one of the interpolated narratives, intends to transform a sacred representation of Saint Rosalia into a secular one, by portraying her in the nude, as Venus. However, in the process of composition he mysteriously finds himself reverting towards the original spiritual conception, but is unable to complete the face. Only under the influence of the devil's elixirs can he supply the face -- that of a Venus whose glance is filled with voluptuous passion. This constant slippage between the erotic and the ideal becomes the novel's obsessive theme. It is, {76} moreover, connected with the thematic of love and death. Hoffmann introduces the second part of the narrative by saying, 'the supreme rapture of love, the fulfilment of the miracle, is manifested in death'.48, Medardus dies exactly one year after Aurelia/Rosalia, to the day and hour, symbolically indicating that they can be 'united in death as they never could be in life. Die Elixiere des Teufels postdates Goethe's Faust Part I (1808) and can be seen as a reworking of The Monk in corresponding terms. Medardus, like Faust, is torn between a spiritual restlessness and a desire for peace, a man caught up in the dynamics of a quest that offers no finality no matter how much he may long for it. In Hoffmann the quest has its own peculiar tortuousness, since Aurelia is simultaneously an ideal he longs for and yet something he unconsciously desires to deface. Medardus's constant switching between the codes of sacred and profane love produces in him only agony and torment -- guilt, frustration and resentment.

Die Elixiere is unquestionably the most intricate treatment of the problem of identity to be found in Romantic literature. In Lewis the hypocritical monk exemplified a contradiction between a false social appearance and an immoral but authentic deeper self. But for Hoffmann the notion of hypocrisy points to a situation of non-correspondence in which identity is always slipping away from and eluding the forms in which it manifests itself. For Hoffmann, unlike many of his contemporaries, the idea of sincerity is virtually an impossibility, for it predicates a correspondence between inner and outer that could never be validated, since the 'inner' is always escaping inspection, fixity or capture. Medardus fractures into a variety of identities: he is Franz(iscus), Medardus, his double Medardus, Victor, Herr Leonard Crczynski, and he is more than one of these at the same time. The ontological status of these identities of the visions and hallucinations they experience becomes confusingly blurred. Medardus destroys one part and replaces it with another -- in the hands of Pietro Belcampo (himself split as Belcampo/ Schönfeld) he abolishes his monkish persona -- he has his hair cut differently, wears fashionable clothes and adopts new ways of walking and of holding his body and arms.

The discontinuities in the narrative and the articulation of the narrative structure through a series of complex parallelisms {77} rather than through a purely linear progression reinforce this sense of fracturing. Even the distinction between internal and external disappears, since Medardus is unable to recognise as 'his' certain actions that he performs, yet at the same time is forced to acknowledge that his doubles really are him. 'I recognised myself" is his response to the Medardus figure who torments him in prison; yet when he runs away after the killing of Hermogenes he scarcely recognises himself when he sees his own image reflected in the stream. In playing two parts at the palace of the Baron -- as Victor, the lover of Euphemia, and Medardus, the lover of Aurelia -- he loses all sense of who he really is: 'I am what I seem to be, yet do not seem to be what I am; even to myself I am an insoluble riddle, for my personality has been torn apart.'50 The self paradoxically recognises itself only in the act of cognition that there is no central or stable self to be identified. In this way Medardus is truly a hallucination and not even a person who has hallucinations: 'I was the disembodied spirit of my personality, appearing as a red glow in the sky.'51 The alarming aspect of Medardus's situation is that the very idea of an inner voice becomes problematic. There is simply endless mental turmoil and conflict that has no focus or resolution:

Tossed to and fro in this cruel conflict, I could see no escape from the ruin that faced me on all sides. Gone was that mood of exaltation which made my whole life seem like a dream; I saw myself as a murderer and a common libertine. All that I had told the judge and the physician was nothing but foolish, clumsy lies: there had been no inner voice speaking to me, as I had tried to persuade myself.52
Medardus in so far as he can be defined is described by a series of involuntary actions: either those ascribed to the Medardus double or those which he carries out himself. He fails to stab himself, to stab Aurelia -- he saves his own life by instinctively pouring a corrosive drink he has been given into his sleeve. The stabbing of Hermogenes is just something that occurs in their struggle without any attribution of intentionality. So these actions do not 'belong' to Medardus in any obvious sense; they are simply things which he does but which in no {78} way serve to characterise him as a person. Medardus himself is an enigma -- in fact, even to call him 'Medardus' seems questionable, since this is to give ontological priority to what is only one of his many roles. The only real basis of his identity is the love of Aurelia: if he is anyone he is the person who loves Aurelia. Yet even this can be threatened: 'A sense of apathy crept over me; I became indifferent to everything, and even the vision of Aurelia faded.'53 But at crucial moments it is the name and thought of Aurelia that sustain him. This love, endlessly crisscrossing between the sacred and profane, is the only thing that threads together a multiplicity of identities and perceptions. Desire is the only and irreducible ground of being.

The disintegration of personality implies that man is necessarily subject to the inscrutable operations of fate -- for, as Peter Schönfeld ironically asks, with a question whose implications resonate through the novel, '"What is direction, reverent Capuchin?" he said softly, still with that bitter-sweet smile on his lips. "Direction presupposes a goal from which we take our bearings."'54 Medardus is marked at an early age by the red wound which he receives on the neck from the abbess's diamond crucifix. This mark designates his symmetry with his own double: that is to say, it shows fate, not identity, as the principle that constructs and organises. This wound, like Medardus's loss of his arm through corrosive poison, seems symbolically associated with the stigma of eros: the abbess is Medardus's first love and she indicates the necessary connection between love and pain -- 'I have hurt you, but we shall still become good friends.'55

The narrative of Die Elixiere des Teufels demonstrates through its connections, repetitions and parallels that the miraculous is not dead in the world and that man's destiny is in the power of strange, mysterious but ultimately beneficent forces. Implicitly Hoffmann's providence is an artist, a Kunstler like the writer himself. Medardus's destiny is watched over by two artist figures, Belcampo/Schonfeld and the mysterious painter from Linden with his red cloak -- a figure clearly derived from the self-portrait of Salvator Rosa, another of Hoffmann's heroes. In a curious way, Medardus believes that he is not responsible for what he does: 'More and more I became convinced that an inscrutable destiny had knit {79} together my fate and hers, and that what had sometimes appeared to be as a sinful crime was only the fulfilment of an irrevocable decree.'56 Every action includes within it the possibility of its own transcendence: the committing of a crime makes possible the process of spiritual redemption, a profane love for Aurelia can be transvalued into a love that is purer and more spiritual. Thus, despite discontinuity, Hoffmann does postulate a principle of internal dynamism whereby man is always capable of going beyond whatever he is, or may have been.

The intersection between the concerns of Faust and those of Gothic is equally strongly represented by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, published two years later, in 1818. The narrative articulation of Frankenstein is remarkably incisive: Frankenstein is simultaneously a scientist-artist figure who goes beyond what is either lawful or possible, a Gothic 'hypocrite' in the tradition of Mary Shelley's father, William Godwin, and at the same time a fable of the irrational, a demonstration of how reason itself produces the uncontrolled, unpredictable and involuntary.

Not the least interesting aspect of Frankenstein is that he appears to the reader as a somnambulist: a man who is mysteriously led in a particular direction by forces that seem to override his conscious control, despite the fact that he is, at the same time, a hero of reason, a man whose phenomenal lucidity and insight enable him to solve the mystery of life itself. The path that leads Frankenstein to create his monster is one delineated not so much by conscious intention as by chance circumstances, mysterious impulses, switches of mood and unforeseen conjunctions. At one moment Frankenstein is prompted to give up the study of natural philosophy, which has exercised a deep fascination on him, for the study of mathematics: 'All that had so long engaged my attention suddenly grew despicable. By one of those caprices of the mind, which we are perhaps most subject to in early youth, I at once gave up my former occupations.'57 This prompts the reflection, 'Thus strangely are our souls constructed, and by such slight ligaments are we bound to prosperity or ruin'58 which is confirmed by the fact that this change of heart is itself only temporary: 'It was a strong effort of the spirit of good; but it was ineffectual. Destiny was too potent, and her {80} immutable laws had decreed my utter and terrible destruction.'59

Henceforward Frankenstein's progress is strongly marked by a spirit of perversity. As he listens to his chemistry professor at Ingoldstadt, Mr Waldman, drawing a sharp distinction between modern science, which in his view aims low but delivers a great deal, and ancient alchemists, who promised impossibilities and performed nothing',60 he feels forming within himself a response of contradiction: 'As he went on, I felt as if my soul were grappling with a palpable enemy; one by one the various keys were touched which formed the mechanism of my being: chord after chord was sounded, and soon my mind was filled with one thought, one conception, one purpose.'61 Frankenstein's project of unfolding to the world 'the deepest mysteries of creation'62 in a way that will reflect the noble ambitions of the ancients is generated not in pure lucidity but out of an internal unrest that leaves him with an intention but with no real understanding as to how it was arrived at:

I closed not my eyes that night. My internal being was in a state of insurrection and turmoil; I felt that order would thence arise, but I had no power to produce it. By degrees, after the morning's dawn, sleep came. I awoke, and my yesternight's thoughts were as a dream. There only remained a resolution to return to my ancient studies, and to devote myself to a science for which I believed myself to possess a natural talent.63
As Frankenstein becomes more and more deeply engrossed in his mysterious purpose he appears possessed, he begins to lose all consciousness of himself as a person:
One secret which I alone possessed was the hope to which I dedicated myself; and the moon gazed on my midnight labours, through which, with unrelaxed and breathless eagerness, I pursued nature to her hiding-places. Who shall conceive the horrors of my secret toil, as I dabbled among the unhallowed damps of the grave, or tortured the living animal to animate the lifeless clay? My limbs now tremble and my eyes swim with the remembrance; but then a {81} resistless, and almost frantic impulse urged me forward; I seemed to have lost all soul or sensation but for this one pursuit.64
The notion of torturing the living in order to animate the dead has a particular pertinence to Frankenstein himself: he has become physically emaciated and emotionally numb from his researches; after creating the monster, he lives on shattered and overcome by such a deep sense of his own wretchedness, what is virtually a sickness unto death, that it is as if the life that has gone into the monster has passed out of Frankenstein. The monster embodies the truth of Frankenstein: a will to creation that is in reality destructive, a rationality deeply contaminated by the irrational, a secret spirit of negativity:
I considered the being whom I had cast among mankind, and endowed with the will and power to effect purposes of horror, such as the deed which he had now done, nearly in the light of my own vampire, my own spirit let loose from the grave, and forced to destroy all that was dear to me.65
The monster is separated from Frankenstein by a double involuntariness: Frankenstein neither intended the monster to be like that nor to have the consequences which his being like that generates, but this brings us back to the paradox that Frankenstein himself did not intend anything -- he produced his monster out of causes unknown to himself. The real meaning of the monster is that of a suicide, the destruction of Frankenstein as a human being. Frankenstein notes that Mr Waldman places before him the instruments 'which were to be afterwards used in putting me to a slow and cruel death'66: his death at the hands of the monster is a further multiplication of the involuntary -- an act of self-destruction which he did not intend, but nevertheless produced. The popular confusion by which the appellation 'Frankenstein' can be applied as readily to the monster as to the creator embodies a significant truth: the monster is Frankenstein's double and is just as much entitled to the name; the inception and being of the monster are indissolubly linked.

The creation of the monster initiates a double severance {82} between Frankenstein and the world. Frankenstein's unlawful scientific researches place a barrier between him and ordinary humanity. At the same time, by his involvement in activities which cannot be revealed to any other person, Frankenstein places himself in the position of the Godwinian hypocrite -- a man who because of a secret that he keeps buried within creates a discrepancy between inner and outer that becomes a source of torment to him and cuts him off from family, friends and the pleasures of human society. Mary Shelley emphasises that the separation between Frankenstein and his family occurs even before the birth of the monster. He fails to write to his father and forgets all about his friends and those close to him. His father writes that, if this study 'has a tendency to weaken your affections', it is 'certainly unlawful'.67 Nevertheless, Frankenstein's situation after the death of his brother William and his return to the family is infinitely more painful, for his genuine concern is negated and rendered inauthentic by his recognition that he himself is the true murderer and by the fact that he cannot disclose the secret of his involvement: 'Anguish and despair had penetrated the core of my heart; I bore a hell within me that nothing could extinguish.'68

In this way, the death of Justine becomes Frankenstein's greatest crime: for from the other deaths he can be partially exonerated, but Justine, who is falsely accused, tried and condemned to death for a crime that she did not commit, pays the price wholly because of his bad faith. Frankenstein becomes an allegory of the origin of evil: an inquiry in the tradition of Shaftesbury and Godwin as to how destructive consequences can follow from benevolent intentions. Both Frankenstein and his creation are basically benevolent and filled with good intentions, but these become dislocated and diverted from their proper course. After the death of Justine, Frankenstein is unable to face the world and human society; he is consigned to the living death of solitude:

Nothing is more painful to the human mind, than, after the feelings have been worked up by a quick succession of events, the dead calmness of inaction and certainty which follows, and deprives the soul both of hope and fear. Justine died; she rested; and I was alive. The blood flowed freely in my veins, but a weight of despair and remorse pressed on {83} my heart, which nothing could remove. Sleep fled from my eyes; I wandered like an evil spirit, for I had committed deeds of mischief beyond description horrible, and more, much more (I persuaded myself), was yet behind. Yet my heart overflowed with kindness, and the love of virtue. I had begun life with benevolent intentions, and thirsted for the moment when I should put them into practice and make myself useful to my fellow-human beings. Now all was blasted: instead of that of serenity of conscience, which allowed me to look back upon the past with self-satisfaction, and from thence to gather promise of new hopes, I was seized by remorse and the sense of guilt, which hurried me away to a hell of intense tortures, such as no language can describe. This state of mind preyed upon my health, which had perhaps never entirely recovered from the first shock it had sustained. I shunned the face of man; all sound of joy of complacency was torture to me; solitude was my only consolation -- deep, dark, deathlike solitude.69
Frankenstein's torments are directly caused by his inability to confess, but at the same time the split Frankenstein/monster and the mysterious process by which the one generates the other becomes an obscure allegory of the way in which the benevolent can produce the perverse. Thus, in some sense Frankenstein becomes an 'explanation' of what cannot really be explained.

The monster duplicates the spiritual alienation of Frankenstein but in an inverted form. The inner-outer discrepancy with Frankenstein manifests itself as an awareness that he is not what he appears to be, that he is in fact the monster. Yet, though his ugly, physically revolting exterior cuts himself off from the possibility of any kind of relationship -- even with Frankenstein himself, who has confided to his diary his feelings of repulsion -- behind this carapace there lies a genuine sensitivity. The monster is shown to be more sensitive and more genuine in his responses than Frankenstein himself: we sympathise with his indignation when he exclaims in outrage, 'Unfeeling heartless creator! You had endowed me with perceptions and passions, and then cast me abroad an object for the scorn and horror of mankind.'70 Even Frankenstein concedes that his creation is 'a creature of fine {84} sensations'71 -- but these feelings, lacking any proper outlet, can only be discharged in anger, resentment and violence. In different ways both Frankenstein and the monster are instances of a ruined and wrecked humanity: excluded from full humanity both by the fact that they are cut off from normal intercourse and society and by the flaw that makes them both discrepant, the one internal, the other external. Frankenstein characterises himself as 'a blasted tree': 'The bolt has entered into my soul; and I felt then that I should survive to exhibit, what I shall soon cease to be -- a miserable spectacle of wrecked humanity, pitiable to others, and intolerable to myself.'72 Thus the relationship which Frankenstein bears to himself closely parallels the feelings of his creature, who is similarly alienated both from humanity and from his own self. What Frankenstein and the monster both have in common is 'sensibility'. Just prior to their fateful encounter in the sublime surroundings of Mont Blanc, Frankenstein asks,

Alas! why does man boast of sensibilities superior to those apparent in the brute; it only renders them more necessary beings. If our impulses were confined to hunger, thirst, and desire, we might be nearly free; but now we are moved by every wind that blows, and a chance word or scene that that word may convey to us.73
This formulation comes closest to unravelling the enigma propounded by the novel. Frankenstein, in a milieu that should fill him with feelings of exhilaration and self- confidence, feels only melancholy and doubt: man's capacity for feeling, the more complex nature of his passions and desires render his freedom problematic and cut him off from the possibility of happiness. He lacks for his desires an adequate object: the monster is not adequate for Frankenstein, the monster himself feels a lack that Frankenstein cannot supply.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of the novel is that it ends not with Frankenstein contemplating the death of his monster, but with the monster's thoughts and feelings after he has murdered his creator. This focuses the reader's attention on the problem of transcendence. The monster has been created as a flawed and isolated thing, potentially capable of happiness, {85} but objectively cut off from it by the circumstances of his creation. His noble impulses are distorted, he is punished for his good intentions. The self- consciousness of Frankenstein's monster must be insisted upon: he grasps more fully the conditions of his existence, of his freedom and unfreedom, than does Frankenstein, the spiritual somnambulist. In Frankenstein's monster the ghost of the superhuman that haunted the Gothic in Radcliffe, Lewis and Hoffmann becomes a palpable thematic presence. The monster takes on himself the knowledge of good and evil, the consciousness of a decadent and sinful world as well as of his own sin. He lies beyond the world of human justice and can only judge himself: his death thus has an existential grandeur and significance that was wholly lacking at the moment of his inception. The monster is thus the true hero of Frankenstein.

The preoccupation with the Superman, so evident in Frankenstein, is equally conspicuous in Charles Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer (1820), a novel which is inheritor of the whole tradition of Gothic, and at the same time the definitive statement of later Romanticism. Apart from the notable advocacy of Baudelaire, Maturin is a writer who has never received the recognition that he deserves. His fiction violates so many of the canons, tacit, unacknowledged or overt, by which literature is so often judged. Maturin's great novel Melmoth lacks any simple or unified plot but appears rather as a spinning globe suddenly arrested by the malignant author to disclose scenes frightening, grotesque, phantasmagorical. The novel appears as totally and hopelessly fragmented as the many indistinct manuscripts invoked by Maturin to shed partial light on the exploits of his extraordinary hero. One fragment is cut into another. The young Melmoth on the death of his uncle is presented with the reminiscences of an English traveller named Stanton, filled with hiatuses in the most alarming places, a document which itself seems to represent the bafflement of man before the inconclusiveness of the world -- 'The manuscript was discoloured, obliterated, and mutilated beyond any that had ever before exercised the patience of a reader'74 -- and its tendency is not to clarify but to frustrate: 'He could but just make out what tended rather to excite than assuage that feverish thirst of curiosity which was consuming his inmost soul.'75 Melmoth the Wanderer is a vast {86} game played by Maturin on the reader in which the reader's very desire for a conclusion, for a terminus that will seem to justify the whole enterprise of embarking on it in the first place, is parodied and mocked.

In experiencing a multiplicity of torments, disappointments and frustrations -- the agonies of Stanton in the madhouse, the torments of Monçada at the hands of the Spanish church and the Inquisition, the education of the beautiful and innocent Immalee into the repressions and perversities of civilised life, the cruel sufferings and starvation of Walberg and his family, the betrayal of Elinor by her lover -- the reader is paradoxically forced into the position of Melmoth himself, into taking up the stance of the cynical and world-weary observer, who can see in all this human misery no conceivable purpose. The lesson of the novel is that there is no such thing as an ending, let alone a happy ending -- when Maturin supplies his readers with a positive conclusion, it is one from which no comfort can be derived. Walberg and his family, heirs of the wealthy Spaniard Guzman, find themselves disinherited through the machinations of the church. They are reduced to the utmost penury, in which Walberg actually contemplates the murder of his own family but is saved from the drastic consequences of his own intentions by his own delirious and near insane condition. At this point a priest arrives to tell them that the true will of Guzman has been found. But no reversal of fortune can expunge the memory of the horrors which they have experienced. In writing in this fashion, Maturin appears as a dishevelled and importunate intruder on the tranquillity of the reader, as uncouth and unwelcome as Coleridge's Ancient Mariner to the wedding guest. For the reader is unlikely to have forgotten Maturin's initial statement that the stories of Elinor and of Walberg are founded on fact, not his own concluding avowal:

I cannot again appear before the public in so unseemly a character as that of a writer of romances, without regretting the necessity that compels me to it. Did my profession furnish me with the means of subsistence, I should hold myself culpable indeed in having recourse to any other, but -- am I allowed the choice?71
The contract between author and reader is one sealed not in {87} the concord of the imagination but in blood, money, sweat and tears. Maturin is too close to his own work and the sentiments it expresses to be either a convincing embodiment of aesthetic transcendence or, indeed, of clerical sanctimoniousness. So with this confession he destroys two reputations at once.

With Melmoth the Wanderer we are forcibly reminded of the essential duplicity of the Gothic after Lewis. The genre permits the expression of subversive attitudes behind a more or less transparent veil of sententious moralising. Maturin's novel purports to be an exposé of the iniquities of Catholicism, which indeed it is. But, since Catholicism appears also as symbolic of the generally destructive and demoralising role which religion plays in human affairs -- strong stuff indeed from an Irish clergyman -- no wonder Baudelaire respected 'la grande création satanique du reverend Maturin'.77 Maturin's strongest criticism of the church appears in 'The Tale of the Spaniard', Monçada. Its role is to subvert, warp and distort every normal human feeling: it sets Monçada at odds both with his father and mother and also with his brother, distorting their relations for religious ends. Spontaneity and genuineness are destroyed and in their place are set hypocrisy, self-seeking and manipulation. 'The virtues of nature are always deemed vices in a convent',78, writes Maturin on behalf of his protagonist Monçada, who is led to reflect 'with increasing horror on a system that forced hypocracy to a precocity unparalleled, and made the last vice of life the earliest of conventual youth'.79 The monastic system, like all systems of 'civilised' behaviour, is one based on coercion, intimidation and fear. The statement of Monçada's brother that 'The basis of all ecclesiastical power rests upon fear'80 brings out the fact that 'The Tale of the Spaniard' is intended by Maturin to be in careful contrast with 'The Tale of the Indians', since Immalee on her island in the Pacific 'could not be conscious of fear, for nothing of that world in which she lived had ever borne a hostile appearance to her'.81 By contrast, Monçada is subject to the most unyielding and implacable compulsion:

I returned to the convent -- I felt my destiny was fixed -- I had no wish to avert or arrest it -- I was like one who sees an enormous engine (whose operation is to crush him to {88} atoms) put in motion, and, stupefied with horror, gazes on it with a calmness that might be mistaken for that of one who was coolly analysing the complication of its machinery, and calculating the resistless crush of its blow.82
The consequence of his initiation into the church is catastrophic -- it leads to a virtual extinction of the processes of consciousness:
Day followed day for many a month, of which I have no recollection, nor wish to have any. I must have experienced many emotions, but they all subsided like the waves of the sea under the darkness of a midnight sky -- their fluctuation continues, but there is no light to mark their motion, or trace when they rise and fall. A deep stupor pervaded my senses and soul; and perhaps in this state, I was best fitted for the monotonous existence to which I was doomed. It is certain that I performed all the conventual functions with a regularity that left nothing to be blamed, and an apathy that left nothing for praise. My life was a sea without a tide. The bell did not toll for service with more mechanical punctuality than I obeyed the summons. No automaton, constructed on the most exquisite principles of mechanism, and obeying those principles with a punctuality almost miraculous, could leave the artist less room for complaint or disappointment, than I did the superior and community.83
In these descriptions we find Maturin invoking states of feeling that are simultaneously states of non-feeling, a disturbing absence of voluntary mental or emotional processes. The full nightmare of 'L'homme machine' is realised. These are characteristic moments in Maturin's work: his protagonists are so shocked, stunned and traumatised by the shocks which life gives them that they lack any capacity to respond adequately. Their emotional disorientation leads to insanity, derangement and madness. They lose touch with the normal world of human feeling. This once again feeds back into a critique of the Catholic Church and of religious institutions in general. Maturin refers to 'the sterility of human nature in a convent'84 , and Monçada's reflections, when he has escaped from the power of the Inquisition, are strongly impregnated with the atmosphere of Caleb Williams and with the Godwinian philosophy of human sympathy:
Many days elapsed, indeed, before the Jew began to feel his immunity somewhat dearly purchased by the additional maintenance of a troublesome and, I fear, deranged inmate. He took the first opportunity that the recovery of my intellect offered, of hinting this to me, and inquired mildly what I purposed to do, and where I meant to go. This question for the first time opened to my view that range of hopeless and interminable desolation that lay before me -- the Inquisition had laid waste the whole track of life, as with fire and sword. I had not a spot to stand on, a meal to earn, a hand to grasp, a voice to greet, a roof to crouch under, in the whole realm of Spain.

You are not to learn, Sir, that the power of the Inquisition, like that of death, separates you, by its single touch, from all mortal relations. From the moment its grasp has seized you, all human hands unlock their hold of yours you have no longer father, mother, sister, or child. . . . Absolute famine stared me in the face, and a sense of degradation accompanied by consciousness of my own utter and desolate helplessness, was the keenest shaft in the quiver, whose contents were lodged in my heart. My consequence was actually lessened in my own eyes, by ceasing to become the victim of persecution, by which I had suffered so long. While people think it worth their while to torment us, we are never without some dignity, though painful and imaginary. Even in the Inquisition I belonged to somebody, -- I was watched and guarded; now, I was the outcast of the whole earth, and I wept with equal bitterness and depression at the hopeless vastness of the desert I had to traverse.85

It is society that provides the individual with his raison d'etre, and, when he is cut off from it, this is equivalent to ceasing to exist. It is far from irrelevant to observe that this is also the predicament of an artist such as Maturin: fated no longer to be feared or reviled -- even by a Coleridge -- but to be ignored.

With the 'Tale of the Indians' the philosophical base of Melmoth the Wanderer is expanded. It becomes clear that {90} Catholicism is merely the type of the misery which religion inflicts on mankind and that, in turn, it is this form of oppression which is normally known as 'civilisation'. The telescope which Melmoth hands to Immalee shows humans being sacrificed to the Juggernaut, and discloses to her simultaneously human life as a world of religion and a world of suffering. The whole episode can be seen as an ironic parody of the vision of the future history of the world disclosed to Adam in Milton's Paradise Lost, since what for Milton was part of a providential design is seen by Maturin as a process of destruction and futility inaugurated by religion itself. Thus, Maturin's identification of Melmoth with Satan at this point has a good deal of force -- for to oppose such a design tends to put both Melmoth and Satan in the right. Melmoth observes,

'It is right,' he continued, not only to have thoughts of this Being, but to express them by some outward acts. The inhabitants of the world you are about to see, call this worship -- and they have adopted (a Satanic smile curled his lip as he spoke) very different modes; so different, that in fact, there is but one point in which they all agree -- that of making their religion a torment; the religion of some prompting them to torture themselves, and the religion of some prompting them to torture others. Though, as I observed, they all agree in this important point, yet unhappily they differ so much about the mode, that there has been much disturbance about it in the world that thinks.86
Maturin encourages the reader to associate himself with Immalee's reaction of shock and horror; but the reader can scarcely evade the fact that the place from which Immalee can do this is, in fact, no place, a place that exists only hypothetically, like Romantic literature itself. The very island where Immalee lives has been invaded by Indians, who are intent on seeing her as a 'goddess'.87 Immalee responds to the sight of the destruction before the Juggernaut by invoking the Romantic insistence on feeling: 'The world that thinks does not feel. I never saw the rose kill the bud.'88 For Maturin religion is to be seen not as an alien deformation of the world of civilisation but as the most characteristic manifestation of it, {91} a warping, wrenching, perverting and dislocating of human feeling. Madness in a very real sense embodies the truth of civilisation: it is scarcely accidental that in every episode of the narrative madness figures prominently, as the price that human nature has to pay for its location in a civilised world.

Melmoth himself is the principle vehicle for Maturin's social critique, but it is a motif constantly reiterated. The Jew Adonijah says to Monçada, 'thou art come from where the cruelty of man, permanent and persevering, unrelenting and unmitigated, hath never failed to leave the proofs of its power in abortive intellects, crippled frames, distorted creeds, and ossified hearts'.89 Melmoth introduces 'civilisation' to Immalee by describing how man has invented 'by means of living in cities, a new and singular mode of aggravating human wretchedness'.90 Civilisation is itself a form of social madness, since it involves a multiplication of misery in a way that is both unjustified and unnecessary: in addition to the natural hazards of famine, disease and sterility, human society heaps on top of this a multiplicity of artificial miseries. Civilisation is closely identified with coercion in the case of Immalee herself, when Melmoth refers to himself as 'the hunter of your form and your steps, even amid the complicated and artificial tracks in which you have been concealed by the false forms of existence you have embraced!'91 Immalee expostulates, '"Embraced!" -- Oh no! they seized on me -- they dragged me here -- they made me a Christian.'92

In Maturin's view the social contract is one that has only inimical consequences: man sacrifices his freedom in return for moral corruption. Since society places man out of key, the sounds that it produces must necessarily be parallel: 'The harmony of civilised society, of which she was at once weary and proud, was discord to his ear. He had examined all the strings that formed this curious but ill-constructed instrument and found them all false.'93 Society frustrates man's noblest impulses and finest energies, as Immalee/Isidora discovers:

All that day she thought how it was possible to liberate herself from her situation, while the feeling that liberation was impossible clung to the bottom of her heart; and this sensation of the energies of the soul in all their strength, being in vain opposed to imbecility and mediocrity, when {92} aided by circumstances, is one productive alike of melancholy and irritation. We feel, like prisoners in romance, bound by threads to which the power of magic has given the force of adamant.94
This philosophic view conditions the nature of Maturin's own narrative, which seeks not to move forward or resolve, but to envelope, entangle and bind both reader and protagonist in a web of social forces from which there is no possible release. Thus the raison d'etre of Melmoth himself -- the 'extraordinary being'95 whose offer of freedom with eternal damnation can become meaningful only in a context where freedom is seen as requiring so desperate a price.

The character of Melmoth himself, represented only in a relatively brief section of the novel, is nevertheless remarkably suggestive. The Gothic rhetoric of hypocrite/double persists in that hypocrisy is a persistent focus of religious inquiry (Monçada describes himself as 'the worst of all hypocrites'96), while Melmoth himself is the malignant double who presents himself to the various characters. The importance of Melmoth as a device is that he transvalues the character of striving so often assigned to Romantic literature: he is neither Don Juan nor Faust, but Mephistopheles, Statue or Stone Guest. Melmoth represents the exhaustion of the field Romantic possibility -- simultaneously the recognition of the emptiness of social existence and the barrenness of postulated alternatives to it. The subject of Melmoth the Wanderer is not a celebration of imaginary but unlawful fields of possibility but an acceptance of repetition, indifference, the dearth of possibility. For Maturin there is both pathos and irony in the encounter of Immalee and Melmoth, alternate sides of the Romantic coin - - Immalee is the child of wonder, Melmoth the man who has become incapable of it:

His destiny forbid alike curiosity or surprise. The world could show him no greater marvel than his own existence; and the facility with which he himself passed from region to region, mingling with, yet distinct from his species, like a wearied and uninterested spectator rambling through the various seats of some vast theatre, where he knows none of the audience would have prevented his feeling astonishment, {93} had he encountered Isidora on the summit of the Andes.97
Melmoth can only corrupt Immalee, i.e. initiate her into the nature of the world, yet paradoxically he has much in common with her, since they both transcend it. Thus the novel constitutes a dual indictment of man and the world he has made from the position of impossibility.

In the closing sections of the narrative, the pretext of diabolical intervention becomes transparent, since Maturin has shown abundantly that the evils he depicts are of human contrivance. It is therefore only appropriate that Melmoth himself should demystify the idea of the devil:

'Enemy of mankind!' the speaker continued -- 'Alas, how absurdly is that title bestowed on the great angelic chief, the morning star fallen from its sphere! What enemy has man so deadly as himself? If he would ask on whom he should bestow that title aright, let him smite his bosom, and his heart will answer -- Bestow it here!'98
The true meaning of Melmoth's alienation from the world, the fact that 'I have traversed the world in the search, and no one, to gain that world, would lose his own soul!'99 is that he has seen the vacuity and malignancy of the world that man has constructed for himself -- a recognition that no one else is willing to share. For, as Maturin points out, in a striking anticipation of Nietzsche -- and what is Melmoth after all if not Zarathustra born early? --
In a morbid state of heart, we cannot bear truth -- the falsehood that intoxicates us for a moment, is worth more than the truth that would disenchant us for life -- I hate him because he tells me the truth, is the language natural to the human mind, from the slave of power to the slave of passion.100
Yet perhaps even here we might detect a tinge of qualified optimism, for Maturin does not present man's repugnance for truth as completely endemic -- or, at least, there is a shift of emphasis from one sentence to the next! -- in that his suggestion {94} that it is natural to the human mind is prefaced by the ascription of such a condition to a morbid state of heart. For no matter how pessimistic the Romantic writer may be, he is always capable, at least in theory, of postulating a better or nobler state, of invoking the possibility of a man or world that is not warped, perverted or perverse.

Admittedly signs of such optimism are still harder to find in James Hogg's The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, the very title of which is redolent with irony, since his protagonist indeed regards himself as a justified person, and justified precisely in the fact that he sins. Hogg's novel is one which in its ingenuity and subtlety always goes beyond its overt and ostensible intentions. The novel, the hero of which, as a staunch Calvinist convinced of his own righteousness, is persuaded by the Devil that his mandate therefore extends to the destruction of whomsoever might be deemed wicked, might be thought to have a certain surface plausibleness and to function moderately well as a malicious cautionary tale. But its true power stems from its penetration and insight as a portrait of a disturbed and paranoid consciousness, of what Mrs Radcliffe would have styled a 'vitiated mind'.101 But, of course, to speak of such a 'vitiated mind' immediately raises a problem that is seldom absent in the Gothic: which is that the notion of a vitiated mind erodes all sense of moral integrity on the part of the individual. The mind is always deemed to have some capacity for self-rectification; if the individual sins or goes astray then conscience or a sense of guilt will work powerfully to restore the individual to the path of righteousness and to redress the balance. But with a vitiated mind there can be no such guarantee. The mind, as vitiated, has no power to stabilise or reorient itself, and, having once gone askew, finds its attempts to get itself back on course warped by the very fact that the course to which it is trying to return is the wrong one. Such is the case with Robert Wringhim Colwan. It is not that he possesses no moral sense, no conviction of the difference between good and evil: it is rather that his pride and self-certainty as a 'justified' person make possible his temptation by the Devil, who may be Maturin's devil within, so that his tragedy or catastrophe is not simply that he sins by killing with calculation and brutality individuals who are essentially blameless, but that he himself is completely incapable {95} of recognising the fact. His own self-consistent rationality becomes more dangerous than the most chaotic madness: it is an irrationalism that does not know its own nature, a closed consciousness that cannot escape from its own terms and constructions.

Yet, although Hogg criticises the excesses and dangers of the belief in justification, he does so from a standpoint that is characteristically Protestant, that insists on the value of private judgement. For his sinner is not simply proud, he is also unduly deferential: he succumbs almost completely to the admonitions of his diabolic second self, regarding him as 'one who knew right and wrong much better than I did',102 referring to his ascendancy over him as being 'as complete as that of a huntsman over his dogs'103 and describing him as 'my tyrant'.104 Moreover, lack of openness and sincerity can also be seen as a cause of his downfall, since Wringhim/Colwan is a solitary, incommunicative person and by failing to discuss his new acquaintance with others, thereby places himself more completely in the hands of a nightmarish solipsism. By regarding himself as simply the instrument of a divine purpose and nothing more, he devalues his own spiritual identity and his own freedom as an individual. He becomes a cypher in the cause of a good that it is in reality evil, and Hogg thereby implies that such an evil is generated by the denegation of his own authenticity as a free and responsible person. For Wringhim/Colwan's assumption of his tremendous might as a justified person produces a cognate sense of his own nullity. In presenting his memoirs to the reader he insists that it is only his great purpose and not he that will render them of interest, a suggestion that could not be more deeply ironic:

I depended entirely on the bounty of free grace, holding all the righteousness of man as filthy rags, and believing in the momentous and magnificent truth, that the more heavily loaden with transgressions, the more welcome was the believer at the throne of grace. And I have reason to believe that it was this dependence and this belief that at last ensured my acceptance there.

I come now to the most important period of my existence, -- the period that has modelled my character, and influenced every action of my life, -- without which, this {96} detail of my actions would have been as a tale that hath been told -- a monotonous farrago -- an uninteresting harangue -- in short, a thing of nothing. Whereas, lo! it must now be a relation of great and terrible actions, done in the might, and by the commission of heaven. Amen.105

Self-assertion and self-liquidation are mysteriously combined.

Wringhim/Colwan's actions appear almost entirely involuntary and to be produced by processes over which he can scarcely be deemed to have control, but there is a problem as to how this involuntariness is itself produced. Undoubtedly Hogg sees Calvinism itself as responsible in part for this state of affairs, since election itself is a problematic question and notions of predestination make the individual's own part in his actions seem obscure. At an early age Hogg's protagonist sins freely but regards his sins as accidents and his inability to repent of them as something for which he cannot be blamed: 'the grace of repentance being withheld from me, I regarded myself as in no degree accountable for the failure'.106 In Hogg's presentation of it Calvinism is capable of being a religion in which energy takes the place of conscience and reason, in which the believer transforms himself into a moral automaton and unquestioningly hurls himself into the murk of the predestined -- in the words of Gil-Martin, his diabolic confidante,

Depend on it, the advice of the great preacher is genuine:

"What thine hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might, for none of us knows what a day may bring forth? That is, none of us knows what is pre-ordained, but whatever is pre-ordained we must do, and none of these things will be laid to our charge.'107

In some sense the second self of Wringhim/Colwan is therefore liberated by Calvinism; however, even here the question of moral responsibility is obscure, for, since he has been brainwashed by his mother and father, since he has simply followed their guidance, since he is the product of their ideological conditioning, in what real sense can he be held to blame? Like other religious hypocrites, Wringhim/Colwan's fate is to lose touch with himself and with the sources of inner spontaneity. The forcing of his conscience has the effect of {97} distorting his behaviour, of creating inward monitions that are not truly his own but those of his second self, which both is and is not him. The double reinforces and rewards the inauthentic within him. He becomes a sleepwalker who performs actions without truly knowing why he does them. He is possessed in the fullest sense of the word. Even before his killing of the saintly minister Mr Blanchard he dreams of it: 'Thus, by dreaming of the event by night, and discoursing of it by day, it soon became so familiar to my mind, that I almost conceived it as done.'108 Yet even the commission of it has an involuntary character. Just as Jim in Conrad's Lord Jim jumps before he even realises that he has done so, so Wringhim/Colwan's killing is one that he simply reports on without intending: 'and that moment my piece was discharged'.109 His subsequent murders become still more distorted: he takes Gil-Martin's word for it that he has slain his brother in combat instead of killing him deceitfully from behind; he has no consciousness at all of murdering his mother and his late father's mistress. If his invasion by a second self represents the triumph of the involuntary, the presence of a second self is a paralysis and suspension of reason: 'over the singular delusion that I was two persons, my reasoning faculties had no power'110 In effect the existence of a double represents a hiatus in the personality, an inability to correlate aspects of identity, where contradictory aspects separately and unco-ordinately pursue distinct purposes:
I had heart-burnings, longings, and yearnings, that would not be satisfied; and I seemed hardly to be an accountable creature; being thus in the habit of executing transactions of the utmost moment, without being sensible that I did them. I was a being incomprehensible to myself. Either I had a second self, who transacted business in my likeness, or else my body was at times possessed by a spirit over which it had no controul, and of whose actions my own soul was wholly unconscious. This was an anomaly not to be accounted for by any philosophy of mine, and I was many times, in contemplating it, excited to terrors and mental torments hardly describable. To be in a state of consciousness and unconsciousness, at the same time, in the same body and the same spirit, was impossible.111
{98} What he feels is not the traditional guilt or remorse but powerlessness and impotence; if not responsible, the self that does not know becomes derealised. For identity is traditionally associated with volition, and, although the volitions that he is not consciously in control of may indeed be his volitions, they nevertheless become menacing, because in the multiplications of selves he ceases to know whether there is an authoritative standpoint from which his actions can be viewed. He, Wringhim/Colwan, is caught between the other that advises him and the other that acts. He is a voyeur of himself in which the self he sees may be truer than the self that inspects, so that all theories of the examined self become falsified:
I was become a terror to myself; or rather, my body and soul were become terrors to each other; and, had it been possible, I felt as if they would have gone to war. I dared not look at my face in the glass, for I shuddered at my own image and likeness. I dreaded the dawning, and trembled at the approach of night, nor was there one thing in nature that afforded me the least delight.112
Night signifies the fear of a still further deconstruction of the personality; morning an awakening to the loss of self that might have seemed initially only a bad dream. In the last stages of the novel the double takes over completely. Colwan dons Gil-Martin's garb of green frock-coat and turban as a disguise, which thus becomes the symbol of his alienation from mankind. He is truly an outcast, since he has lost his humanity. The episodes that occur are of a symbolic nature: he is caught in the threads of the weaver's loom, representing his capture in the tortuous threads of a distorted reason, his enclosure in the stables with wild and maddened horses a sign of derangement in reason and in the world. If he is damned it is because he is no longer accountable.

The last vestiges of Wringhim/Colwan's identity are associated with doubting. His fall is associated with the demise of inner spontaneity; he refers to Gil-Martin as 'my great companion and counsellor, who tyrannised over every spontaneous movement of my heart'.113 Yet, though incapable of acting, he continues to doubt. He questions that the elect are infallible, he is overwhelmed by doubts that hold him back {99} from killing his brother, he fears that fratricide is a mortal sin, and so on. His killing of his brother is also the murder of himself, because in that moment the last vestiges of independence and autonomy are violated. There is nothing now that can hold him back.

Hogg's justified Sinner becomes a Superman. He is led beyond the normal paths of human action and the ordinary constraints of human morality to a transcendental position in which he believes he is capable of judging all other men. As a justified person 'An exaltation of spirit lifted me, as it were, far above the earth, and the sinful creatures crawling on its surface; and I deemed myself as an eagle among the children of men, soaring on high, and looking down with pity and contempt on the grovelling creatures below.'114 As judge of others, he consequently lacks any capacity to judge himself. Good and evil are merely functions of his own actions -- values that flow from what he does and not criteria distinct from them. Yet as a supremely self-validating law he is also the most powerless and abject of men, faced with a self, behaviour and actions that have become indecipherable. That it is his will and identity that are imperilled Hogg makes abundantly clear in the closing pages, when the sinner is tormented by hideous fiends: 'Horrible as my assailants were in appearance, (and they had all monstrous shapes,) I felt that I would rather have fallen into their hands, than be thus held captive by my defender at his will and pleasure, without having the right or power to say my life, or any part of my will, was my own.'115 Of all his victims his fate is the worst. The loss of a soul could not be more vividly demonstrated.

Following the publication of The Monk the discourse of the Gothic is significantly transposed. From good and noble heroines and heroes whose autonomy, freedom and happiness are thwarted by an oppressive, unjust and hypocritical society the emphasis shifts to the hypocrite and the oppressor. Yet, paradoxically, the criminal hypocrite is accorded a great deal more sympathy than might be expected. The Gothic heroes are perhaps the first fictional protagonists to be thoroughly saturated with negativity, though Milton's Satan and Richardson's Lovelace are their obvious precursors. Psychology becomes a more crucial concern than social criticism, though this presentation of pyschological processes {100} itself embodies a social critique, since, if the characters' minds are vitiated, their upbringing and social and ideological conditioning have importantly contributed to that state of affairs. It is perhaps one of the great contradictions of Romantic literature, as a literature that posits an autonomous self at war with society, that it should simultaneously indicate how problematic that category of the individual is. The Gothic hero is a spiritual cripple, a man in whom the springs of action have dried up, whose attempts to define himself liberate violence, cruelty and madness. But this presence only manifests itself as the truth of the initial absence.

Lewis's reformulation proved influential not simply because of The Monk's great success, but also because the path he indicated was politically expedient. Fiction in the preceding decade had had a radical cast in which major institutions of British society were questioned and criticised and where democratic values came to the fore. But after The Monk the critical side of Gothic goes underground. In practice many of the targets are the same; for the Church is a major institution in any society of the time and plays a crucial role in maintaining the dominant ideology and in reinforcing reactionary politics. Holcroft had attacked the Church in Hugh Trevor. But, in making religious hypocrisy, especially as manifested in the Catholic Church, a principle target, the Gothic novelists could dissociate themselves from any imputation of supporting radical or revolutionary politics and suggest that their work implied nothing more than the superiority of British culture and British religion to the perverse, alien and corrupted ways of foreigners. That the Gothic always walks a tightrope is attributable not purely and simply to the nature of the genre itself but also to its character as a radical and political discourse that persists in a social context that is hostile and alien to it.

A major problem in the Gothic centres on the notion of involuntary action. The Gothic protagonist typically finds himself performing actions that he did not necessarily intend or envisage. He becomes tied in knots of his own devising and bound by previous involvements and commitments; the very nature of his actions and the reasons for them acquire such an obscurity that he does things while scarcely knowing why, and he scarcely seems to be 'an accountable creature', in Hogg's {101} phrase. Yet on the face of it there seems to be no obvious reason why religious hypocrisy should have such catastrophic consequences or why it should generate a second self over which the individual has no control. One might equally well argue that the hypocrite, as an actor playing a part, would know better than most at what point feigning ends. But, according to Godwin, whose political philosophy and psychology cast such a spell over the Gothic, this is not the case. And, of course, Godwin's political thought is importantly grounded in his analysis of human dispositions. Not the least ground of his criticism of an oppressive and authoritarian society is that it is harmful to all, including the oppressors. It is to this axiom that the Gothic holds fast. For Godwin, an established church has the most severe consequences for its members, since it is a machine for spiritual coercion and the production of hypocrisy, in which individuals are compelled to assent to and espouse doctrines in which they do not truly believe. Similarly, Maturin refers to the 'fatal lesson of monastic institutions', 'the necessity of imposition'.116 For Godwin, religion cannot represent the dictates of conscience; otherwise it would not be necessary. Therefore it can only represent the deformation of conscience, the perversion of all true thought and feeling:

The sublimest worship becomes transformed into a source of depravity when it is not consecrated by the testimony of a pure conscience. Truth is the second object in this respect, integrity of heart is the first: or rather, a proposition that, in its abstract nature, is truth itself converts into rank falsehood and mortal poison, if it be professed with the lips only, and abjured by the understanding. It is then the foul garb of hypocrisy. Instead of elevating the mind above sordid temptations, it perpetually reminds the worshipper of the degrading subjection to which he has yielded. Instead of filling him with sacred confidence, it overwhelms him with confusion and remorse.117
So that hypocrisy represents a rent in and disruption of consciousness, an intrusion from without that generates contradiction and instability in the mind.

Godwin objects to codes of religious conformity, such as the {102} Thirty Nine Articles, which were regularly signed by individuals who did not subscribe to all of them, because their tendency is 'to make men hypocrites'.118 He bitterly attacks the arguments, casuistical in intent and consequence, that have been used to justify such acts of subscription. For Godwin truth and untruth cannot exist side by side and he attacks such duplicity in terms that seem curiously prophetic of the direction taken by the Gothic novel:

Can we believe that men shall enter upon their profession with so notorious a perversion of reason and truth, and that no consequences will flow from it, to infect their general character? Rather, can we fail to compare their unnatural and unfortunate state with the wisdom and virtue which the same industry and virtue might unquestionably have produced, if they had been left to their genuine operation? They are like the victims of Circe, to whom human understanding was preserved entire, that they might more exquisitely feel their degraded condition.119
The Gothic protagonist is such a figure: a man of signal capacities warped and distorted by society and by his upbringing who is led astray from his true path. In becoming other than he is he becomes yet other than he is, yet always the conscious and unavailing witness of his own degradation and destruction.

According to Godwin, the price paid by the hypocrite, or the man who lacks sincerity, is very extensive. In his attempts to manipulate others he becomes less than a man. Discussing the virtues of sincerity, the core of Godwin's political thought, Godwin writes,

Reserve, deceitfulness, and an artful exhibition of ourselves take from the human form its soul, and leave us the unanimated semblance of what man might have been; of what he would have been, were not every impulse of the mind thus stunted and destroyed. If our emotions were not checked, we should be truly friends with each other. Our character would expand: the luxury of indulging our feelings, would raise us to the stature of men.120
For Godwin the integrity of the individual is grounded in the spontaneity of his thoughts and impulses. Once they are {103} subject to constraint and once a man acts as though he thinks and feels other than really is the case, not only does he lose the core of his identity, but, in addition, his own deceits become a veil through which he becomes unable to perceive or analyse his own behaviour. The cardinal doctrine of the examined self is put in question, both because the individual has no authentic self and because he has no power to examine it. If, as a sincere person, 'I should not harbour bad passions and unsocial propensities, because the habit of expressing my thoughts would enable me to detect and dismiss them in the outset',121 then, conversely, as a hypocrite I should have no control over my behaviour and be at the mercy of destructive and anti-social passions. In hypocrisy the self becomes occluded. A barrier is raised in the mind between a hypocritical and socially generated false consciousness and the impulses that lie beneath it. If integrity is a function of a transparency and clarity in the mind and conscience in which everything can be clearly viewed, the hypocrite finds his mind transformed into an impenetrable gloom, in which the second self that he dimly espies can be nothing other than himself, yet is a self whom he neither knows nor recognises. The hypocrite can act with impunity, since there is nothing to hold him back. His dark actions are not truly his, since there is no one there who can possess them or know them or assume responsibility for them. Perverse drives are the product of a perverse reason that thwarts and represses everything that is natural and spontaneous. Moreover, this hypocrisy involves an oppressive and manipulative relation to others rather than a relation based on cordiality, sincerity and mutual respect, so that its emotional truth can only be displayed as domination and violence. In going against every natural human feeling, by making others mere objects and victims of an uncontrollable destructiveness, he shows what happens when such natural feelings are destroyed in the first place. Yet the Gothic protagonist is himself finally not to blame. His crimes are society's crimes, his victims theirs. It is civilisation that produces hypocrisy and bad faith. The misdirected struggles of the Gothic are both a symptom of that and an involuntary and perverse rebellion. Yet who can truly witness this madness? Not society, not the hapless individual -- only the reader who can ponder the implications of their fate.


1. Matthew Lewis, The Monk, ed. H. Anderson (Oxford, 1973), pp. 345-6.

2. Ibid., p, 89.

3. Ibid., p, 124.

4. Ibid., p. 132. Similarly, Beatrice is described (p. 183) as displaying the incontinence of a prostitute'.

5. Ibid., p. 397.

6. Ibid., p. 12.

7. Ibid.

8. Ibid., p. 201.

9. Ibid., p. 203. Note also 'The blush of pleasure' (p. 32) and 'the blushing trembler' (p. 262).

10. Ibid., p. 18.

11. Ibid., p. 39.

12. Ibid.

13. Ibid., p. 80.

14. Ibid., p. 240.

15. Ibid., p. 237.

16. Ibid., p. 7.

17. Ibid., p. 297.

18. Ibid., p. 379.

19. Ibid., p. 383.

20. Ibid., p. 382.

21. Ibid., pp. 231-2.

22. Anne Radcliffe, The Italian, ed. F. Garber (London, 1968), p. 58.

23. Ibid., p. 34.

24. Ibid., p. 173.

25. Ibid., p. 198.

26. Ibid., p. 52.

27. Ibid., p. 130.

28. Ibid., pp. 121-2.

29. Ibid., p. 30.

30. Ibid., p. 40.

31. Ibid., p. 181.

32. Ibid., p. 62.

33. Ibid.

34. Ibid., pp. 62-3.

35. Ibid., p. 63.

36. Ibid., p. 90.

37. Ibid. 38. Ibid., p. 123.

39. Ibid., p. 255.

40. Ibid., p. 288.

41. Ibid., pp. 288-9.

42. Ibid., p. 292.

43. Ibid., p. 201.

44. Ibid., p. 78.

45. Ibid., p. 378.

46. Ibid., p. 411.

47. E. T. A. Hoffmann, The Devil's Elixirs, trs. R. Taylor (London, 1963), pp. 196-7.

48. Ibid., p. 165.

49. Ibid., p. 187.

50. Ibid., p. 59.

51. Ibid., p. 286.

52. Ibid., p. 206.

53. Ibid., p. 178.

54. Ibid., p. 240.

55. Ibid., pp. 6-7.

56. Ibid., p. 168.

57. Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, ed. M. K. Joseph (London, 1969), p. 41.

58. Ibid.

59. Ibid., p. 42.

60. Ibid., p. 47.

61. Ibid., p. 48.

62. Ibid.

63. Ibid.

64. Ibid., p. 54.

65. Ibid., p. 77.

66. Ibid., p. 68.

67. Ibid., p. 56.

68. Ibid., p. 88.

69. Ibid., p. 90.

70. Ibid., p. 139.

71. Ibid., p. 146.

72. Ibid., p. 160.

73. Ibid., p. 97.

74. Charles Robert Maturin, Melmoth the Wanderer, ed. D. Grant (London, 1968), p. 28.

75. Ibid., p. 58.

76. Ibid., p. 6.

77. Quoted by Douglas Grant, ibid, p. xiii.

78. Ibid., p. 1O7.

79. Ibid., p. 85.

80. Ibid., p. 118.

81. Ibid., p. 280.

82. Ibid., p. 91.

83. Ibid., p. 99.

84. Ibid., p. 141.

85. Ibid., pp, 250-1.

86. Ibid., pp. 290-1.

87. Ibid., pp. 278-9.

88. Ibid., p. 293.

89. Ibid., p. 266.

90. Ibid., p. 302.

91. Ibid., p. 343.

92. Ibid.

93. Ibid., p. 362.

94. Ibid., p. 371.

95. Ibid., p. 298.

96. Ibid., p. 189.

97. Ibid., p. 358.

98. Ibid., p. 436.

99. Ibid., p. 538.

100. Ibid., p. 484.

101. Radcliffe, The Italian, p. 34.

102. James Hogg, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, ed. J. Carey (London, 1969), pp. 146-7.

103. Ibid., p. 204.

104. Ibid., p. 205.

105. Ibid., p. 114.

106. Ibid., p. 113.

107. Ibid., p. 107.

108. Ibid., p. 135.

109. Ibid., p. 140.

110. Ibid., p. 154.

111. Ibid., p. 182.

112. Ibid., p. 227.

113. Ibid., p. 187.

114. Ibid., p. 116.

115. Ibid., p. 233.

116. Maturin, Melmoth the Wanderer, p. 78.

117.Godwin, Political Justice, p. 637.

118. Ibid., p. 570.

119. Ibid., p. 571.

120. Ibid., p. 317.

121. Ibid.