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INTRODUCTION.

had lived for years in Syria, Persia and India. In the Anastasius Thomas Hope described the Turk of the Levant. In Hajji Baba of Ispahan James Justinian Morier depicted the comedy of Moslem life in Persia. In Pandurang Hari William Browne Hockley of the Bombay Civil Service produced the memoirs of a Hindu prince. In the Kuzzilbash James Baillie Fraser portrayed the wild life of the Afghan border; and, in 1839, Colonel Meadows Taylor compiled the Confessions of a Thug, the greatest romance of the Indian road yet given to the world. The method of these writers was to select a single roguish character such as Fielding or Smollett might have drawn, and to set him loose in the country of their own special knowledge. In this way the whole moving life of the Orient from Asia Minor into Egypt and Arabia, and through Persia into Hindustan was portrayed in detail for the West. In 1839 this achievement was complete: and, in the literary movement to which these picaresque romances belong, the poets of John Company have an assured place.

This movement was in part a revolt from the fashionable and artificial Orientalism of the eighteenth century, and in part the result of the wars with France that made the Levant, Persia and India the centres of a critical diplomacy. After Waterloo, travel east of Asia Minor became popular; and an Orient other than that of Haroun-Al-Raschid was unveiled for a curious Europe. Of the novelists who found their themes in this new world, almost all save Morier are forgotten; and of the poets, Arnold was the last and best. But in the verse of his predecessors, there is much that the citizens of an India, greatly different from that of John Company, may be willing to recall, if not to admire.