Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Arthur Hugh Clough
CLOUGH, Arthur Hugh (1819-1861), a minor English poet, was born at Liverpool in 1819, and belonged to a family of old Welsh descent. His father, a cotton merchant, having removed to the United States about 1823, Arthur spent a number of years at home in Charleston; but in 1823 he was brought back to England and sent to school. From Rugby, where he was a favourite pupil of Dr Arnold's, he passed in 1836 to Oxford ; and there, in spite of an almost unaccountable failure in some of his examinations, he attained a high reputation for scholarship, ability, and character. In 1842 he was chosen fellow of Oriel, and in 1843 appointed tutor in the same college; but he soon grew dissatisfied with his position, and ultimately decided that it was his duty to resign. Under the influence of the great religious fermentation which had been going on during his university career, ho had become deeply sceptical in his habits of thought ; and all connection seemed impossible with a system that interfered with the liberty of speculative investigation. After his resignation in 1848 he was for some time principal of University Hall, London. In 1852 he visited America, where he enjoyed the friendship of Longfellow and Emerson; and in the following year he was called home to accept an appointment as examiner in the Education Office of the Privy Council, During the succeeding years he was frequently abroad; and it was on a tour in Italy in 1861 that he was suddenly cut off by fever at Florence, Clough was a man of singular purity and integrity of character, with great sensitiveness of feeling, and fine subtlety of thought, at once reserved and retiring and full of a genial humanity of disposition, with much humour and mirthfulness, and yet capable of a righteous indignation that could hardly have been expected to find fuel in so kindly a breast. A disciple of the great master of Rugby, in the midst of his most relentless scepticism he maintained a spirit of reverence and worship; and his most daring attacks on the popular creed are modified by an under current of toleration and diffidence. His poems are hw principal works, and of these the best known is the Bothie of Tober-na- Vuolich. It was written and published in 1848, after his removal from Oxford; and while warmly praised by such men as Cauou Kingsley it was condemned by others as immoral and communistic. The interest of the poem depends on its graphic description of Scottish scenery and the fine analysis of contrasted characters. Under the influence partly of Longfellow s Evangdine, which had been published in 1847, and partly of his own attachment to the old classical forms, he employed the so-called hexameter ; but it is seldom that he attains the tuneful cadence of the American poet, and much of the versification is rugged and broken in the extreme. Of greater power than the Bothie, at least in individual passages, is the strange irregular tragedy of Dipsychus, which shines at times with jagged fragments of satire and irony. Amours de Voyage, a rhymed epistolary novelette, and Marl Magno, a small collection of tales after the fashion of the Wai/side Inn, along with various minor poems, have been republished in the second volume of The Poems and Prose Remains of Arthur H. dough, edited by his wife, and accompanied by a sketch of his life by F. T. Palgrave, 1869. These will probably do less to keep green the poet s name than the noble poem of Thyrsis, which Matthew Arnold dedicated to his memory. One work of importance remains to be mentioned, a careful and scholarly rehabilitation ofDryden s Translation of Plutarch, published in 1859.