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Arxold, MATTHEW, an English poet and essayist, the son of Dr. Thomas Arnold of Rugby, born at Laleham, December 24, 1822; died at Liverpool, April 15, 1888. He studied in several schools, lastly at Balliol College, Oxford, of which he was elected scholar in 1840; and gained the Newdigate prize for English verse in 1843, his subject being “Cromwell." He graduated with honors; and from 1847 to 1851 acted as private secretary to Lord Lansdowne. After about 1848 Matthew Arnold became a frequent contributor to current literature, at first mainly in verse; afterward more usually in prose. In 1857 he was elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford, a position which he held for the ensuing ten years, during which he wrote and published no little prose and verse.

Matthew Arnold's prose writings cover a wide field in manifold departments, the theological element being rather predominant. Thus we have “St. Paul and Protestantism” (1870); “ Literature and Dogma” (1873); “Last Essays on Church and Religion” (1877); “ Irish Essays, and others” (1882). In 1884 he made a tour in America, delivering several discourses, some of which embody his best and most matured thought.


(From "Culture and Anarchy.”) The disparagers of culture make its motive curiosity; sometimes, indeed they make its motive mere exclusiveness and vanity. The culture which is supposed to plume itself on a smattering of Greek and Latin is a culture which is begotten by nothing so intellectual as curiosity; it is valued either out of sheer vanity and ignorance, or else as an engine of social and class distinction, separating its holder, like a badge or title, from other people who have not got it. No serious man would call this culture, or attach any value to it, as culture, at all. To find the real ground for the very differing estimate which serious people will set upon culture, we must find some motive for culture in the terms of which may lie a real ambiguity; and such a motive the word curiosity gives us.

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