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“fine" as opposed to merely serviceable scholar, and in what he proposes to do art, exists. Literary art, that is, like will have in mind, first of all, the scholar all art which is in any way imitative or and the scholarly conscience the male reproductive of fact-form, or color, or conscience in this matter, as we must incident-is the representation of such think it, under a system of education fact as connected with soul, of a specific which still to so large an extent limits (260 personality, in its preferences, its volition real scholarship to men. In his self
criticism, he supposes always that sort Such is the matter of imaginative or of reader who will go (full of eyes) warily, artistic literature—this transcript, not [210 considerately, though without consideraof mere fact, but of fact in its infinite va- tion for him, over the ground which the riety, as modified by human preference female conscience traverses so lightly, so in all its infinitely varied forms. It will amiably. For the material in which he be good literary art not because it is works is no more a creation of his own than brilliant or sober, or rich, or impulsive, the sculptor's marble. Product of a or severe, but just in proportion as its myriad various minds and contend- (270 representation of that sense, that soul- ing tongues, compact of obscure and fact, is true, verse being only one de- minute association, a language has its own partment of such literature, and im- abundant and often recondite laws, in aginative prose, it may be thought, [220 the habitual and summary recognition being the special art of the modern world. of which scholarship consists. A writer, That imaginative prose should be the full of a matter he is before all things special and opportune art of the modern anxious to express, may think of those world results from two important facts laws, the limitations of vocabulary, strucabout the latter: first, the chaotic va- ture, and the like, as a restriction, but riety and complexity of its interests, if a real artist, will find in them an (280 making the intellectual issue, the really opportunity. His punctilious observance master currents of the present time in- of the proprieties of his medium will calculable a condition of mind little diffuse through all he writes a general susceptible of the restraint proper to (230 air of sensibility, of refined usage. Exverse form, so that the most character- clusiones debitae naturae—the exclusions, istic verse of the nineteenth century has or rejections, which nature demandsbeen lawless verse;' and secondly, an all- we know how large a part these play, pervading naturalism, a curiosity about according to Bacon, in the science of everything whatever as it really is, in- nature. In a somewhat changed sense, volving a certain humility of attitude, we might say that the art of the (290 cognate to what must, after all, be the scholar is summed up in the observance less ambitious form of literature. And of those rejections demanded by the naprose thus asserting itself as the special ture of his medium, the material he must and privileged artistic faculty of the (240 Alive to the value of an atmos present day, will be, however critics may phere in which every term finds its utmost try to narrow its scope, as varied in its degree of expression, and with all the excellence as humanity itself reflecting jealousy of a lover of words, he will resist on the facts of its latest experience a constant tendency on the part of the an instrument of many stops, meditative, majority of those who use them to efface observant, descriptive, eloquent, analytic, the distinctions of language, the 1300 plaintive, fervid. Its beauties will be not facility of writers often reinforcing in this exclusively “pedestrian:” it will exert, respect the work of the vulgar. He will in due measure, all the varied charms feel the obligation not of the laws only, of poetry, down to the rhythm which, (250 but of those affinities, avoidances, those as in Cicero, or Michelet, or Newman, at mere preferences, of his language, which their best, gives its musical value to through the associations of literary hisevery syllable.
tory have become a part of its nature, The literary artist is of necessity a prescribing the rejection of many a
neology, many a license, many a gipsy still more of the words he would reject phrase which might present itself as (310 were the dictionary other than Johnactually expressive. His appeal, again, son’s; and doing this with his peculiar is to the scholar, who has great experience sense of the world ever in view, in search in literature, and will show no favor to of an instrument for the adequate expresshort-cuts, or hackneyed illustration, or sion of that, he begets a vocabulary an affectation of learning designed for the faithful to the coloring of his own spirit, unlearned. Hence a contention, a sense and in the strictest sense original. (370 of self-restraint and renunciation, having That living authority which language for the susceptible reader the effect of a needs lies, in truth, in its scholars, who, challenge for minute consideration; the recognizing always that every language attention of the writer, in every (320 possesses a genius, a very fastidious minutest detail, being a pledge that it is genius, of its own, expand at once and worth the reader's while to be attentive purify its very elements, which must too, that the writer is dealing scrupulously needs change along with the changing with his instrument, and therefore, in- thoughts of living people. Ninety years directly, with the reader himself also, ago, for instance, great mental force, that he has the science of the instru- certainly, was needed by Wordsworth, 1380 ment he plays on, perhaps, after all, with to break through the consecrated poetic a freedom which in such case will be the associations of a century, and speak the freedom of a master.
language that was his, that was to become For meanwhile, braced only by 1330 in a measure the language of the next those restraints, he is really vindicating generation. But he did it with the tact his liberty in the making of a vocabulary, of a scholar also. English, for a quarter an entire system of composition, for him- of a century past, has been assimilating self, his own true manner; and when we the phraseology of pictorial art; for half speak of the manner of a true master a century, the phraseology of the great we mean what is essential in his art. German metaphysical movement of (390 Pedantry being only the scholarship of eighty years ago; in part also the lanle cuistre (we have no English equiva- guage of mystical theology: and none but lent), he is no pedant, and does but show pedants will regret a great consequent his intelligence of the rules of lan- (340 increase of its resources. guage in his freedoms with it, addition
years to come its enterprise may well or expansion, which like the spontaneities lie in the naturalization of the vocabuof manner in a well-bred person will lary of science, so only it be under the still further illustrate good taste.-The eye of sensitive scholarship-in a libright vocabulary! Translators have not eral naturalization of the ideas of science invariably seen how all-important that too, for after all, the chief stimulus of (400 is in the work of translation, driving for good style is to possess a full, rich, comthe most part at idiom or construction; plex matter to grapple with. The litwhereas, if the original be first-rate, erary artist, therefore, will be well aware one's care should be with its elemen- (350 of physical science; science also attaintary particles, Plato, for instance, being ing, in its turn, its true literary ideal. often reproducible by an exact following, And then, as the scholar is nothing withwith no variation in structure, of word out the historic sense, he will be apt to after word, as the pencil follows a draw- restore not really obsolete or really worning under tracing-paper, so only each out words, but the finer edge of words word or syllable be not of false color, to still in use: ascertain, communicate, [410 change my illustration a little.
discover-words like these it has been part Well! that is because any writer worth of our "business” to misuse. And still, translating at all has winnowed and as language was made for man, he will searched through his vocabulary, is (360 be no authority for correctnesses which, conscious of the words he would select limiting freedom of utterance, were yet in systematic reading of a dictionary, and but accidents in their origin; as if one
vowed not to say “its," which ought to A perfect poem like Lycidas, a perfect have been in Shakespeare, “his and fiction like Esmond, the perfect handling "hers,” for inanimate objects, being but of a theory like Newman's Idea of a Unia barbarous and really inexpressive (420 versity, has for them something of the survival. Yet we have known many uses of a religious “retreat.” Here, then, things like this.
Racy Saxon mono- with a view to the central need of a select syllables, close to us as touch and sight, few, those “men of a finer thread” who he will intermix readily with those long, have formed and maintain the literary savorsome, Latin words, rich in "second ideal, everything, every component eleintention.” In this late day certainly, no ment will have undergone exact trial, (480 critical process can be conducted rea- and, above all, there will be no uncharsonably without eclecticism. Of such acteristic or tarnished or vulgar decoraeclecticism we have a justifying example tion, permissible ornament being for the in one of the first poets of our time. [430 most part structural, or necessary. As How illustrative of monosyllabic effect, the painter in his picture, so the artist in of sonorous Latin, of the phraseology of his book, aims at the production by science, of metaphysic, of colloquialism honorable artifice of a peculiar atmoseven, are the writings of Tennyson; yet phere. “The artist,” says Schiller, "may with what a fine, fastidious scholarship be known rather by what he omits; throughout!
and in literature, too, the true artist (400 A scholar writing for the scholarly, may be best recognized by his tact of he will of course leave something to the omission. For to the grave reader words willing intelligence of his reader. “To too are grave; and the ornamental word, go preach to the first passer-by," says (440 the figure, the accessory form or color or Montaigne, “to become tutor to the ig- | reference, is rarely content to die to norance of the first I meet, is a thing I thought precisely at the right moment, abhor;" a thing, in fact, naturally dis- but will inevitably linger awhile, stirring tressing to the scholar, who will there- a long “brain-wave” behind it of perfore ever be shy of offering uncompli- | haps quite alien associations. mentary assistance to the reader's wit. Just there, it may be, is the detri- [500 To really strenuous minds there is a mental tendency of the sort of scholarly pleasurable stimulus in the challenge for attentiveness of mind I am recommend a continuous effort on their part, to be ing. But the true artist allows for it. He rewarded by securer and more inti- [450 will remember that, as the very word mate grasp of the author's sense. Self- ornament indicates what is in itself nonrestraint, a skilful economy of means, essential, so the "one beauty" of all litascêsis, that too has a beauty of its own; erary style is of its very essence, and and for the reader supposed, there will independent, in prose and verse alike, of be an aesthetic satisfaction in that frugal all removable decoration; that it may ercloseness of style which makes the most ist in its fullest luster, as in Flaubert's 1510 of a word, in the exaction from every Madame Bovary, for instance, or in sentence of a precise relief, in the just Stendhal's Le Rouge et Le Noir, in a spacing out of words to thought, in the composition utterlyunadorned, with logically filled space connected always (460 hardly a single suggestion of visibly with the delightful sense of difficulty beautiful things. Parallel, allusion, the overcome.
allusive way generally, the flowers in the Different classes of persons, at differ- garden: he knows the narcotic force ent times, make, of course, very various of these upon the negligent intelligence demands upon literature. Still, scholars, to which any diversion, literally, is welI suppose, and not only scholars, but alí
come, any vagrant intruder, because (520 disinterested lovers of books, will always one can go wandering away with it from look to it, as to all other fine art, for a the immediate subject. Jealous, if he refuge, a sort of cloistral refuge, from a have a really quickening motive within, certain vulgarity in the actual world. [470 of all that does not hold directly to that,
of the facile, the otiose, he will never de- ment, scrupulously exact of it, from part from the strictly pedestrian process, syllable to syllable, its precise value. (580 unless he gains a ponderable something So far I have been speaking of certain thereby. Even assured of its congruity, conditions of the literary art arising he will still question its serviceableness out of the medium or material in or upon Is it worth while, can we afford, to at- [530 which it works, the essential qualities tend to just that, to just that figure or of language and its aptitudes for conliterary reference, just then?-Surplus- tingent ornamentation, matters which age! he will dread that, as the runner define scholarship as science and good on his muscles. For in truth all art taste respectively. They are both subdoes but consist in the removal of sur- servient to a more intimate quality of plusage, from the last finish of the gem- good style: more intimate, as coming 1590 engraver blowing away the last particle nearer to the artist himself. The otiose, of invisible dust, back to the earliest the facile, surplusage: why are these divination of the finished work to be, abhorrent to the true literary artist, exlying somewhere, according to Michel- (540 cept because, in literary as in all other angelo's fancy, in the rough-hewn block art, structure is all-important, felt, or of stone.
painfully missed, everywhere?—that archiAnd what applies to figure or flower tectural conception of work, which foremust be understood of all other acci- sees the end in the beginning and never dental or removable ornaments of writ- loses sight of it, and in every part is coning whatever; and not of specific orna- scious of all the rest, till the last (600 ment only, but of all that latent color sentence does but, with undiminished and imagery which language as such car- vigor, unfold and justify the first-a conries in it. A lover of words for their dition of literary art, which, in contraown sake, to whom nothing about 1550 distinction to another quality of the them is unimportant, a minute and con- artist himself, to be spoken of later, stant observer of their physiognomy, he I shall call the necessity of mind in will be on the alert not only for obviously style. mixed metaphors of course, but for the An acute philosophical writer, the late metaphor that is mixed in all our speech, Dean Mansel (a writer whose works ilthough a rapid use may involve no cog- lustrate the literary beauty there may (610 nition of it. Currently recognizing the be in closeness, and with obvious represincident, the color, the physical elements sion or economy of a fine rhetorical gift) or particles in words like absorb, con- wrote a book, of fascinating precision in sider, extract, to take the first that 1560 a very obscure subject, to show that all occur, he will avail himself of them, as the technical laws of logic are but means further adding to the resources of expres- of securing, in each and all of its appresion. The elementary particles of lan- hensions, the unity, the strict identity guage will be realized as color and light with itself, of the apprehending mind. and shade through his scholarly living All the laws of good writing aim at a in the full sense of them. Still opposing similar unity or identity of the mind (620 the constant degradation of language by in all the processes by which the word is those who use it carelessly, he will not associated to its import. The term is treat colored glass as if it were clear; right, and has its essential beauty, when and while half the world is using (570 it becomes, in a manner, what it sigfigure unconsciously, will be fully aware nifies, as with the names of simple sennot only of all that latent figurative tex- sations. To give the phrase, the senture in speech, but of the vague, lazy, tence, the structural member, the enhalf-formed personification-a rhetoric, tire composition, song, or essay, a similar depressing, and worse than nothing, be- unity with its subject and with itself: cause it has no really rhetorical motive style is in the right way when it (630 -which plays so large a part there, and, tends towards that. All depends upon as in the case of more ostentatious orna- the original unity, the vital wholeness and identity, of the initiatory apprehen- accretion, the literary artist, I suppose, sion or view. So much is true of all goes on considerably, setting joint to art, which therefore requires always its joint, sustained by yet restraining the logic, its comprehensive reason-insight, productive ardor, retracing the negli- (690 foresight, retrospect, in simultaneous ac- gences of his first sketch, repeating his tion-true, most of all, of the literary steps only that he may give the reader art, as being of all the arts most closely a sense of secure and restful progress, cognate to the abstract intelligence. (640 readjusting mere assonances even, that Such logical coherency may be evidenced they may soothe the reader, or at least not merely in the lines of composition as not interrupt him on his way; and then, a whole, but in the choice of a single somewhere before the end comes, is word, while it by no means interferes burdened, inspired, with his conclusion, with, but may even prescribe, much va- and betimes delivered of it, leaving off, riety, in the building of the sentence for not in weariness and because he finds 1700 instance, or in the manner, argumenta- himself at an end, but in all the freshness tive, descriptive, discursive, of this or of volition. His work now structurally that part or member of the entire design. complete, with all the accumulating efThe blithe, crisp sentence, decisive (650 fect of secondary shades of meaning, he as a child's expression of its needs, may
finishes the whole up to the just proporalternate with the long-contending, vic- tion of that ante-penultimate conclusion, toriously intricate sentence; the sen- and all becomes expressive. The house tence, born with the integrity of a single he has built is rather a body he has inword, relieving the sort of sentence in formed. And so it happens, to its greater which, if you look closely, you can see credit, that the better interest even of (710 much contrivance, much adjustment, to a narrative to be recounted, a story to bring a highly qualified matter into be told, will often be in its second reading. compass at one view. For the literary And though there are instances of great architecture, if it is to be rich and (660 writers who have been no artists, an unexpressive, involves not only foresight of conscious tact sometimes directing work the end in the beginning, but also develop- in which we may detect, very pleasurably, ment or growth of design, in the process many of the effects of conscious art, yet of execution, with many irregularities, one of the greatest pleasures of really good surprises, and after-thoughts; the con- prose literature is in the critical tracing tingent as well as the necessary being out of that conscious artistic structure, (720 subsumed under the unity of the whole. and the pervading sense of it as we read. As truly, to the lack of such architec- Yet of poetic literature too; for, in truth, tural design, of a single, almost visual, the kind of constructive intelligence here image, vigorously informing an en- (670 supposed is one of the forms of the imagitire, perhaps very intricate, composi- nation. tion, which shall be austere, ornate, ar- That is the special function of mind, gumentative, fanciful, yet true from first in style. Mind and soul:-hard to asto last to that vision within, may be certain philosophically, the distinction is attributed those weaknesses of conscious real enough practically, for they often or unconscious repetition of word, phrase, interfere, are sometimes in conflict, (730 motive, or member of the whole matter, with each other. Blake, in the last cenindicating, as Flaubert was aware, an tury, is an instance of preponderating soul, original structure in thought not organ- embarrassed, at a loss, in an era of preically complete. With such foresight, (680 ponderating mind. As a quality of style, the actual conclusion will most often get at all events, soul is a fact, in certain itself written out of hand, before, in the writers—the way they have of absorbmore obvious sense, the work is finished. ing language, of attracting it into the With some strong and leading sense of peculiar spirit they are of, with a subthe world, the tight hold of which se- tlety which makes the actual result seem cures true composition and not mere loose like some inexplicable inspiration. [740