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nuisances when they write or speak obscurely. Tremendous
primary task of the poet and the literary artist is to give
-"Bonnie George Campbell." (15) Lady Nairne's "Lass
Common-Sense and the Muses.
CRITICS AND THEIR ART.
1. In a review of any book we are entitled to expect some more or less intelligible and definite appraisement of its value; but instead of this reasonable expectation being fulfilled, we frequently find that the critic is only spinning around it a vague tissue of words from which we can derive no enlightenment.
2. This frequent vagueness and uncertainty of criticism is a common subject of complaint, and it is abundantly justified. Going back to the old Greek days, we find Plato making Socrates express himself in these words: "I soon discovered this, with regard to the poets, that they do not effect their object by wisdom but by a certain natural inspiration and under the influence of enthusiasm, like prophets and seers: for these also say many fine things, but they understand nothing what they say ";1 whilst in another Dialogue he says: "There is a third possession and madness proceeding from the Muses, which, seizing upon a tender and chaste soul, and rousing and inspiring it to the composition of odes and other species of poetry, by adorning the countless
1 'The Apology of Socrates,' 7 (Bohn Tr.)