18 DECEMBER 1886, Page 13


To THE EDITOR OF THE " SPECTATOR. "] SIR,—In your review of "Three Books of Verse," you throw a doubt on the originality of Mr. King's theory that Judas Iscariot was an enthusiast who attempted, by betraying our Lord, to elicit the clearest proof of his divinity. May I supplement your remarks by calling attention to a passage in Lewes's "Life of Goethe " (first edition, published in 1855, Vol. I., p. 285) ? In a translation from the fifteenth book of " Aus meinem Leben : Wahrheit und Dichtung," Mr. Lewes shows that the view taken by Mr. Story of the character of Judas Iscariot had found favour with Goethe, who proposed to give it expression in an epic founded on the legend of "The Wandering Jew," while in a note it is added that the same thought had occurred to Archbishop Whately and Mr. R. H. Horne.—I am, Sir, &c., E. W.