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Celtic Literature by Matthew Arnold
page 2 of 134 (01%)
upon some of the positions adopted in the text, notes and comments
with which Lord Strangford has kindly furnished me. Lord Strangford
is hardly less distinguished for knowing ethnology and languages so
scientifically than for knowing so much of them; and his interest,
even from the vantage-ground of his scientific knowledge, and after
making all due reserves on points of scientific detail, in my
treatment,--with merely the resources and point of view of a literary
critic at my command,--of such a subject as the study of Celtic
Literature, is the most encouraging assurance I could have received
that my attempt is not altogether a vain one.

Both Lord Strangford and others whose opinion I respect have said
that I am unjust in calling Mr. Nash, the acute and learned author of
Taliesin, or the Bards and Druids of Britain, a 'Celt-hater.' 'He is
a denouncer,' says Lord Strangford in a note on this expression, 'of
Celtic extravagance, that is all; he is an anti-Philocelt, a very
different thing from an anti-Celt, and quite indispensable in
scientific inquiry. As Philoceltism has hitherto,--hitherto,
remember,--meant nothing but uncritical acceptance and irrational
admiration of the beloved object's sayings and doings, without
reference to truth one way or the other, it is surely in the interest
of science to support him in the main. In tracing the workings of
old Celtic leaven in poems which embody the Celtic soul of all time
in a mediaeval form, I do not see that you come into any necessary
opposition with him, for your concern is with the spirit, his with
the substance only.' I entirely agree with almost all which Lord
Strangford here urges, and indeed, so sincere is my respect for Mr.
Nash's critical discernment and learning, and so unhesitating my
recognition of the usefulness, in many respects, of the work of
demolition performed by him, that in originally designating him as a
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