He has been said to be a French Cowper, and the parallel holds good in respect of versification and of his relative position to the more daringly innovating school that followed, though not in respect of individual peculiarities.
The qualities of the new Chinese schools were essentially those of the older dynasties: breadth, simplicity, a daringly calligraphic play of brush that strongly recalled the accomplishments of the famous scribes, anti a coloring that varied between sparing washes of flat local tints and a strength and brilliancy of decorative effort that rivalled even that of the Buddhist pictures.
Here as elsewhere he had but one rule to guide him in matters of doctrine and discipline - the practice of Rome and the West; for it is singular to see how Jerome, who is daringly original in points of scholarly criticism, was a ruthless partisan in all other matters; and, having discovered what was the Western practice, he set tongue and pen to work with his usual bitterness (Altercatio luciferiani et orthodoxi).
If it is daringly realistic, it is no less audacious in its idealism.
The humour, if less cogent and cumulative, is richer and more varied; the invention, too, is more daringly original and more completely out of the reach of ordinary faculties.
Spite, resentment at being passed over when Peel formed the 1841 government, is one explanation of these outbreaks, and a letter to Peel, lately published, is proof to many minds that Disraeli's denial to Peel's face in 1846 that he had ever solicited office was daringly mendacious.
In its more moderate form, keeping wholly within the limits of ecclesiastical orthodoxy, this mysticism is represented by Bonaventura and Gerson; while it appears more independent and daringly constructive in the German Eckhart, advancing in some of his followers to open breach with the church, and even to practical immorality.