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FACT AND FICTION

(1) Other things being equal, Truth is more interesting

than Fiction. (2) The first requisite of History. (3) Some

Greek and Roman stories-e.g., the story of Arion loses in

interest because of its incredibility: the lost truth con-

cerning him would be far more interesting than the sur-

viving fiction. (4) So of Xerxes in his invasion of Greece.

(5) So of the reported slaughter, probably (reported by

Herodotus) in an encounter between Spartans and Argians.

(6) Rather know one authentic deed of Hercules than all

the fables about him. Philip de Comines on historical

tall tales. (7) Of the dream of Croesus: it raises our

curiosity mainly as to what actually happened. (8) Sueton-

ian stories their utter incredibility. Feebleness of the

ancient understanding as to the nature and demands of

historic evidence-a fact which should always be of the

utmost significance to our Theologians and Biblical critics

especially. (9) Even Julius Cæsar frequently seems to trifle

with the truth; and (10) so, early historians generally.

Vitality is the soul of narrative. Cæteris paribus the most

interesting of fictitious narratives will be those which are

least distinguishable from the true. (11) This excellence

belongs, e.g., to the story of Ruth and Naomi, or (12) that

of the death of Eli. If a dramatist chose this story as the

subject of a drama, the happiest thing he could do would

be to develop it from the simple facts set forth in the

narrative. (13) So with that of Samuel and Agag. It

vibrates with the life of a stern fanatical nation in its

sternest and most fanatical mood. (14) The story of David

and Jonathan palpitates with life; (15) so that of David

and Nabal. If Nabal himself be fictional, a great merit of

the composition would be that it so strongly gives the

impression of authentic history. (16) So of the splendid

story of Elijah: the imagination it displays so vital and

magnificent that it impresses us with all the strength of

fact. Homer and Dante not equal to it perhaps. (17-18)

Intrinsic greatness of the story of John the Baptist. Fact

more impressive than Fiction. Fiction is most emotive

when it graphically renders great fact, or yields the im-

pression of authenticity. Aristotle errs on this subject.

THE SOURCES OF POETRY

51-80

(1-2) The science of Esthetics, like all other sciences,

must be founded on consciousness. (3) Exemplifications:

a hedge by a roadside. (4) The primroses under it. (5) The

birds chirping and twittering in the hedges; the esthetic

fact concerning them. (6) The azure dome overhead.

(7) A mountain-top. (8) By the seaside Ocean music.

(9) The esthetic result and its nature. (10) The meta-

physical" poets. (11) By a brookside. (12) Summary

of results in the realm of material nature. (13) The esthetics

of human relationships. (14) Between, e.g., a mother and

her son. (15) In the departure of emigrants. (16) The

parting between Brutus and Cassius as depicted by Shake-

speare. It would take one fortified with a wooden head

against the Muses not to be touched by this scene. (17) A

poor urchin at a confectioner's shop window. (18) Poetical

and Prose statements-the former infused with feeling.

(19) All Poetry originates in the affections of the Poet-

exemplified in the case of Margaret in "The Excursion."

(20) The esthetics of a scene at a street fire. Moral emo-

tion: its immortal significance. (21) In a country church-

yard. (22) Emotion will correspond to the quality of the

thinking. (23) In a great cathedral. (24) The Cathedral

Music. (25) The Cathedral Bells. (26) The esthetics of

historic scenes of the storming of Bezier. (27) Of the

last days of Louis the Eleventh. (28) Of the story of the

Lambertazzi. (29) Of the execution of Louis the Six-

teenth. (30) Of the execution of Philippe Egalité virtue

militant raises great emotions. (31) Lord Balmerino's last

words to Lord Kilmarnock. (32) Adam Ferguson at Fon-

tenoy. (33) A Waterloo anecdote. (34) Some episodes of

our own time. Livingstone in the heart of Africa; Gordon

at Khartoum. (35) Great memories are a great national

asset: instil them into the minds of our youth. (36) The

THE ESTHETICAL AUTHORITY

81-110

in

(1) The emotional faculty is common to men. (2) The

fatuity of psychological and universal scepticism. (3) But

rational scepticism is not only lawful but serviceable.

Bacon, Malebranche, and Hamilton on the subject. (4)

Irrational scepticism involves self-stultification-e.g.,

Arithmetic; (5) in Ethics: The Law of Duty. (6) Silly

to call in question the validity of the Moral Law. (7)

There is implicitly, at least, a common agreement concern-

ing Necessary Truth. The highest sanctions we possess

are the Dogmas of Nature. (8) Mr Balfour on the authority

of the individual. (9) Men should possess and not be

possessed by their opinions. (10) We are all in Holy Orders

and ordained by the Archbishop of the Universe. (11)

Nothing intellectual or spiritual can be received on trust.

(12) But in things material we may avail ourselves of

the Knowledge and labours of others. (13) The individual

must be to himself the chief witness and judge of all high

things. In terrestrial navigation we can profitably avail

ourselves of the services of good sea-captains, but in celestial

navigation we must be our own pilots. In mental and

spiritual science the teacher can do nothing without the

most earnest co-operation of the pupil. (14) This is not

only a Rule but a Law. (15) Philosophy must be founded

upon Principles apprehensible and appreciable by ordinary

men. (16) This Law reigns in Esthetics, which might be

defined as the Science of the Emotions. In Esthetics all

one can do for another is to point out the sources of emotion.

I cannot, e.g., reason or compel you into a feeling of the

glory of a sunset-no more than I can compel you to weep

bitterly, or laugh hilariously, or sneeze obstreperously.

The Soul that hath not music in itself might be considered

under Zoology-or worse. (17) The teacher of psychological

doctrine must address himself to the consciousness of his

pupils. Nothing great can be done by proxy; you cannot

experience an emotion by proxy. Our Maker has appa-

rently designed that we should do all high things for our-

selves. (18) The individual must be his own Pope in

Poetry and the Arts of the Soul, or remain unenfranchised

of them. The Book of Job, the Apostle Paul, St Chrysos-

tom, Carlyle, and Richter on the subject. For a man to

neglect his own Soul is worse than the heresy of Dathan

and Abiram. (19) Whilst all Human Souls are built upon

the same principles, they are neither all geniuses nor all

dunces. There is an essential oneness and conformity

between Jew and Gentile, Christian and Heathen. Win-

woode Reade's testimony to the moral and esthetic endow-

ments of negroes. No reproach to them in particular that

they are addicted to gewgaws and fetishes in Religion:

many Christians are like them. No reproach to them in

particular that they are addicted to beads, tobacco, and

rum: many white Christians are addicted to beads, tobacco,

and rum. (20) There are great differences of detail in our

intellectual and spiritual circumstances, training and

equipment, but there is complete homogeneity in respect

of the elementary character of our constitution. How

would the Bond Street gentleman and the papilionaceous

lady comport themselves if they were brought up in Central

Africa? There is a complete homogeneity between the

Right Hon. Nathaniel Balderdash and his most ignorant

adherent. (21) Negro appreciation of landscape and of

human beauty. No person can mistake Caliban for

Antinous. (22) Poetical feeling may be shown behind

inarticulate criticism-exemplified. The open-eyed peasant

built esthetically on the same principles as Tennyson.

(23-24) But in some persons the faculty is extremely blunt.

Lord Balfour on the esthetic judgment. Locke links up

Poetry with Gaming. Other instances of esthetic insen-

sitiveness-Pennant, Burt, Johnson, Boswell. As far as

landscape beauty is concerned, a pair of the thickest-

skulled London pickpockets might as well have toured in

Scotland as Boswell and Johnson. (25) Analogy between

the Human Head and a musical instrument. To the

merely cartilaginous ear the piping of Pan will for ever

remain inaudible. (26-27) To make the best of it the

esthetic faculty must be carefully cultivated. Aristotle

and Cowper on the subject. Hume's self-contradiction.

(28) Ethics and Esthetics are independent of common

utilitarian and extrinsic considerations. (29) Those who are

the greatest teachers of Philosophy and Religion.

CHAPTER V.

TRUTH TO NATURE IN LITERATURE AND ART

111-135

(1) Recapitulation. (2) The Source of articulate Poetry.

(3) A more or less accurate science of criticism is possible.

Sir Joshua Reynolds in favour of this doctrine. If an

enterprise is to be of solid worth, science must be imported

into it. Theologians and preachers especially should pay

devout attention to this doctrine. A man is an ass in so

far as he is not trying, at least, to be scientific. The Com-

mon Sense-i.e., the Scientific Sense-is the most sacred

witness available in the tremendous cause of the Divine

versus the Diabolic. (4) But certain refinements in Poetry

and Art are beyond the scalpel of criticism. Ruskin on the

delicacy of the difference between the lines of the Torso

of the Vatican and those in M. Angelo's finest work. The

case of Poetry, in respect of refinements and subtleties,

analogous to that of statuary; yet Shakespeare may be

more or less definitely shown to be Shakespearean, and

Phillips more or less definitely shown to be Phillipian.

If it were not so, criticism would be sheer fatuity. Pro-

fessor Saintsbury seems to hold that if you could find

out exactly why a thing is beautiful, "it would become

scientific and would cease to be interesting "-which appears

to me to be a mistake. I hold the opposite doctrine-

namely, that knowledge of anything should rather add to

than detract from its interest. The Solar System did not

become less interesting after Newton's great discovery;

nor is the Human Body less interesting since Harvey

discovered the circulation of the blood. (5) The first re-

quirement of any poem is that it shall depict Nature,

make it clear to our apprehension, and arouse in us such

emotions as might be aroused by the actual view of Nature.

(6) Historic view of this subject in relation to painting

and sculpture. The story of Zeuxis and Parrhasius. (7)

Homer's view of artistic excellence. (8) The view of Dante.

(9) Ruskin's criticism of the same. What would be the

esthetic worth of a living reproduction of any scene in

Life or Nature? (10) A suggested solution of the differ-

ences between the Realist and the Impressionist. (11)

Shakespeare's view of artistic excellence. (12) Views of

Goethe and others. (13) Nature is the true centre of gravity

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